Rainbow charity InsideOUT staff Alex Ker, left, Rebecca Lauryssen, Compass Wilts-Ramsay, Tabby Besley, Rosie Leadbitter, Edie Freeman and Neo Kenny celebrating the census including questions on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Mōrena Pōneke, here’s what’s happening around the region today.
6.30am: Wellington weather
Today will be partly cloudy, with southeasterly winds which will gradually die out in the evening.
MetService are predicting a cool day with a high of 13 degrees Celsius and a low of 6° C.
From the pages of The Dominion Post:
New rules could mean thousands of new homes in Wellington
Tens of thousands of new homes could be possible in Wellington after a major bipartisan housing announcement from Labour and National.
A new bill supported by both major parties strips red tape from the building process in an effort to accelerate medium-density housing.
The rule change will allow people to build up to three homes of three storeys on most sites in Wellington without any need for resource consent from August 2022.
It also brings forward the National Policy Statement on Urban Development, which requires councils to allow buildings up to six storeys and abolishes car parking requirements for buildings in urban areas.
Read the full story here by Joel MacManus.
Aotearoa’s rainbow communities to be formally quantified
Aotearoa’s rainbow communities will be counted by the Government for the first time.
Rainbow communities have been invisible in the census since its inception in 1851, however in 2023 they will be quantified with questions on sexual orientation and gender identity being asked. People would also be asked whether they have any variations of sex characteristics, which would help count intersex Kiwis.
Information collected on sex would now be at birth, whereas previously Statistics New Zealand collected information on sex without further clarifying what that meant. The confirmation came through the publication of the 2023 census: Final content report.
Rainbow advocacy groups argued their exclusion led to a lack of funding and resources. Research shows rainbow Kiwis have worse physical and mental health outcomes versus the general population. They are also at higher risk of violence, and continue to face widespread discrimination and inequity in schools, workplaces and the healthcare system.
Wellington councillor says staff were ‘undemocratic’ for checking on potential library conflict
Wellington City councillor Nicola Young has accused senior council staff of acting undemocratically by investigating her for an alleged conflict of interest without her knowledge.
Council officers commissioned a legal opinion from prominent lawyer Andrew Butler on whether she was conflicted on the Wellington Central Library vote because her son works at Beca – a firm that put forward a design proposal.
Young’s son Matthew Plummer is an associate in Beca’s buildings team and has written about earthquake technology. He ran for a seat on Wellington City Council in the 2016 local body elections.
Beca had proposed using a “viscous damper” technology as earthquake protection for the Central Library, which was claimed to be as much as $60 million cheaper than alternatives.
Read the full article by Joel MacManus here.
Hutt City Council has released a first look at the proposed Naenae pool reconstruction plans as it seeks feedback from the community.
Consultation on the layout and design began on Monday. Plans show a 50-metre pool, leisure and splash pools, fitness centre and a hydro slide, known in Lower Hutt as a zoom tube.
The council set aside $68 million for the rebuild after it closed the old indoor pool in 2019 after an engineering report deemed it to be an earthquake risk. Beginning at $40m, estimated costs for a new pool rapidly increased. The latest sum is a limit, and takes into account potential cost blowouts – council officers have stated the expected total will be closer to $58.1m.
Eugene Collins is a former chairman of Swimzone which operated swimming lessons and trainings at the pool before it closed, and has been involved in swimming in the city for 15 years. His early impressions of the new design were good, though a larger spectator area was needed if the pool wanted to attract large events.
Read the full report by Matthew Tso here.
SH2 to close to retrieve 35-tonne truck down side of Remutaka Hill
It’s going to be a tricky job removing the truck involved in a fatal crash on the Remutaka Hill Rd last Saturday, and may mean multiple SH2 closures.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency regional maintenance and operations manager Mark Owen said retrieving the truck and container from below the road would be a “challenging exercise and required careful planning”.
“It is likely to involve night-time road closures over a couple of nights next week, subject to weather conditions, to allow the crane to establish and to complete the retrieval.
Owen said Waka Kotahi was working with suppliers on the retrieval plan, and would advise details of the plan once confirmed.
“We will confirm dates and timings along with the likely impacts on traffic ahead of the work being undertaken.”
The driver of the truck died at the scene and the road over the Remutaka Pass between Upper Hutt and Wairarapa was closed for several hours on Saturday afternoon.