Let’s all pay by phone

Remember the last National Government’s stupid hospital outpatient fees back in the 1990s? The ones that were eventually scrapped because they often cost more to collect than the revenue raised.

Well, it seems the last Labour Government fell into similar folly with its toll charges on the Orewa-Puhoi motorway.

Brian Rudman reveals in the New Zealand Herald that it costs $1.29 in transaction costs to collect each $2.00 car toll.

And for people who pay the toll by phone, it costs $2.70 to collect each $2.00 toll.

If everyone who travels on the Orewa-Puhoi motorway were to pay by phone, the NZ Transport Agency would make a thumping great loss from its tolling regime. And raising the toll to cover the administration costs would be extremely unpopular – remember how Maurice Williamson was shut down so quickly by John Key and Bill English during the election campaign when he suggested a $5 toll on new roads. That statement probably cost Williamson a senior Cabinet position.

So isn’t it time for a bit of people power. Let’s all pay by phone if we use the Orewa-Puhoi motorway, and we’ll soon see the end of the tolling regime.

And let the Orewa-Puhoi motorway debacle be a lesson to the current National Government, who seem to think that tolling and PPPs are a great way to fund its “Roads of National Significance”.

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5 thoughts on “Let’s all pay by phone

  1. Why apart from blind hatred of the current government would you want to drain the public purse ?

    Isn’t it a good thing that these people are paying something towards their carbon footprint, the best solution would be to increase the charge by a dollar or remove the phone option.

  2. jtucker, I’m pointing the finger at the last government, not the current one, for the tolling shambles on the Orewa-Puhoi motorway.

    The reality of toll roads is that the administration costs of collecting the tolls are so high that tolls have to be set at levels that are unacceptably high. A $3 toll would be $30 a week for someone who uses the motorway to get to and from work 5 days a week. That’s a lot of money if you are on the minimum wage.

    And it only has an impact on peoples’ carbon footprint if they are discouraged from travelling by the level of the toll. Poor people reducing their carbon footprint by staying at home while the wealthy who can afford it continue to cruise up and down the motorway in their SUVs doesn’t seem to me to be a very fair way of addressing climate change.

    If you want to bring the carbon footprint argument into it, why build the bloody roads at all? Especially Steven Joyce’s pet project, the Puhoi-Wellsford motorway that I can see absolutely no justification for.

  3. A $3 toll would be $30 a week for someone who uses the motorway to get to and from work 5 days a week. That’s a lot of money if you are on the minimum wage.

    The alternative FREE route is totally available so a POOR person does not HAVE to pay the toll.

  4. @Gerrit 8:54pm

    So the driver who cannot afford the toll spends longer getting to where they are going.

    As in my above comment (no.2), toll roads favour the wealthy over the poor.

  5. toad,

    As in my above comment (no.2), toll roads favour the wealthy over the poor.

    Yes that is life. Always will be the case.

    No amount of social engineering will diminish that.

    Toll roads favour the tax payers so that they can pay more taxes to enable more useless social engineering processes such as WFF.

    If the poor (and who is poor in New Zealand and what level of income denotes poor?) cannot afford the toll, they should be grateful they can walk the free (and more scenic) route.

    Because they certainly could not afford a car and petrol.

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