Silver linings

Written By: - Date published: 10:12 pm, March 4th, 2014 - 124 comments
Categories: internet - Tags: ,

When I first heard a labour staffer had accidentally sent Amy Adams’ office a document on ICT my first thought was “here we go again.”

But then I heard Adams’ weird and defensive interview on Checkpoint. So I took a look at the actual paper and realised just why she was so awkward and nervous on what should have been an easy political hit. The stuff Curran has been looking at is actually really very good. So good it shows National up for the backwards and self-interested lot they are.

There’s stuff in it about a digital bill of rights. Which appears to mean new privacy rights and new protections of Kiwi business’ IT intellectual property.

Then there’s stuff about strengthening the commerce commission and regulating against monopolies. Again it’s just a paper but it shows that Labour is thinking about how they keep the net free and ticking in New Zealand. Contrast that with National’s moves to recreate Chorus as a new monopoly and you can start to see why Adam’s sounded a bit on edge.

And the thoughts on digital education looks like a good idea too. I’ve got a lot of mates in the industry and a lot of what I hear is about what a mess the training in New Zealand is. In fact there’s a massive shortage of skilled IT workers right now. It’s what you get when you leave it to the market.

If you’re looking at Labour values the notes on digital inclusion are a real move in the right direction. Nowadays if you don’t have internet access you pay more for everything, you miss out on a lot of the news, you just don’t get to take part in anything organised by email or on social media. It’s a real social divide, and it’s one that National doesn’t give a flying toss about (kind of like all the other social divides they ignore or actively increase). But it looks like Labour are thinking hard about it.

Don’t get me wrong, this release has been a cock-up and I feel sorry for Curran having to deal with it, but if there’s a silver lining to this it’s that it shows there’s real work being done on a lot of important stuff by a major political party. That’s more than Adam’s could even dream of. It’s a shame Curran didn’t go on Checkpoint. She would have had the Minister for breakfast.


124 comments on “Silver linings”

  1. quartz 1

    Clare Curran’s done some solid work on this. I hope it makes it into policy.

  2. ianmac 2

    I wondered why Amy Adams skirted the intent of some of the ideas in the paper. They will have to work to spin the release. Clearly if Telecom are concerned it must have some bite. All is not lost.
    Wonder if Amy Adams should have returned the email since it was not meant for her. Are they not heavy on the obligation to preserve the integrity of mistakes?

  3. Corokia 3

    I heard Checkpoint and thought Adams sounded smug and not at all defensive, especially when she and Mary Wilson scoffed at Labour putting ‘Kiwi’ in front of everything. I hope there is a silver lining, but with both Curran and Cunliffe refusing to speak to National radio , it has been a step backwards for the Left today (bugger, cos we have to win this election and we don’t need our side making it harder)

    • fender 3.1

      That’s just standard National Party condescension you heard, it’s a prerequisite for all in their caucus.

      Adams may be a fast talking puppet, but she hasn’t a clue so it was generous of Labour to give her some ideas.

      As for not wanting to appear on checkpoint, that’s nothing, nearly every day there is a Nat refusing to front.

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      I agree. I don’t think it was defensive and weird from her at all.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    doesn’t look too bad. At least they seem to realise, finally, that the actual network has to be a monopoly. pity that they haven’t yet that ISP’s are also a thing of the past. The services that will be supplied over the network will be where the competition is.

    Today I found out just how bad the present system is.

    My landlord decided to get his own ADSL connection. This was to be connected today. In the process of connecting him I got disconnected. After half an hour of talking to telecom and chorus I found out that they wouldn’t do anything until after I had reported a fault with Orcon even though they were the ones that had caused the problem and their tech was still in the area.

    In talking to the tech I learned two things:
    1.) The tech isn’t given all the information to do their job and
    2.) The tech was actually really ignorant having no understanding that connections can now exist that don’t have a phone connected.

    The end result of this ignorance and lack of understanding is that we’ve ended up with neither connection working and that they may get round to it tomorrow.

    This is the type of service that you get from privatisation.
    truly and utterly pathetic.

    • tc 4.1

      It will get a lot worse as the number of people who actually know how stuff works decline, especially under moutter at telecom. Those left are under untenable levels of pressure by management to ‘go the extra distance…..make it happen….’ etc etc

      chorus systems and processesare often still tied to telecon with experienced field crews virtually an extinct species after being shafted by telecom, vision stream, transfield etc.

      Spoke to one years back who admitted parts of akl CBD are a complete mystery as no schematics were done, it’s trial and error and we pay top dollar for it , awesome.

    • John 4.2

      Wow! – it’s getting fixed tomorrow. Before telecom was privatised, faults were taking weeks or even months to fix.

      They were SO famously slow that the official Encyclopaedia of NZ even has a specific entry on just how slow Telecoms appalling service was. (with an example of two months to do minor jobs).

      However I agree that they’re still way too slow – just pointing out that it was infinitely worse when they were government run (and had to apply to go on a waiting list just to buy a phone).

      • Hayden 4.2.1

        However I agree that they’re still way too slow – just pointing out that it was infinitely worse when they were government run (and had to apply to go on a waiting list just to buy a phone).

        And the internet speeds were terrible!

        • John

          Mobile service was even worse

          • Colonial Viper

            Time to nationalise Telecom and stop the bleed of a billion dollars a year offshore. Any management you think is effective can stay on, but most of the senior bureaucrats can go.

            • John

              Considering that Telecoms TOTAL profit for this year will be $300m, and less than half of that will go offshore, then your claim of bleeding “a billion dollars a year offshore” is more than a little off the mark (you are out by a factor of 10)

              15 years ago only 30% of the NZ stock market was owned by Kiwis.

              Today Kiwi ownership up around 70% and growing.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Physical limitations. Something you RWNJs never seem to take into account. Just like Key’s $50m cycleway the length of the country.

          • Tracey

            my mobile service in the 80’s was AWFUL

      • felix 4.2.2

        “Before telecom was privatised, faults were taking weeks or even months to fix.”

        Before telecom was digitised, John. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

    • Lanthanide 4.3

      Yes, I’ve discovered #2 in the past as well.

      Probably the majority of the people doing these installations are trained to do specific things, and they have little understanding of how the whole system works outside of what they’ve been trained to do. There are some that are more knowledgeable, but the base level is really quite shocking.

      • BM 4.3.1

        Cog in the machine, very easy to replace staff if someone leaves, very little training involved to get some one else up to speed.

        Last thing a business wants is to be is completely reliant on a staff member.

        Also you don’t have to pay as much.

        • felix

          Disposable staff.

          Low wages.

          Shit service.

          Welcome to the Brighter Future™

          • BM

            I didn’t say I agree with it, but I can see why many business operate like that.

            • felix

              Yeah you did. You say all the time how you want to crush workers and pay them less and strip away their rights and protections.

              You just never thought it through before.

            • Tracey

              you vote national, ergo you agree with it, nay, mandate it. John says so.

  5. xtasy 5

    Maybe the “leak” was intentional after all, as a “new” and “cunningly smart way” to release policy, to get the maximum media and public attention. With leaks the MSM journos rush to the prey like mice for a rare piece of cheese.

    Maybe McCarten worked this new “strategy” out, because the usual speeches by Cunliffe and others simply either get taken to pieces, or are simply largely ignored by the MSM.

    I would not rule anything out now, after the last few weeks.

    • tc 5.1

      Maybe or curran yet again displays that she is a liability who undermines the party a lot more than she advances it, I’m sure others impacted by her actions would have views on her credibility to the cause.

      • quartz 5.1.1

        Two things: 1) Curran wasn’t the one who fucked up. 2) The paper she’s put together is bloody good work.

        • grumpy

          The leak did not come from Curran. I can understand Cunliffe’s lackeys trying to sheet the blame there but it ain’t so……

          • Tracey

            You speak with suck authority.

            • grumpy

              Also from lprent yesterday that his sources also say that Curran was not responsible for the leak. Even I would respect his sources within Labour.

            • Disraeli Gladstone

              It’s now reported that the leak was from Cunliffe’s office.

              So yeah, grumpy was right.

              • xtasy

                Yes, it is quite astonishing what is going on within the Labour member offices at Parliament:


                Surely, there cannot be an easy mix up between National MP email address lists and the ones that Labour staff use, can there? If so, some of their staff must be totally useless di**heads, I am afraid.

                The only other explanation is, as I suggested above, an “innovative” but peculiar way of releasing new policy!?

                • karol

                  I gathered from Question time today it’s fairly common for emails to be sent to the wrong person – National MP s or their offices have done it a few times.

                  Chris Hipkins: I seek leave to table a further briefing from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority to Hekia Parata’s office, which was sent to the Labour Party last month.
                  Clare Curran: I seek leave to table an email meant for my office mistakenly sent from Amy Adams’ office to a member of the public.
                  Kris Faafoi: Yes, I do. I seek leave to table correspondence from the Department of Corrections to the Dominion Post, which was mistakenly sent to Labour.

                  • xtasy

                    Yes, I heard and saw that!

                    So at Parliament, they must have an email system, where all MP’s email addresses are listed in one group, or as part of a master list of emails, so that they are easily accessible to all MPs, but also leave the MPs (or their staff) open to risks that a wrong email address may be clicked, and hence emails getting sent to the wrong MP.

                    In the end, staff need to be trained and firmly told and reminded, to be extremely careful with using such a risk prone system. Some MP’s office staff appear to be more prone to send emails to wrong addressees. Parata’s staff must be belonging to them.

                    • karol

                      It’s probably like my work email. when I start to type an email address, a list pops up for me to choose from.

  6. TightyRighty 6

    @draco – privatisation caused your accidental disconnection? And you rag on the poor tech just doing his job. Amazing how quick you are to hate on an individual doing their job to make ends meet because you mildly inconvenienced.

    Back to the original idea. Labour should just rename themselves KiwiTax

  7. big bruv 7

    Another day, another gift from Cunliffe.

    I do hope he keeps it up, at this rate Key will not need a coalition partner and the Nat’s can really go after a few of the lefts sacred cows.

    • felix 7.1

      So you think Key and the Nats have been concealing their true intentions, big bludge?

      • big bruv 7.1.1


        I think Key is just another socialist. That is what gets me about you lot, while I realise that most of you are stupid that alone should not stop you being able to see that Key is not the right wing child eater that you try and paint him to be.

        Now, once he stands aside and we get our very own Maggie Thatcher into the PM’s seat then it will be all on. At that time we can really have a crack at crushing what is left of the union movement, end the Labour party bribes (WFF and Interest free student loans) and go after the thousands of dole and DPB bludgers this nation is infested with.

        I can put up with another one or two terms with Key at the helm, it will just make the changes this country needs to make all the more enjoyable. Of course I will really enjoy watching the screams from the hard left as one by one their scared cows are slaughtered.

        • felix

          So that’s a yes from you re:- the Nats concealing their true intentions.

          It’s all quite dark in there though, isn’t it? It’s all slaughter and crushing and fascist imagery. You must be very lonely.

          Paid your debts yet you welching miserable bludging lying coward?

          • grumpy

            So that’s why Curran was visiting Dotcom? I wondered why Mickey (Greg Presland) Savage got so touchy a few weks ago when I raised it. Mind you, he probably had a lot on his mind, what with being the main Trustee for Cunliffe’s secret slush fund (that reputedly reveived money from Dotcom).

        • TheShrubbery

          So, a summary of what you want:
          1) Hard working people to earn less money and have worse working conditions
          2) Less people receiving a tertiary education
          3) Less support for families to supplement the low wages mentioned in point 1, thereby increasing the number of children in poverty
          4) Increase poverty by removing people from the dole and DPB
          5) Increase child poverty as a result of removing the DPB

          Summary: you want New Zealand to be a failed society with massive inequality, poverty, poor education, and characterised by a massive underclass supporting a few rich oligarchs. In what universe is that an intelligent approach to running a society?

        • SpaceMonkey

          John Key’s not a socialist, unless you precede it with “corporate”. He actually has few principles or beliefs beyond whatever it takes to make more money. I’m sure in person he’s an easy guy to talk to and I have seen others say how easily he can work a room. And he’s comfortable goofing off with others for a laugh, so…. as Prime Minister he’s having a hoot. Winging around the world photo-op after photo-op. Great pics for the grandkids.

          The role of Prime Minister is a financial investment in his future. He can happily give away his Prime Minister’s salary… yus sah… there’s a LOT more coming in the future. Post-Prime Minister-ship, the deals he’s cut for his City of London/Wall St buddies (through Warner Brothers, Anadarko, Sky City, Bathurst, etc) will be returned in kind… with interest. What’s in his top drawer…? It’s his ever-expanding list of UOME’s.

          The longer he stays in office, the bigger the payout when he leaves. Trash NZ? So what. NZ’s just a rung on the ladder. He’s playing the only game that matters to him. But he’s not unique in that. On a global scale John Key is small fry, in subscript. I mean only worth $50 million…? Embarrassing.

  8. Ennui 8

    Clare has this amazing ability to shoot herself in the foot……going by Collins standards she is ministerial material. Gotta love her, good paper too.

  9. BM 9

    According to whale oil these policy ideas are mostly dotcoms.

    Probably explains why Curren was up at the mansion,hmmmmm.

    No doubt more will emerge through out the day.

    • tinfoilhat 9.1

      If that is only half true it confirms my worst fears that some of those on the left have been hoodwinked by Dotcom, as a Green party member i’m very disappointed in Russell Norman’s intercourse with him.

    • geoff 9.2

      Wherever good ideas come from doesn’t matter, they’re still good ideas.
      What stands out is the complete lack of good ideas from National.

      • BM 9.2.1

        So you don’t see the issue with Dotcom writing policy for Labour?

        Really?, ask yourself why would Dot com want to help out Labour?.

        Is it because he’s such a good guy and just wants to see NZ prosper and do well or do you think it’s something else?

        • geoff

          Now Dotcom is writing policy for Labour?
          It’s a pity you don’t put that imagination of yours to better use.

        • Tracey

          Ask yourself, why would someone want to pretend DotCom writes policy for Labour?

    • Tracey 9.3

      What proof does he offer in support?

      • BM 9.3.1

        You could try clicking on the link.

        • Tracey

          I dont want to take another shower. You are making the allegation here so how about you post your evidence here, otherwise it just appears like you are a wee click collecting puppet for slater.

        • Tracey

          in other words he offers no proof, just words and innuendo. What we used to call at school, gossip.If you had proof you would have no problem posting it.

        • Tracey

          no surprise there.

          i do wish Slater would suggest some of his readers jump off a bridge.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10


    no I’m saying that privatisation has made it more complicated than it should be resulting in decreased service and higher prices.

    • TightyRighty 10.1

      decreased service? higher prices? my mobile phone bill is significantly cheaper than it was a year ago even though my usage has gone up. and the coverage range has extended. previous parts of the south island i regularly traveled through now have mobile coverage. my 4g network is blazing fast in the main centres. bizarrely, the hutt valley is a main centre. my home internet allowance is massive and fast at no extra cost. you had one bad experience and you blame the whole system?

      • lprent 10.1.1

        He isn’t the only one. I’m dumping Orcon and so are at least 4 other techheads that I know. All for the same reason. Their tech support has gone down the toilet.

        And over the last 4 years, about half of the chorus contracted techs were superb, and about half were massively sloppy at a technical level. All were harassed by their cellphones chasing meaningless KPIs, which didn’t give them to do the damn work.

        Unlike a weenie like yourself, some people actually value having the systems they pay for actually working for work (rather than your characteristic shallow fluttering around – how you’ve always seemed to me).

        Having meaningless low bandwidth voice minutes on their cell is useless if I don’t use them. I have 300 minutes these days and use maybe 30 per month. On the other hand, I use a lot of data. I pay for ~4GB on the 4G cell which I mostly use on the tablet. But the limiting factor is that around Auckland CBD about half of the places I alight at only have H, sometimes with flitters of 3G. Unlike the SI or the Hutt, I live in a central city of hills and valleys.

        • TightyRighty

          I just got bumped from 1gb to 5gb on my contract plan for nix. i use truckloads of data so this is helpful. orcon have always sucked the fat one, i use vodafone for home and whoever the business uses i’m with for mobile / business internet (vodafone i’m fairly confident at the moment, we change at the drop of a hat around roll over time if rates are more competitive). I’ve never had a problem with either supplier and i’m fairly conservatively at the top end of usage and my expectations are high.

          Calling me a weenie when you know next to little about me apart from my surfing traffic is pretty tragic. your like one of those nerds who used to snigger at people at high school with UWSI, and then wondered why they got ripped on by the general populace. they usually ran the AV club with a soggy fist.

          Give me your good old geek who had a powerful interest in some obscure tech thing and loved to share their knowledge through sheer passion. Just met a lift engineer whose been schooling me on his passion for elevator science, it’s incredible and he just wants me to know without flaunting his ubersuperior knowledge.

      • felix 10.1.2

        “my mobile phone bill is significantly cheaper than it was a year ago even though my usage has gone up.”

        And your mobile provider was privatised in the last year eh tighty? Cos that’s what you were arguing, remember?


  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    @big bruv

    did you read the information that the proof was in that right wing policies make the economy worse off?

    • Hayden 11.1

      I don’t think he cares, as long as people he doesn’t like are made to suffer.

  12. John 12

    Geoff says the policy is great because it has “important stuff” in it, “stuff” about the commerce commission, and “stuff” about digital rights, and “stuff” that’s “really good”.

    I’m really convinced about it now, that it has so much good “stuff”.

  13. appleboy 13

    Adams was moronic on radio. A staffer makes a mistake and “the governemt are not fit to govern”. Pathetic.

  14. Draco T Bastard 14


    having worked at telecom back in the 1980s I can say that that bit about the slowness is absolute rubbish. We got things done as fast as physically possible. considering that there often wasn’t even any plant there sometimes it would take awhile. faults were usually fixed within three days and often faster. The official encyclopedia seems to be based upon anecdotes and treasury projections rather than fact.

    privatization has done nothing for the service except make it worse.

    • John 14.1

      I had good friends who worked for telecom in the 80s. Typical of the culture, was the workshop was full on a Saturday with Telecom workers doing their OWN projects, and charging the company overtime for it.

      Then there was the absurd toll call charges which came down 60% after privatisation.

      The Railways was even worse. The government had to pay off well over $1billion in debt, just so they could get $300 for it – effectively they paid a billion dollars for someone to take it off their hands.

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    and BTW John, I shouldn’t be waiting to get my connection fixed because there was nothing wrong with it in the first place. It shouldn’t have been disconnected.

  16. Draco T Bastard 16


    I didn’t say that it was perfect but I do know one thing – telecom depots didn’t have workshops.

    Also we had to buy rail back because privatisation had failed there as well.

    • BM 16.1

      telecom depots didn’t have workshops.

      What do you mean?

    • felix 16.2

      John is just repeating stories he heard at kiwiblog. Pity he can’t keep them straight.

    • John 16.3

      Draco says “I do know one thing – telecom depots didn’t have workshops”

      Obviously you don’t know one thing. I’ve went to a Telecom workshop in the 80s.

      Railways (private or public) will always fail in NZ – we’re the worst country in the world to try to run a railway. However under private ownership NZ Rail never hemorrhaged money in the way it did under government control.

      When privatised, productivity improved massively. Freight was moved cheaper, faster, more reliably, and in much greater amounts.

      Despite that, the reality is rail is not financially viable in NZ (treasury reports show that in the 110 years up to privatisation, NZ Rail was never able to support itself financially).

      • greywarbler 16.3.1

        John is making statements again that are critical of our general beliefs and understandings on this blog.

        And you are generalising and bringing anecdote up as fact. I don’t think you know shit from clay John. If you are going to throw things in here, telling us that we are wrong, give us the link to the paper, the research, the report, that you rely on. Or be truthful and say that it seems to you that such and such was the case, but you can’t produce proof.

        Just go back to your people and tell them that you have done your dash with putting up the RWNJ stuff for February and get them to call on the next on the list. Give yourself a break, and do your proper job better. You are probably skimping while you are putting in your time here dropping in your bits of badly cooked imitation fast facts. You are certainly wasting our time.

      • Draco T Bastard 16.3.2

        I’ve went to a Telecom workshop in the 80s.

        I went to a depot that had a building labelled workshop. It was one of the old 1950s depots that used to have them. All the heavy machinery had been removed long since though. Changing technologies had made them worthless by the 1980s.

        Railways (private or public) will always fail in NZ – we’re the worst country in the world to try to run a railway.

        Nope. They worked very well until neo-liberalism set in and made the least economic method of transport, trucks, cheaper.

        When privatised, productivity improved massively. Freight was moved cheaper, faster, more reliably, and in much greater amounts.

        Having to rebuild the railway lines and buy massive amounts of new rolling stock due to not enough maintenance and investment says otherwise.

        NZ Rail was never able to support itself financially).

        That’s ok, it’s not supposed to. It’s supposed to support itself economically.

        • John

          Draco says “Nope. They worked very well ”

          That’s hilarious.

          In the 70s and 80s if you wanted to freight something by rail, it would cost a fortune, take forever, then get stolen before it reached it’s destination.

          It was losing money so fast that it’s debt was around a billion dollars MORE than the TOTAL value of the company.

          Rail freight was appallingly inefficient, and trains fell off the rails all the time

          And you say the NZ Railways worked very well. Got any more jokes?

          • Draco T Bastard

            And in the 1970s and 80s the roads were losing money a hell of a lot faster. They’re now breaking even after taxes on them were raised enough but they’re forecast to start losing money again in the mid term as less people use cars. The only option then, even under financial accounting practices rather than economic ones, will be to go back to using rail and buses.

            • John

              We are the one of the worst places in the world to run a rail system. We have
              – low population
              – low population density-
              – steep topography
              – a gap in the middle of the country with water in it
              – no land borders.

              Rail is efficient when you’re taking bulk goods from a to b.

              In NZ we mainly need to take non bulk goods from a.b.c.d.e.f.g.h and j to s,t,u,v,w,x,y and z, half of which don’t have a direct rail link if they have one at all.

              • lprent

                Rail is efficient when you’re taking bulk goods from a to b.

                Except of course that the country is really long and skinny. The north island is what? 1000km+ long and no more than 200km wide. South island is even longer and only slightly wider.

                If we actually pushed some money into the long routes, increased its speed, and electrified the whole thing (ie pretty much as was planned before National sabotaged it), then rail is ideal for fast long haul transport in NZ. The trucks do the local (50-100km runs max) and stop destroying bloody expensive roads with excess weights.

                The real problem is (as usual) the short-sighted nutwits like you with an attention span that thinks 3 years between elections is a long time.. A classic right fool incapable of planning infrastructure that lowers overall costs over the long term..

                • John

                  Wanting it to be financially feasible just because it fits your ideology, and it actually BEING financially feasible, are two completely disjointed worlds.

                  The cost of electrification of our busiest line – the NI main trunk – didn’t even get close to the cost /benefits originally hoped for.

                  Doing the same on low volume lines (in your words electrifying the “whole thing”) would be an insane waste of taxpayers money.

                  And making a fast rail system is not feasible in countries with ten times the population and a flat landscape.

                  Again, there’s a total disjoint between ideology, and the real world.

                  • lprent

                    “Costings” is an interesting word. If you load the dice on any kind of discounted cash flow analysis then you can make a project come out anyway you want. I had some entertaining education in that in one of my finance classes, which I incorporated into the finance aspects of the management sims that we marketed worldwide a decade later.

                    For instance judging things like the holiday highway or a second harbour crossing (for instance) with a presumption that traffic volumes will grow exponentially. Which is exactly what the NZTA does do despite the flat and even declining traffic around Auckland since 2004. I’d suggest that you look at the Transport Blog for many examples.

                    If you look at a project like the Northern busway, where the NZTA planning presumption was that it would have a flat or slow growth you can make it seen like a white elephant. Of course as we know, the main problem with the northern busway in Auckland was that they didn’t provide enough parking at the terminals.

                    That is the only constraint between it and doubling over the next decade was some dumbarse “costing” by the same dickheads in NZTA who assume that people want to keep getting stuck in commuter traffic jams. Funny thing is that when you give them any kind of choice then they don’t. Which is why the public transport system is massively underfunded. It makes the road makers repeat business look bad (and reduces their contributions to National’s campaign funds).

                    If you look at the actual returns of growth in traffic from speeding up long distance freight offshore. As opposed to the theoretical least risk returns that treasury uses. Then you’d see different cost/benefit.

                    But you have to remember that treasury does exactly the same kind of analysis on roads, and it has seldom married up with NZTA’s super optimism. In fact treasury has advised against most roading projects that have been built since I started driving 38 years ago. Like all the extensions to the Auckland motorways..

                    Basically Treasury has seen very few projects in the last 50 years that they have wanted to spend revenue on. It is kind of their thing. They are deliberately pessimistic in all of their cost benefit analysis because that is their role.Of course if you took their advice, about the only thing that would ever increase is the government’s cash position. Sadly for them doing infrastructure involves expenditure and risk – the two things that they have a professional aversion to. So raising them as an authority on projects simply makes you as being quite ignorant and possibly simply stupid…

                    Personally, I’d just force NZTA to adjust their projections to the observed discrepancies from their previous forecasts. They have been consistently completely wrong.

                    In Auckland, their predecessors were insisting in the 70’s that it was imperative that we built the kind of motorway system that we are only just getting now – like the SH20 diversion around the city. The only reason it wasn’t built then was because Muldoon didn’t like the Auckland election results and pushed the money into paving back country gravel roads (nice for my parents farm) for votes. Both would have bee wasted infrastructure then, although building a bit faster in subsequent decades would have been useful.

                    But forcing some reality into the NZTA projections would drop the road traffic projections markedly. It’d also more than double the public money put into dense urban public transport – nice light axle stuff.

                    I’d also force all vehicles to pay road user charges for the amount of damage that they do to our very expensive roads. Currently these are massively cross-subsidised by any any analysis not done by the trucking association. It would probably increase road charges for most large trucks by more than 10-fold, and reduce the smallest vehicles massively.

                    And I’d expect that if that rebalancing towards reality happened, the logical economics would fall out. Many of the rail spur routes would wither away. The main rail lines would be improved, and trucks would wind up with shorter routes and lighter axles fed from the several main lines down the islands.

                    Instead we have passenger traffic subsidising the trucking industry to make bridges bigger for road damaging over sized lorries. Such is the nature of National’s “planning”. It mostly seems to relate to who they can take campaign funds from…

                    • John

                      Here’s an example of how off-the-planet high speed rail is for NZ.

                      LA to San Francisco is the same distance as Auckland to Wellington, and their proposed high speed rail will cost $68 billion – that’s BILLION. Other high speed rail systems have cost a similar amount per km.

                      That’s 100 times greater than the total value of Kiwi Rail.

                      And our construction costs would be more than those in the US because while almost all of their route is tediously flat, almost all of ours is through hilly steep terrain.

                      And high speed trains don’t go high speed on hills.

                      If it’s barely feasible for California’s 40 million people, then engineering an even more expensive high speed rail in NZ is lala land.

                      If you built it, and it was massively successful, and a million Aucklanders paid $100 each to do the trip every single year, it would still take 680 years to get back just the build costs, without paying for any running costs, trains fuel staff maintenance etc.

                      I take your points on road building, but what is and isn’t worthwhile doing for roads bears no resemblance to the off-the-planet costs of high speed rail.

                    • Draco T Bastard


                      And you just proved that you have NFI WTF economics is. It’s not about money but about resources and we have the resources. We could build such a rail from Auckland to Wellington if we so choose. The resulting transport system would be far cheaper to run in resource use that than our present one and that is what makes it economical.

                      Hint: You don’t get back spent resources.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    There’s a difference between financial and economic. Most transport systems that are financially viable aren’t economically viable.

                    This is something that economists, politicians and RWNJs just don’t understand.

                    • John

                      So spending over $50,000 for every household in the country on high speed rail between just two cities is economically viable?

                      Spending the total value of every public company in the country, just so trains can go between Auckland and Wellington at 6 times slower than a plane instead of 15 times slower than a plane is economically viable?

                      Spending every cent of the transport budget from now until the year 2050 on a single project between just two cities is economically viable?

                      It’s total lunacy.

                    • John

                      If Kiwi Rail saved every cent it previously spend on fuel and electricity ($57m per year), the savings would pay for the upgrade in only 1192 years.

                      However it wouldn’t actually save $57m a year, because most of its fuel and electricity costs are for freight trains, along with other branch lines, and it’s expensive to run high speed trains.

                      It’s a great example of blindly following and ideology without question can lead to something that’s total lunacy.

                      Do you really believe there nothing better to spend $68 billion on (total tax take for a year) than on the tiny percentage of the population who want to travel between Auckland and Wellington faster than a normal train, but several hours longer than on a plane?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      How much it costs in money is irrelevant. The question is how much of our resources would need to be diverted to build it in a reasonable time. With modern earth-moving equipment, our steel making capability and farming practices I doubt if it would divert more than 1% of our capacity for a few years and the ongoing savings (measured in less resource use) is what makes it worthwhile.

                      As I said, you really don’t understand the difference between financial and economic which is why you and other RWNJs keep making uneconomic decisions. You keep making decisions based upon finances and they’re contrary to economics.

          • gnomic

            This is nonsensical. I’d call you a clown, but clowns are sometimes amusing, whereas you are just a bore.

      • SpaceMonkey 16.3.3

        NZ Rail never hemorrhaged money because Fay Richwhite weren’t spending it. They were working hard to increase the profit, to increase the share price so they would have something they could sell. They were never interested in the railways.

        • John

          NZ Rail hemorrhaged money when the government ran it.

          The govt got $328m for NZ Rail, but only after paying off $1.3billion in debt, and injecting a further $300m.

          Effectively we didn’t sell it – we PAID someone $1.3 billion to take if off our hands.

  17. Philj 17

    Curran failed to impress with her shepherding of the TVNZ7 issue. She didn’t seem to really understand the wider issues

  18. Draco T Bastard 18


    all of that has nothing to do with competition. It simply has to do with improving technology. You get to pay more for it due to the added costs of competition.

    • TightyRighty 18.1

      i’d be paying the same if it was just technology improving draco. that i’m paying less is a result of competition in the market. 4 major players in a tiny market both geographically and population wise is competion enough in the mobile market. but we’ll welcome more if price and service keeps improving. luddite

      • Draco T Bastard 18.1.1

        i’d be paying the same if it was just technology improving draco.

        No you wouldn’t as the state monopoly, being accountable to the people of NZ, would have dropped the prices. And they would be lower prices than you have now because of the lack of duplication especially in the bureaucracy.

        • TightyRighty

          oh you are so cute with your faith in monopolies. state owned good, private bad. we’ve never seen a state owned monopoly supply the government with super profits before have we? nope, just every electricity supplier owned by the government during the 4th labour government.

  19. karol 19

    LOL – Labour tabled various documents showing Nat ministers 9Prata Amy Adams) office sent emails by mistake to Labour MPs and/or a member of the public.

    • Tracey 19.1

      thats different… there is no as yet only imaginary connection between them and DotCom. Perata has just been appointing family to high paying, tax payer funded jobs.

      • Ant 19.1.1

        KDC writing Labour policies is massively laughable, but its probably building up for another round of whataboutery to protect brand Key when he gets busted knowing about Dotcom.

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