Namely three points:
a) The commissioner appointed to prepare a report on the plan change (and thus the utility of Wigram) did not consult with relevant people, both because they were not specifically tasked as such - they were tasked to receive submissions drawn as a result of the public notice in the paper (the applicability of public notices in the paper in this modern age is another story, probably written by Douglas Adams), not seek them out - and because the people most affected were forbidden contractually from commenting. There were NO aviation submissions to the proposed change.
b) The statement which was presented in the report regarding the present usage of Wigram as being "aviation related businesses and activities have ceased, over time, to operate from and use this part of the Wigram airfield and associated facilities" is factually incorrect, indeed records show the NZ Flying School alone operates 13 aircraft and brings in something like $10 million dollars a year to the Christchurch economy. ( It is worth noting that this statement also appeared basically word for word in the initial notification of the proposed plan change, long before the submissions were receieved let alone the commissioners report written, you can draw your own conclusions from that. )
c) The Council was apparently advised that they had "no option" but to approve the plan change, which was approved "pursuant to clause 17(2) of the [Resource Management Act]". This advise received by Council, was factually incorrect, the relevant clause of the RMA indicate that the council has the option to approve, but does not require such action, allowing the Council to defer the action. ( Note, it is unclear due to public excluded proceedings regarding this matter in the last year as to whether there are other reasons for which the Council may have had "no option", again, you can draw your own conclusions. )
It's also worth having a quick squizz at the Flying School's charter ( http://www.nzflyingschool.com/ ) paying particular note to the pains at which the Flying School has gone to acknowledge and respect the Tangata Whenua, and the Treaty. It is a great shame that Ngai Tahu Property Group Limited do not see fit to return the respect and support afforded by these businesses to the people that Ngai Tahu Property Group Limited apparently respresent.
Other related posts:
So long old friend.
"Sky High" At Wigram
CEO of NZ Flying School (Wigram) standing for Electorate
Comment by Brent Gillett, on 23-Oct-2008 20:30
Having moved to Auckland from Chch I was appauled to find out that Wigram is to close as any operational airfield.
Wigram is part of Canterbury and New Zealand hertigate, this should not be distroyed for the sake of a few dollars in Ngai Tahus pocket.
I'm sure if I wanted to put a bulldozer through an undiscovered Pa there would be plenty of objection. Ngai Tahu need to realise that many New Zealanders feel the same way about preserving the likes of Wigram.
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