POAL and Union have their Collective Moment

They say at moments like these you need Mintees

Well right now after I post this third moment of the day I am going to need a stiff Scotch on the Rocks.

Just in from the six-hour mediation talks between Port of Auckland management and the Maritime Union in a hope to break the industrial relations impasse.

Hope being the operative word here.

And so the talks fail again and back to square one EVERYONE GOES – thank you POAL and MUNZ for your Collective “Moment”


Productivity Commission has its “Moment”

I see right after I posted about Cllr. Mike Lee having his “Moment” in the POAL saga, the Productivity Commission decides to (in the NZ Herald as well) have its “Moment” about the Port of Auckland Saga.

The Report from the Commission highlights labour activity (especially union activity) is undermining the competition and productivity in NZ Ports and that central government should do something about it.

Yep nice to know from the Productivity Commission

How about that Enquiry now that would have encompassed labour and productivity.

Councillor Mike Lee has a “Moment”

Councillor Mike Lee of Waitemata Ward (the Ward Port of Auckland is in) decides to have a “Moment” and comment to the New Zealand Herald about Ports of Auckland and Tauranga “cutting each others’ throats” and that the two ports should “get together.”

To be blunt Councillor “Well DUH!” The ‘get together’ could be a very good thing.

Look I have been saying this over and over again hold an enquiry and look at the Five Questions that I have posted in various articles in the Port of Auckland Index – here at View of Auckland.

Councillor Mike Lee, please do Auckland a huge favour, rather than stating the obvious in the New Zealand Herald how about doing something more productive. Hold the enquiry into the Port of Auckland answering the five questions in getting the optimum rate on Return on Investment (as well as any Spatial Plan questions that could arise).

[I am drafting the formal letter as fast as I can to Auckland Council regarding my concerns to POAL and the enquiry]

Are We Ready for Monday

Well are you

No I am not referring to the sorry mess that is Port of Auckland – I am referring to the mess that will be Monday on the Rail Network.

Remember Monday and Tuesday next week the line between Newmarket and Britomart will be CLOSED still as works continue at Parnell.

The Eastern Line however will be open all the way into Britomart.

With the bulk of the commuters back on Monday I advise the following

  1. Read the Christmas/Special Timetable extremely carefully, especially if you are wanting to head into Britomart
  2. Allow extra time for your commute on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
  3. Devise a plan to get to and from work, make sure you have a BACK UP PLAN if something literally goes to custard. And by back up plan I mean, have cash ready for either a standard bus or if all else fails parking if you need to drive in. Work out where the standard buses go incase you need them to get to work if you can not use the rail network – THINK AHEAD – I do and usually have back up’s ready if one form of transport mode fails.
  4. Ring (09) 366 6400 (maxx hotline) before you travel on Monday to see if there are any disruptions as I would not rely on the inter-web or text messaging system. Also LISTEN OUT for PA announcements. I am working Monday morning at Britomart so I am around watching the network.
  5. Pre-purchase your 10-trip or Monthly Rail Passes and save time and fuss
  6. Remember rail buses are still operating the Newmarket to Britomart stretch so be prepared for transfers
  7. And last but not least – BE PREPARED

Yip might sound like Mr Doom and Gloom but you will find if you take onboard the above and be prepared – then if there is a failure you can do your bit to slow down your disruption.

If you do not prepare and have back ups – then sorry you are a sucker for punishment and in my very honest blunt opinion – fool hardy.

Retirement Villages and Urban Planning

Could modern retirement villages offer an insight into urban planning for Auckland?


A post from the blog Cities Matter illustrated a pointer of retirement villages and urban design, it goes:

Retirement villages also provide a physical model of how we might best achieve higher density living in urban areas.  In fact, as Mark pointed out, they could play a significant part in shaping Auckland (and other cities) over the coming decades. Integrated villages offer the prospect of economical construction, higher residential densities, economies of scale in service delivery, and reduced transport demand. So they provide something of an exemplar when we think about where people might prefer to live in a resource-constrained future.

I believe retirement villages could offer a very valuable insight into urban design – especially as intensification will be needed regardless of what Brownfield:Greenfield ratio is set at in The Draft Auckland Plan (I advocated for a 60:40 split in my submission). Pretty much everything  says in that post I agree with. Strange irony though is that while I was in Tauranga for Christmas, Rebekka and I were visiting my Omi at the Metlife Care Retirement Village. I had a look around at the complex with its mix of stand alone housing, units and apartments, along with basic community facilities such as a pool, library and shared eating/social function area.

In the picture above, you can see two retirement villages (right) and the close proximity to Bayfair Shopping Complex and the main highway.

To save repeating everything at the Cities Matter post of all which I agree on, all I say is I see the potential for these retirement type village models to be expanded to include all social groups to help facilitate the needs of a growing population in Auckland. As I continue post on The Draft Auckland Plan Series I might take a look at the retirement village model being adapted to suit the needs of wider Auckland and Papakura (the spot I will choose).

Great post Phil at Cities Matter.


And Back – again

Right I am back at home on my Blogger Friendly PC


Have updated my links and posts from today.

Will post shortly on further commentary into the POAL saga, as well as looking at the final option of Location in the Port of Auckland Mini Series.


In the mean time – time for the 5pm GnT

Port of Auckland Letter


Port of Auckland via their Senior Communications Advisor have posted a letter at the left leaning blog The Standard which was picked up at Whale Oil. When I get home I will embed the link so for the moment its a copy paste job – I apologise.

While I have mainly stayed out of the industrial relations dispute between POAL and MUNZ, and focused on ‘The Port and The Draft Auckland Plan’ a.k.a The Enquiry, I thought it would be an idea to make mention of the letter spelling out workers average conditions at POAL to help gain a perspective from the POAL side.

Again as this is an IR issue – I here at VOAKL have no opinion of the matter at hand rather than “watch what and who you accuse and defame.”



English: Ports of Auckland container facilitie...
Image via Wikipedia


Fran O’Sullivan Comments on POAL

Should of the Mayor and Auckland Council “Opened their Mouths?” – I say YES

I noticed Fran O’Sullivan from The New Zealand Herald put her thoughts to ‘paper’ this morning on the POAL saga.

For the most part I can agree with what she said, but there is one part I do not. O’Sullivan stated that Len Brown and co. should have not “opened their mouths” in the POAL dispute. I disagree, both here at VOAKL and Whale Oil I stated categorically that the silence from our civic leaders is deafening. I even posted at WO (which I will dig up when I am on my more blog friend PC at home) what could possibly be said in response to the saga.

In any case O’Sullivan’s reference to the Ministry of Transport’s report container productivity and the Productivity Commission‘s latest report is SPOT on and again is something the Enquiry would look at as part of looking and getting the Return of Investment at optimum levels.

Yes I know I am sounding like a broken record player with this enquiry business – but it simply needs to happen as so much is at stake INCLUDING the Draft Auckland Plan and Draft Long Term Plan. Be a bit of a bugger if the Long Term Plan was upset due to an income “failure” from what should be our most productive asset – POAL. And yes I am busy getting formal letters written up about the enquiry and forwarding them to Auckland Council and maybe the opinion pages of The NZ Herald.

English: Len Brown - New Zealand politician ht...
Mayor of Auckland Len Brown