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Thursday September 28, 2017

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‘The Eagle has landed’ as Rongotai’s post-King era begins Continued from page 1. The party’s members and supporters had gathered at waterfront bar Wharewaka, which saw all its candidates in the greater Wellington area converge for the election night results. Eagle arrived on stage as the MC declared “the Eagle has landed” after Wellington’s deputy mayor secured Rongotai with a preliminary tally of16,983 votes, almost double that of his nearest rival Chris Finlayson. His entrance to Parliament means he will resign from his post in the city council, triggering a by-election in his southern ward. Eagle paid tribute to his predecessor Annette King, who had held the seat since its formation in 1994, for her dedication to Labour over the past 40 years. “I hope I can do the same for Rongotai over the next 24 years at least,” he told a cheering crowd. King was unable to attend as she was in Auckland supporting Jacinda Ardern’s national campaign.

New Rongotai MP Paul Eagle speaks to Labour supporters at the party’s election night headquarters in central Wellington on Saturday. PHOTO: Jamie Adams

Mayor Justin Lester, a Labour member who attended the party’s election-night function, said it would be sad to see Eagle leave Council but wished him all the best in his new role. He believed it was still possible Robertson would be New Zealand’s next finance minister within a few weeks. National’s Finlayson said while the Rongotai result was “totally expected”, he noted that the Greens’ share of the

party vote was noticeably lower than in 2014, which he put down to fallout over the Metiria Turei benefit fraud scandal. “The Greens had a couple of thousand less than last time when the split was the reason National won the party vote,” he said. He said he “thoroughly enjoyed” the good nature of the electoral campaign and was impressed with the Green candidate Teall Crossen, who

he believed was someone of “acute intelligence”. “I don’t know why they didn’t put her higher on the list,” Chris said. Teall said the party was enormously proud of its Rongotai campaign. “We had more volunteers than ever before, enabling us to knock on thousands of doors and talk to voters about issues important to them and I have my amazing campaign team to

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A local pedestrian lobby group want a crossing along Cobham Drive and are frustrated there has been no further action on the matter. Living Streets Representative Ellen Blake said that they would like to see NZTA take care of all road users, not just drivers. “They aren’t looking after pedestrians here at all,” she said. Blake said that although Living

Streets was pleased pedestrians would now have a separate walkway, they wanted slower speeds and a crossing. She said that 21 per cent of Wellingtonians walked to work so it was important that they could do so safely. Wellington City councillor Sarah Free believed that the lack of a crossing was “community severance” for Miramar locals travelling by foot or bike. “There’s a lot of demand and there are people in Miramar

who are completely cut off from walking unless they have to choose an extra half a kilometre or more.” She said that it was only a matter of time before someone else got injured and was determined for the crossing to be actioned. “You can see people waiting on the median strip trying to cross, I’ve seen school children there with their bicycles stuck halfway and they are only intermediate age. It’s just frightening.” A coroner’s report following

the death of a local woman last year is currently being compiled which the council will be contributing to. A spokesperson for Wellington City Council said they were in an “ongoing dialogue with NZTA on the issue of pedestrian safety and the crossing issue”. Neither the Wellington City Council or NZTA would confirm what the next stage in the process could be, leaving locals in the dark as to when or if the crossing would go ahead.



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Cook Strait News 28-09-17  

Cook Strait News 28-09-17

Cook Strait News 28-09-17  

Cook Strait News 28-09-17