It must be great to be Gerry Brownlee: assuming for yourself - and receiving - special treatment to get around pesky airport security queues.

The chutzpah shown by Brownlee as he dodged the security check at Christchurch Airport last week is staggering. Had he applied that same refreshingly brusque approach to bypassing official channels in his role as Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, many of the residents of Christchurch might not be living in such a state of grim uncertainty.

The Minister of Transport was right to offer his resignation - Prime Minister John Key should have accepted it. At the very least, Brownlee should have been stood down pending an official investigation.

And he should be prosecuted. If you or I walked through that gate, our next journey would be in the backseat of a police car, not an A320.


By suggesting that the staff member involved shouldn't be punished, Brownlee again underlines the key issue here: our Minister of Transport has a lax attitude to airport security. The staff member does need to be disciplined. Security checks are a hassle, but there's one rule for all. And with good reason.