Ten post-quake questions for Justin Lester


by Lindsay Shelton
In the days after the mid-November earthquake, the Wellington City Council was exemplary with daily, even twice-daily information releases. But its openness lasted for only a week. Since then, it’s stopped telling us what’s going on in the city. Leaving many unanswered questions. Here are ten of them, for Mayor Justin Lester to answer. Read more »

Enforcing the rules, even after a quake


I’ve been reading that the earthquake has left Wellington without about 3,000 carparks, primarily due to parking building closures in the CBD. And coupled with the dislocation as businesses and government agencies are displaced from closed office buildings, there’s been noticeable pressure on parking. But rather than taking steps to ease the problem, the Wellington City Council has been rigidly enforcing time limits and issuing tickets. In short, putting revenue ahead of recovery. Read more »

Will they roll over and accept him?

by Gordon Campbell
The resignation of John Key is one thing. The way that Key and his deputy Bill English have screwed the scrum on the leadership succession vote (due on December 12) is something else again. Read more »

Building back better – how the quake creates opportunities for CentrePort

by Daran Ponter
The Port of Wellington (Centreport) is a strategic asset vital for Wellington’s trade with the world. But after damage from the 14 November earthquake, it is appropriate to ask what is the recovery plan, and how can the port be made more responsive to Wellingtonians. Read more »

All talk and no action: why we’re falling behind the Australians

Taking a break from the earthquakes, a recent trip to Australia demonstrated how lacklustre the Wellington City Council has been at getting to grips with climate change in the transport sector. Instead of the burgeoning electric car charging infrastructure and cycle-share schemes that are a feature of Australia’s cities, Wellington looks like it’s in the emissions dark ages – after six years of a Green mayor and a left-leaning council. What’s gone wrong? Read more »

Trouble at the port

Photo: CentrePort

CentrePort has been slow to admit the serious results of last week’s earthquake. But the facts are at last coming out. Read more »

One new building … well, actually two

bowen st parlt bldg

by Lindsay Shelton
Parliament’s Speaker announced yesterday that there’s to be a new building behind Parliament House to provide offices for MPs and their staff. But then he released images showing that not just one but two new buildings are to be constructed. Read more »

Communications breakdown

coms breakdown

by Lindsay Shelton
These council recycling bags have been on our street for the last eight days. They’re a reminder that the city council’s message about fortnightly collections isn’t getting through to everybody.
Read more »

Statistics, our economy, and a hot spot

by Ian Apperley
After the council released a press statement stating that economic growth in Wellington was 2.7% over the last 12 months, I was keen to understand what that meant. The Office of the Mayor sent me the full report. There are some interesting statistics. Read more »

Communications and credibility

by Lindsay Shelton
The Hutt City Council said last night that the Queensgate cinemas and part of the carpark must be demolished. But initially the Queensgate management company didn’t seem so certain. It said a decision wouldn’t be made till till “later today.” Read more »

Fixing Cuba Street

cuba 1

by Lindsay Shelton
Everyone loves Cuba Street, but everyone knows that too many of its heritage buildings haven’t yet been strengthened. Last week’s quake should be forcing people to take the subject seriously. Read more »

Keeping them in Wellington

by Peter Dunne
In the wake of the earthquakes it was probably inevitable that someone would suggest government agencies be shifted out of Wellington to make them safe. It is the sort of populist drivel one can expect at a time like this. Read more »

Where’s the deal?

movie museum

by Lindsay Shelton
What’s happened to the city council’s plan to build a Movie Museum for Peter Jackson? The council expected its agreement to be given the go-ahead by the end of this month. But nothing has yet been announced. Read more »

Signs of stress, and how to cope

by Ian Apperley
A few days after the 7.8 quake, signs of stress are starting show through with some people. It’s important to recognise this and to find appropriate support. Read more »

Not so unreal

by Lindsay Shelton
It seemed unreal when early reports said that 60 city buildings were damaged. But as the week brought more details every day, the total has become easier to believe, but not easier to accept. Read more »

PCGM: The (puzzling) state of the city

As aftershocks rumble across the capital, it’s becoming apparent that the damage from the (upgraded) 7.8 earthquake is more extensive than first realised. According to reports, more than 60 buildings have suffered damage, some of it severe. But given the size of the event, the city has escaped remarkably lightly – the rubble is not piled in the streets, nor are there casualties queued at the hospital. Read more »

PCGM: Open for business? Not so much

Walking around the CBD and the waterfront in the pouring rain yesterday, it was pretty apparent that the city has taken a serious blow from the 7.5 earthquake south of us. The damage was there for everyone to see – from smashed glass to discombobulated pedestrian bridges, and signs everywhere that buildings were closed because they may be unsafe. So why was the council rushing to say that the CBD was open for business, when clearly it wasn’t even close to being true? Read more »

Ian Apperley: Protecting Wellington from earthquakes

by Ian Apperley
I seem to have a habit of waking up just before earthquakes. Always have, and I’ve been in a lot. Last night’s wasn’t the strongest I have experienced, but it certainly came in the top three. What does it mean for Wellington and what can we do to protect ourselves from future quakes? Read more »