Twyford Gets Transport


Phil Twyford has scored the shadow transport portfolio under Labour’s new broom, David Shearer.

A wise choice especially as the MP also gets Auckland issues and is associate environment spokesman to deputy leader Grant Robertson. He’s ranked 11th on Shearer’s list which also sees Jacinda Ardern deservedly rise to the front bench at 4th as social development spokesperson.

Some weeks back AKT pushed for both Shearer and Ardern to rise to give Labour a fresh look.

David Shearer talks to local Waterview tunnel protesto

Unlike his recent predecessors Darren Hughes & the often missing in action Shane Jones, Twyford has already shown an interest in the issues.

Phil Twyford

In fact in October he made a plea to the Auckland Council’s Transport Committee proposing a Northwest Busway, similar to the North Shore busway and light rail there as well.
Councillors did not vote for the option – but agreed to send his presentation to Auckland Transport officers asking for consideration of bus options for the SH16 from the bus shoulder to an actual busway.

Using an assumption of a cost of $25m per kilometre including low cost railway platform stations in the central median for 14km, he estimates the total cost at $350m. Plus a $50 million “green bridge” across the Whau River to carry buses, pedestrians and cyclists to a bus station on Rosebank Peninsula from Great North Rd at Glendene.

Twyford argued that the northwest of Auckland is currently poorly served by public transport. The Western Line does not really serve this part of West Auckland.

His bio says in the 1990s he set up Oxfam New Zealand.  After four years working for Oxfam International based in Washington DC he returned home with my family. The Twyfords have a 21 year old son.

With Greens’ new spokesperson transport planner Julie Anne Genter, we should see some intelligent questioning at last of the country’s transport direction.

Shearer’s list




  1. George D says:

    Looks promising!

  2. cam says:

    He returned home with your family? Weird.

  3. Bob says:

    Seems a good choice. Prepared to get out and about and take action. Not scared of rail or road options either.

  4. Jon R says:

    He returned home with someone´s family.

    Good choice though.

  5. Ingolfson says:

    Ah, and look at Shearer talking to Margi Watson in the top. Margi (Albert-Eden Local Board chairperson) certainly didn’t let NZTA get away easy with anything dodgy during the Waterview consent hearings. Scrappy fighter, that women.

    Oh, and sounds good, what with Twyford.

  6. Patrick R says:

    And he’s already hit the ground running which is good to see:

  7. Bryce says:

    Nice find Patrick. Good to see Phil getting stuck in already.

  8. Kevin says:

    No way the Northwest busway in the near future as well as North Shore busway are important because no train on the line.
    First fundamental remains that need in the loop tunnel central Auckland since 1969 over 40 years for Aucklanders nothing.

  9. Jon R says:


  10. Matt says:

    Kevin, they’re not mutually exclusive. And given that the northwestern is being widened, adding a busway to it along the way makes sense.

    Jon R, I think it translates as “The NW busway is not a near-term priority because the CBD has been waiting since 1969 for the CRL.”

  11. Ingolfson says:


    “because the CBD has been waiting since 1969 for the CRL.”

    Since the 1920s, acvtually:

  12. Matt says:

    ingolfson, I was just trying to translate, not passing comment on the accuracy.
    However, I didn’t realise the project’s auspices were so ancient, so thanks for the info :)

  13. Matthew Flower says:

    Express bus from Westgate to Downtown. Westgate - Westgate, off at Te Atatu road (back on), off at Patiki Rd (back on, limited service), Nelson St (off) down to Britomart. Every 15mins every day of the week.

    That’s a cheap and nasty interim solution.


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