Senior Wellington journalist Georgina Campbell's fortnightly column looks closely at issues in the capital.
Heads should roll over the state of Wellington's massive $6.4 billion transport plan.
Just the name Let's Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) has become a joke, with the project stalling at every step of the way.
Now it has been found at risk of failing to deliver altogether.
Furthermore, a "strategic leadership vacuum" in a plan of this size has only thrown the capital deeper into a death spiral.
LGWM is meant to be a cohesive and integrated package that includes doubling the Mt Victoria tunnel and a new mass rapid transit line between the city and the airport.
But a damning review dumped on Friday reveals otherwise.
It didn't mince words.
The document was so free and frank it was described as "refreshing" by Greater Wellington Regional Council chairman Daran Ponter.
The review found LGWM has leadership issues, a detrimental culture, is inadequately resourced, and ultimately at risk of failing to deliver.
The "health check" was followed by an equally scathing letter from Transport Minister Michael Wood, who said these issues are unacceptable.
"Wellingtonians have been waiting too long on progress to unlock our capital city's potential," Wood told the LGWM Partnership Board.
He gave them two weeks to come up with a plan to sort things out.
After settling into his new portfolio of Transport, Wood has made it crystal clear he is not messing around.
This muddled shambles has happened under the watch of LGWM programme director Andrew Body.
LGWM is a three-way partnership between Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Waka Kotahi NZTA.
But Body's job is to deliver the programme, according to LGWM's website.
So what has gone wrong?
The review said the programme has been led with a bottom-up approach and is process-driven rather than outcomes-driven.
There is also a strategic leadership vacuum, with no obvious champions to build the brand, head off challenges, and foster collaboration.
LGWM's brand is so damaged the programme's ability to attract and retain key talent has been compromised.
"The brand is currently diminished due to perceived lack of delivery and future uncertainty, and presents a potentially difficult proposition for prospective employees," the review said.
LGWM has become a bunch of projects with no account taken to prioritisation or integration.
The review didn't point to one isolated problem, it pointed to problems across the board which Body should have been on top of.
The Herald asked LGWM what responsibility Body took for the state of the project, whether he accepted there was a strategic leadership vacuum, and if he would continue in his role.
In response, the LGWM Board said it accepted and welcomed the findings of the health check and the opportunity to improve the programme.
The statement said the scale and complexity of LGWM is the collective responsibility of all partner organisations along with the programme team.
It said significant progress was already being made on areas in need of improvement.
"The LGWM Board has also asked the programme team, led by Mr Body, to urgently review and confirm the vision, programme objectives and likely mix of investments, along with the funding which would be needed to deliver the agreed outcomes.
"The board's current focus is on ensuring that the work to develop this detail is progressed by the programme team, with a strong focus on the planning, engineering and consultation outcomes."
The partners involved in LGWM are obviously presenting a united front.
But it is difficult to believe a programme director, who has overseen the problems identified in the health check, has a tenable future at the helm of the ship.
The situation is made worse by the report landing as a narrative builds about Wellington's future.
The idea the city is past its use-by date is more than just a pile-on now. Wellington is in a death spiral in the absence of a strong vision.
The lesson from LGWM has wider implications for the city.
The health check found there is a lack of agreed vision and there is no one out there selling the brand.
Wellington needs someone to be the city's biggest supporter, to paint a picture of the future, and persuade people that rates increases and investment are worth it to achieve that.
But it can't be blue-sky thinking, it has to be a vision that can be delivered.
Whether the city's elected leaders have fallen victim to the same fate as LGWM will be decided in next year's local body elections.