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Airport runway extension in Wellington

27 September, 2013

The Editor, The Wellingtonian

Dear Editor;

Extension of the runway at Wellington airport continues to get attention during the local body campaign.  That flows on from the council’s long term “airport master plan”.  It needs to be considered that air traffic is not the source of a better future for Wellington.  Air travel is the worst contributor to carbon emissions among transport options and its use will be diminished in a sustainable future, not expanded as predicted in the airport master plan.  The future lies in developing the local in New Zealand, concentrating on necessities, using more efficient rail and sea transport options, and redeveloping some capability of creating and manufacturing what we need for ourselves.

Progressive candidates will need to broaden their attention from the pros/cons of the direction of the extension to the halting of the extension altogether.  The debt required for such a project should be the focus of those candidates who look to financial management and controlling council debt as their main focus but somehow that gets lost in the rhetoric about the benefits (doubtful) from increased air traffic (also doubtful).  If the mayor continues to support a runway extension then she risks submerging her own attempts toward a sustainable Wellington under the larger on going tide of corporate driven carbon growth economics which is at the heart of the airport master plan.

Sincerely,

Richard Keller

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