Chainlinks December 2023

Let's organise and mobilise

The change of Government means we will likely face some extra challenging headwinds. The coalition agreement signed by National and New Zealand First includes "reduce expenditure on cycleways."

That's unacceptable. As we all face serious public health, safety, climate, and transport problems, we know that cycling offers compelling benefits in these areas.

If there is in fact less going to be spent on cycleways, I am curious how else this Government intends to deliver a truly safe and inclusive active travel environment on New Zealand roads and streets. After all - greater expenditure on cycleways is needed due to the wildly unsustainable number of cars and trucks making public space so much more dangerous for everyone. 

I am committed to fighting for CAN's goals:

  • Promote the benefits of cycling
  • Improve safety for cyclists
  • Encourage the creation of a good cycling environment
  • Advocate for integrated cycle planning
  • Increase the number of people riding bikes for everyday journeys.

Now, more than ever, we need to organise and mobilise.

Join us at CAN's AGM on Wednesday 13 December. We'll be online at 7:30pm.

And join us in Wellington on 16 and 17 of March at our annual training, networking and riding get-together; CAN Do.

Together, we're stronger.

Let's roll.

Alex Dyer, Chair
CAN – Cycling Action Network

How does advocacy work? Like a rock and a balloon

From Julie at The Workshop: "I've had many conversations about how to respond to change. I've noticed that there is a shared feeling of both fatigue, as well as uncertainty of what to do next, from people who are working towards a world that better cares for people and our planet. I feel this too sometimes.

It can be helpful to name and recognise when we're feeling this way and then have a plan to shift our energies back to focussing on what we can influence.

For those of you that have done some of our training you will be familiar with the rock and balloon metaphor. We use it to talk about how narratives work to enable changes that make the biggest difference. The metaphor comes from Daniel Hunter's great book Strategy and Soul.

“Politicians are like a balloon tied to a rock. If we swat at them, they may sway to the left or the right. But, tied down, they can only go so far. Instead of batting at them, we should move the rock: people’s activated social values. When we move the rock, it automatically pulls all the politicians towards us — without having to pressure each one separatel .”
Strategy and Soul, p184.

We at The Workshop love this metaphor because it highlights the power of our narratives, brought to life through stories, to create the conditions for change. It encourages us to take the long term approach so that the changes we get are sustained over time and political shifts.

We've just seen how decision makers (the balloon) can change. This metaphor and the theory of change that sits behind it gives us a focus for our energy and our actions - deepening public understanding and building support for the solutions we're working towards.

We can focus on shifting public understanding (the rock), using our collective power, our stories, to build support for the upstream changes we're working towards. When we shift the rock we build the public power and mandate. It can work to hold decision makers to account for what they are doing now as well as build momentum for the future things we will ask of them.

So if you're planning your next step amid change and uncertainty, take a moment to reflect on how you might focus your time, energy and resources on shifting the rock.

Join us at CAN Do, 16-17 March, Wellington

Welcome to CAN Do, CAN's annual get-together. The weekend includes workshops, training, rides, plenty of food and drink, and a chance to catch up with advocates from around New Zealand.

You will supercharge your advocacy skills, with training on effective messaging, networking, and campaigning. The critical component is networking and making connections with other like minded people from across the motu. This is an excellent opportunity to share stories, learn and become a better advocate.

Register today. Do you want accommodation from a Wellington volunteer? Get in touch with

People Power: the path to low carbon transport

​With the impacts of climate change, leaders need to step up to the challenges of transforming our transport network and provide better options to get people where they want to go.
While we’ve seen great change through our recreational routes, our attention must now turn to transforming our urban centres to provide better transport options, so that everyone, even kids, can get around in climate-friendly ways.
Active transport has a central role to play in meeting society’s health, wellbeing and climate change mitigation objectives. We will showcase strategies and innovative projects that are helping to achieve these goals.

18-19 March 2024 in Wellington. Registrations are open, with a discounted rate for advocates if you register by 12 January.

CAN calls for climate action at COP28

CAN joined hundreds of NGOs to call on the UNFCCC, governments and negotiators of the COP28 climate conference to give more priority and investment in walking and cycling to significantly accelerate progress on climate goals and improve people’s lives.

Enabling more people to walk and cycle safely is crucial to decarbonising transport and achieving the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The potential for replacing motorised vehicle trips with walking and cycling is huge and within our grasp.


Whānau getting the wheels turning for climate action

“I’m quite normal. I’m not super fit, I’m not hardcore. I just have a regular bike and it’s not worth much! I do it because it feels faster, it’s cleaner and we are passionate about climate change," says Prue Isaacs.

“We just try to do our bit. It’s about switching it up and doing what you can do.” 

From Wellington City Council. This is a good example of using story telling to normalise riding a bike.


Help CAN achieve more

Help us achieve more - be our tailwind

Do you want attractive and safe cycleways? Don’t you hate it when people pass you too close or cut you off? Are you shocked that only 2 percent of our kids bike to school?

Cycling Action Network is a people-powered movement for a better New Zealand. We speak up for you. We rely on you. Here's our achievements since 1997.

Donate today. With more of us, the stronger our voice. CAN needs your help to fund the work that's needed. Please contribute today.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter @CyclingActionNZ @PatrickMorgan and Bluesky


Active transport is absolutely essential in achieving society's health, well-being, and climate change mitigation objectives. Our showcase will unequivocally demonstrate the most effective strategies and groundbreaking projects that are currently driving us toward these goals.

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The text highlights the potential impact of political changes on cycling policies, advocates for continued support of cycling initiatives, and provides a metaphorical framework for strategic advocacy in the face of uncertainty. fence rental Tampa

Impressive point of view.

Best regards. 

In times of uncertainty and change, it's crucial to remain resilient and proactive in advocating for cycling infrastructure and safety. By continuing to work together and mobilize support, advocates can make a real difference in promoting cycling as a safe, accessible, and sustainable mode of transportation. Cincinnati SEO

It encourages us to take the long term approach so that the changes we get are sustained over time and political shifts.