On The Waterfront

I’ve always loved a working port, growing up on Tintin, where intrigue and big issues always led our hero to docks, and [sadly] being old enough to just remember Auckland’s finger wharves busy with cranes and the last of the goods trains still running on Quay St, I’m a sucker for the romance and tough rough-neck image of it all.…
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Too High a Cost.

AT are doing some very very good things at the moment, they are showing leadership and courage to make rational but bold decisions.  Like dropping the Reeves Rd fly-over in favour of a BRT solution, creatively investigating ways to bring modern light rail to over-crowded bus routes, and quickly rolling out long overdue bus lanes on arterials.…
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Auckland Unbound

Last month I was asked to write an article for Metro Magazine on transport in Auckland, it ran in the December issue and now can be seen on Metro’s site here. Because transport is of course, quite literally, just a means to an end it is really about Auckland itself.…
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Summer in the City, and a look ahead.

A view from new Britomart bar and restaurant Ostro that seems to perfectly express the contradictory current phase in Auckland City’s development.What a great scene: Sitting here amidst the sophistication of the latest addition to the our reborn downtown with all the perfectly prepared kai moana you could want, reassuringly expensive wines from every viticultured corner of the country, the cruise liners slipping around North Head, and the sculptural forms of the gantry cranes lined up and waiting patiently in the late afternoon sun like a row of giant robotic footmen, it is hard not to marvel at how lovely Auckland can be and at how far it has come recently.…
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Gen Zero Scorecards

Today the first of the Generation Zero Local Election Scorecards were released. Go to Generation Zero for all the fun. Here’s an example of the summary for an Auckland Ward:And here’s how it was covered by Scoop: Youth organisation Generation Zero today released scorecards communicating information on candidate stances on important local issues, which it has gathered from conducting interviews around the country.…
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Local Elections Candidate Scorecards

The first Generation Zero Local Candidate Scorecards will be released tomorrow, these focus on the Mayoral contest and some carefully selected swing wards. More will follow. Here’s a few made-up examples:I’m sure everyone will have their own criteria and views on the final grades [personally I have to say that none of my students would earn a B+ with the vague waffle from Mr Johnson above, and Mr Todd looks like a clear fail to me too] but that’s not the point.…
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Local Election Voting Guide

Youth organisation, Generation Zero, is releasing its candidate scorecards to Aucklanders on Wednesday 25th of September at 11:00 AM at a press conference.The scorecards will be available on the website at generationzero.org.nz/localelections on Wednesday 25th of September.The press conference will cover candidates responses to Generation Zero’s questions on: the Congestion Free Network, the Unitary Plan, urban cycling and climate change.…
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“We are what we repeatedly do”: “Why you should travel young”

A Norwegian friend (whom I affectionately refer – and defer – to as the “Socialist Dictator”) recently alerted me to this article entitled “Why you should travel young“. If you are looking for a delightfully introspective, relatively insightful, and genuinely motivating article on the virtues of travel then I’d encourage you to read this article.…
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Demolishing Demographia? It’s cookie time.

Yesterday’s post considered the recently released Demographia survey on housing affordability. Thanks to everyone who commented; the discussion was useful for honing my thoughts on follow-up posts. Such as this. But first let’s re-cap: Demographia’s key findings were 1) New Zealand has increasingly unaffordable housing and 2) this is the direct result of urban containment policies.…
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Auckland Council’s first year

On November 1st last year Auckland Council came into being and we saw the seven former councils plus the Regional Council disbanded. It is interesting to note what I said on October 31st last year, looking ahead towards what this new era for Auckland would bring: Overall, thanks in large part to the results of the election a few weeks back, I now feel confident and hopeful that the local government amalgamation will turn out to be a good thing for Auckland.…
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