Wellington Scoop

Fish and chips at Shelly Bay


by Diane Calvert
One of the busiest, most challenging and most intense seven days I have spent at the Wellington City Council culminated in Wednesday’s council meeting.

While I understand not everyone will agree with our decisions, they were made in good faith and with robust consideration and debate. We were elected to serve in the best interests of the people of Wellington and I believe we have done that.

For Shelly Bay, first and foremost public access is maintained and enhanced. You can still go and eat your fish and chips by the water’s edge on a warm summer’s evening. There will be NO gate. This was never in question. We are only selling/leasing 0.9 hectare. The rest of the land (7.8 hectares) and where the majority of the development is occurring belongs to Shelly Bay Ltd (the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust and the Wellington Company.)

From when the proposal (to sell/lease 0.9 hectare) was brought to us in April, we took time to gather as much information as possible before going out to consult in July. We had questions and we knew you would too. We received 1100 formal submissions and held two days of hearings.

Most of the feedback we received related to a decision made previously about the designation of the land and the resource consent. That decision has been made for better or worse. This week the Council passed a resolution to review what happened so that we can learn from this moving forward.

However in the meantime and through this consultation process, we have been able to seek further assurances and support for the protection of the little Blue Penguin and also improving the local road. We know the public also want to see a master plan for the future of the whole peninsula and we need to deliver on that.

The public consultation has also led to the majority owner of the land, Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust re-engaging with the local business community through the Miramar Peninsula, and this should strengthen further in the future.

We no longer have the opportunity in Wellington to keep all of our undeveloped space. We need quality housing of all types.

But we can’t just develop housing in a bubble by itself. This does not build sustainable and resilient communities.

We need good adjoining public space and amenities, transport and commercial activity.

Is the proposal perfect? No, but leaving our land (which was gifted) decaying was only going to exacerbate the problem.

The owners and developers will make a profit. They have to, as they are carrying the majority of the risk and we want Wellington to be open for business and quality development. The Shelly Bay proposal will allow just that and that’s why I voted for it.

Diane Calvert is a Wellington City Councillor for the Onslow-Western Ward. She is portfolio leader for community planning and engagement.


  1. Troy H, 29. September 2017, 10:11

    I beg to differ. In this project, the best interests of ratepayers were clearly not represented in the councillors’ vote .
    It begs the question why we the ratepayers must be the ones to enable the developers and owners to profit while we the people (whose best interest should be represented by councillors) are being set up to lose a lot of money . and to lose a positive environment that is enjoyed by many.

  2. Morris Oxford, 29. September 2017, 14:39

    Who will be owning the fish and chip shop? Please confirm that it has got resource consent.

  3. Donna Kerr, 29. September 2017, 18:56

    Good on you Diane. The decision to support the development was a no-brainer. The cost of repairing the wharf and the saw-tooth building that the Council owns, as well as providing access to the bay, would far outweigh what the Council has to stump up for this proposition.

  4. Anne Mahia, 29. September 2017, 20:14

    Wellington ratepayers never got a say on this development. The Wellington City Council rushed this through last year (was that just after the trip to Beijing?) Yes it needs developing but this design is significantly beyond what the Special Housing Accord intends. I doubt the average kiwi family will want to eat their fish and chips on the ‘village green’ of what is essentially a gated community of high end residential properties. Until now the eastern and southern bays have been free of this sort of development contributing to the pristine marine life on this coast, as noted in the Wellington Company rhetoric.

  5. Johnny Overton, 29. September 2017, 23:09

    The uncomfortable truth about the WCC Shelly Bay decision is that the real powers behind it are the CEO Kevin Lavery, the Iwi & developer Cassels. In founding the Miramar Heights community gardens at the former Mt Crawford prison property, I took a personal stand against such people & their undemocratic, green wash, pc madness. When standing for mayor for the Localisation Party, I took my opposition to the globalisation agenda one stage further. Now that Shelly Bay has fallen into the hands of these dark forces, the next stop for the juggernaut will be the Mt. Crawford prison property. Recently, while going through a government cabinet paper which spelled out the options being considered for the Miramar Peninsula, I was surprised to read that the prison property was offered to the WCC in 2013 for a reserve. I then read that the WCC turned this offer down. I emailed Andy Foster about this & he replied to say he had no knowledge of a WCC vote being taken on this offer. The question remains: who turned this offer down? Was it the all powerful CEO? Anyway, now that the Eagle has flown I hear they need a new Councillor in Island Bay so maybe, as a former mayoral candidate, I’m just the man for the job. If Island Bay would support such a move, then I may just consider throwing myself, in cat among the pigeons fashion, into the fray. Of course my first move would be to remove that stupid cycle-way & create a beautiful tree lined boulevard. Then I would form a people’s assembly, & take steps to transform Island Bay into an independent commune. This commune would then serve as a model for an eventual Wellington confederacy of autonomous communes.

  6. Mary M, 30. September 2017, 7:11

    Donna Kerr: the flaw with your “no brainer” idea for who pays is that the councillors who supported this developer subsidy don’t get into debt for funding this developers’ project… the ratepayers do. Our interests were not represented by those who voted for this.

  7. Little Blue Penguin, 30. September 2017, 8:48

    Is this a trying-to-placate-the-ratepayers “let them eat cake” moment (Let them eat fish and chips at Shelly Bay)? Fish and chips that we pay for in exchange for (undervalued) land and multi millions? Really. I think the councillors are out of touch, maybe they have to step out of the psychopathology in politics to see that they are not representing the ratepayers.

  8. Glen Smith, 30. September 2017, 13:46

    Johnny Overton. As you say we should be very suspicious about the longer term plans for the rest of the northern Miramar Penisula which is currently open space. There are some ominous statements here- ‘We no longer have the opportunity in Wellington to keep all of our undeveloped space’ and ‘Upgrading the wider water supply and waste infrastructure to support future development across the wider Miramar Peninsula’. Smells like a hidden agenda- we might be in for a fight to preserve the northern peninsula for what it should be – a major Regional Park only ten minutes by boat from the CBD.

  9. Andrew, 30. September 2017, 17:32

    Did anyone else attend or watch the stream? I did, to see the Polhill vote, but watched a lot of the Shelly Bay section as well. I couldn’t get over the amount of ego stroking and general brown nosing. Is this usual?
    Good to see councillors who voted against the SHA voting against this.