Wellington Scoop

Finlayson wants more progress on flyover; criticises all councillors except McKinnon

List MP Chris Finlayson seems to have been misinformed in his intemperate media release this afternoon. He’s accusing the Wellington City Council of “a vote to do nothing” to progress the Basin flyover. His accusation isn’t correct. Yesterday’s controversial vote decided “to work with the NZTA” on the flyover. What more does he want from the council?

News from NZ Government
Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister and Wellington-based list MP Christopher Finlayson says he is very disappointed at the on-going inability of the Wellington City Council to get its act together and progress the Basin Reserve Flyover.

“This latest vote to do nothing is illustrative of a Council wasting time and ratepayer money when a decision should have been made some time ago,” he said.

“The Mayor and Council have shown a conspicuous lack of leadership on this issue. The government is investing large sums to develop a National War Memorial Park in Buckle Street, and a world class precinct in and around the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. These projects are ahead of schedule, along with a comprehensive package of roading improvements.”

“Meanwhile, the Wellington City Council is failing to seize this important opportunity for its ratepayers and residents, and for the good of the whole region. Members of Parliament representing other cities would certainly appreciate support of this type.”

“I want to make clear that I do not include in my criticism the Deputy Mayor, Ian McKinnon. He had to leave the Council meeting before a vote could be conducted because of the prolonged debate. That debate should have been concluded not earlier at that meeting, but long before now.”

Labour MPs say: don’t support flyover


  1. Maximus, 22. March 2013, 20:56

    Chris Finlayson is disliked almost even more by members of his own party than by members of the Opposition. Left to head the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, he has stood by and made ineffectual posturings while bully-boies of the Nats, Stephen Joyce and Gerry Brownlee, have systematically destroyed almost every last piece of heritage in Christchurch.

    He dithered around on Memorial Park for a number of years, before the current unholy mess of the Pukeahu Bill (allowing the Government to break all sorts of laws to get the Memorial Park in place before April 2015), when if he had acted promptly and sensibly, the whole thing could have been sorted out in time and with decent design parameters, instead of everything being rushed at the last minute as it is now. The MCH was in charge of the Memorial Park, but Finlayson did nothing, because he was having a hissy-fit over having to continue a project started by Helen Clark, and so he let it lapse and nearly crash and burn, losing control of the project and also losing the ownership of the land itself to NZTA, whereon all semblance of project control was blown to smithereens, much like the poor soldiers the land is meant to commemmorate.

    The sensible move to take Memorial Park underground was only made, not by Finlayson, but by someone with bigger boots than him (Joyce or Brownlee), although Finlayson is happy to take the credit. Any complaint by Finlayson over delays on the flyover project should be greeted with the laughable derision that is surely appropriate.

  2. Nora, 22. March 2013, 21:54

    Well I hope he enjoyed his trip to Rome. Hope he didn’t have to wait long to get to and from the airport…..On Wednesday from Courtenay Place to Seatoun at 9.15 it took me 15 minutes and I didn’t have green all the way.

  3. Glenn, 23. March 2013, 0:04

    The two comments and this story is biased.. Comment #1 are you a politician?

  4. Elaine Hampton, 23. March 2013, 9:57

    Well said Maximus.
    Pity Finlayson hasn’t the same concern for the living as he apparently has for the dead – there are four schools along this awful road.
    Perhaps he needs to speak to Wellingtonians other than his coterie; we can’t gain an audience with this locally based MP.

  5. Maximus, 23. March 2013, 10:30

    Me? A politician? Glenn, You make me laugh! I could never sink so low as to aspire to public office. No, I’m just a used car salesman. A seller of snake oil. A peddler of potions. A writer of blogs. Eye of the Fish dot Org. Clearly you’ve never read it. Honestly, not biased at all. My comment was even more pointed, but Lindsay has wisely edited my response. The total hypocrisy of Finlayson’s comments just stuck in my craw, accusing the Council of delay, while he has caused years of delay all by himself. But then, he is a politician.

    Here’s one for you:
    How can you tell if politicians are lying?
    Easy. Their lips move.

  6. Alana, 23. March 2013, 20:46

    Maximus: I disagree with your assessment of politicians.
    Being a politician should be one of the highest professions.
    To me, we get what we demand from politicians – and we should demand a high standard.
    For so many reasons people have a cynical view of politicians and that diminishes expectations and accountability, which then allows politicians to perform to that lower standard.
    It is our job to turn up at public meetings and debates and challenge politicians. If enough of us do, we put pressure on elected officials, but we also gradually raise the standard – and we learn from each other.
    Cynical attitudes about politicians help those who want to govern without being held accountable.

  7. Maximus, 24. March 2013, 0:18

    Alana, you may disagree with my assessment, but you can’t deny that the ideal we reach for is not present in the people we have elected. Look at who we have in Parliament, and despair. People go for positions of power and prestige not because they are motivated to do what is best for the people, but because they are motivated to do what is best for themselves.

    I’ve seen the current crop of Wellington Councilors, and they are a pretty unedifying crop. You’re not going to get high standards and great expectations out of that lot.

  8. Pauline Swann, 24. March 2013, 9:13

    As only 40% voted at the last local body election, I trust you voted Maximus as many promising Wellingtonians stood, but only three new faces. There are many ratepayers who would prefer the old system where you could vote for the best representative, not just for your ward.

    Over the years I have attended many council meetings and have met many disgruntled ratepayers making submissions, saying never again as the majority not listening and consultation is a farce and the ex Kerry Camp is working against the current Mayor.

    Another concern is the turnover in council staff (pity it is not the councillors) and the loss of institutional knowledge.

  9. Maximus, 24. March 2013, 18:38

    Pauline, yes, of course I voted, for both the local Council (Wellington) and for the Regional Council. While I felt quite confident about my knowledge of the City Councilors (although I may have to revise my opinions and voting patterns following last week – I don’t think Councilor Foster will be getting my vote again), I confess to really not knowing anything, good or bad, about the Regional Councilors, or those people standing for the District Health Boards. I received no fliers, saw no interviews, ie had no knowledge of the subject. And yet, we still vote them in.

    Personally, for all the good they do, and the lack of knowledge about any of them, we may as well just flip a coin, spin a wheel, or pick them by throwing darts while blindfolded.