"Driving Auckland towards its vision of becoming a world-class city."
Ambitions are to be applauded when commitment is applied. Otherwise they only risk fuelling bitter parody.
The damage to the Auckland Harbour Bridge on September 18 and forced closure on Tuesday this week because of high winds brought traffic to a standstill around the city.
Should we be surprised?
A study published in the journal Nature Climate Change reported winds across much of North America, Europe and Asia have been growing faster since about 2010.
The journal reported the global average wind speed increased from about 11.2km/h to about 11.9km/h in less than a decade to 2019. This follows decreasing winds during the 1970s. Scientists have linked the rising winds to higher temperatures around the planet and expect the increase to continue for another decade.
How much of mankind's fingerprints are on the cause are almost moot to the commuters who nearly, but not quite, made it across the Auckland Harbour Bridge on Tuesday morning before officials were forced to close it.
What they should be aware of is, this will happen again.
Our lofty harbour crossing places vulnerable vehicles at the mercy of gusty conditions. The temporary strut propping up the old Coathanger is testament to what wind can do when combined with an empty, high-sided truck on the apex of the bridge.
The history of the bridge and the reasons for its dimensions - rising 43.27 metres above high water to allow ships to access the NZ Sugar Company's refinery deepwater wharf - are well known.
Yet, rising sea levels and increasing winds have failed to jerk authorities out of neutral gear over a further crossing, despite warnings the northbound extensions will reach their load-capacity in the next one or two decades.
Auckland Council has been working with NZTA - the agency responsible for operating and maintaining the bridge - on "additional Waitematā Harbour connections" for the past 10 years according to the scheme's website. The current status of the project is "investigation". The most recent publication added to the project site is a report on transport modelling from September 2018.
In April last year, the Auckland Council trumpeted its first year of "the largest capital investment programme Auckland has ever seen".
The 10-year budget promised $26 billion of capital investment towards improving Auckland's critical infrastructure along with environment and community outcomes, "driving Auckland towards its vision of becoming a world-class city".
An additional Waitematā Harbour road crossing is mentioned once under "longer term transport decisions" in the 10-year budget, but only after rail network upgrades, rapid transit to extend the Northern Busway to the city and a rapid transit corridor in Upper Harbour. One of the "longer-term" decisions being sought is: "What is the exact route for the project?" A business case has been tipped to be presented early next year.
Add the parlous state of our water supply, with Aucklanders spending the usually rain-drenched spring prohibited from using garden hoses, the aim to be world class anything right now seems risible.