INDEPENDENT NEWS

Save The Point goes to Environment Court

Published: Fri 17 Nov 2006 10:28 AM
SAVE THE POINT INC
www.savethepoint.org.nz
MEDIA RELEASE
Save The Point goes to Environment Court
Save the Point Inc has today lodged an appeal with the Environment Court against the decision to grant Resource Consent for an aquarium and cafe development at Te Raekaihau Point on Wellington's south coast.
Save the Point was among 3602 submitters to oppose the development through the resource consent process.
"We have gathered a large body of evidence and technical advice to support our case", a joint statement from the group says.
"This decision to allow, what is in effect a commercial development on Open Space B land, will set a precedent and open the rest of the coast and other Open Space B areas around the city up to development.
"We will not stand by and let development on this site occur. We are not opposed to the concept of a marine education centre, but we are opposed to using this land for development and the consequent loss of the natural character both at this site and on the wider south coast.
"We believe there are a number of other sites that are more suitable. In their decision to grant resource consent the Commissioners stated that they were not convinced that alternative sites would not be suitable, nor did they find the cited merits of this site to be robust.
"This development, if allowed to proceed, would become a monument to development and financial interests over proper planning and conservation principles.
"Our view is shared by a large number of people. We have wide support, locally, across the city, the wider Wellington region and around New Zealand. We have also received messages of support through our website from people around the world who know and
treasure Te Raekaihau Point.
"The generosity and hard work contributed by our supporters who include individuals, business people and the music group Fat Freddy’s Drop enabled us to meet all of our legal costs during the two resource consent hearings.
"Many more supporters are now coming forward to offer their help to fund our costs to go to the Environment Court.
"The applicants, on the other hand have had all of their costs met through a $500,000 grant from the Wellington City Council - Wellington ratepayers' money.
"Having made the decision to go to the Court we have a number of fundraising activities planned, beginning with the sale of our 2007 calendars featuring south coast scenes. Ian Hamlin has also donated his painting Calm before the Storm to be sold for the cause. This is on display at the Michael McCormack Studio-Gallery in Island Bay.
"We are not alone in our concerns about this development. Other groups are also opposed and we will be working together to win our case in the Court.
"We are all united with the single aim to save the point."
Ends

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