Wellington Scoop

Flyover: lingering, or loitering


Daily transcripts from the flyover inquiry provide some memorable examples of key issues being considered by the four government-appointed board members. Here, from the official transcript of day two, the Transport Agency tries to defend its plan for providing seats and flowerbeds under the flyover, while also – contradictorily – wanting to discourage loitering in the same area.

CHAIRPERSON: I think on reading the extensive landscape evidence that we’ve received so far there doesn’t appear to be too much of a disagreement about everything has been done that is humanly possible to be done by way of design and by way of mitigation features.

MR CAMERON (for Transport Agency): Yes, sir.

CHAIRPERSON: The disagreement is that it doesn’t work. You can’t make a silk purse out of a pig’s ear one lot are saying and the other’s saying well we have. That’s really the issue isn’t it?

MR CAMERON: Yes it is. That’s it. I don’t think I could take it any further.

CHAIRPERSON: No, it’s a question of evidence.

MR CAMERON: I think the analogy’s a little unfortunate. Nonetheless, the point is clear, yes, the Agency has really made a huge effort here to get it right.

CHAIRPERSON: And some witnesses say they have and some witnesses say notwithstanding it’s still creating adverse effects.


CHAIRPERSON: That’s the issue.

MR CAMERON: That’s the issue.

CHAIRPERSON: And the issue is how significant they are.


CHAIRPERSON: Which is something for us to make our minds up after we’ve heard all the evidence.


MR COLLINS (board member): There is also a dispute about how useful those new pedestrian environments would be in that location.

MR CAMERON: Yes, there is. The width of the shared cycleway and pedestrian path springs to mind.

MR COLLINS: That’s why I’m thinking more of the landscaped area to the top end of Kent and Cambridge Terraces and leading up into the Memorial gardens. All beautiful flowerbeds and seats and things and you think well there’s dispute about who would actually use it? Are there enough people working around that area who want to go and sit down at lunchtime or would people pause because it’s a nice environment to admire the bridge or would they hurry on? …

… MR CAMERON: I think the phrase that springs to mind that most usefully describes that zone where there will be – there is no question there, there will be a degree of shading. It’s a transition space effectively,and that is where one really has to look very carefully at the design elements of the bridge and how that responds to that and whether or not it creates a transitional space that is responsive and appropriate to that environment.For example, the bridge does create or is designed in such a way that it isn’t obstructing light entirely from percolating through it.

And later

MR CAMERON: The potential for crime to increase as a result of the design of the project is a relevant consideration. Several submitters have raised concerns in relation to the potential of the project to generate crime. These submissions were summarised in the Mitchel Partnership’s Summary of Submissions Report under the general heading “Safety”, which also included concerns regarding road safety and pedestrian safety. The general concern is that the project will generate crime by creating an unsafe environment under the bridge, for example, loitering. Some submitters seek adequate lighting under the bridge, the installation of CCTV cameras, and the use of security guards. There is also a concern about graffiti and vandalism.

With regard to the planning framework, the authors confirm their assessment that the development of this project has involved careful thought and design with respect to CPTED effects, including by elimination of dead spaces such as by the building under the bridge. The second report also seeks clarification regarding the responsibility for removing any potential graffiti on the bridge structure. … In summary [a technical report] notes that the public can continue to report graffiti to the Wellington City Council’s call centre. In addition it is anticipated graffiti will be actively looked out for and removed by contractors typically within 48 hours in accordance with service level agreements put in place jointly by the Agency and the Council.

The question for the Board is whether crime prevention has been adequately incorporated into the project design such that the risk of an increase in crime and antisocial behaviour is avoided. It is submitted that crime profile is not expected to increase as a result of the project and may well decrease … The design has gone beyond simply neutralising potential security problems and has materially contributed to the quality of the project. Examples include the abutment treatments, openness of public space and walkways, positioning and treatment of the bridge piers and amenity planting which is designed to discourage loitering.

Daily transcripts of the hearing are available here


  1. Driver, 6. February 2014, 15:00

    If the Transport Agency can afford to pay for a cricket pavilion, will it also pay for gardeners to maintain the flower beds? And will it pay for the prompt and regular removal of the inevitable graffiti? Or will these costs be inherited by ratepayers?

  2. John Clarke, 6. February 2014, 18:42

    Looking at Karo Drive (previously the Inner City Bypass), Cobham Drive and the Korokoro interchange on SH2, it’s obvious that NZTA’s “artistic renderings” are nothing more than an exercise in deliberate institutional deceit. The finished result won’t look anything like the moodily-lit green-swathed expanses of fashionable lounging spots shown in the pictures – they’ll look like the pig-ugly concrete and shingle wasteland on Karo Drive between Taranaki St and Cuba St. I hope the board of inquiry conclude that NZTA’s pictures are no more than – in the memorable words of another inquiry – an “orchestrated litany of lies”.

  3. Elaine E, 6. February 2014, 19:24

    NZTA should be challenged to find actual pictures of any real intercity flyovers anywhere in the world that are attractive, pleasant places to walk under or “sunbathe” beside. Have you been to Hong Kong lately?

    In Shanghai when I visited in 2008, many raised motorways had plant boxes attached to the sides. Many of the plants were dead or nearly so. Would NZTA pay for the maintenance of the green wall they are proposing to shield the Grandstand Apartment? Or are they planning to use plastic plants?

  4. Maximus, 6. February 2014, 21:57

    Driver, you are one of the many who think that graffiti will happen to the flyover legs where they meet the ground. This would of course be a huge PR embarrassment for NZTA, as they have said that it would not. And so, they’re one step ahead of you. Not only will the concrete supports for the flyover be finished in a particular way that doesn’t support graffiti, the actual legs will be surrounded by plants that do not encourage you to come near them. Spikey plants. Plants that grown in a bog. Quicksand. Plants that give you an electric shock if you walk past them. Stinging nettles. Cactus. Meulenbeckia. Venus fly traps, that sort of thing.

  5. Traveller, 6. February 2014, 22:31

    Quicksand would be a great idea, as long as the flyover didnt sink into it. They could also cultivate a colony of poisonous spiders. And if they prepared for the possibility of possums, they’d have an excuse to place cyanide among the flowers.

  6. Nostra Damus, 11. February 2014, 7:22

    Look you cynics, in twenty years time when the flyover is realised to have been a big mistake, it will be turned into an aerial linear park as in New York. Then we will be able ramble through the bramble and pick blackberries in summer whilst watching the son of McCullum score a triple century in 5:5 over match against Australia.