We’ve been busy!
Since you last heard from us, we’ve met with the CODC mayor Tim Cadogan, Chair of the Cromwell Community Board, Anna Paterson, and also with the CODC Chief Executive Officer and the head of the Planning Dept. We canassure you that no applications for consent have yet been received from the airport company (CIAL). We will know if applications are made. We also attended an open session of Council where Michael Singleton presented the latest on CIAL’s airport planning. There was nothing new, and still no openness about what their long-term vision for Tarras is. 

Christchurch City Council - democracy wins
Last week, Christchurch City Council met to finalise instructions to their council owned businesses, including CIAL.  The discussion was to be in closed session, and many were surprised when councillors voted 8 to 6 to hold the discussion in public.

The discussion had been delayed 2 months as the council wanted to talk directly to the CIAL senior management about the issues raised by Tarras and others regarding the secrecy surrounding the Tarras proposal.
The result of the discussion was a ‘Letter of Expectation” from the CCC to Christchurch City Holding Ltd, the umbrella company for all CCC owned businesses. 
One councillor (Yani Johanson) argued that there needed to be more openness to the Tarras community about the airport proposal and was the only one to vote against the letter.  He did get one change approved which was an agreement to have stronger council governance of council businesses, to be debated 25-Feb-2021. 

More information about this process can be found on our Facebook page and at:https://christchurch.infocouncil.biz/Open/2021/01/CNCL_20210128_MAT_5350.PDF

Community meetings: schedule for 2021
CIAL have said they will shortly communicate their plans to the community, and one of our members was told CIAL will hold ‘open days within the next month or so”. Keep your eyes and ears open for date and place. 

Sustainable Tarras will hold more community hub meetings to listen to what you havebeen told and your concerns, as well as keep the community updated with what we are hearing around the district. 

We are also very interested in community ideas to help make Tarras vibrant.
Whether a clean up of the Lindis, or an electric car charger at the Tarras store, drop us an email or call if you have a great idea we can start working on.  

There is much more to Tarras and our future than whether we do or don’t have an airport. 

We can do this!
It’s easy to feel we are powerless in the face of a large enterprise, but New Zealand case law tells us that community opinion really does matter.  Here’s an example.
Okura Holdings v. Auckland City Council (Decision No (2018)NZ EnvCo87) 

Okura Holdings, part of the Todd family interests, sought a plan change from Rural to Residential over 130 ha of land on a beautiful isthmus adjacent to Long Bay, Auckland. This land has much history as an early season fishing place and as a transportation route for Māori. The land is immediately adjacent to Okura Scenic Reserve, and together with the North Bank of the estuary (Dacre Point) has significant natural landscape and biodiversity values.

Okura Holdings planned an intensive development of 1,999- odd residential dwellings, and considered that it could be managed sustainably. 

The opposition, made up of the Long Bay Okura Protection Society and the Okura Rural Landowners Group (both small local groups - won the case in the Environment Court on their serious challenge to all the relevant Part 2 Matters of the RMA. 

Keep in touch
Media articles and other information we gather about the airport proposal is regularly posted on the Tarras website at http://tarras.org.nz.  Click on the blue airplane. We are about to load some flight paths and also exclusion/no fly zones around the airport (where drone flight would not be possible.

We also post regular information on our Facebook page, which you can find here: https://www.facebook.com/SustainableTarras 


What is Sustainable Tarras?
We’ve formed an incorporated society called Sustainable Tarras Inc, because we didn’t want to be just about opposing an airport.  Our vision is about making our valley a better place to be, for ourselves, our families and for all who pass through.
More information on the society next week, in the meantime some updates on our questions and challenges around the proposed airport.

“Flying blind” around the airport plans - Tarras in the news
The committee sent a deputation to Christchurch City Council on Wednesday last week.  The Council owns 75% of Christchurch International Airport (CIAL) and this was an opportunity to push them to release the plan for the airport at Tarras
On Thursday, the council finance committee:
…….   requested an urgent confidential briefing with Christchurch City Holdings Ltd and Christchurch International Airport Ltd with regards to the matters raised in the deputations relating to the proposed Tarras Airport development, as soon as possible in the new year, 2021.
This attracted quite a bit of media attention on Radio NZ; TVNZ and newspapers. (http://tarras.org.nz/airport.html has the full list and our recent presentation is at https://councillive.ccc.govt.nz/video/9595 )
One of our main points was that we need to see what the airport plan looks like before we can comment sensibly on the proposal.  We especially want to hear from CIAL what benefits the proposal may have for the local Tarras community.

CIAL representatives to meet with CODC this Wednesday 9th
CIAL will be presenting to the CODC councillors in open session at 10.30am this Wednesday in Alexandra.  It is a public meeting, and we will have some people there.
The topic is the airport plan. It should be an interesting meeting and for those who can’t attend, we’ll provide a summary.

Next update – we can do this!
Local community sessions have started and we’re getting great feedback & ideas.  We’ll include a schedule of meetings in the next update and some themes we’ve heard from you. Our next update will be in about a week.  Any questions or comments on what you’d like to see in these emails, please email marilyn@maoripoint.co.nz


The Tarras community urgently convened a meeting on Sunday to address the implications of a proposed International Airport at Tarras Central Otago.
There was unanimous agreement that this was a matter of national rather than just local concern. The major concern was evident lack of due process. For example Christchurch International Airport Ltd is 25% owned by the Crown and 75% by Christchurch City Council. What did the government know about this proposal?
There are many other open questions including climate change, sustainable tourism, the funding trail and the legality of the whole process.
A public meeting will be held at 7pm on Wednesday 29th July, at the Tarras Community Hall, to which members of national and local government, and a representative of Christchurch International Airport are also invited.

Tarras Community Trust

Letter from Mike Singleton 27.7.20
Christchurch Airport project leader for Central Otago project

My name is Michael Singleton and I will be leading the Central Otago project for Christchurch Airport.
Our team has passed your correspondence on to me.
I look forward to meeting with you in the way you feel most comfortable, but I'd like to explain why the public meeting you suggest might not work at this stage.

We appreciate news of our acquisition of land at Tarras came as a surprise to many. I must be unapologetic about that. Confidentiality was necessary through the land acquisition stage, otherwise we simply would not have been able to get to the start line. However, having acquired the land we wanted to be open about our project as soon as possible.

We want to introduce ourselves and openly discuss our project with everyone in the community, before we begin any detailed planning. This might not be what you expect from us, but we believe it is the right way to begin. We want to listen, reflect back what we have heard and then factor that into our timing, design and approach. We are not in any hurry for those next steps. Formal consultation processes will happen, but they will happen much later. For now our focus is on conversation.

The advantage of these conversations is to provide us with the chance to hear directly from people, to help inform and shape the best way for us to deliver information as we develop the various pieces we will, of course, share once they are formed.

There are therefore two reasons why we are hesitant about your public meeting. First, we are simply much earlier in the project than you suspect. The documents you identify in your agenda simply have not been created yet. Second, public meetings work well when someone has something to impart, but we are not sure they work well as a way of listening to everyone's views.
Often, only the loudest voices get heard. We'd rather start by listening to everyone in the way they feel comfortable, which is why we're not convinced a public meeting is the right way to start.

What I think might work better is to meet with you, and others, individually, to introduce myself and the project, then take it from there. I'm sure we will have public meetings in the future.