Famous Last Words
This is AKT’s fourth anniversary.
As a reluctant blogger, I’ve been bewildered by the success of AKT and its undeniable influence. First launched as aucklandtrains.co.nz, it began as an independent voice for improvement to Auckland rail pressing for a City rail loop and airport rail link long before it became fashionable and a key part of Auckland Council’s Plan.
I have created thousands of posts of original copy and there are more than 20,000 photos documenting the important last four years of Auckland’s development including the march towards rail electrification – photos and coverage not found anywhere else online. For that reason, the site remains live for the time being.
But this is my last post.
I want to especially thank those who have helped – you know who you are. Besides readers there have been the politicans both from central and local government, officials and staff from Auckland Transport, NZTA, KiwiRail, Auckland Council, Greater Wellington Council, Veolia, and others.
You’ve answered my queries, slipped me stuff and taken issue with me while recognising I’m entitled to my opinion. You are good people with your heart in the right place.
You, the reader, who have commented on articles have helped make what a good site should be – a lively vehicle for important debate. You have been awesome.
My favourite comment contributor remains a certain right wing Nat party politician with a good sense of humour who always got a bite but was remarkably and no doubt deliberately moderate here compared to what he does say in the more official public arena.
No-one ever guessed it was you, which was hilarious. Sir, your secret remains totally safe with me!
Thanks too to those in the mainstream media & Scoop who have paid me respect, quoted me, communicated with me, exchanged tips and even worked discretely together on stories. That has meant a lot.
In a few days from writing this, I will enjoying faster integrated public transport in Australia as I have in just the last few weeks decided to sadly join the brain drain.
Why? I love NZ , would love to stay and love running this site which is enjoying huge popularity and has a busy but fun project.
Auckland under Mayor Len Brown has offered a 30 year or so vision for how Auckland should be and it’s starting to show improvement that makes me believe it will become the exciting liveable city he wants it to be but he’ll need central Government to let him get there.
Nationally all our politicians are so focus-group obsessed they aren’t prepared to think beyond next week’s opinion polls let alone give us a vision of how NZ will ride out the world’s gloomy financial situation and take bold brave innovative moves to guarantee our future.
I want them to try things.
Why is there no gathering of ex-pats who have made their name overseas to find out what would entice them home or what they have learnt in the big wide world and trends they have been picked up that could be applied here.
No gathering of the creative bold thinkers amongst us to find out how to collectively work out solutions that ride above the usual gutter politics so that politicians from across parties work in the bigger interests of New Zealand to craft a long-term vision they buy into.
My reluctant decision to join the exodus is not financially driven as the media usually portrays in discussing why people move. It’s because I’m increasingly frustrated if not depressed that NZ could be so much better, so much more interesting, and more able to hang on to people so they can do stuff here and still enjoy the lifestyle that makes NZ special.
I want to thrive in an environment that is positive, looks ahead not just obsessing about wrongs of the past and understands where the world is at in 2012 including in terms of transport, an issue obviously dear to my heart. And with a thousand people heading off a week, too many of my like minded friends have already made the move and I am sick of reading their Facebook posts about their life in their new world and how much more positive they feel about navigating the stormy global uncertainties ahead.
I’m not so naive as to assume Australia is nirvana without its own problems but it’s a big place and it will be a start, however hard it is to wrench myself away from family and friends, replace a nice laid back comfort zone at the bottom of the world and, to be honest, to write these words that means this post signals the end of the fun of providing this site.
My blogging days are parked so don’t expect an Australian AKT. For as long as I can afford it, I’ll leave this running for a little longer as an historical online record of what’s happened over the last few years.
That’s it. Thank you. Good luck.