The WCC week that was; Blankets, no beads, no LGWM, Darwin, transport debates, and Peter & The Wolf

A brief look at last week’s news emanating from Council and candidates, in which Darwinism is debated, Let’s Get Wellington not Moving pops out with a Pollyanna press release, how to vote like an idiot, and Justin Lester hits the campaign trail giving out blankets. Oh, and Peter and the Wolf.

As it turns out 84% of pedestrian accidents in the CBD in the last couple of years were the fault of pedestrians. But Iona Pannett, in a strange fit of madness perhaps, suggested that pedestrians not be held responsible.

The debate erupted on Thursday morning at a City Strategy Committee meeting after chairperson Iona Pannett proposed an amendment that many interpreted as suggesting pedestrians not be held responsible “for their own deaths and serious injuries”. 

Headphone-wearing jaywalkers in Wellington spark hot debate

Well, the pile on started, and then Brian Dawson got himself in trouble on social media when he said;

“When a pedestrian wanders out in front of your bus with their headphones on, staring at their telephone thinking that somehow makes them invulnerable, well it is Darwinian theory at work.”

Various other Councillors agreed in a roundabout kind of a way and for any of you who have traveled through the CBD on any type of transport you frequently see people walking out into the street either through distraction or sheer entitlement.

Anyway, Twitter got its knickers in a twist in several places, it can be quite acrobatic when it is fuming, and Brian Dawson came under attack from a bunch of “outraged” netizens. Here’s a sample.

Brian won that round, showing that sticking to the facts is always a good way to respond, while some others clawed up plastic walls and proved that indeed, there are some that are clearly more intelligent than others. Can I call out Greens in the house? Yes I can! “Greens in the House!”

LGWM trumpted that it had finally started this week with the news that it would be going out to tender for a business case sometime soon promise yes we are really doing something.

It’s all to do with Lambton Quay and the rest of the “Golden Mile.” Is it “Golden” these days? Is it? Really? Anyway, there is, as usual, no detail and based on previous attempts at pretty much anything, it would likely be two years before we see anything actually happen and that is only as long as Julie-Ann Genter agrees with it.

Although the project still needs to go through a business case, it is likely to result in the removal of private vehicles from much of the central city thoroughfare and reduced speed limits on surrounding streets.

Wellington’s transport plans finally moving with contract for Golden Mile revamp to go to tender

Business case required… So, that’s more like three years before anything happens, particularly if that is Treasury’s Better Business Case Template. It should be called the Boring Business Case.

Hell’s bells, just ban the cars already. Brandon Street’s been shut for months and the world hasn’t ended. The WCC has stuffed around with parking the city so much in the last three years and created such a mess they may as well just rip the bandage off instead of slow-torturing us.

With transport set to be the big issue in this year’s local elections, The Traffic Jam podcast is running two meetings to help voters decide which candidates will get Wellington out of gridlock.

Voters get chance to grill Welly candidates on transport

If you can be bothered getting off your backside on what no doubt will be a cold Wellington night, then The Traffic Jam is hosting a couple of nights coming up where you can go and grill candidates.

Pro-tip for people asking questions. Candidates are notorious for just blabbing on about all the magical stuff they are going to do, pork barreling, promising, and pulling all kinds of rabbits out of their hats.

Ask them how they are going to make the magic happen, what they practically will do. Then don’t vote for the wafflers.

Meeting one: For central, northern and western suburb voters. Wednesday September 18th; 6.00 to 8.30pm. Loaves and Fishes Hall (next to the Anglican Cathedral in Molesworth Street). MC: Bryan Crump.

Meeting two: For voters in the southern and eastern suburbs. Wednesday, September 25th, 6.30 to 9.00pm. Upstairs Matairangi meeting room, ASB Sports Centre, Rongotai. MC: Dave Armstrong.

Oh and Traffic Jam? How about a Facebook Live feed or similar? Thanks so much.

Next up. Not how to vote like an idiot, because clearly we all have been, but rather the Idiot’s Guide to Voting in the Local Elections.

Participating in some of New Zealand’s local government elections can be a challenge, thanks to their unusual voting methodologies and heavy use of ‘the postal system’. Thankfully your friends at The Spinoff are here to hold your hand every step of the way, from enrollment (do it now!) through to voting in an STV system.

PSA: How to vote in our local government elections even if you are an idiot

Enough about that, self-explanatory.

Final news from last week (yes yes, I know about Peter and The Wolf, we’ll get to it) is Justin out kissing babies giving out blankets in Courtenay Place. In what was a pretty terrible article, sorry, it kind of was, I mean, well, you read it.

He not only stood at the stand to distribute food and blankets but also accompanied members of the team to walk the streets to give out the packets.

Commenting on the efforts that the Wellington Council was doing, Mayor Lester said that significant funding was being spent to take care of the problem of the homeless in Wellington.



I love it though. I really do. I honestly did think the original had something to do with beads, blankets, and Shelly Bay. I’m being honest.

Now now, hold your horses, I know you are all interested in Peter and The Wolf Foster, it’s all very exciting, and you can be sure I am just about to scurry off to my Hobbit Hole and write you all a piece about just how horrible the entire thing is, and how the left had a total meltdown on Twitter throwing all the facts out the window, and how Justin Lester and the Labour camp are now in panic mode.

Probably not Justin, but certainly the Labour camp.

And they should be.

Because they are in trouble.

Talk soon.