Wellington Scoop

Another legal challenge to Shelly Bay development – concern about traffic and “huge costs”

News from Enterprise Miramar
Wellington’s Shelly Bay development is being challenged again, with judicial review proceedings filed with the High Court regarding the resource consent granted late last year.

The challenge comes from Miramar Business Association, Enterprise Miramar, which says the project will lead to significant adverse traffic effects in the area and will burden Wellington ratepayers with huge future costs at a time when the city’s infrastructure is failing.

Chair of Enterprise Miramar Thomas Wutzler says the resource consent granted by independent commissioners in 2019 was still under special housing legislation, so Enterprise Miramar, the community and stakeholders were again shut out of the process.

“Our challenge is about future costs for ratepayers, traffic, congestion, safety, and the ability to get around, on and off the Peninsula. Enterprise Miramar is asking the High Court to scrutinise the Commissioners’ conclusion that traffic effects from the proposal are no more than minor and that there is sufficient and appropriate roading infrastructure.”

Enterprise Miramar successfully challenged the first Shelly Bay resource consent in 2018. Wutzler says the conclusions which led to the second resource consent being granted are not supported by expert evidence, common sense or the experience of our members and Wellingtonians generally.

“Anyone who lives or works in the Miramar area or visits the Peninsula needs to be able to get around without being stuck in traffic. And they want to be able to enjoy the Peninsula when they are not working. That’s an important part of why many chose to establish their businesses here”.

The Enterprise Miramar Board made the decision to take further court action during lockdown due to inaction from the Council in addressing its concerns with the Shelly Bay development.

Mr Wutzler says after trying to engage with the Council for a commitment to a timely review of its decisions on Shelly Bay, Enterprise Miramar could not defer making this decision any longer.

“If the resource consent is not tested, then the developer will continue to push on and the opportunity to challenge the consent will be lost. Then, the only chance for a re-think on Shelly Bay will be if the Council finally acts,” Mr Wutzler says.

“The Enterprise Miramar Board is disappointed it has been put in this position as we wanted to trust the process and we genuinely hoped the 2nd resource consent process would have addressed our concerns. We engaged an independent traffic expert and provided his advice to the Council but the commissioners have not dealt with the issues raised.”

Mr Wutlzer says Wellingtonians voted for a new Mayor and Council to sort out the long-running issues with the Shelly Bay development.

“We know the Council has many urgent issues which have been amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic. Wellington is struggling to afford to fix its leaking water pipes and failing sewerage system, so taking on and supporting this Development and more costly infrastructure at this time is misguided.

“Once the traffic is back, the creaking road network will grind to a halt and the costs of making the coastal route safe for cyclists, walkers and runners – and dealing with rising sea levels will be enormous. Wellington ratepayers will be left with these costs, not the developer,” Mr Wutzler says.

Mr Wutzler says Enterprise Miramar has significant support for taking the case.

“As people who care about Shelly Bay realise what the case is about we are confident that support will increase.”

“Lockdown has reminded us how incredible the Peninsula is, and why we established our businesses here. It also highlighted what is important and reaffirmed why we need to aspire to an appropriate development at Shelly Bay and for a comprehensive plan for the whole of the Peninsula, including realising the potential of the Defence Force and Corrections land,” Mr Wutzler says.

February: Jackson and Walsh threaten court action over Shelly Bay


  1. Jennifer, 26. May 2020, 12:35

    Why would the WCC even think about going ahead with this development given the risks?! Wellington already has so many issues. Let’s not add to them. WCC focus on getting the fundamentals sorted, please!

  2. Matthew Joyce, 26. May 2020, 12:39

    As a Miramar local, I’m glad someone’s fighting this. Would rather not have my town turned into congestion central

  3. D Jamieson, 26. May 2020, 12:41

    I’m getting sick of feeling like this whole thing has been some sort of sneaky back door deal. If it is going to effect ratepayers this much, surely all the facts should be on the table and the costs should be forecast in a professional and transparent manner. Why hasn’t this happened?!? We have a right to know EVERYTHING that will effect us and if it effects us in a largely negative manner, surely our council should step in to protect us.

  4. Gareth, 26. May 2020, 12:42

    What a shambles by the WCC and those pushing to develop this area. A council bowing to developers in badly considered, short sighted decisions. I can’t understand why the WCC would even consider granting consent for this development let alone without carefully considering the wider issues (traffic, massive infrastructure upgrades, environment and cultural impact as well as out of control rising costs).

  5. Marion, 26. May 2020, 13:40

    Thank you Enterprise Miramar. We should have been able to count on our council to look after our interests as Miramar Peninsula residents and rate payers, but it seems not.

  6. Jamie Bird, 26. May 2020, 13:47

    Does anyone know the likely cost of the Shelly Bay development to the WCC? I know 10 million was suggested a while ago, but can this really be true? There seem to be so many issues attached to this development.

  7. greenwelly, 26. May 2020, 14:55

    @James Bird, how long is a piece of string? For the development to work the road, water and sewage infrastructure will need to be upgraded ( basically the road from the turn off to Shelly Bay needs to be widened). The council and the developer have said they will both put in $10 mil for infrastructure upgrades…whether that’s enough to cover it who knows.

    Given the council’s record with cost estimates (looking at you Omāroro Reservoir), I would expect to at least double their estimates, or even triple it if the developer refuses to pay any more.

  8. Alexandra, 26. May 2020, 15:18

    Where is Andy Foster in all of this? He was so vocal about being against Shelly Bay prior to the election, which is why I voted for him.

  9. Andre, 26. May 2020, 15:38

    Losing faith in the council’s ability to do the right thing here.
    Traffic congestion = Fail
    Sewerage infrastructure = Fail
    Addressing rising sea levels = Fail
    Increase in rates = Fail

  10. James, 26. May 2020, 15:51

    There is no mention of Shelly Bay in the draft annual plan. The long term plan sets out costs of $2.2 million for roading improvements in 2022-23 and a total of $10 million for stormwater improvements between 2019 and 2024.

  11. Ian Apperley, 27. May 2020, 15:40

    Shelly Bay has to be a sleeping, nearly dead, duck in this climate. Excuse the pun. Who’s going to want to spend a million-plus on an off the plan apartment?

  12. Concerned Wellingtonian, 28. May 2020, 8:51

    Why are the ward councillors being so quiet about this?
    The least they could do is confirm or deny that the Council’s absolute maximum liability for all associated infrastructure is $10,000,000.