The focus over the last week has understandably been on the massive light rail announcement last Friday. That announcement also included bringing forward of a decision on a future harbour crossing to tie in with light rail. But one area there was very little discussion about was the other of the three planned light rail routes, to the Northwest.

In some ways, the Northwest may actually be a more important route than the other two because it’s a corridor that currently has a lot of travel, a lot of growth occurring and very little in the way of public transport provision. By comparison the North Shore has the Busway, arguably the best public transport service in the country right now; while on the City Centre to Mangere corridor, there are a already a number of high-frequency services and elements of bus priority – not that they couldn’t be better.

Now I hear you asking: aren’t we making improvements to buses in the Northwest already? Which brings us to the point of this post.

Back in July 2020 the government announced $100 million was to be invested in a series of improvements to buses in the Northwest, with half of that coming from their ‘shovel-ready’ fund as part of their response to COVID. The planned improvements aren’t meant to be a full busway or a substitute for a proper rapid transit route but more of a stop-gap measure so that existing buses could be improved.

Fast forward a year to July 2021 and finally there was some progress, with a sod-turning event to celebrate the start of construction of stations at the Lincoln and Te Atatu interchanges.

But six months on from that and this is all the progress that has been made.

From left: MP Phil Twyford, Waka Kotahi Chief Executive Nicole Rosie, Mayor Phil Goff, Transport Minister Michael Wood, Deputy Chair of AT’s Board, Wayne Donnelly and AT’s Chief Executive Shane Ellison

That’s right: other than some ceremonial shovel swinging, not a single thing has happened at either site. There are no diggers, high-viz, hardhats or even any road cones and construction signage. The project is looking like it will miss the entire construction season. In the press release from the sod turning, they even said:

The project is scheduled to be completed in late 2022, at which time express bus services will commence. AT will also look at improving the local bus schedules and routes to serve these new bus interchanges.

The big question of course is why is nothing happening?

Unfortunately I don’t have an answer to that. While COVID-related lockdowns would certainly have delayed any construction, things would surely have started by now if that was the case. There are, however, a few rumours floating around that point to staff within Waka Kotahi blocking it. Whether that’s true or not I can’t say, but whatever the cause, it’s time some of the people in the photo above started finding out why and sorting it out. We simply can’t afford to keep delaying critical public transport improvements like this, especially projects that are meant to be underway.

It certainly wouldn’t be the first time Waka Kotahi have prevented public transport improvements on this corridor – as I explained last year.

I’m also not the only one asking, with Councillor Shane Henderson announcing he’s written a letter to find out why.

One thing to clarify though: it’s not really an interim busway, more just some bus lane and bus stop improvements to enable services to run along the motorway corridor, stop at the interchanges for transfers to local services and then get back on the motorway again.

As a reminder, what we’re talking about here isn’t a Puhinui-scale station, or even a Northern Busway style station, but really just some bus stops and pedestrian access

There is also meant to be a station at Westgate, although that is now being delivered separately to this work and isn’t due to start construction till 2023.

While these improvements aren’t perfect and we still need a proper rapid transit route, one reason I think these improvements are so important – other than giving better transport options to people in the Northwest – is they could also be a model for more quickly completing other parts of our rapid transit network. In particular, the Upper Harbour route between Westgate and Constellation, the remaining Airport to Botany corridor, and the New Lynn to Onehunga corridor. Notably the first two of those almost appear to have been downgraded on the latest rapid transit maps released alongside light rail.

Can we please get some progress on this NW Bus project?

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  1. Is there any plan for a bus lane from the Brigham’s Creek roundabout to Kumeu? Something like a peak flow centre running lane? This is a state high5 so assume WK would just laugh the idea out of the building

    If a bus could get from Kumeu to Westgate in 10 minutes the patronage would explode.

    My parents recently moved out of Kumeu because the traffic now starts from the other side of Huapai by 6am as opposed to Royal Road when I used to drive (I know) to uni 16 years ago

  2. The story so far:
    1) Waterview connection approved.
    2) Realise NW motorway won’t cope, and will submerge with sea level rise.
    3) Design improved motorway – decide too expensive to even think about a busway.
    4) Design bus interchanges near but not quite at Te Atatu and Lincoln Road (requiring all buses to divert off-route to interchanges).
    5) Decide not to build the bus interchanges anyway.
    6) Build the motorway with no space for bus interchanges.
    6) At least squeeze in a cycle path to Westgate (using up all the spare land in the designation).
    7) Realise Rapid Transit is needed, after all.
    8) Try to design some way to fit bus interchange stops into motorway interchanges that were designed not to have them.
    If you study the videos and compare the work needed to achieve these transfer stops, you will see how awkward this has been. It’s amazing that something (not ideal) has been fitted into the space available. Could it have been designed quicker? Whatever, it wouldn’t even have been necessary to design something now if the old NZTA had designed in space when the Motorway widening was planned and designated. New WK are making the best of it.

    1. It’s so crazy, what did they think was going to happen? That this time a little lane widening would work?

      It just seems like when they did this huge project (NW motorway upgrades) they planned literally nothing for the future, not even more motorway lanes.

      1. It’s the lack of systemic change despite the crystal clear need for that change that worries me. Public transport was ignored out of pure bias – and that pure bias remains. The motorway kept being upgraded due to shonky, out of date transport modelling which misinformed the investment evaluations – and those modelling processes haven’t changed.

        The barons at Waka Kotahi are operating with methods and values from another time. But why are they still there?

        1. I think that some carefully worded KPI’s would solve the problem.
          Starting at the Board Chair.

  3. There has also been no (and I mean absolutely nothing) progress on planning the full rapid transit corridor in nearly 5 years either.

    1. The same could be said about a lot of high growth corridors in NZ. For example the Sothern Motorway between Christchurch and Rolleston was built with no plan for rapid transit to service the area.

  4. If I lived in the Northwest I would be pretty happy with the bus changes, at least they will get something built this decade and maybe even this year! National (who I would say are now favourites at the next election) will not cancel some cheap bus improvements, but LR will be goneburgers.

  5. “In some ways, the Northwest may actually be a more important route than the other two” – I am not convinced at all. A huge part of the route has water on either side and/or almost no one within walking catchment. In fact if you look on a map its hard to find a worse location for a rapid PT line. I’m not saying it won’t get used and shouldn’t be built, but its not really going to provide many people with a quick journey into the CBD (20mins or less) even if it was LR as the walking catchment will be low.

    1. Where do you think all the cars on the motorway are going. Some are going into the city but many head through the tunnel for other destinations. So its reasonable to suggest that’s what good for cars should be good for rapid transit network. So it needs to split in two at Waterview with one part going to the city and the other carrying on to Puhinui Station to give access to the airport and the Southern rail line and Manukau. If some sort of Motorway off ramp bus stops could be built at Onehunga and Mangere we would have two rapid transit lines instead of one. Its a pity that it couldn’t link into the Western Railway line but it can’t without torturous deviations along choked suburban streets.

  6. …and, of course the HR connection to Swanson to relieve the people from Huapai (and surrounding area) is totally resisted by AT, as they fear it will negate the reasons for the LR scheme??!

    1. +1 we could have HR to Huapai (and even Helensville) up and running tomorrow if they really wanted to (and at very minimal cost). The Waitakere tunnel safety issue is just nonsense…it’s safer than it’s ever been.

  7. Waka Kotahi and AT are very opaque organisations. The media has written several stories about that. Their decisions have been difficult to follow. They are very opposed to bikeways except low use paths alongside rail lines or highways such as the southern motorway or GI to Tamaki Drive.The board of WK was refreshed about 3 years ago by Phil Twyford. He must have appointed some other government or bike friendly people such as Patrick Reynolds. Labour or left wingers hace a good share of people on the Auckland council including the Mayor, Filipiana, Collins, Henderson, Coom, Darby and Richard Hills but their votes are not counting.
    Labours policy is to reduce emissions and increase PT but WK and AT are not caring.
    Michael Wood is a user of busses but is he being hoodwinked by WK who are very resistant to basic, functional PT. He must ask the planning group to have another look at the costs.
    I am disappointed that WK is using the same old tactic of announcing the very high cost project to the airport knowing that it will anger the car lobby. National will cancel it.
    I support light rail as Auckland is highly congested costing $billions in lost productivity.
    Our workers and commuters will leave NZ if they are kept poor if they are spending 2 or 3 frustrating hours a day on the road.
    I note that AT still have the highly expensive and dubious E-W to Onehunga as a listed project and if they cared about the environment and the damage it woul do to the Mangere inlet they would drop it.

  8. Michael Wood needs to purge all the clowns at WK who are anti-public transport. They aren’t elected. Get rid of those time-wasters.

    1. Hi JBM. Nice sentiment but hard to do for a Labour MP. Labour just doesn’t have suitable line up of ALIGNED and qualified people to even fill the Governance roles at WK. That’s the biggest challenge for RIchard Prebble’s legacy of SOEs. Most of the candidates with Governance experience, managerial experience AND domain knowledge are ‘business’ people who are generally more aligned to National & Act’s way of thinking. So while it easy for you and me to pound our keyboards exulting Mr Wood to run a broom through the governance and management of WK it’s a much harder task for him to achieve in a way that he is sure his agenda will get implemented.

    2. Bring back the Ministry of Works then the minister has the say. But then Brownlee had the say and rebuilt the motorway anyway without the public transport. So it seems National ministers can get what thy want done while still being able to sabotage the next Labour Govt at the same time. If it wasn’t for a Labour Govt there wouldn’t be a northern busway. But this Labour Govt is struggling with execution of projects. About time we had a critical review of the Puhinui Station rebuild and bus and cycle provisions between Manukau and the Airport from Greater Auckland. Tell us what. You like and what you don’t it may help us to understand how new projects such as the North Western busway should be built.

  9. Anyone who thinks this ridiculous half-arsed collection of bus stops is a good idea that will do much to increase patronage should go for a walk across the Te Atatu interchange at peak time in any kind of weather. Users are going to be expected to get off one bus and cross the road to another stop in the middle of a barren, windswept mass of concrete and idling cars to huddle in a tiny bus shelter for their transfer. None of the transfers stand much chance of ever matching timings because there simply wont be enough bus priority on the local roads, or even look at the Westbound offramp – buses are supposed to magically jump from the shoulder to a bus lane in the middle of 4 car lanes, at an offramp which is jammed to a standstill back to the previous interchange any time from about 2pm onwards.

    1. Yes and as someone who rides across this interchange daily I wonder what consideration they have for those using the bike path here. With Te Whau path construction linking to Te Atatu many local ( Tat Sth) residents will have opportunity to ride or walk to the busway ( currently it can take 30mins + from countdown to SH16 on the bus) and may choose to ride for 10 mins and then hop on bus into city or Westgate – will need good bike parking at these interim stops.

    2. The bus stations are there to justify a land grab to put up high rise apartments in those areas to thereby justify the bus lanes and stations. Doesn’t matter who is living there already, the planners who appear to be mostly from anywhere but NZ, have decided that everyone wants to live in high rises just like NY, Amsterdam or wherever else they have come from. Any protesters are nimbies or lacking in progressive values, and are so dim that they cannot see the value of urban renewal and PT = (Physical transport -walking or cycling not Public Transport) . Whose home will be next?

      1. So… the bus stations are justifying… apartments. And the apartments are justifying bus stations.

        It sounds like they justify each other… or even, that they complement each other? Is it because public transport is something people value, so they’re keen to live near it, for the access it brings? I think the bus stations might be pretty good for people in the wider area, too, who might come on a feeder bus or bicycle.

        Sounds pretty good to me.

      2. Sounds like a big win on the homes front. Trading a few homes for heaps!
        More homes makes you happy right? because you were worried about them?

      3. Te Atatu, the Manhattan of the south pacific!

        Lol, Amsterdam has about three high rise buildings. It’s not a high rise city at all!

        1. I live in Te Atatu, over the years Tat North has been a no go zone ( kids at Rutherford told to hurry back home and never linger in the North) Then we were told we were the Pt Chev of the West, now Manhattan – wonder what we will be next! Yes there is heaps of development going on, as I type our street is blocked with concrete trucks. I welcome our new neighbours but do recognise nothing is really getting done for PT. The busway on the NW must come with bus priority in the adjacent areas.

  10. Why does there seem to be no accountability in NZ for any infrastructure project? Politicians – none, Councils – none, SOE/CCO – none, CEOs – none, individual workers – none, contractors – none.
    It’s almost as if everyone is deliberately slowing the process down to drag it out, make it cost more, push the can down the road, avoid risk etc.
    Quite frankly it’s disgusting.

  11. Shovel ready eh?

    I get this is a stop gap, but where is the connection to Western rail line going to be? Please not Kingsland?

    1. Heh. At this rate Kingsland is going to have to be made entirely car-free to enable all the walking transfers between lines, and to provide the public realm improvements the 60 storey (I exaggerate) apartment buildings required to make use of all the PT options it’s being given.

      Probably deserving of some “vertical transit” infrastructure, too, to lift people up from the NW active path to NNR…

      1. Nz transport planners:


        Given recent decisions, I would not be surprised if they built a tunnel under the motorway with an airport travelator and massive lifts under Kingsland station.

  12. Before one of the many recent upgrades of the NW Motorway there was a footbridge at Patiki Road over the motorway that people could use to access a bus stop behind the armco on the shoulder of the city bound lanes. Wasn’t flash and you got wet in the rain. However It was an EFFECTIVE useful and useable option.
    WK is so in love with gold platted solutions that are so hard to do and we end up getting nothing.
    Why not close the loopy on ramp from Te Atatu South and put in simple pull over under the bridge at Te Atatu. It comes with it’s own rain shelter. If the car lobby has apoplexy at that idea of losing an on ramp why not run the buses down the centre lanes (cars can have the shoulder) and put in line stops in the middle. Certainly not perfect or even best but quick cheap and effective for 80% of use cases.

  13. Thanks Matt – Great Picture – nice line up of our decision makers – and those who know the answer to your question – what is happening??

    Seems like your question is more – why such poor communication !!

    Step up “powers that be” and provide some answers – even if they are unpalatable – at least we can move forward.

    So much is broken in this space.

  14. Quite simply, they need to build a proper busway along with proper bus station just like with ‘Northern Busway’, it would be quicker, wouldn’t be merged with general traffic, improves quality of life, time efficient and very low cost to construct.

    Obviously this concept of the bus interchange isn’t very good, its not very practical for passengers or buses to be placed, due to a lot of factors like transferring to another bus and very confusing where other platforms are, unsafe passage crossing the intersections since there’s speedy cars coming from SH16 or even busy main roads, not wide enough platforms for passengers, proper bus shelter for rainy days or enough room to fit all passengers and enough room to fit incoming buses into the stop during peak.

    If they were to construct a busway along with proper bus stations like with the Northern Busway, it cost around $1 – 2 billion which is quite cheap, also fix the problems with the current ‘Northwestern bus improvement plans’. Busway needs to start all the way from ‘Westgate’ right by ‘Northwest shopping mall’ then all the way up to ‘Newton Road bridge’. Have stations along Westgate, Massey, Lincoln, Te Atatu and Western Springs.

    Busway should travel from opposite ‘NorthWest Shopping Centre’, shift 19A the on and off ramp to the right to accommodate the busway, continue travel through, go under ‘Royal Rd’, move the 18 off ramp to ‘Royal Road’, Place ‘Massey’ bus station on the section along Royal Rd, Makora Rd and current 18 off ramp, continue straight through, Widen Huruhuru Rd bridge for bus underpass bridge, build bridge over Momutu Stream for busway, move the two Powerlines more closer towards SH16 and move Place ‘Lincoln Rd’ station right beside 16 on ramp, build underpass on Lincoln Rd, continue straight through, move the 14 on and off ramp more closer to motorway to accomodate busway, build underpass Te Atatu Rd, Place ‘Te Atatu Station’ on section Te Atatu Rd, Bridge Ave, Alywn Ave, continue straight through, build bridge to cross Whau river, move 12 on ramp more closer to motorway, make underpass on 12 off and on ramps, continue straight through, move 11 off ramp more closer to motorway, build underpass on 11 on and off ramp, build bridge from 11 to 8 A&B on and off ramp, build overpass over 8B on and off ramps, overpass over Great North Rd, vertical crossover overpass from ‘The Rainbow Path’ to Point Chevalier Rd, build underpass Point Chevalier Rd, continue travel through, build underpass St Lukes Rd, Place ‘Western Springs’ station right opposite Motat, build overpass over 6 on and off ramp, overpass for Mountain View Road, continue straight through, move 5 off ramp more closer to motorway to accomodate busway along with where it joins up with Newton Rd, build new intersections and signals on 5 off ramp/Newton Rd. Place a ‘Turn left at any time’ for the busway exit at Newton Rd, place “no right turn for inter-sectioning onto Winchester St, place ‘Bus Priority’ arrow traffic light specifically for buses going onto busway on Newton Rd.

    1. Is there not a cheaper way to do it without so much construction?

      Using lane reallocation, and thus helping to achieve network benefits?

      1. Yes there is indeed cheaper alternative ways of constructing a rapid transit for ‘Northwestern’. It’s not a matter of how many things to be constructed, it’s a matter of how much the overall cost of constructing busway and bus stations. Every component is going to have different value in cost in construction where one component is going high or lower than another component.

        Reallocating ramps is essential for accommodating busway/ in future to accommodate rapid rail, it would further reduce journey time between destinations since we all know that ‘Northwestern’ obliviously is clogged all the time and currently the buses are stuck with the general traffic on SH16 during peak.

      2. Yes, and giving those further out the option of heavy rail from Huapai. I note that this region is being ignored in this discussion. Remember, when Fletchers get going there will be wall to wall housing all the way from an already built up Kukeu/Huapai to Waitakere. Surely an alternative rail choice would reduce demand on the NW motorway to allow for bus lanes a bit quicker?

        1. Yes, planning so the improvements to HR, LR and BRT modes are coordinated makes good sense. There are good low traffic neighbourhood ideas that would speed up feeder buses to both the HR and LR/BRT lines in the W and NW, too.

          We also need to actually stop that sprawl. Sprawl is at the heart of our inability to maintain and operate decent transit and other public infrastructure, and it’s at the heart of our car dependence.

        2. Yeah my bad, sorry! Once at ‘Westgate bus station’ extend the busway parallel with SH16, all the way to Brigham Creek Rd, Fred Taylor Rd and singular laned SH16 intersection and end the busway there, place bus lanes along current singular lane SH16 the intersection to Kumeu and have ‘Western Express’ terminate at Kumeu bus stop 4864 along with constructing a proper bus shelter for to accomodate more passengers.

  15. Light rail from Wynyard to Airport is a terrible prospect for Auckland and New Zealand. Why do I say that? Because its outdated thinking with not enough gain for not enough people in not enough places, like for example the NW.

    Radical problems need radical thinking. You have to set aside political agendas and to an extent, some personal freedoms because everything comes at a cost.

    Auckland has to become smarter with existing infrastructure, whether its changing the use of lanes, changing mode type, changing service frequencies, changing light phasing and realising that the answer is already on our streets. The private motor vehicle. Soon to become a cleaner and more intelligent vehicle. But only after everyone has been through a driver refresh scheme to improve skills and awareness

    Mandate in law that every private vehicle must connect to a social uberesque network and be available for peak time ride sharing at cost with a tag on / off online account to manage debit and credit rides. Mandate kerbside vehicle hailing. Utilise educational networks for student shared riding. Enable offline mode for approved reasons. Too socialist for you? Enable opt out through infrastructure levy, dependent on type and class of vehicle but at significant cost. You’re welcome.

    1. Yes your plan would work. Lots of people would move out of Auckland and buy an out of zone property in the countryside where they would not be required to share their car with a complete stranger.
      There is a reason most trips to work are by private car. Most people like it that way.

      1. Yeah but they won’t all move out of Auckland. There would be a great business opportunity here modifying Ford Rangers to have only one usable seat.

    2. “The private motor vehicle. Soon to become a cleaner and more intelligent vehicle.”
      They already exist, they’re called ‘e-bikes’ and they’re here to stay.
      What we need is radical lane reallocation to protected infrastructure so that people feel safe riding them.

      1. There’s another problem with the electric vehicle. It comes free of ICE vehicle guilt and it is also around 25% of the cost to run so once you’ve sucked up the higher capital cost you’re going to use it more. So EVs may be a panacea for emissions but my belief is that they will become another source of induced driving.
        “It’s cheaper, it saves the planet so why shouldn’t I use it?”

        1. But does it really save the planet?

          Most research I have read seem to almost equally damaging consequences from battery production.
          We also haven’t figured out how to handle the increased need for power (often coming from questionable sources – natural gas is to be considered green and sustainable by EU etc all to reach sustainability goals).
          Electrical vehicles solves one problem but creates a few other. My understandig is that Aucklands powergrid is far from ready for the full possibilities offered by internet of things and even less so for individuals to have their own vehicle charging stations at home (like we see in Europe nowadays).

    3. Should Tokyo start decommissioning their train network and get all 26 million people onto the streets in “cleaner and more intelligent vehicles”? Cars just don’t scale and never will, and Auckland is hitting the limits of this.

  16. That Te Atatu South flyover seems to have people standing in the road with no pedestrian crossing. Would be amusing to see an animated version with people scrambling to avoid being run over.

    I am still hoping that if somebody was spending a few hundred million on the interchanges like the Lincoln Road one, they might fix the cycleway.

    The North Western cycleway is one of the best bits of cycle infrastructure going, but the Lincoln road intersection is an omnishamble of a thing. I think from memory a cyclists has to stop and beg by button presses like 4 times to cross the road.

    Not long after the crossings were put in, I found somebody had taped teaspoons to the posts in the area with a witty suggestion that whoever designed the solution could use the spoon as prisoners did in WW2 and dig a tunnel.

    Surely an underpass for active modes is possible?

  17. Bring back the 6 people with the shovel in the photo and let them start working on it straightaway. Problem solved – they got the time.

    1. No they are all too busy doing the Oprah-esque thing of pointing at people and shouting “You get a light rail, you get a light rail, you get a light rail, you get a bike bridge…” etc. Although the big difference is Oprah did actually give people cars. These people have no plans to actually do anything beyond the promises.

    2. In all seriousness I do actually think they would get there quicker and cheaper with good old fashioned manual labour. Laying tracks on Dominion shouldn’t cost $100,000+ per metre.

      1. Laying tracks doesn’t cost that much.

        The cost, particularly in the Sydney example, is finding and moving services after 100 years or so of not managing the services effectively and being surprised by the resulting cost.

        1. What are these hidden services? Surely the council know where their main pipes are, just send a camera down if they don’t.
          What else is there? How could it possibly cost billions to move a few electrical cables or something?

      2. Just in answer to your question about how hard.

        I don’t work in civil, but even at building / site level it can be a nightmare.

        You check drawings, (though many older drawings may not have any resemblance of reality), get a ground inspection done with radar (GDP) and EM detection, but you digger crew gets down a couple of metres and hits something

        In some cases like gas pipes, water & waste it can cause site excavation (including surrounding residents and businesses) causing a flow on affect and liability for a big chunk of money. Remember the fuel pipeline that just about shut down air-travel?.

        Repair can be non-trivial as well depending on the service. You may have to find and shut down feeds, then have the right type of cable/pipe and connect it and document it for future.

        Other things can be found; human remains, something of archaeological interest, unknown underground springs/streams, caves or just poor quality substrate that suddenly requires you to go deeper and more concrete and reinforcing which blow the budget and project plan.

        I have worked in buildings and the scary thing is when you find random cabling, nobody is keen to just cut it as without a lot of work, you just don’t know what will break

    1. The designation connecting the avondale-southdown corridor to Te Atatu lapsed many years ago. Couldn’t imagine a surface route being possible now, the parks and marine reserve are pretty much untouchable.
      Completing the Avondale-Southdown would be a good thing thou, and I do like the idea of the connection to the NW.

    2. If kiwirail were to build a freight line they would build a line optimised for freight.
      Have you read Patrick Reynolds proposal instead of Avondale to Southdown?

      TLDR: Freight only needs a single track railway without stations, it would be relatively cheap for kiwirail to put in a basic single bore electrified tunnel from Penrose to New Lynn, west of the trench where more track could be built. A lot of costs are associated with people handling that aren’t needed in a freight only tunnel.

    1. Hi Scott. That link says “File does not exist” 🙂 I’d be interested in seeing your gif, though, if you’d like to check the link and comment again.

      1. Heidi I am not sure if I have your email but love to get in touch..
        Here is the Google Map again pal.

        Heaps of thought has gone into it. Including a way to pay for it.

        If you toggle the layers you can see how all the commuter services can completely capture a large amount of Auckland.

        With 4 services per line max incase need others later.


        1. Chris Dixon wanted to dig it out and create a marina with high end residential development. Maybe it will serve that area?

  18. I wrote the MP of Hobsonville about this a couple weeks ago and got a canned response so I’m voting Green party next time election.

    1. There’s an MP for Upper Harbour? I legitimately thought they abolished our electorate and just forgot to replace it. You could be forgiven for thinking so given their visibility on local issues.

  19. The bureaucratic won’t proceed whenever a blocker happens.
    They will stay blocked until their boss give them pressure to get the balls rolling again.

    Therefore the root cause something along accountability chain is broken.

    MP doesn’t give enough pressure to the Mayor, and the Mayer doesn’t give enough pressure to the Ministry, and the ministry doesn’t give pressure to the CEO, and the CEO doesn’t give enough pressure to the Team.

    Waiting doesn’t get things done. Somebody has to give pressure (ideally from top)

  20. The only thing happening going by the Photo of those with the shiny shovels Goff is looking at the NZTA Ex to see if she going to ruin Her high heels when she puts pressure on her Shovel . No wonder nothing ever happens .

      1. Yes, heaven forbid they go and put up signs in Maori saying things like “Te Atatu”. That would just confuse everyone and they’d all have to go back home and not catch a bus.

  21. I asked AT about this and have just received the following reply:

    Hi Michal,

    I refer to your enquiry regarding the Northwestern Bus Improvements project.

    Construction on the Northwestern Bus Improvements started the day after the sod turning event in late July 2021, starting on Te Atatu Road and Titoki Street in Te Atatu to make it safer for commuters to get to these future new bus stops.

    This was followed by work at Lincoln Road to create a new roundabout at The Concourse to allow buses to turn safely in preparation for the new bus improvements at the Lincoln Road Interchange.

    Work has also been underway at night on SH16 to progress construction of new bus shoulder lanes alongside the Northwestern Motorway. This work is being carefully staged to ensure the least amount of disruption to neighbours and the travelling public.

    This year will see work progress at both Te Atatu and Lincoln Road Interchanges, and along with SH16 with a view to fully completing the project by mid next year (2023).

    We appreciate your interest in this project.

    1. Titoki St could be a good route for people to walk and cycle to the rugby league club, Rutherford College and other points of interest from the NW public transport and cycleway. So this work they refer to has undoubtedly involved creating an LTN, reallocating space on Titoki St by making it one way, and using inexpensive tim tams for an excellent protected cycleway?

      Anyone have pictures of what they have done?

      1. I’ve got a crappy pic from the car, but you’re not missing much. Raised crossing over Titoki entrance, and the bus stop right after has been lengthened and built out of concrete rather than asphalt. Then dug up again a few weeks later for rEaSOns.

    2. Hi Michal,

      What was your actual question? Depending on your question, that answer has clearly not given you the full picture. The excuses given here are

      – restricted access to the motorway (chuckle)
      – unforeseen weather impacts (chuckle)
      – Covid (yawn – plenty of places around the world got more done thanks to lower levels of traffic)

      1. Hi Heidi,
        I simply asked what is the current status of the project and what has already been done because I was cycling a week before (from Avondale to Westgate via Pt Chev and Te Atatu) and didn’t see anything happening anywhere.

      2. These excuses are ridiculous. I assumed that with less traffic it will actually be much easier to do improvements on the motorway. Not sure how weather affects the works – the summer has generally been dry (but to be fair winter and spring were very wet). And Covid is just a lame excuse.
        It’s disappointing to see the delay, the project doesn’t seem very complicated. I don’t usually travel that much west but it would be nice to have better access to Te Atatu Peninsula and Westgate…

        1. But NZ had a very strict lockdown compared to a lot of places. Fairly sure it would have been possible for them to do physical work on most of this during level 4, it was not sufficiently urgent (original completion date end 2022), and we spent over a month in level 4 last year (18 August to 21 September. I think Level 3 shouldn’t have been a problem, but since government projects are likely to be very risk adverse to any possible breaches given the probable media response etc, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were unduly cautious and so this limited construction speeds even during level 3.

          So any gain from lower traffic volumes would need to be offset against loses from the disruption and limits. If the traffic wasn’t actually that much of a limiting factor (at least for the activities they had planned or we able to do) then it’s likely to have been a net negative.

          And on the flip side, some projects were moved up because of the lockdowns and lower traffic etc. So if any of these projects involved the same contractors etc, it seems reasonable if they decided to prioritise those projects which were affected by traffic. So if the work they needed to do for this mostly wasn’t then it was put on the back burner.

          As a minor point, if parts of their work was likely to cause significant noise in residential areas, I suspect these parts would have needed to be put on hold. (I had some weirdness with Vector in October-November which I figured was because unless it was critical, they recognised even at level 3 it wouldn’t be acceptable to cut power to residential areas during the day for anything but critical work whereas they normally would.)

          P.S. I’m not saying this hasn’t taken way too long, it has, I live in the area and remember when they were talking about it years ago and we still have nothing. Where I live, I could also take the train but when going to the CBD etc, it’s also at the moment quite a slow option. But I also think we have to be realistic that the big delays are in what lead us here. Perhaps mistakes were made last year too, but IMO this is less clear. (I’m referring to planning around the restrictions, I don’t think this is the place to discuss the merits of the restrictions we had in place.)

        2. WK have videos proudly showing how much stuff they were getting on with doing during the lockdowns, so I don’t think there was any risk aversion from a media point of view.

  22. Isn’t now the time to plan/construct & future proof the Westgate bus + L/R interchange with park n ride – to future proof the space. Copy and paste Albany if you need an idea AT ! Or use the Manukau Interchange plans if you still have them.
    Building bus shelters at congested Lincoln & congested Te Atatu off ramps will achieve nothing.

    1. North west is set to blow up over the next decade. I’d like to see the improved bus system ASAP to cope with the current need. I will be really dissapointed if the North shore is priorities over the North West for ALR when they already have a really good bus system there

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