It was with great disappointment that I learned yesterday of the high court decision in favour of the developers. It was, I suppose, too much to expect that a judicial review would take into account the larger view of what is going on here, and just why it is that the review had to happen in the first case.
The unfortunate outcome, is that a failure by government at large is going to have an adverse impact on a local community, with the only benefits flowing to a select few. Again, a classic case of socialization of costs and privatization of profits. As we’ve noted before, at least $10 million of your hard earned tax dollars direct into the pockets of the developers.
I find great irony in the fact that the only organization willing to step up and perform the role of interested party is in fact a business organization. This organization has stepped in where the Wellington City Council, and the New Zealand government have failed, and is willing to be a voice for local residents. Residents who will be quite negatively impacted by the development. Residents who have been, up till now, completely ignored.
In the case of Wellington City Council, despite wide spread protest, the council overruled the locals who will be most affected, and ruled in favour of out of town developers and investors.
The New Zealand Government has failed the local residents of the Watts peninsula by creating HASHAA, an act that overrules local planning efforts in favour of more housing.
Who cares if that housing is contrary to considered and well thought out district plans, we just need houses now (well, okay, over the next 13 years, but who’s counting?). Who cares if the development will forever be an eyesore and a blight: 27 meter tall tilt-slab concrete dense urban housing.
Who cares about the fishermen who use the coast?
Who cares about the cyclists who currently enjoy the road along the coast?
No one apparently.
And, if we believe this stuff story, benefits won’t be flowing into New Zealand, but will instead be flowing out to Chinese construction companies.
So the failure is generally complete – no one is looking after the citizen.
But with a little luck, the war isn’t over. We can but hope that at some point the government will note that it only governs by the consent of the people.
But that’s a difficult concept in this time of greed it seems.
What a crime.