Following on from my post yesterday, Radio NZ had a number of discussion about the CCFAS yesterday including a chat with Gerry Brownlee and Len Brown about the response. Here is Brownlee:

Or listen to it here.

Most telling is at 1:25 when after being questioned if his officials don’t agree with the report responds with “Well they certainly agree with the position I’ve taken today”. That to me sounds like the minister has dictated to them the response he wants. And here is Lens response to that.

Or listen to it here.

They also talked to Alex Sweeney from Heart Of The City

Or listen to it here.

And lastly we have a general report on the issue

Or listen to it here.

Also if anyone from any government agency would like to comment off the record, or perhaps even provide some leaked information that would be relevant then you can do so anonymously. My details are in the contact us section.

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  1. I now think, lamentably, that Brownlee has dug his heels so far into the ground on this issue that he cannot now admit his error for fear of losing face. He would rather suffer the indignity of directly contradicting and dismissing his own officials’ recommendations and agreement with the CCFAS report, which they contributed to and signed off on. He seems perfectly happy to continue to bluff and bluster his way along, now making facile suggestions such as ‘future technologies’, as he now cannot even rely on the old fallback of buses and more roads as a preferred solution.

    Since he has now boxed himself into a corner in denial, he really should be removed as Transport minister. Oddly enough I can imagine a National govt proceeding with the CRL if they win the 2014 election and Gerry is no longer Transport minister.

    This from the EMA! They’re normally just a parrot of the National Party, or at least an honest representation of what many of them think.
    If they come out swinging for the CBDRL to go ahead, Nats will surely be getting some pressure at local levels from at least some business people. EMA support will be great to get other sceptical business people and thus other talking heads on board.

    1. Now all we neeed is for the Road Transport Forum to come out in support of the CRL and Gerry will quickly be back-pedalling. A good dog knows the call of its masters. Roll over Gerry!

    2. It would be very interesting to see correspondence between Brownlee and his officials to get an idea about what advice they provided on CCFAS prior to his media release.

    3. From reading the EMA’s reaction to GB’s blind dismisal of the CCFAS (a study the present govt commissioned and which was taxpayer funded), they have come out swinging for fhe CRL. The minister will refuse to accept anything other than what he wants to hear until such time as the Road Transport Forum weighs in behind the EMA. It will be interesting to see if / when that happens.

  3. Alex Sweeney in interview came across very well I thought – better than Len Brown. Len should have been as bolshi as Alex – it would not have lost the mayor any political points nor damaged his re-election changes by venting his frustration at a minister who is being deliberately and uncessarily obstructive. Then again, Len likely realises that he can let other more influential ‘market forces’ do a number on GB for him!

  4. Oops..typos….”I’m sorry, I’ll ‘state’ that again:”

    Alex Sweeney in interview came across very well I thought – better than Len Brown. Len should have been as bolshi as Alex – it would not have lost the mayor any political points nor damaged his re-election chances by venting his frustration at a minister who is clearly being deliberately and unecessarily obstructive. Then again, Len likely realises that he can let other more influential ‘market forces’ do a number on GB for him!

    1. I have endless respect for how calm and upbeat Len remains despite the illogical opposition from a transport minister who clearly subscribes to Muldoon’s “I’ll do it my bloody way” school of thought. In contrast said minister Brownlee sounded in a huff, having no legitimate or reasoned argument left. Does Key care, or even know what his ministers do?

      1. The PM knows exactly what his ministers do and condones their behaviour. The arrogance and bully-like behaviour of certain ministers that began during the govt’s first term in office has only got worse during this second term – in other countries, this would be enough to see the govt voted out of office in 2014 but unfortunately large swathes of the general public in NZ dont see this kind of behaviour as being reason enough to vote with their feet. Labour need to stop seeing the Greens as a threat to their position and work in tightly with the Greens to tear down the facade the government has put up, strip by strip over the next 18 months. Transport is just one of many areas where the govt have dug a smelly hole for themselves and Labour and the Green Party need to work closely together to not only expose the stench but have it smelling so bad by 2014, that the voters en masse, will be calling them in to clean up the whole stinking mess, because they can see that together Labour and the Greeens have the tools, the plans and the specific knowledge required to get things fixed up properly and quickly.

  5. It will be easier for Labour to raise campaign funds from Auckland businesses than for Nikki Kaye. This will be a real point of difference between the options next election.

  6. This project will happen, sooner or later. It has to, as report after report has shown, and as many people can intuitively see. This National-led government will go down in history as one which has wasted so much time and caused so much unnecessary delay in getting Auckland up and running. Just as did that earlier National government under Robert Muldoon, which cancelled the 1970s rapid-rail plan. The longer National and its incompetent ministers drag this out, the stupider they will look when the CRL eventually gets built and their opposition is recognised as what held Auckland back for years. Nicky Hager should write a book about this idiocy: “Tunnel Vision: How National Governments wasted 50 years!”

  7. A sobering thought: Had it not been for Sue Bradford and her “Anti-smacking” antics which, fairly or unfairly, contributed to Labour getting tossed out in 2008, the CRL project might have been well under way by now. And the biggest money-waster in history, the “RONs”, might have remained no more than a pipe-dream in the minds of a few misguided back-benchers. Strange, the factors which shape our destiny. . .!

      1. I’m wouldn’t blame Sue Bradford exactly but I think there is a strong case to say that particular issue cost them the election. The way it was handled was amateur hour.

    1. Repeal of S59 was not a major reason Labour got tossed out; John Key and many National MPs voted for it too after all. More likely that people were tired of Clark/Cullen and ready for a fresh face like John. Shame about the lack of substance, but NZ will be back to the centre-left in 2014 foreshore.

    1. Unfortunately the minister does not have time to read your article, nor the advice of his own ministry, as he has a heavy schedule of Simpsons re-runs at the moment

  8. I wish we had Boris here. He wouldn’t be nice in the face of GB’s immature comments. I’m sure he’d very quickly put GB in his place. As for Nikki Kaye, I certainly hope as an Auckland Central voter she gets booted out at the next election. Her getting back in was one of the worst results of the last election. I got a taxpayer-funded propaganda letter from her this week. Not a single squeak about the CRL. And I’m sure she deliberately got the letters out pre-CCFAS press release.

    Rob Mayo is right. Labour & the Greens have to work together better in 2014. The only reason Nikki kaye got back in was because the electorate vote in Auckland Central was split with Denise roche getting something like 2,500 votes that otherwise would’ve allowed Jacinta to get in. This happened in about three other electorates including two in Christchurch. That simply cannot be allowed to happen in 2014 and both left parties have to understand that not working with each other and splitting electorate votes is detrimental to both parties interests.

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