Spending more, spending less

The issue of a shortage of money for Te Papa has been confused by the opening of the two new exhibitions about the First World War. There’s been plenty of money for them – a spend of $18million has been reported. Yet Te Papa is facing a deficit of almost $6million. Read more »

Taking it seriously: the Island Bay cycleway

by Regan Dooley
Feedback on the Wellington City Council’s long-term plan, plus record numbers of people commuting by bike, suggest that some councillors will need to start taking cycling a lot more seriously if they are going to deliver on public expectations. Read more »

How can we support the runway, when we don’t know how much it’ll cost?

airport from moa point

by Dr Sea Rotmann
In light of the looming Long Term Plan submissions due today, our citizens’ group the Guardians of the Bays have kept delving deeper into the various questions about lengthening the airport runway which should be answered before the Council decides to sign us up to huge generational debt, rate hikes and asset sales. Read more »

People versus cars – unnecessary conflict on the new Memorial Park

tasman st 3

by Reuben Ferguson
The almost-perfect Pukeahu-Memorial Park has taken a step backward with the re-opening of the Tory Street-Tasman Street connection, resulting in a predictable influx of cars and trucks through this urban oasis. Read more »

Rex is right about the Town Hall

Rex is right about the Town Hall. Read more »

Why do four councillors want the road?

A majority of Wellington city councillors have been decisive in refusing to support a road through the rural Takapu Valley. But four councillors didn’t accept the strength of community opposition to the plan. They refused to vote against the road. Read more »

Rebuff to NZTA: city councillors oppose plans for Takapu Valley and Tawa roading

City councillors voted today that they agreed “neither the widening of State Highway 1 at Tawa nor a major road through Takapu Valley” should be part of the planned Petone to Grenada roading proposal. They voted (though not unanimously) that both proposals were rejected by the city council. Read more »

Why NZTA road would wreck Takapu Valley

takapu valley and dog

The 700 hectare Takapu Valley is a pristine steep narrow rural valley with abundant native birdlife and bush remnants. Rare native falcons visit to hunt. Kereru use the valley as a link between Belmont Regional Park and Porirua Reserves. The loss of Takapu Valley to a motorway link road would be one of the largest green space losses in Wellington for a long time. Read more »

Unfortunate reductionism by NZTA

by Thomas Lumley
If you have to make a decision with several options, each with different types of positive and negative effects, it’s going to be hard. Techniques for breaking down complex decisions into sets of simpler questions are very valuable, but it’s important that the way you break down the problem and recombine the answers fits with how you answer the simpler questions. Read more »

Blackmail and (more) threats from NZTA

Criticism of the NZ Transport Agency peaked this week when Ohariu MP Peter Dunne said it was dealing in blackmail by telling Wellington city councillors they had to choose between two unwanted roading options. Read more »

An unwanted road: time to dump NZTA board and senior management?

by Peter Dunne
The worst and most arrogant public service dinosaurs are quasi-government bodies who somehow think that the Government’s policies do not apply to them, and that they can just carry on doing what they have always done. The worst, by a country mile and then some, is the New Zealand Transport Agency.
Read more »

Councillors hear opposition to NZTA plan for road through Takapu Valley

cncl 1

The controversial Transport Agency plan to build a new road through the Takapu Valley faced overwhelming opposition from a full house at last night’s Wellington City Council meeting. Read more »

Flattening a lawn and adding a garden

frank kitts park redone

Rearranging Frank Kitts Park at a cost of $5.5million is one of the biggest items of expenditure in the City Council’s latest three-year plan for the Wellington waterfront. Read more »

“Unsound assumptions” for spending $90m

The Wellington City Council’s plan to spend $90million to help pay for a longer runway at the airport is facing damning criticism from airline operators. Read more »

Where’s a business plan to support the mayors’ runway enthusiasm?

leaning tower
Studio Pacific Architecture

by Ian Apperley
Wellingtonians are a funny bunch. We hate change yet we want change. We are prepared to lampoon anyone who promotes a change, or anyone who is perceived to be slowing change down. Case in point. A massive negative reaction to a new, I thought clever, design for the airport control tower. Can’t have that mate, it’s weird. Case number two, a negative reaction to anyone who asks questions about the airport extension. Just get on with it mate, stop being weird. Read more »

Keeping it lively

civicsq 2

The World Cup cricket has ended. But this shouldn’t bring an end to the rejuvenation of Civic Square that was created for the tournament. Read more »

Ghost buses, and real-time failings

Fran Wilde says the city’s real-time bus information system is working reliably. But Dave Armstrong writes about waiting for eight “due” buses that never arrived. Who do you believe? Read more »

Don’t pay the airport, say ratepayers

The Wellington City Council’s website shows substantial opposition to the council’s plan to give $90million to the Wellington Airport company to help pay for a longer runway. Two days after Mayor Wade-Brown gave her support in principle for making the payment, the website shows 58 per cent opposition to such a gift. Read more »