We’re only a few days away from the end of the year, so it’s time for a quick wrap-up of the most important things that happened in 2023.

Thank you to everyone who has visited the blog and supported us in making Auckland greater.

Before delving into mode-specific highlights and key projects of 2023, two significant events are impossible to ignore, and affect everything we discuss on this blog.

Climate Change is demonstrably here…

This year Tāmaki Makaurau had a first-hand glimpse of the dramatic and unpredictable impacts of a changing climate – starting in January, with major and deadly flooding, which put the spotlight on both our preparedness and how we manage stormwater. Then, shortly afterwards, came Cyclone Gabrielle, which buffeted Auckland and points north, and went on to devastate the East Coast.

Well beyond the immediate damage, those two weather events alone will continue to exert a huge long-term impact on our city, as thundreds of millions of dollars of planned capital expenditure had to be diverted towards recovery efforts instead. (This is a very literal manifestation of the vague “fiscal and economic storm” we were being threatened with at the end of 2022.)

What this means is many projects – including those essential for helping to fight against climate change – are being deferred. Given Auckland was already the back foot in future-proofing things like transport, this thrusts the city into a highly challenging cycle of delay-and-find-out.So a major question for 2024 is: can we rapidly plan-and-catch-up

…and so is a new government

Right near the end of the year, we got a new government, an National-ACT-NZ First coalition which has already had immediate impacts on transport. So far, these include:

And this government’s stated policies will likely have much bigger implications in the years ahead. Although it remains to be seen how this approach lands, e.g. with local governments which increasingly see the links between transport, climate, pot holes and resilience. And with people looking for cost-effective alternatives to driving, in a cost-of-living crisis.

Notably, even before the change in government, Labour – misreading the frustration towards their lack of delivery– had shifted their transport policy to largely copy National’s. Not, as it turned out, a winning strategy.

And on the topic of governance, one thing that has been a bit of a surprise has been Mayor Wayne Brown’s position on many urban issues, such as light rail. Some of these were highlighted in his Auckland Manifesto, released prior to the election and hopefully he can help push the new government on some of these.

Public Transport

Post-COVID recovery 

This year has seen public transport use really start to recover from the disruption brought about by COVID. In the 12 months to the end of November, just over 78.2 million trips were taken on buses, trains and ferries. This is compared to around 55.6m at the same point in 2022, and just over 103m in November 2021.

So across the year, we’re back at around 76% of pre-COVID levels – and the more recent months have been at or just above 80%.

With the bus driver shortage now resolved, and the Eastern Line rail closure about to be a thing of the past, we should see usage continue to rise – though there’s still plenty of disruption to the network out there.

Wellington has been doing even better: as of the end of October, it was sitting at around 88% of pre-COVID levels with recent monthly results often greater than 90%.

These results have come despite the mid-year removal of half-priced fares that had been introduced by the then-Labour government in March 2022, to address cost of living pressures.

City Rail Link ploughs on

The CRL team have continued to make great progress this year, including laying track and building stations that are really starting to look like train stations.

It hasn’t been all good news though, with confirmation in March that costs had increased, to an estimated $5.493bn, up $1.074bn on the 2019 price estimate. The announcement noted some of the reasons for the rise, e.g. significant cost increases on raw materials.

As well as costing more, it’ll be longer before passengers can start using the CRL. Construction and initial testing is due to be completed by November 2025; however, more testing and training will be needed after the project is handed over to Auckland Transport and Kiwirail. As such, it seems unlikely we’ll see passenger services till late 2026. Pop it in your diaries.

One positive bit of CRL-related news was Auckland Transport’s proposal for the streets around the Karanga-a-Hape Station, including closing part of Mercury Lane. As planned, this was part-funded by Transport Choices, so it’s not clear if the project is at risk due to the new transport minister’s cancelling of CERF funding. Maybe Mayor Brown could have a word with Minister Brown?

Western Express

After being meant to be a “shovel-ready” project in 2020, the Western Express was finally launched just over a month ago. It already seems popular but it’ll be some time before we get a good comparison.

Light Rail is shunted aside?

The project continued to get even more off track during 2023, including at one point suggesting a massive four-track trench through Onehunga. The new government is looking to cancel the project, which represents a massive failure for both Labour and those tasked with delivering it – especially as, at the time of the 2023 election, it was further away from happening than it was in 2017 when Labour were elected.

AT’s Con Job throws in the towel

Auckland Transport’s massive flagship programme Connected Communities was cancelled this year. Launched in 2018, it was intended to deliver walking, cycling, public transport and safety improvements along 12 key corridors in the region, later downgraded to just six.

A large part of the reason for the cancellation was down to extremely poor project/programme management, as highlighted in some scathing reports from KPMG.

The original ConCom corridors (Gt South Rd had multiple sections)

Active Modes

Great North Rd and Pt Chev upgrades under way

After a pre-emptive pause in 2022 – hot on the heels of the mayoral election, at the behest of just one councillor, and despite huge public support over years of multiple consultations – in June this year, Auckland Transport finally confirmed they would go ahead with the Gt North Rd and Pt Chev upgrade projects. Works are currently under way, including on Meola Road which is getting a full rebuild over the summer.

Glen Innes local cycling links roll out

Meanwhile, on the other side of town – and way less politicised and publicised – AT has been busy at work on 7.3km of safe local cycling links around and to Glen Innes town centre. This local network includes a cycling-inclusive roundabout, which shows we can, indeed, have nice things.

Hendry Ave is upgraded

A small but vital project, part-funded by the regional fuel tax, this added several safety treatments to what has long been a tricky gap on a very steep bit of the cycle network.


Puhoi to Warkworth opens

The last of the previous National government’s Roads of National Significance was finally opened in June this year.

Penlink gets going

The biggest roading project now underway in Auckland is Penlink, and after starting right at the end of 2022, there’s still a lot of work do.

In one surprise, given the way they backed down on so many other policies, Labour confirmed the road would be tolled.

AWHC – still no alternative Waitematā Harbour crossing

It wasn’t just Light Rail that has seen crazy outsized proposals: Labour’s approach to the other big Auckland project – an additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing – also got the super-size treatment.

Somehow Waka Kotahi managed to dream up a crossing option that’s now estimated to cost a whopping $56 billion. It includes road tunnels and a light rail tunnel to Albany via Belmont and Glenfield – and it seems Auckland Council, Auckland Transport, and even the Ministry of Transport don’t want it. It’s also looking increasingly like the light rail option was included specifically so it could be dropped, and we end up with just another road crossing.

Notably, this is one project that the new government haven’t yet said much about.

Labour ignored evidence and action

I mentioned earlier how Labour had shifted their transport policy to one that appeared to be a copy of National’s. This began before well before the election, and included scaling back on its road safety plans despite the evidence of what we should do, with road deaths in NZ being some of the highest per capita in the OECD and far more than even Australia. Auckland Transport has continued to roll out safer speed though which is positive.

Similarly, Labour also shied away from making our transport system more fair by simply refusing to update parking fine rates, which have been unchanged for around a quarter of a century. Because the rates are so low, In Auckland it’s often not worth Auckland Transport’s time to conduct enforcement and that has contributed to bad parking across the region.

Labour also sat on its hands on Accessible Streets. Widely consulted in 2020, this policy package aimed to address critical safety issues for pedestrians, disabled people, and those using bikes and micromobility, by updating the rules to reflect reality.

This included e-scooters, electric mobility assistance, and other wheeled devices that currently fall between the regulatory cracks – and the paradox of footpath cycling, a necessary life-hack while most streets remain unsafe for most people to ride, but currently only legal for posties and people on teeny-tiny wheels.

Will the new government pick up the slack and make up for lost time? Let’s see.

Level Crossing Removal

As part of their long term plans to make full use of the City Rail Link, Auckland Transport wants to remove all level crossings from the Auckland network, including four crossings around Takanini. The concern is that these have turned into eye-wateringly expensive projects, with the Walters Rd crossing alone expected to cost over $200 million, and all crossings combined likely around $650 million. There’s also concern about what closing the crossings means for active modes access.

City Centre

There’s been a couple of big developments in the city centre.

Downtown Carpark sale

Just over a month ago the council agreed to sell the massive Downtown Carpark to Precinct Properties. They plan to demolish it and build an impressive new development that will integrate with their existing sites in the area, including Commercial Bay

Midtown Progress

There was good progress on two key mid-town projects this year, both of which will help support the City Rail Link once it opens.

In the middle of town work also finally started on Te Hā Noa – the Victoria St Linear Park.

And the AT board approved the proposal to improve Wellesley St, including making the section between Albert St and Queen St bus only.

Top Read Posts

It’s been another huge year for Greater Auckland, and I thought I’d share the top 10 most viewed posts:

There’s so much more we could have included here. What were your local highlights of 2023?

This will be our last post for the year, so once again thanks for reading and supporting us. Meri Kirihimete, have a happy and safe break, and best wishes for the New Year.

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  1. And on the 21st December Kiwi Rail revamped the old Signal Box at the Strand Station for use of those doing Long Distant travels and for a week from the 15thJan for those that are using the Eastern Line while Britomart is closed , and hopefully AT will move the City bound Bus stop closer to the Station instead of having a long hike down The Strand to catch it .
    Here what from the Eastern Line will get which also includes a proper toilet instead of thee portaloos like they had 2years ago for the punters

  2. It’s always funny how any new intensification / cycle infrastructure gets massive media backlash if it’s in the rich inner city. But, if it’s in any poorer area there’s radio silence. Even though there’s probably similar levels of pushback in both communities one gets amplified.

    1. So true. And also, even when there’s similar levels of *support*, it can take a ton of work to get coverage of that fact. Maybe because good news stories and “uncontroversial” projects tend not to grab headlines.

      For example, how many news stories were there about the ~50 organisations, including schools, residents’ associations, health professionals, etc, who called for un-pausing the Inner West works.

      (Bet there’s the same breadth of support for the Glen Innes projects, too, communities everywhere are rich in social resources and connections.)

    2. I don’t think there is the backlash. AT needs to stop spending all the money where all they get is complaints in the areas that are not getting housing intensity, and start spending it elsewhere.

    3. Poorer people actually have to work and don’t have time to complain. Many don’t live to retirement age where they can just sit around and form resident associations to complain about stuff, take council to court and then declare bankruptcy.

    1. I do think simplified fates help a lot. How about $3 a day as many trips as you like in Auckland. Same price for children, students, adults, and seniors. Nice and simple tap your credit card and go system, no need to tag off.

  3. And my end of Year roundup on the works at Pukekohe Railway Station rebuild , also the Cantanary wirs are just over a kilometre or so from Papakura ;-

      1. Yes it is except for the section just South of Papakura and possibly with this shutdown they might connect it ? hopefully .

        1. It’s not as simple as “just connecting it”, but you probably knew that.

          We’ll connect it when everything is ready. Trains later this year.

  4. Do we know how the 3rd main project is going? Did we get clarity on whether Middlemore station is being rebuilt with passive provision for a 4th main?

    1. Was there yesterday and the old section of the western North of the overbridge has been closed and new ramps have been built to allow people to get to new platform South of the overbridge and lift .

      And the 4th main right now ends just North of Puhinui .

  5. Awesome roundup. I didn’t realise what a huge engineering feat the Penlink project is until I watched that flyover just now. Even better than Penlink would be zoning the peninsula in a way that allows for more jobs locally. Reducing the need for people to commute to the CBD is the best transport project of all.

    Absolutely gutting that much-needed transport funds are evaporating because of climate change-induced natural disasters. Even more gutting is the funds evaporating because Simeon Brown has an acute case of car brain.

    1. I thought Penlink was about avoiding the congestion from people going to/from Silverdale. Some shopping, plenty working. It jams up the only access way in and out.

      And if I was rezoning The Pensinsular, it would be for intensification, which would in turn drive demand for businesses. Maybe the golf course, soon?

  6. Well done to National Party in 2023 in the election victory! But now, in 2024 you need to think about what new ideal projects you going to bring forward for future elections. You managed to win upper class & middle class vote here in New Zealand, but not won the lower class vote! ‘Cost of living’ is still the main driver, cost of petrol rising still, even with electricity, the public know that prices of electricity will go higher once everyone transitions from petrol to electric vehicles. Meaning alternative solution is ‘Public Transport’ and even that doesn’t come cheap or be workable due to journey being time consuming and takes away quality of life. Thats why we need to construct more fast effective modes of public transport here in NZ. You need to invest more in ‘Public transport infrastructure’ that create express types of modes than continuing having buses running on public roads.

    For city like Auckland, people are too reliant on private vehicle use. We need people to use public transport more and make public transport more accessible so people see the benefits of using public transport.

    Future Public Transport ideas for 2023-2026 tenure or next election policy:

    St Lukes Transport Hub & St Lukes surface level Heavy Rail Corridor, to completely replace the 22 bus route by building Heavy Rail corridor next or under Westfield St Lukes and build transport hub for better accessibility to Westfield St Lukes since it’s a big shopping complex. The reason why 22 bus route hasn’t been taken off service is due to no Heavy rail line to complement 22 bus exact bus routing into St Lukes, if a Heavy Rail line right now complemented it’s exact routing, 22 bus route would be gone and free up buses to create a new bus route for another part of Auckland. Commuters travelling from City, West (Avondale, New Lynn) and Central Auckland(Remuera, Greenlane, Onehunga) would benefit from this, be more direct, accessible, faster way getting into St Lukes. Alleviates pressure for Westfield Newmarket by linking CRL, Western Line & Onehunga line into St Lukes.

    With that, we should be creating a surfaced level heavy rail ’New Lynn line’, but in-future focus on creating St Lukes Transport Hub & St Lukes Heavy Rail Corridor first! The ‘Current Western Line’ would no longer have Mt Albert-Baldwin Ave rail corridor once a New Lynn line is built. The ‘New Lynn line’ would start from Morningside station follow through to Baldwin Avenue, once there creates new rail corridor and new stations at Unitec, Avondale Jockey Club and Whau River and terminates at New Lynn Station. We need more development of high density apartments in Auckland, only way we can do that is by constructing more transport hubs which have rail lines running different directions, likes of Panmure which attracts private investors to buying properties and develop high density apartments cause they see opputunaty to grow population and bring convenience of shopping.

    Extension of Northern Busway, extend the busway all the way to Milldale and along with creating new bus stations at Dairy Flat & Milldale, instead of extending lanes of SH1 Albany-Silverdale.

    Dominion Rd Heavy Rail tunnelled, do this so former minister for Auckland, transport, current labour Mt Roskill mp doesn’t unleash havoc onto ratepayers and have to redevelop ‘correct mode’ due to wrong form of rail mode of choice being chosen by the former minister for Auckland, transport, current labour Mt Roskill mp. He’s referred to as ”Napoleon” on Newshub a lot, meaning ambitious, assertive, authoritarian, strong desire for power and control.

    Future roading projects:

    Stage 2 of Northern Corridor, link up SH1 & SH18 South-bound, direction towards Takapuna & City, currently still a bottleneck for commuters and Freight since it time consuming going through Constellation Dr Interchange still due to traffic lights. inconvenient for those coming from West Auckland and Upper Harbour who’d like to commute to Takapuna & City.

    Avonhead – Templeton SH1 Expressway in Christchurch, currently commuters going through Hornby traffic lights, which is time consuming and amount of private vehicles and heavy trucks passing through, makes unsafe to walk around especially where’s there shopping complex and mall. Be more economical and logical sense than Christchurch to Ashburton four-lane expressway. Ashburton doesn’t have enough population to sustain a 4 lane expressway, needs to have population of 50,000 to cater 4 lane expressway. You got to construct Avonhead – Templeton SH1 Expressway instead first before deciding to Christchurch to Ashburton four-lane expressway. Instead of Christchurch to Ashburton four-lane expressway needs more passing lanes. We need to create more transport projects in Christchurch like Avonhead – Templeton SH1 Expressway to increase population into Ashburton by raising house prices and stopping rapid growth in Christchurch while Ashburton house prices stabilise.

  7. It will be decades before Auckland gets AWHC and decades more before light rail is introduced.
    What NZ needs is cross party agreement to solve its transport woes. We need one plan, agreed by the main political parties and then set in stone.
    If that means both a road and rail crossing, so be it. Additional road lanes, while expensive, will add resilience to connecting the North Shore to the rest of NZ.
    Same with light rail. Forget heavy rail and spend the money on a world class light rail system. If that means that parking needs to be removed from every street that the trams will run on, again, so be it. If there is a shortage of parking in Auckland, someone will build a parking building to cater for it.
    What we don’t need is to waste money on downtown stadiums and vanity cycle projects like Skypath,
    Solving transport in NZ’s only real city is a must win battle. Yes it will be eye wateringly expensive, but it will never be cheaper than it is today. The sooner we accept this and crack on, the better.
    Funding can come from fuel taxes, a Government tax on all households within the Auckland area and from GST on all Amazon and Trademe transactions.

    1. There should be a toll on cars using the new crossing. They have alternatives – the Upper Harbour Highway and existing bridge – so they can pay to use this one if they so wish. It’s the first and only rail crossing, and passengers will be paying the fare anyway.

      Let’s see what the modelling says about that.

      1. Big oof, heck no mate! Last thing we need! No tolls on a new crossing, very unnecessary! All we need to do is put road congestion charges on commuters choosing to travel during peak hrs and when’s there’s alternative is public transport and should use it more. A way to save the climate and bring attitude change.

  8. Pffff, forget light tram, making sure light tram never returnable form of mode and existent in our society for the better of the good! Heavy Rail is the game changer for Auckland and rest of New Zealand. It’s fast, bestest mobility use, convenience and able to construct anywhere in the country. A lot of the public would agree on that! We need more Heavy Rail in this country!

    Unfortunately bureaucracy has gotten in the way of ‘Real Progress’ of ‘Real Transformation’, cause of dangerous individualist likes of the current Labour Mount Roskill former Auckland & transport minister who likes to hold up important transport projects, to start up ‘big money, destructive pet projects’ for self-interest, while public have no interest, pays the price and leave communities struggling. What’s worse we have you Greenies tagging along and getting brainwashed in the process by just being fixated on statistics and logical provided evidence without any interrupted rational. No theoretical mind. To make matter even more worse, don’t have any thought process to yourselves and have any in-coherent in societal perspectives. On what the public is asking in their communities and how to make New Zealand a better place! Exactly why you Greenies lost the election! So no working together, isn’t an option and will get in the way of things and make matters worse for worst! And no to light tram along with it cause issues around it being ignored!

    For starters, if the government did St Lukes Transport Hub (possibility of station being trenched or tunnelled) & St Lukes surface level Heavy Rail Corridor from Mount Albert Station to Morningside Station, right now it cost less than $300 million or less to construct and probably take less than 2 years. Have the Heavy Rail Corridor run at 6TPH and Mount Albert Station to Morningside Station via Baldwin Avenue run 6TPH too, at a later stage, create surfaced level heavy rail ’New Lynn line’ featuring new stations at Unitec, Avondale Jockey Club and Whau River and terminates at New Lynn Station. We’d finally see some progress and ‘real transformation’. We’d finally get rid of the 22 bus to free the spare buses for other parts of Auckland who need it badly. Lastly would encourage real estate investors to buy in on where new located stations and hubs for creating high density apartments which is badly need in Auckland. Top of it, really need to bring up house prices in central parts of Auckland to push out unwanted statistical and logical people out while using this as opportunity for National to create more public transport projects, use this to gain party & electorate vote for next election(mainly electorate vote).

    As for your claim on “downtown stadium, it’s badly needed too, a 25,000-30,000 seated stadium along the waterfront with constructing Eden Park 2.0. Decades long debate and its time we proceeded with construction!

    “Funding can come from fuel taxes, a Government tax on all households within the Auckland area”

    Exactly why National won’t go along with Greenies, Tax, Tax, Tax the life out of living day ordinary low income households until they have nothing left. National need to get rid of the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax to replace it with Auckland Council’s Congestion Pricing. Whist that, trust the mayor’s plan to introduce ‘The Auckland Future Fund’ to help create public transport projects across Auckland. What we need is more Public transport projects, particularly here in Auckland!

    1. Ah yes, light rail has problems, but let’s create new surface level heavy rail lines through massively developed parts of Auckland because that will be cheaper and easier, apparently.

      Also, let’s get rid of a stadium that seats 55K and build one with half that capacity because hosting major events isn’t something we should really aspire to anymore, or so we should believe.

      I’m guessing your Christmas brandy snaps were less of the cream variety and more of the brandy schnapps with these hot takes.

  9. I would be embarrassed to call myself a National voter.

    Simeon Brown sits in an office in Wellington. He has a picture of The King on one wall and Maggie Thatcher on the other. If that doesn’t send shivers down spines, I don’t know what would.
    The best and only qualified transport politician in NZ is Julie Ann Genter. She should have been the Minister over the last two Governments. Twyford was a dreamer and Wood was a Schemer.

    1. at least he has the King and not Ronald Reagan the other screwer of Money policy with his trickle down theory , where the rich get richer and the poor live on handouts .

      1. Thanks for point that out! And yes he’s your new ruler now! Hopefully another 3 years will be too!

        “where the rich get richer and the poor live on handouts.”

        Certainly not true. There’s no reason or excuses to why low income on benefit people can’t go up-skill by getting a fee free drivers license, go for fee’s free Tertiary study for 2 years and graduate to keep up with pace of cost of living. It’s called laziness, work attitude and not being enthusiastic about learning new things by being anti-social and choosing to disengage themselves from society.

    2. Everyone who voted for National should be proud they voted for real change and condemning you lefties for all the havoc you’ve caused and don’t like being challenged! As for our National’s official transport minister incumbent, should be proud in what he has achieved! Now a ruler King in the transport portfolio and gained overall party vote win over Labour coalition. To top it off, now got a offical beehive portrait of himself to his honours, thanks for mentioning the hope it sends more shivers down the spine and now to more shivers to your Achilles, forcing you to pray to your new ruler!

      Stopped your coalitions wasteful years of creating no real progress in starting up public transport projects without the need to lobbied by National to start-up. To your claim about your very own Greeney transport minister is very laughable and she’s a joke, incompetent, unjustifiable minister! She neither qualified or queen match maker against our very own incumbent official transport minister. She lacks any understanding processes of public transport, from financial, geographical planning, geological, earthwork & construction stand-point, only knowledge she has is ideology and religion. Yuck! Our very own 2020 national leader against Jacinda was very good, also was a previous shadow transport minister herself too! She was ambitious, passionate, had correct mindset and knowledgable about public transport and wanted more public transport projects across New Zealand, instead of roads at her time during her own election campaign, better than your own greeney minister. Pure example women can fulfil the role of transport minister, need to have correct mindset and be knowledgable to be transport minister!

      Yes he is the now ruler of the throne, de-throned the last two labour transport minister by giving them reality check and should look scarred to what’s about to come, it’s called real change…. There’s nothing you can do about it now! So now, better suck it up and move on 2nd place! That’s what happens when socialism takes over, called individualism, the public saw right through you greenies and labour cause you aren’t really serving for best interest for NZ. You Greenies have yourselves to blame!

      1. I am a leftie. I have caused no havoc.
        Given that your first sentence is thus demonstrably wrong I ceased reading.

        Avery’s advice to all lefties: don’t feed the troll.

        1. Yes you have caused havoc, called voting for ultra left wing government for six years, embodied self interest, individualism and not in-it for country best-interest which is New Zealand, should be ashamed! With it being in-denial, narcissistic traits causes public outrage. You’re the troll!

        2. “Yes you have caused havoc”

          Well, this is an interesting situation. The best person to know what I have done and how I have voted is…

          You, on the other hand are some guy on the interweb making unsubstantiated claims. Let’s see your evidence of how I voted. This is, after all, an evidence-based forum.

          Are your sure that your name is Math? Maybe a typo for Meth?

      2. What’s the real change they had voted for?

        So far we’ve only seen some government departments change their names, and a few pieces of legislation revert to where they were in 2017. If that’s change then there’s every chance we’ll see a new government again in 2026.

        1. Seen repealing of ‘Lets get Wellington Moving’ that’s was a must! Very unhelpful organisation and uncooperative with National and favouring big money spending. Next up repealing Auckland Light Rail! Can’t wait!

        2. And presumably, Te Huia too.

          I hate to break it to you, but heavy rail won’t be saved from the austerity plans you voted for. Simeon Brown hates trains, whatever type.

        3. KLK, Te Huia is money wasting subsidy with limited frequencies and is very slow train. This year it seen no growth in patronage last year and will continue to stay with no growth this year since an intercity bus can get to Auckland and vice versa within 1 hr and 30 mins with multiple frequencies available. Te Huia has to go too!

          Avondale-Southdown Heavy Rail will commence at some-point during this tenure.

        4. National Voter! Have you yourself ever travelled on the Te Huia or are you like you idol the Fat Controller Luxon who was invited to ride it by a Hamilton councillor but turned it down , as most thought it was below is status traveling with the great unwashed .

          And the reason why it s slow is because when it reaches the Auckland network AT slows it and the Northern Explorer down by running it behind the all stopping commuter trains instead of ead of them .

        5. david L, Auckland network isn’t the problem, its the diesel trains speed itself. The diesel locomotives, way the acceleration & de-acceleration is slower than Auckland EMU’s since its more heavier since its consist of fuel meaning more heavier and slower journey. Passenger diesel has restrictions too compared vs diesel freight meaning restriction on speed.

        6. National Voter! The Wellington network gives priority to the Northern Explorer , Capital Connection and the trains from the Waiarapa over the local commuter services whereas Auckland is the opposite . and the DL’s which pull freight are govern to 80kph whereas the DFB’s which are used on Te Huia and the Northern Explorer are not . And when I have been on the Te Huia it has got up to around 105kph mainly through the Waikato where there are no track works or speed restrictions and Te Huia also can arrive up to 10mins ahead of the schedule time then has to sit at Papakura to allow a commuter train to go ahead , as AT does not want the train to use the network .
          They like it when it finished at Papakura , but when it started going further North the slowness really started , as AT contol the Auckland Network from Britomart not the new Track control at Ellersile .
          And here is an example and it was held up at Wiri after getting ahead of the EMU ;-

        7. david L, your excuses are just laughable, there’s a reason why passenger rail drivers here in New Zealand go through intensive training exercise and take 2 years to complete. They need to do this to ensure passengers get smooth journey without any heavy breaking and without injuring passengers. You’ll find that the diesel locomotives are heavier than EMU which run on powerlines since diesel carries petrol meaning extra weight meaning needing lots of power to accelerate and harder to decelerate into each stations which slower’s the journey due to weight. EMU would outweigh the Te Huia going into Hamilton and makes more sense to spend on electrification.

        8. National Voter! – And Diesel locomotives do not run on Petrol as it would stuff the engines .
          And all your excuses don’t add up , catch it and try once in your life then complain .
          and this video shows some of the speeds and the EMU”s ae allowed to get up to 100kph on the Auckland network but have unoffically got up to 120kph .

    3. It’s well and truly time that this country becomes a republic. We also need a new national anthem.

      The monarch is the head of state of NZ but doesn’t turn up for work from one decade to the next. The British anthem was “God save the Queen” but clearly God didn’t. The Queen carked it and was replaced by her idiot son so now they sing “God save the King”. Cognitive dissonance writ large.

      We, on the other hand, sing “God defend New Zealand”. Why then, do we have a military at all if God is going to do the job?

      …and what if you have a frisson of doubt that this God actually exists?

      1. Heck no, we’re not turning our selves into the redneck American’s thanks! That’s should stay well away from New Zealand! Democracy is here to stay and should stay that way! Place where opinion is free and where we have voting system favouring by majority where don’t agree and opinion differ.

        Clearly you have no idea what republic actually stands in its defence. Means act like rebels, insurgents, mutinous,.anarchist & insurrectionist.

        1. “rebels, insurgents, mutinous,.anarchist & insurrectionist.”

          To be fair, that’s only the right wing voters in the US, who get all angsty when the free market and democracy doesn’t go their way.

        2. KLK, Republican isn’t matter which political spectrum you are, matter of ‘values’ you believe, rebels, insurgents, mutinous,.anarchist & insurrectionist, are republican’s, believe its okay to act like this!

        3. “Means act like rebels, insurgents, mutinous, anarchist & insurrectionist”

          You make those sound like bad things.

          Your “if not A then B” argument is nonsense.
          I am not fan of US-style “democracy”. There are, however, numerous other models of republic we could choose to follow (or we could invent our own). A few examples:
          The Republic of Ireland
          Federal Republic of Germany
          French Republic
          South Africa

          The reality is that NZ could become a full republic by deeming the Governor General the head of state and writing the British monarch out of all legislation.

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