Saturday 2 May: A Victorian Dinner to raise funds for the Basin appeal

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Mt Victoria Historical Society (MVHS), a party to the Board of Inquiry and the High Court Appeal, is organising a fabulous evening of food, entertainment and conviviality to raise funds for Save the Basin Campaign’s response to NZTA’s Appeal against the Board’s decision to decline resource consent for the Basin Reserve flyover.

You are welcome to organise a group of 10 friends to make up a table.  And if you’d like to come on your own, or can’t fill a table for 10, MVHS will make sure you’re seated with congenial company.

What: Mt Victoria Historical Society Victorian Dinner Fundraiser

When: Saturday 2 May, 7pm

Where: Long Room, Basin Reserve

How much: $95 per ticket

How to book/for more info: Phone Sue on 04 384 8208, email whathouse@xtra.co.nz or see http://mtvictoria.history.org.nz/event/victorian-dinner/

mvhs_gaiety

MVHS will keep you posted with details such as highlights for the silent auction and entertainment.

Wellington City Council’s Basin Reserve Masterplan and Greater Wellington’s Climate Change Strategy

Wellington City Council’s Basin Reserve Masterplan

Wellington City Council is finally developing a Basin Reserve Masterplan. That’s good: the lack of such a plan was adversely noted at the Board of Inquiry hearing. But it could also be bad: the Council may use it as a pretext to demolish the Museum Stand, which houses the New Zealand Cricket Museum, and to make other changes which may adversely affect the Basin.

So we need to be vigilant, and we need to have our say. It’s not yet possible to submit directly on the Masterplan itself, but the seeds of it are sown in the Council’s 10-year Long Term Plan at http://www.our10yearplan.co.nz/ – itself a very important document to submit on, as other planning documents are derived from it:

The general supporting documents for the LTP are below:

http://www.our10yearplan.co.nz/supporting-documents/

The document which mentions the Basin is below:

http://www.our10yearplan.co.nz/assets/Supporting-documents/long-term-plan-consultation.pdf

P. 37 mentions the Basin Reserve Masterplan.  Cost is at $21m.  Note that the actual master plan will be brought back to Council later in the year.  The actual detail is not in the Plan which will make it a bit difficult to feed back on but think it important that high level feedback is given through this process.

The supporting document that discusses the Basin Reserve makes it clear that the future of the Museum Stand is still under threat – there’s a risk it may be demolished, and with it the Cricket Museum which it houses. So you might want to submit on these points:

  • No flyover or similar transport project should be allowed to threaten the future of the Basin!
  • Preservation of the Museum Stand and the New Zealand Cricket Museum
  • Emphasis the importance of the Basin to Wellington, not just as a cricket ground but a recreation facility.

Submissions on the Long Term Plan close on Friday 17 April and can be made at https://submissions.wellington.govt.nz/submission.aspx

Greater Wellington’s Climate Change Strategy

Greater Wellington (aka Wellington Regional Council), while busily supporting more motorways and longer airport runways, is at the same time developing its climate change strategy, which is meant to cover both actions the region should take to reduce its contribution to climate change, and actions needed to adapt to the effects of climate change, such as sea level rise, storm surges, coastal erosion, flooding, and increased extreme weather events.

You have until Friday 10 April to have your say on the draft plan, which might be a good opportunity to point out any contradictions you see between the Council’s words and its actions, as well as recommending actions you think the region needs to take: http://haveyoursay.gw.govt.nz/climate-change

Four Months To Stop A Basin Reserve Flyover: NZ Transport Agency’s High Court Appeal Set Down For Monday 20 July

Here’s what you need to know:

Short version:

We have four months to raise $50,000 to fight the Transport Agency in the High Court for the future of the Basin Reserve. Donate here: http://savethebasin.org.nz/donate/

Longer version:

  • The New Zealand Transport Agency’s appeal to the High Court of the Board of Inquiry decision to decline resource consent for a Basin Reserve flyover has been set down for Monday 20 July.
  • The hearing is expected to last two weeks.
  • NZTA will be claiming that the Board decision was wrong on various points of law. The Board itself will not be represented at the hearing. That means it’s up to groups like us to defend the Board’s decision.
  • Save the Basin Campaign Inc and Mt Victoria Residents Association have jointly taken on Matthew Palmer QC to act for them at the hearing.
  • We need to raise $50,000 to pay for this legal representation. We have raised a good chunk of this. We have four months to raise the rest.
  • Many of our supporters have already contributed generously, and that’s much appreciated. We’re happy to accept donations via http://savethebasin.org.nz/donate/ but we also need your help with the names of new people to approach.
  • Got a friend who’s opposed to a Basin Reserve flyover and wants to stop it going ahead? Let us know their name and contact details by emailing stoptheflyover@gmail.com, and we’ll approach them.
  • NZTA are using taxpayers’ money – your money – to continue to push for their unwanted, unnecessary, ugly and expensive flyover. By putting our heads and our funds together, we can and will stop them.

Community groups join together to back Board of Inquiry decision on a Basin Reserve flyover

Local groups that believe the decision by the Board of Inquiry into the Basin Bridge project should stand, are energetically raising funds to defend the decision against the New Zealand Transport Agency’s appeal to the High Court.

At the same time, they are taking the lead by organising an event to discuss what could happen next at the Basin Reserve in the context of Wellington’s development as an attractive, liveable and modern city.

The event, entitled “No Bridge at the Basin – What Now?”, is being organised by the Save the Basin Campaign Inc. and the Mt Victoria Residents’ Association, in partnership with the recently-formed group FIT Wellington (Fair, Intelligent Transport Wellington). It features a panel chaired by Mary Varnham and including Julie Anne Genter, Russell Tregonning, Sarah Poff and Michael Kelly.

Save the Basin Campaign spokesperson Tim Jones said, “Despite the fact that the Basin Bridge Board of Inquiry made the reasons why a flyover at the Basin Reserve should not be built very clear in its report, the New Zealand Transport Agency and local authorities have failed to take its findings on board. ”

The New Zealand Transport Agency’s appeal against the Board of Inquiry’s decision to decline resource consent for a Basin Reserve flyover is set to be heard in the High Court starting on 20 July 2015, and the Save the Basin Campaign and the Mt Victoria Residents’ Association will be jointly represented at the hearing by Matthew Palmer QC.

“This event gives Wellington residents who support the Board’s decision an opportunity to talk about what they want for the Basin and for Wellington’s transport system”, Tim Jones said, “as well as contributing towards the costs of our legal representation at NZTA’s appeal.”

The Pizza & Panel evening is being held on Thursday 12 March from 6-8pm at New Crossways, 6 Roxburgh St, Mt Victoria. Admission (including the cost of pizza) is $20 full/$10 concession.

No Bridge at the Basin – What Now? Invitation to a Pizza & Panel Evening, Thursday 12 March

Basin Reserve rainbow. Photo: Patrick Morgan.

Basin Reserve rainbow. Photo: Patrick Morgan.

What: A Panel Discussion on the future of the Basin Reserve – plus tasty pizza!

When: Thursday 12 March, 6-8pm

Where: New Crossways, 6 Roxburgh St, Mt Victoria (off Majoribanks St) (see map)

How much: $20/$10 concessions, payable at the door

Who: You, your friends, neighbours, colleagues and networks! In fact, anyone interested in the future of the Basin Reserve and of Wellington’s transport system.

Why: Because our local authorities, given the opportunity by the Board of Inquiry decision to take a fresh look at the Basin, have chosen to hide behind NZTA’s appeal process instead. So it’s time we, the people of Wellington, took the lead.

The Pizzas: We’ll be taking orders at the start of the event and having pizzas delivered during the event. BYO beverages.

The Panel: We have an excellent panel lined up, including three speakers (Julie Anne Genter, Michael Kelly and Sarah Poff) who appeared as expert witnesses at the Board of Inquiry:

  • Mary Varnham (moderator): Managing Director Awa Press, former Wellington City Councillor.
  • Julie Anne Genter: Transportation Planner, MP, Green Party spokesperson on Transport
  • Russell Tregonning: Orthopedic Surgeon, Senior Clinical Lecturer at University of Otago, Wellington. Executive Member Ora Taiao: The NZ Climate and Health Council. Committee member, Fair Intelligent Transport Wellington (FIT Wellington).
  • Sarah Poff: Landscape Architect, SPK Landscape Architecture.
  • Michael Kelly: Heritage Consultant, writer – “The Lung of the Capital: The Basin Reserve,” in HeartlandsPenguin Books (2006).

(Note: Some panel members are listed subject to final confirmation of availability.)

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/767473170010976/

Please share this widely and invite your friends and networks. It’s going to be a good night.

Make a Quick and Easy Submission on Wellington’s Draft Regional Land Transport Plan – Submissions close on Friday 20 February

In an earlier post, we told you about the importance of submitting on Wellington’s Draft Regional Land Transport Plan, which local body politicians use to set transport priorities for the city. Submissions close at 4pm on Friday 20 February.

Now there’s a quick and easy online form you can use to make your submission, prepared by the good folks at Generation Zero in conjunction with FIT Wellington. Here’s all you need to do:

Go to http://www.generationzero.org/wellingtonrltp and fill in the quick submission form as follows:

– Enter your name

– Enter your email address

– Tick the four boxes that follow

– Enter any comments you want to make.

– Answer the question: Do you want to make an oral presentation?  Tick yes or no

– Send it.

One thing we’d really like you to say: it’s time to take any prospect of a Basin Reserve flyover off the table, and focus on developing better, more sustainable solutions!

Oral submissions will be heard by the Regional Transport Committee on 9/10 March. We encourage you to make an oral submission if you’re available to do so.

Basin Reserve Flyover Decision Has Positive Consequences In Auckland

The Basin Reserve Flyover may be primarily a Wellington issue, but the Board of Inquiry’s decision to decline resource consent for a Basin Reserve flyover has led to flyover plans being delayed, and public transport improvements brought forward, in Auckland.

An Auckland Transport article, Southeastern Busway To Open Sooner, explains [added emphasis is mine]:

Major new public transport improvements will arrive earlier for people in Auckland’s south east.

Auckland Transport is aiming to open the full Southeastern Busway to Botany sooner than the 2028 completion date earlier proposed, and AT is investigating extending bus lanes to Highland Park.

SE Busway Botany

Recent work on the Auckland Manukau Transport Initiative (AMETI) has identified that the busway can operate through Pakuranga town centre without the need to build Reeves Road flyover first.

and goes on to quote AMETI programme director Peter King as saying:

The recent decision on the Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington shows the challenges of consenting a flyover that has impacts on an urban area and the potential for long delays. This decision allows us to extend the AMETI transport improvements made in Panmure to Pakuranga and Botany as soon as possible while continuing to build the case for the flyover.”

Three thoughts:

  1. It appears that Auckland transport decision-makers are taking steps towards a more modern and sustainable approach towards transport thinking. When will NZTA’s Wellington transport decision-makers start to do likewise?
  2. It’s great to see that all the work that Save the Basin and other groups have put in opposing a Basin Reserve flyover is having positive consequences elsewhere.
  3. If any Aucklanders want to show their gratitude by donating to help us fund our response to NZTA’s High Court appeal of its Basin Reserve flyover defeat, that would be much appreciated!

 

 

Have Your Say on the Draft Wellington Regional Land Transport Plan 2015

The Regional Transport Committee’s Draft Regional Land Transport Plan is currently open for submissions. It lists and prioritises what the Regional Transport Committee considers to be Wellington’s transport priorities. Submissions close at 4pm on Friday 20 February.

We’re pleased to see that a Basin Reserve Flyover isn’t included on that list, but we’ve heard through the grapevine that the Regional Transport Committee plans to reinstate a flyover in their plans if NZTA wins their High Court appeal – and the various references to the Basin Reserve in the Draft Plan strongly suggest that the Regional Transport Committee is hoping NZTA does win.

We suggest you take the opportunity to submit on the Draft Regional Land Transport Plan, supporting the exclusion of a Basin Reserve Flyover from their list of priorities, asking them to seriously consider at-grade alternatives rather than keep pining for a Basin flyover, and asking for a guarantee that a flyover will not be retroactively included – plus, of course, commenting on their plans in general!

New lobby group Fair, Intelligent Transport Wellington (FIT Wellington) is concerned that the questions on the official submissions form are biased. So, although we’ve provided the official submission information below, FIT Wellington suggests that you avoid using the GW Online submission form and use the email option or postal method instead. 

If you’d like a copy of FIT Wellington’s submission, or to get involved in that group, please contact mbarnett@paradise.net.nz.

Here is the official word on how to submit:

“Your views are invited on the draft Regional Land Transport Plan 2015.

The draft Plan is a statutory document that the Regional Transport Committee must prepare under the Land Transport Management Act 2003.

The draft Plan outlines the proposed strategic approach for development of the region’s land transport network over the next 10 to 30 years and includes all of the land transport activities proposed for funding over the next six years and the regional priority to be given to the large new transport projects.

How to view the draft Plan

  • The full draft Plan can be viewed online at www.gw.govt.nz/RLTPlan
  • A hard copy can be viewed at libraries and council offices throughout the region.
  • Alternatively, you can order a copy by calling Greater Wellington Regional Council on 0800 496 734 or by emailing info@gw.govt.nz.

How to provide feedback

  • An online submission form can be completed at www.gw.govt.nz/RLTPlan
  • Alternatively, submissions can be emailed to info@gw.govt.nz or posted to Draft RLTP Submissions, Freepost 3156, Greater Wellington Regional Council, PO Box 11646, Wellington 6142

Submissions close at 4pm on Friday 20 February 2015.

Feedback from the submissions will be considered before the draft Plan is finalised in April 2015.

If you would like to speak in support of your submission at a hearing in early March, please indicate this clearly in your submission.”

No Date Yet Set For NZTA’s Basin Flyover Appeal In High Court

A date has not yet been set for the New Zealand Transport Agency’s appeal against the Board of Inquiry decision to decline resource consent for a Basin Reserve flyover.

Rather than accepting the Board’s 500-page decision, the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) chose to appeal it to the High Court. The NZTA has now finalised its grounds of appeal, but given the complexity of those grounds, the hearing is likely to be lengthy, meaning that it cannot be scheduled in the near future.

We currently expect that the appeal will be heard in the second half of 2015, but this is yet to be confirmed.

Save the Basin Campaign Inc will be represented at the appeal hearing by Matthew Palmer QC. We are currently raising funds towards the cost of this, and your regular and one-off donations are much appreciated:

Donate to Save the Basin’s legal costs

Best wishes to all our friends and supporters for a happy and safe holidays and an excellent – and successful – 2015!

Transport Realities Are Changing Fast. Is The Government Starting To Take Notice?

“Peak car” acknowledged by the Ministry of Transport

Following each General Election, Government departments prepare a Briefing for the Incoming Minister (BIM). Patrick Morgan of Cycle Aware Wellington has drawn my attention to the following passage from the Ministry of Transport’s BIM – emphasis is mine:

The average distance travelled per-person in light passenger vehicles has fallen by around 8 percent, from a peak of about 7,600km in 2004, to around 7,000km in 2013. The total distance travelled over the same period has increased marginally (from 39.3 billion kilometres in 2004 to 40.4 billion kilometres in 2013) as a result of population growth. This trend is not unique to New Zealand – it has been observed in a number of developed countries.

There is some debate as to whether this trend is the result of economic factors or a more structural shift in attitudes towards personal transportation. The fact that this trend emerged before the onset of the global financial crisis gives cause to believe that social, behavioural and lifestyle factors (such as the proliferation of smart phones, social media, online shopping and video conferencing) may also be having an influence. A related trend is a reduction in the number of driver licences being issued. In particular, fewer young people are choosing to drive. This suggests that in some groups, the perceived merit of car ownership and use may be declining.”

(from http://www.transport.govt.nz/about/publications/briefingtoincomingminister/)

Save the Basin has already drawn attention in the media to New Zealand research showing that young people in urban centres are turning away from driving private cars. It’s great to see that the Ministry of Transport has picked up on this. The question now is: are the Government and NZTA willing and able to realise that the assumptions on which their transport thinking is based no longer apply?

Photo by Patrick Morgan

Photo by Patrick Morgan

Presentation draws together the many health benefits of reorienting transport planning

OraTaiao, the New Zealand Climate & Health Council, is playing an increasing role in drawing attention to the negative health implications of the Government’s obsession with funding motorways while depriving sustainable transport and active modes of financial support. Last week, Russell Tregonning of OraTaiao delivered an excellent presentation entitled Transport, Climate and Health: Wellington at the cross-roads that draws together:

  • the urgent need to reorient transport planning and spending to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport
  • the other public health and economic benefits that would flow from doing so – such as reductions in crashes, air pollution, and obesity and related ailments
  • the changing patterns of transport behaviour that are helping to change transport planners’ and Government’s transport thinking worldwide

We encourage you to download, read and share Russell’s presentation.

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