Claire Trevett on the ClusterTruck

Claire Trevett’s column today explores Labour’s idiocy with their clustertruck policy.

Former Labour Finance Minister Michael Cullen’s 2006 prophecy of “jam tomorrow” will come to fruition today, although it may not quite be the kind of jam people were hoping for.

It will be a traffic jam.

Realising there are votes to be gained from angry holidaymakers stuck in traffic for hours, Labour took measures to try to harvest them this week by releasing a groundbreaking holidaymakers’ transport policy.

Labour has long been driven by a drive to reduce inequality. So it announced it would drop the need to register caravans and trailers and cut road user charges for motorhomes and campervans.

The coup de grace of the policy was the ban on trucks from using the right-hand lane on three or four lane motorways – an attempt to peg into the futile rage that swamps drivers whose aims are thwarted by said trucks.

As “Kiwi families” loaded up their surfboards and fishing rods, David Cunliffe’s Caravan of Love was here to help. “Fun can quickly turn to frustration when the family realises the rego for the caravan has expired or there’s a big truck hogging the fast lane.”

Cunliffe declared, “Kiwis are sweating the small stuff too much.”?

Somebody else may be guilty of that as well.

The trouble with delivering something to entice voters while sitting in traffic jams is that it also gives them time to think things through to their logical end. Once they get to that end, Labour’s policy could well be counterproductive. That logical end is even bigger traffic jams.

Encouraging the use of caravans and campervans by making them cheaper to run is only likely to make those jams worse. It is also debatable whether banning trucks from using the right-hand lane only on three or four lane motorways will make any difference at all. It is not the large motorways, but rather two- or one-lane places such as the Brynderwyns where motorists get stuck behind trucks trying to overtake each other for weeks on end.

Then there was the us and them mentality it risked encouraging. The caravaners can console themselves with knowing that the $34 saving on registration helps pay for the extra fuel used up in hours of idling in those traffic jams. But for bach owners, tent campers and hotel users, banning caravans and trailers altogether would be more beneficial. There is a further blow for bach owners. Not only would they get stuck behind more caravans and motorhomes with happy families inside beaming at the extra dollars in their pockets, but they would also have to pay the capital gains tax Labour intends to impose on baches.

If I was dictator for life of New Zealand, the very first thing I would address is people towing caravans and boats…they should be made to travel between the hours of 11pm and 5am around public holidays.


Source/ NZ Herald