Small-minded leadership hurts us all

Written By: - Date published: 9:56 am, August 11th, 2010 - 21 comments
Categories: leadership, transport - Tags:

So disappointing to see that the Auckland Regional Council didn’t even bother to respond to an offer by the designer of a personal rapid transport system to use his design to solve the woeful public transport from Auckland airport to the city.

Is PRT the solution for Auckland? I don’t know. And I don’t know if Ollie Mikosza’s particular design or the ULTra design that is going into service at Heathrow and Gurgoan in India or one of the other systems under construction would be the best choice. But I wish Auckland Regional Council would at least have the imagination to look into a concept that has been proven around the world. But no. Outdated concepts like motorways, that’s all the powers that be are interested in.

This kind of small mindedness is endemic throughout government, especially with the Nats in charge. And private business is no better. If our leadership would choice it, New Zealand could become a world leader in creating a sustainable economy using our wind, hydro, and tide potential. We could be the centre of green argiculture innovation. We could design a sensible tax/welfare system based on a guaranteed minimum income/negative tax like Gareth Morgan’s ‘big Kahuna’. We could design our cities for the future.

This is a great country that can lead, and has led, the world but we don’t get there because we lack the leadership to take us there.

21 comments on “Small-minded leadership hurts us all”

  1. Bill 1

    “It is claimed to be one of the fastest, safest and cheapest means of land transport. A length of track has been erected over a section of the L.N.E.R. near Glasgow. The track is complete with equipment and a railplane car has been installed, It is known as the Railplane Test Line, and many interesting tests and experiments have been made”

    By the way, I wonder if it is the leadership at fault or the bureaucracy, that never seems to know its arse from is elbow and is peopled by some remarkably unimaginative and banal characters who are good at not much beyond following rules, applying regulations and finding reasons to not do things.

    Okay, it’s probably both. An entire culture that is not predisposed to anything much beyond preserving itself.

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    This PRT device is only suitable for an “intra” airport transport. eg Heathrow has multiple terminals.

    As such its not the ARC responsibility to provide public transport within Auckland Airport.
    in my view this would be way down the list of public transport projects for Auckland and unlikely to go anywhere, as for any public transport for airports , why the well off should be subsidized as they are for loss making airport rail services in Brisbane and Sydney

  3. felix 3

    There’s some more info about the m.i.s.t.e.r. here: , including a helpful video.

    Looks like you could have quite a good party in one of those pods.

  4. bbfloyd 4

    same old same old. i remember as a child hearing the debate on the proposals put forward by sir dove myer robinson for a rapid rail transport system.
    it was howled down then as an expensive waste of time. correct me if i’m wrong, but wasn’t that c& r who kneecapped that proposal? what have they got against public transport?
    How many times has attempts to get a viable system been stopped in favor of clogging the roads with cars?
    At this rate, we will be able to boost tourism to auckland by advertising ourselves as

    “the most inefficient public infrastructure in the developed world”. people can come here and marvel at how long it takes to get anywhere. prizes can be handed out to the tourist who takes the longest time to get from queen st to the top of mt eden. east european tourists can come her to gloat over their superior systems. the ones they built back in the 1800’s.

    • Dove Myer Robinson’s proposal was quite advanced but after Labour lost power in 1975 Muldoon pulled the plug on it on the basis that it was “too expensive”. Auckland could have been a way different place if it had been allowed to proceed.

  5. insider 5

    I have a great idea for a public transport system using mini fusion reactors powering self levitating individual craft that will cost only $1.50 a day to run for the whole system, and it can shift 1m people an hour. I have drawings and a cost benefit analysis.

    I demand a meeting and personal response from Mike Lee, otherwise he is small minded and failing as a leader.

    But seriously, tell me why the council has to provide a detailed response to every such approach? Is it because he has nice graphics and complains to the paper?

    My immediate issue with these things as mass public transport over distance who would want to get locked in these pods with three strangers for a long trip? What if you were a woman, it was night and the other three had mongrel mob tattoos on their cheeks?

    Are cameras going to fix that? Or does the appeal of the system and the economics immediately start looking dodgy.

    Perhaps someone in ARC did about one second’s more thinking than you did before you wrote this post and realised the system did not pass the idiot test. Not sure how it passed when you applied the test; oh hang on…

    • felix 5.1

      Except that you don’t.

      Which makes your attempted analogy look a bit silly.

    • felix 5.2

      insider, did you even read the post?

      “Is PRT the solution for Auckland? I don’t know. And I don’t know if Ollie Mikosza’s particular design or the ULTra design that is going into service at Heathrow and Gurgoan in India or one of the other systems under construction would be the best choice. But I wish Auckland Regional Council would at least have the imagination to look into a concept that has been proven around the world.”

      I agree with you about forcing women into carriages with mongrel mob members though. We should probably outlaw cars for exactly the same reason.

      • insider 5.2.1

        I didn’t use the word force. And this is about public transport so not sure how outlawing private cars has any connection. Try again

        • felix

          The whole concept is that it’s individual public transport. For one, two, or up to 5 people.

          That’s why it’s stupid of you to suggest that anyone could be forced (yep that’s what it means) to get in a pod with anyone else. You get one by yourself. Or with your friends. Or whatever.

          It’s pretty clear that you haven’t looked into this at all (or even read the post for that matter). Just a mindless knee-jerk reaction to something you know nothing about.

          • insider

            It’s pretty clear to me that you haven’t thought about it at all and are just kneejerking against anyone who questions the Standard wisdom.

            Imagine a lone woman in a pod and a bunch of ne’er do wells get into her pod and effectively force her to stay on and harass her. And it’s ten minutes to the next stop.

            It’s an entirely likely scenario for anyone who has witnessed a bunch of drunks or plain thugs doing their thing on late night trains/buses/city streets. If you don’t think so, I suggest you get out more or talk to a few more women about their general thoughts on wandering around town at night on their own.

            How often do you think that will happen before people stop using it? And what will that do to the economics and effectiveness of the project?

            • felix

              No-one “gets into your pod” you berk. It travels directly to your destination. It doesn’t stop and let people in.

              Hint: the “P” in PRT stands for personal.

              Every time you write, you make it more obvious that you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  6. randal 6

    well if there is no kickback, clout or juice to be had.
    if it is so simple then the klutzes cant complicate it then of course they will reject it!

  7. albatross 7

    and you socialists want to keep these dysfunctional pricks in this dysfunctional fractured local government in auckland.

    btw, ARC isn’t led by right wingers so trying to compare it to a national government is stupid.

  8. bobo 8

    -Herald – Asked how Auckland ratepayers could make sure their flash new council doesn’t go spending too much on big projects, Bill English replied, ‘Don’t elect a mayor who is nuts.’
    Fran O’Sullivan on the Government’s infrastructure priorities–

    Direct attack on Mayor Williams I take it from Blinglish, maybe Auckland needs some nutty left-field ideas because the last 20 years of saneness hasn’t done anything constructive since britomart which was toned way down from original plans. How about instead of spending half a billion on restructuring the council which it will most likely be all up , using that money to start redeveloping the Auckland waterfront as a large public green area which has been talked about for decades..

    • insider 8.1

      I thought he meant BAnks

    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.2

      O’sullivan forgets about the Cirats proposed $25 mill herd of elephants, or the $40 mill ‘loan’ to Eden Park- which will never be repaid as they cant even repay the last $6 mill they got.
      But then again, Key gave an elite sports private company $20 mill for a new pool.

  9. Tigger 9

    This system could work for transport within a city, surely. Wellington between Beehive and bottom of Courtney where a tram has been mooted would make sense. The thing could do a giant loop.

    And hell, it makes far more sense than the Memorial Cycleway ever has…

  10. prism 10

    I’m possibly wrong, can’t keep up with Auckland proposals, but I thought that the ARC was being let go when the Auckland supercity starts. If that is the case what is the point of them spending any time examining possible future projects? No-one in power will want to give any serious commitment to anything ARC brings forward.

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