Wellington Scoop

Basin flyover: how selfish can they get?

We learnt yesterday morning that the people who control the Basin Reserve don’t like the flyover. So they have come up with an extraordinarily selfish solution. They want to build a new stand which would hide the flyover “from nearly every vantage point in the ground.” But their new building would be an extra blockage which would further destroy the uniquely beautiful vistas down Kent and Cambridge Terraces.

The chairman of the Basin Reserve Trust Board summarises cricketers’ concerns about the flyover:

Having a motorway and traffic zooming to and fro in full view of the batsmen would have seriously distracted from that [the integrity of the ground] … The only possible mitigation, in our view, was to build a stand to block the flyover from the view of batsmen.”

Talk about a blinkered view of the flyover threat. It would distract cricketers during their occasional matches! How about its effect on the rest of us, every day of the year?

Reporting the plan, the DomPost says the Transport Agency is understood to be wary of the power wielded by Councillor John Morrison who could have drummed up opposition around the council table.

Councillor Morrison last wrote about the flyover in October:

I have never voted for a flyover at the Basin Reserve … No group have dedicated themselves more to the protection and enhancement of the Basin Reserve than the Wellington cricket fraternity of which I am very proud to be one of … we will continue to do just that I can assure you.

His remarks led some of us to believe that he would have the wider interests of the city at heart. But yesterday’s report indicates that he’s no longer opposing the flyover – as long as it’s walled off from the Basin. To hell with the effect on the rest of the city.

Councillor Morrison should pause to consider the reality of flyovers as described this week by the Architectural Centre:

Signage fringed in razor wire; high crash control barriers; lampposts and ground underneath that is so dry and dark it can barely sustain any life as we know it.

Even Aucklanders have recognised that the flyover’s impact on its neighbourhood will be horrific.

But this impact is of no concern to Councillor Morrison and the people who control the Basin Reserve. They fail to recognise that walling off the Basin by building a new stand would only worsen an already untenable plan.

Cynical attempt to buy council votes

Is this a case of bribery on a large scale?


  1. John Clarke, 21. July 2011, 12:07

    Everyone knows that sportspeople can always be bought off – look at all those rugby players and cricketers that were fronting for dodgy finance companies. Get out the credit card and our national heroes of the sportsfield will always bow down to the almighty dollar.

  2. Keith Flinders, 21. July 2011, 13:09

    Astounding: Proposing to spend $11 million of roading money on an extra stand for a ground that is used infrequently, and then when in use seldom sees a capacity crowd.
    Something fishy going on here?

  3. Bianca, 21. July 2011, 16:35

    We already know that this Government is not beyond bribing the public to accept their big truck highways.

  4. Lucy, 25. July 2011, 5:54

    selfish solution? get over yourself. the only real negative of the flyover is that it might ruin a really good central city sporting venue. Problem now solved. Stop your whinging!

  5. Polly, 27. July 2011, 21:45

    Re Councillor Morrison’s comments in October 2010… Now we know why he is called “Mystery Morrison”

  6. The City is Ours, 27. July 2011, 23:57

    We are not surprised, Polly. Looking at the Register of Interests on the Council website, Councillor John Morrison declares the mystery.