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Trams could work: readers | Otago Daily Times Online News


Organisations embrace April Fools

What started as an April Fool’s joke could become closer to reality if a Dunedin city councillor and mayoral hopeful gets his way.

The Otago Daily Times reported — in jest — on April Fool’s Day the Dunedin City Council was poised to begin consulting on a $25 million project to convert heritage railway carriages into trams for use in Dunedin’s city centre from 2024.

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Cr Jules Radich was one of many readers yesterday to say there was some merit to the idea.

“There is truth in jest,” Cr Radich said.

“The truth is that Dunedin needs a better public transit system.”

What he was opposed to was the expensive conversion of historic trams into modern vehicles and the installation of tram lines into city centre streets.

But a 13- to 19-seat electric bus, on the other hand, painted to look like a heritage tram and running a loop from the University of Otago to the Exchange was a sound idea, he said.

“That would make a significant difference to how people get around town and would also help with the parking problem.”

Philip Temple, of Dunedin, said yesterday’s joke was really on the ODT.

“People have been advocating this for years, albeit with modern tram cars,” he said.

One reader called for the tram line to be extended to Mosgiel and then on to Dunedin Airport.

Another reader said the trams would “truly rejuvenate” the city centre.

Social media lit up with praise for the “innovative” and “progressive” plan.

But indeed, it was a prank and the ODT was not the only organisation to take part in the seasonal fun.

Dunedin NZ, run by Enterprise Dunedin, shared a photograph of people relaxing in a hot tub atop Larnach Castle, saying the new attraction at the castle was the “height of luxury”.

The University of Otago announced all lectures for the rest of the academic year would take place outdoors in giant bean bag chairs in order to meet Covid restrictions.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher shared photos of Oamaru artist Wicksey that showed a giant mural of Mr Kircher in a leather jacket adorning the side of one of the town’s historic buildings.

Queenstown Lakes District Council’s sports and recreation department announced they were removing lane ropes in order to allow lap swimmers to swim in any direction they pleased.

In Auckland, The New Zealand Herald reported plans to flood Eden Park could position the stadium to host the next World Surf League Tournament.

Meanwhile, the Department of Conservation took umbrage with April Fool’s jokes that included harm to native species, made up changes to policy, and made up quotes from spokesmen.

“We get that people want a laugh, but in 2022 … this stuff just feels a bit irresponsible.

“We will not be posting any April Fool’s jokes, and fact-check any you see with our name,” Doc said. hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

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