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Public transport vs private transport. Don’t waste money on fasttracking motorways

Written By: - Date published: 1:08 am, November 26th, 2013 - 99 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, Gerry Brownlee, local government, phil twyford, public transport, Steven Joyce, transport - Tags: , , , , , ,

Ok, I know this image has a lot of issues. It is a 256 color gif which means it is dithered to hell. Whoever took it has issues with colour balance, tilt and even the focus point. But none of that matters. It certainly makes its point about what kind of road space we’re paying colossal amounts for and for what?

Transit-versus-Cars

Basically because there are a pile of numerically illiterate morons at the New Zealand Transport Authority and as National MPs who can’t seem to handle the fact that car traffic numbers are just dropping. FFS they have just let through some more motorway builds in Auckland that we probably don’t need. I guess it is one way for National MPs to get re-elected on the stupid vote. Why?  As Matt L at Auckland Transport Blog says

I imagine it would have been fairly embarrassing for the government if it had to go through some public consultation and the public rejected the projects.

Combined they are a commitment to more than a billion dollars of expenditure for roads that make little economic sense in era when private car usage in Auckland is going down as petrol prices go up (links in the images).

 

And meanwhile the idiotic traffic planners at NZ Transport Authority appear to be so in love with their obsession with a mythical traffic growth pattern that they are ignoring the reality of the actual decade long  pattern of static state highway growth.

And even more telling that Aucklanders don’t drive as much – so where in the hell are the drivers that are meant to populate the billions of dollars of roads coming from? Just look at the falling rate of kilometres people are travelling.

But then look at how traffic planners actually operate…

As Matt L says (BTW: I love Auckland Transport blog)

This graph was from a year ago and in the past when I’ve posed it, there have been some that say “look it’s starting to rise again” but the reality is it isn’t. The most recent monthly data shows traffic have flat-lined and volumes are still less than it was a decade ago (monthly figures only started in late 2007).

Meanwhile Auckland public transport even in its current appalling state keeps slowly rising as more new capacity is added. That is despite the complete screwup on integrated ticketing that apparently resulted from Stephen Joyce preventing intervention by ARTA in the snapper card decision a few years ago. Presumably to allow his mates in Infratil to continue to extract money out of Auckland public transport. Basically I can’t see any other logical reason for him to make such a colossal error of judgement.

Of course the biggest single problem with  public transport in NZ and especially in Auckland has to the the funding of infrastructure. Why? Well despite their insane optimism about the mythical maniacs driving on motorways, they constantly underestimate the takeup on infrastructure of public transport when we finally extract it from dipshit politicians who are so in love with road builders.  Britomart is a good example. Even without the City Rail Link that would allow the rail system in Auckland to finally allow trains to operate efficiently where required, people are using the station far more than projected.. I’d love to show the graph of parking costs in central Auckland to demonstrate one reason why. I use buses to go into town, or even taxis. They are cheaper than parking.

Of course there is always the “disaster” of  Northern busway travelling to and from the North Shore. Despite the right wing idiots (like John Roughan* in 2007 and even now in 2013) commenting throughout its construction, it appears to have been successful.  Of course providing a system that allows commuters read while rapidly going to and from work is going to be unsuccessful right? Wrong. The predictions of loadings caused the only real problem. They didn’t multistory the parking lots at the station because some fools thought that traffic would rise so slowly that they’d never need it. Dickheads…

Essentially, Aucklanders are coming out of their cars for exactly the reason displayed in the flashing image above. Now while this would be a problem for road makers if they hadn’t already pocketed the NZTA planners and Stephen Joyce/Gerry Brownlee/etc and got them  wasting taxpayers money by fast tracking useless motorway projects for their profits. In the meantime each public transport project is done with central government reluctance and but has immense usage and popularity. Basically Aucklanders probably need to tear the transport taxes from the central government so we can build the transport system we need. That is something I tghink a lot of Aucklanders would want to vote for…

My thanks to the amazing bloggers at Transport Blog (hey, they changed their name – still mostly Auckland :) ).

* I’ve come to the conclusion that John Roughan must be one of the best predictors of anything in Auckland. Basically whatever he says should be done is completely opposite to what should be done. It is so consistent that he must be a perfect reverse midas stone for someone. If you always bet against him, then you’re far more likely to be right. But he is also so completely dumb. After listening to him moan about how much of a pain that the traffic from the North Shore is, you’d have to ask why he hasn’t just hopped on a bus?

99 comments on “Public transport vs private transport. Don’t waste money on fasttracking motorways”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    I got sick of constantly rising petrol so I got a bike. My monthly petrol bill for my routine life is now about $20.

    Cycling has been an eye opener, in particular how lethally bad Auckland’s roads are for cyclists. So simple road rule changes – like giving absolute right of way on zebra crossings to pedestrians ansd cyclists – and lane seperation of cycle lanes would see an explosion of cycling. Imagine how many lives saved/injuries prevented there would be if they spent few hundred million of the money allocated for roads on a dedicated cycle network! Auckland is crisscrossed with dozens of parks, designed a largely separated cuycle network would be a cinch – and no need to build it with gigantic trucks in mind, so it will be way cheaper.

    And there is the rub. The trouble with a cycle network is roading companies can’t give a kickback for building it.

  2. karol 2

    Thanks, Lynn.

    It is continually frustrating for me to use public transport. My use is infrequent and irregular. So when I look on MAXX’s (strange) planner for a specific journey, I ften find the time it would take to travel from one side of Auckland to another is much longre than it would take by car: eg if going from new Lynn to the North Shore or South Auckland. This has a lot to do with bus journeys being convulted and long through infrequently used routes. And most journeys to North or South involves going through Britomart/Newmarket.

    Train journeys to and from Britomart still far too long. Off peak it is much quicker to go by car – usually I travel at times when it’s possible to find a park. And probably not more expensive if I pay for parking.

    And now I have to work out what to do with my old (only a few months old) HOP card. I believe it’s now defunct and I need a new one.

    • framu 2.1

      re train – from out west its still quicker by car even during rush hour(s)

      from all three aspects of cost, ease of use and time the car wins hands down

      between me and my partner we spend $25 each per week by car (not including maintenance etc) – by train? somewhere round the $70 each per week

      There in lies the problem – i dont really want to drive, but on those 3 key aspects it makes more sense to drive.

      and yes the maxx site is crap – the simple idea that the timetable you see at a bus stop should be the same timetable you see online seems to have escaped who ever designed it. It doesnt even know the routes and bus stops near my place – the closest it gets is a bus route some 15 – 20 min walk away, not the one that goes past the end of my rather short road, which is also alongside a train station

      • karol 2.1.1

        Train from the west to Britomart in peak times is definitely cheap and quicker. But not so going from the west to the North or South in either peak or off-peak times, when I am most likely to do those journeys. I will look at it again when I get a gold card. The extra time on public transport can be usefully spent.

        A big argument for free or $1.00 per journey public transport.

        MAXX: yes, for journeys that require more than one vehicle: bus-bus or bus to train to bus: MAXX doesn’t have a clue. It is better to search for each leg of the journey separately.

        Buses and trains not turning up on time, then magically disappearing off the bus/train stop timetables – tell me about it!

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        between me and my partner we spend $25 each per week by car (not including maintenance etc) – by train? somewhere round the $70 each per week

        This is actually why PT needs to be a nominal $1 per trip or even free. Get people using the more efficient system. As it is they’re pretty much forced into using the least efficient system due to cost.

        and yes the maxx site is crap – the simple idea that the timetable you see at a bus stop should be the same timetable you see online seems to have escaped who ever designed it.

        Actually, the thing that the people who have designed it seem to have forgotten is that timetables are used for planning journeys and thus need to be accurate. It’s no use to have the Real Time Board showing that the bus is going to be half an hour late as the people who were relying on that bus are now also late.

        It doesnt even know the routes and bus stops near my place – the closest it gets is a bus route some 15 – 20 min walk away, not the one that goes past the end of my rather short road, which is also alongside a train station

        It probably does but the software used to determine the route has determined a shorter time going the wrong way for some reason. Best thing to do is actually complain about it and AT will get around to fixing it.

        BTW, I usually don’t have any problems with the Maxx site in planning journeys.

        • Ron 2.1.2.1

          When I read your opening quote I thought at last someone is going to mention the G word and correct the sentence.
          Dam I was wrong

        • framu 2.1.2.2

          “This is actually why PT needs to be a nominal $1 per trip or even free.”
          yep – thats my argument in a nutshell

          “It probably does but the software used to determine the route has determined a shorter time going the wrong way for some reason.”

          considering i was putting the bus stop in question as my start point, i would still call it pretty bad

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.2.1

            considering i was putting the bus stop in question as my start point, i would still call it pretty bad

            Yep but still the only way that it’s going to get fixed is by complaining about it.

  3. Philj 3

    Xox
    The trucking company lobbyists, Ken Shirley etc, is behind this madness. The number, AND Size, of trucks is rapidly growing. The highway construction companies also profit. At the same time squeezing public transport, cycling and walking is struggling. As an active walker, I have noticed that the footpath has been lost to speeding cyclists seeking refuge from dangerous motorists. Business rulz NZ! The ‘government’ is a front for big biz.

    • karol 3.1

      Yes. Pedestrians are also a marginalised section of the transport system. Walking is a very stop start, and often stressful, mode of transport – waiting for long periods at intersections where there could be overbridges/underpasses (the recently redesigned New Lynn Transport Centre for instance).

      And increased amounts of trucks on Auckland’s urban motorways make driving a pretty scary thing.

  4. Tracey 4

    If you look at how john key says infrashtucksha you get a clye in the word

  5. Great post. On the topic of John Roughan – remember how accurate is projections of the MRP share price were?

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    One issue that this post did not raise directly is the insidious damage that patriarchy is doing to Auckland’s infrastructure and planning. Industry profits, big trucks, flash luxury cars, and the ability to show them off for all to see (preferably at more than 11km/h) are all sick symptoms of a hyper masculine culture predicated on individualistic symbols of economic power and wealth.

    A Holden SS V8 with its 10 speaker stereo system cranked up is testosterone inducing. Being stuck on a crowded bus collectively squeezed in between other peoples’ grandmothers is not. Let alone a discussion on walking and bicycling. And what’s the use of being at the top of the male dominated socio-economic pile if you can’t show off your new Cayman S at 115 km/h on a brand spanking new multi-lane motorway.

    Until the issue of patriarchy as a contributor to our problems is directly recognised and addressed by transport policy, Auckland’s transport issues will never be solved.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      In daylight the view from where I am is just vast mountains as far as the eye can see. One dusty ant trail of a track loops and wiggles it’s way up here.

      Auckland’s traffic madness seems like several lifetimes ago. I really don’t miss it.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Hearing ya. Door to door home to work, 12 minutes, with harbour views on the way in. That’s Dunedin for you.

        • Chooky 6.1.1.1

          Lets keep it that way….the biggest issue for New Zealand is over population….we dont need masses of new immigrants if we are to keep our style of life.

          • Bearded Git 6.1.1.1.1

            With the greatest respect that is bollocks. Just over a million people on the South Island which is bigger than England. Many more people can be absorbed bringing huge talent and resources to the country. It’s how we do it that counts.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Many more people can be absorbed bringing huge talent and resources to the country.

              It will bring more people but it won’t bring any more resources. I’d really hate to be living in England in the next few decades as the easy trade in food declines as the price of fuel goes up.

              We have a maximum amount of people that we can support and we have absolutely NFI what that maximum is. Places like England are already far beyond it.

              • Colonial Viper

                It will bring more people but it won’t bring any more resources.

                If they bring their talent, their machine tools and their super computer nodes here, that’s both people and resources.

                And yes, shipping offshore our physical fresh water, phosphorus, potassium and organic carbon in exchange for electronically created currency units, is not going to be sustainable in the long term.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  If they bring their talent, their machine tools and their super computer nodes here, that’s both people and resources.

                  I know it’s strange but I don’t like thinking of people as resources. And we can produce the machine tools and super computer nodes here with the resources and the talents and skills of the people already here. Sure, it’ll take awhile to get setup to do so but that in itself is work that needs to be done.

                  • ropata

                    I know it’s terrible but I must confess that I drive a big black Holden Commodore because it’s super comfortable, one of the few models I can actually fit into without smashing my head or shoulders. I think it actually makes me drive better because it is relaxing to drive and I don’t feel like I am racing everybody. Or it could just be a male mid life crisis :P

            • Chooky 6.1.1.1.1.2

              @ Bearded Git.. with the greatest respect THAT is bollocks!……where do you come from?…my family have been here for generations both Maori and Pakeha

              Nah!….more stress for New Zealanders and South Islanders on roads, housing, land , jobs, apprenticeships, health care, hospitals, state ‘free’ education, the underclass of Maori, Polynesian and Pakeha NZers…. superannuation, old age care….serfs in our own country?…nah!

              ….have you visited Asia, India , China and Tibet with your backpack?….do you want Little Asia or Little England here?….Many Brits want to escape from there to here…..as do many Asians. They should sort out the environmental degradation, overpopulation , social unrest issues in their own countries.

              …and lets sort our own inegalitarian society first…. before we start putting money in the bank and share portfolios of NZ capitalist class whose real allegiance is not to NZers or NZ.

      • lprent 6.1.2

        I’m looking forward to the company moving premises this week.

        I will be a comfortable 15 minutes walking distance with the inner Link as a wet weather route. Hopefully my AT HOP card that I brought back in April will finally be able to be used on the Link.

      • Rogue Trooper 6.1.3

        are you there for some time to come Red.

    • Chooky 6.2

      CV….agree wholeheartedly about patriarchy and anti-ecological, anti environmental values and gross motorways for speed and individualistic egotistical transport with the consequent trashing of the environment

      …motorways are an ecological and feminist issue as many ecofeminists have pointed out as well as ecotheologians and Deep Ecologists

      …the patriarchal capitalist rationale is that increased population requires these motorways…which become a part of the patriarchal male ego…and the patriarchal ego view of progress….the making of motorways is money making in itself for big companies and those with shares in them

      …patriarchal rationale is more people equals more markets, equals more money making opportunities, equals more and faster transportation , more speed , faster individualistic cars etc etc

      ….as a result the earth gets raped and plundered….and our environment trashed ( then it becomes status to live away from this patriarchal God awful mess of pollution, noise and population)

      ….It should also be noted that the patriarchy creates overpopulation…….hence the suppression of women causes overpopulation… see Catholic Church stance on anti- contraception and absolute denial of womens’ rights to control their own fertility (eg. overpopulation in the Philippines)…..see also China’s gross overpopulation, environmental and human degradation and 35 million extra males by year 2020

      I think I will be voting Green!

  7. Tracey 7

    Ok… in frashtrucksha gives a clue… fat fingers

    • fender 7.1

      Key thinks ‘in-frashtrucksha’ is a waiter/waitress bringing a fresh bottle, or a truck load off piss?

  8. Tracey 8

    Of course the answeer cant be for everyone to leave auckland but what if incentives were given to relocate businesses. Doesnt change the desire of the young to be in the big city but…

    auckland has heaps of close satelites from orewa to pukekohe. It wld not be profitable to the train company to run better and faster services but it woukd have other major crossover benefits but this requires people to understand you lose money in one place but make it somewhere else = balanced. Hard to do things this way following pure capitalist theory

    • karol 8.1

      Some of us have strong attachments to Auckland. i’m a born and bred Aucklander and have spent over 2 decades living elsewhere. In spite of the hassles, I love being back here.

      I would relocate to the greater Auckland region, (to the north, e.g. Orewa area), if there was affordable rental accommodation there, and if public transport to and from other areas of Auckland was fairly frequent, reliable and affordable. At the moment it would also need to be accessible to my workplaces. I have been looking at the possibilities.

  9. Adrian 9

    Doesn’t the Northern Busway only become a faster better option simply because it is mostly on a motorway ? . Without that more direct route it would be very slow and inefficient.

    • karol 9.1

      No. Without the motorway, buses on existing roads, use of ferries, plus a rail services to the north would be very efficient.

      At the moment there is high land use, with car parking needed to enable many people to get to the northern bus way. (see high land use needed for parking to support car use).

      Bus services that traveled regularly along diverse routes through the northern burbs would cut down on the need for car parks near the busway. Plus, there could be increased ferries from North Harbour, an improved north western rail service.

      • greywarbler 9.1.1

        karol
        That point about getting from home to the bus routes is a good one. I wonder if taxis could be utilised for this purpose. Perhaps some could be contracted to provide a feeder service, picking up to their full capacity along the way. Volume would provide sufficient revenue to bring cost down. When there was little business they would take their normal fares. So outside peak times there would be a wait for a feeder service, and perhaps a higher cost allowing for only two people, but still less than a normal taxi fare.

        A phone call to connect to the next feeder service with expected arrival time would book it. A pre-paid multiple ride ticket would ensure efficient use, with commuter waiting at kerb and ready. There could be little groups who became friends using the same route, time and vehicle. Certainty, friendliness, affordability and efficiency. Sounds great, would work.

        • karol 9.1.1.1

          Some good suggestions, gw. I think taxi buses are the answer for that – small buses.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.2

          Modern computer systems, smart phones with internet and GPS, make all of this very possible and I think even more innovations could be included.

          • wtl 9.1.1.2.1

            Modern computer systems, smart phones with internet and GPS, make all of this very possible and I think even more innovations could be included.

            “Possible” and “could” are the key words. Apparently the major bus companies in Auckland don’t even bother using algorithms to optimize their scheduling (I presume its done by hand on a semi-random basis). Apart from the odd route (e.g. the Link buses), they don’t even bother trying to do the simplest things to improve scheduling, such as enforcing timed stops or a minimum interval between buses starting the route – instead you get ridiculous things like 3-4 buses bunching together from the start of their routes, all ending up mostly empty, but then the next bus getting completely full because the preceding buses ran ahead of schedule.

            • McFlock 9.1.1.2.1.1

              lol
              Most of the bus routes in dunedin are still based around the old tram lines that were ripped up decades ago.

              I’d be surprised if the Dunedin transport coordinators even have a map showing the population density vs dwellings that are 50m or 100m walk from a bus stop (let alone accounting for slope).

              • idlegus

                im in south d, i cant figure the bus at all, least its only a 40 minute walk into town. driving in dunedin is a nightmare, no straight routes, & the car drivers are freakin lunatics!

                i saw a movie some dutch guy made about cycling in the usa, which was totally comparable to nz cyclists, he was perplexed why the americans (like us) have racing bikes, whereas in holland the bikes are more for comfort, in holland biking is for transport, whereas in the usa & like nz cycling is seen more as a recreational thing.

                i like cycling, but you are def taking your life into your hands, its so dangerous! as a biking posty for 10+ years nearly everyday i had a near miss, ppl backing out of driveways, idiots turning left into your path. car free days would be awesome! but there would be revolution in the streets, ppl like their gas guzzlers.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.2.1.2

              Apparently the major bus companies in Auckland don’t even bother using algorithms to optimize their scheduling

              As I understand it, the bus companies don’t do it anymore – Auckland Transport does and then contracts the bus companies to run the routes that AK comes up with. And they’re using the real time tracking from the buses to work them out. This is a fairly new development though and it will probably take them some time to get things better. I know the buses around my way are getting a scheduling/route upgrade next year.

              Fixed price contract with AK getting all of the money from the paying passengers as well.

              instead you get ridiculous things like 3-4 buses bunching together from the start of their routes, all ending up mostly empty, but then the next bus getting completely full because the preceding buses ran ahead of schedule.

              Ahead of schedule will never happen and apparently it’s because of traffic and if the kids are at school or not.

    • Ron 9.2

      Also the busway only works if you are driving a car which you can leave all day at the Park & Ride.
      It doesn’t work for anyone that is not using a car. I live in the East Coast Bays and my public transport is a bus that takes an hour to get to the city. It winds its way in and out of suburbs at time doubling back on itself to pick up passengers. Forget the busway we don’t get near it till after Takapuna and there is no busway from then on.
      Originally I thought we would have small feeder buses travelling from each bay to the nearest busway connection but that never happened and is not going to. Go to town for a show and try to get bus home at 11.30pm at night.

  10. greywarbler 10

    Clever graphics! I was just thinking what is actually obvious but I haven’t realised. By building roads, and squeezing rail, and coastal shipping, the NACTs are privatising transport options. To further this they are running rail down so channelling people to where money is to be made by business, such as selling oil (as addictive and also revenue producing as alcohol), and selling vehicles, and all the industries supporting them. What business opportunities has rail got to offer private providers? A mechanical food dispenser? A pie cart? (And sometimes they don’t even offer these to get extra revenue.)

    So looking at roads from business viewpoint, from personal and Party advantage, from keeping our jobs in a status quo in NZ Roads? advantage, and the way that trucking is the freight du jour method, then good practice and wise considerations preparing for the future just don’t stack up. Come on, where’s the money for us the movers say shaking their heads?

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      By building roads, and squeezing rail, and coastal shipping, the NACTs are privatising transport options. To further this they are running rail down so channelling people to where money is to be made by business, such as selling oil (as addictive and also revenue producing as alcohol), and selling vehicles, and all the industries supporting them.

      Yep. Everything about roads is about making money but it does it in a rather murky way – It dumps the full costs directly onto the individual. Yes, that’s murky because when it’s done that way the total costs are hidden from the individual and, more importantly, they don’t get to see how much cheaper it would be, in real terms, doing things via public transport.

      and the way that trucking is the freight du jour method

      Easy way to fix that – charge them correctly. Damage done to the road is to the 4th power. This means that a two tonne vehicle does sixteen times more damage to the road than a one tonne vehicle. A fifty tonne truck is well over 100,000 times more than a one tonne vehicle. Even if you only make it 1 cent per kilometer on a one tonne vehicle, it’ll be well over $1000 per kilometer for the truck.

      Bring in RUCs for all vehicles with the price based upon maximum weight and you’ll soon see trucks disappearing from the roads.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        You’ll also see a government ending truck blockade of downtown Auckland and the Wellington CBD.

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1

          Just so long as people are fully informed as to why the changes I don’t think it would be government ending. Considering the complaints about trucks on the roads I think you may find it government boosting.

  11. David H 11

    As someone from outside AK and who has ‘driven’ there Where the hell would they put another Motorway? Naa move to a small town, sell the car, give up the ciggies, build/buy a couple of bicycles. Yep way healthier. :-)

    • karol 11.1

      Auckland is a great place. It needs a better transport system.

      Not all of us are capable of riding bikes. Had a dream of riding a bike to my old age. The dream was ended following an accident and permanent injury damage. So now it’s walking and public transport.

      • lprent 11.1.1

        I decided a decade ago that it was just too damn dangerous on Auckland roads after a series of near misses by dickhead drivers. These days the frigging SUV’s with their vague drivers are dangerous enough for other car users.

        If they made a dangerous driving charge mandatory for car drivers if they hit a cyclist, then things would improve immediately. But as it is there aren’t enough cycle lanes I’ll walk. It is safer.

        I enjoy Auckland. I’ve spent a decade out of the place going to university. Even spent several years living around other places inside Auckland. Always enjoy coming back to live in Ponsonby, Grey Lynn and Mt Albert

        • karol 11.1.1.1

          I’ve grew up in Mt Eden area – not the actual village part – further out. And I keep feeling drawn back to that area. I’d settle for Sandringham, Mt Albert etc. But I haven’t seen any affordable rentals in those areas these days.

          I could probably technically manage on a bike, but I now have a fragile body part, and a further accident to it would be pretty disastrous.

          A permit should be required to drive an SUV in city areas. I see no good reason for most status-motivated drivers to have them, and they are dangerous to other road/pavement users.

          • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1.1

            I’ve grew up in Mt Eden area – not the actual village part – further out. And I keep feeling drawn back to that area.

            I was born and raised in the West. Lived outside of it here and there but always feel at home in West Auckland – and, yes, I’ll be complaining about the heat and mugginess this year as well :twisted:

            • Ake ake ake 11.1.1.1.1.1

              It was fine biking around downtown Auckland, Ponsonby, K Road, Newmarket, Mt Eden, Balmoral, Sandringham, Kingsland and Mt Albert up until the late 1990s.

              Then the number of cars, and crazy ones at that, increased exponentially circa 2000-2002.

              When I found myself narrowly missing an accident – – – at least six times per week – – – for three consecutive weeks (!) – – – I figured that ACC wouldn’t pay that well, that I wouldn’t really like living with a disability (death is the bit I would have been ok with), and so the legs got used for more walking than cycling.

        • greywarbler 11.1.1.2

          These frigging SUVs, almost hummers. Park alongside one and it’s a wall making it hard to back out of a space. To reduce collision possibilities have to check out vehicle movements before getting in and starting to back out slowly and virtually blindly. Need periscope. Following them is again a moving wall. The rear windows are set too high for an ordinary car to gain any visibility ahead, they are too wide to see around. They tend not to indicate – they know where they’re going, stuff you. In a narrowed space they would not consider being the one to give way. On corners their height means they mask oncoming cars, and bicycles particularly.

          Once after waiting and scanning for a break in the traffic beyond a parked SUV, I moved forward and froze, some old guy on a mobility scooter was on the road in front of me, had been travelling along the side of the SUV – unnoticeable. Started again and a bicycle was in front of me. Unnerved I carefully reversed so I could get another view behind the SUV and turned left instead of right so I only had one line of transport to worry about. The SUV was parked to my right blocking the view all the time.

          The wheels are so high the tyres must be expensive. They are a blot on our roads, and a hazard. Some of them have dark-tinted windows and seem like cars for crims. And often they are painted black. Just the right thing for our depressed young people, over-large, looking pale and unfit when they are walking, joyless, with anti-social tendencies and choosing to wear black utilitarian clothing. This is what I see a lot and it is sad – the bounce and vitality and happiness has gone out of NZ. The fortress-like, over-powering mass of the SUVs seems like a retreat from community and society. A hostile, defensive resource.

          • ropata 11.1.1.2.1

            Well said. Also, SUV headlights are set at the eye level of other traffic so they can cause maximum annoyance day and night.

          • unpcnzcougar 11.1.1.2.2

            SUV’s drive me nuts. I suggest that all shopping centres have a special area for SUV’s to park – yes make them walk further – then the rest of us can enter and exit a carpark without fear of getting hit because we can’t see!

          • Murray Olsen 11.1.1.2.3

            I hate the bloody things. There are heaps of them in Brisbane, and it seems that anyone who gets behind the wheel of one instantly forgets how to drive. Over here they pay less tax on them as well, because they’re supposedly work vehicles. I’d happily ban them from cities.

      • David H 11.1.2

        Sorry to hear that Karol.

  12. Tracey 12

    David h

    and do what for a job? Its a catch 22 right now.

    • lprent 12.1

      It is where I need to work. There really isn’t anywhere else with the required business networks to do export hardware/software in NZ.

      • greywarbler 12.1.1

        lprent
        I thought Christchurch was a major cluster point for the IT industry? Is Auckland much better? Would it be relatively easy to get work up there if one wanted to move do you think? I’m not talking about myself.

        • infused 12.1.1.1

          Wellington is huge for software development. It just depends what you are developing.

          • Lanthanide 12.1.1.1.1

            Wellington’s a bit different from CHCH and Auckland though, a lot of public-sector IT there. Not surprising I guess.

        • lprent 12.1.1.2

          Christchurch is. But it simply doesn’t have the depth of software and light industry that Auckland has. Because of that it tends to lack the associated people/companies contracting and selling out services that you don’t want in-house.

          In the tech area, what you tend to get in Christchurch is a relatively few smaller export businesses or larger more vertically integrated exports businesses.

          What it lacks is the clusters of lots of similar small to medium export based businesses and arrays of skilled contractors and businesses to hire in for short periods.

          In my case I tend to specialize in green field development for exports across a wide range of potential styles of applications. Literally starting coding from nothing to little and doing the design and implement. So having a large number of companies around means that there is always some interesting new development on.

          Work is hard to get in tech areas anywhere unless you already have experience. It always has been. That is because it is such a cost to train the merely academically trained. You have to waste someone with experience to be pestered for 6 months bringing one or more people up to speed. Much of the time whoever you train will then bugger off within a year or two.

          But there tend to be more companies to try in Auckland if you don’t have friends / family / etc to introduce you. So the probabilities that you’ll find someone desperate enough for a pair of untrained hands goes up a lot.

          • ropata 12.1.1.2.1

            There are a few orgs in Christchurch running decent sized software projects: SunGard, Meridian, HP, Council, University, and dept of Statistics. But it’s nothing like the volume of stuff happening in Auckland and Wellington.

            On the hardware side, Invensys, Nightside, Trimble, and lots of small outfits are doing cool stuff.

            But the major drawback for IT workers in CHC is the abysmal pay compared to AKL and WLG.
            Good offshoring resource for the multinationals though.

          • Rogue Trooper 12.1.1.2.2

            A component of a counter-Empire Multitude producing the commons through immaterial labour.

    • David H 12.2

      Hey Tracey I never said I had ALL the answers, :-) I just fix computers and kids toys in the Garage.

  13. Bearded Git 13

    If anyone needs a single good reason to vote National out, their antedeluvian transport policy and the lies they have told around this is it.

  14. Flee 14

    I left Auckland because of its traffic and are not keen to go back. I periodically visit to remind myself why I hate it so. I suspect most people do not enjoy driving in Auckland.
    Unfortunately corporate business managers cannot see that they can locate anywhere but Auckland hence the traffic. One reason being is that they think it is easier to get staff and competition for work is higher so drive down income for workers who do not have choices. ie the poorer working class.
    The other thing I cannot understand is the sudden spending on roading infrastructure during the GFC. Perhaps they think if they build it they will come which maybe the case but it isn’t a particular good investment for a resource constrained future. (particularly oil). Oh right that is why they are drilling off Raglan…. all part of the master plan for economic growth and to hell with the environment.

    • Naturesong 14.1

      Building infrastructure during a downturn is actually a good idea. Debt is cheap and it gets people back to work.

      However, that was covered by the Christchurch rebuild, and was and excellent opportunity to train New Zealanders, sparkies, chippies, etc.
      But instead of that, we imported something like 12,000 foreign workers.
      (Was also an excellent opportunity to build a modern people-centric 21st century city that acknowledges that the oil industry now has a very limited lifespan – they’ve screwed that up as well)

      Also, if you were going to build more infrastructure, you’d look to get the biggest bang for your buck.
      In transport that would be rail, looking at trams/lightrail and bringing forward existing road repairs.
      Instead, National deferred any PT options and raided the road repairs kitty to pay for motoways, then decided that the most efficient way to do the spending was to build a big pipe from the treasury coffers directly to Fletchers back account.

      Thats why we have an uptick in the Manufacturing sector, at the same time we’ve had 40,000 manufacturing jobs go to the wall.

      • Flee 14.1.1

        Agree that building infrastructure is good during recessions, but more roading??? It was probably the easy option for the government and as pointed out the roading lobby would be friends then and it wins some simple votes. There is a readily available supply of road builders in NZ. However to invest in something like light rail… well any NZ rail infrastructure building capability has gone the way of the Moa long ago as evident from the state in which rail is now. They would need to recruit overseas expertise and develop NZ expertise. Too hard for the government, to long term as it is not likely to happen in 3 years and no responsibility in government for the future.

    • ropata 14.2

      I recently blogged about my near death experiences driving round Auckland.
      The story involves red-light runners, suicidal cyclists, stop sign runners, rush hour lane cutters, suicidal pedestrians, trucks parked on yellow lines, and mad school mums on the wrong side of the road >:(
      http://ropata.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/road-rage/

      Submitted 3 complaints to the Council, hopefully the stop sign runners will get looked at ASAP as it is causing real danger every frikkin day just outside my house. People turn left without even slowing down and nearly collect me or my family on a regular basis

  15. Rosie 15

    Saw that GIF the other day and thought the message was excellent despite going a bit swively eyed trying to follow it. Impressive array of charts too.

    It seems that anyone who is opposed the idea of building more roads for a variety of reasons, mainly because they are unnecessary and may have an environment and or heritage risk is up against the powerful road lobby backed by Nat MP’s.

    Here in Wellington the Save Kapiti group has been campaigning tirelessly against the express way, which after years of environment court activity, is still going ahead. There’s that ol’ chestnut, Transmission Gully, and of course the amazingly unnecessary Basin Reserve Flyover. But it’s you, Aucklanders, who I really feel for. Having lived there for many years and having a driving job, it was a nightmare but it’s not something more roads would solve.

    This from karol, I related to and was the reason I gave up using the buses when I was living in AK, even though I actually did want to use them and use the car less (for out of work travel)

    “It is continually frustrating for me to use public transport. My use is infrequent and irregular. So when I look on MAXX’s (strange) planner for a specific journey, I ften find the time it would take to travel from one side of Auckland to another is much longre than it would take by car: eg if going from new Lynn to the North Shore or South Auckland. This has a lot to do with bus journeys being convulted and long through infrequently used routes. And most journeys to North or South involves going through Britomart/Newmarket.”

    And finally. Warbly, those SUV’s! Well said! They are indeed hazardous to other drivers and to pedestrians and cyclists as well. It’s fraught with danger backing out of an angle park if you’re sandwiched between two of them as you mentioned and you can’t see over them at a roundabout giveway. They’re a poor design for urban driving and should be limited to farm work as they were originally intended, in the previous 4WD format.That people desire them as status vehicle says alot about their poor taste.

  16. tricledrown 16

    4wd’s are an ego trip for 90%+ of owners.
    Bullying there way around the roads.
    Fuel wasters and killers poor safety and handling.
    They should be banned from urban areas.
    On the open highway because of high centre of gravity they should be limited to 90k.
    Safety most 4WD’s are much heavier and when they impact in a crash do more damage.
    People buy them to protect themselved as the perception is that they are safer for the occupant.
    Not true most 4wds have weaker impact zones so are more likely to kill occupants.

    • Ian 16.1

      My bicycle has weaker impact zones than a fiat bambina.I get an ego trip riding my bicycle. I drive a 4 wheel drive because I need 4 wheel drive to get to the places I work and play.wanting to banning them seems a bit draconian. What is happening to common sense ?

  17. Draco T Bastard 17

    And some more thoughts on the matter: The Infernal Combustion Engine

  18. ghostrider888 18

    Gr8 Grafx

  19. Walker 19

    A cycle lane built within and along the City Rail Link would be a perfect place to put us commuter cyclists, no more cars trucks and busses to push us off the roads at intersections etc.

  20. AmaKiwi 20

    Follow the money.

    Find out who contributes to the National Party and you might discover why we have so much road building.

    And then cut it off!

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      IMO, the one thing that needs to be done is to ban legal organisations from donating to political parties. That would be trusts, unions, businesses, sports clubs etc. The only entity that could donate would be natural persons.

      I think then that we may be able to get rid of the buying of politicians.

      • Flee 20.1.1

        America has really screwed their democracy by allowing organisations similar constitutional rights as citizens. Agree with eliminating businesses from donating but parties would need to be funded in some way? If it was only natural persons then it would be those individuals that can afford to donate that would, effectively buying policies that favour them. We do not want to go further down that road than we already are. Which leaves some sort of state funding of political parties as far as I can see.

      • AmaKiwi 20.1.2

        Easy to do. Every contribution must be filed with the IRD number of the donor.

      • AmaKiwi 20.1.3

        America has the best politicians money can buy.

        • Flee 20.1.3.1

          So true….. They should be embarrassed to call themselves a democracy. It should be called a market democracy to give it a truer name. Democracy to the highest bidder which isn’t really democracy (unless you twist the meaning to be that it is free to join the market to bid for votes). They need to sustain their ‘American fantasy’.

      • KJT 20.1.4

        I would go further and advocate State funding on the basis of the number of paid up ‘individual’ party members. All non-state funding apart from a State set, low, membership fee, to be banned.

        The current, funding per the number of votes last election always favours the incumbents.

        As we have seen allowing funding from corporates and wealthy individuals just allows for buying the system. Something which is occurring here, and, has already happened in the USA and UK.

        Politicians who go straight to a job, after politics, in private sector corporations, which directly benefited from their policies, is also open to corruption.

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    Mana | 09-09
  • Housing in Waiariki – Sykes
    Fact:  Under this National-Maori Party-ACT-United Future Government 61% of Maori in Waiariki do not own their own home and nearly 70% of Maori rentals in Waiariki pay $200 or more per week. “Maori in Waiariki have low rates of home ownership...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment
    Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Labour will crack down on loan sharks
    A Labour Government will crack down on predatory loan sharks by making it illegal both to charge exorbitant interest rates and to exploit uninformed borrowers, Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont says. Labour today released its Consumer Affairs policy which...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
  • THE DEATH OF INDEPENDENCE FOR MAORI TV
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority...
    Mana | 01-09
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Vice article on NZ election
    Here is my Vice article on the NZ election....
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • The attempt to kill off Internet MANA
    It’s the last day of campaigning today and the long list of those attacking Internet MANA got longer yesterday with Winston Peters backing Labour candidate Kelvin Davis against the MANA Movement’s Hone Harawira. Davis is now supported by Labour, National,...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • A final word on the election – it’s now all up to you
    Brothers & Sisters, the fate of Aotearoa is now all in your hands. We here at the Daily Blog have thrown everything we can at this bloody Government and have spent every waking hour of this campaign trying to highlight...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – ...
    I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – but then again, I never could...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why Nati...
    TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why National Party is great...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • REVIEW: Royals of Kihikihi
    What an absolutely stunning show.  I had to ask twice to check I’d heard right that this is the first staged production for Samuel Christopher, who also played a raw, real, but vulnerable, Wolf Royal, home from London for his...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • 800 Cops to detain 15 ‘terrorists’ – why Australia’s hysterical Isl...
    I’m sorry but I can’t take this current Australian terror threat seriously. 800 cops to detain 15 people and arrest one of them? A week after Abbot decides to send in Australian forces to the cluster fuck of Iraq, suddenly...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Unbelievable corruption inside Government to attack Kim Dotcom
    The corruption inside this Government just more and more filthy – we now have an ex-Customs Lawyer quitting  after being told to bury information that could embarrass the Government, specifically to do with Kim Dotcom… Curtis Gregorash said he was told...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Everyone Loves A Win-Win That Keeps G...
      Permit me to quote some figures at you… -68% of New Zealanders think political news on television focuses too much on politicians’ personalities and not enough on real issues. This is the key result of a recent UMR survey commissioned by...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of ...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of being the most in demand broadcaster in the country...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: Te Tai Tokerau independent poll (44% Hone-27% Kelvin) vs Maori T...
    The Te Tai Tokerau Maori TV poll on Monday this week painted a bleak picture for Internet MANA supporters, and it’s results have been seized upon by Labour, NZ First and even the Maori Party (who seem set once again...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The time for TPPA weasel words is over
    Almost every day of the election campaign there has been a policy announcement that would potentially run foul of what I understand is currently in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA):  more constraints on foreign investment or investors … regulation of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • MELTDOWN – Maori Party turns on their own Te Tai Tokerau candidate – ag...
    The tensions are building in Te Tai Tokerau with the Maori Party on the verge of meltdown. Days out from the election, the Maori Party Executive has tried to heavy their own Te Tai Tokerau Electoral Committee and their own candidate, Te Hira Paenga,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • We Can Change this Government
    We Can Change this Government – Mike Treen at the First Union stop work election meeting...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Election 2014: For and Against
    With the general election tomorrow, we have had a very noisy campaign but little sign that the electorate wishes for a fundamental change of governmental direction. This reflects in part the fact that the economic cycle is close to its decadal...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eye To Eye Uploaded: Martyn ‘Bomber’ Bradbury
    This interview was filmed a couple of weeks ago between Willie Jackson and myself, I was a tad off with my prediction of NZ First....
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair – The Players Revealed
      . . – Special investigation by Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules‘ Speculation that the Beehive office of Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, was behind the release of a letter linking Labour leader, David Cunliffe, with controversial Chinese businessman, Donghua Liu, is...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold NZ d...
    It should read ‘never stop spying’. As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold us down the river to the US by allowing the Southern Cross cable to be tapped… The ability for US intelligence agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work
    The final days of the campaign are ticking down and Labour and NZ First are manoeuvring to kill off the Internet MANA Party by both backing Kelvin Davis for Te Tai Tokerau. It’s a risky gambit that they better pray to Christ...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Bill English’s latest insult to beneficiaries – apparently they are lik...
    National’s hatred towards the poor continues unabated as National desperately try to throw raw meat to their reactionary voter base in the hope to inspire enough hate and loathing to win back their redneck voters from the Conservative Party and from...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eminem ain’t happy with John Key
    Eminem ain’t happy with John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Key claims he did not inhale
    Key claims he did not inhale...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Final prediction on election result 2014
    What an election campaign. The character assassination of David Cunliffe kicked things off with the Herald on Sunday falsely claiming $100 00 bottles of wine, $15 000 books and $150 000 in donations  from a donor that turned out to be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Live blog: Bainamarama takes commanding lead in Fiji elections
      Interview with Repúblika editor Ricardo Morris and Pacific Scoop’s Mads Anneberg. PACIFIC SCOOP TEAM By Ricardo Morris, Mads Anneberg, Alistar Kata and Biutoka Kacimaiwai in Suva WHILE the results are provisional at this stage, it is clear today that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 5AA Australia: NZ Elections Two Days To Go! + Edward Snowden + Julian Assan...
    Recorded live on 18/09/14 – Captured Live on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/multimedia-investments-ltd 5AA Australia’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning deliver their weekly bulletin: Across The Ditch. This week, they discuss the latest news as New Zealanders go to the polls on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What has Colin Craig done for his Press Secretary to quit 2 days before ele...
    This is VERY strange.  Colin Craig’s Press Secretary Rachel McGregor, has quit 2 days before the election, allegedly telling ZB that Colin Craig was a “very manipulative man”. I’ve met Rachel many times in the past as Colin’s Press Secretary, she is...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” – A brief w...
    “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” said Key in the final leaders debate. Problem of course is that the 250 000 – 285 000 children living in poverty can not afford steak, milk, butter, eggs...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • National’s final bash of beneficiaries before the election
    On cue, whenever National feel threatened, they roll out a little bennie bash just to keep their redneck voter base happy. Nothing like a bit of raw meat policy to keep National voters focused on the evil threat solo parents...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • With All Of This In Mind, I Vote
    This is my last blog before the election and I really just want to speak from the heart. Right now in this country it seems to me that a lot of people consider the “essentials” in life to be simply...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Left has to vote strategically this election
    The dedication, loyalty, and tribalism of party politics means that sometimes the left lets itself down by not voting strategically. We all want our favoured party to get maximum votes, naturally, but the winner-takes-all approach doesn’t always suit multi-party left...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Dear NZ – as you enter the polling booth, stand up for your rights
    The last days before a NZ general election are a busy time as politicians make their pitch and party activists prepare to get out the vote. It is sort of weird watching from the distance of Europe the strangest election...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What is Waihopai, John, if it isn’t a facility for “mass surveillance...
    John Key assured us on RNZ’s Nine to Noon programme yesterday that “In terms of the Fives Eyes data bases… yes New Zealand will contribute some information but not mass wholesale surveillance.” How does this square with the operation of the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Mass Surveillance and the Banality of E...
    Renowned journalist and intellectual Hannah Arendt coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe the normalisation of genocide in Nazi Germany. I thought of her phrase when I was listening to Glenn Greenwald and other international whistle-blowers talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Election. Down. To. The. Wire
    Funny how last week it was John Key winning by 50%, now it’s neck and neck. I have always believed this election would be down to the wire and it is proving so. The flawed landline opinion polls the mainstream...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 3rd Degree uses Whaleoil for story ideas as if Dirty Politics never happene...
    TV3s 3rd Degrees smear job on Kim Dotcom last night doesn’t bear much repeating. It was pretty pathetic journalism from a team who have brought us some great journalism in the past. It is sad to see 3rd Degree stooping...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Live blog: Bainimarama takes early lead in Fiji’s election
    Pacific Scoop’s Alistar Kata reports from yesterday’s voting. By Alistar Kata of Pacific Scoop in Suva Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama took an early lead in provisional results in the Fiji general election last night. With provisional results from 170 out...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Has The NSA Constructed The Perfect PPP?
    Former intelligence analyst and whistleblower, Edward Snowden – speaking live to those gathered at the Auckland Town Hall on Monday September 17, 2014. Investigation by Selwyn Manning. THE PRIME MINISTER JOHN KEY’s admission on Wednesday that whistleblower Edward Snowden “may...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • No way – Key admits Snowden is right
    After claiming there was no middle ground. After claiming there was no mass surveillance. After calling Glenn Greenwald a henchman and a loser. After all the mainstream media pundits screamed at Kim’s decision to take his evidence to Parliamentary Privileges...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Bad luck National
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • The incredible changing John Key story on mass spying – why the Moment of...
    While the mainstream media continue to try and make the Moment of Truth about Kim’s last minute decision to prolong his battle against John Key past the election into the Privileges Committee, the reality is that the Moment of Truth...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Themes of the Campaign
    There’s one area of a political campaign that just about everyone, at some point, falls afoul of. The campaign song. I’m not sure quite why it is, but it seems to be almost impossible for political parties to come up...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Denis Tegg – The NSA slides that prove mass surveillance
    The evidence presented by Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden on The Intercept of mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB is undeniable, and can stand on its own. But when you place this fresh evidence in the context of...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland
    The Ukrainian civil war discomforts me. It seems to me the most dangerous political crisis since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. And it’s because of our unwillingness to examine the issues in a holistic way. We innately prefer to...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man – the relationship intensifies
    John Key’s love affair with the straw man is now a fully-committed relationship. It’s now the first love of his life. Sorry Bronagh. Yesterday I pointed to Key’s constant assurances that there is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders by...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • A brief word on why Wendyl Nissen is a hero
    Wendyl Nissen is a hero. The sleazy black ops attack on her by Slater and Odgers on behalf of Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich is sick. All Nissen is doing in her column is point out the filth and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • She saw John Key on TV and decided to vote!
    . . NZ, Wellington, 15 September – ‘Tina’* is 50, a close friend,  and one of the “Missing Million” from the last election. In fact, ‘Tina’ has never voted in her life.  Not once. In ‘Tina’s’ own words, politics has...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Eminem sues National Party for unlawful use of ‘Lose yourself’ bhahahah...
    …ahahahahahahahaha. Oh Christ this is hilarious… National Party sued over Eminem copyright infringment US rapper Eminem is suing the National Party for allegedly breaching copyright by using his song Lose Yourself in its campaign advertisements. The Detroit-based publishers of Eminem’s...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Are the Greens about to be snookered by a Labour-NZ First Government?
    I wrote last week that it was smart politics that the Greens pointed out they could work with National, the soft blue vote that’s looking for a home in the wake of Dirty Politics isn’t going to Labour, so the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • BLOGWATCH: Fonterra join 2Degrees and boycott Whaleoil
    In the wake of Dirty Politics, advertisers are pulling their advertising out of Whaleoil. PaknSave, Evo Cycles Pukekohe, Localist, 2 Degrees, Fertility Associates, iSentia, NZ Breast Cancer Foundation, Maori TV, Bookme.co.nz, Dobetter.co.nz and the Sound are now joined by Fonterra...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • PM Key accused of allowing secret ‘spook’ cable sensors to spy on citiz...
    Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald (left) and Kim Dotcom at the “moment of truth” political surveillance meeting in Auckland last night. Image: PMW By ANNA MAJAVU of Pacific Media Watch NEW ZEALAND Prime Minister John Key has been accused of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Daily Election Update #12: NZ First to hold balance of power
    Winston Peters’ NZ First Party will hold the balance of power after tomorrow’s election, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Mr Peters is then expected to back a National-led...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies
    Over the course of this election campaign there has been a lot of focus on dirty politics and spying, and not a lot on policy. With election day looming, Gareth Morgan is calling for people to refocus on the issues....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • The Kiwi FM Alternative Election Commentary
    Saturday 20 September from 7pm on 102.2 Auckland, 102.1 Wellington, 102.5 Canterbury, or KiwiFM.co.nz...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Beneficiary Bashing unacceptable
    Kay Brereton of the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation of New Zealand says “ the comment made by Bill English yesterday comparing beneficiaries to crack addicts is shocking and incredibly poorly timed.”...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • UN Experience Beneficial
    Acclaim Otago representatives have just completed their participation at the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability examination of the New Zealand government in Geneva, Switzerland. "It was an interesting two days which we believe has...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Changing face of NZ should be reflected in newsrooms
    With Fairfax Media’s Journalism Intern search closing on Sunday, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging aspiring journalists from Maori, Pacific and ethnic communities to apply. The deadline was recently extended to 10pm, Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • SPCA expresses concern over toxin in waterways
    Ric Odom CEO of Royal NZ SPCA has expressed concern over the toxic poison 1080 entering waterways, but DoC, Council’s and Ministry of Health have colluded to make it legal....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 13-18 September
    Below is iSentia’s final weekly Election Index, covering the period 13-18 September and showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. The methodology used...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Epsom Candidate (Adam Holland) More Liberal Than ACT
    For the past four years I, like 500,000 other New Zealanders, have been illegally smoking cannabis for medicinal purposes and/or even just for the occasional laugh with friends on the weekend. We don't hurt anybody, we don't cause nuisance, we...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Left Coalition Will Save Dolphins
    A left coalition would safeguard both Māui and Hector’s dolphins, as well as revive our inshore ecosystems. Labour, Internet Mana and the Green Party all have strong policies in place for dolphin protection. The Maori Party, and to a certain...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Waihoroi Shortland: Ngāti Hine is not standing alone
    The Chairman of Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi, Sonny Tau is blowing smoke worthy of a Dotcom rally with claims that Ngati Hine is standing alone in its opposition to Tūhoronuku says the Chairman of Te Rūnanga o Ngati...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Oceania voices on environment loud and strong
    While money and energy continues to be spent on global talks about climate change, Pacific islanders are scrambling to build sea walls out of sticks, stones, shells and coral, to protect their lands and homes from erosion and rising sea...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunket – Tonight
    No MPs tonight --- the campaign will be over at 9 30. Instead we will look back --- and possibly forward on what we have learned and what might happen. Listener Political Columnist Jane Clifton Editor in Chief, NZ Herald,...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election fails to address youth financial wellbeing
    Young people don’t feel included in New Zealand’s financial success and believe inequality is a problem, according to a new survey conducted by Westpac’s Fin-Ed Centre at Massey University....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Winston’s Waffle doesn’t hide the facts
    The Conservative Party is celebrating the ASA's finding announced today that rejected all but one of the complaints raised against its controversial “Conservatives or Peters” pamphlet. “Despite pages of complaints from Peters legal team the only...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ Independent Coalition looking forward to tomorrow
    “Our team is looking forward to tomorrow. It is a real opportunity to reclaim politics for the people,” said NZ Independent Coalition leader Brendan Horan....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Insights Issue 35/2014 – 19 September 2014
    Insights Issue 35/2014 - 19 September 2014 In This Issue • RMA reform the golden unicorn of policy | Jenesa Jeram...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Special voting arrangements made for NIWA crew
    One of the most unusual polling stations for this year’s general election is in the middle of the ocean miles from land. NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa, has been doubling as a polling booth for crew and scientists at sea....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Tourism operators urged to vote strategically
    Tourism operators should make sure they know their local candidates’ view on tourism and use their vote to support the country’s second largest export industry, says Chris Roberts, Chief Executive, Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA)....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • WGTN: March for free education
    We are students, university staff, and members of the community. Whichever parties form a government after September 20th, we are demanding an end to corporatisation of education....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Evidence of Corruption a National Scandal
    Internet Party leader Laila Harré will take evidence of corruption to international forums if there is not a full Royal Commission to investigate the growing evidence of the systematic use and abuse of democratic institutions and processes for political...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Govt continues to throw money at charter school experiment
    Official documents reveal the three primary sector charter schools approved last week will cost $2 million to set up as well as divert another $1.5 million of potential taxpayer investment from local state schools next year....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • ACT Final Election Rally
    Elections campaigns are an opportunity for political parties to put candidates and policy to enable voters to choose what sort of New Zealand we want. In this campaign there have been three tests by which you can assess the electoral...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Taxpayers on Hook Again for Solid Energy
    Responding to the Fairfax article that taxpayers are extending another $103 million to keep Solid Energy afloat, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Invermay Petition Tops 10,000 Signatures
    People across New Zealand continue to express their disgust at the downgrading of Invermay, says Dunedin North MP David Clark, as the Save Invermay petition he instigated earlier this year topped the 10,000 signature mark just days before the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • McVicar vows to continue fight for police
    Garth McVicar stated at a public meeting last week that he would fight to retain a 24/7 Police Station in Napier and no reduction in the number of police staff for the Hawkes Bay region, some said he was simply...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Party Vote Our Weapon in Fight Against Government Corruption
    Internet MANA urges New Zealanders to use their party vote to confront corruption in any new government....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Election day is tomorrow – make sure you’re a part of it!
    Tomorrow, Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Is the Shape of our Government out of the hands of Voters?
    In the last stuff.co.nz / Ipsos Political Poll before Saturdays election, National is down 5.1% to 47.7% and Labour up 3.7% to 26.15%. These results are remarkably similar to the 2011 election where National received 47.3% of the vote and...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Spirit of Suffrage a Call to Action for All Kiwi Women
    Internet MANA is drawing on the courage and integrity of New Zealand women on Suffrage Day – Friday, September, 19 – to encourage them to pay tribute to the spirit of their foremothers who gained women the vote....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Live Election Night Coverage on TV And Online
    Māori Television’s KOWHIRI 2014 – ELECTION SPECIAL kicks off at 7.00pm this Saturday with a five-hour broadcast focusing on the Māori electorates....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Judge’s Decision Disappoints Fish & Game
    Today’s decision to give a Temuka man 100 hours of community service for selling sports fish to the public has disappointed Fish & Game, which believes the sentence handed down was “too lenient and will not go far enough to...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Cutting-Edge Graphics Fire up TV3’s Election Night Coverage
    TV3’s Election Night coverage, hosted by John Campbell, will be enhanced by cutting-edge graphics that will showcase the night’s results....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Govt rushes to open charter schools in New Year
    The government’s decision to approve four new charter schools last week to open in January next year goes against the Minister of Education’s own advice that the schools ought to have at least a year’s preparation time....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • 7 Days And Jono And Ben at Ten Hijack Election Weekend
    The 7 Days and Jono and Ben at Ten (JABAT) comedians are running their own version of election coverage, with a schedule of entertainment and comedy across TV3, Kiwi FM, the web and social media this Friday and Saturday under...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Fewer Prisoners Equals Less Crime
    In its latest blog, ‘Abolishing Parole and other Crazy Stuff’,’ at http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/09/krill-and-womble-independent-policy.html , Rethinking Crime and Punishment urges government to rethink its approach to releasing prisoners. “The public expectation is that the excellent reductions in the crime...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • McVicar slams his political opponents
    I want a safe and prosperous society and that can only be achieved if we have strong and vi-brant families – McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Falling economic growth – wage rises overdue
    “The lower GDP growth in the three months to June is further evidence that growth has peaked. New Zealand’s economy is on the way down to mediocre growth rates,” says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg. “Yet wage rises are still weak...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Get Out and Vote campaign a success
    Tens of thousands of workers from all around New Zealand have embraced the Get Out and Vote campaign and have created their own personalised voting plan, the CTU said today. “With three days of voting left in the 2014 General...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Animal Research Failing – So Do More Animal Research?
    Victoria University of Wellington is about to host a lecture on why the success rates of pharmaceutical development is so low and what can be done about it. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) welcomes discussion on this important...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • ALCP welcomes Prime Minister’s cannabis comments
    Mr Abbott's comments came on the same day as New South Wales and Victoria states announced they would be doing clinical trials of cannabis....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Conservative Party Press Secretary Resignation
    The Conservative Party is given to understand that this morning Press Secretary, Miss Rachel Macgregor resigned althought no formal advice of this has yet been received....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • By ACT’s logic, Epsom should vote for Conservative Candidate
    “Polling released late in the campaign shows that ACT is a busted flush and that by ACT’s own logic, centre-right Epsom voters should vote for the Conservative candidate”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • New online medical system
    Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is seeking registrations of interest for a new onshore panel physician network to support an online immigration health processing system....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Students, You Have a Choice, Vote!
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) is imploring students to ensure they make their voices heard this election, and join the many thousands who have already heeded the call....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Party vote ACT for three years of stability.
    Voters who are concerned that on the latest polls we may be heading for three years of instability have it in their hands to deliver a decisive result....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Women’s Suffrage Movement – Get Out and Vote!
    Tomorrow, Friday 19th September, MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes, will cast her vote at 12 noon at the Zen’s Building, Rotorua. This will follow a march through Rotorua that will assemble at 10am at City Focus, Rotorua. The...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • iPredict Daily Update
    David Cunliffe and Labour have made gains over the last 24 hours, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict, but John Key’s National is still strongly expected to lead the next...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Conservative’s Proposal to Abolish Parole Fatally Flawed
    The Conservative Party’s proposal to abolish parole doesn't stack up, however which way you look at it, concludes Kim Workman in Rethinking Crime and Punishment latest blog, ‘Abolishing Parole and Other Crazy Stuff’ at http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/09/krill-and-womble-independent-policy.html...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Special Edition : The letter 18 September 2014
    Dr Jamie Whyte has been giving thoughtful speeches largely unreported. So we thought we would put out an edited version on the speech he gave yesterday. The full speech is on the website....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
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