Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: You can Roughan but you just can't Hide

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  • Sacha,

    Hide and other neolib loonies are desperate to promote buses as an alternative to the Core Rail Link (which would only get the most out of the region's rail network in conjunction with a major bus route redesign coming soon - it's not an either/or proposition).

    Doesn't it sound awfully similar to the recent sputtering foaminess from the right about the Labour/Green electricity proposals..?

    Oh, and I agree about local bodies not releasing information - inexcusable. They also need to do a much better job of communicating what the CRL is about and how it fits into the overall 30-year Auckland Plan for our region.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19694 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Doyle,

    I really think that Rodney's Grand Plan to rule Auckland via JohnBanks turned to custard when Red Len won the mayoralty. And they have all sucked the kumara since.

    Stillwater • Since Nov 2011 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    It's frustrating how "mode oriented" public transport debates often are. Buses, trains, ferries and even trams all do different things and it's almost certain we need all of them to complement each other and create a world class PT system for Auckland.

    Take a look at somewhere like Vancouver. It has a relatively small rail system (similar to Auckland in terms of km and number of stations) but it's rail that does the real hard work of the system carrying around 140m trips (generally long ones) a year.

    That "core" provided by rail lets Vancouver run an excellent bus system by letting buses do what they do best (shorter trips on lower demand corridors).

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 237 posts Report Reply

  • Patrick Reynolds,

    Roughan will always be last to anything good this century; he is cheerfully still living in the middle of the last one somehow. It's an extraordinary achievement, and one carried out with no apparent self awareness. He holds on to retrograde views on everything then sort of seamlessly upgrades to a newer version, not new, but a little more current, without so much as a blink. And all of this is laid bare in his confident and chatty little pronouncements on all and every subject in the dear old Herald. He is consistently conventional and quaintly old fashioned; our little old aunty on the Shore.

    Lately he has begun to notice public transport and so has given it a good hard looking at through the windscreen of his car. It doesn't seem to be going away, nevermind he has been kind enough to straighten us all out on the matter. He even found the rial network, a hitherto unknown resource, well some level crossings anyway. These need sorting out, cars get held up by them. Oh where would we be without Aunty John.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 40 posts Report Reply

  • Ethan Tucker,

    Brent Toderian, president of the Council for Canadian Urbanism, in the Seattle Times, 14 April:

    Car-dependent transportation models create self-fulfilling prophecies of gridlock by pushing land uses apart and densities down, leading to communities that are unwalkable and not viable for transit.

    A car-centric model forces people into their cars for almost everything. And if you try to do high-density planning around the car it also fails. Miserably.

    Vancouver illustrates a different and better way. Starting with the refusal of freeways through the city in the late 1960s (which meant we never had to spend the money to bury them) Vancouver continues to design a multimodal city that prioritizes walking, biking and transit and recognizes that the best transportation plan is a great land-use plan.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2008 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Doyle, in reply to Patrick Reynolds,

    This century or the 19th?

    Stillwater • Since Nov 2011 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Fox,

    I don't think I've ever read a columnist as willfully and consistently wrong as John Roughan. His shameless dedication to the art of venal, disingenuous, bullshitting really is something to behold.

    Since Nov 2006 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Patrick Reynolds,

    Oh where would we be without Aunty John.

    Report

    As a registered great aunt (in all kinds of ways) would you kindly kick the sexism bit and call John Roughan for what he truly is - a fusty old uncle-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Robert Fox,

    I don’t think I’ve ever read a columnist as willfully and consistently wrong as John Roughan. His shameless dedication to the art of venal, disingenuous, bullshitting really is something to behold.

    I think it's important to have commentators who aren't afraid to to be wrong, in that they're willing to buck the received wisdom, and Roughan occasionally comes up with a point. But mostly, his reasoning is just awful.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22758 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis, in reply to Patrick Reynolds,

    He even found the rial network, a hitherto unknown resource, well some level crossings anyway. These need sorting out, cars get held up by them.

    I'm all for trains, and buses but reading that reminded me of the rail crossing at Henderson along Railside Ave. It's quite common for the barrier arms to come down and back vehicles up for a few hundred metres there in the space of a minute, and given the future aims for more infill housing, apartments and general concentration of the masses in places like Henderson and the significant increase in train schedules then there will be hot spots like that that will need sorting out unless they want vehicles backed right the way up through Henderson because of the trains. It's not a case of those drivers using the trains either, these are basically suburban commuters who's journeys are not following rail corridors.

    The obvious solution will be like what has happened in New Lynn where the rail line sinks below ground level and the road goes over, or vice versa, but the roads and rail need to work together, not ending up with one winning over the other, or being counter productive.

    I'm sure there's plenty of other spots that will get potentially nightmarish as well as centres often near rail build up, at the same time and train frequency increases.

    I'm sure the transport planners have thought of all this though. I have faith in them a damn sight more than the ideolgues doing the rounds.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Joshua Arbury,

    It's frustrating how "mode oriented" public transport debates often are. Buses, trains, ferries and even trams all do different things and it's almost certain we need all of them to complement each other and create a world class PT system for Auckland.

    Yup, it's like there's no such thing as your job. Intuition is all we need. And, of course, a monorail.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Stephen Doyle,

    I really think that Rodney's Grand Plan to rule Auckland via JohnBanks turned to custard when Red Len won the mayoralty. And they have all sucked the kumara since.

    Classic case of sour grapes on Hide's part, especially since he's no longer in a position to potentially do a Greater London Council spite job. And it's not just Auckland that's being boxed in by the Beehive, but also Wellington and Christchurch too.

    If there's one cabal that Roughan and Hide effectively speak for, it's the kind of elite who'd be prepared to live in a Joburg-grade McMansion. I believe Jared Diamond had something to say about that in his book Collapse.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5423 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Even if Auckland Transport officials feel that their provision of the data in this form would only lead to faulty analysis, they should provide it on reasonable terms. It’s pretty basic democracy.

    No, Russell, it’s not “pretty basic democracy” it’s OBEYING THE LAW. If Auckland Transport officials don’t like the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act, they should make the case for amending it so potential political inconvenience/embarrassment becomes grounds for declining an OIA request. Until that happens Auckland Transport (and too many others) need to stop pulling imaginary excuses for flouting the law out of their collective arse.

    Hide and other neolib loonies

    Hey, Sasha, ableist mental-health shaming? Really? Dude, you know better than that so do better.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Hey, Sasha, ableist mental-health shaming? Really? Dude, you know better than that so do better.

    This isn't the place for this and I'm not going to sacrifice the discussion to the policing of a vernacular we all, you included, use.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22758 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    The thing about Roughan and Hide (and David Farrar for that matter) is that for some bizarre reason they see trains not as part of a multi-layered transport solution for a growing city but as some sort of thin edge of a bright red socialist wedge. While we see the 7.30am EMU from Henderson to the new Aotea Square station where you will walk to work in an office building, they see a frightful socialist infernal machine with a red banner on top taking a mob to storm the Winter palace’s of finance. Heavens knows what they make of ferries – perhaps John and Rodney and David fret long into the night that the Devonport ferry will suddenly morph into the cruiser Aurora? For these paranoid men, facts are only useful as long as they play Sancho Panza to their Quixotic tilting at socialist windmills.

    But recent spate of anti-public transport, anti-unitary plan stories planted in the Herald to my mind smacks of something a bit more premeditated than just the unhappy coincidence of easily frightened men. The Herald is definitely trying to whip up anti-council hysteria as part of a deliberate wider attack on Len Brown ahead of the un-coming local body elections. Public transport and the unitary plan are just unfortunate casualties of the decision of certain senior Herald editorial staff that they will be part of a drive to undermine len Brown by all means necessary.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    No, Russell, it’s not “pretty basic democracy” it’s OBEYING THE LAW. If Auckland Transport officials don’t like the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act, they should make the case for amending it so potential political inconvenience/embarrassment becomes grounds for declining an OIA request.

    Auckland Transport considers itself within the law, of course -- but sometimes it takes the Ombudsman's office to, er, focus minds. Josh had similar issues seeking Auckland-related documents from the Ministry of Transport and one of his readers was frustrated trying to get some of the same material from Steven Joyce's office.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22758 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Hide has had similar problems getting access to the spreadsheets underpinning the 2012 City Centre Future Access Study. Even if he pays the $3850 demanded by Auckland Transport, their position is that they will only send him the printed output. If I ask the question "What would Keith Ng do?" the answer is: complain very loudly.

    He'd go to the Ombudsman, because it is an open and shut case. The ombudsman has ruled in the past that agencies must provide information in the format it is requested in, unless it would be contrary to the interests protected by the Act, contrary to a legal duty, or impair efficient administration. Furthermore, it seems that the charge is purely an artefact of Auckland Transport's refusal to provide the information digitally, and hence it is unreasonable.

    It will take six months to a year due to chronic underfunding, but when the Ombudsman gets around to picking up the complaint and writing a letter to Auckland Transport, the information should be released very quickly.

    It's not good enough. Even if Auckland Transport officials feel that their provision of the data in this form would only lead to faulty analysis, they should provide it on reasonable terms.

    Fear that release would lead to faulty analysis is not a valid witholding reason under the OIA or LGOIMA.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1713 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    This isn’t the place for this and I’m not going to sacrifice the disc with ussion to the policing of a vernacular we all, you included, use.

    That's a fair call, because I'm still entirely capable of opening my mouth, disengaging my brain and showing my arse with unedifying regularity. I just don't get paid for it as often as John Roughan. :) But I do hope the next time I make a tendentious case on a matter of public policy (and it will happen), folks will pick apart the bad argument and not bring my mental illness into it.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Doyle, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Not wanting to hijack the thread, but something is puzzling me about the Nats strategy here. With Auckland being a major chunk of seats in parliament, and a major chunk of the party vote, it seems cognitively dissonant to alienate that large a chunk of votes.
    For some reason Govts are afraid of a powerful united Auckland. What I don't get is why. Surely a city that can generate even more tax revenue for the rest of the country to spend is a good thing?

    Stillwater • Since Nov 2011 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Fair enough.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22758 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    He’d go to the Ombudsman, because it is an open and shut case. The ombudsman has ruled in the past that agencies must provide information in the format it is requested in, unless it would be contrary to the interests protected by the Act, contrary to a legal duty, or impair efficient administration. Furthermore, it seems that the charge is purely an artefact of Auckland Transport’s refusal to provide the information digitally, and hence it is unreasonable.

    Thanks I/S.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22758 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Auckland Transport considers itself within the law, of course

    Fair point - and it would be *cough* legally prudent not to suggest anything else, but I do think it's fair comment (and honest opinion) to suggest a disturbingly large number of cases that come to the Office of the Ombudsmen hinge on a *takes sip of water, considers next words carefully* very broad interpretation of the law. (If some people had their way, everything would be "commercially sensitive.")

    You can hardly blame officials for taking full advantage of what they're given. Ultimately, that's all on Parliament, and you can cynically wonder if expecting politicians to write official information law with teeth is akin to asking foxes to draw up a security plan for the local hen house. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Stephen Doyle,

    For some reason Govts are afraid of a powerful united Auckland

    They are afraid of Auckland becoming a City State like those who ruled Europe for centuries.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Turner,

    I guess the Auckland transport issue is something that's mostly for Auckland people to discuss and deal with. (I acknowledge that, since money will need to come from the national coffers, it's reasonable to have some input from everyone.)

    But the thing that resonated with me about this post was how opinions seem to change, once a major event or change has occurred.

    I can recall dire predictions about the effects of the smoking ban, and the decriminalisation of homosexuality. I can recall promises about great and long term positive effects from events such as the Americas Cup and the Rugby World Cup. I'm sure a moment's thought would allow others to recall similar strongly-held and much-publicised views of the effects of changes in this country, made in advance of the changes: statements of supposed fact which turned out to be wrong.

    There's a quote about those who fail to learn from history being doomed to repeat it.

    Sometimes, I'd like to see these statements collated after the event, and those who've made such statements confronted with them. I have the impression that some people get a lot of publicity for statements about any upcoming change, and that their predictions are mostly wrong. It's beyond my resources to test and quantify this.

    The case Russell refers to in his post is an example of what I'm thinking of: it seems Mr Roughan's been wrong in at least some of his predictions. Has he been right often enough for his views on future events to be taken seriously?

    Since Nov 2006 • 212 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Doyle, in reply to Richard Aston,

    With Len Brown as Cosimo?? Ya gotta larf!

    Stillwater • Since Nov 2011 • 28 posts Report Reply

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