Anytime there’s a new government and/or minister, the associated agencies produce a Briefing to the Incoming Minister (BIM) to help them get up to speed. They also have the advantage over many policy documents in that they historically tend to represent advice unfiltered by political policies and promises.

The BIMs for our new government have now been released so I’ve taken a look through the transport ones. Here are the things that stood out from the Ministry of Transport Briefing.

Firstly, last year actually saw two BIMs, only months apart due to the appointment of David Parker in June. Given they were less than six months apart, you’d expect them to be almost identical documents but one of the first things that stood out to me was how different they were, both in language and content, putting into question the notion that these are unfiltered by political policies and promises. For example, in the foreword:

Transport plays a pivotal role in providing liveable cities and thriving regions. It underpins how New Zealanders get to their places of work and study, how whānau and communities connect, and how businesses move goods and services.

A well functioning transport system contributes to the economic prosperity of cities, towns, local neighbourhoods, and rural communities, and improves our wellbeing. It shapes land use, urban form, and street-level interactions. Transport connects New Zealand economically and culturally with the rest of the world.


Transport connects people with family, friends, communities, schools and work, and shifts materials, goods and services around New Zealand and to and from the world. New Zealand’s transport system enables the social and economic prosperity of our cities, towns and rural communities.

The transport system also has a range of impacts, including road deaths and serious injuries, air and noise pollution that affect the health of the general population, as well as producing a significant proportion of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions.

In another example “Increasing climate resilience includes reducing transport emissions” became “We must ensure the transport system is fit for future generations and able to withstand the impacts of extreme weather events“. Even just the size of the documents, Parker’s document was 76 pages in length while Simeon Brown’s was 34 pages – though there is also a supplementary 26 page document looking at the transport system.

Transport Spending

On to the actual briefing, perhaps the most stark aspect is the talk about how there’s just not enough money or people to deliver all of the big project promises.

They note that operating and maintenance costs are making up an increasing share of transport spending, due to both a growing network and inflationary pressures across the economy. Coupled with other pressures on existing funding sources

The increase in the financial burden is driven by a range of factors, including cost inflation across the economy, climate events and natural disasters, increased aspiration for investment, a need for resilience, and an expanded range of activities being funded. This has led to increased pressure on the available funding and resulted in a range of short-term solutions being put in place, including increased Crown funding and debt.

They note that “investment ambitions are running well ahead of the capacity of the revenue system or the construction sector to deliver new products, especially alongside ambitious programmes in other sectors like water and housing.

The construction sector gap is highlighted by this graph.

As for expenditure and revenue, they say “planned expenditure over the next 20 years is nearly double the $10 billion per annum of current investment and four times the size of the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF)“.

They say

There is a growing urgency to consider the balance between new expenditure and maintaining the system and establishing a more certain and sustainable model for funding transport priorities to meet short term needs and establish an enduring model for the next decade and beyond. This will involve considering the balance between revenue and expenditure, and how to apply a sharper focus on value for money. Mew Zealand must also look to other tools, such as pricing and demand management (eg, congestion charging), regulatory interventions, use of data, and the way transport and land use are considered together.

We’ve already seen light rail killed off, but this should really call into question other big programmes, like the additional Waitemata Habour Crossing and the government’s plans for lots of motorway projects.

The briefing also has some talk about the issue of future revenue, noting that it is at risk in the future from more fuel efficient vehicles.

A transition towards RUC uptake is already underway. The RUC system overcomes the reducing fuel use issues with FED, and it may enable a more equitable and sustainable stream of funding over time. There are options for extending RUC, including moving all vehicles on to the system or more sophisticated charging approaches that would add time and location-based charging.

While some changes would need to be implemented over the longer-term, there are revenue options that can be progressed in the shorter-term. While such tools would help provide additional revenue, they are unlikely to generate enough revenue to fill expected gaps over the next decade and each option comes with its own risks and challenges.

They briefly cover those revenue options which are:

  • Value capture mechanisms
  • Congestion charging
  • Tolling
  • Making greater use of private capital

That last one isn’t really a revenue option though, it’s a financing one and it’s concerning that the Ministry are pushing it given the issues with the existing PPPs we’re now paying for. They do note them though, but then include some magical thinking that somehow we can do them better next time.

Compared to other types of PPPs, roading projects are riskier and more complex, largely due to ground and environmental factors, including weather and storm damage.


If implemented well, there is potential for PPPs to improve services and deliver new infrastructure. Using private finance means more projects can be built sooner than through the conventional “pay as you go” public sector procurement approach. However, the current PPP model spreads out the costs of these projects over a longer period, which must be managed as a first call against the NLTF if not funded by the Crown. Alternatively, the Government could consider whether there is a benefit to exploring new arrangements for major projects, including new delivery models that transfer more risk to the operator or include value capture.

Climate Change

The BIM contains a couple of pages about emissions reductions work. They note that Transport is doing well on the first emissions budget but some of that is simply due to the impacts of COVID, while other initiatives, like the Clean Car Discount, have already been removed.

Current estimates suggest transport is likely to stay within its sub-sector target and meet its expected contribution to reducing emissions during the first emissions budget period. However, these estimates assume certain policies underway to reduce transport emissions continue and incorporate recent data reflecting lower-than-expected rates of travel

However, the current plans are for the major emissions reduction for transport not to occur until budget 3, which is 2031-2035 and the ministry note that current plans don’t look good for achieving that.

Current modelling suggests meeting the third budget for transport (ie, staying within our sub-sector target) will require significant additional effort beyond currently committed policies, as shown in Figure 5. Figure 5 also shows that the transport sector is expected to stay within its sub-sector target for the second emissions budget. However, given the small margin, caution should be applied in interpreting this figure. In particular, modelling assumes rising prices from the Emissions Trading Scheme, which may vary significantly depending on policy settings.

ERP1 placed emphasis on rapidly transitioning the vehicle fleet to low- or zero-emissions vehicles because it is one of the few ways to significantly reduce transport emissions that can be set in motion quickly. As well as making progress on fleet electrification, the first two emissions budget periods are a critical opportunity to lay the foundations for more significant changes to the transport system, including large scale public transport improvements, significant uptake of low emissions heavy vehicles and altered land use patterns that support low emissions transport options in urban areas. Transport emissions reductions could accelerate rapidly from around 2030 onwards if there are the right systemic changes in place and if ETS prices remain high.

City Deals and Auckland

One interesting aspect from the BIM is the suggestion that the government should look to create more city/region deals, similar to what previous governments and done with Auckland and the Auckland Transport Alignment Project. However, they note the issue that Auckland has suffered from with ATAP

However, the challenge with spatial plans is that there is no guaranteed funding pathway for the major transport and infrastructure projects identified. Once identified, these projects often need to use existing funding mechanisms and decision-making processes to make progress. Combined with the need to fund maintenance and renewal of existing assets, these projects often require decision-makers to make difficult investment trade-offs.

And speaking of cities, Auckland get’s it’s own section in the BIM,

Coming back to the issues around revenue and expenditure, they highlight the real benefit of congestion charging.

Congestion pricing in Auckland will raise some revenue but its value is in improved productivity and potentially deferring some capital spending.

And about all of the big projects underway – though again, light rail is now no more.

Business case work is also underway on a range of major projects, including the northwest and city centre to Māngere corridors, as well an additional crossing over Waitematā harbour.

There is a lack of consensus on the best way to proceed with these projects, and how work should be prioritised and sequenced. We believe it is not feasible to progress these projects concurrently, and choices need to be made over the 10 and 30 year horizons. Within the limited funding and delivery capacity available, you may want to consider the balance between high volume and highcost options, such as light or heavy rail, and lower volume but faster to deliver options, such as busways.

One of the problems I do have with this statement is that light rail doesn’t have to be high cost, and can cost similar to busways. But poor processes and controls by the Ministry have resulted in metro solutions. They complain about the high costs that they themselves were instrumental in creating.

On the Harbour Crossing they note this, echoing concerns we saw last year.

There is a lack of consensus on the priority for this project, and the Ministry believes the work would benefit from a confirmation of investment objectives, reflecting the Government’s priorities for the project, and clearer identification of the key problems and interventions required to address these. This includes considering lower cost options as an alternative to expensive asset-based solutions.


Finally, the ministry talk about safety and when it comes to road safety they note:

The social cost of road trauma is estimated to be almost $10 billion a year. Our rate of road deaths is also significantly higher than many other jurisdictions New Zealand compares itself to.

Given this government’s opposition to safety interventions like speed limit reductions, this next section is important.

Where safe system interventions have been implemented in New Zealand as part of the current strategy, there is evidence of a reduction in deaths and serious injuries. Statistically robust, full evaluations of these interventions have not been possible, as many of them have only been in place for two to three years. However, initial evidence indicates, at least, the planned reduction in deaths and serious injuries will be achieved.

For example, in the first two years following changes to speed limits on SH6 Blenheim to Nelson, and other infrastructure improvements, deaths and serious injuries have reduced by approximately 80%, while the average journey time has increased by approximately four minutes over the 110km length of road. Installing median barriers on SH2 Waipukurau in 2020 has seen a 100% reduction in deaths and serious injuries.

There’s more detail in the BIM for those interested and there are BIMs for other agencies we plan to look at in coming days/weeks. Was there anything else in this one that stood out?

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  1. PPP,s appeal to governments,as they allow “legacy” projects to be built,while “mortgaging” the funding to generations,that have no say in them. The road builders love them,as you say,because the final price paid,bears no resemblance to the initial quote. It is in no-ones interest,apart from the suckers who pay,to point out any potential ground work issues,this would make initial quote unpalatable, and leave less room for “variations” discovered during building.
    Past experience on “completed” roading projects shows this,and to expect any future projects to be different,is naive.
    From an Auckland perspective,any govt projects,also require lots of AT spending ,for the interface into the local network,l would expect plenty of pushback,saying “we” don’t have the money for this.
    On the safety front,we have decades of data,showing what doesn’t work,but seem to expect any safety changes made,to show instant results,encouragingly,most do.
    Simeon,has another decision to make soon,on bilingual road signs,did he get a briefing on that?

    1. There has been a trend away from privatisation of water because they have been behaving badly, investing too little and charging too much. Paris, Grenoble and Cherbourg moved back to public ownership after problems with companies Veolia and Suez. Veolia, one of the two largest water multinationals, deliberately allowed raw sewerage into the river in Brussels as a way of putting pressure on the city to pay more for operating the treatment plant.
      A detailed study in the UK showed that 11 years after privatisation, the private water companies had actually become less efficient than the public sector had been,
      Water privatisation does not bring any of the supposed benefits of competition. It is always a monopoly service, so companies do not compete against each other for customers.
      Water privatisation is strongly associated with corruption and fraud. Companies have an incentive to pay bribes to secure such profitable long-term deals.
      Water firms in England and Wales have been urged to invest profits in cutting bills.
      Since 1989 they have hiked bills, dumped sewage, let water leak, built no new reservoirs, but increased dividends. Ending privatisation is he only way forward.

    2. Simeon needs to stick with common sense on bilingual road signs; I was involved with research on symbolic versus worded traffic signs 50 years ago, when the move to symbolic signs was seen as a way of declutterring signs where drivers had split seconds to understand a message.
      Traffic signs need to be as succinct as they possibly can be and are no place to introduce the woke garbage of bilingualism.

      1. Symbolic signs are multilingual. A few words can be bilingual without any problem. There are some obvious problems where indigenous languages do not have a short way of saying the same things. Welsh signs are an example. Gaelic signs in Scotland generally don’t have so much of problem, although English and gaelic names (Doll + Dol, Gorstan + Gortan, which are pronounced the same) for norse place-names can look a bit silly.

        1. When they use “woke”, you know they really don’t have an argument. They don’t even understand the word, clearly.

        2. “the woke garbage of bilingualism.”

          Ignoring the typical asshattery of this commentor who can’t even refrain from insults in making a comment that has SOME merit, there’s an easy solution to his issue. Maori name-only road signs 🙂

      2. ‘Stay woke’, was a warning to Black Americans travelling in the southern states at a time of overt racism and lynchings.

        To be ‘woke’ is to be alert to injustice and violence.

        Regarding bilingualism: NZ has three official languages…

        1. But we don’t need or want road signs in multi languages when everyone who was born here, understands the one central language; English is becoming the universal language of the world and we are stupid to constantly try and subvert it.
          As for “wokeness”, it has a universal understanding of what it now means, but hated by those who are indeed “woke”

        2. @Chrisb

          No, woke still means exactly the same thing, but can be used as an insult by anyone butt-hurt by being called out for their bad behaviour.

  2. BIMs are written to sell a bill of goods. The current round of BIMs all claim there is a funding problem and a need to increase spending. They are written by agencies that are trying to keep their budget intact so they are making a case for more spending as an opening bid.

  3. Public Transport…light rail and similar, are the only options in the real world. But here in this tin pot milk powder republic, we are still fifty years behind and in love with our automobiles.

    No wonder we are all so lonely…bikes are wonderful but also predominantly lonely.

    The only real way forward is to de-wheel. Un-invent it. Public transport can have all the circular things, but we the people must learn to walk again. It is our great advantage as a species and we are squandering it sitting in traffic!

    bah humbug

  4. Why pretend this means anything? Rare Misstep is going to wind back all PT for sheer culture wars reason and laugh at expert advice, just to make “lefties” squirm.

    I’ve often said this blog is too interested in “evidence-based policy” and trying to convince the elites. The Right-wing of these people are interested in culture war and culture war alone, the more they can deny reality and science and make “eggheads” fume, the better they like it. The only way forward is to make PT/urbanism attractive to a mass base which can *force* the issue.

    1. I just gave up and left eventually. Five years away now, I’ll always have an interest in things transport related tho.

    2. 100% – GA should crowdfund for a social media expert in the least….
      Need to get this shit on Tik Tok, Insta and into Ryman Villages…

      At the moment is largely a self selecting talk fest amongst ‘eggheads’.
      No disrespect intended. GA is incredible.. but you need to rark the oldies and the kids up a bit more.

      Play or get played… Take a leaf out of Big tobacco and Road Industrial Complex’s book

        1. And indeed, without a place to discuss evidence base, the ones who care evidence don’t have a reason to talk about it or communicate (make the case) at all.

          If you try and meet the “facts are optional” crowd on their ground, you have already lost.

          Appealing to emotions, and “common sense” and considering “how the average bloke thinks” doesn’t need to mean abandoning evidence base.

          It’s about thinking about WHAT evidence the person used to driving cars might connect to – and how to communicate that.

  5. The quote from the BIM about transport emissions is quite misleading and is not even what the Ministry’s own staff believe. “…rapidly transitioning the vehicle fleet to low- or zero-emissions vehicles because it is one of the few ways to significantly reduce transport emissions that can be set in motion quickly.” This is actually a slow, expensive way to reduce transport emissions (though still necessary). Most of the reductions so far have come from behaviour change, ie driving less.

    The subsequent passage omits active transport & VKT reduction for which a lot of work has already been done & which was supposed to provide the largest share of reductions for ERP2.

    A survey of 26 NZ experts (including 10 from central government) found that “increasing active and public transport investment is the most acceptable option followed by travel demand management, a carbon price, electric vehicle support, and support for fuel-efficient vehicles and biofuels. However, in terms of emissions reduction potential, ceasing the import of petrol and diesel cars into New Zealand by 2030 is found to be the strongest policy option.” (Arif Hasan, Ralph Chapman, Dave Frame 2020)

    1. Also if “rapidly transitioning the vehicle fleet to low- or zero-emissions vehicles because it is one of the few ways to significantly reduce transport emissions that can be set in motion quickly” is true, the best way to get there is to add a significant environment tax to fuel use. The gas guzzlers would almost disappear over night.

    2. More good old lefty thinking (or non-thinking). The left carry on about banning ICE vehicles without a clue as to how the energy to power the equivalent electric option will be a) generated and more critically b) distributed throughout the country.
      The truth is that they yearn for the Marxist utopia where no one has a private vehicle and where freedom of mobility is severely restricted; the state will provide your house , job and income and you will get up each morning at 5.00am to queue for bread in the community state run store. But everyone will be “safe” and just do what they are told.

      1. Rubbish. The left are typically younger, more intelligent and well travelled. They have used decent PT in other countries and realised how much more freedom you actually have without needing a car. The right are typically older people who grew up with cars being a symbol of freedom, but these days cars are actually the opposite.

        1. Really? You mean the young who have been brainwashed in our schools, which the left took over a generation ago? At least when I went to school in more enlightened times, we were taught how to think, not what to think.
          Obviously you have no idea on how to begin the calculation on how this nation converts its energy requirements to convert all ICE transportation to electric.
          Alternatively the plan is to impose a Marxist control and command economy; roll on the Albania of the South Pacific

        2. Like I said the best way is to charge people who ruin the environment instead of allowing them to do it for free, then they can choose whether they want to look for alternatives. A nice refreshing touch of capitalism for you which I am sure you agree with.

      2. So being a slave to petrol pump and the zero say we have on petrol prices is the ‘right’ way to do things?
        Gosh I’ve been so silly, voting ACT but using my bike to get work … my mind is going to explode to the hypocrisy.

      3. Chrisb stop posting on this blog, you are a caricature and sound like you are on the verge of paranoid psychosis when you harp on about woke agendas and the Marxists. I encourage you to get outside and talk to people genuinely, maybe touch some grass, and hopefully reconnect with your family.

        1. Of course, when you offend the left, they say that they are not politically motivated in any way.
          Marxism is just a fantasy. Hold on, our dear smiling former PM, is a central member of a world group set up by Lenin himself

      4. “where no one has a private vehicle and where freedom of mobility is severely restricted”

        Typical propaganda gaslighting. For example, the “utopia” many people in the cycling advocacy movement subscribe to is the Netherlands. A country with one of the highest CAR ownership rates and CAR DRIVER SATISFACTION rates of the world. Yep, some of them aren’t interested in ever owning cars – but the bullshit about how this is about restricting options instead of actually making things possible (safe walking, cycling, convenient PT) is a classical case of demonising your opponents.

        Which is actually what you are doing, ChrisB – you are demonising people who simply want their kids to be able to walk or cycle to school safely. You talk in conspiracy terms where everyone who wants a new raised crossing or bikeway is a bad-faith actor.

      5. Lol, look forward to the bread queues in Scandinavia once they ban ICE cars in Europe. Simeons Bots are in full force today.

    3. Surely this Government isn’t going to keep VKT as a goal. That steaming pile of turd didn’t make sense even under the last Government.

      1. “Neither cars or carbon are evil. Motorized Transport enhances our lives and we would all be dead if there was no CO2”

        I missed the part where cars were to be banned and CO2 eliminated.

    4. Neither cars or carbon are evil. Motorized Transport enhances our lives and we would all be dead if there was no CO2. Sadly there are activists that just don’t get this.
      We have a problem, we are over consuming and pushing too much carbon into the atmosphere. The solution can be to reduce consumption, but that is never going to happen. ‘De Growth’ is a ridiculous notion. We therefore need to use science to reduce the amount of CO2 released and to also bring it back down from the atmosphere and capture it, or better, recycle it.
      Sadly the coalition government is also ignoring the science. Their ‘free market solution’ of the ETS is completely flawed. Carbon is priced far too low to effect change, giving carbon credits to polluters is crazy and buying questionable offshore credits is throwing our hard earned kiwi dollars down the drain.

  6. No mention of technology? Transport also has to be the most low tech industry by a significant margin (typical government).
    We are spending 500k on individual speed bumps when they could have installed a very simple camera and linked it to a city wide enforcement network. Imagine how many lives could be saved if everyone drove to the speed limit, stopped at traffic lights, pedestrian crossings and stop signs, etc. And it would probably cost less than free, the fines should be more than the cost. The same thing applies to road charging, we are still applying a crude tax on fuel instead of charging for usage via cameras.
    We are spending $1.3 billion on a public transport card payment system. No other industry has its own payment cards, they use the standard credit card / EFTPOS system or a mobile phone app. Imagine if every company in the country had to invest $1.3 billion just to take payments!
    There has been almost no technological advancement to buses in 50+ years, in fact the trolley buses we once had are probably still a better experience than what we have now. Of course people want to use their nice quiet cars when the bus is noisy, smelly, hot and very slow. And the only fix seems to be to spending billions on light rail. Why does a vehicle have to be on steel wheels to be spacious, quiet, electric, and quick?
    Forget spending billions on a single bit of road or rail, spend billions on technology like every other sensible industry would!

    1. Technology has the capacity to deliver speed limiting,I.e,geofencing,making any modern motor powered vehicle inside an area incapable being accelerated over a designated speed. This would clearly be the most cost effective method of safety,but would be political suicide.

      1. And retrofit the entire ageing vehicle fleet? We can take the speed humps out when we have finished that. Tech is always capable of solutions – eventually.

        1. Its possible today with cameras and AI. How many $500k speed bumps do we need to make Auckland safe?

  7. People have no appreciation of how much these new roads and tunnels cost to operate. e.g transmission gully $100 million plus per year, Waterview tunnel $15 million. While these costs are just buried nothing will change. It was the same with water, no one conserved it until we had meters. A friend of mine in Sydney spends $300 per month on tolls in his company car. RUC’s are also too broad. We need a system of charging that shows the true cost of driving on that particular section of road. Please don’t use the argument that we need to have alternatives in place before introducing these changes as we have been saying this for years and just kicking the can down the road. Introduce the charges and it will drive demand for alternatives.

    1. Wayne – where did you get your figure of operating Transmission Guly at $100 million per year? I think you may have a crossed wire somewhere there. It was built under a PPP so on completion, the NZ Gov pays the builder something like $125m a year, but that is to pay off the cost, not the operations.

        1. So at 20,000 vehicles per day, the government gets $2 per trip in fuel excise for a road that costs $17 per trip to provide.

        2. That’s why Transmission Gully didn’t become a toll-road. It would have been too obviously a loss-making boondoggle. Which it is anyway, but not so visibly when there is no expectation of revenue.

      1. Thanks Wayne. So, yes, in effect the road was provided “free” by the nice contractor, and now we need to pay them $125million per year for the next 25 years = $3.125 billion for a road that was costed at just over $1billion at the start (and not even adding in the compounding of this over time!). The advantages of PPP are never ending !!

        Ain’t no such thing as a free road….

    2. “Introduce the charges and it will drive demand for alternatives.”

      What are non-wealthy people meant to do in the 7-10 years it takes to build those alternatives? Other cities had ample public transit before introducing congestion charging. Avoids riots.

      1. Well I have been hearing this for ever. The effect of this is that nothing happens. People have this mind set that roads pay for themselves. Until they are aware of the real cost by introducing user changes nothing will change. When you get on PT you are made aware of the cost by the price you pay. Driving or not driving there is no immediate sense of the cost.

      2. Auckland has a passable PT system. Will it get you there as fast as a car? Mostly not, but PT doesn’t operate door to door. I have sympathy with the plight of poorer people, but the urgency of addressing congestion and emissions means that it needs to be done now rather than when we reach some state of PT utopia.

        1. Access to PT across the region is hugely variable. It’s not a question of how quick it is or not, it’s a question of whether it’s usable without it adding hours to your journey each way.

  8. Just back from Sydney – the ease of the public transport was unbelievable – simply tag on and off with your NZ debit card! PT is where we should invest everything – not more roads! They are also flat out increasing PT options there as they can see it is the only way to help move people around.
    Sadly I fear the Magical thinking from this new govt is going to carry on for quite a while yet!

  9. Once again, you bang on about lowering speed limits, illustrating your one dimensional thinking about the issue of improving road safety in NZ.
    The choice of the Blenheim to Nelson example is deeply flawed as for much of this road length, I would challenge Lewis Hamilton in his F1 car to maintain 100kph.
    As usual nothing is mentioned about improving driving education, attitude and awareness.
    When will this country introduce strict standards for the education of drivers and stop the perpetuation of all the appalling bad habits and straight out ignorance, that is passed down from each slack Kiwi driver to the next generation? How about re-education of existing drivers?
    The standard of driving (and therefore road safety stats) is way higher in Europe because for over a generation now, they have had new drivers going through a comprehensive learning process through strictly licensed professionals.

    1. I would argue the standard of driving is way higher in Europe because only the older, wealthier and better educated people can afford to drive, everyone else uses their great public transport. Unlike here where the entire population has no other choice but to drive no matter how bad their driving / sobriety / eye sight / intelligence / etc. I don’t want them coming towards me in their unmaintained old car with no warrant and bald tyres on a dangerous road at 100km/hr with no central median.

    2. Good old leftist thinking about making the Government mandate how we should have more rigorous testing for getting a drivers license.
      More layers of bureaucratic management and people stopping my freedom to drive where I want and how I want.
      / sarc.

      Just showing how silly the left vs right arguments you make are.
      Evidence, not politics.

      BTW, I agree better education and regular testing will help, but it should be part of a solution, not THE solution.

    3. Just need Tradeoffs to chime in now about increased education for 5 year olds who dare to walk along their street to school

    4. Using good data to make decisions is neither left or right. It is just good business. There are good standards of driver education. Just ask my kids on how hard it was to get a license. In your perfect world what does driver education look like? In the real world it doesn’t matter how good a driver you think you are real people make mistakes and when you do make a mistake you shouldn’t have to die. Every time I hear the argument that driver training will fix things without doing anything else, what they really mean is do nothing and accept the status quo.

    5. Er as a kiwi in Europe who does a lot of driving in Europe for work, I really, really beg to differ.

      Standards are tumbling across the continent but the are still far better drivers then 90%+ of the Aussie and Kiwi populations, young and old plus taxation, maintenance and enforcement are a lot stricter then home.

  10. An educated and knowledgeable driver doesn’t let his vehicle become unmaintained, with no warrant and bald tyres. If the road was that dangerous, he/she would not be driving at 100kph, no matter what the speed limit.

    1. Are you saying that good driver training will all of a sudden make everyone in the country buy a new decent car and maintain it and never speed or take drugs? Wow it sounds like it could solve all of societies problems, everyone will become responsible overnight.

      1. When controls would affect things he is keen on (fast driving), it’s all about individual responsibility and liberty.

        People like him ignore the fact that the system (that is the body of both our infrastructure AND rules) massively favours convenience over safety, especially the safety of people not in metal boxes. Any attempt to rein that in gets him frothing at mouth about “marxists” and losing liberty to a bureaucracy. As if society was a one-way street instead of a system of checks and balances to allow co-existence.

        The parallels to gun control in the USA and the arguments brought against is are striking and depressing.

        1. Wow, what a lot of BS from the leftists who don’t like someone saying that there is a lot more to safer roads for everyone, than just lowering speed limits.
          I guess their meetings must start with a hymn “Demon Speed”

        2. Why would slower roads speeds be a ”left or right’ issue? Don’t remember reading about it in the Communist Manifesto.

          Quite a bit of unhinged ranting today Chrisb, you mnetion brainwashing a lot on here but I think maybe you need to take a peak in the mirror. The culture war stokers really saw you coming.

    2. Exactly, if the road was that dangerous *to him/her*.

      Since he/she is cosy in their well maintained 2 tonne SUV, they are not in danger.

      Everyone around them is.

      I’ll meet you half way. 30kph in high streets and residential areas, enforced by kerbs and concrete.

      200kph on the motorway, contained by cuttings and concrete. Now you can make up lost time in an environment where you play with your peers.

        1. Nobody is worried about your perfect and considerate driver.

          Obviously you would include yourself in this category.

          We have to work around the ones that are actually on our roads: inexperienced, impatient, pressured, distracted, impaired, fatigued and occasionally just stupid.

        2. I have to agree with the Spaghetti baker. While his suggestions were obviously tongue in cheek, I would support lowering of the speed limits in urban areas, while increasing speed limits on motorways and highways were there is lane separation.
          I do happen to have some driving form, winning races in the UK and Europe and believe me, the standard of driving in NZ is appalling. People run red lights as if they are colour blind and they seem to have no feel for the correct speed to enter corners on the open road.
          This is not a left or right political issue, it’s an education and ego problem. The license test needs to be of a much higher standard and the enforcement of dangerous driving (excessive speed in urban areas and red light running) needs to be much, much harsher. I’d make red light running an instant loss of license on the second offence.

  11. I have heard nothing from Simeon Brown that suggests anything other than more roads are coming our way. He has zero interest in public transport in Auckland and seemingly no curiosity as to why most major cities invest in PT relentlessly. He is a lightweight politician focused on the wrong things… why bother giving this government briefings at all? they aren’t remotely interested.

    1. As pointed out, there’s a lot of stuff in there that the new govt can use to push for more transport (well, actually roads) funding. That is something the ministry and the new government align on immediately. MORE CASH FOR TARMAC! The rest is in there for formal completeness and can be ticked off as “noted” (and then largely ignored).

    2. Agreed. He is the most dangerous politician this country has elected in a long time, he could send us back decades at the same time other countries / cities are progressing quickly. Imagine Auckland trying to compete for international skilled jobs with a completely outdated lifestyle.

      1. I’d say the ones who promised the earth and delivered little other than make-work schemes with little output other than a total erosion of public support for transit projects are easily worse.

        Brown simply has the dubious honour of cancelling something that was probably never going to happen in the first place. Which is more harmful in the longrun?

      2. Who says that “international skilled jobs” will only occur in the Auckland CBD? Who would want to work in a dump called central Auckland?
        Does NZ need more office workers? Given that our economy is based on largely rural enterprise, should we be looking to develop our regional assets and not spend money on endless PT upgrades?
        The cost to transform Auckland’s PT to something like Singapore’s for example would be absolutely out of the question.

        1. Chrisb the grass is calling to you. Get out there, brush your hands through it. It’s a beautiful day.

    3. Re the Minister of Transport.

      In all his talks, pre and post elections, coalition agreement, he has only ever mentioned two PT projects for Auckland. The NW and Airport to Botany. Both road based. Better than nothing, I guess..

      1. New transport project confirmed: No more fuel tax! Just 4 days after increased bus prices… you’ve got to love his timing.

  12. It will be very interesting to see the new draft GPS (Government Policy Statement) – which presumably will be subject to the usual public consultation. Hopefully this version will include more specifics than the last one which was hard to evaluate – lots of broad “activity classes” with too little break down into particular aspects.

  13. Well they could halve maintenance costs if they overhauled the ridiculous and excessive traffic management policies in place for road works. It needn’t affect safety either.
    You don’t need three heavy crash impact equiped trucks with 5 staff for a mower on the grass that isn’t even near the motorway for example.
    You don’t need to have 400m of one way stop/go management to go around a single blockage trimming vegetation over a space of 50m either.

    1. I have thought about this. I think there needs to be sufficient traffic management crews and vehicles to meet the demand for the work which is being undertaken however on some days there is a surplus. So the additional capacity is deployed on the work which is available which is a bit of an overkill. I suppose the answer is to casualise the workforce but we have enough of that in this country as it is.

      1. AT have found a cost effective way of traffic management,they are currently implementing it on Meola Rd,(full closure).

        1. Oh dear, one cannot go against the leftie narrative, because they only want an echo chamber for their BS

      1. Chris represents an old conservative bewildered by a modern society they don’t understand and don’t want to understand and/or incapable of learning.

        Thinks that everything wrong stems from their strawman ‘left’ despite a lot of issues in our largely centrist democracy not being left or right wing, but more a conservative vs progressives

        Uses terms like ‘woke’, not aware that it immediately dates and stereotypes them as racist, sexist and worse.

        Have talked to people like that before, and typically they don’t even understand global climate change because of an extreme lack of basic science education. If they can’t/won’t understand evidence, then everything is confusing for them

        Good news, is that is an aging population like this that will die off on the next 20 years. Bad news, they seem determined to fuck the planet on the way out.

        1. Looks to me Blacksmith, like you are a product of the recent era of “education” where the younger ones have been brainwashed into a Marxist mindset, without ever being exposed to what Marx wrote or the events of 20th century history where his evil ideas caused so much human misery.
          I doubt whether you have a tertiary education in science, engineering or geology, because if you had you would be better aware of how climate like all natural phenomena is never in equilibrium and your education would give you a chance to understand the magnitude of the energy changes involved and the relative quantum of man’s collective effects.
          Like many of your socialist ilk, you find the word “woke” particularly offensive because it’s modern idiom pretty much describes your shallow thinking.
          In my early times were taught to respect the older people and listen to what they said, for they had seen much more of the world than us and learned many hard lessons. Another part of wisdom that is lacking in your make up.
          I fear for my grandchildren as with people of your ilk the world is heading towards the society that Orwell tried to warn us of, even before my time. I guess though that if you read his works, you would find the abuse of truth, freedom and democracy to concur with your own political mindset.

        2. I see chrisb still hasn’t looked up the definition of the word woke.

          Its funny how his ilk think its an insult and offensive.

  14. If NZ trauma were reduced to NSW or Victoria levels, it would save $5 billion every year. One-off capital investment far less than that should deliver those annual savings. The leftover savings could go towards fixings the maintenance shortfall. Much better investment than the Rorts of National Significance.

    1. That would be a $5B windfall to our economy, and a ticker tape parade to the awesome transport leadership that delivered it, not to mention a smoother functioning transport and health system.

      Sounds like a tui billboard.

  15. It is going to be interesting to see where Simeon ‘focusses’ his efforts. He has three BIG portfolios, all with looming issues that have largely been created by his party’s policies or their agreements with NZ First & Act.
    Simeon’s portfolios are Auckland, Transport, Energy & Local Government.
    In Auckland his foe is another Brown who may be a PR disaster case but he has some pretty firm requirements he is going to put on the minister.
    In Energy he is trying to call back the oil & gas companies to go looking for the stuff the didn’t find in the prior 25yrs of looking and will be under the threat of being booted out again with the next change of government so that’s not going to go well. This is along with having to find a replacement for the Lake Onslow idea, which was the wrong solution to the problem and killing the idea hasn’t made the problem go away. In local government he may have killed three waters and pushed the problems back to local bodies, again unsolved.
    Finally, all his portfolios have anti-wokeness policies he is going to have to front and waste hours on; road signs, agency names, Maori local boards et al.
    He is one person, and hasn’t shown himself to be a well informed or particularly bright one so how he’s going to meet his bosses expectations in all these portfolios is a looming train smash we’ll all get to enjoy.

    1. This is one of the most insightful comments I have read on this site for a long time. He can’t recognise the problems.

    2. I will bet that not many companies will be willing to search for oil and gas in Aotearoa. There are far more places in the world that have a better chance of actually having some. It looks good politically to allow it but will have little effect.

    3. Nationals campaign statement on transport and the coalition deals outline all that can be expected for that portfolio. I’d guess that with the state of the economy and the high debt level, some of what they’ve described will be deferred.
      Energy is difficult, as the current system is not achieving what needs to be done. Clearly we need to be building significant amounts of reliable affordable electricity generation, to provide power for the winter evening peaks and transition from imported fossil fuels. Wind and solar, plus storage, does not provide affordable electricity. Building more hydro dams would by proportion make the dry year problem worse. The existing coal and gas generation are probably the only realistic backup for this. Geothermal is what we can build now, and once thats all developed probably nuclear SMRs by the Kaipara.

      1. Congratulations Anthony. Somebody on this site who has some realism.
        NZ has some gigantic reserves of energy which will be harvestable when the next generation of geothermal power technologies come on stream. However the biggest issue is getting the generated energy to households if NZ were to replace the vehicle fleet with EV’s. This would double the demand and the cost of the required rebuild of the electricity distribution grid has been estimated to be in the order of $500 billion. I have worked in this sector and know that this estimate to be realistic.
        An option would be to use the huge amounts of energy on the generation site to produce hydrogen which could directly fuel the existing ICE vehicle fleet. Hydrogen storage for cars is another developing technology.
        This is why the leftists ranting about EV’s is so short sited. We need to be pragmatic and make existing technologies work until new alternatives are ready for commercial implementation.

  16. Simeon is looking to be the best Transport Minister we have had for ever. He is looking past the “speed kills” mantra beloved of the left and to finally tackle the issue of drugged driving.
    Getting rid of the Maori language wokeness and restoring democracy to local bodies are further pluses.
    By upsetting so many of the woke lefties on this site, he must have a lot going for him.

    1. Bit of a fumble there Chris, you haven’t jammed the word ‘woke’ into the first sentence anywhere.

      If you’re going to rant, at least do it with some consistency.

      1. We,New Zealand, seem to have two “Road to Zero” campaigns,one actually on the roads,the other is the “Road to Zero Emissions”. Mike Smith has won his day in court,with the “big polluters”,who are seemingly uncomfortable about explaining their business models. It begs,the question, How comfortable would our transport providers be ,if they were compelled to appear before a judge?

    2. Chrisb, it’s your kids. We want you to know that if you can curb the talk about woke agenda, marxists, and leftists we are thinking we might let you see the grandkids again.

      1. Phil, it is my grandkids that I am concerned about. They will not have much of the society that I grew up with left, once you lot have reduced everything to the lowest level of a proletariat.

        1. Yep, since climate change effects become more apparent year after year, your grandkids might have a hard time going to places like, for example, Gisborne because at some point there will be no point of rebuilding the roads or the city itself.

    3. Its going to be a mixed bag with Brown as MoT.

      As much as he is an idealogue around things like speed limits and crossings slowing down cars, he is fully on board with busways and has reiterated congestion charging legislation to be introduced within the first term. I also think that there will be compromise with Mayor Brown about HR for Avondale-Southdown, with the most expensive road in the world (East-West link) pushed way down the priority list.

      We are going to see action, and not all of it well thought out, but its more than what we saw under Labour.

  17. Yes, just shut everything down. Right out of Karl Marx’s playbook.
    Oh, but we don’t need to worry about this in “Aotearoa” because nobody has read his evil theology.
    At 0.1% of the world’s CO2 emissions, just how will this change the world; or is it more important just to appease your tin god of climate change?

    1. The figure is .17%. Yes this is small but our emissions per person is high. If every small emitter said my amount doesn’t matter you soon have a reasonable percentage of global emissions. Do you think our trading partners are going to let us get away with doing nothing. Companies like Fonterra understand this and are already introducing higher standards despite successive governments inaction. A number of our free trade agreements have clauses about meeting our targets. If we don’t meet them we will have severe penalties imposed on us.

  18. The issue of trade relations is red herring.
    Look at the car brands that sold the most last year around the world; cheap cars because they are made using slave labour. Nobody says anything because the god of cheap trumps the god of morality.
    The sanctimonious left are deafening in their silence on this issue, mainly because these brands are selling EV’s and of course the god of climate change is the supreme deity.

    1. Once word gets out better on these issues I think it makes a difference. With more EV/Hybrid manufacturers coming on stream it should surely help drop the price anyway.

    2. Tesla Model Y is indeed a snip at NZ$78,000, 1.23 million sold worldwide last year.

      The sanctimonious left continues to note that cars are an inefficient form of urban transport, whether you are looking at materials, utilization, energy, space or externalities like dead children.

  19. The sanctimonious left would just prefer that everyone stays where they are and does just what the State tells them to do.

    1. How does that relate to more efficient public transport and infrastructure that let’s you go places without a car?
      By the way, cars are registered to a (your) name, have a licence plate and need to be regularly checked. That really takes away your freedom when you think about it. I can still walk and cycle without being recognised everywhere I go.
      So if a government wanted to control where people move, what better tool would there be than a large box that openly displays owner information to those with access to licence plate data, i.e. the government?

  20. Remember that NZ cities were mostly built after the Model T when the masses became mobile for the first time in history.
    This means that places where people need/want/like to go are geographically separated. The “efficient public transport” that you suggest can meet these needs just doesn’t exist and never will.
    The alternative is to rebuild the city (like they have done in Singapore) or get everyone out of their house and gardens and into the ghastly chicken coops that are springing up everywhere.
    If you just “walk and cycle” you are back to the lifestyle of the 50’s which I remember as being none to glamorous.

    1. Yeah, SH1 every morning and afternoon and particularly on Fridays is a prime example of glamour. This is clearly the best and only way to do things and if somebody suggests something else, they are woke (so you are asleep?) or Marxists or something.

  21. How about catching 3 buses to visit relatives or get to work?
    How about catching the bus to visit the beach on a hot day or to have a brief break in the Coromandel?
    If we hadn’t suffered the 6 years of ideology we may now have better cross town roads to enable less snagged SH1 or avoiding it altogether.

    1. Maybe everyone is on SH1 because the PT options for short trips are sub-optimal….you know, because we are indirectly forcing everyone into a car and eliminating choice?

      1. And why wouldn’t you drive to the Coromandel or to the beach when you can do it whenever you want? Do you restrict yourself from doing things just to complain about a leftist agenda?

        And id the first part of your rant about needing better PT solutions and if so, would that be your leftist agenda?

    2. Catching the bus to the beach? You mean I won’t have to worry about parking or driving home when I am tired and I and other people at the beach had a few cold ones?
      Catching a bus to Coromandel? You mean I won’t have to sit in traffic staring at other cars but could cruise through while reading on my phone and booking kayaks and huts for the weekend?
      Catching 3 buses to work or relatives? So you suggest eliminating the need (or hassle) to catch 3 buses by investing in better routes, more efficient transfer options and alternatives like walking, cycling, light rail, trains?

      1. You would not catch a bus if you could walk or cycle. The trains run on tracks built to serve 19th century Auckland and light rail remains a slow, expensive fantasy of the left.
        As for travelling to Coromandel on a slow smelly bus, you would need to be a masochist and anyway, once there you could not access the rest of this beautiful area. I will enjoy driving my sports car on these trips, which would be beyond the understanding of many on this site

        1. You may not have realised it but this site and its users would like to see faster and pleasantly smelling transport options. And of course, there will be regions that are very hard to serve with public transport and remote regions in the Coromandel are some of them. However, there is plenty to do for a weekend in the coastal towns or if you just want to hike up to the Pinnacles and back – no real need for a car. If you, for some reason, have to go to Opito, Thames, Whangamata and Port Charles in a single day, you may use a car. That would be nicer with less cars on the road, too.

  22. You can already see what angle Brown is going to take from his comments today about the axing of the regional fuel tax. He going to wash his hands of it and put it all back on the councils.

    1. I think its because congestion charging has to be commenced (at least the legislation) in the first term, as per the coalition agreement with ACT.

  23. God, it’s a grim state of affairs with Simeon Brown in charge of transport. It’s hard not to be infuriated when someone like him is in power. The more I get into urbanism/politics the more I lose faith in humanity…

  24. KLK, it is time that you got a new dictionary. The term woke has widely accepted connotations of pertaining to the opinions of the self righteous and sanctimonious left. You are so one eyed in your belief system that you take this as a compliment.
    We had an outstanding example of this sanctimony of the left with Jacinda’s “pulpit of truth” where she spouted anything but.
    Thank god we have the adults back in charge now and a realist in Simeon Brown, who is cutting off the funding for gross wastage like $0.5 million pedestrian crossings.

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