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.
There's a kind of glorious irony to situations like this because whatever BAT ask for, it seems like they're increasing the chance of it not happening, simply because BAT asked for it.
Maybe a good policymaking process for reducing smoking would be to dig through every submission BAT has ever made then do the opposite. Though at some point they'd click and perhaps submit the opposite to what they really want?
It's kind of like coming up with a good idea but then having ACT endorse it. You'd be going "no no no it's OK guys, you don't want to support this."
I was happily surprised by the tone of the editorial too. Clearly not a typical John Roughan piece, extolling the virtues of sprawl.
Perhaps Auckland's truly starting to realise it's a real city, and not just an overgrown town?
Isn't the main issue of the post the fact that there are very few affordable houses left in Christchurch for these people to move to - with the money that they get from the government?
I don't think people are asking to get a better place than they had before, they just want something done about the fact that there's nothing available at the same level as before. So the solution is to make available land (or ideally, houses - perhaps well designed rows of terraced houses to keep costs down).