The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

Urban Issues

Public transport nirvana

by Alan October 20, 2018

<rant> Imagine if you could download an app and tap a few onscreen buttons to create a Tap and Go public transport payment card that lived inside your phone. Then imagine that you could add some dollars to this card with a couple more taps. Now you’re using it on buses, trains, in convenience stores, […]

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A Concrete Legacy

by Tom May 7, 2018

Many of you will know that most of the Karori Teachers’ College campus, designed by the late Bill Toomath, is threatened with demolition by its new owners, Ryman Healthcare. I don’t know enough about the previous VUW/WCC ownership shenanigans to comment on that side, and the practicality of maintaining its role as a community asset are […]

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In which we solve all traffic problems forever

by Joanna August 21, 2017

In purely coincidental timing just before an election, the National Party is handing out new roads in an Oprah-like fashion. You get a road, and you get a road and YOU get a road. How we’re going to get a couple of billion dollars of new roads out of a budget full of holes for […]

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Shape of the Suburbs

by Tom May 11, 2017

Last weekend a friend asked on Twitter whether anyone had made a New Zealand equivalent of this poster of London boroughs, which took the outlines of the boroughs out of context by arranging them alphabetically while keeping them to the same scale. This revealed both the weirdness of some of the shapes, and the striking […]

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After the quake

by Tom November 18, 2016

These are trying and chaotic times, but I hope everyone’s hanging in there. Social media means that there’s more information available than ever before, but also that there’s a lot of misinformation and confusion, so we thought we’d put up a quick post to help you find the most official sources. Civil Defence’s WREMO page and their […]

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Winning corner

by Tom November 12, 2016

The New Zealand Architecture Awards were announced today, and while there are few Wellington projects on the list, one prominent development stands out. Zavos Corner by Parsonson Architects Ltd, a low-rise apartment complex on the corner of Pirie and Brougham streets in Mt Victoria, won the Sir Ian Athfield Award for Housing. The judges praised it […]

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The Open Space Plan

by Alan June 12, 2016

While the shape of this city is a curse for transportation planners, it is a blessing for anyone who even just occasionally wants to get outside, because the city’s edges are close by and full of opportunity. We don’t all take advantage of this though. There’s lots of good and bad reasons why people don’t, […]

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Beggars belief

by Tom April 8, 2016

You may have seen yesterday’s DomPost story on begging, which trumpeted that the Council was “considering banning begging or fining good samaritans.” This generated much justified outrage, even though deeper into the article it became clearer that this was just one extreme option among a wide range of measures that had been considered after complaints from the public, […]

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Save Kate – from who?

by Guest September 18, 2015

Walking my daughter to school on Tuesday morning, I was handed a flyer on Lambton Quay – “Keep Kate!”. As kind of a fan of the Kate Sheppard traffic lights, I took the flyer – and saw that they “were under threat of removal” with a link to a petition. I’d sign that! But turning […]

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Notional Significance: Yellow Earth

by Alf Rune September 14, 2015

[See all Notional Significance posts] Wind-hurried raindrops pelt against the Shadehouse roof, which provides but meagre shelter as I wait out the passing shower. Cold droplets descend through green air into the expectant foliage, maintaining a humid atmosphere to feed a pteridomaniac’s wet dream. In a fern-fevered nation this is an orgy of patriotic symbols, […]

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