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Pinch me

Written By: - Date published: 11:54 am, March 24th, 2009 - 17 comments
Categories: national/act government - Tags:

A cyclist and Standard reader writes:

Pinch me. Maybe I’ll wake up in a world where a cycleway isn’t the government’s flagship idea for getting us out of the recession.

You’ve got three more years of this mate.

17 comments on “Pinch me ”

  1. I for one hope it has a beginners and expert lane.

    The ironic thing about it all is so much of the mountain bike tracks around are built by volunteers anyway.

  2. r0b 2

    No it’s OK – there’s also the 9 day fortnight! We’re saved! Except that, only two companies have expressed any interest. Hmmm.

    The two “big ideas” to come out of John Key’s expensive “do fest” are both flops. Ludicrous. The Nats are out of their depth. Cue Talking Heads – “We’re on a road to nowhere”…

    • Kevin Welsh 2.1

      I heard Dear John on Radio Live on the weekend talking about the “do fest” saying that along with the 9 day fortnight and cycleway, there were around 20 good ideas that came out of it. If so, why are we not hearing about them?

      • Ari 2.1.1

        Because none of them were even remotely good, and included such crazy nonsense as allowing people to pollute the air and water even more than we already let them. (Yay, let’s pay more in cleanup so we can earn a few cents more right now!)

    • Bill 2.2

      “Cue Talking Heads – “We’re on a road to nowhere’ ” I’d suggest ‘Burning Down the House’…or how about ‘Don’t Worry About the Government’?

  3. Ruth 3

    I don’t see what is so bad about it.

    Don’t underestimate the economic benefits. Start up smaller businesses would mushroom right through the country, providing low cost accommodation, crafts and cafes. Most cities and towns would provide their own link- in points. Old hotels on their last legs could get a new lease of life.

    Have a look at the rail trail in Central Otago. It has revitalised the towns on the way and has been a brilliant sucess in every way.

    • Kevin Welsh 3.1

      What’s it really going to cost Ruth?

      $50 Million?

      Don’t think so. To give you an idea of what things cost, a single lane cycle lane was added to a bridge on my way to work for $250,000. How many river crossings do you think they will be making from one end of New Zealand to the other?

      Is this new spending or re-directed from other cycle initiatives? In other words do those of who us who cycle have to pay the price for John’s vanity?

      • Tigger 3.1.1

        And, of course, what will it cost to upkeep? Where is that money coming from?

        Oh, of course, they’ll put tolls on it!

    • Matthew Pilott 3.2

      It worked for the rail trail, but your argument is deeply flawed.

      Look at Te Araroa (‘The long pathway’, a walkway the length of New Zealand). Are there private guest houses at the end of every days’ walking? Can you charge $5,000 to take someone on a three day walk down Te Araroa? Is there a massive support industry around every leg of it? Is it one of the most visited tourist destinations in NZ?


      But that’s exactly what you get on the Milford track.

      Saying a National cycleway will be like the Otago Rail Trail is just shallow, lazy thinking.

  4. Akldnut 4

    Lets see how it goes when some kid on a trailbike runs down a couple of tourists on pushbikes.

    Will it have a painted center line or no overtaking lines?
    Will they be creating some new jobs for policing vehicles on the trail?
    Is there going to be a Trail Tax? (User Pays) cause I’m not going to use it and dont want to fund it!
    ( I know, I know, I sound like those morons complaining about Aucklands rail and motorway funding but the countrys going to profit from it a lot more just in lost time in traffic jams than it will for a cycle track)
    And the foundation for the trail in central Otago was already in place once the railway ceased to operate, wheres the defunct line from the top of NZ to the bottom?

    • Felix 4.1

      wheres the defunct line from the top of NZ to the bottom?

      Don’t worry, they’re having a look at that too…

    • Chris G 4.2

      What stops some hoon burning down the track on a dirtbike anyway?

      Cycleway patrol? – Theres some jobs John!!

  5. gobsmacked 5


    Add one letter and the idea is fine. Cycleway … s. Plural. Local projects, in appropriate areas, small but useful contribution to the environment, and local economy.

    But as the Big National Idea from a Jobs Summit – which was itself the PM’s Big Idea (a do-fest, remember?), it’s a joke.

    Goff just asked Key about it in Parliament today, and Key had nothing. Asked for details, he fell apart. It’s an empty promise.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      National really do seem to be Think Big addicts. The bigger it is the better they think it is even though all analysis points the other way.

  6. gobsmacked 6

    OK, here’s the Big Idea, in John Key’s own words. It’s not a parody – I only wish it was.

    Question Time, today:

    “Hon Phil Goff: Was the Prime Minister aware when he went on the programme on Sunday that his other promise to the Job Summit, which was to build a cycleway from North Cape to the Bluff to create 4,000 jobs at a cost of $50 million, was utterly unachievable, given the estimate that he will have from environmental engineers that the real cost would be six times that amount, and for many fewer jobs?

    Hon JOHN KEY: Again, they were fairly rough estimates at the time. Just before the Leader of the Opposition gets too excited, I have good news for him. He should go out and buy himself a bike, because he may well get to see a lot of New Zealand.”

    And that’s the Key bike plan, in full. Buy one.

  7. George Darroch 7

    I for one am impressed that John Key wants us to ride bikes. Presumably on the new motorways he’s building, and the other roads that will no longer see maintenance.

  8. Bill 8

    Since John and his government are so keen on bikes, I’d guess he’d have no problem being told by all and sundry to get on theirs? The one ‘pictured’ at the top of the post “Cyclewatch” would seem shonkey enough.

    Just sit back and watch em go…

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