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National Party Stance a Milestone for Campaign

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National Party Stance on Whenuapai a Milestone for Campaign

Auckland 29 November 2007 – Confirmation of the National Party stance in respect to the future of Whenuapai as a commercial airport is being hailed by WAAG president, Russell Stewart as a “milestone” in the community led campaign to stop the use of the Whenuapai Airbase as a commercial airport.

In a letter received from National Party Leader John Key, Mr Stewart says the National Party policy is now clearly opposed to Whenuapai as a commercial airport. In the letter, the Mr Key says 'we are committed to the long term retention of Whenuapai as a Defence facility under a National Government. We are totally opposed to any plans to dispose of the base for housing development or any similar purpose, to handing over the base for use as a commercial airport, and to proposals for joint military/commercial use.'

As the member of Parliament for Helensville whose electorate Whenuapai falls under, Mr Key has maintained a long standing opposition to Whenuapai but until now this position has not been formalised by the National Party.

Mr Stewart says “we now have strong support at both local and central government level against Whenuapai. Whilst the Labour Party has written to WAAG stating that they will not discuss Whenuapai’s future until closer to the time the airforce vacates the land, the Green Party has entered the fray with strong opposition to a commercial airport on environmental grounds.”

“Each party, including the North Shore City Council who recently overturned a decision to support the Nor-West Airport Company, are further demonstration of the futility of pursuing Whenuapai as a commercial airport, the economic and social merit of which has been highly questionable from the outset” says Mr Stewart.

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WAAG has for a long time been pushing to get Whenuapai onto the central government agenda with it for many years having been relegated to the position of a “local issue.”
It would appear that finally, the voice of the region has been heard, along with the compelling arguments against the establishment of a commercial airport in what is widely regarded as a unique and precious environment that is enjoyed by so many.

WAAG maintains its support of Whenuapai remaining as a Defence Facility and appreciates the important role that the Air Force fulfil from this site which is carried out in low level aviation activities.

ENDS

www.waag.co.nz

WAAG is a not for profit incorporated society representing the interests of its communities and relies on the support of volunteers and supporter donations to operate.

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