ON AIR: Heather du Plessis-Allan Drive

4PM - 7PM

Kate Hawkesby: Government 'don’t have a clue' when it comes to rural living

Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Monday, 15 July 2019, 7:44AM
(Photo / Getty)

Interesting that 6,000 Aucklanders have moved to Northland over the past 4 years. 

I’m not surprised. 

Auckland traffic’s a nightmare, public transport isn’t up to scratch, property prices are still excessively high, and I think these days we’re getting better at prioritising quality of life. 

We bought a place in the country on a whim, and we haven’t looked back. 

There’s something very soothing about rural life.. trees, birds, animals, rolling hills, quiet roads. 

It’s why on our holidays these days we choose to stay put at home. We love it. 

But being rural does remind you of how many of our politicians are city slickers, how many of them ‘imagine’ what rural living is like, but actually don’t have a clue. I’m not even sure Champion of the Regions himself is in the regions long enough these days to really have his finger on the pulse. There’s a lot that comes out of the Beehive that smacks of theory versus reality.

I notice the roads around us for example. They’re dire. Full of potholes, unsafe bends and worn gravel .. if you want to talk infrastructure crisis, it’s not just the motorways that don’t work. 

Country roads are dangerous.. last summer we had two major crashes not far from us, involving ambulances, the rescue chopper and people dead. We can’t always blame the road but the first thing the locals said was, “this road’s a killer,” and the locals are usually right. 

The other thing I notice is the cars. They’re old, and they’re big. They’re SUV’s and Landcruisers and Utes and they’re towing trailers or boats or tractors. 

They’re certainly not planet saving electric vehicles. 

They’re cars driven by busy working farmers getting around with what they need. 

I’m not sure how Julie Ann Genter thinks they’re all going to give up the workhorses and pick themselves up a snazzy little Nissan Leaf. Where will they be charging that? And how is that towing the trailer?

The people around us are salt of the earth, they work hard for their money, many are self employed, they’re raising families, they’re contributing to their community, they’re doing their best. 

They don’t care about trendy cycle lanes or E-scooters, there are no trains for them to catch. 

They are in their car, driving on crappy roads, lugging their work gear or their kids, from A to B. 

They’re not interested in being told how to live their lives by some virtue signallers in the Capital, they’re not giving up meat and going vegan, they’ll reluctantly give up their guns.. but don’t appreciate being made to feel like criminals in the process. 

Many in the regions are just getting on with it, doing their bit to keep this country moving. 

It would serve our politicians well to remember that, when they’re busy trying to micro-manage how we live our lives.

ON AIR: Heather du Plessis-Allan Drive

4PM - 7PM