Train Fail: Greens Blame Govt


The roots of Auckland’s transport woes are a deep bias in transport planning and Government funding according to the Greens.
In the wake of Friday’s RWC Train Fail. Green Party transport spokesperson Gareth Hughes, says everyone is pointing fingers,” trying to pass the buck faster than a Sonny Bill Williams offload.”
Rail operator Veolia is undertaking an urgent review of what occurred on Friday night, particularly with regards to train delays.
Auckland Transport has asked that the report includes issues such as:

  • on-board security
  • improved communication with customers
  • ventilation on trains
  • passenger health and safety
  • more rapid response to operational issues
  •  the use of extra buses in the event of train failures.

FRIDAY CHAOS: No information, ticketholders desperate to get into Britomart & on a train

Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully says he won’t apologise and says it’s Auckland’s public transport system that had ”failed to deliver to the required standard. “In spite of reasonably successful trial events, there is no escaping the fact that last night’s performance was short of the standard required.The Greens MP says the transport debacle was caused by systematic bias against trains and buses in Government transport planning,” said the Minister.

The Greens MP says the transport fail was caused by systematic bias against trains and buses in Government transport planning,
“We hear again and again from the Minister of Transport that Aucklanders don’t want to take buses and trains. The officials at the Ministry of Transport have taken this view in their pessimistic review of the CBD rail link business case. But it isn’t true, as was obvious Friday night.

“The Government needs to take responsibility — Aucklanders want to take public transport, but they can’t rely on it because the service isn’t good enough, and this is due to decades of underinvestment.

“New Zealanders want and need smart green transport investment. Aucklanders want a vibrant city they can get around, without having to fill it with cars.

“This is why the CBD rail link should be fast tracked — Aucklanders need a fast and reliable way to get into their city every day, not another motorway to get them out.”

Mr Hughes said that the poor service that occurred on the night was unacceptable, and that blaming passengers and the operator wasn’t good enough.

“This embarrassing fiasco risks undermining confidence in public transport for future games and risks Auckland’s reputation to host major international events.

“We need to learn from this - it’s no surprise that public transport fell over, since it’s never been properly funded. The Government is continuing the mistakes of the past, spending seven times more on motorways and roads than on public transport over the next ten years.

“We have the opportunity to make smarter transport investments that are fiscally responsible and will create more vibrant communities. The Green Party has a costed transport plan that will get our rail and public transport up to scratch as the priority,” said Mr Hughes.
Over 100 comments on Friday night’s disaster as it unfolded

Auckland escapes a bullet - most global media don’t mention the Auckland failure

Urgent review ordered

Government attacks transport fail

1st step to compensate people

What happened in Queen St when pedestrians took over

Photos from the craziness on the streets

What Party Central looks like




  1. William M says:

    I have a lot of respect for Gareth Hughes, but I can’t completely agree with him. I agree that perhaps there could have been more done to assist (financially from the RWC budgets) in terms of security and logistics in the public transport area, but seriously: we’ve been making plans for the last 80 years for a decent suburban rail network, and each successive government has turned the plans down and dismissed them. This is not the fault of any single government, but a decorated history of under-investment and myopic motor-heads. Be glad that the World’s media didn’t catch much of it. For once, I don’t blame Joyce.

  2. Travis says:

    Agreed William….I have been saying this on twitter all morning…

  3. Evan J says:

    The Green Party was in coalition with Labour just three years ago. Maybe it’s the Greens which should be offering an apology it didn’t do more when it was in power rather than passing the buck faster than a Sonny Bill Williams offload.

  4. Cam says:

    @Evan if it was not for the Greens we would not have had project DART or many of the rail improvements we do have. You are pulling a very long bow blaming them.

  5. The Trickster says:

    Evan J

    The Greens have never once been in coalition with the Labour Government - mostly due to the postering of Peter Dunne and Winston Peters.

    The most they got was concessions on a number of things such as the Buy NZ Made campaign in return for confidence and supply votes.

  6. Decanker says:

    Evan, the Greens have never been in coalition with Labour so have never been in a position to do much more than advocate, which they continue to do as best they can.

    And I agree, that under-investment in PT goes waaay back to the days of automobile glorification and urban sprawl. Sadly, we still have the grubby remains of that ideology in Govt today.

  7. Greenwelly says:

    @ Decanker, @The Trickster,
    It depends on what you define as “in coalition” .

    While there have never been Green Ministers of the Crown, the Greens and Labour did have a formal supply from 1999-2002

    Technically the ACT and the Maori party are not “in coalition” with the Nats, they just have Confidence and Supply agreements.

    In 2005 the spokesperson positions that Bradford and Fitzsimons held, were essentially associate Ministers positions in but name only.

    So while you might be able to say that the Greens have never been in Government, the defence is very Clinton-esk

  8. Greenwelly says:

    I meant formal Supply and Confidence Agreement from 1999-2002

    ( Damn Trend micro work software that wont let me back into a post to edit a type)

  9. Wasp says:

    Good points on 80 years of governments central or local burying their heads in the sand.

    You can’t blame Joyce entirely but he’s seen this coming for the last 3 years and since he is the top official when its comes to transport he can’t escape criticism either.

    His smugness when it comes to justifying roads and when its comes to excuses why there is never enough money to seriously improve Auckland’s PT is a good part of the problem.

  10. ChrisW says:

    Michelle Boag on National Radio today said the Friday night chaos reflected Auckland’s over-emphasis on trains. We need to consider all modes…

  11. Gary Young says:

    I heard Boag’s comment as well and I thought it typical of her detachment from reality.

    Auckland has one of the smallest suburban rail networks you could find and yet she would have us believe we ‘over emphasise’ trains.

    And we all hope in vain that the current government will consider all modes rather than ‘all roads’.

    I’ve listened to Michelle Boag often on the radio and her smug ignorance drives me nuts.

  12. Wasp says:

    Boags comments are standard me me me right wing crap I have heard for years.

    Paul Henry was banging on the same way this afternoon. They hate the thought that “their” money is being used for the greater good. They much prefer our money is used for those raised on the better more quality side of life such as South Canterbury Finance speculators.

    Think of it this way Michelle, if more of us lowlife ghastly pinko’s use trains then there’s more room on the roads to drive your ski rack equipped Porsche Cayenne’s and Beemers.

  13. Harry McDonald says:

    I rather think it is you that is stretching credibility here. Both ACT and Maori Party have ministerial positions with real power. The Greens have never had any power to change things.
    Both ACT and Maori Party have formal coalition agreements with national: show me the Green’s coalition agreement.
    Brian Rudman hit the nail on the head when he said McCully and the government have been grandstanding over the RWC, taking any kudos going, yet at the first sign of a problem they do their Pontius Pilate act.
    The minister for chaos, Joyce, needs to get the asphalt off his breath and listen to reason.
    Another 3 years of Joyce will be another 3 wasted years.

  14. urban local says:

    It shouldn’t matter who was in government when and to what extent the had power or not.
    The issue is real now and needs attention now. But you all know that already…
    And so does Gareth Hughes. This is potential political capital that he isn’t about to water down with a history lesson.


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