Archive for the 'Opinion' Category

Big election issues, or trivia?

Back in the mists of time – say, 2010 or so – Wellington’s mayoralty and council hopefuls seemed inclined to campaign and then act on the big issues for the city. Such as: what was the right transport solution around the Basin Reserve? Should we have light rail on the Golden Mile? What about a shiny new convention centre? Should there be a super-city? Read more »

For and against a longer runway

longer runway

Wellington Airport has started the legal process of seeking resource consent for its controversial runway extension plan. Controversy surrounds not only the extension itself, but also the airport’s campaign for ratepayers and taxpayers to pay a large share of the cost. Read more »

Myths and facts about the runway

by Andy Foster
It is absolutely fair to make sure that people have facts and not myths in front of them, when discussing the airport’s plan to extend its runway. Unfortunately yesterday’s release from the Guardians of the Bays doesn’t do that in respect of two of its assertions. Read more »

A great idea, till you ask difficult questions

by Matthew Plummer
It’s the start of city council election season in Wellington, and I thought I’d look at some of the big campaign ideas doing the rounds. First up: beware of any politician who pledges to build a new 10,000-12,000 seat indoor stadium. It sounds like a great idea, until you ask some difficult questions.
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Cycling off the edge of the world

by Ian Apperley
The Eastern Suburbs Cycleway consultation launched today. Only it didn’t. At the time of writing, no one could find anywhere online either to read the proposed documentation or put in a formal submission. Read more »

The real cost of losing our trolley buses

Last week at United Nations Headquarters in New York, representatives from 175 nations signed the Paris Agreement, the international framework negotiated barely five months ago to restrict global warming to less than 2 degrees. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry added his signature with his two-year-old granddaughter on his knee. Read more »

Unscrapping the trolley buses?

bus trolley

What’s going on? The Regional Council keeps insisting that it’s going to scrap all Wellington’s trolley buses next year. But Infratil has just announced a different plan – it’s going to replace their engines with something that it’s calling “electric powertrain technology.” Read more »

Wellington in context

by air wellington
Photo: GNS Science

by Ian Apperley
I’ve been watching the mayoral candidates for Wellington get to grips with each other and with the election that is coming. It reminds me of the 90s, the Royal Rumble sponsored by the World Wrestling Federation. Posturing, rushes at the ring, feints, chairs, and loud roaring intimidation. Read more »

What a difference – no buses

by Lindsay Shelton
The CBD was transformed today – by the absence of buses. What a difference this made in Lambton Quay and in Willis Street and in Manners Street. Read more »

Targetting the moggies

The Wellington City Council’s new anti-cat bylaw is now out for consultation – and it’s a stinker. Read more »

Listening first, and avoiding conflict

by Lindsay Shelton
There are two kinds of consultation in Wellington this month. One offers a plan that’s already been designed, and seeks comments on it. The other has no pre-prepared plan, but first asks what people want. Only after the question has been answered will planning be started. Read more »

The Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and our increasing electricity charges

In a week when politicians are questioning trust accounts that arrived in Auckland via Panama, Wellingtonians should be thinking instead about a company with connections in the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands – and how it has a direct effect on our daily lives. Read more »

The election and the runway

by Sea Rotmann
We now have five candidates contesting the mayoral election, and four of them are gung-ho supporters of the city council’s hand-out to fossil fuel giant Infratil. Read more »

Second time around

by Lindsay Shelton
After seven years when the Transport Agency, supported by the Regional Council, was notorious for ignoring Wellingtonians as it kept planning the Basin flyover, there’s now a new attitude. Both organisations are saying they want to be listeners instead of dictators. Read more »

And now there are five

by Ian Apperley
The expression “throw your hat in the ring” dates back from the early 19th century when the public at a boxing match would throw their hats into the ring to signal their intention to fight. So far five mayoral candidates have thrown their hats into the Wellington ring, with the expectation of more to come. With every new candidate who steps up to the fight, Celia Wade-Brown is more likely to retain her mayoralty. Read more »

Celia, Justin, Nicola, and now Jo

One day before Justin Lester launches his campaign for the mayoralty, Jo Coughlan has announced that she’s decided to enter the popularity contest as well. That makes four candidates so far, and more expected. Read more »

Neglecting (real) history


by Lindsay Shelton
With all the millions of dollars that’s been spent on First World War commemorations – replicas, models, re-creations, memorials, parades, light shows, landscaping, and so on – it’s appalling that no money has been allocated to ensure the survival of a real piece of our wartime history. Read more »

Fixing Basin traffic – not a problem?

by Lindsay Shelton
It’s inexplicable that the Transport Agency and its Wellington governance group haven’t been in contact with road designer Richard Reid since December. Reid’s plan to solve traffic issues at the Basin Reserve was given credibility by the flyover board of inquiry. It should be part of the process to fix things around the Basin. Read more »

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