CEO of NZ Flying School (Wigram) standing for Electorate

, posted: 30-Oct-2008 18:42

Watching the news tonight I saw a banner being towed past the window (behind a 172 I think but one single engine Cessna looks much like another to me I'm afraid) encouraging people to vote for a particular candidate in the Wigram electorate.

I was thinking "hmm, I wonder if they stood up for the airfield, I bet Ngai Tahu doesn't like that banner being flown from Wigram, wonder how they got away with that one", then I realised - it was to enourage votes for Steve Campbell (NZ First) in the Wigram Electorate.

Denis Hampton (see previous blogs) had mentioned to me a while back that Steve was going on the NZ First Party List but I hadn't paid attention to the party lists announcements so didn't realise he was actually the Wigram candidate, checking the election pack which arrived this morning confirmed.

Steve is number 9 on the NZ First list.  Perhaps somebody with more smarts than I could suggest what percentage of the party vote NZ First would require to get Mr Campbell a seat (assuming he didn't miraculously win in Wigram, sorry Steve if you're reading, let's be honest it's not likely, but full marks for trying)?

Steve is the CEO of the NZ Flying School one of the many tenants on the historic Wigram Airfield who are being given the old heave-ho by Ngai Tahu, the owners of the airfield, so that they can demolish the years of aviation history and a working useful and in my opinion strategic airfield to make way for yet more houses, in the middle of an economic crises where it is abundantly obvious that people are simply not buying houses.

I'll also remind that Marc Alexander (National) is also standing for Wigram and worked with Steve Campbell and Denis Hampton to bring the initial protest about closing Wigram to the council and lobby for it's retainment - so this is quite a choice to make - and kinda wierd to see a National candidate and an NZ First candidate working togethor, I guess Steve wasn't on the NZ first lists at the time though.

Of course, the trouble with both of these candidates isn't that they are NZ First and National, it's that their opponent is Jim Anderton, and we all know that no matter how little actual work Jim Anderton appears to do for Wigram (and by how little, I mean, basically nothing at all) he will still get in, because he always has, and always will, until he finally retires (or perhaps more likely, dies, I suspect that's the only way Jim Anderton would only give up "his" electorate).

While I'm on the subject of Wigram, just a very brief update from Denis.  After writing to the Council regarding discrepencies in the report they commissioned on Wigram's viability, the council wrote back sumarily dismissing the points raised, in thier words "As the airfield is known to be closing, it is totally appropriate to record that the previous zoning for airfield purposes has lost it's relevance.".  So basically, according to the council, it was known that Ngai Tahu wanted to dispense with aviation, so the relevance as an airfield was lost, and because relevance was lost, it should be rezoned, to stop it being used as an airfield.  In short, it's all recursive doublespeak.

They also note that there was a "decline from 40,000 movements to 5900" as a justification, well, perhaps do they think, just possibly, this might, maybe be remotely possible that it has something to do with it being a freaking military installation when it was doing 40,000 movements!  Council's lack of logical analysis never ceases to amaze.  Not to mention that Ngai Tahu were NEVER encouraging of civil aviation (or any aviation) at Wigram, because it went against their, and I'm reluctant to say this lest I sound like a closeted conspiracy theorist, their hidden agenda.

Other related posts:
So long old friend.
"Sky High" At Wigram
Wigram - Pens to Paper, Lobby Gerry

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James Sleeman
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