Council shafts Wellingtonians

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, November 13th, 2009 - 32 comments
Categories: community democracy, local government - Tags:

In 2006 Wellingtonians resoundingly rejected a proposal to build a Hilton on their waterfront (834 submissions out of a total 994 were against), and the plan was again resoundingly rejected last year by the Environment Court.

In response, Kerry Prendergast and her Council have changed the District Plan to bypass the courts and ignore the community. So the waterfront Hilton will be built even though Wellingtonians don’t want it, and the courts said no!

Gee thanks Kerry. I’m sure you’ll give us access to the waterfront as under-paid cleaners for the Hilton corporation.

32 comments on “Council shafts Wellingtonians”

  1. burt 1

    Wasn’t Rodney’s rate payers responsibility bill going to stop shit like this ?

  2. Scribe 2

    So roughly 85 per cent of submitters opposed it. And we know that any time 85 per cent of the public want a certain outcome, it is incumbent on politicians to deliver on that, right?

    Oh, what that’s, you say? Only on certain issue, e.g the Hilton, but not on smacking.

    Politicians are elected to make decisions, some of which won’t be popular with many, sometimes the vast majority of, people.

  3. Chess Player 3

    Not so much ‘under-paid’ cleaners, I suspect, as ‘under water’ cleaners, once climate change starts up in earnest…

    • burt 3.1

      So the council should be selling off waterfront land for the best price it can get today if we are certain that water levels will rise 6-7 (or 67) meters in the next 10 years.

      • Chess Player 3.1.1

        Yes, but will it count as Foreshore, or will it count as Seabed?

        • George D

          That’s a good point actually! As the sea level rises, will Maori gain ownership of the land being submerged? Answers on the back of a postcard to the usual address.

        • burt

          If sea level rises occur rapidly as lprent would seem to predict, then there will be a complete shambles in NZ over ownership of seafood. Land ownership will be largely academic until the dust completely settles on relocating stuff.

          Ummm, relocating… we could build a Canberra type city in central Otago somewhere and move parliament into there leaving Wellington to the middle managers, hairdressers, telephone sanitizers, and the like.

  4. LawGeek 4

    Michael, what exactly do you object to? The block of land appears to be one that has little or no public traffic right now, cargo/industrial based, and would be improved by ANYTHING being put there. 5 floors will not exactly block off the whole waterfront.

    Basically, do you object to the specific project, or are you just ideologically opposed to ANY development of the waterfront?

    • Michael Foxglove 4.1

      Wellingtonians indicated they’d like a public development, and I think those wishes should be respected.

      • TightyRighty 4.1.1

        like that lovely public development that used to be very handy carparks outside burger fuel on courtenay place. cold, windswept, rusted iron seats only used by louts on a bender to eat burgers and miss the rubbish bin 5 metres away. I would love something useful like that on the waterfront. can’t wait to be taking a walk through there on friday night and seeing a couple who hooked up at dockside going for it. at least if there is a hilton there, they can get a room.

  5. irnswn 5

    I would rather have a hilton there next to dockside then the current crappy warehouse, or is there something valuable about that building that I am missing. What woudl you prefer instead of that warehouse?

    • snoozer 5.1

      a public space on public land?

      • Chess Player 5.1.1

        You mean, like, a vacant lot? (pun intended)

      • Nick J 5.1.2

        I have always found it staggering that the Waterfront company set up by the council has proposed developments that attempt to do such things as privatise council assetts in an overt manner. Definitely not to be trusted as an impartial upholder of the public domain, Neither is Kerry (Rex the developers spouse aka the Mayoress). If the District Plan doesnt work for developers in this instance, well Kerry just gets it changed.

  6. LawGeek 6

    What do you mean by public space? a public building? Just the current cargo space? Or empty space for randomly walking on. Do you seriously want no buildings on the waterfront? Grey concrete expanses aren’t fun.

  7. Zaphod Beeblebrox 7

    Does Wellington really have a shortage of waterfront public space? Not that I noticed.

    You need commercial activities in around the waterfront for two reasons 1.generates rate revenue to pay for upkeep of public spaces 2. Creates activity and points of interest that make surrounding public spaces more interesting.

    Five stories is hardly the Petronas Towers. Its how its designed, not what it is that should be debated.

    I’m sure people complained about the Caketin when it was proposed, does anyone suggest tearing it down now?

  8. Robb 8

    Just another reason she shouldn’t stand again, it may well benefit the local economy but generally it was given the big thumbs down. But what Kerry wants Kerry shall have. When that indoor stadium is built in Kilbirnie just wait for the traffic problems when a big event is on, Kerry will be long gone.

  9. MikeG 9

    According to Farrar, the height limit is 30 metres – this is way more than 5 storeys – it’s more like 10. Completely inappropriate for the Waterfront.

    • Roflcopter 9.1

      Good luck squeezing 10 floors of commercial building into 30 metres…. but don’t let the facts get in the way of a good yarn, right?

      • felix 9.1.1

        5 storeys assumes an average ceiling height of somewhere around 5 metres (very conservative estimate).

        Highly unlikely.

        • Roflcopter

          Typical ceiling height… 3m. Add to that approx 0.6-1.0m for ceiling space for services (HVAC, Fire, Lighting), then a slab thickness of approx 0.5-1m…. holy crap, that’s about 5m!!! who’d have thunk aye?

          Add to that a higher ground floor ceiling space for vaulted ceilings, and add a building top-off area including machinery etc, and oh my goodness…. I can only squeeze 5 floors in here.

          Your lack of basic understanding of commercial construction is sorely exposed.

  10. 350ppm 10

    The Auckland Regional Council has struggled over many years to get the Hilton on Princes Wharf in Auckland to comply with the public access requirements of it’s coastal permit, so watch out Wellington!

  11. sweetd 11


    how have the struggled? Any time I wanted to walk around the land of the hilton it was available? The only time it has not been available is when a cruise liner is berthed (customs regulations and security considerations I assume)

  12. Steve 12

    Hey Wellington,
    Auckland has a wharf that is no longer needed. Just stick it on an iceberg and it’s all yours. I mean it’s FREE, just take the bloody thing away, then you lot can argue over it. We have been shafted over this, so now it’s your turn. The vacant lot will love you for it.

  13. Jemima 13

    As a Wellingtonian, I can say over and over WE DON”T WANT THE HILTON!!! The waterfront is beautiful and we don’t want some huge hotel ruining the image. Why do we need one anyway? It’s not like the intercontinental is never available when important people come. And just the name of the hotel “Hilton” would constantly give me a migraine, thinking of the hideous girl with the even more hideous hair and even worse sense of style.

  14. Colin 14

    Hey Jemima

    So the waterfront is ‘beautiful’. What bits are beautiful to you? The bars and cafes that draw people in? The superbly interesting walkway that runs for several kilometres? The restored heritage buildings? The new buildings that will become tomorrow’s heritage? Waitangi Park where people can picnic and run around? All of these places have been carefully designed and add character to our village.

    People come to the waterfront for an experience, to have a coffee or a glass of wine, to take some exercise, to see and be seen. We need some development to encourage people to visit. All would agree that we don’t need highrise or public spaces annexed. But the Hilton like the planned redevelopment of the Overseas terminal will be fantastic additions. Space currently wasted and inaccessable will become vibrant and available, with a combination of public areas on the ground floor and private spaces in the few upper floors. What’s not to like? If you want pure green, head to Karori Sanctuary.

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