• Now updated with response from Mazz Scannell (Lambton Ward candidate)

Save the Basin has asked Regional Council, Wellington City Council and Wellington Mayoral candidates three questions about the future of the Basin Reserve, whether they support a Basin Reserve flyover, and how they think Wellington should deal with the additional traffic forecast to enter the city from the north due to the Government’s motorway projects.

Yesterday, we published responses from Regional Council candidates. Today, here are the views of Wellington City Council candidates. (Note: We’ll publish Mayoral candidates’ responses tomorrow, including those candidates who are also standing for the Council e.g. Nicola Young.)

Thanks to every candidate who responded – we appreciate you have a lot on your plates and lots of groups asking you to fill in questionnaires!

We suggest you also check out the Generation Zero local elections scorecards.

The Questions

  1. What in your view should be the future of the Basin Reserve cricket ground?
  2. Do you rule out supporting the building of a flyover at or next to the Basin Reserve? If you won’t rule it out, under what circumstances would you support a Basin Reserve flyover?
  3. The scheduled completion of the Kapiti Expressway followed by Transmission Gully are forecast to flood Wellington with additional motorway-induced traffic from the north, including rush-hour commuter traffic. What measures do you propose to prevent this additional traffic degrading the liveability of inner-city Wellington and putting further pressure on Wellington’s transport system?

Who Gave The Best Responses?

Lambton Ward: Consistent with her long-term opposition to a Basin Reserve flyover and support of sustainable transport initiatives, Iona Pannett gave a strong response. But the response from almost all the candidates was encouraging, with Brian Dawson and Milton Hollard all appearing worthy of support. Troy Mihaka’s answers to Questions 1 and 2 are encouraging, but his answer to Question 3 less so. On the basis of their answers, I would not recommend voting for Dave Gee or Tony Jansen. Nicola Young’s response is published together with the responses of other Mayoral candidates.

Mazz Scannell’s response was added on 27/09/16. It is generally supportive of the Basin and opposed to a flyover, although her transport answers are still strongly roading-focused.

Other wards: I was generally encouraged by the level of support for the Basin, and opposition to a flyover, among candidates for the other wards who responded – many of whom supported the idea of a cut-and-cover tunnel at our near the Basin for roading.

Jill Day and Peter Gilberd (Northern Ward), Chris Calvi-Freeman and Rob Goulden (Eastern Ward), Brendon Bonner and Brent Pierson (Southern Ward), and Rayward Chung, Paul Douglas and Matthew Plummer (Onslow-Western Ward) all gave responses Save the Basin supporters can be comfortable with.

It;s very encouraging to see this level of support for the Basin Reserve, and opposition to any future flyover proposal, coming from candidates across the city.

One thing that’s clear from several of the responses is that a number of candidates are not familiar with the Let’s Get Welly Moving process and/or the Basin Reserve Redevelopment Project. Should those programs be making themselves more widely known?

The Answers In Detail

Lambton Ward

Brian Dawson

  1. The Basin is an iconic piece of Wellington history. We need to preserve and enhance that and maintain it as a test cricket venue whilst also encouraging wider use.
  2. As far as I’m concerned the flyover is dead and I’m not interested in supporting it or more roading in general.
  3. We need to lower inner city speed limits and restrict access to shared use in the future. I will be wanting to work with Regional councillors and others to look at mitigating any such effects. Ultimately we need to be focused on enhancing public transport and encouraging its use, including via park and ride facilities.

Dave Gee

  1. It is pretty clear the facilities are fast becoming unfit for purpose
    and the Basin is at risk of losing test venue status. The ratepayer
    has been asked to fund 21 million in upgrades. I am not convinced this
    is money well spent. It seems to me that this money is being spent
    primarily for the benefit of Cricket Wellington. The funding even
    includes building Cricket Wellington offices. That is not the
    council’s job. The Cricket Wellington CEO did say one interesting
    thing, which was that the Basin needed to be hosting one-day
    internationals or risk becoming an expensive white elephant. So would
    one-day internationals be played at the Basin? I’m not convinced. And
    I think a ‘build it and hope they come’ business case is pretty
    flimsy. I think that we had a chance to have a new stand and
    facilities provided by NZTA in conjunction with the flyover project.
    Ultimately I think tests could be played at the stadium. After all,
    wasn’t that the sort of thing it was built for? If Cricket Wellington
    wants to have things like $9 million dollar floodlights at the Basin,
    they can pay for them.
  2. No I do not rule it out. In fact I openly support it, unless the
    government commits to a four lane tunnel from the basin through to the
    Terrace tunnel.
  3. As mentioned above, I think a four lane tunnel from the Basin through
    the Terrace tunnel (including duplication of the Mt Victoria and
    Terrace tunnels) is what really needs to happen to get State Highway 1
    off the streets of the inner city e.g. Vivian Street.

Milton Hollard

  1. The Basin Reserve should  be kept essentially  as public  open green space without undue intrusions. Presumably under the “Master Plan” being developed by the Basin Reserve Trust, Cricket Wellington and WCC this historic reserve  will remain a cricket ground  of national and international significance but continue to  be available for other sports events, concerts and gatherings.  I’m not a cricketer and not able to comment on  specifics, like the grandstand(s), outside tiered seating and the Cricket Museum, but there should be proper  engagement with  the adjacent  local community on the shape and effects of the redevelopment.
  2. Yes, I rule out any flyover. It would overshadow the reserve, contribute to urban blight,  quite possibly be a potential earthquake hazard, and it’s so much the product of  ‘50s or ‘60s thinking. (I supported the Stop the Flyover campaign.)
  3. I don’t have a definite answer, pat or otherwise, to that.   I hope the “flood”  of traffic  coming south  to Wellington  will be diluted by there being comparatively    fewer vehicles on the Centennial Highway when the alternative  Transmission Gully route is completed,  and that at the Pauatahanui  interchange a substantial number will turn off onto SH 58 through Judgeford towards the Hutt!  (Wishful thinking?)More roads tends to mean more vehicles on the road, filling  the added capacity, but I’m inclined to think provision of parking on the periphery of the inner city for non-residents, such as off the semi-industrial   Vivian St and  off Customhouse or Jervois Quay (but not so as to detrimentally affect the waterfront and viewscapes),   should be considered, in conjunction with a  park-and-ride arrangement.    (Unfortunately, parking buildings have often  been placed right  in central city locations, such as Lombard Lane, though the Courtenay Central/Reading Cinema parking  building accessed from Wakefield St isn’t perhaps  so bad,  and off-street car parks where they exist  are often inadequate as well as unsightly.)Better public transport, including having   routes people want and more capacity,  would help, and light rail should be reconsidered. One optimistic sign is that because of road traffic delays  rail passenger numbers have “surged”, with an increase in peak hour patronage  on the Kapiti line to 287,000 for February 2016   compared to 247,000 for February 2015  (Dominion Post, 19 March 2016, p.A2).Provision of cycleways in the CBD where possible and on major routes (including the proposed Great Harbour Way) might  help too if the Council sticks to the  programme.

Tony Jansen

  1. A bit unsure on the future of the ground. It is an expensive white elephant tbh. To save it we really need to come up with a plan to reimagine or repurpose it to maximise public use. How about covering it and turning it into a 10000 all seat concert venue?
  2. A big NO to a flyover or bridge or similar. If we keep the ground then we need to push LTSA for cut and cover as minimum option.
  3. We need to start disincentivising people so they don’t bring their vehicles into the city. Remove roadside parking, cteate mixed use areas, pedestrianise more of the inner city, promote cycling and build an inner city cycle way etc.
    We need a city for people not vehicles.

Followup from Tony Jansen

Yes I’ve seen a few cricket matches at the Basin too but for the money spent on it the usage has to be far more significant than the meagre cricket usage it has got. And at the moment that is nil. Sorry but cricket fans shouldn’t be holding the City to ransom over this facility. I think either it gets mass public use or it goes tbh.

The transport solutions would be much easier to finalise and agree on if the Basin was not their and you’d even have a better chance at light rail if that’s what you want. We could also create a fantastic boulevard all the way to Newtown – our own Antipodean version of the Champs Elysees?

I am not wedded to keeping the Basin just for it’s own sake. After all Arsenal don’t play at Highbury, West Ham do not play at Upton Park and even Wembley was demolished, so there is no reason to fear demolishing the Basin either. Use the Cake Tin for cricket. It is after all an oval so can’t see why we cannot play all forms of cricket there.

I like the idea of a Chinese Garden but not where it is currently planned. The waterfront – in particular Frank Kitts park – is just fine as it is.

Troy Mihaka

  1. The Basin reserve is an iconic venue in Wellington and New Zealand. I would like to see the preservation of such an iconic facility, and see it receive more use.
  2. I do not support the Flyover. Wellington is not a concrete jungle, like Auckland, nor do we want it to become one. The Basin Reserve is a beautiful piece of green space with many uses for our community and I would not want to see it lost to development. I believe there must be another way to fix this issue, one which the community will support.
  3. Increasing existing capacity through Wellington on State Highway One will make it easier for the traffic to flow through our city. We must focus on Wellington’s bottleneck points, such as the Terrace Tunnel and Mt Vic Tunnel.Initiatives such as lowering speed limits and adding pedestrian only sections to the golden mile will make the city more people focused. As will encouraging the use of public transport for inner-city residents and those who work at inner-city businesses.

Iona Pannett

  1. The Basin is a special ground and its status as one of the leading cricket grounds must be preserved. The ground should also be available for community use (as it was historically) and its status protected under the Council’s District Plan and in a Reserve Management Plan which Save the Basin and the Mt Victoria Historical Society have advocated for so successfully. It is also one of the few green spaces in Te Aro so this should be celebrated by opening up the ground more.
  2. I do not support building a flyover at the Basin Reserve under any circumstance. The Board of Inquiry rejected it and this ruling should be respected. I have spent many years opposing a flyover and will continue to do so if anyone resurrects the idea.
  3. This is a difficult issue to resolve as the Government having encouraged the traffic needs to figure out where it should go. I do not support the continuation of the motorway network throughout the city. The two proposed tunnels do not stack up economically and will degrade Wellington’s special character.
    So we need to try and persuade people to use the trains and buses instead of the motorways to come into the city in the first place. If this is to be done, fares need to come down and the modes need to be reliable and attractive to use. Funding these alternatives is difficult under current Government policy settings as most of the money is going into new roads.
    Wellington should also be able to impose a congestion charge but this will require legislative change. A default way of doing this is to increase parking charges.
    In terms of traffic issues around the Basin Reserve, there are a number of solutions which should be looked to manage congestion better including light rail, cycle paths and attractive landscaping to make it more attractive to walk around.

Mazz Scannell

  1. The Basin Reserve cricket ground is a cultural and heritage site of significance. As a cricket ground its currently not used enough and as a community resource its not available. It would be a win if the one-day cricket series and the three-day international series were located at the Basin. I understand much of the work towards this goal has been commenced and the Basin is included in the 25-year master plan developed by the Basin Reserve Trust.However, it has to be asked if we can wait 25 years to totally address this issue, as it is a co-requisite to other large pressing projects.The grounds should be available for community use and as it is one of the green spaces located in The Aro precinct and as such it should be considered a community resource. The Council can facilitate the discussions regarding wider use and protect the status under the Councils District plan.
  2. Absolutely. As councillor I would prioritise finding a way to improve the flow of traffic, creating a clear run to the hospital and improving our ability to move to and from the eastern suburbs. WCC has to have upfront conversations with NZTA on what they want and expect from their road systems. NZTA is heavily moderated to reduce costs which means they will push for the best budget fit, rather than the best solution. We saw this with the flyover. It’s a national road – State highway 1 and Councillors must make their expectations clear from the start.  As a city, we owe it to the residents and NZ give it our best shot from the very beginning – the scoping stage, not after the drawings are on the table.
  3. Firstly, the public transport options into Wellington from the Coast and the Hutt Valley have to be running efficiently and in a timely manner for the commuter. These initiatives are the responsibility of the Regional Council but the Wellington Council also has an obligation to make sure these initiatives are implemented in a timely and logical manner.In addition:
  • Discounts for students have to be addressed. Students could afford to live further from their educational institutions if the cost of transport was lower. Few students can afford a $50 per week transport charge.
  • There needs to be one transport payment system with no penalty to those changing transport within a section.I do not hear councilors on the Wellington or the Regional Council talking about the practical side of increased public transport. In order to facilitate increased use parking facilities at the railway stations that service the commuter transport spine have to be improved and enlarged.The good thing is that better public transport for those of us that work in offices is being discussed. The cost to tradespeople who cannot afford to live in Wellington but service Wellington has not. If a plumber has to travel from Waikanae to Wellington for work, the cost of a poorly performing roading system has a direct effect on the success of that business and the cost of those services in lost opportunity and productivity. We need to support everyone who works in Wellington not just those of us who drive a desk. The plumbers, electricians, builders and so forth need to access their employment market in a manner that makes sense. The alternative is that these essential services will become a very scarce commodity for those of us who live in the city.

    As to livability, the separation of the Te Aro flat by State Highway 1 was a poor planning decision. The cut and cover option to keep the historical feel and character of the Te Aro flat area is my preferred option to the crazy bisecting highway we currently tolerate.

Northern Ward

Jill Day

  1. I would like to see it remain. Green spaces in the city are valuable and it’s also a place of historical significance for Wellington.
  2. Yes, it’s already been established by the wider community that the fly-over is not an option. A cut and cover tunnel, like the Arras tunnel is a more favourable option.
  3. With an increasing population and more cars, it is important that Wellington prioritises development of walkways, cycleways, public transport routes and roading in general. Consideration needs to be given to how these all interact and how they improve accessibility for Wellingtonians. I would like to see a public transport system that is both convenient and affordable for everyone.

Peter Gilberd

  1. The Basin Reserve should be kept, as one of the world’s most beautiful cricket grounds, and an historic and essential part of Wellington.
  2. I rule out a flyover, as it would ruin this historic and attractive area. I support a cut and cover tunnel, like the Arras tunnel, as the current configuration is causing a traffic bottleneck.
  3. To reduce the  traffic coming into the central city, there needs to be a significant upgrade of public transport, including improved public transport services from the Kapiti coast, and park and ride at the periphery of the city. At the same time, the interests of north Wellington residents and commuters must be protected, as these suburbs must not be treated as car parks. Walking and cycling should be encouraged. If the problem becomes too bad, then we will have to use some of the solutions that have been adopted overseas. In all of this, decisions should be based on modelling by engineers, not preconceived ideas.

Graeme Sawyer

  1. It is lovely and Iconic, but i am not wedded to ratepayers shelling out tens of millions to preserve a relic that few use or even see. Buy all means, if you can increase its practical utility, I’d support it more…..
    I come from the northern suburbs which are burdened with over 60% of AL wellingtons residential growth, and almost all of its new “families’, and we have a severe shortage of recreational facilities. Driving to the eastern suburbs for such from the northern ward is no longer desirable or even feasible. So that money is better spent providing recreational facilities where tomorrows families will need it – in the Northern Ward. .
    If money were no option (and that’s a very large if’ – , I’d dismantle the stands and re-build the basin reserve entirely 20 m. higher in the vertical plane and put roads & parking beneath it – This would allow the field to be widened a little. If NZTA could cover half of that cost, maybe this could be feasible?
  2. I wont rule it out entirely, because ultimately a solution to the traffic problems MUST be found and agreed upon. …. BUT I am very strongly opposed to the flyover concept – its an environmental abomination. I prefer almost any subterranean options.
  3. Grade separation right through the CBD is essential in my view – shame on WCC 10 years ago fro failing to do this with the inner city bypass – a tragic opportunity lost!
    Cut-and-cover should extend all the way from Mt. vic tunnels to terrace Tunnels, and if necessary, a toll charge to pay for it. Congestion charges at peak times throughout the city to discourage private Motor vehicles (stick), and increased Public transport services to ensure more of the “right” people movers can actually get through the city (carrot).

Eastern Ward

Chris Calvi-Freeman

  1. It should stay as green space.  I have no strong views as to whether it should remain exclusively a  cricket ground or be used for other sporting or recreational purposes, but it should not be built upon or otherwise destroyed.
  2. I would certainly rule out building a flyover as per or similar to the failed NZTA proposal.
  3. In the short term, I believe we need to develop a new solution to the Basin Reserve’s traffic congestion.  This could conceivably be a cut & cover route for SH1 or a new road alignment with at grade intersections.  This should accommodate cyclists and pedestrians as well as motor traffic, be bus friendly and, if possible, be compatible with any future light rail alignment.  Implementing this new solution should be concurrent with or directly followed by a second Mt Victoria traffic tunnel, on the proviso that this second tunnel has superior walking and segregated cycling facilities as well as the two traffic lanes.  We should also commence a thorough investigation into a future light rail route between the railway station and Miramar/the airport via the CBD, Courtenay Place, the Basin Reserve, Newtown and Kilbirnie/Rongotai.  I would not rule out passing the light rail route under the Basin Reserve, which could involve some temporary but not permanent disruption to the sports ground.

Rob Goulden

  1. The ground should remain and normal upgrades and maintenance carried out as with any Council asset.
  2. I think the recent Court decision has ended the idea of a flyover. What I would like to see is a roading  solution where the route is trenched and covered which allows for road use, increased bus services and other forms of public transport depending on what Wellington wants for its future.
  3. I think we need to remove the bottleneck at the Basin reserve area particularly if WIAL and Council goes ahead with the Airport extension which has many hurdles to cross including business case, resource consent and funding issues. I like the idea of a trenched road at the Basin which is cut and covered. (open minded about this) I would like to see stronger public transport solutions in the form of more buses particularly with a very strong senior and student population. I would like to explore more the idea of transport hubs where we try and discourage cars from outside the city coming in. Park and ride options would be good in the outlying areas.

Robert Murray

Intro: Firstly, I am standing for the Eastern Ward and so I’m representing the needs of the residents of the Eastern Ward. Reasonable access to/from the City is one of their major requirements and needs to be addressed immediately. While I have seen some grand proposals, we need a basic fix NOW. Currently people use cars and so that needs to be addressed. Its all well and good for those with a 20 min walk to work to extol the benefits of walking but that is not always practical.

  1. Have no problem with the Basin – except perhaps its underutilised.
  2. Not ruling it out long term: there might be merit in one from Patterson to Rugby. However my plan to immediately ease the Basin traffic should render this unnecessary. FYI: I believe we should immediately use the school bus lane in Dufferin St as a lane to Newtown for the 23hrs its not being used as a bus lane. Together with phasing the lights at Dufferin and Rugby Sts to match the Karo Drive phasing, and an extra lane on Sussex, this should alleviate much of the congestion at the Basin until the second tunnel is built.
    I don’t believe I’ll live long enough to see such a flyover. There also may be a need for a bridge for city bound traffic from Sussex to Cambridge once the current Mt Vic tunnel becomes one way. I’m not a believer in cut and cover for Karo Drive although I do believe Karo Drive should be two way which would create one traffic route and allow Vivian St to become a city street and that may justify putting it in a trench – but again: long after I’m gone.
  3. Two lanes to airport and 2nd Mt Vic tunnel (and maybe 2nd Terrace tunnel – I don’t know why the middle lane can’t be tidal) needs to be started immediately to keep that flow running. If we can maintain a flow that will minimise the effects of increased traffic volumes. I have to say that people who choose to live somewhere do have to accept both the positive and negative qualities of their choice and inner city dwellers have to accept that traffic density, parking, noise and pollution are part of their choice. Another part of the problem is everyone’s fixation with growth as being increasing numbers rather than growth in the abilities and incomes of the current residents. Wellington is not suited to growth in numbers so the effects of such growth will be felt by everyone, not just inner city residents.  I’m not in favour of dictating to people where they live or how they get around, whether by constraint or persuasion.

Southern Ward

Brendon Bonner 

  1. Keep it.  As a life time resident of the Southern Ward originally from Newtown, I love the Basin.  The patch of circular green that you can sit from the Lookout on Mt Vic is an oasis of calm in that part of the city.  It is part of our community’s heritage and sporting history – leave it alone, only touch it to genuinely care for it and improve it!
  2. Yes.  While other solutions  to the traffic woes of the eastern suburbs may cost more, we need to consider more than just bottom line accounting here and look beyond the $$ signs.  The ‘look and feel’ of a city can have a huge impact on the well-being of the community in that city – a piece of Soviet Realism in the form of an utterly out of place, massive concrete flyover, just does not fit with how Wellingtonians want their city to look.  At this point in time I am happy to support a ‘cut and cover’ solution.
  3. I see the completion of the Kapiti Expressway and Transmission Gully as adding more strength and options to the roading infrastructure we have now.  The existing SH1 and SH2 options were just too limited and we owe it to our citizens to build up the resilience of Wellington region in preparation for future shocks and economic growth.That said I do not want to see these roads used to flood our city with “additional motorway-induced traffic from the north”.  I would hate to see caravans of one occupant cars pouring into Wellington via these routes.So our rail network must be constantly improved and MADE CHEAPER to economically incentivise people to leave their car at home!Then our (cheaper, greener) bus system must be ready to get them from the railway station into the city.In this area the Greater Wellington Regional Council has the key role, however there is nothing to stop Wellington City Council (and myself if elected) from vigorously ‘lobbying’ GWRC and central government and NZTA about the improvement of public transport for our region and city when we have such a vested interest in it.

Brent Pierson

  1. It is a Reserve and should remain so for ever. It a public asset.
  2. I never have and never will support a flyover close to the Basin. Would support a cut and cover solution.
  3. We need to find a solution to the traffic movement across the city to the airport.  I would drop Karo drive into a cut and cover half open tunnel, cut and cover around Basin, second tunnel through Mt Victoria and motorway to airport. Central government needs to come to the party, delay is not an option.

Onslow-Western Ward

Rayward Chung

  1. I grew up attending St. Marks School opposite the Basin Reserve and have very fond memories of this park and absolutely support retaining it.  I consider the cricket ground to be an integral part of the Basin Reserve and of course should be retained within the Basin Reserve.
  2. We certainly have a need to enable traffic to move swifter around the Basin Reserve into the Mt. Victoria tunnel.  I’m not sure exactly where the bottleneck is, but I’m taking a guess that it’ll most likely be where the road goes from two lanes into a single lane going into the tunnel.  So I’m not at all sure whether building a flyover would solve this bottleneck?  It seems to me that the present two-three lanes around the Basin Reserve isn’t the problem but the tunnel with only one lane in each direction.  If this is correct, then we need to widen the tunnel rather than have a flyover to the tunnel.
  3. I haven’t read any reports stating this but assuming that it’s correct and if significantly more traffic comes into Wellington, then I’d investigate building car parks on the outskirts of the city with train service boosted so that motorists can bring their cars to these parks, park there and catch the train into the city.  As an added disincentive for motorists to drive into the CBD, I’d install an ERP (Electronic Road Pricing) system similar to that used in Singapore charging a variable toll to drive into the city.  This toll will vary depending on the tine with the most expensive being during business hours.

Paul Douglas

  1. It’s an icon, needed well into the future for Wellington’s population groups, for the purpose of fun, which includes cricket and/or appropriate sports & activities, especially for recreation.
  2. Yes, I rule out supporting the building of a flyover at or next to the North side of the Basin Reserve. I support a SH1 road “along the surface” in the plan position of the defunct/rejected flyover linking to the Aras tunnel that way. That would travel over a cut-&-cover tunnel linking Kent&Cambridge to Adelaide Rd, with associated road works around the Basin, which includes turning Sussex into a Culs-de-Sac and the blocking off of Sussex St from direct access to  the Aras tunnel as per its current traffic flow.
  3. You could have drones controlling speeds or flows via speed traps (0.5x1m white paint strips) & video & communications with relevant authorities. Have adequate break down laybys. Reduce congestion by encouraging use of “Heavy Rail” (which is a fantastic service at present from the North & Wairarapa & back), and build a new “Light Rail” network with loops in stages in the City areas. See my “GetWellyMoving” submission. That may add an extra “Road & Light Rail” Mt Victoria tunnel going in another loop (not in my submission) going from the Basin &/or the Newtown Hospital to the airport & back.

Matthew Plummer

  1. Expanded capacity to 18,000. Our long-term plan should be to play all international cricket at the Basin, with the Caketin redeveloped in the late 2020s as a rectangular pitch.
  2. I’m instinctively a flyover skeptic – I favour tunnelling SH1 under Mt Cook, and so avoiding Te Aro, the Basin and Ruahine St widening. If a flyover is ‘inevitable’ I’d want to see a much better integration of the flyover with the surrounding urban environment. I feel it is up to NZTA and the City Council to make the case for how this could be done successfully. But to be clear – I love the Basin Reserve as it is, and want to see the environment around it improved (hence my advocacy for a Mt Cook tunnel).
  3. See above.