Getting a fix on the ideological bent of the Jacinda Ardern led government has proved challenging, but perhaps the transport plan and the Unitec housing plan provide the first real indication. It is less of a traditional socialist/capitalist economic divide and more about sociological differences between traditional New Zealand and those who are part of new internationalist urban elite. …
Labour has not helped itself by sounding like zealots. In particular Twyford feels he must demonise everything that National has ever done. For him there is no merit in having the motorway extended to Hamilton, or presumably for that matter, the Waterview tunnel project. The three laneing of the southern motorway and the north western motorway are apparently of zero value to Auckland commuters. So long as Labour is government there will not be a single new motorway project or even improvements to existing motorways. When all the current National motorway projects are complete, that’s it. From then on, the priority is public transport.
According to Twyford on Radio Live recently, it is a bad thing that his constituents in West Auckland all own cars. They should be using public transport, walking or cycling, just as the key Green ministers do. But even in Bayswater where I live, and where there are very good public transport services, there has been an explosion in car ownership over the last 15 years. It seems as if everyone over 18 must have their own car. The main reason why people buy cars is that it gives choice and freedom. People can go where they want, when they want.
A car is independence. It means you can go from Point A to Point B and on your timetable. Public transport is great, but it has its limits. It is not a substitute for car ownership. It is complementary.
Twyford is moving into the dangerous territory of telling people how they should live, and in addition making them pay for it, whether or not they can use it. The whole transport plan smacks of making all drivers throughout New Zealand pay for a light rail project in the central Auckland suburbs that will primarily benefit the elite young professionals that drive current Labour Party philosophy.
Twyford needs to remember what happened with the showerhead fiasco of the last days of the Clark government. And many years before that, in the 1970s, Labour made it illegal for anyone to build a house of 150 metres square. It is all indicative of the nanny state where the state uses its superior judgment in deciding how you should live your life.
People hate these sorts of diktats, they are the sort of things that result in governments losing elections.
Labour has told people in Hamilton, Tauranga, Ashburton etc that they not only have to pay more for their petrol, but there will be a funding cut on the roads they actually use. They have to pay more to get less.