Wellington Scoop

Last words from Levi

We’re late to say farewell to Leviathan, who’s given up his popular and influential Wellington blog eyeofthefish.

His reasons for stopping – “I can’t go on,” he wrote – could be shared by anyone who works to maintain and sustain a website:

… at present I feel like I’ve said all I can say, written all I should write, and also feel like I have made not one jot of difference to the world. We’ve debated the Golden Mile time and time again, the Basin Bridge has been examined every which way but loose, there have been good buildings (a few) and bad buildings (far too many), but we are still left with a debacle in our capital city … Unless you’re Jacinda or Grant, then the amount of political influence you can have in this world is minuscule, and the amount of energy you have to put into it is enormous.

Leviathan offers his final list, “off the cuff, on the spot,” of what needs to happen in Wellington:

• Sort out the Basin traffic – adopt the Architectural Centre’s plan and just do it. A simple fix.

• Light Rail – to the airport – start now. We know the route (waterfront) so just over-rule the Glen Smiths of this world that keep prattling on about extending heavy rail through the city: its just not going to happen.

• Appoint a Minister of Architecture … who will decree what buildings should stay or go, what new buildings should be allowed or not (no more Chow brothels for instance), and all the rest of the Council cash should be spent on repairing the drains and sewers and fresh water. Again: just do it.

• Install smooth surfaced scooter lanes throughout the city, because I think it is the way of the future. Leave your car behind and scoot through the city (but obviously, not on the Light Rail tracks).

• Rooftop bars on all new developments and free beers on Friday afternoons (because I am a dictator and therefore I will dictate).

It’s a sad farewell to Leviathan. Here’s hoping there’s a chance that, one day, you’ll decide to return.


  1. aom, 22. November 2020, 19:57

    Hopefully, another Maximus or Leviathan will step up to the mark. The informed commentary, reports and critiques of Eye of the Fish are too valuable to disappear into the depths of the harbour. Go well Levi!

  2. Henry Filth, 23. November 2020, 20:31

    Thank you for the blog, Levi.

  3. Dave B, 23. November 2020, 21:29

    Hi Leviathan. You realise you are falsely attributing to Glenn Smith, plans to extend heavy rail through the city. The guilty windbag who keeps banging on about this is a certain Dave B. Glen Smith is innocent. He is calling for a more modest, ‘medium weight’ solution. And you really don’t need to call for Glen and his ilk (which I suppose includes me) to be “over-ruled”. What is there to over-rule? If you think we and our hare-brained ideas carry enough political weight to need over-ruling then my goodness, how did that happen! You needn’t worry. As you say, unless you’re Jacinda or Grant (or Len Brown, who successfully campaigned for Auckland’s City Rail Link), then the amount of political influence you can have in this world is minuscule. On the other hand, unless you are a particular fan of 4-lanes-to-the-planes and a Basin flyover, you should be calling for over-ruling of the much more powerful interests supporting these proposals, because these are still likely to be the default if we don’t act do something pretty radical with rail instead.

    By the way, sorry to see Eye of the Fish close. You may have had more influence than you think. Sometimes seeds just take a long, long time to germinate. All the best.

  4. Helene Ritchie, 24. November 2020, 12:38

    Thanks Levi. We’ve jostled just a bit – you and I over the years … agreed and disagreed! I guessed you are an architect but that might be wrong too! All the best with your future.