Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: The Prime Minister will see you now

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  • John Farrell,

    A former railway line like the the Central bike trail is great...trains don't cope with steep inclines, so there are no awful hills to climb. An all new bike trail, though - will it be routed to avoid hills? The Central bike trail works because anyone with a reasonable level of fitness can ride it.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 212 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    That inter-web thing, it's really quite good at overcoming physical isolation. As NZ suffers a touch from that physcial isolation thing a touch, I think that not investing in building up the platform & skillsets from which NZ Businesses can huck their wares (esp services ) is absolutely foolish.

    So we continue to remain dependent on primary production of goods that we've got to ship or fly all that distance to consumers overseas.

    Buliding a cycleway, or pinching money off network infrastructure projects to build roads & upgrade state housing, has one hell of an opportunity cost....and we will probably have to play catch-up later...when that competitveness-ship has sailed a bit further and the costs are higher as per David Skilling's ideas regarding the peloton effect.

    NZ could stand to be a big winner, but instead...

    Osterreich • Since Nov 2006 • 460 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Look ,

    seem to be flowing from people who, under Labour, I'd have expected

    if I am included in that "expected " bit , I kid you not, I certainly would applaud an idea that may stymie the situ that many seem to be experiencing. I staunchly support Labour because in general I experience a party that tries to accommodate everyones need. No favouritism, and certainly, feels like we are all in it for the country.That has no bearing on whether or not I dislike immensely, National ( although a couple I believe would be wonderful in Labour) I always see our country as a boutique place that could establish the Kiwi reputation further to the image it is/ has been creating. Why not? But, to copy cheese or imitate Amsterdam,instead of R and D to me seems pointless. Unless we grasp our individuality, we will always bark up the wrong tree because we are not big, we are not Europe and at the end of the day, we are bloody good with the no.8 fence wire so lets be NZ, lets build the Indians, lets build the Brittens let us be NZ famous.Aint got nufing to do with National, but it feels like wool over the eyes for something else ....rant over :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6208 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    I like the cycleway idea precisely because it is small scale and offers opportunities to build on the hospitality theme in quite individualistic ways - as someone else mentioned upthread, bikes need servicing, hungry cyclists need to be fed and watered, entertained now & then, have overnight shelter. Maraes could provide all of that. Or informal homestay networks that bypass bureaucracy. That old-style, casual, laid-back friendly culture revived.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    i think one of the points of David's post was that there seems to be a lack of "Big Ideas" to see us through the current economic turbulence and prepare us for a slightly different world just over the horizon.

    the "jobs summit" and the govt in general doesn't seem to have generated much to really inspire. a cycleway is great but it is a relatively modest infrastructure project to be carried out over 10 years or more. it could be used by tourists or locals, but i don't think cycle-touring people will be that interested in staying on a "main route" like this for a large proportion of their time. but it will be useful and well utilised if it is built, imo. i'd suggest the challenge is to route it as near to as many hot springs as possible. there is no depression in the spa pool, don't y'know. but i digress.

    imo, the future for nz will be better if we start setting good examples for the world again. actions speak louder than words, etc. energy technology is a key area we should look at. especially renewable, clean energy technology. wind, wave, micro-hydro, geothermal, biomass, etc. energy efficiency too. energy-efficient houses and buildings, energy efficient transport infrastructure, energy efficient urban and rural planning. you know, why not make energy efficiency and resource sustainability the cornerstone of our industries--primary, secondary and tertiary? that would be in contrast with the Fed Farmers' apparent philosophy, which i would paraphrase as "who gives a fcuk about the fcuking environment, we want to make a shit load of money, now!"

    trash the country for a few extra billion dollars worth of milk solids? sheesh. and how long will that last, mate? there are lots of bold moves the govt could get behind, if they had the vision (oh no! that word!)

    just my 2c worth.

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 633 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I like the cycleway idea precisely because it is small scale and offers opportunities to build on the hospitality theme

    Where are all the tourists coming from?Remember,we are a very expensive country to get to or are we going to cater small scale for those that can afford to get here? If this is for the future, why don't we do it later? Will the wealthy, that can still afford to travel in such hard times, want the old style/laid back/friendly.I have family that can still afford to travel now and they want 5 star hotel as always. I would rather see support for business that will be laying off workers. Beef up the railways, there has to be jobs there for the unemployed.What's wrong with state housing the 13000 looking for homes?. Jobs for the construction industry surely? Yes I can see how it feels all happy, happy,joy,joy but this is an idea from a "job" summit that was about protecting and creating jobs in an economic downturn.I cannot see the point....rant continuing :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6208 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Let's not forget that the cycleway concept didn't even come from the discussions at the Job Summit - but from Key's back pocket. Are the other ideas on the day really the best we could do as a nation?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16669 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Well dude, shelter is all good, but quite honestly our problem isn't having not enough food. It's having too much. This recession, if it hits the food, will probably actually make the country healthier.

    You'll have to explain what that means Ben. I can't see how more people not having enough money to provide sufficient food of quality for their families is going to make the country healthier.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6178 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    I think he means we're all gonna get skinnier...

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    That's why I cant help but feel this is odd.200 and something people? Mind you, I'm odd, and off that ideas list posted above Sacha, all I hear of is 9 day fortnight and a cycleway. The 1st and last items.Will that be it?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6208 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    Sofie - yeah, i agree about the job summit, pisspoor. I like the cycleway idea less as a response to recession, more just a good, simple idea that could benefit enterprising persons along its path.

    I certainly like it better than bailing out banks etc or even the astonishingly brilliant 9 day fortnight.. .I heard some reporter say those present at the Summat represented some 80% of our GDP. Talk about a scintillating Brains Trust.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Sofie, the cycleway isn't even on that list. The shared fund thingy with the banks is the third idea they highlighted, but it's not likely to be as interesting as a cycleway. Now that phrase in itself should be cause for concern..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16669 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    You'll have to explain what that means Ben. I can't see how more people not having enough money to provide sufficient food of quality for their families is going to make the country healthier.

    What Kerry said.

    In a little more detail, I really don't think we're going to ever get to the point in this country where we don't have sufficient money for food of quality. I was kidding about us getting skinnier - that just ain't gonna happen because of economic reasons. But we shall see, if I'm wrong it would hardly be disastrous for the nation to have to cut back how much it eats.

    I like the cycleway idea less as a response to recession, more just a good, simple idea that could benefit enterprising persons along its path.

    Me too. I'm quite happy for this 'economic brainstorming' to actually do some good for a change, in a purely conventional way, without having to be a big idea or solve the recession. It might help, there's definitely an argument that it would be stimulatory in many ways. I highly doubt it would be a particularly expensive project compared to just about anything at all that we do for cars.

    Like I said, it's not a binary. It's not cycleway OR feeding starving children. It can be both.

    imo, the future for nz will be better if we start setting good examples for the world again. actions speak louder than words, etc. energy technology is a key area we should look at.

    And cycling is one such technology. It's a way of saving energy and cleaning it up. I suspect it would only have serous impact in this respect when applied to commuting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8533 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Sorry to repeat myself (okay, actually I'm not sorry):

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/mar/13/stern-attacks-politicians-climate-change

    The conference also heard that:

    · A 4C rise could turn swaths of southern Europe to desert.

    · Sea levels will rise twice as fast as official estimates predict.

    · Modest warming could unleash a carbon "time bomb" from Arctic soils.

    · A failure to cut emissions could render half of the world uninhabitable.

    · Rising temperatures could kill off 85% of the Amazon rainforest.

    Several experts at the conference warned that temperatures are likely to soar beyond the 2C target set by European politicians, though they are reluctant to say so publicly. "The 2C target is gone and 3C is difficult. I think we're heading for 4C at least," one said. Oxford University yesterday announced that it would hold a conference in September to discuss the implications of a rise of 4C or more.

    Past time for action, perhaps.

    Since Nov 2006 • 586 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    @WH
    i think people are pretty blase about the impacts. that is, until it's way too late. there's only so many times you can warn people they are being overly reckless. i men, look at the real estate crash, or mortgage and credit derivatives...? wall st meltdown!? no one saw that coming, did they? </sarcasm>

    @Ben
    yeah, cycling is very efficient in compact cities and towns. encouraging more creative ways to harness that efficiency would be a good move, imo.

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 633 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Sofie, the cycleway isn't even on that list.

    Yes it is, (9 march-link to check the list)I think it was the first link from what you posted. I gottago check now.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6208 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    It's not cycleway OR feeding starving

    For you perhaps but for factory staff layoffs, buying bicycles, helmets and lycras wont be the first thing they spend there redundancy on.

    I like the cycleway idea less as a response to recession, more just a good, simple idea that could benefit enterprising persons along its path.

    Which could be a great idea when we are all more secure again. Not everyone is as enterprising as one might hope also.The first losing their jobs have been big business factory layoffs.

    I'm quite happy for this 'economic brainstorming' to actually do some good for a change, in a purely conventional way,

    Then perhaps it could have given a different impression at the start.We had Social services and Doctors conventions cancelled whilst a job summit deemed worthy, but I guess it depends on the order of importance, and it may be my twisted logic, but for me it feels like a cycleway is pampering, softening up for privatization or big business yet again.Doom and gloom!Slowly, slowly catchy monkey. We will have to sell, sell,sell. I need coffee!

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6208 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I think it more likely that the cycleway is just one of the few things most people could agree on. All the 'big ideas' would have had major opponents.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8533 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Sofie, the cycleway isn't even on that list.

    Yes it is, (9 march-link to check the ist)

    In the PDF added on 9 March about which Ministers are following up which items, the cycleway is listed last under the heading "Other".

    It does not appear on the Summit's "Top Twenty" list nor on any of the detailed workshop lists - because as Key admitted afterwards it came from him, not from the attendees on the day.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16669 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Ben, as far as I know there was no "agreeing" on that idea. It was just introduced into proceedings at the end.

    Doesn't say anything about the quality of the idea, but perhaps does about the lack of others that might grab the imagination.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16669 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Sorry, just re-read and I think you were talking about people after the day being able to agree - and you're right.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16669 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    We had Social services and Doctors conventions cancelled whilst a job summit deemed worthy

    Remember, Key almost cancelled it. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16669 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Sorry, just re-read and I think you were talking about people after the day being able to agree - and you're right.

    Well, to be perfectly honest, I was actually talking about during their meeting, but with hindsight, yes, that too. I actually wasn't envisaging a formal vote having been taken, more of a "pitch this and watch how many people fold their arms and frown" kind of agreement.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8533 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    because as Key admitted afterwards it came from him, not from the attendees on the day.

    There was an article in granny all about it being someone elses idea actually. Yes , I will go find it :)Hang on a mo.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6208 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    someone elses idea

    Not even a Kiwi, wasn't it?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16669 posts Report Reply

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