A couple of weeks ago I reported on the notice of requirement hearing report that had been prepared for the commissioners hearing the the designation applications but one think I was keen to see was the details of the individual submissions. Getting home from my unsuccessful snowboarding trip – it’s not often you don’t get up the mountain due to too much snow – I found a fairly hefty package containing all of the submission information and looking at the councils website I can see that it has also been put online.

With this post I’m just going to highlight some of the submissions that I found particularly interesting.

NZCID – Page 15 – They say the support the ideas behind the CRL but don’t support the current route and so oppose the designation. They say they want a route that is longer and in the past have said they want Wynard, the University and the Hospital included similar to this alternate plan. Of course the NZCID exist to push the interests of the construction and financing sector so it is unsurprising that they want something that will cost more. The previously mentioned hearings report noted that this isn’t a valid reason to oppose the designation.

Submissions NZCID

Stamford Plaza – Page 19 – Grasshopper Bar and Resturant – Page 23 – The submission is understandably most concerned about the impacts on their business during the construction period but what I found most interesting was how the overall stance differed from that of one of their tenants, the Grasshopper Bar and Resturant. Stamford takes the stance of opposing the NOR but if it is approved that conditions are attached. By comparison Grasshopper takes the opposite stance, supporting the NOR but asking that conditions are attached. I guess the different stances it just show the underlying feeling about the project from the two submitters.

Eden Terrace Business Association – Page 33 – As one of the areas most affected by the land take for the project, it’s positive that they can see the benefit the project brings to them and the region. Their requests for more an actions like an urban renewal programme after construction has been completed seem appropriate and much of the land could become extremely useful for housing and retail developments.

Submissions Eden Terrace Business Assiociation

NZTA – Page 39 – It’s very pleasing to see at the NZTA supporting the designation and wanting to work with AT to help minimise the impacts that construction would cause.

Submissions NZTA

Sky City – Page 40 – This is one of the submissions I was extremely keen to read. In my opinion Sky City are one of the companies with the most to gain from the CRL being right next to the proposed Aotea station. It is clear that they also see this and I wasn’t surprised at all to see them wanting a direct connection into the station. The rest of the submission is all understandable issues around the impacts during construction.

Submissions Sky City

Auckland Chamber of Commerce – Page 64 – They are very unequivocal about their support for the project although like the NZCID do make mention of the route.

Submissions Chamber of Commerce

Heart of the City – Page 66 – Oddly oppose the project unless which they say is due to the lack of street level plans and projects in the city centre.

Submissions Heart of the City

ASB Bank – Page 88 – Great to see their general support

Submissions ASB

Westpac – Page 106 – Great to see another major bank supporting this, just a shame that only these two did.

Submissions Westpac

Tournament Group – Page 109 – My understanding is that this is Tournament Parking. With their purchase of the City Works Depot, perhaps they realise that there is more value in land than just using it to store cars?

Submissions Tournament

It was also pleasing to see submissions from so many readers of the blog. While the whole thing is a fairly long read it doesn’t take too long to skim through, are there any stand out that should also be highlighted?

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92 comments

  1. WTF Heart of the City? This is the single most important project ever to make the CBD awesome and you oppose it?

    Either ugly politics behind that or outright stupidity.

    1. Did you read their explanation above? They said “If we tick “support”, then our comments get ignored.” They have some (presumably valid) comments around Aotea Station, and want to be heard clearly on those. They can always change to support later in the heraings process.

  2. After reading (Well skimming to be honest) my copy I was happy to see a lot of people get the importance of the CRL. For the most part most the opposition seemed to fall into the I don’t like it due to noise / traffic / loss of property. Most of the effects mentioned will be mitigated or short term. The loss of property is an issue but that is part of life when you live in a community that is growing and its not like the council / government are going to take land and boot people out on the street.

    It was interesting reading one of the submissions where the person did not seem to think the country could cope with a 2.86 billion project (I know this is the inflation adjusted cost and may be lower with technology improvements) but they don’t seem to mind the multiple billions being spent on roads.

  3. I must have clicked the wrong button somewhere, apparently I only supported NOR1 rather than all of them.

  4. The loss of property is so minor for the scale of the project because, of course, it’s underground. So compared to a motorway project this impact is pretty small, as well as the fact that rail always takes a much narrower corridor.

    And construction disruption is temporary, but because it is in the heart of the city this will have considerable effects, especially for the cut and cover section up to and including Aotea Station. A speedy and staged programme through Albert St will be essential.

    Why Heart of The City didn’t ‘support conditionally on quality of streetscapes’ is beyond me…? Albert St for example will be completely rebuilt and there are lot of issues around the basalt walls etc that need to be decided at detail and could be an improvement or not. There certainly is a need for a lot of urban design work to be done around this project and I agree with HoTC that the quality of this is vital, but that’s no reason to oppose a project that is clearly the ‘Killer App’ for the business they represent. Odd.

    1. Good point about the property loss as it really only affects the Mt Eden end of the tunnel. The rest of the route has a few pockets such as the end of Mercury Lane but to be honest most of those buildings need to be rebuilt. Which they will after the project is complete. To put this in perspective how much of the inner city was wiped out when the CMJ went in and how much more if it is extended to the port and don’t get me started on the eastern motorway (but that one is hopefully dead).

    2. Ok I’ve now read HoTC’s comments and their bug-bear seems to be with buses in the central city. So they are having a general tilt at AT and AC’s transport policy. Still even less reason to oppose the best way to reduce the city’s dependence on buses… it’s a bit of a cranky submission really, wanting station entrances taken away from areas of demand to ‘decrease pedestrian contention’ … very odd considering HoTC represents retailers who need those pedestrians at quantity, as they are after all their customers.

      1. Geez they really have a crazy issue with buses don’t they. Do they not realise that buses bring more people into the city each day than anything else, and that isn’t going to change with the CRL?

        It’s just dumb mode bias. They support a rail station at Aotea because Aotea is a ‘place’, yet the moan and fight against a bus station at Aotea for the same reason.

        1. I’m no fan of Diesel buses either but see this as more of a reason to support the speedy introduction of alternative technologies to power them (as well as even better electric trains) than to indulge in generalised bus hatin’.

        2. Well how hard is it to advocate for euro VI emissions standards (or hybrids and electrics) and high quality bus infrastructure, say we want good buses and infrastructure commensurate with the middle of downtown…. I guess that is harder than “no buses go away we don’t want anything”. I get the feeling their idea of buses is stuck in the early 1980s.

          Anyway, pretty pathetic to not support the CRL because they lost their battle on getting rid of buses. That’s just throwing toys out of the cot.

    3. To some degree it doesn’t matter exactly where the train tunnel goes. It where the people entry/exit points are that matters. High speed travelators, escalators, or lifts take care of the final leg time issue. The train tunnel route planners should place the tunnel for the least cost to build, including disruption costs to others. Cut and cover does cause some disruption, but should be cheaper than full tunnels. As you say, a well staged program will cause only limited disruptions

      1. They have done that, the route is highly constrained by grades and the urban environment, and what is proposed is basically the shortest/easiest possible path that gets stations in the right general area.

  5. It seems like HoTC have clearly explained why they ticked oppose – “We would prefer to conditionally support NOR 1 but past experience with other projects has shown that this just gets interpreted as support with all further input ignored. In checking the “oppose” box we wish to record our significant concerns , particularly around the proposed Aotea station at street level.”

    It seems their bug-bear is that when they say “We support it but …”, all that gets interpreted is “We support it”.

  6. Taken off TVNZ…. Could they ACTUALLY be supporting it? Maybe when big business including the banks are all for it then I suppose they don’t have a choice?

    The Minister of Transport has hinted the Government will support Auckland’s City Rail Link proposal.

    Gerry Brownlee hinted to reporters today that an announcement on the rail link is due on Friday, and ONE News understands the project has the Government’s backing.

    ONE News deputy political editor Jessica Mutch tweeted earlier this morning: “Gerry Brownlee is hinting to reporters outside select committee that an announcement on the rail loop is due on Friday.”

    The proposed Auckland City Rail Link, which is estimated to cost $2.86 billion, would extend the existing rail line underground through Britomart, under Albert, Vincent and Pitt streets, then beneath Karangahape Road and the Central Motorway Junction to Symonds Street before rising to join the western line near Eden Terrace.

    It would be built in two 3.5 kilometre long twin tunnels up to 45 metres below the city.

    Mutch will have more on this on Midday.

    1. Yeah that’s the word we are getting…BIG CRL ANNOUNCEMENT BY KEY ON FRIDAY; the devil will be in the detail THOUGH.

      If so then big congratulations all round to all [especially on this site!] who have worked so hard for this vital and transformative investment for Auckland and the country.

      Not popping champagne corks just yet….

      1. One can support a project to death too. Just use lots of words like “welcome the chance to improve the project” or “further study will show…”. It’s amazingly easy to say things yet not do anything productive. With National’s history on PT, it would have to be a rather clear-cut statement before I clap with even one hand, let alone two.

        1. Come on, as Brian Blessed says, lets celebrate even little achievements!

          I will eat multiple dead rats iof it will get us the CRL. Even if it means land being freed for sprawl, it wont matter as I am sure once the CRL is built the whole form of the city will change.

          An amazing “loop” by National. Maybe sound economics and logic do mean something to the government – amazing!

        2. Question. If they demand the silly University – Hospital alignment, how much further does that put back the project? At least it means starting the NoR process all over again, right?

        3. I can’t honestly see them requiring that other alignment, it doesn’t solve any of the issues that are faced by Britomart and simply creates a second dead-end spur meaning more complicated running routes and lower frequencies.

        4. Right back to square one. None of the horizontal nor vertical alignment would still be the same, nor would any of the stations.

      1. I despair at the Herald, are they incompetent or intentionally misleading in all their articles about PT? They have a title detailing a ‘loop’ and then show a picture of a tram which has absolutely nothing to do with this project.

        1. Baby sterps, baby steps – having to write an article that makes you physiaclly gag would be challenging for the best of us. Orsman must be having a fit!

        2. How will Roughan’s boy-crush on Key survive this? He’ll have to drive back home to the distant burbs for a cry and and a lie down….

          And we’ed better send an ambo round to Wood’s in case of immanent infarction…..

        3. What’s the bet they are only willing to lend the money to AT/AC but expect it repaid much as they have for the trains?

        4. Funnily, it’s mow been changed to ‘link’ and the picture also changed to one of Britomart.

        5. The article I get from that link calls the project an inner-city rail link and the picture is of two trains in Britmart. So seems to be fixed up now if it was different before.

  7. I can’t honestly see them requiring that other alignment, it doesn’t solve any of the issues that are faced by Britomart and simply creates a second dead-end spur meaning more complicated running routes and lower frequencies.

    1. I can see them wanting an alignment that’s more pro-North Shore in some vague symbolic way. Going to Wynyard would hook up better with the Northern Busway (at the expense of everyone else in the city). But the alignment we have is pretty much the cheapest possible, and I have faith that National doesn’t want to spend any more than they have to.

      Anyway, leaving cynical mode for a minute, this is great news. Party time!

      1. I anticipate some trade off has been agreed re intensification of some suburbs and the special housing areas. Maybe more land will be freed on the periphery faster.

        I really dont think that matters. Once intensification starts occurring around the train stations (with 3-5 min frequencies post-CRL) the city will be changed forever and never look back. People will realise all the reasons we have been told for decades as to why PT in Auckland cant work were just political puffery and the momentum will build.

        Next stop – rail to Takapuna!

        Maybe I wont need to move to Australia or back to Europe. My wife will be pleased!

  8. This came up in my twitter feed (via a re-tweet, I don’t follow): https://twitter.com/nzyoungnats/status/349689706176462848

    Now this could just be an marketing graphic, and be an honest error, but it does show an alignment to the ‘university precinct’. However, to further the confusion, the graphic is geographically incorrect – if Britomart is at the base of the graphic (the north), the universites should be on the left (the east) rather than the right. I really don’t know what to make of this. I wonder on what evidence or reasoning an alternative alignment will be presented.

    1. Watching the video on TV3, Patrick Gower’s source apparently said that there was more to the announcement than the CRL. Wild unlikely speculation: they’re also announcing another harbour crossing, with the road part to be built straight away, and a rail component that will be drawn on maps and built at some unspecified point in the far distant future.

      1. With the absolutely enormous cost of the second harbour crossing I’m quite sure they won’t be offering to pay for that anytime soon, more than likely it’ll be immediate construction of the Onehunga motorway, motorways to the airport, and a loan for half of the money for the CRL on the premise that it’s not built for another 10 years.

        1. If you use waterview as a basis costing $1.4 billion, you could expect the harbour crossing to be under $2 billion given its only about 200m longer.

          In terms of the Onehunga link, planning alone would keep that at least 10 years away before thinking about construction.

        2. The main tunnel span itself maybe, but what about the approach roads? I seem to recall they were suggesting about another 800m pair of tunnels under Victoria Park to link the harbour crossing to the CMJ at about Wellington St, plus a duplicate VPT from the bridge through to Cook St, plus a expanded Onewa Interchange, widened causway and a whole pile of ramps up at Akoranga.

          Like the CRL, the tunnel itself is probably about half the cost of the total project.

        3. I agree with you there Nick. When done properly you tend to make a design that is very conservative giving you enough scope to take in the picture and find all the issues.

          Regarding the Vic Park end, those 800m are already included in my length comparison, the main area up for debate is how much work you do on the Northshore. In the current design there is dedicated ramp for everyone potential movement, some of which may cost $400 million to provide yet only provide for some 5000 vehicles a day.

          In all honesty I think you could get a really nice project for $3 billion and a cheaper one for $2 billion.

        4. Come on Patrick be fair please. I am trying to be nice and then here you come making a trolling comment taking no account what so ever of the 5 page mini report I sent you along with detailed images dispelling your criticisms of the crossing.

          It us very hypocritical of you to openly accuse me of not taking on board other people’s opinions went you constantly do the same.

          The standard you accept is the one you do yourself, so please raise your bar.

          Thankyou.

        5. Your proposal is a vast improvement on the last NZTA concept, but I do think that Patricks comments are still fair and accurate.

          Even in your scheme, the only significant network outcome is a large increase in traffic (and bus) capacity from north of the harbour through to city streets. Yes it sorts out weaves and separates flows, yes it streamlines the busway operations but at the end of the day it’s exactly the same number of motorway lanes through to the CMJ. No gain on the state highway network. All that extra network does is add two or three more lanes each way to the CBD, capacity that would only be used by peak commuters (there is plenty of vehicle capacity from the Shore to the CBD at offpeak times)

          And indeed, $3 billion is still a pretty penny.

          So I think blowing three billion to funnel more cars into the city is a fair assessment, and I do think that to try and deal with two or three times more traffic on Fanshawe and the rest of the city arterials would be horrible. Yes it does other things apart from the traffic, but those are relatively minor, not three billion bucks worth.

          There is kind of a Catch 22 with that project. It’s a bit of a lame duck as long as it just links more lanes to downtown and keeps the same through the motorways, the only time more transport capacity is needed to the CBD is on the weekday peaks and there are a lot cheaper ways to get more commuters into town. Then if you wind back on the traffic capacity through to the CBD then the project isn’t really doing much at all.

          On the flip side, it would be super-insanely expensive to try and increase capacity through the CMJ and on to the southern or northwestern motorways, or somewhere else. I don’t even want to consider what would be required or how much it would cost.

          So you are left with a multibillion project that makes buses run a bit faster, tidies up a bit of the waterfront and cuts down on weaving on the motorway. I just can’t see how it is supposed to stack up. Maybe if we could get the cost closer to two billion including metro rail, and it did a real good job on St Mary’s Bay and Victoria Park, and didn’t create a new spaghetti junction at Akoranga I could support it. At that point the tolls might have a shot at covering a reasonable percentage of the cost.

          There is some hope in that I think, it seems that the nastiest, highest impacting bits of the project (say duplicating the VPT to give six lanes between the bridge and Cook St) are also some of the most expensive bits. If it were just a bypass tunnel from Onewa to the CMJ then maybe.

        6. Nick, I actually agree with most of what you said there and on the surface it would appear that there are only going to be somewhat minor changes to that of existing.

          I suspect the actual drivers for the project come from two aspects, firstly we have the traffic flows on the bridge are becoming less tidal with things like the busway easing off the peaks, secondly we have the clip-ons showing there age and currently there is no way to replace them without killing the link to the north shore.

          As for my concept, there would only be a maximum of 2 lanes of general traffic able to make its way to fanshawe st, so that’s less than half of the existing potential capacity. So really, any notion of funnelling more cars into the CBD is purely fuctional.

          But what we have done is make bus trips to the CBD much faster, rather than a bit faster, potentially negating the need for rail to the northshore by 20-30 years.

        7. I meant to say fictional rather than functional, but you could replace it with trolling if you like.

        8. Well that’s the problem, not quite doubling capacity to the city and doing nothing for capacity to the motorway network. So three billion is quite a lot for a busway extension, managing the clip on lanes and a waterfront tidy up.

          I don’t know how much faster the bus trips would actually be. They’d still be one the same alignment over the bridge and through St Marys to Fanshawe or Cook St, so no reduction in route length or increase in speed. They’d still be subject to traffic and signals on Fanshawe and Cook (that is something we can improve regardless of a tunnel, although arguably it’s an easier sell to get more bus priority if there aren’t new traffic lanes competing for the same road width). The gains would only come from reducing the exposure of buses to traffic between the northern foot of the bridge and Fanshawe, a place where currently there aren’t many delays. Again it wouldn’t take a hell of a lot to provide that priority, for example it’s only signage and paint to make the first inbound lane on the bridge buses and exit to Shelley Beach Rd only.

        9. Nick, once you have a got a dedicated two way busway going all the way to fanshaw street you pretty much have a direct line to where people are wanting to go. It would be like having the CBD rail station located at Newmarket and then building a new one at britomart.

          If you refer to your northwestern busway you were happy to have buses driving for some 5km along great north road, I don’t see why you would find it an issue having buses sharing about 50m of road space before getting to the city.

          In terms of capacity, one of the big things the busway had done is reduce the peak load, but what it hasn’t done is slow down the growth in the other directions. So although we will retain the maximum of 5 lines the minimum is also 5 lanes and never an average of 4 lanes.

        10. That’s exactly my point Richard. I don’t mind the busway sharing lanes and it works fine. Having a complete 100% bus way through to Fanshawe is very little practical improvement over what we have now. It wouldn’t significantly increase speed not capacity.

        11. Well nick, the same could be said about rail to the northshore. Apart from providing a huge amount of superfluouscacity you would be left with what would be a replicant service at an even greater cost.

          Referring to previous discussions however, you used to be under the ression that a dedicated busway over the causeway would be vastly superior to bus shoulders. Why is it for the northshore you think a general traffic lane is almost as good as a grade separated busway?

        12. Sorry I don’t follow you, I was saying that shoulder lanes on the SH16 causeway were exactly the same as a busway because there is no need for stations nor access on or off the corridor there.
          I believe you were the one saying it had to be a full busway right into town, no?

          A metro rail crossing wouldn’t be superfluous as it would considerably shorten the route and increase running speed, so much faster as well as adding a lot of capacity and reducing operating costs. However the capital costs would likewise be very high, and I just can’t see the need for it over what we have now. No need to drop a billion or two on a rail tunnel when the busway could be tweaked to easily.

        13. Yup. With you Nick. Work that busway real hard, especially by improving priority radically at the city end… full busway through Fanshaw and Customs Sts with Stations.

          Plan for Rail crossing Aotea>Wynyard>Onewa>Akoranga>Takapuna into the future with big bus interchange at Akoranga.

          After, electrification and new station to Pukekohe, CRL, and extensions to Airport and Mt Roskill,. And a whole bunch of further Bus amenity is the suburbs like North West, Upper Harbour, South East, etc.

    2. Well perhaps they’re funding trams up Queen Street, as well as a rail link to the University and one to the Casino…

      1. Yes. And maybe John Key is undergoing gender re-alignment surgery and from now on we should all call him Loretta.

        I dont care as long as they build the damn thing!

  9. John Key will make the major announcement as Minister of Tourism. The new Convention Centre gets its own railway station.
    With Sky City so positive in support of the project, support from the government is almost is almost a given.

  10. “Next stop – rail to Takapuna!”

    Well, if we get positive news on Friday, best start the campaign for the next PT project – rail through the south-west to the airport?

    OK – jumping the gun a little….

    1. Yep another great project and possibly of greater value considering how well the Busway is serving the North Shore. Probably more attractive to businesses like Sky City too so likely to be favoured by the government.

  11. So they’ll pay half but expect it to be delayed for 5 years, so basically they’re trying to get credit for the project despite it being built basically once they’re no longer in government and therefore won’t even have to pay for it themselves.

        1. I’m rather happy with the news to be honest. The 5 year delay I believe is in effect not a delay at all. If you compare this project to the likes of waterview it’s sort of at the same place waterview in 2007. Even if the government handed over the money tomorrow there is still years of design work and testing that needs to be done before construction could start.

        2. Grant Robertson said under Labour construction work would start 2016, which is to Auckland Councils timetable.
          So if not a 5 year delay, certainly a 4 year delay.
          Rather than CRL being ready when EMU’s maxing out, would have 4-5 years of stalling patronage.

        3. Yes and Helen Clarke said that construction of the waterview connection was going to start in 2007 so that it would be completed ore the rugby world cup.

          I think National said that Puhoi to Wellsford was going to be completed by 2017 yet they are years off getting the first 3rd of the route secured.

          Anyway, the point is that talk is cheap. If we get told next week to stop work for the next 5 year’s ill let you know..

        4. Investigation of the CRL has been going on since 2008, it is at a much higher level than Waterview in 2007. There was no route finalised then, nor funding source. In 2008 Puhoi Wellsford was just a idea from Steven Joyce, no investigation done by NZTA whatsoever. CRL now at a similar stage to Puhoi Warkworth, though that now being rushed ahead.

    1. I am even more critical of it – paying it from asset sales (instead of less motorways) and delaying it by 5 years? They are obviously trying to tide themselves over for another 1-2 elections before it comes to a crunch.

      Yes, it is movement. Significant movement even – but certainly nothing will come from it for, literally – many years, if that’s all it is, as reported by the Herald.

      1. At least it is recognising that the CRL is necessary – I agree the 5 year delay is bad but that is something that can be chipped away at and gives any new government some scope to move. Lets give credit where it is due – I am far from a National fanboy but I think you have to be positive and complimentary where reality has overruled ideology through evidence based discussion.

        Proceeds of asset sales – well at least they are not being used to build white elephants motorways to nowhere.

        I am finding it hard to be negative and cynical about this. This is politics and of course they cant just back down 100% and say they were wrong all along. But at least they acknowledge that rail is a viable option – a massive first step.

  12. For a billion dollars, Len Brown could have left the announcement to John Key.
    As far as rail to Takapuna is concerned, the stubs should be part of the current project, and of course the extra harbour crossing should be PT only, or Auckland will seize up completely.

  13. SF Lauren – I think you’ll find that 5yr delay is real. John Key said they want construction to begin 2020, not 5yrs from now.

    That is a 7yrs away and even accounting for the not insignificant planning required, some of that is already underway.

    1. I know they mention the value of 5 years, my point is that I don’t think the current program is attainable. These projects are never fast to come to construction and the planning process that you think should only take 3 years very often takes about 15 years.

      The 5 year delay mentioned today may in reality only mean a 2 year delay as the program was going to be missed by 3 years. That just the way things are with non critical projects, and by critical I would mean something like electrification which needs to be completed by the time the CRL opens otherwise it couldn’t run.

        1. Yes Luke I am fully aware of the indicative timeline, my one and only point as that if the CRL were to get built within 6 months of that time frame it would be one of the only infrastructure projects of that scale to do so.

          My example before of the waterview connection took 5 years longer than planned to start construction even though it has retained its status as the most important project in the country the entire time and having both prime ministers right behind it.

          Again though, if we get told to stop work for the next 5 year’s I’ll let you know. However I have a feeling a large group of people will remain working on it for the next 7 year’s prior to construction.

        2. the 5 years with Waterview was figuring out different route options, and mucking about between tunnel, cut and cover, and back to tunnel again. We’ve had 5 years doing this for CRL already, and have got 2 more years to finalise it all.

        3. The phase for waterview to determine the current location started around 1998, they were actually about to designate a surface route in 2005 and had already started by properties in 2004. It took waterview about 9 years to get from the equivalent stage that the CRL is at to actually start construction.

          I suspect the CRL will have a much smoother journey but the sort of time frames I mention are rather typical of mega projects.

  14. “despite it being built basically once they’re no longer in government and therefore won’t even have to pay for it themselves”

    That’s mischevious. If you point out here that National are already delivering significant public transport improvements in Auckland, the response is often that Labour announced the improvement so they deserve the credit even if National are doing and paying for the work. So for consistency’s sake, National deserve to be credited with the CRL even if someone else builds it. In that case, I propose that the CRL be renamed “The Gerry Brownlee Memorial Tunnel”, and a pie shop be built at every station in his honour.

    Besides which, 2020 is enough time for National to be back in government after a Labour-Green-NZ First coalition.

    1. Do you know something about gerry’s health the rest of us don’t? There is normally a prerequisite to make a memorial which hasn’t been meet yet.

      1. He is doing quite a bit to piss off the populations of Auckland Wellington and Christchurch, so who knows……

    2. I think I might have skimmed over this post the first time, but reading it again there does seem to be a fair point in there somewhere. However if you are thinking of giving National credit for the CRL, it should probably be noted that they have been, in a broad sense, quite hostile to PT overall in the last few years, and that in this context they might not be judged as favourably through the lens of history as Labour seem to have been.

      Of course, we could expand the discussion to note that lacklustre PT support is endemic to governments in this country and has been for quite some time, and perhaps in that sense it isn’t fair to single National out for this attitude. But I do suspect that the majority of ill-sentiment towards them on transport issues stems out of the distant, almost token approach that either they have taken, or has been taken under their watch, and that it will more than just an announcement on one (albeit major) project to reverse the perception of insincerity they have accumulated around this topic.

  15. I heard the announcement is that Skycity will fund 30% of the venture in exchange for getting to put pokies on all the trains and a purpose-built villain lair under the city.

    1. I think you must have misheard Melon. They were going to install a new hope machine at every station and bus stop that also doubled as a pokie machine. The trains where to have the 2nd carriage on each 3 car set to be used as a conference facility.

      1. Really? Your idea sounds much more plausible, I guess. I also heard they were going to extend the CRL up to Whangarei to replicate the holiday highway, with a branch going out to Omaha and stopping at the front door of John Key’s batch. That’s only 60% confirmed, though.

      1. There is already a villain lair in the basement of the Sky City car-park, if by villains you mean pimps, drug dealers and people who lock their kids in the car while they gamble.

        1. When you say pimps and drug dealers do you actually mean rappers? Or are they the real thing?

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