Gerry Brownlee is new Transport Minister

Posted on December 12, 2011 by

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The title of this post pretty much says it all. Not sure what to make of this. He is from Christchurch, which could be a positive, but his vision for Christchurch has sounded like something out of 1950’s America.

Like Steven Joyce, Brownlee seems to run with certain ideas, despite what expert analysis or public opinion might say. He has also been accused of looking after his “mates” a little too much (i.e., property developers) and pushing for more and unhindered greenfield development, another trait he shares with Joyce who was often accused of being a little to cuddly with the Road Transport Forum. He has generally been seen to be supportive of knocking everything down after the earthquake and developing a highly decentralised city (read sprawl). I believe Brownlee once called rail transport a “19th century technology”, or something to that effect – which begs the question of whether he has been overseas at all, or whether he realises cars are also a 19th century invention.  

All in all, don’t expect anything to change. As Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery as well, Brownlee now holds immense power over the future form and function of greater Christchurch. Is this good? Probably not, although I can imagine some business leaders, and certainly some short-sighted property developers, rubbing their hands with glee and claiming the efficiency this will bring will be of immense benefit. Interesting times ahead.

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