Wellington City Council

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester in a mild panic about government departments leaving town

Justin Lester was on Q+A yesterday, showing mild panic:

Wellington mayor Justin Lester says Wellington is “well-placed” to manage further earthquakes, and he doesn’t back the idea of moving government functions to other parts of New Zealand.

Speaking to Q+A’s Jessica Mutch, Mr Lester said he thought that was a “knee-jerk reaction.”

“Look, let’s be realistic, I mean, Auckland sits on volcanoes; Christchurch, no one expected to have an earthquake down there, and that was an absolute tragedy; various different parts of the country face natural disaster events. So this is an occurrence in New Zealand, as it is in any other city in any other country in the world.

We need to live up to the risk. We need to manage the risk, and I think Wellington’s well placed.”   Read more »

Justin Lester steals from ratepayers so he can look good donating money to arts luvvies

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What an arsehole.

How about fixing some pot holes?

Some widower or some poor WWII veteran who can barely pay the rates is now paying so Justin Lester can get kudos for donating their money to arts luvvies.

Justin Lester has donated his $60,000 Wellington mayoral car budget to the arts.

The new mayor has decided to give the cash, provided by Wellington City Council for the role, to the city arts portfolio budget to help up-and-coming artists.

The arts budget funds a range of things including community arts and events, music concerts, art exhibitions, plays and cultural festivals.

“I don’t need it,” Lester said of his car allowance.

Read more »

Water, rubbish and roads? Nope. Wellington mayor will drop house prices

Wellington ratepayers will be so pleased that their new mayor, Justin Lester, wants to drop the value of their houses.

A taskforce to tackle the affordability of housing in Wellington is being set up by new mayor Justin Lester.

It will examine issues including homelessness, social housing, schemes for first-home buyers, the rental market and housing density.

The council is hoping to report its recommendations by April so it can become part of its three-year plan.

Mr Lester said he wanted to make sure housing was affordable for all Wellingtonians.   Read more »

New reports show just how dodgy Justine Lester’s airport extension is

Fairfax reports:

The $300 million price-tag for Wellington Airport’s runway extension could blow out to $458m, and may even soar as high as $507m, an independent expert says.

And this was voted on by the Council on the basis of a Powerpoint presentation and no actual reports or findings as the Cheif Executive of Wellington City Council “doesn’t do email”!

The much-vaunted $2.3 billion in economic benefits expected to flow from the extended runway may have also been overstated to the tune of almost $800m, according to a new council-commissioned report on the project.

But Wellington Airport hotly disputes the latest findings and is confident the runway extension can be built for $343m once air-bridges and associated infrastructure have been factored in.

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How to make $8 million of ratepayers money disappear without a trace

Justin Lester has some explaining to do and not just about his activities on the ratepayer’s dime in Hong Kong.

It seems the council, under his chairing of a key committee, has managed to magic away $8million of ratepayer cash in a  corporate welfare payment to Singapore airlines…and all that exists in terms of paperwork is a Powerpoint presentation delivered after the deal was done…and a two page document that barely mentioned it.

A decision to subsidise Singapore Airlines new Wellington flights for the next decade saw virtually nothing put in writing.

Documents released by the Wellington City Council show that apart from a presentation made to councillors after the decision was made, the council generated a single two page document, which refers to the subsidy only in passing.

In January it was revealed that Wellington City Council chief executive Kevin Lavery had approved a subsidy for a new Singapore-Canberra-Wellington route from the Destination Wellington fund. The route launched on September 21.

The council has never disclosed the maximum Singapore Airlines, one of Asia’s largest airlines, could be paid, but documents suggest it could be $800,000 a year for 10 years.

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Madness: Wellington mayoral candidate wants you to host P addicts, drunks and violent homeless

It really is the silly season at the moment. All sorts of ratbags and deadbeats are vying for votes and also coming up with insane and dopey ideas.

Unfortunately, it isn’t just the left-wing with dopey ideas.

One of Wellington’s mayoral candidates wants to help people make their spare rooms available to those in the city without homes of their own.

Jo Coughlan said she would consider putting up a person who was homeless in her own spare room if it would help.

Her suggestion came as the Wellington City Council received an update on its strategies to approach homelessness and begging.

“Wouldn’t it be amazing if interested citizens could perhaps sign up to host a homeless person, particularly a person in transition,” Ms Coughlan said.   Read more »

Weird cut/paste job for Wellington Council by former Labour MP

Moana Mackey has been writing reports for the Wellington City Council

It is a truly loopy report on a “Low Carbon Capital“.

But it appears she may have copy/pasted someone else’s work and claimed it as her own.

Her report says:

Globally cities consume two-thirds of the world’s energy and create over 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Over 90% of all urban areas are coastal, putting most cities on Earth at risk of flooding from rising sea levels and powerful storms.

Read more »

Wellington, this is your chance to stop them stealing our roads

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It is part of a plan to spend nearly $35m on cycleways throughout the capital over the next three years, with two thirds of that money coming from central government.

But cycleways in the city have come under fire recently.

The city’s newest route in Island Bay has been the subject of fierce debate, with some residents threatening a rates revolt.

Chief among their concerns was that they had not been properly consulted and the designs differed from those shown to them. Read more »

Wellington Council are asking to be rinsed

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Politicians are generally dead-set useless, and it seems the capital has more than most cities.

Just when you thought it was safe to put your foot down, a 30kmh speed limit for Wellington’s central city is back on the agenda.

Wellington city councillors will consider plans this week to introduce the limit across the entire central city, roughly 18 months after they tossed out a similar proposal by a single vote.

The city’s Golden Mile, which includes Lambton Quay, Willis St, Manners St and Courtenay Place, has had a 30kmh limit since 2010, but this proposal would spread the net wider.

Boundaries are yet to be drawn up, but last time it was up for discussion the plan was for a reduced limit as far north as Molesworth St, as far south as Vivian St, as far east as Cambridge Terrace and as far west as The Terrace.   Read more »

Wellington Chamber of Commerce to seek judicial review of Council decision over living wage

Very pleased to see that the Wellington Chamber of Commerce is seeking a judicial review of the council’s dopey living wage rules.

It’s about time that dud councillors were held personally responsible for their dopey decisions.

Wellington City Council’s decision to pay its security contractors a living wage is headed to the High Court, and ratepayers could end up paying some of the legal bills.

The Wellington Chamber of Commerce announced on Friday that it would seek a judicial review of the council’s living wage policy.

The council, which has been paying its own staff a living wage since 2013, voted 9-6 in October to require its security services contractors do the same.

The living wage is the hourly rate a worker needs to participate as an active citizen in the community. That amount is currently $19.25 per hour but the council’s interpretation is $18.55.

Bumping up the wages of all security guards, noise control officers and cash collection staff was estimated to cost the council an extra $1.7 million on top of the price of the seven-year contract.    Read more »