Thinking jitneys, on the Miramar Heights bus

by Michael C Barnett
Most days during the week I go to the Freyberg pool in the late morning for a daily dose of physical exercise. Some days I swim, other days I go through a gym routine and every day I grab a coffee from Bernies. To get there and back I have taken to riding on the Miramar Heights bus, which picks me up and drops me off at the top of Awa Road, from where it is a short walk down the hill to my home in Karaka Bay. Read more »

Going up (and not only the rates)


by Lindsay Shelton
As I prepared to pay my rates this week (up by $451 since last year) I discovered that the cost of the $150m Movie Museum building could be going up as well. Read more »

A damp night in the Aro Valley

Photo: Rose Campbell

by Rachel Pommeyrol
Monday night in the Aro Valley Community Centre. The room was full before the meeting began. Read more »

Simple solutions: they’ve got a list


by Lindsay Shelton
At last night’s sustainable transport meeting, we learnt that the Let’s Get Welly Moving people have made a list of more than 100 simple improvements that could quickly be made to Wellington roads. Read more »

Welcome and sensible: the Greens’ plan for light rail


by Brent Efford
The Green proposal for light rail in Wellington is a welcome development, and the first time that a sensible plan for light rail has appeared for some years (the idiotic Public Transport Spine Study of 2013 definitely doesn’t count!). So here is a bit of analysis from one who has been involved in the issue for some decades. Read more »

Now there are two


by Lindsay Shelton
Now there are two – the Greens tonight joined NZ First in saying they will build light rail from the Wellington railway station to the airport. Read more »

Holding back the green car revolution


Wellingtonians seem to be getting behind the electric car revolution – to the benefit of the climate and their pocketbooks. Electric car registrations in the capital have more than doubled in the last 12 months, with 248 now silently whizzing around the city, and 469 across the region. Read more »

The sad centenary of the Paramount


by Lindsay Shelton
Wellington should be celebrating this month’s hundredth anniversary of the Paramount, which is New Zealand’s oldest operating cinema. Instead, the city is allowing the centenary of the Paramount to be marked by its closure. It’s a dismal situation. Read more »

What’s happened to the movie museum?


by Lindsay Shelton
It’s now a year since the Wellington City Council voted to spend $150million to build Peter Jackson’s movie museum, with a convention centre on the top floor. A year later, there’s no explanation of why work hasn’t started. Read more »

Such a strange city for a stranger


by Rachel Pommeyrol
“You can’t live here by chance, you have to do and be, not simply watch or even describe. This is the city of action, the world headquarters of the verb.” This sentence by kiwi poet Lauris Edmond welcomes the foreigner in front of the sea. The foreigner feels instructed to discover everything the city has to offer. Read more »

Can heritage buildings be ugly?

by Christine McCarthy
Can ugly buildings be heritage? This question responds to the idea that ugliness (“ugly,” “eyesore,” “hideous,” “concrete monolith,” “North Korean flat,” etc.) is a reason why the Gordon Wilson Flats should not be saved, while appreciating that for many the Gordon Wilson Flats is not ugly. Read more »

Saving the Gordon Wilson Flats


by Ben Schrader
It has long been a strategy among owners of heritage buildings who want them demolished to claim that they have little historic value, have minimal architectural merit, or are earthquake risks and too costly to fix – often all three. The Town Hall, VUW’s Hunter Building and the Harcourts Building were all considered write-offs before it was discovered they weren’t. Read more »

Slow as well as late – the Wairarapa trains


by Neil Douglas
Greater Wellington Regional Council has been slowing the trains down since taking charge of the timetable. It now takes five minutes longer to travel into Wellington from Masterton than it did in 2004 when Tranz Rail (as part of Toll Holdings) ran the service and did the timetable. And it takes six minutes longer to travel home again. Read more »

Putting the boot into public transport


Not content with merely neglecting Wellington’s public transport users, the Greater Wellington Regional Council appears to be pulling out the stops to force commuters out of the buses and trains, and back into cars. In a world where climate change is rapidly becoming a reality and congestion is expected to begin choking the city once Transmission Gully is complete, the council has decided that a fare increase for public transport is the order of the day. Read more »

After the trolley buses: only ten electric buses next year (then ten more in 2020)

As the Regional Council pushes ahead with its plan to get rid of Wellington’s 60 trolley buses before Christmas, Tranzit has announced that there will be 10 electric double-decker buses in its 234-strong fleet next year. Read more »

Film festival diary: Agnes Varda at 88


by Lindsay Shelton
“I’m still fighting. I don’t know how much longer, but I’m still fighting a struggle, which is to make cinema alive and not just make another film.” Read more »

The best in the world … peerless


by Lindsay Shelton
New Zealanders are too often prone to claim achievements that are said to be “world-class.” This claim, however, is undeniable when it is applied to the work of Weta Digital in Miramar. Read more »

Film festival diary: realities on screen


by Lindsay Shelton
Film Festival movies this week have been succeeding in persuading us to believe in alternative realities created by the film-makers. Read more »