More cycleway spin

Written By: - Date published: 10:35 am, July 27th, 2009 - 19 comments
Categories: cycleway, national/act government, spin - Tags:

[At the outset of this, let me restate, once again, I’m all for cycleways. Indeed, I wish the Key government hadn’t cut millions from urban cycling in the Budget. What I object to is the overhyping of a few possible cycleways as if they constitute some kind of economic recovery plan]

Key has identified seven regional cycleways that may be built, subject to technical investigations and feasibility studies.

No word from him on the total cost. No word on likely economic benefits. No word on projected start dates, length of construction period, or finish dates. No word on what kind of cycleways we’ll be getting either.

Key estimates that 280 jobs may be created but doesn’t say whether these are full time or part time, if these are low skill/low wage jobs or not, or how long they will last. The number on the dole is increasing by 335 a day.

You know, I was thinking the other day about this whole cycleway thing. How Key and Weldon had got together like excited school-boys, pulled out a figure of $50 million from who knows where (Key’s office has refused to release the source, so I think he just made it up), and then began dreaming of a ‘Tour de New Zealand’ to be raced along this cycleway.

They had even come up with a grand name the Sir Edmund Hillary Explorator, intended to co-opt the memory of Sir Ed to give legitimacy to their project. They had gone that far on the spin but had put no effort into working out if a cycleway the length of the country was actually viable, how much it would cost, and whether you could actually race a cycle tour on a cycleway (answer: no). This cart before the horse approach where the PR comes first and the reality is dragged along behind has, of course, typified the Key government.

Even its reduced form, the ‘Great Rides’, is still more spin than substance. Nothing has been decided, no costings done, we don’t even know if the routes Key has announced are feasible and yet from the tone of the announcements you would think the things were built already.

While the PM occupies himself with this PR stunt that may create some jobs sometime in the future, he’s failing to address issues of substance.

19 comments on “More cycleway spin”

  1. BLiP 1

    I see that The New Zealand Fox News Herald reserved a special front page slot for that story.

    Mind you, there needed to be a piece of puffery to balance out the other “Media Manipulation 101” stories – first the US State Department-sponsored threat to abandon New Zealand unless we send our youth to foreign killing fields, and then the story that marks the commencement of the softening up process for increasing the age of entitlement for pensioners.

    Spin, spin and more spin.

    • Careful BLiP – it was the Herald that last week ran Phil Goff’s story on the Burgess bloke without doing any fact-checking – then had to run the retractions – “spin, spin and more spin” works both ways 😉

      • BLiP 1.1.1

        Yes, yes, yes – it was a classic “Goff Goof”. Enjoy.

        As far as The Herald is concerned, however, the more likely scenario is that it knew the whole story from the get-go but decided to procede with the original bait so as to follow up for the rest of the week with mock outrage. I mean, surely, the largest paper in the country wouldn’t plaster its front page with a pro-Labour story that hadn’t been properly investigated . . . would it?

  2. Who has ever suggested that these would be racing routes?

  3. So Bored 4


    Lay off the sacred bovine!!! To quote Darth Vader “I find your lack of faith disturbing”. Naming it after a social activist shows true genius for political irony, and his name will ensure that the Tour De Nouvelle Zelande will definitely not be a level playing field, the richest and fatest should always win.

  4. If the green party suggested a cycle way, you guys would all be clapping like trained circus seals.


    • BLiP 5.1

      The Greens are all over this – you’re the seal only you’re not clapping, just using your keyboard for wanking yourself.

  5. roger nome 6


    Get a political analysis or piss off.

    • Doug 6.1

      Kevin Hague
      19 May 2009
      Subjects: Art, Sport and Culture, Parliament and Politics, Tourism

      The Green Party has extended its agreement with National to include the New Zealand Cycleway Project.

      “The cycleway can benefit the economy and the environment at the same time, and we strongly support this type of Green New Deal spending,’ said Green Party Tourism spokesperson Kevin Hague. “We look forward to working with the Prime Minister to see a network of cycleways spread across the country.’

      • Chris G 6.1.1

        Brett Dale = pwned

        [lprent: claiming victory is a fast way to get a ban. Read the policy. It falls under flamewar igniting. You are just lucky that you have a good track record in previous comments. ]

  6. The issue is not whether the cycleway is a good idea, the issue is whether or not it is a solution (or even part of a solution) to the current rate of job losses. This was the flagship policy to emerge from John Key’s Jobs Summit and yet it doesn’t even create enough jobs to compensate for a single day’s dole queue sign-ups!

  7. Ye gads I shall have to have a cup of tea and a lie down because I agree with Chris Hipkins about something.

    I too am keen for more cycle routes, but fail to see how this is addressing the unemployment problem we face. Particularly as none of the 9 favoured projects are within coo-e of our greatest concentration of jobless, i.e. Auckland.

  8. Doug 9

    Please give some examples of schemes Labour would come up with, without sending the Pixies out to print Money in the back yard.

  9. Chris G 10

    As usual this is another publicity stunt by the nats trying to fool everyone in to thinking that their doing something worthy in government.

  10. bobo 11

    Will National just rebrand existing off-road cycleways, isn’t it all part of the fun having an unsealed off-road shingle paths for mountain biking as opposed to a sanitized sterile tarmacked cyclebahn ?

    Maybe with National cutting the maintenance roading budget our existing motorways will become off road shingle paths?

  11. psychotherapist 12

    The cycleway concept is akin to the great walks concept. If you can’t understand that you are a bit dim. But I understand you guys never let the facts get in the way of good idealogical smear. On that note, good luck with your bitter and twisted little world (this echo chamber of hate makes kiwiblog seem enlightened and liberal, ponder that), you’ll need it!

    • Tigger 12.1

      So the Left aren’t allowed opinions but the Right are? Thanks psycho, we don’t need your permission to spout off.

    • BLiP 12.2

      Psycho The Rapist

      So its not about jobs then – even though it came out of the Jobs Summit, even though 4,000 jobs were promised, even though the proponents are all spouting the possible job-creation benefits? Great Walks – Great Wanks more like it.

      Captcha: INCONSISTENT

      Ponder that.

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