Thursday, July 24, 2014

Holiday Highway?---is that really true?

I am very pleased that someone in the Labour Party has had the balls to come out and actually take some of the myths surrounding the idea of a 'four-lane highway' back into some sensible debate territory. As so often happens when people debate an idea, some people get stuck in that old trap of simply repeating that which someone else has managed to have a label attached. Such a label is that abhorrent term, 'Holiday Highway, to describe a road that is very much needed from Auckland to the far north. Opponents of the idea claim that it would merely serve the interests of the rich, who travel to their 'holiday homes,' somewhere north of Auckland. What a narrow and politically emotional understanding of the concept of a much needed road! OK, I will acknowledge that politicians, mainly of the 'blue hue,' are using this road to garner votes and to forestall some of the ideas that other parties may have. I understand why the Greens may oppose such an idea as they dream about an effective public transport system that no doubt includes making sure that the rail link is effective. I agree with the latter a I do with rail in many other areas of NZ. What I will not agree to is that the proposed road does not serve a much wider sector of the population. Yes, the road does lead to some of NZ's most beautiful beaches and places where the rest of the world just get to imagine rather than experience. But there are other sectors of New Zealand's populace who will benefit from this road. I say they are possibly the 'majority of the road users! Why should not the people who have their roots in the north not have a safe and faster option to go 'home?' Forget the political claptrap that is behind this venture for a moment. Others too, love to 'go north'--ordinary New Zealanders. Do they not deserve a safe road; one that is not washed out every time it rains heavily, one that allows them to reach their destinations just like any other road user? Then there are the economic gains from such a proposition. The jobs created in building and maintaining the road, the tourism possibilities. For those of you who worry about foreign drivers crossing the medium strip--then you too should be happy about not having a tired and confused Northern Hemisphere person coming straight at you, on the wrong side of the road. Step back from political convenience and look at the bigger picture. We are not all rich pricks who need a convenient means of reaching our flash beach-side homes and even that statement is one that I am not comfortable with re the 'label.' NO---I barley own a small unit--so I don't fall into that stupid label! OK, JK is looking for votes. Well that's easy to counter. Labour, like Kelvin and Dover have done---back the idea and therefor take it off the menu that National is claiming as its own. There are far more important issues upon which you can disagree; like jobs, education, health and housing---in the regions! www.authorneilcoleman.com