Let's Get Wellington Moving to be overhauled with new independent chair

5:16 pm on 3 March 2021

Governance at the troubled Wellington transport renewal plan is to be overhauled and an independent chairperson appointed.

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Photo: 123rf

An independent chair of the board, a programme director for the three-year programme and a new deputy programme director will also be added to the leadership team.

Last month a scathing review of the $6.4 billion Let's Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) programme found it at risk of failure, under-resourced and with a detrimental culture.

Project partners, the city and regional councils, and the Transport Agency met with Transport Minister Michael Wood yesterday to discuss the findings of that review.

They agreed to speed up decision making by simplifying the governance structure, and bring in an expert in team collaboration for the leadership team.

No one has been removed from the governance and leadership team.

Other changes include speeding up early-win projects for cycling infrastructure and public transport in a new, three-year programme.

These include the Golden Mile, Thorndon Quay, Hutt Road, the Cobham Drive crossing, and walking improvements in the central city.

More work would be done on larger projects like the additional Mount Victoria tunnel, the Basin Reserve tunnel and state highway improvements. These would go out for community feedback later in the year.

The Let's Get Wellington Moving Partnership Board acknowledged there had been challenges with the programme and said it was looking forward to using the lessons learned.

It said longer-term work was needed to ensure that the programme was funded and affordable - particularly given the funding challenges of Covid-19 and project cost increases.

"There is more work to do to develop long-term programme options, which will include public consultation later in the year."

LGWM programme sponsor Robyn Elston, from the Transport Agency Waka Kotahi said the changes would make it easier to make good decisions.

"We need to be more agile and integrated so that our project teams can get on with delivering great outcomes for Wellington."

Greater Wellington Regional Council chief executive Greg Campbell said the changes would give Wellingtonians more confidence in the programme.

"The scale of transformation has always been a little daunting until now. Making the programme more bite-size helps reduce that and build trust. People will be able to see what's being tackled and when."

Wellington Mayor Andy Foster said people needed to start seeing progress so confidence in the project could be restored.

He said yesterday's meeting was very positive.

"The Health Check accomplished two important things. It showed how the current set up of LGWM could be improved and secondly it identified the changes needed to ensure this long-term programme will deliver on its vision for the Capital and New Zealand.

Foster said future programme options will be shared with the community for feedback later this year, alongside engagement on the Mass Rapid Transit and Strategic Highway Improvements (Basin Reserve and Mount Victoria Tunnel) projects.

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