WCC Mayoral candidates on Airport runway extension

Do you support the proposed runway extension for Wellington Airport?

What is the maximum contribution ($ or %) from toward the runway extension you would vote for?

  • Nick Leggett: Yes, In line with its shareholding in the existing airport or greater if it leads to a greater shareholding
  • Nicola Young: No, 34%; in line with WCC ownership
  • Justin Lester: Yes, 33%
  • Helene Ritchie: No, Nil- unnecessary unjustified expenditure on a ratepayer funded $350-$500m project. I do not support it on safety, aeronautical, environmental, cost, local grounds. It won’t fly because no one will pay for it, no airlines want it, including Air New Zealand, and no one has formally said they will fund it. If it is not thrown out of the Environment Court, I will call for a Citizens poll/referendum so that the people paying can have a say.
  • Andy Foster: $90 million – key though is it has to stack up – a lot of major hurdles to cross before I can say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ (Econ benefit, airline commitment, funding, consideration of alternatives, investment vehicle)
  • Jo Coughlan: Yes, It’s important that funding comes from the airport itself and Central Government before the Council makes any contribution. Any contribution from the City must be reflected in some way in the ownership and not just a donation. The City currently owns a third so at this stage it should not be any larger than that.This is all conditional on the business case and appropriate funding being agreed.

So two candidates (Young and Ritchie) are against the runway extension, three (Lester, Leggett and Coughland) are in favour and one says it depends in the final case.

In terms of how much funding the Council should provide, Leggett, Lester, Coughland and Young all say no more than the Council’s shareholding in the Airport. Ritchie is against any money. Foster supports $90 million (presumably on top of any direct Council investment via shareholding) if the case stacks up.

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