Gold Card transport review necessary


If there is one thing that the Peters’ Party election bribe of free public transport for the elderly did it was prove that incentives work.

Card holders can travel at no cost to themselves so they do for a whole variety of reasons, not all of which could be regarded as worthy of taxpayer largesse.

Among the beneficiaries are wealthy people who live or holiday on Waiheke Island and are able to enjoy free transport to and from Auckland on the ferries.

A review of what the card will cover includes the eligibility of some high cost services, including the Waiheke ferry and not before time.

It’s debatable whether untargeted free public transport is the best use of money for the elderly, especially when few people outside the main centres have access to it. But even if there is a case for blanket cover, it ought to exclude the ferries.

Which do you believe?


Conspiracy theorists who think newspapers are overly influenced by advertisers might be relieved by evidence to the contrary in today’s Sunday Star Times.

The front page lead is a doom and gloom story headlined Top holiday house prices in freefall which contrasts markedly with an advertising feature in the property section talking up real estate on Waiheke Island.

And which carries more weight – the news story by Jenni McManus or the property ad?

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