Infrastructure Rant – Part 1

We need strong, long term leadership to fix Aucklands problems and we need it now!

MelbouremotorwayThe most noticeable thing to me when I first hit Melbourne was the infrastructure!

They actually have a transport infrastructure.

They have a motorway from the airport to the city and beyond. You can get everywhere in the city by Train, Tram or Bus. You can pick-up a rental car in the centre of Melbourne at 8:30 in the morning drive aimlessly around the central city and get onto a motorway in 10 minutes. Even as I left the city the inbound traffic was mildly congested, maybe 10 minutes slower than normal.

Compare that to Auckland with a population half the size.

The second thing I notice is that when they decide to build a road. They build it. They work around the clock to make it happen (Oh, that means they get lots done at night when the traffic is not around) If it is a critical road they pull out all the stops with the consent process and push it through.

Compare that to Auckland. The Greenlane intersection (which is outside our Auckland Office) will take 9 months longer to complete, will be have grown in cost from $14 million to $26 million dollars.

I was in Auckland this week and there was no work happening on it at all. What would I expect? After all it was the school holidays and traffic is lighter so it makes perfect sense to do nothing.

“Almost finished the upgrading of the Green Lane intersection” is the first transport highlight that Dick Hubbard sights on his website as a reelection highlight. 9 months late and $12 millions dollars over spent. Now that’s a highlight.

I know that not all cities in Australia have the infrastructure and planning that Melbourne has. But at least when they decide it is needed. They do something. In New Zealand we talk and talk and talk and talk. But nothing happens. Nothing.

Auckland in all reality is not any better off than it was 15 years ago when I joined the industry. No light rail, no real improvement to inner city traffic.

If we want to continue to grow as a country. We need strong leaders that will make it happen.

I find it all quiet disheartening and can see why 2,000 people a week head off to Aussie.

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