Friday, July 22, 2016

SkyPath - Generation Zero helps Northcote Point Residents with Parking

Once again Generation Zero and SkyPath have decided help Northcote Point out with a few thousand submissions of their own on the Parking audit for the judge of the Environment Court

SkyPath is progressing on a number of fronts:Parking Management Scheme for Northcote PointWe’ve been pleased to assist Auckland Transport in developing options for parking schemes at Northcote Point.  Our goal is to ensure the parking in the area by SkyPath users is discouraged.  We encourage you to review what’s proposed and to have your say.  We think that having a maximum 60 minute limit in the area around SkyPath’s landing along with a residents-only permit scheme will work well.  If you agree then please support Option B for Area 2 (Question 6 of the online survey).

As if the despised residents of Northcote Point have not had enough to put up with SkyPath which will  transform their small residential heritage area with just a couple of streets into a major traffic hub with hourly attendance figures to rival Auckland Airport the residents now have to be consulted about the parking problem by Auckland Transport.

PurposeThe purpose of this proposed parking scheme is to assist with the management of the
potential increase in parking demand associated with SkyPath - the proposed walking and cycling path across the Harbour Bridge. If constructed, SkyPath will land at the southern end of Princes Street in Northcote Point.While it is expected that many people using SkyPath will walk or cycle to the facility, some may choose to travel to the area by car.The unrestricted parking on residential streets around Northcote Point could be attractive for people using SkyPath, particularly on weekends during summer. This could result in a lack of parking for local residents and other visitors to the area.

Well actually there is no parking now at peak times on Northcote Point at the moment. Most houses have their own parking but the shops, restaurants and cinemas who have no parking of their own due to an ancient anomaly which allows a few industrial areas in a residential Heritage zone need some for their customers.

This is supposed to be just for the residents but to be helpful SkyPath and Generation Zero have sent the  Auckland Transport's online form by email to all it supporters encouraging them to submit and telling them which option to choose. Actually Choice B which limits parking to 60 minutes but allows residents if they pay a yearly fee to park all day, as St Mary's Bay. This is because SkyPath wishes to discourage its patrons turning up by car and trying to Park.

Hint to all SkyPath users don't even bother to do this unless you arrive a 6 am! Many SkyPath users will do this and the early birds can park and then ride across and back at night. The parking other than the three marked areas is to be unrestricted.  SkyPath potential users the spot outside my house which is unrestricted will not be available because my car will be parked there all day and if all the residents get together on this there will not be one unrestricted park on Northcote Point. I think it is called direct action and legal too.

The residents have been invited to meet with AT at the Birkenhead Library Monday 25 July 2016  between 4 pm and 7 pm where the can have their vocal and personal import. Isn't that just so nice of them. Problem is all the data provided is out of date so another waste of money but it looks as if the residents are being involved. The residents are hoping their Kaipatiki Board members who to a man solidly supported SkyPath to turn up and give their input to this tiny problem but after the Finance Planning meeting I don't think any of them will show their faces. We shall see. Quite a few votes on Northcote Point and this area is mature so they know how to place their tick.

SkyPath wants to discourage users coming by car and Northcote Residents are all so grateful. Evidently most of their customers want to drive up and park near the attraction. Some hopes!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

SkyPath - Generation Zero gets to pay!

SkyPath gets Auckland Council funding for SkyPath and one really has to congratulate all involved, Even though a barrister told the Finance Planning Committee that it was illegal to vote on this  proposal before it had appeared in the Auckland City Ten Year Plan it made not a jot of difference as the Council unanimously voted for this to go ahead even though council were warned that this was the last time they would be allowed to debate this matter. Now it is in the hands of the CEO. The Council although told  about this did not take this on board and think they will have another crack. No such luck. Tis done! Well and truly done. Auckland starts paying today.

Even though there was a very eloquent presentation on the safety of SkyPath.Even though it is still highly unlikely that after all the expense of plans and wind tunnels, the design will pass the Health and Safety regulations, it was voted unanimously at the last moment, have you noticed that in NZ committees the one who shouts the loudest gets, in this case, her way. Dogs on leashes are to be added to the mix of pedestrians, bikes, electric bikes and wheelchairs. No problem, and children under five do not have to pay. Big cheers.

Win, win for everyone. Everyone was thanked, even the residents of Northcote Point who have been bulldozed over completely as if their concerns were irrelevant. Councillor George Wood who was expected to vote against with Dick Quax and Cameron Brewer, felt that he had to say that the residents of Northcote Point had  been unfairly treated.  The three of them looked like characters from Alice in Wonderland  with the residents of Northcote Point playing the oysters who trusted them to see fair play  but get hoodwinked  by these shifty characters and are eaten up without so much as a by your leave:

      I weep for you,' the Walrus said:
      I deeply sympathize.'
With sobs and tears he sorted out
      Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
      Before his streaming eyes.

All three of them voted for SkyPath. I feel sure all the councillors are proud of themselves. Cheers all around except for Northcote Point which will now be deluged by visitors it is not equipped to handle as everybody who tries to use SkyPath will find out in two years time. But that is two years away and a miracle might happen and someone in authority might come to their senses but now Auckland will have to pay penalties.

Caution was swept to the wind. Nothing nasty is going to happen. The Ratepayers have nothing to fear. It is all going to be Lovely.  The Ratepayers have heard that one before.

So who are the winners? Difficult to say but Generation Zero have definitely won. I hope they enjoy their triumph because they will be paying for it for the next 25 years in tolls, taxes and rates. So will the rest of us. I wonder if those who opposed can opt out. For the residents of Northcote Point paying for this is a bit like paying for your own execution!

Not one of Auckland Council's better days and certainly not for the Ratepayers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

SkyPath - Does Generation Zero want to pay for SkyPath?

Auckland Council votes to fund SkyPath tomorrow although they may not be entitled to do so! The decision cannot be reversed. This is it!  But do Auckland  Ratepayers know what they are signing up for? That includes Generation Zero.

Tomorrow Thursday 21 July 2016 The Auckland City Councillors vote on underwriting SkyPath. This is a momentous decision as it will mean that whatever happens in the future, for example SkyPath at just 4 meters wide and 1.2 K long with a low headroom and steep gradient may not be usable as a shared path because the accidents that are bound to happen when pedestrians and cyclists share the same cage. No research has been done in this field it, Auckland Ratepayers take the risk.

If this happens SkyPath may not be able to function but the Auckland Ratepayers will be stuck with it. The Ratepayers will have to pay the full subsidies as if  SkyPath was open, up and running. This is just one scenario but SkyPath has many other clauses that safeguard its investment, like compensation if NZTA allows cycling and pedestrian lanes  free once the second crossing is built. This will continue for 25 years!

“All ratepayers are affected by the proposal to underwrite this project ( as general rates will cover any shortfall in revenue from patronage with patronage demand being the biggest unknown factor in the whole project (p 138 of the Agenda) 
"The decision to proceed cannot be reversed without Council incurring considerable penalty costs ( pages 42 to 43 of the Agenda)” NRA letter to AK Council

The Council should have notified Auckland Ratepayers under the current 10 Year Plan but have failed to do so. Without this notification and consultation this vote should not take place and in fact the Northcote Residents Association has asked that this vote be deferred until it is included in the next 10 Year plan so that Auckland Ratepayers have a better idea of what they are being asked to back. It is not the senior citizens who will be paying for Skypath all their lives but Generation Zero.

SkyPath is unique. Nothing like it has been tried before anywhere in the world. For those who know nothing about SkyPath’s operational problems, and for those who find SkyPath’s visual images and promises appealing, there is widespread support for SkyPath. However, Council’s Agenda reports and media seriously misrepresent the level of opposition that exists to SkyPath’s implementation. 

In particular, Councillors should know that every community organisation, yachting club and residents’ association directly affected by SkyPath, has formally notified the Environment Court of its opposition to SkyPath’s implementation. Those organisations democratically represent more than 13,000 directly affected people and include RNZYS, WMUA, RYC, PCC, SMBA, HBRA, LSBPS, NPHPS and NRA.

  1. ”Should Auckland Council build an unworkable, unsafe, short-term, white- elephant extravagance now, or would it be better to wait another few short years, to implement a safe and workable facility that achieved the same function SkyPath promises, but at no cost, safely and much better?" NRA FAQ's 
It will be interesting to see how many of the present councillors do the right thing by the Ratepayers and decline  to vote until Aucklanders are better informed.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Auckland Transport- SkyPath- Northcote Point Parking Survey

Janette Miller is not a member of Northcote Resident Association. Her interest in SkyPath is safety.

Skypath -Auckland Transport- Northcote Point Parking Plan Survey for Environment Court 

Before the next sitting of the Environment court  the judge  has ordered Auckland Transport to submit a plan for parking on Northcote Point that will be put into effect when SkyPath is built. So Auckland Transport has been forced to send a proposed parking scheme out to all the residents of Northcote Point for its feedback and this is it!

Northcote Point Supposed Parking Scheme 

The purpose of this proposed parking scheme is to assist with the management of the potential increase in parking demand associated with SkyPath - the proposed walking and cycling path across the Harbour Bridge. If constructed, SkyPath will land at the southern end of Princes Street in Northcote Point.
While it is expected that many people using SkyPath will walk or cycle to the facility, some may choose to travel to the area by car.
The unrestricted parking on residential streets around Northcote Point could be attractive for people using SkyPath, particularly on weekends during summer (Note jm:  and on weekdays as park and ride!). This could result in a lack of parking for local residents and other visitors to the area. Ref AT
There is no room for this project on the Point. SkyPath was not made to supply one car park for the 20,000 + that will be using SkyPath a weekends in five years time! I hardly dare write this as it looks preposterous and yet below are the Auckland City Official Research 2014  figures that were used for the Resourse Conscent and were accepted as accurate. Somehow AT and Northcote Point which is already overparked have to find even more parking which is just not there. The Auckland Council official of numbers of visitors expected are mind blowing.
SkYPath 2014 Research Final -20-6.14   pdf 32/45

Auckland Transport says all it was asked for were 40 places and there its responsibility ends. One wonders if AT read the Ak.C.C Research document.  On SkyPath's opening day,  NZTA are going to have to do something once the current PM, the Mayor and Auckland Transport have ridden over to a fanfare of trumpets and the two way 4 meter wide, 1.2 k tunnel is open. I suggest open the Bridge. It has been done before when about 3,000 turned up in 2009.

AT’s plans sent to residents and on the web  for this survey are grossly incomplete, misleading and senseless.  The map supplied to the residents is out of date and does not give the present state of play. Sea Path and the New Cycle Lanes are not shown nor are the 14 parks AT has removed.  No mention is made of paid meters. It looks as if SkyPath is only going to affect the areas shown but SkyPath will impact on every householder on the Point. SkyPath customers have been told they can park all day if the wish in the streets. House owners have no right to the parking in front of their homes and it seems neither do the shops and businesses which will see all their customers disappear because if the customers cannot find a park they will go home never to return.

This week I forgot about school holidays and I went to the Zoo. The Zoo has excellent parking with its own large carpark and huge spare parking nearby and yet this was full. Even the roads around were full and I turned around and came home. This happened to me too at the Rose Festival in Parnell. I came home. I cannot get to either venue by public transport. SkyPath visitors and visitors to the shops and cinema will do the same  on Northcote Point if they do not arrive early and grab a park for the day. They will go home. People learn quickly.

Here is a video that demonstrates clearly the space that 2,000 cyclists all together take up. They take up far more room than pedestrians. Northcote Point with the best will in the world is not big enough to host this project. Auckland Transport or even our local Council Kaipatiki Board seem unaware of this or do not want to look. This is a real problem and should be addressed.

Lastly how much is this costing Auckland Ratepayers. All this is being paid for by The Auckland City Council. The Ratepayers should be told how much this is costing and allow us to option out. Maybe this should be my next question. Why don't the Council make sure it is safe first?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

SkyPath - Save Northcote Point - Give a Little - Janette Miller

Help Save Northcote Point

 Northcote Point under threat of disappearing under Mayor Len Brown's Dream

The Mayor of Auckland Len Brown needs a legacy project for Auckland to remember him by. Let the citizens of Auckland and the World walk and bike across the Harbour Bridge.  Sounds a Dream. With all his power and Council funding SkyPath has passed its first hurdle with a Resource Consent giving SkyPath permission to go ahead.

There is only one snag that could ruin the party and it is a big snag -  SkyPath requires two major station hubs to funnel the visitors onto the SkyPath. The one at the Southern end can just about do it at a stretch but the other end SkyPath hits a snag - a snag that threatens the whole project only the mayor and cyclists are not going to let this get in their way. Build first and worry about it later!

Northcote Point Now

Northcote Point After SkyPath

For many years Northcote Point  has been tiny sleepy, leafy cul-de-sac  situated on a narrow peninsula beside The Auckland Harbour Bridge where no one wanted to live. The houses were cheap and run down but gradually over the years Northcote Point has been lovingly restored and now It is one of the nicest places in the world to live and visit with its restaurants, arts cinema and the ferry. There is little parking and really nothing to do for visitors but is a pleasant way to spend a lazy afternoon.

All this is about to change with the coming of SkyPath  this tiny suburb is about to deluged with 14,337 to begin and 20,000 tourists, pedestrians and bicycles in five years time every Saturday and Sunday afternoon and really nowhere to put them. It is that serious, there is nowhere to put them.

SkyPath is a commercial  tourist venture which plans to offer tourists, cyclists and pedestrians the chance to cross The Auckland Harbour Bridge by means of a 1.2 k tunnel attached to the lower side of the Harbour Bridge. It is being  promoted as a tourist attraction to rival the London Eye Ferris Wheel and it needs to attract huge numbers of paying visitors to make it pay.

The numbers are huge! 20,000 visitors a day trips off the tongue but SkyPath with the help of Mayor Len Brown is determined no matter what the cost this project is going ahead and with his help the resource consent was granted.

The cycle lobby is jumping for joy as their dream of biking across the Bridge in huge numbers is about to come true. The Mayor, media, and bikers via Generation Zero have made sure the whole world is invited and ready to roll but the residents of Northcote Point who know that their area is not up to it is trying to put up a fight to stop the madness before it starts but with the whole panoply of the forces in favour against them it is a bit of a David and Goliath operation.

Northcote Point is tiny. 2,000 visitors an hour is too many as has been and 20,000 not possible. NZTA will be forced to open lanes on the Bridge if this number turns up to avoid disaster.

The terminal would need to be of a considerable size to host the crowds expected in safety and to ensure a pleasant experience. It is after all a tourist attraction. Vancouver's Canada Line Bridge which was given as an example shows the area that is needed and this Bridge is not a tourist attraction. It links two industrial areas.  It has hardly any patronage as the area is so isolated yet it has a vast empty area around the portal and can be evacuated easily.

Contrast the area available with that of Northcote Point.

The space available for this major traffic hub at Northcote Point, is about the size of two tennis courts if that  and it can never get any larger, and to make it worse there is only one road entrance as shown. It is a cul-de-sac. All 20,000 visitors will have to enter  or leave through one tiny 5 meter portal blocked by turnstiles while a similar number are coming off and arrive or leave by this road. Even if the Council bought all the houses in the area there still would not be enough room and it would be so unpleasant that no visitor would want to come.

SkyPath, the Resource Commissioners and the Council  Officers all swore that these numbers would make a minimal impact on this heritage area but all refuse to say how these crowds are to be managed. So far all that has been offered are two security officers with a CCTV camera based at Westhaven, 1.2 k away on the other side of the Bridge. It is up to the residents to work it out.

If the residents protest they are presented as Nimbies and vilified in the media as spoil sports. The NRA point of view is stifled by a cycle mad press and Auckland Transport Authority who believe that residents have to be sacrificed for the greater good and the residents will have to learn to live with it. The general public just thinks the residents are being difficult.

All the cards are in the Mayor's hands. Because SkyPath won the Resource Consent it is fully funded for the Environment Court Appeal by lawyers paid for by The Auckland City Council via the Ratepayers of Auckland. Only in the Resource Court can ordinary people speak for themselves. Once it goes to a real court expensive lawyers are required.

I do not belong to the Northcote Point Residents Association.I live on The Point and I do support the Give a Little appeal.  They deserve every bit of help they can get to fight against this hasty Resource Consent. Even a few dollars will help! It is worth it to save this beautiful Point for posterity or at least to get the problems sorted out before SkyPath goes ahead.

This video was made for the Mediation Court that was held before the Environment Court Case begins. As an individual I could not afford to join this case. The Safety issues will not be not part of the Court Case. I made this video as visual evidence to show just how much space 2,000 cyclists take up. Bikes take more room than people. A picture is worth a 1,000 words but a moving picture really gives the true story. Like it or not this is what 2,000 cyclists look like.

 Yes they did start together  but there were never 2,000 cyclists on the Bridge at one time for  by the time the cyclists got there the crowds had evened out. In the opening close up there are just 15 cyclists in mid shot.  SkyPath intends to have 2,000 of Shared Path traffic both ways at anyone time. The path is just 4 meters wide with only two blocked egresses. One at each end.

The figures quoted are all taken from The Auckland City Research pdf for SkyPath 2014  pdf. These are the figures that were presented to the commissioners.  The figures were placed under oath in Court and so have to be believed. The figures are not made up.

Very little room for emergency services

Reception area for 20,000 people in 5 years.

Northcote Point 
One lane entrance of the two roads to below the bridge
© mmvi  2000 Cyclists Ride over Auckland Harbour Bridge-janette miller 


Screams of terror and excitement were heard across central Christchurch as children flocked to the the Margaret Mahy Family Playground's "scary" new slide.
The eight-metre spiral slide opened on Sunday as the latest addition to the park, which opened in December. Stuff

Yesterday Christchurch's newest children's attraction The Towers of Terror  at Margaret Mahey's Family Playground  was closed because it is dangerous. It seems that the unsupervised children attacked the tunnel from both ends!
The tower of terror slide at Christchurch's Margaret Mahy Playground has been closed just weeks after it opened.
The eight-metre spiral slide and three towers opened in June as the latest addition to the popular park, but safety concerns forced park management company Otakaro Limited to close the towers.
 Otakaro Limited spokeswoman Annemarie Settle said the decision was not made lightly.
"It comes down to trying to strike the right balance between safety and excitement. Kids obviously love the slide and the scariness adds to the excitement but it's our job to make sure it is safe for everyone," she said. Stuff
One look at the design should be enough to tell the powers that be that cramming unsupervised children into cages and tunnels with no means of escape was slightly unwise to say the least.

Common sense should have told anyone at Health and Safety that as children will be children this is bound to happen and it could be difficult to get them out.

Now I come to look at it Auckland has a grown up version of this concept  in the design stage but it is a slightly larger a1.2 k, 4 meter tube with two blocked egresses. It is called SkyPath! 

Sunday, July 10, 2016


Paul Little: Nimbies battle flight of fancy

The long read - Janette Miller

This Sunday Paul Little an independent columnist with The Herald on Sunday wrote an article about the residents of Northcote Point and their battle with SkyPath entitled Nimbies battle flight of Fancy  which is about the only part of the article he got right. The link is there so you can read it for yourselves. He was particularly scathing about me and  my voice and completely wrong.

In the past it was easy for columnists in the Herald to destroy a project or person because it was the only show in town. Now it is not.

It is fashionable on Sundays in the world media to have a Long Read so I thought in the interests of fair play, and I feel sure Paul Little will want to be fair, his article has become the topic for my first Long Read. It is usual to introduce Paul Little so that readers can get to know him and where he is coming from  so here is his Linkedin profile and an article by Whale Oil  Paul Little Blithering idiot for reference. It is easy to ascertain that Paul Little is in favour of SkyPath and sometimes the Herald runs sponsored articles but I shall give him the benefit of the doubt on this one. Paul Little is passionate about SkyPath. He can see no problems at all except for people like me  or The Northcote Resident Association who point out a few issues that might just spoil his dream. For them he shows no mercy and of course the NRA cannot hit back.

As this is a Long Read, I intend  to publish it again in sections so I can elaborate in more detail exactly what Paul Little got wrong and why he is misleading. One has to trust a paper's reporters and they must get the facts right. Paul Little has not. Then one has to trust that that the reporter is not prone to discrimination of any kind if he/she shows any discrimination to one person in an article then he is likely to do it to others. Just living in an area, or having a different type of voice is no reason why these people should not be taken seriously. Is Paul Little biased? Does he give the other point of view? Does he make fun of people because he does not appreciate their voices? If in doubt it may be time to change your paper.

So to begin - The easiest way is to publish the letter with all the links that I wrote to Paul Little who has no idea who I am except that I have IT skills above the average for my age, he is right about that, I have a posh voice, which appears to get up his nose and I care enough about the safety on SkyPath to do something about it enough to make a video. He did not add a link to this video so I have placed What Bike The Bridge did Right - a lesson in crowd management at the top of this blog.

The  Long Read for Sunday Herald reporters.

Dear Paul Little

Regarding the inaccuracies in above article I really do not know where to start!  Good balanced accurate reporting it was not! So here is some ref information for your next article.

My name is Janette Miller.
I reverted to Miller after my husband  a Heffernan died because I got so much racist abuse and an assault for being thought to be Southern Irish because of my name! I am English/Scots.

Here is my live CV 

BBC Monitor  Britten Noyes Fludde  Aldeburgh featuring Janette Miller and Michael Crawford 1958

This  CV was made shortly before I caught Clostridium Difficile  or gangrene of the stomach.

My  web site is Janette so you can see what my company produces. The Bookbinding series  Bookbinding with Peter Goodwin on DVD made a few years ago is still an Amazon Best seller.

Anyone on Northcote Point is NIMBY

Just because the residents of Northcote Point wish to object to SkyPath does not make them NIMBIES. They live here and they are aware of the problems. The size of the crowds is going to be a problem. The image shows about 1,000 cyclists, there was another 1,000 stretching back to Smales Farm.

I live near to a 400 seater theatre, a 50 seat restaurant, a 50 seat cafe, a 100 seat Senior Citizens Rooms and an antique shop. During one period on Northcote Point, I lived near to Junk and Disorderly, a junk yard and I have lived happily on Northcote Point for 43 years. Never had a park outside in years! NIMBY? I don’t think so.

I made and narrated  What Bike the Bridge did Right  as evidence to show the Mediation Court, that even 2,000 is too much to host at Northcote Point without serious crowd management. I stand by every frame of the footage. I am an independent and solely interested in safety aspects of this project. Whatever Paul Little says these problems will not magically disappear if the NRA cannot continue with the appeal and will have to be faced by someone in the future.

The Minister of Transport Simon Bridges and NZTA are aware of the safety problems of Northcote Point. At the invitation of the Minister I was invited to a formal on the record interview which was not in confidence at NZTA where I was assured that SkyPath would not be built unless it was safe. I was very impressed with their understanding of the problem and I was totally reassured  that this will be done, even though it may mean SkyPath although desired may not be built. 

I asked if I should stop publicly campaigning on the safety issue and was told they had no objection to me continuing as at present  they could say little to get this point across officially. Anything that could be done to inform the public of this problem would be welcomed. 

There is no doubt that Northcote Point is not able to become a major transport hub simply because there is no room for the infrastructure required. That is a fact. It cannot be changed unless huge earthworks and demolition of the Point is undertaken. The residents of Northcote Point know this and so does the Minister and NZTA but the media coverage by the cycle lobby has ensured the NRA is pilloried for the greater good. On the whole the general public has no idea of the major problems of hosting SkyPath at Northcote Point under the present design and accommodating the numbers required to make it commercially viable. The public think it is OK  as the media constantly refers to them as Nimbies and the residents are making a fuss just because the residents peace and quiet will be removed. If a resident is interviewed the article is usually hostile. 

This video was made as evidence for the Mediation Court that had to take place before the Environment Court proceedings. It shows clearly 2,000/3,000 cyclists cycling over the Bridge. However it does not show 2,000 cyclists on the Bridge at the same time as SkyPath proposes as the cyclists had evened out before they got there and of course no pedestrians and two way traffic. This was a simple one way run.

Cyclists take up a lot of room and they go fast. The video  also shows which the design animation does not the camber/gradient on the bridge which is flattened by the animation. Although SkyPath allows  use of SkyPath's images in public by crediting Reset Urban design I chose in fairness not to use any of the images in public against SkyPath  but the one below I shall use and credit  below as this is in the public interest.

You can see it is very different and deceptive as it makes the SkyPath look flat. It isn't. SkyPath is a 1.2 k enclosed tunnel just 4.5 m wide( 6.5m in a few places to allow people to stand and look).  I am told the speeds a cyclist can reach on the downhill run are 50+ kph! The first child that is hit or even a small pile up of bikes that can block the enclosed tunnel are  problems that have to be faced. Saying one can reduce speeds is not an answer because we know with visual evidence that on many flat open bridges with  pedestrians in the way cyclists speed. SkyPath is enclosed and that is the big difference. Cyclists are good at ignoring instructions and take risks. It is what cyclists do! If you want a sensible discussion on the safety aspects I am happy to give them to you. This is just one on the Bridge, there are other issues for Northcote Point!


Paul Little takes exception to my voice. 

Paul Little did not mention me by name but he did say incorrectly that is was made for the Northcote’s Residents Association. It was not. I do not belong to that association. In fact I removed the video from the site.

The effect of this  would be classed racist if I exchanged one or two words for opponents. It  is like saying: 

These black people aren't a fusty old bunch of dinosaurs!

 ( These black people are smart not like the usual ones!)

The black people were clever enough to even make a Video on YouTube.

 (WOW! These black people  who we thought were rich and stupid were clever enough to make a video that is the evidence to prove them right to protest!  It was so dangerous to our cause that we are not going to embarrass them by showing it)  

It voiced by a narrator with an unacceptable black accent that is so unacceptable even for her own black community!

( People with voices like that are not to be believed)
Paul Little did not mention me by name but the effect is the same. It is me! It could not be anyone else. My name is on the Janette Miller YouTube Channel. The article is implying that because my accent is unacceptable then I must be unacceptable even to my own community and my word not to be trusted. I find this deeply offensive and cruel. By smearing the messenger you reject the message. If this was the 16 century I should be burnt as a witch by now and I am not joking. Making fun of me for raising a serious issue is unacceptable.

I cannot help it if I speak proper! I speak the regular BBC received English. I am considered  by many to have one of the best voices on YouTube  and I made a living in UK doing voice overs. 

Obviously I do not do this in NZ. It is a NZ accent that is wanted and I don't do Kiwi! Many in UK find the NZ accent funny too but would be too polite to say so.  I am allowed to speak as I like, after years it is hard to change and it could be considered discriminatory to dismiss the contents of my film just because of my voice. If you attacking my voice, you attack the contents by association.

My cousin who lived in Woodford Green has what is called an Estuary Accent which she hated but her schoolfriend Helen Mirren has the same accent as I do and is still acceptable to The Royal Shakespeare Company today. I should not have to defend my accent.  

Paul Little imagines that I must be a middle class, rich unpleasant person who is just interested in herself. Well, appearances are deceptive.  Yes I am middle class, I married an Oxford educated GP, my working class accent would not go down to well in Oxford even now. It would be tolerated though. Marrying an Oxford man is quite special, not too many of them so I must be quite something. They have the pick of everyone and only go for the best. Why? Because I am intelligent and nice. I care about people. I care about safety.

Actually my family come from the slums of Manchester and Glasgow. I was brought up by my working class grandfather who was the son of man who made coal wagons for the railways in Manchester, rather like living Coronation St in 1900. My grandfather Henry Thorpe was brilliant, He went to night school, passed civil service exams and eventually went on the manage Wembley Stadium for 40 years. He gave the world the FA Cup and the Olympic Games and he managed crowds. I was brought with the crowds, my grandfather brought me up while my own father was in  the War. He taught everyone in Wembley Stadium to respect crowds as he had had two occasions where but for luck there could have been 2 horrific disasters, You can look them up on Google. One was the first FA Cup and the second the Zeppelin of 1929. He had a large framed photo of that incident on the wall of his office to remind everyone to keep safety in mind.

When I bought on Northcote Point in 1975 nobody wanted to live here. Now they do. I can see why people want to live here. It is wonderful so why ruin it by overcrowding. Yes I do have a valuable house but only because I did not pull it down. In 1975 I was told to pull it down in the name of progress. I was right  to keep it.

SkyPath should limit numbers or give the cyclists a lane on the Bridge now. It could be done today with a couple of traffic cones!  

You might me interested to know my background. Here is my amazing grandmother born in a slum raised to a Lady.

Road beside mainline railway in Manchester where Henry Thorpe and his family lived in a two up two down cottage

The Northcote Resident Association

I do not belong to the Northcote Residents Association but I did allow them to use my video for their Give a Little Appeal. I did give them a donation and I am happy to do so. They deserve a chance to put their case across in a NZ court with real judges not laymen. I have found NZ Justice to be fair and just. NRA does have a genuine case and it should be heard.

The What Bike the Bridge did Right  video does not form part of the NRA Environment Court Case at all and will not be presented in evidence. I could not afford to join this appeal so the safety aspects of SkyPath will not be considered there although SkyPath again gives the impression that they will. Safety is considered later but safety will be considered. However the video does show visually that Northcote Point will have  problems in managing the crowds that will use it. The video is on YouTube and anyone can use it via a link. Both the NZ Herald and Stuff did this and so can NRA.

Bike the Bridge management obviously thought differently. I learned later that they did not want to be associated with this appeal and felt that even though the video is full of praise for the management of their event, which I think is exemplary, they had it taken down themselves saying they owned the video which of course they don’t. Give a Little would not give me the name but being pressed told me it was Bike the Bridge.

When  I went to my YouTube page I found out who it was as Callum McNair  owner of Bike the Bridge had left a very offensive comment which I felt I had to remove. I then wrote to him on his FB page asking him to contact me which he has failed to do because he does not check his FB messages. I waited for days for his call.

Instead of getting in touch with me he contacted Amelia Wade of the NZ Herald and she explained the situation and after thinking about it I could see his point  and so although it was not necessary for me to do so  in the interests of fair play I instructed the NRA to remove the video from that page of the Give a Little site.

I need not have bothered. The media still reported that I had made the video for the NRA. Stuff slightly changed there story but the Herald has not. 

Again I have nothing to do with the NRA. I do not belong but my video is being used against them as if I did. It seems that fair play is only allowed on one side. 

Again with or without an appeal to the Environment Court the safety management issue of crowds descending on Northcote Point will not go away and will have to be addressed.

Len Brown's vanity Legacy project and the 11,000 submission from all over the world

Big public support for Sky Path says Len Brown.

Len Brown knows that once the Resource Consent is obtained then even if the opposition has serious reasons for objection  it is virtually impossible to take an appeal to the Environment Court. Law costs money, that is why there are rich lawyers. It would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and until NZTA gives the go ahead no one knows if it can be built or managed safely.

Because SkyPath won the resource consent it is fully funded for the Environment Court by lawyers paid for by The Auckland City Council via the Ratepayers of Auckland. Only in the Resource Court can ordinary people speak for themselves. Once it goes to a real court expensive lawyers are required.

Those that wish to appeal any appalling judgment must pay a barrister. If they cannot pay, the appalling judgment wins. It is not that the SkyPath is correct it is just the other side hasn’t enough money to pay the court expenses. That is how appalling judgments in the Resource Consent get through. It is all done by which side gets to chose the resource commissioners.

In this case Len Brown said publicly he needs to do everything to ensure SkyPath wins and he has and still does. Len Brown with a majority on the Council got to chose the Independent Commissioners who are paid by the council and he said he needed decision makers who would do what they a required to do. They did!

The judge,  in the pre trial last public judgment, said he felt the commissioners had been “hasty” and The Northcote Residents Association should not have to fight a case before it was known if SkyPath could be built.

Again I do support NRA's  right to go to court and the lack of their being able to go does not prove they are wrong only that they cannot afford it and Len Brown can!

As for the 11,000 in favour. Well when it came to the submissions to the  Resource Court this came down to around 3,500 in favour. It is a lot but not the 11,000 in favour that were used  and still are to justify SkyPath. These figures can be obtained off the council web site.

 Video evidence  to prevent disaster

Lastly is it wrong to show people evidence that they might find upsetting? Even the Table of Major Stampedes above is upsetting.  People think stampedes/panics/crushes are unusual and never happen or they happen to others but they do happen. The Hajj  had approx 1,600 dead this year not the 2,000 as stated by Paul Little. It happens every few years as the authorities never learn. See above 1420 crushed in 1990!

The  official concentration camp film in 1946 was considered too difficult to show even in a court of law because it might upset! The Allies said it had to be shown because it was so horrific that no one would believe it if he/she didn’t see it. It happens all the time, disasters that could have been avoided are not shown because people are upset.

The first video I made which is not publicly available was for the Resource Consent Court as I wanted to show the results that can happen when bridges first open. There were 347 dead and 755 injured, and I am not going to show you the footage. 347 dead sort of trips off the tongue like 2,000 cyclists, I did show  the cyclists and it is a lot.

However this week a brave woman had the guts and  ability to show the world what happened when the police killed her boyfriend when stopped and asked for his license. I am not going to show you that either. But Google it and look. The video shows graphically the horror that this woman lived through. Video evidence does make a difference.

I showed mine in court where the commissioners are supposed to be adults. Three found it uncomfortable. One wished to have the evidence stopped.  I told her to look. They asked no questions, they dismissed the evidence and yet a panic on this project is very possible. Smoke wafting down from a car fire on the Bridge, there was one last year, is very real. Asians are known by research not to panic. They are very calm under stress but all children can with smoke, bikes, children and only 2 exits one maybe a kilometre away and a panic is very likely.  I cannot show you this. You will have to imagine it. But is has to be considered and actioned. At the moment it is considered by the public, if not NZTA who do know and will do something when they can, as irrelevant  until  one child is badly injured then the question will be asked why did someone not foresee this and who is responsible now for this oversight.

Paul Little cannot win it appears even with gangrene!

I was nearly killed by Clostridium Difficile or gangrene of the stomach and had to give up all thought of work and struggle for my life. The drugs given to me were horrific. To make fun of gangrene to those who have suffered from it is despicable but then Paul Little likes to create conflict. Bad luck Paul Little chose gangrene as an example!

So there we are! The Long Read reply to Paul Little but I shall add further blogs on each topic and I might even re voice over the video with my working class accent to see if he prefers that. Very easy for me to do! I was brought up in Wembley!

Sadly this is no laughing matter. SkyPath is deadly serious. It is a dream and sometimes dreams become nightmares. One thing is certain if SkyPath is built it will be safe. I asked NZTA what was the acceptable death toll for the greater good and NZTA quickly said not one and I believe them.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

How private is a private message on FaceBook?

How private is a private message on FaceBook? 

Not very private is seems as I found out to my cost this morning when a private  Facebook message I had written to Mat Collins of Auckland . He is so passionate about the proposed SkyPath shared path which I consider dangerous and he was so furious that I had questioned his judgment because I asked him a couple of questions in private that he should have been able to answer that in a fit of hate he published my private email not on FB but on Twitter where I am not a member so could not reply.

What I found totally unacceptable was that Mat Collins then made it impossible for me to reach him and get him to remove it and succeeded in having me banned from other sites. 

Mat Collins did know about the privacy because his last remark to me was so unpleasant that I asked him if I could use it  as it was so telling. Obviously I cannot repeat it here because he has not given me his permission. 

Mat Collins seems to think his actions are acceptable and a payback for something he perceives I did which as it happens he could not have been more totally mistaken and instead of writing or even phone me to check he goes out on a limb to teach an old Batshit Crazie  a lesson she will never forget. 

So what to do next! Obviously a private message in Facebook is not a private message. This came as a shock but one I have to face. It means I can no longer ask questions in private as of norm because if the recipient feels  aggrieved as in the case of Mat Collins and is not aware of the rules of privacy your private message is revealed to the world and worse still you may never know it.

So what to do? To be adult about it, I was possibly naive in thinking that Mat Collins would be rational and I was right. I have learned a lesson  about private FB messages  - they are not private unless both sides agree so in future I shall never use them again to people whom I am unsure will not stick to the rules or if I must then anyone I don't know personally and trust, I did not know Mat Collins, then I shall state the rules up top as one does with a letter, i.e. In confidence or even better  In strictest confidence. That should do the trick.

Well Mat Collins has found himself the star attraction in my blog and he will possibly now face a three day FB stand down for his Tweet which I had not authorised.  It was a truly vicious thing to do and totally unnecessary but I must have hit the nail on the head.

Another tip before corresponding on any level with someone you do not know is to Google them then you have some idea of who you  are dealing with. I should have looked Mat Collins up before I FB private messaged him.  I didn't , so for the first part of the conversation I had no idea who he was, he could have been anyone and he did not help me except eventually to say he was a safety expert, at that point I looked him up. I realised my mistake. I should have looked him up sooner.

Before becoming an engineer who worked for Auckland Transport, Mat Collins was a fireman. He was a fireman for 17 years so he must know that Blocked Exits are one of the greatest dangers when evacuating crowds of people during emergencies. Blocked Exits are banned in USA. 

Yet he, an expert, finds it impossible to answer my simple questions

Why are the only two exits on SkyPath blocked by turnstiles when all safety regulations say these should be free of obstruction? 

Mat Collins is positive SkyPath as designed is safe and that these problems will never occur and I am being a scaremonger.   I think he is a very brave man.

I did send him this video to refresh his memory. This too will be considered by SkyPath promoters scaremongering but I consider it evidence to I shall take the risk and show you. Nowadays uncomfortable videos seem to be the only way to get things done.

This unfortunate episode has taught me a lesson and hopefully this will teach Mat Collins a lesson and that he takes more care in future.  If you get a private FB message the sender may intend it to be private. If he had phoned up or answered in a sensible manner none of this would be necessary. An unpleasant business for all of us!  Sometimes Sorry is  a useful word.