Labour’s Auckland Transport announcement

Written By: - Date published: 1:30 pm, August 6th, 2017 - 102 comments
Categories: election 2017, labour, phil twyford, public transport, transport - Tags:

The Labour Party policy for transport in Auckland is the likes we have never seen in New Zealand.

Aucklanders have on average three cars per household. They are a massive national cause of pollution, CO2 and monoxide, waterway killers from tyres, and of course crushing congestion that cannot be appreciated unless you are for some unlucky reason forced to drive through its godawful motorway system during daylight.

It is a car-obsessed and car-dominated place, in its landscape, in its culture, in how you live and get to work, in its entire layout as far as the eye can see on a rare clear day for 100 kilometers. All they talk about is houses, but all they dream about is cars.

Just after World War One the great surge of tramways was built through many cities, and transport was a part of a cohesive city that helped a cohesive society.

This course was spectacularly undone by successive National Party governments since the late 1940s, when they determined to rip up Labour’s comprehensive plan for Auckland and build motorways. That Labour plan – as Chris Trotter showed in his book No Left Turn –  would have had transport nodes and medium density housing clustered together to re-form a cohesive and efficient city. Everything being done now is simply trying to get some of that back, 70 years later.

Instead, the tram tracks were ripped up and replaced with pathetic trolley buses, the airport was duplicated needlessly at Mangere forcing a whole new motorway system, cohesive planning went out the window, and Auckland turned within two decades from a reasonably compact city to a giant landscape-eater that dominates this country like few other cities in the world dominate their countries.

So here’s highlights of what Labour is proposing. You’ll recognize it if you follow Greater Auckland and what all the cool kids have been promoting for some time:

  • A full light rail system up State Highway 16, all the way from the CBD right up to Westgate. Not measly dedicated bus lanes. Actual light rail like most other major Australian cities are enacting right now.
  • Light rail to the Airport, but most importantly going from the CBD to the end of Dominion Road completed within the next 4 years. That is some major and fast construction. And express dedicated bus lanes from the airport in the first year.
  • A really serious review of whether we really need that massive $1.5 billion east-west expressway.
  • A full light rail system up the North Shore.
  • Confirmation that if Auckland Council want a regional fuel tax to assist with transport costs, they will have it.
    An accelerated dedicated bus lane system right throughout South Auckland.
  • Plus many more otherwise unimaginable hits that form an Auckland in which public transport dominates over roads and cars.

Like any mature European city does. Other than maybe Turin.

Interestingly, no comment yet about any structural changes between Kiwirail and NZTA – but that’s a machinery of government question for a future Cabinet to consider rather than a policy goal.

Labour’s announcements fit hand in glove with their housing policies, which will see a housing entity to rival NZTA in scale and delivery power.

Affordable housing, fun transport, and an audacious goal to transform the lives of a third of New Zealanders.

With their housing and transport policies put together, it’s transformationally bold.

Labour is simply proposing to rebuild society, for good.

For those of us who live in Auckland, we need this, and Labour proposes to deliver it.

102 comments on “Labour’s Auckland Transport announcement”

  1. Craig H 1

    But… but… but… Sensible policy is not what an election is about!

  2. patricia bremner 2

    I begin to believe their policies are cohesive and achievable. Let’s do this.

  3. dukeofurl 3

    “the airport was duplicated needlessly at Mangere forcing a whole new motorway system” ??? WTF

    Essentially the new airport was required to operate some thing as simple as the Dc-8.
    Long range airliners couldnt even use Whenuapai in the early 60s, let alone what is required now.

    When the airport opened in 1965 the motorway was already at Papakura.

    Pathetic trolley buses ? You wouldnt believe the number of passengers they carried in the early 60s. Then the story is fact free why bother.

    • Ad 3.1

      Whenuapai was a perfectly viable international airport. A serious attempt to return it to commercial and international use was made in 2007 and only stopped by Helen Clark herself. It was a jv between Waitakere Council, North Shore Council, and Infratil Ltd.

      If you are not aware of the catastrophic fall in public transport use when they changed to trolley buses, check it out.

      The facts are clear for a century: trams and light rail work in Auckland far better than any other pt mode.

      • dukeofurl 3.1.1

        Wrong again. Whenupai was never a viable international airport. Air NZ would still be flying electras to Sydney if they stayed with it. ( Funnily enough it too has a new motorway passing nearby )

        ” A serious attempt to return it to commercial and international use was made in 2007 and only stopped by Helen Clark herself.”

        Never stopped by Helen Clark, it was John Key and his government in 2008. His electorate surrounded the area at the time.
        They would have only used the 737 jets for domestic routes and maybe some across the Tasman as they had longer range by that time.
        The decline in passenger number was from just after the war when petrol rationing ended and continued through both trams and trolley buses

        Even more fact free.

        • Ad 3.1.1.1

          The Cabinet decision on Whenuapai was before Key was PM. Key opposed it as local MP in his first term.

          As you note Whenuapai had international capacity. And would have been developed in time, just as Mangere is being redeveloped now. The detail of all of that is in the Infratil planning documents.

          You can debate the causes of public transport decline here:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_transport_in_Auckland#Declining_use
          Petrol rationing is not mentioned there, but I’m sure you have your own sources to quote.

          The big counterfactual from public transport to the car is not found in petrol rationing, but in land speculation. Auckland had intended to be planned under Labour similar to the Lower Hutt suburbs, using publicly owned land corridors adjacent to the rail corridor. Land speculation had been impossible while wartime price-controls remained in place and was still fiscally discouraged by the Town and Country Planning Act, which applied a 50% betterment tax on the sale of land holdings adjoining urban boundaries.

          National, however, eliminated price-controls on land and abolished betterment tax. Here comes the speculators paradise that we still have. National enabled speculators and developers to get to this land by financing vast new road systems beyond the state housing areas of Auckland in Tamaki by the National Roads Act of 1953. This applied the revenue raised by taxing motor vehicle registration and the supply of motor fuel to their construction. Build more roads, to get to more houses, rip up the tracks, and what you incite demand for is the car.

          Which is what we have, as far as the eye can see, from then until today.

          What had been a contained city until that national government got in, working to a clear plan guided by central government in particular MOW, turned quickly into sprawl as suburban development jumped over the state housing ring and extended into outer areas which from the 1950s and even 1960s still lay outside the urban growth boundary.

          • dukeofurl 3.1.1.1.1

            Bob Harvey was fighting to keep Whenuapai open, as labour policy was to close as a defence economy. If Helen Clark was opposed to it closing, it wouldnt have gone through cabinet.
            Jan 2011.
            “The Government is to spend $24 million as part of upgrading the Whenuapai airfield at RNZAF Base Auckland, Defence Minister Wayne Mapp announced today.
            “National promised retention of Whenuapai as an operational airbase. This project is part of the resulting programme of essential works. It will give the base a new lease of life,” the Minister said.”

            https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/24m-contract-brings-new-life-whenuapai

            National Party Stance a Milestone for Campaign

            Thursday, 29 November 2007, 1:02 pm | Whenuapai Airport Action Group
            Confirmation of the National Party stance in respect to the future of Whenuapai as a commercial airport is being hailed by WAAG president, Russell Stewart as a “milestone” in the community led campaign to stop the use of the Whenuapai Airbase as a commercial ..

            http://info.scoop.co.nz/Whenuapai_Airport_Action_Group

            Experts never saw it as a viable future international airport. Part of the problem is the runways would have had to be rebuilt for the heavier jets, So would had to close for a long period with no other options

            • Ad 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Bob Harvey was indeed fighting to keep it open. The potential for closure was signaled by Hodgson’s Defence assets review early in the Clark government’s second term.

              One of the outcomes was the closure of Hobsonville. Hobsonville itself required the relocation of the SAS, the helicopter squadron, and a plan for future economic use to replace the Defence jobs that dominated this part Auckland. Anderton was the first to come up with a plan – which after a few years failed, and was replaced with the Hobsonville Land Co still developing the land now.

              This also opened up questions about the future use of Whenuapai.

              There were a series of discussions at Cabinet level about both of them. I know because I spoke to multiple Cabinet Ministers about the matter at the time.

              The Infratil plan budgeted for a full rebuild and realignment of the runway. Cabinet and NZDF were aware of this. It was due for a full rebuild anyway because the original runway was set down in a set of large concrete blocks that were well worn.

              Because of this, NZDF air force were keen for partial commercialization because at the time they needed the capital. Also because there was a risk that they would all get relocated to Palmy. And none of them wanted to go there.

              Air regulators were fine with the proposal. Flight corridors remained on both the Waitakere and North Shore District Plans – so the regulatory questions were limited to increases in noise at specific times.

      • aom 3.1.2

        Not sure about the nuances but Auckland dodged a bullet if the parasitic entity Infratil were locked out.

    • Ad 3.2

      As for the motorway, you are clearly ignorant of this thing in Auckland called SH20.

      To jog your memory, the new bridge we put in to Mangere in the mid-1970s. It took several years to build due to prolonged strike action. Then there was George Bolt Memorial Drive.

      SH 20 is a duplication around the isthmus of SH1. Which, if they had managed demand better from the 1950s, would not have been needed at all.

      • dukeofurl 3.2.1

        Im not ignorant of SH20, I was involved in transport planning in the mid 1970s, so please , the SH20 was planned to go from Wiri To Waterview. Do you think the old Mangere Bridge could have managed ?
        And guess what, Whenuapai has a new motorway near it as well. These things were planned while you were in primary school.

    • Sacha 3.3

      Some illustrated facts for you about the history of public transit patronage in Ak: https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2013/05/09/aucklands-historic-pt-patronage/

  4. Sanctuary 4

    Whenuapai has too an important a military role to be disposed of. It is the base of our long range transport and ASW/ASR fleet and being completely military allows for discrete arrivals and departures.

    A light rail network eventually stretching from Puhunui to Albany via the airport and Dominion road is fantastic.

    Eventually, it could go to Howick via Te Irirangi drive and Botony road and loop back to to Sylvia park, and lopp around the upper harbour highway to Albany.

    Oh and Jacinda’s grasp of and use of social media is electorally a breakthrough.

    • Ad 4.1

      The Labour proposal extends the existing plan for a dedicated bus way from Panmure to Botany (preparing for construction next year), to go all the way down Te Irirangi Drive to Manukau. The existing AMETI design can take light rail – but it is not proposed to.

    • In Vino 4.2

      Whenuapai’s Military role is a complete anathema. When the debate about its closure was taking place, all the pro-militarists seemed quite happy to accuse Saddam Hussein of using ‘Human Shields’ yet they promoted making Whenuapai a nuclear target right on the edge of our country’s largest city. Stupidity! Nothing military should be making our biggest city a target.

  5. Carolyn_nth 5

    I like the idea of light rail here there and everywhere.

    Would like to see some free travel for students and people on low incomes on buses and rail – with increased public transport more users, that should be possible.

    Would like to see rail revived and substantial public transport in the provinces, including the outer regions of Auckland, which are increasingly the refuge of people who can’t afford city housing.

    • Ad 5.1

      You may have to wait for the announcement from Julie-Anne Genter.

      She was at the Labour announcement today – looking a bit sick I might add. Labour’s stolen all her greatest potential announcements.

      • Carolyn_nth 5.1.1

        Doesn’t matter who has the policies. If the GP and LP have the same policies, that’s excellent – more chance of them being put into practice.

        The GP already have the Green Card and some other stuff: e.g. electrifying rail between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga – for freight in the first instance; regional rail Tauranga and Manawatū.

      • Carolyn_nth 5.1.2

        James Shaw, on tonight’s FB Q & A, says the GP is delighted that Labour has now come on board with GP’s policies. He says Labour & GP policies differ in how they will pay for it.

    • Stuart Munro 5.2

      That’s the secret of effective public transport networks – increase plexity. The more branches and connections the better it works. It took more than 40 years for the Seoul subway system to become consistently profitable – but they kept on adding lines. Now it’s the best in the world. And they’re still adding lines.

  6. mickysavage 6

    Gee way to go Phil Twyford. Instead of building a busway and eventually converting to light rail the policy is not to muck around but to go straight to light rail.

    This will go down really well out west, particularly in Upper Harbour …

  7. Craig H 7

    I’d love to see electric fast rail (minimum 200 kph) in and out of Auckland. Start with Auckland to Hamilton, and add from there.

    • dukeofurl 7.1

      Not enough population.

      • Craig H 7.1.1

        If we build it, they will come…

        • dukeofurl 7.1.1.1

          No they wont. You do realise NZ is less population than any one of the Chinese mega citys that have fast rail links
          4 over 20 mill, a dozen over 10 mill
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_in_China_by_population_and_built-up_area

          NZ is between Zhengzhou and Fuzhou in population – no I hadnt heard of them either

          Auckland Hamilton is 124 km, while New York to Philadelphia is 160km. See the problem?

          The Dutch megapolis comprising their largest cities covers a similar area to Auckland City, yet has over 7 mill people, They rely on fast train links between those main city centres
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randstad

          For other comparison, Paris to Lyon by TGV every hour, ( what you are suggesting) .
          having a 200km/hr train line would mean a completely new pair of tracks, cant be run on same lines with freight trains, when you are doing those speeds. The BCR would be apalling

          • Ad 7.1.1.1.1

            You worry too much about BCR’s.

          • Craig H 7.1.1.1.2

            Just think of the savings in house prices when ten thousand people decide to commute from Hamilton every day instead of living in Auckland.

            • dukeofurl 7.1.1.1.2.1

              People complain now about the higher transport costs from Pukekohe to Auckland, from Hamilton they just wont accept that much higher costs.

              BCR are just a tool to rank the very many projects, its far better than just daydreamers.
              We have issues with housing people and you are suggesting a gold plated project with a BCR which could be 0,001 or so.

              • DoublePlusGood

                If it had ‘road’ somewhere in the project title, National would definitely fund it if it had a BCR of 0.001

              • Molly

                “People complain now about the higher transport costs from Pukekohe to Auckland, “
                I’m assuming this is in reference to me. You didn’t reply to the anomalies I pointed out to you in the past. It would be good if you did.

                Public transport uptake has long-term financial benefits for the government and council in terms of reduced pollution, less spending on roads, improved health for citizens, and increased social connectivity and community. This is without even considering the transition to other modes of transport in response to climate change.

                That is why the government should be subsidising public transport instead of facilitating personal vehicle use.

                Services should be provided in advance of need and the uptake will occur as they become more frequent and reliable.

  8. Upnorth 8

    Umm there is one amazing ommission in this policy. Where is the plans for electric cars. Major car companies are already planning no petrol cars by 2040.
    Are labour got any foresight. Sorry a fail

  9. Chess Player 9

    Looks like a good policy on first look.
    It’s a shame that the infrastructure spending in this country doesn’t follow the population growth, and that a new tax of some kind will be needed, but if it’s what’s required to break the many decades stalemate between central and local government on this issue then I’m for this.
    Presumably a new tax on Wellingtonians will also be introduced to pay for Transmission Gully?

  10. alwyn 10

    Can someone please tell me just where the policy is available.
    There is no link in this post and the only thing I can see on the Labour Party website is a rather fluffy little piece.
    http://www.labour.org.nz/labour_to_build_rail_to_auckland_airport
    Where is the guts of the proposal?

  11. Gabby 11

    Why light rail? Why not proper trains linked to existing system?

    • Sanctuary 11.1

      “…Why light rail? Why not proper trains linked to existing system?…”

      because $$$$$$$$$$

  12. Mrs Brillo 12

    Three cars per household?
    Shiver me timbers.
    Are all this government’s best buddies oil importers, car salesmen, or road builders? Because Auckland infrastructure seems to have been organised around the needs of these groups, not the needs of commuters.
    We can see where some corrections are needed.

    • Chess Player 12.1

      Corrections are extremely overdue.
      Most Aucklanders are just normal people trying to earn a living to support their families.
      But unless you live in some quite specific locations and work in some quite specific locations, using public transport on a daily basis is impossible. You need several changes, and nothing connects up well in terms of transitioning from one to the other.
      It’s unusual for a family to only have one person working if a mortgage needs to be paid, so each adult usually has a car, and once you add a teenager or two, the average quickly rises.
      The North Shore busway initiated by George Wood is somewhat of an exception and has exceeded expectations – I believe there are now more people commuting over the harbour bridge each day in buses than on cars, which is an unbelievable turnaround from 20 years ago when I first came to Auckland.
      It is so much quicker to bus than drive if it’s simply North Shore into CBD and back again.
      Unfortunately, the hob and spoke nature of the city means that there’s a cap on how many commuters this will work for.
      National’s bright idea to finally add a busway to the Western motorway has been met with eye-rolls amongst people I know, as we all couldn’t work out why it wasn’t done already when they widened the motorway and added a cycle lane.
      Mike Lee has been a massive hand-brake within the regional council and now Auckland council for decades, so it’s good to see him finally being pushed out too.

  13. BM 13

    People love cars, People hate being stuck in traffic, therefore, People love lots of roads, especially really big roads.

    Labour once again is going to fall into that old socialist trap of “we know best, you’ll do as we say and what we say is buses and trains!!!

    • ScottGN 13.1

      What a load of bollocks BM. The biggest roads in Auckland are the most congested and deliver the slowest travel times.

      • BM 13.1.1

        What a load of bollocks BM. The biggest roads in Auckland are the most congested and deliver the slowest travel times.

        The answer then is to build more roads.

        • ScottGN 13.1.1.1

          What until you’ve completely asphalted the entire Isthmus? Even you aren’t that fucking stupid BM.

          • BM 13.1.1.1.1

            Dingus, I’m thinking like your average voter, something you left wingers never seem to consider.

            Democracy, mother fucker you’ve got to take that into consideration or it’s going to be brickwallsville with your ideas and concepts.

            • ScottGN 13.1.1.1.1.1

              No you’re not. You’re thinking like an endangered species BM.

              • BM

                You guys have absolutely no idea how to sell, convince, get people thinking along the same line.

                That’s why the left wing always fails, you guys don’t sell you just tell people this is how it is.

                And people to tell you to go get fucked, utterly hopeless.

                • ScottGN

                  Explaining is losing buddy. You only had to watch the news tonight to see who was selling an idea.

                  • BM

                    I don’t watch scheduled TV, you may have to explain what you’re on about.

                    • ScottGN

                      Well you might want to over the next 7 weeks mate because something amazing is going to play out on the telly.

                    • ScottGN

                      Haha. Stick your head in a fucking hole, won’t make any difference to what happens.

                    • BM

                      Phff, Scheduled TV is for oldies. we all know how stubborn oldies are, just look at the standard.

            • ScottGN 13.1.1.1.1.2

              Don’t lecture me on democracy BM. There’s been precious little of it the last 9 years.

          • Stuart Munro 13.1.1.1.2

            It doesn’t pay to overestimate the intelligence of trolls.

        • Sanctuary 13.1.1.2

          What a complete andeluvian moron. Do you even live in Auckland? Because you sound about as informed on Auckland transport issues as Pete George is on 21st century.

          I take the train to work every day, and I increasingly use the network to get around rather than drive. It saves on parking and I don’t have to watch what I drink.

          The thing with PT is once people start using it, they start to expect it to fufill their needs for things other than just providing a commuter service. You get used to catching the bus or the train or the light rail, and you start buying all you can eat transport passes.

          • McGrath 13.1.1.2.1

            I live in Auckland and I love roads. Nothing like getting into your car and going where you want, when you want. Who wants to wait 30 mins for the next bus or catch a train that is nowhere near where you want to go?

            • Chess Player 13.1.1.2.1.1

              The thing is, you’re comparing buses and trains in Auckland, as planned and implemented by generations of morons, with the approach that proper grown-up cities have taken and shown to be successful.
              There’s no need for absolutism either – there’s a place for both public and private transport in all cities. What’s missing in Auckland is the right balance.

              • McGrath

                I agree with you on planning. Auckland is poorly planned and has been since day one. Development emphasis has always being on cars and roads. It’s more economic fixing and improving the road network than trying to resurrect rail.

                • It’s more economic fixing and improving the road network than trying to resurrect rail.

                  No it’s not.

                  Price for the E-W road link: ~$2 billion
                  Price for both the 3rd and 4th trunk lines: ~$200 million

                  Essentially, 1/10th the price while producing far better outcomes. And that can probably applied right across the road network. Roads at tens times the price while getting far less.

              • BM

                It’s about transition, that;s something the right gets and the left just doesn’t seem to be able to grasp because it’s always like chattering with like.

                If it’s roads, road roads, you just can’t suddenly swing to buses, trains, buses, trains without getting some serious push back.

                Basic behavioural dynamics 101.

                • If it’s roads, road roads, you just can’t suddenly swing to buses, trains, buses, trains without getting serious push back.

                  The demand for buses and trains in Auckland has always been fr higher than the RWNJs, such as yourself, give credit to. Probably because it goes against your beliefs – again as reality has a tendency to do.

                • Ad

                  They’ve been “swinging back” to public transport for over five years now.
                  Public transport is never going to be the primary mode of getting around Auckland.

                  But consider:
                  Coming into the Auckland CBD by car at peak time is about 25% of the way people get in there now.

                  Hard to imagine, until it happens.

                  Nut sure if you have a Gold Card but boy are they used after 9am, and all the way from Swanson to Waiheke Island, and back, for a coffee. Best thing Winston ever did.

                • Chess Player

                  I don’t think any sudden swinging is being proposed is it?
                  All the projects seem to have fairly long delivery dates.
                  A directional change, however, is important, as those who design and build such infrastructure will need time to resource-up in order to perform the work.
                  Presumably the Ministry Of Works will not be ramped up to do the work, so there’s a few ducks in the private sector to be lined up and taught how the quack before any turf-turning photos can be taken.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Presumably

                    If the alternative is herding ducks, it would make far more sense and take far less time to just get on with the job, especially with such long delivery dates.

            • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1.2.1.2

              That would be because you haven’t done the economics that show that cars are completely inefficient. If you and the rest of the right-wing were as good at economics as you say then you’d never support more cars.

              You’re demanding a little bit of convenience at a massive price.

              • Chess Player

                If you read carefully, you’ll see that I said ‘private transport’ not cars.
                For some reason you seem to think I meant cars.
                If I meant cars I would say cars.

                Some examples of private transport are available below, for your education.
                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_transport

                Perhaps you want all those methods of transport to be banned as well?

                • Haven’t replied to you on this thread so I don’t know why you’re responding to me there.

                  And private mass-transit has it’s own problems as it would contain the dead-weight loss of profit and huge duplication of bureaucracy.

                  And, no, I wouldn’t ban them. Why bother when the efficiency of public transport far outweighs that of private transport thus making it cheaper. And, of course, I’d build for bicycles which are the most efficient form of transport available.

    • Muttonbird 13.2

      Trains work in other developed countries. Why not NZ? Or are you happy to consider NZ a developing country?

      • McGrath 13.2.1

        There isn’t the population density in Auckland, we’re just too spread out to make rail economic. Look at London for example: so many millions crammed together made it sensible to use trains.

        NZ also has so many cars per capita. We are 8th in the world. Roads are the answer as I doubt you’ll convince the average Jo and Jane to give up their car.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_vehicles_per_capita

        • ScottGN 13.2.1.1

          No one is trying to convince the average Joe or Jane to give up their car. The announcements today, and even National has been dragged, kicking and screaming to this point, is to provide transport options across the Isthmus so that we aren’t ALL trying to use the roads.

        • Draco T Bastard 13.2.1.2

          There isn’t the population density in Auckland, we’re just too spread out to make rail economic.

          Bollocks. If that argument had any validity we wouldn’t have the congestion that we have.

          NZ also has so many cars per capita. We are 8th in the world.

          Yep, we have that because of stupid right-wing decisions going against what the people wanted over the last 60+ years.

          Roads are the answer as I doubt you’ll convince the average Jo and Jane to give up their car.

          They’re already giving them up and flocking to the trains and buses:

          Within Auckland’s public transport model, rapid transit stands out as the real opportunity. In Auckland people have already voted with their feet as shown by the annual compound growth of the northern network busway and the rail network.

          You’re just spouting typical RWNJ ignorance.

        • Sanctuary 13.2.1.3

          Dude, try and not be like such an ignorant idiot with your ridiculous zombie “facts”.

          “…There isn’t the population density in Auckland…” was long ago debunked.

          “..I doubt you’ll convince the average Jo and Jane to give up their car…”

          They already are and have, you out of touch twit. God, you sound like the classic smug complacent asshole – white male, middle aged, you know, what we call an arrogant pricj but ACT calls it’s base. What is it like to be so far out of touch? Do you call still have trouble with your VHS? Can’t master these new-fangled mobile phones? Are you afraid of children? Are you still dreaming of dancing cossacks?

          Try and keep up, and stop bothering the smart and up to date people with your 20th century whining.

          • BM 13.2.1.3.1

            [RL: Deleted unwanted text.]

          • McGrath 13.2.1.3.2

            What is is with you Lefties and your racism against white people? This Maori boy from his Thames tribe doesn’t understand your blind hate. Celebrate diversity for all (except for whitey).

            As for people giving up cars, what a crock of shit!!! New car registrations are at record highs and climbing. Franchised motor vehicle dealers have never had it so good. Vehicles are flying out the door for consumers and businesses. I’m in the motor vehicle industry so I can vouch that you’re talking out your ass.

            http://www.mia.org.nz/Sales-Data

          • Gabby 13.2.1.3.3

            That little shitstorm of abuse would suggest some little boy needs his nap time.

    • Chess Player 13.3

      I lived overseas for years, in several cities bigger than Auckland, and never needed to own a car.
      It just wasn’t necessary, as a suitable public transport system had been planned and implemented.
      It’s frankly embarrassing, for example, that there isn’t a fast way to travel from Auckland airport into the CBD – the country relies on tourists for a quarter of it’s overseas earnings and the vast majority of those land in Auckland, before going on elsewhere.
      We create roads at tax-payer expense all over the country for Fonterra trucks to collect milk – why not fast-track the tourists with money to spend into the places where the money can be spent?
      We have one city generating one third of all tax raised in this country – why not try to get that city working efficiently rather than inefficiently?

    • People love cars, People hate being stuck in traffic, therefore, People love lots of roads, especially really big roads.

      Actually, looking at the decline in people getting their drivers licence I think it’s more likely that the majority of people actually hate cars and probably because they’re stuck in traffic so bloody much. And, of course, more roads produces more traffic and more traffic jams with induced demand.

      Labour once again is going to fall into that old socialist trap of “we know best, you’ll do as we say and what we say is buses and trains!!!

      You do understand that Aucklanders have been demanding better PT for the better part of a century don’t you?

      It’s actually National and their roads that are saying that they know best and that we can only have what they choose. And their choice is giving us traffic jams and hundreds of deaths each year from pollution caused by those choices.

      • You_Fool 13.4.1

        Anecdotal evidence, but still, out at Hobsonville Point AT recently did a survey about the ferry service. Overwhelmingly the response was we want more ferries, more often and during off-peak times, including evening Friday & Saturday. The same story was told, if you provide it we will use it. No one wants to drive down (what was*) the shitshow of a NW motorway, or try and navigate shitty inner city streets or pay a small house in parking to go out for dinner with friends, but at the same time not take 2hrs to commute to downtown, as per the bus options. A ferry takes 30 minutes.

        *this may get downgraded with the tunnel open now seemingly reducing congestion for now, but that will be back and really just says they should have put in the ferries ages back so it became ingrained as the standard may to travel to town.

  14. Interestingly, no comment yet about any structural changes between Kiwirail and NZTA – but that’s a machinery of government question for a future Cabinet to consider rather than a policy goal.

    That is probably a must have. Coherent planning is what we need as far as transport goes and we’re not getting that while we have a large part of the solution running as profit making venture in competition with the road system.

  15. greg 16

    message from lord flash heart

  16. adam 17

    My problem is the airport is not the real issue for public transport. It’s the people who live down the corridor to the airport.

    South Auckland people who live down that way, have some of the worst public transport in the city. And quite frankly, light rail will not fix that problem for them.

    Oh and it’s what 200,000 odd people. Mainly brown and poor, so not real high on anyone’s radar politically in this country.

    As for the rest of the plan, it will help. A lot more than the hopes and wishes plan the Tory’s keep spoon feeding.

    • Ad 17.1

      The big parts that will help the south are:

      – Dedicated busway from Panmure to Pakuranga to Botany Downs to Manukau

      – Light rail with all its stops through Mangere: the airport employs around 9,000 people from Mangere and Mangere Bridge

      – Dedicated busway from airport through to Puhinui, which in turn links to the main rail line

      And the western dedicated light rail helps a whole bunch of brown and working people in the west as well.

      • adam 17.1.1

        The western standard rail does a great job.

        More light rail out west to supplement the rail line would also be good.

        Light rail or trams just won’t cut it. They can’t move the numbers on their own.

        As such trams/light rail would be good for supporting a standard rail line through the southwest corridor.

        • Gabby 17.1.1.1

          So light rail is just single carriages then?

          • Robbie Chalmers 17.1.1.1.1

            Light rail -There is no standard definition, but in the United States, where the terminology was devised in the 1970s (from the engineering term light railway), light rail operates primarily along exclusive rights-of-way and uses either individual tramcars or multiple units coupled to form a train.

            basically Trams but probably re-marketed to avoid 19th century connotations.

            My 10 cents as a Flafa.
            It’s a step in the right direction , at least a generation too late.
            An old school Socialist government[Uncle Joe/Mao/Ho Chi Minh] would have the cajones to address the commuter obsession with cars by edict.
            Ban non-commercial/single driver private motor vehicles on the existing commuter road network between 6am and 7pm.
            Buy in bulk e-bikes and the likes of the bmw iopods https://www.behance.net/gallery/36731957/BMW-i0-Pod-Concept and sell/lease at cost plus basis to those who need journeys that can’t be accomodated by Public transport – Justification required.
            Much of the gridlock and need for wider/more lanes would be eliminated by vehicles with a much smaller footprint.
            The complete absurdity of 3mX 2m vehicles carrying one occupant never fails to astound me on the increasingly rare occasions that torture myself with Auckland traffic.
            Non-compliance : 10k instant fine and loss of license for 5 years.

            I’m sure Peter Thiel’s mob can supply an Algorithm and surveillance hardware that will ensure compliance.

  17. Ad 18

    I forgot to mention:

    Jacinda and Twyford gave big shout-outs to Bike Auckland, Greater Auckland, and Generation Zero. The Labour plan is essentially their plan.

    Labour have essentially adopted their bold plan – which was developed free, put out into the public domain.

    That plan has done more to shift the debate about growth and transport in Auckland than anything put out by the Auckland Council or by the business community or by NZTA or by the government.

    So, anyone who contributed to that plan, you did an amazing job there.

  18. TheBlackKitten 19

    Nothing for South Auckland (apart from a bus lane which you said was messy a couple of points up) which has to be the most congested part of Auckland. I am not impressed.

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  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago

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