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Salient. Victoria University Students Newspaper. Volume 37, No 26. October 2, 1974

Raping the Ngaio hills

Raping the Ngaio hills

Action for the Environment and Paradise [unclear: lion] as well as several individuals have [unclear: engaged] objections to Wellington City [unclear: council] proposed changes to the district scheme. The scheme intended to plan for Wellington's needs 20 years in advance, became operative in 1972. It was stated that ample residential land was available. Since then thousands of acres of residential land have come under Wellington City Council control at Horokiwi as well as in the Makara Riding.

Yet the WCC has made a mockery of its own district scheme by giving in to land developers, and proposing to change the classification of this land from rural to residential Land in the Nagio-Khandallah hills will be subdivided into 16 perch sections using cut and fill methods This is anything but low-cost housing, at [unclear: abou] $40,000 per home. Similar recent developments such as 'Ridvan Gardens', 'Broadmeadows' and 'Evergreen' all show poor planning, narrow streets and lack of facilities.

Tree silhouette

However the Director of Parks, Mr Galloway, has been busy negotiating with a property developer Mr Muir. Muir, confident of getting the 'go ahead' from WCC has bulldozed bush right to the roots of the main feature of the area - the line of 100 year old macrocarpas. This has endangered the trees. However Muir plans to put a road through them and cut them down for house sites. If you drive to the end of Fox Street and walk up the stream beyond you can sec the regenerating bush. The ridge is low at this point so levelling off the spurs, Filling in the valleys and sticking up expensive boxes will further reduce the beauty of what is the nearest thing we have to a scenic drive in Wellington — the road from Karori to Johnsonville. And who will this despoilation be done for? For the few people who can afford expensive houses, and who are prepared to live in a poorly designed development. Action for the Environment is opposed to any development on these hills until the WCC reviews its district scheme. They argue that if the council has made a mistake in their estimate of the need for residential land, then they should admit it and review their scheme. But they should not give way to speculation developers.

Action for the Environment opposes any development on these hills until the WCC agrees that the land only be developed with minimum destruction of the ecosystem.

If a large number of people are prepared to support the objections to these groups either by writing or by appearing before a WCC Town Planning Committee, then there is more chance of stopping this poor ad hoc planning.

Here is an opportunity to (a) Protect the environment, (b) work towards community decision making, (c) force our public masters to plan ahead, (d) learn about legal manoueverings e.g. the Town and Country Planning act, the Municipalities Act, the use of injunctions and writs etc.

If you can help call Action for the Environment 793-871, Paradise Action 793-731 or Kit Withers 792-655.