PM interviewed at EMU celebration

In what looks like a sign that the ‘alignment’ project between the Auckland Council and the Government on transport may well just be falling in the right direction, the following data line was discovered by Luke in a Treasury funding ‘pipeline’ spreadsheet:

Treasury CRL funding

The full document is here.

Matt and I certainly were subjected to a veritable barrage of winks and nods from senior people from both sides of the alignment conversation at the recent EMU delivery celebration so perhaps this is what they were hinting at. And, as I commented earlier the PM was unusually unequivocal about the ‘loop’ in his speech too. And Len was both very upbeat and didn’t, unusually, mention the CRL from his turn at the lectern despite the PM’s presence.

PM speaks at EMU celebration

Has Luke found a scoop?

I am not clear on the status of this pipeline spreadsheet, but it just may be that Luke’s diligence has unearthed something interesting.

[champagne is on ice]

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  1. Good thing you’re holding the champagne. From the Treasury page about the pipeline documents (emphasis mine):

    The Investment Pipeline provides an indication of potential and existing capital investments indicated for the current and upcoming fiscal years. Potential investments identified in the report are not commitments, but are forecast intentions that will likely change over time. The Investment Management and Asset Performance team tracks forecast intentions and updates this report regularly.

    That suggests this is purely Treasury being cautious and forward-looking and allowing for the possibility of porcine self-aviation.

  2. For the visually impaired, the line reads 2018/19; Transport; 1,000 – 3,000m. We’ll take the 3,000m figure thanks! Also of interest existing Treasury commitments in the existing 2015 – 16 year:

    – Hamilton Section 800 – 1000
    – Petone to Ngauranga Cycleway 25 – 50
    – Christchurch Southern Motorway 200 – 300
    – Christchurch Northern Arterial Rural with QE2 200 – 300
    – Huntly Section 400 – 600
    – Hairini Link Stage 4 50 – 100

    So that is a couple billion dollars worth of roads apparently not funded through the National Land Transport Fund, but from Treasury crown funds?

    1. But there is no way they can spend that sort of funding within the 15/16 year,
      The Hamilton section of the Wai Expresssway has a tentative 4 year construction time, So i’m guessing they are placeholder amounts of expected future projects,

      And if thats the case, then they can probably fund some of them by dipping into the “uncommitted funds” slushing round the 15/18 NLTP, which look like around $1 billion.

      See the graph halfway this page

  3. I suspect the amount will probably be confirmed once National has some idea how they are polling in the lead-up to the 2017 election.

    That fact that it is there is hugely encouraging though.

    1. For any National pollsters who read this, I promise I will not consider voting for National as long as the CRL is not funded. Fix your transport funding priorities, and I may put National on the consider list.

      From a capitalist who voted Green last election.

      1. They’ll fund it, we already have an assurance for the later start date, so the earlier start date is something.

        I’m suggesting we could end up with the whole thing paid for by central Govt if the next election looks tighter 😛

        1. So until the CRL is funded, National is off my list of parties to consider.

          If they want to be considered at the next election, or wait until the election after that, it’s up to them.

          Rail-only tunnels to the shore for the AWHC would also help them too. (Light/heavy – I’m not fussed).

    2. Putting my Machiavellian political hat on, an early start could be a very good move for National. They see the zeitgeist in Auckland, see the average public actually supports this quite a lot, and pulling it forward a couple of years won’t hurt their budget very much.

      What it will hurt is the left, knocks a campaign angle right out of their hands. No chance for Labour or Greens to campaign on getting it built faster.

      And now I’m taking the political hat off, its filthy.

      1. I agree – I think having the next stage lined up to go once the Albert St works are completed, would completely take the wind out of the sails for any opposition party wanting to play it up.

        1. If the nats had a more balanced transport policy I probably wouldnt bother voting at all,so thatd be one less vote for the left as I always vote left.

  4. I don’t know, but publishing a line on a spreadsheet and getting the project name wrong doesn’t seem like a very popular way of announcing a multi billion dollar project.

  5. I don’t see it as an announcement, just more a sign things are heading in the right direction. Until recently government very committed to 2020 start date, and a year ago would have been unthinkable for them to suggest it may start in 2018, even in just a vague way.

  6. I’ve suspected the 2018 date since Auckland Council officially changed the start date from 2016 to 2018 over a year ago, and the government began talking about being open to an earlier date than 2020 at about the same time. It’s probably been the tentatively agreed date since then.

    Also of interest is the KiwiRail allocations. The government announced with the last budget that it’ll probably only commit to two more years (2015/16 and 2016/17), but this document has allocations for 2017/18 and 2018/19 as well.

    1. Well the start date is 2015, they are starting shortly. The question is whether they stop for a couple of years with it 1/3rd finished between stage 1 and stage 2, or just carry on through and get the thing built and operational.

    1. Isn’t it! $3bil is the whole project, and then some.

      If they surprised us all by agreeing with my letter to the minister earlier this year where I argued that the Rapid Transit [capex] parts of public transit are the urban equivalent of State Highways and should be 100% funded by the NLTF on a contestable basis with the other 100% funded projects then I would not only be voting National but campaigning for them too….

    2. Think of the motorway interchanges we could build with that. Steven Joyce would be frothing at the mouth just contemplating it.

  7. Well 2018/19 for the government section combined with the early start by AC means that it could potentially be up and running by 2022 (presuming that tenders etc go out before then). Hopefully if this is in place then the AC section could then be completed so that it can be used to Aotea.
    Just in time for an election bribe…

    1. Good luck – AT can’t even change a few south Auckland bus routes or do integrated ticketing in any sort of realistic time frame. How late are those projects? They always seem to be ‘next year’. Can you imagine them trying to build something?

    1. No matter what success the CRL achieves there will be staunch opponents who will maintain that it is/was a waste of taxpayers money.

      I have an acquaintance who even now bitches that he has to crawl along in congestion on the northern motorway because instead of widening it to ten lanes the transport authorities went and wasted a heap of money on a busway.

      There is simply no arguing with some people.

      1. “Never argue with an idiot, they will only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience” – George Carlin

  8. A PR operative from the Minister’s office has said the spreadsheet is ‘a mistake’ and has been taken down.

    Right; so it’s accurate then.

    As the famous line from Yes, Minister goes: ‘Never believe anything until it has been officially denied‘.

  9. I wonder if people will complain if $6 bn is spent on a road tunnel and you get to the end of it and not only can you not go round and round, you can’t go anywhere because everything is so bloody clogged.

  10. It’s obvious what the plan is, 2016 is local elections in which they want to use rates rise anger to fuel the vote for a national leaning council plus mayor. After that they quickly do an accord with the new mayor making the new guy good plus it’s lens fault. Then 2017 election they back CRL taking it out of becoming an election issue and gaining the credit for it.

    1. not sure you can read that much into one number – I’m fairly sure it’s simply a ball-park “guesstimate”.

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