The first meeting of Auckland Council’s Transport Committee, this coming Thursday, is shaping up to be a fascinating event. The very first item on their agenda relates to the business case for the CBD Rail Tunnel – which by the sounds of it has (finally) been completed.

Here’s a brief summary of what will be discussed: I’m hoping that an electronic version of the business case (or even the six page summary) is posted on the Council’s website as an attachment to the agenda in the next few days. Or, failing that, I hope that Auckland Transport get around to publishing the agenda and minutes of the board meeting they had last week.

Rumour going around says that the business case is pretty good for the project, despite the fact that its estimated cost is now up to almost $2 billion.

It will certainly be interesting to have a read through this long-awaited document!

Update: later on in the meeting agenda there’s a good table summarising the current state of the CBD rail tunnel project:

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  1. Finally, I suspect that might be one of the reason AT was so keen to have that initial meeting secret. Once this is released we will all be watching with great interest for the governments response, my bet is something to the effect of “this sounds good but we don’t have any money because we are spending it all on roads”

    1. One thing you can guarantee is that he will know the result by now and if it was bad he would have publicly said so to score political points. Just thinking I wonder if he will attack it by saying they didn’t do the study right and as such makes it be done again with different requirements, that would eat up another year or so and paying $5mil is certainly cheaper than $1bil

  2. The agenda’s information piece on the P2W is also interesting, the BCR of 1.1 with wider economic benefits was based on it costing $1.3bil, if the Puhoi to Warkworth section alone is $900 mil then you can at least double that for the Wellsford section putting the thing well back under 1 even with WEB’s, also it states that one of the main reasons for this is to improve the movement of freight, something we have heard before but in this case it states that freight as aggregate and timber, two things that rail could move much more easily being bulk items.

    1. Yes reading that information piece is quite interesting. It’s about as close as you’ll ever get to a council official saying “this project is completely fucking stupid!”

  3. what do our local MP’s think about this? do they have any influence? I thought Nikki Kaye was quite on board with good city making and all that involves, but as a national MP, will she have to support the party line?

    1. She’s got to be one of the worst Auckland Central MPs we had, she’s done nothing from what I can see and doesn’t seem to have any sort of public profile. She also asks Joyce silly scripted questions in parliament with the aim of making him look good.

      1. My impression of her hasn’t been so bad. She ran a a decent campaign to get there in the first place, she came out relatively strongly against the mining proposals when they came up and has been quite supportive of cycling initiatives. A bit of informed pressure on her could be fruitful.

          1. Jacinda is on the side of the angles here…. My previous comment refers to Kaye. Lucy is right that junior MPs may be in different positions later, but all we can say for now is that Kaye is clearly not allowed a view that is different from Joyces. Nikki come on here and tell us otherwise!….

  4. I really get that vibe from some people at NZTA as well. They’re like “This project is really fucking stupid…but hey, they’re giving us lots of money and it’s our jobs so what can we do?”

  5. Here’s hoping the Transport Committee has the fortitude to deal with stupidity in an appropriate manner. I don’t expect it will be straightforward; their actions will be recorded in history.

  6. Nikki Kaye is junior in National now but someday she might be a cabinet minister. Always worth being nice to young MPs for that reason 🙂

  7. Lucy, I’m all for being nice to people, until they are proven to be not worth it, full stop. Sadly, I agree with the comments here – Nikki Kaye has had some positive moves, I’ve met here in person and like her, but her ABSOLUTE radio silence on rail in Auckland is a major disgrace, no matter what party she is in. In fact, seeing that she CAMPAIGNED on improving Auckland’s public transport, it’s more than that, it’s a broken promise. I doubt I will vote for her again.

  8. I rather suspect National won’t support this purely because it’s been posed contra the holiday highway. The only real victim of this position will be Nikki Kaye and her Auckland Central seat was lost well before she was seen to contradict Brownlee’s stance on mining Great Barrier, etc. National party strategists will be focussing on the Auckland peripheral seats and this CBD focussed project is manna for the cause. One has to realise too that Joyce is a Muldoon manqué; his political base is predicated on spurious popularity (ie all Aucklanders like to drive cars) and, in his perception, building a motorway is a far more effective electoral speculation than managing to solve the conundrums of increasingly lean commuters.

  9. Christopher T.- I don’t think for a moment that Kaye didn’t get approval on GT B mining before dissenting. Her silence on the CBDRL and transport in general is the proof of this. No one was ever going to mine Gt B- it isn’t economic to do so, it was always a canard [well you used mánque], a ruse, a thing put up to let go…. Ms Kaye is yet to do a thing independently….

  10. Patrick, I quite agree with you about Gt Barrier being a canard; I’m not agin the idea that Ms Kaye is, how can I put it politely, something of a vehicle for the kinder parts of the Crosby-Textor programme. I was essentially speculating that Ms Kaye may well have outlived her usefulness for the 2011 National party platform. In 2008 she was vaguely helpful in fuelling the idea that National was a centre party, devoid of ideological agendas, and hence electable by what appears to have been a befuddled constituency (and that Tizard woman was good cause for befuddlement). Next year’s election will, I suspect, be all about fighting the insidiousness of the greed of the nasty ‘metropolis’ so it will all be about pandering to the provincial; as the Modernists amongst us will recognise sadly, it’s a tried and tested strategy of the right.

  11. In a word; yes. Next election will show this gov to be as you say, Muldoon manqué, pitching the provincial against us in the urbs. Ms Kaye will be sacrificed on that alter, well they didn’t expect her to win last time [failing to understand just how poor the sitting member had been]. Especially as their self imposed restraint on privatisation will be over and they can express their true programme after next year’s election.

    Interesting how much of a battleground transport has become; I’m picking they’re still surprised and angry about how ungrateful we all appear….

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