Local government elections - Talking walking at the local level

The local government election voting papers have gone out and now it is up to us to use our powerful voice and vote for a more walking friendly place. Walking is the human mode of transport that is much more than just a way to get from one place to the other – and this is how it rates on candidate election platforms.

To help find out what candidates think Wellington and Hamilton Living Streets have asked candidates what they will do to promote walkability. Check out the Facebook pages with more details on this at Living Streets Aotearoa Wellington and Living Streets Hamilton.

Thanks to all the candidates who took the time to respond to our request for information on walking priorities.


The Wellington candidates responded to 3 questions:

1 What is your vision for transport in Wellington?

2 What are your 3 top priorities for pedestrians and walking?
3 Would you support lowered speed limits in the central city and around schools?

I have abbreviated the responses into this table with some of my picks for great walking ideas in no particular order – please check out the Facebook pages for the candidates own words.





3 priorities for walking

Lower speed limits

Mayoral candidates

Johnny Overton

The first stage of my localisation revolution would involve developing of a trail blazing localisation, & future proofing vision. Plans for an integrated, secure & more environmentally friendly transportation system would be a key aspect of this vision.

I’m in favour of a totally new, integrated, more environmentally friendly transportation system






Helene Ritchie

Wellington will have a joined up multifaceted transport system with open democratic governance and asset ownership, with rail (including light rail) funded by central government to release funds for walking, . . . car sharing, water transport . . .

Very comprehensive response

Safe tree-ed streets CBD lanes


Policy clarity and rules re shared paths, shared roads

Freedom to roam our open spaces-Waterfront, the natural environment tracks in the hills and TownBelt, relaxed without fear ...

I would prefer one low speed throughout the CBD…from the place of entry into the CBD.



Justin Lester

A transport network that has a balanced focus on walking, cycling, public transport and the roading network. Wellington has by far the highest public transport and walk to work statistics in the country and I want to ensure it remains that way.

1. Continuing investment in our laneways to make them pedestrian thoroughfares and safe


2. Better signage and access to our walking tracks in our reserves

3. Greater pedestrianisation of CBD spaces.

Yes, I have done so for the past six years on Council and will continue to have this as a priority.


Onslow - Western

Paul Douglas

See my "getwellymoving" submission to NZTA Wellington for recent public consultation.

Fines for doggy dos

No footpath car parking

Encourage walking

Yes 200metres all around schools


Matthew Plummer

I am not ideological about transport in our city. I want to see investment in a mix of transport modes – getting cars out of our CBD by investing in SH1, improved safety for cyclists at dangerous / difficult intersections, and better pedestrian flow through the CBD.


Explore pedestrianisation of Lambton Quay. I favour pedestrianising the three blocks between Willis and Panama streets, which would see buses running up Panama Street, with minimal disruption to schedules and passenger convenience, but also reclaiming a significant section of the Quay.


Making Tory St more pedestrian friendly.


Restoring Council's budget for pedestrian improvements, which I understand has been reallocated to other modes in recent years.




Dianne Calvert

A balanced connected network for all modes of transport based on future needs. This means that we must consider climate change impacts and how people will want to move around and live within the city. Our economy and social enjoyment of the city is hampered by congestion and has been for some time. A priority must on improving SH1 by either under or around the city . . . this will open up more opportunities and efficiencies for walking, cycling and public transport within our CBD. 


Ensuring cyclists and pedestrians needs are included in any development plans. E.g. There has been large scale medium density housing development at the bottom of Onslow Road yet there was no provision for a footpath connecting to the main arterial road (Hutt Rd) which is only about 100 metres away.


Looking at opportunities to further pedestrianize the CBD


Supporting improved infrastructure , signage and promotion of walking tracks especially those between suburbs and CBD e.g. Bridle Path in Kaiwharawhara needs improved lighting.


CBD- Yes but not in the areas that are currently being used as a thoroughfare to travel north/south or east/west across the city Schools – Yes as part of a package of measures to improve safety around schools


Ray Chung

My vision for Wellington transport is multi-modal. I think Wellington already has great pedestrian access, but this can always be improved. I support cycle safety, and would support sensible initiatives to make cycling in Onslow-Western a more viable option. We also need to ensure that our streets are accessible to people with limited mobility.
Finally, I don’t foresee a time when cars will be totally out of the equation, so I also support widening the Mt Victoria Tunnel.

Reduce trip and slip hazards. The bricks used along much of the CBD become slippery when wet, or trip hazards when they shift. This is a barrier for people with limited mobility, and a real risk for elderly residents.


Lower gradient transitions between the road and footpaths. This will help to ensure prams, wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and bikes can move more freely.


Having more dog friendly environments will encourage dog owners to get out and walk more frequently.


I fully support the 30km speed in place in around Willis Street, Lambton Quay and other places. Extend to take in Taranaki,  Courtenay Place section of Kent and Cambridge Terrace and elsewhere to improve pedestrian safety.



Thomas Morgan

I like the answers provided by Jill Day and Rob Goulden so have a look at those.






Jill Day

Wellington prioritises development of walkways, cycleways, public transport routes and roading in general. Consideration needs to be given to how these all interact and how they improve accessibility for Wellingtonians. Public transport system that is both convenient and affordable for everyone. Having an integrated ticketing system (managed with a single card) between modes of transport would be ideal.

Promotion of the social, financial and health benefits of walking, cycling and public transport. 

Making sure that pedestrian walkways are wheelchair and pushchair friendly, ensuring a high level of visibility and safety.


Continuing to develop walking tracks around our city. We are very lucky to have a diverse landscape which provides excellent opportunities for outdoor activities.

Yes. Where there are high numbers of pedestrians it makes sense to have traffic moving slower. I also support lowering speed limits around schools, particularly at drop off and pick up time.



Robert Murray

Convenience for all regardless of the mode used.


Preserve the shortcuts and paths that make getting around Wellington so convenient

Provide at least one footpath for those few streets that still do not have them


Try to inculcate a sense of awareness in pedestrians for their own safety


Not in favour of lowered speed limits



Rob Goulden

I am pretty happy with the current City Council plans however Wellington needs to sort the congestion around the Basin reserve. There needs to be better bus services all over the city and as many different forms of transport available to people so they have choices.

More footpaths in places where they don't have them at present.


Better access for people with disabilities into buildings and off the corners of footpaths

Continued maintenance of our track system for recreational walking.

I don't see a need to drive fast in the CBD so I think most people would be happy with a lower limit. It leads to less accidents and injuries.



Sarah Free

Much more convenient and affordable bus services; which are user friendly for families, students, the elderly and people with disabilities. There will be more people choosing to walk, cycle or motorbike; and more provision for service vehicles and people who need mobility parking. Improvements to relieve peak hour congestion on SH1.

Thinking about the needs of the elderly when walking around suburban centres- footpath surfaces, pedestrian ramps for wheelchairs and safe crossings at intersections.


A safe crossing under or over Cobham Drive near the ASB Centre.

Better maintenace of our walkways and zig-zags, with better lighting.



Brendon Bonner

Much better public transport

- People being economically incentivised to LEAVE THE CAR AT HOME
- Much more attention paid to the needs of walkers and public transport users
- Increased cycle lanes
- A regional passenger rail system that dovetails with the needs of Wellington city
I would want to see the encouragement of all modes of physically active transport (I love walking). But definitely not one over the other, or to the detriment of others. And I would see these modes as complementing our roading and public transport network - part of people's transport choices.

increased support for walkers in Wellington city as a priority advocacy role for me if elected to council. The condition of footpaths, the creation of cycling areas etc all require the attention of council and councillors.

In my many walks around the hills and tracks of Wellington I have become all too aware of the poor state of track/path signage and even missing signage!. We know we have an obesity problem in NZ and we want people to walk – let’s make it easy for them.


People need to know the pathways and tracks they can use. They need to know that they are well signposted, well maintained and that they will be safe. Most of all they need to know that they are there!

I would want to retain the existing speed limit on major thoroughfares and reduce the speed limit on narrower streets or high foot-traffic pedestrian zones. So I would look at each road on a case by case basis.


Don Macdonald

There's no doubt. Cars will be halved in 2 1/2 years. Buses, cycle, walking will prevail. Cycle way. Monitor track useage and grow level 50%. No second tunnel. No flights. No wgtn runway extension.

Walking for health recreation leisure.
Social environment climate. 
Enjoy the sun scenery.



Bus stops - You can walk it to next stop in 3.30 mins.
Welcome aboard super gold pension.
No black windows.
Real time more visible - Hard to read. No snapper - tag in tag out 

No suv taxis - 350 CO2.

Yes I would support no cars around schools.


Brian Dawson

I want to see Wellington as a city that prioritises walking, cycling and public transport, but also recognises that some other traffic is inevitable and essential. Reducing the cost of public transport is a vital step towards reducing traffic flow, and ensuring we have safe and adequate walking spaces is another.

Safe, well-lit and well-maintained footpaths and walking tracks throughout Wellington.


Maintaining, improving and expanding the series of covered areas in the city.


More shared-space and some pedestrian only areas in Te Aro, eg parts of Tory St and the roads running off it. I would also like to see us exploring having certain areas as pedestrian only at set times, such as weekends.


Definitely! As an inner city resident and someone who occasionally has to pilot large vehicles through the city I fully support a 30km speed limit for the entire CBD and around schools.



David Gee

Free flowing would be the goal, and the most important step is sorting out State Highway One in and out of the CBD. 

Beggars on the footpath, taking up space, can be intimidating around ATMs. I have also experienced swearing and aggression.


Lighting where necessary to ensure greater safety at night.


I would like to limit ‘furniture’ on the footpaths, including trees. Trees often take up space that could provide more walking space.

Bonus answer: I find the older brick paths from Manners Street back through Courtenay Place, as well as Civic Square, can be very slippery when wet. This is a concern especially for older people. This should be addressed in any future work done on those areas.

No, I have no issue with the current limits at present.



Milton Hollard

My vision is for a whole-of-transport approach to be taken on issues relating to the effective movement of people and goods, encompassing pedestrians and walkers, cyclists, public transport (with provision of priority lanes) and other vehicular traffic. The different modes should be kept separate wherever practicable. I’m not a fan of shared space for pedestrians and cyclists but this may be inevitable in some places, say around the coast or in semi-industrial areas,. Light rail needs to be reconsidered.

Safe and secure streets—good street lighting at night, a “city host” or similar presence 24/7 (with ability to get police response to incidents), rephasing traffic lights so pedestrians and motorists are never both on a green light at intersections

Keeping pavements and public open spaces accessible and uncluttered from obstructions and impedimenta – including on the waterfront (no Chinese garden in Frank Kitts Park, a halt to new buildings, retaining Jack Ilott Green), and enabling passage on pavements where open space outside bars has been fenced off.

Weather-proofing pavements— requiring verandahs or overhangs where not in place (e.g., Victoria St), more cover at intersections.
A fourth priority would be extending the walkway network in accordance with an approved plan and budget, subject to good maintenance of existing tracks.

Yes, I support lowered speed limits in the CBD and around schools, also suburban shopping centres, to make it safer for pedestrians, including children, and cyclists too.


Tony Jansen

Integrated ticketing for a multi modal transportation system that in the main promotes the use of public transport. Roading and personal vehicles play an important part of the overall transport landscape - change people's behaviour in order to ensure we can, over a period of time, slowly disincentivise people bringing vehicles into the inner city. The inner city should be for people not cars.​ A good start might be preventing SUV's from accessing the inner city and even removing them from roadside parking in inner city suburbs where the roads are very narrow.​

More pedestrian spaces, perhaps mixed use space such as Ludo Campbell Reid has done for inner Auckland city.


Redevelopment of Te Aro to include more pedestrian/car free areas. Not sure about pedestrianizing Lambton Quay because of the limited corridors for bus lanes.

Lower speed limits​.​

Yes. And I would like to see something done about the log jam of SUV's around schools that clog up the roads as parents drop there kids off to school. Get them riding there bikes to school instead, or using the bus.


Troy Mihaka

Wellington City becoming a leader for public transport in New Zealand. Areas such as the Basin Reserve and Terrace Tunnel are prone to congestion. By improving the road network in these areas and improving traffic flow, we will be free to build on our public transport systems. Eventually, I want to see the introduction of a modern tramway or light rail. An integrated ticket system.

More street lighting in key areas of Wellington, such as public parks, green spaces and laneways.


Speed limits lowered to 30kph across the CBD and Te Aro (with the exception of major arterial roads)


More foot bridges across high traffic arterial roads in Wellington, especially areas such as Hataitai Park and the airport/Miramar roundabout.





Greater Wellington candidates


3 top priorities for walking

Lowered speed limits

Roger Blakeley

An efficient, sustainable, healthy, cost-effective and zero tail-pipe emissions transport system, including reliable, affordable, accessible and safe public transport, that helps create Australasia's most prosperous, smart, connected, vibrant, liveable, walkable and resilient region. 


First, the 'Get Welly Moving' project adopts the following hierarchy in order of priority: 1 walking, 2 cycling, 3 public transport, 4 roads (private cars).


Second, pedestrianise Lambton Quay along with a light rail corridor


Third, complete implementation of the Gehl Architects' 2004 report with Melbourne-style laneways and a strong and viable pedestrian network that excites people to get around Wellington on foot and brings more life and a thriving economy.


Yes, lower speed limit to 30 km/hr in CBD and town/village centres in the region, to ensure a safe, walkable and liveable region, and lower speed limit to 30 km/hr within 200m of entrances and exits to all schools.


Chris Laidlaw

A city where public transport, walking and cycling become the dominant means of moving about.

Closure of the golden mile to private cars

Reconciling the competition between cyclists and pedestrians in the inner city and the new harbour way path

Clearly defined pedestrian pathways from the stadium/port area through to the Lambton harbour area

Yes - My council initiated the rethink on this and I will pursue it.


John Klaphake

I would like to see a city where public transport becomes dominant and where walking and cycling is an accepted part of the fabric for our city.

Closing off Lambton Quay to private vehicles is the right way to go. 


Shared space for vehicles and pedestrians should be encouraged where that is safe to do so.


Improving and enhancing the walkways in our reserves to allow more people to exercise and recreate.


Yes. The reality is that in most cases you can't travel at the maximum speed permitted anyway. So lowering them in and around these areas is hardly adversely affecting anyone.

Norbert Hausberg

My recent facebook entry mentions a mall public transport area from the Embassy theatre to the Beehive. There are lots of other opportunities.

Half price public transport for everyone



Yes to lower speed limits.

Sam Somers

I would like to see, Wellington, have congestion free road, a state of the Art Light Rail System, a continuation of the Trolley Bus Network plus a integrated ticketing system, where you only need 1 card to use Public Transport, not many and paper tickets.

Have the Footpaths in Wellington more disable friendly, by having every intersection having the kerb lower to the road level on both sides, not just one side.


Have sensor pads, at intersections, which are controlled by traffic lights, so if you are on the sensor, the lights will recognise you in the system, also, having on key intersections a sensor that tells, if someone is crossing the road, so the lights do go green while you are still crossing for opposing traffic.

Making sure future infrastructure projects to include provisions for both Cyclist and Pedestrians such as tunnel building.


I would support lower speed limits on non arterial route such as Willis street, Lambton Quay, Victoria Street, Featherston Street. 
I also support the variable speed limit option that operates outside some school at the time of dropping off and picking up the kids.


Daran Ponter

Accessible and walkable inner city and suburban areas - connected spaces that people can walk and cycle between easily. We need to facilitate walking and cycling as the principal means of getting about.

Slower vehicle traffic in CDB and suburban streets


Stronger emphasis by city and regional council on promoting people to walk to work, and making those journeys safe and attractive options for people.


Lambton Quay for pedestrians, cycles and public transport only.


Absolutely yes - but also more consistency in speed zones and better enforcement of speeding in the City


Keith Flinders

The greater the use of public transport becomes, especially off peak, the more affordable it becomes for both users and ratepayers. I see in the longer term a fully electric bus service, thus reducing pollution, when battery technology catches up to the demands and range required by buses in particular

Maintenance of footpaths within the Wellington City Council area is generally good, but it behoves citizens to report issues as they find them.

The huge network of existing walking tracks in the region generally is a real asset, be they be local council or regional council provided and maintained.



Wellington City already has lowered speed limits, and some other areas.



Generation Zero have asked a range of transport related questions so check them out for responses from candidates across the country.

In Wellington the Architecture Centre, and Save the Basin have been asking the hard questions, as did http://studentfriendlywellington.nz/voting/

Candidates we have your words, now we will want some action in the next three years.

Want to help Living Streets get the word out about walking? Contact us

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Living Streets Aotearoa is the New Zealand organisation for people on foot, promoting walking-friendly communities. We are a nationwide organisation with local branches and affiliates throughout New Zealand.

We want more people walking and enjoying public spaces be they young or old, fast or slow, whether walking, sitting, commuting, shopping, between appointments, or out on the streets for exercise, for leisure or for pleasure.

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