It is becoming very obvious to me that Auckland Transport, now becoming known as Waka Kotahi (Ed: not right Simon, Waka Kotahi was/is NZTA), has an agenda to get us all out of our cars and on to bicycles.
C is becoming worse by the week, and nothing is being done about it. If you look at it logically there is no way this can be improved unless we get rid of the cycle lanes. We need to get the road back to what it was; this is only way to get Lake Road moving. Widening the road is out of the question, with the removal of power poles, acquisition of land and moving all the shops at centres along Lake Road and so on. We need to get it through our thick skulls that this is never going to happen.
It’s good to see that the buses are being sorted out to some extent and putting a stop to the ratepayer subsidised Local Transport. This has been nothing but a drain on our ratepayers' funds for several years now with people using it as a very cheap taxi, to and from the bars and restaurants of Devonport.
I still think we should be using smaller buses like the ones you see in Hawaii or Jamaica – smaller buses maybe carrying 18 people at the most. Day after day I see the big buses leaving Devonport, even at peak hour, with virtually nobody in them. During the three-day lockdown in mid February, I noticed at least half a dozen large Metro buses outside Takapuna Grammar, waiting to pick up the pupils who weren’t at school. Who is organising this stuff? Wouldn’t you think somebody would tell them?
I have on a few occasions over the summer, gone down to my favorite swimming spot adjacent to the Devonport Yacht Club. From here, I have noticed some people are fishing from, and climbing over the rocks picking away at shellfish. I am so sick of new New Zealanders blatantly abusing our recreational fishing regulations. On three different occasions, upon investigation of what was in their buckets, I released all their catch back into the ocean. There were snapper that were no longer than four inches and piper that were no longer than five inches long. When I attempted to explain the rules, the language barrier became impossible. When people ravage the periwinkles on the rocks, this disturbs the whole ecosystem. If we see this sort of behaviour, please challenge these people, look in their buckets, and tell them they are breaking the rules by taking fish and shellfish that are too small. Don’t rely on calling the Fisheries police because by the time they get there it’s all done.
Let’s get back to the Central Rail Link (CRL). I wonder how that is going. A couple of years ago I told you to stick my article on your fridge, the one that told you the proposed $3bn budget would blow out to at least $6bn. I have now been told, on very good authority from sources at the coal face, that the budget is looking more like $9-$10bn. If someone knows more accurate figures about this, please let me know.
What a terrible tragedy this Covid-19 has been for the America’s Cup yachting. It would have been so good for all the super yachts, all the J Class yachts and the fans that would have come from overseas. So sad, so sad. I know the event has been wonderful, but just imagine how much better it would have been if we had had tourists such as we had for the Rugby World Cup here in 2011. Mind you, I have been told by friends overseas how beautiful our city looks, when they’ve been following the racing on television. We live in a paradise, which most of us realise. Let’s try and keep it like this.
With regard to Auckland Transport’s plan to get us all into electric vehicles over the next few years, Walter Gill my business partner, and myself are planning a full bicycle and trailer fleet to replace our trusty Toyota utes. Watch this space.
I’m sad to see the demise of so many businesses in downtown Devonport, I put this down to greedy landlords who have no affiliation or love for our village. It is the gateway to the North Shore of Auckland and it is sad to see the empty shops and no banking facilities in our suburb. While we are on about Devonport, I believe that parking should be removed from the front of the Esplanade Hotel to a purpose built parking building, sitting over the existing parking outside New World. This could be done with a lot of class and could be started immediately. It could be a mix of parking and landscaping which would of absolutely no hindrance to anybody.
See you next month, hopefully the America’s Cup will be safely tucked back at the Royal Yacht Squadron by then.