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Tuesday, 23 December 2014 01:42 am

Joyce dismissal of runway not end of battle for Evans Bay

Aug 30th, 2013 | By | Category: Lead Story, News

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THE BATTLE against a runway extension into Evans Bay is not over for locals, despite suggestions the government will not help pay for it.

Guardians of Evans Bay chairman Richard Randerson, above, is worried ratepayers may be forced to pay.

Mr Randerson welcomed Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s comments in Wellington this week that capital growth would not necessarily benefit from a longer runway.

The new group is using resource consent, public relations and online expertise to fight the northern runway extension to Wellington airport.

“If there is a strong business case for the extension, which both Government and Guardians doubt, then the Wellington Chamber of Commerce should consider raising the money from within the business community, who would be the beneficiaries of a business-based investment,” Mr Randerson said.

Wellington ratepayers should take note of Mr Joyce’s comment, he said.

“The City Council might well be considering paying for the extension out of Council rates, which would be a huge impost on every Wellington ratepayer.”

The issue may directly impact on ratepayers, so Mr Randerson has urged the group to become more city-wide.

He said the group, established at a meeting of 100 people last month, should not be just NIMBY [not in my back yard].

“I’m not going to be a one man band. It’s important to get a Wellington-wide consensus about the issue,” said Mr Randerson.

The Guardians of Evans Bay was established last month after concerns were raised over a planned Wellington Airport runway extension 300m into the bay.

A core group held another meeting to further establish the Guardians and decide how best to move forward.

The group is currently working on finding what key issues a northern extension will raise and will be best to run with in order to prevent the runway expanding into the bay.

The issues include the impact on people who frequently use the bay for leisure purposes and any environmental issues that may arise as a result of an extension.

“It’s not enough to say it’s a nice view, we have to make a case that’s more substantial than that,” he said.

It is important to form a solid group strategy to make sure they know what issues are worth running, he said.

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