Leaky Shelter Scandal


The leaky bus shelter drama could go on for decades.

Auckland City’s deal with Adhsel in 2000 was for - wait for it - 23 years!

The advertising Adshel sells advertising in exchange for the cost and maintenance of the shelter.

According to this story, Adhsel has no plans to review the deal.

I bet they don’t. Deal of the century with no council oversight of the maintenance by the evidence so far.

And it’s great to see in that story that reader of this site, Eden Albert Community Board chairman Christopher Dempsey has put his foot down, claiming the bus shelters located along Queen St, with disjointed glass panels, provide no shelter at all and it’s unacceptable.

Too right -  it’s absolutely unacceptable.

But don’t expect to see a story like that in the Auckland daily or bus lane type campaign such as the Herald has been running.

The NZ Herald  and Radio Network (Newstalk ZB, etc) own Adshel!

It may have been a good deal getting bus shelters in return for letting companies run poster advertising but something has to be done about leaky bus shelters.

Tonight, through the rain drops, I noticed the busy Victoria St West bus shelter’s wooden seat was too wet to sit in because it was wet at the back of the seat.
And anyone trying to sit on the seat would have had a constant steady big drip from the “covered” roof.
This leaky bus shelter syndrome has been going on for years and it’s time bus patrons said enough’s enough.
Ages ago,I wrote about how I was drenched while sitting in a shelter downtown waiting for a bus and by the time a bus arrived “I looked like a wet-soaked homeless trying to bludge a ride.”

Nothing has changed.

Remember, Wellington’s council has finally got real and dumped its leaky Adshels.

In Wellington, because of the deal, the council there has had to only install four or five bus shelters a year in suburban locations of greatest need in the city, while in five years Adshel has rolled out 150.
Adshel has now virtually called a halt to any new shelters with a council report saying that “unfortunately, the opportunity to leverage further off the Adshel contract has evaporated in the wake of significant resident opposition and the downturn in the economic climate. Neither does the GWRC have resources to increase their commitment to a higher number of bus shelter installations.”
But the report admits that in the long run, this is in commuters’ good.
“An advantage of the city allocating its own funding for bus shelters is that it has control over the attributes of the bus shelters. There has been some criticism of the Adshel shelters not providing adequate shelter for Wellington’s weather conditions.
“With a purpose-built shelter that makes no compromise for advertising, these shortcomings can be minimised. The disadvantage is, however, that the council must meet the full cost of the bus shelter and ongoing maintenance.”
The council estimates there are 400 shelters needed.
The Wellington council says it will take 20 years to fund completing bus shelters on all inbound bus stops city-wide.
Well, now Auckland needs to bite the bullet.
You shouldn’t provide a bus shelter and expect waiting passengers to get soaked. It only takes one total drenching of your clothes to put you off public transport in Auckland for life.




  1. Matt L says:

    Surely it can’t be hard to design a shelter that doesn’t leak that can also have an advertising poster in it. Obviously what the council should have done when Adshel first approached them was to work with them to set a design standard so this kind of thing doesn’t happen.

  2. Julian says:

    In the winter I have seen plenty of people stand on the seat when it rains, in summer the same shelters get so hot that people sit behind them on a wall in the bushes… Really think that partnership with the provider would be a better way for the council to go

  3. LarryH says:

    Well the bus shelters are not the only ones with this leaky issue. The brand new train platform shelters at New Lynn also have a couple of leaks that soak the seats when it rains.

  4. karl says:

    Shows why the idea of having contracts for public services run longer than, say, 5 years is stupid. But hey, for water services we now have a whopping 35 years, so it must be okay, huh?

    Rodney Hide should not call himself a libertarian - such contracts create monopolies that literally last generations. Contrary to all competition. I am ashamed that my own engineering society, IPENZ, supported this crap.

  5. Jon C says:

    Good on Radio NZ news which has just been in touch. It’s picked this up and is doing a story on it.

  6. joust says:

    Lets be honest calling them “shelters” really is a stretch. What they really are is a cheap and effective way for the advertisers to place their messages all over town prominently on the side of the street. The bench, walls and roof are obviously just fulfilling the absolute bare minimum requirements and an afterthought to the advert. It must be a pretty good deal, presumably they don’t need to pay for use of the site - giving adshel a pretty unfair advantage over billboard operators.

  7. wobogong says:

    The Councillors sit around the table making these decisions on bus shelters do not use public Transport and nor do the staffers overall. All Councillors, Community Board members and Council staffers should be made to take a goodly dose of thier own bus shelter medicine for twelve months like the usual Commuter does. Then we will see a different Tune. Councils are to blame such as North Shore City for deciding on these non New Zealand Climate friendly bus shelters.

  8. Scott says:

    Grafton train station has has quite a leak in its shelter, (Other than this the station design is awesome). The Kingsland underpass steps design allows water to pool on each step too.


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