Bravery helps sense of belonging

26/09/2014

Lucy Knight stepped in to stop a youth stealing a stranger’s handbag and ended up in hospital with a head injury.

Friends set up a fund raiser on Give A Little, expecting a few thousand dollars to cover basic things like groceries, parking and petrol.

They’ve been rewarded with more than $180,000 and a lot of that comes from Chinese people who were moved that the good Samaritan stepped in to help one of them.

Kerre McIvor on NewstalZB  last night said one of the comments from a donor said she’d been in New Zealand four years and that Mrs Knight’s willingness to help someone like her made her feel at home for the first time.

It is heart warming to know that people care and that Mrs Knight’s selflessness helped not only the woman who was being attacked but helped others feel they belong.

This Facebook page has been set up for people who are able to offer other support.


H is for . . .

14/08/2014

Another election, another shock-horror book from left-wing conspiracy theorist Nicky Hager.

. . . The book starts with what is already known: that a prime ministerial operative, Jason Ede, regularly feeds information to Cameron Slater, who writes the blog “Whale Oil” and who Mr Hager described as “obnoxious” at tonight’s book launch at Wellington’s Unity Books. 

The book builds on that information though: in an echo of Mr Hager’s most famous effort, The Hollow Men, the book contains leaked emails between National Party figures. 

The book also alleges Mr Ede hacked into Labour Party computers and fed the resulting Information to Mr Slater. 

Mr Hager says he got the information through “a lucky break” because, after Mr Slater’s blog attacked West Coast residents as “ferals” earlier in the year, the Whale Oil blog was hit with a series of denial of services attacks.

As a result of these attacks – and here Mr Hager has been somewhat vague – emails were obtained and these found their way to Mr Hager. . .

Somewhat vague, well yes, he would be wouldn’t he, just as he was more than vague about the source of  then-National leader Don Brash’s correspondence that found its way into his hands.

There’s nothing vague about the timing of the book’s launch though.

It is politically motivated in an attempt to influence the election outcome.

If the talk-back test is any indication, Hager could be very disappointed.

Kerre Woodham introduced the topic on Newstalk ZB last night and few listeners showed much interest in it.

The book has a chapter devoted to David Farrar who responds:

I’ve had a quick read through the chapter on me, and a few things I’ll point out.

  • Hager thinks my setting Kiwiblog up was due to my involvement in the IDU. That’s nuts. I’ve been debating politics online since 1996, originally through Usenet. I set Kiwiblog up because I like debate. It was not encouraged by anyone, and I was surprised it has turned out influential. In fact in the early days quite a few in National put pressure on for me not to blog.

  • I get e-mails from numerous people, including Jason Ede, pointing stories out to me, or suggesting things I may want to blog on. I get them from lots of ordinary blog readers, from friends, from some staff, and sometmes even an MP. But I decide what I blog, and they always accord with my political views.

My blog isn’t nearly as well-read as Kiwiblog or Whaleoil but I also get emails with tips or suggestions for posts.

Sometimes I ignore them, sometimes I use them and when I do it is my own point of view on them. I am open about my involvement with National but have never asked anyone in the party for information. No-one inside or outside the party has ever told me what to write.

  • A tiny proportion of what I blog comes from National sources. Way under 5%. I write Kiwiblog, and people send me ideas – and this is somehow a conspiracy. Very very very occasionally I might proactively ask for some info – maybe every couple of months, if that.

  • Most of what I blog is pro-National, as you would expect. But most weeks there is an issue I disagree with them on. I did multiple posts attacking the Government on the proposed copper tax, and even had Kiwiblog join an aggressive campaign against National on this. I have several times lobbied minor party MPs not to support National on bills or amendments. I recently said I think John Key should have accepted Gerry Brownlee’s resignation.

  • When Curia first set up, it of course had only one client. Since then it has grown nicely. At last count around 60+. The initial staff were mainly people I knew through National, as I took over what had been some internal polling, but today we have well over 100 staff and I don’t think any of them are Young Nats. The 2ic for Curia is a Labour supporter who told me the first time we socialised together that for a right wing bastard, I’m not totally bad. We poll for many clients, whose politics I do not share. I’ve polled for former Labour and Alliance MPs. I’ve polled for Family First, and disagree with them on 90% of their issues.

  • Nicky seems to think it is a secret I am National’s pollster. A bloody badly kept secret. It’s on my website. It is referred to often.

  • He is also excited that my staff do some canvassing work for National candidates or MPs. Yep. It creates extra work for my staff which is great. But we don’t just do it for them. While most of our work is polling, if people want to utilise our call centre, and pay for it, they can. Just last week I had one client contract our call centre to make 18,000 phone calls on their behalf – this is a totally non-political client. I’ll work for pretty much anyone who pays (so long as not a conflict of interest)

Most of the book is on Cam. Cam does some great stuff and he sometimes does some appalling stuff. Cam does not work for anyone, or even take guidance from anyone. He is his own force of nature.

He, like David, will criticise National people and policies and is sometimes complimentary about those on the left.

Hager basically doesn’t like the fact the right now have voices. He basically says no media should ever use me as a commentator. He is threatened by the fact we finally have one organisation (Taxpayers Union) arguing for less government spending, to counter the 2,000 or so that argue for more.

My final comment is to note that people thought his book may be on the NSA and GCSB intercepting electronic communications. It would seem the person who is the biggest recipient and publisher of intercepted electronic communications is in fact Nicky Hager. If someone published a book of e-mails between a group of left-wingers, he’d probably call it a police state, and demand an inquiry.

Does anyone else see even hypocrisy in someone writing a book by the recipient of intercepted emails criticising someone else’s intercepted emails?

The left would be incandescent if it happened to them, but as Liberty Scott notes they are already angry:

. . .You see, attack politics are actually normal.  It’s the norm for many politicians to be pejorative.  The left’s primary pejoratives are to claim policies are “racist” and “sexist”, or that those on the right “hate the poor” and are only in politics for the money (they of course, donate most of their salaries to charity), and finally there is the anti-semitic attacks on John Key and the childish “fuck John Key” contribution to intelligent discourse.

What is apparent is anger.  Anger from those who think they are entitled to spend other people’s money without their consent, anger from those who want to tell other people what to do with their property, anger from those who don’t like foreigners, or foreigners buying things they themselves can’t or wont buy, and conversely anger from those who are fed up with being told they owe others a living, fed up with being told that some people are entitled to be listened to more, because of some aspect of their background.   The anger in politics is due to polarisation.  Those on the right are becoming more clearly cynical of answers that involve more government, while those on the left are less inclined to compromise with business, with those arguing to be left alone, and those who offend and upset them.

Hager’s book from what little has percolated out simply seems to report that some bloggers are affiliated with the National Party.  Who knew?!?  Hager wont write a book about those affiliated with the Labour Party, or the Greens, or heaven-forbid the Kim Dotcom/Alliance Revival/Harawira Whanau First Party, because they are who he wants to have in power.  He talks about how bloggers deliberately try to get media attention to support one political point of view, yet he is guilty of exactly the same tactic when he puts out his books.

Hager’s biggest problem is that what he purports others to do, is exactly what he is trying to do himself.  Pass himself off as “independent” and dedicated to exposing secret political deals, but he is anything but independent, and completely ignores anything going on on his side.

That’s because he’s not an objective journalist, he’s a very subjective conspiracy theorist.

The book will excite the left, those biased in the other direction, like me, will treat it with disdain.

Will anyone other than political tragics be interested in it?

I suspect it will just confirm their poor view of politics and its practitioners.

P.S. the book was launched at Unity Books – that might explain why Stephen Franks calls it a bookshop for book burners:

A significant part of Wellington’s literary set have a poisonous consensus against views they do not favour. In effect they define their tribe by what it agrees to hate. What they hate is drearily predictable, including road improvements (particularly fly-overs), Israel, and any challengers to their clerical view of what is ‘appropriate’ and ‘inappropriate’.Thomas Sowell refers to this class as the anointed.  Their world is divided into the righteous and the unrighteous.

Our Prime MInister is among the un-righteous, obviously. Making a fortune is irredeemable, especially out of investment banking, then being overwhelminly popular with voters who have to attract voluntary customers for a living.

Accordingly Unity book-shop has attempted to minimise its sales of John Roughan’s biography of John Key.  Since it was published it has been on the floor behind other stands whenever I or a friend has checked. Much of the time it was face down.

I tackled a person who appeared to be an owner or manager.  He said it was his staff who put it there, and he couldn’t stop them from doing it. Each time he tried to turn it face side up or give it more prominence they would return it to where people would have to ask for it expressly. . .

Last time I was in Wellington I went into the shop, saw the books upside down on the floor, picked up several and placed them right-side up on the table.

I wonder how long it took for staff to put them back on the floor?

 


Not enough or too many?

05/12/2011

Some people are worried that not enough people voted, others worry that too many did.

I wouldn’t go so far as Lindsay Perigo who wants to protect freedom from democracy and makes a call to decretinise the vote:

. . . “When, pre-election, I saw pubescent zombies being interviewed about why they intended not to vote, I was simultaneously relieved that they wouldn’t be adding to the Labour or Green tally … and aghast that more energetic cretinswouldbe.

“I call upon the Justice and Electoral Committee to address the issue of too many airheads voting and thus boosting Labour’s and the Greens’ representation artificially. Only humans should be allowed to vote—and only humans who pass literacy tests, linguistic and political.

“Longterm, individual rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness must be enshrined as absolute in a constitution—and thus placed beyond the grasp of half-wits. Freedom must be protected from democracy.

“Disenfranchising cretins, then de-cretinising the franchise: this ought to be a priority for any new freedom party such as is now being widely mooted to emerge from the ruins of ACT,” Perigo concludes.

But when I read Kerre Woodham’s column vote for Winston and you get other NZ First members? Really? yesterday, I could understand where Perigo was coming from:

 . . . The number of people who called to say they didn’t realise that voting for Winston would mean other people would get in has been teeth-grindingly extraordinary.

“Sooooo,” I’ve been asking, “when you ticked New Zealand First as your party of choice, what did you want to happen?”

“I just wanted Winston to get in to keep the Government honest,” they reply.

“And what about the other members of New Zealand First? Did you know who was on the party list?”

“No,” they replied as one. “We just thought we’d be getting Winston.”

“I was very surprised to see Andrew Williams get in,” one exclaimed. “What’s he doing there?” she asked.

I’m sure there are New Zealand First voters who knew exactly what they were doing and what they would be getting but an alarming number think of New Zealand First as a one-man, Winston Peters band.

We’ve had MMP for 15 years and this was the seventh election to use it yet people still don’t understand how it works.

I’m loathe to add anything to an already over crowded curriculum but there is a case for civics to be taught in school.

I suspect most of those who voted for New Zealand First would be far too old to benefit from the lessons, but maybe their grandchildren or great-grandchildren would learn enough to stop them repeating the mistakes of their elders.


What we need

01/11/2011

Quote of the day:

And as for Labour, throwing money at desperate people from an ever-diminishing number of taxpayers will not save New Zealand. It’s vision and innovation and leadership. Kerre Woodham


Don’t give up on the children Kerre

08/05/2011

Friends had a celebration for several milestones at Easter – they are both turning 60 this year and his father will be 90.

All his parents’ descendents were there- children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. A few close friends had the pleasure and privilege of joining them for a barbeque on the Sunday evening.

Next day our great niece and great nephew (aged 9 and 10 months respectively) came to have lunch with us. They brought their parents, grandparents and an aunt.

On both occasions I looked at the children, recognised the love and support which surrounded them and wondered how it could be any other way.

Just a few days later news broke of yet another baby killed as a result of  “non-accidental” injuries. That’s what you and I would call deliberate abuse and it’s something with which New Zealand is sadly all to familiar.

Kerre Woodham blames the mothers:

. . .  let’s turn the spotlight on those mothers who are abject failures. All those mothers who haven’t got a clue who their children’s sperm donors were. All those mothers who have children because they get paid to – and, let’s face it, they wouldn’t get paid to do anything else. Those mothers who stay with men who hurt them and their kids because they’re so pathetic and useless that any shag – even when it comes with a biff – is better than being alone.

This Mother’s Day, I would plead that every mother who has had a child that they don’t care about or can’t cope with gets the help that they need.

If they can’t cope with the children, ring family – or ring the Cyfs helpline if they can’t trust their families.

If they’re in an abusive relationship where they’re being harmed and their children are being indelibly scarred, again, seek the help of family and friends or seek the help of the multitude of agencies that are there for you.

I appreciate that breaking the cycle is difficult if you’ve always been the victim, but come to terms with what being a mother is. My definition, and that of all the mothers I know, is to love your babies and keep them safe. And yet so many women in this country fail at the job of being a mother.

It’s not that simple.

A friend met a young, unmarried mother through sport. She’d grown up in a violent home and deliberately got pregnant when she was 16 so she could get away from home.

What does it say about her home and her life that education and work didn’t appear to be options that would give her independence; and that pregnancy and bringing up a child on a benefit were the only way she could see to have a better life?

If “normal” isn’t the love, support and encouragement of extended family; if your sense of self-worth is so low that violence and abuse are better than life alone; if your experience and personal resources are so limited you can’t see any opportunities for change and improvement you simply don’t know there is a better way for yourself and your children.

Kerre’s had enough:

When you look at the hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent by desperate women going through IVF procedures to become mothers, and the millions of dollars being spent by the taxpayer because dumb, stupid, needy, dysfunctional slappers are failing at being mothers, surely even Christians must wonder if there’s a god.

I’ve been writing columns and banging on on talkback for more than 13 years about this and I am so, so sick of railing against the abomination that is child abuse in this country.

So this will be my last column on the subject. What I do is utterly futile. . .

No it’s not. Words aren’t enough but they are something.

Radio is a powerful medium.  Who knows who might be listening, a mother or child, someone in the wider family, a neighbour, someone, anyone who knows something untoward is going on and who might then be prompted to seek help.

As  Lindsay Mitchell says:

 Fight back and keep fighting. Not for a return to the past but for a new approach. Women today have so much more opportunity. They don’t need these state crutches which if anything turn them into victims rather than empowered beings.

Take a breather and wait for the energy to return. It will.

Edmund Burke said all it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.

Child abuse is evil. Talking about it, by itself, won’t stop it. But if we don’t talk about it, keep saying it isn’t normal and condemn it we will be admitting defeat.

If  people who know what’s wrong give up, we’ll be abandoning children to those who don’t know what’s right.

UPDATE: Dim Post suggests:

She could educate herself on the numerous policy solutions to the problem of child abuse and advocate for them. I’ve written before about how identifying at-risk children and funding home nurse visitations has a huge impact on child abuse rates, in addition to other negative outcomes. If someone who had, say, a weekly column in a major newspaper wrote about projects like that they might effect some real change.


Goff fails talkback test

26/01/2011

When the Leader of the Opposition makes a speech outlining a major policy initiative in election year you’d expect it to generate discussion on talkback radio.

In spite of efforts by host Kerre Woodham to get responses to the speech Phil Goff delivered yesterday there were few takers on Newstalk ZB last night.

Between 8 and 10pm most callers talked about the suggestion junk food sales near school should be limited and almost all of the few who did discuss Goff’s speech weren’t impressed by his policies.


Country can’t afford what teachers deserve

19/09/2010

I spent a year at Teachers’ College during which the most important lesson I learned was that I would be a bad teacher.

I also learned to appreciate and value good teachers.

I agree they deserve to be paid more but the country can’t afford what they’re seeking and contrary to what teachers’ unions would have us believe not all teachers are good.

Quite why they think teachers are different from every other group where you have a spread of ability is beyond me. If they seriously believe their own propaganda and don’t realise that some teachers are spectacularly good, a few are spectacularly bad and the rest are somewhere between they must be on another planet.

That might also explain their insistence on seeking salary increases well beyond the country’s ability to pay.

They say they’re underpaid when compared with other OECD countries but so are the rest of us and as Kiwiblog points out a more useful comparison would be between pay rates and GDP:

In Australia 3.5% of GDP is spent on non-tertiary education, and in New Zealand it is 4.0%. So we are already paying more as a percentage of GDP, than Australia. Hence the solution is to increase GDP, not to increase the share spent on education.

Only three OECD countries spend a higher percentage of GDP on non-tertiary education than New Zealand.

He followed that up with these figures:

The OECD doesn’t seem to have up to date average wage data for NZ, but there is good data on GDP per capita. So let’s compare teacher salaries to GDP per capita. Taking a primary teacher with 15 years experience, the data is:

  • Australia $46,096 salary vs $38,911 GDP per capita = 118% ratio
  • UK/England $44,630 vs $34,619 = 129%
  • France $31,927 vs $33,679 = 95%
  • Luxembourg $67,723 vs $78,395 = 86%
  • US $44,172 vs $46,381 = 95%
  • NZ $38,412 vs $26,708 = 144%
  • OECD $39,426 vs $35,138 = 112%

So in fact New Zealand is paying primary teachers with 15 years experience far more, compared to our national wealth, than the OECD average, and than Australia, the US, UK, US, France etc.

Even if ones takes secondary teachers with 15 years experience, NZ at 144% pays far more relative to national wealth than even Luxembourg.

Picking up on this Kerre Woodham reckons teachers are unpatriotic and the Herald On Sunday says teachers aren’t doing too badly.

That doesn’t mean they couldn’t be doing better. They could, and given the importance of the job they do, they should. But not until economic growth improves enough to make their claims affordable.

Even then, they’d have a much stronger case if they accept that different teachers have differing abilities. The good ones deserve more money, others need more help to improve, or they should accept, as I did,  they’re not good enough and find another job.


Silent protest

20/09/2009

Bhig News and Nhot PC are making silent protests.

I suppose this blog could become Omepaddock in a gesture of solidarity but I’m more in sympathy with Monkeywith Typewriter who says it’s all in the head.

I also think Kerre Woodham  makes a good point when she says:

The “h” in Michael isn’t pronounced either, but it would look jolly funny spelled Micael.

Language is a fluid thing. Regardless of what is decided officially, time and use will be the ultimate arbiters of whether its Whanganui or Wanganui.

Besides, it’s an h of a thing to be getting het up about when there are so many more important things needing urgent attention.

Update: Scrubone has a poll Wanganui – lend me your H’s (in which a pedant might point out there’s a stray apostrophe).


I’ll show you mine . . .

09/03/2009

Rob Hosking started it at his Blockhead blog – showing us his ACC claims so I thought I’d follow suit and show you mine.

1. A visit to the dentist after an argument between a tooth and the lawnmower – I bent down to go under a branch and the mower stopped but I didn’t.  When the dentist offered an ACC form, I said it wasn’t worth it for a single visit but he said I should fill it in because then I’d be in the system if there was a problem with the tooth in the future.

2. I tripped while climbing a fence and did something painful to my calf muscle which resulted in a trip to the doctor and several to a physio.

3. Something went ping in my calf while walking up Mount Iron – more physio.

4. Something happened to my back when I bent to pick up something while being domestic – more physio.

5. Injured wrist after tripping over – went to hopsital ED on Saturday when they don’t do non-urgent x-rays, was told to come back on Monday, decided it was improving so didn’t. Three months later it’s still not 100% better but I’m giving it more time.

There have been a few other minor incidents which resulted in a trip to my GP, including something lodged in my eye while I was cooking, which I think might have qualified for ACC but he didn’t suggest I claim and I didn’t want to.

So I think my conscience is clear – only legitimate claims and some not made which might have been but it was an interesting exercise because as Kerre Woodham says:

But just as the department’s culture has to change, so too does ours. The concept that it’s OK to rip off the “system” is prevalent – among all socio-economic groups. The poor and the disenfranchised see it as their God-given right to receive ACC payments because the world owes them a living; the upwardly mobile professionals are just as sweet about having ACC pay for their physiotherapy sessions and their taxi rides to six-figure paying jobs because they never get anything for free so why not make the most of it?

 But of course it’s not free and because it has been more generous than budgeted for it’s too expensive to maintain without some serious changes.

In related posts Keeping Stock bemoans Labour’s legacy of dependency and Inquiring Mind wonders if opening ACC to competition or turning it into an SOE with a minority shareholding by the public might help.


Poor shower power bad for mental health

12/10/2008

Power-shower lovers of the world unite – science is on our side.

There’s a mathmetical formula for the perfect shower.

The balance of privacy, pressure, time and temperature in the shower all need to be carefully moderated to create the perfect shower experience, according to Mindlab International.  

The team led by neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis developed the formula for Cheltenham-based manufacturers Mira Showers

. . . Dr Lewis said: “Creating the optimum shower is no easy feat, but a worthwhile endeavour. It offers psychological benefits; by varying the temperature of the water and the power of the jets, relaxation or stimulation can be aided.

 “Endorphins are then released in the brain to make our mood more positive and feel energised.

 “Also, because our skin contains a thousand nerve endings per square inch, creating the perfect shower to stand under is crucial in creating intense and extremely pleasurable physical sensations.

 “As an added bonus, showers generate negative ions that also have an uplifting effect on mood, so help to further reduce stress, wash away frustrations and dissolve muscle tension.”

All this and you smell sweeter too.

The shower formula took into consideration the following seven essential elements: water pressure, environmental conditions, privacy factor, time length of shower, temperature of shower in degrees Celsius, fixture type and spray pattern.

As goNZofreakpower (who led me to this story) says:

. . .  there’s a good likelihood that 6 litres per minute water pressure could lead to psychological impairment and unwarranted levels of stress. Who knows, maybe low pressure showers might even be a form of child abuse!

But there might be some good news in the bad news of the shower power story because it could be the one to wash away nanny state.

It’s been a watershed for Kerre Woodham:

. . . But to hear that the Department of Building and Housing is to regulate the water pressure of my shower is a step too far. As of February, the maximum allowable flow rate in new homes or renovated bathrooms will be six litres a minute. At present, most showers run at 16 or more litres a minute.

Oh, they tried to soft-soap us and tell us we wouldn’t know the difference – but if there’s one thing I regard as sacrosanct, it’s my ablutions.

. . .  And when it comes to showering, being blasted by a spray of water with the strength of a water cannon is to know one of the blessings of living in the First World. I’ve had lesser showers before, showers where they’ve tried to make up for the lack of water by increasing the force, and it’s like showering in needles. Starting the day doing a St Sebastian is not something I recommend.

 . . .  But do you know what galls me beyond belief? I cannot believe I have to justify my desire for a good strong shower! I cannot believe I have to make a case for having the water pressure of my shower the way I like it. It’s all alarmingly Jesuit. Cold, dribbling showers are only a step away from hair shirts and daily thrashings – all because we have the temerity to have bettered ourselves. Bloody Greens.

I blame myself. Other people saw this level of legislation coming and were shouting warnings years ago. I had my head in the sand. I thought people were being alarmist, or over-reacting, or just a bit one-eyed in their political thinking.

But oh no. They were right and I was wrong. I still don’t know who I’ll vote for this election, but Nick Smith may have won me over with his robust defence of the right to shower in peace. Praise John Key and pass the blue rinse.

 Keeping Stock is similarly steamed up.


Safety First Can Be Dangerous Practice

15/06/2008

When our baby stopped breathing in the middle of the night we dialled 111. The call was answered at our local hospital by a man who’d shorn our sheep. As soon as he ascertained what was needed he cleared our line, so we could phone our GP and then a neighbour who was a nurse, while he directed the ambulance to us.

 

That was 21 years ago. If we made an emergency call now it would be answered in a distant city. The chances of getting someone at the other end with any local knowledge are remote so we’d spend much longer on the phone describing where we live; and may well not then get the line freed so we could phone neighbours.

 

The knowledge that professional help is further away and less reliable than it was in the past has concerned rural communities for some time. But the case a couple of years ago of the woman who was prevented from calling her neighbours after dialling 111 and then had to wait an hour for police has strengthened the belief we’d be better calling a neighbour first and the authorities second.

 

The first response by professionals to an emergency is usually and quite properly to ensure the situation doesn’t deteriorate so police must be wary of endangering neighbours or unleashing a posse of vigilantes, especially if fire arms are involved. But sadly this policy is another example of modern life which requires everyone to follow set procedure, so they can’t be held responsible if something goes amiss; and leaves no room for local knowledge or initiative.

The police have been accused of this safety at all costs approach over the delay in an ambulance reaching Navtej Singh after he was shot.

Jim Hopkins said:

You need to understand, Sir, we want the police – we need the police – to be as willing to put themselves in harm’s ways as those who can’t do without their Saturday six-pack. We don’t want your officers outside, behind the line, while Mr X is inside, leaving money on the counter to pay for his RTDs.

This isn’t how it’s supposed to be, Mr Broad. This isn’t what we expect of the police and neither, we suspect, is it what they expect of themselves.

Something’s happened, Mr Broad. Some OSH-ish fretfulness has crept into your operations that is tainting your purpose and tarnishing the reputation of your force.

 

And Michael Laws asks if the thin blue line has gone yellow:

 

In the immediate wake of the shooting of Navtej Singh one might reasonably believe so. Because the initial police response after receiving their emergency summons seems to condemn the police as institutional cowards.

There can be no excuse that “standard operating procedure” negates the required Good Samaritan duty. We would condemn a stranger for not immediately offering assistance. How much worse is it then, that those we pay to protect the public essentially refuse to do so. At least, until they’re ready.

Indeed there was an element of not simply the PC, but OSH, in the Manurewa police’s studied inertia last Saturday night. They first wanted to ensure that they were not in personal danger before Navtej Singh was attended. That the gunman was no longer in the vicinity. That they were armed. And that they had a strategy.

While they went through this process, they ensured that an available ambulance similarly did not attend Singh. They played the incident by the rules. Their own.

However, Kerre Woodham says we should give police a break:

Gotcha! Perfect headline to lead with the next morning. Police not human, says dead man’s mate. But to label the police as inhuman?

Dear God. How about the youths who shot Navtej Singh in the chest, scooped up boxes of liquor and left laughing as their victim lay bleeding on the floor? How about the man who came in and took advantage of the armed robbery to steal a box of RTDs?

How about the teenage boy who said he knew who the killers were but didn’t want to say because he wasn’t a snitch? Any of these low-life scum would warrant the term “inhuman” before the attending officers.

But no. The coppers get it, yet again.

She is right – of course the police aren’t inhuman. They do a difficult job in often awful circumstances, dealing with people who have no respect for the law, the people who enforce it or anyone else – but know all their rights.

However, a man died and there is a question over whether he might have survived had the ambulance got to him sooner. Because of that there must be an investigation – not to persecute the police and make their job more difficult, but to find answers that will help next time there is a conflict between ensuring the saftey of emergency crews and assisting victims.  


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