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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Pat on back or
slap in face?
Shame on The Wellingtonian for
your mean-spirited editorial Pat
on the back for council'' (July 14).
In a recent meeting between
residents and councillors over the
proposed Mega Mitre 10 in Curtis
St, councillor Andy Foster made
some interesting observations
about the inadequacy of rezoning
information posted to residents.
How a flawed consultation
process demonstrates council's
commitment to dotting the Is and
crossing the Ts'' is beyond me.
Rather than suffer from a not
in my backyard'' syndrome, most
Wellingtonians are passionate
about their community, and wish
to be actively involved in its
design and shape.
What we take exception to is a
resource management process
that allows council officials to act
within the minimal requirements
of the law, but completely abuse
its spirit and intent.
The somewhat spurious''
objections to which your editorial
referred were based on
information provided by resident
planners, architects, resource
environmental experts and
individuals who have lived in or
near Curtis St for up to 30 years.
Your editorial lays claim to the
newspaper taking a crack at the
council when it mucks up and
giving credit when due. It then
gives an account of a public
relations strategy adopted by the
council to suggest that due
process had been adhered to.
Any accolade should really go to
the developer, who secured a
status change for yet another
previously protected site, for
In light of this editorial, the
challenges offered are to
background how the Mega 10
decision was engineered, explain
the part the council played in
facilitating this, uncover similar
cases when such processes have
been used by developers, outline
how the intent of the Resource
Management Act is routinely
abused to preclude public
oversight and expose the
strategies the council uses to
ensure that environment court
appeals are virtually impossible.
Just because the Reds won the
Super title doesn't mean the
Wallabies will win the World Cup.
There is no relationship
between Super rugby and Tri-
Nations and World Cup
In 1999, the Crusaders won, the
All Blacks won the Tri-Nations
and the Wallabies the World Cup.
In 2003, the Blues won, the All
Blacks won the Tri-Nations
unbeaten, but within four months
had lost to the Wallabies in the
In 2007 the Bulls won and
South Africa won the World Cup,
but New Zealand franchises
rested All Blacks for seven Super
However, I agree it should give
the All Blacks extra motivation if
they come up against Australia in
the World Cup, and this time we
will have home advantage.
It should be mentioned that the
Wallabies have not beaten the All
Blacks at Eden Park since 1986.
There's a great deal I could say to
criticise your article (July 14 )
about the signboard messages
used by a youngish Baptist pastor.
Suffice it to say that all such
gimmicks and stunts are virtually
useless and in vain.
Why we backed
We apparently upset
some western suburbs
residents with our
suggestion last week that Wel-
lington City Council can do its
Our editorial ( Pat on back
for council'') about the proposal
to build a Mitre 10 Megastore
in Curtis St, Karori, provoked a
stream of strongly-opinionated
replies -- by phone, email and
on our website.
The complaints -- some
bizarrely sent to our sister
newspaper, The Dominion Post
-- appear to have missed the
point of the editorial.
discussing the council's hand-
ling of the resource consent and
subsequent notification of the
proposed Mitre 10 Mega proj-
ect. We were not discussing the
previous district plan changes
that rezoned the space to a
Business 2 area.
It is that district plan change
that seems to be the real cause
of the anger, but that horse
bolted nearly two years ago.
Our factually incorrect,
biased and out-of-date editorial
only serves to highlight a lack
of journalistic integrity'', one
letter-writer told us.
We've been told we are
mean-spirited'', should be
ashamed'' and did ourselves a
disservice'' with our editorial.
We were warned to expect a
large number of written com-
plaints and told we should run
We have run two in our
letters section, as representa-
tive of the feelings of this group.
The district plan change pro-
cess is without doubt a tender
subject. However, despite the
views of some readers that it is
inextricably linked to the
resource consent, we disagree.
The issue of the resource con-
sent was still up for discussion,
the submission period was still
open. Things could have been
changed. That is the angle of
the story we pursued.
After meeting residents and
realising their strong feelings
on the issue, the council invited
further feedback, though it did
not have to. It received a
further 70 emailed sub-
missions, and re-evaluated its
It reached the same con-
clusion it had previously, feel-
ing no issues had been raised
that had not already been con-
Although this outcome
clearly does not suit some vocal
western suburbs residents, it is
fair to point out that not all the
reaction to the proposed Mitre
10 Mega store has been nega-
Some readers have welcomed
the prospect of the store being
built, particularly in an area
which is perceived as being
dead'' at present.
It has been mentioned that a
big, new store could generate
jobs and income and that the
area would benefit economi-
It is to be hoped that the
residents who have been so out-
spoken are eventually able to
look at the issue slightly more
The council does a lot of
things poorly and on some
occasions it is plain stupid. On
this occasion, however, with
regard to the resource consent
of the area in question, it has
not only acted legally, but has
bent over backwards to ensure
local residents' views were
It is time for the petty name
calling to stop.
We were told this week by
one irate caller: We're lawyers
and accountants up here. We're
This we-know-best attitude is
not going to be particularly
helpful at a time when
there are already bruised
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