Auckland Transport are climate criminals and it’s time to nationalise them


There are times I dream that John Tamihere had won the Auckland Mayoralty and the first thing he does on day one is sack all the Executives at Auckland Transport.

Sigh. Heaven.

I despise Auckland Transport. I have been a patient and frustrated user of public transport in this city my entire life, and the joke service provided over the decades has left me bitter and angry at their never ending substandard incompetence.

Finding out last month that they now want to kill off the Outer Link (which is the only way public transport users can get from different sides of the city) and informing Aucklanders that my bloody train station will be out of operation FOR 4 FUCKING YEARS have been recent highlights in my desire for their public floggings.

I moved to where I am because it has the train station down the road, my daughter was going to use it when she went to Intermediate School, but then on top of all the disruption this bloody CRL is causing, it now turns out my train station will be closed for four bloody years!

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My daughter will be out of Intermediate School before it’s functional again! The thing that pisses me off most about the CRL is that by the time it does get completed, it will probably hit immediate capacity.

That’s right, all this heart ache, all this disruption for infrastructure that will hit capacity shortly after it opens.

Christ I hate Auckland Transport.

The only miracle is that Auckland public transport is not as shit as the Wellington buses.

So what does a company taking monopoly rentals from a transport system decide to do right when the climate is in crisis? Why they raise the fares in a move that will penalise the poorest and see half a million fewer bus trips.

Here’s the simple truth.

We need to have a publicly owned public transport network that is free to use. No other measure will get Aucklanders out of their cars and return a social and environmental equity quite like free public transport.

A truly progressive political party that wants to do something meaningful for the environment would nationalise the public transport system overnight.

The climate crisis is only getting hotter and more dangerous, investment into mass public transport is going to be the only way forward, the time for getting messed around by a private company clipping the ticket on an essential infrastructure is over.

Nationalise all public transport and start running it like the essential service it is, and for the love of Christ, don’t let Phil Twyford near it.


  1. ohhkay,, Martyn… a few other bits.. disabled travel.. try using a mobility scooter (collapsable model).. and having AT busses refuse to let you on… try bus stops without seating.. or shelter.. try fares going up for no rhyme or reason..before privatisation, our bus network worked.. now.. not so much… and it needs to be 24/7 …..

  2. Mt Eden station closing for 4 years (at least) or even closing without a temporary alternative is 100% unacceptable.

    And the Greater Auckland echo chamber have little time for the Outer Link and seem to have some influence with AT.

    Raising fares whist milking motorists of 11 cents per litre that is supposed go into Auckland public transport is 100% wrong. And AT do not give a shit.
    But part of that rise is to satisfy National Party legislation that says only 50% subsidies are allowed. Yet Labour know that and were going to amend that cock up out, that and the fastest race the the bottom tendering system that rogers driver’s wages and conditions. But……very unfortunately the Minister of Transport/former Minister of Housing is none other than Phil Twyford who is surely the most incompetent Minister ever to draw breath and who fucks everything he touches. He has achieved absolutely nothing whatsoever let alone anything positive in any portfolio and possibly nailed the coffin lid shut on many a good policy through his sheer uselessness.

    If this government fails to get re-elected then this fool will be a leading candidate for that, in fact probably THE reason. Jacinda simply must stop buggering around with this guy and get rid of him as he is a liability that cannot be tolerated. Make him minister of public toilets if needs be just to get this moron out of harms way.

    And please, hurry!

    • Assuming that for every dollar the government spends into the economy creates a dollar in increased productivity, then halving the amount of leverage mortgage holders take on from 10x the average salary to 5x the government would want to pump a hundred billion dollars into infrastructure important to the smooth running of a nation. In this case rail and public transport.

      This will be the last for Jacinda to put in a rescue package because it won’t be long after opening that the public will demand it be nationalized and a new system put in.

  3. From a previous news item Jan 2020:
    The Office of the Auditor-General confirmed to Stuff that it received a correspondence raising concerns about the procurement process for the project, which is expected to cost anywhere between $6 and $10 billion.
    Paul Evans, chief executive of the Association of Consulting Engineers New Zealand (ACENZ) said that firms had spent millions bidding for work on the project, money that was wasted when the government decided to change its mind on light rail.
    If the Auditor-General’s office does decide the issue warrants further attention, it could launch an inquiry.

    It’s all Gordon MacLauchlan’s fault. He wrote The Passionless People and..Revisited) about us, and in the absence of any ideas of our own, we adopted his opinion as gospel and went stolidly on our way. We should be excited about value for money from government; threatening tarring and feathering (is there anyone out there who knows how to do this ancient practice in a modern way. Honey is apparently in over-supply; say just smear the man/woman/undecided roll them in feathers and sweet surprise.)

  4. Public Transport is a public service. It doesn’t have to be free but it could be capped for sure. Every journey $2. Time and time again the fares go up and the services almost always goes down. It seems turds are flushed across the city to their destination with far more efficency than commuters are.

  5. No surprises here. The M O is another example of Government sell out/off with the predictable outcome. Don’t mention private prisons, PPP RONS, RNZ/TVNZ/TV3 , NZTA, DHB, Wellington NIS private ‘ public’ transport. This is NOT a joke. YES IT IS.

  6. Agree 100%

    In addition about time people started examining where all the government and council money is going for transport and why they can’t operate in any normal way.

    No matter how much money they get, I doubt that AT and the government transport agencies will deliver successful public transport here, as the entire transport industry seems to be a toxic Ponzi of politically minded, under qualified, loud mouthed, well networked, village idiots and place holder incompetence and undetected fraudsters

    When get the money, they waste it..

    Just saw another headline where a bus just ran over a mother and child in Auckland, don’t think it was an AT bus, but in neoliberal land, there is an industry of fake bus licenses and identity fraud, often the only locals still working in transport are senior citizens desperate for money to top up the pension and the de fault has now become migrant labour that get into the country as a cheap labour, and set to work without knowing much about the country and roads and have major communication issues with managers and the public, the system has become easy prey for identity fraudsters getting into NZ.

    But that ain’t a problem for work and safety, or the criminal justice system, or ripping off the public!

    It’s all cheap workers and bovine managers, forget about risk and effects and qualifications and experts (not the David Harding types)!

  7. Two major cities in the US have now gone fare-free. They are Kansas City, Missouri, and Olympia, Washington State capitol. The Kansas City Council voted for it unanimously in December while Olympia has free public transport as of January 1st.

    Kansas City broke the mould and received praise and recognition around the nation. Their move led to other city councils saying they too want to push for similar programs.

    “Now let’s do this everywhere,” tweeted Matt Haugen, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America environmental steering committee.

    Olympia is trialling a five year “zero fare” program. They decided to do this when they found that “the cost of upgrading collections machines outweighed the benefits of the revenue”.

    “It costs a lot of money to collect money, which is surprising to a lot of people,” the system’s general manager said. “Looking at the broad list of things the community wanted us to address — in terms of access, equity, speed, reliability, addressing the environment, making sure that we’re as efficient as possible — the combination of those things actually led us to zero-fare.” [Emph. added]

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