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Transit Threaten Arrests At 'Bypass' Gardening Bee

Date : 30 November 2002
'Growing Community' and Anti-Bypass Action

Transit threaten arrests at 'Bypass' route gardening bee.

A threatening letter has been sent out by Transit's Project Manager Jamie McDuff to members of anti-'Bypass' groups planning to create another community garden on the proposed route of the roading scheme that states "appropriate action" will be taken if anyone attempts to garden in the area.

Amazed at Transit's fear of plants and gardens the decision has been made for all gardeners to meet later in the day "so we can all garden together and really scare Transit with our frightening cabbages and beans" says Growing Community spokesperson Emily Bailey. They hope then that "they [Transit] will finally leave our beloved Te Aro alone".

Gardeners are being asked to meet at the proposed Buller Street Community garden at 1pm with plants and spades at the ready. "We don't want to see a repeat of the Stagecraft Theatre disaster where the council sent in riot police. All we want to do is turn a scruffy old unused lawn into a beautiful garden for the community to enjoy. It's going to look pretty bad for Transit if they have to drag old grannies and children into paddy wagons for threatening to plant flowers."

(Please see below for the original press release sent out last week and a copy of the letter sent out by Transit on Wednesday.)

Contacts : Kane Fawcett (04) 5897-320 and Emily Bailey (04) 973-5355.

MEDIA RELEASE : FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date : 21 November 2002 >From : 'Growing Community' (in association with the Wellington Rainforest Action Group, Campaign for a Better City and Anti-Bypass Action.)

Park Up III - Yet another 'Bypass' Community Garden.

On Sunday the 1st of December the urban community garden group 'Growing Community' are organising the creation of yet another garden to stand boldly in the path of the proposed inner-city 'Bypass'. This time in an empty lot on Buller Street near the Terrace Tunnel.

The brainchild of several Wellington 20-somethings, Growing Community was set up to transform unused urban land into vibrant living food gardens for local people to use as a gathering space, to restore native wildlife and as a symbolic barrier to the 'Bypass'. Two gardens already exist in Tonks Avenue and Kensington Street. An attempt was made at Buller Street earlier this year but was foiled by "concrete-like soil problems" says spokesperson Emily Bailey and so the group are trying again but this time "with hardware". All the gardens lie on the proposed inner city 'Bypass' route "as a form of protest or demonstration of what the land can be 'sustainably' used for and how it can be beautified and loved by the local community instead of being concreted for vehicles that just want to drive on by". Buller street was chosen as there is an unused space halfway down the street that already has some tall trees and receives plenty of sun and foot traffic.

People are invited down to enjoy in the creation of the garden. Included on the day will be an acoustic performance from local groove/rock/reggae band KAMAhi and an opportunity to enjoy a BYO picnic, weather permitting. Meet between 10am and 5pm on Sunday the 1st of December. Bring edible plants, herbs, native plants, instruments, paintbrushes, decorations and any tools you have. Mulch and compost is especially sought after.

Contacts : Kane Fawcett (04) 5897-320, fawcettino@hotmail.com or Emily Bailey (04) 973-5355, wrag_@hotmail.com

Please Quote Ref:

JM:KC01

27 November 2002

Emily Bailey wrag_@hotmail.com,

Kane Fawcett fawcettino@hotmail.com,

Dear Emily and Cain,

PROPOSED PROTEST GARDENING ON BULLER ST

Transit has been made aware of your planned 1st December actions to create a “community garden” on the Crown owned land currently held for the inner city bypass adjoining Buller Street.

This email is to inform you that the land on which you plan to protest and demonstrate by creation of a “community garden” is Crown owned land leased to a number of parties for the purposes of car parking.

Any attempt to occupy, dig, plant, mulch etc will be treated as vandalism and trespassing and we will take appropriate action. Further we note you do not have Transits permission to have a band play on this site, nor have you made any application for a performance venue to Wellington City Council.

Should you have any questions or wish to discuss this matter any further, please contact myself on 801 2581.

Yours faithfully

Jamie MacDuff

PROJECT MANAGER INNER CITY BYPASS

Transit New Zealand - A world leader in roading solutions. This electronic mail message together with any attachments is confidential. If you are not the intended recipient:
- Do not copy, disclose or use the contents in any way.
- Please let us know by return e-mail immediately, then destroy this message.
Transit New Zealand is not responsible for any changes made to this message and/or any attachments after sending by Transit New Zealand. Thank you.


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