A Ratepayer’s ‘Suggestion’ to the Mayor

Lets try more proper and formal processes first for an idea – please


The Botany Line Sky Train Route
The Botany Line Sky Train Route


Recently I had written a post about the Mayor “floating” an idea around light rail for South and eastern Auckland and whether the Mayor was gleaming one of my posts. The said post can be seen here: “Is the Mayor Reading Up on One of my Blog Posts?” When the Mayor first mentioned the light rail idea and it ended up in the Manukau Courier at the time the “blow-back” was quick and surprising in the fact that more allied proponents of public transport were quick to shoot the idea down and agree with Councillor Brewer. While I have written about a Botany Sky Train Line before what the Mayor did had me in opposition as well. Not so good for the Mayor.

Fast forward to today and I see Councillor Cameron Brewer linking up another piece from the Manukau Courier about the Mayor’s Office “spinning” the light rail proposal and apparently what it really meant.

From Stuff:

Mayor ‘has lost the plot’ – Brewer

JAMES IRELAND   Last updated 05:00 05/06/2014

Mayor Len Brown “got his wires crossed” when speaking about a proposed light rail loop for the south.

Brown’s spokesman Glyn Jones says the mayor’s idea is not for a light rail “loop” but for a light rail “link” going up Te Irirangi Drive between Manukau and Botany.

“The plan is still 15 to 30 years away from getting off the ground,” Jones says.

Brown originally told the Manukau Courier he was looking to take inspiration from the Sydney rail loop by building one from Manukau up through Clover Park, along Te Irirangi Drive, to Highland Park, up Panmure Highway and back to Manukau.

After the article appeared on May 29, councillors Cameron Brewer, Dick Quax and Sharon Stewart got together to denounce the mayor’s idea.

Brewer says Brown has “lost the plot” and his focus should be on finding ways to fund the City Rail Link rather than “dreaming up local light rail projects with the sole hope of winning back some support in the south”.

Source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/manukau-courier/10118003/Mayor-has-lost-the-plot-Brewer

“dreaming up local light rail projects with the sole hope of winning back some support in the south” No I highly doubt it would win back support from the South when the South has more pressing concerns and more important projects at hand.

I shall name a few that need absolute focus from the Council with the South (let alone the rest of Auckland):

  1. The Southern Initiative – especially after my post about it yesterday: Investigation: Some Information of The Southern Initiative
  2. Getting  the processes complete with Auckland Transport over the Manukau South Rail Link so the Link is fully operational by the beginning of MIT Manukau Campus’s Semester 1 next year
  3. Making sure Pukekohe is electrified and the Drury South and Paerata Stations are all done by 2017 (electrification preferably done by end of 2015)
  4. Working Auckland Transport and Kiwi Rail over the grade separation of level crossings (which is also holding up the Glenora Road Station)
  5. Getting the ball rolling on the Manukau City Centre Master Plan rolling this year
  6. Adopting Generation Zero and Transport Blog’s Congestion Free Network – South Eastern Bus-Way concept that would link Panmure, Botany and Manukau up until demand was there for light rail (between 2020-2025)


Source: http://transportblog.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/CFN-2020.jpg


In any case if the Mayor was dead serious around light rail for the Botany Line (which was a legacy project of the Eastern Transport Corridor was built in 2004) it would have been probably more wise to do the following:

  1. Consult Auckland Transport first to gauge their full reaction to the concept
  2. After consulting Auckland Transport, float the proposal at the Auckland Development Committee as part of a wider package to develop up the Manukau Super Metropolitan Centre and the Botany Metropolitan Centre. The wider package would have knocked a few birds off with one stone including economies of scale in several but interlinked projects being done at once rather than separately

That said I was thinking about floating The Botany Sky Train Line either in this month’s or next month’s Auckland Development Committee to get the creative juices flowing, as well as giving few other things a bit of a shuffle along. I did not expect Sky Train to be built now (I do not propose starting until at least 2020) but at least the concept would have been “designated” for the future when Botany and Manukau begin their (Super and) Metropolitan Centre developments. Well after the rather hatchet job the Mayor has done I think I might leave it alone until 2016 😛 .


Ah well. As they say #$&% happens from time to time.