28 Mar 2015

Councils to fund half of runway extension

1:12 pm on 28 March 2015

Wellington's regional councils have agreed to cover half the cost of an airport runway extension.

Wellington airport runway.

Wellington airport runway. Photo: WIAL

A runway extension of at least 300 metres is needed to open the airport to international travel, with the potential to add up to $2 billion in economic benefits.

The regional mayoral forum, which includes the mayors of Wellington region's eight territorial local authorities and the Chair of the Greater Wellington Regional Council, met yesterday and signed off on funding of up to $150 million.

Wellington deputy mayor Justin Lester said his council would fund up to $90 million.

"That recognises the direct benefits to Wellington but it's also a reflection that the majority of the population lives in Wellington city so we want to pro rata the costs and spread it across all of the Wellington region and we form the lion's share of that."

Mr Lester said the airport would apply for resource consent later this year which would be valid for 15 years.

Upper Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy said he was confident the Wellington region would benefit from an international airport.

"The benefits far outweigh the negatives and if you think what in the next 50 years if we didn't do it, then that doesn't paint a very prosperous picture for the middle part of the country and the Wellington region."

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