New Zealand Transport Agency

Simon tells Northland to build a bridge and get over it…oh wait

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A bridge was the undoing of Ted Kennedy at Chapaquiddick, Simon Bridges’ problems are far worse politically than a dead girl in the car.

National is giving Northland the middle finger for dumping them during the by-election.

National has no money for the bridges and is hoping the NZTA will help out…but unless they can magic up some deaths or safety issues quick smart those bridges are not going to be built this century.

Only four of the 10 bridges the Government promised to double-lane in Northland will be worked on in the next three years – and some may never be upgraded.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has announced a $13.9 billion plan for spending on roads and public transport across the country over the next three years.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges promised the bridge upgrades during the Northland by-election earlier this year and said the work would be done over six years.

He said today that NZTA had ruled out double-laning three of the bridges.

Those bridges are Hallahans Bridge, Lowes Bridge, and Darby and Joan Bridge, which is between two large kauri trees and which the agency says cannot be double-laned.

Mr Bridges said he was not breaking his by-election promise.

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How about that public transport?

Yesterday Julie Anne Genter was using a little bit of rain to push her political agenda and suggesting the solution to our problems was more public transport.

Now I’m not sure about anyone else but that public transport solution hasn’t worked so well for Wellingtonians this morning:

Commuters planning on travelling within the Wellington region tomorrow morning have been advised to consider alternatives to their usual morning commute.

The suspension of train services until at least midday tomorrow is likely to result in congestion on the roads.

The NZ Transport Agency is advising Wellingtonians that the best way to steer clear of congestion is to plan around it and work from home, travel outside of peak times or commute on foot or bike.

Commuters are advised that before making travel decisions tomorrow, they should check the Metservice website and check traffic conditions online at www.nzta.govt.nz, www.tfw.govt.nz, or on the @nztawgtn twitter feed.

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When will Local Government stop telling porkies?

Local government is spinning like a top, this time it is Craig Stobo trying to pull the wool.

New Zealand territorial authorities have assets of $117.4 billion yet extremely low debt levels of only $10.8 billion, says a financial chief.

Craig Stobo, chairman of council funder the Local Government Funding Agency which finances many councils, revealed the numbers at a briefing yesterday, saying those ratios proved councils were extremely financially cautious.

“Councils in New Zealand are conservatively geared. That indicates they’re prudent financial managers and their communities should be grateful,” Stobo said.

Firstly this is nothing but PR spin by a local government organisation. They know that they are under attack for crap financial performance and high debt.

But assets of $100b plus? I don’t think so.

The NZ Govt Treasury definition of an asset is something that will provide economic benefits. Other definitions by Audit NZ for example say that it is something that can generate income or be sold to generate income.

Most of what Local Government calls ‘assets’ are actually a value applied to land that sits under roads or parks. These can’t be sold and they can’t generate income. So they aren’t assets.   Read more »

Typical socialists, they always want a subsidy

Why do socialists always think subsidies are a solution?

Keeping the Capital Connection running could cost ratepayers less than previously thought.

An internal Ministry of Transport memo released under the Official Information Act casts doubt on the amount of public money needed to keep the commuter service between Palmerston North and Wellington going.

KiwiRail has said it will cease running the train from July this year and has no plan in place for a replacement service.

For the Capital Connection to continue, the two regional councils – Horizons and Greater Wellington – need to convince the New Zealand Transport Agency to shift the Connection to a Wellington Metro service, which would mean it could receive a subsidy from the two councils and NZTA.

The Ministry of Transport report estimates the cost of the subsidy needed at about $250,000 per annum.

[…]     Read more »

What is more offensive – bashing kids to death or eating lunch?

Darien Fenton is focussing on the tough stuff…the eating of lunch at a roadside park.

A Labour MP has accused Kapiti Expressway workers of being “extremely offensive” to Maori by eating their lunch at a wahi tapu site as historical human remains lay nearby.

Darien Fenton said at a transport and industrial relations select committee meeting yesterday that the workers were spotted eating their lunch at the wahi tapu site at El Rancho, Waikanae, which includes the Takamore urupa, and a macrocarpa known as the Maketu tree.

But the New Zealand Transport Agency denied that the particular site in question was wahi tapu, and believed appropriate protocols were followed.

Ms Fenton told the committee she had spoken to two women from Te Ati Awa. “[They] understood the site was tapu until the archaeologists had finished their work, yet we found workers having lunch onsite which was extremely offensive to local Maori.”  Read more »

The Shield of Sanctimony, Ctd

The Greens have issued a statement about taxes and borrowing to pay for roads…

The National Government’s reckless plan to build unneeded highways has created a huge budget hole that taxpayers will be forced to pay for with higher taxes, Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said today.

The Green Party has obtained an internal New Zealand Transport Agency document which states there is a $1.7 billion shortfall between the cost of the Government’s transport plans and the projected revenue as a result of the huge cost of National’s pet highway projects and stagnant traffic volumes resulting in lower than projected fuel tax revenue.

The briefing outlines three options to close the gap: delaying the so-called ‘Roads of National Significance’ by up to five years (which is marked as “not acceptable”); borrowing the money and using Public-Private Partnerships as a form of borrowing, which would only shift the cost to the taxpayer into the future and constrain future transport budgets; or increasing petrol tax by nine cents a litre.

“Kiwis will be paying more to fund National’s unneeded and uneconomic highways, and they will have few options to avoid rising fuel prices.

Perhaps Genter would like to us whether the Greens still support regional petrol taxes?  Do they still support raiding the Land Transport budget for walkways, cycleways and trains at the expense of roads?  Do they still support minimum emissions standards for all vehicles on our roads?  Do they still support minimum fuel efficiency standards for all cars on our roads? Do they still support new taxes on all fossil fuels?  Do they still support emissions testing becoming part of the WOF? Do they still oppose all oil exploration?

And that’s just a few for starters.  So for the Greens to complain about taxes and borrowing (when they want to print money) is just two faced hypocrisy sanctimony.

The Green prescription is a pile of new taxes and red tape for motorists.

Sign post them

I agree with the AA, speed cameras should be sign posted. When I drove around Australia speed camera areas were clearly signposted. By clearly sign posting speed camera areas it removed the charge that the government is simply trying to increase revenue gathering and focuses the campaign clearly on road safety.

The Automobile Association has dismissed concerns plans to double police use of speed cameras is a revenue-gathering move, but says fixed cameras should be signposted to alert motorists to their use.

The National Land Transport Programme 2012-15 announced yesterday included a “reserve allocation” of $10 million “to support the increased use of technology to manage speed”.

New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) spokesman Andy Knackstedt confirmed the money was earmarked for additional speed cameras.

Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges indicated the money could pay for more than 60 new cameras. There are 55 currently in use.

I think some of the locations need to be assessed too. There is a speed camera on Waipuna Road in Auckland. It was put there before the South Eastern Highway existed and was needed as that road was the main arterial to Eastern Suburbs. However since the SEH opened Waipuna Road is pretty much a desert…though the speed camera remains. It can only be for revenue gathering purposes.

Labour continues to break the law

Here is a shot of Andrew Little on Lambton Quay, Wellington, a very long way from New Plymouth campaigning at a busy intersection complete with Labour’s stop signs which the NZTA has declared illegal.

What is it with Winston and Boxing and Rugby League?

What is becoming very apparent with the bizarre and crooked life of Winston Raymond Peters, 63, List MP of no fixed abode is that seems to be several strings in this tangled web of corruption and graft.

Let us leave aside the donations saga for a moment and look at the interesting connections that keep arising about the murky underworld of boxing and WRP, 63, LMPONFA.

Previously on this blog and on Roar Prawn we have mentioned the strange goings on linked with one Johnny Glozier and WRP, 63, LMPONFA and some side trips to Las Vegas to watch boxing. (More to come on that later)

Today Roar Prawn again makes the link between boxing and WRP, 63, LMPONFA connection with the interesting financial activities of Marco Marinkovich (am I the only one who thinks that Winston has much too many friends whose surnames end in “ich”).

Now some more connections for you that you may find interesting;

1. Marco Marinkovich was the Trust Chariman of Yellow Ribbon Trust which was shut down by Jim Anderton.

2. The Yellow Ribbon Trust was linked to boxing and poker machines as a source of funding through Dean Lonergan – As an aside Eric Watson and Mark Hotchin (Hanover Finance issues) are tied up with rugby league (NZ Warriors) and boxing!!

3. Keith Pittman (now deceased) Board member New Zealand Rugby League March 2002 to July 2006 – was CEO of the Yellow Ribbon Trust at the time it was shut down, his resignation coincided with media attention relating to DIA investigation into the Actives Trust.

4. The issue around Keith Pittman was that he became an informant for DIA in the case against Actives Trust in August 2004 the same month that DIA produced a report on investigation into “two Wellington businessmen” and alleged pokie machine fraud that also investigated NZRL links with the two Wellington businessmen. This case went to trial but was disbanded by Judge Behrens one week into a three week trial due to the state of the DIA evidence. Court documents were then suppressed for 5 years!!

6. Keith Pittman was found in the Actives Trust Court documents to have benefited himself by $130,000.

So yesterday WRP, 63, LMPONFA added another loose thread for us to pull on and when we pull on it we find that there are even more loose threads, murky dealings, and large sums of money changing hands. I wonder what will happen when we pull on the loose threads associated with Rugby league where they may end up?