The Wellington Town Belt will grow by 120 hectares after the passing today of the Wellington Town Belt Bill, Labour MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson says.
“The Town Belt is loved by Wellingtonians as a green and open space that surrounds our city. I am very proud to have been the sponsor of this legislation on behalf of the Wellington City Council. Since it was first envisioned land has been lost to the protection, but under this legislation there is now a mechanism to add land, and on passing 120 hectares will immediately come under the protections of the Town Belt.
“The legislation provides a transparent statutory basis for managing the Town Belt. It will protect and enhance the green space. It clarifies the definition of its purpose to be a public recreation ground. This emphasises the retention of public access and open spaces. That must remain fundamental to the way the Town Belt is managed.
“The Bill also establishes that the Town Belt will be managed in partnership with Mana Whenua and include community participation. This recognises that land included in the Town Belt was in the hands of local iwi prior to its creation and that has been acknowledged in Treaty settlements.
“Today marks a real milestone in the protection of what has been called the ‘lungs of the city’. A huge number of people, including Councillors, Council staff, the Friends of the Town Belt and residents of Wellington can take credit for their hard work to see this legislation passed. It is a great day for the city and people of Wellington,” Grant Robertson says.