Home' The Wellingtonian : April 26th 2012 Contents 11
THE WELLINGTONIAN, APRIL 26, 2012
Greater Wellington's draft Long-Term Plan is now out for consultation.
This sets out what we are going to do and how much we are going to
spend over the next 10 years. We are keen to hear your feedback.
Feedback must be received by 4pm Friday 4 May
A Summary and full copies of the draft Long-Term Plan are available from:
• Greater Wellington offces
• All libraries and local council offces
Have your say
on the Wellington
243 Thorndon Quay
New Designs by Michelle
wool felt wall tiles
Fun Sticks is an exciting new hockey
programme designed for children
aged 5 - 6 years who are 'new
players' or relatively new to the
game of hockey
Lots of hands on activities and games
Sticks and balls are provided
Starts Saturday 5 May
Played at Newtown, Porirua, Lower
Hutt, Upper Hutt and Kapiti
To learn more or to register, please go to the
'Play Hockey' menu on the Wellington Hockey
Sky City: The devil's in the detail
The political ruckus from the
proposed deal between Sky
City and the Government
over the building of a convention
centre in Auckland is showing no
sign of abating.
Last week, Economic Develop-
ment Minister Steven Joyce
denied that the Government was
selling out our gambling laws in
return for a shiny new convention
centre in the Queen City.
In Joyce s view, such deals are
done all the time, as when the
Labour Government changed the
law to provide incentives for the
Business leaders also expressed
frustration last week that
arguments about politics and
pokies were deflecting attention
from the convention centre s
alleged economic benefits to Auck-
land, and to the nation.
Thankfully, Joyce s own Minis-
try of Economic Development
released research in 2009 into the
likely economic risks and benefits
of an international convention
centre in Auckland.
Friends and foes alike of the
proposal will find ammunition in
the ministry s report, which finds
that yes, if built in the right part
of town -- not the waterfront --
such a centre would eventually
turn a profit.
To do so, however, and until the
centre reached full capacity, an
extra $10 million in subsidies
would be needed from the Govern-
Moreover, all the crucial mar-
keting would have to be carried
out by Tourism New Zealand and
by Tourism Auckland, and via the
website that is run by the confer-
ence industry s lobbying associ-
In addition, the ministry found,
such a convention centre in Auck-
land would be likely to succeed
only if other cities (such as a
rebuilt Christchurch) scaled back
any plans to compete for confer-
Also, since catering onsite
would be a likely ingredient of the
business model, other hotels and
restaurants in Auckland could not
expect many benefits from the
conference visitors to the new cen-
tre.The clear winner from the pro-
posal would appear to be Sky City.
While the casino operator would
need to meet about $300 million in
upfront costs in building the con-
vention centre, Sky City would be
allowed to install extra pokies in
its current casino.
Furthermore it could expect a
steady supply of well-heeled con-
ference attendees spilling over
into its gambling operations in
All the related risks (such as,
say, the global trend towards
teleconferencing) would be borne
by the New Zealand taxpayer/
The public would also be paying
for marketing the centre here and
overseas, on top of that estimated
$10 million in subsidies until the
centre is fully operational and
turning a profit.
At which time, via a concept
called subvention the Govern-
ment would have to pay Sky City
a percentage fee for the wider
economic activity that was being
Or, as the ministry report puts
it, subvention policies recognise
the economic value of conferences
to host destinations .
To date, the Opposition has
largely focussed on how the
proposed deal might affect the
country s current problems of
Yet Labour and the Greens
have begun to call for a re-
tendering of the entire project --
which would at least enable the
economic merits of the convention
centre to be re-examined.
Joyce, for his part, is stressing
that everything is still up in the
air -- from the exact number of
extra pokies allowed, to the dead-
line for striking any deal at all.
As yet, the Government is
showing no sign of folding its
cards, and backing out entirely.
The Wellingtonian welcomes
letters. Please supply name,
address and day phone number.
No pseudonyms. Preferred
maximum length 200 words.
Letters may be edited. Preference
is given to letters responding to
issues raised in The Wellingtonian.
Send your letters to PO Box 3740,
Te Papa funding
I am greatly concerned to note
that one of the options being
considered by the Wellington City
Council is to cut the funding of Te
Papa from $2.5 million to $1m per
year for the next 10 years.
While recognising that the
council has to take into account
other important calls upon its
funds, a cut of more than 50 per
cent to one of the city s most
important assets is astonishing.
It indicates that in the eyes of
councillors it has a very low
I ask the council to explain how
it believes that Te Papa
management can continue on a
reduced allocation without serious
damage to one of the city s most
important assets.JENNETTE McCAW
Mystery of the
I need some help. On Wednesday,
April 11 at about noon, I lost my
wallet after buying a few items
from Price Buster in Kilbirnie.
Half an hour later we
discovered the loss and
backtracked. I am saying we
because I am in a wheelchair and
I had lost my invalid s benefit of
about $280. Thank God we had
paid the bills.
We went to Winz, which helped
me with food, then went to all the
businesses up and down the main
street, starting at Westpac.
Nothing. We cancelled all my
cards. At 4.50pm a call came in
from a women saying she had my
wallet and the contact details of
the man who had who handed it to
My friend said she would go and
get it. The plan was either to meet
at the post office/Kiwibank.
This was my mistake. I didn t
ask the woman her name or phone
When we went, she was not
there. I thought she would call me
back and spent the whole week
hoping for a call but never heard
The dilemma I find myself in is
that not many people have my
phone number. My landline
number was handed to a few
shops but it is not listed.
I am asking that the woman
who rang or the man who found
my wallet hand it into the
Kilbirnie police. S C STANDISH
with light rail
The gulf between myself and the
boosters of light rail , and rail-
based commuting generally, can
be explained very simply.
They all push transport system
proposals written by advocates
who have vested interests and
ideological reasons to ignore
evidence and fabricate data on
predicted ridership and costs.
I go by studies by some of the
world s most distinguished urban
and transport economists, of real-
world outcomes in rail-based
public transport systems.
The people of the Wellington
region have only themselves to
blame if they let the rail hucksters
swindle them out of truckloads of
future rates revenue here, too.
There is a now-classic academic
paper entitled Strategic
Misrepresentation in Rail Transit
Promotion and Evaluation .
There is also one on the
psychological appeal of trains to
politicians, The Mythical
Conception of Rail Transit in Los
Demetrius Christoforou cannot
seem to see that New Zealand is
different to Europe. Would Kiwis
support immigration policies that
aimed at about 80 million people
in New Zealand? PHIL HAYWARD
Demetrius Christoforou (April 12)
quotes his European experience in
support of light rail. Is this
European cities feature high-
density, multi-storey apartment
buildings and commercial
establishments along relatively
Car ownership is low and
lifestyles largely are dependent on
public transport. That is in strong
contrast to Wellington s dispersed
population across hills, and low-
density commercial areas.
Car ownership here is high and
essential to individuals lifestyles.
Light rail would be easily
accessible to a small percentage of
Wellingtonians and provide a
minor contribution to the overall
transport needs. Its peak carrying
capacity would be required for a
minuscule time daily.
The high costs of light rail will
have to be subsidised by
ratepayers, most of whom will use
the service infrequently.
An impartial analysis of light
rail s practicability is essential.
I was glad to read your article
(April 19 ) about the archive
cartoons, going as far back as the
1860s. We New Zealanders have
long had cartoonists of world
class, second to none.
We bred David Lowe, who for
decades was the political
cartoonist of The Evening
Between the two world wars, he
was the most famous cartoonist in
the world, and achieved the
supreme accolade: he was on
Hitler s hit-list as one of the first
Britons to be liquidated when
Germany invaded Britain, Hitler
Just now, my favourite Kiwi
cartoonist is Garrick Tremain. He
gives a well-deserved roasting to
political correctness in general,
but especially to the sort that
relates to present-day Maoridom.
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