Last month the Wainuiomata Community Board approved a licence ‘in principal’ for a regional Rifle Range to be established at the old Wainuiomata Landfill site. The Hutt Valley Shooting Association (HVSA) will now do some further costings on the project and apply for consent.
Some very fair and legitimate concerns have been raised by the Wainuiomata Golf Club and local residents who operate/live in the proximity of the proposed Rifle Range. I just want to take this opportunity to ensure these stakeholders that significant sound testing will occur, and a consent will only be granted if the noise is able to be kept to a reasonable limit. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet the Hutt Valley Shooting Association team, and it’s clear in my mind that they want to be good neighbours in the area and be a part of the hub of outdoor activities that are currently on offer down the Coast Road.
While the rifle range is likely to create some noise even with a consent, this needs to be weighed up against the significant benefits and opportunities it will create for Wainuiomata. The HVSA have a ‘sportsville’ like concept in mind where the range would be a regional facility for Rifle Clubs from across Wellington. Both regional and national events are expected to be held on site, which will bring hundreds of people into Wainuiomata.
I’m not really a gun enthusiast, but this proposal has me really excited. Sit back for a moment and have a think about what we actually offer down the coast…Rimutaka Forest Park, free roaming Kiwis, Quad Biking, a Seal Colony, Baring Head, Black Sand Beach, Fishing, Rock Climbing, Horse Riding, Swimming Holes, Wellington’s #1 Golf Course, Camp Wainui, Pencarrow Lodge, Home Stays… and the list goes on. Who would have thought our old Landfill would join the list as a regional attraction!
As a community our biggest challenge will be capitalising on what this project offers. Currently we aren’t the best at snapping up the opportunities that our great outdoors offer us, but I’m glad to report that we are working on this as we speak.
We must welcome HVSA into Wainuiomata with open arms. They are looking to invest a significant sum into getting this project off the ground, and they are very keen to work with the wider community. This will be another asset that helps put Wainuiomata on the map.