Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Auckland's future: Keep calm, but think hard

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  • Roger, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    If the council came up with an elegant, easy to administer, and fair money making scheme that would raise gazillions, Bill English would simply change the law to stop them doing it.

    I think that this very accurately sums up the situation!

    Hamilton • Since Jun 2007 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    A friend recently called Auckland airport’s mercenary approach to customers especially the whole thing of forcing arriving and departing international passengers through their duty-free maze as “the New Zealand ride’s exit-through-the-gift-store”

    Could you point me towards an international airport that doesn't do exactly the same thing, because I've not come across one. (Anything that efficiently facilitates my speedy departure from the airport with a carton of duty free cigs tucked under my arm works for me.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    If you're going to complain about Auckland airport, then surely it should be the money changers at international arrivals and their exorbitant fees that you target? And the smarmy, arrogant looks on their faces as you enquire as to their rates and they inform you as to how much they intend to rip you off? We were fortunate last time in that my parents picked us up at the airport, so we could go to a proper bank. The National Bank branch in Newmarket was superb, and the teller told me they often have people commenting about how much better they are than the awful money changers at the airport.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to llew40,

    The council has a fair swag invested in about 22% of the airport which already operates (very successfully) as a private company. An option?

    It should buy the rest, why visitors to our country have to be fleeced by “entrepreneurs” before they step out into a city without a train from the airport is beyond me. Transport is transport and it should be regarded as a public good along with all other infrastructure, if there is money to be made out of some parts of that then that money should go back to the region, not some scum sucking asshat who already has enough money to buy a farm.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    scum sucking asshat

    Great line, I shall add that to my collection of insults and curses

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I almost never line up and change money, anywhere. Just take it out of a machine on a card. Not sure if that would work with a Chinese bank though. I was in Shanghai airport for a few hours once and there was only one ATM in the whole place.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Roger, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Not sure if that would work with a Chinese bank though

    Chinese ATMs work just fine, as do Korean, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Indonesian... Japanese less so.

    Hamilton • Since Jun 2007 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • llew40, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Transport is transport and it should be regarded as a public good along with all other infrastructure

    Well, thats one perspective, but given the state of transport infrastructure in NZ that is funded publicly, and transport infrastructure under private ownership (e.g. the airport) - is that a realistic wish? I'd love for all public good infrastructure to be there, is it?

    Since Nov 2012 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Could you point me towards an international airport that doesn’t do exactly the same thing, because I’ve not come across one. (Anything that efficiently facilitates my speedy departure from the airport with a carton of duty free cigs tucked under my arm works for m

    I travel a lot and don't really know if any that are quite so blatant (actually forcing you to walk through the duty free store when you arrive (I often end up at immigration in tears because of all the perfume) it's one thing to walk down a corridor with shops on either side, quite another to force you into the shop when you're running for a plane - to me it's an embarrassing show of greed that makes feel me a bit ashamed every time I arrive back in the country (in tears)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    For many it is still more convenient to carry cash. So arriving in Auckland with cash and needing local currency and walking up to one of those money changers at the airport is not a good look for Auckland or NZ.

    We're still figuring out our particular financial situation, but yes, we should be able to just use an ATM. A former colleague used his Chinese card in small town Egypt. It should be just a simple matter of seeing a Union Pay sticker on the ATM and knowing we can get our money. Still a good idea to have a wad of cash just in case.

    People coming to China need to know that not all ATMs will take international cards, even if they have apparently international symbols like Visa on them, so having a wad of cash ready is a really good idea.

    Shanghai Pudong or Hongqiao? One is newer than the other. Never been to either, or Shanghai, but if it's anything like Beijing, I can imagine there being very different levels of service between the two. At Beijing Capital, T3 looks like it belongs in Hong Kong or Singapore, T2 looks really provincial, T1 I've never seen, but from what I hear I don't think I want to.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    yes I use an ATM too – usually I try and walk out of customs and hit one (or hit one before that if I can), I have a mental map somewhere of ATM locations in various border crossings around the world (Bangalore, Taipei, halfway thru the Shenzhen subway crossing, SFO’s car rental place etc) you get the idea, it’s just part of learning how to travel – my experience is that almost all ATMs from reputable banks take my ATM (not credit) cards

    I gave up on traveler’s cheques a decade or so ago after changing one at 4am arriving in Chennai and being given a stapled wad of money 6 inches thick (kind of like a tear off wad of Ghandis), all too large to use as tips

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Dunavan, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    an embarrassing show of greed that makes feel me a bit ashamed every time I arrive back in the country (in tears)

    Exactly. The Minister of Tourism... oh, never mind.

    North Otago • Since Jul 2014 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to llew40,

    is that a realistic wish? I’d love for all public good infrastructure to be there, is it?

    Not after it has been stolen from us by money grubbing greed heads.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    I travel a lot and don’t really know if any that are quite so blatant (actually forcing you to walk through the duty free store when you arrive (I often end up at immigration in tears because of all the perfume) it’s one thing to walk down a corridor with shops on either side, quite another to force you into the shop when you’re running for a plane – to me it’s an embarrassing show of greed that makes feel me a bit ashamed every time I arrive back in the country (in tears)

    +2

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    usually I try and walk out of customs and hit one

    I find it hard to go through customs without doing that, but I manage.
    But according to Russell l am a reprobate, along with members of the fashion industry, TVNZ and a couple of radio personalities and Ben Wilson.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Scott Dunavan,

    The Minister of Tourism…

    Didn't the good old US of Eh? declare war on that sort of nonsense?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    A great column by Rod Oram on the “wildly inaccurate and irresponsible claims” of a council financial crisis.

    Notable:

    Debt remains well within the limits the council has set itself. For example, interest this financial year will take 11 per cent of revenues and 19 per cent of rates, versus limits of 15 per cent and 25 per cent.

    The council has an AA credit rating, better than all but one of our banks.

    Government, local and central, should always be subject to robust media scrutiny, but Bernard Orsman's reporting in the Herald really seems to have crossed the line into being actively destructive of the city’s interests.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Pudong. It's a fairly standard modern airport, one huge terminal, lots of expensive shops, fair selection of restaurants, just a lack of cash machines (in international airside, I was transiting).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    To take that to the reductio ad absurdum, why not just abolish elected councillors and have Parliament set rates and decide how they are to be spent?

    Parliament (#TeamKey) did. It abolished tree protection rules in the Auckland City Operative District Plan. Cue sounds of chainsaws.

    Predictable outcome, many trees in former leafy suburbs turned into mulch, much to the horror of neighbourhoods.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Government, local and central, should always be subject to robust media scrutiny, but Bernard [Orsman]’s reporting in the Herald really seems to have crossed the line into being actively destructive of the city’s interests.

    Quite. And, sure, who the hell likes having their rates hiked and thinks their local government getting slap-happy with the overdraft is a good idea? Nobody I know. But we've all read The Story of The Little Shepherd Boy who Cried Wolf, right?

    The really dangerous thing about trying to beat up a financial crisis that doesn't exist is we're not having a grown-up and reality-based debate about the hard calls and genuine risks down the road. And they are there.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    seems to have crossed the line into being actively destructive

    that happened many years ago. yet still he has a job

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    The really dangerous thing about trying to beat up a financial crisis that doesn’t exist is we’re not having a grown-up and reality-based debate about the hard calls and genuine risks down the road. And they are there.

    It screams out for a serious feature in the paper – graphics, timelines, sensible guest commentaries, choices laid out – but all we got was a wildly inaccurate sky-is-falling story quoting the perennially useless malcontents Quax and Brewer. Bah! Bah!, I say.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

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