Wellington Scoop

Campaigners question integrity of flyover investigation, after McKinnon statement

Statement from Save the Basin
The Save the Basin Campaign questions the integrity of the process being undertaken by the Wellington City Council to investigate alternatives to the flyover plan for the Basin Reserve, following the statement by Acting Mayor Ian McKinnon reported in today’s Dominion Post.

“Acting Mayor McKinnon’s statement has tainted the integrity and impartiality of the review by Council, and has placed a cloud over its final recommendation,” said Save the Basin Campaign spokesperson Alana Bowman.

“Our campaign calls for Cr McKinnon to remove himself from further attempts to undermine the independence of the process undertaken by Council and its officers”, Ms Bowman continued.

In contrast to Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, Cr McKinnon is in the minority of council who opposed a review of options to the flyover, and he appears to have knowledge not shared by the rest of the Council.

As reported by the DomPost, he said he expected NZTA to continue down that path after the council’s work was complete – “that path” apparently continuing to push the outdated and ugly structure on to residents who have rejected the idea through the 2011 public submission process.

Ms Bowman challenges Cr McKinnon to release information about the apparently foregone conclusion of “the council’s work” – to issue a finding in support of the flyover.


  1. Cr Ian McKinnon, 16. January 2013, 11:01

    Save the Basin has quoted the DomPost’s reporting as my having said:
    ” … he expected NZTA to continue down that path after the Council’s work was complete.’
    But it has omitted the immediately preceding words:
    “… if it couldn’t identify a better alternative … ”

    Those words are crucial for they give the purpose of this exercise of the Council working with NZTA:
    For the Council to show NZTA there is / are better options (to the proposed flyover)

    But NZTA (not me) has indicated:
    If no better alternative is found it will continue with the processes required of such a project

    Now noting my full set of words in the DomPost, one can see that I have simply given the facts of what is now taking place as a result of a Council vote which, of course, I accept.

    I was also asked how the Council would respond to NZTA’s request for Council support of its option if no alternative could be found. I did not answer that question for the obvious reason that I don’t know how the Council will respond in early March once this specific interaction of Council and NZTA is concluded.

  2. Richard MacLean, 16. January 2013, 16:10

    Greetings – Scoop has elected not to run the full response from Cr McKinnon to the comments made yesterday by Alana Bowman. Cr McKinnon’s final two paragraphs, addressed to Ms Bowman and sent to the media this morning, were:

    “Incidentally, the Mayor and Clr Foster (Transport Portfolio Leader) saw [my] media release (which naturally had been checked for accuracy by officers) before publication. Other than wondering whether one or two additional points could be made (Council’s acceptance to work with NZTA on this issue; reference to good urban design), they confirmed the release.

    It is a pity in your attack on my reputation and ccd to my colleagues you chose to be selective in reference to what I said (and a pity too for the credibility of ‘Save the Basin’). While I imagine you won’t apologise, I trust, at the very least, should you have sent your email to other than Councillors or that others are aware of its content, you will send this response of mine to them, otherwise I can.”

    We think out of fairness to Cr McKinnon and for the sake of transparency that his response to Ms Bowman is published in full.

    Richard MacLean – Wellington City Council Communications

  3. Wellington.Scoop, 16. January 2013, 16:26

    Richard: please can you send us the media release which is mentioned in the above comment – the one which was “checked for accuracy by officers before publication.” We would be happy to run it in full but we didn’t receive it.

  4. Richard MacLean, 16. January 2013, 17:13

    Greetings Lindsay – it was not a general media release but a series of written answers to the DomPost from Cr McKinnon in response to its written questions. I’m sure we will be able to flick the email to you if we can get it from Cr McKinnon.

  5. Alana Bowman, 16. January 2013, 22:41

    Sent earlier this evening:
    Dear Cr McKinnon

    Thank you for your reply to my earlier email.

    We had read the entire sentence reported in the DomPost yesterday, and we took from it a different understanding.

    We welcome your clarification that the statement is not intended as an endorsement of the flyover regardless of the outcome of the council investigation.

    Best regards
    Alana Bowman
    Save the Basin Campaign spokesperson