Thursday, December 17, 2015
Firstly I should state my 'interest' in the above announcement from the NZ Government. Yes---I have one and although I do not use it very much, that is something that will change as I get slowly more uncomfortable re driving in NZ's biggest city----Auckland. It seems that the users of the GC are going to be asked to buy a 'smart card. for about $10. That gives them (me!) the right to use the buses, ferries and trains; the times varying according to where one lives in NZ. Of course for the small towns, such services are not so apparent. There is an outcry, none more stringent than from the venerable leader of the NZ First Party, Winston Peters. OK---many would say that he is playing to his 'electorate,' but that does not concern me---I am more than happy for him to 'stick up for us oldies,' and the cynical side of me says that he has 'carved out' this segment of the electorate to keep him in Parliament, but today---I shall not decry him in any particular way. I say---'go for it Winnie!' So, I can see both side of the coin: the one that allows GC holders to travel free, most of the time around the bigger cities, and having to pay a few dollars for the privilege of possessing such a card, is a small price. For those of my younger readers who throw up their hands (and maybe the contents of their stomachs!) about 'the oldies bitching again, I say----Think a bit about this conundrum--- think about the cars that the oldies drive being off the road, about you not having to scream insults at the drivers of the said cars not slowing you down as you go about your day, think about the growing numbers of 'greylings' who will share the roads with you, about not having to avoid us, about the tax savings and not having to fork out for more motorways---that cost a hell of a lot more than the $28 million that the government has earmarked per year for the next five years and come to the same conclusion as me----- spend a bit more and get more of us off the road----hey---extend it to other groups---maybe $100 million a year---that is so much cheaper than the grandiose schemes proposed by some who want to spend so much on the tunnels, motorways and God knows what is on the plans. See---we are not complaining without pointing out the benefits of supporting the GC holders. We must be vigilant and not let the government and their cronies gradually strip away the amount spent on GC usage, all with the short term aim of short-term savings. NOW---think ahead and one last plea: Please let me take my Jack Russell with me on the trains and buses. Other countries seem to let that happen! Then---I won't need my car---well not quite so often!