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Open mike 27/11/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 27th, 2020 - 74 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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Step up to the mike …

74 comments on “Open mike 27/11/2020 ”

  1. vto 1

    David Seymour on foreign workers … "“There are local industries crying out for a workforce they can’t find here and workers in Pacific Island countries with very little, if any, Covid-19 crying out for work."

    David, have you not heard of the free market? Supply and demand? Tell your employers to adjust their supply side to attract the demand side for the jobs – this is the nature of free market business. And if the business can't handle it then the business fails.

    Free market David, free market – have you heard of it?

    • aom 1.1

      It looks like the Government has folded (see Stuff) but with strings attached. Companies will be required to cover the cost of managed isolation currently estimated at $4722 per person, pay the workers a minimum of $22.10 an hour and be required to pay workers for a 30-hour working week while in isolation. It now remains to sort out the usual rorts like deducting extortionate accommodation costs for 3rd world conditions. It will be interesting to see which employers prefer to engage a NZ resident workforce.

      • dv 1.1.1

        So each worker will cost about $5400 before any work done.

        I wonder is they offered say $4000 to NZ workers to come and work is that would attract NZers?

        • Sacha 1.1.1.1

          More public subsidising of these private businesses.

          https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/431563/government-s-seasonal-workers-move-not-enough-but-a-good-start

          In an attempt to make that kind of work more attractive to New Zealanders, the government has offered up to $200 a week in accommodation costs, and bonuses for those who stayed in the job for six weeks or more.

        • Phillip ure 1.1.1.2

          @dv..Good point/question..!

        • greywarshark 1.1.1.3

          Not enough. The government has treated seasonal, and semi-skilled workers as if they are pieces of equipment, to be left on a shelf and available and ready whenever required. But people lose heart and strength, literally as exercise gurus say, when not able to work regularly. Even machinery goes rusty when left on the shelf, especially in damp conditions, as has been stated about much of NZ housing.

          My idea is to raise the workers' status including the parents, pay them a benefit when not required for paid jobs, give them the task of keeping fit going to the gym regularly, helping out with volunteering to keep active and engaged – then you have the people ready willing and able with a good positive attitude.

          It's a big task for government to stop being shitty and negative and stand-offish to the ordinary person, but hey we are the salt of the earth and it is time the key tappers and theory modellers gave us our rightful space – the real wealth creators who do the work and the building of a nation. End of rant.

    • Sabine 1.2

      Headline in the Herald,

      2000 migrant workers form the Islands allowed in for seasonal work.

      Must be paid the living wage of 22.10 an hour. Was that ever stipulated for Kiwis? Quarantine paid for by employer, and wage paid for while in Quarantine. And the workers need to have a return ticket when arriving.

      Well it seems Act is getting somewhere, NZ workers….oh well.

      • WeTheBleeple 1.2.1

        That living wage stipulation is hilarious. The obvious reason kiwis were deemed useless was their insistence on reasonable money.

        So now the 'hard done by' employers will have to put up or shut up. This may also drive the price locals can demand for horticultural work up. See, it used to be islanders were exploited badly and too scared to stick up for themselves. Now, the government's stuck up for them.

        Having islanders making some money to help themselves and folks back home, while NOT being exploited. This to me is a great change. I can't really see what the problem is. Locals can make noise or move on if the employer's shit.

        • vto 1.2.1.1

          Through this action New Zealand's labour government has driven down the income and prosperity of our lowest paid, and acted against the interests of the working people.

          The whole situation is appalling and stinks. Make these crappy businesses meet free market conditions, as they themselves vote for and support (while it advantages them only, the hypocrites), instead of catering to their nanny state intervention crying when it disadvantages..

          Bad form Labour – you need to change the name of your party to the Employers Party

          Bad

          Bad

          Bad

          • vto 1.2.1.1.1

            Jacinda is a chicken when confronting the forces of so-called capitalism- book book – it will be her downfall

          • gsays 1.2.1.1.2

            "Bad form Labour – you need to change the name of your party to "…

            National Too?

      • Poission 1.2.2

        Well it seems Act is getting somewhere, NZ workers….oh well.

        If ACT mps were treated as RSE workers,their airfares and wellington accommodation would be deducted from their wages.

    • Sacha 1.3

      vto, please provide a link when you quote something like that.

  2. Foreign Waka 2

    Many questioning about allowing Pacific Island workers into the country.

    We need to remember that those countries part of NZ past, being former colonies. Nz has a tradition of having workers from the pacific as part of financial support to the region. I am all for it that employers should be scrutinized to make sure they are not just trying to look at cost measures when asking for workers from the Pacific.

    In all that, is someone looking at equal pay and conditions for NZlaenders? Having to travel 2000 or 200 KM to get to a job is actually the same in a sense when looking at rent and travel, leaving family behind.

    It is true from my observation however, that a quite a number of younger people of all colors and backgrounds have neither the work ethic nor will they see things through for longer than a couple of days. Hard work in the orchards will not cut the mustard if some sit on the bum looking at a screen is preferred.

    • RedBaronCV 2.1

      I don't think most of the Pacific were our colonies. Britain's maybe.

      • Foreign Waka 2.1.1

        Weren't the Colonial British the first European settlers here in NZ? Labor was recruited in the region as far back as 1870's.

        • RedBaronCV 2.1.1.1

          Our first settlers came from all over. At one point there was I believe back when the whalers came here more Americans than most other nationalities. As far as I know there was no particular recruitment from the various islands to NZ. There was recruitment by British business to various pacific islands – like CSR recruiting from India to Fiji. So yeah the British and French may owe some reparations to the various pacific nations as they do to us. But frankly I haven't seen the British exchequer opening it's purse for it's poor showing in enforcing the Treaty of Waitangi and refunding wealth stripped from here when we were a colony . We could ask Boris though?

        • Phillip ure 2.1.1.2

          By 'recruited' do you mean blackbirding/kidnapping/slavery..?

          • RedBaronCV 2.1.1.2.1

            Actually, I've looked up some of the details, they went to Fiji as indentured labour between 1875 and 1916. The conditions weren't pretty but they did receive some payment and could return to India (in theory) after 5-10 years. Apparently a good number did go back. The main instigators were the Governor of the colony of Fiji a Brit and the Australian owned CSR.

  3. WeTheBleeple 3

    Lost you for a while there TS.

    So the government's offered $1000 bonus for working in horticulture (longer than 6 weeks) and up to $200 per week towards accommodation costs. The only question I have as a potential worker is the stand-down period when the work dries up – does this negate any benefit?

    The worker side of me approves of the improving prospects.

    The sensible side of me thinks this is nuts. A handout for employers who have failed to provide their own sweeteners for local workers. A handout for landlords, again, for overpriced rentals.

    Employers should be made to at least match the living wage. That rate which must now be paid to the 2000 islanders coming to work here.

    • Rosemary McDonald 3.1

      WTB…a mate has for some time been on the Jobseeker benefit and has participated in occasional seasonal/casual/part time work. He has a good relationship with his case manager at the local WINZ office and so long as he keeps them informed of what work he does where for how much, he keeps his benefit but has it abated if he goes over the limit. No stand down period….be silly up here when so many jobs are seasonal.

      (He has just secured a full time job…so has officially gone off the benefit…but if that job folds he does not expect a stand down.)

    • lprent 3.2

      Lost you for a while there TS.

      Archive zraid3 decided to drop a disk. Had to reboot to get it un jammed. Shut down to pull the disk. It is used as part of the immediate backup system for TS amongst other things. It was VERY slow to stop. Restarted

      Drive was ok. Got another set of cables. Shutdown, updated cables and reinserted drive a bit later. Disk rejoined the array. Then dropped out some time later.

      I'll pull the disk drive card later tonight and test that. I suspect that there is a heating problem there. It uses a passive radiator that is wrong way up in my case. I may need to find an exterior fan to pull heat from the stale air in that part of the case.

  4. Pat 4

    "Employers should be made to at least match the living wage. That rate which must now be paid to the 2000 islanders coming to work here."

    I wonder how much of that living wage will end up in the workers hands….the examples of clawing back and downright extortion that already occur in the industry dosnt bode well for those actually doing the work benefiting

    • greywarshark 4.1

      You think the employers will give with one hand, and take back with the other then? Could do that with accommodation etc – so they might not be out of pocket at all, or very much.

      • Pat 4.1.1

        Employers, agents whoever…theres plenty of scope and history that indicates rorts of various types

    • RedBaronCV 4.2

      Labour needs to get a spine. When did the government decide to guarantee employers a work force of their choosing at rates that please the employer.

      Imagine if individuals expected the government to supply then with a job of their choosing at a rate that suits them. Those sixty shearers where slipped in under the radar. They could train those – slower work rate at first but it would pick up.(stuff story)

      However, if we have a genuine shortage then best they are from the Pacific.

      But the real kicker in the story is allowing anyone who is here on a visa to apply according to some list at MSD. ( anyone know where this is? I can't find it) There was a story the other day that there are some 267000 people here on various visas. That's about 15% of the adult workforce.

      • Pat 4.2.1

        Dont think there has been any evidence of spine…none of these problems are new or unknown and this is their 4th year in charge

      • gsays 4.2.2

        After watching Ibrahim Omer deliver his maiden speech this morning, I thought union membership should be an employment condition.

  5. Adrian 5

    A few things, Viticulture/ Horticulture export earnings are over 6 billion dollars, thats a lot of vaccines, PPE gear, cancer drugs, medical specialists, computers and all the other things that we need and demand. Overseas exchange earnings are not something that Grant can conjuror up at the click of his fingers,. Imported shit has to be paid for.

    We in NZ are in the lucky position of being very good at growing very good produce, so much so that it outstrips our supply of labour to grow and pick it. Without the earnings we would be so much worse off as a country and instead of the constant complaints about what are isolated instances of bad behaviour on the part of some employers and agents just give thanks for these people who come here from less fortunate countries to increase both our well being and that of their own families and countries.

    Yes the abuses are isolated, the oft quoted slavery case in HB was a family matai from the same country as what were mostly his extended family, any others complicit in it were punished.

    In Marlborough at the moment the unemployment rate is in the low 2% range, a figure economists reckon is about as low as you can get, simply because there are always about that number who can't or about .5% who won't work as they turn up for 2 hours and then go home or deliberately break gear so they will be sent home to qualify as having "presented for work ". They wouldn't work in an iron lung.

    At the moment a young French woman working on my place is getting $25 an hour, her mate is coming next week when the apple thinning job she is on finishes and she is currently earning $27.50 on contract. RSE workers can earn up to $35 an hour, they are rewarded for keeness and fitness. That's over at least $50,000 a year, not bad money.

    I'm 71, I started at 6.30am and my cup of tea is finished so I'm back into it and I'll finish at about 7 tonight, and I do this pretty much everyday, admittedly I take a few more rests than I used to but it's called a work ethic and there are plenty of old buggers like me about here.

    • vto 5.1

      " give thanks for these people who come here from less fortunate countries to increase both our well being"… except that they don't increase our well being, they drive down wages.

      "That's over at least $50,000 a year"… no it isn't, it is $35 /hour for a very short period. It has nothing to do with an annual salary.

      "but it's called a work ethic" … please don't tell me you are one of those who think the older generations are superior to the younger generations, as Bill English so inelegantly ranted a few years back when he said "young people today are useless"… you know the ironic thing about Bill English's statement? That age group he was referring to were born into his governments, and his policies, and so are a direct result of his own actions – he caused it – good one English, ya frikkin' dickhead, thanks for nothing.

    • RedBaronCV 5.2

      Who is the contact in Marlborough for these types of jobs. I know a couple of people who are interested. They would probably prefer a local owner over an overseas owner if there is an option. And what sort of accommodation / travel distance is involved. They are happy to camp site with limited facilities.

      • Adrian 5.2.1

        You are wrong. The wages are set .. minimum, living, contract etc. And now by being available for this scheme there is this new minimum benchmark of $22.

        You miss the point of the whole thing, there are NO workers available, or to be correct nobody available who will work even at $30 an hour.

        I'm not denigrating the young, I used to coach under 5s through to under 10s at footy ( by then they knew more than I did ) and some of those boys were pretty hardcase and constantly in trouble but the ones that put the effort in at the age at footy and even though they did a runner from school as soon as possible got themselves jobs and often in the hardest work you can think of like forestry and dairying, and now in their mid-twenties have started a family and have bought houses, even changed jobs and are builders and farm managers.

        Teachers know who is going to be useless and it is only about 1 in 200, who expect others to support them with out any effort on their part. They are about all that is left of the non-working.

        You sound like a perpetual complainer and one who can't count, $35 an hour is at a rate of not $50,000 a year but $72,000 and yes it may not be permanent but that suits the itinerant travellers and Uni students and others down to the ground and there are extra hours. Like all jobs, with agri work you start at a minimum rate and work your way up exactly the same as any job. Tractor operators are about $25-30 probably depending on how much gear you damage.

        And what the fuck has English or any other politician got to do with those who are too lazy to get out of bed, you are a classic case of it always being somebody else's fault.

        • RedBaronCV 5.2.1.1

          Err I think this is for VTO.

          I can't see the references for contacts for jobs in Marlborough. Surely there is at least on job agency matching workers and jobs.

        • vto 5.2.1.2

          yeah nah we are kinda sailing past each other adrian… i certainly aint a perpetual complainer, but I do not like the hypocrisy of free market business people who abandon the free market principles when suits, particularly when it works to keep wages low.

          wages and earnings in our country are a disgrace.

          in the past, the workers share of the economic pie was a chunk greater, and it made for a much better society. Today that has been shrunk, with consequent negative effects on society

          btw, english has everything to do with this issue, due to his rantings about exactly this issue as part of the last government – he was pm remember

          anyway adrian, stop driving down wages in this country – it makes it harder for nzer's – you should be driving them up

          push the wealth down and society strengthens and prospers

          push the wealth up and society weakens and fails

          • Adrian 5.2.1.2.1

            I don't think you are right on the share of the pie, VTO, a few years ago I found some grocery bills of my parents from around the time I was born, 1949-50, and you got bugger all for your money. Dad was on the standard wage for the time, about 5 quid a week at the Post Office and most people working for the Government which dominated the labour market got around that, certainly not the variation now. He always complained about how dear stuff was but I broke it down to minutes work for a loaf of bread, pound of butter etc. This was in the mid 70s as I recall and everything took about 50 to 70% more minutes to earn then than in the 70s.

            • Adrian 5.2.1.2.1.1

              VTO, I cocked that up a bit, it was a lot dearer in the early 50s by quite a bit, on reflection I was wrong on the butter, that was only about 20% dearer and as I found out later talking to the retired store owner who said that butter, milk and cheese were subsidised by the Government, which I found strange but not surprising, with the Korean War in full swing export prices were probably quite high like wool was. I would even bet that minutes worked now for basics, even butter is less than the 70s, but it would be hard to settle on a representative hourly rate. also something that didn't happen in those days much was price competition ,it all seemed to be pretty fixed.

              But a huge amount of stuff then considered luxuries are just staple diet stuff now like" bought biscuits", God you were being pretty flash if you broke out the bought biscuits.

              I must see if I can find the grocery bills again but she'd be a big job.

      • Adrian 5.2.2

        Red, there is a Regional Labour Co-Ordinator who operates out of Winz, or whatever they are called this week, 0275778440, who works in with Wine Marlborough 03 577 9299, WM will just refer you on to the RLCO.

        It is hard work in vineyards in that being outside all day in Marlborough with the bloody wind and pretty hot temperatures from now on, and it's hard because it is boring and repetitious generally although not heavily physical, but cheaper than a gym because boy you will get fit if you survive the first few days, like any ag work.

        There are plenty of other jobs about , just stay away from bloody Talleys. Nelson/ Motueka has a lot of fruit picking etc but all the travelling kids like to go there.

        Good luck.

        • Brigid 5.2.2.1

          "It is hard work in vineyards "

          Actually no, it's not. I spent a few years when my kids were little working on a local vineyard. Pruning, thining, picking. Through out the year; we only got paid for the hours we worked of course.

          What was hard and what eventually convinced me to give it up was the poor conditions we were expected to work under. No washing facilities, no toilet, we provided our own tea/coffee and sat under the grapevines at smoko and lunch. If it was raining it was truly miserable. Often we were expected to work following the tractor spraying god only knows what poison.

          My fellow workers were housewives and school leavers so I just don't believe they're more unwilling to work now than they were then. Unless conditions are even worse now than they were then.

          I suspect NZ school leavers are not the preferred employee. We all actually know why.

          What do you pay Adrian? What if your worker is sick do you still pay them? Do you provide washing facilities, lunch room? morning and afternoon tea? What is the with hold period after spraying?

          • Descendant Of Smith 5.2.2.1.1

            "It is hard work in vineyards " Actually no, it's not.

            What so employers lie in order to keep NZer's out.

            From ads for vineyard jobs in Malborough.

            "Our local employer has a variety of vineyard work with immediate start available. This work involves wire dropping, shoot thinning and some development work. To be successful in this position you must have a good level of fitness as work can be physically challenging."

            "Fit and keen We unfortunately have no seats left in the vans."

            "To be successful, candidates must be physically fit and fine with being on their feet all day. Remuneration Details:$18.90 Per Hour

            "To be successful, candidates must be able to work long hours outdoors and on their feet.$18.90 per Hour plus 8% Holiday Pay"

            Doesn't feel like unfit people can get jobs or that the labour shortage has had an impact on pay rates in Malborough.

            • Adrian 5.2.2.1.1.1

              Thats the starting rate, those that are keen and fit quickly earn more. It is after all an unskilled job with no qualifications needed and most who are pushed into it by WINZ or who ever don't last more than a few days. A few hours of following someone else teaches the basics, it's not rocket science FFS , most fit kids in the school holidays earn quite good money like the one who worked for me, but then he played sport and was a tramper. Fitness is pretty much essential for any job, to expect to turn up at a job and be breathless from exertion walking from the car to the office and expecting rocket scientist wages is bloody dreaming.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                Don't think anyone is expecting a rocket science salary.

                "Rocket scientists in the United States make an average salary of $125,085 per year or $60.14 per hour. People on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $79,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $195,000."

                https://www.zippia.com/rocket-scientist-jobs/salary/?survey=039&survey_step=step1&oneTapSurvey=true&src=survey-core-prompt

                However if the minimum starting wage is not attracting people to work, and there is not enough people to pick the apples/grapes, and the whole industry is at risk wouldn't the free enterprise market response be to lift the minimum starting wage to attract more people.

                Nope the industry response is to call locals lazy bludgers, who watch TV and play computer games all day, to denigrate the very New Zealanders for years and years that they now would like to help them out, to see contract rates as the only way for an employee to earning a living income. This approach is somehow supposed to attract people to work in the industry.

                Doesn't really seem to be working does it? When being a barista (which you also have a low opinion of) is a more attractive job then maybe the problem isn't the young people.

                Some orchards have lifted the starting rate and some orchards who moan about losing there staff are having them pinched by other orchardists offering them more. It is one of the reasons RSE is so attractive – the workers have no freedom to go to another employer – definitely not market forces at work there.

                Have you ever thought that after 15 years or so of publicly telling New Zealanders they are useless that no-one wants to work for your industry anymore?

          • Adrian 5.2.2.1.2

            It is a lot different, transportable loos are compulsory on remoter sites, smoko rooms are a lot more common, distancing is policed and rentry times are adhered to, the sprays are a lot more "gentle "under the Sustainable winegrowing regime we have to follow. Labour inspectors are about a lot and we have yearly compliance WineNZ checks on everything.

            Some of the "housewives " that I knew 10-20 years ago have moved up the ladder into management and drive around in flash utes but it is now a serious career pathway and Polytech and Uni degrees dominate for those viticulture jobs. And all the school leavers are now serving that bloody awful coffee stuff.

            We pay reasonably well, last winter I had a young neighbour , just out of school waiting for Uni to re-open after Covid who told me to stop putting his hourly rate up because he felt he would have to work faster , I told him he got more because he was doing a good job and I didn't want him to go faster as I wanted a good job, he ended up on a bit over $ 25 an hour and he set his own hours. Suited me. Most work is on Casual Agricultural for tax etc, because the bloody bureacacy for anything else requires a monthly form filling for at least 12 months even if someone only worked for a few weeks under a "permanent "regime, the pay is the same but less tax is deducted under Casual. The hard bit of vineyard work as I said is being outside, not a lot of kids can handle it, but the local ones are really good if they have been bought up on farms or playing outside etc.

    • Brigid 5.3

      " That's over at least $50,000 a year"

      Utter bullshit. Who do you think you're fooling.

      • Adrian 5.3.1

        $35 an hour is $1400 a week or $72,800 a year.

        That is the rate, no it may not be permanent but most permanent jobs are about $22 to $25 or $45,700 to $ 52, 000 a year, but they do require experience and capability so starting is probably minimum.

        It's easy, multiply the hourly rate by 40 then by 52. If you think multiplication is bullshit then I doubt if you could get a job anywhere.

    • Patricia Bremner 5.4

      Good health to you Adrian. Still able to work at 71 well done.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    An excellent and thought provoking article in the Lon Review of Books on the Corbyn project with much of relevance here to the discerning reader, I commend people to read it!

    https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/n23/james-butler/failed-vocation

  7. Pat 7

    "While the final list of attendees has yet to be determined, Newsroom understands New Zealand may be excluded over concerns it is not doing enough to reduce emissions."

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/nz-may-be-excluded-from-climate-leaders-summit

    “Despite Jacinda Ardern’s 2017 remarks promising to treat climate change as “this generation’s nuclear-free moment” and the Government’s intention next week to declare a climate emergency, New Zealand has one of the worst climate records of industrialised nations.”

    Government (justifiably) under fire from multiple directions

  8. RedBaronCV 8

    Can anybody give me a good reason why – when one goes to the MSD site and clicks into jobs available one is required to register? I can think of many poor reasons. The other mainstream job sites don't ask for that. What do you think they are trying to hide?

  9. satty 9

    @RedBaronCV

    It’s not an overly well designed website (my partner works at MSD, I’ll let her know), but you don’t have to register. Go to the job search button a bit further down or try following link:

    https://job-bank.workandincome.govt.nz/find-a-job/search.aspx

    • RedBaronCV 9.1

      Thanks for that. Once I had gone there I managed to get through to it through the main website but it still required quite a path to get to it. You'd think the big button labeled "find a job" would be right up front and centre in red.

  10. greywarshark 10

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/431561/salvation-army-report-finds-social-needs-increasing-in-all-areas

    The Salvation Army says the government needs to lift the core benefits for low-income families as this Christmas will be harder in light of Covid…

    Policy analyst at the charity, Ronji Tanielu, said, with the end of both the original wage subsidy and the 12-week Covid income relief payment just before Christmas, many families will struggle more. His charity is expecting a 20 percent increase in demand for food and gifts in this period.

    "We're going to see traditional hardship from those who normally use our services, but also new people facing hardship … probably people that were contributing to and donating to our food banks last year are probably gonna be people that need our food bank this year," he said.

  11. greywarshark 11

    Business thinking rationally about lessening waste. We want to have an economy so can't grumble about the use of plastic at present. We need engineers who can understand the problems and get alongside the various players to help keep moving in the right direction.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/431589/restrictions-stymie-re-use-of-industrial-purpose-plastic-bags

  12. Ad 12

    Anyone seen the Auditor General's report into the light rail procurement?

    Its a slammer.

    • Incognito 12.1

      It’s an open-and-shut case.

    • bwaghorn 12.2

      You sure you're not being railroaded??

    • gsays 12.3

      "right front wheel, right front wheel."

    • lprent 12.4

      It was pretty clear from the introduction of the PPP bid that it was a political issue rather than a procurement issue.

      What that AG was looking at was that the process didn't follow public service guidelines for the public service. I was unsurprised at the AGs prognosis because it wasn't a simple public service procurement.

      Haven't read the report – just what was reported about it. That was consistent with what I'd expect.

      However I do think that the political acceptance of the entry of a late bid wasn't a good idea for either political reasons (ie the PPP and skimming aspects) or for the timely delivery of a transport project.

      I also have still have issues with the light rail aspects of the project itself. Tearing up Dominion road to provide commuters with a centre of the road method of transport sounds like a crap idea – and incredibly slow for getting to the airport. It is going to take years just to do that.

      Whereas booting all parked cars off dominion road, putting in full time bus lanes, and changing the traffic lights along dominion road would be both faster and less of an issue (apart from the screaming shop keepers – who should be providing parking already).

      Providing a rail link to the airport sounds like completely separate question – and one that would be easier being provided by with extending the heavy rail.

      • Sacha 12.4.1

        Light rail along Dominion Rd was only ever intended to solve the problem of not enough space at the city centre end of the route for any more buses (see https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/?s=ccfas). It would connect all the people and places along the route, and support more intensive building there. Buses and cars would be reduced and more space given over to locals on foot and bike.

        I agree it was political and the airport thing should have been treated separately. It was always a red herring, egged on by credulous Twyford.

        He doubled down on the notion that the project should be about how fast someone could get all the way to the airport, hence the logic of the Canadian bid spending a fortune on putting the lines above and below ground instead of in the street where people can get to them easily. None of this is special to Auckland – plenty of examples overseas of how street-level light rail interacts with surrounding buildings and people.

        The heavy rail/bus interchange to the airport at Puhinui is almost finished now. The case for a heavy rail connection to and from the airport is not good. The only reason the light rail add-on stacks up at all is because of the other places like Mangere and Onehunga it links on the way to Mt Roskill where the original line from the city centre ended in the original plans.

      • Patricia 2 12.4.2

        Where exactly on Dominion Road is the new light rail going to be running? I see pretty drawings that show the trains travelling down the middle of the road. If this is the case then how do travellers get off the train and over to the footpaths ? Especially with rows of cars travelling down the outside lanes.

        I can well remember the trams in Auckland – they travelled in the middle of the road. There was a little platform on which we alighted : at busy periods of the day we had to run for our lives to get to the footpaths. In 1950 there were far fewer vehicles on the roads ; today it is nose to tail for a large chunk of the day.

        • Sacha 12.4.2.1

          There will be traffic lights.

          • lprent 12.4.2.1.1

            Still going to be a problem even for cyclist like me. As near as I can figure it, if they put lights on them all stations on both sides, then they'd going to nearly double the number of lights for all vehicles (including bikes). Lights cause about 30-40% of my time on a bike, and I only have one – at the corner of View Road and Dominion Road.

            Personally I'm looking at what I can see of it and thinking that it really isn't a great place to try to put in a dual tram line.

        • lprent 12.4.2.2

          Yep – middle of the road. They have given a picture on what I think is the widest part of the road (and one that I cycle on most week days). Doesn't look like a lot of room to me once you stack two pedestrian, 2 bike lanes, 2 car lanes, and two tram lanes in.

          https://www.railway-technology.com/projects/auckland-light-rail-project/

          I'd presume that the 13 stations on the AT design. would be some combination of steel surround and pedestrian crossing. But I haven't see a drawing of one.

          I've used trams and metros in different places in the world. But Dominion Road does seem to me to be pushing it more than a bit. Getting rid of the parked cars will help free up a lot of road space. But if they still have cars and delivery trucks going down on a single lane either side they'd really need to eat into the shops on one side or another. For instance that section around Valley Road shops.

          There are 13 stations – about 10 of them on dominion road.

          https://ourauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/media/18257/dom-road-mrt-2.pdf

          • Sacha 12.4.2.2.1

            The width of the roadway through existing town centres is a challenge, yes. Defending priority of access for walkers and cyclists over cars and trucks in those sections will be political when it progresses.

    • Sacha 12.5

      The report – full text on this page: https://oag.parliament.nz/2020/auckland-light-rail

  13. Ian 13

    TV 1 and NZ cricket have obviously got the message. Lets all kneel and pay homage to a racist, violent, extreme left, bunch of thugs.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • Chris T 13.1

      While it was a pointless, shallow, virtue signalling, slightly embarrassing (by the look on their faces) thing to do, I don't think the Black Caps are racist, or condone violence.

      They had to ask the other team whether they would do it as well before announcing it. So I think we can guess how much it meant to them.

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