Two weeks ago the government announced they’d kicked off a search for infrastructure projects fill a recovery pipeline.

The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say.

The Infrastructure Industry Reference Group, to be headed by Crown Infrastructure Partners chairman Mark Binns, will put forward to Ministers projects from the private and public sector that are ‘shovel-ready’ or likely to be within six months.

…..

However, the Government is also planning ahead for when that time comes,” Phil Twyford said.

“That’s why we are now developing a pipeline of infrastructure projects from across the country that would be ready to begin as soon as we are able to move around freely and go back to work.

“The types of projects the Government would consider funding include water, transport, clean energy and buildings. They would also have a public or regional benefit, create jobs and be able to get underway in short order,” Phil Twyford said.

At the same time Mayor Phil Goff put out a list of potential projects Auckland could ask for.

Yesterday the council announced a list of 73 priority projects including quite a few that are not transport related and many of which are already under construction – although that was one of the categories of projects the government were asking for. Here’s the press release.

Auckland Council has submitted a list of 73 priority projects to the Infrastructure Industry Reference Group, the taskforce set up by the Government to seek out ‘shovel-ready’ infrastructure projects that can start quickly to stimulate the economy and reduce the economic impact of COVID-19.

The list is made up of two parts: 30 key projects ranked in order of priority and a further 43 projects that are not ranked but that also meet the Government criteria.

Mayor Phil Goff says, “The 30 key projects are ready to go and fully meet the Government’s criteria. They will help stimulate the economy and employment and produce long-term benefits for both the city and country. They reflect the economic, social and environmental objectives that both Auckland Council and the Government have committed to.”

Many of the projects included in the submission were already underway or planned to start within the next 6-12 months but have been put on hold due to the nationwide shutdown, including the City Rail Link, the Eastern Busway and the Puhinui Interchange.

Other projects submitted to the Infrastructure Industry Reference Group include:

  • Downtown Infrastructure Development Programme
  • North western Busway Improvements
  • Rosedale Bus Station
  • Te Whau Pathway
  • Puhinui Stream Restoration Programme
  • Marae Upgrade Programme
  • Works to enable Kāinga Ora housing projects in Northcote, Tamaki and Mt Roskill

Phil Goff says, “Prior to COVID-19, Auckland Council was on track to deliver a capital works programme exceeding $2B for the financial year.

“As the region with a third of the nation’s population and almost 40% of the nation’s gross domestic product, Auckland Council’s current and planned infrastructure programme will be absolutely critical to the success of this stimulus initiative. I am confident that we are ready and able to play our part in partnership with the Government and the construction industry.”

Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Chris Darby, says, “Not only are these projects ‘shovel-ready’, they are also ‘future-ready’. This once in a generation investment will create jobs for Aucklanders who will build an enduring legacy for the city.”

Chair of the Finance and Performance Committee, Councillor Desley Simpson, says, “The list of projects meets the strategic vision and priorities set out in the Auckland Plan while providing ample opportunity for Auckland to play a key role in New Zealand’s broader economic recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Below are the list of projects the council have submitted. I’ve highlighted in blue the ones that I know are already under construction.

And here are the remaining 43 projects which they council say aren’t prioritised but given the weird ordering somehow feels like it has been prioritised.

There’s a little bit more detail on some of the projects in these minutes from the council’s emergency committee meeting but it’s a bit all over the place.

Many of the projects are fairly straightforward and things we’ve talked about before but a few of the projects that stuck out to me include:

Te Whau Pathway – I’m pleased to see this on the list but it is interesting as following consultation a few years ago the project has felt like nothing was happening with it.

Kumeu-Huapai projects – this includes the crazy Huapai Gyratory that we’ve discussed before.

Immediate cycling improvements (separation at existing cycling facilities and EOJ facilities at RTN stations) – This sound positive and I’m looking forward to hearing more about what is proposed.

Electric Buses – Presumably this is the infrastructure to support electric buses as was mentioned a few weeks ago.

Grade separation or closure of rail crossings (x7) pre-CRL – There’s no information on what seven crossings are included in this list but my assumption would be the four in Takanini and then three more out west.

Northern busway (early deliverables for interim improvements) – I understand this involves changes such as lengthening platforms and could also involve changes such as off-line fare payment and all door boarding

New rideshare (electric) – 100 vehicles – AT wants to take their weird money burning obsession with subsidising taxis in Devonport to more places. Stuff’s Todd Niall wrote about this recently. It’s also unclear how this fits in the infrastructure category.


Finally just quickly on why there are projects under construction on the list. These are asked for in the application guidelines where the “Construction Readiness Assessment” criteria section says.

CIP will consider the construction readiness of the project based on the PIF. We propose to adopt the following categorisation:

  • Category A – Projects which currently are (or were) in the construction phase, but have been put on hold due to COVID 19 and are likely not to progress, or to progress at a much slower rate or scale/scope, if not supported post COVID 19.
  • Category B – Projects which have a high expectation of commencing the construction phase within the next six months (by 31 October 2020), but are unlikely to do so due to COVID 19.
  • Category C – Projects which could have been expected to commence the construction phase within the next 12 months (by 30 May 2021) but are unlikely to do so due to COVID 19.

I assume it is about whether if more money/resources were thrown at projects, could they still be delivered on time (or faster).

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89 comments

  1. Council budget will be stretched by reduction in revenue.

    Pushing existing budgets off the books onto stimulus money with balance the budget.

    1. Clearly a good move from a book-balancing perspective for Council, even if utterly visionless. Why would government give a set of criteria like that, though? We were not going to meet our climate goals as it was. Something I thought the government would be concerned about. This was their opportunity to stimulate the economy in a high employment, low carbon way.

      With that set of criteria, they’ve cemented the BAU direction.

      But with this funding, they’ve borrowed from our children to do so.

    2. Did the Governing Body even read what the primary objective was that was meant to be sent to the CIP
      Social Outcomes!
      There is only 4 there: one for Maraes, and rest from Panuku – and those are quite far down the list (#20).

      If you look at what Hamilton sent then what Auckland sent the difference could not be more striking if you tried!
      Hamilton decided to go visionary and go a new way forward along a Green front (how they reconcile the new developments in their South they will need to work out)
      Auckland? It looks like projects dusted off from the bottom of the shelf that was gathering dust and decided to put there because oooo Government money! There is nothing of inspiration compared to Hamilton it is Status Quo. Goff and the Councillors had once chance and lost.

      Also public ubers? Someone over in Wellington is going to have a laugh at that…

      1. Why would anyone regard Hayman Park as a public works priority in an economic depression? There’s going to be a massive drop in revenue, just keeping AT public transport afloat is going to be struggle with likely major patronage declines.

        1. What’s your solution, zippo?

          Clearly we can’t have everyone in private vehicles when economic activity returns. The social, health and environmental costs would be too high.

        2. In the short to medium term there’s obviously going to be a reluctance to use PT due to disease concerns.
          Especially buses with the lack of space. Also we are facing an unprecedented economic downturn with the economy going from expansion to severe contraction in just a few months. Patronage is currently 95% down, it won’t be returning to anywhere near previrus levels for a long time. I’m thinking we are going to have to drastically increase provision for two wheelers of all types as an alternative to car use during this emergency.

        3. Because the CIP asked for Social Outcomes
          Parks are a Social Outcome
          Hayman Park is actually a Social and Environmental Outcome as it also acts as storm water ponds for Manukau City Centre before it drains into the Puhinui Stream. The social side is proper green space to allow social distancing post lock down for a large Metropolitan Centre that will come back to full power as well.

        4. The park exists now, so do the ponds, there is open space which is invariably empty 99% of the time. Just leave it, it’s ok as it is.

    3. Does it make any difference to the people if we pay through our rates or pay through our taxes. The rational response will be to see through this bullshit and understand that one way or another we will have to pay. So households will reduce their consumption and firms will reduce their investment. Net result is the demand shock gets prolonged. Best historical example of this was the Japanese government trying to spend their way out of recession by building massive bridges and motorways connecting the islands. It prolonged the malaise. The fundamental mistake is people thinking government spending complements investment, it is actually a substitute that crowds out the private investment. The more they spend the worse off we will all be.

    1. Me too.
      Also, does anyone know if any of these projects are part of AT’s Connected Communities Mega Programme to improve Safety, PT and Cycling on the main transport corridors?
      Haven’t AT been spending mega bucks on consultants for the last year?
      I would hope that would have resulted in something shovel ready within the next 12 months?

  2. What is up with AT and their obsession with subsidized taxis? Are they taking the piss?

    And ranked above the road safety programme…. WTF?

    1. I actually kind of get it. I think the days of local buses plodding along slowly every 60 minutes are numbered. A big chunk of the PT subsidies go to those kind of services that are mostly empty, have almost no revenue and realistically must be causing more pollution than they ease. If AT can provide a more timely and direct service to get people to their nearest rapid transit for a similar amount of money then why not look into it? The main issues I have are that Devonport was a bad place to try it first, and I think it should only be used to get you to rapid transport, not to the local pub (maybe the fare should be higher but include the rapid transport fare).

      1. Oh, Jimbo. These schemes fail all around the world. Over and over. Even in low density places which you’d think would be less able to manage public transport networks, these schemes rip the lifeblood from other public transport AND just end up failing – at huge cost.

        They are conceived by people who just don’t want to accept the research that fixed routes and fixed timetables give the population the most flexibility. People who are so stuck in car dependency that they even want to make public transport as like being in your own car as possible.

        On this one, please do some research before you bring your reckons.

        1. “People who are so stuck in car dependency that they even want to make public transport as like being in your own car as possible”

          That’s what this is. Its like someone at AT wants to justify more road spend over PT, walking and cycling because they believe the future is an electric duplication of the current car user and this trial can open everyone’s eyes to EV tsunami on the horizon.

          But honestly, how viable can it be? It holds 4 passengers, max. Its going to be useless as a peak-time alternative in any area with a population of 5 or greater.

          Didn’t it cost $1m in Devonport and just pushed people already taking the bus/walking/cycling into a car to add to the traffic?

        2. Heidi are you saying you prefer a local bus running every hour to say 2 vans that can pick you up ASAP? And I imagine the vans probably cost less and pollute less. How can they be more of a failure than an empty bus?

      2. Its very sad seeing all those empty diesel buses traveling around in the shutdown. When things get back to more normal should we be erecting screens so passengers can be more socially distanced. Maybe the electric van system could be useful on some of the poorly patron-aged routes. Issue the driver with decontaminating equipment to be used between runs plus sanitiser which passenger can use before and after alighting.

        1. I wonder if the truly transport poor will just have to walk or would we be better just to buy them a bike or push scooter.

        2. The peak buses will be parked up for some time as they are now. I can’t see a reduction in services from what we currently have though, given there will be a slow increase in patronage from the current basement levels.

        3. Heidi we need to make sure all imported bikes do not have knobbly tires as they are too hard to push. I don’t know why importers of cheap bikes in this country only bring in imitation mountain bikes. If you tried to use them on a mountain they would fall to bits.

      3. Agree Devonport was perhaps not the best place for AT to start the ‘AT Local’ Rideshare operation. This service would make a lot more sense in Pukekohe / Franklin where nearly all the buses mostly run empty and have done since they were started when the New Network was launched in the south.

        Pukekohe / Franklin doesn’t have the population density or traffic congestion problems to justify a frequent running bus service which runs along long indirect meandering routes. The Rideshare concept would be much more appropriate to take people from their homes, direct to the railway station, where the train service is very well used and patronage is growing.

        The train service should be expanded to run from Waiuku to Papakura during the weekday peak periods too, as trains clearly have greater appeal than buses, particularly for commuting, and people will get out of their cars to use a train service.

        1. Why doesn’t Pukekohe / Franklin have the population density or traffic congestion problems to justify a bus service? Is it because the parking and driving are subsidised, and the walking amenity to get to the bus stops is substandard?

          Countries such as Finland and Norway have good public transport in areas even less densely populated than this. And the US has tried rideshare in such places and found it doesn’t work.

          So some links to research supporting your view would be good.

        2. Any rideshare that is timed to meet a train would likely be meandering as well, unless you are lucky enough to be the last person picked up.

          If they are not catching a bus they are unlikely to hop on rideshare.

  3. Where is tree planting? Literally ‘shovel ready’.

    There is so much reserve/parkland in Auckland that is mowed. A patch of grass that is over the size of a rugby field in a suburban setting is completely oversized from a recreation perspective. I’m not saying get rid of spaces where people can lay out a blanket for a picnic or kick a ball around; but some of our grass only recreation parks are stupidly large.

    Spinning up a massive native planting programme would have the following benefits:
    -Encouraging biodiversity;
    -Beautification;
    -Air quality;
    -Long term opex reductions for AC from not having to mow under utilised acres of grass;
    -Ability to employ people quickly (low skill barrier);
    -Potential to put in walking/cycling tracks through green corridors; and
    -oh this thing called climate change. I hear trees may help with that.

    Am i missing something,?
    This would seem like a no brainer to me. I’m sure you can all name some grass areas in your neighbourhoods that are ridiculously oversized for the ball kickers and dog lovers.

    1. Yes. Street tree planting, even?

      Catching up on what AT hasn’t done in the last ten years.

      Maybe taking a leap into the green corridors that OTHER cities are putting in for their climate plans.

      1. Street tree planting? You mean on berms? But where will we park?? :p

        Massive benefits with street tree planting in terms of cooling down our city. Particularly in the highly concreted area heat traps.

        This is where non-native deciduous trees come into their own. With allowing more light through in winter… Leaf litter collection in autumn also great for mulching gardens/creating compost.

        1. Apart from the fact that you might (more likely would ) be disturbing utility infrastructure. I’m all for a nice tree-lined avenue, but most developers don’t see the positive benefits of a green neighbourhood – they just care about the first sale, not the subsequent ones.
          Yes, they might get a multiplier effect if people who are buying see that in 15-20 years they will have a nice leafy street but again, for most developers, it is too much red tape, hassle and money to bother.

          And it is next to impossible to retrospectively plant a street with trees for the aforementioned reasons. Utility companies hate existing trees (and their roots) as it is anyway, when it comes to maintenance on their assets.

        2. Care to support “And it is next to impossible to retrospectively plant a street with trees ” with some links to research, Seamonkey? Pt Chev Rd is one such road which was retrospectively planted with trees, after a big fight, thanks to our local board 15 or so years ago.

          Some cities have retrospectively planted street trees as a climate action, such as Singapore. Your statement also rings hollow because there are guerilla groups clued up on the right tree species to use who’ve been doing this in Auckland for twenty years. They haven’t created problems.

          Berm parking, on the other hand – which AT won’t stop – is definitely causing problems for utilities and doing damage.

          If AT even went around and planted in the spots where trees were damaged and haven’t been replaced in the last 10 years, that would be a start.

          And don’t get me started on Vector.

        3. “…next to impossible”…”
          “Pt Chev Rd is one such road which was retrospectively planted with trees, after a big fight…”

          I said next to impossible, meaning it is possible, but only perhaps “after a big fight”.

          I am not saying “YOU CAN RETROSPECTIVELY PLANT A TREE IN A STREET OVER MY DEAD BODY!”, far from it. I would love a streetscape that included trees, as they not only sequester carbon, lower the temperature of urban heat islands, help with lowering stress and peoples’ mental wellbeing, and provide shelter & food for birds and insects.

          What I was saying was, from a developers perspective, unless they are compelled/required to plant them, the less chance they will. And with utility infrastructure in place of least resistance – most likely the grass berm – it is VERY HARD to plant trees retrospectively, without a big hoo-ha from the providers. The price to re-lay these is quite expensive, which will be passed on to the entity (the council) that wishes to plant trees to prevent damage.

          This is I guess where the fight lays. What do ratepayers want: a leafy street, or less of an increase in rates. Sadly it is all about being politically palatable (or in other words “How can I increase my chances of being re-elected?”), or perhaps who makes the most influential noise.

    2. Completely agree with this, in fact it just makes me want to buy a bunch of native seedlings myself and start planting!

      I think the worst example of the sort of undeveloped open grassed reserve is western reserve in Orewa. It’s literally just a huge grassed park with few trees, but in winter it is nothing but a bog so it has limited usefulness. You could easily plant thousands of natives and still leave room for some grass

      1. Yes definitely. I dont’ know the area you speak of, but i bet the cost to ratepayers of keeping it mowed and the resultant negatives are massive.

        The lower areas that are bogged in winter would be a great place to target first. Go for it Harrison… I wonder what the Police would charge you with?? Defacing public property???

        Our obsession with lawn really needs to stop… It use to be a symbol of wealth in feudal times. Now it’s a symbol of idiocy and poor Kaitiakitanga of both land and the future…

        My neighbours (who i love dearly) spend a good 2 hours a week in summer mowing their acre section. The old John Deere ride on spews out the carbon and the lawn sequesters jack-sh1t carbon. All just an illusory idea that seeks to portray the wealth of the landed gentry.

        If you are lucky enough to own property and you’re not growing plants (food,trees) you’re most likely part of the problem.

        1. These massive open grass areas need two things: trees and strategically placed artificial grass and turf blocks. They can then be used all year round for sports activities.

          There would still be plenty of real green grass left over for the summer months.

        2. I’m lucky enough to own a unit with a small plot of land, just enough for a few fruit trees and natives. I definitely intend to do some more planting once lockdown opens up!

        3. Harrison, if you’re keen, you could start now. Some native seeds can be collected now, and some need to be sown straight away:

          https://www.doc.govt.nz/get-involved/run-a-project/restoration-advice/native-plant-restoration/ecosource-seeds/collection-and-propagation-guide-trees/calendar-for-seed-collecting/

          You’ll often find fig and plum trees in messy reserve edges. They’ll both grow easily from a cutting and I’ve had good success at this time of year. (Plums are usually better from a cutting because they’re too vigorous and tall from a seed, and I don’t even know how to propagate a fig in any way other than as a cutting.) The apples that are on trees now are generally the best tasting, and apple trees grown from tasty apples in your own area often produce the best apples. More ideas on the web… such as…

          https://thisnzlife.co.nz/tree-propagation-101-the-secret-to-growing-fruit-and-nut-trees-for-free/

        4. I would go the other way and buy a tree from a nursery. They a cheap. Some plums need chilling to set fruit and don’t do well in Auckland. Some fruit trees are more resistant to brown rot and curly leaf which means they are better for Auckland. The nursery will tell you. I guess Heidi’s method means you know it will fruit here but given the low cost of a tree and long life I think you are better getting a disease resistant tree on good root stock. Just make sure you cut off any branches that form below the graft. You can also get dwarf root stock to make the tree more manageable on a smaller site or so you can plant several and cut down the ones that don’t do as well.
          I would skip the natives as the Council will probably bring back tree protection and you will be stuck with them even if they cause you problems. Fruit trees have never been protected so you will always be good. Apples are more difficult to grow disease free in Auckland than plums so you either have to spray the bejesus out of them or accept the strange looking fruit complete with moths. We don’t spray, we just cut out all the weird bits. Fejoas also go well here if you can eat them. Citrus trees grow like weeds even in poorer soils.

        5. miffy gardens!

          Growing them yourself is more fun. Also, propagated from a local tree that does well means they’re far more suited to your conditions. And for plums, it’s the only way to know if they’ll taste the same. Plums grown in different soils taste very different. 🙂

          What’s your magic with citrus? They sulk for 6 years for me, then finally take off, if they survive that long. Feijoas grow well from seeds, too, which means that’s another thing you can start now.

        6. Citrus like regular nitrogen. I use the Burt Munro method.
          I grew up on an orchard where spray was a way of life and where child labour was the norm. Now I hate spray and try to avoid as much gardening as I can. However with the depression approaching I have just planted a winter crop.

        7. “What’s your magic with citrus? They sulk for 6 years for me”

          Heidi, we have found that poor performing young citrus trees are often suffering from insects attacking the new leaf growth. We use neem granules spread around the drip line. It’s an insecticide tree extract in bentonite clay.

  4. Our biggest import is oil. Anything to reduce the bill will have a strong benefit for our deficits and debts and growth. So we need more renewables, public transport, smaller cars and electric cars, Kiwi rail, bikeways, intensification, insulated homes.

  5. Well I’m calling it. We are all fucked. As if getting through a pandemic isn’t enough these people want to spend money they don’t have on shit they don’t need. Personally I blame Franklin Roosevelt for this nonsense.

  6. Overall a good spread of projects. Great to see the Eastern and NorthWest busways prioritised. Interesting that Light Rail was not on the list.. Also more cycleways would have been good.

    Wellington City Council just announced their list of projects here if anyone is interested

    1. Yeah. As I recall from the earlier article Light Rail was on that list. Now it’s gone. Looks like they gave up altogether on that. Well it’s Goff so no surprise there.

  7. It would be nice to see the Puhinui Stream all spruced up. Fifteen years ago the local kids used to catch tuna from it. It would good to see a seasonal run of whitebait. I wonder if we could ever get pollution under control which would allow there return.

  8. If we are going to have more unemployed what about council support for community gardens or maybe European type garden allotments. I noticed brocoli for sale at the supermarket for $3.50 yesterday. Surely there is public land aviable which would be literally shovel ready.

    1. Yeah love it Royce…

      As I said above we have these vast tracts of land that are huge open grass only spaces. We need to diversify their use, for a number of reasons… As currently they’re massively under utilised space. The only benefactors are the companies with Council mowing contracts…
      Encouraging community gardens would be great. I wonder if allotments would work here though… We are still maybe too suburban for it????

  9. Why don’t they build some of that housing they said they would build before the last election?…. Sorry, being facetious.

    Like a lot of governments the intent is good, but the execution of this covid package is going to be stuffed. You’ll have unnecessary projects funded because they were “shovel ready”, and projects that had more merit and that were more urgent screwed over twice, once for not being “shovel ready”, and then twice because there won’t be any money left after this.

    1. Can we please ban use of ‘shovel-ready’? Such an annoying, overused and cliched term, up there with Twyford’s ‘Up and Out’ and ‘At pace and scale’.
      We have muppets in charge, they are going to screw up again.
      And no, I’m not a National fan boy. Very much left. But totally disillusioned with this government.

  10. In today’s Stuff is a fluff piece about CRL and they having issues getting the contracted labour back to NZ from the Philippines.

    Why have Auckland Council the manual labour source from outside of this country for heavens sake? What assurances are there in the stimulus package they won’t do the same to the next job…?

  11. Wellington local government officials have requested from central government, stimulus funding for “immediate/temporary pedestrian and cycling improvements, permanent bus priority and a range of walking and cycling projects”.

    This highlights that not only is Auckland’s proposed list of projects ‘tone-deaf’ to what is actually needed in a post-Covid environment, its a list of items that by the time of the next AKL local elections, will likely be used by the media and by prospective mayoral candidates, as prime examples of wasteful, inappropriate spending.

    This makes Auckland Council’s proposed April ‘20 stimulus list already politically untenable therefore and it may well be that central government duly request the list be suitably revised.

  12. Refurbishing the ADL DMUs should be another project to add to the list. Multiple business cases have already been done for a variety of rebuild / upgrade options.

    Refurbishing the ADLs would provide a much better level of service and comfort and reliability for the Pukekohe service until electrification to Pukekohe is completed (planning for electrification to Hamilton and Tauranga should also now be considered as a major infrastructure stimulus project as it has already been looked into as well).

    The refurbished ADLs could also enable a new DMU shuttle service to Huapai to start. The platforms are already there ready to go. Even without upgrading and expanding Swanson station (which ought to be added to the list), a service could run now with the network currently as it is, from Huapai to Swanson, express to Henderson, switch tracks and then express from Henderson to Swanson back to Huapai, which would not impede current EMU services.

    A trial service to Waiuku could also be started between Waiuku and Papakura during the weekday peak periods. The Glenbrook Vintage Railway generally doesn’t operate during these times on these day, and with the current economic situation, would likely welcome the income with hiring out their track to run an AT ADL commuter service on to Papakura.

    1. Just accept the ADLs have had their day. This is not the time to blow money on expensive turd polishing exercises. And they’re not permitted through the Waitakare Tunnel due to fire concerns so using them to Huapai is a non-starter as well.

      1. Not true. For a fraction of the cost of buying new rolling stock, the ADLs could be fully rebuilt and upgraded which would enable new services to be started in the immediate short term.

        The fire risk issue can easily be addressed with installing fire suppressant equipment, such has already been done on certain KiwiRail and heritage locomotives used for main line passenger trains. This work could easily be done, with or without a full rebuild on the ADLs.

        1. Maintaining old equipment is never cost effective, unless you are willing to tolerate more frequent breakdowns. If it were no-one in the world would be ordering new trains.

        2. It would still cost millions. And at the end of the rebuilding/upgrading you would still have a handful of 40 year old DMU’s which are grossly inferior to a modern CAF Civity train in almost every way. Which btw with modern standardised design and modular approach are much more affordable than the old bespoke production of rolling stock.

        3. The problem with using the ADL’s through the Waitakere Tunnel is not just the lack of fire suppressant equipment, but also because they do not have end emergency egress doors ( such as are used on the Matangi Emus in Wellington). The lack of lateral clearance between the side doors and the tunnel walls makes emergency evacuation from a DMU stopped in the tunnel difficult for some people. While it is true that the ADLs were previously operated through the Waitakere tunnel, that was prior to the new focus of tunnel safety by NZTA and MBIE so I expect that emergency egress would now be a key consideration for any Transdev safety case variation to restart scheduled passenger services through the tunnel.

    2. +1 Robin, excellent idea.
      I hadn’t even thought about running them through to Henderson. Would save about 5 minutes by bypassing Ranui.
      Minimal cost to set this service up and running and it’s going to take at least a decade to get LR out to Huapai.

  13. Why doesn’t council have any prioritization or schedule for eliminating level crossings?
    Beyond those already under construction, I suspect a lot of the projects on the councils list are not ‘shovel-ready’ or likely to be within six months.
    I’m surprised they haven’t included: East-West link, Mill Rd, future AMETI stages, projects associated with Pukekohe electrification.

      1. Nobody is talking about the East-West link or Mill Rd or some of the future AMETI works. Current politics has stopped them without alternatives being presented.
        While the government has signaled an intention to electrify to Pukekohe, much like everything else they’ve talked about, nothing has happened. There is no schedule. Other associated projects could also be built like a 3rd Puke platform (or extending to Buckland, Tuakau, Pokeno), and the other stations proposed north of Pukekohe. Again, no schedule, nothing happening.

        1. Mill Road is in NZUpgrade. It’s already funded.

          EWL would be better as a transit and cycling project. It needs a fundamental rethink.

        2. Those projects have been funded to be completed, from memory, by end 2020. I may be wrong with the date but Google is your friend. I don’t have time at the moment

  14. I’ve heard that local elected members have been asked to provide lists of shovel-ready projects in their areas.

    This is all good discussion, but we need to get the ideas into the system as well! If you want footpath/cycling upgrades etc. near you, now is a really good time to engage with your Councillor and Local Board members.

  15. Perhaps not unsurprising that the gasometer car park, Phil’s emission edifice, or PEE, appears on the list. This was a project that back in 2016 an AT spokesman said Takapuna didn’t need; that a consultant’s report said wasn’t needed; and that AT’s Parking Strategy said wasn’t permitted.
    Part of the plan for re-developing 40 Anzac Ave, Takapuna was that AT sell part of the proposed car park site to fund it. That didn’t happen which has left a huge financial hole.
    I would be interested in property specialists thoughts on why AT might place the ugly parking building right in the middle of the available site. Surely this is the least desirable next door neighbour for the likely end use of the site, an apartment development?
    When I look at the waste in Devonport on the AT Local it pales into insignificance compared to this climate unfriendly monstrosity at $35 million and counting.
    How can politics prevail so often over common sense and economic responsibility?

  16. Having a big parking building is still better than having all that parking crammed into every square metre of available space between your townhouses and apartments.

    1. But not as good as having parking priced according to demand so that people are encouraged towards other modes just as happens in the city and perhaps arguably Parnell

  17. Probably the most interesting info is in the minutes – the budgets for some of the projects are mindboggling. No wonder the city is going broke. These numbers were often buried when the projects were being consulted on.
    Clearly the CIP fund will be oversubscribed many times over given every council, public organisation and some private organizations have submitted their wish list.
    Will be interesting to see which ones get funding. I guess the selection will start with securing a seat for NZF

  18. Have any of these shovel ready projects, that have not commenced been awarded to a main contractor yet, or do they still need to go through a tender phase?

  19. Since this post, we have this great idea:

    “The Greens are highlighting fast intercity rail improvements as the type of climate-friendly, job-creating project that should be prioritised for post-COVID-19 economic stimulus investment.

    The proposal would mean significant intercity rail investment over ten years to roll out fast, electric passenger services connecting key provincial centres with Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.” [quote from their news release page]

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/121108095/greens-want-nationwide-rail-connecting-cities-to-save-economy-from-coronacrash

      1. lol yes so many ill informed people on rail being a financial loser type thing & NZ a small population base (the two main themes I noticed in the comments quickly scanning through).

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