Lack of investment seems to be a New Zealand institutionalised way of thinking. This is probably as a result of our isolation which existed before Telstra Clear came along and now thanks to Telstra Clear the 'isolation age is over'. Thanks again Telstra Clear.
Seriously though lack of investment is endemic. Last year the Auckland power grid failed due to a $2 U-bolt and now in Wellington we are rolling out new (old) rolling stock. 50 year old trains are being brought back on board to address the growing use of the rail network.
I think the Honourable Sue Kedgley (MP) sums it up beautifully in her Budget Speech from last year:
We should be investing in public transport, which is collapsing. The public transport infrastructure is collapsing around us. We have clapped out 50-year-old train carriages. We have 23-year-old trolley buses. We have decades of deferred investment in our public transport infrastructure. Commuters are switching en masse to public transport because of the rising price of oil, but we cannot even get on the buses if it is raining. I cannot get on a bus in my area if is raining; the bus just whizzes straight past because it is full. In New Zealand, and in cities like Wellington in particular, we are completely out of step in our transport priorities. The rest of the world is looking at environmentally friendly public transport, but Wellington is looking at ditching our environmentally friendly trolley bus network. Land Transport New Zealand, which was set up to promote sustainable transport, is bickering about the subsidy it pays for trolley buses and is putting the entire network at risk. This Government may be putting the entire trolley bus network of Wellington at risk under its watch. It is a tragedy. That is where the $1 billion should have been spent, not on more roads.
Go Sue! But you should have also included communications and electricity! It is easy to blame big business for the woeful state of amenities but seriously (maybe) we need to have a good hard look at ourselves and what our priorities really are. The government keeps racking in record surpluses but where oh where does the money go? All I see around Wellington is plush and palatial refurbishments of down town offices for the bloated and forever bloating public service.
I say - cut the fat and give something back.
Other related posts:
I Thought I would Come Back
Unemployment does get boring
Over the 'i'
Comment by sbiddle, on 26-Feb-2007 17:48
I agree completely. The government should be pumping some of the money back into public transport, it's pretty obvious looking at many countries in the world at present that public transport is simply an unsustainable business if it relies solely on income from fares due to the high cost of infrastructure upgrades and the inability to recoup those costs.
I don't necessarily agree with the trolley bus thing though - they are a relic that should be retired.
Comment by mclayma, on 27-Feb-2007 00:17
Totaly agree Jama... I hope the new job is going well.
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