Thursday, 3 December 2009

It’s clear: “Super” city will mean super-sized spending

ANZAC Bridge

Bridge or tunnel? Tunnel or bridge?  The debate over which, and how many, reveals just how Auckland city’s politicians think about the “super” council they’d all like to lead.

North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams was the most effusive. offers the very worst reason: he favours a tunnel over a bridge even with the extra $2 billion or so price tag, saying “the extra expense involved in building a tunnel would be worth it” for New Zealand’s first ‘super” city.

Which tells you as much about the spending rectitude of Auckland’s “super” city politicians as you need to know – that spending decisions for the “super” city are going to be based on grandomania rather than prudence – that satisfying politicians’ super-sized egos will take precedence over satisfying ratepayers’ cries for their pockets not to be picked – that, in short, a “super” city is going to mean nothing for Auckland’s ratepayers so much as a super-sized spending bill.

Which is just what the ratepayers of Auckland, Manukau, Papakura, Franklin, North Shore, Waitakere and Rodney are crying out for, right?

Think your rates bill is big now? Just wait until it’s super-sized!


Libertyscott said...

It would be simple to just let a private investor acquire or lease a corridor to build it, toll it and run it as a profitable operation. Better yet for the bridge to be bought by same and do the same, so it can optimise the asset.

Of course no one would put a railway there, because it couldn't possibly make any money. It would not be necessary if tolls were priced to ensure traffic flowed freely at peak times, and buses could then be commercially viable as the alternative.

However, no politician ever gets excited about privatisation, using price mechanisms to match supply and demand or letting private companies quietly provide services. They'd rather steal money for a railway and get it named after them, forever sending the bill to taxpayers.

Rather like tinpot dictators without the kitsch.

V said...

Well I do commend the designers on providing some convenient access holes beside the pedestrian walkway. Perhaps this is to be used by the overtaxed citizenry to throw themselves off into the waters below?

Anonymous said...

Of course LibertyScott, not one railway in NZ is named after anyone.... so much for that theory!

Also, there is nothing stopping any private company from building a toll bridge or tunnel right now. That they don't (without whining for public cash) speaks volumes about how unprofitable toll roads really are.

We Aucklanders (ouside of ACC territory) are more concerned by the crooked CCO corporate model being forced on us - which has always been widely rejected by public submissions to councils.

Why? Try water - the average water rates bill for someone under Banks in Auckland City Council has long been twice the average bill for a Manukau resident. Even though they use the same water supplier, Watercare. Now we're all getting CCOed to death. Thanks CCOs ;(

Why not just let us democratically decide what assets and operations we want in Auckland, and pay for it through rates ourselves? That way, the freeloaders can't dodge paying for the things they use.

Extreme Leftie.

LGM said...


You should have written, "Of course LibertyScott, not one railway in NZ is named after anyone.... YET." After all, going by the previous behaviour of the political classes, it is just a matter of time.

You also wrote, "there is nothing stopping any private company from building a toll bridge or tunnel right now." Really? And you'd know that would you?

As a matter of fact there is plenty preventing that from occuring- the RMA, obtaining council consents, responding to political lobbying, defending against pressure groups, accommodating special interests, providing hidden commissions and bribes for the political class, allocating make-work jobs for members of the political class or related cronies, at least a decade of paying for consultations and studies, hearings, ticket clipping by government etc. etc. etc. etc. It certainly isn't merely a matter of purchasing the land and building.

What rock are have you been living under?

You write, "We Aucklanders etc." Who is this royal "we"? You speak ONLY for yourself, no-one else. Don't try to puff yourself into something important. You are not "we". You do not represent ANYONE else. You are merely speaking on your own behalf. Be honest.

Hey, why not just let each individual decide what assets and operations he or she wants to actually use in Auckland, and pay for those directly and voluntarily themselves? That way, political freeloaders can't dodge paying for the things they use. That way, those who don't want to pay for the things they don't use, don't pay.


Anonymous said...

Ummm Anonymous...... water in Manukau is delivered by a CCO; so ith their prices 25% lower isn't that a GOOD case for a CCO? .... so long as it operates independently with good governance and without the need for banker-demanded returns on assets.