For making me blog of the week in the Herald on Sunday. I only found out indirectly from two sources, but it is nice to know someone is reading.
The mention in the article about Judith Tizard amuses me though. Apparently I am a conservative man, and Judith said "They don't like me because I win. The greatest affront, particularly to conservative blokes, is successful women who they don't agree with". Well Judith I am far from conservative and while i don't agree with you, I am glad you think you are successful. I am fairly certain you are not exactly happy about being excluded from Cabinet.
Look, you helped stop the ALPURT B2 road project when Labour got elected so that the Grafton Gully motorway project could proceed as a priority instead (which worked), but given the PM was cheerleading roads in Auckland heavily from 2002 you really were not that influential especially after Mark Gosche was sidelined for Paul Swain in the transport portfolio (given he is a go getter and Gosche wasn't really up to it).
Road spending in Auckland was hardly because of you (though you supported and chipped in with those pushing for it), it was a government recognition of the problem of congestion in Auckland (which to be fair had been inadequate under the Nats) and the votes to be gained in building roads there. You were never Transport Minister, you don't decide what Transit promotes or Land Transport NZ (and Transfund before it) funded, given the Minister appointed Board Members that were keen to address Auckland. You did have a role with the Northern Busway, if only because there were umpteen government entities involved in getting it moving, but that was a governance problem that did require heads being banged together - and it remains underutilised. On the positive side, you can be a very fun person..
Anyway, Auckland Central voters appear to have a choice this year to replace you with a successful hard working physically agile (and attractive) young woman who is standing for the Nats. Given that the National caucus does need to be uplifted somewhat (Jacqui Dean??), I hope Nikki Kaye wins resoundingly.