Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Done like a dinner

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  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Quentin Davies,

    Aren't we there already - I see shades of Muldoon in the Key government

    And a mild shade of Sir Joh, particularly the stoush over Auckland's Unitary Plan, and the proposed fines hikes on oil protesters.

    What we're seeing is the utter hypocrisy of being told the cupboard's bare, yet there are somehow still wads of cash for Hollywood moguls, northern hemisphere rugby bigwigs, yes-men 'consultants', and now Big Mining. According to Frank @ The Daily Blog, the smelter happens to be in a Govt-held electorate that might just be marginal. On top of that, Frank has lodged a complaint with the ComCom on the grounds of share price fixing.

    Meanwhile, recently passed budgetary policy is tantamount to regressive taxation, and the least that could have been done was to be more upfront about it. The MSM has barely picked up on it.

    When is austerity not austerity? When it's socialism for the rich and austerity for the rest of us.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    vision for ICT beyond “yeah, we’d better have a policy” and that means even though we have an industry that could rival dairy farming in terms of input to GDP, we’ll never take advantage of it because computers and the internet are just for geeks.

    How about finding a way to make all OS's compatible from point X say a time or product/ chip what ever. And take on MS and Mac. Who the fuck needs to buy a new chunk of plastic every updated OS. Its time we realised we cant keep consuming. And dairy farming is a farce in this country now.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    It didn't seem to stop people building Silicon Valley in the Hayward Fault Zone

    Or putting the north end of the DC power link just above the Wellington Fault.

    This could be the joule that sets the house of cards on fire. The power system - generation, transmission, retail - is a fucking shambles. The country is blessed with renewables. The one big problem is the transmission losses from the cheap generators to the black hole of Auckland.

    In the 70s there was a subsidy for South Island power uses. It got dumped years later. If we are serious about assisting Auckland in it's death throes, transport, population, housing, lack of dirt until you are miles from anywhere, then use Manapouri to attract people and business down there.

    Say - Make it free for 10 years.

    Given what we have lost in tax and dirt cheap power anyway, giving it away to business south of Kaikoura is an option.

    I have indicated I want some Meridian shares. My alta ego has indicated he wants $1m worth as well. I bet that sort of amount gave the marketers a wet willy. ;-)

    Here's an idea, How about we all buy the minimum and GIVE them back to the Govt. Imagine if everyone did that. It would send two messages, It was ours. It is ours. Now FFS listen. We could tag the money we paid to the Chch Earthquake fund. A levy if you like, The one I wouldn't have minded paying to assist the rebuild rather than try and do it piecemeal. You know, when Gerry couldn't turn over and put taxes up to pay for it!!!

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1588 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Attachment

    I think when the alpine fault lets loose, particularly if it does so in the Northern South Island/ Cook straight region, Dunedin would have stable power fairly quick. Datawise it would be cut off though, with what is going to happen to Wellington (so yes, an independent data link would be welcome).

    I am feeling pessimistic this evening, and can't see how this will hurt the government any more than everything else it has done (should hurt is another matter, but then I think they should feel some sense of shame)

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Thrash Cardiom,

    Not to rain on anyone's parade but would anybody seriously consider placing a major data centre in the South Island with the Alpine fault ready to rumble at any time?

    There are, apparently, 23 data co-lo centres in San Francisco, a city not at all unfamiliar with powerful earthquakes. A purpose-built data centre could take advantage of everything learned about seismic strengthening in the decades since Loma Prieta shake in 1989.

    I'll also point out that I am aware at first hand of corporate data centres that operated all the way through both Christchurch earthquakes without missing a beat, other than struggling to keep generators running for several days without fuel deliveries by pump truck.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    One thing about redirecting electricity from Manapouri is that it doesn't have to be redirected all the way north. The station is already some distance from Tiwai Pt, so changing the feed direction to north instead of south would allow power from stations further north to be sent north, and so on. It'd be a very significant oversupply to the bottom of the south, to be sure, but by shifting the various stations' supplies to a northwards direction it would make it easier to minimise transmission losses.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Don't forget that other advantage of closing Tiwai - not only do we get to reduce carbon footprint by shutting coal and gas fired power stations - but Tiwai itself pumps out a tonne of carbon for every tonne of Aluminum it makes.

    With power to spare there would be actual competition in the power market, prices would fall, great for everyone (except those silly enough to be caught touting floats of generating companies)

    My bright idea though involves the govt getting energy companies to work together rather than to compete - I want Meridian to add extra penstocks to Clyde (they're sort of half there already) and more generation capacity, and then simply letting the lake fill when the wind blows, when it doesn't make more power - Central Otago has some of the best wind around bulking up and and sharing the lines capacity between the two would provide more peak power capacity and more reliable long term capacity.

    But yes let's start charging for power in the South Island at least as low as a rate that's equivalent to the losses involved in getting the same power to Auckland - we could have more industry in the South because it really is cheaper here - an we could solve some of Auckland's problems with trying to build a large city on a tiny isthmus - remember that Dunedin is the 5th largest city on the planet (in land area).

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    One thing about redirecting electricity from Manapouri is that it doesn't have to be redirected all the way north. The station is already some distance from Tiwai Pt, so changing the feed direction to north instead of south would allow power from stations further north to be sent north, and so on. It'd be a very significant oversupply to the bottom of the south, to be sure, but by shifting the various stations' supplies to a northwards direction it would make it easier to minimise transmission losses.

    Harder than you think - here's a map ....
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:New_Zealand_transmission_grid.svg

    that line you'd like to put in would go through Fiordland Nat Park - roughly where they are arguing about monorails and the like at the moment

    Any extra power to the North Island would have to go through Benmore I guess

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    It’d be a very significant oversupply to the bottom of the south, to be sure, but by shifting the various stations’ supplies to a northwards direction it would make it easier to minimise transmission losses.

    The short version from the Transpower website indicates that the new very large project is a major upgrade of the North Island grid.

    The transmission map shows the new HVDC line to Benmore – the purple one. There’s still some distance from there to Tiwai Point (looking at it, a line would have to run from there to Bluff and then north to Benmore) and there’d be crazy supply in the south. But it seems we’d be in a better position than a few years ago to pass around this power in the way you suggest.

    Also, here’s the national map.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Harder than you think – here’s a map

    So I see. I hadn't realised there was no generation north of Christchurch. That's a bit of a whoopsie in its own right.

    As for Dunedin's land area, not quite 5th. More like 10th. Quite incredible, though, that its land area is more than three times Auckland Council's area (yeah, Auckland's not even in the 50 largest cities by land area, never mind the largest).

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    The short version from the Transpower website indicates that the new very large project is a major upgrade of the North Island grid.

    Channelling my partner a little (…electricity sector type) getting power out of Southland/Otago is the main problem but this is fairly easily resolved by an already identified project that Transpower have put some effort into over the last few years and even hold consented for I am lead to believe. This would upgrade transmission capacity northwards above Clyde/Roxburgh allowing increased flows into the Waitaki valley at a one off cost of $100-200M or so (no new towers just new lines). Once it has reached the Waitaki valley Manapouri power will mostly flow across the DC link into the Wellington region and further northwards or flow to the rest of the South Island accommodating growth in demand there over time. Increased losses will occur (compared to today) but they are not a show stopper and might increase by 20-30% or so. As total losses within Transpower’s system are around 5% of total consumption an increase to 6-7% is not the end of the world.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Channelling my partner a little

    Thank you! I was sure someone would bring the knowledge. Bro.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    that line you'd like to put in would go through Fiordland Nat Park - roughly where they are arguing about monorails

    genuine high voltage adventure tourism #sorted

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    to be fair I'm quoting Dunedin's own publicity .....

    note that the dual lines from Manapouri going south are not dual to carry the Tiwai load but to provide redundancy (because the pot lines would be ruined if ever the power went off) looking at the map there's likely already enough capacity to run Invercargill/Dunedin/etc off of it and a tie-line from Roxbourgh up the back of St Bathans to Benmore wouldn't be much of a stretch

    (edit: probably exactly what Lucy mentions above)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Sacha,

    genuine high voltage adventure tourism #sorted

    2 birds with one stone - the competing scheme with the gondolas strung from the 20kV wires - genuinely hair-raising adventure tourism!

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    we could solve some of Auckland's problems

    Seen this pop up in recent discussions about transport and housing, provoked by our region's draft unitary plan and the government's responses.

    People increasingly preferring to live in bigger cities is not unique to New Zealand (though we only have one large one). Scale-dependant professional and cultural opportunities and infrastructure mean that spreading electricity and businesses around the country is not necessarily the common-sense solution that it seems at first glance.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Ken Aldous,

    How fascinating that the Key government has the face to meddle with the operations of Meridian Energy when ministers never fail to inform us that they have no power to interfere in the operations of SOEs.

    Since Nov 2006 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I love the way you folks know stuff. Informed conversation is such a pleasure to behold.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sacha,

    ( a rare visit to Kiwibog may have reminded me of this)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Sacha: I think there's a lot of resentment outside of Auckland about all the money being spent there to mitigate simple geography you can't really do much about - you already have motorways up the wazoo - Dunedin's been waiting 30 years now for them to simply finish building the 2 lane divided highway south out of town (to our fastest growing dormitory suburb) I'm told there are bulldozers in Caversham, we may yet see it in my life time, no sign of even plans for the single required overbridge yet though

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Paul: I've been to Dunedin. I've been to Auckland.

    T.H.E.R.E. A.R.E. N.O. T.R.A.F.F.I.C. J.A.M.S. I.N. D.U.N.E.D.I.N.

    Believe me!

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1588 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    We do too have traffic jams, every day from 5 until 5:15 - the issue though is not traffic jams, it's the difference between driving <50k on city streets including traffic lights, driveways, and an uncontrolled intersection at the top of the hill with cross traffic vs. 2 lanes in each direction going at 100k on a motorway

    BTW we also resent that the highway in from the airport in Auckland is named after Hugh Watt, apparently a local hero - not a hero to many in the south, more of a bogeyman as he was responsible for the process that resulted in the damming of the Waitaki and Manapouri, he also promised "no dams below Roxburgh" and Meridian has been trying to go back on that promise for years now

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    here’s a map ….
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:New_Zealand_transmission_grid.svg

    that line you’d like to put in would go through Fiordland Nat Park – roughly where they are arguing about monorails and the like at the moment

    Wait, are we talking about the proposed monorail from Glenorchy to Milford? That’s a long way from a line between Manapouri and whatever that other near point is (Cromwell?) Lake Manapouri is very near the inner edge of Fiordland Nat Park.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    There have been some bad decisions in the past about Auckland's urban design and transport networks, but other cities around the world manage trickier geography than ours. We have a sad history of short-sighted council decision-makers and plenty of central government interference. More motorways was never the smartest answer.

    The problem politically with infrastructure investment is the time lag between the decision and the need. Two thirds of the country's population growth in the next 20 years will be in Auckland alone. When it takes 5-10 years to get projects started, we can't wait until that's evident - but it does require a far better job of persuading everyone to do it. And that building flash motorways across the countryside is not a good use of limited public funds compared with better rail and busways in the Auckland region. Or broadband everywhere. Or local roads. Or jobs and services closer to where people live.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    actually the Monorail route would go from St Nicholas station (other side of the lake from Queenstown, reached by boat, to Mavora lakes by bus, then from there to Te Anau Downs by monorail - I think it's the people who want to build the tunnel who want to go from Glenorchy to the Milford Highway.

    Running a power line along just about the same route as the proposed monorail and over Wakatipu would be just about the straightest route from Manapouri to join up with the Clyde power going north - but using existing lines (and a tie from Roxburgh to Benmore might involve stringing a lot less new cable even if the power loss was a little greater)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

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