On the basis that Canterbury represents 12% of the population and about 15% of the tax paid in New Zealand, it has always deeply disturbed this blogster that spending on rail and busways in Auckland and Wellington is so utterly grossly tilted in their favour. In fact between 20 and 30 times more, per capita, on infrastructure. At a rough estimate almost $300 million "public transport dollars" have taken out of Canterbury pockets to build rapid transit corridors and associated infrastructure in these Northern cities. Poor old Ecan was beginning to really struggle to attract commuters even before the earthquake, with its almost non-existent rapid transit support infrastructure. Basically it is pretty much a 1950's style public transport with nice buses and a few techno nobs on it, but hardly the great environmental leader or 21st century flagship in quality public transport.
Our brilliant leadership in Ecan and the CCC (well paid because they are worth it !) in over a decade scored virtually no funding at all towards creating faster, vastly better integrated and more sophisticated public transport, and even now, at a time of the great post quake rebuild have been given only a pittance in real terms (there will be much more pumping north than received here). Compare the cost of SUBURBAN stations in Auckland - New Lynn $160 million, Panmure $28 million, Newmarket $85 million, Swanson - serving a population of less than 10,000? - $20 million; or busway stations paid for by the then North Shore City Council four for $84 million ...and then look at Christchurch commitment to public transport - the city didn't even set enough money aside for bottom level bus and cycle lanes.
So, it was great relief to see this headline - Boost for Trains in South - in the NZ Herald this morning
....I must have misjudged the astute Bob, Tony and Dame Maggie!