With spring upon us again, I dusted off the bike and set off around the cycle routes around our city.
The shared pathways are great, and an enjoyable way to get a bit of exercise, nice and wide with clear messages to "keep left" painted on to the path at fairly regular intervals.
That is until you come across one of the many individuals/groups of people who seem to be unable to read these messages marked on the pathways all the way along the river, right out as far as the path goes.
I followed a lady on a bike with a carriage behind it across the Dublin St bridge the other day. We both went across on the inner lane, which is clearly designated for use by cyclists, with the outer lanes for pedestrians.
There are signs on each side of the bridge at both ends which make this quite clear. There was a person walking along the cycle lane, and when they became aware that the lady I was following was coming up behind them, they just ignored her, forcing her to come to an abrupt halt while this illiterate "citizen" just made a point of making her wait when he could have stepped on to the pedestrian path and let her through.
It appears that these signs, in some people's eyes, are not for everyone, but for everyone else.
Is it not too much to ask that if somebody is coming towards you, or approaching from behind, that you keep left, or on the correct path as the signage suggests, and even halt your important conversations so that cyclists, runners, walkers and other users of these pathways can get past without running on to the grass or off the path?
How hard can that be ?
Where's the wool?
A question was put to the candidates at the recent Fordell candidates forum asking if their parties would support and promote the use of New Zealand wool as insulation and carpeting in new house builds.
Steph Lewis was refreshingly honest, something which most MPs avoid with a vengeance, stating that this issue was difficult due to existing "trade agreements".
Harete Hipango nimbly sidestepped addressing the question directly, saying the TPPA was signed by Labour despite their campaigning against it. What she didn't admit was that National negotiated us into this "free trade agreement" crafted by the world's largest corporations and were preparing to sign, including all the nastiest elements of this deal.
Social Credit and New Conservative spoke against the TPPA, which gives preference to the corporations that wrote it, for all government contracts, allowing them to flood the market with non-regulation products, to bring in their own labour to work outside our own labour laws, including wage rates, to be given rights to drain our aquifers and the freedom to purchase New Zealand land. Obviously to influence New Zealand laws, as Steph's answer indicates.
"TPPA Action Whanganui desperately tried to warn our businesses and producers of the danger to them written into this trade deal, the only purpose of which was to increase the profits for massive overseas enterprises. Some of you openly scoffed at us for our efforts ..."
Why would Governments damage our hard-working farmers and excellent industries? Why are our producers struggling so badly in many areas? Why do we pay some of the highest prices in the world for our food when it is produced here? Please tell me who is benefiting from these shonky trade deals? (Abridged)