Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: After Len

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  • James Littlewood*, in reply to Questioner,

    I’m surprised no one has suggested taxing or rating this value uplift.

    It would be anyway, wouldn't it, through the existing rate & valuation process? Or do you mean it hasn't been factored into the analysis/PR?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Swan,

    I couldnt find the original press release but that is the summary from the MOT. So we havent had the definitive business case yet.

    I was focusing more on the commitment to government providing “its share of funding for a construction start in 2020”. It doesn’t say “subject to a business case”.

    All appeals against the land designations have been resolved or dismissed. It starts this month. It is happening.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Questioner,

    There may be more cost efficient ways of transporting these people. Rail has a much higher level of subsidy than bus travel, but it’s unclear why it’s deserving of this high level of subsidy.

    In my view there are two reasons rail is deserving, one is the potential to get a lot more cars off the jam packed roads, and the other is to reduce the number of trucks. Admittedly it will be hard to change back to the expectation that most goods go across country by rail, but it is crazy to have so many heavy trucks doing long haul trips on our roads, rail is perfect for freight.

    I live close to a rail line and station. We get only two or three freight trains through a day. Rail is seriously underutilised for freight.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Craig Young,

    Even better, MMP and an indirectly elected mayor.

    Nationally, we don't elect a president and a parliament of FPP MPs who might or might not have confidence in that president.

    MMP is a fair voting system that represents all groups and ideas. With MMP in Auckland, you'd have a council that represents the voters, and by having council elect the mayor, an administration with the backing of a majority in council.

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

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Angela Hart,

    In my view there are two reasons rail is deserving, one is the potential to get a lot more cars off the jam packed roads

    The issue in Auckland is that the projections suggest there won't be enough room for buses unless we improve urban rail capacity.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Questioner, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    I think this post highlights the difficulties inherent in transport project evaluation. Transport project evaluation requires you to make assumptions about the future and what benefits to include and how to count them. Wider Economic Benefits (WEB) are especially tricky as they're triggered by people's responses to the improvement in access that a new transport project provides. Therefore the chain of assumptions is longer and hence divergence between different analyses is more likely.
    The whole process is then overlaid with politicians and others deciding they want a project which can then result in assumptions that are favourable to the project.

    Since Nov 2015 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • william blake, in reply to Sacha,

    Yes Sacha , foolish of me to misunderstand the inproved ability of all those inner city folk to come out West and do some weeding.

    Tom, balkanisation?, I see it as celebrating the different culture, geography, flora, fauna, etc of each part of the region, even micro climates.

    If Neil Henderson has been throwing big pissups at the ratepayer expense Im bloody annoyed that we haven't been invited.

    Since Mar 2010 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The issue in Auckland is that the projections suggest there won’t be enough room for buses unless we improve urban rail capacity.

    gridlock!

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Craig Young,

    So what do the rest of you think about introducing the Single Transferable Vote for Auckland City local elections?

    The sooner the better.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Questioner,

    A few full trains doesn’t justify building the CRL. There may be more cost efficient ways of transporting these people. Rail has a much higher level of subsidy than bus travel, but it’s unclear why it’s deserving of this high level of subsidy.

    The CRL is about allowing the billion-ish dollars of investment that's been made in Auckland's rail network to deliver its full benefit. There's a lot of latent capacity that's unavailable while the primary source/destination station is a dead-end, and even making tweaks to routing to have some direct services between, say the south and the west, will not change that. Britomart is far and away the busiest station on the network, and it's limited to about 24 trains per hour because of its design. It's also a lot further away in travel time than is necessary because of the enforced Newmarket detour. If you can come up with a better way to move tens-of-thousands of people than in a dedicated corridor the width of three motorway lanes, please do let NZTA know.

    The level of subsidy of rail has been decreasing and will continue to decrease in the future. Why direct subsidy of public transport is considered to be such an evil when we subsidise private transport indirectly to an enormous level is a mystery to me, and to many others. The space consumption and pollution involved in supporting the private automobile is massive, and it's not priced. As for why rail is more deserving, if you hadn't noticed trains don't take up road space. That's a saving.

    The Council is doing more than prepatory works, my understanding is that they are starting construction of the cut and cover tunnel in Albert St next year.

    You are absolutely correct. Work cannot wait. The revamp of Downtown is already being delayed by the fucking-about caused by the current regime's loathing of rail.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Questioner, in reply to Angela Hart,

    Which projections? The City Centre Future Access Study which reached this conclusion assumed a much higher growth rate of population and employment in Auckland's CBD than has been the case historically. It also assumed that the CBD will grow faster in the future than Auckland as a whole. In the past employment in the CBD has grown at about the same rate as Auckland as a whole.

    Since Nov 2015 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Morepork,

    @ William Blake. Well exactly. The whole obsession with weeds is created by the local boards because they hold the contracts for weeding. So there budget lines have doubled as have their salaries. Check the mid-eskdale stream enhancement project on the north shore and the weedbags given to all the households. Those are designed by weedfree trust. If people in the West actually neede money for Weeding then they should have applied to the regionally available Environmental Initiatives fund like everyone else. There were only a couple of applicants from the West. But if people are too lazy or don't want to be transparent and apply for the environmental fund, then I don't think we should be supporting a "partnership fund" with a board member who has non transparent outcomes. And how do you apply. And is it legal under the members interest act for a board member to have a $250k contract where the salary line is $137k and the Cash assets are $114k. Time to put a stop to the weeding boondoggle.

    auckland • Since Nov 2015 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Nationally, we don’t elect a president and a parliament of FPP MPs who might or might not have confidence in that president.

    Which is both a good and a bad thing. It means that the most powerful person and the most powerful party are aligned, giving far more power to the leadership. We're fond of having the no division between executive and legislative bodies. but it's not the only way things can be done, and it's not without disadvantages. The obvious one being that it has way more power to do wrong as well as more power to do right. It also means that the most powerful person in the country may not be the person wanted by even a plurality - particularly if the head position changes between elections.

    I'm pretty sure I don't want a mayor who would be chosen by the current council.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Angela Hart,

    one is the potential to get a lot more cars off the jam packed roads, and the other is to reduce the number of trucks.

    And the trains largely run on electricity. If as a nation we embrace 100% renewable, sustainable electricity generation....we may stave off AGW a little longer.

    Also...the compulsory water tank installation in pre - Super City days....how did that go down with the punters?

    Would be a great idea for the rest of the City, if only to stop some of the storm water from flooding the sewage pipes and polluting your beaches.

    Then you could all swim in the sea!

    And the need for swimming pools would not be so big an issue.:-)

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to BenWilson,

    The only reason why centre-left runners (Brown / Goff) are in front for Auckland mayor is that the right is split and has nobody sane lined up for the job. If Nicki Kaye ran, they might have a chance, but I guess she wants a career in national politics.

    That situation might not last for ever. A fair voting system would result in a council that was at least representative, and a mayor would need to have the confidence of a majority on that council. If that turned out a right-winger, it would be because people voted for them.

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

  • Sacha, in reply to william blake,

    foolish of me to misunderstand

    You still sound like you could do with reading material at that link. It answers questions/issues you are raising.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Questioner,

    assumed a much higher growth rate of population and employment in Auckland's CBD than has been the case historically.

    And this myth has been answered before as well. Stat's NZ's official population growth figures have exceeded their High projections for many decades in Auckland. We can see the effect of ignoring that in a history of inadequate infrastructure provision like a 4-lane car-only bridge to the North Shore.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Goff is from the right of Labour. Not very left at all, hence picking up Nat party supporters.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    "Getting cars off roads" doesn't seem like the best way to sell the CRL, since it might not happen. What will happen is increased capacity. More trips per hour into the city will be possible than before. How long the trips take is still dependent on how many trips people make, which is a function of many things the go far beyond just how long the average length of the trips are. We could build the link and yet still have steadily increasing traffic density. But we'd also have fat pipe capable of delivering an extra 15,000 people per hour, which is the equivalent of 6 motorway lanes. It's like building an entirely new motorway out to everywhere that the trains already go, without having to find somewhere to park all the cars that could drive on it. That's well worth the money.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Swan, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Matthew, what regional infrastructure did the North Shore not contribute to? The NS has sorted out its CSO's well in advance of the Isthmus (the bill for which is in the billions), and built extra capacity in its wastewater system that is now being snapped up by the rest of Auckland. Wastewater, alongside local roads is at the core of what councils do and the North Shore was way ahead of the other three large councils.

    Birkenhead • Since Feb 2011 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Swan, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Russell, the purpose of a business case is to determine whether a project is go or no go. The government has committed to a business case and funding, one assumes, subject to the results of the business case. The designation was driven by the council, and the construction is only early works with no certainty around the bulk of the funding.

    Birkenhead • Since Feb 2011 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    If that turned out a right-winger, it would be because people voted for them

    True enough. But if the council has a left wing mayor and the rest stacked right, that is also because people voted for them. I'm not against a better system for electing the rest of the council, but I'm not sure that being unable to vote for the mayor is such a good idea. As in, I'm really not sure, and would need a more convincing argument than that our national level system doesn't work that way. Some countries do have a system that works that way, and it's not axiomatic that it's worse that way. I tend to think that electing the top job is at least one way that the vox-pop can bypass all the layers of entrenched privilege that seem to cohere to political parties. The ability of South Auckland to at least elect the mayor by virtue of their numbers, even if they get nothing else from a council stacked with quacks, seems to me a good thing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    More trips per hour into the city will be possible than before.

    More trips around the region - the focus on the cbd is a red herring. This single project doubles the capacity of the whole network. Combined with new bus routes that focus on rail hubs around the region, the ROI is massive. And there really is no viable alternative, regardless of the asphalt fantasies of the right.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to BenWilson,

    Len Brown got 47% of the votes last time. With MMP, if the 164,000 people who voted for him went (e.g) with Labour/Green, then that would probably have give him a majority of councillors, given that most of the trailing candidates were vaguely left.

    Isn't the right-wing council an artefact of FPP wards?

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

  • Rich of Observationz,

    A question: does NZ First align with any of the Auckland non-parties, or do they stay away from local body elections?

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

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