Greens Grab Northland Train


Early this morning, Greens MP David Clendon boarded a Mainline Steam steam train from Auckland to Whangarei.

Along with placard-waving Greens supporters at Mt Albert station, he took advantage of the excursion to highlight the campaign to save the Northland to Auckland rail line which is currently under threat of closure from Kiwirail.

The excursion trip was a sell out.

The MP will help collect signatures for the save rail petition which has at least 5000 signatures already.

The sight of the steam train travelling through Auckland’s suburban stations was a surprise to regular passengers and a delight to young children who loved the noise and bursts of steam.

The train arrives at Whangarei about 2 this afternoon.




  1. Julia says:

    Does anyone know where may one sign this petition on it’s way back down through auckland?

    A maintained and effective rail infastructure is, in my opinion essential for the future stability of this country

  2. Patrick R says:

    I agree with the policy but the tactics are hopelessly naive: a steam train says quaint past, romance, unrealistic dreamers. Very easy to dismiss.

    Get smarter Greens, you’re right but don’t give your opponents such simple hits.

    Go hard on the math, on resource depletion, on infrastructure resilience, on how they need to kill this line simply to find more traffic for their hopeless highway. How closing it is like wasting the work of our forbears, on the worldwide rail revival, on the potential of the line for Marsden ,and jobs, and tourism.

    Otherwise soon all it will be is an underused bike trail.

  3. Jon Reeves says:

    Actually the Greens did well. Any of you who have ever worked in marketing know, you don’t sell the sausage you sell the sizzle.

    From what I have read on this and the CBT forum a few too many of you want to sell the sausage.

    10 points to Greens for selling the sizzle - that’s exactly what roading and trucking lover Steven Joyce does.

  4. Patrick R says:

    But Jon the sizzle in this case says ‘Rail is History’.

    Joyce lies with his : ‘Puford is essential for the economy’ but it is way more effective.

  5. Alan Preston says:

    Kia ora !
    For everything related to (saving) the North Auckland Line, downloading the petition , etc…
    see our web-site at :
    and contact us by e-mail @ [email protected]

  6. Chris says:

    If Greens get into Parliament Auckland will have a great public network of trains, but its not worth it for all the negative impact they’ll have on NZ as a whole

  7. Patrick R says:

    Chris what negative impact is that?

    An efficiently running centre of the country’s economy, with way lower congestion and far higher air quality. With greatly improved productivity and resilience. A need to import less oil as millions of NZers commute each month powered by renewable electricity, so therefore enhanced protection against oil shocks and price rises.

    One third of the population and the biggest market is in Auckland, could it be that we need that city to be working as well as possible for the country to succeed or do buy into the fantasy that only the countryside is productive?

    Sorry that I’m just guessing at your reasoning but that’s because you offered no argument at all to back up your views. Please do explain.

  8. Geoff says:

    @Patrick, if they don’t use the opportunity afforded by the steam train, then the alternative is to not show up by train at all. I don’t see how that would be better.

    Even if they had the resources and money to charter a train for themselves, the best they could do would be to show up in the same 70 year old carriages behind a 30 year old diesel, or in an almost 40 year old railcar.

    It’s heritage or nothing!

  9. Patrick R says:

    Problematic then, cos it’s not a good subtext to the argument… Still, all strength to their elbow….

  10. Simon says:

    I think what Patrick`s getting at is that going by steam train offers opponents further ammo that rail is “19th century technology”.

    Of course they promote the campaign by saying “This (steam train) is the past, Northland needs to look to the future (and that`s where you add the sizzle by showing what could be done and opening local people`s eyes to the possibilities).

  11. Chris says:

    @Patrick R - Im not saying that the city shouldnt have a developed train system. I have the same view as you on that.
    But I would not want to take that as a single reason to vote a party in. I dont like Greens principles, and views on human rights, and personally it wouldnt be worth having an excellent train system.
    Thats why I like John Key, because he does nothing. This means that while not much good happens, National doesnt make stupid laws like previous governments, like Labour.

  12. Chris says:

    ‘and personally it wouldnt be worth having an excellent train system’ “,for those reasons. ”

  13. Riccardo says:

    You’re all being a bit precious.

    If the Greens want a press conference in front of a large log train hauled by a diesel - no-one will attend, let alone the public see it.

    If you do it when all eyes are focussed on it, much better opportunity.


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