Auckland

Labour’s clustertruck policy is total carnage

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When Labour last attacked truckies there was a nationwide blockade of the nations towns and cities. On that day they al drove ont he left hand side letting people transit as they protested.

Truckies by and large are courteous drivers. But LAbour continues to attack them.

Labour’s policy this time though is a sham. Of the 11,000km of NZ roads their policy will affect just 60kms, mostly in Auckland. Their claims of people fed up with holiday traffic held up by trucks are fanciful, and anyone who lives in Auckland knows the problems aren’t the trucks at holiday time…it is the crappy roads, roading choke points and people towing boats and caravans that hold people up.

Still, Labour thought this was a winner, and a more spectacular policy cock up I haven’t seen in many a year.  Read more »

A stupid policy from a stupid, stupid man

Paul Henry comments on Labour’s new transport policy?

Add to that Labour also released their keep cyclists safe policy yesterday…hmmm…quite how moving trucks to the left closer to cyclists is going to aid that policy is beyond me.

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And then there is the issue with the Auckland Harbour Bridge issue, where trucks are forbidden to use the outside lanes due to cracks on the clip ons. Sw now, under Labour’s policy the trucks will all have to travel in the left hand lanes and then transition to the inside lanes somewhere in the vicinity of spaghetti junction so they comply with NZTA requirements for trucks to travel up the centre lanes of the bridge.

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MH370 found in Auckland

What an unfortunate plate to have…

via Twitter - Simon Day @simondangerday

via Twitter – Simon Day @simondangerday

Cunliffe continues to lie over capital gains tax

David Cunliffe just can’t help himself, again telling mis-truths over capital gains tax.

A Labour led government would impose a capital gains tax of 15% on realised gains from investment property. He says the family home would be exempt, Labour leader David Cunliffe told TVNZ’s Q+A programme this morning.

“I’m comfortable with that because speculators are driving this market, and to make matters worse, according to the BNZ and Real Estate Institute about 12% of speculative house buyers, all house buyers last year in Auckland came from non-resident foreigners.  Non-resident foreigners who have access to cheap finance are driving up the price of homes in New Zealand, so young Kiwis can’t get into their own homes.” Mr Cunliffe said.

When questioned on why a capital gains tax isn’t working in Australia, Mr Cunliffe said, “The problem would be worse if they didn’t have it.”  Read more »

Ooh! A corpse! Must Facebook that…

Have we become so detached from the real world that we will forget the most basic of human reactions:  to help each other when we are in trouble?

A body seen floating in Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour was ignored, joked about and photographed, but few people were willing to help.

A sociologist says the reaction from the public wasn’t surprising, because the immediate response in the digital age is to take pictures for your friends rather than to act.

Brett Taylor, from Beachlands, East Auckland, came across the body floating face-down beside Princes Wharf on Monday morning. He and his wife stopped, made sure police were called, and waited for the body to be picked up by the police launch.

The number of people who took pictures on their mobile phones and walked away was upsetting, he said.

But University of Auckland sociology lecturer Ronald Kramer said it was just a sign of the digital times.

“I definitely think living in cities and within our media-saturated environment, you do become desensitised.

We have such an avalanche of media images coming into our lives these days.  Is an upside down floating corpse really upsetting to anyone after having been exposed to thousands of realistic looking corpses on TV news, not even counting the ones in movies.   Read more »

More good news, it keeps on coming

Two more pieces of good news have come in this morning.

Ports of Auckland have reported a record month for March:

Container numbers continue their relentless growth, with a new record high at Ports of Auckland in March.  The port handled 54,427 containers (79,492 TEU), 10,305 (16,771 TEU) more than the same month in 2013.  This breaks the previous record of 54,049 set last October.

Ports of Auckland Chief Executive Tony Gibson said that “breaking the monthly record in March is unusual; normally the pre-Christmas period is the busiest.  Solid import volumes plus a lift in exports gave March a real boost.”  Bulk, break-bulk and car volumes are also up.

When good are flowing across the ports then you know the economy is booming.

Then Anne Gibson reports that Auckland’s jobless are at a 6 year low:

Auckland’s unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level in six years, buoyed by economic growth and the associated demand for workers to the point where 48,000 new jobs were created in the city last year.  Read more »

Lenny No Mates takes the Train

People often ask me if Len Brown takes the train anymore.

Well, thanks to the WOBH Ground Crew, we can confirm that he does indeed take the train…at least he has this morning.

Hi Cam

I’m on the train right now and Len is sitting on his own. No one wants to talk to him or even have eye contact.

Sad!

Lennynomates

“Oh, I know, I’ll take the train, that will make me popular again”

More good news, job growth rises as economy continues to expand

The economy continues to pick up with more jobs being advertised.

The way the economy is growing it is squeezing out the opposition’s plans for a negative campaign talking about National’s handling of the economy. When they exclaim “where are the jobs?” they will be pointed at these sorts of statistics.

Job listings on Trade Me increased 21 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter, according to the auction website.

Trade Me says the new figures follow a 17 per cent year-on-year increase in listings in the final quarter of 2013, reinforcing the upturn in the economy.

The company wouldn’t say how many jobs were listed in the three months to March 31 due to “commercial sensitivity”, but it said the number was more than 50,000.

The figures show all the major centres had strong year-on-year growth in the first quarter. Listings were up 25.5 per cent in Wellington, 24.1 per cent in the Bay of Plenty, 23.9 per cent in Canterbury, 20.1 per cent in Hamilton and Auckland and 19.0 per cent in Otago.

Southland (up 41.3 per cent) had the strongest growth, while only three of the 15 regions (Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay and Manawatu/Whanganui) saw listings growth of less than 10 per cent.

The improving job market is a good sign for human resources and recruitment, which was the fastest-growing sector with a 45.7 per cent year-on-year listings increase.  Read more »

Rodney Hide on Len’s dodgy gym

Yay! more council money on toys for me

Yay! more council money on toys for me

Rodney Hide explains why Len Brown’s personal council provided gym is dodgy, and calls on the gutless councillors to do something about it.

A council worker caught “borrowing” council gear for several years for his personal use would be sacked. I would also expect he would be charged. It’s called theft.

He would have a good excuse if his manager gave permission. But the problem then is legal authority. The gear doesn’t belong to his manager. It’s not hers to loan.

And so we have the disturbing case of Mayor Len Brown’s personal gym.

The Herald reports that within a month of Brown’s swearing-in as Auckland’s first Super-City Mayor, his chief of staff was on the scrounge for fitness gear.

I would expect his chief of staff to be advising Brown to buy his own gear. That’s what paid political advisers do: they stop politicians doing stupid things.

But no, Phil Wilson emails the council’s sport and recreation manager Ian Maxwell seeking used equipment from a council facility or a council supplier who could loan or sponsor it.

At least Wilson recognised the problem: “The sensitivity, though, is that we don’t want to be seen to be spending any public money on him.” But note that it’s not the spending that’s the problem: it’s the spending being seen. The concern is to keep it secret.

I would expect Maxwell to email Wilson back explaining he would love to help but that he can’t.

Instead Maxwell replies that he’s on to it.

Wilson emails, “the almighty will be very pleased“.

And so the council’s leisure services “loan” the mayor a new treadmill worth $3000 and a gym system costing $2198.   Read more »

Earthquake Taliban: when emotion gets in the way of good policy

One of the troubles with the Christchurch earthquake is the emotion and political overreaction it caused regarding strengthening of old buildings and churches that no one uses. Spending eye watering amounts might makes sense in Wellington but it’s nuts that engineers want to spend billions on filling Auckland buildings with steel and kicking out parishioners.

The NBR reports:

Wellington risk consultancy Tailrisk Economics is warning against the country’s estimated $10 billion earthquake-strengthening policy, saying it could have “detrimental effects” on the economy and communities.

The consultant’s just released report Earthquake strengthening policy formulation in New Zealand 2003-2013: A study in failure claims there are serious flaws in the way earthquake-prone buildings are designated.

The report’s author, Ian Harrison, says New Zealand’s attempt at an earthquake-strengthening policy will cost more than $10 billion but produce benefits of less than $100 million.

“No other country applies across the board national earthquake strengthening standards because it is economically illogical to do so,” the report’s author Ian Harrison says.  Read more »