Subsidies, slush funds, and secrecy

Airport Sing arrives
Photo: Wellington Airport

by Andy Foster
There was much excitement as Singapore Air flight SQ 291 arrived to a warm welcome last month. It made us, well those watching in and around the airport, feel a bit more connected to the rest of the world. The question is though – should ratepayer money be involved in getting these flights here? And what about the decision-making process? Read more »

What they’re saying about the surf break and the seawall

corner surf
Photograph by Anthony Green. Click here for fullsize version

by Michael Gunson
After our last article (Dude, where’s my Surf break!) we decided to ask all 40 mayoral and council candidates where they stand on the airport’s wish to remove policies in the Natural Resourcs Plan that protect the Lyall Bay Corner surf break. Read more »

Light rail – overcoming any doubts

karlsruh tram train

by Rob Martin
Over the past three months I have been looking at tram-train systems in the UK and Europe and have also been following the debate about proposals for a light rail system to overcome the public transport congestion through the Wellington CBD. Read more »

Spending more in Wellington, spending less in Porirua


by Keith Johnson
I have stood next to Nick Leggett on what has begun to seem an innumerable number of occasions on the Wellington mayoral contest trail and can confirm that he is an amiable young chap, a smooth and professional politician, and someone who wants to ‘inject new energy into Wellington, with it having languished in recent years’ [try telling that to people in Island Bay where they’re paying 50 percent over RV for dilapidated properties with modest seafront views!]. Read more »

Farewell to a cycling mayor

bikey celia

by Ron Beernink
How wonderful it has been to have had a mayor who cycled the talk! Celia Wade-Brown has done a fantastic job at helping to set a vision and strategy for Wellington that ensures strong support for cycling and walking. Read more »

Voting them in, voting them out

by Tony Jansen
As if it couldn’t get any worse. The Auditor-General has now been asked to investigate the Wellington City Council’s “corporate inducement” deal benefitting one of the world’s largest and most profitable airlines to the tune of up to $800,000 per annum. And it could be for ten years. Read more »

Are councils redundant?

by Ian Apperley
Up till yesterday, only 10,980 Wellingtonians had voted. The last local election saw a 40.85% return with 55,716 voting papers returned. So it’s looking like this year could have an even lower return. Read more »

Free of what capital?

by Norbert Hausberg
The new slogan is out – pest free capital, predator free. I would prefer a free public transport capital. Or even better a CO2 free capital. Maybe a car free capital? How about a motorway free capital? A waste free capital? Read more »

Council diversity … not only gender

by Diane Calvert
There are only eleven women (out of a total of 40 candidates) standing for the Wellington City Council – somewhat surprising given Wellington has had a woman mayor for the past 12 years and there are already five sitting woman councillors. Hopefully the success rate of women elected across 15 seats will be greater than 25%. Read more »

Successes, failures, and propaganda

by Ian Apperley
The Wellington City Council has just released its annual report and it makes for interesting reading. It is, once again, along with the accompanying press release, a masterful exercise in propaganda.
Read more »

Candidates and sustainability

by Dave McArthur
Rating election candidates for their sustainability is based on the question: “What if information is physical? What if the physical world is essentially information?” Read more »

Dude, where’s my surf break?


by Michael Gunson
The Surfbreak Protection Society (SPS) would like to think that its submission opposing the runway extension and artificial swell focus reef is the cause of the airport company’s decision to suspend and revise its consent application. The reality is probably that the submission is only one of a number that led Wellington International Airport Ltd to suspend the process. Read more »

Promises, promises … the campaign for number one

by Lindsay Shelton
As the voting period gets shorter (and the days get longer) you can’t help thinking about some of the stranger parts of the election campaign. Read more »

A game of chance

by Gordon Campbell
Election day for local government is approaching. Around the country, the candidates seem to be the usual crew i.e. barely recognisable people offering a mixture of enticements, some of which sound kind of acceptable if you can ignore the stuff that sounds weirdly off-putting. Read more »

How they’ve been spending your money – and how much theyre paying themselves

by Neil Douglas
Three years ago I looked at how our local councils and our regional council were doing in keeping rates under control, as one factor in helping you decide who to vote for in the local elections. Since election time is rapidly approaching again, I’ve redone the analysis and added some other criteria such as the remuneration of our Mayors and Chief Executive Officers. Read more »

Family ties: Bill joins Jo’s campaign

by Lindsay Shelton
Jo Coughlan’s list of endorsements went up a notch last week. Her public supporters now include her brother-in-law the deputy prime minister. Read more »

Cars have never made good homes

by Christine McCarthy
Ten years ago there were no beggars on the streets of Wellington. Today almost every walk through the CBD reveals the increase in poverty in New Zealand. Read more »

Picking favourites

by Lindsay Shelton
Among the tsunami of questions being dealt with by Wellington’s mayoral candidates, there’s been a down-to-earth series from local architects, who’ve been asking the wannabes about their favourite things. Read more »