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Action Group Takes Umbrage

Action Group Takes Umbrage

“WAAG takes issue with the suggestion by Mayor Harvey that to receive monies from corporate organizations is in some way devious or “foul”. As a not for profit incorporated society, deemed by the IRD to be a ‘local or regional promotion body’, WAAG relies on donations, pledges and subscriptions from its members and other organisations who share commonality of view and objective in terms of opposing the WCC plan change for the current Whenuapai Airbase to be rezoned commercial, thereby paving the way for a commercial airport operation.

WAAG believes that such statements from Mayor Harvey are examples of the breathtaking hypocrisy that has become synonymous with the WCC – a Council that has refused to exercise any degree of transparency in respect to the airport issue, the most recent example being its refusal to disclose just how much taxpayer and resident money has been spent on its pursuit of a commercial venture with private company Infratil and on the airport project per se – despite an Official Information Act request.

The sum spent by WCC is believed to be significant and has been done so in the face of strenuous opposition from the likes of Ministry of Defence, Board of Airline Representatives NZ (BARNZ), representing all airlines flying within and to NZ,, the Auckland Regional Council, Environmental Groups, The Green Party and many individuals right across the Auckland region.

As such it would appear such expenditure is fiscally irresponsible on the part of the Mayor and his vision commercially flawed. Ratepayers’ money is being spent on an activity which will primarily benefit a commercial company - Infratil

The hypocrisy continues with the Mayor of the self proclaimed ‘eco city’ inviting an activity into the region that is widely regarded as one of the greatest contributors to climate change. The adverse environmental effects of noise on a wide residential area rates highly alongside the emitting of harmful pollutants into the fragile estuarine eco system of the upper Harbour; factors that have little impact with the current low level military operations in the area. Commercial aviation is recognised as the fastest growing contributor to global warming.

It appears, whilst Mayor Harvey’s hypocritical rhetoric seemingly knows no bounds so does his perception of WAAG, as a “small ginger group”. With just under one thousand subscribed members and a host of other supporters, WAAG has members in a large number of suburbs of Auckland and even as far away as Whitianga and Waiuku. It is arguably New Zealand’s largest community lobby group representing a diverse range of interests and concerns.”


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