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LGWM Golden Mile Announcement Requires Further Detail

Today’s (Wednesday 16 June 2021) LGWM media release on the proposed changes to the Golden Mile appears to have little further information for the Wellington businesses that it impacts.

"Beyond announcing the option that has been picked, there is very scarce detail given, other than the hopes and platitudes articulated from the various spokespeople," says Simon Arcus, Chief Executive Wellington Chamber of Commerce.

"There are hundreds of businesses along the golden mile that are going to be impacted, but there is no further information yet on service and delivery vehicle access, taxi stands, or how traffic flows may operate on and around the now cut-off side streets. These are all critical issues that the Chamber and others raised during the submissions and engagement process over the past 18 months, so we certainly expected further details as part of today’s announcement.

"While we understand more information is coming, what businesses need now is clarity and certainty. The current retail and city business environment is trading tough, managing the continuing impacts from Covid, increasing imposts, and ongoing operating challenges.

"The cost of the preferred option previously exceeded $80 million, and likely now to be much higher, certainly given the recent BEFU warning received from Treasury. You have to ask if this is the best spend of ratepayer and taxpayer funding, whether the same outcome could be achieved more cost-effectively, and how it links to improving the city’s overall productivity. Again, there needs to be more policy detail to be able to justify the sizable expenditure.

"The Chamber continues to be optimistic that there is an outcome we can support to get the city moving, and that can be achieved through the delivery of the full LGWM package, options A through D, with significant benefits for the city. We have to make sure that the whole programme with the fullest benefits is delivered."

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