Auckland Council supports Northern Motorway extension

June 21st, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The NZ Herald reports:

A $760 million Northern Motorway extension to Warkworth has won support as a nationally important project rather than a “holiday highway” for Prime Minister John Key.

“This is not about Auckland and it is not about the holiday highway,” former Rodney district mayor Penny Webster told fellow members of the council’s regional development and operations committee yesterday.

The committee voted 16-4 to refer the project to a Government-appointed board of inquiry rather than deal with it locally under a process open to court appeals.

Excellent news for those living and working north of Auckland.

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30 Responses to “Auckland Council supports Northern Motorway extension”

  1. tom1980 (34 comments) says:

    It is particularly ridiculous that Labour is opposed to this motorway extension when it’s certain to benefit Northland, which is both one of the poorest parts of the country and, I assume, home to a lot of Labour voters.

    Just another example of left-wing hypocrisy and of Labour policies that actually harm its own voters.

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  2. scrubone (3,044 comments) says:

    It’s bizarre. It’s our biggest city, and for some weird reason we should only have a proper highway north to point x and beyond that it’s only for use by rich holiday makers? Who on earth thought that one up.

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  3. queenstfarmer (742 comments) says:

    Another slapdown for Labour’s childish, petty politicking.

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  4. scrubone (3,044 comments) says:

    Actually, it’s quite funny when people describe a road as “for the rich”. Because of course, it’s the poor that take helicopters.

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  5. campit (458 comments) says:

    Excellent news for those living and working north of Auckland.

    Well that would depend on how much the toll is. And lets not pretend this will make one iota of difference to Northland’s economy.

    In 1984 the Northern Motorway was extended to Sunset Rd. Now it has been extended by 30kms to Puhoi, has anyone noticed a difference to Northland’s economy?

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  6. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    @campit,

    If you want to be that glib about it, using that logic we wouldn’t fund buses or trains either

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  7. flipper (3,533 comments) says:

    But did Loopy Len and his cronies consult, Shearer, Norman, Genter, Cosgrove et al before coming to their senses?

    May be the loopy one thinks he will get his silly rail loop funding from the Government as a quid pro quo.

    There are absolutely no votes for National in funding the red melon labour wet dream

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  8. Reid (15,907 comments) says:

    This IS nuts. It is. The ONLY time the Auckland northern arterial is congested IS during holiday traffic.

    ALL THE REST OF THE TIME IT IS repeat IS repeat IS EMPTY.

    So we want to spend 760,000 million dollars on this?

    You want an image of how much a million dollars is?

    The Bible has around 750,000 words in it. Not even a million. Pick up a copy and see how thick it is and how many words are on each page. That’s how much a 0.75 million is.

    And the ACC wants the govt (us), to spend 760 thousand of them. Yeah right.

    Fucking JAFAs.

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  9. Wayne91 (143 comments) says:

    REID – “Fucking Jafas”

    Get the chip off your shoulder mate – lifes to short.

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  10. Reid (15,907 comments) says:

    Get the chip off your shoulder mate

    I was one for 20 years Wayne, no envy and no animosity whatsoever now I’m not, so no chip, mate. Normally I don’t apply that epithet since I know exactly how you think. However sometimes it fits. This is one of those times.

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  11. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    The roads north and south of Auckland, as well as the roads north out of Wellington, are at capacity for several hours every day. They NEED to be upgraded.
    Everyone is being silly about paying tolls. If, by paying $5 a toll, I can save 20 minutes and $5 worth of gas, it’s worth it. Fuck, I’d do it just for the 20 minutes.

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  12. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    This is nothing more than another unaffordable election bribe to pander to Aucklanders. If things were really that bad in Auckland then people would not be moving there in such numbers. And do not bother with telling me I am anti Auckland. I like the place and are considering a move there.

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  13. scrubone (3,044 comments) says:

    So we want to spend 760,000 million dollars on this?

    You want an image of how much a million dollars is?

    Do you know how much the roading budget is? Do you know that this is *the* largest road going north from *the* largest city in the country.

    Having a good road there is going to happen sooner or later. Heck, first time I went that way I was incredulous how short the modern highway was north of Auckland. It’s embarrassing.

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  14. Lance (2,439 comments) says:

    And the worlds most bizarre attempt at visualization award goes to ……….
    Reid

    The other question begs;
    If Aucklanders are paying for this, and then some….
    Why the fuck are some people so animated in opposition to it? Do they want to steal more of Auckland’s income for their own local pet project, wouldn’t be the first time, in fact pretty much the status quo.

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  15. Alan Wilkinson (1,812 comments) says:

    @campit, Russell just had one of our best holiday tourist seasons ever and I am still taking bookings for mid July.

    So, yes, improving the state highways provides direct, and permanent economic benefits. It is far, far better to have people working on roads than idle on welfare.

    As for tolls, there is already one north of Orewa. 90% of traffic choose to pay it rather than take the old winding hill road.

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  16. campit (458 comments) says:

    @Alan I’m not saying that there are no benefits from improving the road.

    I’m saying that a gold plated toll road is overkill, when a bypass around Warkworth (where the congestion occurs at Christmas and where it will still occur where the toll road terminates north of Warkworth) is a much more cost effective solution.

    http://transportblog.co.nz/2010/08/11/operation-lifesaver-a-better-solution-for-puhoi-wellsford/

    Also the Western Ring Route is opening in a couple of years. The justification for this is that it will take traffic from SH1 and move it to SH16 for the trip north, bypassing Warkworth altogether.

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  17. dime (9,356 comments) says:

    reid – dont worry, auckland will still be able to subsidise whatever shit hole you live in.

    Dime approves most roading projects. it just makes sense.

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  18. David Garrett (6,308 comments) says:

    Reid and Alan: You are both right. Most of the time, especially during the week, the Orewa – Puhoi section of the m’way is virtually deserted. And 90% of users DO pay the toll to go thru the nice tunnels and avoid the hill road…I know, because it means I get to give my old Jag a strop over the windy hill road because there is no-one else on it.

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  19. Alan Wilkinson (1,812 comments) says:

    @campit, have you ever driven SH16? You must be joking if you think any significant traffic is going to take that route.

    SH1 should be four lane separated carriageway from Whangarei to Invercargill like every other civilised country. Toll roads ensure that tourists pay for it too. The days of grinding up hills at 30km/h on SH1 behind trucks should be long, long gone.

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  20. Alan Wilkinson (1,812 comments) says:

    @David, I travel it every month on Monday or Tuesday afternoon and that motorway is never deserted. It is however bliss to drive, not be held up by trucks and slow traffic because it has two lanes, and relax for part of my 250km commute.

    And for the many tourists who arrive in Auckland, rent a van or car and head north to the Bay of Islands after a long international flight better roads are gold.

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  21. chris (556 comments) says:

    One thing I’ve never been able to understand is why we have such a piecemeal approach to roading in New Zealand. SH1 throughout large parts of the country is a joke. How many other western countries *don’t* have motorways between their major cities? There should be a comprehensive plan to build at the very least something along the lines of the Waikato Expressway (2 lanes each way, separated by barriers or a wide patch of land) to join our major cities. Implement it possibly over a long time period (10, 20, 30 years something like that) but make it a long term plan, instead of every now and then adding a bit more on here and there.

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  22. Alan Wilkinson (1,812 comments) says:

    @Reid, b.s. The motorway is never deserted in daylight. I have driven it several thousand times. You don’t know what you are talking about.

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  23. Alan Wilkinson (1,812 comments) says:

    @chris, yes, I’ve been saying this for years. Why the idiots waste megabucks building 3-lane passing sections when for a minor incremental cost they could make them four lane divided and progressively link them together I can never figure out.

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  24. tempest (29 comments) says:

    Amazing that Labour can oppose this particular motorway extension when, under Helen Clark, they constructed or began construction of the following:

    1. 27km of new Northern motorway from Albany to Puhoi (ALPURT) including the present toll road
    2. Major Spaghetti Junction improvements including stage 1 and 2 of SH16 Port Motorway
    3. Victoria Tunnels
    4. Most of the new Upper Harbour motorway (SH18)
    5. Extension of the northwestern (SH16) motorway towards Kumeu from Westgate
    6. New motorway sections at both ends of the Southwestern motorway (SH20) at Manukau and Mt Roskill
    7. A doubling of motorway lanes on SH20 (from 4 lanes to 8 lanes) across Manukau Harbour.

    And don’t forget that Helen Clark first proposed the very expensive tunnels at Waterview. In fact this project (for 4km of road) makes the Warkworth road seem cheap.

    Does Reid and Campit support all the above new bits of motorway? If so is it because they were built by Labour not National? I note that transportblog.co.nz is generally supportive of the Western Ring Route despite the fact is all about building nasty personal automobile inducing freeways – is this because it was a Labour govt initiative?

    And yes, there will still be congestion at Warkworth when this project is finished – this is why eventually there will be 4 lanes through to the Whangerei area.

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  25. campit (458 comments) says:

    My support for a project depends on objectively assessing costs and benefits. A toll road to Warkworth doesn’t stack up. It has the lowest BCR of any of the projects stated above. As such it shouldn’t proceed in its current form. Hundreds of millions of dollars will be sucked out of the economy to pay for this and other RoNS, with 3c a litre excise tax increases every year for three years. On top of that NZTA is borrowing from the Crown.. At the very least there should be a comparative analysis of alternatives. I’m struggling to understand why Kiwibloggers advocate so much tax and spend for projects of minimal value.

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  26. Keeping Stock (10,088 comments) says:

    Labour’s patronising attitude towards the so-called “holiday highway” (aided and abetted by the Greens) might explain why Labour does not hold a single electorate seat north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

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  27. Alan Wilkinson (1,812 comments) says:

    @campit, first, the cost/benefit analyses are always speculative as they rely on attempts to predict future development – or as you no doubt prefer, a refusal to do so. Second, the extension is a part, not a whole. It is a necessary component of a proper road all the way to Whangarei.

    To compare, as you are doing, the benefits of future Northland development with the existing costs of urban delays is simply an apples to oranges comparison

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  28. campit (458 comments) says:

    Alan, you are right – BCRs are by no means perfect. But their strength is that the same set of assumptions for a given section of road can be used to test alternative solutions. My point is that there haven’t been any alternatives at all tested, only an incredibly expensive duplicate four lane toll road to the north of Warkworth.

    We will be left with the existing SH1 being maintained to the current relatively unsafe level for people that can’t afford the toll.

    What about improving the existing road for a far cheaper cost, without the need to toll? That comparison isn’t available anywhere, because it hasn’t been done.

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  29. Griff (6,698 comments) says:

    some commentators have 0 experience of the drive from Auckland north
    state highway 16 is slow winding with no overtaking .
    I often travell on state highway one and have never seen it without traffic.
    freight uses state highway one 24/7 .

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  30. doggone7 (674 comments) says:

    Keeping Stock:

    What you call Labour’s patronising attitude towards the so-called “holiday highway” does not explain Labour’s lack of seats north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. To suggest so is ridiculous.
    Check the history books to see how many Labour MPs there have been from Rodney and Helensville north since 1950. (Granted there have been boundary changes over that time.) There have been Labour MPs north of the Harbour Bridge in places like Glenfield but I would suggest that the main interest people in the North Shore heartland close to the bridge have in the road north, is using it as their Holiday highway.

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