Counting the houses


It’s a popular political habit – to include existing work in announcements of new programmes. And so it was yesterday when Justin Lester announced “at least 750 new units” of social and affordable housing plan. His total included 105 units that are already being built at his council’s Arlington site. Read more »

The council’s changing priorities

Priorities could be changing at the Wellington City Council. Read more »

Telling them what Wellington needs

by Michael C Barnett
Last week I went to a meeting of the Regional Council’s Sustainable Transport Committee. It meets every six weeks to debate transport issues and decide policy. If you want to say something about any item on its agenda, you can contact the Council and speak during the public participation section. Read more »

Rapid response

by Lindsay Shelton
My garage in Brooklyn was broken into the other night. I almost didn’t notice. Walking down the path on my way out of the house, everything seemed normal. But then I saw bits of the lock on the ground. And then I noticed that the side door of the garage wasn’t shut. Read more »

Four lanes to the planes – not the answer

by Michael C Barnett
One of the issues identified in the Let’s Get Wellington Moving progress report is congestion on the key routes into and through the CBD, resulting in delays and unreliable journey times. It’s a problem that exists for only a few hours per day. Read more »

They opened it, but not for traffic

Photo via Twitter from Transport Minister Simon Bridges

by Lindsay Shelton
I can remember when official openings were immediately followed by access for the public – into a new shop, or on to a new road. Not these days. The Kapiti Expressway was officially opened this morning. But it didn’t mean anything for motorists. Read more »

Voting with gritted teeth in Ohariu


by Gordon Campbell
Any social liberals left in Ohariu face something of a dilemma. Do they vote against Peter Dunne in order to change this government’s dismal policies on health, education, the environment, welfare and the economy? Or do they vote tactically for Dunne, to try and prevent Greg O’Connor – now selected as Labour’s Ohariu candidate – from becoming this country’s next Minister of Police? Read more »

“More serious” damage, but where?

Some of the quake damage discovered in CBD buildings is minor, but some of it is “more serious and will require repairs,” in the words of Mayor Justin Lester talking to reporters yesterday. But he’s not telling which buildings require repairs. Read more »

Who’ll be the new deputy mayor?

Who’ll be the next deputy mayor of Wellington? Paul Eagle, now officially the Labour candidate for Annette King’s Rongotai electorate (with its 9000 majority), says he won’t resign from the council till he’s won the seat. As that seems fairly certain, Justin Lester will soon be needing to make a shortlist of names who could take over the job. Read more »

Decongesting traffic – without more roads


by Michael C Barnett
In a recent article, I challenged Wellington’s road and transport planners to expand their thinking and to ease congestion in the city by making a paradigm shift away from more road construction. I suggested that proposals to expand the road corridor between the Terrace Tunnel and Cobham Drive should be abandoned, the Vivian Street off ramp should be closed, and southbound through traffic should be redirected along Karo Drive to the Basin Reserve. How will this work and what would be the benefits? Read more »

“Our mental health system is in crisis”

Dear people of the Wellington region,
We represent mental health nurses and staff from Capital and Coast DHB. Like you, we were deeply concerned at the findings of the recent review into our service. Read more »

A matter of priorities: time to clean up the contaminated water


by Michael Gunson
The Surfbreak Protection Society is deeply disturbed by yet another wastewater overflow on Wellington’s south coast (Feb 3–Feb 5). Read more »

Parking and walking – trying to solve the problems in Miramar South

by Ian Apperley
The Council has announced a plan to alleviate the parking problems in the Eastern Suburbs. However, there are still questions that remain unanswered. Read more »

The Town Hall … will work ever begin?


by Lindsay Shelton
Good to see the mayor smiling optimistically inside the Town Hall yesterday, one day after his city council announced it was seeking “proposals” for work on the heritage building. But things aren’t as straightforward as they may seem. Read more »

Deadline on Friday: how safe are 80 CBD buildings?

Only eight days till we know the condition of 80 big buildings in the CBD. Read more »

Challenging the road planners

by Michael C Barnett
The Regional Council, the City Council and the Transport Agency are currently engaged in their “Let’s Get Wellington Moving” initiative on how to resolve traffic and transport issues in the city. Read more »

Pleased and happy – not so much

Photo via Twitter from France7s

by Lindsay Shelton
The police said they were happy after the first day, and pleased after the second day. The organisers, however, admitted they’d wanted more people. Read more »

Affordable housing (3); solving the problem

by Ian Apperley
We know we have a serious problem with housing affordability. We also know that it will be an election issue. Wellington is likely to see the problem intensify as house prices here keep going up. The issue is complex, so what to do? Read more »