Saturday, July 20, 2024

Wellington growth plan goes back to drawing board

An agreement to dissolve Let’s Get Wellington Moving has been reached by Infrastructure & Housing Minister Chris Bishop, Transport Minister Simeon Brown; Mayor of Wellington City Council, Tory Whanau, and Chair of Greater Wellington Regional Council, Daran Ponter. 

In a statement, Mayor Whanau said local, regional and central government were in agreement about the way forward for Wellington.  

“It is important to me that we work constructively with the new government to deliver the infrastructure that Wellington desperately needs,” she said.

“It is good to have a clear sense of direction from the Government and commitment to investing in the infrastructure for our growing population.”

Infrastructure and Housing Minister, Chris Bishop said the delivery of a second Mt Victoria tunnel together with an upgrade to the Basin Reserve is a key commitment of the new coalition Government and fulfils a commitment made as part of the National-ACT coalition agreement.

Under the old Let’s Get Wellington Moving deal, Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council would have been responsible for 40% of the programme investment, which includes the Basin upgrade and new tunnel’s construction costs. 

“Wellingtonians are sick of all the backwards and forwards on the second Mt Vic tunnel,” said Minister Bishop.

“The plan now is for central government to fully fund the new tunnel. The tunnel will create exciting opportunities for more urban development and housing, and the government will work with Wellington City Council to explore these opportunities,” he said.

Mayor Whanau said that while she did not support the construction of a second Mt Victoria car tunnel, she accepted the government’s funding commitment to the project.

“I am also glad to have found areas of collaboration where we can look to develop a housing and urban growth precinct with the acquisition of land for this development,” she said.

Transport Minister Simeon Brown (pictured, left) said he was focused on delivering effective and efficient transport solutions for the people and businesses of Wellington.

“With the Golden Mile project, we need to ensure efficiencies are made and that the design meets everyone’s needs such as better bus routes and access for pedestrians,” he said.

Mayor Whanau said the parties had agreed that the Council will take over delivery of the Golden Mile revitalisation project.

“I believe that by bringing this important project in-house we can ensure it is delivered as cost effectively as possible and we can better engage with local businesses,” she said.

Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair, Daran Ponter said it was important that the city’s bus priority routes were “super-charged” on core transport spines, while also looking to establish a new public transport spine on the Harbour Quays.

“Thousands of Wellingtonians commute to work every day, making it essential that our public transport network is fit for purpose,” he said.

Minister Brown said he looked forward to having discussions on the creation of a Regional/City Deal for Wellington city and wider region.

“This would mean having strategic objectives for road, rail, public transport, housing and environmental resilience investments for Wellington that are shared by central, regional and local government, along with long-term funding commitments to enable certainty of planning,” he said.  

Latest Articles