Alternative Auckland Transport Plan – Mini Series – #2

First Insight into Alternative Auckland Transport Plan – Reflecting Changes at Port of Auckland


Embedded below is a supplementary document giving an introductory insight into my Alternative Auckland Transport Plan. The document reflects the developments at Port of Auckland in which, can either be moved to south-east Auckland or stays where it is and expands on its current site. Other minor changes were made from the original submission to reflect time period changes and other changes since that submission

Full analysis and graphics of the AATP and Alternative Auckland Transport Priority System (AATPS) will be provided over the course of this mini series – as well as along side Port of Auckland relocation workings here at VOAKL and my eventual submission to the Auckland Council Draft Long Term Plan (2012-2022).

This AATP is my pitch in trying to stimulate a meaningful debate into Auckland’s transport issues rather than the Left Right Cock fights that occur and are played out in the media.

Your comments and feedback are welcome – although I recommend holding off until I run the AATPS through some costings.


The Supplementary Document



Alternative Auckland Transport Plan – Mini Series – #1

My Alternative Auckland Transport Plan – A Mini Series


Yesterday I said I would post an alternative to what is floating around as proposals for Auckland‘s Transport Projects – rather than having a whine and participating in the Stalinist vs Neo Liberal Cock Fight that sprung up.

Today I begin a new Mini Series – covering my Alternative Auckland Transport Plan that I personally think would be not only economically and socially viable, but deliver greater benefits to Auckland without breaking the bank on the way out. I will be primarily drawing on my own submission to The Draft Auckland Plan which I submitted to Auckland Council last year, but also given the ever-changing environment in Auckland – re-adapting my work to reflect changes especially with the Port of Auckland.

In today’s Mini Series post I will post extracts from my original submission into Auckland’s Transport before posting up the modified version reflecting the current environment (and costs) plus full break downs of each individual project mentioned and then in the final some commentary on both mine and Auckland Council’s different versions of Auckland’s Transport Plans.


Excerpts of the Original Transport Section of my submission

The full submission can be found HERE


In brief this is what I proposed and the three-tier priority system that went with it.

From the Transport Section Introduction:

I agree with most of the transport projects in Chapter Eleven of The Draft Auckland Plan, I believe some alterations are need to what should be done/built, what shouldn’t be done or built and moving projects backwards or forwards time wise.

            The city as a whole needs to be creative while absolutely realistic in paying for these transport projects. We as a city cannot entirely rely on rates, debt and central government to constantly stump up the funds needed. Alternatives such as tolling, public-private partnerships and even maybe a poll tax need to be seriously considered and debated maturely (something our left-right wing factions inAucklandseem they cannot do on a regular basis)

            We as a city need realise some cold hard truths about our city, how we live, move and conduct our affairs, and where we want to end in 2040!


Before I go on with my alternative objectives forAuckland’s Transport, some truths need to be realised first. These truths not only come from evidence sourced academically, but from one’s experience and reality of living and working in Auckland and interacting with fellow Auckland citizens in the same regard. In my opinion, it is ones experience and (perception of) reality of living and working in Auckland that would form the best foundation for planningAuckland’s transport needs. In simple terms every single Auckland citizen and business would be a transport planner, each uses a mode of transport (if not multi-modal) and can give what they think needs to be done to make their (and often others) transit trips easier and more efficient as they are the ones (rather than relying on planners solely in their Ivory Towers) that would be using the transit system. My submission for Auckland Transport is more based on my experiences and perceptions of reality of the Auckland Transport system rather than using overseas models (as one former Prime Minister said: (“Neither Keynes or Marx, nor indeed [Milton] Friedman, was a New Zealander and the one economic truth that every Minister of Finance should accept is that you cannot take a blueprint from some other economy, slap it on this country, and expect it to work”- Sir Robert Muldoon) – the same applies to planning and transport principles)


From the Transport Rationale

Maps 11.1 and 11.3 in Chapter Eleven of The Draft Auckland Plan illustrate the Auckland Transit Network and projects through to 2040. In this submission I am tweaking around Council’s vision into something I believe more viable (economically, environmentally and socially) for the city. My rational acknowledges the fact that I do not agree entirely with the compact city ideal of The Draft Auckland Plan. Rather than this 75:25 split between brownfield/intensification and greenfield split which I see as driving affordability out of households and businesses reach, I advocate (which is also constant with my Land Allocation/Development/Utilisation section of my submission) more of a 50:50 split between the two LADU fields. This 50:50 split would achieve the following: choice of housing and business locations, affordability and economic progress – so as a result transport would be moulded around the 50:50 split.


Apart from a few major things/changes, again I agree mostly with The Draft Auckland Plan’s vision for Auckland Transport system. Therefore the transport section of this submission deals with those major things/changes and my priority system of what should be done over the next thirty years in Auckland. Again for brevity, this submission focuses on the Central Business District and south (but including areas near the Eastern Rail Line).


The Major Transport Projects

As mentioned in the Outline, this submission will focus on what are considered major transit links needed in Auckland to improve the efficiency of the regional transit network. These links are however not limited to:

  • Eastern Highway and AMETI
  • Inner City Rail Link
  • Westfield Rail Diamond Realignment
  • South-to-Manukau Rail Link completion
  • Rail Station re-deployments/additions (where required)
  • Bus route reallocation and priorities
  • Future Proof the following lines:

○   Airport Line (from Onehunga-to-airport-to main line at Wiri)

○   Botany Line

○   South West Line

○  North Shore Line


These links again would be constant in providing an efficient transit network for a city and LADU allocation around the 50:50 Intensification/Greenfield development split. These major transit links would also assist in the Plan’s main goal around affordability (and economic progress). However again for the sake of brevity and limited resources, this document will only be focusing physical infrastructure development, adding bus or ‘T3’ lanes on existing infrastructure will not be mentioned unless necessary.


Detail, ideas or alternatives mentioned in this submission for The Draft Auckland Plan are in summary form only. Full technical details and implementation strategies of transportation mentioned in this submission will be in a (separate) submission for the Auckland Long Term Plan.


The (Original) Three Tier Priority System

The Priority System


As resources and capital is scarce, a priority system is needed best allocate those scarce resources and capital to extend Auckland’s Transport System. This priority system in this submission will be brief with extended details provided in a separate submission to the Auckland Long Term Draft Plan.



Priority One (To be completed by 2018)


  • Building of the Eastern Highway (to the Sub-Regional Standard Option as mentioned in Section 3.5 of the EASTDOR Final Report
  • Realigning the Westfield Diamond
  • Relocating or adding rail stations
  • Re allocating bus routes, improving bus feeder systems to rail stations or bus RTN systems
  • Feasibility Study of the Airport Rail Line including freight option
  • Starting the bus RTN roll out especially along State Highway 20, 20A and 20B
  • South-to-Manukau Rail Link Completion




Priority Two (To be completed by 2025)


  • Completion of Inner City Rail Link
  • Third Rail Line from Port to Papakura
  • Airport Rail Line (if deemed feasible)
  • Second Harbour Crossing
  • South West Rail Line (if freight is still moving to Northland)
  • Rail Electrification to Hamilton (not mentioned or included in this submission)


Priority Three (To be completed by 2040 or optional)


  • Botany Rail Line
  • North Shore Rail Line
  • Upgrade Eastern Highway from Sub Regional Function option to full Regional Function option


This priority system was created in attempt to create an idea on how transportation projects should be rationalised and built over the next thirty years with scarce resources and capital. Priorities can change as the transportation needs change for Auckland. 


Concluding Remarks

Concluding Remarks on Transport


The “vision” behind the transport proposal in this submission was designed to move away from the Pro-This or Pro-That style of politics that has seen and marred Auckland’s Transport for over fifty years. Thus items about Auckland’s Transport in this submission were designed to recognise that car (especially), bus, truck and rail will be with the city for a long time to come and that people should be allowed travel choice (bearing responsibility and consequences for their choice as well). As a result a more balanced multi-modal alternative transport “vision” was written in this submission that included both road and public transport infrastructure provisions. These provisions are ultimately designed to complement the dual (Centralised Master (Community) Plan and Semi-Liberal Planned District) Land Allocation/Development/Utilisation models of land use over the next thirty years. 


So you can see I went for a mixed approach for transport projects from the CBD to Papakura, because of the limited time I did not comment on other projects such as the Second Waitemata Harbour Crossing or the Puhoi/Warkworth Motorway Extension. However in the Mini Series, those two projects and a few others not mentioned will be included in my Alternative Transport Plans.

I will also be splitting the Plan into two halves, one reflecting Port of Auckland staying where it is and one with POAL moving to South East Auckland.


You could say with me going flat-out on Land Use and Transport commentary AS WELL AS posting quite comprehensive alternative policy proposals I could be running for Office at any given rate – the question is – AM I or have the “desire” to do so?

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 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…