Manukau Courier : January 14th 2014
10 MANUKAU COURIER, JANUARY 14, 2014 BORN TO PERFORM? Join us at PIPA, the heart of Pasifika Performing Arts enrol now 0800 467 472 www.pipa.ac.nz Become the BEST Teacher Certificate in Foundation Education (Teaching) Level 4 • Shape the future of our children • Great remuneration & work-life balance • Pathway to higher studies • The ONLY programme that offers both Early Childhood and Primary Education • Start in Feb. Graduate in Dec 2014 For a truly rewarding career at any age and background start with BEST. for a truly rewarding career Calling all aspiring actors, dancers, singers and musicians NEWS www.manukaucourier.co.nz Driving down motoring costs When I was a cub reporter years ago on a newspaper in a provincial English town, I had the world’s worst car, a red Renault 5 which lost power whenever it rained hard. How I hated that car. Repairs, petrol, insurance, registration. It was a constant drain on my meagre income. Then one day, driven by its failure to start on those icy British winter mornings, I sold it and bought a bike. For the next two years, I zipped everywhere on that bike, parking it outside the town hall when covering council meetings, chaining it to the railings of the courthouse when I was on court duty. If I had to go to one of the three neighbouring towns on my patch, I’d ride down to them along the canal towpaths, startling the odd angler and kingfisher. And I finally had a surplus at the end of each week, I was fitter than I had been since playing centre for my school’s city-cup winning rugby team at 15 and I was happier. When I wanted a car for a weekend away, I hired one. It started a pattern in my life. When I moved to Wel- lington after my English reportering was done, I did my commute from Wadestown to Courtenay Place on a bike. I had leg muscles like tree trunks. Then there was another stint in the UK, living in Cambridge and whizzing to the station each day on my bike to commute into the city where I worked for an investment newspaper. ➤GOLDENRULES ■ Go without a car for as long as you can ■ Minimise your family’s fleet ■ Take public transport, walk or bike where possible MONEY’$ Rob Stock The same pattern held when we moved to Auckland a bit more than a decade ago. Then the first baby came along and a second car became a must. I credit all those years of biking for my health and also helping establish my financial foundation. Which is why I be- grudge every penny I spend on motoring and why I hope within the year to become a one-car household again and buy myself a new bike. If I can get the go- ahead on that from the other half of the household executive, it’ll drop expenses by somewhere in the region of $5000 a year. Statistically speaking 15.12 per cent of household expenditure is on transport. My advice to young- sters starting out in life is to seriously consider being car-free for as long as you can, or share one as my colleague Richard Meadows (author of Sunday News’ Budget Buster column) does with a flatmate. You have to have a licence in this world but not a car. But if you must own a car, it is essential to keep costs down. The following is a real- life example from last year of how not to buy a car with comments in brackets. A man spent $13,750 on a 2000 Toyota Estima (he paid too much). He borrowed at 25 per cent (never arrange finance at a dealership). He paid $1000 for car insurance from the car dealer (a total no-no). He paid $1000 for a three-year warranty (not worth the money). He paid $500 for gap insurance (if you are sold this it is because you have overpaid for the vehicle). He paid $2056 for loan protection insurance (way too much and the one-off premium was added to the loan so interest of 25 per cent has to be paid on it). In all, over 208 weeks – four years of his life – the cost of that car, excluding regos and petrol, was just shy of $30,000. My rule of thumb: If you are spending more than 15 per cent of household income on transport, it’s time to have a serious rethink. Rob Stock is a senior journalist in the Fairfax Business Bureau and money editor of the Sunday Star-Times. Contact him at rob.stock@ fairfaxmedia.co.nz. Designs on solving transport concerns By SARAH CODDINGTON The streets of South Auckland are one step closer to paving the way for transport solutions nationwide. Te Ara – Future Streets is being trialled in Mangere Central, with the aim of improving walking and cycling options in the area. It’s hoped the project ENROL NOW will lead to better road safety and health benefits, project leader Hamish Mackie says. During the Christmas CALL 0800 425 624 www.best.ac.nz period community mem1 ⁄2 bers were asked about their town centre issues and concerns. Key were personal safety while walking through parks and reserves and pedestrian safety when crossing busy intersections. Initial concepts will be discussed with invited community members at a workshop on January 23 from noon to 2pm. Solutions could be as simple as including cycle paths, more pedestrian crossings and managing traffic speeds, Mr Mackie says. Mangere Central was chosen because it has plenty of destinations that can be reached by foot or bike but it’s not easy getting to them, he says. ‘‘There’s strong inter- est [in the project] from a national point of view. It’s a bit of a flagship for work that could happen around Auckland and New Zealand,’’ he says. Bigger projects such as developing better links from one location to another could also be considered. There have been discussions with the Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board and other groups and design concepts are expected to be completed mid-February. The project is funded by the government and will be carried out over four years. ❚ Call Mr Mackie on 021 067 0337 for information on attending the workshop.
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