Cancelled, declined: board of inquiry rejects Basin flyover by 3 to 1 majority


News release from EPA
The independent Board of Inquiry delegated to decide on the Basin Bridge Proposal has, by a majority decision (3 to 1), cancelled the Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its resource consent applications for the construction, operation and maintenance of a flyover on State Highway 1 in Wellington City between Paterson Street and Buckle Street/Taranaki Street.

The draft report and decision is available on the EPA website here:

A total of 215 submissions were received, and evidence was heard from 69 witnesses and representations by a further 74 submitters.

Parties specified under Section 149Q(3) of the RMA now have 20 working days to make comments on minor or technical aspects of the report. Comments to the EPA need to be received in writing by 5pm 19 August 2014. Comments may be:

· on minor errors in the report

· on the wording of conditions specified in the report

· that there are omissions in the report (for example, if the report does not address a certain issue brought up through submissions or at the hearing)

Parties may not comment on the Board of Inquiry’s decision or its reasons for that decision.

The Board will consider any comments received and then make its decision and prepare a final report. The Board will then produce its final decision, and provide it to the EPA by 30 August.

Background notes

The Basin Bridge Proposal was referred to the Board of Inquiry by the Minister for the Environment on 3 July 2013.

The Board conducted a hearing between 3 February and 4 June. It ran for 72 sitting days, over a four month period.

The Project consists of a two-lane one way bridge (the Basin Bridge) and involved:

the proposed construction and operation of the 265m long Basin Bridge

• a new Northern Gateway Building within the Basin Reserve

• an elevated shared pedestrian and cycle way on the north side of the Basin Bridge

• a building under the bridge on Bogarts Corner, including a multi-storey planted trellis ‘green screen’ adjacent to the Grandstand Apartments

• landscaping and planting, including an extension to the National War memorial Park

• a clearway on Vivian Street and upgrades to several intersections.

The Board is chaired by Retired Environment and District Court Judge Gordon Whiting. The other three members are David Collins, James Baines, and David McMahon.

The Board makes its decision independently of the EPA and of the Minister. Its decision can be appealed to the High Court on points of law only, and it cannot be overturned by the Minister.



  1. Michael Gibson, 22. July 2014, 15:48

    It all sounded doctrinaire & a complete mess. The so-called ‘sop’ to cricket-lovers was ridiculous.

  2. Jordan Carter, 22. July 2014, 15:48

    No flyover for you, Basin. Can we have a tunnel? [via Twitter]

  3. Julie Gunn, 22. July 2014, 15:50

    An amazing victory for people and places over cars and roads! Thanks Save the Basin and the Architectural Centre. [via Twitter]

  4. Awa Press, 22. July 2014, 15:52

    As lovers of and office workers in fabulous Te Aro, we applaud the board of inquiry’s decision to axe the appalling #Basin flyover [via Twitter]

  5. Grant Robertson, 22. July 2014, 16:10

    A huge victory for a sustainable transport in Wellington with Board of Inquiry rejecting Basin Flyover. Congrats to all who worked so hard. The decision is damning on NZTA- didn’t properly consider alternatives, significant destruction of heritage + amenity. [via Twitter]

  6. Daryl Cockburn, 22. July 2014, 17:28

    But can we please have the money for the transport system we want?

  7. nato, 22. July 2014, 17:39

    awesome stuff. this wont be the end of it tho, brownlee will want to change the rules to help himself.

  8. Anthony Firth, NZTA, 22. July 2014, 19:19

    “We will be taking the time to closely consider this decision before determining our next steps.” (quoted in the NZ Herald)

  9. Celia Wade-Brown, 22. July 2014, 19:51

    No flyover blot – Buckle St underpass is on track and will cut jams. WCC will work with GW & NZTA on better Basin plan [via Twitter]

  10. Helene Ritchie, 22. July 2014, 22:15

    The outcome of the hearings and the fact that the draft decision declines the application to build the Flyover is an excellent decision. It opens up the opportunity for recognition of our special landscape, visual, open space, heritage and urban character for any future transport design. It reflects the City we are and have become, without compromising in any significant way our transport needs, as the traffic benefits of the Flyover were minimal, one way and without significant time savings. The cost of imposing the Flyover on the city would have been too great. It also recognises the special heritage and open space value of the historic Basin Reserve, and its cricket and sport potential. Congratulations to all who worked hard to achieve this outcome.

  11. Hayley Robinson, 23. July 2014, 0:39

    Extremely relieved that common sense has prevailed. Thanks to everyone who supported a flyover-free Basin. The board members asked thoughtful questions and I really appreciated that they appeared to take even individual submitters seriously. Thanks from my kids too.

  12. Marty, 23. July 2014, 6:46

    Yippee! Next job is to stop the trolley buses being scrapped.

  13. Mark W, 23. July 2014, 9:39

    Now that the flyover is done and dusted, perhaps the useless GWRC can rethink their inept decision of scrapping the trolleybuses.

  14. Billy Boy, 23. July 2014, 10:38

    Like the opening episode of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, only this time the Vogons have received a setback. Now watch Gerry Brownlee come to their rescue, sack the board and form a new one with members who will do what he tells them, ala Canterbury.

  15. Elaine Hampton, Mt Victoria Residents Assn, 23. July 2014, 11:15

    The Mt Victoria Residents Association is delighted with this outcome.
    The Board is to be congratulated for resisting political pressure in reaching a well reasoned decision.

  16. Michael, 23. July 2014, 11:32

    A fantastic decision.

    Fran Wilde was on Radio NZ this morning saying that this is a setback for public transport and cycling. Sadly, transparently disingenuous, and what a terrible price it would have been. A concrete flyover would have been a blot on the inner city landscape for decades to come.

    A big thank you to all those in the community who were instrumental in reaching this outcome.

  17. Esjay, 23. July 2014, 12:13

    Congrats to the Mt Victoria folk for a great fight. However I cannot understand why there was no Plan B. In typical fashion NZTA put up a proposal that was completely aligned to a budget without an alternative plan. A one way flyover was always a no brainer. Perhaps next time they will seek the views of the public at large with a clean slate in a transparent consultation process.

  18. Ellie, 23. July 2014, 13:45

    Esjay; you are dreaming again !
    Transparent consultation, clean slate? Bigger guns more likely.

  19. Esjay, 24. July 2014, 16:50

    Ellie: suggest that you read the article by Patrick McCombs published today on Wellington.Scoop


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