Yes, I’m campaigning for Mayor of Wellington city. There’s a twist however: I’m not promising lots of bright shiny stuff, or things that give you a warm fuzzy feeling, or that I’ll save the world or give you a fantastic long list to make me look like Superwoman.
“What I am promising you is that I will deliver you a functioning bus system.” Hah impossible!, you won’t get in or you can’t do it, you might say.
Well let me tell you, I can, and I will. I will do it without a big political machine behind me or a major benevolent sponsor or a crown observer. I will do it because the people of Wellington have backed me and said this is the Number 1 thing the Mayor must do for Wellington now.
So how will I fix the buses, when everyone has failed, I hear you ask? Well I will do what others before me have failed to do. It’s not rocket science, just plain hard work, working with others, and listening; all wrapped up in robust project governance. I will do the following.
- I will lead on this matter. I will stand up as Mayor and take responsibility for what is happening to Wellington and I will speak up on the matter at every opportunity I get
- I will re-prioritise Wellington City Council resources to do what it takes
- I will ask GWRC and NZTA to work with WCC and we will share the accountability and responsibility, and also the decision making.
- I will stop the issue by issue review of the Bus system. I will take a systems approach making sure all key components (management, technology, data, vehicles, drivers, routes, timetables, providers, contracts and funding) are considered for improvement in a cohesive way
- I will take a long-term view of the use of the public bus service, knowing it’s going to be our main mass transit for at least 5-10 years.
- I will be open and honest with you about problems and how they will be solved
- I will really listen to what you have to say, and I won’t sugar-coat the feedback.
What about the civic centre, our economy, climate change, housing, roads, rates and more I hear you ask? I will deliver on these too with more information to follow, but the buses are my first priority.
If people can’t get to work on time by bus, kids can’t get to school on time by bus, or people can’t catch a bus into the CBD and leave their car behind; then our roads and parking spaces are going to be more congested, emissions will continue to increase, business will continue to suffer, areas that are serviced by buses become less attractive and rates and tax funding will continue to haemorrhage money.
Wellington’s current bus network shambles is the real emergency.
Regarding point 3 above, there is an excellent model (that does not require the legislative set up or cost of a new agency) already in operation between Waikato Regional Council, Hamilton City Council and NZTA. They all belong to a joint committee that oversees the implementation and monitoring of the Regional Public Transport Plan in Hamilton.