Monday, July 18, 2005

Head to head with Maurice #1

Maurice and I had our first one to one clash of the campaign at a meeting of the Howick Residents and Ratepayers over the weekend.

The meeting was the R&Rs AGM, and we were both asked to speak on transport policy once the formailities were over. I turned up at the very beginning of the meeting and was extremely impressed by the work of the group. Led by a bloke called Russ Wylie who is well into his 80s, Howick R&R have been incredibly active lobbying on a wide range of issues around transport, rates, urban planning, and much else besides.

The debate itself went well. I was first up and put a fairly simple case - that Labour has a proven record of investment in transport, and that National's rhetoric does not live up to their miserable record during the 1990s, or square with what they are promising in a whole host of other areas.

Maurice in response was brilliantly off the planet, claiming for instance, that the 80% increase in transport funding over 6 years under Labour was indicative only of inflation, and stating that work on State Highway 20 was not going to begin for years. This was in spite of the fact that in my speech I had specifically referred to a press release issued the previous day confirming that the bulldozers are moving in in September!

All in all I was pleased with the response, and impressed by the questions that were asked by the audience. It should be the first of many such encounters.


spooks said...

Maurice must be quaking in his boots.

Whaleoil said...

Reality check Mikey, I was at the meeting and this is what I saw.

1.SH20 Mt Roskill extension was the issue. Maurice pointed out that Transit had said back in 2000 that it would start “next year”. Then in 2001 they said it would start “later this year”. Then 31 October 2001 they said “SH20: Mount Roskill Extension

Transit proposes to begin construction of the SH20: Mount Roskill Extension in September 2002. Construction will take around three years, with completion expected by May 2005.”

In August 2004 they distributed a glossy pamphlet to all Auckland houses saying “SH20 Mt Roskill extension to start later this year”

As we all know it hasn’t yet started. Maurice never said it wouldn’t get started for years.

2.Your claim Maurice used inflation as the measure clearly shows you doesn’t understand. Maurice said the real measure of road funding was as a percentage of GDP (used internationally). Labour’s spending dropped as a percentage of GDP in their first four full years but in their first year the actual spending dropped (unprecedented).

You got cleaned out mate, and you are clearly too indoctrinated to understand. Keep up the doorknocking as it helps Maurice immeasurably every time you open your mouth.

Anonymous said...

So whaleoil, are you arguing that with transport spending nearly 100% up since Labour took office, that GDP has grown by more and hence transport has declined as a proportion of GDP in that time?

I knew low inflation economic growth had been strong under Labour, but not that strong!!
It's a good government.

spooks said...

Thanks for the reality check, Whaleoil. I wasn't there. Pity that Mikey won't be in Parliament -- with distortion of the truth like this, seems he would fit into the Labour team seamlessly. Nony too.

Whaleoil said...

Don't know where you get your 80% or even your 100% figures....oh wait I know...from the same guys who calculated our Kyoto obligations....

Anonymous said...

very feeble, Whaleoil....

Whaleoil said...

Well where do you get your 80-100% increase from, no stats I have seen have anywhere like this increase....$1.1 billion when Labour came to power to $1.4 billion is nowhere near 80%.

Anonymous said...

$2.1bn I think you will find....

Whaleoil said...

Oh I see you are counting money you haven't spent yet...typical.

Anonymous said...

When in 1999 National had 'bulldozers in action' on $100m worth of Auckland roading projects, - compared to Labour's $1bn now - how much was it then not spending out of what it had committed?

You have mentioned too that in 2000, Labour's first year in office, spending on roading projects fell. That will be a direct reflection of where National left things.
Labour's had six years and things are humming. National had nine years and left things winding down.

New Zealand's potential annual economic growth rate - that is, the growth that can be maintained on average without causing high inflation - has risen from 2.4% in 1999 to 3.7% now and you know why? -largely because of investment by the state in infrastructure.

The right is 'cleaned out' on real economics and has resorted to populism.

Whaleoil said...

Humming is exactly what Aucklanders do while they wait in the traffic and "Whistle Dixie" is what Mrs Peter Davis wants us to do before any highway is completed through her electorate.

Anonymous said...

yes, you've bowed out of this argument, haven't you?

michael wood said...

Whaleoil, your defensiveness on this topic is understandable given that it was your mate Maurice who was Minister of Transport during the 1990s when so little was done.

The increases in spending referred to hear are quite real and undeniable - I'm happy to source the official information and send it to you if you like.

SH20 floundered on Maurice's watch, and although it has taken time Labour has got the ball rolling by providing the funding and setting up ARTA - construction starts in September.

Another undeniable fact - $130 million of roading projects on the go in Auckland when Maurice moved out of the Beehive in 1999, $1.3 billion going today.

Should more be done - sure, but acknowledge that things are now moving in the right direction.

Iravan said...

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By the way... I have a los angeles traffic site. It pretty much covers Traffic related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

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