Government money for light rail – first in Auckland, and then in Wellington?


by Brent Efford
Today’s report that the government is considering paying 100 per cent for light rail between Auckland Airport and the North Shore would be a remarkable breakthrough. Read more »

The council reports on the weather

Here’s one of the flimsier communications released this week by the Wellington City Council’s communications department: Read more »

And the answers are …


Last week we asked Mayor Justin Lester to answer ten post-quake questions. Here are the answers, received this morning. Read more »

Revealed: five new transport objectives, and how you can be involved

by Tim Jones
The long-running “Let’s Get Welly Moving” process that was set up after NZTA failed to get approval for its proposed Basin Reserve flyover is beginning to produce some results – and that means that supporters of sustainable transport options need to get involved to ensure a good outcome. Read more »

Not in the public interest

by Gordon Campbell
Not that Mark Zuckerberg probably thinks about us much, but Facebook is having a profound impact on the survival strategies of every media company in New Zealand, big or small. Basically, Facebook, Google etc continue to soak up the lion’s share of the advertising dollars that local media had once naively hoped would fund their own digital news operations. Read more »

Getting on with Cobham Drive – we need to catch up with Auckland


by Alastair Smith
Two Christmases have passed since the Urban Cycleways Programme (UCP) was launched, promising generous funding of urban cycling projects. In Auckland this resulted in the award winning Light Path/Te Ara I Whiti, and the Quay Street cycleway that has already overloaded its cycle counter. But Wellington is a different story. So far there’s been little progress, though we’re due to see pole removal and improved entrance crossings on the Hutt Road Cycleway. Read more »

Goals and plans, but where’s the progress?

by Ian Apperley
In the last few years, the long-term goals of the Wellington City Council have changed year on year. But nearly 18 months after “Our Ten Year Plan” was introduced, very little has progressed. What’s happened to the city’s major projects? Read more »

The airport’s ‘ridiculous’ parking fees – and the consequences for its neighbours

by Ian Apperley
I flew to Nelson with a friend this week for work and pleasure. We were there for just over 24 hours, and as he lives in the Wairarapa he drove. “I’ll pick you up and park at the airport” he said. Then he called back and said “Do you mind if I park outside your place overnight? The parking fees are ridiculous.” Read more »

Resilience (1): some bizarre ideas

You’d expect that this week’s announcement from the Wellington City Council about $300,000 funding “with a strong focus on developing resilience” would be a welcome step in the right direction – until you read the bizarre list of initiatives that have been given ratepayer handouts. Read more »

Resilience (2): an art, not art

by Ian Apperley
The Wellington City Council trumpeted this week that its latest funding allocations were focusing on further developing resilience in the city. This sounded appropriate given recent events along with other problems the city faces every time it rains or the traffic gets busy. However, unpicking the council’s news release, it seemed that very little money was being spent on resilience at all. Read more »

Ten post-quake questions for Justin Lester


by Lindsay Shelton
In the days after the mid-November earthquake, the Wellington City Council was exemplary with daily, even twice-daily information releases. But its openness lasted for only a week. Since then, it’s stopped telling us what’s going on in the city. Leaving many unanswered questions. Here are ten of them, for Mayor Justin Lester to answer. Read more »

Enforcing the rules, even after a quake


I’ve been reading that the earthquake has left Wellington without about 3,000 carparks, primarily due to parking building closures in the CBD. And coupled with the dislocation as businesses and government agencies are displaced from closed office buildings, there’s been noticeable pressure on parking. But rather than taking steps to ease the problem, the Wellington City Council has been rigidly enforcing time limits and issuing tickets. In short, putting revenue ahead of recovery. Read more »

Building back better – how the quake creates opportunities for CentrePort

by Daran Ponter
The Port of Wellington (Centreport) is a strategic asset vital for Wellington’s trade with the world. But after damage from the 14 November earthquake, it is appropriate to ask what is the recovery plan, and how can the port be made more responsive to Wellingtonians. Read more »

All talk and no action: why we’re falling behind the Australians

Taking a break from the earthquakes, a recent trip to Australia demonstrated how lacklustre the Wellington City Council has been at getting to grips with climate change in the transport sector. Instead of the burgeoning electric car charging infrastructure and cycle-share schemes that are a feature of Australia’s cities, Wellington looks like it’s in the emissions dark ages – after six years of a Green mayor and a left-leaning council. What’s gone wrong? Read more »

Trouble at the port

Photo: CentrePort

CentrePort has been slow to admit the serious results of last week’s earthquake. But the facts are at last coming out. Read more »

One new building … well, actually two

bowen st parlt bldg

by Lindsay Shelton
Parliament’s Speaker announced yesterday that there’s to be a new building behind Parliament House to provide offices for MPs and their staff. But then he released images showing that not just one but two new buildings are to be constructed. Read more »

Communications breakdown

coms breakdown

by Lindsay Shelton
These council recycling bags have been on our street for the last eight days. They’re a reminder that the city council’s message about fortnightly collections isn’t getting through to everybody.
Read more »

Statistics, our economy, and a hot spot

by Ian Apperley
After the council released a press statement stating that economic growth in Wellington was 2.7% over the last 12 months, I was keen to understand what that meant. The Office of the Mayor sent me the full report. There are some interesting statistics. Read more »