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Open mike 22/03/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 22nd, 2021 - 75 comments
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75 comments on “Open mike 22/03/2021 ”

  1. Ad 1

    Skypath is dead.

    That is a massive govt and Council setback.

    Also an industry setback.

    And for cyclists.

  2. alwyn 2

    If there is anyone out there who still reads the Herald? If there is are they willing to just give the bare bones of the story in todays edition.


    Edit, for Ad. Snap

    • Rosemary McDonald 2.1

      …has run into "significant and complex engineering issues". The Herald understands the current design will be scrapped.

      Other options are being considered but these are likely to involve substantial delays.

      The problem appears to relate to the capacity of the piers to take the extra load. A replacement plan may be announced at some time in the future.

      Must be some very heavy cyclists in Auckland. Or they realised when they fixed the damage from the wind powered truck incident that the bridge has probably already reached/exceeded its maximum load.

      Might have to build another bridge. Or a tunnel.

      • alwyn 2.1.1

        Thank you. If it is the basic structure and strength of the bridge it won't be easy to fix.

      • cricklewood 2.1.2

        Hardly a surprise, it seemed unlikely that bolting another structure to the bridge that we have been told for years is pretty much at load capacity would be a goer…

        Im sure the various parties have been well paid for their 'work ' though…

        • alwyn

          I see that the current plan was up to $360 million.

          What ever happened to the $33 million scheme that was consented in 2015 and was supposed to be possible to implement by 2016? On July 3, 2015 Stuff said.

          "It means the $33m public-private partnership can go ahead, and could be built as early as 2016."


          • Sanctuary

            NZTA's roading luddites were never going to allow a cycle crossing of "their" bridge. The $360 million scheme was proposed in the hope such a grotesquely gold plated obvious jobs for the boys scheme would be cancelled. When that didn't work they seem to have just given up on that approach and they are just going to refuse to it because they don't want to… errr, I mean because they can't design for shit…. err I mean the private sector gave them the answers there ongoing access to consultancy fees depend on.

          • Sacha

            NZTA over-engineered their solution, and I think the costs included some of the connecting cyclepath.

            However I'd say they are genuinely confronting the structural limitations of the bridge that the truck crash highlighted. It may have adjusted their appetite for risk.

            • Ad

              A cynical person would say that its NZTA sabotaging a temporary job so their second harbour crossing (in development since at least 2015) has to get accelerated.

              I'm not that cynical yet.

              [wrong e-mail address entered 😀 ]

            • greywarshark

              Thanks Sacha for an opinion that presents possible causes.

            • Sacha

              A follow-up story in the Herald – which includes the cost allocation: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/skypath-cycling-community-gutted-auckland-harbour-bridge-may-never-get-a-cycleway/YKKTN6NK6B5DUM7D3J4X5WOYAI/

              The bridge pathway was part of the $360 million Northern Pathway, an ambitious plan revealed in May 2019 by Waka Kotahi, the NZ Transport Agency.

              Of the total cost, $240m is for the bridge and $120m is to extend the pathway to the Akoranga bus station near Northcote.

              At the time, Waka Kotahi's general manager of system design and delivery, Brett Gliddon, said the plans were complete and he expected construction would begin the next year, 2020.

              Waka Kotahi's own surveys suggest there is 78 per cent support for a pathway for cycling and walking over the bridge.

              • Sacha


                • alwyn

                  Thank you for posting that story.

                  The other one that I had asked about was behind the paywall. This one is not. Perhaps they decided that anyone who rides a bike doesn't pay to read the Herald?

  3. Sanctuary 3

    You have to wonder how the long the government is prepared to tolerate such a systemic campaign of insubordination as the one the NZTA wages against it.

    • Ad 3.1

      Skypath loss will make it very difficult for the industry to believe the Transport Minister's upcoming announcements on light rail.

      • Sanctuary 3.1.1

        One would suspect the NZTA's roading mafia would not be unhappy to see the PT friendlt parts of the governments transport policy credibility subverted with private sector industry players.

        One also doesn't need a degree in Kremlinology to read between the lines of the article to see the role played by Brett Gliddon in all this either.

        Perhaps a reform of NZTA could start there.

  4. satty 4

    Just “transform” the outer lanes of the harbour bridge into a shared path for cyclists and pedestrians until there’s an alternative solution.

    • Ad 4.1

      Like they did no optioneering?

      There's about 7 years of thinking and options already done.

    • Herodotus 4.2

      You need to drive over the bridge south morning and post 3:00 going either direction in the afternoon, the bridge currently is not coping with the current traffic volumes. And what would the utilisation of this cycle lane be and at what cost to the commute travel times ?

      • Sabine 4.2.1

        honestly no idea, but consider that every bike travelling is a car not used.

        Bikes should have a place in daily commuting. But the best now is to integrate bike and walkways on any new road being build. And then as BWaghorn said upthread, build a new crossing, and integrate walking and bicyling into the design and then build them.

        Every bike on the road is one less car – and it does not matter if it is kids cycling to games/school etc or people to the supermarket, a night out, or to work.

        Every bike on the road is one less car.

        • greywarshark

          Cars are built to be multi person transport. Bikes can be built to take two lengthwise usually – inefficient road space. Cars should be charged for only transporting one, credited for three or more. Hit drivers in the pocket. Bikes cannot do what cars do. The caption under rows of bikes that parked cars don't shop (sic) is seen in Nelson and considered clever, but that's stretching a point. Public transport and taxi circles should be promoted more with season tickets, or weekly tickets even, being low priced.

          • Sabine

            Have you heard of Holland? Germany? Sweden? Norway? etc?

            they all have something in common.

            High bicycle use to transport anything from oneself, to crates of beer – 24 0.5 l bottles a crate, to several children and even to go all the way from Germany to Italy for a holiday.

            The point is not to replace cars totally – unless one really don't see a reason for them, like me – but to complement the 'public' transport and the 'environmentally friendly' option currently available.

            So for example i might take the train to Britomart with my bicycle, and then i commute on my bike to where ever in town i work, and in the evenings when i am less time conscious i might cycle home on a safe and secure bicycle lane. Oh, look it, i have reduced the commute by a car in the morning, in the evenings and any other time i used my bike.

            And the more bikes are on the road the less space we as a country will waste
            on wasted carparks (who are the most inefficient land use anywhere on this planet), less pollution, lesser accidents, etc etc etc.

            And then if one needs to transport their whole family of two or four, they can still use a car, or use a bike each.
            also you might really want to rethink bicycle.

            transporting your children

            transporting loads

            moving lots of people having a beer

  5. Adrian Thornton 5

    Ambassador Robert Ford on the US role in Syria's 10-year war

    Interesting interview with Robert Ford, retired US diplomat who served as US Ambassador to Syria from 2011 to 2014.

  6. Sabine 6

    surely something will be done about this…..soon……so very soon….any month now, or maybe year….something……


    Ridiculous. Outrageous. Hopeless. These are words used by housing advocates to describe a one-bedroom property in Wellington that was on the market seeking offers over $745,000.

    The 42-square metre Miramar house was described as “perfect for busy singles, or couples” in the listing by real estate group Ray White. One housing advocate instead described the house as like a “more respectable version” of the converted shipping container recently listed for $390 per week in Johnsonville.

    I would click the link just to have look at the 745.000$ single wide container home, well three of them, on a standard section, with no privacy, and the deck ain't private either.

    Well maybe she will find some new words to describe how she don't want to see housprices increasing any further cause the old words used sound as hollow as they were.

    How about a regulation here and there and maybe a stipulation as to what is a house and what is a single wide, removable trailer.

    In February alone, the median house price across the county increased by $50,000 – in Auckland, it was $100,000, or $25,000 a week.

    "I'm not going to ever say or concede that what's happening in the housing market is okay; It is not," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said last week.

    She went further: "We don't want to continue to see the exorbitant house price growth that we have seen across the country in the last few months."

    She made similar comments in mid-November last year: "It [house prices] just cannot keep increasing at the rate that it is".

    But they did, and then some.


    • Stuart Munro 6.1

      It has to be a government housing program – everything else has been tried and failed -and any pretending that the market will do anything other than exploit the crisis needs to be rejected for the neoliberal lie that it is.

        • Stuart Munro

          Grief of gods – well I guess we have to see. But it's not her that would need to resign if meaningful housing policy is blocked, but the the senior civil service. They're much too comfortable with the status quo. In most jobs, if you don't do 'em, you lose 'em.

          • Sacha

            Resigning and running a snap re-election to get a mandate for substantial govt action seems possible. Could also help neutralise the grey mandarins of Thorndon.

            • Stuart Munro

              I'm not fond of that scenario for two reasons.

              Firstly, the PM has an unprecedented mandate for change – not need to look for another, which would likely fall short of her present support level.

              And secondly, if she stood down, which must be tempting as a newish mum, who in Labour could be trusted to prioritize significant action, and enjoys comparable support? No-one springs to my mind.

              • Sacha

                I'm suggesting Colonel Trotter or his sources may have confused resignation with dissolving government. I'd say the whole thing is wishful rubbish from bored Thorndonites.

                But it can easily be argued that Labour has a mandate for doing nothing to scare the horses, given that’s what they campaigned on.

        • Sabine

          well i am not getting any hopes of.

          the big she could do is the big she ruled out last year, 'no increases in benefits', and i can't see her walk this back.

          What ever she does now, in the eyes of some like me it will be band aids. They had this awesome chance last year to re-think government and they spend it doing fuck all, and they are now spending the last of the capital pissing of various industries that are in the process of dying by telling them that government is not hear to help, and that if they expect help they better be humble. That is disaster capitalism nothing more and nothing less. For lack of better words, her governments 'not coming to help' bullshit is trickling down.

          I don't see her or anyone else resign, i don't see anything exiting of this PR exercise today, and above all i don't see a thing changing in regards to poverty, homelessness and the housing obscenity that is currently playing out for all to see.

          • Anne

            The big she ruled out last year is likely to return in disguise as part of the BIG big she and her political mates are rumoured to be planning in the near future.

            Btw, last year was Covid, Covid, Covid. Everything else was pushed aside. I'm glad though. It means the country can galvanise again… so much sooner than most of the rest of the world.

    • Adrian Thornton 6.2

      Labour long ago drunk the cool aid of Free market neoliberalism, and once under the spell of that obscene ideology (along with National) have done nothing but adhere too, administer, and promote the principles of this ponzi scheme ideology in NZ…these people, Grant Robertson Ardern, Grant Robertson and NZ Labour are nothing more than free market fundamentalists…just look at what they have allowed to happen to our homes..,and all the while we have to listen to Robertson trying to use the tools of the 'market' to control the market that is only operating as it was designed by them to do…and remember it was Labour who unleashed this ideology that has turned our homes into the tradable commodities they are today, and Ardern has proved she is no different.

      Turn Labour Left!

      • Molly 6.2.1

        Have a relative working for one of the big Australian banks down in Wellington. Grant Robertson meets weekly with the head honcho to talk with them about how they think the housing market and economy is going. (I'm making a presumption here, that if he is meeting with one on a weekly basis, he is meeting with most – if not all).

        I suspect this relationship has been built on continued ineffective policy and strategies. I believe that this Labour government has disdained any notion of building a trusting relationship with the public, particularly those who suffer from lack of affordable housing, otherwise they would do better. And they need to do better.

        • Adrian Thornton

          I know it is like RNZ, who only ever seem to talk to banking economists about our economy, you know banks whose sole purpose is to create debt FFS!

          I regularly email RNZ and politely ask them why they don't interview economists who would have a more neutral and nuanced outlook…it is just bizarre.

          " And they need to do better " sorry to be a bummer here, but they won't do better, well not the kind of better we really need at this moment, the best we can hope for from Labour is their usual 'fixing around the edges' they are not and never will be transformational while they are lead by their liberal free marker ideology…a sad fact.

          Turn Labour Left!

    • mac1 6.3

      Meanwhile, the Marlborough District Council is building 12 one bedroom flats for seniors on 800 sq.m. for $3.7m. The rent will be set at 80% of market rents and are projected to be about $220 to #230 p.w. The rent is expected to pay for the cost of construction over time- so is self-funding.


      The individual cost is just over $300,000 per unit.

      Put that figure against the Miramar glorified container at $745,000!

      • Sabine 6.3.1

        This is what should be build more, and even up to 4 – 5 stories high, but with mixed bedroom sizes. So that young/old and families live in mixed housing.

        I can't even see how anyone would want to share a standard property with three others and no privacy as the one featured in the article i linked to. And yeah, the government could rule and regulate and promote the building of these apartments as per your article. The one is gonna be a slum, the other is going to be functional housing.

    • mikesh 6.4

      What is the land that it sits on worth?

      • Sabine 6.4.1

        it is a standard section, so i doubt it would be 3* 745.000 dollar a tick, but then people in NZ buy stupid properties any day now.

        Also, the Landlord would not answer, and the fancy container builders are really proud for the double glazing.

        its a standard section dude.

  7. velcro 7

    walk your bike over the bridge, or take it on the ferry. A bridge cycleway is elitist and unnecessary

  8. Adrian Thornton 8

    Putin challenges Biden to live debate after president calls him a 'killer'https://abc7.com/putin-challenges-biden-to-debate-killer-russia-us/10432148/

    Now there is a debate I would stay up for..

    [Image resized]

    • Sabine 8.1

      neither one of them is the solution of what ails the world.

      And anyone thinking that POutin did not his share of unsavory shit during the time he was stationed in East Germany as the headhoncho of the USSR is deluding himself.

      He is unsavory, he is deadly, and he ain't give a shit about anything, no more then the dude on the other side does. However, at least in the US the head honcho changes every now and then, meanwhile while in Russia ………………………………..

      • Morrissey 8.1.1

        Putin is, as you correctly point out, unsavoury and deadly. However, he is a model of stability and integrity versus any of the horror shows—Bush, Obomber, Trump, Biden—that have occupied the Oval Office this century.

    • Foreign waka 8.2

      Absolutely, but I doubt that the Americans want to hear their own sins.

  9. Sabine 9

    oh boy, and good grief, and well finally they admit that covid really has not been that good to women, but that is not because they are women, it is because they work in jobs that 'dominated' by women, and these jobs that traditionally are womens jobs – such as cleaning hotel rooms – are now industries that have been impacted by Covid.

    What a phrase.

    Although women have been affected worse by this pandemic, and job-creation moves in infrastructure and building have largely benefited men, that's to do with workforce composition and over time there may end up being more women in those jobs – but that could be a long, slow structural shift away.

    For now, women are hurting not because they are women but because they tend to be in the workforce affected by Covid.

    "So much depends on the starting point and it so happens the service sector is heavily dominated by women," says Toplis. "By definition – and I think you have to be very careful with the debate – it's not an anti-women downturn but an anti-service downturn and women are disproportionately represented."


    But at least an article that admits what has been admitted elsewhere already, that Covid was not good for women, for womens income, for womens employment options, and for womens mental health. (#notallwomensomemadegoodmoneyduringcovid)

  10. Jimmy 10

    So Ardern is currently making an announcement, announcing that there will be a further announcement on the 6th of April on the possible travel bubble with Australia.

    The wheels do turn slowly.

    • Sabine 10.1

      soon, sooooooon, so sooon, i will be any day now……sooon.

    • McFlock 10.2

      Seems reasonable.

      Fixed window from a given situation seems to be the criteria for the bubble to happen, so given the most recent instance of that situation the bubble is not going to happen at least for a couple of weeks.

      It's not like fingers can be snapped and suddenly it's safe to have a bubble. Quite the opposite – when it finally happens, at any time there could be a loud bang over the Tasman as the bubble suddenly pops and collapses into two smaller bubbles, one isolating each nation.

      • Sabine 10.2.1

        Well, we are as isolated atm as can be. Short of closing borders to returning kiwis, dancers, sports dudes/ettes, and the wiggles this is as isolated as isolation gets.

        shall we wager what the government is gonna do on the 6th of April?

        short we lose

        long we pay.

        • McFlock

          what both governments decide will be based on conditions on the ground in April.

          If we have another outbreak, Aussies could decide to put it off.

          If they have another outbreak, we might put it off.

          If everything's fine, they might make an announcement of the bubble happening x days later, to give hotels and airlines time to get up and running to a higher level, including their online booking.

          We won't be betting on a decision, we'll be betting on whether conditions are better then than they are now.

      • DukeEll 10.2.2

        Australia managed to turn quarantine free travel on and off. which is essentially what this is, not a bubble. State by state too. that's 7 juridisctions able to put into place what Jacinda can only make an announcement about being able to confirm when it will be in place.

        It's hard to stomach the constant double speak

        • McFlock


          Q: So when will it get turned on Aus-NZ?

          A:Not until April 6 at the earliest.

          Q: Why april 6 at the earliest?

          A: Because the conditions won't suit it until April 6 at the earliest.

          It's just like L1-L4. There will be criteria, somehwere, that will be a compromise between whatever Michael Baker wants and whatever the business lobbyists and the nats want. I cbf'd looking for that criteria, because I think the entire complaint about people not knowing what's going on is BS.

          We've had a year of this – if people haven't figured out by now that loosened restrictions depend on things like the extent of community transition in an area (rather than the whims of the PM), they'll need some extensive 1:1 contact time with professional educators to actually figure it out.

    • bwaghorn 10.3

      The linger she can delay it the better imho. Getting those vaccines in arms before the next outbreak suits me

      • Sabine 10.3.1

        Why simply not announce that then? We don't want a bubble now, too dangerous. We want one under the these conditions and to get there we will do this that such. Announce a date for the vaccine rollout ( a very conservative, smallest amount of risk type announcement – say vaccine roll out happening for the larger public starting July – ish, finished by End of year / mid next year). Give it a time frame. Be done with it. Atm, no one can plan, no one knows anything, and lockdowns can happen any day. This is just painful, no purpose served stringing along a public because you can.

        Today was another wasted PR opportunity, with nothing that could not have been said via a press statement either. “No changes to the current bubble rules.” done.

  11. Sabine 11

    so, was there something big happening today?

    did Grant came out to say something of substance?

    did J.A said something of substance?

    Or was that all pushed out to April too?

  12. gsays 12

    On a brighter note, we have returned from a thoroughly enjoyable sojourn around West Coast/Buller/Tasman/Malborough.

    The highlights: the friendly folk and hospitality esp Hokitika, Reefton and Takaka, the great quality beer – Eddyline, West Coast Brewery, Townsend and Mussell Inn, the scenery of Buller Gorge, the Glaciers and Golden Bay.

    Personal highlight @ Lyell was two parent Weka mooching amongst our feet before moving away and 'booming' to the 4 chicks that followed.

    Despite thinking the swing bridge across the Buller Gorge would be easy, it was a different thing in 'the flesh'. Border-line code brown.

    Finished it all off with a great day at the Nelson Beer and Music Festival.

    Hot tip, I thoroughly recommend getting a cabin for the return ferry crossing. Being able to nap before driving was a master stroke.

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