Labour aims to make transport system more sustainable

Written By: - Date published: 1:03 pm, April 4th, 2018 - 89 comments
Categories: Amy Adams, climate change, david seymour, Economy, Environment, global warming, greens, infrastructure, labour, national, nz first, phil twyford, public transport, same old national, sustainability, transport - Tags:

The Government has released a draft Government Policy Statement on Transport for consultation.  A radical shake up of the Transport system is being proposed.  Changes include:

  • A 46% increase in public transport use.
  • A new rapid transport investment class which will allow $4 billion to be spent over the next ten years.  Hello Auckland light rail.
  • An increase in local road and safety project spends.
  • A decrease in spend on state highway improvements.  No more roads of national significance.
  • An increase in road policing and road safety initiatives.
  • An increase in state highway maintenance.  Paradoxically while the spend on highways went up under the last Government the spend on their maintenance went down.
  • An increase in rail priority measures.
  • A huge increase in the spend on walking and cycling.

The proposal has met with approval with PT advocates such as the good folk at the Greater Auckland website.  Their conclusion is enthusiastic:

Overall the draft GPS is fantastic and the excellent text is backed up with the funding to support it. We’re entering into a brave new world.

Simon Wilson in the Herald is also positive about the announcement.

Transport minister Phil Twyford was quite excited yesterday afternoon. “We’re changing the world,” he told the Herald. And, he added, “It’s going to mean a quantum shift in the way we invest in Auckland.”

He was not wrong. The obvious changes to transport funding are that public transport and active transport (walking and cycling) will get substantially more money, at the expense of the former government’s Roads of National Significance (RONS). But there’s a lot more to it than that.

One big change is that the Land Transport Fund will now cover spending across all land transport modes. This means the new transport strategy should be able to fully integrate planning for roads and rail, public transport and private use, existing bus and rail services and the proposed new rapid transit network.

The increased spend will be funded by an increase in petrol and diesel taxes of 10c a litre.  National is already complaining but it should be remembered that they were planning a similar increase, but to build more roads of national significance rather than transform our urban centres.  And an unlikely critic has reminded everyone about this.

David Seymour has essentially accused National of being hypocrites.  He has said this:

National Finance Spokesperson Amy Adams has slammed the policies of former Transport Minister Simon Bridges”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

Yesterday, the Government revealed it was proposing a fuel tax increase of between 9 and 12 cents a litre. Aucklanders face hikes of 20 cents a litre if a regional fuel tax is also introduced.

On Twitter, Adams slammed the move as a ‘tax and spend Labour Government…in full force.’

However, documents released under the Official Information Act show that former Transport Minister, and now National Leader, Simon Bridges was also considering increasing fuel taxes.

It is the height of hypocrisy for the Nats to criticise a move they were ready to implement themselves.”

There will be interesting discussions on who is in charge of the roll out.  Twyford’s timeline suggests that the New Zealand Transport Agency rather than Auckland Transport may primarily be in control.  His related proposal a big Urban Renewal Agency for Auckland could be wheeled in because doing Transport projects and urban renewal at the same time creates all sorts of synergies.

And in a related development Westpac Bank has concluded that taking action now on climate change by changing the way the country does business could save the country $50 billion by 2050.  From the Herald:

Immediate action on climate could save New Zealand tens of billions of dollars, according to a Westpac report.

Based on research conducted by EY and Vivid Economics, the report shows the New Zealand economy could benefit by $30 billion by 2050 if government and business take early action on climate change.

It also shows that New Zealand could simultaneously reduce carbon emissions and achieve economic growth.

The report models two scenarios: one that involves an earlier and smoother transition to a lower carbon economy, another that hypothesises a decade-long delay in action followed by a shock event that forces the nation to act.

The two models were developed in view of the UN Paris Climate Accord, which seeks to keep global temperature rises to within 2C of the pre-industrial era.
As Greater Auckland said we are entering into a brave new world.  And we need to.

89 comments on “Labour aims to make transport system more sustainable”

  1. Anon 1

    Are they reducing the LTNZ 50% farebox requirement for public transport? If not ECAN will continue to slash and burn and public transport use will continue to decline.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      The discussion document says:

      “The second stage GPS will consider interventions to significantly improve the affordability of public transport, such as investigating a green transport card to reduce public transport fares for people on low incomes”

      • cleangreen 1.1.1

        Yes Mickey it is a ray of sunshine that Phil Twyford has produced so 1000% to labour here.

        Our NGO sent our respect to the minister showing our approval of his new transport policy that mirrors the Labour party 2017 election campaign.

        Here was our letter today to him and Labour.

        Protecting our environment & health.
        In association with other Community Groups, NHTCF and all Government Agencies since 2001.
        Public COMMUNITY REQUEST ; letter of public safety; – Lower ‘road freight trucks’ still increasing at 6% a year. (NZTA)
        Re-open notably the Napier to Gisborne rail line.

        4th April 2018.

        Today the NZ media is rife with Labour Party Transport policy announcements.

        https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/fuel-tax-coming-your-way-government-considering-9-12-price-hike-fund-safer-roads-cut-appalling-road-deaths

        TO all rail stakeholders and ministers please read;
        Rail should be balanced with road freight on our light regional state roads such as highway 2, as the width and strength of those windy hill roads cannot sustain the increased size/weight of HPMV 63 tonne trucks so at least 50% need to go on rail.

        Subject; – Promise to carry out election pledges – Re-open moth-balled railway lines where community and business support exists, and there is evidence that the service would be sustainable, notably the Napier to Gisborne rail line.

        save lives with rail freight lowering ‘truck gridlock.’

        HB/Gisborne residents.

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/102757119/second-child-dies-after-desert-rd-crash-on-good-friday

        Labour Party’s 2017 election policy.

        • 2017 ELECTION POLICY

        http://www.labour.org.nz/transport
        Auckland Transport – Making Auckland a world-class city
        Labour will:
        • Build light rail from the CBD to Auckland Airport. This will be part of a new light rail network that will be built over the next decade with routes to the central suburbs, the airport, and West Auckland, and will later be extended to the North Shore
        • Build a new Bus Rapid Transit line from Howick to the airport, starting with a bus service which will connect Puhinui and Manukau train stations to the airport in one year
        • Invest in more electric trains, electrification to Pukekohe, and building a third main trunk line urgently between Westfield and Papakura
        • Build a range of significant cross-town bus priority routes including New Lynn-Flat Bush, Point Chevalier-Botany, Silverdale-Whangaparoa, and Howick-Glenfield
        • Allow Auckland Council to collect a regional fuel tax to fund the acceleration of these investments, along with infrastructure bonds and targeted rates to capture value uplift.
        Click here to read the details.
        Rapid Rail in the Golden Triangle
        Labour will:
        • create a passenger rail service linking Auckland, Hamilton, and Tauranga and, if justified by demand, upgrade it in stages to a rapid rail network throughout the Golden Triangle.
        Click here to read the details.
        Investing in public transport for Greater Christchurch
        Labour will:
        • Commit an additional $100m from the National Land Transport Fund in capital investment to Greater Christchurch multi-modal public transport, including commuter rail from Rolleston to the CBD as a first step. We’ll work with local authorities and other partners on a 21st century strategic multi-modal transport plan for Greater Christchurch.
        Click here to read the details.
        Wellington network plan
        Labour will:
        • Develop a Congestion Free Network plan and fast-track a feasibility study on rapid transit to the airport, which considers light rail.
        Regional and long-distance rail
        Labour will:
        • Instruct Kiwirail to retain an electrified network between Hamilton and Palmerston North and work on an evidence-based plan to progressively electrify other key parts of the network.
        • Re-open moth-balled railway lines where community and business support exists, and there is evidence that the service would be sustainable, notably the Napier to Gisborne rail line.
        • investigate a rail line to Marsden Point and Northport and upgrading the North Auckland Line to take pressure off the roads in Northland.
        Regional Transport Funding
        Labour will:
        • make more funding available for transport projects of regional importance by doubling the funding range of $70-$140m to $140-$280m.
        Click here to read the details.
        A fresh solution to the Manawatu Gorge
        Labour will:
        • commit to funding a permanent, resilient replacement for the Manawatu Gorge Road. This is most likely to be the proposed Te Apiti route, subject to the final decision being made by NZTA
        • make the process of building a new road as quick as possible to restore a quality link.
        Read the fact sheet here.
        Ports and Coastal Shipping
        Labour will:
        • As part of a national freight strategy, develop a national ports strategy with a particular focus on the upper north island.
        • Refresh and move to implement the ‘Sea Change’ strategy to revitalise Coastal shipping.
        Mode neutrality
        Labour will:
        • Make investments from the National Land Transport Fund on a mode neutral basis, meaning that rail and walk/cycle projects will be eligible for funding where evidence shows clear benefits to the transport system and local communities.
        Investing in walking and cycling
        Labour will:
        • make it easier and safer to walk or cycle in our communities by committing more funding to urban cycleways, active neighbourhoods projects, and the Skypath on Auckland Harbour Bridge.

      • Anon 1.1.2

        If they couple that with continuing the farebox requirement bus lines that low income users actually use will disappear. And their definition of “low income user” will likely have so many hoops that many on low incomes will have no access, like the community services card right now.

  2. You forgot to mention the Approval In Principal (AIP) request with Immigration New Zealand to recruit 110 migrant bus drivers*, as a partial result of the continued awarding of contracts to bus companies offering the cheapest price due to crap wages and conditions.

    *though how that will fit with NZers feelings about ‘foreign drivers’ remains to be seen.

  3. Ad 3

    I welcome it. Looks and feels like a integrated coalition effort.

    Great to see some meaty rail capex integrated into surface transport as a whole.

    But I’m pretty curious at how little the draft document refers to the government’s vital housing policies. I’m aware that the GPS is constrained by the purposes of its governing act, but what surface transport should be doing is integrating New Zealand cities and towns together, and enabling their ordered growth to occur.

    Obviously, housing and transport are led by the same person in the government.

    At the moment the draft document is still focussed squarely on transport as a system in its own right, rather than taking its place as one network among many that needs to build communities and neighbourhoods and dwellings for people.

    Needs to show evidence that it has the will and means to rebuild New Zealand society.

  4. Tuppence Shrewsbury 4

    Why the ideological commitment to light rail? It’s stuck to certain routes, is prone to pork barreling from local politicians who want stops in their area when the best use is express to the airport and is a massive sunk cost?

    Why not do take the power off AT to control Auckland public transport, remove all parking of all arterial routes like the the 10 & 12 by turning them into 24hr a day 7 day a week bus lanes, commit one lane of each motorway the same in each direction and then keep buses flowing at all times on a hub type network with certain cross town express services? And when I say all times, i mean all times at very regular and short intervals.

    This provides flexibility, mobility and is a marginal cost that can be added to too increase capacity as the uptake increases. it’s rapid transit without huge upfront costs. it’s also easily expandable and removes a huge incentive to take cars as parking will be dreadful.

    Removes the need for a fuel tax too. But it’s not union or tax n spend friendly. so I don’t see any politician putting their head above the parapet to be brave enough to make it work. Fucking plenty of roads around that are begging to be better utilised.

    • dukeofurl 4.1

      Transport isnt run to individual whims like that.

      ‘Take the power off AT’ And give it to whom? Your comments, while well meaning, are essentially ignorant of how transport works, the cost side is mumbo jumbo.

      • Tuppence Shrewsbury 4.1.1

        Give it to LTSA, in conjunction with MBIE and minister for Auckland affairs they’d do a far better job than the mess that AT has created.

        And how is my suggestion any more of an individual whim than the approach labour are running with as suggested by JAG?

        What I’ve proposed utilises existing infrastructure and piggy backs on the success of the northern bus way by expanding the concept to all areas of Auckland. This includes the most deprived and will be deliverable sooner than light rail, or someone cycling from Otara to Auckland central late at night to clean an office as they can no longer afford a tank of Gas under labour.

        $3-$10 on the accommodation supplement will really help off set this increase don’t ya think?

        A government with will and foresight could have this implemented by year end and have the public using it sufficiently by the end of the 2018 financial year.

        The cost side is negligible for my proposal, the upside large and immediate. But rail is a big shiny toy politicians can put their names on and for transport nerds, who know FAR more than anyone else can condescendingly ride it as they look down on the car and bus people.

        • dukeofurl 4.1.1.1

          Again repeating mumbo jumbo doesnt change it
          ‘A government with will and foresight could have this implemented by year end ‘

          ‘The cost side is negligible for my proposal, the upside large and immediate’

          Give it to LTSA ? never heard of them. Land Transport Safety Authority ? Doesnt exist.
          The other point just moving bureaucracies around generally doesnt change anything.
          As you dont seem to know ,the Ministry for Auckland Affairs , is just ‘one or two private secretaries’ and doesnt exist as an organisation either.

          Just out of interest what is your background in public transport or local council or are you with an NGO advocating for public transport. Maybe you were even a bus driver ?

          • Tuppence Shrewsbury 4.1.1.1.1

            Nothing to actually disprove what I’m saying? Not offering any alternatives. You must be a public servant in the transport sector. so tell us great sage, without risking your own money, what is the best solution?

            I use roads more frequently than others and I’m a heavy user of mass transit systems in larger cities than auckland at least once a month. Experience counts for a lot.

            I have no background. neither does JAG or Jacinda, or grant Robertson or Phil Twyford and that hasn’t stopped them cooking this crap up. AT have hundreds of experts and massive budgets and look what they haven’t achieved. So what’s your point?

            • mickysavage 4.1.1.1.1.1

              The throughput of light rail is higher and it makes surrounding areas more pleasant. I agree that busways have a part to play but Twyford clearly is keen on getting the whole thing moving.

              • dukeofurl

                When I looked at the D Rd vehicle traffic numbers recently, even if every single car driver ( very few passengers) in the morning peak used public transport there wasnt the boost in numbers on the allready high numbers on buses to make Light Rail worthwhile.
                This was on numbers of vehicles around the View Rd area , the CBD fringe.

                To me , this was the reason why the fudge of the airport was bought in, you can then have the passenger numbers to utilise the LR infrastructure. Thats of course if they will use it – Im quite happy to use Skybus.

                In Sydney and Brisbane the airport rail stations are shockingly underused. ( The lines themselves serve suburban areas as well).

                But of course I dont have all the information , so hesitate to rule it out based on my personal whims. Plus what works now doesnt plan for 25 years ahead. And the rail patronage increase – 15% per year increase- shows how a higher standard of service gets more people.

                • Carolyn_Nth

                  Yes, you don’t have all the information, and are looking at it from a very narrow view.

                  The bus services have vastly improved in the last year, so the numbers of “Bus Full” buses reaching View Road in the morning peak are far fewer.

                  There are too many cars on Dominion Road, it’s a constant slow trail. And cars also try to get around the traffic by filling up residential side roads.

                  Light rail will enable the traffic to speed up, if done correctly – depends on the numbers of stops and how they are placed.

                  Also, a big part of the argument for light rail is to do with the amount of buses arriving in the CBD. The Greater Auckland Blog has a post from last year, explaining the advantages of light rail over buses.

                  https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2017/11/27/makes-good-light-rail-route-different-good-busway-route/

                  A big part of the argument is that light rail is better where the amount of buses along a route, cause congestion when they arrive in the CBD.

                  I travel to the CBD regularly on Dom Rd buses. Often there’s a big queue of buses down Wellesley St arriving from Sandringham and Dominion Rd routes. Fairly often, my Dom Rd bus hovers outside the St James bus stop, parks awkwardly, or on occasions double parks because there’s no space for us at the bus stop.

                  PS: I think talking up the extension of light rail to the airport was a sweetner for those not into regular public transport use or who don’t live in the relevant areas.

        • Sacha 4.1.1.2

          “What I’ve proposed utilises existing infrastructure and piggy backs on the success of the northern bus way by expanding the concept to all areas of Auckland.”

          A fully separated busway like the one on the Shore is way different to a painted bus lane on a road shared with other vehicles – hence Auckland transport activists promoting the ‘Congestion-Free Network’ concept.

          Painted bus lanes are certainly better than nothing and they do not take much to set up. However, rail and trams can move more people in the same corridor space as buses, just like buses move more than cars can. It’s not ideological, just practical.

          If this topic grabs your interest, I really recommend reading your way through the posts at https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/

    • Fred H 4.2

      Why the ideological commitment to motorways and RONS? It’s stuck to certain routes, is prone to pork barreling from local politicians who want racetracks in their area when the best use is expressways to the holiday home and is an enormous sunk cost that could send people to Mars?

      Road and car-centric planning has resulted in shit outcomes for the past 3/4 of a century and only got adopted full scale by the dimwitted amnesia nations, with uncle sam leading the charge.
      This country’s neglect of public transport at both urban and rural levels results in more deaths, more obesity, at least $4-5b lost for health spending on other less preventable issues, less social housing, higher development costs, more mental health issues, exacerbates poverty($8-10k per year to buy and keep a car on the road…legally), and releases some type of gas that royally f**ks the climate…

      • Tuppence Shrewsbury 4.2.1

        I mentioned cars once Fred. Once. so that we can remove the facility for them to park on main roads and reducing the existing motorway lanes for them by one for the benefit of public transport.

        I mentioned roads, because buses run on them. And they are already there. so we don’t have to double up on infrastructure and commit to more consumption that creates more emissions and contributes to global warming.

        Typical train nerd, mention a road once and it’s all about how they are negative and trains are so awesome.

        turn the RONS into something useful. use the existing infrastructure to create something positive that doesn’t cost 4-6 billion just to duplicate what is already there.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.1

          turn the RONS into something useful. use the existing infrastructure to create something positive that doesn’t cost 4-6 billion just to duplicate what is already there.

          The RONs were a huge waste of money that should never have been built. Building rail for passengers and freight would have been cheaper as the third and fourth trunk lines shows.

          Those were pork-barrelling.

          Thankfully the new government has cancelled that massive give-away to the private sector.

          And, again, the RONs are fixed in place.

          You show absolutely no understanding of how transport works.

        • Fred H 4.2.1.2

          I mentioned trains zero times Tuppence. Zero.

          So your counter argument appears to put bus lanes on 100km of expressways(RONS) on the fringes of cities to move commuters at 90-100km/hr? Where exactly? It seems like you haven’t really thought this through.

          Why not make the entire system really efficient and use the existing road space to have bus lanes, bike lanes, and safe walking infrastructure, multi-modal, all nuanced and shit with not all the eggs in the dumb dumb car basket with all its crappy emissions 😉

          Buses depending on the volume carried become ineffective after about 10000 people per hour(great for smaller cities though) so you’re going to have to move to something with more capacity…like these fancy contraptions that travel on steel runners and can carry between 10000(lightest) and 25000(heavy) people per hour The Northern Busway is likely to hit capacity by early 2030s so there’s 12 years till they’ll have to build a higher capacity mode(cheaper as the space and most of the infrastructure is already in place) or take another lane off that inefficient motorway(cars move 2500 people per hour).

          And intercity rapid transit on cape gauge(infrastructure already exists, no duplication required) is far better to move between cities and avoid rush hours as they can travel up to 160-200km. Auckland to the Tron in an hour no traffic jams..happy days

      • mauī 4.2.2

        +1

        I remember chatting with someone who owned an automotive business in Auckland a few years ago and in their own words they said Auckland’s public transport is quote “ratshit”. Something I’ve never forgotten.

      • Wayne 4.2.3

        Modern roads (motorways), personal motor vehicles and trucks are one of key elements of our prosperity.
        Vastly more flexible than rail.

        This will be a left/right contest of huge proportions. Not yet clear who will win. But if all the serious road projects in the regions are cut to the bone, NZF is history.

        Labour said they couldn’t govern just for their young urban elite. The transport package looks exactly like that. Tax south and west Auckland poor so the inner city elite can have their light rail.
        Looks like quite a political fight to me. I can’t see Mr Twyford winning it.

        • Ad 4.2.3.1

          A “left/right contest of huge proportions” did not break out with rail electrification and a proper commuter rail service in 2008.

          A “left/right contest of huge proportions” did not break out over the CIty Rail Link construction.

          A “left/right contest of huge proportions” did not break out when dedicated busways were put up the North Shore in the 1990s.

          The big recent “left/right contest of huge proportions definitely occurred when NZTA proposed putting an expressway through Mangere. The people won.

          Same with Wellington flyover bypass. Same with Auckland Eastern Arterial. The people won.

          And of course you can remind us: what proportion of all trips taken into Auckland were done by car last year? Hint: it wasn’t by car.

          The people won. And we will continue.

        • mauī 4.2.3.2

          But if all the serious road projects in the regions are cut to the bone, NZF is history.

          I’m quite sure you know National starved the regions of funding for their local roads for some time, instead shovelling money into expensive legacy highways to hell.

          Something I’m sure rural voters take very seriously is their local roads and the condition of them. Labour is onto a winner here as they reinvest in them and put money where people want to see it spent.

        • AsleepWhileWalking 4.2.3.3

          I agree.

          Can’t see this working well for cleaners etc doing early morning or late night shifts. PT is neither safe nor available in most cases.

          Even during regular hours its faster (often by hours) to get in a car than use PT. It pisses me off that the govt presume that we can fuck around for hours each week waiting for a train or bus. With kids in hot sun, rain and wind. Then walk the rest of the way and cook dinner.

          Aucklanders bitch about how much money is wasted waiting in traffic, well I don’t think public transport is cost positive if you calculate the time value wasted.

          Stupid tax.

          • Tricledrown 4.2.3.3.1

            Wayne sleep walker.
            Building more motorways just creates more congestion.
            The Tory govt in the UK stopped all motorway spending because their research showed building more motorways was causing more gridlock as we see in Auckland.
            National had no plan to solve gridlock other than buy votes by promising their huge spend on motor ways will solve bottlenecks.
            Businesses are paying the price having to buy more trucks and vehicle’s to provide the same level of service .
            Effectively reducing Auckland’s productivity by 25%.
            National say they are a business friendly Party but in reality they are just pandering to their biggest donors (allowing corruption of democracy)

        • Sacha 4.2.3.4

          “Modern roads (motorways), personal motor vehicles and trucks are one of key elements of our prosperity.”

          Were, not are. You’re thinking of the last century, not this one. Your grandchildren can probably advise.

          • Tricledrown 4.2.3.4.1

            If your having your cars and trucks to be stuck in gridlock you are not adding to prosperity .

        • Incognito 4.2.3.5

          Pretty hard to argue with $30 billion in terms of “our prosperity”, don’t you think, Wayne?

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.3.6

          Modern roads (motorways), personal motor vehicles and trucks are one of key elements of our prosperity.

          No they’re not. They’re what’s holding us back. The massive extra costs that involve them compared to public transport prevent us from doing better in hospitals, developing the economy, and even having shorter work weeks.

          Tax south and west Auckland poor so the inner city elite can have their light rail.

          No, it’s actually tax the fuckwits who want to drive so that the poor can have better and cheaper transport.

        • Fred H 4.2.3.7

          Really Wayne, key to our prosperity? Would that be our shit GDP compared to other nations with the same or similar population in the OECD: Norway, Ireland, Finland and Denmark? Pretty sure public transport, efficient urban design and a diverse economy that doesn’t stick all its eggs in the dairy and tourism basket are some of the reasons for their better performance(try 50-100% greater GDP per capita) in our weight grade. Or are you gonna Gerry Brownlee a whataboutism on Finnish suicide?

          By the way all those nations are both denser(Ireland, Denmark) and less dense in population(the other three), they all have harsher winters, cycle more, have smaller truck weights, and three stretch into the arctic with rail lines running into it and Norway is more mountainous than here.

          Personal motor vehicles are more justifiable for the rural population alone, which is about 10% of the population(if you follow statistics), so the rest of us in the urban space would save the $8-10k a year to buy and keep a car on the road(would help the poor), unless of course the National party intent is to keep transport with the car focus so the poor have somewhere to live.

          It’s about a nuanced approach and multi modal systems Wayne, it’s about choice not just between Holden and Ford..
          …nice to see you avoid typing about the 400 deaths a year, 12 000 injuries and resulting $4b cost to the country with our private motor vehicle and truck focus, we just ignore that wee bit of human sacrifice?

        • Pat 4.2.3.8

          It’s pretty simple…you either believe that CC is an issue or not…if you do you recognise that there is no future for private IC vehicles and you plan accordingly…the alternative is that we can burn as much fossil fuel as we like….which is it Wayne?

        • Jan Rivers 4.2.3.9

          On the contrary more motorways and more private vehicles and trucks are THE cause of gridlock and wasted time and missed deadlines. The research from more than 40 years of experience is pretty clear on this.

          A NZ Herald report from yesterday interviewed a couple of young people who are on the road by 5.00 am to get into the city before the gridlock and another for whom a 4k trip regularly takes 45 minutes. Walking would be faster. So the current settings are anathema to prosperity. There are much larger cities across the world that demonstrate that public transport approaches deliver quality of life and far more efficient movement of people and goods than Auckland has. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12026155

          Tropes and cliches – urban elite vs south and west Auckland poor, regions vs city dwellers don’t quite cut it on this issue especially when every survey of transport policy both Auckland and nationally since 2011 has large majorities in favour of more public transport and more diverse options than in your preferred model.

    • Ad 4.3

      Light rail route is already set.

      Answers to your other question are all measured by well-tested force of local opposition.

      Bus hub network already been rolled out in Auckland for last 2 years. CBD to come.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.4

      Yep, you just proved that you have NFI WTF you’re talking about.

      Why the ideological commitment to light rail? It’s stuck to certain routes, is prone to pork barreling from local politicians who want stops in their area when the best use is express to the airport and is a massive sunk cost?

      1. Rail is economic – cars aren’t.
      2. The majority of the time cars are only used to go fixed routes – to and from work.
      3. This isn’t the corrupt US although I’m sure if you pointed out the pork-barrelling options of rail to National they’d be on it like a shot – just like their RONs.
      4. Roads are also a massive sunk cost – after they’re built. Rail is cheaper to maintain and operate though.

      Why not do take the power off AT to control Auckland public transport, remove all parking of all arterial routes like the the 10 & 12 by turning them into 24hr a day 7 day a week bus lanes, commit one lane of each motorway the same in each direction and then keep buses flowing at all times on a hub type network with certain cross town express services? And when I say all times, i mean all times at very regular and short intervals.

      1. We already tried just leaving PT to the private sector – it didn’t work. The subsidies were higher and the services less.
      2. Removing all roadside parking is a Good Idea – would encourage people to take PT to see people.
      3. Even I think that running buses all the time is probably a no go – until we get autonomous buses.

      This provides flexibility, mobility and is a marginal cost that can be added to too increase capacity as the uptake increases. it’s rapid transit without huge upfront costs.

      And adding rail to it would improve it greatly.

      Removes the need for a fuel tax too.

      Actually, it doesn’t. The roads ‘pay for themselves’ because of all the fuel tax (except in cities where they’re paid for by rates). With such a massive drop in fuel tax rates will have to go up.

      But it’s not union or tax n spend friendly.

      What it is is compete bollocks – except for removing street parking.

      Fucking plenty of roads around that are begging to be better utilised.

      And the reason why they’re not better utilised now is because they’re in the wrong place.

      What you sound like is someone who’s finallt realised that we do have to change but are willing to come up with all sorts of BS to keep the roads and not have trains.

  5. esoteric pineapples 5

    Tracy Watkins took a negative slant on the front page of the DomPost, saying people won’t be happy with the tax. Like a lot of conservative mainstream “journalists” she applies a world weary jaundiced seen-it-all cynicism to a lot of her commentaries when in fact she’s been enjoying a very comfortable existence for a very long time and certainly knows which side her bread is buttered on. I don’t think this sort of attitude resonates with a lot of people who actually really are on struggle street and don’t find anyone in the mainstream media expressing the reality of their lives.

    • dukeofurl 5.1

      yes. Where were those comments when national sprang a surprise 10c per litre ( plus GST as they now remind us) after the 2011 election.

    • Sanctuary 5.2

      “…. Like a lot of conservative mainstream “journalists” she…” …still lives in the 1990s and has a nice house in an inner city suburb where she can commute to her allocated carpark at work…

      Edited a bit…

      I see “red” radio NZ has got Farrar on Mora’s panel for free shots at this. I switched the station off instantly.

  6. Ad 6

    I support this massive shift in transport policy for New Zealand.

    It’s frustrating though that the document completely fails to integrate the Ministers’ two totally interralated portfolios: housing and transport.

    Obviously, they are led by the same person as Minister.

    Transport is but one of a set of networks designed to enable people to live. Transport should be but an instrument to achieve this.

    Completely understand that the core constraints is within the purposes of the governing transport acts, but prioritisation filters like “Access” and funding categories like “Transitional Rail” are a low-level holding pattern to the real flighpath, namely: rebuild New Zealand for all its people, its neighbourhoods, towns, cities, the country as a whole.

    So, it’s a great step, but it’s too siloed, too coy.

    • dukeofurl 6.1

      Where does the current ‘Housing’ portfolio build something ? isnt it more a rules and regulations shop.
      The Kiwibuild will be building houses, and the RMA and things like the new Unitary plan decide where it will go and how much the density will be.

      • Ad 6.1.1

        No, it’s not.

        MBIE are the current factory for making housing deals for the Minister.
        The Minister will need to form a new specific Ministry (inside or outside MBIE), but in the meantime it’s a pretty active commercial space.

        We should expect to see a whole bunch more Hobsonville developments that integrate housing, sustainability, and transport into essentially a new town.

        Auckland Council’s property arm Panuku are cooperating pretty closely as to which area gets done when, and in accordance with the masterplans. But Panuku are explicitly ruled out from putting fresh capital in.

        Government need to integrate their transport and housing plans into a plan for New Zealand – in just the same way that Auckland Council requires Auckland Transport and Panuku to give effect to a single strategy. It’s never easy, but it doesn’t start until you try, and it’s been done here many times before.

      • Ad 6.1.2

        MBIE are the dealmakers behind the scenes at the moment. That’s the team that will let the jobs to build. Same as NZTA: they don’t build anything, but they design and specify according to a strategy.

        Twyford needs to unify his plans together – just as Auckland Council holds Auckland Transport and Panuku to single overall growth strategies and investment plans (currently under consultation through the LTP). This isn’t currently reflected in his GPS – it’s more of a halfway house.

  7. One Anonymous Bloke 7

    Genter was good on Morning Report, pointing out that increases in fuel taxes are hardly a new thing.

    On 18 December 2012, Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee announced increases in petrol excise duty of 3 cents per litre on 1 July 2013, 1 July 2014, and 1 July 2015. Road user charges will increase by an equivalent amount.

    The increases allow the Roads of National Significance (RoNS) programme and other roading projects to be delivered in the timeline set out in the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport Funding 2012.

    They also went up in 2009, 2012, and probably some other years I haven’t found info about. Nice to see this government has ideas of how to spend them wisely.

    • dukeofurl 7.1

      The cumulative amount in Nationals 9 years was 17c per litre. When you add GST that makes just under 20c more tax over 9 years.

      The 2012 series of 3c +3c+3c, came after the 2011 election where nothing was said about any increase.
      And Hosking suddenly now finds his voice ?

    • SPC 7.2

      Steven Joyce was Minister when the increases were 3 cents Oct 2009 and 3 cents Oct 2010.

  8. Keepcalmcarryon 8

    Auckland: 4 billion dollars
    Everyone else: 800 million dollars
    I am all for increased use of rail to take pressure off roads everywhere.
    Personally I’m not all about Auckland. Auckland. Auckland.
    I bet it’s exciting if you live in Auckland.
    Auckland

    • Carolyn_Nth 8.1

      Where did you get those funding figures from?

      • Keepcalmcarryon 8.1.1

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/102813205/bernard-hickey-a-rail-government-vs-a-motorway-opposition

        “They then plan to use $4 billion of that over the next decade to build rail infrastructure, mostly in Auckland, and will also use around $800 million to improve safety on regional roads. The big new motorways that National planned are gone.”

        • Carolyn_Nth 8.1.1.1

          Thanks. So that’s not actually the totality of the spending.

          The actual proposal by the government

          http://www.transport.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Our-Work/Documents/Draft-GPS-2018.pdf

          As well as regional safety improvements, also says this:

          an increased focus on regional transport including:

          developing transport connections that are crucial for linking production points with key distribution points (including routes important for exports, and those intra-regional routes critical for getting local goods to market
          [safety stuff]


          improving transport connections (including local roads, public transport and active modes) that enable tourists to safely reach their destination

          There’s stuff about improving cycling networks in Wellington, Auckland, and tourism trails; continued improvement on accessibility for people with disabilities in urban areas and inter-regionally.

          Then there’s this:

          GPS 2018 supports investment for the best solutions on
          the most critical transport routes, for example, in regions that have only one viable route in and out. This includes recovery activities for transport routes into and across North Canterbury and for urban areas such as Auckland,
          Wellington and Christchurch, which are vulnerable to high impact natural events.

          Management of Kiwirail comes under the SOE Act, which isn’t covered by this policy area.

    • Tamati Tautuhi 8.2

      I live in Auckland and it is a C**t of a Place sitting in traffic for hours on end. Fun, fun, fun and more fun ?

      I have got better things to do with my time ?

  9. Enough is Enough 9

    The spending side of this policy looks good.

    The regressive tax to pay for it though is something I would expect from the Nats.

    The Bankers in their Audis won’t be affected by a fuel tax.

    However the worker in South Auckland driving between three jobs to survive will feel it and will hurt.

    Hopefully the tax working group acknowledges this and fixes this stupid mistake,

    • AsleepWhileWalking 9.1

      Exactly. People commuting in due to high accomm costs will get pinged the most.

  10. CHCOff 10

    stream lining different industries to alternate through the week of starting and finishing later ( in full consultation) – like a couple of days a week a particular industry starts at 10 am and finishes at 7.00 pm, that type of thing, not everyday but one or two a week.

    That would clear the traffic congestions and gain everyone a great deal of time during the week not lost to slow crawling traffic jams.

  11. JohnSelway 11

    I have seen in the news a few rumblings about lowering the speed limit to 70km’s p/hour on what would apply to a vast majority of NZ’s roads outside of the cities.

    Please god no.

  12. Sacha 12

    Misleading headline I’m afraid. As the first sentence acknowledges, this is a *government* policy, not a Labour one. The environmental and regional aspects are notable.

  13. Barfly 13

    The regressiveness of this tax is not necessarily even user pays the heavy truck industry particularly after National’s increase in max truck weights does not pay its fair share due the enormous damage that heavy trucks cause to roads.

    I believe that the government should institute a study to determine what should be the trucking industries fair contribution to roading costs.

    • Keepcalmcarryon 13.1

      Only short haul should be allowed on the roads, any long haul stuff should go by rail where it exists. Downsize the trucks again too.

      • Tricledrown 13.1.1

        Keepcalm that is a totally stupid idea it was a disaster when it was policy.
        I worked in the transport industry when that policy was in place you would get a complete loss in productivity its as bad as Nationals Policy of Roads over public transport.
        Rail is good for heavy and bulk transport.
        But in the modern world of just in time delivery which reduces overheads for businesses.
        Your idea will waste time and resources.
        A balance between road and rail with rail getting the same subsidy as trucks get is a far more sensible solution.

        • Keepcalmcarryon 13.1.1.1

          I’d be interested in why you say that, I’m thinking in particular of the number and size of trucks on the South Islands state highway one affecting everyone else’s productivity.

  14. cleangreen 14

    Simon Bridges tried to poo-poo this bold Labour transport policy switch to “clean transport” in today’s Q+A and looked stupid instead. Ha Ha!!!!

    Well; – “Simon says” eh?

    Simon Bridges has no smooth skills that john Key had when lying so Simon Bridges is simply a big failure that cannot even look honest if he tried.

    He is a liability to national now and my guess is that he will be knived when the next negative poll comes out showing national are sinking under the waves like the unorganised captain he is.

    Thank God Phil Twyford has saved our rail as his speech today during Q+A he clearly answered National’s questions when asked if rail would be left out of funding inside the new Labour transport policy and he said;
    “all regional rail will be restored to service, unlike National who let it die under nine years of neglect”

    Bless Phil Twyford; – he is a savour of our provincial NZ rail and sensible land transport.

    • Tamati Tautuhi 14.1

      Simple Simon was a Crown Prosecution Lawyer and has a lack of understanding of the Transport Sector ?

  15. SPC 15

    Why not congestion charging on roads during peak periods – and commuter lanes (not subject to congestion “tolls” for those cars with passengers).

    Making better use of existing roads.

  16. Jenny 16

    “Labour aims to make transport system more sustainable”
    MICKYSAVAGE

    What is not sustainable is a $6 to $10 billion (depending on whether it has an added rail option) tunnel under the Waitemata, as proposed by the last government and tentatively supported by the Greens.

    Germany may have the right idea.

    “German cities to trial free public transport to cut pollution”
    The Guardian, 15 Feb. 2018

    “Car nation” Germany has surprised neighbours with a radical proposal to reduce road traffic by making public transport free, as Berlin scrambles to meet EU air pollution targets and avoid big fines.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/14/german-cities-to-trial-free-public-transport-to-cut-pollution?CMP=share_btn_fb

    The proposal will be tested by “the end of this year at the latest” in five cities across western Germany, including former capital Bonn and industrial cities Essen and Mannheim.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/14/german-cities-to-trial-free-public-transport-to-cut-pollution?CMP=share_btn_fb

    This is the future.

    Now I am not suggesting that we immediately go the whole German way on this. But surely, something along these lines would be a far more efficient way of moving thousands of commuters across the Waitemata than either a tunnel or another bridge. Both a bridge or tunnel will dump thousands of more cars into the CBD. Like Auckland needs that, Yeah right.

    Free public transport across the Auckland Harbour Bridge

    Before you dismiss the idea out of hand, consider this; For a tiny fraction of the cost of a second tunnel or bridge crossing, instead continue the highly successful dedicated busway all the way across the bridge using the two outside Eastern lanes, and make it free. People love free stuff.
    Further incentive to get commuters out of their private cars and onto the (free) public transport will be the fact that taking two lanes off the eight lane Harbour Bridge will create a much needed choke point, which, (much like the artificial choke points that have had to created now at most motorway on ramps), will act to reduce traffic congestion in the rest of the motorway system.

    Currently we have the opposite situation. The choke point is in the busway.

    Have you ever sat in your car approaching the Harbour Bridge from the Northern side and noticed how empty the busway is?

    Have you ever wondered why that is?

    It is kept that way deliberately, because if more buses were added, they would just bank up when they got to the bridge, where currently all commuter buses have to rejoin the normal congested traffic flow. Taking the busway right across the bridge and right into the CBD (And even, possibly, further though down beside the motorway system) will allow exponentially many more buses to be put on it.

    Even if the buses on this route were kept fare free for century, it would still be cheaper than a $10 billion road rail tunnel under the Waitemata.

    As well as lessening private car use and relieving congestion in the CBD, this option would far less polluting and sustainable, than another road crossing. And probably even cheaper and even more sustainable as EV technology improves, and as also probable, becomes autonomous. Something for which buses even more than cars are far better suited to, because they travel fixed routes.

    Something worth thinking of Micky?

  17. Jenny 17

    Rail between Auckland and Hamilton will come at expense of the poor – advocacy group
    Newshub, 5 April, 2018

    By Isobel Ewing

    A commuter rail line between Auckland and Hamilton could be one of the projects funded by the Government’s new transport policy.

    Such projects will be paid for by an increase in fuel tax, but opponents say the tax just adds to the burden of low income people.

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/04/rail-between-auckland-and-hamilton-will-come-at-expense-of-the-poor-advocacy-group.html

    The project would be paid for with an increase in petrol tax, which a poverty action group in Auckland says the burden of will fall on the poor.

    “It will disproportionately affect low-income families, people with vans or low-efficient fuel vehicles will be paying around $135 extra a week,” said Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson Ricardo Menendez.

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/04/rail-between-auckland-and-hamilton-will-come-at-expense-of-the-poor-advocacy-group.html

    But, not if we followed Germany’s example and went fare free.

    Then poorer people wouldn’t have to use their cars….

    And, then the tax burden would fall on those with the wont and the means to use their cars as a luxury rather than a necessity.

    This is the way of the future….

    Achieving social equity in freedom of movement for poorer people, plus, climate justice.

    “14 Germany cities to trial free public transport”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/14/german-cities-to-trial-free-public-transport-to-cut-pollution?CMP=share_btn_fb

  18. Jenny 18

    I have suggested that free public transport across the Harbour bridge would be more preferable and cheaper than a new bridge or tunnel.

    But maybe isn’t it about time that we too trialed radical Left ideas for public transport, instead of just Centre Left half measures, or even sticking with the Right’s more motorways?

    “Fare-Free New Zealand”

    By Roger Fowler

    This blog encourages discussion and advocacy on issues related to public transport, and offers a New Zealand perspective in the international urban transport fare-free movement. Please feel free contact us to contribute: farefreenz@clear.net.nz

    http://farefreenz.blogspot.co.nz/

    Answering the criticisms of Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson, Ricardo Menendez, above

    “The Case for Free Public Transport”
    The Bullet, 6 March, 2018

    By Connor Beaton

    The Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) is a proud advocate of a world-class, fare-free public transport system for Scotland…..

    The Scottish Socialist Party is brave enough to identify these changes. We call unashamedly for the integration of services – whether bus, rail, ferry, underground or tram – under publicly-owned and democratically-run operators.
    But the bravest step we can take as a nation to totally transform the way we travel is to support the international movement for free public transport and become pioneers of true freedom of movement for working class people.
    There is a strong economic, social, and environmental case for adopting this policy throughout the country. There is also precedent from successful fare-free public transport schemes in parts of France, Germany, Belgium, and Estonia as well as far-flung cities in China and the United States. [Ed.: see wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_public_transport, and FreeTransitToronto.org.] We have evidence of the policy’s affordability and benefit…..

    Building free transport links between rural communities even brings forward the possibility of economic regeneration in the Highlands, the Scottish Borders, and rural Fife, where greater interconnectivity and public investment could instigate growth and begin to reverse the exodus of young people from small towns and villages.
    Free transport is neither easy nor cheap, nor can it alone transform Scotland. However, as part of a comprehensive socialist strategy, it can radically change the conditions of Scottish workers and help realise the full potential of totally under-utilized modes of transport.

    http://farefreenz.blogspot.co.nz/2018/04/the-case-for-free-public-transport.html

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