After the election: time to keep the trolley buses, and start planning for light rail

by Lindsay Shelton
The Regional Council has stubbornly ignored public support for the city’s trolley buses. But today it should be expected to start an urgent reconsideration of its unpopular policies, given that two of the partners in the new coalition government are on record as saying the trolley buses should be retained. Read more »

Alexi’s story: helping others to stay housed

alexi

by Lee-Anne Duncan of the Community Comms Collective
Sometimes it’s not just about getting housed, but about staying housed. After spending four years on the street himself, Wellington local Alexi knows what it’s like to be homeless more than most. These days, he’s a proud part of the team at the Downtown Community Ministry who offer a helping hand to taumai at risk of losing their accommodation. Read more »

The rise and fall of WREDA

Wellington.Scoop
The news that WREDA is cutting back its activities to focus on six core ambitions is a reminder of the council-owned organisation’s chequered record over its first three years. Read more »

City icon opening for Heritage Week visits

st-gerards-monastery-exterior

by David Batchelor
Majestically perched over Oriental Bay, St Gerard’s Church and Monastery is an iconic symbol for Wellington and an architectural centre-piece for Mount Victoria. Read more »

Why there’s no reason for getting rid of the trolley buses this year

bus-trolley

by Mike Flinn
We are now in the last weeks of trolleybus operation in Wellington, a situation that the Greater Wellington Regional Council was working towards before 2014. Read more »

The last trolley bus, and some ridiculous claims

by Brent Efford
Despite green opposition, much public indignation and even hints of a legal challenge which came to naught, the official end of Wellington’s electric bus service is set down for 31 October. Read more »

Bad timing – nothing but diesels for the next eight months

Wellington.Scoop
The Regional Council has got its timing askew. It’s ending the trolley bus service eight months before any new buses arrive. During those eight months, Wellington will have nothing except diesel buses. And some of the replacements are old unwanted dungers from Auckland. Read more »

A year in review

by Ian Apperley
A year has passed since the new Wellington City Council was formed. It’s been a year of continued Pollyanna media releases interspersed with smart social media campaigns. However, when you dig below the surface, little has changed, and while there is a great deal of activity underway, tangible outcomes are missing. Read more »

Unfair for bus travellers – but will the regional councillors be listening?

Wellington.Scoop
Though regional councillors have stubbornly ignored public support for the trolley buses, they should be paying attention to concerns about other public transport changes – because the criticism has come from their colleagues at the city council. Read more »

Waikanae and its beautiful birds

birds-waikanae

by Norma McCallum
Quiz question: Where can you sit in a village square not too far away, with a cup of coffee or an award winning pie, and watch seven tui in a kowhai tree? Answer: Waikanae, a 40 minute trip up the new expressway. Read more »

A search for French food

almond-croissant
The croissant aux amandes from Le Moulin.

by Rachel Pommeyrol
When you come from another country, you search for links with home. A French person in Wellington compares the pretend cheeses in supermarkets with the ones in France – first, the local products are expensive, and second, they look fake. Here there’s no difference between what are pretentiously called “brie” and “camembert”. Read more »

Unfairness and bias in proposals to increase bus fares and change routes

by Murray Jaspers
The proposal to introduce a 3 per cent fare increase for public transport is not necessary if the proportion of costs recovered from fares (57 per cent for Wellington commuters) is more fairly aligned with the equivalent recovery of 38 – 44 per cent in Christchurch and Auckland. A move to direct a greater portion of the NZTA public transport grant for local transport to Wellington bus services should be considered. Read more »

What we can learn from Wellington’s sister city – getting moving with light rail

canberra-light-rail
Canberra has hectares of space to build its Light Rail depot

by Neil Douglas
Canberra, Newcastle and Sydney are going ahead with Light Rail and I decided to see the construction work first hand. My first stop was Canberra where build costs are high but where ‘Capital Metro’ is seen as ‘affordable’ and ‘transformational’ by the ACT Government. What can ‘sister’ city Wellington learn? Read more »

Sad about the trolley buses?

bus-advt-1
The top half of today’s strange advertisement from MetLink

by Lindsay Shelton
The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending our money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. Read more »

The future of a Civic Square landmark

civic-admin-closed

Wellington.Scoop
There were reports that it would have to be demolished. But now we’re told that earthquake damage to the city council’s administration building can be repaired at a cost to its insurers of – hold your breath – between $30million and $40million. Read more »

Island Bay and the art of compromise

compromise-island-bay

by Diane Calvert
For various reasons, the Island Bay cycleway on The Parade has been fraught since its inception. If you drive down The Parade you can see why. Read more »

Fish and chips at Shelly Bay

bay-shelly-2

by Diane Calvert
One of the busiest, most challenging and most intense seven days I have spent at the Wellington City Council culminated in Wednesday’s council meeting. Read more »

Suddenly so many cycleways

Wellington.Scoop
Yesterday’s council decision to spend $6m restructuring the Island Bay cycleway is just the tip of a cycling iceberg for Wellington. A total of seven other projects for cyclists are being built or being planned, with the aim of making city cycling safer. Read more »