“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)