Home' The Wellingtonian : August 2nd 2012 Contents AUGUST 2, 2012
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12 Wellingtonian interview
14-15 Arts 19-20 Sport
Diva duel: Soprano Lisa Harper-Brown, left, and Rhona Fraser will play the warring queens Elizabeth and Mary respectively in Maria Stuarda
at the Basilica.
Photo: JIM CHIPP
The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart will pro-
vide a fitting setting for a lethal duel
between two powerful women next week in
Australian-raised soprano Lisa Harper-
Brown, left, will play the ruthlessly single-
minded Elizabeth I, opposite Rhona Fraser,
playing the doomed Mary Queen of Scots.
The church was the perfect setting,
Not only was the cousins fight to the
death for the throne of England, it also
involved the conflict between Catholicism
and the Church of England.
Director Sara Brodie has looked at the
two queens from an interesting angle, she
I always think it should be sub-titled
See queens battle it out , because Mary
Queen of Scots gives as good as she gets.
Wellington s own Ben Makisi and New
York-resident New Zealander Paul Whelan
will also sing.
Maria Stuarda will be performed on Friday,
August 10 and Saturday, August 18.
For more information or to book, visit
daysbayopera.org.nz or call 027 562 8272.
Airport fees defended
By JIM CHIPP
Wellington Airport s two share-
holders, Infratil and Wellington
City Council, will decide next
week whether to give its directors
a pay rises.
The company has raised ire
recently with plans to make
motorists take parking coupons to
use Stewart Duff Drive, which
links Moa Point to Miramar.
Drivers would have five
minutes to reach the exit gate
before airport parking charges
As a city council representative,
deputy mayor Ian McKinnon has
come under fire, both for the
apparent size of his coming pay
increase and for failing to defend
public access to the road.
Mr McKinnon said the proposed
29 per cent directors fee increase
was mostly to allow former airport
company head Steven Fitzgerald
to join the board as an additional
paid director. Previously he had
sat on the board in an unpaid, ex-
Other directors would get a
Before the increase Mr
McKinnon s director s fee was set
The council is also represented
by Keith Sutton, who is not a
councillor; he was paid $49,598
As a councillor, Mr McKinnon
represents the interests of resid-
ents but, as a director, he is
required to represent the interests
Asked how he reconciled those
obligations, Mr McKinnon said he
had no difficulty.
I will give my point of view, as
do other members, but once the
decision is made I accept the col-
lective decision, he said.
Wellington City Council is a
shareholder and its voice is cer-
In the main, its point of view is
It won t necessarily always get
what it wants but that could be
the case with different directors
sitting around the table anyway.
Mr McKinnon said the meas-
ures on Stewart Duff Drive were
purely to reduce congestion at the
Airport chief operating officer
John Howarth said the route had
always been airport-owned and in
earlier times had crossed aircraft
operational areas. Although public
passage had been allowed, it was
never a legal right, he said.
The airport company has also
come under fire for increases to its
airline charges introduced on
April 1, which exceeded non-
binding Commerce Commission
Asked whether the airport was
misusing a monopoly market pos-
ition, Mr McKinnon said it
depended how a monopoly was
If you define monopoly solely
as air transport within Welling-
ton, I suppose you could say it is a
monopoly. If you describe it more
broadly as a means of transport,
it s not a monopoly.
We now have competition from
Paraparaumu with direct flights
Mr McKinnon said he had trav-
elled through the airport fre-
quently since he was a child.
Would it have changed if the
private sector hadn t got
involved? he asked.
I used to travel through it as a
boy going to boarding school.
I returned 40 years later as
headmaster of Scots College . . .
and nothing had changed.
It was still a hangar with a
newspaper kiosk in the middle
and now it is the third or fourth-
rated airport in Australasia.
Mr McKinnon attributed the
improvements to part-private
See editorial, p10.
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