NZTA vs Wellington Council


Wednesday sees a fascinating showdown between the NZTA and a more pro-PT Wellington Mayor over the Ngauranga to Wellington Airport Corridor Plan and the city’s proposed State Highway Projects tomorrow night.

Nine Councillors have demanded an “extraordinary”  meeting to discuss a letter from NZTA which expresses concern that the new mayor may not be as in love with motorway plans as the former mayor, who lost the last election.

“There is concern that the Council no longer shares or supports the view that the Ngauranga to Airport plan is base don the fundamental premise that improvements to Wellington”s inner-city transport issues will only be achieved by taking a multi modal approach… and concern that the Council no longer shares the view that the plan clearly signals construction of improvements to SH1 around Basin reserve” says NZTA CEO Geoff Dangerfield in a letter to Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

The NZTA letter says it’s “urgent” that the Council confirm what the previous Council had agreed to.

The council meeting will consider recommendations that the Councils strongly agrees with the NZTA.

Will the Mayor who campaigned for alternative transport be listened to or be shouted down by the pro-road lobby?

Councillor Helene Ritchie will move: That the Wellington City Council undertake full public consultation with the people of Wellington on the Transport Agency’s option(s), intention, and designs, routes, property and Town Belt and Basin Reserve impacts of their roading proposal(s) prior to any decision by Council to confirm (or otherwise) the Council’s position on Wellington RONS (Road of National Significance) transport improvements for State Highway One, south of Ngauranga.

The Save the Basin (Reserve) website says $97 million of hard-earned taxpayer and ratepayer funding is being spent to move traffic congestion 300 metres.

“It makes no economic sense, won’t improve congestion, and will result in the short-sighted destruction of the Basin as a sporting and cultural venue,”  says the site.

This is a rare experience for NZTA to find local body politicians not just agreeing to what their masters decree.

The result of the meeting will have implications throughout the country as NZTA pushes through motorway plans.




  1. Jon Reeves says:

    I fully support Celia’s actions. It is time a small minded Govt department (NZTA). $97 million to move traffic congestion 300 meters is a joke.

    Steven Joyce obviously fully supports this, or perhaps it’s his friends in the construction and roading lobbies which do?

  2. Max says:

    The key thing is what the Council decides. If they overrule her, she’ll be gutted politically right at the start of her election term.

    A frank discussion though, can only help - I seriously doubt that many in the public these days will raise there hands and say “Here, please spend millions and millions to do motorway stuff in out city’s heart”. Hope I am reading the public right, biut someone elected HER, so they better give their councillors an earful not to jump into bed with NZTA just because “the previous Council did so”.

  3. Andu says:

    absolutely agree Max. remember she was elected for a reason. i hope she can fight to keep the motorway out.

  4. Andrew says:

    Am I missing something? NZTA’s letter says “Wellington”s inner-city transport issues will only be achieved by taking a multi modal approach”.

    Given they already have roads there, and nothing but roads, how does adding more roads make this in any way multi-modal?

  5. mark says:

    “make this in any way multi-modal?”

    Maybe they mean “WE will build more roads, and you can then spend some bucks on a pedestrian crossing somewhere, you hippies!”.

  6. Peter says:

    Let’s hope Celia gets the support she deserves.


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