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Let’s Get Wellington Moving – what went wrong

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Opinion from NZ National Party
The Let’s Get Wellington Moving project (LGWM) was commenced with good intentions in 2016 by the National-led Government alongside local government in Wellington. The aim was to let bygones be bygones, figure out what Wellingtonians wanted, gain as much consensus as possible amongst key agencies, and design an integrated package that looked at the needs of the city as a whole rather than on a project-by-project basis.

LGWM was finally released to the public in May 2019. However, the package announced by the Government differed markedly from the Recommended Programme of Investment (RPI), dated October 2018, which was devised by the LGWM working group after extensive work and consultation.

The most notable omissions were two critical state highway projects – a second Terrace Tunnel, and undergrounding SH1 at Te Aro. Both were recommended in the RPI, but were absent from the announced package.

Furthermore, the package purported to contain a second Mt Victoria Tunnel (which was recommended in the RPI), but it was obvious Ministers were lukewarm on the prospect. Later, it was revealed that the second Mt Victoria Tunnel had essentially been pushed back to 2029 or later at the behest of Associate Minister of Transport (and Green Party Transport Spokesperson) Julie-Anne Genter by way of still-unreleased “secret letter” to Minister of Transport Phil Twyford. The letter has never been released, but both Twyford and Genter have all but admitted it was her pressure that led to the tunnel being pushed back.

There are three further problems with Let’s Get Wellington Moving:

• It did not look at the whole region, only at the area from Ngauranga through to the airport. The Hutt Valley and northern suburbs were left completely out of the package.

• How the programme will actually be delivered is unclear. Accountability for delivery of the programme is opaque, and projects announced as being committed to by Government are, in reality, not assured of funding through NZTA.

• The cost split between local government and central government has never been satisfactorily resolved. Local government is expected to pay for state highway projects (traditionally the responsibility of central government), with very limited funding tools available to them.

National’s Transport Package will address these issues.

16 comments:

  1. Andrew, 6. August 2020, 16:55

    Since when did this site become the political broadcast arm of the National party? How about we get them moving off this site!

     
  2. Jackson, 6. August 2020, 18:19

    The fact this site publishes from across the gamut is one reason I browse here. If seeing press releases from the National Party offends you Andrew, go visit The Spin-off.

     
  3. John M, 6. August 2020, 20:32

    Disappointing, narrow minded comment Andrew. This site prints press releases from all political viewpoints and while I don’t agree with many of them I congratulate Scoop for printing them!

     
  4. Concerned Wellingtonian, 7. August 2020, 7:24

    Andrew, are you the sort of person who has a crack at, say, Catholics, when they dare express a viewpoint?

     
  5. John Potter, 7. August 2020, 9:50

    As an Aucklander I really couldn’t care less about Wellington’s transport woes (except to note that Wellingtonians seem to believe that a 5 to 10 minute delay in transport is terrible!) but the comment that “National’s Transport Package will address these issues” is enough to stop any financial support of Scoop. If I wanted to read what any political party proposed, I didn’t expect to find it here!

     
  6. Andrew, 7. August 2020, 13:20

    Thanks for the pile-on guys – seems I struck a nerve.

     
  7. Dave B (Wellington), 7. August 2020, 13:27

    John Potter, some of us who follow Wellington.Scoop are deeply concerned about Auckland’s transport woes also. This whole issue (of transport policy based on distorted political agenda rather than empirical evidence) is affecting the whole country, in fact the whole globe. It is one of the major issues of our time, and the more it can be discussed and critiqued the better.
    This site does a good job of enabling this!

     
  8. Peter S, 7. August 2020, 19:42

    National Party. What a joke. The planet is dying, and their solution is more roads. Go figure.

     
  9. TrevorH, 7. August 2020, 21:19

    @ Peter S. What nonsense, the planet is not “dying”. In fact it hasn’t been greener for thousands of years. But we must control waste, especially plastics.

     
  10. Jii, 7. August 2020, 21:37

    Peter the planet has been around for billions of years and will be around for billions more years whether you like it or not. So bad luck Mate, your prediction of the planets death is irrational nonsense.

     
  11. Peter S, 8. August 2020, 14:28

    @TrevorH and @Jii, I didn’t mean it literally. But as you will know, we are in an era of mass extinction, mass pollution and severe degradation of earth’s ecosystems. It’s up to you whether you think that is caused by human activity. Some people might call it progress, and that being able to save two minutes driving to the airport is more important than my children’s right to breathe clean air and live in a unpolluted environment.
    I don’t think “dying” is too strong a word.

     
  12. TrevorH, 8. August 2020, 15:03

    @ Peter S. Thanks for the clarification. I don’t see how reducing congestion (and fuel use) by widening key arterial routes will contribute to mass extinctions. Personally I’d like to see the airport moved up the coast with access by a dedicated rail spur as well as the new motorway developments. It’s totally in the wrong place from just about every perspective.

     
  13. Kerry, 18. August 2020, 11:07

    Trevor. The connection to our climate emergency is carbon emissions, and in New Zealand, road transport is a major contributor. Worse, road transport emissions are killing more people than car crashes: why should this be tolerated in a climate emergency?
    All the alternatives to cars have substantially fewer emissions, and all the on-road alternatives — walking, cycling, buses and light rail — can move more people than cars. Walking uses road space at least 8 times more effectively, cycling at least 6 times, buses at least 4 times and and light rail at least 10 times. And all these alternatives need far less parking space

     
  14. TrevorH, 18. August 2020, 13:22

    @ Kerry: there is no “climate emergency”. Temperatures today are lower than in the Medieval or Roman warmings, which occurred in “pre-industrial” times. Carbon is a building block of life. Pollution is another matter. [“Climate change is real and human activities are the main cause. Impacts of a 1.1-degree increase are here today in the increased frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events from heatwaves, droughts, flooding, winter storms, hurricanes and wildfires.” – UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.]

     
  15. TrevorH, 18. August 2020, 14:27

    @ Wellington Scoop. Thanks for the editorial comment. When the UN IPCC talks about a 1.1 degree increase, what is that in relation to? Pre-industrial times? Exactly what are they referring to as their baseline period? [IPCC: From 1880 to 2012, the average global temperature increased by 0.85°C.] [Facts from NASA.]

     
  16. TrevorH, 18. August 2020, 16:33

    @Wellington Scoop. Yes temperatures have been recovering since the end of the Little Ice Age around 1850, which persisted for around five hundred years leading to the abandonment of agriculture in Greenland, the occasional freezing over of the Baltic sea and such activities as the holding of regular frost fairs on the River Thames. But they are still below those estimated for previous warming periods. Throughout Earth’s history climate change has been continual, mainly influenced by variations in the amount of solar radiation received by the Earth.