I respectfully disagree that Auckland Central wouldn't benefit much from the City Rail Link. While the project's benefits are felt all around Auckland, they are felt most strongly in the city centre as without the project all the streets will be flooded with buses and cars by 2025 at the latest. We're literally talking wall to wall buses on Albert, Fanshawe & Symonds streets at peak times.
The CRL is also utterly critical for the City Centre Master Plan to happen. In terms of benefitting residents - remember that something like 20,000 people now live in the CBD. A pity it seems that hardly any of them vote though.
Other interesting thought is how things might be different if left leaning voters were more strategic.
In Ohariu Dunne got 13228 votes, while Hughes and Chauvel got 13357 between them. Oops if you voted for Hughes!
In Epsom Banks got 14150 votes but add together Goldsmith, Parker and Hay you get 16428.
If the left had been smarter the Nats would really have no friends and be stranded on 59 seats
Have had* Damn you auto-correct.
Interesting thought I have gadgets over the past few days is that when the government does eventually change (2014 or 2017 I guess) it seems likely that it will be Labour and the Greens over powering no-friends National.
In other words in 2014 we could have a Labour PM but National be the largest party. Hopefully the country is mature enough to handle such an outcome.
Thanks Russell that's what I was attempting to say. Especially relevant as the Greens are big PT supporters. Oh well Nikki is only 500 ahead with 6000 special votes on Auckland Central to be counted.
Stranger things have happened.
Personally I'm annoyed that more Green party voters didn't give their electorate vote to Jacinda Ardern, because I think that getting rid of Nikki Kaye would have sent a really important message to National about a certain rail project.
But then I'm more interested in transport matters than most.
Party vote was probably the toughest choice but dead keen to get Julie Genter at #13 on the Greens' list into parliament.
In a way the argument for the project is even simpler, though this piece is excellent.
Here's my short argument for the project:
"Over the next 30 years Auckland's population is estimated to increase by close to a million people. The rest of the country's increase will be less than half a million. Auckland's roading system struggles to cope with existing flows and is pretty much built out once the current motorway projects are finished.
But there is one part of Auckland's transport infrastructure with tremendous unused capacity: the rail network. With patronage growing by around 20% a year, rail is playing an increasingly important role in Auckland's transport system. However, as all the line currently converge on a two track tunnel into Britomart, the ability for the rail network to keep growing in use is limited by this bottleneck.
The City Rail Link gets rid of the bottleneck, allowing us to extract full value from our current investment in rail and enabling much better train frequencies throughout the network. This allows further future growth of the rail system, faster trips from the south and west, better access to all the city centre. In short it allows Auckland to keep growing without placing more pressure on the road network."
I could keep going and going, but that'll do for now.
The biggest cause for the whole problem seems, from my perspective, to have been the inability of ATEED to tell Auckland Transport (and, I suppose, equally the inability of Auckland Transport to ask) that expected visitor numbers had at least doubled from what was anticipated.
ATEED opened much more space because they were expecting up to 160,000 people. Yet Auckland Transport was still going off a plan for 30,000-50,000 people - and for more than half of those to arrive downtown by car (which is a kind of weird expectation).
In the end, most of the fallout has ended up with Len Brown and the Council - which really begs the question of why bother with the CCOs to an extent. It's not like we saw any board members of ATEED or Auckland Transport speak up at today's meeting, or be in the media over the past few days.
Having attended today's Council meeting it certainly seemed that Doug McKay was just as shocked as Len Brown was when McCully made his announcements yesterday.
I wouldn't be surprised if McCully's own officials were surprised. After all they had clearly been working on solutions with the council for the past few days.
Another interesting thing Doug McKay seemed to be saying was that McCully's announcements don't really change anything. Council has been using the RWC legislation for months for events & licensing, they don't need to use it for transport matters.