Look, I’ve just come to accept that I will die before a second Harbour crossing is built

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We are so fucked

Tunnels, light rail, cycling and bus lanes – govt unveils ambitious $45b new harbour crossing plan

Auckland would get three tunnels across Waitematā Harbour – two for vehicles and one for light rail – under new plans revealed by the government today.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, Transport Minister David Parker and Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni presented the ambitious plan, expected to cost up to $45 billion and built over decades, at North Shore’s Bayswater Marina.

The two road tunnels would be three lanes each, one-way, and go from the CBD to Akoranga – about five or six kilometres, twice as long as the Waterview Tunnel.

The light rail tunnel would stretch 21km, going from Wynyard Quarter all the way north to Albany, winding through Takapuna and Belmont, stopping in six places.

“This is a bold plan for Auckland’s future that delivers a modern transport network that will connect all parts of the city,” Hipkins said.

Yawn.

Look, I’ve just come to accept that I will die before a second Harbour crossing is built.

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I’ve seen so many ‘Artists Impressions’ of the various White Elephants Aucklands gets promised and I’ve simply given up on believing I will ever live to see any of them.

Look at this bullshit…

…this was hilariously Wayne Brown’s vision for the water front, I’m betting you $10billion it never gets fucking built!

Thankfully for my cynicism there is an enormous force about to create change, whether we like it or not!

There is a glorious pocket of time in Auckland City when I love it here.

After Christmas and until February, Auckland City empties and you got to wander through the lonely streets Quiet Earth styles like Bruno Lawrence.

This glorious pocket of solitude makes living in Auckland reasonable and fun and interesting over Summer.

For a moment each year we see what a City not groaning at the seams of over population and under investment in infrastructure feels like living in.

And then comes March Madness and a broken public transport system left begging people not to travel as a solution…

…don’t travel, that’s their solution?

Wow.

Just wow.

I want to punch the next commentator in the face who comes forward and glibly claims, ‘We can’t afford light rail down Dominion Rd’!

We are so underinvested for the vast growth generated by the mass immigration policies of Labour and National with no clear plan who is going to fund the infrastructure all that immigration requires.

We need underground and overground light rail all the way down Dominion Rd, all the way down Mt Eden Rd, all the way to South Auckland, all the way to West Auckland and all the way to the North Shore!

We need a new motorway connecting to Wellsford now plus passenger rail!

We need a vast upgrade of all Northland Roads, Coromonadal, the East Coast, the South Island!

We need a new Harbour Tunnel and we need a tunnel beneath the North and South Island!

We need our own pharmuctical industry.

We need a vast upgrade of our Military!

We not only need new drs, nurses and teachers, but we need new hospitals and schools.

We need solar panels on every roof.

We need Marae, Schools, Libraries, RSA, Churches and Community Halls to be directly resourced and built as resilience points inside a community.

We need state subsidised emergency survival kits to every community.

We need a new plan for food security.

We need degrowth sponge cities that pay the Artist wage.

We need 4 days working weeks, 11 weeks holidays and accomodation for Nurses, Drs, Teachers, Army and Police.

We need free public transport.

Free dental.

We need new regulation around Forestry, Telecommunications, Trucking industry and drainage industry.

We need a Ministry of Green Works and we need to pay for all this increased State capacity by taxing the rich more!

Sugar Tax

Financial Transaction Tax

Capital Gains Tax

Inheritance Tax

Land Tax

New top tax rate over $300 000

Wealth Tax on those over $30m

We have the tools to fund an increased State WHILE borrowing more at the same time.

This could be a chance to reset a broken Capitalism by removing the yoke of taxation from workers and putting it squarely on the speculators, the wealthy and the polluters.

Make the rich pay for hungry children to be fed.

The anger at the never ending cycle of climate carnage coming our way coupled with geopolitical shocks will force our hand if we continue to be in denial for the urgency of radical adaptation.

 

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50 COMMENTS

  1. Yep, there will be no second Harbour crossing, not under Chippy anyway as he has no idea how. And of course for this to work, Chippy needs to do a Keith Holyoake and win not just a 3rd term but a 4th. Which is more delusional?

    David Parker looked especially uncomfortable, kind of like a possum in the headlights just before he realises he left the iron on and will the nest burn down? He did not know where in the world he was or why he was trying to sell this hollow empty promise. A “what the fuck am I doing here” moment! He must have been cursing Michael Wood.

    Shannon Halbert subtly scanned the “Seek” job app on his phone, hoping no one would notice.

    If nothing else it was entertaining, if only someone had taken the blindest bit of notice.

    • David Parker has made it clear he doesn’t have faith in Chippy,by relinquishing his position of Revenue Minister.

  2. Why do you need light rail to the shore when you have an under-utilised bus lane. Also add a multiple to the cost for the moron that wants to tunnel through a volcanic base in Devonport/North Shore…..

    • Because Tank, Chippy thinks he can somehow, all over sudden, magically turn around the beating Labour is about to receive in October…by sweet talking the North Shore hahaha. That’s why. Nothing else! It’s pathetic to watch.

      • Roy agree it’s pathetic but what astounds me is why some people still support them?
        Must be tribalism there’s no other reason.

  3. Me too, although I’m older than you (but far fitter). LOL

    I think the ‘chamber of commerce’ types are the ones behind this idea in the Council. They own the downtown real estate so are pushing taxpayers to fund white elephant projects in order to deliver the masses to their assets so keeping their shops & office rentals high. It’s a common problem.

    Meanwhile a large slice of downtown staff are either still working from home because Covid proved they can or are commuting only some of the time. My daughter and son in law are prime examples: Both former commuters to the expensive offices off Shortland Street, my daughter now only works from home and her husband, a lawyer, only comes in for occasional meetings.

    And most of Auckland doesn’t work downtown. So, this is only a transport solution for a tiny number of banks, a couple of insurance companies and of course the council workers themselves.

  4. Wayne Brown just came out and roughly said ‘ I can f things up all by myself thank you, I don’t need Wellingtons help’. Unless of course it’s compensation for people that his own council gave permits to, to build in areas where they haven’t done anything about stormwater. Yes let’s make sure councils are the absolute masters of our future. They are doing everything right, not.

  5. I’m mid forties and healthy – I won’t see it either. This is just election bribing – it has even gone to a committee yet – lol.

    • Yes most of us will not be here on the completion of this project which as we all know is pure fantasy.
      Labour are yet to deliver on their promises of 6 years ago.

      • Bob – I find it very sad that you totally underestimate the equal or worse incompetence of right-wing governments.

  6. Wait a minute, a tramway tunnel? Why not a heavy rail tunnel? Tramway streetcars often run on long lines, but they’re only intended for shorter trips along that route. It either needs to be part of the overground suburban rail network, or part of some sort of subway system.

    Auckland had 13 tramway lines back when the city’s population was smaller than Darwin, the national population was lower than Perth, and jet airliners hadn’t even been invented yet. They eventually had electric trolleybuses also. Remind me again why a city, now ten times larger, suddenly “cannot afford” the same basic infrastructure?

  7. On light rail. It seems astounding but 9 years in opposition did not see Labour designing policy. In fact by election campaign 2017, they started stealing other people’s plans, one of which was Auckland Councils light rail plan which I think it was well advanced but needed funding. In steps Phil Twyford and Jacinda’s now infamous “Light rail to Mt Roskill by 2021” promise.

    Thrilled by the response after winning power, they extended the idea to Kumeu. Thinking big they took over the council plan, funding was made available and then…nothing. Consultants galore, plans using plain awful PPP models vs local funding ownership models and by 2020, the game was up, Twyford gone, Wood took over.

    What should have been a relatively simple surface rail model to put light rail on the roads it had been until 1956, Wood went crazy, abandoned the original council plans and planned something from a science fiction novel with a price tag similarly from two centuries from now. So complex was it that nearly 3 years later and tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars in consultants, Labour have absolutely nothing to show for it but debt.

    Sadly the moment has not only been lost, it was squandered by bungling idiots posing as ministers of the crown. There will be no light rail because of this pair and this government but somehow the tram wreck this project became is overshadowed by something worse. Both these disgraced ex ministers retain their seats rathered than being made to step aside and may be back in parliament next term!

  8. I reckon another volcanic eruption will happen soon and the Meola reef will be forced up a few metres from out of the Waitemata creating a land mass that will connect Pt Chev to the Chelsea Sugar plant. A perfect place to set up a connection between the two shores for walking and biking.

    My estimated guess is that this will happen within the next millennia. Before any tunnels or extra bridges get built. But, it will be free!

  9. There’s plenty of land in this country, but no, let’s build a stupid mega city right where it would take a billion bridges to get around, then moan that no-one is building them for us.

    Try payimg higher rates or something, you chose to live there.

  10. It is nuts the cost is out of this world and it should never happen. Get people out of cars and on to public transport.

  11. To make all those needs come to fruition one needs alignment in two fundamental constructs.

    One – Increase the population to 15 or 20 million to pay for and actually build the field of dreams.
    Two – Politicians with enough drive to make the construction off the field of dreams a reality.

    Neither will happen so the field of dreams will not be built. New Zealand is simply not rich or productive enough under a National or Labour or anyone else.

    That field of dreams will take at least 50 to 100 years to complete with current population and productivity.

    New Zealand simply does not do hard work or difficult (even long term) decision making. It is not in the DNA of the people. People today would rather virtue signal than get their hands dirty. Perhaps National is right, only the Chinese can finance and physically build the field of dreams.

    Name one politician that will do the hard yard and get that field of dreams financed and the first sod turned over. There are none. In fact Mr Bradbury, it would be interesting to name a list of politicians that could turn your field of dreams into reality.

  12. I have seen light rail in Dublin. I pretty much slow jogged faster than it between each stop. It’s crap.

    Who wants to go to the Auckland CBD anyway. To get robbed at knife point, to never find a park, then get u car towed and pay $12 a pint , to breath in all the polllution, to hear the Port trucks all day and night.

    However i agree it’s the perfect city in early January when all the peeps have all left the big smoke.

  13. Park and ride is the answer.

    Park your gas guzzling vehicle in a huge lot out of town and ride a self driving flying electric shuttle vehicle into town.

    Roads are sooo 20th century. Rail 19th century. And tunneling…lol

  14. You do know that WakaKotahi owns all the airspace above the motorways and roading network ay au? Just say’n.

    • Did not know that, but i do know flying vehicles don’t need to follow motorways and roads.

      All that money for roads, tunnels and tracks might be better spent on fleets of electric flying vehicles ?

      As for freight. I like the idea of canals and barges to alleviate rising sea levels.

  15. other countries can build tunnels under the baltic but we can’t manage auk harbour speaks volumes dunnit

  16. My prediction…

    Martyn’s list will happen, just not this year. If the filthy Natzos and dirty Act gain office it will all be on until the next election. All the social problems will not be alleviated by this dynamic far right duo–they will be exacerbated, and there will be societal unrest including the Māori world, direct action–individual & collective, and industrial disruption not seen for decades.

    The bal’heads & greybeards days are not over yet, but they will be soon enough. Natzos and Labour will be diminished in 2026 as new political forces emerge. Some of these forces will be MAGA like and some more trad left and eco socialist. And it will be in Martyn’s lifetime unlike the ghost bridges.

    Tunnels through a volcanic isthmus in an era of sea level rise? What could go wrong. Never mind billions and PPPs and bollocks–put on more water transport and ferries, and go round the long way if you absolutely must visit the North Shore or central city.

    • Yeah that 1 mm water level rise is going play havoc with a tunnel //

      Just for a giggle, fill a glass to the brim with water then drop an ice cube in, then monitor the new level and see if it overflows. Third form science probably now relegated to first year BSC!

      • Idiot. That applies to ice shelves only. You are looking at huge quantities of ice from above sea-level flowing into our oceans. Look at Greenland’s ice; Antarctica’s above sea-level ice, and all the glaciers melting, including those in the Himalayas.

        1mm? Get real.

  17. Let us vote – glorified tram for (parts of) Auckland or free dental care for all NZ?
    I am Aucklander and would vote for free dental care. No-brainer decision.

    BTW instead of 19th Century fixed route public transport tramways this country should invest in autonomous shuttles.
    Another no-brainer.

  18. This is why Auckland and Wellington are such a mess. Auckland is our biggest city when anyone even broaches a subject of infrastructure or transport issues everyone runs for the hills. Governments over the years have bottled any meaningful discussion or plans to do with Auckland. Every body complains about the gridlock but no one wants to fix it. I guarantee that every progressive plan for Auckland has been shelved over the last 20 plus years. Wayne Brown is the latest demagogue to openly poor cold water on the government’s progressive programme. He’d rather spend megabucks on a cool pool for the harbor for cruise ships passengers to look at. One minute he’s says Auckland has no money then all of a sudden a mega pool, has he too got money from China. Where’s the will to fix public transport when opposition parties will curtail any meaningful progress. Why haven’t we got regular train services throughout NZ. The Japanese have done it with ease, train trips from one end of the country to the other for all travel budgets. All New Zealanders do is moan , let’s just get on with it for a change before David Seymour sacks everyone in sight.

    • PS I should have been more open that I am, in fact, planning to stand as an independent candidate in the Taieri (ex South Dunedin) electorate in the upcoming election. I didn’t mean to be sneaky about this!

      My 3-part platform is as set out here: http://www.votemacgardner.net/ (1) Reverse the downgrading of the new Dunedin hospital; (2) reinstate the Mosgiel-Dunedin suburban rail service, electrified; and (3) extend assisted dying to include severe dementia, by way of an advance directive.

      I’m up against an incumbent with a 12,000 majority, myself a 1-man band, so my odds at the TAB might not be too encouraging. But one must do what one must do.

      I have occasionally commented on the Daily Blog as Tom Gardner; I’m actually Mac Gardner (the Tom bit is a family joke).

  19. Net 0 is coming. Why do we need a second harbour crossing if most of us are gonna be locked into 15 min areas with only bicycles allowed for commuting?

  20. Why should the rich pay to feed children that are not theirs . If you cannot feed a child why have one .The tax should go to help all people with medical and mental needs as those are thinks that you have little say in .Tax for education is an investment in the country ..
    Why do the left thinkers want to tax the he’ll out of people when surely a better answer is to increase income by extra productivity and having a government that does not waste so much on dreams and poor management.

    • Well Trevor your true colours are showing. Your hero Luxon wants more babies hence the prescription charges for contraceptives and the soon to be changed abortion laws ( if he gets in that is ). So your way off beam with this sort of comment ,as your esteemed leader says get with the programme have as many babies as you like Luxon will pay for them .

    • Oh crank the handle on your hurdy gurdy trevor. This anti-social – anti-community – anti-nation spiel has been round so long that even the cutest monkey won’t excite any enthusiasm except from the deadheads. And if your ideas of stopping babies takes on soon there won’t be any but deadheads.

      Stats show that NZ/AO-born babies are getting fewer. Your types don’t care because of despising fellow citizens who don’t meet some arbitrary criteria you have set. When more people are needed you will just import them from populous nations like all our basic needs, and more will be forced off their home soil by climate.

      The country that our parents and good imaginative hopeful people worked and died to build with lively, smart people who lived and worked reasonably peaceably and sustainably is on the way to being lost. You will help that Via Dolorosa.

  21. Fuck me! What have we been thinking? Why don’t we just bung Black Rock Inc all the money! You know, just like they’ve done with a $2b taster to BlackRock Inc for the nationalisation of the Power Grid!
    I think the $2b is just to check that the bank account number is correct. The rest will be sent later I guess?

    I think NZ’ders had better go and buy some ky before it’s all sold out.

  22. Auckland tunnels. Useful for bomb shelters. Emergency shelters, if part sealed off. Mass burial grounds if everything goes wrong as it might. Earthquake effects – burial grounds for
    travellers. Unaffordable for a poor country that is living on borrowed money and time.

    They are pipe dreams by people who don’t use tobacco – possibly blow-pipes fired by lithium. The cars are fuelled by lithium and burn down valuable infrastructure – cut them, don’t cater to them. Lithium desire leads to immoral behaviour by cruel, callous people and hurts the lives and grounds of ordinary people and no money can reimburse them; same as has happened with copper.

    Solution stop travelling in individual cars. Buses – short trip – hop-on, hop-pff for special tickets that for a reasonable fee let you go anywhere within a certain radius. Moving sidewalks, in city and motorised bikes and scooters banned there. Stop importing motor vehicles then we can cut down on exporting milk powder. Charge water use by farmers at a high rate and all water users become listed under sensitive resource users.

  23. A mass transport system across the harbour is urgent; this would reduce loads on the existing bridge. Forget the road tunnels, what about a monorail tracks that connect to rail lines on both sides. It would be a lot cheaper to build, and not have the inherent problems of long road tunnels.

    • That’s not ideal, because the passengers would have to get off before the Harbour Bridge and change platforms. Unless you’re going to build an entire monorail-based subway system as well, it really needs to be a heavy rail tunnel, connecting to existing lines.

  24. By the heading and the rest you still seem to believe you’ll lead your natural life to the end. Knowing climate change I, your 10 year older, know pretty well I’ll end sooner. Just the next 3 years at the next election, on this account, makes me concentrated on climate change.

    Most are slower than me and the research, while reality is always quicker.

    Sure it was just a figure of speech.

    • This for you sumsuch – thanks for wisely reminding us of reality.
      The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.
      Bertrand Russell

  25. This –
    I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.
    Rabindranath Tagore – Indian – Poet May 7, 1861 – August 7, 1941

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