THE LAST MILE - Wakey wakey

Monday, March 15, 2021

In 2017, a significant slip occurred on one of Wellington’s major commuter routes, the Ngaio Gorge Road. Temporary repairs were made, including placing several shipping containers and concrete blocks at road level to prevent more of the hill slipping onto the road. It is estimated at least 10,000 vehicles use this road each day, including trucks servicing the residential areas at the top of the hill. The road also provides an alternative road route out of Wellington. On 5 October 2020, Stuff reported that work was about to start to fix the problem. This is expected to take two years, during which time the road will be down to a single lane.

It is estimated the work will cost $11 million but undoubtedly this will blow out over time as ‘unexpected’ problems are found. One of the reasons stated for the delay in starting the work is the need to wait until the hibernating lizards that live in the area wake up and can be caught and relocated to a nearby park. There has been some discussion, though, that waiting until the lizards awake is actually a story dreamt up to cover the fact that the delay was caused while we waited for the bureaucrats involved to wake up and stop playing pass-the-parcel. Or perhaps they have temporarily run out of ideas on which roads to reduce speed limits or create more cycleways next?

At the same time the announcement was made that this work would start, it was also reported that a hole had been found in the preditor exclusion fence around the Zealandia wildlife sanctuary, which is not that far away from the Ngaio Gorge. Fences such as those around Zealandia not only keep predators out but can also keep those inside in. So I have another theory. The sanctuary’s chief executive is reported as saying that the hole looks as though it was deliberately cut using a power tool. If this is so, then in my mind this tends to rule out actions by the birds and other regular inhabitants of the sanctuary – except perhaps one, the species bureaucrat. Not that I am suggesting that this species is endangered in any way – there seems to be increasing numbers of them every day.

But perhaps one or two managed to find their way into Zealandia and settled there to make sure they were safe from potential threats to their existence? Those threats could include the application of common sense; common sense applied to what they do instead of endless rules dreamt up by them to ensure the species’ survival above all else. Perhaps one or two of those bureaucrats who had made Zealandia their home had a change of heart and wanted to join the real world again? And to do this, they had to produce something that looks as if they are doing something to justify their salary, hence the plan to repair the gorge. Perhaps the bureaucrats who escaped from Zealandia have been studying some of the work of Greek philosopher Socrates (470–399 BC), who is reported as saying, “Let him that would move the world, first move himself.”