Auckland

Steve Joyce is either mad, stupid, or both

Steve Joyce talks out loud about tolling Aucklander’s motorways.

In an election year.

Is he mad, stupid, or both?

The Government has confirmed it is now open to the introduction of electronic road tolling in Auckland.

Finance Minister Steven Joyce has told a business audience the Government could support road tolling but will not support a regional fuel tax.

“There is no getting away from the fact that central Auckland is built on a narrow isthmus which makes it hard to get around – and the available land transport corridors are rapidly being used,” Joyce said in a speech.

“So beyond the current building programme we are going to have to look at demand management to reduce the reliance on the road corridors, in favour of better use of buses, trains and ferries.”

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Simon and Steve say NO! to Goff’s plans

Phil Goff wanted to get the government to tax Aucklanders for using the roads they’ve already paid for along with a specific fuel tax to fund his inherited transport pipe dreams.

That has now reached the logical conclusion it was always going to reach in an election year.

NBR reports:

Auckland mayor Phil Goff’s major platform for funding the yearly $400 million shortfall for transport projects has been run off the road.

The government has ruled out a regional fuel tax, Mr Goff’s main hope for bridging the shortfall gap.

Finance Minister Stephen Joyce said a regional fuel tax will not be introduced as “they are administratively difficult, prone to leakage and cost-spreading, and blur the accountabilities between central and local government.

Instead, Mr Joyce says the government will explore options with the council such as tolls and congestion pricing. Speaking to NBR after his first formal speech as the finance minister, Mr Joyce says Auckland is running out of room to extend the roading network after current projects are completed.    Read more »

Goff’s office trough is deep and being filled right to the top

When you build a trough it pays to build big.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff is dishing out big salaries for staff in his officeone of whom earns up to $295,000.

Goff has revealed that four staff in his office are being paid more than $150,000, but claimed in a statement he will have fewer staff than former Mayor Len Brown and spend less.

Of the 11 staff currently employed in the mayoral office, five have senior roles – chief of staff Fran Mold, finance and policy director David Wood, planning manager Rory Palmer, communications and external relations manager Mike Burgess and senior press secretary Nirupa George.

The four salary bands for staff earning more than $150,000 are:

• $275,000-$295,000
• $245,00-$265,000
• $148,00-$198,000
• $130,000-$180,000    Read more »

Did she leave the house without her husband’s permission?

In stark contrast to women in the West, Moroccan women did not get the right to divorce their husbands, to child custody, to child support or to own and inherit property until 2004.

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We just got rid of a tax & spend mayor, welcome to the new tax & spend mayor

phil goff like len brown zipper up

Phil Goff is spending up large with just five minutes in the job.

He’s promised light rail, and now a living wage for council workers. he needs to fund that somehow, and like all Labour politicians, there is only one way to fund things…with new taxes.

Limiting the annual increase in Auckland rates, raising $30 million from a visitor levy and introducing a fuel tax are among proposals being put forward by mayor Phil Goff.

So, he’s limiting rates so he doesn’t get hammered on that but wants you to all pay more with a fuel tax that would be way more than any rates increase. Hands up those in Auckland who want to pay more for petrol for Phil to spend on the living wage? Anyone? Anyone?

Mr Goff hopes the proposals can become key measures in Auckland Council’s 2017/18 annual budget to be adopted next June.

This included increasing rates for Auckland property owners by 2.5 per cent rather than the planned 3.5 per cent annual increase.   Read more »

Joyless, lemon-sucking, busy-bodies want all cars removed from volcanic cones

No just joyless, lemon-sucking, busy-bodies, but unelected Maori busy-bodies.

Driving and parking up to take in the Auckland vista from volcanic cones has been an Auckland Kiwi birthright.  Get ready for the liberals and Maori to ban and ban some more.

 

The Tūpuna Maunga Authority has decided five more ancestral mountains will have the same restrictions put in place next year.

The changes will affect the tihi, or top, of Maungakiekie/One Tree Hill, Maungarei/Mt Wellington, Ōwairaka/Mt Albert, Puketāpapa/Mt Roskill and Takarunga/Mt Victoria.

Mr Bowden, a land surveyor, has a good understanding of Auckland’s environment.

“We’ve actually done quite significant surveys all over Auckland picking up all of the topography, the kumara pits, so it’s very much about heritage, something that should be retained and I think any kind of vehicles off the mountain would be good.”

Two Papakura residents who were also up Ōwairaka today, however, disagreed with the ban, saying they wouldn’t have half an hour free in their lunch break to walk up to the summit.

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Phil Goff is a tin-eared effwit

You really have to wonder about the social skills of a wanker like Phil Goff.

During a Stuff.co.nz live chat on Wednesday, Phil Goff said Auckland shouldn’t take a back seat on Government spending despite Kaikoura’s 7.8 quake which has caused devastating damage including closing State Highway 1.

When a live chat viewer asked about Kaikoura taking funding priority, Goff conceded that would likely be “partly right” – the Government would have “less money to play with” funding infrastructure.

But Goff cited figures to argue Auckland’s case, saying the city loses up to $3 billion per year in lost productivity from underdeveloped transport infrastructure.

“That’s more in congestion in one year than the entire Kaikoura [earthquake] cost. Can we afford to say ‘no, we’re looking at somewhere else now ignoring Auckland?'”

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Hooton on Goff

Matthew Hooton writes for Metro magazine about Phil Goff:

There are many Phil Goffs. There’s the long-haired student radical protesting the Vietnam War and paying his way working at the freezing works. There’s the short-back-and-sides 30-something Rogernome of the 1980s, introducing student fees and explaining why unemployed freezing workers were just part of the necessary reform process.

There’s the 90s version, certain Labour turning left was a mistake and working to undermine Helen Clark. There’s the 2000s Phil Goff, who loyally carried out her foreign policy, signed the free-trade deal with China and launched the negotiations with the United States for the Trans Pacific Partnership. And then of course there’s the version of the 2010s: first being pushed by the Labour left to front the most left-wing Labour policy programme since Norman Kirk and then — despairing of Labour’s further march to the left under David Cunliffe and Andrew Little — winning the Auckland mayoralty wearing National Party blue (while holding on to his seat in Parliament in the meantime, just in case).

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Latest book available now – Secrets of Len Brown affair revealed

At 0900 this morning our new book was released.

Simon Lusk and I have written the book to catalogue the failure of the centre-right in Auckland in the recent local body elections.

We name names and hold people to account.

We also tell the previously untold story behind the Len Brown affair with never before revealed information

Those of you who already have an INCITE: Politics subscription will have received a discount offer in the latest edition. Use the code and link provided in INCITE to obtain your discount while you order.

Simon and I are going to extend INCITE: Politics as well for the coming election, offering a re-designed website and additional information and analysis. There will still be exclusive content and of course our exclusive polling by New Zealand’s best pollster, David Farrar’s Curia.

 

Duco’s Lonergan is picking fights he can’t win

Dean Lonergan seems to be displaying all the traits of someone who has taken too many blows to the head.

Now he is taking on a senior Councillor at Auckland Council.

The Joseph Parker heavyweight world title fight is veering into a slugfest between promoter Dean Lonergan and Olympian Dick Quax.

Quax, who won silver over 5000m at the 1976 Olympics, and Lonergan, a former rugby league second-rower, have been trading blows over ratepayer money for the on-again, off-again, on-again Joseph Parker v Any Ruiz boxing fight in Auckland.

The latest round has seen Quax – an Auckland councillor these days – welcoming the prospect of sky high pay-per-view prices of between $70 and $100 as the “market price, not a price subsidised by the Auckland ratepayers”.

“That’s a problem?”, said the pro-market and Act Party member.

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