Memo Steven, Got A Mo?


Hi Steven

I know you are busy today in a session with Bill locking down Puhoi & Transmission Gully for the May 20 Budget and crossing off all of Len’s silly projects you guys call behind his back “the little man’s train set” but if you can get a moment, I would be interested in your feedback on these graphs showing Auckland public transport patronage soaring.

I wonder if one of those old cunning socialist dogs like Mike Lee has been fiddling the figures at Auckland Transport because these figures can not be right. How come he is still around anyway?

I mean even Len has only been using the train a couple of times so that doesn’t account for the increase. (Did they send you the dozen Tui for suggesting the billboard to them? It got Len going, that’s for sure).

Don’t change the graphs about the Northern Busway because that backs up your argument about not needing trains over the Shore as those Shore people love roads and buses. As we all do.

You need to ring up our Nat mates at AT and get them to issue some new ones cause this just fuels that little man with his silly rail ideas.

Feel free to pop by the blog with your usual handle and cast doubt on it - I’m running the graphs- and do have the usual crack at Len. No-one on the blog has guessed its you. They just think you work in the construction industry. hahahahha.

Look forward to hearing from you - oh and good luck with Bill. Can you get that new bridge locked down too so we can give the project to the usual mates and kill off any debate about a tunnel. I can’t believe they let us down by giving it such a low BCR. We can manipulate that by talking about the freight that needs to move across it. Economic powerhouse is catching on as a buzzword. And mention how many jobs it will create. Any figure in the thousands will do.

These graphs kind of spoilt my great week watching Goofy fumble the Hughes affair and wasn’t that North Korean style head nodding by the Mps around Goofy funny. Did John send you the You Tube link?

Respectfully yours,

So here’s what Auckland Transport released at today’s board meeting:

Auckland public transport patronage totalled 64,075,606 passengers for the 12-months to February - an increase of 4,915,341 boardings. An Increase of 8.3%.


A breakdown of patronage by month, 12-months rolling total and financial year-to-date (July 2010 to February 2011)

This illustrates the monthly patronage trend by mode across bus, rail and ferry and by monthly total moving average. Total patronage continues to grow on a month-by-month basis.

The Rapid Transit Network (RTN) comprises right-of-way (unobstructed by other traffic) public transport of rail and the Northern Express traversing the Northern Busway. The RTN is the first tier of a four-tier public transport network design approach for Auckland to be progressively implemented. The second tier comprises a Quality Transit Network (QTN) of high frequency bus services, which utilise bus lanes and traffic signal pre-emption measures
connecting to form a network of services in their own right and including some ferry services.
The third tier comprises Local Connector Network (LCN) services of local bus services and ferry services connecting with the RTN and QTN. The RTN, QTN and LCN services will be progressively integrated and connected to form a public transport network that will permit customers to access multiple destinations through direct services or across multiple services via transfers. The network will be supplemented by fourth tier targeted services for individual customer groups to meet specific needs as required.

Patronage totalled 11,191,125 passengers for the 12-months to February - an increase of 1,393,117 boardings or +14.2%.

For the financial year-to-date, eight months to February, patronage has grown by +14.4% (920,655 boardings).

Patronage for February was 996,634 boardings, an increase of +18.3% (154,491 boardings) on February 2010.



Rail Patronage
Rail along with the Northern Busway forms the Rapid Transit Network. Rail patronage totalled 9,223,040 passengers for the 12-months to February 2011 an increase of 1,095,364 boardings or +13.5%.

For the financial year-to-date, eight months to February, patronage has grown by +14.0% (744,000 boardings).

Patronage for February was 837,988 boardings, an increase of +17.9% (127,309 boardings) on the previous February.

Southern and Eastern Line rail patronage including the Onehunga Line totalled 6,007,757 passengers for the 12-months to February 2011 an increase of 739,032 boardings or +14%.
For the financial year-to-date, eight months to February , patronage has grown by +12.6% (462,208 boardings). Patronage for February 2011 was 532,780 boardings, an increase of +13.9% (65,063 boardings) on February 2010.

Western Line rail patronage totalled 3,215,283 passengers for the 12-months to February - an increase of 356,332 boardings or +12.5%. For the financial year-to-date, eight months to February 2011, patronage has grown by +15.2% (281,792 boardings). Patronage for February was 305,208 boardings, an increase of +25.6% (62,246 boardings) on February 2010.

The Northern Busway patronage totalled 1,968,085 passengers for the 12-months to February - an increase of 297,753 boardings or +17.8%.

For the financial year-to-date, eight months to February , patronage has grown by +16.3% (176,655 boardings).

Patronage for February was 158,646 boardings, an increase of +20.7% (27,182 boardings) on February 2010.

Bus patronage totalled 48,221,816 passengers for the 12-months to February - an increase of 3,364,870 boardings or +7.5%.

For the financial year-to-date, eight months to February, patronage has grown by +8.4% (2,398,195 boardings).
Patronage for February was 4,042,898 boardings, an increase of +7.3% (275,603 boardings) on February 2010. Some of this increase can be attributed to the NZ Bus lock-out and industrial action that occurred in October/ November 2010.

West Auckland bus services have begun to show improved patronage growth after a redesign of services was implemented on 19 September 2010, including route simplification, improved service frequency on key corridors and making some routes more direct, supplemented by a
boost in weekend services. This provides an analysis of bus services by geographical sector.

Ferry patronage totalled 4,662,665 passengers for the 12-months to February - an increase of 157,354 boardings or +3.5%. For the financial year-to-date, eight months to February 2011, patronage has grown by +4.4% (134,463 boardings).
Patronage for February was 474,891 boardings, an increase of +12.6% (53,312 boardings) on February 2010.




  1. Matt L says:

    Perhaps its time for a new Tui billboard, No one trains so lets close them down - yeah right.

  2. anthony says:


    Steven Joyce is doing a good job on Improving quality of life in Auckland - Yeah Right.

  3. Jon Reeves in Switzerland says:

    Joyce wants a better Auckland = Yeah Right

  4. Cam says:

    Nice letter. Good old Joycey when confonted with facts that contradict what he believes he just chooses to pretend they are not there and press on regardless.

    BTW Jon, surely you jest about Joyce sneaking onto the blog. I mean I would think he would not bother himself with what smelly, bludging bus users like oursleves thought afterall if you don’t own a trucking company what you have to say on transport is worthless.

  5. Sam says:

    Another thing Steven Joyce seems to overlook is that the Puhoi to Wellsford road might carry 24000 per day, but it also has just 24000 users per day. Making it a motoway wouldnt really affect those who use the alternative route, SH16, as it isn’t congested on a normal day, and many arent travelling that far north.

    The rail network carries 30000, or more likely 40000+ per weekday on the other hand,. It does however have probably over 100000 users- those who drive or catch a bus USE the rail network as a place to put other people so that they can travel much faster into the CBD (40000 people = about 36000 cars by aucklands average, which, lined up, is about 180 km of cars I imagine…. a pretty significant number!).

    I don’t see this as a far fetched analysis- does anyone else?

    IIf you look at the graph on page 9 of Auckland City Councils 2009 ‘Transport into the future’ Document, its pretty visible that Public transport has catered for ALL of the CBDs growth over the last decade… and then some. The number of people entering the CBD in peak times has increased signigicantly, but the nuumber of cars has actually decreased slightly. Now that theyre talking about Britomart being at capacity, and the Fanshawe street bus lane/ central connector not being far behind…. how does the economic hub of the country move forward. It will be suffocated.

  6. Matt says:

    Auckland could quadruple rail patronage in eight years, looking at those graphs. If we get 10m boardings this month, which is certainly possible, then we’ll be at four times the 2.5m boardings in April 2003.

    That’s an extraordinary result, especially when one considers the quality of the service is still pretty average by comparison to major centres in other countries - or even Wellington’s historic performance levels.

  7. Matt says:

    So Britomart opened in 2003 and in the 8 years since then patronage has almost quadrupled, to nearly 10 million. Was that in the forecasts when they planned Britomart? And does that make all the projections of extra use of the CBD loop business case look too conservative?

    Perth, WA’s rail ridership is approaching 60 million pa. Auckland should be aiming for 50 or 60 million trips per year too through electrification, integrated ticketing with no penalty transfers, the CBD loop, and the airport line.

    Anyone care to make predictions on ridership in 2019?

    The Nats, especially Steven Joyce and John Key are just so, so, so out of touch. My Tui billboard would be:

    The National Party aren’t all idiots - yeah right.

  8. Matt L says:

    Matt – Patronage projections change depending on the funding available for services. If AT had more money available more services would be put on throughout the day and patronage would increase as a result. With the funding they have they are naturally concentrating services where they know they will get the best return but that leaves some big gaps i.e we still only have hourly weekend services out west and still no services past Henderson on Sundays.

    I think the prediction a few years ago was 16m passengers a year by 2016 but the forecast funding has since been cut. The CBDRL business case indicates that patronage by 2021 will be 22m per year however that is the most we will get with the electrification of the current system. With the CBDRL they predict that patronage will hit 50m by 2041

  9. Roger says:

    How about - “The motorway’s not busy at this time of the day. Yeah right!”

  10. Patrick R says:

    Matt it does seem likely that we will get to 22m well before 2021… what would you guess? How soon after electrification is properly up and running, do ya reckon?

  11. Matt L says:

    Patrick its hard to say, I actually think patronage will hit a bit of a wall next year and in 2013 due to a lack of peak capacity and lack of funding for more off peak capacity. Once the EMU’s come on stream in 2014 then things should pick up a bit as most services will see a big increase in capacity and attractiveness i.e. a 4 car SA set seats about 260 people, a 6 car EMU will seat about 500 people and be faster and smoother.

  12. Luke says:

    At 10% year on year growth, we will get to 16 million annually by November 2016. We should still be able to get 10% even with lack of capacity growth, we will being seeing more 6 car sets at the end of the year (I hope!), plus Manukau services.
    However with electrics arriving patronage should rocket, 20% should be no probs. With 20% growth from January 2014, we’ll hit 16 million by July 2015.

  13. Jon Reeves says:

    Roger, how about ” The motorway looks nice in our back yard - Yeah Right”

  14. Giel says:

    All this demonising of Mr Joyce is rather amusing. Somewhat akin to that of the late Minister of Railways in the 1960′s, the Rt Hon Peter Gordon who was known then as the “Great Train Robber” since he closed numerous branch railways and passenger train services at the time. He was “hated” by many at the time for taking peoples trains away but he was a realist.

    History now though looks at him, from a rail point of view a lot kinder, as under his watch the “The Southerner”,” The Silver Fern”, “The Blue Streak”, “The Endeavour”, “The Kingston Flyer” were introduced and he presided over the general modernisation from steam to diesel of the Railways. He was our very own Dr Beeching, but he also modernised rail and saved it from terminal decline at the time. And so it will be with Joyce to some degree.

    Reality is we don’t have unlimited funds and he is walking a tight rope on rail funding. I actually think he has achieved a lot and cabinet generally (esp Bill English (and make no mistake Labour Ministers also) have always been sceptical of rail in this country). He has got remarkable funding through as Minister, more than any other in decades. Give the man some credit for what he has achieved - he doesn’t love rail but he does see its benefits. Focusing on positive advocacy is more constructive than personality bashing but it is very amusing I agree.

    All Ministers of Railways have had a tough time in this country. It goes with the territory and sometimes unpopular decisions are made BUT no mistake Rail in this country historically has actually done better under National than Labour. Labour always made lots of promises but seldom did they materialise into real outcomes - Nelson in the 1950′s, new railcars in the 70′s, Save Rail in the 80′s. The last term of Labour (4 years or so) was a very notable exception to that but they didn’t do ANYTHING much in the first 4 years and rail nearly collapsed under them in the period 1999 to 2003 due to lack of funding and support.

  15. Giel says:

    I might that under Labour we saw the demise of “The Southerner” (Jim Anderton hated it (he saw it as unaffordable) and wanted it closed as Minister of Economic Development in 2001 /2002), “The Northerner”, “The Geyserland Express”, “The Kaimai Express”, “The Waikato Connection”,”The Bay Express” nearly the “The Overlander” if Toll didn’t save it, the Otago Cental Line and the list goes on.

    The fact the industry was not Government owned at the time of some of these closures is irrelevant as they could have still funded these trains but they didn’t. and it suited them nicely to have a bogey man in the form of a non Government owned company do their dirty work.

  16. Matt says:

    Giel, Joyce has achieved nothing for commuter rail in Auckland. Not a cent of spending is from National initiatives, it’s all projects that started under Labour - and the only reason he’s had to commit any new funding was because he took away Auckland’s regional fuel tax and then had it made clear that without that money our electrification wasn’t going to happen.
    Even giving him credit for giving funding to KiwiRail would be a stretch, since his support is grudging, at best, and is merely an attempt to make the worst of it before throwing KR to the wolves of privatisation.

    Right now Joyce is making demands of KR that will close many of the few remaining lines, when for considerably less than he wants to throw at major roading projects of very dubious value the lines could be rehabilitated, even upgraded, and take millions of tonnes of freight off the roads to the benefit of the national road maintenance budget and also to the benefit of road safety and general community health.

  17. Cam says:

    “Reality is we don’t have unlimited funds” - So we are building a motorway to Wellsford which has a negative BCR.How does that fit in?

    “Give the man some credit for what he has achieved – he doesn’t love rail but he does see its benefits” - That’s an intersting way of spinning it but it is in fact complete nonsense. There has been nothing to suggest that Stephen Joyce sees the benefit in rail. In particular urban rail. The funding he has “secured” for Auckland rail is in the form of $500 million budgeted for by the last government for electrification and a $500 million loan to kiwi rail for the rolling stock. He’s basically just not stopped projects already underway because the promised they wouldn’t in the election.

    “The last term of Labour (4 years or so) was a very notable exception to that but they didn’t do ANYTHING much in the first 4 years and rail nearly collapsed under them in the period 1999 to 2003 due to lack of funding and support” - Yeah that would be because during that period they didn’t own it. Kind of why they stumped up so much cash to buy it in 2008. You might remember that.

    “Focusing on positive advocacy is more constructive than personality bashing but it is very amusing I agree” - Good call! the positive advocacy of Len Brown and others has been a roaring success so far. Just witness Joyce’s evenhanded assessment of the CBD loop business case. Clearly he see’s the benefit in rail.

  18. Matt L says:

    Giel – The issue is not about which modes he loves or hates but that he is inconsistent in his approach as to what gets funding. In the case of the CBD tunnel he has questioned every little aspect of it wanting a rock solid business case before considering funding which is perfectly acceptable. For the RoNS however, he announced them before any economic evaluation had been done. When that evaluation was independently peer reviewed it showed that many of the projects were uneconomic yet he has ploughed on with them anyway.

    In the case of Puhoi to Wellsford he continues to claim that the road carries more people than the entire Auckland rail network despite both the traffic count and rail patronage data not supporting this anymore. Previous studies and analysis show that 80%-90% of the benefits of the project could be obtained for 20% of the price which would leave well over $1b to be able to be spent on other projects.

    Another thing is that by focusing on the 7 RoNS, money has actually been diverted from many of the smaller projects throughout the country even if those projects make good economic sense. It means that outside of those major projects there will be very little in the way general road improvements over the next decade.

    If he could at least be consistent in how approaches things it would make a huge difference.

  19. Giel says:

    Matt. The facts don’t support you assertions. National started the ball rolling 1. NZ Rail before privatisation bought the Perth Railcars in 1992 (National was in power) - that was the first step. These railcars underwrite the fleet today. 2. Tranz Rail bought ex BR cars in 1997 for refurbishment which form the SA/SD trains today (again National was in power). Labour was directionless on rail at the time and remained so until 2003 - despite four years in Government by then.

    This is a story about the Regional Council who put enormous pressure on Labour when they wanted to buy the rail corridor of Tranz Rail in 2001. Labour very reluctantly supported that at the time and were forced into a corner over the price that TR wanted for the corridor. The ARC (ARTNL as it was then) built Britomart NOT Labour. You have the ARC (both Labour and National supporters in that entity) to thank for Auckland Rail developments not Labour. Labour did have a have a very sympathetic advisor in Dr Cullens office that helped convince Cullen but he was very sceptical on rail - probably more than Joyce is today. It took five years before he really softened under relentless pressure from local Government. That is why reasoned advocacy by local Government is so important and you won’t see Len Brown bagging Joyce just as you didn’t see other mayors bag Cullen and Labour at the time.

    The freight lines in question you refer to (Gisborne and North Auckland) would never take Millions of tonnes of the road - look at the freight that moves in those regions - it is largely not Rail type freight. That is dreamland stuff. To upgrade those lines to move the type of freight you are talking about would take $100′ s of Millions if not Billions and the freight isn’t there to support that kind of investment.

    Joyce didn’t want the fuel taxes correct. I agree that was a mistake on his part but he did find other money for the electrification Infrastructure. Cullen was NOT a big supported of Electrification either - he was against it but eventually soften with strong advocacy from the region.

  20. Matt says:

    Giel, I don’t care about the last National government, especially since of the three men pulling the strings this time around, only one - English - was a part of it. Joyce and Key were both in private enterprise at the time.

    Yes, Labour took their time to come around. But when they finally did, things happened. Why are we having to re-litigate the entire issue now that we have a new government? In other countries it’s a foregone conclusion that investment in public transport is worthwhile, on either side of the political spectrum. In Australia a number of very large-scale rail projects are being driven by right-wing state governments.

    And with English talking about “nice-to-haves” having to be cut so that he doesn’t have to reverse tax cuts, but Joyce pushing ahead with negative-benefit roads projects while denying positive-benefit rail projects a single cent, you’ll excuse this forum for being a tough sell on giving National the benefit of the doubt about their rail-friendly credentials.

  21. Nick R says:

    Just a couple of fact points Giel:

    “ The ARC (ARTNL as it was then) built Britomart NOT Labour.”

    Actually Auckland City Council built Britomart, and ARTNL was created as a holding organisation by the ACC to manage the development. It was never part of the ARC. Legislation enacted by National specifically prevented regional authorities from owning public transport infrastructure.

    “The freight lines in question you refer to (Gisborne and North Auckland) would never take Millions of tonnes of the road – look at the freight that moves in those regions – it is largely not Rail type freight. “

    What you mean aggregates, logs, dairy and forestry products? That’s exactly the best for rail freight and some of the most inefficient stuff to move by road.

  22. Simon says:

    And Giel if rail took higher tonnage on the lines like Northland did before (see the stats in the Northland Line story) then why couldn`t rail take the same and higher tonnage with some decent investment?

  23. Simon says:

    Oh and like others have said - the only reason the funding for electrification and other network improvements has been forthcoming was because it was already budgeted for by the last govt and that many projects were already syarted or the ink was dry on the contract.

    And Joyce DIDNT find a new revenue stream after cancelling the regional fuel tax - it is a loan to Kiwirail, with much of the repayment likely to be passed on to Jo Blogg Aucklander. Steven Joyce has come up with absolutely NOTHING NEW so far during his term in office. Please don`t try to defend him - his record is indefensible!

    And unfortunately as much as Len Brown advocates positively to this govt, there`s just no one listening and the only way that`s going to change is if their nice parliamentary jobs look like they might be lost. It`s become very obvious from the langauge coming from Key, Joyce and English recently that that is what it`s going to take and nothing less.

    All the signs are that if this govt gets back into power with a decent majority, the next term they will be even harsher in their attitudes to rail and will do all they can to crush any rail development plans like the CBD loop. I think that has become quite clear.

  24. Giel says:

    Guys - You are indeed passionate for rail which is great. Some facts:

    National approved electrification - they could have easily cancelled it. It was not committed by Labour but promised - only the DART projects were committed. Labour made lots of promises for rail but if you check Treasury papers and budget estimates you will see that in many cases ‘promised’ projects had no funding mechanism. The debt you refer to for KiwiRail is for EMU rolling stock not the electrification infrastructure which was new central Government money – what is unreasonable about debt funded rolling stock? The region has to pay for this and why not? There is no free lunch. However I agree the fuel tax should have stayed, (a good Labour funding initiative) as a potential funding mechanism for the region to service the debt on the EMU’s and other rail projects and should be still considered.

    Matt L – I agree with you on consistency of rail vs road funding – RoNs funding relative to Rails is frustrating but when it comes to roads everyone is as socialist as they are an open transport network. Labour would have likely promoted new roads as well and in fact during their term they committed Billions to new roads and motorways above the normal maintenance and renewals. National doesn’t have a monopoly on new road funding.

    Matt – I agree it is unfortunate that we have to re litigate some of the rail benefits with this National Government – but isn’t it worth the effort to secure rail for the future as after all they are likely to be a strong political force in NZ for many years to come. As I said Labour was much tougher sell in the early 2000’s.

    Cam - Don’t confuse funding rail with private ownership of some assets in rail. As I said they could have funded many rail projects pre rail nationalisation under the old model ownership of the business but chose not to. The rest is purely political ideology.

    Nick R – yes you are right about Britomart station development (the building) Auckland City built it. It was the associated rail projects like the rail link to it (station not much use without that I am afraid) and the first DART project, double tracking around Kingsland which were ARC initiatives which got the ball rolling for the rest of the Auckland upgrade. ARTNL also started all the other stations upgrades so my main point remains it was local Government not central Government that got the ball rolling on Auckland Rail and not Labour.

    Simon - This Government has come up with $100′s of Millions pf new money for rail that was in no way committed by the previous Government eg The $80 Million for Wellingtons Ganz Mavag overhauls and other upgrades approved only last week, the $700 Million for the KiwiRail Turnaround plan, further new capital for Auckland rail renewals. The money you refer to for debt is for EMU’s but new money had to be found for the infrastructure. Don’t confuse a Labour wish list of projects with a budget which is what National has to deliver. There is no fairy Godmother – it requires real funding not just numbers on a page or a press release.

    As for Browns positive advocacy it is early days yet – he’s only just started with his efforts with Joyce and Key and he is making real progress despite the political rhetoric.

    Nick R - As for Northland rail, see my comments under that heading. The best we can hope for there is to somehow preserve for it for future option value. Historical tonnages for Northland are irrelevant as patterns have changed and factories / shipping ports changed and/or closed

  25. Luke says:

    @Giel yes Labour and Cullen esp was negative on rail in the first couple of years, but they did fund the purchase of Auckland rail in 2001, and then off course the $600 million in Western line double tracking on hundreds of millions of other DART projects.
    However now the benefits and attractiveness of rail in Auckland have been show, this was somewhat different to 1999 when most were sceptical.
    Joyce, English and Co. abosutely hated rail when they got in, I agree they have softened their attitude somewhat, probably under pressure from Fonterra and other rail freight users.
    So what that National was the govt when Tranz Rail bought the first BR Cars, it was Labour govt that funded the major rebuild.
    As for the $700 million for Kiwirail turnaround plan, this money is still a major mystery where it comes from. Most of money seems to be adding up Kiwirails capital spending programme funded by itself, which isnt govt funding at all.
    You also seem to have forgotten all the govt money put in by Ontrack in its time, probably more on tracks than the turnaround will spend, but it wasnt big picture stuff, more nuts and bolts, catchup maintenance.

    You really don’t seem to understand that it is the arrogance and double standards that frustrate us rail advocates the most about Joyce.

  26. Cam says:

    “As for Browns positive advocacy it is early days yet – he’s only just started with his efforts with Joyce and Key and he is making real progress despite the political rhetoric” - Really how so?

  27. dj says:

    The first British Rail cars were cars that came in to see if they could be refurbished for the Capital Connection. The next BR cars to arrive were 16 that were purchased by Mainline Steam. It wasn’t until 2003-04 that BR cars started arriving for Auckland. The first rebuilds entered service in2004. There is an article in the Aug-Sept 2010 N Z railway Observer.

  28. Giel says:

    Guys good advocates don’t bag people in power with major influence. You need to calmly work away at the issue to get things done that is what the real advocates for rail have been doing for a long time now.

    Joyce and Key didn’t “hate” rail when they got in power - they were playing a political game with rhetoric like all politicians do - you have to see through that. For goodness sake Key was even a Tranz Rail shareholder for a while.

    The $700 Million turnaround money is real Government money coming from Treasury – Kiwi Rail plans to fund the balance of the $4.3 Billion from its own operating cash flow so there is no mystery there – except to say they have to generate that with is big ask.

    Oh I do understand the “arrogance and double standards” of all politicians (Labour and National) but true advocates rise above that and just get on with the task at hand. Yes it is frustrating but as they say if you can’t stand the heat get of the kitchen

    The point about carriage refurbishments is that the regions lobbied for it in as part of rail expansion projects and were successful with it.

    The first BR cars were not bought for the Capital Connection but I agree that is what they were used for. They were bought by Tranz Rail to demonstrate to Auckland what could be done with them and the Capital Connection was an idea used to show off what the workshops could do with refurbishment - like an innovation cost. It was Ed Burkhardts idea actually as he was involved with EWS in England through Wisconsin Central where they were bought from. What you are talking about is the additional BR cars that were bought later for Wellington (Wairarapa Connection) and further Auckland train sets built after the initial batch were all used. Most of the initial fleet bought in the 1990′s in Tranz Rail of Britain and later Mainline steam are actually in Auckland service.

  29. Luke says:

    @Giel Us commentators here are not the people going to be doing the negotiating with Joyce.
    it is up to Len and his team to be calm, and that is exactly what he is doing.
    Surely you understand that building public pressure is also a big part of convincing govt what to do, this is part of what the blogs are doing.

    If Joyce wasn’t building the RONS then we wouldn’t be nearly as anti as we are, but most of these are pure political projects. The most expensive project LAbour built was the Orewa bypass toll road, and all 7 of the RONS are more expensive than that, some nearly 10 times as expensive.

    Anyway great to have someone informed here to argue against that really knows their stuff and the history behind it all.

  30. Giel says:

    Fair point Luke and I agree - before Blogs Rail advocates didn’t have a outlet to be easily seen and or heard. I enjoy this site very much and been following it for some time - I guess I am just concious how some see us in the rail fraternity - it is a battle and we are all striving for the same thing - Good PT and better Rail and transport in New Zealand. I believe we will get there so keep it up Guys!

  31. Simon says:

    Giel - Yeah I expect Auckland has to pay for some of the expenses to get electrification but with that loan to Kiwirail which we`ll ending up paying a lot of doesn`t even give us ownership of those EMUs. How bogus is that?! And the money for the electrification infrastructure was budgeted for under the previous Labour govt. Labour DID have a funding mechanism - you yourself alluded to it - the regional fuel tax which was not only for paying for the EMU part of electrification but also to help fund other parts of the rail upgrade like the new Newmarket Station etc and even local roads as in the Penlink Whangaparaoa road.

    The only reason Joyce coughed up money for the other parts of the upgrade like the Newmarket Station is because he stupidly (as you yourself acknowledge) cancelled the regional fuel tax. having to replace money that would have been there anyway isn`t new funding in my book.

    Granted they have given money for Wellington`s rail system but we`re not talking Wellington here - we`re talking Auckland. BTW the 700m is not even set in stone - it will become available subject to a number of conditions being met in the next couple of years and as another poster said much of it is coming from Kiwirail`s own coffers not govt spending.

    Sorry but how can you expect people on this blog to view Mr Joyce as being fair and consistent when using the Christchurch earthquake he and his colleagues suggest that no funding be made available for a CBD tunnel despite very good BCRs as belts have to be tightened while at the same time advising $2b will still be spent on his pet Puford Holiday Highway with a pathetic BCR?

    Anyway, welcome to the blog and sure hope we do get good PT and better rail transport in NZ.

  32. Cam says:

    “Guys good advocates don’t bag people in power with major influence. You need to calmly work away at the issue to get things done that is what the real advocates for rail have been doing for a long time now” - We are people on a blog expressing how we feel about a subject. That’s what sites like this are all about. Thanks anyway for the condescention though.


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