The Standoff: Trucking companies throttle Auckland roadways

Now here’s a segue that’s difficult to pass up. From a fictional standstill to one much more immediate. Yesterday morning, the city centers of the nation were hobbled by a massive demonstration of trucking companies against the Government-announced road-user charges.

I have to say, living in the inner-city, you slowly become sensitive to the undulating patterns of sound that attend the accumulation and recession of urban activity in a weekday. So, yesterday, before I had climbed out of bed I knew something was different.

The NZ Herald described it as “one of the largest protests in the country for years” with 2500 to 3000 trucks in Auckland. And somehow most of them seemed to be outside my bedroom window. Despite the incredible disruption, the wider public seems to have been largely behind them. Some commentators see this protest as the fountainhead of the bitter waters that have been at rising in response to the current economic situation (One editorial: they are “the poster boys for widespread discontent”). While it’s unfair to finger our government for the financial deterioration that is occurring on the global stage, there are legitimate concerns to be had with Labours legislative behaviour. So usually I’m sympathic for any group that is critical of the government, but I think Russell Brown says it well: “the trucking companies have done a magnificent job of getting most of us to cheer for their right to shift road maintenance costs off their bill and onto ours.”

Pictures are courtesy of the NZ Herald (snapped by Rhianan Walker, Karishma, Steward Duff, Jon Asplet, and Aldo Coetzee).

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