Expressway to Auckland Inc.

 

Welcome to ‘Auckland,’ Capital and Coast 

By Fergus Wheeler
Heading south, Sunday evening, 6pm and the traffic is backed up to the Levin Post Office.  Congratulations Wellington and Kapiti, your new expressway is open !The expressway price is now heading now to one billion dollars.  

Not counting the years of “consultation” by highly paid consultants who offered the public a road or, as another option, a . . .  road.

One billion could have bought this region unlimited free mental health care for our unraveling communities, new schools, a free ambulance service which didn’t have to fund-raise, unlimited free train travel for decades (which would have solved the so-called traffic congestion problem) plus, probably, double tracking the train line from Paekakariki to Pukerua Bay.

Other priorities

While Europe is working on cutting emmission, in the name of freedom New Zealand enthusiastically embraces new highway after new highway.  These new

Earlier scenes of traffic congestion on SH1 near Levin

roads will guarantee we’ll be the world’s greenhouse pariah.  Having blown our precious transport budget on roads, not trains and buses, our emmissions will continue to rise – as long as there is oil.    

Road dangers for children

Kapiti’s roads are becoming too busy for children to negotiate on bikes.  Well done town planners,  |your tick box bike routes are largly meaningless for Kapiti’s youth and their parents. Intersections are now so complicated for bikes I don’t trust myself on them.

Safety issues aside, and climate change is one hell of a safety issue, consisder this:

  • What have the people who have no choice but to use public transport got out of the new expressway?  
  • What about those who can’t afford cars?  
  • What about epilectics, the elderly, the unconfident?  
  • What of people with physical and mental handicaps?  

All up, we’re talking about a good 30 – 40% of the population starved of transport funding by planners.

Health.  I thought we were meant to be encouraging active communities.  Some kids are too unfit even to walk to school, (if their parents trust them on the busy roads).  And now we’ve just made matters worse.

And, to get really serious, let’s talk economics.  To drive you need to import a car, oil, tyres and parts.  We’ve just become more dependent on all of them. Meantime our essential services, plumbers, ambulances, taxis and buses, are going to be caught in ever-worsening traffic jams.  

Reminds you of that city Wellingtonians love to hate?  Welcome to Auckland.   

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Editor’s note:

Escarpment between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki

Fergus Wheeler is a veteran conservationist, and cyclist, who worked for many years for Nga Ura Ora to restore the escarpment slopes between Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay.

Professionally, he has over 15 years’ experience with the Feldenkrais Method® and graduated from the second NZ professional training in Auckland in 2002.

Unusually, Fergus didn’t start lessons to solve an injury or to improve at sport. Instead he had an inkling he had to somehow change in order to get through chronic health problems.

Feldenkrais lessons improved the health issues, and, as a bonus, old sports injuries seemed to evaporate as his system found new ways to move around them.

Fergus teaches classes, workshops and one to one lessons in Wellington, the Kapiti Coast and the Central North Island. He also teaches at workplaces, seminars and sports clubs.

He often collaborates with colleagues to present the work to the public.