Archive for March, 2012

One lockout lifted, but Talley’s lockout drags on

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party
While it’s good that the lockout threat has been lifted at the Ports of Auckland, the on-going plight of locked out meat workers in small town New Zealand must not be forgotten, says Labour’s spokesperson for labour issues Darien Fenton. Read more »

Auckland Grammar defeated in Maadi Cup

Press Release – Rowing New Zealand
Junior rowing’s top two prizes – the Aon Maadi Cup for boys and the Levin Jubilee Cup for girls – are heading to Christchurch after major wins for Christ’s College boys and St Margaret’s girls. It was a remarkable result for a rowing region hard hit by the September and February earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Read more »

Ports of Auckland puts contracting on hold and lifts lock-out after director resigns

Report from BusinessDesk
Ports of Auckland has lifted its lockout notice, allowing stevedores back to work to alleviate the city’s “severely affected” supply chain after revealing that a rift over strategy in its boardroom had resulted in the resignation of director Rob Campbell. Read more »

We want our port open and operational, says Len Brown; he’ll work with both sides

Press Release – Office of the Mayor
The Mayor has welcomed the chance to end the dispute at the Ports of Auckland. “Aucklanders simply want their port open and fully operational again,” says Len Brown. “I have been in contact with both sides and have encouraged them to come to an agreement. I am determined that this issue gets sorted. Read more »

Ports still need fundamental reform, says CofC

Press Release – Auckland Chamber of Commerce
Today’s change of approach by the parties to return to the bargaining table, and use the facilitation process set out in the Employment Relations Act, doesn’t alter the need for a certain and sustainable solution to the dispute, said Auckland Chamber head Michael Barnett. Read more »

International union welcomes Ports return to work

Press Release – International Transport Workers’ Federation
Global union the ITF (International Transport Workers¹ Federation) is welcoming the news that wharfies in the Ports of Auckland are able to return to work after a lockout notice issued by port management was withdrawn. Read more »

POLICE PHOTOS: Man wanted for investigation of $1m ATM skimming

News from NZ Police
Police investigating the recent spate of ATM skimming offences across Auckland want help identifying a man whose image has been captured on CCTV near compromised machines. Read more »

Don’t panic: tsunami sirens to be tested today

Press Release – Auckland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group
Tsunami sirens in west Auckland, on both the east and west coasts, will be tested this Sunday to check operational performance and familiarise residents with the siren tones. Read more »

Open tenders planned by Auckland Transport to improve bus and ferry services

Press Release – NZTA
The NZ Transport Agency welcomes this morning’s announcement that that Cabinet has approved a new planning and delivery framework to help improve the effectiveness of bus and ferry services in New Zealand. While full implementation of the new Public Transport Operating Model, will require legislative change (led by the Ministry of Transport) the NZTA will be charged with implementing the new model.

The NZTA will update its guidance and manuals to reflect the new tools and settings in the model. The agency will continue to support Auckland Transport as it prepares for open tender rounds and negotiations with public transport operators in accordance with the model.

The NZTA will be hosting workshops for regional councils to provide information about the model, and how the new tools and setting could apply in their regions. Details on the development of the model, and the new policy settings that give full effect to it, are available on the Ministry of Transport website: www.transport.govt.nz.

Press Release – Auckland Transport
Auckland Transport welcomes Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee’s announcement today of a new public/private partnership framework for procuring bus and ferry services. The introduction of the new framework, called the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) has come about after a review of the Public Transport Management Act 2008 (PTMA) by a working group led by the Ministry of Transport comprising the NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport, Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Bus & Coach Association. The PTMA came into effect in January 2009, replacing the Transport Services Licensing Act 1989 (TSLA), providing powers to regional councils to plan and manage urban bus and ferry services within their regions.

The PTOM is the new framework for building an effective and co-operative long-term public transport public-private partnership between regional councils (Auckland Transport in Auckland) and public transport operators. This will be achieved through collaborative planning, joint investment and risk and reward sharing.

Regional councils will secure service agreements through a mix of competitive tendering and negotiation (where appropriate).

Auckland Transport’s Chief Executive, David Warburton says, “Auckland Transport is currently finalising new forms of public transport service agreements to permit commencement of the implementation of PTOM from mid-2012. The majority of bus and non-commercial ferry services will be operated under new performance based agreements between AT and private sector service providers from that point”.

“Under the new framework, both parties have a stake in, and are reliant on each other, for delivering affordable urban bus and ferry services that people want to use. The public/private model has been developed jointly by key stakeholders (government, Auckland Transport, regional councils and operators) involved in the delivery of public transport services, employing a partnership approach from the start.

“Performance of services will be highly incentivised under the new contracts through reward of contract term extensions for the highest performing services against a set of pre-determined criteria of patronage growth and subsidy value for money while ensuring quality and performance of services are delivered”.

“Auckland Transport is confident the new model will create an environment of true partnership between public and private sector parties in the specification, design, procurement and delivery of bus and ferry public transport services”, says Dr. Warburton.

Chief Executive of New Zealand Bus, Zane Fulljames says, “The new framework will drive a quantum leap in service provision and growth in public transport usage through an effective partnership model and performance based agreements. Certainty will enable operators to invest with confidence, recognising the requirement for value for money and an appropriate return on investment”.

Dr Warburton says, “The introduction of PTOM means public transport users should see better integration of services, improved services and frequencies, better quality of buses and, overall, more focus on customer needs while operators will have greater certainty around investment and innovation. It will also act as a key enabler for the formation of one connected and integrated public transport network, integrating bus, rail and ferry services across the region for the first time. The new network will be rolled out by Auckland Transport over the next three years”.

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Benefits of the model are explained in more detail in the Cabinet paper and related Regulatory Impact Statement, both available on the Ministry of Transport website.

About Auckland Transport
Auckland Transport is a Controlled Organisation (CCO) of Auckland Council. It is responsible for all of the region’s transport services (excluding state highways) – from roads and footpaths, to cycling, parking and public transport.
Among its main tasks are:
– To design, build and maintain Auckland’s roads, ferry wharves, cycleways and walkways.
– Co-ordinate road safety and community transport initiatives such as school travel
– Plan and fund bus, train and ferry services across Auckland.

For more information go to www.aucklandtransport.govt.nz.

Death of Dr Hone Kaa, senior Anglican priest and child advocate

Press Release – The Kaa Whanau
Surrounded by whanau, Senior Anglican Priest and Child Advocate Dr Hone Kaa died last night in Auckland after a short battle with cancer. Read more »

Laila Harre named as political advisor to Greens

Press Release – Green Party
The Green Party announced today that former Cabinet Minister Laila Harre will be taking up the newly created position of Issues Director based in Auckland. Read more »

Auckland ready to become a fair trade city

Te Waha Nui report by Sarah Krieg
Auckland is on the verge of becoming a Fair Trade city with Auckland Council in the final stages of confirming its support for the idea. Read more »

Warning to Auckland scooter riders: beware – don’t ride with bare skin

Te Waha Nui report by Ciara Pratt
Scooter riders are being asked to cover up their bare skin in a new advertising campaign from Auckland Transport.

Auckland Transport wants riders to wear protective clothing while riding scooters. Photo: Ciara Pratt.

More than 15 per cent of road crashes involve scooters and motorcycles up to 250cc, according to the Ministry of Transport.

The campaign features billboards showing people on scooters in shorts and singlets while riding over a cheese-grater road surface.

Auckland Transport’s community transport manager Matthew Rednall says the visual imagery in the advertising is getting the message across effectively. Read more »

Cerebral palsy will make his Sky Tower climb like no other

Te Waha Nui report by Tim Wakely
A 22-year-old man with cerebral palsy has set himself the challenge of climbing the stairs of Auckland’s Sky Tower.

Jordon Milroy. Photo: Tim Wakely.

Jordon Milroy, a student at AUT University, plans to climb the 1029 steps of the towering Auckland icon on May 17 to help promote disability awareness.

“People are amazed that a person with cerebral palsy will be climbing the stairs of the Sky Tower. For me it’s all about the goal and achieving it,” he says.

To train for the challenge, Milroy climbs 14 flights of stairs at his student apartment once a day. Read more »

Auckland students say Minister’s decision will make university unaffordable

Press Release – Auckland University Students Association
University of Auckland students are up in arms about a move that will see 1500 students lose weekly payments that enable them to study. Tertiary Education Minister Stephen Joyce has announced that unlike previous years, there will be no adjustment to the parental income threshold for student allowances. Read more »

Nominations sought for Music Managers Awards

Press Release – MMF
2012 Music Managers Awards – Prizes announced. Last week to nominate.
There are a lot of misconceptions about what a music manager does so the Annual Music Managers Awards aims to recognise the reality… along with dispelling a few of the myths along the way. Read more »

Hong Kong festival coming to Auckland

Press Release – Auckland Hong Kong Festival
This year marks the 15th Anniversary of the Establishment of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and Hong Kong has a growing importance for New Zealand. Hong Kong is no stranger for Rugby Seven lovers. Each year thousands of expats and New Zealanders filled the stadium, streets and bars in Hong Kong supporting the New Zealand team. Read more »

Agency says its Auckland motorway improvements have been successful

Press Release – NZTA
As daylight saving ends this weekend, the NZ Transport Agency is thanking Auckland’s drivers and communities for their patience and support during its busy and successful summer season of motorway improvements across the city. Read more »

Back pain expo at Ellerslie in April

Press Release – Back Pain Expo
Four out of five New Zealanders will suffer from Back Pain during their lifetime, costing ACC more than 300 Million dollars per year and being the second most common cause of sick days off work. Read more »

27km of Waitakere tracks in lockdown from July – to create disease-free zones

Te Waha Nui report by Skye Wishart
Hikers in the Waitakeres can expect track closures in July to limit the spread of kauri dieback disease.

Kauri are at risk from the spread of kauri dieback. Photo: Wikipedia commons.

The closure of 27km of the Waitakeres’ 260km of tracks is to be approved imminently, says principal biosecurity advisor for the Auckland Council, Nick Waipara.

The goal is to create disease-free sanctuaries and cut off areas infected by the kauri-killing water mould Phytophthera taxon Agathis, or PTA.

The disease, commonly called kauri dieback, is thought to be spread by soil movement.

The decision comes after surveys showed that the 100 or so boot-washing stations put in place were largely ignored by the public who did, however, respect track closures when they were trialled in spring over the past two years. Read more »

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