Monday, June 24, 2019

On the road to nowhere......

NZ has some unique problems other countries don't face.....

Under investment in the transport sector for thirty years.

An uncompetitive and very slow road building industry.....they would last 5 mins in Europe

A narrow gauge railway system...what were they thinking?

A Railway system that was sold to a US company to make a few very rich, asset stripped and is in dire need of investment and bigger subsidies and hopefully renationalised.

New Zealand is a linear country, population centres run up and down unlike other countries maybe except Chile. This makes it difficult to build to future proof your investment.

Before the usual suspects start with snowflake commie remarks it should be noted that all the worlds railway systems are tax payer subsidised and mostly state owned with the exception of Japan . In fact the price of rail travel is so cheap several countries are thinking of making it free.

It costs nearly as much as the ticket price to collect, account and finance the ticket system in some countries. It is for the economic benefit of the country if goods and people can be moved swiftly and as cheap as possible. Imagine if there was a high speed rail link between Hamilton and Auckland and how that would affect employment and living standards.....35 minutes @ $15  one way. That is the price you would pay in most EU countries.

Moving freight off the road onto rail should be prioritised as apart from road damage it causes pollution, immense frustration, delay and cost to the motorist and to the country.  It is the trucking industry that is being subsidised by the tax payer as money set aside for repairs is mostly wasted unless it is the first repair and done well. Filling pot holes with aggregate and slapping a seal on  is not a repair and will not last. Unless you start with a good  base on a well made road you are wasting time and money which is why investment is needed, not to repair bad roads but to replace them.

It is a balance between road, rail and coastal shipping that is needed but to do that the Government needs more legislative control because as the British found out the hard way privatisation with shareholders dictating investment did not work out well at all. The worst service in the EU, the highest fares and the dirtiest trains....oh, and the best paid CEO’s.


Andrei said...

"A narrow gauge railway system...what were they thinking?"

New Zealand is a mountainous country with a small population and it would have cost a lot more by several orders of magnitude to build the railways in standard guage and have taken a lot longer. That is what they were thinking.

How much would it cost to build a TGV like system between Auckland and Wellington and how many people would use it?

Paris urban area has a population of 11 million, the greater Lyon area about 2 million - the countryside between the two is relatively easy going so a high speed rail link is viable though it looses money.

Basic economics

gravedodger said...

"several countries are thinking of making it free."
Another melon stuffed with hypocrisy.
Soak the rich pricks to give an imaginary belief it's "FREE" when it is a poor bugger living way down in struggle street with little understanding ;little money and little resources who will be forced to pay while the so called rich prick from the propaganda news reel has hived off to a Swiss Bank with his dosh.
All to benefit the job secure public funded Crat to ride the cheep train to work while playing games on a MacBook Air listening to music through the Air Buds and watching the aforementioned grifter out the 'free' train window working his arse off to pay for all the free stuff "from the ever generous(paid for with other peoples money) Nanny State.

Evs are free from oppressive taxes of RUCs and Energy taxes on fuel, guess who can afford the nice EV certainly not that poor bugger down in Struggle Street, he is desperately trying to keep his 1998 corolla on the road with a wof(every six months)rego and 91 petrol nearing two bucks (half that taxes) a litre, no f*&*&*g subsidy there eh.

As for "Coastal Shipping" might as well bring that subsidised benefit for Union organised charlatans as well, worked so well lasst time because the average joe citizen had no freekin idea how much that little pile of excrement actually cost in price, inefficiency and losses.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...


There you go again!

Many of Australia's freeways were build by NZ road building companies. I used to drive on one of them for four days each week.

You clearly would not be talking such nonsense about narrow gauge railway if you had even one small ounce of engineering knowledge. I suggest you look up the word 'terrain.'

Did you know Western Australia's rail system is narrow gauge?

Have you seen the remarkable rail system between Mendoza and Santiago? It wan opened in 1910 and is standard gauge. One of the most remarkable feats of engineering I have seen

For how long has either the feseral or a state government in the USA owned railways?

Tom Hunter said...

Just a note to "Eat-The-Rich" (no irony there regarding GD's points). I've deleted your comment not because it was stupidly abusive - witty abuse I can appreciate - but for the very simple reason that it added precisely ZERO to this debate. You came off sounding like a drunken Public Bar thug.

Tom Hunter said...

There is so much wrong with this post that it almost deserves a counter-post by itself, but that would feel too much like tit-for-tat, so....

Under investment in the transport sector for thirty years.
On what numerical basis can this be claimed? Compared to what theoretical amount of investment? To achieve what level of transport system quality and efficiency? For example, we certainly don't have enough dual-carriage expressways in areas of high traffic and accidents (yay Kapiti Expressway and Waikato Expressway), but somehow I don't think Green-Labour regard that as an under-investment problem. I'd love to see more double-tracked rail and wider tracks - but even Green-Labour faint at the prospect of the amounts of money needed to make that happen, yet without such things we're stuck with a boutique rail system.

An uncompetitive and very slow road building industry.....they would last 5 mins in Europe
Interesting. Like home building in NZ vs. the USA perhaps? Again, numbers would be helpful in supporting this claim.

Tom Hunter said...

A Railway system that was sold to a US company to make a few very rich, asset stripped and is in dire need of investment and bigger subsidies and hopefully renationalised.
It was renationalised in 2008.

Meanwhile the whole "asset-stripped" claim is just such 90's/00's Labour propaganda crap.

The privatized Tranz Rail carried more freight per tonne/km than ever before, mainly by just making bigger, longer trains. They increased shipping milk and coal by rail. They actually reopened some branch lines for freight (like Dargaville). They bought a brand new ferry, whereas the state-owned outfit had last got one in 1983 and before that in 1974! They started the Lynx Fast Ferry service - and that was killed off by complaints against waves in the Marlborough Sounds and a speed limit under RMA rule. Hell even, their long-distance passenger service expanded for a while, until it was screwed down by airlines figuring out discounting.

None of that sounds like "asset stripping" to me! The main bitch and moan from Labour was the reduced spending on track, but that was down to a mid-80's engineering report that pointed out that tracks had overengineered for purpose in many cases - which you could probably set down to the usual Government Department approach to spending all its annual budget in the 1970's.

Tom Hunter said...

it should be noted that all the worlds railway systems are tax payer subsidised and mostly state owned with the exception of Japan
Not the only excepton. I can't speak to Europe (inc. Russia), but the entire US rail freight system, including the tracks, is privately owned. That's because it makes sufficient money to Capex both track and equipment and still make a profit. It carries lots of freight but note that it's bulk or containerised freight shipped over long distances (see how this fly-in-the-ointment keeps popping up re NZ rail).

The rail that is not privately owned in the USA is passenger rail, which the companies abandoned decades ago when they saw numbers dropping as early as the late 1940's against competition from planes and cars, and the latter was before the advent of the Interstate expressway system.

Typically, as in NZ, successive US governments refused to accept this and so took over the passenger business at a Federal level. the result is Amtrack, which is notorious for things like $10 hamburgers on which it still loses money, along with losing money on everything else. Even in a city like New York where such car/plane competition amounts to nothing, the whole thing is such a financial disaster that the city can't pay to refurbish the tracks and carriages.

... the Government needs more legislative control because as the British found out the hard way privatisation with shareholders dictating investment did not work out well at all
Oh god. The Great Central Planning Genius argument raises it's head again.

Privatisation seems to have worked well even in NZ for things like airports and sea ports: you may have noticed how well Auckland airport and Tauranga seaport have been doing in the last twenty years in particular, and others are in good shape, if not expanding at the same rate. By contrast there's Auckland's council-owned seaport, which is a dog getting its lunch eaten by Tauranga.

And as far as the Poms are concerned, especially when to comes to the wonders of high-speed rail, note that privatisation of UK rail started in 1994, while the first TGV line in France started in the early 80's, the first German ICE trains in 1991 and the first Italian high speed line in the late 70's. So what stopped it happening in the UK when it was state owned?

I'd also note that British train passenger use is now at its highest since the 1950's, which speaks well of privatisation.

In fact one of the saddest, if typical stories of British technology was the high-speed APT train tech, which was sold to Fiat, which made a commercial go of it and sold the trains back to Britain. I say typical because it reminds me of how many brilliant aerospace stuff was developed in 1950's/60's Britain - only to be canned by various British governments who had the same brilliant planning foresight in those areas too.

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

Can't answer all of the straw man arguments.....I did not mentioan British railways usage. I mentioned condition and captive audience.....passenger numbers have risen since 1950 because the population has increased (Doh) parking charges and emission zones. Overcrowding is endemic.

Kiwirail was taken back into Govt ownership in 2008 from Toll holdings, it had been asset stripped and this continued under thr Key Govt in order bolster revenue.

Fancy having a rail network with no central city stations CHC gone

Clarke Govt....“In recent years, Toll Holdings has worked hard to turn this around, but in the end all have acknowledged that it is not possible to run an effective rail network in New Zealand without significant financial support from the New Zealand taxpayer."

The 1 July deal was the New Zealand Labour government’s second major transport renationalisation. It bought back Air New Zealand after it nearly collapsed in 2001, 13 years after the carrier had been privatised.

Ask Veteran how well Auckland airport is doing :-)

The US rail Freight is not a comparison that can be used. It is fifty different counties with differing systems, some are doing all right others are not.

Chunter...DO NOT delete comments on my blog..put it back other wise you start blog are beginning to act like a dominatrix.

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

Eat the rich......feel free to repost and I will delete if you overstep.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...


Yes it's a pity Tom deleted that comment. I must take some of the blame for failing to properly brief him when he first came here that we don't enter other author's blogs without permission.

I note your message to the dopey bastard who commented. What are your blog rules? What do you deem to be overstepping? It would e helpful if you published whatever rules you may have in your profile.



Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

Adolf.......Chunter has been around blogs since Jesus was a water skier...he knows exactly what he is doing.

My rules...common sense and relevancy.

david said...

Chunter...DO NOT delete comments on my blog..put it back other wise you start blog are beginning to act like a dominatrix.

Beginning to?

I gave up posting here because of Chunter's antics.

Tom Hunter said...

Chunter...DO NOT delete comments on my blog...
Well I have an agreement with Adolf and Gravedodger to delete stupidly abusive comments about the two of them and I when I saw GD's comment followed by that crap I simply reacted. Won't happen again.

Also I can't bring it, although if you contact Psycho he may be able to retrieve the precious gem.

I gave up posting here because of Chunter's antics.
Somebody call the Wahmbulance! I've not deleted any of your comments on my blog, no matter how nasty, stupid and abusive they've been, which is almost all of them. Can't say the same for those you've posted on GD and Adolf's blogs as per the agreement mentioned above.

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

Presumably Adolf and GD have access to your blog, if that is the case we may as well switch off comments.

Precious is in he eye of the beholder and I haven't beholded yet.....don't be a smart arse otherwise you will have me believing that your dad and my dad standing shoulder to shoulder, pushing a bayonet for bob a day is a big fib.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...


You should not presume.

Blog authors at no Minister gave access to each others's blogs. GD is not a No Minister author. There has been an understanding that an author will not interfere with another author's blog or with the comments thereon.

Psycho Milt said...

The platform we're on here is a very basic one, so there is no technical separation into individual blogs - only an agreement among the authors that we treat each others' posts as though they were not ours to mess with unless requested to. I have deleted comments from other authors' posts, but only if they make claims about the identity of the author, and I usually advise the other author I've done it.

Unfortunately, once a comment is deleted, there's no recovering it. Wordpress and some other platforms have a lot more functionality than this one and give the administrators a lot tools for moderating comments, but that comes at the expense of having to put more effort into figuring out how to run things, and all of us here have other things in our lives besides this, so we stick with Blogspot.

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

Gravedodger not an author...mmmm, I think the literary aware amongst us came to that conclusion a number of years back.

Andrei sim said...

"On the Road to Nowhere"

Oh the delicious irony of the post's title.