web analytics
The Standard

The Battle of Auckland

Written By: - Date published: 9:47 pm, May 29th, 2013 - 8 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, Gerry Brownlee, infrastructure, labour, phil twyford, politicans, public transport, same old national, Steven Joyce - Tags:

“The Auckland that never was” in my view is the most interesting chapter in Chris Trotter’s “NO LEFT TURN”. It details the Ministry of Works’ post-war plan  outlined in a document The Shape of Things to Come

…in which the government promised to electrify Auckland’s railways and extend the eastern semi-circle into a complete circle accessing western suburbs like Grey Lynn and Mount Roskill, in addition to Orakei and Panmure. The rising industrial area of Penrose and the Auckland CBD would both be served by the circle. The existing southern and Western lines would cross the circle, and a harbour bridge would extend the railway service to the North Shore. The plan said that special legislation had been enacted so that land could be acquired ‘without dander of paying an inflated price’ for great new settlements being built by the State, chiefly around Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch.

As Trotter says, counterfactual history is a bitter-sweet exercise. We’ll never know if the if the planner’s dream of the Auckland that might have been might have contributed to a better city now. However,

…just as the frazzled Aucklanders who every day clog the arteries of their dysfunctional city will never know how much less stressful their lives could have been if the first Labour government’s comprehensive plan for a more geographically compact and intensively settled Auckland, bound together by a cheap and efficient public transport network, have not bee deliberately scrapped by the National Party. What we know for certain, however, is that the Holland government’s rejection of Labour’s plan – a decision taken in the interests of expanding its own power base, and hugely enriching its financial backers – made the anarchic, automobile-inspired, socially dislocated sprawl of present-day Auckland inevitable.

Now we see history repeating itself. In what Labour accurately describes as a “War on Auckland” Key, Joyce and Brownlie are following in the footsteps of the much unloved Sid Holland.

As Phil Twyford spelt out in a speech to Auckland’s regional conference, Labour by contrast has an integrated plan that brings together affordable housing and integrated  transport. Twyford says:

You need hands-on government to do good urban development. The revitalisation of New Lynn took a Labour Government to invest in transport infrastructure, and a progressive Council to initiate the land development and urban design to create a new city centre. National’s mix of free market economics and crony capitalism will never deliver the affordable housing and the modern public transport system Aucklanders want.

On the other hand…

We will build 100,000 affordable starter homes.We will set minimum standards for warm dry homes.
We will modernise and rebuild Housing NZ.
We will build the City Rail Link, as the next step in giving Auckland a world class transport system.
We will drive urban renewal projects to revitalise depressed parts of our city, and build modern liveable communities.

Like the First Labour Government the Sixth Labour Government will use the power of the state to build this nation and improve the lives of our people.

Amen to that.

 

8 comments on “The Battle of Auckland”

  1. AmaKiwi 1

    The destruction of local government was essential to creating an autocratic parliamentary dictatorship.

    It does not have to be so. With veto referendums we veto acts of parliament we don’t like.

    With local government bodies (states, provinces) having constitutionally defined powers, Wellington cannot dictate to them on matters such as city planning.

  2. Ennui 2

    Battle one was predicated around the concept of “development” made possible by urban sprawl and private motoring VERSUS high density and public transport. The developers and cars won.

    Battle two is a result, too many cars and more sprawl versus the public option….except this time the end result is going to be what Kunstler describes as the greatest miss allocation of resources ever……more car dependent suburbia.

    It is very unsurprising that at the very juncture in history when this folly is plain to see the deliberate blindness and self interest is likely to win out. Sadly Labour espouse no future vision here either, which in essence is the real political problem.

  3. Ad 3

    +1 Mike.

    Auckland, with 40% of everything except the land inside two electoral terms (including MPs), will either make or break New Zealand, including the idea of national policy itself. A Labour government that can wrest power from National and deal with Auckland has a chance of saving New Zealand.

    The current course to dealing with Auckland will break us.

    • Ennui 3.1

      Ad, I suspect that your concept of Auckland being the dominant factor (the major sucker city : a well known geographic phenomenon) will come true to the detriment of both Auckland s residents and to the rest of the country. In the medium term (15 years plus) we are likely to be faced with a migration from Auckland to the provinces where the labour will be required to replace “petrol power”. Which begs the question: why invest in Auckland now, would we not be better encouraging regional development?

    • Tom Gould 3.2

      Never mind, the new Labour-led government next year can now sign up enduring contracts to build the multi-modal transport solution the city needs, with massive penalty causes to stop any future Tory government canning it. Thanks, John, great idea.

  4. karol 4

    Yes. The roadings and everyone-have-a-home -on-a-quarter-acre-urban-section lobbies have already created more problems than they’ve solved, in Auckland and beyond.

    And of course, many of the better-off home owners, who’ve contributed to the ever-increasing housing bubble are squealing. They don’t want to face the fact that sooner or later the bottom will drop out of the housing bubble and the worth of their properties will deflate. They’D rather transform their areas into no-change gated communities than face future realities.

    Good luck to them. If they resist change at the expense of the whole community many of us will leave the city, which will become an anachronistic ghetto.

  5. Sosoo 5

    I think this post somewhat skates past the point. It’s not just hands on government or better urban planning, but a return to the basic principles of modernist urban planning. A great deal of effort has been expended by the right into discrediting the idea that knowledge can be used to improve urban life, and on undermining attempts to make it work by underfunding.

    No-one is saying that Auckland ought to be rebuilt as a clone of Brasilia (which has its own problems) or Pruitt Igoe, but thinking big is definitely necessary.

  6. muzza 6

    How many decades have TPTB been failing AKL, and what chance of there being a turn around, anytime soon? The same people still control AKL, the same interests, and the same outcomes will continue!

    Single city or not, AKL will continue its slide , while remaining, *the city that was never finished*

    One could argue, it was never properly started.

    The interesting question, is who wanted it that way, and why!

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • The Grinch that stole the Waitangi Day public holiday
    It’s been a busy summer for AFFCO Talley’s as they toil away tirelessly in their attempts to bust the union at their Rangiuru site in Wairoa. Not content with locking out some of their employees who belong to the Meat… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 days ago
  • Waitangi 2016
    I have been to Waitangi every Waitangi Day except one since 2000. As usual, the good news and positive political events were ignored by many media. The Greens, for example, had a very good reception at Te Tii Marae. We… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    4 days ago
  • Waitangi 2016
    I have been to Waitangi every Waitangi Day except one since 2000. As usual, the good news and positive political events were ignored by many media. The Greens, for example, had a very good reception at Te Tii Marae. We… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    4 days ago
  • TPPA people power protests
    It was great to see such a big turnout – at least 15,000 in Auckland by some estimates. That’s a lot of people not buying the National Government’s spin on the TPPA. I was at the Auckland protests along with… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Ten Ways We can Honour Te Tiriti
    1. Learn about our history and current issues – Te Tiriti education is powerful, inspiring and available! 2. Learn about where you live and who the manawhenua are and what their issues in rebuilding their culture are. 3. Support manawhenua… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • “Not one more acre”
    The Public Works Act has too often been used to confiscate Māori land, and Members of Parliament will soon get a chance to vote to stop this. The original Public Works Act was developed in the 1860’s to facilitate… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Rules needed so we can swim in Canterbury rivers
    First published in The Press on 1 February 2016 A work colleague recently asked me which rivers and lakes I’d recommend she take her son and nephew swimming during an upcoming visit to Christchurch, somewhere handy to the city. I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Rules needed so we can swim in Canterbury rivers
    First published in The Press on 1 February 2016 A work colleague recently asked me which rivers and lakes I’d recommend she take her son and nephew swimming during an upcoming visit to Christchurch, somewhere handy to the city. I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Vulnerable women the victims of Govt inaction
    The Government’s failure to address the housing crisis and its refusal to steps to raise wages have led to vulnerable women being exploited, Labour’s spokesperson for Women Ruth Dyson says. “Reports today that women are being offered free rent in… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Vulnerable women the victims of Govt inaction
    The Government’s failure to address the housing crisis and its refusal to steps to raise wages have led to vulnerable women being exploited, Labour’s spokesperson for Women Ruth Dyson says. “Reports today that women are being offered free rent in… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Vulnerable women the victims of Govt inaction
    The Government’s failure to address the housing crisis and its refusal to steps to raise wages have led to vulnerable women being exploited, Labour’s spokesperson for Women Ruth Dyson says. “Reports today that women are being offered free rent in… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Vulnerable women the victims of Govt inaction
    The Government’s failure to address the housing crisis and its refusal to steps to raise wages have led to vulnerable women being exploited, Labour’s spokesperson for Women Ruth Dyson says. “Reports today that women are being offered free rent in… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Vulnerable women the victims of Govt inaction
    The Government’s failure to address the housing crisis and its refusal to steps to raise wages have led to vulnerable women being exploited, Labour’s spokesperson for Women Ruth Dyson says. “Reports today that women are being offered free rent in… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Vulnerable women the victims of Govt inaction
    The Government’s failure to address the housing crisis and its refusal to steps to raise wages have led to vulnerable women being exploited, Labour’s spokesperson for Women Ruth Dyson says. “Reports today that women are being offered free rent in… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Arms Control a priority for the Pacific
    Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio and Chair of New Zealand’s Parliamentarians for Global Action says his priority will be getting the Pacific to sign up to the Arms Trade Treaty after being appointed by the PGA as… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Arms Control a priority for the Pacific
    Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio and Chair of New Zealand’s Parliamentarians for Global Action says his priority will be getting the Pacific to sign up to the Arms Trade Treaty after being appointed by the PGA as… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Arms Control a priority for the Pacific
    Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio and Chair of New Zealand’s Parliamentarians for Global Action says his priority will be getting the Pacific to sign up to the Arms Trade Treaty after being appointed by the PGA as… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Arms Control a priority for the Pacific
    Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio and Chair of New Zealand’s Parliamentarians for Global Action says his priority will be getting the Pacific to sign up to the Arms Trade Treaty after being appointed by the PGA as… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Arms Control a priority for the Pacific
    Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio and Chair of New Zealand’s Parliamentarians for Global Action says his priority will be getting the Pacific to sign up to the Arms Trade Treaty after being appointed by the PGA as… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Arms Control a priority for the Pacific
    Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio and Chair of New Zealand’s Parliamentarians for Global Action says his priority will be getting the Pacific to sign up to the Arms Trade Treaty after being appointed by the PGA as… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must listen to Maori TPPA concerns
    The National Government must listen to the widespread opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) if it is to retain credibility with Māori, says Labour’s Maori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Iwi Leaders Forum met with Trade Minister Todd McClay… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must listen to Maori TPPA concerns
    The National Government must listen to the widespread opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) if it is to retain credibility with Māori, says Labour’s Maori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Iwi Leaders Forum met with Trade Minister Todd McClay… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must listen to Maori TPPA concerns
    The National Government must listen to the widespread opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) if it is to retain credibility with Māori, says Labour’s Maori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Iwi Leaders Forum met with Trade Minister Todd McClay… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must listen to Maori TPPA concerns
    The National Government must listen to the widespread opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) if it is to retain credibility with Māori, says Labour’s Maori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Iwi Leaders Forum met with Trade Minister Todd McClay… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must listen to Maori TPPA concerns
    The National Government must listen to the widespread opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) if it is to retain credibility with Māori, says Labour’s Maori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Iwi Leaders Forum met with Trade Minister Todd McClay… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must listen to Maori TPPA concerns
    The National Government must listen to the widespread opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) if it is to retain credibility with Māori, says Labour’s Maori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Iwi Leaders Forum met with Trade Minister Todd McClay… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bob Tizard’s passing an end of an era
    Labour Leader Andrew Little has expressed his deepest condolences to the family of former Labour MP and Deputy Prime Minister Bob Tizard who died this afternoon. Robert “Bob” Tizard was a Labour MP for 30 years, representing the seats of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bob Tizard’s passing an end of an era
    Labour Leader Andrew Little has expressed his deepest condolences to the family of former Labour MP and Deputy Prime Minister Bob Tizard who died this afternoon. Robert “Bob” Tizard was a Labour MP for 30 years, representing the seats of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bob Tizard’s passing an end of an era
    Labour Leader Andrew Little has expressed his deepest condolences to the family of former Labour MP and Deputy Prime Minister Bob Tizard who died this afternoon. Robert “Bob” Tizard was a Labour MP for 30 years, representing the seats of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bob Tizard’s passing an end of an era
    Labour Leader Andrew Little has expressed his deepest condolences to the family of former Labour MP and Deputy Prime Minister Bob Tizard who died this afternoon. Robert “Bob” Tizard was a Labour MP for 30 years, representing the seats of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bob Tizard’s passing an end of an era
    Labour Leader Andrew Little has expressed his deepest condolences to the family of former Labour MP and Deputy Prime Minister Bob Tizard who died this afternoon. Robert “Bob” Tizard was a Labour MP for 30 years, representing the seats of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Differing view on TPPA agreed
    Opposition Leader Andrew Little has given dispensation to MP Phil Goff to take his own position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement due to his historic involvement in negotiating its predecessor, the P4. “Phil has had a longstanding involvement and… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Differing view on TPPA agreed
    Opposition Leader Andrew Little has given dispensation to MP Phil Goff to take his own position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement due to his historic involvement in negotiating its predecessor, the P4. “Phil has had a longstanding involvement and… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Differing view on TPPA agreed
    Opposition Leader Andrew Little has given dispensation to MP Phil Goff to take his own position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement due to his historic involvement in negotiating its predecessor, the P4. “Phil has had a longstanding involvement and… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Differing view on TPPA agreed
    Opposition Leader Andrew Little has given dispensation to MP Phil Goff to take his own position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement due to his historic involvement in negotiating its predecessor, the P4. “Phil has had a longstanding involvement and… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Differing view on TPPA agreed
    Opposition Leader Andrew Little has given dispensation to MP Phil Goff to take his own position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement due to his historic involvement in negotiating its predecessor, the P4. “Phil has had a longstanding involvement and… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Differing view on TPPA agreed
    Opposition Leader Andrew Little has given dispensation to MP Phil Goff to take his own position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement due to his historic involvement in negotiating its predecessor, the P4. “Phil has had a longstanding involvement and… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Scandalous Saudi sheep saga rolls on
    It is scurrilous that the Government is pushing ahead with plans to spend many millions of taxpayer money on an abattoir in Saudi Arabia without knowing who’ll end up owning it, Labour MP David Parker says. “More than $12 million… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Scandalous Saudi sheep saga rolls on
    It is scurrilous that the Government is pushing ahead with plans to spend many millions of taxpayer money on an abattoir in Saudi Arabia without knowing who’ll end up owning it, Labour MP David Parker says. “More than $12 million… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Scandalous Saudi sheep saga rolls on
    It is scurrilous that the Government is pushing ahead with plans to spend many millions of taxpayer money on an abattoir in Saudi Arabia without knowing who’ll end up owning it, Labour MP David Parker says. “More than $12 million… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Scandalous Saudi sheep saga rolls on
    It is scurrilous that the Government is pushing ahead with plans to spend many millions of taxpayer money on an abattoir in Saudi Arabia without knowing who’ll end up owning it, Labour MP David Parker says. “More than $12 million… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Scandalous Saudi sheep saga rolls on
    It is scurrilous that the Government is pushing ahead with plans to spend many millions of taxpayer money on an abattoir in Saudi Arabia without knowing who’ll end up owning it, Labour MP David Parker says. “More than $12 million… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Scandalous Saudi sheep saga rolls on
    It is scurrilous that the Government is pushing ahead with plans to spend many millions of taxpayer money on an abattoir in Saudi Arabia without knowing who’ll end up owning it, Labour MP David Parker says. “More than $12 million… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joyce destroys Government rail link certainty
    Infrastructure Minister Steven Joyce has destroyed the certainty the Prime Minister gave private sector investors in his State of the Nation announcement on the City Rail Link, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says.   “Steven Joyce has again poured… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joyce destroys Government rail link certainty
    Infrastructure Minister Steven Joyce has destroyed the certainty the Prime Minister gave private sector investors in his State of the Nation announcement on the City Rail Link, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says.   “Steven Joyce has again poured… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joyce destroys Government rail link certainty
    Infrastructure Minister Steven Joyce has destroyed the certainty the Prime Minister gave private sector investors in his State of the Nation announcement on the City Rail Link, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says.   “Steven Joyce has again poured… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joyce destroys Government rail link certainty
    Infrastructure Minister Steven Joyce has destroyed the certainty the Prime Minister gave private sector investors in his State of the Nation announcement on the City Rail Link, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says.   “Steven Joyce has again poured… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joyce destroys Government rail link certainty
    Infrastructure Minister Steven Joyce has destroyed the certainty the Prime Minister gave private sector investors in his State of the Nation announcement on the City Rail Link, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says.   “Steven Joyce has again poured… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joyce destroys Government rail link certainty
    Infrastructure Minister Steven Joyce has destroyed the certainty the Prime Minister gave private sector investors in his State of the Nation announcement on the City Rail Link, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says.   “Steven Joyce has again poured… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika caucus visit as Kiribati water crisis deepens
    Water supplies are deteriorating in Kiribati as Labour’s  Pasifika climate change task force prepares to head there and Tuvalu, says Labour’s Pacific Climate Change Spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “There is a growing crisis on the atolls due to water supplies… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere