Lisa Prager: The Hard Truth

Act 2 : Scene 1....The Mayor on his mobile phone walking down Kitchener Street outside the Art Gallery.

Mayor: For crying out loud Kingpin, no free curbside parking after hours? I told you jokers at Auckland Transport that you better start listening to me or there will be hell to pay!

Kingpin: Look Brownie, I’m sure I told you, but It’s not up to you anyway.

Mayor: What are you saying?

Kingpin: There are more powerful forces at work than you can imagine.

Mayor: More powerful than me?

Kingpin: The plan is already in play and it’s got the backing of the big boys.

Mayor: Big boys? What plan? The Master Plan? The Inner City Plan? The Annual Plan?

Kingpin: The Infrastructure Strategy Plan, to cut car use by 50%.

Mayor: 50%?

Kingpin: It’ll change where everyone lives, works and plays, just like that! [He laughs demonically.]

A traffic management worker in a high-vis vest starts putting cones out.

Mayor: Oy! What are you up to?

Worker: Who me?

Mayor: Yes, you.

Worker: I’m coning the street off so the parking meters can be reset.

Mayor: Don’t be ridiculous, we need free parking so people still come into the darn city to shop.

Kingpin: What’s going on Brownie?

Cone: Weeeeeee, here we go again, pick me up and put me down. A new location everyday. I never know where I’ll be next, blocking a driveway, narrowing a street or minimising a roundabout. The variety in my job is endless.

Mayor: Oh no, the talking cone again!

Kingpin: Are you feeling alright?

Mayor: Of course I am.

Cone: Morning your Warship

Mayor: I’m not a warship, I’m into wind power.

Cone: Truth is I’m the first line of attack. They use me to congest the traffic, soften everyone up, get them used to disruption, then bang – they narrow the road with an in-line bus stop, chuck in a traffic island and remove the parking. That screws the retailers, hospo folk and late-night venues

Mayor: But, why would they want to do that?

Cone: Simply so the big boys in global acquisition can pick up inner city real estate for a fraction of the true value. Sneaky, eh?

Mayor: Holy Moly! [The Mayor puts the phone back to his ear.] Are you there, Kingpin? He’s hung up.

Cone: Between you and me, Auckland Transport, the Government and private investment have got US $24 billion to spend on decarbonisation and that means bringing the roads to a standstill.

Mayor: US $24 billion?

Cone: Yep, it’s all sewn up. These guys aren’t stupid. They’re plugged into Mordor Intelligence, it’s part of a global investment network. Google ‘em!

Mayor: Mordor, as in Lord of the Rings?

Cone: Exactly, the big boys: Hawkins, Downer, Fulton Hogan and Obayashi are all in on it. The joke is they get paid mega bucks to smash the roads up, then paid again to restore them. Genius!

Traffic Manager: Okay, time's up, move on please, I’m about to close this road, and leave the cones alone, they have work to do.

Mayor: I beg your pardon?

Worker: Stop loitering around the cone.

Mayor: Don’t you know who I am?

Worker: No, I don’t care who you are but if you don’t move I’ll...

Mayor: What, call the Police?

Worker: No, I’m turning on my body cam…

Cone: Run!

(Lisa Prager, Westmere)

#ponsonbynews #iloveponsonby #loveponsonby #ponsonby #auckland #aucklandshippestrip #onlyponsonby #ponsonbyroad #Greylynn #freemansbay #westmere #ponsonby #hernebay #stmarysbay #archhill #coxsbay @followers #followers @everyone #everyone #waitematalocalboard @highlight #mayorbrown #waynebrown

Published: May 2024