“A failure of leadership has resulted in a bad decision on the flyover,” said Save the Basin campaign spokesperson Joanna Newman today.
“The city needed a clear decision from councillors as to whether they support the flyover or not. Instead, councillors narrowly voted to effectively say nothing on the subject.
“We’re disappointed that the Council has made this decision,” said Ms. Newman. “The proposed flyover would be an ugly, unnecessary and ineffective blot on our city and on the beautiful Basin Reserve.
“Councillors should have stood by their previous decision to prefer a tunnel to a flyover, and we appreciate the work of the councillors who continue to support this stance.
“We are concerned that pressure from NZTA had a significant impact on the vote. A government department should not be exerting this kind of influence on democratically elected officials,” said Ms. Newman.
Ms. Newman said that the Save the Basin Campaign had noticed a considerable increase in public support over the past few weeks. “In the period leading up to the recent England-New Zealand test at the Basin, we have been getting a lot of new people offering support and help. Cricket fans, sport journalists in both New Zealand and the UK, local residents, and Wellingtonians who want a modern, liveable city, not a 1960s concrete jungle designed for the needs of cars and trucks rather than people, have all been telling us that a Basin flyover must not go ahead.”
“There are a number of viable alternatives to the flyover on the table and it is important that these are considered when a hearing takes place on the proposal. The Council’s decision to concentrate only on mitigation is particularly disappointing,” said Ms. Newman.
It is expected that the New Zealand Transport Agency will soon initiate a process leading to the Basin flyover proposal going before an EPA Board of Inquiry or Environment Court hearing.
“Save the Basin is concerned that politically appointed judges and hearing commissioners may rubber stamp this proposal. The campaign will continue to vigorously oppose the flyover,” said Ms. Newman.
Note: Mayor Wade-Brown and Councillors Justin Lester, Paul Eagle, Iona Pannett, Stephanie Cook, Helene Ritchie and Bryan Pepperell voted to oppose the flyover.
Councillors Andy Foster, John Morrison, Ray Ahipene-Mercer, Ngaire Best, Jo Coughlan, Simon Marsh and Leonie Gill voted against the motion.
Deputy Mayor Ian McKinnon was absent for some of the vote.