Wellington Scoop

NZTA: a world of its own

by Lindsay Shelton
The NZ Transport Agency lives in a world of its own. In the same week that the Regional Council and the City Council are being briefed about a second Basin Reserve roading option which doesn’t require a flyover, the Agency has released its latest concept for the area – not just one flyover, but two of them.

The Agency is acting as if it owns this part of Wellington. But its persistence with the flyover plan has lost the support of both councils. The city council voted against the flyover last year. The regional council came to its senses last week, and withdrew its support in favour of assessing other options.

The Agency’s publication of its two-flyover concept is an insult to the processes being followed by these two elected organisations.

It’s also a hasty response to the news that a “no flyover” public meeting is taking place in Wednesday, at St Joseph’s in Ellice Street at 6pm.

The Agency has booked the same venue three days later. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons it is organising what it calls “public information” days. (It’s given up the pretence of listening to the community.)

The venue is an important one. It was St Josephs that was chosen for a meeting almost four years ago when a campaign to stop the flyover was launched. At that meeting, there were concerns that decision-makers didn’t seem willing to respond to anything they didn’t agree with. Almost four years later, the same concerns are being expressed. And the community’s opposition continues, but massively helped by the existence of two professionally-designed alternatives which don’t require a flyover.

What happens next? The Transport Agency is to to apply for resource consent to the Environmental Protection Agency, chaired by former mayor Kerry Prendergast. The process will be handled by a board of review, and the Agency has paid for reports from thirty experts, all of which can be expected to support its plan. Public submissions will be the means by which alternative plans can be advanced. And let’s expect our elected representatives to continue to oppose the flyover as well.

The Transport Agency’s timeline


  1. gmb, 20. November 2012, 11:42

    From Opus’ conclusions surrounding Option X:

    “If the government decided to fund a Buckle Street tunnel then Option X could be considered further along with Option F or Option A and B linking to a tunnel. As this money is not currently available, then Option X is not a viable alternative to Option A or B.”

    Since the government has found money for tunnelling Buckle Street, Options F and X should be available for consideration. I’m also very interested to see the Richard Reid proposal. http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=50038

    GWRC has voted to examine all available options and I hope WCC makes the same demand to NZTA. http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=50019

  2. Elaine Hampton, 20. November 2012, 12:40

    I see in the image above that we seem to be looking at the tunnel entrance with no view of how this will damage the Basin Reserve and surrounding area. Concrete monstrosity.

    All options should be on the table. Option X is excellent urban design and considerably cheaper; Richard Reid’s previous solutions to traffic problems have been elegant and must be considered.

    Who in their right mind would choose a double flyover instead of good urban design? Oh well yes, people who build flyovers !!!!!!!

  3. Alana, 20. November 2012, 13:45

    With an estimated 80% of public comment opposing a flyover, and now both Wellington City Council and Wellington Regional Council opposing this proposal, why does NZTA go ahead with this awful waste of money to create an ugly wall at the Basin Reserve? There are viable alternatives. Will the government listen to NZTA or to the people who will have to live with this?
    Come along to help Stop the Flyover at a community meeting tomorrow, 21 November, 6pm, at St Joseph’s Church, next to the Basin Reserve.

  4. Sridhar, 21. November 2012, 12:52

    And if NZTA has to get approval from EPA, with Kerry Prendergast in charge of EPA, they are in the right place to get approval.

  5. John Clarke, 21. November 2012, 15:32

    I love the pictures these roading engineers come up with for their schemes … where is the litter, the graffiti, the dead shrubs, the stunted trees? How come these guys aren’t accountable for telling the truth in their advertising material, like everyone in the corporate sector?

  6. RPH, 21. November 2012, 22:42

    I love the talk of safe separation of pedestrians and traffic in this new design concept and yet the picture has the guy with the newspaper about to walk straight on to the road without looking……..

  7. Trish, 22. November 2012, 9:44

    No, RPH. He is not reading the paper. He is looking at a map and trying to figure out where is supposed to catch the bus into town.

  8. Curtis Nixon, 23. November 2012, 0:18

    No, Trish. He is a homeless person coming over to ask the artist for a smoke.

  9. Ellie, 23. November 2012, 11:12

    No No he is a foreign traveller totally confused over his map who is wondering “what on earth have they done here?”

  10. Alana, 23. November 2012, 15:02

    He is walking head down to avoid looking up at a grimy expanse of concrete and noise.

    But this isn’t over – Join us at http://www.stoptheflyover.com and Save the Basin on FB