Home' The Wellingtonian : August 25th 2011 Contents 8 THE WELLINGTONIAN, AUGUST 25, 2011
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Contrary to the implication in
your editorial (August 18), I have
always wholeheartedly supported
the development of an indoor
I did want to examine whether
a central site would be more
appropriate -- especially for inner
city, northern and western
residents, but my support was not
Councillor John Morrison and
mayor Kerry Prendergast also
agreed, in 2007, Harbour Quays
was the preferred site.
Some transport issues still need
to be resolved at Cobham Dr.
Since Kerry Prendergast
chaired the working party, and
worked hard to make the ASB
Centre happen, I m pleased to
note we will reflect that by
naming the foyer of the new
centre in her honour.
I was elected mayor on a
platform of a different approach to
transport and a greater emphasis
on clean technology, information
and communication technologies
and community engagement. I
also strongly support appropriate
investment in organised and
individual sport and the arts.
The new ASB Sports Centre
will be a great asset for young and
old and I m delighted to officially
open it this Saturday.
It s a remarkable building --
terrific for community sport, with
design features and a rather
What a bad editorial (August 18).
The location of the sports centre
was quite rightly protested when
it was plonked with seemingly no
thought on a sports field.
With the level the centre is
aimed at, it will be used only by
the eastern suburbs so is locked
off from the rest of Wellington,
which will not want to try to fight
through Saturday morning traffic.
If it was sited near the stadium,
the centre could have been
accessed by a lot of people from
around Wellington for sport
competitions that foster the best
of school talent from around the
That will not happen now.
Also, how can the traffic fears
have been allayed when the centre
has not opened yet?
It s the job of councillors to keep
the mayor in line, so Andy Foster
was only doing his job.
The Westpac stadium was not
called the Fran Wilde Stadium so
that some of the burden of funding
could be taken off the ratepayers,
and so the name of the centre
should be used for the same
purpose. We need an appropriate
sponsor for the centre.
The real story
in Sri Lanka
The article about Sri Lankans in
boats not being real refugees
(August 11) gave a misleading
picture of the situation in Sri
Lanka for the Tamil population.
There has been a long-term
marginalisation of the Tamils and
the crushing of the Tamil Tigers
in 2009 has not resolved that.
Playing the public
The eight-week period for
public submissions for
the proposed roading
between Cobham Dr and
Buckle St ends on Friday.
Will all the public feedback --
there have been more than
1000 submissions -- have made
a jot of difference? It seems
Months ago, New Zealand
Transport Agency outlined
various proposals for roads
from Buckle St to Hataitai, but
then said it had narrowed its
choices down to Option A and
One involves a flyover just 20
metres from the Basin Reserve.
The other involves a flyover
further down Cambridge/Kent
It is difficult not to feel the
agency has its mind made up. It
has said Option A is its pre-
ferred choice. It seems no
coincidence that Option A is the
So why even bother with pub-
lic submissions, unless the pro-
cess is little more than a ploy to
lure people into thinking they
have had some say in roading
It s really important that the
community shares their views
with us, and feedback will help
guide our decisions during the
next stage of the project, said
the agency s regional director,
She said after the period for
submissions ended, public
feedback, the community work-
shop sessions, and stakeholder
group meetings would be
collated and would assist the
agency to make a decision.
Assist? If the agency was
genuinely open to ideas, why
did it announce before the sub-
mission period even began that
it had pared back the various
options to just two, and even
nominated its favoured choice?
Shouldn t the public have
been consulted before this was
The agency seems to feel that
trenching is too expensive -- a
pity because trenching is by
common consent the most visu-
ally appealing option.
Late in the piece Option X
surfaced, the work of the Archi-
When The Wellingtonian
publicised Option X on our front
page last month, reader
feedback was overwhelmingly
The proposal seems to be an
excellent compromise that
avoids ugly flyovers and
provides for plenty of green
When The Wellingtonian
sought assurances from the
agency that Option X would be
considered, we were told it
This seems doubtful. The
agency seems a long way
advanced in its planning, to the
point even of having a written
agreement with the Basin Res-
erve Trust that it will build an
$11 million grandstand to help
block out the worst effects of
the flyover right next to the
Why would the agency make
such a commitment if it was
waiting for submissions to close
so it could evaluate them and
truly be guided by public senti-
It is difficult not to feel that
the whole submission process,
which has involved a succession
of open days and community
workshops, plus the setting up
of an information centre at the
Basin Reserve, has been just a
cynical public relations exer-
When it announced its two
final options, and indicated
which it preferred, the agency
did not really give any particu-
lar reason, though it did state
the cost of each.
To those on the outside, it
seems the public submission
process has really been nothing
but a charade.
Thanks to readers who
pointed out our error last
week with regards to the
photo of the Wellington Air-
port control tower. Our photo
was of the rescue fire base
watch tower. The control
tower is actually in Tirangi
Rd, just to the west.
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