September 9, 2016
Wellington International Airport’s decision today to request suspension of its application for resource consent for the runway extension is a big win for the people of Wellington, says resident and ratepayer group Guardians of the Bays.
The request to suspend the application was made to Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council. It comes one day after Wellington City Council released its 2016 Survey of Wellington Businesses showing that only eight percent of businesses find a lack of international capacity via Wellington International Airport a challenge to their business opportunities and operations.
Richard Randerson, Co-Chair of Guardians of the Bays, said the withdrawal was not yet permanent but was a concession that the right questions have not been answered about the proposed extension.
“Wellington ratepayers have challenged the evidence behind the proposed extension. Their questions have been justified and sensible and should have been asked before.
“As a result of the increased public scrutiny we have seen a majority of mayoral candidates back-pedal on their outright support for the extension.”
“That is because the public have serious doubts about this white-elephant and mayoral candidates are feeling the pressure,” added Mr Randerson.
Last month, it was shown that 525 of 776 submissions on the Airport’s resource consent application opposed the runway extension proposal
“We are delighted with today’s development, but the issue is still live and we are concerned that it will just come back as soon as the local body elections are over.
“It is important for all concerned ratepayers to continue to press City Council candidates and mayoral hopefuls on the serious questions that arise from the proposed extension, including the impact on rates, the environment and the wider community. There are just too many unanswered questions for any candidate to justifiably support it.”