As a long-time director of Transit, I took it upon myself to understand the drivers in the traffic congestion that bedevils Auckland.

What jumped out was the fact that there was no congestion during school holidays. The behaviour of parents who eschew their local school to send their kids to a more distant one is widespread and leads to loss of productivity, pollution and - to stretch the bow - an increase in obesity.

I always went to the closest state school as a kid, and my kids and grandchildren did and do the same. We've all got tertiary qualifications or are headed in that direction. Our schools, whatever decile, are pretty much of a muchness.

By trekking across town twice a day, any conceivable benefits are negated by a longer day, none of your schoolmates living close by, less exercise, and rootlessness. This behaviour is just plain dumb.

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