The long-running “Let’s Get Welly Moving” process that was set up after NZTA failed to get approval for its proposed Basin Reserve flyover is beginning to produce some results – and that means that supporters of sustainable transport options need to get involved to ensure a good outcome.
First, here’s how you can do that:
Let’s Get Wellington Moving have announced they plan to run some half-day workshops with the public in February to help them test and evaluate the draft ’scenarios’ they’ve been working on for Wellington transport – which will be the first sign we get of the next round of proposals for transport near the Basin Reserve.
LGWM say that they will select participants who represent a “balanced sample of interests”. But to give ourselves of the best chance of a good outcome, as many Save the Basin supporters as possible should sign up and say they want to attend.
To sign up, you need to complete a short (5-minute) survey, here: https://diagram.typeform.com/to/r46azO
But Let’s Get Welly Moving has also been making presentations to the City and Regional Councils – and we’ve learned that they have adopted the following five objectives for Wellington’s transport system:
A transport system that:
- Enhances the liveability of the central city
- Provides more efficient and reliable access for all users
- Reduces reliance on private vehicle travel
- Improves safety for all users
- Is adaptable to disruptions and future uncertainty
We understand that the City and Regional Councils have signed up to these objectives, which you can find in this public document:
and there’s more detail, including a useful summary graphic, in this Appendix:
These objectives look encouraging. Two of our key arguments against a Basin Reserve flyover were that it reduced the liveability of the central city and increased reliance on private vehicle travel, so the first and third objectives would make it very difficult for a flyover proposal to be put back on the table as an outcome of the Let’s Get Welly Moving process.
More generally, these look like good transport objectives for Wellington to follow – though the second objective could conceivably still be used by the four-lanes-to-the-planes crowd to argue for more roading, so they’re not an automatic win.
But – and it’s a big but – there are still substantial pockets of political opposition to those objectives, and to the third objective in particular.
That’s why we need to make sure that there’s a strong voice at the February workshops in favour of a more liveable city and reduced reliance on private vehicle travel. Sign up now to make sure sustainable transport voices are heard loud and clear!
The first phase of the Ngauranga to Airport Governance Group’s Let’s Get Welly Moving process, which is designed to find out what principles people in the Wellington region think should underlie Wellington transport planning, draws to a close at the end of May.
You can fill in the survey on the site, or if you want to engage in a deeper way, you can send your thoughts to email@example.com. That’s what Save the Basin decided to do – our submission to this first phase of the process is below, and you are welcome to adapt it for your own use. A number of these points build on our September 2015 Op Ed for the Dominion Post.
The next phase will be a call for proposals to rethink Wellington transport. We encourage you to put forward proposals that enhance Wellington role as a city for people, not a city for cars – and that ensure the Basin is not again put at risk.
Save the Basin Campaign Inc: Submission in response to the “Let’s Get Welly Moving” Engagement Phase
As set out in its Constitution, the Save the Basin Campaign Inc has the following purposes:
(a) Promote, preserve and protect the historic character of the Basin Reserve area
(b) Promote high quality urban design and environmental management of the Basin Reserve area
(c) Promote an appropriate role for the Basin Reserve area in the development of a high quality, sustainable transport network, recognising the importance of the Basin to the public transport spine, and the importance of walkability and public transport for the users of the area
(d) Do anything necessary or helpful to the above purposes.
These purposes both explain why our Campaign was completely opposed to the proposed Basin Reserve flyover and took part in two successful rounds of legal action to prevent it gaining resource consent, and why we will oppose any future attempts to build a flyover or other transport infrastructure at the Basin Reserve that threatens the character, landscape, urban design or heritage of the Basin precinct – whether or not such infrastructure is presented as part of a larger package of resource consent applications.
Equally, however, these purposes allow us to participate in discussions about appropriate, sustainable transport developments that involve the Basin Reserve precinct, and thus we are pleased to see the breadth of the engagement process that the Ngauranga to Airport Governance Group has chosen to engage in as the first phase of its Let’s Get Welly Moving process.
Our submission covers three broad areas: the wider transport context, our comments and concerns about the rest of the planned consultation process, and our views on what should be done at the Basin Reserve.
Save the Basin took part in the development of the engagement and transport planning principles for the post-Basin environment submitted under the aegis of Grant Robertson MP, and those principles should also be regarded as part of our input to the engagement process.
The broader transport context
The present engagement process is being carried out at a time of rapid and disruptive change in transport thinking, transport behaviour and urban design – change which means that business-as-usual thinking is no longer appropriate.
These changes include:
- the Government’s signing of the Paris climate change agreements and its commitment to an associated greenhouse gas emissions reduction target, meaning that serious steps will need to be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport
- increased readiness by both central and local government to fund and provide infrastructure for active modes and public transport
- the increasing acceptance that building new roads induces further traffic congestion, as amply demonstrated by many local as well as overseas examples
- the post-2007 breakdown of the previously accepted correlation between population growth and growth in VKT, as notably seen in changes in young people’s transport thinking and behaviour
- the advent of disruptive technologies such as the wider uptake of car-sharing arrangements; electric vehicles; and driverless cars, with their associated requirement for far less road space
- a refocusing of urban design, in cities as diverse as Seoul and New York, to put people first rather than cars first.
In our view, a prudent response to these developments by the Governance Group should be to focus on transport behaviour change while also looking to make incremental improvements in transport infrastructure that do not commit the city to major infrastructure developments which may well be rendered redundant by transport behaviour changes, and which would foreclose other, more appropriate responses.
The engagement process: comments and concerns
While we welcome the change in approach represented by the “Let’s Get Welly Moving” (LGWM) process, we still have some concerns about how this is being carried out, and suggestions for improvement:
Methodology and weighting of responses received
The first phase of the LGWM process has been carried out region-wide. However, given the potentially competing interests involved, we submit that there should be a methodology which gives most weight to those most directly affected by potential infrastructure changes along the Ngauranga to Airport Corridor: that is, those who live closest to them.
Calling for proposals
The next stage of the process includes calling for proposals. As such proposals can be both time-consuming and expensive to develop, especially for community groups with limited access to professional resources, we submit that the Governance Group should make available independent advice to assist those who wish to make proposals to do so – similar to the role the “Friend of the Submitter” plays in complex resource consent hearings.
Modelling: assumptions and processes
The modelling tool(s) chosen, and their underlying assumptions, will be of crucial importance in assessing the proposals received and developing scenarios based on them. Therefore, we submit that an “open Government data” approach should be taken to the development and use of these modelling tools. This approach should both
- allow and encourage the involvement of those in the wider community with expertise in the analysis and use of Government and modelling data to engage with the modelling process and challenge modelling assumptions and processes, with the aim of producing a modelling process that truly reflects the realities of the rapidly changing transport environment, and
- take account of the range of ways in which the Wellington transport system may develop.
Consultation on scenarios
This is currently scheduled for January to March 2017. However, our experience is that it is extremely difficult to get people engaged in consultation processes during January and early February due to family commitments over the summer holiday period. Therefore, we submit that this consultation period should not begin until February 2017.
The future of the Basin Reserve: Save the Basin’s position
We believe that the starting point for consideration of the Basin Reserve’s future needs to be the final report of the Basin Bridge Board of Inquiry. We are disappointed that, so far, this does not appear to have been the case. While the immediate response of the applicant was to comb the report for possible grounds for appeal – an approach which proved unavailing in the High Court – the Governance Group should instead pay careful attention to the Board’s findings, which make clear the significance of the Basin Reserve and its environs for Wellington and its residents.
As those findings make clear, a narrow, transport-only focus on the Basin won’t work. What is needed is a long term vision and plan to protect and enhance an iconic cricket ground, create more open and green space, end urban blight and develop a transport space that accommodates pedestrians, cyclists, public transport users and cars.
The Board identified that the following options were worthy of further consideration:
- the Basin Reserve Roundabout Enhancement Option (BRREO) – an at-grade option that doesn’t involve bridging or tunnelling;
- Option X proposed by The Architectural Centre; and
- a tunnel option suggested but then discarded by NZTA.
Given the rapid and disruptive changes to transport outlined above, we believe that the best option for the Basin is the one which involves the least infrastructure development and provides the most flexibility for future developments. This is the BRREO, or a similar at-grade option. However, the other options foregrounded by the Board should also receive careful consideration.
What should happen next? Here is our 7-point action plan, some of which is now underway:
- Reframe the Basin as a sporting, urban development and heritage area as well as a transport corridor.
- Create a master plan for the whole area. Its national significance needs to be given appropriate recognition: instead of seeing the Basin, Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, the Governor General’s residence, numerous local schools and the heritage of Mt Victoria as isolated pieces, the rich history of the whole area should be celebrated.
- Go through a robust process to evaluate transport options. Start by carrying out small improvements to bring relief to frustrated transport users, and evaluate these before considering whether a more expensive option is justified. Ensure that, following the Wellington City Council’s “transport pyramid” approach, the needs of walkers, cyclist, and public transport users are given precedence.
- Upgrade the Basin and strengthen and preserve the Museum Stand.
- Prioritise a Reserve Management Plan for the Basin (as already agreed by the City Council) that will establish key principles on how the ground should be preserved.
- Put in place heritage protection for the whole ground in the City Council’s District Plan.
- Re-develop Kent and Cambridge Terraces as grand public and private spaces, well connected to the Basin
The Basin Reserve is a place of local, national and (especially in its role as an international cricket ground) international significance. We support options that preserve and enhance its status. We do not support options that put that status at risk.
The High Court hearing of the Transport Agency’s appeal against the Basin Reserve flyover decision begins on Monday 20 July. Save the Basin will be represented at the hearing by Matthew Palmer QC, opposing NZTA’s case, and we are in the final stages of fundraising for our legal representation.
That’s why we’re delighted that Action Station has come on board to help us reach our fundraising target. They will be presenting us with a cheque on July 31, when the Action Station campaign ends, so please contribute to help make that cheque as large as possible!
It’s also possible to donate via mail, Internet banking and our Givealittle campaign page.
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.
Today is Valentine’s Day. It’s the first day of the second Test between New Zealand and India at the Basin Reserve. And today is also the day of our Love the Basin event at the Basin Reserve.
Many people love the Basin Reserve as a cricket ground, but the Basin has been used for many things in its time, and people love it for many reasons. Here’s why fashion designer Laurie Foon says she loves the Basin:
Thanks for all the great work you are doing, please keep it up.
I love the Basin as I ride my bike and this is is always my mellow interlude before approaching the city or the busy Adelaide Road.
I often stop on the south side to west side to sit in the late evening sun. I do not want the noise or visual of the flyover.
But the Love the Basin event is taking place against a background of backroom deals: backroom deals about the future of world cricket, and as recent revelations by Wellington Scoop show, backroom deals between Wellington City Council, the Basin Reserve Trust and the New Zealand Transport Agency:
To mix sporting metaphors, cricket has become a political football. Today at the Basin, I hope to see a celebration of the game, and a celebration of the Basin Reserve.
Save the Basin invites you to come show your love for the Basin Reserve on Valentines Day, Friday 14 February. Meet at the northern end of the Basin Reserve, near the CS Dempster Gate, at 10am to show your support for the iconic Basin Reserve precinct, and why it’s just too precious to spoil with the construction of the proposed flyover. Bring your banners, signs and anti-flyover T-shirts, but most of all your love for this nationally significant part of our city.
Friday 14 February is also the first day of the New Zealand-India cricket Test at the Basin, so plenty of people will witness your declaration of love for the Basin!
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/201680093364430/
In case you’re new to the issue, here’s a quick introduction to what’s being proposed for the Basin Reserve, why the Save the Basin Campaign is opposed to it, and what you can do to help.
What’s the Basin Reserve?
The Basin Reserve is a recreation ground near the centre of Wellington. It is best known for being Wellington’s Test cricket ground, and has often been praised for its setting and its beauty.
What’s proposed for the Basin Reserve?
The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), as part of the current New Zealand Government’s focus on building more motorways rather than funding public transport, walking and cycling, is planning to build a 10-metre-high one-way motorway flyover on the north-western boundary of the Basin Reserve at an estimated cost of at least $100 million. If built, it will be clearly visible from many parts of the ground.
Hang on a minute, did you say “one-way”?
It’s bizarre, but true. All this effort, expense and disruption is for the sake of a one-way road, running east to west. In fact, one of the many concerns about this proposed flyover is that it, if built, it may need to be followed by a second unsightly flyover running in the opposite direction.
What effect would a flyover have on cricket at the Basin?
Nobody is quite sure, but a number of senior international cricketers and cricket officials have expressed serious concerns at the potential effects on players, and also on the Basin’s future as an international cricket ground. We’re told that ‘mitigation measures’, mainly in the form of a new structure designed to block the view of the flyover from the pitch, have been agreed, though details have yet to be released of this agreement, but these measures don’t appear to shield the flyover from many fielders or spectators.
Why does NZTA want to build a flyover?
The NZTA is trying to convert the present route through Wellington to Wellington Airport into a motorway designed to carry increasing numbers of cars, even though traffic volumes are dropping. It wants to build a flyover as part of this route, and has been determined to do so for many years, despite a great deal of evidence (that will be presented at the forthcoming Basin flyover hearings) showing that a flyover is not necessary. NZTA has deliberately skewed figures to make other transport solutions appear not to be viable.
Was there any consultation before NZTA went ahead with its plans?
If you can call it consultation: NZTA gave Wellingtonians the option of agreeing to a flyover, or a slightly different flyover. NZTA ignored the many submissions calling for there not to be a flyover and then announced one of the flyovers as the preferred option. This is, sadly, typical of NZTA’s approach to engaging with the public.
What happens next?
The Government has set up a Board of Inquiry to hear the resource consent application to build what NZTA persists in calling a Basin “Bridge” – presumably because it realises the public doesn’t like flyovers. The Board of Inquiry hearing is scheduled to begin on Monday 3 February and is expected to report by the end of May. Save the Basin Campaign and an number of other organisations are presenting detailed cases covering why a flyover is unnecessary and shouldn’t be approved.
We hope that this Board of Inquiry will fully and carefully consider the question of whether the flyover should go ahead. However, the Government set up the Board of Inquiry process to fast-track projects it wants to see go ahead, and so far, that’s what Boards of Inquiry have done.
If the Board rules that the project should not go ahead, it will have made the right decision. And if it rules otherwise, we still have other legal avenues open to us.
You keep saying the Government is behind this project. Do all political parties support it?
Absolutely not! In fact, five parties have stated their opposition to a Basin Reserve flyover: Labour, the Greens, New Zealand First, the Mana Movement and United Future. It’s entirely possible that the Government that emerges following the 2014 General Election may be opposed to a Basin Reserve flyover going ahead.
How can I help?
We’ve listed a number of ways, but the two most important things you can do are:
The Wellington community came out today to show their ongoing opposition to the proposed construction of a flyover at the Basin Reserve.Approximately 30 people gathered this morning at the northern end of the Basin Reserve near where the proposed flyover will be constructed if it gains approval from the Board of Inquiry.
Tim Jones, Co-convenor of Save the Basin Campaign said: “The community came out today to show their support for–and solidarity with–the many people preparing their representations to the Board of Inquiry. The streamlined legal process is not for everyone, so today’s event was an opportunity to illustrate the wider community’s opposition to the proposed flyover.”
The West Indies test match which began at the Basin Reserve today was also an opportunity to share with an international audience the NZTA’s plans to construct a flyover at what former Wellington City Councillor and New Zealand Cricket player John Morrison has called a top ten test match playing venue in the world.
Tim Jones says “This is a site of not only national, but also international significance and we cannot allow the NZTA to bulldoze through it with a flyover that will simply not bring the purported traffic benefits. It is terrible transport planning, poor urban design and simply not acceptable at a site of national and international significance.”
Along with many other submitters in opposition to the proposal, the Save the Basin Campaign is in the midst of preparing a case to the Board of Inquiry. The hearing will begin in February with a decision due by the middle of 2014.
Save the Basin Campaign invite you to show your support for keeping the Basin Reserve precinct a ‘flyover-free zone’. Like the majority* of Wellingtonians, we do not want a flyover at the Basin Reserve. We are calling the community to come out in force to show solidarity with the over 150 individuals, businesses, schools, churches and community groups that will be presenting their opposition to the proposed flyover to the Board of Inquiry.
What: Together we take a stand against the proposed flyover
When: 9.30am, Wednesday 11th December
Where: At the north-eastern corner of the Basin Reserve (near the Kent Tce traffic lights)
Please bring placards, banners, t-shirts and whatever you have to show your solidarity with those people making submissions to the Board of Inquiry.
* 83% of submissions to the Environmental Protection Agency oppose NZTA’s application to construct a flyover at the Basin Reserve.
Join the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/183481505184236/
Cash, moolah, dollars, dineros.
Whatever you call it, we need it. (At least, we need some of it – we don’t want to be unreasonable!)
That’s because we’re a community organisation pitted against a lavishly-funded Government agency that can afford to pay top dollar to secure the services of lawyers, consultants and expert witnesses.
We make up some of the gap through volunteer work done by already busy people – but we need money too. And if you want this nonsensical, retrograde, ugly flyover stopped, then we need your help. Incidentally, when we were in Stockholm – my buddy shattered his arm one night doing something silly, and we had to get a låna pengar direkt to get him fixed up.
The good news is that it’s easy to donate. Here’s how:
Donate within New Zealand
Kiwibank account: 38-9011-0725227-01
Please send a cheque marked “Save the Basin Campaign” to:
Save the Basin Campaign
c/- PO Box 19-056
Please donate via our page on the Givealittle fundraising site:
We’d love to acknowledge your support, so please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us the details of your donation.
Thank you for your support.