Home' The Wellingtonian : March 8th 2012 Contents 6 THE WELLINGTONIAN, MARCH 8, 2012
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
So Kathleen Collins (March 1)
vehemently objects to an article
commencing with the words Most
women love clothes''.
Do I take it from this that most
of the women of Miss Collins'
acquaintance go around nude? If
so, where can I get to see this
phenomenon? HUGO RUSBRIDGE
John Harding (March 1) wants
Transmission Gully built, but
(bizarrely) as a meandering two-
lane route like that over the
The present two-lane route
north of Wellington is inadequate,
particularly in Plimmerton with
the T2 lanes, and north of the
Otaihanga turnoff, where a
median wire fence is to be
installed to separate north and
south-bound traffic traffic.
It should be built as a four-lane
route, with separation of north
and south-bound traffic.
On the driver test lotto''
(March 1), what were the pass
rates for the Kilbirnie and Porirua
And I sympathise with Ms
Arrell, who was rejected after
arriving six minutes late; the
tester was happy to take the
money and sit on his butt for an
hour, though the test would have
been finished before the next
candidate was due. JOHN WILSON
Editor's note: the pass rate for
Kilbirnie was 72 per cent and for
Porirua 76 per cent.
John Harding rightly questions
the traffic growth projections that
justify a four-laned motorway
through Transmission Gully.
It is certain that Treasury will
critically examine such forecasts
when reporting on the allocation
of government funds. Delays to
the suggested start date are
That two lanes through the
gully would cost say, half that of
four lanes, may be optimistic.
That two lanes added to the
coast road from Pukerua Bay to
McKays Crossing -- about one-
third of the length of the gully
route -- would cost less than a
quarter of the gully work, is very
This would be a safer road,
economically justifiable and easily
The regional council appointed
a committee to show that a
resource consent could not be
obtained for widening the coastal
route. Such a view is not being
independently tested. Instead
road users are being milked to
support a wide range of non-
Gully sponsors have ensured
that road users will continue to be
disadvantaged into the
Regrettably there is no will to
I agree that there are different
warning requirements for
localised and long-distance
The localised seismic event will
always be its own best warning of
a possible tsunami.
Unfortunately, these events
still need sirens and warning
equipment because, as we
discovered in Christchurch, people
will need to be freed and rescued
and people need to know if a wave
Many other New Zealand cities
have grasped this.
For long-distance events, six
hours or longer away, the
Management Office (WEMO)
model will probably work.
We seem to have struck
a chord with our story
last week about driver
Reader feedback has focused
on several issues but a strong
concern is consistency.
Statistics revealed that Wel-
lington's overall pass rate for
those sitting their class 1 or 6
type licences (car and motor-
cycle) was 75 per cent.
Although it can be argued
both ways as to whether this is
we not allow enough good
drivers on the road or too many
bad ones? -- a key question is
why is there such a discrepancy
between testing stations and
Lower Hutt topped the region
with a 79 per cent pass rate,
Porirua followed at 76,
Kilbirnie at 72 and Mt Victoria
was last at 71 per cent.
It would be good if all
instructors tested drivers in the
If that happened, pass rates
should be more or less the
Instead, it seems you are
unlucky if you have to sit your
test within Wellington city.
Another consistency problem
attitudes of testers.
Some respondents to our
story said their instructor was
friendly, chatty and that they
felt comfortable. But with
others it was a very different
One letter writer told us the
instructor did not look at him,
shake his hand or even properly
He was then ordered to read
the form, then yelled at for
reading the bottom half of the
The hopeful driver was failed
for a broken tail-light, which
was working again five minutes
later. However, the instructor
at that point refused to let him
sit the test.
The driver's female com-
panion then had the instructor
yell in her face after being
asked about his poor overall
It is astounding that anyone
feels such behaviour is accept-
able, let alone a person working
in a customer service role.
Being failed for a broken tail-
light was something that came
up a few times as people related
their horror stories.
Of course cars on the road
should be up to a certain con-
But are testers being too
officious in not allowing some
cars to be used for driving
Some of our readers com-
plained, too, about not being
allowed to sit tests because
their licences were cracked.
There are some obvious driv-
ing infractions that should
result in a failed test, such as
overtaking on a blind corner,
failing to stop at a Stop sign,
running a red light and speed-
However, one reader said he
essentially failed because he
stopped to let children, who
were standing in the median
strip, cross the road.
As he rightly pointed out,
they have the capacity to run
out at any time. Surely slowing
down to make sure they were
safe was more advisable than
potentially hitting them. He
was failed for his caution.
It does give rise to an interes-
ting thought: when did the driv-
ing testers last have to sit these
tests themselves? Would they
all pass with ease, or might
they find the testing a little less
There have been some recent
major changes to the driver
tests. Hopefully they will help
reduce our crash statistics.
Whether the changes come
with stricter rules and
regulations for the testers is yet
to be seen.
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