We’re at the end of the week again. Here’s our roundup.

Fare Free Day

Auckland Transport are hailing their Fare Free day last Saturday as a success.

A combination of free public transport and a sunny day saw Aucklanders take to public transport on Saturday in numbers not seen since before COVID.

Public transport patronage was up 21 per cent on the previous Saturday with 119,518 people taking trips using their AT HOP card. That’s 94 per cent of the number who were travelling on a Saturday before COVID.

Bus trips were up 14 per cent on the previous Saturday, ferry patronage was up 32 per cent and trains a whopping 55 per cent.

Auckland Transport chief Executive Shane Ellison says he is thrilled with the response, “Saturday was a great success and we’re pleased Aucklanders got on board and took advantage.

“The biggest winner on the day was the Hobsonville/Beach Haven ferry services. We saw a jump of more than 600 per cent in passenger numbers compared to recent Saturdays, that’s fantastic.”

It’s always hard getting exact numbers on these days as I’ve heard some bus drivers didn’t even turn the HOP machines on, so the actual number of users may have been higher. Even so, and with a slight grinchy angle, it’s a little disappointing we couldn’t even surpass pre-COVID levels.

Meadowbank to Kohimarama Connections

Construction of the Eastern Path is currently well underway and due for completion in the middle of next year.

The NW cycleway has shown the importance of improving connections to paths like this and Auckland Transport are now consulting on two new connections to it.

The connection from John Rymer Place is more advanced in design and uses a Watercare property at the end of the street to access the valley. They’re still working on the designs for the Gowing Dr connection and it will require a bridge or underpass to cross the tracks.

These connections will certainly help improve connection to the path and across the valley but they don’t come cheap. Auckland Transports new RLTP includes $22.1 million in funding for them.

There’s a bit more information about the projects and the consultation on AT’s website and that includes dates for a couple of public feedback events if you’re interested.

Building Consents

Last week Stats NZ released the building consent numbers for May and once again we’re seeing new records set. In total 1,708 dwellings were consented, making May the fourth highest month recorded. This also meant now nine of the top twelve months have occurred in the last 12 months with total consents reaching 18,565.

Of those more than 18k consents, 45% are now townhouses, 36% are single houses and 15% are apartments.

Rail Network Improvement Plan

Yesterday the government and Kiwirail released the Rail Network Improvement Plan.

The Government is fulfilling its commitment to bring New Zealand’s rail network back up to scratch and support the economic recovery, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today.

KiwiRail’s inaugural Rail Network Investment Programme (RNIP) was released today which details renewals and upgrades on the rail network over the next three years.

The Programme includes:

  • Fully replacing 20 bridges around the country and improving around 25 more
  • Replacing more than 200km of rail sleepers
  • Replacing more than 130km of tracks
  • Adding active controls (barrier arms, lights/bells) to 3 level crossings and making improvements to 25 more through renewals
  • Upgrading signals on the Auckland metro network, a new Auckland train control centre and an additional power supply into the network, to support increased train frequency to come with the
  • City Rail Link
  • Investing in a business case for further network improvements across Wellington, including looking at potentially extending electrification north of Waikanae to Levin and beyond.

The plan can be found here.

As a summary of what it means for Auckland

  • Signals upgrades on the Auckland metro network, a new Auckland rail management centre (train control) and an additional traction feed (power supply) to support City Rail Link
  • Resilience works on two bridges (104 and 102, both north of Helensville)
  • 6km of re-railing, 2km of re-sleepering and 5 turnout replacements across the regional and metro lines
  • More than 2km of re-railing and re-sleepering work, and 12 turnout replacements within KiwiRail freight yards
  • Track renewals on the Mission Bush spur line (south of Paerata) – the rail line to Glenbrook steel mill
  • The Government has already made significant investment in the Auckland network with NZUP rail projects (3rd Main, P2P electrification, 3 new Southern Stations), and other major work across the network to support the City Rail Link

Meanwhile for Wellington among other things it includes investigating extending commuter services to Levin.

Road Deaths

June was a bad month for deaths on our roads, with 38 people tragically losing their lives. The last time (equal) it was this high was 2007.

The cost of road deaths and injuries

The Ministry of Transport has updated its calculations of what a road crash (whether minor, serious, or fatal) costs us as a society. Of course, life and wellbeing is priceless, and every death causes incalculable trauma. But it’s powerful to know what this unsafe system is costing us, which is of course just one part of the picture (add in climate and health costs), and is compounded by every day of delay.

Some highlights, or lowlights really:

Social costs measures the total cost of road crashes to the nation, including loss of life and life quality, loss of productivity, medical, legal, court and vehicle damage costs.

The total social cost of motor vehicle fatal and injury crashes in 2019 is estimated at approximately $4.6 billion.

Allowing for non-reported cases of injuries from road crashes, the updated average social cost is estimated at $839,000 per reported serious injury and $79,000 per reported minor injury. These estimates are useful for assessing interventions (e.g. seat belt wearing initiatives) that aim to reduce the number of injuries but not crashes. They are also useful for establishing the social cost of a specific crash considering the number of injuries sustained in that crash.

In per-crash terms, the updated average social cost is estimated at $5.30 million per fatal crash, $987,000 per reported serious crash and $100,000 per reported minor crash. These estimates are useful for assessing interventions (e.g. speed management interventions) that aim to reduce the number of crashes and the associated injuries.

Another way to use this data is to look at what a city pays (or loses) every time there’s a crash. Someone did the maths on what Auckland’s crashes last year alone amounted to. It’s uncannily close to the cost of a certain piece of infrastructure that some people seemed to think was a “waste” of public money. Join the dots, folks.

Galway St short-term parking consultation

Feedback closes today, Friday 9 July on a plan for some short-term (P15) parking on Galway Street, to allow for pick-up and drop off of hotel guests at Hotel Britomart. AT plans to:

Implement P15 (maximum 15 minutes) parking restrictions on a 12-metre stretch of Galway Street directly in front of The Hotel Britomart. This would improve access for hotel guests by providing a location where they can park short-term whilst checking in or out of the hotel.

The proposed P15 zone to be added on Galway Street, amid the park-where-you-like zone.

Will this be an improvement on the current situation, which is nominally a shared space with No Stopping/ 5min Loading Zone Only between 11am and 6pm… but appears to function a 24/7 parking free-for-all, going by regular social media comments.

Depends on enforcement, really.

Finally, a look at Christchurch 60 years ago.

Have a good weekend.

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    1. Best not to look at modes when using these high-level economics figures. Under-reporting is skewed hugely across modes, so that requires a very different analysis. Hospital admission stats enable calibration of CAS-reported crashes, which is, as you would expect, frightening (for old-school investment priorities).

  1. “It’s always hard getting exact numbers on these days as I’ve heard some bus drivers didn’t even turn the HOP machines on, so the actual number of users may have been higher.”

    I guarantee that they were way higher. On Saturday at about 5pm, I took the bus into the City from BeachHaven. The AT app said that it was almost empty (one person out of 4 ), but when it arrived, it was pretty full (not standing room, but way more than I’ve seen at that time, except for sport events, etc). So I think it worked.

    The other interesting point was how many people it brought into the CBD all day, which kind of points out the lie of QSt business jumping up and down and crying that they’ll get no one to their shops if a few parks outside the door are taken away. Once again: Build it (Akl + Public Transport), and we will use it.

    1. Even at train stations, if they didn’t have a HOP card, they were just let through. So the official count based on HOP tag ons is definitely an underestimate.

  2. Hopped on the train at Grafton to Britomart early afternoon and I can report the six car carriage was fairly busy! A big mass of bodies exiting at Brito.

  3. “Tell me you are planning to ping the parking intruders in the Galway St public place tonight & every night”
    I suggest during the day as well – this is not just a night time problem.

    1. This would have to be up there with the worst “shared space” I have ever seen. What should be a beautiful car free street linking downtown with britomart is clogged all day with trucks, vans and cars. There’s some weird token bikes parked outside the hotel, never seen any of them being used. If you allow even a metre of space someone will try park on it, shared spaces should be banned and just have proper segregated pedestrian areas.

      Pedestrians have no idea where to walk, and then the absurd raised crossing at Westpac end just has motorists speeding over it, no one knows who to give way to and general confusion.

      Why do we keep making the same mistakes?

      1. I reckon if it’s going to have cars on it, there needs to be a division between cars and pedestrians that’s clear to all users including young children. If it’s going to have cars on it, we shouldn’t be using expensive pavers.

        If they want the fancy “pedestrianised” look they need to make it actually pedestrianised and stop pretending. Shared spaces don’t work in New Zealand because our driving culture is not ready for it.

        1. Heidi, I agree. Shared spaces are some of the most unsafe places in Auckland because many drivers approach them from a position of resentment – that it is their space and what the hell are pedestrians doing there. Some will drive behind you and rev, some will drive very close to you, and the odd few will just drive at you.
          Enforcement by AT of speed limits would help.

        2. “Shared spaces don’t work in New Zealand because our driving culture is not ready for it.”

          Have we implemented any properly designed ones yet? The original European concept has obstacles in the old traffic lane that cars must veer around, not long straight kerbless racetracks like we have produced.

          Reversing the direction of both Elliot and O’Connell Sts would also improve pedestrian safety immediately.

      2. Never had an issue in any of the shared spaces around Britomart. ake my kids there often and I think they work exceedingly well. The raised crossing at the Westpac end is a massive improvement. Not sure what all the hating is about?

  4. Waiheke Islanders pay the 10 cent levy on fuel on the Island to promote public transportation in the Auckland region. Our fuel is around $2.70 per litre for 95. Auckland transport does not allow our ferry travel any subsidy and we cannot access free Saturday day travel either. Where is the fairness for us Islanders here?

    1. > Auckland transport does not allow our ferry travel any subsidy
      That’s central government policy: an exception in the PTOM. (Which is currently under review, btw)

      Waiheke has bus services, and they were free on Saturday

    2. I think the only fair solution here is for our navy to shell Waiheke into the ground for target practice, so this injustice does not continue one single day longer.

      1. Take aim at the dozens of helipads on the island in particular.
        The super rich come for the peace and scenery, and destroy it in the process with their toys.

        1. My job for the navy is to use any incoming car carrier for target practice and these ships are big enough not to miss………………?

    3. Firstly, hopefully the ferry cost will be resolved, it’s a central government thing, and needs to get gone. Although be warned, with cheaper fares and PT getting better then it will raise demand to live on the island. I know I’ve been considering it.

      But my main point is that aside from the ferry, the residents of the island befit much more than the average Aucklander from PT improvements. Being essentially forced by geography to use transit. General PT improvements like CRL / rail and the bus network significantly increase the number of jobs and services conveniently available to islanders. And Waiheke got the new electric busses first. It’s more than fair for Waiheke.

        1. A bit rich coming from someone with your name. And yes I am pretty certain Mr & Mrs human didn’t name their offspring average.

      1. And a number of them have gone back to Auckland to be repaired as they are faulty .

        And they make more noise i.e squeaks and rattles than the ones NZB use on the Queen St run .

        1. “And a number of them have gone back to Auckland to be repaired as they are faulty”
          Citation please david L
          Given the state of many of the roads on Waiheke it isn’t surprising they squeak. Again another example of underfunding.

        2. DonM , This was mentioned to me by one of Fullers Bus Drivers Wed. night . As we were on a Riches loan bus and asked were the Electric was .

    4. Some perspective, ahem, Karen, Waikeke has a smaller population that a single suburb on the mainland, yet has a five line bus network including a trunk frequent route that runs a 17km route along the island every fifteen minutes from 6:30am until 9pm.

      Your public transport is being massively cross subsidized by suburban Auckland, paying the 10c a litre doesn’t even come close to covering the subsidy of the waiheke bus routes paid for by Auckland ratepayers. For example, Te Atatu peninsula has three times the population of all of Waiheke and gets half as much bus service despite paying the full fuel levy and rates. So those folks are getting roughly 1/6th the return that you do.

  5. It seems strange that the newspapers report each individual serious car crash in detail, but don’t join the dots on trends in safety. The monthly summaries published by Matt are very instructive. Three month totals and breakdowns by mode would be useful too.

    We are now halfway into the first 3-year programme of works under the “Road to Zero” safety programme. Is it not working, or should we not expect to see any benefits yet?

    1. We should have expected to see improvements by now. The problem is that it’s not being implemented. They’ve put the Vision Zero concepts into a few, isolated, safety programmes – which are in themselves somewhat compromised. They haven’t put Vision Zero into every system, which is what the whole concept is about.

      There were a few nervous jitters at the start, but now the dinosaurs in each organisation are comfortable that they’ve managed to resist the changes, and that the narrative spoken by their managers is just that; narrative without backup. Some of the managers are so pathetic they don’t even know that’s what they’re doing.

      As for the safety situation not really being visible, that’s a failure in itself. AT committed to improving road safety visibility but have not done so.

    1. It annoys me that boomers seem to think a lowly patronised public transport service is a ghost. It is not a ghost, it is a zombie. A ghost train / bus is the one you are waiting for, that then disappears from your app and never turns up. That is a ghost because it has become invisible. A zombie bus or train is that with very few humans, as the zombie apocalypse has turned everyone in to Mike Hosking, a fate worse than COVID. If they can’t handle the English Language, how can we be expected to take them seriously?

      1. Matthew,
        Does that include every single person of that cohort you so disparagingly reference? You’ve checked?
        If not, then this is lazy stereotyping on a par with misogyny and indeed racism.
        The powers that be on this website need to stop this sort of stigmatising,

        1. Disparaging people who choose to read and believe garbage is not on par with disparaging people who were born female or non-white.

        2. Please excuse my offensive generalisation. I have not asked every boomer, but more than a few have used this terminology. It is the only demographic (it is a demographic so statistically acceptable surely?) that I have witnessed using this erroneous terminology, hence my obtuse statement. My misogny and racism is on quite a different level than this I can assure you 😉

        3. I’m sure bigotry and stupidity exist in all generations, all races and all classes of gender. No particular group has a monopoly on it.

        4. Harry, as another boomer I think you might be just a bit too sensitive. When I read these comments I think, I’m one of those ok boomers that Chloe was talking about. The ones that are just as concerned as young people about climate change; part of the group that have significantly reduced their consumerism; who don’t daily drive vast distances across Auckland for employment; are likely to eat less meat; and are most likely to live in suburbs closer to amenities thereby lessening their carbon footprint.
          And then I look at the composition of our parliament with hardly a boomer amongst them, the ones who have so far proved ineffectual at making significant environmental change (emissions are still increasing and with the dirty energy from Genesis probably even more so) and again I think, yes, I am an ok boomer.
          Ignore the comments Harry, because as you say, perception is a dangerous thing.

    2. Of course the reactionaries at ZB and the Nats have an anti-PT agenda and are jumping on this in bad faith. Nonetheless, these numbers (if accurate) fly in the face of the people who told us that Te Huia was very popular, even with its current very limited service. Councillor Dave McPherson is a big Huia spruiker and he’s been very silent today. Maybe Patrick Reynolds was right all along and we shouldn’t have shut him down.

      1. I’m looking forward to the media story comparing actual useage of the Waikato Expressway at 7 am on a cold, dark July morning with its theoretical maximum capacity. How many billions has been spent on that road compared with the cost of Te Huia?

      1. Just getting it to run every Saturday would be a major improvement. Interesting it’s from the 24 July, the plan until now was 3 July then no Saturday trips until the 31 July. Still misses out the school holidays though.

        1. How can it be the 24th as both the Eastern and Southern lines are shut down for track works .
          And AT are also having an open day for the opening of Puhinui Station that day .

        2. Just checked Te Huia website, lists 24 July as ‘not available’. (Silly me for believing what journalists wrote…)

  6. I would happily spend $24 for a day trip to Hamilton at least once a month. I would even use a walk up and ride bus for that matter. I just don’t want to engage with InterCitys’ yield management algorithm. Michael Wood get this sorted if you think you are good enough to wear the ministerial suit. Either bus or train or both bus or train. But I would have thought a Papakura Hamilton return train would be just as well patronised as the reverse.

    1. That return trip/s hopefully will be a reality in December this year , yea . And will save money by getting the crew working on the return instead of them going back to Hamilton by car/van .

    2. Royce, this yield management is just your prejudice. Its the way Air NZ operates and most long distance train in Europe. It seems designed to allow those who are price sensitive to book first.

      1. Thing is Te Huia is not a long distance train. So you say I might go to the races tomorrow at Ellerslie if the weather is good and if my girlfriend wants to but she doesn’t know because she might have to work. Wake up in the morning look out the window weather’s good girlfriend doesn’t have to work. Will I go on the Intercity website and buy an advance ticket not likely check price for same day travel stuff that we will take the car. If we can roll up and know the price is $12 plus hop fare from Papkura to Greenland its all sweet better than driving and won’t hurt to have a couple of drinkd. Only way to get people out of car.
        One more thing why not Sunday make a weekend out of it.

        1. “Why not Sunday?” Because Kiwirail says no Sundays or public holidays. Since Te Huia started it’s only managed about 1 out of 4 Saturdays.

  7. Not surprising to see lot of people take advantage of the free fare day. If PT was really cheap, people will use it.

    1. ‘Public transport patronage was up 21 per cent on the previous Saturday with 119,518 people taking trips using their AT HOP card. ‘

      Surely the objective of the promotion was to get NON HOP Card users, ( ie single occupancy car drivers ) to try using PT, not to just give away free fares to existing customers? What genius in the AT marketing team came up with this idea??

  8. All good the money for bridges and track renewal. I would like to see more details about what Kiwirail is wanting to achieve. The breakdown on their website throws up more questions than answers.
    Apart from the glaringly obvious question of does what Kiwirail consider to be a truck load of freight coincide in any way with what the Road trucking companies actually carry. I expect they are poles apart.
    However a bit more detail especially around the various category’s would be helpful. For instance on what routes are the so called freight forward domestic operators actually consigning freight. I expect the general public may be surprised to find its actually very few.
    Another question what does domestic retail actually mean. Does it mean a company in one location fills up a container then delivers it to a container transfer site which puts it on a train and then delivers it to another container transfer site from where it is then delivered to its final destination. This would be a good thing as it would be in direct competition with long distant road freight. However I suspect that in the main what is being counted is export freight being railed from a factory to a store. From the store the trip to a port would be counted as import export. Okay so the movement to the store is really part of the export logistic train. A good example of this would be dairy product from Waitoa, Morrinsville and Cambridge factories being railed to the Te Rapa store. From there it is loaded into export containers and railed to Tauranga along some of the same tracks it originally travelled on in its journey to the store. It’s still all good stuff but I think you can agree its not as useful as what we are being lead to believe.
    Sorry to impose this on you on a Friday but I think its important that some clarity is shed on what’s happening only then can we prioritise how the railway is used. No doubt Fonterra has plenty of clout and rail does everything it can to accommodate it. No doubt it is making a contribution to its own rail infer structure. Possibly more taxpayer money should be spent on the retail side of the business more container sites better access more services. Better containers are vital however they are much improved over the last few years.

    1. The biggest problem is in Auckland is Truck Drivers not knowing the height of their vehicles when going under the Rail Lines ;-

      KiwiRail is warning truck drivers of the impacts of bridge strikes after incidents where trucks hit rail bridges in Auckland.

      KiwiRail is warning heavy vehicle drivers of the impacts of bridge strikes after two recent incidents where trucks hit rail bridges in Auckland, closing rail lines and disrupting the city’s train users.

      From this post ;-


    2. Royce, there is also this:
      and from this document, “By 2052, freight tonnage in New Zealand is expected to increase by almost 40 percent (from about 280 million tonnes in 2017/18, to nearly 400 million tonnes by 2052/53)12 and we would like
      to see rail support this growth.”
      It’s hardly inspiring stuff with no goals laid out.
      If rail is to make real progress then the scales have to be rebalanced with the costs of roads imposed on road users. Mainfrieght and Toll are already used to operating in such environments and so despite the initial bleating they will survive.

  9. And offtopic is the amount of tagging/graffitiy on AT’s EMU’s across the network , and they even having a go at their new muralled trains and looking at the tags it seems to be the same twat doing it .;-

    1. SOLUTION to Tagging: Install large billboards around Auckland that say; ” Taggers are Morons” and “Taggers are pathetic”, then leave a clear space that says: “Pathetic tagger, please leave your tag here, so we can laugh at you”

      1. Or they could put a couple of hungry rabid dogs inside the fence of the Stabling yards at night without the lights on and then see whats left of the taggers in the morning .

    2. I undersand that AT and the train operator, were offered a state of the art clear coat that would be applied to all of the EMUs. This clear coat enabled tags and graffiti to be easily removed. The offer was declined due to costs. Instead AT and the operator were prepared to cover the costs of repainting EMUs, or taking them out of service for several days, so the tags could be chemically removed.

      1. And on the same day there were 2 workers at Morningside cleaning some tags off the notice board at the station .

  10. To jump on the video bandwagon, I went up to dome valley to look at the safety upgrade works. I think this is it, the model they should roll out instead of the new motorway alignments. Far more cost effective as a safety treatment.
    Re-alignments might be justified as bypasses around towns, and to ease some curves etc. But the new motorways as far as I see it can no longer be justified.


      1. They’re still operating under the assumption (probably correctly) that the parallel motorway section will still be built. Any capacity or quality of experience upgrades take away from that business case and political will. As have the safety upgrades, I’d love to see that business case now. Hence no new passing lanes, in fact the removal of one.

        I will say it’s also challenging terrain, the passing lanes require quite a lot of width, and they’ve used the good places for them already. In a world where I’m the infrastructure dictator, then I probably would have had some passing lanes. But unfortunately I’m not.

        In other areas where this model could be applied then the passing lanes would be much easier to add, and these kinds of upgrades would be much cheaper overall.

        1. Yeah I guess that’s true.
          I’d like to see more 3 laning used. The road from Warkworth to Wellford would be a good candidate.

      2. The biggest problem is the hill coming up from Warkworth as most motorists get stuck behind a truck or Bus and when they get to the top they drive like idiots to catch up on the time lost and then drive like idiots to catch up .
        When they put that passing lane in 30plus years it should have been all the way up the hill . And there are spots in the valley that have black ice during the winter period also .

        1. Unsure where you mean david, perhaps a google streetview link would make it easier.

        2. Jack , it was the hill coming down from the Valley to where the Sheep Display Building is at the end of the video .

  11. Genuinely shocking that the road toll can be 75-100% higher than a few years ago when all non-human inputs (cars/roads) should be incrementally improving safety over that period.

    1. Surely you have highlighted the problem. Deaths due to not wearing seat belts do not seem to be decreasing. And neither from drink driving. Statistically deaths from drugged driving and inattentiveness (such as use of mobile devices) are increasing. WK can build as many centre barriers as they can afford, but this does not stop people running off roads into banks, trees or down banks.

  12. Years ago I harboured a little fantasy that Selwyn College would follow St Peters’ lead and organise for Eastern Line trains to stop just below it, and this would eventually turn into a proper train station as happened with Grafton. Back in their hippy days Selwyn’s student body was far flung across the city and would have benefited a lot from this.

    The same impetus isn’t there now that Selwyn is just another a gentro-zoned school, but the new links to Gowing and John Rymer retrigger the same fantasy for me. A station there could increase the Eastern Line catchment in the suburbs north of the gully.

    1. I’d have to disagree with just about everything in this comment.

      Firstly, locating a train station down in the Pourewa Valley would be enormously destructive for the environment down there, which is estuarine native bush, unique in the isthmus at this scale. Sure, there’s a pathway being built, but it’s all elevated boardwalk and bridges – the project team ripped out 1500 privet trees to build it and will replace them with 100s more natives, which local volunteer groups will very likely manage and enhance like they do in Kepa Bush and Selwyn Bush. A rail way station with access roads and everything would be a completely different matter. The entire northern side of the valley from Kohi Road down to the back of John Rymer Place would be destroyed. Tar sealed and concreted forever. No thank you!

      What’s more, why build a train station that’s about as far away from where people live or work as you can get on the Eastern Line? The one place that could make sense is right up at the Kohi / St Heliers Bay / St John Road intersection. But the tracks are ?30-40 m below the surface there. Maybe with a third or fourth track you could get part way up but that’s decades away.

      Meanwhile just maximise the assets we have: this is part of the rationale for the local links to Stage 2 of Te Ara Ki Uta Ki Tai / GI-TD Pathway. Parts of Kohimarama can swap a 45 min commute to the city by bus or car with no transit lanes for a 10 min bike ride (through awesome scenery) + 10 min train ride (with awesome views). Likewise if you’re in Gowing Drive you will be able to do the same, avoiding 1 km hilly route along pretty hostile rat run streets. There will need to be a lot more bike racks at Meadowbank Train Station…

      About Selwyn College. Thank goodness the bad old days have gone! 39% NCEA pass rate, what a joke! What is it now? 95-99%? Fantastic. It’s a great school that’s there to serve it’s local community. Which it has done without losing any of it’s vibrancy or distinctive character either. The performing arts there are brilliant, as are the sports teams and yet it remains diverse because its zone is far from “gentro” – it’s incredibly diverse, taking in the Orakei marae, the refugee centre and yes the locals, rich and not so rich alike. There is so much to like about Selwyn College and the way it is run. But yes the academic outcomes matter. Besides, who wants students coming from all over the city? Who do they think they are? They can go to their local school, and with their local community make that one great too.

      1. Interesting comments TBW.

        In any case, I can’t stress enough how much we should support this consultation. The John Rymer and Gowing Drive connections will allow north-south travel across the valley, which is utterly massive for local residents. It provides transport choice other than going all the way around via St. John’s Road, which hugely incentivises car travel, which then causes jams.

        The issue with the GD connection is that there is only one property (92 Gowing, IIRC) on the section of GD bordering the railway which is not built out with four or five houses, making the required property purchase very expensive. But it’s critical to making this shared path a real asset for the local community and not just for people passing through.

        Three successive Orakei Local Boards have been pushing for this and putting their (small) budgets behind it. This is our chance to help.
        Both the JR and GD connections need to happen! Please submit in support!

        1. Reminder that this consultation closes tomorrow. Thanks for this discussion, bjfoeh. The Big Wheel and Glen.

          Agree, Glen, that connection to Gowing Drive seems to connect a huge catchment to the path and would vastly improve transport choice in the area.

    1. It was a platform for cemetery specials, only 500m from Meadowbank station. The recent proposals were for further along, but the deep valley makes it fairly impractical.

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