Island Bay 2: The Shelly Bay Disaster – Act II (the great cost explosion)

I suspect by now, that most folks are aware of the amazing ineptitude of our City Council when it comes to the cycleway at Island Bay – how a complete lack of consultation caused mammoth issues with a short 1.7 km bit of road through Island Bay, and is continuing to cost boatloads of cash as we speak.

I find it unfathomable how the City Council can justify spending $1.5 million on the first iteration (of something the community apparently didn’t want), and then up to another $6.2 million to fix the darned thing. By fix, of course, I actually mean:  worse than before the cycleway change was implemented.

To put a few numbers on it, there were 254 parks originally in this area of Island Bay, there are currently 220 parks, and after the “fix”, there will be 163 parks. Removing 36% of the parking in Island Bay at a cost of $7.7 million (that’s $84,000 per car park removed!) doesn’t seem like particularly good thinking, or particularly good value for money, and will have a definite impact on local residents and especially businesses. But this is The Monster called Wellington City Council we’re talking about, and it doesn’t seem to care about the human cost. It is a Monster after all.

If we move on to the Councils’ proposal for Shelly Bay, we find that the same people who brought us the Disaster of Island Bay are now happily estimating a total infrastructure budget of $20 million for the proposed Shelly Bay development.

This $20 million (half of which they want you to pay for) is supposed to cover the upgrade of more than 3.5 Km of road, new traffic lights, completely new sewage, and drainage systems, as well as new reservoirs and water supplies.

All for just $20 million. Yeah, Right.

Given what’s happened in Island Bay, the poor ratepayers should be pretty worried about the Shelly Bay proposal from the council. As far as I can tell, they haven’t done detailed analysis of any of the infrastructure spend, and if the cost of just the cycle lane is any indication, we can expect that the actual infrastructure spend is going to be a lot higher then they’re indicating.

As far as I can tell, that $20 million was just pulled out of thin air.

Never mind that the council is proposing that you, the ratepayer needs to line the developers’ pocket with at least $10 million of your cash, but if the same thing that happened in Island Bay happens here (and given it’s the same people doing it, that’s a pretty good bet), expect that infrastructure to balloon out by another $20-40 million at least.

If we just use the multiple that’s going on in Island Bay right now, we can expect the infrastructure to explode to just a little north of $100 million, $90 million of which is going to come from you. That’s $440 from every man, woman, and child in Wellington. Direct from you, into the developer’s profit margin.

So let’s fight the good fight – tell city council: NO to ratepayer subsidies of big developers, and NO to selling off our assets.

P.S.: Don’t forget to put your submission in by 5PM August 14, 2017

CLICK HERE for the Wellington CIty Council Submission Site

or

CLICK HERE for a printable submission form.