The local body elections feel like they’ve been dragging on all year but they finally to an end on Saturday. To me this election feels like there’s been a lot more heat than light and I guess I’m not the only one given that so far, we’re tracking for the lowest number of votes since Auckland was amalgamated in 2010 with as of last Friday just 15.1% of people (162k) having voted. The last day to post voting papers is tomorrow, although you can still physically take them to a ballot box until noon on Saturday.

One thing that’s noticeable about this election is that there hasn’t been a big transport project to focus on. In the first two elections the City Rail Link was the key focus of Len Brown and at the last election it was Light Rail. With all of those projects, and more, underway, there just hasn’t been that big single issue to latch on to and debate.

So in a case of better late than never, I thought I’d give a quick summary of the transport policies of main contestants. Before I get into it, I also want to highlight great work done by our friends over at Generation Zero with their election scorecards. If you’re stuck on who to vote for, especially at ward or local board level, then these may help.


Phil Goff

Phil’s first term as Mayor can probably be summed up as securing the next big steps towards improving transport in Auckland, much of it an extension of the work started under his predecessor. This progress came in the form of the updated Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) with the current government and importantly finding a way to fund Auckland’s share of that through the regional fuel tax. Those improvements include delivering on a significant expansion to our Rapid Transit network over the next nine years and some of those projects, such as the Puhinui Interchange, are already underway.

Auckland’s future Rapid Transit network as agreed in ATAP

As such, Phil was never going to come out and say we needed to do something different and that’s reflected in his policies which can perhaps all be described as ‘tinkering around the edges’. There are only two policies directly associated with transport and a couple of others loosely so.

Clean Transport

Perhaps the most significant of Goff’s transport policies is his one on clean transport. He is promising for the council to only buy electric vehicles from next year and to accelerate the roll-out of electric buses. The latter is something we’ve definitely wanted to see as Auckland Transport’s current approach is simply not ambitious enough.

Cheaper PT for kids

Making public transport free for kids on weekends has already been claimed as a success by the council and Auckland Transport and Goff’s policy is to extend that further by making child fares even cheaper on weekdays. Currently child fares vary from 40-47% of adult fares depending on how many zones are travelled. Goff wants this increased to a flat 50%, which he says would mean savings for parents of about $114 per year for two zone trips or $171 per year on three zone trips. These figures add up quickly though with the number of kids already using PT and he says the annual estimated cost would be $4.13 million. He also claims this would result in an extra 355k trips which doesn’t seem like a great return on investment.

Trees and reviews

The two other policies which remotely tough on transport are:

  • Planting 1.5 million trees – a 50% increase on his 2016 promise which was achieved earlier this year. As with last time, it would be good if that meant planting some street trees but there is no mention of that in the policy.
  • Reviewing the Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) structure – this would include Auckland Transport but any changes would require the government to change legislation.

Gen zero scored him an A- with 87% for transport


John Tamihere

Tamihere started his campaign by attacking Auckland Transport and has claimed it is waging a war on cars and promising to sack the AT board. He also came out early opposing the changes of speed limits, the regional fuel tax and plans to make Queen St car-free.

His more substantive policy is broken down into two main categories, roads and rail.

Roads

Tamihere claims that he will get on with building roads and specifically mentions as priorities:

  • Mill Rd
  • Penlink
  • Puhoi to Wellsford Motorway
  • The Kumeu bypass
  • Port Access Upgrade – I assume he’s referring to the tunnel to the ports and not the new Grafton Gully Boulevard plans.
  • East-West Link – a different version from what the NZTA have proposed

He says they will be financed by Public Private Partnerships but given these are just a more expensive way of debt financing, it’s not clear how he’ll cover the costs of those repayments, especially without the fuel tax.

He also claims he will get external investment to build up to 30 large park and rides around the region, saying feeder buses are “not the answer”. The problem with this thinking is there’s nothing now stopping private investors from building P&R, other than the fact they can’t make any money on it, especially when it can cost $60,000 or more per space.

Rail

When I look at Tamihere’s rail plan it reminds me of something from a movie where people have been taken over by some alien entity. On the surface they look completely normal but it’s only once you look closely you realise not is all as it seems.

The plan is to build 33km of new rail lines, including some down streets, operated by tram-trains that also share our existing tracks. This would include laying tracks along Quay St and over Te Wero island to Wynyard with platforms on the street the same height as on our rail network.

The tram-trains they say will run on this network will be some quite mythical machines. It is claimed they will be the same size and capacity as our existing trains yet have 100% level boarding, so no steps like the current train. and yet they’ll also be able to climb grades of 5%, turn tighter corners, run at up to 150km/h in a regional variant and also run on town streets. Each one of these things may be possible on their own but is unlikely to be feasible all together e.g. with our platform heights AT were not able to get trains that have 100% level boarding due to the need to accommodate the bogies, running gear, aircon etc.

While there are some not terrible things about this, in my view it doesn’t do enough to address having too many buses in the city, it doesn’t address Isthmus, it doesn’t address the Northwest, which is more than just serving Kumeu but the whole Northwest corridor and it seems to ignore projects that are already underway. More importantly it requires changing ATAP, which I’ll discuss further below.

There’s a regional map too, the core of which almost identical to our Regional Rapid Rail plan.

I can’t help but think that had all of this been 10-15 years ago, it would have looked good but it simply isn’t as compelling or as useful as what’s currently planned.

Harbour Bridge Replacement

On top of his road and rail plans, one of the biggest headlines was Tamihere’s plan to replace the structure of Harbour Bridge with a new double decked version carrying both more car lanes and also these tram-trains and walking/cycling paths.

I discussed the idea in more detail at the time and to be fair it’s probably less crazy than some of the NZTA’s plans for another road crossing.

ATAP

The key problem for Tamihere is that both his plans require the government to come on-board, re-negotiate ATAP and also provide a lot more funding to Auckland. There are two main problems with this.

  1. The government have already indicated they won’t do this which means even if Tamihere was ultimately successful, it likely means years of more delays.
  2. ATAP is evidence based and so even in the earlier versions under the National government agreed that building a bunch of roads wouldn’t solve the problem.

Not mentioned in his policies is anything to do with cycling, although he has said it isn’t a priority and can come later, after we’ve built more roads.

Gen zero scored him a C- with just 46% for transport.


Craig Lord

Lord has been making a bit more of a name for himself recently, particularly in constituencies that typically vote for a more traditional right-wing candidate. From what little I’ve seen, he wants to focus on building a lot of roads, such as Penlink and getting ride of cycleways. More recently he has come out saying his plan for public transport is elevated monorails.

Unsurprisingly, he didn’t score well with Gen Zero, achieving a D- and just 39% for transport


Phil Goff might not be the most exciting candidate but in our view he’s the only one with a sensible plan.


Councillors

The mayor is important but is only just one vote and so it’s important we get a supportive council too and there are a number of wards where it could be a close race. I won’t go into detail on them so check those Gen Zero scorecards.

Finally, the voting returns by local board (including by LB subdivision where it exists).

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125 comments

  1. [Comment edited by admins as it was in reply to a comment that has been deleted due to violating user guidelines.]

    … I’m with Joe in wanting our elected officials to set aspirational goals that AT & their contacted partners can work towards over an agreed time frame. My 1st aspiration is not to replace diesel with battery to reduce fossil fuel dependence but rather to make for cleaner air in the most bus intensive roads. This of course would be tied to a requirement that other vehicles (public, private & commercial) using those same spaces moved to zero emission in those spaces along the same timeline…

  2. ATAP may well be evidence-based, but the evidence to date would suggest that the dates in ATAP for piffling things like ‘Light Rail’ are actually entirely at the whim of the Government and not set in stone. So be extremely wary of anyone suggesting that they can get the Government do anything other than muddle about in a quagmire of business cases, while other regions get their infrastructure funded at preferential contribution rates as Auckland stagnates.

  3. I am not sure what happens other places but out here in the south we don’t have feeder buses we do have buses which link significant locations like Manukau city and Botany or Mangere Town center with Onehunga and yes some of these buses do happen to stop at a railway station. You could argue we should have more bus routes to give a more intensive service but the majority of riders will always be moving around in the suburbs rather than catching a train to the city center. So yes you can build more park and rides but that doesn’t negate the need for local buses. My preference is to leave my car safely locked up in my garage rather than out in a park and ride where it is exposed to the elements, accident or crime.

    1. “My preference is to leave my car safely locked up in my garage rather than out in a park and ride where it is exposed to the elements, accident or crime.”. Yes if you have a garage this is preferable.

  4. The Mayoral election really should be a non event with Goff being the only electable candidate. Of course the danger is that the only people that bother voting are the ones who want change; Tamihere or Lord could be Auckland’s Trump.
    In addition we have had 3 terms of right wing government and left wing council. I wonder if we will get a right wing council elected now that we have a left wing government?

  5. GenZero is not a credible group to base anything on. They are completely partisan to the Goff / Labour/Greens political grouping (one of them is the campaign manager for Goff). Please use a non-biased, non politically aligned rating for these candidates. Thank you.

    1. +1

      I am inclined to agree, theres not one negative thing to say about Goff but everyone’s sick of him. I am pro-PT and cycling but find hes been next to useless and so do many others. I have heard from many people that they are completley uninspired by the mayoral candidates. But no mention of that here?

      Are you just trying to keep on Phil’s good side rather than tell us what we all know?

      1. There probably is not but regardless what they said still applies. Just write a summary that isn’t based off scorecarding done by politically biased groups.

        I think GZ mean well but often they dont see the bigger picture.

        1. Nothing in the post, other than the screenshots is based on the Gen Zero scorecards.
          And regardless of what you think of GZ, or Goff, none of the contenders have credible policy

    2. You need to check your facts about Goff’s campaign manager. And If you think politicians should limit themselves when hiring a campaign manager to someone who had never been involved with political action as a youth, you’re suggesting two things:
      – the politician should choose from a severely reduced pool of candidates, and those candidates would be the restrained, conservative types who as youth put career possibilities before honest debate and action, and
      – youth should muzzle themselves.

      Both effects would support conservatism and the status quo. I say phooey to that. In fact, given the world the youth are inheriting due to conservativism, I think your view is damaging and dangerous.

      As for Gen Z being partisan, please. Gen Z accurately repeat the candidates’ views, then give them a value judgement consistent with GZ’s values. There is nothing sneaky about it, they aren’t pretending to do anything else.

    3. You are right Scotsman. I was so surprised to see Gen Z stuff on here. I knew this website is a bit labour/green leaning at times but come one. That’s just too much. I actually came across those scorecards before and read through them. Scoring on there and their comments just don’t add up to anything. It’s just the tool to make Labour/Green candidates look good. That’s all.

      1. Why, we have worked with Gen Z many times as we share many similar beliefs, none of which have anything to do with politics.

        Like us, I think many stuggle to categorise them and so resort to simplistic left/right or political party tribes. It seems people who follow politics assume everyone who engages in the political process is doing so politically. In both cases we both support good policy outcomes regardless of who delivers it, it’s just that so far there hasn’t been a lot of opportunity to show that as there hasn’t been good policy from some segments.
        However that’s not always true. For example in my ward a candidate who is a national party member received an A from Gen Z, above a labour candidate and others. Had Bill Cashmore not been elected unopposed I think he would have scored highly too.

      2. Isn’t it the reverse? GA thought up the Congestion Free Network and then the likes of the Greens, Labour, Gen Z, etc saw the sense in it and backed it. So its not that GA is left leaning, it is that the left are GA leaning (while the right are unfortunately stuck in last century).

        1. Absolutely – this is a key point. If right wing parties were behind good evidence based policy with respect to transport, then they’d be lauded as well.

          They’re not. Even though it makes no sense whatsoever.

  6. After Simon Wilson restored some sanity to the transport conversation with his article in the 28 September Weekend Herald it is good to see you continuing the theme Matt. It would be interesting to see the non-incumbent candidates transport policies compared with the “Proposed Rapid Transit Improvements” (by 2028) which are illustrated in a map on page 20 of the ATAP April 2018 document.

    ATAP was released in September 2016 and there was an update released in August 2017. It is likely an update on or a reset of ATAP will be released sometime in 2020. Given the delays and uncertainty over the Airport rail line it seems almost certain that a railway or busway to the north-west will not be completed by 2028.

    The constraints of the North-Western Motorway corridor after recent motorway widening means that building a true rapid transit system along the corridor, whenever it is done, will be ferociously expensive. Express busses between Westgate and the CBD using the shoulder bus lanes would be an interim measure that would be at least as fast a driving. However, it would be better to have stops along the way like the into town motorway bus stop that used to be at Pataki Road, accessed by a pedestrian overpass.

    Any thoughts out there on the worth / wisdom of doing this, and where and how accessible bus stops could be built at reasonable cost at places like Royal Heights, Taitapu, Lincoln Road, Te Atatu Road, Pt Chevalier and Western Springs.

    1. We already have bus shoulder lanes on the NW and they are next to useless as so much time is wasted re-merging at each interchange. Without a dedicated bus or LR carriageway times won’t improve.

      1. Correct. Costings for busway stations have been posted here before. You’d end up paying 80% of the cost of a LRT system but getting 30% of the benefits. So yes, entirely consist with the Auckland way of doing things. But the problem isn’t Auckland, it’s Wellington and the vacuum of accountability for the total failure to deliver anything in a timely manner, if it all.

        1. NW LR is estimated to cost $3 billion, are you seriously saying the busway stations are expected to cost $2.4 billion? I’m not sure you’ve got this right!

  7. It’s a rather sad state for local democracy. I look at my ballot and read the little booklet and think “is this the best we got?”. This is the first time in my life where I may not vote at all.

    1. Yeah I don’t blame you, I felt the same way about the mayoral candidates but ended up voting for one anyway… just not quite the candidate I would have wanted…

      But deffo vote for your Councillors/LB, there is generally some reasonably good and inspiring choices there – dependent on where you are ofc. I helped my mum vote it Rodney, where basically the Councillor is elected unopposed (so no choice) and the only choices for LB were Rodney First, one independent guy and a guy who likes doing 100km/h and drawing penises around potholes. Not very inspiring!

    2. I’m the same but I may vote Goff to keep JT out

      No other votes – the only credible ones on Manurewa are Dalton and Newman but Todd Niall’s column about them being the B team made me change my mind. I don’t vote B teams.

      DHB – no vote because I don’t want to give them legitimacy and I want them abolished.

      1. I was really disappointed in the lack of information about the DHB’s.

        The health boards need to get involved in transport and urban planning as there are massive public health consequences. Many in the medical professions are indeed getting involved, and cross-discipline research is gaining momentum. But the candidates profiles were missing commentary on the issues.

        1. The problem with DHBs is what actually do that do and how would I judge a good one from a bad one? I don’t have much interaction with the health system so I have no idea if my DHB is doing good or bad apart from what is in the news. I am not sure if the current model is making the most out of the billions we spend on it but the DHBs don’t have much power to reform it.

  8. My predictions are:

    JT wins by a whisker by protesting voters
    Grant Gillon wins
    Darby stays
    Hills dumped
    Daniel and Angela Dalton are in
    Mike Lee wins due to backlash against cityvision/

    B team takes control.

      1. Yes, how would it be a good outcome? Eerily there might be another similarity: in those times Auckland was beset by protests about a war; and again Auckland might be beset by protests about another war, that against climate change.

        1. Cityvision looks like it is going to take an absolute hammering from the voters this year. Mainly for not listening to the residents about what they want.

          I think cityvision got “too big for their boots” and it was “their way or the highway”? Look how Pippa tried to push through the Erebus memorial – massive backfire as public backlash to her plan and recommendation.

  9. John Tamihere makes my skin crawl, probably a combination of what he brings to politics and his own personal gain. But like a broken clock anyone can be right occasionally.

    As for the local board in Auckland, oh my God, massively uninspiring. Claims of cleaner water, lower rates, better PT and sundry other totally undeliverable fantasies that these people have no chance of obtaining given their lack of control over Auckland Council.

    May as well stand Elvis as a candidate.

    It’s no wonder there is such a poor voter turnout such is the disconnect between voters and local politicians given what these elected people can achieve versus reality.

    Of course our central government should have been awake to this slide in local democracy, if only they looked outside their own bubble!

    1. Waspman
      Change always starts somewhere and while local board candidates may have lofty goals they may well be able to influence the opinion of others; especially if that message is factually argued over and over.

      Would you rather have candidates, like Trump, who stand for nothing other than to advance policies that they think will bring them votes?

      Is the disconnect really between what candidates say what they will do and what they achieve; or between what they say they will do and what they actually do?

      1. Ironically Donald Trump may suit our local body democracy superbly, he like the rest would be all noise and Twitter and no action because of it. And that is definitely why I think the turnout is so low.

        Personally I would love to have candidates that had not been marginalized to the point of symbolic.

        I know, because I have pointlessly tried to use them, contacted either my local board about such silly things like the local main road falling apart, literally, to be answered not by that member on multiple occasions but by a representative telling me zero. Or rubbish dumping concerns to the council itself only to receive in all cases a pointless but brilliantly choreographed reply and reference number to make it seem like someone cares when in fact they dont. And when no change or satisfactory answer was forthcoming I even got a survey to fill out that was met with no response either when I rated it an epic fail.

        In respect of rubbish dumping the inorganic rubbish collections have virtually eliminated anything inorganic from them, so much so I can see why there is rubbish dumping. Where the hell are these useless local board members then? Maybe they care but whose listening? And if no one listens, what can I do about it?

        I get it that when the Supercity was enacted, its planners wanted democratically elected representatives nowhere near the controls of the very organisations that it is made up of, that was a job for well paid “business people” who were and remain fully unanswerable to any concern I may have. I get it, we were disenfranchised ever so cleverly but you cannot just expect me to waste my time voting for local board representatives that have about as much pull as my cat!

        What I can’t get is why our lawmakers just don’t put us out of our financial misery and get rid of this democratic facade and leave it to the businessmen who really run our council!

    1. The problem seems to be a glut of protest candidates who want to destroy the Unitary Plan and ATAP because they are satisfied with the old status quo. I mean JT has said that he’ll spend his whole first term consulting on a new transport plan because he feels the old one wasn’t consulted on enough. Most likely it would result in something similar as the same people who sent submissions in on ATAP would just resubmit their submission to the new round of consultations. Alternatively he could consult and then ignore the result as it doesn’t line up with his personal vision. In either case, progress would once again stall as we wait for the outcome of JT’s consultation.

      1. Isn’t it funny how everyone thinks they are an expert on transport (myself included). If it was water infrastructure we would all just believe the experts…

        1. Yes this true, I think in part it comes from the fact that we are all experts in our own transport experience. But don’t get that that is neither universal, nor scaleable.

          Fun but common example; there’s always one dude at any public meeting who insists the city could fix congestion tomorrow, easy, if only he always gets a green light. They never seem to understand that means others must then be getting red ones… (including pedestrians who of course are not considered transport, to these types).

        1. Lol don’t mention the mayor hopeful that drinks wine through a glass straw. Of course seems to just making a statement about banning plastic straws.

  10. Outside of transport for a moment. Can you tell me how you and the media in general choose “main contestants”? I’ve been following this election campaign and I’m a bit baffled. All the media claimed from the moment when JT announced his start that PG and JT are the leading candidates. I couldn’t fin any data whatsoever to back those claims. Is there any poll or anything to confirm that? I thought maybe it has something to do with announcing running for mayor but Craig Lord for example announced his start earlier than JT and started making videos for Youtube before JT announced anything. I just wonder why media ignore 19 or 18 other candidates. It seems like certain journalists and media just pushing those two as the only ones running so people won’t even think of voting for someone else.

        1. I’m sure they are allowed to win, they just wont. I wouldn’t say I am that knowledgeable, however I have seen a number of elections in my time and not once has someone that wasn’t one of the “main contestants” got even remotely close to winning a FPP election.
          You could argue that the media are the cause of this; but then in politics the media are the pretty much the cause of everything…

        2. Chloe Swarbrick ran without media attention (she used her own social media) and came 3rd with 29k votes…so being a good candidate like her also helps.

        3. Joe I almost totally agree. Being a good candidate helps. It’s a shame that media don’t pay attention to many good candidates :/

      1. well, yeah that’s what I mean. The media create “main contestants” and that’s why they are main. And that’s when people start thinking they have to be main ones. But usually media create this after some kind of early poll or something like that, because otherwise how could you tell which one is the leading ones. But here it seems like nothing is needed. Media just randomly (of course they have some reason to do it and to do it with certain candidates lets not be naive) pick guys to promote (or the opposite) them. I would understand if the candidates they pick would be famous or something but this JT guy for example is total no name for me. I’ve never heard about him. Before the election I only knew Goff. Well I guess times of ethical journalism are long gone but it’s just sad.

        1. Wiki: John Henry Tamihere (born 1959) is a New Zealand former politician, media personality, and political commentator. He was member of Parliament from 1999 to 2005. He served as a Cabinet minister in the Labour Party from August 2002 to 3 November 2004. He was intending to stand again for Parliament in the 2014 election, but decided not to.

        2. Todd Niall did a piece about it a while ago, basically most of the candidates don’t even bother to reach out to media so it’s no surprise they don’t get included or thought about because they’re not taking the process seriously.

        3. Matt L I know that some candidates run just for laughs and don’t even bother, because it’s hard to find anything about them online. But I just don’t believe 18-19 candidates out of 21 don’t want to promote themselves in media.

      2. Well, 2005 was kind of 11 years ago. But what has he done since, apart from deciding not to stand for election… Even though I’ve been living quite a few years in NZ (and was quite interested from the beginning what’s happening in the country and read a lot) I wasn’t here in 2005 and haven’t heard his name before.

  11. From those main candidates I would certainly vote for Lord. I think in general (not looking just at transport) he is the most reasonable and grounded candidate from the three presented here. I think monorail is an interesting idea worth looking at. I totally disagree with getting rid of the cycle ways though.

    As for Tamihere I think he’s just focusing on criticizing Goff and trying to present some counter ideas just to be different than Goff without thinking much about them really. That would be my last choice of the three.

    I’m not happy with Goff in general as a mayor. There might have been slight improvement in public transport under his reign (but where is the light rail or even any plan for light rail…)

  12. I’m going to say something very cynical here. I think JT knows his tram-train proposal is infeasible. He wants to kill off PT improvements but he can’t just cancel them as the government won’t allow that. So he comes up with a ridiculous proposal that he insists should be measured against the current plans. This results in a delay. He then hopes Labour loses the election and Chris Bishop them realigns ATAP to build more motorways and uses the recent (presumably) poorly reviewed tram-train proposal to as proof that rail isn’t going to work in Auckland. The Mike Hosking listening crowd would love it and the PT will enter another period of stagnation in Auckland.

  13. I wonder how much further into debt Auckland will go under the big spending Goff?

    I’m sure he’s been briefed on the debt levels. He just probably can’t remember being briefed.

    1. The debt the council bears is safely within safe limits, is on very cheap interest and is being used really sensibly on good infrastructure projects. It is like a mortgage not credit card debt.

  14. I’m still waiting for Mayor Len Brown’s promise to finish the CRL by 2015 and to have rail to the Northshore by next year.

    1. I’m still waiting for the Shore to realise there are other parts of Auckland other than the Shore and the City doesn’t revolve exclusively around them.

      I have a feeling we’ll both die waiting.

      1. You will be happy to know that in order to address the PT issues on the Northshore they identified that building a tram line down Dominion Rd was the best way to address them.

        It was either that or a vast network of elevated busways down random residential streets apparently.

        1. Quite correct, creating a second rail corridor through the City Centre for the North Shore line to run on at full frequency was indeed a masterful foresight.

      2. Buttwizard, as a Shore resident I can tell you that all we want is to catch up with the rest of the city, and that being the largest area still waiting for rail it is logical that it should come next. However ATAP, and Goff, are both limited in their thinking to the isthmus which is why only 2 or 3% percent of the much-vaunted $38B made it to the Shore, with rail to any urban centre north of the bridge postponed to never. If anything it’s Central Auckland, not the Shore, that seems to think the world revolves around them,

        1. North Shore has great rapid transit service in the Busway. This will indeed need upgrading to higher capacity rail in the medium term. But other areas of the city that currently have no RT need something first. The NW, Isthmus and Mangere, East and south east. Right now the NB is getting extended, and the Eastern Busway s underway (at both ends). The Shore is not hard done by, or ignored, the NW and Mangere certainly have been though.

        2. If you use the presence of parallel steel rails as the sole indicator of quality PT then yes the North Shore falls behind. However, it leads the way in terms of busways, the central, south and west are completely devoid of them and the east is only just getting one built now. The NS is getting a significant spend on a busway extension as we speak.

          Always worth looking at the wider picture, although I don’t think it suits your narrative.

        3. The Northern Busway has the best frequency, best span, and best speed of any of our transit lines.

          The only downside is it success, it gets a bit congested at times.

        4. Yes indeed, the busway has demonstrated the appetite for public transport. Right now it is only about 6km long and it only goes along the motorway, and it hasn’t been extended for a decade. It would be great to see it extended to urban centres so that we have a rapid transit network with a walkable catchment, like ATAP proposes for central suburbs. Feeder buses can’t cover the area.

          Busway or light rail? I don’t know but it would make sense to settle on one or the other and create a network that covers the whole of Auckland, not just a few parts. Light rail capacity scales up really well so I understand that it is the preference.

        5. “Auckland, not the Shore, that seems to think the world revolves around them,”

          Well it is the central spot, so in a sense the world does revolve around them. 😉

        6. Nothing particularly unusual about a transit line not being extended for 10 years, the Western and Southern lines are the same length they were 10 years ago (in fact they have shrunk with electrification). The busway is undergoing extension as we speak.

          ATAP proposes one new RT line on the isthmus there will still be plenty of gaps where RT is not within walking distance on the isthmus.

    2. Well Len did get the councils part of CRL construction started in 2015, so not too bad a go.

      In 2009 John Banks promised an eastern motorway and another another harbour motorway. We’ll see whose pledges get finished first.

      1. Yes Len made the master stroke of starting to build a project they had no idea of how much it was going to cost or how they were going to fund for it. It certainly helped force the government into paying for potentially more than half but has put various limitations onto our network and potentially precluded a Northshore rail line.

        In terms of Banks making promising things in 2009, if he got given the boot the next year I think that sort of lets him off.

        1. The CRL is vitally needed and has been for decades. Len Brown managed to overcome the stultifying inertia of others and get the thing kick-started. A few years down the track when the CRL is up, running, and taken for granted as vital, Len Brown’s input will have been a big part of what achieved it.

        2. Who’s saying the CRL isn’t needed?

          Reducing the walking distance in the CBD will make rail a significantly more viable option for many more people travelling to or from the CBD.

          And according to the rumors I should be able to drive to work during peak hour now as everyone else would’ve jumped onto he train:)

    3. Brown told ratepayers over and over the CRL was going to cost $2.8Billion.

      It’ll be closer to $5B by the time it’s finished.

      1. It was going to cost that much at the time, if only the National government hadn’t delayed it for so long we could have saved a lot of money and had it running already.

        1. Brown quoted the price estimate of the council’s 2010 plan, $2.86m.

          The National Party government delayed approval of it for six years for ideological reasons, during which time civil construction costs increased an average of 8% per annum. Eventually Key overruled Joyce’s blind fanaticism and got things going better late than never.

          If they’d started it when Len Brown’s council approved their share it would have been half the cost and finished about now.

        2. It’s true that it would have cost a lot less if it was started earlier.

          Doesn’t change the fact that a left leaning council quoted a low estimate to try and win ratepayer backing.

          Anybody with half a brain knew it was going to cost far more than what they quoted regardless of when it was started.

        3. Vance – I tend to agree, although I’m glad that Len Brown did that as if the current costs were being quoted then we would probably still be debating whether to do this project or not.

          It’s also worth remembering part of the increased costs are due to improvements to the design to increase capacity.

        4. Quite true Jezza. I support the CRL and glad there have been improvements on the original design. Makes a change from the way things are usually done here.

        5. I highly doubt National had much to do with the cost increase, it’s more likely due to the fact the cost of the project simply wasn’t captured in the initial estimates.

          To add to that, the powers at be around the time deliberately put in low estimates to increase the chances of their projects being approved.

          I’m pretty sure if you look back to around 2007 it was being quoted at about $900 million, whereas the final cost will likely be around $5billion. Then you can add another couple of billion in level crossing conversions if you want to mitigate its adverse effects.

        6. Just as an example that National isn’t to blame.

          Back in 2009 or so the waterview tunnel was only 2-lanes and meant to cost $2.1 billion. National delayed it and it was finally finished in 2017 with the now 3-lane tunnel only costing $1.4 billion.

          If it had followed the CRL trend the final cost should have been about $10 billion.

    1. Nice rumor, but I don’t see how hes going to get to his rural property in Clevedon (which happens to be across the road from my mother-in-law) without a car. Perhaps if he e-biked 12.5km along super dangerous 100km/h rural roads to Papakura train station… but I certainly doubt that.

      If he was using purely those modes he would be just as enraged at the lack of progress as the rest of us.

  15. The mayoral candidates aren’t inspiring. Projects can be funded by the council, government or both, so some of what they are touting isn’t really theirs to claim or something they have little influence over. e.g. the government is still evaluating the EW link.
    On the subject of trees, the City Vision dominated local board have been trying to redevelop Chamberlain park for the past 3 years, which means cutting down over 1000. JT is the only candidate to oppose.

    1. Absolutely shocking vandalism of a well used and popular public amenity. Their main objection, apart from their hatred of trees, seems to be that the plebs are allowed to play golf. There are several campaigns underway to make sure they are tossed out.

      1. Hahahaha, hatred of trees! You’re right on for that JT demographic aye, just whipping up that anger and fury…over half a golf course!

        1. I think it’s a good idea to protect our green spaces. Auckland’s population is likely to double over the next few decades within the same urban area, which means our shared green spaces will become invaluable. I don’t like to see them bulldozed for the short term profit of property developers.

        2. So clearly you know nothing about what is happening at Chamberlain Gold Course in which these people are losing their minds about. Turning half of the 18 hole central Golf course into PUBLIC parks and sports field is doing exactly what you just suggested and what the likes of Alan and Anthony are protesting against.

        3. Actually I do, and I’m fine with what you’re describing but I have seen other proposals there and elsewhere proposing construction apartments and car parks on green spaces. Making green spaces more accessible for all is of course a good thing!

        4. I can argue any way you like on the specific proposal for Chamberlain Park – it’s a complicated situation.

          However, it must be noted that the board is trying to open the golf course so more people can use the green space, not to develop it for housing. Or rather, the board was, until the current election politicking split them.

  16. We have local board members and a council, allegedly. They have given us for our rates the power and social contract to maintain and even improve places like Tamaki Drive. And for time in memorial the footpaths that make up a considerable length of it from The Strand toward the eastern bays have been and remain terrible. The western side of it is farcically split into two pointless lanes, one for bikes, the other for pedestrians and that lane gets down to less than 6 inches wide such is the undergrowth and damage to the surface. Apparently there have been grand plans for many years to turn this into a premier walkway. But nothing changes, ever.

    Question, so do I think voting will change anything? Answer, don’t make me laugh!

    Could this example of such blatant indifference by our councillers possibly be a reason so few vote?

    1. You are insane if you think Tamaki Drive will ever get anything spent on it other than removing car parks or painting on bike lanes. It will be underwater before anyone does anything to improve it beyond some green paint.

      In other parts of the world, somewhere like Tamaki Drive would have an extended boardwalk over the water and Light Rail. But given most discussion about St Heliers/Glendowie/Mission Bay is Spinoff-style snark, don’t hold your breath for a proper discussion about how it could be the best and most PT-friendly destination in the city, but infuriatingly is just a void which somehow has a shitty road AND shitty pedestrian amenity. I’m not sure who it works well for.

        1. Correct. But if we are going to massively scale height (and we should) then they key is to articulate what the additional services provided to an area would be to support that intensification and then put it in the Unitary Plan so it can happen.

          The status quo fails on both those counts – people are expected to imagine their already straining infrastructure with more and more added people, and what’s the point of having a plan if people are allowed to just apply to ignore it – much like they ignored the Tamaki Drive masterplan? Why should a community buy into that process if the rules that govern it aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.

          Better to articulate the vision, actually sell it, get people on board and make it happen, rather than a convoluted process that takes forever to formulate and then can be totally disregarded on a whim.

  17. I encourage everyone to vote at least for the major Phil Goff. We sure don’t want John T in due to lack of or protest votes. Also the councillors. So much will come to a stand still and could go backwards with these other road centric candidates.

  18. What is the relevance of the GenZero scorecards, when the determination of what is good or bad is unique to the person making up the scores?

    If you’re against lower speed limits, then the score should be higher for candidates who say they won’t lower them.

    The scorecards are just plain stupid.

    1. There’s a lot of candidates to vote for and not a great deal of information about them.
      Things that help people to understand them more and improve election participation are a good thing. E.g. How would you even know if a candidate is for or against lower speed limits unless they cared so much to put it in their small bio.

      1. During rush hour bikes are dangerous. Bus and bike lanes increase congestion in the inner city making clogged 2 lane roads 1 lane. It is selfish for a very few cyclists to use.

        1. Mate, if I were you I’d be glad you didn’t get any media coverage! I suggest you check the calendar, its not 1980 anymore.

        2. And strange Joe we cant respond to you. Well i think a lot of more sensible people dissagree with you. But if a proper democratic coverage was done you could find out. And vote for whoever you like. .

    1. He also believes that free parking and removing bus lanes will reduce congestion, with zero evidence suggesting this.

      He claims to be the ‘Rocky’ of the Election, but the only thing his policies seem to have in common with Rocky is that they are both pure fiction.

      1. and without any press coverage it is impossible to get any supporting arguments or info or clarification out to the public.

  19. Yes the major media suppressed all the other candidates by exclusion from mention and debates, with no opportunity to change their minds. Even Lord was barely allowed into a few debates.
    Goff and Tamahere succeeded in getting the election turned into a 2 ring circus and the other candidates were not admitted..
    With the slop served to the public, ie just Tamahere vs Goff, non-stop, it is not surprising people didn’t want to vote, and the public threw up the result we received.

    1. To be fair they gave a lot of coverage to anyone who actually had a chance.

      By that I mean anyone with experience in local or national politics and the backing of a major party or bloc. I mean seriously, the people that think they should be a shoe in for mayor without so much as a part time role on a local board under their belt…

  20. No they didnt. Noone who was ignored could possibly have a chance. Nor was their any wide coverage by tv or radio or even a chance to debate the ‘frontrunners’. Thanks Ive been on Otara Community Board before. So you say only if Labour or National etc support you or you have a $million should you be given coverage? This is not the USA.

      1. And you will never know if the candidates are suppressed by exclusion. And others such as myself and others did. Ive been a law society councillor in two councils for years. Plus council committees boards of trustees etc. but the public never gets to know. Or when I have wiped the floor with Goff and Tamahere in debate. Nothing covered. Nothing seen. But you will see me in action next year.

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