Not a lot Some days I really dread firing up Tweetdeck and Facebook in the mornings. Why? Because I wonder if both will be going like anything with messages of … Continue reading And This Is What Auckland Transport Thinks of You The Rail Passenger – Again
Mayoral Candidate Stephen Berry says we should sell surplus stadiums
In the run up to #Auckand2016 and the Local Elections Talking Southern Auckland from time to time will look at some of the larger issues facing either Southern Auckland or wider Auckland. This morning mayoral candidate Stephen Berry has mentioned about the Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) Stadium Strategy that has been dogged in controversy.
Sell Auckland’s surplus stadiums – Berry
“Auckland has too many stadiums and the Auckland Council should look at selling some of them,” Mayoral candidate Stephen Berry says.
The Affordable Auckland leader has described Auckland’s stadium situation as a “debacle,” after the council’s stadiums strategy was sent back to the drawing board yet again. Council-controlled Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) has been given another year to consult on its strategy, which has upset the Warriors franchise over plans to move its games to QBE Stadium in Albany.
Berry says the Auckland Council should kick the current strategy to touch and change its entire approach to managing Auckland’s stadiums. “The stadiums strategy will leave sports fans unhappy and ratepayers out of pocket, funding white elephants that sit empty for most of the year.
“Auckland has an oversupply of stadiums and the Auckland Council needs to think seriously about selling one or more of them. For those that remain, we need to make sure the sports codes that use them pay for their fair share of their upkeep.”
Berry says the council should appoint an independent panel to review the region’s stadiums, with a focus on reducing costs for ratepayers. “As an example, the council is planning to spend millions upgrading Western Springs to host one cricket match a year. This has all the makings of a white elephant, which is ironic considering its close proximity to Auckland Zoo. Cities around the world have got themselves into financial strife by spending too much on sports stadiums for little return. Auckland needs to avoid making the same mistakes.”
“Several of Auckland’s stadiums are in prime locations and would fetch attractive prices if sold,” Berry says. “The money raised from stadium sales could be used to pay off debt, reduce rates increases or even fund the infrastructure and transport improvements Auckland desperately needs.”
He says it’s “questionable” whether the council should even own stadiums. Eden Park, the largest stadium in the country, is run by a separate trust.
“At the very least, RFA should be merged with another council-controlled organisation, such as ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) to save costs.”
What if or Could We? As part of the refocus of the blog and in the prelude to #Auckland2016 I will from time to time pen some thoughts on ‘What … Continue reading Ben’s Thoughts: A TopShop/TopMan in Southern Auckland within next 2-5 years? #BetterAuckland
Don’t forget to have your say
The North Shore is now up for their say in the New Bus Network consultation rounds. This particular one is “special” insofar as the destination routes in the City Centre are altered owing to the enabling works of the Auckland Transit Link (the City Rail Link) starting later this year. So please take note there.
From Auckland Transport
Public feedback invited on new bus network for the North Shore
Transformation of Auckland’s public transport network is underway, and from 2 June to 13 July feedback is open on proposed changes for the North Shore.
Rapid buses on the busway, new frequent services across the North Shore, improved neighbourhood services to get to the busway, and a simpler, more connected network are some of the features included in the proposed changes.
“The New Network will shift us to a completely new way of operating,” says Anthony Cross, Public Transport Network Manager. “Rather than just making modifications to bus routes here and there, we’re addressing the structure as a whole.”
For the North Shore, this means making the Northern busway more accessible to more people, and also increasing the number of local and Auckland-wide destinations you can travel to once you get to a busway station.
“It’s about increasing the freedom of where you can go and what you can do with public transport,” he says.
“Our current network isn’t built for transfers, which limits the number of destinations you can travel to easily. It’s also focused on catering to commuter travel, with frequent services running during morning and evening peak. The changes we’re proposing will overcome these limitations, by providing services that are designed to connect with each other, a new zonal fare system, as well as high frequency services that run all day, every day.”
This includes four new frequent services proposed for key routes across the North Shore. These buses will run at least every 15 minutes between 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week, so passengers can simply ‘turn up and go’, even on the weekend. The Frequent Network will be supported by Connector and Local services, with lower frequencies appropriate to passenger demand.
The launch of the North Shore New Network is planned for 2017, however the time for feedback is now.
“Public feedback is crucial to creating a network that benefits Aucklanders,” says Anthony. “We’re asking people to look beyond their personal journey and weigh the benefits of the New Network as a whole, however we need to know if the new services will get you where you need to go.
“Now’s the time we can make changes – once the New Network is implemented it will be much harder.”
North Shore residents will receive a copy of the consultation brochure with a map in their mail box. Feedback can be given online, at a public information event or by completing the form in the brochure and mailing it back.
The New Network is a region-wide public transport network that will change the way people travel. It will include Frequent, Connector, Local and Peak services. The Frequent Network will have buses and trains at least every 15 minutes from 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week.
Public Information Events
Date Time Event Sat 6 June 10am – 3pm Devonport Library Sun 7 June 5.30pm – 10pm Glenfield Night Markets Sun 14 June 7am – midday Browns Bay Market Thurs 18 June 4pm – 7pm Albany and Constellation Busway Stations Sat 20 June 10am – 2pm Northcote Library
Chinese and Korean speaking staff will be present at this event
Sat 20 June 8am – 1pm Beach Haven Market Sun 21 June 10am – 3pm Birkenhead Library Sat 27 June 10am – 2pm Mairangi Bay Shops Sun 28 June 7am – midday Takapuna Markets Weds 1 July 4pm – 7pm Sunnynook and Smales Farm Busway Stations Fri 3 July Midday – 4.30pm Upper Harbour Local Board office, Albany Sat 4 July 10.30am – 2.30pm Greenhithe Village Hall Sun 5 July 2.30pm – 7pm Sunnynook Community Centre
Chinese and Korean speaking staff will be present at this event
A PDF Brochure
Feedback closes July 13
New Chapter of the Ben Ross Auckland Story & A Look To #Auckland2016 Today marks a new chapter in the story Ben Ross and Auckland. Since the blog’s inception the focus … Continue reading Introducing Talking Southern Auckland, and #Auckland2016
Know your options and plan ahead
From Auckland Transport
Transport options for the FIFA U-20 World Cup
If you intend to travel to the FIFA U-20 World Cup at North Harbour Stadium on Tuesday night, plan your trip in advance and allow extra time as the roads will be busy due to peak traffic. Limited parking is available around the stadium.
Public transport is also a good option for Aucklanders to get to the football.
New Zealand plays USA tomorrow night at 7pm at North Harbour Stadium. Public transport to the event is included with your match ticket.
Auckland Transport’s Operations Manager – Special Events Logan Christian says special event buses will run from the central city, Takapuna and Henderson to get fans to and from the stadium. “The buses will generally run along the Northern Busway ensuring a smooth trip.”
Services will depart from Quay St in the city (stop 7301 near Queen St) from 5pm, as well as from Takapuna and Henderson.
Full details here: https://at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/events/fifa-u-20-world-cup-2015/#Matches
After the match all event buses will depart from directly outside the stadium on Don McKinnon Drive.
Travel on trains to Britomart, to connect with a bus to the stadium, is also included with match tickets. You can travel from 3 hours prior to kick-off until the last train service of the night.
Mr Christian says: “Whether you are taking the bus or driving to the venue tomorrow night it is important that you allow plenty of time to get there because traffic will be heavy at that time of night.”
Check out the site for the FIFA U-20 World Cup: http://www.fifa.com/u20worldcup/
A top 20 finish (19) as the Talking Auckland chapter concludes and the Talking Southern Auckland chapter begins.
I will post tomorrow on the changes to the blog and the reason for them.
In the meantime a big thank you to readers and a VERY big thank you to the commenters. Without both the blog would not be possible.
And as always guest posts no matter how long or short are welcome
There are now over 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake, or get your stats wrong).
Every month I get queries from people wanting their own blog included. I encourage and am happy to respond to queries but have prepared a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) people can check out. Have a look at NZ Blog Rankings FAQ. This is particularly helpful to those wondering how to set up sitemeters.
Please note, the system is automatic and relies on blogs having sitemeters which allow public access to the stats.
Here are the rankings of New Zealand blogs with publicly available statistics for May 2015. Ranking is by visit numbers. I have listed the…
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