Highway Robbery

A Guest Post

I have had reason to make a couple of long trips around the North Island in the last few weeks taking different routes.

Two things have struck me very forcibly.  One is the number of holes and rough patches on the tar seal.  The other is the number of sections of road that are blocked off, reduced to one lane, strewn with hundreds of cones, big trucks with nothing more than a flashing light supported by a couple of drenched stop/go sign holders grimacing in the rain.  

The surface of the roads is a disgrace.  Yeah, its been a long winter and potholes always appear after a prolonged wet period but some are crater-like and can damage a tyre.  There seems to be more trucks on the road with more wheels trundling along too but it is unacceptable for main highways to be in such bad repair. Given the number of road gangs operating day and night there should be less of a problem.

Yesterday going to Tauranga it seemed every few kilometres there was a line of those ugly road cones a step or two apart, diverting vehicles into one lane or onto the road verge.  Most of these efforts had two or more quite large trucks with huge flashing lights either stationery or moving ahead of traffic on both sides of the holdup.  What is a truck like that cost per day to run a few lights?

The frustrating thing was that most of these holdups had little or absolutely no work being carried out at all.  In a couple of instances there was a small knot of workers standing around waiting for who knows what but no obvious need for the 30kmh requirement and the couple of hundred orange cones deployed.

What is this about?  Health and Safety??  Or are we being ripped off by a small handful of road companies who are casually dividing up the workload and making a huge meal out of the suffering taxpayers.  There does not seem to be any logical rationale for this development other than roading companies taking NZTA for a very long, expensive ride.

Time for a public hanging or two?


-Name withheld by request


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