Around 80 people from all walks of life converged on the Greater Wellington Regional Council offices in Wakefield Street today to protest the Council’s decision to ignore submitters over the Ngauranga to Airport Corridor Plan. A number of speakers – including Victoria University masters student Charlie Devenish, RAM candidate Grant Brookes, and Green MP Sue Kedgley – addressed the protesters. All noted that some 79% of submitters were opposed to the flyover at the Basin Reserve, but all had been ignored by Councillors. There was a widespread call for immediate investment in light rail, public transport, and safer biking and walking instead of more dead-end roading projects.
It was notable that neither Councillors nor Council Officers were prepared to speak to the gathered ratepayers – all claimed they were in “important meetings”, which was met with derision by protesters.
A letter and a poster calling for the Ngauranga to Airport plan to be scrapped and for the resignation of Regional Transport Committee Chair Fran Wilde and Deputy Chair Peter Glensor was presented to junior Council staff. There was widespread sympathy for the secretary who had to receive the protesters, and many people felt she had been set up by the senior managers cowering behind their diaries.
There was much discussion at the protest about the need for a campaign to save the Basin Reserve from the Council and Fulton Hogan. Apparently a public meeting is being organised, and we will notify the community of a date as a soon as it is set.