Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Truck Off, etc

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    I love how, whether it's convoying truckers, or striking ferry workers (in school holls, naturally)... they always make a point of apologizing to the public for the inconvenience caused..

    So sorry.... my arse. The Whole point IS the inconvenience.... it wouldnt be a very effective protest or strike if no one noticed would it? It's why its on the news.

    ITA, and there's nothing that annoys me more than the transparently insincere not-particularly-apologetic pro forma apology. At least you're in a b.s.-free zone with the unrepentant bastard.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    I suppose it was inevitable that people would start finding links between road user charges and the anti-smacking law ...

    Great (and genuine) Press Releases of our time, no. 253:

    Protest action by truckies has gained the support of the Sensible Sentencing Trust who says if effective crime policies were put in place the savings could be spent on road maintenance instead of increasing road user charges to truckies.

    Coming soon: Support the Truckies and save the kakapo! My night of top gear top speed passion with a Truckie, by Angel Barbie! Bishop asks: what would a Truckie do?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1328 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Meanwhile, Your Views is its weirdly, sadly compelling self. I suppose it was inevitable that people would start finding links between road user charges and the anti-smacking law ...

    Yeah, but OTOH as I said there were a few odd anti- efforts on National Radio this morning. (Seriously, I'm not masochistic enough to wade into 'Your Views'.) "The economic equivalent of boy-racers" is just weird.

    And while I hate to say this, WTF is up with Annette King? You might disagree with me, Russell, but I don't think she's really got her head in the game. nasty health portofolio. And I'm not being snidely partisan here -- on the political management front, you've got to admit she did a good job of articulating those "fancy facts and numbers" when Health Minister. (Also a portfolio where the emotional temperature was always pretty high.) But repeating "my focus is on being fair" ad nauseum -- what does that mean Ms. King? -- isn't up to her usual standard.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    ...if effective crime policies were put in place the savings could be spent on road maintenance instead of increasing road user charges to truckies.

    Effective crime policies that involve spending a lot more on prisons to house more prisoners for longer? Wouldn't that mean less money for roads?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3205 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Oh, it's worse than that...

    [It was] empirically determined that the effective damage done to the road is roughly proportional to the 4th power of axle weight .[37] A typical tractor-trailer weighing 80,000 pounds (36.287 t) with 8,000 pounds (3.6287 t) on the steer axle and 36,000 pounds (16.329 t) on both of the tandem axle groups is expected to do 7,800 times more damage than a passenger vehicle with 2,000 pounds (0.907 t) on each axle.

    While the RUC does increase at greater than a linear rate per axle and takes into account the number of wheels per axle (which relates to road footprint) , it certainly isn't an exponential function (PDF). If this was the case, I suspect heavy trucks wouldn't be economic. And they'd be marching on Parliament with guns, rather than just driving slowly. Now, we might have reasons to subsidise truck transport over other forms, but lets be clear and realistic here. We're subsidising trucks by a huge amount. And that's before we include the externalities, which are quite substantial.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Great (and genuine) Press Releases of our time, no. 253:

    See also: similar press releases from The Kiwi Party and The Family Party.

    And Pansy Wong also manages to link RUC charges to spiralling crime rates.

    It would be funny if it wasn't sort of serious.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Ha, that Sensible Sentencing Trust press release is hilarious. Hilariously depressing I suppose...

    But aren't the Herald just LOVING this. It's getting 9/11 coverage with it's own section, minute-by-minute updates, "faces behind the protest" interest stories, multimedia.
    It's surely not THAT big a deal?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    See also: similar press releases from The Kiwi Party and The Family Party.

    And Pansy Wong also manages to link RUC charges to spiralling crime rates.

    Lets play: Count the "out of touch"s and "struggling families"s and "belt-tightening"s!!

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    It's surely not THAT big a deal?
    The German guy at my coffeeshop gave us a laugh mimicking the news helicopters we could hear flying overhead.
    "Thank GOD!" as he clutched an imaginary camera, hanging onto the side of an imaginary helicopter "something is happening in New Zealand!"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    This whole 'truck you' thing has the fingerprints of astroturfers written all over it.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I'd have thought, though perhaps I'm in the minority on this, that the truckies are demonstrating exactly why they should be charged for their use of the roads, by clogging them up in peak hour traffic. Surely that's counterproductive.

    Doing something a bit different, like staying home and not delivering goods to shops etc, would demonstrate a little better how they contribute to the economy in a way that shouldn't be constrained, rather than simply highlighting their potential for creating nuisance.

    I don't understand their support. Trucks and other road users are not natural allies.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    So the zombies win. Well that's just great.

    We all need to watch George Romero movies to prepare us. Remember, aim for their heads.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    To put that extra $500 pa for some trucks in perspective ... over my lunch hour I calculated that my petrol bill has increased by about $2200 pa in four years (based on a 96c/L increase since July 2004).

    I can't pass any of that extra cost on to anyone else (not having any customers), and nor is it a tax-deductible business expense. It comes out of my post-tax salary. Oh the horror!

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Remember, aim for their heads

    Time to stock up on lawnmowers.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    I don't understand their support. Trucks and other road users are not natural allies.

    Especially not Driver Magazine editor Allan Dick. The RTF savaged him big time when he launched a campaign against bigger trucks on the roads.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Meanwhile, Your Views is its weirdly, sadly compelling self. I suppose it was inevitable that people would start finding links between road user charges and the anti-smacking law ...

    Those Your Views chumps are going to be mighty disappointed if, should National be elected, it repeals neither the RUC increases, nor the anti-smacking law (which they all voted for), nor the Civil Unions Act (now entirely normalized).

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    The RTF savaged him big time when he launched a campaign against bigger trucks on the roads.

    Oh, I forgot about that for a moment. A 60 tonne truck does a huge amount more damage to the road than a 40 tonne truck. I wonder what a properly weighted RUC on that rig would be?

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    From Pansy Wong's media release:

    it’s obvious the truckies will no longer tolerate Transport Minister Annette King and her Government riding rough shod over them.

    I always used to get annoyed when organising protests with people who said things like this. "Students will no longer tolerate fee rises." "New Zealanders will no longer tolerate more trees being chopped down."

    If they did actually not tolerate that would be cool. A student fee strike, an occupation of the forest, truckers refusing to work. That's not tolerating.

    What the truckers are doing is being very annoyed while tolerating.

    Someone should figure out how much mileage on average those trucks have done to go to their protest, multiply it by the number of trucks, and then figure out how much additional that's cost them at the higher RUC rate. How many thousand dollars of increase that they were complaining about, did they spend between them today protesting about it? The ironies abound.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    So, the SST supports such "crimes" (or, at least, "infringements" under the relevant Land Transport legislation) of blocking motorway lanes, failing to keep within 30 kph of the posted speed limit when reasonably practicable, repeated sounding of horns for a purpose other than advising other road users of danger, running red lights, and running through pedestrian crossings complete with pedestrians trying to use them.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Those Your Views chumps are going to be mighty disappointed if, should National be elected, it repeals neither the RUC increases, nor the anti-smacking law (which they all voted for), nor the Civil Unions Act (now entirely normalized).

    I unfortunately get the feeling they won't take the step of critical self-analysis of their earlier positions.
    They'll be a "we got rid of the bastards" feeling for a while before they turn around and moan about something else - which they probably backed National on pre-election.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Time to stock up on lawnmowers.

    Ooh yes. And conveniently-located-nearby chainsaws.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    So the zombies win. Well that's just great.

    We all need to watch George Romero movies to prepare us. Remember, aim for their heads.

    Walking into work today over Hopetoun Bridge with the sun backlighting town, 3 helicopters hovering over town while a 4th wizzed up over a nearby building, very little traffic on the road besides some stationary concrete mixer trucks, noise-cancelling headphones on and El Manana playing felt quite a bit like a zombie film actually!

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    So RUC is the rally cry for the Right.
    Not particularly well aimed but the shot at the rising costs are reasonating across a few boundaries.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    "something is happening in New Zealand!"

    I kind of agree! This sort of thing is routine in Paris isn't it?

    BTW - it's not just trucks, one plumbing firm I know of gave all its plumbers instructions to drive their diesel vans in convoy & not report to work until this arvo.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    I read this morning that the increase for trucks over 3 tonnes was $4.90 per 1,000 km or $49 per 10,000. (I can't find the full figures.) Break this down to a block of cheese and it would increase the cost by .001cents. None of the discussion from Suzie Wong to Copeland or others had actually mentioned the facts of the increase though some say 3.5% (King) , some say 7% and some 10%. Anyone find the facts?

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

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