Wellington Scoop

More questions from Sir Peter, silence from the council


by Ian Apperley
In his third post on the Shelly Bay shambles, Peter Jackson last night released a commissioned report that shows the need for approximately 34,000 heavy truck movements to support the development. Again, he raises more questions on the back of previously unanswered questions, but the Wellington City Council remains silent.

Even over a period of four to five years that is a potentially significant amount of introduced traffic that would have to travel an extremely narrow road that is frequently impacted by work on seawalls (because the sea level is rising, remember) and that then feeds onto one of the most congested arterial routes into the city.

If you want outrage, then someone should notify the various Oriental Bay residents’ associations because there is a strong likelihood that a lot of those heavy truck movements would have to head around the bays because of the likelihood of contaminated material from the site being forbidden from moving through the Mt Victoria Tunnel.

But that’s conjecture, as is the persistent rumour that there is an issue of asbestos on the Shelly Bay site and how that is going to be managed.

We don’t know what the City Council’s position is on traffic or any other issue, because the council has gone to the ground despite multiple promises that they would produce the facts. The only person who appears to be producing any facts right now is Peter Jackson, who is reaching into his own pocket to get answers.

we have no idea what the Eastern Ward Councillors think about the Shelly Bay issues despite Chris Calvi-Freeman holding the portfolio for Transport. Somewhat ironic. Surely under that title, you’d expect him to allay fears and produce facts around any potential development. Perhaps he doesn’t know? Perhaps no report on the traffic impact of the development was ever created?

Both Chris Calvi-Freeman and Sarah Free, according to their frequent social media posts, are avid supporters of cyclists and alternate forms of transport, other than the car. They must have concerns about the impact. And penguins, everyone is worried about penguins.

Frankly, we think their lack of response to what is a massive issue not only for Eastern Ward residents but also for most of the city is very poor form. It is a massive failure, in my opinion, on their part that they have not fronted this from day one, and it is not helping their profile.

There are increasing calls for candidates to stand up now and replace the existing Councillors. So far only one known candidate, sponsored by Labour, has announced the attention to run against them. Frankly, a relatively high-profile candidate who took this issue head-on would have a good chance of knocking either Sarah or Chris out of the Council in the October election.

Regardless, Sir Peter is likely to continue to ask questions and keep the fire alive. Until those questions are answered, and the facts are laid out by all parties, Shelly Bay will continue to be the raging elephant in the room.

This article was first published on the Inside Wellington website.


  1. Barbara S, 8. May 2019, 12:10

    I support the questioning of the Council by Peter Jackson. Keep it up Peter until we get the facts.

  2. Sam, 8. May 2019, 15:10

    PJ has documented a long list of issues that have been swept under the carpet. All one has to do is try and get from Miramar into the city any time between 11am and 1pm on a weekend to witness how much of a colossal mess the infrastructure is currently. The council has done nothing but shaft the Eastern suburbs in the 6 years i’ve lived here, from giving away the only viable dual access road to the Airport to ignoring the calls for parking wardens until someone went about slashing tyres. The list of failures makes for a great big old rant, but it at essence seems there is far more will for furthering political careers and lining individuals’ pockets than for making substantial change for the future of the city.

  3. Guy M, 8. May 2019, 16:03

    How about this for a proposal, as the roading to and from the site is going to be problematic:

    Cut the road access off entirely, permanently, except for pedestrians and cycles. Reduce the current 5m wide road to a 2m wide footpath, in at least one place either side of Shelly Bay. Require ALL construction movements of trucks etc, to take materials by barge instead. They did that in London with the building of Canary Wharf. There were no roads. Everything came in by barge. People came in via DLR. No cars until quite a bit later.

    All future residential movements will also be by Ferry only. No cars. Unique selling point. Quietest place in Wellington (except for the flights). Premium selling prices as a result. No cars.

  4. Austin, 8. May 2019, 16:54

    Guy – great thinking!

  5. Ian Apperley, 8. May 2019, 17:48

    Guy, I love that.

  6. Richard, 8. May 2019, 19:42

    Guy for Mayor! This would change the demographic of the inhabitants a lot, no Range Rover crowd…

  7. David, 8. May 2019, 22:54

    I also made a submission and estimated 6000 car trips/d up/down the road (1 per 8 sec over a 12 h day) and 100-150 cars parked on the roadside because insufficient spaces provided (1 park/unit but ave cars/unit in WN is 1.5). There will be no major services (schools, medical, supermarkets etc) so expect 2-4 trips per household. Meanwhile no major road widening is planned (major cost), so this road will be lost as a recreactional asset. Crazy. Guy’s suggestion is brilliant; better make it city wide…cars kill people space.

  8. KB, 8. May 2019, 23:51

    @Guy: how are emergency vehicles, the disabled & the elderly supposed to get to Shelly Bay without vehicle access? Not everyone can get around by bicycle or walking, and preventing access for emergency services & the disabled seems unlikely to lead to good results.

  9. Peter, 9. May 2019, 11:13

    @KB You could allow emergency vehicles to use the road while still restricting public vehicle access. Ferries can be built to accommodate wheelchairs and I’m not sure why these old people you speak of are able to drive a motor vehicle but can’t sit on a ferry. Are they very wealthy old people?

  10. KB, 9. May 2019, 15:06

    @peter I don’t think it would be a good thing if people living in the eastern suburbs (Miramar, Strathmore, Kilbirnie, Lyall Bay etc) who aren’t able to walk/ride a bike had to head to the other end of the ferry ride (Wellington CBD??) to get to a location close to them that they can already get to via a road with normal vehicle access. In fact wouldn’t making people travel into town just so they can come back out of it again increase traffic instead of reducing it?

    What’s more, if people who are not able bodied enough to walk/bike to Shelly Bay have to pay for this compulsory ferry trip (or choose not to go there at all), I don’t see how that sort of discrimination helps anyone.

  11. KB, 9. May 2019, 15:18

    I would also add what anyone who uses the ferry to commute to Eastbourne will tell you: It often is unable to run in bad weather for safety reasons. Thankfully Eastbourne has a perfectly good road to use a car or bus on for access. You cant rely on ferry access alone as it would mean entire days when it is cut off (except for those able to withstand the walk/bike during a southerly storm).

  12. Henry Filth, 9. May 2019, 20:52

    Guy’s suggestion is unworkable as presented, but it sure makes a great starting point.

  13. Tony, 9. May 2019, 22:53

    What about using rising bollards to only allow emergency/public transport vehicles (& cycles & scooters) to use Shelly Bay to Miramar Wharf? It would keep the traffic to a level the current road could cope with. And certainly, look very hard at how the construction traffic is handled, such as compulsory barging.

  14. Bart Hanson, 10. May 2019, 18:02

    I see a lot of people (well meaning people) who oppose things that are described as “development” because… well… why? I am not from Wellington (ChCh actually) and can understand the sentiment to preserve Shelly Bay. But it is already developed (and pretty ugly at present) so it seems like folks just don’t like change. This feeling is natural, but so is change natural.