GWRC Has Bad News For Airport Supporters

Regional Councillor Penny Gaylor says none of the Council’s plans ‘identify or prioritise Paraparaumu Airport as significant in a regional context.’

And she says the Region’s emergency plans do not include the Airport  (Kāpiti Coast Airport) as a ‘Lifeline Utility and Lifeline Group.’

GWRC talks wjth Mayor Gurunathan

Cr Gaylor was answering questions from KIN about GWRC support for locals fighting to save the Airport from possible closure.

Here’s her reply:

‘Greater Wellington Regional Council appreciates the concern in the Kāpiti Coast community about the future of Paraparaumu Airport, and the possibility of closure.

‘We’ve discussed the role and function of the airport with Mayor Gurunathan, and expressed our support in finding a solution to this challenging situation.

Penny Gaylor,
Regional Cr

‘From a regional perspective, GW shares your concern regarding potential damage to Wellington region infrastructure in event of a large earthquake or other natural disaster.

GWRC works with 9 councils on emergencies plan

‘In our regional leadership role GW brings together the nine councils of the region to be ready to respond to and recover from major emergency events such as you describe.

‘Our work is guided by the jointly developed Wellington Region Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Plan 2019–2024.

In this plan, Paraparaumu Airport is not included as one of the region’s Lifeline Utilities and Lifeline Groups.

‘A core function of GW is to coordinate regional leadership activities in partnership with other local authorities across the region, on a range of issues and priorities.

‘This helps achieve coordinated planning to underpin integrated decision making across a number of areas – emergency management (as mentioned above), along with economic development, regional growth and transport planning.

Advice from officers

‘Advice from officers indicates that none of these plans, which are also jointly developed, identify or prioritise Paraparaumu Airport as significant in a regional context.

‘Enquiries have confirmed that the airport is designated as such in the KCDC District Plan, giving effect to the Regional Policy Statement (RPS) designation as Regionally Significant Infrastructure.

This gives it a high level of protection in terms of other activities needing to demonstrate compatibility with it.

‘However, that does not rule out other activities altogether, such as housing, which is supported elsewhere in the RPS and other plans.

‘All that being the case, we acknowledge that the world is changing, and councils like everyone else must adapt.

GWRC will continue to work with KCDC

‘We’ll continue to work with and support our partners – including KCDC and mana whenua – in this regard.

‘That may include a review of the role and function of Paraparaumu Airport in the context of the relevant regional plans.’

The information in this article quoting the GWRC Kapiti representative Cr Gaylor completely contradicts the statements made today by Mayor Anita Baker, speaking as Chair of the Wellington Regional Defence and Emergency Group in a letter she wrote to Civil defence Minister last month, while asking for his support to keep the airport open.

Mayor Baker says ‘ the airport’s location played a vital role to the region in an emergency……Might I suggest they both meet and work this out with haste, before there IS a major earthquake event in our region.

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