Labour/Greens locked in 1970s urban planning timewarp

DCF 1.0

By Ian Wishart

Only hours into their administration, the new Labour coalition government has already incurred the wrath of Aucklanders with its promotion of a ten cent per litre regional fuel tax.

It will actually be 12 cents a litre once GST is added, but that’s irrelevant to the bigger issue – a fundamental lack of vision coupled to a slavish adherence to Agenda 21 town planning principles.

If NZ First opposes the creeping rise of global totalitaria, it picked a funny bunch of bedfellows in Labour and the Greens.

Both left-wing parties are socialist at their core, and socialism favours a Nanny State Knows Best approach to controlling the public.

Both parties’ transport and urban planning policies are Agenda 21 -based – a Green religious initiative birthed in the early 1970s then formalised at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. The Agenda 21 ethos is that the planet is a spiritual being (Gaia worship) and that the public have to be manipulated by the high priests of Greendom into urban ratholes infested by cheap decaying high-rise high density apartments relying almost totally on public transport and bicycles, with cars banned.

Have you noticed carparking spaces disappearing in your city? Agenda 21. More cycleways and pedestrian malls as cars are pushed out? Agenda 21.

The logic behind Agenda 21 is simple: humans crammed into tight urban boundaries without land of their own and in increasingly smaller apartments will not breed as much. Indeed, the Agenda 21 global government group, Club of Rome, state in their “2052” report that smart cities will be good news for population reduction:

“The good news: we will see impressive advances in resource efficiency, and an increasing focus on human well-being rather than on per capita income growth. But this change might not come as we expect. Future growth in population and GDP, for instance, will be constrained in surprising ways-by rapid fertility decline as result of increased urbanization…”

Stripped of cars, they won’t have the freedom to move that their parents and grandparents had. Wanna go to the beach on a whim with your kids? Try waiting at a bus-stop with little Timmy and Amanda, their beach toys, picnic basket, shade umbrella, towels etc and then wait for the bumpy shuttle to take 90  minutes to get to a beach 25 minutes away by car in the old days, while you inhale the diesel fumes and tell Timmy and Amanda you are doing all this for the sake of the planet. God help you if when you finally get to the  beach it starts to rain and you want to pack up and come home, but the next bus is not for three hours.

Faced with that kind of lifestyle, city-dwellers will end up having fewer kids. Or no kids. Great, you may say, but a society no longer replacing its dead will have economic depression from a lack of demand and growth, and increasing costs as the population ages with fewer young taxpayers to cover the bills. The only outcome is cultural death, or mass immigration which turns your country into someone else’s quite rapidly.

Welcome to Labour’s brave new world.

The plan for a tramline from the Auckland CBD is a perfect example. It is 1970s thinking. Great. So I can catch a tram from Massey to the CBD. Why? Why would I wait half an hour for a tram to arrive when I can hoof it down the motorway in 15 minutes? And why would I be visiting the CBD? I live in Auckland but I visit the city only once or twice a year. The days of a CBD attracting anyone are long gone, and the days of the whole workforce commuting to work in the city are disappearing too. Offices can function anywhere, and they do. Many companies are now based in the ‘burbs. A tramline linking two minor points in a city the size of greater Auckland is an expensive bauble. It achieves nothing. And you can guarantee a Westgate tramline would end up stealing a motorway lane.

Today I went from Westgate to Manukau (bypassing the CBD), to Albany, to Helensville and then a loop back to Westgate again. I did this in the space of three hours. Anyone want to guess how long it would take to do that trip on public transport? Here’s a clue: I used to commute from the CBD out to Manukau by bus. It was an hour and 40 minutes each way. Twenty minutes by car. I bought a car. That’s where the rubber hits the road for public transport – it just doesn’t work.

Modern cities are built on arterial roads that link satellite communities. In Auckland’s case, one can happily live on the North Shore and almost never cross the bridge – except to catch a flight maybe.

A light rail from the CBD to the airport is almost as daft as a Westgate tram. I can see a benefit for tourists, but I can’t see busy executives dashing for the next flight via a slow train ride. Nor does a CBD airport link benefit – in any material way – the 90% of Auckland air travellers who live outside the CBD and who would never go to the airport via the city even if you paid them. I certainly can’t see North Shore residents rushing to park in the CBD so they can ride a tram to the airport with their family or guests.

Public transport is slow. It doesn’t go where you want it. It doesn’t go when you want it. It is horrendously inefficient. It is expensive. It controls and restricts freedom of movement. A city mostly reliant on public transport is the human equivalent of shifting chooks from free range to barn-raised. Public transport is Karl Marx’s revenge on ordinary workers, condemning them to a life of servitude and only travelling routes approved by the State. It is the State’s ultimate manifestation and demonstration of its awesome bureaucratic mediocrity: they might not be able to organise a Number 8 bus to Clendon, but by Crikey they’ll eliminate inconvenient opposition to their vision – like private cars – so that you’ll be bloody grateful for the Number 8 to Clendon regardless of how late it’s running because it’s the only game in town.

I remember back to my youth in the sixties, when moving house from Wellington to Dunedin meant a four month wait for your furniture and clothes to arrive, because the State decreed that only public rail transport was allowed to move freight outside the city limits. Dare to complain, and you ran the risk that the pompous stationmaster at Middlemarch would ensure your household goods suddenly and mysteriously ended up parked in a disused siding at Westport for the rest of the year.

And now I hear Labour wants to build a bigger trainset and move freight back on rails. Joy.

These muppets in Labour and the Greens don’t want you to have the life you want. They want you to have the life they want for you and they infiltrated the school curriculum years ago to ensure they turned out young Labour/Greens voters ready to welcome a totalitarian global government.

You are too dumb to know the best place to live and the best way to commute, so they will simply take your taxes, cloak them in a caring and sharing wrapper to make you feel good about being ‘mugged’, strip you of your car by taxing it out of existence and turning carparks into cycle lanes, and then tell you to live in a 40 square metre studio apartment where you can ‘save the planet’ by walking to work.

If you currently live on a lifestyle block you will be rated out of your property in coming decades, forcing all but the mega-rich to retreat back to town. The countryside will eventually be largely off limits as either conservation areas that only the rich will be able to drive to (the poor being urban-limited to regions serviced by bus or bicycle), or as corporate farmland controlled by global conglomerates.

That’s Agenda 21, and that’s where Phil Twyford (formerly of Agenda 21 lobby group Oxfam) and his petrol tax ultimately want to take you…

If you don’t believe me, read Totalitaria which lays the global plan out in neon flashing lights. In four years, none of my many vocal critics have managed to prove any material facts in that book are wrong.

It is bitterly ironic, and lost on Labour and the Greens, that they campaigned for a “user pays” water tax on all farmers and water users, but they think public transport should be paid for by those who don’t use it – motorists.

What’s sauce for the goose is equally tasty on a gander. If the Labour/Greens think public transport is a winner, let them make it fully user pays – $50 dollars a tram ticket one way. Otherwise they’re just another pack of hypocrites, 24 hours into their new administration.


  1. Lucky you Dave for living 5 mins from an Auckland inner city beach. Now try boasting to the future urban high density slum dwellers of Mt Eden or Manukau about the convenience of your particular doorstep compared to theirs, then you will see how vacuous your own strawman is. My commentary is not just about Auckland, it is a metaphor for virtually all super/mega cities. The current ability of families to jump in the car and head to a beach or rural destination of their own choosing, in their own time, will disappear.

    Even on your own argument, how are the stressed and often filthy Auckland inner city beaches going to function with three times their current population all trying to get there by bus? Answer, it won’t happen. People will just give up, restrict their lifestyles and their kids will grow up knowing less freedom than their parents did.

  2. “Stripped of cars, they won’t have the freedom … but the next bus is not for three hours.”

    Your strawman is immense. I’m about to take a 5min stroll with my kids to the nearest beach, a luxury few of my peers can afford cos the local nimbys won’t let us intensify in costal inner city areas.

    “40 square metre studio apartment where you can ‘save the planet’ by walking to work.”
    The reality is that living a 10 minute walk from the desk lets you spend a crazy amount of time with my family, breakfast lunch and dinner.

    Is this even an article or a work of fiction? Have you had a stroke? Maybe you have Jacindallergies?

  3. Phil…I don’t think we disagree that public transport can be useful, but the Labour/Greens team have been against roadbuilding ever since Helen Clark left the building, and Jacinda and Jamie are well and truly locked into Agenda 21, which is what the commentary is about. It’s not rocket science, parking is disappearing, roads are getting narrower in the city thanks to cycle lanes, and three times the current density is proposed for high density housing on those streets. Cars will become impossible…how can a family do a big grocery shop on a bicycle? Smart cities are by definition anti child….that’s what the Agenda 21 planners deliberately intended. See the Club of Rome. Do I have to draw the picture in big dots and join them or can people see 20 years ahead. How will a nuclear family in 2037 live the kiwi lifestyle their parents enjoyed? They won’t.

    I don’t see anyone holding up NYC, HK, London or Rio as great places to raise kids…

  4. Whilst I think the Winston and Cindy show will be bad for NZ, some of the comments in the above article are total fantasy.
    I do not favour light rail to the airport, but to say all public transport spending is a waste of money is plain stupid. We should plan for both road and rail spend. Auckland badly needs another harbour crossing and it must be a road and rail tunnel. Heavy rail connecting Takapuna to the CBD and then went out to the airport (via a spur line from Puhinui makes a huge amount of sense.
    This should not be funded from a regional fuel tax, but from existing income and corporation taxes as well as, the actual ticket revenue. Auckland councils share of infrastructure costs should be met by abandoning rates in favour of an ‘every household pays’ council tax.

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