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Green councillors pleased by significant initiatives

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Green City Councillors Laurie Foon, Sarah Free and Iona Pannett said today that they were proud to be part of a forward thinking team at the Wellington City Council that over two days of debate on the city’s 10 year budget won support for significant initiatives that will benefit the climate, increase biodiversity and reduce waste.

Cr Foon said “From winning money to build a resource recovery centre, to investing in initiatives to get food waste out of the landfill, to building green infrastructure, to developing a sustainable food action plan and investing more in cycling, Green councillors led on a number of successful initiatives,” she said.

Cr Free said “Green councillors were also proud to support moves to keep Wellington’s library in public hands, to go harder and faster on a predator free initiative, to invest over $2b of investment into water and upgrades to the Begonia House and the lab and nursery at Ōtari Wilton’s Bush. We are also proud to support investment to meet our Te Tiriti obligations by building capability at Council to meet the needs and aspirations of Māori and supporting an initiative to pay the Living Wage to workers at events around the city,” she said.

In particular, councillors took a strong stance on the Library. Cr Free said “we know that Wellingtonians love their library. We have listened to feedback and voted to keep it in public hands as well as restoring full funding of the library materials collection.”

The Green councillors also joined with other councillors to take a proposed $75 million loan to rebuild the airport seawall off the table. Cr Pannett said that investing in private airport assets using Council funds was problematic when there was such need in the city for more housing, further investment in public infrastructure and initiatives to protect the environment.

It was also unclear if this project related to the beleaguered runway extension proposal which is not supported by Green councillors for climate change reasons. “The impact of the proposed loan would be to give air passengers a Council-funded subsidy rather than asking people to pay a bit more to recognise the true costs of flying,” said Cr Pannett.

Cr Free said as a Motu Kairangi Eastern Ward councillor, there are significant concerns in the ward about the impacts of sea level rise and other impacts of the airport. Strengthening the existing sea wall could be good idea, but it should be funded privately rather than through the Council funds” said Cr Free.

“We know that many Wellingtonians are under financial pressure so we need to be careful with ratepayer money. But the message is clear: people want to invest in public assets and the environment,” said Cr Foon.

7 comments:

  1. Claire, 5. March 2021, 12:27

    Councillors Green or not. Any extra expenditure is an insult when you have approved a 13.5% rates rise. Self congratulation shows Councillors to be living in a bubble shielded from the reality that the ratepayers have.

     
  2. Ray Chung, 5. March 2021, 13:57

    It seems to me that Green councillors are always pleased when they’re spending ratepayers’ money advancing their ideology. What the heck is a Resource Recovery Centre?

     
  3. AndrewZ, 5. March 2021, 15:51

    Councillors, do any sewers or high pressure sludge pipes run along the western side of the runway?

     
  4. Ms Green, 5. March 2021, 16:24

    I love the Greens but this is a load of rubbish. They agreed to a unanimous Council decision to privatise half of the library just a few days ago, and yesterday they agreed to unprivatise it. Is that an achievement? A significant initiative? Then they went on to agree to privatise major civic centre buildings and a significant portion of the civic centre. Wow that’s an historic sale of assets! “Another significant initiative”? Where is the consistency? Otherwise some bits and pieces listed here are OK.

     
  5. Ray Chung, 5. March 2021, 20:41

    A wise sage said to me many years ago, “Self-praise is no praise!” And these Green councillors are full of it!

     
  6. Hel, 5. March 2021, 20:46

    “We know that many Wellingtonians are under financial pressure so we need to be careful with ratepayers’ money”. Wow this is such an out of touch statement when you have just saddled ratepayers with a 14% rates increase. Hopefully I have as much luck in winning some money to help me pay what is an outrageous rates increase.

     
  7. D'Esterre, 11. March 2021, 6:32

    Given the size of the rates increase that the Council is imposing upon us the unfortunate ratepayers, it’s my view that any self-congratulation on spending initiatives bespeaks a lack of empathy with those of us who must find the extra money out of our already-stretched incomes.

    “From winning money to build a resource recovery centre, to investing in initiatives to get food waste out of the landfill, to building green infrastructure, to developing a sustainable food action plan and investing more in cycling…” Like Ray, I want to know what a resource recovery centre is. As to the rest of these initiatives – whatever they are – how esssential are they? Money is tight: let’s get the pipes fixed first. And the library floor connections remediated. Infrastructure of that sort is indeed essential: the list above looks to me like a bunch of nice-to-haves.

    “We are also proud to support investment to meet our Te Tiriti obligations by building capability at Council to meet the needs and aspirations of Māori…” Does this mean “paying unelected people to sit on committees”? And does it include setting up a Maori ward? Given what we now know about the numbers of Maori being elected to Councils around the country, neither of these proposals can be categorised as “essential”.