NEWS – Newshub: New Wellington reservoir must be priority after quake – Councillor

Link to original post here. Tuesday 22 Nov 2016 9:18 p.m. By Chris Holden A new reservoir designed to prevent Wellington being cut off from water for up to 100 days following an earthquake is being labelled an absolute priority by a Wellington City councillor. In an unlikely move, Green Party Councillor Iona Pannett, who chairs the Wellington City Council’s City Strategy Committee, has revealed she is open to considering a public-private partnership to construct the $25 million, 35 million litre reservoir above the Prince of Wales park in central Wellington. Without the reservoir, Wellingtonians could face up to a 100-day wait to get their water back up and running after a major quake, and Ms Pannett says after last Monday’s 7.8 tremor it must be a priority now. Ms Pannett’s preference is that the funding comes from central Government but she is open to a public-private partnership. “Discussions with central Government must begin immediately,” Ms Pannett says. “The Wellington Council simply doesn’t have the funding, and will now need to look to other options.” Documents provided by Wellington Water to Wellington City councillors in 2012 estimate getting water reconnected following a break in the bulk supply lines could take Read More …

OUR SUBMISSION TO THE WELLINGTON CITY COUNCIL’S ANNUAL PLAN

We have submitted the following to the WCC’s Annual Plan – as they were asking for ‘good ideas’ from the community of how to spend our money better. It may be largely lip-service, seeing the Council has gotten a lot of flak recently over their public ‘consultation’ (or lack thereof) processes, but we felt it was important to continue to engage with the Council and to use this democratic process. Dr Sea Rotmann, our Co-Chair spoke to the submission and Clive Anstey had also sent it round to every Councillor with a cover letter beforehand. Councillor Andy Foster, to his credit, replied with an immediate and thoughtful response, outlining the many caveats that would still need to be met before the Council would decide to spend the $90m that were already earmarked for this proposal in the Long Term Plan. He also spoke to Dr Rotmann and Mr Anstey during the break, which may have been a bit of a mistake: He told them that his mind was still completely open (good!) but that he wasn’t sure that emotions (on both sides) weren’t getting in the way of the facts (our main emotion is frustration that the airport’s ‘facts’ are Read More …

Opinion Stan Andis: The Funding Circus

The year was 2013, a few days after written submissions followed by oral submissions had closed against the 2013/2014 Draft Annual Plan. The ink on the pages of the Draft Plan had not had time to dry while awaiting approval by the Council. The opening agenda item of the 29th May 2013 Wellington City Council meeting was laid down to approve the sum of $1 million toward the resource consent application by Wellington International Airport Ltd. It came from a late bid by WIAL dated 20th May 2013 which sought funding to extend the existing runway at Wellington Airport. Now, wait a minute, the Draft Plan had already progressed through all stages yet new rules had been laid down to accept this late request. The question remains as to why WIAL was provided with a special privilege for this application? I wonder what the Local Government Act states? It doesn’t end there, as supporting Council documentation to Councillors stated that the $1 million could be “funded from identified savings in the 2012/2013 financial year.” What is more the document stated that “no consultation” had eventuated. At a time of staff restructuring, proposed cuts to library hours, millions of dollars which Read More …

All the reports from the airport so far

We dug up the second arrangement between the Council and the airport, where the Council agreed to fund the airport with an extra $1.95m towards fast-tracking the runway extension through a board of inquiry process. It’s a fascinating read, especially when you look at how badly the airport misjudged the initial costings and how it is getting the Council to co-fund its EPA process as well, even though it says this will be at the ‘cost of the applicant’. Hmmm. Another great insight is the Council’s own peer-review of the two airport reports (EY economic impact statement reviewed by PwC and INTERVista long-haul demand report reviewed by AirBiz). Even though they are summarised as ‘supporting the logic, methodology and process used by the WIAL reports’ when you actually read through them you find some very interesting caveats and cautions. For example: the passenger catchment area of 1.1 million people has been hugely overblown. Instead of the claimed 472,000 passengers that demand long-haul flights out of Wellington it is only 104,000! A quote from Price Waterhouse Cooper for the City Council: “PwC advises WCC that the potential to realise the benefits claimed in the EY report become progressively less certain the Read More …

Monthy Python & the Wellington Runway Extension: Someone should trophy hunt this white elephant

The bumbling shambles that is the Wellington International Airport and Wellington City Council’s pipe dream for an airport expansion rolls on with more misinformation and lack of co-ordination by the various parties no doubt costing us millions of dollars with absolutely nothing to show for it but a report that says we shouldn’t go there. The Prime Minister won’t back it, the Economics Minister won’t back it, the Community doesn’t back it (Our Long Term Plan feedback was 81% opposed), the Airlines don’t back it, the Airline Industry doesn’t back it, even WIAL are not prepared to pay their share to build it, Air New Zealand have said that even if it is built they won’t use it as a hub, and in the last few weeks the entire extension has been taken to the High Court over safety concerns by the New Zealand Airline Pilot’s Association. This is a white elephant growing larger by the day. The Guardians of the Bays, a residents group that has broad support from both local neighbours on all sides, the rest of the city and region, and wider, fired up their website this week with a lot of very interesting information. What is Read More …

All LTP submissions about the airport (pro and con)

We have gone through the trouble of looking at all 1049 formal LTP submissions. By searching for the term ‘airport’, we have identified over 100 submitters that specifically mentioned the runway extension proposal and have summarised their views in this document. It is very interesting to note that 87 submitters (>81%) were strongly opposed, with only 20 being for the runway extension. More interesting is that the opposition was largely made up of long, strong arguments against it (49 pages) whereas the proponents only used 9 pages to describe their reasoning, of which 7 were from the WIAL (airport) submission. Almost all others had significant caveats (highlighted in red), including the Chamber of Commerce, Property Council, Port Nicholson Trust, Ernst & Young, Deloittes and Kensington Swan. All progressive associations that submitted on this topic were against it. It is quite obvious that the Council did not make a similar analysis when reporting on the supposed support of their big 8 projects in the LTP! LTP Submissions Summary

WCC LTP ‘consultation’

Here was the online ‘consultation’ of the WCC for the runway extension as proposed in the LTP. This did not find its way into being considered an official submission, not that that was made clear to the submitters. It is very interesting to read the comments, pro and con as it becomes clear that the people who went online to vote for it, mainly give short statements like “Just get it done’ whereas the people who voted against it give long and considered reasons why they oppose it. It also needs to be noted that the question the Council asked in the LTP was highly disingenuous – ‘Do you support better air connectivity?’ is very different to ‘Do you support a $300m runway extension without a business case, plan or committed airline?’.

WCC Final Long Term Plan

This is the final LTP, after considerable submissions against the runway extension have been heard and received. Some major caveats have been added to the ring-fenced $90m for the runway extension: The LTP now says that the Council will make a final decision on this project and whether to commit funding to construction once: WIAL has obtained resource consent for the project The Council has received and considered a cost-benefit analysis and business case from WIAL that will be independently reviewed. Other key considerations that the Council has said will need to be considered before it makes its final decision relate to: The resilience of a runway extension to weather and climate change The proposed investment vehicle and any revenue agreement Satisfactory airline commitments Funding arrangements for construction and confirmed construction costs The governance and management structure to oversee construction. The Council has also said it will undertake further public consultation before making a final decision on whether to commit funding to construct the runway extension.  

Long Term Plan Optimism Bias, more Propaganda, and another Consultation Shambles

The Council isn’t known for its accuracy with figures. They are a bit of a movable feast, as is time, and other elements. So when the Mayor sent out a press release yesterday on the statistics around the Long Term Plan (LTP) and how awesome it has been, with actual statistics, I thought “doesn’t look right to me.” So, I ran some stats for myself and sure enough, they are different. Mayor Wade-Brown says 71 percent of people who used the Council’s new purpose-built consultation website support the overall 10-Year Plan and, importantly, a statistically-valid survey shows a similar level of support. – Source Before we get into it, this is what I have crunched: Celia says 71 percent support the LTP The website says 68 percent support the LTP Strathmore Park says 66 percent support the LTP So there is an optimism bias of at least 5 percent in the Mayor’s press release. So here’s what I did. I used the consultation website and scraped all the statistical data for every idea that was proposed then matched that against the Mayor’s news release. It’s interesting to say the least. The top five ideas according to the scraped data, are, Read More …