Archive for the 'Article' Category

The political backstory to the Island Bay cycleway

In addition to the finally-public safety audit report on the Island Bay Cycleway, the recent reports to the Transport and Urban Development Committee at the Wellington City Council contained another gem – the council’s response to the NZTA-commissioned (and rather scathing) Morrison Low assessment of the project. It makes interesting reading, and led us on a merry chase through the highways and byways of the council’s own documentation. Read more »

Who will prevail in the mayoral race? Part five: voting tactically

The time has come when we need to talk about STV – despite how it sounds, it’s a voting system, not a disease. How you allocate your votes makes a huge difference in deciding who will be our esteemed leader in the years ahead, so how you use the complexities of STV can make a big difference to the outcome. Read more »

Pseudo consultation, with predetermined results

by Jeff Owens
Oh no, I hear you say, not another article about cycleways. Well you may think so but please carry on reading as this article raises something potentially much more serious within the Wellington City Council, albeit against a backdrop of cycleways. Read more »

How to run your election campaign

In the spirit of public service – and, let’s face it, also in the entirely selfish spirit of not wanting to be bored to death with tedious campaigning – we’ve compiled the ultimate campaign guide for aspiring local body politicians. We’ve consulted highly-paid consultants, talked endlessly with an army of spin doctors, and researched the latest in needlessly manipulative publicity techniques to bring you a state-of-the-art guide to winning that local body position you’ve always craved. Read more »

Who will prevail in the mayoral race? Part four: summing up the field

Our run through the mayoral field has revealed some real contenders, some wannabes and some rank outsiders. For this week’s edition we thought a bit of summing up would be in order, so readers can start putting pen to paper and ranking candidates as soon as those ballots arrive. Let’s get to the thumbnail sketches of everyone vying for the mayoral chains. Read more »

The council and the All Blacks

As we watched the All Blacks take on Wales on Saturday night for a thrilling 36-22 win, little did we know that we had the Wellington City Council to thank for the great game – at least, this is according to a breathless press release from Celia Wade-Brown and Jo Coughlan. We’re quite surprised that Steve Hansen didn’t thank them by name after the match. Read more »

The $100m smart motorway – but it’ll all depend on the driving

The opening date of Wellington’s smart motorway is just around the corner, so we thought it would be worth taking a look at whether it’s really going to work as expected. Short story: the technology is impressive, but it’s a massive social experiment that may or may not work, given some of the less impressive driving habits of Wellingtonians. Read more »

A boring mayoral campaign: where are the new ideas?

by Ian Apperley
We’ve seen some reasonable analysis of the various candidates on Wellington.Scoop and in the Dominion Post. However, I am left feeling bored by the campaign so far, and I think that the policies to date, while solid, are littered with old thinking while new ideas are largely missing. Read more »

High expectations: the performance of our city councillors

by Diane Calvert
Local Government New Zealand is promoting the local body elections. The website ( links to a good summary view of the role of an elected member (Mayor and Councillor). It describes the role of a councillor as falling into two main categories; being a member of the governing body of the council, and being an elected representative of the community. Read more »

Who will prevail in the mayoral race? Part two: Nicola vs Jo

Last week we put Wellington’s left-leaning mayoral candidates under the wellington.scoop microscope. This week, it’s the right-wing cage fight between long-time councillor Jo Coughlan and the energetic Nicola Young. Read more »

Is the Island Bay cycleway doomed?

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown has been trying to put a good spin on the recent consultant’s report into the Island Bay cycleway fiasco – “we have learnt from Island Bay … need to listen more”. But couched in the considered and cautious language of consultants is a damning story of political chaos, organizational mistakes and community dismay. Read more »

Bill English and his Basin Reserve confusion

by Tim Jones
It’s a tough life being Minister of Transport Simon Bridges. He had ambitious plans to promote electric cars that were shot down by his senior Cabinet colleagues, leading to a lengthy hiatus. Now one of those senior Ministers, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English, has launched an extraordinary attack on the consultative decision-making process that was set up with the support of Minister Bridges in the wake of the Transport Agency’s failed Basin Reserve flyover plans. Read more »

Is Nicola Young right? Does Wellington have a rates crisis?

A reporter once asked Albert Einstein what the most powerful force in the Universe was, to which he famously replied, “compound interest”. But clearly Professor Einstein had yet to read his Wellington City Council rates demand. Read more »

Nine principles to guide the “let’s get welly moving” choices

by Tim Jones
The Ngauranga to Airport Governance Group has completed the first phase of the Let’s Get Welly Moving process, and is now calling for proposals on proposed transport solutions. But what principles and what process will be used to assess those proposed solutions? Read more »

Who will prevail in the mayoral race?

It’s just about election season for all the aspiring mayoral candidates in Wellington, so before the first flyers start rolling through our letterboxes and supporters in branded t-shirts start randomly smiling at us on Lambton Quay, we thought it was time to take an early look at how the race is shaping up. Read more »

How to save money? A simple transport solution for regional councillors

by Russell Tregonning
When oral presentations of submissions to the Regional Council’s annual plan (with a proposal for a 7.9% rates increase) were heard last Wednesday, councillors asked submitters “what do you think we could do to reduce spending to allow your scheme to be funded?” Read more »

A storm in a litter tray

The Wellington City Council’s enthusiasm for curbing the nefarious activities of the capital’s moggies has generated a storm of controversy. In response to their proposed anti-cat bylaw, more than 1600 written submissions have been lodged – and so I spent a few hours trolling my way through the highways and byways of the city’s concerns (well, someone had to). Read more »

Promises, promises (the first few)

Local elections? Well, not till October. But some of Wellington’s seven mayoral candidates were starting to stake their claims last week. Read more »

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