I guess I now have to retract some of my vitriol, having read this article today, which contains a very valid point:
In order to participate in the UFB a company that has a majority share in the layer one infrastructure (ducts and cables) can’t provide retail services on that network. This rule – which the Government has adhered to staunchly – is to avoid what’s occurred in the copper world, where Telecom owns the infrastructure and provides ubiquitous retail services.
So yeah, Vector actually can’t sell me anything. Still, they have fibre running past my home, and there are providers on the network already selling services (including our ISP), so I think my base point still stands. Sell me fibre product at a residential price point NOW!
However, on the other hand, it’s also taunting me. You see, me and my housemates are heavy internet users, for both business and pleasure. Currently our monthly bill approaches $200 for our consumer ADSL2 connection, so obviously we’re happy to spend a reasonable amount on our connectivity for a solid, fast, reliable product.
The problem is, right outside our house, within metres in fact, is a manhole cover. This manhole is stamped with the brand United Networks, which is now you guys. There’s even a CityLink manhole across the road as well. So, I know from both that, and your own coverage maps, that sweet sweet fibre is right AT my door already! Awesome! Yes?
No. See, no one will sell me access to it. Oh sure, a few of your partners WILL, if I’m willing to deal with systems set up purely to deal with corporate accounts, and pay a hefty sum in both service charges and hardware, well out of reach of a consumer. Ballpark of $1000/mo upwards plus a potentially hefty install fee for a non-lit building? Yeah, that aint gunna fly.
I just think it makes sense to try and get some residential roll out in the areas you already service, as it can only strengthen your case in trying to get a slice of that sweet government cash money. I know there are both technical and practical hold ups in doing this, but surely you’re going to need a residential test bed soon, right?
A heavy internet user who wishes to buy some of your products and services.
FRIDAY 16 APRIL 2010 AT STUDIO, K’ROAD
$29.90+BF LIMITED EARLYBIRDS
→ 3 Massive Zones with huge Mezzanine VIP Area
→ Heavyweight Reinforced Sound Systems in all zones
→ Plasmas / Projectors / Live Visuals / Cameras
→ Fully Air Conditioned
→ The PREMIUM Audio-Visual Experience at Auckland’s finest venue – Studio!
FOREIGN BEGGARS (UK)
“AS SEEN ON SKINS!”
Six years on from their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Asylum Speakers’, followed by 2006 LP ‘Stray Point Agenda’ Foreign Beggars are back at it again with their long awaited third release ‘United Colours of Beggattron’. A truly genre meshing monster, smashing the listener with exactly what you’d expect from one of the UK underground’s most renowned groups: fresh and experimental hip hop music with a distinctive London twist.
Tony Truand’s video direction for crossover track ‘Contact’ (produced by DnB allstars Noisia) has racked up over 700 000 hits on YouTube since November 09 and the track was picked up by E4 for Skins Series 4. ‘Prove it’ reached no. 2 in the US College radio charts and second single ‘7 figure swagger’, with remix treatment from Brooklyn’s Machinedrum and UK Dub-Step tear-out kings Bar 09, is currently no.4 and no.2 in the Beatport and Juno Dubstep/Grime download charts. (December ’09)
Their dynamic live show has recently earned a call up from Prodigy as main support for their January 2010 tour, with the band having already toured internationally from Dubai to Toronto, Shanghai to Sydney. Steadily clocking up over 100 shows a year, every year, sharing stages with artists including Snoop Dogg, Amy Winehouse, Public Enemy, Ian Brown and De La Soul.
Rocking clubs and parties for over a decade now, The Freestylers are still one of the most exciting names in dance music. They’ve had Top 20 chart hits, headlined big festivals, sold half a million albums, toured the US supporting Lenny Kravitz, and were the first electronic act to play fully live on legendary BBC TV show Top Of The Pops.
The ARC (Scratch22, Legal Money Mike + Paydirt)
+ Many more to be announced!
I’ve heard from several people involved with the ATA’s work that they’re concerned about the lack of accountability in the agency, the apparently unchecked costs of its work and the sweeping mandate accorded to the ATA’s head, Mark Ford. The agency has been described to me as “a de facto ministry, with Mark Ford as the Minister.”
Where the comparison falls down, of course, is that we elect ministers.
Until you get to the council-controlled organisation, or CCOs, which are being developed under a different – and, as Barnett noted, much less accountable – process.
CCOs will carry out various of the forthcoming Auckland Council’s functions. The ATA’s current thinking is that there will be seven CCOs, three of which — Watercare, Transport and the Waterfront Development Agency – will be established under the Local Government (Auckland Law Reform) Bill, the third of the three super-city bills.
The accountability of the three key CCOs to the forthcoming, elected Auckland Council is extremely questionable. And this isn’t trivial. Watercare will control Auckland’s water resources and set user charges. The Auckland Transport Agency, will have control of Auckland’s transportation contracts.
It’s pretty much a given that there will be power struggles between the Auckland Council and these CCOs. But the ATA has particular advantages here: it decides where the assets of current council CCOs go. It can veto the decisions of the councils, including those on spending. And it has a free hand to run up debt in the name of Auckland ratepayers.
There’s more: Watercare, Ford’s previous employer, has a fairly extraordinary deal in the third bill. It will not officially become a CCO until mid-2012. Until then it will be largely beyond the reach of the elected council – and it has the power to propose bylaws to the Auckland Council, which, with a few exceptions, must accept them.
In all this, the ATA is accountable to only one Auckland voter – the Minister of Local Government, Rodney Hide. So you’d better be trusting Rodney.
Meanwhile, the ATA needs only the approval of Rodney Hide and Bill English to raise debts that the Auckland Council will own henceforth. Potentially, the ATA could raise the $100 million that Murray McCully wants Auckland to spend on his World Cup waterfront project and pass the money to the Waterfront Development Agency, whose directors will be appointed by Rodney Hide on the recommendation of the ATA.
Brown reflects my feelings pretty well – I’m in support of the supercity, think it’s the only way forward, but the structure leaves much to be desired, the fact that it will be FPP opens up problems in the future, and the simple fact that too much of it seems to be coming out of Wellington. As it stands, there is NOTHING stopping McCully and Hide getting together, building the $100m Queens Wharf option against the will of Aucklanders, and then sticking Auckland ratepayers with the bill.
The vision for this area is for a mixed use community, anchored by a new transport hub consisting of a state-of-the-art train station served by a dedicated neighbourhood shuttle bus service and car drop off.
The proposal includes generous public open space and waterfront access available to all Aucklanders as well as on-site residents. A mix of apartments, offices, cafes, shops will also feature including a public board walk encircling the point.
Current state - Click for large
Big train station upgrade, Park N Ride, waterfront, plazas, retail, apartments, recreation areas – all based around the idea of building up density around public transport corridors. 7 mins on the train to Britomart? Sweet deal.
A district plan change is currently going through Auckland City Council with regards to this, with public submissions open until March 1st. Looks like Orakei Residents Society is running a campaign against it, which I think is sad. I’d like to see a lot of development around Auckland starting to move to this kind of model.
A similar concept is planned for Hobsonville Point except instead of a train it will be focused around a 20 minute ferry run into the CBD, and being a short hop down the under construction upper harbour highway to either Westgate or Albany. Otherwise, being a largely planned, contained community with retail, schools, waterfront and marine industry. Not quite as good as Orakei’s more urban, PT focused scheme, but a massive improvement on shonky bullshit miles from any major transit routes (public OR motorway) like Stonefields, or, well, much of far east Auckland. Death to spread out suburbs!
Come join in some jovial yuletide cheer, with a reasonable finishing hour to allow plenty of recovery time before having to go and deal with the whānau on the big day.
If you are all good boys and girls, maybe there will even be a visit from Santa! Yeeeeees!
Seriously, sort out your Christmas shit and come on down and have a few drinks. Christmas Eve is always a fantastic night out with everyone in a great mood, ready to share some love and drink some piss. GET UP IT!
Public submissions on Auckland City’s Draft Liquor Licensing Policy are now open, until 5pm on the 7th of October. This new policy aims to address various issues related to on and off-licence conditions, locations of licence premises, and the varying requirements of licence holders in different areas of the city.
Key points are:
Base hours of 7am till 1am in the CBD and special “Entertainment Precincts”
7am till 11pm in the rest of the city and the Hauraki Gulf islands.
Extended hours till 3am available in the CBD and EP’s upon first renewal, pending clean record, security staff and server training, and midnight extended hours outside those areas.
24 hour licences available with further clean record, CCTV installation, lock outs after 4am, and further host responsibility measures like free food after 3am.
So, it doesn’t seem totally unreasonable at first glance, but knowing the hard graft some licence holders have dealing the the Council as it is, it’s worrisome to me. Lets go into some more detail. The opening gambit of the policy document is:
Auckland City Council recognises that to be a vibrant, world-class city that is an attractive place both to visit and to live, it is important to have a lively central business district (CBD) and entertainment precincts with an array of restaurants, cafes, bars and entertainment venues. Responsible consumption of liquor outside of licensed venues also plays a part in the way residents and visitors relax and celebrate in Auckland city.
So while we want the city to be active and vibrant, we want it safe. Not so bad at all. But why must we do it at the expense of increasing the cost of compliance for many business owners? Why are we placing yet more restrictions on an already heavily restricted and much maligned industry?
Separate to the CBD, six Entertainment Precincts have been named. They are Ponsonby Road, Parnell Road, Mission Bay Newmarket, Kingsland Village and Mt Eden Village. These are areas that are considered
mixed-use commercial and residential areas with a lively hospitality trade both during the day and into the night
These areas would have the same restrictions as CBD venues, but wouldn’t be able to apply for the 24 hour licences.
To apply for the 3am licence, you must have held the base hours licence for 1 year, and then meet further requirements.
Security staff (from 11pm till 1 hour after close of trade, 1 for up to 50 patrons, 2 for up to 100 and 4 for up to 150, etc)
Server training (all servers after 1am must have NZQA accredited responsible server training credentials)
To apply for the 24 hour licence, as well as the above, the policy proposes:
CCTV at all public entrances and exits clearly recording patrons from 11pm till 1 hour after close
One way door from 4am (you can exit, but you can’t come back in)
Extra host responsibility measures (free food from 3am till close, no more than 4 drinks may be purchased at one time)
Supermarkets, dairys and bottle shops selling liquor would be restricted to 10pm sales cut off. I am however hard pushed to think of many 24 hour off licences in the CBD. Foodtown Quay St is 1am cut off for example.
I’m cheating a little bit here as I’m still working my way through the full draft document, but some key points I agree with being made by HANZ include:
How this will financially impact on businesses?
How this will affect bar staff with regards to a loss of jobs if there is a drop in opening hours?
Why are we doing this now with the Super City about to form and the Law Commission about to report back on reform of the Sale of Liquor Act?
What is the problem they are trying to solve with this Policy and will these measures solve it?
How will this affect the Rugby World Cup?
Will the public still be able to enjoy access to neighbourhood bars and restaurants without having to travel to the city for a night out?
How have the entertainment precincts been determined? Why are they so limited? What about other areas such as the top of Symonds St/Khyber Pass area, Grey Lynn, Pt Chevalier, Onehunga, Otahuhu, Panmure/Mt Wellington, St Heliers etc to name a few?
70% of alcohol consumed is off licensed premises. Evidence shows that 82 % of alcohol related offending is related to off licence consumption (Police National Alcohol Assessment April 2009).
Driving drinkers out of the suburban bars at 11pm will either compel them to drink in unsupervised areas creating more alcohol related harm or to travel into the CBD which creates issues around migratory drinking and drink driving.
The Sale of Liquor Act is already in place to promote safe alcohol consumption, dictate the host responsibilities of Licensees, and provide heavy penalties to those who do not comply
There is no mention of hours for outdoor areas. The Auckland City Council Street Trading Policy refers to this policy for hours.
How a ‘one-way door’ at 2am in Entertainment Precincts or 4am in the CBD would affect patronage?
The cost of training all staff to NZQA qualified server standard, especially given the transient nature of bar staff
Door security requirements will be great for security contracting firms but cost prohibitive for some venues. Although I believe most venues who require security are already doing it.
How much it would cost businesses to provide ‘free food’ if they are open after 3am. What does ‘free food’ mean? Does a bowl of pretzels count? A cooked meal? A microwaved pie? A pizza?
I am definitely considering a submission on this matter, and anyone else with a view on Auckland nightlife would be well advised to do the same.