Speed limits in central Wellington could be lowered to 30km/h as part of the city's $6.4b transport project's early wins.

Meanwhile request for tenders are being released next week for two big components of Let's Get Wellington Moving, being mass rapid transit and the state highway package.

It's the start of what will put to bed once and for all the dispute over the sequencing of a second Mt Victoria tunnel and mass rapid transit.

Public consultation for lowering speed limits in the CBD has been launched today with feedback also being sought on ideas to make the Golden Mile safer for people walking and cycling. It means pedestrianising parts if not all of the Golden Mile is on the table.


The proposal is for all central city streets to be 30km/h apart from main roads, including the waterfront quays, Cable and Wakefield Sts, Kent and Cambridge Terraces, Vivian St and Karo Drive.

"The central city is one of our fastest-growing residential neighbourhoods, and home to 40 per cent of the region's jobs. We want to make it more pleasant and liveable, so people feel safer walking and biking.

"If people need to drive into the central city, we want to ensure they're going at a speed that reflects the liveable city people told us they want", LGWM programme director Andrew Body said.

The request for tenders being released next week is for the likes of engineering and planning consultants to undertake more work on LGWM.

The indicative package announced by the Government has been criticised for being light on detail, to the extent Treasury did not support a recommendation for Cabinet to endorse it.

An email released under the Official Information Act showed further concerns and frustrations from Treasury.

"Why is the Minister [Phil Twyford] proposing to build the second Mt Vic tunnel after rapid transit has been delivered? There is no explanation for this sequencing", the April 18, 2019 email said.

In Question Time today, Wellington based National list MP Nicola Willis pressed Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter on advice she had received around these projects.

Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter is confident her position on Let's Get Wellington Moving is supported by the available evidence. Photo / Mark Mitchell.
Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter is confident her position on Let's Get Wellington Moving is supported by the available evidence. Photo / Mark Mitchell.

Genter listed several pieces of advice both she and Transport Minister Phil Twyford had received on the matter of sequencing from both the NZTA and Ministry of Transport.

"I'm confident that both my position, and the Government's final position on Let's Get Welly Moving is well supported by the available evidence", Genter said.

The questions come off the back of the secret letter saga.

The Ombudsman ruled Genter was entitled to withhold a copy of the letter she penned over LGWM to Twyford in March this year in order to protect free and frank discussions between ministers.

But she was still made to issue a clarifying statement, along with Twyford, which revealed that in exchange for her support, Genter did in fact ask for mass rapid transit to be prioritised ahead of a second tunnel.

Proactively released documents show Twyford has received official advice that from a mode-shift perspective, it is important for congestion-free options to be built ahead of road capacity.

But there's also advice saying it might be physically necessary to make a road investment to enable mass rapid transit, and to help mitigate construction disruption.

It will take roughly a year for indicative business cases to be done before detailed business cases get underway. This work will drill down into the exact cost, sequencing and the extent to which the projects can be undertaken.

"Ministers, councillors, they make decisions, that's what they do, that's why we have them. Our job's to make sure they have all the evidence they need to make the best decisions they can", Body said.