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Statement To The Council - Mayor Blumsky

STATEMENT TO THE COUNCIL

MAYOR MARK BLUMSKY

Monday 7 February 2000


It is not been an easy time for any of us. I stood for Mayor in 1995 because I loved Wellington. And I stood on a very simple platform – to make Wellington ever more vibrant and ever more safe. That vision was endorsed by the overwhelming majority of the People of Wellington. It’s a vision I formed a Coalition between Wellington Alive and Labour to deliver. And I’m proud of what we’ve achieved.

I don’t think there is anyone who would argue against the fact Wellington is a far more vibrant and exciting city than it was five years ago. This weekend we saw that with the absolutely fantastic Rugby Sevens Tournament. We see it every weekend when people stream down to our Waterfront to enjoy all that is has to offer. It’s where people eat, drink, play, learn, work and live. We have more tertiary institutions than anywhere else in New Zealand. Lord of the Rings is being filmed here. There’s Te Papa.

With safety, we’re making big gains too with the new package that’s going forward. We’re sorting out issues of making our open spaces safer and more liveable. We can do without the Glover Parks of this world.

I have enjoyed this job. I do it because I can make a difference and because it’s fun. It hasn’t been fun these last few weeks. In the City, there is fear and alarm about the future of the Waterfront. Wellingtonians are divided and that’s not healthy. I know some councillors are extremely angry about misinformation over plans for the Waterfront. What we need to do over the next few weeks and for the rest of this triennium is sort this out.

We have to do something to keep evolving the waterfront. None of us want to see the Chaffers Area stay as it is, and I have a problem seeing so much of the Waterfront used for nothing more than carparking. But I don’t believe any reasonable people want to see a wall built along our Waterfront. I also don’t believe any reasonable people want to see the whole area turned into a paddock. The risk is that people will get themselves locked into those extremist types of positions.

I want my legacy to be that I led this council in finding a middle way between those extremes. That’s why I’ll be asking the council to extend the time for submissions, review all the general issues and rigorously research all the shades of public opinion and develop a new submission that reflects that.

Another important part of achieving that legacy is my proposed People’s Waterfront Charter that Cr Piper will present today. It’s a way for us to enshrine the bond between the People of Wellington and their Council about the future of their Waterfront. And that’s the most important part – that it’s their Waterfront, and that it reflects their diverse interests and activities. I am sure that we are able to develop that charter together, and that this council will be the first of many to endorse its principles. I hope we can do that reasonably.

Developing the Charter will mean we’ll have come a long way towards achieving my vision of vibrancy and safety. But I can see now that my vision will not be complete by October 2001. It is my intention to keep seeking the middle way, on this and on other issues. And I hope to do that as Mayor in my third term beginning in October 2001.

This city must be for all Wellingtonians. It must reflect all their different ideas and interests that make this city vibrant. It must not be captured by people with extreme views either one way or the other. I’ll be asking Wellingtonians to trust me to deliver the middle way.

END


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