Yesterday I summarised “Keeping Cities Moving“, NZTA’s plan to support mode shift to public transport, walking and cycling. That document provides the high-level argument for mode shift, as well as what NZTA needs to do at a national level to help make change. One of the actions at the back of Keeping Cities Moving is that NZTA will partner with local councils in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, Tauranga and Queenstown to develop mode shift plans in these areas. These particular cities have been chosen because they are the largest and/or fastest growing areas in New Zealand – and are therefore the places where mode shift is most urgently needed.

Auckland’s mode shift plan – known as “Better Travel Choices” – is the first of these to be developed, and was published on the Ministry of Transport’s ATAP page last week. The first thing that struck me just from looking at the cover is that the image of the busway is one I’ve taken.

The document looks like it forms part of the wider group of ATAP plans that has been developed over recent years, which is useful as all the transport agencies working in Auckland need to have bought into what the plan says. It’s also clear from the document itself that we are now seeing the ATAP work dive into a bit more detail. A section early in the document usefully explains the role of this plan:

…implementation of the ATAP programme will achieve mode shift for Auckland over the next decade. This mode shift plays an important role in limiting traffic growth (especially at peak times), meaning that population growth of 300,000 people over the next decade is not expected to lead to increased congestion levels.

Many of ATAP’s most transformational projects (e.g. City Rail Link and light-rail) are at least five years away from completion. In the meantime it is important to actively encourage Aucklanders to travel more by public transport,
walking and cycling to ensure that population growth does not accelerate growth in private vehicle use. Similarly, the ongoing disruption caused by the construction of these large projects has the potential to further exacerbate congestion in key locations across Auckland – making it important for reliable, efficient and attractive travel options to be in place…

…The need for more rapid progress, especially over the next five years, is underlined by recent decisions, especially in relation to reducing transport emissions:

  • Auckland Council has declared a ‘climate emergency’ and is developing the Auckland Climate Action Framework and corresponding actions to help achieve a regional target of net zero emissions.
  • The Government introduced the ‘Zero Carbon Bill’ to map out the pathway to net zero emissions by 2050, including the establishment of a Climate Change Commission.

Transport is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Auckland and mode shift has an important, and urgent, role to play in helping give effect to these decisions.

In summary, current plans will achieve mode shift over time, continuing strong recent growth in public transport and cycling levels. However, the most significant change is likely in the second half of the next decade. A comprehensive mode shift plan, building on the ATAP programme, is therefore necessary to support mode shift over the next five years.

Better Travel Choices explains how that will be done.

The plan proposes targeting particular areas and trips in its efforts to achieve mode shift, which I think is useful as a real focus of effort is required to achieve substantial change:

The locations themselves seem to make sense. It’s especially good to see a focus on short-trips to schools, where active modes have enormous potential in helping achieve mode shift.

The plan itself is made up a lot of existing initiatives that have been drawn from ATAP, the Regional Public Transport Plan, the Unitary Plan and other documents – but it’s actually really helpful to see them all in the one place and to see how so many of the different plans and strategies in Auckland that have generally been developed in isolation from each other can be weaved together to create a coherent approach to improving transport in Auckland.

Buried in some of the plan’s details are some interesting statistics and information. For example, it is fascinating to see how the share of travel by different modes varies so considerably across different tertiary institutes – even between ones that are located reasonably near each other, like the Manukau Institute of Technology (on top of Manukau train station) and AUT South(just over a kilometre away). Putting major new facilities as close to rapid transit stations as possible is a pretty obvious way of supporting mode shift.

There’s also a nicely nuanced discussion about the role of public transport fares. This discussion highlights that while the cost of public transport is an issue for some people, making the quality of service better is actually likely to be more important in encouraging more people to consider changing the way they travel. It would be interesting to see what other research was done as part of preparing this plan – maybe that could be published too?

There’s also a good discussion about the importance of building community support – with the Plan highlighting how most people do support Auckland becoming a more multi-modal city at a high level, but that this support sometimes falls away when it comes to implementing the very initiatives that will help make this happen. There’s a really strong message that consultation and engagement practices need to change, along with some suggestions around how things should be done differently. I hope Auckland Transport take note!

  • Greater use of scientific polling and surveys to ensure the opinions of the whole community are captured.
  • Early, genuine and robust engagement processes with the public, key stakeholders and elected members that focus on identifying the outcomes communities seek to achieve and what people value in a local area, rather than the technical details of design.
  • Strong analysis that clearly identifies the benefits of the proposals (quantified as much as possible) and why streetspace reallocation is needed (compared to options that could avoid reallocation such as corridor widening).
  • Greater use of ‘fail-fast’ trials where new ideas can be tested in a low-cost way and adapted, developed or removed depending on their impact.
  • Stronger collaboration across all ATAP Agencies to present a ‘united front’ in support of important initiatives, including joint branding and/or greater use of the ATAP brand.
  • More clarity about decision-making processes in response to public consultation, especially to ensure consistent and transparent information about why changes have or have not been made as a result of public and stakeholder feedback.

The one depressing part of the plan is around funding, where it seems like current budgets make it difficult for all these great ideas to happen particularly quickly.

As funding plans for 2018-21 have already been finalised and are constrained, it will be difficult to accelerate any new investments over the next two years that are not already budgeted for. Furthermore, legislative requirements constrain how Regional Fuel Tax revenue can be used, limiting the ability to change existing budgets. Major changes to transport capital programmes can also make delivery especially challenging, as substantial time and momentum needs to be built up to plan, design and then deliver major initiatives.

Funding challenges are particularly severe for public transport services, where boardings are growing faster than expected – creating capacity constraints and overcrowding. While ongoing optimisation work will continue to ensure services are being focused in the right places, additional operational funding for public transport service improvements will be required over and above what was allocated in ATAP and the RLTP if mode shift is to be achieved.

Funding flexibility is likely to be greater post June 2021 as a new Government Policy Statement, National Land Transport Programme and Auckland Council 10-year budget are developed, and as some committed projects are completed. However, multi-year commitments to the delivery of several large-scale infrastructure projects, such as the City Rail Link, will continue to place post 2021 transport budgets under strain.

Timing and sequencing of the ATAP 10-year programme will be updated as part of normal transport planning and budgeting processes. Placing a strong ‘mode shift lens’ on this work is an important part of ensuring phasing and spend on transport in Auckland supports ongoing mode shift to public transport, walking and cycling. Accelerating mode shift initiatives in future transport funding plans will require additional funding or placing greater priority on accelerating mode shift within existing funding levels, meaning other priorities are progressed more slowly.

Thankfully though, it seems like a lot of extra transport funding is going to become available as the Government ramps up its investment into infrastructure. With mode shift such a high priority for the Government, this plan provides a great platform for where this investment should be targeted in Auckland. A much larger and more quickly delivered programme of bus and cycle lanes – alongside earlier delivery of some major rapid transit corridors – are noted as the highest priority areas for further investment in the Plan. It will be great to see these initiatives roll out more quickly.

Like I said yesterday with the NZTA Mode Shift Plan, this plan for Auckland gives me hope that the transport agencies are getting their act together. With significant extra transport funding now available and a comprehensive plan to guide where it should be focused, the huge opportunity to accelerate mode shift and support Auckland’s transformation to a world-class city is one step closer to being a reality.

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72 comments

  1. It’s great that some officials out there finally seem to be getting it. A shame that National don’t, based off their attrocious transport discussion document yesterday which pretty much just talked about building roads. I honestly find their obsession with roads baffling

    1. Listening to Chris Bishop and Phil Twyford on Morning Report I fear that Bishop will be an even worse Transport Minister after the next election than Twyford

        1. To be fair Simon Bridges wasn’t actually that bad as transport minister. National are taking a massive step “right” in every way, I am guessing to try and steal some of the NZ first vote.
          Last election we had two good centrist parties to vote for; this election we will have a much further right National party and a Labour party that can only deliver on their lefty policies. We are starting to get the political problems that other countries got a decade ago.

        2. Follow the money, road builders make a lot of money from building roads and keeping the cat dependancy going. They are obviously going to generously donate money to political parties that keep that going.

        3. Pray tell Vance, how many dedicated busways and bus lanes have been built lately in NZ, compared to motorways?

        4. It would be a very long bow to draw to suggest that any of the existing RONs or proposed RONs have had any significant benefit to bus operations across the country.

        5. I’m guessing that most Auckland buses would be running on roads that were built before cars even arrived in NZ.

      1. Chris Bishop is an even lesser man than Phil Twyford in every respect so I’ve always expected him to be an even worse transport minister.
        Beyond his stupid promotion of a new Melling interchange: I’m not sure if I expect him to keep true to his words though. He seems like the sort who’s more talk than action.

  2. re: “this plan for Auckland gives me hope that the transport agencies are getting their act together.” It seems that the Coalition Government’s drive to modernise the NZTA is finally starting to work. They’ve had two whole years of stagnation, resignation and inaction, and finally they may be shifting away from roads-only planning. I’ve actually met some of the new people coming in to the organisation, and in comparison to the old dogs barking out the roads mantra, these new people are so much more on the mode-shift wavelength.

    I’m just hoping that the coalition stay together long enough for a full second term so that they can see these new policies start to come to fruition. National’s double full-page advert yesterday in the Dom Post was grim reading – but very effective anti-government slander.

    1. Didn’t the NZTA just tell the government that they should spend all the new transport funding on some ready to dig roads? Apparently mode shift needs years of design and plans and feel good high level waste of time documents (even though most of it is obvious and just needs funding), but roads are always ready to be built (and for some reason have been fully designed before they even had funding).

    2. There has been much written about the previous collusion between AT and NZTA, mainly on this website, over the past few years. The strange decisions denying PT, cycling and walking, the redacted reports (the 3rd line and the NI main trunk line), opaque organisations, NZTA in disarray, road only decisions, refusal to build 10 km of bikeways per year, plans for K’Rd station with 1 exit and no 9 car trains, location of Parnell station, the blocking of Manukau and Onehunga stations to be able to extend, deelectrification of the NI main trunk line, sky path delayed by NZTA, their first plan for Rosedale bus station and priority for cars, fiasco hearings for the E- W link the worlds most expensive road, NZTA buying up properties for years in Wellinton to build roads….
      Early this year the NZTA was under wide ranging review following fall-out over its poor enforcement of transport regulations, including the recall of almost 20,000 vehicles needing warrant of fitness retests.
      Phil Twyford and the government has it’s plans for transport which were different to Bridges plans.
      Early this year board members Fergus Gammie, Fran Wilde, Adrienne Young-Cooper, and Chris Ellis resigned.
      Only in Sept Phil Twyford announced a refreshed board.
      It has been costly to Twyford that the changes to the NZTA weren’t made 2 years ago

      1. I don’t think NZTA had anything to do with the 6-car platform at K Rd, de-electrifying the NIMT or the poor location of Parnell Station.

        NZTA and their predecessors have been buying land for road projects for years, which is completely reasonable. The fact NZTA already owned a lot of homes around the Waterview connection for example saved a lot of compulsory acquisitions.

    3. Phil Twyford announces new NZTA board
      “Our Government has rebalanced transport spending to tackle the long term issues of boosting regional economic growth, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, easing traffic congestion, and preventing deaths and injuries on our roads.”
      The appointments will start 23 September 2019.
      “The new board Chair is Sir Brian Roche and board the appointments are:
      Catherine Taylor who brings deep regulatory expertise,
      Ken Rintoul whose background in engineering and construction
      Cassandra Crowley brings great strength in financial perfomance and understanding regulation.
      Patrick Reynolds brings a strong knowledge of the integration of transport into urban development and a well-developed understanding of transport systems.
      Two more to add

  3. Climate change seems to be one of the drivers of this report. But just looking at the images on the cover of the report indicates the priority still for getting increasing numbers of people out to the airport so aviation can keep expanding. That is not going to help emissions.

  4. Interesting the document references the “congestion question” work on road pricing as ongoing and an important part of atap. The 2nd stage of this work appears to be over a year behind their programmed dates however. Does anyone know what is happening with it?

  5. Another report, just what we need. Up until this report we didn’t know we needed mode shift? We are stuck in the mind numbing road congestion every morning thinking there was no solution, no relief, no hope. Now this report is like a beacon to transport Shangri-La.
    Thank God for out transport minister. He must have an arsenal of pending announcements to raise our hope. Go Phil. Go Labour. Gone 2021.

    1. Simon, would you rather continue down the path the previous 4 way coalition govt was on? National are still in the dark ages.

      These quotes just yesterday in an article in interest.co.nz

      – National, in its discussion document, also proposed “aggressively working with the private sector to explore alternative financing and funding arrangements, including the use of road tolling”
      “There has been a general unwillingness at local government level to use private capital, such a public-private partnerships as a funding tool despite private capital often providing a reduced and more equitable financial burden on ratepayers,” it said.

      “National believes local councils should make greater use of private capital to deliver new infrastructure.”

      Finally, National said it was open to the Crown topping up the National Land Transport Fund.

      The party proposes reintroducing a priority for funding Roads of National Significance and introducing a new funding priority of Roads of Regional Significance.

      It is also seeking feedback on whether it should introduce a second generation of Roads of National Significance.

      It highlighted 12 roading projects either cancelled or delayed under the Coalition Government, saying it would next year detail which ones it would commit to funding.”

      1. National wont give any information about their projects.
        When we spend a $billion we expect that the costs and benefits be made public. Their $1 billion or $3 billion, including 30 yrs of maintenance, for the E-W link is a lemon. Dividing Onehunga and harming the Manukau to save a few minutes. There are better ways. In a democracy we expect transparency

        1. “In a democracy we expect transparency”.

          We’re certainly not getting it with “the most open, most transparent Government that New Zealand has ever had”

          What happened with that?

        2. There was an infrastructure announcement with almost no detail at all, for $12bn of spend from Labour in the last two weeks. Let’s hold everyone to the same standard (it’s not hard to feel like that announcement was more about heading off National getting traction on a lack of investment than actually announcing anything meaningful).

        3. So much impatience. I would advise any govt deciding to make such a big move to:

          1. Take time over project selection, cos this *really* matters.
          2. Don’t waste such a big positive thing on one announcement, def spin it out.
          3. Not get into details just before xmas.

        4. C’mon people, this is Politician Training 101 stuff
          Mushroom mode…
          Treat the greater unwashed hoard, ie voters, like mushrooms
          Never enlighten them with details of anything, they must be kept in dark to thrive
          Keep information to bare minimum and as meaningless as possible, ie feed them often on [email protected]
          Result, you, the politician can do what you want and the mushrooms think they are thriving

  6. Can’t wait for Nation to start fining cyclist.

    It’s almost as if Mike Hosking wrote their Transport documents and most of the Country will be lapping it up…dark times lie ahead I fear in the Transport and Climate world on the back of this ‘right wing’ surge across the world.

    re: the document. Yeah, we all know all this, just get on with it.

    1. Just shows the IQ of National voters doesn’t it. I mean how many places is the fine even possible in NZ? Mission bay maybe? And couldn’t you just go to court and say you needed to turn right up ahead and it wasn’t possible from the cycleway? Or that you just didn’t see the cycleway?
      Isn’t it as stupid as fining cars for using a road parallel to the motorway when they could have used the motorway?
      Any transport minister that actually thinks NZ needs that policy in place is not qualified to be transport minister.

    2. The surge hasn’t entirely been right wing, if anything the most consistent thing has been popular leaders. This plays more into Labour’s hands and is definitely not in favour of Simon Bridges.

      1. I have to say from an apolitical perspective: I really can’t see much if any appeal in Simon Bridges as a leader.

        * He doesn’t seem like an everyday guy. More of a touch for elite tossers than for the common man/woman. John Key managed to forge an identity image that common people could feel an affinity for but I can’t see it with Bridges.
        * His spoken English is poor. He comes across a lot stupider than he very probably actually is. Jacinda’s not the most articulate either but I don’t think she’ll lose debates to him.
        * He seems very fake and insincere. Especially his smile.

        Maybe I’m wrong but I think it’s more Labour’s election to lose than it is National’s to win.

        And then there’s that deputy leader of his. What a lowbrow disgrace…

        1. Mostly agree, especially your last line!

          If he does become PM I can’t see him lasting a term, I think it could send us into a period much like Australia had between 2007 and 2018 with a succession of unpopular leaders being turfed out by their own parties before even completing a term.

  7. The graph for “The disadvantages of PT” is interesting and accurate I reckon

    Slow buses. There is no magic bullet here, they are slow, it’s their default position.

    Unreliability of rail especially. No surprises, the system has far too little built-in contingency, lack of turnouts to deviate away from incidents, very few sidings to remove break downs quickly and even small things turn into big hold-ups and cancellations because of this. An ongoing issue since rails renaissance in Auckland and nothing has been or is being done about it.

    Rail users safety concerns are also no surprise but I suspect its improving thanks to station gating. A sad reality of the anti-social behaviour of free riders that became really problematic after the removal of fare collections on the trains. Buses, however, have fare-paying passengers almost always and subsequently fewer problems.

    Concerns over getting wet. Inescapable in Auckland but aggravated by AT’s plain stupid approach to terminating/departure stops in Auckland, miles from anywhere useful and without shelters or seats. Like AT care!

    1. “There is no magic bullet here, they are slow, it’s their default position”: I disagree. What the buses need is bigger doors, all door boarding and tag on/off in the bus instead of as you get on. Yes some people will take advantage, but I think it would at worst be revenue neutral as the buses could do a route in a significantly reduced time. Add to that better bus lanes and priority (especially in the city) and bus speed could be drastically increased at very little cost. But AT are only interested in multi billion dollar projects that will never happen, so these quick wins are stupidly at the bottom of their priority list.

      1. I used to think better bus priority lanes would do it but as Customs St to Newmarket proves, 95% of it at least by way of priority lanes, buses are still horribly slow versus rail for example or private vehicle, bike or e scooter. And I think I can run between the two points almost as quick as a bus.

        But point taken on the flexibility of boarding buses, I agree, the dwell times are mindless.

        1. The only reason they would be slow is either because they don’t have enough priority or because boarding takes too long. I’m pretty sure the bus itself is capable of speeds much quicker than running.

        2. There are some pretty critical gaps in bus priority between Customs St and Newmarket. Fixing these would help with travel times on this route but I agree buses are never going to be fast where there are many intersections.

        3. Jimbo;

          the buses are currently limited to 50 km/hr except on Grafton Bridge where its 30, but rarely do they reach the limits anyway and it’s a slow crawl up to it, especially the double deckers. Obviously it’s going to get even slower with the central city speed limits dropping on a number of roads.

          It’s a combination of slow truck like vehicles that buses are, slow into and out of stops, slow boarding and alighting, worse on the double deckers and the zillion traffic lit intersections that work against anything resembling traffic flow. And of course the slow crawl away from those.

          It’s a combo of many inputs but I’ve found on that route consistently, the buses are frustratingly slow!

          On a weekend, off peak traffic, a bus from Customs Street to Market road took 25 to 30 minutes. That was a lesson learnt, forget the bus.

        4. That’s an unusually long trip, it typically takes about 35 mins to get to Panmure Station on a weekend.

          There is of course no logical reason to take a bus from Customs St to Market Road, there is a train that does the same journey in quicker time.

          The real value of this route is the stops in between. The majority of users on Symonds Street are getting off at K Rd or Wellesley St, the city bound buses are reasonably empty by the time they get to Anzac Ave in the morning.

  8. This can only be a good thing and Guy M’s comment that there’s a new influx of progressive staff at NZTA is a very positive sign.

  9. I’ve often wondered if NZ’s automobile dependency would lessen if Japanese (2nd hand) imports weren’t so cheap and subject to so little scrutiny.

      1. Which resulted in more automobile usage and dependency.
        Maybe bringing those regulations back needs to be put back on policy agenda?

        1. And the cost of their testing should be borne by the importer and passed-on to the consumer.
          Because automobiles are too cheap in NZ for the size of the economy.

  10. For many years the road lobby has been very strong.
    Whether they are NZTA, AT, AA, taxpayers union, Greypower, the National party, conservatives, right wing journalists, oil companies. They are all colluding and in it together. Nudge,nudge, wink, wink.They want to be able to drive their car anywhere, blame the congestion and cyclists and park close to work. They don’t use PT.
    We have had urban sprawl and more roads to all corners of Auckland has always been the call. To get a bikeway anywhere or a car free street has been near impossible. MIMBY’s, trials, feedback, delays. But the considerate, community minded, students, environmentalists, cyclists, walkers, bus and train users are slowly winning.

    1. “NZTA, AT, AA, taxpayers union, Greypower, the National party, conservatives, right wing journalists, oil companies. They are all colluding and in it together. Nudge,nudge, wink, wink.”
      So Jim; you lump all your (perceived) foes into one big conspiracy theory.

      You might want to research which institution is responsible for most of the roading built in NZ over the last 20 years. I’ll give you a clue: it’s a major political party and it’s not National.

  11. If National win the election next year, all of this will be scrapped and replaced with more highways.

    Children learning to cycle will be fined for not riding on the road shared with cars.

    1. I doubt that a new national party government would scrap PT initiatives already funded and commenced.
      I expect they will be more pro-roading but not entirely anti-PT. They’d just be less proactive about it. Things like upgrading the Northern busway will be delayed.

    2. National will not be so obvious. There will be headlines promoting alternatives but the real intent will be as you describe. Their politics is far more misleading but they known voters are very shallow thinkers and play to that strength.

      1. I can’t think of anything more misleading than saying you are going to build 100,000 houses in 10 years.

        What’s happened to the 21437 houses that should have been built by now?

        1. More to the point what the hell has happened to your maths?

          The targets were 1000 by July 2019, 5000 more by July 2020, we are short about 3500, but hey why let the facts get in the way of a good story.

        2. That’s assuming production is ramped up.

          To make the target, 21437 should have been built by now.

          They’ve only built 258 as of September 4.

        3. Production on pretty much anything that starts from scratch is generally ramped up.

          You’d have a valid point about the gap between what has been built now and the interim targets but you have managed to overshadow that with your ignorance on the topic.

        4. Oh well, there’s always the LR they promised.

          Remind us what happened with that?

          Seems the only thing the CoL have delivered on is numerous working groups.

        5. The Eastern Busway is finally underway after years of delay. I agree that they haven’t been great at delivery and have only started one more PT project than National had in their first two years but at least it’s a start.

    3. I doubt that an incoming National government would scrap anything already much in progress.
      I expect such a government to merely not prioritise public transport as much as roads but to not neglect it altogether. They’ll just drag the chain in maintenance funding and funding of needed upgrades.
      For example: They’d let the Northern Busway reach capacity before looking it upgrading it instead of planning for it in advance. National are if anything inherently reactionaries.

  12. The decision to choose particular cities and not anywhere else would seem to indicate that like the previous government, this government sees mode shift as a necessity not where people use cars a lot, but where that use has led to congestion.

    Napier/Hastings (pop 122k) has almost as many people as Tauranga (pop 130k), but because employment is widely dispearsed around Napier and Hastings, congestion hasn’t developed.

    So, if an area has 40,000 cars and congestion, they’ll seek mode shift. But if it has 40,000 cars and no congestion, they don’t see a need for mode shift.

    I’m not sure if that’s quite the focus there should be. It implies that mode shift is only desirable if driving is made difficult, and not any other reason, such as a need to reduce fossil fuel use and emissions.

    Where does climate change fit into all this?

  13. Good plan it seems if this all can be put into action.

    re the driving share at the tertiary institutions. Yes it is interesting, and how much Passenger (parked nearby) that AUT South has. Guessing that’s due to the high amount of parking available at Manukau City Ctr & perhaps parent’s/friends work sites along Great South Rd. Even MIT Manukau is quite high considering the train and bus interchange right there. I’m guessing a lot is due to high car mode share around there in general, lack of bus priority or frequency especially coming from certain residential areas & cheap special parking they provide for the students more than anything.

  14. ‘implementation of the ATAP programme will achieve mode shift for Auckland over the next decade. This mode shift plays an important role in limiting traffic growth (especially at peak times), meaning that population growth of 300,000 people over the next decade is not expected to lead to increased congestion levels.”

    You have to be joking? This is the planned achievement for the next decade? A decade when James Renwick suggests we have to reduce emissions by 5% per year and the UN says, maybe 6-7%.

    Even someone who has only progressed as far as primer three maths would realise that the end point NZTA is talking of i.e. “no expected increase in congestion levels”, by definition, represents either the same or only a very small reduction in the number of cars on the road. And don’t tell me the plan is to replace cars with EVs because the main source of EVs for NZ simply doesn’t exist in sufficient volume i.e. second hand cars from Japan. As the numbers increase there is no present indication that they will be priced at a level to meet current demand. And where is the new renewable power stations to replace Huntly, or infrastucture to get power to Auckland if Tiwai closes so that we don’t have fossil fueled EVs?

    Sadly this plan has some of the hallmarks of Kiwibuild. While that was built on unachievably high targets, this is built on unrealistically low targets. Neither is fit for purpose.

    Very few people are contemplating the steps necessary to address the problem. This former politician deserves enormous credit for doing so. “It’s crucial the world listens to scientists when combating the big issues facing humanity, such as climate change, he said. Politicians also need to show skill and courage and act on their advice.

    “Not all of it is going to be well received because people have to change whatever they’ve been doing and people don’t always like change,” Bolger said.

    “But if we’re going to save the planet, save the atmosphere, we’ve got to make big changes.”

    Our political structures are failing us.

  15. I wonder if the advocates of LR on here have bothered to look at the performance of Sydney’s new CSELR between Circular Quay and Randwick?

    The CBD and South East Light Rail, or CSELR, is taking on average 50 minutes to cover the distance compared with 26 minutes for the Sydney trams in the 1950s.

    Are these the same advocates who’ve been telling us we’ll have fast modern LR between Queen St and the airport?

    1. And that is the only LR system in the world is it? Not sure about you, but some people have ventured further than Gold Coast or Sydney and have used many LR systems that work, failing to see what your point is?

    2. Today it’s 24 mins to go 5.5 km from Central to Randwick.

      14 km/h service speed!

      So yeah, so far it’s shithouse. Why?

      I count 9 major intersections and at least 11 sets of lights but lots of off-road sections as well…

      Study hard Sydney, make progress every day.

    3. I took the new tram from central to circular quay on its opening day and was appalled at how slow it moved.

      While I’m opposed to the light rail down Dominion road to the airport; I’m not sure that it would be a repetition.
      The reasons behind this slow Sydney tram debacle rest with the Liberal party State government and that Gladys Berejiklian’s incompetence in her then department of Transport. This articles lays it out:
      https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/why-sydney-s-south-east-light-rail-is-so-slow-and-how-to-fix-it-20191216-p53kd7.html

      Of course, Berejiklian has since become the New South Wales state premier and the people of NSW somehow re-elected her government despite their track record of bumbling incompetence so they could waste even more money on sports stadia projects. Australia certainly has its share of feckless morons.

      But I wouldn’t expect this level of bumbling in New Zealand. It is possible but just something that would surprise me (and which people would probably actually be held accountable for).

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