Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Popular Paranoiac Politics

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  • 3410,

    “are you worried about
    communists taking over New Zealand?”

    Yes. Like Fran O'Sullivan, I am most concerned about...

    an increasingly socialist-minded New Zealand

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F, in reply to 3410,

    an increasingly socialist-minded New Zealand

    In the words of Dan Sloan, commenting on this story via Facebook:

    I look forward to living in a world with interest on student loans, 20% GST, means-tested retirement and where house prices escalate to preserve current returns after a CGT has been deducted. Oh wait, no I don't. Too bad anyone born after 1980, we're baby-boomer collateral damage.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1611 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Sam F,

    In the words of Dan Sloan, commenting on this story via Facebook:

    I look forward to living in a world with interest on student loans, 20% GST, means-tested retirement and where house prices escalate to preserve current returns after a CGT has been deducted. Oh wait, no I don't. Too bad anyone born after 1980, we're baby-boomer collateral damage.

    And I equally look forward to bodyguards and barbed wire contractors becoming the new plumbers.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    What's with all these people saying Auckland should fund the whole tunnel by flogging off assets? NZ's been down the "short-term cash, long-term pain" path before, and it hasn't ended well. How many billions a year do we send to Aussie banks' shareholders?

    Why didn't she suggest that Northland stump up some asset sales to fund their own damned highway for holiday-makers?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    The "sell public assets" cry is hardly novel for unrecosntructed neolib tossers from the time of big shouldered suits and bigger hair. They have no shame about repeating their exhortations to faith despite real-world evidence of failure. You'd think the biggest economic collapse for 80 years might have brought some humility.

    Solid analysis by Joshua Arbury of the comparative economic cases of the Auckland train tunnel and Puhoi holiday highway - with clip of further recent bullshittery by the Minister in Parliament.

    In short, while the CBD tunnel is definitely the more expensive project, its benefits – no matter which way you measure them, are enormously greater than the benefits of the Puhoi-Wellsford road. Under none of the scenarios for including wider economic benefits does the holiday highway make economic sense, just as under all the scenarios we see the CBD Rail Tunnel making economic sense.

    There are other matters that make me think Puhoi-Wellsford’s cost benefit ratio is enormously inflated (like the unrealistic time savings and the fact that the effects of tolling haven’t been considered), but even with the most generous interpretation of that project’s economic benefits, it simply can’t compare to the CBD Rail Tunnel on all measures.

    So why are we building it first again?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I personally hate how public discourse these days pits one project against another. I want the tunnel and the highway and the CBD link. They've all got benefits, even though clearly some are more beneficial than others. Tolling does make sense if it's a way to make these projects happen, and isn't funneled into private hands (which will want it that way well after it's paid itself off). The CBD link will already be tolled, just through tickets that you must purchase to use the trains. If a lot more people use the trains because of the link, then that's paying for the link.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    The 'one against the other' thing is a response to Joyce, English. Key and Brownlee's inisistence that the kitty is empty (except for things like bailouts and tax cuts that benefit the wealthy). That's driven by their underlying ideology that public budgets must be slashed because of private (mainly financial sector) debt.

    Accepting that proposition and its framing is not the only way, of course, but try telling that to our piss-weak political opposition.

    The argument also doesn't have to be an 'either-or' one - there are very good right-wing reasons for investing in the CBD rail loop tunnel. It single-handedly more than doubles capacity for the entire Auckland rail network, allowing trains every 10 minutes which means people will rely on them more and stop driving. Also enables more intensive development of the CBD and fringe without turning all the roads into bus lanes as the business case identified. Even a car nut like Joyce should be backing that, rather than lying through his teeth that the case doesn't stack up but that his pet highway project does.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    They've all got benefits, even though clearly some are more beneficial than others.

    There's little evidence that the Puhoi hoilday highway will benefit anyone much - and it will throw away between 20 and 60 dollars for every 100 invested from the public purse - unless you accept the flaky reasoning that trucks getting to Auckland five or ten minutes faster will jump-start Northland's economy. Sound like prudent decision-making to you?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    Sorry - thread hijack, but it is Friday!

    Ben - as a fellow Avondalite, here's some very good news - the commissioners have made a decision on the Rosebank pohutukawa.

    "10th December 2010

    Rosebank Pohutukawa Saved – Tree Council Vindicated!

    The Tree Council is very relieved that independent commissioners today totally rejected an application to fell the well known, landmark Pohutukawa, at 321 Rosebank Road, Avondale. The application was considered at a day long hearing on November 12th, 2010."

    This tree, along with a companion oak, is just coming into flower. Hooray for community voices and the Tree Council!

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    I personally hate how public discourse these days pits one project against another. I want the tunnel and the highway and the CBD link. They've all got benefits

    If the holiday highway has solid tangible benefits, then let's hear them. I'd be very interested to hear a business case that doesn't look, sound and smell like it's been farted out of the backside of a diarrhetic cow. Unfortunately, I don't believe it exists.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to BenWilson,

    What Sacha said about "one or t'other" being an echo of Joyce et al.

    Also, Puford actually doesn't have a solid justification. The safety benefits can be achieved for a fraction the price of the four-lane highway, and much more immediately. Based on historic fatality rates on the road, another 50 people will die before Puford is finished. That's against the simpler safety works that could be started almost immediately (no need for designations or planning an entirely new route) and be finished in a couple of years.
    When you even have Warkworth residents who know about traffic planning saying that the time savings on which most of the benefit is based are bullshit, one has to question the value of the entire business case. Especially when Joyce's plan to accelerate construction means higher costs and a further-reduced return.

    I'd really like to know what B'linglish thinks of the cost of Puford, too. I know he's distinctly cool on the CBD rail tunnel, but I've not seen anything about his view of an expensive highway with dodgy return calculations.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Oh, there are definite tangible benefits. Lives saved, for one. And it will absolutely cut travel times during summer, once it's finally completed in 20-20-something.
    The question isn't does it have benefits, the question is do the benefits stack up higher than the costs? Even allowing for WEBs the answer is "barely".

    I wish, oh how I do wish, that Darren Hughes had the same handle on this issue as does Josh Arbury. If that were so, he'd eviscerate Joyce in the House and probably slap English with the bloody corpse in the process. Might even get the message out that National aren't here to steward your money carefully, they're here to spend it on their mates. And fuck the prolles.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    IIRC, Heather Simpson helped discredit Think Big back in the early 1980s. Is there anyone who can step up to the mantle this time round?

    If the usual suspects claim that NZ is bankrupt, how did they suddenly manage to play Santa with the holiday highway and mismanaged finance companies? Oh that's right, there's a term for it.

    And who else is thinking right now of Japan's infamous roads to nowhere?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    Surely the roads are simple political corruption. The contractors involved do pay rather large sums in political donations, and that is a rather ancient issue with the funding of politicians and their parties.

    Though we do have a party in office that refuses to take bids from local carriage makers, on the grounds they couldn't possibly be competitive, and then the foreign company they do give the contracts to promptly subcontracts it back to those same locals after taking a margin for doing so.

    sigh

    Perhaps the ideological blindness doesn't need so much special funding; it's just that old boys club groupthink that pats itself on the back too often to notice what the real world's up to in the meantime. Liars or idiots, you tell me.


    "Got stuck in traffic again over the long weekend, eh what. Surely there'd be huge benefits to a bigger road up there, it's always terribly slow when I'm on it."

    "Quite right, old chap. Why, if you compare it with the cost of the helicopter flights I use to bypass it, ...."

    Since Nov 2006 • 611 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to tussock,

    Though we do have a party in office that refuses to take bids from local carriage makers, on the grounds they couldn't possibly be competitive, and then the foreign company they do give the contracts to promptly subcontracts it back to those same locals after taking a margin for doing so.

    Any WikiLeak on the above?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    I wish, oh how I do wish, that Darren Hughes had the same handle on this issue as does Josh Arbury. If that were so, he'd eviscerate Joyce in the House and probably slap English with the bloody corpse in the process. Might even get the message out that National aren't here to steward your money carefully, they're here to spend it on their mates.

    Mind you, Prostetnic Vogon Joyce is pretty media savvy in a Karl Rove kind of way.

    And fuck the prolles.

    And how do the usual suspects get away with it? White bread and media circuses, that's what.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Prostetnic Vogon Joyce

    Now, that I like ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2937 posts Report Reply

  • Brett Thompson,

    Has anyone outed Amy Brookes as the insane sister (also children's author and Poetry editor for Investigate!) of Jim Mora?

    NZ • Since Dec 2010 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Amy used to be Agnes-Mary...her children's books are remarkably unpopular with young readers-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F, in reply to Islander,

    Amy used to be Agnes-Mary...her children's books are remarkably unpopular with young readers-

    Yup, I remember reading her cranky views on literature discussed on PAS before.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1611 posts Report Reply

  • Brett Thompson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    How to explain the Jim Hopkins connection to all this? Is he a ZAP member perhaps?

    NZ • Since Dec 2010 • 2 posts Report Reply

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