Is it a jet plane? Is it an ruptured oil pipeline? No, it’s PAT PILCHER venting about another avoidable Auckland-centric crisis.
Sounds like something you’d expect from a failed state like Zimbabwe, right? Wrong. It’s happening here in good old Aotearoa, and now it appears that all the wrong questions are being asked as the media frenzy gains intensity.
The cause of this mess? A single pipeline connecting Marsden Point Oil Refinery to Auckland Airport is leaking. Speculation has it that Auckland Airport’s sole jet fuel line got damaged by a digger digging for old, submerged kauri logs.
If grazing cows weren’t upping the amount of iron in their diet by eating the pipe, then what happened? Did a wild digger sneak into the paddock to grab a sly drink of petrol? Or could it be that the pipe was so rusted that it started to leak as pennies got pinched?
So, why the conflicting stories?
A distinct possibility is that this is a case of shitty planning and poor maintenance. The frustrating thing is that – whatever the specific cause – the chaos caused by this leaky pipe was so avoidable.
The upshot is that accidental ‘damage to one cable won’t take out critical network connectivity.’ You’d think that the same logic should apply to the gas pipeline, right? This isn’t rocket science. Isn’t New Zealand’s biggest international airport a mission-critical asset?
The media response is telling. One media outlet’s headlines blared that NZ is now cut off from the world. I guess that sub-editor didn’t know that there are three other international airports? Then there’s also that new-fangled internet thingamajig too.
Then there’s the finger pointing. It’s pointless, and a lot like two fleas on a dogs back arguing over who owns the dog. Why aren’t smarter questions should be being asked?
That this is happening as the general election nears makes for a toxic mix. Finger pointing has seen National supporters taking aim at Labour, which in turn fired off accusations at National. Both sides have done their share of grandstanding on the issue. It isn’t helpful.
According to Stuff, the risks of a single pipeline being the sole fuel source for Auckland Airport is something both political parties have known about since 2005. Both parties did nothing and here we are.
I would like to know why Auckland airport has remained reliant on a single pipeline for so long. Were there ever any plans to build a more diversified fuel transport network? Why does this sort of short sighted idiocy keep happening in New Zealand?