Category Archives: Uncategorized

‘Navigators & Naturalists’ – the book

Next year 2019 will be the 250th anniversary of the visit to New Zealand of James Cook and the Endeavour. No doubt, any commemoration will be accompanied by controversy and debate but hopefully the anniversary will stimulate renewed interest in … Continue reading

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Conflicts of Interest: Twyford’s light rail project based on questionable advice

Transport Minister Twyford’s defence of his unpopular light rail to the airport plan (Dialogue 25 October 2019) was light on argument but heavy on references to ‘experts’. The Minister will need to do better than this to convince Aucklanders that … Continue reading

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The fight for the Waitemata waterfront

The news of another waterfront stadium, this one to be sunk in the harbour is the latest in a long list of controversial waterfront developments proposed or under way. The real estate consortium pushing the ‘spectacular’ $1.8b stadium is claiming … Continue reading

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Waitemata & Gulf under threat…from Auckland Council

Under the Local Electoral Act Auckland Council must undertake a representation review every 6 years to ensure there is a ‘fair’ balance between the population sizes of the wards and ‘effective representation’ of communities of interest. In Auckland the review … Continue reading

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How ego, technical ignorance and group-think sabotaged two sensible rail plans for Auckland

People may have noticed a subtle change in the wording of the latest official publicity about the proposed $3.5b light rail to Auckland International Airport project. Mysteriously the word airport’ has been airbrushed out. ‘City to Airport’ has been replaced … Continue reading

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Rakitu rat eradication – message to my Great Barrier constituents

The following letter was sent to the Barrier Bulletin the local newspaper on Great Barrier Island and was published in April. I wrote it because a sort of moral panic, in part drummed-up by the newspaper, was building among the … Continue reading

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Goff’s ‘Toilet Tax’ – Auckland’s ‘winter of discontent’ set to continue

Just one week after the imposition of the council’s regressive fuel tax, more bed taxes and a bunch of new targeted rates, came the disclosure in the NZ Herald that mayor Phil Goff has been planning ways to impose a … Continue reading

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‘Sea Change’ versus democracy in the Hauraki Gulf

It’s fair to say that the democratic element of our society has been weakened in recent years, a by-product of the neoliberal revolution that has swept across the western world.  Unfortunately this revolution didn’t stop with the disappearance of Sir … Continue reading

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Secret reports – plausible denial: Auckland Council’s winter of discontent

It’s certainly proving to be a Winter of Discontent within the Auckland Council. It’s this discontent that was behind the recent letter expressing ‘strong dissatisfaction’ with the ‘secretive and non-inclusive’ leadership style of Mayor Phil Goff, signed by nine councillors … Continue reading

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Trams to Auckland airport – is this really a Super idea?

I was as intrigued as most when Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced the NZ Superannuation Fund’s interest in building, owning and operating the Minister’s favoured light rail project – costed provisionally at $6bn for two lines. As we know one … Continue reading

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