What do we do about tourist drivers?

A five-year-old lost her life in a head-on collision on Saturday.

The driver of one of the vehicles has been charged with dangerous driving causing death.

He’s a Chinese tourist.

. . . The latest figures, from 2013, show overseas drivers were involved in 11 fatal accidents, 90 causing serious injury and more than 400 that caused minor injuries. In all 11 fatalities, the overseas driver was found to be at fault.

In the four years to 2013, 37 percent of crashes in Westland involved an overseas driver, 25 percent in Southland, 24 percent in Queenstown-Lakes and 17 percent in Central Otago.

Yesterday’s accidents come just days after three American citizens were killed when their car crossed the centre line and collided with a logging truck north of Tokoroa.

Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss told 3 News any fatal or serious accident is a tragedy and the Government, police and NZTA are trying to reduce crashes through what’s called the Visiting Drivers Signature Project.

That includes better signage on tourist routes, directional arrows on the road, the use of rumble strips, guidelines for rental vehicle companies and steering wheel safety tags in rental cars. . .

This will inevitably bring more calls for tourists to have to do a driving test before they can drive here, which the AA does not favour:

. . .  AA national manager for policy Simon Douglas told MPs that visiting drivers are not ove-represented at a national level in road accidents.

“AA does not believe that a practical test at the border for visitors is pragmatic or practical. We just don’t believe it will be able to be implemented or make a difference,” he said.

Instead Simon Douglas said the Government should prioritise the roll-out in tourist areas of rubber strips, wire-rope barriers, and arrows reminding drivers to keep left.

If tests could be implemented it would almost certainly result in reciprocal tests for New Zealanders overseas.

It might weed out a few really incompetent tourist drivers but would do nothing to counter the danger of generally competent drivers who revert to their home driving habits after a while.

When we’re in countries where we have to drive on the other side of the road my farmer and I reckon it takes both of us to make sure we don’t get complacent. The few times I’ve driven by myself on the right-hand side of the road I’ve planned the trip meticulously and constantly reminded myself to keep right and look left first.

There’s been an awful start to the road toll this year with 46 deaths from 41 fatal crashes by last Friday compared with 34 from 33 crashes at the same time last year.

Most of those weren’t caused by tourists but of course there are a lot more local drivers than visitors.

Whatever we can do to make tourist drivers safer also needs to apply to all of us.

 

92 Responses to What do we do about tourist drivers?

  1. Andrei says:

    Obviously a major component in this is the fact we drive on the left whereas these tourist incidents seem to involve people from nations who drive on the right hand side of the road

    And having driven on both sides of the road myself I know issues arise when instinct takes over as it has to in a pressure situation.

    And the wrong instinctive action leads quickly to catastrophe….

    Like

  2. Psycho Milt says:

    I ended up on the wrong side of the road myself after coming back here from four years in Germany. Made the mistake of using a rest area on the right-hand side of the road – on leaving, did the natural thing of turning right into the right-hand lane. Habit isn’t your friend.

    Like

  3. Andrei says:

    Indeed Milt I have similar experiences.

    But it isn’t “habit” per se – very interesting topic about the skills that we develop where we no longer actually use our brain to accomplish what we do

    A batsman facing a fast bowler doesn’t have time to analyse the approaching ball, his body reacts and if he gets it right he gets a good result.

    Its the same playing a musical instrument when you are learning you use your brain to analyse what you are dong but when you are playing your hands (and body) just do it.

    You notice this when you try and teach someone something that you do by second nature that they can’t and when you try to explain what it is you are doing you realize you don’t know yourself exactly, sometimes you can screw yourself up when you over analyze it

    Strange but true

    And highly relevant to switching from the side of the road you are accustomed to drive on to the other

    Of course people who do it all the time, like truck drivers who drive in both France and England on a regular basis will make the transition by second nature

    Like

  4. JC says:

    I went anal and had a look at the stats.

    Basically 4.5 million kiwis kill about 300 per year on the road and 2.7 million tourists kill about eleven.

    JC

    Like

  5. pdm says:

    In the last 10 years approx mrspdm and I have been to Europe twice and the states twice. We decline to drive in those areas for the very reasons stated in your post and by your commenters.

    It is just not worth the risk as far as we are concerned.

    Like

  6. TraceyS says:

    Andrei refers to automaticity.

    Like

  7. TraceyS says:

    There are many aspects of driving to which automaticity applies – indicating, checking mirrors, putting on seatbelts etc.

    I hear the little girl was not wearing one. So sad if this was the case. We have probably all gotten distracted at times and our automatic processes have failed us yet, by pure luck, we escaped tragic consequences. I have.

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  8. TraceyS says:

    JC, your comparison is not entirely fair. The 4.5 million kiwis are not all drivers. I don’t know how many are, but guess maybe 3.5 million after children, very elderly and non-drivers are excluded from the total population. They also spend a lot more time in NZ than the quoted number of tourists. To get really anal, you’d have to compare accidents per driver over time spent driving to make a worthwhile comparison. No doubt this has already been done by somebody.

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  9. Dave Kennedy says:

    One of the most dangerous stretches of road in terms of accidents and tourists is the Te Anau/Milford road. Many in Te Anau are pushing for a park and ride system which would make a lot of sense.

    Like

  10. pdm says:

    TraceyS said – not all New Zealanders drive. However
    that is offset by the fact that not all tourists drive in New Zealand.

    Like

  11. Dave Kennedy says:

    Actually Tracey, as a rough guide, I agree with JC. Not all Tourists would drive either and probably less so if you think of the number of bus tours.

    We are inclined to get emotive over stuff and get it out of proportion. Possibly quad bikes on farms are more dangerous than tourists considering the small rural population involved and that there are 5 deaths and 850 injuries a year related to these.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/9585962/Southland-boys-death-adds-to-swelling-quad-bike-toll

    Like

  12. Gravedodger says:

    Swmbo and self had a near disaster near Rakaia on the 21st, details at No Minister.
    Left us very shaken, no idea as to driver of rental movan and *555 not responding.

    Like

  13. TraceyS says:

    JC’s stats seemed to put a lot of blame for fatal crashes onto Kiwis:

    4.5m kiwis – 300 fatal crashes
    2.7m tourists – 11 fatal crashes

    This is quite misleading. So I had a closer look.

    For 2013:

    2,857,400 tourist arrivals
    19 days average stay
    = 54,290,600 tourist driving days* (approximate)
    11 fatal accidents caused

    54,290,600 days / 11 deaths = 0.00002% fatality rate per tourist per day.

    3,280,603 NZ licensed drivers
    360 days average (taking off an avg of 5 days/yr for o/seas travel)
    = 1,181,017,080 kiwi driving days* (approximate)
    228 fatal accidents caused (239 less 11 tourist-caused)

    1,181,017,080 days / 228 deaths = 0.000019% fatality rate per kiwi per day.

    * driving days is the number of days where there is the possibility of driving. Obviously a lot of tourists do not drive and also a lot of kiwis do not drive every day either or drive for only very short periods when they do.

    Last year John Key said “If you look at the accident rate of tourists who come and drive in New Zealand versus New Zealanders themselves, it’s pretty consistent.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11269335

    According to my rough analysis I’d say he was quite correct.

    I expect Dave will disagree.

    Like

  14. Dave Kennedy says:

    All you have done Tracey is basically support JC and I, according to your figures there is only a .000001 difference between the accident rate of Tourists compared to NZrs so the perceived danger that tourists pose is exaggerated by the media. I would say that Ele’s conclusion was valid, we need to take equal responsibility for the death toll.

    However there are some black spots or high accident areas like the Milford Road and quad bikes (admittedly not road related) and we may have a much better effect by targeting these to reduce fatalities.

    I attended the launch of a Work Safe, Safer Farms initiative on Friday and the statistics were quite shocking. 17 people a year are killed in work related accidents on farms each year (20,000 faming related ACC injury claims). This is more than the deaths that occur in Forestry, construction and manufacturing industries combined, making farming one of the most dangerous occupations in New Zealand. Given the number of people involved in farming, it is probably more dangerous than driving on the road.

    While most farmers I know are very safety conscious and look after their workers but I personally know of instances where migrant or young inexperienced workers are employed on farms and given no real training or safety instruction. Again it is probably the poor behaviour of a few who risk the lives of many.

    I couldn’t find accurate statistics on the number of people who work on farms but a rough guess would be around 40,000, this would mean that a farm worker will have a 1 in 2 chance of an injury each year and an almost 1 in 200 chance of dying. Not good odds.

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  15. TraceyS says:

    Dave, I see you are worrying about farmers on quad bikes now. What happened to worrying about forestry workers?

    Like

  16. farmerbraun says:

    Has anyone seen any analysis of the farm statistics?
    There has to be a reason.
    I suspect that it is pressure as a result of poor or non-existent profitability that lies at the heart of the farming problem.

    Like

  17. Mr E says:

    Tracey –
    I think Dave is trolling. He has found another reason to attack some farmers – and it appears he is trying to divert the discussion that way. He is part of the Green Party. Should we expect any less?

    Like

  18. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, I’m not sure of your point, I’m concerned about any work related death, I’m just commenting on something that I was recently involved with and the statistics were worse than I was previously aware.

    fb, I don’t think it can be related to profitability as the death rate has been fairly consistent (120 deaths since 2008). As a farmer you may have more insight than me but I am aware of a fairly nonchalant attitude amongst some farmers.

    We had a German wwoofer stay with us recently who was employed on a dairy farm near Winton. When he took the job he explained that he was inexperienced and would need instruction and that English was his second language. He was treated appallingly and was sent to do tasks without instruction and abused if he got it wrong. He had never ridden a quad bike before and got no safety advice and after 6 days he resigned and walked away with no pay.

    I am sure there will always be some accidents on farms because of the nature of the work and the unpredictability of animals, but it would only take a small percentage of farmers like the one I described to substantially effect statistics.

    Perhaps if you are brought up on a farm and many tasks become second nature, or you had learned yourself by watching others, it is hard to appreciate that others may need support. Perhaps too there are some who get relaxed about safety after years of doing things without incident and forget the actual risks involved.

    One of the stories shared at the safety launch was around chainsaws. One of the speakers talked about a large number of chainsaw accidents in one area and when talking to the local chainsaw supplier, heaps of chainsaws had been sold but almost no helmets or chaps. I then realised that I use a chainsaw myself with neither. Maybe a general wake up call is needed.

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  19. Mr E says:

    And away we go.

    I’ve been told not to feed trolls, but given the severity of Dave’s claims it is important.

    Dave,

    What actions did you take regarding this claim:
    “He had never ridden a quad bike before and got no safety advice and after 6 days he resigned and walked away with no pay. “

    Like

  20. Eyes front, David. No thinking outside of the box. Blinkers tightened and away we go – remember, there is only one colour and it is blue. There is only one way, and it is right. There are no farmer-workers riding quad-bikes on the road, helmets un-strapped. The issue here, is foreigners. You know David, like those foreign farm-workers in Staurday’s paper, describing how they are having to abandon their jobs on Southland dairy farms. Farmerbraun describes the, “poor or non-existent profitability that lies at the heart of the farming problem.”
    That’s a pretty serious observation, and one that we here on Homepaddock would find interesting to develop, but it’s off-topic, so must be discarded and derided, eh, Trace’n’E. Mr E will probably slam farmerbraun by saying, “it appears farmerbraun is trying to divert the discussion that way. He is part of the National Party. Should we expect any less?”

    Like

  21. TraceyS says:

    “All you have done Tracey is basically support JC and I…

    There you go, Dave, creating artificial sides and generating disagreement where there was none. Just as I predicted!

    Like

  22. TraceyS says:

    ^ but hey, it’s cool to see you and the PM on the same page!

    Like

  23. Dave Kennedy says:

    “I think Dave is trolling. He has found another reason to attack some farmers – and it appears he is trying to divert the discussion that way. He is part of the Green Party. Should we expect any less?”

    Mr E, I happened to just learn of the statistics on Friday so it happened to be upper most in my mind because of their shocking nature (you can’t deny this). As it is related to this post on accidental death and public perceptions of risk, I thought it relevant.

    If you read my comments you can hardly say it is a deliberate attempt to attack farmers, this is blog has a rural focus and I thought my contribution was reasonable. Your constant bleating that I am anti-farmer is a little sad.

    You can dismiss my comments as petty and anti-farmer or you could present your own views on the validity of my concerns. At least fb can respond in a rational way and I’m looking forward to reading his thoughts on the issue

    Like

  24. “bleating” – nice rural touch there, Dave.

    Like

  25. Mr E says:

    “so it happened to be upper most in my mind”

    Doesn’t stop it from being trolling Dave.

    Like

  26. Discussions about trolling are off-topic, Mr E.
    Put yourself in the Pit of Moderation for a few days and think about what you have done.

    Like

  27. Mr E says:

    Robert,
    You are suggesting FB led the discussion astray. I think you are ‘barking up the wrong tree’.

    Like

  28. Dave Kennedy says:

    “There you go, Dave, creating artificial sides and generating disagreement where there was none. Just as I predicted!”

    Goodness gracious, Tracey! it was you who was questioning JC and after reading your response I couldn’t understand your point. It seemed that you were trying to get more accurate data to show up JC, but why? All it did was confirm What JC was saying, that the danger of tourists on our roads was not as great as was being portrayed. Please enlighten?

    Believe it or not I often comment here with no agenda and largely agreed with Ele’s post as you will see. People reading here will note that I am being attacked not because what I am saying is untrue but because I am a Green.

    Tracey and Mr E, how about actually engaging in the discussion and share your own knowledge on the issue rather than these silly personal attacks.

    If Ele thinks that farm safety is off topic and not worthy of discussing then I would be happy to stop engaging, as it is her blog.

    Like

  29. Mr E says:

    “Discussions about trolling are off-topic, Mr E.”

    Umm Robert – aren’t you on you last chance – if encouragement to remain on topic is trolling what is this?

    “That’s a pretty serious observation, and one that we here on Homepaddock would find interesting to develop, but it’s off-topic, so must be discarded and derided,”

    Oh oh…. What is beyond the ‘pit of moderation’?

    Like

  30. Mr E says:

    “Believe it or not I often comment here with no agenda ”

    How hard can one bite his or her tongue?

    “Tracey and Mr E, how about actually engaging in the discussion and share your own knowledge on the issue rather than these silly personal attacks. ”

    Please point out personal attacks. Any at all.

    Like

  31. TraceyS says:

    One of the commenters here has got completely the wrong end of the stick so to speak. Yes, the one growling endlessly about stuff he made up himself.

    That aside…

    In reply to Dave, maybe you recall awhile back when you were hand-wringing about the forestry health and safety record, I raised farm safety and was, as usual, shot down by you? Why didn’t you listen to me? Oh that’s right, the “exploiter” thing. How on earth could someone with that label genuinely be concerned about worker welfare?

    Blinkers indeed.

    The truth is that you, and others like you, have no idea what the root causes of accidents in farming or forestry are or how to change the settings in which they occur. The people who work in these industries from owners down to grass-roots workers are the ones who do. And they should be the ones who shoulder the responsibilities but also the credit when they make improvements to health and safety.

    The reason you are not continuing on about forestry is that there was only one death last year and big improvements in serious harm accident statistics so there’s not the media hype to support your puffing. This is very shallow because there is still a long way to go to cement improvements. But I get that it’s lost its power as a beat-up so you’ve moved on.

    You seem to be someone who gets his leads from the news of the day showing no real nous or ability to listen to those in industry, instead, full of criticism when it suits your political agenda.

    Communication skills are perhaps the key to improving workplace health and safety. Literacy is somewhere you, personally, could make a huge difference no doubt. Adult literacy – repairing the appalling effect of our education system in producing school-leavers geared for a life of work in the outdoors whose reading and writing skills aren’t up to the mark (through no fault of their own).

    But no, hand-wringing is more your style than sleeves rolled-up. I have no time for you in case that isn’t patently obvious.

    Like

  32. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, you should read your comments, some of us are trying to have an actual discussion and you are yapping about trolling and Greens hating farmers as if you are Ele’s little moderating helper. Either engage like a grown up and let Ele moderate her own blog or go away. I generally don’t resort to sarcasm but you are being really annoying rather than constructive. You are worse than Robert because you don’t seem to have an actual point to make other than I shouldn’t be allowed to comment on farming if I’m a Green.

    Like

  33. Gravedodger says:

    @ farmer braun 1 33,
    in response to an oia, worksafe innvestigated 16 fatal quad accidents 2010 -2014 involving farmers and three were from head injuries.

    That would indicate to me body armour would be a be a better focus than helmets but dont tell the ‘crats’.

    Like

  34. TraceyS says:

    “Goodness gracious, Tracey! it was you who was questioning JC…”

    Oh how dare I question someones assumptions whilst being in general agreement with them! This is not possible in your world is it Dave? How very revealing!

    “…and after reading your response I couldn’t understand your point.?”

    Well knock me down with a feather!

    Like

  35. TraceyS says:

    “Please point out personal attacks.”

    Just to highlight what the standards are here for any new commenters’ benefit…

    If you hurt Dave or Robert’s feelings then you have made a “personal attack”.

    If you knowingly and incorrectly label someone an “exploiter” this is perfectly OK. They deserve it for voting in opposition to you in General Elections.

    Some commenters need to stop visiting Homepaddock and go over to a blog called The Sandpit. If it doesn’t exist then they should start it – and bury themselves up to their waists.

    Like

  36. Dave Kennedy says:

    Good lord, Tracey, again i have no idea where you are coming from other than your obvious disdain for myself, which seriously blinkers your responses.

    You will have to quote the forestry discussion as I have no memory of it. If it is as you explained, then you may have been right and i apologise if that was the case. However it does seem odd that I would have done that.

    If you read my comments I was actually open to hearing the views of those in the industry and agree that those in farming would have more knowledge of the risks than I. I am quoting material that I was provided with on an actual farm and also had a chat to the Chair of Southland Federated farmers on the day. My views are shaped by those who actually work in the industry and I’m afraid I’m not learning a lot from you other than getting a high level of disdain and antagonism through what you write.

    How about sharing your views on farm safety or road safety rather than just questioning others’ rights to do the same.

    You and Mr E have contributed nothing constructive to this thread other than attack other contributors.

    Back to the thread: The Farm Safe web page lists common injuries in different sectors and it actually seems if many of the accidents would be hard to avoid entirely. Hard physical work will always take a toll and working in confined spaces with animals and water will always have a level of hazard. The Tool Kit provided by Work Safe in consultation with the industry seems a logical response and I guess ipart of its success will be down to getting it accepted by those farmers who have the worst records.

    http://farmsafe.co.nz/beingsafe/common-injuries/

    Like

  37. Dave Kennedy says:

    Gravedodger, the helmet issue is an interesting one because there appears to be a genuine argument that some people take more risks when wearing a helmet because they feel that they are protected. I have also heard that they limit hearing and visibility (especially full face ones). Would I also be right in assuming that many quad accidents on farms would not involve the same speeds that are involved in road accidents and most involve being crushed. Roll bars may be more useful than helmets. http://www.quadbar.co.nz/

    Like

  38. TraceyS says:

    “How about sharing your views on farm safety or road safety rather than just questioning others’ rights to do the same.”

    Dave, I have never questioned your rights. That is a misrepresentation.

    What I questioned was your ability….

    BIG
    DIFFERENCE!

    Like

  39. farmerbraun says:

    With regard to the quads, I think that they are just very badly designed and have no place on farms.
    Anyone remember this:-
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/motoring/news/article.cfm?c_id=9&objectid=10891330

    Like

  40. Dave is unable to share his views on farm safety or road safety??

    TraceyS – Dictator of the Universe!

    Like

  41. Farmer says quads have “no place on farms”.

    Farmerbraun wants us all to go back to living in caves, eh, Mr E. JC. Willdwan. Ele. Gravedodger. Paranormal. Jabba.
    What about farmerbraun’s ability to comment on quads, Traceys?
    Hmmmmmmmm…?

    Like

  42. Gravedodger says:

    @Dave K. When things go south in a quad incident, rider and machine part company early on, then any more weight and or sticky out bits become additional dangers not improved safety
    As to your suggestion helmets and increased risk taking, stupidity is impossible to legislate for.

    Like

  43. Mr E says:

    Mr E, you should read your comments,

    I wrote them, not sure why I should read them, but I did. They sound bang on to me.

    some of us are trying to have an actual discussion and you are yapping about trolling

    Your farmer safety topic is off topic Dave. Here is the

    “In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people,[1] by posting inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[4]

    (my emphasis)

    and Greens hating farmers as if you are Ele’s little moderating helper.

    Please show me where I have ‘yapped’ “Greens hating farmers”.
    I bet you can’t Dave. That is because the that statement is a blatant, absolute lie. I call for evidence or retraction.

    Either engage like a grown up and let Ele moderate her own blog or go away. I generally don’t resort to sarcasm but you are being really annoying rather than constructive.

    Grow up? Or go away? You think you own this blog Dave, with that authoritarian tone? You think my pointing out of trolling behaviour is childish. Yet you raise off topic discussions, about that behaviour of an individual farmer – and that is adult?

    You are worse than Robert because you don’t seem to have an actual point to make other than I shouldn’t be allowed to comment on farming if I’m a Green.

    Worse than Robert? What is wrong with Robert?
    I have no philosophical issues with anyone debating farming. I have certainly not said you cant because you are a Green. – Prove me wrong – otherwise again, I request you retract that statement.
    I did raise the issue of your ‘off topic behaviour ‘- that is another matter.

    Like

  44. Mtr E – poster boy for the Passive/Aggresive Society.

    Prove it, go on, prove it!!
    Meanies!
    Ele!!!
    Dave and Robert are being meant! to me!!!

    Like

  45. Mean! I mean mean!! Really mean.

    And I’m the nice boy.

    Like

  46. “What do we do about tourist drivers?”
    Reminder to Mr E.
    Ele’s chosen topic is what we should discuss if we respect our hosts wishes.
    Pause, breath, think, comment.
    That’s the way to do it, old chum!

    Like

  47. Mr E says:

    Very helpful Robert,
    Heaven knows what Dave was referring to when he said “You are worse than Robert”?

    Like

  48. TraceyS says:

    “Dave is unable to share his views on farm safety or road safety??”

    Of course I am not questioning his ability to share his views, Robert! Don’t be so daft! I think we could all agree that Dave gets 10 out of 10 for being able to share his views and to-date I have seen nobody get in his way.

    What I question is his ability to make a difference to the health and safety record in the forestry or farming industries. Gassing and hand-wringing does not make a significant difference.

    There is a huge difference between talking and acting.

    Dave can express himself all he wishes but at the end of the day it will be the men and women with their feet in gumboots and steelcaps who make the changes necessary to improve the health and safety record. With a little nudge from some reform which they are getting from this National Government. Loud and clear.

    Like

  49. TraceyS says:

    “That is because the that statement is a blatant, absolute lie. I call for evidence or retraction.”

    Don’t bet the family silver on getting one Mr E.

    Like

  50. “Gassing and hand-wringing”

    TraceyS@5:27

    Don’t tell farmers what to do, Dave! You know the rules here.

    Like

  51. Mr E @ 5:11
    I don’t know either, but I do know he’s right. You are.

    Like

  52. Willdwan says:

    I love my ATV. Would not let a tourist anywhere near it.

    Like

  53. Dave Kennedy says:

    Gravedodger, surely you’re not saying stupidity is common amongst farmers 😉

    I think Russell MacPherson of Federated Farmers had it right when he told the story of a group of young paratroopers heading off on their first mission. As they were flying to their drop zone their commanding officer reminded them of the dangers of the mission, 70% of them may not return. One young paratrooper looked at the others pityingly saying “you poor bastards”. I think some young farm workers may think they are bullet proof and perhaps some older ones too. A little like me and my own chainsaw I now realise.

    Mr E, your self righteous indignation is just silly. What meaning could I possibly get from this statement other than you think Greens don’t like farmers:

    “He has found another reason to attack some farmers – and it appears he is trying to divert the discussion that way. He is part of the Green Party. Should we expect any less?”

    “You think you own this blog Dave, with that authoritarian tone?”

    Certainly not and I stated as much, it is you dear Mr E, who is madly yapping around calling people trolls and doing Ele’s job for her. If Ele thinks I am out of line I am more than ready to stop talking about accidents on this thread. Leave it to her and start adding constructively to what Gravedodger, Farmerbraun and I appear to be discussing in a perfectly civilised way.

    By the way Robert is a known stirrer and loves to wind you guys up, but he often has a valid point behind his comments, you currently do not.

    Tracey, I acknowledged the good work of Work and Safety and even say that farmers will understand the issues more than me and ask for others’ opinions and you say I am out of line. Your logic confounds me again and I do wonder if you read anything I say with trying to find fault. Your energies would be better spent doing something other than attacking me 😉

    Like

  54. Dave Kennedy says:

    Willdwan, you make more sense than Tracey and Mr E. Keeping your ATV away from tourists may indeed save a life 😉

    Like

  55. Willdwan says:

    Well I’m late to this conversation, and may be confused.

    Like

  56. Willdwan says:

    I think the farm safety issue is a bit of a beat up. Farms are extremely dangerous places, we’re always evaluating risk, usually it’s instinct combined with experience. The plastic hat/visi-vest/orange cone brigade are worse than useless – remember the coroner who wanted mandatory seat belts on bikes? Twit.

    Almost all the skills I had to learn to stay safe, I learned myself, by trial and error. The trick is caution and practice, don’t allow yourself to get confident until you have acquired some real ability. Give yourself time. But some people just don’t have the knack, we all know the types, all left feet and elbows. Those guys should not be on farms or near dangerous machines. Ever. How you ensure that happens I could not say, but that is the real issue, not more rules and pointless bureaucracy.

    Also, the left doesn’t give a damn about farmers, unless they are looting us. Spare us the hand-wringing and fake anguish.

    Like

  57. Mr E says:

    Mr E, your self righteous indignation is just silly. What meaning could I possibly get from this statement other than you think Greens don’t like farmers:

    “He has found another reason to attack some farmers – and it appears he is trying to divert the discussion that way. He is part of the Green Party. Should we expect any less?”

    What on earth are you on about Dave? There is absolutely no reference to how the Greens feel about farmers there! None, zero nada! You have proved you have lied in order to denigrate me. I expect an apology.

    who is madly yapping around calling people trolls and doing Ele’s job for her. If Ele thinks I am out of line I am more than ready to stop talking about accidents on this thread. Leave it to her

    More of that authoratarian approach. Telling me what to do. Not what I could or should do. You were a teacher weren’t you?
    I wonder if you said to your German visitor, ‘you should do nothing about that employer, say nothing, authorities will catch this person out sooner or later, it is there job to find these employees, don’t yap, stay silent’?
    No Dave?

    Like

  58. Mr E says:

    By the way Robert is a known stirrer and loves to wind you guys up,

    This from the urban dictionary.
    “Sh.. stirrer:
    one who manipulates events to cause trouble for other people for their own amusement”

    I really hope that is not what you think of Robert. After all he is a Councillor and has a Code of Conduct to abide by.

    Like

  59. “The left doesn’t give a damn about farmers, unless they are looting us.”

    “The right doesn’t give a damn about the environment, unless they are looting it.”

    Sound about right, Willdwan?

    Like

  60. What are you on about, Dave???
    Mr E is passive/aggressive and so is innocent of all charges!!!
    He didn’t do it. Nobody saw him do it. You can’t prove anything!!!
    Plus, you hurt his feelings!!!

    Like

  61. TraceyS says:

    “Tracey, I acknowledged the good work of Work and Safety…”

    How about you acknowledge the good work of operators and their employees? This is where the real good work is done.

    But you will never acknowledge the good work of those who hold an objective to make the profits that do so much good in our society.

    Therein lies the problem.

    I fully expect a comprehension issue to arise.

    Like

  62. TraceyS says:

    Robert a stirrer? Why he has written to confirm it on his own blog! He comes here to stir.

    I can only assume that Ele allows it because she finds all of this very entertaining.

    Robert the clown. And Dave who takes himself waaaay too seriously.

    What fun!

    Like

  63. Dave Kennedy says:

    Very accusing about my German visitor, Mr E. You claim I presume stuff regarding yourself and constantly do the same with me. Of course I wanted to follow it up but the young man concerned didn’t want me too. He said it was a learning experience and he didn’t want the rest of his short time in NZ following through an employment complaint, he was adamant and I respected his wishes. What a nasty, presumpuous accusation! Now that does deserve an apology.

    Willdwan I agree with you about not having endless bureaucracy, but do you think there should be an accepted level of mentoring or training for new farm workers? I also totally agree about the visibility vest and helmets that are sometimes overdone. The art gallery that I help govern has been closed for over a year because of earthquake risk despite being 90 years old with out a crack in it and our staff have to work inside wearing a helmet and safety vest. In Wellington buildings with worse risk assessment remain open and just have a warning side outside and people enter at their own risk. Possibly at a similar level of risk as crossing the road.

    “I fully expect a comprehension issue to arise.”

    You’re correct, Tracey, you’ve completely lost me again. 😉

    Please, please actually read what I say so you don’t continually make silly false accusations…here is what I said at 1:26pm
    “most farmers I know are very safety conscious and look after their workers”

    We had our monthly Green Party branch meeting at my house this evening and 1/4 of the members present have a farming background (and we had more than four people present). Don’t make assumptions about how the Greens value farming and the agriculture industry.

    By the way you do realize that my constant use of winks and smiles is to let people know I am not taking the abuse to heart and certainly aren’t taking myself too seriously…here’s another one 😉

    Like

  64. Mr E says:

    “Very accusing”
    “What a nasty, presumpuous accusation! Now that does deserve an apology.”

    What do you think I have presumed Dave? That is so accusing? I am thinking you are wrong again. If you read my comment again, I think you might find yourself embarrassed by your claims.

    Like

  65. TraceyS says:

    “I also totally agree about the visibility vest and helmets that are sometimes overdone”

    You do?

    Hi-vis vests and hard hats don’t harm anyone and are as cheap as. What would your objection be based on? Don’t like bright colours?

    Surely it’s not as indicated, that such-and-such gets away with not having to wear them, therefore so should we.

    That’s not a safe attitude at all.

    Like

  66. TraceyS says:

    Concerned about ‘hat-hair’ maybe?

    Like

  67. TraceyS says:

    Like

  68. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, actually I’m now sick of your endless silly games I genuinely want to talk about real stuff rather than all these veiled accusations then pretended umbrage when I call you on them. You accuse me of hijacking the thread and yet I can’t see one comment of yours even remotely related to it. I used have some good discussions with you but no longer it seems. Good grief.

    Tracey, you get a good grief too. Several times now I have agreed with others commenting here and yet you pointedly attack me for saying something similar. Go and abuse Willdwan instead.

    Actually on second thoughts I will agree with you on the visibility jacket thing. Everyone should wear them because the colours are nice and bright (you were right to point this out) and the helmets could come in very handy in all sorts of situations. In fact a high level of accidents happen at home and many homes have a worse earthquake risk than our art gallery, many families should wear them too. I actually have a visibility jacket of my own so I am putting it on while I write this. You argument was so convincing and I have seen the error of my ways 😉 (I hope you saw the wink again)

    Like

  69. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey I also liked your video 😉

    Like

  70. Ray says:

    I actually have a visibility jacket of my own
    I’m sure you do, Mr Kennedy, I’m sure you do.
    And a clipboard as well, I expect.

    Like

  71. TraceyS says:

    Dave, your idea of what constitutes “abuse” seems to be a bit warped. Neither Mr E, nor I, have abused you at any stage. If we had then Ele would have removed our comments I’m certain. Perhaps robust discussion and having your ideas challenged is just not for you?

    Like

  72. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    So lets retrace our steps:
    You diverted the discussion off topic
    You accused me of suggesting the ‘Greens hating farmers’
    I did not say anything of the sort – and you provided no evidence to back up your claim. Made no apology for that dishonest remark.
    You accused me of making the claim you ” shouldn’t be allowed to comment on farming if I’m a Green.”
    I did not say anything of the sort – and you provided no evidence to back up your claim. Made no apology for that dishonest remark.

    And amongst all that you have used the following to describe me or my actions:
    self righteous indignation
    just silly
    endless silly games
    veiled accusations
    pretended umbrage
    nasty, presumpuous accusation
    silly personal attacks.

    And your last comment – ” I’m now sick of your endless silly games ”

    My endless silly games!!!!????? In my opinion your actions on this thread have been disgraceful. You have sort out to denigrate me with a onslaught of dishonest remarks, that you have not backed up or apologised for.

    How about you ‘cut the crap’ Dave. Find some justifyication for your comments or apologise and lets move forward, on topic, without trolling,

    Like

  73. Dave Kennedy says:

    You’re right Tracey, Mr E and yourself have been engaging with me with the utmost courtesy, I can’t imagine what made me say that 😉

    Ray, so nice to have you join in the conversation and what a helpful, on topic, comment 😉 How many jars of pickles have you made this year?

    There were some interesting statistics on the National Radio news this morning regarding the percentage of tourist related accidents in the South and West Coast. It appears there are areas where proportionally tourists are a problem.

    Like

  74. TraceyS says:

    Dave, you’re a politician aren’t you? And you come to visit a blog where you know there’ll be opposing views being expressed in a confident and forthright manner. Sometimes you find the conversation expressed in a way that you consider is dis”courteous”. Hopefully you’re with me this far.

    Lack of courtesy or manners is not “abuse”. Energetic disagreement is not abuse either. Asserting that a person is supporting of oppression, eg. saying they are a supporter of worker exploitation, when you have no facts to back up your assertion. That’s abuse. It’s abuse because it resulted from my being transparent, honest, and candid with you. It’s an abuse because it could cause detriment. It’s an abuse because I have let you know the distress you have caused by your entirely incorrect statement and you have still refused to apologise.

    So if you think I’m going to pander to the feelings of your hurt inner child – think again.

    Like

  75. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I see that you and Tracey are sensitive people and I will try in future not to hurt your feelings with such direct and robust language. It is clear to me now that when you and Tracey constantly question my motivation and ethics you are just being helpful 😉

    Obviously for a farmer like yourself, if a Green talks about farming they are always being disingenuous and wanting to ‘find reasons to attack farmers’. That is obviously why you don’t question Farmerbraun, Willdwan and Gravedodger for saying similar things to myself, because their motivation for commenting is different than mine. Obviously this knowledge won’t stop me from commenting but I think I will leave you to your frothing and seething every time I appear (because i do find it tiresome).

    Like

  76. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    I have no problem with “direct and robust language”.

    But I don’t like the dishonest remarks you have made in order to denigrate me. I can see you are ignoring my calls for an apology. Tracey, said I shouldn’t bet any family silver on a retraction. So far you are proving her right.

    “Obviously for a farmer like yourself, if a Green talks about farming they are always being disingenuous and wanting to ‘find reasons to attack farmers’. That is obviously why you don’t question Farmerbraun, Willdwan and Gravedodger for saying similar things to myself, because their motivation for commenting is different than mine.”

    How many times can you be wrong:
    1 – What makes you think I am a farmer? My blogging at 8-10am in the morning? Please don’t let the obvious get in the way of your thinking.
    2 – I don’t think Greens are always ‘disingenuous’ and ‘wanting reasons to attack farmers’. I’ve never said anything of the sort.
    3 – I have disagreed with Farmerbraun, Gravedodger, and I think Willdwan on this blog. Your reasoning is flawed.
    4 – Over time I have supported you in some of your views, and sometimes defended you.

    I see what you are trying to do. Sometimes Dave, it is easier just to admit ones shortcoming and apologise. Attack is not always the best defence. Sometimes humility is. With the catch phrase ‘principled’ in mind I suggest you read what you have said about me, think about it. Contemplate the right path. I predict that you will do good in the end, knowing that the ‘family silver’ is but a tea spoon.

    Like

  77. TraceyS says:

    Dave, when people make untrue accusations I am “sensitive” to that and yes, I will defend myself – vociferously. And I would expect no less from you, or Mr E for that matter, in the same circumstances.

    Can I suggest that when you feel the inclination to make a statement beginning “obviously…” that you pause, take a deep breath, backspace, and try again?

    These things are not obvious. Just like the qualities of a person or their actions are not “obvious” by how they choose to vote or the political party they support. You need to ask more questions and think harder before you draw your conclusions.

    Like

  78. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, you have used most of your time on this thread criticising others and trying to justify and defend yourself. I don’t think one of your comments has contributed constructively to this thread. You assumed I was here to troll and attack farmers when anyone who reads this would struggle to see how you could support that.

    It is also more honest to declare your interest and background when discussing topics so that others can see the perspectives you bring. Now that you suggest that you’re not a farmer, heaven knows where you’re coming from. You must be just an outside stirrer 😉

    “I see what you are trying to do” of course you do Mr E, we Greens are always up to no good… good grief.

    Like

  79. Mr E says:

    “Mr E, you have used most of your time on this thread criticising others”

    Umm Dave, you have made dishonest attacks on me. I’ve spent most of my time defending myself against these claims trying to get you to retract them. Why you wont is unknown. Why you think self defence is not a worthy undertaking, is unknown.

    It seems the only thing I am guilty of is calling you out for off topic diversion. Apparently ‘calling out’ that is a bad thing to do, even though Ele has been staunch in discouragement of off topic trolling, by moderating a particular individual repeatedly for it. It is the ‘calling out’ you don’t seem to like even though you admitted that you wanted your German visitor to ‘call out’ the farmer and his behaviour in question. When I tried to point this out – you say I am making a ‘nasty, presumpuous accusation’. No, what I did was presumed you would have encouraged the visitor to act – to call out the farmer, in so defending my right to call out the trolling actions of some. That was the obvious point I was making. You seem to read my some comments all wrong and take an offense at the conclusions you draw. Conclusions that are wrong. Somehow I am to blame for that.

    Well that is not right. And I think you know it.

    To think of the interesting conversations we could have about traffic. It saddens me to think we have wasted all this time, with your onslaught of attacks and my defence.

    As Tracey has indicated, I think you need to be more careful over the conclusions you draw. In the case of this thread, you have drawn far to many wrong conclusions in order to attack me. And I am saddened that you think it is ok to sit back and do nothing to rectify that.

    Like

  80. Mr E says:

    Oh and by the way. I have been very clear about what I am not. I have dispelled farmer claims repeatedly. That you choose to presume I am a farmer, is not a bad indictment on me. But it does say something about you.

    Like

  81. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, it is me who has been open and transparent about my background and motivations, that you dare to presume mine while hiding behind a veil of secrecy is pure hypocrisy.

    “To think of the interesting conversations we could have about traffic. It saddens me to think we have wasted all this time, with your onslaught of attacks and my defence.”

    I almost choked on my coffee when reading this, you do live in a different dimension of your own making, Mr E. Read back through the comments and see how this all started and who has tried to keep the conversation on topic. I challenge you to find one thing that you have said that was constructive about accidents. Unbelievable.

    Like

  82. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    I have always been clear with regards my motivations. I’ve explained I think I am an environmentalist – and am an urbanite. I am also largely a defender of the trodden on. You’ll know this, from when I have repeatedly defended you. My history is too checker to explain my past work. Unless you want a copy of my CV? Which I would need to write. I have no political affiliation. I have voted both right and left in the past. Would you like to know the colour of my undies too?:-)

    My major motivation – the truth. I don’t think you need a CV for that.

    Dave – You led the conversation astray – I called you out on it and have been defending myself for it and other dishonest attacks, ever since. I’m quite sure we would have been talking traffic if you hadn’t behaved the way you have. Save your coffee. Reflect. Believe.

    Like

  83. TraceyS says:

    Dave, it is you who needs to take a look back. You got all ‘good-griefy’ with me because I posted a fact-based comment (February 23, 2015:12:18pm) which happened to support what JC and you were getting at – that there is a fair bit of generalised bias against tourists which is not properly grounded in fact.

    JC’s comparison, although it had instant surface appeal which was entirely appropriate for a blog-comment purpose, I thought was not a fair representation because it made kiwis look like they cause many more accidents, proportionately, compared to overseas tourists. This is not an accurate representation either! Surely it is possible to accept a premise ie. that overseas tourists (as a group) are getting a bit of an unfair beat-up, without also having to accept that another group (kiwi drivers) are disproportionately to blame? As my very objective analysis showed, the two groups are, nation-wide, about equal as the cause of road fatalities.

    Whenever I decide to carry out that kind of analysis, I go into it open-minded. There might be the expectation of it going one way or the other, but I try to withhold my judgement until I’m finished. Before looking at those numbers in detail I had no idea which argument it would support. If repeated by location, I am aware from other data available that one or the other group might well be disproportionately represented as the cause of fatalities. And I would be happy to report that if that was what I found.

    You may not accept this explanation from someone you expect to be coloured by political bias. However, once trained in empirical methods this tends to become an entrenched way of thinking that overrides any political argument. If you want to really contribute to evidence-based debate on more equal terms then I suggest you would get some benefit from enrolling in a research degree.

    If there is anything in this comment that you do not follow – just ask me to explain further! I will be happy to do so. Please don’t respond with “good grief” again. It’s getting tiring and just shows you’re frustrated to the point of having nothing further to offer.

    Like

  84. Dave Kennedy says:

    Neither Mr E nor Tracey can produce one thing from this thread that has constructively added to the discussion, their entire time has been spent surmising what motivates others and justifying themselves. I’m sick of hearing how noble and virtuous and honest they are and how naughty I am so I am now having a perfectly sane discussion with Andrei on another thread 😉

    Like

  85. TraceyS says:

    I put forth facts, Dave. I think facts are very constructive.

    Take care and wear your hard hat.

    Like

  86. Mr E says:

    Another ‘wrong’ to add to extensive list of others:
    ‘their entire time has been spent surmising what motivates others and justifying themselves’

    “I’m sick of hearing how noble and virtuous and honest they are and how naughty I am so I am now having a perfectly sane discussion with Andrei on another thread ;-)”

    And with a poof of smoke – gone ! 🙂

    I love dramatic endings.

    Like

  87. Mr E says:

    Tracey,
    A silver spoon in the mail to you today. I’ll never be the same now. 😦

    Like

  88. TraceyS says:

    Thanks Mr E. It will substitute my plastic one 🙂

    Like

  89. Ray says:

    Ray, so nice to have you join in the conversation and what a helpful, on topic, comment 😉 How many jars of pickles have you made this year?
    Mr Kennedy, you may have noticed that my comment was shortly after 6 this morning. Off to work at that time to spread 430 horsepowers worth of carbon goodness into the atmosphere for the day.
    No time for culinary pleasures.
    You raised the hi-vis jacket topic. Not me.
    There are those that wear them to be seen on the ground near heavy machinery or fast moving traffic. Their original purpose.
    There are others that wear them as a “badge” of authority. Playground monitors for example.
    Which group do you fall into Mr Kennedy?

    Like

  90. TraceyS says:

    Hint – you can tell by how much dirt is on it.

    Like

  91. Dave Kennedy says:

    Car parker at our farmers market when it’s busy, Ray.

    Like

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