Happy new year

Happy new year to all our readers. We’re starting our seventh year of chronicling life in Wellington. And last year set records for us – more than 600,000 page views. Read by more than 257,000 people.
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“Complete denial:” Wellington’s unique and unresolved transport problems

by Brent Efford
Many Wellington citizens are concerned about combatting the ‘roads of national significance’, adapting to a post-carbon future, and providing a real transport choice for car commuters. Read more »

No boom time for public transport

by Paul Bruce
Yes, I was a strong supporter of the major upgrade of last century’s clapped out trains to the Matangis and I welcome the resulting 8 per cent patronage increase for rail services. But the benefits have not extended beyond the Wellington railway station, have not resulted in boom time for Wellington city commuters, and there is no resolution to bus reliability problems. Read more »

Goodbye Hilton at Te Papa: the collapse of one of the council’s great ideas

convention centre

One of the city council’s eight great ideas has suddenly crashed. The Hilton Hotel and convention centre opposite Te Papa in Cable Street, which was approved last month with a promise of more than $40million of council money, has been cancelled. In circumstances which are less than clear. Read more »

Convention centre collapse seen as indictment of council processes

by Helene Ritchie
The axing of the Hilton project is a shocking indictment on the Wellington City Council’s processes, judgement and fiscal responsibility. It was always a dubious deal. It was clearly never going to stack up in a number of ways. Read more »

Open letter from the Island Bay cycleway

An open letter from the Island Bay Cycleway to Island Bay residents Vicki & Dave
Dear Vicki & Dave,
First of all, thank you for the comment you made on my Facebook page on Sunday. It’s great to have your input into the conversation. You raised a number of issues that are obviously causing you concern, so I’d like to address them one by one and hopefully put your minds at rest. I hope you will receive this feedback in the constructive spirit it is given. Read more »

Auckland’s supercity four years on – a lesson for Wellington

by Mike Lee
Much was promised when the seven former local authorities and the Auckland Regional Council were disbanded/amalgamated by the National Government. Wellingtonians may be interested to know how it’s working out. I am disappointed to say: it’s not so good. Read more »

Just when you thought you’d soon be riding on a real city cycleway …

cycle B

by Regan Dooley
Just when you thought it might be over, the Island Bay cycleway saga rolls on – with another attempt by a group of city councillors to delay construction.
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A year of achievement for the city’s natural environment

by Helene Ritchie
2014 has been an especially good and focused year for me as a City Councillor and Health Board member, for my natural environment portfolio, for my Ward, the Northern Ward, and the city as a whole. My main focus is always: my Ward, the city, and my portfolio with an emphasis on being creative, assertive, vigilant, persuasive, thorough and strategic. Read more »

Lengthening the runway: $3m, so far, from the council to the airport company

runway 2

Wellington City Councillors (but not all of them) have voted to give another $2million to the airport company, to help it continue making plans for a longer runway. Read more »

Scrapping trolley buses; one of the silliest decisions of the year

by Paul Bruce and Sue Kedgley
We were elected as Green Councillors to the Wellington Regional Council just over a year ago, so we thought we would report on some of the highlights, successes and failures of our past year on the Council. Read more »

Losing our appetite for events?

by Lindsay Shelton
Who do you believe? The chief executive of NZ Rugby? Or the awkwardly-named Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment? Read more »

At last: new life for the town hall, and an overdue fix for civic square

by Lindsay Shelton
Let’s be pleased that the city council is developing a plan for strengthening the Town Hall without blowing its budget. And let’s be even more pleased that the plan includes long-overdue schemes for making better use of Civic Square – which has too often been an empty space. Read more »

Amalgamation – already?

advt regional

by Lindsay Shelton
This big advertisement on Saturday offers a new job that will be responsible for solving all the region’s problems. It seeks someone to run a new regional organisation. And you thought that amalgamation hadn’t yet begun. Read more »

Supercity: seven reasons why we’ll be voting against it

by Ian Apperley
Amalgamation! The saviour of us all! Yes? Wait, how much? When Auckland City was amalgamated, the promises that were made were not, in my opinion, delivered. Worse, the cost of things went up terribly. Let’s go back a bit here. Read more »

Supercity: for and against

Here’s what they’re saying about the proposal for a supercity. Only one mayor is in favour of the plan, plus Fran Wilde of course. Read more »

Supercity decision: one mayor, twenty-one councillors, and eight local boards


The Local Government Commission has decided that Wellington should become a super city, with all of its nine councils being merged into one. It is recommending that the new super city should be governed by one council with a mayor and 21 councillors, advised by eight local boards. Read more »

Supercity needs mix of practical/visionary

by Alan Smith
The Local Government amalgamation preference is out; due process follows. May facts and opportunities drive the outcome. It’s all about realising the potential of Wellington. So leadership is the key – not dominance, but that best mix of the practical and the visionary. Read more »