Transmission Gully: PPPs, infrastructure and mythical sagas

Some great journalism’s been unpicking the myth, machinations and money of the megaproject.


Dear reader, please note: at Talk Wellington we’re not opposed to Transmission Gully. Wellington needs another way out, given the coastal road being swallowed by the sea and fallen on by giant fault scarp cliffs anytime soon and increasingly often as climate change advances.

But TG’s been a lead weight on the rubber sheet of Wellington transport planning. And there’s a lot of dangerously magical thinking around it. We’ve been delighted to see some excellent journalism (finally) starting to take a critical look at TG, so here are just a few samples. Do follow the “related content” links in the sidebars of the articles.

Inside Transmission Gully’s PPP mess

Dileepa Fonsecka (ex Stuff, now Newsroom) has gone deep: into PPPs, and into earthworks and civil engineering. Killer quote: “… CPB want to be kicked off the job in the hope that means that’s the end of any potential litigation, and NZTA want them to walk off the job so they can litigate them.”

PPP may dump stricken project back on Govt

The thing we should all be worried about.

A PPP grave paved with money pits

As the “dumping back on the government” looks less like scaremongering, this is a great article. Will NZ ever use PPPs again, to fund capital-heavy investments for our capital-poor country? What do other countries do? (Spotted: check out the actual URL – it’s for an earlier article cutely titled “Where’s my tanker? and other PPPs”)

When will Wellington ever get the Transmission Gully motorway?

Cheery podcast interview by The Detail with Dileepa “Mr TG” Fonsecka. Produced by The Detail (RNZ x Newsroom) and published here on Stuff – hooray for collaboration in our news media!


Have you seen any great insights into Transmission Gully? Especially older stuff, back when there was that incredible debate whether to build a highway along the coast, or inland in TG? Drop us a line in the comments below.

And finally: please donate to good journalism!

Public good journalism is hard and eats money (we’d know, in our ultimately failed attempt to go mainstream). You are what you eat but even more you are what you read.

Go on folks, you know what to do…


Banner image: Leo Cooney | Manawatū Aviation Club

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