Te Ngae Rd is my regular workday commute. Depending on when I do leave home, the trip into town can range from seven minutes to about 15, and the times are similar at the end of the day. Until now.

The much anticipated upgrades of this main route have been under way for a few weeks now, and whether the actual plans are even the right ones is still open for debate, but it is what it is.

Those of us who were hanging out for the bypass have to concede this is now never going to happen.

There are now multiple slow points along the route, with hard-working men and woman on the job pretty close to the passing traffic. And it never fails to astound me the number of drivers who still want to do the usual 70km despite the signs now saying 30km.


In my bright pink The Hits vehicle, I have received plenty of dirty looks and a few interesting hand gestures as I stick to the slow speeds.

So c'mon residents of the eastside and lakes areas, it's short-term pain for long-term gain, and think about those others around you. We don't want any tragedies on our roads.

And while we are crawling along the road do what I do - think of those friends in Auckland traffic!


I had a small happy moment when I was getting my Lotto tickets checked last week.

The machine made its winning noise and I just thought to myself, "Oh wow, another bonus ticket", but it actually turned out to be a cash prize for the first time in a really long time.

No I wasn't the $100,000 winner reported in Rotorua earlier this week (that would be nice wouldn't it?) but I did win $67.

I should actually say 'we' won, because it was on the family ticket that we've been buying for years and we've agreed to split any major winnings.


From a family point of view that's pretty easy to do, but what about when you make a promise to a mate about splitting winnings? Have you ever been in a situation where you've maybe neglected to keep that promise?

Last week, a man who made a pact with his fishing buddy 28 years ago that if either of them ever won the lottery they'd split the winnings, has come clean on his end of the deal!

Thomas Cook reached out to his old mate Joseph Feeney with news of his $22 million windfall in a US Powerball lottery. The pair chose the cash option of $16.7m, which means they each took home about $5.7m after taxes.


Speaking of winning, my competition phone lines in The Hits studio have been going crazy with our new competition.

We asked you what bills are holding you back, and you told us it was electricity, groceries and fuel. There was also a general sense of nervousness about meeting these bills with so much uncertainty in the future.


The Hits Live Free: Food, Petrol, Power is going to pay the three bills for one lucky listener for an entire year!

Some of the chats I've been having with my listeners can hit pretty hard with these times we are living in right now, and I just know how much of a life changer this kind of prize could be.

Listen every weekday at 8am, 10am, 12pm and 4pm for your chance to get in the draw.

Paul Hickey is the host of the locally based 9am-3pm show on The Hits Rotorua 97.5FM. Follow on Facebook The Hits Rotorua and on Twitter @paulhickeynz