Future looks brighter for Jack Ilott Green
The controversial sale of an innercity Wellington park is starting to look less likely after city councillors voted to investigate ways of ‘‘saving’’ it.
Moments before councillors approved the city’s 2016-17 Annual Plan yesterday, deputy mayor Justin Lester successfully squeezed in wording that will see the environment committee investigate the prospect of protecting Jack Ilott Green as a reserve.
That would prevent the small park off Jervois Quay from being leased to developers to help fund a $100 million project to earthquakestrengthen the town hall and revamp Civic Square.
‘‘For me, this is a 50-year decision,’’ Lester said yesterday. ‘‘We need to protect our green space. If we end up with a building on that site we won’t get it back.’’
He was supported by Paul Eagle, who said the petition to ‘‘save’’ the green already had more than 8000 signatures, and those people needed some certainty they would be heard.
Iona Pannett also supported Lester’s idea, pointing out that council staff had hoped to get $8 million for a lease of the green, but their expectations had been dialled
Celia Wade-Brown, Simon Woolf, Sarah Free, David Lee, Justin Lester, Iona Pannett, Helene Ritchie, Ray Ahipene-Mercer, Paul Eagle, Malcolm Sparrow, Mark Peck Andy Foster, Simon Marsh, Nicola Young, Jo Coughlan back recently to about $2m, which made the sale a less attractive prospect.
Jo Coughlan, who, with Lester, will be contesting the mayoralty this year, did not support his plan. She called it ‘‘a classic case of electioneering policy being made on the hoof’’ instead.
‘‘Either we’re going to do this or we’re not,’’ Coughlan said. ‘‘Tonight is not the right time to be making that decision or creating expectations we may not be able to meet.’’
Andy Foster agreed, saying it would be ‘‘lousy process’’ for the council to rule out leasing Jack Ilott Green without first finding out its true value, alongside other funding alternatives. ‘‘This just looks like a piece of politics.’’ The threat of a fuel leak is forcing Toyota New Zealand to recall nearly 37,000 cars, part of a global recall of 2.8 million vehicles.
The recall affected 36,961 new and used import Toyota and Lexus models, Toyota said yesterday. A possible fault involving the charcoal canister fitted to the fuel tank could cause the canister to crack. ‘‘If the crack is present, is it has the potential to expand and cause a minor fuel leak when the vehicle has a full tank of fuel.’’
Toyota said there had been no reported cases of the fault in New Zealand.