Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Stadium Debacle? You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

NEWS RELEASE

Stadium Debacle? You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

Auckland 27 November 2006 – “If the citizens of Auckland are expressing dismay and disappointment about local government process and disclosure over the planned Auckland City stadium, then there is an issue equal to or even bigger looming up harbour” says WAAG (Whenuapai Airbase Action Group Inc) President Russell Stewart, a retired Air New Zealand 747 captain with over 40 years aviation experience.

As Auckland City was locked in talks and split sides over the pros and cons of having a stadium on their waterfront, in the same week, North Shore City Council presided over councillor Tony Holman’s motion for North Shore City Council to revoke its earlier decision to enter into a commercial agreement with airport company Infratil. It is the second time in as many months that a debate, which has yet to be fully shared with its community has been hotly contested within the council walls of North Shore City. Once again the council appeared split down the middle.

The October voting on this issue saw a hung council with Mayor Wood taking the highly unusual step of using his casting vote to push the motion forward. At this week’s meeting, once again the council vote was split upholding the original council decision with a majority of one - which had it not been for the absence of well noted opponent of the airport, Councillor Margeret Miles, voting would once again been evenly divided.

It would appear that North Shore City Councillors are facing the same well publicised dilemma and frustrations as their Auckland colleagues. In the North Shore case this includes making decisions that will have far reaching economic, social and environmental effects on the northern and north western communities without any of the basic elements required for responsible decision making.

This includes; absence of a business plan to support the much touted but unsubstantiated economic wonders that may land with a second airport – one that currently has no confirmed customers or domestic connections but does have well publicised opposition from the national carrier, Air New Zealand.

Also missing in the vital ingredients for informed decision making is a comprehensive environmental impact report which would assess the risks and needs of one of the regions most fragile estuarine eco systems and a recreational waterway of exceptional beauty.

Perhaps most telling and disappointing of all is that, unlike Auckland City which at least enjoyed the benefit of numerous high profile public opinion polls, some North Shore City Councillors are basing their decision on an opinion poll with a sample of just 300 selected residents from a population base of more than 220,000. A 2004 survey conducted by the Ministry of Defence based on 2200 voluntary submissions returned an overwhelming 75% against the commercial airport plan.

Councillor Holman’s speech supporting his motion presented the following key points:

Key inconsistencies in the portrayal of North Shore City as a ‘lifestyle city’ and
Waitakere City as an ‘eco city’ and the pursuit of commercial aviation activities in
the region which would result in more than 50 harmful pollutants being discharged into the environment with each aircraft manoeuvre - many of which are carcinogenic. Compelling evidence from international studies support the case to minimise such compounds from our environments. Studies referred to by Councillor Holman cited increased asthma rates, increased rates of pregnancy complications and increased infant mortality as just some of the effects communities exposed to these compounds could expect. Exposure to carcinogenic compounds is well know and widely accepted as being linked to various cancers, respiratory problems, liver damage and heart disease to name but a few.


Following the council meeting, Councillor Holman told WAAG supporters that he was “concerned and astonished that in an era when private and corporate citizens throughout the world are trying to reduce aviation activity and emission levels, two of New Zealand’s most environmentally unique and precious cities are intent on pursuing an activity which flies in the face of popular opinion, has no proven economic benefits and will seriously compromise the health of the region and its environment for future generations.”

Noise. Councillor Holman noted that in parallel dispatches his colleagues correctly offered their support to the people of North Shore’s harbour front suburb of Devonport who opposed a waterfront stadium in Auckland City because of the noise that would carry across the water but that some councillors did not have the same concerns about airport noise. Councillor Holman noted that no mention had been made of sound proofing schools in the surrounding area to protect young ears from stadium noise, but such a contingency was part of the planning for an airport, the flight path of which would affect many schools in the East Coast Bays, Greenhithe, Albany and Birkdale areas.
WAAG’s Mr Stewart says that the council’s pursuit of an agreement with Infratil and therefore their support of a commercial airport at Whenuapai is “deeply disappointing “ and he urges members of the North Shore community and other key stakeholders who include “basically anyone and everyone who cares one ounce for the environment and our community” to add their support to his 1000 strong community lobby group and do what they can to get North Shore City Council to overturn a decision which “is hardly convincing in that it has the support of only half of the Council members and has been made without any meaningful economic, environmental or social impact studies or any consultation with the ratepayers as is required by the Local Government Act” says Mr Stewart.
END

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>

 

Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election