It was a close call at today’s Wellington City Council meeting. The vote in favour of the Basin Reserve flyover with “mitigation” was carried but only by seven votes to six (with two councillors absent).
As a result of the close vote, the council will tell the board of inquiry that it supports the flyover subject to a programme of landscaping which the council announced on Monday. The landscaping, already agreed with the Transport Agency, will be carried out on Karo Drive, Adelaide Road, and Kent and Cambridge Terraces. Monday’s announcement also claimed that there had been improvements to the flyover’s design, though no details were provided.
Today’s council debate revealed that the controversial flyover is now expected to cost $100 million, up from the $90 million that has been quoted over the last year or so, and a much lesser sum which was provided in previous years.
One of the six who voted against the flyover was the mayor Celia Wade-Brown. During the meeting she sent out a Twitter message in which she said: Cannot vote in support of flyover, despite improvements. It may be symbolic, but $90m on SH1 doesn’t answer climate change at all.
Yesterday the Regional Council also voted in favour of the flyover. Two councillors voted against it, and two others said they didn’t like it but voted for it anyway.
Media release from John Morrison
“An extraordinary flip flop” was how mayoral candidate John Morrison described today’s Wellington City Council meeting where the Mayor seconded a motion for the Basin Reserve flyover and then voted against it.
“Our Green Mayor seconded the motion and spoke supporting the flyover and the mitigation. Then later in the same meeting she asked to speak again and announced she was against the flyover and voted against it.”
The motion to proceed was carried 7 votes to 6 but Morrison warned the Greens would not take the decision lying down and if they get into any position of power after the elections they would slow the process down to glacial pace.
Morrison pledged that whether he becomes Mayor or not, he would become the catalyst for positive public submissions that support the Basin Flyover and a second Mt Victoria tunnel. He promised to bring down a torrent of positivity that will drive these projects through as quickly as possible.
“If the current Mayor makes it back again it will be three more years of the same. The Greens hate roads; they’ve slowed this vital roading project down and wasted money on vexatious reports that defy common sense.
“There’s $800 million of Transit funding on the table and 2000 construction jobs at stake. The objective is to achieve a free flowing roading network from Ngauranga to the airport, which I thoroughly support.
“The current Mayor says she still prefers an underground solution for the Basin Reserve, then she supported the flyover and then she changed her mind. She still prefers light rail in spite of the crippling costs, but now supports better bus solutions.
“Dithering indecision and policy U-turns on promises she made at the last election is not the way to run the city. We need to get Wellington moving forward again,” Morrison said.
Morrison said the project bounded ahead once the Basin Reserve Trust, of which he is a member, reached agreement on the new pavilion stand that mitigates traffic effects on national and international cricket and future-proofs the iconic Wellington ground.
“Agreement was reached after lengthy and difficult negotiations with NZTA,” he said. “We wanted the best possible deal for cricket and the sporting public of Wellington and with that now achieved, Wellingtonians just want to get on with it.”