On 2 February, Julie Anne Genter provided judgement to the world on “the good, bad and the ugly” of the recent Government infrastructure announcement, via an article in The Spinoff.
A casual observer would not recognise that the author was in fact, Associate Minister of Transport, with actual responsibility for the package. It is just plain weird for her to be passing judgement on its key elements and stating that the New Zealand Upgrade “falls short” on what is required to “reduce climate pollution, ensuring people have enough to thrive, and protecting nature”.
This Government is very good at making big announcements, but delivery has proved to be its Achilles heel. 10,000 KiwiBuild homes promised, but not able to be delivered. Auckland’s light rail has a “stretch” timeline; now apparently 2030. Child poverty is going up, not down, with school principals saying child poverty is the worst they’ve seen as the school year started this week.
So, when the Government announced on Wednesday a big spend of $5.3 billion on roads, our excitement was tempered by a look for the detail. The devil is in the detail.
The barrage of news about Harry and Meghan’s divorce from the British royal family is a great study in the highs and lows of branding, and its importance in today’s world.
Either naively, or ill-advised, Harry and Meghan decided to adopt a royal brand, and create a fancy new website and social media pages under the moniker “sussexroyal”. That was before they told the actual holder of the royal brand – Her Majesty the Queen – what they were planning to do.
The driver shortage in the road freight transport industry is well known. Since I started at the Road Transport Forum (RTF) just over a year ago, many operators have talked to me about the shortages they face in securing drivers to enable them to run their businesses effectively. Trucks are often parked up and there is a lack of choice that was once enjoyed when recruiting staff.
Our industry isn’t unique in this dilemma. An ageing population is taking its toll on our workforce, across New Zealand and the developed world. We’ve seen it coming for many years.
My holiday reading included a Stuff article stating that two of the country’s fastest roads are actually saving lives.
“No one has died on either the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway, or the SH2 Tauranga Eastern Link Toll road, since they opened just over two years ago, figures released to Stuff show,” the article said.