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Rates increases – coming to a letterbox near you

bill

by Andy Foster
Most of us got our rates bills for the new financial year on Friday. This is the first rates bill after the recent revaluations, so if your property rose in value by more than the average, there is definitely some particular pain there. Read more »

An emergency with no urgency

by PCGM
Attentive readers will remember that last month the Wellington City Council was all a-fluster over the speed of climate heating and the pace of environmental degradation, and declared a climate emergency. The council’s 2019/20 annual plan is now out, so we thought it would be useful to see if its actions are going to match up to the hyperbole. Read more »

Avoiding the big issues

“With the truth so dull and depressing, the only working alternative is wild bursts of madness and filigree.” – Hunter S Thompson – Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72

by Ian Apperley
Out on the Wellington campaign trail, the going got weird last week with a string of strange occurrences, weird press releases, and general madness. None of the top issues were being talked about and candidates seemed to be bouncing madly inside their own echo chambers like crazed bees. Read more »

Celebrating his legacy on screens

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Bill Gosden in the film festival office in the early 1990s

by Lindsay Shelton
Wellington’s 48th annual film festival has begun. But there’s a notable absentee – the recently-retired festival director Bill Gosden, who has stood down from his job because of ill health. Read more »

Healing our broken heart

civic-square-from-the-air

by Helene Ritchie
Wellington’s Civic Centre should be protected in its entirety and in perpetuity. At the end of last month I submitted to Heritage New Zealand (the former Historic Places Trust) that Wellington’s Civic Centre, our heart, Te Ngakau, be accorded the highest possible level of protection that New Zealand law can give it. Read more »

The struggle to get anything done

councils-at-parlt

by PCGM
It’s become increasingly apparent that the Wellington City Council has a major problem on its hands – it struggles to get anything done. Yesterday’s performance at Parliament underlined the issue, when the degree of Council hand-sitting in the face of the capital’s bustastrophe became apparent. Read more »

Both sides now?

by Lindsay Shelton
I suppose it’s understandable that our two biggest councils are always telling us that they’re looking on the bright side of life. Typified by the city council’s Kevin Lavery this week announcing that Wellington is “in great shape … thriving and growing,” but later confirming there are costly decisions yet to be made about how to pay for strengthening the buildings around Civic Square, including the Square itself. Read more »

VUW: rebranding, without stealth

by Hugh Rennie
Before the next meeting of the Victoria University Council on Monday, you may wish to make your views known to Council members about VUW’s “brand refresh” (or whatever it is being called this week). Read more »

From blogging to campaigning

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Campaign launch photo by Georgina Campbell from Twitter

by Conor Hill
My mayoral campaign started out as a blog last year. The idea was to write about what could make Wellington better, particularly its housing and transport. People started taking the title seriously, so I did too. Three weeks ago I wrote a post asking people what they thought of me running. The general feeling was very positive, and a number of people offered specific help, which was very humbling. Read more »

Re-electing Daran and Roger

by Chris Calvi-Freeman
Three of the five regional councillors from the Wellington city constituency will not be standing again in October. That leaves room for at least three new faces with new ideas and energies around the regional council table. Undoubtedly, one of their main priorities will be to get the bus network back to a reliable and fit-for-purpose state, as quickly as possible. Not an easy job! Read more »