Wahooo, well done Team NZ for once again winning the America’s Cup.

It’s exciting not just because we won it, but also because of the potential impact hosting the event could have on progressing a number of important projects in Auckland – assuming it’s hosted in Auckland of course.

Events in the past have provided politicians and officials with the impetus needed to push along the development of city of some positive legacy infrastructure. For example, without the previous hosting of the America’s Cup would we have pushed to develop the Viaduct area when we did or would it have been left even longer languishing as a wasteland. And whatever you think of that area now, without it, would we have pushed on with the planning and implementation of more of the waterfront, such as with the fantastic Wynyard Quarter. And of course, Wynyard – or more specifically the North Wharf area – got pushed along by our hosting of the Rugby World Cup, as did our first shared spaces.

So, what potential infrastructure that improves the public realm could we see get a push along from the hosting another America’s cup? My guess is there are three key projects that holding such an event could give a real hurry up to. This assumes we would hold an event in about 2021

  • Progressing the development of our waterfront
  • Improving Quay St
  • Getting started on Light Rail

Progressing the development of our waterfront

We’ve made great progress with our waterfront but there’s a lot more to do and current plans extend out to about 2040. As I understand it, Panuku Development Auckland are currently conducting a targeted refresh of the plans, focused on Wynyard Point and the Central Wharves.

First, we will obviously need somewhere to base the event. The most likely place is expected to be a planned 60-80m extension of the Halsey Street Wharf. The plans talk about it being to accommodate our growing fleet of fishing boats and superyachts, and to create a third Viaduct Basin. That is expected over using Wynyard Point as I understand the current leases for tanks mostly start expiring from about 2022 onwards.

Further along the waterfront, there are plans for more public space along the front of Quay St, some of which is to make up for the space lost by the sale of Queen Elizabeth Square. I’m not sure on the planned timeline of these projects but if not already planned to happen in time, perhaps they could be fast tracked. Some of the proposals we’ve seen include redeveloping the ferry terminal and expanding the public space available

There are also plans to eventually open up the red fence between Queens and Captain Cook wharves. It might be a bit harder to pull off in the timeframe but who knows, why not try

Lastly, can we finally get rid of that silly carpark on the Viaduct and of course we can’t forget that we still haven’t really done anything with Queens Wharf.

Improving Quay St

While technically part of Waterfront plans, I thought this was worth listing separately. There has long been a desire to transform Quay St into a more people-focused space. We’ve seen an initial, albeit temporary, start to that with the Quay St cycleway but transforming the street as a whole can only happen after the current CRL works have been completed. The good news is that the early works (from Britomart to Wyndham St) will be completed by the beginning of 2019. That should mean that we have enough time to transform Quay St before an event is held.

Getting started on Light Rail

Auckland Transport’s preferred route for Light Rail see’s it extended along Fanshawe St and all the way to Wynyard Quarter. Assuming that’s where the cup village is located then getting light rail in place could be a great way to deliver large numbers of people to and from the event. Of course, it’s not like we don’t already know light rail is needed and even the government have agreed the project will be needed eventually. While ambitious, it seems feasible that got serious about it now, we could at least get the section from Wynyard and along Dominion Rd up and running in time.

Perhaps the biggest challenge is how that interacts along Fanshawe St with all of the North Shore buses. One possible solution for that would be to keep light rail on Customs St West and build a new, dedicated bridge straight across the viaduct to Madden St. Doing so might also require the removal of the vile Hobson St flyover, something that’s already on the list of things to do in the City Centre Master Plan.

I think if we could give these projects a real boost then it would improve the city not just for a specific event but in a way that would help us in the long term.

Anyway, congratulations again to Team NZ

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  1. Why don’t they hold the races on the Manukau and make some improvements in that harbour that may benefit people with skins other than white for a change?

    1. Manukau Habour, as I understand it, is too shallow and full of treacherous sandbars. Beautiful place, that needs further investment I agree (rather than that bloody East-West link further cutting people off from it), but it’s not a good harbour for sailing.

    2. So they would have to hold the racing around the tide cycle!?

      I didn’t realise we had segregation on our harbours, you might need to tell the many Pacific Islanders I see fishing in their boats out on the Waitemata Harbour that they are in the wrong place.

      1. Those pacific islanders are fishing from 50 foot foiling catamarans? Seems like overkill to me.

        In all seriousness racing these boats on the Manukau would be wishing death or serious injury upon the sailors.

        1. Racing those boats in the Hauraki Gulf might be wishing death on them as well. You can sail in the Manukau, they may not be sailing highly strung cats next time.

        2. Why would you sail in the Manukau? Half the harbour disappears at low tide, it would be very hard getting a good all tide course that allows room for spectator boats and on-shore spectators, irrespective of boat types.

        3. If we are have to spend $100m to host in the Waitemata, utilising some Onehunga Foreshore may be more economic

    3. We’ve got a nice harbour down here in Wellington, sailable at all tides, and virtually guaranteed a stiff breeze at any time (although, today, like a millpond…). Any time you’re tired of hosting in Auckland, the Port Nic Yacht Club will happily host it for you down here.

      Alternatively, race on Cook Strait. That’ll get Jimmy spitting!

      1. Yes Evan’s Bay. A different storm every day with the occasional millpond. Excitement plus. With the additional terror of watching the planes pitch and roll. Do it in winter.

    4. With the East West freeway that Harbour will be getting more spent on it than is ever planned for the Waitemata. The issue is more the form of the ‘investment’ which simply destroys the area. If Panuku were instead given 2.5 billion to spend on public realm improvements around Auckland it would have a major effect on how it is to be in Auckland when not inside a tin can.

  2. Congrats ETNZ! These are all exciting projects for our city and it will be great to see them come to fruition. Assuming Auckland will host the 36th America’s Cup, I think we should only host it once the CRL is up and running too.

    1. That’s too far away; Auckland has got to get away from this putting everything off for some future that never arrives.

      Also remember the works we can all see now will be completed at surface level in a couple of years, as it move up to Aotea/K Rd Stations and the bored tunnels, so while CRL won’t be functioning by 202, downtown will be much more shipshape now…

      But Council and Gov must use this event to unlock some funding to get on with important projects Matt describes above. The value will be permanent (done well).

      1. What about completing the CRL sooner to fit in with the Americas Cup event? Is there any technical reason this could not be done? Start the tunnel boring sooner and the Mt Eden station infra.

        1. CRL needs to be done right. It’s not vital for the America’s Cup, the crowds won’t be anything like the Rugby World Cup, and with racing during the day probably wont put a massive strain on peak hour trains like an evening Rugby game or concert can.

          The most important thing for the rail network will be a quality bus connection at Puhinui, hopefully this gets fast tracked as a result.

  3. Well done to the guys for winning this, but we shouldn’t be getting carried away with the wrong type of spending. IIRC there’s presently a $172m funding gap for stage 2 of AMETI, the third main needs to be funded and we probably need new trains.

    These are all more important than waterfront projects for a boat race

      1. No still much more important things like education, health, housing.
        Whilst it could always be better, the waterfront is pretty nice these days.
        Let’s not get carried away.
        It’s great we won the cup, though

  4. I love the idea of forcing the governments hand with light rail, however I have concerns that it won’t be complete in time. It’s a lot of road to cover (pun intended) and they _do_ need the network to work well, or risk creating critics out of supporters and adding volume to the naysayers.

    It’s bad enough that some refer to the CRL disparagingly as “Len’s train set” or call it a loop, rather than a link. I can barely imagine how bad it would get if %60 of NZ came to see the light rail as “another example of Akl stealing their funds for a dalliance”. In short, we need it ASAP (in my humble opinion), but we need to do it right.

    1. They would need to start very soon. Maybe they could do Wynyard to Mt Eden Train Station as a starting point. I wonder if AT could do that section without government funding?

    2. Laying the rail and lines down dominion road wouldn’t take too long, it would most likely be the K-Road interchange and actual construction of the trains that would take the time.

      My guess the biggest time barrier will be the political one. Decision making time on projects that aren’t adding lanes of private vehicle traffic tend to take so much time in this country.

      1. Yeah, it was K’rd that was my main concern. To be honest, I simply assumed that the trains could be tendered/ordered/built/commissioned in time.

        Perhaps the track laying could be fast tracked after September 😉

      2. The big time sink in the current Sydney light rail is not laying of tracks, it’s the moving services to allow the laying of track. I doubt it is as simple as everyone expects.

        1. Agree this can be a big delay, however, dominion road is, from memory a concrete road for the majority of its length, depending on the design you may not even have to lift it up. (Again a lot of dependancies here). Obviously this doesn’t take into account the K-Road section or parts that may have be torn-up for other works.

        2. The services need to be relocated out of the way of the track slab for the services sake, not to build the slab. The main issue is if you go and build a track slab over all your pipes and conduits, if something breaks you have to spend a couple of weeks ripping out the tracks and the concrete to get at it.

          They could lay the tracks right there if they were happy with the risk of a water main bursting or whatever turning into a shit storm.

        3. Yes, but with concrete slab roads of this era the majority of services were laid to the side of the road (footpath/berm). Not down the center of the road.

          Again I’m making a lot of assumptions, modern works may have also come in and installed further services that would need to be removed, plus the new service trenches for electrification of the tram line could also run into problems.

          Unfortunately service crossings will always be needed so never going to eliminate the possibility of having to rip up tracks in the future, even if they are placed into new box service culverts like in the Wynyard Quarter development.

          There are a lot of variables, and as the nature of services, asbuilt’s are also not always correct. I don’t believe that dominion road is like the CBD where the services form a sort of underground spaghetti resemblance. There hasn’t been massive intensification along most of the corridor as of yet.

  5. Actually, all the projects are important for Auckland growth but I would also like to see the Southern Airport link developed as a matter of priority and the third main. Perhaps east West could be delayed (cancelled) and funding for these projects plus the project mention in the article. At $1.9 billion , we could also fund the build of the overseas terminal and immigration museum on the waterfront as well.

    1. +1 the Southern Airport link. We need some pretty serious improvement there before the visitors arrive in Akl in four years!

  6. Don’t we need a motorway extension straight to Wynyard quarter?
    And I doubt there will be any room left at Wynyard for the America’s cup with the Airport BRT terminating there…

  7. If little old NZ can be innovative & win the America’s Cup why not be innovative and do something about climate change?
    The Government needs to stop saying we are small so we shouldn’t lead the way when in comes to dealing with Climate Change, well if ETNZ had said ‘ohh we are to small we can’t win the America’s Cup’ then today would not have happened.

    So lets address Climate Change head-on by doing some of the stuff in the Globe-NZ report before the next America’s Cup and let everyone know about during the racing, as well as putting in the light rail, fixing up Quay st etc.

    1. What stuff do you recommend?
      We will be paying about $10,000 per family for carbon credits just to meet our Paris commitments. If the population continues to increase by 2% per annum to 2030 that may double (why did we not make our commitment based on per capita?). I’m lucky, when the government asks me for my $10,000 I have it but what about poor families?

      1. We could:

        Significantly reduce our vkt, especially in fossil fuel powered vehicles.
        Farm fewer cows.
        Farm more trees.
        Shut down our remaining non-renewable power generation.

        All of this is easiest to achieve by taxing all carbon emissions, heavily.

        1. I think most of our fossil fuel plants are slated to close soon. Huntley is on its last legs, Southdown has closed. New Plymouth is closed as well as the old Stratford Gas Turbine power station. Not sure about Stratford CCPS and Otahuhu B power stations

        2. Thanks for that Sailor Boy, finally found time to look at the links.

          “Gareth Hughes : Is New Zealand on the right track regarding climate change when it is ranked in the top 10 countries, according to the Fraser Institute, for policies that support fossil fuels and the oil and gas industry, yet has dropped below Saudi Arabia in the rankings of support mechanisms for renewables?

          Rt Hon JOHN KEY : Yes, the country is on the right track.”

          The Minister of Roads and Bridges had a great role-model for answering tricky questions, huh?

        1. Many thanks – I’ve been trying in vain to find a site that details what our existing commitment is – all I can find is an amount and a figure for CO2 equivalents and a modest graph suggesting where they are produced – no detailed solutions. I’ve clicked on your site and hope to learn.

      1. 97% of the world’s scientists are wrong and you are right; good to know.
        And human’s have never been to the moon, and of course the world if flat.
        Plus smoking is not harmful for your health.

        p.s. there is no climate debate anymore there are only climate change deniers.

        1. Rubbish.
          Whatever happened to the old ‘global warming’ scam?
          The climate has been changing for millions of years and will continue to do so.
          You might like to explain why two of our glaciers have been advancing until recently?
          Fox Glacier had been advancing between 1985 and 2009 although it’s now retreating.
          Franz Josef was advancing until 2008.

        2. “Whatever happened to the old ‘global warming’ scam?”

          Global warming fell out of favour as a term as at low overall temperature increases some areas actually become cooler. At the temperature increases we are now locked in to that is no longer the case.

          There is no doubt that the earth is warming, there is no doubt that it is almost entirely driven by humans, there is no doubt that we could fix it with existing technology, there is no doubt that billions of people will die if we don’t.

        3. What is your point? Fox and Franz Josef are steep glaciers in a high precipitation area, therefore they are much more sensitive to precipitation than many other glaciers, it is quite reasonable for them to expand in a warming world, but in the long term they will recede, they have undone about 30 years of advancing in the last five years.

          So yes, I’ve just explained why they are advancing, while most glaciers in NZ have been continuously retreating for 150 years.

          When you say climate change is a scam (it hasn’t been called global warming for over 30 years) I take it you don’t believe in the science of carbon dating. What science do you believe in?

      2. Climate change is a fact not a scam. The scam is the idea that humankind can do anything about it. 300 years of burning coal for industry and 150 years of gasoline burning can’t be reversed by planting a few trees. Best we can do is get used to it and try not to make it worse.

        1. “Best we can do is get used to it and try not to make it worse.”

          Which means moving to net negative carbon economy as soon as possible.

        2. Not totally true. After 9/11 planes were grounded in the USA and the average temperature went up by 1 degree. This taught me (a) skepticism of the climate scientists who had not predicted it or ever put aircraft emissions reflecting sunlight into their models (b) that climate change may be much worse than predicted (c) it is possible to stop it with technology (stuff like seeding the oceans with iron, etc) however I cannot imagine any agreement among countries to do so (don’t forget climate change is a net benefit to Russia and especially Siberia).

        3. Sailor Boy: you didn’t understand me. At that time there were no climate models allowing for aircraft high altitude emissions. Nobody had thought of it.
          I think you can tell that although skeptical I certainly think we should be preparing for climate change. Think of it in terms of running across SH1 with your eyes closed – yes you may survive – no you shouldn’t try it.

          A second reason for skepticism is the extrapolation from computer models (idea stolen from James Lovelock) I have a background in maths and computers and believe me it is far too easy to adjust your model to fit the result you will be praised for and secondly as you add variables to any equation the margins of error interact and make the results highly unreliable.

          I’m the skeptic who said 30 years ago that you should never buy a house less than 5 metres above sea level. Look how wrong I’ve been. So far.

          ‘Bulk of evidence’ – I think you are meaning vast numbers of assertions there is still little evidence. Not much in the way of reliable predictions. Didn’t Prince Charles predict climate disaster would happen by 2020 – I think he may be wrong. However recently I did come across a report on deep sea temperatures going up that was very persuasive (the sea having over 30 times the thermal capacity of the atmosphere).

          Thanks for the link. I remember reading about recorded temperature changes and the deduction being that contrails mask the true level of climate warming (fortunately nobody was suggesting that therefore we ought to put more fuel guzzling planes in the air).

        4. I didn’t misunderstand your point. It’s reasonable to be skeptical about the exclusion of jet trails, however, the immediate assumption should be what am *I* missing, not what are *the researchers, peer reviewers, and publishers all* missing.

          I’m guessing at the time all of the scientists had thought of it, but said “hey, those compounds breakdown within hours, they aren’t relevant to a global climate model on a timescale that’s over 200,000 times their half life, plus have you seen how little computing power we have? It’s still the 90’s dude”

          Your second reason for skepticism is completely moot now. We have been modelling the effects of greenhouse gases for almost a century now, with rapidly shrinking margins for error, getting ever closer, and closer to an exact model, we passed a close enough model at least two decades ago. Models are tested within the margins of error, to ensure that unreliable results aren’t published.

          “‘Bulk of evidence’ – I think you are meaning vast numbers of assertions there is still little evidence.”

          No, I mean ‘number of statements for which there is overwhelming evidence’. Such as:
          “The earth is warming”
          “Human production of greenhouse gases is the only statistically significant cause”
          “Global warming/climate change will be catastrophic within the lifetimes or people born today”

          “Didn’t Prince Charles predict climate disaster would happen by 2020 – I think he may be wrong.”

          Prince Charles isn’t a climate scientist, who didn’t make that claim in a peer reviewed, published paper. Still, he was right. The drought in California was a climate disaster, the current drought in East Africa is a climate disaster. But this isn’t relevant. What is relevant is that we know the Earth is warming, we know how fast, and we know how to stop it.

        5. Sailor Boy:
          Your first 4 assertions cannot be disputed (I ought to say by a semi-rational person – there are those weird deniers ).
          Then you mention “The drought in California was a climate disaster, the current drought in East Africa is a climate disaster.” and you are wrong. They are weather disasters. They have had worse in the States (read Jared Diamond’s Collapse). The problem with calling them ‘climate’ is that if we have a few years of above average rainfall then there will be a load of ‘told you so’ from the deniers. For example immediately after New Orleans was flooded by a hurricane (I think scale 4) people like you said it was proof of climate warming and we could expect far more hurricanes from now on. It was followed by several years of an exceptionally low incidence of Hurricanes. What should have been said is “our climate change models predict over the long term an increase in severity of hurricanes related to the warmer sea temperates that are now being recorded – and by long term we need say 50 years and of course absence of hurricanes for the next 50 years will not disprove climate warming; it will just prove our models are incomplete – the green house effect is indisputable”.
          I last time I read the IPPC figures was a few years ago. They were quite explicit that there was a 5% chance they had it wrong and a 15% chance they underestimated. [I expect much tighter error margins now.] That was professional. Unfortunately all the commentators over simplify and if there is a frost tomorrow (which looks possible by the way) then many readers will say “I knew global warming is a scam!”.

        6. Hey maybe someone should model it and see what effect it might have if we reduced emissions. Then we could see if that would be likely to help.

          Oh no, wait. A massive multinational group of well qualified and experience scientists have done that, and it would.

          Then again, your “I reckon it’s a scam” theory is pretty compelling.

        7. There’s plenty of scientists who reckon it’s a scam.
          Global warming was the term used from 1975 until that theory could no longer be supported because some areas were cooling – hence the new description ‘climate change’.
          The climate is constantly changing and new science emerges. So the science isn’t settled.
          Antarctic sea ice increasing is another example of the science not being settled.

        8. ‘hence the new description ‘climate change’ – the 1980s, when this term became common are 30 years ago, in whose world is that new?

          Of course the science isn’t settled, it never is, but there is a body of evidence that would give plate tectonics and the moon causing tides a good run for their money in terms of certainty.

        9. “There’s plenty of scientists who reckon it’s a scam.”

          Find one climate scientist with a doctorate degree or higher while I go and get the 10,000+ peer reviewed, published papers that disagree with that 1 person.

          “Global warming was the term used from 1975 until that theory could no longer be supported because some areas were cooling – hence the new description ‘climate change’.”

          So you accept the science that parts of the earth cool as the whole world warms, but not the the whole world is warming and we’re causing it.

          “The climate is constantly changing and new science emerges. So the science isn’t settled.”

          The gravitational field of Earth is constantly changing, so the science of gravity changes at the fringes, we don’t jump off of buildings because that science changes.

          “Antarctic sea ice increasing is another example of the science not being settled.”

          This is a perfect example of science at the fringes confusing people with poor scientific literacy about the core of the science. We aren’t sure whether ice pack in Antarctica is growing or shrinking (it’s probably shrinking, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/11/151103-antarctic-ice-growing-shrinking-glaciers-climate-change/). We aren’t sure whether it will grow or shrink in the next 20 years. We are sure that if we continue to produce greenhouse gases at the current rate, the entire ice-pack will eventually collapse leading to monumental sea level rises.

        10. There is truckloads of proof climate change is occurring but when you go looking there is hardly any scientific work being done on correcting it. There are a few ideas like painting roofs white and misting water using nuclear energy or messing with the oceans. But most have simply assumed we can reduce fossil fuel use. How is that working out? Look at the amount of oil Saudi Arabia pumps, hell look at Norway’s contribution- they claim to be pushing green initiatives all the while exporting a shit-tonne of petroleum products for others to burn. The idea that people will see the error of their ways and accept poverty instead of cheap energy is total nonsense.

        11. “300 years of burning coal for industry and 150 years of gasoline burning can’t be reversed by planting a few trees.”

          mfwic, in many moods I agree with you – there are lots of good things humans could be doing but we can’t get our act together to try. When I’m in a more positive mood, I remember:

          A poorly degraded native forest in New Zealand can sequester lots of carbon if it was suddenly looked after well. Much more, say, than a newly planted forest can. (This info is from scientists writing in the Forest and Bird magazine).

          Much of the carbon in the atmosphere is from the degradation of our soils! The NPK regime has consistently lost carbon-rich organic matter to the atmosphere. Building soils in strip-grazed pasture land in a way that mimics the roaming herds has been found to sequester more carbon than even an improved forest. (See articles on rotational grazing for carbon sequestration, carbon farming, etc.)

          So when I’m feeling hopeful, I think that if we stop burning fossils up, plant trees AND attend to our soils and forests, we might be able to slow things down enough to avoid the worst of the crisis.

          But of course we have to have political will. And for that we need the deniers to stop wasting our time.

        12. Well said. And informative. Thanks.
          But the only way to stop the deniers is to answer them politely otherwise they will see climate change as some form of religious mania and they become a sizeable embittered minority that can damage a sane approach to ameliorating a warming earth.

        13. Yes, true, and argument just puts people into the ancient, rearmost, “fight or flight” part of their brains. It takes 20 minutes or more to get out of that chemical cocktail and start being able to reason rationally again. So discussion needs to be gentle. Everyone’s grieving about what we’re doing to the planet in some way. Still, you have to go easy on the people arguing, too: it’s hard to go gently when outcomes will be far better the sooner we make changes.

        14. Heidi what happens to each tree? Either it is used for something and eventually burns and releases its carbon, or it dies naturally and rots releasing a good amount of gas. Either way the best you can hope for is to gather some carbon and bank it for a while. To fix climate change we have to stop burning fossil fuels and find a way to actually remove climate gases or remove heat from the system. Poor people care about other things not what fuel they burn. The US government doesn’t care. Together that is way more people those who do care. Most countries sign up to agreements but exempt their major industries. There is no solution to this. Best we figure out how to cope and get used to it.

        15. Yes mfwic I agree that’s what we need to do.

          “what happens to each tree? Either it is used for something and eventually burns and releases its carbon, or it dies naturally and rots releasing a good amount of gas.”

          I still intend to write a post about soil sometime, because there are ways to incorporate carbon into the ecosystem that does not result in it being released again, unless there is further mistreatment of the soil. If we got our act together about climate change, growing soil is one of the best tools we could use. In the meantime, it reduces all sorts of other problems too.

      3. Vance – you’re either trolling or being a dick. So I shall ignore you and credit your stupidity to ignorance instead.

        1. LOL. You know you’ve lost the argument when you resort to abuse.
          Let us know when you’re capable of debating the issue.

        2. Whereas your main idea of debate seems to be repeatedly claiming its a scam. Which isn’t an argument.

          Cherry picking two glaciers that were advancing for some period recently without mentioning what was happening to other glaciers, ice sheets and ice shelves looks somewhat selective …

        3. ‘Let us know when you’re capable of debating the issue.’

          Haha, you still haven’t replied to my comments early afternoon yesterday, which suggests you are not particularly keen to debate the issue once facts come into it.

      1. Can we keep to the topic. More than a few of you of gone off it. It is a separate issue NOT to be discussed here.

    1. It is a shame that the CRL could not be completed sooner. Its unlikely there are major critical path events that would prevent some major works from starting sooner. The obvious example is the Mt Eden station redevelopment where nothing is scheduled to start for a few years. Also the tunnel boring since it starts at Mt Eden end. Taking another 7 to 8 years to complete does not mean its being done either efficiently or the ‘right’ way. Its more likely a result of trickle feeding the funding.

      1. If it is possible to have the CRL completely finished and up and running in time without compromising the project then we should definitely look at it. But if there is a risk that delays mean it won’t open on time then I would want to see the money spent on projects that have a high chance of being completed as well as bring in suitable benefits.
        For example the third rail should be a no brainer. It will increase the efficiency of the rail network, will only cost $50 million and can probably easily be completed in time.

  8. Maybe I shouldn’t write when groggy and grumpy before breakfast. I was up and cheering to see them win and deservedly win. Happy and congratulations to them all. But this post is about improving ‘our city’ which the author defines as waterfront and quay street despite not considering that similar money spent in depressed suburbs would do more good for more people but just not seem as flashy.
    It is spending yet more ratepayer money providing even better lifestyle for the already wealthy and the mega-rich so that the ugly CBD becomes slightly less ugly and the CBD further hits its target of sucking transport congestion towards itself.
    To be honest there are some good ideas in these proposals but my lack of enthusiasm is caused by the graphics where the pedestrians are young and active and wearing summer clothes and the sky is blue. No zimmer frames, no mobility scooters (although it has to be admitted both would be better served than the current narrow footpaths and competition with cars), no rain, no gales channeled by the high-rise buildings, no large groups of elderly tourists, no heavy shopping bags, no buses in sight (well at least they got that right – they are never there when you want them).

    Well with four years to prepare we can at least be confident of one thing – Auckland council will take longer than that to have its community consultations and then employee expensive consultants to justify overriding the the communities suggestions and then get their own resource consent (ref Birkenhead library). I’m looking forward to the next Americas cup being held in Wellington.

    1. I think you have to remember that a lot of ‘ratepayer money’ is collected from businesses located in the CBD.
      Also every footpath or shared space upgraded in the CBD will be used by thousands of people every day, as opposed to upgrading your local footpath that will be used by tens of people every day.
      If you wan’t some serious money to be spent in your suburb, you need more people and businesses there to pay for it and use it. Unfortunately the NIMBY brigade are doing their best to make sure suburban upgrades do not make economic sense due to low population density and usage.
      The footpaths in our street were upgraded recently. It needed to be done, but must have cost $40k or more. There are only a hundred odd houses in our street. This is the problem with low density.

      1. Actually I just did some rough calculations and it must have cost way more than $100k for our new footpaths (about 1300 square metres of exposed concrete, removal of old footpaths, new curbs). There are ~129 houses.

      2. Just to make it clear it is not NIMBY for me – I live in Birkdale and want to see no development. But there are areas in South Auckland which could do with a little improvement.
        But you are right to remind me about the high rates in the CDB – point taken.

    2. Bob’s comment reads like someone who hasn’t been to the city centre or the waterfront in decades. It’s full of people of all ages, colours and creeds from all over Auckland, and indeed the world.

      In fact around 200,000 people visit the central city each day, they certainly aren’t all wealthy or mega rich. Come visit the families at the paddling pool at Wynard, or the folks on the playground or the basketball courts next to it. Tell me they are mega rich.

      1. I try to avoid the place but when I do go there it is not like the graphics. Maybe because I go in winter? Absolutely no doubt about the CDB in its entirety being the ugliest part of NZ let alone Auckland; you have to search for beauty – it can be found but it is a hard search whereas in the rest of Auckland it is easy.

        1. Well that is your opinion, you are entitled to it but don’t assume everyone thinks the same way. The tens of thousands of people downtown on a winters weekend enjoying themselves suggests that a lot of Aucklanders find it to be a very pleasant place.

          Personally, I find nothing more ugly than the suburbs, including the one I live in. But not everyone thinks that way I agree.

        2. “Personally, I find nothing more ugly than the suburbs, including the one I live in. ”


        3. Well when I take my grandson down to the water front in winter I’m much older than anyone in the graphics and he is much darker. And what about the lack of bike helmets in the graphics or will that law be abandoned when the new CDB paradise is built? Please publish some realistic artist impressions.

        4. What exactly are you moaning about, that the artists impression doesn’t live up to reality?! That’s why they’re called impressions.

        5. Hamilton is certainly not inspiring – gently calming at best. Now Prague was inspiring. But if Auckland’s CBD inspires you then your need help.
          However I’d match Wenderholm against any equivalent area in any city in the world. And pretty sure I’d win. What is stunning about Auckland is that Wenderholm is not unique – merely the place I know best. No need for an artists impression full of young middle class Pakeha to make it look good.

        6. Wow, Bob. Seriously? Not only are your comments racist, but they are quite incorrect. I have taken the time to screenshot parts of the graphics above to debunk some of your claims, here: http://imgur.com/a/SbxI2

          This does not even take into account how people of ALL ages are shown in the images.

          And “no buses in sight”? What about the two shown on Queen’s Wharf image? Not an ideal place for them I know, but they are there. The aerial image above that one, I count five buses.

          Might be time to get your eyes checked.

    1. I would guess not, the must be some serious critical-path issues with that project that neither love nor money could pull forward.

      I actually think there is a better chance of building the light rail in the next four years, than getting the CRL done a couple of years early.

        1. bicycles look like a good way to get from the viduct to the rest of the cbd. Time to build some more bike lanes.

      1. 🙂 +1 and extend the tram line here in Pt Chevalier. I do actually use it for transport. Cycle to Motat 2 to time with the tram, take the tram for free because I’m a member, walk to places from there. Most reliable PT timetable in Auckland. 🙂 But I don’t think you were thinking of the benefits here… 🙂

      2. Well, there’s no reason it can’t operate in conjunction with new trams or light rail vehicles.

        Melbourne runs a heritage tram on a city centre circuit all day among all the other more modern trams running the other scheduled services.

        1. Why bother though? It’s not even Auckland’s heritage, Wynyard trams are from Melbourne.

  9. Great to see Team NZ win the America’s Cup and this is a great opportunity to improve the waterfront. Rightly or wrongly politicians will be focused on this but we get the chance to add something to the city. Maybe there are more urgent priorities but those are not on the table. Assuming the Cup is in Auckland then things around that event can be accelerated.
    It would seem that the project that has the most impact and the most chance of succeeding is light rail from the waterfront to the Airport – but at least to Mt. Roskill. Councilor Darby has already came out today to push it and I think everyone loves trams. Once it is up and running then extending it is easy politically.

  10. Add the Airport to Puhinui busway, for sure.

    And maybe build the light rail bridge to Wynyard and remove the Hobson flyover to open up the connectivity but use buses to begin with to circle to Britomart. When it’s converted to light rail afterwards, might even be space for peds or cycles?

    1. Why not a general airport bus: City -> International -> Domestic -> Puhinui. Every 5 mins.
      Gives direct access to the city while also giving access to the south / east / train.

      1. Because if you did that it would be ten buses at once then nothing for 50 minutes.

        However I’d like to see a high frequency shuttle Manukau > Puhinui > Parking Lots > International > Domestic.

        That would replace both the parking shuttle bus and the inter-terminal bus that they currently run, so probably wouldn’t cost much to do.

        1. I would do something similar and go Manukau, Puhinui, Domestic, International, parking lots. Then change the 380 to only run Onehunga to Airport. Then you use the bottom half of the 380, the parking buses and the terminal shuttle all in one.

        2. Why do you say that? I don’t think the skybus is like that.
          Add 24 hour continuous bus lanes on dominion road and airport to puhinui, the only congestion would be the south western and I think that has bus shoulders and is never that badly congested.

  11. Extend the port over to Devonport – make the inner harbour a giant swimming pool for the yachts 😉

  12. AT & NZTA need to add Bus Lanes from Puhinui Train Station via State Highway 20B & Onehunga Train Station/Onehunga Bus Transport Centre via State Highways 20 & 20A now. This would protect & safeguard future light rail routes built in within an 5-10 year timeframe.

    1. Why take a bus to Onehunga just to wait 30 minutes for a train? It may as well take you all the way to city.

  13. I am hoping they will take their cup to Dubai to defend it there. That way they won’t be reaching into my pocket to pay for boats when I would rather be chipping in for public housing and school lunches for hungry kids.

    1. Then miss out on the $$$millions the cup brings into our economy. How do we spend money to help people if we not earning money as a country?

      This is an opportunity to invest in Auckland, creating jobs, helping families. Or do you prefer handouts over jobs?

  14. Disappointed to hear Wynyard point wont even be started until 2022 when the tank leases expire.

    I thought that was completion date for clearing the tanks and grassing the area?

  15. Can the taxpaying public sign up to get complimentary boat rides on the catamarans?
    Seeing as we already paid towards towards a failed campaign the last time around, and another $5mil of our monies this time.

    It would certainly be good PR for ETNZ for people to signup and get given a free boat ride throughout the Hauraki/Waitemata, and not just stigmatize them as just a rich man’s sport.

    The All Blacks/Super Rugby teams have mastered this down to a fine art, getting involved at the grassroots level and getting communities involved in free events etc.

    As for the transport/infrastructure side of things for my post – Perhaps see how fast the yachts can go from Devonport to Britomart compared to the existing ferries? 😛
    Or how about hybrid sailing/engine yachts as a means of boat transport?

    1. Far too dangerous to take members of the public out on those catamarans unfortunately. They are simply not stable enough to be sailed by anyone else other than their regular crew and there is no space once the crew are onboard.

    2. Great idea, I still fondly remember the harbour cruise on NZI Enterprise in late 1980s, quite scary as the deck got up to over 45 degrees and the visitors were hanging on for dear life. I think they did this for staff of NZI associated companies/customers.but maybe public too. No H&S then 🙂

  16. Since it’s a sport event the Government should have no problem throwing hundreds of millions at it. This is a good time for Auckland to think strategically about how to capture those dollars for useful purposes.

    1. Some of those could be done tomorrow. Remove The Cloud from QW and replace with grass and trees. An open park on CCW is a fantastic idea, but could also include containers for a row of F&B as well as a childrens playground. Of course, it could also hold the team bases. Lets avoid more harbour infill

      And the cars off Te Wero should have been done yesterday and the whole area greened.

      It would then be to pick just one or two transformational/legacy projects and focus on those for 2021 for The Cup and APEC. Light rail to Wynyard would seem a good one. Speeding up CRL completion probably unlikely. Buying out the Wynyard leases might be the other, to fast track development of the point.

      Projects like moving the port would be the next phase after we defend the cup 😉

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