Kia ora, hello Mt Cook and inner Wellington residents

June 13, 2007 at 12:23 am | Posted in Introduction | 2 Comments

A growing number of people want to work together to ensure facilities in our community are preserved or thoughtfully developed.

This weblog is a place for Mt Cook people, and the wider community, to find and to publicise information, make comment and put forward ideas on issues that effect us all.

Presently those issues include:

  • the threat to TSW swim school and pool facility
  • the proposal to divert the Buckle St section of the motorway extension to run alongside Mt Cook School’s playing field and classrooms, to allow for the development of a park in front of the War Memorial
  • road safety issues in Mt Cook, particularly at the intersections of Buckle and Taranaki Sts, and Buckle and Tory/Tasman Sts. A large supermarket and service station in Tasman St would exacerbate these traffic problems

The feelings of this writer are that there are other, more creative and community-friendly answers to these problems than those presently suggested by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and Foodstuffs.

Please add to this site.
You can place comment with links to other sites that may be of interest to others, or express your ideas on town planning, children’s fitness and health, community development, history, roading design, ideas about lobbying and campaigning, research, whatever. NB. If you want to make more than a passing comment – write an article, publish references or explore an issue in depth with others, go to the related mtcookmobilised wiki (a quick editable website).

Presently two issues are of particular interest and urgency, and both effect the welfare of our children:

First, the threat to TSW Swim School in Tasman St.
Recently the families of children who swim at TSW Swim School were notified that TSW will close in December 2007. In its place Foodstuffs, the owners of the site, intend to build a 6000sqm supermarket, a service station, and apartments. As yet they do not have resource consent for this development.

The proposed Pak ‘N Save supermarket will front Rugby, Tasman and Belfast Sts. Not only will this development mean a greatly increased volume of traffic in the surrounding streets, it will also mean Wellington loses a dedicated swim school.

Scott Wilson, who currently rents the pool from Foodstuffs, said (Dominion Post, Monday June 11):
“In some supermarket and mall-type developments in Australia, they do have designated swimming schools … and we tried to show them [Foodstuffs] the benefits of that.”

The other issue is the proposal to divert Buckle St to run alongside Mt Cook School’s boundary.
This is to allow for a memorial park to be built in front of the War Memorial site.

Representatives from the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Wellington City Council, the Mt Cook School board and some Mt Cook School parents have had discussions about this. A summary of these meetings will follow.

Sharon Murdoch
(Mt Cook resident, Mt Cook School parent, TWS user)

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2 Comments »

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  1. I was really saddened to receive my letter informing me of the TSW swim school closure . Both my girls have learned to swim there and we have used the facilities at the YMCA over the years also, as have many other parents I know. I can’t belive the reasoning behind pulling down well utilised community based reasource to erect yet another supermarket. I am very concerned about the traffic implications on our walk to Mt Cook School everyday, which has become progressivly more dangerous with the new bypass road through Buckle Street , i hate to think what its going to be like when they move the road right next to the school & erect the supermarket in Tasman Street. Have they considered the safety of our kids at all ?? WCC will be leaving a pretty crappy legacy for future generations if this proposed development goes ahead.

  2. Hi everyone,

    Regarding the Buckle St Memorial Park
    1. I think a Memorial Park is a great idea. However, the design needs to be “the best outcome for users” (to quote the Ministry of Culture and Heritage representative) – and the majority of users are those in the surrounding community, and in particular, the 180 children at Mt Cook School, who are there 200 days a year (rather than the dozen or so days a year it’s used for public events).
    2. I agree entirely that traffic safety is a huge concern: whatever gets done needs to include design and facilities which reduce traffic hazards for the school children and other community users
    3. My greatest concern is air pollution.
    – traffic pollution in this case cannot be mitigated or blocked: none of the mitigation options offered by the Ministry of the Enviroment (http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/air/assessing-discharges-land-transport-jun06/html/page13.html) apply here . Trees, walls, etc. are good and necessary for reducing noise, but make no difference whatsoever to localised hour-by-hour air pollution levels.
    – The Ministry of Culture and Heritage website shows the new road being about 10m from the school rather than the current 40m or so. According to Ministry of the Enviroment formulae (http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/air/assessing-discharges-land-transport-jun06/html/page16.html), this will increase the concentrations of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and small particles (PM10) by 260% each.
    – In study after study, traffic pollution has been shown to damage children’s respiratory health, and the higher the exposure, the worse the effects. In particular, traffic pollution exacerbates asthma. Truck traffic is particularly bad. Furthermore, a recent study suggests traffic pollution exposure in children can cause permanent, life shortening lung damage. I have a long list of references for these, rather too long to include here right now, though I might manage a summary later. However, the Ministry of the Environment site on air pollution cited earlier has some general information worth looking at – in Wellington, particle concentrations already cause an estimated 79 premature deaths, 30 hospitalisations and 100,000 person days of restricted activity per year (http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/air/nes-air-standards-analysis/html/table1.html)


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