Media release from Iona Pannett
“There should be no rubber stamp for the Basin Reserve flyover,” said Wellington City Councillor Iona Pannett today.
The Environmental Protection Authority has until the 12th July to recommend to the Government whether the application by the New Zealand Transport Agency to build the flyover should be heard by the Environment Court, the Wellington City Council or political appointees under the Board of Inquiry process.
“The Boards of Inquiry set up under the National Government to fast track projects have so far given approval for all projects.
“People opposed to the flyover should be very concerned therefore if the project goes to a Board of Inquiry; the risk is real that the project will be given the green light.
“The Boards have been set up to give certainty to achieve the Government’s policy ends. This is an inappropriate approach for contentious issues like the flyover, they should be heard in the relatively neutral setting of the Court”, said Cr Pannett.
“The Government needs to reassure Wellingtonians that those who have concerns about the flyover will be given a fair hearing.
“It is the view of Wellington City Council that the application should be heard by the Court rather than the Board. I hope this viewpoint should be listened to by the Government.
“There are serious questions to be asked about the Boards of Inquiry generally and whether they are providing robust and fair outcomes for all New Zealanders. I hope future governments will address these questions,” said Cr Pannett.