INDEPENDENT NEWS

Biggest Violation of Democracy in Wgtn's History

Published: Thu 25 Nov 1999 11:17 AM
“Sunshine, views and public space are under threat on Wellington’s waterfront by development plans,” said Alliance Environment Spokesperson Phillida Bunkle.
Today Phillida Bunkle launched a campaign to raise public awareness of Wellington City Council’s plan to develop the city’s waterfront. The Council is proposing changes to Wellington’s Proposed District Plan in what is called Variation 17. She was joined by City Councillors Mary Varnham and Stephanie Cook.
“Most Wellingtonians don’t know about Variation 17. They don’t know what is planned for their waterfront. This is the biggest violation of democracy in the citys history. Opnce this plan goes through the public will never have a say again. Yet most have no idea what is in store for them.
“It is the duty of the council to keep people informed and they haven’t done so in the detail people need for informed decision making,” said Phillida Bunkle.
The Wellington City Council’s Variation 17 includes:
 Construction of a wall of more than twenty buildings (Up to a height of 46 metres/ten storeys, half again as high as Te Papa)
 The deletion of half of Frank Kitts Park to allow for building development
 Removal of protection of sunlight on public spaces, to allow tall buildings
 Removal of the Queens Chains and the construction of buildings right to the water’s edge
 The blocking or narrowing of eight viewshafts from the inner city
“I am utterly opposed to building developments on Lambton Harbour which restrict sunlight, views or public space. Our waterfront is a priceless heritage which is ours to protect not to sell.”
“If Variation 17 gets through there will be no turning back. Developers won’t need resource consents to turn parks into millionaires apartments or office blocks. The people of Wellington will never have a voice on the waterfront again.”
“This is the most undemocratic initiative put forward by any council in Wellington’s history. It is truly incredible that it is being done in such a way as to limit public knowledge and participation. It is terrible that this has been done with the votes of Labour Councillors”
Phillida Bunkle and the Alliance have produced an information leaflet detailing the plans contained in Variation 17.
“Whenever I raise this issue in public people are appalled at the proposals. Most have no idea of the extent of the developments.”
“If the council had explicitly presented the proposal to the people of Wellington then I am sure they would get much more interest and scrutiny of the development. The public has a right to know and if the council won’t tell them then I will.”
ends

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