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Wayne Mapp - The Mapp Report 24 March 2006

This week’s example of political correctness
Has it gone too far?

Students at Gisborne’s Matawai Primary School are being asked to sign a six page, 26-clause document before they are allowed to use the schools “Information and Communication Technologies”, i.e. internet.

Apparently it is common practice for schools to ask students and their parents to read and sign such documents.

According to the document, an ‘ICT’ refers to ‘Information and Communication Technologies” and the term ‘ICT equipment/devices’ “includes but is not limited to computers (such as desktops, laptops, PDAs), storage devices (such as USB and flash memory devices, CDs, DVDs, floppy disks, iPods, MP3 players), cameras (such as video, digital, webcams), all types of mobile phones, video and audio players/receivers (such as portable CD and DVD players), and any other, similar, technologies as they come into use.”

Who, other than the bureaucrats at the Ministry of Education, would seriously expect primary aged children to read and understand such a complicated legal document?

Auckland’s traffic – moving forward or going round in circles?

Collecting between $21 million and $85 million a year in tolls from Auckland commuters without first improving public transport links and completing the motorway network is robbery.

People are willing to pay for services if they can see there are going to be improvements. In Australia, for example, people pay tolls to travel on new roads because they reduce travelling times and distances. These tolls are used to pay for the specific roads. However, charging $6 a day to cross the Auckland Harbour Bridge will do little to reduce congestion through the city if a viable alternative route is not in place first. People simply have no option but to use the roads, as congested as they maybe.

By global standards Auckland is not a large city. SH1 cuts right through the centre of it. This is not the case in much larger cities such as London and Singapore, which have successfully introduced a tolling system. Business, particularly those on the North Shore, have no option but to use SH1 – and thus, the Harbour Bridge - to transport goods to other parts of the country. It is ridiculous that these businesses should have their productivity compromised because they have to pay to use the only link they have with the ports, the airport, and the rest of the country.

Prior to the election, the Labour Government boasted of its $8 billion surplus. Now would be a good time for the Government to put its hand in its pocket and make good of its promise to use this surplus on infrastructure.

Congestion at Esmonde Road

Has Transit got it right at Esmonde Road, especially for traffic entering the southbound motorway?

Those of us who travel through the Esmonde Rd Interchange at peak times know how congested this section of the City becomes. Traffic trying to merge with the motorway banks up along the onramp through the intersection and along the roads that feed into it.

The problem is so great that traffic can back up to Takapuna Grammar School. According to a transport planner at the North Shore City Council, traffic travelling between Esmonde Rd and the motorway moves so slowly that it is impossible for traffic flows to be recorded by the magnetic inductance loops placed on the road.

Transit’s major redevelopment of the Esmonde Rd Interchange will clearly be a big improvement. However, it will not make much difference for commuters travelling south to the motorway and Auckland City.

I propose that an additional southbound motorway lane be built between the Esmonde Rd motorway onramp and the Onewa Road Interchange.

By adding an extra southbound motorway lane, commuters would be able to move onto the motorway more freely. This would improve congestion through the Esmonde Rd/Barrys Point Rd intersection, and the roads that feed into it.

I have produced a report fully outlining this proposal and copies have been sent to the North Shore City Council, the Auckland Regional Council and Transit.

For a copy of the full proposal please contact the North Shore Electorate office on 486 0005 or click on the link below.

The Construction Of An Additional Southbound Motorway Lane From Esmonde Road to Onewa Road

Dr Wayne Mapp

Visit my website for more information at: www.waynemapp.co.nz

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