As I said last year, it is amazing how quickly another year slips by. But before dissecting this, I must tell you about an incident late last month between Hauraki and Devonport.
I was driving back into Devonport after a meeting about 3.30pm on a Tuesday afternoon. I got to Hauraki corner and there were two men working on the right-hand side verge, well away from the road, on some sort of transformer installation. On driving south, further towards Takapuna Grammar, I noticed a gridlock of traffic heading out for virtually unknown reasons. And as I travelled further down, traffic was absolutely gridlocked at every feeder road coming out of Bayswater Avenue and Devonport. Seacliffe Avenue, Hamana Street going into Old Lake Road, and well past the pie shop at Narrow Neck Beach. I have never seen traffic like this in my life. I felt like turning around, battling the traffic, and going to Sylvia Park to do my Christmas shopping. It is only going to get worse, every time a car carrying ship comes in that’s another few hundred cars on the road. How many cars can this city take?
I also noticed driving down Bayswater Avenue the other day, they are building 30 plus units where the old Catholic Church used to be, adjacent to the tennis courts. I have it on good authority that there will be no carparks there. This comes to me from someone I know in the planning department. Where are all those residents’ cars going to go? Parked all over the grass verges and the street? Imagine next winter, when the kids’ soccer is on, all the cars that park all along Bayswater Avenue and along Roberts Avenue, what a circus that will be. Try using public transport to get your kids from Northcote to the Devonport area to play sport, it’s impossible.
You will remember my mate at the pub, who caused a bit of strife a few issues ago, here’s his take on the General Election results...
A few thoughts from the ‘Bloke at the Pub’:
The people have spoken, perhaps not quite as decisively as I had hoped, but I’m still delighted we have a new National/Act/NZ First Coalition Government and the worst government of my lifetime has been consigned to history.
I admit I have lingering concerns over the return of Winston and NZ First, however his attitude and commitment during the Coalition negotiations has been encouraging and let’s hope that this is a portent of what’s to come.
Yes, Labour have gone, but their legacy of monumental debt and a seriously divided and unsettled country will take years to remedy.
I did have a laugh during the election campaign, “Robbo the $100 billion + Debt Guy” lecturing National about how to successfully run an economy, that’s like getting healthy living tips from Keith Richards.
I don’t envy new PM Luxon and his Coalition partners for one minute, confronting the magnitude and range of challenges to restore this country’s fortunes is a truly daunting proposition.
Governments tend to do a bit of tinkering around the edges, while trying not to upset too many people. But this time, tinkering around the edges just won’t cut it and some extremely hard calls have to be made, starting with our supersized and underperforming Public Service.
I sincerely hope the new Government is true to their word and go through that smug, bloated and woke Bureaucracy like a dose of salts, perhaps starting with a major cleanout and overhaul at the Ministry of Education. Then apply that same laser focus to every other Government Department and entity.
Prior to being sworn in, the Coalition clearly laid out their policies, which means after three years everyone can see exactly how their actual performance compares to those stated objectives. Now that is truly open and transparent.
I feel there is good reason to be confident, I believe this will be an ambitious Government that will deliver on their commitments and is driven solely by a desire to create a better New Zealand for everyone. After six years of a totally ideologically driven, divisive Government, lacking in both ability and vision that decided to treat the general populace like mushrooms, it will be a very welcome change and precisely what New Zealand needs right now.
A message to Mr Luxon, Mr Seymour and Mr Peters, please do not let us down.
Sadly, some high profile Kiwis have recently suggested that perhaps like Queen Street, New Zealand’s best days are now behind it. We must hope they are wrong.
As I usually say at this time of year, get the barbecue out and have a few friends around, see your families, walk along one of our beautiful beaches, read a few books, and enjoy your life.
Merry Christmas to everyone, and a Happy New Year too.
Editor’s note: This is a supplied opinion piece and, as such, is Simon Gundry’s personal opinion. These views do not necessarily represent those involved in this publication.