1. The lie is Browns; and I’m hoping it’s unintentional misdirection from Matt (because I don’t believe he’s an intentional liar in this forum).
      The Government has committed to funding it had never previously promised – in fact Brown originally promised infrastructure bonds or PPP style funding and not Taxpayer or Ratepayer funding as well.
      It might be disappointing for those that really want this to happen as quickly as possible; but hey I’d prefer MoE to rebuild the local primary school that’s getting ripped down due to leaky buildings.

      1. “hey I’d prefer MoE to rebuild the local primary school that’s getting ripped down due to leaky buildings.” you must be an SJ fanboy, using strawman arguments to push an agenda. Classic.

        1. No – pointing out that taxes go towards things other than roads and PT is not a strawman.
          Saying the Government is lying because they’re not giving money that they never promised to give *is* a strawman.

          Pushing an agenda S Walker? I’m not – seems you are.

        2. P.S. @SWalker While you’re playing the man rather than ball here you might want to recall that:
          Yes – I frequently make comments here that other’s don’t like because I’m not 100% a fan of the CRL
          probably because I’m biased by being a Southern and Eastern line train user where I haven’t seen evidence to convince me that it’s the best use of the scale of funds
          The other (honest) members here would also be able to attest that I do support the Congestion Free Netowrk, and also support rail investment over road, as well as Generation Zero’s efforts around cycleways – so hardly an SJ fanboy.

          But it doesn’t mean I’ll remain silent where there is misinformation because that’s how we end up with people supporting the wrong people/organisations for the right reasons.

          1. That’s funny, because the CBD rail link is a prerequisite to almost all of the congestion free network…

          2. Sorry @Pim – I don’t actually see that it’s incongruent to question the CRL portion (2 1/2 stops in the overall network), while supporting the proposal in general (generally supporting more than the projects proposed to be cut)

          3. Nice piece of rhetoric there. You support all the spokes whilst opposing the hub, and all the time sounding oh so reasonable.

          4. well I would hope MoE had their own money to pay for schools, and money from transport sources can go to transport projects.
            Also the CFN has the CRL at its core, won’t work without it, no bus capacity for the extra buses, CRL needed for cross-city transfers and so on.
            Len must have promised ratepayer funding because $100 million spending this year, and nearly $200 million next financial year. If we do that every year for 6 years thats the Council’s half share!

          5. MoE last week got a huge mega-insurance payout for all the leaky buildings they let be built – so they don’t need to use my or your taxes to fix your leaky school.
            And if they don’t fix it, then thats not because of the CRL it because of other reasons (perhaps they don’t like low-decile schools, and/or want to put a Charter School there).

  1. Has this govt somehow comitted to complete the CRL ‘faster’ once they deign to start? Otherwise I can’t see an escape clause for the guy.

    1. Escape clause is that he knows outside a small group of people the mainstream media will simply report what he says and most people will be none the wise. They’ll honestly think National is speeding up the project rather than slowing it down, and that’s ignoring the fact that they haven’t actually even committed to it let alone even funded.

  2. 1m35 – “This government is not holding up the opening of the CRL. In fact if anything we’ve accelerated it”.

    Really? How?

    1. By changing their stance from “never” to “5-10 years after we next lose an election”. In their view, that is indeed faster – too fast.

        1. Sure – I have this project I’m going to start tomorrow and I’m using your money to pay for it @Sacha.
          No, sorry you get no say in that; and if you agree it should be done but don’t give me the money until next week then you’re the reason I’m late.

          Only narcissism that seems to be “misunderestimated” is Browns.
          He was called out in the first election for promising money he didn’t have – just too many ignorant fools fell for it and tried to treat it as truth. And ask yourself again about the narcissism of someone who used an anonymous trust *again* to hide 80% of his donors. Truly – not suspicious *at all*

          1. Funding core infrastructure through debt makes sense. Future generations will use the CRL, so they can/should also pay. With your attitude nothing would ever happen. We’d still be driving around the Waitemata harbour.

          2. Incorrect @S Walker – I agree that it should be funded through debt; not taxes. Infrastructure bonds make perfect sense for this if the project makes sense
            The claim here was that Govt was slowing down the project simply because they aren’t giving the money that Len promised on their behalf.

          3. Ah, so you’re talkng about how soon the financing deals are signed rather than when Aucklanders can actually *use* the rail link? Why didn’t your man Steven just say so?

          4. “No, sorry you get no say in that; and if you agree it should be done but don’t give me the money until next week then you’re the reason I’m late.”

            This project is several decades late, and this government has NO hesitation to fast-track and fund motorway projects all over the country that their own experts saying will LOSE us money. From MY taxes. Don’t give me the “lets be fiscally responsible” and the “we don’t have the money” nonsense. Straw men all – a straw forest!

  3. I agree with iiq374. The Government is not delaying anything. Brown wants to bring the project forward and all the Govt is saying is it should either stay on track for the already established start date or it can be brought forward if certain reasonable targets are met. How is that delaying anything?
    The bus is due to leave at 10am. One member of the tour group puts their hand up and suggests the bus leaves at 8am. The bus driver says no – the bus leaves at 10am. The member then accuses the bus of leaving late.
    SJ also makes a good point when he points out that the Greens only think rail investment helps the economy but continues to block other transport projects. Another good point is how the Greens are saying we need the CRL sooner because its holding up business investment projects in the city but they were against one of the biggest projects – the convention centre.

    1. “Brown wants to bring the project forward”

      Your evidence that the CRL project was not always scheduled to be completed by 2020/21 when Britomart reached capacity?

        1. Nonsense. Your “lets vote to take your house” is just rampant misdirection – typical capitalist fearmongering clad in “haha” terms.

          This is about allocation of taxes (and just in case you believe “taxes are stealing” – please go sharpen your knives and load your guns and then join the anarchists and crazier ACT party members who believe the state should disappear as much as possible)

          You may not understand it, but National Government has a RESPONSIBILITY to help fund Auckland infrastructure, because Auckland happens to be in New Zealand, and they happen to be the New Zealand government, and NZ tax systems are heavily top-heavy in who raises the taxes, especially so on transport, where the national level controls over 2/3rds of the money purse (one third directly, the other third by paying part-share where they make the rules on what they part-share on).

          And Auckland has, in two elections, elected the local candidate that stands squarely for the CRL and for rail. By torpedoing the key rail project while giving us motorways we don’t want, they are flipping Auckland the bird by saying “we know better”.

        2. “So then those members pay for it.”

          Those members **are** going to pay for it – their share anyway, as agreed, which is one half.
          Its up to the Government to deliver its half – as they said they would.

          No ifs buts or Maybes. Joyce said in the house today (in the clip above) that the National Government Supports the CRL, so they don’t deny its needed.
          So now that is on the record, no National MPs can deny it now, nor can Joyce – he will have mislead Parliament if he does, and they can discipline you up for that.

          In any case its not Brown saying that CRL is needed by 2021, its the NZTA/MOTs own report – the City Centre Future Access Report (CCFAS) that says that by 2020/21 Auckland CBD will be so chocka with car traffic, the buses can’;t move, and the trains will be so loaded down to the axles with people that they won’t cope either.

          So yep, everyone says its needed – even your beloved Government, so why the problems with what Brown wants to do?

          Oh thats right, Its not political, or monetary, its simply that an National MP didn’t think of it first and suggest it, thats all it is, petty school yard bullying. How becoming.

    2. Phil as usual you have the wrong end of the ass wiping stick and you’ve it all over your hands.

      To correct your analogy of the bus and passengers.

      The bus passengers have collectively, as one (through a spokesman – Brown), said that as the bus is now full, can the bus leave early?
      They have also offered to pay for another driver to start driving the full bus from the time it leaves at 8am to the original 10am deaprture time.
      And they are simply asking for the original driver to agree that he (the original driver) will still drive the bus the rest of the journey as he promised he would do – starting at 10am with no penalties or other shenanigans

      The big benefit to the paying bus passengers are that they may all get to their destinations earlier than planned, which they clearly desire.

      There is no downside for the original driver as he will still be paid to drive as planned from 10am – he doesn’t do too many hours of driving or incur more expenses than he would have if he had simply waited around until 10am then drove the bus as planned.
      The only possible loser is that if any late-comers turned up wanting to catch the bus between 8am when it leaves and 10am when it was originally due to leave.
      But as the bus was already full, they wouldn’t have got on this bus anyway, so they don’t actually miss out on anything either because the bus left early.
      They miss out because they turned up after the bus was full.

      And the bus leaving the station early also frees up the bus stop its using for other buses to use it in the meantime.

      So the late-comer may well be able to board the next bus sooner than the next one after 10am as would have happened if the 1st bus left on time at 10am.
      And he/she may end up getting to their destination sooner as well, than if they turned up to take the scheduled first bus (which was already full mind), and not due to leave until 10am.

      So, wheres the problem Phil – you don’t it when full buses leave early or something?

      1. “can the bus leave early?”

        No. The original schedule has not changed. Only the govt has said it should be later. Staying on schedule is not “earlier”.

        Don’t be a convenient muppet.

        1. The Govt is actually denying they ever set a departure time for this bus – only that they agreed it would leave sometime after it was full.

          Brown is asking to start early on the cut and cover part he said so – and is offering to pay for it entirely and good on him for doing it.

          Phil is his alter-naive identify of iiq374 just need to get their facts, and their metaphors straight.

  4. I am not against the CRL and I can see the benefits of starting the project early because it makes sense to do as much construction as possible all at the same time, ie; build the tunnel when they are re building downtown.
    However I still agree with iiq374 that Brown is the liar and that the Green MP is being disingenuous in pretending the Government are delaying the CRL.
    The bus leaves at 10am – it doesn’t matter if it is full or not – the bus leaves at 10am not 8am not 12pm.
    Also it is not all the passengers. There are fare paying passengers from the back of the bus that are not keen to leave now. It is Just the children at the front, trying to drown out everyone else and pretend they speak for everyone, when they say leave early and a naughty school teacher trying to keep his job by encouraging the pets to yell at the bus driver so that less scrutiny falls on him for taking away a class of underage school girls on a bus trip.

    1. The bus is full (all the seats are paid for), so if the bus is full, it can leave early. Everyone on the bus agrees it can leave early, even the rich pricks down the back agree.
      Even ATs Bus and train timetables, show that the buses can leave early from most stops – its only the main ones where the leaving time is fixed.

      So don’t be a dog-in-a-manger about it,

  5. Used your ip locator yet Greg?

    The Government has set a date for the CRL. That is the start date. The Govt has said that if certain conditions are met they will bring the date forward. Those conditions have not been met so the start date remains where it always has been. It is not delaying anything and it is a bare faced lie to suggest otherwise.

    Len Brown has asked for the project to be brought forward promising money he doesn’t have and asking the Govt to commit tax payers money to a project earlier than agreed. That money will have to be taken away from other projects and that is not acceptable to the Govt unless set criteria is met.

    The Government is the bus driver – the CRL is the bus. Len is the naughty school teacher, you are the school girls at the front of the bus. The people at the back of the bus are the rate payers of Auckland that don’t want to spend the 250m Len wants to commit them too early and it is also the rest of NZ – the people of Dunedin and Christchurch etc who will never use the CRL who don’t want their projects delayed while funds are spent on another Auckland project. The criteria represents how many seats are left on the bus. The bus is certainly not full is it.

    So the CRL starts in 2020 with a review in 2017 – it is not late – it has not been delayed – it is on schedule.

    1. How can you reconcille your statement “I am not against the CRL and I can see the benefits of starting the project early because it makes sense to do as much construction as possible all at the same time, ie; build the tunnel when they are re building downtown.”

      With: “Those conditions have not been met so the start date remains where it always has been”

      Seems to me that you agree with doing the first part sooner than later (ahead of the nebulous “start date”), and yet say none of it can start at all until the start conditions are met.

      So which position is it to be Phil? you in or out?

      Has Brown said how AC will fund the first part alone? Show me where he said how the $250 will be raised.
      That has not been determined yet, AC has many options other than pinging ratepayers – they could decide to borrow against the future dividends from the POAL and AIAL shares the council owns or do a bond issue or all sorts of things. AIAL is about to do a huge special dividend to return funds to share holders and the council will get 25% of that, which is a fair chunk of the $250m cost, so they could borrow the rest easily and the interest payments on that balance amount at 4% or whatever will be less than the construction costs will increase over the intervening period should it be built later.
      So regardless it makes financial sense to start the cut and cover section ASAP because if nothing else doing it sooner locks these costs down and also allows complementary developments in the CBD to integrate with and work around this.

      As for the Govt sticking to its notional timetables, they can do that – if they’re still in Government by then – the likelihood is before the end of 2017 a change of government will occur – this is based on nothing more than NZ political history – 4 term Governments almost never happen – so Labour and co will be in by the end of 2017 and then will change the landscape..

      As for starting in 2020 Brownlee (not Brown or Joyce) is on record as stating that the CRL is not needed in his view (as Minister of Transport) until the END of the 2020 decade, not the start.of it. The only truth (if you can call it that) from National is that they will fund their half of the CRL sometime during the 2020 decade.

      As for “Used your ip locator” – as I said here http://greaterakl.wpengine.com/2014/02/13/steven-joyce-on-the-crl-in-parliament/#comment-98276 – I am not a mod. I call it as I see it,
      I see 2 ducks before my eyes that look and sound exactly alike. So am I seeing double or are there actually two different ducks?

      1. I see lots of commentors here playing the same sycophantic line & ad hominem attacks; but that doesn’t mean I need to leap to the conclusion that they’re the same person.

        I can pretty easily reconcile the two statements Phil made – one is his viewpoint, the other was defending the view point of the Govt. I don’t see what is incongruous between being able to state a personal viewpoint while still defending anothers position. In fact if you want to actually be able to convince others it tends to be a necessary thing.

        Which is the main thing that irked me about this thread – the inability to see that you’re attacking two people that generally support the direction (even if not the absolute specifics); if that’s how you treat allies how will you *convince* others?

  6. The council have agreed to fund their half for 2020 finish date but haven’t specified a source.

    The government has agreed to pay their half for a 2021 start date also without specifying a source.

    1. I don’t think Phil the Northcote Cyclophobe and his new hanger-on iiq374 are “trolls” (i.e. in it for the laughs) – I think they’re NAct/Brewer/Quax astroturfers. Note their attempts to push a “Brown is a liar” meme.

      1. Lol – if by commenting on here since 2011 is new 😀
        However you’re right in asserting that I’m not here to troll; I’m here for the same purpose as the blog purports to be – to debate and inform.
        Just a shame that there seems to be a few here that can’t understand that someone can agree with them without needing to be sycophantic

      2. iiq374 has been around for a long time and is not a troll. Phil on the other hand is and has admitted in an email to me that he says some of the things he does to see the reaction which is the definition of a troll. There’s also some irony that he has a house under a bridge.

  7. Wow, the normal mature, intelligent dialog typically seen on this blog appears to have gone out the window on this one. Way to behave guys…. By the way: I’m a Wellingtonian, and even I support my taxes going to pay for Auckland to sort its shit out with regard to traffic.

    Your city is an embarrassment every time I visit – chronic congestion every time – took me an hour and a half to get to the airport last time from Queen St, and of course I missed my flight. It’s absolutely clear to the planet and the entire universe that building more roads there is not the answer. Clearly then, the answer is something else, and also clearly, a destination station like Britomart is a stupidity of design.

    There is an opportunity of time for the basement of the Downtown shopping mall to be designed with through-rail-traffic to be designed in, and government needs to commit to that. If you guys could stop your ideological bitching, and concentrate on amassing support, that would be most helpful.

    1. The great news is Maximums that no ones taxes need to go up to get better outcomes in the transport sector. We just need to apply some good old fashioned fiscally conservative tests to the current spending [RoNS] and repurpose those funds for the more effective investment in urban transport in cities. Of course the issue is different in the countryside where local roads are the under funded component.

      Lots of capital there; just being wildly mis-directed. In Auckland, both by AT and NZTA.

  8. Hate to say it, but Mr Joyce is correct, the project has NOT been delayed. The date given when authorising the project was a 2020 start, and that date remains. I’ve not seen any evidence that the government has pushed the date back to something later than the original 2020 start. He’s also correct that they have possibly brought the project forward, as the council had zero chance of starting it in any timeframe prior to the government coming onboard.

  9. “…the council had zero chance of starting it in any timeframe prior to the government coming onboard…”

    So to achieve any of the considerable synergies currently on offer would probably require a change of government in November?

    1. Or Auckland Council using a funding source which isn’t the Govt – like originally promised by Brown when challenged by Banks on where the money would come from.

  10. I find myself speculating on what might have happened had Labour gone on to win a fourth term in 2008. I strongly suspect that the CRL would be well on its way to completion by now. Or if Labour had regained office in 2011, we would be seeing a massive push by them to get it started before the 2014 elections. Either way, because we have instead had 5½ years under National, the project has been senselessly delayed.

    Oh, it will get built sooner or later, and when it does its success in transforming Auckland will not only silence the sceptics, it will have them claiming, like S Joyce, that they helped speed it up. Liars, of course.

    A change of govt this year is the best chance of bringing this thing forward. National governments have done nothing but impede this since the 1930’s or whenever it first became obvious this was what a properly functioning city needed.

  11. So many people missing the point here. The advantage of starting early is that the foundations (literally) of the new buildings on the route can be built, and those new buildings, with over $1bn of private investment, can start as soon as possible as well. Starting in 2020 means significant cost (I’ve seen a figure of $500m somewhere) is added to the CRL due to rework. If we all agree its a matter of when, not if, then why not start now? We don’t need to wait for the Government’s ridiculous demand that existing rail patronage should double either.

    1. “If we all agree its a matter of when, not if, then why not start now?”

      I assume that’s a question that needs to be put to the mayor. If he’s prepared to spend $250m in the short term, then there’s nothing stopping him from getting started. The government has reiterated its commitment to the project, so I guess the ball is in AC’s court.

      1. He is willing to spend $250m of AC money in the short term. He wants to be sure the government will pay back their half of it when they eventually do fund the CRL (as National have promised to do no later than 2020).

        Len’s concerned about spending the money, and then having the government come along later and say that they’re only willing to pay half of the remaining cost of the CRL, rather than half of everything (including the $250m of works already done).

  12. It’s all semantics.

    Auckland rightly thinks the END date should be around 2020, with it starting as soon as possible.

    The Government (somewhat reluctantly) agreed that the CRL went ahead, and agreed to fund half from 2020. To Auckland, this means the program finally gets funding from Government but is delayed. To the government it’s advancing the projects timeline.

    Pretty much anyone at this point can see that now that funding has been agreed on, what is needed now is to bring it forward. Auckland are prepared to do it and are prepared to finance the start of the project earlier as it just makes sense to do so, in order to fit in with the private developers projects. They just want a guarantee from Government that the Government will still cover 50% of the entire project.

    By not agreeing to this, Joyce is effectively delaying the project. The follow-up question should be: “Auckland are prepared to start the CRL earlier in order to work in with other developments happening along the route, including the convention centre being built by Sky City. Auckland will pay for these initial works, on the condition that the Government agrees that they will pay for 50% of the entire project (including these early works), from 2020 onwards. Will you agree to this? If not, what is your reason for delaying the project by not making this agreement?”

    1. @Lefty – Good point; as long as the condition is that the Government contribution still starts from when they had already agreed it would start from then it would be ludicrous for them not to assent

    2. To be fair the PM’s solution to deal with the CRL that they don’t want a bar of but would not go away was a “Yes Minister” one. That is, sort of agree it could happen but only if impossibly unrealistic growth in employment and PT users were linked and then to further distance the government from any commitment say it might happen in 2020 years after Key is long gone politically.

      To me this deal offered by National is not worth the paper its written on (symbolically) but Brown has called their bluff anyway much to their annoyance.

  13. They are doing the complete opposite, just look at all the new roading projects that they have approved so far in 2013/2014, Kapiti Expressway, 2 sections, Transmission Gully, Basin Reverse flyover, and the list goes on. Most of these projects are happening outside of Auckland and are most certainly swallowing up the money needed to build the CBD rail link!.

    The only way the CBD rail link will happen now is if National are voted out this year and then at last we will see progress being made.

  14. Does Len Brown really appreciate the magnitude of the task in hand. As I read the Central City Future Access Study, the CRL will not contribute much to reducing congestion; it simply allows 10-20,000 people to bypass the gridlock expected by 2021. Selling the CRL as the solution to Auckland’s congestion problems is at least as dubious as anything Steven Joyce has done. In order to roll out the CRL (or something like it) the leadership has to explain to the redneck car brigade that they must lose some lanes to public transport.

    There is a perceptual problem here. A car lane carrying more than 40 PAX/minute is visibly choked. A bus lane carrying 40 PAX/minute is visually empty. At 50kph you need 1 (all seated) bus every 800 metres to achieve a throughput of 40 PAX/minute. So the motorist will see, and resent, the vacant space in the bus lane. Leadership is educating the motorist that bus lanes are actually in his/her best interest and that only a major mode shift can save Auckland from becoming the Bangkok of the South Pacific.

    The CCFAS predicts traffic speeds of 7kph in the CBD without the CRL, but it also predicts speeds of 8kph with the CRL. So it’s a bit ingenuous to market the CRL as a solution to Auckland’s congestion.

    Perhaps, and Matt might know, the CCFAS took the additional Waitemata crossing as a given. If so, this would have been an extraordinary lapse in professional judgement. Convention requires that the “do least/do nothing” option is explored. In any case, all options explored in the CCFAS resulted in total disaster, and neither Mayor Brown, nor chief planner Blakely seem to have registered this.

    There is more to planning than whinging at Steven Joyce or Gerrie Brownlie. Getting serious about more bus lanes and implementing the CFN is a primary task of the leadership and planning community. No new general traffic lanes across the harbour; PT only in the foreseeable future.

    1. Eric you are right to point out that flaw in the CCFAS of assuming six additional road lanes across the harbour, especially as at $5bil that project is seriously unlikely at any stage, yet it was only there at the insistence of the government agencies and no modelling was done without it. Yet it is odd that you can see ways in which that study is flawed yet accept its main assumption that more drivers will always try to enter the CBD no matter how poor that option and no matter how improved the alternatives. We have seen the numbers of people accessing the CBD in the morning peak increase steadily this century but the number of vehicles stabilise. The increase has all been met by Transit and Active modes; trains at Britomart, ferry, and the buses especially form the North Shore taking advantage of the Northern Busway. In 1994 over 80% of arrivals at this time to the CBD were in private cars, now that figure is below 50%. This is a direct result of the improvements, especially to the two Rapid Transit systems, rail and the Northern Busway both performing ahead of all forecasts. It is not credible that only 10-20,000 people will use the rail network to access the CBD once the CRL is open, integrated fares are introduced and new interchange stations like Panmure, Otahuhu, Manukau City are operating with the New Bus Network. To date the models have been proven to be very poor at predicting Transit use, being too low, and overstating driving preference. They also assume low parking costs and oil prices.

      The CRL and other improvements [cycleways, better ferry services, more buslanes, especially on Fanshaw and Customs, will at least lift that figure to the reverse of the 1994 measure; ie 80% of people accessing the city are more than likely to be driving, ie not involved in congestion at all. So to answer your question; this and the supporting projects will render participation in congestion entirely voluntary, if people still want to drive well they can. Furthermore with these options in place, especially the fast, extremely high capacity, and completely off road rail system, then it means more can be done with the streets, including dedicated freight and delivery lanes to get them out of congestion caused by passenger vehicles, more shared spaces etc.

      Also the CRL is as much about Pukekohe, or Swanson, or Glen Innes as it is about the centre city. It is the way to unlock the deadend limitations on the existing rail network enabling much more reach of services to and from these places with through routing, and of course much higher frequencies. Making these and the rest of Auckland much more viable places to live and work. The CRL will make Auckland a city with a really useful Rapid Transit option and that will have a serious impact on congestion. It can’t make it go away, nothing other than people choosing to drive less can do that, but can certainly enable the whole city to thrive and growth without strangling itself to death because of the lack of any good alternative to always driving , for every journey, at all times.

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