The Green Party drives me mad. Usually I let what they're ranting on about wash over me like white noise. No one is likely to pay much attention to a party that wants to tell people the size of the shower-head they're allowed and what lightbulbs to use.

However, the imported Aussie who is one half of the party's head has gone a little too far in my book by saying that he wants to take money from roading and pour it into the black hole that will be an Auckland inner-city rail loop.

Here's me thinking that it was only despotic dictators and communists who did stuff to please the few while telling everyone else it's for the betterment of the nation.

Taking money from the $1.7 billion highway between Puhoi and Wellsford and ploughing it into Auckland so that Magda can shop in Newmarket and then pop across to Britomart smacks of pandering to city dwellers when most New Zealanders don't live in cities and need to drive to get anywhere.


Owen McShane, director of the Centre for Resource Management Studies, said in the New Zealand Herald two years ago: "We are often told that Auckland has poor public transport use compared with cities such as Adelaide. But such arguments compare the Auckland region with the Adelaide metropolitan area.

"We must compare apples with apples. Half Auckland's region - including Rodney and Franklin districts - barely have roads, let alone buses.

"A metropolitan area needs a population density of 8000 people a square mile to make rail viable. Hong Kong has a population of 6.5 million at a density of 76,200 a square mile. Auckland has 1.26 million at a density of 5500 a square mile. That's why we can't have a rail system like that of Hong Kong."

So, Russel Norman, just do what the Greens are supposed to do - save whales, snails, or whatever - and keep your nose out of stuff you know nothing about.

It's blatantly obvious that rail is dead in the water. Billions and billions of dollars have been thrown at it over the years in this country and it's still on he slippery slope to oblivion.

If it were up to the people who have to drive north from the bridge they would go for improved roading every time. And ask the people north of Puhoi what they would rather have - a gateway to open up the Far North, or an inner-city rail loop that goes nowhere?

When it comes to the London Underground, that system constantly runs at a loss and is used by the unions as a threat whenever they want more money. Shut that puppy down and London stops - I know, I've been there when there's been a strike, and it's chaos.

It has been reported that the Greens want a compact central city built on efficient transport, and cited Auckland Transport's estimate that the CBD capacity for employees and residents could triple if the rail link were built.


Are they mad? By adding a couple of hundred thousand rugby supporters to the Auckland mix at the start of the World Cup, the place ground to a halt and fans couldn't use the rail system to even get to Eden Park.

I read the Green Party Transport manifesto and it's entirely possible to see why only three people ticked the "like" box. If only three people like what the Greens are proposing it must be a load of tosh. Public transport is not efficient and never has been.

Long live the car and build more roads.