The real trick to political success is to get the people to go along with you.

Sometimes it's easy, the argument is common sense, it appeals to a majority, so there is no real scrap or push back.

But in the case of speed limits and open roads, you are dealing with a complex layer of issues. Not least of which is this country's love of cars and driving.


Whether this Government likes it or not, this is a nation of car owners. There are almost four million cars in this country.

That is the highest number ever - and it goes up annually at a rate of about 5 per cent a year. That's close to a car for every man, woman, and child. And given there are about a million kids, that then means there is more than one car per person of driving age.

Now, why is that? Because of history, culture, and a deep seated passion for wheels.

The current Government hate all this, and are doing their best to change it. Through agencies, like Auckland Transport and the NZ Transport Agency, they are making being a car owner harder and harder.

But here's the bit they don't understand - and the bit that makes the dream delusional -they are not taking us with them. And reducing speed on open roads under the guise of some wacky tool is not going to change a thing.

We smell an agenda a mile off. This is Julie Anne Genter and her cronies at large. From the bus lanes, the bike lanes, the lack of parking, the reduction of speed, the taxes on petrol, you will note to this point, all of it has been unsuccessful.

Has the number of cars dropped? No. Do we drive less? No. Are we not buying new cars? No, there has indeed been record purchases, both new and used, for the past five or so years.

At a time when the car has never been under greater attack by the zealots, it is not only holding its own, but prospering.


So what you have, metaphorical speaking, is battle lines drawn.

And this is where ultimately the Genters and co will lose - they are not taking us with them. Their arguments lack logic, the bits that were supposed to make things better haven't, the buses don't turn up, the bus lanes are empty, they built the cycle lanes and they didn't come.

In other words the opening stanzas that were supposed to sway the curious and neutral failed, so now it's open warfare and speed limits are the next trick.

Most people are reasonable, most people see logic, most people want to help, but in the war on cars and speed, this is ideology, this is car hate, fossil fuel hate, and it's driven by a tiny minority that think bikes are a multipurpose means of transport, if you can't get a train.

Meantime, in the real world, we are behind the wheel in record numbers.