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The $40,000 price tag for Justin Lester’s rainbow crossing

REVEALED: The $40,000 price tag for Justin Lester’s rainbow crossing

28 MARCH 2018

The $40,000 price tag for Justin Lester’s proposed ‘rainbow crossing is a slap in the face for Wellington ratepayers, says the New Zealand Taxpayers Union. The Union has obtained the figure under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act.

Wellington City Council provided the following estimate of the crossing’s costs (based on estimates from initial contractor discussions):

• $10,000 Road resurfacing (including site establishment, installation of speed cushion and white line marking reinstatement)

• $8,500 Road painting works (including primer, 2 topcoats and slip resistance coat for main design)

• $3,000 Umbrella sculpture refurbishment

• $12,000 Traffic Management (road closure for 3 – 4 nights for resurfacing and painting works)

• $6,700 Project contingency 20%

$40,200 Total

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says, “Celia-Wade Brown had hercycleway, Dunedin has its Ed Sheeran mural, Hamilton’s mayor wanted a Council name change. Now Justin Lester wants a rainbow crossing.”

“We shouldn’t be throwing money at ‘nice-to-haves’ when basic services like wastewater and transport are strained.”

“Wellingtonians expecting rate hikes of twice the rate of inflation will be enraged to hear they’re forking out $40,000 for Justin Lester’s vanity project.”

“The real cost is likely to be even higher once community consultation and ongoing maintenance and repainting is counted. When Sydney introduced a rainbow crossing, only to remove it after safety concerns, the ultimate cost was AU$110,000.”

“This appears to be a purely tokenistic gesture that will not improve people’s day-to-day lives. The Mayor seems to have forgotten that gay people pay rates too!”

“Responding to ratepayer alarm over his proposed rates hike, the Mayor has said he’s looking to cut some fat. He should start with his own pet projects.”


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