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The Standard

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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    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    2 days ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    2 days ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 days ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 days ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 days ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    2 days ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    3 days ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    3 days ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    3 days ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    4 days ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    4 days ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    4 days ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    4 days ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    4 days ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    5 days ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    5 days ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    5 days ago
  • We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’
    John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “For seven years and two election campaigns, John Key has… ...
    5 days ago
  • Top 10 need to know facts on climate change
    All the numbers and stats around climate change can be confusing, so we’ve put together a handy list of the top 10 numbers about climate change that we should all know- and then do something about. You can sign up here to… ...
    GreensBy Frog
    1 week ago
  • Campbell Live a bastion of investigative journalism
    The announcement that current affairs programme Campbell Live is under review and may be axed has sparked outrage from the New Zealand public, for good reason, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. “Investigative journalism is a precious resource in today’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Ground Zero for ‘disastrous’ contracts
    Yesterday the Green Party called on the Government to follow the leadership of Restaurant Brands and ditch zero-hour contracts. Currently it looks like the Government is a large part of the zero-hours problem. It allows these types of “non-jobs” to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Trust in National will disappear with deficit
    Bill English is set to break his promise to get the books back in the black this year and lose the trust of Kiwis who have had to do it too hard for too long, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    1 week ago
  • Dorothy Jelicich passes away
    It is with sincere sadness that the Labour Party conveys its sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family of Dorothy Jelicich who passed away last night at the age of 87 years, says the MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government leaves aquaculture industry at sea
    If the Government had acted in its first term, the Sanford mussel processing plant would not have to close, says Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “Sanford is considering closure after a decline in the natural supply of spat. This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Maggie –it’s time to roll your sleeves up
      It’s time for the Minister of Conservation Maggie Barry to listen to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment  and start untangling the mess around  New Zealand’s stewardship land, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “The Commissioner has called for… ...
    1 week ago
  • Gutting of prison jobs a gift to private prison provider
    Today’s announcement that sections of three prisons are to be closed is the thin end of the wedge for the privatisation of the country’s prison service, says Labour’s  Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  It's estimated that 260 prison officers will lose… ...
    1 week ago
  • Joyce must rule out revising export target
    Steven Joyce must rule out a second revision of the Government’s export target in six months and stop trying to massage statistics when he fails to meet his goals, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “National set a target… ...
    1 week ago
  • Caregiver law passed in haste now a fail
    The Government’s response to supporting family caregivers is mean spirited and designed to fail, says Labour’s Disability Issues Spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Figures released by the Ministry of Health show that only a tiny percentage of the eligible families have applied… ...
    1 week ago
  • Clear message handed to nuclear states
    MPs Phil Goff, Shane Reti and Marama Fox are due to meet with diplomats from the United Kingdom, Russia, the United States, China and France tomorrow to hand deliver a letter calling for their countries to disarm their nuclear weapons.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parity is no party for export businesses
    The extent of the damage done by the high dollar to New Zealand businesses is larger than many think as shown by a dramatic decrease in exports to Australia as our dollar rises, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “When the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats’ limited thinking stifling innovation
    Businesses trying to innovate and create better products are being let down by this Government with an industry expert saying Steven Joyce’s mini-tax credits will have almost no impact, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Andrew Dickeson, director of taxation… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Vanishing Nature: A must-read for all New Zealanders
    The Environmental Defence Society’s new book Vanishing Nature – facing New Zealand’s biodiversity crisis, should be read by every New Zealander concerned about our native plants and wildlife and striking natural landscapes; and particularly by Government Ministers before Budget Day… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • The CYF review – an exercise in predetermination?
    Child Youth and Family (CYF) has a troublesome history of underperformance and botched care and protection cases, the most recent being its abject failure, along with the Police, to address the Roastbusters sexual abuse allegations with any semblance of professionalism.… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Time to act to protect Hector’s Dolphins
    The death of a Hector’s Dolphin in a set net must lead to action from the Minister of Conservation, Ruth Dyson, Labour’s Conservation Spokesperson said today. “Despite the fact that the Akaroa Harbour has been a Marine Mammal Sanctuary since… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Double-laning Darby and Joan disputed
    The Prime Minister’s by-election promise to double lane the road between Northland’s iconic Darby and Joan kauri trees has been contradicted by officials, Labour’s spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The NZ Transport Agency has told a media outlet that not all… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parity: Cheaper trips but lower incomes
    The Kiwi dollar’s near-parity with the Australian means some tourists will have cheaper Gold Coast holidays but New Zealand incomes will stay lower for longer, making it harder for many to afford the trip, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • English’s state house flog off plans exposed
    Labour is calling on Bill English to confirm or deny a claim the Government is exploring a mass sell-off of state housing to tenants. Property magnate Bob Jones writes in a newspaper column published today that the Minister responsible for… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extension of work scheme urged for disaster relief
    The Government is being urged to extend the Regional Seasonal Employment (RSE) scheme to help families in the most severely-damaged islands of Vanuatu, following Cyclone Pam. “Allowing a further 300 people to take up seasonal employment in New Zealand under… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nuclear deal with Iran should be just the start
    A deal struck by Iran and major powers to ensure the Iranian facilities producing nuclear material are not used for the purpose of constructing nuclear weapons has been a long time coming, Labour’s Disarmament spokesperson Phil Goff says. “Undoubtedly Iran’s… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Aoraki Newsletter March 2015
    Attachmentsmarch2015_web.pdf - 1.4 MB ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister needs to do his homework
    Nathan Guy needs to do his homework, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Answering questions in Parliament today on the dairy sector, the Primary Industries Minister denied John Key wants to float Fonterra. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister needs to put the kibosh on dirty diesel
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Todd McClay has to get a grip on the KiwiRail board and put the kibosh on its crazy plan for dirty diesel on the main trunk line, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. It has been revealed… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Louise Nicholas Day: Work still to do
    This is a summary of a speech I gave in honour of Louise Nicholas Day on March 31 The IPCA report showed us basic mistakes are still able to be made within a specialist unit. The Police Commissioner said there… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • The meanness and pettiness of Nats in power
    Last night, Parliament debated NZ First MP Tracey Martin’s Bill to ensure children in the long term care of family members were able to access a clothing allowance currently only available to children in foster care. Many of these children… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Defence Force’s Hotshots given cold shoulder
    The latest victim of the Government’s cost-cutting drive looks set to be an organisation that has provided vital services and support to defence force staff and their families for 67 years, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “Labour understands Gerry… ...
    2 weeks ago

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