Today, all being well, Transmission Gully opens to traffic. I look forward to driving along it for the first time this weekend.
I thought it opened yesterday, when I read the headlines on Google News. But then I remembered that we live in the post-truth era. “Officially opened” just means opened to government officials, in particular, opened to the current Prime Minister and her cronies. Plebs like us have to wait until the very early hours of this morning.
The official name of the new road is Te Ara Nui o Te Rangihaeata. Te Rangihaeata was a Ngāti Toa chief and nephew of the Ngāti Toa warlord Te Rauparaha. In August 1846 he led the Ngāti Toa forces at the battle of Battle Hill, which overlooks the new road roughly halfway between Paekakariki and Pauatahanui. Te Rangihaeata is also famous for having been a signatory to the Treaty of Waitangi in June 1840, and for his involvement with his uncle Te Rauparaha in the Wairau Affray in June 1843. During the latter confrontation, which was the first major skirmish of the Land Wars, a stray bullet killed Te Rangihaeata’s wife, Te Rongo. In an act of vengeance, Te Rangihaeata bludgeoned to death the nine special constables of the New Zealand Company who had been taken prisoner. Later, the newly appointed second Governor of New Zealand, Robert Fitzroy (former captain of the HMS Beagle), investigated the incident and exonerated Te Rangihaeata and Te Rauparaha, on the grounds that the New Zealand Company had attempted an illegal land grab.
These days New Zealand is a less bloody interesting place, but still a place blighted by corporate grift, government graft and endemic low-level corruption. Here’s a timeline of the Transmission Gully project’s 103-year history. Have a read of the history of the project, especially since construction commenced in 2014, paying particular attention to the steady stream of delays, build errors, cost overruns, and silt running into the harbour. I think it’s hardly plausible to deny that some of those involved are on the make.
Someone once said, never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence. But why not both?
The Kapi-Mana News told me that some 20,000 motorists per year are legally obliged to pay a road toll for driving on Whitford Brown Avenue.
The Whitby Newsbrief told me that NZTA has a “commitment to the local community” that they will “demolish the existing Paremata Bridge and remove the clearways through Mana in conjunction with the opening of Transmission Gully motorway, and following appropriate public process,” according to a Paremata Residents Association Inc. report.
Without government, who will demolish the road bridges?!
This is crazy stuff. Notwithstanding that NZTA isn’t actually committed to the bridge demolition, it’s only committed to considering it as a serious option! Read the full Whitby Newsbrief article here.
Now let’s cut to the chase. What really needs to be demolished immediately is the speed camera installation on Whitford Brown Avenue.
The Whitford Brown Ave speed camera is the country’s busiest, having clocked up more than $1 million in fines in nine months last year.
Figures released by New Zealand Police show that in the first nine months of 2015, 15,273 infringement notices were given to motorists caught travelling faster than 54kmh. That put $1,139,490 into the Government coffers.
The second most lucrative camera in New Zealand was the one in Ngaruanga Gorge. It collected $1,070,000 from 14,200 notices.
After complaints from residents, Kapi-Mana News last February asked police for the number of fines resulting from the Whitford Brown camera, and the highest speed clocked along the road, but we were refused that information.
We were told that “due to a technical recording error, [police] could not provide information relating to specific cameras”.
Also, releasing data on speeds risked “glorifying such behaviour and could promote copycat behaviour… thereby creating a public safety risk”, even though incidents of speeding was regularly in the media”.
The police have now chosen to release the information.
I.e., the police lied initially about being unable to provide the information. But I digress.
I’m a safer than average driver. (I collect 1 speeding ticket per 7 years on the road on average.)
I seldom drive Whitford Brown Avenue but I’ve been pinged once. Whereas, I often drive the Ngauranga Gorge and I’ve never been pinged once.
YMMV but, arguably, the speed camera in the gorge has less to do with extorting revenue from the citizenry and more to do with road safety. Whereas, arguably, the speed camera on Whitford Brown Avenue has next to nothing to do with road safety and everything to do with replenishing the troughers’ coffers by means of an arbitrary road tax.
The speed camera on Whitford Brown Avenue must go.
I fantasise about how to wreck the wretched thing as a service to the community.
A hacksaw at the base would surely fell it, but I might be seen sawing and also I’d risk electrocution.
Some explosives wrapped around the base and detonated remotely would see it go out with a bang, but I’d risk the loss of life and limb if I were to dabble in recipes from the Anarchist Cookbook.
A large truck would come off best in any collision with the installation, even at the legal speed limit of 50 kph. If stolen (from the government), it could be abandoned for a quick getaway. So this would be my preferred option.
Lord, lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil!
Beware my friends, It’s that time of year when shysters seek to relieve you of your hard earned cash… and I’m not talking about the marketing Gurus of the Warehouse or Briscoes.
You think the Santa parade is a good show?
Well the Police also enjoy performing their own Pantomimes… yet they are not that entertaining.
We all suffer the anguish of Xmas commercialism and the Police arn’t shy of cashing in too.
Out of the goodness of their hearts, the Police have already implemented their 4km in-tolerance for the months of December and January.
They have already started writing themselves cheques at our expense, and acting out the charade that they are doing their bit to keep us safe on the roads by pinging us at every opportunity they get… Funny Buggers… the joke is on us… because as we are all painfully aware… this strategy is Bogus!
They are making millions… This is Tax gathering disguised as Law and order… they are literally using the carnage and Mayhem on our roads to justify their extortion racket!
Yet still…. like so many other weekends and holidays that this Rapine has been imposed, our Roads are just as drenched in blood and guts … maybe even worse!
7 people died in traffic accidents this weekend. Read about it > Weekend road deaths ‘heartbreaking’
In a recent article … Motorong editor rubbishes campaign
The police’s reduced speed tolerance will be of little benefit to road safety over December and January, say Clive Matthew-Wilson, editor of the car review website dogandlemon.com.
“However much the government tries to massage the figures, the reality is that about 80% of fatalities occur at speeds below the legal limit. Therefore, to claim that ticketing mildly speeding drivers will substantially lower the road toll is simply nonsense,” Mr Matthew-Wilson says.
Think about this:
Some people believe *Principles* are important, irrespective of what negative consequence may arise as a result of them.
They say it is best for society to remain true to these ideals… in spite of any chaos that ensues because they believe that justice is absolutely above everything else… and ultimately also expedient.
*That there is no valid contradiction between Just policy, and the best outcome.*
In Law, a prohibition which the people do not find legitimate, will never work but cause the Law to stink.
Some people dont believe in principles, instead they are pragmatists who believe almost any means is justifiable… if it gets a desired result.
They like to think of themselves ‘as Realists’.
A realist ought to think twice when they begin to see their experiments have failed.
Then you get the complete idiots.
They dont bother with principles either, yet they dont even take into consideration pragmatic realities, but death-grip onto any absurd notion even after it has proven to be worse than useless.
They are hell bent on persevering with failed ideas out of a sheer incapacity to think.
They cannot fathom any possible alternatives… esp if the alternatives require a complete about face and the courage to try a new direction.
Now ask yourself in respect to this ongoing failed and heavy handed strategy regarding stricter Speed-limits…. are you one of these complete Idiots… or are you one of the other two types of thinking people?
If you claim you are not a member of the Idiots, then I ask why so many of you are not spitting the Dummy over the travesty of 4km intolerance on Speed on our roads, given that it has proven to be a complete farce?
Why do you allow yourselves to be molested at times of celebration by an army of parasites, who hide in the shaddows like Villains ready to pounce?
Why do you allow your wallets to be emptied… and your pleasant travels to be rudely interfered with by Bullies and robbers with badges?
If in the light of all the evidence you still insist this predatory extortion racket is for the public good…. well then I say you are an Idiot…because and I repeat…the facts are indisputable…. all the heavy handed fines and impositions (such as the lower drinking limits) are not reducing the carnage on the road one iota!
You are like the Police (and government)… bereft of New and better strategies… and too scared to tell them to back off, and quit their harassment.
The whole roading safety strategy needs a rethink, and a change in focus.
I’m not advocating anarchy, but smarter approaches… using the tools available.
Such as more No overtaking lines where obviously there is limited visibility for a distance, yet also having more overtaking lanes, and slow vertical lanes so that people can safely get past on stretches where crossing the white line is hazardous.
Not only does this present obvious safety advantages, but less obvious if combined with the police *not being so Fascist about speed, and the government passing reforms that allow even greater speeds on the best sections of highway, this will generate *more respect* from users, and a safer culture of driving to the conditions… understanding the logic that a Smarter road strategy allows people to go faster where appropriate, and reduces the stretches where slow moving vehicles can provoke rash maneuvers by people anxious to get past.
Make the best roads faster and you will get less speeders on the country back roads.
Get away from the ‘Cops are your enemy’ mindset that heavy handed ticketing is all about.
*Bust REAL dangerous drivers only*.
People who do dangerous/ reckless maneuvers, leaving others traveling at speed in obviously ideal conditions alone.
These are just a few ideas that could be an alternative to the current rapacious bully tactics of the police that is not only a failure, but as a result generates a severe disrespect for them and the law.
We should be brave enough to try!
The definition of folly is doing the same thing over and over yet expecting different results.
Dont you think it’s kinda ridiculous to even believe the idea that the Police *can bring down the road toll*???
Where did that nutty idea even come from?
Did they themselves assume this roll like superman?
This whole business was nothing more than a ruse from the start… to wrangle more power for themselves.
It’s a gimmick to fool the dopey into accepting being being hounded and fleeced like sheep.
It simply cannot be the Polices job to ‘End the carnage on the road’… and it certainly is not their job to treat us like cash cows… remember they work for us and we have the right to enjoy the use our roads free of molestation.
The police need a serious attitude adjustment.
And realistically we must accept that accidents will happen.
No amount of social engineering can eliminate the human factor.
If we really want things to change, then we must start voicing our demands at every opportunity… create/ join lobby groups that protest against the Status quo.
Write to AA, Write to your Mp’s, demanding they put a stop to this mickey mouse behavior of the police.
Demand they show us all more respect.
Demand a Culture change within the Police force, and stop voting for Nanny Statists whom have no fresh ideas… but love flogging that dead horse… of Less freedoms, Heavier fines…
Spend time thinking up ways to bring in reforms rather than more mutton fisted misery.
I must add some balance.
I am sure many police sincerely believe their activities are just, after all… they are following what their bosses say is supposed to help keep us safe.
I’m sure that some are well aware that this strategy is a failure… yet they are expected to dish out their quota of infringements.
All this exposes the systemic problems.
Any caring police officers should be working within the system for reforms, and should not support further impositions upon the people they serve.
It was never the lower drinking limits that were the problem.
It was never the people doing 120 along the motorway either.
I hope my blog at least stimulates some dialogue and debate.
I personally have had a guts full of the current extortion and Pig headed attitude we get from Parliament on down to those we employ to catch Robbers and rapists.
This Xmas Commercialism must end.
New Zealand Biker.
Many years ago I herd a very interesting theory, which immediately struck a chord.
Simply put … It made much more sense than the common assumptions.
What is un-questioningly accepted as Scientific Fact and ‘Common wisdom’ is patently absurd.
What am I on about?
Oil and Gas are falsely assumed to be a fossil fuels…. the reality is *there are no Fossil Fuels!*
They are all simply naturally occurring accumulations of Organic compounds of which the Earth is made.
The idea that Oil and gas reserves are the remains of Prehistoric Creatures and vegetation which were somehow buried in massive deposits before decomposition is quite frankly Ridiculous!
Apart from the fact that you can make make oil, gas, and coal via industrial processes from Wood, etc,
the delusion that Oil and Gas are ‘fossil fuels’ was argued from the fact that oil samples under a microscope revealed ‘cellular’ materials.
Yet it later turned out that these Biological ‘bits and pieces’ are not the remnants of Dinosaurs and trees (as supposed, and taught to the Masses) but are the remnants of Bacteria which have since been discovered to live in the Oil deep down below the surface of the Earth.
And recent discoveries in Space exploration are now rendering the Fossil fuel hypothesis even more untenable.
Surely the Lie cannot continue much longer… can it???
Just recently vast quantities of liquid “hydrocarbons’ have been discovered in places like Saturn’s moon Titan … and because there have never existed living creatures on theses moons…. it proves that Hydrocarbons form in abundance within our solar system via other natural processes… On Earth carbon is converted internally under heat and pressure etc.
On Titan, it is the cold which liquefies the naturally abundant Gases and ‘Oils’ rain from the sky and form lakes, etc.
All it takes is the right conditions… no Dinosaurs… no forests required.
Suspicion that Oil was not a Fossil fuel has been suspected for Decades… even longer, yet the belief persisted and is perpetuated because it suits the Oil companies to sell it at a premium, and to the Doomsday Greenies whom cry out that ‘fossil fuels’ are a Non-renewable resource that are being Rapaciously consumed… that there is an Oil crisis ahead… and so Capitalism must be stopped, and that heavy handed State control of these ‘limited Resources’ was essential to prevent the eminent ‘Dooms Day’ … The collapse of modern civilisation and Technology…. and a reversion back into the dark age.
These are the same freaks whom also push ‘Climate change’ hysteria…. which also according to them is fast bringing Global catastrophe…. and so…. ‘surprise surprise’… requires the State to seize control of all the worlds resources and restrain Human liberty.
Putting an end to the assumed Decadence of owning your own Gas guzzers with Ginormous ‘Carbon footprints’… etc
Yet there is no crisis (At least not from Green house gasses or a shortage of Oil!)… no need to surrender the world to a Global Fascist/Commy State….alias Leviathan.
Oil and Gas are constantly being made within the Earth’s crust… out of the Earth itself.
Drained reservoirs refill.
The Idea that Oil and Gas are ‘fossil fuels is one of the great myths of our age.
It demonstrates Humanities infinite capacity to swallow Brontosaurus sized delusions and politically manufactured pseudo-science.
Yet because the Fossil fuel myth it is so utterly believed by the great bulk of humanity, I know that not many people reading this will believe me.
They will say I’m Nuts.
How dare I question the orthodox view?
I on the other hand am wondering how long will these Jurassic delusions continue?
Hitler has been sited as saying… “the Bigger the Lie, the more people will believe it.”
Another saying is…
‘… a person is more likely to continue to believe a lie he has herd a thousand times rather than the truth he has herd only once’.
I wonder what sort of Comments this Blog post will elicit
The United Kingdom’s red flag law was one of the Locomotive Acts enacted in the second half of the 19th century, requiring drivers of self-propelled vehicles (i.e., early automobiles) to take certain safety precautions, including waving a red flag in front of the vehicle as a warning.
Firstly, at least three persons shall be employed to drive or conduct such locomotive, and if more than two waggons or carriages he attached thereto, an additional person shall be employed, who shall take charge of such waggons or carriages :
Secondly, one of such persons, while any locomotive is in motion, shall precede such locomotive on foot by not less than sixty yards, and shall carry a red flag constantly displayed, and shall warn the riders and drivers of horses of the approach of such locomotives, and shall signal the driver thereof when it shall be necessary to stop, and shall assist horses, and carriages drawn by horses, passing the same,
The legislators behind the Locomotive Acts well recognised two salient facts. Firstly, that by far the greatest hazard on our roads is other road users. Secondly, that the faster you go the bigger the mess.
The most draconic restrictions and speed limits were imposed by the 1865 act (the “Red Flag Act”) which required all road locomotives, which included automobiles, to travel at a maximum of 4 mph (6 km/h) in the country and 2 mph (3 km/h)in the city – as well as requiring a man carrying a red flag to walk in front of road vehicles hauling multiple wagons.
The 1896 Act removed some restrictions of the 1865 act and raised the speed to 14 mph (23 km/h).
Presumably, the requirement to carry a red flag was removed because of its general inconvenience and also because 23 km/h is a bit too fast to be chasing after someone carrying a red flag not less than sixty yards in front of your relentlessly pursuing vehicle.
Consider two vehicles approaching each other from opposite directions on the open road, each travelling at today’s speed limit of 100 km/h. The difference in relative velocity is 200 km/h. The only things preventing the vehicles colliding is a gap of 2 metres of air and asphalt. With, optionally, a painted line or lines to demarcate the two lanes. Oh, and the driving ability of both drivers. The chances are the the driving ability of at least one of the drivers is below average.
Now consider what a morally reckless and especially stupid idea it is to have vehicles on the same road travelling in opposite directions at high velocity. These days, only a psychopath with a road kill paraphilia would dream of proposing such an idea! But it’s what we’ve got. I guess it evolved that way, and now we’re left with the task of incrementally fixing our roads while continuing to scrape our friends and family members off them in the meantime.
Our roading system, originally built so that vehicles travelling in opposite directions can share the same road, is, was and always will be a disaster waiting to happen.
I spotted this bumper sticker on the way to work today. (The driver and the vehicle were also looking a bit the worse for yesteryear, which is why I noticed them.)
Mature readers from Wellington might like to try to remember the year that Wellington’s morning paper The Dominion and Wellington’s evening paper The Evening Post merged to become today’s metropolitan daily The Dominion Post.