Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Bob Jones: Coneland

Literally nowhere else in the world are the roads lined with cones as in New Zealand.

A week back as a research exercise, with one mate driving and a senior professional and me observing, we drove 60 miles up the new state highway, turning back once we’d recorded 70 alleged “workmen”. Here are our factual findings.

* Of the 70 red vested “workers”, four were actually doing something, if in the case of those four, the two holding a shovel constitutes activity.

* Of the remaining 66, eight were watching the spade-holders and 56 were either staring at, or talking into cell-phones.

* Parked along the road there were on average 3 large pieces of machinery for every red-vested pretend worker. A fifth of them had flashing roof-top lights. One in every 12 had a cell-phonist sitting in them.

* Our estimate was that each collection of “workers” had cones on both sides of the road extending circa 500 metres.

When people malign Muldoon as an interventionist I point out it wasn’t all bad. There is absolutely no way Rob would have tolerated this ludicrous situation without putting a stop to it.

Not just our highway but our CBDs are littered with cones and their associated cell-phonists. Even crazier, drive into empty country roads and everywhere they too have miles of cones narrowing the roads, only nearly always with no associated “workers”.

This is unbelievable madness and further testimony to the sheer hopelessness of the government in turning a blind eye to it.

Sir Bob Jones is a renowned author, columnist , property investor, and former politician, who blogs at No Punches Pulled HERE.


DeeM said...

Welcome to Aotearoadworks!

Robert Arthur said...

When I was young men leaning on shovels characterised road works (in fact it is unreasonable to wield a shovel constantly all day). Now groups waiting for some machine to arrive or observing same in operation, or cone watching, are the obvious features. Also a notable number of clipboard holders.
Little wonder workers are not available for fruit picking where pay (and continued employment) is effort indexed, when can be paid for doing nothing on a road site. Presumably cone shepherd is now a recognised occupation. Probably an NZCEA qualification. The traffic safety measures now required are in many cases absurd and a gross waste of money, but the ridiculous monetary penalties levied after injury incidents prompt the vast inefficient armies. All is charge out so there is every incentive to maximise the numbers involved. It is not just road works. The simple arrival of delivery trucks on a building site now warrants scores of cones, shepherds and giant illuminated sign trucks. in many situations an absurd unnecessary expense.
Near my home, in a 150 m long blind local suburban street, which cannot be entered at more than about 20kph, and with only local traffic, a group dug for a manhole at the very end of the street. For several days, whether the workers were there or not, two obese cone watchers lounged about halfway down the street guarding a sign and a few cones. Their presence was completely superfluous and if anything a distraction from the actual works. Watercare paid for it all. And as the shepherds appeared to be maori, under 3 Waters there will more likely be four "employed".

Don said...

Recently I turned into a tight corner to be confronted with a cone lying side on in my lane. No time to stop and nowhere to turn the cone impacted just below my left-hand headlight splitting the panel with a crack that traumatised my aging nervous system. It would have been certain death had I been on one of my beloved motorcycles.
The myriads of roadworkers in our area tend to leave the speed limit signs in place long after any work is being done. I noted one restricted zone near us which remained about a month with no sign of activity except the limited speed signs themselves. Commonly the speed limit sign is encountered entering a zone but no indication of where the zone ends. This must be why so many ignore them.

robert Arthur said...

Bob should come to downtown Auckland. He could record 70 cone shepherds and other "workers" within half an hour without driving anywhere.
Missing de limit signs on main roads are very irksome. Drive unnecessarily slow for miles. Or risk a colossal fine and even vehicle confiscation.