Documents reveal Let’s Get Wellington Moving has spent $39 million on consultants
Newshub can reveal the flagship transport program earmarked to revitalise the capital has already racked up a multi-million-dollar consultancy bill.
Let’s Get Wellington Moving has spent almost $40 million on consultants, and there’s concern it’s slowing down the city instead.
While you can’t beat Wellington on a good day, the capital’s traffic can call that into question.
“It’s horrible, compared to Te Puke where we’re from – manic, yeah way worse,” one motorist told Newshub.
“The cars come out of nowhere, don’t they?” another said.
“Infrastructure-wise, there’s a bit of work that needs to be done,” said another.
And that’s what the $1 billion Let’s Get Wellington Moving project aims to do. Its work programme includes light rail for the city, a second Mt Victoria tunnel and reducing the number of vehicles in the city’s centre.
Transport Minister Michael Wood is confident the project will get done: “We are committed to delivering these projects.”
But rather than having shovels in the ground for them, official documents show $39 million has been spent on consultants since 2015.
National’s transport spokesperson Simeon Brown is unimpressed.
“Let’s Get Wellington Moving has become Let’s Get Wellington Consulting – actually very little is happening and consultants are getting rich on this project, which is going nowhere.”
Wellington Mayor Andy Foster shared his dissatisfaction too: “I’d have liked to have seen things move faster.”
That frustration was felt throughout the capital aswell.
“That’s a lot of money to not do much,” one said.
“That’s quite disappointing, to be perfectly honest with you,” another told Newshub.
“Surely not that much needs to go into consultants,” added another.
But the Government disagrees, saying it’s money well spent.
“Things like quantity surveyors, so that we know what the cost of the projects are going to be; utilities experts, so we understand what’s under the ground as we move forward with these projects; the people who do the design work,” Wood said.
One of those projects has just begun, a pedestrian crossing on State Highway 1 near the airport.
The construction has been controversial, with the airport itself previously pursuing legal action in protest.
Assurances are being made progress is happening and key decisions about further work aren’t far away.
“Around mass rapid transit; the delivery mechanisms, which is not a uncomplicated issue; funding decisions and decisions around the State Highway Basin Reserve,” Foster told Newshub.
They’re decisions that could one day see the end to congestion.