Yesterday I wrote about the council’s upcoming decision around the sale of the downtown carpark.

On the same day the herald ran an opinion by Patrick Reynolds in his role as deputy chair of the Council’s City Centre Advisory Panel, reproduced below with permission.

It is worth noting that this structure was built 53 years ago, opening in 1970, as a companion to the Downtown Mall, which now has been replaced by a more contemporary building in the form of Commercial Bay.

It opened one year after the harbour bridge had been doubled in width, long before there was a Northern Busway, or Britomart, near the very peak of the attempt to make the city function on private vehicles alone – a near perfect symbol of 20th century urban thinking.

21st Century City or 20th Century Carpark?

As the city decides on the future of the Downtown carpark building site, it’s worth looking at how we got here, and why this decision matters.

As deputy chair of Auckland Council’s City Centre Advisory Panel, my role is to support the city centre to thrive, guided by the visionary  and widely supported City Centre Master Plan (CCMP).

The CCMP was first endorsed by the councillors  in 2012, refreshed and reconfirmed in 2020. It provides a comprehensive vision and programme of shifts to deliver quality sustainable growth and prosperity in the Auckland city centre, and has been at work behind the scenes ever since.

Te Ara I Whiti, the world-famous Pink Path; and Te Komititanga, the hugely successful square in front of Britomart Station, are examples of completed projects guided by the CCMP. Currently under way are Te Ha Noa, the Victoria St Linear Park, funded almost entirely from the City Centre Targeted Rate, and of course the City Rail Link (CRL), both are CCMP led urban realm transformations.

A key purpose of the plan is to attract and shape public and private investment by providing direction and certainty through a coherent and future focused vision. It is based on the ideal of a thriving, authentically kiwi and contemporary city as gateway to the nation. Central to achieving this is continuing to roll out a refreshed street pattern shifting from last century’s traffic priority to a more people-centred urban realm.

As successfully proven in cities around the world, this shift will accommodate new flows of people from the CRL stations while also enhancing the city’s appeal as a place to be. City as a great and varied destination, not merely somewhere to speed through. Another over-arching move is continuing the decades-long policy of re-orienting the city and its people towards the waterfront as it grows.

And this is where the old Downtown carpark building stands in the way.

As featured in the Weekend Herald, the Commercial Bay developers Precinct are proposing what looks to be a multi-billion dollarinvestment on this site. The world-class architecture and amenity will add vitality, employment, new residents – and, vitally, more open and connected public space at street level.

Laneways through the site, open to all, will link Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard to the city centre and Britomart. This requires removing the grey lump of concrete that currently blocks the flow of people where the city meets our sparkling harbour.

At the same time Auckland Council is grappling with serious funding and debt issues, so any big move must be financially sustainable as well as uplifting. The good news is that selling this site will immediately bring in over $100m– and that’s just the beginning, because the development itself will add a high-value property to the ratepaying ledger.

Judging by the scale of the plans, rates are likely to be more than $9m per annum, directly into Council’s coffers for benefit of the wider city. Add around $2m annually in the targeted rate for city centre improvements, plus $700,000 towards Heart of the City, and around $150,000 for the climate change targeted rate.

That’s around $12m, every year; the equivalent of selling the site again each decade. High-value development like this can not only fund new plans, its help keep the lights on in our libraries, the streets swept, and debt serviced. Moreover, construction itself will benefit the wider economy and many local businesses.

We will also gain from retiring a structure that urgently needs replacement or significant upgrades, and which does not financially contribute to the city’s development or attractiveness, let alone its own upkeep.

Some claim the city centre’s vitality depends on the Downtown Carpark. The evidence says otherwise. Downtown’s 1,900 subsidised parking spaces are rarely if ever full, and at peak times there are close to 2,000 vacant car parks within 5 minutes’ walk.

Others say Auckland is starved for parking, compared to other global cities. Yet our city centre has well over 50,000 parking spaces, compared with fewer than 40,000 in Melbourne and 30,000 in Sydney, both of which are much bigger and more vibrant.

Besides, nowhere in New Zealand has better public transport than downtown Auckland. Ferries, trains, and buses – the busway from the north, the new one just beginning from the north-west, – deliver more than 40,000 people a day to the area, from every point of the compass.

Oversupplying publicly subsidised car parking is a hangover from last century, city centre was trying to compete head-on with suburban malls just as quality public transport was being slashed. But that’s a losing game: a vibrant city centre can never out-compete suburban malls for easy and free parking.

Instead, a city wins by being better at what it is: a city. People will find ways to visit and keep returning, when the destination is uniquely exciting and rewarding. They will want to work there, and they will want to live there.

The millions who throng to central London, Paris, New York, or Sydney aren’t there because driving is easy and parking is free. Auckland can best compete by becoming better at what people want from a major city: more excitement, more opportunity, more life. This plan delivers all that – as well as providing immediate and ongoing funding for even more.

Patrick Reynolds City Centre Advisory Panel

Jane Jacobs

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68 comments

  1. “The millions who throng to central London, Paris, New York, or Sydney aren’t there because driving is easy and parking is free” – nah but Auckland is different, all the good stuff that works overseas can’t possibly work here, we need more roads and carparks to thrive.

  2. I bet they are terrified that pedestrianising Queen St will cause congestion.

    https://www.bing.com/images/search?
    view=detailV2&ccid=XcNcGKRT&id=662E3E00153E605ABE4FF1F920CD4B0DCEC34B2A&thid=OIP.XcNcGKRTcCkXm5vx4_eMaAHaFc&mediaurl=https%3a%2f%2fc8.alamy.com%2fcomp%2fG1C7YD%2fvienna-graben-main-shopping-street-graben-haupteinkaufsstrae-in-wien-G1C7YD.jpg&cdnurl=https%3a%2f%2fth.bing.com%2fth%2fid%2fR.5dc35c18a4537029179b9bf1e3f78c68%3frik%3dKkvDzg1LzSD58Q%26pid%3dImgRaw%26r%3d0&exph=955&expw=1300&q=main+street+in+vienna+austria&simid=608005307721724397&FORM=IRPRST&ck=BD196D77744A63905E6A9CA6CAE671E9&selectedIndex=0&idpp=overlayview&ajaxhist=0&ajaxserp=0

  3. From a piece by Todd Niall
    “Precinct would provide no public carparking on the site, but said there were more than 12,000 public spaces within a 9 minute walk, and that off-peak, more than 8,500 of those are vacant.”
    So what is the argument for retaining the carpark again?
    It can only be greed? An overabundance of car parks keeps the price of parking low.

    Sydney appears to thrive and last time I was there earlybird parking was $AU60 per day.

  4. What’s the problem with getting rid of the carparks?

    If there is demand for them, then the market will provide them, surely

    1. Exactly. You can be absolutely sure if precinct believed their $billions investment needed more parking to work they would be building it, or at the very least lobbying to keep this one which is literally connected to their current properties.

      They are the owners closest to this ‘asset’, so if they see more value in redeveloping this site then isn’t that the market revealing itself?

      This isn’t a theoretical discussion, this is a real play with actual proper money down from a credible proven investor. Do councillors think they know this high stakes game better than the actual players?

      Also Precinct have proven themselves to be good civic actors, accomodating both the CRL tunnels under their properties and hosting the bus station outside them. Other big investors have fought against bus stops etc, even though they bring customers.

  5. I ain’t no big city lawyer, but surely it’s the case that a breach of contract suit from Precinct is a far bigger worry for Council than a frivolous (or even vexacious) judicial review from a disgruntled competitor?

    Especially one who pulled this stunt before, over Queen St upgrade, who pulled the JR at the last moment costing us ratepayers hundreds of thousands.

    Plus the harm to Council’s commercial reputation if they try to pull out of a done deal after due process is immeasurably large.

    1. Here’s the earthquake assessment: https://at.govt.nz/media/1983999/downtown-carpark-seismic-risk-assessment.pdf

      Krukziener is just playing his usual tricks. From a newshub article:

      “Krukziener, also secretary of the Save Queen St Society, said the council should sell to a developer who will retain the car park and build on top. It’s an option he said is also best for the environment.”

      First, carparks with buildings on top are hideous. You’re a freak to suggest it.
      Second, this is just a stalling tactic. The developer would eventually cry “actually, it’s financially infeasible due to the earthquake engineering”.
      Third, it’s not best for the environment if it gets pulled down relatively soon due to some mix of being hideous and not being earthquake-resistant.

      This shouldn’t be a difficult decision for council today. I don’t believe our councillors (bar a couple of relics stuck in planning so dated there have been several waves of paradigm since) could place any trust in a bid from someone in cahoots with Krukziener.

      1. I thought you couldn’t build on top of the Downtown parking building. It has a wide span that results in low level vibrations that upset people living or working above. The wide span makes it the best parking building in town because you can see everything.

  6. Wise words from a wise head. It is a joke that we have more carparks than Sydney, let alone Melbourne. Those are real cities with serious movement issues, and clearly they understand that cars are not a viable solution.

    We can only hope that our deciderers in council can make a science based, evolutionary decision.

    Return our waterfront city to its people!!!

  7. Thankyou for a lovely down to earth post! so true ;especially- ” a city wins by being better at what it is: a city. People will find ways to visit and keep returning, when the destination is uniquely exciting and rewarding. They will want to work there, and they will want to live there.”.
    But about the anger over car parking. This happened because in such a commercial infrastructure plan, consideration for some business entities needs fell off the cliff as far as being given reassuring messages and support involving their ability to retain their place in the new infrastructure model. They have sent a clear message about their business model being ‘trampled’ by the removal of street car parks which they perceived to be essential to remaining in business.
    This has some reality for them, but their anger towards people who support and use this new infrastructure are potential customers, so it was a really unhelpful response. It is sad that they were not able to be given decent feedback and consideration by city infrastructure planners, other than to be told in many ways to “suck it up or get out”. That is nasty!
    The suburban shopping center business model with its free parking options includes space for stand alone smaller retail enterprises, but like yr post describes, does not work as well for a city center like AKCBD, which is located on vastly different terrain.
    A big change in the infrastructure of this business model came with the return of inclusion, rather than discouragement, of residential space being located within the business area.
    As far as I am aware Krd still has its large parking building, but the difference is that businesses along Krd, in part due to the historical business/social policy change to the policy of separating business and residential locations which has failed miserably, perceive themselves to have become more dependent on customers making a choice to shop there than they were in the past, and in response need more encouragement and feedback in order to manage the change in business strategy the removal of on street parking brings with it. ACC planners need to create a better response to these businesses’ needs rather than leaving them to panic and flounder unassisted.
    In the absence of such a response, business proprietors who are affected need to redirect their efforts and recognize that the people using the new pedestrian/cycling friendly are their potential customer base and welcome them by changing their business strategy accordingly.

  8. Im surprised that Precinct property want to remove the carpark, as they own the mall, I would assume many users of that mall would park in that carpark, like I have done so myself.
    But if they want to remove the carpark I’m confident they know what they are doing, it’s there Business interests at stake.

    1. Precinct have recently purchased the Viaduct carpark adjacent to the Tepid Baths, so they will still have capacity to house their tenant’s vehicles and possibly some short term parking for their retailers.

    2. “I would assume many users of that mall would park in that carpark, like I have done so myself.”

      Sure, and so have I at times. But at the end of the day, the people parking there are probably a mere fraction of their TOTAL customers and tenants – even if the number may still be substantial, so when they look at the numbers with an economic eye rather than a driver’s eye, they realise that the 5% or 10% of people they inconvenience just aren’t worth spending mega-floorage of space for in perpetuity.

      Its the same decision the city overall should come to. But politicians are even more constrained against actually looking at the facts – even if they themselves are aware of the facts rather than feelings, their voters often feel differently (or at least those who whisper or shout in their ears about their feelings about car parks do!).

  9. There was a bot developed by AT I believe that told you how full the Downtown carpark was during operating hours. This was commissioned after research showed that on average it was only ever 60-70% or so full. It was a twitter bot. Disappeared.

      1. Thanks!

        What was remarkable about the published stats is that it consistently showed that the Downtown Car Park had spare capacity no matter day/time. I couldn’t figure it out as it was the prime parking spot for Wynyard Quarter.

  10. The car lobby and Viv Beck’s people don’t notice or don’t want to notice the tens of 1000s of people arriving in the downtown area by bus or train each day.

  11. _ Poor old NZ – Geographically a Heavenly City of infinite beauty and potential.

    1.) There’s no doubt this car park will be demolished for a high rise that’s easy.. The bigger issues are who are this new generation of AutoCad Archetics who cant get out of square boxes and vertical panels.. crap OMG
    -Do we have to make some software called AutoCAD for curved buildings and creativity?

    2.) There is way to many roads in auckland CBD – how the hell is the a 6 lane ring of motorway around the entire small little CBD still in 2023

    3.) Where are the actual green lanes promised?

    4.) the issue of Auckland CBD is that we need more freedom of expression in all forms to create a better vibrancy. Allow night clubs more places, later, smoking in bar places, more street carts, more outdoor events, more creative solutions for show.. man maybe a theme park

    1. 1) Designs by (or after) Gaudi or Hundertwasser. No problem.
      2) Cheapskating after Harbour Bridge. Auckland needed a N-S motorway connection with access towards the city centre as well as a ring road (or U-road, skipping the waterfront) providing circulation to access radial entry points. Instead, it got ‘one ring to ruin them all’. Tamaki Drive to Wynyard? Easy – Grafton Gully to Vic Park Tunnel to …. Onewa Road and back again to Fanshawe St. Get to see all of the Harbour by crossing the bridge twice.
      3) There are some trees, but mostly the landscaping choice is Fifty Shades of Grey.
      4) It takes all sorts. Maybe when there are plenty of Emergency Unit beds and heaps more doctors and nurses.

    2. Re item 4… the CBD has a huge problem with crime. Residents in the form of 501s, people with mental health problems, drug addictions, etc. It’s much worse than it used to be. I don’t see how we’re going to get a “vibrant” city without dealing with the anti-social behaviour and crime.

      1. “I don’t see how we’re going to get a “vibrant” city without dealing with the anti-social behaviour and crime.”

        Fair enough. But it ain’t going to be fixed by giving people more car parks to drive down to the Viaduct restaurants.

        1. Yes- re ” more eyes on the street” would work but it would be naive to think that antisocial behavior would immediately stop. People still get bashed and businesses still get robbed and frontline workers stabbed on crowded streets, in many places. That in itself doesn’t stop people getting out and doing their daily business. Its how the majority of the people and authorities interact and the level of tolerance about what is happening and how they deal with the situation that counts. For example; Haiti’s streets are “crowded”, but is life getting any better for ordinary Haitian citizens? We don’t hear much about that unless we go looking for information online etc
          What may happen is that people who have enough personal resources to manage life without having to go there do. The ‘powerful’ can be identified in that situation because they get out and about in bullet proof vehicles and carry machine guns, and those who don’t have a lot of resources have no choice but to put up with whatever is served up to them…

  12. I support the re-development of the car park and note that access to that site is going to be tricky during construction. I trust that Council will require Precinct to maintain good active and PT mode spaces and not allow the builder to take over large sections of public space for storage. Stand by for several years of disruption which hopefully, will be worth it when all is finished.

    1. It’s a good point. At least there will be no cars going in to the carpark anymore which causes most of the pain city bound. Fanshawe through Sturdee, Customs should have 1 continuous 24/7 bus lane all the way through rather than having to merge at the intersection which is absurd, and then one car lane.

  13. The discussion has been closed to the public. Pity. Such fun.

    Fletcher requested further information as usual (typical way to delay progress). The mayor said he agreed and that she should surely have asked for that information before agreeing to the 2020 sale agreement. Lol.

  14. If you wanna quote Jacobs maybe you should also remember that she was saying the way to better city is to make PT better not driving worse. Something I feel this blog often forgets.

    1. Oh sure, Jane Jacobs, the well-known advocate of changing car dominance by not making driving worse, even for PT improvements.

      Jane Jacobs, the great advocate for a balanced “have your cake and eat it too” approach.

      That JJ only exists in your head, sorry – and in the heads of too many of our decisionmakers, which is why we pay megabucks and purchase property for road widening for every PT improvement or cycleway, trying to not touch the sacred cows in the room.

      1. well another mr ‘oh sure’ who knows everything about everything… Maybe read one of her works before ‘enlightening’ us with your ‘knowledge’ I recommend ‘The Death and Life of Great American Cities’. She clearly states there that first step is to improve public transport so it can be a viable alternative or ideally better than driving and ONLY then think about congestion pricing etc. for people who still want to use cars . But I understand many people wants to just cherry pick from authorities just the parts that suit their narrative and then discard all the rest because… ‘oh sure’ and arguments like that. Read something mate, then comment.

        1. What does she say about removing on street parking or an extra car lane to put in bus lanes to improve PT? Some times car access has to be at least constrained to improve public transport.
          Ian McKinnon Dr cycleway slapped on the road was an example were there was gross extra vehicle capacity anyway as I understand it so didn’t really matter loosing a lane.

        2. hey Grant, for me removing on street parking or extra car lane for bus lane is a no brainer in most cases in Auckland. Because it simply does not restrict driving in any meaningful way. People can still use those roads for driving and not pay for it. In fact it makes driving often better via some car people switching to faster PT or parked vehicles not blocking for example T2 peak lanes. This one really drives me crazy recently. I understand it not being maybe T2 at off peak but wth would they allow people to park there to block the whole lane is a mystery….

        3. Cool. Yes one of the downsides peak T2 /Bus etc lanes is people forget or have to think to move their vehicle again. To me 24/7 means a lot less signage clutter & works for when there is some event or abnormal traffic in some area for whatever reason. Where do these people park after work say but before the peak time has finished? Well that’s where they could park 24/7 likely. An extra lane for travel off-peak would not be needed surely in just about every case.

        4. Yes! Was thinking the exact same thing. When driving I also don’t think about finding sign to read hours of operation of T2s or bus lanes so I just don’t use them as a general rule not to get fined.

          My general beef with making life difficult for drivers is congestion charge before viable options are available and also sometimes that brainless approach of ‘let’s just make things difficult for cars so maybe someone switches to bus’ but without any impovement to bus or train network whatsoever. The general idea is just to make something worse instead of making things better so people would actually be happy to use it. Like the only way forward is down not up.

        5. Fair enough MattZ. It was a gut-feel reaction to your comment. My apologies, and you do seem to know more about Jane Jacobs than I do., and had a more thoughtful reason behind your comment than I saw in it.

          I still feel that your comment was exactly the kind of comment that we hear all the time “Now is not the time to do X, until PT is better first”. Auckland City PT has been made a lot better through numerous actions over the last 2 decades. Could it become even better? Sure. But there will always be someone who says “lets make PT better first, THEN…” as a reason for why we cannot touch car priority. Why we cannot re-phase a signal to add bus priority. Why we cannot add congestion charges, even if we used the money for PT improvements (I’d support ring fencing, if I didn’t worry that then that would lead to even more inflexible arrangements, and arguments that that is ALL the money that should be spent on PT).

          And as for “this blog often forgets”… jeez, this blog rather heavily covers how PT needs to get better. So thus my somewhat over-sarcastic reaction.

        6. My thinking is there is minor PT improvements happening all the time and will continue leading up to any congestion charging coming in, plus CRL will be complete by then too. So plan to bring it in anyway.

        7. Gurf apologies accepted.

          Regarding: ‘But there will always be someone who says “lets make PT better first, THEN…”’ yes because that’s the smart approach in most cases. And who says anything about not touching car-priority? I’m just saying don’t just make life harder for drivers because you can. And that being only reason. If you take some priority from cars add same or bigger value to PT in exchange not just remove something for cars and then make everybody suffer. There is no point in such behaviour.

          ‘Why we cannot add congestion charges, even if we used the money for PT improvements’ – because it’s some reverse thinking here. And in the meantime do you expect people without access to PT to use horse carriage ? I’m sorry but it doesn’t make any sense. Someone mentioned already all the cities mentioned as examples have world class or at least decent PT. I’m sorry but Auckland Transport is not even acceptable in comparison. If you fix it, then sure. I’d love to ditch my car and use only trams and buses and trains but I simply can’t. It’s just penalizing people for not having decent transport around.

        8. Grant those minor improvements are truly minor. If we look at other cities with congestion charge as an example lets look at their PT as example too. Let’s match maybe one of them in that regard and come back to the conversation. That’s a relatively low bar. But high for Auckland. Whoever been to any city with congestion charging can tell you that PT in Auckland is laughable in comparison. I have friends from Europe who never had a car and became car-only people in Auckland (central!). They laugh at me when I mention taking a bus.

        9. Sticks and carrot, it’s as simple as.
          Someones bus going from a connector to a frequent is not that minor in my opinion. Makes a world of difference. 200 m of bus lane also could.

        10. MattZ: I haven’t studied this well but I’ve read enough to suggest that people are overestimating how good PT actually was in places which introduced congesting charging when they introduced it compared to how our system is likely to be if we introduce congestion charging sometime between 2025-2027.

          Remember it’s pointless saying city X has far better public transport than Auckland does now 10 years after they introduced congestion charging. You need to look at how it was 10 years ago if you wan to get an idea of how congestion charging works or doesn’t when public transport can still be limited. Note I live out west so I neither have the best nor worst PT.

          I do agree with you there are a lot of low cost improvements we could do which will significantly improve PT which unfortunately in the current climate probably aren’t going to happen any time soon and so many probably aren’t going to happen before congestion charging. However I don’t think it’s necessarily that harmful if congestion charging acts as a strong impetus to get them done quickly after it happens.

          Finally on a more general note. So far there doesn’t seem to have been significant pushback from National or ACT on Auckland congestion charging proposals that I’ve noticed. Being somewhat cynical, I figure this is in part because while congestion charging gets support from the left given it helps with mode shift etc. But it also gets support from those more extreme on the right in economical areas because they see it as a good thing as it makes it easier for the rich who can afford the charge to use their cars.

          An infamous column by John Roughan where he called the Northern Busway a white elephant but suggested it was fine since it could be converted into a toll road come to mind.

        11. Tet Yoon Lee my personal comparison is not after the congestion charge but before because I lived in several cities (at least 3) around the world who later (after I left them) introduced congestion charge. I lived in those places both in the central CBDs or far fringes. Never ever in those cities thought of owning a car even occured to me. In some of them I never sat in a car once. Because none of my colleagues or friends used cars. When I came back to Auckland I was quite certain I will be able to live the same way with a bit of trying. Within first few weeks it occured to me I won’t be able to cope without a car. So I do compare PT before charge not after. In fact I have no idea how congestion charging changed PT in those places but I do know it was superior to Aucklands by far before introducing it.

      2. “My general beef with making life difficult for drivers is congestion charge before viable options are available ”

        We know that there are parts of the city where there are viable options. And we have statistics to help that analysis. For example, travelling to the city:
        1) currently over 50% of people use PT to travel to the city
        2) to that we can add those who can travel but prefer not to
        3) and those who can travel but don’t want to
        Already we have a substantial majority who have viable options, perhaps not the best options, but none the less viable ones.

        For many of the above groups their options will improve as the reduction of traffic speeds buses; more demand for buses causes more frequency; and more bus passengers causes calls for more bus lanes.
        Milan had litigation over its congestion charge, but within a very short period of time people embraced it.

        1. great. our work here is done. congestion charge is a no brainer. I don’t even know why $5 and not $500. You have to think a bit bigger here

        2. Re”Milan had litigation over its congestion charge, but within a very short period of time people embraced it.” I guess it means that it matters about ‘who’ is protesting against congestion charges. The people who can afford to pay congestion charges are the people who can afford to pay to run their car. people who can no longer afford to run a car end up having to deal with more pressing priorities.

        3. think a bit bigger than what?
          Many of our roads are congested. Auckland Council/AT has run out of money to build new roads. Owning a car is an economically damaging thing for many people and these people would be served by adequate public transport. A better PT system would probably lift the wealth of many Aucklanders as the city and individuals could spend less on inefficient transportion such as cars. More use of PT would likely reduce vehicle and oil purchase easing our chronic Balance of Payments. Should I be thinking more widely than that? Carbon emissions? Air quality? Water quality next to motorways? Point me in the right direction and I will give it a go.
          The Harbour Bridge toll in today’s money was about $8.

  15. Auckland City is a shit hole their never going to make it any better, it’s filled with scumbags, derelicts, losers and criminals

  16. Krukziener and his like….where do we start.

    Imagine trying to tell him what he can/can’t do with a property he was going to purchase? Or a property he wanted to purchase? He would have two words for you.

    Hypocrites of the highest order.

    1. Such a great drama show:
      “In a brief procedural item before the council was to go into a confidential session to decide on completing the sale process, the arguing became so confused and confusing that a 5 minute break was called.

      After 10 minutes, councillor Richard Hills asked the mayor what was happening, “No idea,” was the exasperated reply.”

  17. Re- ” that brainless approach of ‘let’s just make things difficult for cars so maybe someone switches to bus’ but without any improvement to bus or train network whatsoever’ I agree, and it also has ‘authoritarian’ elements too, like creating a money making regime that just shakes down transport users without offering anything in return.

    1. exactly. also worth mentioning that about 3 years ago Auckland PT prices were second highest in the world per km (after Dublin). Where is that 2nd best world quality?

      1. Of course, high prices reflect high demand – which means that Dublin has the best public transport in Europe… right?

  18. Patrick Reynolds presents a compelling case for the transformation of Auckland’s Downtown carpark into a vibrant, people-centric space. The proposal by Precinct not only promises a multi-billion dollar investment but also aligns with the City Centre Master Plan’s vision for a contemporary and thriving urban environment. By prioritizing open and connected public spaces over outdated parking structures, Auckland has the opportunity to redefine itself as a destination, attracting residents and businesses alike. The financial sustainability of the plan, coupled with the immediate benefits it brings, makes it a forward-looking and pragmatic solution for the city’s growth.

  19. Re what taka-ite says:
    November 25, 2023 at 12:04 pm
    “think a bit bigger than what?”…..A better PT system would probably lift the wealth of many Aucklanders as the city and individuals could spend less on inefficient transportion such as cars.”
    Do you really think the incoming government really feels any need to prioritize measures that “lift the standard of living for people” who really need to use PT to get around? Sure, “More use of PT would likely reduce vehicle and oil purchase easing our chronic Balance of Payments.” But removing access to motor vehicle use for more Aucklanders will also achieve this without spending ‘precious resources’ compensating them by building better PT systems and active cycling friendly infrastructure.
    Sorry to point out the ‘pessimistic’ point of view but – All these things could arguably be also considered “achievable” including “lifting the wealth of many [it just depends which] Aucklanders”
    Lets face it, the majority [2/3rds] of voters did not see that their lives would be made more difficult by voting in this government, and will not regret their decisions unless they find themselves ‘bitten’ by the policies they voted for in the near future… for them they think that simply making moving about the district more difficult for those less well off will only affect the “layabouts and leeches” who don’t earn enough to contribute or be a part of “their community”.
    So far this just means ‘less equality” for that social group of NZers regarding access to the city, and less participation for larger numbers of NZers receiving marginal incomes or even MSD supplements, which according to the “merchant” creed is a customer base the AK business community can do without. .
    But more importantly it achieves their objective because it still means that less people will be out and about, and less people “chewing up” community’ resources by being enabled to participate in business and other public life, which following the trajectory of the current government’s policy believes is a ‘good thing’ for them to celebrate amongst themselves.
    As part of this policy process, challenging this new ‘status quo’ is also made more difficult for people whose lives are affected by a reality of limited access to the means to take up to employment, and access other services which may be only available outside the district they can afford to live in.
    But this will not affect the governments’ ability to achieve the wider goal of easing congestion on our roads and they could see it as a good thing that they ‘saved’ spending on economic resources by absolving themselves of any obligations to compensate those NZers whose lives will be thrown into hardship because the incoming regime sees compensating them with better PT services as a burden that our economic system can do without. It just means more people will experience hardship which is not something this government is really worried about.

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