Green coun­cil­lor’s sym­bolic vic­tory

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By JIM CHIPP

Re­gional coun­cil­lor Paul Bruce scored a rare vic­tory re­cently, al­beit a to­ken one.

As a Green Party mem­ber he has of­ten found him­self in the mi­nor­ity at the Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil ta­ble, but at the Novem­ber 7 meet­ing a ma­jor­ity sup­ported his mo­tion to re-open dis­cus­sions be­tween the re­gional and city coun­cils, and the NZ Trans­port Agency over roads around the Basin Re­serve.

In the light of the Government’s de­ci­sion to move Buckle St into a cut-and-fill tun­nel, he wanted all op­tions for free­ing up pub­lic trans­port move­ment around the Basin Re­serve back on the ta­ble, in­clud­ing the Ar­chi­tec­ture Cen­tre’s Op­tion-X pro­posal.

Ju­dith Aitken sup­ported Mr Bruce, say­ing the agency’s plan to run a fly­over past the Basin Re­serve was un­ac­cept­able, both vis­ually and en­vi­ron­men­tally, and that it was a back­ward step in terms of en­cour­ag­ing mo­dal shift; from mo­tor ve­hi­cles to walking, cy­cling and pub­lic trans­port.

‘‘That shift will take a very long time but, nev­er­the­less, this is a back­ward step,’’ she said.

Chris Laid­law said the whole de­ci­sion-mak­ing process lead­ing to a de­ci­sion to build a fly­over road had been flawed but: ‘‘it is a fait ac­com­pli – there is noth­ing we can do about it’’.

Chair­woman agreed.

‘‘We have de­bated it to death around this ta­ble and around the trans­port ta­ble.



‘‘ NZTA de­ci­sion.’’

Daran Pon­ter and Nigel Wil­son also sup­ported the mo­tion, the lat­ter say­ing the Kapiti ex­pe­ri­ence had shown NZTA to be un­trust­wor­thy.

Mr Bruce won out, with Mr Wil­son, Ms Aitken, Mr Pon­ter, Gary McPhee and San­dra Greig vot­ing with him, and Ms Wilde, Peter Glen­sor, Jenny Brash, Bar­bara Don­ald­son, Prue La­ma­son and Mr Laid­law vot­ing against.

Af­ter the meet­ing Ms Greig said it was ‘‘a to­ken ges­ture’’ be­cause the trans­port agency’s mind was al­ready made up.




NZTA Welling­ton high­ways man­ager Rod James said the pos­si­bil­ity of a tun­nel at Buckle St had al­ways been fac­tored into the agency’s de­signs for the area.

‘‘Op­tion A [the fly­over] re­mains the most ef­fec­tive, fea­si­ble and af­ford­able op­tion for all forms of trans­port around the Basin Re­serve, and pro­vides ben­e­fits for pub­lic trans­port users,’’ he said.

‘‘ We have ruled out other op­tions – a tun­nel, Op­tion X, and street level so­lu­tions – be­cause th­ese do not work as well in prac­tice for pedes­tri­ans, cy­clists, pedes­tri­ans or pub­lic trans­port users.’’

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