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Journalist Alex Braae does an attack piece on the introduction of electric buses on Waiheke.

Unlike the rest of the New Zealand media which ignored this initiative completely, at least Alex Braae has given it some publicity. But should we be satisfied, when the only report on this initiative in the media is mocking in tone?

You can read Alex Braae’s report on the introduction of electric buses to Waiheke here,

Cool climate move or hot air? Waiheke unveils new electric buses

Alex Braae | Staff Writer

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Pretending to be jocular, Alex Braae’s take on the introduction of electric buses on Waiheke is slanted and cynical.

Yes Braae reports on the basic facts, but gives them his own personal spin, trying his best to find the negative in the story, rather than the positive.

‘Too many dignitaries’, ‘No public interest’, ‘Too little savings in CO2 emissions to make a difference’, etc etc.

While all this is true in the narrow sense, it misses the big picture. In his narrow approach to reporting this story, Alex Braae chooses to miss the significance of this first move, and the importance of giving leadership.

Professor Gluckman, the Chief Science advisor to the last government, writing on the official government climate change website. Put it this way: ‘New Zealand’s total emissions make up only 0.2% of the global total. Because of this, New Zealand’s greatest contribution to fighting global climate change will be by setting an example.

“New Zealand is a small emitter by world standards – only emitting some 0.2% of global green house gases. So anything we do as a nation will have little impact on the climate – our impact will be symbolic, moral, and political”

Sir Peter Gluckman
Chief Science adviser to the office of the Prime Minister

Contradicting Professor Gluckman, Alex Braae obviously thinks, Waiheke shouldn’t set an example for New Zealand. New Zealand shouldn’t set an example for the world.

Alex Braae writes;

“Transport currently amounts to 43% of the total emissions of Auckland city. Buses contribute to about 1% of the city’s total emissions.”

Yes buses may emit only about 1% of Auckland’s emissions, but that’s the point, that is why we should encourage their use.

What Alex Braae chooses to deliberately ignore is that if more people use the electric buses, less people will use Private cars.

If you ask me the person filled with ‘hot’ (and angry) ‘air’ is Alex Braae.
How dare Waiheke set an example!

How dare Councilors give a lead on climate change!

Yes this is a small step toward a carbon free world, but Alex Braae would rather city councillors, and the citizens of Waiheke, (and Auckland), never took that first step, never made a start, never gave a lead, never did anything about climate change.

Alex Braae’s writing is not serious objective reporting, it is unfunny subjective propaganda couched as humour.

First they ignore you

Then they laugh at you

Then they attack you

Then you win

Pat is an activist, Unionist and writer.


  1. Of course if Alex Braae was a journalist worth his salt he would be actually be explaining his ‘aspirational moment’. How, if we really want [ need ] to have pollution free public transport we need to get going. How about starting in a place like Great Barrier? A motivated community with the benefits of a small operation where the necessary infrastructure can be cheaply set up and the bugs more easily ironed out, costs calculated and any initial mistakes corrected. Go for it Great Barrier and then we can tackle the bigger problems like Greater Auckland. There we are, a positive article [and i,m not even a journalist]. Regards, Keith

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