WSG asks PM to step in over airports [Wanaka App, 22/02/21]

Wanaka Stakeholders Group (WSG) has written to the prime minister, as well as various ministers and MPs, demanding answers to questions about the future of Wanaka Airport and a proposed airport in Tarras.

The letter, sent on Friday (February 19), was “fully supported” by six community associations in the Upper Clutha, airport lobby group WSG said in a statement.

WSG said the letter outlined concerns about climate change and asked central and local governments about the conflict between declaring climate emergencies and building new airports.

“These are no longer purely local issues,” WSG chair Michael Ross said, adding he believed it was time for the government to step in.

“Decisions to build carbon-intensive infrastructure, which in turn enables an increase in carbon intensive jet aviation, is nothing short of madness in the current environment.”

Related: Survey indicates opposition to Tarras Airport

“New Zealand, like other nations, needs to take immediate and urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

He believes Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) should be focusing more on climate change, noting a WSG survey which 1,200 people – WSG members and others – responded to which showed the majority of respondents were concerned about the environmental impacts of airports.

WSG is currently awaiting the judge’s decisions from the judicial review about Wanaka Airport, which was heard in the High Court in Queenstown late last year.

The letter was also sent to all councillors at Christchurch City Council and QLDC, and MPs for the regions.

Read this on the Wanaka App here.

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