“Anathema:” flyovers represent car-dominated city, says NZTA witness

News from Save the Basin
Landscape architect Gavin Lister, appearing for the New Zealand Transport Agency, has made a revealing admission at the Board of Inquiry hearing into the proposed Basin Reserve flyover.

Under questioning by Board of Inquiry member David Collins, Gavin Lister said:

“Flyovers are anathema to urban design thinking because of what they represent. They represent a car-dominated city, a sprawling car-dominated city which is kind of the antithesis of the compact, mixed use, high intensity city supported by walkability and public transport.”

Commenting on this admission, Save the Basin Campaign spokesperson Tim Jones said “Under detailed questioning from the Board, Gavin Lister admitted what the Save the Basin Campaign has been saying all along: that the idea of building a flyover at the Basin Reserve is a relic of the antiquated, car-dominated transport thinking that modern cities all around the world have abandoned.”

“Having made this admission, Mr Lister then made a rather extraordinary turnabout to say that these were exactly the same reasons the proposed flyover was needed. He did not explain why.

“When the Transport Agency’s own witnesses make such trenchant criticisms of flyovers, it’s a clear sign that the Basin Reserve flyover project has been badly thought through and inadequately assessed against alternatives.

“New Zealanders are innovators and forward thinkers. It’s time the Government and the Transport Agency consigned flyovers to the dustbin of transport history and started developing modern, meaningful transport solutions,” Mr Jones concluded.

Flyover doesnt respect topography, says witness



  1. m, 14. April 2014, 16:28

    So NZTA’s hired gun shot straight from the hip and told the truth – interesting. Bet he won’t get asked again to offer testimony

  2. Maximus, 14. April 2014, 22:44

    For those who have the patience of a saint, reading the daily transcripts of the Basin Bridge Enquiry is an interesting exercise. In less than an hour, you can race through 8 hours worth of umming and errrring in real life, and the dialogue comes out a lot more blunt, and direct. Almost even racey. I’ve no idea what Lister was like in person, but reading the transcript from his cross-examination made him sound like a real curmudgeon, grumpy and pissed off, and not keen to play the game and go along with the lawyers’ wordsmithing. He has apparently been an expert witness on many of these projects, so many that he even forgot to list his latest, that of the Transmission Gully, a little project nearby that you may have heard about.

    The truth is that all the expert witnesses have been selected for their blinkered ability to see only one thing – a flyover. There are – what, around 25 witnesses appearing for NZTA, and not one of them has ever admitted that there is anything they would like to see more of in the world, than the sight of a flyover. I wouldn’t dream of calling any of them a liar, because I honestly think they do believe what they are saying. But I do find it extraordinary that they can do this with a straight face. At least Pistorious has the honesty to break down in tears on the witness box, my Lady. These witnesses – nothing can crack their steel and resolve.

  3. Ron Beernink, 15. April 2014, 9:16

    Thank you, Tim Jones for your amazing effort in challenging NZTA and this fraught proposal. Also, the many other fellow submitters who have voiced their opposition. Well done.


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