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The Standard

McCully needs to front up

Written By: - Date published: 10:24 am, September 11th, 2011 - 92 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, leadership, public transport - Tags: , ,

Murray McCully needs to front up and take responsibility for Auckland’s World Cup opening transport chaos (now very much in the international news e.g. here, here, here, here, here).  Here’s what McCully was saying on Friday morning:

RWC won’t break down Auckland’s transport – McCully

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.”

Well that turned out to be as accurate as most of the Nats’ promises and predictions.

Interviewed next morning on “The Nation” (video) McCully had nothing but evasions and excuses.  He even refused to apologise to ticket holders who were unable to make it to the game (around 7:15 in the video, also here, here).  “Hard hitting” interviewer Sean Plunket followed up by asking McCully what he thought of the game.

McCully is Minister for the RWC.  He claimed the government had done “their best” and assured Auckland that the transport systems were ready to go.  He was wrong in every respect.

McCully now needs to front up and get three things right. First, a proper apology to the opening night crowds.  Second, get transport sorted in the short term for the remainder of the RWC.  And third, heed the warning on Auckland’s creaking public transport system.  Mayor Len Brown has set out ambitious plans for Auckland’s rail system.  Instead of throwing money at holiday highways, the government needs to address public transport in Auckland.  Heed the warning, so that this mess never happens again.

92 comments on “McCully needs to front up”

  1. Jim Nald 1

    RWC Minister McCully masterfully messed up.

    This was a golden opportunity to showcase Auckland City.

    But it revealed a cock up.

    Wtf has he been doing? Head in the Cloud? Or up in his own arse?

  2. Zorr 2

    This mess will never happen again anyway. After this fiasco who would ever bring their large international event to our shores?

    • Jim Nald 2.1

      For all the faults Clark and the previous Labour-led Government were accused of, it was them who spearheaded the initiative, together with the solid effort of the backroom and frontline public servants who have been losing their jobs recently thanks to being zapped.

      This was meant to put us on show to the world, generating more opportunities that we can use to leverage for many things internationally.

      McCully & co running a government based on press releases, crafted slogans, side shows and lip service just does not cut the mustard. And, pray tell us, what events and future initiatives have they been working on to attract to NZ in the near future after this?

      Btw, wtf has the Minister of Tourism been up to? The portfolio is meant to draw tourists to NZ and not for him to indulge in increasing his own photo portfolio of tours.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        I feel sure that the minister of tourism thinks his whole job is photo ops – to benefit National.

        • Jim Nald 2.1.1.1

          Feng shui master has been saying his jinx will hit again.

        • HC 2.1.1.2

          The Minister of Tourism is a “Master of Public Speaking”, well, he is at least trying (perhaps with a bit of high percentage “lubrication”):

        • HC 2.1.1.3

          One more try to offer some links to witness the “Speech Mastery” of the Minister of Tourism’s public speaking skills:

          ‘http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-CtemSQZ40&feature=related’

          ‘http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuQM1Oko8IE’

          ‘http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UDAnWeG3I4′

          Well, still a bit to learn, I presume.

  3. higherstandard 3

    this blog takes it up the chook.

    • Higherstandard’s idea of a carefully scripted critical analysis of the quality of this site /sarc

      • higherstandard 3.1.1

        gweg pwessland ?

        [lprent: Like mickey, I’m starting to wonder if you have done some of the more idiotic comments over the years. The particular style is quite distinctive. Basically an outsiders view on d4j in his worst stalking moments.

        You are using a different e-mail to usual which suggests an impersonation. But you have the same IP C range and therefore provider. ]

        • mickysavage 3.1.1.1

          HS you are such a pillock.  You are the same person who posts inane comments to my website, none of which I have published.  Tell me are you also the person who masqueraded as me on Red Alert as well as other sites and who has used the names of female staff members of mine on this site?

  4. We should not forget the evil malicious conniving dark force that is Stephen Joyce.  As Minister of Transport he should also be held to account.

    If the Government had not abolished Auckland’s regional fuel tax the new trains would be that much closer to being available. 

    • grumpy 4.1

      ….but still not here – contrast that with all those years Labour had to do something about it (with record surplusses) and did nothing.

      Wasn’t it Len Brown who claimed he had personally taken charge of all auckland transport arrangements for the RWC – and they would be fantastic. Seems he knew the story, he went by car.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1.1

        No he didnt – thats a connection the greasy whale made and you are repeating.
        Try and be more original

        • queenstfarmer 4.1.1.1

          No, it’s the connection Len himself has constantly made. He has constantly given personal assurances that public transport would cope. Just a couple of examples, to highlight the stupidity of such a denial:

          Brown’s town just got a lot bigger

          Brown’s number one priority is transport. By the time the Rugby World Cup hits town he says there will be an integrated ticketing system for public transport… “I’m the boss,” replies Brown, and a streak of the determination that has driven him through the campaign glimmers through the friendly exterior. “The new mayor has formidable powers. The new mayor has to set the vision.”

          Even in his inaugration speech he said this:

          The eyes of the world will be upon us as we host tens of thousands of international visitors for the 2011 Rugby World Cup… We must make sure the transport is right

          Even just the other week – All Blacks v Warriors: Cup, NRL clash looms:

          Auckland Transport spokesman Wally Thomas said after the meeting that league fans were not generally heavy patrons of public transport. But Mr Thomas acknowledged that a match at Mt Smart would put thousands of extra cars on the roads. Even so, Auckland Mayor Len Brown indicated confidence that the city could manage both events.

          Now if those are the things that the mayor is telling the media, what sort of assurances do you think he was giving the minister? Again, the question isn’t whether it Len Brown’s responsibility (it was), it is whether the minister failed to test the mayor’s assurances sufficiently.

          • mickysavage 4.1.1.1.1

            Len has had the job for 10 months and should have fixed decades of underinvestment and lack of commitment on the part of C&R councils?

            Even Len is not that good.

            Do not mistake rhetorical statements for actual responsibility. 

            • queenstfarmer 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh I see, so now it’s previous local government’s fault (“decades of underinvestment and lack of commitment on the part of C&R councils”). I suppose that extends to forcing Len Brown to give baseless assurances too?

              • Um so Len says a few words in a speech and is fully to blame but C&R and the Nats since 1949 have continuously undermined Auckland’s PT system and somehow this is not their fault?  If you are passing the fault around you can give Len a spoon full and then pour the rest of the tanker on the tories.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1.1.1.2

            What integrated ticketing system ?

            Hides people at Auckland Transport seem to have different ideas to what Brown thought the day after he was elected.

      • queenstfarmer 4.1.2

        Wasn’t it Len Brown who claimed he had personally taken charge of all auckland transport arrangements for the RWC

        Yes it was:

        Auckland Mayor Len Brown caught the train from Britomart and spent the game seated next to All Black legend Graham Mourie.

        “There were lots of people saying ‘Good job, Mr Mayor’,” he said, “and you had this sense of optimism in the crowd. At the ground, there is an outstanding presence of police and security who are highly visible.

        “I’ve had major oversight of this Eden Park project to make sure everything is done right and I am very confident.”

        A minister is entitled to have a high degree of reliance on a mayor’s assurances, but the question is what McCully did (if anything) to verify Len’s now clearly wrong assurances.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.2.1

          LOL mate no where in that quote (or the article you link to) does Len Brown say anything remotely like:

          “I have personally taken charge of all auckland transport arrangements for the RWC”

          Another BS assertion from you, I’m afraid.

          • queenstfarmer 4.1.2.1.1

            Look at the other stuff I added too – you’ve got Len Brown saying “I’m the boss”, “The new mayor has to set the vision”, “We must make sure the transport is right”, “I’ve had major oversight of this Eden Park project to make sure everything is done right”.

            Anyone who doesn’t think that Len had taken personal charge of RWC transport issues in Auckland has obviously been enjoying too much of the sponsor’s product.

            And in any case, when is the mayor of Auckland not responsible for public transport (which was his main campaign issue) during its biggest event? Apparently you think he shouldn’t be.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.2.1.1.1

              Oh, Len does bear a portion of the responsibility, being Mayor. He should knock heads together, hard.

              PS none of your new quotes has Len saying anything remotely like

              “I have personally taken charge of all auckland transport arrangements for the RWC”

              As an aside, this is one of the best accounts I’ve read so far of the Friday night transport mess.

              http://www.aktnz.co.nz/2011/09/10/what-went-wrong-last-night/

              • Hennie van der Merwe

                From my limited exposure to NZ I would say that one of the biggest problems in NZ is that everybody is so PC that no heads will ever be knocked together hard!

                How is it possible that passengers can be stranded in a suburban train for more than an hour without any communication from the operator? Where were you Veolia? In France and possibly in some of the other 30 odd countries you operate in, but not in Auckland.

                Hennie

                • Carol

                  in NZ is that everybody is so PC
                  Yep that really explains it….? And by PC in this context, you mean…?

                  Many Kiwis have complained at length about Auckland’s train service, the current Mayor has tried to move things towards improvement…. but my experience of the trains is that we get little explanation beyond saying there’s a delay when there’s one of the frequent failures… old train stock…

                  • felix

                    I guess it’s the “anything I don’t like but can’t think of a good word for” definition of PC.

                    • Hennie van der Merwe

                      From Wikipedia:

                      The most common usage here is as a pejorative term to refer to excessive deference to particular sensibilities at the expense of other considerations.

                      more

                      Professor J. I. Katz applies the term PC to censure characterized by emotional, rather than rational discourse.[40]

                      This is what happens when you get all the parties together to “talk” instead of do. Now they will again get together to “talk” and no-one will kick butt where it is needed because it is not the “correct” thing to do.

                    • felix

                      And the “particular sensibilities” in this case are?

            • Puddleglum 4.1.2.1.1.2

              queenstfarmer, you may have noticed that we have a Minister for the Rugby World Cup. The point of that is the same as the point of having a Minister of Earthquake Recovery – it is to ensure, through central government taking responsibility, that an important process occurs as well as possible.

              Clearly, McCully is ‘top dog’ – his oversight is above that of the Mayor of Auckland. The buck stops there. Or are you all for ‘CEO’s (in effect) avoiding personal responsibility and blaming their managers? 

              • queenstfarmer

                Clearly, McCully is ‘top dog’ – his oversight is above that of the Mayor of Auckland

                No – not on matters of Auckland public transport. In fact, the Minister for RWC (first Mallard and then McCully) actually has very limited powers – totally the opposite of the Earthquake Recovery minister you mention, who has special legislation giving them these powers.

                Auckland public transport is Auckland Council’s responsibility. Len Brown campaigned heavily on it. He made numerous assurances. He heads the council with statutory and practical powers for Auckland transport (NOT the Minister, who has no powers on such things). The buck stops with Len.

                But as I have said several times now, there is plenty of blame to go around, and the title of this post is right.

            • mik e 4.1.2.1.1.3

              Just hand the ball to Mc Scully and he’ll sidestep the issue

          • Joe Bloggs 4.1.2.1.2

            Less than 24 hours after a previous post blames McCully and Key for Len Brown’s failure to deliver on his election rhetoric, comes another attempt to smear central government…

            Lest we forget:

            Len Brown says Auckland transport decisions will be driven by the Mayor and Council….Auckland’s ratepayers will be holding the new mayor and council to account for the commitments which will be made around transport.

            “I’m the boss,” replies Brown , and a streak of the determination that has driven him through the campaign glimmers through the friendly exterior. “The new mayor has formidable powers.”

            If transporation logistics is such a well honed area of knowledge then Brown needs to sharpen up pronto.

            • marsman 4.1.2.1.2.1

              How much was Michael Barnett ceo of Auckland Chamber of Commerce paid to co-ordinate RWC events?

            • bbfloyd 4.1.2.1.2.2

              oh no.. not blogjoe again…. i suppose the rest of the poodle pack weren’t saying enough rubbish in an arrogant and superior enough fashion… joe blowhard to the rescue!!!

              not even going to bother pointing out the utter stupidity of you comment… that isn’t neccessary….but if you’re keen to be lampooned mercilessly, then carry on laddy….

    • Deadly_NZ 4.2

      Ahhh but Joyce will wriggle, spin, lie, blame others. But except responsibility? You have more chance of Shonky giving all his ill gotten gains away.

  5. Deb 5

    Who is the mayor of Auckland?????

    It’s this guy I believe. “The mayor is back in the house!”

  6. One of the top priorities for event management is transport logistics. If you can’t get that right, you don’t get the event right. Len can only work with the tools he’s given by the National government. Bomber has a bit to say about National underfunding Auckland’s infrastructure.

    Not only was it bad for those missing the opening, it is bad for the country because the failure happened under an international spotlight. If National actually gave a shit about New Zealand and the RWC, they would have got it right. Instead we have failure because of incompetence, and then lies to try and shift the blame. This is unacceptable!

    I love rugby… I hate to see McCully et al ruining it for a lot of people.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    McCully and Key = EPIC FAIL.

    Can’t help thinking that this was a cynical attempt to undermine trust in Auckland’s train system and future investment in that system.

    • KJT 7.1

      I say it again. National is going to starve Auckland of funds as punishment for electing the wrong Mayor.

      Same as they did when Robbie was in charge. If his transport ideas had been funded at the time, Auckland would have a decent public transport system.

      Or, Maybe, it is the politicians revenge for having to live in Wellington. :-)

      Unlimited funds would have been made available to prepare Auckland for a fire sale to National Party funders, if Banks had been elected.

  8. Hilary 8

    John Banks could have done a lot towards getting the public transport ready such as getting a light rail link from the airport and the loop started, but he did nothing. There have been decades of stalling on public transport and Akld which was only reversed when the last Labour government and Mike Lee started getting things moving. But stalled under Joyce and Banks. They are decades behind where they could be if they had finished the network Labour planned for in the late 40s and the 50s National govt stopped and when then Mayor Robbie started the initiative again the National govt stopped it again.

  9. Tom Gould 9

    Get with the programme, folk. If it makes the government look bad, it is not news. If it makes the government look good, it is news. Pretty simple, I would have thought. Even arch-Tory Brewer has climbed in, with his famous 20/20 hindsight, claiming he ‘warned’ Brown ‘the week before’ that it would all turn to custard. So the policial ‘right’ was on to it, and the political ‘left’ ignored the warnings and screwed it up. I guess there’s a refinement to the new ‘what makes news’ rule. If it can be spun to make the left look bad, it is hard news and must lead.

  10. SHG 10

    When the pressure was on, auckland’s infrastructure fell apart. Is anyone surprised,

  11. There are problems that need to be addressed for sure, but it could be that some people make impossible demands – can we really expect perfect execution with such a large event with so many unpredictables?

    Should they have ticket only entry to downtown Auckland to control the numbers?

    • felix 11.1

      As a citizen of NZ I find that suggestion highly offensive.

      • freedom 11.1.1

        just when you think Pete cannot get any worse, bam!

        • Pete george 11.1.1.1

          I don’t think it’s a good idea, but if you don’t do that you have no control over numbers so can only plan on estimates, which for extraordinary events are very difficult to be accurate with. All they can do is plan on “best guess” and accept there will be unforeseen problems that they will have to learn from. Hopefully they will have it all sorted by the semis, I’ll be annoyed if I miss the game to them still not having dealt with the issues.

          • felix 11.1.1.1.1

            Difficult, yes. Challenging, yes. Large scale, yes. Unforeseen, absolutely not.

            The times, places and numbers of people have all been known for a long time.

            Of course there’ll always be some peripheral matters that are difficult to predict exactly, but it appears that it’s the basic logistics that were fucked up, not some freak spontaneous event.

            • Pete george 11.1.1.1.1.1

              When were the numbers known?

              I’m sure mistakes will have been made, but rushing in to blame (especially political blame) and find instant scapegoats is not the best way of learning from the mistakes and ensuring they don’t repeat the mistakes.

    • Colonial Viper 11.2

      can we really expect perfect execution with such a large event with so many unpredictables?

      You’re talking as if this was a moonshot.

      What is so unpredictable about thousands of people wanting to use the trains to get to the opening ceremony? We’re not looking for “perfect execution”, passable execution would be fine. Even fifteen minute delays to train services on the day would have been tolerable.

      There are many rail systems around the world which take millions of commuters a day and run like clockwork. Why are your expectations so bloody low?

      • Pete george 11.2.1

        I agree, passable execution would have been much better. But it’s different to large numbers of regular commuters with regular established services, this is an extraordinary event with many unknowns.

        One of the least useful ways of dealing with the problems is to have a political slanging match.

        Blaming and sacking seems to be a standard response to anything that goes wrong, that’s rarely the best approach, it’s usually just negative.

        • Colonial Viper 11.2.1.1

          Blaming and sacking seems to be a standard response to anything that goes wrong, that’s rarely the best approach, it’s usually just negative.

          Accountability, PG. Don’t let people who screw up majorly off the hook so easily will you.

          Especially if they are people in senior positions on high pay whose job it is not to screw up majorly.

          this is an extraordinary event with many unknowns.

          You’re still talking as if this was a moonshot project, instead of one transporting tens of thousands of people from point A to point B safely and efficiently.

          Transportation logistics is a well honed area of knowledge PG.

          • Sydnar 11.2.1.1.1

            Evidently not, in this case. How hard is it to foresee a potential fault on the main line and have buses on hand ready to go at a moment’s notice to get to stranded passengers?

            • Carol 11.2.1.1.1.1

              How hard is it to foresee a potential fault on the main line and have buses on hand ready to go at a moment’s notice to get to stranded passengers?

              As I understand it, this is a general and widespread failing of Auckland public transport. Usually there is no co-ordination between the bus and train services – very frustrating when getting buses to and from a train station. A failing of a system where government wants it mainly left to private companies to organise the system?

  12. Oligarkey 12

    HS – just trolling for a reaction. Time to grow up.

  13. Lanthanide 13

    iPredict has launched a new contract:
    Murray McCully to depart as Minister for the Rugby World Cup before 22 October 2011

  14. felix 14

    Eh? McCully Min of Transport?

  15. Afewknowthetruth 15

    We all know there is virtually no accountability anywhere in the present socio-economic-political system. Close ranks chaps (and chappettes).

    As for this bit ‘Hard hitting” interviewer Sean Plunket': what a laugh that is! Plunket is notorious for avoiding all the difficult questions. On the odd occasion I tried to watch The Nation I gave up after ten minutes or so because it was mostly pathetic and irrelevant nonsense.

    • tc 15.1

      Well when the benchmark is Q&A is it any wonder, hardly a lofty standard.
      Love QstFarmer working for his masters again trying to smear Brown who, whether it’s smart or not, stepping up with a plan to fix public transport. Unlike the right he’s not playing the blame game or hiding like Joyce etc…onya Len.
      As for McCully, the bloke lives in akl, anyone using trains daily will tell you it was never going to cope, U2 last year showed that. Between him and sideshow, also an akl resident, they f’d about for nearly 2 years before getting party central sort of organized so between them it’s an epic fail and yet another example of when they open their mouths material that belongs flushed down the sewer spews out.
      6Bill a year in tax cuts for the already well off looks money well spent eh.

      • Afewknowthetruth 15.1.1

        If queenstreetfarmer actually lives in Queen St we can look forward to him and his kind being wiped out by the coming Olduvai event.

        http://dieoff.org/page125.htm

        and

        http://www.publishme.co.nz/shop/theeasyway-p-684.html

        • queenstfarmer 15.1.1.1

          Statistically, I am one of the wealthier New Zealanders (not dramatically so – I’ve never had an iPod, no flat-screen TV, drive an 11yr old 2nd hand Jap import, 6yr old cellphone, etc!) so if there is any collapse of civilisation (which I don’t subscribe to anyway) then I think many others would be “wiped out” before me and “my kind”.

          However unlike you and your kind, I would not “look forward” to anyone being wiped out by such a process.

      • queenstfarmer 15.1.2

        Love QstFarmer working for his masters again trying to smear Brown

        Wrong, as is usual for you tc. All I have done is point out Len’s own words, which you seem to think is “smearing”. There is plenty of blame to go around on this one.

        • mickysavage 15.1.2.1

          There is plenty of blame to go around on this one.

          What Len for perhaps using an ill advised turn of phrase or the ants for systematically destroying Auckland’s PT system since 1949? 

          • felix 15.1.2.1.1

            The ants! I knew they were up to something all this time!

            • mickysavage 15.1.2.1.1.1

              Feck I should have read that, bloody corrective text, the nats, the nats, although they have something in common with ants …

              • felix

                Just for now though I’m quite enjoying imagining millions of tiny ants plotting and scheming, running covert operations, pretending to be interested in apple cores while they work together to sabotage the infrastructure one bolt at a time.

  16. Treetop 16

    I have had a couple of days to reflect on what happened last Friday in Auckland. There were three events:
    1) A waka display/concert down at Auckland harbour
    2) A fire works display
    3) A major rugby event at Eden Park

    When there was a dry run to test out the transport system in Auckland a month ago there was only a rugby game on. The transport system held up last night as there was just the one event, a rugby game, however some people may have avoided using public transport because of the fiasco the night of the opening of the RWC at Eden Park.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      One other thing: that previous AB game was on a Sat night, was it not? So the transport system on that match night did not have to cope with Auckland’s Friday peak rush as well.

      Online commentators are saying now that the rail system was never going to be able to cope with normal Friday commuter loads AND the RWC opening at the same time.

      Way bad planning, if that’s so.

      • Carol 16.1.1

        My experience a couple of weeks back (I think the Saturday evening of the last Tri-Nations game at Eden Park), would have led me to avoid using roads in the area during RWC matches. I drove through Sandringham and Balmoral that night, and the road traffic was alll pretty clogged up.

      • Treetop 16.1.2

        Good point about the dry run being on a Saturday night which did not have workers (Friday rush) competing for a transport seat . Had I been in charge of logistics I would have combined all three events together to gauge what the highest level of demand could be.

        I have not crunched the police numbers yet but I have heard three totals. 150 at party central which was increased to 200 and on TV 1 news last night the figure of 500 in Auckland was mentioned.

        The sex industry in Auckland are beter prepared to meet demand as brothels hired more sex workers. This was on TV 1 news last night.

  17. Sydnar 17

    I agree that McCully should be held to account. But so should the head of Veolia, Auckland Transport whoever heads the Transport committee at Auckland Council and, of course, the Mayor.

    I’ve stressed this before but, unlike a few on here I don’t want to sound like a broken record, this is an event planning muckup. The state of Auckland’s rundown PT has been known for years, so it’s a given when organising these things. To then tell everyone to use it and be gobsmacked when it fails, is fairly indicative of the level of ability at local government level (and for that matter, McCully’s attention to the RWC).

    By most accounts though, the buses worked pretty damn well, despite having no super expensive single bus terminal (a la Britonart for rail) and costly infrastructure. The role of buses are too often neglected when it comes to PT in Auckland, despite carrying something like 85 per cent of all patrons.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      …despite carrying something like 85 per cent of all patrons.

      Which is a major planning fuckup all on it’s own. Buses should feed in to train stations. This would result in short bus trips rather than long boring ones, fast train trip and less cars in the CBD lowering the need for roads. Unfortunately our “leaders” stopped planning rational PT some decades ago and pushed the irrational personal car on everybody.

      And now we have to go to the expense of fixing that fuckup.

    • Joe Bloggs 17.2

      worse still …

      To tell everyone to use public transport and then organise your own travel by private vehicle, is fairly indicative of the level of trust in his own team’s ability to organise transport …

      As for referring to Graham Henry as his homebo …y WTF was Brown on?

      That kanohi ki te kanohi he gave himself should have slapped some sense into Mayor Brown – but evidently not. The mouth from the south is alive and still in denial.

      • prism 17.2.1

        @JoeBloggs This gerfuffle about Len Brown using a car to get to the game reminds me of the pettiness of taking Helen Clark for trying to get to a game in a car with her driver breaking the speed rules. Little people like you are determined to prove how small-minded they are when they pour conetempt on leaders over small things. There is so much time and energy wasted on mindless complaints and answers, the country’s problems never get full attention.

  18. Richard 18

    Apologise? Bu… Buu… Butt… But theres an election coming up… That’d mean he’d have to admit fault, wont happen 😉

  19. Draco T Bastard 19

    There were many fuckups by many people leading to the collapse of the transport system last night. Labour certainly hold some blame because they spent more on roads after securing the RWC than on PT and this government actually curtailed Auckland’s ability to spend on trains by cancelling the local fuel tax. On top of that no one in government seems to believe in Peak Oil and the simple fact that we need to increase PT for it despite the IEA coming out and saying that it happened in 2005/6 and the increasing use of public transport in the cities.

  20. Peter nickle 20

    Makes me laugh, it’s all Nationals fault, it’s all Nationals fault. LEN is the boss. F^#ken parrot parody from this site.
    If it all went well Len would be shouting from the rafters about this, you can be sure of that.
    I have always hated relying on third world transport systems (buses, trains, trams) and have driven always to events and have never been late or not arrived at all.
    Anyone who drove to the events got there ok as they were in control of their destiny. Putting your destiny on third world transport takes away your personal control and when they stuff up you are powerless to respond.
    BTW, on Friday the roads were so empty it was like driving on Xmas day.
    Also, towing companies are a bunch of arseholes, towing people away from Albany due to bus demand. Maybe they should ask for compensation as well.

    • toad 20.1

      Mayor Len Brown has no control over Auckland Transport – Rodney Hide and Steven Joyce set it up that way so appointed cronies rather than elected councilors dominated the decision-making.

      As for Veolia (a transnational company who operate Auckland’s passenger rail service), they had fair warning from the U2 concert that drunken dickheads who eventually realise they have got on the wrong train will push the emergency stop button. They should have had a staff member or a Waitemata Maori Warden (who they use for security) on every train door to ensure this didn’t happen. But that would have increased the wage bill, so they didn’t – even though they were making a killing out of the event anyway.

    • Hennie van der Merwe 20.2

      I could not agree more regarding the towing/fines at Albany – encourage the people to use the bus, knowing there wont be enough parking and then make money out of Infringements – sucks!

  21. MrSmith 21

    Has anyone else noticed whenever there is a major fuck-up or potential fuck-up Brownlee or McCully are around, then get thrown to the wolfs, all the while the public are thinking of-course it was going to be a mess look Who’s in-charge, Laurel and Hardy.

  22. Ed 22

    There was a good summary of Auckland transport issues on Insight this morning:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/insight
    The lack of information for people wanting to attend the “Party Central”, or to queue for transport, the lack of testing of volumes before the event (why was the game not on a Saturday?) are clearly down to the RWC organisation. Good on Len Brown for admitting that the transport performance was not satisfactory – as I understand it he represents the major shareholder in the company responsible for the  – whereas McCully represents the major shareholder in the organisation that should have ironed out transport problems with the operator. Is this yet another case of create a company and they will put profits ahead of public interest?
    We can hope that the debacle and subsequent embarrassment for National are enough to persuade Steven Joyce that he should allow Auckland to set their own priorities for public transport . . .
     

  23. RedLogix 23

    What is boils down to is that this was a major and very embarrassing systemic failure. As mickeysavage stated above, there is plenty of blame to share about and any amount of wriggle room and finger pointing will go on. Each party involved can rightly point to reasons why the system let them down.

    This is why we have the concept of accountability. When something goes badly wrong with the system like this there is someone at the top to hold responsible. In this case that is the Minister of Transport.

    What always astounds me is how Tories will blither on endlessly about how other people need to take responsibility for their actions, yet always duck for cover when it comes their turn.

    • Draco T Bastard 23.1

      What always astounds me…

      That’s not what astounds me. What astounds me is that the people let the lying shmucks get away with it.

  24. felix 24

    I seem to recall Vogon Commander Joyce, in response to an oral question in parliament, giving an assurance that the trains would run on time at the RWC.

    I realise he was doing his hilarious Mussolini routine with the reference, but if he said it he should answer for it.

  25. prism 25

    That’s strange – I thought I heard Joky Hen say that the transport thing was Auckland transport managers failure to sort out – never heard any mention of Maurice McCully. Of course Wellington always knows best but if their best is under par, blame it on Auckland or bureaucrats or an inauspicious year ‘annus horibilis’, or the year of the Possum or something.

    • Jim Nald 25.1

      Typical.

      Rotten habits and nasty culture of the corporates and banks creeping in to lower standards and ethos of public service.

      Make a mess, get your obscene and undeserved remuneration, scapegoat someone else and then piss off.

      Overseas friends visiting for the RWC are scratching their heads wondering and asking me how the hell this country collectively voted in the scums the month after the global finance meltdown of Oct 08.

  26. Carol 26

    Hennie @ 7.15pm (no more reply buttons up thread) – on do, rather than talk & not take account of sensitivities… so that would be the job of Mark Ford CEO of the unaccountable Auckland Transport Authority, as set up by Rodney Hide and National…. also conspicuous in his silence on this matter? and, of course Joyce, McCully etc who like to pass laws under urgency with significant consultation or debate.

  27. As I pointed out in a comment above, if a Minister for the Rugby World Cup has been created to ‘(ad)minister’ that event, then he must be accountable for failures associated with that event.

    The work of ministers (e.g., RWC and Transport) will always overlap, but the specific nature of the RWC portfolio means that anything directly connected to that event, so far as the public sector responsibilities go, stops at McCully’s desk.

    He has the responsibility to make it happen. If he doesn’t expect to be accountable for this, then is there anything connected with the RWC that he believes he is accountable for?

    If no RWC portfolio existed then, yes, other ministers would have to accept final responsibility. (Of course, truly final responsibility has to lie with the Prime Minister – who has responsibility for the efforts of all his ministers.)

    • Draco T Bastard 27.1

      …that he believes he is accountable for?

      He’s a Tory – he doesn’t think he’s accountable.

      • aerobubble 27.1.1

        Do you think National Ministers and the PM are never seen shaking hands
        because they are cold like their hearts?

  28. One of the Masses 28

    Why was the opening of the Cloud strategically timed for 3pm? – Why wasn’t it opened last week so all us rubberneckers could get that “first look” out of our system.
    By the way I drove to the Wynyard Quarter at 7.15pm – NO traffic & got a carpark 200m from the waterfront.
     

  29. Michael Barnett runs for cover by pointing the finger at others with this media release….

    “With the money and time invested to plan for yesterday, they should have had a better result. A bus-based backup transport system is essential for the next big game at Eden Park, says Auckland Chamber of Commerce head Michael Barnett.
    “History should have told Auckland Transport that rail alone was never going to cope for a sold out Eden Park.
    “Yet all their planning directed people to use the trains. From mid-morning yesterday it was clear that the trains were overloaded. Auckland Transport failed to respond quickly enough.
    “Expecting people to sit on a stalled train for more than an hour is unacceptable. The whole day was under-planned and under resourced.
    “A better spread of buses for moving people to the rugby and other venues when the next big match against France takes place is essential.”

    Which is all well and dandy except that he said this….

    “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.

    Everyone has their sticky fingerprints all over this.
     

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