A few days before Christmas and the NZTA have been busy little beavers, lodging not one but two consent applications for major Auckland projects last week. the Northern Corridor and the East-West Link (despite the council asking them to hold off for just a few more months). With thousands of pages worth of reports in each of the applications plus their supporting documents, perhaps the NZTA were targeting those looking for something to do over the Christmas/New Year period. Due to the volume of information I’m not going into much detail about each of these but you can be sure we will in the new year.

The Northern Corridor is expected to cost around $500 million and is described on the EPA website as comprising of:

  • SH1 widened to include extra general traffic lanes in each direction between Upper Harbour Highway (Constellation) and Greville Road;
  • A new dual direction busway adjacent to the southbound carriageway shoulder of SH1;
  • Northern Busway extended from Constellation Bus Station, further north to Albany Bus Station;
  • A new off-road shared-use pedestrian/cycleway adjacent to the southbound carriageway of the Northern busway extension;
  • SH18 upgraded to full motorway standard from the Albany Highway interchange to SH1, with a motorway to motorway connection to SH1 (north facing SH1 – SH18 ramps only);
  • Direct connection of Paul Matthew Road to Upper Harbour Highway;
  • Local road intersection improvements; and
  • A new off-road shared-use pedestrian/cycle way initially tracking from Albany Highway along SH18 and up the length of SH1 to Oteha Valley Road.

Unlike the East-West Link further below, there isn’t much in the way of images for the Northern Corridor showing what it will look like. The images do show a couple of important things though, such as that the Constellation Busway Station will get an outbound platform accessed by an over bridge, like Smales Farm and Akoranga. As you can see the Rosedale drawing doesn’t include details about the proposed busway station as mentioned the other day.

While this one shows the proposed bridge that will give direct access from the busway to the Albany Busway station.

Here’s the plan version of that

The East-West is now expected to cost up to $1.8 billion, about three times what it was originally expected to cost. It is described on the EPA website as comprising of:

  • A new four lane arterial road between SH20 at the Neilson Street Interchange in Onehunga and the on and off-ramps on SH1 at Mt Wellington Highway;
  • SH1 widened in each direction between Mt Wellington Highway and Princes Street to increase capacity to allow connection to the Project. Several bridges will either be upgraded or widened to facilitate this;
  • Major upgrades to the Neilson Street Interchange to enable direct access between SH20 and EWL through free flow ramp connections in all directions;
  • A full pedestrian and cycling link between Māngere Bridge and Onehunga through to Sylvia Park Town Centre;
  • Local road improvements at Galway Street, Captain Springs Road, Hugo Johnston Drive and a new access road for the existing ports; and A grade separated intersection of Great South Road and Sylvia Park Roads to provide improved reliability and future resilience.
  • Landscape and recontour the coastal edge of Māngere Inlet to reflect the original foreshore which existed before extensive historic reclamation; and
  • Incorporate stormwater treatment wetlands located within new headlands on the foreshore of the Māngere Inlet.

Below are some images of what the East-West Link is meant to look like when finished.

This is the proposal for the Onehunga Interchange looking North and South. Notice in each of them how they show rail in the plan, which is now planned to go over the top of some roads. The also show the replacement walking and cycling bridge which the NZTA have gone very quiet on.

And here’s a shot showing the new road alongside the Mangere Inlet.

The map below shows the entire East-West plan which also includes widening of SH1 and upgrading the Princes St interchange. Click the image for a larger version or go here for the original (8.2MB)

This is a close up of the Onehunga Interchange.

As mentioned we’ll go into more detail about these posts in the new year, in the meantime, let me know if you see anything interesting in the technical documents

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  1. Because of the poor location of the Albany bus station we all get another big, ugly flyover. A lot to be said for doing things right the first time.

      1. Yeah the new network isn’t final, if anything it’s just a base to work from. I understand there are already thoughts to change network to better serve that area of Rosedale is built

    1. Surely there is an option to tie the busway into the McClymonts Rd bridge, even duplicate that if necessary. Certainly as a first stage to save on that flyover, not quite as segregated and dedicated but pretty damned close.

    2. doing it right the first time? you have no idea of the constraints on infrastructure development or the scepticism that the busway faced in the late 1990s or for the long term nature of transport infrastructure

      fisrt, the land at Albany was owned by Transit NZ and was available at reasonable cost and no lengthy planning process,
      second, the station is within the sub-regional Albany Business 11 zone, that development hasn’t YET reached the station is no fault of the busway

      for these reasons it was always accepted that the Busway would need to cross the motorway at some point the serve the Albany Centre, so prioritising a flyover over utility is really rather naive

      1. Reasons for why something is bad does not negate the badness.

        The current location cannot and never will serve Albany any better than one on the other side of the motorway or hard up against it at the existing overpass due to the inherent distance and road layouts that make up Albany – I am forced to walk the area regularly and the concept of ‘close’ or ‘direct’ does not exist in pedestrian terms.

        1. Absolutely right about the shambles that it is to walk around Albany. If the people who designed this are still employed we should exit them. The small upfront cost will be insignificant to the later waste that any similar projects might cause.

        2. as you don’t say where you think the station should be, except that it isn’t there and I expect that it wasn’t ever a possibility, should the station have been built at all? I suspect that there are hundreds of daily users who don’t agree with you

  2. 1800 MILLION DOLLARS falls out of the sky for for increasing the speed of freight without even blinking with a 300% increase in cost in about the year since this project was literally pulled out of someones butt, meanwhile dithering continues on payment to progress the 100 year old plans for rail in the CBD to improve the movement of people.

    1. I was thinking the same thing. Same amounts as CRL but no problem when it’s a road. The rail component for the east-west is likely only appeasement. It’ll be dropped when they need to trim costs. I’m quite glad they’re thinking about heavy rail through Onehunga to the airport. My preference for this needed link.

      Where was the Albany station going to be originally?

      1. You honestly think a project that blows out BEFORE it is launched won’t blow out twice more? CRL has stayed in same rough envelope for many years now, including some painful value engineering. East West will only get more expensive, starting with the added mitigation that the EPA will require. And NZTA will NOT then cut back key elements to reduce the cost.

      2. And if it does blow out? So what? Most of the roading projects overrun their costs and the roadbuilding lobby just accept that as routine.

        Why should a rail project be held to a different standard?

  3. Seems to show the Onehunga Port as an industrial wasteland with none of razzle and dazzle of the Central Auckland Waterfront, motorway must have made it hard for people to get there : /

  4. What I find most absurd is options A + B (the cheap ones) get marked down a bunch for not including ped/cycling provisions. If a cycling/walking trail along the foreshore was improved as part of them though, it would still be over a billion dollars cheaper. They’re never like for like comparisons. They take the one they want and tack PT, walking + cycling on to them in order to justify them.

    I also note that the area is growing slower than the rest of Auckland is. Indeed, they’ve had to cherry-pick some numbers (see Table 4.4 in the the ‘economic assessment’ that contains no assessment at all of $ values…) https://www.nzta.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Report-3-Economic-Assessment.pdf

    The tech reports on the assessment are extremely poor documents in my view. Unfortunately I don’t see any reason why it’s not going to get approved unless there are folk with a lot of commitment (and experts with time, or money to pay them) willing to fight as in the Basin case.

  5. I also think the east-west should be put on hold until after the next general election next year so any new in-coming government can make decisions on big new spending projects. This smells a bit like ramming through and tying up all new expenditure for a few years ahead.

  6. Looking forward to the Green party announcing they will axe the East West Truck Link. I thought JAG would be first cab off the rank axing this wasteful spending, unless they agree with it?

  7. That flyover for Albany bus stop looks to be quite excessive. Would only need to be half the length if they built it from the motorway end of the station rather than the stadium end. Also are buses expected to basically drive past the station then take the bridge and backtrack to it? It works for buses coming from the North but then when they depart again they will be backtracking.

    As for the EWL – I do prefer the cheaper options (for that reason). I don’t have that much of an issue with the current plan in terms of what it physically is – what I do have a massive issue with is the cost! There is absolutely no way that this project should be costing anything more than $1B in it’s current format – who in the hell is clipping this ticket?? Forget Gold plated, is this thing actually made out of gold??
    Even $1B is too much to spend on this project when there are cheaper alternatives and where that money could be better spent (airport rail, electrification to Pukekohe and on to Hamilton. Ramping up CRL construction earlier etc).

  8. This whole East/West process has been a real eye-opener in terms of institutional manipulation, for example, why did NZTA, successfully, get this project suddenly removed from the analysis of the ATAP yet now claims this proves that ATAP recognises its importance? Nonsense, ATAP never considered it, because NZTA got it pulled. So we are supposed to trust that NZTA have the best solution to transport issues, especially freight transport issues, in industrial south Auckland, with this grandiose version? No one doubts that improvements should be made; but can we have any confidence in this plan, when their own cursory economic evaluation clearly found more value and less cost in a much smaller and less destructive version? And when the rail freight component is entirely absent? And urgently needed passenger rail to Mangere is compromised and encumbered with additional costs, possibly of existential threat?

    Let’s just focus on the huge opportunity cost of its gigantism. It is suddenly sucking an extra $1.2 billion out of Auckland’s transport capex pot. This is a full three years of the famous ‘funding gap’ ($4B over ten years is $400m a year). What value for money process has this gone through? How come a $600m project at time of the BCR that had lower value than a much cheaper package is still even being considered now that it has tripled in cost? Its BCR must now have shrunk down to a third of its original size?

    What does the Infrastructure unit at Treasury do all day? Are they just looking somewhere else as pretty much the same figure as the gov’s contribution to CRL is added to this dubious project with so little to justify it?

    1. All that, plus ignoring the social cost of the project. Poking a stick in the eye of the community and the council against the overall plans for development of an important urban city node.

      This plan (and the TOES plan) just drives more cars and transport at an already overloaded junction. Cuts of the community from an important social resource – the waterfront – I guess if this was the other harbour we’d have protest down Queen St by now….

    2. I feel equally as outraged on this – seems like central government plays by the “rules” only when it suits. And with Steven Joyce now Minister of “Infrastructure ” (what does that mean?) we can expect to see more of this sort of pro-roads manipulation.

      1. They have done so for many years. Since the “Roads of National Significance” were created to quite literally overrule cost-benefit processes.

  9. Not sure of the Albany bus way idea. A flyover to connect to station??? Even the little gray line in the east west link pictures looks a bit wonky.
    Its just obvious Our pt gets 2nd rate funding and 2nd rate design.
    The Albany bus way should be dug in North of albany expres wy and run under sh1 in a tunnel coming out at the Albany station.
    Obviously far more expensive but we won’t need to do it over again in 30 yes time plus it likely will move more people then sh1 at peek times in 10 years.

  10. Somewhat surprising that NZTA wants the Albany flyover on the northern approach to the station. On the other hand – the route will be direct and congestion free, so even a slightly longer route will work better then current arrangements, even for buses coming from Silverdale. The issue is basically with the current location of the Albany station – it doesn’t look like anyone thought about what’s going to happen once its built.

  11. Do we need a Rosedale bus station? It will only slow bus journeys slightly by adding an extra stop for relatively few passengers. Also it looks like the East-West link/Great South Road intersection will now be grade separated. Assuming we see both projects consented to (I imagine a Board of Inquiry mid 2017) when will we see construction start? And both projects completed?

    1. Rosedale Station is very important; best opportunity for a local bus feeder connection, excellent potential for cross Shore link immediately below the station. However it is a big mistake to try to make it a pnr station, there isn’t the space, adds huge cost, and will generate insignificant additional ridership.

  12. Wouldn’t a weatherproof pedestrian bridge from the Albany Park ‘n Ride over the Motorway to the east side serve as well to get people from their little tin boxes to the bus. We don’t need buses to carry people that distance. Save a fortune in the cost of the bridge and have a proper through station on the east side ready for the further extension north. Also reduce bus running & turnaround times.
    Looking at the photo/plan people currently walk further from their cars to the existing station location than they would popping over the motorway. This creates a split station with local buses and park’nride on one side of the motorway and the busway station on the other and It might require a little creativity in how the local buses reach the station by running a bus lane hard up against the west side of the motorway.
    Alternatively dig into that hill on the east side and take the local buses up there leaving only the park ‘n ride on the west. After all that hill is just a constructed rubbish mountain.

  13. East-west looks like an arterial road not a motorway. Why are NZTA doing this, it should be an AT job. Pretty slippery slope if NZTA are now in the business of building 60-70kph roads

    1. NZTA are in charge purely so this government can guarantee they deliver the trucking motorway to their sponsors without any interference from Auckland agencies.

  14. It is extraordinary how little design understanding there seems to be in our transport agencies now; that visual above with the clumsy post and beam bus bridge then notes going on about ‘design patterns’ is just so cringe making. Just design an elegant structure straight up and forget about adding naff little doodles. What has happened to civil engineering since the middle of last century; has the entire profession lost its way? We used to care about the form of bridges, tunnels, and dams, the profession used to have some professional pride. This is just so low in ambition and insulting. Does a squiggle on a column make an ill proportioned structure suddenly look good?

    I couldn’t help noticing a lot of the motorway over-bridges in Melbourne on a recent drive there, they have real grace and elegance; they really spring across the space with lightness and drama, we used to do this more here in the old modernist Ministry of Works days. Is it CAD, or what? Or is it just that all the talented engineers are now drawn to other fields, or is it the values of the agency commissioning the work; is it this miserable culture of ‘value engineering’ (cost cutting). Is everything run by cost accountants now? If it’s worth spending many millions on a bridge then its also worth designing a it well; it’ll be there for decades and decades, it’s not like any of these road works are cheap…

    1. I agree that they are not proud of their work or have any idea of what actually lasts. Look at most any NZ bridge built before the 1970’s with their solid concrete railings and you’ll see in large numerals at either end of the bridge the date of construction. The last of these bridges on the northwestern motorway at Lincoln road is dated 1952 I think. It’s there in BIG numerals and it says that the person who built this was proud of what they did and expected future generations to use it and marvel at the skill required to build something that really lasted. Now all they do is a silly brass plaque in 12pt font that you have to stop your car next to and get down on your hands and knees to read. What is the point of doing that on a motorway bridge? No sense of proportion so no surprise that can’t do design and elegance. I guess this comment gives me a trainspotting credentials, however by looking at these dates and the style of bridge construction as i travel round this country I have gained a perspective on how the place was opened up to the motorcar and truck, over what time span and in what order. Building the same. The building at the eastern corner of Synmonds St and Kyhber Pass Rd is one of the few recent buildings to proclaim its date of construction as they all used to.

  15. The artists impression of EW-disaster shows the rail corridor looking like it comes up from Onehunga station to go over Neilson St (as IIRC they are demolishing the current Neilson St overbridge that currently goes over the rail corridor), then dives down to go under Galway St extension, then up again to go over the EW-expressway, then down again to go under the SH20 Manukau Harbour crossing, then up again to be level with the motorway on the south side….
    Remind me about how cars & trucks can easily handle rapid gradient changes but how it is harder for rail… Why is the mode that can cope easily with ups and downs getting essentially a flat corridor, but rail goes up hill and down dale? Is this another example of “future proofing” by NZTA that actually means “preventing any possible PT corridor from being built”?

    1. We have always known that at some stage we are going to need passenger rail to Auckland Airport.

      In principle, required railway planning (to the airport) should be done at the same time as road planning for the reasons Bevan has stated and for operational efficiency. And generally it is desirable in the case of airports that the public transit should be built very early on. That no such route has been designated, is a complete dereliction of responsibility by the Government who I believe have taken too much notice of vested interests; namely Airport parking, trucking lobby etc. Furthermore, it says little about the quality of advice that the Government is receiving from MOT and NZTA.

      We really have to have a big shake-up with transport decision making in NZ because this has gone on for far too long!

    2. They will never build the rail link shown in this plan. It requires a whole new bridge. It will just get washed away in “we spent to much already in that area budget”.

      If they were really going to build that extra bridge for the rail, then there would be so many other better designs that this option.

      Push the road/rail connection to the EW viaduct onto the other side from what is shown and get it rid of the stupid tunnel/flyover design. Move the major intersections with traffic lights further east, otherwise it will just focus traffic stacking back on to S20.

  16. What if we thought about the Northern motorway congestion completely differently? What if we acknowledge that currently 40% of people passing over the Harbour Bridge do so in a bus. And this is from a busway that is essentially sub standard. For a start it is poorly served by feeder services. For example: at Akoranga in peak times the bus becomes stuck in traffic wanting to enter Esmonde Road (it would be too damn easy to put the bus lane on the right instead of the left); at Smales feeder services become stuck as there is no priority (by 5pm they can arrive at any old time); and then there is no bus way from Constellation. How successful would it be if it was a train? 50%, 70%.
    Why don’t we start by building train lines from Constellation to Albany? (Surely this will be way cheaper than doing a retrofit to a busway? And it will be far less disruptive than a retrofit). Run a couple of trains back and forth and connect with the busway.

    And we are starting to see the true cost of the AWHC -it is 3.7 billion plus all the additional lanes from Akoranga to where exactly? How does that compare to rail only?
    This governments roading policy is truly shambolic. Who said Minister Roads and Bridges was going to be in any way helpful?

    1. Not everyone uses the northern motorway to go that far south. I travel from Oteha Valley to Glenfield regularly. The additional motorway lanes will be extremely useful in reducing the current bottleneck.

      1. Only in this last year another lane was added prior to Greville Road heading north. Did this help at all? And is the plan already to add another? Just madness. At what cost to the country is all this ill directed infrastructure spending? We are one of the few countries in the world where the road toll is increasing and it seems that this is partly due to our largely haven given up on road policing. And we have a health system that is failing to deliver to many people.
        And if more and more can travel quickly up and down SH1 where do they go next? You might be happy to have a series of roads like Taharoto Road in your suburb, but its not a vision I share

        1. Yes, That lane has helped massively. Traffic flows much better than it did northbound. The problem is now going south where there are only two lanes. We are far better to add capacity before it is needed rather than afterwards which is what tends to happen New Zealand. Yes, I love Oteha Valley Road, a 4 lane road. Means getting places is efficient. It is fantastic road, except for the lack of cycling capabilities.

          1. And what if there was a rail line at a third of the cost and you could speed even faster down SH1? And why don’t you bike on Oteha Road? With four lanes there must be plenty of space?
            Perhaps you can explain the efficiency that you speak of? All that money invested by individuals in private cars is achieving what efficiency? Building roads at the expense of a better public health service is efficient? And is it more efficient to sink Kuribas quickly due to global warming (and probably parts of Mission Bay) rather than carry that stress over many years?
            But don’t get me wrong Stefan, if getting along Oteha Road efficiently is important to you then that’s great. After all at Christmas more than at any time its important to show goodwill to all men.

          2. And sadly tonight an elderly woman is in critical condition after being struck on Takapuna’s version of Oteha Road (Taharoto Road). Roads like this divide suburbs because the younger and elder find them very difficult to cross. Screw efficiency!!!!

          3. You can build a rail line at 1/3 of the cost of ~$500 million? I’d be surprised. A rail line isn’t going to get me any faster to where I need to go. You might argue that fewer people would use State Highway one but we already have a very good bus system running down that corridor. So many people I talk to don’t actually go where the public transport can take you efficiently, so doesn’t actually work unless you are going to a place that it goes to.

            I don’t bike on Oteha Valley Road because the lanes are not quite wide enough for people to comfortably pass cyclists. As a driver it is a bit scary trying to pass cyclists and vice versa. Is plenty of space along most of the road to build dedicated cycle lanes, which I’m sure they will do at some stage. In the meantime I have to make do with the footpath.

            Roads are not built at the expense of the public health system. The public health system could have unlimited dollars spent on it and still not keep everybody happy. They are entirely different issues and are funded differently.


      2. Stefan – The question is for how long is the extra lane going to be beneficial? As you know we are always building extra lanes and yet congestion always gets worse.

        1. Warren – well exactly! Depends on the levels of immigration and intensification. The more intensification there is the greater the problem will be If everyone needs to drive to get where they are going. Ideally if people live near where they work there would be very limited increases in traffic. But unfortunately the intention seems to be to have everyone working in the central city which just exacerbates the problem.

          1. Stefan, no: The greater the sprawl the greater the congestion. All data shows this. More people travel longer distances, and more often by car, the further we spread the city out. The idea that people out in auto-dependent suburbia live next door to their ideal job is a fantasy entirely unsupported by the data; it just doesn’t happen to any meaningful degree. The less intense a city = the greater the frequency and distance of car trips = the greater the traffic congestion.

            The higher the urban intensity = the higher the Active and Transit modeshares = few driving trips per capita = lower severity and costs of traffic congestion.

            Sure a smaller city will have fewer people; but that is simply to state the obvious. What is also clear is that small cities are not very productive or efficient, meaning higher quality of life is harder to sustain. But by all means go and live in one [we have plenty] if you dislike being in a successful growing city.

          2. Patrick, That totally depends how it’s done. When the house down my road was subdivided it added another 2 cars to the road. There is no guarantee that intensifying reduces the number of cars. When it is done away from major transport links it will probably result in more cars. It’s a bit ridiculous to suggest I go live somewhere else. It’s perfectly acceptable for people to have a different opinion about how the city should be developed.

          3. I’m just saying you seem to prefer a smaller city; pointing out there are plenty of smaller cities and towns in NZ and moving to them is more rational than advocating our only city scale stop succeeding because of your preference.

            Indeed everything depends how it is done. That’s why we lobbied for the UP and against the rank idiocy of minimum parking regulations. Things change, and they are changing very fast right now in AKL. We also, you’ll note, advocate for high quality Transit to be added to places that currently don’t have it. This is a more effective weapon against congestion than more sprawl, especially when allied to up-zoning: Increasing density and adding the missing transport options together.

          4. The economics of having a large number working in one location (the city) is compelling. I understand that a rail line from Albany to the city could deliver 24,000 people hour. Therefore in a peak from say 7 to 9am as many people who are likely to travel from the Shore can be quickly and safely delivered. I understand that rail line would cost 1.8 billion.

            Compare AWHC -road only- 3.7 billion which takes absolutely no account of any road widening on either side of the tunnel. That in itself is somewhat surprising because NZTA say that AWHC will increase (induce) demand by 35% and so costs must seem inevitable. As well NZTA currently say that they have no idea of the impact of the increased traffic on inner Shore surburbs. (I also care about other places that we might visit but I didn’t bother to ask).
            Trying to build our way out of congestion by adding roads makes no sense to me economically; environmentally; practically (it won’t fix it); inter-generational tension (many of my younger colleagues think the govt should be planning for older peoples retirement that they simply won’t be able to pay for) amongst other things.

          5. OR, rather than wasting 45 minutes-1 hour of my day travelling into the city. I could have a job in Albany and get there in five minutes in the car or 15 minutes on a bike. I know which I would rather do.

          6. Sure Stefan, you could always find a job in Albany, but there may very not be one there that you really want to do, whereas the City not only has by far the greatest quantity of employment but also the greatest range, and the highest paid/most stimulating and challenging jobs in the whole country…

  17. That Albany Station alignment is nuts. It’s almost a branch from any future busway / LRT / whatever extension. That’ll cause problems one day. Needs to cross over before the station.

  18. Wow the East West Link economic evaluation appears to not assume road pricing will be in place despite otherwise referencing ATAP. It talks about reducing congestion when we are planning on road pricing pretty much by the time it’s built? This needs to be redone I think.

  19. I think the bus way could cross sh1 straight after rosedale rd on a causeway as the highway 1 is still at a low point after passing the water treatment pond heading north. It will keep the graidiant low for any future rail. Plus the eastern side of sh1 is higher, less cutting in. Plus the bus’s way should be kept straight, no winding around sh1 on off ramps etc, in other words a double decker driver should be comfortable maintaining cruse speed on any bend.

  20. All the Mangere Inlet is good for, is filling in. Auckland’s housing problems are solved in one go with a mix of Government / Council bonds providing shared ownership, state dwellings and short/medium term rentals. The East / West link becomes the North / South Bypass joining HW20 around Mahunga Drive while the current proposed alignment becomes a peaceful walking / cycleway / park fringed with a tidal foreshore.

    1. Yes filling in the inlet would create a huge amount of excellent flat land in a very good position close enough to the city with good transport links. There are currently sites in rural parts of Auckland that are used to dump cleanfill from every other subdivision/infill/development in Auckland. Rail could even be used to move bulk dirt to the site. The sale of the land would more than pay for the actual development and the proceeds could be used for infrastructure elsewhere in Auckland.

    2. The inlet may just look like an expanse of muddy water but it is still part of a large and complex natural ecosystem linking into the Manukau Harbour.

      Merely because something appears to have no useful economic function for human purposes is no justification for burying it under concrete and tarmac.

  21. Keep the busway to the east of the motorway and build a new station with a pedestrian overpass to the car park. Once Albany has been developed sell the car park and build apartments. Also fill in Mangere inlet.

  22. “The public health system could have unlimited dollars spent on it and still not keep everybody happy.”
    And you seem to be saying,”let’s spend unlimited dollars on new roads”. Is that going to make everyone happy?

    Basic financial analysis tells you that policing, roads, health and tax cuts all come from the same pot. We currently have less of three of those because the ideology of past National governments has been that the individual can make better use of their money than the State can, and hence tax cuts. (and maybe they have been right when we consider the quality of some of their decisions such as the Steven Joyce memorial holiday highway). Personally I would sooner have a health system where less die on waiting lists; and a transport system that encourages people to walk and bike instead of door to door using a car. More of the biking and walking may well help remedy some of the obesity that could well cripple our health system.

    And you can still drive along Oteha Road if you want.

    1. No, I’m saying that health is a bottomless pit more so than almost any other area of government expenditure. We can easily spend over $100,000 dollars a year on a single person on a single drug. In order to provide via tax many people have to work incredibly hard and many people struggle because there is not enough income to survive on. So health is a very difficult area, and spending has been increased but you can’t keep up with the new expensive drugs. There are a limited number of roads that need to be built (That obviously does increase as the population increases). We have many unsafe roads with no median barriers, So I for one am glad to see the roads of national significance which will reduce the road toll and provide more efficient travel

      Actually the government is taking more of the economy than they were in the past, it gradually grows over time (especially under MMP). National has slowly brought it back down again slightly (Unfortunately wasn’t able to find the graph I was looking for at the moment). But that doesn’t include local government expenditure. There is a lot more to government expenditure than are three things you listed, plenty of savings to be made. Health expenditure has risen under National. I am NOT a national supporter BTW.

      I know lots of people who voted for national in part because of the road infrastructure that they were promising, So there are plenty of people who do want these roads.


      1. There doesn’t appear to be any link between the roads of national significance program and a widespread decrease of the death toll on roads, especially in areas such as the Bay of Plenty and the Waikato, who together have a third of all road deaths in New Zealand and had their expressways open earlier than other regions. The national death toll has not tracked down either, the downward trend in 2013 could have been caused by the lower concentration of 50max HGVs, which have become more common due to the relaxing of the legislation in the past few years. https://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/road-deaths/toll.html http://www.transport.govt.nz/research/roadtoll/annualroadtollhistoricalinformation/

  23. Do you really believe what you are saying about roading not being a bottomless pit? Look at The East-West link. And then AWHC – that will easily be six billion alone when you consider all the ancillary work that will be necessary. And should there be median barriers on every 80kph road -for safety? And should we seal every unsealed road -for whatever reason? And straighten roads -I can immediately think of Napier-Taupo, the Bynderwyns, Picton-Nelson; but what about to Piha -enormously popular in summer. And new bridges everywhere? This government thought of 10 just for Northland during the by election there.
    And for what -efficiency? There are ratios where a return above 1.0 is required and that should be the requirement. And to fudge the figures like happened for Puhoi-Wellsford is unacceptable regardless of which colour government is involved.
    And I am sure that there are many supporters for roads everywhere, but whether it makes sense, is sustainable, or is right is another matter.

  24. I am very angry that the govt could even think about wasting up to $1.85b on a 4km stretch of motorway (E-W link).
    I do not understand how this overland stretch can cost so much when waterview (which had 2.5km twin tunnels) costs less, and is a longer stretch of road. Can some one please explain this to me?

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