The Greater Wellington Regional Council's inaugural Environmental Awards have just been announced. And among the winners, one stands out: the inner-city bypass project team. WTF?!
Granted, they won the very specific Nikau Compliance Award for "consent holders who are using innovative approaches to proactively exceed their compliance requirements to reduce or avoid adverse effects on the environment", and apparently they won "for their innovative measures taken to deal with groundwater and the treatment of stormwater". That's all very well, and I've got nothing against innovative water management, but this is a stunning example of not seeing the wood for the trees. Giving an environmental award to a project that poured millions of dollars and a huge amount of embedded energy into razing a neighbourhood and encouraging private car use just seems like a laughable exercise in greenwashing.