New Zealand’s Silliest Local Government Spending (Ctd)

imgresThanks for all the nominations that have flooded in. We are sifting through them all at the moment.

Hawkes Bay seems to be a cracker of a place for silly local government spending. The Hastings District Council, and Mayor Lawrence Yule, the winners of the first silliest local government competition have come up with a great scheme to slow down traffic on Hawkes Bay Roads.

Hastings councillors voted to reopen submissions on the 80km/hr Safer Speed Limit changes by way of a full submission process at a full Council Meeting on 13 May

While not quite as silly as building a sewerage treatment scheme without a roof to keep in the stink it looks like Lawrence Yule wants to take Hastings back to the days of Muldoon. The main roads between Hastings and Napier and Havelock North and Napier are now 80km an hour, down from 100 km so people have to crawl across the bay on council controlled roads. This is allegedly for safety reasons, not nanny state reasons.

The good burghers of Hawkes Bay have been pissed off with Lawrence telling them they have to travel at nana speeds, so the council has had to spend more money on consultation to tell the council that we don’t like traveling at Muldoon era speeds.  

Readers should submit to this or they will find that Lawrence Yule will start thinking he can introduce carless days like we had under Muldoon.

Carless days were introduced by the Muldoon government of New Zealand on 30 July 1979.[1] The enabling legislation was one of several unsuccessful attempts to help the declining New Zealand economy after the oil shocks of the late 1970s – other such policies included the Think Big strategy.

In this scheme, the owners of all private petrol-powered motor vehicles under 4,400 pounds (2,000 kg), with the exception of motorcycles, were required to refrain from using their car on one day of the week, that day being designated by the owner. Thursday was the most frequently chosen day. Each car displayed a coloured sticker on its windscreen which noted the day on which it could not be used, and infringements were punishable by a hefty fine (stickers were different colours, depending on which day of the week they displayed). Other restrictions were also brought in, including reducing the open-road speed limit from 100 km/h to 80 km/h and restricting the hours that petrol could be sold at service stations and garages.

The carless days scheme was highly unpopular, and largely ineffective.[2] It lasted less than a year, being scrapped in May 1980,[3] though the 80 km/h limit remained for several years. The legislation was a failure for a number of reasons. Most importantly, exemptions were allowed, indicated by an exemption sticker. A black market for exemption stickers and imitations of them quickly developed, rendering the scheme unworkable. There was also a distinct problem in inequality — households that could afford to run two cars could simply choose different days for the two cars and continue to drive on all seven days as before. In addition, there is anecdotal evidence of people driving considerably greater mileages to achieve their daily travel needs on days they had the use of one car rather than two

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