Claire Edmondson, General Manager
I’m all for
modeshift. I bought my electric bike three years ago and recently invested
in an electric scooter. I love my electric bike and am a confident
cyclist – I zoom around Auckland’s city centre, take my e-bike with me over
to Waiheke Island, and it even accompanies me on the ferry to the
Coromandel. However, I still cannot fathom why the government thinks spending $785 million
on a walking and cycle lane across the Waitemata Harbour is a good investment,
especially at this time when the government has either downsized or culled some
other committed projects.
Last month, Transport
Minister Hon Michael Wood announced the Northern Pathway Westhaven to Akoranga
project as a dedicated walking and cycling link between Central Auckland and
the North Shore. The preferred option is a stand-alone bridge alongside the
existing Harbour Bridge.
experiencing a different reality in Auckland and New Zealand than whoever came
up with this idea, but I really cannot understand the logic behind this
project. The Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) is estimated at 0.4-0.6 – yes, for every
dollar spent, there could well be a loss of up to 60 cents.
help but question this project’s priority at a time when:
- there is a significant infrastructure deficit in
areas such as the health sector
- we have nurses striking over their pay during
the COVID-19 pandemic
- we have over 100,000 New Zealanders stating they
- over 100,000 people have presented a petition to
Parliament asking for more funding so New Zealanders can get access to
modern medicine from Pharmac, because the $200 million extra funding allocated
over four years in this year’s National Budget is insufficient.
Why not just
get on with a multimodal harbour crossing instead?
is rightly copping flak on the issue, with the National Party stating the whole
fiasco – including the earlier clip-on version – has already cost $37 million,
with $20 million spent on consultants alone over the past two financial years. The
ACT Party’s David Seymour has stated the announcement breaks the government’s original
2018 statement that it would fully fund the cycle crossing only if the business
case for it stacked up.
believes the BCR would improve once a more detailed re-assessment was done. To
me, that suggests fudging numbers to artificially make a project appear beneficial.
If the numbers do improve substantially, it would be useful to review the
methodology and apply it against projects that have not progressed due to an unfavourable
announcement tells me is that if you have the means and create noise, this
government will give you what you want when others without a voice are not
getting what they need!