Home' The Wellingtonian : December 22nd 2011 Contents DECEMBER 22, 2011
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2-5, 10, 15 Best pics 8 Opinion 9 Wellingtonian interview
13 Dining 16 Sport
Why John Key
is still the
We salute a
person who has
done us proud
What made the news
Rugby, the election and Wellywood
drove slowly around and
around the Wellington
Airport loop in May to show
what they thought about the
proposed Wellywood sign
for the Miramar cutting.
By EMMA BEER
It s been busy in Wellington, with the
Rugby World Cup, a Hollywood-style
hillside debate, a wandering penguin
and even the odd spot of snow.
Wellington had its first real snowfall in
decades. Buses, trains, roads and some
workplaces closed in August as the once-
in-a-generation storm hit the capital.
One of the biggest stories was the
Airport s decision to put a Wellywood
sign above the Miramar cutting.
After concerted protests, the airport
backed down and agreed to hold a
competition for an alternative. Though
many were upset that having no sign was
not an option, Wellywood eventually lost
out to Wellington -- Blown Away.
An emperor penguin was found on
Kapiti Beach in June and became a cause
celebre. Tagged Happy Feet, the penguin
garnered huge publicity as it was nursed
back to health at Wellington Zoo before
being released into the southern ocean.
Wellington City Council had its first
full year under the leadership of mayor
Celia Wade-Brown, and seemed to
produce more talk than action.
The completion of the Manners Mall bus
lane made headlines for the wrong reasons.
Since it was opened in November 2010,
eight pedestrians have been hit by buses. In
June, Venessa Green was killed when she
was hit on a section of Willis St, between
Mercer and Manners streets.
The council also introduced a new
recycling system. A wheelie-bin was issued
for recycling, and the old green bins were
kept for glass. These are collected on
The timing confused some residents, and
there was also questions about who had
and hadn t received a wheelie-bin, and why.
Despite some teething problems, the
system appears to be working well now.
The Basin Reserve Flyover v Tunnel
debate simmered all year.
The council supported the flyover after
eventually discounting the Architecture
Centre s greener Option X.
However, there was a caveat. The
council, ever optimistic, intends
approaching the transport minister to see if
he would mind forking out about $500
million to put a tunnel under the Basin.
New Zealand finally regained rugby s
coveted Webb Ellis Cup in 2011.
Boosted by several key Wellington
players, the All Blacks powered into the
Rugby World Cup final, and then eked out
a tense 8-7 win over France.
Some businesses did not reap the
financial boom they d hoped for from the
World Cup, but the Fanzone on the
waterfront was so popular it was kept open
two weeks longer than planned.
Wellington s city streets were packed on
October 26 for the All Blacks victory
parade, with crowds reminiscent of the
1995 America s Cup celebrations.
Though it wasn t as close as the World
Cup final, there was also a general election
this year. John Key s National Party won
by a landslide, though Wellington remained
largely red. Peter Dunne, the UnitedFuture
leader, won Ohariu, the only Wellington
seat that didn t go Labour s way.
Annette King won Rongotai for the sixth
consecutive term. She stepped down as
Labour s deputy leader and Wellington
Central MP Grant Robertson
became David Shearer s deputy
in the new Labour team.
The Te Tai Tonga
Maori Party MP
for Labour s Rino Tirikatene.
Wellington property owner and
former Phoenix Football Club owner
Terry Serepisos was never far from the
headlines and was eventually declared
bankrupt. Ownership of the football club
then changed hands.
Wellington lost some important
fixtures during the year.
Long-standing music store Real
Groovy closed, as did many NZPost
shops, to the disappointment of locals.
Several Wellington identities died,
including Business Roundtable
executive director Roger Kerr, 66,
architect Keith Cooper, 84, Onslow
rugby and bowls stalwart Stan Judd, 91,
ballerina Sarah Neil, 78, dancer
Alexander Grant, 86, writer and
publisher Dame Christine Cole-Catley,
88, former National Council of Women
president Dame Vivienne Boyd, 88,
popular sports broadcaster Graeme
Moody, 59, and, right at the end of the
year, drag queen and one-time mayoral
candidate Carmen, 75.
Radio New Zealand journalist Phillip
Cotterell, 43, died this month after
Wellington s first random street murder
in more than a decade.
The earthquake that devastated
Christchurch in February brought out
the giving nature in many
Wellingtonians. Children from
Canterbury were welcomed to several
schools around the region, as were
businesses, family and friends.
To help with the emergency,
Wellington sent aid, and civil defence
workers and army personnel travelled to
Christchurch. Inspector Mike Wright
headed south to lead the victim
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