It’s Not’s Cricket!


A sideshow to the Transmission Gully issue is cricket, involving one of the country’s most famous grounds.

It’s the effect the project will have on Basin Reserve, at the foot of Mt Vic,  the only NZ cricket ground to have historic place status.

The city’s vocal Save The Basin Reserve campaign is horrified that it’s nightmare came true today with the Transmission Gully announcement.

It’s drowning in history.

The NZ cricket museum is located in the old grandstand  but is the intersection point for suburbs, Mt Cook, Newtown and Mt Vic.

One of its talking points is that traffic flows one way and it’s said to be the largest traffic island in the southern hemisphere.


Basin Reserve | Paddy Briggs

The campaigners call the decision to “deface” the basin with an expensive flyover as a slap in the face to Wellingtonians who have opposed it. As reported in earlier posts, NZTA is pushing ahead with its Levin to Airport project.

It says the upgraded route from Wellington Airport to Levin was expected to save drivers between 23 and 33 minutes during peak times and between 17 and 23 minutes during the day.

The campaign’s concenors, Cr Iona Pannett and Kent Duston insist tonight that the price tag doesn’t justify sacrificing the Basin’s iconic ground in what they claim is “just to save a few seconds of travel time.”

“The irony of NZTA proceeding with Transmission Gully on the basis of 89% support, yet also proceeding with the Basin Reserve flyover  in in the face of 89% opposition will not be lost on those who have made their feelings be known about the project.”

They’re especially worried about any threat that the Minister will exercise his call-in powers under the Resource Management Act  “This may significantly limit community involvement at a local level, and leave cricket lovers and those concerned about the heritage values of the Basin Reserve without a voice.”

The Northern Corridor route |NZTA

The Northern Corridor route |NZTA

The councilor says “serious questions” have to be asked about the costs of the project.

“In one document released today, it says that the project will cost $36m; in another $51m. The National Land Transport Programme released in August of this year said it would cost around $47m.

This shows that the Agency has no real idea what the project is likely to cost in the long run, as costs have already doubled from the original estimates of $27m in 2006.

“The benefit cost ratio looks increasingly illusory, as it appears to show an average saving to drivers of only 11 seconds,” said Mr Duston. “In a recession, the Government should be exercising restraint around expenditure, not indulging in expensive white elephant projects that will damage an iconic part of Wellington.”




  1. Brent C says:

    It’s amazing that Wellington is subjecting itself to such a bad project. There will be significant losses caused by the construction of the Basin Flyover. The basin is one of the few places that people from around the world see and know about Wellington, especially in cricket playing nations. But by building a motorway above the ground will change the park and give it a different look to TV viewers around the world.

    Wellington has had test cricket for years, when other cities have struggled to seal matches in their city due to venues. This is true for Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin. In recent years, Christchurch and Dunedin have spent a significant amount of money on their cricket grounds so they can get test cricket played in their city. This has enabled Dunedin’s university oval to be used as a ground in recent years and Hagely oval in Christchurch seeking to follow the same course. But Wellington’s Basin my be lost to test cricket as the characteristics of the venue will change once a motorway flyover is constructed over the top of the ground.

    I haven’t herd of any other options being considered, they have just rammed this bypass idea at us and told us how wonderful it is and how it will save us time

  2. Jeremy Harris says:

    If you have a look at Central Wellington the Basin Reserve is one of only two parks on that side of the CBD (the other being at the waterfront) Wellingtonians are nuts if they are going to let a motorway be built over it, it’ll become like the flyover Vic Park which Aucklanders are moving towards getting rid of after the 2nd harbour crossing…

  3. Grant says:

    I wonder if the option of connecting Kent and Cambrdge Tce with Adelaide road by buildig a cut and cover tunnel under the Basin has been considered. This wold allow the Airport SH1 lin to cross at ground level (no flyover) and still achive the desired seperation of theconflicting North-South and East-West traffic flows. Would disrupt the basion badly duringthe build, but once completed no one would know it was there.

  4. bob says:

    It would be a tragedy for the Basin Reserve to be scarred by a motorway intruding on it.

    The bizarre thing is - everyone talks about the whole Transmission Gully motorway plan package as being primarily about getting Wellingtonians another way out of the city in the event of an earthquake.

    But there are already other ways out - SH2 and the railway, not to mention ferries.

    Especially interesting would be the BCR comparison of extending the railway from Wellington station to Miramar, via the Basin Reserve and Airport. That would improve PT and emergency evacs, plus serve the cricket crowd ;)

  5. Colin says:

    @Grant - a tunnel under the Basin (specifically for bus/tram traffic from Kent/Cambridge to Adelaide) has definitely been considered, and was the solution put forward by the majority of the 89% of Wellingtonians that opposed the flyover during the last round of consultation. The official response was that ‘as the Basin is reclaimed land on what used to be a swamp, tunnelling is impractical.’

    All the engineers I have spoken to seem to think it is perfectly doable though…

  6. Brent C says:

    I couldn’t agree more with you Grant. I have mentioned several times that there should be a Bus tunnel under the Basin Reserve. If this was done in the off season, there it would bring no interruptions to the cricket season and could be done over a winter and a significantly lower cost.

    One of the main arguments to building the flyover is to split east and west traffic with north and south traffic. They have even said it would benefit Public transport, is it would not be delayed by the airport traffic. That is why I also like the idea of the cut and cover tunnel under the Basin


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