Auckland

People in Ellerslie didn’t know there was a motorway next to their house

Noise barriers are to be installed to protect residents living near Auckland’s Southern Motorway.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said it planned to begin construction by the middle of this year, and the project would cost $6 million.

Residents in the southern suburb of Ellerslie have long campaigned for the barriers to be installed.

The design was not settled yet and there would be further community consultation but there would be trees planted, NZTA said. Read more »

No Commonwealth Games bid for Auckland, thank God

via ODT

Phil Goff gets my full approval for his latest decision:

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has ruled out the city stepping in to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, should Durban fall over as the host city.

South Africa’s sports minister Fikile Mbalula has cast major doubt on the Games, because of the costs involved.

He says he doesn’t want to raise expectations and say everything looks good, because it doesn’t.   Read more »

WO Property: NZ Herald editor’s millionaire’s pad

I got the idea for this segment from a NZ Herald piece yesterday. I figured if it is OK for them then it is OK for me.

NZ Herald editor Shayne Alexander Currie is sitting on a goldmine in one of the leafy suburbs of the isthmus of Auckland.

He owns a property at Valley Rd in Mt Eden. It’s a Grammar Zone, iconic Mt Eden Villa. The Whitepages suggests an S Currie has a phone subscription at that home too. How quaint.   Read more »

Didn’t take Phil Goff long to threaten rates hikes of up to 16%

Phil Goff is just like Len Brown, but with his pants up.

He has been posturing for weeks over fuel taxes or tolls or some other way to pay for his dopey train set he inherited from Len Brown.

Now his cunning plan has been revealed. He is going to blame the government for ratcheting up rates by a threatened 16%.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff will have to find a new way to fund the city’s much-needed transport projects.

Cabinet has officially ruled out introducing a regional fuel tax to cover the city’s $400 million annual transport funding shortfall.

Mr Goff says the council is running out of alternatives to increasing rates by 16 percent next year.  

Read more »

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.”

Read more »

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.

Read more »