The election is over and we have a change in government – though we will need to wait for the counting of special votes to see the exact makeup of that government. That makes it a good time to reflect back on the the last six years of a Labour government.

When it comes to transport, while there have certainly been some positive outcomes during Labour’s time in office, by and large, it’s been a massive disappointment.

Despite some great rhetoric and policy from ministers around the need for change, they largely failed to deliver on that. There are likely many reasons for this, but some that stick out to me are:

  • Too much trust in officials to deliver change – Labour put far too much trust in the idea that if they just change the policy, officials will deliver it. As such, they tasked the very people who have spent their careers creating an unbalanced transport system with suddenly changing it – very much a case of putting the fox in charge of the henhouse. While in public statements those officials echoed the official policy lines, stories from behind the scenes would tell of how they actively worked against them, leading to ….
  • Officials rewarded for lack of delivery – So many programmes of work were simply not delivered, or saw costs quickly blow out. Yet, instead of holding officials to account for this and pushing for more structural change in the transport industry, the government chose to effectively reward them with even more mega projects.
    For example, back in 2018 the government announced Waka Kotahi would make 870km of state highways and local roads safer via a $1.4 billion investment in median and side barriers. That was predicted to prevent around 160 deaths and serious injuries a year. That would be a fantastic investment for about the cost of a single motorway. But Waka Kotahi never seriously tried to deliver it – and instead of pushing them to, the government gave them a bunch of new mega motorways to build as part of the NZ Upgrade Programme, taking away any staff time and focus there might have been. The cost of those NZUP projects then blew out, doubling in size just a year later – yet there was still no accountability, and those same officials were then given even bigger pieces of work, such dreaming up fantasy $45 billion harbour crossing options.
    Of the original 870km of safety upgrades meant to be completed by 2021, as of earlier this year only around 85km had been delivered.
  • A lack of strategic messaging – While ministers were good when giving speeches about the need for change and better cities, not enough effort was put into explaining to the nation as a whole the need for change and the options for achieving that. This is something I feel the government failed at not just with transport, but with other policy areas too, most notably the broader discussion around climate change.

Thinking about some specific items that have stood out…

Light Rail

Light rail is a classic example of many of the issues listed above, and has been one of the most frustrating and disappointing aspects of transport policy over the last six years. It was a key part of Labour’s policy platform when they were elected to office in 2017 – and they were handed a scheme by Auckland Transport that had seen significant design work already undertaken.

Under Labour’s first transport minister Phil Twyford, Waka Kotahi were also ready to start delivering it, and my understanding is they had contracts ready to sign to start enabling works – that was, until the government got distracted by the NZ Super Fund proposal – which then led to the bizarre twin-track process that saw Waka Kotahi competing with the NZ Super Fund for who would build it. It turns out the Super Fund would have won the gig, had Winston Peters not blocked it a few months out from the 2020 election.

The new transport minister, Michael Wood, reset the process in 2021 – but notably put in charge the same consultants who were behind Waka Kotahi’s failed bid in the previous process; and this resulted in the tunnelled light rail proposal we have today.

I feel that both Phil Twyford and Michael Wood got distracted by thinking they could be the ones to right the wrongs of the past – for example, the abandonment of schemes like that pushed by Sir Dove-Myer Robinson. Both often repeated the urban legends that have built up around ‘Robbie’s Rail‘ but ignored the hard-learned lessons, that any programme needs to be fundable and builable in a rational, staged way. They were certainly encouraged by some officials and industry players to ‘build big‘ from the start, and not repeat the experience of the Harbour Bridge which soon needed to be expanded again – even though (as the Harbour Bridge example shows), taking a staged approach would likely have resulted in a better overall system.

Had they not been distracted, light rail along Dominion Rd would be in operation now – but sadly, the concept is probably now dead for a generation due to Labour’s mismanagement.

Walking and Cycling over the Harbour

Another key project that the Labour took over was the plan to deliver Skypath, a walking and cycling connection over the Harbour Bridge that had been designed and consented by a group of passionate advocates. Labour handed it to Waka Kotahi to deliver.

Waka Kotahi changed the design (to that shown below), to make the path wider and attach it directly to the piers of the bridge. But this version was going to cost a lot more.

Then, just over a year later they announced the price had nearly doubled as they now needed to build a completely separate structure. While the costs of many other projects blew out too, some by much more, the media and opposition parties focused their attention on this one project and eventually the government folded, scrapping it and sending the project back in to the unknown.

We also learned that it would have only cost around $1 billion to make that separate bridge a combined public transport and active mode bridge, meaning we could have solved the harbour crossing issue. Instead, the government have since poured millions into investigating tunnels, now estimated to cost up to $45 billion – which will see only road tunnels built, and still no guarantee that walking and cycling will be an option for decades more to come.

Just as with light rail, we could have had something – perhaps not perfect, but better than nothing. Instead, the project was handed over to the very same officials who had fought to prevent it for decades… and a focus on grandiose plans has meant that nothing has been delivered and now likely won’t be for another generation.

Labour even had the gall to blame advocates – who have been advancing the case for decades –  for not supporting their surprise proposals strongly enough.

The Cycling Slowdown

It wasn’t just across the harbour that we’ve seen issues with the delivery of cycling infrastructure. In Auckland at least, there was a noticeable slow down in cycling projects throughout Labour’s time in office  – indeed, we are only just about to start some of the projects originally intended to be funded by John Key’s Urban Cycleways Fund that was announced in 2014.

While some of  that lack of delivery is certainly the result of local decision-making, ministers didn’t do enough to push local authorities to deliver improvements.

It also hasn’t helped that a single project in Wellington, which is really a seawall to protect the motorway and rail line that just happens to have a cycleway on top, was allowed to suck up most of the three-year walking and cycling budget.

This is also emblematic of one of the deeper issues with how Labour managed transport. They changed budget settings with the intention of more focus being put on safety, public transport, walking and cycling… but then let Waka Kotahi shift around existing projects to use up that funding.

Road Safety

Improving road safety has been a major part of Labour’s policy platform over the last six years, but there’s been far more noise around it than action. As noted above, the delivery of safety barriers has been abysmal and progress on many walking and cycling projects simply dried up.

There has been progress on safer speeds – and that has been successful – but even this struggled due to the lack of widespread strategic messaging about the need for change.

But the real failure has been that the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads hasn’t changed. For the 12 months to the end of September, 363 people lost their lives on our roads. That number is basically unchanged since Labour came to power in 2017 – and is also about the same as it was when National came to power in 2008.

At over 7 deaths per 100,000 people, that’s a lot higher than over in Australia where the rate is less than 5 per 100,000 people – and significantly higher than some of the Nordic countries that have reduced rates to just over 2 per 100,000 people.

Electric Vehicles

One area where Labour did do well was with the introduction of the Clean Car Discount policy, which has seen a significant uptake in electric and other low emission vehicles.

Data from Waka Kotahi shows there have already been over 100,000 new low-emission vehicles registered this year, compared with just 38,000 in the year before the discount was introduced. In total, low-emission vehicles now make up around 12% of the total light vehicle fleet, up from around 7.5% before it was introduced.

Housing Changes

While not strictly transport, although there is a transport tie in, Labour’s changes to housing policy merit a mention. After their initial plans to build lots of homes fell over, Labour delivered world-class housing policy changes in the form of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) and later the Medium Density Residential Standards (MDRS).

The NPS-UD requires our major cities to significantly upzone in and around rapid transport stations, and also removes the ability to set minimum parking requirements. The MDRS requires the upzoning of the rest of the city to enable townhouse-scale developments.

Once implemented, these will have a significant impact on how our cities are built – and that will have a flow-on effect to our transport networks. The legislation has also been praised internationally and is now starting to be copied in many places around the world. However, despite initially providing support for both changes, it’s now not clear that National will continue to support them.

There’s plenty more out there, good and bad. The sad and frustrating part is that both Phil Twyford and Michael Wood genuinely believed in the need for change in how our transport system works, but they let that get ahead of them, and we the public are worse off as a result.

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        1. They are worse than than that. They need special roads and cost a bomb. They are exactly what we don’t need.

      1. Trackless trams… sounds like a gadget barn idea.
        Sydney learned that the hard way with its mono rail.
        Simon brown obviously doesn’t take transit seriously if that is what he is proposing.

      2. That’s fine, and what was actually planned regardless.

        They’ll just end up buying a few double articulated buses, with some swish wheel covers and running regular buses for most of the services that use that infra. Which is fine, good even, for the Airport to Botany / Eastern busway routes where there is plenty of space for platforms and layovers.

      3. Let’s not get too carried away over rubbishing “trackless trams”. Fundamentally they’re just an articulated electric bus (with maybe two articulations) with a more aerodynamic body. They work just fine in many other places. I don’t see any reason why, as such, they can’t form part of the transport mix for Auckland. In particular, why not as a quick and easy upgrade to the Northern Express? We tend to get hung up over mode when really we should be focusing on improvements that can happen in a short period of time and are fundable. We have a climate emergency now, after all, and projects that will take a decade or more to come to fruition don’t in any way address this urgency.

        In Greater Auckland comments sections, there’s a strong tendency for “good” solutions to become the enemy of “best” solutions. It should be obvious over the last 50 years that shooting for the “best” solution has usually ended in failure at a political hurdle. As the article points out, light rail is probably now a generation away because of this.

        1. They aren’t good for the NX services because they all terminate downtown where we are severely limited on curb / stop / layover space. Double deckers help this a lot but articulated buses don’t.

          Airport to botany has none of these issues and will have great interchanges with heavy rail and other bus services so will be perfect for articulated buses with all door boarding.

        2. So what do trackless bus trams bring to the table compared to a articulated bus or tram?
          I’m aware that these are buses with extra steering axles allowing the bus to follow a tight line through corners.
          Usually drivers of large buses and trucks need to steer out wide to prevent the trailing wheels jumping the curb.
          But I see this technology as another weak link as there is more to go wrong. I can see these fancy buses being replaced with standard buses as maintenance costs get out of hand.
          All out this will just be a bus lane with some fancy bus stations.

        3. Isn’t the best fix to not terminate there then? Run the trackless trams up Dominion Road and to the airport.

        4. I think this blog is way too negative about trackless trams. Surely as technology evolves these kind of solutions become more viable. If it costs $7 billion to rip up Dominion Road and lay rail, you would be crazy not to look into a solution with similar qualities but a fraction of the cost.

        5. So what do trackless bus trams bring to the table compared to a articulated bus or tram?

          Nothing? Maybe they can be marginally longer again than double articulated buses and therefore higher max capacity on severely space constrained corridors.

          , you would be crazy not to look into a solution with similar qualities but a fraction of the cost.
          I agree, but for Sandringham road especially. The focus for now should be on improving the buses with much better priority, and some dedicated infrastructure at Kingsland station for better interchange with heavy rail.

        6. Don’t they offer pretty much the same as a real tram? Maybe reduced capacity, somewhere between a bus and a Melbourne tram.
          Why have steel wheels these days when we can use technology to make them follow a fixed route

        7. In response to Jack, my take is that there is little distinction between a trackless tram and a double articulated bus. Sure, some have guidance technology and that has proven problematic but essentially they are one and the same thing. What would you call a double articulated electric bus with an aerodynamic body if not a trackless tram?

        8. Trackless trams are trams. Okay. They’re not articulated busses, they’re trains with rubber tyres. So, the question you should be asking yourself is this: why do trains have steel wheels and run on rails?

          The answer as I understand it is basically twofold.

          Firstly, the guidance technology is the problem. Because the trackless tram runs in the same place every time, they destroy the road at an incredible rate. This requires more maintenance than either using a steel rail or running busses which don’t follow the same route every time but wobble all over the road, spreading the wear and tear out. And, obviously, before you can run the trackless tram, you need to reinforce the road so that it can take the weight in the same place all the time,quite aside from the need to replace the surface wear.

          Secondly, the maintenance demands on the vehicles are increased because rubber tyres are simply less durable than steel wheels.

          And this is why people focus on the “too few suppliers” issue. Relative to an ordinary tram or light rail solution, the trackless tram is going to be out of service more often.

          And that’s why trackless trams are considered a gadgetbahn. They’re a digital technology solution that doesn’t resolve any meaningful problem that even analogue light rail actually has, except in extremely edge cases, e.g. there’s an incline steel wheels can’t handle. But even in that case, you’d probably be better off having dual mode vehicle and using rails wherever the gradient isn’t so extreme.

          (Obviously a whole bunch of tight turns is also bad for rail, but tight turns are bad for any kind of transit… the two concepts don’t mix well to start with. In most situations the solution to “too many tight turns” isn’t “a different transit technology” but “walkways and modal filters so pedestrians can ignore the turns the road follows”.)

          Now, should A2B be a tramway? Contrary to GA, I think so, yes. But there’s no reason for it to be delivered via a trackless tram. The road would still have to be ripped up and redone. There are hilly bits of Auckland that pose issues for rail, but I would be massively surprised if A2B is one of those.

        9. Whirlsler, why does a trackless tram have to take the exact same route? Why can’t it add a random factor. Surely it is very simple to do.
          And if it does have to take the exact same route, can’t you just cut that bit of road surface out and lay 2 steel reinforced concrete pads (almost like tracks really). The big difference is that laying concrete pads the length of Dominion Road for example should cost less than 100 million, not 7 billion.

        10. What makes you think the cost of digging up a road to lay heavy reinforced concrete strips is an order of magnitude different to digging up a road to lay steel tracks?

        11. Tp I have laid steel reinforced concrete before. $100m would be $10,000 a metre for City to Roskill, there is no way it could cost more than that. I have no idea why rail costs so much.

        12. “What makes you think the cost of digging up a road to lay heavy reinforced concrete strips is an order of magnitude different to digging up a road to lay steel tracks?”

          Why do you think I do?

          The problem is that you have to do the same thing either way. You can’t avoid digging up the road to replace it with the kind of road that can support a tram by using trackless trams, so why would you get trackless trams which would require more maintenance of the surface layer?

          It’s like rejecting a red Toyota because it’s red and then buying a bespoke car… which is painted red. Clearly the problem with the Toyota/argument for the bespoke vehicle can’t actually have been that the Toyota was red and the bespoke car wasn’t since they were both red. If you’ve got to dig up the road either way, what is the argument for the trackless tram?

          “Whirlsler, why does a trackless tram have to take the exact same route? Why can’t it add a random factor. Surely it is very simple to do.”

          Why would you bother doing this when you could just, you know, have an actual bendy bus instead?

          “The big difference is that laying concrete pads the length of Dominion Road for example should cost less than 100 million, not 7 billion.”

          1. I have no idea if that would work
          2. Frankly, I suspect it would not but again see (1).
          3. Why would concrete rails obviate the need for strengthening the substructure that supports the weight of the vehicle? supposing the rail can take the weight just fine itself, it’s going to get pushed lower and lower itself. But, again, (1).

        13. “Why would you bother doing this when you could just, you know, have an actual bendy bus instead?”
          – A trackless tram could in theory have any number of carriages and much higher capacity.
          – A trackless tram can easily have overhead wires as it stays on a fixed (even if slightly random) route.
          – A trackless tram has a driver with just a lever, no need to steer it, no accidentally driving up curbs, etc.
          – A trackless tram will look and feel much more like a train than a bus, and everyone likes trains more than buses (except Heidi).

          I don’t actually believe there is any need for a different road surface. I have driven behind truck after truck on SH 27 to Matamata all pounding the same bit of tarmac over and over at a much higher frequency than a tram would. It just seems like a perfect solution excuse: trackless trams will have downtime every few years when we replace the tarmac so we need rail instead, but we can’t afford rail so we will use diesel double decker buses instead, and people don’t like buses so they will use their cars instead.

      4. Tracks are needed for A2B so that drivers don’t get lost trying to find their way through Manukau centre. Trackless buses need enough room to turn at intersections- not easy to make.

        1. The whole idea behind trackless trams is that the wheels trailing the front wheels will always follow the same track, bit like a train, so it uses the same amount of space as a tram. This is done by a computer controlling many sets of steering axles sometimes it is guided by transponders or even just painted lines on the road. In most cases drivers will still need to steer.
          It is great technology, I can see it’s uses , but these won’t be much cheaper than a typical tram to implement and will be an absolute nightmare to service.
          Where public or mass transit becomes rapid transit it is all about grade seperation, this is the expensive part and it is highly unlikely national would deliver anything like this. Bus lanes will be the best we can hope for.

        2. Surely A2B just needs, for now, 24/7 bus lanes, one in each direction. We can upgrade to Busway/LR/tramway later?

        3. @KLK 100%.

          Like, so much focus on physical infra – where all that’s required rn is a few buses going along the route, a few signs and paint for bus lanes, and eventually a few cameras for those that treat bus lanes as VIP lanes for themselves.

    1. Let’s hope these greenfield houses are at least built to the upper end of low density, ie sections smaller than 400m2.
      I Have been to many of the new developments around Silverdale like milldale, and the quality of the housing is extremely poor, especially when you compare it to devalopments like hobsonville point many of the occupants complain that the houses get extremely hot in summer, there is little room for trees and most of the houses are ground level and have windows looking straight out to there neighbours wall, many of the houses don’t suit the site.

    2. There has been quite a lot of backlash around the MDRS, I put it down to many of the houses being of very poor design.
      It may be the reason many traditionally Red seats out west turned blue. I guess Luxon could see many existing home owners in these communities becoming concerned and know it was a vote winner to cancel it, but these existing medium density houses are built under the new Auckland unitary plan which allows more housing near transit.

      1. I think one aspect out West was the visible lack of infrastructure support/consideration going alongside the housing. It certainly felt there was no thought that all these new residents would also require PT, schools, health etc.

        1. It’s chicken and egg with infrastructure and population growth. No govt in NZ forward funds growing brownfield areas. Greenfield areas seem like a no problem attitude when it comes to schools / parks etc.
          Brownfield redevelopment, and piecemeal infill is needed, but also tricky to know when the tipping point (and funding point) for more infrastructure is.

        2. “Greenfield areas seem like a no problem attitude when it comes to schools / parks etc.”

          I have evidence to the contrary.

    3. In order to look good to the NIMBY crowd he’d just have to give a couple concessions for a handful of inner suburbs, pay some lip service, give councils some very unattractive way out (meet some difficult housing cost – income tests, or forgo potential gst sharing), and could then let most of the existing changes run their course.

      Really depends on how much of a NIMBY he is at heart. Unfortunately it looks like he’s very partial to the cause. Despite a number of high ranking National MPs knowing full well the importance of infill dev for housing costs and therefore their long term election chances.

    4. Just before the French revolution for some strange reason back in the 18th century, François-Marie Arouet Voltaire (1694-1778) a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher said;

      “If there’s life on other planets, then the earth is the Universe’s insane asylum.”

  1. I thought you said there were good parts – in your analysis I can’t see many – as decisions around implementation were a complete failure. Seems to me the change to a Māori name didn’t help delivery at all but it did get public name recognition the problem is too many people don’t really know what waka kotahi is really supposed to do – too many crazy ad’s, too many vanity projects, and definitely too many consultants, too much money wasted and this list is probably incomplete. We might not get everything we want from a National coalition but we will get delivery

    1. Time will tell if the new coalition can do any better than Labour. Delivery or the lack of it may have more to do with the caliber of the people rather than anything to do with the Government or how things are structured. We seem to be going down hill for the last 30 years it must be something in the water. Safety management hasnt helped but then we don’t want 16 deaths in a 16 kilometre tail race tunnel either.

    2. “We might not get everything we want from a National coalition but we will get delivery”
      So worst of both worlds then.
      At least we still have local government somewhat independent of central government, & a mayor that wants more money power to deliver what is required.

      1. It’s unfortunate that national want to remove the regional fuel tax, if anything Auckland should be collecting all tax on fuel sold in Auckland, this would isolate Auckland from labours inability to deliver and nationals obsession with roads.

        1. Yes, and Auckland (and all local governments or other big centres?) should get the GST from land rates. If I recall correctly, this is or used to be a NZ first policy too, so we maybe in luck.

        2. Indeed it is:
          “Undertake a Select Committee Inquiry into the sharing of GST from council rates with the local authorities they originate from”
          And the mayor wants it too. Now NZF also want all cycleway funding from local govt then it’s no problem.

        3. They are also pro-heavy rail, particularly freight, which would keep Te Huia and other such things safe perhaps.

        4. “Immediate cessation of work on Auckland Light Rail and voluntary liquidation of the Crown company given costs have spiralled from $168 million a kilometre in 2019 to at least $608 million in 2023. NZ First will instead back a heavy rail spur from Puhinui Station to the Airport at a fraction of the cost”
          That’s the downside, Puhinui spur lol

    3. if they scrap the use of feckless consultants maybe, but I bet they are National voters so they will be kept at the gold plated cat trough.

      1. Why on earth do you think that Labour spent so much on National based consultants – they wouldn’t, they would have been cherry picked Labour supporters to get the results they wanted to legitimize their own goals and support. At least now the need for consultants at all will be questioned.
        I do not understand why the left thinks there are so many rich in New Zealand – Perhaps that because the tax rates for the ‘Rich” start at $70k anyone who works.

        1. The issue is that National’s ideology relies on consultancy. The main reason they don’t need as many is that they don’t do anything of substance.
          Labour seems to forget that there are vested interests pushing these out. If anything they were guilty of trying to change too much, then taking the hand a little too far away from the tiller to ensure the changes they wanted made, were done so.

  2. I don’t think it is fair to put all the blame of reduced bike infrastructure output on labour.

    Mid 2010s was when everyone decided that protected lanes were the only acceptable form of bike infrastructure. Infrastructure costing 100 times plus per Km (vs bike gutters), simply means we get less of it.

    1. We don’t need more scary murder strips full of broke glass and discarded roadwork signs. 100 times more of something useless is still useless.

      Better a tight network of something high quality in a dense area than a thin, sad noodle soup thrown at the wall.

  3. I heard that Auckland light rail are looking for a PPP deal.
    Otherwise when this project is scraped, will plans and details be released to the public?

  4. But they did it all with such style. They promised popular things they had no intention of building while implementing unpopular things they refused to abandon- all at high speed. There is a door in the Beehive that had a Jacinda Ardern shaped hole in the middle of it and now there is a Hipkins shaped hole beside it. Only problem is we now have this new lot for 9 to 12 years. But I guess that is our problem and not theirs.

    1. New Zealanders have extremely short memories,
      I found it bizarre that many people referred to there vote as the vote for change, but the incoming government is the same as the one we had 6 years ago.
      But I highly dealt national will beat there last term in government.
      I see housing shortages and bad traffic back in the headlines in a year or two, once crime and inflation are under control.

      1. Yes but the big difference is National are smart enough to pander to the middle, so they will get to stay in power. The labour activists who become Labour MPs focus their attention to the left, and on trying to keep the Maori seats, and quickly give up trying to stay in power. It doesn’t help that the ‘middle’ is now a toxic wasteland of racists, antivaxers, trans-phobes and other nut jobs. But they are the people who decide elections so no point making them angrier than they already are. National will do that, Labour was simply too stupid or bored to try. Our Labour party has become like the British Labour Party. They would rather be out than in.

        1. “The labour activists who become Labour MPs focus their attention to the left, ” – if you think that Labour under Chris Hipkins was in any way focusing its attention to the Left, I don’t know what newspapers you’re reading (perhaps The Platform, lol)

        2. Maybe it’s time we follow Australia’s lead and make it a legal requirement to vote, have a small penalty fee say $80 for those who don’t.
          Otherwise there is no point in having democracy if only certain wealth classes vote.

        3. Daphne Labour lost the election 18 months to two years ago. Hipkins burning a few toxic ideas couldn’t change the perception of them one iota. A Hail Mary from a moderate was too little too late. Labour forgot it was a popularity contest and so now we will all suffer a National government for years. The fault for that sits with the Labour caucus. They did it and now we suffer. The root cause of this is they select an urban elite and trade unionists who think they know how to ‘look after’ us. They no longer have many working men and women with any understanding of what people want or any practical ability to get things done. Instead they look with envy at the Greens and Te Pāti Māori and try to match them on the left. Labour squandered its political capital. As I said we will suffer because of their incompetence.

        4. or maybe we move into the 21st Century and make it easier for people to vote and engage in politics. People were aready voting this time around, against their own interests and openly admitting they didn’t know what they were voting for, no point excaberating that.

          The world is still doing democracy the way its been done for centuries, surely we are due a better system that isn’t catering around career politicians playing on peoples fear in the hope of getting their votes.

        5. “If you think that Labour under Chris Hipkins was in any way focusing its attention to the Left, I don’t know what newspapers you’re reading”

          No capital gains tax under my watch – Ardern.
          Why the hell not?

      2. Every government around the world has been faced with the problem of housing being affordable to unaffordable and unfortunately New Zealand fell into the same mode as every other country which was do nothing because the free market will correct the housing market not government intervention. John Key argument against capital gains tax or high housing prices, the free market will take care of the problem.

      3. And bad traffic and housing shortages weren’t solved when the most transparent govt said they had an overnight fix – and both went up and got worse like child poverty.
        We won’t solve traffic in NZ until we accept that we don’t have the population for an efficient system and our cities aren’t built in a suitable way for it. If you use public transport, you would realize that, its hopeless. Our traffic isn’t as bad as most big cities – you have to address ways to solve that problem. Improve the systems we currently have so that they are super-efficient first. Chill out and learn enjoy the time in your car.

    2. “. Only problem is we now have this new lot for 9 to 12 years” – why do people keep saying this? The incoming government will have a bare majority. Are you under the impression they’ll get *more* popular over 3 years, with Seymour mud-wrestling Winston all the time?

      1. Yes, that’s my take as well.
        With upcoming cyclones, flooding, slips, insurance retreat etc etc we’ll be doing my removal of govts after 1 term, not installing them for multi-terms.

      2. I am very uneasy about the international situation so watch the price and availability of diesel and petrol. I wonder how rationing might go down. We need to keep China sweet so we can buy heaps of electric buses urgently.

        1. yes, not supporting the refining at Marsden point means we are even more at risk of problems now. Another great decision.

          Until someone tells me how we are going to recycle all the great batteries that power not only cars but nearly everything else and why we don’t care that why electrifying NZ for a minimal gain is not so great in the places that mine Lithium. We need to think of this NOW not when it’s a major problem.

      3. Winston and Seymour both play to populism. Both will make sure the few ram raiders caught will be made an example of while Labour’s twits ring their hands. Both will attack race based policies and win support for that. Neither cares about employment rights or tenants rights. They will claim to be different but they will be a left hand and right hand. Winston has always been a Tory, he just knows when to hide it.

        Labour isn’t going to replace their twits any time soon, they will continue trying to appeal at the fringes rather than try to win votes from National. It will be 12 years if this National Government is like the Key one, 9 years if it is more radical.

        Labour threw it away on three waters, merging a commercial TV with a public radio, and supporting larger institutions like their health reform and merging polytechs, (because apparently all we need is a bigger bureaucracy) and daft spin outs from ministers who should never have held the position. They will be remembered as the worst cohort of Ministers in generations.

        1. “And I voted for the twits even this time”

          I feel your pain. I have frequently thought that we need a whole new party.

          One that does not place image over substance.
          One with integrity.
          One that isn’t feathering the nests of the few.

          The new government is dangerous beyond belief. They are building a whole new rentier class.
          Don’t work and pay taxes, own assets that others pay to use.

        2. I feel your pain. I have frequently thought that we need a whole new party.””

          You mean TOP then?

        3. Exactly. TOP. Evidence based policy.

          They were 5 times as popular as ACT in 2017. The weren’t far off the Maori Party’s vote this time. But try and see them in a leadership debate. The media won’t have it. Only interested in the same old faces.

        4. “You mean TOP then?”

          Absolutely not.
          A land value tax to increase the productive use of land? Ludicrous.

          How is increasing the tax on existing growers of food going to incentivise increased use of their land? Do you want them to apply even more fertiliser and pesticides? Run even more dairy cows per hectare? Grow cannabis?

        5. MFD, you obviously didn’t bother to read TOP policy at all. That land tax was initially only to be applied to residential property only and this would be offset by reductions in income tax for the working class.

          NZ’s economy is screwed because all our wealth is tied up in unproductive housing and we make workers pay for everything. Unlike successful countries which have far more wealth invested in productive business, we just borrow money and buy housing. The tax system is fundamentally broken and just encourages everyone to dump more money into unproductive houses.

        6. Or didn’t get to hear about it because although their party vote was near to TPM, they didn’t get a voice on any of the media platforms save an interview here and there.

        7. “That land tax was initially only to be applied to residential property only”

          So…all that rural land on the fringes of Auckland that is currently being bought up by property developers and leased back to farmers while they land bank would be exempt.

          How stupid is that?

        8. Never argue with an autistic engineer.
          They will take evidence and logic and use it as a stick to beat you with.

  5. The annual road toll hovering around the 350 mark always makes me think of the capacity of Air NZ’s Boeing 777-300ER, at 342 in its current configuration. For reference the 777 is the BIG plane you may take when flying to the USA and other long-haul destinations. It has more than double the capacity of an A320, which is the jet you’d take on a typical domestic trip.

    Would we accept a 777 crashing once a year, every year, and everyone on board dying, in New Zealand alone? Let alone extrapolating those numbers internationally? I’m not necessarily saying that drivers should be as highly trained and regulated as pilots, but there is a lot to learn from the aviation sector in how to implement system-wide safety.

    I also think WK/AT could have used this comparison to put things in perspective in their public campaigns around road safety and speed limit changes, etc.

    1. Yes and I wonder if things have more recently gone worse due to the larger vehicles lack of visibility with wide side pillars, and worse for pedestrians/cyclists/scooterers with their height and such. Also distracting dashboards & people using smart devices while driving still.
      Some areas I think we get used to wide sweeping roads & central barriers to keep us safe instead of good old fashioned focus on the driving…at least the pop holes keep us awake.

    2. Except that your 777 kills all on board in one go.

      At an average of one death per day on the roads Joe Public doesn’t notice

      1. It’s a shame in a developed country! The road design are do poor with so much bends, prior signal lacked results many accident! But the road designer never agree it’s one of the problem and blame the driver! Shall the mind set of the road designer not change with NZ are the best than road toll will never stop!

        God bless the NZ drivers.

  6. Matt, thanks, you are great!

    You has outlined many issues here by the past Government, I bet there will be thousands more comments here to echo. But, what make the problem so easily happen? One of the reason being NZ people are generally simple minds, stupid but greedy. They never know their ability but just like to hear good words, they never know their ability but just want the best:- the climate issue here discussed is one of the example! (NZ just a small population, but they had overdone to believe they can change the world climate by their small population!)

    Do you believe the coming Government will deliver whatever they proposed? If so, simple mind as said!

    Unless NZ people minds can be changed, whatever Government can easily paint some beautiful pictures at the expense of the people!

    Dreams up!

    1. I always find comments around our countries climate issues highlight a common hypocrisy. People say we are such a small country we cannot make a difference, but when we talk of issues like human rights and our trading partners, we say lets just set a good example ourselves and they will follow.

      1. Look at Melbourne, Sydney alone or some cities around the world, NZ population just smaller than any of them. We should not Over Done the climate issue! We should understand how much ability NZ people has, never Over Done at the cost of their people’s pockets!

      1. Look at USA, China, India, Europe, …… their size are hundreds times of NZ, shall they not done a little, than its a waste of this small population! We should do, but please never Over Done!

        Save our pockets first!

        1. Yeah walking and cycling and using renewable energy is so expensive! Will someone think of ‘our pockets’.

          What utter drivel.

        2. To ignore it will cost our pockets. New Zealand’s big earners rely on a fallacy of the “Clean Green” image. As people discover this, our markets will dry up. We all remember “food miles” arguments from the UK. Well if they press the “destroying the environment” line agriculture could be in for a rough ride.

    2. I remember John keys “rockstar economy” saying, to me I couldn’t of felt more repressed.
      I guess most people believed it and it got them in another term.
      But I wonder what people’s true motivation is behind their vote, I often think of labour as the Robin hood party and national as the Me Me Me Me Me Me party, i wonder how many people vote with only there interests in mind or think what’s good for me is good for everyone else or if people do look at the bigger picture and think this won’t help me but it helps many others.

      1. John Key didn’t say that:

        HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham – who famously said that under the previous Government New Zealand had a “rockstar economy” – told The AM Show on Friday that the economy was definitely slowing down.

  7. The Labour party is very divided about transport issues, busses, bikeways, busways, cars, roads, light rail, car parks, parking fines, intensification and climate change.
    17 of the local community boards oppose any bikeways and bus lanes. South Auckland is one of the most congested areas in the world and they love their cars. Emissions are high and people are having bad health outcomes. There is strong resistance to increasing parking fines and removing car parks

    1. Well, if there is no strategic messaging no wonder that there is little support.

      Labour’s strategic messaging on so many things – wealth inequality, climate change, housing, transport – came down to:

      “We kinda want things to change because it is important. But we really don’t want to rock the boat either. Lets tinker a bit. And lets not talk all THAT much about it, eh?”

      If even the senior leaders don’t really passionately champion what they claim to support, no wonder little happens and opponents get emboldened.

      To think of it – Labour is kinda the Auckland Transport of politics.

    2. South Auckland most congested in the world?? LOL
      Have you seen the traffic in North and West Auckland? Have you tried living in any other large city in the world?

  8. Have we ever seen a faster fall from grace,than Michael Wood,over promising and woefully under delivering. Transport is a lighthouse portfolio for any government, l think people will sit in congestion and bitch and moan,but won’t punish any government for not fixing it,whereas suggesting PT,active mode solutions gets ridiculed,lack of delivery doesn’t help either.
    Waka Kotahi are best suited to an ambulance type operation,their best work of late is in responding to the Kaikoura earthquakes and Cyclone recovery. Any planning,should be in the hands of others and they should just be the agency carrying out orders.

    1. Not only did he lose his seat, he also helped damage his party to the point where National campaigned on the basis of ” We haven’t got a clue but at least we are not Labour”

    2. And he’s still not owning it. Talking about how he out performed the party and waiting for the specials to come in before accepting that National have won Mt Roskill.

  9. It’s pretty galling to see the lack of delivery laid out on one page like that. Contrast that with the Key government that delivered so many urban cycleways and the CRL. National have even pledged to fund the full 22 trains for Greater Wellington’s LNIRIM project, where Labour gave it a haircut and only funded 18. Labour’s lost all credibility on transport.

    1. The Key government who continuously poo-pooed, ridiculed and delayed the CRL for 8 of their 9 years in office, only to change their mind in year 9?

      I’m old enough to remember Steven Joyce saying that the CRL was neither necessary nor popular, and Gerry Brownlee saying in Parliament that it was like the monorail from that one Simpsons episode

      1. And despite the National party transport ministers refusing this project for at least seven years, they are still very happy to take all the credit for getting it delivered. Simeon Brown has even claimed it as a National party project.

      1. I can’t see anything changing except the rhetoric in the press releases. National have made big promises of new projects based on costings from years and years ago. They will chuck more money into it but it will all get eaten up by inflation.

  10. I am attempting to look for positive pieces amongst the democratic train wreck. Chloe held Auckland Central, and two other Greens gained central Wellington electorates. Te Pati Maori will have a twenty one year old representative in parliament, and also have at least double their representation.

    The absolute ignorance regarding climate change and Luxon’s evasive nature that avoided proper interrogation will make the next while very embarrassing for us, after almost six years with a leader that shone internationally, we now have one that will reflect from his unpleasant dome, and we can only hope that the progressive voices in parliament can keep pressure on those that continue to ignore reality.

    As the local elections proved, we know that women are better leaders, but not many men are comfortable with that, yet.

    Kia kaha

    1. A story that has flown under the radar is how much of Wayne Brown’s apparent “moderation” – from hard-right headbanger fighting journalists Trump-style, to centrist who’s interested in surface light rail – is due to people like Chlöe “working on him” behind the scenes.

        1. “It’s been 50 years since we had a one-term government in NZ. It’s unlikely.”

          It will depend on how well or not National and ACT work together (and possibly, with Winston, if they need to). And how radical ACT’s concessions will be.

      1. A lot of Wayne Brown’s change of tune I think has come from the fact he used to be an engineer. Engineers understand things well, they just need to be shown other ways of doing things to stop them doing the same thing over and over. I think the trips overseas have played a big part of his change in tune.

        That said, you literally can’t hide from Auckland’s traffic issues, no amount of populism can fix it.

        1. “Engineers understand things well, they just need to be shown other ways of doing things to stop them doing the same thing over and over”

          I’m an engineer, Joe.
          I request you to supply evidence that my colleagues and I do the same thing over and over until being shown other ways of doing things.

          I am not insulted, just curious as to where you get these strange ideas from.

        2. Joe I think you mean that engineers are good at solving problems, but sometimes aren’t clear on the problem they are trying to solve and so continue to try and solve the wrong problem.

          Congestion is not a problem to be solved by building more roads. The problem is how do we move people most effectively?

        3. Wayne Brown was and engineer therefore all engineers are like Wayne Brown. Fantastic logic. Up there with – Bears like porridge therefore they are Scottish.

        4. “but sometimes aren’t clear on the problem they are trying to solve and so continue to try and solve the wrong problem”

          The scope of work for an engineer is generally determined by those holding the purse strings.

          For example, National says they will spend $24 billion to connect Tauranga and Whangarei by motorway. OK, you engineers, go away and make it happen. Engineers say…but what is the problem that is the solution to? (and mill about thinking WTF thoughts).

          Guardians of the funds say “bring me some different engineers…No, on second thought, bring me some planners”.

        5. Lols. Perhaps it’s correct to say some engineers understand some things, and sometimes they understand them well. Also, that there is certainly a problem in traffic engineering where the same, destructive thing is being done over and over. There are key concepts of modern traffic engineering that our chief engineers have gone to pains to resist adopting. Do they need to be shown other ways of doing things, or do they simply need to be held accountable for not keeping abreast of developments in their field?

          miffy, wasn’t Joe saying that being an engineer influenced how Wayne thought and also how he responded to more information (on trips overseas alongside knowledgeable folk)? It’s probably true. He wasn’t extrapolating that therefore all engineers are like Wayne Brown.

        6. Hi Heidi! Great to see you piling in!

          I have said this for many years;

          The board establishes policy.
          The executive implements that policy.

          If rogue engineers are not implementing policy it is up the the CEO (getting the big salary) to rein them in and point them in the right direction or ask them to seek employment elsewhere.

          This is a failure of governance and management, not engineering.

          I am currently involved in a serious stoush with a “traffic planner” contracted to a council-controlled organisation. This planner has come up with a traffic plan that puts school bus users (children) at serious risk. The “traffic planner” is employed by an organisation that is paid by the council-controlled organisation.

          Follow the money.

        7. MFD, absolutely the problem of management and governance is huge. But the engineering problem is there too; it’s a problem of professionalism. I know engineers in most disciplines who have been whistleblowers, reporting on site management, colleagues or clients, or otherwise engaged and applied the ethical code of conduct – in a way that brought stress onto themselves, but was utterly professional. I fail to understand why ENZ isn’t requiring this professionalism within the traffic engineering discipline, where poor practices have been a major contributor to the safety crisis and to NZ’s climate destruction. The lethal practices are continuing due to a groupthink that’s simply looks stupid.

          Yes, follow the money. But the chief engineers get paid too much not to be considered part and parcel of the management problem, too.

        8. Heidi, the person that I am battling with in respect of a transport plan has a Master of Arts in planning.

          Reminds me of a discussion we had some years back (maybe East-West link) where I pointed out that all of the consultants in support were planners, not engineers.

          I also recall that one of those planners was Amelia Linzey. She is now CEO of Beca. They must be very pleased at the income generated by all the pro-road consultancy that Beca undertakes. In fact they must be extremely pleased to see National in the driving seat. Lots more lucrative work to support National’s road binge.

          …and on the subject of the East-West link; I guess that will be going ahead soon, what with the consent already granted. More contracting companies with their snouts in the trough.

    2. If the special votes bring in a green candidate for Chch, that will mean the 3 largest cities in NZ all have green electorate MPs. That is huge.

      1. On the flipside we do get a Green party list MP based in Christchurch in the name of Lan Pham who had a very good track record with ECan.

    3. “…..almost six years with a leader that shone internationally”.

      But barely did a damn thing at home. All stardust, no substance. A massive mandate for change, but no balls to do anything with it.

      History will not be kind to Ardern, once you read past the Christchurch Call and the interviews on the Daily Show, or whatever it was.

      1. How quickly some people minimise Ardern’s strong leadership after the Christchurch massacre and during Covid. Both were felt here before the world noticed.

  11. After driving a return trip Auckland to Taupo, I’m looking forward to National upgrading the entire regional road network to accommodate the 60+ tonne HPMVs they authorized to smash it.

    Seriously, you could lose a whole Chris Bishop in some of the holes…

    1. “upgrading the entire regional road network to accommodate the 60+ tonne HPMVs they authorized to smash it.”

      “We are fixing the roads Labour let deteriorate because they were all about building cycleways”

      1. Looking forward to the new Wellington / Lower Hutt cycle and walkway. It’s looking great down at the waterfront with cranes, barges and everything else it takes to get it finished. It will be a huge asset for our cities. It should have been done decades ago. As for Auckland, perhaps you shouldn’t have obsessed quite so much over light rail down Dominion Rd. The airport, via Penrose and Onehunga, should have been pursued along with a third main into Auckland to allow express services instead of the painfully slow stop at every station system you now have.

        1. And yesterday was the official opening of the finally-completed Petone2Melling cycleway. It replaces an unpleasant stretch along the Old Hutt Road, or a very unpleasant stretch along SH2. I rode the new cycleway this morning. A huge improvement, but unfortunately I got soaked. Wellington weather for you.

          All we need now is to complete the Ngauranga-Petone section and it will be possible to ride from Wellington to Upper Hutt on separated cycle paths.
          Oh – and we also need to extend the regional rail system through the CBD and out to the Eastern Suburbs / airport, but that’s another story.

  12. Labour had the right vision, they just didn’t have the drive and commitment to see these into fruition. They’ve not been able to keep the NZTA nor many regional authorities (such as Auckland Transprort) in check which is an absolute shame. Because we’ve had six years of total lost opportunity and now with a change of government these initiatives are going to be put on the scrap heap in favour of roads roads and more roads, likely to be funding by PPP, likely to blow out (as have many of the previous RoNS), likely to be vastly uneconomical, very unnecessary, very damaging for the climate…… yet popular with the masses of car dependent voters.

    National’s track record on public transport infrastructure has often been total refusal, although they did eventually change their minds on The City Rail Link, a decision where years of delays has led to massive blowouts and delays.

    In summary I am most disappointed with the lack of progress with:
    Auckland-Mangere Light Rail
    Western Corridor Light Rail
    Lets Get Wellington Moving
    Canterbury Regional Rail
    Road to Zero

    The one thing they did deliver on was Auckland-Hamilton rail and while it has had its own set of teething problems, and delays with Covid, its future is also very much under threat with a National government.

  13. So Labour had light rail handed to them on a plate, they just needed to sign the contracts to get shovels in the ground. Construction could have started before Christmas 2017.

    Instead six years later not a single metre has been built and the plans will be completely binned.

    In the annals of incompetence, this will forever stand out as mind-bogglingly stupid.

    I don’t like National’s policies and I didn’t vote for them, but voting for the incompetence of the Labour party was not an option in 2023.

    1. Unfortunately, you had a Winston in the mix who was dead against it. They may have been better to sit on it completely till a better “environment” come to support it.

      1. The notion that Winston blocked is nonsense.
        The better environment came 3 months later when the had a majority after the election. winston blocked it for 3 months max. But instead of proceeding immediately the new minister decided to start from scratch

  14. A point of note on your comment ‘designed and consented by a group of passionate advocates, and handed it to Waka Kotahi to deliver’.
    The Skypath trust were given a huge amount of public money to go through the design and RC process. They also did not ‘hand it over to WK’, they sold their IP for more than a million dollars, even though the IP was never going to be used.
    The eventual billion dollar bike bridge was almost universally hated in NZ and had the Government attempted to build it, the swing to the right now would have been even bigger.
    The disappointment that has not been mentioned was the Governments delay in introducing the bio mandate on road fuels. The mandate that the Climate Change Commission supported as it would have made immediate CO2 reductions. The Govt, on advise from MBIE got cold feet in an election year because they thought the mandate would increase the cost of fuel. In reality it would have added only 1-2 cents per liter while Putin has added at least a dollar.

    1. Skypath attempted to show that active modes could be accommodated at reasonable cost, but most critically without impacting on general traffic lanes.

      WK buried Skypath with their billion dollar strawman.

      Lets not pretend that was a serious proposal.

    2. Because the “bio” mandate actually at present has perverse outcomes. Growing low yield crops to make fuel is more carbon intense than extracting it from the ground.

  15. The best thing that Labour did was Puhinui Station to Manukau City and Airport. The electric buses are great the transfer at Puhinui is easy only thing it can be a cold and breezy wait on the platform. It’s about time we got an update on passenger numbers for this route.

    1. Why should Labour get the credit for what was an AT initiative? Because it was a “shovel-ready project”?

      But you’re right about the outcome, getting to and from the airport on PT is really nice now. And it’s not solely focused on the city centre – it’s made it as easy to get to Papakura or Glen Innes as it is to Britomart. Fantastic project.

      1. From memory I think it was paid for by central Government I am sure it was announced by Phil Twyford. Probably the only good move he made beside backing Te Huia.
        Anyway would Bill English and Winston Peters have done it. Or would AT have funded it by itself. I think not.

      1. Sure, if you ignore the huge cost for adding just one station and terrible frequencies that a spur would provide. When you already have a RTN solution, with a seamless interchange, for that route already.

        If we need a token for the heavy rail gods, let’s look at Avondale to Onehunga and down on to the airport. A new rail line for a whole swathe of Auckland without one and another link to the airport.

        1. Remembering that the Puhinui busway will soon be extended across to Manukau and then up to Botany.

          We don’t need one seat rides everywhere. Let’s expand the network and get good interchanges.

  16. Thanks Matt, good article. Your words ring true to my observations. In particular, my not being able to get across aucklands waitemata under my own power, cronic congestion and so so many wasted opportunites.

    Other countries grabbed covid as an opportunity to do things differently. We just paid out our contractors as all their deliveries blew out. No pop up cycleways in this country.

    I really liked the promise of Labour, but their inability to manage their agencies was never clearer than when WK did a year end presentation, maybe 2019? the executive reporting on failure upon failure to deliver. Lots of reasons i recall.

    Now we have a new team – probably way better at delivery, but with such a small vision of what could be. John Key is seeming more like JFK in retrospect.

    1. National typically don’t ever have to deliver much. Labour was just to ambitious with their program, and other than a few people, their ministers had no idea how to manage their relationships.
      Waka Kotahi in particular is always going to be a challenging one to work on, given part of the organisations before was Transit which is always going to be road centric.

  17. Sorry to disappoint ya Matt, we need to scrap Light Rail for good! Using the exisiting rail to our problem is key to solving our public transport issues! As you know it, the people have spoken, they disapprove the idea of any form of light rail! Why you ask yourself? Well answer is simple for any ordinary New Zealander! Firstly cost of building non existent form of rail (for good reason), projected inflationary cost, would be prone to natural disaster like earthquake, tsunami (would cost billions to repair again), economical factors, making commuters have efficiency/choice and lastly doesn’t benefit all of New Zealand!

    The current election results reflect the fact they disapprove former Labour Mount Roskill MP/Transport Minister, ‘Authoritarian’, ‘white-washer’ like minded idea of building a Metro/Tunnelled Light Rail Line from Airport to City Centre (CBD) with a cost anywhere between $14.6 to $30 Billion. Along with it City Centre to North Shore (Albany) Light Rail Tunnel $27 billion (inflationary cost unclear) which gives you combined total of $41.6 Billion to $57 Billion, if the City Centre to North Shore (Albany) inflationary cost were announced it be more! The public aren’t idiots, they know the current government in power aren’t being taking thing seriously & realistically with the project like that. Labour aren’t facing the conclusion that the project won’t go ahead due the costing and there would be no funding for other places around the country who need public transport/public transport infrastructure. All they know to do is lie to the public, brain-wash people (especially ethic people) the communities the light rail line will run through, like example in Mangere, do you think they want a light rail line at all? The Auckland Council local electorate has spoken several times that they’ve been ignored and want ‘Heavy Rail’ not ‘Light Rail’, as consequence for Labour they fail to listen or deliberately ignore people to get their own way!

    What the government should replace Auckland Light Rail with, replace with a ‘Second City Rail Link’, relocate & build new Kingsland Station, with new Grey Lynn, Ponsonby & Victoria Park Station. Use for all lines and take half from existing patronage for CRL, in-which would reduce the patronage from 24 to 12, freeing some space for extra new rail line such as Dominion RD, Mt Eden RD & Sandringham RD.

    We already got Kiwirail owning land at Onehunga to build the Avondale – Southdown line which estimated to cost $6 Billlion and Kiwirail pays for Avondale- Southdown line. You’d still be able to accommodate another passenger line which brings more versatility if you had tunnelled heavy rail at Dominion RD be about $6 – $7 Billion since from SH20 Dominion RD entry/exit to Dominion RD western line underpass is 4.8 km long. It makes more sense for government to be building a Heavy Rail line under Dominion RD since you’d be getting a discount by Kiwirail since they’re paying for $6 Billion Avondale – Southdown line. We also need Kiwirail do what it does, buy up land, to build more rail lines across the county and not be against them!

    We should be doing is building two rail projects firstly a ‘Second City Rail Link’ and Dominion RD line. Why build a costly non-existent mode of transport when you already got an existing mode of transport which will give you a discount for construction? Along with it, is Labour willing to change its stance at all and actually be real with people, once more be in it for us (the public of New Zealand)?

    1. Also other public transport project can be focused on is reviving ‘Eastern approach tunnel’ at Britomart by making four track line so it can cater for new tracks in-future like Dominion RD or Te Huia. The one question we need answered is what are platforms 3,4&5 at Britomart going to be used for, if no new rail track in Auckland is going to be laid after CRL is completed? Only one platform would be getting used in middle part of Britomart, only the Southern (Pukekohe) Express would use, even during peak hours on weekdays.

      Another investment Kiwirail should be focused on is buying properties, for catering an Sandringham RD line above ground line instead of underground since proven to be costly, takes more longer. We should have a line paralleled with Sandringham RD, like how we got the 22 bus here in Auckland paralleled with the Western line.

      1. The one question we need answered is what are platforms 2,3 & 4 at Britomart going to be used for, if no new rail track in Auckland is going to be laid after CRL is completed?

        Well we should definitely looking to constructing an Dominion RD line, also changing the CRL Rail planned network mapping once a Dominion RD line is fully constructed & finished, along with the patronage for each line too!

        Changes need to be made to accommodate an Dominion RD line:

        Southern Line express terminates at Britomart TPH 6
        Southern Line terminates at Britomart 6 TPH
        Southern Line goes through City Link 6 TPH
        East-West Line stay same 12 TPH
        Inclusion of Dominion RD Line 6 TPH

        Total: 36 TPH

        CRL Link (Aotea/Te Waihorotiu, K RD):
        Southern Line 6 TPH
        East-West Line 12 TPH
        Inclusion of Dominion RD 6 TPH

        Total (Stays the same): 24 TPH

        Newmarket – Mt Eden/Mangawhau:
        Southern Line 6 TPH
        East-West Line 12 TPH
        Inclusion of Dominion RD 6 TPH
        Onehunga Line 6 TPH

        Total (6 Extra TPH): 30 TPH

        Britomart – Newmarket :
        Southern Line terminates at Britomart 6 TPH
        Southern Line goes through City Link 6 TPH
        Inclusion of Dominion RD Line 6 TPH
        Onehunga Line 6 TPH

        Total (Western Line swapped for Dominion RD Line): 24 TPH

        “The existing twin-track throat tunnel and the proposed twin-track CBD tunnel would each have a nominal maximum capacity of 18 trains per direction per hour. Used together this would give Britomart a maximum capacity of approximately 36 trains per hour in total.”

        But should look towards start of an ‘Second City Rail Link’ via Grey Lynn, Ponsonby & Victoria Park ‘Four Tracked Eastern approach tunnel’ at Britomart, start construction of an after 2026 election so we can accommodate more lines like Mt Eden RD, Sandringham RD & North Shore Line.

        1. Revised Newmarket – Mt Eden/Mangawhau:
          Southern Line 6 TPH
          Inclusion of Dominion RD 6 TPH
          Onehunga Line 6 TPH

          Total (6 Extra TPH): 18 TPH

        1. Sorry, was supposed to be a question. If the capacity is 18 trains a hour how can you put 36 train an hour into it?

        2. 18 TPH is the maximum for having high speed, high frequency rail

          As for 36 TPH, it encourages government to construct a new ‘eastern approach tunnel’ to create 3 & 4 tracked line down into Britomart. If a government decides to bring a Dominion RD line first ahead of eastern approach tunnel’, expect steady speed journey!

        3. And we’ll need to save space for another line when the government builds the long awaited undersea high speed line to Sydney.

  18. wasted 6 years. that’s all. I even feel like if at that time National would stay in power we would be better off in terms of transport landscape now. they would do very little which would still be more than Labour have done. it’s sad

    1. I think that is taking it a bit far… Some transport items have been addressed, but they have fallen so far short of their rhetoric, its not funny. Unfortunately it seems that ministers were happy to issue words, but not concentrate on the follow up. Perhaps too many words, not enough follow through would be a way to sum it up.

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