National’s brave new world of MOAR ROADS!

Written By: - Date published: 11:35 am, December 27th, 2018 - 132 comments
Categories: climate change, cycleway, Economy, Environment, global warming, national, public transport, same old national, Simon Bridges, sustainability, transport - Tags:

National frustrates me.  For a collective of supposedly bright people who have been born to rule us they come up with some really dumb campaign ideas.

Like their recent MOAR ROADS campaign.  In a direct steal of the concept behind the film Three Billboards outside Epping, Missouri they have shamelessly plagiarised the idea behind the movie to complain that Labour has cancelled four different road projects.  There are a couple of not too small problems with the claim, Labour has not cancelled the projects and they were never actual projects, just a gleam in Simon Bridges’ eye once all the other horrendous roads of national significance had been built and the ongoing maintenance cost sorted out.

There was this announcement just before the last election where National promised ten new roads of National TM significance at a cost of just over $10 billion dollars.  But there was no money for them.  The National Land Transport Fund was already struggling with the maintenance bills of the existing dinosaur projects.

And some of them had shockingly bad business cases.  That bad that Simon Bridges’ office asked for one of them, the one for the road between Te Hana and Whangarei, to be removed from NZTA’s website.  And then denied having done so.

Greater Auckland has a far better proposal, that we invest this huge amount of money into public transport.  Of National’s proposal it said this:

As we pointed out at the time, these appear to be a great lesson in diminishing returns, with some of the state highways due to be supersized having fewer than 10,000 vehicles per day use them. That’s far less than even many local roads in Auckland. As such, this represents a massive opportunity cost. It is money that could otherwise go towards creating a world-class public transport system in our major cities or making significant improvements to road safety across a much greater part of the country.

At the same time, over the years and during this election cycle the government have been talked extensively about the need for robust business cases and their economic prowess. However, the low volumes of many of these roads suggests that quite a few are likely to have poor business cases.

More roads mean more driving and more greenhouse gas production.  If we are going to become carbon neutral we need to pour money into cycleways and walkways and public transport.  Simon Bridges talking about how National recognises the importance to New Zealanders  of addressing climate change, and playing our part in the global response is just a bunch of hollow words.

And it is cheap politics not to mention a lie.  There was no concrete plan to build these roads.  They relied on space in the National Land Transport Fund that just did not exist.  Criticising the Government for not doing something there was never a plan to achieve is a downright lie.

 

132 comments on “National’s brave new world of MOAR ROADS!”

  1. Sacha 1

    Sheer duncery, their notion that the only way to make a road safe is to increase it to 4 lanes.

    • Janet 1.1

      I much prefer the windy, windy two lane roads – as long as they are not over crowded. Then I stay awake and DRIVE. I like driving,

      • James 1.1.1

        Agree when drivingnfor enjoyment. But for the daily commute you can’t beat a free flowing motorway.

        • Sacha 1.1.1.1

          A free-flowing separated public transit system – busway or rail – includes being able to relax while someone else drives you to and from work.

          A free-flowing motorway at peak time would have to be massively overbuilt for the rest of the day, or priced beyond the reach of most people.

  2. bwaghorn 2

    It must be bordering on electioneering?
    They have these new one and others up all over the place all the time . Isnt there rules around how long before an election they can start.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      No. There are rules saying when its electioneering and when it isn’t. This is so that the financial limits can be applied. The electioneering period starts some six weeks before the election.

      So, this isn’t electioneering even though it is.

      You’ll note that the last Labour led government extended the amount of time that was considered electioneering and that National subsequently repealed that.

      In reality, electioneering happens all the time and we need to make the laws reflect that and limit it.

    • Grant Insley 2.2

      Electioneering it may not be BUT the location and size, so close to a ‘national’ highway could be deemed to be distracting and thus dangerous. NZTA have the say on the signs. Shades of Joyce being pretty legal?

      • Graeme 2.2.1

        Not to mention local council signage rules. Outside the election period the exemptions to signage rules don’t apply.

        There’s also any copyright or trademark that may apply to the Labour Party’s signage style and device.

  3. Sabine 3

    maybe with new blood will come new ideas, as for now the No Mates Party is stuck in the muck of no ideas, no mates, no love.

  4. Kat 4

    These signs are nothing more than political party electioneering hoardings and should be removed. In fact these cluster of signs could be classified as a distraction for drivers and a potential cause for road accidents. The people who put these signs up along with the people that authorised them are a public menace.

    However on the flipside these signs stand to represent a defunct National party with a born to rule attitude that allows them to visually pollute the road side with smart arse political garbage. People will notice and vote accordingly.

    • peterlepaysan 4.1

      Funnily, NZTA already have distracting roadsigns urging us not be distracted.

      Clive Matthew Wilson would be having a chortle over this.

    • the other pat 4.2

      agree with what you say but…” In fact these cluster of signs could be classified as a distraction for drivers and a potential cause for road accidents”…..everywhere one looks are huge signage for this and that and govt and local bodies want the money and give permission…i don’t think a distraciont would gain traction!

    • Patricia Boston 4.3

      The trouble is this: National party voters are so dumb, that they will notice the signs, believe them and still vote National.

  5. Andre 5

    Those signs are in Northland, just south of Whangarei, no?

    I’ve driven back and forth between Kaikohe and Auckland a lot lately. Yes, roading improvements between Warkworth and Whangarei would be a really good thing. There are a lot of problem areas.

    But what really bunches my undies is that a gold-plated 4 lane motorway is just not needed, and I really struggle to see one being needed in the foreseeable future. So instead of a brand-new motorway from Puhoi to Warkworth, we could have tackled the specific problem areas (a bypass around Warkworth, double-up on the Pohuehue viaduct, tunnels or cuttings at Schedewy’s hill) and got almost all the benefits of the Holiday Highway for a third the cost. That would have freed up resources to tackle problem areas further north much earlier, such as Dome Valley, Wellsford bypass, Brynderwyns.

    Then there’s the flow-on stupid projects from the stupid RONS – such as the Matakana link road for the Omaha holidayers which is the first road funded by Auckland’s regional fuel tax. That one really makes my blood boil, since the ‘problem’ it ‘solves’ will largely go away as soon as the Holiday Highway is completed to Warkworth.

    So whenever I see those signs, my only reaction is a burst of anger at how fkn badly Nat incompetents have mismanaged transport resource allocation.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      So whenever I see those signs, my only reaction is a burst of anger at how fkn badly Nat incompetents have mismanaged transport resource allocation.

      National sees their funders getting profits from government spending and thus assume that it’s all good.

      If we still had a MoW and there was no profit involved in building these things they probably wouldn’t do it.

    • Sacha 5.2

      The expensive extra Matakana road links directly from where the holiday highway rejoins the current SH1. It just confirms the purpose of the $800m project all along has been to whisk the wealthy to their Omaha baches and the workers to more lucratively-subdivided sprawl.

      • Andre 5.2.1

        Yeah. I used to refrain from calling it the Holiday Highway to give it the benefit of doubt, up until the link road was announced.

        Ironically, if we allow for the extra time needed for the extra distance needed to take the Holiday Highway to Omaha and compare that to what the travel time would have been with just the three upgrades, there will be bugger-all actual time savings. Especially if they put a new toll booth at the northern end and incorporate point-to-point speed measurement and enforcement.

        • KJT 5.2.1.1

          Could just charge trucking firms the full costs of their road use, and upgrade rail.

          Half the reading modifications wouldn’t be needed

          • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.1

            Could just charge trucking firms the full costs of their road use, and upgrade rail.

            Yep, one of the times where I agree with user-pays.

    • Dennis Frank 5.3

      Think I saw that sign while driving from Tauranga to Thames the other day. It reminded me that the long-due upgrade of that road had been deferred. Or, at least, I think I heard that on the news a while back.

      Even if fake news, such signs placed on problem roads will be effective propaganda. Most voters ignore reality, so manipulating their perceptions is good politics.

  6. The Kapiti 4 lane Expressway has been in operation for over a year now so I’d like to see a cost/benefit/time saved analysis done on it now to test whether it’s been a success. I believe it would blow the costs sky high, which should include the amount spent on repairing it so far. It seems to have created a worse holiday bottleneck to the north and a worse workday bottleneck to the south.

    • dV 6.1

      Not only THEY have had to reseal i already!!!!

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      I’d like to see that as well.

      In fact, such reviews should be part of building any infrastructure. A BCR to determine if its possibly worth it and after that yearly reviews to check the actual figures against the expected figures of the BCR.

  7. greywarshark 7

    I hear Ashburton thinks it is missing out on some Roads of National’s Kind (RONK). Ashburton starts with an A so is near the top of any list, and important people and things have come from Ashburton, so it gets elevated to the top.

    It’s totally unreasonable that ASHBURTON should not be up there getting their pick of the lollies Before They Are Thrown For The Scramble.

  8. Whacked 8

    How politicised are the NZTA? Was this Fergus ‘who’ Gammie’s last act? What other NZTA regulatory deficiencies are going to be found with the current review underway?

  9. mickysavage 9

    Sorry everyone the second sentence of the second paragraph is not very coherent …

    Holiday brain is clearly in action …

  10. Cricklewood 10

    Reality is the car is going to be the primary method of transport for a long time. It seems ridiculous that major cities are serviced by only 2 lanes.
    I dont like that desicions and opinions on roads have become ideological. Forgetting cost for a minute, 4 lanes and a barrier will significantly lower the road toll frustration leads to rash decisions and deaths thay could be avoided.

    • mickysavage 10.1

      Here is a radical idea. Imagine if each day you could travel no more than 10 km. What would you do?

      • DJ Ward 10.1.1

        It would be a 4 day trip to get my groceries. My kids ice creams would melt.
        I would have to send Christmas cards to the UK about 7 years in advance.
        Donald is stuck mid flight.
        Ring my boss, I’m going to be late in.
        Marathon runners have halted mid run to let everyone catch up. Expected sprint finish.
        Cops gave up the chase.
        Damn that shops 5.1km away, I can’t get there today and get home.
        How fars the school. Damn. Is boarding schools for 5 year olds healthy.
        What! Nanas only got 2 weeks to live. But she’s 250km away, I’ll never make it to say my good buys.
        General Putin has announced a slow creep blitzkrieg doctrine to combat NATO.
        Scientists have announced the limiting travel to 10km a day is irresponsible. Planet Earth intends to ignor the new travel restrictions. Conspiracy theorist cliam the going backward to the direction of earths spin at the same rate results in motionless movement at about mach 1.

        • mickysavage 10.1.1.1

          Time to rethink then. Your kids’ futures are more important than their ice creams.

          • Infused 10.1.1.1.1

            Why are you so thick? Cars are not going anywhere. Electric plus AI and ride sharing are the future.

            Ride sharing specifically is a far better form of public transport.

            Guess what Micky. Councils are in secret talks with uber to implement Express pool here. Govt dosent wsnt it cause it will kill public transport

            • millsy 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Personally I think we would have electric tuk tuks in our cities, like Asia. At least it would provide employment to people.

            • mauī 10.1.1.1.1.2

              Why are you convinced cars are not going anywhere? Just a few years ago it would scarcely be believable that 91 would be over $2 a litre.

            • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1.1.3

              Ride sharing specifically is a far better form of public transport.

              No its not. It’s more expensive and less efficient than buses.

              Guess what Micky. Councils are in secret talks with uber to implement Express pool here.

              Then we need to get rid of the present councils because we don’t want Uber here.

              • JohnSelway

                “…we don’t want Uber here.”

                [citation needed]

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Continuously breaking the law seems a good reason not to have them here.

                  But, yeah, bit too much of an exaggeration.

                  • JohnSelway

                    Given that law has been since changed (drivers now need a P endorsement) you basically just made it up from the whole cloth.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Ah, no – Uber has been breaking the law around the world as it goes into a country. As they’ve been doing so so consistently it must be assumed to be a major policy of the company.

                      Then company then turns around and blames the regulations for keeping jobs from people. Regulations that are there to protect the people of the country.

                    • JohnSelway

                      Well you said “we don’t want Uber here” without any source for that information then linked to an article well out of date in reference to Uber breaking laws we didn’t have at that time.

                      So… you’re just bullshitting

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      linked to an article well out of date in reference to Uber breaking laws we didn’t have at that time.

                      People don’t get prosecuted for laws that we don’t have.

                      Really, you’re making no sense.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      And then there’s the fact that the majority of NZers have always been against foreign owned businesses in NZ.

                      Remember the Auckland airport fiasco and the last Labour led government quickly legislating that strategic assets could not be sold offshore?
                      Or how about homes? The CoL quickly banned selling foreign ownership and then caved in to the rich both here and offshore and weakened it.
                      Remember John Key telling us that we’re likely to be tenants in own land? That resonated around the country. Of course he then made sure that we would become tenants in our own land but he did have a point – he just didn’t care about it the way that NZers do.

                      We have never wanted foreign ownership. That’s all down to the politicians following delusional ideology and ignoring the will of the people.

                    • JohnSelway

                      “We don’t want Uber here”

                      [citation still needed]

                      Uber drivers now have to have P endorsements meaning they operate under the same rules as taxis. The article you linked to was before that law change. Find a new article because you’re not comparing the same things.

                      Also… [citation still needed]
                      (You didn’t seem to catch it the first time so though I’d remind you again)

                • James

                  You might thing you speak for all. But you don’t.

                  I love Uber and recommend it to all.

              • Infused

                Ubers here numb nuts.

                Ride sharing is far better. Throughout the us and EU its huge. I used it everywhere I went recently.

                An Express share took me 15km for $3 in 20 mins. From my location. Public transport cant beat that

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Ride sharing is far better.

                  No it’s not.

                  Or, to be more precise, we should start saying when each has its strengths and weaknesses.

                  PT will win hands down going to and from work. Cheaper, faster and avoids congestion.

                  During the day when there’s a few people about ride sharing here and there will probably be better. It’s more flexible.

                  At night when there’s few people about then it’s PT again simply because there won’t be anybody to share with.

                • Sacha

                  The value of public transit is not all in the individual ticket price. Single-occupant vehicles (whether they are petrol, electric or self-driving) take up way more space per person transported than a bus, tram or train.

                  We all have an interest in urban design that uses space and connectedness wisely – hence ‘public’.

                • millsy

                  Uber might be good for passengers, but not for drivers. I looked into driving for Uber, and it turns out drivers need a car less than 10 years old, no exemptions.

      • Janet 10.1.2

        You obviously live in Auckland – or some such – and are not in touch with the world of real New Zealand.

        • mickysavage 10.1.2.1

          Yep and I should differentiate between urban and rural areas. But in an urban area with improving PT and walking and cycling you should be able to rethink things and these changes should be possible.

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.2.2

          The majority of people live in the cities. This means that you, who obviously live in some unknown backwater and thinking the sun shines out of your arse, are out of touch with the reality of the majority of NZers.

          • gsays 10.1.2.2.1

            Steady on there draco.

            I assume, by your comment, you are a city dweller.
            When the power stops, the quake happens, the dollar implodes or mother nature tries to shake us fleas from her back, what are you going to do?

            Start a garden with some apartment dwellers?
            Put micro hydro in a few storm water drains?

            I would have thought city life is only sustainable so long as a version close to the status quo remains.

            • Sacha 10.1.2.2.1.1

              That has nothing to do with claiming that “real” NZ is only outside our cities.

            • Draco T Bastard 10.1.2.2.1.2

              You mean like this?

              I am fully supportive of the Venus Project and the need to make the rural areas wild again so as to help nature re-balance.

              And, as Sacha says, neither is the ‘real’ NZ – they’re both part of it.

      • Cricklewood 10.1.3

        Id be without a job for a start…

      • millsy 10.1.4

        It was common about 100 years ago for people to be born, live and die without travelling more than about 10-15k from where they lived. I don’t think I want to go back to those days. Living like the Amish seems to be a common theme among those committed to fighting climate change. And the whaling industry, that provided all the things that we took for granted before plastic, was even dirtier than the fossil fuel industry.

        • Pat 10.1.4.1

          ” And the whaling industry, that provided all the things that we took for granted before plastic, was even dirtier than the fossil fuel industry.”

          WTF?

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.4.2

          Living like the Amish seems to be a common theme among those committed to fighting climate change.

          Nope. That would be the scaremongering of the RWNJs as they get scared about losing their cars and so having to rub shoulders with the Great Unwashed.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      Reality is the car is going to be the primary method of transport for a long time.

      No it’s not as we simply can’t afford them.

      Can’t afford the GHG emissions of the fossil fuelled variety.
      Can’t afford the congestion or the power generation of the electric variety.

      I dont like that desicions and opinions on roads have become ideological.

      Your first sentence was ideological claptrap.

      Forgetting cost for a minute

      Economics and reality requires that we take into account the costs. You purposefully setting aside those costs as if they don’t count is what makes whatever you say ideological claptrap.

      • Infused 10.2.1

        We have plenty of power. Stop being stupid

        • Draco T Bastard 10.2.1.1

          Do we?

          I’m pretty sure that all available power generation is presently being used and we need to drop and replace the fossil fuelled variety ASAP with renewables.

          Then we’d need to build up enough to supply to power the vehicle fleet. Trains and trucks first. Trains need to be electrified now.

          To get reliable power supply from renewables we’re going to have to look at multiple generation and storage technologies.

          No, I don’t see us being able to support an electric powered vehicle fleet to the same degree as we have fossil fuelled vehicles for several years and maybe even decades. In the interim we could have bicycles and electricity powered public transport and hopefully people will get used to the idea that having private cars is rather stupid and uneconomic.

    • Sacha 10.3

      “desicions and opinions on roads have become ideological. Forgetting cost for a minute”

      Ignoring the costs is an ideological approach.

      It was also standard professional engineering and economics that the whole RONS programme deliberately undermined – for political reasons, nothing more.

      That ideology has been applied in one direction for the last decade. Now you are seeing some rebalancing (and probably not enough) towards our carbon-constrained future. That is a hard reality, not an ideological matter.

  11. Timeforacupoftea 11

    Build as many roads as possible please.
    In near future they will be useful for bikes, scooters and horses.

    Build build build ! while we have a means of collecting tax’s of the dreaded motor vehicle.

    • mickysavage 11.1

      Bike lanes are better if they are not also used by cars …

      • gsays 11.1.1

        Round these parts we have a proposed road to replace the Manawatu gorge road.
        There is a vocal crowd wanting to have cycle lanes added to it.

        Neither the Saddle Road nor Pahiatua Track are roads to be cycling on.

        As an aside, the locals are concerned with the powers that be and their fencing off the entry to the gorge.
        There is a lot of road without debris and it is ideal to take a mountain bike through.

        One of the most beautiful stretches of road.

    • Sacha 11.2

      Better still, build the infrastructure for cycling, walking and scootering right now – will cost way less than roads designed to carry heavy cars and trucks. Big catch-up to do.

  12. Jum 12

    For goodness sake, use the billboards to advertise what’s really important: cost, benefit, analysis: that’s what we were told when we suggested a decent public transport system in Akld. Obviously, that was not important when it came to ppp’s on ROADING in 2010!!!!

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      National only demands economic due diligence from Labour.

      They simply know what they’re talking about and don’t have to do the figures.

      It’s either that or they know damn well that the figures don’t back them up.

      I figure that it’s the latter.

  13. Ross 13

    It’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

    • greywarshark 13.1

      USA where National gets most of its ideas. Watch what the National Party put up and take a small step towards becoming a Trumpian paradise. National wants to
      keep its name to the fore hence billboards bringing controversy. Anything, but be a good political party serving and running the country for its and all the peoples’ betterment.

      Three Billboards:
      https://www.vox.com/2018/1/19/16878018/three-billboards-controversy-racist-sam-rockwell-redemption-flannery-oconnor

      The controversy around Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Vox
      https://www.vox.com/…/three-billboards-controversy-racist-sam-rockwell-redemption…
      Feb 22, 2018 – How Three Billboards went from film fest darling to awards-season controversy. Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell at the premiere of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2017. Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

  14. Rapunzel 14

    I live in Tauranga, we have these signs here now apparently so the local paper tells us, in the comments to editor section the locals say it is the drivers not the roads – one recent death at least came after several calls to poiice to report erratic, dangerous driving. As I drive to Auck from Tga about twice a month from necessity if I see the signs I know one thing it will do is make my blood boil.
    It seems National is h*ll bent on “delivering” it’s “message” on a daily basis and with fewer media options over the holidays came up with this which will do nothing to save anyone – not a “drive carefully” in the signage at all it seems.
    The National Party care nothing about NZ or NZers – they think it is OK to offer these ½ baked distractions and a self-obsorbed leader, as if that is enough they have no solutions and no intention of changing themselves in any way I find that a bit terrifying in a way, it is to the US’s similar totally selfish regime that the world is seeing.

    • Wayne 14.1

      Just because you don’t like National, it hardly means they “care nothing about NZ or NZers.” But they offer different solutions to those that appeal to you.

      In any event National knows that Labour is obsessed with the Dominion Rd tramway, and is totally opposed to any 4 lanes roads anywhere. The signs point this out, and as has been said are about campaigning.

      Labour’s roading solutions will not include a single 4 lane road, even though it is the best solution in many cases. For instance, 4 lanning to Wellsford to eliminate the Dome valley issue is far and away the best solution. Similarly Katikati to Tauranga. But with Labour, never.

      It will take the next National government to do these.

      As I have said in previous posts, maybe there is a yin yang in all of this. Labour does public transport, National does roads (though John Key did start the CRL). Together they make a coherent package.

      • Muttonbird 14.1.1

        I’m glad you stopped short of claiming Waterview.

      • KJT 14.1.2

        Yes. National probably will, now.

        They had no short term plans or funding for most of them before.

        Which makes the billboards, lies! Spin in National doublespeak.

        However National’s putting freight on subsidised, trucks, instead of rail, is the real issue.

        Four laning will help congestion, briefly, until the traffic expands to fill it. Like the NW motorway. Now worse than it was 20 years ago, with twice the lanes.

        If National cared about New Zealanders futures, they would have supported ending oil exploration. And expanded electrified rail.

        The only difference between National, and Trump, is that National give the illusion of being sensible.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.3

        But they offer different solutions to those that appeal to you.

        National doesn’t offer solutions – only more problems. That’s inevitable with them still having a 15th century mindset.

        Labour’s roading solutions will not include a single 4 lane road, even though it is the best solution in many cases.

        Do you have comparable BCRs to back up that assertion?

        It will take the next National government to do these.

        It is guaranteed that the next National government will fuck things up again – as they always do.

        As I have said in previous posts, maybe there is a yin yang in all of this.

        There isn’t.

        There is simply reality that National is ignoring while they follow their delusional ideology.

        • Wayne 14.1.3.1

          When Labour approved Waterview it was 2 lanes each way for the tunnel. National expanded that to 3. And since you obviously use it, you presumably would accept that was the right decision.

          • Draco T Bastard 14.1.3.1.1

            I think I’ve been through it three times since it was built.

            No, I don’t think it was the right decision. I don’t Labour’s was either. Better public transport and rail would have been a better decision. But neither Labour nor National would go there despite all the evidence showing us that we had to.

        • Wayne 14.1.3.2

          Draco,

          Stop being so one eyed. It is not Labour (or the left, since you do criticise Labour for not being left enough), correct in every decision, National wrong in every decision. The world is more complicated than that.

          • Draco T Bastard 14.1.3.2.1

            National canning the nano-beads was one of their correct decisions.

            I can’t think of any other off-hand.

            It’s not about being Left or Right – but about being realistic and National’s entire ideology is based upon ignoring reality. Labour does somewhat better but they’re still capitalists and believe in infinite growth upon a finite planet.

        • greywarshark 14.1.3.3

          National Party = primitive capitalists with an overlay of sophistication (all
          sophistry).

      • Rapunzel 14.1.4

        I used the term “care nothing about NZ or NZers.” because precisely in my opinion the National Party are primarily interested in “being” the govt first and foremost and so their priority is to what “appearance” will suit. So the two parties have different views on “roading” what other overall policy other than taxes are they offering? If it is the same as their last terms it was not sound enough and saw services run down and the issues with strikes from the likes of teachers, nurses, police etc to most people those quests for increases were just.
        Even National Party voters are not very keen on the “leader” but for some reason that is what NZ is offered by the Opposition once again for no sound reason I can see but in an effort to simply save face and not appear divided, so one again “in my opinion” they need to go away and find something more sound, longterm and with the interests of NZ to the forefront of everything they do.

      • peterlepaysan 14.1.5

        National only cares for business interests, profits, share returns, managemenr bonuses and perks.

        New Zealanders do not exist unless they make tax free profits to fund the National Party Mafia.

        New Zealanders are homeless foodless bludgers.

        The only thing that matters in politics is greed.

        Just ask English, Key , or Treasury.

      • OnceWasTim 14.1.6

        Well maybe @Wayne, your mates should have prioritised Katikati to Tauranga improvements over that ridiculous tolled thing that is utterly under-utilised between Paengaroa and the Papamoa.

        • Sacha 14.1.6.1

          Yes, that choice shows their priority was never safety.

        • Rapunzel 14.1.6.2

          So you’ve been on that road too? I live in Tauranga and have maybe had reason to use it a times over the years. I felt like an extra in the movie “The Quiet Earth” though I have not seen it I imagine it had a similar feel. Most time I was the only vehicle in sight and one day it was me and a truck. With our port it would be a great thing to get the trucks out of the traffic into Tauranga but the Katikati-Tauranga-Auckland roads can be driven safely I do it a couple of times every 4-5 weeks. Most locals know it is the drivers more than the road that’s the problem but we have a “vocal” group either politically motivated or unfit to be driving who insist on shifting the “blame” away from the facts.

      • Sacha 14.1.7

        Wayne, you seem to be confusing 4 lanes with actual safety measures like median barriers.

        • Wayne 14.1.7.1

          OnceWasTim

          Fair point. It is an amazing road, intended to bypass Te Puke, but I agree the traffic on the northern side of Tauranga is heavier.

          I have biked the section from Katikati to Tauranga many times (last in Jan 2018). It has got a lot worse in the last five years. Large trucks always are a bit intimidating to cyclists on an open highway. And that road has a lot of them. It seems especially perilous when going over the narrow bridges (there are two in particular). It feels like you are going to be sucked into the trucks.

          Improvements for Katikati to Tauranga are not due for another five years, it being in the second lot following the Waikato. It seem like Katikati to Tauranga will definitely have to wait till National is the government. I would put it on par with bypassing Dome Valley in terms of priority of safety.

          • OnceWasTim 14.1.7.1.1

            @ Wayne
            I’m glad for your reply, but it does raise a number of questions – especially if your ‘mates’ (you know who they are, and what I mean by that) are now lobbying for 4 lanes to Heaven by road.

            Who’s bright idea was that?
            Was it intended as some sort of prototype for a PPP or whatever?
            What was the final cost?, and what would an estimate have been for simply providing a 2 lane option for a Te Puke bypass with a median strip?
            Who did a CBA and what were their findings?

            Given that Tauranga to Katikati was already a problem at the time of this magnificent edifice was being constructed, who was responsible for prioritising this monument to stupidity over doing something useful?

            I’ll concede a Te Puke bypass was and is useful given the number of log-laden trucks and others that STILL go through there, and that many don’t use it because they can’t be fooked with all the apparatus that goes with paying a toll – especially as a one-off.
            “intended to bypass TePuke” – except it still isn’t really doing that and probably won’t EVER until the toll is removed or the bullshit that goes with enforcing it.

            And then of course there are still all those little things that could have been considered. Like an under-utilised railway line that goes all the way to Murupara and damn near Whakatane.

            You’d have to agree that the decision for this stupidity was more political that it was anything to do with road safety or Joe/Jane Bloggs trying to go about his of her business

        • Wayne 14.1.7.2

          Sacha,

          It is beyond any doubt that fully engineered four lane roads are safer than median barriers on existing two lane roads. The median barriers always are put on the most dangerous sections which are inevitably twisty and difficult.

          Obviously a median barrier is better than nothing, but the volumes of traffic in Dome Valley or Katikati to Tauranga justify the better (but more expensive) solution of 4 lanning.

          • Sacha 14.1.7.2.1

            The various design features that make 4-lane expressways safer are not a function of having 4 lanes – median barriers, grade-separated interchanges, etc.

            As a compromise, we may end up with some 3-lane roads soon, including safety features.

          • Gabby 14.1.7.2.2

            You’ve looked into this then wayney? How much safer? Don’t be coy.

  15. David Mac 15

    The signs have little to do with roads and everything to do with winning the next election.

    Crawling through Wellsford in the sweltering heat with a couple of kids squabbling in the backseat and a future of 50 more weeks at the coalface before escaping back up North…it’s a great time to be suggesting ‘You could of been sailing through this town but you chose Labour and your Holiday Gridlock’.

    It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. It’s timely and impactful. Well played National.

    Calls to remove the signs are reactive and weak. Lets get proactive and do something stronger.

    • KJT 15.1

      Lies in politics are “well played”?

      • David Mac 15.1.1

        I think those billboards will have an emotional impact on those they’re targeted at. Those that surmise ‘Utter lies’ are unlikely to ever vote right.

        Politics from all parties revolve around the creative interpretation of the truth. One man’s horse poo is another man’s plant super food.

  16. riffer 16

    On Monday my son and I travelled to Auckland to pick up a classic car and drive it back on Tuesday.

    Overall I didn’t think the roads were too bad, SH4 (Paraparas – National Park to Whanganui) notwithstanding – yeah, I know, should turned the other way at Taumarunui but it was a nice drive. I did, however, notice quite a few billboards in the Horowhenua touting “under National – a 4 lane highway. Under Labour, a 2 lane road”. And these were strategically placed from Levin – Otaki.

    So there’s definitely a campaign going on there to turn the locals away from Labour, and push the vote towards National on a self-interest level. I guess the locals aren’t too happy about having a fatal a week there.

    It’s most likely the quality of the driving but we won’t go there. Anyone who’s traveled the country recently can attest to the quality of our driving. All I will say is that it’s interesting and challenging driving the country in a vehicle that isn’t powerful enough to cruise comfortably at 140km/hr. You get passed a lot. In the strangest of places.

  17. Ad 17

    If there were Yellow Jacket-scale political capital to be had from transportation and fuel tax changes they would have seen it by now.

    It isn’t there.

    At best it solidifies National’s own rural vote, nothing more.

    • Graeme 17.1

      ” At best it solidifies National’s own rural vote, nothing more ”

      And probably only within a km or so around the signs. “Holiday Highways” look pretty hollow to the truckie driving Invercargill – Queenstown or Christchurch – Queenstown daily having to dodge the effects of National’s aspirational economy.

  18. Infused 18

    The watering down of the otaki road is fucking stupid.

    If labour had their way transmission gully would be canned

    • mauī 18.1

      The only thing Transmission Gully provides is the reduction of traffic going through the coastal villages of Paekak, Pukerua and Plimerton – nice for the folk who live there. In all likelihood with more car users attracted by the gully route, rush hour traffic will be worse, and the whole point of spending $1 billion was to ease congestion. Oh well, National voters might get some brains at some point.

      • greywarshark 18.1.1

        Wasn’t there some other side of Transmission Gully thinking about coastal closures from problems or disasters, and the Gully would give access to Wellington, otherwise cut off?

        • mauī 18.1.1.1

          There will be something like 20 bridges constructed along the gully route which gives some idea of the fragility of that route, I think it would be foolish to think that these will be all fine after a big quake.

          • greywarshark 18.1.1.1.1

            A point to keep considering is the one of Wellington being likely to be cut off from the rest of NI and the Strait being impossible to sail across, and the airport being closed. I have read that Wellington people are vulnerable like this. That would be important to consider for any major NZ city but of course Wellington is the capital and I, as do many, want to keep it there.
            Central is good, and not having everything going into Auckland’s sucky-motor.

            So perhaps Transmission Gully may still be very useful even if bridges are down if there is suitable bridge infrastructure at each side of the various gullies which can be utilised by strong temporary bridges that army engineers would know how to build and which would be held in ‘lego’ pieces at some suitably close civil defence post. The technology has been around for a long time. It might not be sufficient for the behemoths of truck transport but careful transport from suitable trucks (a weigh-station or two on the outskirts and away from known fault lines would be practical). We don’t live in an easy country but we are clever and practical when we put our minds to it.
            Favourite cliche’: We haven’t much money, so we’ll have to think. (Rutherford)

          • Sacha 18.1.1.1.2

            Very good point, thanks.

  19. the other pat 19

    Well i would rather see another Rakaia Bridge than this before it falls down…..the upper one lane bridge is a long detour….last accident it took 5.5 hrs to get from chch to sth side of the river….then 75 kms to the township itself….the road from Ashvegas to chch does need work…..temporary pothole fixes fall apart in 6 weeks.
    The bridge is N.Z ‘s longest at 1.8km and was built in 1937 and if it goes we are in the shit big time…..bailey bridges will not cut the mustard!
    Happy new year to you all.

  20. KJT 20

    Should be canned.

    Just adds to the bottlenecks in Wellington.

    Encouraging industry and offices out to the regions is cheaper and cuts emissions.
    Something where National are still in a Trumpian, fantasy world

  21. Pete 21

    In Northland an elected member of a local authority in a lead Transport role in the time of Key/English moderated criticism of anything to do with roads. Defended them and their plans and was a mouthpiece.

    Now the same person still in the job is hellbent on bad-mouthing anything the Government wants to do. It’s not enough, and it’s not the right solution, etc, etc. After years of neglect he is the big noise about enough not being done.

    In the past fortnight a letter from the person to the local rag with the usual criticism, had the name, not the official position being occupied, not any indication of party affiliation. A private person having a personal bitch?

    Peters winning the by election a couple of years back has changed the mindset of quite a few in Northland. The way the road debate happens now, the way it is being desperately used by scumbags for political reasons is different.

    The piss off is that those responsible for not putting pressure on National Governments for years, or were treated like shit by headquarters for years and not taken seriously, are all uppity now there’s another Government. They suddenly expect resources to not be allocated to other regions but instead be put into the North. How come they didn’ create the public fuss back when? Arseholes.

  22. JustMe 22

    Are these signs legal?

  23. cleangreen 23

    Good subject here Micky

    We need Phil Twyford to now step forward and show leadership in spending big on rail freight not more four lane roads for truck freight.

    All our regions now need real aggressive rail restoration around the whole of NZ.

    Not just the occasional Shane Jones money bag coming around like another father Xmas to some regions and not others!!!!

    Our NZ rail network needs to be completed fully to connect together as a feeder route from the remotest regions to the main line.

    I was told at a meeting last week that Fonterra now are requesting for Government/Kiwirail to re-open the Rotorua line to Tauranga to move their export freight by rail and also to restore other regions rail also!!!

    Good for you Fonterra – good move there..

    So common “Minister fo Transport/rail” Phil Twyford ‘get your feet down and ass up’ and get NZ rail going again before it’s to late.

    Trucks are costing us to much now in road repairs as they cannot carry the heaver truck freight now.

    Have you seen how the trucks are now causing most of our regional roads to crumble?

    https://www.lrrb.org/pdf/201432.pdf

    https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure_investment/heavy_vehicle_safety_and_productivity.aspx

    So spend money on rail instead!!!

    Come up from Napier to Tauranga and see the ‘shoulders of highway two and others all crumbling before your eyes as 63 tonne (H) (HPMV) trucks simply have now unlimited access at travelling on our light rural “soft roads” and as they cannot ‘weight bear’ those loads!

    These (HPMV) with the yellow H sign on them are destroying our roads and making them very dangerous to drive on now.

    • David Mac 23.1

      If you had the rights to import Panasonic microwave ovens into NZ you’d be wasting your time and money to use rail distribution. It can work for moving 500 tonnes of goods from a plant beside a railway line to a port, trees, beef and milk powder. Getting secateurs, Fitbits or Marmite around the country it’s a logistical nightmare.

      You see rail usage through your eyes cleangreen, you don’t distribute bulk products around NZ. You’re so focused on just one bit of Gisborne rail I think you’re fed up with having to dust your baby grand twice a day.

      If I have 20 pallets to be dropped at 20 electrical retailers down the country I’d be loading one truck and providing the driver with one list. I wouldn’t be arranging for 20 trucks to pick up consignments from 20 rail warehouses. Labour is expensive, I’d be having my goods handled twice, not 6 times.

      Lobbying Twyford won’t ignite a resurgence in rail usage. If keen for a resurgence we need to make using it a 1 phone call and trustworthy process for goods distributors. At the moment, for good reason, the people that could use rail are saying ‘No thanks, I can’t afford the, time, money, insurance premiums and I’ve just got 24 hours in my day.’

      I think rail is a charming 300 year old dinosaur and within the next 50 years we’ll be using unmanned GPS guided solar sucking electric road haulers that load and unload themselves.

      • outofbed 23.1.1

        Coastal shipping coastal shipping coastal shipping

        https://treasury.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2017-11/tfr-csmfc-23oct09.pdf

        Alternate transport modes of roil and coastal shipping are better able to compete with road far
        longer distance movements where the speed of delivery is not paramount and cost advantages
        can outweigh quality of service disadvantages. If delivery requires an inter-island movement,
        this substantially impacts the total duration and cost of the service road is able to offer, and
        therefore improves the relative competitive positioning of coastal shipping

      • Graeme 23.1.2

        Efficiency and conveniency are not necessarily the same thing. Rail may be more efficient with regard to energy and resources, and at a societal level, but road may be more convenient at an individual level.

        Automation is much more likely to be viable in a rail environment than road due to the separation that is, and will be, required between automation and humans. Rail has this separation now due to the size factor with rail, roads are multi shared spaces that the rigid logic of automation finds too complex. The liability issues around this shared space complexity will make road automation very difficult unless the legal and moral environment changes. Ultimately someone programmed the autonomous vehicle to decide who to kil.

        So I see a future of smarter containerisation, probably down to local distribution level by road, with linehaul by rail with automated loading and unloading and probably the whole train is automated or with human supervision rather than operation.

        I see AVs as some kind or magical thinking to maintain the status quo while ignoring the realities of human society and environment. It all looks good from inside the spreadsheet because it eliminates the financial cost of humans, but the costs both financial and social are ignored.

        • David Mac 23.1.2.1

          The critics of trucks that offer alternatives are not moving products around the country. These distributors are the people that need to be offered a viable alternative.

          If I have the rights to wholesale Panasonic microwaves around NZ my needs look like this:

          2 sea containers full of them delivered to my warehouse in Albany. Then I need 2 pallets delivered to Noel Leeming at Manakau, another pallet to Hamilton, 1 to Cambridge, another to Matamata, 2 to Tauranga, 1 to Taupo, 3 to Wellington etc etc.

          Trains and ships can get my pallets to within 100kms of where I need them, then after multiple superfluous handling operations, I need 20 different trucks to deliver my pallets to their ultimate destinations.

        • greywarshark 23.1.2.2

          Let’s not leave climate change, resource competition etc out of the rosy calculations for trucks over rail.

      • mauī 23.1.3

        The Auckland CRL and big investment in Kiwirail. Not bad for a 300 year old dinosaur.

        The size and weight of battery required for an electric semi-trailer truck is totally ridiculous and impractical, hence why we haven’t and won’t see a trucking revolution.

        • Andre 23.1.3.1

          I s’pose the impracticalities of electric trucking are why existing big truck makers like Volvo, Daimler and others are doing a lot of development and making big noises around upcoming electric trucks. Let alone all the startups like Tesla, Thor, Nikola and a bunch of others.

          https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/06/28/this-electric-semi-is-trucking-right-past-teslas.aspx

          https://electrek.co/2018/09/13/volvo-all-electric-autonomous-truck-without-a-cab/

        • David Mac 23.1.3.2

          Would you like to own Kiwirail? Please make out your 1.8 billion dollar cheque to NZ Inc. We had a wee loss last year.

          Semi trailers don’t need to be behemoth road wrecking road hogs if they are unmanned freight haulers and as Andre says, Volvo, Daimler, MAN et al can’t afford to piss money up against the wall like the NZ taxpayers can. They’re not tipping in billions of R and D dollars to pursue an impossible dream.

          • KJT 23.1.3.2.1

            How much did making roads safe for truck, cost us, last year again?
            In other words, you wouldn’t find those trucks so convenient, if they paid all their own costs, and passed them directly to you, instead of passing them on to car drivers and rate payers.
            Imagine if roads were expected to make 12% of the opportunity cost of the land they use, like ports?

            The value of rail, and shipping, is the cost of not having it.

            • David Mac 23.1.3.2.1.1

              Yeah yeah I hear you.

              Now, I’ve got 30 pallets to be dropped at 20 locations stretching right down the North Island. What would you do?

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