On Tuesday, I was so proud to stand alongside my caucus colleagues and Green Party Christchurch candidates to announce our Greener Christchurch policy for this election. We held the launch at the beautiful new Visitor’s Centre at the Botanic Gardens, where we announced our commitment to smart transport solutions, a greener rebuild, a return of […]
There was a sense of relief in the Christchurch Green Party office when word came through that the City Council changed their mind on the timeframe to complete the major cycleways project. It started off as a three year project, and then expanded to five years, then to eight years, and now it is back […]
While in Christchurch last week, I realised that parking is still an ongoing and contentious debate in the rebuild. Christchurch developer Stephen Collins was quoted in The Press recently saying “the reason the malls are so successful and the central city was in decline is because you can go to a shopping centre, park right […]
After a year of waiting, last week the Accessible City Transport Plan for Christchurch was released. Many Cantabrians had submitted on what kind of transport infrastructure they would like to see for the city, and it’s great to see the difference that those submissions made. Christchurch citizens have overwhelmingly called for a city designed for […]
Christchurch student, 15 year old Finn Jackson from Christchurch’s Rudolf Steiner School did work experience in the Christchurch Green MPs office recently. Here’s his take on cycling in the city: Cycling-What first comes to mind when you think of it? Aches and pains, too close an encounter with cars? Collapsing and crashing? Or how about […]
This week in Christchurch I attended a breakfast lecture by visiting planning consultant Todd Litman from the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, British Colombia. He was advocating the benefits of “multi-modalism” transport planning – which basically means modern transport planning that spreads the focus over several forms of transport options – cars, public transport, cycleways, and […]
Recently, to shrug off blame for the Wellington region’s contraction in employment per capita, the government has taken to blaming the city council’s opposition to roading. As I have mentioned before, National has big plans to spend billions (perhaps as much as $5 billion, if we include the $2.4 billion interest on the private loan […]
Some influential people in Wellington (including the editorial board of the Dominion Post) seem to have an unshakeable faith that a four-lane road from Levin to the airport, including a motorway bridge at the Basin Reserve, will solve substantial traffic problems in Wellington and support economic growth. Late last week, Wellington City Council split […]
Getting accurate information and good decisions on transport at the moment is a bit like pulling teeth. It’s painful, frustrating and can be very pricey. This is why it was such good news to hear Gisborne City Councillor Manu Caddie telling Morning Report this week that nearly $14,000 has been raised to pay for an […]
Tough financial times? Not if you’re a consultant working for the National Government on one of its poor priority pet projects. Today’s revelation that the Government has spent $200 million in the past three years for transport consultants to work on its roads of national significance reveal a stunning waste of money. The roads are […]
Some 40 years ago the Save Manapouri campaign began with a meeting in Te Anau. Protecting Lake Manapouri from being raised and operated as a hydro lake and the lake shore forest inundated involved the biggest public mobilisation for the environment New Zealand had ever seen. Lakes Manapouri and Te Anau together with the rest […]
Slashing jobs at state-owned KiwiRail while the Government heaps pressure on unemployed people to go back to work – disconnect much? Today’s revelation that up to 220 KiwiRail workers could lose their jobs is shocking on many levels; the loss of paid work for so many families, erosion of rail safety, and the undermining of […]
There’s things going on all over the world at the moment that tell us that using bicycles for transport is more than just a fad – it’s a growing phenomenon that offers all sorts of solutions to our transport woes. Cycling is a win-win-win for transport. It reduces congestion. It reduces fuel use. It makes […]
So much is happening in transport that it’s a bit hard to keep up and put out an informed post on each happening, so here’s a round-up: First, the bad news: The Napier—Gisborne line is hanging by a thread after being washed out. This is a huge blow to the regional freight line, which thanks […]
Various alternate routes to Milford Sound have been proposed over the years to solve the perceived problem of travel time to, and congestion at Milford Sound. They include the train tunnel, the highway from Haast and the gondola. Two new proposals now seek concessions from the Department of Conservation. Milford Dart Ltd wants to build […]
On Tuesday, Steven Joyce, Minister of Economic Development and Science and Innovation, wrote about the ‘you cant’s’ of our country, in an opinion piece in the NZ Herald. Feeling that perhaps I am one of those people he criticises as ‘people who in the one breath chant “more jobs, more jobs” and then in the next breath say “but don’t do that, or that, or that”, I thought I would ask Mr Joyce a few questions about why he and the National Government are saying ‘we won’t’ to a prosperous and sustainable Aotearoa
This is how the story ends. Yesterday I took apart my bike and crammed it into the small rental car of a friend attending the festival. We drove back to Dunedin airport, where incredibly helpful people gave us materials to pack up the bike. Upon arrival in Wellington, I unpacked it, put it back together […]
I’m nearly in Southland, having traversed coastal Otago, and headed west into the strong winds this evening. I left beautiful Karitane this morning, after an incredible breakfast that included gluten free pancakes made by my exceedingly generous hosts. The morning was cool and overcast, perfect conditions for cycling, and still very beautiful. The ocean was […]
Disclaimer: the purpose of this trip is not any of the following A. To reduce my own carbon footprint (I try to do that, but the reality is that I have to fly back) B. To encourage others to risk their lives cycling on state highways C. To say that everyone should always cycle or take […]
When I initially conceived of this journey to Southland by bike, I hoped to cycle down the west coast from Picton. But a quick look at the distance (over 1000km) and the calendar made it clear it would be impossible to get to the festival by the 21st. So I decided to take the train […]
What does the Minister have to hide on his expensive motorways?
National and Labour have now both revealed their transport plans for Auckland.
I think many Kiwis would be shocked to find out Nuclear-Free New Zealand is playing a role in the international nuclear chain but even more so in the aftermath of the Rena tragedy that consenting requirements and response strategies are woefully inadequate.
The Herald reports the government has been criticizing Auckland Council for it’s new spatial plan. The government says the spatial plan places too much emphasis on improving public transport and creating a compact urban form (as if they’re bad!).
A few months ago I wrote a draft submission on the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport funding and encouraged members of the public to send it in. Normally, I generally don’t encourage people to make form submissions on a topic but because the issue of land transport funding is pretty technical I wanted to […]
As oil hits the shore I’d like to salute the hundreds of people working very hard to contain the spill and volunteers registering to clean up the beaches. It’s a deeply worrying situation especially with a severe weather warning issued. The Government and petroleum industry have gone on the defensive over the speed of the […]
It is deeply concerning to see the stricken ship Rena, leaking oil into the ocean near Tauranga Harbour. This is looking like a full-scale environmental disaster.
Today is World Carfree Day – how did you get around? Did you have a choice of safe walking or cycling; or to catch a bus, train or ferry; or were you like many Kiwis and was driving your only choice? World Carfree Day is a great day to say we deserve choices about how […]
Just now the National-dominated Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee blocked my attempt at the committee conducting an urgent inquiry into the transport fiasco on the opening night of the Rugby World Cup.
I was astonished that a few weeks back Auckland MPs voted against inviting the Auckland Council to submit on the CBD rail link debate. I can only talk about it now because the report containing my minority report was tabled in Parliament today. The Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee was discussing my petition to […]
It looks like there may be a breakthrough in the years long campaign for a bikeway/cycleway over the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Yesterday I attended the launch of the Pathway Working Group”s concept plan in the newly opened waterfront Wynyard Quarter. Auckland Mayor Len Brown spoke very positively about the plan, and it was supported by […]
I’m writing this from the Overlander train, heading North to Taumarunui. Tomorrow morning I’m part of an event there to launch the next phase of Nga Haerenga: the New Zealand Cycle Trail Network. Nga Haerenga is a joint project of the Green and National parties – Green cycling expertise and Government money. You may remember […]
I’ve been whipping around the country a lot lately visiting students at Orientation. So I haven’t had a chance to post much. But here’s a bit of a round up of the big transport stories of the last few weeks and my reaction. More funds for rail upgrades in Wellington. The government has announced an […]
A Herald-DigiPoll released today shows what we’ve been saying for months – Aucklanders want a CBD rail link, not more roads.
The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has released their plans for a flyover next to the Basin Reserve, a second Mt Victoria tunnel and the widening of Ruahine St and Wellington Rd up to seven lanes. Despite clear opposition to the flyover, the NZTA have offered Wellingtonians two options of the same 8 metre high […]
The Auckland Council is consulting right now on a discussion document called the City Centre Master Plan (PDF). It almost slipped under my radar but I’ve managed to draft up a quick submission to go in before the closing date – this Friday, the 17th of June. I encourage you to make an online submission […]
Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. It is a privilege to take a call in this Budget debate, and I intend to focus on transport issues. When it comes to transport, this Government, under Steven Joyce as transport Minister, is simply on the wrong track. This Government is creating monuments in concrete and asphalt to 1950s-style […]
A while ago the Herald wrote an editorial about the Government’s transport plans for Auckland. They observed that if you define insanity as doing the same thing again and again while expecting a different outcome, then the Government’s transport policies are insane. While I was reading the Government Policy Statement on Transport Funding last week […]
The Budget is fast approaching and so far the government has shown no sign that they will fund the CBD rail loop. In fact, their latest Government Policy Statement on transport funding shows that over the next 10 years they’re planning to spend $7 on roads for every $1 they spend on sustainable transport options […]
As a Gissy-boy and rail-fan I passionately believe that we can’t afford to lose this community asset and we need to stand up to protect it. Kiwirail has announced the lines possible closure in 2012 if further customers can’t be found. The Government has given Kiwirail ten years to ‘turn itself around,’ but Kiwirail is […]