Mayor Wayne Brown has regularly called fora joined-up, comprehensive transport plan, written by Aucklanders“. Earlier this year it was covered in a council agenda item and titled the Auckland Integrated Transport Plan.

The Minister of Transport and the Mayor have agreed on the need for a broader plan to futureproof Auckland with a high-quality, joined-up transport system, which more closely integrates decision-making on cars, buses, trains, ferries, cyclists, pedestrians, freight and passenger rail and light rail. This includes considering steps to address immediate and pressing needs, as well as long-term city-shaping initiatives.

As I described at the time, this largely sounds like the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) with just a new name.

Since its inception in 2016, ATAP has been a closed-door exercise between local and central government officials and politicians. However, one area where it seems this new plan will be different is last week the mayor has somewhat quietly launched a quick consultation on it – I say somewhat quietly because other a few social media posts there’s been little announcement of it and normally these things are accompanied by press releases and are pushed by multiple council channels.

Here’s what the consultation is described as:

About the Auckland Integrated Transport Plan

Auckland Council and the Government are working together on an integrated transport plan for Auckland.

Once the mayor and Minister of Transport have agreed on the plan, it will be approved by the Governing Body and the government.

The plan aims to fix Auckland’s transport network by ensuring there is a high-quality, connected transport system for:

  • cars
  • buses
  • trains
  • ferries
  • cyclists
  • pedestrians
  • freight
  • passenger rail
  • light rail.

It covers immediate and pressing needs as well as long-term, city-shaping initiatives.

What we want your feedback on

To help us agree on priorities for the plan, we want to hear what you think on the following:

  • guiding principles that will help decide how transport funding is allocated
  • how we prioritise different objectives
  • types of projects that you would like to see funded as a priority

The survey is fairly basic but sometimes too much so, often grouping multiple different, potentially opposing ideas together, such as whether you support “Upgrades to busy arterial roads to support increased traffic as well as public transport, walking and cycling“. There is no option to say you don’t support projects that will increase traffic. In this particular case I guess it’s that you oppose that one but support all the bus and cycling specific questions.

First up is the guiding principles.

And then the objectives.

And finally the more project/mode specific questions, including the one mentioned earlier.

It is then on the obligatory questions such as if there’s any other projects to mention and can give some written responses to the project list above.

The consultation is open till May 14.

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  1. I would encourage people to say they do not support the sealing of unsealed roads – my take on this is Wayne has promised the residents of Rodney that this will be a high priority. Considering the overwhelming costs of maintaining our current network this would be economically illiterate.

    1. Hard agree on this one! Maintaining a lightly used gravel road costs peanuts – a few times a year with a grader.

    2. Agree, however ratepayers in Rodney pay a targeted rate that the rest of Auckland doesn’t pay especially for that reason. So if this isn’t going to happen then they need to stop charging this extra fee.

      1. Not really. The $150 per annum rateable property charge is projected to raise $46 million over 10 years to pay for new bus services and bus stops, park-and-ride facilities (Community Transport Hubs) and footpaths.That’s what it states on the board page.

  2. That question about upgrading arterial roads to me basically reads “widening roads through land acquisition to enable moar cars with a 2m wide footpath and bike path”

    1. I really disliked that question, as “upgrades” could mean anything. My personal version would include removing parking and using that space for bus lanes/ protected cycle lanes/ wider footpaths, but I somehow feel that I’m not aligned with Wayne’s vision on this…

  3. More of Brown’s distortion of who actually decides in Council:

    “Once the mayor and Minister of Transport have agreed on the plan, it will be approved by the Governing Body and the government.”

    Is this survey perhaps being run by the Mayor’s office rather than the Council proper?

    1. My guess is the mayor is attempting to get more money out of Michael Wood and any other government pot that might be raided. The costs of the current govt LRT scheme, January’s weather event and this government recently bringing forward the additional Waitemata harbour crossing may also be forcing a rejig of ATAP.
      “Auckland Council and the Government are working together on an integrated transport plan for Auckland.”
      “Once the mayor and Minister of Transport have agreed on the plan, it will be approved by the Governing Body and the government.”

  4. Why should anyone participate in this exercise when it was launched in parallel with LTP which is intent on stripping costs out of the AT programme and stripping people out who would deliver it?

    1. Why should anyone bother? Because it counts. Councils love to say “we have consulted with the people” but then they typically will engineer the results to do what they wanted to do anyway. So, if there is just general feedback, with 30ish percent saying this, and 35ish percent saying that, and the rest saying “I dunno, meh” then that in effect gives Councils carte blanche to do whatever the heck they want to do.

      On the other hand, you could get organised, and get creative. How about really advocating for something and then imploring everyone to fill out their feedback sheet and drive the decision a certain way? Mae it work for you? Make it work for all of us?

  5. The light rail project was just a money making project for minorities with vested interests. Look at the three directors on the board. That’s when the project was still in debate. Did they even consider trackless train or bi-articulated train which doesn’t require tracks to run as a medium term solution?

        1. I think the sticking point is reallocating road space so you can go faster than queuing traffic, tracks or no tracks.

          Bets your bendybus would still be looking for billion dollar tunnels?

        2. “The cost for the light rail could be as high as 29 billions while Brisbane spent 1.7 billions”

          That’s mainly because of the insistence that cars not be disrupted (tunnels) and a less-than-direct route. Not the mode choice.

        3. “That’s mainly because of the insistence that cars not be disrupted (tunnels) and a less-than-direct route. Not the mode choice.”

          Correct. If you don’t want to prioritise congestion free space you need to spend gazillions to try and build new capacity instead (by purchasing land adjacent – Eastern Busway – or going grade-separated – Eastern Busway Reeves Road Flyover – or by tunnelling – Light Rail). It’s all trying to have your cake and eat it too at enormous expense, instead of actually prioritising public transport.

        4. Brisbane has spent $1.7billion to modify stations on their *existing busway* to take bendy buses. You have to add in the cost of building the busways in the first place if you want a real comparison.

    1. “Did they even consider trackless train or bi-articulated train which doesn’t require tracks to run as a medium term solution?”

      Yes, it was call the Advanced Bus Study and NZTA spent a lot of money on specialists from Australia to try and prove it was the best thing to do, before eventually admitting that the study didn’t show that and that it wasn’t a good idea.

      1. Why not? Buying tracks manufactured from steels digging up roads have less carbon emissions, or recklessly saying it wasn’t a good idea to benefit the minorities with vested interest? NZTA spent millions on open loop ticketing in 2018 then put it on hold until now! You can really request for this information using OIA that’s a fact!

      2. Did we not have any existing busways at all? Do we need 29 billions to add more busways. What’s your rationale that you had to push for Light Rail without considering other options?

        1. Primarily because articulated buses on concrete slab busways would have been about the same cost and impact as light rail, but would have required wider and longer stations that don’t fit into streets, and a much bigger terminal station downtown. This is because the jumbo buses are still only one-third the capacity of light rail trains, so you have to run three times as many of them.

          To provide the required capacity within the existing streets and city was cheaper with light rail than advanced buses.

          This was before the current $29 billion metro tunnel plan, which is a whole different level of what-the-actual-fuck-are-these-clowns-doing.

          We have one busway, and a bunch of streets with a line painted on the tarmac. FYI concrete creates more emissions than steel for transit, I’d be worried about the concrete if I were you.

      3. You have to reinforce the road/busway anyway for trackless trams due to the extra weight/usage for it to be any good.
        If you are going to do “this” then light rail is far superior.

        1. Yes, I knew about the reinforcing but so does light rail plus using tracks manufactured from steel that’s a lot of carbon emission. No?

        2. That never stopped us building train tracks or repairing the ones we’ve got, nor has it ever come up in a serious conversation. Without being too blunt, it smacks of convenient morality – much like how people only care about ethical mining for battery resources when EVs start effortlessly outperforming petrol cars.

        3. Replying to Wabbit:

          “Yes, I knew about the reinforcing but so does light rail plus using tracks manufactured from steel that’s a lot of carbon emission. No?”

          No is indeed the correct answer, Wabbit. Steel is one of the world’s most recycled products. Steel is generally traceable back to the original heat number (ie. the batch number) and the plant where it was produced and thus it can be determined whether it came from virgin steel or scrap (recycled steel).

          High strength concrete for rubber-tyred vehicles with high axle loads can be reinforced with re-bar (which can be recycled with some effort) or stainless steel fibres (which are not able to be economically recycled).

          Concrete and bitumen have high embodied carbon. When it comes to lowest embodied carbon rail wins hands down in both construction and operation.

      4. Are you saying the current infra in Auckland fits the building of light rail. I can’t see that at Dominion Rd. Are you saying that it doesn’t need reinforcement building light rail? Why didn’t you take into account of the cost and carbon emission of the tracks for light rail? Again, I can tell you that NZTA spent a lot of money on nothing and that’s not spending but wasting. You can submit a request under OIA on how much they spent on Open Loop without delivering anything. Facts.

      1. Thanks. I knew some of those challenges, e.g. the weight of each carriage that required road reinforcement, and the narrow road condition of some areas, e.g. Dominion Road. As for the wider land required, the vast difference in the costs can be used for compensation. On top of that, I said, ‘interim solution’. It’s the economic situation for the next 5 years, at least, making light rail not viable. I am highly suspicious that it’s another exercise pushed to benefit those with vested interests.

  6. Additional projects that should be on the list:
    1) Reallocating space on busy arterials to support dedicated walking, cycling and PT infrastructure, i.e., reducing car capacity to increase people capacity.

    2) Road pricing

    3) Widespread parking management to increase parking prices to match demand – why do PT fares keep going up but parking pricing does not?

    4) Conversion of inner suburban park and rides to transit oriented development and pricing of all others that fill up before the morning peak.

    5) Low traffic neighbourhoods

    6) Adding pedestrian shortcuts through long blocks to complete the grid.

    7) More Ped crossings on arterials

    8) Filling in missing ped crossings at signalised intersections. All urban signalised intersections should have signal protected ped crossings across every approach.

    1. Great list! I forgot LTNs in my feedback.

      I’d add: get Government to redirect at least part of the EV subsidy to e-bikes and e-scooters. Eliminates range anxiety and hefty charging infra; targets the shortest, most polluting journeys in urban settings where it matters; enables independent mobility for non-drivers; acts as a force multiplier for PT; reduces road wear and congestion; radically reduces parking requirements.

      Any more?

    2. Good list. Also
      – a plan for steady reduction of public parking supply
      – attention to the operational programmes that impact safety significantly, such as parking enforcement, traffic light phasing, incident response, temporary traffic management.

  7. This survey is poisoned, with questions that do not offer choices and will be read the way they want it to. The only guiding principle I supported was Reducing Carbon emissions, the rest I was against as they could mean things I agree with or most likely not. All of the Objectives could be translated into building and widening more roads. There are a few other questions to be weary about as well

    1. “To be weary of” – indeed.

      AT gets accused of reconsulting on cycleways about 15 times before they build them (true, especially considering the slow speed between announcement) but we also seem to reconsult on the very basics of our transport approach all year in and out.

      Weary. Tired of it. Just do what you said the last 15 times in your plans, but never actually deliver on.

      1. Ha, I thought when I typed it that it was wrong, but I just could not decide how else it might be spelled. A down day for me. Wary not weary although I congratulate you on finding alternative meanings that are also appropriate.

  8. Looks very much like: “Do you support what I say, so that I can rewrite the Auckland Plan without going through any evaluation and consultation process as set out by LGA?” There are no consequences to any of the choices – no outcomes, no costs.

    Best option seems to Oppose and write your preferred re-wording.

    If you Support everything, then it gives complete freedom to vary the capital funding to do some things and not others, so that “Support” turns into “Supported, but nothing will get done.”

  9. There is an option to provide free form comments at the end of the consultation. You just need to select each project to comment on.

  10. “A range of inexpensive and quick changes to optimise roads across Auckland to ensure the space we have available on our roads is used more efficiently”

    Glad Wayne is giving such even handed treatment to his dynamic lanes & smart intersections pet project.

  11. Pretty creepy that this is boldly stated as being consultation on transport stuff by the Mayor and the Government but not Auckland Transport – you know that oarganisation with the legislative responsibility to control, operate and manage the Auckland transport system.

    1. It is pretty creepy. The enormous problems we face aren’t resolved through yet more consultation filled with ambiguous questions on topics where there’s already established democratic mandate or important expert-led policy.

      1. The consultation process seems to be rigged, Heidi.
        The following document relating to the RMA is very informative and worth a careful read:'s%20obligation%20to,derived%20from%20express%20statutory%20provisions

        I am working with a group to make an appeal to the Environment Court to overturn a consent to pollute on the basis that the applicant’s consultation process had a pre-ordained outcome and that interested parties were being “guided” to give the “right” outcome.

        1. When talking about sustainable, it seems to cherry picking the end-to-end life cycle of the whole process starting from mining. The mining and usage of steel can have environmental implications. This is an important factor to consider when comparing the environmental impact of light rail and electric bi-articulated buses.

          As for Embodied Energy, the production of steel and other materials used in light rail tracks requires energy and resources. This contributes to the overall carbon footprint and environmental impact associated with the construction of light rail infrastructure.

          Again, I repeat, in my original comment I stated, ‘interim solution’.
          I always supported the rail system, and I always said given how Auckland was built and developed, underground train could be better depending on how complicated it is. So, in the past decade, I also supported light rail until recently given the economic situation and how the minorities with vested interests pushing for it.

    2. if our transport outcomes are driven from these questions, we’re not in good shape. Huge ambiguity. Its written as if Auckland Transport is no longer a thing.

  12. How about adding congestion charging

    Targeted to apply the full economic, environmental, and social costs of road use onto road users. If this could also be targeted to charge dirty trucks more for polluting and killing us then this would be a bonus.

    1. How about congestion charges in the areas that already have access to rapid transit or decent transport options that they just won’t use first? They can pay for those to be rolled out in areas that don’t already have that luxury.

  13. I received a link to this one on Monday via email. There’s an option to provide more details with text. I expressed my frustration with a number of cycleway kilometres built within past few years in one of those extra text inputs.

  14. Why would anyone support “increased traffic”? This sounds like and functionally is more congestion.

    1. Such a weird questionnaire written in the most loaded way to try support whatever agenda the mayor is keen on

  15. Light rail is mass slow transit vs mass rapid transit of heavy rail or light metro. The Labour government’s obsession with tunneled light rail, without impartiality to other modes of rail / metro, signifies collusion between Michael Wood and Tommy Parker’s for profit Auckland Light Rail. The very name of that business exemplifies prejudice, bias and conceit. We must support Mayor Brown to preserve transparency in our democratic struggle against light rail propaganda. We must liberate the tamariki and whanau of Tamaki Makaurau from being brainwashed or succumbing into pork barrel politics being Auckland Light Rail.

  16. Two key points:

    Point 1. Climate Change Emergency

    In June 2019 :
    “By unanimously voting to declare a climate emergency we are signalling the council’s intention to put climate change at the front and centre of our decision making,” says Mayor Phil Goff

    Point 2: Consultation
    Extract from's%20obligation%20to,derived%20from%20express%20statutory%20provisions

    Nature of the Obligation to Consult
    Legislation requiring or implying consultation does not help to determine the nature of the obligation to consult. However, the courts have considered the nature of that obligation.

    The concept of consultation was discussed by the Court of Appeal in the Wellington International Airport Limited case (26). At issue in that case was the airport company’s obligation to fix charges after “consultation with airlines that use the airport”.

    The Court identified certain principles or elements of consultation. These can be summarised as follows:

    Consultation is not to be equated with “negotiation”. The word “negotiation” implies a process that has as its objective arriving at agreement. However, “consultation” may occur without those consulted agreeing with the outcome.
    Consultation includes listening to what others have to say and considering the responses.
    The consultative process must be genuine and not a sham.
    Sufficient time for consultation must be allowed.
    The party obliged to consult must provide enough information to enable the person consulted to be adequately informed so as to be able to make intelligent and useful responses.
    The party obliged to consult must keep an open mind and be ready to change and even start afresh, although it is entitled to have a work plan already in its mind.
    Consultation is the statement of a proposal not yet fully decided upon.
    The Court’s discussion of the meaning of “consultation” is useful in considering the nature of the obligation to consult, and provides a general guide to when a decision can properly be seen as having been made after “consultation”.

    My conclusion:
    1. All transport initiatives should (by the Council’s own words) be viewed through a climate change mitigation lens.
    2. Auckland Council consultation seems to be a sham in order to get predetermined outcomes. Case law suggests that this is wrong and can be legally challenged.

    I am currently working with a group to make such a legal challenge. Happy to hear from others with similar inclinations.

  17. This is a simple and sweet match 3 puzzle game that is easy to learn and play. Complete levels by swapping colored candies on the game board to match three or more candies of the same color. Use boosters wisely to pass those extra puzzles! Blast chocolates and collect sweets through thousands of levels, guaranteed to have more cravings!

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