Pulling it down, or making a plan

Paul Eagle is dissatisfied with the city council’s housing policies. Which is a shock, because he’s in charge of them. Read more »

Begging for it, or giving it away

The Wellington City Council has been showing some unusual attitudes to money in recent days. Read more »

Growing up without a backyard – where will the children play?


by Graeme Sawyer
Parents, kids and anyone who cares about how kids grow up in Wellington should be sending a submission to the Wellington City Council about its draft new Play Spaces Policy. Read more »

Willis Bond, again

bond willis

by Lindsay Shelton
The city council’s close relationship with Willis Bond seems to be continuing, with today’s news that the Wellington property development company is being lined up to build a high-rise hotel on council-owned land next to the Michael Fowler Centre. Read more »

New, young, and digital

by Ian Apperley
Wellington has a new, young, tech-savvy Mayor. After two terms of a rather lacklustre approach to the technology industry, it’s good to see a renewed focus on what is an incredibly important part of the city’s economy. Read more »

For and against: the light rail debate

Our article on Wellington’s transport challenges elicited long-form responses from some light rail advocates, so – in the spirit of continuing the debate about important issues – we thought it might be useful to see whether the idea of trains from the station to the airport actually has any chance of happening. Read more »

Bi-partisan approach needed to fix transport problems

by Ian Apperley
It’s 3:30 on Saturday afternoon and traffic from the airport to the motorway is back to back. As I drive in the other direction, I am astounded by the queues, sadly now commonplace. Read more »

Looking for solutions: Wellington’s six top transport challenges

Transport is the perennial contentious issue in the capital. From court cases about the Basin Reserve to arguments over the Island Bay cycleway, barely a mayoral term goes by without some part of the community up in arms about transport issues. This time around, new councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman has the transport portfolio, and has inherited a whole collection of long-running challenges. Read more »

P in the eastern suburbs

by Ian Apperley
How much of a problem is methamphetamine in Wellington? It’s massive, it’s building, and the consequences will reverberate for years. Read more »

Out of work with mounting debts: a welfare system that’s failing

by Michael Barnett
For the past eight years Joe worked as a cleaner employed by a Wellington organization requiring cleaning services. Recently his employer contracted out the work to a commercial cleaner and Joe was transferred to the contractor’s payroll. Within a month he was laid off with no redundancy. Joe went to WINZ to seek assistance, but was informed he did not qualify for a benefit as his family income (his wife Lotte also works as a cleaner) was above the income threshold. Read more »

Housing crisis? What housing crisis?

There’s a perception around town that the capital’s property market is on the verge of a boom, and that the city may need to act fast to prevent the sort of housing affordability crisis that has enveloped Auckland (and by extension, the National government). It’s sufficiently concerning that newbie mayor Justin Lester has created a Housing Task Force to look at housing affordability and availability, and has appointed deputy mayor Paul Eagle as leader of the newly-created Housing portfolio. Read more »

Portfolios, expectations, overlaps

by Ian Apperley
On the face of it, the Wellington City Council’s reallocated portfolios look fresh and hopeful, a significant change to the last term. The question is how they will play out over the next term with a council that needs to get some runs on the board. Read more »

Shuffling the portfolios

Watching new mayor Justin Lester aggressively shuffle the Wellington City Council portfolios is an interesting contrast to the softly-softly start that Celia Wade-Brown employed six years ago. Then, it was a few gentle nudges to avoid upsetting the old order too much. Now, it’s all change, as some long-standing responsibilities are reallocated. Mayor Lester is reshaping the council with a different vision. Read more »

From Andy to Chris: the city’s new and (very) experienced transport leader

Who is Chris Calvi-Freeman, the newly-elected councillor who is taking over from Andy Foster as leader of the Wellington City Council’s transport strategy and operations? His impressive experience in transport planning is detailed on his election website. Read more »

Justin’s first ten days: the changes begin

by Lindsay Shelton
In the first ten days since he was elected as mayor, Justin Lester has announced two sets of decisions which will change the workings of the Wellington City Council. Read more »

The media critic inside the council

by Lindsay Shelton
Wellington has a new media critic. He’s inside the Wellington City Council. Read more »

Losing another view

view 2

by Lindsay Shelton
Viewshafts such as this one are among the wonderful features of Wellington’s urban design – giving views from the CBD to the harbour and the hills. It’s always dismaying when the city council makes plans to block any of them. Read more »

Costing the runway, and paying for it

airport runwway longer

“If the cost was $458m, it’s highly unlikely the project would proceed.”
Read more »