Home' The Wellingtonian : August 4th 2011 Contents 11
THE WELLINGTONIAN, AUGUST 4, 2011
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Will it be a two-horse race for Ohariu?
Theoretically, with National
and the Greens now
focussed purely on the
party vote, the Ohariu electorate
should be a two-horse race:
Labour s Charles Chauvel versus
the incumbent, Peter Dunne.
However, as I discovered years
ago during a brief stint advising
the Green Party, politicians often
don t do as they re told. Voters
can be even more contrary. At
the 2008 election, 10,000 centre-
right voters picked National s
Katrina Shanks, even though
National leader John Key had
asked them to support Dunne.
I ve always thought it was
going to be a two-horse race,
Dunne told me. Does it [the deal
with National] change things?
No, not really. Well, could
Dunne win Ohariu without last
week s endorsement by National?
Oh absolutely. In fact, our
polling over the last year has
shown us in a far stronger pos-
ition, said Dunne.
Spare a sympathetic thought
for Katrina Shanks. Not only is
her own leader preferring some-
one else entirely -- but is the ben-
eficiary of Key s endorsement
really saying that the sacrifice
isn t necessary?
We will never know whether
it was necessary or not, Dunne
replies. But on the basis of the
[polling] evidence we saw, we
were in a very good position and
have been for more than a year.
Has he ever felt like telling the
National Party: Don t worry, I m
We had some pretty robust
discussions. But I must confess
the announcement last week [by
National] took me by surprise. I
wasn t expecting it at this time.
Dunne has a novel explanation
for the decline in his majority in
2008. We suffered because we
had been associated with the pre-
So, rather than capitalising on
2008 being the high tide for the
centre right, he feels he was
tainted by association with
Labour? Yes, I think so.
His prior loyalty to Labour
cost him dearly. I think people
saw me as a Minister in a Labour
-led government. I think they
saw that as a negative.
Quite a different story this
Part of Dunne s brand is his
Mr Reasonable persona. Not that
he could exercise any meaningful
restraint on National -- but is
there anything in its likely sec-
ond term agenda that Dunne
could not support?
Dunne says. The sheer, com-
plete sale of state assets for the
sake of ideology. A very punitive
regime [of welfare reform] that
said for instance, welfare
payments were time-limited and
after that, you re off the cliff.
If the welfare safety net was
being pulled back to say it would
be for a particular period only
and in certain situations only,
that would be clearly a step far
And Dunne wouldn t vote for it
in Parliament? No. If we got a
return to Richardson-style
economics, that would [also] be a
step too far.
Despite the portents, losing in
November is not something
Dunne has seriously considered.
Still, if this election does turn out
to be his last hurrah, Dunne
won t be lacking in interests
beyond politics: such as family
history, sailing, taking classes in
languages, art appreciation.
A lot of things have occasion-
ally tickled my fancy, but I ve
never had the time. I d find
plenty to do.
For now though, survival in
Ohariu is his fulltime concern.
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Buckle St will remain at street
level and be widened to three
lanes between Sussex St and
Taranaki St. While a tunnel
would have had some advantages,
it would have been expensive to
build and provided minimal
This may be so as seen solely
from the perspective of the
agency, but the decision cannot
rest on that judgment alone.
This is a national issue and
must be decided by the
Government, taking into account
the wider national interest
relating to the War Memorial.
A tunnel is clearly a preferred
option. The Architectural Centre
plan featured in your July 28
issue illustrates an alternative
that must be considered.
Can it be anticipated that the
Ministry for Culture and Heritage
and the Wellington City Council
will show strong leadership on
We are from New York and have
been staying in lovely Mt Victoria.
Wellington has become a
wonderful, renewed, vibrant,
pedestrian, bike- and child-
friendly, exciting and diverse city,
which has added to the joy of
seeing our family.
Therefore, we were surprised to
hear about a proposal to create an
elevated highway in the middle of
this urban gem.
New Yorkers are familiar with
this story: a highway department
wants urban residents to endure
visual and environmental
degradation, noise and air
pollution, so those in the suburbs
can get to their destinations a
In New York, where the local
community has successfully
resisted these proposals,
neighbourhoods have thrived --
such as the Upper West Side and
It is senseless that there is no
rail link from Wellington Airport
to town. The construction of light
rail should come first, then you
might find that additional
highway construction is not
Unlike buses that need to stop
frequently and compete with cars
for road space, a dedicated rail
line benefits all users by being
faster, more convenient and
There is no reason to blight the
Basin Reserve or surrounding
neighbourhood, cut into greenbelt
or displace the members of
If a new Basin grandstand is a
good use of public funds, then
there should be no need to link it
with any other project.
Any additional Mt Victoria
tunnel should be dedicated to
public transit, cyclists and
pedestrians, and should remain
Wellington city should not be
thought of as just a central
business district , a place where
people drive in and out as soon as
they can, a ghost town after 5pm
like much of Detroit, Michigan.
Rather, Wellington is a vibrant
downtown community, with a
24-hour-a-day mix of business,
recreation, culture and resident
We hope Wellingtonians can
successfully fight to keep the
great city they have created.
E SEMEL and B HENDERSON,
Two sides to
I turned 16 in July 1951, and I
guess there are not now many
people who have clear memories
of the waterfront strike that year
(Horror days of 1951, July 28).
It s now trendy to call it a
lockout, and to put the entire
blame on the employers and the
Well, I m certainly not
condoning how the young children
of striking wharfies got treated at
the time; and I m confident that
most of us, if we d then known
about it, would have been
indignant at all that.
However, because of media
censorship (and the daily
newspapers, except one, were all
anti-Labour in any case), we
didn t have a chance of learning
all the facts.
Walter Nash, always famed for
the bricks he dropped, declared
that the Opposition was neither
for nor against the strikers, so
that he incurred a lot of derision
for his fence-sitting.
But make no mistake: there was
real blame on both sides; and most
New Zealanders had had a gutsful
of the wharfies for more than 10
Their leaders were often
Marxists who aimed to white-ant
our whole economy to collapse.
Mr McCready probably was
never told about attacks on the
houses of scabs who refused to
strike. Or about a press
photographer who got assaulted,
from behind, just for taking a
photo of the wharfies returning to
work after the strike.
Well, they never again struck
on that scale, or at all till about
1982; and most of us, even Labour
voters, were very grateful for that.
from the web
Readers' views of Option X
Freddie: As a ratepayer, I m in
favour of any option that s not an
ugly flyover -- as long as it s well
thought that s based on good
urban design. Plus, something
that promotes and encourages
walking and biking.
Chris M: Good one! This
[Option X] looks much better than
other plans I have seen. The area
to the north of the carillon was
very poorly planned. It s not too
late for a traffic tunnel along this
part of Buckle St.
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