COMMENT: I am thinking of leaving Auckland.
We have discussed this at some length at home.
The desire is brought about by the increasingly sad reality that we are living in a city that is run by idiots, the ideologically dangerous and dysfunctional.
Simply functioning even remotely efficiently on a daily basis has become farcical.
This past week, the revelation that the commute down Quay Street these past two years has doubled . . . what a surprise . . . not.
I went to Quay Street late last year, I don't go there any more out of choice for obvious reasons.
Why would you? Yet another part of town wrecked and inaccessible, but this was a function I had little choice about attending, so I took the obligatory cab given parking no longer exists. We got within about 150m of the venue, sat there for half a dozen changes of the lights, going nowhere, at which point I hopped out, left the cab to sit for lord knows how long and I walked the rest of the way.
It takes 20 minutes to get out of the side street from where I work because of the closures and the bike lanes and the general dysfunction that passes for road works in this country.
I can't get to my hairdresser any more, a trip that used to take five to seven minutes through town now is 20 on a good day, 30 on a bad one, and in all reality no longer worth making given it's too hard.
Once I leave my side street I look directly at the building that got headlines last year when bits fell off it and they closed a lot of roading around it for days on end while they picked the pieces up off the street and worked out what to do - they clearly still are, given the building is still wrapped.
This building, of course, is just across the road from the convention centre that also got headlines and created a lot of street closures last year when it set alight.
The irony by the way of me taking 20 minutes to get out of my side street is, the cycle lane they're building, which it goes without saying will be used - as they all are - by next to no one, is being ripped up in two years for other work, so the $5 million they're spending now is at least in part a waste of money, time and energy.
You then of course get to the CRL . . . the monstrosity that is millions over budget, at least a year behind deadline, and the direct contributor to businesses going broke and in a seemingly neverending scrap for some level of compensation.
Auckland is an ugly disorganised inefficient mess.
The fact none of this appears co-ordinated, the fact, it in all likelihood will change little in terms of function and beauty, almost defies belief . . . but then what can be done about it?
Nothing, it would seem, apart from maybe skipping town.
This, by the way, is not a reflection on wider Auckland.
Can you still find a beautiful beach or park, a place in the country where the air is fresh? Of course you can.
But back downtown in the engine room of the New Zealand economy, it's an embarrassment.
And then you get to the Airport.
Auckland Airport is a shameful example of greed over performance.
Bottom line over future planning.
As a business it appears successful, the dividends flow.
But it's also hated by punters, disliked by airlines, and clearly in a state of repair that they should be ashamed of.
When the pilots are sending out warnings all over the world because the bit you land on might get closed at any minute while they roll out the concrete mixer, just what is it we are trying to do as an economy that in any way shape or form looks modern or progressive?
The city of sails? Sadly no, the city of fails . . . in a world of work-life balance, it's all work, little balance.
I am thinking of Queenstown, Los Angeles or Sydney . . . all right now appear immeasurably more appealing.