Who will prevail in the mayoral race? Part six: why vote?

A regular occurrence in the wellington.scoop comments is the criticism of local politics – “don’t vote, it only encourages them.” Or in a (marginally) less cynical form, why bother voting when the incumbent and the aspirants seem almost identical? So this week we’re grappling with the existential issues about why you should go to the effort of filling in the ballot paper. Read more »

Frank Kitts Park: the ampitheatre should stay, the Chinese garden should move

by Patrick McCombs
Waterfront Watch has lodged an objection against the Wellington City Council’s resource consent application to redevelop Frank Kitts Park on the waterfront. Our opposition primarily relates to the removal of the amphitheatre, and the location of the proposed Chinese Garden. Read more »

10,000 voices saying what we want … and what we don’t want

by Lindsay Shelton
Can 10,000 people really influence the planning of Wellington’s roads and public transport? Let’s hope that they can, as the “letsgetwellymoving” process is certainly a better one than the seven years when the Transport Agency tried unsuccessfully to dictate what it wanted, ignoring the public and threatening the city council. Read more »

Minimising traffic in CBD, making public transport more reliable

News from LetsGetWellyMoving
From the insights we’ve gained so far from all the surveys and feedback, 12 draft guiding principles have been developed. These urban design and transport principles will be used as the basis for planning and assessing potential solutions. We’ll be seeking community feedback on preferred options early next year. Read more »

Burying the safety review

First a press release arrived. Then the comments started arriving in the wellington.scoop mailbox. But we couldn’t find the source material anywhere – where was the much-anticipated safety review of the contentious Island Bay Cycleway? Read more »

The political backstory to the Island Bay cycleway

In addition to the finally-public safety audit report on the Island Bay Cycleway, the recent reports to the Transport and Urban Development Committee at the Wellington City Council contained another gem – the council’s response to the NZTA-commissioned (and rather scathing) Morrison Low assessment of the project. It makes interesting reading, and led us on a merry chase through the highways and byways of the council’s own documentation. Read more »

Who will prevail in the mayoral race? Part five: voting tactically

The time has come when we need to talk about STV – despite how it sounds, it’s a voting system, not a disease. How you allocate your votes makes a huge difference in deciding who will be our esteemed leader in the years ahead, so how you use the complexities of STV can make a big difference to the outcome. Read more »

Pseudo consultation, with predetermined results

by Jeff Owens
Oh no, I hear you say, not another article about cycleways. Well you may think so but please carry on reading as this article raises something potentially much more serious within the Wellington City Council, albeit against a backdrop of cycleways. Read more »

Film Festival programme launched – details of all films online


News from NZIFF
The Wellington programme for this year’s NZ International Film Festival was announced tonight and is now live on the festival website. Read more »

How to run your election campaign

In the spirit of public service – and, let’s face it, also in the entirely selfish spirit of not wanting to be bored to death with tedious campaigning – we’ve compiled the ultimate campaign guide for aspiring local body politicians. We’ve consulted highly-paid consultants, talked endlessly with an army of spin doctors, and researched the latest in needlessly manipulative publicity techniques to bring you a state-of-the-art guide to winning that local body position you’ve always craved. Read more »

Rebooting Wellington’s transport

by Ian Apperley
Mayoral candidates are promising everything from second tunnels to a billion dollars in new roads, flyovers, more cycle lanes, cheaper public transport and an end to congestion. All well and good, but not achievable and old thinking. Read more »

Who will prevail in the mayoral race? Part four: summing up the field

Our run through the mayoral field has revealed some real contenders, some wannabes and some rank outsiders. For this week’s edition we thought a bit of summing up would be in order, so readers can start putting pen to paper and ranking candidates as soon as those ballots arrive. Let’s get to the thumbnail sketches of everyone vying for the mayoral chains. Read more »

The council and the All Blacks

As we watched the All Blacks take on Wales on Saturday night for a thrilling 36-22 win, little did we know that we had the Wellington City Council to thank for the great game – at least, this is according to a breathless press release from Celia Wade-Brown and Jo Coughlan. We’re quite surprised that Steve Hansen didn’t thank them by name after the match. Read more »

Sculpture on the Green

green stop

by Helene Ritchie
A saved and expanded Jack Ilott Green could be a place of beauty and tranquility. Instead, the Wellington City Council has decided to sell this public open space. I have been opposed to such a sale for more than ten years. Read more »

The $100m smart motorway – but it’ll all depend on the driving

The opening date of Wellington’s smart motorway is just around the corner, so we thought it would be worth taking a look at whether it’s really going to work as expected. Short story: the technology is impressive, but it’s a massive social experiment that may or may not work, given some of the less impressive driving habits of Wellingtonians. Read more »

Who will prevail in the mayoral race? Part three: Nick and Keith

In a nice spot of symmetry, there seem to be two mayoral candidates in each of the big categories – left, right and outsiders. So having dispensed with our analysis of the two ends of the political spectrum, it’s time to turn our attention to the Don Quixotes of the mayoral race – Nick Leggett and Dr Keith Johnson. Read more »

A boring mayoral campaign: where are the new ideas?

by Ian Apperley
We’ve seen some reasonable analysis of the various candidates on Wellington.Scoop and in the Dominion Post. However, I am left feeling bored by the campaign so far, and I think that the policies to date, while solid, are littered with old thinking while new ideas are largely missing. Read more »

High expectations: the performance of our city councillors

by Diane Calvert
Local Government New Zealand is promoting the local body elections. The website (www.lgnz.co.nz) links to a good summary view of the role of an elected member (Mayor and Councillor). It describes the role of a councillor as falling into two main categories; being a member of the governing body of the council, and being an elected representative of the community. Read more »