Kapiti Coast Divided by ‘Roads of National Significance’

The expressway for better or worse!  In essence for good or bad Kapiti reaps what it has sown.  After a sustained period of housing development Kapiti has the appearance of any other Wellington suburb lying beside the northern motorway. We have endured years of ‘hand wringing’ inaction on infrastructures including the lower Waikanae bridge.  We continue to dither on the concept of ‘future proofing’ community projects such as the new pool complex despite having a large young population and having substantially increased the rate payer base.  We continue to pay homage to the financial marketplace in having Coastlands as our defacto community centre.  The proposed expressway is merely more homage to the ‘free’ marketplace.

Voted in by a fair margin, John Key’s National government recently displayed its naked desires to continue NZ’s association with globalisation and the ailing neo-liberal monetarism system, when it cast aside due process of a democracy, workers rights to collectively bargain with an employer  and limply kowtowed to Peter Jackson & Warner Brothers.   At the same time his stated goal of closing  the wage gap with Australia was shown to be empty of substance.  This week he is telling the Japanese to abandon their farmers in favour of our multinational Fonterra.  The mandate of Freidman’s neo-liberal capitalism & globalisation is solely profit, it is not public good.

A routine ploy of current corporate practise is to move costs/externals, where possible, onto unrelated third parties.  This process enables both increased profit and the increase of market share through the production/sale of overly cheap goods.

The ‘selling’ of this expressway is that it is of ‘national significance’.   By degrees, rhetoric akin to Bush ‘selling’ an immoral war with the politics of fear-WMD’s and ‘war on terror’.  In our little piece of the world, the real winners include the trucking industry driving on roads subsidised by tax payers.

The Labour government of the 1984-1990 foisted monetarism (Rogernomics) on NZ.  Policy created and the sale of publicly owned assets rode on the justification of ‘efficiency’ and the eradication of subsidiary.  It became a ‘user pays world’ and Government owned NZ railways with any added value as a public good was substantially abandoned.

The same examination of ‘efficiencies’ should rightly be brought to bear on trucking.  Studies in the US suggest that the trucking industry causes 99% of damage to highways but only pay 35% of the maintenance costs.  That one 18 wheel truck causes the same damage as 9600 cars.  Our trucks run up to 30 wheels.

A casual look at local efficiency, one machine with its operator mowing grass beside the Wellington motorway is accompanied by two road cone/safety trucks and another ute.  This style of McJobs hardly demonstrates efficiency.  It is also hard to see that these jobs are any more productive than the shovel leaning icon of the railways heyday prior to 1984.  Placed alongside our high unemployment and rise in prison population since 1984 the current regime does not scream success.

In properly applying ‘free’ market rhetoric, the only people paying for a road and transport of goods should be the user of those roads and transporters/users of those goods.  The roads should not be subsidised by the unrelated tax payer.   That is roads are paid for through kilometre & fuel tax that truly reflects the road cost of that particular vehicle.  If that then proves less cost effective and efficient than using a railway network for long haul, then so be it and we then have a reduced load on our road network.  Further goods transported long distances may then attract a price tag that allows local production and decentralisation to once again compete in the marketplace.

An honest government working for the true public good, rather than the requirements of globalisation, would allow a thorough open examination of the merits of all matters of national significances including transportation alternatives. However when we fail to educate ourselves on important issues and when we vote for politicians promoting economics divorced from an overarching principle of public good, then we do indeed reap what we sow.

About mountainmax

My musings including poetry and photography reflect myself as a man concerned about the world, our country (New Zealand), our society, our community and relationships between us humans…being... I have through my life worked in menial jobs, self employed manual and trades, computer operations, farmed as a left over hippy dream (actually more of a punk with internalised spikes) on a small holding, and photography including watching that dream evaporate during the recent recession with the failure to make this as a business pay...I recently worked in a support role at a ‘not for profit’ outdoor education and pursuits centre located in the bush (wilderness)...4 years in the bush was enough for me and I am currently enjoying being back in the city and the life style that goes with that...that and working under corporate style management complete with 'green-washing' to claim environmental integrity that frankly did not exist. While the ethical value of the education in my employment held my attention, the ethical value seems to excuse a poor rate of pay. For me this is reflective of how we as a nation (in common with many other western societies) values contribution to our society. At the other extreme we have a financial 1%er as our current Prime Minister who made his fortune manipulating money in the neo-liberal/globalisation marketplace which he continues to hold up as the nirvana in our lives... I am now in the autumn (fall) season of my life. From this vantage I now appreciate the learning from all manner of experience including the exposure through a radical father to 1960 and 70’s political agitation, human angst of relationship failure, gender conflict in our family legal systems, mental illness and the real life effects of drugs... All overlaid with more recent formal academic study in sociology with some education, anthropology, social policy and history within which gender issues were specifically engaged with... The ‘melting pot’ of experience gives me the cynical idea that most of us are manipulated ‘rats’ on a treadmill. Living life wrestling with barriers to progress as individuals and between us in community, in a world run by psychopaths... … Perversely, I have a sense of excitement at the world we live in, in particular the expansion of the possibilities to communicate to a wider audience, to get past the ‘gate keepers’ in the digital era and to communicate your own truth, to tell our own stories. (see posted extended reasoning for my muse).
This entry was posted in Capitalism, John Key-Prime Minister, Neo-liberal/globalisation/'free' market, NZ politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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