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The Human Cost

Written By: - Date published: 5:26 pm, March 23rd, 2013 - 57 comments
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The funeral was a very full house and hard. You may have even seen it on Campbell Live;  The Herald gave it front page this morning.  Now comes the hard part, surviving the aftermath, the years with a hole in your heart, the family with a missing part.

We never really had a cycling culture in this country; for a very long time it was marginalised as a way of getting kids to school or a fringe sport for guys with shaven legs. That’s changed. There are now thousands of people cycling in various forms, but the rest of New Zealand hasn’t caught up to this and as a result we kill about 10 cyclists a year and seriously injure hundreds. This is going to change. That’s why this tragedy for this family has seen so much attention.

I must add that the family is pretty ambivalent about this. It’s not at all comfortable having your grief and pain made public like this. They certainly do not want to be seen to be attention-seeking. That’s an anathema to them.

I spoke with several of Jane’s companions, those who were there at her brutal end.  One of them told me how he spent six weeks in France on roads just as narrow and busy as here … and felt safe the entire time. The difference was simply that in much of Europe drivers and cyclists are understand each other. Drivers stop, and give cyclists space, and share the road with respect.

In France the driver that killed Jane Farrelly would likely have held back, waited 20 or 30 seconds until he had the visibility and space to overtake safely. Instead of squeezing past as he did with no room for anything else to go wrong.

We understand that pedestrians and cars need different spaces, different infrastructures and different rules. But we get it wrong when we pretend that bicycles are just slow cars. They’re not. While of course it’s obvious that cyclists are exquisitely vulnerable to tons of car and truck, their primary defense is their ability to manoeuvre and avoid danger while they are still moving. This means they behave differently to cars on the road.

A stationary bicycle is effectively a pedestrian with shackle on his legs … a sitting target. This is reason why cyclists instinctively avoid stopping wherever possible, it’s simply safer to keep moving. Especially at intersections where they’ll find all manner of devious ways of doing so. Which rather offends motorists who have to stop for a red light.

The other crucial areas of vulnerability are “squeeze points”; places along the road where the shoulder narrows and forces the cyclist into conflict with other traffic. Squeezes can be caused by bridges (one of these came within millimetres of killing me decades ago), roundabouts (which killed a senior police officer at Petone last year) or parked cars (which killed Jane Bishop on the Auckland foreshore three years ago.)

Experienced cyclists deal with this by “owing the road”; they move right out into the traffic lane and force the vehicles behind them to slow down and wait until they’ve passed the squeeze. By doing this they remove the opportunity for other traffic to overtake unsafely. Of course while this is the safe thing to do, New Zealand drivers are infuriated by the inconvenience of being slowed down like this and respond badly.

And of course there is the ever present risk of being ‘doored’. My rule is that if you can see someone in the driver seat you have to assume they’re just waiting for you to get into range before they spring their door into your path. Unfortunately the design of modern cars makes it’s almost impossible to reliably see if there is someone sitting in the driver’s seat; this means that when cycling past a row of parked cars you need to be riding in the traffic lane. More conflict and aggro results.

We need to start sorting these issues out. While the lycra-clad sports crowd are the most visible segment of the cycling community, there are the mountain bikers (who use roads too), and the long-distance touring community who’ve all been either hurt or know someone who has been. And the biggest change in the last few years has been the massive rise in commuter cyclists who are now by far the biggest portion of new sales in the industry. More exciting still is the new wave of efficient and effective electric cycles on the horizon which hugely extend the scope and range ordinary people can use bicycles for.

And you only have to look at the new wave of entirely new high-tech personal vehicles that sit very neatly in the gap between bicycles and cars. All of these have the potential to revolutionise our city traffic problems and substantially reduce fossil fuel consumption.

But when people see how Jane died they’re going to say, “too dangerous for me”. And this is pretty much the point where the self-defeating ‘Remuera tractor’ syndrome kicks in.

Cycling in this country is emerging from the ghetto it’s long inhabited. Many of us want to cycle more often for many reasons. We have many visitors who know New Zealand as a terrific cycling destination, with a rapidly developing network of highly popular cycle trails and tourism related activities. But we’ve got a very dirty reputation for safety that is diminishing and tarnishing this potential.

There are two political aspects to this we need to be thinking about. One is a review of the road-code to take proper account of the realities of using a bicycle on modern roads.  The other is lifting the priority we place on walking and cycling infrastructure. Even painting green strips on the shoulders and sweeping it clean of debris regularly is a useful starting point; at the least it would lend a symbolic visibility to cyclists, demonstrating to motorists that they have same status and right to be on the road as they do.

57 comments on “The Human Cost”

  1. Ad 1

    I hear that Cycle Action Auckland led by the redoubtable Barbara Cuthbert is making good inroads into the culture of Auckland Transport. The sheer rudeness of drivers in Auckland is something to behold, even for other New Zealander let alone visitors.

    We know now that the school travel plans and cycling pathways and programs, taken together, make a small measurable difference to lowering peak traffic flows.

    And it is also clear that safety is the one issue stopping Auckland from reaching that tipping point into cycling as normal and driver-behaviour-changing.

    Cycling is not only the new Golf, it is stronger competition to oil than electric cars.

    There is a huge task in Auckland, and it seriously must happen. Cycle Auckland’s own website is excellent.

    But safety will increase only somewhat with sound infrastructure. RedLogix is so right that public attitude is where the real breakthroughs will be made.

  2. Raymond a Francis 2

    I agree, education and a law change that makes it clear riders have all the rights of a car user to use the road are required
    I am not sure if with rights there should be tax obligations because after all most riders own cars but that is something that should be given some thought
    The difference between here and France just has to be ridden to be believed, there is more chance of being hit by a bike than by a car

    • Raymond, the right of ordinary use of a public road is a common law right, it is not a right that is conferred by licence. As well as defrauding people of that right, the state also lies about the nature of common law.

    • Ad 2.2

      Rights are less useful than courtesy in any daily vehicle vs bike situation.
      Bicycle riders are about 27 litres of blood in a sac, versus at least half a tonne of steel etc. There’s no point talking rights there, only harm mitigation.
      Rights are what you argue afterwards with the cops, or with the Coroner.

      • rosy 2.2.1

        “Rights are less useful than courtesy in any daily vehicle vs bike situation”

        +1. And understanding leads to courtesy. Where I live, where less than 10 percent of commuters drive their cars to work, a fair number of drivers are cyclists at least some of time – or have family members who are regular cyclists. Therefore, when people do get in their cars they generally have a fair understanding of what it means to be a cyclist – where the choke points are, how a cyclist will react if a car door opens, an understanding of why a cyclist may pull out into the road (especially an inexperienced cyclist). It means they are more aware and more courteous towards cyclists and are ready for unplanned manoeuvers.

        This is aside, of course, from the roading network being set up to accommodate cyclists.

    • lprent 2.3

      The majority of the road user charges are levied for the maintenance of roads. That is why heavy axle trucks are levied more than cars and cars more than motorcycles – because they cause different levels of wear. On that basis the collection costs for the wear and tear that bicycles put on roads would far exceed the revenue.

      Similarly the ACC levy. Virtually all serious accidents for cyclists are caused by cars and trucks moving at speed on unprotected humans. Death is at least as common as injury in accidents. Besides, we’d have to start imposing direct charges on pedestrians who have the same issue of moronic drivers trying to kill them.

      This is all obvious if you bothered to think for a few moments rather than havng the reflexive knee jerk reactions.

  3. karol 3

    Too many car drivers take no notice of others on the road. When I’m driving I have often been amazed at people getting in and out of the driver’s door of their car, without checking if there is any traffic approaching from behind their car.

    When I’m getting in and out of my car, I always check for traffic and try to wait until it’s clear before stepping into the road way.

    A cycling tax might be an option if there were more off-road, dedicated cycleways. Cycles don’t cause so much wear to roads. And most cyclists also have cars.

    PS: I saw the Campbell live segment. It was heartbreaking.

    • McFlock 3.1

      Too many road users in general fail to appreciate what they’re doing. Because it’s routine, it becomes habit. I’m reminded of a driver who was talking about how she got given a ticket for failing to stop at a stop sign just around the corner from work. She ALWAYS stopped at that sign. She popped down to the station to watch the video, and was gobsmacked to see herself swan happily around the corner with barely a tap on the brakes.

      Hell, I’ve noticed myself zoning out once or twice on the evening commute, and I’m on a wee scooter!

    • Steve (North Shore) 3.2

      How come only cyclists only hit those doors, how many car doors get smashed off by other cars/vehicles?

      • McFlock 3.2.1

        because the cycle lanes are directly adjacent to the carpark, then the road.

        Not staying in the road is stupid driving, but swerving a cycle-lane’s length further out is a relatively uncommon level of stupid.

        One idea floated here in Dunedin is to have the cars park on the side of a road, THEN the cycle lane, then the footpath. Idea being drivers are more likely to look before opening if the traffic has a higher likelihood of squishing them, and the passenger who opens the door without looking puts the cyclist into the footpath, not under a truck.

        Still an intermediate solution, though – Dn has shite design, with a state highway going straight through the city centre and no truck bypass. Pedestrians walking around town missing with 50/60kph log trucks. In 50 years time it’ll be like that 1930s photo of the skyscraper construction workers having lunch on an I-beam xxx storeys up, ne’er a harness or rope in sight.

        • Daveosaurus 3.2.1.1

          The problem in Dunedin isn’t the town design, it’s the topography. To get trucks out of the main arterials, you’d need to either send them along the harbour reclamation (which would necessitate them winding their way through the student area to get back on to the northern motorway) or build a new motorway through Wakari from the top of Kaikorai Valley (which would necessitate the bowling of hundreds of houses and construction of a prohibitively expensive 500m or so of viaduct over the Leith Valley so it can join up with the northern motorway).

          In any case pedestrians not wanting to mix with log trucks should use the traffic lights. That’s what they’re for.

  4. Pascal's bookie 4

    Good post Red, thanks.

  5. Benjamin B. 5

    Couple of years ago I was living in Kelburn. As the car was off for repairs I cycled up to the Karori MTB park. Pretty weird concept, I know, driving to go cycling, but I had watched drivers from the safety of the driver’s seat before, and I knew it was better.

    Those twelve KM were just plain *horrifying*.

    Nobody at all, it seemed, knew how to deal with a cyclist. Taxi drivers squeezing me. 1983 Pajero drivers acting like they owned the road, for $1500 or so. One middle aged driver didn’t see me until I screamed… at least he apologised.

    I haven’t cycled here on the road since. Actually I haven’t cycled at all last year, or this year. And I’ve pretty much grown up on the bike… in central Europe.

    Sad, ain’t it.

  6. In Holland the law is simple. You hurt a cyclist or a person on foot you’re fucked. No matter how it happened or if the cyclist was “at fault”, you’re screwed because you where the one wielding a deadly weapon.

    And while accidents still happen it is a rare thing and considering that just about everyone in Holland has a bike and in Amsterdam center you have to drive at almost bike speeds that is pretty awesome.

    Not a lot of drivers will use violence or use their car as a weapon when even an accidental tap with a car is already considered and assault. The banker who broke this poor guy’s legs with his car in Auckland would have gone to jail for attempted premeditated first degree murder with a deadly weapon.

    • QoT 6.1

      I’m rather comfortable with this approach.

      • RedLogix 6.1.1

        Yes I was going to mention this as well. One of the cyclists I was talking with brought this European legal model to my attention as well.

        My first reaction was similar to yours; it’s quite different to our rule driven model and replaces it with a privilege driven model. In other words the most vulnerable road users, pedestrians and cyclists are the most privileged, while those who want to use larger and more dangerous vehicles are the least privileged.

        It’s a different mode of thinking … but arguably it works.

  7. Colonial Weka 7

    “One is a review of the road-code to take proper account of the realities of using a bicycle on modern roads. The other is lifting the priority we place on walking and cycling infrastructure.”

    Completely agree, and would add that NZTA should be doing major advertising campaigns to change the culture. re the infrastructure, it amazes me that so much road works is being done now with virtually no thought for the increasing numbers of people riding bikes.

    I do think that changes need to happen within the cycling communities as well. I used to live in a town with lots of cyclists – sports, recreational and commuting. The sports cyclists in particular were known for upping the ante, by riding in large groups and often ignoring car drivers, and then responding aggressively when the issue was raised in the community (not all sports cyclists, but there was an increasing culture of this). Understandable in some ways – it was a response to the lack of awareness of car drivers, but it was hardly helpful. It was also about reclaiming the roads in a screw you kind of way.

    I had cyclists wave me to pass them when on narrow windy roads, sometimes in situations I considered dangerous (I don’t ever take directions from cyclists now on what I should be doing with my car). And while many cyclists in groups would make an effort to let cars pass, I also saw groups basically not give a shit and create potentially dangerous situations as a way of staking their claim to the road. The cyclist community was very aware of this because you would also see the cyclists that went out of their way to let car drivers know they were trying to do the right thing.

    Off-road, conflict between recreational cyclists and walkers was also on the rise, because cyclists were treating tracks as fast lanes not walking ones with elderly, children and other slow people on them. Point being, I suppose, is that NZ has a very macho culture and it’s probably not surprising to see that arising within parts of cycling communities too. Perhaps it’s as much about that macho culture as it is about car driving. And maybe we’re just not very good at sharing.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      I also saw groups basically not give a shit and create potentially dangerous situations as a way of staking their claim to the road.

      It helps to bear in mind that a large group of cyclists is not necessarily ‘organised’ like an creature with a central nervous system. It’s just a bunch of individuals attempting to keep a place in the formation. This means that changing the shape of the formation is not an instantaneous process; it takes anything up to a minute for a bunch of 20 to move from two-abreast to single file.

      While on a winding, narrow or hilly road the dynamics of road width, the speed of each cyclist, on-coming and following traffic can be changing every few seconds.It’s not easy to keep everyone happy.

      For the most part large groups are not very common and other road users really haven’t got too much to grumble about. After all when did you last read of a cyclist knocking a car over and killing the occupants.

      • Colonial Weka 7.1.1

        They were pretty common where I was living and it was a well known issue in the community, alot of people were talking about it and what the possible solutions were, cyclists and motorists alike.

        I take your point about large groups and flow. I think it was more the groups that thought that it was ok to take up the whole lane as a matter of course (presumably because they wanted to talk to each other when biking), which force a reduction in the speed of any traffic that came up behind and expected them to wait while the cyclists thinned out to let the cars past. Only to find another group a bit further ahead doing the same thing, because the cyclists had split into two groups naturally.

        One of the problems there is that the cars were using the road to move from A to B, whereas the cyclists were using the road as a socially fun way to train. Those two things aren’t particularly compatible, and I don’t know what the solution is.

        “and other road users really haven’t got too much to grumble about”

        I’m not so much having a grumble as another road user, as pointing out some of the problems that are arising beyond the ‘motorists are ignorant bullies’ meme. It’s going to take quite alot to change the cultural attitudes in NZ IMO. Looking at the complexities and bringing different road users together to find solutions seems important.

  8. Nick K 8

    I cycle regularly, and go out for 2-4 hours on some weekends. Your summation about “owning” the road is correct. That’s what I do in certain circumstances.

    But what most cyclists have to do is stop running red lights, and generally obey the road rules. Nothing pisses off motorists more than that and the last thing cyclists need is pissed off motorists.

    • RedLogix 8.1

      But what most cyclists have to do is stop running red lights, and generally obey the road rules.

      But why obey a rule that inherently makes you less safe? You try standing in the middle of an intersection with a large metal chair shackled between your legs.

      I’m not advocating the wholesale ignoring of the road code, but I do believe they could be revised to work better for both cyclists and motorists.

      • Colonial Weka 8.1.1

        Do you have specific suggestions RL? eg the waiting at the red lights thing, how could that change for the better?

        • RedLogix 8.1.1.1

          I think that the Road Code needs to recognise that bicycles will behave differently to cars. The critical instinct is NOT to stop, to keep moving and maintain defensive manoeuvrability.

          Traffic lights serve cars well because it is in the interests of both the moving and the stopped queue to take turns at using the conflict space in the intersection. When two or more cars collide at speed the energy involved always ensures a dangerous or lethal outcome. By contrast the amount of stored energy in a moving bicycle is much lower; the consequence of a collision would normally be quite modest.

          More importantly cyclists are inherently defensive drivers. When approaching an intersection they are usually moving at around 5-15 km/hr. They have excellent visibility and hearing in all directions and with experience can sense what other vehicles are going to do. It’s hard to convey this road-sense without actually having learnt it yourself.

          Essentially if there is a safe space for a cyclist to use without stopping, then they should be allowed to take it regardless of the phase of the light. No sane cyclist is going to ‘run a red light’ across the path of an oncoming truck. That’s just suicide.

          Therefore if there is no oncoming traffic, or there is a pedestrian phase with plenty of space, or there is a left hand turn with no traffic conflict … then it is safer and more efficient to allow cyclists to proceed with care.

          That’s the difficulty here. The Road Code is formalised into a set of rigid rules designed for cars and trucks in order to manage the dangerous relationships between them. Cycling is a much more fluid activity where self-responsibility and self-management is the dominant theme. This is a scenario where ‘writing rules’ does not work well.

          I’m specifically NOT suggesting that bicycles be given the right to ignore traffic lights and cross intersections willy-nilly regardless of the traffic. That’s utterly dangerous and unfair to motorists. But there is scope to introduce some flexibility to allow cyclists to proceed against a light phase as long as they do so with care and in a safe manner.

          Start small and allow cyclists to do left-hand turns or utilise a pedestrian phase. Get people used to the idea for a decade or so and see where it leads.

          • Colonial Weka 8.1.1.1.1

            “More importantly cyclists are inherently defensive drivers. When approaching an intersection they are usually moving at around 5-15 km/hr. They have excellent visibility and hearing in all directions and with experience can sense what other vehicles are going to do. It’s hard to convey this road-sense without actually having learnt it yourself.”

            That’s too broad a generalisation. I think some experienced cyclists have that, but I also see cyclists who are largely unaware of what is behind them until I am very close.

            Skateboarders are the most aware road users I see.

            The defensive driving one is important. I did a defensive driving course at high school, within a year of getting my licence. I still remember things drummed into me from then (eg being aware of people getting out of stationary cars and of being in a stationary car and opening a door into bike or other traffic). It’s gobsmacking to me that most people don’t drive defensively now. Do they even teach that now?

            • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s too broad a generalisation. I think some experienced cyclists have that, but I also see cyclists who are largely unaware of what is behind them until I am very close.

              Skateboarders are the most aware road users I see.

              There are some cyclists around who are unpredictable, never acknowledging traffic around them, possibly quite oblivious situationally. Mind you…a lot of drivers are like this too (but they are in a far less vulnerable situation).

              I have no problem with skateboarders etc sailing down roads in front of my vehicle or behind my vehicle…as you say they pay a hell of a lot of attention to what is going on around them.

    • NickS 8.2

      Red light + left hand turn + bike + enough space to safely insert = take it for me.

      And with the traffic light set ups in CHCH, at night you often have to go through red lights if there’s no detector in the bike lane. Although at a low enough speed you can trick the detectors in the car lane.

      But otherwise, main threats on the road where I am are drivers straying into the bike lane, opening doors and roadworks. Bealey Ave being the worst of the lot. Cyclist wise, it’s usually idiots riding 2 or more abreast (I have to resist the urge to kamikaze them on my bike…) or flying through yellow lights, along with the usual “free spirits” not wearing helmets (relative risk reduction – it isn’t quantum mechanics kids….).

      Then there’s plain old bad road design, where cycle lanes are either absent or badly placed, along with homicidal road workers who put signs right in the bike lane despite the presence of large footpaths…

      • Colonial Weka 8.2.1

        Most roads I’ve driven on don’t have cycle lanes.

        “Red light + left hand turn + bike + enough space to safely insert = take it for me.”

        What does that mean?

  9. Excellent post RedLogix.

    There is also a ‘knock-on’ effect for pedestrians. I walk about 15 minutes to the bus each day and same again coming home. I live close to the centre of Christchurch which means I walk along and cross busy streets.

    As a pedestrian I frequently (four to five times a week) have the experience of a cyclist, completely unheralded (and unheard), coming from behind and passing me on the footpath. I have been hit on the arm twice and numerous times have been within inches of a serious collision (the cyclists make the gamble that I won’t be unpredictably swaying half a foot left or right as I walk along at pace loaded with my work bag, bag with my good shoes in, etc.). Some of the cyclists are schoolchildren.

    But, I used to be a cyclist until the age of 30 when I got my first car (I no longer have one though my partner does). I fully understand why cyclists use the footpaths – as you said, it’s a survival thing. It’s safer for them to use the footpath on the roads that I walk along. That makes it more dangerous for me but I don’t begrudge them their decision one bit. After all, there are very few pedestrians on the footpaths I tread.

    When my family first arrived in New Zealand from the UK (via Australia) Mum and Dad were always saying that they couldn’t understand why New Zealanders would get in their car just to go down to the corner dairy.

    In New Zealand, there’s something about the ‘right to drive a car anywhere’ without considering others that seems engrained, presumably for socio-historical reasons. Urban areas have always been built with the car as a priority, like the US.

    • NickS 9.1

      I support the “clothesline” method for dealing with suicidal, high speed footpath riders :3

      Just flow with the impact and you’ll be right, while they might just learn something :evil:

      • Ad 9.1.1

        While lecturing, my wife used to row for Cambridge University and in her time doing ergs and pumping iron was built like a truck.

        While walking to lectures on those Cambridge footpaths were plenty of bikers and skateboarders whistling by, some far too close. So on occasion, watching closely how closely they were coming and at speed, she would brace and slightly lean into them.

        Boosh.

        Shoulder unharmed. Weeping fop on the grass mewing and kvetching on justice and rights.
        Another daily victory for footpath socialism.

        Little stories she lives off, a decade later.

  10. Kevin Welsh 10

    My two cents worth.

    I cycle for fitness, because I enjoy the New Zealand countryside and because I love to race my bike. I am courteous to other road users and go out of my way to be as unobtrusive as possible so as not to incur the wrath of motorists.

    But, in the main, New Zealand drivers are morons. It’s that simple.

    I bike to and from work regularly (about 25km each way) and not a trip goes by without seeing what I can only call ‘acts of God’ where someone in a car or truck has not gone home in a box. And for the most part they are oblivious to it.

    I look at the way motorists treat other people in cars to know that it is not a question of ‘bloody cyclists’ but really a case of ‘I don’t care who you are, just get the fuck out of my way’.

    Tailgating, speeding, u-turns, impatience, speeding up on passing lanes to prevent other traffic from overtaking, running red lights, dangerous overtaking. It’s an attitude thing and it needs to change.

    Now that the daylight hours are getting shorter I am thankful that I can ride between Havelock North and Napier on off-road trails where the only obstacle is the occasional grazing cow.

    I think that being a cyclist has made me a better driver. I don’t see other road users as impediments to my journey and by travelling slower I get to enjoy the fantastic countryside.

    • ghostrider888 10.1

      This is a great (local) comment Kevin; there are “paragraphs” of self-evident truths contained within, imo; Furthermore, having been a dedicated motor-cyclist and /or cyclist all my life, I too believe that these experiences made me a better driver, yet I have let my license lapse now; Years of observations of the “general” New Zealand driver, within and without the vehicles concerned, has me agreeing strongly with para. 2.

      I just ride the wind now (true Bikers always view cars as cages).

  11. Matthew 11

    I would like to play devils advocate… if i may….
    You talk about the amount of ‘new commuter cyclists’ on the roads. This is a fair call & is similar to the amount of people who hit their 40s & go out & buy a motorcycle. Both are over-represented in accident stats. My question on this area is this…. is there anyone out there running basic safety courses for cyclists in the inner-city/high traffic areas? The fact is, the reason both groups mentioned before are over-represented in accident stats is because neither group has a clue how to react in a pressure or difficult and dangerous situation. If NZ, through either the NZTA, AA, or various sector interest groups, is not providing basic safety training to new cyclists then we are condemning them from the word go.
    Secondly, as a truckie, i would like to bring up the ‘mob mentality’ prevalent in many cycling clubs, whereby 100 lycra-clad sunday morning velodrome wannabees his the streets. I have had situations where I would come up behind groups like this around Hastings. Often times they do not make any effort to make room for other road users, & i know im going to cop a serve for this, having to go down to a crawl & back up to speed in a large truck is a damn nuisance. While i have never felt the desire to drive straight through, I used to get highly pissed off. The thing i always wondered was what was going through the heads of the cyclists. Was it ‘im saving the environment so ill go slow’ or ‘i have just as much right to be here as you’ or even ‘so what if im breaking the law, im a cyclist’. If i came up behind a car doing 20kms & taking up the whole road, i would be entilted to *555 it & report him. But I cant do that with cyclists. I have to be patient, and understanding. Well I am, I havent hit a cyclist in a million kms, but damn it some of them are their own worst enemies.

    • Colonial Weka 11.1

      It’s the rights issue (I mentioned it above too). In time that will change as the road use culture changes, but there is clearly a problem developing in the cycling communities too. I’ve heard this is a problem in a number of large cities too.

      Rather than the macho “we’ve got as much right” attitude, I think the one being talked about at comment 6.x above is better: the most vulnerable are given the most privilege. But until authorities get behind that, some cyclists are going to be upping the ante.

    • Sosoo 11.2

      That’s not being a devil’s advocate.

      When I went for instruction for my motorcycle licence, the first thing the instructor told is is that we were idiots for wanting to ride motorcycles. He said that we could be the best riders in the world, but sooner or later we’d get cut off by some car that didnt see us. He was right.

      Bicycles aren’t much different. You take your life in your hands riding one in heavy traffic. Moan about cars and drivers all you like. It won’t change a thing. I stopped when I got swiped by a land rover. Wasn’t badly hurt, but that was enough. It’s a fool’s mode of transport.

      • BigRigRogue 11.2.1

        Hehe … you miserable little car driver tootling about in your flimsy, tiny tin can. Wait until my 40 ton of 18-wheeler B-rig comes through at 120k crushing your precious carcass into a bloody pulp.

        Moan about us truckies all you like. It won’t change a thing.

        • Sosoo 11.2.1.1

          Yep.

          Mostly true, except for the fact that there is some leverage (but not much) with truckies via their employers. Don’t have that with regular car drivers.

  12. Harriet 12

    But cars were invented so that we no longer had to push-bike!

    If you are going to change driving laws and road design to accomodate a return to push-biking, then there is of course no reason that people should not be allowed to communte via horse back!

    But let me guess – bike riders have ‘special rights’ !

    Horse riders – the new polygamists! :cool:

    • RedLogix 12.1

      Polyamorists please.

    • Colonial Viper 12.2

      If you are going to change driving laws and road design to accomodate a return to push-biking,

      And not just bicycles, but also to prioritise pedestrians.

      Are you sure you’re in the right country?

    • fender 12.3

      You should just stick with your chariot Harriet, you have displayed enough stupidity this weekend.

    • Colonial Weka 12.4

      Is there any reason that people shouldn’t commute on horseback?

      • Harriet 12.4.1

        Of course there isn’t – horses are as unpredictable as child cyclists. Some adult ones too!

        Horses would take just as much time – if not less – to travel up hills. Therefor being less ‘obstructive’ than cyclists.

        ‘Sulkys’ ‘buggys’ and the like are more in proportion to the size of cars, so would then be better equiped at the likes of corners and roundabouts to ‘gain’ command of the road space when turning. As they ‘corner’ at the same speed as a car they can then join the queue at these places, unlike cyclists ‘weaving’ in and about traffic at intersections and creating more ‘distractions’ for drivers than is warranted in the action of ‘commuting’! Horses can then use the cycle lane after turning.

        The speed that horses travel at in the cycle lane is inconsequental, as if speed to ‘commute’ was an issue, then ‘push-bikers’ would use a car or motorcycle!

        Push-biker ‘rights’ is like exercising the rights to burn coal – or whaleoil!

        • ghostrider888 12.4.1.1

          “If you gave more thought to your death and less to the years you still have left, you would certainly show more enthusiasm in putting right your faults.”

  13. tc 13

    Excellent post RL. I gave my bike away after using it for many years overseas as the drivers here made it far too risky. I’ve a mate who keeps at it but he was a cycle courier in London with many broken bones and injuries that make him far more alert to the dangers with the skill to avoid most trouble.

    I lasted 5 rides in akl, the motorists just made it too dangerous.

  14. ghostrider888 14

    Prayer was offered up following your earlier OM announcement Red; deepest empathy; appeared to be a beautiful family that you are part of.

    14:10 Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no-one can share its joy.

    “Your way must lead through fire and water before you are granted relief…So we must hold on in patience, and wait for God’s mercy, until the storms pass by and our mortal nature is swallowed up in life.”
    -A Kempis.

    -Stds of driving in NZ are just garbage (ask any professional truck-driver, or visitor from overseas).
    -“sharing” noticeably absent
    -“rights to use the road” do not equate to any “license” regime.
    -concerning the “deviousness” of cyclists in being able to “move through”; i would suggest envy by “cagers” is involved!

  15. karol 15

    Having spent a considerable amount of time over the years cycling, motorcycling, walking and driving in more than one country, I think the problems are as much with the inconsiderate person as the means of travel.

    Pedestrians also can show lack of consideration for cyclist. The North Western Cycleway in Auckland has been promoted as a cycleway. The first time I cycled on it, I was surprised to discover pedestrians could use it too. In spite of the frequent signs telling people to keep left, I came across several pedestrians walking in the middle of the cycleway, making cycling past them a little tricky, as well as a few groups of people sauntering along and totally blocking the cycleway. They always seemed oblivious as I cycled slowly up behind them. When I then resorted to saying “excuse me, please”, they would turn and glare at me as if I had no right to be there.

    Since then, I’ve tended to keep left when walking on footpaths. Easier for cyclists, pram pushers and fast walkers or runners to get past. I really haven’t had any problem with footpath cyclists when I’ve been walking.

    Groups of young boys skateboarding together on the footpath make me nervous. They seem to be all over the place. One losing control could take my legs out from under me.

    • prism 15.1

      karol
      I agree about the value of pedestrians etc keeping left. Then there’s a direct line that you negotiate. And many places have limits on where skateboards can be used. But careless youth often ignores. No concept of thinking of other’s or indeed their own, safety. It’s their right they consider to get out and do it. Too prevalent in thinking these days about many things.

    • Sosoo 15.2

      Yep. That’s New Zealand. We are a feral people. If there a sign saying dogs must be kept on leash, you’ll no doubt see an unleashed dog peeing on it. If there’s a sign that says keep off the grass, there will be some family picnicking on it, etc. Such behavior transcends social class. About half the population seems to think that rules are for suckers. You can’t really live here unless you can put up with a lot of anti social behavior. I never really noticed it until I’d lived in a non Anglo country. We’re really a pack of bastards.

    • Matthew 15.3

      Doesnt it suck when you come up behind a group of people that are supposed to be ‘sharing’ the space you are on, are going vastly slower than you, & then get all righteously indignant when you want them to move over so you can get past….. doesnt it drive you up the wall?

  16. prism 16

    Courtesy on the road. Courtesy expected and instructed to drivers so that we pay courtesy to everybody including other drivers, and understanding and tolerance of cyclists. That would require a step change for drivers. We all want to be wherever 30 seconds faster. That can be all the time we save when we are rushing. We are not nice friendly people at all, we have a lot of aggression that is pushed out of sight most of the time.

  17. xtasy 17

    RedLogix:

    It is sad and depressing to read this story.

    Quote from above:
    “I spoke with several of Jane’s companions, those who were there at her brutal end. One of them told me how he spent six weeks in France on roads just as narrow and busy as here … and felt safe the entire time. The difference was simply that in much of Europe drivers and cyclists are understand each other. Drivers stop, and give cyclists space, and share the road with respect.”

    Yes, cycling in New Zealand is high risk, I have experienced it many times, having had many close shaves with buses, trucks and station wagons. I was hit by a bus many years ago, and “luckily” only needed a few stitches to the skin on my head. But the shock and that inconvenience were enough for me to quit cycling in Auckland at least.

    A true culture change on the road, and lifestyle changes in cities and towns is needed, to make for safer conditions to cycle. I am afraid it will take a long time to achieve that.

  18. Saccharomyces 18

    I see in the herald another one goone today….http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10873512

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    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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