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Memorial Park is worth investing in


12 August 2011

Memorial Park is worth investing in.

The Architectural Centre is pleased to present an independent estimate for Option X. Option X is an alternative to the NZTA Overpass proposal. Option X locates State Highway in a tunnel under Buckle Street creating a better quality Memorial Park, and making green links through the Basin Reserve to Government House and the townbelt. "This is a robust estimate which gives the public a full picture of the options for the Basin and their comparative costs and benefits" Architectural Centre President, Christine McCarthy, stated. "Now people can really make a truely informed decision about whether they want a flyover or not. The public can now decide what they value, and what they want to invest in."

Rider Levett Bucknall (an independent property and construction practice with over 100 offices worldwide), was commissioned by the Architectural Centre to cost Option X. Their report concludes that Option X will cost more than the NZTA flyover. The scheme has been priced on the same basis as the NZTA costings to ensure that the estimates are comparable. The estimates are:

Option A: $75-100m, Option B: $90-120m, Option X: $130 -165m

Option X will provide safer and more enjoyable walking and cycling environment around the Basin Reserve and Memorial Park precincts. The scheme recognises the national significance of these sites.

"The crux of the issue is how we as a country wish to respect and honour our war dead" noted Immediate Past President, Guy Marriage. "Is a state highway thick with traffic an appropriate gesture to acknowledge those who have died in war? What does that say about our country?"

"This is not just an issue for Mt Victoria and Mt Cook residents, nor is it simply one for Wellingtonians." McCarthy said. "This an issue for all New Zealanders. The National War Memorial, the Basin Reserve and Government House are sites of National significance. They must be celebrated, and respected - not bypassed. This is a project worth investing in, and getting right."

The Architectural Centre has a 65 year history of providing forums to debate architecture and design and of advocating for good design in Wellington through public exhibition, publication, and submissions to local and central government. Its members comprise architectural and design professionals as well as those supportive of good design. Members have volunteered their time and expertise because they believe that the public deserves a choice and because the additional benefits of Option X easily out weigh the cost.

More information about Option X can be found at: www.architecture.org.nz/basin

The draft Rider Levett Bucknall report on the cost of Option X can be found at: http://architecture.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Rider-Levett-Bucknall-Option-X-report.pdf

When the finalised report is received this link will connect to the final report.

Community Meetings on Option X will be held as follows:

Monday 15 August, 7.30pm at Newtown Hall, Daniell Street (opposite Mediterranean Warehouse)

Tuesday 16 August, 8am at Newtown Network Centre, by the Branch Library in Constable St

Wednesday 17 August, 7.30pm at St Joseph's Church, Ellice St

Monday 22 August, 7pm in the Mt Cook School Hall, Tory St

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