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Tuesday, 1 September 2020

BUREAUCRATIC TYRANNY

 

The Reserve Bank's inflation calculator shows that during the time that inflation has multiplied by 1.5 Waiheke rates have multiplied by 10. Therefore under Auckland rates have increased at more than six times the rate of inflation. The difference can be summed up in one word. Evil.

The takeover of the Hauraki Gulf Islands in 1989 by Auckland was illegal under the Local Government Act. But the law was blatantly ignored. Since then we have lawfully tried twice to escape Auckland's evil, profligate, ever-swelling, high-handed bureaucratic empire. Both times the application was cunningly manipulated into the toilet.

Therefore we are forced to remain under Auckland's bureaucratic tyranny, and must carry on suffering the gross indignity and injustice of being forced to pay for its evil waste of money over and over and over and over again...

Such as for the nonsensical, unnecessary revamp of our bus service, which must have chucked about a million dollars down the tyrannical toilet. And for the even more nonsensical work that has been going on for months at the Transfer Station, where Auckland is making a drain into the sea--a drain that is lower(!!!) than the sea. That is tossing over ten million down the same tyrannical toilet. Nice job for the contractors...

But long-term residents say the area at the top end of the 'drain' has flooded only twice in decades. So we are being forced to pay through our bleeding noses for a permanent 'solution' to a rare problem. It would have been cheaper to have bought the properties that might flood plus a portable pump and hoses that could be used anywhere on the island.

Bureaucracy is not democracy. It is tyranny behind an 'official' mask.

The lesson of history is that tyranny always comes to a sticky end. The profligate tyranny of Auckland Council and Auckland Transport should never have happened and its end is long overdue. Keep every true public servant, yes, but dump all the puffed-up liars--all the bureaucrats and all the glove-puppet politicians they hide behind. We would save billions.

Thursday, 20 August 2020

KPI THUGGERY

 Auckland Transport (AT), which constantly proves in action that it does not understand Waiheke, or good planning, or good design, or good execution, only that it knows how to waste vast amounts of ratepayers' money, is now keeping tight watch on our bus-drivers with a long list of pointless, dictatorial  "KPI's" (Key Performance Indicators), which have been made even worse, past the level of control-freak nonsense by the Waiheke Bus Company's local manager, who is forcing drivers to be paranoid KPI clock-watchers, ever fearful of being a minute out at 'key' points along their routes.

Neither AT nor the local WBC manager understands how Waiheke buses used to work, and worked well.

First, the runs from Onetangi Beach and Rocky Bay to the ferry used to adhere to fixed starting-times there, and at reaching the ferry-terminal in plenty of time for people to catch the ferries. The buses were tied to the ferries. We got to know how long it took buses to get to our stops, which was all we needed to know. A precise time designated for each stop was unnecessary--and very expensive to maintain because it demands timetables customised for each stop, not general ones for the whole island, which is what we want.

Second, the runs from the ferry-terminal back to the bays used to begin ten minutes after the ferry arrived so as to give everyone time to clear the boat. The exact time the buses left was not critical, only the relative time--i.e., the time relative to when the ferries arrived. The buses were tied to the ferries. And the buses always parked in the same places at Matiatia, so you could head straight to your bus (you didn't have to play hunt-the-bus as we do now because AT dictates higgledy-piggledy parking).

That was the obvious, common-sense, Waiheke way of doing things. It worked well for decades.

But now the control-freak, AT-dominated, clock-fetishers insist on the KPI list and its clock, not on the relationship with the boats. So now drivers come to Matiatia and leave at times that have nothing to do with ferries (they even arrive when there is no ferry because they stick to the summer timetables when the ferries are sailing to the winter ones!). And buses may stop and pause in odd places, not for passengers, but only because the driver is worried about losing KPI brownie-points and copping black marks--i.e., the financial penalty that AT will impose on WBC at the end of the month if it does hit 97% of KPI's. That of course adds to the toxic atmosphere created by AT--and made worse by the local WBC manager, who pushes the stupid KPI strictures beyond stupidity. He should always remember that he is not there to please overbearing bureaucrats across the water; he is there to please islanders and visitors and give drivers a pleasant working-environment.

AT has recently thrown a 10-year plan at us, with the fawning support of Cath Handley's Local Board. Planning is fine--but only if what is planned is necessary, or at least very useful--but for a plan to be good there must be also be good, efficient execution--at minimal cost. AT has proved over and over again that it is a bloated, profligate disaster-area: wasting money, worse than incompetent, and good only at spinning its performance with self-congratulatory, self-deluded verbiage.

The island would be better off if AT had never existed. Its KPI thuggery is yet more Rule-Them-All proof of that. When a bloated bureaucracy says it means to 'streamline' it actually means it is bent on building a Mordor and binding us in it.

It is just more of the same-old same-old same-old process of de-localisation: stealing power and action away from local people and concentrating it in the hands of over-weening central bureaucracies, which only talk 'local' and 'local character' so as to anaesthetise us into accepting their malign rule. Then they force us to pay for it in bloated rates. There will of course be locals that will manifest the Stockholm Syndrome--they will sympathise with and support what is in fact killing their locality. Which is what Cath Handley's Local Board is doing when it supports, wittingly or unwittingly, AC's and AT's bureaucratic de-localisation strategy and dictatorial tactics.

Monday, 10 August 2020

PLANS AND SHELTERS!!??

 Auckland Transport (AT) and the  Waiheke Local Board have released their rather self-congratulatary 'Final Waiheke 10-Year Transport Plan.' It would have been nice if they had throughout stuck to clear, simple, well-written, communicative English--if they had stuck to terms that everyone understands instantly, and not wandered off into in their version of opaque bureaucratese, such as 'accessibility lens','active transport', 'active transport missing link,' 'multi-modal outcomes,' 'reactive and problematic maintenance', etc. etc.

Their blind self-congratulation is glaringly obvious in what they have to say about the results of their 'Waiheke bus shelter [sic] programme' about which they say that 'the project produced a respected public asset that is embraced and valued by its users.'

Really?

The purpose of a bus-shelter is to shelter people while they are waiting for a bus. Shelter is its purpose. That flashy design fails to achieve that, abysmally. The old shelters, such as the one at the Placemaker's stop (which AT hocked off for $100) worked fine. The replacement, which looks like about $20,000 of ratepayers' money, is wrong in a long list of ways--on top of being put in the wrong place, and after wrecking, at huge expense, the island's transfer stop.

First, it has two openings in the front, so when it faces the weather, there are two entrances for wind-driven rain to get at you. Second, the gap between the concrete pad and the bottom of the walls is far too high. The old ones had only enough room for sparrows to duck through (I watched them many times). The new ones have a high gap that admits even more wind-driven rain, aimed at your feet. And the unnecessary height of the thing means that there is unnecessary vertical space to let the weather in through those openings. The result is that in the worst weather a puddle forms on the seat, right where you want it, in the middle. There is also a gap at the top of the walls, which lets in more wind. And the smart-alec that designed the thing has made most of the supports double as drain-pipes, so water is directed through them down round your feet and your luggage. And the seat does not go right across; a third of its possible width is wasted by expensive, decorative wood panelling. Artwork does not shelter you.

Not only have they inflicted this bad design on us, they have also put instances of it where there was already a serviceable shelter, such as at Rocky Bay and Palm Beach. They added one of those flashy things, in the wrong place. So now we have two shelters, one right and one wrong. More wasted ratepayers' money.

Their self-vaunted changes to the bus network cost a fortune, almost all of it wasted, and they only achieved an incompetent result. For example, when good designers are designing systems, they eliminate wasted effort, they do not create it. The new system has seen an explosion in the number of buses trundling about with 'Not in Serice' showing. Buses going where people want to go, at regular times, but not available to people. Brilliant!

And those damned route-numbers! All have three characters, and all begin with 50, so those characters tell you nothing, they only clutter the destination-signs. Only the last character tells you what you want to know--where the bus is going.We used to have nice simple, 1, 2, etc., and you could tell at a glance where buses were going. Now we have 501, 502, 50A, 50B, etc., and a scrambled-egg arrangement of LEDs, and, even worse, different scramblings on different buses, so you have to stand there deciphering the thing.

But 'Not in Service' is very clear. All those buses are going to AT. Because it is not in *service*; it wants, like the Dark Lord, to rule us all. Not serve us.

The deficiencies in the new regime are legion. That is only a tiny sample.

Monday, 8 June 2020

AC's RUBBISH PLAN

The Council's email of the 28th headed 'New Waiheke Island Resource Recovery and Waste Services are on the way' is arrogant bureaucratic lunacy. It takes not the slightest notice of the real Waiheke
world.

Forcing everyone to use 120/240-litre official bins ignores that fact that notion only works where
people have flattish access to a flat concrete public footpath with nice neat curbing and
channelling--like a city suburb.

Laden bins are not for our village rural environment in which many dwellings are well above or well
below the road and have no footpath outside (and never will have because of the expense, the lack of
room, and because it would ruin the rural aesthetic). Those residents face the difficult or impossible task of having to wheel those damned bins up or down a steep hill. So they will have to leave their bins out permanently along the narrow edges of their roads--cluttering them permanently--and take small bags up or down to them for rubbish-day.

And arrogant Auckland is ordering us to stop using recyclable containers for recyclables, and use
only their official bins--and only once a fortnight. That will increase the clutter of bins left out
permanently along the roads, and because it will be easier to dump everything it will increase, not
decrease, the amount of recyclable stuff in the rubbish-stream. I shall certainly not be wheeling a
240-litre bin 80 metres up a steep hill to the narrow edge of my road every two weeks, and I refuse
to clutter the narrow edge of the road with bins, thus forcing pedestrians into the traffic. So I shall have to end the habit of a lifetime and stop recycling. Everything will go into the rubbish.

The Council says we can carry on using red bags for rubbish, even though it is changing to orange. Orange. Yes, that will be a great improvement. I'm so glad they thought of that.

Their thinking ia as much illogical rubbish as their 'plan.' Rubbish thinking makes a rubbish plan.

And they say they are appointing a bin inspector--to make sure, at our expense, that we obey their insane dictates.

Arrogant, profligate Auckland messed up our bus service last year, ignoring island reality and plain
logic, and wasting a vast amount of money in the process. This year it's the rubbish services.

Always underlying all the recurrent nonsense is the bitter irony that the takeover of the islands by
Auckland City Council in 1989 was illegal--it was a blatant breach of the Local Government Act. It should never have happened. Now we are stuck with it for ever, and thus with periodic iterations of
arrogant dictatorial, bureaucratic lunacy.

Dysfunctional fools always produce dysfunctional follies. They can do nothing else.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

WAIHEKE ISLAND CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP

Originally, some years ago, the WICF services were in MORRA Hall. Now they have begun again as on-line services, employing Google Meet, as you can see by clicking on that link. Perhaps when the day of CoVid-19 has passed, there may also be small home-group meetings for in-depth Bible studies.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

AT's BUS-SHELTER MADNESS

Well, that was quick! It only took incompetent, profligate Auckland Transport six months to replace the bus-shelter at the Placemakers stop on Waiheke Island--and even then that was only after two vociferous complaints.

When they messed up the stop last year, in the process wasting a fortune in our rates, part of their mindless, incompetence was to hock off the bus-shelter for $100. There were decades of life left in it, but they did not like it.

It was in the best place, at the top of the stop, beside the overflow seats, but they did not understand that, so they built--in the wrong place--a new concrete pad for a new one. Now they have installed the new one.

And, again, they have showed their abysmal incompetence and lack of understanding. Because the shelter has two openings for people to enter and leave, and because it faces the southerly quarter two-thirds of it is open to the worst weather. The only people who will be able to get some shelter will be the two in the middle.

The old one, very sensibly, had only one opening for entry and exit, so it provided the maximum possible shelter.

And the old one had a seat that went right across. In the new flash one it doesn't, so the length of seating has been reduced by a third.

The new very flash one looks like at least $10,000 out of ratepayers' pockets. AT did not need to spend a cent. 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' The stop was fine as it was. Nothing needed to be done at all.

The new one also has a sign to say that it has a security camera. Sharp eyes will soon spot where that is, and know how to outwit it easily, because there is only one camera, not the three needed to cover the whole thing and thus revent anyone from blinding any one of them unseen.

But the new shelter must be OH-SO WUNNERFUL, because AT has spent lotsa ratepayers' munny making it Oh-So Politically Correct, with Maori embellishments engraved into the glass. BureaucRats LUV wasting other people's money; it makes them feel Oh-So IMPORTANT. Vanity projects for which they rob us blind.

And the timetable is, of course, outside the shelter, out in the weather 3.5 metres away. AT's insanity is thus carefully underlined. NO, WAIT! A few days after the new lunacy was set up they came along and put another timetable inside the shelter, a bigger, far more expensive one. But why waste only one block of ratepayers' money when you can waste several?

Monday, 24 February 2020

PONZI IN A COUNCIL DISGUISE

I found myself in conversation on the island with people who had emigrated to New Zealand and granted a residency visa. I remarked that that must have meant dealing with the Department of Immigration, which is a pig, pig, pig. They agreed. And they described the long list of information they had had to provide, and the things they had to do to get their visa, and that one of the latter was that they had to invest $1,000,000 in Auckland Council bonds, for at least five years.

Before the conversation had reached that point I had told them that my rates had multiplied by 10 during the time that inflation had only multiplied by 1.54.

They said they were very pleased with the return they were getting on their million-dollar investment in the Council bonds, and one very pointedly said, 'That explains why your rates have gone up.'

In a Ponzi scheme you invest in an outfit that makes glowing promises but is actually in perpetual debt (as is Auckland Council) but you get a very nice return from money constantly being put in by others. This Immigration/Auckland Council setup looks that very like a Ponzi scheme nicely disguised by some creative re-labelling, and, worse, one enforced by Immigration's wickedness.

Auckland Council's webpages for investments shows that security for investors is indeed provided by rates.

And its glowing blurb makes it look as if the money is being invested profitably--e.g., backed by Auckland's contribution to GDP. That is misleading advertising.

This is a scam, this is corruption, all done in the name of the people by a 'democratic' local government entity and enforced by a government department. So much for New Zealand's claim not to be corrupt...

Monday, 3 February 2020

MANAGERS AND MANGLERS

People are not managers just because they have 'Manager' on their office doors and business-cards. A true manager is someone who knows how to manage. And why.

The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu (sixth century BC) put it well:

'A leader is best when people barely know that he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worst when they despise him. Fail to honour people, they fail to honour you. But of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aims fulfilled, they will all say, “We did this ourselves.” '

The worst managers are despised because they mangle, not manage; they are incapable of managing. They are blind to the truth of the situation, they are vain about their views of it, and they are determined to impose their false notions on everyone under them (and those under them heartily wish they were not).

The primary Mangler for the bus service on Waiheke Island, as this blog has pointed out over and over again, is the worse-than-incompetent entity Auckland Transport--the networks division, led by that self-declared 'expert' Colin Homan, who has yet to manifest any expertise on Waiheke.

Compounding the situation, as was mentioned in an early posting on the Waiheke bus shemozzle, is the new head of the Waiheke Bus Company, who is another mangler.

He and Auckland Transport, for example, have waxed lyrical about preventing fatigue amongst their drivers. Which sounds good and laudable; it sounds caring; it sounds safety-conscious. Until you see what they have done.

Waiheke drivers have been banned from working more than forty hours in a week, so their hours and their income have been significantly hit. They were happy to work ten hours in a day, but they were not happy when their hours were cut from fifty-five to forty, because that chopped $200 net out of their week's wage. Nor are they happy when they are rostered to a shift that stops at 22:00 one day then starts the next day at 07:00. That gives them a mere nine hours, minus travelling-time, between shifts--imposed by a mangler who then pretends to care about fatigue and is applauded by worse-than-incompetent AT. Manglers of feather feed on the same carcasses of vanity.

Over on the mainland drivers may work fifty-plus hours, so they can earn far more by staying there and not spending time coming over to work on Waiheke. Then the manglers at AT bleat about the driver-shortage on the island, the shortage created by their manglement. But they cannot see that through the fog of their vanity, stupidity and worse-than-incompetence.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

COLIN HOMAN TRUE OR FALSE?

The man responsible for the worse-than-incompetent, profligately-wasteful mess made of the bus service on Waiheke Island is Colin Homan, Group Manager, Networks, at Auckland Transport (AT, is a 'Council-Controlled Organisation' under the Auckland Council).

Colin Homan, Group Manager, Networks, Auckland Transport
This is his Linked In page (as at January 2020):


Because of the claims in his CV and the catalogue of egregious blunders on Waiheke (detailed and outlined in many other posts in this site) Mr Homan has a string of questions to answer, including:

1) The most obvious is that although he claims to be an 'expert', that is belied by that he has manifested on Waiheke Island in concrete, metal, wood, glass, plastic, LEDs, road-markings, timetables, rosters, etc. They are irrefutable proof that he is not an expert--on the contrary, because they manifest worse than incompetence. Incompetence is when a job that needs doing is done badly. Worse than incompetence is when a job is done that does not need doing, should not be done, should not even have been contemplated--and to add injury to injury may also be done badly. Mr Homan has proved repeatedly that he is worse than incompetent. He is therefore no expert. His claim is false, it is only pretence without substance.

2) His Linked In CV indicates that he emigrated to New Zealand in 2006 to take up a position at AT's precursor, the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA). For that he of course needed a visa, and to get that he had to satisfy the Department of Immigration that he had employment, and to get that employment he had to satisfy ARTA that he had the necessary experience and qualifications. He therefore gained the employment and the visa on the strength of his claims of expertise, experience, and two impressive qualifications at two South African universities. But his claim of having 'in excess of thirty years experience' puts the start of those years back in the 1980s--which is also the period in which he claims to have been at those universities getting those impressive qualifications. That juxtaposition obviously does not fit.

3) He claims 'in excess of thirty years experience,' but his CV shows only thirteen, and only in New Zealand. There is nothing at all in South Africa. Therefore there are in excess of wenty years of 'expert experience' missing from what he has recorded.

4) A mainland civil engineer told me that his company does a lot of work for AT, but can see no reason for much of it. They do it because they are asked to, but the thinking behind it is incomprehensible to them. Therefore Mr Homan's worse-than-incompetence is also manifested on the mainland. A glaring example of that seen by this writer is the bus shelter at the Greenlane Clinic, which was large, expensive, and built of permanent materials; but although there were obviously decades of life left in it it was replaced at huge expense with another just as grandiose. Why? 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' And certainly don't award an expensive contract to 'fix' it with public money. That is at very least the corruption of misfeasance.

There is plainly much that Mr Homan is pretending. 'Expert' is disproved by the worse-than-incompetent, profligate shemozzle on Waiheke. That together with the four points above raise the overriding question of how far his pretence has gone. Does he really have the experience and the two impressive qualifications that he claims to have from two South African universities? That is for him to answer. If those claims are false, he would have committed criminal fraud circa 2006 in his applications for employment and a visa. Only irrefutable proof of those two qualifications and that 'in excess of thirty years' experience will sweep away the questions about them. But nothing will sweep away the evidence of his worse-than-incompetence on Waiheke Island and elsewhere. Or the huge amount of public money wasted on it. Or the social damage.

Then there is the question of why there have been so many pointless, needless contracts awarded under Mr Homan. Will they all stand scrutiny? Many of them--on Waiheke Island virtually all of them--will not stand the scrutiny of logic and reason. What other scrutiny will they not stand?

Mary Anne Thompson became head of the Department of Immigration by forging her CV, claiming qualifications that she does not have.

Noone and Borlase involved a corrupt AT manager and corrupt contractor, and contracts handed out that should not have been (that sort of corruption need not be money under the table, it can for example be work done on private property without charge).

In short, is the Colin Homan situation a repeat in some way of one or both of those cases? Or is Mr Homan 'only' worse than incompetent?

Saturday, 28 December 2019

THE MYSTERY OF 1X IN WHITE

Is that a Waiheke Island bus? Displaying route code 1?

Yes, it was, in Belgium Street, in the early afternoon today. It had a lot of passengers so it must have come from the ferry at Matiatia (or at least from Oneroa) and it was going to Onetangi because it showed that as its destination. The Onetangi buses had been route 1 for years, until insane, worse-than-incompetent Auckland Transport (AT), led by Colin Homan, got the notion that the code for every single Waiheke route had to be 50-something, where something can be a number or a letter whose meaning is known only to Mr Homan and his AT staff. Of course, because all the codes start with 50, that makes those characters meaningless. So 50-something is meaningless piled on pointless: well done!

But that bus was displaying a variation on 1: 1X. And the LEDs displaying both it and the destination were white.

Does that mean that at least some Waiheke buses have the kind of LEDs that can change colour, even though till they have have displayed only amber? All buses should have that sort of LED.

If they have, AT should roll back a tad of its insanity and use them to help people; either use white for buses going to and fro between Onetangi Beach and the ferry, and amber for the ones going to and fro between Rocky Bay and the ferry; or white for buses going to the ferry from both places (because the ferries are white), and amber going to beach/bay (because wet sand is roughly that colour).

Then we would all be able to recognise instantly which bus was ours, at a considerable distance. And there would be no need for those silly, useless, meaningless, pointless route-codes. Only names would be needed, which is all that ever is needed--i.e., ONETANGI via Surfdale, ROCKY BAY via Palm Beach (not that PC-activist, historically-wrong 'Omiha'), MATIATIA FERRY via Surfdale, and MATIATIA FERRY via Palm Beach.

People go to destinations, Mr Homan and your staff, not routes, and destinations have names, not codes dreamed up by profligate, worse-than-incompetent bunglers.

(They underline their worse-than-incompetence by still displaying the winter ferry timetable on their website. If that link no longer works it means they have finally got it right some time after this blog entry was posted. They also display the current one elsewhere. Confusion rules: OK!?)

It is of course impossible to imagine that anyone at AT could suddenly have had a rush of sense, especially on a holiday, so the mysterious 1X in white must have been set up by someone at the Waiheke Bus Compaany. Whoever it was, take a bow.

Footnote:
It seems that the bows should be taken by some Waiheke-minded bus-drivers, because yesterday a 1 appeared in the LED signs of an Onetangi bus passing through Oneroa. It must have been put there by the driver (he also had a physical sign in the window showing AT's insane 50A, thus thumbing his nose at AT in that way too). Would that all the drivers and the management of the Waiheke Bus Company would do the same. Would that they would have the guts to carry on as if the evil, mad entity called AT had never existed. Reset everything: routes, codes, timetables. Everything. AT could not do anything about it. And if they tried, tell them to pull their wicked heads in or there will be a strike. Thus use the driver-shortage as a weapon to restore sense and service.

Defying AT and reinstating what has worked for years would be the right thing to do. It is always right to defy madness and evil. Will the drivers and their company have the Kiwi guts to do the right thing?

Friday, 20 December 2019

CODED INTUITION IS AN OXYMORON

Colin Homan, Group Manager - Integrated Networks - Auckland Transport (AT), made a three-page response to Case Number CAS-17112-M7B8S3 (how do they get those enormous codes?), ie., the response to this blogger's abbreviated complaints about the mess that AT has made of the bus service on Waiheke Island--a profligate mess made at profligate expense.

His letter covered a lot of paper, but the sub-text right through it was 'we are right, anything else is wrong' and showed how divorced from Waiheke's reality he is, and how incapable he is of listening to facts and of making decisions on them.

Colin Homan
It would be a waste of time going through all his letter, because it is just another wearisome sample of bureaucratic flim-flam, a transparent attempt at manipulative mollification, but amongst other things he said: 'We’ve put the network together with residents at front of mind, as well as offering a more intuitive system for tourists.'

That 'we've put the network together' is a rather grandiose way of describing services that are only to and from the ferry to two places (Onetangi and Rocky Bay), with  Kennedy Point to Oneroa to be added perhaps. But bureaucrats like to make everything sound very important, thus putting themselves above everyone else. And 'network' is as bad as 'hub', because using words that do not apply misleads those who use them; they are led into la-la land by their la-la terminology,

His 'intuitive' is an interesting choice of words, because later in the letter he 'explains' why the destination signs on buses and the codes for routes in timetables are what they are--i.e., why AT chose to use those silly codes 50A, 50B, 50C, 502, 503, 504. First, he cannot see that when all the codes start with the same two characters--50--that makes them useless, because they convey nothing, which is not intuitive, it is anti-intuitive. But he is content to make them consistent with the codes used on the mainland, as if that could make them right, as if that has anything to do with reality, but it again has nothing to do with intuition.

Then he explains what is oh-so very, very obvious and oh-so very, very intuitive--i.e., why there are letters on the ends of some codes and numbers on the ends of others. It should of course be oh-so obvious to us insular Waiheke dummies, and should be oh-so important to us, why it should be as obvious and important as in his 'intuitive' mind, namely, that islanders and visitors from all over the world will instantly know 'intuitively' that when we see a letter on the end that means the service is every 15 minutes, and when we see a number that means it is every 30 minutes.

Of course! That's obvious!!! How silly of us not to get that 'intuitively'!!!! But Mr Homan, apart from your not being able to see that that is not obvious, not intuitive, and not of any use to anyone, not even you, you also do not see that the services with numbers as suffixes are not in fact running at 30-minute intervals. For instance, your timetables say that Rocky Bay buses from the ferry are passing Placemakers at a mix of 20 and 40 minute intervals, which is not 30, but that in fact they are taking the better part of an hour, because they are late or not coming at all because the timetable has been mucked up and because there are not enough drivers. Why are there not enough? Because there never were, and then fifteen quit in disgust at the insane mess that you, Mr Homan, have made of the 'network.'

Mr Homan, you have to learn that your pronouncements do not create reality. Your artefacts are not facts, and you have to base your decisions on facts if you are to make wise decisions for people. Such as the fact that your 'network' needs well over forty drivers (forty-nine says a reliable source) and a fleet of buses that are not there. They were never there at the beginning, and because you caused fifteen  drivers to quit there are far fewer now. And there was never enough accommodation at the bus deport for anything more than a fraction of that number in the lunch/tea-room, another pesky fact.

Your diploma in Road Transport from Rand Africaans University showed you none of those facts nor any others... Nor did your claim on Linked-In of having in excess of thirty years experience, because that would have to have started in the mid 1980s, when your Linked-In CV says you were a university student. University is not experience in the real world. The same applies to the years 1981 to 1984 when your Linked-In CV says you were gaining a Bachelor of Commerce in Business Accounting and Management. The evidence on the Waiheke ground shows that none of that was of any use in the real world.


When Waihekeans did the services they wisely tailored them to match the juice-and-chips resources. But you, Mr Homan, tailored them for champagne-and-caviar resources that did not exist, do not exist, never will exist, and the resultant mess destroyed a large chunk of what was there. Your 'intuition' got everything wrong. If you had the guts you would admit that you have fouled it up, hand it back to Waiheke, and leave us alone. We need a Boer-constrictor crushing the sense out of our bus service like we need sunken ferryies.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

FERRIES AND 3 ISLANDS OF BUSES

One of the many things got wrong by the insane mainlanders in Auckland Transport (AT) when they decided recently to revamp Waiheke Island's bus service was that they did not understand that it could not be treated as one clump. It had three distinct part, which could not be integrated in the way so beloved of the cookie-cutter mentality of bureaucrats, and that is how it must be treated.

(1) Buses coming from the ferries to Onetangi and Rocky Bay
Those buses have always had their schedules dictated by the ferries, which means by the sea, and the buses must allow ten minutes for the ferries to empty before they set off for Onetangi and Rocky Bay. If the sea-conditions do not allow the normal swift transit from the mainland to the island, the arrivals have to be later than scheduled, and therefore the buses meeting those ferries must set off later. They cannot run to a fixed timetable. They are tied to the ferries, so when the ferries are late the buses have to be late too--late plus that ten-minute wait so that all the passengers have time to get off the boat. But AT could think only in fixed departure times, and it cut out the ten-minute wait, which was worse than incompetent, like everything else AT did. It also installed electronic displays at the island's ferry terminal, and issued drivers with voluminous books, telling them exactly when to depart--regardless of whether the ferry was late, or had even arrived. Brilliant! >:-(

(2) Buses going to the ferries from Onetangi and Rocky Bay
Those buses could run on a fixed timetable all the time, and always had to, on the assumption that the ferries were leaving the island on time, because passengers needed to operate to that assumption. So the buses left Onetangi and Rocky Bay at fixed times, they took standard lengths of time to get to the ferries, and they would arrive in plenty of time for the scheduled departures. If the ferries were running late, passengers had to wait. But the buses delivering them would run like clockwork. That is what islanders wanted. But mainlanders did not get that. Mainlanders never get the island.

(3) School buses
Only blind fools would try to integrate them with the other two parts. But AT hurled itself straight into that trap. It decided, against the obvious facts, that school buses were to leave the schools at arbitrary fixed times that AT decided, times that did not take into account how long it takes for kids to exit the schools and load the buses. And AT also failed to see that the lengths of time it had allocated for the runs did not take into account the fact that school buses have to stop at virtually every stop to let kids off, and therefore that those buses would always be late changing over to a passenger-to-ferry buses. The result was disastrous, which messed up the clockwork of (2), and therefore people were likely to miss the boats they aimed to catch, needed to catch.

AT started the revamp in the wrong way, because it started with the belief that a revamp was necessary, and that its ideas about what should happen were right. It then asked for feedback on its ideas, but its ideas were always going to be first and foremost, regardless of feedback,  and it got a mess of 900+ submissions, which it did not have the skill to analyse, and it was always biased to it 'We know best' mentality. It also did not have the skill, the honesty and lack of hubris to ask itself the basic question.

It failed to ask itself what it should have asked, what all good designers ask: 'It is working now? Did it work last summer?' The answer to both questions was yes. If it ain't broke don't fix it--but AT 'fixed' it--and the result is a mess. Passengers were betrayed, drivers quit, infrastructure was ruined all over the place at enormous expense.

AT had failed to perceive the underlying thread of those 800 submission, which was that no change was needed; no fiddling about should be done. Sure, add a Kennedy Point service and a Matiatia-Oneroa shuttle--if, and only if--you have enough drivers and buses. But perceive that nothing needs to be done to produce a working system for this summer, because the one we had last summer worked fine. But AT, like all dogmatic bureaucracies, thought it knew best. Events have proved it wrong at every point, and has had to put bandaids on its broken fiddle. A big mess at the beginning of the peak season. Brilliant!!! >:-(

But AT will not, of course, say 'We goofed', then reset everything to last summer, and reset both routes to go via Korora and Waikare Roads to the top of Oneroa as they used to for very good reasons. Reset the stops, and the routes (with that proviso), and the rosters, and the ruined infrastucture. Admit failure. They won't, of course, because they are psychologically incapable of doing that. So we are stuck with the mess.

Sack them. That's what you do when the hired help proves incompetent. AT has proved worse than incompetent. Sack them. Sack them. Sack them.


Sunday, 15 December 2019

JUST ANOTHER WEARISOME SAMPLE

The insane, vandalistic, profligate mess that Auckland Transport has made of the bus service on Waiheke Island is just another wearisome manifestation and reminder of the fact that democracy does not exist in New Zealand. We are told it does, and the trappings of elections and seats and councils and Parliament and prancing politicians and fake consultations make it seem to, But what we really have of course is bureaucracy.

We do not have government of the people by the people for the people, we have control of people by dysfunctional persons for vanity and self-aggrandisement. Always they are the same kind of persons: not very intelligent, not perceptive, not wise, devoid of common sense, and their minds closed to everything but their own foolish notions. They are blind to their follies and incapable of admitting to and resiling from their insane blunders.

Psychologically they are weak, they have low self-esteem, and their public actions are useless attempts to compensate for their weaknesses with the fake strength of assaults on people, the exercise of titular power. They are public thugs not public servants, malign bullies not benign hirelings. They do not act for their own good or for the good of society, because they cannot, and they are incapable of seeing their psychological, mental, emotional and social dysfunctionality.

When dysfunctional individuals gain control of any public entity they make it socially dysfunctional. It reproduces in society the dysfunctionality of its individual parts.

Saturday, 14 December 2019

HUB CRAZY

It was revealed by a spokesman for Auckland Transport at the December 2019 meeting of the Waiheke Local Board that the 'rationale' for what AT has done to Belgium Street was to make it a 'hub'.

For AT's notion of 'rationale' common sense must read irrational craziness, arrogant insanity, worse-than-incompetence, blind nonsense, profligate waste, stupid vandalism, et hoc genus omne (Latin for all that kind of thing).

In making its insane mess of the street, to satisfy its obsession that it was a hub, AT overlooked three Waiheke facts. First that it never was a 'hub' and never should have been thought of as one; second there already was on the island in front of Placemakers the perfect multiple-transfer stop, where anyone could transfer from any bus to any other, because that was the one stop through which all buses passed in both directions, and it was big enough for three buses; third that because that stop was off the road it was eminently safe--there was no need to cross a road, all you had to to was walk along the footpath from one bus to another or wait for the one you wanted to come through a short time later. And there is a cafe 20 metres away to eat and drink at if you want.

Normally four buses would come through that stop. First the one from Rocky Bay going to the ferry at Matiatia, next the one from Onetangi going to the ferry, next the one from the ferry going to Onetangi, then the one from the ferry going to Rocky Bay. At some times of the day there was also an express bus to Onetangi, making a fifth passing through that stop. There was a spread of about ten minutes. That had been worked out long ago by people who understood Waiheke, enabling islanders and visitors alike to move about the island. Its placement about two-thirds of the way along both routes also made it perfect.


But AT has no understanding of any of that; it doesn't have a clue. It was blind to that eminently sensible arrangement, which worked superbly well.

That blindness and insanity piled on its hub obsession caused AT to wreck Belgium Street, by filling in the bus-bay, which forced it to delete the vehicle-refuge for turning vehicles and the pedestrian-refuge in the middle of the pedestrian-crossing; and then to wreck the Placemakers stop by changing it to a place for buses to do a U-turn, although the depot in which they had been turning for many decades is only 120 metres further on. AT also stopped some buses from going through there when it revamped the bus service recently. Ponzi insanity.

AT: obsessed with 'hub' and distracted by its insanity, not like James Dean who could be forgiven for being by shiny chrome, a whitewall and a pair of shapely legs.



How to cap off your hub obsession: add insanity.

And some conjurer's misdirection by AT does nothing to hide the outrageous mess it has made. Its insane stupidity cannot be hidden this 'Christmas present' (to quote Cath Handley). The insanity remains; calling it a Christmas present is an insult what Christmas truly is.


TEMPORARY BANDAIDS ON A WRECKED FIDDLE

By making minor, temporary tweaks to the mess it has made of Waiheke's bus services, Auckland Transport has tacitly admitted that it got things wrong. But, being insane bureaucrats, it cannot bring itself to look in the mirror and say 'mea culpa' and repair anything it has wrecked

In the 'more details' part of that media spin, the chair of the Waiheke Local Board, Cath Handley, praised AT for a tweak to the HOP payment card for Waihekeans travelling on buses and ferries to the mainland. But she and her Board have obviously been complicit in the mess that AT has made of the island's bus service. It is that that she should have been 'working hard' to fix (to use her phrase).

Neither AT nor the Board have shown any willingness to see that the solution to the problem is to get rid of everything that AT has done. Reset the routes and timetables to what they were last summer--the ones done by Waihekeans, which worked--and also reset the first part of the routes to the optimum: i.e., to what they were years ago, namely to run both routes round Korora and Waikare Roads, thus taking the buses out of the main drag and using the stop at the top of Oneroa outside Waiheke Real Estate.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And if your 'fix' broke everything, abandon your 'fix.' That is the sane thing to do. But insanity can never bring itself to do that. It can never admit that its looney fiddling has wrecked the fiddle. All it can bring itself to do is blame something else--in this case, the driver-shortage that it itself caused--and put 'temporary' bandaids on its fiddled wreckage.

Meanwhile, underlining the point, at the stop outside Placemakers, people wait for buses in the rain, because the insane fools that wrecked the island's well-made, well-tuned fiddle have yet to replace the perfectly serviceable bus-shelter that they hocked off for $100.

AT's Service Network Manager, Pete Moth, says AT has tried to balance the needs of residents across the island, while facing a shortage of drivers. 'We will monitor use on the Ostend Rd service--so that when we review the service, we can assess its value on Waiheke Island.'

In that 'we' is the problem. We will monitor, because we know best, we know best, we know best, we know best, we know best... No, Mr Moth, you know nothing of any value, best is nowhere in functioning. Your 'trying' is an arrogant  lie when used in the sense of making an effort to do well. But you are certainly very trying in the sense of making islanders suffer daily the consequences of your entity's insane fiddling with our home. Our home. But AT's arrogant insanity can never get that, can never care a fig for that, can never leave us to ourselves and our hearts.

Friday, 6 December 2019

AT THE BREAKER OF LAWS

In the insanity it has inflicted on Waiheke Island's bus service, Auckland Transport has broken at least seven enactments--at least seven sections in four Acts of Parliament: the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009, the Local Government Act 2002, the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, and the Imperial Laws Application Act 1988.

But when did sociopaths care anything for the rule of law? They never care about anything except their own vain notions. But, sooner or later lawbreakers, always have to face the rule of law...

AT CREATED THE DRIVER SHORTAGE

Auckland Transport is blaming the driver shortage for the grossly dysfunctional situation that now exists in Waiheke Island's bus service, since AT revamped it in early December [2019].

That is a blatant lie. There were enough drivers last summer, when the timetables and rosters were done by the Waiheke Bus Company (WBC), and more drivers have been trained since. But now there has beens a steady stream of drivers resigning on the island, all because of the insane shemozzle created by AT that they are expected to work to--namely, AT's insane, impossible timetables and rosters. One of the effects of that insanity was that some drivers were forced to be away from their homes and families for sixteen hours. That is no way to treat human beings.

On top of that, a new manager at the WBC has proved less than optimal (to put it politely).

And old saying puts neatly much of the problem: 'Those who have a power but newly gained are ever haughty of spirit.' That is AT and the new manager: combined they made the perfect storm, and there was no sailing through it. Vanity, stupidity and insanity combined to sink the ship.

The result was that by late December [2019] fifteen drivers had quit. Forty-odd are needed for the summer timetable, so to lose fifteen destroyed any hope of making the revamp work--even if it had not been insane . And those drivers were recently trained, so all the money spent to train them was down the toilet.

On top of that, the revampers failed to work out how many buses they would need. So they found themselves short of both drivers and buses. And it is all their fault. They blame the consequences of their insanity as the cause of the mess. No, they are the cause. They are both cause and effect. None of the decision-makers knew what they were doing, they do not understand Waiheke, they are dysfunctional, incompetent and damned fools, and they expected good human-beings to be happy to obey them and somehow manage to do the insane and impossible--right at the start of the tourist season. Well done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is a very skilled and experienced maker of rosters in the WBC, who offered to do them, but they refused to allow that. They wanted to do them; they did; they made an insane mess of it; and drivers are quitting. They also refused to use last summer's timetables, because, of course, they thought they knew better. But their 'better' is insane. Literally. It lacks sanity.

So they sowed the wind and are reaping the whirlwind. Blaming something else for the bad weather is typical of sociopaths/bureaucrats--those who rule from the black swamp. They cannot see shemozzles created by them; all they can see are opportunities to do yet more damage, but they cannot see that it is damage, they think it's brilliant. They attempt to lie their way out. Of course.

Making the shortage worse is AT's damnably incompetent summer timetable, which has created a noticeable jump in the number of buses trundling about displaying 'Sorry Not In Service'. If we had a better timetable, such as the one that the Waiheke Bus Company did last summer, there would not be all that redundant effort. Good designers of systems eliminate redundant effort, they do not create it.

.........

Now it is obvious that they want to destroy a beautiful pohutukawa tree that is in the way of their insanity (in front of the Waiheke Living department store). It is just coming into flower--the New Zealand Christmas Tree. Happy Christmas from the insane swamp! >:-((

This is what that tree looked like nine years ago, before AT muscled its way on to the island (the one at the far end of the footpath). It is more than twice the size now, doing very well, and just coming into flower.


Fortunately--we hope--AT has not been granted a resource-consent to take that tree out or do anything to it, and it will not be says the Council, because it is a native, a pohutukawa, and because of its size. We also hope they will not kill the tree by stealth, by the work being done around it.

So unless AT resorts to midnight vandalism or daylight audacity and take it out illegally, it is stuck with the fact that its insanity has reduced the only transfer-stop on the island from a three-bus stop to a one-bus travesty.

And, to pour salt into the wound, they hocked off the bus shelter shown above for $100, although it had many years of service-life left, and have yet to put anything in its place. So a much-used stop has nowhere for islanders and visitors to shelter from the rain when they wait for a bus--and because AT has messed up the timetable and created the driver-shortage, that can be a long wait.

REALITY ATTACKS AT'S INSANITY


Auckland Transport is being forced by reality to ditch part of the insanity it inflicted on Waiheke Island in its recent 'revamp' of our bus service, in which all it did was to make an arrogant and insane mess of it. It has been forced to restore a small part of what had been there and had worked for years.

Of course its spin in that article blames the 'shortage' of bus-drivers, when the real cause was its own worse-than-incompetent messing about, at our huge expense, which created a need for drivers that never used to exist and never should have existed. Bad design needed more buses and drivers than reality ever had.

But sociopaths/bureaucrats can never admit to their own blunders and fix them. Public servants can. Sociopaths/bureaucrats never can. They always have to pretend something, such as a shortage of drivers, or that their new action is only 'interim', or that their 'revamp' was based on 'rationale' when in fact it was entirely irrational, etc., etc. They blame anything and everything except the damned fools in their mirrors.

Those who design systems in which people are to work must always remember that they are not designing systems they are designing people's lives, and people matter. When they fail to remember that they will produce an evil mess. As AT has on Waiheke.

The mechanics of design must include three things. They must look for and eliminate bottlenecks; they must look for and eliminate imbalance between flows; and they must look for and eliminate wasted action. AT did the opposite. It created them.

It created traffic and pedestrian bottlenecks in Oneroa and Ostend, for example. And it made what was already the longest run longer, by taking the Blackpool loop off the Onetangi run and putting it on the Rocky Bay run, which made it impossible for the Rocky Bay bus to get round in time, so more buses were needed to cover that run. And the sudden jump in the number of buses showing 'Not in service' is glaring evidence of a huge amount of wasted effort, and thus yet more proof of very bad design. Then there is the hideously expensive vandalism in road-works all over the place.

What AT should do, what it must do, is restore the whole service, both logistically and physically, to what was there before it attacked it with its insanity. It must restore it to the sanity that was there before.

That means it should, it must:
1) Make the island's two routes--Onetangi and Rocky Bay--what they were last summer, but also restore the first part of the Onetangi route to what it was even further back, so that it again goes along Korora Road and Waikare Road and stops in front of Waiheke Real Estate, where there is room for two buses, off the main drag, and where there is a big paved area for lots of passengers to mill about (outside Lazy Lounge there is neither, so using that creates a traffic and pedestrian bottleneck)

2) Destroy all the vandalism it has perpetrated in road-works, especially Belgium Street and the stop outside Placemakers. Make those as they were, so that the Placemakers stop is again what it has long been--the island's only full transfer stop, through which all the buses pass in both directions in a very safe place. That means telling the bus company that the U-turn is again to be in the depot, period. And AT must abandon its nonsense (its 'rationale') that Belgium Street is a 'hub'. That is bunkum, that is folly, that is insanity, that thought has ruined the street and created unsafe situations for traffic and pedestrians.

3) Leave the organisation of the service wholly to good-hearted islanders.

Get off our island AT; sack yourselves off our island AT; and take your insanity, your sociopathy and your profligate vandalism with you. We need you like we need a bullet in the brain.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

PONZI STUPIDITY

Auckland Transport (AT) ignores logic. There is only one way of arriving at a true conclusion: you must start with a true premise and reason logically and honestly from it. If the premise is false or the reasoning is false conclusion must be false.

AT starts from a false premise, and therefore of course arrives at a false conclusion. It then manifests that with a fact in the ground in concrete, steel, etc.--an artefact that must be monumentally stupid because it is founded on falsehood and arrived at by an illogical path.

But then it makes matters worse. It then bases yet more 'reasoning' on that foolish artefact--it uses it as a premise for further action, and of course because that is a false premise, the next conclusion is also false, and worse. It is a Ponzi scheme of stupidity, with each input relying on the previous one and the notion that the whole edifice will hang together.

For example, they ruined Belgium Street on Waiheke Island by filling in the bus-bay with concrete, which narrowed the road, so then they had to eliminate the vehicle-refuge in front of the shops, the refuge people needed to wait safely before they could turn into the parking area, and they also had to eliminate the pedestrian-refuge in the middle of the pedestrian-crossing in one of the busiest roads on the island in front of homes for the elderly.

Then they noticed that the pedestrian-crossing had been fouled up (by them, but they can never see their own bungles), so now they plan to move the pedestrian-crossing to the west, which means they will oblige themselves to destroy the vehicle-refuge in the rest of Belgium Street as well as remove the much-needed parking spaces on both sides of the street.

Ponzi Rules, OK! >:-(

Which is why AT cannot design or organise its way out of a wet paper bag with the help of nuclear weapons, a squadron of bulldozers, forty-five pea-shooters and a barrage of tiddlywinks.

Friday, 25 October 2019

THE NO-LUGGAGE BUS

A new bus appeared today on Waiheke Island. Whoever designed it is a damnable fool, disconnected from the real world.

The other buses on the island, especially the newer ones which are very good (the ACL ones), have generous spaces for luggage on either side near the front, which is particularly necessary on Waiheke, because it attracts large numbers of visitors from all over the world, so of course they come with suitcases or big backpacks. And locals need a good amount of luggage-space for items they bring across from the mainland, as well as for the groceries and other items that they buy on the island.

But this new bus, which looks factory-new, has almost no space for luggage. There is only a small, narrow space between back-to-back seats on either side at the front--spaces so small that each can hold only a couple of supermarket bags. And there is no restraint parallel to the aisle, as there is on the well-designed buses, so when the new one goes round a corner anything in those spaces is likely to leap to the floor and career about.

On the well-designed buses it is easy to lift your luggage out of the luggage racks and leave the bus quickly, but with this ill-designed one that is impossible, so the bus has to be at the stop longer, which with Waiheke's narrow roads means it will block other traffic longer.

The layout at the front of the new bus is also bad, there is not as much room to move as there is in the ACL buses, so ingress and egress with luggage is hampered. Whoever designed it was not concerned with ergonomics.

All of that is damned stupid. Once again those who 'manage' (read mangle) the bus service on Waiheke Island have proved themselves worse than incompetent. It is to be hoped that they are not bent on changing all the buses to that dumb-as-a-brick design. That is a design which would only be OK for commuters going to offices; it is all wrong for a village-rural community that is also a popular tourist destination.

If the manglers were deliberately trying to sabotage Waiheke's bus service they could hardly do worse than they have done in the last week or two.

Sociopathy rules! OK? :-(((

NO! New and different does not mean better. Only better means better. New and different from sociopathic incompetence always means worse, and worse, and worse...

Thursday, 24 October 2019

A DEPOT OF BUSES SHORT OF A SERVICE

Most people know what is meant by saying that someone is several sandwiches short of a picnic.

Auckland Transport (AT) is, literally, two buses short of a service on Waiheke Island. Here, 'literally' only means physically. Because drivers report that one manifestation of the abysmally-bad setup that they have recently dumped on the island is that they did not work out the right number of buses needed to cover the new timetable. So there are not enough buses. They are two short of the number needed.

But if the mess they have made were to be accurately portrayed as a shortage of buses you would have to say they are an empty depot short of a system.

And that is now three buses short physically , because one was crashed a few days ago, taking it out of service while its front end is rebuilt.

They are also short of a clock and a brain attached to it. They told us that services would run every thirty minutes to and from the Matiatia ferry terminal and Onetangi and Rocky Bay. They also said that there would be buses every fifteen minutes.

They lied. Between Onetangi and Matiatia, they run every thirty minutes in both directions. But between Rocky Bay and Matiatia they only run every thirty minutes starting from Rocky Bay. Coming the other way, back from Matiatia to Rocky Bay, they alternate between twenty and forty minutes. Why? They are travelling the same route, starting from the same place the same length of time after the ferry arrives. So why the stupid mismatch? Why make the service so unpredictable?

And why have some start-times from the bays at, for instance, 14 minutes past the hour and some at 17 minutes past the hour? It would have been very easy to have been simple and consistent and therefore more predictable for passengers. Again the routes are the same, the times taken to traverse them are the same, with sufficient leeway for loadings, so why not make them as easy as possible for people to follow.

You would if you cared about people, as all good systems-designers do... But narcissistic sociopaths don't.

Caring about people includes not wasting huge amounts of money to build glitzy new bus-shelters all over the place, replacing perfectly serviceable ones that fitted the island's rustic character. They have fed us a whole pile of puffery about the symbolism of the expensive artwork etched into the glass, but ignored the reason for a shelter, which is to shelter, so were not bothered by making them face openly into the prevailing wind. At ratepayers' expense. Damn the symbolism; just give us a good, inexpensive service.

And the fifteen minutes they are boasting about only applies to bus-stops serviced by both routes. It does not mean that on each route you have a bus every fifteen minutes, because the routes go in different directions. It is only where the two get back together again on common ground, in Oneroa and the ferry terminal, or for a short distance in Ostend, that that fifteen-minute periodicity occurs, But even that is only achieved by a bit of unnecessary staggering.

Monday, 14 October 2019

WHAT AT SHOULD HAVE DONE

Auckland Transport (AT), like bureaucracies all over the world, loves codes. They like inventing codes--something that stands for something else--and of course they alone know all the codes and what they stand for, which makes them feel important. It is part of their lust to impose their vain notions on the real world. They do not understand that systems should be designed for real people in the real world, not that people and the world are there to be shoe-horned into their systems.

AT's bus-routes have codes. Why? Because they have designed their systems round them, particularly their website.

But what do people want to know? They want to know how to get from A to B, from a place with a name to another place with a name. Places have names, not codes. People know the A, because they are standing there. All they want to know is what bus/train/ferry they must catch to get to the B.

So the ideal system, the people system, the real-world system, would be based on the real world and people's place in it. It would therefore be based on a map. That is very easy nowadays, particularly because we have Google's maps to use as a wonderfully detailed foundation.

So you are standing somewhere, the A in question, and you want to get to whatever B is your desire. So the ideal system would display a zoomable map, and would have two red, labelled pointers in a box at the top. The box would say, 'Please drag these pointers to where you want them to be'. One would be labelled 'I am here' and the other 'I want to go here'. You would drag them to where you wanted them (and if you were on a cellphone the first one might suggest where it should be via GPS).

If you were catching a bus,when they were dragged to where you wanted them, a window would pop up showing the front of a bus, with the subtitle: 'You need to catch the bus that shows this in its destination window. The next one will be leaving in nn minutes at hh:nn. The journey will take about nn minutes.'

If you were not near the relevant bus-stop it would show you where you had to walk to get to it, and even what the streets along the way looked like if Google had that data.

If you had to catch a train or ferry the window would show where you would catch it and what would be displayed on the station/terminal screen, again so that you could look for the right thing in the right place.

So you would know where to go and what to look for when you got there, so you could get on board the right vehicle (or vehicles if transfers were needed, which would of course be shown).

No codes would be necessary, because, as already stated, places have names, not codes. Codes are for control-freaks who want to impose themselves on reality, not work with it.

The same images of destination windows would show above the printed timetables in bus-stop shelters and leaflets. Not silly codes; actual bus signs--words, not made-up numbers.

The famous London Underground, the Tube, founded in 1863, is all words. Names. Names of lines, names of stations. No damned numbers, no damned codes, nothing but real-world placenames. It moves about 5 million people a day, about the equivalent of New Zealand's entire population. And its map is a design classic. AT's worse-than-incompetent effort on Waiheke Island is at the other end of the design universe. It is rubbish cobbled together by narcissistic sociopaths at hideous expense. They have proved that they could not design their way out of a wet paper bag with the help of nuclear weapons and a squadron of bulldozers, which an aptly mocking way of ridiculing what they have done.

In short, AT's system should have been based on chaps and maps, not on pointless codes. AT failed, as always, to base its operation on the real world. And the ratepayers were forced to foot the exorbitant bill.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

INSANITY IS SPELT AT

To detail every aspect of the incompetence of Auckland Transport would fill volumes. But only a few few aspects of the recent changes they have made to the bus service on the island will suffice to prove that they are worse than incompetent, they are crazy, and they chuck vast amounts of ratepayers' money down the toilet of their profligate craziness.

'It's sabotage, mate, sabotage,'a bus-driver said to another passenger the day after AT's crazy changes hit Waiheke.

Waiheke's bus service was once managed by a very good man, Ward Climo. Wardy as everyone called him is one of those golden men, a man it is an honour to know, a straightforward, down-to-earth, profoundly-caring man, and he was very good at his job.

In those days the destination windows at the front of buses showed a roll of black cloth with the destinations in bold white letters, designed by common sense to tell you quickly all you wanted to know--which is of course where each bus is going (some of the older buses still have that). They showed one of two destinations: Onetangi (via Surfdale), Rocky Bay (via Palm Beach), and, going the other way, Matiatia Ferry. Very simple, very direct. When a bus was still hundreds of metres away you could easily see if it was the one you wanted, so you could get your luggage ready and signal the driver well in advance.

Then the cloth rolls were mostly replaced with panels of LED lights that could be programmed to spell out whatever was wanted. But still the signs were kept simple, with big letters, so they were still obvious hundreds of metres away: Onetangi 1, Rocky Bay 2; and Matiatia Ferry 1 or 2 the other way. The route-numbers were large with clear space by them so that they stood out. So still, the only question---'Is that my bus?'--was answered quickly, at a considerable distance. Fine.








Then the Auckland Transport crazies struck, and filled the LED panels with two lines, showing the destination in smaller letters with voluminous sideways scrolling underneath that attempted to show all the main stops along the way. All useless, because the timetables showed that. Cluttering the front of buses with it was stupid. It was not the basics of good system-design: KISS KID--Keep It Simple Stupid, Keep It Direct.

But the AT crazies had not finished. Now they have piled craziness on craziness. For no reason except to manifest their excesses of craziness, they changed the simple 1, 2... to 50A, 50B, 502, 503, 504, and they packed even more 'information' into the destination windows--thus creating so much LED clutter you cannot now be sure till a bus gets almost to the stop that it is the one you want. Only then can you collect your luggage and make a signal. Or if you are a visitor you can then annoy the driver by asking where the bus is going, because they clutter is so confusing that you cannot be sure. The bus might be going to see Little Green Men on Planet 3 round Alpha Centauri for all you can discern.

But the AT crazies had not finished. The timetable data in the information sign at my bus stop has been printed in small characters, down at waist-level, not in large characters up at eye-level. Waist-level!!!!!!!!!!! I have no eyes in my navel, small or large. Few people do--a fact that has escaped the notice of the AT crazies. And above that data the sign is mainly white space, except for a meandering route-map that fails to tell passengers what they most want to know--where they need to transfer to get from the Rocky Bay route to Onetangi or to Kennedy Point. So the data you need is treated as unimportant, and white space as most important, because it dominates the sign. Why not print the timetable in nice big letters, at eye-level, and also show all the transfer information so people know how to get round the island.


What they should have done, of course, was to have put the times bit up the top, in much larger print. And that snake down the right side, and added to it beside the Ostend stop a note to say, 'Transfer here to the Onetangi route', and beside the Oneroa stop a note 'Transfer here to the Kennedy Point ferry'. Because people want to know how to get round Waiheke; they are not just going along one bus-route to get from A to B on it. And, of course, they should not have put any of that crazy 502 nonsense. 2 is more than enough. There's other rubbish on this sign that should be scorned, but life is not long enough to go through it all. The only thing they got right was to adopt a 24-hour clock, but they have messed up how that is implemented and explained They can do nothing right even when they are right.

But the AT crazies had not finished with that sign. A couple of days later they paid someone to take it from inside the shelter and place it on a pole outside. So now to read the timetable you have to stand out in the rain, not in the shelter. It is a little higher; it is now for people with eyes in their nipples.

The AT crazies hit a zenith of craziness at another stop, the one opposite the supermarket. For ever and five days there had been a timetable fixed to that shelter. Good./ But now it has been removed and replaced by one fixed to one of the expensive, unnecessary steel posts that AT has caused to sprout all the over bus-routes. The post is 8 metres away from shelter, the expensive signs at the top are invisible because they are buried in the branches of a pohutakawa tree, which almost manages to conceal the timetable sign too Eight metres from shelter, instead of on it... Those fools are mad.

The AT crazies had not finished with manifesting their craziness in O'Brien Road. They decided to put yellow no-passing lines, single or double, at various points on the median of  the road to tell motorists not to pass. Motorists would have to be a whole bakery short of a picnic to try passing at any of those points, but bureaucratic crazies like to tell people the obvious because they are narcissistic  control-freaks who love themselves and like ordering people about. But they failed to put double yellow lines where between Te Whau Drive and Okoka Road, the only place where it could be argued that they were needed. But the crazies, being blind to the obvious, failed to see that. A little local knowledge would have told them, and told them why.

But those AT crazies were not finished. They put a huge red blob right across O'Brien Road just above the very obvious bend below Okoka Road, with 'SLOW' emblazoned across it in huge white letters, so that people would know that they had to slow for the bend. You see, without that blot on the road to distract them from the obvious they might not see the obvious: that there is a bend in the road. The road has been there for nearly a hundred years. Now it has a blob. [The 30kph signs were there only for doing the roadworks to put the blob and other things.]


But AT's profligate crazies were not finished. For years there had been a very adequate bus-stop shelter down at the Rocky Bay.  Not flash, but cute and rustic and all that was needed. But they decided to built a flash new one at great expense. So now there are two. They even had a new sign made for the new one; they could not bring themselves to recycle the old one.

In the week the craziness was started, down at Matiatia a Class 1 Control-Freak, a damned fool of an AT bod, was ordering the buses about in the week. No, not ordering, disordering--being a thuggish bureaucrat. Because for years the bus leaving for the number 1 route, to Onetangi, was always parked first in line outside the terminal and the one leaving for the number 2 route, to Rocky Bay, was behind it, second. Very good. So you always knew where your bus would be when you came off the ferry, it was always in the same place; you could go straight to it. But the damned fool was busy forcing the drivers to go to the first spot regardless of where they were going, so sometimes that would the Onetangi bus, now renumbered by AT craziness, and sometimes it would be the Rocky Bay bus, depending on which one happened to arrive first at the terminal. So now people had to hunt about for the bus they wanted.

AT's craziness also ordered bus-drivers to wave a greeting to each other when they passed in opposite directions. Which drivers have been doing for ever and five days. 'Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs' is an old saying and wise one. Don't be a narcissistic thug, is the blunt version. All bureaucrats are narcissistic thugs, which is why they are so egregiously stupid,

One could go on and on and on, but there is not enough space or enough life in which to detail AT's profligate, narcissistic, thuggish worthlessness.

But all this is worst than craziness. It is also thievery, because all this and a vast amount more has been done on ratepayer's money. Which explains that my rates are now ten times what they were when I came to the island twenty-two years ago but inflation has only multiplied by about 1.5 according to the Reserve Bank's inflation calculator. In one word it is chronic wickedness visited upon us by profligate fools.


As the driver said: 'It's sabotage.'
For which ratepayers pay, and pay, and pay, and pay, and pay.......................................

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

WATER RATES ON WAIHEKE

The detailed breakdown on the Web of island rates for a residence shows a somewhat surprising entry: 'Water Quality Targeted Rate - Non-business'.

'Somewhat surprising' because of Waiheke's DIY water-supplies and wastewater systems, so I called 301-0101 to upload a Level 1 Interrogation of the Inmates, and after the normal long-spoon wait was told by a First Respondent Inmate that Auckland Council only charges land-rates; it does not charge water-rates, that those are charged by Watercare (which is a kind of collection of Outmates), so I was transferred to them... but they, of course, do not operate a helpdesk outside office hours.

When I caught up with Watercare next morning they said: 'It's definitely not us. It's definitely Auckland Council.'

So, back to the Inmates, and now it was Level 2, bordering on Level 3. The response was an email a few days later from a Second Respondent Inmate, which over 'Kind Regards,' proclaimed: 'Water Quality Targeted Rate is to help fund an accelerated programme to improve water quality in our beaches, harbours and streams. This is a city wide targeted rate that applies in all areas [sic].'

Thus is Waiheke charged a 'city' water-rate. Hmmmm...

AT--WORSE THAN INCOMPETENT

A few weeks ago seven boys and girls from Auckland Transport (AT) came across to sort out the ignorant savages who live on Waiheke. We are, of course, ignorant savages in comparison with the Magnificently Superior Creatures from the mainland, who exist on an infinitely higher plain--somewhere above Alpha Centauri, at a rough guess.

The Magnificent Seven, stood about, armed with magnificent clipboards, and magnificently identified pressing problems that did not exist, then went away to the Magnificent Mainland to plan them out of existence. But... when you set out to eliminate problems that did not exist you bring into existence problems that were not there before and never should be.

But, being from the Alpha Centauri Mainland, they did not know that, so they did not see the real problems in the two bus-stops on either side of O'Brien Road at its intersection with Te Whau Drive. There had been two small problems. Two bus-stops, one small problem each.

First, there was a small problem at the stop opposite Te Whau Drive, because it was only the shoulder of the road. That was OK except in wet weather and days after it, because buses always pulled over to the shoulder so as to get off O'Brien Road as far as possible, and therefore kept digging a pothole when they accelerated away, which filled with muddy water, so passengers who had just alighted were likely to be deluged brown.

All that was needed to fix that was to seal or concrete the shoulder, then that pothole would never appear.

But the Magnificent Seven did not see that. No perception, no local knowledge, no concern for anything except to spend the Maximum of Ignorant Savages' money and thus feel Maximum Magnificent Important.

Therefore at huge expense a Magnificent Design was done, and a large gang of workmen and machines from Fulton Hogan were hired to spend several days turning that Magnificent Design into concrete, wood and pipe. They built a raised concrete pad, edged with a high concrete curbing, which certainly eliminated the pothole (very good) but also eliminated the shoulder that buses had been able to pull over to (bad, bad, bad). So now buses were obliged to block the road when they stopped. Magnificent!

And block it further up the road, making it impossible for vehicles to use the mouth of Te Whau Drive to pass the bus.

Second there was a small problem at the stop on the other side of the road, on the corner of Te Whau Drive and O'Brien. It had long had a nice little bus shelter, one of those cute rustic ones that fit the character of our village-rural environment. But because its concrete floor was significantly lower than the shoulder of the road, rain sent buckets of muddy water down into the shelter, so people then had to immerse their shoes in a muddy swamp. The obvious solution was to unbolt the shelter from its concrete base and pour a new base on top, thus raising it about 250mm. Then the floor of the shelter would be a bit above the shoulder of the road.

But the Magnificent Seven did not see that. No perception, no local knowledge, no concern for anything but how to spend the maximum of Maximum of Ignorant Savages' money and thus feel Maximum Magnificent Important.

Therefore at huge expense, a Magnificent Design was done, and a large gang of workmen and machines from Fulton Hogan were hired to spend several days turning that Magnificent Design into concrete, metal, gravel and wood. They built a raised curve of concrete curbing going right round the corner, and between it and the bus-shelter they laid down a wide swathe of deep gravel.

So now the floor of the shelter is even further below the edge of the road, which means that to get out of it and into a bus you have to climb a gravel slope and summit on a high curb; and low-slung buses have a problem pulling into that stop; and mothers with push-chairs are presented with an upward-sloping gravel obstacle-course that makes it hard to get a child and a push-chair into a bus quicker than jaunt to Alpha Centauri; and buses can no longer pull into the mouth of Te Whau Drive
to clear O'Brien Road, so are obliged to block O'Brien Road on that side too. Magnificent!

On top of all that, motorists coming out of Te Whau Drive into O'Brien Road now tend to swing wide to clear that curbing round the corner--so wide that as you stand waiting for a bus you see most of them crossing the centre-line into traffic coming up O'Brien Road. Magnificent!

O'Brien Road at that point was already narrow; it has now been narrowed even more.

All that is because the Magnificent Seven failed to see the real problems, and so they created problems that had not been there before. Well done, O Magnificent Seven! That's Progress!? Take a boo.

As a wise old bus-driver observed: 'They made a bad situation worse.'

If AT ceased to exist Waiheke would be better off. They don't know where it's at. But they do know how to wAsTe buckets of our money.

AT is worse than incompetent. Incompetence does badly a job that needed doing. Worse-than-incompetent does a job that did not need doing, never needed doing, and should never have been done or even contemplated--and does it badly. Very badly. That is AT.

In the matter of those two bus stops, AT, not content with being worse than incompetent, carried on and reached even greater depths of profligate stupidity. The bus stops had always been next to earth and bush, but after it had made such a damnable mess of them it decided that there was not enough earth on that part of the planet, so it hired people to buy some more out of ratepayers money and sprinkle it about.

But they were still not finished with being mind-bogglingly stupid and damnably wasteful. They erected a sign, spang in the middle of the grass footpath that leads to one of the bus stops, so now pedestrians have to dodge out on to the road at that point. All AT needed to do, and was told to do, was to keep the grass mown so that the verge was always a usable path. They failed to do that. Instead, they blocked it. With a useless eyesore of a sign on the edge of a beautiful forest reserve. and to underscore their stupidity the sign is a warning to motorists to watch out for pedestrians--the very pedestrians who are forced on to the road because of the sign.... !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Adding insult to injury, everything they have done at and around the two stops is ugly; it is out of keeping with the environment. They are not only worse than incompetent; they are also environmentally insensitive. And thieves, because they take public money to create their vandalism.

In the study of logic a term is used that is also used in mathematics: IFF. IFF is an abbreviation for 'If, if, and only if.' The fundamental dictum in logic is 'IFF the premise is true and the reasoning is true the conclusion must be true.' Or, as it can also be stated, in reverse, 'IFF the premise is false or the reasoning is false the conclusion will always be false, it cannot possibly be true.' All that can be put more simply: 'Unless you start with the truth and proceed by the way of truth you cannot possibly arrive at anything true.' AT has repeatedly proved by what it arrived at that it did not start with the truth or proceed by the way of truth. It ignored the fundamentals of good service. And it did it all on ratepayers' money. It is therefore chronically guilty of fundamentally bad service and public thievery.

------

AT's sunken bus-stop shelter at the intersection of Te Whau Drive and O'Brien Rd and the gravel ascent now needed to escape it--a well-nigh impassable barrier for push-chairs:








The thick pad that was installed by profligate AT instead of just fixing the puddle--where the puddle had been is marked. The pad has already been broken, obviously by a bus that got too close when the driver tried to pull over:



As Google Earth saw that intersection, both ways, before AT's blind machinations got at it:



Public servants are the salt of the earth. They care about people, they are thoughtful and prudent and behave as good stewards of public time and money. But bureaucrats are none of those things; they are the opposite. Scientific analysis of them, including a study back in the 1990s, shows plainly that they have the same psychological profile as individuals who commit crimes against the person--those who are guilty of the assault, rape, domestic violence, child-abuse and murder. They are thugs, but not with fists and physical weapons. Their assaults on people and the populace deploy their two favourite words: policy and process--either good policy invented by public servants, which the bureaucrats turn to evil, or evil policy that they themselves invented. They seek out positions of power in order to exercise their wicked thuggery. They vindicate themselves by covering their evil with cloaks of fine words, pretty logos and flash offices, etc., but the evil is always there.

In a word, they are insane. Not Section 8, barking-made insane, but psychologically dysfunctional with deep-seated sociopathic tendencies. The proofs of their sociopathy are plain, in the 'thinking' they manifest in their designs and bureaucratic rules, in the careless way they waste public money, and in the fact that they do not strive to do things in the ways that are the least-disruptive, carry the minimum of upset, have the lowest cost, and have the maximum careful attention to the people who will be on receiving end of their actions. A part of their madness is the self-delusion that they are not dysfunctional, a delusion inflated by their vanity.

Bureaucrats are thugs, they are evil, they are mad. AT has a plethora of them.