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July 28, 2008 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]


I fell in love with Wellington about a week after moving in. It happened as I sat in the uni library overlooking the city splayed out sunny and comfortable. I love it for the mad crash of arts, music, theatre, bookstores; for the public spaces like Aro Park, Civic Square, Cuba and Manners Mall. I love the random sculptures, even the shit ones.

Of course there are problems with this place. Its creativity rocks but it’s perhaps too aware of this fact. And while proximity to Parliament allows us to think we’re ‘making a difference’, the Beehive really just infects everything with party politics and clouds intellectual debate with personal ties and schmoozing. This is not a town that favours straight talking or transparency.

I love walking around this city, and I love laughing whenever two cars try to drive in different directions down Kelburn’s tiny windy streets. This city is the perfect pedestrian city, whatever you think of its hills, but these streets aren’t made for cars. So I often wonder what it would be like to simply remove all cars from the city centre. Of course we’d have to allow access routes for delivery vehicles to fill all the offices with computers, but other than that…

Whatever we do, the point is that Wellington is both mad and wonderful, and much of this issue of Salient is devoted to considering its future. As Lenny Henry recently pointed out, her buildings seem to creep closer to the sea each night in search of salt. We’re built on reclaimed land that may one day subside, but in the meantime, it’s just great to walk around and run into all the crazies.


About the Author ()

Tristan Egarr edited in 2008. He threw a chair once.

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