Submission Guide: Let’s Get Welly Moving (LGWM) Scenarios – Submissions Close 15 December 2017

The Short Version

Got five minutes? Read this section and submit now!

Let’s Get Welly Moving (LGWM) still wants to build a motorway flyover (which they call a bridge) at the Basin Reserve!

LGWM has released four scenarios. These scenarios are very vague, but three of the four leave open the possibility of a Basin Reserve flyover:

  • Scenario A, if adopted, would not involve a flyover at the Basin.
  • Scenarios B, C or D could see a Basin flyover being built.

Here are alternative proposals and submission guides from other transport groups:

Submit before 15 December. You don’t have to go through the whole LGWM form. You can just comment on Scenario A (Step 1, near the bottom of that page), then skip to Step 6 to fill in your details and submit the form.

Tell LGWM something like:

Scenario A may be acceptable. However, I need more detail of what Scenario A involves before I can be sure. I reject Scenarios B, C and D.

or

Scenario A+ from FIT Wellington looks very promising and improves on Scenario A. I want to see Scenario A+ developed further. I reject Scenarios B, C and D.

and then add your other comments.

The Long Version

Got more time to submit?

1. Read our full Submission Guide (Click on the file name.)

2. Submit now!

Please submit. And please encourage your friends and networks to submit, too. 

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Save the Basin Campaign appalled that Basin Reserve flyover plans remain on the table

The Save the Basin Campaign has said that aspects of the new Wellington transport plans unveiled today “feel like a slap in the face of the new Government”.

Several of the new “scenarios” for Wellington transport unveiled today by Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) – made up of the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), Greater Wellington (GW) and Wellington City Council (WCC) – show that a version of the failed Basin Reserve flyover project (known as the Basin Bridge) remains on the table.

“NZTA’s Basin Reserve flyover project was an utter failure, and was rightly rejected by the courts,” said Save the Basin spokesperson Tim Jones. “LGWM and especially NZTA know people don’t want this failed flyover plan, yet here they go again!”

“It seems LGWM has learned nothing from NZTA’s track record of defeat,” said Mr Jones. “Have the last two years of ‘engagement exercises’ been a sham? What’s the point of putting us through all that malarkey only to come up with the same old, tired, motorway-dominated proposals?”

“These plans will not get Wellington moving. The induced demand of a road-first approach will just make traffic chaos throughout the city worse. We need to create viable transport alternatives to reduce dependence on private cars, and make travel easier and safer for the people who really need to use the roads.”

Mr Jones said that many other aspects of the new scenarios felt like a deliberate slap in the face of the new Government.

“The attempts to factor in the new Government’s aims of reducing carbon emissions and become a carbon neutral economy by 2050 are pathetic. There appears to be no attempt to take into account the new Government’s transport priorities. These scenarios look like they were drawn up by the National Party and rushed out at the end of the year to try to sneak them under the radar.”

In the 2014 Basin Bridge Board of Inquiry decision rejecting the previous flyover proposal, NZTA was taken to task for the many deficiencies in its consultation process. Mr Jones said the timing of the current round of consultation showed LGWM hasn’t learned from NZTA’s failures.

“LGWM has chosen to run a crucial consultation phase from now till mid-December, when people are caught up in the pre-Xmas rush,” said Mr Jones. “That looks a lot like a cynical attempt to minimise public input.”

“When and if LGWM provides a meaningful level of detail about their plans,” Mr Jones concluded, “Save the Basin will be able to decide if any of these scenarios are worth further consideration. Right now, it looks like LGWM needs to go back to the drawing board.”

Let’s Get Wellington Moving to reveal its plans for the Basin Reserve – this Wednesday, 15/11, 6.30pm – at Prefab, 14 Jessie St, Te Aro

This is it. At long last, the NZTA transport planners who were defeated over the Basin Reserve flyover are going to put their new plans on the table. Be there to have your say – see below for when, where & how!

RSVP by Tuesday. If the invite links below don’t work for you, urgently email info@getwellymoving.co.nz for an invitation, or just tell them you plan to attend the event. Be polite, but be resolute.

Don’t let the short notice or the bad timing of this ‘consultation exercise’ stop you. NZTA have refused to rule out proposing another flyover at the Basin Reserve. Are you going to let them get away with that?

Be there if you possibly can: Prefab, this coming Wednesday, 15/11, 6.30pm.

Tim Jones
Co-Convenor
Save the Basin Campaign Inc.

 

Click to view this message in your browser instead
It is time to get Wellington Moving
To make Wellington more liveable and support the region’s growth we need to change the way we move in, around and through the city. Last year we asked the people of Wellington what they think about Wellington’s transport.

Now we’re back with some possible future scenarios that aim to move more people without more traffic. We’ll be seeking the public’s feedback on these in late November and early December to help us develop a preferred scenario.

We’d like to invite you to the launch of our public engagement on the 15th of November, so we can share with you our ideas to Get Wellington Moving.

Wednesday 15 November 2017
6.30 – 7:30pm
Prefab
14 Jessie Street

Let's get Wellington Moving
Direct RSVP link: https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/lets-get-wellington-moving-engagement-campaign-launch-tickets-39466058042

Now With Speaker Details: Public Meeting: For A More Liveable Wellington, Monday 28 August

Our speakers are:

Roger Blakeley: Introduction – Let’s Get Welly Moving’s principles and objectives
 
Paula Warren: The sustainable transport hierarchy and why LGWM’s outcomes should reflect it
 
Barry Mein (LGWM): LGWM’s progress towards meeting its objectives
 
Russell Tregonning: Transport, climate change and public health: transport choices are health choices

 

When: Monday 28 August, doors open 5.30pm, 6pm sharp start, 7.30pm close

Where: Wellington Central Library, Mezzanine Floor Meeting Room

All welcome to hear how sustainable transport design for Wellington benefits everyone—walkers, cyclists, public transport users, and drivers—reducing traffic volumes, lowering carbon emissions, and making a healthier city.

Doors open 5.30 for 6pm sharp start. We’ll hear from our speakers, then have a panel discussion, with time for one-on-one discussions afterwards.

Facebook event.

Public Meeting: For A More Liveable City, Monday 28 August

 

When: Monday 28 August, doors open 5.30pm, 6pm sharp start, 7.30pm close

Where: Wellington Central Library, Mezzanine Floor Meeting Room

All welcome to hear how sustainable transport design for Wellington benefits everyone—walkers, cyclists, public transport users, and drivers—reducing traffic volumes, lowering carbon emissions, and making a healthier city.

Doors open 5.30 for 6pm sharp start. Speakers will be confirmed shortly.

Facebook event.

Forum to canvass Wellington Transport and Energy issues Thursday 27th July 5.30pm to 7pm

A forum to canvass Wellington Transport and Energy issues
Thursday 27th July 5.30pm to 7pm 
Venue: Sustainability Trust, 2 Forresters Lane, Te Aro, Wellington

This forum will follow Sustainable Energy Forum’s AGM, and will be chaired by Steve Goldthorpe focussing and expanding on issues raised in the current EnergyWatch issue 79.

The following people will speak for 5 to 10 minutes on their topic.
Time will then be allowed for further discussion.

Tim Jones: Transport scenarios for Wellington
Ellen Blake: Walkability is the most energy efficiency transport
Steve Goldthorpe:  Why EVs are a distraction
Isabella Cawthorn: Mobilising for mobility: lessons for Wellington from Auckland’s public transit campaigns
Paul Bruce: Why trains and trolleys are a good investment!
Sea Rotmann: Airport runway extension – a highly suspect project!
Frank Pool: Key sustainable energy issues for NZ

Other topics covered in EW 79 and open for debate
Crony Electricity market unfit for purpose
Energy efficiency levels in the building code
Wood burner potential for mitigation greenhouse gases
Fuel economy incentives
Stop looking for oil

Further information:

Sore Losers: Nick Smith and the Government Water Down the Environmental Legal Assistance Fund

The rules of the Ministry for the Environment’s Environmental Legal Assistance Fund, which groups including Save the Basin have used to help fund legal challenges to infrastructure projects, have now been changed so that such applications can be arbitrarily declined, by:

The inclusion of a new criterion to consider whether providing ELA funding to the applicant for its involvement in the legal proceedings, will contribute to impeding or delaying the ability of people and communities to provide for their social, economic and cultural well-being in relation to important needs, including employment, housing and infrastructure.

 

I was rung by a Stuff journalist about this and responded on behalf of Save the Basin:

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/94323541/quiet-change-to-public-fund-for-environmental-legal-challenges

A subsequent exchange in Question Time (see below) makes it very clear that Nick Smith had the Government’s Basin Reserve flyover defeat in mind when he made this move.

Nick Smith and the Government appear to think that fits of pique make good public policy. We beg to differ.

Question Time

9. EUGENIE SAGE (Green) to the Minister for the Environment: By how much has annual funding for the Environmental Legal Assistance Fund been cut since 2013/14?

Hon Dr NICK SMITH (Minister for the Environment): The budget this year is $600,000 per year, as it was last year and the year before. For the 4 years prior to that the budget was $800,000 per year but was repeatedly underspent. The spend in 2013-14 was $555,000, and the average actual spend was $520,000. As much as I like the Minister of Finance, I do not like under-spending my vote so I reduced the budget in 2015-16 and transferred it to increased support for collaborative processes. This is also consistent with our blue-green philosophy of supporting people to find solutions rather than spending it on legal aid to fight disputes.

Eugenie Sage: Can he confirm that he created a new criterion for the fund recently so that community groups wanting to challenge council decisions in the courts are likely to be denied funding if their case might “impede or delay” a development project?

Hon Dr NICK SMITH: Yes, I have changed the criteria. A new consideration is the issue of housing and infrastructure. The Government makes no apologies for making it harder for groups to get Government money to stop houses and infrastructure from being built. It does not prevent funding being provided in those sorts of cases, but it requires the panel to give consideration to the broader public interest. It simply does not make sense for the Government to be using public money to stop transport projects being built and stop houses being built with legal aid funding.

Eugenie Sage: Does he believe that Forest & Bird would have received funding to mount a legal challenge to Bathurst Resources’ proposed coalmine on the Denniston plateau if this new criterion had been in place?

Hon Dr NICK SMITH: There is an independent panel that makes the decisions on the issue of the legal aid. What I have added to the criteria is that, alongside the environmental things, issues like infrastructure, jobs, and housing have to be a consideration. But it still will be an independent consideration for the panel.

Eugenie Sage: Can he confirm that last year he gave himself the power to decide which cases and which community groups would get environmental legal aid, stripping this power away from the Ministry for the Environment’s chief executive?

Hon Dr NICK SMITH: Each year Ministers make a decision about the level of delegations. In this particular case, I decided not to delegate to the Ministry for the Environment, albeit I note that I followed the panel’s advice in every case. In the event that I do not follow the panel’s advice it will be a matter of open public record.

Eugenie Sage: Why will he not just own the fact that his Government is trying to stop legal challenges that might impede environmentally destructive development, like the coalmine on the Denniston plateau, the Ruataniwha Dam, and the Basin Reserve flyover?

Hon Dr NICK SMITH: I know of many Wellingtonians who would be concerned that the Government was spending money on stopping roading through to the airport being constructed with legal aid funds. So the Government has deliberately put into the environmental legal aid criteria that the panel needs to consider issues like infrastructure and housing. To quote the Minister for Infrastructure: “We are the infrastructure Government.”, and we want to see New Zealanders being able to get around and have a roof over their heads.9. EUGENIE SAGE (Green) to the Minister for the Environment: By how much has annual funding for the Environmental Legal Assistance Fund been cut since 2013/14?

Hon Dr NICK SMITH (Minister for the Environment): The budget this year is $600,000 per year, as it was last year and the year before. For the 4 years prior to that the budget was $800,000 per year but was repeatedly underspent. The spend in 2013-14 was $555,000, and the average actual spend was $520,000. As much as I like the Minister of Finance, I do not like under-spending my vote so I reduced the budget in 2015-16 and transferred it to increased support for collaborative processes. This is also consistent with our blue-green philosophy of supporting people to find solutions rather than spending it on legal aid to fight disputes.

Eugenie Sage: Can he confirm that he created a new criterion for the fund recently so that community groups wanting to challenge council decisions in the courts are likely to be denied funding if their case might “impede or delay” a development project?

Hon Dr NICK SMITH: Yes, I have changed the criteria. A new consideration is the issue of housing and infrastructure. The Government makes no apologies for making it harder for groups to get Government money to stop houses and infrastructure from being built. It does not prevent funding being provided in those sorts of cases, but it requires the panel to give consideration to the broader public interest. It simply does not make sense for the Government to be using public money to stop transport projects being built and stop houses being built with legal aid funding.

Eugenie Sage: Does he believe that Forest & Bird would have received funding to mount a legal challenge to Bathurst Resources’ proposed coalmine on the Denniston plateau if this new criterion had been in place?

Hon Dr NICK SMITH: There is an independent panel that makes the decisions on the issue of the legal aid. What I have added to the criteria is that, alongside the environmental things, issues like infrastructure, jobs, and housing have to be a consideration. But it still will be an independent consideration for the panel.

Eugenie Sage: Can he confirm that last year he gave himself the power to decide which cases and which community groups would get environmental legal aid, stripping this power away from the Ministry for the Environment’s chief executive?

Hon Dr NICK SMITH: Each year Ministers make a decision about the level of delegations. In this particular case, I decided not to delegate to the Ministry for the Environment, albeit I note that I followed the panel’s advice in every case. In the event that I do not follow the panel’s advice it will be a matter of open public record.

Eugenie Sage: Why will he not just own the fact that his Government is trying to stop legal challenges that might impede environmentally destructive development, like the coalmine on the Denniston plateau, the Ruataniwha Dam, and the Basin Reserve flyover?

Hon Dr NICK SMITH: I know of many Wellingtonians who would be concerned that the Government was spending money on stopping roading through to the airport being constructed with legal aid funds. So the Government has deliberately put into the environmental legal aid criteria that the panel needs to consider issues like infrastructure and housing. To quote the Minister for Infrastructure: “We are the infrastructure Government.”, and we want to see New Zealanders being able to get around and have a roof over their heads.

Back to the Dirty, Smelly Past for Wellington’s Buses?

by Paul Bruce

Congestion Free Wellington held its first public meeting on 25th May with strong support for its Declaration. The meeting also showed strong support for the extension of our 100% clean and zero emission trolley buses on the east/west route at least until 2015, or when light rail should be commissioned.

The Sustainable Transport Committee on 21st March heard a request that a Business Case be carried out for Wellington’s trolley bus network, as the Council had at no time during the process, done this. The petition was supported by the Civic Trust, Sustainable Energy Forum, Living Streets Aotearoa, FIT, Save the Basin, OraTaiao and Dr Susan Krumdieck.

GWRC publicly stated goal is an all-electric bus fleet. It follows that the council make an objective assessment of the trolley buses contribution to city transport needs and environmental impact.

More than 300 cities around world are operating and expanding trolley bus networks. They are more popular because they are clean, quiet and quick. Lyon, France has new trolley buses, San Francisco and Seattle have large trolley systems and Beijing and Shanghai Beijing are reconverting failed battery buses to trolleys. Other cities such as Zurich and Istanbul, are building trolley buses with new technical developments to improve trolley bus performance.

Despite discussion and some Councillor support, the response through the Chief Executive was to reaffirm the decision to not renew the trolley contracts on 30 June, apart form short term extensions to aid transition to a new fleet.

We are deeply saddened by Council’s unwillingness to assess objectively the value of Trolley Buses, and also note the lack of transparency in confusing statements by the Chair maintaining progress towards a low emission fleet.

The proposed Wrightspeed hybrid replacement of the trolley buses by NZBus utilising a gas turbo (diesel) motor appears to be in trouble, with a wall of silence from all parties. Cr Daran Ponter said that it was unclear why the delays had occurred, and the patience of some councillors was wearing thin.

There are two aspects to emissions: air quality and greenhouse emissions (GHE), and the two should not be lumped together as higher air quality standards don’t always lead to lower GHE.

Scoop looked at what the new tender documents might mean:.

“When you look at last week’s announcements about new bus contracts, the Tranzit plan is described as building 228 new buses, all of them diesel though with Euro 6 certification, the highest global emission (air quality) standard…”  

Recent revelations relating to filters installed on vehicles, indicated that in the real world, performance was quite different to “in factory”.  Euro 5 and especially euro 6 filters are expensive to maintain on diesel buses, and the temptation will be to not renew so that their effectiveness will diminish over time. Euro 6 standards are still unable to remove the very small 2.5 micron particles which are responsible for cancers and respiratory disease leading to the WMO classifying diesel as a class one toxic carcinogenic equal to asbestos.

And we will never know how effective the filters are, as no testing is required in New Zealand – GWRC rejected my proposed amendment allowing for spot tests in future contracts.

There will be a jump in both greenhouse emissions and in particulates with more diesels on the golden mile, contrary to the claims of Chair Chris Laidlaw.  The Wrightspeed model will also lead to a decrease in air quality and an increase in greenhouse emissions. There is also serious concerns about their viability as no where else in the world have they been tested as part of an operational public transport fleet.

The public are asked to have faith that a profit driven operator will keep to set standards – a game of smoke and mirrors.

Meanwhile NZ Bus chief executive Zane Fulljames is saying his company hasn’t yet decided whether to buy Wrightspeed hybrids – it will decide during the testing process. Scoop reports Keith Flinders as saying:

Wrightspeed is hybrid technology and after 12 months since the first trolley bus conversion started it hasn’t been on trial yet. One might conclude that the GWRC is being misled on the suitability for this technology given Wellington’s terrain, and alas GWRC officers don’t have the engineering knowledge to decide either way.

The decommissioning of the Trolley Bus overhead electrical network is scheduled to commence in November 2017 with a planned completion date 12 months later.

Media Release: Clear Flaws in Let’s Get Welly Moving’s Scenario Assessment Process

The Save the Basin Campaign has welcomed the public release of Let’s Get Welly Moving’s long list of scenarios for the future of Wellington transport.

But spokesperson Tim Jones is concerned that some vital questions appear to have been ignored during the assessment process.

“First of all,” Tim Jones said, “Let’s Get Welly Moving didn’t release these scenarios until they were forced to by an Official Information Act request. If NZTA, Greater Wellington and Wellington City Council genuinely want informed public debate, they should have released these scenarios and workshop notes as soon as possible after the workshops in November 2016, not waited until June 2017 to do so.”

“Second, from the material released, it looks like some vital questions have not been asked during the assessment process. No consideration appears to have been given to either climate change or other public health issues, such as the excess deaths caused by pollution, especially from diesel engines.

“Both the Government and the local authorities have commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – why hasn’t the need to meet these commitments been put front and centre when developing and assessing these scenarios?” Tim Jones asked.

In terms of the Basin Reserve, Tim Jones said “We’re pleased that none of the scenarios appear to show a Basin Reserve flyover. But there is far too little detail shown in the material that’s publicly released to be sure what’s planned for the Basin. We need to see detailed proposals.”

In conclusion, Tim Jones said “The Basin Bridge Board of Inquiry made it very clear that assessment of alternative transport options needs to be thorough, transparent and replicable. We’re not sure that Let’s Get Welly Moving’s scenario development and assessment process has met those criteria, and we’ll be watching their next steps very closely.”

Tim Jones
Spokesperson
Save the Basin Campaign Inc

Taking A Stand: Transport, Motorways, the Basin Reserve, and the Future of the Museum Stand

Interior of the Museum Stand, Basin Reserve. Photo by David Batchelor.

Last Thursday’s inaugural Congestion Free Wellington Public Meeting was a great success. Between 70 and 80 people attended, there was very strong support for the concept of the Congestion Free Wellington Declaration (albeit with some tweaks still needed to the wording), and there was a lot of enthusiasm and commitment for the community to seize this rare opportunity to wrench Wellington’s transport destiny into our hands, rather than have it left in the hands of the motorway-builders.

Save the Basin is one of the groups that’s set up Congestion Free Wellington, and we’ll keep you up to date on that. But it’s not the only issue we’re focused on. The future of the Basin Reserve’s historic Museum Stand is due to be decided this year. Even though the Council has not yet released any options – or costings – the Mayor has gone on record as saying he supports the demolition of the stand.

But does he realise what he would be demolishing? David Batchelor of Historic Places Wellington does realise, because he has been inside the stand and photographed some of its forgotten treasures. Head on over to Wellington Scoop to see just what treasures would be lost if the Mayor gets his way.

Save the Basin thinks that the Museum Stand deserves to be preserved and enhanced. At the very least, we want the best possible option for its retention developed and considered fairly and in detail against alternative proposals – without the Mayor, or anyone else, trying to predetermine the outcome.