Mt Roskill Electorate

VOTE BIKE 2017

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Michael Wood – LABOUR

Michael Wood, MP and Transport Spokesperson, is running for Labour in Mt Roskill

More kids on bikesCurrently only 2% of Kiwi kids ride a bike to school. Is lifting this number a priority? If so, how will we get there?

When I was at school in the 1980s and 90s, it was reasonably common, and encouraged, for kids to bike to school. It was fun and social, kept us healthy, and the evidence also suggests that it helps learning. It’s a real shame that the numbers have dropped off, and I want to see kids on bikes on our streets in big numbers again.

In Mt Roskill I was previously a member of the Puketapapa Local Board which invested significantly in creating the Mt Roskill Safe Routes scheme to connect six local schools with safe and pleasant cycle paths. In my new role as local MP I want to keep working with schools, local government, and the community on further such initiatives.

Bike-friendly citiesWhat would you do to make it easier for Aucklanders (in your electorate, and beyond) to choose bike travel?

I believe that people should have real transport choices; that is the ability to safely get around their communities in a whole range of ways. The evidence is pretty clear that if people do have safe cycle paths and a bit of encouragement, many will get on their bike.

I’m now a pretty regular cycle commuter between my house in Roskill South and my office in Royal Oak. A big part of this is that I have a good, largely off-road route (Keith Hay Park and the SH20 cycleway) to get me there. I think that more safe cycle infrastructure like this would enable more local people to travel by bike.

As the number of safe cycleways in Auckland grows, it’s important that we start to connect them up so that people can think about constructing longer journey’s. I’d also like to some encouragement for large employers to encourage cycling by providing facilities such as secure bike storage and showers.

Safer streetsHow would you make streets (in your electorate and beyond) safer for everyone who uses them, including those on bikes?

It’s a real worry to see the road toll on track to increase for the fourth year in a row, and Labour feels that the government has taken its eye off the ball. Everyone should be able to feel safe on our streets.

Creating safer streets requires a whole range of measures – looking at appropriate speed limits, particularly on busy city streets with a lot of pedestrians, road user education, and ‘hard engineering’ so that the road design minimises the possibility of harm.

As a cyclist I know that the thing that makes me feel the most safe is a well designed separated cycleway. It’s better for both the cyclist and motorists, enhances safety, and reduces conflict. Ongoing education is important too – everyone who is using road space needs to be aware of one another, and take care with their actions. I don’t want to see any more white bikes in my community.

Fave place to rideWhere’s your favourite place to ride a bike in Auckland?

My favourite place to ride is down at Taumanu Reserve with my two older boys (aged nine and six). It’s a great way to spend a weekend afternoon, and it’s great to see so many people using it. The commuter route I enjoy the most is the shared path through War Memorial Park in Mt Roskill – a lovely wide path, the beautiful Hinaki art bridge, nice trees, and people playing sport in the park.


Andrew Leitch – DEMOCRATS FOR SOCIAL CREDIT

Andrew Leitch is standing for Democrats for Social Credit in Mt Roskill.

More kids on bikes
Currently only 2% of Kiwi kids ride a bike to school. Is lifting this number a priority? If so, how will we get there?

I think an environment where parents feel it is safe for their children to ride bikes to school is the first priority. That means improving road safety and personal safety. Once that is significantly underway (see answers to the next two questions), a programme to encourage children and parents to use bikes more would be useful.

These objectives  are going to cost large sums of money. Our party is the only one that has a method of financing those needs without the necessity to increase taxes or raise costs for road users – for the most part the only option being offered by other political parties. Our approach is being proffered by a host of heavyweight international commentators but as yet is not a significant part of economic discussion in New Zealand.

For example, government currently wastes twelve million dollars a day of taxpayers money paying interest on the money that it borrows from commercial banks.  We advocate using the power of the country’s publicly owned Reserve Bank to create the funding. Some of that $4.6 billion annually that government wastes could be channelled into meeting the objectives we outlined.

This approach was pioneered successfully by the government of Michael Joseph Savage following the 1930’s depression, and it enabled the building of 49,000 houses and, amongst other things, funding of the Dairy Board and other producer boards at no cost to taxpayers {State Housing In New Zealand, Ministry of Works, 1949). Despite being immensely successful it has not been used since.

The International Monetary Fund report, The Chicago Plan Revisited (August 2012), recommends that government use this approach, and writings and speeches by such imminent experts such as Adair Turner, Former head of Britain’s financial watchdog the Financial Services Authority, Professor Steve Keen, Head of the School of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University in London, Professor Richard Werner, economist and professor at the University of Southampton all favour this approach. More can be found here

Bike-friendly citiesWhat would you do to make it easier for Aucklanders (in your electorate, and beyond) to choose bike travel?

Public transport (bus and rail) must be made cheaper, more convenient, and run more regularly so that traffic congestion is eased and people feel more inclined to attempt bike travel. Extend and interconnect the cycleway network.

Safer streetsHow would you make streets (in your electorate and beyond) safer for everyone who uses them, including those on bikes?

Road safety could be improved by encouraging more people to leave their cars at home and use public transport (bus and rail) or bikes. impliment more education programmes targetting vehicle drivers to improve awareness of and tolerance for cyclists. Personal safety needs the return of community policing with more police on the streets.

Fave place to rideWhere’s your favourite place to ride a bike in Auckland?

There are many.


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Vote Bike is a Bike Auckland initiative for the 2017 General Election. Authorised by Barbara Cuthbert of 2A St Aubyn St, Devonport, Auckland 0624, on behalf of Bike Auckland, of 2A St Aubyn St Devonport Auckland 0624.