Heritage status of the Basin Reserve

At the public meeting on Tuesday, a number of questions were asked about the heritage status of the Basin Reserve and the various buildings on the grounds. None of the speakers had the answers at their fingertips, but supporter Tom Robinson e-mailed yesterday to say that the Basin precinct is definitely listed on the Historic Places Trust register – there’s a listing for the Basin Reserve Historic Area, and another separate listing for the Basin Reserve Pavilion.

That’s great news – and the Save The Basin Reserve Trust will contact the Historic Places Trust to see if they have a view about the flyover.

Tip ‘o the black cricket cap to Tom.

Save The Basin Reserve campaign (and Mt Vic residents!) make the media

There has been some recent reportage of the Save The Basin Reserve campaign:

• TV3’s Sunrise programme conducted an interview with Kent Duston regarding the plans for the Basin on Wednesday 26 November.

• TV3 News covered the public meeting on Tuesday 25 November and gave some background on the campaign, including interviews with Kent Duston and Basin Reserve Trust chairperson John Morrison.

• Lindsay Shelton provides insightful commentary on the flyover and its Wellington context on Scoop.

• The debate about the flyover has been gathering steam on The Standard, with plenty of comments about the proposal.

• In its usual display of pro-roading boosterism, the Dominion Post completely fails to make any comment about the flyover, but runs an article on how delightful John Morrison’s “lipstick on a pig” stand will look!

• Alexandra Johnson from Whitireia takes a look at the flyover issue and the public meeting on Newswire.

We’ll add more media coverage as it occurs.

Well-attended public meeting passes resolution to defend the Basin Reserve

Tonight’s meeting at St Joseph’s was very well attended, with nearly 100 people packing the meeting room to hear Cr Iona Pannett, Kent Duston, Cr Celia Wade-Brown and MP Sue Kedgley speak about the impending danger to the Basin Reserve. The meeting heard that the project made no economic sense, would seriously degrade the environment at the Basin, and that much better alternatives were available at much lower cost.

A resolution was passed by the meeting:

“We oppose the construction of the flyover at the Basin Reserve, and that the Save The Basin Reserve Trust should use all legitimate public, political and legal avenues to encourage the responsible agencies to find a better solution.”

As can be seen from the photo, it was standing room only for attendees, who had a good view of the Basin Reserve from the western windows in the meeting room.

The PowerPoint presentation and the meeting handout are available below for download. These files were not originally intended for a Web audience, so they are quite large – sorry!

Save the Basin Reserve: Essential Information

While the savethebasin.org.nz website is under construction, we thought it was important to provide some information to everyone who wants to know exactly what the NZ Transport Agency and the Greater Wellington Regional Council have planned.

Q: So what are these government agencies planning?
A: The intention is to build an enormous concrete flyover across the northern face of the Basin Reserve linking the entrance to the Mt Victoria tunnel on the eastern side with Buckle Street on the western side – along with a series of onramps and offramps to enable traffic to flow around the Basin. This huge concrete construction will be around 10 metres tall, will cost (we estimate) more than $50 million, and will completely ruin the Basin Reserve as a sporting and cultural venue.

Q: I’ve heard this is necessary to accommodate growing traffic volumes …
A: Only if you believe the GWRC traffic modeling. The surveys conducted by the Mt Victoria community early in 2008 showed that around 70% of vehicles passing through the Mt Victoria tunnel at rush hour were single occupant – in other words, they were a single person traveling to and from work in the most inefficient way possible. We think that simple travel demand management and some re-phasing of traffic lights would achieve all of the goals of the flyover at a small fraction of the cost. And besides, the latest traffic surveys indicate that traffic volumes are falling, not rising.

Q: According to the Greater Wellington Council, the flyover has a positive economic impact
A: Again, you have to be drinking the traffic modeling Kool Aid to think that there is any positive economic benefit. The Council estimates that the cost of the project is around $35 million, but that’s before the inevitable cost over-runs. After all, the Inner City Bypass cost around double the original estimates, so there’s no reason to think that the flyover will be completed for anything like the figure being quoted. And given that the “benefits” were only marginally greater than the costs, the inevitable – and substantial – cost increases will mean the project never makes any economic sense.

So what will the impact on the Basin Reserve be?
The atmosphere at the Basin will be completely ruined by this project. As the flyover will be hanging about the fence-line, the traffic noise levels within the Basin will be around double what they are today, and spectators will be lucky to hear the sound of bat on ball at all. In addition, the pollution from the cars and trucks will be free to blow across the Basin in the prevailing northerly wind, so the environment will be much less pleasant for spectators and player alike – it will become significantly more polluted and noisy than it is today.

So what can I do?
Unfortunately the New Zealand Transport Agency and the Greater Wellington Regional Council have a long and illustrious history of brushing aside the concerns of local residents, and the Basin Reserve is no exception to this trend. Public consultation on the issue has been largely ignored, with 79% of submitters strongly opposed to construction of the flyover. However NZTA and the Council seem determined to push ahead anyway. So to prevent the Basin Reserve being ruined, here’s what you can do:

• Write to Fran Wilde, Chair of the Greater Wellington Regional Council, and let her know that you’re opposed to the loss of the Basin Reserve. Her postal address is c/- GWRC, PO Box 11-646, Wellington 6142.
• Contact you local MP and let them know that you’re unhappy with the loss of an iconic New Zealand cultural facility. You can find postal and e-mail addresses for your MP here.
• Call the New Zealand Transport Agency on 04 894 5400 and let them know you’d prefer cricket to boy racers and noisy trucks and the Basin Reserve, and that you don’t want your tax dollars wasted on pointless roading projects.

Public Meeting: Save the Basin Reserve, 7pm Tuesday 25 November at St Josephs

A public meeting is planned to save the Basin Reserve and to stop the flyover planned by the New Zealand Transport Agency (previously Transit) and the Greater Wellington Regional Council. This is the official campaign launch to stop the flyover.

All are welcome – come along and get involved with the campaign.

Tuesday 25th November 7:00pm
St Joseph’s Church
150-152 Brougham Street, Mt Victoria

The New Zealand Transport Agency is proposing that a destructive $33m flyover be built around the iconic Basin Reserve. If you want to save the Basin Reserve and protect the surrounding suburbs from its adverse effects, come along to the launch and get involved with the campaign.

For more information, contact:

Kent Duston kent[at]mtvictoria.org.nz or 021 536 873

Councillor Iona Pannett iona.pannett[at]wcc.govt.nz or 384 3382 or 021 227 8509