Wellington Scoop

Save the Basin recommends four mayoral candidates

News from Save the Basin Campaign
The Save the Basin Campaign today named its preferred candidates for Wellington Mayor and other local body positions, based on responses received to a survey sent to all candidates. In alphabetical order, the mayoral candidates who are most likely to realise Save the Basin’s vision for the Basin Reserve and environs are Jenny Condie, Norbert Hausberg, Conor Hill and Justin Lester.

The recommendations were based on candidates’ responses to three questions:

1. What is your vision for Wellington City’s Basin Reserve and immediate environs (including the issue of a possible second Mt Victoria tunnel)?
2. How do you see the work of ‘Let’s Get Welly Moving’ impacting your vision for the Basin?
3. What do you intend to do, if elected, to promote your vision for the Basin and see it realised?

Save the Basin also recommended candidates for Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Capital and Coast District Health Board, based on responses received.

Commenting on the results, Save the Basin Campaign spokesperson Tim Jones said: “We’re pleased with the level of support expressed by most candidates for the Basin Reserve as a vital asset for Wellington. That’s a big shift from many candidates’ attitudes only a couple of elections back.”

“The main difference between the candidates who responded to our questionnaire is their attitude to whether a second Mt Victoria tunnel should be built, and if so, what it should be used for. Save the Basin opposes the construction of a second Mt Victoria road tunnel because it would significantly increase traffic, including heavy traffic, in the area of the Basin Reserve, and because we think that increasing road capacity is the wrong thing to do in a climate emergency.”

“So we have not recommended candidates who advocate bringing a second Mt Victoria road tunnel or other roading projects forward in Wellington’s transport plans. Save the Basin believes that we should put walking, cycling and other forms of active transport first, improve bus priority, and build a modern, efficient mass transit system. Let’s do all that and give it a chance to work before we consider spending any more money on new road capacity,” said Mr Jones.

“We know that candidates receive a lot of questionnaires,” said Mr Jones, “and that it’s tough finding time to fill them out, so we thank those candidates who did. We encourage voters to check out all the candidates and their policies.”

List of candidates recommended by Save the Basin on the basis of questionnaire responses received

Wellington City Council


Jenny Condie
Norbert Hausberg
Conor Hill
Justin Lester

Wharangi/Onslow-Western Ward
Conor Hill
Richard McIntosh
Rebecca Matthews

Takapū/Northern Ward
Jenny Condie

Pukehīnau/Lambton Ward
Iona Pannett

Paekawakawa/Southern Ward
Fleur Fitzsimons
Laurie Foon
Humphrey Hanley

Motukairangi/Eastern Ward
Sarah Free

Wellington Regional Council

Pōneke/Wellington Constituency

Roger Blakeley
Yvonne Legarth
Tony de Lorenzo
John Klaphake
Thomas Nash
Daran Ponter
Helene Ritchie

Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai/Lower Hutt Constituency
Peter Glensor
Ken Laban
Josh van Lier

Porirua-Tawa Constituency
Phillip Marshall
Roger Watkin

Wairarapa Constituency
Adrienne Staples

Capital & Coast District Health Board

Roger Blakelely
Eileen Brown
Sue Kedgley

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  1. Tim Jones, 18. September 2019, 21:51

    At the candidates’ transport meeting tonight, I heard from some candidates who hadn’t seen this survey and would have liked to respond – apologies to those candidates, and I’d welcome them posting their responses as comments or on social media!

  2. glenn, 19. September 2019, 11:06

    Thanks for that insight on the candidates Tim, I now know who not to vote for-cheers

  3. Chris Calvi-Freeman, 19. September 2019, 15:17

    Not sure if I received this survey, Tim. Will have a look. But: from the first time we met back in 2016 I promised you there would be no new long flyover, and we’re keeping that promise through LGWM.

  4. Tim Jones, 20. September 2019, 9:48

    Thanks, Chris. The LGWM concept drawings look very promising in that regards- now we’re keen to see the plans!

  5. Graeme Sawyer (Northern ward WCC Candidate), 2. October 2019, 1:05

    I’m with you, Glenn! Supporters of this “Save the Basin ” outfit should be ignored at the polls.
    My “big idea’ is to achieve “grade separation: above ground (near current ground level) and re-build the “basin’ above that. It makes sense (in terms of achievable “Physics” for roading). It retains the ‘greenspace” – though I am happy for the archaic and not-particularly-impressive stands to go… but whatever.
    I floated this at the last election, but it had the “kiss of death” by being blatantly stolen by Jo Coughlan (she was a distant fourth in the race – but still got 4x more votes than Andy did…) It’s still the best idea I have heard. Expensive? yes, but no more so than other “doable’ practicable solutions in “first world” countries. And if WCC is skilled, they could get NZQA to pay for most of it.

  6. groggy, 2. October 2019, 12:30

    NZQA are branching out if they are now paying for roadworks!

  7. Chris Calvi-Freeman, 2. October 2019, 12:38

    It’s not necessary to lift the Basin, Graeme. We have developed a perfectly acceptable grade-separated configuration through LGWM.

  8. Guy M, 2. October 2019, 15:42

    Graeme Sawyer – stick to the Northern Ward buddy, your ideas are no good here. Your “big idea” is wrong and unnecessary. There is zero need to touch the Basin at all – the problem is with the traffic around it and on each side of it, not at the Basin itself. What NZTA proposed last time was grade separation – but they proposed that East-West traffic went above the North-South traffic via a 250m long aerial concrete bridge, to ultimately span over a small 20m wide road. It was rejected by the Board of Inquiry not because of Save the Basin, but because the NZTA had not consulted properly, and had not done their homework properly.

    The answer is really simple, and a lot less disruptive than your “big idea” of raising the entire surface of the Basin. Architectural Centre had it right when they proposed that the North-South traffic go over the top of the East-West traffic – a small but vital difference that means you only need a bridge to span a 20m wide road, not a 250m long bridge. Luckily, the slope of the hillside means that this is easily achieved, and I believe that this is the approach chosen by LGWM. When they looked again at the facts, the original NZTA Basin Bridge proposal was flawed, and the Arch Centre proposal made a lot more sense and cost a lot less money.

    The “kiss of death” for your scheme may well have been because of the sheer stupidity of the proposal – be very glad therefore that Jo Coughlan stole it, so she can be blamed for it, not you….

  9. Andy Foster, 2. October 2019, 19:38

    Guy M – I agree with you that NZTA did not do their homework as well as they could. I did say to them that they should include the tunnel, bus improvements and Kent- Cambridge Boulevard and various amenity improvements all in the one package – but they decided to proceed with the Basin alone – and found that the Board of Inquiry then ignored all the rest of the ‘package’ and the flyover stood – and fell – on its own.

    I had hopes of the Architecture Centre’s Option X when it was proposed. You’ll recall Council (to the anger of the then Government) took about 3 months to review the flyover against Option X and an at grade option. The conclusion was that Option X worked on transport grounds – probably not as good for cycling/walking connection across the valley, but it failed on urban design grounds. I think the current proposal which is essentially a modified Option X with more modest height grade separation in the north west corner of the Basin – looks very promising. Construction disruption will be challenging.

  10. Guy M, 3. October 2019, 9:42

    Thanks Andy, I totally agree, on everything except your last sentence. I’d modify that to say that construction disruption will be massively challenging everywhere along the SH1 route, except at the Basin itself. The great thing about resolving the Basin in the N-W corner is that it’s empty and available for use right now.