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War Memorial Park creche move under fire

Save the Basin Campaign criticises retrospective approval for War Memorial Park creche move

The Save the Basin Campaign and the Mt Victoria Historical Society have jointly written to the Basin Bridge Board of Inquiry to criticise the Government's granting of retrospective consent to the move of the Home of Compassion Creche.

The groups contend that the creche has not been legally moved under the War Memorial Park Act, and that the Basin Bridge Board of Inquiry should consider the Basin Bridge proposal as if the Creche remained in its original position. The Board is currently considering whether to grant resource consent approval to the proposed Basin Reserve flyover.

Commenting on the Government's move to grant retrospective resource consent to the move via Order in Council, Save the Basin Campaign spokesperson Tim Jones said "This is yet another abuse of power and due process by the current Government. In Christchurch, the Government tried to use the laws passed to deal with the Canterbury Earthquake to make larger zoning changes, until the High Court stopped them. Here, the Government is using the construction of a War Memorial Park which is meant to be a solemn commemoration of war and the fallen as a cynical ploy to try to improve its chances of gaining approval for a pet roading project."

Mr Jones continued "During the Board hearing, lawyers for opposing groups demonstrated that the New Zealand Transport Agency had badly messed up the process with respect to its planned movement of the Creche, which it wants out of the way so that the proposed flyover can go through and over the creche's former site. Instead of rethinking the ugly, expensive and unnecessary flyover project, the Government has chosen to circumvent the democratic process by pushing through a retrospective Order in Council."

"We believe this is an abuse of due process and the rule of law. This Government acts as if it believes that it is above the law. It needs to be brought back down to Earth," Mr Jones concluded.

ENDS

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