Open mike 18/12/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 18th, 2023 - 52 comments
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52 comments on “Open mike 18/12/2023 ”

  1. Pat 1

    "The hard truth for those that believe in Rail is that it has never stopped being the Treasury view despite studies such as the Value of Rail in New Zealand study from EY in 2017. For all the talk of a balanced transport view there remains a underlying view in Treasury, MoT and NZTA Waka Kotahi that fundamentally outside of Wellington and Auckland Metro rail systems, and perhaps the Golden Triangle between Auckland Hamilton and Tauranga, New Zealand doesn’t need a rail network. Yet we trumpet the unrealistic view that Aviation and Air New Zealand can decarbonise in the relative near term whilst the most obvious decarbonisation of a transport network that already exists and is proven already to be able to be decarbonised – electrification and better use of the national rail network – is ignored. It is harmful to our international reputation and there is an argument from some that it should be broadcast to the World exactly what are our true emerging colours are as a nation in this regard – and it isn’t pretty."

    We lost so much when Treasury defeated the MoWD in the eighties reforms….why cant we get anything done in NZ anymore?….because we have our infrastructure being designed by accountants…and dodgy ones at that.

    • Robert Guyton 1.1

      I got to thinking about how the rails on the ferry line up with the rails on land at the terminal and decided they must use a hydraulic system to align the 2 sets. Wikipedia corrected me by saying weights are used for the purpose, but it was interesting to give it some thought.

    • Ad 1.2

      There's no threat to metro rail or metro public transport services as they are. Auckland in particular is going through massive investment for a decade. Electrification is being extended to Pukekohe now and it's likely to push to Hamilton.

      But rail freight? Its entirely fair to put the question over which lines we really need in a post-coal world. Don't need the Nightcaps-Invercargill line. Don't need the little branch lines out of Greymouth post-coal. Don't need Stratford-Taumaranui line. Don't need the Waitara-Hawea line. Do businesses really use the Gisborne-Wairoa-Napier line? No need to electrify them either.

      But we need to keep the remaining lines from every dairy factory, most of which are new or refreshed. Also that little tourist line to Middlemarch seems to have gained some interest.

      It really is amazing the left aren't more skeptical about rail as a cheap bulk export heavy-carbon exporter and importer. It's like they're lost in the world of steam.

      • Bearded Git 1.2.1

        Some of us still have our anoraks from trainspotting the wonderful steam contraptions of the mid-sixties in the UK.

      • Sanctuary 1.2.2

        Narrow gauge is a major handbrake on long distance rail freight and especially passenger services.

        The selection of narrow gauge for New Zealand set the tone for the next 150 years of infrastructure development in NZ. Narrow gauge was seen as a no brainer by the engineers, who pointed out to the 1867 select committee we could leverage Australia for know-how (Queensland adopted narrow gauge in 1864) and it made a lot of projects a lot more feasible. The politicians noted it was much cheaper to build narrow gauge, since the tracks were cheaper than standard gauge and the tighter turning circle of narrow gauge meant the NIMT could cross the volcanic plateau using innovative engineering solutions (the Raurimu spiral was expensive but it was a lot cheaper than tunneling or use of extensive viaducts). None the less, the select committee didn't come to a decision, since the South Island had already built some lines using different gauges. It merely suggested we use narrow gauge in future.

        So engineers wanted what would get them the most work, politicians wanted it on the cheap but also they didn't want to upset vested interests so they chickened out snd some vague suggestions were made and nobody considered the implications for a hundred years out.

        Sound familiar?

        • Ad

          I think you mean the car happened.

        • Ghostwhowalks

          It wasnt narrow gauge per se . It was the intial light line loadings or weight of trains per axle those lines could carry

          The line loadings per axle could be and were upgraded over time Its a bit of myth that that narrow gauge limited rail traffic in NZ .

          As you can see anytime , standard international containers are regularly now carried on the main lines

          The maximum weight of a locomotive and its ability to haul a normal train arent a big problem

          Another issue is getting higher containers through tunnels built in the 19th century. The restriction is height rather than width of tunnels though height and width interact if a tunnel roof is curved.

          Some lines cannot take 2.90m high containers, the modern "high-cube" standard. Most of the main lines can with the exception of Greymouth to Christchurch and North Auckland.

          • Bryan Dods

            Rail tunnels north of Auckland have had their base lowered to enable the taller containers. Two years ago I met a surveyor who had been working on the project.

            • Ghostwhowalks

              Yes. Japan was almost all narrow gauge until the Shinkansen introduced standard gauge.

              Example of the myth about narrow gauge meaning 'lessor development' of your rail systems

        • Scud

          It's NZ's woeful loading gauge not the operating gauge of 3ft 6in.

          You should see the monsters here in QLD or in WA where they have increased the Loading gauge and QLD has a Inter- Regional Rail incl Hi Speed Rail on 3ft 6in because they upgraded the loading gauge.

    • Kay 1.3

      Some friends from the UK recently spent a couple of weeks driving around NZ. They commented on seeing airports (of all sizes) everywhere, but despite lots of rail lines, only saw one freight train the entire time, moving some logs. I tried my best to explain it, and was extremely embarrassed explaining the shift to trucking for freight. In the same way I've often found myself apologising to European tourists for the fact they need to rent a car to travel around NZ.

      • Ghostwhowalks 1.3.1

        Population density.

        Netherlands is about same area of Hawkes Bay, plus Taranaki Plus Manawatu, and has 18 mill people not 1 mill.

        England alone is same size as South island but has 56 mill people as opposed to 1.25 mill.

        Even Wales with 3 mill people is same size as Waikato region alone with is dense by NZ standards but 525,000 people.

    • Pat 1.4

      It appears the thrust of the article has been overlooked…..much like rail.

  2. Morrissey 2

    Along with the great journalists Gideon Levy (who spoke in Auckland six years ago) and Amira Hass, renowned scholars like Ilan Pappé and Avi Shlaim, and thousands of doctors, nurses, aid workers, and former conscripts in the Israeli military, one of the most brilliant Israeli dissenters is Miko Peled. He spoke in Melbourne the other day…

  3. Stephen D 3

    Is this the most anti science government ever, in Aotearoa at least?

    Going back to the early Covid years, Chris Bishop et al were all for ignoring the science and not using masks, no transport restrictions, and no control over the points of entry.

    Latterly we have Simeon Brown issuing edicts like some sort of low rent tsar to drive up fossil fuel car usage. Going against every climate scientist anywhere.

    Water quality is totally being watered down to keep faith with the groundswell type farming lobby.

    In the case of Luxon, Brown and some others, I'm wondering if their religious beliefs are playing a part here. Following the lead of the evangelicals in the USA, science is somehow anti god, and only the rich will get into the kingdom of heaven.

    Seymour etc are easier to diagnose. The short term financial gain overrides any long term thinking.

    Heaven only knows what will happen to their beloved farming lobby when Sainsburys decides not to buy our farm produce because of our appalling environmental record. But as long as the short term looks good, that's not David's problem.

    • Robert Guyton 3.1

      Their God is Trump. They are creating their own Truth and going hard on it, knowing that if they can hold fast to their story, they will prevail; the people will drift on-side. Same as it ever was, only now it's global and very quick. Demiurge.

      Those not enamoured must define and tell their story asap and without pause.

      • aj 3.1.1

        You may find this an interesting short read, considering the religious beliefs you mention.

        The Hypatian Conundrum: the Estrangement of Science and the Church

        The Church has had a historically tumultuous relationship with science, which has both shaped the course of science and the doctrines and theology of the Church. The church was undoubtedly a patron of the sciences, believing that the gift of reason was a divine providence and an instrument of theology, championing science, believing it would confirm Church doctrine. But when scientific findings did not match the Church’s doctrinal or even political stands, this relationship soured into inquisition and condemnation.

  4. Ffloyd 4

    What do people think COCs Endgame is? Are they throwing everything on a bonfire to create a massive blaze to cover up a Bushfire that will be coming our way? I feel very disturbed by the frantic rush to pass all these repeals under urgency, ….canning Interisland Ferries upgrades, Judith Collins(FGS) achieving top job in the land in Friday dump whileWhinny was out of the country, nothing now for cyclists and walkers(children getting safely to school, the list goes on and on. Do they have early morning rituals to sacrificing all bottom feeder and other assorted nobodies to a lifetime of joblessness,no housing, food unaffordability etc. No handouts for the non believers they chant. What is the bottom line? What will be thrown at us as a fait accompli ? There must be a grand plan that will be abhorrent to all. But Given Luxor’s propensity to lie, duck shove, hide everything he can and his complete lack of moral fibre we won’t find out until it’s been done under urgency and under cover of darkness. I’m quite frightened by the lack of transparency and accountability he is able to be allowed.

    • roblogic 4.1

      It makes sense if you view it as a hostile takeover by corporate raiders– asset stripping and cutting "costs" for short term profit, pump up the share price, then dump it, i.e. socialise the losses.

      When the Left takes over again in 18 months or 3 years there will be an almighty mess to clean up and the tools of State will be significantly weakened

      Thus making NZ ripe for plunder

    • Grey Area 4.2

      I'm struggling to understand it too Ffloyd. The damage being done is immense.

      Is it like Robert says they believe by going hard at maximum retrogressive change people will accept it all as fait accompli and not fight back?

      Do they realise they will find a second term hard with all their spiteful turning back of the clock and putting the boot into so many sectors of the community already? So are they are going hard out to do, from our perspective, so much damage that when they are hopefully thrown out in 34 months it will be too hard to rebuild?

      Is there an overarching plan to explain their spite and cruelty?

      Or is their disparate "coalition" simply a coalescing of some horrible, corrupt, malignant aholes who are just gleeful about having the chance to hurt people other than them and their masters?

      Damned if I know. But where we are saddens and depresses me. I want to fight back but don't know how. Someone said here the other day the answer was to organise. I asked what they would mean for those of who live rurally (and have few networks like urban areas and find it hard to afford to travel for potential protests etc). I didn't get a reply.

      • Stephen D 4.2.1

        What electorate are you in GA?

        I should be able to find Labour Party contact for you.

        • Grey Area

          Thanks for the offer Stephen D but I've given up on the Labour Party.

          But I have said to the nearest Greens branch to put me back on their local email list. I left the party several years back because they seemed too focused on gender critical issues rather the climate crisis and inequality. They ran a good campaign and I was bit disappointed they didn't do better given the level of disillusionment with Labour. They seem to have the ship sailing in the right direction now so I will observe and re-engage locally (as in the branch centre being 70km away) and may rejoin.

          I have gotten to know another couple locally through shared community activity who I have learned are GP members and we have a shared perspective on where our country is currently at politically and socially. This will help.

          This election I gave my electorate vote to the Green candidate as a show of solidarity and party voted TPM.

          With the malignant muppets we have in the Beehive I feel like I have to get back to doing something in addition to my local community development involvement.

          Thanks again.

    • Bearded Git 4.3

      Luxon in his interview on Morning Report this morning in relation to dumping Get Wellington Moving said something to the effect "we are stuck with this huge cricket ground in the middle of the city" as though the best cricket ground in NZ had no value if it was hampering road development. He is a philistine.

      And of course they are not dumping GWM….they are dumping only the light rail and handing the golden mile development to the Council to develop. All other things such as bus transport routes seem to be going ahead using the design work done under GWM.

      And mayor Tory has said that when a sensible government gets elected light rail will be back on the agenda.

      So this is largely a U-turn that Luxon and Bishop are lying about.

      • gsays 4.3.1

        While not specifically on the same subject, I heard the same interview.

        What struck me was Bishop's casual framing of cycle/bus ways as beautification.

        Like all these spin doctor types, they choose their words very deliberately. As much as it can be painful, I will be listening to him in the future to see if it happens again.

    • Heather Grimwood 4.4

      To Ffloyd @ 4 : Couldn't agree more with your last sentence. The rushed law-passings heralded earlier are frightening enough, but more recent undebated introductions seem akin to dictatorship.

  5. Reality 5

    See in The Post today the PM's Te Reo lessons have been funded by the taxpayer. Well, well, do as I say, not as I do. Wonder if his religion makes any mention of hypocrisy in its teachings.

    • mary_a 5.1

      @ Reality (5) … God no doubt told the man of seven houses to dip his grubby paw into the public coffers to pay for his Te Reo lessonsfrown

      • Ghostwhowalks 5.1.1

        His actual words when criticising public servants who got work bonus for learning Te Reo

        "I've got a number of MPs, for example, that have made a big effort to learn te reo … they've driven that learning themselves because they want to do it.

        "In the real world outside of Wellington and outside the bubble of MPs, people who want to learn te reo or want to learn any other education actually pay for it themselves."

        • weka

          In the real world, people who can't afford to pay for it, make use of the various free te reo courses available.

          Luxon's an entitled arse.

          • gsays

            It's jolly ironic that I took Te Reo courses at night school at a local High School before the Nats removed funding for it.

            I gained a hell of a lot from it beyond the improvement in vocabulary.

    • joe90 5.2



      Chris Luxon took advantage of the clean car discount he repealed and the free te reo Māori lessons he wants to take away from public servants, next you'll be telling me an independent adjudicator has been enforcing some kind of fair pay for him and his MPs

      10:39 AM · Dec 18, 2023

  6. Adrian 7

    What are the chances ? Will Peters pull the plug, will the Nact scavengers appetite for destruction eventually be a bridge or ferry too far? Very little of what is happening now appears to have any rationale associated with previous NZ1st keenness for a NZ owned ny NZers. I may be wrong but very little of the Luxon/Willis plans for the future would have any resonance with previous iterations of Winston, in fact some of them seem remarkably similar to events that triggered him walking away from precious National administrations. Is it all a cunning plan, that one day in the near future hopefully, he will do just that, bring it all down by walking away while claiming to be the Saviour?

    • Anne 7.1

      I think the chances Winston will pull the plug down the track is quite high. He appears (only appears at this stage) to be extricating himself from the fruit-loops who catapulted him back into parliament. He must surely intend to retire at the end of this term and he will want to go out on a high note. Bringing down a deeply unpopular government (which it probably will be by then) or forcing an early election for the same reason would give him enormous satisfaction. He can then claim to have "saved" NZ from some catastrophe – imagined or real.

      • gsays 7.1.1

        Rest assured, Anne, the fruit loops aren't going anywhere.

        • Anne

          You seem to think I regard you as a fruit loop. I certainly do not!

          I am referring to the likes of Liz Gann and her merry band who are living on a nebulous planet where reality doesn't exist, They are suffering from serious delusions and need to be pitied but it is hard to find sympathy for such stupidity.

          Hence the word "fruit loops" – a colloquial expression for denoting individuals of unsound mind. And in case you take that the wrong way too, I am not referring to people who have mental diseases. There but for the grace of God go any of us, just as in physical diseases.

  7. Morrissey 8

    Libraries are supposed to be quiet.

    The great Gordon Campbell this morning satirizes the Peters-Seymour regime's war on the New Zealand people. He presents "a leaked document entitled In The Year 2025 that sets out the next phase of the coalition government’s plan to erase the last 30 years of New Zealand history."

    Most of these points will be chuckled at by sensible and intelligent people, i.e. those who don't support this horrendous shower in Wellington. But there is one item in it which I believe should indeed be enforced. I have highlighted it in bold red italics:

    Among the main points: the Public Health Coalition is to be disbanded, and replaced by the Radio Doctor, who will give brief talks on everything from colic to chilblains at 10am sharp on RNZ every Saturday morning. To restore media credibility, news bulletins will be voiced in future by holograms of Philip Sherry and Dougal Stevenson. Every Sunday night, state television will be required to broadcast a quality British drama. Each year, film festivals will be allowed to screen only one R18 movie, preferably from Sweden.

    In the public service, women will be allowed to work only as receptionists or in typing pools, which will be re-instituted. Skateboarding will be banned, as will the riding of bicycles by anyone aged 18 or over. Graphic novels will be removed from libraries. If allowed to exist at all, libraries will be expected to enforce silence at all times during operating hours. Female librarians will be encouraged to wear spectacles, and put their hair in buns. Farmers will once again receive state-guaranteed minimum prices for their produce.


    • Robert Guyton 8.1

      Librarians are among the most liberal of all New Zealanders (it's the books, you see!)

      Sure, pick a fight with the gangs, but steer very clear of the Keepers of the Books!!

  8. Ffloyd 9

    Morrissey. Oh no! Just as I feared. Dictatorship!!! Don’t mind a quality British Drama of an Evening though. I wonder if we will be allowed a small Sherry while we watch?…..Hmmm, probably not.

  9. Ffloyd 10

    Just read a quote. ‘If you’ve just read a big story in the media….Look for what they are trying to distract you from.’

  10. SPC 11

    In every National government this happens.

    Reti is being asked to end affirmative action in doctor training. This reminds one of Paula Bennett ending the Training Incentive Allowance for those on the DPB.

    At least Key did not try and sell off state houses …

    Mining the conservation estate, pollution of the waterways and the deliberately inept action on the Paris Accord to the point of facilitating another generation of car and road dependence.

  11. SPC 12

    What is wrong about having access to learning Maori while a government trainee (LOTO) hoping for a real job?

    But subsidised learning of Maori should be not just be available for those in the public service, but also the wider public.

    This can be done for the public via free online education. Just basic drama (common place settings) with English sub-titles and then replay with some language instruction (absorption form a preparation for more formal learning – class teaching style).

  12. adam 13

    No climate change say the Tory idiots.

    Tell that to the people of far north Queensland, go on I dare ya.

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  • New Chief of Defence Force appointed
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  • Defence Minister to meet counterparts in UK, Italy
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