Final appeal to Kaipatiki Board 16 July 2012

MEDIA RELEASE                                                                      25.7.12

Little Shoal Bay Protection Society makes final appeal to Kaipatiki Board to respect residents’ views on unwanted exercise equipment.

On Wednesday, LSB Protection Society presented a petition to the Kaipatiki Local Board, which stated that the signatories “…oppose the proposal to install adult fitness equipment in Little Shoal Bay reserve and respectfully request the Kaipatiki Local Board to revoke this proposal.”

The Society’s chairman, Tony Holman, pointed out that the two surveys carried out by the Society had shown overwhelming opposition to the proposal and the petition further emphasized that message.

Mr Holman also referred to various comments made by those who had signed the petition, particularly one by a doctor involved in sports medicine who said that the Board’s “…initiative is misguided and a complete waste of money.”

“ Opponents of the project have a very wide range of objections to it, some key ones being that the site chosen contravenes the intent of the Management Plan, is totally unnecessary, will be an expensive eyesore and, as with similar equipment in other parks, will be largely unused and deteriorate quite quickly,” said Mr Holman. “There is also a very strong feeling that this wide, informal area of grass, used by many in numerous ways, should not be invaded by structures, concrete and steps.”

The Board Chairperson, Lindsay Waugh, claimed that the petition was “…based on inaccurate and misleading information.”

“I totally dispute that claim” said Tony Holman, “and have challenged Ms Waugh to meet with me to try to show, in detail, where we have misled. I look forward to her taking up my challenge.”

“On the other hand, Ms Waugh claims that proper community consultation was carried out by the previous Community Board in 2010, but our Society was not consulted nor, it seems, is there any evidence of a professional consultation of the community having been carried out.”

“Three Board members (John Gillon, Grant Gillon and Vivienne Keohane) moved to  consider further professional consultation, but the majority of the Board (Waugh, Kearney, Marshall, McIntyre and Hills,)  seem determined to ignore the extensive and well-argued case put up by the local community and have simply deflected the matter meantime by seeking some vague further information from officers.”

“What wasn’t revealed at the meeting is that it seems that the installation could actually begin within two or three weeks depending on the weather,” said Mr Holman, so it is very likely that the ‘further information’ will be irrelevant.”