Noisy minority holds us to ransom again

Credit: Kevin Stent/Stuff

If you?ve ever tried to drive into the city from the airport, or indeed any of Wellington?s eastern suburbs during rush hour, you will know what a nightmare it is. That our most direct route to the airport is strangled by a single lane stretch of road that also includes the Mt Victoria tunnel, keeps Wellington firmly locked in the horse and cart era.

There is talk of extending the Wellington airport runway but I haven?t yet been convinced that this stacks up economically. It?s a moot point anyway, unless and until we can sort out the roading to the airport.

Once again, we seem to be at the mercy of a small minority, who think they should decide that bikes and pedestrians are the only acceptable forms of transport, and that all other users should not only be discouraged, but actively thwarted. quote.

Save the Basin, the lobby group which helped bring down the Basin Reserve flyover proposal, is readying itself for another fight – this time to stop a potential second Mt Victoria tunnel.

The group has revealed it is strongly opposed to the prospect of a second vehicle tunnel, which is expected to be announced as part of a proposed multi-billion dollar package to fix Wellington’s traffic congestion problems.

Spokesman Tim Jones said on Friday the group was not opposed, in principle, to a second tunnel for cyclists, pedestrians, or mass transport, but would staunchly oppose a second vehicle or mixed-use tunnel.
[?] Save the Basin led the campaign which scuppered the proposed Basin flyover – a two-lane highway 20 metres from the cricket ground. end quote.

The work done with the Arras tunnel has transformed the area in front of the war memorial and carillon, and significantly improved traffic flow onto the motorway. It’s just a shame that these nimby’s got their own way last time around and we still have to go around the Basin Reserve. I mean, it’s not exactly the Colosseum, or the Arc de Triomphe is it? quote.

The Let’s Get Wellington Moving working group, a joint initiative between the New Zealand Transport Agency, Wellington City Council, and Greater Wellington Regional Council, was formed shortly afterwards, and tasked fixing traffic congestion between Wellington Airport and the Ngauranga Gorge.

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester, who is on the team’s governance group, said Save the Basin’s position did not reflect that of most Wellingtonians.

“We surveyed Wellingtonians on this and there was strong support for a second tunnel in Mt Victoria and for improvements at the Basin Reserve.”

A Research New Zealand survey commissioned by the group last year found 62 per cent of the 1334 respondents supported a second tunnel, while only 9 per cent opposed. That rest were considered to be neutral.


The Basin reserve is already a nightmare because of this pitifully small minority. Don’t let the miserable few spoil it for the rest of us.

Just build the ‘another tunnel’. Let’s do it.