Wellington Says No To NZTA Option


The Government knows best when it comes to this country’s transport needs and what motorways we need.

So what is with this growing trend of stroppy Councils thinking they know best?

Leftie greenie types are hijacking the best plans for motorway development.

It’s bad enough Len continually pushing his City Rail Link train set proposal when even the prime minister has made it clear the business case does not stack up enough for the Government to open its money bag to help make it happen.

NZTA’s decision on much needed  improvements planned between Wellington’s Cobham Drive and Buckle Street, a key part of the NZTA Ngauranga to Airport Corridor Plan includes a $75m Basin Reserve flyover.

Now by one vote, Wellington Council’s strategy and policy Committee has turned that down.

Its preferred option in a submission to NZTA will  be a a more expensive option - a tunnel from Buckle St to near the Mt Victoria Tunnel, beneath the Basin Reserve.  It says the proposed tunnel is important to “preserve the integrity and heritage of the National War Memorial, the Basin Reserve and Government House”.

It also wants brought forward the planned duplication of the Mt Victoria Tunnel so that it starts soon after the Basin Reserve project has been completed.  The second Mt Victoria Tunnel and the main improvements to Ruahine Street and Wellington Road are currently scheduled to follow the completion of the Kapiti Expressway and the Transmission Gully sections of the Wellington Northern Corridor Road of National Significance programme.

That comes with having a greenie mayor in charge.

Let’s hope Murray McCully seizes the Wellington Council and puts in a government management team before the Wellington Council then start interfering with the additional motorway plans further north of the Capital around Kapiti.

The Council will now seek talks with Transport Minister Steven Joyce to explain the rationale for pushing for a tunnel. That should be fun.


NZTA's preferred option |NZTA

Even the Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce  had said in a statement after the NZTA had announced its plans says: “It is disappointing a tunnel option under the Basin has been shown not to be feasible.”

Worrying times when you can’t even rely on your business mates to see sense and rally around to stop this communist takeover.

What next? Rejection of the Puhoi Holiday highway? Outrageous.

Mayor Wade-Brown says a majority of the committee – albeit a narrow one - agreed a flyover and at-grade road through Memorial Park “would rob Wellington of the opportunity to turn this area of national significance into something of which the Capital City could be justifiably proud.”

She says her amendment to the submission seeks that a tunnel be built between Buckle Street and the Mt Victoria Tunnel “to preserve the integrity and heritage of the National War Memorial, the Basin Reserve and Government House”.

The committee also agreed with Mayor Wade-Brown’s proposal to encourage the Government to invest in “good urban design, heritage and transport outcomes for the Capital precinct” that includes Memorial Park, the Basin and Government House.

“We need to develop this important precinct with a memorial park befitting the city’s capital status, not as an area to rush through. Effective transport solutions must be developed in balance with sensitive urban design imperatives for this area,” Mayor Wade-Brown says.

Referring to the flyover option, Mayor Wade-Brown says it risks tearing the fabric and character of the city and will disconnect communities. “Tarting up the flyover option is like putting lipstick on a gorilla,” Mayor Wade-Brown told the meeting.

Committee Chair Cr Andy Foster, who also holds the Council’s Transport Portfolio, says while a tunnelling option would be more expensive than a flyover, Wellingtonians want the best result for the city which means going underground

“NZTA had offered a choice between two flyover options just to the north of the Basin Reserve, and leaving State Highway 1 through the middle of Memorial Park. A flyover was in the short term the cheapest transport option.

“We said the flyover closer to the Basin was the better of the two and we would work with NZTA on the significant mitigation which we believe it would require.

“However strong public feedback and the majority of Councillors considered that undergrounding would give a much better outcome for the city that the transport improvements are supposed to serve.”
“We need to address conflict between north-south and state highway traffic which affects both public and private transport. However this is an area with many features of truly national significance, including the National War Memorial, proposed Memorial Park, the Basin, Government House, and a significant number of Category 1 historic structures.
“The corridor between the Terrace and Mt Victoria tunnels has been blighted for years by the threat of roading works. Wellingtonians have clearly said that roading changes need to respect and indeed enhance this area. The Council agrees.”

The committee also unanimously supported specifically advocating undergrounding the road at Memorial Park. “It just won’t work having thousands of vehicles running through what is intended as a place to remember those who fought for our country, to respect the servicemen and women of other nations, and for contemplation and recreation.”
The committee also voted amendments to the submission that now expresses concerns about the extent of the proposed widening of Ruahine Street and Wellington Road.

“In the 2008 Ngauranga to Airport Strategy we were talking about widening these roads to four lanes. Now NZTA is proposing six and even seven lanes for much of the route That would significantly increase the amount of land wanted to be taken from the Town Belt,




  1. Matt Hall says:

    Jon C - this Govt promptly seizes control of any local Govt that does not agree with its plans, no matter how flawed they are.

    And to think, people joked about Helen Clark’s Govt being controlling! These Nat’s have been the worst offenders in just one term. If they get in again then NZ is going to experience the thugs at their best.

    I bet Transport Minister Steven Joyce will say he knows best and give Wellington something generations dislike.

  2. Kon says:

    It’s disappointing to view your comments that the government of the day always knows best to NZ’s transport and motorway needs? Living in a democracy gives us alternatives which maybe more expensive but a better option and justified further on down the track?

  3. Matt L says:

    Kon - Jon’s just being facetious

  4. John Dalley says:

    I have not beed to or through Wellington in a long time but my memory of the basin Reserve is that a flyover would be a complete visual disaster.
    Strikes me that a tunnel would be the best option.

  5. Rob says:

    That the council resolution to reject the NZTA proposal was only passed by one vote is rather concerning. Its good that the proposal was rejected (long live the proletariat!) and that a tunnel will now become the preferred option but within the Wellington Council more ‘Green muscle’ is required lest post-Nov election, the tunnel option gets rejected and the eyesore flyover gets put back on the table.

  6. bob says:

    @matt hall

    You are bang on! Look at the mess we got into with Murry McCully trying to control the RWC.

    Couldn’t agree more with your comments.

  7. Matt says:

    @Rob. Don’t worry too much. It might have got up by only one vote, but one of the Nos was Helene Ritchie and she voted No because she thought it gave mixed messages to the government. She had tried to post a motion earlier that the WCC had no confidence in any of the RoNS plans.

    As for the other No voters. They’re troglodytes who’d benefit from a tunnel for other reasons. Trying to blight Wellington with a flyover - the Blighters.

    Hip hip hooray for Celia standing up to Jackhammer Joyce.

  8. Brent C says:

    Why does Auckland get tunnels (Vic Park) while Wellington gets flyovers? Come on NZTA/Steven, lets be reasonable here!

  9. Glen K says:

    Interesting to hear Mr Joyce on TV tonight commenting on whether the Govt should intervene to deal with the grounded ship near Tauranga - to paraphrase: “it’s not appropriate for Ministers to over-ride the experts in this area.” Um, most transport experts I know think the current Govt has been heading completely down the wrong track with its pro-RoNS approach - any chance of *them* being listened to by the Minister?

  10. Tim says:

    @ Glen K, would these experts be the ones contributing to “left-wing blogs?” or actual experts - the civil engineers I know are all slavishly pro-road :(
    A tunnel/trench all the way to the Vic tunnel would be amazing especially for un-trauncating the city; extra lanes along Ruahine street? Not so amazing, or necessary.

  11. Matt says:

    @ GlenK the roading experts Jackhammer listens to are trucking companies. Please help by voting out the Tonka Tories this November.

  12. tbird says:

    “Please help by voting out the Tonka Tories this November.”

    I’m sorry, Matt. I’m afraid I can’t do that.

    Seriously. There’s no alternative. Get your lefty parties to get their As into G. They’re a wasted vote. Labour is self-destructing with an an implosion of bitterness. A bunch of nasty negative women with borderline personalities.

    The Greens are significantly more viable, but their anti-science and anti-business views are not going to be useful when the world economy has its proper recession.

    I agree with that the government should keep its nose out of council decisions.

  13. Matt says:


    With as much due respect as I can muster - You sir are an idiot. I disagree with every one of your points.

    I still am completely bamboozled why anyone would vote for a conservative at all. I am genuinely perplexed. I cannot think of a single policy I agree with them on.

    And to get back to the original topic, Greens, like CWB, can show genuine leadership to provide smarter solutions and to stand up to the dumb bullying of the National Party. What goes at the local level, goes at the national level. I predict a Labour/Green/Mana/Maori government after November.

    The Greens aren’t anti-business (maybe anti dumb polluting businesses, but that is a good thing) and (apart from the no-GE policy) they aren’t anti-Science. In regards to National postponing clean air measures earlier this year I would say National are the anti-Science party. In the fact they are wasting billions on unnecessary roads National are the anti-Business party. The fact National are anti-CBD rail loop, means they are anti-Auckland, and being anti-Auckland is anti-Business as well.

  14. Frank says:

    Well said Matt. Couldnt agree more

  15. Antz says:


    You sir are a genius…

  16. Ingolfson says:

    “Why does Auckland get tunnels (Vic Park) while Wellington gets flyovers? Come on NZTA/Steven, lets be reasonable here!”

    I also opposed the bridges in my feedback - and lambasted them for doing “consultation” by giving us two types of bridges, and nothing to chose from!

    The only thing I am worried about is that if they decide to build another tunnel instead, then that’s another couple hundred million wasted on roads. What they should do is build a busway, not another motorway in the middle of one of our cities.

    Oh - and what Matt said. This government is destructive to our national economy by constantly choosing low-value projects to spend our taxes on, and by putting us ever deeper into financial thrall to oil. And it isn’t conservative on any other measure I can see (unless you count random intervention in local government as conservative), so I don’t even understand why one would vote National save for force of habit.


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