NEWS – Business Desk: Wellington Airport seeks resource consent delay as it re-applies for runway extension

By Sophie Boot March 19 (BusinessDesk) – Wellington International Airport has asked to put its runway extension resource consent application on hold for nine months, as it plans to re-ask the Civil Aviation Authority for permission for its plan. The airport, which is two-thirds owned by NZX-listed infrastructure investment company Infratil and 33 percent by Wellington City Council, is seeking the majority of the estimated $330 million runway extension cost from central government and Wellington ratepayers. The 355-metre runway extension would be an effort to attract long-haul flights from Asia and the US. In 2016, the CAA said a 90-metre runway end safety area (RESA) for the extended runway would be sufficient, which was disputed by the New Zealand Airline Pilots’ Association all the way to the Supreme Court, which rejected the airport’s planned RESA in December last year. International standards call for the RESA to be at least 90 metres, and, if practicable, at least 240 metres. According to the agenda for the upcoming meeting of the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s environment committee, the airport has asked the Environment Court to adjourn its resource consent application for the extension a further nine months, giving it time to “re-apply to the Director of Civil Aviation for approval Read More …

RE-BLOG STRATHMORE PARK: Wellington Airport Extension – More shocking facts emerge

Posted some weeks back this is the submission by the Guardian’s of the Bay on the so-called Airport Extension, or otherwise known out this way as the White Elephant Project. What is interesting are the take outs from the submission. We’ve summarised them so you don’t have to read the entire thing though we suggest you do. We’d suggest the authors have more skill and experience than the authors of the “reports” so far that have been anything but convincing in their argument to put our rates up and provide corporate welfare for a company that is not only helping contribute to emissions (Z Energy) but also has several hundred million sitting about. Now, some of these are my notes mixed in with GotB’s notes. So that you know. The original submission is here. Things you didn’t know about the Wellington Airport Extension There is still no way central government is going to pay because the Council hasn’t followed the Treasury Guidelines to apply for funding. Despite calls for Consultation, the WCC not only has failed to do so, but it also appears that they have already made up their mind. Even Green councilors, Free, and Lee, have not made Read More …

RE-BLOG Transporting Wellington: Airport runway extension does not stack up. Lester spits the dummy

It is true that the Airport runway extension does not make sense. Therefore it is important that the information gets out to the wider community, rather than just to a bunch of local bloggers. This from  Strathmore Park. For years now, Wellington International Airport and it’s pet monkey the WCC have been pushing for an airport extension. And for years now, it hasn’t stacked up. No small wonder when the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) and the Board of Airlines Representatives of New Zealand (BARNZ) slammed the business case that the Pollyanna Team had put together in support of the extension. The WCC has poured millions after millions into this project paying for reports that have been slammed every time they are produced. This airport extension does not stack up, for anyone, other than Infratil. Key Finding: the central scenario BCR of 1.7 is significantly over-stated The reason that it stacks up for Infratil is that they, being in a monopoly position, can take profit based on square meterage. This is governed by the Commerce Commission. The more land they have the more profit they can take. It is no small wonder then that attempting to secure thousands of Read More …

RE-BLOG Strathmore Park: Wellington Airport extension supporters suffering Polyannaism

For years now, Wellington International Airport and it’s pet monkey the Wellington City Council have been pushing for an airport extension. And for years now, it hasn’t stacked up. No small wonder when the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) and the Board of Airlines Representatives of New Zealand (BARNZ) slammed the business case that the Pollyanna Team had put together in support of the extension. The WCC has poured millions after millions into this project paying for reports that have been slammed every time they are produced. This airport extension does not stack up, for anyone, other than Infratil. Key Finding: the central scenario BCR of 1.7 is significantly over-stated. The reason that it stacks up for Infratil is that they, being in a monopoly position, can take profit based on square meterage. This is governed by the Commerce Commission. The more land they have the more profit they can take. It is no small wonder then that attempting to secure thousands of extra square meters, with the public paying far more than their fair share, is attractive. There are numerous gaps in the draft analysis. But the Council continues to support the extension despite the evidence showing Read More …

REBLOG Strathmore Park: Knowing better than the locals

by Lindsay Shelton The Wellington Airport campaign to promote a longer runway is similar to the Transport Agency’s campaign about building a flyover at the Basin Reserve. Both commissioned large numbers of experts to support what they wanted to do. Both failed to connect with the communities who would be most affected. The Transport Agency commissioned 21 reports in support of its flyover idea –ten of them from Opus Consulting. This led to a discussion about conflict of interest, which was followed by the resignation of one of the four government-appointed members of the board of inquiry. (At the same time as Opus was supporting the flyover plan, it was also writing a report for the Regional Council, warning that the consequences of building new motorways would increase congestion in Wellington. A reminder that experts can be commissioned to write reports that reflect different, even conflicting, points of view.) The Transport Agency’s 21 reports failed to convince the board of inquiry, or the High Court, both of whom rejected the flyover. And now the airport has released 27 reports, all singing the praises of a longer runway. The one that we’ve focussed on is the noise report – which tells Read More …

REBLOG: Strathmore Park: Infratil getting testy over Wellington airport extension questions

Infratil are getting increasingly testy over the questions now being asked by many around the viability of the Wellington Airport Extension and the perception of a corporate handout. In an post on David Farrar’s Kiwiblog, they level their guns at David Lee and Cameron Slater of WhaleOil. In Sense from a Green Councillor, David Farrar questions the financial burden that will rest on ratepayers based on widely available public information. The airport has said that it won’t stump up their share of the cash and that it doesn’t make economic sense for them to do so. David Farrar likens it to Corporate Welfare, and I agree. It is an interesting turn of events when a centre-right, high-profile commentator, like David agrees with a centre-left Councillor. And it’s not just him. Cameron Slater has this year also commented on it in far, far stronger terms. In a piece titled So let’s extend an already dodgy runway and hope planes will come, he says: There is no valid business case for long haul carriers to fly to Wellington…everything tourists want to see is either further south, or further north. Far better to fly into Christchurch or Auckland to be closer to Queenstown and Rotorua…there are no Read More …

RE-BLOG Strathmore Park: Swampy Marsh enters the Airport Extension debate and suffers an ironic injury

Simon Marsh launched into David Lee this morning in an Op Ed in the Dominion Post about the airport extension. He accused his colleague of shooting himself in the foot. In a scene that reminded me of Yosemite Sam hunting Porky Pig, Swampy waved his guns around and managed to shoot himself in the foot. A few times. His comment: This [airport extension] must not be steamrollered through without the public being given the opportunity to have a transparent, balanced and factual conversation with full access to both sides of the argument” was the first injury. He demanded a factual conversation; he then urged that no more money be spent on providing factual evidence. “Perplexing, without carrying out studies, assessments and impact reports (21 at my last count) to provide the factual evidence needed to judge and debate the case opposing parties will be left making rude gestures to each other.” – Source This makes my brain hurt. The opposing parties are already making gestures to each other and Simon says there are no less than twenty-one reports in play. Of which approximately one has been made public [Ed: At least two are public: the EY report and the InterVISTAS report, Read More …

Monthy Python & the Wellington Runway Extension: Someone should trophy hunt this white elephant

The bumbling shambles that is the Wellington International Airport and Wellington City Council’s pipe dream for an airport expansion rolls on with more misinformation and lack of co-ordination by the various parties no doubt costing us millions of dollars with absolutely nothing to show for it but a report that says we shouldn’t go there. The Prime Minister won’t back it, the Economics Minister won’t back it, the Community doesn’t back it (Our Long Term Plan feedback was 81% opposed), the Airlines don’t back it, the Airline Industry doesn’t back it, even WIAL are not prepared to pay their share to build it, Air New Zealand have said that even if it is built they won’t use it as a hub, and in the last few weeks the entire extension has been taken to the High Court over safety concerns by the New Zealand Airline Pilot’s Association. This is a white elephant growing larger by the day. The Guardians of the Bays, a residents group that has broad support from both local neighbours on all sides, the rest of the city and region, and wider, fired up their website this week with a lot of very interesting information. What is Read More …

Long Term Plan Optimism Bias, more Propaganda, and another Consultation Shambles

The Council isn’t known for its accuracy with figures. They are a bit of a movable feast, as is time, and other elements. So when the Mayor sent out a press release yesterday on the statistics around the Long Term Plan (LTP) and how awesome it has been, with actual statistics, I thought “doesn’t look right to me.” So, I ran some stats for myself and sure enough, they are different. Mayor Wade-Brown says 71 percent of people who used the Council’s new purpose-built consultation website support the overall 10-Year Plan and, importantly, a statistically-valid survey shows a similar level of support. – Source Before we get into it, this is what I have crunched: Celia says 71 percent support the LTP The website says 68 percent support the LTP Strathmore Park says 66 percent support the LTP So there is an optimism bias of at least 5 percent in the Mayor’s press release. So here’s what I did. I used the consultation website and scraped all the statistical data for every idea that was proposed then matched that against the Mayor’s news release. It’s interesting to say the least. The top five ideas according to the scraped data, are, Read More …

Keith Johnson: Lavery and Wade-Brown Toggle the Joystick

An excellent blog from Keith Johnson in which holes are found in assumptions around rates rises. I too had much difficulty in finding out what the actual rate rises were going to be. Of the handful of Councillors I polled only one could definitively explain it to me, two were “pretty sure” it was slightly different figures, and another three didn’t actually know. Now although I have tried to foreswear agitated involvement in WCC’s financial chicanery on the grounds that it is both bad for my blood pressure and unpleasant to have to entangle myself with tax evaders, blowhards and incompetents, I blew my stack when I read the Dominion Post article of 19 May ‘Differential rates ‘block to business growth’. This described how our Billy Budd Deputy Mayor Justin Lester was flirting with the Property Council on the issue of the further rebalancing of the rates burden against residential ratepayers in favour of business / commercial ratepayers. Read the entire blog here: WELLINGTON CITY COUNCIL SPENDING BANKS STEEPLY IN STATISTICAL FOG