Posts by Jason Kemp

  • Hard News: Waterview: The giant up the road, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    And there’s going to be a lot of pressure on the St Luke’s Road interchange by Western Springs.

    Which they’ve managed to bollox up when it comes to the St Luke’s Road offramp

    I'm bemused by the flow-on effects at that St Lukes interchange. For some reason the old small bridge by MOTAT has been replaced by one which is only slightly better and after almost 2 years is still not fully open.

    It has a cycle lane on 1 side and a blocked lane on the other side? I wonder if the disruption to lanes around that bridge and all the extra concrete new traffic islands to block the new lanes is any better than what was there. Plus the actual disruption for 18mths? It seems that the disruption around the project is far worse than the problem it was attempting to solve. Does anyone know why there is a still one lane on that bridge blocked. It is right where a cycle lane should be.

    It has always seemed to me that any change to the St Lukes motorway bridge was almost pointless because of the railway bridge bottleneck by Asquith Ave.

    I'm sure that traffic engineering must be tricky as as soon as a new stretch of road opens regular users will change their traffic patterns but what has happened with the St Lukes Rd interchange just seems inexplicable.

    It looks like they built a much wider bridge just so they can block off access by building new giant concrete traffic islands. Maybe that was revenge for not being allowed to cut down all the Pohutukawa trees? on the other side?

    Those traffic islands might be useful for pedestrians waiting to cross over to Western Springs Stadium but for cyclists and drivers it is all a bit of a puzzle.

    Does anyone know what is going on with the St Lukes interchange bridge - why isn't it finished or even fully open?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: After the…,

    I do wonder why Phoenix Foundation keep being nominated but don’t actually win at Silver Scrolls. It was clearly a great evening but in retrospect the winner did seem to be a surprise.

    This > What the hell just happened at the Silver Scroll awards?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: After the…,

    The Silver Scrolls last night were amazing. That RNZ can manage to broadcast on TV via Freeview Channel 50, via YT & Campus Radio and whatever else they did is showing us all how to reinvent TV.

    John Campbell was in his element and the whole tone of the show was respectful and affirming all the way. The tribute to Moana and here speech was heartfelt. The songs performed by special ensembles on the night were all great.

    Steve Abel – NZ’s answer to Nick Cave was indeed a marvel. But then all of those song performances were just great. It has been a long time since I have seen a large music event that had so many happy shiny people.

    One of my friends watched along from Scotland and I know others viewed from all around the world. It is incredible when the main TV channels are such a complete waste of time that RNZ is now the actual real live “radio with pictures”.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Excited for Auckland!,

    Once again this IRL format is the winner on the day. Picking the less obvious "suspects" for the debate was an inspired choice.

    Based on what I have seen in the video Chloe needs to be part of the new council. Her idea that the Mayor needs to be a visionary makes a great deal of sense.

    At least one of the other candidates seems to think they are running for the CEO role and it looks to me like that is an insincere attempt at profile raising for national politics.

    I enjoyed Ralston's input too. I hope you get loads of viewers because this is what media is made for.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: There in half the time:…, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    There was a story in the Guardian earlier this week Can e-bikes revolutionise long-distance commuting? which concluded yes but the overwhelming impression I got was that this created a whole new bunch of problems for so called "speed elecs".

    The story features a guy who cycles 80 miles a day to and from work and

    All in all it takes him about three and a half hours to commute.

    I'd suggest that if anyone thinks commuting 3.5hrs a day is a good way to organise one's working life then we have a problem right there. However that would be off-topic - just flagging the possibility that maybe people don't need to go to a workplace anyway?

    Perhaps this is an extreme example but...

    It was a speed pedelec – an electric bike that can go as fast as 28mph (45km/h) – that brought about the change. “I love cycling,” Dekker says. “I always wanted to cycle to work, and I tried to do so on my racing bike, but the distance was simply too long. And then I tried out one of these fast electric bikes. Five minutes later I knew my problem was solved.”

    The government of the Netherlands is about to reclassify such high-speed e-bikes as mopeds, meaning their owners will be banned from cycle paths, the bikes must be fitted with registration plates, and riders must wear helmets, obtain a driver’s licence and take out insurance. A similar situation already exists in Britain and many other European Union countries, with e-bikes limited to 15.5mph.

    I bolded that sentence which spells out the unintended consequences of "speed elecs." It probably doesn't apply here but I cycled for years around Auckland on roads with almost no cycle lanes and have been knocked off my bike 3 times.

    What if the irony of these ebikes is that we head back into the wild west where personal safety is again at risk? Hopefully that won't be the case.

    I can see that almost all of the NZ bikes in the Mercury range have 300watt batteries. I don't know if the NZ ebikes are considered speed elec's but perhaps someone has thought about the public policy implications of promoting more highly powered bikes than in other countries. Perhaps there is a chance to be smart about transport policy and consider what happens if a critical mass of commuters swap over to ebikes of the 300w variety.

    Most of the bikes featured look quite ugly to me with the exception of a couple of the BH models.

    I know someone in U.S who has one of the Sondors bikes (Martin Brown mentioned earlier) and the base price there is US $500 although I understand most people pay an extra $250 or so for an upgraded battery and other options. Even allowing for exchange rates that is only $NZ1050. Sure freight (US$250+) and any tax will add to the price but we are used to technology of say batteries going down in price and being reflected in the new price.

    As a "next generation" style bike it would be great if Mercury or some other bike shop investigated the Sondors range.

    OTOH it is great that Mercury are actually thinking about new products and services that are electricity related and hats off to them for the subsidy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Autism: where have we come from…,

    Thanks for this post Hilary. Getting a well researched background and more context from someone who has been in the front lines is so important to all of us.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Orcon IRL on Journalism: The Video,

    On a more positive note – I managed to watch the full clip over the weekend and to make it easier it is now possible to watch each section as they have been split out into separate clips.

    The whole event looks remarkable and production values are high. It is better than anything I have seen on Teev but then again I don’t watch any ’regular” TV so that is a poor example.

    I wrote up a few thoughts on my blog What does the future of Journalism look like?

    It goes without saying but thank you, thank you, thank you - Russell and everyone else who made this last event happen. I think it is world class. Also I see the book "Don't Dream its Over" essays on Journalism futures is now out so that is on my wish list.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: I Swear, It's True,

    One for the linguistic historians out there. This talk by Prof Kate Burridge from 2012 was intriguing. She is Chair of Linguistics at Monash University.

    It is a talk about why, ultimately, euphemisms make our lives easier. I suspect swearing makes life easier as well.

    OK it is a academic take but she does talk about the phenomenon of "genital flip-flop". Or "linguistic familiarity doesn't breed contempt" which I suspect is also true of swearing.

    As I said - probably only for the academics or linguists here...

    Euphemisms Kate Burridge TEDxSydney 2012 · 26 May 2012

    Fast forward to about 5:00 minutes mark for the most relevant content.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: I Swear, It's True,

    Just re-watching 'Black Books' right now. Somehow that series seems to strike an expletive tone without actually swearing.

    Also I remember when my daughter got to school finally at age 5. She and a number of her 5 yr old friends stumbled on a mystery word called the "f" word and wanted to know what it was. None of the parents or teachers would tell her. She was 5 we thought she could wait a bit.

    When she found out a week or two later she was disappointed and said something to the effect of - that all the two year olds in the creche knew that word and plenty more besides. By age 3 they were over it.

    We were trying hard not to swear around her but only because as we explained it is much more fun when you don't do it all the time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Stop acting like the law is…,

    I recently watched the Ken Burns documentary miniseries on Prohibition. What was very interesting about it was all the unintended consequences of those laws and how that played out. Various commentators in that series may have overstated their views but the criminalisation of alcohol was said to have created many of the organised crime in the U.S at the time.

    Regardless of whether that might have happened in any case the criminalisation of alcohol resulted in widespread disrespect for the prohibition law. A word was even invented for that “scofflaw”.

    Institutions and governments don’t ever seem to learn from history. I don’t know what the answer is here but as a nation we have developed rules around alcohol use that generally work. The tax system is weighted towards the health costs however it doesn’t seem that we are prepared to look at the same legal structure for managing cannabis.

    The last time I checked 22 U.S States had legalised some form of use and are benefitting from tax revenues and the decriminalisation aspects.

    Surely there is something to be learned from that?

    As others have noted the present government is still socially conservative. Any actual law change will happen only when public opinion changes. The short term answer has to be better informed public debate but I’m afraid we have a news media running on auto pilot.

    Just today the PM has been reported as changing rules around GCSB snooping on NZers’. This is u-turn and exactly opposite what he said last year but it it is reported as a news item with no attempt at balance or any kind of argument.

    This is relevant because if we want public opinion to be informed and coherent we also have to have a media that is capable and willing. This is same media that are still publishing moral panic stories say regarding the cleaning up of P houses with no mention of the science at all.

    I am personally not a fan of smoking anything but I did read somewhere that Colorado was using at least some of the revenues from legalised cannabis use to fund education programmes.

    According to this graph NZ has the third highest score on Adult lifetime cannabis use by country after the U.S and Canada so perhaps public opinion changes are not far behind?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 297 posts Report Reply

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