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It’s time for Auckland to work

Written By: - Date published: 8:44 am, March 12th, 2020 - 12 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, economy, Economy, local government, phil twyford, uncategorized - Tags:

2020 will now be the year that New Zealand will now rely on Auckland to get its shit together.

Auckland has done it before when it took most of the hosting for the 2010 Rugby World Cup. There, it helped pull the Auckland region economy out of a massive recession following the GFC.

When we’ve previously had a big drought hit the economy, the tourism sector has been there to shine. Now, with a sharemarket collapse, commodity dive, and a tourism collapse hitting simultaneously, two big areas of our economy have taken a hit together.

The government is assuring us that they will support the businesses who are hit the hardest – we are after all nothing if not a well subsidised form of capitalism here. There’s good reasons for that.

So now New Zealand has to rely on its one remaining economic tentpole getting itself together enough to prop up the economy. Auckland politicians have skited often enough that it’s over a third of the population and of the economy.

Now’s the time, Auckland.

2021 was going to be the Big Reveal for New Zealand: Auckland would take off its wrapping, dust itself off and show itself as having opened up its streets for people to engage directly with its wonderful harbour.

Next year we are to have the Americas Cup, the APEC leaders meeting, and all kinds of smaller events such as the men’s Softball World Cup, the Te Matatini kapa haka champs, and the Women’s World Cricket Cup. As Minister Phil Twyford noted in Idealog magazine last year:

The variety of events we’re hosting in 2021 showcases many different elements of Auckland and New Zealand on the world stage as a place to visit, study and invest. They tell a story about our people, our inclusivity, our determination and innovation – all of these things further enhance Auckland’s reputation as an international city.”

You get more in that vein here from last week.

All of those things still hold true. Except now they have to work.

The construction activity occurring in Auckland infrastructure is like nothing we have ever seen before. It extends from Ports of Auckland to the Harbour Bridge east to west, and from Mt Eden rail station to lower Queen Street north to south. Billions and billions of public money.

The tens of thousands of works and residents who have put up with this disruption for years, now find that their restaurants have gone out of business and their hotels have reported business drops of 60% or more. And this hasn’t even really started.

It’s time for Auckland to take the load.

12 comments on “It’s time for Auckland to work”

  1. AB 1

    Maybe the opposite should happen  – maybe it's time for Auckland to stop working? The pandemic may infect 60% of the world's population (4Bn people) and kill 50-60 million. It is not merely a 'heavy flu' as I've seen it described. The virus appears to particularly attack the respiratory system leaving it vulnerable to a 'novel' follow-up pneumonia that does not respond as expected to antibiotics or ventilation.

    To minimise the effect here and gain time until a viable vaccine is developed, how about some creative panic, rather than the usual weak managerialism and terror of offending 'business'? All non-essential work should stop and people should stay home and mix only in small groups. Everything not involved in the production and distribution of food, infrastructure (power, water, sewage, etc.) and health services can stop for a year. The government should create new money and drop it into people's bank accounts so they can pay for food and services despite not working. Rent increases and mortgage foreclosures should be illegal during the emergency period.

    On the plus side – as a large number of jobs are bullshit jobs anyway, it will do no harm to people to be free of them for 12 months and live modest lives free of economic and other unnecessary stress. And also on the plus side – it could be excellent preparation for a 3-4 degree warmer world where tourism, travel and a lot of international trade have collapsed permanently. 

  2. theotherpat 2

    and all these showcase events will go ahead with corona virus?

    • tc 2.1

      Good point, Olympics could be deferred or go ahead with many missing, euro 2020 likely delayed as Italy's suspended all sport so comp's can't finish in time etc etc

      Then there's china's manufacturing and wait till it hits India which is a huge Pharma manufacturer with a health system that will struggle to cope.

      early days as CV-19 is yet to peak globally.

  3. Sabine 3

    Well i hope that our government has more tools in its bag then just 'lets hope that Auckland works', as frankly if we have a serious outbreak here, Auckland might be the worst infected, followed by all other larger towns. 

    And yeah, if no one is to go outdoors to meet with people non of these events will do anything, as no one will be going there. 

  4. Sabine 4

    I would also just state that as of now, incoming travellers to AKL airport are not screened. They just walk of their plane, have you got a cough? have you got fever? no? off you go then. 

    a customer of mine just came back from OZ where he went on a cruise and he marvelled as how little time it took to get of the plane and into the car to travel back home to his retirement village. 

    We should all feel so much better now. 

    • In Vino 4.1

      What do you expect to be done, Sabine?

      People can be infected and infectious for up to 13 days without having any symptoms at all.  So what use are the questions you want asked?

      The tests are expensive: testing everybody is out of the question.

      We have been lucky so far – but this virus will eventually spread here as it will everywhere else because it is a bit like the flu: pretty well unstoppable.

  5. My partner speculated today … what if COVID 19 took out Biden, Sanders and Trump, and left Tulsi the only one standing?  devil

    • Andre 5.1

      Pence. If Pence got taken down at the same time as IMPOTUS, then Pelosi.

      The other Dem candidates have mostly suspended their campaigns, not ended them. So the first round of voting at the convention would end with no majority, and the horse trading would begin for the second and later rounds. Tulsi's two delegates wouldn't likely give her much influence.

      And if push comes to shove, both the Repug and Dem parties are laws unto themselves. There is no law or regulation requiring them to involve the public in candidate selection, they have the ability to choose their candidates however they want. In smoky closed-door backrooms if they want to. The only real reason to involve the public in candidate selection is to help build support for that candidate for the general election.

  6. Muttonbird 6

    What a bizarre post. It seems to be based on a quote from Phil Twyford about, apart from America's Cup and APEC, some very small events in 2021.

    The idea that Auckland will be a finished product by then is fanciful. The CRL is years away and access to the "wonderful harbour" (it's actually a shitty shallow harbour full of silt if you must know) is blocked by a 1000 car importers parking lot right in the meat of the city. This parking lot won’t be going anywhere until POAL are forcibly neutered.

    Where on earth did the idea that 2021 was a big reveal for Auckland come from? Auckland is pre-adolescent at best right now.

    Auckland is a gateway to the rest of NZ in the way that Sydney and Melbourne are not. They are destinations on their own. Auckland is a student version of those, our close competitors.

  7. Climaction 7

    Light rail down dominion road as promised by the end of 2020 might have got auckland working. 

  8. What a rubbish mainlander screed. Auckland has long pulled its weight far more than any other region of New Zealand. We pay more in taxes than anyone else and get the least back.

    Don't know how a bunch of waterfront developments funded by China, built by Chinese corporations, using cheap labour from the Philippines, and intended for the wealthy Chinese immigrant market, is going to benefit New Zealand.

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