Tomorrow we celebrate Matariki so we’re doing the roundup a day early this week.

The Week in Greater Auckland

Lighting up Queen St

Given we’ve got a short week due so we can celebrate Matariki, lets start with that.

Tūrama, the popular series of large-scale lighting pieces first lit up Queen Street for Matariki ki te Manawa in June last year, is returning to a renewed Queen Street on 11 July and will stay in place until 20 August.

So, make this Matariki Festival (11 to 22 July) the time you visit Queen Street, renewed with widened footpaths, planters that tell a story and our new Waihorotiu path.

Experience Tūrama – it will help you rediscover the Waihorotiu valley. You’ll be able to imagine how it looked and felt in centuries past. Tūrama will give you a symbolic look back at time and place.

You can read more about the installation here.

Te Huia heading for extinction?

On Tuesday Kiwirail announced that Te Huia, the train between Hamilton and Auckland will terminated at Papakura from now on due to Waka Kotahi banning it from operating within the Auckland metro network following a series of cases where it ran red lights.

From this afternoon, the Hamilton-Auckland train service Te Huia will no longer be travelling to The Strand in Parnell, and will instead be stopping at Papakura.

This follows a requirement from the rail regulator Waka Kotahi.

“KiwiRail takes all safety incidents seriously, and we are treating this situation with the highest priority,” says KiwiRail’s Executive General Manager Operations Paul Ashton.

“We realise the disruption this may cause for our passengers and we apologise to them and to Waikato Regional Council.

“For the rest of this week, there will be bus replacements between The Strand, Puhinui and Papakura, and customers will not be charged for this bus replacement service.

“Next week, we will be running the service to Papakura. Customers will then need to connect into an Auckland Transport service using a HOP Card to continue, as they did when Te Huia first launched in April 2021.”

Waka Kotahi today (Tuesday) said it is requiring KiwiRail to install European Train Control System (ETCS) technology on Te Huia if it is to operate within the Auckland metropolitan network.

ETCS is a predictive safety system used by Auckland metropolitan trains to slow trains approaching a red signal. Currently, it operates only on Auckland Transport trains, and only in the Auckland Metro area.

Waka Kotahi has imposed the restriction following an incident in the Auckland Metro Network three weeks ago that saw Te Huia pass a stop signal near Penrose. There was also a minor incident yesterday where Te Huia, which was not carrying passengers at the time, overran a signal just north of Hamilton. There were no other train movements in this area, and it was outside the Auckland metro region.


“Waka Kotahi has said today it wants ETCS installed in Te Huia, for operations in the Auckland metro network, which we plan to do in due course. However, it will take more than 12 months to design, install and test ETCS on Te Huia’s locomotives.”

This is incredibly disappointing as usage of the service has been growing and prior to the school holidays was averaging almost 300 passengers per weekday. A year ago it was just over 200.

A couple of other things stood out to me about this.

  • Kiwirail identified at least as far back as 2015 that they urgently needed to put ETCS equipment on their freight trains. Why have they done nothing about it till now.
  • Freight trains and the Northern Explorer also don’t have the ETCS equipment and could just as easily create the same kind of issue. Why is it that Waka Kotahi have only targeted Te Huia
  • Imagine if we treated roads or trucking companies the same way.

Connecting the Puhinui Stream

This is neat.

The Waiohua Iwi and community’s vision of a seamless and thriving green open public space alongside Te Puhinui Stream from the Auckland Botanic Gardens to Hayman Park in the heart of Manukau is one step closer to reality today.  It follows the acquisition of a large parcel of land from Te Whatu Ora by Eke Panuku Development Auckland.

Auckland Council’s urban regeneration agency has purchased a 7.6-hectare section of the national health provider’s Manukau Super Clinic site as part of its Transform Manukau urban regeneration programme.  With a clear focus on encouraging public and private development in this key southern hub, the work Eke Panuku is doing to improve public spaces for current and future communities is a crucial part of this strategy.

The site is the last remaining section of the Puhinui Stream corridor which currently isn’t publicly accessible. Its purchase will enable future wetland development as part of a project, named Te Aka Raataa, to progress and complete a three-kilometre connection along the path of the Puhinui Stream.  Te Aka Raataa is part of Te Whakaoranga o te Puhinui, a wider collaborative regeneration programme which is restoring the health of this natural environment.

A bit of HOP

A couple of interesting HOP stories this week.

With the government giving under-12s free PT, there’s a lot of money locked up on HOP cards. AT can now refund that.

Thousands of children will now be able to get their share of $700,000 of trapped credit on their Auckland Transport HOP cards after the introduction of free fares for under 12s.

From July 1, Auckland Transport introduced free public transport for children on buses, ferries and trains when using their AT HOP cards.

The changes also include a 50% discount for young people people aged between 13-24.

On July 7, a week after the introduction of free public transport, an AT spokesperson confirmed to Stuff that they didn’t have a method for refunding the money.

At the time, Auckland Council’s public transport arm said it was focussed on implementing the free fares.

After further questioning on July 10, AT said they had now figured out how to refund people. It canbe done either be calling their contact centre, visiting a customer service centre or by filling out an online form.

AT says around 58,000 AT HOP cards, registered to children under 13, still had money left on them as of the end of June. The majority of balances range from $5-20.

And the Spinoff ran a story about the HOP keyring tags.

The lucky Auckland Transport users who’ve gotten their hands on limited edition keyring Hop tags love tagging on and off with something other than a card. So why isn’t there more innovation like this?

Niko Elsen keeps something very useful on his keychain: his Auckland Transport Hop card, in key tag form. “Before the key tags arrived I had so many Hop cards,” says the dad from the Auckland suburb of Waterview. “They all had varying degrees of top-up, scattered across different coat pockets.” His life changed for the better when he got a glossy key tag, permanently attached to the rest of his things, set to an automatic top-up, so he never had to be anxious about being caught without one.

“While juggling a baby, when wheeling an electric bike through the gates at Britomart, the ability to dangle that little tag onto the beeper is a crucial urbanist tool to help bikes, trains and busy parents seamlessly interconnect.”


The rumours are true, confirms Auckland Transport spokesperson Blake Crayton-Brown. Over 200,000 key tags with Hop chips in them have been produced since they were launched as a promotion in 2018, in seven different designs. The cards were available online from Auckland Transport and at selected retailers; on Auckland’s subreddit, there are reports of stock remaining at several random shops from earlier this year. The only design left is 4,000 of the gold Hop card, for people with Super Gold cards and discounted travel.

There aren’t any plans to produce more for the moment. “The manufacturing process for the AT Hop key tags is manual and quite intensive. We have experienced some supply chain and manufacturing issues with this product in recent years which has contributed to our decision to not produce any more for the time being,” Crayton-Brown explains.

Always the way

The ODT reports on how retailers who opposed a streetscape upgrade now love it.

The George St makeover has won praise from one of its harshest critics ahead of the official unveiling of the first stage today.
The Farmers block of the development is due to be completed this afternoon and a small ceremony will be held from 4pm to celebrate the milestone.

After previously slamming the development, Dunedin City councillor and George St retailer Brent Weatherall yesterday said he was pleased with how it looked.

“It’s a vast improvement on what was there before. It looks good, doesn’t it?,” he said

There’s plenty of other praise in the article too. This seems to happen every time. It would be nice if we could start skipping over angry opposition part and just get on with it.

A shifted pedestrian crossing

An interesting consultation from Auckland Transport. They’re looking to shift the midblock crossing on Fanshawe St.

The connection between Graham Street and Fanshawe Street has improved since the completion of the stairway beside the Fidelity Life building at 136 Fanshawe Street. This has increased the number of people travelling between Victoria Street and the Waterfront Precincts which have experienced significant business and residential growth in recent years.

Many people are taking advantage of the new stairway but are crossing Fanshawe Street where there are no safety controls. In response, Auckland Transport is proposing to move the mid-block crossing to where people are now choosing to cross the road, at the bottom of the stairway at 136 Fanshawe Street.

Moving the crossing to where people are, what a novel idea, well done AT. Consultation closes 30 July.

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  1. Te Aka Raataa, a hopeful step in the right direction.

    Perhaps time for a rethink of the overbridge at Tuaiwi Street (formerly Barrowcliffe Place) as an exclusively active modes motorway crossing.

    Motor traffic has four other crossings within a mile, but this one could carry pedestrians, scooterists and cyclists right into the traffic-calmed centre of Manukau from the full catchment of the Puhinui greenway. Access to the playground, skate park and pump track at Hayman Park, Westfield for a meal and a movie, working north of Ronwood Ave…

    Limited vehicle access on the north side to service the court, police station and Rainbow’s End, perhaps a gate or retractable bollards.

    I think it would represent better value than bike lanes on Lambie Drive (shudders).

    1. Haven’t they recently added in a two-way separated cycleway along that road, including over the motorway?

      1. Another way of looking at that is that the exclusively active mode bridge that was already there before the development on the south side has been downgraded for an unnecessary motor vehicle access.

    2. Tuaiwi Street already has a separate cycleway – it just needs to be better connected through the Wiri Stream Reserve through to where the Superclinic is.

  2. The point of making it impassable to motor traffic is to make it more attractive to walk and ride either side of the bridge.

    Mode change needs more tasty carrots and less fast moving sticks.

    Through motor traffic goes around on one of those *four* other crossings and active modes get something nice all to themselves for a change, i.e. the most direct route into the desirable destinations at the heart of Manukau.

    Residential access for motorists is from Wiri Station Road.

    A rat run is closed.

  3. The Te Huia issue is so ridiculous. Yesterday, I was passed by a car going in the wrong lane on Onewa Road on-ramp. By the same logic, we should close this on-ramp until somebody has figured out how to prevent cars from using the wrong lane there.

    If they made additional training mandatory for the respective drivers and a few trains needed to be cancelled because of driver shortage, I could completely understand that. But this shitshow?

    1. Reminds me of the time Christchurch put a moratorium on all cycleway construction (back in the late 2000s, because of safety issues! Or the time a shopkeeper during the K Road Upgrade consultations told the liasion group that no bikeways should be built until people on bikes obeyed the law. I (barely) kept civil while telling him and the group that under that logic, no more roads should be built either, until drivers stopped speeding, running red lights, and killing others.

      In short, we have double standards. I am not implying the specific people making the Te Huia decision have double standards. Our society seems to have – we rank the safety of some modes as more important. Respectively some agencies treat things differently than others.

      1. And while I am at it – shame on Worksafe for acting like courier driver’s work conditions (and the safety issues they create for the rest of the world, too) are none of their business, because – “Local Road Authority’s problem”! Do your job.

        And: Politicians: Allow them to do their job!

      2. Am fumming at the two Te Huia decisions made this week.

        Flying home from the UK today and was planning to not use a single car iny journey from my place in Buckinghamshire to Hamilton but good old backwards NZ has closed rail down on a weekend where it would be quite popular (Matariki).


        with the Women’s Football World Cup about to kick off (the biggest sporting event NZ will likely ever host even if some kiwis refuse to accept it), canning half of the service when it should be ramping up for all of the tourists travelling between Hamilton and Auckland is ridiculous.

        Why hasn’t Kiwirail fitted ETC in all of its locomotives operating within the greater Auckland and Wellington regions if it knows it’s an issue? It’s hardly a new issue and ETC is hardly new technology. Smells like a classic case of kiwis doing things on the cheap again.

    2. The Te Huia issue is a classic case of hazard management (pre 2015 WHS legislation) vs taking a risk based approach (post 2015 WHS legislation). Ban Te Huia for a human error by a train driver, but leave the freight trains running, which pose exactly the same risk (or given that freight trains usually weigh considerably more that passenger coaches) a greater hazard as they use the same lack of technology i.e. a 100% reliant on the driver not making an error… go figure the logic!

      1. That’s what I don’t understand. How can they ban te huia but not freight trains which use the same system.

        I didn’t really believe it until now but it does seem like nzta is green genuinely looking for any excuse to get te huia to fail

        1. And then you a new Mayor was elected to Hamilton and a name came out of the Blue and she called the Te Huia after a public poll that to my memory is correct was te Tron Express .

        2. david, i fail to see how whinging about Te Reo Maori names for trains has anything to do with the issue at hand

        3. jafabone ,Named after an Extinct Bird and the way WK/NZTA are going it also could go the same way . And I wasn’t moaning about the Te Reo name

  4. Re: AT Hop Refunds. Why not add functionality to myAT to transfer funds between registered and linked cards? Unless it is there and I can’t find it. My son’s card is linked to my account and I could easily do a transfer online just like with online banking.

    Re: AT Keyrings and special edition cards. What a great opportunity to earn revenue for someone to make collectibles, have a themed limited edition card every year celebrating a major event, why not have a special edition Women’s World Cup Hopcard, CRL opening. Include a donation to a charity as part of it.

    AT could licence it out to another business if it isn’t core to them.

    1. Well, do you want to know? I know what the situation was in March 2018, anyway. I was advised over the phone that the reason they won’t transfer between two cards registered to different people is the anti-laundering laws. The helpful person at the call desk then wrote:

      “As per your call earlier, the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act of 2009 can be found here.

      “I have created a case to our AT HOP Policy Team to advise of which parts of the act pertain to the policies for the AT HOP cards, and they will contact you directly regarding this within ten working days. The case number for this is CAS-705863-V5H9C2.

      “I have also attached the Card Surrender Form. The completed form with the HOP card can either be handed in to any of our Customer Service Centres, or freeposted in to us. This address and full Card Surrender process can be found on our website.”

      When that team replied they said:

      “Thank you for contacting Auckland Transport on 9 March 2018, requesting the Anti Money Laundering laws that influence HOP policies regarding movement/deregistration of AT HOP cards.

      “The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT) applies, in its entirety, to detect and deter money laundering within New Zealand.

      “Auckland Transport is not required to create information to provide a response to an information request, nor is it required to provide legal advice to the public. Your request for the specific clauses that relate to the AT HOP card is therefore declined in accordance with section 17(g)
      of the LGOIMA.

      “However, for your reference the restriction on transferring ownership of a registered AT HOP card is part of the AT HOP Terms of Use which are available in full on our website.”

      Wasn’t that a useful reply? :/

      The website says: “19.2. A balance transfer can only be completed between two cards registered to the same account. Balance transfers cannot be completed between two separate accounts, from a primary to a linked account or between active cards.”

      1. If AT initiates the transfer of money between children’s cards and any card nominated by the manager of that card, there is no money laundering risk.

        Will AT’s attitude to “legal risk” prevent staff from seeing this solution?

      2. Anyway, why not put in per card transaction limits in both $ and number per month and only registered cards to the same account. You can only transfer $10 per month per card. Then spot patterns using reporting. Also, set limits on number of active cards per account.

      3. I’ll start by saying I’m not a lawyer.
        However looking at the Anti Money Laundering legislation I think the issue is that they have designed the HOP rules to avoid having to do monitoring and statutory reporting under the act.
        While they limit the use of HOP cards to only storing value, paying for services, and a quite restrictive process for returning the fund balance to the registered account holder they dont get captured by the legislation.
        But if they allowed money/value to be added to an account and then transfered to another account they would meet the definition of a financial institution and start having to run processes to monitor those transactions between accounts and look for suspect transactions. Certainly not impossible to do, but ultimately something where a service provider would need to weigh the customer benefit of facilitating that type of transfer vs the regulatory/administrative burden of monitoring it.

  5. Re: moving the Fanshawe St crossing. This is great news and makes perfect sense however I fear a bunch of responses saying the crossing will be too close to the intersection with Halsey St which has a pedestrian crossing already. This is the car mindset unconscious bias that pervades our city. I really hope walking/cycling prevails here, I feel like they should just go ahead and get it done.

  6. Moving the crossing point is the least they could do to improve Fanshawe Street for pedestrians. The road is over-engineered with too many lanes 90% of the time. Even with traffic going faster than it should it’s still easier to walk across 6-8 lanes than wait for the crossing lights. You’d think that AT could be bolder given they look at this section of road from their offices too.

  7. Rail transport in New Zealand and much of the developed world is held to a very high standard of safety in its provision and operation. The same is true of air and maritime transport. Road transport is not held to anything like this high standard of safety.
    So we have the absurd situation where the safest mode (rail) can be prevented from operating because it is not yet perfect, resulting in the patronage that chooses to use it being forced to transfer to the most dangerous mode (road), or else be deterred from travelling at all. Can legislators and regulators and prohibitors not see that this is counter-productive?

    Below is a level crossing in Upper Hutt, with barrriers and flashing lights, combined with a pedestrian crossing of the road which has regular traffic lights. The system is wisely set up such that all lights will be at red when the barriers are down. However when the barriers rise, it is quite possible that the pedestrian lights may remain at red if someone has requested to cross. Yet it is commonplace for vehicles to treat the rising barriers as the signal to proceed and to completely ignore the regular traffic-lights still at red, driving straight through them. One does not need to watch for long before observing this.
    Where are the legislators, the regulators and the prohibitors in situations such as this? Do they not recognise the massive double-standards they are helping to sustain?,175.0573213,3a,75y,144.57h,91.42t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sZ7HVMSQZepQxLFbqHoeoag!2e0!7i16384!8i8192!5m1!1e1?entry=ttu

    1. This is always going to be a problem where a pedestrian crossing is next to a rail crossing (unless we install barriers at all ped crossings – not entirely a bad idea). The only cure may be red light camera at the ped crossing.

  8. Why can’t Fanshawe have straight pedestrian crossings without the need to nestle
    on these islands in the middle? Surely cars can wait for 2 more seconds for pedestrians to finish crossing.

    1. I agree.

      All of these Z shaped crossings here in the UK cause J-walking as the traffic lights for both traffic directions do not go red at the same time.

    2. They should make it the same as the one outside MIT on Manukau Station Road. This has two buttons that are separate for each side of the road but one side automatically triggers after the opposite sides button is pressed and the pedestrian has crossed to the middle island.

  9. I remember when their used to be lots of exciting news on this site. Now the best (positive) thing to talk about is a new pedestrian crossing. Its not a reflection of GA, just that nothing positive seems to be happening at Auckland Transport or government.

    1. I too remember when Ardern was an obvious reader of GA and used projects outlined here as her election promises. Slow train to Hamilton, Tauranga, and other provincial centers – proposed on GA, adopted by Ardern. Slow train to the airport – ditto. Cycle and pedestrian bridge across the Harbour – GA project championed by Michael Wood (when he wasn’t managing his share portfolio).
      About the only GA projects that Ardern was successful with were the cancellation of Mill Road and Onehunga to Southern Motorway. Its no surprises that they were cancellations rather than builds.
      GA’s current hobby horse is to steal lanes from the harbour bridge paid for by motorists and gift it to the lycra set. Hopefully Luxons government won’t have a bar of that.

      1. Black fan, you’re wrong. Cyclists and pedestrians (most of whom do not wear lycra) do not want to “steal lanes from the harbour bridge”. They only want to claim one lane (note: lane singular, not lanes plural). And as regards who paid for these lanes, it needs to be remembered that many cyclists and pedestrians also use cars from time to time and also pay RUC and fuel taxes just like those who prefer to categorise themselves as ‘motorists’, so they have just as much right to have say on how these lanes are used. Given that cycling and walking are modes that are on the increase, and over-use of cars is increasingly being questioned, it will become increasingly difficult to defend the view that access to the North Shore is the prerogative of motor vehicle users only.

      2. Having been a motorist and a tax payer, but no longer owning a car, does that mean my views are invalidated, because I no longer belong to the group that derive the most value from the investment in to the road infrastructure? How can it be stealing if I paid for it ?

        I think we should balance the transport system more fairly by under investing in new roads for 5-10 years to grow other modes. I don’t see this as stealing resources from one group but a change in the way we distribute investment.

        I’m perfectly happy for others to have different views, but ask they they consider the language they use and think about the assumptions that the language points to.

      3. Don’t think it was that simple, reading just this blog to come with policy.
        “Slow train to the airport” we have our fast *cough cough* trains to a pretty fast bus to the airport that works fine.

      4. GA literally wrote transport policy for Labour and the Greens (and offered the same to National and ACT, apparently they didn’t return the call). That’s no secret, there are plenty of posts on the topic.

        But Greater Auckland didn’t invent any of those things, they just articulated the current plans in a useful way. Intercity rail was being investigated by Waikato when GA launched Regional Rapid Rail. GA’s congestion free network just illustrated an integrated network for the various light rail and busway Auckland Transport were studiously hiding from the public, and the cycle lane across the harbour comes from Skypath.

        The real failing seems to be that labour didn’t stick to the advice once in power, but immediately ignored those who’d helped them while running off to lala land to flip all the projects on their head.

        They started off ok funding the Te Huia train, but faltered by spending all the money building a bus station and parking lot while cutting operations with bare bones services of twice a day to Papakura on weekdays, the opposite of what Greater Auckland had proposed.

        They took a $4b light rail line and turned it into a $30b metro taking 12 years to build to do the same thing. For reasons unknown to mortal man they handed the project to a motorway procurement specialist who has no idea about public transport and a tunnel builder who doesn’t know how economics work. In one fell swoop Labour decided to make it impossible to ever fund, impossible to start within their term, and have probably killed off the very concept of new rail lines for a generation .

        They took the skypath idea and dropped a billion dollar bike bridge on the public and advocates alike, without any warning or engagement. Everyone said it shouldn’t be so hard, but if you can’t fit it on the existing then at least spend two billion to let it carry rapid transit too. Then when they thing blew up in their faces they blamed skypath and GA and Bike Auckland for not supporting them.

        I know politicians are a strange bunch, but to come out of two terms with solid mandates having done nothing to implement transport policy except burn them all to the ground set things back a decade from when you started…

        1. Sounds more like the bureaucrat’s got in and blinded the politicians but the main lesson is not to bloat up these projects. Generally once AT get on to something they over build stations like we have to live in them at 5 star quality rather then running a service frequent enough we don’t even have time to soak in the surroundings.

  10. If a motorist is caught driving through a red light, he is fined or banned from driving for a time, but all other motorists are not banned from driving through that intersection. Why cannot Te Huia get a driver who does obey the red lights. Why upset 300 people per day due to one driver’s mistake. AT should sort this out so that it does not happen again. Serving the public has to be top priority.

    1. Alan Spinks, you are wrong to insinuate that the Te Huia driver who passed the red signal was somehow a known bad driver who shouldn’t have been there, or that there are known ‘good’ drivers who never make mistakes. All humans can and do make mistakes, even those who get it right 99.99% of the time. The problem here was that automatic train protection has not yet been fitted to the diesel trains which pass through Auckland. On the roads I am sure you are right that there are many bad drivers who shouldn’t be behind the wheel but this is far from true on the railways. The deeper question is, should Te Huia have been banned over this incident, when road-vehicles violate red lights all the time with little done to stop them?

      1. The point is, if a bus driver makes a mistake, they do not ban all buses from Auckland. A train driver has made a mistake, so they have banned all Te Huia trians to the massive inconvenience of 300 passengers per day. This is a railway problem. AT and Kiwirail should be able to sort it out.

        1. Agree, but it was not KiwiRail that banned Te Huia. WK/NZTA did this, because as Rail-Regulator, they have been given the power to do so. KiwiRail’s plan is to fit ETCS to locomotives but for whatever reason this has not happened yet, and up to now there has been tacit acceptance of the (small) risk of serious incident by all parties. WK appears to have summarily revoked that acceptance on the basis of one incident which could potentially have caused a collision, plus another less-serious one elsewhere. You are right to contrast WK’s severe response in banning Te Huia from Auckland, with the likely soft-response (if any response at all) that would occur if a bus ran a red light and could have potentially collided with another.

        2. “…KiwiRail’s plan is to fit ETCS to locomotives but for whatever reason this has not happened yet”
          Probably not enough money in their measly pot.

        3. David B and Grant – Te Huia had ETP (Electronic Train Protection) system fitted on the 3 dedicated DFB locomotives that are used for Te Huia services as agreed by all parties (Kiwirail, WK/NZTA, AT and Waikato Regional Council) to allow Te Huia to operate between Papakura and The Strand but for whatever reason the ETP systems weren’t activated at the time of the Penrose SPAD incident. The driver released he had passed a red signal immediately applied the brakes with the wheels of the locomotive’s front bogie stopping on the points causing minor damage to the points. The second ‘SPAD’ incident was more of an operational issue, occurred in the boundaries of the Te Rapa rail yards where the driver didn’t see the ‘Stop’ boards that had been obscured by vegetation at a track welding site within the yards not on main line tracks. The train involved in this incident didn’t have any passengers as its was traveling to Hamilton railway station for the 6.05am Te Huia service to Auckland.

          With regards to WK/NZTA comments about about ETCS (European Train Control System), WK/NZTA knows that Kiwirail has to install ETCS Level 2 systems to the 3 locomotives by 2026, when ETCS level 2 will be used once the CRL becomes operational but is not required under the current ETCS level 1 operations.

          WK/NZTA banning of Te Huia on the Auckland metro rail corridor is a knee jerk reaction but it does raise questions to why they did it, as they are both the rail regulator and public transport funding agency and the next round of funding for Te Huia will be discussed in 2024.

        4. Thanks for that Kris. Wonder if the ETP (Electronic Train Protection) has to be switched on manually when entering near Auckland?

      2. The daftess part about this is that freight trains have been left alone when I am sure they generate significantly more overshoots then the Te Huia rolling stock. They Re also much heavier so would cause more damage/death then The Huia’s loco and carriages.

    2. Run red light….’banned from driving for a time’, there’d be cries of injustice from motorists everywhere if the law was that responsive.

  11. Waka Kotahi Manifesto: We hate trains, we put up with bikes, and we really dislike people that walk.

    Our health is affected by the emissions of automobiles, diesel buses, and technically Te Huia. But at least Te Huia carries hundreds of people per day.

    It is a terrible message to be sending at a time when trains are recognised as excellent climate change action, and Kiwirail is doing very good work in rebuilding the Auckland Metro Network.

    Yes, that Te Huia train could have caused a serious accident at Penrose. But there are many vehicles still driving down Queen Street that could easily cause a serious accident, at any time of day or night.

    Trains operate within a zone where the public is prohibited to enter; that does not eliminate the risk of entry, but it is more than enough mitigation for Health and Safety concerns. These public agencies have become too public image concentrated and seem to have forgotten that they do have very real work to achieve:

    Reducing our Fossil Fueled Fleet!!!

    Queen St looks wonderful with the Matariki lights, but there are still private cars in Te Wai Horotiu, which seems strange on a River!

    Waka Kotahi anyone?!?

    1. And the second incident involving Te Huia was extremely minor, unrelated and in no way justifying a total ban from Auckland. Was there anyone assisting the driver moving the train in the yard early in the morning, you know like lookout with a walkie talkie.

  12. Frankly it’s unacceptable that KR hasn’t installed ETCS on its trains running to Auckland. Just as concerning as mentioned in the post is that WK is targeting TH only and not the inherently more dangerous (heavier, dangerous good etc) freight trains too.
    Really the solution to all of this is to get on with replacing TH with new train-car sets (like what Wellington is getting) so you can get rid of a locomotive (well often two!) and reduce the operating costs likely in half if not even more!

    1. Te Huia has ETP (Electronic Train Protection) systems fitted on the 3 dedicated DFB locomotives that are used for Te Huia services as agreed by all parties (Kiwirail, WK/NZTA, AT and Waikato Regional Council) to allow Te Huia to operate between Papakura and The Strand.

      WK/NZTA knows that Kiwirail has to install ETCS Level 2 systems to the 3 Te Huia locomotives by 2026, when ETCS level 2 will be used once the CRL becomes operational but is not required under the current ETCS level 1 operations.

    1. Withdrawn now. Amazing what a bit of action (letting passengers on for free) does. NZ Bus company seems like at arse compared to some of the other ones.

  13. Not a lawyer also but,
    Not a financial institution : but it holds $700,000 value for 12y and under. Seems very financial and also an intitution at the same time.

    Seems they should have embraced the AML laws and used their financial institutal muscle to add value and service to its customers, or i guess guests, if they arent financial.

    On 2nd thoughts – engineering a multimillion dollar service to avoid AML laws – any red flags there ?

  14. PT in Auckland is a joke, Te Huia stopped and now more than a third of buses are not going to run. All I can say is thank god for the motorcar.

    1. Now imagine if we had a crash on SH16 at New Lynn and, in the interests of safety, we banned all cars from going any further east than that into the CBD, until we were sure no more crashes would occur.

      PT in Auckland is hopeless because those in power make it so. We would never treat the car with such disdain.

  15. I am not condemning the driver as a bad driver. Everybody can make mistakes, I am condemning Waka Kotahi or Auckland Transport for cancelling all passenger trains from Hamilton. If the driver missed a signal, it can surely be pointed out to him and the problem fixed. It may not have been his fault in the first place. But now 300 people a day have no train service to Auckland, for how long, 12 months? Get it fixed AT and Kiwirail.

  16. Interesting they are running trains on the Eastern line during the FIFA Women’s World Cup at Eden Park. I’m guessing just one track is available (as it’s only one direction I think – their comms were very confusing on this), and have scheduled it in between ripping up more track for complete renewal.
    I also note (now the day’s nearly over) that the NZ Bus strike action has been withdrawn and services will run as normal. What about rest of week?

  17. In looking at the success of the Hamilton – Auckland train, it should be taken into
    account that many of the passengers do not pay a fare, as they are on National
    Super and have a Gold Card.
    I confess to being one, and have had about twelve return journeys in the last 12
    months. I feel a bit guilty about it, and feel that as a nonpayer, I may be adding to
    the possibility that the service may be stopped, as it may be seen as a money loser.
    If there was a donation box on board I would use it !

    1. I am also one of those but when it 1st started I had to pay full fare and that was until they changed the rules on the Bee Card , as they way the card worked full fare before 9am and the same between 3.30 and 6pm . And which ever way you gt it full fare applied .

  18. And why is the Council can set up this light display for the Maori new year but when it comes to Xmas ziilch ?

        1. What?

          New Years eve celebrations are paid for by AC. Lights on the bridge were provided by Vector.

    1. Hard to understand how one group of intelligent people (Luxon, Brown, National, Act etc) can see things so incredibly differently from another group of intelligent people (Hipkins, Parker, JA Genter, Labour, Greens etc), when it comes to basic things like road-safety vs more speed. I get that there are unthinking boneheads out there who can’t or won’t distinguish between evidence and ideology, and who can’t or won’t accept that some curtailment of personal freedom is necessary for the good of us all. But what I don’t get is how these boneheads have ended up in the leadership of the National Party. Because that what it seems from Luxon and Brown’s policy announcement here.

      1. Yes, selective data that we focus on. eg Luxon’s story of the vet in the Waikato that can now get two more jobs per day done on average due to the Waikato Expressway, yet how many more lives (human) will we loose due to NOT reducing some speeds and putting in some of those speed bumps. Admittedly we could do better at fixing pot holes but we don’t need to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  19. Wow. That land in Manukau was siezed by the Ministry of Health for “health purposes” then they turned around and sold it all off. That’s criminal. The land should have been returned.

    Also the proposed staggered crossing on Fanshawe is backward. It forces pedestrians to turn around to see if there is oncoming traffic. This is unsafe. Especially now that the bus stops are moved further down the road. It discourages people using public transport. Very poor design. Probably thought up by some AT employee who wants a quicker walk to their car park.

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