Wellington Scoop

National MPs say regional council not capable of fixing buses

News from NZ National Party
The unwillingness of Wellington’s regional councillors to show accountability for the region’s bumbling bus network means it’s time for a Crown Observer to step in, National MPs Chris Bishop and Nicola Willis say.

“The briefing Greater Wellington Regional Council gave to the Transport and Infrastructure Select Committee today did nothing to quell concerns about continuing network failures,” Mr Bishop says.

“It is time for Transport Minister Phil Tywford to reconsider appointing a Crown Observer to oversee the network repairs and get the level of service back to where it needs to be.

“Acting regional council chairperson Barbara Donaldson appeared blind to what is going on around her, telling the committee that ‘Wellington’s bus service is in pretty good shape’.

“This is despite the council’s own data showing 37 bus services are being cancelled each day and more than 10 per cent of Wellington buses are running late. Buses in outer suburbs are also failing to meet on-time targets.

Ms Willis says a Crown Observer would have the power to help the council resolve these problems, to monitor progress and to make recommendations to the Government about further action that may be needed.

“I regularly hear stories from people waiting in the rain for buses that are delayed, overcrowded, or just haven’t shown up. I have had Wellingtonians tell me they have purchased cars for the first time in their lives due to the unreliability problems.

“The continued buck-passing between regional councillors and city councillors is growing tiresome, with Cr Donaldson saying ‘bureaucracy moves slowly’. That’s not good enough.

“The regional council continues to show it is unable to solve these problems itself. Mr Twyford cannot continue to look the other way while bus users are left in the lurch.

“If this Government wants New Zealanders to become more reliant on public transport then it needs to ensure services are up to scratch. So far, it is failing to do this in Wellington.”


  1. Brett Sangster, 27. June 2019, 23:16

    The government sacked the whole Canterbury Regional Council for lesser crimes then GWRC is guilty of, and appointed a panel of commissioners to run the council. That level of intervention is warranted in Wellington. Given that no candidates of quality appear to be interested in contesting the upcoming elections, then this should be a priority for government. [via Facebook]

  2. Roy Kutel, 28. June 2019, 9:04

    Well said Brett – it’s time to call time on GWRC but we’d need a politician like Margaret Thatcher to do it. National is the only likely party because they don’t sponsor party members for junket jobs in local government. If ‘Crusher’ Collins is put in charge it just might happen.