The Eye of the Fish

Maximus
October 13, 2013

Results

So, we have a new Council. And a new chance for Wellington. And, just perhaps, a Council less inclined to squabble.

I’m really glad that Leonie Gill has been ousted – some people can’t take a hint that they should enjoy their retirement. I hope she can enjoy it now it is compulsory. And of course John Morrison has done his chips – at last Wellington will be blessed without the mustachioed one. A fairly close run race though – a very close result. But, in the end, Celia Wade-Brown has increased her majority, and so can rule the roost with impunity. It would have been interesting if Morrison had won – he would have had to live up to some of those grandiose bullshit promises he had been making. Now, we’ll never know.

Rex Nichols too did not get a vote – it would have been Kerry by Proxy, methinks, and I think we have probably had enough of that. We’ve lost the Pepperrel, gained a Sparrow and a Woolf, and got a Free councilor as well. In fact we almost had two Woolfs, which almost makes a Woolf pack… No pack, but we do have a Peck. And we have a Young as well. Hmmm, Young Free Woolf Peck, and Sparrow. Sounds like something from One Direction. No, I’m not making these names up. These people really exist. And, are going to be governing our lives for the next three years.

It’s interesting though, because what we have seems to be a Council with a clearly slightly left of centre bias. Votes will not be stymied by a right wing block on Council. Indeed, if this current new group of Councillors had been given the chance to vote on the Flyover, they may have had the nerve to say no thank you. Now, of course, it’s too late for the Council to do anything else but go ahead, thanks to Councillor Foster’s infamous casting vote some months back. But it always makes me wonder, just what would NZTA have come up with if they had been given the thumbs down over the Flyover? What would their Plan B have been? Cos no matter what, you always have to have a Plan B. Now, we’ll never know.

So, the Council hasn’t even had time to get their knees under the desks yet, but already we are all starting to think about what we want out of this Council. The laws of politics being what they are, the next Council after this will probably be a swing to the right, so we had best make good use of this one while we have it. Three years in which to get some core green principles in place. A decent separated cycle-path network for starters, I’m picking. Adelaide Road sorted. Spine study out of the way, and decent public transport implemented. Redesign of major intersections to be more pedestrian and cycle-friendly. Something resolved about the airport.

What is on your birthday wish list for the brand new Council?

erentz
13 - 10 - 13

No Morrison? That’s a big sigh of relief. Max, why is it too late to stop the flyover? Has construction started? A change of Govt next year might see the sense in abandoning it.

Maximus
13 - 10 - 13

Erentz – it’s not quite what I said – yes, I agree that the Flyover may still not go ahead, as they (NZTA) have yet to get Resource Consent for it to proceed and be constructed. But I think that it is too late for the Council to now be against it. The NZTA have put in the RC Application, and Wellington have had their chance to comment on it, via the Board of Enquiry call for submissions. WCC have put in a submission – no idea what it says, as the Board of Enquiry doesn’t appear to have put the actual submissions online. But whatever the WCC’s response was, they can’t / won’t change it now.

Of course, the Board of Enquiry has the mandate for independent thought, and could yet decide they are against a flyover, and to reject it. Judging by the way that previous Government-appointed boards have gone, it’s more likely that pigs will fly first class to the moon than the Flyover be rejected.

Maximus
13 - 10 - 13

Aaah, but I see that I miss-read your question – not WCC, but government. Yes, good question. Could the next government (if Cunliffe can unite the troops and win over this disturbingly Key-ite nation of ours) overturn the process the current government has already set in place, and cancel the Flyover? Labour and the Greens have certainly been very vocal against the RONS over the last couple of years – but once contracts are let, are they really going to have the guts, and the financial balls, to cancel them? Would they really reverse the decision to go ahead with the Kapiti Expressway? The Flyover? The extension to Auckland’s North-Western motorway? Or is it all too late, and a done deal by now?

minimus
13 - 10 - 13

So do you think finding a previously undiscovered archeological site of interest could stop the flyover? Certainly those weta boys and girls could whip up some convincing artefacts…

Mike
13 - 10 - 13

Maximus, WCC’s submission on the Basin Bridge is at http://wellington.govt.nz/~/media/your-council/meetings/Committees/Strategy-and-Policy-Committee/2013/08/22/22-August-2013-Report-5-Basin-Reserve-Submission-August-2013.pdf.

Maximus
13 - 10 - 13

Thanks Mike – I can’t get into the Submissions on the actual Board of Enquiry page – there is a summary of submissions, but under the button Submissions, it seems to go no further.

Minimus – nice to have you back! I’m on the search for the home of the Greater Crested Mt Victoria Black Spider Weta cult, an ancient religion, as we speak. Precious Taonga…

Mike
13 - 10 - 13

Maximus, the “View the Submissions” link on the EPA website works for me using Chrome – it goes to http://www.epa.govt.nz/search-databases/Pages/nsp-proposals-details.aspx?ProposalNumber=NSP000026#. WCC’s is at http://www.epa.govt.nz/resource-management/NSP000026/NSP000026_Wellington_City_Council_103579.pdf

Maximus
14 - 10 - 13

It seems that Mayor Wade-Brown also feels the sense of urgency to get things done:
“Ms Wade-Brown said, regardless of the Green swing, it was a constructive council with a good mix of experience but she conceded leading the council would be “a lot easier than in the last six months”.
The main priorities for the next 100 days were the south coast cycle lanes, completing the draft annual plan before Christmas, agreeing on three-year priorities, taking first steps towards a living wage for council staff, slimming down council-owned companies and continuing to improve shared services with other councils.”

Seamonkey Madness
14 - 10 - 13

Helene Ritchie back in – nooooooooo!!

Maximus
14 - 10 - 13

Stuff says:
“After preliminary results were counted, Wellington’s longest serving councillor Helene Ritchie walked away just 31 votes ahead of challenger Peter Gilberd, meaning the result could still swing once special votes are counted. All up 1570 special votes were issued, and after election results were announced on Saturday 650 were left to be counted. Yesterday Ms Ritchie, who has been on council for 27 years, said she was extremely nervous about the result.

“We’ll just have to wait to see what the outcome is. It’s not a nice space to be in . . . It’s a very anxious wait.”

27 years ! Twenty-seven bloody years! Good grief Ritchie, time to get out and taste life in the real world. No wonder she’s gone mad – imagine 27 years of Council meetings and Standing Orders and all that bullshit. Shudder…..

Maximus
3 - 11 - 13

Scoop reports today that former Councilor Leonie Gill has died.
http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=61381

Very sadly, she didn’t get to have any retirement at all. Worked tirelessly in the saddle for the people of Rongotai, until she wore herself completely out. Thanks for 15 years of selfless service Leonie.

Elaihe Hampton
6 - 11 - 13

Seamonkey, what is your problem with Helene Richie – Did she flip flop and get us a Flyover – nooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Foster back in oh noooooooooooooooooooooooooo