Auckland Transport have said that they are focusing efforts to design the northern end of the CRL from Wyndham St to Britomart.

Design of the Britomart end of the City Rail Link is being progressed with Auckland Transport asking the construction industry to register its interest in the work.

The focus of the design work will be on the downtown section of the City Rail Link, from Britomart through Queen, Customs and Albert Streets to Wyndham Street.

It is the area that most affects other planned and proposed inner city development by Auckland Council and private developers.

“It’s a sensible next step to get design certainty for the part of the CRL that will most affect everyone else’s plans in the city. It is also important to have the design advanced so any consents can be identified and applied for,” says AT Chief Executive David Warburton.

Auckland Council Chief Executive Stephen Town says “this next step is important as it will ensure the sequencing of city centre improvements is well planned over the next 3 years.

Auckland Transport wants to be in a position to progress work in the downtown area so other city development can proceed without unnecessary delay, once CRL construction funding is approved.

Dr Warburton says engaging early with the construction industry in this way is routine on major projects to ensure a cost effective design that minimises adverse effects.

It’s basically the section shown below (although without needing to take all of the Downtown Mall site like originally thought)

CRL Downtown site

Precinct Properties want to develop the Downtown Mall site and they have already agreed to build the tunnel under the site at the same time, this saved AT from having to purchase the whole site. It makes complete sense to then also join in that part of the tunnel to Britomart and to get it at least under the Customs St/Albert St intersection. The reason for that is there are a lot of plans in the area that will hinge on the CRL being completed so that they don’t have to be redone in the future. This includes:

  • The upgrade to Quay St to be a more pedestrian friendly area.
  • Changes to Customs St to accommodate the new bus network and some of the traffic from Quay St.
  • Potential changes to Lower Queen St and QE2 square

AT have also said they are likely to have some new images available in a month or so relating to station designs which will be exciting to see.

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    1. No, building motorways is a total waste of our money. Doubling the capacity of our rail system is a wise use of our money.

    1. It amazes me in 2014 how climate change is so completely incidental to our conversation. It is one of the most important issues we face, and decisions made now will lock us in to polluting or non-polluting alternatives for decades to come.

      1. Hard to argue it isn’t the single most important issue we face.. including in terms of transport choices

    1. If the council put this to a public vote it wont get past .most want the city to spent there money on things that work for all Aucklanders not just a few .As for finding out what is best they did this again the rate payer paid for it with out Evan been told .this is a dream that will end up costing a huge amount of undisclosed money .I was told that it is part of getting the rail link to the north shore .Like I have been saying waste of money .sky city are going to benefit as there is a stop just for them funny the council don’t get them to pay for it

      1. “most want the city to spent there money on things that work for all Aucklanders not just a few”

        If a project that helps hundreds of thousands of Aucklanders daily, and the rest every now and then shouldn’t be progressed, please advocate for all decisions to be made in anarchist fashion, or as user pays. A SOCIETY however has to make decisions for the common good, even if naysayers like you like to dress their criticism up as defending the everyman.

        1. Rubbish Auckland has just spent a large amount on rail which has not help the amount of people who use the system .the facts are the amount of usage has not grown .funny people who don’t have there facts right come out with comments in a reply like this .Like I said put this to the Vote and let the people have there say.
          I see lots of spending been made here in Auckland on a sub standard product which is full of lead Auckland city council has been made aware of it but still use the system why i it that people who paint houses have been made not to use a product when the city still uses a system with lead .As you can see i am showing you one area where a waste of money is been and will continue to be used .PUT IT TO A VOTE AND SEE FOR YOUR SELF

          1. We do have votes. They’re called elections. An elected Auckland Council supports the CRL. All major elected parties in Parliament (National, Labour, and the Greens) support the CRL and only differ about when to start digging.

            Who VOTES on the buslanes that your company contracts to have chipsealed?

          2. While I’m fully aware that replying to someone as ill-informed as yourself is usually a waste of time, I do happen to have a few minutes to waste.

            Your claim “the facts are the amount of usage has not grown” is 100% verifiably false. i.e. you need only look at the data that shows in the last decade there has been a 6-fold increase in rail-usage. Further, there’s been increase in bus usage, while at the same time there has been fewer people in cars, both in terms of trips across key infrastructure (e.g. the Harbour bridge) and in terms of kilometres.

            Consider yourself informed. You can no longer pretend that you’re ignorant and spout “facts” that are falsehoods.

          3. Problem is we are not talking about the Harbour bridge here are we that is going to be the next bill the rate payers are expected to pay …I have also got the numbers with regard to the usage of the trains which goes with the growth of the population in the last ten years .There is still no return for the money been spent and there wont be for at least 50 years thats not adding in the upgrade the system will need in 25 years

          4. Mike please if you claim to have figures it is best if you actually show them. We can count. Please do show how rail ridership from below 2mil to over 11mil is in anyway close to population growth in auckland over the same period? Rail ridership has grown by over 500% over this period do you really think that the population has done that too? The city would have to have over 5.8 million residents for that to be the case.

            AK pop, millions, census:

            2001 1.16
            2006 1.305
            2013 1.415

            Rail ridership

            2001 2mil
            2013 11mil

          5. “We do not chip seal roads thanks long way from it we colour roads with a product that works and is a asset not something that fails”

            Hmm, you mean, your companies product lasts longer than the tar-seal its affixed to? Well thats pretty amazing if so as it doesn’t seem to match the facts.

            And considering the volumes of your companies products I see coming lose fromthe underlying seal and lying all over the roads, I’d have to disagree with your assertion that it never fails, more accurately it fails all over the place.

            Oh and by the way, thats not based on a single incident of failed colour seal like you seem to use to justify your beliefs/arguments, no thats based on bus lane after bus lane of failed colouring that I cycle on regularly.

            So I take it your product is not as “fail proof” as you say it is.

          6. Hi Greg you dont cycle on my product if your living in Auckland your cycling on glass which has lead in it and it fails after 20 weeks .The system also is not made here like ours its made off shore and has failed in every country it ha been used in .Our system has been used in every city apart from Auckland and after 4 years still looks the same as it did when placed .I can tell you the issues with the current systems been used in Auckland and afer i say what it is you would be wanting it removed and replaced with our system which is far greener and has no lead in it at all .
            So don’t go down that track with me please

          7. No facts, no evidence, no engaging with logic. Just mindless spouting of ignorant prejudice. Must be a troll.

          8. so your calling me a lair Mate you have no idea what people are saying and who people are thinking maybe its time you head back to play with you photo work and start taking notice of what people are trying to say it might get you somewhere Linz has resorted to name calling .Have a good look at Auckland .They tend to push history away for a small amount of people .look at westernsprins a small amount of new comers move in and push motor racing out of there home for over 50 years not good and with the council blessing .Now the people of auckland are getting pushed into something most wont use foe a small amount of people who would use it sad we have to put up with it and sad resorting to name calling and then calling them a lair …

          9. “our system which is far greener and has no lead in it at all .”

            So if your system is so superior to the competition why is it not being used in Auckland then?

            Maybe thats why you’re so Anti everything the council is doing and perhaps you should go public about that issue rather than tilt uselessly at CRL windmills?

          10. Again your assuming I am anti What they do that again is wrong mate .just anti spending lots of money on something that most Aucklanders don’t want in 2 hours I had some 120 calls backing me from real people
            As for my product going on Auckland roads the contractors up here know they are going to have replace there systems at the council and the rate payer pockets every 2 years and they also blame the sub base as faults as to why there sub standard products fail .you wanted the truth there it is .The council seem to think the contractors are right but again sadly they have been told porkies for years and that is fact .So anything else you want to place to me go for it .I have had it for 4 years every lie in the book form the contractors have has come out .problem is all the testing has proved them wrong
            Now greg what have you to say to that

          11. Well you are anti everything on this blog, your tone says so. You don’t argue the facts you just have “I’m right and you’re wrong – I know I’m right” atttitude.

            As for your product – you say its much better, yet you also say your product really only lasts 3 years – thats why you guarantee it only that long right?

            So maybe your product is better than the others, but is it more than 50% more expensive than them?
            If so then thats a problem right there then. As if you only last 50% longer and cost 50% more, it would be wasteful for any council to use your product on that basis right – why they’d be accused of wasting money?

            So maybe you should offer a much longer guarantee than 3 years if you’re so positive you’re right and everyone is wrong and let your product do the talking instead of you.

            To be honest, road marking paint isn’t that big an item for council or anyone else I’m sure.

            But thats your line of business so you do have a perceived conflict/vested interest in ensuring councils (as in all councils in NZ) spending coming your way and also in supporting roading in general as railways don’t need buslanes or road markings do they?

            But its good to see that your products anti-slip surface might be very good for cyclists and motorcyclists who are forced to travel over these markings, so maybe you should also get Auckland Transport (and ACC?) onside with that idea – as a major safety reason and not just a cost reason to use your products?

            Now, as for CRL, you keep saying most Aucklanders don’t want, yet most Aucklanders do want by any number of certified, representative, surveys taken over many years and also thanks to 2 council elections run with CRL as a key election plank. Yet you say you had 120 calls in 2 hours “against”, which is hardly scientific evidence of the groundswell against it you say exists.

          12. Once again Greg you have your facts wrong my product I developed here in NZ Is cheaper than the substandard products been bought in for overseas
            guarantee 3 years this was based on NZTA requirements of a guarantee of 2 years . We also believe our system should be ok in 12 years from date it has been applied
            We have had no problems in the 4 years the product has been used in NZ .
            and our statement says if there is a issue we would replace the system as soon as we are told which is far more than everyone else s .In a report 4 years ago a contractor
            had completed it clearly said the issues was all sub base or the contractor .but the real fault was the system it don’t take a blind man to understand what has been the problem
            for years .when it comes to road marking Its about safety clearly something every council should have as top of there list for the residence of there city .
            I would ask you to get your facts right before you post rubbish Greg

            What get me about this rail link the council thinks its OK to put the city in dept with out asking the rate payers what they think .They own there part of Auckland and have a right to have there say .Which i see in this post it turns out they have no rights at all

          13. I’m only using the facts on your website so if I’m”posting rubbish”, its only because your fact sheets are rubbish.
            As I said if you are so convinced it will last then put out a guarantee that says so.

            3 Years for road markings seems marginal utility at best, and even if NZTA says 2 years minimum, its just that a minimum and I think NZTA obviously expect longer lifetime, given the road its attached to should last longer than that.

            Really we don’t care if your product is good bad or indifferent, fact is we’re not the ones you need to “sell it” to as we will never buy it or use it directly.

            As for CRL, well the facts speak for themselves, the Auckland population has had 2 Auckland wide referendums – called “elections” on CRL and both times the Auckland voting population “passed” it.
            So how many more times do Council have to ask the public for their ok – 10, 100, or until they lose interest completely and go and live in another city due to crap transport options?

            “the council thinks its OK to put the city in dept with out asking the rate payers what they think”

            Thats because we live in a democracy and you and everyone else had the chance last October to say otherwise by voting for .councillors and mayors who had a debt free policy.
            But guess what, they didn’t succeed. Thats a democracy for you.

            So,seems you are simply anti any government (local or national) that doesn’t agree with your own personal views. Thats not a “fact based” opinion, merely your opinion of the facts.

          14. Look Greg . I do not know who you think you are mate but can say to you what I read from you is rubbish or its controlling .When it comes to my product I can say to you we have the best warranty when it comes to products like ours .There is no one in the industry who sells products like We have they do not put a warranty on there products at all ..Again you are attacking one and not looking at others when you do this .I do NOT REALLY CARE IF AUCKLAND don’t use my system its there loss not mine. .
            When it comes to what you say Auckland population has had 2 Auckland wide referendums .that is true but we were not told that this rail link was coming mate this we hidden .Now it is out what is the next stage that we all don’t know or is that something that will be hidden again .You really need to open your eyes and see what the real Jaffa has to say and not push things onto them

        2. Mike it might cheer you up to understand that the rise in rail ridership that has happened and the will explode further post CRL also means a huge up take in bus use. We are building an interconnected one network model that means that the next two doublings of rail ridership, from ~10mil to ~20, then to ~40mil, will be matched by a doubling in bus use from ~50mil to ~100. And this is because it will be those very same people ridding both modes.

          This is already happening where interchange stations have been built, most recently New Lynn, Grafton, and Panmure, where people are transferring between bus and train enthusiastically even though the new trains aren’t there yet with new frequencies or integrated fares.

          We are going to need your product all over Auckland for years and years to come. So even if you hate trains, they and the CRL, are already and will continue to be great for your business.

          1. Patrick .I do not hate trains at all .I have seen the benefits in Wellington .But I have also seen trains in Auckland at 9.30 in the morning empty which has been the normal for years in fact i have spend days watching trains running empty on both sides of the city .The money would be better spent on a new crossing of the harbour to relax the North shore residents
            The motorways is only packed between the rush hours .When the western link is finished this would sort a number of problems with regard to rush hour .The bus line on the shore works till it gets to the bridge then the problem starts .. Years ago a monarail was talked about .this would be far cheaper than what is been purposed

          2. Mike your personal observations are just simply not supported by the facts, or at least are increasingly historical. I can recount limitless times that I have seen an empty road, does this mean all roads are always empty or of no use? Of course not. Please look at the real situation, in particular the trend and you will understand the huge opportunity that is already being realised with rail in Auckland. In any case you are simply looking backwards. Wellington’s rail use will remain flat, Auckland’s has boomed, from a low base, as is now starting to growing towards really meaningful scale, with huge utility even for all those who never use it. There is no better nor more cost effective way for Auckland to serve its growth than to unlock this high capacity resource. Happily the all important groundwork, especially the bus interchange stations, are being built now, and new trains, and integrated fares. Watch this growth continue to 20 mil this decade, but go completely ballistic with the CRL.

          3. Wellingtons trains always have people using them and are running in profit People use them all the time when Auckland only use the trains in rush hour times the rest of the time there is very little usage and we from in Auckland are paying out far more than we should be to keep them running .(That statement the consultant that reported to the council last year)
            To make a profit would mean people using the trains will have to come up 30 fold .at least .As I said it Most of Auckland population if this issue was put to a vote would say NO .ITS CALLED TAKE NOTE TO WHAT THE PEOPLE SAY .Not run over them with great expenditure .On something that a small amount of people would use ..

          4. Wellington trains do not ‘make a profit’, nor does the road system in the country. The operating cost recovery of Auckland’s rail system is improving rapidly from a poor position because of underuse, due to the whole network being rundown to near death, and once the new much more efficient electric trains are all running it will have doubled from the recent poor position. Our calculations show that we can expect an operating cost close to or over 80% once the CRL is operational, which is extremely impressive by world standards.

            Again you are looking backwards.

            Furthermore the value of these systems is economic, not financial. In other words they produce huge value for their economies that they do not capture as income. Like just roads. You complain that the trains are mainly used at rush hour, this is true, but that is also when each person using them, and therefore not taking up space on the roads, is adding the most value to the economy. Anyway currently off peak services are still very poor; no one can take a train that isn’t there. Off peak will grow with improvement in services, and smarter fare structures.

            What’s your next prejudice? I will keep refuting them all day long. Auckland is about to become a Metro city, I know this is a change, but that’s the very point.

            Oh and regards your ongoing math difficulty, is 64% more or less than a majority?:

            64% of Aucklanders support $2.5 billion city rail link project


          5. Hey Mike I could say the same about those buses that use the lanes you company colourises for the council too.

            That is “Auckland only use them [the buses] in rush hour times the rest of the time there is very little usage and we from in Auckland are paying out far more than we should be to keep them running”.

            But the truth is your assertion about low usage of trains off-peak is out of date and very plainly a bollocks statement not backed by the facts.
            AT regularly now sees more usage of trains on the Saturday and Sunday than they do on some peak weekday services. Or do you consider “weekends” to be peak time too?.

            I don’t know where the “30 fold” increase in patronage to make it pay for itself is required comes from, no one has ever said that, it trains increased 30 fold, we’d have 360 million trains trips a year, that would put Auckland per-capita massively in front of just about all the OECD countries we like to compare ourselves with. Truth is no public transport system in NZ is fully funded, they all need government subsidies.
            They are subsdised by the government as even they realise you can’t rely only on a roads based system with private cars for your transport.

            “Wellingtons trains always have people using them and are running in profit ”

            As for Wellington trains being “more used” and of more benefit, well, Auckland’s patronage on trains for the last year will exceed Wellingtons usage on the same time frame, so what is about “Wellington” trains usage you consider a success or benefit yet deny the same level of success or benefit in Auckland? The fact that you have your rates paying for some of it in Auckland and not in Wellington?
            Got news for you at least 50% of the cost of Wellingtons trains is bourne by tax payers, not rate payers. So (a) its not “profitable” and (b) you pay for Wellington trains through your taxes too.
            And probably you pay more for Wellingtons trains in your taxes than you pay for Auckland trains through your rates. So why be so anti-auckland just because you’re a rate payer who feel hard done by.

            As for “The motorways is only packed between the rush hours”.

            Beg to differ, from my workplace I see the Newmarket viaduct, more often than not it is packed in both directions with 6 lanes of traffic, all day every day from 7am in the morning to well after 7pm at night, traffic is seldom free-flowing at any time of the day on the viaduct, and whatever goes for the viaduct will be the case for most of the rest of the motorway.

            “Most of Auckland population if this issue was put to a vote would say NO”

            In your (not so) humble opinion eh Mike, got any evidence to show that, especially given all the facts show otherwise – most people in Auckland want trains and improved PT, not least that why they voted for Brown and other councillors less than a year ago to lead Auckland for the next 3 years.

          6. Once again you saying rubbish as I have said we are manufactures and we do not lay our system in Auckland …Everywhere else is using our system and loving it ..Auckland only want to spend money on systems that fail .which is sad to say the least Greg .The big problem here is I have had the balls to say what i fell and people done like it .I am sick of seeing a wast of money going to people who just want to full there pockets .that’s it .When i see this happening I will say something as i have here .Come on we see the cost of the rail link and think there is more important things that need the money spent on it .Like the harbour bridge .The clip ons are past there use by date we also need a new crossing of the harbour .remember i come from west Auckland .The money getting spent on a rail link could be better used to sort out what we have don’t you think

          7. Well Mike I bring facts with evidence and you have your opinion and shouty uppercase typing…..

            You should note that that poll above only found 14% of the population opposed to the project out of 1099 Aucklanders.

            Most people just don’t share your misunderstanding of the projects value.

          8. Mike it’s nothing personal but it does seem that you are a font of unsupportable views. Link below is the NZTA saying the bridge is fine. Then there is another that may be of interest.

            ‘Having recently spent $86 million strengthening the bridge’s two clip-on structures, the agency is focused mainly on its ability to cope with increasing freight loads.

            Mr Town said that with careful management, there was no reason why the 54-year-old bridge could not last for another 100 years. But he said the “critical path” for bridge loads was heavy vehicles travelling on the northbound clip-on lanes, for which forecasts indicated a new crossing would be needed by 2030.’



          9. Your onto it with your reports .problem is the clip on parts of the bridge are a worry as NZTA say Patrick they where only to last 25 years as we were told .the bridge its self will last as long as money is spent on it as the report says .My problem is with a rail link for a small amount of people at a huge cost were is the money going to come from to maintain the bridge .Shit thats right the rate payer and the tax payer no worry’s at all

          10. I don’t know what you imagine the CRL is going to cost, but it is a small fraction of what we spend every year on transport and none of it will come from State highway maintenance budgets, which funds Harbour Bridge maintenance, which of course comes from the National Land Transport Fund. It just simply isn’t the Harbour Bridge or the CRL. The bridge is fully funded from here to eternity so long as it has State Highway designation, ie so long as they don’t build those crazy tunnels and hand the bridge costs over to the Auckland ratepayer.

            The cost is to be spilt between the city and the taxpayer and spread out over 5/6 years. It isn’t going to break any bank. Meantime some 10+ billions are being thrown at State Highways for very little return.

            You keep on with this ‘small number’ argument. Certainly no one uses the CRL now, that is true, because it isn’t there. And we know that we improve the system and the service more and more people keep turning up to use it. Also when we build some significantly better, like Britomart, then the growth in numbers leaps and rate of growth permanently increases. The CRL is a much much bigger change than that one station so we can expect a very radical jump in growth with the CRL. So the current numbers using the rail system, 11mil and rising, is just the start.

            How can we be so sure? First is that trend over the last decade [new trains and frequencies are yet to come too], but also there is a very example from another city, Perth, that did a very similar thing, electrifying their old system, and building an underground Central City Link. They also added new lines. Here’s a comparison:

            You can see we are just at the start of the growth in ridership we can expect. Perth is a bit bigger than Auckland, but more dispersed, and with higher average incomes. Two things that encourage more driving, yet they turned their city from a totally auto-dependent one to a properly multi-modal one by investing in high quality modern trains and network, just as Auckland is now. From the same low base.

          11. I go on about a small amount of people who will use the new link because its true and fact is you seem to think all of Auckland will want there rates to pay for the small amount of uses .Quite sad really that trying to pull the wool over everyone is a good thing

          12. The one who is trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes is you, Mike. You are arguing from the point that to be funded, something has to be both IMMEDIATELY and DIRECTLY useful, and be used by JUST ABOUT EVERYONE. That is nonsense, and insupportable. If we applied it, government would essentially fund NO infrastructure ever.

            In your logic, for example, we should not fund schools. They do not benefit the vast majority of the population – we won’t go back to school. They don’t provide any immediate benefits – and even those who benefit are ages away from doing so. And they don’t provide any DIRECT benefits to us either – sure maybe one day one of those kids will fund our retirement by paying taxes, or creating a new company. But that’s not direct enough, so no new schools. Waste of money.

            Same with a sports field. I don’t use sports fields. A large proportion of Aucklanders, even in this sports-mad country, never does. So we shouldn’t build them. No direct benefits either, don’t benefit a large part of Aucklanders, yet we spend many millions each year on new fields and maintenance of old ones.

            What about infrastructure that only benefits one tiny part of Auckland, like a power line? Why should we build a power line to West Auckland? Only a small part of Aucklanders live there – why spend millions on them, the line won’t benefit me at all, nor those who live on the Shore?

            This is the kind of stuff you try to cloak your arguments in. The CRL will help hundreds of thousands directly, by providing more and faster and more frequent trains through a huge part of Auckland. It will help hundreds of thousands others, by keeping the roads flowing more freely than they would, even if we spent that same money on roads instead. It will help keep Auckland active, alive, and prosperous (because it keeps us moving much better than the alternative of more roads), thus benefitting our economy, and thus even people who don’t travel / commute at all. These benefits are all clearly proven (even if one may occasionally argue about the exact size of the benefits). There is certainly buckets more science and evidence for their benefits than for the “more roads” strategy. Yet you focus on what is a small project when compared to the “more roads” budget, and try to lambast us with a confident assertations that have no basis.

          13. Hi Max .i am not trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes thank you /jus stating a fact as we who dont want to spend money on something foe a small amount of usage that is

          14. Mike, I see your product (unlike the clip-ons you say will fall into the harbour tomorrow and NZTA says won’t) comes with a “3 year” life time guarantee.

            Clip-ons will last and once they need replacing, the clip-ons can be removed and replaced without needing to junk the whole bridge.
            So whatever you think the issue with the bridge, it isn’t one now or for the next 15 years at a minimum so no need to do anything to the bridge or clip-ons before 2030 says NZTA.

            And if they built the $5B tunnel under the harbour would you then argue against required $10 each way tolls on the harbour bridge and the new tunnel too as being “wasteful” especially knowing that a fair chunk of that money will go to collecting the toll not actually paying off the tunnel?

            The existing bridge is sufficient for traffic loads in all meaning of the word for the foreseeable future.

            The main argument you could have with the second crossing is that when its built, the old harbour bridge then becomes the councils to maintain.
            On sheer preventing wasteful spending, opposing the tunnel is a good move for all council ratepayers, as the cost of keeping the old harbour bridge working will end up over 10 years more than the CRL cost.
            So keeping the existing bridge in NZTA ownership for as long as possible is the best way forward for Auckland.

            But I suppose you also oppose Skypath too on the basis that council is putting up a few million backing funding for the trust that will build own and operate Skypath initially?

            Now as for your beef with spending any money on CRL, the new electric trains we bought for some 500 million will last 50 years with good maintenance.
            They are the first new trains Auckland has ever bought since WWII. Its not like we bought the cheapest model from Kamakuza either.

            And if the total riders of trains over those 50 years stays at only 10 million a year (less than now mind), then thats a total of 500 million journeys in that time, so the “cost” (subsidy to your mind) per trip of the trains is only $1 a trip for the cost of the trains. Hardly a massive subsidy over that period is it? $1 per trip? Pretty measly really.

            And those new trains will cost half as much to run as the existing ones do, so that means even less of a running subsidy per trip than now with the old clunkers will be needed. Good thing right?
            I suspect not in your books as its “Wasteful spending” right? Even though you’d buy a new truck tomorrow if it halved your running costs right?
            And remember a train costs the same to run whether its full or empty, so all those empty trains you see running about? Well if they are all electric they’ll cost you half the cost you pay now.

            Now the CRL will cost at worst 4 times what the new trains cost and last for easily 4 times longer (200 years), but lets say it will last only 100 years, and that it will allow *only* double the number of users to use trains we have than we can now (again a very conservative estimate), so that means over 100 years, we will run 10 million more trips per year, or 100 * 10 = 1 billion more trips). Assuming only those extra trips only use the CRL, then subsidy per train trip using CRL is $2 in todays $ (1 billion trips over 100 years divided by 2 billion cost = $2 per trip). Again hardly going to break the bank right?
            If trips stays at 10 million a year, and only 10 million more use CRL when its built, then council is wasting at best $30 million a year on trains and CRL “costs”.
            Hmm, There plenty of spending councils and NZTA do that is more than $30m a year thats wasteful.

            And if we get more than 10m more trips a year on rail due to CRL (and this is very likely, in fact) – quite likely to quadruple to 40 million extra trips a year on trains once CRL is built.
            Then that $2 a trip subsidy drops to 50 cents a trip. Thats a pretty good deal actually, 50 cents a trip. Again at 50 cents a trip it will still only cost council $30 million a year to “subsidise”.

            To compare:

            Motorways and road maintenance costs alone in Auckland (let alone the construction costs of new roads and motorways) suck up Billions of dollars a year, and you don’t moan about that money being “wasted” on the 1 million or so car drivers in Auckland.

            If you were to apportion the maintenance costs of all Auckland roads (ignoring motorways for now as they’re maintained by NZTA) across the number of “trips” you’d find a pretty similar level of subsidy exists for all those “road users” too. Don’t hear you complain about that? and 50% of the costs of maintaining those Auckland roads comes directly from your rates, not from petrol taxes or RUCs, your rates.
            And if you added up the $$s of your rate being wasted on those roads on a per trip basis you’d find a pretty high subsidy right there. Seems wasteful to me too.

            So, on that basis of truly comparing like with like $ wise whats the problem you have with the CRL being built and yet you think roads deserve more?
            I suspect simply that you think the price tag for CRL is too steep?

            The Western Ring Route/Waterview and the ever ongoing widening of the SH16 out your way and the proposed SH1/SH18 intersection alone will soak up 5 times the $s that the CRL will cost and in doing so deliver a massive subsidy to all those car drivers you think are subsidising everyone else. And we havn;t even talked about the RONS projects that waste even more of your money.

            And all these motorway projects will also impose a massive annual maintenance cost burden on Auckland ratepayers who will have to subsidise AT in turn widening the approach roads to and from these widened or new motorways. So couple that with the tunnel adding a huge cost to Auckland ratepayers to keep the harbour bridge going the subsidies these will impose will be massive.

            So even when you think the Government pays for something, Auckland ratepayers get shafted.

            So really your beef is with NZTA and the Government and how they spend your tax dollars, not how AC and AT do their job.

            NZTA and council “waste” your money in far more inventive ways than the CRL ever will, let me tell you, and yet you seem to think even 1 cent spent on CRL is too high and that CRL is the only (white or otherwise) elephant in the room.

            Suggest you truly do look around you and put away that big bag of half truths, lies and rocks you seem to be so keen on throwing before you break too many of your own windows.

      2. Of course, if the CRL was put to a vote, it would also sail through pretty easily – especially if compared to spending money on motorways. Been shown in numerous surveys, and in the fact that Len got elected while making this his central project. So your central premise is as flawed as your other rants.

        1. Brown has faced two separate elections with this as his central plank and each time he has been returned and with a majority of supporting Councillors.

          It amazing how the self entitled generalise their own prejudices to a mythical majority despite all evidence.

          Mike you are just plain wrong.

          1. No idea, I haven’t research the Dark Ages that closely…. someone will know….? Perhaps it was Punk! [sarc] That’s what I remember most from those years, more likely oil crisis.

          2. I initially thought carless days, but that was a little later.

            My guess is oil price shock, which effected readership in Wellington in the mid 00’s as well.

          3. Government (National Government, ala Muldoon) policy changes (import rule changes in the mid 1970’s) made large new cars expensive to import and operate and also forced up the price of second hand cars.
            And that coupled with the oil shocks and weekend petrol sales restrictions from noon Saturday to Monday morning earlier in the decade put a crimp in private car usage (and hence increased PT usage) for a while.

      3. Well Brown and quite a few councillors did campaign on it last year during the elections, and they got back in, so using the same principle as National used over Assets sales (you voted for me therefore you support all my policies), they can claim a mandate to build it.
        Also, many surveys have been done that show overwhelming support of the majority of Aucklanders. Just because you don’t support it doesn’t mean no one else does either.

        As for “rail to the shore”, that is correct, if rail was built to the shore via a tunnel ,the “terminating” station would be Aotea – the one you think is built just for SkyCity’s exclusive use (a load of bollocks if ever there was for sure).
        And therefore Aotea station is required to enable that, and without a CRL crossing Aotea, where would all the North Shore people go when they arrived at Aotea station? CRL is needed to unlock that capability allowing North Shore people to get anywhere quickly when the rail to the shore is built. But meantime we can use CRL to improve transport options and congestion for everyone, whether they ever use a train or not.

        As for “wasting ratepayers money”. The Council and its various organisations waste way more money EACH and EVERY year than the entire 5 year build cost of the CRL on fixing up/making roads wider and wider, and yet the congestion keeps getting worse not better. Hmm, so the current $B on roads doesn’t actually, solve the problem.

        So how much higher do want your rates to be to enable Council to “cure” the current road congestion problems we have now with tons of, yes you figured, more roads?
        2 times, 3 times, 4 times?

        All research here and overseas point to adding roads and widening existing roads on its own, only solves a traffic problem for 5 years at best.
        Do you want to say double your rates for the next 5 years to only have the “problem solved” for 5 years only, then be back where you are now?
        Doesn’t sound like a good idea to me.

        As a tax and ratepayer I approve. And the evidence is clear that CRL is the single best investment the Government and Auckland Councils can make in fixing up the current traffic problems.

  1. Awesome! At least we will get the northern part of the project going shortly. Then we’ll just have to wait for either Labour/Greens to get voted in or for #votekey to develop some more sense and stop the delays! Bring on a change of government and an immediate start!!

  2. Really good that this first stage goes right up to Wyndham St. This is a great way to get through one part of the project’s more disruptive phases early and done and dusted before starting on the big station box between Wellesley and Victoria. This means that Vic and Wellesley are untouched while Customs is opened up and visa versa. Important for east-west movements.

    This essentially divides the cut and cover part of the project into two separate parts. Looks like the project planning is in good hands.

  3. Given that they are very likely to develop QE2 square it would be good to properly link this to Britomart, ( I’m loooking are you boxy underpass walkway),

    Having somehting wider, or ideally edged with stores to seemlessly link Britomart to the new downtown mall extension would be a huge improvemnt on whats there now,

    1. Nah the plan is much better than that: to make the whole of Lower Queen St in front of Britomart a pedestrian plaza. Just amble across at your leisure… that tunnel has been poor, and where it surfaces even worse.

  4. It’s a little late in the day, but perhaps renaming the CRL the Core Rail Network might focus minds.

    Without a core, nothing can grow.

    I’d also argue there must be a way to make the Core Rail Network closer to self funding via development along the route, with the benefits flowing to the City and Everyone who lives there.

    If it requires compulsory purchase, just do it. I’d wager a small sum that I’m prepared to lose that happy people will outnumber the unhappy about that.

  5. Anyone can fudge numbers to make it look like patronage has increased to suit their own agenda. The majority of Aucklanders don’t work or shop in the cbd so the crl will only benefit a few for the astronomical cost. If it goes ahead how much over 2.8 billion will it cost ratepayers because there is always a budget blow out just look at the stupid state house project on Queens Wharf. How much has that blown out so that ratepayers have to pick up the incompetance now as underwritten by the fantastic previous council CEO.

    1. Brian your example is off topic and irrelevant, suggest you take that issue up with the previous council CEO if you truly feel aggrieved.

      The 2.8 billion is already over-run proof, and you as rate payer won’t pay more than half of that figure or any overrun in any case, so what if it balloons out to 3b or 4b – thats still less $ at only 50% than that “$2.8b” figure you bandy about that you think we’re paying in total now.

    2. Brian, the CRL does not require you to shop or work in the CBD to be valuable, it affects the entire city positively, even if all you ever do is drive. Also is your biggest objection to it really based on a claim that numbers of people using rail is ‘fudged’? Really? That’s the best you can do? Sad.

  6. As I read it Mike was saying that despite the huge spend on electrification of the Auckland rail the patronage figures have not gone up. Anyone want to provide facts to show a real pax increase post electric trains?
    Mike is also asking why the people of Auckland (and it should only be rate payers) can not have a vote on the CRL. I suspect he is correct in his assumption that it would get voted down – especially in the light of how much debt the council has got into. The attitude of some people here that ‘people have voted in the local elections for the CRL’ is a strawmans argument. It could be said that people have voted for RONS (and will again) in the national election – but you would not accept that logic.
    If the CRL and RONS are so popular then none of there supporters should be afraid to ask the public for a vote of support. There is no good case for not having a referendum.

    1. Hey Phil the Twat,

      Mike may say that patronage figures haven’t increased based on his preceptions of seeing off-peak “empty trains” near his work, but the facts say otherwise and given that electric trains have actually, you know, really been in service, for only 2 and a bit months, and the major uptick in service levels to allow the patronage to go up very much has not yet had time to be rolled out.

      But even so, on the one and only line that has had electric trains since late April, running to the same old schedule that they had before the electric trains, the news is all good – patronage is up and up, despite the initial delays and other issues as the train crews got up to speed with the new trains.

      Some facts on this you say? well here we are:

      Source for this info is AT’s board reports, like this link here:
      I quote from the summary:

      “Rail patronage totalled 11,242,610 passengers for the 12 months to May-2014, an increase of +1.3% on the 12 months to Apr-2014 and +12.1% on the 12 months to May-2013. Patronage for May-2014 was ,193,702, an increase of 142,201 boardings or +13.5% on May-2013, normalised to ~ +13.4%. Year to date rail patronage has grown by +13.1%. ”

      So, what that means is overall train usage (pre-electric) is up 13.1% compared to same 12 months last year (i.e .to the end of May)..

      Ok, so, what about the electric trains you ask? Glad you did, and here you go:

      On page 9, there is a graph, showing the change in patronage day by day for May on Onehunga line, almost every day of the month patronage was up 25% or more than the same day on the previous 3 months – for the Onehunga and Te Papapa stations. So, definitely they are being used where they are available. Weekends the patronage absolutely Skyrocketed to 100% of pre-electric usage.

      And this link:
      (Page 5, Table 1) shows the Onehunga line patronage growth for May at over 37% compared to May 2013.

      Both these show that yes people are using the electric trains when and where they are available to be used. So given the one electric line we have shows 37% increase in its first month of operation, and the overall rail usage is up 13%
      We don’t have the June figures yet from AT, but I am sure they will show a similar increase in usage – not at all bad for 2 months of operation of the new trains.
      And even more amazing considerinfg that these new fangled electric do-dads are expensive do-hickeys and not worth a cent in your and Mikes opinion eh?

      Anything else you want to dispute?

      Lastly, regarding this bit of hogwash:
      “If the CRL and RONS are so popular then none of there supporters should be afraid to ask the public for a vote of support. There is no good case for not having a referendum.”

      Well, Auckland like every other local body has those referendums, every 3 years. Last one was October last year, and the result was outstandingly for all pro-CRL concillors, including Brown. As it was for the one before that.

      As for the RONS, well, it just so happens there is just such a referendum coming up on 20th of September, so you can exercise your right and vote with your feet then if you feel so strongly one way or the other about it.

        1. Thats not my name for him, its his own name for himself.

          And are you saying that you are also Phil the Twat Mike?

          Anyway, how about you stop the carping for a bit and you know, start answering the facts we’ve put in front of you, or is that too much of a meal for you to digest or understand?
          Or do you only want to play the man and not the ball?

          Basically as we’ve shown you – the facts are the CRL is a cheap project no matter how you measure it, the ratepayers are all for it in the majority (and thats all that counts right in a democracy – the majority) and have been for quite some time, even the Governmentsw (now and future) will pay 50% of it.

          And the rail patronage figures speak for themselves – the new trains ARE wildy popular, and the existing trains services are doing pretty well too and the new trains can’t come in soon enough.

          And so your argument is? You don’t like the CRL and think its a waste of money?
          And in that case you are in a definite minority. So maybe you and Councillor’s Quax, Brewer and Wood could go and have a drink sometime and cry into your beers about how its all going to rack and ruin.

          Basically, if you don’t like the heat, get out of the kitchen.

          1. And Greg you expect people to like you when clearly you like calling people names .All ready you have shown that you are self minded and you have the right to call people names .God i hope your not in council .You have run down me and my system yet you think your god ..People like you should think about finding a farm somewhere were you have no contact with real people who have a view ….
            You also clearly by what you have said don’t give a toss about Rate payer money .and what the rate payers think .Go run down someone else Greg .

          2. Is reading comprehension so hard Mike? Someone posted as Phil Moore the Twat. Greg was replying to him or her, not calling you names. FFS!

          3. Mike, I’ve got no beef with you or your products. I have a beef with your self-rationalised arguments and generalisations about hidden agendas and lack of “referendums” and unsubstnatiated claims of wasteful spending.

            For the record, no I don’t work at Council or AT, I work in the private sector, not related to Transport.

            But were I to be in the Council and in charge of evaluating your product I know I wouldn’t care whether you were personally the nastiest person or the nicest person on the planet to deal with, I’d look at your product, its price and efficacy and life expectancy and your reliability as a supplier – before committing council funds to using it. If it stacked up I’d green light it for use.

            But I’m not in that role, so what I think about you or products doesn’t matter to your company or the council.
            However, if I was dealing with your company in any form I’d certainly give you a big “steer clear” based on your own postings here to date.

            You claim to speak for the “silent” majority of rate payers, who are all against CRL and don’t want to pay for it. Yet that same majority has spoken several times and disagrees with you, they want CRL and will pay for it as ratepayers.

            You claim that CRL is a surprise never openly campaigned on at any stage in the last 4 years. Yet the facts are that all leading Mayoral candidates in 2010 endorsed it and agreed with the estimated costs as acceptable. And again in 2013 the same situation prevailed.

            You claim that the rail patronage is flat or tanking, when the reality as shown by ATs own figures is the exact opposite – up 500% since 2004 and running at 13% year on year growth currently, consistently on target to meet the Governments criteria for paying their half of CRL costs in fact.

            You claim the electric trains aren’t increasing rail patronage, when the figures show they are. Up 37% on the one line with electric trains running..

            You claim your competitors products are all shit, too expensive, don’t last and are full of toxic waste. Yet here we are spraying them all around the city..

            This is a transport blog which welcomes debate on matters related to transport, which are supported by arguments supported by facts.

            I think so far you’ve not actually offered one fact to support any of your claims about any of these things you say you know to be true.

            And now you accuse me of not caring about rate payer money?

            Well as a rate payer in Auckland I do care where my money goes, but I also know that the lions share of rates goes on big ticket “operational expenses”, of which CRL is not ever going to one of these. Ongoing road maintenance is the biggest portion of rates spend, and the wage and salary bill of all those council and CCO employees and the raft of consultants and suppliers they use is another.

            Yes I care where my rates are spent but I’m well aware that chopping library hours or closing pools won’t actually solve the problem.
            Whether your products is used or not in Auckland is small potatoes when looking at the bigger picture. here

            And if CRL isn’t built, then the council will end up spending even more $ than CRL would ever cost in your worst nightmare. Using ad-hoc alternatives, that will not deliver the same level of benefits and which will bind future councils and their ratepayers to paying more and more of rates $ to fix up ever clogged roads.

            And its not my assertion of that, thats the consensus of the CCFAS study group who looked at all this stuff many years ago.
            They are the ones who came out and said CRL is hea dand shoulder the best option for Auckland.
            The same study was also reviewed by the governments own ministries who also concurred with the conclusions

            Nothing has come up since to change or challenge that view. Even the current government now agrees CRL is needed, the only argument is exactly when.
            Hardly a denial is it?

            So, either put up some facts to back your arguments, or go away.

          4. Mike it is time for you to stop playing the victim card, especially as that comment was not in response to you. You have been shown all sorts of data and evidence which you have not responded to, and now you’re crying mummy? Time to man up.

            Everyone, can we please stick to the issues or we’ll start deleting.

          5. For goodness sales Mike, he was replying to someone who decided to post under the moniker of ‘Phil Moore the Twat’. He’s not calling anyone names. He used to moniker to show who he was replying to.

          6. Mike Sherrin, this has been a hilarious series of posts. Thanks for the laughs.
            Have you actually read any of the responses? Multiple posts with externally linked data to back up their arguments that rail patronage is soaring and Auckanders are voting for increased public transport no matter which way you ask them.
            I realise this doesn’t agree with your views. But your views that rail patronage isn’t growing is false. Your view that the majority of Aucklanders don’t want more public transport is false. A minority may think like you. Fair enough. It’s a democracy. But majority rules and so we will build the CRL.
            Go back and read some of the responses to your posts. They are really quite informative.

      1. I agree that’s a lovely idea, and indeed how it should be. But in practice it is a contest for funding, and some projects are going to win it and other won’t.

        In truth we are, like the rest of the OECD, changing our priorities in this sector from those that have been fairly constant for over half a century, this change is inevitable, but the pace and success of that process is hard won. There’s a lot of inertia and vested interests.

        I should also add that no one has stopped you having your say here. We firmly agree with people having their say, although it is the quality of what they say and the evidence they bring that really matters.

        1. this is the cost of this rail link
          There was $8.2 billion for 11 new or refurbished libraries, new swimming pools, sports parks, much-needed water and stormwater projects and other core spending.

          Transport was to get $9.3 billion to build a world-class transport system, including $500 million for new electric trains and a long awaited start on Ameti in the southeast.

          Two years later, this foundation has barely progressed and the council faces stark choices as its finances reach crisis point. Promised libraries and swimming pools may never get built.

          As i have been saying let the people have there say .the rail link is going to cost them far more than what has been said .

          1. Totally irrelevant. No library will lose it’s funding because of the CRL. Stop making stuff up.

            We have a $1billion annual transport budget in Auckland. Libraries are not funded from this.

          2. By a reporter who has a history of editorialising his articles and ignoring fact. E.G. He deliberately published misleading information in the debate in the unitary plan despite having been told before it published that it was wrong

          3. What, written by Bernard-Brown-is-the-devil-himself-Oarsman? Dunno what Bernard’s problem is, more likely just Herald policy of trying deal with their ongoing decline in circulation by reflecting the prejudices of their only remaining loyal readership group; elderly suburbanites, back at them…

          4. Mike is parroting Orsman’s article in todays’ Herald: ( about how the council “black” budget issues came about.

            Same article says this on CRL costs:

            “The current 10-year budget assumes the Government will pay a half share of the $2.4 billion land and construction costs, but not $476 million for extra trains and other costs. The council’s contribution is $1.68 billion, of which $100 million has been spent on buying properties. There is no firm funding for construction costs.”

            Which means that Orsman finally acknowledges the true cost of CRL is $2.4B (removing the extra trains and other costs) in inflated dollars, not the $2.8B often touted.

            Then says that while Gov’t will pay half, but Auckland councils price tag is still $1.6B.

            Which is slack journalism, and what he really means is that $1.2 of the $2.4B figure is AC’s half, – plus the additional $468 million of non-CRL related costs (e.g. more trains, double tracking of Onehunga etc), comes to $1.68B. But that $468 million spend can easily be delayed and is not CRL related so doesn’t count as CRL at all.

            And if you compare like for like then only $100m has been spent on CRL costs so far, and that leaves $1.1B of the Councils share to fund over the next 10 years for CRL
            And as you say the council transport next 10 year capital+operational spend is well north of $1B a year,so CRL is at best 10% of the transport spending budget in the next 10 years.

            This all means that the CRL is hardly currently, or in the future the major cause of any budget problems council has or will have.
            At $1.1B over ten years that $110 a year of “Extra” spending” that CRL can cause. That is not going to break any bank or sink any council into major debt.
            Plenty of other projects can do that even if CRL doesn’t happen for 10 years.

            And I am sure that there are plenty of transport projects in the next 10 years included in those figures that can be delayed individually without causing budget blowouts on the transport spending predicted by Orsman.

            As for swimming pools and libraries, they’re hardly big ticket items to build like storm water separation and AMETI and East West Link, so I doubt libraries etc will be touched at all.
            And closing pools and cutting library hours as has been mooted by Herald writers – is even less of a $ figure, and they’re really small potatoes so not even going to be considered.

          5. Mike I’m sure you can do maths, and a lot better than Oarsman can.

            Over 6 years AT’s budget is some 6biliion. Over that period the CRL will cost below 2 billion, probably around 1.8b. The rest being for things like additional trains in 2030, which are not needed for another decade. 50% of that is 900million. Divide by 6 = 150 million p/a.

            Yes this is 15% of AT’s budget for 6 years, not insignificant, but hardly the biggest cost by any stretch.

            And remember much of that early spending is things like property purchase, which will become appreciating assets to be sold at a profit, as the new asset is underground after all.

            The CRL is not ‘bankrupting Auckland’. That is bitter spin by the Herald.

          6. My Math is good thanks .with all your reports you have what is going to be the profit each year from the purposed new rail link I have it from a group that did a investigation into this project that there will be no profit from this rail link and they go on to say this rail link will be a hole in our city’s budget for years to come

          7. Mike, what profit? It seems you don’t understand the funding of transport at all. There is no profit in roads, rail, buses, any of it, it’s all subsidised by taxes and rates. Like schools and hospitals. The idea is that they are of economic value, these are not profit centres for local and central government, but investments in the economy.

            Our argument about the CRL is that it will enable the rail network in Auckland to run at a much lower level of financial subsidy while delivering far higher economic returns [more people moved faster, freer roads, for freight, buses, and drivers, etc]

          8. Thank you for that just what i have been wanting for the last 4 days this has not come out .as you can see by my posts i have been saying no profit just spending is what Auckland wants its rate payers to do for something that a small amount of people would use .quite sad that they expect us to be part of a over expenditure for really no gain ..

          9. Mike what are you claiming? Can I say it again: NO ROAD MAKES A PROFIT: your business is ratepayer welfare. To ask what profit the CRL makes is like asking what profit a school or a hospital, or the police makes. This is just dim talk.

            Of course we want all these things to be as efficient as possible and to require lower subsidy and return higher value, and that’s exactly what the CRL will do for the City of Auckland. But perhaps this is too much of a complex idea for you to grasp.

          10. If you were to take a idea and turn this into reality .This would be a far better opportunity .You are only talking a sort distance of rail here .One would think a mono rail would be a far better way to go as this would benefit Auckland in a number of ways .and of course gain more usage for both Aucklanders and the people who visit from overseas .The build would not disrupt transport as much and Auckland would not need to rip buildings down and the best benefit would be a mono rail can be place under the harbour bridge with very little problems
            My understanding this would also be far cheaper than what is been proposed at present… and this after 15 years would bring in income to the council and would also relive the rate payer of on going costs

          11. Ah-ha, now we get it. You think this project is about getting from Mt Eden to Britomart? I know this is a common idea but that isn’t the point of it at all. This is indeed a short piece of work, but what it does is unlock the out of reach huge capacity across the whole of the existing, and currently being upgraded, rail network.

            This is Auckland’s great good fortune, there isn’t a city of Auckland size and growth anyway in the world that wouldn’t leap at the chance to be able to get a fully functioning 75km 50 station Metro network for only the cost of a 3.5km tunnel and 3 stations.

            Instead of a deadend infrequent commuter only system stuck at one end of town, post CRL we will have a fully integrated through routed Metro offering people fast and really frequent trips (trains each way sub every five minutes on the core of the system) completely away from congested streets not just to the bottom of the city but across and between many points.

            And as the bus station integration and on-street bus priority continues this expands the reach if this new system to the entire city.

            But at the core of the new integrated network will be these flash, fast, and frequent trains rushing under the city to connect points in three directions, and ready for other directions to be added in the decades ahead.

    1. I think we have seen more than a few cases recently right here, in this very blog, of “Fundamental Attribution Error” as discussed in the post at that link.

      And aimed not just at cyclists, but at those who support CRL, Public Transport and a general levelling of the transportation playing field via general transport funding and prioritisation reform.

      As for CRL progress, I see that NZ First has now said today CRL is a RONI – Railway of National Interest (as is the Gisbourne line) and construction on CRL must start by 2016.
      So this really leaves only National as far as major parties are concerned on the outer as far as starting CRL sooner than later.

      And with NZ first being a likely (and largest) coalition partner for National (assuming Act and Conservative both fail to get seats and Maori party doesn’t go near them again), then Brownless and Joyce may have to suck it up and agree to CRL starting not longer after the next election if they want to be in Government for a 3rd term.

      So thats great news that the bottom end of CRL is being progressed sooner than later.

      Lastly, if you want to see a nice picture of some Double EMU train shots, see this photo published on the nzrailphotos website today of double EMU testing done earlier today between Papakura and Britomart:
      This ones a nice photo of double EMUs at Orakei basin, taken I think today (earlier this morning). Full credit to the photographer its a nice photo.

      And the sooner we get these 6 car EMU units running down the CRL as well as across the rest of the network – the better for Auckland.

      1. Yes it’s good to see NZF support the CRL, and that does just level the Nats dragging their feet in their luke warm support. But still it is our preference that all infrastructure investments are viewed dispassionately and not sorted by favourite mode. If anything must have that pompous moniker ‘of national significance’ then let it be all infra. So more IONS than a competing set of mode focused ONS.

        Not so sure about your political predictions. Surely ACT will be jerrymandered back in. And NZF could well be a victim of Colin Craig, his party may just steal enough grumpy old votes off Winnie to keep NZF below 5% and therefore, like Craig himself, out of parliament. And that in turn would mean the Nats would only need to cobble together 48% between them, ACT, Dunne, and Flavell to have more than half the seats…..

        1. Patrick, I’m no expert on political predictions.

          But given ACTs party vote is currently less than 1 electorate seat, any Act candidate winning in Epsom will most likely cause an overhang on seats,which ups National threshold by 1 seat.

          And yes NZF v Craig is an interesting one, it really comes down the cup of tea moment Key has with Craig closer to the 20th of September to signal East Coast Bays voters who to give their electoral seat vote to, and how many National supporters actually get out and vote on the day. national is worried about that.

          If Craig doesn’t get the royal nod in time, then Winston is a shoe in and the grumpy voters will stay with Winston to ensure he gets 5% thus giving him the margin he needs, to get the kingmaker role.

          And of course, the Internet/Mana party may actually, do a number too – especially if Hone comes through and Internet mobiles the lost youth votes, then that would be a few seats there.

          And basically unless its a direct National win of over 50% seats (any likely overhang included), then the post-election merry go round has to happen.

          Just bear one thing in mind with all political polls, the undecideds (aka “The Don’t knows”) are often important and seldom actually reported by the media when they trumpet this or that poll result, but some polls have them as high as 20% of the samples.

          And which way they go on the day is a big contributor to the outcome – which is one of the elephants in the room with all political polling (the other is using landline telephone surveying methods).

          Still the more pressure comes on National this side of the election the better, it increases the chance of a CRL start date flip flop by Key and co before polling day.

          1. Me neither Greg.

            My point is simply that if NZF don’t get to 5%, and CC could take a percent or two away and NZF get 4%, then their votes are ignored, and to get half the seats in the house either block only needs to get to 48%, If Craig then take 2% and fail to win a seat then it becomes 47% . The Nats then themselves, plus their add-ons, would only need some 45% of those who vote…..

          2. Tactical voting is going to be be a critical factor.

            Who would you prefer having the balance of power – NZF or CC? NZF have clearly signalled that their views on transport will be a clear point of difference if they go into negotiations with the Nats on forming the next government. And the Nats may well find NZF easier to work with than CC in that NZF are more closely aligned with the political centre which is where they need to be if they are to have any hope of winning a 4th term. Very tight election coming.

            As for the work Auckland Transport are doing to advance the CRL – great stuff!

          3. understand that a lot of people on here would like National to be ousted but surely any sane person must realise what a complete clusterf**k would occur if there was a “Labour / Greens / Mana / Internet Party” coalition ruling NZ. I am very worried.

          4. Mike,
            I wouldn’t be bothered if the Nats stay in, as long as either Joyce and Brownlee go, or they stay but change the current roads only focus they have for transport “policy” and instead look at the bigger picture and have “horses for courses” approach. Not the Roads for Africa approach we have now.

            Key will flip flop which ever way he reads the wind blowing, its a matter of putting the wind up him so he does actually rein in his out of control ministers of Economic Development and Transport.

          5. Both the people you spoke about yes need changing Brownlee will need to focused on Christchurch only Were he can do good .that in its self is a major as you would expect
            I think there is way to much pointing the finger at Key when it comes to problems he has a big job as we all know and it is hard to do when the kindergarten behind him are playing up

  7. You guys who predict a Lab/Green “distaster” are being a bit presumptious in your not-so-humble opinions of what will happen. How do you know that it will be a disaster? Simple – you don’t. You may be pleasantly surprised. On the other hand If they fail to perform it will most likely be through non-achieving rather than sabotaging the country. But even if they mess up in a big way, what makes you think it will be any less of a disaster than National bulldozing on to commit $40 billion of mainly borrowed money to unproductive new motorways all over the country? This wrong-headed policy stands to sink our economy as it seems has happened in Greece and Portugal, for similar reasons. Stopping this madness is crucial and I don’t think you Lab/Green-o-phobe scaremongers quite realise the likely outcome of National remaining in office for another term. Unless they have a serious change-of-heart, we face a guaranteed disaster. Wake up New Zealand!

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