Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The CRL and the nature of change

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  • John Farrell,

    The ODT's view:

    "Prime Minister John Key effectively launched National's 2017 election campaign yesterday by agreeing to pour billions of dollars into Auckland's infrastructure - at the expense of the rest of the country, ODT political editor Dene Mackenzie writes."

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/371181/billions-buy-auckland-votes

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    yes that was top of page 3 today, I think the general feeling down here is "we have to pay how much so that Auckland can take away more of our kids and our jobs?"

    Of course I used to go to school on the train, but the govt took away all our commuter trains, and put the farmers (the regional council) in charge of the buses, they're not very keen on them.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Interesting column today from Fran O’Sullivan who has her biases, but is always a reliable reader of business sentiment:

    But the reality is Key was two years too late when it came to his Government finally committing to bring forward spending on the $2.5 billion city rail link (dubbed Len’s trainset) so construction could begin two years earlier that the previously agreed 2020 deadline.

    It had taken a concerted behind-scenes campaign by business lobbies to shift the Government off its lofty perch in the first place and start listening hard (and acting) on what Auckland needed.

    Key’s Government had initially allowed its concerns over Len Brown’s leadership to spill over to poison decision-making.

    And:

    Key is now saying that Auckland Council will have to “justify” introducing congestion charges or motorway tolls to help fund its “50:50 share” of the new transport infrastructure.

    This is unnecessarily provocative.

    Most modern cities use tolls or congestion charges to both fund and constrain motorway construction expenditure.

    Aucklanders are now in broad support of this move.

    The Government should simply fall into line.

    The government also needs to stop listening to the clowns who constitute Auckland’s centre-right establishment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to John Farrell,

    The ODT’s view:

    “Prime Minister John Key effectively launched National’s 2017 election campaign yesterday by agreeing to pour billions of dollars into Auckland’s infrastructure – at the expense of the rest of the country, ODT political editor Dene Mackenzie writes.”

    Fair in the sense that Key’s need to keep Auckland voters onside was a factor, but not really fair on the numbers. Greater Auckland is home to 34% of New Zealanders and responsible for 35% of GDP. Per capita, Aucklanders get less government expenditure than people in any of the other regions. Even transport spending is only commensurate with Auckland’s share of the tax take. And infrastructure spending is about growth expectations – in the next 30 years, Auckland is expected to account for nearly two thirds of New Zealand’s population growth. You can’t not plan for that.

    This isn’t great for other regions in a variety of ways, but addressing that is the role of a regional economic development strategy, like the one Labour touted at the last election.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Ross, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Basically Fran's comments might as well have come from the Chamber of Commerce, the EMA and Mainfreight themselves in regards to the CRL.

    I think the Government has been distracted by the Centre Right Local Government establishment long enough that National should probably jettison any association with it given it is that far out of touch with wider Auckland (the local establishment that is) as the Len Brown saga showed.

    The Perils of Len have already diminished another certain blogger and had the Governing Body rally around the Deputy Mayor who has taken us through the 2013-2016 term. And believe me Penny (Hulse) knows her stuff with both communities and business alike.

    Fran is dead right about the motorway tolling situation to the point I wrote this part over on my own blog post on the history of National and the CRL:

    Given Key and Joyce are using the same language around road tolls in Auckland as they did in 2013 with the City Rail Link I think it is safe to say that in 2017 we will hear an announcement around tolling happening…

    As for the Unitary Plan situation with housing supply. Well where you want me to start given the Rezoning evidence is out from Council.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2014 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ben Ross,

    I think the Government has been distracted by the Centre Right Local Government establishment long enough that National should probably jettison any association with it given it is that far out of touch with wider Auckland (the local establishment that is) as the Len Brown saga showed.

    Yeah, they've got a problem there. And I thought this part of the ODT story was way off:

    The Prime Minister will also hurt the mayoral campaign hopes of former Labour leader Phil Goff and nullify the criticism from the Labour and Green parties who have been advocating for the City Rail Link to start earlier.

    A centre-left mayor winning a massive government backdown is hardly going to hurt Goff – especially when the local centre-right still can't tell a coherent story. "Vote for us because we're vaguely aligned with the government even though we loudly opposed the ideas the government just came around to" isn't a compelling pitch.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Graham,

    Typical response from centre right candidate:
    "Leadership...Rates...Make it happen...".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • llew40,

    Basically Fran’s comments might as well have come from the Chamber of Commerce, the EMA and Mainfreight themselves in regards to the CRL.

    The Auckland Business Forum (chaired by Michael Barnett) has been supportive of the CRL, and other big Auckland transport projects, for years. Doubt anyone could seriously argue that the business community hasnt been telling the Government (and Council) to get on with them - debates about prioritisation and funding notwithstanding.

    Since Nov 2012 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Mark Graham,

    blah blah savings blah keep rates down blah

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    ...from Fran O’Sullivan who has her biases...

    You are a master of understatement Russell.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1381 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Dean Mckenzie has his biases, too...

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    blah blah savings blah keep rates down blah

    She's not really indicating a great commitment to the whole "being mayor" thing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    spinning gold for straw people...

    ...backdowns are gold for political journalists.

    I see Phil Kitchin has resigned from Paula Bennett's office

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I wasn't thinking of one person - that's been a C&R mantra for decades. It's why we are now having tpo spend so much catching up on a few generations worth of infrastructure, especially transport and water.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to John Farrell,

    Dean Mckenzie has his biases, too…

    As does the ODT and its owners ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Ross, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Key announcing the CRL for 2018 wont hurt Goff no matter what Brewer spins in his dying days as Councillor (rumour has it Desley Simpson will take his spot around the Governing Body table)

    If anything it will bolster Goff given Crone is dithering around (Thomas is fine with the CRL and has been for a while) and the majority of the Governing Body are pro CRL.

    The CRL is pretty much a done deal, road tolling is a done deal at this rate.
    The main issues come to the Unitary Plan herself (executing it), Panuku's transform program for Manukau and Onehunga and the next big three projects:
    North Shore Line
    Airport Line via Otahuhu
    North Western Bus Way

    And the Business Forum one way or the other supports those projects as well.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2014 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to John Farrell,

    at the expense of the rest of the country, ODT political editor Dene Mackenzie writes

    Population of Otago 215000
    Population of Auckland 1400000

    Of course Otago should get the same money as Auckland
    Sigh

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    shift the Government off its lofty perch

    I prefer "pull the government's head out of the ... er ... sand"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Ben Ross,

    The main issues come to the Unitary Plan herself (executing it)

    Oh, National would like to execute the Unitary Plan, all right. A quick blow to the back of the head on a quiet night and no-one will be any the wiser.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    The breathless support for the East-West foreshore-obliterating motorway is, although unsurprising, depressing. As with all the other Roads of Dubious Significance, the economics of and alternatives to will remain completely unexplored, with NZTA's "TINA" narrative repeated unquestioned.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ben Ross,

    Airport Line via Otahuhu

    got to love a tryer :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

    "Of course Otago should get the same money as Auckland"

    I didn't see that mentioned.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Just a pity that they couldn't find the small amount c$4million to fix the Gisborne railway line and get the logging trucks off the road. Instead of more roads we could have electrified the main trunk line, developed proper commuter rail to Hamilton and Palmerston North and revived South Island lines such as between Dunedin and Invercargill. After all, even Cabinet Ministers must get frustrated when stuck behind increasingly large trucks on NZ's narrow, winding provincial roads. But not enough votes in those regions, I suppose.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3196 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    the economics of and alternatives to will remain completely unexplored

    worse, they chose the gold-plated option over another with a higher BCR as TransportBlog reminded the govt's tame pollster.

    And I see the cost is now touted as between $1.25 and 1.85b. That is more than the Waterview tunnels.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

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