Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The new establishment

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  • Russell Brown,

    A word also for Wynyard quarter: it's a brilliant place to bike to. At most destination, still, you're hunting around for a place to lock your wheels to. At Wynyard, there are proper cycle stands everywhere.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22293 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Two other accounts worth reading:

    Simon Wilson at the Spinoff: ‘Come have a beer with me’: the Jacindatrain hits Auckland

    Tim Murphy at Newsroom: Labour’s roll runs into National’s rock

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22293 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    At Wynyard, there are proper cycle stands everywhere.

    It's interesting to see the places where they are and where they aren't (in particular some supermarkets do and some don't). But also some shopping precincts need to get their shit together (looks pointedly at Newmarket).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4374 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    A word also for Wynyard quarter: it's a brilliant place to bike to.

    Yup, although the route from the pink path down Nelson seems to lose it's way right at the end.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4374 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    It’s interesting to see the places where they are and where they aren’t (in particular some supermarkets do and some don’t).

    Countdown Ponsonby is great. Countdown Richmond Road is still bloody hopeless.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22293 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    That is Andrew Kirton, with the two tone collar, in some of the photos. Labour Party general sec and campaign manager. Same generation as Jacinda.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3114 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody,

    I hope that this heralds a new shift towards embracing all the good work done by credible groups in civil society. About time government stopped thinking they know best.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 765 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    I hope that this heralds a new shift towards embracing all the good work done by credible groups in civil society. About time government stopped thinking they know best.

    Yes, that's how I see it. These groups are earning the right to be heard.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22293 posts Report Reply

  • Tristan, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    And confused with Clark Gayford sometimes which while flattering might not play well with his wife :P

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 220 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Another report from yesterday. Duncan Greive got to be the one to go out to Papakura for the National Party transport announcement.

    I think, as he suggests here, that the big danger for the urbanists is that they become pigeonholed as narrow central Auckland liberals. (Although Ben Ross would have something to say about that. He was excited about the Botany-airport plans.)

    Bridges listed off a fairly mundane (by comparison to a giant light rail network) collection of local projects: new platforms and park and ride facilities, totalling out at about a tenth of what Labour had committed to public transport across town. And while he was at pains to point out that National had also funded the CRL (grudgingly sure, but still), the crowd’s response was more polite and dutiful applause than genuine enthusiasm. Tellingly, while they were here to announce rail upgrades, the biggest cheer came for a reference to the nearby Mill Rd highway. In less than 20 minutes it was over, Bridges and English were subsumed into a media scrum and the crowd began to disperse. There was no ‘come have a beer with me‘, that’s for sure.

    Afterwards I rejoined the Southern motorway, this time heading north, and was immediately struck in bumper to bumper traffic late on a Sunday afternoon. A sign read ‘more lanes end 2018’, and you got a sense of what living with this gridlock day in, day out must feel like.

    While rail to the airport gets the inner city suburbs excited, and reads like the future, out here it’s easy to see why it’s not just the roading lobby which wants new roads. And while public transport use is surging – to the point where the Employers and Manufacturers Association’s Kim Campbell was approvingly quoting the 20% rise in train journeys so far this year on The AM Show this week – for vast numbers of people a single occupant car remains their dominant transport mode.

    For those near train routes and engaged with the research around road usage, projections about driverless cars and with proximity to the apartment boom, the argument about funding the likes of a second Southern highway or the East West link feel like an absurd anachronism. But for those sat in traffic day after day, new roads promise more time at home and less hours spent frustrated behind a wheel. Which is likely why National continue to find money to spend on them, and they remain a potent electoral weapon.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22293 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody,

    Roads a potent electoral weapon? Grasping at straws. It's how WP held Tauranga and it's gridlocked now too.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 765 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    I think, as he suggests here, that the big danger for the urbanists is that they become pigeonholed as narrow central Auckland liberals.

    Yes, there was quite noticeable difference in diversity between the 2 events from the quick glimpses on the OneNews last night that I saw.

    Both teams preaching to the converted to a certain extent I guess.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 491 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    I hope that this heralds a new shift towards embracing all the good work done by credible groups in civil society. About time government stopped thinking they know best.

    With the best will in the world and the best bureaucracy supporting them the government simply cannot have the knowledge needed to make best policy on all issues.

    The smart thing to do is, when groups of people get together and build knowledge and expertise in an area, the government should listen to them.

    Sadly for the last 30 years or so when faced with a lack of knowledge governments have relied on ideology to guide them. It hasn't worked well at all.

    Seeing Labour and The Greens actually deferring to the expertise of the transport nerds who have been figuring out solutions for Auckland is hopeful. We just need similar groups in other fields and a government who is willing to set aside ideology and listen.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4374 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    the route from the pink path down Nelson seems to lose it's way right at the end.

    See https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2017/01/13/nelson-st-phase-2/

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19428 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Yes I can think of many off the top of my head :Pure advantage, EDS, Law Commission, LAWF, Sallies,...

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 765 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    The smart thing to do is, when groups of people get together and build knowledge and expertise in an area, the government should listen to them.

    This government has proven rather more cynically sophisticated than that. The Share an Idea initiative, set up to foster a sense of public participation in post-quake Christchurch, was never anything other than a deliberate and contrived hoax. Despite attracting more than 106,000 'submissions' and scoring international awards for the few aboard the gravy train, practically nothing from all of the freely offered public input has been realised in the ensuing 'rebuild'.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4529 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    The CRL will be the work of Len Brown, not the transportblog folks.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2153 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    This government has proven rather more cynically sophisticated than that.

    National is unashamedly ideology driven. They simply don't accept any evidence that is contrary to their position in the belief that because their ideology is correct any such evidence must be flawed, either the evidence itself is faulty or the ideology hasn't been given enough time to succeed.

    And yes that is a perfect circle.

    To be fair this is a fairly human behaviour and again to be fair they've campaigned on such an approach and hence feel they have a mandate to enact it.

    They've used public input as a method of pacifying the masses without any intention of shifting from their ideology.

    Would The Greens and Labour actually be any different? Well, they say they will be ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4374 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    It's not an either-or.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19428 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    The Share an Idea initiative, set up to foster a sense of public participation in post-quake Christchurch, was never anything other than a deliberate and contrived hoax.

    The Council acted in good faith in conducting it; Brownlee and chums shat all over that by ignoring it thereafter.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19428 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Sacha,

    The Council acted in good faith in conducting it; Brownlee and chums shat all over that by ignoring it thereafter.

    Share an Idea was an initiative of Bob Parker's Council. Despite, or possibly because of Brownlee blatantly referring to Parker as a clown, it's a real stretch to claim that anything originating from that regime was done in good faith. Perhaps it's worth remembering that the serial extortionist Council CEO Tony Marryatt cited the extra workload generated by Share an Idea when attempting to gouge a further salary increase.

    Lest we forget, the depth of self-interested cynicism on display while aftershocks were still occurring was truly breathtaking, with Key and Brownlee offering tacit support.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4529 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Share an Idea was a world-leading piece of civic engagement. Not every part of that Council was incompetent. Makes Brownlee's utter betrayal of the initiative even worse.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19428 posts Report Reply

  • william blake, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    I note that Sir John Key has just been awarded an honorary doctorate for that tacit support. Piled high and deep.

    Since Mar 2010 • 354 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Sacha,

    Attachment

    Share an Idea was a world-leading piece of civic engagement. Not every part of that Council was incompetent. Makes Brownlee's utter betrayal of the initiative even worse.

    When none of the intended benefits ever materialised, who's to say that the 'award' wasn't just a form of circle-jerkery? A quick search reveals that Share an Idea still looks good on a few online CVs from back then, but that's about it.

    While Council staff may have laboured in good faith on the project, at least they were compensated. Unlike the trusting citizenry whose submissions, given for no reward, were supposedly what Share an Idea was all about.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4529 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    National is unashamedly ideology driven. [...] Would The Greens and Labour actually be any different? Well, they say they will be ...

    I don't at all wish to defend the current government, which I don't especially like for many reasons, but a related issue is our general culture of punishing leaders who acknowledge they might have been wrong, or change their mind.

    If you fail to commit to some kind of ideology from the outset, it's treated as a weakness. If you fail to stick to it in the face of reasonable arguments to the contrary, it means you got it wrong and it's treated as a weakness, and so leaders tend to be afraid to diverge from their stated ideology. If they do it has to be dressed up to appear as if they're not doing that at all.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1107 posts Report Reply

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