Archive for the 'Opinion' Category

Knowing better than the locals

airport longer runway

by Lindsay Shelton
The Wellington Airport campaign to promote a longer runway is similar to the Transport Agency’s campaign about building a flyover at the Basin Reserve. Both commissioned large numbers of experts to support what they wanted to do. Both failed to connect with the communities who would be most affected. Read more »

Facts, or spin, about the runway

by Sea Rotmann
We hoped this week that TV One News would give us the chance to provide some counter to the big bunch of airport spin that was headlined on Tuesday. That was unfortunately not the case. However the pilots and the airline association have come out with serious doubts and concerns about extending the runway, following the airport’s dump of 27 impact reports. Read more »

Extending the runway: one truck every minute, for ten hours every day

by Lindsay Shelton
The brutal reality of constructing a longer runway at Wellington Airport is revealed in one of the 27 reports that were published this week. It provides startling details of the number of trucks-with-trailers that will be needed to carry rocks through the city for the reclamation – one every minute, for ten hours every weekday. Read more »

In only five years? The airport’s runway campaign reaches new heights

airport to everywhere 2

by Lindsay Shelton
Wellington Airport’s overpowering campaign in support of extending its runway has reached new heights this morning, with this advertisement showing flights from here to … almost everywhere. Read more »

A (brief) victory for pedestrians

by Lindsay Shelton
It’s a great idea that keeps coming back – the idea of removing all vehicles from Lambton Quay. It came up again last weekend, when crowds of shoppers came to town for the Elton John concert. Read more »

Democracy, the living wage, and Jonah

The Chamber of Commerce should be having second thoughts about its legal challenge to the Wellington City Council’s living wage decision. Read more »

Profiting from war: a conference in a city council venue

By Jan Bieringa
Open letter to Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, city councillors and council staff.

I am disgusted and appalled that the conference of the NZ Defence Industry Association has been held in Wellington, but most of all that it was held in a public venue which belongs to the ratepayers of Wellington. Read more »

22 months to stop a motorway

takapu valley

It’s been 22 stressful months for the residents of Takapu Valley, since they discovered that the Transport Agency was planning to bulldoze a four lane motorway through their farms. Read more »

Snail’s pace progress on “urgent” Petone-Ngauranga cycleway

cycleway 2

An off-road cycleway between Petone and Ngauranga was agreed as being urgently needed in 2008. Yet it’s taken more than seven years for the Transport Agency to announce plans to deal with the urgency. And last week’s announcement doesn’t mean that work is starting any time soon. It’ll be at least four more years before construction begins. Read more »

R.I.P. Peter McLeavey


by Lindsay Shelton
All of us who are saddened by the death today of Peter McLeavey will be remembering his unique strengths and charm and persuasiveness, and the under-stated conviction with which he represented many of New Zealand’s greatest artists. Read more »

Silenced in the House

assaulted mps
Photo via Twitter from Katie Bradford

Extraordinary scenes in Parliament yesterday when a group of women MPs walked out of the debating chamber after the Speaker refused to allow them to question the Prime Minister about his shouted allegation that they were “backing rapists.” Read more »

A shrinking Chamber, on the attack

On the same day that the Wellington Chamber of Commerce said it was “ready to move forward”, we learnt there’d been a substantial drop in its membership. And in the same week that the Chamber announced it was taking the Wellington City Council to court, the council announced cheaper bus fares to help the Chamber’s members attract more business for Christmas. Mixed messages indeed. Read more »

Failing to learn the flyover lessons

flyover different

The Transport Agency has commissioned a report to tell it what went wrong with its failed application to build a 300-metre concrete flyover alongside the Basin Reserve. The “Lessons Learned” report tells the Agency some truths that it should have known. But it doesn’t tell the whole truth. Read more »

Being accountable, and finding a way to keep the (journalistic) lights on

by Gordon Campbell
Don’t know how you feel about it, but the selective unavailability of Ministers and senior public servants for media scrutiny seems to be a growing concern. Read more »

Conquering heroes

How many tens of thousands will line the streets of Wellington on Friday to welcome the All Blacks? Last time, in 2011, more than 100,000 of us turned out for the parade. This time, maybe more? Read more »

The runway extension and the ratepayers

by Ian Apperley
In an opinion piece today, city councillor David Lee points out dangerous thinking about the costs of the airport runway extension. In particular, that ratepayers are likely to pick up the lion’s share of the costs despite being a minor shareholder. Read more »

Not needed or wanted

chris billboard
Chris Hipkins – Facebook

You’d expect that no one would disagree with MP Chris Hipkins when he says this billboard near Taita disgusts him, and “we don’t need an American-style gun culture here.” Read more »

Not perverse, not illogical, and not unfair – the council does the right thing

by Lindsay Shelton
So much anger about paying security guards more than $14 an hour. The anger is coming from the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, which till recently was calling itself the Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce but has now removed “employers” from its name. Read more »

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