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Labour overshadows Key with Auckland transport policy

Written By: - Date published: 12:19 pm, October 30th, 2011 - 130 comments
Categories: election 2011, labour, public transport, transport - Tags:

Labour has just over-shadowed Key’s big smile and wave show today – where he is expected to reannounce spending – with another big policy. Labour will cancel National’s Holiday Highway. With the money saved, they will make the existing road safe, and go 50-50 with the Auckland council to fund the CBD rail-loop and get Auckland moving sustainably.

It shows a real difference between National and Labour’s vision of the future. National sees perpetual sprawl on the 1950s roading model. Labour wants a modern, sustainable transport network.

And it’ll be a hit with Aucklanders, who prefer the rail-loop over the holiday highway 63% vs 25%.

130 comments on “Labour overshadows Key with Auckland transport policy ”

  1. Zaphod Beeblebrox 1

    Len Brown benefitted greatly from the free kick handed to him by Steven Joyce. Looks like Goff can’t resist the temptation either.

    Seriously, Labour is doing a great job at controlling the agenda. Nats will have to do a lot of bene- bashing and produce a lot of little old ladies scared of crime to rest it back

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Railways and public transport rocks, this policy is both a votes and a jobs winner for Auckland.

  3. sdm 3

    I sure dont want any of my rates dollars going towards a tunnel that most ratepayers will never use.

    Lets have a ratepayer referendum – ie, those of us who foot the bloody bill.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 3.1

      Where were you during last years election? The CBD loop was the main issue.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      Referendum on Auckland city rail already held.

      Len Brown won.

      • sdm 3.2.1

        He won on the back of those who arent ratepayers.

        The logic is this “If you vote for me, I will get you this, and I will make the property owners pay for it”. If you vote left, normally, you are agreeing to pay more in tax. Local body is different, you force the cost on to others.

        Lets get rid of rates from property. Make it on income. Make it a universal payment (say: $1000 an adult in Auckland). But no, most of Lens supporters dont have to foot the bill.

        (sick of paying thousands for crap I dont want or need by way of rates)

        • Colonial Viper

          Oh so you want to go back to the 18th century then do you?

          Only property owners get to vote in our democracy?

          Prefereably only WHITE property owners, just like the old days?

        • lprent

          Please don’t be such a stupid dork.

          As a property owner in auckland, my tenant pays for the rates in their rent. Just as my rental pays my rates for my landlord. The majority of services and costs that the council provides are for the resident. They pay it through their rent.

          Next you’ll be saying that landlords should pay for other utilities providing a service like power, water, sewerage, and telecoms

          • sdm

            Why are we basing the rating contribution on property values? Why not a flat fee everyone pays? Why not a .5% tax or whatever……..

            • Draco T Bastard

              I agree but there needs to be two points to it:
              1.) A 1% or 2% income tax that goes to the council of your residential address
              2.) A land tax on a square meter rate

              This has three benefits:
              1.) Everyone would be able to afford their rates
              2.) Massively increases the ratings base making rates cheaper at the individual level
              3.) Encourages more efficient use of the land

        • NickS


          Even if you’re renting you’re still paying rates, as the cost of them is included in teh fucking rent, all the landlords do is collect and send them on to the council. So yeah, you’re full of fucking shit.

          As for not needing stuff, well, I’m sorry your a selfish fuckwit, but all those things invariably rise the standard of living within a city and in the case of public transport, help to lower congestion and increase air quality.

          • sdm

            Obviously a child who calls names. Perhaps you should seek some help for your aggression and anger issues

            • NickS

              Awww, how I so don’t love tone trolling.

              Especially when used as an excuse to ignore counter arguments.

              • sdm

                Given that you fail to acknowledge that most rentals make a loss, and therefore require a top up, and then you go on to show yourself to have a few issues, I chose not to waste my time on you

                • Do you mean SDM that thousands of landlords own properties out of the goodness of their hearts and subsidise the cost of rental so that the poor can live somewhere and there is no expectation of profit on the part of the landlords?
                  We truely live in a socialist nirvana.

                  • sdm

                    Lets be really honest – you want a train set, and you want others to pay for it. Just be honest

                    • Lets be realistic.  We live in a big city and if the city is going to thrive then Government has to make sure the infrastructure is in place.
                      Your analysis is exceedingly selfish.  You may never catch a train but the city will function better if the train system works properly.
                      Do you think that the people of London, New York, Paris, Sydney, Melbourne, Beijing, Munich, Rome … are also being stupid?

                    • sdm

                      Mickey – those cities have more people and higher density levels. Apples and Oranges

                • NickS

                  Aww snookums, maybe you should raise the rent then to cover costs? Instead of stupidly running your properties at a loss.

                  Also, you didn’t mention that at all in the post I was replying to, thus making the above a poor attempt to shift teh fucking goalposts away from the fact renters still pay rates, which induces a rather fatal flaw in your argument.

                  • sdm

                    So you advocate a system where Rent is more expensive than mortgage payments.

                    • NickS


                      Rent101fail detected.

                      The entire point of a rental property is to make money, of which rent is the main means of and should cover not only mortgage costs and rates, along with maintenance, but also provide a slight profit. Of course, some have fallen into the braindead concept of investment properties whereby you sell the property for a profit, which ignores the rather real risk of credit crunches and capital depreciation that can occur when bubbles collapse or the economy tanks. And so are only ever profitable on short time scales.

                      So yeah, from my perspective running on cost/benefit based on the long term, it makes far more sense to have the rent set at a price that will fully service the mortgage and take care of the other costs such as rates and maintenance that the landlord is liable for. Rather than to purposely run it at a loss. And if the rent isn’t sustainable, that’s your own damn fault for paying too much for the property in the first place, instead of putting your money into other investment opportunities.

                    • sdm

                      Well its actually got more to do with the fact that property price increases have not been matched by rent increases. So the yield has dropped.

                      But you still dont address why property value should be the basis of local governments income?

        • millsy

          So sdm, you think that libaries, pools and parks should be shut down then?

          • sdm

            No I dont. I appreciate that the council has services to provide, and therefore needs to raise revenue. Its how they raise it that bugs me

        • Vicky32

          He won on the back of those who arent ratepayers.

          You know that how?

          • Ari

            I assume he’s talking about tenants, which is pretty ridiculous given that tenants pay enough in rent to cover rates, mortgages, etc… with a profit left over, and should be regarded as indirect ratepayers.

            • sdm

              Nonsense – most rentals run at a loss. Mortgage costs exceed rent costs

              • Colonial Viper

                Hahahahahahahahahha do you think we haven’t heard of LAQCs?

                Yes investors all rushed into property the last 10 years in order to make ‘a loss’. Often times that was the point!

                • sdm

                  And to profit from a capital gain. So?

                  All I am saying is take rates off property.

                  • chris

                    You make no sense. None.

                    Everyone pays rates, consumers who shop at stores have those passed on in the cost of the goods, renters, owners, everyone pays rates.

                    How do you not get that?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    All I am saying is a flat central govt land tax incurred by all property.

        • ianmac

          There are several roads near me that I don’t ever drive down. sdm can opt out of paying rates for the part that he doesn’t want. Me too????

      • higherstandard 3.2.2

        Fuck all Aucklanders voted in the last council elections – in two years time Brown will be voted out in a landslide as the North and East of Auckland send the stupid fucker packing.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox

          Didn’t we have the highest local government turnout in years. 65-70% I believe.

          • higherstandard

            Try 50% turnout.

            • Colonial Viper

              White upper middle class types from the North Shore who refused to support Banks and stayed at home on polling day voted with their feet.

        • Anthony

          Central/West/South will probably have something to say about that.

        • Akldnut

          Fuck all Aucklanders voted in the last council elections – in two years time Brown will be voted out in a landslide as the North and East of Auckland send the stupid fucker packing.

          Fuck all New Zealanders voted in the last elections – in 26 days time Key will be voted out in a landslide as the majority of Kiwis send the stupid fucker packing

          There fixed it for ya.

    • Bill 3.3

      Gee sdm, your not suggesting that people affected by a decision (workers, suppliers of materials, end users/consumers, communities etc) should have more of an input into that decision than others who it will have a lesser effect on? And maybe, further, if I can extrapolate, that those who are unaffected should not have a say?

      Because if that is what you’re suggesting, then it’s necessary to take the next step and identify those things that present themselves as a block to such an empowering way to go about stuff and figure out a way to neutralise or nullify their influence.

      thinking ‘market’, thinking ‘bureaucracy’, thinking ‘representative governance’…

    • What about the holiday highway?  You might use that twice a year if you are lucky.  And the tunnel could be used hundreds of times a year AND it will also significantly reduce traffic congestions.

      This really is a no brainer. 

      • sdm 3.4.1

        Toll the holiday highway.

        The tunnel will do nothing.. Very few aucklanders work in the CBD

        • Vicky32

          Very few aucklanders work in the CBD

          Lolwut? I do, and I assure you that buses and trains to the CBD are always crowded with those who do – and weaving in and out of the traffic comprising those who drive to work in the CBD! Do you ever go there?

          • Colonial Viper

            sdm is a moron. He probably doesn’t think anyone was downtown for the RWC either.

            • sdm

              So we need to build a billion dollar transport link for a once in 30 year event. Gosh you love using other peoples money dont you

              • Colonial Viper

                lol man “Using other peoples money for a once in a 30 year event” is exactly what Councils and the Government did!!!


          • The Voice of Reason

            From the wikipedia page on the Ak CBD:
            “The CBD is also the largest employment centre in New Zealand, with around 65,000 jobs, representing 13% of the regional workforce, and 25% of the Auckland City workforce. Around 73,000 people enter the CBD every morning between 7 am and 9 am, 60% of these by car,[2] while the total ‘turnover’ is around 270,000 people per day.”
            Facts are so inconvenient, eh, SDM.

            • sdm

              Many of whom are travelling through spaghetti junction. Look we have plenty of small business districts – East Tamaki, Penrose, Onehunga, Albany, Henderson. We are a spread out city. That was my point.

              People live in a suburb and often commute to another to work.

              • Colonial Viper

                No you’re point is lost and you need to read.

                It says that the CBD itself is the largest employment centre, not Spaghetti Junction.

                You’re a moron.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I’ll put this very simply:

          It would be cheaper to have free public transport throughout the city paid for through rates than it is to run all the cars. Basically, rates would go up but it would be less than what it costs to run your car. And, to make it even cheaper, have it so that the service is council owned and operated rather than private with massive council subsidies as it is now.

          • Colonial Viper

            However, what is really needed is a system where people don’t need cars at all, not just for the trip to and from work. That’s where the real private savings come in, the ability to save on the insurance, rego, WOFs, vehicle depreciation and petrol. Thousands per year of costs saved. Replace it with a $120/mth ‘all you can eat’ public transport pass. (Which is less than a single tank of petrol).

            • Draco T Bastard

              Why charge?

            • Carol

              At the moment I can’t drive, and I don’t spend anywhere near $120 per month on public transport. I have a small car, and when I drove, a tank of petrol would last several weeks.

              • lprent

                A tank (about $100) currently lasts me between 4 and 6 weeks.

                But it is about to start lasting longer because I’m heading back on the buses so I get the nice walk in the morning and evening to and from the bus. It will also stop me being thorny to the other road users.. All I have to do is to find somewhere that can take the money off my old rider card and put it on a new card since they’ve changed the damn thing. I’d dropped a couple of months worth of busfare on it when I got dumped into hospital.

                Of course I could just walk to and from work, it is less than 4 kilometres away down a hill. The hill is college hill. Good exercise, but a bit of a pain in the rain. Much easier with the buses doing the uphill and I’ll do 3kms on the flat to the bus each day.

            • sdm

              Whats needed is for the lefties to stop trying to control behaviour.

              • Colonial Viper

                Oh and let corporate free markets and commercial marketing control behaviour instead? Silly you.

        • Akldnut

          hahahaha SDM Very few aucklanders work in the CBD

        • Blighty

          far more Aucklanders work and live in the CBD than work or live in Wellsford

          • sdm

            Its not a CBD like London or Paris.

            • Colonial Viper

              That’s right, in order to be a world class CBD like London or Paris, it would require a top class train system serving it, just like London or Paris.

        • Deadly_NZ

          So why do I see on the news EVERY morning?? MASSIVE traffic jams on the way into AK so if they don’t work in the CBD where do they work??????

  4. Zaphod Beeblebrox 4

    Thats right- can’t we just sell all our assets to fund more tax cuts. Considering we are selling more of our power companies, Air NZ and all sorts of other things to find more tax cuts why not expect Auckland Council to do the same thing. Elections- who needs them?

  5. Anthony 5

    I suppose the only speed bump will be expecting voters to vote logically and in their best interests, cult of Key though losing it’s gloss it still pretty strong.

    This election could go down as one of the great missed opportunities/wrong turns of our history.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      If Key does win I believe that he will become a very highly unpoular PM within 6 months of November.

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    ’50-50 with the Auckland council to fund the CBD rail-loop and get Auckland moving sustainably.’

    Oops! There’s that word again, being used incorrectly, as is the norm thse days for politicians and political commentators.

    Nothing in the present industrialised system is by any stretch of the imagination sustainable, though some aspects are less unsustainable than others.

    Rail does provide the potential for greater efficiency in the use of energy in the last years of industrial empire ….. that’s if it is not already too late, what with the global finacial meltdown and all that.

    Let’s be generaous and not count the massive CO2 emissions relating to the infrastructure needed to extend the rail system and get it working properly, nor the fossil fuel energy that will be needed to provide the additional electricity needed to run it all.

    Keep the delusions coming, Aucklanders thrive on them.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Embody the energy now mate, in useful stuff, before it does become too late.

    • Jenny 6.2

      In New Zealand where electricity is powered 75% by renewables (hydro and geo-thermal) there is a good chance that this piece of transport infrastructure at least would continue after all the $billions currently being wasted on motorways looks like a sad joke.

  7. Afewknowthetruth 7

    PS. If you want TRULY sustainable transport you are going to have to consider walking and sailing ships, though cycling will arguably be reasonably sustainable as long as tyres, inner tubes and brake pads are still available…….. possibly through till 2030, depending on how quickly global oil extraction declines and how quickly abrupt climate change ‘hammers’ civilisation..

    • Jenny 7.1

      I once saw in a museum, a bicycle with tyres made from bamboo formed into a hoop.

      Made during the 40’s when the war effort took all the rubber. (Rubber at that time was made with natural latex from trees not oil).

      The human propensity for ingenuity tied to infrastructural planning now, could make the outcomes far more different.

      All that is missing is the political will.

    • Dan 7.2

      Actually this one area in which synthetic fuels may help, as it is possible to develop crops for particular yields. Something else will come along. 

      • Ari 7.2.1

        Especially once oil actually starts getting expensive enough that people put more money into vegetable-based substitutes for its byproducts.

        • ianmac

          During the WW11 years of little petrol, my clever dad built a pair of tanks to bolt onto the rear bumper of our 1936 model car. He lit a coal fire in the first tank, collected the gas into a second tank then after getting the car started on petrol switched over to the gas producer. Now that was initiative. And it worked!

          • Colonial Viper

            Yep awesome. There is some great (and very under-recognised) wood gasification expertise in this country as well.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      Well, the loop will be electric and so is sustainable as we can maintain renewable generation. The only real problem is that it’s going to be under water in a few decades due to global climate change.

      • Vicky32 7.3.1

        The only real problem is that it’s going to be under water in a few decades due to global climate change.

        😀 😀 😀
        Or, were you serious? Sorry, I snorted there… that’s simply absurd! If you really believe that, I am sorry for you. 
        That kind of over-reacting chicken little statement is one of the reason why I and others are sceptical about climate change. I think it’s connected with a hidden desire that secular people have, for sin/apocalyptic concepts they don’t presently have. Many advocates of veganism strike me that way.)

        • Colonial Viper

          Sea level rise in 20-30 years is not going to be a big deal. 100 years: completely different story.

          We have big hurdles to get over before that, anyways.

        • Draco T Bastard

          That kind of over-reacting chicken little statement is one of the reason why I and others are sceptical about climate change.

          And here’s me thinking that it was just because you were stupid and ignorant. This is reinforced by you constantly making stupid and ignorant comments.

          BTW, have a look at where the loop is going to be built – it’s below sea level to start with. Same as with the subway in Manhattan which has to pump out hundreds of thousands of litres of seawater everyday. As sea level rises the water flooding into the tunnels will increase until, at some point, the pumps will no longer be able to cope.

          • Vicky32

            And here’s me thinking that it was just because you were stupid and ignorant. This is reinforced by you constantly making stupid and ignorant comments.

            What a deeply unpleasant little git you are! Insults are a really great way to persuade others that your belief system is correct – NOT!!!!!
            It is a belief system too…

            • KJT

              AGW is not a belief system.

              It is scientific FACT. Backed up by research.

              There is almost no chance it is wrong, unfortunately.

              AGW and the resulting sea level rise is certain. Because stupid people think that their belief, will stop it. Like King Canute’s courtiers.

              US republicans even BELIEVE they can legislate AGW out of existence.

              A triumph of faith!

              How soon and how much is a little less certain. Depends on if we wake up and do something, or not.

            • NickS


              Still stupidin’ it up I see and proudly displaying utter ignorance about climate change science too, on top of teh tone trolling.

              Now, would you kindly outline your reasoning s to why climate change is a “belief”? If only so I can sharpen my history and philosophy tools and try and get you to think.

              • Vicky32

                Look I don’t have the patience for being insulted by self-loving boys today. Give me a link that proves we’re going to have 3 metre sea level rises within 20-50 years or STFU. 
                Otherwise it’s a belief system. Don’t tell me “look it up yourself” as you’ve done in the past, or my answer is the same as it was then – I don’t have to look it up myself, you’re the one trying to convince me! I don’t care whether it’s human caused or not – I am not ocnvinced it’s even happening.

                • r0b

                  Hi Vicky. I’m surprised to find you a doubter on climate change. Quick question – are you aware / do you agree that the Arctic ice cap is melting fast?

                  • Vicky32

                    Quick question – are you aware / do you agree that the Arctic ice cap is melting fast

                    Meh. I have seen articles saying it is, and others saying it isn’t – so I am not convinced. I have had a guts full of insults, when what I want is to see evidence that doesn’t come from unreliable clowns such as Greenpeace!

                    • r0b

                      Meh. I have seen articles saying it is, and others saying it isn’t – so I am not convinced.

                      Unfortunately there’s lots of nonsense written on climate change, so yeah you’ll find plenty that are trying to deny the truth. Do me a favour – read this (from America’s National Snow and Ice Data Center, especially Figure 3). Then read this – it’s about business (not the environment) – business people know the Arctic is melting.

                      Let me know what you think.

                    • lprent

                      I have seen articles saying it is, and others saying it isn’t – so I am not convinced.

                      The trick with this particular set of bull is to look for estimates of ice mass. This is often known as ice wasting. The ones that merely look at ice extent are largely useless because they essentially say that a 5 metre thick ice cover is the same as a 5cm ice cover – which it is not.

                      Duh! the whole of the arctic gets a 5cm ice cover in the middle of winter even if it is bloody warm. But is doesn’t calve off cold chunks of ice in summer to cool temperate waters. Right now what is being seen is icebergs floating further north or south than ever seen regularly before. Why? because they are being calved off dues to the warmer arctic/antarctic seas as their summer ice sheet extent and mass drops.

                      The summer cold mass is the key – look for that.

                • NickS


                  Where in fuck’s name did I say a three metre sea rise?

                  Anyhow, I’ll dig up the relevant stuff when I’ve got the teaspoons to do so. In the mean time:

                  I am not ocnvinced it’s even happening.


            • Draco T Bastard

              You mean you’re allowed to insult me but I’m not allowed to insult you?

              I think it’s connected with a hidden desire that secular people have, for sin/apocalyptic concepts they don’t presently have.

              Nope, don’t need nor want “sin”, the only people who do are the idiots who follow religions. AGW has got nothing to do with belief – just fact.

              [lprent: 😈 Nope this is an equal opportunity to insult blog. Except the moderators and authors are more equal than others. But we are always looking for authors and you have to be a author to become a moderator…. ]

              • Vicky32

                My reply is to r0b not DtAptly named! 😀
                Yes, I will read your links, but I am interested that you think I was referring to articles by those who  you’d call “denialists”. I wasn’t… I shall get back to you on your links, although I have an instinctive reaction against anything from a “center”, as it’s been ingrained in me by events since 9/11, that Americans are so innately stupid that they couldn’t find what they’d call their donkeys with both hands! 🙂
                (The smiley is pre-emptive, in the hope that some of the other boys won’t take my comment as a refusal to ‘believe’… I just want to thank you for your reasonable tone, very refreshing!)

                • r0b

                  OK great, I’ll try and catch your reply in due course.

                • Vicky32

                  The main problem as I see it with global warming hysteria, is that it is a great distraction from real concrete issues – and it’s a great way of making the unemployed, women, the ‘great unwashed’ etc feel guilty and inferior for claiming their rights in the face of gasp, imminent disaster! Let’s sterilise the poor, stop women who want children from having them, make children sacrifice to the great god environment – and who the hell cares about a few wars here and there? They get rid of the surplus population don’t they?
                  My issue is war and pacifism. If only people gave 2/10ths of a stuff about that – and about 3rd world poverty.

                  • r0b

                    Global warming isn’t hysteria, and it is going to unleash suffering on the poor the likes of which the world has never seen before.  You care about these issues, you owe it to yourself to get informed.

                    But let me know when you’ve read those links if you agree that the Arctic ice cap is melting fast… 

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Why do scientists care about the instrumental surface temperature record? Is it because they hope it will confirm the greenhouse effect? No. It’s because they are interested in finding out the precise value of climate sensitivity – the greenhouse effect is a matter of Physics.
                    One of the predictions made in IPCC AR4 (a word of caution, real world events demonstrate that IPCC AR4 is overly conservative – things are changing faster than anticipated) is an increase in political and social instability. If you care about war poverty and famine, you’d better start reducing your carbon footprint.
                    Oh, and climate sensitivity? Svante Arrhenius’ calculations seem to be pretty accurate – about 2°C per doubling of atmospheric CO2.

          • NickS


            The lines in Manhatten are rather old and leaky in places, which is why they need pumps to deal with surface and ground water leaking in. Plus the rate of seepage is not solely dependent on water levels, rather on the surrounding rock/soil, so about the only time the pumps are going to get overtaxed is with major breaches and serious surface flooding.

            So yeah, the Auckland loop probably isn’t in any real trouble unless sea levels over top the surface entrances.

            • lprent

              Not likely to be a problem with drainage above sealevel. The whole area is so cut up with basalt intrusions and lava pipes that there are few sedimentary layers that can hold water. It drains fast. The only place that would b an issue are down b Britomart in the reclaimed land.

    • KJT 7.4

      Land yachts.

      Bikes were at one stage made from totally locally sourced materials..


      I admit, making a 12 speed out of wood may take a bit of ingenuity.

  8. Hilary 8

    AFKTT – I guess we should also seriously decide to and get used to only using stuff made and available locally. I am particularly concerned about prescription drugs that keep many of us operational, most of which come from overseas factories – any suggestions about what to do about those?

    • Adele 8.1


      Rongoā Rakau are medicines found in our native bush and forests. Very few have been discovered by the pharmaceutical industry. Also as most medicines were origjnally plant based there is no reason as to why we cannot simply grow our medicines. But eating good food is one of the best medicines available.

    • Jenny 8.2

      There will have to be a major winding down of technological society, this must be coupled with a huge increase in democratic forms of bottom up organisation.

      Some forms of mass production may collectively be decided to be worth preserving, Hilary, as you say pharmaceuticals may be one. Without this technological fix, various human plagues presently held at bay by mass inoculation and anti-biotics would make a regular comeback.

      The internet is another technological fix that should be kept.


      Because it could prevent a return of a new dark age of ignorance where human beings only survive in isolated pockets ignorant of anything beyond their horizon. The internet also allows for the possibility of a truly open and democratic type of civilisation to rise from the post fossil fuel civilisation. Both these technologies are at present wholely dependendent on petrochemicals.

      This is where preplanning and forethought is vital, before we lose the technical ability to make the switch to renewable materials.

      I have been desperately trying to build myself a personal computer out of wickerwork. (just joking on that last one.)

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.1

        this must be coupled with a huge increase in democratic forms of bottom up organisation.

        Democratic forms of government tend to be viable in times of increasing energy and resource abundance. Not the other way around. Overseas, expect a tendency back to feudalism.

        The internet is another technological fix that should be kept.

        Agreed, although these things are not necessarily choices that we have. The power, logistics, human resources and rare earth minerals required to keep a google data centre running is massive, for instance.

        Bottom line is that the more complex something is, the more likely that it cannot be sustained in a power-down environment.

        Without this technological fix, various human plagues presently held at bay by mass inoculation and anti-biotics would make a regular comeback.

        Many common bacterial strains have already adapted to the best antibiotics we have. In an energy depleting environment our ability to develop test and manufacture new vaccines for new disease strains will be very constrained.

        Creating maximum personal health and fitness is the best way to become resilient in future power-down scenarios, not a reliance on high embodied energy pharmaceuticals.

      • Hilary 8.2.2

        This is a thread on public transport. But we need to keep considering these issues of sustainability on other discussion posts, especially if transport or physical links to other parts of the world get harder. If relying on sail alone it might take several months to get to the UK just like in the 1820s. So what are the implications and how can we tackle such things? Prescription drugs is an obvious issue (eg you can’t easily replicate an asthma inhaler) but there are assorted bits of technology that we need to build ourselves or do without. AFKTT mentions Cuba further down this thread. But does anyone remember the 90s TV series The Tribe – filmed around Wellington – about kids surviving on the remaining scraps of Wellington? Was it prescient?

        • Colonial Viper

          Need for asthma inhalers will drop with the drop in use of paracetamol.

          Coal steamers should be able to get to Europe in 60 days or so from NZ.

          And we need to preserve our industrial and technical capabilities for the future. Closing down NZ manufacturing and making trains in China is entirely stupid.

          • hobbit

            “Closing down NZ manufacturing and making trains in China is entirely stupid.”

            The fact we haven’t really made ‘trains’ here since the 50’s escape you?

            There is no rail manufacturing plant being closed down…….

            • KJT

              Just a plant that was capable of it.
              The people, who can, have now gone to contribute to the Australian economy.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      We can, and do, produce drugs in NZ.

      • Colonial Viper 8.3.1

        yes. Any decent uni biochemistry department can produce a wide range of basic drugs 🙂

        • Draco T Bastard

          And with a bit of government R&D we could produce the complex stuff to. Especially if we do some R&D into automated factories to produce the drugs and everything else.

          • NickS

            Eh, once you start getting into large organic molecules with multiple chiral centres (as oft multiple reactions to create) yield rates become very problematic and you require a small army of organic chemists to work out the kinks…

            Making things rather expensive, although drug companies are often wasting way too much money on management and advertising.

  9. vto 9

    Excellent, anything which keeps all them Aucklanders at bay and away …

  10. her 10

    We didn’t vote for the rail loop. We voted to get rid of banks. Next time we will vote to get rid of brown.

    • Akldnut 10.1

      National say that being voted into government gave them the mandate to impliment any crap they talked about before the last election.

      If thats the case then we voted for any of Lens ideas that were talked about as well.

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      Typical neo-liberal, getting rid of stuff is all you know how to do. Labour is going to build stuff for NZ instead.

    • Blighty 10.3

      it was Len Brown’s central policy. Sorry, but that’s a mandate.

  11. millsy 11

    The crucial thing missing from this policy is allowing Auckland Transport to own and operate its own buses/trains and set its own routes and timetables, and throw out the private operators (who are better of doing niche operations such as charters and tourist operations).

    No use having a fancy dancy loop without that.

    I emailed the Greens if they would support it but they never replied.

  12. Afewknowthetruth 12

    Cuba offers the best example of coping with little oil.

    The US blockade that followed the Bay of Pigs fiasco resulted in a shortage of pharmaceuticals, so the Cuban government put a lot of effort into developing natural medicines. When the USSR collapsed the subsidised oil Cuba was getting suddenly stopped arriving. Following a period of near starvation the Cubans quickly adopted Permaculture as a means of feeding the populace.

    Of course Cuba did (does) have a government that cared (cares) about the general populace and was able to take the drastic steps necessasry. Hence, it now has one of the highest ratios of doctors and nurses to citizens in the wolrd and is able to loan them top other nations. Also, Cuba has one of the lowest inequity rankings in teh wolrd (gaps betwen the tich and poor), resulting in a high level of social cohesion.

    Contrast that with so-called western democracies, in which governments act as the local agents for international money-lenders and global corporations. in which political parties squabble over trivia like spoilt children in a kindergarten, and in which the bulk of the general populace is utterly deluded and has an unjustified and unjustifiable sense of entitlement: the prognosis for western ‘democracies’ is not at all good.

    By the way, all the people who cite so-called solutions from past times seem to heve forgotten that the population of the world is now more than three times what it was during WWII and that the Earth has been stripped of most of its natural resources. The reason we don’t have leather shoes, silk stockings, woolen jerseys, linseed oil based paints etc. is because a severe shortage of natural amterials started to develop in the 1960s. Most nations are now nearly totally dependent on oil and oil-based materails. With the oil supply about to collapse the prognosis does not look at all good for wesern nations, That’s before we even mention to food supply, which is also nearly totally dependent on oil.

    As always, the truth is totally unpalatable to those who cannot face it.

    We’re going down and therw is no stopping it.

    And Jenny, to say that significant sea level rise is preposterous is to demonstrate supreme ignorance of the effect of the positive feedback mechaisms, which are more than likely to put global warming into the runaway phase with a decade. I suggest yoy do the necessary research on methane bneing released from the tundra, the intability of methane clathrates and the albedo effect

    Again, the truth is totally unpalatable to those who cannot face it.

    Here is a good place to start for anyone who is actually intersted in reality and the future:


    I’m sure I will be labelled a ‘deluded nutcase’ or ‘too gloomy’ for presenting irrefutable facts.

    • RedLogix 12.1

      True, “but rationalist voices with a sense of humour are vanishingly rare”. Think Carlin, Orlov, Kunstler…

      • Afewknowthetruth 12.1.1

        Yes, Carlin was brilliant.

        “The Earth isn’t going away: we are!”

        “The Earth wanted plastic but couldn’t produce it, so it allowed humans to evolve so we would make plastic. After we’re gone there will be the Earth plus plastic.”

        Kunstler is a bit too full of flowery phrases for my liking. And he’s obsessed with trains and boats: he must have had a train set when he was a kid and longs to play with big ones now he’s older.

        Orlov. The epitome of sardonic wit at the end of empire.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      And Jenny…

      You mean Vicky32.

    • Puddleglum 12.3

      Cuba is also one of the (few) countries that has high life expectancy with low carbon footprint.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.4

      Better places to start: IPCC AR4, or Real Climate, or Skeptical Science, or Potholer54.

  13. hoom 13

    Yay for Labour, this was a bloody big elephant of votes in the corner waiting for someone to hop on.
    I was concerned that Nats ‘something big’ for today may have been them throwing a sop this way to prevent Labour from getting it.

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