Frontpage News

Considering light rail more seriously


by Brent Efford
When we met the Let’s Get Wellington Moving team last week, we found that not much serious consideration had been given to light rail, and there was little awareness of the ‘Wellington paradox’ – a city with some of the best preconditions for developing light rail in the world having a rail transit network which fails to achieve even the normal first function of intra-urban rail: penetrating the CBD. Read more »

Mixed electrical messages

Electric buses next year? There was nothing about this in either of last week’s announcements about changes to bus contracts. But we did get this message in two comments sent to Wellington.Scoop from Regional Council chair Chris Laidlaw. Read more »

NZ Bus loses bus routes, Tranzit bringing new-technology diesel


How did it happen? NZ Bus, which currently runs 73 per cent of Wellington bus services, is being cut back to running only 28 per cent from the middle of next year. At that time local bus travel will be dominated by Tranzit buses which will be increasing their share of the market from 1% to 60%. Read more »

Inevitable? Scrapping the trolley buses


A change that Chris Laidlaw said was “inevitable” has been postponed. It’s the decision to scrap all Wellington’s trolley buses, which has now been delayed for six months. Read more »

Was state housing. Now: a car park


by Ian Apperley
A block of Housing NZ units used to stand on this site at 27 – 31 Strathmore Avenue – they were knocked down because of earthquake risk. Read more »

Pronouncing history


Wiremu (Wi) Te Kakakura Parata, elected as MP for Western Maori in 1871; his land was the early commercial centre of Waikanae.

by Lindsay Shelton
A working party of iwi representatives and a local historian have come up with a great idea – using the names of five people from the 19th century history of the Kapiti Coast for new street names which are needed because of changes caused by the new expressway. Read more »

Oriental Bay in Shelly Bay


by Lindsay Shelton
The redevelopment plan for Shelly Bay seems designed to turn the long-neglected waterfront area into a clone of Oriental Parade. Read more »

Along the harbour’s edge … but when?


by Lindsay Shelton
Consultation began this week on plans for a harbour cycleway that was urgently needed in 2008 and was supposed to have been completed by 2015. Read more »

In house – changing their minds about how to get more houses

by Lindsay Shelton
The Wellington City Council is changing its mind again about having some of its decisions made at arms-length by the directors of an independent council-controlled organisation. This time, it doesn’t like its idea of establishing an Urban Development Agency. Read more »

Build roads, the traffic will come

by Michael C Barnett
As Let’s Get Wellington Moving continues its consultation on potential transport interventions, there’s a growing suspicion that the Transport Agency is not being entirely transparent. Is its bias toward roading driven by a desire to please its political masters? Or are there statutory limitations that stop it committing major investment into infrastructure such as light rail? Maybe a bit of both. Read more »

Wanted: 450 road builders

The Wainui saddle – part of the route of Transmission Gully. NZTA photo.

Not only are there hundreds of job vacancies on the $850 million Tranmission Gully project. There have also been difficulties in retaining some workers. Read more »

Congestion, and a hidden agenda


by Michael C Barnett
The increased peak-hour congestion and longer travel times on the new Kapiti Expressway should not be surprising. Read more »

Free trips


by Lindsay Shelton
During two decades when I was responsible for international promotion of the New Zealand film industry, I learnt to be cautious about people who needed to be given free tickets before they would come here. Read more »

Under the surface: they’re still talking about a flyover option


by Tim Jones
The Let’s Get Welly Moving (LGWM) public engagement process has gone through another of its seemingly endless permutations, with a series of workshops and meetings during March and April giving participants the chance to state their priorities in areas including public transport improvements, state highway improvements, encouraging active transport (walking and cycling) and transport demand management. Read more »

Staff morale and the living wage

by Michael C Barnett
I worked for the Wellington City Council in a management role from September 1989 until January 2000. I joined at a time when the Local Government Reform Bill was enacted and I soon formed the view that the organization needed a kick up the backside. It certainly got one. Read more »

Colin McCahon’s ‘On Going Out with the Tide’


“I sing my paintings to myself”
– Colin McCahon, 1972.

by Howard Davis
Now that the egregious excrescence of Cindy Sherman’s cos-play has finally gone the way of all flesh, Wellington’s City Gallery has mounted a extensive retrospective of Colin McCahon’s work from the 1960s and 1970s. Read more »

The church and real estate

by Lindsay Shelton
What does a Naenae church have in common with Tommy’s real estate agency? The answer: both are concerned about the shortage of houses. Read more »

Wellington needs a transport champion

by Michael C Barnett
The need for local leadership to solve Wellington’s traffic congestion problems was identified last year by then Finance Minister Bill English in a speech to business leaders in Porirua. He criticised Wellington’s lack of a ‘progressive attitude’ to transport solutions. Read more »

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