Everybody is welcome to make a submission on how The Parade should function in the future
This is Ada. Some people say Ada shouldn't be able to make a submission on the Island Bay Cycleway and the future configuration of The Parade because she lives in Palmerston North. Those people are wrong.
Here's the thing - Ada has two adult granddaughters and five great-grandchildren (aged between 5 and 11) living in Island Bay. So is Ada a stakeholder in the cycleway discussion and the Love the Bay process? Of course she is. In fact, you could say she's got a bigger stake than some Island Bay residents.
One of the more specious arguments during the Island Bay Cycleway debate has been that only Island Bay residents should get a say in the outcome. This recently manifested itself in a demand from the Island Bay Residents Association, supported by Councillor Paul Eagle, that residents should get a weighted 90 per cent of the 'vote', with 10 per cent going to other Wellington City Council constituents.
Aside from the fact that it would be logistically difficult to run a local referendum, and would set a terrible precedent, the example of Ada shows how short-sighted and inappropriate it would be. As the debate rolls on more people, including the council, seem to be beginning to understand that a community isn't defined solely by geographical boundaries but is actually made up of many different communities of place and interest. Communities are often nested within each other and people can live in multiple different communities. In the case of Ada she may not live in the place of Island Bay but she certainly has a legitimate interest in it.
As far as I'm concerned you have a legitimate interest in the discussion if any of the following apply to you:
I'm sure there are many more but you get the point. Just about anybody living in Wellington, and many people from further afield, are stakeholders in this discussion.
Are you local? Many different stakeholders have an interest in the cycleway discussion
Thankfully, in the approach to the final consultation just announced by WCC there appears to be no place for any parochialism. In fact, Councillor Diane Calvert, the City Council’s Community Planning and Engagement Portfolio Leader, is keen to emphasise that the consultation submission process is not a vote that will determine the cycleway option result – however it does aim to give the mayor and councillors a good sense of community preferences and feedback on options.
“Ultimately my colleagues and I will consider a broad range of information - including feedback from the many different communities interested in the outcome - decide what weight we apply to officers’ recommendations and hold responsibility for the final decision.”
So, as a resident of Island Bay, and a freshly minted member of the Island Bay Residents Association (it's true!) I would like to personally invite you to make a submission when the final consultation begins on Monday 31 July. The more submissions there are to help councillors make a fully informed decision the better. The only qualification you need is having an interest and something thoughtful and constructive to say. Submissions close two weeks later on Sunday 13 August. Check back here on 31 July for links etc.