Labour finally give Auckland an actual vision with underground light rail & second Harbour crossing


Auckland light rail goes for tunnel option with harbour crossing

Auckland’s light rail line will be largely underground, and could be built in conjunction with a new bridge or tunnel across the Waitematā Harbour, the government has decided.

The government has widened its ambition to creating a new rapid transit network, which could advance by a decade the harbour crossing, and plug it into the line to Mt Roskill and Māngere.

The $14.6 billion Tunnelled Light Rail option was recommended by an establishment unit which weighed up options such as a street-level system, and was confirmed in a Friday announcement.

“We are future-proofing for the growth that we know is coming, and we are looking ahead 50 years plus,” Michael Wood, the transport minister, told Stuff.

By jove I think he’s got it!

After the disastrous abortion that was that cursed bike bridge. the Little General Michael Woods has finally done what people elected Labour to do in 2017, fix problems with genuine vision.

The bike bridge was an embarrassing knee jerk caused by David Slack’s middle class Devonport cycling militia and fermented by humorless feminist bloggers who see the bike as a means to undermine the patriarchy.

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At $750million it would have been the most expensive political art installation in the Southern Hemisphere.

The fact that no one inside Labour considered how a bike bridge taking years to build right next to increasingly congested Harbour traffic would go down with those stuck in that traffic speaks volumes of the very little time was put into this idea.

Those mistakes seem to have finally been cast out with a proposal that will see light rail put underground alongside a second Harbour crossing!

This is big vision stuff finally being done properly!

Michael Wood just saved his reputation and saved Labour’s.

Now build the bloody thing!

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    • $14.6 billion currently. Expect that to balloon up towards $20 billion and take many decades to complete. I highly doubt it will ever happen.

  1. Hahahahha I love your enthusiasm. Especially the part that says Now build the thing. You and I will not survive it. Betcha a box of beer.

    • Kraut you are correct they will not build anything they are simply incompetent they can’t do anything which their record demonstrates.
      And that’s beyond debate.

  2. By joves, I think he might have too.
    When they get down to the minutia, I hope they consider things like gauge (among other things), so that it allows the potential for other bits and pieces – like tram trains able to operate on both heavy rail, and light rail routes). We’ll have to wait of course to be told why things CAN’t happen, but we’ll hopefully wake up before the planet burns
    Don’t be mean though @Martyn. David Slack and the lycra brigade have valuable contributions to make. I’m hanging out to hear what the Burma Road Corduroy Boy has to say about it all in some considered opinion piece in Granny Herald or RNZ’s The Panel so I can be in with the in crowd.

    Could be worth the gummint actually buying one of those tunnelling machines too. There’s stuff to be done right around the motu it could be put to work on ( in various spaces, going forward )

  3. By joves, I think he might have too.
    When they get down to the minutia, I hope they consider things like gauge (among other things), so that it allows the potential for other bits and pieces – like tram trains able to operate on both heavy rail, and light rail routes). We’ll have to wait of course to be told why things CAN’t happen, but we’ll hopefully wake up before the planet burns
    Don’t be mean though @Martyn. David Slack and the lycra brigade have valuable contributions to make. I’m hanging out to hear what the Burma Road Corduroy Boy has to say about it all in some considered opinion piece in Granny Herald or RNZ’s The Panel so I can be in with the in crowd.

    Could be worth the gummint actually buying one of those tunnelling machines too. There’s stuff to be done right around the motu it could be put to work on ( in various spaces, going forward )

  4. He hasn’t saved a thing.

    Labour have talked a big game, delivered swet FA. Announcement after announcement after announcement.

    On public transport it was light rail to Mt Roskill 2021, light rail to Huapai by 2027 and a walking bridge over the harbour, then a 3/4 billion dollar bike bridge. All. Failed. And let’s not talk about housing!

    These announcements remind me of a gambling addict who just needs one more hand cos his losing streak can’t go on. Oh yes it can!

    • Jacinda and Labour have been too busy managing the Covid, they haven’t had the time or resources to concentrate on other issues like transport, housing or infrastructure.

    • indeed I’ll believe it when I see it..
      25 years ago, I’ll just repeat that 25years ago, manchester was bringing in ‘light rail ‘which basically followed the old tram routes..result people can get around manchester..plenty of places have light rail the fact it’s taken so long in auck is pretty damning for all parties..

      caveat it needs to be cheap regular and reliable..the rest is detail.
      …and please no public/private partnerships the people of auck will still be paying for it in 200 yrs time.

      • Nice in the South of France, ruled by a rightwing fuckwit of epic proportions- Christian Estrosi – Elue deputee des Alpes Maritimes, Departement 06- decided to get Trams – light rail, as they realised that they could no longer build anymore roads and the infrastructure at the time was no longer coping. So they decided to build one, and then they build the thing along many of the old defunct lines.
        Cost for the user today? 1.50 Euro per trip.,-Main%20article%3A%20Trams&text=The%20first%20tramway%20in%20Nice,network%20was%20electrified%20in%201910.
        Nice as a town is similar to AKL as it has the Mediterranean on one side, and mountains on the other side, leaving only so much space in-between for housing and roading.
        This tram is awesome, clean, tidy, and environmentally good even, the tracks are actually greened in, and fwiw, friends of mine that live in Nice have ditched their cars.
        It can be done, but for that you have to have the will to do it, and this current lot has no fucking idea what it does. But so long as they get paid, they will continue to roll out meaningless announcement after announcement.
        Btw, how is the Hamilton AKL ‘commuter’ train going.

        • It’s a start @Sabine. Perhaps the wrong rolling stock to begin with and too much adherence to the gospel of governance without input from those at that ‘coalface’. But standard operating procedure I guess.

      • Actually, I think it is Manchester where the potential for ‘light rail’ that is also able to travel on heavy rail is being considered – i.e. ‘tram-trains’. Which is why I’m hoping they consider gauge when it gets to the implementation minutia.
        In NZ, we have a habit of looking at the short term.
        There are a few places around ‘the motu’ where such systems would be viable, and able to be implemented more quickly.
        New Plymouth-Stratford, Wangavegas to Palmy, As far north of Tearanga to TePuke taking in the earport and growing suburbs, North of Christchurch to Rolleston and points such as Lyttleton’ North Dunedin to Mosgiel and the earport.

        But lets not complicate things further by providing anymore options or there will be more entire consultant, legal, accountant and supposed expert careers made before anything useful happens.

  5. Underground is inhuman.
    The perfect epitaph for the blundering Labour/Green legacy.
    If we are going to replace ICE transport with survivable public transport it needs to be street level, not dungeon level drowned by rising seas and disturbing the underworld of lava flows.
    The old trolley buses easily handled Auckland hills and valleys; modern streetcars could fill the spaces vacated by fewer cars.
    They would be a visible incentive to get out of cars and jump onto trams.
    If anyone has ridden the old trams in Vienna and thrilled at the g forces as they turned corners knows that a livable city has to be physically exciting.
    All of this tunnel vision is due to trying to link the CBD with the Airport.
    Who knows how much air travel will be tolerated in the future or when one can rent an uber e-drone from home?
    Its the old problem. NZ’s property owning democracy born of land theft means the that street/farm level property has priced linking heavy rail from Puhinui to the airport. It seems.
    But that opens the prospect of nationalising land for accessing the airport for public health and safety purposes as a Treaty right.
    Until NZ settles accounts with colonisation Aotearoa is hung up on NZ crony capitalism that can still make a Trillion out of the pandemic.

  6. Evil Roy Slade learning basic math.

    Roy, you have 5 apples. Your neighbour comes and steals 3 of your apples. How many apples do you have now Roy?

    His answer. 5 apples and a dead neighbour.

  7. The oldies used to sing this often – favourite. If we can’t build reasonable housing in reasonable numbers, and control our borders for reasonable immigration we might be singing this too in future. Be reasonable –
    Auckland is a city with lots of volcanoes, Rangitoto sits out in the harbour. And we are boring under the sea with big berthas at a time when we expect vehicle use to decline? Passenger trains will be able to have priority also buses. Istanbul has a giant bridge and China has long bridges. What can we do on those lines?
    Underneath the Arches
    Bud Flanagan, Chesney Allen
    Underneath the arches
    We dream our dreams away
    Underneath the arches
    On cobblestones we lay
    Every night you’ll find us
    Tired out and worn
    Happy when the daylight comes creeping
    Heralding the dawn

    Sleeping when it’s raining
    And sleeping when it’s fine
    Trains rattling by above
    Pavement is a pillow
    No matter where we stray
    Underneath the arches
    We dream our dreams away

    • jeez grey my auntie used to sing that on..

      sidebar the Dads Army theme was sung by bud flanagan, it’s not a ww2 song, bud wrote it specially for the show.

      • Have you or anyone else got some opinions on the other light rail post on this blog down at Raw Feed.? I see no comments there. They seem to have some good points against the project as presented by Labour.
        “We’ve calculated to meet the 32 minute journey time from the CBD to Mangere (quoted by Minister Micheal Wood today), the light rail vehicles will need to travel at over 105 kms per hour, taking into account a minimum of one minute per stop at the 18 stations enroute” says the PTUA National Coordinator Jon Reeves.

        Reeves added “Given the light rail vehicles internationally only have an operating top speed of 80km per hour this shows that the Minister Micheal Wood has been led up the garden path and has no real clue about what his government is attempting to push through his electorate at the expense of Auckland ratepayers and New Zealand taxpayers”

  8. When the Canterbury regional council (ECan) asked the government for $41 million to help fund a Rolleston-Christchurch (via Templeton & Hornby) commuter rail service using ex-Auckland diesel multiple units, the government rejected it because they needed the money for the almost billion dollar Auckland bike bridge.

    Spending $15 billion in Auckland on public transport is obviously going to mean no improvements to public transport in Christchurch then?

    Conservative estimates in a report by the local councils on the future population increase in the greater Christchurch area put the population in 2050 to 700,000. Others forecasted much higher population of roughly a million people.

    So there is a good potential that Christchurch might extend all the way from Amberley to Ashburton, yet the government is not planning for either the conservative or ooptimistic outlooks. But it is willing to cash out $15 billion dollars for a metro system for Auckland?

    • That is so so poor.

      The ex Auckland diesel fleet had been rotting away in Taumaranui for the past 6 years and it had literally decades of life left in it.
      And Christchurch has the rail line network more than Auckland to connect multiple suburbs and outlying townships so the funding was surely justified as part of their so called Climate change work, if they cared, which clearly they don’t

      Where are the useless “Green” politicians on this?

      Where is Poto? (Just gags, she goes to work this eat her lunch)

      Labour just constantly demonstrate they have no idea.

      • oh they have ideas alright, some of which are even good…what they don’t have is follow through…as the saying goes ‘fine words butter no parsnips’

  9. Buses here on the North Shore are largely empty but round and round go. I guess they are like petri dishes for infection.
    If Martyn is right about pandemics being the new norm. Im guessing public transport is a sunset industry. Except for the poor folks.

    • Cheer up Hetzer – read a book and don’t think about the news for a week. Something might change in that time. If not read another book. Don’t watch television, do something yourself. If nothing changes look for a group doing positive non destructive things like growing vegetables, otherwise you might become a human one. Too much depression is bad for people.

    • maybe you should get out of bed earlier, when i was working on a building on Fanshaw St, every bus, and large proportion of them were double decker buses, were standing room only from 6.30 till 8am. Thats a lot of people being transported across the harbour.

  10. Honestly, this is comedy, right?

    Because when you look at at face value, its also an announcement announcing an upcoming announcement in 2023 to see if a second Harbour crossing will be announced.

    It’s like a MASH script lampooning bungling Army bureaucracy.

    Are announcements the best Labour can do? I say yes because that all we’ve got so far!

  11. ” This is big vision stuff finally being done properly ”

    Ok so they have some vision after all and I applaud them with this project. Auckland needs this and one can only hope that they don’t have a budget in mind as to the cost which will balloon out and cost well above what is politically acceptable.

    Any figure they come up with will be revised again and again over the lifetime of the project.

    Now can they get their shit together and start tackling the explosion of poverty and destitution and the serious imbalance of the increasingly rich and many struggling pensioners , families who work and hardly survive , students , sickness beneficiaries which includes many disabled people and the mentally unwell who I work with every day who experience extreme economic depravity , many immigrant families who work in slave like conditions for minimum wage and many other kiwis in the same situation , middle class people who struggle with the cost of living , young people who are consigned to the rent trap with no escape.

    I don’t want the vision rant because it means nothing and anyone can get in front of an audience and lie with a smile we have seen it so many times.

    I and many others want action and some hope that this country and its economy actually delivers for the enslaved rather than just the usual greedy suspects who think that by being wealthy this country only operates to make them wealthy.

    You can hide behind a pandemic for only so long.

  12. No, there is no more money left for our terrible pandemic, no money for our indigenous, no more for education and housing, and certainly no more for a light rail vanity project pushed out in reaction to a bad poll (although if we enclose Auckland in a border then those within this border can pay for it themselves, maybe sell your overpriced houses from the housing bubble contagion you unleashed on the rest of us).

    • For the last twenty years i have often thought “I really need to unleash a housing bubble contagion on the rest of the country…”

      Damn, you say the stupidest things.

  13. Absolutely Mike, Heather 2 plus 3 Allen has already confirmed it will be more than the cost stated and years stated. The right wing cronie, MickeyBoyle has entered the eco chamber with the same. So nothing new here.
    \Such a shame they don’t remember Wellingtons Transmission Gulley…

    “On 15 December 2009 Minister of Transport Steven Joyce announced the Government’s commitment to the project as one of seven Roads of National Significance, with a predicted project cost of NZ$1.025 billion.[11]”
    In February 2020 it was announced that the expected cost of $850m had been increased by another $191m.[25] In March 2021 the road was reported to cost a projected $1.25 billion by its then-expected opening date in September 2021, and will not include a planned extra merge lane at the Linden interchange to relieve congestion.[26]

    Thank you National.

  14. In order to sound semi educated (didn’t help), i googled NZ Total Budget – $50billion for 20/21. So here we have a ‘nice to have’ pet Labour project that will benefit very few in Auckland (like any of us will ever use it to get to the airport????) and it costs almost half an annual budget….for ONE!!!! project in Auckland. So I’m thinking, this is a cluster fuck. It’s just another classic diversion to distract us from the shit-storm about to hit the country, one of those ‘let’s do this, we have another great idea!’ announcements. Yawn.

  15. What would happen if (Heaven forbid) Labour loses the next election because the gweens don’t make it.

    What will happen to this ‘Dream Lite Weight Rail’ project?

    • It should be called the Bungee Light Rail (and Flip-on Clip-Ons) Project. It gets dropped down in free-fall and everyone goes Ooh Ahh and then it gets pulled up, refitted, and stands ready to drop when sufficient money is waved in the air. It’s all very Springfield as in the Simpsons’ Monorail skit – that funny little comedy which has been spoiled by reality getting too close to the story line. It isn’t funny any more.

      Simpsons forecasts

  16. Whether it’s good or bad it will never happen under a Jacinda Ardern Labour Government .
    Gosh they can’t build a house so a complex project like this is way beyond their capability.

    • New Zealand’s civil construction sector produced fine as labourers and tunnels. They couldn’t have chosen a more professional and honourable Workforce to make this nation proud, you scum lord.

      • For a moment I thought you said you would vote for National if they would drop the internet trough to a lower level

    • give the contract to china let them bring in their experts and keyworkers, make training NZ apprentices part of the deal, hey presto 5years shiny new light rail probably at reasonable cost

      …but nooooo not enough middlemen with a snout in the trough…we must must must have a pork barrel, this is nu zild.

    • This is how bored they are eagerly ringing there hands in hope that everything is falls over so they can lose there is way into government.

      • Anything other than punishing the poor which Labour is doing in spades under Jacinda Ardern.
        This is a very cruel Government.

          • Really!!
            Like in Venezuela oh but hang on that was the left.
            The divide is simply a consequence of poor Government.

          • Disputable actually I was in NZ during John Keys time.
            The gap between rich and poor was nothing remotely like it is now and that is beyond dispute.

            • Bullshit it was, who the hell do you think created the living in cars policy! Wages have increased, benefits have increased, not under National but under Labour, that’s indisputable. National were the cruelest and most uncaring government of the 2000’s, full stop.

  17. Let me get this straight?
    The logical fallacy that’s Auckland’s going to get a rail system installed to provide those people with pointless jobs a means to travel to them. And when they’re there our gubbimint can ignore inflation and rejoice in jobs that really don’t mean anything other than that of keeping the managers of foreign banks in soft silk bed linen?
    Meanwhile, I can drive through our most productive and beautiful countryside and marvel at where rail used to be because the greedy bully idiot muldoon thought big and pulled them all up. They’re now absurd cycle trails to the riche.
    Have I missed something or have we all gone bonkers? Am I witnessing the end of civilisation or has everyone become idiocratic?

    • Put your questions in this slot in the robot’s mouth and place your credit card in the narrow slot beneath until told to withdraw it country boy.
      The robot cannot tell a lie. Yes you dopes have missed just about everything. And yes I conclude you have gone bonkers and this is the end of the end of the end of….

  18. All based on the outmoded thinking that everyone works in an office on Queens Street.

    What we *actually* need is a new second road bridge to replace the existing old one.

  19. All opinions aside on whether this is a good or bad idea, personally to service Aucklands older suburbs, above ground to me would have been just fine but consistent with the government’s delivery failures the following questions have not been answered;

    Who is designing this?

    Who in this country has the connections or skills to build such a diverse complex system, especially since its navigating its way between volcanoes as that presents some definite challenges in drilling through underground lava formations. I am aware the Newmarket Viaduct struck complications exactly for that very reason. And that was just a replacement.

    How can that be accurately costed?

    Wood is going to wave his wand with his – back of a beer coaster plan – and some bureaucrats in Wellington are suddenly going to put the million pieces of this jigsaw together? Honestly I don’t think so!

    Without a knowledgeable minister and parliamentary team who can drive this, of which on the basis of the past 4 years they have none, I promise, this will be another Ardern government pipe dream. And with it yet another failure example to beat them with.

    Think again Minister Wood with such exuberant promises. They’ll bite you in the arse.

  20. These ‘gentrification’ projects are expensive and only serve the wealthy folks of Aucklands needs. Higher valued house prices. Whilst the poor get poor and so on.
    Who will own the revenue-stream(s) generated once completed and it starts moving passengers about in 2050?

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