Banks On Where He Stands


Auckland Mayor John Banks today denied speculation he has gone cold on promoting public transport.

The speculation follows transport minister Steven Joyce warning Auckland mayoral candidates that there was no point in campaigning for transport schemes such as airport rail which had no hope of getting government funding in the near future.

Since the minister’s comments, commentators have wondered if John Banks has retreated a bit from his enthusiasm for projects, such as the CBD rail loop.

So I asked him. He says that he still “absolutely believes in and is promoting transport initiatives.

“But big projects take careful management – and they have to be done as funding can be sourced.

“We can’t land the ratepayers of the new Auckland with a huge debt, so initiatives like the CBD rail loop must be looked at with a realistic timeframe and cost in mind. We will definitely keep promoting and pushing for it.

“Also, Auckland is more than just a CBD and surrounding suburbs. The people of Rodney and Franklin, plus the less intensively developed areas out East and the North West need proper roading for their commuting and freight. It’s just not practical to promise rail in two decades time as the solution for their congestion - they have well developed projects now that need help.

“Major projects such as the AMETI, Penlink, Puhoi-Wellsford, SH18, improvements in the North West etc. Rail is not a realistic prospect for them anytime soon.

“Public transport initiatives are absolutely the best way of dealing with Auckland City, Waitakere and southern Manukau issues. Ferries are a hugely untapped resource for dealing with Northern and Eastern commuter traffic too, plus that will open up our harbour for tourism opportunities.

“Lastly, the project which has a huge prospect of making big differences is integrated ticketing. We need to build on the integrated public transport we will get next year and apply to on and off street parking, plus use this as an opportunity to boost park and ride.”




  1. karl says:

    Well-developed? Puhoi-Wellsford?

    Gosh, he’s not changed his spots AT ALL. What a fake.

  2. Kurt says:

    This is no surprise.

    John Banks was a National minister. He openly campaigned at their conference recently begging for their support.

    There is no way in hell this guy is going to go against this government no matter how wrong their out of date vision of the world is.

    If elected Mayor John Banks will simply be the National MP for Auckland, towing the party line and promoting their 1950′s vision of the world, more roads, more motorways and more gridlock.

    Auckland Council needs separation from the central government, it does not need a mini National administration mirroring their mistakes.

  3. Michael Wood says:

    This is the same John Banks, who along with his C&R colleagues is trying to ram through the removal of Dominion Rd’s buslane and its replacement with a T2 lane.

    His record speaks more clearly about his attitude to public transport than any of his polished campaign trail words.

  4. Joshua says:

    Just a small question karl, when did Banks ever say he wasn’t supporting Puhoi?

  5. Joshua says:

    All in all what Banks says makes sense, much more than Brown has to say anyway, the disappointment to me is his unwillingness to at least commit to the CBD tunnel.

  6. DanC says:

    I do hope that our new Mayor to be gets behind public transport and pushes it and doesn’t back down to the govt.

  7. Rationale says:

    Joyce is telling the prospective mayors that they will need to come up with half the dosh for a CBD Tunnel, effectively telling them that they’ll have no chance. It’s a form of bullying, Joyce must go!

  8. Cam says:

    Knew it was too good to be true. A Leopard never changes it’s spots. We need someone who will advocate for PT in Auckland,that’s not John Banks.

  9. rtc says:

    Time for Banks to go, we need someone with vision not someone following Joyce blindly and touting roads as the solution and rail as just a pipe dream. Sorry Banks your time is up.

  10. Barb Insull says:

    “Lastly, the project which has a huge prospect of making big differences is integrated ticketing. We need to build on the integrated public transport we will get next year and apply to on and off street parking, plus use this as an opportunity to boost park and ride.”

    Is it me or is this statement impossible to make sense of?
    We have been waiting for integrated ticketing for years - how hard can it be? Is it just around the corner ? will the new auckland transport be able to make it happen sooner?
    Is integrated public transport the same as integrated ticketing?
    -and what is it we are getting next year?
    Apply what to on and off st parking?
    Use what as an opportunity to boost park and ride?
    what does boosting park and ride mean when all the PR sites are already full?

  11. Joshua says:

    Barb Insull - Applying the ticket to on and off street parking makes practical sense, and is definitely the way to go, also the park in ride sites on the Northern Buss-way are full at the moment, however it will encourage further development, for example on the out skirts of the Southern Train line and Western Train Line.

    Also the pricing and the ticketing structure have yet to be released, these need to be followed and have appropriate pressure to get the ticketing details sorted. Remember it needs to be more than just a smart card.

    In the end what Banks says makes practical sense, in terms of transport we need to focus on Integrated Ticketing and the CBD loop before even considering Airport Rail and Harbour Tunnels. But I thought his tackling of the Ferry’s was also a good point, that I didn’t really consider, Auckland’s Harbour is unique and is definitely not as well used at the moment than it should be.

  12. Andrew says:

    We need rail to the Eastern Suburbs more than we need AMETI. I was previously undecided as a voter, but now I’m leaning further towards Len Brown.

    Banks also says “we need to complete the motorway network” - how is this a campaign point? Politically that’s over and done and construction is underway or about to start on the last pieces.

    Unless somehow the goalposts of what consists of a complete motorway network has changed? Last time I checked, it consisted of the Western Ring Route, Vic Park Tunnel and already completed CMJ changes. That’s it, done, surely.

  13. karl says:

    “Just a small question karl, when did Banks ever say he wasn’t supporting Puhoi?”

    Where did I say that? Do you really think he looks any better when you point out that he always supported the biggest money-waster in the room?

    What I am referring to is that the “changed” “public-transport-friendly” Banks is now (again, I guess) the “lets not get ahead of ourselves on PT, lets finish the motorways first” Banks again.

    I guess I should be happy that he could not restrain his true nature until after the election.

  14. Joshua says:

    I think he is trying to expand himself out to all voters,

    Supporting the main PT projects that need to be completed for many central Aucklanders,

    Supporting much needed Roading Projects for Rural Aucklanders,

    and promising not to bankrupt the council in doing so, not saying I agree with everything he is saying, however he is more practical than his other opponents.

    “Well-developed? Puhoi-Wellsford?

    Gosh, he’s not changed his spots AT ALL. What a fake”

    - Just by this comment is felt like it was implied he changed his mind on Puhoi.

    Many Aucklanders agree on Puhoi, however many of those who agree will say CBD tunnel is more needed, not dismissing the need for Puhoi. Banks is supporting both, which from talking to people, it seems so do the majority. So to allot of people it does make him look better, maybe not to me, but to general Aucklanders from Rodney to the Bombays.

  15. karl says:

    “Many Aucklanders agree on Puhoi”

    Many people will agree to ANY infrastructure project.

    But if you tell them the bill created by the project, the approval starts to wilt. If you tell them that this means less money for Council roads, less money for rail, less money for safety improvements, less money for footpaths and cycleways, they will be even less happy.

    Of course the Mayor of Auckland isn’t making the call between spending on Puhoi and CBD tunnel (he SHOULD, but Wellington will never let us decide how we want to spend our own money).

    I am not impressed by Banks trying to have it both ways (while also getting weaker and weaker on PT).


Leave a Comment


XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>