OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Plague, Famine, By-Election

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  • Russell Brown,

    Labour's existing electorate organisation has given it a head start in at least one way: Shearer seems to have twice as many hoardings up as all the other parties combined -- many of them in prominent corner positions on private properties.

    Labour also seem to be the only party aware that Pt Chev is in the electorate.

    How much impact do hoardings really have though? Guess we'll find out.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    An idea that floated around the campaign launch today was to cost public transport options to see what kind of public transport alternative Waterview could buy instead. Would be great to see how they stack up…

    Joshua Arbury has already had a look at this issue on his excellent Auckland Transport Blog (hit me if he doesn't become Auckland's Transport Czar in 20 years time).

    Basically, it's 2.2b for a surface and exactly the same, give or take a couple of million, for a fabulous rail option with links north and south, and four stations.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    I laughed. Still, it’s kinda ungenerous of him to say that spending money to avoid bulldozing 600 houses is “buying votes”.

    "'What do you mean you've never been to Alpha Centauri? For heaven's sake mankind, it's only four light years away you know. I'm sorry, but if you can't be bothered to take an interest in local affairs that's your own lookout.

    'Energize the demolition beams.'"

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4355 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I vote for that rail option so that when peak oil hits we still have a system that works while individual cars are too expensive to run anymore.

    As Joshua points out so succinctly, the Waterview project will not come out of standard transport funding, so there is nothing to stop the money being used in any way to move people and goods around - providing the decision makers are not in the pockets of those who stand to make money from building one particular option. As George says in the comments, it's a mighty expensive one, too.

    I predict that special enabling legislation will be used to do an end-run around the RMA even if it has been watered down by then. It would be only sensible for the funder to remove the risk of delays from such an expensive project, and really it wouldn't matter who the Government was (Rugby World Cup, anyone?).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Keith, thank you for resisting the lazy media tide that lumps Chinese, Korean and Pakistani into one simple and manageable blob of people who our grandparents felt wary about. Race is a distraction in this and the longer it's fed by some campaigns the more certain we can be that they have nothing else to say.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    “Just look at what happened in Napier.”

    I assumed this was Keith creatively paraphrasing, or exaggerating for effect, until I checked the Q & A transcript.

    Turns out, Melissa Lee really did say it. Oh dear.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 782 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    A congestion charge for the central city and associated motorways would have negative cost and reduce/remove the need for additional highways.

    $10 a day from 150,000 vehicles (based on 200,000 daily vehicles through the CMJ, plus another 100k not using the motorway, minus 50% for traffic reduction ) would raise at least $350mln a year.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Chinese, Korean and Pakistani

    But not Turkish, Lebanese or Israeli. It isn't even a correct generalisation.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Shearer is pioneering a new school of thought in New Zealand politics: You don’t need to apologise just because the Gallery read it on Kiwiblog. It’s okay, really.

    The joy of being in opposition, tolerance of more than one opinion within the same party.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Simon G:

    I assumed this was Keith creatively paraphrasing, or exaggerating for effect, until I checked the Q & A transcript.

    Turns out, Melissa Lee really did say it. Oh dear.

    Apples. Oranges.

    Sacha:

    Keith, thank you for resisting the lazy media tide that lumps Chinese, Korean and Pakistani into one simple and manageable blob of people who our grandparents felt wary about. Race is a distraction in this and the longer it's fed by some campaigns the more certain we can be that they have nothing else to say.

    And complicating matters further is the little-mentioned divide between the 'old generation' (which includes those descended from Otago goldminer stock like myself) and the 'new generation'.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4355 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I checked the Q & A transcript

    Simon, worth checking out video footage if you can. The transcript probably doesn't convey the blustering rudeness adequately.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Here's the transcript. Lee was frankly ghastly in that interview.

    PAUL Did you say the other day law and order is not the priority for people of Mt Albert?

    DAVID I said that when I'm in the streets talking to people their key priorities is the tunnel, they desperately want the tunnel to be put through because they're really worried about the fact that there could be a six lane highway running right through the middle of Mt Albert.

    MELISSA But you’ve only been there for the last week as he said, he's only come back just a week ago, I've been there for longer than that and people are telling me – people are telling me that they're concerned about safety issues, I mean as you know Paul I have been a victim of a home invasion, I had a gun pointed in my head, don’t tell me that law and order issue are not actually a big issue for people of Mt Albert, just look at what happened in Napier.

    PAUL Well to be fair to Mr Shearer he has had a bomb go off 25 metres behind him when he was sleeping.

    MELISSA True, but I mean maybe that is the reason he doesn’t think law and order is a big issue in Mt Albert, but it certainly is, 50,000 law and order issues, I mean reported cases in last year alone in Auckland City, 50,000 and don’t tell me 50,000 is a lot of numbers.

    So Shearer's a slacker on law and order because he's used to Baghdad styles? Did she really say that?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    the little-mentioned divide between the 'old generation' (which includes those descended from Otago goldminer stock like myself) and the 'new generation'.

    Agreed. The huge regional differences within "Chinese" also tend to be glossed over, especially Mainland vs Hong Kong. I recall some good discussion hereabouts at the time of the first Bananas conference that introduced me to the "1.5er" concept.

    Mind you we do the same when we use the blunt label "Pacific" - or even "Maori" for that matter, as if iwi are all the same.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Here's the transcript. Lee was frankly ghastly in that interview.

    Sadly, have to agree -- but Shearer was no better. And the whole show (the first time I've lasted more than five minutes) was, as the kids say, epic fail.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    Meanwhile, in the midst of recession, Sarkozy announces his plan to convert Paris into an eco-city of the future, founded on the principles of "truth, beauty and grandeur."

    Translation: $35 bn on rail improvements over 12 years.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 213 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Lee was frankly ghastly in that interview.

    In the context of my complaints here yesterday about the bias of the show, it is worth noting that Holmes felt compelled to mention Shearer's experience under fire.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    And the whole show (the first time I've lasted more than five minutes) was, as the kids say, epic fail.

    Agree - although that was a particularly egregious example. I do wish the cult of celebrity had less sway and we could have a host with the wisdom to shut up and let the guests speak. He has to be one of the worst interviewers I've ever laid eyes on.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Having said which, you'd also need a host with the wisdom to stop guests like Lee steamrolling over the others.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    So the big issue for Mount Albert is ... Laura Norder? Based upon 50,000 reported cases last year (of what?) for the whole of Auckland City, and "what happened in Napier"?

    Set sail for fail indeed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Roberts,

    My wife and I are quite disappointed in the lack of local candidates. Lee feels like a ring-in, simply because she wasn't the grafter we've seen establishing a base in the last two elections when we all knew Clark was on her way out. Shearer feels the most legitimate to me in that respect, partly because it would have been hard for Labour to establish a new person until right now.

    Hard, that is, unless Helen went onto the list. Nobody seems to think this was practical - presumably it would be seen as 'losing'? I personally reckon that you shouldn't have enough time to lead anything but the smallest party and be an electorate MP, so voted against her on principle (which didn't give me many credible options, let me tell you - apparently no aspiring candidate or party thought they could make my argument fly - perhaps too ).

    My opinion here militates against Norman in the by-election, although on a marginal-adjustment-to-caucus-sizes basis I'd quite like another Green MP.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 88 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    It's actually a pretty safe bet for any pollie to talk about safety - regularly comes up as number one item when urban Councils conduct their Community Outcomes processes.

    Might come across in the current situation as a cynically populist distraction from other pressing topical concerns - oh, like whether to drive a six lane highway through the area, or gut the current local body democratic arrangements.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Might come across in the current situation as a cynically populist distraction from other pressing topical concerns - oh, like whether to drive a six lane highway through the area, or gut the current local body democratic arrangements.

    So, it's not "cynically populist" to play up to the NIMBY vote and engage in what can most politely be described as hysterical scaremongering?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    NIMBY is a pejorative that planners and politicians can and do use to dismiss any and all concerns grounded in the fact that people care about their neighbourhoods, and what happens in them.

    One person's NIMBY is another's place-protective action, or a third person's valiant struggle to defend local environmental quality and neighbourhood character.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    NIMBY is a pejorative that planners and politicians can and do use to dismiss any and all concerns grounded in the fact that people care about their neighbourhoods, and what happens in them.

    Being neither a politician nor a planner, its a pejorative I apply to people who want all the conveniences of the First World and air scented with cinnamon unicorn farts as long as they're in no way inconvenienced. Fuck 'em, dear.

    We can just put all that shit in the backyard of poor ethnic trash in crapholes nobody who matters could find on a map, let alone care about.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Last I checked, Waterview wasn't all that arrogantly affluent, but whatevs.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

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