How the $1b cycle bridge becomes performance art and why a middle class ev car welfare testosterone tax is smart politics 

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Think about the actual dynamics of this cycle bridge.

Commuters on the Harbor Bridge for the next 5 years watching this billion dollar glorified cycle lane grow ever slowly while they are stuck in traffic.

People will start yelling at the bridge as they drive by it. Aucklanders throwing garbage at it as they drive past will become as ubiquitous as Wellingtonians honking their horn through the tunnel.

This cycle bridge is a performance art piece called ‘helping National win the next election’.

Does anyone actually believe Labour will build this in 5 years? We all know they can’t build one house in a room full of lego!

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This will drag on and on and on.

It will become the new monument to Phil Goff’s dreaded ‘progress’ where infrastructure dooms viable use of public space for years and we all have to pretend it’s great.

Don’t get me wrong, as a Gold Star Public Transport User who has never driven a car, I support any infrastructure that pisses off car drivers.

One of the true joys in Auckland is doing the fingers to cars stuck in traffic as you whizz past them in the bus lane.

All that said, announcing a billion dollar bike bridge because militant middle class pakeha cyclists demand it is going go down like a cup of cold sick with voters who already despise Labour and who live in places where basic roading is the issue and not peddle powered self actualization.

That’s why the middle class ev car welfare testosterone tax is such smart politics.

Labour’s power electorate are the 45+ women vote who had been charmed by Key and voted National in 2017 but voted with genuine Covid response respect for Jacinda in 2020.

That electorate of 45+ women will absolutely buy an electric car and will continue to support Labour because it’s middle class welfare. The testosterone tax on Ute’s will hit men who don’t vote Labour so fuck them.

This is clever politics by Labour, it boosts and maintains the electorate whose seismic shift has given them a majority while hitting the electorate who don’t vote for them hardest.

If Labour maintains support with the 45+ female electorate, Jacinda can win the next 2 elections.

It will feed the polarization of the Right but that’s a fight between National and ACT for 2023.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. The car levy/subsidy that applies to all newly imported cars is a tiny step addressing climate change. It says the more polluting, the more you pay. It’s the start of a conversation that isn’t going to stop. So in that respect it’s a good thing.

    It’s not earth shattering, but the government has a hell balancing act not to shit on the less well off, not to obliterate the car industry and yet begin to bring about meaningful change.

    As for the bridge. Surely some sort of very regular ferry directly between Northcote point and Westhaven would suffice for cyclists until a final decision in respect of a tunnel for rail etc is made. But to spend the phenomenal sums of money on a supplementary bridge is madness.

    And no, the current bridge cannot withstand the extra engineering to safely accommodate cyclists.

    • Kind of ironic that you mention that it’s all about polluting, considering this govts track record on burning more and more coal.

      7th form ideology sadly doesn’t reflect stone cold reality.

  2. Taking from tradies and rural people to give to rich urbanites.
    I’ve previously noted the Labour/green pompous Ute Derangement Syndrome sufferers over at The Standard sublime in their moral superiority and ignorance of actual working or rural people – this is their moment.

    Once governments would govern for all people, now it’s just partisan attack.
    The key to fighting climate change is to make someone else make the sacrifices evidently.

    The utes copping the new tax are needed rurally for farms, transporting gear, towing, there is no plug in hybrid or ev to switch to. There is no public transport and distances are well beyond current EVs.

    They will subsidize city dwellers, who should already be using public transport, to buy EVs and continue congestion problems.

    Scrap this further attack on working class tradies and farmers and introduce congestion tolls in all major cities to pay for public transport there.
    Give rural people biodiesel options.

    Shove the taxpayer bought cycle monstrosity for the wealthy few where the Lycra prevents the sun shining.

  3. I think this will backfire on them in the polls. The middle-class like their fwd’s in the suburbs.

    A Tesla is still a car. It needs tyres, oil(s), regular maintenance as does a normal car.

    The metals, nickel, copper, etc … lithium are more rare than iron ore and aluminium!
    The batteries need to be replaced regularly, 5-8 years and are worth 4.5t of mining each and then there’s the disposal of those materials.

    Then add to that the rarity and slave labour involved and the environmental destruction in the hundreds of thousands of tonnes needed for these metals.

    The capacity isn’t there to sustain the electric car economy in NZ where it’s not needed.

    0.17% of global emissions is fuck all. No point in leading this scam. The northern hemisphere is the largest polluters and secondary environmental terrorists as far as their consumption goes.

    The lifespan of an electric car is up to 160,000km. Whereas a good ole V8 will go round the clock twice or more and last 50 years+!

    Recycle V8’s!

    Add the manufacturing emissions too, which when the emissions are added up over the lifetime of a normal car/diesel versus a low range-distance electric car that has no infrastructure in place nationally, the middle class will stick with the 4wd diesel because of range per tank and less fucking about with an expensive car when it goes wrong which is a piece of shit.

    • Also, remember. She is borrowing $580m-$640m per week still.

      Gotta feed that middle class and spend the kids future!

      • Also! Goffs into the ‘creation’ of Green Bonds!
        I wonder if this is their sneaky plan … “Green Bond issued by the council in just over a year. In June last year, the council announced it had raised $200 million from a Green Bonds offer, which it would use to fund Auckland’s electric trains and associated public transport infrastructure.

        Late last year the RBNZ bought $3bn of the Regional Councils $10b debt to release funding back into the Regional councils pockets. The question is, who got a share out of the 71 Regional Council across the motu?

        Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said at the time that it was the council’s first foray into the Green Bonds market.”

  4. Spending a billion dollars as an election strategy is disgraceful.
    Surely even Labour cannot be that ruthless.
    Surely women in the 45 plus age category aren’t stupid and will see this for what it is.
    Giving the fingers to car drivers childish.

  5. Will they allow rickshaws, pack mules, horses, dog carts, ox and wheelbarrows to use this bridge as well?

    The peasants will still need to get about and do their thing.

    • think you’ll find that hordes of peasants will be living on the bridge, moved along every morning by security forces so the cyclists can signal their immaculate virtue.

  6. The bike lobby is so fascinating. The lengths they go to manipulate public opinion but especially that of politicians really knows no bounds, most importantly when it comes to crucifying honesty.

    Burnt by the fact the cycling community are Ponsonby/Grey Lynn/Pt Chev privileged white folk who locked up Auckland’s motorways with their bratish attention-seeking wank and have been on the receiving end of endless bad press, they have regrouped and in an amateur focus group have come up with this absolute pearler:

    This from Kirsty Wild from the Spinoff, who when not comparing cyclists to female victims of misogynous oppressors, published this kaka in the NZ Herald tonight:

    “In low-income communities, cycling can be an important “survival tool” for those who can’t afford a car. This group of low-income cyclists is our most vulnerable group of cyclists. They often can’t afford lights, or a helmet. Their bikes are uncomfortable and less safe because they can’t afford to maintain them. They often ride more dangerous roads because they don’t have the work flexibility to take a bit of extra time to avoid busy routes. They should be first priority in our glossy cycling safety strategies, but they almost never feature”.

    Where does one begin? It started kinda unconvincingly and then layered on the bullshit just a metre too thick. Apparently, these middle-class tossers went into bat for the riffraff. God bless their little lycra sockettes!

    What a fucking insult you patronising creep. I work in poor areas, grew up in one. Cycling is not an aspiration, survival is. Bikes are not a go in these areas, they need to get about the place and have less time or enthusiasm for such amusements. Using the lower class as a vehicle to promote your pastime is appalling but strangely typical of the people that dwell in the well-to-do cycling fraternity. Spinoff’s Wild had to invent this crap because it is what she guesses happens in poor communities. She is so obviously out of her depth that not only is it embarrassing, it’s rotten.

    Her article did nothing to change the unlikability of the militant cyclists who demand and stomp their feet wanting cycle lanes everywhere to satisfy their fair-weathered pastimes!

    • ““In low-income communities, cycling can be an important “survival tool” for those who can’t afford a car. This group of low-income cyclists is our most vulnerable group of cyclists. They often can’t afford lights, or a helmet. Their bikes are uncomfortable and less safe because they can’t afford to maintain them.”

      LOL When did you last see a brown person on a bike? Really? These ‘poor’ people ALL have cars. Often they stay poor because they buy utterly ridiculous cars they cannot afford, crash them and don’t get them serviced. (This from my motor mechanic relative who works at the AA and who gets paid by WINZ to fix them)

    • Wresting our electricity from the corporate scum roger douglas and his mates gave it to would be smarter.
      @ john. Whenever I read what you write I’m reminded of seeing phlegm on the footpath.

  7. I just don’t understand how NZTA need to take so long and demolish the houses for the cycle lane. Can’t they just take out space?

    I’d prefer there to be a ban on trucks for example between 7 and 10 am and 3 and 6 pm and the cycle walk way operate on existing lanes. Could do that this year!

    Arguably the trucks are dangerous on this bridge after tipping over!

    Government just don’t seem to have any instinct to save money but just expensive and long scheme, one after the other.

    Betcha they will demolish the houses quickly though!

    Stop the madness that is NZ construction and consultation ponzi!

    Do the easy, quick thing, if it doesn’t work, then try something else. But the easy, quick solutions, first.

  8. Why don’t they introduce pedal powered ferries. Put your bike on the back and when say 12 cyclists are aboard off they go. A lot cheaper than a bridge, everyone gets exercise, hard to see a downside really.

  9. This cycle bridge is more proof of this governments incompetence.
    The only thing that will save them is that they are too incompetent to get it built.

    • The Cycle Bridge is going to be a noose around their necks from now on.

      No money for nurses? You have a billion dollars for a cycle bridge?
      No new money for Pharmac? You have a billion dollars for a cycle bridge?
      Ashburton can’t have a new road bridge. You have a billion dollars for a cycle bridge?

      Every time someone calls for extra funding in a key area, it’s going to be compared to a billion dollar cycle bridge for 2 or 3 Aucklanders to make themselves feel smug.

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