It’s Friday again and Christmas is fast approaching. Here’s some of the stories that caught our attention.

This week in Greater Auckland

CRL 2023 wrap up

A video from City Rail Link on the progress in 2023.

Safer Speeds and Pothole Repairs

A timely report from Simon Wilson on yesterday’s meeting of Auckland Council’s a transport and infrastructure committee, which covered a lot of ground. The public presentations in particular are worth a watch, including a strong presentation by students.

Ryan Antia from Mt Albert Grammar told the council, “You are adults, you are our guardians and yet you have failed to protect us, to speak up, to change the way we drive on our roads.”

And good to see Councillors reiterating their support for safer speeds:

Despite the threats to funding and the potential for Government to intervene, the committee accepted a proposal by Councillor Julie Fairey to support the Katoa, Ka Ora in its entirety. That included its “principles, objectives and measures” and its “three-year implementation plan and 10-year vision”.

This contradicts the cuts proposed in the mayor’s draft 10-year budget. But although councillors have voted to send that budget to public consultation, they will not decide whether to adopt it until June next year.

Te Whau back underway

The council announced earlier this week that construction has started once again on the Te Whau Pathway once again, after being paused a year ago.

The Te Whau Pathway, a dedicated dual walking and cycling link that will connect the Waitematā and Manukau harbours, is one step closer to becoming a reality after construction resumed today, on a section of the pathway in Te Atatū.

The section is a four-metre-wide designed pathway for walkers and cyclists from State Highway 16 and Bridge Avenue to Roberts Field.


The project was paused in December 2022 when construction and material costs increases, coupled with emerging budget pressures, highlighted a significant funding shortfall.

As a result of prior funding, the steel and decking is already procured. Detailed design has been completed, resource consent granted and compliance management plans approved.

At the Heart of the Problem?

A good piece by Simon Wilson highlighted how Heart of the City – the business association in the city centre – is now often the city centre’s worst enemy.

In Remuera on Friday, Brown revealed his own view of HOTC. It is, he said, “the worst-performing business association in the city”.

He was thinking about crime, which Beck also frequently complains about, and he compared HOTC to the Ōtāhuhu Business Association, of which he’s a member.

He said Ōtāhuhu has a budget of $600,000 and spends a third of that on security. “As a result, crime has dropped.”

Last financial year, in contrast, HOTC spent only 13 per cent of its budget on security. “And,” said Brown, “they had the cheek to say ratepayers should pay for new cameras.”


There were also lots of people along Queen St. But not a single retailer was taking advantage of the wide pavements to entertain shoppers or promote their wares. Quite a few did not even seem to have Christmas decorations up.

Why isn’t Heart of the City doing more to help those members make the most of their improved streetscapes?

What’s really going on here? Hint: It’s not about car parks.


HOTC does do many good things, including Restaurant Month, Art in the City and a range of Christmas events. But although Beck is paid to be the central city’s cheerleader-in-chief, she complains so much she undermines all that. It’s almost like she’s trying to drive people away.

Some of her members, at least, cannot be happy about this.

Queen St transformation

Following on from above, it’s worth remembering that Heart of the City also opposed changes to Queen St

Auckland is Awesome

A neat article from Radio NZ.

A proud Aucklander who was sick of hearing people complain about the lack of things to do in the city has put his ideas into a passion project.

Kiran Patel has been publishing the weekly e-newsletter Auckland is Awesome for the past year. The project contains a list of things to see that week in Auckland, ranging from poetry readings to vintage markets, and underground music gigs to international theatre.

Patel co-founded Move Space on Dominion Road five years ago, a creative hub that acts as a venue, has music, photography and podcasting studios as well as is a shared working space.

“Auckland is awesome is a newsletter where every Monday I recommend three events, experiences, or things that people can go do or try that I’d like to think makes Auckland an awesome place,” he told First Up.


He said he had often heard complaints about the lack of events in the city.

“On the flip side, I found myself being inundated with things to go to and found myself having to choose between a world-class play, and a world-class musician performing down at the Wine Cellar, and an exhibition just up the road that I thought would also be great. I was like, ‘hang on, if only people knew what I knew about this city, if I could give them access into this world that exists within Auckland that I’ve been lucky to be exposed to, then maybe that narrative can change’.”

Patel said the positive feedback he received from the newsletter made it all worthwhile.

Bike Theft

The Spinoff writes: One simple trick to get more people riding bikes? Reduce the number being stolen

Summer tends to be the most frequent time for bikes to be stolen in New Zealand, although hundreds of bikes are stolen each month. Police data shows that March 2023 had the highest number of recorded bike thefts in the last five years, with 438 cycles separated from their owners. That was the month after the Wellington police department found nearly 300 bikes among thousands of dollars of other stolen goods – a sign that thefts reported to police are a fraction of the real number of stolen bikes.

“When the weather warms up and people are out and about we often see an increase in opportunistic types of offending [such as] thefts of bicycles,” says senior police sergeant Sam Hall in a statement. “Another contributor is unoccupied properties when people go on their summer holidays.”

One significant contributing factor to the bike theft problem is the rise of e-bikes. While pushbike imports into New Zealand hugely outnumber electric bikes, e-bikes’ increasing popularity means their overall value is now more than pushbikes’, according to data from Stats NZ (although the data lumps together e-bikes with electric scooters and electric skateboards, e-bikes would be the most expensive items in this category).

The article includes some interesting graphs on the numbers of acoustic and electric bikes, their value and the number of thefts. Check it out.

Interislander on the rocks?

The NZ Herald reports:

Greater Wellington Regional Council chairman Daran Ponter says KiwiRail “must be s***ting themselves” over the escalating cost of portside infrastructure needed for Cook Strait’s new mega ferries.

Finance Minister Nicola Willis has revealed the potential cost to the taxpayer is now “many times” what the Government initially signed up to.

“The financial situation of this project is extremely troubling,” she said.

The matter appears to have been considered so pressing that Willis met with the state-owned enterprise’s top brass about it before she was even sworn in as the Finance Minister, the Herald can reveal.

KiwiRail is replacing its increasingly unreliable and ageing Interislander fleet with two new rail-enabled ferries under the Inter-island Resilience Connection project (iReX). The last publicly available cost estimate for the new ferries and the portside infrastructure was $1.45 billion.


In a briefing to incoming Transport Minister Simeon Brown, Ponter said delivery costs for the new ferry terminal in Wellington have “skyrocketed” since initial funding was agreed.

Green Roads sham

The name/concept itself is an oxymoron, but …. Radio NZ reports:

Waka Kotahi has been making exaggerated claims about how ‘green’ its highways are.

It wrongly claimed online that the Transmission Gully motorway and three other big highways were independently, internationally certified for sustainability when they have not been.

This has come to light amid investigations into the highway’s impacts on fish, streams and Porirua Harbour.

Earlier, during construction, the project incurred over $100,000 in fines for scores of environmental breaches, as well as costing almost $7 million for environmental monitoring by the regional council.

The transport agency’s website carries the statement: “Transmission Gully will be the first motorway constructed in New Zealand to achieve Greenroads silver certification.”

This was “the hope” a few years ago, but instead the motorway got a lesser silver pilot rating, which was “significant”, the agency has now told RNZ.

The other three highways, Peka Peka to Ōtaki, Baylink in Tauranga and the Auckland northern corridor improvement, have also been touted on its website as “contractually required” to get assessed through to “final certification” by US certifier Greenroads.

They also will not get certification.

Instead, they had swapped into using “an alternate sustainability framework” developed by Waka Kotahi itself, that aligned with a government-led programme, the agency said on Monday.

The new framework is not independent.

How to make cities delightful

One way is to embrace “congruence”, says this interesting little article about an interesting little bar in Tokyo – lots of little choices that all add up to a pleasing, coherent, and yet still surprising whole:

A common compliment about Japan is that “establishments really care about the details,” and this is true, but what they really mean is, “Establishments really care about how everything works together, down to the smallest details.

[For example] in recent years, I’ve realized how clean and reliable subways, sidewalks, and public roads don’t just make the city more livable, but more equitable, as well. Everyone can enjoy good public transportation, no matter their socioeconomic background (and many wealthy people ride the subway here). The train station near the San’ya “slum” is just as clean as the train station in posh Omotesando.


A great thread on some of the impressive transformations happening in Barcelona:

While the headline here is about the UK and Turkey, little old New Zealand is fourth from the bottom. We need to do better for our kids.

Meanwhile, these are some impressive numbers from London.

(Meanwhile in Auckland, bike counters are up 8.1% for the year to October 2023, compared with the previous year. This is a good, a clear and tangible bounce-back from Covid and weather impacts – but if our agencies had taken to rapidly expand the network like our international peer cities did, we’d be absolutely flying right now.)

A great little video from Melbourne:

And on the same theme, a catchy musical number from Ireland:

Have a great weekend.

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  1. So good to see Te Whau proceeding. I know people get frustrated at the costs and slow progress of such “big ticket” paths (compared to simply taking a traffic lane away and putting better walking and cycling on our existing roads!) – but we need both: roads that are safer for people and more backbone routes where cars don’t go at all.

    1. I fully agree. We need this kind of infrastructure. It’s superb for mental wellbeing, for children’s independence and for local connections.

      As you say, the cycle lanes on streets are needed too. Funding them is all about AT realising managing a safe system is their responsibility and core business; cycling safety is deficient beyond compare and so the local roads budget needs to be applied to fix that.

      We don’t seem to be getting closer to AT being a professional and evidence-based organisation, though. At the TIC yesterday it was clear the opposite is true and AT is putting safety things – perhaps safety things only – on hold, in anticipation of different government direction.

      1. If Te Whau connected the north Western to Archibald park, then sure.

        As it is, this $50 million is buying far far too little. In the context of West Auckland having next to zero bike infrastructure added in the past 5 years, this shovel ready project is a joke.

        1. I disagree, Te Whau is not being delivered as a solely bike project. Yes it will connect heaps of West Aucklanders to better PT at New Lynn and Te Atatū, but it also connects people to the awa, heritage and wider environment. In an area where so much intensification is taking place it will provide a place to breathe. And of course the intention is to go to Archibald park and beyond. Also since it is not a AT funded project it should not obstruct other bike facilities, in fact it will make the current Kelston project better connect.

        2. It is being funded as transport project, it is transport.

          As it is being built it is not much more than a viewing platform.

        3. Also, nw to Robert’s field is not heaps of West Auckland. The project as it is being built gets no where near New Lynn.

        4. “It is being funded as transport project, it is transport.”

          Well, then you can rest easy, because it is not being funded out of transport coffers. For better or worse, it is Council and (mostly) govt funding, in both cases separate from transport budgets.

          And every journey needs to start somewhere. No, it’s not anywhere near New Lynn yet, but there’s a defined route agreed, and this gets things closer.

          Is it very expensive? Yep. Sadly that seems to be the case for NZ infrastructure projects overall.

        5. It is being funded as a transport project. No vibes based project get funded like this.

          Yea I can’t wait fot AT to just dump ten million on the project to build 500meters rather than making say Ash Rata safe to bike.

          On road stuff is needed more.

        6. Heck, I even largely agree with many of your points. And I spent the better part of a decade as an advocate trying to balance the two sides better, and push for more on-road changes.

          However, I don’t really think it’s productive to vent anger at AT’s failures there on this project. You feel that is perfectly valid, so I don’t think we’re going to agree on that.

        7. The issue is, this will need another hundred million dollars maybe more until it is useful (New Lynnish to NW). There are are only a handful places this money is coming from AT, AC or central govt. The missing gaps in Te Whau, will get advocated for and pissing off zero car drivers will ensure it wins.

          West Auckland gets basically zero bike infrastructure funding right now, despite rapid infill housing (mostly far from Te Whau). What scraps the west gets will get pinned on this mega project that doesn’t conect anything in the least populated bit of the city.

        8. ‘No vibes based project get funded like this’

          I’d rather vibes based that some of the BCR’s on the massive road projects out there.

    2. Te Whau is a terrible project. Rather than building direct from park to park they put these stupid artistic curves in.
      They are also spitting the
      1.9 km of activity.

      1. Wow, you really seem to look for any reason to dislike it? If you look at the maps, you will see that in the big scheme of things the curves are not big detours (river inlets aren’t straight rulers! Cost would go even higher if they had to go straight across some of the side inlets, presumably, as they’d need deeper foundations etc) .

        And if you zoom right in (as I did when looking at the consent plans), the curves generally are much better designs (larger minimum radii) than in the past when indeed some of the curves were really impractical for riding or sightlines (like parts of the Twin Streams network).

        1. It is transportation project, that is it’s purpose.

          The alternative was to build on road and the thing even if this got the $200 million it needs, the on road stuff would still be needed.

          Just furious that there zero money for bike infrastructure in my part of town, then we get this?

          This round of Te Whau is not adding anything. If it reached Archibald it would be semi useful.

  2. That’s great that the Te Whau path is progressing. Its a shame that they seem incapable of doing more than one project at once. The GI2T pathway is still incomplete, and is also screaming out to connect it to Panmure with the new cycle lanes out going in all the way out to Botany and potentially even out as far as the airport in a few years. Everything seems to be just waiting on resource consent, sort it out….. useless.

    1. For better or worse (when thinking of your “more than one project at a time” – Te Whau is a Council project, GI2TD is AT.

    2. I knew Stage 4 of GI2T was going to be a long wait when AT rolled out the tim tams and other trial mode separator elements on Ngapipi Road. Why do that if Stage 4 delivery was imminent? I guess AT can now claim that Stage 4 can be delayed (for as long as the consent stays alive) because cyclist have a ‘safe’ route.

      1. They still haven’t finished the last promised connection on Stage 2 across the rail line to Gowing Drive, despite the rail line having been shut all year, and AT using purchased a property (92 Gowing Dr) for access.

        Stage 4 is probably another decade away!

  3. Talking about the Cook Strait ferry. I do not understand why the Kiwirail did not get a modern similar sized ferry we currently have. I think we have three but it would be more logical to double the size of the fleet to 6 ferry. This way we can use the existing infrastructure with more modern reliable ferry with a backup ferry if something goes wrong.

    1. Somebody will have a spreadsheet showing it is more cost effective to have bigger ships I suppose. But if the shore facilities are inadequate because Govt won’t fund it then it will be rail freight will suffer as it requires more space to shunt it on and off the ferries than big trucks.

    2. The current ferries are all decrepit.
      Likewise the existing terminals are short on remaining life, and resilience
      And rail freight is grossly under catered for by only one relitively small ship
      of 1700 tons, putting more freight traffic on our roads instead of using spare capacity in our rail freight system.

    3. Nah out with the old in with the new. I remember looking at their video and brochure on the new ones and it all seems to make sense. A lot better capacity for everything etc.

    4. They’re needing to replace the landside infra as well (from the 60s) on both sides, so they decided to just do it all at once rather than having to hobble the new ferries with the existing infra that’ll get replaced anyway. The issue imo (apart from the project management) is only getting 2 ferries where we’ll need 3 in the long run for resilience. But we can always buy a 3rd for the price of these 2 when it becomes a big problem.

  4. I have recently moved from Auckland to Melbourne and can confirm what the video is showing. There is really very few pedestrian crossings, I cross the road illegally every day to get to the train station and it’s a very busy one. Lots of cars and cyclists with the bike lanes not being safe in most of the places (I was doored recently). Indeed a lot of foot traffic too. And the speeds. It’s usually 50-60km on most roads. Quite dangerous. But the public transport (trains and trams) are really great.

  5. Ms Beck proved her disconnect during the Mayoral Election, at a Bike AKL event she offended every cyclist there with her anti biking remarks, at complete odds with now MP Efeso Collins. It is good that the Mayor is pointing this out.

    The new pedestrianised areas in the Central City are magnificent, and clearly more humans are enjoying them. With a train station and ferry terminal so easy to access; and hopefully a bus (or light rail????) version not too far from fruition; the city centre is a joy to live in, and surely shop and flop on a comfortable seat on a train or ferry or bus.
    The defenders of carparks are surely heading for extinction? They are such a completely useless thing to occupy space to reserve for vehicles that are not kinetic, or basically blocks of metal stuck in place.

    Anyway it is Friday, so bring on driving around all weekend because there is nothing else to do, apparently?

    1. > hopefully a bus (or light rail????) version not too far from fruition

      You’re joking right? There won’t be light rail in Auckland in my lifetime. Phil Twyford made sure of that.

  6. The national party say they are better at business and productivity in NZ is low.
    So will they decide on projects that have a high benefit to cost ratio?
    A 2021 study commissioned by the city of Ottawa showed that servicing low density greenfield development costs the city $465 per person per year while high density infil or brownfields provides the city with $619 per capita or revenue per year. Sprawl costs, Infil is net positive. Similar studies in Sydney showed the high cost of greenfields developments
    Studies in Auckland showed that the best option for a harbour crossing was to build the missing modes first – public transport and active modes.
    In Auckland the Takanini to Papakura and Panmure to Pakuranga bikeways are not popular and both have low numbers using them. Have they reviewed their plans and consultations at the time and learned the reasons for the low numbers? They made mistakes.
    They would note that London has seen good growth in walking and 40% in biking since 2019. Paris has also seen huge growth in PT, biking, safety and walking .

    1. Cycleways to nowhere aren’t popular because of that fact, cycleways need to be connected before traffic will improve significantly.

      The focus should really be on making connected cycleways instead of piecemeal fragmented ones.

      Anyway regarding the Pakuranga to Panmure cycleway, no train is running. Who would use it to cycle to the train (as it was its intended main use) when the trains haven’t been running for nearly a year.

      1. Whether that was its main purpose actually reflects AT’s focus on commuters and traffic flow more than anything else, though. I wouldn’t say AT are designing large projects on the basis of a coherent understanding of:
        – the needs of the population,
        – how to enable behaviour change,
        – best practice planning based on the vision for the place, nor
        – practices that encourage traffic evaporation.

        JFamilton is right they need to review their practices, but I don’t see that happening without a change of leadership and upper management.

    2. The Papakura – Takanini cycleway is excellent and quite well used as a local walking recreation facility. However the reason for the low number of cyclist users is obvious, you come to the end and are dumped in a very hostile traffic environment with no or very little connectivity apart from the train station.

      1. The Papakura-Takanini cycleway is an add-on to a major motorway widening project. For better (yay, new cycleways!) or worse (no connections, greenwashing figleaf) they tend to add bikeways to all new or majorly rebuilt motorways now. Result of the Waterview and East West Link and similar planning cases, and, well, so they can claim that spending all that money on cars has benefits for other modes as well. Is that the right way to spend our money, especially if local connections are not built at the same time? Nope. Because spending the same (motorway) budget ONLY on bikeways and footpaths, INCLUDING feeder networks, would get you much more benefits.

        But until our governments and Councils actually transition to that, I’d rather have a cycleway along a motorway that is disconnected for the first 1-2 decades than none, when they build new motorway works. At least this way we don’t have to fight even harder to retrofit them later.

        1. The local networks are local authorities things to figure/dragging the chain. It’s NZTA that seems to make the big difference cycleways wise – building them beside most of their new projects (should be all as the cost of a path is tiny in the scheme of things and you often get long distance cyclists/walkers following the major routes). Sure it’s greenwashing, but its greenwashing with positive outcomes.

    3. Papakura/Karaka to Takanini is fun to ride, but much of its catchment is water, so no surprise that numbers are low.

      Even then, connections are missing, like at Longford Park, where you could get a shortcut to and from Great South Road to the east.

      Looking at AT’s GIS, Papakura seems to be allergic to bike infra anyway…

    4. If by “the Takanini to Papakura [bikeway]” you mean the Southern Path the simple answer here is that it goes no-where near Takanini or Papakura.

      To get to Takanini it would be relatively simple: build another bridge. It can’t get to Papakura on account of being shoved 1.5 kilometres west of Papakura to run alongside the motorway and there’s a whole lot of suburban roads in the way.

      The Southern Path runs from Hingaia to Waiata Shores, both of which are urban sprawl communities that either didn’t or barely existed ten years ago.

      It is scarcely an exaggeration to say the only use cases for the Southern Path are tourism (i.e. you visit the Southern Path because of the Southern Path) or you want to visit someone’s house and you both live near some of its entrances. You could probably get some more mileage out of it by having a systematic plan for getting from the Southern Path to Rosehill (because Conifer Grove, Hingaia and Waiata Shores are all zoned for Rosehill College), but that does not exist… and I suspect would be quite expensive to do (another bridge).

      1. And the Fat Controller Fester Luxon at a press confer said the line between Napier and Wairoa is not going to be repaired and the money from that will go into more roads in Hawkes Bay Area , and it now sounds like he doing the same as the Key government i.e. managed decline , what an idiot , and look at what the Company he use to run and their new purchase an aircraft that looks like would not carry him and his crown .

      2. And the Fat Controller Fester Luxon at a press confer said the line between Napier and Wairoa is not going to be repaired and the money from that will go into more roads in Hawkes Bay Area , and it now sounds like he doing the same as the Key government i.e. managed decline , what an idiot , and look at what the Company he use to run and their new purchase an aircraft that looks like would not carry him and his crown .and built the Infurstructure , but in this case Kr are being made to pay and build it themselves .

      3. And an item on one of the news channels , it was said in a comment that if a airline/s bought new aircraft that ddn’t fit what was there the Airport would build themselves for the Aircraft to fit and also pay for the Works , but KR has to pay for everything and the Port Companies don’t but reap the Benefits .

  7. The ferry terminals are national infrastructure and should be built as planned regardless of the unspecified cost increases. High inflation leads to “unexpected” cost increases, who would have thought? It’s a small percentage of the money spent on superannuation year after year, this country needs to wake up and realise nickel and diming projects like this damages productivity. The rail connection across Cook Strait has been very suboptimal since the retirement of the Arahura without a replacement, how much is that costing NZ?

  8. Extension of the Te Whau pathway from SH16 to Roberts Field is great. But what about the approx 0.5km missing section from Robert’s Field to McLeod Park? Presumably that will be a boardwalk across the estuary: is there a timeframe for that?

    1. Never/until there is bike funding. Shovel ready 2020Te Whau project is costing $35 mil for 1.9 km, this has been topped up already. It probably needs another 100 million to be completed.

      It will probably function as money buring out for AT and co to avoid upsetting car drivers.

      1. I know what you mean, Jak, but the reality is that the money is being wasted elsewhere due to a planning paradigm that’s decades out of date. That’s where we should be putting our energy, not in trying to stop good projects that you wouldn’t be critiquing at all if there wasn’t a dearth of cheaper on-street cycling facilities.

        Let’s focus on exposing:
        – the enormous cost of legal and planning work to lodge Notices of Requirements for property purchase for projects we shouldn’t be doing
        – projects that are excessively costly because they involve road corridor widening or other complicated engineering manoeuvres to avoid reducing the number of traffic lanes, parking lanes and flush medians.
        – a costly storm repair programme that is climate-blind.
        – a renewals programme that is climate-blind.

        1. Yes not all cycleways have to be purely functional transport projects. But agree there is a pile of tim tam projects in very dangerous parts of the city, especially in suburb arterials that could be done quite cheaply.

  9. Thanks for mention of yesterday’s quite amazing Transport and Infrastructure Committee meeting.

    Of interest here was a presentation by a group of knowledgeable young experts on “Surface Light Rail”, encouraging Auckland Council to return to previous plans for surface light rail and allow Auckland to pursue its own logical transport plans.

    As for the safer speeds items, AT is playing politics instead of keeping to their role of transport expert. Disgusting, given children will be hurt and killed as a result. There was also plenty of drama, with a climate protest, skillful councillor management of a clown, and head-to-head arguments between councillors.

    1. Yes and one thing I noticed was the police input at the meeting he said safety designs particularly in urban areas important for speed reductions & hence saving lives. He shouldn’t of mentioned the out liner cases of speeding at 3am on motorways by some as that just fed some arguments that speed reductions wouldn’t help in DSI at all.

      1. Yeah, quite. While the police say that they have been using general deterrence for the last 18 months, they simply aren’t policing the 30 and 50 km/hr areas properly, so they certainly don’t seem to understand that doing so will improve the driving culture, reducing speeding everywhere, and enabling modeshift. This officer tried his best but slipped into expressing the police bias about attending to the rarer outliers.

  10. I see Dean Kimpton bemoaning the fact,that AT have been gifted the old SH1 part ,that has been replaced by Puhoi to Warkworth, from WK. It was compared to giving some one a puppy,or dog for Xmas. The giving is the easy part,the hard part is the drain on resources,time and money ,keeping it in good condition.

    1. Its a fair thing to raise – it will be a big extra maintenance cost comittment. When NZTA handed the old Mangere Bridge to Council, Council basically said “Lol, no, thing is going to fall apart in a few years.” So NZTA built them a new walk/cycle bridge and THEN handed it to Council to take on.

      1. It certainly is, and AT should be tackling the problem wholescale, given how often WK do it.

        But also, AT still haven’t understood that the way to fund renewals and repairs is like this:

        What funding is available for this that still allows us to improve our networks as required for safety and climate? How much network can we renew and repair with that funding? How do we reduce the network rapidly to enable this level of quality?

        He talks of needing any new infrastructure to come with funding for its renewals, and separately, understands the scale of the renewals burden. But he hasn’t put it together with our climate commitments and need to attend to safety before traffic flow.

    Opposition to cycle lanes ,throws up some curious problems,this one will ruin the Chev Corvette,when he has to pull off the road to let the ambulance past. In the next breath , the speed bumps aren’t high enough,”4 x4 don’t feel a thing”. I also read further on that “lives will be lost,cyclists,because there wasn’t a complete cycling network”,but this seems to have been removed from the article.
    The latter is a really good point,it is the same rationale for extending the motorway down SH1,maybe it was retracted as it was counterproductive.

    1. Useless excuse, the median can be used by the emergency vehicle from looking at the graphic in that article.
      Bit like the reckons of Geoff Upson in our council meeting [from Simon Wilsons article] – “… disagreed with the students. He’s a member of the Rodney Local Board but he was appearing in a private capacity. Reducing speed limits doesn’t work, he said, because “there are still some fatal crashes on roads with lower speed limits”.

      Also I note the Mayor voted in favour (after initially looked like he too might vote against).
      “As somebody who has been run over twice and experienced some pretty hostile behaviour, if we want to get people on bikes – and in particular protect our young people – we have to take the decisions that are going to result in that change and make it safer.”

    1. Oh one very good feature of say a monthly or yearly pass set at the right value is they are so good at encouraging further PT use as you want to make the most of it once purchased. It also provides the agency with a good source of steady, upfront income.

  12. Me and Bike Auckland fought for several years (successfully) to get an access at Walter Strevens added to the initially consented design (NZTA didn’t engage with advocates until after the consents for the motorway!)

    Getting an access at Longford Park sadly would have needed a new bridge, 10-15mil easy, so that was never an option for them at that point.

    For the extension to Drury, similar challenges exist, but overall it seems that that will have a few more side accesses. More from the west than the east again, of course, it continuing on the west all the way. At least the new development areas are getting good access generally, and in a few locations where NZTA are raising the whole motorway / rebuilding interchanges, proper cycleway crossings from the east are also included.

    1. Do you have maps for the extension? I remember looking ages ago now but either due to my own incompetence or jumping the gun, I never found anything.

      And not having an access at Walter Strevens would’ve been insane; glad you succeeded.

      I have to say, I just wish there was some kind of attempt to join up the bike lanes in all the new developments. If not to each other, then at least something. Like you say at least they exist but it feels so pointless to have this modern bike provision which lasts the length of the new area and then dumps cyclists into nothing. Usually not even a painted lane.

  13. … and a name familiar to those around here has departed the NZTA board, ( likely before he was pushed)…

    “As Transport Minister I have accepted the resignations of Dr Paul Reynolds as Chair of NZTA, and also of Board member Patrick Reynolds. I thank them both for their service.”

    I’m also assuming this means Patrick may also no longer be on the City Centre Advisory Panel as his position appears to be ex-officio? or can he remain ?

  14. Regarding Patrick Reynolds – Last term, he posted to Twitter, calling Winston Peters’ NZ First “personality-based” and said Peters would soon retire.

    It is a real shame to lose Patrick’s expertise on the Waka Kotahi Board (wash my mouth out, NZTA).

    Is Patrick’s demise due to Peter’s vindictiveness which seems to have no bounds.

  15. Hmm it was expected that there would be some pretty major personnel changes at NZ Transport and quite a few other public agencies. Lately Labour have appointed staff based on other criteria that best practice and National are now expected to continue this practice. Cant say I am a fan of it. Appointments shouldn’t be political they should be based on merit. This political playing field around appointments doesn’t do us taxpayers, whether red or blue, any favours since it will lead to lower productivity and more intra-organisational bickering within the government agencies.

    In regard to Mr Reynolds, board members have the right to express opinions, but board governance is a serious matter and if a board member has engaged in thinly veiled personal attacks (ageism) against an elected politician, they have automatically disqualified themselves from further duty. Even if I personally may agree with his views on our Deputy PM, being a board member for a public organisation comes with an assumption of impartiality and an expectation of a professional conduct at all times. The former chairman of the board should have acted on that tweet and dismissed Mr Reynolds when it was published. We have set statues about impartiality in NZ government agencies and those are to be upheld no matter political views. Sad, but true.

    But maybe his departure means he can return and breath life into this website. Would be fantastic. Its lost alot of its vibrancy over the last few years.

  16. Thanks
    A4E – Access for Everyone has been extinguised for a cost savings of $49M/10y according to Mr Darby.

    Great to see excellent fact based presentations, answered with finance based austerity moves. More reasons not to visit the city centre.

  17. So they’re going ahead with the almost blanket reduction to 60k/h in Rodney.
    Typical bullshit you get when ‘governed’ by far off urban centric bureaucrats.

  18. Finally some good news on Te Whau. Also that Irish video is quite cute.

    Sad about kids, it seems a bit random for this post though.

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