SPCA back­ers pres­sure coun­cil

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By JIM CHIPP

About 200 peo­ple gath­ered in Civic Square last week to sup­port the Welling­ton So­ci­ety for the Preven­tion of Cru­elty to An­i­mals.

The so­ci­ety wants Welling­ton City Coun­cil to com­mit to help­ing it move into the dis­used Fever Hospi­tal build­ing.

On May 15, demon­stra­tors car­ried ban­ners de­pict­ing an­i­mals res­cued for re- hom­ing by the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The coun­cil was in the process of fi­nal­is­ing its an­nual plan and whether to fund more work on the hospi­tal was up for de­bate.

So­ci­ety chief ex­ec­u­tive Iain Tor­rance said he was de­lighted with the turnout at such short no­tice. He said the so­ci­ety wants the coun­cil to un­der­stand the com­mu­nity’s pas­sion for the project.

Di­a­logue with the mayor and coun­cil­lors was pos­i­tive, he said.

‘‘We will be putting through a com­mer­cial propo­si­tion this week look­ing at al­low­ing us to help the coun­cil to fund the on­go­ing re­fur­bish­ment work.

The up­grade and main­te­nance work was the coun­cil’s re­spon­si­bil­ity as build­ing owner, he said.

Most of the re­quired earth­quake strength­en­ing had been done, and mi­nor work in­clud­ing fix­ing some roof leaks was needed to al­low the so­ci­ety to move in.

Michelle Brett is a vol­un­teer in New­town.

The so­ci­ety’s New­town premises were too small and the lo­ca­tion was not ideal. The Fever Hospi­tal build­ing had more space, bet­ter ac­cess for the public and eas­ier ac­cess to re­cre­ation ar­eas for an­i­mals, she said.

Lambton ward coun­cil­lor Iona Pan­nett said she was a se­ri­ous sup­porter.

Ms Pan­nett was very con­cerned about the de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of the her­itage build­ing and wanted the so­ci­ety to oc­cupy it as soon as pos­si­ble.

‘‘ This is a non- gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion do­ing good work. I have no prob­lem with them be­ing on the Town Belt.’’

The hospi­tal needed to move up the coun­cil’s pri­or­i­ties or the so­ci­ety’s re­source con­sent for the build­ing would lapse, she said.

Welling­ton mayor Celia WadeBrown said the fever hospi­tal was a great spot for the so­ci­ety.

‘‘ We just need to come up with a rea­son­able fi­nan­cial agree­ment.’’

Sup­port crew: SPCA vol­un­teer Michelle Wood­ward, cen­tre, with friends Nell Wood­ward, left, and Anna van der Velden. In the back­ground is SPCA chair­woman Teresa Gat­tung.

Ratepay­ers’ rep­re­sen­ta­tive: Welling­ton mayor Celia WadeBrown.

Boss: SPCA chair­woman Teresa Gat­tung.

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