City Watch #16

Here’s our sixteenth round up of recent news and events around Wellington. Remember to let us know if we’ve missed anything!

Wellington’s new deputy mayor is talking big and promising new initiatives for the city before Christmas. What could it be? A new logo? The Peter Jackson museum? Dun dun dun.

Orchestra Wellington is expanding its 2014 season to include five subscription concerts instead of four, and extending its family concerts to bring more performances to more venues.

Helene Ritchie and Iona Pannett “stormed out” of a council teaming building meeting. By the sounds of the meeting, I don’t blame them. It sounded painful and probably not too unlike this.

The 2013 Wellingtonian of the Year – along with the category winners – were named at Te Papa last week.

More contentious beachfront hazard lines are being reassessed on the Kapiti Coast.

Sir Peter Jackson had dinner with the Prime Minister on Monday night, after meeting Cabinet ministers to discuss a shortage of work in the film industry, particularly in Auckland.

Recognising this growth and the exciting potential for the industry, the inaugural Caffeination New Zealand Festival of Coffee will be held 22-23 March 2014 at Wellington’s Shed 6.

A suspicious fire at a Wellington bus depot destroyed five buses and came within metres of nearby homes. An arsonist is believed to have climbed on to one of the 21 buses parked at the NZ Bus depot in Darwin St, Karori, early yesterday and set it alight.

Steven Sanderson, Chief Executive of Wellington Airport, has been appointed Chair of the New Zealand Airports Association (NZ Airports).

Five years after its controversial launch, Te Rauparaha Arena has proved critics wrong.

Environment Minister Amy Adams has announced the appointment of David McMahon to the Basin Bridge Board of Inquiry. The Board of Inquiry is considering the New Zealand Transport Agency’s application to construct, operate and maintain a two lane, one-way bridge on the north side of the Basin Reserve.

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee has welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss an appeal by Save Kapiti to the granting of consents for a stretch of the Wellington Northern Corridor Road of National Significance. Anti-expressway activists are disappointed.

Upmarket Wellington department store Kirkcaldie & Stains has had a weak start to the financial year. The 150-year-old multilevel Lambton Quay business filed its annual report to the NZX this morning, reporting a $1.6 million loss in the year to August, compared to $1.3m loss last year.

A bouncer from the Wellington Establishment Bar was convicted of rape amid appalling victim-blaming comments from his defence lawyer. The Sexual Abuse Prevention Network wants to see more hospitality staff (both bar staff and bouncers) being trained in sexual violence prevention.

A traditional Māori vegetable garden (maara kai) is being re-created at Victoria University for research purposes. Space is being cleared and prepared for planting behind the University’s Māori Studies (Te Kawa a Māui) building.

David Farrar and Jordan William’s new club/the Taxpayers’ Union ‘tip-line’ appears to have caught out the Wellington City Council providing the Union with misleading or incorrect information under official information laws.

Wellington.Scoop note that Wellington’s long-discussed hi-tech precinct is emerging more rapidly than anyone could have anticipated with recent moves including Xero’s announcement it’s expanding.

Wellington International Airport Limited (WIAL) presented its unaudited results for the six months ended 30 September 2013 which produced a solid performance with an underlying EBITDAF of $42.5m before subvention payments.

Wellington.Scoop have a good piece about the seven months remaining of the nine-month period for making a decision on whether or not to allow a flyover alongside the Basin Reserve.

A decision by the Māori Land Court has set apart 3.5 hectares of land under and around Wainuiomata marae as a Māori Reservation.

Victoria University’s new Campus Hub building has been recognised with a 2013 Wellington Architecture Award.

Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace described last night’s Council decision to demolish the Town Hall and the Horticultural Hall as a “once in a lifetime opportunity”. Meanwhile Heritage group Historic Places Wellington is urging the Hutt City Council to rethink its plans for a convention centre. Demolishing two of the city’s halls is too high a price to pay for the new development, says the group’s chairman John Daniels.

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