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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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    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
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