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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.