Auckland: a sprawling car future?

Written By: - Date published: 7:17 am, March 12th, 2011 - 72 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, public transport, same old national, transport - Tags: , ,

The government has released 8 papers on its view on a 30-year blueprint for Auckland.  The plan isn’t to be released for another 11 days, but National are impolitely putting its view out first.

And what a twentieth-century view it is.  One of an ever more sprawling city, with ever more sprawling motorways, ever more cars clogging its veins, ever less community, and ever less government money.

We won’t fund Auckland’s dreams” they say.  Which unfortunately translates to “Aucklander’s dreams” and “Auckland voter’s dreams”.  No, they’ll only fund their nightmares.

Auckland has always been underfunded, generating at least 1/3 of the tax revenue and getting far less in government spending.  At this point in time, Christchurch does have to be the focus, but we cannot afford to let the heart of the economy stop.  It’s not an either/or proposition, the rest of the country must keep functioning to help Christchurch back to its feet.  As such, we still need to invest in the future of Auckland – National need to learn their slogan of “re-vitalising Auckland” does not stop at putting their model of regional governance on it.

So the spatial plan needs support.  It was largely drawn up under the guidance of National’s appointed SuperCity Transition Authority, led by Mark Ford, who they were prepared to pay $540k per annum of Aucklanders’ money; Len Brown and the Council have now had the chance to put their gloss on it.  I’ve not seen it, but from what the government are rejecting it would appear to have a focus on a higher-density city with much more vibrant public transport.

National are still in love with the car, despite fuel about to hit record prices and showing no signs of dropping.  They want a city that is already the size of London with 1/10 the population to keep expanding over more productive farmland.  One where it is already not feasible for those on the peripheries to do their shopping in the centre.  Christchurch is complaining it now takes 2 hours to get across their city; Aucklanders know they already can only do it that quickly outside rush-hour.

So we need a car alternative.  As someone who regularly travels by rail in Auckland, the need for central-loop is obvious, as it was back in 1924 when they dreamed it up.  If anything happens between Newmarket and the central city – a signal wrong, trespasser on the tracks, train  with engine difficulties – the whole network grinds to a near halt.  The loop would solve that and make rail so much more viable.  It also means that the network won’t reach capacity in just a few years’ time.  National’s pre-cursors scuppered the tunnel in the 20s, National scuppered it in the 50s and 60s, and they seem determined to do it again, regardless of Auckland’s wishes.

National also seem determined to antagonise their own voters on the blue North Shore.  Joyce seems likely to shortly announce a second harbour bridge rather than the much-preferred tunnel.  The bridge will no doubt be less rail-centric, forcing more into their cars.  They also don’t like Len’s other rail idea of an airport link (much as every international city has), preferring to continue to funnel tourists down suburban streets to the city instead.

Auckland Council’s plan has high-density housing to make public transport more accessible and feasible; the government prefers to remove all city limits and have Auckland reach for Hamiltron.

It’s almost as though National, so confident in their polling, want to play Russian Roulette with Auckland voters:  They like us, now how about we force a corporate governance model on them…  and now, let’s try denying the public transport they voted for, let’s see how unliveable we can make their city and see if they’ll still vote for us…

72 comments on “Auckland: a sprawling car future?”

  1. lprent 1

    I don’t think it is the road lobby. More like the subdivision developers

    • Marty G 1.1

      yup. that’s where the big money in sprawl is. you see that the developers who have brought up land ringing Christchurch are already competing over where new subdivisions will be built – this is a huge windfall for them.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    If Labour has any nous, it will campaign on transport issues in Auckland this year.

    I can’t work out why National has so qickly developed such an anti-Auckland tin ear towards the 09. I guess English and rest of the provincial/rural rump probably just have that reflex hatred of Auckland that just gets worse and worse as you head south. John Key? Key isn’t a real New Zealander from anywhere – he is a member of Global Elitistan, who happens to sleep most often in a huge mansion in Auckland. Possibly the playa here is Steven Joyce. He is a hopelessly corrupt crony capitalist. He iss absolutely determined to ensure he transfers as much money as possible to his mates – in trucking, development, broadcasting, – wherever he can.

    Still, whatever reason why, National is really, really vulnerable to a lot of pissed of Aucklanders right now.

    • KJT 2.1

      This is NACT’s revenge for voting for Brown and preventing the great fire sale of Auckland’s assets.

  3. Peter 3

    I naively thought the whole idea of the Super City was for Auckland to decide its own priorites.

  4. Luva 4

    I’m not doubting you, just struggling to find the answer myself. Does Auckland really generate 1/3 of tax revenue and subsidise the rest of the country

    • Marty G 4.1

      Auckland has a third of the population and an above average median income, the highest in the country apart from Wellington and Otago. So, yes, I would say it generates a third of the tax base.

    • lprent 4.2

      It wasn’t explicitly stated, but I think that was the transport revenue. And yes it does.

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.1

        Well considering the number of cars in AKL and the kms they drive, that’s gotta be a lot of petrol tax dollars going into the coffers.

        • Kevyn Miller

          The data you are seeking is in Auckland’s contribution to the Government’s surplus in 2005 – Estimating the net flow of central Government funding from the Auckland region in fiscal year 2005 at

          That study calculated that Auckland contributed 30% of registration fees, 27% of petrol tax and 25% of RUCs. Thats about 20% less per capita than the average region pays a year.

          It also made this intresting point: Auckland contributed more revenue in 2005 than one would have expected based on an estimate using only population size (i.e. 35% of revenue against 34% of population). Auckland also received less expenditure (31%) than would have been expected based on a naïve estimate using the proportion of the population (34%)…A key determinant of these results is Auckland’s demographic profile.

  5. jcuknz 5

    If we assume that the country needs food production to sell and bring in the ‘necessities of modern life’ then it seems like madness to continue the spread of any city. On the other hand if the development was in the form of satellite towns situated on non productive land that could be a valid alternative. The happy days of a house on a quarter acre section was fine when the country had a population of one or two million but now, what is it … four million and going up … that is simply not viable. Satellite towns largely self contained with little need to travel between them. employment based on various industries … ‘company towns’ without the drawbacks these have developed through big business in the past. The trouble with Auckland and other large cities is the bad arrangement of living/working which obviously needs a socialistic government to sort out to reduce the need to travel great distances to work. Compacting population so that public transport becomes a better alternative to individual transport, unless it is a bike or similar. Though there is a health risk with public transport that might be balanced by exercise at each end of the journey..

  6. James 6

    “Auckland has always been underfunded, generating at least 1/3 of the tax revenue and getting far less in government spending.”

    Are you saying that those who generate the most tax revenue should be who benefits the most?

    • Luva 6.1

      Great question

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Those on the highest incomes already benefit the most: I mean, they are on the highest incomes 🙂

      • bbfloyd 6.1.2

        J…stupid question…. based on ignorance and driven by bigotry, it seems… getting a fair share of government sending on infrastructure, which would allow the city to function at a more efficient level does NOT give aucklanders any extra benifit over and above the rest of the country… but an efficient,,, and cost effective auckland infrastructure WOULD benifit the rest of the country.

        try to think with your head, and not your “rump”…

    • handle 6.2

      “Are you saying that those who generate the most tax revenue should be who benefits the most?”

      Wrong question. It’s about investment, not distribution of income. Official projections show that most of this country’s population growth over the coming decades will be concentrated in Auckland. Those people and their businesses need infrastructure that can’t be built overnight, incuding decent public transport. Starving this region of its fair share of funding has left it very under-prepared.

      • KJT 6.2.1

        Looking at a low energy future it would be better to attract business growth away from Auckland.

        Smaller towns where there are not the same problems. Industry and the people who work in them can be in easy commuting distance on public transport, foot or bicycle.

        Auckland has not had its fair share of funding, but we need to have a really good look at continued growth in Auckland with continued spending on Auckland.

        Satellite towns with green belts in between (Workers in their industries living close by) may help solve the high prices of housing concentrated in Auckland and the high costs of transport and commuting within Auckland.

        A lot of thought should be put into this when rebuilding Christchurch. Imagine the brand and tourist opportunities of the worlds first fully 21st Century eco city.

  7. Bored 7

    Hey Sanctuary, I like Global Elitistan, got a nice ring to it.

    On Auckland and cars it has long been obvious to me that the whole city needs a rethink for the low energy future, mass public transport etc. Even the Americans are moving on this. Check his out, its about high speed rail and its implications. Basically says do it or be left behind.

  8. Afewknowthetruth 8

    There is nothing new in any of this this. Under Labour the direction was exactly the same -an ever increasing sprawl of concrete and asphalt gobbling up farmalnd, and carving up of large suburban sections for multi-unit dwellings.

    The difference is we are now living in a post peak oil world, so the consequences of the insanity will arrive very soon…… 2014 at the latest, but probably before then.

    When the industrialised agricultural system goes under we should not be surprised to see mass starvation in central Auckland.

    Fuckwits are impervious to truth until it clobbers them in the face.

    • Bored 8.1

      Fuckwits are impervious to truth until it clobbers them in the face.

      So true. The worst in my book are the techno cornucoptics…the buggers cant do the simple maths on growth and finite resources…or even work out that a finite resource will actually run out. They also seem to think that technology is exempt from the laws of thermodynamics. Fuckwits indeed.

      My absolute venom is reserved for the market fantasists who seem to think that if you throw enough money at any issue a magic cure will bbe discovered. Total fuckwits.

    • bbfloyd 8.2

      AFTT… to be fair, one would have to acknowledge that the last major suberban expansion that took place in auckland was well entrenched by the time labour took office in 1999… to have halted it, or attempted to stall it would have had massive repercussions… what did happen,, once the catchup in neglected infrastructure had been largely gotten in hand was a shift toward focusing on public transport…

      i have to admit that i find it disappointing to stil be hearing the old” labour did it too” mantra… it is misleading and innaccurate… granted, the labour govt didn’t move fast enough to suit most,, but, as with every time they are installed to office,, they have first to deal with the consequences of national govt neglect of aucklands basic needs…and their short sighted encouragement of the kind of property development that has led to a whole generation of substandard houses being built… botany was allready a fact by 1999.

      so apart from reinstituting large scale state house replacement(to make up for the tens of thousands of state houses sold in the 90’s) and buying back the rail network(signalling a shift in priority toward rational public transport and freight movement),,,, what did they institute that could be characterised as “the same as national”?

      • Afewknowthetruth 8.2.1

        True. Labour just carried on doing what National had been doing, just as National carried on doing what Labour had been doing before that, and Labour kept doing what Natoinal had been doing before that.

        I suppose you are asking me to choose between the lesser of two evils.

        We cannot possibly make any genuine progress as long as any of those braindead dinosaurs are in charge, so the sooner it goes off the cliff the better:.

        One good thing about National is that they will drive the NZ economy and NZ society off the cliff a bit faster than Labour would. Therefore vote National?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      When the industrialised agricultural system goes under we should not be surprised to see mass starvation in central Auckland.

      That’s something that I’ve been dwelling upon. I seriously cannot see anyway to feed Auckland once the energy crunch comes – it’s just too big.

      • Bored 8.3.1

        Cuba managed it on far less resources when the sugar ruble dissappeared. Its down to feeding yourself from the soil and suplementing it with economic participation.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I’m thinking more along the lines of distribution within Auckland. We can feed them if we can get food to them.


          I’m off for an extended trip there late in the year, including an on the gound look at current urban food production. Anyone interested can contact me

          w a i k a t o t r a i n s at g m a i l dot c o m


          I’m doing an extended trip there late this year including an on the ground look at how their current urban agriculture effort is progressing. Anyone interested can email me on

          w a i k a t o t r a i n s at g m a i l dot com

      • Jum 8.3.2

        I can Draco T Bastard

        If people were actually starving in NZ and that’s a big ‘if’ the government will take over all land by Public Works Act regulations to grow food. You forget that a government such as the one we have now is capable of anything.

        • Colonial Viper

          The only reason that anyone in New Zealand might be going hungry today is because they have made bad life choices.

    • Marty G 8.4

      “when the industrialised agricultural system goes under we should not be surprised to see mass starvation in central Auckland.”

      it’s this kind of patently stupid statement that makes things so difficult for the rest of us trying to argue for the need to prepare for oil crunches.

      NZ produces enough food to feed 35 million people. even if the oil energy available to the food system in nz were to halve we would still have plenty of food and energy to transport it – we produced more than enough food to feed 4 million over a hundred years ago with no oil input.

      on top of dedicated agriculture, we have a huge potential to increase food production with nearly no oil input via urban gardening

      moreover, people are not going to sit in central auckland and starve.

      • Afewknowthetruth 8.4.1

        You are completely ignoring the huge inputs made into agriculture in the form of phosphate, potash, urea etc. which are totally dependent on oil and will disappear soon after cheap oil and gas do. Without those soil fertility will decline rapidly and a lot of the land will return to the semi-barren state it was in before artificial fertilisers brought it to life in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. Food production will plummet one season after urea application ceases. There is also the matter of water used for irrigation, most of which will not be available for much longer because it takes a huge amount of energy to pump water.

        Pre-industrial NZ supported a population of less than 1 million at a time when the foreshore was a buntiful food basket and large fish were plentiful. Neither now applies.

        ‘it’s this kind of patently stupid statement’ Top marks for arrogance based on ignorance. I’m afraid it is you who is making patently stupid comments.

        • Bored

          AFKTT/ Marty you might notice below somewhere I said a few straight words to Floyd, theres nothing I dislike more than a leftist acting like a RWNJ troll. For what its worth I think you both have valid points, not a lot of ignorance evident, just differences of opinion. I dont foresee Otarans starving because of oil depletion, they might however if those who have the food are allowed to distribute it to only those with the cash.

        • Marty G

          “You are completely ignoring the huge inputs made into agriculture in the form of phosphate, potash, urea etc”

          no i’m not. we can easily feed ourselves without petroleum products. countries did it with greater populations on smaller and less fertile lands for centuries. we produced enough food to feed our present population back before we used petroleum products.

          Moreover, peak oil is not no oil. you talk about artificial fertilisers in the 1920s-40s as if we will have none of these at all. In fact, it would take about a 90% decline in production before our oil supply was down to those levels. the worst depletion scenarios don’t leave us without oil. We have something like 80 years current needs in known reserves in this country. In a crash, the priority would become getting that oil and using it for our food production.

          The cheap oil age is over. What comes next is a major transition from life as we know it and it will be very bad, if an unmanaged, in many places. But it is not starvation in New Zealand. For that to happen food production would need to decline by 90% even as we allocate more and more of our remaining productive capacity into food production, and despite the fact that we will have oil, just not as much as now.


            An examination of the Cuban experience may help explain things a little. They experienced a massive economic shock within a space of months. They lost access to 1/2 of their oil but also trading partners, machinery and consumer items. It was all over within a year or 2. That forced them to take drastic action.

            It’s doubtful that the global economy will fall into such a slump in such a short period of time. The slide will be, I think, a lot shallower. I am not saying it will be smooth, but probably slower. That’ll give some time to reconfigure things without the massive dislocation Cuba experienced. On the other hand I don’t mean that the Bill English prescription of do nowt and ‘let the market adjust’ is any salvation. More likely stupidity actually.

            The lesson from Cuba is not the events leading to the reshaping of their food production and food distribution, but how they reshaped it. What options they chose. The country is not a paragon of self sustainability. As an example, whilst a large % of fresh fruit and vegetables is growing within urban limits, maybe 50-60% in the case of Havana, the country still imports large quantities of its food. It also has issues of supply and demand and distribution.

            Also, Cuba is still reliant on oil for many things. It consumes around, I think, 160,000 bpd. Around 80,000 bpd are extracted locally and around 110,000 bpd supplied by Venezuela, with the surplus exported. Here is a Cubans take on Peak Oil

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    These National plans bode badly for what is to come in Christchurch.

    Basically this stuff is more of what they planned to do anyways.

  10. The Baron 10

    Bunji, would you post a link to the Govt’s 8 pages please, so we can have a go at making up our own mind?

    • bbfloyd 10.1

      baron…. read the whole post…. the plans aren’t being made public forELEVEN days… he is responding to statements by the govt that pre-empt that release… clear??

      • The Baron 10.1.1

        Whoops. Wanna try that again Floyd? Just read them all on the DIA website, and you have a link below.
        Do try keep up.

    • The Baron 10.3

      Ah, I suspect I know why you didn’t post a link to the papers. Having now read them, it appears that you’re simply making a whole pile of shit up.
      I don’t have time to Fisk you fully now, but some factors that leapt out at me were:
      – that Auckland receives 31% of investment from govt, compared to 33% contribution. Is that far less?
      – priorites for building a greater stock of housing are predominantly through use of existing urban areas – not much planned for new land releases at all. It also lists community opposition to land use intensification as one of the primary problems here.
      – almost every public transport idea I have heard in the last 5 years is directly referenced and costed, and referred to in an integrated manner. Great ideas like extending the busway to orewa are included – as is a cross-harbor rail link. It also includes a table that i think said public transport takes over 40% of current funding for handling approximately 5% of capacity.

      So I’m at a bit of a loss. Where are these nightmares again? It’s easy to interview your keyboard i guess – far harder to actually read and understand what this publicly available info (that you don’t link to) is actually saying.

      • handle 10.3.1

        The discrepancy in transport funding is far greater than a couple of percent. It has been going on for decades so is not a party political problem.

      • Colonial Viper 10.3.2

        It’s easy to interview your keyboard i guess – far harder to actually read and understand what this publicly available info (that you don’t link to)

        Right, because you do such a good job of linking to the publicly available info yourself lol

        • The Baron

          You’ll see from the timestamps that handle had already done so in response to my original post. No point in being unnecessarily repetitive.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.3.3

        It also includes a table that i think said public transport takes over 40% of current funding for handling approximately 5% of capacity.

        Got link?

          • Draco T Bastard

            5% as at 2k6. What’s the use now? This is a valid question because the use of PT has been increasing.


            Public transport use grew by 4.4% over all modes in the year to June 2008, with rail passenger numbers up 18.4%.

            Seems that people actually want to use PT – perhaps the problem is that there isn’t enough to cater to everyone who wants to use it?

            • The Baron

              Maybe you’re prepared to make that investment based on wikipedia and faith, but I’d like a bit more rigour. Lets say it rose by 4.4% every year – by my maths, that means that still less than 10% of capacity would be handled by PT. Though to be fair, you’d also have to take some account of any investment increases during those five years as well.
              Either way, it appears that PT is sucking a massive amount of cash for only a marginal increase in handled capacity. In other words, I’m not sure this was the knockout blow you were looking for.
              Anyway, care to engage on any of the other points? I’d rather have a response from Bunji of course has to how he justifies this tripe – but sadly he doesn’t appear to be the talkative type, so I’ll stick to you for now.

              • Bunji

                Sorry, have a life. Been out with family all day.

                I’d largely refer you to transport blog who are much more expert in these matters than I.

                I’m just dipping in, but a number of points.
                – PT has been rising by more than 4.4% many years in Auckland.
                – PT 40% of investment? Maybe in 2008/9 when there was a big rail improvement, but not most of the time. In fact, from this transport blog graph you can see the chronic lack of investment in all Auckland’s transport infrastructure over the years. Yes they may have reached 31% of investment in the last couple of years and my “getting far less in govt spending” may recently be out of date – but you need to spend at those levels for some time to make up the shortfall.
                – Yes current PT use is low, but it’s coming off a ridiculously low base because of the state Auckland’s PT infrastructure was in. From the 60s Auckland had looked to LA as the transport infrastructure it wanted to follow, and they succeeded in getting PT use below LAs. Buses too infrequent to rely on and virtually non-existent trains – no-one is going to use them. Recently, yes there’s been a (comparative) lot of investment – and it’s been rewarded by up to 20% increase pa in train use, as well as significantly improved bus use. You have to build it before it can be used.

                The governments argument is that people will use cars because in the past people used cars – even if that was mainly because that was pretty much the only available option. The Council sees that as unsustainable – they’ve seen oil prices, LA smog, and every increasing car journey times. They also see that when you build PT, it gets used.

                Transport Blog’s conclusion is worth quoting in full:

                Where’s the analysis of how the world is changing in the next 20-30 years? Where’s the analysis of how higher fuel prices may change transport patterns? Where’s the analysis of whether concentrated or dispersed employment makes for a more efficient transport system? It seems, overall, to be a document based on 1960s transport thinking – predict and provide. Assume that car traffic is always going to grow (even though it’s currently not growing) and then work out where all the new and widened roads are going to go. I’m not aware of any other comparable city to Auckland undertaking this approach to transport policy internationally. Most are investing heavily in expanding their public transport networks, most are working out ways to reduce the dependency of their transport system on oil – which is becoming increasingly expensive. Most want to shape their cities in ways that are friendlier to people, not necessarily cars.

  11. handle 11

    How overturning the Auckland region’s long-established Metropolitan Urban Limit will affect land pricing:

    Like Christchurch the developers sitting on large parcels of land just outside the line stand to make a killing. Ratepayers and taxpayers will be expected to pick up the tab for all the extra roads, sewers, social isolation, etc. Corporate welfare for the win.

    • handle 11.1

      Business refuses to change the way it operates too. Lazy developers of both business and residential buildings demand sprawl to allow their cheap easy low-rise pattern to continue. Then they bitch and moan when rules designed to intensify development impede their old-fashioned approach.

    • Well in the Waikato/Waipa the developers and speculators have their beady, greedy, little eyes on the prime farm land just outside the main towns like Cambridge and Te Awamutu. The local council keeps snatching parcels of land sold by local farmers . Its has the beginnings of urban sprawl already. The Green Belts is in danger and the Right-Wing organization the Chamberof Commerce has more say in council matters that the elected council. In a world that has a food shortage its unbelievable
      that good food growing land should be built on. The future is bleak and the speculaters will just pack up and go and make their money by ruining some other place.

  12. Bored 12

    Bunji, you say Auckland has always been underfunded, generating at least 1/3 of the tax revenue and getting far less in government spending.

    Far be it from me to be critical but I dont think that the statement is the slightest bit useful. Auckland may generate a third of the tax for any number of reasons such as it being where the head offices of companies are etc etc. A more pertinent question on Aucklands wealth and tax generation might be “how much taxable wealth is generated inside Auckland as opposed to wealth garnered from the whole NZ economy”?

    I suspect that Auckland to be wealthy needs the tax system to redistribute money into infrastructural areas around the country so that the good business and corporate folk of the Queen City can rake in the rural profits from financing farming etc. I also suspect that if the roads to Turoa were a shambles in ski season then the upmarket 4WD driving denizens of Parnell would be highly agitated.

    • bbfloyd 12.1

      bored… you need to actually say something relevant if you are to disagree… displaying an ignorance based on bigotry is’nt going to do more than explain why you aren’t worth talking to.. and give me an excuse to lampoon you… it amuses me momentarily,, but useless in the scheme of things..

    • KJT 12.2

      Most of New Zealands manufacturing and value added exporting is centred on Auckland and Christchurch.
      The largest share of transport funding goes to Wellington, which mostly produces hot air.

      However continuing to keep most of the jobs in these cities, with the congestion, housing and transport problems this entails, may not be the best solution.

  13. Bored 13

    BBFloyd…I see you are keeping yourself amused momentarily, which seems to be about as far as your attention span and ability to reason might allow. I did a quck scan of your recent comments, it seems you have called a few people recently fuckwits, wankers, ignorant bigots, childish little boys etc, even advised them to piss off. Such intellectual capacity sure is something to aspire to. Be my guest, lampoon yourself.

  14. Clare, Beijing, China 14

    Maybe people’s priorities about living in suburban houses will change because of sitting in traffic jams. In China it seems to me they are more focused on family and community. Also, once you get more cars you have to start cutting back on cars. You can only use your car in Beijing certain days according to your number plate.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Maybe people’s priorities about living in suburban houses will change because of sitting in traffic jams.

      One constraint that I see is that people need to go where the jobs are so they can make a living. In NZ that is almost inevitably Hamilton and north of Hamilton.

      In China – rural peasants usually cannot get approval to move into urban areas.

  15. gnomic 15

    Nothing new here then. Since the second world war Dorkland has essentially been run in the interest of car salesmen. The citizenry have played the part of Mr Toad. Alas, even I a dedicated cyclist, sometimes succumb to the joys of effortless speed along with aircon and a good sound system.

    The National Party is the party that’s always wrong of course, and Joyce is not a genius.

    It’s pretty simple; the private motor vehicle for all and sundry is over, if not tomorrow, within a couple of decades. Time to get with the new programme, or if you can’t, get out of the way.

    Don’t even get me started on urban sprawl. Greed and stupidity, stupidity and greed. Homo insapiens.

    ‘He was about half-way through his meal when an only too familiar sound, approaching down the street, made him start and fall a- trembling all over. The poop-poop! drew nearer and nearer, the car could be heard to turn into the inn-yard and come to a stop, and Toad had to hold on to the leg of the table to conceal his over-mastering emotion. Presently the party entered the coffee-room, hungry, talkative, and gay, voluble on their experiences of the morning and the merits of the chariot that had brought them along so well. Toad listened eagerly, all ears, for a time; at last he could stand it no longer. He slipped out of the room quietly, paid his bill at the bar, and as soon as he got outside sauntered round quietly to the inn-yard. `There cannot be any harm,’ he said to himself, `in my only just looking at it!’

    The car stood in the middle of the yard, quite unattended, the stable-helps and other hangers-on being all at their dinner. Toad walked slowly round it, inspecting, criticising, musing deeply.

    `I wonder,’ he said to himself presently, `I wonder if this sort of car starts easily?’

    Next moment, hardly knowing how it came about, he found he had hold of the handle and was turning it. As the familiar sound broke forth, the old passion seized on Toad and completely mastered him, body and soul. As if in a dream he found himself, somehow, seated in the driver’s seat; as if in a dream, he pulled the lever and swung the car round the yard and out through the archway; and, as if in a dream, all sense of right and wrong, all fear of obvious consequences, seemed temporarily suspended. He increased his pace, and as the car devoured the street and leapt forth on the high road through the open country, he was only conscious that he was Toad once more, Toad at his best and highest, Toad the terror, the traffic-queller, the Lord of the lone trail, before whom all must give way or be smitten into nothingness and everlasting night. He chanted as he flew, and the car responded with sonorous drone; the miles were eaten up under him as he sped he knew not whither, fulfilling his instincts, living his hour, reckless of what might come to him.’

  16. Carol 16

    Bought a bicycle in the autumn sales yesterday. I haven’t ridden one since I lived in London, and won’t be riding it on West Auckland roads in the near future, but I will hopefully be one who supports cycleways for the future. I’ll be looking to take my bike in my car to the nearest cycleways, at least until I can feel confident about riding again.

  17. RobertM 17

    The National strategy today, is the brat pack strategy. Win and hold the vote of the ordinary people in the provincial cities. They assume their vote in the cities is struggling mum and dad with a car or two and children to ferry. Therefore the traditional Nact hostility to public transport is strengthened. In part too, they just hold to the traditional kiwi views of the 1950s and l960s that the age of rail and public transport is over. Nat thinking and that of their brat pack genuines hasn’t got past the 60s idea of the quarter acre section, nuclear family, church and one wife one man, for life.
    I’m all for public transport and the Owen McShanes of the world need to shut down with the Micheal Laws . We do need the concentration of urban growth to centred in Wellington and Auckland within about 6 kilometres of the city centre and fed my modern light rail. It seems to me the very disruption that Light rail would cause in Queen St is part of the point. The modern trams would have priority at lights and traffic attempting to cross tramways in the central city and at major intersections would deliberatly face a red light for longer period- to make car commutting much more difficult. Planning for public transport in NZ, notably in Christchurch has always assumed that the bus is an optional and alternative mode for people and they ahve access to cars. But increasingly in future, by both choice and need,people won’t.
    The Lee and Auckland council strategy can be legitimately criticised on the grounds that its l930s thinking and that the 3ft 6inch line don’t really go were the action is or where tourists or leisure people want to go . The current and proposed rail system largely serves unexciting dormitory suburbs or the fringe of more interesting areas and its development is driven by the idea of expansion of public housing and apartments of doubtful social and community interest and need. In the evening we have a one hour interval bus service along Tamaki one of the most naturally glorious and cafed and bared zones in Auckland. Yet an expensive rail link to the airport is a higher priority for mayor than light rail or more frequent buses or a sensible cheap rail link to the air terminal off the NIMT>

  18. kevyn 18

    One where it is already not feasible for those on the peripheries to do their shopping in the centre. Christchurch is complaining it now takes 2 hours to get across their city; Aucklanders know they already can only do it that quickly outside rush-hour.

    Seriously? You mean it’s not feasible for people on the periphery of Waitakere City to shop in the centre of Waitakere City. The tenet of your argument is travel distance so the appropriate comparison is with the residents of Matamata and Otorohanga not being able to do their shopping in the centre of the Region. If you are trying to argue that Auckland is more congested than Christchurch rather than simply more sprawling then you need to use an appropriate congestion indicator but you’ll need to FOI NZTA to get it since the travel time survey is no longer freely available on their website.

    Auckland has always been underfunded, generating at least 1/3 of the tax revenue and getting far less in government spending. That’s a very Roger Douglas argument. It’s time somebody contributed a leftwing response – “from each according to their means – to each according to their need.” Auckland, Waikato and Canterbury have always been wealthier than Northland, Gisborne and West Coast, so it has always made egalitarian sense for the first 3 to subsidise the roadworks of the last three. So, nothing unique to Auckland there either. The only unique thing is that over the last decade Auckland was added to the list of poor regions being helped by Waikato and Canterbury.

    [I can email the Transfund spreadsheets (with NZTA updates to fy 2009) to anybody who wants them as NZTA will charge an arm and a leg to supply them under FOI]

    • lprent 18.1

      The only unique thing is that over the last decade Auckland was added to the list of poor regions being helped by Waikato and Canterbury.

      The critical thing about this has been when it was underfunded and at what level it was underfunded (and that you appear to ignore). That consisted most of the 1970’s, all of the 1980’s, and all of the 1990’s (ie for about 25 years) and the level of funding during that period was at about a quarter of what was required. This was across the whole of roading and public transport sectors. During that period the number of people in Auckland consistently rose, as did the level of commerce being done in Auckland, and the level of goods flowing through Auckland (which is on a frigging isthmus and therefore acts as a choke point between Northland and Waikato.

      The reason why it was put on the urgent list in the 00’s was because it’d been consistently starved of transport funds for a bloody long time. Because of the lead times most of the projects only started being usable in the mid 00’s

      The first projects that were kicked off in the 00’s were those to get the bloody trucks moving and stop clogging the isthmus. In particular the inter-motorway crossovers and motorway to port links that had been started in the 1970’s and then stopped because Auckland didn’t vote for Muldoon. I have looked at those stubs of motorways around K Rd and towards the domain for my entire adult life wondering when they were going to get done. I’ve also been driving that stupid route from the northern and southern motorways that required me to potter around central Auckland going from one to the other that fed trucks into the most congested area of Auckland

      Similarly the motorway extensions allowed the trucks to stop jamming the motorways on the outskirts of Auckland. The motorways to the airport stopped trucks clogging the routes there.

      Double tracking and the bus lanes and bus ways means that we were have been able to move some commuter traffic off the roads, which has finally managed to relieve some commuter congestion. You can actually see the fall off in traffic on places like the bridge now.

      I’ve driven in every other city in NZ between the 1970’s and now. No other city ever had the the congestion that Auckland had, but they simply haven’t gotten as bad as Auckland has because it was completely underfunded for so many decades.

      Basically you’re ignorant about the transport issues and history in Auckland. Read back a few decades more and consider what has been done for Auckland over the last decade is literally the minimum required to catch up on decades of neglect of required transport.

      I have no interest in promoting a commuter car heaven here. But we need the rail commuter system finished so it won’t jam at Britomart, which it is starting to do now. Ideally there should be a rail out to the airport. At some stage SH20 needs to be finished to pull trucking load off the bridge. And finally the bridge needs a replacement with a tunnel (so we can do rail to the North Shore) started in the next decade because it’ll take a half decade to build and the bridge looks like it will only last another 10-20 years

    • lprent 18.2

      You mean it’s not feasible for people on the periphery of Waitakere City to shop in the centre of Waitakere City.

      I don’t know about Waitakere city ‘centre’. Where is its centre? New Lynn, Henderson, somewhere in Te Atatu, possibly out at Massey?, I have no idea. But ‘Waitakere city’ doesn’t have a centre and I suspect it alone is as large as Christchurch. Same thing with North Shore. But the motorways pretty much bypass all of those centres apart from Massey and Albany. It takes a bloody long time to get anywhere off the suburban edges to shopping centres.

      Manakau does have a centre and it is on the motorway. Of course it is still a pain in the arse from Howick or the peripharial suburbs in Manakau.

      I live in the Ponsonby end of Grey Lynn. It takes close to 30 minutes to get into the city and park (half getting there and half parking) – the link bus is faster. Which is why I either go to St Lukes (15 minutes), or Takapuna (18 minutes). Of course those times are all outside of rush hour. Takapuna may be 3 times the distance but I can get directly on to the motorway. If it is rush hour you can double or even triple all of those times.

      The supermarkets are easier because there is one in Grey Lynn and one in College Hill on my way home by bus. But I live in one of the absolutely best areas to access all of these things in Auckland.

      If I want to go to the Owera, the Waitakeres, or Manakau city from home then it takes at least 45 minutes (and more usually an hour) out of rush hour. In rush hour it can take anywhere up to about a couple of hours depending on the number of accidents blocking traffic. And I live where I live because I can do that – contracts and jobs have had me working everywhere from Manakau city to Albany to New Lynn over the last couple of decades. I did manage to work from home for decade and now I literally work in walking distance (if I do a 25 minute walk up and down hills which is contraindicated the recent heart attack) or 35 minutes walking and on a bus. But that is more the luck of the companies than anything else. Usually I have to plan on a hours commute each way

      • kevyn 18.2.1

        Bingo – “the motorways” – now your onto it. The construction and widening of those motorways have allowed four Christchurch sized cities to function as one city-region, the same as Los Angeles. Motorways have two psychological effects. One is the dramatic off-peak decongestion that occurs by providing these high-speed links then sets a new benchmark for measuring congestion, ie normal no longer means 50kmh and lots of traffic lights or roundabouts. The other is that longer trip lengths possible within the same travel time become the norm or, to put it simply, local gets a whole new meaning. So where living in Grey Lynn and shopping in St Lukes was not normal in the 1920s or even in the 1950s it is normal today in every town or city big enough to have multiple shopping centres but it is only in motorway or railway cities that Botany Downs is considered local for someone in Titirangi or Birkenhead. This is essentially what it is at the heart of the induced traffic problem.

        Administratively Henderson was the centre of Waitakere city and it is the hub of the transport network for the old Waitemata County/Henderson Borough area which makes it the shopping ‘centre’ for that portion of the city. it is already not feasible for those on the peripheries to do their shopping in the centre. is a problem common to every city that has developed in the motorcar age and has grown much beyond 100,000 population. Auckland and Wellington’s motorway mindset has grown that to a regional idea much faster than in Christchurch although reading GCUDS makes it clear that Christchurch thinking is in the same ball park due to the greenbelt having the same effect as motorway building.

  19. Kevyn Miller 19

    lprent – you can’t possibly be serious about that Muldoon comment as the root cause of Auckland’s traffic problems.

    • lprent 19.1

      Not all, but go and have a look at the transport investment for the auckland region against population from about 1960 onwards and what it was spent on.

      After the late 70’s virtually all of the motorways and major roading stopped. Literally with unfinished ends of off ramps and temporary routing expidients in place. Instead there was a program of increased government subsidies to tarseal metal roads in the region. Between 1980 and 1985 almost all of the back country metal roads in the electorates that voted National got tar sealed – inluding up around my parents non-productive 88 acres. I would find you the comments that Muldoon made at the time, but I’d have to dig them out of hardcopy.

      The late 80’s and early 90’s had little transport investment overall country wide, and a falling percentage against population and vehicles in the Auckland region. Most of that was extending the motorways with just a few city updates, like better roads to the airport from the south – good for people from Waikato.

      The expidients and off ramps were finally started to be completed in the early 00’s. So were the transport systems that actually do something for transport in the city. But in my opinion systematic under investment in the Auckland transport systems started with Muldoon. His reasons were made quite clear at the time.

      Because Aucklands population and vehicles increase far faster than anywhere else, each delayed decade ensured that the price of the transport projects increased massively as well. Large parts of the cost of most roading projects now is simply trying to not cause too much disruption to existing traffic. So the projects are merely keeping pace with congestion despite their massive bills.

      Because these projects were stopped in the late 70s and early 80s by Muldoon, they never got done because they steadily got hellishly more and more expensive. The easy projects were done instead. The ones in the country. This last decade the projects done in Auckland city are the projects that were due to be done in the 1980s

      The trip to my parents farm from town dropped steadily from 90 minutes in 1975 to about 50 minutes in 2000 when they sold up. Meanwhile the time to go from to the airport (as an example) during the working day went from about 15-20 minutes in the late 70s to my having to allow 60 minutes by 2000 (and still having to hustle sometimes).

  20. Kevyn Miller 20

    I don’t have to go far to have a look at the transport investment for the auckland region against population from about 1960 onwards and what it was spent on as I have all of that information from the roads board’s annual reports in a spreadsheet.

    What you say about Muldoon is consistent with my memories of the time. However the roads board’s records are not consistent with the timeframes you are giving.

    The huge increase in local road seal extensions in the Auckland region occured in 1983/84 and lasted till 1989, which was the very period when Auckland’s motorway traffic counts surged dramaticly whilst Wellington and Christchurch state highway traffic counts were stagnant.

    The big decrease in real capital expenditure for the whole country occurred throughout the entire Muldoon period with the initial impact being most noticable in rural regions such as Manawatu and Marlborough and the really big impact for Auckland and Wellington occuring in Muldoon’s second term. All four of the main centres at that time ended up with motorways that stopped in mid-air or that were scaled back to two lane undivided expressways. The extension of the Northwestern motorway from Pt Chev to Grafton Gully was the only significant addition to the nation’s motorway stock in the 1980s and even that was severely compromised through spaghetti junction.

    The fact that there was less than $120m available for highway construction each year during the 1980s means that improvements to rural state highways was largely limited to replacing the last remaining one-lane wooden bridges and adding sealed shoulders so that most of the curve and grade easing projects proposed for the 70s and 80s were still outstanding at the end of the 90s and many are still outstanding today, including some curves that have been on the blackspot list for all that time.

    The figures for capital expenditure per vkt since the mid 1960s are the most revealing:
    New Zealand-3.0-2.0-0.5-0.5-1.0

    Fortunately most of the motorways stalled in Hawkes Bay, Canterbury and Otago had actually secured the required land before the Muldoon miracle so their completion costs are less affected by land price inflation since the 1970s. Fortunately that was also the case for most of the southwestern mway.

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    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • More homes where they are needed
    More houses for homeless New Zealanders are being opened today in Tauranga by Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi. Six 2-bedroom quality units are being opened at 878 Cameron Road by Minister Faafoi and Accessible Properties, a local Community Housing Provider (CHP). Accessible Properties now provides more than 1,700 community housing ...
    59 mins ago
  • Minister of Finance and Sport and Recreation to visit Japan and Vietnam
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson departs tomorrow for events and meetings in Japan and Vietnam.  While in Japan, he will discuss economic and fiscal issues including meeting with the Minister of Finance, Taro Aso, and Minister of Economic and Fiscal Policy, Yasutoshi Nishimura. He will meet with the Minister of Education, ...
    15 hours ago
  • Dashboard tracks housing progress
    The Government’s Housing Dashboard released today confirms record numbers of state houses are under construction and shows the Government build programme is gaining momentum.  “After nine years of inaction, and a hands-off attitude from the previous government we’re starting to see things move in the right direction for housing,” says ...
    16 hours ago
  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    18 hours ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    23 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    1 day ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    2 days ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    2 days ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    2 days ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    2 days ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    3 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    6 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    6 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    6 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    6 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    6 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    6 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    7 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    7 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    7 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    7 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    1 week ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    1 week ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    1 week ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    1 week ago