OPINION: Readers may be interested in the recent claims by the incumbent Mayor that Splash Palace was one of his success stories.
When the byelection was held following for the Mayoralty in 1992, the ''I don't care where, as long as I'm Mayor'' candidate campaigned on two platforms: ''I will get you an International Airport, and I will stop the Aquatic Centre''
He further stated that ''Pigs would fly from Stewart Island to the Mainland before the Aquatic Centre would be built''.
At the official opening of Splash Palace under the Mayoralty of David Harrington, the Prime Minister Jim Bolger made a wonderful reference to that quote by announcing, ''My aides have advised me that pigs have been seen flying past the Stirling Point Lighthouse''.
Claim 2 ''Invercargill Airport has the longest runway in New Zealand.'' Incorrect. There are several variables as to runway length - including landing distances or take-off distances - and these can vary considerably regarding terrain from either end of the usable runway.
For landings Invercargill (2040m) is currently is fourth, behind Auckland (3292m), Christchurch (3288m) and Hamilton (2059m).
For take-offs Invercargill (2270m) is third, behind Christchurch (3548m) and Auckland (3292m).
Queenstown, our nearest international airport, has a landing distance of 1777m and take-off distance 1911m.
Another consideration is the all-up weight of any landing or take-off aircraft. Can the fully laden aircraft ''stand'' on the existing apron at the airport to accommodate the aircraft? Available runway length is only part of the equation for future development.
Lindsay Dow is an Invercargill mayoral candidate. - Editor
Mayor Tim Shadbolt replies:
1. During my successful campaign for the Invercargill Mayoralty in 1993 my election pamphlet (delivered to every home) clearly shows I campaigned on eight platforms.
2. As regards to the new Aquatic Centre that was to be built, I wanted it put ''on hold'' until Council ''researched the real costs of this exciting new project''. At the time it was proposed to be built on the green belt (Doon Street reserve) and there was huge resistance to this. According to the Inside Out (the council's magazine) the ratepayers would contribute $5 million to the pool and $5.8 million would be raised by the community. I felt this was unrealistic; which proved to be the case.
3. The ''I don't care where'' slogan was an advertisement for cheese.
4. The pigs quote related to the likelihood of my getting an invite to the opening of the Aquatic Centre (which did actually occur).
5. After extensive research, I can find no record of the quote attributed to me, ''Invercargill has the longest runway in NZ''.
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