Bikes and buses – big problem with fast-tracked $11m plan for Victoria Street

vic street

by Patrick Morgan
Expensive new plans for Victoria Street have failed to consider cyclists. Why do the concept plans show that the street will be rubbish for people on bikes? Read more »

Strong feelings in the Takapu Valley


Takapu Valley residents driving to work in Wellington each day have been passing a National Party billboard that says, or said, “Working for New Zealand”. Read more »

Hollywood, and PM, say email is a fake: Kim Dotcom and Laila Harre say it’s real

Meetings about the Hobbit movies, held at the Prime Minister’s residence in Wellington in October 2010, have become part of the furore involving political allegations and denials. Read more »

Three years of chaos: Wellington’s public transport plan, and how to fix it

by Kerry Wood
Since the Transport Agency’s Basin Reserve flyover plan was cancelled, there’ve been claims that it has thrown Greater Wellington’s Public Transport Plan into chaos. In fact the plan has been in chaos much longer: at least three years. Read more »

It’s a time of denial

by Lindsay Shelton
There’s a lot of denial around. And not only about metadata and spying. Closer to home: Read more »

Underspent? So they spent it

The Wellington City Council this week had to decide what to do with money that it hadn’t spent. Councillors were told on Wednesday that the “trend” to underspend “has culminated in a $45m underspend in 2013-14.” So what did they do? They decided to spend a third of it. Read more »

Will they succeed in persuading us to help pay for a longer runway?

A big new campaign has begun. Aiming not at getting election votes, but wanting to persuade Wellingtonians that they should look favourably on the idea of paying much of the cost of extending the runway at the airport. Read more »

A longer runway – needed or not needed?

airport logo

The only organisations being cautious about the costly (and uncosted) idea of extending the runway at Wellington Airport are the airlines themselves. Read more »

Digging the dirt for political reasons

gully sods
Turning the first sods. Peter Dunne (left) and Gerry Brownlee (right), watched by Hekia Parata, Dame Patsy Reddy and the Prime Minister (who was the first to dig up some dirt).

It was a political event, of course. The politicians today used ceremonial spades to dig up the first bits of dirt (it used to be called turning the first sod) for the construction of Transmission Gully. But this doesn’t mean that construction will start tomorrow. Read more »

Two cycling cities – will Wellington catch up with Auckland?

cycleway PM and Len
On their bikes: John Key and Len Brown. Photo: Len Brown. Click here for a larger image.

A turning point for cycling in Auckland. That’s the new Grafton Gully cycleway that was opened this weekend, completing a 15km cycling route from west Auckland to the CBD and on to the waterfront. Setting an example for Wellington, where not even the first stage of the cycleway from Island Bay to the CBD has been started. Read more »

Honest, impartial, objective?

The NZ Transport Agency and the Greater Wellington Regional Council have both got themselves into hot water recently over claims that they weren’t being entirely accurate in their public statements. So what should we expect from these public servants, and when does simplification of complex issues turn into outright spin? Read more »

Counting submissions: the Transport Agency sees things differently

takapu valley and dog

by Lindsay Shelton
The Transport Agency, persisting with its unpopular “option” to build a motorway through the rural Takapu Valley, has now also been challenged over its claim that there is strong community support for a new Link Road between the Hutt Valley and Porirua/Tawa. Read more »

Selfies or no selfies at Te Papa?

Click here for larger image

Wellington art collectors and commentators Jim and Mary Barr have today discovered Te Papa’s new advertising campaign which is encouraging visitors to “strike a pose and take a selfie.” Read more »

On the waterfront: another private building on public land

by Mary Munro
The Wellington City Council last week voted 11 to four in favour of allowing an office block to be built on Site 10 at North Kumutoto, and granting a 125-year land lease to Willis Bond and Co. Waterfront Watch remains deeply concerned about these decisions. Read more »

The cycleway that hasn’t been built – how slow can they go?

by Lindsay Shelton
Back in 2008, the need for an off-road cycleway between Petone and Ngauranga was being described as “urgent.” The urgency was clear because a prominent cyclist had been killed at the Petone roundabout. We had a reminder of the urgency this week, when another cyclist was injured. Read more »

Open letter to Justin Lester: time to make the city better for pedestrians

To Justin Lester,
Deputy Mayor of Wellington.
Dear Justin,

In Thursday’s Dominion Post you lamented the failure of your colleagues to agree to reduce the speed limit on a few CBD streets to 30km/hr. From my point of view as a pedestrian advocate, this is a victory rather than a defeat. Read more »

Surprised and aghast – but where’s Plan B for the Basin?

by Mike Mellor
From media reports there’s a sense that the Regional Council is surprised and aghast at the Board of Inquiry decision to reject the Basin flyover. The council should have had a “Plan B” at the ready as a normal management precaution for a work of this scale. Read more »

What went wrong? CBD speed limits stay the same for a second time

In a marathon session last night, the Wellington City Council voted down the proposal to reduce the speed limit on selected CBD streets to 30km/hr. It was a defeat for Transport portfolio leader Andy Foster. Read more »