The Daily Blog Open Mic Sunday 12th July 2015




Announce protest actions, general chit chat or give your opinion on issues we haven’t covered for the day.

Moderation rules are more lenient for this section, but try and play nicely.


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  1. Pity that Treasury never received these two reports ahead of their decision to suggest to Government to close rail last week!


    This Road Engineer’s report was provided to HB Councils in 2012 before Treasury came out with the dumb suggestion to close rail last week

    Transport and roading engineer’s report.



    25 October 2012

    “This focuses on freight, which has, by far, the greatest effect on the roads if the rail route is closed.

    The East Coast rail line has the potential to carry very significant tonnages of freight between Gisborne and Napier.

    Forestry alone is currently generating more than 1.6 million tonnes each year, expected to increase to more than 2.2 million tonnes by 2022.

    If all of that freight is transported by road, it will currently be generating an average of 390 truck movements over each of 300 working days each year, increasing to 530 movements per day by 2022.

    Other freight will also generate large and increasing numbers of trucks.

    The main effects of this increase in freight, if carried on roads, will be more crashes involving trucks, more noise, vibration and exhaust fumes (particularly in urban areas) and more disruption to all users of the road through increased maintenance and road works.

    Then there are the increases in maintenance costs, which we all pay for in various ways.

    Since the start of 2007, one hundred and twenty crashes involving trucks have been reported to the Police on the road route between Gisborne and Napier.

    Of those, three were fatal and twelve resulted in serious injuries to one or more people. The “social cost” of those crashes, using data in the Transport Agency’s Economic Evaluation Manual, is in the order of $3 million per annum.

    The associated pain, misery and shattered families cannot even be imagined.

    With the big increase in freight volumes, these crashes and their associated devastation will be much more common.

    According to data provided by the Transport Agency, maintenance costs on the road route increased by more than a third in the 9 years to 2009.

    This is indicative of a big increase in truck traffic and/or increasing lengths of the carriageway approaching the end of their economic lives.

    In fact, my assessment is that the projected forestry tonnages in the next ten years alone will use up most of the remaining capacity in most of the road pavements on the route.

    With other freight on top, I foresee large-scale, premature, failures of significant lengths of the route within only a few years.

    The most noticeable effect of this will be a big increase in road works with their associated stoppages, slow zones, rough surfaces, dust and construction noise.

    This has impacts on all users of the road and the occupiers of land alongside the road.

    The road route runs through a number of urban areas including parts of Gisborne, Wairoa and Napier.

    Trucks and urban areas simply do not mix. Apart from their noise and vibration nuisance, trucks emit a lot more exhaust fumes than the average vehicle.

    Vehicle fumes cause significant harm to people’s health.

    In fact, the social cost of harm due to air pollution from vehicles is thought to be at least as great as the harm caused by crashes.

    These problems are far from inevitable because there is clearly potential for rail to carry a significant proportion of forestry and other freight.

    If the rail line is adequately funded, actively promoted and supported by business users and the Councils, I am confident it will eliminate much of the harm and disruption that is inevitable if the freight is all carried by road.

    It is apparent that support from local businesses and Council is strong.

    Promotion has also been strong, especially since the line was severed by recent washouts.

    The only uncertainty is the funding.”


    Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment report. 2006.

    Hawke’s Bay Expressway: Noise and air quality issues

    Report summary Hawke’s Bay

    A national environmental standard for road traffic noise is urgently needed, a PCE investigation into noise and air pollution from the Hawke’s Bay Expressway has found.

    That is one of 14 recommendations in a report which traces many of the problems back to past planning failures.

    While the expressway has always been designated as Hawke’s Bay’s major arterial road, it originally passed through mainly rural land. Now houses run alongside about one-fifth of its length and several hundred people live within 60 metres of it.

    The PCE investigated after Napier residents who live near the expressway complained about traffic noise and air pollution. Among the recommendations are several practical steps to deal with their immediate problems, such as reducing engine braking, cutting the maximum speed on the expressway, and using quieter road surfaces.

    At another level are steps to develop a more ‘big picture’ approach to regional transport planning. Instead of simply building more roads to cater for future traffic demand, the report calls for a more integrated approach that promotes alternatives such as buses, cycles, and trains, and greater coordination between land-use and transport planning.

  2. Wow! Helen Kelly on “Sunday” TV1.
    I have a fig tree awaiting transplanting.
    She’d have been pre-adult during much of the time her dad was fighting for really basic issues but its pleasing to know she’s aware of the work he did – maybe that’s what drives her. Big bloody shame some of her dad’s contemporaries sold out.

    There’s one admirable, ethical, compassionate no-BS lady!

    Labour Party – take note

  3. STOP PRESS Immediate release.


    It’s official folks; Germany has put the boot into a severly wounded Greece, and has fashioned a hard new proposal and forced the “Eurogroup” to impose a amended proposal for Greece to take a five year “Time out” exit from the Euro if it does not accept even more insidious “Austerity” such as a special EU group taking over Greece “privatisation” of Ports, electricity and other assets that willm further damage Greece, so what are they doing?

    Are the Germans’ finally killing the Greek Government or Greece for all time as ne “privatisation poison chalice has even helped anywhere, including NZ.

    These leaked proposals came out at at 6pm Brussels time, or 6am NZ Time 13th July 2015. So in the new Eurogroup proposal Greece is being forced into even more damaging hardship and robbery by “Austerity at the hands of EU group lead by Germany. Leave the Euro and accept help from BRICS and Russia because if you don’t Greece will implode, so we are with you as you stand for NO MORE AUSTERITY. Damn you EUgroup you blew it yet again you loggerheads. Even Richard Quest on CNN is gobsmacked!!!

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