Move the capital?

Written By: - Date published: 7:26 am, November 18th, 2016 - 116 comments
Categories: disaster, Politics - Tags: , ,

Wellington is vulnerable to quakes and tsunamis, as discussed in The Herald today. It could easily be cut off by land, as Kaikoura is (more or less) now. It is currently “in limbo” as damaged buildings and roads in the CBD are cordoned off.

With apologies to Wellingtonians who might be offended – is this really the right city to be our capital?

As a main-lander I’m pretty agnostic on the issue. But folk are discussing it (albeit somewhat tongue in cheek) on the Twitter. See also RNZ: Quake prompts new calls to move some govt services out of Wellington.

https://twitter.com/_hehir_/status/798248933013098496

https://twitter.com/iangriffin/status/799312211676053504

116 comments on “Move the capital? ”

  1. Muttonbird 1

    Auckland: Were full!

    • Gosman 1.1

      Does that mean you’re not anymore?

    • Takere 1.2

      Hellensville or Tokoroa … Kumara, somewhere in the regions where the local economy needs a “Capital” injection?

      • Carolyn_nth 1.2.1

        Helensville is a largely neglected town, these days. But it’s part of Auckland now. Plus, if capital was there, a lot less filming would go on in the area. Brokenwood Mysteries would need to move, or risk getting MPs and journos caught in background of shots, as they move between parliament and local bar/s.

        Waikato seems better choice.

    • Muttonbird 1.3

      There’s evidence of Wellington companies relocating their staff to Auckland branches for this week and next having them stay in student accomodation.

      What happens if this sort of event is bigger and more extended? Auckland can’t cope with a flood of Wellington management and office types having a working holiday in Auckland. There is no spare accommodation here. Wellington has presided over the substandard, do nothing approach to Auckland infrastructure for 8 years now while opening the Asian immigration tap with not a care for the consequences.

      To be honest, Wellington can fuck right off.

      What happened to forward thinking and future planning? Those Wellington workers who have been displaced by this small event should be able slip into a work from home plan instantly.

      Too much for this government to organise, I suppose.

  2. Ad 2

    The shock – and hence the idea of moving the capital – will reverberate long into the night because of the number of different government departments, agencies, and ministries that have been affected directly.

    So far we have a list of:
    – Archives NZ
    – New Zealand Defence Forces, SIS, and GCSB
    – Ministry of Transport and Statistics New Zealand
    – Parts of DIA
    – NZPost/Kiwibank Headquarters

    Of course, apartment blocks full of civil servants affected.

    Of course, the main property owners and their insurers and their mortgaged banks in Wellington affected.

    All of these, at their drinks sessions and dinners and barbeques, will circulate the idea of shifting – and its appalling consequences for the whole land capital base of the Wellington region – for a long time.

    The big noise I expect to come from NZDF, SIS, and GCSB. They need a building with very particular specifications, and will want reassurances about the continuity of government and order when the country is in extremis.

    At minimum I would want the government to demonstrate that it has a much more robust Plan B than just setting up a tent at Auckland’s Devonport Naval Base, which is apparently the current plan for a major destruction of Wellington.

    • Scott 2.1

      The capital won’t be moved. That is daydreaming stuff.

      But some departments / operations might be relocated as you elude to.

      I imaging the GCSB / SIS would prefer to be somewhere else. Somewhere they have more room and privacy. Say at the Ohakea airbase for example.

      • greywarshark 2.1.1

        Scott
        National were going to shift the old Parliament buildings on railway tracks to allow something else to be built on or something but sold off RadioNZ fine bit of purpose-and effectiveness to these geezers.

        This quote below and link is from blog Liberation by Bryce Edwards written in 2007. Really interesting about dramatic protests and the history that has occurred round Parliament. Notice that there is a faultline about 400 metres away. And remember the Transmission Gully? highway was to provide alternative access as the place could become landlocked quite easily.

        Expensive plans to complete the Old Parliamentary Building by putting the Beehive on wheels and shifting it were quashed in 1997 after a public outcry about excessive spending on politicians.

        However during the early 1990s the Old Parliamentary Building was renovated and strengthened – mainly due to the existence of an earthquake faultline about 400 metres away from Parliament.

        Also there are current plans to revamp Parliament and surrounds in Wellington.
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/84171870/Parliament-poised-for-major-building-revamp-including-plan-for-new-office-block

        Palmy is limited by the Manawatu Gorge being a barrier with a road that needs a major overhaul. Auckland no, for the reasons considered when Wellington was originally chosen i.e. not becoming the self-centred divisive location in NZ. JAFAS would be even more negatively used then.
        The South Island? Separated from the majority by Cook Strait.
        Hamilton – foggy? Tauranga, no way, they would be like pigs in clover there, really ignore the boondocks when they had good weather, nice scenery, handy port and airport. Waiouru, flat, central and already have government land there – winter cause problems. Back to Hamilton I think.

        • Incognito 2.1.1.1

          Auckland no, for the reasons considered when Wellington was originally chosen i.e. not becoming the self-centred divisive location in NZ. JAFAS would be even more negatively used then.

          The Place Despised by Many?

      • Henry Filth 2.1.2

        I think that moving to Ohakea might just lead to a recruitment/retention problem.

  3. Wairua 3

    Dunedin.

    • r0b 3.1

      Excuse me – helllll no!

    • weka 3.2

      Doesn’t Dunners have it’s own fault line nearby? Plus, tsunami risk, and it’s going to have major sea level rise and other CC issues. And it’s full of old buildings, and hills.

      • r0b 3.2.1

        Not sure about the fault line, the rest is all true. But in most respects Dunedin is just perfect as it is, doesn’t need messing with!

        • Ovid 3.2.1.1

          Put a government campus out on the Taieri. There’s room for expansion there – provided there’s adequate flood protection.

        • weka 3.2.1.2

          I agree r0b, last thing Dunedin needs is that headache.

          Re the Dunedin faults,

          Earthquakes occur without warning and pose a significant risk to Dunedin.

          The Akatore Fault System, just off the Dunedin coastline and the Alpine Fault running along the length of the Southern Alps have the potential to cause earthquakes severe enough to damage and disrupt infrastructure including buildings, roads and bridges as well as services such as power, communications, water and sewerage.

          An earthquake will severely limit emergency services’ ability to respond to calls for assistance. Scientists believe the likelihood of a major earthquake occurring on the Alpine fault is quite high within the next 20 years.

          http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/cd/getting-prepared/hazards

          Dunedin faults,

          http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/__data/assets/image/0004/333832/Dunedin-fault-lines-large.jpg

          and,

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/81763237/Could-Dunedin-be-hit-by-a-large-local-earthquake

          Given Chch, I think precuationary principle might apply.

          The other thing that I think many NZers fail to appreciate is that when the Alpine Fault goes, it’s going to be a national emergency, and that will include emergencies in places like Dunedin,

          This guy is talking about regional rather than local effects,

          The largest South Island cities of Christchurch and Dunedin will likely experience ground shaking of up to MMI VII, similar to that felt in many parts of Christchurch during the September 2010 Darfield earthquake. That level of shaking caused significant damage to unreinforced masonry buildings in Christchurch, but most infrastructure damage was caused by liquefaction and lateral spreading over susceptible soils throughout the greater Christchurch region.

          http://sciblogs.co.nz/shaken-not-stirred/2013/11/20/the-alpine-fault-is-new-zealand-prepared-post-1-of-2/

          I would guess from that that the hills in Dndn would be relatively ok (so no big slips, no buildings falling over, but the flat/reclaimed land will be inundated, and there will be problems with associated infrastructure (water, sewerage, power).

          Plus the grid will most likely be out.

        • Heather Grimwood 3.2.1.3

          To Rob at 3.2.1.: definitely 2 faultlines that I know of. …one down through about Bedford St and one somewhat parallel to coast short distance out to sea . Agree ambience would be ruined!

        • Macro 3.2.1.4

          Yes there is a lovely piece of real estate in Sth Dunedin by the sea I believe that is likely to be going cheap.

          • Wairua 3.2.1.4.1

            OK, Invercargill .. Mayor Shadbolt will support an international airport and it will open up the Deep South with its oceanic oil industry, oysters, aluminium smelter, whaling traditions, gold, dairy, and free education with the the Southern Institute of Technology’s “Zero Fees” scheme and some of New Zealand’s most fertile farmland.

            It has has a temperate oceanic climate with summer temperatures similar to those of the northern British Isles, the cradle of our bi-cameral democratic traditions.

            It is the “City of Water and Light” – referring to the long summer twilights and Aurora Australis, the southern lights.

            WIth the the fourth longest runway in New Zealand, Invercargill has none of the limitations of Wellington Airport which sits on former sand dunes. The next shake may not be so forgiving.

            http://deeperweb.com/results.php?cx=!004415538554621685521%3Avgwa9iznfuo&cof=FORID%3A11%3BNB%3A1&ie=UTF-8&q=invercargill&as_qdr=

            • Macro 3.2.1.4.1.1

              You are obviously overlooking the 7.8 magnitude quake in Dusky Sound in 2009! about 200 km West of Invercargill.

  4. DoublePlusGood 4

    Good luck convincing public servants to move to Palmy

    • Andre 4.1

      But what better way to express contempt towards our politicians than making them go to work in Palmy?

    • alwyn 4.2

      It would be just like the “Man Overboard” episode in that documentary series “Yes Prime Minister”.
      It was completely impossible to move any of their senior defence staff to the north of England because their wives wouldn’t be able to shop at Harrods.
      It would be exactly the same in New Zealand because they would be unable to go shopping at David Jones.

      • greywarshark 4.2.1

        alwyn 🙂

      • Rae 4.2.2

        David Jones could set up one of those mobile house to house trucks

        • alwyn 4.2.2.1

          Well their prices in comparison with what you would pay elsewhere would be similar to what I have been told about the house-trucks.
          Bloody expensive.

          I went to see the store when it opened. Like most people I know I –
          Went to the shop. Went to the item. Went to the price tag. Went white. Went elsewhere.

          They don’t seem to do much business as you see very few of their bags being carried in the street.

          Besides, can you see Mrs General Jones shopping at truck shop?

    • Yeah, it’s difficult to simply up and move entire departments.

      A much better solution is to simply require expansion plans to go to cities that aren’t prone to disasters so as to establish backup sites. Hamilton is a good idea, for instance.

  5. One Anonymous Bloke 5

    The market will provide a new capital.

  6. Puckish Rogue 6

    I wouldn’t be adverse to the suggestion of moving some of the departments to different parts of the country

  7. Bill 7

    Anyone who reads my stuff already knows I’m not really a fan of remote governance.

    But then there’s Waitangi in the Chatham Islands, and for some reason it seems appropriate.

  8. miravox 8

    Flying into Wellington reminds politicians they’re mortal, just like every one else.

    Anyway, there are very few places in NZ that don’t have a natural hazard risk..

  9. Carolyn_nth 9

    Isn’t the NZ political capital in Washington DC these days?

  10. Enough is Enough 10

    My preference is to move the beehive to Taihape.

    Wellington has absolutely nothing going for it economically other than the beehive.

    You take that away and the coolest little capital in the world would become a true zombie city.

    • Rosemary McDonald 10.1

      “…zombie city.”

      I posted last night about how absolutely safe as saf Parliament Buildings are in an earthquake….https://www.parliament.nz/en/visit-and-learn/how-parliament-works/fact-sheets/earth-move/

      Obviously the most fiscally responsible course of action would be to leave the politicians and high level Public Servants in Wellington, safely ensconced in the Super Strong Building.

      Air drops… http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/nz-earthquake/86466284/angels-take-flight-to-chopper-supplies-to-kaikoura….will keep ’em fed and watered.

      • Enough is Enough 10.1.1

        Exactly, and the fact Wellington has nothing else is a reason to keep it there.

        Otherwise it would just be a Picton with less scenery

      • greywarshark 10.1.2

        Enough is Enough
        Your mention of the Beehive is a revelation. Let’s move the politicians somewhere suitable for shouting matches, perhaps they could rent the sound shell at New Plymouth, and set the Beehive up as a world centre for the study and propagation? of bees! They are so much more valuable than pollies and a threatened species, unlike pollies who keep rolling off the production line probably born with designer suits and specially sharpened white teeth.

        People would be flocking to NZ for conferences and we would acquire some mana in the world for doing something really good and worthwhile.

  11. Clump_AKA Sam 11

    If the question is to move the capital because of seismic events then that leaves you with the Waikato region as the logical choice because it’s some what insulated from fault lines and it’s close enough to bedrock you can attach piles cost effectively and the lands not worth a million an acre

  12. weka 12

    So,

    Nowhere near the Alpine Fault

    Maximum distance from other fault lines

    Not on the coast (tsunami, sea level rise)

    Not in volcano country

    On solid ground

    Not hilly

    Not in a traditional flood catchment

    And built with both eyes on CC (esp high winds and flooding)

    I’m guessing the Waikato too, but is there going to be an increased cyclone risk?

    • Rosemary McDonald 12.1

      ‘I’m guessing the Waikato … ”

      NO!!! Too much bullshit around here already…..

      • Clump_AKA Sam 12.1.1

        You make it sound like we’re wanting to build a nuclear reactor.

      • AB 12.1.2

        Actually Hamilton is the logical place:
        – big enough to have support services in place already
        – minimal earthquake risk
        – no risk from rising sea levels
        – no tsunami risk
        – no risk from active volcanoes (Pirongia?)
        – Proximity to Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton itself – growth areas and the chance to build a commuter Hamilton-Auckland rapid rail system
        – plenty of space to build
        – could use an injection of culturally sophisticated types
        – better climate (even in winter)
        Don’t see any negatives. Let’s face it – Wellington is a pretty place and great to visit, but permanent residency should be left to seals and sea-birds

        • Rosemary McDonald 12.1.2.1

          AB…with all due respect, you clearly haven’t been to Hamilton.

          -the local hospital, the largest in the known universe or somesuch….is full already…http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/86423989/waikato-hospital-overflow-beds-in-treatment-rooms

          -we felt the big one the other night…and Raglan’s water supply was foobarred

          – er….that big ditch running through the City, does flood you know…http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/579841/Hamilton-residents-brace-for-flooding

          -Pirongia is smoking as I type…sorry, no…

          -it’s just the remnants of the fog…the fog along with the damp and bone numbing cold that typifies Hamilton in the winter. Summer…stifling hot, with no sea breezes to cool the air. Folk emigrate from Hamiton to Dunedin for a better climate.

          -we DO have Culture here…we do, we do, where else has a statue of Riif Raff to exemplify this? http://www.visithamilton.co.nz/see-and-do/public-art-culture-heritage/riff-raff ( Besides, being the cultural centre of the known universe could actually account why government services are so poorly administered…Wellington is just too cultural for the rest of our’s good!)

          -Running out of space to build. remember the Dairy Industry? Kinda needs land to do it’s thing…

          • Siobhan 12.1.2.1.1

            What with Global warming and increased droughts and the general dead end nature of relying on a Commodity market, maybe Dairying is on the way out…leaving the Waikato pretty much available for more Government Departments in the next 10-20 years.
            And Hamilton Culture could absolutely blossom under the patronage of a few politicians. I’m thinking Max Key going off the rails in an ‘Rogernomix’ T shirt. It would be an improvement.

            https://rogernomix.bandcamp.com/

          • greywarshark 12.1.2.1.2

            Rosemary
            Politics is a business in itself, especially these days. No-one has mentioned the local iwi. Would they object, I have the feeling that
            they have National connections anyway.

        • Bob 12.1.2.2

          “Don’t see any negatives”
          Clearly you haven’t visited Hamilton before…

    • Clump_AKA Sam 12.2

      I doubt it. Our building codes stand upto cyclones pretty well. Earth quakes on the other hand.

      People have really long memories. We’ve forgotten what 7 and 8 events are. I think the earthquake ride at Te Papa has been dis continued. So we’re really blind in this area.

      Everything has a story and the old argument for locating the capital in Wellington to minimise the maximum distance MPs travel has been made redundant by air travel.

      • weka 12.2.1

        “Our building codes stand upto cyclones pretty well.”

        People have to live there too, not just buildings. My point was that a decision to move parliament and government has to centre itself in AGW futureproofing as much as quake risk.

        • Clump_AKA Sam 12.2.1.1

          I think this is an oppertunity to build a brand new city from the ground up. Even the cheap option well cost billions and that dosnt fit into current fiscal dogma. So IMO it has to be one investment to solve all problems, and you can tack mental health issues on, infrastructure, skills, rail/transport and other persistence measures

          • weka 12.2.1.1.1

            Pretty much. It’s whether we want to do it now, while we’re still relatively well resourced and sane, or wait until the big one and we’ve got no money and are stressed to fuck.

            • Clump_AKA Sam 12.2.1.1.1.1

              That’s if we let politicians take over. So many times we hear the excuse that MPs hadn’t received such and such advice, even though there is huge pressure for change coming from the bottom.

              Iv noticed since the quakes that the shouting in parliament has quietened down a lot and questions are being answered more proper which I think is a good thing.

              • weka

                Personally, I think NZers should be planning for the big one locally. Government won’t be able to do the right thing on this.

                Nice observation about parliament this week.

    • Ad 12.3

      You just described Canberra

      • weka 12.3.1

        I was thinking that. We should look at the best landscape re quakes and AGW and then build a government site there, rather than looking to which city to move it to.

        Or, we could decentralise government now, and by that I don’t mean just the buildings.

      • Rae 12.3.2

        Brasilia

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.4

      So long as the Parliamentary drinking water comes from the river that sounds like a great idea.

  13. Infused 13

    Wellington isn’t the right city. I Live here. Auckland is.

    However moving it would kill wellington and re enforce everyone living in auckland

  14. Red Hand 14

    http://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/Services/Regional-services/Regional-hazards-and-emergency-management/Volcanic-activity/

    There is volcanic ash metres thick by the river in Hamilton. You can see it under the steps up to Fairfield Bridge.

    • In Vino 14.1

      Yep… When Taupo goes, it sometimes reconfigures the Waikato River from near Cambridge…

      I fear that Cape Reinga may be safest… Volcanoes and fault lines up North?

      Actually Taupo is central, and there is the advantage that when Taupo goes, Govt will go with it, and all we need is Civil Defence organised from a safer place.

      I vote for Taupo.

  15. stunned mullet 15

    The Chathams ?

    • weka 15.1

      Tsunamis.

      • stunned mullet 15.1.1

        The solution would be to situate parliament as near as poosible to the most at risk beach and spend all the tsunami protection and mitigation funds on the good people of The Chatham’s homes and businesses.

  16. ianmac 16

    Christchurch has finished being Eathquaked and all the new buildings are Earthquaked-proof. Not Auckland because volcanic eruptions are imminent.
    So lets move to Christchurch. OK?

  17. JanM 17

    Could I suggest the original site of Kororareka (Russell)? It’s nice and warm up there and might make some of our politicians and public servants relax and develop more interest in fishing than of finding fresh ways of bossing us all around and making our lives a misery

  18. adam 18

    Let’s be safe about it, and move the politicians to Auckland,

    Island that is….

  19. YNWA 19

    John Key’s master plan nearing completion…

  20. Jim 20

    Wellington seems to have survived the earthquake and after shocks quite well. Only half a dozen high rises out of 100 odd seem to have significant issues.The amusing thing seems to be that apart from the Molsworth Street building the damaged buildings seem to be the modern buildings with high earthquake ratings.

  21. mary_a 21

    Only colonial Brits could possibly build the country’s capital on a major fault line, while establishing the biggest city on a volcanic field!

    Perhaps time to get back to Kororareka as the nation’s capital. Might be further north, but with air travel and modern communication technology these days, can’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work.

    • Graeme 21.1

      The irony of Wellington’s choice as capital is that it was only viable as a city due to the several meters uplift from the 1855 Wairarapa earthquake. This gave land access to the Hutt Valley. Then it was seen as a huge opportunity, today, we’d run a mile.

  22. Observer Tokoroa 22

    .
    . The 52 non extinct Volcanoes are sooner or later going to roll the Super City right off the isthmus.

    Besides, it is an extremely violent place. Every man women and child needs three strong body guards. It also has the highest number of fraudulent hustlers in the South Pacific. A number of them carrying Knighthoods on their shoulders.

    No matter by which standard you assess it, Auckland also is way behind every other City in New Zealand. Dull buildings of no significance. Britomart excepted. Really, The place has nothing but 24/7 sound of Exhaust Pipes belching millions of liters of filth into the air.

    Is probably okay if you are in one of the gangs or drug covens. Stuff comes easier then.

    I do not need to say our weakest Politicians live there. Shy of Tax, they hit the Paye pockets of the rest of New Zealand.

    . If only Auckland had a bit of imgination …

  23. Mrs Brillo 23

    Face facts. This is a mountainous country with constant seismic and volcanic activity.
    Nowhere is immune to destruction. Nowhere. It’s written in our geology. Them’s the breaks. If you were mooting a government shift ten years ago, Christchurch would have been the top name on everyone’s lips – so stable!

    Parliament and its government departments have to be no more than about 20 minutes walk from each other because of the number of times public servants get called in for a face to face meeting/briefing on something noone wants a phone or email record of, among other access reasons. And departments often have to meet and work together; they are not islands.

    So you would have to shift the whole caboodle. Who pays for that? The last time government shifted, our population was under half a million, and all government departments fitted into one building. Times have changed.

    There’s also the personnel issue – a stupendous lot of relocation would be required. Wellington residents famously are twice as well educated as the national average. If you did not relocate them with the departments, government performance would be scratching for top IQ staff.

    This is a non starter.

    • I’m with you up to the necessity for face-to-face meetings.

      Teleprescence is perfectly acceptable and it isn’t necessary for every department to be in Wellington, at least not fully. It’s good for the regions to farm some government work out to places that have better safety records, and it won’t kill us in Wellington to share the load a bit.

  24. left_forward 24

    Its obviously the Far North – furthest away from the fault lines and away from Auckland’s volcanoes too – say Hokianga – the returning place – the cradle of Maori society – great manaakitanga and kai for visitors – Maori economic development – Kaikohe airport nearby – perfect for Te Tiriti relations – say no more!

    • Pete 24.1

      Say no more? Say a lot more! The Holiday Highway would be done, the bridges would be two way, Winston could be closer to home!!

    • Rosemary McDonald 24.2

      Okay….if you lot will promise faithfully to put the idea of relocating the nation’s capital (and all it’s baggage) to the Far North out of your minds, I’ll give my unreserved permission to dump the lot of ’em in the Waikato. Even Hamilton….just please, not the Far North.

      • left_forward 24.2.1

        Haha your right – it would be unfair on the north, wouldn’t wish it on my best friend! …all tongue in cheek of course.

  25. Philj 25

    It took the powers that be about 100 years to get the daylight saving hours about right. How long to get Auckland public transport sorted? Slim to no chance. Kick the can down the never ending road. You have to laugh or weep.

  26. Philj 26

    It took the powers that be about 100 years to get the daylight saving hours about right. How long to get Auckland public transport sorted? Slim to no chance. Kick the can down the never ending road. You have to laugh or weep. Clever little monkey’s we are.

  27. Siobhan 27

    All very funny…but what about the BIG issues…like Train Looting.

    “NZ First MP Ron Mark is calling for a law change imposing tougher sentences on looters, saying they should be given 10 years hard labour….” train looters should be slammed hard.”

    Mark my words, that’s BIG the issue that’s arisen from this earthquake, and will be big this election and i think you’ll find that Ron Mark is yet again pinpointing the cereal stuff….

  28. Daveosaurus 28

    Ranfurly. Flat, not flood prone, no chance of being affected by climate change, nowhere near an active or dormant volcano, and far enough away from the Alpine Fault that it won’t be destroyed.

  29. Paul 29

    Kaikohe?

    Nowhere near the Alpine Fault
    Maximum distance from other fault lines
    Not on the coast (tsunami, sea level rise)
    Not in volcano country
    On solid ground
    And built with both eyes on CC (esp high winds and flooding)

    “Kaikohe is a town in the Far North District of New Zealand, situated on State Highway 12 about 260 km from Auckland. It is the largest inland town and highest community above sea level in the Northland Region. With a population of just under 4000 people it is a shopping and service centre for an extensive farming district and is sometimes referred to as “the hub of the north”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaikohe

  30. mosa 30

    What was that comment that John Key made….Wellington is dying.

    Now add Kaikoura to the list.

    • Graeme 30.1

      It’ll only be a short hiatus for Kaikoura. Probably the best outcome for the town would be to end up like Glenorchy, at the end of a long no-exit road through Lyford. Then it would become a true destination / eco resort rather than somewhere everyone passes through, with the railway line crashing and squealing at all hours of the night.

      But SH 1 will probably still go through there, but I’m not so sure about the railway.

      As for Wellington dying, that’s because the jobs are being exported, a lot to Auckland.

  31. greywarshark 31

    Hey hey look down here. I have had a great idea. Let us move the pollies out of Wellington and they will be hosted in the regions, say for two terms. Then when they leave there will he all the infrastructure that the regions need at little more cost to the taxpayer than running Parliament. Just like the Olympics.

    And we know that the pollies get so comfy in their regular places and sort of forget what they are there in Wellington for. This way they will get out and meet the people who pay the taxes to keep them there, or wherever area has tendered and planned to host them and won the bid. (Once a host, then not again for ten years say, and the South Island gets a go ever second draw, so once every 12 years.)

    Another thing that we know is that governments are running on lies these days. We hope they will do well for us but in fact the ruling dictum that is in the air about government is, that it is no good. And there should be less of it and less taxes for the wealthy, and less wages for the working stiffs. So we have government not caring much what they do as long as it seems good enough to keep the vote, and actually running it down because they are being true to their mission which is that government is no good. Where is the incentive for them to actually run the country for the people’s good? So why give them cushy fittings as if they actually deserved them. Make them bloody work for us instead of the other way round. Send them to the regions away from their sweet suites.

    • Rosemary McDonald 31.1

      This idea I like.

      A problem shared and all that.

      It’ll be kinda like passing dotty old Aunty Doolally around.

      Seriously though…why not?

  32. I think they are okay in welly. There is nowhere safe really . Earthquakes and so forth are predicitably unpredictable. Best to spend the money on traininjg autonomous rescue groups able to make decisions at ground level, self sufficiency regions and preparedness for people.

    • weka 32.1

      My concern is that the big one will damage Welly bad enough we are bankrupted and if we have a proto-fascist govt at the time, then things will go badly for everyone, no matter how well prepared we are locally. Quakes have huge political effects as we know. Even if we are to say, let Wellington fall, it’s not like the fall out is just going to be Wellington’s.

  33. Thinkerr 33

    Auckland.

    Move prisoners out to the regions and turn Mt Eden prison into a new parliament building. It’s full of heritage and Gothic stately authority.

    Plus, if Serco continued to run it, there could be compulsory fight clubs between MPs.

    And, no need to change the kitchen menu, either. What’s healthy and nutritious for prisoners is fine for a cabinet minister, and we do want to balance the books and have tax cuts.

  34. Philj 34

    I thought government had already moved as the important decisions are made overseas. Acknowledge the fact and move it to Washington DC.

  35. Andrea 35

    Howsabout leaving all pollies at home, in their electorates, and use the wonders of technology to debate, communicate, collaborate?

    Save us zillions – especially for paying for those from farflung areas needing taxi rides and plane connections and unearned privileges such as Koru Club fees.

    Then, once or so a year, they could infest various towns and cities as a rolling disaster, spread their exorbitant pay around, and have a real, clammy handshakes and photo-ops meeting before they all go home again.

    Most government departments have regional offices. It can’t be that hard to have a ‘in the case of cataclysmic disaster Head Office duties are delegated to – the sub-office at Putaruru’, or wherever.

    Or are we still in the days of the Christchurch ferries and the overnighter from Auckland?

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