Thus we need to invest in infrastructure
I have known for a while that the commute between Hamilton and Auckland (or any where between) will soon become a normal activity. The inter-city commute is nearly standard practice for large international cities and Auckland will be soon no different.
So when the Prime Minister dear suggested as a mechanism to assist Aucklanders and Auckland that a commute between Auckland and Hamilton might happen the responses I saw were split as I expected.
The Left Wing Twitterati got angry, complained, dissed the Prime Minister and that was the end of that. The rest who took an interest took a look at what the Prime Minister said and decided to get creative in bettering the idea to make it viable.
From the Waikato Times
Prime Minister’s big on Waikato commute
NARELLE HENSON, GERALD PIDDOCK AND NIKO KLOETEN Last updated 05:00 05/02/2015
If you can’t afford a house in Auckland the prime minister has some advice for you – head to Waikato.
John Key was in the region yesterday for a less controversial cup of tea at Zealong Tea Estate, before heading up to Pokeno to see what he made of growth in the area.
In an interview with the Waikato Times he said moving south of New Zealand’s biggest city ought to be a “serious consideration” for buyers struggling to find the cash for Auckland homes.
“They pay less for their home so obviously they’re going to pay more to commute. It’s a tradeoff that people decide all around the world and it will give them a far higher quality of home at a lower price,” he said.
Key said the option would be particularly attractive to those who could work from home.
He added that the Waikato Expressway made it a “really legitimate option, especially for people who work in the southern part of [Auckland] city”.
Source and full article: http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/65800163/Prime-Ministers-big-on-Waikato-commute
I have known since 2011 that the Auckland and respective Waikato Council have been looking at inter-regional planning. This planning is designed to assist as the population as well as industry spills out of Auckland as Auckland continues to grow. It is also known that for this inter-regional planning to work both State Highway One (the Waikato Expressway) and the main rail line need to be up to par for inter city commuting to work.
This is where Government comes in and has done a half job on the transit links – that being the Waikato Expressway it is sorely lacking on bringing the rail line up to scratch.
Now then rather than get angry and bitter because it is John Key and we know John Key wont invest in the rail line we switch to the opposition and lobby them to do it. So pressure Labour to use these three years up until the 2017 election to get themselves sorted, and present a full costed but coordinated policy to have both the rail line upgraded between Auckland and Hamilton as well as assist the Councils with their inter-regional planning.
Someone did say this would be even beyond Labour. Rather indicative of Labour and to an extent the Left Twitterati who it seems would rather bash John Key but not offer some foresight and vision . And yes that is National’s Nick Smith but the message is the same.
Because I will tell you what; commuting between Hamilton and Manukau City Centre is going to happen. Pressure is building and both the population and industry will move south out of Auckland. So let’s get the rail line between Papakura to Hamilton upgraded to handle both more freight trains (which is inevitable) and high-speed passenger trains whether they are electric or diesels. High speed rail would allow trips between Hamilton and Manukau in 50 minutes which is about the time it takes from Papakura to Britomart on the new electric trains. The current car trip between Hamilton and Manukau is 1:13 hours according to Google, while Papakura to the City Centre is 75 minutes most days in the morning peak.
Here is a comment that while it was made to the Westgate saga it has sharp representation of the Hamilton to Auckland situation:
Great points there Ben, I’ve actually never really thought about West Auckland’s Industry, or lack of. I’ve always thought of the West as where many of the city workers live and a few that are working in the Avondale/Rosebank industrial Parks.
I really don’t think people are comprehending the magnitude that the South Drury complex and Wiri will have not only on Auckland but also Tauranga and Hamilton (aka Golden Triangle). The third rail line is also going to be somewhat of a game changer too, what’s interesting is the thought of the second city centre in Manukau.
It’s no surprise John Key has said that people would be wise to investigate Hamilton as an alternative to Auckland with the developments planned for South Auckland kept in mind.
The Westgate post: https://voakl.net/2015/02/04/westgate-saga-rolls-on/
The Prime Minister was not silly and did mention Hamilton to Southern Auckland. Southern Auckland that houses Auckland’s second City Centre (Manukau) and all but one of the heavy industrial complexes (with Drury South Heavy Industry Complex to come online soon at 385 hectares (Westgate is 54ha)).
So the Hamilton to Auckland commute is going to happen and will become normal. Let’s get cracking and invest in the inter city infrastructure to make this as seamless as possible; for the health AND economic benefits of both Auckland AND the Waikato!