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Newlands Fire Brigade is important to the local community. The Wellington City Council is proposing to shut down the Newlands Fire Station to make way for public toilets.

That’s not good enough. I’ve started a petition to keep the Newlands station in Newlands, which you can add your name to here: 

I wrote to the responsible Minister, Tracey Martin, who refused to intervene, and to the Mayor, seeking support. If the Brigade is relocated to the Johnsonville station, they’ll be relegated to being a support act for all callouts in their own community.

This isn’t the first time that we’ve had this issue. Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ), formerly the Fire Service, tried to close the Newlands Fire Station in 2003. Peter Dunne fought to keep it open and won. Now they’re trying again. That isn’t what the community wants, or needs. Northeast of Newlands lies a large housing growth opportunity for Wellington. Lincolnshire Farm will accommodate 10,000 homes, along with a significant commercial area. 

Where’s the sense in moving response capability further away from the area? There’s a lot of uncertainty around coronavirus and its impacts. It’s clear, however, that it will have significant economic impacts. The Government should be acting to protect jobs, instead of threatening them.

People are better off remaining in work and we want businesses to be able to respond as conditions improve. In the meantime, I encourage you to heed Ministry of Health advice and take sound precautionary contact and hygiene measures that will help to limit the spread and health

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