What a beautiful autumn we are having, after a magnificent summer, the best I can remember in many, many years, it might even have been the best ever.
I’ve been writing a column for this two bit magazine for some ten years now with little to no recognition from the management of Channel Magazine. I must say how greatly disappointed I was, yet again, to not get an invitation to their annual soiree at the Bruce Mason Centre. Obviously they don’t think I could run to a ‘black tie’ outfit. I’m not really offended, I’d as soon have a couple of beers with my mates at the North Shore Rugby Club. Mind you as soon as the Henry Luce of the North Harbour reads this, he’ll invite me to the next one, but after 10 years of not inviting me I will gladly turn down the invitation.
I can’t understand, after countless hundreds of millions of dollars and many years of construction, that the road going north from Huntly to Rangiriri is closed for some 10 kilometers after just being opened a year or so ago. There are 10 kilometers of concrete barriers closing the road to one way at a grossly reduced speed. I would like to know why this has happened and how long it is going to be closed for. Is there a source of information online somewhere that we can search and ask these questions? It would be interesting to know.
I also can’t understand why the 40 seat Metro buses continue to pour out of Devonport every half hour, heading to Cheltenham, Narrow Neck, Stanley Bay and Takapuna with virtually nobody on board for these trips. The other day I was out for a walk and counted just 12 people getting on buses at 5pm in the evening, surely to God somebody should realise this just isn’t working and there must be a better way. These huge diesel guzzling dinosaurs should be phased out and a more efficient means of transport established. It is nonsensical what is happening presently.
With regard to Public Transport, a mate of mine didn’t have his car one day and decided to take public transport from his home in Takapuna to Albany and then on into the City, and back home again. The whole day cost him four hours of combined waiting and travelling on various transport modes and he swore he would never do it again. Until Public Transport is overhauled and changed to suit commuters, we just won’t get people using it.
Talking about Transport, this makes me think of NZTA’s Road to Zero campaign, which we all know is a total impossibility. Why would they continue to spend some $80 million on advertising on a nonsensical and impossible dream? It will never happen and why would we think it would happen, unless we get everyone out of their cars, trucks, buses, work vehicles, ambulances and fire trucks. Get every vehicle off the roads and park them on big field somewhere outside Taumarunui, close down all the petrol stations and the motor mechanics so nobody can drive a vehicle, refuel it or get it fixed. We’d need to get people off their bikes, scooters and motor bikes, skateboards - any wheeled mode of transport would have to be removed. That’s the only way this absurd goal can be realised. While we are about it, the next achievement they’ll be thinking about it is a Road to Zero for drownings. Last year we had around 80 drownings, so we will need to get rid of all boats, full stop. All recreational and commercial boats and ships, maybe they could all be put in that very large paddock, just outside Taumarunui, alongside all the vehicles in the country. This is how stupid this Waka Kotahi project is, with their Road to Zero campaign. The whole country would just grind to a halt.
I was really disappointed on Anzac Day to see the traditional 10am gathering at the Memorial of the Soldier in Devonport didn’t happen. Apparently the RSA, in their wisdom, decided to hold a gathering at 7.30am and their reason being was this:
“Due to the timing of the changing Covid levels and the need to protect our veterans and the time needed for Council to process a permit and a traffic management plan to allow the normal Anzac Day event to proceed, it was cancelled for 10am”.
What a load of crap. Devonport has had a traditional Anzac Day Parade every Anzac Day at 10am. Even after the Mosque shootings, and during the first lockdown of Covid, the residents organised their own service, very very successfully. This secretive Anzac Day service must never be allowed to happen again.
And a final thing is, I would like to know what the Defence Force plans are for all the ghost Navy housing along Calliope Road. That is a good question, isn’t it? Enjoy the rest of your month.
From the Publisher: I think you’ve been writing for 12 years Mr G. The invites in the mail for 2023. We love your work.