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Mike's Minute: It's official - the Hamilton to Auckland train is a disaster

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 16 Apr 2021, 9:18AM

Mike's Minute: It's official - the Hamilton to Auckland train is a disaster

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 16 Apr 2021, 9:18AM

Turns out Patrick Reynolds of Waka Kotahi was right.

Turns out we were all right.

Turns out yet again the theorists have been caught tripped and trapped up in their spin and ideology.

The choo-choo train from Hamilton to Almost Auckland before you get on another train to actually get to Auckland is numerically a bust.

Week One, the numbers are a disaster, but then weren't they always going to be.

Patrick saw it, we knew it, the ideologues had their fingers in their ears going la la la.

The train seats up to 147 and the stats are out.

The second day, 21 were onboard the first of the day... 40 on the second.

This Tuesday, it was down to 28 then 25. One of the days back home to the Tron, it took 12 people.

You think its making money on those numbers ? No it isn't.

And when it doesn’t make money who pays? Those of us who don’t take the train, that’s who.

Russ Rimmington from the Regional Council, who for lord knows what reason, has decided to align himself with this mess is still defending it.

He's the bloke who stood with Michael Wood and Jacinda Ardern on the platform on Day One, telling us not to worry about people turning up because they'll "give away tickets if they have to"

Well, Russ... get your ticket book ready because if the inaugural week with all the hoopla associated is any sign, it'll be a ghost train within a month.

As I have said many times, the idea isn't bad at all. But it's like so many things this Government does around delivery, they can't do a proper job.

Executing an idea you know isn't going to work is actually worse than bailing early, and pulling the pin and saving us all a fortune.

It’s the most extraordinary thing we've seen this week.

The excuses from Rimmington  and Reynolds were rolled out almost before the train left the station.

It's a start-up project, it'll take time, it needs to go faster, it needs to stop more places,  it needs to not be two trains, it needs to arrive in actual Auckland, not south Auckland. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

But they knew that, we all knew that. Yet they still piled on in, wasting our money and their time on a service that Week One turned out to be exactly the fiscal hole in the ground any five year old could see it was going to be.

There is a massive leadership vacuum in this country. No one wants to own anything, call anything, wake up to mistakes, admit mistakes, prevent mistakes, stop the ideologues, or call the ideologues out.

And as a result we can't build houses, cant do light rail, can't do shovel-ready, can't roll out anything to do with Covid.

And the one thing that got rolled out is a sad train with no one on it, losing money from Day One.

Can someone who knows what they're doing please stand up.  

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