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DEBATE:

Damian Christie describes life in Wellington.




If Auckland is a city without a heart, is Wellington a heart without a city? Inspired by a Metro essay on Auckland by a former Wellingtonian, transplanted Aucklander, Christie, gives us his views below.

I clearly remember my boss’s words as my Auckland life was being packed up and carted out of my Sandringham bungalow by two burly men, hurled into a truck and driven down the line. "It doesn’t have to be forever," he said. "It’s only a couple of years. It’s not a jail sentence." Some crimes for which the jail sentence is two years: seditious conspiracy; rioting; indecent acts in a public place; misconduct in respect of human remains; stealing a horse. I jumped in my car and headed for my new job and new city of residence, Wellington.

I had lived in Wellington before. My father, an army man, was posted to Upper Hutt when I was at high school. The Hutt is Wellington’s answer to West Auckland, but with more skinheads. No one makes television programmes about a family of loveable rogues from The Hutt. After school I moved into Wellington City, and lived there for long enough to know it was time to leave — about three years. Wellington is a claustrophobic place. Its residents phrase this more positively: "You can walk everywhere." Well, you could, if it wasn’t raining while sub-zero, gale-force winds belt you into submission, on which, more later. In Wellington, there is no escaping anyone you might possibly want to avoid, short of bolting your front door and hiding under the bed.

On the first day walking down Lambton Quay for lunch, I ran into Steve, with whom I went to university. Nice enough guy. Recognising each other, we stopped and exchanged pleasantries and brief autobiographies. Then we exchanged cards. Then we exchanged promises (which we both knew would never be kept) of a "Let’s have a pint after work some day" nature, and exchanged farewells. Day Two, who’s strutting down Lambton Quay? Steve. We both smile and slow down slightly, but think better of stopping — if catching up after 15 years apart took less than a minute, what can we possibly add after 24 hours?

The following day, you guessed it; there he is sauntering towards me. I’m sick of the sight of him. Yes, I get it, we shared a lecture together 15 years ago. We weren’t friends then, we’re not going to be now, but we’re forced to give each other the same vaguely embarrassed acknowledgement every single day for the rest of our Wellington-dwelling lives. Take this example and extrapolate it to include everyone else you went to university with, everyone you went to school with, every ex-girlfriend still living here and their parents. And it continues. Like a booby trap in an Indiana Jones flick, every new person you meet represents those spike-encrusted walls inching closer. This is life in Wellington.

North Shore-born Phil Reed, who moved to Wellington four years ago and works as a freelance publicist, says he takes back routes when he’s in a hurry to avoid all those chance meetings. "Invariably you catch up with people and you don’t want to, because they might want to know where that report is you were supposed to send a month ago. "It takes forever to come down Cuba St because you’ve got these five-minute conversations all the way down, but that’s the thing about Wellington. It’s very tightly networked so if you appear aloof or a bit short with someone it can have repercussions. These things have a habit of getting back to you a lot sooner than what you think. That’s why you can’t have affairs in this town — you will get found out."

The village mentality is a double-edged sword for those who attempt to be single in Wellington. It’s easy to meet people; impossible to avoid them later. Frontseat producer Gemma Gracewood was born in the Hutt Valley but spent her formative years in Auckland. Gracewood returned to Wellington eight years ago, and while she loves living here, she admits that being single raises issues. "In Auckland you can actually get away with quite a lot of ‘activities of the night’ before you bump into someone you’ve slept with before or your best friend’s slept with, or you realise you’ve all slept with the same person. In Wellington I realised pretty quickly just how small this town is when you excitedly tell your girlfriends and at least two of them say, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve been there too.’

"Through simply telling your girlfriends what’s been happening you learn pretty quickly who not to shag based on the stats going around the room. In Wellington there is at least one actor, one musician and one reporter that I would never touch because I would feel as though I’d slept with all my best friends as a result, and that’s just too weird." My own tentative foray into the capital’s single scene uncovered similar problems. After catching a show, my date and I went for a drink at a bar. A friend of mine was there with a man I didn’t know. We approached and I greeted them. In Wellington’s inevitable fashion, who else would this man turn out to be but my date’s very recent ex — a methamphetamine-addled ex with anger-management issues. Quite the first date, thanks Wellington.

Reed says that in Auckland he had a rule with mates that he wouldn’t sleep with their ex-girlfriends or sisters. "In Wellington I said that when I first became single, and everyone just laughed me out of the room!"

There are some benefits to life in this social Lilliput. Wellingtonians drink a lot — who can blame them — and it’s possible to go on a decent bar crawl of an evening without numerous taxi rides between establishments. Courtenay Place represents the greatest condensation of bars, with dozens in the space of a couple of hundred metres. On a Saturday night, this area is teeming with drunk young men staggering around in their on-the-pull uniform of striped white shirts, jeans and knock-off Diesel trainers. If you want to avoid this awful spectacle — in Wellington it’s simple — avoid Courtenay Place. I know I do. It only takes one encounter with the drunken denizens of Courtenay Place to realise that as much as Wellingtonians would like to claim otherwise, it’s no more a "cultural capital" than the bottom of Queen St could be called a "finance district" or Tauranga an "international port city". Yes there are a few theatres showing a range of plays, but with no Shortland Street cast members in them or the off-chance of artistic nudity from a Hawthorn what’s the point?

Then there’s the museum, Te Papa. I know it’s supposed to be "Our Place", but honestly, Wellington can keep it. An architectural mishmash from the outside, and an assortment of gaudy, brightly lit interactive exhibits urging you to push this button or pull this lever to trigger bells, whistles and fake earthquakes. Nestled on the waterfront it doesn’t so much capture our nation’s social and cultural history as it does resemble a Fisher Price bath-time activity centre. If, as Simon Wilson remarked in his Metro essay (Tribal Warfare, May) that Auckland is a city without a heart, then Wellington is a heart without a city. A real city should afford its residents the ability to be swallowed up and become anonymous. A real city should have at least one bar that stays open 24 hours a day. Even if you never take advantage of it, it’s reassuring to know the option is there. A real city should have celebrities. Even C-list ones. Auckland has Aja Rock. Wellington has Marian Hobbs.

"I’d been in Wellington a few months," recalls Gracewood "and I got a call from a friend who was working for a PR company in Auckland. They were co-ordinating the launch of a new BMW model in both Auckland and Wellington and Auckland obviously was sweet for celebs, but because she’d never lived down here she didn’t know anyone down here, and could I help her co-ordinate the list of celebrities that ought to be invited. Woodward Lane was blocked off, there were models, free vodka, all that kind of thing, very flash. I thought, ‘Oh, it’ll be a breeze. I’ve been to heaps of those sorts of things in Auckland, no big deal.’ So I called my friend Cathy who was also a recent arrival from Auckland and told her, ‘I’ve got a great job for us, we just need to make this list of people up and we get to go to this sweet party.’ Two weeks later we’d come up with Kim Hill, Mark Sainsbury and [former TV3 political editor] Jane Young." If this seems trivial, you’re probably right. But without the trivial all we are left with is the substantial. Without the Sunday Star-Times’ About Town (not included in its Wellington edition), which section am I supposed to read in my fragile state at Sunday brunch? Business? World? Give me strength.

It’s Saturday night, and I’m at a party in Newtown. As far as Wellington parties go, it’s par for the course. The first people I see as I walk in are a white couple with dreadlocks, drinking some sort of organic boutique beer. Wellington has more white girls with dreadlocks than I have ever seen anywhere. They wear skirts over trousers. They are all vegans. Inside I strike up a conversation with an ordinary-looking bloke. "So what do you do?" I inquire. It’s the standard Auckland opening gambit, the equivalent of Christchurch’s "What school did you go to?" "I work at the Ministry of Statistics," he says, neither enthusiastically nor apologetically."Wow, what are the odds?" I joke, realising as the words come out of my mouth that I just shouldn’t bother. In fact, the odds of meeting a bureaucrat at a party in Wellington are about the same as meeting one on Lambton Quay at lunch hour — pretty damn high.

But that’s Wellington. You’re either a bureaucrat, or someone in the private sector whose income derives from supplying bureaucrats. So it’s no surprise that everything runs with the speed and efficiency of the lowest common denominator — the state sector shuffle. Expect psychometric testing, a two-stage interview process and four to six weeks of deliberation before securing that minimum-wage waitressing position. Expect landlords who will actually check all three of the referees you’ve provided. Expect your morning bus to come to a grinding halt because the poles have fallen off the overhead electrified cables. Again. On the positive side, if you are inclined to kick back, not make a fuss and just go with the flow, you will be rewarded. Fat Freddys Drop took more than eight years to release their debut album, Based on a True Story, and they couldn’t be more revered if they’d just produced a golden calf for the Israelites. If you just stay in the boat, and keep the rocking to a minimum, you will go places. Of course, so will everyone else, as Gracewood recalls of her time working in Parliament: "In bureaucracy you get your pay scales and every year you can be almost as incompetent as it’s possible to be, or the kind of lazy person who is efficient one day every two weeks and you will still get your pay-rise.

"In Auckland it’s outcomes-based, project-based, rewards-based, if you haven’t done a good job you can kiss the pay-rise goodbye. In Wellington you have to have a very good excuse not to give someone the pay-rise they are scheduled to receive when the 12 months ticks over." Phil Reed, who has also worked in Parliament, agrees the working culture is more relaxed. "Bureaucrats are fiercely protective of their hours, so they’ll turn up at nine and go away at five. And if your job isn’t done by five then you do it the next day. In Auckland you just carry on working; you give up all these hours to someone for no money."

One counter-argument is that Wellingtonians are busy, just not at work. It’s all about side-projects, moonlighting and a series of alter-egos. Fat Freddys Drop’s Dallas and Mu are Dukie and Fitchie, film-maker Taika Waititi is painter Taika Cohen. Seemingly everyone in Wellington has a role in über-group Fly My Pretties. I regularly tell friends back in Auckland I’m now eighth guitarist — even if the Pretties’ village vibe didn’t always sit well with all the critics, such as this review from The Fix: "Fucking Wellington. While their back-patting circle-jerk of a creative community has already reached absurd proportions, this release takes things one step further… A series of collaborative shows between musicians who are in all those inbred bands, plus a few talented ones too, have now resulted in a record that dutifully documents the mediocrity…this should be a fan club-only-type deal. Oh that’s right, I forgot, the whole country is supposed to be Wellington’s fanclub."

Because Wellington is smaller to start with, it’s easier to get out of town. The wild and beautiful South Coast feels like Piha, but from Courtenay Place to Island Bay is a 10-minute drive. On a summer’s evening I can leave Lambton Quay after work, go diving, and be eating fresh seafood before the sun goes down. Unless that is, there’s a southerly blowing. A friend down for the weekend remarked on how much we all discuss the wind direction. She couldn’t understand why, until it turned southerly. When it’s southerly you hold tightly to the car door as you open it lest you take out a passing cyclist. When it’s southerly you don’t take an umbrella, no matter how hard it’s raining.

Phil Reed: "You never know which way the wind is going to curl around a building. You’ll hold the umbrella one way and then a sudden wind will come up from the direction you least expect it. You walk down Lambton Quay and every rubbish bin is stuffed with umbrellas." Wind and weather is to Wellington conversation what the property ladder is to Auckland. Wellington weather is, in fact, indefensible. "You can’t beat Wellington on a good day" say the absolutely positive crowd, but of course you can. You could be somewhere good on a good day. And Wellington’s good days are few and far between.

Stuart Burgess, a climatologist at NIWA’s National Climate Centre: "The amount of rainfall and sunshine in Auckland and Wellington is very similar. The main difference between Auckland and Wellington is the temperature. The mean temperature on average in Auckland for a year is about 15 degrees; in Wellington it’s almost 13 degrees, so most of the time there’s at least 2 degrees difference, and that’s enough to be noticed." I ask Burgess to explain how those two degrees can mean the coat I bought to survive a UK winter barely touches the sides in Wellington. The answer is wind chill. "If it was a cool winter’s day, with a temperature about 10 degrees, a windspeed of about 25 knots and reasonably cloudy, the effective temperature would be more like two degrees." On average, Auckland has 50 days with wind gusts over 32 knots. Wellington has 200. Brrrr.

To be fair, Stuart adds, "there are places further south with a lot bleaker weather than Wellington. In Invercargill, for instance, it’s fairly cloudy, much cooler." I consider this and give silent thanks my company doesn’t have a Southland branch. Even at its bureaucratic pace, and battling the wind, time does pass, even in Wellington. I’ve been living here a year now, and despite my best efforts I’m starting to feel at home. In jail it’s known as becoming institutionalised. There has been no time off for good behaviour, and as far as I can see, no chance of parole. I’m making the most of it. This morning, as I was drinking my coffee on the deck, I saw a pod of about 60 dolphins frolicking in the bay. My flatmate and I grabbed our gear and ran to the beach. The winter water gave me an ice-cream headache, but with a layer of thermals under my thick wetsuit it was bearable. We didn’t get much closer than a couple of hundred metres to the dolphins before they moved on, but as a consolation prize we still returned home with a little something in our catch-bags. In Wellington it’s possible to look out at the ocean and eat fresh crayfish without earning six figures.

But the weather’s deteriorating. Shortly after we exit the water it turns southerly, and the ocean is soon whipped into a white-capped frenzy as the wind buffets our house. There are going to be more southerlies over winter, and the residents of Wellington will don an extra layer or two, and hunker down. For the next few months there will be no suits and secretaries eating lunch in the park, instead we’ll be forced back inside the cozy pubs Wellington does so well. Perhaps I should give Steve a call about that pint.

SOURCE: METRO MAGAZINE (AUCKLAND)
 

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I can defenetly (sp) identify with not being able to walk around town without seeing someone you know :lol:
 

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Techpreneur Rod Drury sees the upside of it:

I like Rob Fyfe, the CEO of Air New Zealand. He’s a next generation leader not scared to do the tough stuff. But I disagree with his position on long range services out of Wellington.

Stuff: Air NZ boss says Asia service a long shot. Specifically …

It does feel a dimension of this is being driven to a degree by regional ego rather than commercial pragmatism

This was a stupid thing to say. There is real commercial benefit for long haul into Wellington. Wellington is special. It’s small size fosters networking and creativity. We’re becoming the film and software action area. Flying through Auckland is a pain. Rather than being dumped before security at 5:30 am on Saturday morning you were in your home town. 4 hours power nap, ready for a morning latte with the family at 10:00. Ready to go.

Travelling with kids. Connections add 3+ hours to the trip. Going to London could be as easy as one hop to Asia. Stay a night. Another hop to the UK. Too easy.

Long haul to Wellington would stimulate travel. It would add many new trips. Wellington would be directly connected to the world. It would be a huge boost.

Rob’s position is natural. Fewer hubs is less cost for Air New Zealand. But in this case it’s just too important.

Couple of flights a week to somewhere in Asia and San Fran. It would be brilliant!
 
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THE ARTS:
Montana World of Wearable Art Awards







Wellington's WOW, Montana World of Wearable Art Awards, are the most eagerly anticipated montage of theatre, dance, colour, movement and art is back. Step into a world where art and the human form combine, where dance, music and lighting tell a story of the body as a canvas; where the lines of fashion and art blur and merge as one… A Montana WOW® Awards Show can be difficult to describe, hard to define and utterly impossible to forget. Simply put, the Montana WOW® Awards Shows are theatrical spectaculars.

The awards return to Wellington for the third year. From humble beginnings in 1987 as a promotion for a rural art gallery in Nelson, the two hour show has grown to become a New Zealand icon event, last year attracting 30,000 people. Many of these people came to Wellington specifically for the show. Each year the organisers receive over 300 garment entries, from which the judges pre-select 150 to make it onto the catwalk. The internationally acclaimed event has outfits designed by national and international artists, designers and inventors.

While the awards have become a popular launch pad for aspiring artists and designers they remain non-elitist and open to anyone. To ensure the awards remain completely unbiased, the judges are only told the garment's name and inspiration, not the actual designer's name. The popularity of the shows means they are likely to be sell-outs, so make sure you book in advance so you don't miss this exciting extravaganza. The high demand for tickets during the preferential ticketing period has led to an additional performance on Wednesday 26 September.

There are nine performances in the 2007 Show season:


Thursday 20, Friday 21, Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September

Wednesday 26, Thursday 27, Friday 28, Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 September

Friday 21 September is the Awards Night. There is no Awards presentation on Thursday 20. All Shows start at 8:00pm except for Sunday night performances which start at 5:00pm.
 

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Well said. Although in Damian's defense, and I've worked with Damian and been mates with the lad for years, I'd take what he said with a grain of salt. While he no doubt believes in some of what he wrote he also would have sexed it up and exaggerated the article for Metro. They like that kind of petty crap, its an AK rag after all.
 

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^^ All this stuff about Akld vs. Wgtn just illustrates different mind sets.
One city is not necessarily "better" than the other!
For some of us Auckland's size (relatively speaking in relation to NZ) does it for us, and for others Wellington's little peculiarities does it for them. :)

Whatever floats your boat....:nuts:
 

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Sydney vs Melbourne. LA vs SF. Tokyo vs Osaka. Shanghai vs Beijing. London vs Manchester. Toronto vs Montreal/Vancouver. Rio vs Sao Paulo. Jo'burg vs Cape Town. Delhi vs Mumbai. And so forth. We're far from alone here. :)
 
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^^ All this stuff about Akld vs. Wgtn just illustrates different mind sets.
One city is not necessarily "better" than the other!
For some of us Auckland's size (relatively speaking in relation to NZ) does it for us, and for others Wellington's little peculiarities does it for them. :)

Whatever floats your boat....:nuts:
I couldn't agree more ... I love both cities and each for different reasons ... It is impossible to nominate one city better than another BUT then again, things change when we talk about places like HUNTLY :lol:

However I would prefer to live in Wellington because it suits my life-style more, unfortunately - let's face facts - the weather isn't that fabulous in Wellington.
 
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Check out the sites with Wellington art community
SCOOP - Wednesday, 19 September 2007, 11:09 am

The random placement of seven steel shipping containers dotted around central Wellington is not so much an elaborate public art stunt, but an effort to get people thinking about the urban design processes that shape this city. INSite is an opportunity for the public to engage with local artists as they take residence in the containers and come up with a response to their immediate surroundings. Bruce Mahalski plans to transform his container, located on Arthur Street, into a replica of a 1930-40s tram with famous Wellingtonians such as William Wakefield, Te Puni and Peter Jackson gazing out of the windows. He believes that the trams are an important part of Wellington’s history. “Wellington was the first city in the southern hemisphere to use steam trams – and later acquired an extensive electric tram network whose routes were like veins pumping life into the new suburbs that grew up around them. I like to promote Wellington’s history in my art, and from this, I hope that people will check out the trams that are still operational at the Tram Museum at Paekakariki and also think about using other means of transport.”

Bruce notes that many European cities have banned private cars from city centres and now encourage public transport systems based on the electric trams. He wonders what it would be like if that scenario took place here? Some of the more abstract INSite projects are to be found at the container in the Railway Station forecourt. Enjoy Gallery has several artists working on two themes, We Are Moving Forward Positively and Make Space Your Space My Space. They are set to engage commuters with exhibitions and surveys and plan to stage a fake campaign to generate hype in a bid to get people thinking seriously about the urban space they are occupying. Local video artist Rob Appierdo has teamed up with new media artist Morgan Barnard on Courtenay Place, where they will conduct a series of workshops that include melting down plastic bags to make courier bags, wallets and jackets. Sentimental Plastics will offer creative solutions on how to re-use plastic bags to encourage a more sustainable future.

These artists and others will be available to talk to passers-by throughout the month. INSite runs until Friday 5 October. This series is part of IntensCITY Week, organised by the Council to draw attention to and celebrate the importance of good urban design. More information about events and activities can be found on the Council’s website, www.Wellington.govt.nz
 
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Do we have an IntensCITY ?
SCOOP - Wednesday, 26 September 2007, 1:43 pm

Do we have an IntensCITY, one whose centre is bustling with people and whose streets, parks, plazas, and waterfront invoke an immense sense of loyalty and pride of place? Wellington City Council’s inaugural IntensCITY Week, which launches this Thursday, aims to answer that with a resounding Yes! IntensCITY Week celebrates Wellington’s urban spaces and how the city’s investment in quality urban design contributes to the cosmopolitan nature of life here. IntensCITY Week also seeks to debate the physical future of our city through to 2040 – the 200th anniversary of formal settlement. It runs from Thursday to Friday 5 October in various locations around the central city.

Opening events on Thursday (open to the media) include:

11.15am:
The launch of Capital Centre: LOOK Again, a public art installation at Aitken Street which encourages people to take a fresh look at the building and spaces of national importance nearby.

5.15pm:
Official launch of IntensCITY Week, opening of IntensCITY Week Exhibition, and awards ceremony for the Just Imagine schools art competition, and the aBc competition for the route from airport to city. Hon. Marian Hobbs, MP for Wellington Central will open the event in the State Insurance Building foyer, 1 Willis Street.

Other key events include:

INSite – a public art project in which invited artists reinterpret city spaces from the shelter of steel shipping containers; Urban Critique – a large-scale photographic poster campaign; My Little Eye – a people’s choice competition for the most popular Wellington urban space; Spaces Through Time – archive film footage of the city from early last century on; and a public lecture series. All events are free to the public, and everyone is encouraged to get involved. Wellington City Council’s Director of Transport and Urban Development, Ernst Zollner, says the focus of IntensCITY Week is quality urban design, which he defines as “the creation of our shared world”. “Urban design is do with the design of the buildings, places and networks that make up our cities, and the way that we all use them. Well-planned public spaces hold the city together, he says. “Cosmopolitan centres, efficient infrastructure and well-connected neighbourhoods and services are attractive to people and to business, and they’re far more environmentally sustainable too.

“With IntensCITY Week, we want to celebrate urban design but we also want to encourage debate among Wellingtonians about their city – what do they value, how and where would they like to see things change, what are our next priorities?” Mr Zollner says Council has been delighted with people’s enthusiastic early response to IntensCITY Week. “The INSite shipping containers have generated a lot of intrigue over the last couple of weeks, as has the construction over the past few days of the Capital Centre: LOOK again structure in Aitken Street. “We had a good response to both the Just Imagine schools art competition and the aBc ideas competition, and there’s been lots of interest in the public lecture series. “Wellingtonians care about their city and its future potential, so we’re confident that people will embrace IntensCITY Week and enjoy the activities planned.”

IntensCITY Week Programme at a glance follows

AROUND TOWN
Capital Centre: LOOK again .... This is an art installation in Aitken Street with a series of illustrated exhibition panels highlighting the many national institutions of government and architectural features in the area. Capital cities are the symbolic showcase of a nation, and the place in which to experience the heritage, culture and achievements of a country.LOOK again aims to question how the area could be made more visitor-friendly, indeed the heart of an inspired new Capital Centre.

INSite: Selected artists have been invited to work for three weeks in shipping containers in seven city spaces that could benefit from a rethink. It is hoped that both the steel container and each artist’s response will alter the experience of the space for passersby. On the weekend of September 29-30, people can walk around the containers, and the artists will be available to talk to people.

Spaces through Time: Film footage and still images of past moments in Wellington’s urban history have been put together as a 15-minute story cut into three sections that evolves as you move from the Railway Station/Parliament area to Courtenay Place. The footage, which will play in shop windows and other places around the city, features people’s use of these city spaces over time.

Urban Critique: Urban Critique is a billboard campaign that offers critical comment on the urban environment. A group of freelance photographers were invited to provide large-scale images and text on posters with the aim of encouraging the passerby to consider a particular public space.

FORUMS
The Value of Urban Design: A developers’ forum ... This invitation-only forum aims to highlight the value of urban design, deliver the Council's vision for the city and engage with people at the forefront of creating Wellington’s physical environment.

Wellington 1990 – 2040: A public lecture series, City Gallery lecture theatre, Civic Square ... There will be presentations about the future of the city’s public spaces. All will be held at the City Gallery. All welcome but venue is limited to 128 people.

Ludo Campbell-Reid, ‘Views from up North: How others do it’. Friday 28 September, 12.30-1.30pm.Ludo is an English urban designer. He is manager of urban design for Auckland City Council, and is specifically in charge of managing the Urban Design Review Panel the Mayor and Council has established, which reviews all central city development proposals. His previous job in London was providing urban design advice to 33 boroughs of London city.

Stuart Niven, ‘Looking Back with Fondness: The genesis of urban design in Wellington’. Monday 1 October, 12.30pm–1.30pm. Stuart Niven was the first Wellington City Council urban designer. He is currently Director, Urban Design for the Department of Sustainability & Environment in the Victorian State Government in Melbourne. Stuart will look back to Wellington in 1990, and ignite the debate as to where Wellington should be in 2040.

Ian Pike, ‘Our Evolving Waterfront: Wellington’s growing connection to the harbour’. Tuesday 2 October, 12.30pm–1.30pm. Ian Pike is CEO of Wellington Waterfront Ltd, the Wellington City Council-owned company that is progressively reshaping our waterfront into a world-class amenity.

Gerald Blunt, ‘New Zealand’s Capital Centre: Matching its urban landscape to its national importance’. Wednesday 3 October, 12.30pm–1.30pm. Gerald Blunt is Wellington City Council’s Manager of Urban Design Policy. He will take a closer look at the physical landscape of the Capital Centre and ask, ‘What more could we do to make this space reflect its symbolic importance as the heart of the nation?’

Wellington in 2040: A summary of ideas. Friday 5 October, 12.30pm–1.30pm. Invited design and development professionals from Australia, Auckland and Wellington will workshop ideas for the future of Wellington’s public spaces on Thursday 4 October. The key ideas of Thursday’s workshop will be publicly presented.

COMPETITIONS & EXHIBITIONS


IntensCITY Week Exhibition
All of the below will be exhibited in the State Insurance Foyer, 1 Willis Street (entry via Willis Street doors, south side of Sony Store). The exhibition opens on Thursday 27 September until Friday 5 October.

With My Little Eye
This is a photographic celebration of Wellington’s favourite spaces that incorporates a ‘people’s choice’ competition. Wellington City Council photographers Neil Price and Justine Hall have captured nine city spaces. People are invited to vote for their favourite space on the Council’s website – www.Wellington.govt.nz/rd/intenscity . Votes will be counted and a winner randomly chosen, and announced at the end ofIntensCITY Week. Their prize will be a gourmet meal and a photograph of the winner by Neil Price, in the winning space.

Welington 2040 – Just Imagine…
This is a schools art competition looking at Wellington’s physical landscape. Year 7 and 8 students have been asked to create an artistic vision of the city in 2040 that takes the best of the past into the future.

aBc: Airport/Basin/City
This is an ideas competition on the route between the airport via the Basin Reserve to the city.
 
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Statue of Mahatma Gandhi to be unveiled
SCOOP - Tuesday, 2 October 2007, 10:25 am

A life-size bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi, the major Indian spiritual and political figure noted for his commitment to non-violence, will be unveiled tomorrow on the front lawn at Wellington Railway Station, Bunny Street, by Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast. In attendance will be the Governor-General of New Zealand, Anand Satyanand, and the Indian High Commissioner, Mr KP Ernest. Mr Ernest says the statue is a gift from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, on behalf of the people of India, to the city of Wellington. “On India’s part, the gifting of the statue is an expression of our deep appreciation and acknowledgement of the commitment of the people of New Zealand for setting an example to the world of a tolerant, open and inclusive society,” he says.

The statue is the first of Mahatma Gandhi to be erected in New Zealand, it was made by noted Indian sculptor Gautam Pal. Mayor Prendergast says the gift is a symbol of the lasting friendship and solidarity between the peoples of India and New Zealand. “We are very touched and honoured to have this beautiful statue in our city. It is a wonderful tribute to the memory of a great man from whom the present-day world could draw a great deal of inspiration from. “With so much ongoing violence and intolerance in the world, the fundamental human values that Mahatma Gandhi espoused, and lived for, continue to be as relevant today as they were in his.” The site was chosen, after careful deliberation, because Mahatma Gandhi was a man of the people who used trains and other public transport to travel. The unveiling’s date, 2 October, was chosen because it was recently declared International Day of Non-Violence by the United Nations, in honour of Gandhi’s birth date. The ceremony will begin at 3.30pm.
 

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Damn I waged uni today so I will not be able to see ceremony.

I was wondering what that container was doing there!
 

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Does anyone have any suggestions for good cheap places to eat in the city? I feel like i need to venture out from my regulars =) :carrot:
 
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