Wednesday, 29 October 2014

How to bridge Len Brown’s gap.

Drivers could pay an Auckland motorway toll of about $2 under a congestion-busting, road-building plan being unveiled today.

Len Brown says there are very few choices to make up Auckland Council’s spending shortfall.

The first option is a motorway toll.

The second is higher rates.

The third is a complicated combination of those first two, along with addition fuel taxes.

It is said these are Auckland’s only choices to bridge the spending gap.

But that’s bollocks.

There is  a fourth choice.

I like to call it my Stop-Spending-So-Goddamned-Much Plan.

Unlike the other plans, it’s very uncomplicated – it is, by far, the simplest way to bridge the gap between what Len Brown’s council spends, and what it takes our of your pockets.

It looks like this: Stop Spending So Goddamned Much.

I commend it to Loopy Len’s attention.

[Pic NZ Herald]


  1. Len's approach may solve Auckland's troubles eventually. They could re-name it South Detroit in anticipation.

  2. You're not going to let me say "hang him from his own damn bridge" are you?

    At the constitutional convention, Benjamin Franklin noted that, historically, the removal of “obnoxious” chief executives had been accomplished by assassination which is why the US has impeachment.

    Clearly the supercity does not - even when the incumbent was elected fraudulently

    Oh - and $2? Give me a break. As in London, the minimum would be $10 each way, so $20 per day. Anything less won't even cover the cost of collection.

  3. Hey Len Brown, go fuck yourself!!!

    "I like to call it my Stop-Spending-So-Goddamned-Much Plan."

    HERE F**** HERE!!!

    Let a million people in the country....
    What did you think was gonna happen to the road network???

    Cambell the stooge putting a good spin on it...

  4. If the transports assets are so desirable then sell the other monopoly assets to fund the new one. Done.
    But loopy doesn't want to attend a board meeting about never ending losses from a revenue stream that won't fund the interest bill. Far better to be looking smarmy at the airport coy or the ports of Auckland ,not forgetting Careless Water. So the empire grows on its inevitable run to the most bankrupt city in the world. Still we can draw comfort from knowing every other ratepayer in the subscribers list of the LGFA is on the hook no more no less. Mal investment under ZIRP has seduced all these little men.
    I have a plan - a cunning plan. Sorry no sharing. Good luck suckers.

  5. Auckland City is going to experience the result of financial default in the not too distant future times. Good luck with it. You are all going to pay for it very dearly and personally. Len and his merry looters won't. They'll get away scott free and with much wealth. I will not be staying around here to see your pain and misfortune but my heartfelt sympathies will be with you in your difficult times.


  6. His Greenie friends state this is the "modern" solution, but it's not. Several US cities went down the path of pouring fortunes into railway schemes in the 1970s, none of these have done anything to traffic congestion, although a few have helped boost property values for a few homes adjacent to stations. It is abundantly clear that the rail system is grossly underutilised most of the time, and that the talk of it being at capacity at peak times is just pure myth - of course given how grossly subsidised fares are compared to costs, demand is hardly a fair reflection of what it should be.

    The railway is now a sunk cost and needs to be managed to maximise revenue, so fares at peak times need to be high enough to stop overcrowding, off peak fares should be at a level to recover costs, but attention needs to be turned to Auckland's shoddily managed local road network. He should channel all parking revenue into offsetting rates spending on that network, and focus on measures to improve capacity, and set the commercial bus sector free again so it can respond to market demand.

    The grand vision of the planners, of a city constrained within urban growth boundaries, and housing growth focused on high density apartments on top of "nodes" (railway stations") to replicate a bastardised version of London or New York, is a disaster for housing costs and public finances, not least because nearly 90% of Auckland employment is not in the CBD. The sooner that Auckland Council loses powers the better.

    There IS a case for tolling Auckland roads, but only to replace existing taxes - and only tolls set by a road company to make a profit - not tolls set by a Council to redirect to pet projects.

    The Green vision for Auckland transport did not win in the election, the Nats could do much worse than to review the powers of Auckland Council, and develop a user driven future for Auckland transport.

  7. Scott

    This Ak railway can not and never will be able to cover its costs. A passenger trip costs about the same as a taxi for a similar distance. Since train passengers do not pay taxi rates for a train ride the subsidy per passenger trip is very large. For example, for me to take a train into the city the Ak Council subsidises the trip (one way) by $17.90. The further you travel the worse it gets and the more the Ak Council arranges in subsidy for its crony colleagues. The "sunk cost" to which you refer is long ago dissipated and is now all but irrecoverable, save perhaps the smallest portion. Rather than spending yet more of stolen money on it (throwing good money after bad) it is time to liquidate it all and without further hesitation.

    There is no case for tolling roads- not until certain more pressing matters are sorted first. This tolling should not even be discussed until the wee matter of who properly should own the roads is addressed. It is the ratepayer, taxpayer and car driver what paid for the roads by way of being robbed for years and years. As a first step it is they who ought to have their wealth returned to them. Since all that remains of what was extracted from them are the actual roads- then at the very least the roads must be returned to them. How that is done is important (and a fit subject for examination). What individuals then choose to do with their portion is a matter for themselves. Some may indeed set a company. Some may not and may set their affairs into different arrangements from that. Some may want to toll. Others may not and may come to different arrangements. But before the matter of tolls even enters the arena of discussion, the matter of private property rights and the return of property to those who had it taken must be properly addressed and sorted out. If this is not done and what is instead erected is a company to toll roads in order to "replace existing taxes" and "make a profit" then what is going to be achieved in reality is an arrangement of cronyism and deceit used for the purpose of fleecing the members of the public of yet more property (wealth, land, money, resources etc).


  8. Amit

    The railway has value, if only because there is a profitable freight railway hiding underneath the passenger rail largesse, and the burden of politically justified branch lines (i.e. the entire network north of Auckland). I'd argue there is a case to run the railway into the ground given the enormous amount just spent (and the contracts in place which will cost more still to cancel), charge fares to run the thing at an operating profit (Wellington peak services already do that), given there is no need for new capital for a considerable time. There is the view that it would be safer for taxpayers to just close it, because another govt would come along and pour a fortune into it.

    Your view on transferring private property rights does have another dimension, which is that vast tracts of the motorway network are built on land compulsorily acquired (in fact many state highways, although local roads by and large were built when property rights were being introduced on the land in the first place). For local roads, you could conceive of a first stage whereby local roads of a council transfer into a company owned half by ratepayers and half by registered vehicle owners (proportions can be related to value, number of properties/vehicles). State highways simply to registered vehicle owners. Roads are networks, and beyond purely residential streets, subdividing them into tiny parcels wont make sense anymore than it would have to break up Telecom like that for privatisation (better to give all customers shares instead).

    The state highway network is more clearly a business, fully paid by its users, generating surpluses now (which are reinvested in the network, and taken for pet public transport projects). Local roads are more clearly related to adjacent properties, as they provide access first, and network functions second, but given they are, on average, half paid for by users, finding a way to reflect the ratepayer function would be needed. I'd suggest it's far easier in rural areas than cities. Interesting though.

  9. Cometh the hour, cometh the man...
    Check the comments section here at...

    That Jamie bloke may run his mouth a bit,
    But least he can back it up,
    Unlike all these other punks

  10. Well he's following the broken lines
    Living on borrowed time
    Motel rooms and broken hearts all left behind
    You swear he couldn't close his eyes
    As he shifts into overdrive
    He's been up and down this road so many times...

    The man of his own
    And searching just keeps him proving
    That only the road
    Can tame the rebel in his soul

    Jimmy Barnes - Driving Wheels

    Like a cowboy in a rodeo
    Riding hard but never letting go
    You'll be wand'ring through the twilight of his life
    Waylon Jennings on the radio
    Country music and engines roar
    Like a shooting star across a desert sky
    And he's got a home
    But it's out on the blue horizon
    Heaven only knows
    There's still a rebel in his soul...

    Shout out to my Truckie Brothas....

  11. Hammer down the open road
    Steel pigs my only load
    Country songs are always playin'
    He's a goin', she's a staying
    Briquets keep the fires burning
    Diesel keeps the wheels turning
    Hikers on the edge of town
    Start off young and end up learning

    Shipping steel, shipping steel...
    Nobody knows, the way it feels
    Caught between Heaven and the Highway
    Shipping steel, shipping steel...

    Some men need a family
    Need the club fraternity
    God's salvation guaranteed
    Mac's the only friend I need

    Cold Chisel - Shipping Steel

    Yes I've done my time Shipping Steel...

    RHS, round bar, flat bar, structural, sheet, plate, ball, beam, bin, oversize...

    You name it...

    I've hauled it...

  12. Yes Liberty Scott is correct - the freight side of Kiwi Rail is very profitable and always has been, just as it has been for almost every railway in the World.

    It is offering passenger services which cocks things up, and what I do not understand is why the freight side of Kiwi Rail isn't privatised.

  13. No. the freight side is not profitable. There is no way that it supports its direct and indirect opex costs, on-going capex, deferred maintenance and all the rest of the overhead that is generated. Very few railroads in the world are profitable (and that includes rail freight, not only passenger). It is near impossible to get an honest and transparent set of accounts in regards to rail. There are so many subsidies, cross subsidisations, cost transfers, revenue transfers, regulatory sleights of hand, legislative obsfucations, consultants' justifications and all the rest of the dishonest accounting and political tricks that hide the truth from plain sight. Nevertheless, it is possible to run accurate analysis on the data that is available. That shows red, red ink everywhere.

    Liquidation is the only option. That way if someone wants to take it on and sees a profit in it,.............they can!



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