I had a lovely break, but...

If anybody is interested, I had a lovely break over Christmas at Russell, thoroughly loving our beautiful environment. Again, swimming at Long Beach, Elliot’s Bay and Bland Bay. Watching test cricket in the afternoon, from Australia, but I’ll get on to that shortly. Barbecuing on the deck with good friends and family and enjoying the odd pint down at the Duke of Marlborough, that wonderful iconic establishment on the waterfront.

I spent several days out sailing with friends, with the luxury of returning to my own warm bed at night, which I was very comfortable with. I’ve spent plenty of nights on a narrow bunk, with the boat sloshing around, so to come home to my own bed is pure luxury.

New Year’s Eve was spent with wonderful friends on the deck of their lovely home, overlooking the town of Russell. We are truly privileged to live in this wonderful country.

I thought, while I was lying on the couch watching the test cricket between Australia and England, that New Zealand Cricket had really let down their fans by putting the test cricket New Zealand v. Bangladesh on Spark Sport. This is a platform I find very, very clumsy to navigate through, after the debacle of the Rugby World Cup. I truly believe that New Zealand Cricket has ‘dropped the ball’ by having New Zealand cricket in New Zealand on Spark, while New Zealand cricket overseas is on SKY. Why have the two platforms?  I know, talking with plenty of cricket loving friends, they totally agreed with my sentiments. I suggest NZ Cricket might like to look into this.

While we are talking about being badly let down, I feel we are being badly let down by KiwiRail and their InterIsland ferries. The ferry Kaiarahi suffered catastrophic damage to its gearbox in August last year and it was thought repairs should  be completed by March this year, but this has now been pushed out to the middle of this year. All three ferries are old, unreliable and in need of huge maintenance programmes. In regards to the Kaiarahi, KiwiRail considered the options, which were rebuilding the gearbox, replacing with a second hand gearbox or putting the ferry into retirement. This would leave us with two ferries. This is again a classic example of the lack of investment in the vital infrastructure in our country. While I’m in that region, please could someone tell me when Transmission Gully is going to open, and what’s causing the delay?

While I am on about motorways, could somebody tell me please when the northern corridor, which is the road around the Rosedale area on the North Shore, is going to be finished and when the new road from Johnson's Tunnel to Warkworth is going to be finished?  There seems to be an open cheque book from the Government to contractors with no real end date. Could someone also let me know when Waka Kotahi is forming a plan for a new road between Warkworth and Wellsford, which is one of the most dangerous stretches of road in the country? 

While we are on Waka Kotahi, a reliable source at the coalface tells me that the television advertisement they made with the road worker on one side of the road yelling to kids on the other side of the road, about be slowing the traffic to enable the road to be safer, apparently cost nearly $1 million to make, and by the end of December, cost another $1m odd to TVNZ to air it. Instead of fixing the roads, they are spending money to slow the traffic. 

Some other thoughts, while I was lying on that couch in Russell, were that if we are all serious about rubbish we must immediately outlaw single use coffee cups, and the plastic tabs to close the plastic bags of bread. Somebody could have a word in Mr Tip Top’s and Mr Vogel’s ears and tell them we no longer need the plastic tabs. Going back to the single use coffee cups, I believe there would be several hundred thousand a day, which equates to nearly a million a year, used once and dumped in our rubbish tips.  I, for one, refuse to participate in this habit. Anywhere you go, bins are full of these single use cardboard receptacles with their plastic lids. To say they are getting recycled is absolute BS; they are all ending up in landfill. Another item I see regularly in the gutters, on the beach and spilling out of bins, are those disposable masks.  Come on New Zealand, we can do better than this.

While I am on this, TVNZ News and Channel 3 News are absolute crap and I refuse to watch either channel. I see Channel 1 is advertising a brand new breakfast programme which is coming to us at the end of January. Watch this space, for another round of new-age woke lefties as presenters. 

As you can see, over the holiday break, there’s been time for a bit of reflection.  Let’s enjoy the rest of summer.

By: , Gundry's Grumbles

Issue 127 February 2022