Greens Last Bid For CBD Link In Budget


Greens MP Gareth Hughes is staging a “walking train” march on Saturday morning as a last step in his campaign for funding for the CBD rail tunnel to be included in next week’s Budget.
The march starts at 11 am at the corner of K Road and Pitt Street, then follows the route of the loop down Queen Street to Aotea Square and then Britomart.
The MP launched a campaign and petition for the rail link in July last year.

Len Brown spoke at the Greens CBD link launch at Britomart

The Budget itself has already been printed and today’s word from Finance Minister Bill English shouldn’t raise anyone’s hopes for public transport funding although there has never been any suggestion the Puhoi highway will be affected.
Government financial statements today confirmed a $10.2 billion operating deficit before gains and losses for the nine months to 31 March.
The deficit includes the Earthquake Commission’s $1.5 billion estimated share of costs for the February earthquake in Christchurch. However, it does not include the Government’s support package for AMI policyholders, which was signed after 31 March.
“The Budget next week will confirm a very large deficit for the current year, including the immediate costs of rebuilding Christchurch,” warned the Finance Minister.
“But it will also confirm significant improvements in the fiscal position over the next few years, before we return to surplus and start repaying debt. To achieve that, the Government has completed a careful and balanced review of its spending priorities, which we will outline in the Budget.
“It’s essential that the Government gets its own finances in order as quickly as possible, so it can join households and businesses in lifting national savings and reducing New Zealand’s vulnerability to foreign lenders.”

The Government’s accounts for the nine months to March show the $10.2 billion operating deficit before gains and losses compared with an $8.9 billion deficit forecast in the Half Year Update in December. EQC’s costs for the February earthquake accounted for most of the difference.

At $3.3 billion, the operating deficit included gains and losses was $3.8 billion better than forecast, mainly reflecting gains from share investments by the New Zealand Super Fund and ACC, along with actuarial gains on ACC and Government Super Fund liabilities.

The cash deficit was close to forecast at $12.4 billion for the nine months.




  1. BD says:

    The Christchurch quake is total Bullshit reason for not funding the Auckland Rail Tunnel, excuse my language guys but in situations like this it’s totally necessary.

    If the government really cared about saving money it would drop almost all of its RONS from the list which adds up to billions of billions of dollars.

    The CBD would increase rail patronage that is already struggling to cope, with the introduction of electric trains this is only going to get worse if nothing is done about building the Rail Tunnel now!. The problem is guys National have other priorities and this has absolutely nothing to do with Christchurch, they are not in a position to argue that this is the case when they are still proceeding with the RoNS as planned.

  2. Patrick R says:

    Yup, there’s nothing about rail for National to like. A state owned, unionised business that only serves people. No opportunity to subsidize the profits of a business owner they know and identify with. Won’t happen under these guys, forget it.

  3. DanC says:

    People of Auckland will soon start to get real pissed at the govt’s lack of people backing.

  4. Cam says:

    Good on the Greens for doing this but they don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. This government will not, under any circumstances fund, even partially, the CBD rail loop. To believe otherwise is to delude yourself.

    This project will have to wait for a change of government which will be at least another 3 years away at the earliest.

  5. Matt says:

    Cam, I wouldn’t be too certain on that. One comment on Your Views yesterday about the speculation that Key will tinker with KiwiSaver was from someone who should be prime National voter material (by his admission), and who said that if Key fiddles with KS then he’ll “hold [his] nose and vote Labour/Green”. He’ll hardly be alone, I’m sure.

    Key is working mightily to lose this election. Screwing public transport for Auckland, wasting money on roads that a lot of people can see as being of little point, and now dicking about with the long-term financial future of generations X and beyond. He’s got another six months to bugger it up further, and he seems eminently capable of doing so. Let’s just keep feeding him the rope.

  6. LucyJH says:

    Right now hardly anybody outside of a small, select circle of transport wonks understands what the CBD rail loop is or (more importantly) why we should build it. I think anything that raises awareness of those two facts is good…

  7. Matt says:

    Lucy, I think understanding of what it is is pretty widespread, because it’s had media coverage. Why we desperately need it is probably much less understood, but the Herald has actually explained that without it we’ll run into Britomart’s capacity limitations in the near future.
    How that ties into growth projections, etc, though, is pretty opaque to most residents I would suggest.

  8. BD says:

    I’m not surprised he is tinkering Kiwi Saver as the Money is being spent on RoNS, billions of billions of dollars. Seems that making the people suffer up to their neck in debt is a bigger priority than solving the issues that really matter like the CBD auckland rail tunnel, airport rail link and North Shore rail link.

    Why does National always seem to do the opposite to what people want, I was thinking of joining Kiwi Saver as awell I might as well not bother now, thanks a lot Key!!!!

  9. Owen Thompson says:

    Here is the Facebook Event link.

    Join us for this fun event to raise awareness of the need for the government to fund the CBD rail loop now. The Loop will unlock the potential of the rail system by reducing the travel time for Westies into town by 10-15 minutes, allowing us to run twice as many services on the Eastern, Southern and Western lines, and making it possible to build rail to the airport and North Shore in future.

    We will provide music and some fun props. Come wearing a Green shirt or dressed as a train.

    More info: Last week the government released their policy statement on transport funding which shows they have no plans to fund the CBD rail loop. Instead they are proposing to continue spending $11 billion on motorways over the next 10 years, while cutting funds for new public transport projects. We must stop this motorway madness!

  10. Patrick R says:

    Hey Owen it’s not 11 Billion in the GPS, it’s 17.551 Billion just for NEW State Highways, versus 417 million for new PT kit: 97.62% v 2.38%… nowhere left unpaved

    So absolutely nothing, nada, zip, zilch, zero, for anything involving a track from the NLTF. It’s official, whatever Nikki Kaye says.

  11. ingolfson says:

    Who cares what Nikki says. She’s only repeating the minister’s talking points anyway - when she’s not being absent from the debate, like all of last year.

  12. Patrick R says:

    @ingolfson, the problem with Kaye is, and we have to call her out on this, that she tries to pretend she is backing the CBDRL, and we have to call her out so no one is fooled into voting for her in the mistaken belief that she is anything other than part of the problem. And believe me support for it is widespread and crosses socio-economics. Her polling will be telling her that which is why she tries to fudge the matter…. Just trying to keep a politician honest that’s all…..

  13. max says:

    “She tries to pretend she is backing the CBDRL”

    Has she actually been speaking about it favourably at all? I had the impression that she simply didn’t talk about it at all.

  14. Patrick R says:

    @max what says is that she ‘supports’ it but we need to have a debate about funding….. in other words she supports it in theory only. Not actually building the thing. I want to get her to admit that her party, and especially those making the actual decisions, will never fund it, which is the case. As is proved by the recent GPS which contains a miserable 417 million dollars for all new PT infrastructure in the whole country for the next 12 years! So no CBDRL, no nuthin’.

  15. malcolm says:

    Is that serious? $417 million over 12 years? Words cannot express my disgust at that. State highways would get that in a year, easily.

  16. Patrick R says:

    Malcolm the figure for new state highways over the same period is 17.551 billion. Joyce has a complete mania for seeing farm land all over the country turned into four laners. Regardless of need, regardless of cost, regardless of likely economic benefit. He clearly owes some people.

  17. Geoff says:

    Right wingers support business, and oil is big business. Like the republicans in America, the National Party will always promote oil consumption, while hindering alternatives. It keeps their private investments humming along nicely.

  18. Patrick R says:

    I’m not in anyway anti-business [am a business owner in fact] or anti-Infratil, but we can see that they are aiming for a classic vertical integration of their bus assets and this fuel supply company. So it will be natural for them to use every opportunity to seek to grow these businesses which makes the company a natural opponent to any expansion of the electric network

    However I am hoping they can see opportunity in growing the bus sector through co-ordinated feeder services to stations like New Lynn, the upgraded Panmure and Manukau when it opens and not just fight to keep existing routes that trundle slowly all the way into the CBD, sometimes duplicating the train service.

    Why is this important? Auckland, especially the centre, is already overrun by too many vehicles including buses, and our only hope of really improving the urban from and quality of life in the city is to reduce the dominance of the streets by vehicles. And to do that without stagnation we need rail to be providing a greater share of the connectivity.

  19. Giel says:

    So Left Wingers don’t support business??

    Business is essential to economic prosperity and wealth creation for all. Let us not forget that without “Business” there would be no railway anywhere in the world. Rail was born out of “Big Business” and survives with “Big Business” so “Big Business” is essential for rail - the rest is anarchy. Without ‘private’ investment there would be no wealth creation - only wealth destruction so it figures “Big Business” is also essential for rail to flourish.

  20. Patrick R says:

    Giel, I made no mention of ‘wings’, which I frankly view as clumsy over generalisation that don’t really help…. I was just saying that I don’t have any kind of ideological predisposition to opposing Infratil but that: 1. I can see that their very business model could lead them to being no friend of rail in AK and 2. that Ak desperately needs rail to grow. Nothing more philosophical than that, have a read.

  21. Giel says:

    Sorry Patrick R wasn’t referring to your comment more Geoff’s. Just trying to challenge our thought process to see where it leads. Good debate anyway.

  22. Patrick R says:

    Ah, my apologies, I should scan up the posts a bit more.

  23. Matt says:

    Giel, it’s more about how things get prioritised. Classic “right-wing” politics prioritises commerce, particularly capitalism, ahead of people. The power of the employer ahead of the power of the employee, the corporation ahead of the society in which it exists, etc. The left, historically, says that the people who make up society are of greater importance than the businesses for which they work when it comes to framing policy. Employee rights, limitations on corporate power…

    So the left still supports business, just not at the expense of employees, society, or the environment. The long-term ahead of the short-term.

  24. Giel says:

    That’s cool - agree it is about balance. There are so many shades in the left - right - centre and very much it is like a circle - the extreme left is so left it is almost right and vice versa of course. Except there is a theoretical fracture between them so that they can’t quite meet to shake hands…

    I guess that is my point. You don’t want to come across as anti business. As you say Matt the two are not mutually exclusive. I agree unbidled Corporate greed is bad and actually harmful to society - witness the financial meltdown in many parts of the world today born out of selfish greed. We just need to be careful sometimes that we don’t shoot the goose as well and business is very important for humankind in that respect..

  25. Anon says:

    What happened to the Government review of the business case that Joyce promised?. WTF?!. I though the MoT, NZTA and Joyce would be reviewing it.

  26. ingolfson says:

    Oh, they will. Probably release their disagreement with the business case about 2012?

  27. Anon says:

    Ah damn it!. I’m offically a supporter of a PPP for the tunnel. I’m sick of this stupid Government ruining everything. Stupid stuck-in-the1950′s losers!.

  28. urbanlocal says:

    Anyway… I’m going on the march… see you all there!


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