In an article in Spinoff last week 22 year old Tommy de Silva wrote:
In a showing of intergenerational consensus, I (a 22-year-old Gen Zer) and Wayne Brown (a 77-year-old baby boomer) have found something we can agree on: Labour’s second harbour crossing decision sucks.
The choice to tunnel under Te Waitematā from downtown to the inner North Shore will take decades to complete and have a $35bn-$45bn price tag (which Bernard Hickey argues might inflate to $65bn). It’s not just climate-anxious rangatahi and strongmen politicians who reject Labour’s proposal – opposition exists across political affiliations, inside the media, and within the communities this project would serve. Sustainable transport advocate Matt Lowrie said out of the five options, the selected one is “by far the most expensive, would take the longest time to build, and also had the highest C02 emissions from construction.”
“Why would you build tunnels? Our grandfathers knew bridges were cheaper. Have we forgotten that?” Wayne Brown asked BusinessDesk. Labour’s underground Auckland railway obsession has led to gold-plated, uber-expensive transport proposals that may never even turn sod if National gets elected. Auckland’s (underground) tram plan prices at almost $15bn, nearly three times the City Rail Link’s cost – whose problematic, ever-expanding budget has served as a cautionary tale this past decade. Not only does the CRL budget keep inflating but its completion date is constantly delayed. If that precedent of delays continues for the construction of the second harbour crossing, I’ll be Wayne Brown’s age by the time it opens. Nevertheless, Labour has decided to expand its fanciful subway dream across the harbour and under the North Shore.
Tommy has highlighted the fact that the two major dinosaur parties continue to re-arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic when they debate who will build the biggest road, or tunnel. The focus needs to be on public transport options and away from individual car solutions.