Chris Moller, who chairs both New Zealand Cricket and the New Zealand Transport Agency, has admitted that he has a conflict of interest over NZTA’s proposed Basin Reserve flyover, which will seriously affect the viability of the Basin Reserve as an international cricket ground if it goes ahead.

Lindsay Shelton of Wellington Scoop first drew this conflict of interest to public attention: http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=51235

Now, as Lindsay reports: http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=51558, NZTA has written to Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown admitting that Moller, who is best known for his and his board’s disastrous mismanagement of the New Zealand cricket captaincy issue, has a conflict of interest, and saying that he will no longer be involved in discussions over Basin transport options.

This admission is a welcome development, but it begs some very big questions: Has Moller been involved in discussions so far when he and his Board surely knew of this conflict of interest all along? If his involvement is inappropriate from now on, then was it not inappropriate from the start?

Plus there’s the continuing question: why should a board chair who has made such a mess of New Zealand Cricket be trusted to make anything better than a mess of New Zealand’s transport system?

We eagerly await further revelations about this conflict of interest. In the meantime, it’s also notable in Wellington Scoop’s latest report that NZTA are now trying to sweet-talk Wellington City Council over its pre-Christmas vote to reject the flyover and explore alternative options, having failed to bully them into submission.

Here’s a helpful hint for NZTA’s PR flacks: you’re supposed to show the velvet glove before the iron fist, not the other way around.

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