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Wellington's Eco-City just hot-air?

6 December 2007

Wellington's Eco-City just hot-air?

Green Party MP Sue Kedgley says Wellington will have to give up any pretence at being an eco-city if it supports Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast's call for drilling another tunnel through Mt Victoria and extending State Highway One to Wellington Airport.

"Ms Prendergast is rapidly reducing her vision of Wellington becoming the world's first eco-city to just public relations spin. If she is serious about Wellington being the world's first eco-city she will have to abandon her carbon-inducing plans for two new tunnels and a new state highway to the airport.

"Extending a state highway to the airport will clog Wellington's streets even further, produce more carbon emissions and further marginalise those who, for whatever reason, prefer to cycle, walk or bus".

Ms Kedgley said she strongly supports Green Councillor Wade-Brown's position on Wellington Regional Council's Ngauranga to Airport study, which was released today for public submission.

Ms Kedgley said if Wellington City Council is serious about becoming an eco-city, it should embrace the proposal for a City-to Airport light-rail connection.

"We have the opportunity for a light-rail network, and if we don't take the opportunity now, I fear it will be lost forever.

Ms Kedgley said she was alarmed at Mayor Prendergast comment this morning that a new Mt Victoria tunnel should be a high priority, regardless of what submitters to the study say.

"Over a thousand people submitted on stage one of the draft regional council plan in favour of increased public transport funding rather than still more roading for Wellington.

"Yet Ms Prendergast persists in her preference for private vehicles. This is despite a vast majority of previous submitters saying that they prefer other options for Wellington, such as a City to Airport light-rail connection.

"It makes no sense in this instance - economically or sustainably - to build more roads and tunnels, which according to the study will cost $250 million, over light rail which will cost $140 million."


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