Man trapped in upturned car on railway tracks – National – NZ Herald News

Man trapped in upturned car on railway tracks – National – NZ Herald News.

Irony would have it my train had just passed that scene and was at Middlemore when the call decided to visit the railroad in an unconventional and unorthodox manner.

I wonder if the Down Main driver (the one who saw it while at Papatoetoe Station) saw the actual incident because everyone on my train was wondering – WTF!

Oh well – while the driver of the call was hurt badly thank goodness a DL class loco hauling 50 freight wagons was not tearing through the area otherwise the incident could have been rather messy.

Asset sales out of Auckland transport debate – Politics – NZ Herald News

Asset sales out of Auckland transport debate – Politics – NZ Herald News.

 

The Traditional Left vs Right cock-fight has begun on how to fund Auckland‘s Transport projects (whether road or rail) in the wider community. You can fathom the two camps with Len Brown and Mike Lee cheer-leading the Left and John Key (notice how I can not put an opposition Councillor in here – wait Councillor Quax) cheer-leading the Right with all the same bull crap ideological throw away lines. Throw away lines which are My Way is the ‘Only Way and Your Way will Ruin the Nation Way’ and ‘You just can’t because ideologically it is wrong!’ Congratulations now I know why things never get done in New Zealand. One thing I do admire in US Politics (when either side is not being partisan jackasses as the far-right wing of the Republicans currently are) is bi-partisanship and consensus do actually come up often when both sides of The House or Senate work together for a mutual beneficial outcome for the USA. Germany seems to have the same as well if The Chancellor can assemble a Grand Collation which did not quite sink Germany during the Global Financial Crisis.

Me personally I am not interested in cock fights and quickly get bored with them, I am more of a progressive person who has a knack of seeking out the best of both worlds and getting a deal that often suits more then what either side could with their deals. Also (whether this is the Christian coming through in me) I am a selfless person especially in the work and political arena and always put the good of the greater need of others before myself. Simply put it means I do not feather my own nest (unless it’s from my own toils) at all and from time to time could be a detriment to me personally.

So lets take a look at the linked article and see what we can make from this – paragraph by paragraph.

Mayor Len Brown posted 13 revenue raising options to fund Auckland’s Transport Links – they were:

  • general rates
  • targeted rates
  • development contributions
  • regional income tax
  • regional payroll tax
  • regional sales tax
  • tax increment funding
  • regional fuel tax and RUC diesel levy
  • tolling new roads
  • road pricing on existing roads
  • additional car parking charges
  • visitor tax
  • airport departure tax.

The Right led by Prime Minister Key called for selling Council Owned Assets or abandon the ideas. Others Like Councillor Quax and some Right Wing commentators (who called Len’s proposals the JAFA Tax) said Council needs to slash costs.

Congratulations to both sides for pointing out the flaming obvious from your camps while not considering the others – you have just contributed to the Cock Fight when the only winners are The Losers – us ratepayers for another 20 years of nothing done. 

 

Look Mayor and Prime Minister, The Long Term Plan is up for debate and consultation, it is the LTP that sets the Budget for Council activities for the next 10 years thanks to the Local Government Act 2002. I for one do not give a Royal Flying Monkey’s Toss about your ideology, I do give that same toss when you try to frame the debate and have glaring omissions in The Draft LTP. Put all thirteen “JAFA Taxes” into The Draft LTP  with some benefit and cost figures (which has been done), put in the range of selling down options for Port of Auckland and Auckland Airport and other assets, put in some projects that can be PPP’ed, put in which areas need a budget trim or rebalance so that; all of Auckland read all the options, have a good think and debate, write a submission and then base the final LTP based on the submissions which will be ratified in the Local Elections next year by us voters. Once that is all done then both Central and Local Governments must do as the wishes of their masters – US RATEPAYERS! No if’s, but’s or maybe – we have spoken and made our choice (even if that means to the hell of bankruptcy). But least we made our choice and have to stick with it rather than some Government’s crap decision which none of us wanted.

So I repeat, stop framing the debate – shove all the options in there (which is going to make one very long document) and let us decide for you.

It is rather simple and simple to do – thanks to Excel Tables 😀

Right that is my rant over for today

Time to stop procrastinating and draw up my Alternative Auckland Transport Plan – today 😮 😀

A Few Moments Please

I will be a “Do’er” and front up with my Alternative Transport Plan

Rather than have a whinge and participate in the partisan Stalinist vs Neo Liberal Cock Fight, I will draw up my alternative to transport projects and funding in Auckland – drawing on my own and others ideas into getting Auckland moving without breaking the piggy bank.

Auckland
Auckland Harbour Bridge heading towards the City

However give me a moment folks – I will separate out Section Two – Transport from my Draft Auckland Plan submission (which also included Land Use) and produce a sub document to be uploaded into Scribd. That way there is around 18 odd pages instead of 53 to be read including an excerpt from another document of mine relating to the Westfield Rail Diamond Realignment.

Then by Wednesday night (fingers crossed) I shall have an extensive post of my Alternative Transport Plan that will include the funding mechanisms that will not break the bank.

However the alternative plan might be slightly different to what I have published in previous documents – this is owing to the uncertainty into Port of Auckland and what is going to happen to it – a case of ‘shall I stay or shall I go.’

Agenda for The Draft Long Term Plan is Up

15th February the Debate begins

 

After the Herald mentions it, and I ask for it, Auckland Council released the agenda for its Strategy and Finance Committee meeting on Wednesday 15th February. The meeting will kick-start the debate into The Draft Long Term Plan and the process on how submissions will be taken before The Long Term Plan is finalised and set in June.

Check the agenda below and all the numbers from the Draft Long Term Plan HERE.

Will be interesting to see the Minutes of the said meeting and essentially what we as ratepayers and “groups” will be submitting on.

As I said else where, the traditional Stalinist versus Neo Liberal Cock Fight over The Long Term Plan has already begun – I do hope out of this a true leader will emerge and steer Auckland into the next ten years – WITHOUT economically and socially bankrupting the city.

 

The Agenda

Blogging On Today’s Local Tax Discussion

Len Brown: 13 options to increase your tax | Whale Oil Beef Hooked | A blog by Cameron Slater.

The NZ Herald first mentioned of the announcement from Mayor Len Brown this morning with reactions coming in quick and fast all over the Internet (sorry I do not listen to Talk Back Radio).

You see on Whale Oil some of the reactions to the Mayor’s piece which was received negatively in general.

I have commented in that particular post extensively on a number of matters that were brought up by comments written.

Of particular attention was paid to The Draft Long Term Plan which sets about revenue and expenditure activities for the Auckland Council over the next ten years. I have provided the document of the draft plan below. Now I know it is mind boggling and even longer than The Draft Auckland Plan (which was 95% of pretty pictures any way) with heaps of things people do not like – NUMBERS. And by numbers I mean numbers that can run into the billions of dollars.

It seems Mayor Brown is trying to frame the debate where the lion share of our ratepayers dollars will end up in transport expenditure – I recommend people take a good look at The Draft Long Term Plan and prepare a submission on how you want your money raised and spent on Council capital and operational expenditure. I will be writing my submission and submitting it in due course – to which I hope it was not an utter waste of time due to a pre-set Council already predetermined on its action plan for 2012-2022.

Look there will be the traditional Stalinist vs Neo Liberal Cock Fight over how our money is raised and spent on Council operations, and it is that traditional cock fight that has already made us lose the debate before it even begun on how we are going get our House in order and deliver on things that are of sense to the City. Can leadership get us through the cock fight, give us a meaningful debate and propose, consult and deliver an economically and socially viable set of Budgets for the next ten years – WITHOUT BANKRUPTING THE CITY!.

For balance I include the link to Campaign for Better Transport and their debate on Len’s release of the discussion paper. I have time for CBT as they do great things like the Onehunga Line. I might not always agree with CBT but they hold my respect collectively in doing their best to better Auckland in the transport department. To be perfectly honest – a bit of my inspiration comes from those guys. Well not the Eastern Highway bit but for the rest yes 🙂

I will be running commentary into the discussion paper as well as POAL and The Draft Auckland Plan.

But it is a case of NOT ENOUGH TIME to write all this stuff 😦

The Draft Long Term Plan

Fuel, GST hikes eyed for Auckland – National – NZ Herald News

Fuel, GST hikes eyed for Auckland – National – NZ Herald News.

It seems the debate is on and pretty extensive and white hot.

I am commenting and keeping an eye on the Internet as much I can about this issue but I can not be everywhere at once.

I have to go shred a tonne of garden waste so I will run commentary on the funding proposals later tonight.

In the mean time it seems the debate is already lost…

Time to Rethink This Experiment? Delusion Down Under | Newgeography.com

Time to Rethink This Experiment? Delusion Down Under | Newgeography.com.

Just give me a few moments while I recover from the best case of Rolling On The Floor Laughing My F—ing Ass Off I have seen in a very long time.

Right – back and with coffee.

You want to know why I had a bout of ROFLMFAO? Because the article I have linked is so true and so close to home that you could literally replace ‘South East Queensland‘ with Auckland (I will leave poor Christchurch out of this) with Auckland, the various Acts of Parliament in the article with either The Resource Management Act 1991 or The Local Government Acts 2002 and 2009 (Auckland Governance) and any “plans” made by local or the state government(s) as a muddle version of The Draft Auckland Plan AND the article would still be exactly the same no matter if it was for Queensland or Auckland.

Although after the fit of laughter came a bout of sadness and frustration – knowing the fact that two power house economies (South East Queensland and Auckland) have been or rather being strangled by excessive regulation set upon by Stalinist Central Planners and supporters in government.

I wonder if South East Queensland gave Auckland its inspiration for The Draft Auckland Plan, or Auckland giving South East Queensland inspiration for what they have done – or are they both co-conspiring?

Any case – a sad state of affairs over there and here… 

Trials, Tribulations and Middle Class Protest in Christchurch, New Zealand | Newgeography.com

Trials, Tribulations and Middle Class Protest in Christchurch, New Zealand | Newgeography.com.

 

An article from leading urban and transportation public policy analyst Wendell Cox on the true trials and tribulations down in Christchurch.

A very fitting and very refreshing article on the plight of the residents and businesses of Christchurch especially after I had made comment about the same situation in yesterday’s post about Christchurch.

As I said, my heart goes out to the people and businesses of Christchurch who are suffering from not only the aftermath of the quakes, but a Stalinist City Council who seems rather inept in their powers of General Incompetence given to them (Local Government Act 2002) of getting Christchurch back on its feet the way the people and businesses want it.