Having taken the chance to venture south of the city, to deepest darkest Island Bay, home of the Empire, the old Terminus, the Parade, and nothing taller than two storeys high, I got to wondering what would the future would be like in a world where four-six storeys has been authorised, encouraged, and even mandated. It’s hard to imagine at present, with the wide leafy boulevard and rows of small, low level housing either side.
Each major road intersection is replete with what used to be corner dairies and are now other shops: a Wisconsin Burger, a derelict CookieTime store, the still functioning and very tasty Trisha’s Pies shop, on the opposite corner from the still functioning St Hilda’s church. A cycleway snakes its way down each side of the Parade, still functioning well despite the evil Vicki Greco’s attempts to sabotage it, and the Council’s seeming inclination to never finish it.
Some day, maybe not right now, but some time, and for ever, this will all change. It’s a desirable neighbourhood at present, once full of Italian fishing families, now more full of frantic first home buyers, with full buses into town in the mornings and back in the evenings. Having not been there at rush hour, I don’t know, but I suspect, that there is a long line of cars going into town as well. But the growth spurt is coming, or at least starting to be planned for, and those large leafy flat sections down in the old level river delta, are slowly filling up with back yard dwellings. If there was ever a river, there is now no sign – its just flat – but my old geological hat tells me that there must indeed be a stream that regularly flooded down to the south, in order to fill that void valley.
On the hillsides nearby, most places are as yet unchanged – aside from Cassells desecration of the Erskine neighbourhood, with its hundreds of tightly packed and poorly designed townhouses; and on the far side of the hill, a new subdivision snakes its way along with a long scar being drawn into the landscape halfway to the sky. But as yet, there is no sign of construction at ground level on the actual Parade itself. How long till that arrives I wonder, and how will it be received? Seeing as how the locals were roused into stupefying action like a bunch of Trump supporters or anti-vaxxers, in order to hate the fledgling cycle path, and proclaim it to be a “killer cycleway” (something that it has steadfastly declined to do thus far), I wonder how well they will act when they really have a serious proposal to complain about. Of course, we won’t hear a word of dissent if someone builds three x three storey dwellings on a site, as dissent on such things is formally ruled illegal under our new MDRS aims. But what will happen when the first six storey apartment building gets built on the parade, next to the final Terminus stop?! I think that the wicked witch of the south might just explode a head gasket if that happens…
Post-script: This post is the 1000th post on The Eye of the Fish – started off in 2008 by Maximus, continued on by Leviathan, and then relatively recently by me, Captain Nemo. There have also been 11,198 comments over the years, and that’s not counting the several million spam that have been successfully avoided and destroyed. It’s both exhausting, and kind of fun. And if I don’t have time for a last post before Santa comes down my chimney, have a great Christmas break.
Now that’s a village. A flat catchment. A bunch of shopfronts ripe for repurposing, A quaxable supermarket. A movie theatre, A swimmable beach (by Wellington standards anyway). A waterfront park. An adjacent golf curse for horizontal development. A straight PT run to the Basin Reserve. I presume they are just waiting for Clarke Gayford to back up the truck and relocate these… https://the-paddington.co.nz
They’re honestly not worth relocating! Just drive the bulldozer straight through them. Remarkably horrible little shacks, far too close together.
Congratulations to the Fish’s authors – past & present – for informing the people of the goings-on of the Wellington urban design scene (and beyond).
It is always a pleasure to read, and also digest the comments from others as well.
Thank you SeaMonkey – and may I also offer you thanks for your steadfast support and comments over the years. Really appreciated. It’s a lonely job !
Someone finally built something at Erskine! That should be a good thing.
How bad is it?
Hi Henry – they’re a combination of good and not so good – probably suffering from trying to cram too much into a small space. Haven’t quite got the shading right, as you’ll see if you go there – most of them face west, but are getting blasted by late afternoon sunshine, and people are posting up paper and cardboard etc to try and keep the sun out. Its not ideal…
A google image search throws up some interesting things, and some of them are even Erskine Island Bay!
Theres more open space and green space than I’d expected, which is a definite plus.
But I take your point about west-facing. New Zealanders are so pre-occupied with warmth that they almost totally neglect cooling.
It seems that Leviathan had gone to Erskine a couple of years ago, when it was under construction. You can read about it hear: https://eyeofthefish.org/erskine-2/
Congrats on the 1000 posts!
In the draft district plan only about 20 properties in Island Bay are zoned for 6 stories. Guess that might change if transit goes that way.
Yes, you’re right, most of Island Bay is currently ear-marked as 11m, with some very small patches going up to 22m tall, near the Island Bay shops, and a bit right down by the Terminus. And, as you say, with Rapid Transit arriving one day in the future, all that will change once more – 6 storey minimum for everywhere within 15min walking? That’s basically the whole of the Valley route – so, yes, it all starts now.
I live in hope that LGWM will see sense and go to the airport after Newtown.
Happy Thousandth Nemo
Thanks for your tireless contributions and rational viewpoint
Thank YOU 60 MPa, for your hanging in there and reading and responding over the years. I know we have some frequent readers, but very few who comment – and I really appreciate your comments.
For those with an architectural sense of Irony….
The pseudo rap beat during the “pump it in” segment got my eyes rolling,,the bucket rating system is so close to the truth it nearly isn’t funny although given Roger Walker’s track record on roofs maybe it is a documentary?
The mention of the SR117 Blackbird leaking fuel on the ground (it’s true*) reminded me of this famous story
Completely different sense of humour but you might like it
*Apparently they heat up and expand so much that the fuel cell seals at operational speeds and temperature – also they refuel in mid-air so the initial gas is just to get them off the ground. I guess
What a gutless wonder hiding under a name de plume. If you had facts you would know I was asked to act on behalf of 80 % of the community and it was the residents association not me personally.
80% of the .8% the IBRA represented, maybe.
Absolutely not. 80% also in council submission process in the largest amount of respondantsvthey have ever had .
Vicki – no, not a gutless wonder at all. We are here to discuss the issues, and everyone can use a non de plume on this site. It has been going for 14 years without any issues over who writes for it / comments on it. On the other hand, you (or Dave) frequently comment on Facebook as “Vicki an Dave Greco” and are clearly making comments not on behalf of the community, but I would say largely on behalf of yourself?
I have been following the exploits of you and the other lady for a number of years now, and as a resident of Wellington (who is not a resident of Island Bay, although I would love to be), there are many many Wellingtonians like me who are incredibly pissed off at the halting of the Island Bay cycle way. Your antics over this “Killer Cycleway!!” (complete bullshit) have cost the city thousands and thousands of our ratepayers money – probably millions, and have made Wellington a laughing stock of other cities around the country. Council has bent over backwards to try and meet your complaints, and still you protest. I’m over it.
Anyway – I’ve wasted enough time over this. Good bye.
Well wimp who can’t supply your real name.. it’s a shame you don’t have any facts to back up your accusations. The Council have done nothing to address the concerns of 85 % of the community that said no nor the massive increase of accidents since its implementation. You don’t live in the suburb so but out. Keep watching my posts you might learn a positive thing or two and some real facts.
I do live in Island Bay, and I have to say Vicki, the idea that you speak for 85% of the community of island Bay has been debunked time and time again, so I think throwing accusations of nemo being short on facts is a little lacking in self-awareness on your part. Not to mention the fact (a genuine one!) that (in an actual democratic process) the community did not want to elect you as a representative on the council. No doubt, you care about Island Bay in your own way, but please, stop claiming to speak for 85% of us, it just is not the case. Times they are a changing, and most of us appreciate and understand climate change is real, as is the housing crisis.
But seeing as you say you were acting not by yourself, but on behalf of the residents association, then I find the recent post you made to the “Get Rid Of The Island Bay CycleWay” rather puzzling:
“from Vicki An Dave Greco
Island Bay this is our last chance to restore democracy, our once friendly community and the Parade.
That large majority that have been ignored for to long PLEASE make one last ditch effort.
When the Council made its current decision to waste more money on the Parade, Sean Rush’s put forward a proposal to put the cycle lane on the outside of the cars and drop the speed limit to 40km, this not only met NZTA guidelines it meant safety would be restored for all users. Cr Fitzsimons casting vote, voting against her community stopped this. Cr Foon was to busy white water rafting to bother voting.
The new changes will;
. Add in trip lips between the cycleway and cars for the elderly, disabled, and the young.
. Remove 80 to 100 car parks along the parade.
. Remove angle parking and parking in the shopping Centre.
. Reseal the road.
The Changes won’t;
. Make lanes wider for Emergency services, buses, trucks and traffic.
. Improve safety for parents with more than one child to get their children safely buckled up in car seats. ( do they leave one child on the footpath, in the cycleway with the risks associated with this?)
. Reduce the large amount of accidents and near misses recorded since the current design was implemented.
The negative impacts on Business, residents and sports clubs on the parade will be massive.
It’s time Island Bay to unite and put an end to this.
The only acceptable outcome is Democracy being restored and our voices listened to.
This Council, Councillors and a small militant group have held us to ransom for to long. Lets claim our community back.”
I would argue that in fact, you are the small militant group… holding Wellington to ransom.
Thanks for sharing. If you kept up with the play you would know I stepped down as chair of the residents association well over a year ago. But funny enough the large majority wanting the parade put back are still there. Please in future use facts not hysteria.
A very interesting contribution, which prompts a few questions and coments:
“That large majority that have been ignored” – which majority would that be (said on 20 January to be 80%, rising to 85% a day later, with no indication of where these figures came from)? It certainly hasn’t been evident at local body elections.
“Cr Fitzsimons casting vote, voting against her community stopped this” – as I understand it casting votes can be cast only by the chair of the meeting. Is that what happened? And what evidence is there that she voted “against her community”?
“a last chance to restore democracy” – everything has been decided by a democratically elected council (noting that Ms Greco failed to get herself elected in the 2017 Southern Ward by-election, and the two current councillors received well over 80% of the vote in 2019). How will the views of a pressure group (from this contribution, seemingly at least partially based on lack of evidence or incorrect information) make it more democratic?
“The Changes won’t;
. Make lanes wider for Emergency services, buses, trucks and traffic” – not true. From https://www.transportprojects.org.nz/current/the-parade/proposal-details/ “Slightly wider traffic lanes between Dee and Avon, and Mersey and Reef, up from 3m to 3.2m wide”
[nor] “Improve safety for parents with more than one child to get their children safely buckled up in car seats. ( do they leave one child on the footpath, in the cycleway with the risks associated with this?)” – not true. From the same source: “New 0.9m-wide raised concrete buffers will make it easier for people to park and load/unload their cars (similar to the ones on Rongotai Road in Kilbirnie)” (where the arrangement seems to work OK)
[nor] “Reduce the large amount of accidents and near misses recorded since the current design was implemented” – evidence about any increase would be quite helpful.
“The negative impacts on Business, residents and sports clubs on the parade will be massive” – any evidence to support this would also be helpful.
“a small militant group have held us to ransom for to [sic] long” – quite so!
Why are the drama queens such poor spellers?
The 5G tower and the 1080 drops in Island Bay? #VickiGrecoStyleFacts
Facts pleasethe irony of gutsy of island bay not allowing any one to reply or correct his misinformation is to much. Not gutsy enough to use a real name. Not gutsy at all
Interesting if someone had not posted this on a Facebook page I would never have seen it. Very obvious why I would not follow this blog. People who hide behind name de plumes and aren’t interested in democracy or facts. You can twist manipulate all you like and yip all the personal attacks because you don’t have facts or right o your side.
But at the end of the day it doesn’t change what the majority of the community in the councils submission process asked for.
So grow a pair and use your real names and facts.
Vicki, regardless of what you think, the world does not revolve around you, and I’m perfectly happy for people to not post their names here. It’s not being “gutless” or “spineless” – what this particular website is about is discussing the issues that affect Wellington. And one of the issues of Wellington is, whether you like it or not, the Island Bay Cycleway. I’ve as much right to comment about Island Bay as you do – I may not live there, but I travel there, I swim there, I walk there, I shop there, I drive there, I cycle there, and I have many friends that live there – incidentally, none of whom support your efforts to “Get Rid of” the cycleway.
You accuse me and other people here of being uninterested in democracy or facts – hmmm. Strange. Because I’ve just been to the WCC website.
Before dinner there were 67 replies, and now there are 97 replies.
But the figures are much the same (and no, I haven’t filled out the survey myself. Yet.)
Strongly Support for the Cycle way is currently roughly equal (40%) with the people who Strongly Oppose the Cycleway (39%) – so at the moment anyway, there is certainly no evidence that 85% of people in Island Bay support your vehement hatred for a simple piece of transport infrastructure.
Its got a few weeks to run yet, so no doubt those numbers will change, as you are busy exhorting your many followers / fellow haters to vote against it. But either way, seeing as Island Bay has about 6,900 people living there, and seeing as you claim the support of 85% of Island Bay folk, then I would believe you if around 5,865 people (85% of 6,900) vote in. agreement with you. So, work your magic, wave your wand, and see what you can do to up those figures. I’ll be watching with interest.
The 85% opposed was from the councils previous consultation process. Where they had the largest amount of submissions they have ever had for any submission process. The outcome will be interesting.