Month: June 2013

Auckland’s Transport Mega Projects – Part Two

Auckland‘s Transport Mega Projects Part Two – A Comparison   And so the Prime Minister has announced around $10 BILLION worth of transport mega projects in Auckland for the next well I … Continue reading Auckland’s Transport Mega Projects – Part Two

The Unitary Plan – Here Comes the First Full APC Committee

First Full Auckland Plan Committee to Deliberate and ‘Steer’ Changes for the Unitary Plan


The Auckland Plan Committee is to meet (as an open meeting) on July 2 to deliberate on the first round of Unitary Plan Workshops (June 19 and 26).

From the Council media release just released:

Directions to guide Unitary Plan changes


The Auckland Plan Committee will meet next week to consider the first set of directions to address issues identified in the draft Unitary Plan.


The directions, based on feedback analysed to date, were proposed by elected members at the first two post-engagement Unitary Plan workshops.


A report outlining some of the key issues identified by Aucklanders as well as the initial directions will be presented to the Auckland Plan Committee on Tuesday 2 July.


The topics covered in the first two workshops and reflected in the report include:

  • Principles for height in local and town centres
  • Principles for height, notification and provisions in the Terrace House and Apartment Building zone
  • Proposed heights, minimum dwelling size and development controls in the Mixed Housing Zone
  • Quality design and notification of development control infringements


Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, says she is pleased with the progress councillors and local board chairs have made over the past two weeks.


“The workshops have been well attended and there has been very useful discussion from everyone on how to incorporate what we are hearing from our community into the plan.


“Tuesday’s committee meeting is about further discussion and giving staff a more formal go ahead to start incorporating changes into the version of the plan we are developing, ready for notification,” said Penny Hulse.


For further details on the feedback and the next steps in the Unitary Plan process, please see the Shape Auckland site.




I also have here and embedded below the report via an Addendum agenda:


I will write-up a post commentary on the agenda tomorrow morning.

Also remember July 2, 10am at Town Hall – the Auckland Plan Committee meeting discussing the first two Unitary Plan workshops will be open to the public. And yes I will be attending to observe proceedings.


Talking Auckland: Blog of TotaRim Consultancy Limited

TotaRim Consultancy
Bringing Well Managed Progress to Auckland and The Unitary Plan

Auckland: 2013 – YOUR CITY, YOUR CALL


Transport Announcements

And Here We Go


The Prime Minister has announced what is effectively an ULTRA spend up on transport in Auckland for the next wee-while.

I am still working through the material and am most likely to post a full response tomorrow.

Also I am just re checking material I have written over the last three years. I don’t know if Council or Government has ever read my submissions in related to transport or not, I am not particularly fussed. But the CRL, the AWHC, AMETI and other things seem to be on a very similar timetable to what I suggested in my Auckland Plan submission:

From Page 49 of my Submission to the Auckland Plan

The Priority System

As resources and capital is scarce, a priority system is needed best allocate those scarce resources and capital to extend Auckland’s Transport System. This priority system in this submission will be brief with extended details provided in a separate submission to the Auckland Long Term Draft Plan.

 Priority One (To be completed by 2018)

  • Building of the Eastern Highway (to the Sub-Regional Standard Option as mentioned in Section 3.5 of the EASTDOR Final Report
  • Realigning the Westfield Diamond
  • Relocating or adding rail stations
  • Re allocating bus routes, improving bus feeder systems to rail stations or bus RTN systems
  • Feasibility Study of the Airport Rail Line including freight option
  • Starting the bus RTN roll out especially along State Highway 20, 20A and 20B
  • South-to-Manukau Rail Link Completion

Priority Two (To be completed by 2025)

  • Completion of Inner City Rail Link
  • Third Rail Line from Port to Papakura
  • Airport Rail Line (if deemed feasible)
  • Second Harbour Crossing
  • South West Rail Line (if freight is still moving to Northland)
  • Rail Electrification to Hamilton (not mentioned or included in this submission)

Priority Three (To be completed by 2040 or optional)

  • Botany Rail Line
  • North Shore Rail Line
  • Upgrade Eastern Highway from Sub Regional Function option to full Regional Function option

This priority system was created in attempt to create an idea on how transportation projects should be rationalised and built over the next thirty years with scarce resources and capital. Priorities can change as the transportation needs change for Auckland. Through creating the basic outline of the Auckland Transportation Network over the next 30 years, and through more technical analysis in the Long Term Plan Submission, it is hoped that Auckland’s transport needs will not virtually bankrupt the city and allow the city to be known again for its affordability and economic progress. Also the Auckland Transport Network ideas outline is designed to complement the LADU system also mentioned in this submission. The LADU system proposed in this submission is to allow the submission’s goal to be realised and affordability plus economic progress not be strangled by DURT!

You can see my original submission in the embed below.

As I said above I will comment in full later while I digest all this (and my lunch). You can see the initial Herald reaction HERE.

My Original Auckland Plan Submission (check page 49)


Still Coming Up – News Overload

What Will Auckland Exactly Get Today?


Today the Prime Minister will announce to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce a transport package for Auckland. Already the City Rail Link has been confirmed with a start date around the 2020 mark – although that could be brought forward to 2017-2018. Owing to the fact that the Western Ring Route is meant to be complete and the fact that there is a national election in 2017 (whether it is National seeking a fourth term or seeking a new term after being 3-years in opposition), I do wonder if the 2017-2018 start date will actually happen. Already the construction resources would be present from Waterview (the WRR) so why not just transplant them straight over to the CRL instead of starting from scratch three years later?

Back to the PM’s speech today; so the CRL is announced but what else does Santa have in his bag of goodies. Auckland Transport Blog listed a few already in their “What else will the Government announce? the Good, the Bad and the Ugly” post along with the consequences of each one.

Since that particular post there has been leaks and hints that the Second Harbour Crossing is also a go (in what form is unknown), PENLINK might be a go (finally), something with AMETI (please be the Eastern Highway and the start of the Botany Line), or if not AMETI then this damned East-West Link in the Onehunga/Penrose/Highbrook industrial area.

So all eyes front as we await today’s announcement from the Prime Minister.

What would I like to see and would have done if I the Prime Minister today making the announcement? Probably something like this:

  1. City Rail Link
  2. PENLINK (tolled)
  3. North Shore Line (as far as Takapuna for now)
  4. Eastern Highway and Botany Line
  5. Half the money needed for the Electrification to Pukekohe

And yep I know Point-4 is going to cause some “controversy” amongst some readers here this morning.


With the Unitary Plan and Manukau

Posts are still coming to these hot topics and I will do my best to get these up today if not tomorrow depending on today’s transport info overload.

So again all eyes are front as we await the major announcement from the Prime Minister


Coming Up on Talking Auckland

Massive Couple of Days Incoming


Wow yesterday was a case of NEWS OVERLOAD. We had the Government announce the City Rail Link, the Rudd Affair, Queensland thump New South Wales in the State of Origin second match, and the utter evil coming out of the Texan Senate by Republicans.

While this is not a Texas or sports blog, it did contribute to a day that is long going to be remembered – the day the National Government announced the City Rail Link was a GO.



The situation is still very fluid right now in regards to the City Rail Link. News is coming out this morning that the Government COULD bring the start date forward to the 2017-2018 period (rather than 2020). If so this would put is squarely IN LINE with what I have been saying in regards to the CRL for a very long time – and as mentioned yesterday again on Facebook:

My position on the CRL as of November last year “I advocate the starting of construction of the City Rail Link in 2018 with completion around 2025 mark (if all three stations were built at once)”
Seems the Government was not too far off with the start date although I doubt at this point and time the project will now be staged

We are basically waiting until Friday for the full announcement from the Prime Minister on the CRL and other transport initiatives the Government might roll out for Auckland.

Talking Auckland will run the commentary on these initiatives as soon as they are made public along with my reaction and thoughts.

Talking Auckland will look at other reactions as well including from mayoral candidate John Palino who released a statement on the CRL announcement yesterday.


The Unitary Plan

I have received an email back from the Council Planners in regards to my enquiries on themes and height. I will get commentary up on this as well as chasing down other enquiries with Council (Penny) by the end of the day. Quite an interesting response though to Council on the first enquiry sparked my Mark Thomas and chased down by me.


Auckland Conversations

I will be attending tonight’s Auckland Conversation where the Lord Mayor of Brisbane is due to speak. Again I will be going as “media” and THIS time I will try to get my questions across.

You can find out more on tonight’s Auckland Conversation piece HERE.


All this will take a few days to get through and as I said with the City Rail Link, the situation is very fluid at the moment. Exciting and interesting times ahead for the city indeed


Presentation Today

Speaking Engagement to Manukau Businesses on Manukau as the Second CBD


By the time this comes up on Talking Auckland this morning I would have just completed my presentation to the Manukau Central Business Association, Business Networking Breakfast in Manukau itself.

The topic? Manukau as the Second CBD of Auckland.

You can check my presentation in the embed below:


Also some quick photos of all my “gear” prepared the night before ready for today

2013-06-25 20.51.11 2013-06-25 20.51.56


Will write-up a post later today on the networking breakfast and any replies back from Council on yesterday’s email enquiries into the two workshops being opened up.



Mayoral Candidate on Transport Funding

Candidate for Auckland Mayor – John Palino Responds to Mayor Brown over Transport Funding


This has just come my way as in Hot Off The Press.

Auckland mayoral candidate John Palino has issued a stern response to Mayor Len Brown in Len’s “decision not to give Aucklanders the final say on what equates to a permanent 30 per cent increase in rates.

This is in relation to the Mayor blocking Councillor George Wood’s Notice of Motion attempt  to get a referendum held on the City Rail Link.

From the NZH on Councillor Wood’s blocked attempt:

Mayor blocks councillor’s bid to put transport funding to public vote

By Mathew Dearnaley; 5:30 AM Tuesday Jun 25, 2013


Mayor Len Brown has blocked a councillor’s bid to put funding for the proposed $2.4 billion central city rail link and other transport projects to a public referendum.

North Shore council member George Wood is “astounded” Mr Brown has rejected a notice of motion he offered for a meeting of the council’s governing body this Thursday.


Mr Wood wanted the council to at least consider the idea of holding a referendum during October’s local body elections, to ask Aucklanders if they supported a proposal to raise an extra $400 million a year by increasing property taxes or imposing tolls on existing as well as new roads.

But he said the Mayor had refused to allow councillors to debate the prop



Although Mr Brown indicated last year that options for paying for what is expected to be a $12 billion transport funding gap between now and 2041 could go to a referendum, he is waiting for a final report from a “consensus building” advisory group on how to raise extra cash.


The 17-member group – on which business and union leaders have joined transport campaigners and the Automobile Association – expects to present a funding recommendation to Mr Brown next month.

You can read the rest in the Herald


In reply to the Mayor’s decision and transport funding situation this is what Auckland Mayoral Candidate John Palino’s full response was:

I’ll put the local back into local government

“Mayor Brown’s decision not to give Aucklanders the final say on what equates to a permanent 30 per cent increase in rates contradicts the very principle of local government and will further harm Auckland’s critical relationship with Wellington,” says Mayoral candidate John Palino.

“Auckland has massive transport challenges and none greater than finding the investment the city needs. The Consensus Building Group’s investigation into funding Auckland’s transport is a good start to the discussion, but the Mayor proposes that it’s also the end.

“That’s not local democracy, especially when the Consensus Building Group never had central government support and was not allowed to question the key projects driving the need for new taxation.

“The Mayor established the group to consider options for covering a projected $10-15 billion transport funding deficit over the next 30 years. That deficit is made up of the Mayor’s key projects – the $2.8 billion city rail link; the $5 billion additional harbour crossing; and the $2-3 billion AMETI and East-West link project.

“These three projects do not deliver good transport outcomes for Auckland and this shows up in the analysis which shows the transport benefits of these projects to be greatly outweighed by the costs. The return on the AMETI and East-West Link project is still unclear, but the CRL returns 40 cents for each dollar invested and the harbour crossing returns 30 cents.

“In establishing the Consensus group, the Mayor has tried to deflect ongoing and unresolved evidence that his transport programme is flawed, doesn’t return the benefits which would otherwise offset their cost, won’t improve congestion and will require a further $400 million per annum in taxes each and every year forever.

“As Mayor, I won’t be selecting projects as part of my campaign, but I’ll be holding those agencies to account for developing solutions that meet Auckland’s needs – something the Mayor’s programme doesn’t do.

“If we can get a transport programme which delivers the quality of life Aucklander’s demand, then I’ll look at funding options alongside and not independent of central government. We have to work together if we’re going to get positive outcomes.

“And most of all, I’ll give you the final say on whether you think such a significant proposal will help deliver the city you want to live in,” says Mr Palino.


Thoughts and comments folks? We are counting down to the 2013 Local Government elections and we will be seeing a lot more of this. Post your comments below but, remember play the ball NOT the person!