Logging truck roll overs meeting: Otaika Valley Hall tomorrow night!

Written By: - Date published: 12:06 pm, May 9th, 2016 - 19 comments
Categories: employment, exports, peak oil, public transport, sustainability, Unions - Tags: , , , ,

A steady stream of Northland logging truck accidents and roll overs in recent months have put locals on edge and made it to the national news media.

It has been reported that excessive speed, some of the lowest pay rates in the country and trucking companies accepting dangerously inexperienced staff have been core parts of the problem.

Of course, another part of the problem is that the National Government has taken it upon itself to continue to undermine the use of highly efficient and far safer rail transport, and instead increase the subsidies for heavy truck transport on our roads. LogtruckRatloncartoon

Northland’s Grow Rail lobby group has said that at this rate, tragedy is just around the corner:

Spokesman for Northland’s Grow Rail lobby group Albie Barr said local residents felt the situation was out of control and there had been talk of barricading Otaika Road. “They’re talking pretty drastic measures, and I don’t blame them,” he said. “The last truck that rolled on that bend, it happened at 2.30 in the afternoon, and there’s a school bus packed with kids that rocks along that road after three. But we’ve advised them not to take the law into their own hands. “Mr Barr said it was a matter of good luck, not good management, that no one had yet been injured or killed as a result of the rollovers.

He said log truck drivers were in some cases immigrants, inexperienced, or both, and under pressure. “They are poorly paid – they only get $16 an hour.”So the pressure is on them to do long hours, and to get in as many trips as they can from the forest to the port in a day.”

Growth in the use of heavy trucks to transport goods instead of rail has led to trucking companies importing labour from Fiji and the Philippines. A NZ trucking business owner said that these workers sometimes proved more reliable and more consistent than the Kiwi drivers he could find.

logtruckrolloverkidsflyer

Now Northland locals are organising to bring pressure on trucking companies and the authorities to sort this mess out, before more people face injury and

death under a logging truck.

The obvious answer is to clamp down on these road destroying logging loads  and to Grow Rail.

 

19 comments on “Logging truck roll overs meeting: Otaika Valley Hall tomorrow night!”

  1. Richardrawshark 1

    A nation divided is a nation conquered, don’t know who said that but poignant it is.

    While your all bitching about these miniscule trivialities in life, your missing the bigger fight altogether.

    United we stand, divided we fall is another poignant pearl of wisdom.

    Picking on logging truck drivers who are core voters isn’t really a win scenario whatever the outcome. Holding town meetings about it, as if they are the enemy is not a way to work with our own voters to solve the problem.

    IMHO

    • adam 1.1

      I agree about not picking on the truck drivers, but if the debate becomes intersectional, and the truck drivers become part of the solution. It could and would be a very welcome series of events.

      The needs of the truck drivers need to be aired as well. I know a few who won’t do that work because of the bad employment conditions. It’s the conditions, not the pay, the pay is bad all round.

      Speaking of bad pay, did you miss the bit Colonial Viper put in about the Truck Drivers piss poor wages?

    • Colonial Viper 1.2

      While your all bitching about these miniscule trivialities in life, your missing the bigger fight altogether.

      Did you read the bit where the recent logging accident may have taken out many local children in a school bus area?

      I guess that these are just the concerns of one local community but I’m pretty sure their attitude to your attitude would be “this is why we don’t bother voting for you. Go back to Wellington. We can sort this out ourselves.”

    • ge 1.3

      the drivers u talk about are not locals, do not pay tax and take their savings back to their own country, but never mind, ACC will pay for everything, thats the social contract, isn’t it?

  2. Dave Dudley 2

    I don’t think this article is attacking logging drivers at all, just read between the lines of what the Truck Company guys are saying, dumping on the poorly paid driver who they set up to fail. I have been driving big rigs for over 35 years (as an owner operator the last 10 years) and it is frightening what is going on in our logging industry.

    Thank Christ I am retiring before the weight limits come into effect, you think things are bad now, just wait till this stupid move happens. These ‘so called’ Industry experts like Ken Shirley are pushing for Heavy Licence changes and are trying to say this is a safe move, yeah pull the other one.

    The problem we have is inexperienced young fella’s behind the wheel, often driving old shit trucks, putting the acid on them to complete too many runs between the forest and the port. Driving 13 hour days. And that road up there where 2 have recently flipped is no place for some green horn to cut his teeth, miss a gear selection and your in big trouble and God help you if your anywhere near them on the road.

    • JanM 2.1

      Well said, Dave. I live around there, and it can get pretty terrifying. It’s not a small issue – it’s symptomatic of the disrespectful way we are all being treated. It isn’t, as you say, attacking the drivers – it’s the poor practices of the big companies in using insufficiently skilled drivers and breaking the rules around hours on the road

  3. save nz 3

    Good post – rail needs to make a come back and hopefully the opposition support more rail.

    Was talking to a guy who drove trucks for a living. He said he was only being offered $15p/h which he could not live on even though he was a very experienced driver. So maybe the transport goods employers are actually not prepared to pay and instead rely on subsidies like taxpayers paying for their roads and lazy immigration to pay close to minimum wages. Would be interesting to see the average and medium wages of truckers. If it is below the living wage – even though it is considered a ‘skilled job’ by their employeer the answer it there why they do not attract staff. If you can’t live on the wage then you will leave the industry.

    However it then becomes a problem for NZ tax payers who have to subsidise the minimum wages and pay for all the social security. The problem needs to be looked at in a holistic way and with the true costs to NZ taxpayers as well as the social costs of putting locals out of work and having them compete in an unfair system and the pollution that is increased because of all the subsidies. Rail can take a lot more logs at a time than polluting trucks.

    “Growth in the use of heavy trucks to transport goods instead of rail has led to trucking companies importing labour from Fiji and the Philippines. A NZ trucking business owner said that these workers sometimes proved more reliable and more consistent than the Kiwi drivers he could find.”

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      To look after a heavy vehicle and 50 tonne of load speeding around our countryside, $21 to $25/hr plus penalty rates should be absolute minimum wage.

      $16/hr is an insult to Kiwi drivers.

  4. Skinny 4

    Well well look what I found. Natcorps Craig Foss catering for and dog whistle lobbying the party fateful for the New Zealand National Corporations largest political donator the Road Transport Forum, really hope Labour doesn’t take their blood money donations anymore.

    Old Dudley care to tell us a bit more about Ken Shirley since I detect a bit of a grudge. Come on you must know the inside story?

    With the spike in rollovers the oxymoron is the below quote, we must kill this death trap change being proposed by Shirley and his ilk!

    Mr Foss says “proposed changes to heavy vehicle licences aim to improve the availability of properly trained heavy vehicle drivers without compromising safety.”

    “This proposal is about balancing the heavy vehicle industry’s need for more drivers with government and road users’ high safety expectations. I urge anyone in the heavy vehicle sector to consider the options and make a submission,” Mr Foss says.

    https://www.national.org.nz/news/news/media-releases/detail/2016/04/19/Licensing-review-opens-for-consultation

    The link to the slyly written submission document;

    http://www.transport.govt.nz/land/driverlicensingreview/dlr-online-submission/

  5. Jack Craw 5

    The article, the concerns of the local residents, and the problem causing the whole issue, are not about criticising the drivers. In fact Northland drivers are lowest paid in NZ and should get collectivised to improve their lot. Yes some of the drivers are poorly trained and these will almost all be foreign workers, who are willing to work for the 3rd world wages on offer. If driver wages were any good then more NZers would be taking the jobs. Its typical of some employers to praise the immigrant drivers, because they work for less and can be bullied, so don’t be fooled by these comments. The Grow Northland Rail campaign supports drivers in their efforts to get decent wages and shorter hours, and end employer coercion to drive faster. I have had a heavy truck and trailer licence for 40 years and drove for a living many years ago, understand driver issues and tautoko their concerns.

    The issue is simply that there are far too many heavy trucks on our roads, and Otaika Valley is just one, possibly the worst, example. The science states that a 53 tonne truck does more damage than 10,000 – 160,000 cars (depending on road type) which essentially means 100% of damage on sealed roads. Yet trucking companies pay 46% or less of NZ roading costs. Every car owner is subsidising truck owners, and have to tolerate congestion, dust, serious safety issues and road works caused by trucks. If road user charges were fair then rail would be instantly competitive but oddly the government doesn’t care. The Road Transport Forum (ie trucking bosses) funds the National Party by $2M+ pa. This is why the Government insists that rail must be self-supporting, whilst hiding the fact that trucking isn’t self-supporting.

    We can expect some righteous anger from Otaika Valley and Portland residents at the public meeting. Some of them are talking about blockades during weekends and school travelling hours, imposing speed and truck number limits and even stronger action. There are secret cameras on the road already.

    And lets not forget what will happen when logging increases as scheduled over the next 2-5 years, and when/if the Otiria line closes later this year.

    There is a simple solution – force the Government to fund Kiwirail to reopen the Dargaville line; stop KR from mothballing the Otiria-Kauri line, complete the link to Marsden Point and upgrade the line to Auckland. Other regions have had their rail lines upgraded, Northland has had nothing but closures. Recent commnity concerns and political noises indicate that our regional gullibility has ended.

    Jack Craw
    Co-Director
    Grow Northland Rail

    • Barfly 5.1

      +100

    • Exactly. A simply wonderful example of Conservative ideology in action: profit before people.

      Well, the 99% of people. Good luck Mr. Craw.

    • Dave Dudley 5.3

      OK Johnny Cash here is a few things I know of. At the recent Northland National Party AGM, a pro rail group within the executive committee tried getting support for spending money on the Railway in Northland.

      More than anything they are getting it the neck from their supports and know if they are to have any chance of beating old Winnie they don’t need issues that are going to lose votes.

      The big problem they had was a councillor called Rose and the Far North district Mayor, and former MP John Carter who had the numbers to reject this move. There is a connection between the very powerful Road Transport Forum and these cronies.

      And as they say when it rains it pours in Northland. I heard on the RT a couple of hours back a young truckie forgot to flick his tailgate button, and also must not have bothered hooking over the gate safety chains. 101 stuff only a newbie does.

      And yes you guess it the same section of road the 2 trucks lost control along Otaika Valley road. Bring that up at your meeting Jonnny.

  6. Jenny Kirk 6

    This is a real issue up here in the north. No-one feels safe whenever they encounter the huge logging trucks – as Jack Craw says its not a dig at the truck drivers, its a demand that these huge trucks be taken off the narrow, winding roads that are the norm for the north.
    Logs really need to go by rail as much as possible, but instead the Govt is closing down the rail links in Northland. The Dargaville line closed recently, the Otiria line is due to close. A sheer waste of a real asset that could be used for transporting the logs instead .

  7. greywarshark 7

    The obvious immediate answer is for government to run some trucking workshops to teach drivers and present them to the trucking companies on a velvet cushion. Look at these fabulous sparkling NZ drivers which you say are like hard-to-find diamonds. Employ them because there will be no visas available for foreign drivers.

    Train hundreds of drivers over six months, and those who don’t get a job, give them further training in something else they could do which suits their abilities and mindset and will lead to decent work. Bloody government, do some structural planning and capacity building that you receive taxpayers money for. Get off your asses, and get some NZ drivers on their asses driving these trucks – doing a good job and helping to fund their families and communities with their pay.

    • Dave Dudley 7.1

      Took a bit of digging but I found this for you Johnny Cash. This is the case that excludes the Railway those Nat boys up North are talking about. Rattle snake talk for tapping the taxpayer and a spot of electioneering in the process. He’s good alright is Crash Carter.

      The Mayor of the Far North District Council John Carter says “they are developing a case to take to Government to address the issue of truck crashes in the region.”

      As for the slippery Stan Semenjackoff. The “or whatever” probably includes putting young fella’s through the cheap ‘crash course’ run by the Sallies and then putting them behind the wheel and learning the way Stan did back in the 1940’s.

      Logging truck operator and former mayor of Whangarei Stan Semenoff is blaming not driving to road conditions and speed.

      “We’ve got a handful of drivers that spoil it for the rest of the drivers. There is the odd handful that are inexperienced or whatever. You’ll find most accidents happen because [they’re] not driving to the conditions of the road.”

      http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/national/northland-community-concerned-after-five-truck-rollovers-this-month/

  8. Clearly the REAL ISSUE here is the Govts strangling of Kiwirail while going overboard in agreeing to the wants of the trucking lobby.

    The trucking lobby is extremely well funded, makes donations to the National Party and Labour in the past.

    Ass. Minister of Transport, Craig Foss is absolutely promoting trucks over rail anyway he can. Even in his region, Hawkes Bay, he has continued to promote and support the closure of the Napier-Gisborne line. Because the line needed $5 million to reopen after some washouts.

    Severe underfunding of our rail network and truck safety issues are growing all over NZ and will come to a head at the next General Election.

    Unfortunately, while National takes donations from the trucking lobby, trucks will crash, people will die. Rail is there, people want it. People will vote over this issue.

    The Govt needs to commit to $1.5 billion annually to rail each year to bring it back upto speed we expect. Take that from the $4 billion being wasted on RoNS. The holiday highway Puhoi to Omaha baches can be chopped immediately.

  9. Reffery 9

    So I’ve seen a few logs on the roadside in the Waikato and Matamata/Piako Districts… It is far from appropriate that near miss incidents on the roads with these are not figuring in any kind of near miss/data collection.

    Thanks to the Transport Accident Investigation Commission http://www.taic.org.nz/ almost any near miss event throws into gear a thorough process that reports and declares findings and in part makes safety recommendations as outcomes from their work.

    Seems Rail, Aviation, and Marine are hog tied (yet held accountable which is good) when considering the lack of bureaucratic resolve from our esteemed leaders legislating surity for both New Zealanders and Visitors make the drive home safely.

    By the way, does Local Government New Zealand communicate in any way towards creating positive outcomes?

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    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • US imperialism, Huawei, racism and imperial anxiety
    by Tony Norfield US political opinion against China has two solid bases. The first is the longstanding racist and protectionist sentiment in the white working class; the second is a more recent anxiety about China’s economic prowess in America’s ruling elite. This article notes some historical aspects of anti-Chinese racism ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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