Greens commit to Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland passenger rail service

Written By: - Date published: 6:15 am, August 18th, 2017 - 54 comments
Categories: election 2017, greens, public transport - Tags: , ,

Green Party press release:

Greens commit to Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland passenger rail service

 Julie-Anne Genter MP on Thursday, August 17, 2017 – 07:48

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government.

The passenger rail service will be based on the concept released today by Greater Auckland. It would run five times a day between Hamilton and Auckland, with one return service to Tauranga daily.

“National has let regional rail services rust away but the Greens in government will restore rail as the backbone of New Zealand’s transport system, for freight and for people,” said Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.

“I expect a lot of people from Hamilton and Tauranga will be attracted by the idea of being able to work and rest while on the train, and avoid Auckland traffic once in the city.

“There’s been a lot of talk about passenger rail to Hamilton. We now have a plan to make this happen in our first term in government.

“The trial will cost $20 million over five years, with the money reprioritised from National’s spending on low value motorways.

“We expect it would take approximately two hours and 15 minutes to travel between Hamilton and Auckland, and three hours and 30 minutes from Tauranga to Auckland.

“If this trial is successful, we’ll look at creating a premium, fast service that would be about an hour quicker. This is estimated to cost around $400 million and could start in 2025,” said Ms Genter.

_______________________________________________________________

Greater Auckland’s Regional Rapid Rail proposal,

Regional Rapid Rail will revitalise the existing rail network using modern technology tilting trains travelling up to 160km/h on upgraded tracks. This will allow for much faster trains, providing quick and reliable journeys that are faster than driving and skip the traffic completely. This revitalised network will stitch together the economy of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga, and extend the benefits of growth and development of the main centres to their nearby towns and villages. This will provide fast and reliable travel options to regular commuters, business travellers, shoppers, students, local visitors and international tourists alike.

However, Regional Rapid Rail isn’t just a scheme for commuter trains on the trunk line. It is an integrated regional economic development plan for the Upper North Island, based on fast and regular intercity train connections between the cities and towns of Auckland, the Waikato and the Bay of Plenty.

The proposal has four pillars for success:

  • Using the right technology to achieve speed and performance affordably
  • Leveraging existing infrastructure
  • Providing a frequent, reliable and regular service for all trip types
  • Integration with land use and development plans

54 comments on “Greens commit to Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland passenger rail service”

  1. BM 1

    Does anybody actually have any numbers on how many people are currently commuting between Hamilton and Auckland or Tauranga and Auckland?

    • dukeofurl 1.1

      They have been looking at cities in the Netherlands in the GA blog and their regional trains

      The central region containing the biggest cities is twice the size of the Auckland region and contains 7 mill people. Lots of fast regional trains there.

      Another city they looked at Nijmegen, that region had 3/4 mill people in the size of the central Waikato( 1000km2)

      • BM 1.1.1

        That doesn’t really answer my question.

        Before the taxpayer forks out 20 million wouldn’t it make sense to see if there is actually a demand for this service?

        • dukeofurl 1.1.1.1

          The short answer is no demand for these services. One GA story featured the bicycle park at the Delft railway station, it had room for 5k bicycles and was packed.
          Delft distance from Rotterdam is equivalent to Henderson- Auckland CBD

          The Greens want us to use bicycles and trains, thats the only way the proposed fast train system will work.
          I would doubt that even 1% of their support would be for that. But who knows what the future holds.

          With those bike paths expanding Im thinking of a second hand bike for the summer time. Even new bikes of a decent standard for maybe occasional use or more often start from $120+ ( self assembly required)

          • BM 1.1.1.1.1

            Right, so after a 2.5hr trip you get off at Onehunga and then cycle to where ever your job is.

            Fantastic, I don’t think three trains are going enough, demands going to be off the charts.

            • weka 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Why wouldn’t they take buses or whatever other public transport is available?

              • DH

                They are a bit kneejerk aren’t they. The UK has fast commuter trains bringing people into London from all over the place. They then walk, ride the tube or bus to their final destination. It’s very practical and heavily used. I was often using it when I was working in London, beat the hell out of driving or taking the bus.

                The key is time. A 2hr 15min train ride is really about a three hour trip and that’s just too long for commuting. Cut that in half, which is very achievable, and it would fly.

                • KJT

                  A lot of people now commute by car from Whangaporoa, Wellsford and One tree point. Both over three hours by car in the rush hour. I am sure they would prefer two hours on a train.

                  • Carolyn_nth

                    Went up to Wellsford yesterday by car. Easy trip up after peak time – 50-55 minutes from Takapuna. Took over an hour getting back – was easy until just before Greville Road around 5pm – then hit traffic entering the motorway, and a big, slow moving tailback from people exiting to the Upper Harbour Highway.

                    People I’ve talked to up in the northern areas, including Dargaville, etc, are not happy with the increase in big trucks on their roads in recent years. They are damaging the roads. Rail freight only goes up north about once or twice a day now.

                    • KJT

                      Used to commute to work Whangarei, Auckland by car once a month.

                      If you hit the wrong time easily three hours from Warkworth to the city.

                      Now go by air. Company requirement. But still can be over an hour airport to city.

                      And the amount of trucks on the road is ridiculous.

                      Timber that was railed ten years ago, to port Whangarei, is now being trucked to Marsden point. At least a threefold increase in trucks.

                    • Carolyn_nth

                      Well, KJT, my trip was to and from Takapuna so missed the extra traffic into the city. The traffic from the north to the city on the motorway is very slow and heavy by the time it reaches the North Shore section of the motorway in morning peak time.

                      I took some photos of the station at Wellsford yesterday – piles of freshly cut logs sitting beside the railway line.

                    • DH

                      “Rail freight only goes up north about once or twice a day now.”

                      I get up North quite often and I’ve yet to see a train in the last two years. I know it’s just timing but it is a bit depressing seeing those rusty tracks with nothing on them.

                  • DH

                    There’s a need to be practical about it. Trains aren’t for every commuter, they need to have stations reasonably close to the start & end points or at least good secondary transport. Auckland is currently a bit deficient in that.

                    A Hamilton train could link up with the existing Auckland suburban train network, it would service a fairly substantial portion of existing commuters but by no means most of them.

                    It’s really a long term thing that would evolve by itself. The upgraded suburban rail system has already resulted in higher density housing, and more jobs around the train stations. A fast rail link to Hamilton would likely slow down Auckland’s urban sprawl and see the likes of Mercer & Huntly grow.

                    • Whispering Kate

                      Well BM I think New Zealanders better get used to using two methods of public transport to get to their destination.

                      I lived and worked in London in the late 1960’s and every single flat I had was a decent bus ride to the tube station to the city and then a hike up the street to my jobs in inner London. The return journey was done the same way. No complaints, no whinges it was just done. This was coming from little ol’ NZ which had bugger all cars on the road back then – people get used to doing things and its going to happen here sooner rather than later. Get over it.

                      We have become a national of spoiled brats wanting to drive themselves everywhere. Well the times are a changin’ and park and rides will become a thing of the past as people commute by public transport to their destinations.

    • You_Fool 1.2

      I would say at the moment it would be very low. However, I would suggest that this would be because the idea of commuting these distances with the current options (drive) is very undesirable. Having a train option will increase the desire, especially with stops in Huntly, Pokeno, etc.. It will also provide an incentive for people to buy outside of Auckland, as there is a long term plan to make it worthwhile, alongside the short-term plan to make it bearable.

      So this is really a case, if you build it they will come.

      What would you prefer? Pay $1mill+ for a shoebox, and have to sit in traffic for 3 hrs minimum, or have a full sized section and house for 1/2 the cost, and travel by train for a bit longer, also knowing that in the not too distant future the train trip will be cut in half at least, if not slightly more.

      • BM 1.2.1

        I agree with what you’re saying Auckland’s running out of affordable space and the only way to get more of that space is to rail link to other areas such as Pokeno and Te Kauwhata.

        Personally, I’d flag the idea for Hamilton at the moment until there’s better secondary public transport in place, 2.5 hours on the train followed by at least another hour by bus to get to your work, no one’s going to be particularly excited about that.

        Thing is any one who lives in Hamilton and commutes to Auckland has got a very well paying job they’re not going to be taking the train and bus, they’ll be in their comfortable late model car.

        Can you get a train that’s more like a large bus? and just run a service from as far as
        Te Kauwhata with one stop at Pokeno, that I reckon would be very popular and really open these areas for growth.

        • RedLogix 1.2.1.1

          One of the few regional rail services that has survived in NZ is the Wairarapa train. No quicker than car, but hugely popular and demand has often exceeded supply for many years now.

          Ditto similar regional rail services here in Victoria.

        • You_Fool 1.2.1.2

          Auckland to Te Kauwhata doesn’t have the same ring, and I doubt it costs that much more to go to Hamilton in stage 1, so why not? To Tauranga is mostly marketing I would think, and also for people wanting to go for a visit (depending on how many people commute between Hamilton and Tauranga).

          This is something that will be big (bigger than the Airport trains) and having something that can start now is a good option.

          Also it is another 15mins by train from Onehunga.

      • popexplosion 1.2.2

        A service to Huntly means NW suburbs have a bus service that connects to Huntly… …this would immediately build patronage. Then a stop at the base would connect to Hamilton orbital buses. Then a feeder service/s first from uni, stopping, e. Hamilton, central, Nawton, to the base. second a train from the Hamilton airport, main station, nawton, base. All grow house prices and take cars off the roads. But Huntly should be the first service, a fast service, few stops into Auckland central, then the slower services that stop along the way. It’s about hitting the major bus and pop. hubs to link up the services first. Then onto Cambridge… …this idea of Tiranga completely misses the whole point if network, sew up the main population points closest to Auckland.

    • 2000+

      The number of Hamilton commuters increased by 1164 and the number of Pukekohe commuters increased by 1503 – totaling 1995 Hamilton travellers and 6909 Pukekohe travellers.

      • You_Fool 1.3.1

        Draco’s link had a guy talking about 3hr round trip commute, at approx $40 per day, and the article was from a year ago, imagine the congestion from the south nowadays!.

        Stage 1 Train will be similar time and cheaper, and will become quicker, whilst the car commute will only become worse.

  2. Nick 2

    What an excellent forward thinking idea. Nice to see parties with vision, instead of the idiots currently in charge.

  3. Carolyn_nth 3

    Great policy. We need a renewed railway system. Great to inlcude Tauranga not just Hamilton-Auckland.

    We also need to return to passenger rail and improved freight rail system from Auckland to the north – at least as far as Whangarei.

    • You_Fool 3.1

      The full plan includes most of Waikato and the Bay of Plenty, including a service to Rotorua. Potential for taking the train for tourists/holidays from Auckland (airport) to Rotorua or the snow fields in only a few hours.

    • Ed1 3.2

      The Auckland / Hamilton / Tauranga triangle is important for freight as well – it gives options for port development, but also enables more efficient distribution and transport to markets from a larger region. That suggests high speed lines may be justified by both passenger and freight for the three sides of the triangle. From memory there was publicity about a project led by Labout pre-2008 that covered this. With propoerty prices as they are, using cheaper land (and hopefully not prime agricultural land or affecting tourism) in the regions for businesses will also develop those regions and give a more flexible workforce with greater job opportunities for youth, and also contribute to energy efficiency and global warming targets. As is covered elsewhere the business cases are not simple. Freight requires good transfer arrangements at transfer hubs – and use of more flexible container options for fast transfer from rail to trucks – they also need to be planned at the same time.

      After the closed minds and entrist control of National, it is good to see that discussions are starting on desirable options for medium to long term development.

  4. Andre 4

    I can’t shake the nagging feeling that the results of the trial of extending the Auckland commuter rail service to Helensville in the late noughties will repeat for this proposal.

    Hopefully things have changed enough since then that I’m wrong.

    • Carolyn_nth 4.1

      The Hellensville rail service closed because it wasn’t considered cost effective. The population of Helensville was not considered big enough. That was short sighted, and shows how little consideration is given to the northern regions.

      I don’t think they trial it long enough. It also should have been extended north of Helensville, at least to Wellsford, but, in the long term to Whangarei.

      Apparently the Labour Party has included light rail to Kumeu in its latest policy according to The Spin-off. So that is an acknowledgement that the population to the north-west is growing and in need of further public transport.

      But, I think light rail to Kumeu is also short sighted. Long term, it’s Kiwirail to Whangarei for passengers, and more freight, that needs re-developing, and lighttrail to Kumeu could maybe slow that down.

      • You_Fool 4.1.1

        GA looked at northern rail as well, but to be effective it needs a heavy train line through the north shore, as well as severe upgrading of the track. Also, there isn’t the same population centres north as i the waikato and Western bay of plenty.

        I think there is a thought to looking to have a tourist train to the Bay of Islands

        • dukeofurl 4.1.1.1

          The bus way is proposed to go to light rail at some stage and still share with buses
          . No heavy rail for North Shore

  5. DH 5

    I like the idea but wonder at their strategy. There’s a recognition that people want fast trains but the trial will be with slow trains. A conclusion is that patronage on slow trains, aka the trial, will be low. If the trial shows there’s little or no demand they’ll find it hard to get the ok for fast trains.

    NZ has long had this catch-22 with passenger rail and the road & trucking lobby has fed off it for decades. IMO there’s a need to acknowledge up front that the demand is for fast passenger rail and to always separate it from ‘rail’.

    • You_Fool 5.1

      The “trial” is not really that, or at least as part of the GA proposal. It is more a way to get things started now whilst working on the real deal. You use it as a trial, so that if you get say 25% capacity with 2 trains at 80km/hr, you could expect at least 50% capacity at 160 km/hr, probably more if the relationship was exponential; and then pop growth x2 demand from there.

      • DH 5.1.1

        You say it’s not a trial and then you say it is a trial

        I’d hate to see them make the same mistake as those who’ve tried before. It’s not an exponential thing. A train that’s substantially slower, no cheaper and no more convenient, than other forms of commuting won’t get any commuters on it. Why would anyone use it, you’d need to be a masochist.

        Those who’d use the ‘trial’ are, with not many exceptions, different users to those who’d use a commuter train.

        • You_Fool 5.1.1.1

          I am pretty sure GA has thought about this a lot (there is a full report to go read if you want) and are aware of past failures. That is why this is and is not a trail.

          It is a trial, as it can be used to show some interest, even if it is low that can be increased by increasing the speed of the train (stage 2 &3).

          it is not a trial as stage 2 is not really dependent on the success of stage 1, i.e. Stage 1 (the ‘trial’) is really just a chance to run the service whilst they get ready for stage 2.

          • DH 5.1.1.1.1

            I hope they have it covered, rail has some powerful enemies and any plan for rail needs to include a strategy to prempt them. They will attack it.

    • Yep. Would be better to bite the bullet and go for fast rail straight out. That’s going to be some major work though so as to bring the tracks up to standard to handle 150km/h speeds or better.

      Still, it’s going to have to be double tracked eventually so maybe not too much more work involved did both at the same time.

      • dukeofurl 5.2.1

        Double tracked now from Auckland to Hamilton , except for a small section in the swamp just north Te Kauwhata

  6. Ad 6

    A bad case of ego-driven overreach from the Greater Auckland authors after having their light rail plans adopted last Saturday.

    In much of the country rail is close to death. Passenger rail only survives in two cities, plus a few tourist trains.

    Greater Auckland need to inhale and hold it for a bit.

    • KJT 6.1

      Another idealogical Ad burp, from the dark ages

    • You_Fool 6.2

      Rail is near death because it has been left to die. With investment so we have a modern rail system it could be revived.

      Just think about an approx. 1hr commute from Hamilton, or about 2hrs from Tauranga. Do you really think that some people might not take that option up? Or the service might not be used by tourists/holiday makers wanting to see the Bay of Plenty, Rotorua or the central mountains?

      • s y d 6.2.1

        I’m in agreement with Ad – it’s both futuristically fanciful and nostalgic at the same time.

        The notion that it is somehow OK to live hundreds of kilometres from where you work, that we can move at will, at high speed is an idea that will become obsolete.

        We’ve got to stop thinking like cargo cultists.
        We can’t afford to keep throwing large resources at projects that match our prejudices, be it planes, trains or automobiles

        • Ad 6.2.1.1

          Labour has already racked about $4b on its current transport promises.

          The country is already shelling $3.5b on just 3.5kms of heavy rail with Ak CRL.

          Inhaling is useful.
          Even in a campaign.

          • You_Fool 6.2.1.1.1

            Note that GA are not a political party, they are just coming up with actual workable plans that provide benefits. The Greens have jumped on it because it is a good idea, and has a better cost-benefit than say he E-W link in Auckland. It is also forward thinking, saying this is something that we need to have in place in 10 years time; so why wait 10 years then take a further 10 years to develop. Start now and have it fully ready once it is needed.

            • Ad 6.2.1.1.1.1

              It would be more useful for Hamilton and Tauranga to grow their own economies and obviate this transport need.

              Has any Council or mayor commented favourably on this?

              • In the future there’s unlikely to be air travel between cities and yet that travel, especially between Auckland and Wellington, is still going to be needed. Hamilton is a logical stop between them.

                Basically, we need to build up this network now and it needs to be high speed. And we know that the high speed trains work as they’re great in Europe.

        • You_Fool 6.2.1.2

          No matter what, in the near future people will still need to move around, trains do this better than cars. We will also need to move large volumes of stuff, which trains also do well. The area this covers is an important area for doing both these things, and will continue to be so for the mid-term.

  7. Enough is Enough 7

    Rapid rail is fantastic idea.

    This interim measure is just silly though and will result in the whole thing being canned.

    The service must be something that is quicker and easier than driving. Many Hamilton workers commute to Auckland for meetings, presentations, seminars etc. The Waikato express way is rammed. The trip ordinarily take 1.5 hours, and 2.5 hours during peak times.

    If the train takes more than 2 hours, then the car will remain the more attractive transport option. Especially as you get to where you need to be rather than Britomart.

    The trial will fail for that reason.

    We need to be bolder and invest in rapid rail. A train that leaves at least every hour from 6am and gets you between the cities in 1.5 hours. That would be a winner and clear the expressway

    • Rapid rail is fantastic idea.

      This interim measure is just silly though and will result in the whole thing being canned.

      Pretty much. They need to go high speed and dual tracked from the get go.

  8. Craig H 8

    You can’t trial these things – people need certainty because commuting from Hamilton to Auckland requires some commitment in housing and employment. It needs to run for at least 10 years to make those sorts of decisions viable.

    That said, I’m in favour of the concept, so they should just say they are going to do the fast rail as soon as possible.

  9. Fred H 9

    My god there is a massive disconnect between some of the commenters/concern trolls and reality in this blog. Firstly, people commute from Hamilton to Auckland because THEY CAN’T AFFORD A BLOODY HOUSE OR THE RENT THERE, and there are more jobs there too. Secondly, people drive from Hamilton to Auckland to catch international flights, they can’t afford parking, and the intention would be to catch a dedicated airport bus from Otahuhu. Thirdly, I know of four people in my social circle who make this commute and don’t have high paying jobs or late model cars as Mike Hosking claimed above, most leave around 5am in the morning or earlier. Fourthly, 2:15hrs is reliable because it’s not on the road, traffic jams in peak are not. Fifthly, people can read, work, sleep in the train, this happens presently in cars but it unfortunately causes a spike in the road toll. I guess the regions must be hard to see from some ivory towers…

    • Ad 9.1

      And yet Waikato Regional Council and Hamilton and Tauranga Councils consistently complain but offer no money to do it.

      There’s almost zero political pressure on them for this.

  10. Fred H 10

    Political pressure is only effective if it’s going to cost votes for the incumbents, for example National dragging its heels over the CRL in Auckland. There has been constant demand for this service from the Waikato, including Labour, NZ First, and Green MPs/candidates, and councilors at the last two elections. But it has been ignored by the current govt due to the promotion of their $2.5 billion expressway project, and the fact that they’re ideologically opposed to investing in rail even though it would complement the expressway rather than compete with it while costing a fraction by comparison.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/3526540/Train-petition-off-to-capital
    https://tron.org.nz/

  11. greywarshark 12

    For people with an interest in planning from your armchairs.

    I hope this includes in the first stage, the rail to the airport. And there seem to be offshoots to this line going across South Auckland.
    https://at.govt.nz/projects-roadworks/airport-and-mangere-rail/
    this is diagram of auckland rail:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Auckland_railway_stations#/media/File:AucklandRailMap.png
    https://thespinoff.co.nz/auckland/10-04-2017/this-vision-of-aucklands-transport-future-is-a-thing-of-beauty/

    Oldnews – hold your breath for 30 years?
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11824942

    Rail to airport would take important steps in aiding Auckland’s business and tourism. Also the airport in Auckland seems to be getting increasing amounts of fog. Perhaps the rail to Tauranga could also take some of the strain off the airlines and travelling public by being shunted off to Tauranga. Being on the other coast it may have a better climate with less days of fog.

    And for Tauranga airport situation:
    2003:https://www.smartgrowthbop.org.nz/media/1372/z13-bay-of-plenty-regional-airport-requirements-2002.pdf
    Other facts about Tauranga also Whangarei – both regional airports:
    http://www.wdc.govt.nz/TrafficandTransport/PublicTransport/Airport/Documents/Whangarei-Airport-Onerahi-Assessment-Part-2.pdf
    (from Google summary – .. Tauranga ….. termed Category 3, can enable jets to landing in fog in visibilities down to 100m.)

    For planes in fog this is a good link from the pilots eyrie.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travel-truths/watch-what-its-like-landing-a-plane-in-thick-fog/
    http://nats.aero/blog/2013/09/why-is-my-flight-delayed-in-the-fog/

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    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    2 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    3 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    3 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    4 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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