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On a busy day, Auckland Harbour Bridge hosts over 200,000 trips. No money has been found for decades to build a second harbour crossing. Auckland's population, currently running at between 1.7 to 1.8 million, will shortly hit 2 million, given that NZ's population is increasing by around 100,000 a year at present and up to half of those will probably settle in the city. Auckland is getting bigger. Wellington is not. The bureaucracy there will not tell us how many are "working" from home. Most Wellington bureaucrats don't want to go into work anymore and their bosses are letting them get away with it. Lucky they don't work for Elon Musk or JP Morgan in which case they' be fired. Now we hear that a cycle track costing $236 million (given cost overruns it will likely end up being a whole lot more) is being built that runs exactly along Wellington's Fault Line for 5km. Given the thousands of civil servants being laid off in Wellington, the "working" from home culture there, and how every serious urban economist says its best to encourage density & not incentivize long commutes, what is the point of a cycleway connecting Lower Hutt with Wellington? Is it so Minister Bishop can be one of 360 people walking on it as he comes & goes from his Hutt South electorate, or Chris Hipkins can be one of 290 people riding an e-scooter on it as he goes to buy Fish & Chips in the Hutt where he grew up (which are the numbers projected to use it by 2030)?

Even given the number of cyclists they're saying will use the track - around 2,000 "trips" per day by 2030, which would suggest only 1,000 people going into work & back again - that's still a tiny number. Especially given that for much of the year it's wet & windy in Wellington & wont be used a lot on those days. There are just over 100,000 people in Lower Hutt, whereas for Auckland's projects the numbers are 10 times bigger. The benefit of spending 1/4 billion dollars on one of Auckland's pressing infrastructure needs is orders of magnitude higher. In a cost-benefit ranking of projects around the nation, which the new coalition is committed to doing, this cycle-way is far down the list. The project isn't environmentally friendly - they're dumping 144,000 tons of rock into Wellington Harbor & spending $10 million to try protecting fish. Wellington is lacking the agglomeration benefits that come with getting large numbers of cool, smart young people together in tight urban spaces to feed off one another & come up with new ideas & businesses that change the world. Why encourage those who even are in Wellington to go live in the Hutt? To paraphrase Rolling Stone Magazine, our Capital City has become a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of NZ, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into money that the rest of the nation makes so it can build things to save itself. Move the capital to Manukau City, by Auckland International Airport, and be done with it. Should Auckland not work, NZ will go down with it. When will Wellington get that point? Obviously never, because it wants to divert resources to itself.


As we know, our Big Media companies refuse to accept the result of the General Election. The journalists who work for them have no interest in the democratic will of the people. They know how NZ should be - the view of NZ'ers is irrelevant to them. At present Big Media is waging a campaign against the tax cuts proposed by the National-led coalition, arguing the country cannot afford them. Even the NZ Herald's Fran O'Sullivan who is meant to be right-of-center says, "The rational choice would be to wait for revenues to restore and park the tax cuts until we can afford them". Meanwhile the deservedly bankrupting Newshub reports that, "A former Reserve Bank economist says the government's fiscal hole is so large that it is not the time for tax cuts". The quote is no doubt intended to help bolster Big Media's case that the government is illegitimate & shouldn't be allowed to do what it wants to do, since those who have been to Journalism School know everything and have decided its a bad decision.

So why would delaying or scrapping the tax cuts be an utter stupidity? Because they were formally promised by the National Party in the run-up to the election. Should the Nats not go ahead with them then the government would have no credibility. Being "credible" is defined as doing what you say you will do. Governments & central banks that break their promises cause economic chaos. Let's say a Central Bank loses its credibility. Then when it says it wants to bring inflation down, no-one will believe it and will think that it will keep printing money. Consequently people keep putting up prices - and inflation and interest rates go wild. So can you believe that Big Media & their "economic expert" mates are seriously arguing that the new coalition should shred all of its credibility by scrapping one of its most important pre-election promises? Should that happen, then none of us would care what Luxon, Peters or Seymour said anymore, since we would not take them at their word. It would be devastating to the implementation of all of their future plans. Its time that NZ Big Media stopped its utter nonsense and ended its campaign to make someone who keeps their promises look bad. Maybe breaking one's promise in that industry is par for the course.


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Robert MacCulloch

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