What is “nasty” about building a bridge?

July 1st, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

A bizarre rant by Damien O’Connor. The Herald reports:

National Party campaign chairman Steven Joyce said over the weekend the party was targeting some Labour-held seats it believed were vulnerable, including .

The party followed that with the announcement from the National Party conference yesterday that the Government planned to spend $10-15 million replacing the Taramakau Bridge, and $20-25 million improving Mingha Bluff, the last winding section of road on the Arthur’s Pass highway.

A press release announcing both road projects was issued yesterday — jointly in the name of the retiring party list MP Mr Auchinvole, and National’s candidate Maureen Pugh.

Mr O’Connor said it was “pork-barrel politics”, and to be expected.

“I expected the campaign to be quite dirty and nasty,” Mr O’Connor said today.

“Indications are, that’s where it is unfortunately.”

One can certainly criticise the roading projects as pork-barrel politics. I have no dispute with people characterising it as that.

But how on earth is that the sign of the campaign being “dirty” or “nasty”. O’Connor’s speech in Parliament against Gerry Brownlee was personal and nasty. But funding a bridge is not dirty or nasty. O’Connor is trying to make himself a victim.

My interpretation of O’Connor’s statements is that he intends to run a dirty nasty campaign, and is trying to convince people National is doing the same.

But I genuinely can not comprehend how anyone can rationally call a bridge funding decision dirty and nasty. It’s just hysteria.

Tags: ,

55 Responses to “What is “nasty” about building a bridge?”

  1. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Like his unionised brother, O’Connor is a piece of left-wing s..t. There would be no one as nasty or dirty as these two leeches of society.

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. peterwn (3,138 comments) says:

    Well, if Damien does not want these two works, there are plenty of other communities which would like upgraded roads and bridges. Presumably it is ‘nasty’ as it puts Labour and Damien between a rock and a hard place in the run-up to the election.

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Rich Prick (1,529 comments) says:

    “I expected the campaign to be quite dirty and nasty,” Mr O’Connor said today.”

    By their form to date, I suspect that’s a promise on behalf of the Labour Party.

    Vote: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Judith (7,442 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Unpopular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 42 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. niggly (799 comments) says:

    Hmm, some of these Labour electorate MP’s must be under some pressure (or coordinating their responses?) as Iain Lees-Galloway kind of went feral too regarding the announcement to spend $25m to $30m to replace the Whirokino trestle bridge in Horowhenua.

    Whilst the Horowhenua mayor and Palmerston North mayor (and Nat candidate) talked about the positives such as enhancing transport links, will allow higher capacity trucks to use the bridge instead of using alternative backroads, will create employment etc, in essence Mr Lees-Galloway called the investment “pathetic”, an “insult to the Manawatu region” and of “no significant value to PNth” …?

    WTF? And PNth is a transport and distribution hub Mr Lees-Galloway (eg Toyota, Progressive, soon NZ Post etc) and an agri-food region, served by road transport …. surely being the local MP he would know all this and be positive (or is that asking too much)?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/10214485/A-bridge-to-voters-hearts

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. All_on_Red (1,330 comments) says:

    It’s West Coasters money too Judith.

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. s.russell (1,558 comments) says:

    This may be a consequence of what might be called a psychological projection fallacy: where you project your own sins, motivations etc upon others, assuming that they have the same motivations as yourself. Ie, Labour accuses National of being nasty and corrupt because that is what they are themselves.

    Vote: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    niggly: The general consensus in PN is that effeminate Lees-Galloway will be dumped and Naylor will waltz in, even though Lees-Galloway has a hold on the local newspaper and its senior editorial staff, to the point that it is sickening,.

    Vote: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. s.russell (1,558 comments) says:

    That money belongs to taxpayers and should be spent on what WE want it to be spent on. We want it spent on bridges. Thank you.

    Vote: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. john (36 comments) says:

    I might have been sitting behind some Coasters when that announcement was made and amid all the excitement I do not believe Damien or Larbour were mentioned once. Just excitement that a bridge to somewhere important was FINALLY being sorted, what is nasty about that?

    Vote: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. DisgruntledOne (20 comments) says:

    Firstly, I agree that O’Connor’s rhetoric is wildly over the top. However, the point behind it, namely that the bridge building decision was based on pleasing particular groups of voters who are more important to national the other groups, rather than doing what was in the best interests of the country as a whole, seems to be valid.

    If Mr Farrar is going to call out politicians over something as small as over the top rhetoric, and do so in an even handed manner, I suspect he is going to need to run a much larger operation than this blog currently is.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 23 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. mikenmild (10,595 comments) says:

    igm is proof that there is good reason to avoid Palmerston North.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 20 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. mikenmild (10,595 comments) says:

    ‘do so in an even handed manner’
    Tee hee, snicker, snicker.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 14 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. dime (9,351 comments) says:

    lmao what a nancy

    i thought he was meant to be the “bloke” in the party. sounds like a fag to me!

    Vote: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Tauhei Notts (1,601 comments) says:

    You people are being too harsh on my favourite (since the Wellingtonians, in a queer manner, voted out Stephen Franks) politician.
    Have a look at that Taramakau bridge. It is joint road and rail. How many trains go down that branch line to Hokitika? Stuff all. The hold ups it makes are very insignificant. Insufficient to justify a vote buying handout. That sort of behaviour belongs to his party, and the embarrassment of that is something an honest man like O’Connor must suck up.
    O’Connor has been a battler for the West Coast. He has been hindered by silly ecological matters, and most of them came from his party. Tough going for a bloke like him.
    The internet has transformed the way that administrative functions can be done. Rather than load all administrative functions into Auckland, put them on the West Coast. That will do more for the Coast than any PR laden vote buying crap.
    What a great place to put the Ministry of Ugly Women’s Affairs. Then think about things like the Registrar of Companies and Incorporated Societies…..I could go on and on.

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    O’Connor has a clear point of differentiation he can make. Why doesn’t he announce that a Labour-Green(*) government will cancel the upgrades?

    (*) By which I actually mean the Cunliffe-Norman-Turei-Hughes-Mallard-Peters-Williams-Dotcom-Harre-Harawira (Titewhai and Hone)-Corkery-Minto-Sykes coalition.

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. James Stephenson (2,004 comments) says:

    What’s “nasty” about building a bridge? I guess it depends who is getting concreted into the foundations.

    Vote: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. thedavincimode (6,512 comments) says:

    Perhaps he’s concerned at the prospect of having to get a job like the other 99.5% of the adult population.

    What’s the betting that if he arses out in September he’ll run for Council/Mayor. Or he might like to move up to Hawke’s Bay and get on the Regional Council with the other deadbeat beat political hacks. I saw the other day that it isn’t only Barker that has his nose in that trough; resounding Winston 1st failure and deadbeat Neil Kirton has also pulled a chair up at that feast.

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. pseudonymous (70 comments) says:

    Blow it out your ear Judy. As a coaster with family history going back 150 years I think its a bloody good idea.
    Your sanctimonious claptrap pisses me off!!

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. slightlyrighty (2,496 comments) says:

    I have a question, well, more of an observance really.

    Labour wants to spend money on incentivising new migrants and businesses to go to the regions where these new roads are being built, yet spending on roading is pork barrell politics, yet spending money on businesses and migrants to go there is not?

    What especially concerns me is that one reason business may not go to the regions is the lack of appropriate infrastructure, such as roads. Surely a busienss would be more likely to go to a region if the infrastructure for that region was suitable.

    Vote: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Fentex (854 comments) says:

    But I genuinely can not comprehend how anyone can rationally call a bridge funding decision dirty and nasty. It’s just hysteria.

    As O’Connor is not quoted as saying that any question of hysteria must be looked for elsewhere. O’Conner is reported as saying;

    Mr O’Connor said it was “pork-barrel politics”, and to be expected.

    “I expected the campaign to be quite dirty and nasty,” Mr O’Connor said today.

    “Indications are, that’s where it is unfortunately.”

    He said the road funding announcement was a “blatant election bribe”.

    Non of which is saying funding roads is nasty. Reports about his opinion on roading funds and possible nasty campaigns being edited to be near each other in a newspaper article are not a quote of him equating the two.

    Perhaps avid supporters of National misrepresenting Labour candidates on widely read websites, providing artificial and invented nuggets of Labour errors for quote mining by other National friendly news outlets might be characterised as nasty politics thus supporting O’Connors opinion.

    Besides which quite a lot of New Zealanders may agree with the opinion (possibly, but not quoted in that report, O’Connors meaning) that pork-barrel politics, a theft of taxes for personal advantage by politicians, is a nasty thing.

    I should think an honest organization concerned about the use of our taxes, and members there of, let’s say for example, a taxpayers union, would agree that pork barrel politics is corrupt and nasty campaigning .

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. BeaB (2,056 comments) says:

    I love that old bridge but it’s long overdue for work especially with all the tourist traffic.
    Can’t believe O’Connor is being such a sissy.
    I suggest he suck it up and say Labour would do it too or else announce Labour is far too high-minded to do anything for the people Helen Clark so tastefully described as ‘ferals’.

    Vote: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. m@tt (587 comments) says:

    I should think an honest organization concerned about the use of our taxes, and members there of, let’s say for example, a Taxpayers Union, would agree that pork barrel politics is corrupt and nasty politics

    Burt will be along soon to tell us it’s OK when National do it.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Judith (7,442 comments) says:

    @ All_on_Red (1,261 comments) says:
    July 1st, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Yes, it is West Coasters money – and it was West Coasters Money last year, and it will be West Coasters money Next year, but Jonzo just happens to want to announce the new bridge 12 weeks out from an election – despite it being asked for long before now – nothing suspicious about that at all… John Key just being John Key.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 25 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. Lance (2,437 comments) says:

    Those bastards in the National party are not building a bridge on the West coast

    Those bastards in the National party are building a bridge on the West coast

    Outrage all round.

    So I guess we will see large banners for Labour on the West Coast saying.. “Stop the bridge” ?
    To do anything else would be hypocritical.. no.. wait

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. DisgruntledOne (20 comments) says:

    “Perhaps he’s concerned at the prospect of having to get a job like the other 99.5% of the adult population.”
    Do you actually believe that being a politician is a) an easy job and b) an appealing job? It seems to me that only someone who, rightly or wrongly, really cares about making the changes they want would be able to put up with all the crap our politicians deal with. Would you like to have a popular blog devoted to abusing yourself and your colleagues?

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. jp_1983 (181 comments) says:

    Well if that lot gets in you may as well close the West Coast,
    Cant log it
    Cant build it
    Cant mine it

    Cant live there
    Cant breathe there

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Fox (201 comments) says:

    Left Wing Dictionary: – ‘dirty / nasty’ ; any political campaign in which the Labour Party gets it’s ass whipped.

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Fox (201 comments) says:

    Cant log it
    Cant build it
    Cant mine it

    Cant live there
    Cant breathe there

    JP, apply this to the entire country, and there you have the Green Party election manifesto.

    Vote: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Lance (2,437 comments) says:

    Just as an aside
    The West Coasters are really really pissed off about the Holcim cement plant closure. Fletchers rebuild of Chch sources cement from Mexico when it could be made on the West Coast.
    Yes Holcim could match the price if they knew they had the contract and would have upgraded the plant to make it so. But Fletchers appeared hell bent on Mexican cement.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. emmess (1,367 comments) says:

    Maybe, he is saying the river should forded instead.
    At least dirty cars could get a wash. Not sure about the nasty bit though.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. 3-coil (1,200 comments) says:

    I think Damien O’Connor might just be getting a bit tetchy about other matters that are refusing to go away (such as his own dodgy connections to Chinese businessman Mr Liu) and he is venting his frustration at Gerry Brownlee.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. BeaB (2,056 comments) says:

    Judith
    Methinks the lady protests too much.
    Why not just make a doll and stick pins in it and spare us your jealous bile.

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. Kimble (4,374 comments) says:

    Non of which is saying funding roads is nasty.

    Bullshit.

    Quote #1 – Mr O’Connor said it was “pork-barrel politics”, and to be expected.

    Quote #2 – “I expected the campaign to be quite dirty and nasty,” Mr O’Connor said today. “Indications are, that’s where it is unfortunately.”

    Quote #3 – “I’m getting a little tired of being insulted time and time again by a party that thinks throwing a few token gestures at us will convince voters that they are doing us a favour. “

    O’Connor IS calling the bridge an election bribe, and is calling such things insulting and therefore, by connection, “nasty”.

    There is nothing else quoted in the article that can be construed as “nasty”, so that leaves the bridge building as the only subject.

    Call it pork-barrelling. Fine. Say that NZTA should be deciding these things. OK.

    But don’t try and twist it to be some sort of personal insult or dirty trick.

    DPF is right. O’Connor is probably going to run a very nasty, very spiteful, and very dirty campaign, and is just looking to give his supporters some reason to lie and say “but National started it”.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. mikenmild (10,595 comments) says:

    It is pork barrelling. And NZTA should be deciding roading priorities on the basis of benefit/cost ratios, not political expediency.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. Kimble (4,374 comments) says:

    It is pork barrelling. And NZTA should be deciding roading priorities on the basis of benefit/cost ratios, not political expediency.

    Yup.

    It was bad when Labour did it, and it is bad when National do it.

    Still, I know who is worse. *cough* interest free student loans *cough*

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. thedavincimode (6,512 comments) says:

    Quite right milky.

    Now, tell us, which priorities were leap-frogged in this case?

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. peterwn (3,138 comments) says:

    National got back in partly for promising roading projects that Labour would not do for fear of upsetting the Greenies. Now Julie Anne Genter keeps questioning the need for roading projects that local communites want to see proceed. The implication here is the Greens will make canning of various roading projects a ‘bottom line’ issue.

    So what John Key has done is to take the list of projects that Transit has in the pipeline, highlighted them and has promised to deliver them. By doing so it has highlighted one of the potential consequences of a Labour-Green coalition. It is not ‘pork barrel’ as these are projects that Transit itself have identified as being necessary.

    Of course left wingers are upset. John key has snookered Labour and left it with a nasty little headache, especially for some of its MP’s like Ian and Damien.

    This is politics, mate.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. backster (2,067 comments) says:

    Well if building bridges is pork barrel politics, what is paying out full value on un-insured land.?

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. Meatloaf (142 comments) says:

    The last time, I watched John Key on TV, which was a few days ago, he said that the Greens oppose a certain bridge being built, but without this bridge being built it will hurt our tourism. So I presume how its going to get dirty and nasty, is National vs the Greens.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. goldnkiwi (982 comments) says:

    At least if the National Government has earmarked it, it will happen, unlike all the wannabes promises.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. thedavincimode (6,512 comments) says:

    Bit quiet there milky??

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. OneTrack (2,559 comments) says:

    “So I presume how its going to get dirty and nasty, is National vs the Greens.”

    As there isn’t a functional Labour party any more, yes, the opposition is the Greens.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. OneTrack (2,559 comments) says:

    “Well if building bridges is pork barrel politics, what is paying out full value on un-insured land.?”

    For m@tt – “it’s ok when then left does it”

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. mikenmild (10,595 comments) says:

    Unfortunately, DVM, there doesn’t seem to be any information about any of these projects on the NZTA website, so we will remain none the wiser.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. OneTrack (2,559 comments) says:

    “What is “nasty” about building a bridge?”

    Maybe this was a Labour policy to be announced next week, and National have stolen their thunder?

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. greenjacket (415 comments) says:

    Tauhei Notts wrote: “O’Connor has been a battler for the West Coast. He has been hindered by silly ecological matters, and most of them came from his party. Tough going for a bloke like him.”

    I’d suggest that Damien O’Connor has been hindered more by a lack of intelligence.
    Seriously – have you met the guy? He is one of the most dense MPs I have ever talked with.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. Meatloaf (142 comments) says:

    The Greens are antiprogress. If the Greens are going to have a tantrum about building a bridge, just think of what they’ll do to our farming. They want to put a tax on producers, and in exchange take off the energy tax for households. We have two industries we are competitive in, farming and tourism, if farming goes what do we have to live on? For those who say IT is an industry, IT is a service industry. If their is no farming or tourism, there really isn’t that much need for service providers to those businesses.

    And now John Key says, that the Greens are going to be upset with us building a bridge.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. thedavincimode (6,512 comments) says:

    Unfortunately, DVM, there doesn’t seem to be any information about any of these projects on the NZTA website, so we will remain none the wiser.

    So you have no evidence of pork barrelling then.

    And in the circumstances (the absence of any information) you must only have inadvertently inferred that there were other more deserving roading projects.

    Thanks for helping to tidy that up.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. mikenmild (10,595 comments) says:

    We’re at a stalemate then. You say these projects are good: I say where is the evidence of that.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. thedavincimode (6,512 comments) says:

    No, you say it was pork barrelling. You have no basis upon which to substantiate that claim.

    On the other hand, I’d assumed that it was pork barrelling without knowing any better. A number of those projects appear to me, at first sight, to warrant the investment but I have no idea whether there are other projects that might deliver a superior cost/benefit. Thankfully, you have generously confirmed that there is no publicly available information to contradict my acknowledged assumption/perception that there is merit in at least some of these projects.

    That doesn’t constitute a stalemate. It simply means that you made an unsubstantiated claim. You also created an unsubstantiated inference; quite inadvertently no doubt.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  52. Nookin (3,031 comments) says:

    http://www.nzta.govt.nz/network/projects/sh6-kawarau-falls-bridge-replacement/docs/open-day-panel-1.pdf

    Here is a link to NZTA’s website and the reasons for the Kawarau Falls bridge upgrade. Basically, we have a one-lane 1920s bridge in one of the fastest growing areas in the country. It is beyond out of date. I would not have thought it altogether hard to see what is proposed and why it is so logical.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  53. jcuknz (704 comments) says:

    Well for one having crossed the Queenstown Bridge several times I this it is a great move for the district to free up that bottleneck.
    True Transport says which bridges will be built AFTER the government allocates the money. They have been saying the Queenstown Bridge is on the cards for years … now the Government has allocated the funds

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  54. TM (98 comments) says:

    Of course it’s pork-barrel politics. The government would have just increased the NZTA’s funding and allowed them to announce new projects via low key press releases or their website as with most small-medium projects. The projects would have been based on cost/benefit criteria and/or consultation with local authorities and not arbitrarily selected to get a good geographic and political spread. Not to say they won’t be useful, but it’s probably not an optimum use of taxes. However, I won’t complain as the company I work for builds roads.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  55. Meatloaf (142 comments) says:

    Nookin, you have just confirmed my point. John Key said, we need the bridge for tourism purposes. Without the bridge, traffic will be slow. Of course he used that to put a punch in the Greens, and said Labour will need the Greens. And that is why this O’Connor is backing up the bridge. He knows that people will be more inclined to vote National based on that one issue. So as a Labour man, he is saying, he wants it built, so that those who are with Labour, won’t have 2nd thoughts based on a bridge.

    When I first saw the name O’Connor, I thought it was referring to Simon O’Connor a National MP, but its to Damien O’Connor a Labour MP. Mikenmild you asked where the evidence is that the bridge will do good. Now you know.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.