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Punt or bridge the Tamaki River?

Traffic Times

As Howick and districts count down to the 175th anniversary, the Times continues its series giving readers a glimpse of life as it used to be.
'A print of the first 1865 Tamaki River Bridge.As Howick and districts count down to the 175th anniversary, the Times continues its series giving readers a glimpse of life as it used to be.The countdown began at the 170th in 2017 By Alan La Roche From 1845, Hemi Pepene operated a ferry service rowing passengers in his rowboat across the Tamaki River.This Maori farmer was known for his entrepreneurial harvesting of his crops of wheat and oats, selling the bags of grain to the Australian goldfields for far better prices than offered by Auckland flour-millers.He had several farm labourers even including a European servant.Some years after the Fencible soldier-settlers arrived in Howick, the Government took over the ferry service, using a hand-operated clumsy winch and chain that was free from 6am until sunset, but fees applied during the night for the operator.Irritated passengers queued often for over an hour and horses swam across beside the punt.Howick residents, especially farmers, demanded a bridge to get their bags of wheat or oats to the Auckland markets.Auckland Provincial Council held local meetings focused on “who will pay for the bridge?” Suggested a poll tax or a toll on all who use the bridge?Council advertised for a design.The cheapest design was accepted and he was given the £50.Fourteen Pakuranga landowners signed up as guarantors to pay interest on the funds until tolls were charged.And 120 Totara piles up to the impressive 19m long [65 feet] were felled in the Mahurangi bush.Once rammed into the sandstone base they were sheathed in brass alloy muntz metal to protect the piles from teredo worms.The wooden section 195 metres [640 feet] long was built of kauri beams with kauri decking.Large granite stone abutments were quarried in Melbourne as the East Tamaki lava stone was not strong enough.William Weaver, engineer-in-chief to Auckland Provincial Council, had studied under the famous Isambard Kingdom Brunel (an English mechanical and civil engineer) in England, supervised the construction.The iron section incorporating a 40 foot swing-span was built and erected by Russell and Company in Sydney before being sent to Auckland.At the official opening in October 1865, the last stone abutment was tapped into place by Robert Graham, superintendent of Auckland Provincial Council, followed by a substantial lunch for more than 100 guests in a large marquee beside the Panmure Redoubt below St Matthias Church.After many toasts and a meal, a dance was held which included the lively fashionable “Sir Roger de Coverley” and everyone went home very happy.The abutment roads were soon built and Howick’s horse buses could reach Auckland in less than two hours.Almost as good as in 2018!Large crowds came out to see the new engineering structure.But by 1913 a new bridge was needed as the kauri decking was rotting.In 1916 a new wider concrete bridge was built.Using sea water to mix the concrete, sand off Bucklands Beach and poor steel due to World War I restrictions, cracks soon appeared and in 1960, the present (2nd) Panmure Bridge was opened.The iron section of the 1865 bridge was recently restored with financial help of Auckland Council.The marina buildings are soon to be demolished to make way for dual designated bus-lanes over a new third bridge over the Tamaki River.Alan La Roche, Howick Historian . The post Punt or bridge the Tamaki River? appeared first on Times .'

The Bulletin: Novopay back and as bad as ever

Traffic The Spinoff

Good morning, and welcome to The Bulletin. In today’s edition: Union to take legal action against Novopay, building site sediment damaging waterways, and the govt’s road safety strategy explained.Teachers are taking legal action against Novopay,
'Good morning, and welcome to The Bulletin. In today’s edition: Union to take legal action against Novopay, building site sediment damaging waterways, and the govt’s road safety strategy explained. Teachers are taking legal action against Novopay, amidst the news their payrise won’t come in for another two months,  reports  Newshub . The one-off $1500 bonus promised to teachers on the settlement of the agreement will also be delayed. And such is the fury of teachers, they’re even threatening to continue that legal action after the mistakes have been corrected and they have been fully paid, reports  Radio NZ . It’s another bungle in one of the biggest administrative debacles of the decade. Starting in 2012, the launch of Novopay was marked by teachers being underpaid, and sometimes not even paid on time at all. In one infamous  example , a teacher was ‘paid’ negative $17,000. The costs of the system blew out wildly, from initial estimates of $30 million to well over $100 million. It was one of a few IT system disasters the government presided over, as this very informative piece on  Stuff  from 2012 shows. In the case of Novopay, this piece from  Education Central  shows that it was implemented without being fully tested and ready to go. Education minister Chris Hipkins has apologised to teachers, and said a replacement system is on the way. But it’s not hard to imagine correlations between the resentment that built up among the profession during the Novopay saga, and the current concerns around teacher shortages. Back in 2013 the  Waikato Times  published a piece from year 13 student Grace King, who wrote “I wanted to be a history teacher, but now I’m not so sure” in response to what she was seeing. How many teachers will have left, and how many potential teachers will never have joined the profession, as a result of the Novopay disaster? Sediment from Auckland building sites is flushing into waterways and damaging ecosystems in the process,  reports Michael Nielson for the  NZ Herald  (paywalled.) Out of an audit of 301 small building sites, only 13% were fully compliant. That can then send huge plumes of mud into the ocean after heavy rain. It’s a salient reminder in general terms too that what happens on land tends to have a subsequent impact on the sea. The government’s road safety strategy has a few moving parts to it,  so fortunately  Radio NZ’s  Ben Strang has broken down the details. The long term goal is a 40% reduction in road deaths, but to get there, a couple of areas are being targeted. They include improving roads and putting in median barriers, getting safer cars on the road, and reviewing driver licensing with a view to making actual road users safer. You might have heard about a crisis of kākāpō populations recently, with alarming numbers of the birds dying.  The  NZ Herald’s  (paywalled) Kim Knight has written an excellent piece looking into the phenomenon, and more importantly what is being done to reverse it. There are just 142 mature kākāpō in the world, so there is quite a bit of urgency to those issues. Te Papa has de-prioritised plans to build a new facility in Manukau,  reports  Radio NZ . It didn’t get funding for it in the Budget, and so they are putting other work first. Manukau Ward councillor Alf Filipaina is disappointed, because land had been put aside for it, and is now concerned it might never get off the ground. A couple of noteworthy bits of reaction to the proposals to bring agriculture into the ETS.  On  The Panel , climate scientist David Frame characterised it as being a solution for an earlier time before rapid increases in emissions, in an overall deconstruction of the approach taken. And climate change minister James Shaw responded to  Newshub  about criticism from Greenpeace and his former boss Russel Norman, saying he expects the NGO to keep pushing the government further. An interesting note of feedback from a reader yesterday, about the NZ Herald putting comment pieces by politicians behind the paywall.  Reader John said it “seems antidemocratic” to do so, in referring to this piece by  Phil Twyford  being blocked. I note the same has happened to this piece by Auckland councillor  Christine Fletcher . Either way, perhaps it will give politicians more empathy for journalists – they pour their heart and soul into a piece of writing, and then fewer people than they hope for actually read it. The Bulletin is The Spinoff’s acclaimed, free daily curated digest of all the most important stories from around New Zealand delivered directly to your inbox each morning. Sign up now Email * The Apollo 16 moon landing. (Photo via NASA) Right now on The Spinoff:  Darius Shahtahmasebi  writes about the involvement of a senior NZDF officer at a major bombing base for US forces in Qatar, and the troubling questions that raises.  Veronica Schmidt  writes about the lack of support ACC is providing some of those who suffered mentally as a result of the Christchurch attacks.  Richard Easther  marks 50 years since the first (and only) people landed on the moon. And  Alex Casey  was moved to prose by the lead singer from The Feelers turning up on The Block. For a feature today, I’ll send you in the direction of a reader survey on climate change from the country’s biggest news site.  Stuff have of late  taken a leading role  in climate change coverage, and one thing they’ve then done with that is surveying their readers about what they want to see more of.  The results  are really rather interesting – particularly because they got about 15,000 of them. Here’s an excerpt, featuring quotes from readers who gave qualitative feedback: “Cover the need for systemic action rather than individual, consumer-focused coverage.” “Do a more proactive job of holding politicians to account for their words, policies, and lack of actions.” “More coverage needs to focus on what large companies are doing to contribute to climate change. It’s great that we as individuals can all make small changes but it’s really the industries that need to make a move if we’re going to save our planet.” Is the divorce between Shaun Johnson and the Warriors still having an effect on both?  That’s the question  Stuff’s  Jackson Thomas delves into, ahead of Johnson’s first NRL game on New Zealand soil since the messy split. The Warriors have had a pretty poor season, and while the Sharks are a few places ahead of them on the ladder, Johnson himself hasn’t been in particularly good form. For both, a lot is riding on Friday night’s game in Wellington. From our partners:  A two-tier system of energy use is developing, with those on high incomes much more able to reduce their bills than households on lower incomes.  Vector’s  Chief Risk and Sustainability Officer Kate Beddoe outlines what the company plans to do about that. That’s it for The Bulletin. If you liked what you read, and know other people who would find it useful, pass on this  signup form  to them. This content is brought to you by Vector. If you live in Auckland, they also delivered the power you’re using to read it. And they’re creating a new energy future for all of us, as showcased by the incredible Vector Lights in partnership with Auckland Council.'

MP continues push for Botany busway

Traffic Times

One of East Auckland’s busiest roads could be the key to unlocking local residents’ access to fast and efficient public transport.Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross is pushing for the creation of a rapid transit busway from Botany to Auckland Airport via
'Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross is pushing for the creation of a rapid transit busway between Auckland Airport and Botany.Photo supplied One of East Auckland’s busiest roads could be the key to unlocking local residents’ access to fast and efficient public transport.Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross is pushing for the creation of a rapid transit busway from Botany to Auckland Airport via Manukau that would run along Te Irirangi Drive in Flat Bush.He says it’s logical for it to connect to the Eastern Busway, which will go from Pakuranga to Botany and is now under construction. “When Te Irirangi Drive was built it was made wide enough to accommodate a busway or light rail,” Ross says. “A rapid transit corridor down Te Irirangi Drive will benefit local public transport users but it will also alleviate congestion for car users by getting vehicles off the roads.” Ross recently met officials from the New Zealand Transport Agency and Auckland Transport (AT) to get an update on a number of important projects, including the busway.They told him about plans to improve public transport in east Auckland through construction of the Eastern Busway as well as the Airport to Botany project, which is being led by AT.Ross says he’s used his voice in Parliament to question Transport Minister Phil Twyford on behalf of the local community about the busway.He was an elected member of the Manukau City Council when the Eastern Busway, then known as AMETI, was first announced in 2006.That project has taken too long to get under way and he wants to ensure similar delays don’t happen with the busway between Botany and the airport, Ross says. “It’s great to see the Eastern Busway finally being constructed but we spent so long talking about it before the work started. “Howick and Botany have often been forgotten when it comes to public transport.That isn’t good enough.” Ross says traffic congestion on local roads is still a major problem and addressing it is one of his main priorities. “We aren’t going to begin to tackle this challenge without encouraging more people to get out of cars and onto public transport. “That won’t happen until the latter becomes a better option than taking a car.It’s got to be fast and efficient, easy to access and affordable.” AT says it’s identified Te Irirangi Drive as the “best and most direct route” between Botany and Manukau.The agency says the project will improve access between east and south Auckland as well as to the major employment areas of the airport and Manukau.It will also significantly improve travel choices, reliability and journey times and support growth opportunities along the route.A new $60 million rail and bus interchange being constructed in Puhinui is expected to open in early 2021 and is being delivered in two stages.The first stage is an “early deliverable” of the airport to Botany rapid transit project.It forms part of the wider Southwest Gateway programme which also involves the NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Airport.     . The post MP continues push for Botany busway appeared first on Times .'