Road to 0 by 2050 is as much a joke as carbon neutral by 2050 – speed isn’t the problem


There’s an advert in NZ that sums up the current madness of the carnage on our roads.

The advert has young car buyers being sold mangled and destroyed cars. The bewilderment on the faces of the young car buyers that these unsafe cars will provide no protection in a car crash mixed with the confusion of why the car dealers are selling them these dangerously unsafe cars perfectly sums up NZ.

We won’t ensure you are safe by demanding cars imported here meet basic safety standards because that would demand regulations and in good ole free market deregulated Nu Zilind, we don’t like regulations, so if you buy a car we know will kill you, too bad for you.

This advert pointing out the grotesque incompetence and malicious manner in which we allow the market to do what it likes is supposedly a legitimate response to justify our low regulation environment on top of reminding Kiwi’s it’s really their fault.

The exact same cheap low regulation mentality is causing  carnage on our roads.

The horror accident of yet another family killed by the fucking trucking industry is just another indictment on our roads.

It’s not fucking drug drivers or cars traveling too fast that is the problem in NZ, it’s the dominance of the Trucking industry coupled with our desire to not spend one cent more than we have to on the actual quality of roads and road engineered safety.

Our roads are goat tracks to Mordor, and the entire safety arm of the  brownwashed Waka Kotahi (their incompetence at keeping us safer is made less chilling because they have a nice Māori name) just admitted they are useless and should probably be dissolved. 

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Here is what is happening on our roads:

We don’t spend enough on basic engineering safety features.

The Trucking Industry use their political power to never pay for the damage they cause our roads and refuse every attempt to get freight onto rail.

Instead of forcing the Trucking industry to pay for the roading upgrades, we spend money on pretending speed is the main issue and patronise us with bullshit advertising telling us it’s our fault rather than the bullshit weak regulation market the Wellington Bureaucrats prefer.

Meanwhile people die on our dangerous roads and get told it’s their fault for speeding while  the Trucking industry get away scot-free again.


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  1. I spend a lot of hours on state highway one every week, and everything you’ve written is gospel truth.
    First up, sympathy for the truck driver in the picton crash – not his fault and his company are generally pretty polite on the road.
    But there are way too many trucks now, and they are bigger since the earthquake allowed road tunnel widening – thus was the main “improvement” after the quakes, and the reducing of speed limits.

    Our population is now over 5 million and there is no good public transport to travel long distances= more cars.

    The road surface is third world and getting worse, large trucks do the damage over 10 000 cars and there are more and bigger.

    More trucks and retarded speed regulations are causing driver frustration and I see stupid passing maneuvers especially when traffic is backed up.
    Not all people respond logically to frustration.

    Truck vs car accidents are on the rise.
    Our road surface is too smooth and suffers tar bleed from the heavy trucks and on days that aren’t even over 30 degrees.
    Last summer they gritted the road on a 28 degree day, not for ice but because their road surface was melting – yep, on state highway one.
    The tar mix is shit, pothole repairs, if done, fail within months.
    Tar bleed makes the road slippery in rain or frost and when it’s hot.
    That’s a fair amount of the time.

    NZTA are utterly incompetent, I see their restructure to fix the current incompetence of 4 separate subgroups not knowing what they or the other groups is doing (?!) is going to remove 7 engineers and concentrate more on management! Good Christ.
    Depress yourself and read the money they spend on PR (up 300%) vs doing their fucking job.
    I’d fire every fucking one of them at this point and the minister and the last minister and the one before that.
    They are killing people and telling us it’s our fault.
    The road to zero credibility.

    • Too right KC. Waka Kotahi exemplifies the frivolous priorities of this government. And yeah what’s with the tar melting on days that aren’t especially hot?

      • and it was different under the nats pope? our roads have turned into 3rd world dirt tracks in just the last few years have they?

    • And now with the closure of the Refinery there is NO BITUMEN available. None made in OZ and only one refinery in Malaysia whose customer list is endless. Only other source of bitumen is in California. Brilliant decision making in NOT supporting the Refinery until alternatives were in place. Well done Labour your vision and understanding how the NZ economy functions is just…fucked!

  2. Last I checked the van with those 7 poor dead souls crossed into the truck’s lane. How is that the trucking industries fault? Explain. NZ drivers are simply lousy.

    • The trucks are f’ing destroying the roads. The logging trucks absolutely tear the northland roads to shreds. Add to that, around Auckland at least, you have all theses truck drivers in the outside lane on motor ways with seemingly no road sense at all. Clearly some companies will be better than others but when there problems with ports of Auckland and they diverted freight to North port, loads of trucks received infringement notices for road worthiness.

      In this case though agree that van appears to have crossed lanes

    • Yes, but if there were fewer trucks on the road, then the chances are that family would still be alive. A split second mistake that has caused the death of 7 people. Who hasn’t made a split second mistake while driving? Every single one of us. And it’s probably by dumb luck we are still alive. If there were fewer trucks on the road then the likelihood of them hitting a truck and dying would be a lot less.

  3. The Germans have the lowest road toll and accident rates.
    And they have autobahns and drink the most beer.
    They are also big on organics, natural medicines and wearing Birkenstock’s.

    So if kiwis drunk more beer, ate more organic foods, used more natural medicine, and wore Birkenstock’s, we might be more like them?

    • Driving license. Let’s look at Germany requirements:
      – a mandatory eight-hour first aid course
      – a minimum of 37 hours of instruction at driving school
      – passing two exams (theoretical and practical)
      – a cost of over EURO 1,400
      Enough said.

  4. A couple of things:
    1). Rail freight is dominated by one company – Mainfreight. if you want less competition and more price gouging then go down this route. The barriers are exceptionally high for any other firm getting into this.
    2). If we ring fenced fuel excise tax and debt funded our new major roading projects there would be plenty of money to go around but alas it is soaked up in other government funding and even more so since 50% of NZ companies are behind with their GST and other taxes.

    yes – our roads are shit and yes it is the fault of both Blue and red governments but all reduced speed limits will do is make freight more expensive and this will impact your wallet.

    • funny how free market NZ has so many monopolies…

      as someone once said..
      there’s only one thing worse than a public monopoly
      and that’s a private monopoly.

    • lol why would a company be given the money?

      Those assets were sold on the cheap, and we got no say in it. Hence, a future government is more than justified in forcibly buying them back on the cheap.

  5. “goat tracks to Mordor” LOL

    But seriously, I can’t disagree with anything you or KC have written here. Visitors from the 1st world must be amazed to find SH1 is a single carriageway for much of its length.

    • Yes, but we are only a country of 5 million people living off our earnings from agriculture – from that, can we afford better. You may quote other 5 million people countries, especially those of Scandinavia, but they have huge earnings from manufacturing, technology and North Sea oil and gas (which the government took a swipe at here).

  6. Well said.

    The whole road to zero is unicorns and rainbows virtue signalling. Some crashes are always going to happen no matter what.

    Speed is the lazy last resort and the answer you give when you don’t want to solve the problem. You see, if you didn’t get out of bed that day or a little man with a red flag walked in front of all vehicles, no one would get hurt! And we’d also live in caves struggling to start a fire.

    SH1 north of Orewa is as disgrace, narrow, windy, shit surfaces, little thing no margin for error. No wonder it is fatal. Yes it is being sorted but only as far as Warkworth, properly that is.

    But the Nana’s at Waka Kotahi’s answer is speed. Not their lack of maintenance, not their lack of foresight. Lower speed limits but don’t you dare address the roads. Or the incompetence of many drivers skills

    And their latest gig, closing the Harbour Bridge at the first sign of a summer breeze! Make it stop! Please!

    • Focusing on speed is a very good example of ‘What gets measured is what gets managed’ shaping all subsequent policy and funding.

      Speed is easy to measure and monitor, both average road speed of a particular road, or for individual speeding offenses.

      No leeway for interpretation – just a number that can be averaged, tracked over time, targeted, etc. And much cheap to focus on rather than road design, infrastructure quality, and driver skills.

    • Lack of safety in new vehicles is a serious problem too. Our corner speed limits are appropriate for Morris Minors and unevenly loaded B-trains. Anything else should be able to go round them at 20+kph over. Instead we get useless ‘crossovers’ that have less room than the station wagons that would have been bought back in the day, slowing down traffic around corners and making it dangerous to pass on straights.

  7. Waka Kotahi unit facing restructure deemed ‘no longer effective’, documents reveal

    “Since 2018 the agency has installed just a fifth of the median barriers due by 2024 to prevent head-on smashes on state highways, and less than a fifth of the side barriers.”

    “The four teams in the unit worked in silos and did not know what they were meant to do to deliver on the 2020-25 regulatory strategy.”

    “Since the 2018 regulatory debacle, Waka Kotahi had more than doubled its number of inspectors from 82 to 184.

    Numbers have also soared away from the front line: HR staff have doubled from 57 to 122; admin up 60 per cent to 509; accountants from 44 to 66; and communications almost trebled from 32 to 88, according to figures released to the National Party in response to written questions.”

    Fuck me, they are getting rid of the 7 engineers who were doing the work in favour of more managers – that is their solution – should be the other way around!!!!

    No wonder they employed fraudsters like Joanne Harrison – cultural fit!

    Fraudster Joanne Harrison’s hidden history: The life and crimes of a million-dollar conwoman

    And don’t forget the staff that tried to speak out against the frauds got made redundant from NZTA management.
    Did HR head make whistleblowers redundant?

    “Moroney also asked how Harrison was able to secure a position in the ministry despite having a conviction for fraud in New Zealand while also being investigated for fraud in Australia.

    “Very simple,” responded Bridges. “She was an incredibly manipulative, dishonest person who has now gone to jail for some time.

    However, documents relating to the fraud reveal Harrison frequently signed deals with no contracts in place and exceeded her authorised spending limits. Former CEO Martin Matthews was repeatedly notified of this by both finance and legal teams but chose to give Harrison the benefit of the doubt.

    Bridges admitted significant lessons were to be learned as a result but said he was “satisfied” that had already happened.

    Before being caught, Harrison was able to steal $723,000 from the ministry – she was jailed for three and a half years in February.”

    What is point of scalping a small group at NZTA to be made redundant, when the NZTA management who put this group together and they reported to, remains the same???? It’s the management that seems to have the biggest problems at NZTA from both fraud and incompetence.

    The current managers can’t even manage their own staff while in many cases adding much more administration, management, HR, accountants and communications.

    Not sure that any of those NZTA jobs are able to do the median and side barriers to save lives on the road so families will continue to die from that incompetence.

    • But but but @SaveNZ – rest assured, the Minister will have “complete faith in his officials” in that space, going forward.

    • After watching that Stuff documentary I’m unconvinced there isn’t some residual scheme involving the NZTA; after all the VTNZ was sold to Dekra SE, a German company, not a particularly good move imo.

  8. Agree with most comments above.
    Waka Kotahi are obviously ineffective.
    Setting zero goals whilst admirable is impossible if the roads aren’t changed.
    Median and side barriers I think from what I’ve read seems a good first step.
    Not fair to blame the truck driver.

  9. I agree with Martyn and the comments here. I nearly lose it when watching the PR TV Ads that spend our money at $50 or 60 thousand dollars a pop to tell us about all the work done to make our roads safe. Its bollocks. Kcco covers it well. The road repairs don’t use enough chip, to save money I guess, the result is melting roads in the hotter summer temps and the endless trucks do the rest. Drivers are watching for pot holes instead of watching the traffic. In Hawks Bay the highway from CHB to Napier has supposedly been made safer by the endless cheese cutters down the middle which takes up half a lane, makes it difficult for emergency services and slows the traffic as there is no passing. The Government with the greens blessing didn’t want more highways but wanted to repair what we’ve got, and make it safer. they have failed on both counts.

  10. All of the issues in TDB today can be sheeted home to neoliberal capitalism.
    Anyone thought of changing that instead?

  11. Quite so.

    A recent sensible suggestion that trucks Wellington-ChCh could be railed on flatbed wagons, to avoid road damage and crash risk.

    As for the 5-figure sum recently spent on enormous zero signs!!! Presumably the same agency that made those puerile anti 3-waters cartoons. Words fail . . .

    • Most (not all) rail tunnels in NZ can take wagons up to 3.9m.

      NZ trucks are built up to 4.3m. Of course, not all are built that high. But then, even very specialized low-loading wagons for semi-trailers add considerable height in themselves.

  12. One more way in which the sacred Market Economy wrecks the conditions on our roads:
    We are stupidly and consistently importing and flooding our roads with more vehicles that we take off. While we do this, we will continue to have gridlock (no matter how many new roads National might build); too many single-driver cars on the road, who need not be there, and a blasé attitude to both vehicle ownership and driving carefully.
    But listen to the powerful motor industry if the suggestion is made that we would be better off if we took any measure at all to reduce new vehicles going onto the roads until we have more old cars coming off than new ones going on.

  13. Rail & coastal shipping for heavy goods, then metro transport after that. That’ll save some of the carnage happening out in the wop wops! And reduce some of the damage done to the roading infrastructure too.

  14. Looks very safe! Sarc.

    Couple ‘stuck in the middle’ of council and forestry battle over road so bad family won’t visit them

    Unfortunately you don’t have to look far to see these types of roads everywhere in NZ – including Auckland as money seems to be siphoned off from rates roading and then surprise, surprise, more ‘targeted’ rates are proposed that don’t actually have to be paid from the trucking firms but the owners of the trees who pay council rates.

    Shouldn’t there be a heavy trucking tax in the plethora of targeted taxes?????

    In the meantime, in our faux Carbon nuclear free moment, the government has taken away the petrol taxes to help the trucks!!!!! And are going to be charging the EV drivers a congestion charge.

    The trucking industry is able to kill people, kill the environment and destroy our roads and pay less taxes!!!, Meanwhile our roads are so shit, our taxes are so shit, everyone else is leaving or being killed via truck accidents and air pollution.

    • What nonsense. Are trucking companies and forestry owners responsible for the fact that if you live in the middle of nowhere with what is effectively (and probably legally) a private road, that trees will fall across it and you might have to clear them yourself? Try living on the Coast.

      I guarantee that if any of the three or four dwellings on that road are occupied by actual farmers rather than cashed up Aucklanders, they don’t have any problems, because a) they aren’t dumb enough to expect a two lane asphalt road b) they spent $200 on a CB radio and call in on it as the truck drivers do if for some dumb reason they feel the need to drive down a gravel road at 100kph.

  15. New Zealand does not have the population density to economically deliver goods by anything over land other than by trucks – indeed, even if it did, the final destination (e.g. supermarket or Mitre10), will always need to delivered by a truck regardless. NZ also does not have the population density (let alone money) to make all major road arteries 4+ lanes. Almost everyone in this country would starve in a matter of months if we banned trucks, and there is literally no viable economic alterative to ship bulk goods (e.g. food and building materials) any other way.

    • If you can stick a long haul truck on a ferry from the north island, off load it in Picton then drive it to Dunedin, then that freight could have done most of its journey by rail or sea.
      No one is suggesting banning all trucks – that’s a straw man argument-but long haul freight should go by rail or sea.

    • nitrium we could have a rail spine with off shoots to major towns and local truck delivery, y’know that thing that all decent economies have a rail network….it’s not difficult expensive to build true but if the scandis can manage it with their terrain then we can too.

    • Not truly correct.

      Yes trucks are needed to get goods to the door but this country shifted bulk freight by rail and or sea town to town by that very means, trucks largely short haul, rail long haul regulated by penalties for trucks exceeding certain mileages between centres (40 miles?).

      And we had rail lines to most places then, not so much now. It was not exactly effectively run but it proved it was possible and perhaps better run it may have worked. Maybe!

    • Nevermind your perfect logic Nitrium. Ideology, and spin factor, rules uber alles with this Govt! NZTA ( I refuse to call it whatever because clearly, ‘Maorification’ of nationwide govt services, at all costs, seems now much more important than doing the fucking job! they are supposed to)…anyway…NZTA will say: “Hey, we made all these amazing creative tv ads with interesting people coming out of cars, a representative cross section of all races too which always very important, and we paid approved non-mahuta linked ad agencies millions, we even employed 88 people in PR, so why are you still dying on our roads? It’s all your fault not ours!” There you go, arse covered, job done, looking good, voters happy.

    • Ya wouldn’t Adam & Eve it, on my regular drive to the North I see truck & trailer units overtaking another truck & trailer unit on a single lane road that has the odd overtaking lane, blocking all the other traffic that could quite conceivably get in front of the trucks when hitting the next hill.
      It’s what happens when the precious market gets between sensible rules & regulation that we don’t know how to have rules that should be for all the travelling public not just the road transport lobby.
      Trucks/Buses on motorways should not be allowed in the outside lane in any shape or form unless they are exiting.

  16. ” It’s not fucking drug drivers or cars traveling too fast that is the problem in NZ, it’s the dominance of the Trucking industry coupled with our desire to not spend one cent more than we have to on the actual quality of roads and road engineered safety ”

    The carnage will continue until we address the following

    Dangerous roads including bridges with no space between huge speeding trucks and cars in particular on state highway one in both Islands.

    Speeding car and truck drivers ( trucks are legally only to observe 90 KM open road limit but they regularly pass me and I am doing 100 KM

    Corruption at all levels

    No police road safety enforcement

    Poor signage including warnings of the area’s of extreme danger

    No public education around their responsibilities on the road

    Poor driver licencing and no regular driver licence testing every five years

    No application of health and safety measures which applies at the work place but not when you go to drive to or from work

    Total lack of responsibility or leadership from Labour and National led governments

    Serious penalties for breaking the current road rules and bad behaviour when in charge of a dangerous weapon including tougher manslaughter laws.

    Under investment

    The motoring public including children travelling on our state highway network are expendable.

    • Labour is fine with 5x the number of people that die on the roads each year dying of COVID each year.

      If they won’t make the tiny effort required to stop COVID coming in, why should they spend money on road safety?

  17. The van was racing to get to the ferry at 7:45am
    Racing after a 6-7 hour drive with bugger all sleep.
    The crash happened at 7:30am.
    They crossed the centre line fast, probably asleep.
    If not for the juggernaut they hit, they may still be alive.

  18. Did not help that you could buy a truck and car license for a bribe and that there is a plethora of little businesses everywhere (many marginal businesses, more like scams) that require van or truck deliveries.

    Witness: Truck driver’s licences for bribes – no need to turn up for test

    “A witness says corrupt testing officers would charge bad drivers extra but still issue them with a full driver’s licence.

    Lovepreet Brar has admitted one representative charge of obtaining by deception in relation to the Auckland case and is now a Crown witness.

    He gave evidence on Tuesday at the Manukau District Court where Mohammed Feroz has denied 73 charges of obtaining by deception and Daryl Pregasen Govender has denied 17 charges.

    Brar said bad drivers would pay an extra $50 to $150 on top of their bribe payment if they were a particularly bad driver or if there was a fault with their car, for example a faulty brake light.

    Other extra charges would be demanded if the applicant didn’t turn up to their test and corrupt testing officers had to complete the paperwork themselves.

    Brar said he was recruited into the scheme in late 2014 while he worked in customer service at the AA Meadowlands branch.

    He would send text messages out to friends and associates, alerting them to when the corrupt testing officers would be available.

    Brar would act as the intermediary – taking money from the applicants in cash and deposits into his bank account.

    The typical cost for a full drivers licence was around $300 but a heavy truck licence could cost as much as $2500.

    Brar said Feroz would sometimes ask him to tell the bribe-paying truck licence applicants to turn up to the AA office in a vest to make it look like they were legitimate truck drivers.

    “Because it’s a truck licence, they said it’s a big risk for them and they’re passing the person without the person even coming to the test … and they just charge more.”

    There were also extra charges if the applicant didn’t turn up for the test.

    Brar said testing officers would sometimes complete the paperwork, including applicant signatures in the staff toilets.

    Crown prosecutor David Stevens took Brar through various transactions that showed money going into Brar’s bank account shortly before they sat a test and sometimes extra payments were made afterwards.”

  19. Police not interested in investigating identity fraud so easy to obtain and use fake identities and licenses.

    Thieves steal driver’s licence from letterbox, buy car, police won’t investigate

    Fake warrants of fitness an ‘industry-wide’ issue, says convicted mechanic

    Go to the hospitals and check ACC out how many people are being injured by truck and van accidents but authorities are not interested in any ‘task forces’ to actually stop identity theft and corruption in drivers licences and WOF.


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