Wellington Scoop

Don’t mention the buses

The regional council has been running a campaign to encourage more people to nominate themselves for election as regional councillors. It is specific about the talents that it believes are needed for new regional councillors.

But you would be wrong if you expected the regional council to acknowledge that public transport is one of the key areas requiring input from new councillors. Two of the three campaign messages make no mention of public transport. Not a word. The third message allocates three words to the subject, with one image of trains, and no images of buses.

The regional council’s campaign makes it clear that transport issues are nowhere near the top of its priority concerns. Or perhaps the intention is to pretend that all is well with the bustastrophe.


  1. Groggy, 14. August 2019, 12:59

    Perhaps GWRC are worried that if anyone with actual transport planning skills was elected they would expose just how incompetent the bus network rollout was; the consultation and feedback that was ignored, the lack of project planning that led to hubs, sufficient drivers and environmentally compliant vehicles not being available, the lack of any contingency plan if things didn’t work, lack of engagement with key stakeholders…. Who knows, they might even want to hold the officers responsible for the mess, rather than rubber stamping new contracts and pay rises.

  2. Ms Green, 14. August 2019, 16:21

    Thanks Groggy. It does not take “anyone with actual planning transport skills” to expose this. You have.
    Anyone else can do it while standing on his/her head, or standing waiting for a bus, or standing in the bus because the seats have gone…

  3. Lim Leong, 15. August 2019, 8:10

    The bus debacle is really laughable if not for its (serious) negative impacts on many people. It is a total failure of an organisation worthy of an MBA case study. As an outsider watching from the sideline, I see the following salient highlights:

    Failure of the planners/officers to take customers’ and users’ input seriously. Failure to adhere to sound engineering design practice and principles. Failure to do proper design validation testing through simulation study.

    Failure of the programme implementation team to plan the design/testing/build/deployment properly. Failure to have proper risk management and contingency plan in place. Failure to do any real-world testing to validate the design. Failure to consider carefully a big bang vs incremental deployment.

    Failure of the commercials team to come out with a pragmatic contractual framework with the operators which is supporting the implementation.

    Failure of the senior management team to lead with vision and direction. Failures in setting up proper management framework and providing governance oversight for the implementation.

    Failure of the board (ie. the Councillors) in strategic decision making and holding the management team to account.

  4. David Mackenzie, 15. August 2019, 9:09

    Good comment, Lim. You have summed up the failings nicely. I remember the consultation process going back several years. There were ominous signs even then that the public’s experience, knowledge and practical wisdom, as well as their desires and needs was going to be ignored, as indeed it was.

  5. Henry Filth, 16. August 2019, 6:02

    Is this an indictment of the depth of the New Zealand talent pool?