Media release from Strathmore Park Progressive Association
Correspondence between Wellington International Airport Ltd and the city council’s former representative on the airport board, Ian McKinnon, cannot be released to the public.
An application under the Official Information and Meetings Act to the Wellington City Council was refused late last year, which led the Association to apply to the Office of the Ombudsman in a bid to make communications available.
This request was refused by the Ombudsman as
“WIAL’s constitution gives shareholders a right to appoint directors to WIAL. The council is a shareholder and has such a right. This right makes WIAL a “council organisation” but council organisations are not subject to an Ombudsman’s jurisdiction.”
“This situation is unjust” said Stan Andis – President of the Association. “The former city councillor clearly participated in the decision making process to approve the construction of barriers at the airport, but the current regime prevented him from reporting this highly contentious issue to the council.”
“It is difficult to comprehend how a city councillor paid by the ratepayer can participate in a process that demonstrates allegiance and loyalty solely to the company to which that person has been appointed by the council” Mr Andis said.
“The conflict of interest is untenable,” he said. “The absence of a transparent process prevents a report-back procedure from being on the council agenda”.
“Similar circumstances will apply with Mayor Celia Wade-Brown’s appointment as a Director.”
The $5.1 million Barrier system has almost been completed in a location that the general public used as a right of way as Stewart Duff Drive for many years.
The direct path between Moa Point and Broadway is now a car park labyrinth where the name of Stewart Duff, a former highly respected city councillor, is no longer worthy of the name it bears.