Whaleoil transcript: Part one of four – Leighton Smith and Simon Bridges on transport

Leighton Smith

Newstalk ZB ? Part one

Starts at 0.57

Leighton

Let?s leave KiwiBuild sitting there for the moment, because there?s some attached matters.? Um, the scenario with? I tell you the best way to approach this? Bryan Weyburne from Wellington, involved in starting up a new political party that is pro-car. A pro-car political party is formed to contest the next Wellington City Council elections and cyclists are the first in the firing line. Wellington First has been formed by former councillor Bryan Weyburne and businessman Digby Paape, who were inspired by promoter Phil Sprey who recently said that he would donate $10,000 for any viable candidate to topple incumbent Justin Lester. With the next local body elections coming in October next year, one thing Wellington First doesn?t yet have is (indecipherable)? Anyway, the point being that um? neither were anti-cycling as such, they were against Wellington?s investment in and focus in getting people on push bikes. Same principle applies in Auckland and you well know that.

Simon

Yes.

Leighton

And Auckland is being screwed over big time as far as traffic and traffic direction is concerned and these people are running amok.

Simon

Yeah.

Leighton

No accountability, not responsible to? not? unelected ? and that really pees me off, to be blunt, because? aah? we can?t hold them to account. By the way, ATEED, you mightn?t know this, ATEED were in the? down in the old harbour building.

Simon

Yes.

Leighton

On Quay Street.? Last week they moved next door here. Why? Because Quay Street is going to become un? um? undriveable. It?s going to become a mess. They are turning it into one? one? one lane each way and making a? they?re just screwing the city. Now, they moved because they can.

Simon

Yeah.

Leighton

On rate payer?s money.

Simon

Yeah.

Leighton

And they?ve moved next door.? Now I believe that if there was a? was a party similar or an extension of that party, started here in Auckland um? they?d? they?d be rather successful.

Simon

Well there is, there?s the National Party.? I mean, look, the reality is you take Mill Road, you take the East West link, you take a bunch at Pen link? these are all projects we said we?d do, and we were getting on with.? Um? they?ve all been stopped. Um? and you go further afield from Auckland, the same is true in Wellington where a solution is needed? um? but we?re going to muck around and we?ll get more alternative transport modes, there?s they say, to use the euphemism, it?s not good enough.? We need to get on with some of these projects and the government isn?t.

Leighton

But there is an anti-car attitude in Auckland, because of the people involved, they want cars gone and they?re making it damn near impossible to? somebody said to me this morning, who works down in that particular area, it?s going to make it very, very difficult for them to get to work, it?s going to make it very difficult for people to visit them? um? in their offices etc, ahh? it?s just going to screw things up and it?s like it all over.? I mean I know that there are cyclists who think that cycle lanes are fabulous, but there are cyclists that I know, who think that it?s disgraceful.

Simon

So? so let?s just run through this.? You take the transport budget every year, it?s about three and a half-four billion dollars and they?ve sucked? this government? five something billion dollars out of the highway budget, right? Okay? You think about that, that?s the way it goes. What does that mean for Auckland? Well, the money is going into Auckland, but it?s going into a single tramline ahh? that will end up costing, I think they are saying four billion, it will be more than that?

Leighton

Course it will more than that.

Simon

And you?ve just got to ask yourself? um? it?s not that I?m agin these other modes, but is that the right answer and is that what we need most? I don?t think it is.? I think it is? aah? in the highways, it is in some of these projects I?ve just mentioned before, they are the things that will move the job because really? some will get buses, some will get trains, but a lot of people? whether it?s mums picking up their kids, or someone delivering that plasma tv around town, they need to be on roads.

Leighton

Well let me put it another way and then we will move on. ?That is that this? this country, this city, is subject to all sorts of weather variations, nothing to do with climate change just weather the way that it is, and to suggest that people be cycling to work for (indecipherable) sake, is absurd. I mean, I?ve never forgotten the day that I first came to Auckland from Wellington, you know, back in the early 80?s, and I was over at the Mon Desir in Takapuna and I turned the radio on to listen to the local and I hear Peter Everett, who was only just part of this, Peter Everett giving a serious wind warning for the harbour bridge for vans for bikes, you know motor bikes and what have you. What happens when the weather is bad for a few days? I mean really bad. And it gets that way. All the people who are supposed to be cycling in aren?t going to cycle in, they?re going to want to get in their cars and drive etc.? You have to cater for all circumstances. I don?t think I need to explain the point anymore it?s stupidity.

Simon

Yeah.

52%
×