A transport poll Joyce won’t like

A Herald-DigiPoll released today shows what we’ve been saying for months – Aucklanders want a CBD rail link, not more roads.

The survey asked 750 people, including 270 Aucklanders, whether the central Auckland rail tunnel or the Puhoi-Wellsford ‘Road of Significance to the National Party’ should be the greater priority for the region. 63.3 per cent of the Aucklanders support the CBD Rail Link proposal, whereas only 24.8 per cent favoured the highway.

Even non-Aucklanders can see the importance of the CBD rail loop for Auckland – 48.1 per cent supported the tunnel, compared with only 19.2 per cent of non-Aucklanders who prioritised the highway.

In response, the Minister of Roads, Steven Joyce said the result wasn’t surprising and that you couldn’t compare the two projects…..yet his latest dodgy report into the business case of the link was only low because he decided to use flawed motorway-methodology to measure this rail project.

Someone who wasn’t surprised by today’s poll was Auckland Mayor Len Brown, who said the CBD rail link would have positive effects for transport and the economy in Auckland.

I’m calling for a moratorium on motorways and a re-balancing of the transport budget so we can invest in the CBD rail link which is necessary, transformative and affordable.


6 Comments Posted

  1. Well, it isn’t a “union make-work scheme” by any stretch, so you are already making shit up mate.

    The point to this is to have a mass transit system that actually works in central Auckland, given the fact that we have neglected setting up anything LIKE that over the past century. Which means building something big in an urban area which by its nature is ALWAYS going to be more expensive than any other sort of construction.

    Having a mass transit system that works vs NOT having one that works, over the next century, is the issue. Not a question of whether we can afford to do it, but whether we can afford NOT to do it. What price is being able to continue to HAVE a civilized society?

    As for “only a handful” paying tax, the CGT should help somewhat.

    The thing to remember is that an actual Mass Transit system is a multi-generational investment. Not something that is readily understandable to businessmen who habitually focus on the next quarter rather than the next century.

    Can you even grow a city like Auckland without building Mass Transit? I am not sure that is even possible anymore. Go ahead and try to build another road… how much will THAT cost?

    The flip side argument however, is that the next hundred years will see 1.5 meters or so of sea level rise with it going up even faster in the second hundred. So there IS a serious question about the actual duration of the investment.

    There ARE other ways of dealing with Auckland but they will degrade the viability of the central business district. I might be persuaded overall, for my reasons, that we should do something else, but the arguments you just presented are simply non-starters.


  2. I’m facinated that Gareth can claim than a union-make-work-scheme like a railway, budgeted to cost about four times what it just cost to build the longest bridge in the world, is ‘affordable’ to a population of 4million, of whom only a handful actually pay any tax.

  3. Yes.. it would be nice if this Govt. started to listen to the people.. not just those at the ‘top table’ !
    Public transport is the way forward.. its the 21st century, time to move on !! Kia-ora

  4. Well, perhaps the solution is using more democracy, making a binding referendum about that, which is only applicable if it reaches to 55% of participation, or something similar.

  5. Steven Joyce is playing a dangerous game with the voters of Auckland who voted clearly for a council who support much better PT links and will object to being told by central government what they can and can’t have. There are a few marginal seats in Auckland, particularly on the North Shore. Another poll in the Herald 2 days ago showed that Labour is making gains at a faster rate in Auckland than in the rest of the country and particularly among younger voters, the very group that are demanding better PT. (Incidently the Greens are making similar gains) It only needs a bit more of a push for these to go to Labour and with ACT self destructing and the Maori and Mana parties at each other’s throats. Who knows? A Labour government with a large Green contingent at the Cabinet table and Gareth as Minister of Transport?

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