Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Back on track: Chinese whispers

While the debate about the busway still simmers away in the comments, the Dominion Post continues to get its numbers wrong. I guess the reporters are too busy to check the facts with the original sources, so they just look back at what they wrote last time and repeat or even worsen their previous errors. Today's article on page A7 (not online) is primarily about the Johnsonville town centre plan, but it touches on the scuppering of the busway option and manages to get at least two things wrong. While I've given up much hope of the DomPost ever correcting their errors, I had another go and wrote this:
Your article about the Johnsonville redevelopment (7 Nov) stated that the North Wellington Public Transport Study "has been marginalised by the Government's reluctance to remove the railway line to adopt alternative transport options, effectively scrapping three of the four alternatives - despite 1600 submissions supporting a busway replacing the trains". This statement is wrong on at least two counts.

First, there are still two options that retain the tracks. As well as the enhanced rail option there is also light rail, which would not only keep the tracks but extend them through the CBD. As far as I can see, nothing about Ontrack or the Government supporting the retention of the tracks would rule out light rail.

Secondly, there were 1606 submissions in total, of which 981 supported the busway and 589 supported enhanced rail. 456 submissions supported light rail (not 56 as you reported some time ago), so in fact there is wide public support for retaining and enhancing the rail service.

Far from hindering the Johnsonville redevlopment, the retention of rail should give certainty to Johnsonville's role as an important public transport node.


At 2:01 pm, November 08, 2006, Blogger Hadyn said...

I thought this was going to be about the Chinese Gardens. I see now how I live my life through puns.

At 9:08 pm, November 09, 2006, Blogger John Rusk said...


I share your frustration with the DomPost's coverage. I think it's fair to say that people on both sides of this debate (yours and mine :-) feel that the DomPost has covered this issue lazily and/or badly.


I followed your link to Sue Kedgley's page - it's a shame to see her repeating the same (deliberately?) misleading statements like a broken record.

At 1:22 pm, November 10, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Dom-Post never covers anything well. I was interviewed once, and they essentially made up quotes to attribute to me (while I did say all of the words they used, they weren't in the same order or on the same topic). And even through the interview Ms. Boyd was strongly pushing a point.


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