Wellington Scoop

Whose memorial?

by Lindsay Shelton
The DominionPost has started to realise the extent that a flyover at the Basin Reserve would be damaging to Wellington’s urban design. On Saturday it editorialised: “The flyover is not beautiful and no politician will want it as her memorial.”

There was more, if grudgingly.

“It is at least understandable why the mayor and Left or Green councillors would find this a difficult decision.”

But then the editorial writer slipped back into cliche.

“Unfortunately, there is no real alternative and doing a series of U-turns around the thing has helped nobody.”

For the record: there are real alternatives, given the same political will that made the decision to put Buckle Street into a tunnel under the war memorial park.

For the record: the council didn’t do a series of u-turns, but it voted to explore other options.

For the record: if the flyover is built it will be a memorial to the seven city councillors – two women and five men – who voted for it. But it will be a special memorial to Councillor Andy Foster who was opposed to it in December but who then changed his position and refused to oppose it at last month’s council meeting. That’s why it’s being referred to as Foster’s flyover.


  1. Elaine Hampton, 11. April 2013, 23:01

    Damaging to urban design!
    Damaging to Wellington’s urban design!
    There are good urban design options which have not been properly considered and would probably not cost much more if at all. Time to consider them – there are real alternatives. They just need to be admitted and considered openly – can even the DomPost get that ?

  2. Alana Bowman, 15. April 2013, 10:36

    The other options considered by Council staff and disregarded received the same work-over by Opus, who had also consulted with NZTA and its preference for the flyover. No surprise there.
    But when the designers of the two options, Richard Reid for Option R, and Guy Marriage, for Option X, took the time to provide written rebuttal to the staff report, and also came to Council to personally answer questions, they were heard politely, with no substantive questions by staff or Council.
    And then Andy Foster voted against his stated opposition to the flyover and said it was all about “messaging” and “disappointing” NZTA.