Steven Joyce: still living in the 20th century

Written By: - Date published: 12:32 pm, March 27th, 2011 - 45 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, public transport, transport - Tags: ,

Auckland Transport Blog is a great resource on its topic. As you read through its numerous posts, you become quite aware of how much of a old fossil Steven Joyce (and NZTA under his direction) is in his thinking of Auckland’s transport priorities. They are using presumptions that don’t really apply anymore.

But first the good news – 2010 PT Patronage – a spectacular year.

Well it was a bit like getting blood out of a stone, but finally Auckland Transport has released full patronage information up to January 2011, broken down by bus, train and ferry. Helpfully, regular commenter Luke managed to get historical patronage data dating all the way back to 2002 off Auckland Transport – which probably provides us with the fullest and most helpful data I’ve come across yet.

The post goes into the detail about the changes with extensive tables which you should go to if more detail is of interest. But in summary:-

Looking a bit closer at the data really shows us what a spectacular year 2010 was for public transport patronage. Compared to 2009, every single month was ‘up’, with October and November being the most spectacular months – having increases of 21% and 15% respectively. The October data is a bit misleading because it was a recovery from the October 2009 bus lockout (hence the huge leap in bus patronage and the slight decline in rail patronage). Overall, total PT patronage for 2010 was up by 8% compared to all of 2009

Most heartening to see is how well the bus system performed last year. With around 80% of Auckland’s public transport trips on the bus it is critical that we keep focusing on improving that bus system to attract more people out of their cars and onto PT. An 8% increase in bus passengers equate to an extra 3.5 million trips – equivalent to 40% of 2010’s rail patronage. Rail patronage also continued to grow quickly, with a 14% increase in numbers compared to 2009.

ATB points out that the total increase in bus patronage in 2010 is equal to the entire increase over the 2002-2009 period and

Over the past three years we’ve seen public transport patronage in Auckland increase from 52.4 million trips in 2007 to 63.5 million trips in 2010. That’s a 21.1% increase over the past three years.

Imagine what might happen if we actually tried to improve the bus system?

Indeed 🙂

.

 

Now, why is all of this important. Well it cuts to the heart of the incorrect and dated transport planning presumptions. An earlier post at ATB was called The false assumption.

Even though the cost-benefit ratio of both bridge (0.6) and tunnel (0.4) options for providing an additional crossing of the Waitemata are pathetically low, I actually think they’re an over-estimate. This is due to the same false assumption that afflicts the analysis of all future roading projects:

That traffic numbers will keep rising

If you have a look through the business case for the harbour crossings, the main justification is that – supposedly – traffic volumes will continue to rise dramatically across the harbour bridge into the future, and therefore we will need more lanes in the form of another crossing.

As someone who has either been on the bridge or has seen it for virtually every morning and evening over the last 5 years, I’d agree that the assumption is outright bullshit. ATB puts up the numbers but I will just look at their graphs.

This reflects what I’m seeing (literally) in my last three jobs. The number of cars is slightly declining, jams are less frequent, and the crawl speed has been increasing. Many people like myself have shifted to using the bus especially since the Northern Busway was completed.

There are a *lot* of reasons to use the bus over the bridge and there is a different mix for everyone I know. Personally my major reason was that I did the morning moderation this site while in transit. A secondary reason is because I can’t get rear ended by an idiot driver talking to his female passenger as happened a number of years ago. In fact that was when I started to use the bus – 6 weeks without a car while it was being repaired was quite convincing. But in general the bus is a hell of lot less hassle and a lot more comfortable way to spend the weekly commuting hours.

The assumption that “traffic will always grow” is not only misplaced for the Harbour Bridge, but also more generally all over New Zealand. You can clearly see how the last few years has broken away from long-term growth trends in NZTA’s analysis of state highway volumes:

The world is clearly changing. As fuel prices increase and as alternatives to driving slowly but surely are improved, it seems as though there’s a clear tailing off in the level of traffic increase on New Zealand’s roads over the past few years. This cuts to the heart of justifying new roading projects of course – and therefore it’s not really a surprise to see traffic modellers, engineers and most particularly NZTA still in absolute denial over this issue. After all, if traffic levels aren’t going up it becomes pretty difficult to justify new spending (just like it would be difficult to argue for more spending on public transport if patronage was plummeting).

A world of never-ending traffic growth is a false assumption. It’s time those in charge of transport planning started to realise this.

Just at present Steven Joyce and the NZTA seem to be locked into thinking of the world as it used to be – in the 20th century. I wonder how long it will be before they see what I’m seeing and join the rest of us in the 21st century.

Update: ATB just put up a post called Is the government insane? covering a NZ Herald editorial on the same theme (that I hadn’t seen). It looks like a movement….

45 comments on “Steven Joyce: still living in the 20th century”

  1. Cheers for the post and kind words Lynn.

    Yes Joyce is living decades ago with his transport thinking. What’s unfortunate is how much support that thinking has among transport officials who should know a whole heap better. At the moment we have Ministry of Transport and Treasury officials fighting tooth and nail to discredit the CBD Rail Link business case – ignoring the pathetic nature of many of the business cases for roads like the holiday highway and the additional harbour crossing.

    The hypocrisy of it all is quite unbelievable.

    For more data on traffic volumes over recent years check out the NZTA website – where it’s published monthly. Some interesting trends over the past three years: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/state-highway-traffic-growth/

    They might need to change the name of the page – “growth” is no longer an appropriate term.

    • lprent 1.1

      I’d have just republished your posts, but I really really wanted to add my comment about what I have been seeing on the bridge

      • jarbury 1.1.1

        I think it works well this way. I see the bridge a couple of days a week and my experience is generally the same – but useful to know it’s backed up by someone seeing things every day.

        Northbound in the evening peak used to be really badly congested from just north of Onewa. You rarely if ever see that these days.

  2. Anthony C 2

    Joyce just knows who pays the bills, doubt it has anything to do with actually considering modern thinking on transport.

    • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 2.1

      And the traffic “engineers” at the NZ Transport Agency are looking increasingly like the generals who are busy planning to re-fight the battles from the previous war, rather than the one that’s actually in front of them.

      I can’t help thinking that Auckland will get its roading network finished at about the same time that genuine petrol and diesel shortages start causing transport disruptions in New Zealand.

  3. Kevin Welsh 3

    I am sure that when the CBD rail link was dominating the news a little while ago, Tony Freidlander was in Joyce’s ear discussing the next cheque for the Waitemata Trust.

  4. Carol 4

    My preference is for the train from west Auckland. As long as I can get a seat (which is most often at the times I travel – very early, the middle of the day or slightly after the evening peak period), then I can work on my netbook while I travel. I have tried the bus, but I’ve found it too jerky for working. Also, in peak periods and a while each side of it, there are some real traffic bottlenecks holding up the traffic.

    I have tried bussing to the train station, but find it doesn’t co-ordinate well. I would cycle there instead, but the busy roads scare me. So I drive to the station, and park a little walk away from the station.

    Please, we need more cycleways for shortish practical journeys. They would get more use in urban areas, than some national cycleways for a limited number of tourists & long distance riders.

    PS: I meant to add, that recent train journeys in the middle of the day have surprised me by how full the trains have been. It would seem to indicate a major increase, and not just the more usual gold card users, occasional tourists, and parents with young children.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      I have tried bussing to the train station, but find it doesn’t co-ordinate well.

      Yeah and the reason is that they’re “competing” services rather than being rational and integrating with each other to produce an even better service. But, I suppose, that’s what happens when you decide that the only way to produce an effective service is through the profit motive – even though those services are publicly subsidised.

      Went on a train journey the other day from Glen Eden (11:23) to Mt Eden and there were very few seats available when I got on. When I got off people were having to stand and that was on a 6 car train. The return journey (12:50), for some reason, had dropped to four cars and there was even more people standing.

      • clandestino 4.1.1

        Why can’t people in this country put up with having to stand? It’s absolutely pathetic that someone wouldn’t use PT just because they had to hold onto a hand strap. Read about it in the DomPost for Welly lines and it is infuriating!

        Do people watch TV? From other countries? Do they travel? If they did, they would realise most people getting a seat like we do is a luxury, and it is insane that we pay proportionately more to increase capacity just so lard-arses don’t have to actually use their leg muscles for 20 or 30 minutes!

        Rant: End.

        • Carol 4.1.1.1

          I’m quite happy to stand if I have no work to do. It can be a productive time instead of staring into space. Sometimes I’ve opted to stand when there are spare seats, because it’s cooler near the doors. I can’t speak for others.

    • JonL 4.2

      Perth has cycleways alongside most of the railways – you can virtually cycle from Fremantle to town and not go near a road.

    • Roger 4.3

      Also the best way to commute across town if you have to go in and out severals times in a day (if your lucky if with the rail stop locations!) between various jobs, plus it’s quick. Can’t park in town and make travelling around economic, also it’s a sod waiting for all those lights and irritated people.

  5. Ian 5

    In fact the governments aspirations for Auckland are its aspirations for the country as a whole. Stale and backward looking.

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    Three are four utterly taboo subjects in parliamentary circles and in local government.

    1. Peak Oil. That occured over 2005-2008; we are about to fall off the global extraction cliff, which will bring all current economic arrangemnts to an end, probably by 2015.

    2. CO2 emissions. Globally increasing at over 2ppm per annum and on track to render most of the Earth uninhabitable by mid-century via abrupt climate change and sea level rise.

    3. Fiat monetary systems. Money created out of thin air and having no backing whatsoever. The system has already been stretched to the limit and could ‘fall over’ in a matter of months.

    4. Population overshoot. Populations in major centres exceed the carrying capacity of the land by at least 1,000% -hence mass starvation or mass migration when the industrial food system goes down around 2015.

    Pity anyone who lives in Auckland. Mind you, they’ve been warned plenty of times and most have ignored the warnings, so they can only blame themselves when TSHTF.

    In the meantime: ‘Better living through denial.’

    • Marty G 6.1

      “Populations in major centres exceed the carrying capacity of the land by at least 1,000% -hence mass starvation or mass migration when the industrial food system goes down around 2015.”

      you, know, there were densely populated cities before the oil age. more densely populated, actually. i’m not saying declining energy isn’t a major problem for feeding the world but you’re not going to have starvation in auckland

      • Afewknowthetruth 6.1.1

        The 1,000% population overshoot applies to central Auckland rather than Greater Auckland.

        Yes there were centres with high population density, but the total population was low. Take pre-industrial London for instance …it had a population of around 100,000 people. Indeed, the entire population pre-industrial England was only about 3 milliion, so that is a fair indication of the carrying capacity of that huge area of land BEFORE it was messed up via industrialisation. The carrying capacity is undoubtedly a lot less now.

        Pre-industrial NZ managed to support a population of around 1 million. Auckland’s popualtion is headed for 2 million. The implications are obvious.

        Practically everything that Auckland uses is imported -oil, gas,water, electricity, food. When the global industrial system goes under -and there’s absolutely no question it will, it’s only a question of when, and the failure point will definitely be before 2030 and almost certainly before 2020 – bulk imports of food will cease, the electiricty grid will eventually fail, there will be no water coming out the taps and no sewage systems. Auckland will be absolutely stuffed.

        Of course all official planning is geared to exacerbating every predicament we are in.

        As I said before, in the meantime, better livng through denial.

        • Marty G 6.1.1.1

          what about ancient roman? 2 million people, and only one of several million-person cities on the Mediterranean.

          We can easily feed ourselves with less energy. We already produce ten times the food we need and expend only a fraction of our energy resource on it. And it’s not like we’re going to have no oil in 5, 10, 25, 50 years time. Much less no energy.

          The problem of peak oil is one of coping with less, not coping with none. There won’t be starvation in NZ. There may well be elsewhere as rich countries outbid poor countries to buy energy supplies for discretionary spending so there isn’t enough for poor countries’ staples.

          Can you tell me why the electricity grid will fail in Auckland because of peak oil? We don’t use oil for electricity generation. And to the extent that we need it for ancillary purposes there will still be oil to use, just not as much.

          Tell me, if we needed to get by on half the oil we do now (ie. the amount we used in 1970), do you think we would cut demand by letting the electricity grid fail for lack of small oil inputs or by cutting private motor transport and by putting freight back on to rail?

      • Luva 6.1.2

        Won’t point 1 fix point 2?

        • Marty G 6.1.2.1

          unfortunately, no. there’s still too much oil, plus coal, natural gas etc. plus our emissions to date have locked in a large amount of future warming already.

  7. Jenny 7

    .
    Public Transport – a spectacular year?

    http://transportblog.co.nz/2011/03/25/2010-pt-patronage-–-a-spectacular-year/

    It is good that there is an overall percentage increase of public transport use of 8%.

    But is it enough?

    In a world where private transport is one of the leading causes of CO2 pollution and resulting climate change, to really make a difference we need percentage changes of hundreds and thousands of percent increase in public transport usage.

    The present profit driven free market public transport model will never cut it.

    Fare Free New Zealand points out that the way to achieve the sort of increase we need is to make all public transport fare free.

    According to Wikipedia Public transport in Hasselt This Belgium city saw an increase in public transport usage by 100% in it’s first year of introducing fare free city wide public transport. Since then increases in public transport have topped 1300% ridership increase.

    Apart from this phenomenal increase in public transport patronage Wikipedia lists a range of other benefits.

    Wikipedia
    Operational benefits
    Transport operators can benefit from faster boarding and shorter dwell times, allowing faster timetabling of services. Although some of these benefits can be achieved in other ways, such as off-vehicle ticket sales and modern types of electronic fare collection, zero-fare transport avoids equipment and personnel costs.

    Passenger aggression may be reduced. In 2008 bus drivers of Société des Transports Automobiles (STA) in Essonne held strikes demanding zero-fare transport for this reason. They claim that 90% of the aggression is related to refusal to pay the fare.[2]

    [edit]
    Commercial benefits
    Some zero-fare transport services are funded by private businesses (such as the merchants in a shopping mall) in the hope that doing so will increase sales or other revenue from increased foot traffic or ease of travel. Employers often operate free shuttles as a benefit to their employees, or as part of a congestion mitigation agreement with a local government.

    Community benefits
    Zero-fare transport can make the system more accessible and fair for low-income residents.[citation needed] Other benefits are the same as those attributed to public transport generally:

    Road traffic can benefit from decreased congestion and faster average road speeds, fewer traffic accidents, easier parking, savings from reduced wear and tear on roads
    Environmental and public health benefits including decreased air pollution and noise pollution from road traffic
    [edit]
    Global benefits
    Global benefits of zero-fare transport are also the same as those attributed to public transport generally. If use of personal cars is discouraged, zero-fare public transport could mitigate the problems of global warming and oil depletion.

    Interestingly one of the other major benefits of a fare free public transport system is that it actually may work out as cheaper.

    Are free buses the answer to Bristol City’s transport problems

    A spokesman for Free Bus said: “Bristol City Council subsidises the bus network for £4.7 million per year, whilst entirely free public transport in Hasselt, Belgium, costs £4.2 million per year. The cost of a fully loaded short-hop bus journey is 23p per passenger.”
    When you think about the £2 or £3 fares you currently pay for a bus journey in the city and the profits they must be making you wonder why we haven’t aleady pursued this Free Bus initiative.

    • Marty G 7.1

      I think free public transport is a really good idea. It’s like toll roads, huge costs associated with trying to charge people.

      the constraint on PT patronage in Auckland is capacity. When new lines open, patronage shoots up until they’re full. Which just proves the huge latent demand that is out there.

      • lprent 7.1.1

        That is exactly correct on the loading issues. I’m finding more and more of the buses I use are going to standing room only. Gets to be a bit of a pain when I’m carting shopping because I stop at the supermarket on the way home. Embarrassing on the occasion of some cans of fish getting away from me.

        The payment isn’t that much of a problem. I just hand over about $60 per month to the driver and they put it on my card.

        BTW: I was a bit concerned when I found the nice polite young people getting up and offering me a seat. I”m not that frigging old! Right up until I had a heart attack. Now I’m deeply grateful.

      • Buffalo Bob 7.1.2

        At the moment there is a very large cost to collect the money, at least with rail that is… with Integrated Ticketing this should fall away, as less train operators are required to run the train…. don’t know how that sits though with you lot though, I can imagine the unions having a bit of a whinge.

        The constraint on Auckland’s rail is Britomart, this is something that Len needs to push to the public…..the City Rail Link will solve this problem…once built, capacity can increase. But your right, there is huge demand for PT in Auckland… we just have to make more noise……

        I am a Truckee myself and I can see the benefits of the RoNS for productivity…but I can also see the benefits of rail removing cars from Auckland’s motorway system, which also increase productivity. I agree with the RoNS, I agree with Aucklands Motorway Network being completed and I agree with the swift development of Auckland’s Metro/Suburban and Regional Rail Network. We need all modes of transport working to get our city moving….. at the moment everything is rubbish.

      • jarbury 7.1.3

        Free PT would cost around $150 million a year in Auckland. Not necessarily saying we shouldn’t spend that, but worth knowing the cost.

        Personally, if we were to spend an extra $150 million a year on public transport in Auckland I would rather that money went on making the system better. More bus priority, nicer train stations, newer buses, make a start on the big rail projects and so on.

        The PT system is already pretty much at capacity at peak times. Making it free would swamp the system and leave you with little, if any, money to then actually improve the system and increase capacity to cope with what you just created.

        In short, nice idea but not really that realistic in my opinion.

        • lprent 7.1.3.1

          I’d agree. I want the system to be better. Unless you’re travelling long distances or have a complicated routing*, then the fares are pretty minimal.

          The worst PT commute I knew of was a guy who commuted from Waiheke to Takapuna each day. He had a expensive ferry ride followed by a bus from town to Takapuna. The real pain was the uncertain times of the ferry and bus and that there was only a few minutes time between one arriving and the other departing. If either was out on arriving he’d have to wait for quite a while for the next one. Such accidents happened almost all of the time.

  8. support rail jobs in dunedin 8

    lets not forget Gerry Brownlee wants to run transport on lignite diesel from Bill’s electorate in Southland.

    National is stuck in the 1800s…

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    Trains are a big part of the answer people, Europe gets it

    http://www.theage.com.au/travel/planes-v-fast-trains-tortoise-and-the-air-20110323-1c6hh.html

    • Jim Nald 9.1

      There is a smart way to combine passenger, freight and tourists for both Nth and Sth Islands.
      Some of us can be working, wifi-ing, reading (napping) from city CBD to city CBD.
      Come on, Kiwis and Kiwirails, you can do it.

  10. Carol 10

    I use public transport a lot these days, and prefer trains to buses, though buses are useful and important too. However, let’s also not forget the contribution that can be made from promoting safe cycling and walking. Bicycles are an incredible piece of machinery, combining body power with increased mobility, while being relatively economical and enviromentally-friendly.

    http://sustainablecitiescollective.com/mailak/21582/economic-effect-biking-vs-driving-astounding-experts-say

    In his paper “Estimating the Economic Benefits of Bicycling and Bicycle Facilities: An Interpretive Review and Proposed Methods,” Dr. Kevin Krizek of the University of Minnesota’s Civil Engineering program points out that the way in which cities are built has contributed to the decline in public health and rising cost of health care:

    “Sprawling land use practices and resulting auto-dependent travel are themes that now have moved front and center into the American consciousness; the link to public health and the declared obesity epidemic remains an important component of this discussion,” writes Krizek.

    In cities with easy-access bike lanes and biking trails, adopting the bike commute routine can benefit the local economy even more than driving a car; plus, it keeps saves consumers money. …

    Cities need to move towards deisgns that provide cycleways that do not involve a lethal mix of cycles with motorised vehicles.

    Also pedestrians are badly catered for in NZ. The provisions tend to be built around the highest priority being given to roads. It can often be really frustrating getting to public transport on time to catch that bus or train. Pedestrians are often diverted to crossings & lights that are out of their way. Also the light phases in Auckland are very quick for pedestrians, often with motor vehicles blocking off the crossings, or starting to drive over them before pedestrians have had time to clear the crossing.

    NZTA did some research on this back in 2004/5, concluding that safe cycling & walking should be a significant part of an integrated transport strategy. What has been done on it since then? I’ve followed some of NZTA’s links and haven’t found any significant research since 2005. However, they are promoting certain plans and provisions in particular places.

    http://www.nzta.govt.nz/planning/process/walking-cycling.html

    • lprent 10.1

      Cycling is less useful in Auckland. The lots of little hills are a pain. But the biggest issue is that it is outright dangerous riding a bike here around the main roads, both because of the congestion and because of the parked cars.

      It would require almost a complete new roading network around town where I live before I would take the risk of using one.

      BTW: I used to do quite a lot of cycling when I was a kid in Auckland, touring, and in other cities.

      • Bored 10.1.1

        Hills, what hills, try Wellington where we have real wind and real hills to negotiate. As a cyclist why are you not demanding your local section of the JK Mem Cycleway?

        • lprent 10.1.1.1

          I’ve never cycled in Wellington. But from when I have walked there it has always seemed like I either go up hills or down them.

          I don’t remember going up, down, up, down, for quite some time. You have to do this if you play safe and stay off the main roads where motorists are trying to kill you.

          • Bored 10.1.1.1.1

            The evil auto heads are out to get us cyclists here, they park cars everywhere to narrow the roads to make hitting us easier….then there are bus drivers. Its war. As for hill and winds, I cycled Auckland for a while, its all a bit too far without the Chch advantage of flat. Long slow hills and heat. Mind you the Chch nor easter is a pain in the arse as well. Why do we do it?

      • Carol 10.1.2

        It maybe more the footpaths that need to have their networks developed for both pedestrians & cyclists, rather than the roads. I see that one or two of the small number of cyclists round my way, often take the law in their own hands and cycle on the footpath, avoiding the busy roads. And, really, cyclists mixing with pedestrians is a far less lethal mix than cyclists mixing with motor vehicles. Footpathing could be developed with separate cycle & pedestrian lanes/channels.

        Hills are not such a big issues for short-ish journeys, and the downside is always a bonus.

      • Shane Gallagher 10.1.3

        Try Dunedin! My mate was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and was carrying quite a bit of extra weight and lived up one of the steepest hills in Dunedin. So he decided that he needed to get fit and lose weight and decided to cycle. The hill was a problem until he got himself a 30kgs lost and a love affair with his bike are the result.

        • Shane Gallagher 10.1.3.1

          Sorry stuffed up the tags – * got himself a Wisper Electric bike… 🙂

          • Carol 10.1.3.1.1

            Thanks. Yes, I have thought electric cycles are a great possibility for the future. I recall way back in my youth that a few people rode bicylces with motors around Auckland. They had little 2-stroke engines (like a little lawn mower engine). It required pedalling a bit to set the engine going. An electric cycle would have the added benefit that the engine could be charged up by cycling.

            • Bored 10.1.3.1.1.1

              Solexs they were called, I recall for years watching Wolfie Rosenberg navigate across Chch in a bland black suit in all weathers going as far as Paparoa prison to do legal aid work. Great man, great machine.

  11. g_man 11

    As someone who uses the Harbour Bridge every working day, I have to be honest and tell you my experiences are quite different.

    I drive in early and leave early, so that I can avoid the rush hour. I’m usually getting onto the motorway at Silverdale a little after 06:00 am, and getting to Albany about 06:10 am. Even at that time of the morning, traffic is building as I start going up the hill towards Oteha Valley Road. I crusie past Constellation Drive, but already the traffic control signals are on about half the time. Then I start to hit little pockets of traffic at Tristram Ave, Esmonde Road, etc. I used to exit the motorway at Cook Street around 6:25 or 6:30 a couple of years ago. Traffic has increased to such a degree that the crawl once you get off the Harbour Bridge at that time of the morning is just so frustrating that I have changed my routine. I now exit at Shelly Beach Road and park somewhere different, to avoid the frustration. And if I’m five minutes late (literally), even the left hand lane which exits to Shelly Beach Road is congested.

    Going home, I’m getting onto the Harbour Bridge around 3:50 pm. At that time, traffic north is generally not too bad, except at Tristram Ave and Constellation Drive.But any later and bang – traffic slows to a crawl again.

    I have found the traffic so bad those (thankfully few) times that I’ve had to drive in the rush hour times, that if I had to drive at rush hour times every day I wouldn’t do it. Just couldn’t cope.

    Maybe I’m using it at different times to you. Maybe traffic patterns have changed and increased at the times I’m using it, but decreased overall. But my experiences over the past four years of driving the Harbour Bridge *seem* to paint a different picture.

    (And don’t get me started on driving in from South Auckland, where I lived for many years before shifting north. Driving from there just got steadily worse …)

    I would LOVE to see a cycleway network given some serious attention. I carry my bike in the back of my car, and cycle from my car to work, usually through Herne Bay, Coxs Bay, Westmere and Grey Lynn most mornings (cheaper than going to the gym). I agree it’s not the safest, but in 20-plus years I’ve only been knocked off my bike once. I cycle very defensively, and treat all car-drivers as idiots – works for me. A couple of years ago I tried cutting through from Albany to Greenhithe, parking at Te Atatu and cycling along the cycleway for a few months. Really enjoyed that. If a cycleway was put over the harbour, I’d use it every day. I wouldn’t cycle all the way from home (that’s over 100 km round journey, and I’m afraid I’m not quite THAT keen), but I’d certainly park somewhere around Albany and cycle in.

    Finally, what about the bus? Well I’ve tried using it, and once word summarises why I went back to my car – convenience. I love the convenience of being able to run errands on the way home, pick my daughter up from school occasionally, not having to worry about when the last bus runs if I get stuck working until 10:00 or 11:00 at night.

    • lprent 11.1

      I think a lot of it is the direction of travel. I was going out from town to work rather than the other way around. The congestion level has always been a lot less, so you tend to see the changes more easily.

      When I was working in Albany in 2007-8 and mostly taking the car, if I’d leave at 0825, I’d get to work at 0910. If I left at 0855, I’d get to work at 0915. I could take a bus from home at 0810 and get to work at 0900 on two buses (bus to town, and then out) and a 5 minute walk (before the busway was completed). But I’d have time to read. But whatever way the other side of the bridge would be jammed and running at a crawl.

      When I was working in Takapuna I’d consistently leave at 0845 and get to work at 0915 with 2 buses (after the busway was completed). The reason for that time was because I’d get a seat which made moderating easier. The car would take the same time normally, but could take up to 50 minutes. I’d be paying for parking and I’d have to go earlier to get it. The citybound side was more often jammed than not.

      These days I don’t go across the bridge. But I walk over the city end at Shelly Beach road at about 0900. What I notice is that the city bound side is moving at a reasonable crawl and is seldom completely jammed. The northbound side seems to be always moving cleanly.

      Quite simply the the congestion going into town is a major reason I don’t live in the suburbs. Also the work I do has had me working anywhere from Albany to Manakau over the last 20 years. I deliberately moved into town around the Herne Bay to Newton area because that gave me the flex to go in any direction against the main traffic.

      The car is a lot more flexible. But it jams too often if you get the timing wrong when everything is congested. I get more reliable results by busing. Then there are cars at home if I need to do the ad-hocs. Either I go home first or I’ll take a car to work if I know I have to go somewhere.

      For the last month because of the heart attack, I’ve either cabbed or more recently taken the car. But that is mostly because I need to walk a couple of km’s to the bus, and I’m only up to a km walking before I start feeling light headed. So I walk a 750m each way to get lunch each day as part of the rebuild.

      Tonight is going to be exciting (or not). Off to the gym to start actively rebuilding that heart muscle.

  12. KJT 12

    I cycle regularly in all the main port centres. Auckland is not so bad. There are always the almost unused footpaths and the drivers are simply totally oblivious to cyclists.
    A year in Hamilton they were very much the same as Auckland.
    Christchurch, Nelson, New Plymouth and Lyttelton are very good. Drivers are aware of bikes and generally polite.
    Dunedin are mildly homicidal.
    Wellington is the worst. Drivers are totally homicidal. Truck drivers in particular.
    I have given up riding in Wellington as drivers there deliberately try and run you off the road.

    • Jim Nald 12.1

      Sounds about right, from my experience.

      Mind you, I gave up cycling as a form of regular transportation in Auckland many years ago when I narrowly avoided accidents six times a week – I kept biking to off-peak or weekend times.

      I recently saw someone with a bright yellow backpack cover by ‘CAN’ and thought I would give my support to them. Anyone here can comment about them?
      See Cycling Advocates Network at http://www.can.org.nz

  13. tc 13

    All the above is obvious to any of us that’ve lived in truly great cities like London/Melbourne/New York /paris etc know that kick arse public transport isn’t an option it’s absolutely critical, if you want to attract and keep talent in a modern city which balances urban/suburban growth.

    The only logical conclusion is yet again this gov’t has no ambition for anything other than keeping it’s backers happy….screw you auckland and we’ll f up any ‘brighter future’ while we’re at it.

    Between Rortney and Sideshow John SuperShity and Joyce’s roads/bridges the queen city has been royally rogered with the perpetrators smugly sitting back in their beemers laughing all the way to their post gov’t board roles or similar.

  14. Jum 14

    And here’s some of Joyce’s media manipulation of New Zealanders.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1103/S00471/september-start-for-new-section-of-waikato-expressway.htm

    Great that Hamilton and Auckland are much ‘closer’, at least for those who can drive. Take a bus I hear you say. An elderly friend took a bus, well actually 4 of them, to get to a destination in 4 days, which should have taken her 2 days and two buses – one there, one back. There will always be people who can’t drive.

    How selfish this government is that it does not recognise or accept that. One of the major reasons tourists visit here is to visit the pristine wilderness yet it’s being destroyed daily by greedy moneymen.

    With a cohesive linked rail and road transport system, less land is taken up and less damage is done to our roads, which is certainly not paid for by the huge trucking businesses, which pass on costs.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    2 hours ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 hours ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 hours ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    7 hours ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 hours ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    11 hours ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    23 hours ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 day ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    1 day ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    1 day ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    2 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    2 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    3 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    3 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    6 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    6 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago