What’s happened to the movie museum?


by Lindsay Shelton
It’s now a year since the Wellington City Council voted to spend $150million to build Peter Jackson’s movie museum, with a convention centre on the top floor. A year later, there’s no explanation of why work hasn’t started. Read more »

Such a strange city for a stranger


by Rachel Pommeyrol
“You can’t live here by chance, you have to do and be, not simply watch or even describe. This is the city of action, the world headquarters of the verb.” This sentence by kiwi poet Lauris Edmond welcomes the foreigner in front of the sea. The foreigner feels instructed to discover everything the city has to offer. Read more »

Can heritage buildings be ugly?

by Christine McCarthy
Can ugly buildings be heritage? This question responds to the idea that ugliness (“ugly,” “eyesore,” “hideous,” “concrete monolith,” “North Korean flat,” etc.) is a reason why the Gordon Wilson Flats should not be saved, while appreciating that for many the Gordon Wilson Flats is not ugly. Read more »

Saving the Gordon Wilson Flats


by Ben Schrader
It has long been a strategy among owners of heritage buildings who want them demolished to claim that they have little historic value, have minimal architectural merit, or are earthquake risks and too costly to fix – often all three. The Town Hall, VUW’s Hunter Building and the Harcourts Building were all considered write-offs before it was discovered they weren’t. Read more »

Slow as well as late – the Wairarapa trains


by Neil Douglas
Greater Wellington Regional Council has been slowing the trains down since taking charge of the timetable. It now takes five minutes longer to travel into Wellington from Masterton than it did in 2004 when Tranz Rail (as part of Toll Holdings) ran the service and did the timetable. And it takes six minutes longer to travel home again. Read more »

Putting the boot into public transport


Not content with merely neglecting Wellington’s public transport users, the Greater Wellington Regional Council appears to be pulling out the stops to force commuters out of the buses and trains, and back into cars. In a world where climate change is rapidly becoming a reality and congestion is expected to begin choking the city once Transmission Gully is complete, the council has decided that a fare increase for public transport is the order of the day. Read more »

After the trolley buses: only ten electric buses next year (then ten more in 2020)

As the Regional Council pushes ahead with its plan to get rid of Wellington’s 60 trolley buses before Christmas, Tranzit has announced that there will be 10 electric double-decker buses in its 234-strong fleet next year. Read more »

Film festival diary: Agnes Varda at 88


by Lindsay Shelton
“I’m still fighting. I don’t know how much longer, but I’m still fighting a struggle, which is to make cinema alive and not just make another film.” Read more »

The best in the world … peerless


by Lindsay Shelton
New Zealanders are too often prone to claim achievements that are said to be “world-class.” This claim, however, is undeniable when it is applied to the work of Weta Digital in Miramar. Read more »

Film festival diary: realities on screen


by Lindsay Shelton
Film Festival movies this week have been succeeding in persuading us to believe in alternative realities created by the film-makers. Read more »

Too high and too wide


by Lindsay Shelton
Submissions about a city-council-approved plan for another new building on the waterfront are stating concerns that the building will be too high. Read more »

Film festival diary: truth, lies, deception


by Michael C Barnett
The NZ International Film Festival is in full swing this week and next, with many promising movies to be seen. I saw two excellent documentaries over the weekend, both focusing on power and corruption in high places. The second was ‘All Governments Lie: Truth Deception and the Spirit of I.F. Stone.’ There are two more chances to see it. Read more »

The battle for Wellington


by Michael C Barnett
The NZ International Film Festival got underway in Wellington at the weekend with a showing of ‘Citizen Jane: Battle for the City.’ It is an excellent film about Jane Jacobs, writer and political activist, who challenged New York City Hall and won – a victory which has immediate relevance for Wellington. Read more »

Film festival diary: Top of the Lake


Nicole Kidman and Jane Campion’s daughter Alice Englert in Top Of The Lake. Photograph: See-Saw Films, Holdings Pty Ltd

by Lindsay Shelton
Jane Campion was given a long ovation at the film festival on Saturday afternoon, even before she had started to speak. It was the warmest of welcomes from a home town audience in the Embassy Theatre – 600 of us, ready to spend six hours viewing her latest production. Read more »

Not just future-proofing – why light rail should be an option for Wellington

On the Gold Coast, the new Light Rail Stage 1 is proving popular amongst locals and tourists. Stage 2 is now being built to link to Brisbane Airport for the Commonwealth Games.

Frankfurt’s Light rail is so popular that a second generation system has been introduced in the last 12 months. There’s a larger version of this photo at the end of the article.

A strong case for considering light rail in Wellington has been made by four transport experts. They presented it this week to consultants for the Let’s Get Welly Moving project. Here’s what they said. Read more »

A Green credibility problem

As Ian Apperley has rightly noted, the election season is beginning to get into full swing in the city. And for the Greens, Wellington is a bellwether for how they can be expected to perform on the national stage, because the Wellington Central electorate has consistently delivered a higher percentage of the party vote to the Greens than anywhere else in the country. Read more »

Who’s listening to the nurses?

by Lindsay Shelton
Nurses at Wellington Hospital are alarmed, upset, shocked and disappointed by the resignation of chief executive Debbie Chin. Is anyone paying attention to their concerns? Read more »

A good guide to bad politics

by Ian Apperley
As we head toward the general election, we’ve yet to see the Wellington candidates come to the fore. Wellington seems to be missing from the agenda so far; however we can be sure that as we approach the magical date it will warm up. Read more »