What business is it of the airport?

February 17th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Senior Labour MP had to pass off a packed-up bicycle as a briefcase to be allowed to carry it in a taxi from .

He is furious an airport security official tried to stop his taxi driver from allowing the bike – which he strips down and packs into a hard case when flying – into the back seat of the cab.

He told the Weekend Herald the bike was too large to fit into the boots of most cabs, so he had carried it in back seats without being challenged at least 10 other times when catching from the airport. But on Thursday, as he was trying to load in his bike, an airport official told him and the cabbie “that their rules didn’t allow luggage to go in the same compartment as passengers”.

What a stupid rule.

Airport spokesman Simon Lambourne said, after taking advice from other officials, that his company was simply monitoring a Transport Agency rule “in the interests of passenger safety”.

“There’s an NZTA [agency] rule that says taxis can’t have unusual, oversized or heavy items in the passenger cabin,” he said. But an agency official indicated that the rule simply gave taxi drivers the right to refuse to carry in or on their vehicles luggage that would endanger safe driving, could not be reasonably carried without causing damage, or was dirty or objectionable.

Even if there is such a rule (and it seems there is not), it is no business of Auckland Airport. The airport is merely the location where a passenger gets picked up. It is not their job to act as NZTA officials.

“Auckland Airport wants every passenger to have a safe taxi journey to and from the airport and we support the traffic marshals raising luggage safety concerns they have with the drivers.”

I’d say they could do with fewer traffic marshalls.

Mr Mallard said it was nonsense for the company to suggest the official was looking after his safety, as his bike was wedged in behind the front seats, making it more secure than if a seatbelt was used. “Of course drivers should be able to refuse unsafe or dirty stuff, but it’s totally lacking in logic and sounds like someone who’s got nothing better to do, trying to rationalise a stupid decision.”

It is up to the driver and the passenger. On this issue my sympathy is with Trevor, not the airport company. They should tell their traffic marshalls to be less zealous.

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33 Responses to “What business is it of the airport?”

  1. Roflcopter (463 comments) says:

    He’s got a bike? Why didn’t he fucking ride it instead?

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  2. peterwn (3,273 comments) says:

    “What a stupid rule.” There is a valid reason about the luggage rule (which operates at the cabbie’s discretion). If the cab hits another vehicle or something else, and stops instantly, then any luggage or loose items will hurtle forward at the same speed the vehicle was originally doing. If they are heavy that can cause serious injury to occupants. That is why many tradies’ vans have a heavy mesh behind the front seats.

    Taxi drivers are obliged in general to pick up those wanting rides. Therefore it is only fair for the cabbies to be able to exclude passengers who could cause a potential risk. That is why there is a luggage rule which cabbies can enforce as they see appropriate.

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  3. dirty harry (489 comments) says:

    “There’s an NZTA [agency] rule that says taxis can’t have unusual, oversized or heavy items in the passenger cabin,”

    nanny state at its best again…piss off and do something useful like take away my rubbish , maintain the roads , catch criminals and punish them…you know , what we employ you to do.

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  4. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    Its on the airports property and the airport sets safety rules.

    Whats to stop the taxi driver stuffing 14 suitcases into the backseat and bungy the car doors shut if he gets a big enough tip?

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  5. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    it’s totally lacking in logic and sounds like someone who’s got nothing better to do, trying to rationalise a stupid decision.

    Keep that one for just about every Labour policy announcement before the election.

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  6. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @dirty harry: This is not ‘nanny state’ at fault, but ASX listed Auckland International Airport Limited.

    EDIT: @Colville: Snap! :)

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  7. Sidey (250 comments) says:

    peterwn,

    Agree that cabbies should have the right to enforce the luggage rule in their own cabs on safety grounds.

    But the cabbie seemingly had no problem with the bike being wedged behind the seat. It was some wanna-be-a-cop who inherited a sense of self-importance when he pulled on his shiny flouro vest that morning.

    He’s lucky they weren’t in parliament or Mallard would have decked him.

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  8. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    This is a tough one.

    On one hand, Auckland Airport have no business trying to enforce road traffic law. Even if they understood it, which it appears they don’t.

    But on the other hand, it’s Mallard. So you want to cheer on anyone giving him a hard time.

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  9. Manolo (13,775 comments) says:

    Drowning in regulations and nanny state rules, awash with petty tyrants ready to nark and snitch on others.
    Welcome to today’s NZ.

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  10. Shunda barunda (2,983 comments) says:

    but it’s totally lacking in logic and sounds like someone who’s got nothing better to do, trying to rationalise a stupid decision.”

    The taxi marshal was David Cunliffe??

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  11. dirty harry (489 comments) says:

    yeah I understand that Elaycee but they are trying to enforce a nanny state rule..my gripe is with the petty bureaucrat that made the stupid rule..

    Exactly Manolo..we have become a country of wowsers and wimps who accept being told what to do and how to live our lives by shiny arsed bureaucrats who are out of control. Fuck that.

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  12. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    What goes around comes around Duck!

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  13. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Sidey: The only decking Mallard has attempted, was a man with a serious coronary artery problem. He was challenged many years ago, outside the debating chamber, after making continuous infantile objections to an extremely good MP (I think it was Ross Muerant), he ran down the hallway like a scolded cur . . . he is no hero, just a wimp.

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  14. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Wonder if the bureaucrat that challenged Duck was a member of the union!

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  15. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    So he runs off to the media for a whine. Or a wee cry.
    A keen nose here for important political issues that really matter to people.
    Further evidence of the irrelevance of Labour and its elderly hasbeens.

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  16. Duxton (651 comments) says:

    I suspect that, given the choice, most cabbies would rather have Mallard’s luggage in the back seat, and him in the boot.

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  17. wikiriwhis business (4,006 comments) says:

    I’m just glad a polly has been frustrated by the bureaucratic nonsense mere plebs hae to go through continually.

    If only a govt MP should be so inconvenienced.

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  18. redqueen (562 comments) says:

    Does ‘Senior’ Labour MP mean he should have retired by now?

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  19. wikiriwhis business (4,006 comments) says:

    “Whats to stop the taxi driver stuffing 14 suitcases into the backseat and bungy the car doors shut if he gets a big enough tip?”

    security cams I should think. Where you been the last 25 years????

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  20. Nigel Kearney (1,013 comments) says:

    I don’t understand why calling the object a briefcase would make any difference. It’s still oversized. More likely, the official just accepted Mallard’s lie about it being a briefcase because he had already decided to let it go rather than put up with an angry man shouting at him.

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  21. JeffW (326 comments) says:

    Trevor is part of a system, and has been for a long time, which foists stupid rules on the citizens of NZ; let him suffer for a change.

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  22. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    In Julian Lloyd Webber’s autobiography “travels with my cello” he descrbes turning his back on a screaming young airport security officer at LAX who was so determined to cancel his pre-arranged permission to carry the instrument as cabin baggage, that he’d drawn his sidearm. Little Hitlers everywhere…

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  23. burt (8,271 comments) says:

    Mallard should have just punched him – it’s about time his party promoted him again.

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  24. MT_Tinman (3,186 comments) says:

    The most luggage I’ve ever had in the car was in the company of four rather large policemen.

    Despite the double-talk otherwise the reason “traffic marshalls” are active around the airport is to ensure a nonJafa-airport paying cabbie does not pick up a passenger from the drop-off rank, that passenger saving paying the Jafa-airport levy extracted disgustingly from airport servicing cabbies..

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  25. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    Now Mallard knows how parents feel when they’re told they can’t smack kids.

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  26. Kiwisaint (3 comments) says:

    First world problems huh….

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  27. DrDr (114 comments) says:

    More to the point, why was Trevor in Auckland with a bicycle? Did the flight get paid by the taxpayer? Was the taxi paid for with a parliamentary taxi chit?

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  28. Liberty (267 comments) says:

    Why didn’t Duckman use the low cost airport bus.
    Or was he sucking of the state tit with some protect he was working.

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  29. david (2,557 comments) says:

    I’m with DrDr. It is beyond imagining that Trevor would pay for his own travel so how can carting a bike around on so many occasions be consistent with “travelling on Parliamentary business? Another example of an MP rubbing the public’s nose in the soft part of their generosity. To me it is the same as raiding the hotel minibar or watching a ppv movie (blue or cartoon doesn’t matter).

    Why aren’t the MSM giving him a hard time about this blatant misuse of other peoples’ money. Just remember that in order for this to happen, the Government has to raid someone’s bank account for the funds.

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  30. wreck1080 (3,917 comments) says:

    NZ is going down the same route as california.

    You will not be able to move without breaking one law or another.

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  31. wiseowl (895 comments) says:

    Where was duckys helmet?

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  32. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    Oh the irony. The excess baggage of the labour party complaining about, of all things…excess baggage

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  33. Crusader (314 comments) says:

    “What a stupid rule.” There is a valid reason about the luggage rule (which operates at the cabbie’s discretion). If the cab hits another vehicle or something else, and stops instantly, then any luggage or loose items will hurtle forward at the same speed the vehicle was originally doing.

    If I was the taxi driver I would be more worried about Mallard flying forwards in an accident. He weighs a damn sight more than the bike. And I wonder if the taxi driver would be game to tell him to put his belt on. He has a known anger management problem.

    No wonder he was “furious” about the bike rule. He’s “furious” about most things it seems.

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