Response to Helene Ritchie article on 2013 structural report on the Library.

Our current waiata singing council has great potential. But experience like that displayed here by Helene Ritchie is essential for that to mature. Read the rest of this entry »

Wellington regional mayors should see the real majority at WCC

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

What are the region’s mayors seeing at WCC? Here’s what they should be seeing. Read the rest of this entry »

Wellington councils should not rely on suggestions of ‘officials’

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

WCC Cr Diane Calvert says they should follow WCC official’s advice on council funding response to the Covid-19 crisis. But the ‘officials’ of both WCC and WGRC are where our society’s neo-liberal desperation has settled. These are the officials (GWRC) who advised the bus changes, and who (WCC) advised simply locking up the library without a plan even though it had experienced no earthquake damage. And where did the decision to remove the electric trolley buses replacing them with diesel come from. And then there is the new giant white-elephant-in-waiting, the convention centre (dubbed Conven-19 by writer Dave Armstrong).

Cr Paul rightly says all councillors were elected on their merits in their own constituencies. To disrespect other councillors such as Calvert has done in this case illuminates the frustration and arrogance that she and the other neo-liberals feel now that they (and Mayor Foster for that matter) seem to be in the minority on council now.

Richard Keller

New councils must spend on public transport – updated version

The Editor,  The Dom Post,  Wellington
22/01/ 2020

Dear Editor:

Here we are in 2020 and the newly elected WCC and GWRC seem to be more supportive of public transport than the councils of the previous term. To demonstrate that they will need to be willing to spend on walking, cycling, and mass transit (light rail) and resist spending on a traffic tunnel. Read the rest of this entry »

What is bias of WCC staff?

The Editor,  The Dom Post,  Wellington
18/12/ 2019

Dear Editor:

Dave Armstrong (17/12) is right to note that the ‘bureaucrats’ (council staff) who came up with the plan for the bus changes (‘bustastrophy’) are still intact. Not much has been said about that advice, nor the background and inclinations of those who provide so-called ‘expert’ advice. Read the rest of this entry »

Neo-liberal advice from council staff

The Editor,  The Dom Post
Wellington,  23/10/ 2019

Dear Editor:

Now that the local body elections are over it’s time to look at the other half of the source of the ‘bustastrophy’ and the decision to close the library, namely the advice from WCC operatives (staff). Read the rest of this entry »

Notes on local body elections for Neighbourly

Many of you will remember the Cook Strait News. In the 2016 local body elections the CSN had the best candidate coverage in the city, including not just WCC candidates but also GWRC, and Health Board. Better than DomPost in my view.

Read the rest of this entry »

Reply to Neighbourly bus commentary – let Wellington make its own transport decisions

Going ‘back to the how it was’ sounds retrograde but it isn’t. The changes a year ago were advertised as being a reworking of existing public transport resources to improve service, but what was needed was additional service not reworked service. To me those changes seemed an attempt to deflect and prevent other more progressive efforts to improve service, and after a year this viewpoint should be understood by just about all.

Much of the response to this on Neighbourly and elsewhere has been directed at local WCC counsellors, but they have been quite supportive of public transport ranging from moderate support to outstanding support. Any move to oust the current lot should be informed by this: getting a new lot in is likely to decrease support by and competence of our counsellors for the general public transport range (walking, cycling and scooters, buses and trains).

What needs to be noted is that the Regional Council has transport responsibilities not the WCC. And the Regional Council has a majority of councillors from the northern regions and wards which have different transport priorities than Wellington’s. Barbara Donaldson is a case in point. She has recently said that Wellington has a good public transport system. Her lot is primarily interested in getting to the airport (“four lanes to the planes’) and is happy to see Wellington city punished for being in the way. It’s good she has finally been quoted in the local media as she has been hiding over the last year. Mayor Lester’s proposal for a separate Regional transport council misses the point; Wellington city must make its own decisions about public transport according to the city’s priorities without being distracted by the out of date priorities of the northern regions.

Bickering between WCC and GWRC should be directed toward NZTA and Barbara Donaldson

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

03 May, 2019

Hello The Dom Post,

The report of bickering about the bus changes (Dom Post 03/05) between the WCC and GWRC is probably welcomed by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and the northern representatives of the GWRC. Read the rest of this entry »

Emergency infrastructure in port more important than ferries

The Editor,  The Cook Strait News,  Wellington

04 December, 2018

Dear Editor:

The most important aspect of any rebuild of the port area in Wellington (CSN, 28/11) should be directed toward resiliency and the construction of emergency facilities in the wider Wellington region. The ferry port should be a part of this planning, not separate from it.  Read the rest of this entry »