Polls apart – the verdict on Option X is all good

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

According to Warren Buffet, a public opinion poll is no substitute for thought. Therefore, I think that the results of the Capital Times Reader’s Poll are pretty encouraging for the Architectural Centre’s Option X scheme for the Basin Reserve:

Would you prefer ‘Option X’ for the Basin Reserve flyover, even though it would cost more than the NZTA plans?

  • Answer A: Yes (87%)
  • Answer B: No (11%)
  • Answer C: Don’t care (2%)

That we don’t know how many people have voted is, of course, something of an issue – it could be as few as 41 (by my math – which is probably suspect). Even so, and despite the skew that might be expected from the audience of that esteemed local paper,  public meetings and other feedback have shown that  there is growing support for the Architectural Centre’s scheme.

According to the DominionPost (an only slightly more authoritative rag), over a thousand people have made submissions on NZTA’s Wellington transportation ‘improvements’. We’re hoping that this includes many of you out there who have indicated a preference for Option X – or any other scheme that offers a better outcome than the Clayton’s Choice put forward by NZTA.

If not, you’ve got until Friday to do so…. (go here to find out how, or, if you prefer, take advantage of our handy ‘Option X’ submission form here).

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PS, and for what it’s worth, the Capital Times Reader’s Polls results echo earlier poll results for relevant Basin Reserve-related  issues:

Does Wellington Need a Basin Reserve Flyover: Yes 22%, No 70%, Don’t Care 8%

The Architectural Centre believes cars have little future in Wellington city and by 2040 cycle lanes and green spaces will replace car parks. Is this your vision?: Yes 90%, No 8%, Don’t Care 3%

Danish urban designer Jan Gehl, employed by the Wellington City Council to look at ways to improve the city, says investment in light rail needs to take precedence over roading infrastructure. Do you agree?: Yes 77%, No 18%, Don’t Care 5%

Should the NZ Transport Agency go back to the drawing board over Wellington’s roading options?Yes 90%, No 6%, Don’t Care 4%

The Architects Centre’s alternative plan for the Basin Reserve does not include a flyover. Should the NZ Transport Agency be made to consider the new plan before opting for the current choice between two flyovers?: Yes 90%, No 8%, Don’t Care 3%


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Posted under: Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

6 Responses to “Polls apart – the verdict on Option X is all good”

  1. colin Says:

    50% of statistics are wrong, but that’s only half the time

  2. m-d Says:

    I always find that statistics are hard to swallow and impossible to digest. The only one I can remember is that if all the people who go to sleep in church were laid end to end they would be a lot more comfortable.

  3. Guy Says:

    While statistics may be difficult to rely upon completely, sample size of only 1000 people seems to accurately predict NZ political results quite well, year after year. At present, pollsters predict National to lead by a comfortable margin.
    Similarly, while the total number of respondents replying to these polls noted above may be small, they are still probably highly representative of community feeling. One really important thing to note is the number of Don’t Care votes – really, really small. This issue obviously IS something that people care about. And mostly, if we can take anything away from the results, they care very strongly that a Flyover is NOT the answer, and that a trenched tunnel scheme such as Option X quite possibly IS the answer. I take heart from that – we know NZTA are watching this website, and I am sure they will have noted this trend…

  4. m-d Says:

    Guy – the difference with political polling is that it isn’t a self-selected sample (i.e. proper political polls are random AND representative – neither of which is true for an online Reader’s poll). That said, I agree with your conclusions though.

    Other evidence that support is growing can be found easily. Today’s Wellingtonian editorial supports Option X, and notes its own readers’ positive response to the scheme when publicised in that paper: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/local-papers/the-wellingtonian/opinion/5499294/Wellingtonian-editorial-Playing-the-public-for-suckers

    I note also that “Save the Basin” is backing Option X, and somewhere I also read that one of the local Residents Assoc.s are also supporting (can’t remember which one, and where I saw it). Wellington Civic Trust also prefer Option X over the NZTA proposals (hell, even Aucklander’s think the NZTA ideas are bad!: http://transportblog.co.nz/2011/07/05/1960s-thinking-alive-and-well-in-wellington/).

    There is a whole lot more support out there besides the above though – which supports the poll results. Perhaps it would be a good idea to provide a list all of the Option X support (that we know of)…?

  5. m-d Says:

    See the Civic Trust’s position here: , not to mention the Mayor’s endorsement in the comments of this article.

  6. m-d Says:

    Final figures at the close of the Capital times Poll were Yes 82%, No 12%, Don’t care 2%

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