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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Auckland to Auckland: We're fucked

"Cullen to Auckland: pay more for roads" said yesterday's NZ Herald front page headline.

And: He expressed irritation at a meeting with the Auckland Mayoral Forum at a proposed 5 per cent annual cap on regional rates rises over 10 years. [...] "He said the future lies with roads and buses - that rail will never work," said an official.

Auckland to Cullen: get fucked, arsehole.

Return Auckland taxes to Auckland. Stop trying to do what every government has done and fuck Auckland over while Wellington (to pick one example just purely from random) gets it's own way. Wellington has divided the Auckland region into so many agencies that they can't do anything as they are in meetings every day trying to figure out who should be doing what given that every year another agency to solve the problem of too many agencies comes along.

Condemning Aucklanders to buses forever and forcing Aucklanders to pay tolls on their already existing roads is Treasury bullshit to the max. If Cullen is so proud to differ from the Treasury mantra why doesn't he do so on this issue? Oh, that's right, he's a South Islander living in Napier who once described Auckland as a "great crushing weight" on the rest of the country - that was the quote - was it not. What a git. That "great crushing weight" saved Labour's bacon on Election day and that Auckland Labour voter would benefit most from him taking public transport seriously. The budget is tomorrow; but the tagging is on the wall for anything credible to be announced.

And the intellectual giants, engineers, planners and transport experts making the incisive decisions to guide Auckland's future as a First World powerhouse metropolis, leading city of the Pacific and the nation's commercial capital?:
Last week's meeting, which Dr Cullen called to discuss new funding sources for Auckland's transport needs, was also attended by Prime Minister Helen Clark, new Transport Minister Annette King and Auckland Issues Minister Judith Tizard.
If the Special Olympics ever had a transport committee it would be them.

I note the money for Auckland's transport woes that Labour bangs on about rectifying after years of relative under-investment usually goes on things like making a separate viaduct that exits on the left and closing down the perfectly good one that exits on the right so it can't be used at all - even in emergencies. Yeah - great priority settings there all right. Next time you go over the Hopetoun St bridge you can look down and ponder the great planning minds of Transit NZ that thought that was so urgent that it had to be built immediately. And then you can ponder, as you look at how this 2-300 metre off-ramp so exactly duplicates the now abandoned one, upon the minds that built the one on the right in the first place. Why? WHY? FUCKING WHY? - was it designed by the same person? Is he in charge of everything now? Are they going to decide next that the off-ramp should be yet another viaduct - this time in the middle? The pdf of lame excuses, photos and diagrams of this squanderous ineptitude is here.

The report goes on:
In a letter in December, he and former Transport Minister David Parker said electrifying the network was not an immediate priority, even though that is favoured by the Auckland Regional Transport Authority.

Although that agency was set up under the regional council at the Government's behest, Dr Cullen is keen to assert the Beehive's right to dictate terms of the rail upgrade through its own organisation, Ontrack.

No, what self-respecting million+ city has electric rail? That's just weird. It never works in other countries. Other cities like New York, London, Melbourne, Sydney... Wellington... they wish they had no electric rail like Auckland and had to rely on diesel buses. They are green with jealousy. Yes, diesel buses forever - that is Auckland's public transport future under this and every government to date. Thanks, Treasury. Thanks, Wellington. Thanks, Dr Cullen. How can we ever repay you all? Oh, that's right: with more petrol tax and tolls on our public roads. *slow clap x3*


At 17/5/06 9:21 am, Anonymous RR said...

How about a referendum on re-locating the capital to Auckland?

At 17/5/06 10:46 am, Blogger Aaron Bhatnagar said...

Tim, quite right, although I might have put it more politely. It is disgraceful that the Finance Minister of the country would expect rates to be raised massively when its his underfunding that has been partly responsible for Auckland's transport woes.

At 17/5/06 12:38 pm, Blogger t selwyn said...

I was compelled to use abusive language in this case because of the situation. Auckland must finance it's fair share of it's own infrastructure, but what Cullen/Treasury want is very much unfair. The structure for it is also imposed from Wellington and is unfair: it is designed to fail.

I note today's parliamentary question number 6 (which should be asked approx. 2:30pm):
6. JEANETTE FITZSIMONS to the Minister of Finance: Does he stand by his reported statement to the Auckland mayors that "rail will never work"?
I would love to see what put-down he will try to use to deflect this.

And while we are at it supposedly the Greens have a dog micro-chipping exemption bill up today that will only micro-chip "dangerous" dogs - the whole thing is absurd - there should be no chipping at all. But it's as close as we are likely to get and I hope the other parties are smart enough to realise it and vote for it.

Once again I ask: Did the bureaucrats already order the micro-chipping technology before the law was passed? Where are the tender documents? I don't trust them at all.

At 17/5/06 1:13 pm, Blogger MERC said...

Yes they did, from...a big blue company, ahem.
And rail - why won't it work in Auckland Michael?

At 18/5/06 3:18 pm, Blogger t selwyn said...

The Whig has a fair assessment of Auckland's inner city Link bus service here. I catch it at least a couple of times a week and it's all true. The painful moments when the bus driver must stop for 3 or 4 minutes at Victoria Park because of "the schedule" is maddening. As I said at the time of the electronic GPS system and scrolling signage being introduced a few years ago - I would prefer they spent that money on running extra buses instead so it did keep to being no more than 10 mins apart rather than spending money on a system that tells us it is more than 10 mins apart!

Gadgets and gizmos and the latest technology are no substitutes for actually physically having more buses on the route. And for the last month or so the technology is screwing up and giving false information - so why have it at all?

At 22/5/06 8:20 pm, Blogger The Scarlet Manuka said...

Dude, are you for fucking real? Are you even aware that the rest of the country looks jealously at Auckland while it eats up the majority of road funding? We are being told the same things here in Wellington - we must partially fund our transport infrastructure ourselves: rates increases, regional petrol tax, etc. We have ONE freeway down here. If we have a big earthquake, in all likelihood we'll have none. You guys have it pretty good in comparison. I've driven your roads. Perhaps you might like to emerge from your cave and see how it is for the rest of us.
As for electric trains, what are you talking about? Those big cities you mention want more of them, not more traffic. Have you never left Auckland?

At 23/5/06 7:03 pm, Blogger peterquixote said...

another brilliant article,


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