Green MP Sue Kedgley said today she was pleased that the Wellington City Council (Te Aro Reclamation) Amendment Bill had passed its second reading, but predicted the potential sale of a central-city green space would become an issue in this year's local government elections.
Ms Kedgley said the Council had tried to sneak through a private members bill that would have allowed the Council to sell or lease land under the Te Aro Reclamation Act, including the precious Jack Ilott Green near the waterfront, without being constrained by any other piece of legislation.
Under the leadership of Green Party Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons as chair of the Local Government and Environment Select Committee, changes had been made which will ensure that the sale or leasing of the land will now be subject to all other legislation, including requirements for proper consultation under the Local Government Act.
Ms Kedgley said the Bill is important because the potential sale of Jack Ilott Green had raised significant concern in the community. "Wellingtonians have clearly said they want to retain the Green as a park, rather than see the Council build a multi-story building on it which would overshadow Civic Square and block views to the waterfront."
Ms Kedgley predicted that the potential sale or lease of this precious green space would be an issue in the upcoming Wellington City Council elections. "The Green Party supports the retention of the land as a green space in the city and will be launching a campaign to ensure it stays that way."