INDEPENDENT NEWS

Airport Coalition Appeal To Environment Court

Published: Wed 23 Apr 2008 10:43 AM
Airport Coalition Appeal To Environment Court
The Paraparaumu Airport Coalition says it will appeal to the Environment Court against the recent Kapiti Coast District Council decision to allow major development on airport land.
The Kapiti Coast District Council recently approved findings from an RMA Hearing which could mean the closure of the East/West alternate runway and a major business park established on more than 50 per cent of the airport land.
The Airport Coalition convenor, Alan Tristram, says one of the biggest mistakes the Council made was to ignore Maori pleas to delay a decision while they pursued their claim for land taken by the Government during the Second World War.
He says the Coalition’s move is fully supported by Te Whanau a te Ngarara, which represents the descendants of the original Maori landowners.
In addition, says Mr Tristram, Te Whanau a te Ngarara is supporting a new ‘Appeal Fund’ being launched by the Coalition.
As well as pursuing justice for the original Maori and Pakeha owners of airport land, the Coalition will be appealing on several other key issues, Mr Tristram says.
“We have a tremendously strong case,” Mr Tristram says,” and we are supported by a large and growing number of Kapiti Coast people.”
The Appeal will focus in particular on the RMA commissioners' failure to deal with legitimate Maori concerns – and to observe its Treaty of Waitangi obligations.
He says another key ground of the appeal, will be the Commissioners' unquestioning acceptance of the developers’ argument that their over-payment for the Airport justified a massive development plan and therefore a complete change in the area’s District Plan.
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Another main ground of the appeal would focus on the huge increase in traffic volumes, which the RMA Hearing Commissioners failed to address properly.
“The loss of a vital secondary runway and so much open space is something the RMA commissioners also fell down on,” he says.
“So this Appeal will be a community effort to get the consultation and justice for so long denied by the local council – and, unfortunately, by the RMA process.” He says.
ENDS

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