Archive for the 'Opinion' Category

Four lanes to the planes – not the answer

by Michael C Barnett
One of the issues identified in the Let’s Get Wellington Moving progress report is congestion on the key routes into and through the CBD, resulting in delays and unreliable journey times. It’s a problem that exists for only a few hours per day. Read more »

They opened it, but not for traffic

Photo via Twitter from Transport Minister Simon Bridges

by Lindsay Shelton
I can remember when official openings were immediately followed by access for the public – into a new shop, or on to a new road. Not these days. The Kapiti Expressway was officially opened this morning. But it didn’t mean anything for motorists. Read more »

Voting with gritted teeth in Ohariu


by Gordon Campbell
Any social liberals left in Ohariu face something of a dilemma. Do they vote against Peter Dunne in order to change this government’s dismal policies on health, education, the environment, welfare and the economy? Or do they vote tactically for Dunne, to try and prevent Greg O’Connor – now selected as Labour’s Ohariu candidate – from becoming this country’s next Minister of Police? Read more »

“More serious” damage, but where?

Some of the quake damage discovered in CBD buildings is minor, but some of it is “more serious and will require repairs,” in the words of Mayor Justin Lester talking to reporters yesterday. But he’s not telling which buildings require repairs. Read more »

Decongesting traffic – without more roads


by Michael C Barnett
In a recent article, I challenged Wellington’s road and transport planners to expand their thinking and to ease congestion in the city by making a paradigm shift away from more road construction. I suggested that proposals to expand the road corridor between the Terrace Tunnel and Cobham Drive should be abandoned, the Vivian Street off ramp should be closed, and southbound through traffic should be redirected along Karo Drive to the Basin Reserve. How will this work and what would be the benefits? Read more »

“Our mental health system is in crisis”

Dear people of the Wellington region,
We represent mental health nurses and staff from Capital and Coast DHB. Like you, we were deeply concerned at the findings of the recent review into our service. Read more »

A matter of priorities: time to clean up the contaminated water


by Michael Gunson
The Surfbreak Protection Society is deeply disturbed by yet another wastewater overflow on Wellington’s south coast (Feb 3–Feb 5). Read more »

Parking and walking – trying to solve the problems in Miramar South

by Ian Apperley
The Council has announced a plan to alleviate the parking problems in the Eastern Suburbs. However, there are still questions that remain unanswered. Read more »

The Town Hall … will work ever begin?


by Lindsay Shelton
Good to see the mayor smiling optimistically inside the Town Hall yesterday, one day after his city council announced it was seeking “proposals” for work on the heritage building. But things aren’t as straightforward as they may seem. Read more »

Deadline on Friday: how safe are 80 CBD buildings?

Only eight days till we know the condition of 80 big buildings in the CBD. Read more »

Challenging the road planners

by Michael C Barnett
The Regional Council, the City Council and the Transport Agency are currently engaged in their “Let’s Get Wellington Moving” initiative on how to resolve traffic and transport issues in the city. Read more »

Pleased and happy – not so much

Photo via Twitter from France7s

by Lindsay Shelton
The police said they were happy after the first day, and pleased after the second day. The organisers, however, admitted they’d wanted more people. Read more »

Affordable housing (3); solving the problem

by Ian Apperley
We know we have a serious problem with housing affordability. We also know that it will be an election issue. Wellington is likely to see the problem intensify as house prices here keep going up. The issue is complex, so what to do? Read more »

Fixing facades and parapets – compulsorily

About 300 high risk buildings are to be targetted by yesterday’s government announcement that unreinforced masonry facades and parapets must be secured within 12 months. Read more »

Affordable housing (2): why can’t we control it?

by Ian Apperley
Why can’t we control affordable housing? The problem is that no one central authority controls house affordability. It needs the co-ordination of groups that are often at odds with each other and with the citizens of New Zealand as well. Read more »

Affordable housing (1): is it affordable?

by Ian Apperley
Get ready for it. It’s election year, and that means that we are going to have politicians of all walks selling us promises in the hope that we’ll vote for them. One of the big issues will be housing. Wellington’s new Mayor and several councillors have already promised housing measures. The reality is, they can’t deliver on it. Nor can the national politicians. Read more »

Trucks and trains and ships – and quakes

by Michael C Barnett
The recent Kaikoura earthquakes, and and other climate-related events, highlight the apparent fragility of New Zealand’s transport infrastructure. Read more »

Priorities, resilience, and costs

by Ian Apperley
News on a few fronts this week, with reports on Wellington City Council priorities for 2017, while the council also starts to boil the frog on earthquake measures. Read more »

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