Wellington Scoop

34,000 heavy truck movements for Shelly Bay – Sir Peter’s latest concerns

Peter Jackson has tonight published a Facebook post in which he expresses concern about the effect of the Shelly Bay development on the fragile coastal road.

He publishes the results of an assessment of heavy truck movements which has estimated the number of heavy truck journeys that will be required to complete the project.

The assessment estimates 34,000 – 35,000 return journeys will be needed for the demolition and construction of buildings as well as landscaping, based on the project’s Master Plan.

Sir Peter continues:

Whilst the coastal road was the primary consideration when commissioning this report, can the WCC please provide ratepayers with information about exactly where these trucks will be coming from (with building materials), and where they will be going to (with building site refuse – some of which might well be contaminated)? Are they using the Mt Vic tunnel? Around the Basin Reserve? Then where?

I’m sure that everyone will agree that 34,000 truck journeys is going to add yet more chaos to our quickly deteriorating traffic flow – and it’s distressing that the WCC is taking so little responsibility for this kind of traffic impact.

It’s equally distressing that our three Eastern Ward councillors (Sarah Free, Chris Calvi-Freeman and Simon Marsh) are happy to sit back, and allow 34,000 heavy trucks to be added to our traffic flow for the next three … four … five years.

Are cyclists going to be allowed to use the coastal road during the construction period? Have you commissioned a safety assessment?

Perhaps the WCC have done their own traffic impact assessment of this nature, in which case I’d ask you to make it public.


  1. TrevorH, 8. May 2019, 7:48

    The only “solution” the Council and its Eastern Ward representatives have proposed for the serious congestion that now besets the Eastern Suburbs’ connection to the north is cycleways. They have acted with complete irresponsibility with regard to the impact of both the proposed Shelly Bay development and the airport runway extension, which also envisages thousands of truck movements. The Eastern Suburbs it seems don’t have a voice within the Council, or at least one that is not driven by ideology. Thank goodness for Sir Peter stepping in.

  2. Helene Ritchie, 8. May 2019, 8:48

    This has to be of considerable concern. There is a responsibility under the RMA to remedy and mitigate. How will the independent commissioners do that?

    They have the power to decide to open up for public submissions. Will they exercise that power? They should.
    Clearly this proposal has far reaching major ( not minor) impacts on the coastal, land, natural, economic and social environment. It seems that those impacts have never been properly considered. They are major, many and negative and not in the public interest..

  3. wendy, 8. May 2019, 12:46

    I agree Helene this should be opened for public submissions. The whole situation has been caused by WCC avoiding public consultation on an issue that was likely to be controversial. I assume we are not hearing from councillors because they have been told not to comment by the WCC CEO. But that is no excuse, because councillors are elected to represent us.

  4. RH, 8. May 2019, 14:55

    Sarah? Simon? Are you out there?
    Nope. They’ve disappeared to wherever Barbara Donaldson has gone.

  5. Cornwallis, 8. May 2019, 16:09

    Exactly Wendy, the councillors are the CEO’s boss on behalf of Wellington ratepayers, not the other way around and it’s time they stepped up.

  6. Guy M, 8. May 2019, 16:11

    In the Council’s defence (and off my own bat – I am not a spokesperson for the Council), this non-notification is not their own fault. It is absolutely down to the last National Government, who set up the rules around SHA, in that if an area was designated a SHA, it did not have to be notified and indeed was specifically meant NOT to be notified.

    Nobody would voluntarily go down the Notification path if not compelled to by law. It is expensive, unwieldy, and you have no idea what the outcome my be, so you cannot blame the WCC for not going down a Notification path they did not have to. That would be like paying extra tax to the IRD because, although they had told you not to pay any more tax, you just felt like you should. That way lies madness….

    Nevertheless, the Key Govt has gone, and the SHA Act has lapsed, and now it should be fully re-examined from the ground up, including land ownership, because there are some obvious dodgy dealings that have gone on – guilt on all sides. Time to reset the clock, start back at the beginning, sit round a table, and thrash out what is best for Wellington.

  7. Andy Foster, 8. May 2019, 16:55

    I think Wellingtonians should be very grateful to Sir Peter for getting so involved in Shelly Bay. He is saying things and asking things that so many people agree with.

    There are many questions that need to be addressed and traffic safety (construction traffic and predicted – by the developer – quadrupling of post construction traffic) is a major concern on what is such a popular recreational route for walking, running and biking. There was certainly professional traffic advice before the Courts that said this is a significant problem. I hope that the Commissioners avail themselves of every bit of information they can on this.

    The big problem here is that sadly the reconsideration of the consent is still under HASHAA (Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act) which forbids notification to anyone other than immediate neighbours, Council and infrastructure providers. That’s because it is the same consent as originally lodged. That non-notification means a lot of valuable views and potential for expert advice from outside Council and the applicant (and in this case what has already been to the Courts) is not allowed for.

    HASHAA was a really nasty anti democratic piece of legislation, as I’ve said publicly several times. However Guy – you shouldn’t let the Council off the hook on this at all. Council could choose which areas it made SHAs – and chose to make Shelly Bay a SHA (April 2015) and then to extend that SHA into Open Space zoned land (October 2015). Both of those were fiercely opposed by some councillors and passed 10 votes to 5.

    Wendy and Cornwallis – we were advised not to say anything because we might yet have a role in the consent. However I asked what that role might be (because I was intrigued that there was the remotest possibility of further involvement) and the advice was dialed back to just being careful what we say. I have no intention of being quiet on this. Council has made a series of decisions that have caused this situation, in my view all of them wrong.

    Finally Guy I absolutely agree that it would be best to reset the clock, start at the beginning, get all the parties – including the community – ‘around a table’ to work out what is best for Wellington. This is not just for Shelly Bay but for the Miramar peninsula as a whole.
    Kind regards
    Andy Foster, City Councillor

  8. Cornwallis, 8. May 2019, 17:17

    Andy for mayor.

  9. HR, 8. May 2019, 18:26

    Thank you Andy. Your lone voice from the council is appreciated.

  10. wendy, 8. May 2019, 21:29

    Andy, thank you for your response and, given what you say, there is even less excuse for the silence from other councillors.

    Guy, I cannot agree with your statement that I “cannot blame the WCC for not going down a Notification path they did not have to”. I do reproach them as they have repeatedly promised the public full transparency and consultation, which has been circumvented regarding Shelly Bay. I also find it hard to believe the WCC and councillors were not aware this development would be extremely controversial, all of which gives me misgivings around the reasons for seeking consent under the HASHAA, particularly as my understanding of the act is it was primarily intended to provide affordable housing?

  11. Carl, 13. May 2019, 21:23

    Thank you Andy. The whole peninsula is a recreational goldmine for Wellington, and its future definitely needs further consideration. I look at it from a running and cycling perspective, but appreciate the fishermen, divers, swimmers etc who also appreciate and respect the area. It is one area where cyclists can escape traffic, and focus on enjoying the ride and the benefits thereof, without worrying too much about Wellington motorists. Many Wellington runners have grounded their careers with a Sunday ‘long run’ around that area, with the ‘bays loop’ being the perfect marathon training circuit. I would hate to see any of this ‘intangible’ benefit to Wellington being lost.

  12. BHS, 14. May 2019, 7:35

    Didn’t the same developer demolish Erskine College, a heritage listed building in Island Bay, with Council approval in order to make money out of a housing development?

  13. TrevorH, 14. May 2019, 8:15

    @ Carl: I agree entirely. The Miramar Peninsula has been an important recreational asset for Wellingtonians for well over a century. It also contains many sites of considerable historical interest. The attempt to push through a development which might compromise these values by using the draconian SHA legislation precluding any consultation or objection was an anti-democratic travesty. This should not be forgotten at the elections.

  14. Keith Flinders, 16. May 2019, 3:57

    As an aside issue totally unrelated to the Shelly Bay debate, there are 34,000 diesel bus movements through the Karori Tunnel every 9 weeks. Most of these buses are old, none are electric now that the trolley bus system has been vandalised by the GWRC.