Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett is young and ambitious. Rumour has it that, if Regional Council chair Fran Wilde gets her wish to be the boss of a Wellington super-city, Nick is eager to be her Deputy.

So, since Fran is a flyover fan from way back, it’s perhaps no surprise that Nick Leggett decided to make a public show of support for a Basin Reserve flyover at a recent Wellington Region Transport Committee meeting. He issued a press release about what he called a “slap down” of Wellington City Council’s decision – charming choice of words, Nick! – painting himself as a hero riding to the flyover’s rescue.

Unfortunately, he got a little over-excited in his statement, as a subsequent Wellington Scoop article pointed out in emphatic fashion.

Here is the press release made by the Save the Basin Campaign in response to these developments:

Save the Basin Campaign asks regional Mayors to think before they speak

The Save the Basin campaign understands that decisions made about transport in Wellington City affect residents throughout the region. But before Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett made his bold claim to have “slapped down” the Wellington City Council’s decision to withdraw support from the proposed flyover and investigate alternatives, perhaps he should have done a bit of basic research on such matters as which way traffic on the flyover is meant to flow and where the proposed flyover will be positioned.

The action by some members of the Wellington Regional Transport Committee appears to be an attempt to isolate Mayor Wade-Brown and the WCC, who are representing the majority of residents who have repeatedly rejected the proposed flyover.

The Wellington Regional Transport Committee process lacks integrity. By introducing an unannounced motion and attempting to interfere in the decisions of another council – just two weeks before that council will release its findings on alternatives to the flyover – flyover supporters on the Committee have shown their increasing desperation.

Of course, regional mayors like Nick Leggett and Upper Hutt’s Wayne Guppy are entitled to their own opinions. But, next time, they should think before they speak.

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