Who Was Sid's Transport Supremo?

Mr_Lineberry's picture
Submitted by Mr_Lineberry on Tue, 2020-09-22 22:03

Today. Right now. Literally 'now' as I write this, there is a massive traffic jam (into its 3rd day) on the Auckland motorway network because the Harbour bridge has some problem or other.

It is election season in New Zealand (and elsewhere! haha!) whereby vast numbers of people are out knocking on doors, making phone calls, handing out leaflets, shoving leaflets in letterboxes, putting up signs on the front lawns of supporters, crisscrossing the country making speeches, and all the other things which comprise a General Election campaign. They endure long days, abuse from supporters of the other party, lack of sleep, lack of food; it's all rather a hassle.

What I have never understood is.....why do they do it? Shocked

The job of a Member of Parliament is actually incredibly boring most of the time, the pay is a joke ($3200 per week pfft!), there is enormous amounts of nastiness and backstabbing; and all for what, exactly? I simply do not understand.

Take the title of this blog - Who was Sidney Holland's Minister of Transport? does anybody know? can anyone remember? anyone care to hazard a guess? no?

He is a man who undertook the decision to build motorways in New Zealand and by doing so had a profound effect upon the lives of almost everybody in New Zealand; literally today - right now - an awful lot of people in Auckland are feeling the effects of his decision (albeit not in a good way). There is an argument to say he had by far the greatest effect on this country than any other politician in the postwar era; any other politician in our modern history except Sir Roger.

And nobody has the slightest idea who he was.

Picture the scene; he spent a lot of time campaigning for office, spent an enormous amount of time away from his family, did himself out of the best part of a million quid by going into politics (he owned a transport company) rather than focusing on his business. And he was a great champion of building motorways and people owning cars. Only to disappear into obscurity and be long forgotten about when his policies come home to roost.

Can't help feeling there is something sad about that. If I had had a fundamental impact on everybody in the entire country for several generations I would expect them all to know who I am - (would have named every Motorway after myself haha!) - and what a God-like Sex Warrior I was. Someone for the little people to look up to 3 or 4 generations down the track. Not a long forgotten non-entity that even National Party historians would be hard pushed to name.

Let's take the argument even further - move away from a man who had a profound effect on the entire population - and ask:

Who was Norm Kirk's Minister of Customs? (don't ask me! haha!)
Who was Muldoon's Minister of Internal Affairs? (ditto)
Who was Sir Keith's Minister of Defence? (ditto)
Who was Lange's Minister of Earthquakes and War Damage Commission? (yes, there was such a portfolio)
Who was John Key's Minister of Fisheries?

No one knows, no one cares; but I can bet those men made huge sacrifices - lost income, lost family time, stress etc - in order to fart around in Parliament for years thinking they were incredibly important. But they weren't.


Mr_Lineberry's picture

answer to the original question is - Stan Goosman. Minister of Transport between 1949 to 1957 and the chappie who instigated motorways in NZ.

Here is his wikipedia page - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Goosman was born in 1890 at Auckland. William Massey was his uncle. He received his education at Mangere and at the age of 13, he started work on a dairy farm. At age 17, he went to Gisborne and worked in the bush. During the Great Depression,[1] he started a transport business at Waihou, near Te Aroha,[2] which grew into a large company.[1] He was also a roading contractor.[3][4]

He was the Member of Parliament for Waikato 1938–1946, Piako 1946–1954, Waipa 1954–1957, then Piako again 1957–1963, when he retired.[5] When defending the government during the 1951 waterfront lockout, he said, "All I have to say is that if Hitler had to deal with the same thing Hitler talked right."[6]

He was the Minister of Works[7], Minister of Transport, Minister of Marine, Minister of Housing and Minister of Railways in the First National Government from 1949 to 1954.[8] In those roles, he decided to drop proposals to improve Auckland's rail network and instead focus on motorway building.[9] When opening the first of Auckland's motorways in 1953, he is reported to have said, "My boy, the future of Auckland is with the motor car".[10] One of his first actions as Railway Minister was to raise charges and fares.[11]

Despite carrying six ministerial portfolios in the First National Government, when the Second National Government was formed in 1960 he was offered only the Works portfolio causing him to protest to Keith Holyoake and Jack Marshall (who had concerns about his age at 70) and offered to retire which they dissuaded him from doing. He interpreted it as a vote of no confidence in his abilities and claimed he still had the energy of a much younger man, to settle the issue he was additionally appointed as Minister of Electricity to his satisfaction.[12]

In the 1965 Queen's Birthday Honours, Goosman was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George, for political and public services.[5][13] The Stanley Goosman Bridge over the Taramakau River near Jacksons carries his name.[14]

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