Topic: City Council backs Rolleston scheme

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The development of Rolleston as a satellite city was endorsed by the Christchurch City Council last evening. The endorsement was carried on strictly party lines by nine Labour votes to six Citizens but one Labour councillor Cr D. F. Caygill, who had spoken against the project, left the chamber before a division was called.

The council had been asked to debate the official committee report, but Sir Robert Macfarlane moved that the council endorse the project. He was seconded by Cr M. McG. Clark.

Sir Robert Macfarlane said the project had "strictly a party matter" because the National Party conference had "almost to a man opposed Rolleston." One adjacent local body had already endorsed the project unanimously, he said.Cr J. V. L. R. Garter said the report was a "sugar-coated document" lacking in information. There was no suggestion how any of the services such as water supply, sewerage and  transport would be supplied or run. 

The composition of the commitee which drew up the report was unfortunate. Ministry of Works members were involved and the Ministry had made mistakes at Otara and Porirua.  "I personally believe Rolleston will not be in the interests of Chrisfchurch and there is nothing in this document to change my mind on the desiralblity of Rolleston city" he said.  Cr  D. F. Caygill, a Labour councillor, said there were other areas in desperate need of regional development and Rolleston might divert much needed money and expertise from these areas.


"This sort of development direction  is desperately wanted on the  West Coast, Dunedin and many other areas," he said. There was also the problem of the proximity of Rolleston to Christchurch, and the effect it would have on the city.  "There will be a motor-way between Rolleston and Christhurch for sure, because of the traffic, generated by people coming from Rolleston to Christchurch for their entertainment and their commerce, and perhaps, in the initial stages, for their employment. "It will be much harder for Christchurch to be against motorways if Rolleston goes ahead."


Cr Caygill said there should be ample opportunity given to the public to debate the principle of the town itself. Cr H. L. Garrett said it was not a political issue. The City Council's own independent advisory committee, initiated by Cr Clark to advise the council on urban redevelopment, had recommended that Rolleston City be not proceeded with. Cr Clark proclaimed the independence of that committee and yet she is not prepared: to acknowledge the wisdom of its decision on Rolleston" said Cr Garrett. "This council has an urban-renewal programme of its own, all of which is very urgent. It is ridiculous that we should support the artificial new development of Rolleston before these ancient, decaying areas are redeveloped."

Effect on ratepayers:


CR H. G. Hay said he applauded Cr Caygill for his courage in opposing the scheme. It is not a political question, but one of common sense," he said. "Our concern is how this will affect our city and our ratepayers. There is nothing in the report to indicate these effects."This is a metropolitan interest because our adjacent local bodies are very much interlocked in this far too close to Christchurclh other than a dormitory  "Even now no-one knows for sure how big this village, or city or whatever, will be. But the question of size is a very importants one. It was difficult to see people and industry would develop unless of course it is all socialised - and I wouldn'l put that past the Government."

Cr P. D. Dunbar said every person had a different opinion and conception of the Rolleston scheme, 'We cannot debate the report because it is based on a principle we have not itself debated. He referred to the earlier reference  by Sir Robert Macfarlane that Rolleston had been recommended as a city 40 years ago by Mr L. C. Walker.


And Mr L. C. Walker also suggested filling in Lake Ellesmere, and populating it with 20,000 Chinese," said Cr Dunbar.


The Mayor (Mr N. G. Pickering) said there was development at Rolleston now. "The point is either you control the development there, or else you stop it. If it is "left to the individuals you are going to have a town in Rolleston anyway" he said. But it will not be a developed and planned town. Criticism of Rolleston was shortsighted" he said. The opposition does not know what planning is, and never did.

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City Council backs Rolleston scheme by Selwyn Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License