Time to be heard is running out!

We have less than 3 weeks to collect submissions to the Environment Court that are opposing the proposed runway extension into Cook Strait. We have many wonderful groups and individuals who support us but need to get the 1000s of residents who will be adversely affected by this extension to have their voices heard by the court as well. The Airport and Council have done a great job in getting misinformation, spin and fantasies about limitless economic growth out into the public and there are a lot of misconceptions we have to battle to rouse people from their complacency. For example: Everyone of the 1000s of residents living along the heavy truck hauling route – did you know up to 30 trucks an hour, filled with rubble, will rumble past your homes day and night, clogging up traffic at major choke points for up to 4 years? Everyone who uses Lyall Bay recreationally – surfers, swimmers, surf life savers, dog walkers, fishermen, kai moana collectors – did you know about the 300m (or is it 250m? Different numbers in different reports, same with the final length of the runway) exclusion zone around the construction of both runway and wave focusing Read More …

BLOG Guardians of the Bays: You can’t have a Low Carbon Capital AND a runway extension

Our Co-Chair, Dr Sea Rotmann, made an impassioned plea to the City Councillors during consultation on the WCC Low Carbon Capital Plan the other day: “Please start taking this seriously, climate change is a reality and it is hitting us hard already. You cannot support an extension to the runway and claim that your efforts here are serious.” Sea talked a little bit about her background as Environmental Scientists for over 20 years and how she studied anthropogenic impacts on coral reefs for almost 10 years. “I have witnessed the bleaching event on the Great Barrier reef in 1998, and studied one in Papua New Guinea in 2001. They were nothing compared to the massive bleaching and die-off of coral reefs we are witnessing right now. I was lucky enough to have done my Honours research on the most beautiful place in Australia, Lizard Island. Now, 95% of its reefs, some of the most pristine on the planet, are bleached and less than 50% will recover. We are responsible for the die-off of species on which 1/3 of the marine environment depend on, which have lived for 450 million years, and yet 200 years of our rampant fossil fuel use Read More …

Guardians submission on the WCC Low Carbon Capital Plan

SUBMISSION BY THE GUARDIANS OF THE BAYS ON THE WCC LOW CARBON PLAN Dr Sea Rotmann, May 3, 2016 It is good to see vision for a Low Carbon capital, with planning that will increase cycle-ways, electric charging stations, higher density building, ongoing smart energy challenges and phasing out minimum parking requirement. We like the statement “acting to reduce emissions helps the city as a whole” on page 6. However, this unfortunately cannot be taken as a serious statement with the airport and aviation emissions only being mentioned once in the plan on page 10: “On the other hand, we have a major international airport within the city limits, so we are credited with the emissions of nearly all of the region’s domestic air travel. This creates multiple complex challenges – with less forestry we aren’t able to offset as much; and with aviation being a substantial contributor to our transport emissions, greenhouse gas reductions will be driven by the availability of international solutions for aviation such as biofuels or gains in aircraft efficiency.” Waiting for international solutions for aviation and not counting our international aviation emissions as part of the city’s emissions profile, as well as supporting the extension Read More …

NEWS Dom Post: Wellington residents call for big council salaries to be trimmed to keep rates down

 by Michael Forbes CAMERON BURNELL/ FAIRFAX NZ Wellington City councillors have spent the past two days hearing what members of the public think the capital’s rates should be spent on. If Wellington City Council needs a way to keep the rates down, it could always lighten the pay packets of almost 200 staff who earn more than $100,000. That was the rather blunt suggestion from the Mt Victoria Residents Association during public hearings on this year’s annual plan. The council has proposed an average rates increase of 3.8 per cent for 2016/17 but has stated its desire to get that down to at least 3.6 per cent before the rates are struck in June. ROSS GIBLIN/ FAIRFAX NZ Living wage advocates have congratulated the council for paying giving some of its staff a pay rise, but has urged it to do more. The forecast residential rates increase is 5.3 per cent before growth. Association spokeswoman Sue Watt said Mt Victoria residents were not happy with those projections, particularly when a record number of 192 council staff took home more than $100,000 in 2015. WIAL A proposal to extend Wellington Airport’s runway by 354 metres has been a hot topic during public hearings Read More …

REBLOG ORA TAIAO: Call for urgent health check on Wellington runway extension plans

OraTaiao: The NZ Climate and Health Council is calling for an independent health check on Wellington Airport’s expensive plans to extend the runway into Lyall Bay. Aviation makes a significant contribution to climate-damaging emissions – the average Wellingtonian’s footprint is 5.32 CO2eq tonnes annually with almost 20% from domestic flights. “These emissions contribute to climate change, a leading global threat to health,” says OraTaiao co-convenor Dr Rhys Jones. “An extension of the runway would exacerbate this situation.” Each additional flight, particularly international, adds enormously to our overall emissions footprint. For example, one person flying return to Hong Kong burns up 4.0 tonnes, and London return 7.9 tonnes. “The world has agreed on a pathway towards zero net global emissions this century,” says Dr Jones. “Successful, thriving cities will be those who develop along this trajectory. The runway extension would take Wellington in exactly the wrong direction – for our economy and for our health.” “At the moment we’re flying blind,” says Dr Jones. “Neither the airport nor the Council even know much the extension will increase emissions.” “The only reference to climate by the airport to date has been the viability of the runway extension with increasing sea levels and Read More …

RE-BLOG Adam Voulstaker: Desolation of Smog

To the sound of bugles bicycle bells, the Council Annual plan 2016-2017 arrived yesterday. Link: Council 2016 – 2017 Annual Plan Wrapped up with the 2015-2016 proposal is the “Draft Low Carbon Capital Plan,” where we minions get until 29th April to hand in our feedback. “2016 Low Carbon Capital Plan – adoption of a plan to reduce emissions in a constructive and business-friendly way. The plan details how the Council plans to reduce carbon emissions in the city and from Council operations.” Link: 2016 Draft Low Carbon Capital Plan Open up the Low Carbon plan and you get an angel riding a bicycle. I think it’s an angel, I can’t be sure from that angle. They do appear to have a bell though so that’s nice. The 2016 Low carbon plan is 46 pages of stuff that has already been said 3 years ago in the 2013 climate change plan. Anyway….open up page 10 of the 2016 Low Carbon Plan and it says…. Page 10: “On the other hand, we have a major international airport within the city limits, so we are credited with the emissions of nearly all of the region’s domestic air travel. This creates multiple complex challenges – with less Read More …