web analytics

Capital Connection

Written By: - Date published: 3:54 pm, June 15th, 2012 - 11 comments
Categories: infrastructure, public transport - Tags: , ,

Iain Lees-Galloway has been leading an admirable campaign to keep Palmy North’s Capital Connection.

His latest effort is to have petition (online & offline versions) to present to Parliament at the end of the month.  It has to be then, because it’s expected that the government (through NZTA) will cut the service in July or August.

Capital Connection is the only commuter train service in New Zealand that is run on a purely commercial model. Wellington’s (subsidised) Waikanae link is undermining it, and the Gerry Brownlee is refusing to get NZTA and KiwiRail to work together to work out the problem.

And the problem really is NZTA.  The Regional Council support the link and want to work in co-operation with the Greater Wellington Regional Council, NZTA and KiwiRail to keep the service going.

But NZTA only see rail and buses as useful for relieving congestion – they are bound to their cars.

The NZTA’s focus is on subsidising metropolitan public transport to relieve congestion and improve economic productivity […]

We’re keen to get people onto trains and buses to unclog our roads, but the reality is that we have to focus on the roads that do get clogged

Unable to see beyond those blinkers, they may even create a a congestion problem, as long as there isn’t one currently.

Surely NZTA should be focussed not just on roads, but on what is the most efficient way to get people and goods around the country, particularly planning for an expensive oil future?

At any rate, let’s support Iain, and get that petition spread and signed…

11 comments on “Capital Connection ”

  1. TimD 1

    A couple of quotes from NZTA:

    NZTA’s view on Rail (the Capital Connection) north of Waikanae:

    “We’re keen to get people on to trains and buses to unclog our roads, but the reality is that we have to focus on the roads that do get clogged, such as south of Waikanae.

    “Given that there is not a congestion problem between Palmerston North and Waikanae, we believe the focus should be on identifying a cost-effective way to move people between these locations to make the best use of the existing subsidised rail services from Waikanae.”

    (from stuff.co.nz)

    NZTA’s view on SH1 north of Waikanae:

    The provision of a high standard four-lane expressway through the area and an Otaki bypass will increase the efficiency of freight and people movements between Wellington and the north. It will ease local trip congestion and assist in facilitating economic development in the area.

    (from NZTA website)

    • mouse 1.1

      Ha! “Given that there is not a congestion problem between Palmerston North and Waikanae, we believe the focus should be on identifying a cost-effective way to move people between these locations to make the best use of the existing subsidized rail services from Waikanae.”…

      You got to ask yourself… if this is NZTA’s view… why the fuck are they promoting a 251 million dollar BCR=<1 bypass of Otaki and paralleling of SH1 all the way to Peka Peka – Please explain the reason for National significance?

      Gerry?… Anybody?

  2. thatguynz 2

    Firstly a disclaimer – I am a commuter on the Capital Connection so any bias in my comments should be read in that context.

    You may or may not know that this “debate” has been ongoing for quite some time now. More specifically the initial stance (or opening salvo if you prefer) was that the Capital Connection was economically unviable and unless passenger numbers increased there was a serious risk of its closure. As a point of notice, this was prior to the extension of the Tranzmetro service to Waikanae which has supposedly subsequently taken passenger numbers away from the Capital Connection. In my experience, the train (caveat – at least Wgtn outbound) was frequently full so short of standing passengers or additional carriages it would be difficult to dramatically increase the number of passengers on board..

    It is also worth noting that the Tranzmetro service (ie. the regular commuter units) is subsidised by the Greater Wellington Regional Council which in turn means that the Kiwirail running costs are offset – something that doesn’t occur with the Capital Connection and hence the crux of Kiwirail’s argument or objection.

    What ISN’T clear is whether the Capital Connection actually loses money or whether it simply doesn’t make “much” ie. what is the definition of “commercially unviable”? There is a school of thought that would suggest that this is simply a ploy (and one that may be proving successful) to obtain subsidies for the service from the Horizons and Greater Wellington Councils – thereby offsetting the Kiwirail expenses and of course increasing the profitability/viability. Without visibility of the accounts for this particular service that is a hard argument to prove or disprove. If however that is a fact that is substantiated it would suggest an appalling scenario whereby a govt owned entity is using nothing less than bully tactics to extract subsidies from local government…

    As an aside – Iain Lees-Galloway is doing a tremendous job and should be commended. Perhaps he could ask some of the “hard” questions as mentioned above however.

    • cmo 2.1

      Capital Connection lost $759,000 in the 18 months to the end of May. It was actually losing money prior to the new services to Waikanae etc starting in Feb 2011. Passenger numbers have dropped by about 1000 a month since the new services started. It’s a commuter service and should therefore get a subsidy. If there is no congestion problem north of Waikanae as NZTA ceo Geoff Dangerfield has asserted then why does the Wellington Northern Corridor extend to almost Foxton? Riddle me that. While i’m sure KiwiRail is angling for a subsidy to reduce the burden on them the cold reality is if one is not forthcoming then the service will be axed and more people will drive from Palmy/Shannon etc into Wellington. Can’t say I’d want to bus from Palmy every day to Waikanae and then jump on a train, or bus the whole way.

      • thatguynz 2.1.1

        Hey thanks CMO – nice to have some figures to support the claims. Do you have a source for the financials as I’m interested in having a look at them. I’m particularly interested in both the passenger number trend and also whether the construction costs for the Palmerston North yard are included in the profitability assessment.

  3. mouse 3

    I also am a commute on the capital connection…

    I find it appalling that NZTA Subsidize congestion through Otaki, and expect me as a taxpayer to stump up a share of the 251 Million for a bypass of Otaki.

    Retailers in Malls such as Porirua have to provision free car parks for their customers, and the cost of those car parks is included in the goods and services that those retailers sell…

    In Otaki on SH1, those car parks are provisioned “free” by the tax payer (via NZTA) and this is where the competitive advantage of Otaki strip retailers… and the congestion through Otaki is derived.

    NZTA, need to morph from subsidizing the problems, to being part of the solution.

  4. RedLogix 4

    The almost identical trip from Masterton is fully owned and operated by Greater Wellington Regional Council with the assistance of an NZTA subsidy. Some 1100-1200 people per day use the service and the first two evening trips back into the Wairarapa are usually standing room only. It serves the whole community (not just working commuters) in a rather remarkable way with the two return trips mid-morning and afternoon well patronised by the elderly, families and teenagers.

    The Wairarapa regional economy benefits to the tune of at least $70m pa as a direct result of this service. It’s made a significant difference to the area, especially since GWRC upgraded the carriages about seven years ago.

    GWRC and Horizons are both keen to see a similar success story with the Capital Connection; but unlike the Masterton service, the run to Palmerston Nth cuts across the boundary of both councils, and this has created the disconnect NZTA is exploiting.

    This is pure bureaucratic bs and game playing at it’s finest.

    • mouse 4.1

      “pure bureaucratic bs and game playing at it’s finest.” – Indeed.

      Kiwirail should be entitled to a fair share of subsidy dollars that Transmetro enjoy for providing a like service. but the fact is NZTA’s have no funds available to level the playing field.

      It’s all been pre-allocated and is the 18 Billion dollar shortfall in the Transport funding Budget between now and 2030… thanks to the non-existent business cases Roads of National significance programme, it’s being squandered on infrastructure that ensures NZ Inc’s date with Climate Change and Peak Oil is meet at ramming speed.

      NZTA are trying to make the Capital Connection fail, because they want the stagnant traffic volumes that reduce their income from Rego and Fuel Taxes to reverse. NZTA are not above dirty tricks.

      NZTA and their National Party masters don’t give a fuck about the number of drowsy drivers who will die when they are forced in making long commutes by road when the Capital connection is axed.

  5. Lloyd 5

    The Palmerston North rail connection should be from the Palmerston North Airport and the southern end should be Wellington Airport. The PN connection would be simple, but the southern end will need tunnelling and an elevated section along Cobham Drive. When either airport was closed due to bad weather this connection would really pay for itself.

    Such a city pair should have a train at least once an hour each way during much of the day.

    If Japanese tilt-train technology was used these trains on the present gauge could run at scheduled speeds of 140 km/hr.

    Building this will never be cheaper than doing it now.

    Building it now will provide quite a bit more employment than building cycle-tracks in the countryside.

    Building new rail rolling stock in New Zealand would also create employment and improve the New Zealand economy too; but the present government doesn’t seem to understand that. They certainly don’t understand that electric rail has great potential to reduce NZ’s CO2 production.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Welcome for Afghan human rights defenders, Government House Auckland
    As-salamu alaykum, Tena tatou katoa, Thank you all for being here today. To the Afghan human rights defenders and your family members, welcome to Aotearoa. And thank you Your Excellency for hosting us all here at Government House. We have with us today from Afghanistan, human rights advocates, journalists, judges, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech on tax changes for Build-to-Rent sector
    It’s my great pleasure to be able to speak with you about a really positive move for the Build-to-Rent sector. As you know, we announced changes last year to help steer property investors way from the existing pool of housing and toward solving New Zealand’s grave housing shortage - by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tax incentives to boost long-term rental supply
    ·      Tax changes aimed at growing quality, secure rental supply ·      New and existing build-to-rent developments exempt from interest limitation rules in perpetuity, when offering ten-year  tenancies ·      Exemption to apply from 1 October 2021. The Government is encouraging more long-term rental options by giving developers tax incentives for as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt marks 350th tower in push for improved rural connectivity
    The Government has marked another milestone in its push for better rural connectivity, welcoming the delivery of Rural Connectivity Group’s (RCG) 350th tower. Waikato’s Te Ākau, which sits roughly 50 kilometres out of Hamilton is home to the new tower. “The COVID 19 pandemic has highlighted the ever-increasing importance of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Joint Press Release: Trans-Tasman agriculture ministers discuss biosecurity co-operation
    Biosecurity co-operation topped the agenda when Australia and New Zealand’s agriculture ministers met yesterday. Australia’s Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Senator Murray Watt met with his New Zealand counterpart, Damien O’Connor, Minister of Agriculture, Biosecurity, and Rural Communities in a conference call, which had particular focus on foot and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Remote monitoring could give patients better care at home
    People could spend less time in hospital, thanks to a smart new remote device that lets patients be monitored at home, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Technology has the potential to really change the way we do things – to do things that are  better for patients and at the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supporting kids’ learning success
    Concrete steps to clarify inclusive, evidence-informed teaching practices Strengthen capability supports along the professional pathway  Enhance partnerships between the education system and whānau, iwi, communities Embed equitable additional learning supports and assessment tools that help teachers effectively notice and respond to the needs of students Improved student achievement is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supporting prevention, preparedness and response to global pandemics
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to strengthen global prevention, preparedness and responses to future pandemics with seed funding for a new World Bank initiative, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. “We cannot afford to wait until the next pandemic. We must all play our part to support developing countries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Overseas investors converting farms to forests must show benefit to New Zealand
    A law change to ensure that forestry conversions by overseas investors benefit New Zealand has passed its final reading in Parliament. Previously, overseas investors wishing to convert land, such as farm land, into forestry only needed to meet the “special forestry test”. This is a streamlined test, designed to encourage ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • International visitors boosting economic recovery
    International tourism recovery well underway with higher level of overseas visitor arrivals than previously expected UK and US card spend already back at pre-COVID levels Visitors staying in New Zealand longer and spending more compared to 2019 Govt support throughout pandemic helped tourism sector prepare for return of international ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ministry’s inaugural Strategy paves way for ethnic communities
    The Ministry for Ethnic Communities has released its first strategy, setting out the actions it will take over the next few years to achieve better wellbeing outcomes for ethnic communities Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan announced today. “The Strategy that has been released today sets out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • World class aquatic centre opened in Hawke’s Bay
    The Prime Minister has officially opened the Hawke’s Bay Regional Aquatic Centre today saying it is a huge asset to the region and to the country. “This is a world class facility which will be able to host national and international events including the world championships. With a 10-lane Olympic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tulī Takes Flight winners take to the wing
    The Associate Minister of Education, Aupito William Sio, has today announced the recipients of the Tulī Takes Flight scholarships which were a key part of last year’s Dawn Raids apology. The scholarships are a part of the goodwill gesture of reconciliation to mark the apology by the New Zealand Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt supports free period products in over 2000 schools within one year
    96% of estimated menstruating students receive free period products 2085 schools involved 1200 dispensers installed Supports cost of living, combats child poverty, helps increase attendance Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti today hailed the free period products in schools, Ikura | Manaakitia te whare tangata, a huge success, acknowledging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt boosts tourism transformation to strengthen workforce and improve outcomes
    The Tourism Industry Transformation Plan outlines key actions to improve the sector This includes a Tourism and Hospitality Accord to set employment standards Developing cultural competency within the workforce Improving the education and training system for tourism Equipping business owners and operators with better tools and enabling better work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ earns another major digital investment
    Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Google Cloud’s decision to make New Zealand a cloud region. “This is another major vote of confidence for New Zealand’s growing digital sector, and our economic recovery from COVID 19,” David Clark said. “Becoming a cloud region will mean ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Changes to NCEA & University Entrance in response to COVID-19 disruptions
    A package of changes to NCEA and University Entrance announced today recognise the impact COVID-19 has had on senior secondary students’ assessment towards NCEA in 2022, says Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti. “We have heard from schools how significant absences of students and teachers, as a result of COVID-19, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship between Aotearoa New Zealand and Samoa- “Lifelong Fri...
    Te Reo Māori tauparapara… Tapatapa tū ki te Rangi! Ki te Whei-ao! Ki te Ao-mārama Tihei mauri ora! Stand at the edge of the universe! of the spiritual world! of the physical world! It is the breath of creation Formal acknowledgments… [Your Highness Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II and Masiofo] ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New law passed to reduce gun harm
    The Government’s commitment to combatting firearms violence has reached another significant milestone today with the passage of the Firearms Prohibition Order Legislation Bill, Police Minister Chris Hipkins says. The new law helps to reduce firearm-related crime by targeting possession, use, or carriage of firearms by people whose actions and behaviours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister sends condolences as last Battle for Crete veteran passes away
    Minister for Veterans, Hon Meka Whaitiri sends her condolences to the last Battle for Crete veteran. “I am saddened today to learn of the passing of Cyril Henry Robinson known as Brant Robinson, who is believed to be the last surviving New Zealand veteran of the Battle for Crete, Meka ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Three Strikes Legislation Repeal Bill passes third reading
    Legislation to repeal the ‘Three Strikes’ law has passed its third reading in Parliament. “The Three Strikes Legislation Repeal Bill ends an anomaly in New Zealand’s justice system that dictates what sentence judges must hand down irrespective of relevant factors,” Justice Minister Kiri Allan said. “The three strikes law was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government working on preliminary steps to improve support for abuse survivors
    Work is under way on preliminary steps to improve the Government’s support for survivors of abuse in care while a new, independent redress system is designed, Public Service Minister Chris Hipkins says. These steps – recommended by the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry – include rapid payments for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Remarks upon 77th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki Online Forum 77 years ago today, an atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. Three days earlier, on the 6th of August 1945, the same fate had befallen the people of Hiroshima.  Tens of thousands died instantly. In the years that followed 340,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt signs NZ–USA agreement launching new opportunities for space sector
    An agreement signed today between the New Zealand and United States governments will provide new opportunities for our space sector and closer collaboration with NASA, Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash said. Stuart Nash signed the Framework Agreement with United States Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman. The signing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt strengthens emergency management cooperation between NZ and the US
    An agreement signed today between New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the United States’ Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will strengthen global emergency management capability, says Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty. “The Government is committed to continually strengthening our emergency management system, and this Memorandum of Cooperation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to stay at Orange as winter continues
    New Zealand will remain at the Orange traffic light setting, while hospitalisations remain elevated and pressure on the health system continues through winter. “There’s still significant pressure on hospitals from winter illnesses, so our current measures have an ongoing role to play in reducing the number of COVID-19 cases and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Path paved for communities to reshape streets
    Streets will soon be able to be transformed from unsafe and inaccessible corridors to vibrant places for all transport modes thanks to new legislation proposed today, announced Transport Minister Michael Wood. “We need to make it safe, quicker and more attractive for people to walk, ride and take public transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Boost for agricultural and horticultural science in schools
    More young minds eyeing food and fibre careers is the aim of new Government support for agricultural and horticultural science teachers in secondary schools, Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. The Government is committing $1.6 million over five years to the initiative through the Ministry for Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bumper breeding season boosts Kākāpō population
    Kākāpō numbers have increased from 197 to 252 in the 2022 breeding season, and there are now more of the endangered parrots than there have been for almost 50 years, Conservation Minister Poto Williams announced today. The flightless, nocturnal parrot is a taonga of Ngāi Tahu and a species unique ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Relationship with Malaysia to be elevated to Strategic Partnership
    The relationship between Aotearoa New Zealand and Malaysia is to be elevated to the status of a Strategic Partnership, to open up opportunities for greater co-operation and connections in areas like regional security and economic development. Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta met her Malaysian counterpart Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah today during a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Call for New Zealanders to get on-board with rail safety
    With additional trains operating across the network, powered by the Government’s investment in rail, there is need for a renewed focus on rail safety, Transport Minister Michael Wood emphasised at the launch of Rail Safety Week 2022. “Over the last five years the Government has invested significantly to improve level ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Regional approach the focus at ASEAN and East Asia Summit talks
    The Foreign Minister has wrapped up a series of meetings with Indo-Pacific partners in Cambodia which reinforced the need for the region to work collectively to deal with security and economic challenges. Nanaia Mahuta travelled to Phnom Penh for a bilateral meeting between ASEAN foreign ministers and Aotearoa New Zealand, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to the Criminal Bar Association
    Kia ora koutou Firstly, thank you to the President of the Criminal Bar Association, Fiona Guy Kidd QC, for her invitation to attend the annual conference this weekend albeit unfortunately she is unable to attend, I’m grateful to the warm welcome both Chris Wilkinson-Smith (Vice-President, Whanganui) and Adam Simperingham (Vice-President, Gisborne) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • The beat goes on as Government renews support for musicians
    Extension of Aotearoa Touring Programme supporting domestic musicians The Programme has supported more than 1,700 shows and over 250 artists New Zealand Music Commission estimates that around 200,000 Kiwis have been able to attend shows as a result of the programme The Government is hitting a high note, with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Defence to attend Guadalcanal Commemorations in the Solomon Islands
    Minister of Defence Peeni Henare will depart tomorrow for Solomon Islands to attend events commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal. While in Solomon Islands, Minister Henare will also meet with Solomon Islands Minister of National Security, Correctional Services and Police Anthony Veke to continue cooperation on security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New programme to provide insights into regenerative dairy farming 
    The Government is partnering with Ngāi Tahu Farming Limited and Ngāi Tūāhuriri on a whole-farm scale study in North Canterbury to validate the science of regenerative farming, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.   The programme aims to scientifically evaluate the financial, social and environmental differences between regenerative and conventional practices. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More women on public boards than ever before
    52.5% of people on public boards are women Greatest ever percentage of women Improved collection of ethnicity data “Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees is now 52.5 percent, the highest ever level. The facts prove that diverse boards bring a wider range of knowledge, expertise and skill. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Awards support Pacific women
    I am honoured to support the 2022 Women in Governance Awards, celebrating governance leaders, directors, change-makers, and rising stars in the community, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. For the second consecutive year, MPP is proudly sponsoring the Pacific Governance Leader category, recognising Pacific women in governance and presented to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt investment into Whakatāne regeneration reaches new milestones
    Today Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash turned the sod for the new Whakatāne Commercial Boat Harbour, cut the ribbon for the revitalised Whakatāne Wharf, and inspected work underway to develop the old Whakatāne Army Hall into a visitor centre, all of which are part of the $36.8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government determined to get a better deal for consumers
    New Zealanders are not getting a fair deal on some key residential building supplies and while the Government has already driven improvements in the sector, a Commerce Commission review finds that  changes are needed to make it more competitive. “New Zealand is facing the same global cost of living and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago