Last week was quite a week for the campaign to stop a motorway flyover being built at the Basin Reserve. Events happened so rapidly that we never got round to covering them here, so here is a quick recap of the week.

Three-month extension to Basin Flyover Board of Inquiry

It had been evident for some time that the Basin “Bridge” Board of Inquiry was not going to meet its original, or even its revised, timetable. To their credit, the Board wrote to the minister and asked for an extension, which the Minister has now granted.

The Board was due to present its final report on 31 May. It now has until 31 August to report, which means that its final report, and any consequent legal action, will be happening around the time of the General Election.

Subsequent to this decision, the Board released a revised draft hearing timetable.

If you are a submitter who is making an oral submission, someone calling witnesses, or an expert witness, make sure you check this timetable and the further changes that have already occurred. Some submitters have already found that they have been scheduled to appear twice. Most individual submitters will now be scheduled to appear on Fridays. Due to the extension, there may also be a change in the hearing venue, which is currently the Amora Hotel.

Coverage of the three-month extension

Three-month extension announced – Minister “disappointed” (Wellington Scoop)

Reaction to decision (including Save the Basin’s reaction) (Dominion Post)

Delay to flyover hearing “good news, inevitable” say Labour MPs (Wellington Scoop)

Correspondence from Board’s lawyers shows that strength of cross-examination from flyover opponents was a major factor in the Board’s request for an extension (Wellington Scoop)

Other highlights of the week

New pictures give clearer view of Basin flyover impact (Dominion Post)

Radio New Zealand investigates all the money the New Zealand Transport Agency has been splurging on promoting the Government’s Roads of National Significance Projects – aka its plan to cover the country in motorways. (Although it’s the smallest item discussed, I particularly liked the fact that NZTA spent some  money on ‘branded umbrellas’. I feel we can all sleep more soundly knowing how well public money is being spent.)

The Wellington Civic Trust raises an issue that’s been bubbling under at the flyover hearings: the likelihood that approval for one Basin Reserve flyover would soon lead to a second flyover, running in the opposite direction, being built. (Dominion Post)

NZTA forced to combat allegations that it added the sub-standard combined pedestrian walkway/cycleway to the flyover proposal as a sop to Wellington City Council. (Dominion Post)