Into the Abyss

In The Last Mile, May 20225 MinutesBy The Accidental TruckerJune 29, 2022

I cannot help but wonder if we are ever going to get back to what we would have considered normal a little over two years ago. How long can the world — in which we are but a mere couple of rocks languishing between the equator and Antarctica — continue to unwind before there is nothing of value left to unwind?

It seems that hardly a day goes by when some group gets publicity because they have the solution to our immediate problems and – if they had the money – those problems would go away. More often than not, it is to the government they turn for this money – our money. If only giving more money to these organisations – money the government does not have – would fix all our problems. I despair at the debt our children and grandchildren are going to inherit. If people could start taking responsibility for their own lives instead of blaming others, surely we all would be better off?

During the depression of the 1930s and World War II, this country pulled together and got through. People accepted adversity and coped as best they could. But, for some reason, we appear to have lost the ability to do this. Instead, many demand their ‘rights’ and then sit back and wait for the help and assistance they want while complaining to anyone who will listen.

Nowadays, if a person is not happy with something, they take to social media and tell the world about it. Is the world really that interested in your problems? Bleating over social media does not make the problem go away, but I guess the grieved party can feel they have achieved some level of retribution no matter the harm they have inflicted on others in the process. The sad part about this is that no matter how outrageous their views might be, there will always be others who will support them.

In the second half of last year, it was interesting to read the revelation made to Parliament’s Transport and Infrastructure Select Committee that NZTA was bleeding $40 million per week during the Covid-19 lockdown. Not surprisingly, the minister was reported as saying this would have to be addressed and would affect the funding available for the land transport investment programme in the future. If you are hoping to see greater investment in road maintenance and new roads during 2022, I suggest you stop dreaming right now. It won’t happen.

However, I do have some suggestions for the government that may help make the freeloaders who are using our roads contribute towards their use: get rid of the EV incentive and cut back on the spending that supports the ideological thinking of those that believe walking and cycling are the way to the future.

One thing we should be prepared for, though, is an increase in some of the fees we pay to deliver the service the country needs, moving freight. Perhaps we will see the introduction of a compliance levy as suggested when the rot within the NZTA compliance areas is exposed. I suggest an increase in registration and RUC could also be on the cards. [Considering the consultation on its fees and charges started by the NZTA in March, these predictions are pretty spot on – Ed.]

And, finally, when the self-indulgent press releases have been trashed, the countless buzz words have been removed from our vocabulary and the self-congratulating PowerPoint presentations are deleted, it is you, the road transport operators of New Zealand, who will continue to do what only you can do – deliver the goods that keep the country going, not by bike, not by walking, but by truck. For this, thank you.