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No news is bad news

by Mike Flinn
Now that Easter has ended, it is of great concern that there’s no news about how the changes to bus drivers’ rest breaks are to be implemented from May 6. All the arrangements should be in place now for an orderly implementation, particularly regarding the requirement for a 10 minute break every two hours. Read more »

60 Minis in Pork Pie charity run

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Geoff Murphy’s wife Diane Kearns wearing the Blondini nose and glasses, in the original Mini Minor from the film

by Roy Murphy
A charity run of dozens of vintage Mini Minors from Kaitaia to Invercargill has raised more than $1million for charity over the last 10 years. The run follows the route taken by the famous yellow Mini Minor which was the star of the iconic New Zealand film Goodbye Pork Pie directed by the late Geoff Murphy and released in 1981. Read more »

Five years. Ten years.

town-hall-april-2019

by Lindsay Shelton
The French President’s announcement yesterday that Notre Dame would be rebuilt in five years was a reminder that it’s taking twice as long to strengthen and reopen Wellington’s Town Hall. Read more »

Waiting at the bus stop?

by Mike Flinn
The front page of the Dominion Post on April the 1st was headlined “Hundreds of buses face the chop,” quoting bus owners who claimed that changes to bus drivers’ rest breaks and meal breaks would result in 2,500 bus trips being cancelled nationwide, with their “worst-case” scenario for the Wellington region being a further 62 delays each day. Read more »

More houses, not more roads

by James Fraser
Wellington has a housing crisis. House prices and rents have both gone up steeply. The Government is determined to provide new, affordable housing – but one Government agency is working against this. Read more »

The Library – it’s a priority

library-closed-off

by Lindsay Shelton
It’s almost a month since Wellington’s Central Library was closed, because of concerns that the 27-year-old building might be insecure in a major earthquake. We now wait to hear that strengthening and reopening the Library will be taking priority over other, less important city projects. (Yes, I’m thinking of the Convention Centre.) Read more »

Toilet breaks and secrecy

by Lindsay Shelton
Going to the lavatory. To the bathroom. To the loo. To the restroom. Having a comfort stop. Taking a rest break. The Regional Council’s chairman Chris Laidlaw told us this week that if bus drivers are allowed to do any of these things, the result will be more cancellations and disruptions. Read more »

Keeping quiet about the rates

by Lindsay Shelton
Communications from the Regional Council were weak and incomplete this week. Chris Laidlaw announced that the average rates increase had been brought down from 6.5% to 5.9%. But he chose not to give the full story. Read more »

Getting it right, with minimal transfers

by Glen Smith
Our planners are working in secret on major changes to our region’s public transport (PT) system, with announcements expected this month. The design will set the foundation for the network for this century and beyond. The hope is that they will explore all options, think long-term and strategically, and aim for a network that maximises the attractiveness of PT in order to alleviate our current high, and projected dire, levels of road congestion. Unfortunately the evidence indicates that the design proposed is likely to be suboptimal. Read more »

Fixing the buses – the union’s view

by Kevin O’Sullivan
There have been recent political calls for the Wellington bus network problems to be solved, with one suggested solution being the sacking of NZ Bus and passing the work over to the Regional Council and the Wellington Council to organise. But other than the Minister of Transport, no politician has asked for the union’s view. Read more »

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