At home I received a phone call on Monday from a mate in Wellington.

“Get in here quickly,” he yelled, “there’s a miracle happening in Taranaki Street. There’s six road-workers and five are actually working while only one’s on his cell-phone.”

I didn’t believe him and refused to come in, wisely as it turned out for as my mate subsequently confirmed, they packed up and vanished half an hour later.

A decade back Wellington commercial real estate identity Chris Gollins and I, would fly into a provincial region and thoroughly explore each town and city, rather than just drive through.

A supplementary activity was noting the roadworks purported activity. We covered Southland to Northland over a 3 year span.

The standard ratio was a party of six “workers” of which at absolute best, two were actually doing something while two watched and two were on cell-phones.

Most common however, was miles of pointless cones with no activity occurring or seemingly needed.

This is a unique New Zealand phenomenon and instead of bowing before our wets Aotearoa creation, Coneland would surely be most appropriate for a re-naming of New Zealand.


You just can’t rush craftsmen

At last the menace posed by the cones has-been alluded to. Many things that can harm us have conic sections,from the tips of ICBMs to the stream lined shape of bullets.The list could go on and on.The people who dream these anti human devices up are controlled by the cones and are commonly known as Pointy Heads.Are the dots starting to join together? Sometimes when I cross a bridge,the odd cone or 2 will be lying in the mud.I use to think this was the work of ne’er do wells or drunks,but now I know it is Resistance groups striking back against this insidious menace.Oh no, a truck loaded with cones has just parked near my place and are been off loaded by zombie looking yellow vested slaves In silent, relentless rows they advance.I pull back the charging handle on my Vickers 303 machine gun and take aim.Its only got canvas belts to feed the ammo, instead of modern disintegrating links,but I’ll get some of them before I’m overun.If I don’t post anymore readers will know what happened.

The area between Oteha Valley and Constellation Drive has been the scene of major congestion for months as the motorway has been constructed and repeatedly realigned. Today at about 1330 when not too hot, not too cold, not too wet and not to dry, there were two workers to be seen on that 3km section. Astonishingly, both appeared to be occupied!

Not many cones in Melbourne the worked for there job

Actually this is not limited to NZ. I live in WA and this practice is very, very common here except one of the two “watchers” is usually leaning on a broom or , heaven forbid, maybe a shovel. The presence of the cones does not necessarily mean that there will be road works ahead, they just want you to slow down for no good reason.

Railway track workers were the worst according to my brother in law; he says that whenever he travelled by train he would look out the window and see them just standing back watching the train.

On the road from Carterton to Masterton there are three speed restrictions in place – from 100 down to 50, a short distance and return to 70 before returning to 50 for another short distance before resuming at 70. This stop/start system is liberally decorated by several kilometres of road cones. There is not attendant road construction occurring – there was but it seems that all manpower has been redeployed. Who would know ….

How does one buy shares in the cone manufacturing industry?

I live in regional Victoria. Its just as bad here. The councils are widely held to be “owned” by the construction firms. I drive through an area that has been having a roundabout widened now since February. This is not at all unusual.
The costs are staggering as even the stop-go sign holder is making circa $50 per hour.
I believe SRJ had a scheme to outsource work to China for houses a while back? How about we do the same for roadwork?
Probably be finished by the weekend…

Coneland? We don’t even want to change it to the fictional Aotearoa. We have Downers in this past of the country and their rate is one working, four watching, plus a supervisor. Quite depressing really.

    Downers doing a job in Carterton , 4 staff all qualified to Foreman level , working hard as a team, efficiently and also cleverly. They deserve a beer !

In Auckland when they do work on the road the lanes are so narrow in Mission Bay that the trough traffic has to stop to let drivers open their doors. The pavements are wide, and the empty bike lanes take up the rest of what was a perfectly OK roadway.

It like this..if you buy out the opposition (or fund politicians), you can please yourself what you charge and how you work…

The commerce commission and health and safety regulators then wonder why things cost so much and never get done…

I was listening to talkback on my way to another job the other week, and it turns out there has been no decline in work place accidents; even with this health and safety measures…

From this, its pretty easy to work out who benefits; and its not small business..

I spent an MIQ in Msocial on the Auckland waterfront while they were doing the footpaths in the middle of the Americas cup. I have 15 minutes of video where one worker mastered throwing a cone in a 360 degree turn into its correct spot. He then moved on to a 720 degree turn which I gave up filming because he was not going to master it anytime soon. Then I moved to the wheelbarrow crew of 3. One to shovel, one to wheel the barrow away, and one with a broom to clear up any spillage. They managed 4 short wheelbarrow trips per hour!

The sad thing is we have to pay for it when pollies talk up we need productivity and pass more restrictive laws against achieving that goal. They must drive around the country with both face and eye masks.

Cone land is a good suggestion but in these woke times not inclusive enough. Apart from being a bit long I suggest Aotearoadcone…

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