ON AIR: Overnight Talk

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Mike's Minute: The facts show anti-car crowd doesn't have a clue

Author
Mike Hosking,
Section
Video,
Publish Date
Friday, 19 October 2018, 8:51a.m.
I'm always one who loves a few facts over theory, or ideology. 
What a fascinating set of numbers we have got with the number of cars registered in this country. And what a laughable response from those who are either determined to get us out of them, or those who have been pedalling the myth that the day of the car is over. 
They were all collectively disappointed at the facts when released the other day. And what else can you be, given facts don’t lie. But often people pedaling theories do. 
So what are the new numbers? There are four point one million cars in this country. That's a rise and that’s the most cars we have ever had. 
And not just that, but the rise in cars beats the rise in population. So any thought you might have given to saying "oh well, more people, more cars," is partly true but it doesn’t explain the size of the increase, until you come to the cold hard understanding of our relationship with cars. 
We love them. I have said this a million times and the zealots don’t listen because they don’t want to listen. But it does prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, that those of us who love cars get it, and therefore get mainstream New Zealand. 
And those who argue for buses, trains, cycleways, fuel taxes, emission charges, and no parking are out to lunch. 
And our relationship is two fold. Firstly, it is the sheer convenience that we refuse to give up because it is simply not practical. We lead busy, and increasingly busy, lives. We need to be places, we have kids, schools, sports, meetings, and commitments. And in big cities we have increasingly big distances. 
That is our reality, and that reality is best served by a car, our car that gets us where we want to go, when we want to go. 
And as it becomes increasingly expensive, there is further proof of the cars importance. The numbers prove we are simply not prepared  to give up the convenience for the so called public transport alternatives the dreamers come up with. 
And two, we love cars. As in above and beyond their use, we love cars. It’s a reflection of who we are, we desire them, save for them, finance them, sacrifice for them. 
We are a nation with sheds, garages, and storage facilities full of them. They make no real economic sense, they're rarely a good investment.But we buy them, trade them, treasure them, clean them, and ride in them. And we love it. 
And unless you get that, you're out of touch. And when you're out of touch, you think a cycleway is the future. 
And if you think that, look at the four point one million cars, and climbing, and hopefully realise you don’t have a clue.

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