Wānaka Sun       

MacLeod wiped from anti-airport membership group

Posted at 6:00am Thursday 06 Feb, 2020 | By Emma Conyngham editor@thewanakasun.co.nz

Councillor Calum MacLeod was the recipient of an abrupt dismissal from his membership to the Wānaka Stakeholders Group this week. 

“Members of our core team were looking through membership data recently, and the fact that you are a member of WSG was raised.  After brief discussion, we've agreed that you should be removed as a member of WSG, largely because of your current role on Council and the fact that you are not a supporter of WSG (by your own admission).  You have also not been receiving all member communications in recent months. Our membership coordinator has been asked to take you off the list today,” said the letter from Wānaka Stakeholders Group chair, Michael Ross.   

In response, MacLeod said, “It is simply disappointing. The message it sends about exclusion versus inclusion is clear and sad to see. To my knowledge I have never declared I am ‘not a supporter of WSG.”

He continued, “I am neither for, nor against the development of the Wānaka Airport. I have simply said —  on the hustings — that what we needed to do at Wānaka Airport was to move ahead very carefully!”

“It is a sign of the times and the oversimplification of issues which stifles debate into absolutes of in or out, black or white, right or wrong. This is an extension of this negative polarity and in our wee piece of paradise is not only disappointing — it is extremely troubling!”

During the recent election, MacLeod stated in his candidate statement to the Wānaka Sun that he was ‘neutral' in regards to airport development. He went on to say, “There are however private jets flying from Wānaka Airport now? It should depend on robust, independent, on-going analysis of what is least impactful. I am opposed to International wide-bodied jets landing at Wānaka Airport. I am strongly opposed to Wānaka Airport becoming the default ‘fix' for Queenstown Airport's noise boundary and capacity issues.”



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