7 bicycles per person per year

26 10 2011

How would you and every New Zealander like to be given 7 bicycles in the coming year?

What would you do with 7 bicycles? Have one for every day of the week? It would be a bit of an extravagance and wouldn’t it be a complete waste of money? Well yes, of course. Read on …

Something has really got my goat. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and in the world of the completely preposterous nothing takes the cake more than this claim.

This is a graph of New Zealand sovereign debt over the years from 2001 to 2009. It went down under the fiscally responsible Labour and has gone up under the outrageously ill-disciplined National.

And that is just until 2009. And what about 2010/2011? Well the National led government added another $12 billion to those figures. Yep $12,000,000,000.00 backwards under finance minister Bill English and prime minister John Key. It has taken National 3 years to undo all the good work that Labour did in the previous 8 years. So I call bullshit on John Key and National. They only have enough talent to make more of a mess. They definitely don’t deserve to be in the Beehive post November.

Twelve billion dollars a year is equal to $380.51 cents a second. While $380.51  isn’t really enough to buy a low-end bicycle from a bike shop, it is  enough to buy a cheap bicycle at the Warehouse.  And there are enough seconds in a year that every New Zealander could have 7 bicycles a year.  But $380.51 is more than the price of every bike at the Warehouse. For instance this unisex bike-in-a-box is only $199.99 so you could even have 13 of these bikes.

The NZ government could have bought every New Zealander 13 of these bikes last financial year and we’d be no worse off. If the bike was of such a low-quality that it fell apart after only a month then it wouldn’t matter, you’d have enough for one a month and a left over for a spare.

Don’t like the bicycle figures well let’s do it with some eco-gnomics.  Would you rather have garden gnomes occupying seats than National Party MPs? Garden gnomes would certainly make less mistakes. $12 billion dollars would buy (at the $12.99 buy now Trade Me price) 923 million garden gnomes. Each of the 69 National politicians in the current parliament could be replaced by 13.4 million garden gnomes to have the same detrimental effect that they have had. Anyway you look at it, that is a helluva lot of garden gnomes. At a packing rate of 9 garden gnomes per square metre that is over 102 square kilometres just for the space alone, which is bigger in area than Hamilton City.

I really love wheelbarrows, which you might have to get used to riding with National reducing NZTA funding of public transport subsidies, what with the NZTA being bankrupt because of all the motorway plans.

It’s time to get rid of the disenfranchisement clowns, who can’t manage the economy and who want to get rid of MMP. If we go back to a first past the post, two-party, non-proportional representation, system with no upper house, me and a whole lot of other people are going to be completely disenfranchised. Getting rid of MMP would be completely undemocratic, even if it didn’t pass the referendum vote.

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In other news 170,000 people jumped the Ditch last year, despite Bill English’s claims that he’d stop it. The only thing that will stem that flow is when the rest of the country is so impoverished that they couldn’t even scrape together the money for an air ticket.

Yeah well done Bill. You’re really good at your job.

Hey Bill English, you should party vote Green. At least then you would get one thing right.





A postcard from Darwin

5 10 2011

I recently got sent these lovely photos from Darwin. This is the Rapid Creek bike path out in the northern Darwin suburb of Nightcliff. It looks like a really nice type of off-road bike path that are all too few in our towns and suburbs. Wide enough and smooth enough and far enough away from roads. Judging by the shadows it’s near the middle of the day and that probably explains the lack of cyclists. In the cool of the morning or evening I’m sure there’d be more.

My photo senders love spending their time birdwatching and they are known to take the odd beautiful photo. Here is one such, a comb-crested jacana.

Thanks Jill and Ian.





Shine Falls – a remnant of the NZ walkways

1 10 2011

If I’m reading history right in the 1970s there was a small movement (amongst Taranaki locals?) for the establishment of an East West Walkway across the North Island from Cape Egmont to East Cape. It never eventuated, but it did inspire the New Zealand Walkways Act of 1975. That founded the New Zealand Walkway Commission and 12 district committees who’s aim was “to establish walking tracks over public and private land so that the people of New Zealand shall have safe, unimpeded foot access to countryside for the benefit of physical recreation”.

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