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Just deserted

WELLINGTON, New Zealand was the first capital city to see in the dawn of 2000. Yet these untouched photos show a deserted seat of government.
   The late comedian Peter Cook once said that he thought Torquay, where he grew up, was pretty quiet. 'But compared to New Zealand, Torquay's Vegas.'
   That might not be true... or is it?
   Have citizens, seeing how average street parking prices have increased 750 per cent since 1988 when inflation is nearer the two to three per cent mark, vowed never to come into the city again? Have they banned retailers in favour of shopping at Amazon.com in the world's most wired capital city? Has the Y2K Bug infected the city's automobiles? Maybe there’s a huge rugby game on? Or is this the set for a sequel to the New Zealand sci-fi film The Quiet Earth?
   The streets are vastly deserted. The financial district is empty. There is less happening than during an episode of Seinfeld. This isn't 5.30 a.m. It's the middle of the afternoon.

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Wellington car parking prices up 750 per cent in 12 years

Ballance Street, Wellington
Lambton Quay, Wellington

Lambton Quay, Wellington
Johnston Street, Wellington

Top Ballance Street, Wellington. The District Court is housed in the white Georgian-style building. Above Lambton Quay, Wellington, the main shopping mall in the city. Left More of Lambton Quay. Below left Johnston Street, looking toward the waterfront motorway.

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