Jacinda vs Nikki


Labour’s Auckland Central candidate (unless Judith Tizard, MP has different ideas), Jacinda Ardern wants the CBD rail loop and thinks dumping the Puhoi Holiday Highway would help fund it.
National’s Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye also supports the CBD link but doesn’t give her views on Puhoi and says funding for the link should be thought through as part of the Auckland Plan.
Leftie blogger Bomber had the two on his entertaining weekly Stratos TV show Citizen A and Auckland’s infrastructure was the first topic with Bomber making several references to National’s roading lobby pushing for Puhoi.

MP Kaye: Sort out the funding | nikkikaye.co.nz

Some of the most interesting comments:
Nikki: I support the rail loop. We need to do a lot more  for public transport but we can’t do what we did in the past with all this political theatrics and not show how to fund it. We have a real opportunity with this spatial plan to set out how we can deliver these public transports and how to fund it.
Jacinda: At the moment Steven Joyce’s big plan for Auckland is to build a Holiday Highway. We need a CBD rail loop now and if we were back in Government, we would re-prioritising the money into the loop because that will release the opportunity economically for Auckland to become a world class city.

Jacinda: The Government and the Minister of Transport has said he does not see it (CBD link) as a priority.”
Nikki: Let me be clear. Jacinda is not correct and I am happy to show you statements from both Steven Joyce and Bill English that say that the CBD rail loop is a priority but …what we have to do is getting away from politicians promising these things without saying how we fund it and we are in the middle of discussions with Len Brown having that (debate).

Watch the discussion here or below




  1. Rtc says:

    Unfortunately Niki is the one wrong about Joyce and Key - both, as readers are well aware, have stated on multiple occasions that the tunnel isn’t a priority yet the Holiday Highway is. Her comments about not debating over where to find money fails to mention that National were the ones to specifically ban money from LTNZ being spent on capital rail projects. There’s no shortage of money, just like there’s no shortage of bad decisions on how to spend it from Joyce.

  2. Matt L says:

    Haha - at the 31 min mark,

    Nikki - There are a number of projects we are working on together and the CBD rail loop is one where by it will be great for Aucklanders to see actual progress between central and local government

    Bomber - Do you think there will be progress?

    Nikki - I think there will be progress

    Bomber - Do you think Steven will go ahead with it?

    Nikki - Well no, what I think I’m saying is that the next 6 months is about actually looking at how we fund that project and I think that we have said that it is a priority.

    She put emphasis on the ‘well no’ part, seems like a bit of an admission from here that it isn’t going to happen.

  3. Jon Reeves in Switzerland says:

    First thing, Bomer is an idiot who can’t interview an turd. All voice and bla, no substance at all. Probably perfect for NZ and poor quality journalism.

    Nikki couldn’t answer Bomber’s questions though Bomber “Egg Brain” was unskilled enough to pull her up.

    If the Nats get in NZ gets trucks and a severly reduced rail network. NO OTHER COUNTRY is doing this now.

  4. Cam says:

    You kind of have to feel sorry for Nikki Kaye i suppose a junior MP who has to tow the party line. She knows Stephen Joyce is not going to fund the CBD loop in a month of Sundays but she can’t come out and say it or she’d be out of a job by the end of the year.

    It’s becaome obvious they are using the spatial plan as a stalling tactic.

  5. Jon Reeves in Switzerland says:

    Yes, the “spatial plan” seems to have been the National / Act parties “Option B” if everything went to custard and Banksie lost out.

    Joyce is big on the “spatial plan”…. what happens “Option B” fails too?

    Joyce is going to find it hard pushing for the $2 billion “motorway to nowhere” once that fails, right on election time.

  6. Cam says:

    Another thing that annoyed me about this is how Bomber keeps saying nobody uses PT in Auckland. Right when we are experiencing record growth. Makes you wonder if he actually has much knowledge of the subject at all.

  7. Rene says:


  8. Patrick R says:

    From watching Nikki’s performance she clearly hopes to use the prospect of cycling and walking on a new bridge to shore up support and spilt opposition…. I want to see her pinned down to vocal championing of the cycling and walking proposal currently there for the existing bridge, as she is clearly such a fan. No need to spend Billions Nik, in fact no need to spend anything, just support this privately funded proposal….

    And perhaps this strategy from govt. explains why NZTA are so strangely opposed to allowing humans to propel themselves across our harbour:

  9. Lioc says:

    Bombers a bit of an idiot.

  10. Paul in Sydney says:


    Can be done badly, caution is needed. A number of PPP projects in Sydney of late have finacialy failed due to poor government and greed by all parties creaming the project for what it’s worth. Making the PPP model unworkable in it’s current form.

    Take care Auckland

  11. AKT says:

    Let’s not get sidetracked into the merits of Bomber.

  12. Luke says:

    PPP’s are a joke, I dont think any have been given the go ahead since the financial crisis.
    It will mean the project is awarded to the company with the best dodgy financing deal, not necessarily the best contractor.
    Is cheaper/less hassle for the council/govt to borrow money, why go through a whole lot more middlemen and get them to borrow for you.
    Macquaire Bank and similar will be the only people who do well out of these, NZCID is a front for them so watch out.

  13. Rene says:


    Wiri prison will proceed as a PPP and I expect some education facilites will also be procured under this model within the next 12 months. You also fail to understand how PPP contacts are developed with respect to risk.

    The ounus in good PPP contracts is on the operating party to fufill certain performance duties or risk penalties and non-payment by the contracting party. In terms of prisions both the rehabilitation outcomes as well as the actual facility performance are heavily weighted in the governements favour. In essence a good PPP contract will have every risk detailed and an agreed method for paynement for successful service delivery and management of that risk, and conversely penalties for non-performance.

    A good PPP contact will also specify an opportunity for the procuring party to “evict” the consortia from the asset if non-performace is chronic. And rememeber all PPP contracts require the operator to return the asset back to the government in full working condition at the end of the contract.

    This model is only as good as its detail. Its also a form of procurement support by both political parties with some minor philosophical differences within certain cricitcal sectors such as health and corrections.

    With respect to using a PPP model for the tunnel, onerous performace outcomes could (and should) be placed on the operating party.

    The issues with the Cross City tunnel in Sydney as an example of failed PPPs in Sydney (as described by another poster) is really a commercial issue as it was a vehicle tunnel that effectively failed to attract demand and was horredously expensive. The CBD rail loop project is completely different on many levels and should not be directly compared as evidence of weaknes of this procurement method.

    Cant cant see any other way to procure and fund this project, even if you were to cancel the Puhoi to Wellsford road, without borrowing to pay for it under a more traditional procurement form.

    And as for Jacinda Adern, bonds are just another form of borrowing.

  14. Patrick R says:

    It makes sense for governments to borrow, they can do it cheaper than companies, and we are confident of the payback on the CBDRL, and it will have a very long life. Why should future generations pay a bit as they will reap benefit too? With PPPs on top of interest you are adding margin [profit taking] and a risk premium. It cannot compete with gov. debt. PT has a big economic but a low or negative financial benefit so is poorly suited to PPPs in my view.

  15. Rene says:


    I think you are missing the point. Agree with you that if it was a straight drag race about raising cash to build an asset then govt borrowing wins hands down. But you make the assumption that the local or central government can manage the operating risks better.

    Where the value of PPPs come’s in are the ability for the procuring party to “locked in” costs related to the maintenance and oeration of the asset. The govt can minismise their exposure to operating cost risks by agreeing to an rate of increase of operating costs and enjoy the benefits over performance and efficient delivery but not be exposed to any downside risk if costs increase wildly. Its just detail around the contract that should be a tough one.

    Has the public sector done a very good job in the management and maintenace of costs related our exisiting rail and roading networks? Probably not as good as it could ahve been given that governments can and will deferr maintenance exependiture from time to time to suit other needs. Under a PPP the operater cant do that contractually ,and therefore the asset has to be virtually brand new on hand over.

    Lets say that a PPP might only have a lifespan of 30 years but the asset has an operational life of 100. What you are are saying is why should we pay for all of it today when future generations should also contribute? Please detail to me how much we still owe for the Harbour Bridge? We paid it off in the 80′s but is still going today. Perhaps we should have maintained tolls on the bridge and we wouldnt even be having this debate!

    I also would like to know where I can get a 70 year mortgage!. The nature of finance just doesnt allow for amortising of loans for longer than about 30 years, hence the reason there are little or no PPPs that are longer than 30 years any way.

    With a PPP the local / central government will get a rail tunnel in full working order for another 70 years. The next generation will pay for their share of the cost of the tunnel be reflected in their rates and ticket prices.

  16. Luke says:

    @Rene Not sure what you are talking about with regards to ‘operation and maintenance’.
    Kiwirail network will be operating the tracks, and Veolia or whoever will be operating trains.
    PPP’s can make sense for some toll roads where toll revenue can cover costs of building the road.

    Cancelling the Puhoi Wellsford road would easily cover the govt share of the costs of the CBDRL, which would be $1 billion or so.
    The council should pay for the stations, and borrow for covering their share of construction, with a toll to cover costs once CBDRL built.

  17. Patrick R says:

    Ah Rene, no point missed; my response to you was simply to say that I see no problem with govt. borrowing to build vital infrastructure, [as Jacinda suggested and you rejected without giving a reason] especially as the life of an asset such as the CBDRL is long and the pay off in excess of the debt [economically] and the govt. best placed to borrow.

    I see no advantage in muddying the deal with Aussie [or other] sharks and their lawyers. Already too many players in AK rail no point in having someone else clipping the ticket… or more likely spending a lot of our money dodging responsibilities and/or litigating over fish hooks in contracts. See Sydney, for example.

  18. Luke says:

    Is their anything Nikki and the National party see eye to eye on? seems to be effectively an independent.

  19. Patrick R says:

    depends who she’s talking to…..

  20. mark says:

    “National’s Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye also supports the CBD link”

    That’s news to me.

    I haven’t heard ANYTHING from her on rail since she got my vote on the basis of a) me disliking her opponent and b) me liking the fact that she was supportive of PT in her election campaign.

    Now I know better. She’s not independent, she’s toeing the National party line HARD, and I can do better things with my vote than to waste it on her.


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