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Greens call for independence on airport is heard

Greens call for independence on airport is heard

The West Auckland branch of the Green Party is celebrating today's announcement by Waitakere City Council to appoint independent commissioners to hear the submissions on the proposed Plan change to tie up Whenuapai Airbase for a commercial airport.

The Green's have been saying for over a year that, as shareholders in the company that would build the commerical airport, the Council are hopelessly compromised and had to appoint independent commissioners.

"We'd sooner the airforce stayed at Whenuapai," said Green Party candidate for Helensville, David Clendon. "If the airforce does decide to leave, about the last thing we need on the site is another commercial airport. Westies want quick affordable trains and buses straight to Auckland's airport at Mangere, so they have a full choice of flights, not some second-rate airport and the noise and pollution it would bring."

The Greens believe independent commissioners will be more open to listen to the widespread local opposition to the scheme than Councillors who seem to have already made up their minds and better able to deliver a tranparent, unbiased process in this instance.

"In our submission we said the Council should conduct proper consultation with locals about what they want on the site, if the airforce does leave," says Clendon. "People deserve a genuine choice. It's also reckless in a time of rising food transportation costs and threatened food security to tie up potentially good growing land so close to our city for a commerical airport. If the airforce does go, the site might be better used in the future for producing food."

ENDS

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