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Auckland transport shambles

Written By: - Date published: 1:27 pm, September 10th, 2011 - 111 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, leadership, public transport - Tags: , ,

I thought that last night’s RWC opening ceremony in Auckland looked good, and I’m sure that the fans that managed to get in enjoyed “party central”. But the aspect of the opening that is getting all of the headlines this morning is the public transport fiasco:

Trains fail city’s day of celebration

A day that began with hope and promise for Aucklanders eager to celebrate the start of Rugby World Cup 2011 ended in anger and frustration as the city’s public transport let them down. …

But at least 2000 missed the ceremony as trains backed up on the tracks to Kingsland station.

Last night, huge crowds built up at Britomart station in the central city as people waited for hours to catch a train home. It was still full at 12.30am, so several trains stopped at a re-opened emergency station at the Strand, at the bottom of Parnell Rise. Passengers then had to walk the rest of the way into town.

There were reports of long delays on buses at Eden Park, and thousands of people, including children, were left waiting. …

Thousands were crushed at the gates to Party Central during a three-hour wait – including a woman carted out by paramedics – and several frustrated party-goers jumped the fence. Malcolm and Laura Campbell vented their frustration after a five-hour wait. Mr Campbell shouted at security guards, “Where is your crowd control?” Mrs Campbell said authorities had a lot of lessons to learn from the organisation of Party Central. “This has been badly, badly, badly planned.” …

A police officer muttered: “Is this going to get a good kick in the paper tomorrow? Well, they f***ing deserve it.”

In other coverage: Stranded rugby fan: ‘I have never seen anything so disorganised’, and RWC transport chaos.  In short, not a good look for our biggest city, and not a great advertisement to the world.  A wise government would draw the obvious lesson – spend less time on the showy media image, and much more time on getting the fundamentals right…

111 comments on “Auckland transport shambles”

  1. Joe Bloggs 1

    .
    Mayor Len Brown has a lot to answer for after this shambles.

    What’s he done so far?
    Plenty of big-noting and face slapping. Plenty of taking credit for the refurbishment of Eden Park

    Threatening us with tolls, with congestion taxes, massive rates increases.

    Telling us to use trains, then driving to the park from the waterfront beecause he doesn’t trust his own rail system?

    The irony is that the roads were the only transport system to work effectively last night.

    • r0b 1.1

      Len Brown wants to invest a lot in Auckland rail.  Perhaps after this the Nats will listen to him?

      • Luva 1.1.1

        Of course Len has a lot to answer for

        He may not have built the shoddy train system and may want it improved but he encouraged all Aucklanders to use the system and to come to the water front to celebrate.

        It is his job to know what the capabilities of the system are yet he went and organised that party anyway.

        • mickysavage 1.1.1.1

          Nah last time I checked Len did not have a crystal ball.  And, and this is important, Hide determined that transport was going to be handled by a CCO.  Brown gets the benefit of getting quarterly reports and there is this wonderful sounding Memorandum of Understanding but Len’s control is not great.

          Auckland’s PT transport is now really bad.  Ten years ago it was comatose but it has improved tremendously.

          We just need to keep investing money into it.  There are decades of underinvestment to  deal with.

          • Pundit X 1.1.1.1.1

            Excuses Mickey, excuses. Auckland Transport can’t operate effectively at the best of times. Increasing demand twenty fold and expecting anything other than a clusterfuck was a massive denial of reality. As you smugly drive to your office daily, think about those who actually use the service every day and put up with overcrowding, late and cancelled trains and a safety record that is much worse than some third world countries. Len’s control is what he wants it to be. He is the Mayor and he just got a wake up call.

      • burt 1.1.2

        rOb

        Good on you trying to pass this off to National. So they had 2.5 years to prepare for this – what was underway when National took over ?

        Quite how much were National expected to listen to Len Brown and spend in the 2.5 years to rectify how unprepared Auckland was (and apparently still is) ?

        Were National expected, having been handed an economy in recession with the last of the money spent on saying we own a train set, to have Auckland sorted from the shambles of unpreparedness it was in 2.5 years ago just by spending like a drunken sailor?

        • mik e 1.1.2.1

          No but when you invest in infra structure its cheaper by 2/3rds to build commuter rail National cut the upgrade on electrification in Auckland.And changed the focus to cars.Dumb idea in a narrow isthmus like Auckland and given hard up right wing governments in Europe are ditching Motorway builds altogether because they are way more expensive to move people around ,18 times more people can be moved at any one time at third of the fuel cost a third of the build cost you do the maths .Huge savings Burt.Tell your mates the fat controller lord haw haw.Nationals solution is a so last century solution thats out of date with this centuries reality less and lees oil fat controller is making us more Dependant on oil

          • burt 1.1.2.1.1

            No but when you invest in infra structure its cheaper by 2/3rds to build commuter rail National cut the upgrade on electrification in Auckland.

            What with 2.5 years to go they decided that Labour had left the project far too late to complete it in time…. wow – Naughty National… how could they have decided 2.5 years wasn’t enough time to completely reconfigure the Auckland trains…. La la la Labour blameless….. Whatever….

    • prism 1.2

      Joe B If you hate Len Brown and the left then you aren’t capable of making a reasoned analysis of anything. And the hate is what seems obvious in your diatribe against Len Brown above. He is actually thinking and doing something about Auckland which requires new policies whether you like it or not, you poor old status quo statue. Woe is me you cry, there are new policies to adapt to, even extra taxes or costs. You don’t want anything to change, but things should get better for one JoeB but at no extra cost. Impossible!

    • Jum 1.3

      Joe Bloggs,

      That is exactly the sort of thing that John Banks or John Boscawen or Rodney Hide or Steven Joyce or John Key or Simon Bridges or Paul Quinn or Tau Henare or the English bros or Don Brash or even the late retired National apologist John Carter (last heard on radio pretending to be a Maori called Hone telling us all that women on the DPB were prostitutes) or all the business rotundtable would say.

      Or a combination of all of those using a blog name that pretends to be Joe down the street but quite plainly is not.

    • Lanthanide 1.4

      Len Brown has been mayor for 11 months. What about all the mayors before him?

      • Puddleglum 1.4.1

        Yes, I’m a bit confused after reading Joe Bloggs’ and Burt’s takes on this. According to Burt it’s not National’s fault because they’ve only had 2.5 years to sort it out.

        According to Joe Bloggs, it’s Len Brown’s fault because he’s had 11 months to sort it out. 

        As for recommending using public transport – that’s a standard call from local officials for these sorts of events because, as they know, the really vulnerable parts of the network are the roads. Typically, the public don’t heed the call to any great extent. They appear to have done so here – or, more likely, they figured out for themselves that Auckland’s famous roading snarl-ups were not the place to be. I think it’s that reputation that pushed people overwhelmingly onto PT, not Len Brown’s call.

        But then I’ve spent a sum total of about 4 days in Auckland over the past 44years, so what would I know? 

    • tc 1.5

      Ah the troll universe JB lives in, it’s so obvious you don’t even care to construct a slightly plausible argument in slagging Len Brown who sits atop the NACT supercity grappling with an ignorant transport minister and a clown PM etc who throw rocks at his vision.

      History lesson JB, originally Muldoon turned down Sir Dover Meyer Robinsons rail completion plan and serious deterioration set in during the 90’s when Auckland boomed and never got it’s fair allocation of road related taxes it’s people were paying for thanks to Maurice Williamson and others in the nat gov’t.

      recent improvements are all down to Clarks labour reign which nat MPs are now taking credit for as they attend openings of projects begun 10 yrs ago, but don’t let that stop you blaming a man with a plan unlike your clueless self serving idols on the right.

      • AAMC 1.5.1

        Catch is, watching the news, it’s Len who’s being held to account, no word of McCully or Joyce.
        The message people will get will not involve the back history. Brown will be more damages than Joyce.

      • mickysavage 1.5.2

        Aye TC

        Listen up everyone.  If you want a good PT system you pour large amounts of money into it in year one, then the next year, then the next year, then the next year …

        Penny pinching for one or more years wrecks it.  Penny pinching for a decade like in the 1990s stuffs it.  It takes decades to repair. 

  2. prism 2

    What! Drunken fights on trains, emergency buttons pushed, people walking on railway tracks in the tunnels. This is normal behaviour for male crowds, especially ones with a large number of young males. It is predictable and should be planned for.

    Also likely medical emergencies should be planned for. How quickly can such persons be transferred to ambulances, first-aid stations should be calculated so as not to hold up the thousands of people who deserve to get the service they have paid for, were led to believe would be available, and to keep the flow of people in an orderly fashion to prevent unpleasant and dangerous crowding.

  3. Anthony 3

    Isn’t Auckland Transport an unaccountable CCO?

    Also I believe a lot of people left their travel far too late.

    • Infused 3.1

      This. People left it too late. Stupid people hitting emergency buttons.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Many people had bought hundreds (or thousands) worth of tickets, and they were stuck on the trains for 3 or more hours before kick off.

        No one told them they needed to be at the trains at the crack of dawn.

        Stupid people hitting emergency buttons.

        Possibly. Perhaps security staff should have been on each carriage sorting this out.

        But in reality I don’t think it was a real issue. Reason: a couple of kids playing silly buggers with the emergency stops would be FUCKING EATEN ALIVE, By the other 50 rugby heads in the carriage going WTF ARE YOU DOING.

        • infused 3.1.1.1

          They were. There are many reports of this happening. One train that stops stops all trains. Hence the huge hold up.

  4. Carol 4

    John Key was all smiley a day or so ago, saying the Cloud was going to be a great success.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/fan-central/5595388/Cloud-critics-will-have-to-eat-their-words-Key

    Prime Minister John Key says doubters of the Government’s plans for Auckland’s waterfront are going to have to “eat their words”

    As Auckland gears up for the opening of the Rugby World Cup and a spectacular fireworks display this evening, tens of thousands of people are expected to descend on the waterfront, with a limit set on the number of people allowed into the new showcase venue, the Cloud.

    And where is he today?

    Leaving Len Brown to take the flak for all the chaos. No comment from him in all the above linked articles after so much went wrong. Typical – JK is there to take credit for successes, and leaves others to face up to the failures.

    • Tigger 4.1

      Yep, Key is slippery as an eel and about as capable…

      • gnomic 4.1.1

        Eels are incredible. Have you looked into their reproductive cycle?

        Key is slippery yes, but I rate him well below the eel. What has he done for his species? Could the answer be next to nothing?

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          What has he done for his species? Could the answer be next to nothing?

          Nope, the answer is increased poverty, inequality, generally run down society and helped keep us on course for an ecological collapse that is likely to result in an ELE. He should be hung as a traitor to mankind.

          • The Baron 4.1.1.1.1

            I don’t know how you can expect people to take you seriously, Draco. JK has personally run down society and kept us on the path to an ELE in only 2 1/2 years? And he needs to be killed for it?
            I think we have found our own Jared Loughner here team! And weren’t you one getting all on your high horse about right wing extremism and threats only a few weeks ago?
            Hypocrisy and hyperbole. So out of touch with reality and sanity, Draco.

          • higherstandard 4.1.1.1.2

            Get a grip you tool.

      • mik e 4.1.2

        If we put him in SBW’s position he will be able to slip all the tackles and win the world cup he is that slippery tigger

  5. MrSmith 5

    I feel sorry for Len Brown, hopefully he can get some traction on this issue with the election looming. Overseas fans will be shocked by Aucklands public transport options, but this Government are intent on building more roads, someone needed to point out to Steven Joyce that people coming to the world-cup, wouldn’t be bringing there cars with them.

    Most of these Fan come from countries with great public transport systems so they will be bitterly disappointed, more mud on the face of the Government, of-course they will try and make it all Len Browns fault.

    • RobertM 5.1

      Yes well, Sydney and Melbourne have populations of 5 million each and great traditions of public transport use. So their isn’t any comparison. A small sophisticated city of 2 million that Auckland could be really needs the development of tram and electric bus services for intensive 5 minute interval services to suburbs within 10 kilometres of the city centre.
      Rail was always a ridiculous means of serving Eden park which is ideal for bus and tram links. The trains to Kingsland even at off peak take ages too and from Britomart and it is an awesomely indirect link compared with the buses that go straight into the city.
      After the l956 Springbok test at Eden park, trams in their last year of operation had moved 60,000 people away from the park withing ten minutes.
      NZ’s narrow gauge system of railways is really too steep, curving and narrow and too earthquake and slipe prone to be useful. If it was on any use it would be for pulp and coal hauls but the volume isn’t really there and possibly for intercity to Kapiti Coast, Levin and Palmeston Nth from Wellington and Auckland- Hamilton. Electrification of the Auckland- Hamilton main line would have been more useful than the Commutter service.

  6. Jum 6

    Joe Bloggs 1 10 September 2011 at 1:36 pm
    YOU said: ‘Mayor Len Brown has a lot to answer for after this shambles.’
    ***What Mayor Len Brown does NOT have to answer for is the fact that he knew long before last night that efficient wide-spread, well funded Public Transport would be essential to the success of something like the Rugby World Cup and its associated population needs.
    Steven Joyce most decidedly DOES have to answer to New Zealanders; he has done his utmost, with John Key’s blessing, to delay the progress of public transport.

    YOU said: ‘Telling us to use trains, then driving to the park from the waterfront beecause he doesn’t trust his own rail system?’
    ***Didn’t two of the conservative Auckland councillors (Cameron Brewer and Dick Quax) complain to the media in writing that Brown had his own Mayoral car and should be using it but Mayor Brown had the absolute gall, according to these two bozos, to travel on the trains to see what they were like, to see what people thought and wanted in a New Zealander-owned public transport asset and to ensure that they could feel comfortable about communicating with the Auckland Council of their complaints as well as their congratulations.

    YOU said: ‘The irony is that the roads were the only transport system to work effectively last night.’
    ***Only idiots would fail to see why the roads were supposedly less travelled last night:
    1. Tourists don’t always hire cars.
    2. Tourists knew the trains would deliver them much closer to the heart of Auckland.
    3. Parking – forget about that being available for long.
    4. When people use trains and buses they free up the roads. Duh.
    5. Locals left their cars at home because THEY HAD BEEN ADVISED TO.
    6. People like the camaraderie of these big events – people join in on trains/buses when big events are happening.
    7. They did not want to drink and drive.
    8. Etc
    9. Etc
    10. Etc.

    ***The most interesting point is that the people that think public transport is beneath them and like Joyce are deliberately trying to delay its progress are the very ones that benefit from less cars on the road. Stupid aren’t they.

    ***The second most interesting part of this thread is that Joe Bloggs was hell bent on trying to pin blame on Len Brown, when the whole country knows just how vindictive Key and Joyce have been in trying to demolish Auckland voters’ wish to have a better more widespread public transport system and Mayor Brown has, in spite of Key and Joyce’s financial and political attacks, been progressing that wish.
    NAct is obviously running scared.

    This, and the sale of assets we own, back to just a few wealthy businesses and people, often not even living in New Zealand like Owen Glenn that were given huge tax cuts to help pay for them are definite election campaign issues.

    (Unbelievable really – people live in tax havens and don’t pay taxes, receive huge tax cuts from the New Zealand workers who do pay taxes, use these huge tax cuts they have no ethical right to, to buy into assets that they have stolen from New Zealanders that cannot afford to buy back what they already own – truly unbelievable.

    Once I would have said: ‘only in America’, but we have America’s man living amongst us, preparing our absorption into the ways of greed.)

    P.S. What did Key and Joyce use – the usual helicopter?

  7. Zaphod Beeblebrox 7

    Hey lucky we rushed through all those road projects like the Sh20 bridges which HAD to be done in time for RWC. Really helped those fans stuck on the trains!

  8. Jum 8

    Joyce as Transport Minister has to resign.

    Two small adjustments such as having large bus numbers at all stations along the route to take passengers on to Auckland if any delays was an obvious one. I daresay Joyce refused to let any extra funds be used.

    Televisions provided for all train carriages would have covered for those not able to get to the stadium.

    Those with tickets had better be reimbursed, and out of Joyce’s personal bank account if I had my way. I daresay he’s still being paid to spin for Key as well as his ‘destroying New Zealand’s public transport system’ job as transport minister.

    Steven Joyce as Transport Minister should be forced to resign.
    Steven Joyce as Transport Minister should be forced to resign.
    Steven Joyce as Transport Minister should be forced to resign.
    Steven Joyce as Transport Minister should be forced to resign.
    Steven Joyce as Transport Minister should be forced to resign.
    Steven Joyce as Transport Minister should be forced to resign.

    • mik e 8.1

      Joyces choice of Chinese Rail engines is part of the problem the brand new Diesel’s can’t do the job they were bought to do they are to slow because of inferior running gear!

  9. If these idiots stopped pressing the motherfuckin emergency stop buttons every two seconds then everything would of been fine.

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      Emergency stop buttons only exist on the trains, not on the busses or ferry, which also had problems.

      Reading some comments on stuff, I believe some people were pressing the buttons because they actually wanted to get off the trains, after having been stuck on them for hours, often with them being very crowded. When you’re on a train that hasn’t been moving for hours and want to get off, what are you supposed to do, smash the windows as emergency exits?

      • Brett Dale 9.1.1

        Maybe if people in NewZealand dint wait till the last minute to get to an event where there will be over 60 thousand at the venue and 100 thousand in the street, they wouldnt have these problems, I mean seriously, people left at 6pm to get there at 7pm???

        • Treetop 9.1.1.1

          A suggestion, free transport from midday and not three hours before the match. The free transport was specified on the ticket into Eden Park, possibly it may be three hours before the opening and closing ceremony.

          You do realise that 60,000 would be leaving the rugby game within minutes of the final whistle.

          There are a multitude of problems to sort out.

    • freedom 9.2

      There were numerous reports on the radio, over the social networks and even in updates on Stuff that showed there was high volume traffic issues and pedestrian chaos all day. It got decidely worse as the day progressed culminating in what you can only generously call a rough start.

  10. Richard 10

    Ahh at last an honest open comment by a Police Officer 🙂

  11. Treetop 11

    The negligence which occurred within the Auckland transport system, (rail, bus, ferry) and the crowds at party central and on Queens wharf could easily have caused the loss of life.

    200 police in the Auckland CBD was insufficient and fool hardy.

  12. Carol 12

    And now Murray McCully is blaming Auckland’s transport system for spoiling an otherwise great event. Well, at least his one government minister who has made a comment on the issue, albeit to deflect the blame. But where’s Steven Joyce, Rodney Hide (architect of the current “supercity”, NAct’s selected head of Auckland Transport (Ford), and John Key (who was only yesterday saying critics would eat their words and Auckland’s waterfront would host a smooth and enjoyable party)?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/fan-central/5600036/Transport-chaos-for-rugby-fans

    Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully has criticised Auckland transport and event planners for spoiling “what was otherwise a spectacularly successful World Cup opening night”.
    [..]
    McCully said two areas “require immediate attention” to ensure no repeat of Saturday’s lapses for the next six weeks of the world cup.

    “Auckland’s public transport system failed to deliver to the required standard. In spite of reasonably successful trial events, there is no escaping the fact that last night’s performance was short of the standard required. Urgent steps will now need to be taken to ensure that these matters are rectified before the next large Eden Park match next weekend,” he said.

    He also criticised the fact two out of the six big screens set up in downtown Auckland failed to work.

    “While Queens Wharf operations were highly successful, event arrangements for those in the Quay St area simply did not meet the needs of the extremely large crowd that gathered. While such large gatherings will occur infrequently, it is important that the structural problems evident in this area are addressed quickly,” McCully said.

    So he reckons it all should have gone smoothly based on earlier “trial events”….. like those would have been without the very large crowd that attended last night? And McCully as RWC minister takes no responsibility?

    • RobM 12.1

      No responsibility but plenty of faith. You see he had all the right people talk to each other, just like Gerry in Christchurch:

      http://www.3news.co.nz/RWC-wont-break-down-Aucklands-transport—McCully/tabid/423/articleID/225148/Default.aspx

      Sceptical Aucklanders have voiced concerns the train service will break down and roads will clog up with so much traffic that cars will be brought to a standstill.
      Mr McCully said he had faith transport would run smoothly.
      “Logistically, we’ve done our best to make sure we’ve got those contingencies covered,” he said.
      “We’ve got all of the people that have a role to play talking to each other over many months now so I think we’re as well prepared as we can be.”

      • Puddleglum 12.1.1

        Good point RobM.

        He was trying to take credit (‘we’) for covering the ‘contingencies’, so he has to take the blame when it turns out the ‘contingencies’ aren’t covered.

      • Vicky32 12.1.2

        Mr McCully said he had faith transport would run smoothly.

        Hilarious! He had faith? But what did he do about it, hey?
        Friday, I refused to go anywhere after 15.00 hours. (Not that I would have gone to the match (or are they called games?) but even  so… )

  13. Sydnar 13

    I don’t think you can blame this on any single political party, largely because both have ignored Auckland’s needs for decades.

    The issues last night were the complete lack of contingency plans (eg. backup buses), abysmal communication and the decision to leave the CBD streets open to private traffic.

    All of these issues are simply logistical planning ones, and thus the responsibility of those in charge on the day and in the months leading up to it. A train breaks down – it happens – just make sure you inform the passengers and get buses there asap to get them to their destination.

    But evidently, no one thought of this, or the possibility that the central city would be inundated like the Millennium (where they did shut off private traffic and it was great).

    So really, Len Brown, who decided against using public transport and DROVE to the game to make sure he got there in time (all the while telling everyone else to use the buses/trains) should be held accountable, along with the head of Auckland Transport and Veolia.

    This was a logistical and planning cock up that was demonstrated during last year’s U2 concert. Heads should role (but they wont – local government is a haven for numpties).

    • Treetop 13.1

      Logistics, planning, contingency and communication is reliant on competent personnel and the money to fund this.

      About a week ago I saw on TV Len Brown suggesting that Queen Street be made into a pedestrian only area. Will he be listen to?

      • Treetop 13.1.1

        listened not listen

        • Sydnar 13.1.1.1

          He’s the Mayor – presumably, if he has any respect or authority, yes he will be listened to. Evidently he knew something was up. He reportedly chose to go by car – a decision made on Thursday. Hmmmmm.

          • mickysavage 13.1.1.1.1

            Concern trolling alert.

            Sydnar you can blame this on National.  In 1999 there was less than $1m a week being spent on Auckland’s roads and bugger all on PT.  In 2005 the figure was more than $1m a day and a heap on PT.

            Auckland’s PT is way better now but still unacceptable, but to get it up to scratch we will need left wing leadership for the next decade.

            Don’t blame Len.  It makes you look intellectually dishonest and troll like. 

            • big bruv 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Ha ha…nine years of a corrupt Labour government and yet you still try and blame the Nat’s for the disaster that is Auckland transport.

              • Nah BB

                Point out where I am wrong. 

                Have you been to Sydney or Melbourne?

                Those cities show what you have to do.  Fund PT properly from the start.

                NZ stopped in 1990 when the nats were in control. 

              • gnomic

                Sad simpleton – have you ever heard of the Shits and Rats (aka nasty party in drag) who systematically sabotaged public transport in OrcLand over 50 years? They couldn’t get roading based on the private motor vehicle even approximately right either.

              • Vicky32

                Nat’s

                Aside from anything else, plurals don’t take apostrophes! I shall have that carved on my tombstone, maybe then someone will listen… 

              • mik e

                Liitle pesk 30 years of under funding by right wing laissez fair governments. Labour under Cullen increased funding for public transport motorway development by huge sums National cut funding for electrification of Aucklands rail Joyce has bought cheap unfit for purpose junky [johnkey]diesel engines!BB

            • The Baron 13.1.1.1.1.2

              See Snyder, you become a troll when you hassle someone Greg likes. And since Greg likes everyone who wears a red rosette and has plans for borrowing a shit load of money, then you are a troll if you hassle any one on the left.
              See this is cos Greg is a labour party loyalist dimwit. Hang round this blog a little longer, and you’ll see that no matter what Labour says or does, they should soon all be made saints in Greg’s eyes. It gets a bit dull after the 500 comment blow job that Greg gives Phil Goff, but you’ll get used to it.

              [lprent: On this site you become a troll when a moderator says you are. Looking at the pattern of your comments this morning, I am starting to reclass you as one. Your comments contain no information and are merely a series of poorly thought out taunts. I see that has been a pattern for a wee while.

              Take a week off to calm down and remind yourself of how to behave here if you want to comment here. If you want to continue in your current style – well the sewer welcomes it. ]

            • Sydnar 13.1.1.1.1.3

              I’m sorry I don’t understand. I got caught up in the mess on Friday night and googled somewhere to comment on it, find this website and am now labelled a troll because I’m pointing a finger at Mayor Brown? Do you just fling a label out there because you disagree with someone? Does that make you a troll? I’m not sure of the parlance of online forums but it seems pretty rude.

              I organise events, for what it’s worth. Certainly not to the scale of the RWC but events nonetheless, and event planners always have backup plans (well, the good ones). What if it rains? What if traffic is at a standstill? What if we lose power? What if there’s a fight? And leaders/funders/bosses are there to question those plans and make sure they’re in place and reasonable.

              It’s a hellishly stressful job but a huge relief when over and, frankly, pays pretty damn well. So I enjoy it. And every time you have an event something goes wrong. But from previous experience, you know to have a backup plan in place. People are usually pretty forgiving of things not going to plan, but less so when you have no alternative in place. And rightly so.

              Event organisers, whoever runs Auckland Transport and, yes, Len Brown, should be held accountable. All the Mayor has to do is ask the question and demand evidence of the backup plan. Whatever your politics, whoever’s in charge on the day is held accountable. If it was Banks, he’d be the one getting the blame and that would be fine by me. What’s so wrong with accountability?

              Still makes you wonder why he decided to drive, even from the PR side of things.

              • Sydnar

                I should add that for the sake of fairness in apportioning blame, McCully should also be held to account.

                • Carol

                  Brown IS fronting up, McCully is prevaricating, and Joyce & Key are MIA.

                • Jum

                  Sydnar,

                  That’s interesting that you hold McCully to account. Is he expendable but not Steven Joyce the one man, apart from John Key that has steadfastly refused to consider better funding for public transport?

              • Jum

                Sydnar,

                Cameron Brewer and Dick Quax, both Auckland Councillors, both supporters of the National government, John Banks and Rodney Hide, wrote a letter of complaint to the media about Mayor Len Brown travelling on the trains to talk to people, find out their issues and concerns and so that he could see for himself any problems with public transport – just what any real Mayor of the people would do. He should be commended for that.

                Brewer and Quax complained because his mayoral car was also following in case of any urgent issues arising he would have to be driven to. You understand of course that, unlike Key, Brown doesn’t have a military helicopter at his disposal for important events like rugby games.

                Now Brewer is blaming the public transport stuff up on just Len Brown. You are mentioning only Len Brown, not the actual name of the CEO of the Auckland Transport CCO, Ford. You haven’t mentioned Steven Joyce the Transport Minister who has been deliberately trying to stop Brown from achieving a better public transport system. You haven’t mentioned Michael Barnett the other bozo that said, hey no probs. everything is going like clockwork bullsxxt.

                Also remember that Ford’s CCO has been accused of having secret meetings and not advising Council of everything they are doing because (we all know that many Auckland assets will be on the block next year to sell so of course Ford wants to keep his activities secret).

                Then there’s Murry McCully who pulled up the drawbridge of party central and left everyone else to their fate.

                Seems to me, now Sydnar, if you aren’t one of the ever increasing rightwing crosby textor gnomes I remember of last election, then you must agree that Len Brown was probably less to blame than the other named individuals. So, I will assume from now on you will mention all those names when you are laying blame, or I will certainly be suspicious of your motives for coming on any left-leaning site which is far more objective than say National’s kiwiblog, which I daresay you know of?

                • Sydnar

                  Um, Len Brown used public transport for a week when he became Mayor. So much for that little commitment. and don’t get me started on Dick Quax – the guy is a loon.

                  I don’t even know who/what Crosby Textor is. Let me Google… really? Your answer to my point on event management and contingency plans is to throw a conspiracy theory at me? Sigh. So can I assume you’re a Labour Party hack? I hope not – I kinda liked them at the last election.

                  God forbid someone who actually works in the industry comment on it.

                  If you’d read my other posts, you’d see that yes I believe the Veolia management, head of Auckland Transport and McCully should be held accountable. I don’t think Joyce can really be blamed given the long term nature of PT funding but evidently this is a fiercely partisan blog and I’ve waded in a little naively, so am now kinda jammed in this mire.

                  And no, I’m unaware of Kiwiblog – but thanks for the headsup, I’m aware of it now. Not my cup of tea.

                  The Auckland Transport blogs are little more informed and a little less, well, ridiculous. I’ll take my readership over there (AKTNZ and bettertransport for anyone else interested).

                  • Sydnar apologies if you are being unjustifiably accused of being a troll but there is a habit of supposedly politically neutral independent commentators popping up and then running Crosby Textor attack lines.

                    You have not heard of CT? Then you cannot have been around in 2005.

                    I don’t want to cast aspersions on your bona fides but lefties have been suspicious of people popping up and doing such things as blaming Len Brown for what happened Friday night. Because he is a recently elected representative and PT projects take years and years to come to fruition. So if you wanted to blame anyone you should go back ten years and see who was in power then.

                    You could also see Auckland’s train system in 2000 (utter crap) and then compare it to what it is now, (transports ten times as many people per annum but still bad).

                    If you are really pissed off about Auckland’s PT then back in 1975 Sir Dove Myer Robinson proposed a light rail system for Auckland. Labour was going to fund it. Muldoon came into power and killed the project.

                    • Sydnar

                      I don’t really take offence. I’m not wedded enough to the online thing to mind all that much when someone calls me a “troll”.

                      And don’t get me wrong, I’m furious about Auckland’s PT, or lack of it. And in ten years time when demand is skyrocketing and we don’t have the facilities/capacity needed because of the crappy decisions being made now, I’ll be the first to stand up and howl abuse at the current decision makers (Joyce, Key, English etc).

                      But for now – backup plans upon backup plans. Basic stuff.

                      Jum – try having a civil conversation or debate. It can be quite enjoyable.

                  • Jum

                    Sydnar,

                    Bye.

  14. John Dalley 14

    If you want to blame anyone, blame John Banks and now Stephen Joyce.
    If Bank’s had got his way when he first became Auckalnds Mayor, we would not even have Britomart.
    @Joe Bloggs, you continue to be a complete disingenious idiot, Len Brown was not, is not responsible for last nights fiasco, that can be laid squarely at the feet of National. They are the ones that wanted to “get more quote” and thus delayed the purchase of new rolling stock by at least two years and are continuing to screw the auckland public around.

  15. jeremy 15

    People who say this is the mayors fault don’t know he ran for better public transport and National cut money for any such dream.

  16. deWithiel 16

    Co-ordination of the RWC was undertaken by Michael Barnett, a former Citizen & Ratepayers’ regional councillor and chief executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. Here’s an excerpt from an earlier press release (last year):

    Auckland Transport “Will be Ready” for Rugby World Cup 2011

    A huge amount of work has been done over the past year and will continue this year to make sure Auckland transport is ready for the Rugby World Cup 2011 – “and I have total confidence we will be ready and able to provide a first class service for visitors and get maximum benefit from hosting the event,” said Auckland Chamber of Commerce CEO Michael Barnett.

    Mr Barnett, who is planning co-ordinator for Auckland’s RWC arrangements, was commenting on a Wellington report today that Auckland is not ready to cope with the more than 60,000 overseas visitors expected to flood the city for the 2011 RWC.

    “It is a shame that a Wellington media organisation used an outdated report written in the middle of last year without covering the huge progress made since it was prepared,” he said.

    We know how many people we need to move, when we need to move them and how we will move them. It will be rail, bus, coach, and walking opportunities.

    The region is working together, with a high-level of co-ordination across Councils, ARTA and other transport agencies.

    He suggested that media take a look at the area surrounding Eden Park to see the recent progress, including:

    Roading upgrades – Sandringham Road being realigned
    Railway station upgrades – Morningside and Kingsland
    New pedestrian links to public transport being built – The ‘Link Lane’ connecting Sandringham to Walters Road

    “It’s all happening now to make sure we are ready to welcome the crowds and give them an awesome Auckland experience at Rugby World Cup matches.”

    http://www.chamber.co.nz/News/Release-Archive/Auckland-Transport–Will-be-Ready%E2%80%9D-for-Rugby-World.aspx

  17. So, if I have this straight, if you spend decades letting your public transport system deteriorate it doesn’t perform well under pressure? I’m shocked. And stunned.

    • Lanthanide 17.1

      Yes. And then it’s all the current mayors fault when decades of mis-management come home to roost.

      • Sydnar 17.1.1

        But this is a planning muckup, as any event planner (my occupation) will recognise.

        Things go wrong, they always do. Provided you have a redundancy built into your event planning, you mitigate the downsides. So if a train grinds to a halt – a very foreseeable outcome given the decades of PT neglect, you jump to plan B – get spare buses there, inform people over the PA system and keep things progressing. You don’t leave people stuck there for 2 hours.

        A decent event/organisation head will have asked this question repeatedly – “What’s the backup plan? What’s the backup plan when the first backup plan fails?” in this case, it’s Auckland Transport, event organisers and, frankly, yes, the Mayor, regardless of who it is. If Banks had been mayor and this happened, I’d equally hold him accountable.

  18. Afewknowthetruth 18

    Orcland. The most dysfunctional city in New Zealand.

    A few years ago they couldn’t even organise an electricity supply.

  19. vto 19

    Blimmin’ useless

  20. Bryan 20

    The system always was going to fail. BS about people leaving too late – Insufficient trains/rolling stock etc. I went to station with 11 year old son and many others at 3pm to catch train to Britomart from Greenlane. Eleven !! trains went through too full to pick up. We boarded train to Onehunga and then travelled back past waiting thongs at stations to get to city. Fortunately (after one hour wait at Newmarket) we got to Britomart at 7.20pm in time see fireworks/ opening ceremony.
    The atmosphere was tremendous and the game on big screen a treat.
    The crush on Quay Street was immense ( any kind of panic may have turned into a disaster ).
    The patience of the punters was unbelievable by and large.
    Who is to blame –
    A dishonest exhortation to use public transport. Responded to by thousands.
    The unfinished tired old rail system, a one way bottleneck station at Britomart fairly obvious that it would not cope despite best efforts.
    All associated geniuses past and present – McCully, King Leonard, RWC planners/organisers, Veolia transport etc etc – now appear surprised and shocked.
    The fast electric trains required are still a couple of years away
    The Nats could have pushed the rail network along since 2008 ( yeah right Steven Joyce the motorway slut ) but there was no such directive from Helengrad in most of our 9 years of utopia either.
    Arrived home at 0030 Saturday

    • RedLogix 20.1

      A very excellent summary Bryan.

      The man at the top resigns. And that man is the Minister who has consistently underfunded Auckland rail for the last three years.

      This is basic and really should not be up for discussion.

    • marsman 20.2

      The LOOP through Britomart should have been on the agenda years ago. We need to get rid of that malevolent moron Steven Joyce, he’s destructive!

  21. hobbit 21

    What a load of BS.

    The problem is idiots pressing emergency stop buttons and of course, letting off the fire extinguisher. Having a medical officer on each train would have helped, rather than delaying trains to meet medical staff on the ground (as said above).

    This is the failure of Auckland Transport. Operator Veolia also has a lot to answer for, although what they can do is limited by Auckland Transport.

    I don’t think Britomart was the problem here, so the loop would not have helped.

    This government has put an incredible amount of money into rail nation-wide, especially the Auckland network. Electrification and a fleet of new trains will be completed by this government!

    We would have had modern electric trains running now if Labour had not fucked around when they brought the national rail network back in 2004. In fact, Labour brought the Auckland rail network in 2002! And they sat on their butts and did nothing. There was more than enough time to buy a new fleet of electric trains and complete the electrification of the network, in times of surpluses too.

    Rather, it’s left up to this government, in times of deficit.

    • RedLogix 21.1

      The operator Veolia certainly should be answering some hard questions. All the issues you mention were highly predicatable; we’ve had exactly the same experience on a somewhat smaller scale here on the Wellington system in the last few years.

      Veolia had every reason to know what could go wrong, and every responsibility to ensure they had a Plan B and Plan C to cope with things going wrong. If they failed to do this then the head of Veolia resigns; if they didn’t have the resources to cope they had a duty to communicate this.

      Ultimately however it is the Minister who is politically responsible.

    • Jum 21.2

      Hobbit,

      Check out your history, fxxkwit.

      National sold the railway to mates who stripped and onsold parts of it, destroyed the whole spirit of places like Otahuhu and the apprenticeships schemes and the Planning Department some time back, just as they are deliberately causing a break down of any public services that are the backbone of this country, as well as the people who produce the food.

      Let’s no longer kid ourselves that any one group of people makes a country. Everyone does – if they’re allowed to.

      This government wants rid of Len Brown; the only person actually working to improve public transport in Auckland.

      Now, I want rid of Steven Joyce and Michael Barnett the orchestrators of this ballsup.

      Minister of transport and the ‘me me’ Michael Barnett, ceo of Auckland chamber of commerce wanting knighthoods for their sterling work in Auckland. They deserve something quite different. A request for their resignations or better still the turkey who allowed them to run amok – John Key.

      Greed caused this – plain unadulterated greed.

      • hobbit 21.2.1

        Temper temper, and take off your tinted glasses, you sounded okay until you broke into the ‘Len good – Joyce bad’ mumblings.

        I’m not denying that rail suffered from a lack of investment in the final years of Tranz Rail ownership – it did – massively -, however that is not a reason for Labour sitting on their butts for 6 years after they brought the Auckland network and not purchasing a modern fleet of rolling stock. They knew the amount of people using it was going to double, and they tinkered.

        BTW: The restructuring of the railways was the best thing that ever happened to it IMO. God knows what the railways would be looking like today if it had not been shaken up – would probably have been declared bankrupt years ago. Forcing it to keep thousands of staff on to keep the unemployment numbers looking good was never a smart move.

        • RedLogix 21.2.1.1

          however that is not a reason for Labour sitting on their butts for 6 years after they brought the Auckland network and not purchasing a modern fleet of rolling stock.

          Because the job was contracted out to a private global corporation, Veolia Transport. You know… the political wisdom of the day being that the private sector is always more efficient and effective than the public?

          Besides your timing is crap. You forget that the govt of the day was still in the process of reclaiming the track system from TransRail and setting up OnTrack. The buy back of the rest of the system and setting up KiwiRail was still years into the future. And until that happened the public sector had very little leverage to actually implement any real improvements.

          Unless of course you are now arguing that the Clark/Cullen govt should have re-purchased the non-track rail assets from TransRail years before they did?

          Forcing it to keep thousands of staff on to keep the unemployment numbers looking good was never a smart move.

          And throwing those thousands onto the scrap heap of unemployment was somehow smart?

      • Craig Glen Eden 21.2.2

        The Nat trolls are definitely out thats for sure. Like many I left Glen Eden 4.30 got to town 6.30.

        People on trains very tolerant, trains stopped for long periods no communication as to what was happening and carriages started heating up, people wanted to exit but couldnt.

        The volumes prove people want to use trains. A huge problem was the the party central concept bloody stupid! A party for twelve thousand when the City has 1.4 million? Also they needed more live gigs spread all around the City. Should of had three or four parties with live Kiwi music out West, South, and on the Shore etc.

        Positives police did a great job really good presence without over policing. Hats off to them all.
        Joe public very tolerant given this huge failure. We will no who needs to be held responsible by who takes the least responsibility. Seriously how the hell could you blame the guy thats been in for Eleven months as Mayor?

        Lastly I couldnt believe the bad reception Key got from the downtown crowd people booing and screaming all sorts of negative stuff the young folk really seem to be seeing through John the con. People started yelling vote Labour get rid of this dick.I have to say that made the night even more special.

        • Jum 21.2.2.1

          Craig Glen Eden,

          Lovely to hear what ‘Craig Glen Eden 21.2.2
          10 September 2011 at 9:00 pm said.

          Everything you said I agree with but this following bit you said: priceless.

          “Lastly I couldnt believe the bad reception Key got from the downtown crowd people booing and screaming all sorts of negative stuff the young folk really seem to be seeing through John the con. People started yelling vote Labour get rid of this dick.I have to say that made the night even more special.”

          Glad to see the young are starting to take an interest in the damage Key and Joyce are doing to their country’s future – that’s if they even bother to stay.

    • Draco T Bastard 21.3

      Rather, it’s left up to this government, in times of deficit.

      Labour fucked up by not getting on to this when they first got into power in 1999 (it really was that important) but NAct have been actively preventing Auckland from improving PT since they got in power in 2008. They went really feral when Len Brown got voted in as mayor rather than their preferred lapdog (John Banks).

      To even think that NAct are doing something to improve PT anywhere is to be completely blind to what they really are doing while accepting as gospel the BS that they spout as truth.

      • Afewknowthetruth 21.3.1

        There is plenty of evidence both Labour and National governments have been dancing to the oil company’s tune for decades: force people into cars (notice how they have attacked motor scooters and motorbikes which don’t use enough fuel) and once yoiu have your populace locked into dysfuntional arrangements you can profit from selling them what they are addicted to and are dependent on.

        This is all going to get very interesting now that we are well past peak oil and oil depletion is progressing towards the critical point.

        Sure, the implosion of so many economies around the world has temporarily depressed oil prices but writing is on the wall and there is only one way this is going to end: tragically.

        • Draco T Bastard 21.3.1.1

          (notice how they have attacked motor scooters and motorbikes which don’t use enough fuel)

          Yep, I did notice that and, as you say, it’s all to do with ensuring the oil companies make a profit.

        • The Baron 21.3.1.2

          Plenty of evidence huh. Care to share some – just one single link that proves this assertion will do.
          Quickly, before the imminent collapse!

          • Draco T Bastard 21.3.1.2.1

            Why would he do that? He’s already supplied heaps and you didn’t believe them then. In fact you’re one of the more extreme disbelievers of reality who comment here.

    • mik e 21.4

      Labour had put 360 million dollars aside to electrify the network National gave that to you idiots for tax cuts instead Hobbit with a name like that you think that $ 98 million spent on its production would have been better spent on Electrification.Instead of hob nobbing it with Hollywood moguls

  22. HC 22

    As a regular public transport user in Auckland I am NOT at ALL surprised about what happened. Major roads are grid locked during normal rush hour times every day, and buses run late most the times, because drivers are expected to keep within timetables that it is impossible to stay within. I have been to many countries in Europe and a few places in Asia. Of course certain mega cities in Asia may be worse, but with a population of only 1.4 million Auckland is hardly comparable. I lived in Europe for a few years not long ago, and the trains and buses were frequent and mostly very reliable and good. For sure it can be done here.

    Repeated governments have failed to have the foresight to develop in public transport, to upgrade a hopelessly backward system and to bring in a reasonable train and bus network. At least the last Labour government with the strong support from the Greens started to wake up and begin improving the previously hopeless train network in Auckland.

    Len Brown can hardly be held responsible for the chaos that happened on 09 September 11, because there has not been a stronger defender and promoter of public transport as a mayor for a very, very long time. Some of his plans may be a bit over-ambitious, but the fiasco last night has proved that much, much more must be done.

    Because there are so many short-sighted people, many will now think, bugger the trains and buses, I need my car to get from A to B. That is counter productive. We need more double tracking, more stations and better functioning systems. It can be done in other countries, why not here? Laissez faire economics will hardly fix it, because that would mean to simply react to the inevitable disaster to strike at some time in the future.

    Maybe too many are too busy re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, instead of putting their brains into gear for things that are more important?

    • Draco T Bastard 22.1

      Repeated governments have failed to have the foresight to develop in public transport, to upgrade a hopelessly backward system and to bring in a reasonable train and bus network.

      The stupid idiots sold it off and left it to the market only to discover that the market didn’t work (I doubt if they’ve worked out that PT is a natural monopoly yet even though the evidence has been around that proves it since the 19th century) and once that happened instead of doing the right thing and pulling it back into government ownership they subsidised the profits of the private owners. Logic and the grasping of reality doesn’t appear to be a politicians strong point.

      Some of his plans may be a bit over-ambitious…

      It only seems so because PT wasn’t built up properly over the last 50+ years.

  23. Jum 23

    Herald, August 30, pg A7

    Only the Herald could scream out headlines like ‘cars still the favourite for speed and convenience’ and yet the accompanying picture shows hundreds of cars bumber to bumper going north and south.

    Hilarious.

    But sickening – this is what Len Brown is fighting against and this sort of sick joke of a Herald headline with the picture showing the opposite is what has caused this transport problem last night.

    The owners of these conservative newspapers really want to keep the pollution spilling out in Auckland and I want to know exactly what Key and Joyce are getting out of these people and their backers to prevent Aucklanders getting the public transport system they need.

    Shame on you greedy men.

    I want Key and Joyce’s political heads to roll for this.

  24. gnomic 24

    The rail termination on Britomart is a sad joke resulting from decades of wrong decisions mostly by rightists. The lack of the onward loop is another sad joke. Joyce is a sad joke. And not a genius by the way.

    The definitive account of the pernicious influence of the motor trade on Auckland’s public transport through the subversion of local government remains to be written. No doubt all the skeletons are buried deep.

    • higherstandard 24.1

      I got to the game easily on Friday night – motorways were working perfectly.

      • Carol 24.1.1

        And if all the people who chose to use public transport had taken their cars instead, there would have been major road gridlock, large numbers of people would have had nowhere to park, and you may never have got to the game.

      • RedLogix 24.1.2

        Yes because so many people were misled by Veolia’s promises that the train system would cope.

        Or are you trying to imply that if everyone had taken their car instead that the motorways would have ‘worked perfectly’?

  25. Gareth 25

    Lets be honest, the train system was never going to cope with that volume of people. There are to few trains with too few carriages. It was always going to struggle and once you get a problem it goes exponential.
    Hell i’ve waited for hours on tube plaforms in london because some twit pulled the brake for a laugh in peak hour.
    For the volume of people that needed to be shifted in that period of time there would have to have been more, longer trains travelling at closer intervals with the caveat that nothing went wrong with regards to signals etc.

    No ones fault really, apart from the fact that someone should have been able to do the numbers during the planning phase realised that it wouldn’t work. A supplementry method would have been to run alot of buses on closed mtorway lanes into the central city.

    • RedLogix 25.1

      There are to few trains with too few carriages.

      Well yes if the wikipedia page is to be believed then Veolia’s current complement doesn’t look like it would cut mustard:

      Veolia operates the following rolling stock:-

      9 ADK/ADB class two-car DMUs (ex Transperth), owned by ARTA, operated in pairs;
      10 ADL/ADC class two-car DMUs (ex Transperth), owned by ARTA;
      3 DBR class locomotives, owned by KiwiRail, operating in top-and-tail mode with one five-car SX set (ex Brisbane), owned by ARTA;
      20 DC class locomotives, owned by KiwiRail, operating in push-pull mode with 20 sets of 3 or 4 SA cars and an SD driving car with driving cab and remote controls (ex British Rail Mark 2 carriages rebuilt for suburban service), owned by ARTA.[1]
      4 DFT/DFB class locomotives, owned by KiwiRail. Used in a similar way to the DC class locomotives, using six-car sets (5x SA and 1x SD)

      So you have to ask then, who failed to raise the red flag?

      • Carol 25.1.1

        Cameron Brewer is blaming Len Brown for promising that the public transport system could cope. (just reported on RNZ). But as links above show, McCully also promised the system would cope,

        http://www.3news.co.nz/RWC-wont-break-down-Aucklands-transport—McCully/tabid/423/articleID/225148/Default.aspx

        Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully has assured Aucklanders their city won’t grind to a halt during massive opening night celebrations.

        […]
        Sceptical Aucklanders have voiced concerns the train service will break down and roads will clog up with so much traffic that cars will be brought to a standstill.

        Mr McCully said he had faith transport would run smoothly.

        “Logistically, we’ve done our best to make sure we’ve got those contingencies covered,” he said.

        “We’ve got all of the people that have a role to play talking to each other over many months now so I think we’re as well prepared as we can be.”

        as did the head of Auckland Chamber of Commerce,

        http://www.chamber.co.nz/News/Release-Archive/Auckland-Transport–Will-be-Ready”-for-Rugby-World.aspx

        A huge amount of work has been done over the past year and will continue this year to make sure Auckland transport is ready for the Rugby World Cup 2011 – “and I have total confidence we will be ready and able to provide a first class service for visitors and get maximum benefit from hosting the event,” said Auckland Chamber of Commerce CEO Michael Barnett.

        • rd 25.1.1.1

          How about the NACTs introducing a local petrol tax to help pay for Public Transport.

        • HC 25.1.1.2

          Good points raised here, Carol! Also who was for not just months, I believe YEARS, talking up PARTY CENTRAL as the event site for Aucklanders to go to, watch the games and have a great time? Who has been hyping up party central and encouraged people to head to the city to watch the RWC opening celebrations en masse, to catch trains and buses to get there? Right, first of all it was DON KEY, followed by Stephen Joyce, McCully (“Giddy Serious” or not?) and other government ministers and members.

          To blame Len Brown for all this is ridiculous.

          They should have promoted a number of viewing and partying sites around the city, so that not almost all would simply head to the waterfront. The buck stops somewhere at the very top. Who brought us ‘The Cloud’ and other fancy ideas. Suddenly there was only room for 12,000. What a joke!

      • Draco T Bastard 25.1.2

        Well, I’m pretty sure that it was pointed out 2005 through 2011 by a lot of people on the left that the system wouldn’t work due to not enough investment to upgrade it.

  26. john 26

    well i got in my car at 230pm and it took 25 min to get to downtown auck from east auck,drove into the skycity car park and parked my car…..nice
    as i passed the train station’s i was glad i was in a car
    hay donkey please give us more money for pt….yeah right all the money’s gone on nice to have’s

  27. Jum 27

    It was interesting to hear Murry McCully this morning saying that the party central venue was just great – no problems at all – he’d just pulled up the drawbridge and left all those poor people outside to fend for themselves. – Nice going McCully.

    Just more evidence of the rich and the poor division that’s building in New Zealand.

    Then we had Guyon Espiner talking to the independent European Commission Chair and I could swear that the questions Guyon asked him will relate to New Zealand in a short time from now.

    Riots and loss of sovereignty to name just two.

    Hope Labour takes note of the financial transaction tax looking to happen in Europe.

    The panelists on Q and A discussed the tax after and dear wee Fran O’Sullivan, talked about speculation on our dollar.

    Nobody thought to bring in the elephant in the room which is Key and buddy the damaging speculators on our dollar when he was working hand in glove with the financial moneytraders that caused all our ills and now he’s in control of our future – thank goodness for 3 yr election times – oh I forgot, this one’s already been corrupted by media and by spinners.

  28. TTT 28

    Well, if you look back at the governments that have made big decisions against public transport investment in Auckland, National is the demon. The 1956 Master Plan, axed labours electrification, and rail enlargement scheme… Robbies Rappid Rail, following similar themes + the cbd tunnel was again dismissed by national in 1976, in favour for the completion of the 1963 Leuw Cather & Co Highway extension plan, even though this American outfit noted within the report that a “balanced” investment (ie PT+ roads) would be the only way forward.

    What has ensued is decades of Americanised road planning, with serious neglect to the public transport network. The only improvements that have been made since 2000, were all under the Labour government. Electrification, double tracking etc etc were all proposed and allocated funding before JK took his turn on the throne..

    The current and previous GPS documents are the easiest way to cut through the crap, and see where national’s transport priorities lie, over the next 7 years 272 million is put aside for public transport infrastructure whilst 11.5 billion is set aside for state highways investment. Sustainable management? yea right. Talk about the most backwards transport planning regime in the western world.

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    RedlineBy Admin
    16 hours ago
  • No money for housing, more money for spies
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    16 hours ago
  • Polity: Budget 2016: Growth for the country, but not for your family
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    16 hours ago
  • Polity: Budget 2016: Dull on top, hollow underneath
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    16 hours ago
  • Writing to please the reader’s ear
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    18 hours ago
  • Hard News: Things that do us good and ill
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    18 hours ago
  • Mid-week reading: California uber alles, road tolls, apartment design, and election reviews
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    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    18 hours ago
  • Something fishy in Christchurch
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • Something fishy in Christchurch
    A tweet by Phil Lyth alerted me to a series of Parliamentary written questions from Labour's Megan Woods about Otakaro Ltd, the company the government established to manage the Christchurch rebuild. It seems Otakaro has just changed its constitution, removing… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • Julie Anne Genter: My Budget 2016 wish is fairness
    When my parents first visited me in Auckland ten years ago, they remarked on how there were no homeless people on the streets. Coming from Los Angeles, they were used to seeing the impacts of horrendous inequality and a lack… ...
    frogblogBy Julie Anne Genter
    18 hours ago
  • Drawn
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • Timing is Everything
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    Briefing PapersBy Cameron Preston
    18 hours ago
  • Pettiness and transparency
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • Film review: The Nice Guys
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    19 hours ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
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    frogblogBy Steffan Browning
    19 hours ago
  • International students excluded by programme sell-off
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    20 hours ago
  • Three things to look for in today’s budget
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    20 hours ago
  • Speaker: I am a Really Useful Engine
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    20 hours ago
  • One in 12 PTEs are high risk
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    20 hours ago
  • Minister to Auckland: find more international students
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce has told the University of Auckland they need to get more international students rather than seek more public funding. Joyce told Newstalk ZB that the University of Auckland already gets slightly more funding than the other universities. “Because they are… ...
    20 hours ago
  • DIY Touring The World: Australia
    For the Kiwi musician, the grass has always seemed greener in Australia.  In the final episode of DIY Touring The World, A Low Hum's Ian Jorgensen heads to Big Sound - a music industry conference and festival held in Brisbane. Industry… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Notes on P contamination
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    DimPostBy danylmc
    21 hours ago
  • The government’s housing message dilemma
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    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    22 hours ago
  • Legal Beagle: Geoffrey Palmer has decided to write a constitution
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    23 hours ago
  • Open letter from Paula Bennett to the State House tenants & homeless of Auckland
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    My ThinksBy boonman
    23 hours ago
  • Budget day 2016, what we want to see
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    23 hours ago
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Bill
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Questions & Answers – May 25
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2016 – Scoop Full Coverage
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Human sexuality is stupid and confusing
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    TangerinaBy Coley Tangerina
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell: the latest allegations against Helen Clark
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    1 day ago
  • In-depth: Experts assess the feasibility of ‘negative emissions’
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    2 days ago
  • A BIG win for the Arctic!
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    2 days ago
  • Inner East cycle consultation
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    2 days ago
  • Minister undermines State Sector Act
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    2 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Paula Bennett’s housing deja vu
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
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    frogblogBy Mojo Mathers
    2 days ago
  • Fluoridation: One small step sideways?
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    2 days ago
  • Finding a sense of porpoise
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    2 days ago
  • Member’s Day
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    frogblogBy Metiria Turei
    2 days ago
  • Forcing transparency on Ministerial transport
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Wicklow 2 win unconditional bail
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • We shouldn’t just forgive, but pay back odious debt
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Opening up NLTF to all modes
    The Green Party released a new freight policy yesterday. They’re looking at ways to invest to increase safety and reduce carbon emissions: The Safer, Cleaner Freight policy sets a target for moving half of freight on rail… ...
    2 days ago
  • The American Black Movement in the Sixties: Victories and Lost Opportunities
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Three Dreams
    I have three dreams. One is characteristic, one is recurring and one is singular.The characteristic one is simple in concept: it's me and my friends going places and doing things. In the last one I can recall, there was a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Did you know this about tigers?
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    2 days ago
  • How well do you know the Polar Bear?
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    2 days ago
  • How well do you know the orangutan?
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    2 days ago
  • Income inequality is one of the defining issues of our time
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    Closing the GapBy Ben Smith
    2 days ago
  • Dying For Latvia?
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    2 days ago
  • How much do you really know about turtles?
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    2 days ago
  • How much do you know about whales?
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    2 days ago
  • Are noisy oceans to blame for beached whales?
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    2 days ago
  • Sylvia Park growth plans
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    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    2 days ago
  • PrintNZ Forum Speakers Enlighten Delegates
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Nick Smith: There is NO crisis
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    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 days ago
  • Tracking the 2°C Limit – April 2016
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    3 days ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    3 days ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    3 days ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Punakaiki Fund invests in Populate
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    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    3 days ago

  • How the budget fails new New Zealanders
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    GreensBy Denise Roche
    12 hours ago
  • Parents will pay more as school budgets frozen
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    13 hours ago
  • Sticking Plaster Budget fails the test
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    15 hours ago
  • John Key fails middle New Zealand with no fix for housing crisis, more underfunding of health
    Middle New Zealand has again missed out in this year’s Budget with not a single fix for the housing crisis, and health and education woefully underfunded again, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This Budget is just a patchwork… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Labour Bill would back Kiwi jobs
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    17 hours ago
  • Julie Anne Genter: My Budget 2016 wish is fairness
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    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    18 hours ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    19 hours ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    19 hours ago
  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    2 days ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    2 days ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 days ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    2 days ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    2 days ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    2 days ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    3 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    3 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    3 days ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    3 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 days ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    4 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    4 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    5 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    6 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    7 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    7 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    7 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    7 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    7 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    7 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 week ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    1 week ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago

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