Archive for January, 2014

quakerattled. An open letter to Gerry Brownlee or Rachel Again

January 14, 2014
As I am not allowed to comment on any of Rachel’s posts, (She cannot take any dissenting opinions on board, and obviously is unable to martial her intellect in order to consider facts objectively), I find the only way to communicate with this airhead is in this manner,
In this post Rachel is posing as a would be martyr – she is going to ride her bicycle in the city of Auckland, which is indeed not a friendly city to cyclists, (I should know, I was born and raised there), and blame Gerry Brownlee who is not only the Minister for Transport but is also the Minister for the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery For her demise. (He is making a great hash of that also, but that’s another story).
Well readers, there is a slight problem with Rachel’s intention to cycle everywhere in Auckland City New Zealand.
Sure there are a few very hardy souls who use bicycles in the city of my birth, but the truth is that Auckland is a very hilly place. Sure there are a few suburbs where the hills are moderate, but I think even Rachel, still in her youthful years, wouldn’t make it from Customs St to Karangahape  Rd via Queen St riding a bicycle.
In fact peddling from, for example, New Lynn to The University of Auckland or to Unitech where Rachel’s hubby will no doubt be employed, is not only dangerous as Rachel correctly asserts, but at the very best Rachel would arrive with her makeup running from the copious sweat on her brow(if she makes it at all) and require a good shower and blow dry before she is presentable. Also if Rachel has actually been to Auckland before for any length of time she would know how it can rain there (exposed to the sea from both east and west), oh such fun as I recall being drenched in my childhood. And although it is only sometimes freezing, its always cold enough to be quite miserable once the rain creeps down your collar and into your shoes.
Rachel, unlike Hamilton, Palmerston N and Christchurch, bicycles are not a viable option in most parts of Auckland. That being the case, you don’t really think the taxpayers and rate payers are going to shell out a few $million just so you can ride a bicycle in Auckland for a few days until you get tired of it do you?
The truth is that Rachel is an airhead, probably did her NCEA in New Zealand which is full of United Nations propaganda -( see where this is explained or go to to see a typical exam exemplar which shows the UN influence and actually quite shocking),  and has been brainwashed by the phoney totalitarian socialism imbedded in her curriculum.
Try thinking for yourself Rachel, you may be surprised on which different paths a little logical thought leaves you.
Her post is copied below folks.
HomeAuckland › An open letter to Gerry Brownlee

An open letter to Gerry Brownlee

We will be leaving the UK at the end of this month and so I have started to think about what my life will be like back in Auckland. The biggest change will be the shift from a commuter-cycling lifestyle here over to a car-dependent one in Auckland. But does it have to be this way? Auckland is a very dangerous place for cycling but this doesn’t mean I cannot cycle everywhere if I really want to. So today I have decided that I’m not going to dispense with the lifestyle I have so enjoyed in York but I’m going to start cycling in Auckland as well and should I be hit and killed by a car/bus/truck, then this letter is for Gerry Brownlee (NZ Minister for Transport), who I will hold responsible for my death, should such an event occur.

Dear Gerry Brownlee,

My family will be returning to Auckland after a 6-month sabbatical in York, UK. We have thoroughly enjoyed our stay here in large part because we have been able to live car-free and ride our bicycles everywhere. I have never felt so fit and healthy in all my life.

I am disappointed by Auckland’s lack of concern for the safety of cyclists. I have written letters to both you and John Key in the past, and even to the local newspaper, lobbying for the development of good cycling infrastructure but it has been to no avail.

There is a very strong economic case for investing in cycling infrastructure. A study conducted by the city of Sydney found that for every $1 spent, $3.88 gets returned to the community.

Investment in ‘cycling specific’ infrastructure has consistently had positive results, generally because the value of health benefits can be substantial and dwarfs the initial construction costs. For example, the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority reported a ratio of 1.3:1 when calculating the cost-benefit ratio of building missing links in its cycle network, using conservative assumptions [22], and a specifically focused analysis of the Inner Sydney Regional Bicycle Network found the cost-benefit ratio was 3.88:1 [23].

Despite Auckland’s lack of concern for the safety of cyclists, I have decided I am going to continue the lifestyle I have enjoyed so much in York on my return to Auckland. In other words, I am going to make trips by bicycle rather than by car. I know that cycling in Auckland, particularly on main roads, is fraught with danger and not for the faint-hearted. But I am determined to do it anyway and this letter is not so much a request for  change in the transport policies of the New Zealand government – I have given up on this now – but to lay blame where blame is due should I be killed while cycling. Should such an event occur, and it is not totally unfeasible, then I specifically hold you responsible. But since I will be dead and unable to let you know, I am telling you now. Your policy decisions which continue to favour cars over bicycles will be responsible for the death of a mother, wife, daughter, granddaughter, sister and friend.

Yours sincerely, Rachel Martin

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impatient, opinionated, easily excitable, eats plants.

10 comments on “An open letter to Gerry Brownlee”
    1. Hi Rachel,

      Having had a little experience of activist campaigns, may I suggest:-

      Forming a cycling club or association. Community groups carry far more weight (i.e. not just for me) than an individual complaint.  A preliminary association can be formed with three people and a memorandum of association.  The memorandum need only be one page stating aims and limitations (e.g. according to what resources/time will allow). Such a stated limit is important to avoid an excess of responsibility.

      Community groups can apply for City Council grants.  Such a group can face a council with the council’s own stated aims and with the wishes/concerns of the larger community.

      You can organise days out and events to highlight your existence and make your presence felt at fetes and other events.  It helps to find sympathisers within local Government.  Work with them and only against the unsympathetic. That is, work both sides of the street and boost the reputation of those who are helpful.

      Know the sticking point.  That is, when you cannot get any more and so take what you can get.  You can always seek more later.  Mountains suffer from their own inertia but can, with patience, be moved one pebble at a time especially when the providers have something to gain.

      From experience I know these things work, although the degree of effect varies.

      A caution though. Such endeavours can be very time consuming and getting involved in local politics can suck the energy out of anyone.  It is important to spread the load.

      And, I would kindly suggest that it is not worth taking risks over.  All the latest safety gear would be wise.  Risk assessment of irreversible consequence is better based on the extremity of the consequence rather than the probability.  I hope you do well in your endeavour, it is certainly a worthwhile pursuit.

      Good Luck With best wishes and kind regards Graham

        • Rachel says:

          Graham, That is such a good idea. Thank you! I shall channel my disappointment, anger, helplessness into something more constructive like a community group. I may call on you for help/suggestions when I get back, so beware. ;-)

            • You’re welcome. Oh dear what have I done. Catsuit on a moped. Auckland drowns under a sea of bicycles.  UN declares disaster zone. Compulsory roller skates introduced. The wheely wars. End of the world.  Cool.

              Call anytime you like. The idea of aiding and abetting mayhem on the other sie of the world is quite appealing (i.e. wasn’t me guv).

              Have a nice weekend. Gram :-)

    1. Frances says:

      Go Rachel!!!

      (But please don’t die.)

    1. Sherri says:

      Oh Rachel, I can feel your passion so much but please don’t let it make you do anything that will endanger your life!!!!!  I read Graham’s reply above and wholeheartedly agree with what he says, a great idea.  You are such a dynamic woman with your causes and passions and I just know that you can make a difference.  It is such a huge shame that cycling isn’t encouraged in Auckland and I know how much you have enjoyed your time here in the UK especially as you love cycling so much.

        • Rachel says:

          No, I am really not at all reckless. This is why I wanted to write this. Riding a bicycle should not be a dangerous activity at all. The fact that it is dangerous in Auckland despite the cyclist taking all the necessary precautions says to me that something is seriously wrong with Auckland.

            • Sherri says:

              Yes, I could see your point!!  And a very good one too by writing this!  I know you won’t do anything reckless :-)  It is very concerning indeed that riding a bicycle is so dangerous in Auckland and about time something was done about it.  I am very proud of you and all that you set out to achieve to make things change.  You really do put your money where your mouth is and I love that about you, I really admire you Rachel :-)

    1. JC Moore says:

      Please be very careful. The world needs people like you.

  1. Rachel says:

    Thank you, JC Moore. What a nice thing to say! I promise to be very careful.


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