KiwiRail Holdings Limited is a New Zealand state-owned enterprise responsible for rail operations in New Zealand. Trading as KiwiRail and headquartered in Wellington, New Zealand, KiwiRail is the largest rail transport operator in New Zealand. KiwiRail has business units of KiwiRail Freight, The Great Journeys of New Zealand and Interislander. KiwiRail released a 10-Year Turn-around Plan in 2010 and has received significant government investment in support of this in an effort to make KiwiRail a viable long-term transport operator. Prior to the establishment of KiwiRail, rail transport in New Zealand has been under both public and private ownership. Government operators included the Public Works Department, New Zealand Railways Department, the New Zealand Railways Corporation. New Zealand Rail Limited was split off from the Railways Corporation in 1990, privatised in 1993 and renamed in 1995 to Tranz Rail. In 2004 Tranz Rail's rail and trucking operations were acquired by Toll Holdings and renamed Toll NZ, with the central government buying back the rail network under the New Zealand Railways Corporation.
As part of this acquisition, Toll agreed to pay ONTRACK Track Access Charges in exchange for exclusive network access for 66 years, subject to a "use it or lose it clause": if freight and passenger volumes fell below their 2002-2004 average for three or more years, Toll would lose its exclusive access. The agreement set a base track access fee but left future track access fees open to negotiation between ONTRACK and Toll. After several years of negotiations, the two parties could not come to an agreement on the amount that Toll should pay; this stifled the ability of rail in New Zealand to recover from the prior years of under-investment and threatened the ability of New Zealand to get its key primary products to market. In July 2008, the government announced the purchase for $690 million of Toll Rail, renaming it KiwiRail; the Railways Corporation owned both KiwiRail and ONTRACK, with both companies merging in October 2008 to create one company that controls both rail and ferry operations and rail infrastructure.
In 2011, KiwiRail proposed splitting its land and rail corridor assets from its rail operation assets. On 27 June 2012 it was announced by the company that the value of the land and rail operations would be written down from NZ$7.8 billion to $1.3 billion, KiwiRail would continue as the rail and ferry operator, while the New Zealand Railways Corporation would manage KiwiRail's land. The de-merger took effect on 31 December 2012. Under the years of private ownership prior to the government's re-nationalisation and establishment of KiwiRail in 2008, infrastructure investment in rail outside of Wellington dropped to an average of just over $25m a year. A significant capital injection along with a clear long-term strategic plan was required if rail was to survive as a viable transport operator in NZ; the result was the release by KiwiRail in 2010 of a 10-year turnaround plan and significant government investment in support of this in the years following. In support of the turn-around plan, from July 2008 to December 2016 KiwiRail received over $2.1 billion of Crown investment, spent on infrastructure and new rolling stock.
The focus of the Plan is to increase rail traffic volumes and productivity, modernise assets and separate out the commercial elements of the business from the non-commercial. The plan included the following points: "Step change" on the Auckland – Wellington – Christchurch trunk route: Reduce transit time and improve reliability along the route by easing curves, removing speed restrictions, greater investment in renewal of bridges and sleepers and passing loops. An express freight train journey between Auckland and Wellington took a half hours. KiwiRail aimed to reduce transit times to 11 hours. Improve exit and entry from Auckland and Wellington with improvements at terminals and on main lines to reduce transit times and conflicts with commuter services Increase ferry rail-freight capacity by extending the length of the Aratere and make the Kaitaki rail–capable Improve reliability and enabling investment: Increased renewals on "other key routes", including investment in sleeper replacement, bridge strengthening and track formation refurbishment.
Improved IT systems and processes and facilities at terminals New locomotives and 3,000 new wagons. Review of minor lines: North Auckland Line Stratford–Okahukura Line Napier – Gisborne Line North Wairarapa line. Clarify and assign costs associated with Auckland and Wellington metro services (resulting in Tranz Metro assets being transferred to the Greater Wellington Regional Council and contracts for running services being made "contestable", as in Auckland. Two of KiwiRail's major customers and Fonterra, invested in rail-related infrastructure in line with the Turnaround Plan. Mainfreight has allocated $60 million for investment in new railhead depots, while Fonterra has invested $130 million in a new rail hub complex in Hamilton and another in Mosgiel; the plan has had mixed success, with company Chairman John Spencer stating in 2013 that for its first three years, rail freight revenue had increased by over 25%. Similar progress in attaining new customers and increasing freight volumes has been made over the life of the Plan to date.
Steady and at times rapid progress has been made on t
Britomart Transport Centre
Britomart Transport Centre is the public transport hub in the central business district of Auckland, New Zealand, the northern terminus of the North Island Main Trunk railway line. It combines a railway station in a former Edwardian post office, extended with expansive post-modernist architectural elements, with a bus interchange, it is at the foot of Queen Street, the main commercial thoroughfare of Auckland city centre, with the main ferry terminal just across Quay Street. The centre was the result of many design iterations, some of them being larger and including an underground bus terminal and a large underground car park. Political concerns and cost implications meant. However, at the time of its inception in the early 2000s the centre was still Auckland's largest transport project built to move rail access closer to the city's CBD and help boost Auckland's low usage of public transport, it is one of the few underground railway stations in the world designed for use by diesel trains. Seen as underused and too costly, it is now considered a great success, heading for capacity with the growing uptake of rail commuting.
Limitations on further patronage are due to the access tunnel from the east which provides only two rail tracks, the lack of a through connection via a rail link to the North Shore or to the Western line via an underground tunnel, which would change it into a through station. A tunnel to the Western Line is now as part of the City Rail Link project. Britomart is on reclaimed land in the middle of, it is named after a former headland at Commercial Bay's eastern end. In the 1870s and 1880s the headland was levelled in order to extend the railway line to the bottom of Queen Street, was used to fill in Commercial Bay. Auckland Railway Station moved west from its original 1873 site to Britomart in 1885 and remained there after the Post Office was built on the Queen Street frontage in 1911. In 1930 the station was relocated 1.2 km east to Beach Road and the former station site became a bus terminal in 1937 and car park in 1958. Many proposals were made to locate the station back in the CBD, most notably in 1973 and 1987, with the 1970s proposal of the Mayor of Auckland, Dove-Myer Robinson, envisaging an underground station at Britomart and a tunnel loop, but, stopped by the Muldoon National Government, which claimed it was unjustified and too costly.
In 1995, Auckland City Council purchased the old Post Office building and proposed to redevelop the area as a transit centre. Early designs called for both the bus terminal and the railway to be underground, but these plans were scrapped as consultation showed that buses were preferred above ground by both users and operators, projected costs soared due to the difficulties with potential water ingress; the developer defaulted on contractual deadlines, the project failed. In 1998, a cheaper option was decided on after a consultation process with stakeholders and citizens; the architectural design was chosen via a competition. It used part of Queen Elizabeth II Square and surrounding streets as a bus terminal, with the existing dilapidated bus terminal redeveloped to incorporate both bus services and a pedestrianised area; when nearby Quay Street was realigned in the late 1990s, a tunnel was built to provide the underground railway link. Bus services using the old bus terminal were diverted to other locations in June 2001.
Designed by California architect Mario Madayag in collaboration with local Auckland architects Jasmax, construction of Britomart commenced in October 2001, with structural design having been provided by OPUS. It involved 14 km of piling, some being 40 m long and driven 16 m into the underlying bedrock to provide good earthquake protection, to futureproof the area for potential construction of buildings on top of the station. 200,000 cubic metres were excavated for the station, 40,000 cubic metres of concrete poured. The station includes 236 m ² retail area; the main chamber of Britomart is one of the best interiors in New Zealand and shows the influence of the main hall of the Austrian Postal Savings Bank building by Otto Wagner. The station opened to passengers on 7 July 2003, with the official opening on 25 July 2003 by Sir Edmund Hillary and government ministers. Services to the Beach Road terminus ceased, except for some peak-time commuter services and excursion trains using the former Platform 4, renamed'The Strand'.
The commuter services ceased after a few months. Cost over-runs and differing tastes made the centre politically controversial, the design being described as a large hole in the ground and figuratively. Despite this and a NZ$204 million price tag, it has won numerous design awards and is internationally recognised for its innovative but heritage-sympathetic architecture; the main source of contention was the great expense of this public transport development in the Auckland Region, where for many decades the focus had been on private vehicle ownership and travel. Initial plans included underground pedestrian walkways to Queen Elizabeth II Square, the nearby downtown ferry terminal and the main shopping street of Queen St. Due to cost over-runs only the short walkway under Queen Street to the square was built, the other two being dropped in favour of a sizeable rain-proof canopy that ran from the square's above-ground exit northward toward the ferry terminal and southward toward the Queen Street-Customs Street intersection.
The underground walkway was closed to pedestrians from 29 March 20
The Newmarket Line is a railway line in Auckland, New Zealand, that runs between Quay Park Junction, near Britomart Transport Centre, Newmarket Train Station. It is 2.64 km long. It connects the North Island Main Trunk, which runs from the east into Britomart via the waterfront, the North Auckland Line, which runs between Westfield Junction and Otiria via Newmarket and Whangarei, it has been named the Newmarket Line since 2011. From 1996 to 2011, it was named the Auckland–Newmarket Line, as it ran from Auckland Railway Station until the station closed in 2003. From 1977 to 1996, it was named the Newmarket Branch Railway. Southern Line, Western Line and Onehunga Line services of the Auckland rail network travel on this line; the Newmarket Line was opened in 1873 as the northern portion of Auckland's first railway to Onehunga via Penrose. It was part of the North Island Main Trunk Railway until the Westfield Deviation opened in 1930. Since 1915 it has been double tracked after an upgrade of Parnell Tunnel north of Newmarket.
Previous to that, it led as a single track section through a previous Parnell Tunnel. In 2007 the major junction that connects the Newmarket Line with the North Auckland Line was rebuilt into a'wye junction', removing the time consuming reversing backshunt needed to access the NAL to the north from the Newmarket Line, thus giving the line better access to Britomart Station; this was part of a big upgrade of rail infrastructure in Auckland, the Newmarket Station and Junction was included in the stage one electrification of the network. A new station, began operation on the line at the suburb of the same name on 12 March 2017 to serve the Western and Southern Lines of the city's train network, with an official opening on 13 March
Urban rail transit
Urban rail transit is an all-encompassing term for various types of local rail systems providing passenger service within and around urban or suburban areas. The set of urban rail systems can be subdivided into the following categories, which sometimes overlap because some systems or lines have aspects of multiple types. A tram, streetcar or trolley system is a rail-based transit system that runs or along streets, with a low capacity and frequent stops. Passengers board at street- or curb-level, although low-floor trams may allow level boarding. Longer-distance lines are called radial railways. Few interurbans remain, most having been abandoned; the term "tram" is used in most parts of the world. In North America, these systems are referred to as "streetcar" or "trolley" systems. A light rail system is a rail-based transit system that has higher capacity and speed than a tram by operating in an exclusive right-of-way separated from automobile traffic, but, not grade-separated from other traffic like rapid transit is.
Light rail generally operates with multiple unit trains rather than single tramcars. It emerged as an evolution of trams/streetcars. Light rail systems vary in terms of speed and capacity, they range from improved tram systems to systems that are rapid transit but with some level crossings. The term "light rail" is the most common term used, though German systems are called "Stadtbahn". A rapid transit, subway, elevated, metro or Mass Rapid Transit system is a railway—usually in an urban area—with high passenger capacities and frequency of service, full grade separation from other traffic, it is known as "heavy rail" to distinguish it from light rail and bus rapid transit. In most parts of the world these systems are known as a "metro", short for "metropolitan"; the term "subway" is used in many American systems as well as in Toronto. The system in London uses the terms "underground" and "tube". Systems in Germany are called "U-Bahn", which stands for "Untergrundbahn". Many systems in East and Southeast Asia such as Taipei and Singapore are called MRT which stands for Mass Rapid Transit.
Systems which are predominantly elevated may be referred to as "L" as in Chicago or "Skytrain", as in Bangkok and Vancouver. Other less common names include "T-bane" and "MTR". A monorail is a railway in which the track consists of a single rail, as opposed to the traditional track with two parallel rails. A commuter rail, regional rail, suburban rail or local rail system operates on mainline trackage which may be shared with intercity rail and freight trains. Systems tend to operate at lower frequencies than rapid transit or light rail systems, but tend to travel at higher speeds and cover longer distances. Though many European and East Asian commuter rail systems operate with frequencies and rolling stock similar to that of rapid transit, they do not qualify as such because they share tracks with intercity/freight trains or have at grade crossings. For example, S-trains are hybrid systems combining the characteristics of rapid transit and commuter rail systems. S-trains share tracks with mainline passenger and freight trains but distances between stations and service headway resemble Metro systems.
A funicular is a cable-driven inclined railway that uses the weight of descending cars to help pull the ascending cars up the slope. A cable car in the context of mass transit is a system using rail cars that are hauled by a continuously moving cable running at a constant speed. Individual cars start by releasing and gripping this cable as required. Cable cars are distinct from funiculars, where the cars are permanently attached to the cable and cable railways, which are similar to funiculars, but the rail vehicles are attached and detached manually. Transit agencies' names for lines do not reflect their technical categorization. For example, Boston's Green Line is referred to despite having street-running portions. Conversely, the Docklands Light Railway in London, Green Line in Los Angeles and some metro lines in China are referred to as "Light Rail" though they qualify as rapid transit because they are grade-separated and provide a high frequency of service. Many cities use names such as subway and elevated railway to describe their entire systems when they combine both methods of operation.
Less than half of the London Underground's tracks, for example, are underground. A bus does not run on rails. Trolleybuses are buses. Vehicles that can travel both on rails and on roads have been tried experimentally, but are not in common use; the term bus rapid transit is used to refer to various methods of providing faster bus services and the systems which use it have similar characteristics to light rail. Some cities experimenting with guided bus technologies, such as Nancy, have chosen to refer to them as'trams on tyres' and given them tram-like appearances. In a 2006 article, political scientist Ted Balaker and urban planner Cecilia Juong Kim say that public rail transit provides certain benefits for a community, but say the goals of policymakers are not met. They
Auckland War Memorial Museum
The Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira is one of New Zealand's most important museums and war memorials. Its collections concentrate on New Zealand history, natural history, military history; the museum is one of the most iconic Auckland buildings, constructed in the neo-classicist style, sitting on a grassed plinth in the Auckland Domain, a large public park close to the Auckland CBD. Auckland Museum's collections and exhibits began in 1852. In 1867 Aucklanders formed a learned society – the Auckland Philosophical Society the Auckland Institute. Within a few years the society merged with the museum and Auckland Institute and Museum was the organisation's name until 1996. Auckland War Memorial Museum was the name of the new building opened in 1929, but since 1996 was more used for the institution as well. From 1991 to 2003 the museum's Maori name was Te Papa Whakahiku; the Auckland Museum traces its lineage back to 1852 when it was established in a farm workers' cottage where the University of Auckland is now located.
With an initial call for the donation of specimens of wool for display it attracted 708 visitors in its first year. Interest in the museum dwindled over the following decade as its collection grew, in 1869 the somewhat neglected and forlorn museum was transferred to the care of The Auckland Institute, a learned society formed two years earlier. An Italianate-style building was constructed for the museum in Princes Street, near Government House and across the road from the Northern Club, it was opened on 5 June 1876 by the Governor of New Zealand the Marquis of Normanby. These new premises included a large gallery top-lit by a metal framed skylight; this room proved problematic as it was impossible to heat during the winter but overheated during the summer. Canvas awnings used to shield the roof from harsh sunlight made the exhibits difficult to view in the resulting gloom. Several exhibition halls were added to the side of the original building. One of the visitors during the 1890s was the French artist Gauguin, who sketched several Maori items and incorporated them into his Tahitian period paintings.
In the early years of the 20th century the museum and its collections flourished under visionary curator Thomas Cheeseman, who tried to establish a sense of order and separated the natural history, classical sculpture and anthropological collections, displayed in a rather unsystematic way. The need for better display conditions and extra space necessitated a move from the Princes St site and the project for a purpose-built museum merged with that of the war memorial to commemorate soldiers lost in World War I; the site was a hill in the Government Domain commanding an impressive view of the Waitemata Harbour. Permission was granted by the Auckland City Council in 1918, the Council in its liberality being given three seats on the Museum Council; as well as an initial gift of £10,000 the Council agreed to an annual subsidy from the rates towards maintenance of the facility and coaxed several of the other local bodies to the principle of an annual statutory levy of £6,000 to support the museum's upkeep.
The worldwide architectural competition was funded by the Institute of British Architects, a £1,000 sterling prize drew over 70 entries, with Auckland firm Grierson and Draffin winning the competition with their neo-classical building reminiscent of Greco-Roman temples. In 1920 the present Domain site was settled on as a home for the museum and in the 1920s after successful fund-raising led by Auckland Mayor Sir James Gunson, building of the Auckland War Memorial Museum began, with construction completed in 1929, it was opened by the Governor-General General Sir Charles Fergusson. The museum architects commissioned Kohns Jewellers of Queen Street to create a finely detailed silver model of the museum; this was presented to Sir James Gunson on completion of the museum, in recognition of his leading the project. The building is considered one of the finest Greco-Roman buildings in the Southern Hemisphere, it has an'A' classification from the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, designating it as a building whose preservation is of the utmost importance.
Of particular interest is the interior plasterwork which incorporates Maori details in an amalgamation of Neo-Greek and art-deco styles. The exterior bas-reliefs depicting 20th-century armed forces and personnel are in a style which mixes Neo-Greek with Art-Deco; the bulk of the building is English Portland Stone with detailing in New Zealand granite from the Coromandel. Two additions were made to the 1929 building, the first in the late 1950s to commemorate the Second World War when an administration annexe with a large semi-circular courtyard was added to the southern rear; this extension is of concrete block construction rendered in cement stucco to harmonise with the Portland Stone of the earlier building. In 2006 the inner courtyard was enclosed by the grand atrium at the southern entrance; the quotation'The Whole Earth is the Sepulchre of Famous Men' over the front porch is attributed to the Greek general Pericles, in keeping with its commemorative status to affairs of a martial nature.
RenovationIn the last two decades, the museum was extended in two stages. The first stage saw the existing building restored and the exhibits replaced during the 1990s for $NZ 43 million; the second stage of this restoration has seen a great dome – atrium constructed within the central courtyard, increasing the building's floor area by 60% for a price of $NZ 64.5 million. $NZ 27 million of, provided by the government, with the ASB Trust ($NZ 12.9 mill
Parnell railway station
Parnell railway station is a station serving the inner-city suburb of Parnell in Auckland, New Zealand. It is situated on the Newmarket Line 600m north of Parnell Tunnel, is located in the Waipapa Valley adjacent to Auckland Domain, it serves Southern Western Line trains. Onehunga Line trains pass through the station without stopping; the station opened on 12 March 2017 with basic facilities and serving a limited number of lines. Future development will involve building a pedestrian bridge across the tracks to provide step-free access to the platforms, constructing several new paths to provide more direct access to Auckland Domain, Parnell Town Centre and the University of Auckland, it was intended that the station would serve all three lines which pass through it. This was contingent on the removal of the Sarawia Street level crossing in Newmarket, removing the signalling constraints which affected the line. A bridge built to replace the level crossing, linking Laxon Terrace with nearby Cowie Street, allowed the removal of the crossing.
After a plan to lease part of the area as a bus depot was cancelled, KiwiRail and Auckland Council were asked in 2010 by the outgoing Auckland Regional Council to make an early start on construction of the proposed station, to cost $13 million or more, to ensure that there would not need to be costly extra work after the electrification of the line as part of the Auckland railway electrification. It was proposed that several million dollars saved during the upgrade of the Newmarket station be allocated to this new station. An early proposal was to integrate the new station with some of the historic railway workshop sheds of the adjacent Mainline Steam depot but nothing eventuated; the Mainline Steam Heritage Trust had its lease on the depot terminated by KiwiRail and completed its move from the site in June 2015. The sheds were demolished in September 2015; the heritage station building from the Newmarket station is a feature of the station. Relocation of the building was planned for December 2016 and external refurbishment works were expected to be finished by April 2017.
In late 2015, Auckland Transport advised that opening the Parnell station to passenger services was being postponed until the completion of a road bridge at Cowie Street, replacing the nearby level crossing on Sarawia Street. AT received approval from independent planning commissioners in June 2016; the following November, the commissioners' recommendation for the bridge was appealed. If AT had been unable to address the concerns expressed in the appeal, an Environment Court hearing would have decided whether the appeal would be upheld. Trains began operating at the station on 12 March 2017, with an official opening by Mayor of Auckland, Phil Goff, Waitematā Local Board chair Pippa Coom on 13 March 2017. In July–August 2018, the Cowie Street bridge to Laxon Terrace was completed and opened and the Sarawia Street level crossing was closed to road traffic; as a result, a new timetable introduced on 26 August 2018 allowed Parnell to become a stop on all Southern Line and Western Line services. The station is located next to the Auckland Domain, where the Auckland War Memorial Museum is situated.
The two side platforms are linked by a subway. Future work will provide walking links to the Domain and the campuses of the University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology. In mid-November 2018, a walkway was established connecting the Parnell Station to the University of Auckland's Carlaw Park Student Village and the Carlaw business centre, near the University of Auckland's City Campus on Symond Street. List of Auckland railway stations
Minister of Finance (New Zealand)
The Minister of Finance known as Colonial Treasurer, is a senior figure within the Government of New Zealand and head of the New Zealand Treasury. The position is considered to be the most important cabinet post after that of the Prime Minister; the Minister of Finance is responsible for producing an annual New Zealand budget outlining the government's proposed expenditure. The current Minister of Finance is Grant Robertson. There are four Associate Minister roles. One of the Minister of Finance's key roles involves the framing of the annual year budget. According to Parliament's Standing Orders, the Minister of Finance may veto any parliamentary bill which would have a significant impact on the government's budget plans; the Minister of Finance supervises the Treasury, the government's primary advisor on matters of economic and financial policy. As such, the Minister of Finance has broad control of the government's spending, making the position quite powerful; some analysts, such as Jonathan Boston, claim that the Minister of Finance can sometimes hold more influence than the Prime Minister, if the conditions are right.
Gordon Coates, Finance Minister in the early 1930s, was sometimes such a figure. Some political scientists, such as Boston, believe that in the government of David Lange, Minister of Finance Roger Douglas held more power than was proper, that the Treasury was using its control of government finances to take a supervisory role across the whole administration, it was for this reason that Lange's successor, Geoffrey Palmer, established the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, which could offer the Prime Minister advice independent of that given by individual ministers. The office of Minister of Finance has existed since 1841. Apart from the office of Prime Minister itself, the only other cabinet posts to have existed since the first cabinet are those of Attorney-General and Minister of Internal Affairs; the holder of the post was designated "Colonial Treasurer", but this term was replaced with "Minister of Finance" shortly after New Zealand ceased to be a Colony and became a Dominion.
This occurred during the cabinet of Joseph Ward. In the past, several Prime Ministers took on the post of Minister of Finance themselves, though in recent times this practice has declined. Robert Muldoon, the last person to concurrently serve as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, created considerable controversy by doing so, it is more common, for a Deputy Prime Minister to serve as Minister of Finance. Bob Tizard, Michael Cullen and Bill English served as Deputy Prime Minister when in the position as Minister of Finance. Traditionally Ministers of Finance rank second or third in seniority lists within Westminster-style Cabinets, although Harry Lake was ranked at sixth and his successor Robert Muldoon was ranked at eighth. After the 1996 elections, the role of the Minister of Finance was split between two portfolios – that of Minister of Finance and that of Treasurer; the position of Treasurer was senior to that of the Minister of Finance, was created as part of the coalition agreement between the National Party and New Zealand First.
It was established for Winston Peters, leader of New Zealand First, who demanded it as part of the deal. When Peters ended the coalition, the position reverted to the National Party, after the change of government in 1999, it was reincorporated into the old Minister of Finance portfolio by Labour in 2002. New Zealand Treasury