The Fish’s Predictions for 2011:

Prediction # 1
Firstly, there will have to be some progress on the work around the Basin Reserve. It has been the slowest consultation job in the world so far – to the point of absolutely no consultation yet at all. Is NZTA / Transit asleep at the wheel? Shouldn’t they pull over and take a break, and let someone else steer the bus (or Light Rail)? Can someone give them a ticket for driving too slow?

Prediction # 2
We’ve watched and talked as the Manners Mall got mauled, rucked, and then booted into submission. Not one of the highlights of the year, but at least no one has died, yet, although the hit rate currently stands at 5. Let’s face it – the buses are far too big for that road, and people in the centre of town are drunk and disorderly. Somebody will get plastered, and then get plastered all over the road. Probably during the Rugby….

Prediction # 3
The Indoor Sports Stadium will open this year, and it has being going pretty smoothly so far. The roof looks like it has been sewn on well, so that probably won’t take off. But this is the time for predictions, and so we’ll predict that : either

A : a tsunami will wash it away, or
B : torrential rains will fill the basement carpark and it will float down the harbour, or
C : it will cause massive traffic problems and there will be letters to the paper calling for it to be shut down.
The last one seems slightly more likely.

Prediction # 4
The Hobbit will drive a new wave of furry foot mania and confidence in Wellington, and house prices in Seatoun and Karaka Bay will stay out of reach from any mere mortal who isn’t working at Weta. Ben Hana will get a part, either as Smaug or as a drunken Elf Lord. And Martin Freeman will continue to be spotted around town wearing nice cravats, looking non-plussed at all the attention, and perhaps will take up permanent residence at the Library. Or Bettys.

Or perhaps he will just use that Precious ring and use it to make himself invisible as he moves amongst us, smiling glumly in that curious upside-down-mouth smile he has.

Prediction # 5
Celia Wade-Brown will get her ballroom dancing game on, and give her pathetic bunch of councilors a well-deserved prod up the backside. A report will be commissioned from an overseas expert on Public Transport, and for once it won’t be stacked by pro-car, pro-busway proponents.

We predict that instead, it will be denounced immediately by Councilor John Morrison as being pro-Light Rail. Well, duh !!!

Prediction # 6
There will be a major development that finally gets underway, as the developer driven housing market finally crawls back to life. The banks have got all our money, so they will have to loan some of it back to us at some stage.

There are a few massive big holes along Wakefield Street and one of them will surely have to be filled by year end. I’m picking…. maybe the back of Readings? It’s criminal to have it sitting empty for so long.

Prediction # 7
And lastly, the question of heritage will get raised again and taken a lot more seriously than before. We were going to say something typically provocative about the Chow brothers chopping down another heritage tree, or knocking down another heritage building – but they bet us to it, with the demolition of the old Settlement building this week. Our previous statement where we said we thought they were not to be trusted with – well, not with much at all – and certainly not with a heritage building, seems to have come true already, but there are so many times that they can play the “we didn’t know” card. Still, despite their alleged $100million property portfolio, there is a lot of Wellington that they do not own yet.

But heritage is at risk, not just from Chows, but most obviously of all, from the Big One – earthquake that is well overdue. The Council needs to take a serious look at what buildings it honestly does want to stay on in the townscape after our big shakedown. So – our final prediction – either
A : a massive earthquake in Wellington, with loss of buildings and life; or
B : the Council decides to act sooner on earthquake-prone unreinforced masonry buildings in Wellington.
Which would you rather it was?