Author Archives: Mike Lee

The wreck of the Niagara – a clear and present danger

Readers of this site will be aware of the concerns I have been raising about the scale of pollution of our inner harbour and streams from sewage- contaminated stormwater. While the problem has been down-played by officialdom for years, thanks … Continue reading

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Harbour ferry Kestrel and our waterfront in danger from bureaucratic group-think

The announcement by Ports of Auckland chairwoman Liz Coutts that it was ‘no longer acceptable’ for the port to reclaim the harbour was the most sensible utterance from any city leader on this subject for some time. But while Mayor … Continue reading

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Parnell Heritage Station – a work (of art) in progress

After years of delays Parnell Station finally opened in March – but for Southern Line services only. Western Line and Onehunga trains don’t stop during weekday working hours, and Auckland Transport (AT) management remains uncommunicative about when they will. Given … Continue reading

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Conserving and restoring Auckland’s precious heritage: Motukorea – Browns Island and the Parnell Station

When I last wrote about Motukorea – Browns Island in February, I promised to keep readers posted on progress – so here goes. To recap – after the island was rescued from the ignominious fate of becoming Auckland’s sewage outfall … Continue reading

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Time and patience running out for the Super City?

Auckland has had the Super City for more than six and half years now and for a lot of people it’s starting to feel like a sentence.  It should be recalled Aucklanders were never allowed to vote on this massive … Continue reading

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Selling the port – selling out the people of Auckland

  Mayor Phil Goff’s intentions regarding the Ports of Auckland always struck me as quite ambiguous.   While he has been free with comments about wanting to physically move the port… to the Firth of Thames, to the Manukau Harbour, to … Continue reading

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The planned sell-out of Ports of Auckland – and why selling is losing

The Spinoff series. Storm in a Port series  One would have hoped given all the problems Mayor Phil Goff has right now, the unhappy progress of his ‘bed tax’ for example and his council’s own systemic problems, with only 18% … Continue reading

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Auckland Transport’s March of Folly

Historian Barbara Tuchman’s acclaimed March of Folly – from Troy to Vietnam published in 1985 was about ‘the pervasive presence, through the ages, of failure, mismanagement, and delusion in government – contrary to its own self interest.’ I think about … Continue reading

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Here come the Coalition: history repeats as citizens step up to protect the harbour

The mid-March storms revealed just how stretched Auckland’s civic infrastructure has become. More ‘chickens coming home to roost’ after years of council and government high population growth policies for Auckland.   While the irony of water restrictions after very high rainfall … Continue reading

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The cost of high growth – the dirty secret Auckland council would rather you not know about

It came as a shock to most Aucklanders when the NZ Herald recently revealed the scale of stormwater-driven sewage regularly overflowing into the harbour. The source is mainly from the western side of the CBD (call it greater Ponsonby) but … Continue reading

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