The Press editorial today is about what good news the Hagley Oval decision is for everyone. I dunno whether it’s written by the sports team again, but whatever.
In a nuanced and carefully balanced decision, Judge Jane Borthwick and two commissioners of the Environment Court have produced a result that removes any reasoned opposition to Canterbury Cricket’s proposal to develop Hagley Oval.
I take issue with the idea that this “removes any reasoned opposition”. This was a decision in the environmental court, about the potential environmental impacts of it. I can still object to this for a number of reasons that weren’t considered by the Environment Court. One would be principle – that public land should not be given over to private interests. I don’t think that Judge Borthwick was asked to consider this – that is left up to the council. The court was not asked to evaluate the economic plan for this development either.
I realise that objecting to something on principle seems to quite foreign to our sports media, but I don’t consider the environment court permitting this to go ahead with certain conditions to be a removal of all reasoned opposition. For the Press to use this in the opening line of their editorial shows that they’ve either thrown their lot in with Canterbury Cricket, or that “principle” is a somewhat foreign concept to them too. The decision is not actually done yet – it will have to be approved by council. I’d like to think that the Press could try and maintain some semblance of balance in presenting the facts.