$2m & Fingers To The Beehive


This afternoon the Auckland Council voted to give $2 million to Auckland Transport to progress the CBD Taniwha Rail Link.

And as predicted, it voted to make the project its high transport priority.

The Council has formally moved  ahead with the next steps – steps which would have been taken anyway if the Government had given its nod at this stage.

In other words securing the link and working out which properties would have to go and going through the formal procedures on this.

Greens’ hard working transport spokesperson Gareth Hughes who has been campaigning for the link says that “despite the obstinate approach of the Beehive, ” Auckland Council has listened to the people of Auckland and is doing its best to deliver a fast, frequent rail network that will transform the city.

“This is a project of national significance and the Auckland Council shouldn’t have to go it alone.

“But the Government prefers to waste billions on 1950s motorways that will not solve congestion and will lock our economy into dependence on expensive oil.

“Aucklanders are flocking to rail and we need to be investing now to meet demand in the future.”

Britomart being built. It won't be going any further anytime soon.

Mr Hughes said rail patronage increased 20 per cent between March 2010 and 2011 in Auckland, while traffic volumes on state highways were still at 2004 levels.

“We can’t increase economic productivity by putting all our money in motorways when the international oil price is expected to stay high.

“But Auckland Council can help people get around by investing in trains and buses and making walking and cycling safer.

“We need to invest in a transport system that doesn’t increase our vulnerability to high oil prices. That’s smart economics.”




  1. Patrick R says:

    Fantastic! Let’s just get on with making this city fit for this century despite Nero fiddling away with fantasy highway designations…..

  2. KarlHansen says:

    Good stuff. Maybe now is the time to wake up some of those property owners to make sure they start being in the ears of government.

    In the past, rail lines fueled property booms, and there’s no reason why they should not do so again. I bet the land around the Britomart quarter is a lot more valuable with the train station there today than it would have been if there was a huge underground car park there in it’s place.

  3. Wonder how much of that $2-mill has been set aside for taniwha pest eradication???

  4. Danny says:

    We’d have more luck getting funding from a Taniwha than the Minister for trucks!

  5. Jon Reeves says:

    Does anyone know when Steven Joyce and the out of date National party cronies will wake up and smell the roses, instead of truck diesel fumes?

    I betting very, very close to the election date Joyce will, against the wishes of the Trucking Lobby, announce something postive about our City Rail Link.

  6. Carl says:

    what exactly is the next step?

    can someone explain what $2 million is actually going to do?

  7. Sam Finnemore says:

    Carl: the $2 million is budgeted for further work on designating/protecting the route where the rail link will go, on the business case, and on resource consents and consultation with property owners who might be affected by the tunnel.

  8. GJA says:

    And once they spent the $2m, what are the deliverable and where to from there? Will that be something the Council can do on their own again?

  9. Carl says:

    protecting it from what? its underground?

    seems like a lot of money to shuffle some paper round if you ask me.

    but I suppose its better than nothing.

  10. Matt L says:

    Carl - Even though it is underground the council doesn’t own the land under buildings, they will need to buy rights to use that land for the tunnel. Also the tunnel will emerge around Mt Eden, land will need to be purchaced as some of the buildings up there will need to be demolished to allow for construction and the tunnel entrance. Before that happens they need to know exactly where the tunnel will go so they know exactly which properties will be affected.

  11. Matt says:

    Carl, protecting it from new construction that might sink deep foundations. The Council has managed to negotiate around planned construction at Downtown to achieve a clear path through the designed foundations, but it’s much easier if there’s a designated route that has protection. There was no obligation on the land owner to play nice, and had they not the Council would’ve been shit outta luck.

    Being underground doesn’t mean there’s an access right for the Council. Without route protection, there’s no guarantee that future construction won’t take place that buggers up the planned route entirely.

  12. KarlHansen says:

    The protection / planning will presumably also clarify the exact station location, and again, make sure that private developers (or other ultilities / Council bodies) don’t make the access to these stations harder then it has to be, by, for example, running a new sewer trunk right through it in the coming years.

    Protecting will also ensure that, for example, a future developer can’t whinge about underground vibration from the tunnel making him lose worth of his property etc… So the $2 million will be money well spent.

  13. Matt L says:

    Matt - While they have a rough agreement to build a tunnel through the downtown site, Westfield want that footprint limited and indications are that they want substantial compensation for the privilage, they definitely won’t be playing nice about it.

  14. Carl says:

    I see, I should have actually know that.

    So I’m guessing its not actually going to be run on the road at all?

    I guess I need to look a map to see where its actually going.

    *goes to find a link*

  15. Matt says:

    Matt L, better than saying “No, f-off,” which would be entirely consistent with Westfield’s behaviour more generally.

  16. ingolfson says:

    Well, if someone wants to run a train through your basement (and at Westfield Downtown, it WOULD be the (or just right under the) basement), getting something out of it isn’t exactly that unexpected.

    Carl, the route generally follows the streets. But first you need to take the sharp left turn from Britomart.

  17. Matt L says:

    Ingolfson - no one expects them to give the access for free, it just depends on what that cost ends up being. Most likely it will be in the form of things like planning consessions for other sites like St Lukes.

    Also apart from downtown, the route is mostly under roads until it gets to the top of Symonds St as after that it has to go under buildings (although some of that will be fairly deep).

  18. Patrick R says:

    Westfield should be reminded of how any customer they have at their Downtown mall has not arrived on their transit network or even parked in one of their carparks. What was that figure from Sylvia Park? $32 000 per carpark? That’s a huge saving, even if people are driving they are likely to be parking at the council building which is connected to the mall. Properly understood Britomart is a big public investment that delivers shoppers directly to them, and the CRL is another big investment to bring even more, so I hope AT harden up in these negotiations.


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