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Peak driving & what National’s doing with $12 billion of your money

Written By: - Date published: 9:12 am, August 19th, 2013 - 161 comments
Categories: transport - Tags:

National’s desperately racing to lock in Transmission Gully and the Puhoi to Wellsford Holiday Highway ahead of the election, in case they lose. Those two projects are nearly half of their $12 billion ‘roads of national significance’, 300km of roads costing an outrageous $40,000 per metre. Now, you would think if the Government was spending $12 billion, it would be to meet a growing demand. Think again.

The truth is that the amount of vehicle kilometres driven in New Zealand have been static since 2005 (well before the recession, but in time with the first of the peak oil price shocks).

vkt  nz

Individuals are now driving 8% less per person than in 2004, and commercial transport per person has stalled (these figures don’t include buses, they account for a tiny part of the kilometres driven but that has doubled in the past decade)

vkt  nz per capita

Even the number of vehicles per person is falling – and when you break it down, the fall is in heavy commercial vehicles and light passenger cars while the increase is in buses and motorcycles.

vehicles per person

People are adapting to the end of cheap oil by using buses and motorcycles. Meanwhile, National is wasting $12 billion as if we’re living in the 50s. The dumbarses.

(all these graphs come from data on the Ministry of Transport site. Might be nice if the government looked at them once in a while)

161 comments on “Peak driving & what National’s doing with $12 billion of your money”

  1. karol 1

    Trying to drive home across Auckland at peak hours last week was a trial – I don’t know how people put up with it daily. It’s far easier to take public transport, when my journey involves getting in and out of the CBD – not so great crossing the main public transport lines – it takes lots of changes, waiting periods and hence time.

    On the odd occasions I’ve headed north I’ve taken the slightly slower, non-toll route. I hear people up north find it more convenient in making regular visits to Auckland easier. Getting public transport to and from places like Warkworth is OK, but buses are infrequent and take time. And the stopping of the passenger rail service north of Swanson seems short sighted to me.

  2. BM 2

    Do you honestly believe Labour would can any of these roading projects?

    Transmission Gully is about 20 years over due and the Puhoi to Wellsford road will be very popular.

    So unless Labour has lost all it’s intelligence and political nous these roads will be going ahead and as for peak oil pfftt, load of alarmist shit.

    • bad12 2.1

      Spending 5 or 6 billion dollars on Transmission Gully to create gridlock at the Ngaraunga interchange is a great idea,

      i have to applaud the Neanderthals as they put up a fight to remain relevant…

      • alwyn 2.1.1

        Can you explain where you get this figure of “5 or 6 billion dollars” comes from?
        The figures I have seen are only in the billion dollar or so range, or roughly the same as the light rail option Wellington’s current mayor wants to run from the train station to Kilbirnie.
        If $40,000/metre is outrageous what is the $200,000/metre that the light rail would cost?

    • infused 2.2

      ^^ Pretty much this. You can Transmission Gully there will be a revolt.

      • Lightly 2.2.1

        who will the ‘revolt’ come from? The 10,000 people and falling who use the road up to Kapiti each day? Or the rest of New Zealand, who get $3 billion worth of transport investment that they’ll miss out on if it’s all squandered on Transmission Gully.

        • bad12 2.2.1.1

          Wellington’s traffic jam would be alleviated at the point where Government builds the parking buildings connected to the various high use rail platforms currently in use,

          Park’n’ride is in fact the most cost effective means of reducing the amount of peak hour traffic on the wellington motorway system and parking buildings erected at rail stations on all 3 lines of the Wellington rail network, Johnsonville, Hutt, and Kapiti would remove the need for Transmission Gully,

          The only new road that needs building is a Petone-Tawa interchange connection which would remove much of the North bound traffic from Ngaraunga at night and remove the same South bound traffic at morning peaks…

          • Lightly 2.2.1.1.1

            of course, ‘park and ride’ is itself incredibly expensive. The cost per car park is something like $20,000-$50,000. You’re better off putting that money into feeder bus services.

            • bad12 2.2.1.1.1.1

              The costs of both building car parks which will last up to a century against subsidizing bus services over the same period are much the same,

              It just looks economical on paper because most people never bother to add up the ongoing cost of providing feeder bus services against the economic lifetime of a parking building,

              You only have to check ANY car park on the Wellington rail corridor to see that on most days they are completely full and while people might take to ‘feeder buses’ on a good day the motorways will fill during bad weather as people opt for the comfort of being in their cars out of the weather…

              • Draco T Bastard

                It just looks economical on paper because most people never bother to add up the ongoing cost of providing feeder bus services against the economic lifetime of a parking building,

                In that are you including the costs of driving to the parking building and back?

                The costs of:
                Using more fuel
                Using more metal and other resources in the cars that are sitting there doing nothing most of the time

                The feeder buses are the better option.

                • bad12

                  Except for the fact that people exercise their preference and use their cars because they like the freedom of leaving home when they want to, and don’t like to be stuck waiting in weather,

                  Examine your use of ”using more metal and other resources in the cars that are sitting there doing nothing most of the time”, really??? might have seemed a clever little retort as it rolled outta ya mind, my view is you should have trapped that one befor it escaped,

                  The ‘cost’ of using more fuel is also a personal convenience which people are happy to pay to avoid waiting at cold bus stops and when considered against a car trip down the motorway it is not using ‘more’ fuel, it is using less fuel,

                  The cost of such fuel will be less to those using park and ride than paying for a bus trip to the station…

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Except for the fact that people exercise their preference and use their cars because they like the freedom of leaving home when they want to, and don’t like to be stuck waiting in weather,

                    They leave to go to work at the same time every day – the same would be true of using the bus. As for the weather, well, life’s like that.

                    really??? might have seemed a clever little retort as it rolled outta ya mind, my view is you should have trapped that one befor it escaped,

                    I’m still waiting for you to examine it. All you’ve done here is put forward an Ad hominem and not an argument. Here, I’ll give you a hint:

                    You can’t have your cake and eat it to.

                    Same applies to the fuel.

        • Pasupial 2.2.1.2

          I’m revolted by infused’s comment – does that count?

    • Lightly 2.3

      Did you actually bother to look at the graphs? People are driving less. why would you spend $12 billion to build more roads (out to the thinly populated exurbs) when people are driving less?

    • Pasupial 2.4

      @ BM

      Do you honestly believe anything you type?

      Labour has lost all it’s intelligence and political nous (or at least; the caucus leadership faction has, I still retain some hope for the remaining party members).

      “pfftt, load of alarmist shit”; is a pathetic argument against peak (economically extractable) oil even by your low standards.

      • Macro 2.4.1

        BM hasn’t had to fill up his mobility scooter at the pump for a while now – so he doesn’t know that petrol is now well beyond $2.20 + a litre and increasing by the week.

        • BM 2.4.1.1

          Yeah, yeah and the world economy was going to collapse after oil went over $45.00 a barrel.

          Facts, cars are so much more economical, cars run on a variety of different fuels, the USA has overtaken Saudi Arabia as the largest producer of oil in the world

          Also,the US is sitting on 1000’s of years worth of Natural gas, there’s more than plenty to keep the cars of the world roaring up and down highways for a long time to come.

          Once this new production comes on line, expect to see the price of oil to drastically reduce.
          Capitalism needs cheap fuel to operate effectively, the USA will make that happen.

          Be it by flooding the market with oil or replacing a large chunk of demand with Natural gas, prices will be coming down.

          • Pasupial 2.4.1.1.1

            @ BM

            One of the many facts that may have escaped your notice is that this is not the USA.

            But yes; “Capitalism needs cheap fuel to operate”, that fuel is exploited workers, and their environment.

            I would mention the climate costs of; natural gas, and coal, conversion to automative fuels, but don’t have the time or -ironically enough – energy.

          • Lanthanide 2.4.1.1.2

            Source for the 1000’s of years of natural gas, please. Figures I’ve seen indicate ~220 years.

            We’re unlikely to use all of it anyway, due to climate change.

            • BM 2.4.1.1.2.1

              We’re unlikely to use all of it anyway, due to climate change.

              Why?,the way I see it is, we’ll keep using fossil fuels until something else comes along.

              How about this
              http://www.thegwpf.org/energy-for-1000-years-huge-natural-gas-from-methane-hydrates-process-developed/

              • Lanthanide

                No one is actually harvesting or using methane hydrates yet, so it can’t yet be counted as a resource, and it’s also not natural gas, it is in fact methane hydrates, hence why it’s called something different. I’m glad I asked for your source since now I know what you’re talking about.

                “Why?,the way I see it is, we’ll keep using fossil fuels until something else comes along.”

                Let’s say we have 1000 years of resources at current usage rates. Assuming we don’t significantly increase usage, this means we can keep burning them for another 1000 years. I doubt we’ll be able to – either politically, or because climate change will destroy modern civilisation and therefore we won’t be able to keep digging them up.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.4.1.1.2.2

              Figures I’ve seen indicate ~220 years.

              Perhaps 20 to 30 years before peak.

              The real problem with gas is that it has massively less energy density than oil so although there’s a lot of it we need to use more of it to get the same result.

          • Lightly 2.4.1.1.3

            how much has the world economy grown by since $100 a barrel became normal, compared to the same length of time beforehand?

            The economy does need cheap energy to grow, and the cheap energy is running out. That’s why $100 a barrel is the new normal and there’s no sign of a return t a $25 a barrel days (all ‘new’ energy sources you care to mention cost at least $100 a barrel eqv)

          • Draco T Bastard 2.4.1.1.4

            Facts, cars are so much more economical

            No they’re not. They’re the most uneconomical method of transport known as they use up more resources. That’s why public transport rose first.

            cars run on a variety of different fuels,

            Yep they do – still need to have the fuel available though.

            the USA has overtaken Saudi Arabia as the largest producer of oil in the world

            And this changes the fact that oil is a limited resource that is being rapidly depleted how?

            Also,the US is sitting on 1000′s of years worth of Natural gas,

            [citation needed]

            Capitalism needs cheap fuel to operate effectively, the USA will make that happen.

            The first part is correct, the second part is ideological BS.

            • BM 2.4.1.1.4.1

              America can become a swing producer again.
              No longer are they at the whim of the OPEC, if they want to drop the price of oil they just up production.

              Wait till the Democrats gets the flick and the yanks elect another Republican, you’ll see the price of oil drop like a stone.

              • Lanthanide

                “Wait till the Democrats gets the flick and the yanks elect another Republican, you’ll see the price of oil drop like a stone.”

                Yeah, because Democrats want high oil prices and Republicans want low oil prices.

                Oh wait, actually, Republicans just want low oil prices because it keeps the people happy and they can stay in power. Just like the Democrats want to make people happy so they can stay in power.

                My point here is that there’s no reason to expect the current administration is unduly keeping the price of oil up, and that a change to Republicans would make any substantive difference that wouldn’t have also happened under the Democrats.

                • Colonial Viper

                  BM’s missed something very basic: the incremental cost of producing another barrel of oil from the Bakken, from Alberta tar sands, etc.

                  It currently sits at between US$75 and US$85.

                  Put another way…the US cannot drop the price of oil by “simply upping production” because when the price of oil drops below that range – the market forces production to stop.

                  tl;dr – it’s the end of cheap oil. Forever.

        • Poission 2.4.1.2

          The fuel price is governed at the NZ pumps by increased taxation,and not externals at present .The peak external prices in 2008 was when the cost of fuel was around 15% higher and the NZ dollar 10% lower.

          At present the increased indirect taxation (ru,acc.motorway subsidy,gst) is responsible for the high cost.

          Globally there is a surplus of around 3 mbbl per day.To sustain a higher then 100$ bbl price you need to remove or limit a mid eastern producer ( or a set of) by either embargo,revolution.internal instability or war.

        • alwyn 2.4.1.3

          Where on earth do you live if your petrol “is now well beyond $2.20 + a litre”?
          I drove past my local Pak n Save this morning (in Wellington) and they had 91 octane at $2.159.
          It has also been decreasing by the week for the last month or so, not increasing by the week.
          Oh well perhaps it’s been a while since you filled your mobility scooter.

  3. tracey 3

    He means the whats in for me white middle and upper class kiwis

  4. Poission 4

    Peak car is the summation of a number of factors,which govern both the ability to plan and forecast urban development.eg

    i) an aging population(which tend to drive less)
    ii) Marchattis constant (where people limit their travel time budget to 1 hour )
    iii) the aging and increased cost of cities etc.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_car

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marchetti%27s_constant

  5. srylands 5

    As someone who drives from Kapiti to Wellington daily, the issue is simple. The current road is unacceptable for a developed country. When I have visitors from other countries I explain that this is the main transport route into Wellington. Without exception they are gobsmacked. For obvious reasons.

    If road transport really does stall, especially freight transport, you can forget lifting living standards.

    Transmission Gully will now go ahead, regardless of the outcome of the 2014 election.

    With a look to longer term growth, I would progressively lift petrol excise by 60 cents per litre to fund a motorway from Wellington to Auckland by 2025. New Zealand has 171 km of motorways (about 30% of Slovakia’s total).

    The current RONS programme is a very tiny step in the right direction but much more needs to be done.

    • vto 5.1

      Yeah same. I live about 200 miles from work and the rest of New Zealand should provide me with a motorway so I can get in each day in as little discomfort as the geography will allow.

      • srylands 5.1.1

        “the rest of New Zealand should provide me with a motorway ”

        No. All roads should be paid for by users of thr roads. I am happy to pay a toll to drive to work each day. Just as I expect that all users of the Auckland rail system will pay fares to recover the full capital and operaing costs of the system.

        “No corporate welfare” (where have I read that?) should extend to “no transport welfare”.

        For rural and low density roads there will need to be an explicit cross subsidy.

      • Populuxe1 5.1.2

        Well unless you are some kind of lunatic Libertarian, yes.

    • Lanthanide 5.2

      As someone who has never seen this road, what’s so bad about it?

      • BM 5.2.1

        It’s a goat track.

          • Lanthanide 5.2.1.1.1

            Those must be well-pampered goats!

            If only my commute was so picturesque.

            • felix 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Oh sorry, did I say “goat track”? I meant to say “well maintained scenic highway with a median barrier and cycle lane”.

              I’m so absent minded, my brain is like a 3rd world country.

              • srylands

                Come on. It is a single lane winding road with an 80 kmh speed limit leading to two 50kmh urban areas where everything stops.

                I can only assume you people who think this road is fab don’t get out of New Zealand much. Where do you go to for your annual vacations and business trips? Burkina Faso?

                • felix

                  Single lane? Really?

                  “I can only assume you people who think this road is fab don’t get out of New Zealand much.”

                  Um, you don’t even know what the rate of GST in NZ is. You’ve never been in NZ and everyone knows it.

                  • srylands

                    “Um, you don’t even know what the rate of GST in NZ is. You’ve never been in NZ and everyone knows it.”

                    The rate is 17.5%. Or is that the 2015 plan? It is something like 17% or 15% or 12.5%. Who knows? Whatever it is it should be higher and income taxes lower.

                    Yes I am in NZ unless that giant sucking sound as the welfare checks get compiled out of my taxes is my imagination.

                    The new 50km/h speed limit on State Highway (sic) 1 north of Pukerua Bay must be my imagination too.

                    At least the goat track is faster than the train. We just need to wait for 2020 for car travel to kill the train.

                    • Lanthanide

                      “The rate is 17.5%. Or is that the 2015 plan? ”

                      Depends if National stay in power or not, doesn’t it. They already promised not to raise GST and then did, and tax cuts “north of $50 a week” and didn’t deliver on that promise either.

                      National are the party of headline tax cuts and nickle-and-dime you everywhere else.

                    • felix

                      srylands, you’ve been rolled.

                      A couple of weeks ago you said the govt should raise GST to 15%.

                      This shows that you don’t know the first thing about the NZ economy or tax system. And yet you write here all day every day on the subject of the NZ economy and tax system.

                      There are two possibilities I can think of:

                      1. You’re one of the offshore-based contractors who begun commenting here professionally before the last election, or

                      2. You’re in NZ but you’re about 12 years old.

                      Given that you don’t know what a single-lane road looks like, I’m starting to wonder if it’s the latter.

                    • dpalenski

                      Proof that people who work in The Treasury live in a world of their own.

                    • srylands

                      15%, 20% doesn’t matter – whatever it is now just increase it by 5% and let me know when it is done.

                    • felix

                      Desperate, srylands.

                      You’ve rolled yourself and you know it.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      “The new 50km/h speed limit on State Highway (sic) 1 north of Pukerua Bay must be my imagination too.”

                      It’s actually 80kph. Silly Billy (goat).

                    • srylands

                      “It’s actually 80kph. Silly Billy (goat).”

                      Um no I assure you it is 50kmh starting 350 metres north of Pukerua Bay. It changed 3 weeks ago.

                    • Roflcopter

                      It used to transition from 50 to 70 in Pukerua Bay, then up to 80. Now it’s 50 all the way to the existing 80 boundary. This was due to some tricky off-roads in the 70 area.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      So not north of Pukerua Bay, then? Just a sensible extension to the current 50 kmh zone that includes the residential area and drops down to Pukerua Bay. And north of Pukerua Bay remains 80kph, as I noted.

              • Chooky

                @ what about …..”.srylands = a goat attack” ?

        • joe90 5.2.1.2

          A goat track that’s going to turn out to be a damn sight more reliable than the proposed Transmission gully Manawatu gorge road – mark 2.

        • Chooky 5.2.1.3

          …a very picturesque coastal road which tourists love……

    • bad12 5.3

      SSLands, some economist, how dull you actually are is being exposed by the more you comment here, if you had an ounce of economic nous you would either have arranged your business so as to exclude daily travel at peak times or chosen park and ride using the rail system where you could have used a laptop to be productive during travel times,

      If your what comes out of university as an economist i would suggest that we are training far too many toilet cleaners over and above what is necessary to carry out their obvious functions…

      • srylands 5.3.1

        You have no idea what you are talking about. Travelling by train to central wellington would take 80 minutes including transfers to the railway station. Car travel to a reserved park next to the office is 40 minutes. That extra 40 minutes I can bill out.

        So stop lecturing me about travel modes. I am making rational choices. I have used the train to travel to work for 20 years. I am now choosing to travel by private motor vehicle like thousands of others. They are not all iirational. Stop being so arrogant. Plus you know nothing about my business.

        Typical left – they want to be able to tell people how to run their lives – even how to travel to work. Simply make everyone pay for their travel choices. Then mind your own business.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.3.1.1

          They are not all iirational.

          No, they’re not – the lack of efficient PT is.

          • srylands 5.3.1.1.1

            The PT from Kapiti to Wellington is fine. Decent trains, frequent. It is even heavily subsidised (which arguably can be justified on the basis that it reduces road congestion).

            I can’t see anything that could be done to improve it. The subsidy could be increased, but I’m not sure how much that would do to patronage. Even if it was free I would still drive to work.

            What do you suggest?

            • Draco T Bastard 5.3.1.1.1.1

              I would suggest that you’re irrational.

              The PT from Kapiti to Wellington is fine. Decent trains, frequent. It is even heavily subsidised (which arguably can be justified on the basis that it reduces road congestion).

              If it can’t take everyone who wants to use it then it’s not fine and I’d argue that the “subsidy” could be better explained in that use of PT uses up less resources than use of private motor vehicles.

              • srylands

                “If it can’t take everyone who wants to use it then it’s not fine ”

                It can take everyone who wants to use it.

                No the subsidy is simply the difference between fare receipts and costs. There is no ex ante rationale beyond trying to get users to pay about half the costs. Road users pay 100% of the costs.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Car travel to a reserved park next to the office is 40 minutes. That extra 40 minutes I can bill out.

                  Clearly the answer then is reserved car parks for everyone.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  It can take everyone who wants to use it.

                  And yet I keep hearing that it’s packed which would indicate that it’s too small and can’t take all the people who want to use it.

                  No the subsidy is simply the difference between fare receipts and costs.

                  I know what a subsidy is, I was commenting on why the subsidy was a good idea.

                  Road users pay 100% of the costs.

                  Well, that would depend upon the road user. Indications are that trucks are heavily subsidised by the other road users.

                  Also, it’s only been a few years since road users supposedly covered the full costs but that would bring up the question of who paid for the roads that existed before then and just how much of the present road users benefit from that previous subsidy.

                  • srylands

                    “And yet I keep hearing that it’s packed which would indicate that it’s too small and can’t take all the people who want to use it.”

                    You obviosuly have not used it. It is fine for capacity.

                • Murray Olsen

                  Commercial road users, as in freight, pay nowhere near all their costs. They pay lobbyists instead.

        • bad12 5.3.1.2

          SSLands, ”the extra 40 minutes i can bill out”, right, just as you could while working during a train journey so scratch irrational pointed at me,

          If it only takes you 40 minutes to travel each way from Kapiti-Wellington Kapiti everyday you do not need Transmission Gully and i have done that trip regularly in the past at off peak times which takes 40 minutes,

          Actually until you provide proof of this ‘business’ it’s location and your qualifications all you are doing here is pointing to the fact that your more than likely to be a slightly rational liar,

          My belief is that your some minor bean counter sitting daily in a small office dreaming that you ‘own’ the business so as to bolster your flagging spirits and make your useless dull miserable little life seem to have some meaning other than that of a bent spoke in a wheel of many 1000s similar,

          Transmission Gully’s two grand achievements will be to enable Kapiti traffic to access the Wellington motorway/Ngaraunga interchange that much quicker and turn what is at peak hour a walk into a crawl,

          The second of those grand achievements will then be to have the likes of you whine on endlessly that you are stuck in an even bigger traffic jam than you previously created thus saving you no time on travel whatsoever…

          • srylands 5.3.1.2.1

            “If it only takes you 40 minutes to travel each way from Kapiti-Wellington Kapiti everyday you do not need Transmission Gully”

            Yes I do need it becasue it will reduce the time to travel from Kapiti to 125 The Terrace to 34 minutes (about a 12 % saving) and reduce my petrol consumption by 15%.

            Plus I only travel in off peak – arrive at work at 10am and leave the office at 7.30pm.

            My spirits are fine thanks.

            It is not up to the left to dictate how people should travel to work ! Let the users of TG pay for the thing by tolls. Let the users of PT pay for it by fares. And then stay out of people’s lives.

            • bad12 5.3.1.2.1.1

              LOLZ, making up simple little stories to suit the narrative you try and tell simply proves one fact, your a simpleton…

              • srylands

                “your a simpleton…”

                Should be:

                ” You are a simpleton…”

                Really? Which part of the story didn’t you comprehend? The time saving story? the personal choice story?

                • bad12

                  No the part i didn’t comprehend was how such a dullard can pretend to be an economist,

                  What makes this even more incomprehensible is the fact that when called to ‘prove’ your economic prowess you laughingly direct readers to the views of the Heralds business pages and latterly in an up-scaling of your attempts to prove such economic acumen have found the treasury website,

                  On a flat motorway at 100 K you might shave a few minutes off of your travel time should Transmission Gully be built,

                  However, Transmission Gully will have a gradient akin to that of Ngaraunga Gorge at the Kapiti end should it be built so scratch your supposed fuel savings,

                  Any economist worth the spit directed at Him, and your obviously not, would know that to achieve the travel times you falsely boast of would require travel at 100 K+ over the greater part of the journey,

                  The same economist would know, obviously not you, that a vehicle traveling at 100 K or 100 K+ will use far more fuel than a vehicle traveling at 85-90K,

                  In conclusion that makes you full of s**t…

                  • srylands

                    “However, Transmission Gully will have a gradient akin to that of Ngaraunga Gorge at the Kapiti end should it be built so scratch your supposed fuel savings”

                    Yes this is the “gradient” that Sue Bradford says that trucks won’t use making the motorway uneconomic.

                    The travel times I quote simply require an average sped of 90 kmh which is perfectly attainable.

                    • bad12

                      Simply bullshit, the travel time from Kapiti to the Terrace in Wellington according to you is 34 minutes at 90K, that will get you from Kapiti to Porirua and i have done that trip 1000’s of times…

                    • srylands

                      “Simply bullshit, the travel time from Kapiti to the Terrace in Wellington according to you is 34 minutes at 90K, that will get you from Kapiti to Porirua and i have done that trip 1000′s of times…”

                      You obviosuly cant do maths.

                      My house to the office is exactly 50kms

                      If I can average 90 km/h that is 33.33 minutes.

                      Right now it is 40 minutes.

                      With a motorway for 45km of the 50km I should be able to do 34 minues off peak rather than 40 minutes. Maybe even 32-33 minutes.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.3.1.2.1.2

              It is not up to the left to dictate how people should travel to work !

              No but it is up to the people to decide, collectively, how their resources are used.

              • srylands

                “No but it is up to the people to decide, collectively, how their resources are used.”

                No it is not. Use prices. If TG motorway is economic let the market deliver it and let the users pay. The last thing we want is political decisions on infrastructure.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Hilarious! All roading infrastructure decisions are political. But do feel free to show us evidence of any major toll roads built anywhere in the western world that were a purely private affair with no political input. Both TG and the holiday highway can only be built with massive government support, because private enterprise isn’t up to the job. If private enterprise was any good at the big jobs, Neil Armstrong would have been carrying a Macca’s flag onto the moon. Face it, Srylands, without the generosity of the taxpayer, nothing much of worth would ever have been built in NZ or anywhere else, for that matter.

                • vto

                  srylands “use prices”

                  You mean use price as the driver for the decisions of the human race? Bloody lunatic. What do you base this belief on srylands?

                  • srylands

                    “You mean use price as the driver for the decisions of the human race? ”

                    No I mean use prices to decide which infrastructure to build.

                    • vto

                      Oh, is that a decision made by some other species? Not a human race decision?

                      It is clearly a decision of the human race, so your answer is yes price should determine the decision. This is the main foundation stone for the neoliberal approach of course – that price is somehow the factor driving human decision-making.

                      Just like how you think decisions around the use of the human race in its own existence should be made on price, here http://thestandard.org.nz/this-gives-me-heart/#comment-671537

                      Mate, you have some seriously deluded ideas about how human beings interact and society works.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      No I mean use prices to decide which infrastructure to build.

                      If we did that then none of the RoNS would be built simply because they’re not cost effective.

                • bad12

                  What a crock, the market won’t build Transmission Gully, in a grand orgy of theft a PPP will be used to con the people into coughing up big-time into the future for the white elephant,

                  If ‘the market’ had the slightest intention of building that piece of road the market players would be banging on the doors of the Beehive demanding to buy the corridor for the proposed road off of the Government,

                  The market will first rip off the taxpayer to the max via the PPP where they will first simply inflate the cost of building Transmission Gully and second lock the Government into paying when the amount of cars using the road fails to materialize to an agreed level which was always going to be a non-achievement,

                  i wish the ‘sewer’ would either keep it’s wingnuts in-house or send over some with a small modicum of intelligence

                  • srylands

                    “The market will first rip off the taxpayer to the max via the PPP ”

                    No they won’t. The NZTA has said that a PPP will only proceed if it is cheaper than traditional financing methods. This will be demonstrated.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  No it is not. Use prices.

                  The neo-liberal economic theory has failed comprehensively. It doesn’t work.

                  If TG motorway is economic let the market deliver it and let the users pay.

                  Want to know why it’s always been governments that provided roads? Because they’re not commercially viable but they are necessary to the community. Same goes for electricity and telecommunications. Same is true for a hell of a lot of other services.

                  The last thing we want is political decisions on infrastructure.

                  Actually, that’s exactly what we need. The resources of the country should be used how the people of a country decide through voting. Have it so that people can see what resources are available and how that resource availability changes as they vote.

          • srylands 5.3.1.2.2

            “My belief is that your some minor bean counter ”

            As usual – typical left tactics – attack the person with gratuitous insults. General bad behaviour and treating people poorly is a key reason the left languishes in the polls. Better manners would go a long way. The spittle frothing at the mouth and anger and bitterness of the left about the world in general depresses any rational observer.

            I have never met a left supporter who was happy.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.3.1.2.2.1

              …to listen to the effluent that flows freely from you. Many people feel that way about ignorant trash.

            • bad12 5.3.1.2.2.2

              Lucky you your not a ‘rational observer’ then right, more a lying participant, really, it’s all my fault that National are the Government and i can change this by being polite to the likes of you,

              Oh hahahaha, you poor wee thing, best be off back to kindergarten with an attitude like that, wah wah, have a damn hanky,

              my belief is now more that your some form of toilet scrubber…

              • Murray Olsen

                But they’d be toilets used by really important people. Some of them may even have shaken hands with John Key at some stage. Maybe even two at a time.

                Now back to being miserable :-(

  6. Tracey 6

    Wellington was built in a stupid place with no eye to the future. It would be better to relocate government and its departments to Auckland and develop satelite towns in the greater Auckland area.

    Those who love Wellington’s CULTcha can stay.

    Then the roads won’t matter nearly so much.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      Auckland is an equally stupid place to build a city.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        And relocating another 50,000 civil servants and assorted hangers-on up there is INSANE

        Unless you own some investment properties and rentals up there already, in which case GO AHEAD and make a killing!

    • McFlock 6.2

      Hmm. Shift the seat of government from a location of wind-swept mud hills and earthquakes, to a location with multiple volcanoes.

      Make the capital Dunedin again – only one extinct volcano, slightly more seismically stable, veritable jewel of the south :)

      • lprent 6.2.1

        Aside from almost every Aucklander hating the idea of being the seat of polishers rather than workers manufacturing, the idea makes sense.

        The whole of South Island and lower North Island are at major risks of sudden and massive earthquakes up to the East Cape. The central North Island from Hamilton to Palmerston North, and New Plymouth to Tauranga is subject to rhyolitic and andesitic volcanic explosions. For instance Hamilton funds itself under ash swept in by the Waikato River with every Taupo eruption.

        Auckland is the home of 50+ basaltic cones. But basaltic cones of the type that provides months of warning for events and in pretty localised. It is far from major faults. It is one of the safer places in NZ geologically. But basically politicians and bureaucrats would just get in our way.

        Parts of Northland are pretty stable, and they could use a paying industry. That would be my pick :)

        • northshoredoc 6.2.1.1

          Why don’t we relocate the beehive to White Island and the bureaucracy to Whakatane ?

          • bad12 6.2.1.1.1

            Yes Please, take them, i dont care where, Dunedin,Auckland, Northland, we could turn the Parliament complex into a soup kitchen and shelter for the homeless…

    • BM 6.3

      Hamilton safest place in the country.
      Hop skip and a jump from 2/3 the countries population, plenty of land as well.

      Add a high speed rail link to connect it to Auckland, it makes perfect sense.

      • srylands 6.3.1

        Except it is Hamilton

        • BM 6.3.1.1

          Hamilton the city of the future.

          • Macro 6.3.1.1.1

            And all day Fog

            • Armchair Critic 6.3.1.1.1.1

              Rubbish. The fog often clears by 4pm.

            • BM 6.3.1.1.1.2

              You obviously haven’t been through Hamilton in a while.
              Draining the surrounding peat lands and the heat of the city put paid to all those pea soupers.
              I would say it’s about 10% of what it used to be.

              • lprent

                Great. The moderately frequent winters day fog (until early afternoon) was *the* distinguishing feature of the city when I was at uni there in the late 70s.

                Either that or the baking asphalt footpaths in summer. I worked as a barman at the Hillcrest for most of the years I was down there. Mostly moderating at the public bar. Walking there in the summer heat gave you respect for the heat absorption capacity of asphalt topped with small gravel.

                • BM

                  Can’t say I miss the fog, used to get pretty thick.

                  I remember this old boy telling me about the time him and his older brother was driving through Frankton, couldn’t see a thing so he had to sit on the car bonnet and give his brother directions on where to go.

                  While he was doing that he could hear a train but had no idea where it was except it was getting louder and louder, then all of a sudden about 3 meters in front of him this freight train roars past, had to change his pants after that.
                  Scarey stuff.

                  As for the Hilly, had a few wild nights there.

                  Didn’t go into the public bar too often, bit too rugged in there for my likings, the locals didn’t like no strangers in their bar.

                  They ripped it down about 5 years back and stuck up another block of shops, there’s a pub there but from what I’ve heard no one goes to it.

  7. Plan B 7

    srylands
    Roads benefit property
    So property should pay for roads
    Instead we are being force fed the idea that users should pay for roads. It sounds reasonable until you realise that the actual real bankable benefit of new roads goes to property owners- so why shouldn’t they pay.

    • srylands 7.1

      “so why shouldn’t they pay.”

      They should.

    • Chooky 7.2

      @ Plan B…who owns the property that will benefit from that road?….who has bought land recently up that way?….for what purposes?….for what long term development?…..follow the money and the shareholders

      • Chooky 7.2.1

        …plus a lot of the existing small property owners up that way are being displaced…their property values eroded by the proposed motorway…… and they have been fighting desperately for anywhere near adequate valuations and compensation……It is a scandal really….property theft!…for the interests of the BIG BOY PLAYERS

        They have been largely ignored by the MSM

  8. srylands 8

    The sensible thing for the Government to do with Transmission Gully qould be to legislate for huge penalty payments to the winning consortium in the even of cancellation post 2014 election – same as the Sky City convention centre deal.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.1

      Why, to demonstrate that the National Party’s word isn’t worth shit because parliament is sovereign?

      • srylands 8.1.1

        Good luck with that.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.1.1.1

          Examples of previous arrangements Parliament has acted in direct contradiction of: ANZUS. If you think Sky City and Joyce’s roading company clients are immune you’re delusional.

          • srylands 8.1.1.1.1

            “Examples of previous arrangements Parliament has acted in direct contradiction of: ANZUS.”

            Yes and it has taken us nearly 30 years to (partially) repair the relationship with the USA from the ANZUS debacle! I am sure Labour has learned from that painful lesson.

            Contracts with the successful Transmission Gully consortium will be honoured and the much needed motorway will proceed. It will be highly utilised and valued for generaions to come.

            • vto 8.1.1.1.1.1

              You do know what happens to the traffic jams at the end of motorways when the motorways get extended don’t you.

              btw, there is a question for you nearby about why you think the decisions of the human race should be made on the basis of price

              • srylands

                “btw, there is a question for you nearby about why you think the decisions of the human race should be made on the basis of price”

                Because prices lead to better outcomes than politicians.

                “You do know what happens to the traffic jams at the end of motorways when the motorways get extended don’t you.”

                That is simply an argument for more motorways – so in Wellington a motorway from the Airport to Levin and to Auckland by 2025.

                Australia is close to having Freeway standard roads from Sydney to melbourne. we have a lot of catching up to do.

                It is also a ridiculous argument. I recently drove around regional Sydney for a week – mostly on motorways. It was great. Nearly all of them tolled.

                New Zealand’s roads are embarassing.

                • vto

                  ““btw, there is a question for you nearby about why you think the decisions of the human race should be made on the basis of price”
                  Because prices lead to better outcomes than politicians.”

                  That model of decision-making is what led to Pike River.
                  That model of decision-making is one of the major reasons for the leaky home debacle.
                  That model of decision-making is what led to the finance company collapses.
                  That model of decision-making is what has driven low wages below a living level.

                  Perhaps you could make a list of where humans make decisions on the basis of price and it works?

                  Reproduction?
                  School?
                  Undies, paint and hats?
                  Love and marriage?
                  Living locality?
                  Cars?
                  When to go to bed?
                  How fast to drive?
                  What job they choose?
                  How much to save for retirement?
                  How to choose a financial adviser?
                  Who to waste time responding to on the internet?

                  Once you have tallied up the myriad life decisions that are truly made by humans on the basis of price then you might begin to recognise its extremely limited application. Then the bigger picture may begin to emerge. Somehow though I doubt it.

                  • srylands

                    NOT paying attention to prices when choosing infrastructre projects leads to things like this:

                    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/aug/07/ciudad-real-airport-up-for-sale

                    Closer to home it also leads to this:

                    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/9042979/Runway-won-t-fly-without-city-cash

                    Politicians are notoriously poor at making decisions on infrastrcuture. Better use of pricing is inevitable with all road users tracked and paying for all road use. That road use guides where the roads are built. If subsidies are required (e.g. for rural roads) that becomes transparent.

                    Finally I suggest you read this:

                    http://www.amazon.com/The-Logic-Life-Economics-Irrational/dp/0812977874

                    All the things you list can be explained by risk, reward, and sanctions. And they can all be priced. Long live the market.

                    • vto

                      You are sliding off the point, which started here http://thestandard.org.nz/peak-driving-what-nationals-doing-with-12-billion-of-your-money/#comment-681444

                      When you say “and they can all be priced” then I now switch off. Like I did with your comment about pricing human beings to such a low point that they cost less than keeping a slave.

                      I price your comments at about 1c each and that is a waste of my time.

                      Out.

                    • srylands

                      “You are sliding off the point”

                      Yes I am sliding off the point. But it is your fault. You provoked me. You mocked the market :-(

                    • srylands

                      “I price your comments at about 1c each and that is a waste of my time.”

                      Fortunately you are not a paying client.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Great civilisations are guided by wisdom and compassion. Not by pricing.

                      Avaricious empires on the other hand…

                      Frickin humans. Chasing their Ferengi idols.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Politicians are notoriously poor at making decisions on infrastrcuture.

                      Which is something I wouldn’t do but I wouldn’t leave it to prices either as prices are manipulable and often don’t don’t have the full costs in them. A good example of the latter is global warming – a cost that was not included in the price of fossil fuels.

                    • vto

                      “You mocked the market”

                      The market as it has been allowed to operate has resulted in too many deaths, too much financial loss, and too much unequal spread of the wealth of our society for me to place anymore reliance in it than supply of undies, t-shirts, plastic buckets and Christmas decorations from the warehouse.

                      The market has sucked too many people into believing it is the answer to everything.

                      Look at what the market solution to mine safety resulted in at Pike River. 29 dead men.

                      Dead. Get it? People thought the market approach could work in mine safety (Bill Birch actually the main culprit) but it completely and utterly failed, killing 29 men.

                    • srylands

                      “People thought the market approach could work in mine safety (Bill Birch actually the main culprit) but it completely and utterly failed, killing 29 men.”

                      I don’t know why. Perfect example of market failure. Workplace safety needs effective regulation.

                      You seem to continually confuse the rationale for market interventions.

                    • vto

                      You think the market should dictate the spread of wealth and income of our islands.

                      You don’t mind that the market reduces some people’s incomes to a level that they cannot even live on after a day’s honest toil.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Then the serfs simply need to work harder. If they were more motivated people instead of lazy dole sucking alcoholic pot smoking scum, they would be as successful as Michael Hill.

          • Wayne 8.1.1.1.2

            One Anonymous Knucklehead

            It may have escaped your notice, but NZ is not in ANZUS.

            In fact in 2007, the Nats said we would endorse the nuclear free policy. That actually helped to improve the situation with the US, since it removed any lingering doubt that the US could pressure us on that issue.

            We also said (all made public at the time) we intended to improve the relationship with the US. And we have.

            How do I know this? Well because I was one of the authors of this approach.

            But I also acknowledge that Helen Clark was progressively on that path, but various Labourites couldn’t resist lecturing the US from time to time. Actually not Helen Clark. She made NZ’s position clear on. for instance Iraq, but tended not to then lecture the US.

  9. Harold 9

    This blog is evidence of just why Labour has lost touch with significant areas of provincial NZ. Labour once stood for good roads and public transport. Now it represents urban middle class liberals and their concerns. Try driving through the Dome Valley on a daily basis! One of the most dangerous pieces of road in NZ. Try getting a job in Northland. The highest unemployment and the the lowest incomes. It is a sad day when John Key can more effectively pose as their supporter than the Labour Party. I was brought up in the north and own a house near the end of the proposed motorway. The only problem is the extension stops at Wellsford. It needs to go all the way to Whangarei. About bloody time and enough of this middle class bleating disguised as supporting working people. No wonder John Key is walking all over the so-called opposition.

    • vto 9.1

      If there is such economic demand for this road then where is it coming from?

      Then there is the issue of where the money comes from to build such grandiose schemes. That money could go into schools, health care, any number of more worthwhile places, rather than into a road for Aucklanders to go on holiday. And that is all it is. Nothing more.

      One more thing – you sound like srylands complaining about your commute. Diddums. Try living 200 miles from your work – you think I get any traction when I complain to everyone that taxpayers should build me a better road?

      • srylands 9.1.1

        “Then there is the issue of where the money comes from to build such grandiose schemes. ”

        It comes from road users.

        “That money could go into schools, health care, any number of more worthwhile places, rather than into a road for Aucklanders to go on holiday. ”

        No it could not. That is what taxes are for. All the money currently spent on roads is hypothecated for roads – from road users.

        “taxpayers should build me a better road?”

        Taxes don’t pay for roads now.

        • vto 9.1.1.1

          You just cannot see can you srylands. The world is not so simple.

          If society is wealthy enough that it can afford to pay road taxes and build more roads, then it is wealthy enough that it can afford to pay other taxes and build more other useful things as suggested, rather than roads. It is about adjusting the balance mix – a bit like how you can’t seem to see that people’s incomes are set by the current mix of law and regulation which pushes money into certain areas and not others.

          Where the money comes from in this situation and in that manner is immaterial. This is the point you miss. The money comes from society. Society should do other better things with that money than build roads to satisfy Aucklanders going away for a break.

          • srylands 9.1.1.1.1

            “If society is wealthy enough that it can afford to pay road taxes and build more roads, then it is wealthy enough that it can afford to pay other taxes and build more other useful things as suggested, rather than roads.”

            I can’t think of anything more useful than roads. At the very least bad roads stand out as a serious problem. We have plenty of airports. The hospitals are OK. The electricity market is working well and delivering better lines and generating infrastructure.

            Ports are working OK.

            So yes it IS pretty much roads. What do you suggest could be more useful?

          • srylands 9.1.1.1.2

            “If society is wealthy enough that it can afford to pay road taxes and build more roads”

            No it is not “society” paying road user charges – it is the road users paying for the roads – me.

            I can afford to drive 50,000 kms annually. I can aford to pay tolls if that was an option. I can afford a car which I pay for. There is no “society” involved. I am making the choice with my money. Welfare recipients in Otara without cars don’t get to choose. I get to choose, and I want better roads, which I will pay for. People who don’t want better roads can catch trains or walk or go back to an agrarian society like the Greens want. And they can stay out of it.

            • vto 9.1.1.1.2.1

              You are taking the piss with both of the above comments, that is very clear.

              Cocksucker

              • srylands

                “You are taking the piss with both of the above comments, that is very clear.”

                um?

                no they are serious comments.

                • vto

                  Serious?

                  This? “There is no “society” involved.”
                  In case you hadn’t noticed, car drivers are a subset of society.

                  This? ” I get to choose, and I want better roads, which I will pay for”
                  How have you got that choice? How did it arise? And why do you assume that whether roads should be built should be decided solely by the people who drive on them? Does it occur to you that roading has effects far wider than the people who drive on them?

                  This? “No it is not “society” paying road user charges – it is the road users paying for the roads – me.”
                  Again, in case you hadn’t noticed, car drivers are a subset of society.

                  Seriously deluded is all

                  • srylands

                    “And why do you assume that whether roads should be built should be decided solely by the people who drive on them? ”

                    Because they pay for them?

                    • vto

                      What the fuck has that got to do with it?

                    • Pasupial

                      DNFTT

                    • srylands

                      “What the fuck has that got to do with it?”

                      Oh I forgot – for the Left its is all about OPM – Other Peoples Money

                    • Colonial Viper

                      NZ Dollars are issued by the Government, they are removed from circulation by the Government, and only the Government can give them value. They are not “YOUR” dollars. Just like this is not “OUR” Earth, we are merely temporary custodians.

                      You moron.

                      As for “other peoples money” I don’t see you being angry at the corporates and the banks hoovering up “other peoples money” at maximum possible rate.

                      You shite hypocrite.

                    • vto

                      Answer the question.

                      What has that got to do with it?

                      It bamboozles you doesn’t it. Go on. Try to answer it. Fully and completely.

                    • srylands

                      “… Dollars are issued by the Government, they are removed from circulation by the Government, and only the Government can give them value. They are not “YOUR” dollars. Just like this is not “OUR” Earth, we are merely temporary custodians.

                      You moron.”

                      Really? Here we go again with your weirdo theory of value. You think wealth is created by issuing currency.

                      I assure you it is all my money. And the roads are disproportionately MY roads.

                      Luckily the TG Motorway – which started this thread – will be built and valued by future generations, regardless of the outcome of the 2014 election. Our children will look back on its opponents as luddites and short sighted fools.

                    • srylands

                      “You moron.”

                      “You shite hypocrite.”

                      Yes here we go again – typical left behaviour. Abuse and rudeness. That is why you can never take left folk to any social occasion with civilised folk present. You always know what will happen. This. Every cocktail party I attend – everyone says the same thing!

                      It is the perceived rudeness that is accelerating your decline with mainstream New Zealanders.

                      [lprent: Apply your self-alleged intelligence (simple egotism?) to reading the policy. There is nothing in there about politeness and abuse is only covered by limiting its use to when people have a point to make.

                      The lack of politeness is covered by "robust debate" and limited by "pointless abuse" as assessed by (and only by) the moderators. Quite simply you have no idea what real abuse can be like until you've had a old moderator apply it. Draw whatever it is to our attention if you desire as a query. Don't presume to set the standard.

                      People trying to tell us how we should run the site or how others should act (thereby infringing on the moderator's job) is covered under the section generally known as "Darwin awards". Generally resorting to calling for arbitrary standards of "politeness", "morality", "human and/or behaviour", "everyone believes/knows", etc etc is only done by people without an argument that they can actually argue. We usually find it distinguishes people ruled by learnt propaganda/faith rather than their brains

                      Around here it is roughly defined by the definition of something like a priest arguing the faith that they find advantageous to themselves. We will put up with the equivalent of Jesuits. But anything with a whiff of the Inquisition will find the rapid application of moderator's equivalent of a red-hot poker burning their ears as they get expelled to the sewer. As a site we are interested in tolerating and even fostering dissent. But we are uninterested in the behaviour of people trying to say what dissent is. You can just expect to have people agreeing to disagree and the occasional dose of non-pointless abuse thrown over your beloved ideas.

                      Welcome to the real world. ]

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It’s not YOUR money.

                      It’s not issued by you. It’s not given value by you. It can be taken from you as required by the Government.

                      As for being rude – deal with it. You can’t expect people to be polite in the face of your aberrant and dangerous economic stupidity.

                      That is why you can never take left folk to any social occasion with civilised folk present. You always know what will happen. This. Every cocktail party I attend – everyone says the same thing!

                      It’s what you call Class War you fucking dick.

                      Really? Here we go again with your weirdo theory of value. You think wealth is created by issuing currency.

                      Nice diversion. I said nothing about “wealth”, I was responding to your bullshit about “other peoples money”.

                      You’re scared off examining what money actually is, and I get that. Clue: it’s not the same thing as “wealth”.

                    • felix

                      “You think wealth is created by issuing currency”

                      Where do you imagine the money for Transmission Gully is coming from?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m going long guillotine manufacturers. Looks to me like that’s the way the world is going.

                    • KJT

                      OPM.
                      Do you mean, Fairylands, like Nationals using 40 million of our money to help give away our assets?

                      Or the 178 multimillionaires who use our roads, our educated people, our police, our army, our rail, our infrastructure, and pay less than 20k a year in tax?

                      Or the employers who pay less than a living wage. The workers parents, partners, fellow tax payers, or the workers themselves, subsidise their nonviable businesses?

                      Stealing other peoples money seems to be a mostly right wing thing.

                      The left expect to pay taxes for what they get.

            • Macro 9.1.1.1.2.2

              So what you say is this
              “I’m all right Jack – fuck everybody else to day and in the future including my children and grandchildren because I want it all now for me!”
              You don’t want a society because your ok! and by rights society doesn’t want you because your simply a selfish prick who is all take take take..

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.2.3

              All hail the return of the Aristocrats and the Feudal Lords. Chosen by God, blessed by God, to pour His holy scorn over the weak, the poor, the indigent, and the sick.

    • Murray Olsen 9.2

      What’s sad is that, except for a few select places like the Bay of Islands, both parties have neglected Northland, but the pakeha tend to blame Labour and keep voting National. The roads are mostly fine except when Aucklanders go up there on holiday. Trucks are one problem, but that could be fixed by decent rail. A container terminal at Marsden Point, with coastal shipping and rail to the south would be great for the North, but Key’s vision is selling bits like Helena Bay off to Russian oligarchs, turning the East Coast into a playground for his mates, and building private prisons for Maori. The people I know back home are not National supporters, but are not great fans of Labour either.

  10. Harold 10

    VTO do you really believe this is just a road for Aucklanders do go on holiday on? NZ ends 300 odd kms north if Auckland. The north contains one of the best and most under utilised ports in the country. your petrol is refined here. It is a major dairy, forestry and tourism area. It suffers from very poor infrastructure and dangerous roads. Absolutely key to addressing poverty and unemployment is Northland’s road and rail connections to the rest of NZ. I suggest you take a drive and take a good look war working people’s living conditions in the north. Charities (Northland Age article) reported rat and mice infestations with children sleeping without even a mattress or bedding. 50% of people picking up food didn’t have shoes! Shocking but what is even worse is that John Key was moved to comment on this but Labour is more interested in whinging about “wasting money on roads”. Talk about the political bankruptcy of social democracy.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      your petrol is refined here.

      LOL

      Most of NZs fuel is refined offshore and imported.

      It suffers from very poor infrastructure and dangerous roads.

      And so that infrastructure needs to be addressed – the Holiday Highway won’t do it.

      Absolutely key to addressing poverty and unemployment is Northland’s road and rail connections to the rest of NZ.

      I agree with your comment about rail although your fantastic port could do wonders as well.

      Shocking but what is even worse is that John Key was moved to comment

      Yeah, but that’s all he did. Then he set it up so that wages would lower and the countries wealth would stream even faster into the hands of the already rich.

      Labour is more interested in whinging about “wasting money on roads”.

      That might be because this government is wasting money on roads, such as the Holiday Highway, that are completely uneconomic.

  11. Harold 11

    It is not a holiday road to the working people who live there! Or for that matter the working people who have to drive down it.
    If the argument it Is uneconomic you can kiss goodbye to most public infrastructure and definitely anything to do with the arts.
    This is a crazy argument. 99% of public infrastructure would have been “uneconomic” when it was built. Much came into public ownership historically because of private bankruptcy. Was the main trunk railway economic? Or the central North Island timber plantations? If rail needs to “economic” then kiss goodbye to Auckland rail etc etc.
    your real problem is not “economics” but that money is not being wasted on something “uneconomic” that’s important to you.
    The day we say public infrastructure that working people need had to be justified in strictly economic terms is the day we have surrendered.
    For the record my family was dirt poor but we took holidays at the beach. Working people take holidays and fish and swim and drive these roads. A lot of them in Northland are Maori as well.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Now now please don’t be disingenuous.

      Public infrastructure is not an all seasons pass for every useless and obsolescent-before-it-is-built bit of pork barrel spending that you can point to.

      When people talk about the Holiday Highway being “uneconomic” they’re not talking about private profitability.

      They are talking about a waste of money in that it produces far less public good than other transportation projects.

      You’re not even attempting a public good argument for that spending because the public benefit of the road is so marginal to negative compared to say, the Auckland city rail link.

      The day we say public infrastructure that working people need had to be justified in strictly economic terms is the day we have surrendered.

      Try and justify it on moral terms then.

      Or maybe in terms of how much benefit private property developers in the north will garner from the roading project.

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    Transport Blog | 02-10
  • Clear signal NZ’s universities need more funding
    The rankings for universities around the world were released today, with disappointing results for NZ’s universities. Three out of five of our institutions dropped down the rankings from last year, with the remaining two holding their position. Universities New Zealand,...
    frogblog | 02-10
  • Science and belief
    As long as it agrees with, or can be interpreted to agree with, one’s beliefs.  ...
    Open Parachute | 02-10
  • Tetris and Labour
    So the computer game Tetris is going to be made into a movie. This doesn’t strike me as a good idea. Stacking endless streams of tumbling blocks so that they complete rows that then disappear isn’t much of a plot....
    Occasionally erudite | 02-10
  • The real threat to the UK
    The British government wants to ban "non-violent extremists" - that's Tory for "people the government doesn't like" - from appearing on TV or social media:Radical Islamist extremists and neo-Nazis could be banned from making public appearances including on television under...
    No Right Turn | 02-10
  • A panopticon in Auckland
    Live in Auckland? Smile, Auckland Transport will be watching everything you do:Surveillance technology that uses high definition cameras and software that can put names to faces and owners to cars is coming to Auckland. The surveillance has the capability to...
    No Right Turn | 01-10
  • International Day of Action: Kiwis Fight Back!
    On 8 November 2014 Kiwis will kickstart the global day of action against the TPPA. TPPA poses an enormous threat to NZ’s ability to regulate for itself, and gives foreign investors and multinationals new rights to control our laws. Click...
    Its our future | 01-10
  • New Waiheke Ferries
    News broke this week that from Saturday there will once again be some competition on the Waiheke ferry route. The battle for passengers on the Waiheke ferry service is about to heat up – much to the relief of many...
    Transport Blog | 01-10
  • Holding out for a hero
    David Cunliffe cannot beat National in 2017. That’s as close to a political certainty as there is. Labour did as poorly as they did this election in part because of Cunliffe. I know too many people who wouldn’t touch Labour...
    Occasionally erudite | 01-10
  • @tarnbabe67 : Cosgrove’s conspiracy theory backfires
    Intelligent people occasionally make stupid mistakes. Exhibit A: Karen Price setting up an anonymous Twitter account in order to lambast her husband’s foes. There’s something very unMachiavellian about choosing an “anonymous” Twitter handle that allowed people who knew you to guess...
    Occasionally erudite | 01-10
  • Whale Oil’s dirty attack on Otago academic
    Tertiary Update Vol 17  No 33 The villain of Dirty Politics, Cameron Slater, used his post-election downtime last week to attack University of Otago nutrition scientist Lisa Te Morenga, calling her a ‘trougher’ and, ironically, criticising her for being offensive...
    Tertiary Education Union | 01-10
  • KiwiSaver improvements at EIT
    Eastern Institute of Technology’s TEU members who are over 65 will be able to continue to save up employer contributions in their KiwiSaver nest egg if they ratify a new TEU collective agreement. Union members are now voting whether to...
    Tertiary Education Union | 01-10
  • Vic students to leave NZUSA under VSM cloud
    Student leaders around New Zealand will meet in two weeks to discuss the future of student representation after the decision made last week by the Victoria University Students’ Association (VUWSA) to give one year’s notice terminating their membership of the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 01-10
  • Collective agreements get more pay rises
    Does it pay for you to be on a collective agreement rather than an individual agreement, asks CTU economist Bill Rosenberg? The evidence available suggests that yes, workers on collective agreements get bigger and more frequent pay rises. They may...
    Tertiary Education Union | 01-10
  • Maybe you’re not cut out for this kind of work
    I attended a great buddies wedding in the bay of islands recently. It was everything […] The post Maybe you’re not cut out for this kind of work appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 01-10
  • Maybe you’re not cut out for this kind of work
    I attended a great buddy’s wedding in the Bay of Islands recently. It was everything […] The post Maybe you’re not cut out for this kind of work appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 01-10
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 01-10
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 01-10
  • Media malice
    There has been a lot of talk, over on the Standard and elsewhere, about media bias.  The election was lost because of it.  Cunliffe's leadership ruined because of it.  The Scottish independence referendum lost because of it.  The media are...
    Left hand palm | 01-10
  • How to Create a Divided Society: New Plymouth’s Maori Seat
    Last week New Plymouth District Council opted to create a Maori ward for the next local government election. That means local Maori who choose to go on a Maori-only role get to elect a representative directly to the council. Everybody...
    Gareth’s World | 01-10
  • Trickle Down Economics? No way. Rather it’s wealth capture by the sel...
    If You Look At One Graph About Inequality Look At This!Henning MeyerYou might have heard about recent reports stating that global inequality is decreasing. This is a nice example of constructing the comparison according to the result you would like to...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 01-10
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    Frankly Speaking | 01-10
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    Frankly Speaking | 01-10
  • PPTA’s EDUCANZ battle continues
    1 October 2014 The legislation around the government’s EDUCANZ body is so sloppy it is impossible to know what kind of monster will eventually be unleashed, says PPTA president Angela Roberts.This afternoon PPTA members voted to empower the association’s executive...
    PPTA | 01-10
  • AT’s surveillance system
    Concern erupted yesterday about whether Auckland Transport was going to by effectively spying on us all as part of a new surveillance system they are buying. Surveillance technology that uses high definition cameras and software that puts names to faces and...
    Transport Blog | 01-10
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    Frankly Speaking | 01-10
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    Frankly Speaking | 01-10
  • Limiting global warming to 2 °C – why Victor and Kennel are wrong
    In a comment in Nature titled Ditch the 2 °C warming goal, political scientist David Victor and retired astrophysicist Charles Kennel advocate just that. But their arguments don’t hold water. It is clear that the opinion article by Victor &...
    Real Climate | 01-10
  • New and Improved Ice Loss Estimates for Polar Ice Sheets
    In a previous post, several years ago, I discussed the various ways that we measure changes in the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. Today, scientists still use these main methods for identifying ice changes but recent technological and data processing...
    Skeptical Science | 01-10
  • Crime Reporting Hides Reality
    The National Government has been clever at fudging data and hiding unwanted statistics. It has refused to measure the extent of child poverty, stopped independent environmental reporting and while there has been some worrying crime statistics, we only hear of...
    Local Bodies | 01-10
  • What Labour needs to hear: the 4th voice
    As he pops back and forth between New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, Shane Jones must look on himself as the luckiest of the three men who took part in the Labour leadership race just a scant 12 months ago.read...
    Pundit | 01-10
  • Extremes report 2013: NZ drought and record Aussie heat made worse by warmi...
    The latest climate extremes report finds that 9 out of 16 extreme weather events from last year were influenced by climate change. In particular, the conditions that led to New Zealand’s severe North Island drought — the worst for 41...
    Hot Topic | 01-10
  • On holiday
    Quick PSA: I won on holiday this week, which is why I'm not blogging much at all. Next week I will post once and only once on the Labour leadership contest....
    Polity | 01-10
  • World News Brief, Wednesday October 1
    Top of the AgendaAfghanistan and United States Sign Security Deal...
    Pundit | 01-10
  • Dancing Traffic Lights
    As a pedestrian it can be easy to become a bit impatient, especially when traffic lights are prioritised solely around the movement of vehicles which can leave a long wait between phases. Here’s one idea to keep people occupied while...
    Transport Blog | 01-10
  • Secure work, health and safety and pay rises
    This week the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (the NZCTU) released their latest economic bulletin today with economist Bill Rosenberg answering the question about whether workers who have a collective employment agreement get bigger pay rises than those on...
    frogblog | 01-10
  • Shock! Horror! Wife defends husband!!!!
        In recent posts I’ve made some fairly trenchant comments about David Cunliffe, primarily about his media performance. Others, including some of his Caucus colleagues, have gone even further. The now resigned Leader of the Opposition has been under...
    Brian Edwards | 01-10
  • September ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    PLEASE NOTE: Sitemeter is playing up again making it impossible to automatically get the stats for some blogs – those I list below. Maybe more bloggers will shift to StatCounter or other counter. No stats could be found for these blogs: Works...
    Open Parachute | 01-10
  • September ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    PLEASE NOTE: Sitemeter is playing up again making it impossible to automatically get the stats for some blogs – those I list below. Maybe more bloggers will shift to StatCounter or other counter. No stats could be found for these blogs: Works...
    Open Parachute | 01-10
  • Auckland: the world’s friendliest city
    UK travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler has just named Auckland the world’s friendliest city in its 2014 rankings. It introduces Auckland with a great photo that highlights the city’s growing urbanity: FRIENDLIEST: 1. Auckland, New Zealand Score: 86.0 (tie) We...
    Transport Blog | 01-10
  • Waterview Breakthrough
    On Monday Alice the Tunnel Boring Machine broke through at Waterview after tunnelling for the last 10 months. And here’s a video of it happening. One of the things that is really impressive is just how accurate the machine is...
    Transport Blog | 30-09
  • Fundamental incomprehension II
    Another day, and another journalist who just doesn't get it about the Greens. This time its Duncan Garner:The Green Party needs a serious rethink. For as long as they have been in Parliament, they have been a left wing party...
    No Right Turn | 30-09
  • An Open Letter to Green Party Supporters: Why I slagged off your Party
    Last week I called for a Bluegreen Party – an environmental party that I could in all conscience, vote for. It prompted a huge response, which confirmed to me there is a clear constituency that is not being serviced. I...
    Gareth’s World | 30-09
  • Parliament should decide
    Yesterday John Key began laying the groundwork to deploy kiwi troops to Iraq to fight in another pointless American war. And with the Labour Party distracted by its autocannibalism, its left to Winston Peters to stand up for democratic values...
    No Right Turn | 30-09
  • The problem with warmongers
    The problem with warmongers is they appear to have no empathy for their fellow human beings. That's because war, and the industrial complex behind it, is invariably built upon people's prejudices.History is littered with examples of prejudice being used as...
    The Jackal | 30-09
  • Australia to criminalise journalism
    Imagine this scenario: Australian spies seeking to fight domestic terrorism borrow the tactics of their American counterparts and start running agent provocateurs to "flush out" those with terrorist leanings. But an operation goes horribly wrong, and actually results in a...
    No Right Turn | 30-09
  • School funding failing vulnerable students – time for a better way?
    1 October 2014 Schools with the greatest needs get too little to meet those needs, says PPTA president Angela Roberts. The current school funding system is failing to support our most vulnerable students and this morning delegates at PPTA’s annual...
    PPTA | 30-09
  • Waiho Papa Moana Hikoi
    More than 1,000 people marched up Queen Streen in Auckland yesterday, as part of the Waiho Papa Moana Hikoi, to protest outside Sky City at the New Zealand Petroleum Summit against plans to begin deep sea oil drilling in the...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-09
  • Why the Prime Minister and RB Governor are whistling in the wind
    Let there be no mistake, New Zealanders want the NZ dollar to be as high as possible. A 65 US cent dollar makes us a hell of a lot poorer than an 88 cent one. So why does the Reserve...
    Gareth’s World | 30-09
  • A targeted transport rate?
    An article in last Friday’s NZ Herald provided an interesting insight into where the investigations into additional transport funding options are at. This is the second phase of the project to close the supposed $12 billion funding gap over the next 30...
    Transport Blog | 30-09
  • Hold fast to your Mana – Harawira
    Hone Harawira today called on the voters of Tai Tokerau to hold fast to their mana, and not be dictated to by those party leaders who have ganged together to tell them how to vote. “I call on our people...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • I feel sorry for Labour Party members and supporters
    I feel really sorry for the members and supporters of the Labour Party as they watch their caucus tear itself to shreds. And no matter what the outcome of the coming leadership race Labour members and supporters will be the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Ummmm, why is Auckland Transport spying on Aucklanders?
    Ummm. What? Sophisticated surveillance coming to Auckland Surveillance technology that uses high definition cameras and software that can put names to faces and owners to cars is coming to Auckland. The surveillance has the capability to also scan social media...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • It. Is. About. The. Economy. Stupid.
    Liam Dann does a good job of explaining the positive and negative issues looming for the NZ economy and as dairy prices plunge again overnight alongside a large Wall st sell off  and China Bank rumours begin, his case for the negative...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Don’t think of it as reinvading Iraq, think of it as redecorating Iraq
    I think some NZers view Iraq like an episode of The Block. Yes Iraq is the worst country on the street, but with a bit of elbow grease by our SAS and some great deals down at Bunnings, hey presto we...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Mana Maori alliance
    Most Maori you speak to on the street can’t understand why Mana movement and  Maori Party don’t combine it confuses them why Maori are divided cross benches in Parliament instead of a unified political power that represents 15% of the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Party members and affiliates – the real losers in Labour’s leadership f...
    Hey, wanna do a back room deal that cuts the members and affiliates out? Cunliffe must be reeling. He has lost failed Ilam candidate James Dann. It must cut as deep as the loss of Steve Gibson. Apart from providing Claire...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election res...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election result...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • The rich get richer
    Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman highlights the growing inequality in this article in the New York Times. The left wing slogan that the “the rich get richer” is a fact of almost perverse power. The most recent period of expansion in the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • A brief word on reinvading Iraq
    So after telling the country before the election that NZ would not send forces to Iraq, lo and behold now he’s won the election with a full spectrum dominance political majority, Key is suddenly now looking to join the re-invasion of...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • A brief word on the importance of ACT, Maori Party and United Future to Nat...
    I’m a far right wing clown who attacks tax money going on anything collective, gimmie some cash and privilege.  One of the great successes of National has been to implement hard right policy but have it sold as moderate. For some NZers,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Labour’s Angst
    Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Information wars: Gaza as “the last taboo”, the threat of mass surveill...
    “When the truth is replaced with silence” wrote the soviet dissident Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” There has been a silence these past months full of noise, static and sound bites of those in power justifying their violence,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • When the media say they covered Dirty Politics – did they?
    I was watching The Nation in the weekend, and watched the defenders of NZ media up against Minto telling him he was wrong in his claims of media bias and that the media covered Dirty Politics. I laughed. When the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG – P Campbell – To the Left with love
    A week after the general election results I feel wrung out emotionally, having been through the disappointment, depression and anger of seeing  another right wing government elected overwhelmingly by winning support from the parts of NZ that will never benefit...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – I will be the new Labour Leader!
    One week after the election, while I was still waiting to be consulted about contributing to the review on what went wrong, what do you know? There is a leadership challenge. So instead of opting for a united, thoughtful and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – A Prescient Post
    A very prescient pre-election post by Martyn Bradbury tells us why the Labour Party are at war now. “The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work” Despite Martyn Bradbury warning them this Right Wing strategy “Better Work”...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – W(h)ither Labour (!/?)
    There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not so in the Labour Party, wherein soul-crushing defeat on a scale unseen since 1925 definitely has many fathers (and more than a few mothers and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • At the end of the day…
    At the end of the day…...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty
    Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Internet MANA the election and the media
    I’ve been very critical of media reporting of Internet MANA during the election campaign and not surprised at the predictable response from representatives of the corporate media establishment. I wasn’t going to carry this further but was asked at the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Rachel Jones – A superficial discourse analysis of a superfic...
    On Sunday there was a story about Paddy Gower and his detached retina in the Herald on Sunday. Really? I hear you ask. Really? Yes, really. Pam Corkery will have sprayed toast crumbs over her dressing gown. The reporter has become...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Terrorising Australia’s Muslim population
    We should be suspicious when 800 police conduct “terror” raids across Australia, but only one person is charged with a relevant terrorism offence (of which we know few details). We should be suspicious of the lurid tales of terrorists planning...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its min...
    Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its mind. I know the Labour party has its problems and I’m not even going to try to prescribe what should be done about it. But what I...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Loyalty, Leadership and the Labour Party
    My first after the election and I can only say I’m feeling pretty sad.  It was a terrible result, and feels even more so knowing the number of volunteers hours, hard work & sacrifice made by so many people who...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Cunliffe vs Robertson – Round 2
    Much to the disappointment of the NZ Herald and other right wing pundits who have decided they would like to appoint the next Labour leader, Cunliffe has surprised by deciding to damn the Caucus and appeal directly to the members...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The tasks before the left and labour movement
    Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • From Fiji’s dictatorship to ‘democracy’ – the AUT student team on t...
    Mads Anneberg’s profile on Ricardo Morris and Repúblika. David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. THREE STUDENTS from AUT University covered Fiji’s historic “from dictatorship to democracy” general election this month. While the election arguably legitimised Voreqe Bainimarama’s so-called 2006...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • David Cunliffe Resigns As Labour Leader – Forces Robertson Out of the Bel...
    David Cunliffe has made a smart move, resigning as the leader of the Labour Party so as to force a leadership primary campaign. The move draws rival Grant Robertson out of the beltway to parts of the country where he...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • How You Can Help the Homeless
    At any one time, there are an estimated 357 homeless people in Central Auckland alone, many enduring hardships beyond the rain, wind and cold of sleeping rough. October 10 is World Homeless Day when the public are invited to learn...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Over 20% of Gold Production Now Pledged to Kiwifruit Claim
    Kiwifruit growers representing over 20% of New Zealand gold kiwifruit production have already pledged to join The Kiwifruit Claim, the chairman of the claim’s grower committee, John Cameron, said today....
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • ‘Creepy’ Decision on Up-Skirt Filming Slammed
    Family First NZ says that a discharge without conviction given to a man who filmed up a woman's dress in a Wellington department store is a ‘creepy’ decision that should concern all people who value their privacy. “This decision by...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Speaker leads delegation to CPA Conference
    Strengthening New Zealand’s ties with parliaments from across the world will be the focus of the upcoming delegation to the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Conference in Yaoundé, Cameroon from 4-10 October and the 131st Inter-Parliamentary...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Response to Russell Brown and Tertiary Education Union
    The allegation that I have worked with others to discredit public health efforts is wrong. My public comments in relation to public health researchers have been where academics have mislead the public about official support or endorsement, and where...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • 17 jobs lost as Bridon/Cookes reaches the end of its rope
    Seventeen workers at the iconic Bridon/Cookes wire rope company in Auckland are to be made redundant as the company ceases production in New Zealand. The company has blamed the high New Zealand dollar for making it uncompetitive to keep the...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Slip in University Rankings – Funding Not the Problem
    Responding to the slippage of New Zealand universities' rankings , Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Time to rethink police chases, says safety campaigner
    Police chases are dangerous and generally unnecessary, says the American Federal Bureau of Investigation....
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Robertson now expected to be Labour leader by Xmas
    Grant Robertson is now overwhelmingly picked to become the next leader of the Labour Party by the end of the year, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Another potential Labour...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Documenting historic Māori land law cases for the first time
    A new book from Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Law will continue to put the spotlight on Māori Land Law judgments which have never before been published....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • ‘Oily’ people greet Petroleum Summit diners
    Greenpeace activists smeared in fake oil have greeted guests arriving at the part-Statoil sponsored Petroleum Summit dinner this evening....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Key Decisions Made About Labour’s Leadership Election
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has made the key decisions about the timetable and process around the election of Labour’s Party Leader. The result will be announced on Tuesday 18th November, following a comprehensive and extensive process unique...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Suspected $6 Million Dollar Wananga Fraud Alarming
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on on the Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi to front up over claims the Wananga has pocketed government overpayments amounting to $6 million of taxpayers' money. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Submissions sought on herbicide for weed control in maize
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on a herbicide to improve broadleaf weed control in maize. The substance CADET contains 100g fluthiacet-methyl in the form of an emulsifiable concentrate and would contain a new active ingredient...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line
    Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line TV personality Jesse Mulligan will live on the equivalent of the extreme poverty line this October in order to raise awareness of sex trafficking. Mulligan will survive on $2.25 for his food from October...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn?
    Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn? - Sue Bradford, Russell Brown & Kirk Serpes discuss....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change
    Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change at launch of Pacific environment report...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages
    The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management advises that while changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages come into effect from today (Wednesday 1 October), the Ministry has been, and remains, the authoritative voice for tsunami...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Police remove banner at Statoil Offices in Wellington
    Oil Free Wellington hung a banner at 9:30 this morning at the Statoil office headquarters in Wellington as the Petroleum Summit opened in Auckland. The banner, which read 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil', has now been removed...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Mixed massages raise concerns
    Mixed massages raise concerns for Te Taumata Kaumatua Ngapuhi nui tonu, and Te Wakaminenga O nga Hapu Ngapuhi....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Union Slams Port Boss’s Pay Rise
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says Lyttelton Port CEO Peter Davie’s 18% wage rise, taking his pay packet to $1.24m, is unjustified and inflammatory. ‘Lyttelton port has an appalling health and safety record, with three deaths on...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Prisons expert Ron Nikkel to speak in Auckland October 15
    Prison Fellowship NZ and JustSpeak have the privilege of hosting the former president of Prison Fellowship International, Ron Nikkel....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Hundreds of educators protest IES in Rotorua
    Four hundred educators from around the country took their opposition to the Government's controversial Investing in Educational Success policy to the public today....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Crime drops by 3.2 % in the 2013 / 2014 financial year
    Criminal offences dropped by 3.2 % in the last financial year according to figures released today through Statistics New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: what do we learn?
    I would like to invite you to a Fabians Reflection on "Dirty Politics, Dotcom and Labour’s worst result" with Colin James, Keith Ng, Stephanie Rodgers and Richard Harman. They will provide a debrief of analysis and lessons from the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Oil Free Wellington drops banner from Statoil headquarters
    Today members of Oil Free Wellington have targeted the offices of Statoil, by attaching a banner reading 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil' to the entrance of Vodafone on the Quay Midland Park, where Statoil's New Zealand office...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Media Statement from Karen Price
    “After a period of intense media attention and scrutiny of our family, I set up and used an anonymous Twitter account over the weekend and made a number of comments that I deeply regret....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Greenpeace disrupts Simon Bridges’ speech to oil industry
    Greenpeace activists have disrupted the opening speech by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges at the Petroleum Summit in Auckland this morning....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
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lprent: At the request of Tim Barnett, Labour's returning officer, the Karen Price/Clayton Cosgrove post has been withdrawn during the primary.