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Sunday, 21 April 2019 02:06 pm

New Wainuiomata rifle range on target with community board vote

A NEW rifle range at Wainuiomata’s old landfill has been given the official go-ahead by the community board.

The majority of public submissions backed the proposal, and board members voted unanimously in favour, but noise and safety were concerns for the few who objected.

David Weston, speaking on behalf of Kaumatua Tramping Club, said firearms are dangerous and developed to kill.

“Unless the safety of people can be guaranteed, the proposal should not go through,” Mr Weston said

Hutt City Council reserves manager Craig Cottrill said issues revolving around safety will be addressed when resource consent is applied for, but initial talks with Police show the area is a “no danger” zone.

Hutt Valley Shooting Association spokesperson Wayne Chapman said the old land was ideal for a rifle range, as the soil is already contaminated and has been marked for commercial use.

“You wouldn’t build a house on an old landfill,” he said.

Mr Chapman advised the council safety issues were not of major concern.

“The rifle range will only be open to shooting clubs who will be members and who are authorised. It will not be open to individuals.”

Paul Brosnan, manager of the Wainuiomata golf club, said although he opposes the rifle range because of noise concerns, he views the proposed rifle range as a great opportunity for the valley.

“My objection is conditional. If noise is adhered to, and we are on-board with the process, the rifle range has my support,” he said.

The Wainuiomata rifle range will be up to 600 metres long and will host national and international events.

Mr Chapman, a member of the Kaitoke Pistol Club and Upper Hutt Deer Stalkers said there is potential for an extra 3000 visitors to Wainuiomata annually.

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