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  1. Chris Calvi-Freeman, 25. September 2019, 13:09

    I thought better of Demetrius Christoforou after Roger Blakeley and I invited him to participate in several workshops in which a number of LRT advocates (and Roger and I) worked out proposals to take to LGWM, which has now resulted in the single spine mass transit route from the railway station to Miramar/the airport via Newtown. Of course this is only half what regional LRT advocates want, but it my opinion it is the best and only chance of having a step change in public transport for the eastern and inner southern suburbs and a better, faster and more reliable journey through Wellington CBD/Te Aro, albeit with a change of mode at Wellington railway station.

    If you haven’t already voted, I suggest you support people who have some knowledge of or involvement in this field, rather than just anyone who says “why don’t we have light rail everywhere?” without necessarily having a clue as to how to make it happen.

    And don’t forget Voltaire: “Perfect is the enemy of the good”!

  2. Diane Calvert, 25. September 2019, 14:12

    Although ranked last in Demetrius assessments (we have a philosophical difference over mass transit mode and route), I do respect his work.

    He is been at many a candidates meeting, listened and asked questions thoughtfully. He has done his research thoroughly and as a candidate I appreciate the fairness and could not ask for anything more.

  3. Pauline Swann, 25. September 2019, 15:54

    Simon and Diane “top of the Pops” for me……they are great at meetings and listen to the public.

  4. Chris Calvi-Freeman, 25. September 2019, 16:02

    Really, Diane?! Placing Justin Lester below Don Newt McDonald and Andrew Grantham Cox in the pro-LRT rankings because Justin agrees that mass rapid transit is the number 1 priority within LGWM, presumably because Lester wants to see whether trackless trams might be better than LRT?! Next we’ll be halving the city’s population and having chariots to transport the survivors!

  5. NigelTwo, 25. September 2019, 16:05

    Interesting reading!
    I look forward to follow up posts for: housing, “vanity projects”, and green-rinse aka “first to zero”.

  6. Diane Calvert, 25. September 2019, 16:56

    Chris, it may surprise you but I didn’t check yours or other candidate rankings. My views were expressed on what Demetrius said about me and what I personally noted at candidate meetings.

  7. Michael Gibson, 25. September 2019, 17:29

    Chris – who else did you invite to “several workshops (where you) worked out proposals to take to LGWM”? How did you pick such invitees? Were there other specially invited and selected invitees? What came of your proposals?

  8. Alf the Aspirational Apteryx, 25. September 2019, 19:36

    I want to know who will deliver a kiwi for every backyard like Justin promised last election. It’s lonely out here in the burbs.

  9. John Morrison, 25. September 2019, 21:09

    What absolute and complete nonsense!

  10. Henry Filth, 25. September 2019, 21:23

    And still no mention of who might be likely to make the drains run on time.

  11. Demetrius, 26. September 2019, 3:15

    After tonight’s meeting at Kilbirnie and speaking with the candidates, I have made some changes to the Eastern Ward rankings. Always ready to admit any mistakes I have made, and with apologies.
    But my ranking of Lester below Cox & McDonald remains (in conjunction with my explanation of STV). Lester’s attempt to justify trackless trams by stating that we don’t want to be the last city to install light rail when 2019 is likely to set records for new LRT systems worldwide, is justification enough. Instead, he prefers to install a completely untried proprietary system which has never been in revenue-earning service outside of China (and maybe not even there). And remember, this company supplied the DL class locomotives to KiwiRail, which had poor reliability from the start (worse then the ageing locos they were meant to replace), forcing them to send over technicians to fix them, then it was found that they had asbestos linings.
    In light of that, I think I was generous to Lester!

  12. Concerned Wellingtonian, 26. September 2019, 10:03

    Demetrius, anyone who suggests putting a number of any sort against Lester is far too generous.

  13. Ralf, 26. September 2019, 10:28

    Chris – while I also think putting Don Newt McDonald and Andrew Grantham Cox above Justin is cheeky I have to to agree with Demetrius that Justin is working hard on to justify this ranking. In fact I am not sure I would rank him higher than Andy Foster.

    * Justin declared a climate emergency. Next day he is opening a new gas station. (“No more new fossil fuel infrastructure” should be the minimum you do in our emergency, or maybe Justin has a different interpretation of emergency then everyone else? Is he also ignoring fire emergencies?)
    * The monument of stupidity (the convention center) is actually being built. What a waste of ratepayer money. Also why is this higher priority than our civic center? Not to mention that it also not aligns with our climate emergency.
    * he wants to build roads. At the same or higher priority then public transport.

    I will probably rate him higher than Andy since he has proven that he cannot deliver, so I am counting on that. Andy might actually deliver roads which would be a worst case scenario.

    (it would be nice to see PT being delivered (and not being destroyed) but if we can at least avoid new roads being build that would be a big improvement)

  14. Chris Calvi-Freeman, 26. September 2019, 10:55

    Hi Demetrius. Thanks for your time last night and I believe we had a really good chat and are now on the same wavelength. If people want light rail they need to vote for a mayor and councillors who are, at the very least, prepared to consider it, and hopefully prepared to prioritise it! Sector knowledge is of course an advantage, or at least the ability to critique what officers come up with at each stage.

    Michael, I’ll have to pass your query to Roger Blakeley, who originally started the process or was originally contacted by various LRT advocates. Roger then contacted me; I arranged venues for meetings and we both moved the issue forward. (He was not on LGWM and I’m not sure whether he had any traction with Chris Laidlaw & Barbara Donaldson who were the GWRC reps on the LGWM governance group.) The process might have benefited from one or two more LRT advocates, but the people we worked with had strong involvement and deep knowledge of systems around the world and were invaluable in shaping our proposals.

  15. Anand Kochunny, 1. October 2019, 2:34

    Dear Dr D,

    You’re quite right ― my website at https://www.candidatekochunny.nz/ is strong on values, but has no policy whatsoever.

    The reason is because I’m probably the only GWRC candidate who sees the ‘busastrophe’ not as a problem per se, but as a symptom of a more pervasive problem ― namely, a poor organisational culture within the GWRC, which has led to flawed decision-making that has resulted in perverse outcomes for us Wellingtonians. To change the organisational culture at GWRC, I recommend embedding my 5 Values for a Representative Democracy ― Consultation; Collaboration; Transparency; Accountability; Responsibility ― into GWRC’s DNA.

    Consequently, I’m the only GWRC candidate who’s focussed on changing the organisational culture at GWRC so that such avoidable crises (especially in other areas that GWRC is responsible for) do not occur. In order to resolve the ‘busastrophe’, I’m prepared to go back to the drawing board ― but this time, GWRC should seek advice from various stakeholders including bus operators, drivers, passengers, GWRC officials, transport advocacy groups and councillors from the Wellington City Council so that we can have a system that works for most stakeholders.

    If you’re interested, my policies are available at https://policylocal.thespinoff.co.nz/candidates/CON_0905#Anand-Kochunny

    However, first things first ― let’s start by putting the house (i.e., GWRC) in order so that decisions that are made on ‘fixing the buses’ or mass rapid transit or LGWM do not result in the chaos that has characterised the ‘busastrophe’ and made GWRC the object of scorn for an entire city. Otherwise, GWRC will be lurching from one crisis to the next.

  16. Stephen Moore, 5. October 2019, 22:55

    I am late to the party but it needs to be pointed out that BRT or LRT are not the only options for mass transit. I have had a lot of positive feedback to my article on suspended light rail that has none of the issues associated with light rail and does not need a tunnel(s) to reach Kilbirnie saving $$$$$$. Here’s a youtube video that shows it running through streets like Wellington.

    Shonan, a region about 40 kilometres southwest of Tokyo, has a very similar landscape to Wellington: steep hills with narrow congested streets and valleys. Fifty years ago it built a suspended light railway from the coastal suburb of Enoshima to the main station at Ofuna, 6.6km away. This system has the same capacity as light rail, doesn’t require dedicated traffic lanes and there’s no risk of accidents with people, cycles,etc; is much faster than light rail at 75kph because it doesn’t need to take account of intersections or people crossing its tracks or shared roads with other vehicles runs on eubber tyres so is quiet; can go up and down 10% gradients much steeper than light rail; can switch lines like light rail; doesn’t occupy road space so doesn’t conflict with traffic; minimal disruption during construction. Stations are located over the roadway and can have gateways to ensure all passengers on the platform have already paid (speeding boarding)