Mind the gap

People have rightly asked me my positions on transport, the environment, the Basin Reserve flyover, and libraries.
   These weren’t put in my manifesto in April 2013 because I expected that candidates (whomever they might be—since only Dr Keith Johnson had declared then) would have largely the same views on them. I was wrong.
   Transport: I support greater public transport use. I advocate for a graphical app that shows where a bus or train is, live, on a smartphone, to make things more predictable. I support cycleways, and am most interested in Martin Hanley’s proposal to preserve as many parking spaces as possible—though additional driver training would be important. WCC’s budget for cycling should be increased given that there are more Wellingtonians using this mode.
   In 2010, I was not in favour of the Basin Reserve flyover because I had always believed that teleworking, staggering the hours at which we could arrive at and leave work, would be a far more sensible solution. The more roads you build, the more congestion you’ll get. This is the Downs–Thomson paradox, and it’s covered in my release here. However, the city appears to have been outplayed on this by NZTA and my instinct is that the flyover is proceeding.
   On libraries: I am against cuts in library funding, especially as we can find ways to fund them. With my policies on joint software licensing and looking at open source, we can get money in the kitty for them. Libraries are evolving, and we need to look at mixed use, and having no limits on wifi for educational sites. I am a regular user, and I would like other Wellingtonians to benefit from our libraries.
   On the environment, I’ve signed a pledge to Generation Zero but even without it, I was an advocate of low-carbon city. When we released Beyond Branding at the Medinge Group, it was one of the first Carbon Neutral books published. And since 2003, Lucire has been a partner of the United Nations Environment Programme.
   I support car-sharing programmes (Medinge gave a Brands with a Conscience award to Flexcar last decade, so we were again ahead of the curve), and solar energy (I’ve already discussed ideas with Isolar and SolaRoof)—particularly trying to find a cost-effective way for homeowners to get into solar power.
   I even, dare I say it, believe light rail remains an option provided the cost is right, and there is evidence to suggest the negative experience in Edinburgh was an outlier.
   I believe we need to look at the long term, which is why I floated the idea of the long-haul airport being at Paraparaumu post-amalgamation, with a high-speed rail link to the CBD by 2040.
   Given that, some of the discussions we are having today about the spine and routes to the airport may remain moot.
   You can find more of my position with Generation Zero’s ideas here. I think I deserve a couple more thumbs-up than they have given me, mind!
   The environment, cycleways and pedestrianization were part of the thinking behind the market weekends that already appear in my manifesto, alongside celebrating our city and enjoying a festival atmosphere.

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3 thoughts on “Mind the gap

  1. You are keen on Paraparaumu being a long haul aerodrome. How realistic is this?
    If you are familiar with its recent history, Paraparaumu has provided for recreational aviation activities; pilot training, gliding and other small aircraft based commercial activities, which are important for pilot training etc. Wellington airport has pushed these activities away.
    Commercial interests have already reduced the size of Paraparaumu airport with development of land on the safety margins. In recent years residential/commercial development has encroached on any possibility of increasing Paraparaumu airport without demolishing the livelihood of Paraparaumu/Waikanae/Raumati residents. Maybe a new airport further north – but perhaps fast rail from the coast/Wairarapa to Wellington airport would be a more cost effective solution than building a new airport.

  2. Sorry Jack
    Decided to look at your manafesto hoping to see great detail on a few issues that concern me.
    As a Wellingtonian for mos of my life and still working in the CBD at 69 I feel I have a pretty good background to comment.
    Your initial reluctance to support the flyover and considering an international airport at Parapapaumu have meant that I am reluctant to support you. I liked your ideas of making Wellington a technology hub and free WiFi (would that reach Karori?)
    Good luck

  3. Belatedly … David, excellent points, and there could be another location.
       Leon, my reluctance stands about the flyover, on a very simple equation. If the Reid plan could sort out the bottlenecks at $14 million versus the $500 million that the two flyovers (really—the long-term plan is in both directions) would cost, then I’m going to treat ratepayers’ dollars as my own and go for a saving.
       The free wifi network would have continued expanding though it would head toward poorer areas first to give kids a step up for their education.

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