Lyall Bay locals want more input into Wellington runway extension plan

Moa Point Rd residents Dr Sea Rotmann and Karl Weber are questioning the lack of consultation about the planned airport ...
MONIQUE FORD/FAIRFAX NZ

Moa Point Rd residents Dr Sea Rotmann and Karl Weber are questioning the lack of consultation about the planned airport runway extension.

Lyall Bay residents say they have been left in the dark about the Wellington Airport runway extension. 

Moa Point Rd resident Dr Sea Rotmann is calling for more consultation, saying there has been "not one word on costs, impacts, risks and what it will mean to us residents".

But the airport said meetings had been held with Moa Point residents and wider public consultation would occur, but had been delayed due to a High Court case about the proposal.

Rotmann said the public deserved a fair explanation of proposals, rates and debt of ratepayer-funded projects in the Wellington City Council's long-term plan.    

"We made a very strong point that they were breaking the Local Government Act because they made no consultation. The legislation said they need to make public consultation." 

The residents had contacted the Wellington  City Council to ask for seriously affected resident status.

"It's something that has been used by the council before and it should give us the right to sit at the table."

A public meeting earlier in June was "mainly a PR exercise", she said.

But Deputy Mayor JustinLester said wider public consultation would be undertaken by the airport at the appropriate time. 

"Consultation hasn't started, because we don't have a project. We'll absolutely be talking to everybody when the process comes underway, then there will be a community consultation." 

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Wellington International Airport media spokesperson Greg Thomas said there had been two meetings with local residents that went through the impacts of the proposals and wider public consultation was due to begin in September, but had been pushed back to November due to a High Court case being taken by the New Zealand Airline Pilots' Association against the runway extension.

The association claims the planned runway extension is too short for international safety standards, saying the safety area at the end of a runway should be 240m, not the 90m the Civil Aviation Authority has approved. The case is expected to be heard in the HIgh Court in November.

Lyall Bay residents would be contacted for public consultation in November, while Moa Point Rd residents had already been contacted, Thomas said. "We put a letter in each letterbox. We said in advance that we are going to have a public meeting."

The airport was working closely with Moa Point Rd residents before the wider public consultation began and would be holding another meeting with them in the next month to put forward a proposal addressing concerns raised at previous meetings.

"We've made a huge effort to have these meetings and to make sure that dialogue goes both ways." 

 - Stuff

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