What Greece’s motorways mean for NZ

Greek Motorway

No one could say that Greece’s heavy spending on motorways directly caused their default crisis. I’m certainly not saying that. There were many factors at play, though certainly borrowing to pay for projects that were not the best at reducing transport costs certainly didn’t help. From 2000 to 2006 alone Greece spent nearly half of […]

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Bus review needs to electrify Wellington

Big changes are ahead for our buses and the regional council wants to know what you think. Today I launched our easy electronic submission guide alongside 11 barrels of oil — the amount of oil our electric trolley bus fleet saves Wellington each day. The regional council’s bus review is proposing to abandon electric trolley […]

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Boom times for oil and gas?

This morning’s  Dominion article about ‘boom times’ for the gas and oil exploration industry is an intriguing, even slightly funny, mix of boosterism, drum beating and dissimulation. The Chair of PEPANZ appears almost breathless with excitement as he seeks to fulfil the primary objective of his organisation, “to publicise, promote and advance the interests of […]

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Leave oil before oil leaves us

‘Auckland Unleashed’ is the catchy title of the draft discussion document that will inform the proposed Auckland Spatial plan.  In an earlier blog post I indicated the political battle looming between Auckland’s elected councillors and central Government, who have very different visions for the city’s future. Auckland City’s discussion document makes the case for a compact city, […]

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August 13 2011: Nice day for a ***** *******

August 13 is apparently the only day Her Britannic Majesty has free next year. So I suppose that is the date. It’s a pity this will be such a distraction from the real issues half a world away here in Aotearoa / New Zealand, where we desperately need to address climate change, peak oil, social […]

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Key in denial about inevitable impact of carbon charges and oil shocks

John Key’s reaction to the distance-based UK departure tax shows just how out of touch he is about our economic future. This Government is deeply in denial. There is no question that climate change and rising fossil fuel prices will change travel patterns, and we should be taking this future into account in our tourism […]

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Submit to save the Stratford to Okahukura Rail Line

Kiwirail is considering closing the Stratford to Okahukura Rail Line because of damage to the tracks after a derailment last year. Kiwirail has told the media they are asking for submissions from the public before making a decision. Although, in practice, I can’t see any mention of the submission process on their website… Anyway, if […]

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The End of KiwiRail?

I recently attended an ISCR seminar on the future of rail. According to the speaker, Dave Heatley, there’s basically no future for rail. Rail is unfixable in its present form, he argued, without making some “heroic assumptions” about how we measure externalities and the opportunity cost of keeping rail. Heatley’s damning report (available soon on the […]

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