The Campaign for Better Transport is holding an election debate with all the major parties this month in Auckland. The CBT is led by Cameron Pitches and over the years has led campaigns and advocated for many transport issues including:

  • Airport Rail
  • Reopen Onehunga Rail
  • Rail Electrification
  • Integrated ticketing
  • Hamilton – Auckland Rail
  • City Rail Link
  • Operation Lifesaver – An Alternative to Puhoi-Warkworth
  • Northwestern Busway
  • North Shore Rail
  • A more economic alternative to the East West Link

The Campaign for Better Transport will be hosting a public meeting for political parties to present their transport policies, with a particular focus on Auckland’s needs.

“Now the Waterview tunnel is finished, we can say our motorway network is complete,” said spokesperson Cameron Pitches.

“We are looking forward to hearing what transport projects the various parties propose next in Auckland, and how they plan to fund them.”

Confirmed attendees are:

  • Phil Twyford from Labour
  • Parmjeet Parmar from the National Party
  • Julie Anne Genter from the Green Party
  • Denis O’Rourke from NZ First
  • David Hay from The Opportunities Party
  • Brooke van Velden from the ACT Party

Each speaker has been allocated six minutes to highlight their transport policies, to be followed by questions from the Chair and closing statements.

The meeting will be held at the Mt Eden War Memorial Hall and is timed for a 7:30 pm start on Tuesday 22nd August.

So if you can come along please do.

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  1. Let’s hope these people go beyond projects and talk about results. What I want to see is a truly inspiring vision for transport. What that vision is varies, but it needs to be bold, explicit, and specific.

    “Nobody in Auckland will be more than 45 minutes away from work via public transport”

    Now *that* would be the sort of thing to make waves.

    1. Just looked it up: ACT favours an increase in the use of funding options that better reflect the principle of user pays, such as tolls on new and existing roads, congestion charges, peak time charges and preferential lanes

      1. I was actually really impressed with Seymour at this debate last time around. I disagrees with his starting point but it seemed as though he had actually thought about it and formed a logical argument to support his position. This was not true of the Labour or National candidate

  2. Hon Simon Bridges could not make it unfortunately. As luck would have it, the Road Transport Forum has organised a one day summit in Wellington on the 22nd as well:

    Associate Transport Minister Tim Macindoe also can’t make it.

    Should be a good debate still – I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there out from behind their keyboards!

    If you have any particular questions you want to ask, post them here.

    1. Thanks Cameron. Interesting that the Road Transport Forum notes that”
      “The Summit is being organised on behalf of;
      the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport,
      the Road Transport Forum NZ,
      NZ Shipping Federation,
      Bus and Coach Association,
      Motor Trade Association,
      Ports Association,
      Taxi Federation,
      NZ Heavy Haulage Association,
      Automobile Association,
      Motor Industry Association,
      Imported Motor Vehicle Association
      and the Maritime Union of NZ.”

      And yet when you go to the actual page, you’re treated by a picture of electric trains, at Wellington station.

      There is something deeply weird about inviting every organisation that lives and breathes diesel engines and rubber tyres, to an event that would, on the face of it, be about electricity and public transport and steel tracks, none of which are represented in the list.

      This could mean that
      A) the Road Transport Forum has had an epiphany of electricity?
      B) trains are sexier than trucks ?
      C) the RTF is using greenwash to whitewash their motives?

      1. I assume this summit is not open to the public. It would be interesting to get this recorded to let us all see what the rubber diesel folk want

        1. just looked at the web site, 11am to 3pm and I see the same Green and NZF delegates (Julie Anne Genter and Denis O’Rourke) are attending that summit and this election debate. Pity Simon or his sidekick couldn’t make the same effort.

        2. At the same pre-election debate in the Ellen Melville Hall in 2014 the then Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee did turn up, having made a very late decision to attend, but added absolutely nothing of substance to the debate. I rather felt he was on a fishing expedition to see how much pressure the Government was likely to feel if they ignored the desire of Aucklanders for improved public transit and the CRL in particular. As they did.

          In the meantime the demand for quality heavy or light rail has grown substantially but neither the Minister or Associate Minister is attending.

          This is a critical issue for Auckland. Don’t National want the Party vote?

        3. Warren, I was also at the 2014 debate and remember it well.

          Gerry Brownlee was very dismissive of the crowd and rarely attempted to be constructive in his contributions. I can clearly remember him introducing Government policy by saying things like “now I don’t suppose many of you here will agree with me, but this is what we think”.

          I hope that like his predecessor, the Hon Simon Bridges also finds time in his schedule to attend, but that he engages constructively in the debate.

          If both do not happen, then the implication about how much the National Party cares about transport in NZ’s largest city is clear.

      2. Guy, these are good questions to ask. A transport summit should include all transport. Where’s the representation for active modes? Rail passenger services? Rail freight?

        The Road Transport Forum is set up to further the interests of road freight operators. It’s nice that they’ve deigned to include other organisations using the roads with fuel-powered machines, and even the seas… but that list is not a good representation of the whole field of transport.

  3. Another factor to throw into the debate is the Labour policy to include driving lessons in schools.

    Would like to hear what their potential co-alition partners think of that.

    1. Labours school driving lessons is a direct copy of New Zealand First policy announced a year ago. Seems like Labour is copy and pasting a lot all of a sudden, like their transport policy stolen from greens… very unoriginal.

  4. New Zealand: From 900,000 to 19 million rail passengers per year
    Having a wealth of experience in railway design, Barnacle Design owner, Keith Strode-Penny shares how Auckland revitalized its rail industry. Designing for passenger engagement played a big part.

    “You could never get Aucklanders out of their cars”

    The story began with the narrative that “you could never get Auckland commuters out of their cars”. The Auckland region had been guided by city leaders from the early 1950’s to be a “Los Angeles of the South Seas”. Post war growth was planned exclusively around a motorway network, with low density sprawl over a huge area. Over the decades Auckland became known for its suburban lifestyle and its traffic congestion. The luxuriant sprawl that followed the beaches around the intricate coastline created pinch-points through the region whenever the two harbors on each side of the city squeezed close together. The central city area withered away as did the regional rail network. At a low point in the early 1990’s, trains carried just 900,000 passengers per year in a geriatric fleet of wooden carriages populated largely by old men with suspicious smelling bottles in paper bags and graffiti artists.

    Auckland Rail ADL ADC before refurbishment 2002
    Before refurbishment
    In recognition that existing transport investment patterns in “motorways only” could not continue, an impressive new downtown railway station opened in 2002. However, it was a controversial move politically, and a financially high risk endeavor.

    The rail network was in many cases..

    > nice for us who have seen it all coming to fruition almost brings a tear to my eye :-D…

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