City Watch #9

The ninth round up of recent news and events around Wellington. If you think we’ve missed anything or have any information please contact us. Thanks to those who have been sending things in.

The price tag for a “living wage” for Wellington council workers is looking increasingly steep, with the prediction ratepayers could stump up an extra $1 million a year. The figure included $575,000 for 502 council staff, and $325,000 for 257 staff across council controlled organisations. The Living Wage campaign remains confident that it will boost the economy if adopted. Moves are afoot in Christchurch City Council to also adopt the Living Wage.

Wellington Airport says its latest performance results show its earnings fall below the Commerce Commission’s excessive-profit threshold, and it will start negotiating with airlines on terminal and runway prices.

Mayoral candidate Jack Yan’s been busy getting media (not quit like John Morrison’s types of stories) about his candidacy. Haven’t noticed anything from the others. Let us know if you have.

Wellington City Council look like they’ve hired two university students off Student Job Search and sent them join real beggars and buskers at Wellington railway station holding cardboard signs with patronising slogans encouraging people to give to charity rather than a person on the street. Seriously WCC?

Save Kapiti have confidence in the legal process of the High Court to reach a decision that is not a rubber-stamping exercise as they believe the Board of Inquiry was.

Onslow-Western Ward candidate Sridhar Ekambaram believes Wellington’s economy lies in green technology innovations and is notorious for being over reliant on government sector jobs compared to other regions and the city needs to diversify its portfolio.

Jack Marshall, the 18 year old Wellington Youth Council chairman and university student is putting his name forward as a candidate to represent the views of Tawa youth on the Tawa Community Board in this year’s local body elections.

Meanwhile 21 year old Leole Malama is standing in Lower Hutt’s Northern Ward with hopes of becoming the city’s youngest councillor. Great to see young people challenging the older and tired incumbents If only that spread to Wellington City and multiplied 4+ times.

Pass the PR vomit bin – Wellington’s most innovative and influential identities are banding together at Massey University… to celebrate the city and brainstorm the best way for it to secure its future. The Wellington Debate, being held on Wednesday July 17… will blow away any perception that the city is dying and encourage an evening of provocative debate by dedicated Wellingtonians including comedian Raybon Kan, broadcaster Sean Plunket and Mayor Celia Wade-Brown (emphasis added).

The Buckle Street upgrade is well under way, with more than half of the 12-metre deep trench already excavated.

Onslow-Western Ward candidate Hayley Robinson is launching “Hayley’s New Candidate Bus” that will travel a circuit from Karori to Courtenay Place offering a free rides for Wellingtonians and a chance for them to meet new candidates in person. It will be interesting to see how many people and which candidates take her up on her “cooperative politics” offer and join her for a ride.

The Dominion Post has a look at the Super City proposal being put forward by the Wellington City Council. Odd that they interviewed a bureaucrat, rather than someone like the Mayor for such an important issue.

Evans Bay residents are gearing up to oppose the extension of Wellington Airport runway to take long-haul international flights while the carpet bagging Green candidate for the Eastern Ward is supporting it.

Costs for fixing Maraeroa School’s flooding problem could fall on ratepayers after Porirua City Council admitted it approved a problematic pipe connection in Cannons Creek.

WCC CEO Kevin Lavery has made a six minute YouTube video in search of a new  Chief Financial Officer following the departure of the previous bean-counter.

In an desperate attempt to lure Wellingtonians to the Hutt Valley, parking in the Lower Hutt central business district now will be cheaper from Waterloo Road down High Street and Queens Drive to Laings Road, Margaret and Bunny Street.

A new plan for Wellington’s Town Belt has now been approved by the Council and will guide how we protect and manage these special and historic green spaces from now on.

WCC have launched a new safety campaign based on the idea of a wolf pack – hence the main message to ‘stick with the pack’. Supporting messages show how the different ‘personas’ in a pack can stay safe. My first thought was the woman looked like a dog and wondered why there was no male version.

The Wellingtonian seems to be struggling to work out the motives of the Save the Basin group and its sympathisers.

A new volunteer programme with a focus on community-driven emergency management has seen the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) recognised with an international award.

Kilbirnie retailers will meet next week to consider compensation for loss of trade from the $1.5 million Bay Rd upgrade. Poor quality work, the drought and several other issues have caused the roadworks to fall well behind schedule (picture below).

Wellington City Council is beginning to promote standing for election at the upcoming elections.


6 responses to “City Watch #9

  1. Candidates already sorted – the invites you are seeing out in the ether are just the extras:) Bus will be running 7:10am till about 8:45am Wed 24 July, all stops Karori Park (from stop outside cafe) to Courtenay Pl and back. People are welcome to a free ride and a chance to meet some new Council candidates.

    Bus hire makes very interesting mathematics: $335 for two hours for 50 seated passenger bus, potential for 3 trips to town and back in that time…

    Keep up the excellent public service WCC Watch
    Hayley Robinson
    Onslow-Western Ward candidate for Council

  2. Trust you have checked whether such a free bus service is legit in terms of treating/gifting?

    • Rereading the section in question I see your concern; the WCC Electoral Officer (Mr Inggs) is double checking for me. Consider the free aspect suspended for the moment. You are the first person out of hundreds to pick this up; a great example of how the combined minds of Wellington are better than one.

      By the way, thank you. I really don’t want to break the rules.

      Kind Regards
      Hayley Robinson

  3. Dear WCC Watch and readers: I now have confirmation that the ‘free’ aspect is a no-go legally (it turns out that services can count as ‘provisions’, and the law has been altered and tightened (a good thing) since the last elections so candidates should NOT rely on precedents (if something was done in a previous campaign, it does not guarantee it is still legal); I am still tentatively planning to run the bus on schedule, but with a charge, as most likely it can be run as a campaign fundraiser. Details will follow closer to the day.

    The WCC are running information courses for candidates and potential candidates on the 29th and 30th of August. I shall be attending (apparently they are later than normal this year because of said changes to the Electoral Act). I would highly recommend that all candidates attend.

    I think I owe you a coffee WCC Watch (but not if you are eligible to vote for me).


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