Media release from Cr Helene Ritchie
It is absolutely unacceptable and unethical and unfair for Council to use ratepayer funds to fight its own ratepayers, Councillor Helene Ritchie said today in response to the proposal that the Wellington City Council co-fund an application for resource consent approvals process to extend Wellington Airport’s runway. She said that the Council should not be co-funding an application for resource consents.
It is very likely that there will be significant ratepayer and resident objection to the extension of the runway into Evans Bay.
Council has repeatedly wasted ratepayers’ funds in Court in the past, fighting its own ratepayers (and losing) especially but not only in relation to the waterfront.
Council should stand aside from the process. It is conflicted.
Wellington City Councillors were told of this proposal in a secret tete-a-tete today, but the Council has yet to make a decision, or even see or hear officer advice.
The compromising of Wellington’s competitive difference – its natural environmental – for dubious so-called economic gain will be severely tested by this completely unnecessary expenditure and major environmental damage.
Wellington City is one of the few Capitals in the world where business can be carried out just 15 minutes from the Airport to the CBD.
Within half an hour, international visitors can get to Wellington from Auckland-in less time than takes to get to downtown Auckland.
Wellington is losing significant parts of its natural environment – the Town Belt – with proposals to widen Ruahine St into it and to double the Mt Victoria Tunnel.
Eastern Suburbs residents have been long suffering in the last few months, with a relatively small construction project – the improvements in Kilbirnie Centre. The Airport extension and massive roading works will turn the Eastern Suburbs into a construction site for many years.