Survey ‘clear and emphatic’ in opposition to airport plans [Otago Daily Times, 12/02/21]
Wanaka Stakeholders Group (WSG) chairman Michael Ross is calling for “bold leadership” from central government after a survey showed almost three-quarters of respondents are against a new airport at Tarras.
Mr Ross said more than 1200 people in and around Wanaka were surveyed and 74% — about 900 people — were opposed to Christchurch International Airport Ltd’s plans to build an international airport on what is, at present, farmland at Tarras, citing environmental impacts as their primary concern.
The survey found people were also concerned about the impacts on quality of life and road safety.
Nearly all respondents sought greater consultation and involvement in airport decisions in the region.
Mr Ross said the survey included responses from 366 businesspeople in the district, residents from all key settlements in Upper Clutha, Tarras and the surrounding areas, and represented all adult age groups.
The results were “clear and emphatic”, he said.
“The time has long since passed when the Upper Clutha community will sit back and allow airport companies to determine the future of our local infrastructure and environment, aided and actively supported by councils that place commercial interests above community interests . . .”
He wanted the Government to ensure “sound decisions” were made around airport development, national infrastructure and “controls on inbound tourism”.