Wellington Scoop

Ratepayers paying 40% of LGWM’s 20-year $6.4b transport project for Wellington


News from WCC
The Government has confirmed it will support a $6.4billion budget for a transformational Wellington transport project over two decades. Let’s Get Wellington Moving has announced a programme of development which will include mass transit, improvements in roading, safety, public transport, walking and cycling networks and making the CBD a more people-friendly place to live.

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester is delighted with the green light for Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) and says it will positively shape the city for decades to come.

“This is a momentous day for Wellington and one which shows we are putting people first,” the Mayor says.

He noted the last significant investment in the city’s transport network of this scale was the completion of the Terrace Tunnel in 1978, 40 years ago.

“We want to create a balanced transport network which will carry more people but with fewer vehicles.

“Around 10,000 people have given us feedback and we have surveyed Wellingtonians extensively. They have told us clearly what they like and what frustrates them about getting around the city.

“There was strong support for mass transit and improvements around the Basin Reserve are their highest priorities.

“This investment is a massive boost to the Wellington economy over the next decade and an enormous opportunity for training and upskilling our local workforce.”

Wellington’s population will grow by 50,000-80,000 in the next 30 years and the Mayor says without change the transport network could grind to a halt.

“A public transport spine is crucial. It will help take the private vehicles out of the CBD, which will also improve it for people.

“But LGWM is not just about a better transport network, it’s about investing in and sparking urban development. With reliable and regular mass transit the city can grow alongside the public transport spine,” adds the Mayor.

On Wellington’s “Golden Mile” the priority will be on public transport and pedestrians. Work on improving the Golden Mile will start this year in an $85-million early funding package, says Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman, who holds the Transport Portfolio.

“You’ll still be able to park in the CBD and the parking buildings will all still be there but those high pedestrian routes will be prioritised for people. We want to be internationally renowned as a walkable and cosmopolitan city,” Cr Calvi-Freeman says.

“Duplication of the 1931 Mt Victoria tunnel and proposed work at the Basin Reserve would remove one of the city’s most significant impediments to through traffic, cycling and walking, and would support the growing economy of the eastern suburbs”, says Cr Calvi-Freeman.

“The eventual completion of a mass transit route between the CBD and the airport would revolutionise commuting for eastern and southern suburbs residents.”

LGWM is estimated to cost $6.4 billion over the life of the project, including capital and operating costs and interest. The Government will contribute 60 percent, and Wellington City Council and the Greater Wellington Regional Council 40 percent. The local government component will be funded by general rates, a targeted rate along the mass transit spine and transport levies.

Wellington City Council Chief Executive Kevin Lavery says it is a very exciting package and the biggest investment in the city’s history.

“LGWM is about reshaping Wellington and equipping it for the future. We now need to focus on the delivery, which I know will be challenging and hugely complex, but extremely important for future generations.”


  1. greenwelly, 16. May 2019, 10:32

    “LGWM is estimated to cost $6.4 billion over the life of the project, including capital and operating costs and interest. The Government will contribute 60 percent, and Wellington City Council and the Greater Wellington Regional Council 40 percent.”
    Hang on: Wellington city/region has to find $2.5 billion to make this work!

    So either Central Government has now decided it is no longer fully funding State Highway developments, (a new Tunnel + whatever is going on at the Basin Reserve) – which must come pretty close to the $3.8 billion government share – or it’s making Wellington City and Region pay totally for the light rail ($2.5 billion)

  2. Andrew, 16. May 2019, 10:54

    So Lavery wants to focus on delivery, while (as far as I can tell) there has been no firm decision on the ‘mass transit’ mode? Trams or rail do show up in the videos quite a bit but there are statements pointing out that this is still in flux. When can Wellingtonians expect a firm decision on the mass transit plans?

  3. Helen, 16. May 2019, 12:04

    Wellington is earthquake prone and threatened by sea-level rise so why do politicians want to cram in 80,000 more people and get us locals to pay for the infrastructure via a multi billion dollar rate hike?

    Let Eketahuna, Woodville and Palmerston North have the 80,000 people where there is plenty of flat land.

  4. Celia Wade-Brown, 16. May 2019, 17:38

    Seems like a long time ago we set up LGWM between WCC. GWRC and NZTA after the court determined the ugly fly-over wouldn’t happen and that we needed to look at all of the transport modes together for the central city. Before that the Public Transport Spine study concluded Bus Rapid Transport was a first step and Light Rail next but not much has happened on BRT so let’s hope Light Rail happens soon.
    Lots of walking, cycling, speed and urban design activity has been awaiting the LGWM outcome and can be initiated rapidly. [via Facebook]

  5. Kara Lipski, 17. May 2019, 9:00

    Looks like someone didn’t get the message last election. “4 lanes to the runway” got a major thumbs down and the idea of a pedestrian/cycle bridge next to the Basin was given the negative feedback it deserved. So why are we being asked to consider this again?