Tasting plate of goodness: recent stuff

There’s a lot going on at the moment; dive in and get a taster of it

How We Live report – a doozy

Hello, yes please

We’re pretty excited about this – amongst all the “here’s how we fix housing” initiatives, this crowd seem unusually good. The report is full of excellent stuff including a definition of home:

What is a Home? For most people, home is much more than the physical structure of the building. Home represents a place of security, spirituality, and community”

And excellently, the authors also take a really holistic perspective on all the driving forces throughout the housing ecosystem, including all the financial ones. Finally – and crucially – they provide solid recommendations to shift those forces, so they’re pushing towards housing that puts people and the planet first.

And it has lots of tips for everyday people in those different parts of the ecosystem. Like you and me! One to read, and a space to watch.

Auckland stuff to keep an eye on: light rail

It’s being taken back to the drawing board which is desperately disappointing – but as Greater Auckland observe, that’s not all bad because things had got real weird with this important project.

And what do you know: we’re having the same “airport or suburbs?” debate here – thanks in large part to the mixed up thinking of Let’s Get Wellington Moving (see below).

Artist's impression of light rail on Dominion Road

Auckland stuff to keep an eye on: Skypath

This has also been really sad. See the excellent summary by Greater Auckland here. With much more working from home and far fewer tourists, now is the perfect chance to trial reallocating a lane of the bridge to walking, scooting, wheeling, biking, as Simon Wilson sensibly explains (paywalled). We’re urging Auckland to set up a petition to urge NZTA to do so, so stay tuned!

Long Term Plans – get ready to have your say

It’s LTP time! Boring and important – they set the direction of funding for the next 20+ years. All the local councils have theirs out including Greater Wellington.

With squillions to pay to fix up pipes, what’s not funded is as important as what is. We have some hot tips.

Get ready to get your typing paws on – and get in touch if you’d like to help with a submissions party!

National Infrastructure Strategy – get ready to have your say

This is an interesting one too. The Commission is an unusual body, recommending a nationally-coordinated approach to funding infrastructure. We really need this, and it’s great that they’re consulting on it. But what’s worrying is their blind spots (little things like accessibility vs mobility, and active travel). Post coming with submission suggestions…

Let’s Get Wellington Moving reset

The next steps (orange is us, obviously). – link to PDF

There’s no satisfaction at all in saying “we called it!” back in 2017 (see the pieces linked here, and this), but the review of LGWM has found a slew of fundamental misconfigurations in both its substance (what it’s aiming to do) and its process (how it gets there). Let’s keep the pressure on them to institute all the reviewers’ recommendations. If it takes a pause to do that reset, it’s worth it. It’s too risky to push so many billions through a bad structure.

Councillors’ voting records visible – great initiative

This is a fundamentally good thing – see here for why in case it wasn’t obvious (plus, bonus vampires!).

Local body elections are coming up again next year, and it would be nice to know what incumbent candidates have been voting for, before we vote for them. Give big ups to this petition, to make it happen!

(And, #wellington, if you know anyone at the Department of Internal Affairs (look after local government public service arrangements and legislation) or Local Government New Zealand (look after local government politicians), give them a nudge to support it too!)

image displaying councillors votes on a recent item (what we'd be able to access all the time if this is actioned)
The kind of thing we could hope to see in some kind of handy, searchable database

Car-free city centre – at least a good conversation?

A first-term councillor has punted this one up and the idea of a debate has decent support from other councillors. (Perhaps a result of city council (including or especially councillors) chafing at how LGWM has removed their autonomy over even the smallest street changes that would manifest Council’s city-building, place-making goals.) Perhaps we can at least have a good conversation about it? Please? This time?

Image Credits:

  • Banner image: Shellharbour Food Photography
  • Light rail Dominion Rd: Auckland Transport
  • Skypath: via Greater Auckland
  • Council votes: Teri O’Neil
  • Car-free street: Zvi Leve

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