There’s been some movement from Twitter to the Mastodon Fediverse since Elon Musk’s take over of Twitter.
The current foremost instance for New Zealanders is mastodon.nz. (Due to the influx, new account creation is currently set to manual approval). Others include mastodon.nzoss.nz (Being the oldest of the NZ specific instances) and cloudisland.nz, a more heavily moderated instance.
My Current handle is “Nui” on mastodon.nz. I’ve never had a Twitter account and this is perhaps my first foray into any sort of Microblogging hence still trying to find my feet as it were.
Update 11 November 2022: Been brought on as an assistant moderator (at least in the interim) to help with reviewing and approving sign ups during this massive influx of interest.
Personal opinion as a layman / ordinary member of the Public.
It is in my view that much of the buck stops with BRANZ (Building Research Association of New Zealand) of the time for approving the products and construction methods associated with the leaky homes crisis in the first place. Particulary pertaining to the period starting around the mid-90’s and ending around ~2005.
I am surprised back then that not more scruntiny were directed towards BRANZ and their appraisal process of the time.
It’s also in my personal opinion that some commercial players in the industry later milked the situation for what it’s worth for their own financial gain adding insult to homeowner injury by employing fear and resulted in my view, needless regulatory capture so much so that Homeowners were no longer afforded the self determination nor the right to reclad a given place themselves, significantly increasing both the bureaucractic and financial burden of getting their own homes up to a better more durable and livable standard on their own accord.
Is it is further to my opinion that a lot of needless reclads have occured when more targeted solutions for certain situations could have sufficed.
Pertaining to some monolithic cladding methods… Given New Zealand’s climate, in particular rain full and use of under-treated timber, there was insufficient ability for moisture to escape at sufficient volume to avoid damage from moisture build up over time. This was in my view particularly the case due to insufficient specifications regarding protecting window flashings and protecting penetrations for services (such as pipes) allowing additional moisture to seep through into the building envelope with no means to escape but to effectively settle and accumulate at the bottom of the timber wall framing there by rotting out the bottom plate member.
While some cladding manufacturers had specified an air gap at the bottom edge (slight overhang of the wall frame over the foundation), it is in my opinion this alone was not sufficient to allow enough moisture to be removal. It was also the case that builders did not even bother to leave this gap as per mandated by the cladding manufacturer.
Now it would be easy to blame homeowners / home buyers (“Consumers”) in this situation but give the prevailing industry wisdom of the time, the public were assured by those that were entrusted with protecting the public that things were OK.
In light of Auckland Transport’s announcement regarding removing of kerbside parking, it’s probably worth highlighting Auckland Transport’s (AT’s) current ethos has effectively been to discourage car use in favour of alternative transport modes in order to achieve their various visions and goals, including…
- To make better use of existing road space in favour of higher occupancy vehicles, which at least on the surface sound like a laudable goal. However question the current ambition to retrofit these changes at high cost and high disruption to existing neighbourhoods as opposed to working with Auckland Council to implement and promote high density development along with high capacity transit corridors to new greenfield sites such as Mill Road, Flat Bush, Papakura, Karaka, Ramarama.
- ‘Vision Zero’ – being that… “no deaths are acceptable”, “People make mistakes (behind the wheel)”, “Public Transport is the safest option”. We’re now seeing this in the form of enforcement and the forceful dropping of speed limits to what many may feel are ridiculously low speed limits. Auckland Transport’s ‘‘marketing’ material can be found here however question whether any possible outcome would ever be as rosy as they paint it.
- Climate change – With their parent organisation, Auckland Council, having followed other government departments to declare a “climate emergency” – encouraging a gradual move to carbon-free transport modes by way of promoting Public Transport, Cycling and Walking.
While I am certainly and staunchly in favour of developing and rolling out accessible alternative transport options in Auckland, particularly in areas currently beset with high levels of car dependency, it appears from all intents and purposes in order to achieve the aims as listed in the bullet points above, Auckland Transport have declared all out war against the private motor car and the motoring public. While I can see where AT are trying to head, they’re choosing to run roughshod over people’s current living arrangement and applying the ‘stick’ in the hope of encouraging modal shift by way of making private motor vehicle use such a hassle so much so that Auckland commuters will hopefully shift to other modes such as walking, cycling and public transport. Continue reading “Commentary: Auckland Transport’s war against the private motor car and the motoring public.”