Jacinda’s first announcement ‘Let’s do the bleeding obvious’ – where the Greens must now move

By   /   August 6, 2017  /   32 Comments

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Jacinda’s announcement is of course a wasted opportunity because all Labour are doing here is gentrifying the public transport system faster than National will. It’ll go down like a drunk in a brewery with the train spotter anorak club at Greater Auckland but if all Labour are offering is a gentrified public transport system so Simon Wilson doesn’t have to have smelly poor people rubbing up against his corduroy jacket it’s a wasted opportunity.

Jacinda’s first announcement is to just do the bleeding obvious.

It’s been greeted with ecstatic cheering crowds that were so huge they almost took up the entire bloody viaduct.

While thousands were cheering on Labour, here was the room for the Green Party Maori launch…

It really says something about the low horizons we have when Labour can bring forward rail in a decades time and it be called ‘ambitious’

Jacinda’s announcement is of course a wasted opportunity because all Labour are doing here is gentrifying the public transport system faster than National will. It’ll go down like a drunk in a brewery with the train spotter anorak club at Greater Auckland but if all Labour are offering is a gentrified public transport system so Simon Wilson doesn’t have smelly poor people rubbing up against his corduroy jacket it’s a wasted opportunity.

This is where the Greens need to pounce.

Winston’s Gold Card that gives the oldies free public transport is one of the greatest retail politic moves of all time. Every time they bloody use that card they pray to God to keep Winston alive for just one more election.

The Greens need to emulate this.

The ‘Green Card’ would allow students and beneficiaries to use public transport for free. What is the point of building  first class public transport system if it’s just for the middle classes to be able to leave the Prius plug in hybrid in the garage of their leafy suburbs? The poor and the young are the ones who are hardest hit by transport costs, if the Greens promised a Green Card that gave free bus and train transport (not Ferry’s because that’s just a rort) it would perfectly connect with their environmental credentials as well as their new staunch stand with beneficiaries.

The SuperGold card costs about $30million a year, a Green Card would probably cost the same, but when you are talking billions on building  this infrastructure, millions is chump change.

The huge chunk of none voting beneficiaries who make up the missing million already have strong reasons to vote Green for the $180 per week increase in benefits, adding free public transport would be the icing on the cake. Launching a Green Card would also inoculate the Greens from the move to free tertiary education that Labour are looking at.

Jacinda’s announcement today was a wasted opportunity – they should have announced a ‘Red Card’ that does exactly what I’m suggesting the Green Card does – but by bringing infrastructure building forward they have looked like they have momentum, and momentum is more important in politics than genuine social policy that solves issues like inequality, poverty and environmentalism.

The most important thing today was the crowds of enthusiastic cheering Labour supporters.

There is real change in the air with Jacinda, that she can announce a nothing policy move a decade earlier than 30 years away and be greeted with cheering crowds is what matters. The Greens need to make that announcement meaningful or risk more empty rooms like the one above.




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  1. WILD KATIPO says:

    … ” The ‘Green Card’ would allow students and beneficiaries to use public transport for free. The poor and the young are the ones who are hardest hit by transport costs, if the Greens promised a Green Card that gave free bus and train transport (not Ferry’s because that’s just a rort) it would perfectly connect with their environmental credentials as well as their new staunch stand with beneficiaries ”…

    Here’s a thinking man.

    Get onto it , Greens , – and get stuck right into them . You are now one of our premier lines of attack against the neo liberal narrative. Go at them in full frontal assault. You have the momentum, you have the backing, – so push the advantage and put them on the back foot.

    Make them have to say why not, make them have to answer for the social discrepancy’s.

    Make them state why they endorse rights only for the privileged , – and if they start banging on about the cost , – nail them about the unfair taxation and just WHY there is not a progressive taxation in this country to make the corporate’s, multinationals and uber rich pay their fair share of the tax burden.

    Cut them legs out from under them.

  2. mikesh says:

    Or perhaps make all public transport free for everyone, as John Minto suggested a few years ago when running for the Auckland mayoralty. Possibly a good move from an environment point of view.

  3. Siobhan says:

    Even better, its time that the ‘Students and Beneficiaries’ concept stretched to people employed on minimum wage with variable hours not of their own choosing.
    I know of young folk who probably appear on the “employed’ statistics, but some weeks are earning the same as the dole*.
    I can’t even begin to figure out how this could be defined, but it needs to be acknowledged that ‘having a job’ doesn’t necessarily leave you better off.
    (*they can, if they are thick skinned enough, get winz to top that up with a food and accommodation payment)
    Imagine though, telling those striking workers at the South Auckland Foodstuffs distribution centre that they could be entitled to a Green Card…that’s a group of people who could so easily be encouraged to turn out and vote Green.

    • SG says:

      Absolutely. It’s one thing for the unemployed to be mired in poverty (vicious and disgraceful as it is), but it’s quite another for families who are lucky enough to have parents in full-time employment to be living in cars. Even if we were to accept the neoliberal argument that there should be an income difference between social welfare and employment (which I don’t), how on Earth can they justify allowing hard-working people not being able to afford the basic necessities of life?


    • CLEANGREEN says:

      Labour need to offer to bring all rail services back to the other provinces not just Auckland for christ sake.

      Where are these people from!!!!

      We in the provinces (East coast & West coast of both islands are working our guts out churning out export products for the wealth of NZ) (all of us) while our rail services under both Labour & National were systematically closing down all our rail services while Auckland City produces just more people, – not exports!!!!..

      We need rail since our East Coast HB/Gisborne has lost our rail!!!

      How do you think the people in those provinces are going to feel when we all see labour concentrating on Auckland not all the country????

      Martyn is 100% right.

      We in the provinces all now suffer horrible environmental degradation under a gridlocked crumbling residential environment and roads that are falling into dis-repair as the trucks are pounding them to bits.

      Our Cities have gridlock trucks now with over 2300 trucks every 24/7 single day with no bloody rail freight at all now in Napier of Gisborne!!!!

  4. Afewknowthetruth says:

    Some of the Laws of Infrastructure Construction

    1. Industrial civilization is the problem, and no component of it can ever provide a solution to any one of the multitude of problems generated by industrial civilization.

    2. Infrastructure construction squanders rapidly depleting energy resource on projects that will have close-to-zero or zero utility after 2030 (industrial societies having largely or completely collapsed by 2030).


    3. Infrastructure construction increases the level of CO2 in the atmosphere, and construction is predicated on increasing the level of atmospheric CO2 even more in the future…..leading to faster achievement of conditions which render the Earth uninhabitable fro most extant species, including humans.


    5. Infrastructure construction is predicated on the ridiculous notion that current financial and economic arrangements will continue into the foreseeable future, which is clearly not true.


    5. Infrastructure construction exacerbates the overconsumption predicament; this is particularly true for infrastructure projects relating to transport via internal combustion engine, i.e. airports, ports, motorways, sports stadiums etc.

    6. All infrastructure less than 5 metres above current sea level is likely to be under water by mid-century due to rapidly increasing sea level rise.

    Policy is formulated in denial of facts. Denial of reality runs deep in NZ, and could even be described as a defining national characteristic.

    • John W says:

      You are on the right track or close to it.

      Any long term vision based on more of the present thinking is just not possible.

      The planning basics are absent and resources are ignored.

      Our infrastructure is ridiculously cumbersomeness and gargantuan with constant ongoing expansion of earthmoving, an expanding fleet of machinery, unsustainable areas of tar seal and increasing distances people are traveling daily.

      Essential planning is being ignored.

      The environmental losses and local food production opportunities are becoming a growing concern limiting a meaningful change in direction.

  5. mary_a says:

    I like it Martyn. Let’s do it.

  6. CLEANGREEN says:


    My letter to Jacinda & Kelvin, (yesterday) 5/8/17.
    Jacinda & Kelvin,

    We need the rail infrastructure to be restored to every province now!!!!

    Since we own the rail company, Kiwi rail we need to bring it up to 21st century standard’s not 19th century!!!!

    The roads are now gridlocked with trucks, dangerous to use for other drivers and tourists now!!!!!

    And the roads are simply crumbling around the provinces with the sheer over weighted trucks now with those large H signs showing they are all now (Heavier 63 tonnes weight) are now costing us other users more billions to maintain while we are subsidising transport companies!!!!

    Dont build more roads get rail moving freight again!!!!

    Please sack all the Kiwi rail board, & CEO Peter Reidy, and all errant managers as they conspired since 2008 to wind down our rail and close down many services and the workshops, and many regional lines like Gisborne/Napier and Northland rail services.

    Solution is to bring back previously fired Rail workers as the board & Manager’s again as should have been to run Kiwirail!!!!

    I know many fine rail engineers and locomotive Drivers and ex rail freight managers who lost there jobs when in 1993 the rail company ‘NZ Rail Corporation’ we owned was sold to Wisconsin rail/Fay/Rich white consortium under the National government during the 1993 era by Jim Bolger’s Government!!!!



    • John W says:

      100% for a start.

      We have just lost Price’s foundry in Thames where much of the heavy industry casting were produced.
      When NZ made its own rail stock and engines many firms collaborated to provide a thriving industry contributing to rail. Now one of NACT’s mates gets wealthy importing engines from China, engines that have little NZ content and do not measure up in performance initially nor over time.

      The rot has set in and it will take courage and determination to turn things around to preparing for a more sustainable future.

    • Louis says:

      Yes ^^ this @ Cleangreen.

  7. The Chairman says:

    The ‘Green Card’ 

    Nice. I like it.

    Yes, it was disappointing that while Labour acknowledged the additional cost on households, they offered nothing to help the poorest households offset the related inflationary burden.

  8. Zack Brando says:

    Labour supporters are lambs to the slaughter.

  9. darth smith says:

    can we get the thing funded built first
    one stage at a time

  10. OncewasTim says:

    That’s a very perceptive observation of Simon Wilson @ Martyn.
    Kind of reminds me of 40plus years back and Burma Rd Khandallah hippies

    • darth smith says:

      robbie had a vision 60 years ago a vision of public transport and was derailed by national no more no more we not allow these pests to stop the doing it LETS DO IT!

      message from lord flash heart

      • David says:

        The National Party has always been short term thinkers, their idea of planning is from one year to the next and beyond that who knows.
        Take the retirement age for example, Key stated 65 was sustainable, Key resigns and English is uncertain if 65 is sustainable, God help me English has been the minister of finance the the last nine years and he has no idea as to the affordably of the pension. This is on top of National constant meddling with Superannuation schemes ,they are not good at long term planning .
        Maybe they just lack vision or can’t be bother.

  11. XRAY says:

    This is insane. Reading this lot Jacinda just announced the end of Western Civilization.

    How the fuck is improving PUBLIC transport a bad thing?

    National have ideologically and vehemently ignored alternatives to roads since they got in. Doesn’t suit the donors I imagine. Only now in an election with the fucking obvious stupidity of their logic thrown back at them, plus some unredacted Kiwirail reports, does National suddenly get Public Transport.

    They even rebuilt the North Western motorway and purposely left out public transport in one of THE most retarded decisions ever and are now talking about starting from square one for multiple times the expense that it would have cost if a busway had been included from the beginning. Economic Neanderthals.

    Having worked in public transport I can tell you with Aucklands train system having an honesty system of payment, free riders frequently trashed them, soiled them and committed crime on them and made them unsafe for fare payers. Paying a fare somehow meant and means you also buy into responsibility. I don’t exactly know why but it has that effect. Bit like a public toilet.

    No one expects it to be free, why should it be? But a income related discount fare system may be a go.

    And having used public transport the last word that ever ever could be associated with it is “gentry”.

    Ordinary stiffs, rich, poor, workers, managers, young and old and people of every race and religion use public transport and the more that do mean a greener future surely?

  12. Kim dandy says:

    As long as National goes I’m not going to moan.

  13. esoteric pineapples says:

    The Green Party must be feeling a bit like Jan in The Brady Bunch film where she suggests the family enter a singing contest for $20,000 to save their house and is totally ignored. Two days later Marcia suggests the same thing and everyone thinks its a great idea.

    “Am I invisible? Do I not have a voice? I had that idea two days ago.It was my idea. Mine. Didn’t anyone hear me?” Then a voice in her head says “I heard you” and another says “Me too. But is sounded better coming from Macia.”

    Starts at 3.55 on video below


  14. patricia bremner says:

    We are not all going to be in accord over each policy.

    The turn out in Auckland says Labour is now more relatable and sets a tone

    Labour’s Maori housing policy raised some kickback.

    The green’s Maori policy launch had powerful competition on the day.

    The “Green Card ” idea is brilliant!!

  15. Cemetery Jones says:

    Getting it done in a decade is actually pretty ambitious given that Auckland council will have to be involved in planning and permission.

  16. David G. says:

    The auckland airport train is nice. But what about long distance travel? I’m writing this on a Japanese shinkasen. The trip from kyoto to tokyo takes 2.5 hours to travel 468kms. One day we will need a high speed bullet train from Auckland to Hamilton (125 kms) as it’s already a satellite of auckland…. the terrain is reasonably level and we have proved that with the waterview tunnel long underground tunnels are not a problem. We should get intercity rail done ASAP for the benefit of both cities (and nz) maybe even get it down to tauranga.