As the Council undertakes the challenging task of putting together its budget for the next 10 years there is renewed focus on the City Rail Link project and the extent to which Council can afford to fund its share of the project over the upcoming years. With stage one of the project pushing ahead in the relatively near future and lots of questions remaining around the timing of government’s contribution to the project as a whole, the timing and phasing of the CRL will clearly – and rightfully given its cost and its fundamental importance to transforming Auckland – be a key point of discussion over the next few months.

A good conversation about CRL needs to be well informed though – and in this regard it seems that both the Council and Auckland Transport have dropped the ball on the project again and again over the past few years, to the extent that it remains fundamentally misunderstood over and over again, including by local politicians in areas that would benefit from the project tremendously.

A couple of days ago I wrote about how the CRL helps address capacity issues, particularly in the CBD however it’s not only the CBD that benefits from the project. Last year I put together a post outlining how the CRL benefits various parts of Auckland as well as the region as a whole. It’s worth revisiting those key points:

Benefits for all of Auckland (and New Zealand):

We generally don’t invest in transport just for a transport outcome, but because we want an improved transport situation to lead to other, wider, benefits – in particular economic growth and productivity. The CRL will enable the Auckland City Centre to grow much larger than would be feasibly possible without it – the City Centre Future Access Study highlighted the massive transport issues that we’ll face in the not too distant future unless we build the link.

Enabling a larger and more vibrant city centre (amenity of the place isn’t going to be great with thousands upon thousands of buses trawling through it) is shown internationally to significantly boost economic productivity – as city centre workers are generally more productive than those elsewhere. This chart is from the 2010 business case:

There are two distinct elements which make up this difference:

  • Some particularly productive jobs tend to exclusively or near exclusively locate in the CBD
  • The same job done in the CBD is generally able to be performed more productively than elsewhere

Ultimately a more productive and successful economy should benefit everyone, through an increased standard of living, an increased tax take that can be spend on social services etc. Compared to cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Auckland has a relatively small city centre as a proportion of total employment – which the economic research above tends to indicate could well be a reason behind Auckland’s relatively poor economic performance.

The other main ‘region wide’ benefit is how having a vastly improved rail system will take pressure off Auckland’s already stressed roading network as the population grows. The price of planned motorway upgrades (e.g. $5 billion Harbour Crossing) highlights that expanding the motorway network to match population growth is just impossible – whereas the rail system has huge unused capacity that the CRL will enable. It also tends to be the car trips which can easily be replaced by rail (longer peak time trips to the city centre) which create the most significant congestion for everyone else – so getting those people off the road could well help your commute, no matter where you live and where you’re heading to.

Benefits for the North:

Although the rail system in Auckland does not (yet) extend to the North Shore there are ways in which the CRL still benefits those on the North Shore. Let’s just run through a few:

  • The CRL means that fewer buses need to be run into the city centre from the south, west and east – which frees up space in the city centre for buses from the North Shore.
  • A future North Shore railway line would link up to the existing rail network at Aotea Station, therefore the CRL is essential to enable that future line to connect up to the rest of the rail network. A North Shore connection at the existing Britomart Station would place too much pressure on the Quay Park junction and basically negate the ability to ever build CRL.
  • A large number of buses from the North Shore in the future will travel along Wellesley Street, meaning that Aotea Station will be really handy if passengers from the North Shore wish to transfer onto a train to travel elsewhere in Auckland.

Benefits for the West:

For people outside the realistic catchment of the Western Railway Line, the benefits are quite similar to people living on the North Shore. The northwest’s future busway along State Highway 16 will inevitably feed a lot of buses into a city from a corridor that’s not likely to be replaced with rail – and those buses will need to go somewhere and will operate much better if they’re not competing with buses from rail served areas for streetspace.

For those within the Western Line catchment, you are some of the biggest beneficiaries of the CRL as you trips will be significantly quicker if you’re travelling to the CBD, but also you’ll be able to enjoy significantly more trains as a result of CRL unlocking the capacity of the whole rail system – creating a huge benefit even if you’re not travelling into the city centre. Here’s a useful before and after in terms of travel time from key stations to the city centre – note the vastly quicker times from the West:Benefits for the Isthmus Area:

As detailed earlier, areas in the isthmus along the Western Line will benefit hugely from the CRL in terms of travel time and also increased frequency. The city centre will benefit enormously from improved access – meaning that most places will be within a short walk of the rail network – rather than just a few areas around Britomart.catchmentIn other parts of the isthmus, areas near the inner southern line and the eastern line will benefit from faster trips to a greater proportion of the city centre and also increased train frequencies (meaning shorter waits at stations). Areas outside the existing rail network will enjoy similar benefits to the North Shore in terms of their buses not getting stuck in as much bus congestion in the city centre. But also the CRL enables other extensions to the rail system, such as the Mt Roskill branch line – which would be pretty cheap to build and extends the rail network into a part of Auckland with heaps of development potential, along with taking some pressure off Dominion and Sandringham Road buses.

Benefits for the South:

The new bus network in the south revolves around better bus routes for cross-town journeys and feeding a lot more buses into the rail network at key locations like Panmure and Manukau. The City Rail Link will enable higher frequencies along the rail network, meaning less overcrowding on services and shorter waits for trains. It also means faster trips from the south to parts of the city centre beyond the immediate surrounds of Britomart.

The CRL is also a prerequisite for rail to the airport, as without CRL it’s not possible to run trains on the Airport Line at a frequency of greater than half-hourly (and you wouldn’t spend $700m or more on a line that can only run half-hourly). The Airport Line potentially has massive benefits for the south – improving access to the airport itself for employees, acting as a catalyst for the redevelopment of areas around new stations at Mangere Bridge, Mangere Town Centre (and perhaps elsewhere?) and providing a rapid transit quality link between Manukau and the Airport. But none of that can happen until CRL happens.

Benefits for the Southeast:

As part of the AMETI project, a busway will be built between Botany and Panmure. This will provide a really high quality public transport option for a part of Auckland that has historically been incredibly neglected when it comes to public transport. However for trips between Panmure and the city centre, the rail network will still be the rapid transit option and the CRL provides both the additional capacity of extra trains along what will become a very busy section of the rail network, as well as direct trains from Panmure to not only Britomart but also onto Aotea, K Road and Newton stations – providing far better access from the southeast to the wider city centre and its surrounds.


As you can see the CRL benefits all different parts of Auckland – whether they’re on the rail network or not. I think the two areas that will benefit the most are the city centre itself and the west: due to the improvements in coverage of the rail network and the “cutting the corner” between Mt Eden and the city centre respectively. However parts of Auckland which aren’t even on the rail network will benefit: either through the CRL making possible future expansion of the network (i.e. Airport Rail, North Shore rail and the Mt Roskill Branch) or CRL removing many buses from the network and therefore allowing the bus system to operate more effectively – such as for the North Shore and the Northwest.

In addition to these specific benefits the economic growth and the significant capacity expansion of Auckland’s transport network that the CRL will provide have the potential to benefit the whole city, and in fact the entire country.

Some additional key additional points

  • In relation to the south is that without CRL we will never be able to increase train frequencies beyond what they are once electrification has been completed. Papakura has roughly a peak time train every 10 minutes at the moment – without CRL that’s not going to change – ever. How does that work with a city the size of Hamilton planned between Papakura and Pukekohe over the next 30 years, plus huge growth within the existing urban area over that time too.
  • It increases connectivity and reduces travel times via PT for trips that involve the rail network thanks to the higher frequencies and in some cases the more direct services e.g. from the North Shore to the Inner West.

I can’t think of any other project that manages to have such a significant impact across the entire region. It is one of those projects that is so transformational most people simply won’t realise the full extent it will have on how we get around.

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    1. It will benefit them when the spending on the RoNS really bites and taxes,rates and debt have gone up and any supposed economic benefit turns out to be quite small and they pack it in and head for Australia. There they will see koalas and other cute marsupials and it will make them happy.

    2. Many of those with holiday houses in the Coromandel will consider selling and buy a place north of Auckland based on the 3min travel time saving that the holiday highway offers. This will result in a huge decrease* in traffic on the Southern Motorway on Friday night benefiting South Aucklanders wanting to get home.

      * Totally made up, may not actually happen.

  1. Yes those are all good reasons why the project should proceed. It is a pity that in zoning areas for intensification, our city planners seem not to have focused on locating their zonings closer to the rail corridor and other infrastructure (main sewer lines for example). If rail is to play its propoer part in guiding the development of the city within now constrained limits, it is necessay for planners to consider better such major infrastructure issues when deciding upon intensified residential zones. Unfortunately there is no sighn as yet of that transformation in their thinking occurring.

    1. Good point Dick. Why is the Council encouraging growth at Wynyard and Kumeu with no plans to provide proper transport options. Papatoetoe railway station is surrounded by grass and very low density housing and commercial buildings.

      1. Papatoetoe is a sitter for a New Lynn scaled redevelopment. But without the need to spend anything on massive road or rail infrastructure. Just needs those electric trains to make living near the tracks so much nicer, which will be the case next year. The potential for a public private partnership and a high level of community involvement in building heaps of affordable apartments and terraces and desperately needed improved public realm and retail…. should be on the list. The connectivity to education especially is going to be lavish from there on the rail line.

        1. Unfortunately much of Papatoeote is going to be a complete no go zone for any intensification due to the location of the Airport and approach paths. The Airport will fight tooth and nail to prevent it.

          1. Not talking about tower blocks, just that ideal of a 4-5-6-7 storey residential/retail urban centre right next to the rail and bus station…. Minutes from the airport by bus, and from the city and south by train. Would be a fantastic affordable student location, especially with AK Uni’s Grafton campus and MIT’s Manukau one. Look at how connected it is to employment: Airport, Hospitals, the list goes on.

            But it does need a plan and a good one. This is what the Council property CCO should be doing. With the private sector, like they do in Melbourne. There the Vic Housing Commission under-rights private development by taking around a third of the dwellings in each development, the lower value ones, leaving the developer to only have to get commitments on say another third to get funding. Could be fast tracked through the SHA process. Big job to get local community on board so they must have real public realm benefits and business and residential opportunities.

            The benefits for the whole city are enormous. These places are already well served by existing services, including, in this case, transport (in a year or so). Actually a lot easier and cheaper than what is being done at New Lynn. No big infra spend required. Local economy there needs a shot in the arm. Generate employment and local shoppers and community users to get above the critical mass for better offerings than currently present.

          2. The Approach Paths and noise zones are already defined. I thought the station was to the north of these zones. The Council already owns large parts of the commercial area near the station.

        2. All good reasons, but Is Papatoetoe HQ electorate for the major opposition parliamentary candidate? That always seems to speed the projects along.

    2. I always thought otahuhu was ripe for intensifiaction around the station. Both Residential and business.

      Would also like more businesses located around train stations under the unitary plan so people can train to work out of the cbd. Existing warehouse areas like Henderson valley road are under-utilised by train users.

    1. Happily the Herald’s circulation continues to decline as it focusses only on reflecting back the views of its most loyal market, ageing suburbanites.

      A very strange business plan as this group are, by definition, declining. While still alive however they do offer a steady supply of indignant and ili-informed letter writers.

      1. Although the Herald online is read by many younger people and people throughout NZ. It’s the ill informed articles that those people see though.

        1. although I suspect many younger people, such as myself, are increasingly turning to other online news sources that are more balanced in their reporting.

      2. “While still alive however they do offer a steady supply of indignant and ili-informed letter writers.”

        The same could alos be said of many of those writing the articles.

  2. Someone should make a Mini Metro style animation that shows the Britomart bottleneck without the CRL. Try adding more frequency on the lines, or adding in a North Shore line and you will see that it just does not work. Then you show the network again with the CRL, and increased frequencies and extra lines to show how the CRL is essential.

  3. The North Shore busway does not directly benefit me, it should be mothballed.

    In fact the entire harbour bridge just seems like a waste of time for most of Auckland, time to cut our loses and tear it down.

      1. Why does Auckland need an international airport? The average Aucklander travels overseas, what, once a year? Most people not even that. Wasteful useless investment, when a domestic airport would be fine.

      1. RATES Patrick. You might have put in a very small amount from your taxes to fund central governments share but North Shore ratepayers made a huge contribution to the busway, as far as I am aware no regional money went into it although I could be wrong about that. You see this is the way it works, North Shore people get to pay for their own stuff. Wastewater payed for be ratepayers since nicked by Watercare who now charge and arm and a leg, Motorways, SH18 Constellation Dr to Albany highway then nicked by Transit NZ, the busway stations and roads leading to it then given to AT. Of course we then get to pay for your stuff as well and put up with your insults about declining suburban people who are of no value other than to pay for shit.

        1. I so love the preciousness of the 20% of Aucklanders that are the North Shore; listening to their constant whine you’d think they are some vast majority funding the rest of the city. What bollocks; it truth they are mostly a bunch of cultureless freeloaders, with a vast sense of over-entitlement. Decades of non-contribution to Auckland institutions like the Art Gallery and Museum alone are evidence enough of their selfish miserablism, but to have listen whinge about transport infrastructure funding is just hilarious. The only part of the city with decent bus infrastructure but that also gets lavish motorway spending from a government that rewards them with congestion inducing spending for their loyalty… ha! Enjoy. The Christchurch of Auckland indeed [hat tip to John Campbell].

          1. Sorry for the delay in debunking you Patrick. North Shore ratepayers have paid their share of the Museum through a levy that existed the entire time NSCC existed (and the earlier councils). As for the art gallery each Council got to choose if they wanted to build their own or not Auckland did, the rest didn’t want one. The only freeloaders were the residents of Auckland that built a gallery then expected everyone to pay for it for them. We are not the only ones being exploited by the spend up in the CBD but we are the ones speaking out because we know what we had and the cost now being imposed on us. Time to go back to only allowing ratepayers to vote in local elections. We might get some value then.

    1. So you just didn’t bother reading the article? Do you think it is just a loop that goes around the city centre?

      How will it not benefit people in New Lynn when they can now jump on a train and be in Penrose or Manukau in less than an hour? Or the city centre 15 mins faster? That increases the number of jobs they can apply for, the places they can shop or the people they can visit, without experiencing traffic congestion or car costs.

      End of? End of you having to actually understand the project and step outside your preconceived ideas?

      1. Nope, sorry. You havnt converted me to your justification on building the CRL. This is the problem with the supercity though isn’t it? Cant please everyone.

        1. CBD fringe? What advantage do they get? Surely the biggest benefit goes to western line train users?
          Do we need to please everyone before we build anything? There are plenty of things that the council spend money on that don’t benefit me. Half the roads in the city I have never used, does that mean they shouldn’t have been built?

        2. This is the problem with people who are fixed in their opinions and don’t care about evidence or facts though isn’t it? You cant please anyone who just holds blindly to opinions that have no factual basis.

        3. Haha crazy. I live out west and will get in to town quicker by train than a car with the CRL but you still say no benefit to people out of the cbd. Hilarious.

          1. This is the weird thing; everyone using the CRL to access the City Centre is from somewhere else (excepting those intra centre trips, which are simply an added bonus) so those places are clearly benefitting from it. Live in Papakura, or out west or wherever, and your suburb benefits from your job or study in the centre. Your decision to live there raises real estate and rental values there, you are going shop locally, other members of your household may work or study locally.

            Clearly if it benefits the Centre by increasing the quality of access, then it benefits the places at the other end of those trips….

            There is a strange literalism about this project.

            My view has long been that because it will transform the shape and the way we use our city so much it basically cannot be imagined by many until it is open. The last time we had such a project in Auckland was the Harbour Bridge, and that too was opposed by the unimaginative. And very hard won. It also got ‘value managed’ to near uselessness.

            And this is the risk here, the pressure to lower the cost of the CRL because of the uncomprehending opposition to it has lead to pressure to cut corners in its design. This is the real danger of the campaign against it, not that it will be stopped but that it will be made just that much less useful than it should be through short term cost cutting. Causing expensive double builds, like the Harbour Bridge.

          2. I meant the fringe suburbs will truly benefit (life changing) while others will partly benefit. While myself in the north….

          3. Well Mike I also live in the North and I disagree. I have been unable to apply for a number of jobs in the South because of the horrible travelling I would have to do. I could take the train now to Penrose or Manukau but the reliability and frequency put me off.

            I also never go shopping or the movies at Sylvia Park (despite any advantages) because of the travel environment. I could go straight there on a train with the CRL.

            I could get to Britomart on the ferries or on the excellent Busway.

            If the CRL was in existence I could have applied for those jobs, I could have gone to those movies in Sylvia Park or bought my suit at Sylvia Park rather than elsewhere. So it would benefit me, the employers in those areas and the retailers.

            You are thinking too narrowly and auto centric. I am betting you have never lived in a city with a really good metro system.

          4. Your right, I’ve never lived in a place with a good metro system. I actually would want the CRL to go ahead if we can afford it and if it did not cause other works to miss out. Strictly speaking of ‘benefits’ for the North, merely bread crumbs off a gourmet meal.

          5. Its time to get real on this constant carping from the north. The north is some 20% of the region’s population. It isn’t half or even close to it. Everything we collectively invest in doesn’t have to directly serve this group simply because of their spectacular sense of entitlement. The Shore has the city’s only decent bus infrastructure, that will benefit indirectly from this. And it has a lot of dedicated car users who will also benefit from the numbers of people able to not be on the roads once this system is running.

            Every transport infrastructure investment, including all roads, are somewhere, and the utility of them is unequally distributed. But this one serves a huge proportion of the city directly and all of it indirectly.

            No city of Auckland’s size and growth anywhere in the world can get a full Metro system simply by building a short 3.5 km tunnel and three new stations. This is an amazing opportunity that every city leader anywhere in the world would grab with both hands immediately. We are so lucky that that rail resource is just sitting there waiting to be unlocked. We now have the trains, well next year we will, and the rest of the network is modernised and ready to go, with the coming further train/bus station upgrades. Bargain.

            There is no better value transport project of scale anywhere in the country.

          6. It’s almost a reflection on how well the busway has worked that North Shore-ites seem to have forgotten how recently it was built.

            Whenever the CRL (or anything to do with South Auckland infrastructure) comes up, my North Shore colleague are quick to ask when the Shore will get some decent transport links built, despite 90% of them taking the busway to work every day.

    2. Lets be quite clear who gets a net benefit from it. It will mainly be property owners who can charge higher rents because their land will be worth more. The people who travel on the train will be asked to pay for their trip so they will pay back most of the gain they get leaving them only a small surplus. The shore benefits because there will be more space for their bus to stop? Some benefits are so small it is probably best to ignore them rather than invite ridicule. And as for the graph showing CBD workers add more value, you dont make the jump to cause and effect but you put it in hoping others would. If it was anything other than higher paid jobs move to the CBD then we would be closing workplaces and moving people into the CBD so they could be paid more to do the same work.

      1. Obviously the main benefit will go to people who use the train who will arrive quicker, and people who will start using the train because there is a station close to their destination. A smaller benefit for everyone is that more people using the train will mean less people using the roads.
        Just because you don’t use the train or work in the city, doesn’t mean the CRL shouldn’t get built. I hardly ever drive to the shore, doesn’t mean the harbour bridge shouldn’t have been built.

      2. Perhaps I need to clarify. I think CRL should be built and needs to be built in order for the CBD to grow. I think it has benefits that will accrue to users and land owners with some secondary benefits to people who wont be delayed as much as they would have on the motorway. But the wider stuff little better than the Rons argument.

        1. So the benefit for someone who uses the the radically improved Transit system that the CRL brings to access a good job or education opportunity in the Centre City but lives in some far flung outer part of Auckland South, West or East, or someone on Shore who finds their bus more frequent and less congested in the city, or even the driver who benefits from the additional millions now on the Transit networks and out of their way, can not be considered as benefits for anywhere but the City Centre?

          This is a failure to understand networks and inter connectedness. The CRL will radically change the number of places in the wider city that can be considered functioning places to live and therefore spend money locally, to in fact drag the resources of the higher value centre out to the suburbs.

          It is a complete mistake to ignore the value of one end of these journeys and only look at the other simply because that’s where the digging will take place.

          1. Patrick I understand how a network operates but I also understand how few people want to travel to the CBD compared with the number who don’t. And while it might surprise you, we live in functioning places even if your value judgements you like to dispense don’t recognise them as such. We need CRL to relieve the bottleneck into the CBD but don’t for a second try to claim a job in the CBD is any more valuable than the same job elsewhere or people travelling there are worth more than anyone else because that is just BS. It is as stupid as adding up the value added of people who drive into the CBD versus those who get the bus and claiming more people should drive. And as for whether CRL gets built I really hope it does but I hope my library doesnt have to close in order to pay for it simply because the clown running the city hasn’t budgeted properly to date.

          2. The highest concentration of the highest incomes in the country are earned in the AKL CBD. That’s what cities do, why people bother to go to work in them, a very simple fact.

            Here’s mention of AK v the regions, and that is mirrored again at the city level with the centre delivering better incomes than the smaller centres which in turn offer more than the periphery. Not rocket science, but consistent pattern:


    3. People who end their comment with “End of”, sigh. It’s the equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and going “mwaaaaah”. It’s childish in the extreme.

      1. Im just jealous of all you people who will get 50k added to your house value or get to work 10mins quicker or can visit your nana in south auckland by train conveniently.

        1. Mike we will look pretty stupid in 20 years time if we don’t build it. Think we have congestion now? When we have another million people in the city you can give up any thought of trying to drive anywhere. Heading to the airport? Faster to walk.

          1. I will put my supercity hat on to answer your question. Yes we will look stupid and we need this for the future. Now I will put my ex Rodney district council hat on and say ‘Its so much money for something that just will not benefit my community’.

          2. Mike I would suggest you do the maths before making statements about how well Rodney does out if the super city. You came in with high debt and low asset values. You are sparsely populated, which means lots of expensive roads divided by few users and ratepayers.

  4. WARNING: Sarcasm ahead.
    I can’t believe the council is spending money on a pocket park in Kingsland! That’s like over five hundred metres from where I live! I don’t see how something that will take a whole five minutes to walk to will affect me in any way. I demand the council immediately bring this project to a halt and focus on more local services like a swimming pool outside my apartment. If it’s not on my street it’s a waste of money!

  5. My letter on CRL submitted to Herald but unlikely to be published:
    Dear Sir,
    Some have latched on to the apparent coincidence of the $2.8 billion funding gap for Auckland Council over the next 10 years and the cost of the Central Rail Link. From this they have then wrongly assumed that canceling the CRL would eliminate the gap.
    But funding for CRL will be shared 50:50 with the government, and up to 30% of Auckland’s share will come from some form of road user charges. Thus only about 35% of the cost will come from ratepayers.
    In addition, the often quoted $2.8 billion cost of the CRL is inflated into 2022 dollars – the cost in 2014 dollars is under $2.5 billion. And that includes about $600 million worth of additional rolling stock and upgrades to the wider rail network which are not strictly attributable to the CRL itself and could if necessary be deferred.
    So the net cost of the CRL in current dollars is about $1.9 billion of which the ratepayers share will be less than $700 million, spread over 4-5 years. By contrast, Council already spends over $3 billion every year.
    CRL is not an unaffordable luxury – it is an essential project that we cannot afford to delay.

  6. Re : Auckland Super-City, who actually lives there?

    It seems one of the major problems is advertising and branding, as largely people still consider themselves part of the original suburb which was consumed by planet Auckland.

    People also quite rightly consider “their patch”, to actually be something they own. A true city does not actually care about which citizen and merely that there are some. A true City is a machine ( See London ), and does what is right for it to grow, otherwise it shrinks.

    It doesn’t help the citizens of Auckland when our leaders practise incompetence as after all, trust is earned ( see Shuttles, Artwork, not mowing grass etc).

    Unless all the people start thinking of “What helps Auckland” everything will always turn into an argument about why “they” are getting stuff.

  7. You’d think the way some are fixated on the CRL that everyone in Auckland works in the CBD or travels into the CBD to shop. What a load of rot. The amount it is going to cost compared to the amount of people who will benefit from it must be so lop sided. There are more important things in Auckland that need money spent on it before blowing billions on Browns legacy project

    1. Yeah like more roads! This is exactly the type of comment that gets made without any basis, for the last time the CRL improves the whole Network it is not just about adding stations to the CBD it’s about adding additional capacity to the entire network and cutting journey times from the West and South. No other city in the world would do this but then again no other city is up against the idiots that live here with their small minded views, sorry but I’m sick of this utter crap that get’s spouted by people that live here and who have no vision and don’t like change. This why people get pissed off and head overseas! The CRL is a no brainer and should already be built why is this so hard here.

    2. Brian please try and actually read the post and all the other information here on this site. I know it is easier to listen to talk back radioand parrot that back but there are actually facts and figures to back up the value of the CRL. Actual evidence not opinions.

      I guarantee that once it is built you will use the trains more. Especially if you are in Mt Wellington as you will then have access to a fantastic metro system that will take you almost everywhere on the isthmus.

    3. Ok Brian,
      Whats your solutions for where and how the next million people in Auckland are going to live, shop and move around the city?
      From the outer outer suburbs, all using cars like the existing 1.5 million Aucklanders do now?
      And how much do you expect catering for the driving habits of the next million residents of Auckland will cost current and future Aucklanders over the next decades?
      $1 B? $2B? or more like $10B or $20B?

      And how will we pay for the roads and other infrastructure required to allow that many more cars on the roads more rates?
      The same rates you think are being frittered away on luxuries like the CRL?

      Whatever the CRL costs Auckland’s rate payers, whether it be under 1 Billion, somewhere near 2 Billion or more, it will be considered a bargain by everyone in the future.
      And don’t forget, the Government have committed (both parties – NAtional And Labour) to pay for 50% of the CRL cost, so the true cost of CRL to Auckland Ratepayers is half the bandied about figure.

    4. Brian Mt Wellington is exactly an area that will benefit from the CRL, and is already benefitting from the revival in the rail passenger system. The new Panmure Station is already booming, yet the new trains at better frequencies are not running there yet, nor are there the bus lanes to it that will make it even a more logical choice for many more people. And the CRL will make this option radically more useful, in every direction, and not just to the City Centre, but through it too, and south….

      And hey, that may never be you, you may never take a train or a bus, but every time you drive anywhere in Auckland, once the city is transformed into a true Metro city with the CRL, so many others will be using it that your drive is going to be a quicker and easier than it ever could be without this investment.

      It is an investment into an entire network, not just the place where the work is happen. Although of course it will revive that too.

  8. So, Matt has demonstrated admirably the broad appeal of the project to ratepayers across the city and Graeme quite rightly notes that the cost to ratepayers is actually $700m spread across 4-5 years. I think that Aucklanders are rightly concerned that little things that really matter – libraries, swimming pools, inorganic rubbish collection and the like – are going to be shut down to pay for big ticket items. So, if we need to shelve $700m of capital expenditure across a 5 year window, what should be chucked out (based on the current LTP or other new stuff that is likely to appear) to fill the hole and balance the books? If there are obvious candidates that match the right time profile then can someone list them? I’d like to know what should be in my submission on the LTP!

    1. Roads should be scaled back. Read Rudman’s post in the Herald today – it’s bang on. Also, the Congestion Free Network proposal lists a number of lavish roading projects that could/should be scaled back or cut entirely.

      1. So, given that Auckland cannot dictate to NZTA HNO (even if we might think some of their projects are misguided), the CFN financial analysis would seem to suggest that there are three AT projects that should be canned in the first decade to fund the $700m – Penlink, Mill Road and the GSR upgrades? Would that do it? Just trying to get specific here for the LTP – saying “scale back roads” just gets coded in the analysis to a generic “no roads” bucket, whereas focus on specific projects might be more difficult for those that analyse responses to ignore?

  9. I suspect many people won’t see any benefit from the CRL simply because they see it as benefiting just the fmr ACC area. Maybe AT and the AC should highlight other projects that are happening in the North, West, East and South that way many others will see that they are also being invested into.

    I’m from South Auckland and i support the CRL 100%, but many others see these projects as just a central city project that is paid for at the expense of the North,West and South.

    1. Unfortunately the various comms teams across council and associated CCOs are fundamentally terrible at their jobs.
      If they can’t get it together enough to get Len to call it the City Rail Link (unless that was a sub-editor at NZH having a laugh) then how can they communicate effectively to the rest of Auckland?
      Also, see Unitary Plan comms for another example of a total shambles.

      1. It’s the Herald, they hate Brown and the anything he proposes. So they oppose something so good for the city because they are blinded by their rage against Brown. It is hard to understand even as a paper moving strategy. Hence ongoing decline in subs.

  10. “The same job done in the CBD is generally able to be performed more productively than elsewhere”

    To take an observation of contemporary data pertaining to a non-representative selection of NZ businesses and extrapolate that to “jobs” in the CBD in a post-CRL future is not warranted. I realise that it was uplifted from the 2010 business case…but that doesn’t make it any more plausible.

    The 2010 business case for the CRL (APB&B) referenced David C. Maré’s report “Labour Productivity in
    Auckland Firms”. A quick google will bring up a pdf of it.

    Some selected quotes:

    “The argument that raising concentration in Auckland could plausibly raise New
    Zealand’s economic performance has been eloquently asserted in a range of policy
    and discussion documents (e.g.: Skilling (2006), Auckland Regional Council (2007),
    Metro Project (2007) Committee for Auckland (2006)), although the presentation is
    often more aspirational and motivational than it is evidence-based”

    Translation: We would like it to be so but there is little evidence to indicate that it will be so.

    “The implication of these patterns is that, within Auckland, firms in denser areas are
    on average more productive, but that increasing density is not necessarily associated
    with an increase in productivity.”

    Translation: Based on observed historical data increased employment density has not invariably resulted in increased labour productivity. Based on the referenced report there is scant reason to expect that the same job done in the CBD is generally able to be performed more productively than elsewhere.

    “The cross-sectional estimates imply that having density that is twice as high is
    associated with productivity that is 8.6% higher.”

    Translation: Based on observed historical data an area with double the employment density increased employment density is associated with an average 8.6% greater productivity, irrespective of where it is AND assuming a causal link that can be extrapolated to future growth a doubling of employment density in the CBD would be no more effective than equivalent increases in employment density anywhere else in NZ. At the risk of extrapolating to a possibly unwarranted conclusion one could state that it’s all related to NZ’s population; a doubling of population might be expected to result in an uplift in labour productivity of 8.6% given the fixed land area. The argument that employment densification in the CBD is better in the CBD than elsewhere risks becoming a zero-sum game for Auckland or NZ as a whole. Glaeser touched on that as being a risk, absent compelling data on a hyper-linear relationship and Maré is suggesting a linear relationship.

    “While many theories of agglomeration suggest that density can lead to higher
    productivity, it is also possible that density is a consequence of productivity

    Translation: Correlation is not causation

    “It is significant that the elasticity of productivity with respect to own-industry density is
    stronger than the overall-density elasticity. This suggests that localisation effects are
    generally more pronounced than the urbanisation effects of density per se. Own-industry density is more strongly related to
    productivity than is density, even for the most dispersed industries.”

    Translation: It seems that clustering is more effective than employment density.

    I want to see the CRL go ahead. Unwarranted “faith-based” claims don’t help the case.

  11. If CRL is to survive, it needs to go on a crash diet, to be the absolute minimum that it would cost to construct 2 railway lines from Mt Eden station to Britomart via Aotea station. Forget additional train sets, nice to have stations, and other improvements. They can come later. Even the map of Singapore MRT shows “missing” station codes, where provision has been made for future construction.

    The arguments above, while well presented mean nothing to retired people in North Shore or Howick, or the low paid of Manurewa or Otara. Being a successful councilor means being able to spread the least amount of money to benefit the maximum number voters. CRL in its current form doesn’t do this very well.

    1. I totally disagree. Spending nearly 2 bil on something suboptimal is a very poor idea. Anyway it will just cost much more to rebuild all the corners cut later. And what are you thinking of? Smaller stations? no crossovers? what exactly?

      What we can certainly do is be more accurate about the actual cost, which is 1.8bil. And stop using a figure that includes additional trains in 2030, and double tracking on the Onehunga Line and other sums. You will never see the cost of Waterview, for example with all the work on SH16 , the rest of SH20, other interchanges and local roads included, yet it is dependent on all those works too.

      It may be hard to get some to understand the CRL’s widespread benefits, but given its popularity perhaps the people of Auckland aren’t as stupid as some seem to think?

      1. I was not talking of cutting corners. I was talking of not building some things in the initial project, such as the deep stations and all the other ideas that get thrown into CRL. Learn from the roading lobby and separate out all the other rail spending. It is not me using the higher figure, but opponents. Having worked for a council for 12 years, I know there are ways to get a project passed, and ways to get it killed. The way to get it passed is cut out the “extras”, but provide for them to be added in the future. In Singapore, they build the box that will contain the future station, but no more.

        1. But what ‘extras’?

          I get your thinking, and we’ve all considered ways to stage it but it just isn’t possible or desirable. All the stations are integral to the value of the project.

          But anyway it essentially is staged, it will take 5/6 years to build, meaning that the two funders AC + gov have no year with massive cost. This also unfortunately means that the value won’t be in effect until the project is complete either. But that is unavoidable, and is exactly the same as say the Waterview project.

        1. There are legal hurdles with the council acquiring land for infrastructure development but subsequently developing or selling it on at a profit.

          …but only if they compulsorily acquire, not if they have a private sale with a willing seller.

          1. I would argue this is simply a case of who makes the law, and what for.

            I’m all for people who are “inconvenienced” by civic development corporations ( in here style of Singapore) being compensated as much as is logical.

            If it means people are put up in 5 star hotels whilst housing is developed for them to move in to, or if they choose to take cash and go elsewhere, so be it.

            It is after all a law that anyone who owns land, does so to the centre of the earth. This is logical if one chooses to begin open cast mining ( which is apparently every Aucklander’s right ), but this is equally a case where the law is an ass in any practical sense.

    2. Hey Neil,
      The last time we did that cutting corners on some “big project” to save a few dollars – we got a 4 lane harbour bridge in return.

      Prior to the bridge being built, how many people would you have said the bridge have directly benefited? A few thousand, out of a population of half a million, i.e. only those who lived on the North Shore?

      Well CRL spreads it benefit far far wider than that, and how far is not that obvious unless you look at the bigger picture.
      Just like those who pushed for the harbour bridge were doing in their day. Yes they had luddites like you nay saying up and down the country saying how it would ruin the planet and make the country and whatever bankrupt, didn’t though did it? In fact proved so wildly popular than in 5 years is exceeded its 20 year traffic volumes target, requiring expensive clip-ons be added.

      When we build CRL we only want to build it once, not the two or three times like we did with the harbour bridge with clipons and the like.
      [Three times? yeah three time, the first was the original, the second the clip ons and the third times when we had to fix up the clip ons to make them last due to the fact that they took the cheapest design and not a more expensive but proven design like the original bridge had].

      As for the cost, as Patrick says that figure is (a) inflated (b) loaded with all sort of other stuff not related to the CRL itself and (c) onlygoing to get cheaper, not more expensive as the actual investigation are done and the build progresses and (d) is the full cost, of which you as ratepayer will pay 50%.

      I’d expect that the true cost of the CRL – once built and if built all in one go, will be under $1.5B in 2010 dollars. Thats nearly half the figure you quote.

      And do not forget, all major parties (Nat and Labour) who will form the central governments in power when CRL is built have committed to pay 50% of the cost.
      The only thing they disagree on is when the build it, not if we should build it.

      So the true costs to Auckland rate payers of CRL is $750m.

      You will be hard pressed to find a better value major PT project anywhere within NZ (or proably Australasia) for the local ratepayers – no matter where you look.

      1. I never quoted any figures in any of my postings, and I am not disputing the value for money. I am merely suggesting the project be split into smaller components, that can be costed separately.

        1. In effect it is being divided into, as I understand it, five parts:

          Britomart to Wyndham St cut and cover tunnels, currently being tendered.
          Wyndham to Wellesley incl Aotea Station
          Bored Tunnel Mt Eden to Wellesley St
          K Rd Station
          Newton Station

          From what I understand:
          Once the first three are completed, and the last two all but done, then we can start to reap the rewards. In other words the fitouts of the two deep stations could follow the use of the tunnel and Aotea Station, but as their station boxes would have to be mined before the tunnel is bored this would not save much cost, although this may allow the benefits to be started to be seen earlier.

          Others may have more information.

  12. Excerpt from correspondence with a significant NZ transport economist via a specialist discussion list:

    “……..Traffic congestion and delay are part of a bigger problem, where there is not just a lack of productivity enhancement via agglomeration – agglomeration requires access between participants in it, not just proximity of numbers of people; and it also requires more enabling infrastructure besides transport and communications – there is also a major problem with economic rent being extracted in such economies. Economic rent reduces productivity in the vital tradables sector of the economy, and creates and entrenches inequality.

    Somehow, every country that has progressed from this to “developed”, has minimised along the way, both economic land rent and traffic congestion. They have also maximised access between participants in agglomeration economies, enabled demand, and increased productivity. These factors are closely inter-related.

    The problem with the argument regarding a “developed nation” city suffering from unusual congestion, that the marginal social cost (of congestion) is about equal to the marginal construction cost (of new capacity), is that it is focused too narrowly, on only two factors. Alain Bertaud’s recent paper “Cities as Labour Markets” suggests that it is important to look at the number of jobs accessible from every location within a given time frame, and the corollary, the number of employees available to an employer at every potential location; there are productivity implications. Furthermore, the affordability of housing relative to the location of a job or a potential job that every worker in the city might hold or take. This is like a holistic approach to the mobility of labour – it is the affordability of their optimum locations that matter just as much as their speed of travel.

    The consideration of the impact of economic rent is in addition to this.

    Focusing on the marginal construction cost when this assumes expansion of capacity in existing built areas at massively high cost, misses the potential for dispersion at far lower cost. Workers can travel just as efficiently between home and job on an all-new greenfields arterial road, as they can on an added lane to an existing elevated highway, or a new subway. This is the secret behind the productivity of urban USA as a whole – the fact that they have the “worst” sprawl in the world does not seem to drag their productivity down or make them lose industry faster than the heavily-planned, very-compact-city UK. Nor does it give them less efficient commuting than the UK. The reverse is true. Add to this, the vast difference in economic land rent.

    Households in Auckland, as the years roll on, will find it cold comfort that “the marginal social cost is about equal to the marginal construction cost” of the roads that have not been built for greenfields expansion to allow house price median multiples to be 3 instead of 9. Or that no public money has been “wasted” on building “excess capacity” ahead of growth, while the land was cheap and construction was easy.

    In the big picture, with enough factors taken into account, I am sure Indy’s 3 to 4 times as much highway and arterial lane-miles provide social benefit in excess of their cost, whatever a particular form of calculations “at the margin” might have shown at any one time. The other flawed outcome of focusing on those costs at the margin now, is that it appears worthwhile to spend several dollars per transit trip in subsidies, simply moving people around here and now. The same money used to finance a road, would enable travel, access, demand, and agglomeration economies forever, and at some point the cost-to-date will cross over the figure that “moving people around on transit” would also have cost to date – and it will be all win-win for the economy from that point.

    This should be self-evident as a kind of predictor of policy outcomes in the long term. The UK’s cities are probably the object lesson in “averting the costs of greenfields growth”.

    David’s observation about the predictability of congestion outcomes for “number of intersections on the trip” is a very important one. While I have been lamenting the lack of research focus on the correlation between road lane-miles per capita and several important economic and social indicators, there is an even greater lack when it comes to the extent to which a city’s road lane-miles are grade-separated or otherwise rendered free of delays associated with cross-directional traffic conflicts. Quite possibly the increase in cross-directional traffic conflicts are the reason that density correlates with congestion delays. Lower density dispersion will self-evidently reduce the number of trips whose paths cross, all other things being equal.

    I think Frank Lloyd Wright’s intuitions with his “Broadacre City” model were amazing – he said “dispersion is going to happen anyway, why not plan for it”. Accordingly, Broadacre City was based on a grid network of arterials – the absolute opposite of radial form – and those arterials were heavily grade-separated……”


    Phil Hayward
    Lower Hutt

    1 of 2 – second one to follow, is a further contribution to the discussion a few days later

  13. 2 of 2

    “……Actually, for the big picture analysis of how the transport system serves the city as a labour market, which is the important thing, congestion delay on a particular segment of road is not really a most vital issue. I regard the average commute-to-work time as far more important. Efficient sorting of workplaces and residences into co-location can compensate a lot for inadequate road networks. One of the best examples is, strangely enough, Los Angeles. It has the worst congestion delay in the USA according to all indices, yet its average commute-to-work time is not even in the top 10 longest in the USA.

    Apparently its alternative-route arterials are quite good, but its balance of employment with homes is outstanding – it has one of the most decentralised patterns of employment of any city. It has always seemed to me that this is a worthy objective that is lost sight of in a focus on “PT as the prime objective”, which drives a wish by planners to centralise and nodalise employment.

    I don’t think you could argue that SH2 from Petone to Ngauranga would comprise an unusually low proportion of “all trips” compared to any other cities measured road segments. Quite the opposite, in fact. Wellington has an outlier level of centralisation of regional employment – 33% in the Wellington CBD. Of course the travel on SH2 will be a low proportion of all trips, but nowhere near as low a proportion as typical measured road segments in most other cities.

    I presume the Northern motorway in Auckland will be similarly affected even though Auckland CBD only has 13% of regional employment, because so much of the traffic from the North heading to non-CBD employment locations will still have to use the Northern motorway to get there. Wellington doesn’t have anything like the same “fanning out” of commuters inbound from the North and the Hutt Valley – most of them by far, are heading for the CBD. But I understand a lot of traffic is generated by the airport and the hospital – but these are not destinations that involve the traffic fanning out once they are past the bottleneck of Ngauranga – this traffic actually has to proceed THROUGH the same CBD that the commuters are destined for.

    Therefore it would not surprise me at all if SH2 Petone-Ngauranga was a segment of road that carried a record proportion of its entire region’s total travel (and even more so if expressed as a share of rush-hour travel). I doubt very much that there would be a segment of road in London or Melbourne that would come anywhere near it. I would also think Ngauranga Gorge itself would probably be a similar outlier in global data for road segment “share of total regional travel”.

    Because Auckland already has reasonably dispersed employment, providing alternative routes (to the Harbour Bridge) for the many destinations of commuters from the North would dramatically reduce congestion delay. For Wellington, I would argue that spectacular results would occur from simply allowing employment to disperse to something a lot closer to the global norm. More connections between the SH1 corridor and the SH2 corridor would enable more non-radial commuting to more non-CBD jobs. I think the deliberate 2-corridor transport infrastructure is the chicken and the centralisation of employment is the egg. I have been trying for years to get the Hutt and Porirua to rebel against this Wellington-CBD-centric contrivance.

    But in the bigger picture I think NZ needs to refocus its urban growth onto flatter land where it is far cheaper to provide for growth, and the advantages of amorphous urban form can be reaped by default. A city restricted by ranges of hills, water bodies and so on, will always be at a disadvantage relative to a city which works like a modern silicon chip, with every part interacting with every other part with a minimum of delay. By comparison, a 2-corridor urban model is like the old magnetic tape that you have to wind backwards and forwards to access anything on it. I hold that this is a major reason that Wellington, the capital city, has by far the highest per-capita government spending flowing into its local economy (of any NZ city) and this is “weightless” income; yet it has not converted this into the famed prosperity level of a London, Paris or Washington…..”

    1. Phil we do encourage debate but the reality is long comments simply put people off reading. Can I suggest you try and condense your points in the future to make them easier to engage with

      1. Thanks for letting some of my comments stand, at any rate.

        The problem is that the subject is complex but politics is based on sound-bites. The complexity especially comes out in discussions among expert professionals, which is what I just decided to paste some excerpts from on this forum. The expert professionals generally acknowledge that I am raising very valid questions that are being wrongly overlooked by those who have ended up having the most input into policy decisions.

        Lately, I have deliberately held off until a thread is nearly stale anyway, before posting something long and complex. Is that a reasonable approach, rather than jumping in to threads early with them? One of the problems with making shorter arguments is that they are immediately dismissed as unsupportable claims.

        I would like to see my correspondence with Geoff Cooper aired somehow. I will have another go at that thread. Perhaps it was unfair to Geoff to put all that up when he hasn’t yet responded to my last one.

  14. Hi Phil. Congratulations on your letter in the DomPost this morning. I don’t agree with it, but congratulations anyway. It is a debate that needs to be aired.

    What I can’t understand about your view on all this is why you place a certain not-very-normal form of urban development (the U.S. highly car-dependent model) on a big pedestal, yet you are completely silent on the many advantages of the more-traditional European urban form (good public transport and less reliance on car travel). What have you against this very successful model of development with which many countries are perfectly happy? Why do you agitate for NZ to follow the US instead of Eurpoe?

    1. I appreciate the courteous allowance of debate on this forum. The NZ Herald simply never prints any letters like that one – is that acceptable?

      The way cities develop, is predictable according to the technology of the era in which they develop, and the income of its people, based on productivity improvements. You are over-rating the “Europe” option for countries like NZ, and over-rating the significance of PT even in Europe.

      PT is more fiscally sustainable in cities that have a substantial amount of dense development that pre-dates the car. Even in Europe, these pre-car cores to urban areas are surrounded by suburban development of density no different to that in NZ cities. The difference between us and them, as it stands, is what they had before the car was invented; plus their exponentially larger population base in that whole part of the world, and national economies that are heavily urban based, in contrast to NZ’s primary-produce-export based economy. The difference between US suburbs, and those in NZ and Europe, is that the US’s ones are far lower density. It is false to claim that we are anything like that. But it is also false to claim that it creates congestion or increased travel NEEDS, it has been demonstrated that efficient co-location of jobs and residences keeps commute times stable.

      I confidently predict that it is impossible to impose policies that will create an equivalent form of development to a pre-car one, or an equivalent form of development to unique commerce-created nodes like Manhattan, in “ALL” cities in developed countries. There will be one or two outlier success stories and misery everywhere else. What I don’t want, is NZ to have “all cities” like what the UK has – under-productive, unaffordable, socially unjust, congested, inefficient, obstructive of opportunity, with numerous health and social ills creating by urban planning’s unintended consequences. And none of the claimed benefits from “preventing sprawl” anyway!

      Europe’s PT is not fiscally neutral by a long shot even in spite of the advantages they have in pre-automobile urban form. It is still a heavy burden on public finances. There are more justifications for this in Europe than there are here, and a greater capability to sustain it. Car share of total travel is only a few percent less than the USA – off the top of my head it might be 76% versus 83%. Of course VMT is lower, and this can be explained by the taxes on petrol alone. In economies with severe housing affordability problems, lack of discretionary income also reduces VMT and petrol use.

      I don’t agree with policies and regulations that deprive people of the choice of a car-free lifestyle but I don’t believe this is a problem any more anywhere outside of a mere handful of US cities. Even in the USA, there are plenty of cities and locations you can move to if you want a car-free lifestyle. You just have to get a job in the right place, that’s all. That is the deciding factor in all this – “get a job in the right place”. It works for car-independence and it works for efficient car-based local economies too.

      Even in low density sprawling car-dependent cities with no UGB’s, there are nodes of density occurring either driven by the market, such as Houston CBD; or driven by “smart growth” (sensibly leaving the UGB out of the policy package). Atlanta has won awards for its smart growth nodes. Why can’t the people who want a car-free lifestyle be satisfied with the options they DO have, and stop their political terrorism against the vast majority of people who choose something different? The crowning insult is that when a UGB is imposed, the smart growth nodes end up several times the price they would have been otherwise, and turn into enclaves for wealthy yuppies.

      I support: no UGB. Targeted land taxes. Shift of property tax away from structures and onto land. Road pricing. Removal of restrictions on density. Compulsory acquisition of land where owners would gouge the public by “holding out” against government that needs that land for the fulfillment of plans that the public has given a mandate to. Fiscal incentives to target the lowest denominator indicators that we are trying to affect – energy use, not PT mode share – energy use, not urban density.

      Does this make me “car mad”? Am I “biased” against the policies that cause unintended consequences and do NOT achieve the objectives on which they are claimed to be targeted, because I point out the reality?

      1. Phil I think you push the European had high density cores due to their history a bit too far. Helsinki for instance did not become the capital of Finland until 1812 not that dis similar to Auckland being the capital of NZ in 1841. Finland only reached 50% urbanisation post WW2. NZ cities actually have large areas of workers/small plots villas from the turn of the century, because we urbanised much earlier. My guess is that 80% of Helsinki that you see on the map -including most of the PT was built post WW2 not that different from Auckland, except Wellington chose a motorway only model for Auckland while Helsinki got motorways and PT.

        The reason NZ has little PT infrastructure is to do with our political history not demographic history. Down at Ferrymead -Christchurch’s transport museum you will find trams from all the major towns in NZ -Invercargill, Christchurch and Wellington and so on. Why are they not still running like they do in Melbourne and Helsinki? Because of the way we fund our cities -politicians in Wellington down the years like Muldoon did not support them. Roads and motorways would also quickly collapse if financial support was withdrawn.

        Otherwise I mostly agree with you. 75% Car share and 25% PT seems about right to me. That would give people choices. UGB are a disaster -agreed. Compulsory acquisition of land for affordable housing should definitely be an option on the table.

        NZ town and cities should concentrate on affordably housing and transporting their residents….

  15. Phil. No more broadcasts. We do not maintain this site for unmoderated monologues by random obsessives. Perhaps it is time for you to start your own site.

  16. I think what this city misses is a good french style public transport strike. Then with all the roads clogged by cars, even the biggest petrolhead will understand the importance of PT.

  17. Thanks : ) Winnie is promising an express train from Rangiora something that worked for 100 years up until the 60s. Extend it to Amberley and I will be sweet….
    Actually I am hoping for a North Canterbury community psych nursing job in the near future, but express trains or dedicated busways would make a big difference in my neck of the woods.

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