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Who’s driving the ‘truck strike’?

Written By: - Date published: 3:02 pm, July 3rd, 2008 - 100 comments
Categories: same old national, slippery, transport - Tags:

So, let’s get this straight the Government has increased road user charges for diesel vehicles by half the amount recommended by the Ministry of Transport to cover the roading costs of those vehicles. The increase is 7-8%. Road user chargers account for 10% of trucking costs. So, we’re talking a less than 1% increase in trucking costs, about $198 a year for a 23-tonne truck, every cent of which will be used for building our transport infrastructure.

Crude oil prices mean diesel has doubled in price in the last year but this 1% is the end of the world? For $198 a truck a year, they’re going to blockade our motorways during rush-hour? Hell, half a day wasted blocking the motorway would be worth more than $198 a truck, let alone the cost to the rest of the economy.

Give me a break. The road user charges are just the excuse; the protest is the objective. Tony Friedlander, head of the Road Transport Forum, former National Minister, secret major National donor, and star of the Hollow Men is behind the protest. He told Transport Minister Annette King the protest would be happening weeks ago, before the road user charge changes were announced.

This has nothing to with with a 1% increase in trucking costs, it is simply an attempt to make the Government look bad – a long-planned hollow attack from a core National backer.

100 comments on “Who’s driving the ‘truck strike’?”

  1. T-rex 1

    Tony Friedlander hey?

    Cheers Steve – first for providing a forum for some informed b*tching on this sham of a protest, and second for giving me a name to add to my shit list.

    What a disingenous prick!

    I’m going to make damned sure everyone I know understands the REAL reason they’ll be held up.

  2. Blar 2

    I am disappointed you haven’t made a Crosby | Textor connection. Pick up your game.

    [Tane: Blar, don’t troll or you’ll be banned.]

  3. The way stories like this is covered is weird sometimes. I mean, I’ve just taken info reported in various media and put it together with public information on Tony Friedlander and, when you put all the pieces together you see a different picture to what the individual reports have given.

    Strange that this doesn’t happen in the mainstream media.

    Actually, the truck strike is a bit like Brand Key in that respect. What you can see seems OK but something about it doesn’t quite add up. Then the last piece of the puzzle (that Crosby/Textor is behind Brand Key, that Tony Friedlander is behind the truck strike and it was planned weeks ago) arrives and suddenly it’s possible to see what’s really going on.

  4. Blar 4

    I wasn’t trolling Tane, honest! I was just inviting Steve to make a connection which he did rather promptly.

  5. higherstandard 5

    So you think it’s reasonable that this was dumped on the truckies with no notification of what the date of the increase was going to be so they could plan forward ?

    And the whole thing is a National and C/T beatup that has lead the truckies to be this outraged ???

    What next Annette King is actually Don Brash ?

    And Tane I would have thought you at least would have respected the truckies right to protest.

  6. Tane 6

    hs, I do. See the other thread. I just don’t support their cause.

    blar, I’ll take your word for it. I just get tired of trolls.

    [lprent: Who doesn’t…. Apart from themselves of course.]

  7. HS. There are a whole raft of levy changes that are not announced beforehand because forwarning allows gaming of the system by those who have the money sitting around to get in before the levy goes up, which is not just.

  8. Billy 8

    I bet no-one notices there is a blockade. The traffic in Auckland doesn’t move at that time of day anyway.

  9. T-rex 9

    HS – Steve’s already made the point.

    Instead I’ve got something else.

    To The Noble Trucker

    For everyone who’s ever blamed the government for the rise in international fuel prices.

    For everyone who’s ever decided that pointless force and simpleminded obnoxiousness is just plain easier than actually thinking

    For everyone who doesn’t want to face the painfully obvious costs of their enterprise…

    Tomorrow, when you’re driving down the road thinking about how awesome and secure and cool you are in your big-rig, do me one favour:

    Wind down the window, and crank this on the stereo. Just so I’ll know to flip you off as I cruise by on my chartreuse micro-train.

  10. Draco TB 10

    So you think it’s reasonable that this was dumped on the truckies with no notification of what the date of the increase was going to be so they could plan forward ?

    Well, considering the last time they were given advance warning they screwed the government out of $170m then yes, I do think it’s reasonable.

    They have a right to protest – just not over the RUC that they pay which still doesn’t cover the damage that they do.

  11. rjs131 11

    So are you suggesting that all those truck drivers are being coerced by his evil former Nat minister into protesting?? Are you therefore suggesting that these truck drivers are complete morons, that cannot exercise their own free will and somehow (despite mostly being independent owners) face economic sanction if they dont front up???

    Arent these truckies doing the same as any striker does – make a stand against economic conditions in support of a better deal. Here the change affects their bottom line, why shouldnt they be upset?

    Of course any union sanctioned protest/strike is fine (especially if the heroic union supports teh goverment)…This site has been more than happy to support other strikers, but as soon as oen is against the goverment you scream blue murder. If you want to have some sign of editorial independence from the labour party, then i woudl have thought this was such an issue.

  12. higherstandard 12

    Draco TB

    “They screwed the government out of $170m” …… got a link for that ?

  13. Tane 13

    If you want to have some sign of editorial independence from the labour party

    Our last post on this issue explicitly attacked the Employment Relations Act, Labour’s largest and most cherished industrial relations reform.

    There really is no educating some fools.

  14. Monty 14

    Draco get your facts right or you will sound like helen Clark yesterday when she dropped her neutron fizzer. Last time around $17.5 m was the figure.

  15. Billy 15

    Just so I understand the extent of the problem, Tane: do you think a factory worker should be able to strike to make a political point quite unrelated to his or her employment? For instance, should a cleaner in a factory in Onehunga be able to strike to show solidarity with the baby seals in Canada?

  16. Matthew Pilott 16

    rjs, you don’t think some truckies are being manipulated here? Not a smidgen of that in your mind? I guess not, you’re the only one who thinks they’re morons.

    higherstandard – I saw a different figure to Draco, that when the government gave advance warning, there was a $17.5 million spend on RUC Ks. it’s in all the main stories that include Annette King’s justification of the charges.

    I can’t believe this was planned weeks ago, I thought it seemed a little to well organised.

    monty – still banging on about those WMDs that exist only in your mind? Worrisome.

  17. rjs131 17

    Some truckers are gonig to be there as part of the crowd – but i am sure that is the same with any strike? Or are you saying that striking workers are not manipulated by unions which organise strikes?

  18. outofbed 18

    This is just another jerk in the death throes of a cheap oil based economy The RTF and major political parties might be resistant to that reality, but, fortunately local communities are taking the climate change/peak oil scenario seriously and are leading the change
    Transition towns, bike routes, car pooling, public transport, local energy production, local food production, light rail, coastal shipping.
    These are just some of topics discussed at local community forums this week in Nelson. (with a supportive local council)
    So let them (truckies)block the roads, in the end it will make fuck all difference . we have to start changing the way we do things and change quickly,, fortunately there is an ever-increasing group of people who are realising this and are leading this change
    This cuts a swathe through the normal left right dichotomy that we have got in this country consumption and deceit eh ?

  19. Tane 19

    Billy, yes. Though I don’t imagine anyone would go on strike over baby seals in Canada – workers don’t go on strike unless as a last resort, and in countries where there is a right to strike this has proven to be the case.

    It’s more a vital democratic safeguard against abuses of government or corporate power.

    New Zealand unionists actually have a very proud history of striking over political issues, such as the green ban at Bastion Point and the refusal of wharfies to supply steel to Japan in the 1930s.

    More recently you’ll recall South African dock workers refused to unload Chinese arms headed for the slaughter in Zimbabwe.

    Under the Employment Relations Act all of these actions would be illegal.

  20. dave 20

    For those interested, there are two routes for each city

    You can read all four routes here

  21. Peter Nelson 21

    The government can do something about diesel/petrol prices. It can remove the amount of taxation it receives from petrol. Not GST though.

    Getting to be a bit like the winter of dis-content they had in the UK before they elected Thatcher in. Unionist pricks at this site don’t like protests against the [deleted. any more homophobia will be met with a ban, take it to kiwiblog. SP] do they, how dare the peasants revolt.

    SP – did Hagar tell you it was Freidlander behind the blockade, has he got more leaked emails from Parlimentary Services?

    [lprent: I don’t like dickhead trolls either. You look distinctly like one.
    Care to comment on the charge before I pass sentence?
    FYI: I’ve never been in a union and I positively hate moronic fuckwits with no obvious intelligence – which is what you look like]

    [lprent: didn’t last long. I got annoyed with his next comment and banned him. Idiot]

  22. “Tony Friedlander, head of the Road Transport Forum, former National Minister, secret major National donor, and star of the Hollow Men is behind the protest.”

    I think this claim may be straying into it was the Bush family behind 911 territory.

  23. Peter Nelson. No, Friedlander’s name is in all the reports on the protest. King said he had told her of the protest ahead of time on Morning Report. Have you actually read any of the media or just made up your mind without any info?

    And every cent raised in excise on petrol goes to fund roading. Where would you get that money from instead?

  24. schrodigerscat 24

    I see in the Herald http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10519715 that John Banks said “he would welcome the sight of heavy rigs jamming Queen St “in the spirit of free enterprise and democratic protest”.”

    Lets get John Boscowan and the Topless bike parade going at the same time.

  25. Matthew Pilott 25

    Peter if they remove taxes from petrol how will they pay for road repair, maintenance and upgrades? Sure petrol will be cheaper – will road maintenance magically be cheaper?

    Just out of interest, this pre-planned truck strike – is it because prices are going up (truckies paying their share) or the way in which the increase was announced (not allowing the big companies to take advantage of the increase while the single owner/operators are left out in the cold)?

    Bryan, to be blunt, I could say that you’re Bill Clinton’s other mistress with equal conviction. What’s your point?

  26. Felix 26

    oob, agreed – it will make fuck all difference.

    Although it might piss a few people off enough to look more favourably at rail next time they have to make a freight decision.

    It all seems rather counter-productive to me – jamming up the roads to tell us they don’t want to pay their share for using them.

  27. Bryan. There’s no character limit on comments, if you have a reason to disagree with my arguments, you’re welcome to spell them out. It’ll win you more respect than silly comments like that which make and assertion but don’t back it up.

  28. Tane 28

    And every cent raised in excise on petrol goes to fund roading. Where would you get that money from instead?

    Once again business and its right-wing mates want to put their hands in the taxpayer’s pockets. But that’s welfare dependency for you.

  29. Rob 29

    Annette King is she was dumb enough to break yet another promise by not giving them a months notice of a rise. Others would say it was a cunning plan by Mr Cullen to help pay off the now $1,5 billion for his train set. With Annette King have you noticed every ministry she touches turns to Shite be it Health, Police , Transport Just another Nail in the Labour Partys Coffin.

    [lprent: I can’t be bothered being tolerant with you either. Looking through your previous comments it is clear that you have little to say of any value. Irritate me once more by making idiotic statements and I’ll boot you as well.]

    [lprent: And he didn’t last much longer…]

  30. djp 30

    arrrh, lprent is in good form today.

    So what Tony Friedlander is probably a nat supporter. He is *currently* a Trucking lobbyist. What do you expect him to do? Sit on his hands because the current govt is labour?

    [lprent: The bugs are hard to fix today, and I think I may be a wee bit short of sleep after Drinking Liberally Auckland. These things tend to enhance my better traits]

  31. ants 31

    “Well, considering the last time they were given advance warning they screwed the government out of $170m then yes, I do think it’s reasonable.”

    Thats the first time I’ve heard not paying a tax being classed as “screwing the government”. Are you taking the yellow smelly stuff?

  32. Matthew Pilott 32

    djp – that depende if he’d be organising the same strike if National raised RUC – i.e. is the strike purely for the purpose of complaining against increased RUC or something more?

  33. djp 33

    MP you are really straining to read the tea leaves now.

    The point is it seems to qualify as representing the trucking industry. As long as it meets that criteria then whats the problem? Seems to me like you are trying to put the guy into a “dammed if you do, dammed if you dont” situation.

  34. I find it interesting that the action taken is exactly the sort of action a normal left-bias trade union would take; but because the leader is of National bent, the action is completely toasted here at The Standard.

    Based on a government run site between $9 and $22 per hour is the wage range a truck driver gets, obviously out of date with the increase in minimum wage.

    The interesting thing is the average week for a truck driver is 70 hours.

    This kinda of means they are vulnerable workers. Forced to work long hours or risk losing their jobs. Are these the sort of people The Standard is supposed to be supporting, regardless of who their leader is or was?

    In isolation a 1% increase is not a lot. But when you add the other costs, like fuel, spare part and even the basic cost of living combined with already tight margins then it is understandable they are annoyed.

    They have my 100% support. Increases to their costs increase ALL our costs. And the flow on affect is already being felt.

    As for what they did last time by buying $17.5 million worth of road user charges before a price rise; bit hypocritical having them up on that. If you find out booze or food or petrol is going up it is human nature to “stock-up”.

  35. j 35

    I’ve noticed that there is a greater degree of intolerence and censorship on this blog than before. Maybe there is some connection with how Labour is polling at the moment. It’s a fascinating look into siege mentality of the left.

    [lprent: Periodically I get very intolerant of trolling as do some of the other moderators. We seldom bother people with something worth saying and listening to. Canned lines and daft attempts to insult or shock get very irritating after a while. It is more to do with reading repetition – ask any teacher. You notice that you don’t have banning or censorship problems in your long history of commenting here.]

    Back on topic what is more plausible, a group of working class truckies as being the dupes of a right wing plot to take down the government or their protest being a legitmite expression of frustration at being financially squeezed by the government in the face of rising fuel costs and an economic recession.

  36. andy 36


    everyone is feeling the increase in prices, they are not alone, they have the ability to pass on costs most workers don’t.

    Plus being businesses like all others they must meet the market or go broke I see no difference to any other business. My boss has to factor in the increased cost of running company cars and the increase in rego for ACC, same, same!

    There is a cognitive dissonance here, while protesting they are wasting valuable earning time, fuel, paying RUC’s and if successful pissing off other professional drivers (taxis, couriers and stopping other hard working kiwis on hourly wage earning money and paying tax). Then they will not be productive while stuck in traffic trying to go to jobs in gridlock that they caused.

    Good luck to them…

    another thought, If a corporate has advertising on a contractors truck will they want to be associated with the ensuing chaos? The same people they need to call them for work.

  37. The Govt.buys a railroad.The Govt.wipes out the OPOSITION.Would National repeal this legislation?

  38. schrodigerscat 38

    So who is going to be there in their trucks tomorrow, is it going to be owner drivers, or wage slave drivers sent along by their bosses?

    Will be interesting to see.

    I think they should be paying for their road use, and on top of that let the market decide. Maybe rail will win out big.

  39. Monty 39

    You say “Tony Friedlander, head of the Road Transport Forum, former National Minister, secret major National donor, and star of the Hollow Men is behind the protest.” You forgot to add that he has probably made every trucker and their familes staunch National supporters as well.

    I suspect your objection to this protest is that it is a very bad look for the government and as it has grown bigger and become a National wide protest, support in some of the previously Labour seats may be looking very shakey indeed.

  40. Lampie 40

    So who is going to be there in their trucks tomorrow, is it going to be owner drivers, or wage slave drivers sent along by their bosses?

    Owner drivers as my freight company doesn’t have any so isnt involved, NEXT

  41. j 41

    I have a feeling that this protest is about a number of things which have snowballed and that the $198 levy and the way it was imposed is simply the straw the broke the camels back.

    The bizare thing about it is that Clark has not come down on King and stopped this. She’s smarter than this and they’re getting fuck all from the levy so why risk it.

    I’ve just come back from Thailand where there has been a similar protests with truckers and rice farmers blocking roads creating chaos and it’s not been pretty

  42. Lukas 42

    you are kidding… C/T are behind the truckers strike…I see how this could work… they got to King (who for some strange reason was not in question time today?) and made sure that she would not keep her word about giving one months notice, and then they got all the truckies together…logical right?

  43. andy 43


    can’t find the link, but am sure King has said she will try to change the law (may not be able to before parliament rests) to give notice in future. As it stands the don’t have to, but I think it is not a surprise to most so there is some manufactured outrage..

    Also beware of protests in Asia as they tend to have subsidies for fuel and import tariffs for rice and as we know these distort markets, so protests may have different objectives i.e higher subsidies/protectionism.

  44. j 44

    It’s a pity that there isn’t a vast right wing conspiracy because I need some sort of summer clerkship.

  45. lprent 45


    Would National repeal this legislation?

    The legislation on road user charges? It is unlikely. It has been in place for at least a couple of decades.

  46. insider 46

    A couple of things

    Are you saying that because TF is ex nat minister he can’t be an independent advocate for his members or on an issue?

    So what about Mike WIlliams – is he a puppet of govt or an independent director on all those boards he’s on? Did he play a role in the non renewal of Genesis CEO’s contract? What about Peter Neilson of NZBCSD? How reliable are his reports on climate change?

    Also it is interesting the Govt’s double standard on this. It justified no warning of a price change because of lost income through people stocking up, yet it is floating that the oil industry MUST warn about price changes 24 hours ahead so that people can fill up and deny those companies income.

  47. j 47

    Good point. Jim Bolger and Kiwirail. Explain that.

    Amusing to see Cactus Kate in full Anne Coulter mode over this outrage.

  48. Draco TB 48

    Last time around $17.5 m was the figure.

    Ah, I listened to the story (lost link) and Annette King said $170m.

    What I find interesting is that there appears to be trucking strikes happening around the world and that this protest seems to be in solidarity with those. It just seems that the RUC increases gave them something to shout about at the same time.


    Contemporary economics holds that costs for running a need to be paid for by that business and not be subsidised by the government so as to promote the greatest efficiency in resource use. Further, the costs need to be set by the market and not by government for the same reason. I find it amusing that the right (National, ACT, RWNJ etc) who promote these types of policy start squealing like a stuck pig when the inevitable results of such policies (higher costs, lower profitability) start to bite. “If your business is no longer profitable then go get another one” has been the mantra of the right since Rogernomics. Well, it seems that this time it’s some capitalists that will have to go get another business.

  49. j 49

    “Contemporary economics holds that costs for running a need to be paid for by that business and not be subsidised by the government so as to promote the greatest efficiency in resource use.”

    So I gather you do not support the rail buyback since it was reliant upon govent subsidies to keep it profitable.

  50. higherstandard 50

    J – You’ve got to be kidding repeat after me

    government good private enterprise bad
    employees good employers (owner operators) bad
    Labour good National bad
    Rail good trucks bad

  51. Draco TB 51

    So I gather you do not support the rail buyback since it was reliant upon govent subsidies to keep it profitable.

    You got that backwards. I support the rail buy-back because it required government subsidies and is required infra-structure.

    You’re getting very close to winning the RWNJ appellation.

  52. higherstandard 52



    I expect you already have the LWNJ appelation , from your comments you seem to think that NZ can survive without a trucking industry and that everything can get to its destination by rail.

  53. Draco said “Ah, I listened to the story (lost link) and Annette King said $170m.”

    Just saw and heard King on Campbell Live – I even watched her lips move – $17.5m was DEFINITELY what she said.

  54. Monty 54

    yes Draco – she said $170m previously – but she lied – or at best misled (or attempted to mislead) the public until she was corrected. Sort of becoming a habit for Labour to do this – taking their que from Clark I expect.

    Not a good tactic at the moment – Labour (and their friends) are going to get pulled up on every lie they tell between now and the election. Such lies can only continue to harm your already very marginal support.

    However this gaffe / mis-speak by King is only what we have come to expect from a party that is literally on their knees – where is the good political management gone – is the stress causing so many mistakes?

  55. Draco TB 55

    from your comments you seem to think that NZ can survive without a trucking industry and that everything can get to its destination by rail.

    Never said that, never implied it either. All I’ve said is that I expect private businesses to pay their full costs.

  56. jbc 56

    Never said that, never implied it either. All I’ve said is that I expect private businesses to pay their full costs.

    Unless, of course, they are in a risky industry for employee injury – an industry which would not survive if it were made to pay the true costs of insurance. Then they should be cross-subsidised by others. right Draco TB?

  57. rave 57

    Well were back to the same old story.
    If this Labour government wants to govern next time it needs to take the most regressive tax, GST, off food and fuel. Get rid of the most iniquitous, nontransparent, punishing tax that has no justification except to shift the burden of taxation off the rich onto the poor.
    Labour can get the truckies back to work, make everyone pay their fair share of roading, and reclaim their long lost soul as the party of the working class with one move.
    But will they do it? No, because they wouldnt dare tax the rich to collect the lost GST revenue. Because if they did they would face a massive capital strike that wouldnt just close down the cities for a few hours but threaten to close down the whole country.
    I say bring they should try it and see what happens. They might be surprised to find a lot of support, and Key’s greedies all leaving the country.
    We need Think Big back and for a start nationalise energy. NZ could be self sufficient in energy. Take it over. If big oil objects tell them where to go. If Rio Tinto walks off there’s a smelter up for grabs. If all the Aussie banks rush off in a huff, weve still got Kiwi bank. If the big truckies go back to Aussie too, then theres lots of small truckies who can form cooperatives.
    One thing can be guaranteed, there will be hordes of happy Labour supporters looking to get involved not just in voting Labour back in but rolling up their sleeves to take over the running of the country.

  58. Jum 58

    Go Rave.

    I’d be interested in the breakdown of trucking firms as opposed to owner drivers. What profit did the big firms make in the previous year? How many trucking firms are foreign owned?

  59. QoT 59

    It’s okay, guys, they’re “doing it for the people of New Zealand”.

    Allow me to go throw up violently. It’s a reflex I have when someone acting out of nothing more than petty, anti-Labour self-interest (because seriously, people, “straw that broke the camel’s back” arguments are just so ridiculous in this case – the price of diesel DOUBLES and it’s a 7.5% average increase that’s mean and unfair?) claims a bullshit higher purpose.

  60. j 60

    “If all the Aussie banks rush off in a huff, weve still got Kiwi bank.”

    Considering that NZ are importers of capital not exporters i.e. we spend more than we earn I fear your plan may not come to fruition.

    At least there is one true socialist on this site in the form of Rave and his neo Muldoonism as opposed to the third way chardonney labourites mmasquarading as socialists.

    Nothwithstanding constant wildcat union strikes, only being able to drive your car every other day due to petrol shortage and dawn raids on Islanders let go back to the good o’l days.

  61. Jum 61

    Can the NZ owner/drivers be assisted by Government with small business subsidised accounting i.e. tax and gst paperwork, done by IRD and saving owner/drivers extra costs and time spent not driving. If small business is such a large part of our NZ business community we should be helping them with their paper trails.

    To me the ideal scenario is running an efficient rail system down the two Islands with small business trucking firms acting as product conduits into the towns. There would be less motorway congestion and better targeting of transport options to suit the buyers and sellers.

    PLUS – a decent passenger system with night travel back in harness. I found it useful to travel by train at night to Wellington, spend the day and travel back overnight, saving huge accommodation bills. I tried it on the overnight bus – you cannot sleep on the bus, trust me.

    Civilized train travel with a dining car and sleeping berths as opposed to cramped seats and air fares rising with the planes – priceless.

  62. j 62

    “because seriously, people, “straw that broke the camel’s back’ arguments are just so ridiculous in this case – the price of diesel DOUBLES and it’s a 7.5% average increase that’s mean and unfair?) claims a bullshit higher purpose.”

    Whats more idiotic, the camel argument or that truckies are being manipulated borg style by ex-national minister operating as an agent provotuer as part of a wider right wing conspiracy co-ordinated by australian pollsters.

  63. Lipper 63

    Well it is true, all the truckers have been planning this for ages.

    They plotted this in separate cells all over the country, called transport cafeterias.

    Along with their dastardly hypnotic leader

    “Tony Friedlander, head of the Road Transport Forum, former National Minister, secret major National donor, and star of the Hollow Men is behind the protest.”

    Would have happened without Annette ‘Full Moon’ King stuffing the RUC on the whole country in the blink of an eye.

    Yeah Right!

    The cost is to everyone not just the Logistics Industry. And at a time when fuel prices are maxxed out.

    Like this couldn’t have waited? What is going to happen, all roads to be repaired before polling day?

    She repeatedly stated to Paul Holmes that This totally equitable tax has only been increased twice in 19 years.

    No matter that it was way too onerous in the beginning. Statistics, lies and Damned Statistics.

    But it is trucks that do all the damage, she bleated. Well rattled in knowing that this will likely drop the Labour vote to under 19% in the forthcoming election.

    I would prefer us all to take to the streets in Wellington, and storm the 9th Floor, to show our disgust at their contempt of us all.

    For sure lobbying, blogging, and petitions don’t work.

    Direct Action is the best way. Viva la Revolucion!!

  64. Jum 64

    j Re July 3, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Like files that suddenly appear in the street, embarrassing the Corrections dept and the Government, a few months after a CD in Britain with confidential names and addresses went missing, embarrassing the UK Labour Government.

    All in an election year.

    Friedlander vowing to make Labour’s life miserable, telling Annette King he intended for the truckies to go on strike weeks ago but suddenly the rhetoric is all about the RUC and racing to Auckland and Wellington to protest, and the people of NZ think it’s all an impromptu act of despair.

    If the big trucking firms say they are losing thousands of dollars just in new RUC charges, I shudder to think what they are making in profits that make the trucking business worthwhile.

    So far it’s looking very much like an orchestrated radical right attack. If you are desperate enough to engage a push polling firm that despicably and wrongfully accused an Australian political candidate of approving abortion of a full term (about to be born) baby, then they are capable of much worse. And no doubt we will see that in the next two or three months.

  65. j 65

    “So far it’s looking very much like an orchestrated radical right attack. If you are desperate enough to engage a push polling firm that despicably and wrongfully accused an Australian political candidate of approving abortion of a full term (about to be born) baby, then they are capable of much worse.”

    A remarkable demonstration of the siege mentality. But for god’s sake grow up. Although I support national I don’t subscribe to the extremist mindset that you and D4J seem to, that key will sell your children to an investment bank or that clark wants us enslaved by lesbian communists or whatever.

    Maybe its just the impersonal nature of blogsphere but it does inhibit political moderation.

  66. oldhippy 66

    Two errors in this post:
    1. The RUC increase for large trucks is not $198 a year, it’s $198 per 10,000km. Large trucks do 70,000km or so a year.
    2. King did not say that Friedlander told her there was going to be a protest anyway, she claims that she heard there was going to be a protest. I call BS.

  67. Ari 67

    Well, I’m pleased that someone’s discouraging people from bringing cars into the CBD… I’m not so pleased that it’s to protest extra costs that they could simply pass onto their customers if they were so damaging. The government has just agreed to pay above and beyond fair funding for extra roading, I think they’re entitled to increase their take from truckers, who stand to benefit the most from certain projects like Transmission Gully.

    I’m almost tempted to counter-protest with a sign asking who’s going to be paying for their new roads while climate change gets worse if not them 😉

    That said, I don’t care two bicycles (which you’re going to want tomorrow, fyi) that the person behind the strike is a National supporter. That he also organised this in advance is not suspicious- he probably had a leak passed onto him by his good friends in Parliament. If you find a story like that, THEN that’s when you should run it.

    Until you’ve got something a little bigger, this looks pretty partisan to me, Standardistas. The Right deserves to protest too, even if it does so in its usual corrupt, top-down manner.

  68. Bryan Spondre

    I thought you might enjoy this very entertaining lecture by a gentleman named Michael Parenti.

    It is Titled: Terrorism, Globalisation and Conspiracy

    And no, it’s not about 911.

  69. Is the information about Tony Friedlander’s involvement confirmed?
    I would like to do something on my blog with this.

    Captcha: 100 cameras

    [lprent: I think so – someone with that name was just on morning report. Could be someone else with the same name? But have a look on radionz in about an hour – that is usually the delay before they post the audio]

  70. Jimmy 70

    Weird, I think Stuff must be editing comments here:


    Because annoyed that Friedlander’s connections weren’t being mentioned I posted a comment (#28) repeating your 3 points above, but now that it’s up its been cut down to:

    “He’s a former National Minister.”

  71. Iprent,

    I found that after I had posted this comment. Have pity, I’m only a one woman band and only a two and half years into the politics of this country. I do my best but I don’t have the history you guys have, OK?
    I also looked him up on Wiki but found only a stub.

    Captcha: system quake LOL

    [lprent: I wasn’t getting at you Eve. It just happened that I was listening to him at the same time as I was reading your comment. I didn’t catch the first bit of the interview though, so was unsure if it was the same ex-minister or not]

  72. Draco TB 72

    Unless, of course, they are in a risky industry for employee injury – an industry which would not survive if it were made to pay the true costs of insurance. Then they should be cross-subsidised by others. right Draco TB?

    That’s how insurance works – it spreads the risk across multiple people so that each can pay less than they would if they were to pay for the full amount if the worst happened. If everyone were to pay their full costs in such a situation then there would be no need of insurance.

    We’re not talking of insurance here though and nebulous risk (ie some people will have accidents, most won’t). We’re talking about well defined costs that will need to be paid and the people who need to pay them are the people who cause them. In this case, the truckers.

  73. Iprent,
    no worries no offence taken

    So let me see if I got this straight.

    Tony Friedlander, head of the Road Transport Forum, former National Minister, secret major National donor promises to make life hell for the minister of transport and has announced weeks in advance that there is going to be a truckers strike.

    Why? Could it be that they are scared that the train owned by the state that is us last time I looked is going to compete with their businesses. Oil will be expensive and more and more people will send their goods by rail. So they promise mayhem if NZ buys back the rail system.

    But something happens: John Key is caught with his pants down about C/T, how am I doing so far? So National desperately needs a diversion and when Anette King announces a fairly minute increase in road tax they’ve got what they want.

    The news papers call it a truckie strike which is somewhat misguiding because most truck drivers work for bosses but it sure fit with the National attack “defending” those poor truckies, the working man while it is not at all the case.

    And people doubt that these people do not call each other to see how they can manipulate the situation to get out of a tight spot? Why not wouldn’t you?

    Conspiring is what people do. Especially rich people who want more and want more power, it’s what got them there in the first place.

    It would be a conspiracy under the next definitions.
    Yes, a couple of phone calls to pull of something like the above is a conspiracy and I have no problem calling it subversive and disingenuous.

    1. An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act.
    2. A group of conspirators.
    3. Law. An agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal action.
    4. A joining or acting together, as if by sinister design: a conspiracy of wind and tide that devastated coastal areas.

  74. higherstandard 74


    Do you seriously believe that this is a conspiracy ?

    Are suggesting the Nat’s are cunning enough to get an MP to leave parliament spend the next two decades infiltrating an industry group. Wait until they have an almost unassailable lead in the polls, and the government shoots itself in the foot on a daily basis. Then contact Double Agent Friedlander and have him let slip the Trucks of War on the unsuspecting highways of New Zealand. Using, no doubt, his super-secret hypnotic programming device to convince thousands of small business owners to miss a days work and risk annoying the hell out of their customers.

    Isn’t more likely that it’s simply a group that’s giving a two fingered salute to the government because they’re overly peeved, judging by the support they seem to have got from the people in the street they don’t seem to be the only ones.

  75. Kevyn 75

    Steve, The increase is 7-8%. Really? Which deceiver told you that. It took a bit of time but when I checked the figures they turn out to be 10% to 15%.

    $198 a year for a 23 tonne truck? 10,000km a year. Be honest, add a zero on the end.

    Have you got a link for the MoT study or the minister’s briefing. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  76. insider 76

    If he is a secret donor, how do we know? Careful about assuming innuendo as fact. But wouldn’t you expect former politicians to be donors to the party they represented? It would be more of a scandal if they didn’t.

    Just don’t mention the Law Commission if thinking about donations and former politicians in influential roles.

  77. Denby 77

    Do some better research.

    The number you are quoting must be the annual registration fee.
    Road user charges are based on weight and distance… nothing at all to do with time.

    The average 40 tonne truck (15 tonne 3 axle truck and 25 tonne 3 axle trailer) that takes the food to your local supermarket (try getting a train to do that) is charged $152.08 for the truck PLUS $472.15 for the trailer FOR EVERY 1000km travelled.
    Try http://www.landtransport.govt.nz/publications/docs/road-user-charges.pdf for the right numbers.

    In a couple of months time when the owner drivers are finally able to pass on this surprise increase in costs to the supermarket (or whoever they are contracted for) then YOU will see an increase in food prices. This is assuming that the truckie hasn’t gone broke in the mean time and ended up on the dole.

  78. Matthew Pilott 78

    In a couple of months time when the owner drivers are finally able to pass on this surprise increase in costs to the supermarket (or whoever they are contracted for) then YOU will see an increase in food prices.

    Better than eveyone funding roads from taxes.

  79. Swampy 79

    Matthew Pilott

    All local roads are funded entirely from rates. This is the system that Labour believes in. Only the National Party has proposed user charging for local roads.

  80. Swampy 80

    The billion dollar question that never gets asked is whether this huge spending of money on transport infrastructure is actually necessary.

    After all, practically all of this money is being spent by the Government, which tells us it is necessary like they tell us everything they do is necessary (cue Tui billboard).

    And the only reason that there is any private corporate benefit from this programme is that the wise National Party sold the Ministry of Works a decade and a half back.

    Most of the problems on the roads are down to volumes of private cars. The construction of new roads is one of the highest costs of all.

    The real reason I believe that the government is spending (wasting) so much money on roads is primarily for political purposes, to pump up the economy, and as such it is just another form of income redistribution and is just as wasteful and inefficient as all the other forms.

  81. Kevyn 81

    Swampy, According to section 9 of the land transport management act most of the money being spent on land transport has nothing to with the the government except in so far as Mr Cullen has to do what the law tells him to or get Parliament to change it.

    The best place to get informed about where land transport funds actually come from and where they go is from the independent Land Transport NZ website.

    It wont definitively answer the questions of whether it is necessary to spend billions of dollars, or whether the billions are being spent on really important things like saving lives instead of saving time, or likely to actually acheive anything worthwhile. But at least you’ll be extremely well informed, which is what all voters should be.

  82. Hey Kev – I see you’ve turned up on the blogs for just this issue and decided to run an information campaign. Quite late too – is the P keeping you up?

  83. Come to think of it Kev mate – as an insider in the industry perhaps you could tell me who’s run this campaign. Oh and what’s your stake in the argument, bro? I mean you must have one to be all over the blogs on this issue so suddenly…

    Oh and bro? If you’re getting paid by the line timerlands-style you might want to put a word or two on my wee blog about this – http://www.robinsod.wordpress.com

  84. HS,

    Do I believe that people with the same interests get in touch with each other and keep in touch with each other to protect their interests?



  85. higherstandard 85


    Unless your milking the cows at 4.21 am it appears you’re up very early ?

    How are the rest of those conspiracy theories going ?

  86. Moderators,

    Any chance of you telling HS to back off in a kindly fashion?

    I’m happy to discuss the 911 subject on my blog or our forum but that never happens, the T-rex’s and HS’s don’t seem to want to go there.

    I really want to contribute to this blog in a constructive and intelligent fashion and HS makes that difficult with his patronising, suggestive and stigmatising comments.

  87. lprent 87

    t: We really don’t moderate at that level. The comments you are referring to are within our rather loose guidelines (what we have of them). I’m afraid that you have to take your chances.

    Of course if it descended into personal attack rather than an attack on opinions we would do something. But neither have gotten to that level. They are expressing their opinion in the same way that you do with yours.

    We tolerate a range of wide opinions on this site provided they’re written well and have a discussion point. We don’t tolerate trolls, attacks on the site itself, and outright personal attacks.

  88. bill brown 88

    Better than everyone funding roads from taxes.

    Oh come on Matthew, you know Cullen only collects that money so he can swim in it in his secret money vault under the Beehive.

  89. Iprent,
    I hear you.
    Are you ok with this going to the 911 thing if it’s on facts and links?

  90. lprent 90

    You’re welcome to write comment. Other people are welcome to respond. The probability of you convincing each other is probably minimal.

    We’d prefer if you at least keep it within the posts topic at least vaguely. Apart from anything else you won’t get quite as much of a irritated response.

    Just don’t trigger my anti-trolling instincts

  91. Iprent

    I hope to meet you lot in person one time. I do not troll period.
    respect to all of you.

  92. RedLogix 92

    I have on a number of occasions expressed my broad support for the idea that we have NOT been told the truth about the events of 911, and much more. It is a difficult thing to talk about. In the absence of verifiable truth there is speculation. There are at least four types of speculation:

    1. Honest attempts to link all known public domain facts together, prudently using Occams Razor and an wise understanding of human nature.

    2. Honest attempts that fail because they are selective with facts, ignore the need for simplicity and overreach their conclusions as a result.

    3. Dishonest attempts that are driven by ego and ambition down blind paths and dead-ends.

    4. Dishonest attempts that have a hidden purpose to mislead or discredit.

    For us ordinary people, so far removed from the real centers of power it is very hard to know what we are reading, whether it is valid, invalid or downright disinformation. But just because there are some demonstrably idiotic 911 conspiracy theories, does not mean that all discussion about 911 is therefore necessarily idiotic.

    The possibility that the official 911 story is a lie, is a very uncomfortable one for many. It challenges and demolishes the idea that for all our faults and failings, that fundamentally us Anglo/Americans are at heart the good guys of modern history. Most of us do not want to face the possibility that not only were they lied to about 911, but that we also willingly believed the lie.

    This is the reason travelleve gets such a demeaning, dissmissive and nasty reception. It makes it very hard for her and I for one admire her courage and persistence. In the long run it may be shown that not everything she is saying is the truth… but she will nonetheless be a whole lot closer to it than her mean-minded, gutless detractors

  93. HS,

    Why don’t you google CPTSD, or complex post traumatic stress disorder. 5 years of terror will do that to you.

    Thank you redlogic for you willingness to stick your neck out for me.

    The problem lies in the word “theory” and the derogatory way HS and other deniers use it.

    The issue is as to whether people like us theorise or whether we try to find out what actually happened.

    We are more accurately 911 researchers. In other words we don’t “theorise”
    We don’t sit around saying, “what will we theorise about today.”

    It is therefore disingenuous and malicious to keep putting that label on people like me.

    The only “Conspiracy theory” around is the official myth foisted upon us in the first hour of the attack. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support it. No Arab names on the flight list, no connection to Osama bin Laden. Osama bin Laden was financed by the CIA and a CIA asset.

    He is not even on the FBI most wanted list for 911. Why? Because according to Rex Tomb, a FBI official they have no proof of his involvement.

    A passport that allegedly flew through the fire of the plane and landed unscathed on top of the pile? Are you kidding me? A rental car with Flight instruction books and a testament in bad Arab using words no Arab would use in a testament? Testimony about un Muslim behaviour like boozing, Coke and sex with pole dancers by the alleged hijackers?
    In fact Mohamed Atta was cohabiting with a Nun Moslim American pole dancer while “learning how to fly” in Venice Florida. LOL

    So on with what we did find.

    It is now confirmed that the Twin tower dust contains a huge amount of iron microspheres together with sulphur and other chemical compounds. This is the chemical profile of Thermate. This indicates that a form of thermate was used to blow up the towers in fact a military grade called thermite was used as particles of this explosive were found back in the same dust.

    Iron microspheres not steel microspheres.

    If the tower dust contains microspheres of molten iron the temperature must have been much higher that can be caused by carbon fuel fires.

    This is dust has a proper chain of evidence and was collected in an apartment away from possible contamination due to welders uses to cut the steel beams.

    If there is thermite in the dust it fairly reasonable to assume that it was used to pulverise the towers.

    If a tower collapses into a pyroclastic flow in the freefall speed of 10- 11 seconds it is also fairly reasonable to conclude that there was something more happening than a low grade Kerosene fire. Especially if people were seen in the hole made by the plane, able to hold on to the “melting” steel and suffering no burns.

    If a 47 story steel framed building(WTC 7 the third building that collapsed 6 hours after the Twin towers) was able to collapse into its own footprint in 6.5 seconds then why bother to hire specialists who plant explosives into the buildings. All we’d have to do is set it on fire let it burn six hours and voila another perfectly demolished building. it has taken NIST 6 years and many man hours to come up with a working theory of the collapse of one beam pulling down the entire structure in on it’s self, it is to ridiculous to even go there.

    Hundreds of recorded witness statements about explosions in the basements and the lobbies “before” the planes actually hit the buildings were locked away until after 5 years the NY times finally gained access to them after lengthy court cases.

    I put it to you that for most people it is easier to think that those evil nasty Islamic crazies could fly four air planes for more then two hours through the most protected airspace on the face of this planet to do this dastardly deed then to face up to a really evil idea: That our leaders could conspire against us and perpetrate something as hideous as 911 on it’s own people and on citizens of many Nations working in the Twin towers to get us to were we are today. At war with two countries killing millions of people that had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with 911.

    Hell, that’s how our European masters played it against the Jews before and it worked a treat. When ever they wanted to get rid of some Jews for whatever reason or if they wanted to blame whatever mischief they had been up to on the Jews all they had to conjure up an evil Semitic conspiracy and bingo the people always bought it and killed off the lot of them.

    Blaming Arabs for 911 is just using peoples tendency for Anti Semitism. In fact these wars are the biggest Anti Semitic holocaust since the second World War. The Iraqis, Palestinians, Syrians, Jordanians and the Lebanese are all Semites. Their languages members of the same Semitic Language family as Hebrew, which is why the Jews were called Semites.
    Dirty rag heads, Sand niggers, baby killers, evil conspirators, kill the lot of them. Catch my drift?

    In western anti Muslim cartoons Arabs are even depicted like the Germans depicted Jews in the run up to the war and the Jewish Holocaust. Either skinny with a huge nose looking mean or fat and sleazy.

    I leave with a question: If it is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Bush et al blatantly lied about every single one of their reasons of wanting to invade Iraq and in fact have a long history of lying about just about everything else then why do you expect them to tell the truth only once: about the events of 911 that got them exactly what they wanted. A new “Pearl harbour” and war in Afghanistan, Iraq and next in Iran.

    This a link to the PDF called: Rebuilding America’s defences from PNAC calling for just such an event.


  94. Swampy 94

    What is the truck strike really about? As you point out, RUCs are not a significant part of a trucking firm’s costs.

    Quite simply, I think:
    1. Trucking companies are suspicious that the government is spending RUCs on things other than roads.

    2. The announcement was obviously linked to the Toll buyback of rail. To say otherwise is to suggest that the government are incompetent political managers. This then creates the clear perception that RUCs are increasing to pay for the oodles of money that the government fell over themselves to fork out to Toll to buy the rail operations.

    3. People see that the government has decided to go back in to business for itself in another sector where the government has a trend of squeezing the private sector out by using its dominant powers. Think the health sector, education sector and ACC as examples.

    4. The government obviously despises Toll and has strong motives to want to put them out of the rail business. Whatever may be said the government negotiated from a position of strength and held all the cards. You don’t have to dig very deep to discover that the rail union is affiliated to Labour, has been the backroom power behind this deal, and is innately very hostile to Toll and the whole privatisation thing.

  95. “I hope to meet you lot in person one time. I do not troll period.”

    Put a finger in the dyke you stupid tulip.

    [lprent: Dad! Too far]

  96. Swampy 96


    Saying that LTNZ is arms length from the goverment and that Cullen doesn’t really have any control over what LTNZ does really does not wash with me. People claim the same about SOEs and then look the other way when Meridian decides to hand over a few hundred million of its capital, in an election year, to be spent on roads (2005, $800m) or rail (2008, $170m)… (Cue Tui ad)

    As far as LTNZ goes, the government decides all the rates of their income and it appoints the board that decides what to spend it on. There are several overtly or closet Labour-left people on the current board of LTNZ.

  97. higherstandard 97

    By God Eve you’re right proof positive at last !


    Sorry but I find the official explanation more compelling than the US flying planes into their own buildings.

  98. higherstandard 98

    If forgot to add that you are, however, more than welcome to your own opinion on what did or didn’t happen.

  99. santi 99

    travellerv, have you forgotten your medication? Isn’t it time you get more of those magic drops?

    Remember, always wear your tin-foil hat when leaving home in the best Dutch tradition.

  100. lprent 100

    santi: You aren’t getting yourself angry again are you?

    You remember what happened last time here? You got banned from civilized society. Maybe you should take some prozac now rather than later.

    Actually I can’t be bothered looking up what happened last time. But I do want to remind you about my little obsessional habits on this blog and the blatant over-reactions I like to display.

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