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Three Dunedin teens have labelled plans to build an international airport at Tarras as "evil".
The 16-year-olds, representing School Strike 4 for Climate spoke at the last full meeting of the Central Otago District Council for the year yesterday before a presentation to the council from Christchurch International Airport Ltd (CIAL) executives.
Logan Park High School pupils Sophie Davison and Liam Scaife, and Hailey Xavier, of Kavanagh College, talked about the environmental impacts of the proposed airport CIAL announced in July, after buying a 750ha chunk of Central Otago farmland for $45million.
Liam called the planned airport "an act of evil".
"Every member of this council must vote against this report."
Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan thanked the teens for coming and asked deputy mayor Neil Gillespie to clarify the process.
"At this stage there’s nothing for us to consider," Cr Gillespie said.
Environmental Justice Otepoti member Fiona Clements cited Covid as a reason the development should not go ahead.
"This type of expansion in this area is not the type of growth we need to be looking to."
CIAL project director Michael Singleton said it was
"at the start of a long journey".
The "horizon" was a minimum of 10 years but could be 20 to 30 years away.
At this point CIAL was at the "engagement stage" with the community.
CIAL sustainability general manager Rhys Boswell said mitigating environmental impacts was "part of our DNA".
Advances in aviation technology meant electric, hydrogen-powered, and other alternative energy aircraft were a real possibility by the time the airport was operational, he said.
The council accepted the report.