WSG launches ‘7 Key Reasons’ document, and asks all QLDC councillors to comment [WSG, 09/03/20]

This morning, we launched a document called ‘7 Key Reasons’. It is an essential summary of why the people of the Upper Clutha don’t want a jet airport in Wanaka right now. The reasons outlined in this document are strong and supported by evidence wherever possible.

There are two versions of this:

We’ve launched this because our members have been asking for help to keep on top of the complex web of issues and arguments.  It’s also timely that we publish this because it’s vital that everyone (whether for or against jets in Wanaka) focusses on the issues at hand, real facts and clear rationale.  We will continue to call out personal attacks, sweeping generalisations, alternative facts and contradictions.

As part of the launch, this morning we sent the following letter to all QLDC Councillors, asking them to review the 7 Key Reasons and comment on them.  The full letter is below and we’ll let you know about the replies we receive …

[Letter on Wanaka Stakeholders Group Inc letterhead, sent at approx. 8 am today]

The Councillors, Queenstown Lakes District Council

Queenstown  (By email, individually)

Monday 9th March 2020

Dear Councillors

Wānaka and Queenstown Airports – clear reasoning for any decisions in relation to our airports

We are writing to each of you individually as a follow up to our letter dated 24th February 2020.  We note that only one Councillor replied to us.  We ask that each of you who did not reply at least acknowledge that you have read that letter.

Today, at the request of our members, we are publishing a document called “7 Key Reasons”.  It is an essential summary of why the people of the Upper Clutha don’t want a jet airport in Wanaka right now.  The reasons outlined in this letter are strong and supported by evidence. We ask that you read the document closely, and all material referred to in it.  We have attached the current version to this letter for your convenience. We will update this document frequently – the latest version will be available online here.

We expect each of you to be able to tell us, our members and the wider Upper Clutha community (and indeed a High Court judge if it comes to that) how it is that, notwithstanding these seven reasons, you decide at any time in the future that a jet airport in Wānaka is a reasonable decision for our community.  

We’re looking forward to hearing back from each of you individually.  Please note that in due course the community expects and is entitled to clear answers from each of you. A general statement from “the Council” prepared by your communications team is not the level of accountability this community deserves. 

Please also note that many of the seven key reasons apply equally to decisions you might be asked to make in the near future about Queenstown Airport. No doubt, the people of Queenstown will expect similar clarity from you about Air Noise Boundaries and other matters affecting their environment and wellbeing.

As we trust you know from our letter dated 10 February 2020 to MartinJenkins, WSG is participating in the current process without prejudice to our position that the current consultation process is seriously flawed and that QLDC should await rulings of the High Court about the lawfulness of what has previously been done and decided by earlier councils.

If any of you would like clarification on any of the points we have raised in this letter or indeed with our 7 Key Reasons document – we would be happy to oblige.

Yours sincerely

The Committee, Wānaka Stakeholders Group Incorporated*

Per Mark Sinclair

Cc list: Chairs of each of the five Wanaka based community associations and WSG membership
* WSG membership as at 10:20 Sunday 8th March 2020 stands at 3,370 people.

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