Such a short tunnel

tunnel walkthru
Twitter photo by Sean Gillespie

by Lindsay Shelton
One thought was obvious as we walked through the new tunnel under Buckle Street this morning. It’s so short. If only it had been extended under Taranaki Street. And under Cuba Street. And under Victoria Street. And under Willis Street. Read more »

Translating the Transport Agency

We’ve all looked at some of the Transport Agency’s pronouncements over recent years and wondered what they really meant. Fear not, we’re here to save the day by translating their latest statement on the Basin Reserve flyover appeal – from High Bureaucratese into Plain English:
Read more »

Flyover appeal – progress and certainty, or confusion and more delays?

by Lindsay Shelton
The Transport Agency, embarrassed by the rejection of its flyover alongside the Basin Reserve, says it’s appealing because the decision could “constrain progress.” Yet for most clear-sighted Wellingtonians a 300-metre-long concrete structure above Kent and Cambridge Terraces would in no way be seen as progress. Quite the contrary. Read more »

Getting rid of parking spaces, to make streets safer for motorists

by Lindsay Shelton
The city council is being too cautious with yesterday’s decision to remove 26 parking spaces from a few narrow roads. It’ll make driving conditions safer. But similar changes are needed on many more roads. Read more »

Split personalities

Wellington voters demonstrated split personalities on Saturday, by voting for Labour MPs at the same time as they voted for the National Party. Read more »

Censoring Shakespeare

by Lindsay Shelton
Andrew Armitage is right when he says that New Zealand’s censorship laws are “an absurd hangover.” Read more »

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 »