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Milford on WCC – weird Dompost reportage

  • April 16th, 2015

John Milford of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce has rightly cried alarm about the WCC rejection of  the Takapu Valley roading plans. That is not to say that rejection is necessarily irrational – just that it all reminds us of how disfunctional our Council can be.

Wellingtonians have long been embarassed by our Council’s dithering and eventually awful decision-making on the urban ‘bypass’ that left airport traffic struggling through the upper Cuba St area, and the Basin Reserve Flyover debacle. That inability to decide on long term transport infrastructure investments opposed by NIMBYs (and noisy beards and artsy fantasists of a world without traffic) is among the reasons why  many ratepayers look for salvation to the mirage of super-city efficiency.

The political pressures are clear in Peter Dunne’s opposition. WCC needs the Granada link to assist Wellington, but the northern links off it would primarily help Hutt businesses. So WCC panders to Ohariu NIMBYs.

Out of the  LGC amalgamation  exercise must come a decision structure on regionally important infrastructure that ensures NIMBYISM is subordinated to regional majority decision. A simple solution would be to ensure that such decisions were made by a specialist regional transport agency, as proposed, ironically, by WCC submissions to the LGC a few weeks ago. That would be more reliable than giving the decision to the Regional Council, who would not necessarily protect it from the NIMBYs.

But why did the Dompost report not give us the information we’d most like to know – who among the Wellington Councillors voted for and who against the Takapu Valley road proposal?

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