Final hearing to save Stockade Hill views

More than 200 people turned up to the Final Hearing to save Stockade Hill views.

“The Fencible Hall was filled to overflowing on Monday 16th  with Howickians  determined to make the community feeling clear on preserving  Stockade Hill’s 360 degree views and  anxious to know what the Council would reply to the questions posed by the three  Hearing Commissioners who will make the final judgement on the fate  of Stockade Hill views. There was no right of reply permitted from Howick Ratepayers and Residents Asssociation nor from any other  previous submitters.

Before 9.30 am the chairs were quickly filled with old and young leaving standing room three or four deep only around the walls

The Defensibles,  the young arm of our Stockade Hill outreach brought their banners and seven boards filled with notes in blue and green  from local people about the value of the Stockade Hill views to them personally.These  made  a colourful display outside the hall before the Hearing and were brought in an placed around the walls during the Hearing so no Commissioner could be left in any doubt about the passion we all feel about protecting Stockade Hill views

The   inadequate  sound system brought murmurs of disapproval from the crowd unable to hear the Council’s responses Finally, the somewhat agitated chairperson Robert Scott adjourned the meeting till the microphones were fixed.

Questioned  about identifying a particular viewpoint  or hill south of Stockade Hill with heritage value  to vindicate 360 degree views the “Heritage Expert” on the Council was unable to give an answer as no study had been undertaken A number of other questions elicited vague responses from the Council experts.

Finally the Commissioner, not entirely satisfied, brought the hearing to a close with the comment that the hearing was adjourned not necessarily closed and that he and his colleagues would deliberate during the next week and inform us whether a decision was imminent or not

Howickians will be holding their breath until that decision is made  public and final.”

– Gayleen Mackereth (Chair HRRA)