Joining big dots: the power of an idea whose time has come

In Trucking Toward a Better Future 20235 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 13, 2023

Lindsay Wood offers some inspirational thinking for the 2023 Trucking Toward a Better Future competition.

If you remember Coming up with ideas one glance and one joke at a time (at you’ll recall that a cornerstone of creativity (as well as of a good joke), is connecting things in unusual ways, and here’s a classic example.

Truckies in the Nelson/Tasman region need no introduction to the bottleneck-on-steroids at the intersection of SH6 and Queen Street in Richmond. The present setup is notorious whichever way you look at it – from heavy and light vehicular traffic to cyclists on the Great Taste Trail to pedestrians generally and wheelchair users especially. It has no redeeming features and is high on the list for a serious makeover, with or without the much-discussed Hope Bypass that may be built nearby.

Ideas to date have been predictable and conventional, like a massive vehicular overbridge for SH6, and underpasses for pedestrians, wheelchairs and cyclists. But these come with serious costs and serious downsides, such as safety and flooding issues for the underpasses, and a ginormous industrial-scale eyesore, complete with elevated noisy traffic, dominating the end of Richmond’s main street.

Then from left outfield the region’s community transport group Nelsust joined some big dots across a great distance: isn’t this an ideal case for Richmond’s own “Hover-Ring” like the elegant one at Eindhoven in the Netherlands? Leave vehicular traffic at ground level with a roundabout like the ones that work well closer to Nelson, take the active transport up in the air, and create a stunning gateway to Richmond all at the same time.

And there are even more dots that can be joined: the Nelson area is famous for its timber industry, and timber engineering guru Andy Buchanan, of PTL Structural Consultants, has given a big thumbs-up to the idea of building it in timber.

It’s hard to imagine a solution that ticks more boxes – a fantastic win-win-win that doesn’t just solve a gnarly problem but creates bonus benefits at the same time, a true example of turning a problem into an opportunity.

It’s worth unpicking this some more for the TTABF competition. This idea wasn’t the result of years of painstaking research, but someone recognising a connection – a connection that could easily have been made by someone in the cab of a truck stuck in the SH6 traffic and who happened to have seen a picture of Eindhoven’s “Hovenring”.

And if you read Igloos, midnight lectures, and thinking outside the box (also  at, you might remember the idea of “Po:” the provocation to get us thinking differently. “Po: what if the people go up in the air, and the vehicles stay on the ground?”

Now all we need is the powers that be to think, “Yes if…” not “No because…”

So, as you sit in your cabs wondering how you might catch a share of the $7500 TTABF prize, allow your mind to roam across the problems that make your trucking life harder, and across unusual things that might solve them (or might not solve them – don’t be afraid of crazy!). And when those dots do join up and that lightbulb goes on inside your head, keep any lurking allodoxaphobia at bay, and get your entry in!

Come to think of it, instead of writing this article, why didn’t I keep quiet and just enter the Hover-Ring idea in the TTABF comp?! Duh!

Visit for full details on how to enter, and to find more weekly inspirational updates.

– by Lindsay Wood, director, Resilienz

Disclaimer: Lindsay is on the committee of Nelsust but was not the originator of the Hover-Ring idea.