Really interesting post and discussion. Just a couple of comments from me:
1) In relation to the "abandoned lane" on the St Lukes overbridge, I still think that might end up being used once Waterview open. If you look around Auckland there are a number of situations where it seems like you need to drive "a bit diagonally" to get across an intersection. With two right-turn lanes onto the onramp I think with some clever road markings and signage this could still work. Note I don't have any information about this, just a "reckons".
2) In terms of how cycling is funded in Auckland, this is quite complicated at the moment. Generally if a cycleway is considered "part of a state highway upgrade" then NZTA will fund it 100%, otherwise at the moment its cost will generally be split three ways between the Council, NZTA and the Urban Cycleway Fund. All together, these funding sources are enabling over $200 million of cycling investment in Auckland over this three year period (2015-2018) which is a massive increase from what's happened before.
3) As someone who lives in Western Springs and frequently travels to Pt Chev (partner's family live there) I personally look forward to much safer cycling options in the area :)
Excellent article. I got to know David not longer after he became an MP, probably through Waterview Connection stuff. He was always keen to listen and learn and I do think he would have been a terrific PM.
He also said to me once (probably around 2010) that he found being an MP quite strange and seemed concerned he was not nearly doing enough to make the world better, like he had been previously.
There are obviously lots of parallels between this and Brexit. They are characterised as people voting for "change" but in my mind they are actually voting against change - they want to turn back the clock.
The most important word in Trump's slogan was "again". A profound desire to return to the past. This is the combination of many different fears about how the world is changing:
- Ethnic changes
- Cultural liberalism
- Loss of decent "blue collar" jobs to overseas or to technology
This new political divide of nostalgism/progressivism plays out in ways that cross current party and political lines. It's why Labour loses votes to NZ First, it's the fundamental argument behind whether people are happy for Auckland to grow.
I'm terms of the "median voter" theory, thankfully NZ is far less culturally divided than the US. So I think it's still relevant. But so is having inspirational leadership. How many of those 6 million Obama voters who didn't vote for Hillary made their choice because she just didn't inspire them?
One criticism I did see of Labour’s announcement (from Hirini Kaa, but there will be others) was that it’s yet more infrastructure for the isthmus, and none for the South.
Do remember though that while the City Rail Link is located in the city centre, it is the west (in particular) and south that benefit from it the most through shorter journey times, enabled increased frequencies etc.
I thought the plagiarism was nothing compared to the rick-rolling, which seemed obvious evidence of sabotage.
How does that fit into our conspiracy theories?
Really good article. Isn't the key point here that both sides need to recognise there's a trade-off here between their views which can't be avoided. So we need to discuss and debate the extent to which we are willing to make trade-offs.
When it comes to tobacco it seems like society has made this trade-off in such a way that's broadly accepted - although it took a long time. This required massive research but also using that research cleverly and not avoiding tricky liberty trade-off discussions.
We should be asking questions around the extent to which we would see gains for any restrictions so we can balance those up.
Hey, do you have more recent population projections that those we’ve discussed above?
The most recent population projections are on the Stats NZ website: http://stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/population/estimates_and_projections.aspx
These show how strongly Auckland dominates New Zealand’s projected population growth over the next 30 years. Of the 1.2m growth projected for the whole country, 732k is projected to be in Auckland (62%).
Broken down by age and the contrast is even more stark: working age (15-64) population growth in NZ over the next 30 years is projected to be 444k, of which 417k (94%) is in Auckland. Just think about the implications of essentially net zero growth in working age population throughout the rest of NZ over the next 30 years.
Also - over the past 3 years Auckland has grown much faster than the medium growth projections that the above numbers are based on. In fact, Auckland has grown faster than the high population growth forecasts.
Geography is really important here. People living on the isthmus can generally reach 3 or 4 times the number of jobs within a 30-45 min commute than those at the urban periphery.
This is due to a the large number of jobs in the central area (around 100,000 or four times the next biggest employment centre) and geography making it quite tricky to get to the isthmus from outside it.
Focusing a lot of growth in outer areas, especially into current rural areas, means residents in these areas face longer and longer commutes or have access to fewer jobs. A lot of research suggests the number of jobs you can reach within a reasonable commute has a huge impact on your productivity.
Decentralised employment isn't a realistic answer. It goes against all trends occurring around the world towards greater centralization to take advantage of agglomeration.
"City Limits" by the Grattan Institute is an excellent book on all these issues.
(Personal viewpoints above)
I bought a bike for myself and my 11 year old daughter the weekend after the #PinkPath was opened. I figured that combined with the Nelson St cycleway I would essentially have a cycleway from my house to my work.
However I haven't really biked to work as much as I had expected, I think largely because of the really annoying hills at the city end of the NW cycleway. Both the Newton onramp hill and then the grind up Ian McKinnon Drive. Both are really frustrating as you immediately drop back down. It would be great for them to be levelled out somehow.
Makes you realise how hilly central Auckland is.
Sorry Steve I should have been clearer. What I meant is that the net migration gain (immigrants minus emigrants) has risen dramatically in the past few years compared to what happened during most of the 2006-2013 period.
Interestingly house prices still increased a lot between 2006 and 2o13 even though the net migration gain was relatively low.
I think there are two separate questions around limiting Auckland's growth: "should you?" and "could you?" There is a really interesting discussion to be had I the first question: essentially a trade off between the benefits of agglomeration and the benefits of making better use of underutilised infrastructure.
The 2nd question is also interesting. My broad take is that if the massively higher house prices (and rent) in Auckland aren't putting people off, it's hard to know what would. The benefits of being in Auckland clearly outweigh that cost to the people choosing to live here.