Northland politicians want to drop more trucks into Auckland

Written By: - Date published: 6:24 am, April 5th, 2018 - 75 comments
Categories: national, transport - Tags: , , , ,

From Politik this morning “Road rage in the provinces“.

Four regional Mayors are heading to Wellington to tell Transport Minister Phil Twyford his new roading proposals threaten jobs in their region.

The Mayors, from Northland, want to see State Highway One converted to four lanes from Whangarei to Wellsford.  From there it is already four lanes.

They say that it is critical for economic development and jobs in New Zealand’s second most depressed region.

While I am sure that the politicians from Northland genuinely think that putting more traffic into the traffic chaos of the Auckland isthmus would be good for them, but they are frigging delusional. Aucklanders neither need them nor want them, and Northlanders coming here are always shocked when they meet their first hour long crawl on the 8 lane SH1 on the North Shore.

But there is more…

But Shepherd says it has a more substantial basis than that.

“It’s not the previous Government’s priority, it’s Northland’s priority.”

He says that Northland is dependent on the one road; 98% of all heavy truck movements in and out of the region are on State Highway One.

The Government’s argument against four-lane highways is that the money is urgently needed elsewhere.

We have more than enough trucks already blocking and wearing out our roads on the constrained Auckland isthmus already. More trucks aren’t going to help Auckland’s transport woes. Northland should look to rail.

Perhaps Phil Twyford should remind these blinkered idiots (although I am sure Phil will be more polite than that) that Northland’s one road leads straight to a very constrained Auckland isthmus.

Auckland is the main transport hub for NZ. Nowhere else in NZ even approaches the densities of traffic here. It is also a geographically constrained region has something like 1.6 million people in it, and just two major overburdened national roads (SH1 and SH16/SH20)  running through it.

These are roads that are already jam-packed  for most of the day and with heavy traffic at night. I am writing this at 0530 with coffee looking at the early commuter traffic on SH16. The volumes even at this time exceed what I saw through most of south of new Hamilton SH1 motorway a few weekends ago in mid-afternoon.

It felt like my old car was almost alone on a semi deserted billion dollar tarmac. I’d love to see the business case for that white elephant, however I am sure that NZTA has it hidden.

Right now, Auckland needs more Northland traffic like we need a hole in our head. Since 2013 Auckland has grown by nearly 300,000 people – ie by about twice the size of the total Northland population is. By comparison Northland has grown by way less, probably by less than 10 thousand even with all of the overflow from here.

This hasn’t been helped by the National government doing fuck all for transport in Auckland over the last 9 years.  Sure they finished the projects like the SH20 connection to SH16 that were already started and funded under the last Labour government. They also finally and very very reluctantly assisted on the Central Rail Link after it was made clear that the choice was to either get involved or be blamed for the rating increases required to build it.

But overall they have poured people into Auckland causing a housing crisis, massive traffic congestion, social problems, and a structural infrastructural deficit, while also starving Auckland of the funds to cope with it.

Instead despite the rapid growth in Auckland of traffic, population, and the regions feeding heavy trucks into our isthmus, they have steadily been decreasing transport funding here – basically to pay for Roads of Significance to National.

This is pretty clear when you look at the numbers. Here is a post from the Greater Auckland blog that focuses on transport issues looking at the 2016 spend per capita. Like previous years, it shows our surrounding provincial areas getting larger spends than the rapidly expanding Auckland population that National imposed upon us.

Transport spending by regions per capita

And we already have a massive transport deficit to make up in Auckland. Rather than rising to cover expanding population here, it has been falling as a percentage of the road funding over the last couple of decades.

Transport spending in Auckland

It makes far more sense for Northland to learn to rely on rail for freight. Because Auckland neither needs nor wants their bloody expressway feeding trucks into our transport system.

75 comments on “Northland politicians want to drop more trucks into Auckland”

  1. Stunned mullet 1

    What exactly is being moved into/out of Northland that requires this additional infrastructure?

    • lprent 1.1

      I really don’t know. Most of the heavy production from Northland (agricultural, logs, kauri ‘tabletops’) should be shipped out of the port at Marsden point. There is the fruit growing. But I think that their major market is Auckland.

      With about 150k odd people in the whole of the North, the deliveries shouldn’t be that large. That is just 3 Auckland suburbs over a much larger area, but still just going up a constrained road the size of Dominion road (without the lights and with a lot less traffic), just like the delivery trucks to here.

      I suspect that they are after a gold plated expressway to get more growth, probably largely from long distance commuters perhaps? /sarc

      But offhand I can’t think of much that can develop further in Northland apart from the forestry. And regardless if they go by road to here then they will get stuck in the ever increasing road jams.

    • dukeofurl 1.2

      Thats right. The Holiday highway barely makes sense and that ends at Warkworth, going all the way to Whangarei has no economic justification. Anyway Northland wont like the toll charges

      • Chuck 1.2.1

        “The Holiday highway barely makes sense and that ends at Warkworth”.

        It does make sense. Traffic once it reaches Warkworth which is the bottleneck then divides up. Some carry on north on SH1 the rest turns right towards the coast.

        Solve the bottleneck that is Warkworth and it will make a significant difference.

        • dukeofurl 1.2.1.1

          I was thinking of the raw numbers for BCR.
          The bottleneck at Warkworth could be solved in any number of ways. Its mainly a weekend and holiday thing, hardly the reason to spend $800 mill plus.

          I understand the Holiday Highway will END just past Warkworth ( 2 or 3 km).

          The last section of the HH could be completed as it runs from SH1 just 5km south ( Honey shop/Satellite dishes) to a few Km north of the town.

          If we werent such a mountainous low density country maybe we could afford super highways everywhere.

          Switzerland is mountainous too and has smallish population 8.4 mill. But the land area is like if you took Canterbury region and chopped off the Kaikoura part.

          Twice as many people and 15% of the land area. They make the sensible position to ultilise rail

          • Carolyn_Nth 1.2.1.1.1

            I go to Warkworth sometimes for work on weekdays. The traffic around the Hill Street intersection is always pretty clogged up. And it’s tricky getting across that intersection by car, especially to go out in the Snells Beach direction..

            The town centre is always full of cars, with very limited car parking. That’s probably partly because of the limited bus service in the area, so most people drive into town.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.2

          It does make sense.

          No it doesn’t. It’s BCR, even under the most auspicious reasons that National could invent, was way too low to make it viable:

          Steven Joyce has announced plans for a motorway from Puhoi to Wellsford at a cost of $2 billion ($1.4 billion in today’s money).

          The route is used by just 15,000 cars a day (and that has been falling the last few years) and is estimated (optimistically) to save just 15 minutes off the travel time. The New Zealand Transport Agency charged with building the thing says it will deliver just 80 cents of benefit to the country for every dollar the Government spends on it. That means we would be richer as a country if we left the money under a mattress.

          It’s a massive friggen waste based upon National’s blind ideology. Simply building a road won’t be enough encouragement for people to move there and develop the economy.

          • Macro 1.2.1.2.1

            On Saturday SH1 from Orewa to Warkworth was closed following the Machete incident. It took my daughter over 3 hours to travel from Kumeu to Warkworth via SH16 and Woodcocks Road. A journey which normally takes 3/4 of an hour. There were no trucks on the road it being Easter weekend.
            I travel that route through Auckland to Warkworth frequently. It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is. Sure there are heaps of cars in the weekend. But during the week there are heaps of trucks.
            The state of SH north from Orewa is now in a deplorable state, it is breaking up and the road surface blowing because of little maintenance and the incredible number of trucks that use it. The so- called holiday highway north can’t come quick enough for those who have to commute on a daily basis.
            The upgrading of SH1 north and the bypassing of Warkworth has been on the agenda for over 30 years. SH1 north in years gone by was one of the worst roads in the country. It was only sealed in part in 1953 for the Royal Visit. ( perhaps one of the main reasons for retaining the Monarchy 😉 ) ; and as such it still retains much of the original route of the early bullock tracks.

        • Macro 1.2.1.3

          The new highway through Kiapara Flats from Puhoi, once completed, will divert a large amount of the traffic around Warkworth – as you say the bottleneck. The “Octopus” the main intersection at the Northern end of Warkworth has 8 roads leading into it! Traffic from north and south, traffic to the west of Warkworth – where the local Hospital is – traffic from the town traffic from Snells Beach and traffic from Matakana, plus 2 other minor roads all converging into the one intersection. It is regarded as the worst intersection in NZ. Probably not as bad as “The Magic Roundabout” in Swindon England where 5 roundabouts sit on one large roundabout complete with traffic lights; but at the Octopus you need your wits about you when exiting from the town and turning right!

    • Shona 1.3

      All the mussel spat for every mussel farm in NZ comes from ninety mile beach. Over 50 % of NZ’s export Avocado crop comes from Northland. The bulk of NZ grown citrus is produced in Northland. NZ’s largest oil refinery is at Marsden Point,Northland produces a third of NZ’s beef and similar amount of Dairy. The North has had a totally inadequate transport infrastructure since I was born up here over 60 years ago.There has never been adequate central government funding for Northland.Oh and then there is the fishing industry. Sorry if our Mayor’s offend you urban dwellers but your ignorance of this unique part of NZ and it’s substantial contribution to the National economy is galling.

      • bwaghorn 1.3.1

        Bees and honey will be moving in and out chasing the Manuka flowers

        • Shona 1.3.1.1

          @ bwaghorn .Honey is simply huge up here due the extensive and superior bio diversity.Oh and then ther’s the kumara from the Kaipara. It seems urban dwellers think their food arrives in the supermarket by magic.

          • Janet 1.3.1.1.1

            And tamarillos,kiwifruit, cherimoya… what diversity ….AND there is the knowledge, the will and an under- utilised labour force in Northland that could swing us to be an organically grown produce province. This is the appropriate way to grow food in a world where climate change problems loom. .

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.2

        And that just means that they should be using their own deep water port at Marsden.

        ,Northland produces a third of NZ’s beef and similar amount of Dairy.

        [Citation Needed]

        But, then, we do have to consider just how much damage that those industries have done to our environment.

        The North has had a totally inadequate transport infrastructure since I was born up here over 60 years ago.There has never been adequate central government funding for Northland.

        That is true. And yet you still keep voting in the morons who don’t represent you well enough – National.

        The fishing industry has almost destroyed our fish stocks.

        Oh, and the honey I use comes from my sister’s urban hives.

        Sorry if our Mayor’s offend you urban dwellers but your ignorance of this unique part of NZ and it’s substantial contribution to the National economy is galling.

        I’m sorry that you’re ignorance of reality leads you to believe that a single boondoggle of a road will help.

      • lprent 1.3.3

        The question I have is why ANY of that needs a road through Auckland.

        * The oil refinery ships by pipe line and sea – why should they need a road?
        * The dairy should be processed in the north and shipped from the port. It isn’t like we actually eat much of it in this country.
        * I have no idea what the size of the mussel sprat consignments are, however I am pretty sure that it should be flown to site. That is high value and short life times and most of the farms are way past Auckland in sheltered port areas like the Marlborough sounds. The sure as hell aren’t around Auckland.
        * The fruit maybe. However if we put the full cost of road on the avocados, then I suspect Aucklanders would give the damn things up.

        Basically there is no economic case to produce a gold plated highway for Northland, and if those are the things that you think should justify it, then I have to offend you and say that you are economic moron.

        Just upgrade the rail and/or airports and/or air services. Way cheaper and far better value.

        Why should Auckland pay for economic stupidity?

        • Carolyn_Nth 1.3.3.1

          And water travel. Travel up that way was mainly by coastal steamer in the early 20th century. And it is still a good way to travel.

      • alwyn 1.3.4

        I think you may be gilding the lily a bit
        This may be a bit out of date but it claims only 6% of milking cows are in Northland.
        https://www.dairynz.co.nz/media/5418044/quickstats-northland-2015-16.pdf

  2. Carolyn_Nth 2

    There’s already too many big trucks on the road between Wellsford and Warkworth. That’s part of what makes driving that winding, hilly road so stressful.

    And there’s a train station in Wellsford, with land around it that could be developed to up grade the station. The tracks run to north and south and is empty of trains most of the day.

    Interesting that Tracey Martin said, before last years election, that as well as roading needing improvement in the Rodney electorate, it needs better public transport.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/rodney-times/95981766/rodney-candidates-unplugged-tracey-martin-of-new-zealand-first

    What do you see as the main issues affecting Rodney?

    Public Transport, roading, youth access to post-secondary education, home ownership for young families, rapid population growth and economic development.

    I don’t think many people realise that Warkworth has a bit of an industrial area.. And Kirabati and Tuvalu people mostly work in the factories. They seem to live on the outskirts of Warkworth, with limited public transport. Travelling to work by car must mean going through that awful Hill St intersection that crosses SH1.

  3. solkta 3

    What fucks me off big time with all the bullshit of having a four lane road to Whangarei from the previous government is that while often repeating such a grandiose promise they never bothered to start from the northern end. Most big trucks coming out of Whangarei are only heading to Marsden Point to drop off logs. Getting stuck behind three of these trucks, which can drop down to 30km per hour in places, would be par for the 30km trip with only one passing lane where the trucks almost make the speed limit.

    Then there is that ridiculous thing where they have cut a motorway up the northern side of Brynderwyn without any feasible option to fix the southern side and talk now of bypassing the mountain long term.

    • Melanie Scott 3.1

      You are so right. National have spent a fortune on double laning the northern side of the Brynderwyns, which will all be wasted expenditure if a 4 lane motorway is built to replace the whole road. I have just returned home from Warkworth to rural property near Mangawhai. Left Warkworth today Thursday 5 April at 2pm. Hardly any vehicles on the road going north. Same going south at 11am this morning. There are gaps in traffic intensity which would make 4 lanes on the Warkworth-Wellford stretch seem completely unnecessary at the moment. What we need is rail upgrades for heavy goods. The huge monster trucks introduced under Joyce’s watch are wrecking the roads and making driving hazardous. In the meantime, local roads are in a dreadful state – especially those in the ‘super’ city area of North Rodney. Population has increased massively and holiday visitors even more so. Narrow, potholed rutted dirt (not metaled) roads all around me are so dangerous. Traffic speeds should be lowered to 20kph in some areas, especially roads like the one I have to use daily where two cars cannot pass each other going in opposite directions?! THIS IS PART OF AUCKLAND! All we get from the Council is basically two fingers.
      The northern mayors should be representing their rate payers by lobbying for money to reintroduce rolling stock on rail and improving worse than third world local roads. I’ve heard it said that the height and width of the rail tunnels prevent containers on rail, well spend the money on enlarging the tunnels!!! (Duh.) That would be much cheaper than building more motorways. I don’t know whether livestock could be shifted on rail, probably not, but most other commodities could be. We also need more public transport in the form of busses – into the smaller towns – I would use them more to go to Auckland to concerts etc. The northern Mayors are all petrol heads and for years Whangarei had a mayor who owns a huge gravel producing business – go figure.

      • Carolyn_Nth 3.1.1

        Yes. And for being part of Auckland, it’s astonishing that roads in north Rodney, away from the 2 main state highways, are unsealed.

        Last year i needed to call in at a place on one of the side roads when on a trip to Wellsford for work. On the map it looked really simple to take the Mangawhai turnoff (coming from Auckland), turn left into the road I needed to visit, then drive on up the same road into Wellsford.

        That road up to Wellsford was sealed for a way, then became one with a metal surface, and eventually had just a slithery muddy surface.

        Returned the work car with a lot of mud splattered up the sides.

  4. dukeofurl 4

    Wellsford to Whangarei is already 4 lanes ?

    Those mayors must be smoking something as google maps and google street view shows nothing of the sort.

    Warkworth to Wellsford isnt even in Northland

    If I had been Twyford I would have cancelled the holiday Highway back in October, as very little has been built, just land cleared.
    Only kept the Warkworth bypass section , where it begins near the Honey shop and ends just past Warkworth.

    • Pete 4.1

      You got it. The Politik article is put into context by the ” … four lanes from Whangarei to Wellsford. From there it is already four lanes.”

      Another fuckwit with such limited knowledge of Northland they’re only interested in using the region for what can be gained out of it for political purposes?

      • AB 4.1.1

        Yep.
        Problem areas now are:
        1.) Whangarei to Marsden Point – logging trucks heading to and from NorthPort (Marsden Point). Not so bad heading north in this section as they are unladen and go like the clappers. Driving this section feels dangerous pretty much all the time. I would have thought that railheads to the north of Whangarei City with logs railed to NorthPort might make sense? Otherwise four-laning the road may have merit.
        2.) Wellsford – horrible bottleneck during summer holiday weekends – big queues on SH1 caused by people parking and walking across the road to get Maccas and coffee. Also big queues on SH16 where it disgorges into the middle of the town with nothing but a simple Give Way sign on the intersection. The town needs bypassing by both SH1 and SH16 with a SH1/SH16 interchange to the north, maybe at Te Hana. Most of the time there is no issue.
        3.) Ditto Warkworth – most ridiculous intersection where traffic carrying through on SH1 is mixed in with the Auckland gentry exiting SH1 for Matakana and places east as well as local traffic crossing SH1 to get to different parts of the town itself
        4.) Various choke points where passing lanes converge back into single lane – too many half-wits racing up the passing lane and then pushing in. Again it’s a holiday weekend thing.

        Address these issues and really the road would be fine most of the time. Can’t imagine what growth the Northland Mayors imagine will be enabled by a four-lane road to Wellsford – more tourists and holiday-makers from Auckland perhaps getting north more easily? Do any of them have interests in coastal property zoned for subdivision?

      • dukeofurl 4.1.2

        Seems to be a bit garbled
        The Mayors, from Northland, want to see State Highway One converted to four lanes from Whangarei to Wellsford. From there it is already four lanes to Auckland. Politik article
        Technically they are only ‘building’ the 4 lanes south from Warkworth to Puhoi.

        And with construction only happening over dryer months ( earthworks are useless in the wetter- colder months) it could be another 4 years plus for the HH -Puhoi-Warkworth to be opened.

        Its so delusion on part of Northland mayors as even 4 lanning to Wellsford may be over 10 years plus away.
        The real issue is the piddly truck traffic numbers dont make it economic. There are other reasons for not doing it when you look at its only a 20 min or less saving on a 3 1/4 hr trip

  5. logie97 5

    Fully agree with the development of rail in the region.
    Just a shame that we have only one track north from Newmarket and any increase in freight trains on that line will impact on the passenger services being increased.
    And it’s just a single track beyond Swanson because of the Waitakere tunnel.

  6. esoteric pineapples 6

    They are just a bunch of National Party supporting grumps who want more cars and trucks at all cost.

  7. Brigid 7

    YES!!
    There is a perfectly good rail line. Why the fuck can’t it be used.

    • Peter ChCh 7.1

      It is no way a ‘perfectly good rail line’. The loading gauge limits what can be carried and the state of the track is abysmal which limits train speed.

      At the current time trucking is the only viable option for many businesses in the north. And no, this is no more a National problem than it is a Labour one. Both parties have been poor funders of rail for the last 30 years.

      Even the recent announcement by Shane Jones of heavy investment in Northland rail will not help too much, as no funds have been allocated for a third line from Swanson to South Auckland, so sadly there is little prospect at the current time of real modal switch from road to rail.

      • Pete 7.1.1

        It’s silly to spend a $zillion on making rail viable when we can spend a $zillion on roads and have all the trucks with all the cars and all the roads needing massive $ upkeep.

        • Peter ChCh 7.1.1.1

          Thats my point. Labour is still not spending the money required to make it viable. Build it and they will come. But omit the Swanson to South Auckland part if the rail freight link and they may as well not bother. Kiwirail has very clearly stated this and lets hope this government takes heed.

      • lprent 7.1.2

        So fix the damn rail line. That would be a teeny fraction of the cost of the road

  8. The trucking lobby has enjoyed massive subsidies from Governments since 1984 by claiming that rail was inefficient.

    The cost of shipping goods by truck only seems cheaper because all the costs have been externalised onto the public in the form of skewed fuel taxes, road maintenance, holiday highways, and a higher road toll.

  9. Janet 9

    Yes rail is what we need, particularly if in fact the port of Whangarei / Marsden Point is also up for expansion.
    The roads are fine as they are if the big truck loads were railed – Could be a drive on drive off rail for big trucks like they do through the new big Swiss tunnel under the Alps to Italy.

    • dukeofurl 9.1

      Thats because the Swiss restrict EU trucks on the main motorways Germany- Italy and Italy- France that pass through their country. Less need for more truck drivers
      and doing long hours as well.

      Its a bit like Cook St, driver drops trailer part of truck off in wellington, another driver picks it up in Picton.

  10. Ad 10

    Safety is a big reason for Northland reps to worry about this funding change.

    You get the full breakdown of safety stats for Northland here:

    http://northlandroadsafety.co.nz/statistics/

    The other reason is that there is no alternative.

    Auckland has no choice but to take all Northland traffic for a couple more decades: until there is a functioning rail line northwards, directly linked to Northport, which in turn takes the log business off Auckland and Tauranga completely for Northland, Auckland is the receiver for all of their traffic.

    Realistically that is at least a decade of work if not more.

    Once the Wellsford chunk is done, I would concentrate NZTA motorway efforts for Northland on the SH1 Brynderwyns section. Fine on the Whangarei side, appalling on the southern side.

  11. Molly 11

    Interesting look at the history of Northland rail, found on the cycle trail website.

    I have family that comes from up there, who remember fondly using the passenger trains to get to Auckland. Some more on the Opua Express from Wikipedia.

    Reads as though the opening of the Harbour Bridge, and the acquisition of cars for the middle class, reprioritised the focus from rail and public transport onto roads. I think it’s well past time for that shift to occur in the opposite direction.

  12. Sacha 12

    Northland’s future depends more on education and high-value innovation than on transporting last century’s primary produce. Let’s see plans to invest billions in those things, with some left over for road safety improvements, rail upgrades – and even some bridges.

    • Shona 12.1

      Rubbish@Sacha you have zero understanding of NZ’s economy if that’s your thinking. Northland is extremely productive always has been. Oh and people need to eat. Where the fu** do you think food comes from ….a supermarket?

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1

        Considering modern technology? The supermarket could, theoretically, actually grow it on the premises.

        But even if that didn’t happen we do have question just how much of our land can sustainably be used for farming. ATM, it looks like we’re using far too much.

      • dukeofurl 12.1.2

        Shona, you have your marbles scrambled Northland is 10% of NZs kiwifruit crop ( 3.6 mill trays)
        As for Dairying its likely to much the same 10% of NZs total. Only two plants Kauri and Maungatoroto ( Waikato has 6 or 7, and huge plants in SI.)

        Beef is 20% of NZ
        http://www.northlandnz.com/business/key-industries/sectors/horticulture

    • Molly 12.2

      “Northland’s future depends more on education and high-value innovation than on transporting last century’s primary produce. “ … to Auckland? which is expected to become a larger, higher density city over the next few decades.

      Your reasoning is flawed, and your pantry will be empty.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.2.1

        Done well we could use Northland to stop the growth of Auckland. But that would require turning Kaitaia into a viable, high tech city.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.3

      Northland’s future depends more on education and high-value innovation than on transporting last century’s primary produce.

      I’ve been thinking that one of the best things that the government could do is actually put a university in Kaitaia. Maybe start off with making it a specialist one looking into marine life. Well funded with a couple of expedition ships (also built in NZ).

      • Melanie Scott 12.3.1

        Maybe it’s time for Tim Shadbolt to move north?

      • Sacha 12.3.2

        Great idea. Imagine if the research and science expertise to support a medical cannabis industry was located in a Northland tertiary network located across different towns and anchored in Whangarei, taking advantage of its good fibre, rail and international connections.

  13. cleangreen 13

    Our NGO has no trust in today’s politicians except for a very few now.

    We have zero trust however in the NZ media now as even the Government has no power to control this run away spin doctoring of their deep agendas fuelled by corporate greed for total control of our minds and now we are being blocked by even our own RNZ public media from getting our regional stories covered by them any more so we are needing Government to forcefully take over total control of our public media from the corporate controlled stool pigeons who they have installed to push their agenda.

    So we are left to place our daily media releases on the social media now.

    This is todays NGO public health and safety release on our sad rail loss in HB/Gisborne in need of being restored to service now that the roads are to dangerous to use.

    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.

    Press release – Save our NZ rail project. 2012 – 2018 from CEAC Est’ 2001.

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/one-dead-after-crash-in-waikato

    One person has died in the Waikato after a road crash.

    Source: 1 NEWS
    Police said the crash involved a truck and a ute on Tirau Rd, between Karapiro Rd and Gorton Rd.
    The driver of the ute was the victim of the crash.

    Freight truck use is still increasing at 6% a year. (NZTA)

    So “truck gridlocked roads” are now urgently needing to be countered by the moving of NZ road freight back to rail in line with the new labour lead transport policy announced this week to save lives and improve road safety.

    NZTA claims – each road death costs the NZ economy $3.2 million dollars.

    These ‘external costs’ must now be factored into the ‘value of rail use in NZ.’

  14. Enough is Enough 14

    “It felt like my old car was almost alone on a semi deserted billion dollar tarmac. I’d love to see the business case for that white elephant, however I am sure that NZTA has it hidden”

    You obviously don’t commute from Tirau/Cambridge to Hamilton on a daily basis as I do. Even with the new 110km Cambridge bypass it is an excruciating slow grind into Hamilton, that rivals my regular commute into Auckland from the South. That will finally be fixed when the Waikato expressway is complete in 2020. It is far from a white elephant.

    The Waikato probably has the best rail links in the country for freight with inland ports under construction in Te Rapa by Ports of Auckland, and Ruakura by Tainui. However the white gold that fuels this region has only one way of getting from the farm gate to those ports, and that is by road.

    Northland needs to work the same way.

    • AB 14.1

      “You obviously don’t commute from Tirau/Cambridge to Hamilton on a daily basis as I do. Even with the new 110km Cambridge bypass it is an excruciating slow grind into Hamilton”
      I don’t doubt it – too many people who work in Hamilton can’t afford to live there due to too much speculative capital invested in Hamilton’s residential properties.
      The contagion spreading from Auckland basically.

    • lprent 14.2

      When I drive around Auckland on the weekends, the motorways are at least 50-75% full all of the day. During the week days that are pretty much full all day and more than full for 2-3 hours at commute hours.

      FFS When I drove out at 0600 on a Saturday heading south to Rotorua, the southern was about 25% full. Going down SH2 and out via Matamata was similar.

      When I drove back at Sunday at about 1400 on SH1, I was surprised to see a nearly empty expressway (been a while since I wanted to swing by Hamilton).

      As you say, changing from 2 lane to 4 lanes has massively improved the traffic flow where the expressway was put in.

      However when I hit Auckland at 1600, there was well more than 90% capacity being used through the whole southern motorway. It was flowing, but on the verge of jamming. As usual it did jam on the roadworks, and around Greenlane.

      That is because we have added 2x Hamilton’s population in the last 6 years with no new projects being planned apart from the bloody useless East-West motorway.

      We have added more than 60% of the WHOLE Waikato regional population

      That is the comparison. Basically the National cabinet should to be charged with malfeasance for building those bloody stupid gold plated white elephants while pumping people into Auckland’s stressed infrastructure.

      • Enough is Enough 14.2.1

        I know and agree with everything you have to say. I have to get into Shortland Street, Auckland on a regular basis so I know first hand what it is like trying to get from the end of the Waikato expressway to central Auckland at peak hour.

        Waikato’s congestion has less to do with population and more to do with the fact the Tron is essentially now a satellite town of Auckland. Auckland logistics companies are moving their distribution hubs south as a result of the inland ports being developed by Ports of Auckland and Tainui. Look at what Mainfreight has done in the past few years

        Those hubs which are both on the rail and the new expressway networks, will over the next 20 years reduce the need for the primary exports to be transported from the central North Island to Auckland by road.

        The model is quite simple. Goods are transported by road from the Factory/Farmgate to the Inland Port. From there they are transported by train to either Tauranga or Auckland for export.

        This will help congestion on the Southern Motorway while subsequently increasing it in and around the Waikato.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.3

      You obviously don’t commute from Tirau/Cambridge to Hamilton on a daily basis as I do. Even with the new 110km Cambridge bypass it is an excruciating slow grind into Hamilton

      You’d be better off with a train for such repetitive driving.

  15. David Mac 15

    Moerewa is a struggling Northland town of 1500. It’s decline mirrors that of the local freezing works. As the works have become less viable, so too have the mainstreet shops that aren’t boarded up yet.

    Abandoned railway sidings run straight into the warehousing at the still operating works. I wonder if there are logistical financial advantages to loading refrigerated containers on rolling stock at the works and lifting those containers onto ships at Whangarei or Marsden Point?

    • Shona 15.1

      Coastal shipping is a viable transport option for Northland and has never been properly investigated.

  16. JohnSelway 16

    I no longer live in Auckland but I agree the last thing it needs is more fucking traffic. Plus rail can take heavier and greater loads more swiftly and out of sight.

    (also – this reads like you just discovered isthmus was a word and now you’re all excited to use it as many times as possible 😉 )

  17. dukeofurl 17

    A commentator seemed to over estimate Dairying in Northland ( 1/3 claimed)

    Now Northland has 5.6% of the cows ,which is 280K, and they produce 4.9% of milk solids

    The facts give Northland as 5% of NZ Dairying production.

    Central plateau from Taupo to around Rotorua is more 5.4% and the powerhouse Waikato is 23%

    https://www.dairynz.co.nz/media/5416078/nz-dairy-statistics-2015-16.pdf

  18. savenz 18

    Agree 100% – Auckland needs more traffic from other parts of NZ like a whole in the head!

    Also the reason that Northland are moving a lot of freight is that we export a lot of raw and low value products not actually adding value here at a local level. That is where the money should be spent. Taking whatever they are shipping off from Northland and keeping it in Northland and making it into a higher value product – then transporting it by rail or having a port in Northland that exports go out of not using Auckland.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.1

      +111

      • savenz 18.1.1

        Also the conversation on rail also needs to turn to, “Where is the passenger rail????? ”

        We need high speed passenger rail urgently going from Auckland to places like Hamilton and Wellsford and Northland!!!

        The Hamilton and Wellsford could be affordable housing options if there was high speed rail going into Auckland city, frequently as well as parking for those going from a rural location to the town and then from that town to the city.

        If you look at countries like UK or Germany or most western places, they have rail every 20 minutes going from city to city.

        We have nothing.

        The rail is there already, I have no idea why it is not being used????

        Too much corporate welfare like 1.5 billion a year to AT , and National transport full of corruption, perhaps?

        • Carolyn_Nth 18.1.1.1

          The northern rail line now needs a major upgrade. We’ll need to wait for the policy on rail to be announced – Kiwirail comes under the SOE Act, not the land transport act. The announcement above comes under the latter.

        • dukeofurl 18.1.1.2

          “If you look at countries like UK or Germany or most western places, they have rail every 20 minute”

          Have you seen the populations in those countries not much bigger than NZ.
          UK 60 million
          Germany 80 mill

          Drilling down deeper. Baden Wurttemburg, a german state has the same area as
          Hawkes Bay- Manawatu-Whanganui combined .
          population nearly 11 Million.
          The NZ region ? 400,000.

          There is a case for medium distance passenger rail here , but to talk of ‘every 20 minutes’ flies in the face of reality

          • savenz 18.1.1.2.1

            Yes that is why we use cars, because unfortunately modern life relies on people going from A to B to C and then back to A. It’s called gig economy. The problem is if in NZ you only have a few public transport services a day, it becomes unusable for many people because modern business needs people to travel and many people now have multiple jobs….. those jobs have different hours…. and maybe in different locations. Then people have kids and they need to go places (for example many schools don’t have swimming pools anymore, so you have to start ferrying kids around to learn to swim).

            I don’t disagree that public transport is a great option, but I’m disagreeing that what is here and indeed what is planned is not acceptable or practical option for many people’s needs and so the new government and councils are giving a lot of stick to get out people out of cars, without a viable option for public transport for a lot of people to turn to. There will be a lot of anger and it will effect them.

            Often people use population density to say NZ will be fine to take more people and it will grow our economy. They use Europe as an example, but Europe already has the houses, the high rises and the jobs and the public transport and the sewerage systems in place so they don’t have to borrow billions to put it in. How are people in NZ on minimum wages or no wages at all but passive investors like Peter Thiel, are going to be able to pay that money back, instead it’s putting the strain on the existing taxpayers who not only have all the extra charges to pay for, but their wages are being lowered and they have new taxes aka petrol taxes added yearly?

            Instead of growing income for the average resident, they are reducing it.

            In the US the workers often have to live up to 4 hours a way from their minimum waged job. People working in Silicon Valley for example on minimum wages (aka the bus drivers) actually start living in the buses themselves or in the parks. But they are working (often on subcontracts) for some of the most wealthy businesses in the world.

    • Melanie Scott 18.2

      Excellent. Could not agree more.

  19. JanM 19

    Article: BusinessDesk
    “Ports of Auckland boss Tony Gibson appointed to Marsden Maritime board” – just found in Scoop written today.
    Is this a sign of hope?

    • dukeofurl 19.1

      Not really.
      Northport is half owned each by Port of Tauranga and Marsden Maritime.

      Ports of Auckland is 20% owner of Marsden Maritime, so hes merely their board representative.

  20. …” Politik reports that some mayors from Northland are upset that they aren’t going to get a four lane boondoggle to feed more heavy trucks into traffic chaos that is the Auckland isthmus. They can stick their trucks up their body cavity of choice and learn to love rail. We don’t need more traffic in Auckland until we fix the disaster that National have left us ” …

    Fixed the ‘Northalnd’ mistake.

    And as far as these up themselves politicians are concerned, we could learn a thing or two from the Aussies…

    Chucka Browneye – YouTube

    Fuck the bastards!

  21. cleangreen 21

    Enough is enough why are we allowing an average 6% truck increase annually here when we only have single lane roads around rural NZ?

    EE is right we need inland ports to transfer the local gathered export freight to send to our nearest port by rail.

    Labour is getting unpopular here now in HB/Gisborne over the lack of our “public media” RNZ willingness to cover our community groups fight to publicly express our disgust at this issue EE talks of as we have nothing now but more and more gridlocked trucks on our flimsy roads now with only truck gridlocked roads and with no rail.

    Enough is enough Labour, so we need rail to balance the freight task!!!!

    Clare Curran in her letter to us after we asked for coverage on this issue in our regions, showed she will not assist us to get RNZ media coverage for our disgusting transport issues here, as the roads to Gisborne are so bad that many now fear to drive the roads here with the roads now crammed full of heavy trucks.

    Jacinda wants to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases to save our planet as she said “climate change is our generations nuclear moment.”

    So Jacinda needs to take over RNZ and make it our voice and access to our communities to have our say over RNZ before the bureaucrats decide our future without us having the voice to be heard that jacinda promised us all during her election speeches.

    If she fails us on this she will suffer at the next election.

  22. savenz 22

    Yet another truck crash blocking the motorways into Auckland, pretty sure there was one last week too…. 6% increase in trucks, pathetic!

    Auckland council and their COO’s and the government keeps giving consents relying on more trucks…

    “Massive traffic jam after Auckland SH1 truck crash”

    Can we please have legislation to make there 6%+ LESS trucks per year in Auckland…

    Half the money for rural rates (and god knows for for urban areas) goes into roads and those roads are being damaged daily by heavy trucks!!!

    Motorways are being closed regularly for accidents involving trucks….

    There’s a pattern… taking from ordinary people and then making them pay for the damage by business and be subservient to business interests.

    The other month I saw a headline on NBR saying ‘shortage of truck drivers’, on the front page!!! For Petes sake, they must have some really good lobbyists if that’s front page and fake news on our so called premiere business paper.

    Headline should read ‘Shortage of current NZ residents willing to work for below living wages so taxpayers need to subsidise NZ truck business even further than road maintenance to increase the $2.2 billion a year tax credits and subsidies from the Government, for low earners.”

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/money/2018/04/minimum-wage-a-subsidy-for-business-owners.html

  23. Philg 23

    Not to mention the repairs needed on the new North of Wellington Expressway.The trucks are breaking the surface down. It’s only been opened for a short while and the surface is being resealed, and the traffic flow is restricted to 30kph.
    NZ can’t seem to even build a decent expressway.

    • savenz 23.1

      As fast as they build them, they need to close the motorways to repair them! You waste years waiting for them to be built as snail pace and then no sooner than they are in use then they start closing the lanes or reducing speed for repairs.

      The saving grace of the appalling accounts of Fletchers was the amount of “profit” they make on our construction of roads. Robbing from the poor to give to the rich, again. Even construction idiots can make a profit out of NZ government roading contracts!

      NZ – 100% truck lovers paradise should be our new tourism slogan.

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