National Candidate Must Apologise For Privatisation Of Kāpiti Airport At Public Meeting

Alan Tristram says it’s hypocritical of National candidate Tim Costley to make a public appeal to save Kāpiti Coast Airport when National sold it for a song in 1995.

Wing Commander Costley has called the meeting in Paraparaumu on Saturday, August 29, to ‘Save Kāpiti Coast Airport.’

But Editor Alan Tristram reports that it was a National Government that sold off the Airport to a developer for just $1.6million in 1995.

Paraparaumu Airport in happier days

He says the original Maori owners were never given a look in.

And a succession of developers has extracted huge profits from the land speculation ever since.

Noel Robinson, an Auckland developer, bought the Airport in 2006, promising much but deliverying virtually nothing to the people of  Kāpiti.

Noel Robinson — yet another Auckland ‘developer’

Alan Tristram says the Parapraumu Airport Coalition, of which he was a founding member, warned at the time that Mr Robinson’s grandiose plans were ‘smoke and mirrors,.’ designed to ensure a plan change went through.

He says Mayor Jenny Rowan and many councillors went long with the PR spin and did nothing to stop the rot.

Soon Noel Robinson, once extolled as a ‘son of  Kāpiti’, made off back to Auckland, selling off the airport for a tidy profit to business people who had no interest in the public benefit.

Now, says Tristram, we are in the sorry state which National has brought us to.

“Tim Costley should start his campaign with a public apology for his Party’s links to a succession of ‘developers’ who have sucked out the profits from land which should have stayed in public hands,” he says.

Meantime, of course, nothing has been done to remedy the wrongs againt original Maori landowners,.

He says the whole affair stinks to high heaven — and those responsible, including former mayors, should hang their heads in shame.

I was unable to attend the public meeting on Sunday, due to not wanting to be in a crowded space, but am keen to hear how it went and outcomes, feedback appreciated.

It would appear that Otaki Electorate’s newest resident, our National Party candidate (fresh from his Air Force employment at Ohakea, from a completely different electorate) is rewriting his own history of Paraparaumu airport. An Air Force uniform doesn’t indicate any guarantee of knowledge about the history of our airport.
Would appear that history is repeating itself – such as the example of that incumbent National Party MP Guy claiming success for the continuation of the Capital Connection rail service, when – in fact – it was the then Palmerston North MP who had the major role.
Am also recalling the opening of Waikanae Railway Station in February 2011 – a project proposed and funded by the 2005-2008 Labour government, under the aegis of the then Minister of Transport, our local MP, Darren Hughes. When it came to the opening of the station, Joyce and that other Guy refused to allow him to speak.
Oh well, it’s now interesting to observe how that Guy and his costly chum have been endeavouring to undermine the case for the continuation of the Otaki-Levin component of the local expressway. The way they’ve been (potentially illegally campaigning) putting it, Labour “pulled the plug”. It needs to be noted that a/ National talked about it but never funded it and NZTA stalled the process: and, Labour has announced the funding. Listen to National and Costly Costley at your peril.

How can you be so childish? This should be about saving the airport, not your petty political agenda. Sad.

Thanks so much for this very informative article, Alan. You have summed up the situation beautifully, and it seems that the National Party candidate is ill-informed about the history of this land. Perhaps he would know more about it if he were a local to the Kapiti Coast.

I can’t quite see what all the fuss is about – it is as it is and the question now is what needs to be done to make sure that the Kapiti airport is retained as an airport.

Why is this hypocritical? In 1995 it was sold and was to remain as an airport. The meeting is about what can be done to keep it as an airport.

A succesion of speculators with little ibnterest in aviation, and none in the rights of the original landowners, have run this formerly-publicly owned land as a milch cow. It wasn’t ‘sold to remain as an airport’– it was sold as part of a crazecd privatisation programme which only benefitted so-called ‘developers.’ The National Party should stzart by apologising for the mess they’ve created — Editor


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