The site is located within easy travel distance to many of the places we go on a daily basis. This proximity and location has a number of benefits:
- Reduces the amount of time we spend travelling,
- Reduces reliance on a car to see friends, go to the shops, and just generally get around,
- Allows us to walk and cycle many places helping us to stay fit and healthy, and
- Allows us to use public transport to get to many of the places we can't walk or cycle to - helping keep our carbon footprint small.
Point Chevalier has great transport links to the city, several cycleways to surrounding areas, and has much of what we need close by, including a supermarket, cafes, pubs, and shops.
Some of the first sites we looked at were much more rural, on the outskirts of Auckland, with magnificent scenery and privacy. Weighing up the pros and cons of these sites we realised this would significantly affect our lifestyle and impact on our environmental goals.
There are frequent bus links along Point Chevalier Road and Great North Road to the city where we work. From Britomart much of Auckland can be accessed by public transport. The map below shows a section of the Auckland Transport route map for Point Chevalier.
Cycling and walking
The site is within walking distance to the local supermarket, cafes, and other shops. The north-western cycle route (indicated with blue & white triangles in the map below) enables us both to cycle to work in the central city in around half an hour.
Why is it important?
"By 2030 energy sector emissions could be 40% above 1990 levels. The transport fleet is largely responsible for the increased emissions."
Ministry of Economic Development
The Ministry of Economic Development's New Zealand’s Energy Outlook 2009/2010 summarises some of the key transport related challenges in the opening paragraph:
"One of the key challenges presented in the Reference Scenario is New Zealand’s ongoing reliance on imported oil. From an energy security perspective this dependency exposes New Zealand to the variability and uncertainty of international oil prices and potential supply disruptions. It also has a significant impact on New Zealand’s balance of payments. The Reference Scenario also saw ongoing increases in greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector – by 2030 energy sector emissions could be 40% above 1990 levels. The transport fleet is largely responsible for the increased emissions."
New Zealand has a high dependency on oil, with oil accounting for over half of our total energy demand and 98% of our transport fuel1. Domestic supply of oil has increased since 1990, lowering our net oil import dependency (oil security) to around 35% but as local production tapers off we could be reliant on imports for almost 90% of our oil supply by 2030 (ref. chart below).
As a nation this dependency on imported oil exposes us to expected oil price rises (ref. background). The Ministry of Economic Development predicts in the Changing Gear report that, "at an oil price of $180/barrel and emissions price of $100/tonne, petrol pump prices in real terms are over $3.50 /litre." This would not only more than double the fuel price per km that we pay to drive our cars, but would also increase the price of anything that is transported in New Zealand using fossil fuel - including food.
In addition are the environmental impacts. For every kilometre travelled in our current car (at 8L/100km) we release 187 grams of CO22. With transport emissions making up 42% of NZ's energy related emissions3, improved transport efficiency represents a significant opportunity to reduce New Zealand's impact on climate changes.
CO2 also comes with a cost. The value of New Zealand's transport related CO2 emissions in 2008 (at $100/tonne) were $1.4billion4. By reducing CO2 emissions we will be less exposed to the increasing price of CO2, which will increase our competitiveness as a nation.
- File has been archived since we wrote this content. We will post a link when we can find it.
- Premium petrol – multiply the L/100km by 23.414 to give CO2 grams/km. Rightcar website, New Zealand Transport Agency, accessed 25/09/2013.
- Greenhouse gas emissions, Ministry of Economic Development, accessed 25/09/2013. Calculation made on figures in sheet 'CO2' of annual data tables for energy greenhouse gas emissions (file available on linked page).
- File has been archived since we wrote this content. We will link to it when we can find it.