Whaleoil Transcript: Mike Hosking on Julie Anne Genter’s expensive cycling fetish

Credit: SonovaMin

Newstalk ZB

Starts at 9:07

Mike

Small irony in Julie Anne Genter’s first day back at work from having a baby as she used NZTA to spend some more of our money.  You know NZTA, the ones currently under investigation for not doing their jobs around warrants.

That same agency handed out millions on bike programmes yesterday. Now Julie Anne Genter in a fit of nostalgia wants all kids on bikes cycling merrily to school.  She cites the 80’s.

I’m a kid of the 80s. In the 80’s she wistfully recalled half of us biked or walked to school and she is right, I biked and walked to school, mainly walked because anyone who goes to school knows that bikes and a lot of bags and books and sports gear is hopeless. It’s easier to walk, which is what, by and large, we did.

Now what we didn’t do, is have millions spent on us to (1) give us bikes and (2) teach us how to ride bikes.  So clearly Julie Anne has decided if you can’t afford a bike the state can buy one for you, and then having got one, if you can’t ride it the state will pay for that as well.

I would argue, if you can’t ride a bike then stay off it because there is a saying, and the saying is “it’s like riding a bike”.  And the reason it’s a saying is because it’s reference to the riding of a bike being easy, which it is.  Which then means if you can’t do it, and you find it hard, you are not a natural.  And if you are not a natural then biking isn’t for you.

None of this money is going to see her dream come true because life, I’m afraid, has moved on.  We don’t bike like we used to. Kids are driven because of traffic and lifestyle and distance.  Bikes for kids aren’t actually that useful.  Maybe she will learn that when her kid turns 11 and they’ve got three tons of books to carry.

As for poor kids getting state-funded bikes, well I was a poor kid and my mum actually saved money and for my birthday I got a second-hand bike which she painted purple because that was my colour and she stuck a banana seat on it. Comparatively, it would have cost not a lot, today even less given the market for cheap Chinese product.

It is not the state’s role to give kids bikes. It wasn’t then and isn’t now.  When we got a bike, we took it to the park and we fell off and when we stopped falling off and could do skids and wheelies we knew what we were doing.   No one from a government department ever came anywhere near us.

Oh, and my school had about four bike sheds in which literally hundreds and hundreds of bikes could be parked. Is she paying for those as well?

Just because we don’t do what we used to do, doesn’t make it bad. Life is different, lifestyles are different.

The government have fallen into the trap of thinking using other people’s money by the million will somehow transport us to another age we left behind.

But we left it behind for good reason, which is not to say bikes are bad because they’re not. But it is to say she’s taking that horse with our money and wanting to stick its head in the pond and drown it, trying to teach it to drink.  All based on ideology. You must remember that Julie Anne cycled to hospital to give birth. Good on her.

She likes bikes, but what she failed to understand at the time and clearly since is that makes her highly unusual.  She is not like us. Thank the good Lord. So stop wasting our money.

Green MP Julie Anne Genter and her PLASTIC helmet


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