Today the first of the Generation Zero Local Election Scorecards were released. Go to Generation Zero for all the fun. Here’s an example of the summary for an Auckland Ward:


And here’s how it was covered by Scoop:

Youth organisation Generation Zero today released scorecards communicating information on candidate stances on important local issues, which it has gathered from conducting interviews around the country.

The group believes there is a real lack of clear and accessible information available to voters and that the innovative candidate scorecards they have created will help solve this problem.

To collect the necessary information, Generation Zero has interviewed local council candidates to see where they stand on key issues in each region, from housing and urban design to transport and climate change.

Generation Zero spokesperson Madeleine Foreman says: “We’ve surveyed candidates on key issues in different regions and asked them to sign a pledge to prioritise policies that reduce carbon pollution.”

The interviews have been in person in main centres, and by electronic survey in other parts of the country.

The group believes local elections are important and that the scorecards will play a key role in informing voters.

Madeleine Foreman; “Local councils are important decision makers in areas such as transport, infrastructure and urban planning which have long-term implications and are crucial to respond to the issues presented by climate change.”

“We’ve created an innovative and simple way for voters to get a lot of the information they need to be adequately informed and to vote this election”, says Ms Foreman.

In Auckland the scorecards were released at a press conference where the group presented its vision for New Zealand’s largest city and candidates who scored highly were interviewed.

Waitakere is the place with the best representation by GenZed’s metric with two A+ candidates; deputy Mayor Penny Hulse and new candidate Christine Rose. Here’s an example of the full candidate analysis:

Chris Darby

Fantastic effort by Generation Zero; a very clear summary of the candidates’ positions, especially as it drills down past the vague answers that are often offered by politicians but that are not always representative of their actions once in office. I hope they will keep this sort analysis up to track their actual voting over the years ahead. After all the most sincere thing that politicians do is set their budgets. Nice of them to say that they ‘support’ things like cycling but if that isn’t followed up by the funding of actual projects it’s just so much hot air really, and it would be great if we had an easy way to check on their actual actions as well as their promises.

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  1. I am very sceptical about the marks attributed to Chris Darby when he has plastered over his billboards, “No to heavenly high rise!”. I doesn’t indicate any degree of sympathy to intensification to me.

    He also proudly states that he opposed the high rise at the Milford Mall. If you don’t have high rise in a town centre then where do you have it?

    Thirdly he is a strong proponent of a third harbour crossing. It seems disingenuous that he concurrently promotes rail to the Shore – why would anyone use it if there is so much road space to drive?
    Chris might think it’s politically astute to have his foot in all camps. I think that it is simply deceptive.

    For me – an E!

    1. I thought that Chris Darby’s view was that rail to the north shore would be the third harbour crossing, I.e, instead of building a third motorway because we are too lazy to manage trucks.

      1. Yes Nick, rail is my additional crossing. Let’s say SkyPath is stage 1. Freight patterns are likely to change when the Western Ring Route opens up. NZTA modelling supports that but as we know modelling is only as good as the inputs. They say they are keen to hold off on design until the WRR is open but my hunch is they are already beavering away on another memorial highway.

        1. Surely NZTA have the power to instruct vehicles over a certain weight to take the WRR? Or would that be considered a shocking restriction of Big Trucking’s control of the nation’s transport policy?

        2. I think the NZTA have definitely considered it. In the northern busway extension study it mentions a future southbound weight station around Redvale in order to do just that. Presumably there would be a northbound station south of Manukau also.

        3. From what I have read their are already ‘scales’ on the approaches to the harbour bridge which photograph all trucks over the limit, however, they apparently don’t have the legal authority to pursue overweight trucks?

        4. Nice to hear from you Chris, thouh NZTA have ALREADY looked at routes, and have detailed a construction process for the preferred option.

        5. Yes I sat on the Northern Corridor Steering Group for six years and was instrumental in finally getting KiwiRail into the room. NZTA are still labouring with designations and I doubt very much they are anywhere near a construction process.

        6. They have actually outlined the way they will build it in order to keep construction running. Its buried in a fairly hefty report that I read for uni last year.

          Hopefully you are right about being nowhere near construction timewise though.

    2. He scored low on the Unitary Plan part, but as was opposed to minimum parking requirements and supporter of intensification in centres and transport corridors scored ok in that section. And was really great on everything else.

    3. Is opposing 16 stories in Milford that bad though? That would be really out of scale… Just look out rubbish the existing 12 story one looks.

  2. Nick, you may be right, but when I read some of his promotional material it talked only of a third harbour crossing. I don’t know the guy but am not impressed so far.

    I wonder if anyone can tell me if it is he who is proudly proclaiming that 50 million has and will be spent on the widening of Lake Road?

    1. Taka-ite. Would you refer me to the promotional material that you purport comes from me that talks only of a third harbour road crossing? What document and where is it to be found?

      No $50m has not been spent on Lake Rd though about $25m is in the AT budget for 2016-22 for the upgrade of Lake Rd (Hauraki to Bayswater). Scoping begins in 2015 with about $300,000 allocated. Upgrading the road to create more efficient use of the road space does not assume widening. Another Esmonde Rd or let alone a Taharoto Rd is not what I envisage.

      What do you envisage for Lake Rd and the additional harbour crossing?

      1. The council plans from what I understand are basically to widen it to 2 lanes each way, that’s an absolutely massive amount of money to simply entrench car use in Devonport. Imagine what could be done on the shore if that was spent on Copenhagen cycle lanes all over the short rather than merely widening a single road?

        1. As much as I supoort cycling I would rather see the road space dedicated to bus lanes. That would be more effective in getting traffic off the road. There are other offroad options for cycling if Auckland was willing to invest the money and slow traffic on non-arterial routes. Cycle routes completely away from traffic are always the most popular and safe.

      2. Chris Darby, the information that I was looking at was on the net -“Your Vote Your Community”. It referred to a third harbour crossing and without any reference to this being rail only I assumed it was road. In my view if it is intended to be rail it should say that.

        I appreciate your comments.

  3. I’m not fan of high-rise beyond the city-centre and tightly defined areas of the metropolitan centres. Yes I’ve been aligned and supporting a coalition of residents and business in Milford opposed to a private plan change where the applicant proposed two 16 storey towers. More recently the same groups have made submissions to the Unitary Plan supporting 6 storey development at the core of the town centre. There’s a fair density living, learning and earning in 6 storeys. Keep in mind there are very few buildings in Milford centre today of more than a single storey.

    Quality intensification can be achieved in and around town centres and local centres in low to medium-rise developments that are well designed and sensitive to local context. Height alone does not translate into improved density.

    Yes I’m a proponent of an additional harbour crossing. You have made an assumption about mode mix though. My harbour crossing kicks off with the SkyPath in 2016 and rail to the Shore in 2025-2030. Six more traffic lanes under the harbour will induce more congestion on local and regional arterials which are already slow moving parking lots.

    Best you have a look at;

    PS. Just noticed there’s a glitch in the list ‘Other Transport Priorities’ under Rail For Shore section. Will sort tonight.

    Chris Darby

    1. From Chris Darby’s own campaign site: “In the final stages of developing the draft Unitary Plan I’ve been instrumental in rejecting unlimited density provisions”.

      Unlimited density is a rather misleading term in that effective density would still be controlled though building height limits, building coverage, and minimum dwelling sizes. ‘Unlimited density’ actually means there would be no specific density control (ie 1 dwelling per 300 m2) in addition to these other controls. These other controls already establish the height and size of buildings that can be built, so all the density control does is ensure we can build big buildings with not many people in them – the exact opposite of the compact city model.

      It seems Darby supports a certain density of buildings but not of people – he can hardly be described as supporting density done well.

  4. I deliberately left filling in my voting papers till after this announcement but sadly it seems to only cover a very few of the candidates in very few areas. I expected a full survey of all candidates in all Wards and Local Boards, or have I missed something?
    Living in the forgotten town of Helensville we find it hard to get any recognition from Auckland Council that we even exist and this only exacerbates our situation.
    If this is only a partial candidate survey then it seems a waste of time.
    As I said hopefully I have missed something.

        1. Having met the guys I assumed that they were mostly teenagers, though some of the guys are getting a little long in the tooth haha.

    1. Yes more are coming, though some candidates (e.g. Cameron Brewer, Dick Quax) have never responded – I wonder why? Obviously Brewer standing unopposed wont help.

      Local Board candidates are being asked to reply by email as there are so many of them. Noone has the resources to interview all of them.

    2. We would really like to do them all, but it is a massive task. One interview can take 3 hours by the time have headed out to a far off suburb to do a 1 hour interview, then spent another 30 minutes deciding on the score.
      We have emailed out to all of the candidates but only a handful have replied to the email. Normally takes numerous phone calls to set up an interview that suits.
      Some for Rodney should be coming, and again emailing out the local boards today, so should have some up in a few days. However can only upload those that reply.

  5. These are very interesting but who really gets elected on these issues? The voters, as always will vote from party allegiance, big issues, and financial management. I’m not going to vote for someone because they promise they love cycling, high rise apartments, and the CFN if they are going to increase my rates.

    1. You vote solely on rates?

      I would happily see rates double in the next 5 years if it meant that the CFN was built, we had zero sprawl for 30 years, and the cycle network was finished by 2020. Not that it would necessarily increase rates at all.

    2. Actually people vote quite strongly on these issues in the local body elections, demonstrated by the fact that nearly all candidates attempt to endear themselves with PT. The least interesting of the bunch are those that appear to have no ideas except to cut council services and minimally lower rate increases.

  6. Do you pay rates Sailor Boy? I am not sure you would be happy to see them double in the next 5 years if you did. Zero sprawl is impossible, even if there was a willingness to change building laws and developers wanted to invest, many people are going to chose to live the quarter acre dream. The cycle network might be a step closer if cyclists agreed to contribute towards funding it. Would you be happy to pay road user charges and have a number plate and WOF on every bike?

    1. Everyone in Auckland pays rates directly or indirectly, don’t try and imply that this board is full of 12 years with no idea how the world runs.

      1. That is simply not true bbc. Home owners pay rates, no one else does. I am all for more PT and cycle lanes but not if my rates are going to double. I want good fiscal policy. If the CFN is going to save me money I am going to vote for anyone supporting this, but I will look at all the candidates fiscal policies and vote for the person that is going to cost me the least.
        My point about cyclists paying towards infrastructure is fair, why should they not have WOF tests, pay road tax, and like every road user should, have 3rd party insurance.

        1. Have you ever been a landlord? If so, when you were calculating your rent, did you ignore the rates you would have to pay on the property? If so, you may want to talk to an accountant.

          The vast majority of cyclists (like me) also own at least one car and pay rates (directly or indirectly). The scheme you propose for cyclists is ridiculous. You are of course thinking only of cyclists as bunches of lycra clad men whizzing along at 40km/h.

          And I dont blame you because they are the cockroaches (I dont mean that in a derogatory way, only their ability to survive) of the cycling armageddon that occurred in the Anglophone world in the1990s. But that isnt where the growth of cycling will be in Auckland. It will be in sit up, Dutch style cyclists pottering along at 20km/h.

          How would you ensure that the 10 year old cycling on the footpath to school has paid his WOF and has insurance? Who would be out to ticket the mother cycling to the shops to get a bottle of milk and some bread with her toddler in the cycle seat? Even if someone was crazy enough to implement your scheme (and of course lots of anti-cycling people use this red herring) the costs of enforcement would be astronomical and unproductive.

        2. Don’t get trolled by someone who’s avatar name is German for someone licking the female genital parts. He’s not out here for reasoned discourse.

          But hey, why not go all the way? Cyclists to pay WOF and license fees? What about those freeloading pedestrians? User pays, user pays, user pays!!!

        3. Everyone who lives in a home pays rates one way or another. Saying otherwise is like claiming that no one else pays GST except shop owners and businesses. Yes they are the ones that transfer the funds to the IRD, but it is the customer who pays for it. Shopowners aren’t paying taxes for their customers out of their own pockets. Same with rentals, renters pay rates through their rent. I’m certainly not paying the rates on my tenanted properties as an act of charity, it is worked into the cost of renting them.

          Next you’ll be telling me that children or stay at home caregivers aren’t allowed on the footpath because it’s their parents or partner that pays the rates bill that builds and maintains sidewalks.

          Why should cyclists pay road tax, no one else pays road tax for the roads cyclists cycle on. In case you aren’t aware local roads are paid for primarily out of rates, and all cyclists pay rates one way or another. Hell I pay rates on three properties, most of which gets spent on road infrastructure for car drivers even though I hardly drive at all. I certainly don’t need some ignoramus telling me I need to pay more to ride my bike to work when I’m already subsidising everyone else to drive. And for the most part cyclists are also drivers and pay plenty fuel tax. You should thank them when they chose to use the bike and take up less space on the road and add negligible amounts to the maintenance task.

        4. People that rent out their homes charge the maximum rent as dictated by market forces. They do not think I will charge $300 a week plus $50 for rates. No rents are increased when the rates go up. It is not fair for people not paying rates to say they would be happy for rates to double just so they can get something paid for by the council.

          As for cycle plates and registration, why not? Every car owner in NZ has to pay road user charges, why should cyclists not pay as well and that way they contribute directly to the infrastructure they require. Of course I agree that if cyclists start paying a road user charge then that money should be used to fund cycle lanes. Everyone should have 3rd party insurance. Why should some one in an expensive car have no redress if you crash into his door on your $50 bike? There is no reason not to have registration of bikes as part of our laws and if you get caught riding a bike without tax, insurance or licence plates you should be treated like every other road user ignoring the law and fined. Excuse the pun but why should only one transport user get a free ride?

          There are plenty of countries where cyclists have number plates and pay tax and insurance. If it works oversees, it will work in NZ.

        5. I agree with Fotzen here; people charge what they can on rental properties, they don’t come up with a number to cover their costs and then draw a line saying that’s all they want. They charge as much as they can get away with. And thanks to reverse gearing if they still have a rather large mortgage making a loss isn’t all that bad as you effectively get your tenants to pay the interest for you.

        6. So you are saying that rates could double and there would be no shift in rents? Of course rates are taken into account when buying and renting properties, I take it you don’t invest in property yourself? You wouldn’t last long randomly buying properties then just trying to get as much rent as you can. You really have to compute the numbers first, including the rates.

          We should also force pedestrians to wear number vests and pay registration, after all they use the footpath scot free, and the constantly and wantonly cross the road. I’ve even seen people walk along the roadway where there was no footpath. Those damned bludgers need to be taxed more. I don’t care if they pay rates, income tax, GST or if they pay registration and fuel taxes on their cars. If they want to walk on the public roadway they need to be registered and taxed further. Oh and prams. And rollerblades, not to mention that guy I saw pushing his lawnmower along the road to do the berm.

          If only we had some mechanism where people paid some sort of quarterly fee that went to the council, and the council could use that to build and maintain roads for everyone to use…if only.

        7. Yeah the damage those bike wheels and shoes do to the road surface is shocking and costs me money….. and the time wasting people cause by forcing drivers to look up from their texting simply because they generously choose to not kill and maim these freeloading cyclists and pedestrians on the road! Absolutely appalling.

        8. @SF Lauren: yes indeed, and the same applies to buying houses as well, which is why neither owners nor renters actually bear the incidence of rates. The net present value of the entire future stream of rates is capitalised into the value of the house, so although you pay rates, you make it up in the form of lower mortgage payments (because the house was cheaper!).

          This means that the entire future burden of rates increases is born instantly by whoever happens to own property at the time it becomes publicly known that rates are going up, in the form of a one-time hit to their property’s value. And if the value of your property changes, you also bear the burden of rates instantly (since that increase in value would otherwise have been slightly larger, if people weren’t pricing in rates).

          @Fotzen: your logic about rates would lead to the conclusion that motorists do not, in fact, pay fuel tax, since that tax money is paid by petrol companies.

        9. Can you please cite some examples from overseas of countries or cities that require registration of bicycles. LA used to until it was suspended becauise it was a waste of time.

          Also to repeat what I said in my post above:

          You are of course thinking only of cyclists as bunches of lycra clad men whizzing along at 40km/h.

          And I dont blame you because they are the cockroaches (I dont mean that in a derogatory way, only their ability to survive) of the cycling armageddon that occurred in the Anglophone world in the1990s. But that isnt where the growth of cycling will be in Auckland. It will be in sit up, Dutch style cyclists pottering along at 20km/h.

          How would you ensure that the 10 year old cycling on the footpath to school has paid his WOF and has insurance? Who would be out to ticket the mother cycling to the shops to get a bottle of milk and some bread with her toddler in the cycle seat? Even if someone was crazy enough to implement your scheme (and of course lots of anti-cycling people use this red herring) the costs of enforcement would be astronomical and unproductive.

        1. Sorry I should have pointed it out but I was responding to BBC.

          If you refer to that graph however you will see that the amount of money spent on new local roads accounts for less than 10% of transport spending in Auckland with most of it actually going to maintaining existing roads.

          The point being that rate payers pay for very little in terms of transport of any form and so saying that just because you pay rates that you expect to see more of the annual $1 Billion spend is ill-informed. Really the spend is about $100 million.

          In regards to cyclists on motorways, no they don’t. However NZTA does much more than spend money on motorways and you will note that quite a few of the new cycle facilities of late have all been paid for by NZTA rather than AT. Think the Westgate footbridge, Clarks lane foot bridge, Jacobs Ladder Footbridge, Dilworth footbridge, Somerset Road Footbridge, Erni Pinches Footbridge & Seacliffe Road footbridge. That’s about $100 million worth of ped / cycle bridges built by the NZTA.

        2. Really the spend is about $100 million.

          Really, you think that over the next 30 years, of the 30 odd billion dollars for transport construction that is already allotted, only 3 billion is from the council?

        3. Sailor boy, just look at the referenced chart and look at how much is spent on new local roads, it appears to fluctuate between $50 million to just over $100 million each year. Given the NLTF does a 50/50 split on local road funding we can assume the council chipped in the same amount.

          In regards to the $30 Billion to be spent over the next 30 years, that is a planned wishlist of projects. It is not a funded list of projects but the point remains the same in that the council puts very little money towards transport and that is why pretty much every big transport project in Auckland has been funded by either the NZTA or directly from the government.

        4. Apologies, I assumed that Big Gerry’s comment about spending a billion a year in Auckland was for construction, but he is probably mincing the figures.

          Also, on another point, often all that is needed for cycle infrastructure in Auckland is some paint, so it could be very easily funded out of the ops(which I presume is maintainence) budget? Every time a road gets repainted we put the cycle lanes in?

        5. Sailor boy, the roads that are currently wide enough and underused enough to happily just paint a cycle lane on are not really the problem, the ones that are the issue are the one that are extremely busy that have been widened out to 4 lanes with the outside lanes right next to the kerb.

          In that case you need to make a choice as to build and off-line path or reduce the road capacity by 2,000 vph to let a few cyclists through. In some cases doing the later may be ideal and other cases it could be extremely bad.

        6. I disagree, in my 200km a week I find the very wide sections to still be a problem, all that some drivers seem to see is the opportunity to pass you without deviating from the centre of the lane. We need to repaint the roads with a cycle lane each time they are redone.

          Agree about the widening though. Needs to be on a case by case basis.

        7. Care to name a few of these wide two-lane two-way roads that are a problem for cyclists?

          Certainly I agree that there will be a few out there but I don’t see the need to go marking cycle lanes on every residential side street in the city. You know that green surface they use costs about $200 sq.m and at every intersection you need to stick up signs saying that the cycle lane starts and ends in order for it to be enforceable.. It’s not as cheap as you may think.

        8. East Coast Road from Oteha to Browns Bay Rd. Albany Highway, Sunset Roar, Target Road, Kitchener Avenue.

        9. Based on a quick look all of those roads look ideal for cycle lanes, although a few of them also need some bus priority which they may already have to a degree.

    2. Fotzen: Quite right that the financial and economic implications of policy are very important, so the key point here is that we have repeatedly shown that CFN can and should be built at no extra cost that current transport spending. Clearly this is also the case with better, even radically better, investment in cycling infrastructure as these are the projects that have far and away the best economic evaluations of any mode and anyway are of much lower quantum: The full region wide cycle network has been costed as not disimilar as one major motorway intersection rebuild.

      In fact investing better in the missing modes will save us all money:

      No rates rises for our programme.

        1. Yes and one of the biggest things to spend money on in Auckland is running multiple cars that spend 95% of their time sitting idle. Public transport is a machine of the working class in every other part of the world and cycling doubly so. It is only in extremely auto dependent countries like NZ that these are seen as somehow for the elite and an expensive option.

          PT and cycling are far cheaper to build and offer far cheaper options for users. Do you know how many volunteer NGOs there are in the Netherlands advocating for more auto dependent infrastructure and less cycling? None – only auto industry lobby groups. Yet in NZ there are thousands of ordinary people giving up their time to promote PT and cycling.

          That is because it is only big businesses that benefit from auto dependency not the vast majority of tax payers – they have just convinced NZers with 60 years of propaganda that the opposite is true.

        2. Don’t hate the car, its just a machine and it seems irrational to thin of it as the root of evil. Cars as a mode of private transport have enhanced our lives and its bloody hard to imagine goods and services provided by bus and cycle rather than trucks.
          I am all for more cycle lanes and better PT but not without financial check. If the CFN is going to save me on my rates then fantastic but if its not, then we need a better plan. Things like cycle lanes benefit a small part of the community and are in the group of private transport. As such they should pay their way the same as every other mode of private transport. There is no fair reason cyclists should not pay a road user charge and certainly no reason why they should not have to have 3rd party insurance. Of course the money raised from this should be spent to develop more cycle paths. The idea that you refuse to pay just puts you in the group of wanting something for nothing. I’d suggest many Auckland rate payers are not going to vote for a councillor favouring a group of free loaders.

        3. FS. If you wish to keep seeing your views reproduced here you will have to use a less offensive moniker…. just because it’s not in English doesn’t make it ok, or funny. Ta.

        4. Fotzen means to slap someone in the face and Schlecker is the company I used to work for on my OE that still owes me money. I use this name on my twitter account as a slap in the face to the directors of Schlecker. I do not understand what problem that is to this blog.
          I could note that ‘Sailor Boy’ has sexual undertones as a name but I dont see anyone taking offence to his postings

        5. Rookie mistake Arschlecker. Nobody said they hate the car or think it evil. The issue is autodependency, where practically all transport has to be done by car whether the car is the good way to do it or not. Getting in that situation is the result of funding policy, if you spend decades just building roads for traffic at the expense of everything else, and create planning rules that only allow you to build suburbs you need to drive to get around, then you end up in a situation where people have little choice but to drive. It’s a strategic risk more than anything, like what happens if Iran decides to attack Israel and petrol skyrockets to $6 a litre? What if people want to drive less, which appears to be happening now, but they find themselves stuck for an alternative?

          I mean I would say it’s a really bad idea for everyone in the city to eat pizza for every meal, but it doesn’t mean I hate pizza or think it evil. I love pizza, but it’s not the sole answer to my nutritional needs and in fact it can be pretty bad if you have too much.

          As for the funding thing, well whether you like it or not about half of our roads in Auckland (including their footpaths, cycle lanes etc), are funded by the council and half the funding comes from NZTA by way of road user charges. So in other words the council could halve it’s spend on roads and still be spending all the fuel tax money that comes from drivers directly. The other half of the budget doesn’t come from drivers, it comes from ratepayers. We spend most of that half on traffic maintenance and capacity for the good of the city, but maybe we should spend a little bit more of it on infrastructure for walking and cycling and a little bit less on driving.

          If you want to take the angle of user pays, then you’re first step would have to be doubling fuel tax and road user charges so drivers are actually paying for all the road infrastructure. Then we can talk about something similar for cyclists and walkers. Personally I think the split is quite good, 50% of funding from fuel tax goes entirely on roads, the 50% from ratepayers can get split around roads, walking, public transport or whatever makes the transport system in Auckland work best.

        6. Nick, you seem to be ignoring the fact that the vast majority of public transport is road based so diverting money from roads to building more cycle paths means less investment in infrastructure required for the buses.
          I am in favour of an increase in fuel tax, let those that want to drive private cars generate more tax dollars that can subsidise public transport but cycling IS NOT PT. The cycle lobby should start paying there own way, it is only fair.
          There is only one argument against cyclists paying tax and I am surprised none of you have mentioned it. That is the health benefit of having more people do exercise but until I get my gym membership for free then why should cyclists get a subsidy not available to anyone else keeping a healthy lifestyle.

        7. No I’m not ignoring that. Indeed it is true that most of our public transport is buses running on roads. But those run on existing roads that don’t need much or any capital development to continue to carry buses. Yes they need money for maintenance, but no one has suggested we should stop maintaining our roads. The simple fact is we don’t need to build new roads, widen them, expand intersections etc to run our buses. If we do that it is to increase car carrying capacity. It’s a fallacy to suggest that we need lots of capital expenditure on roads to operate the bus system.

          There are many reasons we should use city funds to subsidise more cycling and walking infrastructure as well as subsiding road infrastructure for buses and cars. Yes it’s good for the populations health, good for fitness. It’s good for safety, particular among younger children who tend to ride before using motorised transport. It’s good for reducing the pressure on traffic, NZTA realise this and actually fund cycleways solely for the benefit they give to car drivers that remain on the road. Good for reducing pressure on parking needs, much less space to park a bike (and no space to park your feet) than a car, that saves the city money in building carparks or lets then use more of the roadway for vehicle movement and less for parking. It’s also good for entertainment and fun, nice for tourists who might be more likely spend a couple of days in Auckland if they have good places to walk and cycle around the city (they probably aren’t going to drive around town) instead of just transiting straight through to the south island.

          Perhaps the best thing is that cycle and pedestrian infrastructure is incredibly efficient in financial terms. The amount of use might not be huge but the costs are very low. For example, NZTA have funded the Grafton Gully cycleway. It’s an $11 million project that is expected to shift several hundred drivers off the road. Now a few hundred people off the road to the city isn’t spectacular, but consider the alternative. How far would you get with $11 million trying to expand road capacity. You wouldn’t get several hundred drivers extra capacity, you’d be lucky to improve a single intersection for that little money.

          Let’s put it another way. Adding a lane to one of the motorways would cost two or three hundred million bucks. For that price you could twenty Grafton Gully cycleways, or in other words build a network of offline cycleways and street cycle lanes all over Auckland. What would give you better transport outcomes, enough space for some drivers to get to the next bottleneck quicker, or a regional network that could move several thousand people an hour free of traffic without putting more pressure on existing interchanges and connector roads, parking, etc.

        8. Given that I am a sailor and have used the pseudonym since I was about 13, the sexual undertones are irrelevant really.

        9. Nick, I am not arguing for increased road spend. I am just saying that cyclists should be prepared to contribute directly to the costs of cycle paths the way other road users contribute to their infrastructure. I see absolutely no reason why anyone who can afford $500+ for a bike can not pay $20 a year road user tax and $10 for 3rd party insurance.
          According to CAN there are over a million people in NZ using bikes. Imagine a 20 mill boost towards cycle infrastructure every year. That pays for two Grafton Gully cycleways every year or pay for the pathway over the bridge. The money spent on compulsory 3rd party insurance would also be a nice relief for our health care systems. I imagine we could save a few more childrens lives with that benefit.
          So I agree that money should not be wasted on roads we do not need, and that road budget needs to be prioritised on maintenance rather than new builds but its also only fair cyclists pay towards the investment in paths they are demanding.

        10. But drivers are receiving benefit from cycle infrastructure, why should they not pay at least some of it?

        11. Cyclists already pay for using the roads exactly the same way that motorists and pedestrians do, through rates. Why single them out for additional charges, particularly when they use significantly less road space than drivers and do negligible damage to the pavement? Now before you rehash the obvious I’ll reiterate that road user charges primarily fund state highways and that rates more than cover local road maintenance and development. Simple fact is cyclist already pay plenty.

          $20 a year, are you serious? The collection costs would be more than that, let alone the enforcement burden (who enforce it, the police, council parking officers, no one?). Your scheme would cost the country money, no generate it.

          I agree that a $20 million boost to cycling would be good, but that would only work out to about $7 million a year in Auckland. Considering that Auckland Council collects $1.34 billion in rates a year, and spends $430 million of that on transport, why would you bother?
          Why not just shift 1.6% of the existing council transport budget instead?

          Simple fact is cyclists pay rates just like everyone else, and we already collect plenty of rates money to spend on transport. We just need to spend it a little bit more effectively. It wouldn’t take much shift in the budget, especially considering NZTA funds state highways and other road projects in addition to the rates revenue.

        12. Nick, you want a cycle path but you want other people to pay for it.

          Not everyone pays rates, it is a tax burdened solely on home owners. It is disingenuous to suggest otherwise. I am not suggesting any road user charge levied at bikes is going to pay for anything but expenditure on cycle paths. Motorists pay for the roads that cyclists will continue to share whilst cyclists will pay for dedicated cycle paths that cars will never use. It is completely fair for cyclists to contribute towards infrastructure that will only benefit them.

          Administrating the licence fee would cost very little. The registration would be in the form of a non re-usable high Viz sticker that would cost cents to produce. This would be applied to a plate (purchased from bike shops at the cyclists cost) which is easily seen by CCTV and the police. The system would be administered in the same way every motorist currently pays his road user charge. Its a computer base, how hard or expensive do you imagine it to be to add a bit of software that covers bikes?

          As for enforcement, this would be done in the same way any other traffic law is enforced. If the cops see you riding a bike without a tax plate they stop and fine you. If you are a repeat offender they confiscate your bike and crush it. There are plenty of strangle points in Auckland that can be used to enforce the system. It would also be a good way of controlling cyclists that run red lights or speed on the new Skypath.

          Suggesting that the administrative or enforcement costs are a good reason to not have this is ridiculous. Most New Zealanders are good citizens and would pay. Especially as it is a fair tax and going to be of direct benefit exclusively to the people paying the tax.

        13. Nope, I want a cycle way and I want to pay for it. In fact I’m already paying for it, I paid about six grand in rates last year, a little less than half of that went straight to transport. What I want to do is stop spending so much on ineffective road projects and start spending more on efficient transport.

          Motorists don’t pay for the roads cyclists share, ratepayers do. Anyway I can see you are an ideologue who has made their mind up already and doesn’t care about the realities of the situation, so I’ll leave you to schleck away at your own fotzen in peace.

        14. A $1000 cycle purchase generates $150 GST to the government. so cyclists do pay quite a deal of tax. They also pay rates, a huge amount of which go into roads not cycle facilities. I’d imagine that a city wide bicycle registration bureaucracy would not be cheap administratively. Not much change from $20 mill once you chase up every kid with a dragster.

  7. Good work on these generation zero. It is great to have some more solid information on candidates than the vacuous talk of ‘local communities’ and apple pie you find on the official candidates profiles. Reading the official profiles I could honestly not tell the difference between candidates and it is very hard to find adequate information on candidates to make an informed vote. So this work from generation zero fills an important role in actually giving us some real info on how candidates think. Big ups gen zero.

    However I do have to wonder how a candidate such as Mike Lee can receive an ‘A -’ grade when he has voted consistently and actively against intensification. Especially when the regulation of land use and development is one of the few areas where local government actually has the power to make a difference on sustainability.

    Mike Lee voted for the following density limiting provisions in the Unitary plan (among others):

    A maximum density of one dwelling / per 250 m2 in the mixed housing zone.

    A minimum dwelling size of 60 m2.

    A minimum backyard size of 80 m2 in the mixed housing zone.

    He also voted for the following height limits in town centres in the Auckland Isthmus:

    St Helliers – 9 metres (lower than the existing height limit)

    Remuera – 12.5 metres

    Ellerslie – 10 metres.

    It is all very well for a politician to say they support taking action to address climate change, but when they actively vote against this goal in one of the few areas where they have the power to make a difference, then their words become questionable. It is also hypocritical of Lee to say that he does not agree the Unitary Plan will implement the compact city model when he has worked so hard to ensure that it won’t.

    1. We’ll be uploading the marking sheet and questions soon (hopefully today), but the grades were split up Transport 55%, Unitary Plan, Cycling and Climate Change 15% each.
      You will see Mike Lee scored a C+ on the Unitary Plan (that high because opposed sprawl).

      1. Fair enough, and again thanks for your work on this. I just wonder whether the Unitary plan should have been given a greater weight, as councillors can make a much bigger real world difference through this, than they can by giving vague support about climate change.

        1. Personally I am very disappointed with Mike Lee’s voting on the UP, as I am with others. But those that say they oppose sprawl and then vote down the alternative are the worst really. Is it cowardice in the face of a hysterical minority, or an inability to understand the situation? More likely it seems there is a generation of Councillors of all stripes who just want to wish the fact of Auckland’s growth away. They don’t want sprawl and won’t allow improved density. I guess the end result is that they will retire and leave it to the next generation to sort out without taking this opportunity to give Aucklanders the planning tools to grow better than we have been.

          A different future is coming to us whether we plan for it or not, but without planning for it we are giving ourselves little chance to make it better. The UP is looking like giving us the worst of both worlds: Dense Sprawl, a city of little variation and choice stretching limitlessly and inefficiently over this beautiful isthmus, clogging it further, making it even duller. An endless Pakuranga, relieved only by areas of desperate suburban poverty, and coastal stretches of bland and blithe inward looking comfort. And a doubling down on dreary and impoverishing auto-dominance and dependency.

        2. “coastal stretches of bland and blithe inward looking comfort.” haha you certainly have a way with words Patrick – I couldn’t have summed it up better.

          “Is it cowardice in the face of a hysterical minority, or an inability to understand the situation?”

          I think Ann Hartley was a case of the first but Mike Lee a case of the second. I don’t think Lee lacks spine but I do think he lacks a basic ability to comprehend reality.

          Excuse the oversimplification but the councillors can broadly be divided into three categories:

          The good – they understand what needs to be done and are willing to make hard and sometimes unpopular decisions for the good of the city. for example Penny Hulse.

          The opportunists – will do anything to stay in power and are quick to jump on the side of the hysterical minority – Ann Hartley, Cameron Brewer.

          The well intentioned fools – they have a set of principles and are willing to stick by them. Unfortunately those principles are not consistent, reasonable, or realistic. Wayne Walker, Mike Lee, Sandra Coney

        3. That is completely the issue with Mike Lee. He doesn’t want intensification and he doesn’t want sprawl. His opposition to the first seems to be based on retaining inner city Auckland as it is, which could be viewed as NIMBYism dressed up as heritage protection.

          And it’s a similar story with the ‘no more rates rises, no more debt crowd’. Where are the clear costed policies showing exactly what services and future infrastructure build they plan to remove to make this possible?

        4. The issue is now the Unitary Plan is largely out of the councillors hands, goes to independent board for submissions, and there for 3 years. So councilors unlikely to have anything to do with UP this term, so not a huge point being vindictive about this. Would rather be constructive to get good things through in future.
          But in hindsight we could have marked this section better. The Mike Lee’s and Anne Hartely scored 1/5 for the UP but still 4/5 for supporting the compact city model.
          Maybe we should have marked people down more for conflicts in these answers.

        5. Frank, good summary of the candidates. Coney, Lee and Rose were all on the old ARC and did everything in their power to stop intensification. Instead under their watch we got the hideous Albany MegaCentre and Botany. Hulse, Bob Harvey and otehrs at WCC gave us Hobsonville, New Lynn and Te Atatu Peninsula and moved the council offices to Henderson ie tehy supported the old town centres. Voters need to know the records of those councillors they are putiing into power.

    1. yes I tend to agree with Minto here.

      While these kinds of rankings are notoriously difficult, the climate change score given to Len Brown is incongruous in light of the fact that he supports building so many (uneconomic) motorway projects. These highways *will* induce additional demand for vehicle demand and in turn have *negative* impacts on greenhouse gas emissions. In contrast, Minto’s policy of free public transport would tend to reduce vehicle travel and the associated greenhouse has emissions, even if it has other issues (such as excessive demand and NZTA’s farebox policy).

      Overall it seems as if Len has been given an easy ride, especially on transport. I would go as far to say it’s duplicitous of Len to say that he supports the CFN and improved cycling infrastructure, while also advocating for a massive expansion in Auckland’s highway network. There simply isn’t enough money in the kitty to build everything that Len says that he supports! And building so many highways will greatly undermine many other aspects that he claims to support.

      My only other comment would be that “density done well” seems to have been equated to “supports the Unitary Plan”. This relationship is not clear to me and I think obscures some important details. There’s some areas the UP does very well, and some areas it does not. In saying that I suspect there’s more detailed commentary to support the grades – Gen Zero probably just need time to get it online!

      All round I’d give Gen Zero an “A” for effort, but only an “B” for execution ;).

      1. I agree Stu: Brown’s support for destructive motorway projects means his score is too high both on transport and climate change, and Minto’s too low given the potentially transformational nature of his core policy. Although he is wrong about Skypath, and I suspect that is a residual bias about it being both a PPP and connecting areas and people that are, shall we say, outside of his core constituency.

        1. yes I agree. I have no idea why Minto would oppose SkyPath, I’d also support an earlier comment: Minto should run for Council rather than Mayor. Running for the latter is somewhat silly in an FPP election where centrist candidates tend to win unless one side splits the vote.

        2. Surely he could have just said something like “I love the design, hate the funding, council should pay outright, and it will be free to use”

      2. Giving the incumbent such an unjustifiably high score may also make it more difficult for Generation Zero to campaign after the election. Which is a shame. Politicians tend to take such high endorsements as a justification that they are doing everything right – I hoped generation zero would demand higher expectations.

        Supporting sillly uneconomic projects like Puhoi to Welsford should reduce Brown’s score by at least one entire grade, as in A rather than B or B rather than C. The speed in which the East West project has appeared and has gained endorsement over other projects should also be a concern.

        1. BTW, I think it’s a shame that both Minto and Usana aren’t running for Council where their perspectives would be useful. Looks like they are making wasteful gestures on the Mayoral ticket. Minto was the best performer, in my view, at the transport debate. Usana wasn’t there, but I have dealt with him in the past and I have a lot of respect for the views he brings. He doesn’t represent me or my community but he does carry the views of a very big group who have very little political voice at any level in NZ.

        2. Patrick: I think it’s a shame, too, but I assume it’s because neither of them want to risk winning, and having to spend the next three years of their lives on the council. Running a doomed campaign for mayor means you get to raise the issues and then have it all over and done with in a few months.

        3. Len was marked down in the funding band question, however has given support to the CFN, and strongly supports core projects the CRL, Airport Rail and North Shore rail in similar timeframes. Again he was marked down for supporting road harbour crossing.
          The Climate Change question was a more general one about their commitment to action, and to call out climate deniers.
          Totally agree with Minto about the East-West Link though. Tried to put in a question about it, but just not enough detail yet to ask a reasonable question. But we definitely intend to campaign on it next year.

          In general we have to take candidates at their word. Keep in mind one of the main points of doing this was as a lobbying tool, so when votes come up for more funding for cycling, or the Low Carbon Action Plan etc we can remind people what they said in the interviews, and make sure they vote positively.
          Running of past statements/actions is notoriously difficult to do fairly, so decided interviews the way to go.
          Here are the full questions and marks btw

        4. So is there a chance any of us visitors of the blog can get a mark? Or will that detract from the purpose of the exercise if done at this point in time, maybe best for after the election.

    2. Let’s face it, Len is enough of a consummate politician (and has enough research staff) to know exactly what Gen-0 wanted to hear and give it to them. Minto was marked down for, if you’ll read his scorecard, actually sticking to his core policy (free PT) rather than following their prepared script.

      1. well if thats true we have his answers, so can take them back to him whenever something important comes up.
        At several of the debates Len has been very enthusiastic about the Congestion Free Network, so does seem to genuinely share that vision.
        Though at the same time trying to keep business happy too in the short term, at some point he has to make a decision.

        What the scorecard summary says though is that Minto had little depth when it came to these issues, the answer to all questions was free PT.
        A large part of this survey was getting people onside with the CFN, we are not hiding that.
        This post was influential here for our scoring, and why Minto got B (still good mark) and not an A.

  8. I know they aren’t being scorecarded but I must say the Henderson-Massey local board deserve credit under the density done well category for being the only local board (from what I can tell) to embrace intensification and ask for more of it than what was in the original draft unitary plan. From discussions I’ve had with some members they want the metro and town centres humming and realise that the only way that will happen is with more people in the area.

      1. No, I didn’t suggest “never flying again”.

        However, flying is an activity with a huge footprint (for those who do it). My 1-2 long haul flights a year emits more CO2 than all of the ground transportation choices I make during that year. I just find it strange that we worry about motorways and then cheerily talk about the airport, never mentioning its downsides.

  9. “Well the airport is a major employment hub, and airport rail serves the Mangere area very well too.
    In reality a minority of patronage will be travelers but line still very important.”

    Thanks, makes sense

    1. But also there is a clear and available alternative to driving ICE vehicles everywhere, unlike for jet aircraft, where the focus is on greater efficiency and reducing low value journeys. Flying is one of the most useful and valuable uses of fossil fuels, and will, I predict, be one of the last to be replaced or reduced. Also, NZ burns way more fuel driving than flying. Reducing carbon emissions is about doing it where ever possible, and reducing is the word not giving up because we can’t eliminate all emissions immediately.

      Check out the percentages in this post here:

      1. yeh second that. We’re likely to be stuck with flying in NZ. No realistic chance for high-speed rail to compete with air like many other countries.
        Best bang for buck is urban public transport/cycling, with rail freight and some low speed passenger nationwide.

        1. Also, the economies of scale for carbon captue in commercial aviation are enormous. It would be very easy to fit anything to reduce carbon output to every 747 on earth.

    2. The airport will still be useful once jet fuel runs out and we have to use biofuel-powered airships. 🙂 Seriously – air travel is a pretty important thing for a small trading nation a week from anywhere by ship. I got sick and tired of those “hard greens” talking about a no-air-travel future. 12-18 hours to Sydney by airship sounds all right to me.

      1. Air Travel is better for the environment per km than most other forms of travel, the issue is that you tend to travel about 16,000km on a round trip rather than 5km.

        In terms of airships I’m not too sure what gas you intend to use to make it float, be it hydrogen or helium you sill still need to use energy to generate it and you will again need to use energy to propel the ship. If your using bio-fuel you could have just used it to power your jet.

        Of course if you going to the effort of making hydrogen for your airship you may as well just use it as fuel for your scramjet so you can fly to London in 3 hours.

        1. If you are going to the effort of building entirely new infrastructure for international travel then a tube across the Tasman that actually follows a straight line would be better. Any straight line through the earth inside of which there is no friction takes exactly 42 minutes to move through.

  10. I thought I was implying that international air travel will likely remain in its current form, only with new fuels and faster planes.

    In regards to your concept, the sounds like “The Fall” from Total Recall

      1. Do yourself a favour and skip the remake and stick to the Arnie original, much better film and far closer to the book. Several scenes were shot in the then new Mexico metro, very futuristic in an 80s sort of way.

  11. Still nothing for Whau ward, I emailed them over a day ago, not everyones as patient as me so idk what’s up with that, especially when the preview scorecards were Whau ward.

    1. It is much more relevant in Europe with the massive growth of short-haul flights, where rail is a reasonable alternative for many as europe as the population density to support High Speed Rail. And where High Speed has been built well short-haul air traffic has died, like Barcelona-Madrid, and generally in Italy too.
      With HS2 in England this should be the end of domestic air travel.
      However I think in NZ we are really stuck with air-travel, though hopefully will see some decline.

  12. Mr Darby, where have you been for the last three years?

    My question for you (if you are listening), is why do ferry users pay double the amount that other Auckland residents pay for the equivalent public transport in Auckland? How did this happen on your watch? If I am going south, east or west from Britomart I will pay $1.90 for a short trip. But if I go north I’ll pay $4.10! Why the difference? It’s because Auckland Council (you) subsidises trips to and from the east, west and south by on average 50%,,but for ferry trips going north there is nothing..Believe me, this adds up to a lot over a year..It’s not like we pay less rates or anything.

    Are you going to work to fix this iniquity or not? If not, could you please step aside to let someone sort this mess out? It seems to me that the Auckland Super City does not extend north of the harbour other than to take advantage as a source of revenue generation while providing little in return. This balkanised favouritism towards the old Auckland City Council is costing Shore residents so much both financially and in terms of council services, and I’m looking for real leadership and a sense of equity from our representatives. Can any Shore candidates step up?

    1. All ferries are operated commercially and that’s they way fullerene wants it and they’d fight pretty hard and are fighting pretty hard to remain separate from integrated fares or to become another PTOM operator, there’s not much local boards can do in the matter.

    2. Oh and I assume you don’t count the north shore busway? Because fares on buses running on that cost the same as everywhere else. Quit claiming north shore is treated any differently.

    3. to be fair to Chris he has been on the local board, which have very limited powers, and are about 4 parties diverged from fare setting.
      Even the Auckland Transport Committee have limited powers in this regards, and until recently AT didnt have any powers either!
      I’m quite sure that this price differential between ferries and buses has long been in existence.
      The differential is also not as high as you claim. A trip from CBD to Devonport is 3km by ferry. Trip from CBD to Grey Lynn is 3km, and costs $3.40. Same with Mt Eden.
      Agree it should be equalized, though does come at a cost of marginally higher fares overall, so it all depends on this.

    4. David B.

      Try knocking on the government’s door and ask why they made special legislative exemptions for ferry operators running fully commercial routes, e.g. Devonport, Waiheke and Stanley Bay, and the AirBus. Auckland Transport (AT) has very limited oversight let alone control or influence on these services and others due to deficient legislation. AT made strong submissions but were rebuffed by government legislators. There’s been no shortage of lobbying on my part and many others.

      I agree there’s no equity in a cross-harbour casual fare for ferry of $6.00 (10 minute journey) and a casual rail fare of $5.60 for a rail trip from Britomart to Papatoetoe (35 minutes). There’s a high degree of tension between AT and Fullers at the moment and I’m expecting AT will be pushing them hard within the constraints imposed.

      1. Chris – Fullers are putting in gates right now at the Downtown terminal which I assume will be like the gates at Britomart.

        Do you know if this will be part of a full roll out of ATHop on the ferries or will Fullers continue with their own system for monthly and 10 ride tickets? It would be great if it switched fully to ATHop so I only needed to have one card.

        1. Goosoid – Fullers are pushing their own ticket system which goes by the name Galaxy. As I covered earlier AT has no power to rein them in. The gates you refer to are probably being installed by AT. It’s their way of giving quick egress and demonstrating an advantage to ATHop over Galaxy. You can use ATHop on all ferries now and I recommend we all boycott the Fullers ticket system. That is unless there is price advantage but that too will go when the integrated fares arrive in late 2014.

        2. Thanks Chris – I would use HOP but at nearly $200 a month I’m priced right out of it (Fullers monthly pass about $130 and that’s without the council contribution that public transport in central Auckland enjoys).

          Respect to you for responding and contributing!

        3. Yes I am in the same boat (pun intended) as David. I would pay far more to use ATHop every day as I am currently buying monthly tickets at $130 per month. If there was parity I would always opt for the ATHop system, no doubt.

          So I wonder if those new gates are going to accept Galaxy and ATHop? Disappointing that Fullers are making integration even more complicated than it has to be.

  13. Wonderful blog you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any discussion boards that
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