Author: rdonnagen

Back to the Table – Again

Bus Drivers Reject Latest Offer

 

Not so sure what to think here but it would seem NZ Bus Drivers have rejected their latest pay offer from NZ Bus who run Auckland’s  Metrolink, Waka Pacific, Go West, North Star and Link (City, Inner and Outer) bus fleet.

This is from my inbox this morning (Saturday):

 

Results of Auckland bus drivers ballot

 Bus drivers have voted against a revised proposal from NZ Bus for their collective employment agreement. 

The vote was 51% against ratifying the proposed settlement, and 49% in favour. 

Drivers voted by secret ballot at their different bus depots over the past week and a Company lawyer was present to supervise the counting of the vote. 

Spokesperson for the bus unions, Karl Andersen, said that the voter turnout was very good.  There were very few union members that didn’t vote. 

“After careful consideration of the offer, drivers are still of the view that they don’t earn enough to provide for themselves and their families,” he said. 

Karl Andersen said despite some movement from NZ Bus, both the amount offered by the company, and a delayed implementation of pay increases, was still a core issue for drivers. 

The unions are considering their options at the moment and will make some decisions about next steps early next week, he said. 

 

On Monday we will probably hear what is next in store for NZ Bus, its union workers, and bus commuters. Hopefully no more strikes…

 

 

Waterview Progress

NZTA Updates on Waterview Project

 

 

Right, so here goes my second post. Nice, easy and cheat style, I am passing on a press release.

From New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA):

 

Auckland’s Waterview Connection project reaches important stage

 

The NZ Transport Agency says completion of Auckland’s Western Ring Route marks a significant milestone tonight (Sunday 30 September) with the start of enabling works at Waterview at the northern end of the Waterview Connection project.

 

There will be changes overnight to one of west Auckland’s key arterial routes through the Waterview area when the lanes on the Great North Road are narrowed slightly and realigned.

 

The NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker, says all lanes in both directions on the Great North Road will remain open throughout the Waterview Connection project, but people should drive with caution and now be prepared for slight delays at peak times.

 

“Construction activity in Waterview will also affect local pedestrian access, and we are asking drivers to respect the speed limit and be extra vigilant when passing through the Waterview community,” Mr Parker says.

 

The changes to the Great North Road are one part of the enabling works in Waterview by the NZTA’s project delivery partners for the Waterview Connection, the Well-Connected Alliance.  During the next few months, the enabling works will include providing more park space to offset the temporary loss of land required by the project team on the existing Waterview Reserve,  the staged removal of 96 NZTA-owned properties in north Waterview, relocating services and the construction of noise walls.

 

When completed, construction will start in the New Year on the project’s northern tunnel portal.

 

“This is an important step for the project, and we ask for the community’s continued support and patience as we work to complete this project as quickly as we can,” Mr Parker says.

 

The $1.4b Waterview Connection is New Zealand’s biggest and most complex roading project, and includes twin 2.4km-long three-lane tunnels.

 

The project is planned to finish in 2016 and complete the key link in the Western Ring Route, identified by the Government as a road of national significance to contribute to New Zealand’s economic growth and prosperity.  It will connect the Southwestern (State Highway 20) and Northwestern (SH16) motorways – a 48 kilometre motorway alternative for commercial transport operators, businesses, commuters and tourists that will ease pressure on SH1 and the Auckland Harbour Bridge

 

As enabling works gear up at Waterview, activity is well advanced at the southern entrance to the tunnel. The project team has been excavating layers of volcanic rock through a series of controlled blasting.

 

A trench 30 metres deep is being excavated to accommodate the arrival next July of the project’s tunnel boring machine.  The 14 metre diameter machine,  designed in Germany and being built in China, will take a year to complete its 2.4 kilometre-long journey to Waterview where it will be turned around to burrow its way back south and complete the twin tunnels.

 

“The enabling works at Waterview are important preparations to ensure that we can get the most efficient and smartest use from this machine as is possible, and that will have dividends for both those people neighbouring the project and the wider Auckland community.” Mr Parker says.

ENDS

 

 

With this in mind, how and where does the City Rail Link sit regarding complexity and scale compared to the Waterview connection?