New ways to waste money – it’s the #wadebrownwccway

We got a little bored with the Island Bay cycleway debacle – and judging by the Mayor’s lack of support in the media Celia Wade-Bicycle is also giving her troubled Island Bay project a wide berth.

Instead we’re casting our steely gaze at WCC’s latest cycling initiative – trying to stop cyclists from running over penguins on the Waterfront. Wellington’s penguin community is decimated every rush hour, as Happy Feet, Pingu et al. are torn to pieces by spokes, bike chains, and it’s…

… hold on, that’s not right…

As anyone who’s been in Wellington since the post-container era knows all too well, the waterfront is overwhelmingly a penguin-free zone. Which makes the City Council’s decision to spend $15,000 on a ‘sharing the pavement with penguins’ safety campaign rather bewildering. It’s part of WCC’s ghastly #TheWellingtonWay campaign – and aimed at telling ratepayers not to be dicks and run each other over on their bikes.

The designs are classic mission spread – if you have an enormous in-house PR department then they’ll just create work to justify their existence, and that’s what’s happened here: $15,000 for pavement stickers that our experience suggests are useless – we’ve seen chain gangs of cyclists powering over them. One email correspondent with WCC Watch pointed out rather acidly ‘of course, if that useless mayor had built a CBD cycleroute we wouldn’t need to tell cyclists to ride slowly on the waterfront’ – a sentiment with which our penguin friends wholeheartedly agree. And if the big white stickers were remotely effective then they should have been along the narrow section between Herd St and the Freyberg Pool, but predictably enough they’re nowhere to be seen on the narrowest stretch of Waterfront pavement.


The official line is quite different. The self-appointed spokesman for everything Andy Foster (yes that guy is still a councillor) says ‘the campaign has proved popular, with people taking selfies with the illustrations and commenting on how they enjoyed the humorous scenarios and positive messages’ – FYI Andy, they’re laughing at your humorous scenario, not with them. While Andy Foster’s tri-decade career could be summarised as a humorous scenario, that hasn’t stopped WCC throwing more money at the project: free t-shirts are available from the council.

2 responses to “New ways to waste money – it’s the #wadebrownwccway

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