Terrible business this Dan Carter affair, with him getting pinged in Paris for driving near the Champs-Elysee while over the legal alcohol limit.

Talk about heroes having feet of clay - or in his case, feet that could do no wrong, until one of them hit the accelerator.

Carter said it was a massive error of judgment, confirming our belief that former All Blacks never do anything on a small scale.

The whole issue raises some serious questions, such as what sort of lunkhead drives in Paris in the first place? It's not an activity in which Parisians, who've lived with the world's greatest public transport system since birth, would indulge.


Nor would they be seen dead anywhere near the kitsch tourist trap that is the Champs-Elysee. They must have pulled up their bicycles, taken off their berets to scratch their heads, ruminatively fondled the garland of garlic around their necks and asked themselves: what was Carter thinking?

And then one of his sponsors, Land Rover, called off their deal with him. As you'd expect.

I've no idea how much of a conversation preceded this parting of the lucrative ways. I guess if he used the traditional excuse that such a public black mark could affect his career and his future earning potential the prestige automaker didn't buy it.

If only our courts were as hard-headed when it came to dealing with entitled high profile sportspeople who appear before them on similar charges. Perhaps a Land Rover executive could be seconded to the judiciary to give them advice.

• At least Carter wasn't over the limit while in charge of a bicycle. To paraphrase Jerome K Jerome, I love cycling - I could sit and watch it for hours.

Now the NZTA wants kids under 12 to be allowed to ride their bikes on footpaths. The elderly, people with disabilities and anyone else who dislikes having the bejesus scared out of them are all opposed.

The latter group would include myself. A few days ago I was walking legally on a footpath in a straight line in daylight when three cyclists in the form of a father and two sons overtook me with no warning. I don't want to overstate the case, but a less robust bloke (or lady) might have taken alarm.

I should make it clear that these were nice people - the father even gave a cheery wave to the motorist who had to stop suddenly when the trio rode off the kerb at a corner and across the road in front of her without pausing to check for traffic.


Kids should ride bikes on roads where wheeled vehicles belong, and they should be taught how to do it safely.

• The Electoral commission has cleared Gareth Morgan's Opportunist Party (TOP) of a charge of "treating".

TOP used a van - presumably driven by the party's entire membership - to ferry people to their homes after the Big Gay Out and a cricket match.

Say what you like about TOP, but they do love an outing.

A complaint that this constituted an attempt to influence the passengers' votes was laid with the commission by David Seymour of the ACT Party. That's the same David Seymour who was handed the Epsom electorate in a de-facto deal with the National Party, is his party's only MP and rakes in more than $500,000 a year when you add up his various perks.

So he would know what he's talking about when it comes to the subject of free rides.