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*