Here’s the weekly roundup for this week.


March Madness

It’s been a very busy week on public transport, as ‘March madness’ has started kicking in. Next week promises to be even busier with the university year beginning. Auckland Transport say they’ll be adding significant capacity to cope with this demand, including a suggestion that we might see some of the newly purchased electric trains running so more trains can be longer 6-car sets:

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says, “With the annual surge in demand for public transport as students return to university it’s critical that Auckland Transport provides extra capacity on the network.

“I’m pleased to see that Auckland Transport has added an extra 5000 seats on buses at peak times and is rolling out extra train cars to accommodate demand.”

Group Manager Metro Services Stacey van der Putten says AT is in a good position to cope with the rise in demand. “We have put the extra seats on the 15 busiest routes services including on Onewa and Dominion Roads and the 70 which runs from Botany to Britomart.

“And we’re extending the very popular NX2 service. This is great news for people on the Hibiscus Coast, there will be 9 services to the city each weekday morning and eight return services to Hibiscus Coast Station in the afternoon peak. As well we’re adding late night options to get people home with new services at 11:30pm and midnight all the way to Hibiscus Coast Station.

“The first of our new trains have arrived from Spain and we are rolling those out with more 6 car trains during the busy periods. We will have 1200 extra seats in the morning peak and the same in the afternoon.”

Improvements cannot come soon enough though, and more bus lanes in the city centre are desperately needed as I’ve been experiencing.



The Fishing Pier analogy

A post by Jarrett Walker uses a useful ‘fishing pier’ analogy to explain why “we want a cool flashy new thing too” is a pretty unhelpful approach when it comes to public transport planning:

Imagine a city on a lake or ocean, where neighborhoods near the water tend to be wealthier than those inland.  Suppose the city has a plan to build several fishing piers, but all the proposed piers are in the wealthy neighborhoods on the waterfront.  Isn’t that unfair?

No, I think you’d say, because fishing piers only work if they’re on the water.  If you were concerned with equity, maybe you’d propose a program that helps inland people get to the waterfront fishing piers quickly.  But you wouldn’t support an inland city councilor’s battle to get a fishing pier on dry land in their neighborhood, because it wouldn’t be useful for fishing.

In short, the point isn’t to equitably distribute fishing piers.  It’s to equitably distribute the ability to fish.

In the transit business, when a cool new thing is created somewhere, you always hear the rest of the city say: when do we get that cool thing?  You’ll hear this about everything, from subway lines to light rail to little vans that come to your door.   Enormous amounts of money get spent trying to act on this principle…

…The marketing of cool new transit things can make this problem worse.  The more you put out the message that light rail or BRT or microtransit or “Metro Rapid” is cool and different and better than “ordinary” buses, the more mad people will be if their neighborhood just gets ordinary buses.  That leads to political pressure to bring the cool new thing to a place where it just doesn’t work very well, which in turn leads to the cool new thing failing, just as an inland fishing pier will fail.

Jarrett suggests that the focus should, instead be on equitably distributing the ability to go lots of places quickly on transit. Auckland still has a long way to go on this issue, which isn’t helped by cutting bus services in South Auckland to subsidise taxis in Devonport.


Vancouver’s Climate Emergency

The City of Vancouver has backed up their climate emergency declaration with a bold plan for changing how people travel around to reduce carbon emissions. Unlike similar plans in Auckland, which say the right thing but are too timid to put in hard targets that will really drive change, Vancouver’s plan is full of solid goals that are backed up by real action.

The plan also tells a great story about how climate action will also help make Vancouver a much better place to live. Again this is quite different from how climate action is often pitched here, where it’s seen as something that will reduce our quality of life – which usually simply isn’t true.

Nearly 40% of carbon pollution generated in Vancouver comes from burning fossil fuels to power vehicles, which causes climate change, air pollution and smog. We need to think differently about how we move.

With Vancouver adding approximately 100,000 residents in the next 20 years, and a rapid increase in jobs, there will be more trips around our city than ever before, yet we have limited road space to take these trips.

Since walking, cycling, and transit are lower carbon emitters, the City of Vancouver wants to encourage people to shift to these sustainable transportation forms. What’s more, transit, walking and cycling are more efficient than individual driving trips.

We have the opportunity to not only reduce emissions, but to plan our communities in ways that make them safer, healthier and greener by providing services and amenities close to where people live. We can reduce the number of single occupancy vehicle trips by increasing the convenience of active transportation and public transit and then support the rapid transition to electric vehicles for those remaining trips.


Intercity Bus Terminal

Heidi’s Tuesday post on Auckland’s intercity bus terminal seemed to kick-start quite a few other articles on the topic, which focused on Ngati Whatua’s annoyance at not being involved in conversations about potentially moving the bus terminal onto land that they own and control.

SkyCity’s redevelopment ambitions have been revealed as a driving force behind controversial plans to relocate Auckland’s long-distance bus terminal from its downtown complex.

The casino and hotel operator’s plans are laid out in correspondence from Auckland Transport, which for several years has been eyeing up Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei-owned land on Beach Road, without the hapū’s knowledge.

AT and SkyCity had hoped a new terminal could be ready mid-year, and documents sighted by Stuff, show SkyCity considering a challenge to the resource consent which has required it for the past 25 years to house the terminal…

Details of SkyCity’s interest have emerged after an angry response from the hapū’s commercial arm Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Rawa, to learning in January that its land was the preferred option following extensive design work by Auckland Transport.

AT’s chief executive Shane Ellison wrote to Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Rawa, outlining its plan.

“This is in response to SkyCity’s intention to seek the termination of the current facility by the end of April 2020 in association with the redevelopment of Hobson Street and the International Conference Centre,” wrote Ellison.

The hapū’s company has since met with AT officials where more information was presented, but the plan has not been accepted.

“Our concern is that this has been presented as a fait accomplis without any consultation with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, and the fact that this has been going on since 2017 – we’re pretty unhappy about it,” the chief executive Andrew Crocker told Stuff.

Seems like some pretty disgraceful behaviour from Auckland Council and Auckland Transport to be working behind the scenes to help a massive corporate wriggle out of their resource consent conditions without involving Ngati Whatua – who themselves have some pretty exciting plans for their land in the form of a market:


What climate emergency

Marc Daalder is rightly unimpressed by the lack of progress the government is making on reducing the transport sector’s contribution to climate change:

On Friday, Stuff reported that the Government had abandoned its feebate scheme– its only policy dedicated to reducing transport emissions – which would have seen fees of up to $3,000 on high-emitting vehicles to subsidise the purchase of electric vehicles by up to $8,000. It would have cost the Government little cash up front, but only reduced emissions by around 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent over twenty years, according to a Ministry of Transport analysis. New Zealand emits around 80 million tonnes of greenhouse gases a year – well above where we need to be to meet our international commitments

…Without the feebate scheme, which the Government repeatedly pointed to when criticised over its lack of initiative on climate change, there is essentially no extant policy on cutting transport emissions. Transport is responsible for a fifth of New Zealand’s annual emissions and its the fastest growing sector in terms of gross emissions, but all the Government has left to deal with it is the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Since coming to power, the Government has considered and scrapped a number of ambitious proposals to cut transport emissions. Perhaps the most daring of these was a plan to ban the import of fossil fuel vehicles after 2035.

A Transport analysis found this would have a net $2.26 billion benefit and would have averted 27 million tonnes of CO2e over thirty years. It also staked a middle ground in choosing the 2035 deadline, when France, the UK, Scotland, Norway, Holland and Germany have all called for new cars to be emission-free or low emission by dates varying from 2025 to 2040.

Earlier this year, Boris Johnson moved the UK’s deadline to 2035 from 2040 and pledged to move it even earlier if possible. Meanwhile, Jacinda Ardern was unable to wrangle a similar policy through Cabinet to respond to this generation’s “nuclear-free moment.”

Even less ambitious policies have been halted. A proposal to charge higher vehicle licensing fees on high-emitting vehicles failed to make it through Cabinet and a possible programme for scrapping older, unsafe and high-emitting cars hasn’t been heard from since October.


Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr path funding approved

After going quiet for years, finally some progress on the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr path. This is likely one of the first beneficiaries of the recently announced NZ Upgrade Programme which freed up about $1.8 billion from normal funding processes.

A walking and cycling path that connects Auckland’s eastern suburbs to the city centre is a significant step closer, with funding now approved to complete the Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive Shared Path.

The shared path is being delivered by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport in four separate sections. Sections 1 and 3 are already open and the Transport Agency and Auckland Transport boards have now approved funding to complete the last two sections. Section 2 will be delivered by Waka Kotahi, with Section 4 delivered by Auckland Transport.

The shared path will connect with and expand the Auckland Cycle Network. It aligns with the long-term vision of the Transport Agency, AT and Auckland Council to build world class cycling infrastructure that promotes cycling as a safe and convenient transport choice.

They say tendering for section 2 is already under way and consenting work for section 4 will start shortly.


Finally a few interesting tweets this week:

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80 comments

    1. Good question, Fraggle.

      Ideally (but clearly idealistically) our government would look at what’s happening in Bristol, London and Barcelona, and take action pro-actively?

      Instead, it seems members of the public will have to enter legal battles.

      What a waste of climate effort that should be going into positive actions.

  1. While I think that Skycity should be allowed to dump that crappy coach terminal: I’m interested in how Ngati Whatua can have an intercity coach terminal forced upon them.

    1. They shouldn’t renege on the terms of the contract they have with council on how their land is used and the terms they agreed to.

      If they don’t want the terminal there, they need to provide a similar one or better.

      If they don’t want to uphold their part of the agreement, then they should lose their resource consent. I hate it when companies try to privatise their profits and socialise their costs.

      1. Look; I’m aware that the Casino’s original resource consent included having the coach terminal was part of an agreement. And I can see the principle that you’re coming from, even if we overlook the fact that it’s a scumbag gambling-based enterprise.

        But I think it’s probably better to look it with pragmatism rather than principle.
        The coach/bus terminal sucks. It’s got a flawed, poorly ventilated design that’s also far from safe for pedestrians & it’s in a pretty poor location (on the wrong side). And even if SkyCity Casino are forced to continue to have to provide a coach terminus; they clearly really don’t want to, and won’t make any effort to do it properly and provide a clean and attractive and well-served facility.

        Yes, the casino should be forced to have the resource consent requirement ended via the proper legal channels (and maybe be forced contribute to the cost of its replacement); but surely allowing them to be rid of the terminus and go back to their enterprise of fleecing gambling addicts of their money will lead to the best outcome?

    2. More important is why it is at Skycity in the first place. The Auckland City Council owned their site and had plans to develop it and include a bus terminal in the mix. Skycity owned a much worse site up at Symonds Street and arranged a swap with the Council. Part of the whole deal was that Skycity would provide for the intercity coaches which by that time were using Quay St between Lower Albert and Lower Hobson with some located at the top of Hobson St.
      Skycity were dead keen on scoring the Council’s site so they agreed. Then they dug their big hole for a carpark and dumped the fill at the Symonds St site without proper compaction.
      Now of course they don’t want to honour their promises about the buses. Is any one surprised by these people?

      1. Hi Miffy. You’re incorrect about the fill being dumped without proper compaction. I was the project site engineer at the time and we made sure that it was properly compacted to appropriate standards.

        1. I apologise for what I said. I am sure you did a good job. But someone back at the time told me the residential development was delayed due to subsidence on part of the site. Pity it wasn’t delayed until after the building act was fixed.

      2. No it’s no surprise at all. It’s what I’d expect from the gaming industry.

        But as I’ve said to Ari above: I think it’s better to look at this with pragmatism rather than principle. At the end of the day: The best outcome would be a decent coach terminus in Auckland. Ask yourself this: Do you really believe that forcing Skycity to “honour their promises” will ever deliver this?

    3. How about a long-distance bus station right at the centre of it all – Aotea Square? It’s an awful place, terrible piece of urban design, but well-suited to a bus station – lots of room for parking buses, well-connected to the upcoming Aotea Station, well-sited for pedestrian links, links straight into Mayoral drive so it avoids any buses on Queen St – and best of all, it is owned by Auckland Council, so they don’t need to steal any more Maori land. And it might add some colour and vibrancy to the forecourt of the Aotea Centre – definitely needed!

      1. I was just having a look around and thought the same thing. We should use the car parks just off of Grey Street. Buses could come down Nelson Street, across Cook Street, turn left into the bus station, then continue around Mayoral Drive and Wellesley Street straight back onto the motorway in Grafton Gully. The site is less than 400m from Aotea Station, the proposed LRT stop at Aotea Square, Albert Street bus stops, and Wellesley Street bus stops.

        Plus, we get to remove at grade inner city car parks and access to other transport and to many hotels would be through Aotea Square which:
        a) Has no motor traffic so would be a pleasant walk; and
        b) desperately needs more people.

      2. Oh yes. So if I’m an office worker in the vicinity of Queen St, I can go sit down and have my lunch break in a Coach terminus and breath in those fine exhaust fumes. Mmm. Yah, wouldn’t that add so much to Auckland’s CBD.

        Yes, I agree that Aotea square… …kinda sucks. But the solution to that is: Fix Aotea Square at some stage in the future. Maybe knockdown that tacky carbuncle Sky world entertainment centre. And the Aotea centre itself could do with an external makeover.
        Of course, after the CRL is finished; Aotea Square will become a pretty useful concourse for pedestrians. Would you really want people walking past/through a coach terminus through the day and at Rush hour?

    4. Anyway: I was really hoping that someone could explain how Ngati Whatua can have an intercity coach terminal forced upon them.

    5. There is 1 way of fixing Sky City and that is the Council and AT should convert 2x 40ft containers into a booking office/waiting room and toilets and put them on the footpath outside Sky City on Victoria St blocking there exit and then turning 2 lanes into bus only access . Paint 3 sides of the containers neat and leave the 4th side as rough as possible to upset their clients as they try to leave/enter the building .

      This could be the only way to tell these corpperate vultures a lesson like don’t mess with the people . This was done by an elderly citizen 30 odd years ago when he built a bus shelter there when the council wouldn’t .

      1. “This could be the only way to tell these corpperate vultures a lesson like don’t mess with the people”
        But would this result in a better coach terminal?

  2. “While I think that Skycity should be allowed to dump that crappy coach terminal”

    The one they made / allowed to be crappy, despite it being their responsibility? Why should we let them out of that without (at minimum) charging them a massive price tag?

    1. To repeat what I’ve said to Ari and Miffy: I’m thinking about it pragmatically and with the best outcome of a decent coach terminus in mind.

  3. Re March Madness: this may be not quite so mad with the big reduction in the number of foreign students resulting from Covid-19.

    Does anyone know what the plan is for the promised introduction of more double deckers? And when will they go on Sandringham Road and New North Road routes, also as foreshadowed in the RPTP? Or is Covid-19 putting a hold on some of these initiatives?

    1. “Does anyone know what the plan is for the promised introduction of more double deckers? And when will they go on Sandringham Road and New North Road routes,”

      More double deckers are planned, subject to $$$. They will be deployed on Remuera Road, Sandringham and New North Roads, subject to “route clearance”. ie moving shop verandas and road signs and rebuilding curbs and gutters. A route clearance can take over 18 months. Additional DDs were added to Dominion Road in Dec 2018. 6x leased DDs have already been added to NX services for March Madness 2020

  4. Great to see progress on the GI to Tamaki Drive path.

    I wonder if we could receive a report on what the delays were and how they will be avoided in future. Kind of critical to be more nimble given the extent and speed of changes we need to make to our transport networks.

    1. Nice call Heidi. And while we review the processes with a view to the future, we still have to make sure that this project is done right.
      Does the NZTA’s announcement include funding and agreeing to the business case for the north-south connection (to complement the east-west shared path they have agreed to) from Gowing Drive up to John Rymer Place? This will be heavily used by schoolkids and other local residents from day one to avoid the bottleneck where St Johns Road crosses the railway line.
      Two successive local boards have put up all the funding they have and been battling the NZTA (and other bureaucracy) to get the Gowing Drive connection done. It’s time for the NZTA to step up.

      1. In other words, the NZTA need to realise that shared paths are as much about local connections as they are about longer-distance transport. The Gowing Drive connection provides the former, the rest of the path the latter.
        A cycleway/footpath is very different from a motorway in that respect. This project will be a test of how much the NZTA has actually changed.

  5. “New Zealand emits around 80 million tonnes of greenhouse gases a year – well above where we need to be to meet our international commitments…

    …Without the feebate scheme, which the Government repeatedly pointed to when criticised over its lack of initiative on climate change, there is essentially no extant policy on cutting transport emissions. ”

    And now Minister Woods is happy about “bringing down the wholesale price that smaller companies pay when fuel is first brought into the country… which should in turn flow through to greater competition at the pump”

    To bring down our transport emissions, we’ve got work to do on vehicles, pricing, infrastructure, funding priorities, fleet procurement, safety, land use.

    Be nice when the government wakes up to the task. How dim can they be?

    1. When you look at the political polls and see the continuing high level of support for the alternative government which attacks even the most mild climate change measure like the feebate scheme, you can understand the Coalition’s timidity on this issue.

        1. Then you will get a National/Act government which will do absolutely nothing to combat climate change and will go back to building RONs.

        2. That’s the conventional view, and it may still hold. But if the people disenfranchised by the government’s slow progress don’t vote, we might get a National/Act government anyway.

          There’s a better future available to us if we adopt a low carbon economy. Labour’s job is to sell that vision, win over the persuadables, and attract the many who think government is all evil anyway into voting.

          We have to leave the dinosaurs behind. National’s only going to come up to speed when it, instead, is having to adopt a climate intelligent policy in order to win votes back.

        3. Actually I think the best government would be a National/Green government. While the Greens will only work with Labour they will just be taken advantage of. Have they managed anything this term?

        4. But Jimbo – if the Greens and National team up, then it will just be National ignoring the Greens, in the same way that Labour ignore the Greens already. So no real change?

        5. From an environment viewpoint, the Greens would get more done from the centre. They’d have more sway over Labour if they could credibly do a deal with National and vice versa.

        6. Guy – parties that can go either way don’t get ignored, look at what Winston has managed to achieve over the years.

    2. Heidi, good point.

      There is another sector of the economy that is making super profits and that is the electricity sector. https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/107083208/power-generators-made-54b-in-excess-profits
      Here is a sector that really does need competition encouraged into the market, who will build renewable energy at the expense of Genesis’ dirty power from Huntly. Bizarrely the government (the same Minister) hasn’t approached this issue with nearly the same enthusiasm that they have approached the petrol re seller sector. (The govt only owns half of one of those sectors and so benefits from high prices.)
      Whichever way you look the govt’s commitment to reduce emissions is scant.
      Little wonder the PM declined to wag a finger at ScoMo regarding global warming as he may have felt inclined to wave two fingers back at her.

      1. This will be where the next battle happens, to take over the generation from Huntly the best alternative is either new dam or hydro storage scheme, like the massive pumped hydro storage scheme near Lake Onslow in Central Otago. With a storage capacity of 5000GWh its larger than all existing hydro lakes in NZ combined. But will the green lobby allow it? Personally I think a massive storage lake is preferable to visually polluting wind turbines popping up like mushrooms all over the country. If anyone has been to Denmark it is almost impossible to be out of sight of a wind turbine, they are everywhere.

        “Prof Bardsley said if an Onslow scheme was used to buffer the transition to electrification then “it really would be a big deal nationally – changing our energy scene forever”.

        He said transitioning to a low-emissions economy in New Zealand would require a “significant increase” in energy storage capacity.

        “The only practical option is pumped storage, most probably at Onslow. Preliminary evaluations … should start as soon as possible because of the long lead time between project consenting and completion for large civil engineering projects”.

        Prof Bardsley said Onslow pumped storage was “only an option which might not ever be taken up. If constructed, it would not be any time soon and not before full consultation and open discussion”.”

        https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/central-otago/massive-hydro-storage-plan-be-reassessed

  6. Good article today by Simon Wilson about the bus terminal business, which is on PressReader: https://www.pressreader.com/new-zealand/the-new-zealand-herald/20200228/281612422437811

    “SkyCity is missing a trick here. The terminal is drab and dreary, but that’s because it was designed to look that way. The tower is great but, at ground level, almost the whole building is drab and dreary: it makes a terrible contribution to the urban landscape.

    “Neither the building nor the terminal itself have to be like that. SkyCity has done some things to improve its façade on Federal St, with living pillars of greenery, wooden panelling, planters and a smart colour scheme. It could do far more, especially if it joined with the council to stop the street being used as a rat run. And just think what it could do on Hobson St, which will get a facelift anyway, courtesy of the conference centre. Around the world public transport terminals are being reimagined as decent public spaces.

    “It’s an approach long understood for railway stations, many of which are magnificent pieces of public architecture. The Britomart station is one example; the new stations on the City Rail Link will be three more: their designs are beautiful. Why not conceive of an intercity bus terminal in that way? After all, it’s a reasonable bet the future will involve more, and better, public transport. SkyCity, with council support, could embrace that notion.”

    It’s worth a read.

    He also “The question is this: will the Auckland Council take any notice of any of these plans? Or is it just going to let Auckland Transport build a new bus terminal there…”

    My instinct for the situation is that it’s more a stitch up between Auckland Council and SkyCity, actually, with AT as piggy-in-the-middle.

    1. If only we had a decent regional bus network/service instead of being stuck with Intercity group as the only choice. A private, unregulated monopoly miking a small captive market. The long distance land PT situation is probably worse now than it’s has ever been, no trains, one bus company only, terrible facilities (Taupo, Dunedin, Auckland etc etc). Every incentive to drive/fly.

      1. LRT also in Fridays Herald https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12312688
        Refers to a letter expressing concerns about the LRT process from lobby groups including Greater Auckland.
        Tywford has said that as soon as government has made a decision about the delivery partner they’ll release more information including “the planned route, design and the type of light rail”. Both proposals are understood to involve similar trains, engineering technology, routes and impact on urban streets. The big difference being funding.
        If the proposals are “the same”, I can see why we’d want to be paying millions to Canada for the next 100 years.

    2. Last time I stood behind a diesel bus I didn’t find it enjoyable, I don’t think living pillars of greenery, wooden panelling, planters and a smart colour scheme would have made it any better.

        1. At the Manukau Bus station you sit inside on comfortable seating with all the facilities and security waiting for the bus. You are only ‘exposed’ to the fumes and noise as you actually get on the bus. At Sky City you mostly have to stand outside on the platform and breathe in the smoke from various buses plus the clean air of Hobson St. While waiting for yet another 45 min late bus, you are regaled with announcements of a “final call” for a bus which is sitting locked up, empty and with no driver. Once you finally get on the bus, it smells of whatever cleaning product is used for the floor seeing modern buses are essentially totally enclosed boxes with no ventilation other than the AC. If that’s not working or only semi-working it quickly becomes the trip from hell.

        2. I imagine Manukau is much better. But mainly through design rather than greenery and paneling.
          Personally I find stations a waste of money (trains and bus). Spend the money on a better quality of service instead. Manukau might be a nice expensive bus station but I’d much rather catch a frequent London underground train from a 100 year old grotty station with no facilities.

        3. I love the London Underground, I find all those grotty old stations rather charming, I prefer them to the sterile new stations on the Jubilee Line Extension.

  7. It’s not really true that “there is essentially no extant policy on cutting transport emissions”. The government will introduce road user charges for electric vehicles and spend the money on covering southern Auckland in asphalt.

    That won’t make things better, but it is an extant policy.

    1. I’m of the opinion that having no RUCs for EVs is a better deal than the feebate scheme which was proposed to take its place. So the government has a great ‘do nothing’ option, which will probably suit it.

      1. I see your point, but if do nothing was going to shift our vehicle fleet away from highly emitting vehicles and towards EV’s it would’ve done so.

        Instead there’s an FBT exemption for double cab utes.

        1. Well we’ve got over 160 electric cars on Waiheke now, which is a huge percentage and I think it’ll keep growing exponentially as everyone who has one is delighted with it and visibly so. Nearly all cars will be electric in the near future, just on commercial grounds (cheaper to run) and driver experience, never mind environmental benefits. The government could safely stay out of doing anything to support EVs and it’ll still happen. (Partly because governments elsewhere have done something and the cars they subsidised overseas are now available secondhand here).

          Our government should probably just focus on other transport modes which do need their intervention (to rebalance the historic and ongoing mode bias).

        2. You could take a parallel view of EVs replacing petrol and diesel cars – a couple of the small Pacific island nations like Nauru and Niue have taken the big step of installing a large field of PV panels, so that they no longer need to rely on passing freighters dropping off barrels of oil to power the generator they formerly used. Apparently, quality of life has massively improved. All it took was money up front from the Government.

          Much the same as we could do here – and as Norway has done – money up front from the Government to get EVs and PVs on our island nation, and then phase out the petrol ICE engines. Little sign of action from our government as yet…

        3. So we spent 3 billion on the Provincial Growth Fund and spent 1.5 billion on rolling out fibre
          But we can’t spend even an order of magnitude less on reducing emissions. We have to rely on carbon credit bullshit. Not much hope as far as I can see

        4. Guy M but we would need to massively increase our power generation if we had the same percentage of BEV’s as Norway has. Even Norway has problems with capacity, when tens of thousands of owners plug BEV’s into 22kw 32a domestic chargers every evening it causes significant drain on the local grid and in city centers there isn’t enough capacity to install high voltage chargers. Sweden is having the same issues, part of the problem is because they started to decommission nuclear power stations well before BEV’s took off. If they had kept the nuclear capacity they would have a problem.

          What we should be doing in NZ is all new homes and apartments should be built with solar generation and battery storage facilities in the design. Its much cheaper to install solar panels and battery storage when the home/apartment is being built than to retrofit it later, especially if there hasn’t been any provision for electrification in the initial design.

        5. The original comments from James Shaw said that NZ First were delaying the feebate, not the fuel efficiency standards (“Clean Car Plan”), and the PM said there was no decision yet. So this is a live issue. I’m trying to meet with my local NZ First MP to discuss the issue, but so far his office isn’t returning my calls or emails 🙁

  8. Life’s gonna suck if we all fall under the control of the climate catastrophics.
    No flying or driving or bbqs or meat. Miserable.

        1. Charcoal could probably make even vegetarians taste good.
          It’s a lot of work though so maybe not for everyone.

        2. “At some point NZ’s LPG supply will dry up”

          …and the supply of bitumen, as used for road construction. Both are by-products of oil refining.

        3. Natural Gas and LPG are respectively Methane and Propane and are often by-products from refining crude oil. I’m pretty sure that refineries generally burn most of it off; they can’t get rid of it quick enough.
          I don’t think that there’s any prospect of LPG ever being scarce in NZ.

    1. Hey Me – you could combine some of these for gaining extra enjoyment from your day. I saw a book once with great recipes for cooking bbq while driving – instructions like: wrap tinfoil around 4 well-marinated steaks, place on the exhaust manifold of a medium sized Ford and drive for 30 minutes. Delicious. You should try it.

      For those of you keen to get value out of fresh road kill, you can do much the same with recently deceased possum and raccoon.

    2. Your life will always suck if your only source of happiness is a dead animal and a chunk of metal being propelled around by oil. Throw in the rising seas, deluges, droughts and the rest and wow, ‘Me’ is gonna have a real tough time! Good luck

      1. That depends on what each of us considers to be enjoyable joe.
        Nothing beats a great steak or scotch fillet roast or a v8 singing at 7000 rpm.
        My life would suck If I had to solely eat plants and ride fucking bicycles everywhere.
        But I’m not gonna tell you your life sucks if that’s what you choose to do.

  9. Sorry Dannis Harris whoever you are, but i’m calling BS on your 4 year old building protected cycle lanes, just admit is was you. Haha 🙂

      1. Me I can only think of one production V12 that can sing close to 9000 RPM, that’s the 7500 RPM BMW S70/2 in the McLaren F1, however it’s soon to be eclipsed by the 12,100 RPM Cosworth V12 in the Murray T.50 and the 10,500 RPM Cosworth V12 in the Aston Martin Valkyrie. The last hurrah of the Supercar I think.

  10. The proposal from Sky City to shift the inner city bus terminal is just reflective of their abysmal record regarding carbon emissions.

    If Sky City was a responsible corporate they would be thinking, we are about to have up to 3000 people per day visit our convention centre, how can we enable them to get their in the least polluting way? An inner city bus stop on the back doorstep might be one of those ways?

    Unfortunately Sky City is not a responsible corporate regarding emissions. Here’s something from the net
    “$14 EARLY BIRD RATE – Monday-Friday
    Enter between 6am and 9am and exit between 3pm and 6pm on the same day (Single entry and exit)”
    Such a policy is unhelpful for all operators in the area because it is setting such a low base – bizarrely it is even lower than AT. It is pitching parking prices at a level where for some they will be ambivalent whether they drive or use PT. It seems to be reversing a trend where prices were inching towards $30 for an earlybird rate. It is at marked odds to rates in the bottom of the city where parking is less available.

    Sky City’s discounted car parking certainly doesn’t stop there and they offer all sorts of discounted parking incentives that encourage their patrons to drive to their facilities; and as far as I am aware offer no incentives for people to use PT.

    Of course Sky City is not alone in offering discount incentives to encourage people to drive. Disappointingly one of our most trusted brands, Foddstuffs does the same offering discounted petrol, as do Countdown.

    If Auckland Council was truly committed to do something about emissions they could lobby government to prevent discount parking (as occurs with alcohol in the Sale and Supply of Liquor Act). I know, almost impossible to get anything past NZ First who seem to be anchored somewhere in the last century. Or they could simply negotiate with Sky City about the trade off for allowing them to reclaim the terminal land? My initial thought is a daily levy on their car parks of $6 per day – around the average cost of PT travel for their patrons.

    In my view their needs to be a clear price message sent to corporates, that if you adopt a climate unfriendly operating model you should pay the cost of this.

      1. To be a responsible corporate in the ways that they can, yes. Campbell is certainly trying to place the company as a good environmental one. In any business you need as many customers onside as possible to grow your business. That’s why most businesses in their reporting have “Community” or “Sustainability” etc as part of their top line reporting.

        Sky City’s efforts so far are little more than green washing and the
        effort to tip out the inter city terminal is just reflective of this.

        1. SkyCity Casino is in the business of fleecing gambling addicts of their money. They will continue to do that and make a packet regardless of their image because their customers are addicts.

          If you want the outcome of this to be Auckland having a decent Coach Terminus: Isn’t the most logical outcome to just cut these arseholes out altogether? They have been effete, neglectful managers of a Coach Terminus for 25 years, why go to the extra arseache of making them change now?

  11. Some slightly goods news for Pukekohe:
    “We are now seeking expressions of interest from construction companies for
    electrifying the line from Papakura to Pukekohe” says COP Capital Projects David
    Gordon.
    (From Kiwirail Media 18/2/2020)
    Should of happened two years ago, but at least its a start.

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