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John Key re-announces Len’s plan

Written By: - Date published: 3:57 pm, June 28th, 2013 - 42 comments
Categories: john key, len brown - Tags: , ,

So John Key has today re-announced the Auckland plan, albeit delayed.

So the Central Rail Link is on.  There’ll be a 2nd Harbour crossing that’s tunnels.

Combine it with Christchurch and Key’s spent about $10 billion this week.  Bill English will be having a heart attack… but then, it’s all spending in the distant future on the never-never.  They can promise what they like as they know there’ll be Labour-led government (be it 2014 or 2017) before they have to work out where the money comes from.

Indeed they can be sure that the CRL will be started before 2020, as any government involving Labour or the Greens will be getting onto it straight-away.

But still, nice that National’s finally seen sense, and a great win for Labour’s Len Brown…

42 comments on “John Key re-announces Len’s plan”

  1. Winston Smith 1

    John Key learnt from Helen Clark and will reap the rewards

  2. karol 2

    Aren’t the road upgrades being given more immediate priority?

    Local Bodies Blog

    Auckland Transport Blog

  3. Dv 3

    Blienglish looked very grumpy and was noncommittal when asked could he confirm that southland was going to be sold to pay for the Ak development.

    • Alanz 3.1

      Blienglish should be relieved to find out there is a typo with the piece that should have more correctly read:

      “Work on the $10 billion transport package for Auckland could start sooner than 3020 if employment in the central business district and rail use rise faster than expected.”

  4. Rogue Trooper 4

    “rail patronage to lift from 11M to 20M trips per annum to bring CRL start forward.”
    still, effective politics.

  5. ianmac 5

    I wonder what conversation took place? A few days ago Mr Brownlie was against the tunnel as was Mr Joyce. Suddenly it is all on even if it is just a pragmatic decision to appease the restive Aucklanders.
    So who blinked first? Key, Brownlie, English or Joyce? Wish I was a fly. (Well not really!)

  6. Coronial Typer 6

    Instead of the Auckland Plan being yet another dusty tome, they are now being held to their target numbers like they are real: make the rail pt targets and get your CRL early, or get it when you measure up. Good job. Be real.

  7. dewithiel 7

    Yup, it’s an immediate roadsfest under the cosmetic spin of a delayed CRL which was only mentioned (a) because Sky City think it might bring in more poor punters (b) because it might save Auckland Central in the next election (c) those focus groups (d) if its spun right (and the MSM is only too willing to oblige) then it completely undercuts Labour/Green transport policy (and from what we’ve seen today they’ve been well and truly taken in) (e) the truckies are happy. 100% opportunism; a classic Crosby Textor feint.

    • ianmac 7.1

      dewitiel @(d). It is a good reason of course for Oppostion Parties to not be too quick to publicise policy as the Government can trump it. Hence Housing, Transport etc.

      • handle 7.1.1

        The key is to be able to keep generating policy. If good things are put in place, that’s a win no matter who is in power.

        Or Labour could sit on its hands until the last minute. That ‘plan’ worked so well last election.

      • Murray Olsen 7.1.2

        One alternative could be to come up with such innovative ideas in favour of the workers and the lower socio-economic groupings that NAct can’t possibly sign up for them. To me, the fact that Key can do this just shows how timid Labour policy is.

  8. Rich the other 8

    Winning Again, landslide win at the next election.
    Don’t ya just love it.
    Bring on an early election, wipe out the green/labour dreamers and get the country moving.
    Great stuff Nat’s.

    • locus 8.1

      i thought the country was already moving…. socially and economically in an increasingly rapid downward spiral…. yep a landslide

      sorry to pop your bubble, Rich, but whether the gnats win next or not, there’ll always be a majority of people in NZ who dream of better public transport, a cleaner environment and a fairer society – not the kind of things that the neolib righties are able to deliver

  9. Northshoreguynz 9

    Key, poll driven as always. Remember Lord Acton.

  10. tc 10

    Cynical in the extreme, there is no end of rejections and diversions on record on the CRL by all and sundry including shonkey over the past years including dismissal of detailed reports by experts etc etc.
    This is all about promising something you will never have to deliver, something the MSM have been not bothered at dissecting ever since Blinglish BS budgets , which are just farcical now, that spend those ‘best guess’ asset sale values over and over again.
    Rudd would piss in if our MSM were in Oz.

  11. Yes 11

    Brilliant…did you notice that John key made the announcement not Len. Brilliant..it’s a national project..voters will love it.

    Ok all e need now is cath Casey to have a vote to veto the rail link, roads bridges etc!

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Brilliant..it’s a national project..voters will love it.

      No it’s not – National have been, and still are, opposed to it and the voters know that.

  12. RedLogix 12

    More to the point … look what the SuperCity has achieved.

    It’s not just Len Brown’s victory; a large chunk of credit has to go to a lot of skilled and capable staff who’ve worked long and hard on this.

  13. Frank 13

    John Key turned up on Mary Wilsons Gig on RNZ today,What is going on? he NEVER goes on RNZ.

    • peterlepaysan 13.1

      Key fronting Wilson?
      Someone somewhere is worried. The Nats bowels are rumbling.
      Mind you think big prezzies to Auckland and Christchurch do enhance election prospects.

      It used to be called pork barrel politics or (as that intellectual giant, lockwood smith, once said “swallowing dead rats”).

      Does anyone suspect a general election looms?

      • BM 13.1.1

        Why?, the opposition is in complete disarray.

        You only call an early election if you think you’re in the shit.

        • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1.1

          Electioneering starts quite awhile before the official election period. National proved that back in 2005 and they’re proving it again now.

          • BM 13.1.1.1.1

            That’s true, but to call an early election is admitting you think your chances of holding on to power is a bit dicey.
            National isn’t in that situation , with labour is in a death spiral I would be surprised if National didn’t get an out right majority at the next election.
            Absolutely no reason to call an early election.

        • xtasy 13.1.1.2

          John Banks convicted of “fraud” or something of that type perhaps? Him having to resign as MP and Minister perhaps, costing Key and his government the one vote majority?

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10887376

          Or Peter Dunne having to resign, after more may yet surface about the emails between him and Andrea Vance, Dunne perhaps getting exposed as “leaker” of a report kept confidential, after perhaps some unknown information comes to show?

          While Shearer and Labour leave to be desired in opposition, there is still potential for things to go wrong for the government.

          • phillip ure 13.1.1.2.1

            key will also want to move while shearer is still leader of labour..

            ..the thought of facing cunnliffe and getting monstered in the televised debates..will be sending a chill thru keys’ bones..

            ..which is all the more reason for those in labour still dallying..

            ..to get some focus..

            ..and to bundle up shearer and robertson..

            ..and put them out for recycling..

            ..and at the same time those tired/old faces from the last labour govt..the kings/goffs..have to be moved into elder (backbench) status..

            ..there is plenty of talent in labour to replace them..

            ..(and y’know..!..fair crack of the whip/suck of the sav..and all that..

            ….and can’t those elders themselves not see that for the party to be able to present a new/fresh/rejuvenated face to that electorate they so long ignored..

            ..that their clark-era/working for (some) families faces cannot be part of that mix..?

            ..these aren’t unintelligent people..

            ..and surely they can dig real deep..back to the reasons/(ideals?) that first drove them to join the labour party..

            ..and realise themselves that for the good of the party/labour-movement..

            ..that they should really decide themselves..

            ..to stand aside..

            ..eh..?..)

            phillip ure..

      • Anne 13.1.2

        Does anyone suspect a general election looms?

        Yes. On the back of the probable Liberal Party win in Australia.

        But he’s got to manufacture a crisis first. Plenty of current issues he can misrepresent and misuse in the process. The extension of the powers of the GCSB and/or the possibility of an Asset Sale referendum next year are but two of them.

        • RedLogix 13.1.2.1

          On the back of the probable Liberal Party win in Australia.

          Please correct me if I’m wrong, but my impression is that for most of the last 30 or so years, New Zealand and Australia have voted out of synch with each other. I don’t recall the two nations both having a left or right wing govt at the same time, except for perhaps a few short rump periods when our electoral cycles overlapped.

  14. Yes 14

    Len sidelined again by national…shearer where was he by Len side and now you are going to have this embarrassing situation that the greens have to oppose be causes it’s road,,,, opposition totally and rightly so…..screwed.

    Even more funny doest start for five years…lol

    • locus 14.1

      well it’s pretty easy to change policy statements after you’ve made them…. jonkey is well practised at that

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      One wonders why you went to such trouble as to make the same comment as you did up thread. The answers still the same.

  15. xtasy 15

    All this stuff is not so surprising after all, when one considers a few things:

    1. When John Key was in China earlier this year, there was this announcement of New Zealand going to work on getting up to 1 million Chinese tourists per year come here in the very near future!
    2. The international convention centre agreement with Sky City is basically a done deal, and it is going to be built in the coming years, extending gambling halls with one armed bandits and extra tables, which will cater for tens of thousands more gamblers of largely wealthy to middle class background from mostly East Asia.
    3. The convention centre will bring some large international conventions here, thus bring in money for Sky City and for hotels, retailers, restaurateurs and so forth, resulting in increased tax take.
    4. The fast track visa agreement with Mainland China and tourism operators and airlines there, to make it easy for tens of thousands of gamblers to get swift permits printed into passports will bring in tens of thousands of visitors to flood into the casino and gamble, but also will bring in other tourism dollars.
    5. The Auckland Unitary Plan is preparing Auckland for population growth by up to a million in the coming 20 to 30 years, so increased migration and local growth of population will mean more consumers, more tenants, more freehold property owners, more this and that and the other. It is like a done deal also, without the public having much input, although the opposite is claimed. Whether urban growth will be more up or spread, that is not the main factor for national government planners, the main factor and goals is population growth to “grow” the Auckland economy, leading to more tax and rates revenues.
    6. The planned inner city rail link will go along underneath Albert Street in Auckland City, and have a stop just down at the bottom of the block where Sky City Casino and Sky Tower are!!!

    In view of all the above, Key and National have come to the realisation and acceptance, that the transport infrastructure for Auckland needs to be expanded and improved. A tunnel as harbour crossing suddenly makes sense, same as the inner city link and more.

    It can be paid for by achieving more “revenue” due to policies and plans as per 1 to 6 above.

    Of course it is again somewhat dodgy planning, as a larger population will result in yet more need for investment down the line, but of course, like with so much else, Key can leave that for future generations to deal with!

    Also is it cunning by Key and consorts to make such announcements of large, costly projects in 10 or 20 years, as much water will go down the bridge till then, different governments will be in charge, some plans may even be changed or stopped again down the line, but the intention is now, to set the government and National up for the next election campaign. Indeed with these announcements, without any clear figures on how it will all be started and financed, Key has started the campaign for the coming general election early. I wonder why, maybe he knows also, his majority may be lost soon?! It is smart to also exploit the weakness of Labour under Shearer now, while the going is good.

    Lofty plans, vague details, a wide time frame and promises or assurances that can be withdrawn at any time, should the economy dip again, that is what we have been sold on Friday afternoon.

    Yet silly Len is all excited, but he is being used as a convenient pawn and servant now, to serve a hidden agenda of Key and Natzies. Len has also already been negotiating with major banks in China, to borrow hundreds of millions for rail and other infrastructure projects.

    Last not least, apart from the inner city rail link, it is apparently mostly about additional roading and highways! No wonder the Greens are critical.

    As an ordinary Kiwi and Aucklander, all this madness should be treated with utter suspicion and highest concern. If all goes wrong, you will all be in debt above your eyeballs and heads, for generations to come, and old age pensions, welfare and much will likely be cut to the bones. If that won’t help they will sell remaining state owned assets.

    • karol 15.1

      Last not least, apart from the inner city rail link, it is apparently mostly about additional roading and highways! No wonder the Greens are critical.

      As an ordinary Kiwi and Aucklander, all this madness should be treated with utter suspicion and highest concern. If all goes wrong, you will all be in debt above your eyeballs and heads, for generations to come, and old age pensions, welfare and much will likely be cut to the bones. If that won’t help they will sell remaining state owned assets.

      Yep. It’s a road and SkyCity deal, masquerading as a rail transport policy. And rail is promised tomorrow,and tomorrow, and tomorrow……

      Slippery is as slippery does.

      • bad12 15.1.1

        You do have to give the Slippery little Shyster a couple of brownie, (sorry Len), points tho, as far as the difference between left and right goes on the hard local issue of transport Slippery has dealt himself and National 5 aces off of the bottom of the deck,

        This expands hugely upon that old budget trick, announcing ‘new’ spending that is already occurring again much like Bill from Dipton did with His little ‘white-ware for Bene’s’ announcement in His previous budget, 90% of people out there wouldn’t know that those reliant on a benefit as their income have had the ability to purchase such white-ware through WINZ for longer than Slippery has been the Prime Minister,

        The lazy press of course, more to the point the absolutely bent and corrupt, (in terms of the truth), mass media make little of the fact that when pressed upon the monetary aspect of such grandiose major public works Slippery and Co haven’t even taken the time to apportion the costs to various monetary sources, instead we have the glib and Slippery Prime Minister ‘shot-gunning’ the issue of ‘where’s the money Slippery’ by pointing to every source of possible or probable funding except for the true nature of expected funding for these multi-billions of expenditure which is of course ‘all in the Slippery one’s mind’,

        What has to be asked here, besides the relative fact that none of these projects will be funded by this National Government in particular, is why this far from an election are such announcements being made, desperation perhaps,

        If you believe the ‘latest’ polling Labour are falling and the ‘juicy’ sub-text of this is that Shearer has a couple of month’s to turn this around or on His sword He will be going in the same direction as the polls,

        Of course if your mind is focused upon gleaning the ‘facts’ as opposed to being captured by the headlines you would have read in john Armstrong’s column a few weeks back an open admission from Armstrong that the ‘Reid-poll’ in particular has been skewing it’s questioning of voters so as to elicit a ‘required’ response,

        That ‘required’ response of course is biased toward the current National Government and where there is smoke there is fire so we must suspect some, many, or most of the other polls as also being skewed to elicit the ‘required response’,

        The sheer joy for Slippery and National of announcing these big ticket multi-billion dollar projects now is that there may be a % or 2 to be gained from ‘the dead cat bounce’ in the polls but They don’t and wont actually have to lift a finger to find the money or to even carry out the building process as the start dates for these projects is so far into the future,

        My analysis, Pixie Dust, a Slippery Shysters 3 card trick of announcing spending of billions of dollars which he hasn’t the faintest idea of where such billions will originate from, (and could care less), all of which will occur at some future point in time when the current Prime Minister has long scarpered off to a sunny island in the Pacific,

        To coin a phrase, ”show us the money Slippery”, such sloppy accounting makes me believe that such ‘largesse’ from this Government was dreamed up whilst the architects were indulging in some drug fantasy…

        • Graham 15.1.1.1

          I agree with you but from the point of a national supporter this is great politics .

          • bad12 15.1.1.1.1

            Perhaps as you say ‘good politics’, however as any card trickster or amateur magician will tell you sleight of hand requires the audience not examine in any depth the ruse,

            On the one hand the present Slippery National Government gets a sugar rush from committing future Government’s to 8 odd billion dollars of someone else’s hard earned cash, the real question inherent in this has to be WHY NOW, a government this far out from an election totally caving in to opposition party’s policy on the issue of Auckland transport and giving the incumbent Auckland Mayor a guaranteed 2nd term Mayoralty has to have a reason no matter how ‘loopy’ it makes this government look on matters of funding such grand projects,

            Could it be that the brains behind this National Government,(and don’t foolishly credit Slippery the Prime Minister with such depth of intelligence), have through successive National party internal polling come to the conclusion that they are 3 % points light from being able to form a third term government given any coalition scenario they have modeled,

            Having effectively ‘sold a dummy’ and been largely let off the hook by the light-weight mass media when it comes to housing affordability and policy in Auckland the Slippery lead National Government have talked up big on housing while delivering what exactly,

            The danger here for National is that having stolen the rail and road transport policy of the opposition coupled with that empty sleight of hand housing policy which will see Auckland house prices continue on their inevitable rise through to the next election they will have exposed themselves to the electorate as a Government of empty promises…

        • xtasy 15.1.1.2

          “His previous budget, 90% of people out there wouldn’t know that those reliant on a benefit as their income have had the ability to purchase such white-ware through WINZ for longer than Slippery has been the Prime Minister,

          The lazy press of course, more to the point the absolutely bent and corrupt, (in terms of the truth), mass media make little of the fact that when pressed upon the monetary aspect of such grandiose major public works Slippery and Co haven’t even taken the time to apportion the costs to various monetary sources…”

          Yes, sad really, depressing, shocking also, that they get away with misleading the public again and again.

          Snooze, snooze, snooze, while press releases go straigth to the editor, on to the printer, and the article is complete and ready for publishing, straight from John Key’s desk into the daily publications.

  16. burt 16

    So do we want the rail development or not ? Is it only a good thing when it’s announced by a party determined to make people believe they are entitled to other peoples money ?

    • xtasy 16.1

      Rail from Albany to Britomart and on to Papakura, rail from Waitakere (or at least Swanson) to Botany, from Newmarket to the Airport (possibly via Onehunga), yep, absolutely!

      As for more multi lane motorways and highways, NO, only after cross party dialogue, after equal negotiations and agreement with Auckland Council also, as these are huge infrastructure investments, which affect the whole country and need wider support than just a one vote majority government.

      Motorways and highways should only be built where they are absolutely necessary, but really, the future must be public transport to get priority in all major centres: Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin. Rail must be built where it makes sense for longer term, roads primarily only with a clear focus on giving buses priority right of way – before other traffic, and cycle lanes where they can be built along and apart from most streets and roads, to offer alternative, environmentally friendly, efficient and sustainable alternatives.

      Gradually increase tax on fuel for all individual private motor vehicle users over years, and give exemptions only for trucks, buses, and farming or similar transport modes, to gather some funding, and dis-incentivise wasteful transport.

      Use taxes to change behaviour and thinking, like with cigarette consumption.

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  • Farmers don’t set out to pollute our rivers
    It can be easy to vilify farmers. But no farmer sets out to create pollution, and the evidence suggests that many farmers are either already acting responsibly or that they are lifting their game. In particular, dairy farmers are acting....
    Gareth’s World | 30-07
  • Guide to economic evaluation part 3: What is agglomeration?
    Debates over major transport investments often get caught up in arguments over benefit-cost ratios, or BCRs. In recent years, projects such as the Transmission Gully and Puhoi to Warkworth motorways and the City Rail Link have been criticised for their...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Where to now for Colin and the Conservatives?
    It’s (almost*) official – there’s no deal for Colin Craig in East Coast Bays. Murray McCully will not be knifed, thrown under a bus or given concrete shoes to go swimming in. Given that Mr Craig had already accepted he...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-07
  • Real men say sorry
    There are a couple of universal truths that all men should be aware of. Firstly, it takes a bigger man to walk away. Of course men can be accused of being weak if they don't confront their problems with violence,...
    The Jackal | 29-07
  • Why my children took part in a playful protest against LEGO’s partner...