PROGRAMME: 4.30-5.30PM 22 May 2015

4.30 Affordable Housing

4.40 Te Papa’s earthquake house

4.50 The recently opened National War Memorial Park, Pukeahu

5.00 The proposed Airways Tower

5.10 City to Sea bridge:
should it stay or should it go?

5.20 Why Wellington is a fabulous city, GIVEALITTLE

Continuous commentary will be broadcast from here.

CHRISTINE: Hi everyone,¬†good you can join us to launch our latest fund-raising efforts. ¬†Welcome along. ¬†We are about to start on Launch¬†Pad 1 with a discussion on affordable housing. ¬†Victoria and I will keep you all up to speed with what is happening on each of the sites, while Duncan co-ordinates the discussion on these. ¬†We’ve got an action packed hour, and we already have raised $265 – so thanks everyone.

VICTORIA: The affordable housing discussion has started with Mark Southcombe discussing the gap between the haves and the have nots…

CHRISTINE: He’s definitely not impressed that the government has left housing supply to the market.

VICTORIA: Sam Donald has thinks the true cost of housing is not what it costs now.

CHRISTINE: Yep – definitely that conflict between short term and long term costs – no doubt they’ll get into transport, infrastructure and land costs soon. Nigel Case is about to say something.

VICTORIA: We’re yet to hit the jackpot with the money so join the other donors and givealittle now.

CHRISTINE: Yep, those 5 generous donors are looking a bit lonely.

VICTORIA: We’ve started the discussion on the Te Papa Earthquake House on Launch Pad 2

CHRISTINE: Ben (8yrs) has given a fabulous image of a shaky and possibly perspiring earthquake house.  I think it looks a bit nervous.

VICTORIA: Back at Affordable Housing Nigel C is talking about the disconnect between the house buyer, the renter and new home construction. And Sam K agrees with Mark and mentions Thomas Picketty’s work that suggests increasing concentration of wealth will just make the housing problem worse.

VICTORIA: Lisa can’t talk yet but she can imagine¬†what it would feel like in an earthquake.

CHRISTINE: so she’s a frequent vistor to Te Papa is she?

VICTORIA: There’s a great video from Rose (5 and a half) and Alannah (5), there’s a lot of shaking going on.

CHRISTINE: Yes … back to the more serious corner of the debate, things are getting quite detailed in affordable housing. ¬†Nigel Case has noted that strategies seem to be reaction. ¬†What is also apparent is that these guys have been thinking carefully about these issues in some detail. ¬†Over on Launch Pad 3, the discussion about the recently opened Pukeahu National War Memorial Park¬†is about to start.

VICTORIA: And remember to go to the givealittle to donate.

CHRISTINE: ¬†Right, the conversation on Memorial Park is quite concise, but good to see a definite contrast in views appearing. ¬†The word slick seems to be a relevant one. ¬†and of course there’s a bit of that ongoing desire for Gummer’s avenue down to the waterfront.

VICTORIA: I have to admit I am yet to visit the site, the photos look ok.

CHRISTINE: I think what Victoria is trying to say is that she is not a superficial person and she cares deeply about the built environment of Wellington and that MCH take a good photo.

VICTORIA: Back at the earthquake house, Lewis has posted a rather dark image of the earthquake house.

CHRISTINE: Yep it’s quite accurate all that brown colour must be the darkness inside – it’s just like the youtube video of it.

VICTORIA: No one has responded to our call for donations, perhaps everyone is too busy following the discussions about affordable housing, earthquake houses and memorial park.

CHRISTINE: No they are all just working hard – but now it’s just gone five no doubt the money will start pouring in.

VICTORIA: There is a lot of discussion on affordable housing, obviously it’s a very important topic for people.

CHRISTINE: Well it has entertained politicians for well over a century. ¬†It’s great to see the detail and depth on thinking. ¬†The Airways Tower debate has just started on Launch Pad 4. ¬†Not too many kind words yet.

VICTORIA: James thinks the proposed tower is definitely a missed opportunity to be aspirational.

CHRISTINE: Yeah I have to admit I find it a bit of an anti-climax.  Pete Wood has described it as an office block liberated from the 1980s.

VICTORIA: Christine I see you think it’s a two dimensional gimmick.

CHRISTINE: ¬†It’s certainly a first reaction. ¬†I guess simple extrusions need exquisite design to be compelling.

VICTORIA: Perhaps more time was needed to develop the design. Meanwhile the debate on whether the city-to-sea bridge should stay or go has started on Launch Pad 5. Gerald thinks it should stay and Guy thinks it should go or at least be designed better.

CHRISTINE: I quite like the City to Sea bridge – it seems to be a good start to the whole philosophy of the waterfront as not being afraid of testing things and potentially making mistakes, which could also be a symptom of a progressive attitude to the city. ¬†Would be a shame for it to go – don’t you think?

VICTORIA: I think there is potential for a better, more direct visual connection similar to post office square. We’re almost at the end of the fundraising virtual launch party and now discussion will look at¬†what makes Wellington great. For me it’s the walkability of the city.

CHRISTINE: You’re a walking submission – I must have a much more simple brain – I love the wind – Wellington is a place that never lets you forget that it’s alive. ¬†But we also have some thoughts about others re: Wellington. ¬†Alan Smith – a long time chair of the Civic Trust until recently says Wellington is a great place to live because of its …

“Geography; climate; compact CBD; coastlines; national capital. Wellington – and by Wellington I mean that part of NZ recognized as such from elsewhere in NZ and from abroad, so including Kapiti, Eastbourne, and all the other places within the Metlink network – has all of these and they combine together in a delightful and inspirational way. Sure, it’s usually been my home town, and was the hometown of several generations before me, so that adds an extra dimension. but what makes Wellington great is the way all these things interact and come together. Geography places hills, coast and flat spaces close together; climate is “bracing” in a way which actually encourages close human contact; compact CBD is a real feature, of lead public and private sector entities as well as diverse retail and exciting entrepreneurial ventures; coastlines range from the rugged (south coast) to the tranquil (Oriental Bay, Paremata) ; national capital incorporates both the ceremonial and the actual essence of sovereign independence. A fine mixture held together my imaginative architecture, good transport connections and great people who enjoy being here. Let’s celebrate those interconnections!”

and finally a word from the Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown

“Wellington is an amazing city with quirky corners, dramatic landscapes and friendly people from many cultures. What makes the capital great is its compactness, making it the most walkable city in Australasia, its wealth of reserves, making it a rich natural capital, ¬†and its excellent visual and performing arts. This cool little capital has an array of national institutions including Parliament, Te Papa, National Library, National Portrait Gallery & Turnbull Library. My perfect day in Wellingyon is kayaking on the South Coast first thing, cycling to work to talk to people in smart jobs ¬†about exciting new projects, eating at our Cuba night market and then going to the ballet to see a worldclass premiere! Ka rawe¬† Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui.”

Thanks everyone for tuning in – and helping us virtually launch the site.

Christine, Victoria and Duncan.