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Open mike 13/09/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 13th, 2011 - 66 comments
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66 comments on “Open mike 13/09/2011 ”

  1. Carol 1

    The government continues to shift their portion of the blame for Auckland’s RWC public transport fail, but there had been a 2009 report warning that Auckland’s infrastructure wasn’t up to it.


    Yesterday Labour slammed what it called an “embarrassing shambles” that left thousands stranded on Auckland trains ahead of the world cup opening ceremony, but Prime Minister John Key refused to accept responsibility.

    “I am more than happy to apologise to those individuals involved, but at the end of the day, the responsibility rests with the delivery agent that is in Auckland,” Mr Key said.

    Transport Minister Steven Joyce will meet officials and Auckland Mayor Len Brown today as train operator Veolia Transport scrambles to produce a report on the failure, expected tomorrow.

    Joyce puts all the blame on operational failures beyond his control. He claims that the recommendations of the 2009 report had been acted on. But those of us who use Auckland’s trains regularly, that it is a system in need of a lot of infrastructure improvement.

    But Labour says the Government must accept at least some of the blame, because it had received a report from the Auckland Regional Transport Authority on Rugby World Cup transport planning in July 2009.

    The report, obtained by Stuff, said at that time there was “an attitude of `this is a small increase in business as usual’.”

    “The impression is that the level of public transport required for RWC2011 is a little above normal. The levels of patron movement and operational standard [needed for the RWC] are in reality significantly above what is currently delivered.”

    The Queens Wharf fan zone would “create a number of transport challenges given its close proximity to the Ferry Terminal, Queen Street and Britomart”, the report said.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Sure, NAct have been stopping PT development in Auckland and elsewhere so that they can build their useless Roads of Nationals Significance but Labour aren’t blameless – they needed to put huge amounts of funding into PT from the time that the secured having the RWC here and they didn’t.

      • Carol 1.1.1

        Labour was starting to promote more development of Auckland’s PT. But yes, The Greens were the ones really on to the need for intensive development of the PT system, and Labour were lagging behind. Nevertheless, the report referred to above was a 2009 one, and should have been a wake-up call for the current government… and they are continuing to refuse to take ANY blame.

        • Draco T Bastard

          …and they are continuing to refuse to take ANY blame.

          That’s part of the normal psyche of the RWA. When they screw up really badly they’ll automatically blame someone else while patting themselves on the back and giving themselves a bonus cheque.

      • mickysavage 1.1.2

        Not quite true Draco.  Part of the problem was the scuttling of the regional fuel tax by the ants in 2009.  This held up and delayed various projects.

        In 2000 there were about a million train trips a year in Auckland.  The past year there have been over 10 million.

        The increase has been extraordinary but we are not there yet.  National needs to keep funding PT the way that Labour did and in about 10 years the system may be reasonable.  It has gone from appallingly bad to bad.

        The fan zone was the item that really stuffed the system up, not the game itself.  Who’s bright idea was Party Central? 

        • Draco T Bastard

          Not quite true…

          IIRC, it was in about 2k7/8 while Labour were still in power that it was mentioned that Labour’s funding for roads in Auckland was three or four times higher than funding for PT and that was when they started on it a good 2 years after getting the RWC. They needed to start earlier and put in more funding. The venue was going to be central (Waterfront or Eden Park) so boosting the PT to outlying areas would have been a good first step and it really needed to be done anyway.

          Part of the problem was the scuttling of the regional fuel tax by the ants in 2009.

          Yep, as I pointed out NAct have been stopping PT development in Auckland.

          Party Central was a stupid idea and is indicative of NActs overall grasp of reality. There should have been several venues in the scattered CBDs that make up Auckland.

    • Joe Bloggs 1.2

      What Labour is overlooking is the fact that the infrastructure was all there on Friday night. There were plenty of trains, plenty of carriages, plenty of buses, taxis galore, the roads were working well … the railway lines are already all double tracked – what do you want? four tracks? eight tracks? A separate carriage for each passenger?

      What was missing was the organisation – both from Veolia and from the Auckland Transport Committee. Both

      Closely followed by contingency plans. Question 1 for any transport planner has to be “how many?” Question 2 is “what if?”

      Graham Sibery and Mike Lee have been very quiet over this…

      • aerobubble 1.2.1

        I heard that earlier in the night someone did a head count of the people in and
        around the party zone, and there were many more than expected. That
        was then no communicated to alert managers that there would be a gult
        of people using public transport to get to the game. Worse, with such
        large numbers of people, many from abroad who typically don’t have cars
        and are likely to have relied on public transport, would not have known
        where to go and so would have needed people at the stations managing the
        crowd flows. They were not there. So that wasn’t management on the
        night, it was ‘pre-management’ and proper costing. Now add to that
        the Auckland super city is a new council, you have a lot of new
        people, you have a new site for a party, you have a cost tight government
        and it was surprising it went so WELL! Who the genius was who thought
        up to have the opening in the center city and then have a large
        crowd movement to Eden park! shakes head, and why not use the Domain,
        atleast there was history to how the crowds move about.
        People got drunk and pulled the emergency cords, it was the first time
        local kiwis had ever been on a train, they were young kiwis who
        are taught not to mind their manners and ‘innovate’ without limits
        of authority telling them what to do, what light bulb to buy, and hey
        its public transport nobody likes public transport.

        So yeah, government dropped the ball, but then it never brought into
        the idea of public transport. National historical hates government.
        Loathes contingency planning, and time after time wants the market
        to provide the solutions but never acknowledges that the free market
        isn’t perfect, in fact ideologically they believe free markets are perfect.

      • tc 1.2.2

        Good points but as any regular train user would know the system can’t even cope with a concert at Mt Smart so what was being asked of it was akin to biffing 10ton of load on your trailer and wonder why the car can’t pull it.
        No surprise a labour scapegoats (Brown) been found whilst all the ministers, organising officials and actual transport chiefs are blameless.
        looking forward to another 3 years of feckless leadership from the nats via a dysfunctional supershity structure…..yeah right.

    • freedom 1.3

      five hours and not a single comment? Remember the Happy feet articles that got zillions within a few hours or the PM fluff pieces that appear almost preloaded?

    • Vicky32 1.4

      The latest is, that according to 3 News “the government is using emergency powers to take control of the waterfront for the duration”. What?

      • Pascal's bookie 1.4.1

        Whole thing is snafu. McCully announced a takeover under the RWC Act thingy, had a press conference saying so and giving quotes. So all sorts of media are running that story.

        Next minute, McCully goes on Nat Radio and says it’s not a takeover, they are just using some of the powers under the Act to get some resource consents through a bit quicker, and it’s all being done by some ‘officials’ working together with the Council.

        It’s an absolute farce.

  2. If you were wondering when all those nasty anti terror and anti freedom of speech laws would come into play, here is your answer. Whether you find the activist in this case Vinny Eastwood a 911 truther in Auckland and and American Freedom radio host irritating or not the news is chilling. No pamphleteering and no sharing of political information on public roads.

    • AAMC 2.1

      Yep, what happened to free speech eh, it’s just a pity Vinny undoes himself with his climate change conspiracy theory…


      • travellerev 2.1.1

        The issue is not Vinny but the fact that neither he nor you nor anybody can spread info we deem to be of importance out on the streets any more. You might not like his opinions on some matters but I for one will fight for him to have the right to have these opinions. That is the hallmark of an open and free well functioning Democracy.

        • rosy

          I support his right to stand on a soapbox and talk, but not the use of a megaphone.

          • freedom

            I agree with that, so why is it commercial radio stations can park up seemingly wherever they like and plant big ass public address speakers atop their vehicles and blast commercial radio into public spaces for hours at a time as they hand out Energy Drinks and self promoting T.shirts?

            • McFlock

              +1, especially when I’m hungover on a weekend. 

              Although frankly everyone involved in the youtube link were nutbars except the cops. And if the council wants to limit litter and noise pollution, fair enough. But the guy who wuss-pushed him was a bigger dick than the noise-polluter.

            • Vicky32

              I am reminded of the Daddies Rights loon who used to drive around Pt Chev, screeching his hatred of mothers into his sound system, up and down and through Pt Chev shops… thankfully he seems to have retired!

        • AAMC

          Agreed, wholeheartedly!

        • freedom

          What will all the free community newspapers do? then there are the foreign languagenewspapers, the real estate handouts the religous firestarter materials, or are they all going to get the ‘look the other way’ treatment as the only real focus of a law like this is supression of freedom !

    • freedom 2.2

      Anyone in Auckland looking into how this affects Party Electioneering material ? Or does that have some self serving bylaw protecting it? If so on what basis is it built and where is the law allowing the removal or special allocation of rights to communicate with the Public? Wouldn’t it be funny if they have they overlooked the Electioneering needs of Central and Local bodies and the right wing wish to silence dissent has silenced their own voice.

      Take the megaphone restrictions. I understand that you cannot have people willynilly screaming amplified bs across the city centre. I agree with that, so why is it commercial radio stations can park up seemingly wherever they like and plant big ass public address speakers atop their vehicles and blast commercial radio into public spaces for hours at a time as they hand out Energy Drinks and self promoting T.shirts?

      • AAMC 2.2.1

        My suggestions ignore the law, let it inspire us to turn up with more pamhplet’s than ever. Laws which destroy pirogue to free speech should be ignored, broken and challenged.

        • freedom

          Find irregularities in the law, first to expose loopholes, then to exploit the loopholes.
          It’s what the experts do everyday and we know it works. Sooner or later the law will be changed or those making the laws will be changed. Exposing yourself unnecessarily to fines and or legal hassle is counterproductive and expensive 🙂

          • AAMC

            Or; we could take a leaf out of The Yes Men’s book. They created their own version of The New York Times and handed it out to morning commuters. Perhaps we could create a better more honest issue of The Herald, and pass that out instead of pamphlets.

            Who knows somebody with a printing press?

  3. Dv 4

    Serious question about the trains in Auckland?
    Could the doors NOT be opened?
    What would have happened if there had been a fire?

    • thejackal 4.1

      I’m no expert but the doors are probably on an emergency open mechanism. There is an override.

      In case of fire, put it out… don’t panic. Then call your mama to let her know you are all A OK Dv.

  4. prism 5

    Gerry Brownlee’s present location of Monaco was unfortunate for giving the impression that he is hard at work massaging the reinsurance corporates on behalf of Christchurch. The reinsurers have cushy surroundings!

    • Anne 5.1

      Isn’t that fellow… what’s his name now… ah that’s right… Owen Glenn based in Monaco? Got a lot of spare cash going to the highest bidders I believe. That is, if he gets his name on a few plaques and a knighthood or two and oh… a diplomatic passport, and a say in who runs NZ even though he hasn’t lived here for yonks and doesn’t have the first clue about the place.

      Sounds like he’s a good spec. for the Key govt.

  5. Campbell Larsen 6

    Peter ‘lap dog’ Dunne gives us another reason to banish him and the brains of the outfit – his sentient hairpiece – back into the oblivion of irrelevance from whence they came…
    After years of propping up big tobacco he has found another way to maximize harm, rejecting the three strikes cannibis recommendation from the law commission report.

  6. John Dalley 7

    I just hear ion National Radio’s news that Stephen Joyce is coming to Auckland to show us how to get our PT right. This should be interesting as this Clown is part of the problem.

    • Lazy Susan 7.1

      This was followed with Kathryn Ryan conducting an apology for an interview with Michael Barnett, CEO of Auckland Chamber of Commerce, who “didn’t want to point any fingers at who to blame” and then proceeded to repeatedly point the blame at only Auckland Council.

      Of course Veolia, the privately owned international transport operator who run Auckland trains, were blameless.

      Auckland Transport, the CCO set up by Hide under the amalgamation to manage Auckland’s public transport, were blameless.

      Murray McCully and John Key, who spent 18 months encouraging one and all to come to “Party Central”- a venue with a capacity of mere 12,000, were blameless.

      Steven Joyce, who refuses to recognise that Auckland is in dire need of a workable PT system, was blameless.

      The RWC organisers, who decided to hold the opening ceremony and opening game on the same weekday night, were blameless.

      So what did we learn from Michael Barnett? Well we learnt that he doesn’t like Len Brown and the current Auckland Council – but then we knew that already.

      Well done National Radio!- I guess at least your boss will be pleased.

      • marsman 7.1.1

        Wasn’t Michael Barnett the co-ordinator of RWC events? Was he paid? If so then surely he’s accountable. But then he’s CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce and people like him don’t do accountability well.

  7. Draco T Bastard 8

    Ah, patents, don’t you just love them?

    USPTO decides two Rambus patents are invalid
    After it won lawsuits with them

  8. Pike River Payout

    On the 9th the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Pike River Mine heard from a trainer for mines rescue, Glen Stiles, who said that the equipment in the fresh air base contained nothing of use for somebody trying to escape.

    Today we learn that the Police believe men could have survived the initial blast, and were waiting to be rescued around that air pocket.

    But if all that wasn’t bad enough, the New Zealand Herald reported today that Pike River Coal’s receivers will get a big payout…

    • The Voice of Reason 9.1

      There’s nothing in that Herald report about the receivers getting a payout, jackal, though I presume they are getting paid for their efforts. They’ve done excellent work here freeing up money for the creditors, who are, for the most part, local contractors and the former workers at the mine. I’m told most of the locals are well chuffed at the early payout, and when the mine is sold in a month or two, there is a good prospect of the rest of what is owed being paid out too.
      I’m just not sure what you see as the problem here, as it appears to be a terrific boost to the people owed money by PRC and it will probably save a few local businesses from folding.

  9. RobM 10

    The oil engorged tentacles of the vampire squid:



    “The explosions mostly take place in poor countries because international oil and gas companies often fail to bury or protect their pipelines as they would have to do by law in rich countries. The easily accessible pipes, which often run through slums and informal settlements in burgeoning cities, are tempting to desperately poor communities, who often have no electricity and must rely on oil lamps for lighting and power.”

    • joe90 10.1

      And the threats by oil companies over dismantling old infrastructure.

      North Sea oil bosses have told the Government that uncertainty over who will pay the £30bn bill for dismantling old platforms is even more harmful to investment than the Chancellor’s unpopular tax grab on energy companies.

      • prism 10.1.1

        joe90 The oil ring demolishment cost discussion illustrates clearly one of the problems with technologies that can be harmful if not controlled closely from start to finish. Once the finish comes and the money is rung out of it, then what to do with the messy leftover bits. Same for nuclear power when the time arrives to relinquish the old infrastructure. Who pays the piper then?

        Another smaller technology disposal problem is being dealt with in a practical way, though I don’t know if NZ has caught up with it. We tend to languish with egg on our face behind the others in the egg and spoon race. I like the idea of more being paid up front for computers and so on to cover the cost of its disposal. Of course the money has to go into a separate holding and safe account held by reliable authorities. Can’t leave it with the business or you can get the same situation of those suffering from disappearing pension funds.

        • joe90

          Same old top end welfare Prism, years of dividend gains are private but because royalties have been paid any wind up costs become solely the taxpayers responsibility. And if you don’t pay we’ll take our bat and go play somewhere else.

          The Pike river debacle will be our own version. Had the scheme been a winner those behind it would have quite happily taken profits while complaining bitterly about compliance and royalty costs.
          Now they’ll hide behind limited liability and put their hand out for top end welfare while bleating about how we, the heroic investors, took a punt and did our dough and now we’re broke the costs of the disaster and site clean are beyond us.

  10. Hammer 11

    Ban ki-Moon says evidence of Global Warming can be found in…..
    the state of the inland Aral Sea.
    Now some of us may remember the Aral Sea as being used in a Soviet experiment to become self-sufficient in cotton and rice.
    Their trick was to redirect the two rivers feeding the Aral into their cotton/rice lands.
    Result – no water into the Aral sea [in the 1960’s].  Now empty.
    Also – no joy on growing cotton or rice.
    Yep – the UN Secretary General says this is evidence of  catastrophic Climate Change 
    Would you want this man to lead the world?

  11. DJL 14

    Front page of the Waikato Times… Happy Feet has been eaten by a whale!

    • Vicky32 14.1

      Front page of the Waikato Times… Happy Feet has been eaten by a whale!

      For real? Awesome! (Oh come on, it’s an animal, get a sense of proportion.) 😀

  12. joe90 15

    This’ll make ya smirk.

  13. Wikipedia vs The Jackal

    A few days ago I wrote about the trouble I was having over at Wikipedia, in a post entitled Will Wikipedia Kill The Jackal?

    Well it turns out to be a bit more than just other editors fucking with my articles by not following the rules. Since I started editing Wikipedia entries, an increase in cyber-warfare has seen the death of one of my email accounts and attack bots trying to harvest info from my blogger account…

  14. Time for a Tax Revamp

    Gareth Morgan and Susan Guthrie answered the critics of their ideas to transform NZ’s tax and welfare system in a great read on the New Zealand Herald website today. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan but I believe in giving credit where credit is due. They answer the three main criticism to their proposals, and the main one to stand out for me was their answer for CRITICISM 2: Many people will choose not to work at all if they get the UBI…

  15. What the …
    Wellington is seizing control of AUckland’s waterfront using the RWC powers.
    Pillocks.  There are no further planned concerts and no likelihood of a repeat of Friday’s events.
    They are trying to shift blame.  This is deeply, deeply cynical.

  16. big bruv 19

    Great move by the PM, Brown is an incompetent idiot and needs to be put in his place.

    • andy (the other one) 19.1

      Minor point, it was Murray McCully not the PM. But yeah, its an awesome because the stuff that Len had no control over, will know be the stuff that McCully has no control over.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.2

      It’s amazing just how open the RWNJs are becoming about their desire for a dictatorship.

  17. joe90 20

    Arctic sea ice hits record low

    The Arctic sea ice hit a record low of 4.24 million square kilometres on Sept. 8, breaking a previous record set on Sept. 16, 2007 by 27,000 square kilometres, the Physical Analysis and Remote Sensing Images unit at the University of Bremen’s Institute of Physical Analysis reported in a news release.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      The record could “even be undercut in the next weeks,” the release said, as sea ice is continuing to melt.

      Yeah, the melt hasn’t finished yet.

      • joe90 20.1.1

        The solution to all that bad news about sea ice melting, kill the satellite funding.

        Federal budget cuts are threatening to leave the U.S. without some critical satellites, the officials say, and that could mean less accurate warnings about events like tornadoes and blizzards. In particular, officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are concerned about satellites that orbit over the earth’s poles rather than remaining over a fixed spot along the equator

  18. The Voice of Reason 21

    Just been announced on SkyNews Australia that Obama is to visit Oz in late November. Sadly, there won’t be time to catch up with BFF John Key. Obama is said to be gutted, repeatedly asking ‘who?’.

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