Local government self-interest in transport is pathetic and venal

This is why I generally hate local government. They are mostly self serving, looking for the next pork barrel parochial parish pump issues, all the money goes onto expensive vote buying projects that cost a lot of money to build and run. Infrastructure is neglected, run down or simply ignored.

In most regions public transport is organised by a regional council, which means you have endless griping from the territorial council that they should be running the show and because they aren’t, they won’t put any effort or money into supporting the regional transport plans. This is certainly the case in Christchurch at the current time.

Gisborne is another example that I am familiar with. In 2012 they lost their rail line, but even before then, different transport options were being looked at. The problem is that Gisborne is governed as a unitary authority, which means that both territorial and regional functions are combined in one council. That self serving council has prepared a transport plan which basically says “the port will be developed for logs and everything else can go by road to another port”. The cost of the roads of course will be borne by taxpayers, which allows the council to wash its hands as they are not making money out of the containers being moved out of the region so they will not spend a cent on supporting it. There have been a number of studies calling for container shipping options to be established which have been ignored, the result is that Gisborne is being failed.

Christchurch is being failed too, by a pathetic policy that favours cars over all other transport modes. Here, it has nothing to do with the ownership and a lot to do with vote buying. We only have the cycleways because a central government subsidy came in to help fund them. I don’t expect the council to fund new public transport development but as has been noted they are very one eyed when it comes to either bus services or trains, which they are not actually making much effort to support. The Greater Christchurch Joint Public Transport Committee is mainly used by CCC as a soapbox to push their takeover agenda, and not really much else. The Regional Public Transport Plan is a copout that passes most of the key responsibilities back to Ecan to implement, without any guarantee of support from CCC or any of the other territories. We aren’t getting good service and I hope there is enough of a push this year at local government elections to see some of these issues addressed properly.

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