Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: We'll find out where all the parties are

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  • Mark Easterbrook,

    You're right about kids and parties, Russell. In Whangarei in the late 80s and early 90s me and my friends (and we were the 'nice' kids) did exactly the same things.

    Friday after school always turned into a ring-around to find where the parties were. Sometimes the results were concerning - hundreds of kids hurling abuse and bottles at police - and sometimes they were comical - like the time we gatecrashed a stranger's 21st that had about 7 people at it.

    Even my Dad admits to doing much the same in the 50s. It's not the booze or the texting or whatever excuse talkback wants to find this week that caused the deaths in Christchurch. It's the facct that, for whatever reason, some kids grow up not understand the fundamentals of right and wrong.

    Why? I wish I had an answer...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 245 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    no Asians, no gangsters

    Sounds like a great email signature line for New Zealand First.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    I remember having long debates with my parents about inviting friends over. They were always epically paranoid that something I would organise might devolve into a huge event with hundreds of gate-crashers. They never did, but I guess in the end it only takes the minorest of leaks and chinese whispers before an intimate soiree turns into the gatecrasher party.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 691 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    They died because a 22 year-old man, in the grip of whatever murderous, callous thing was in his head, revved his car to screaming pitch and drove it into a crowd of people he never knew.

    I wonder if drink driving will on his rap sheet.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2809 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I wonder if drink driving will**be** on his rap sheet.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2809 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    You are absolutely right that all-in parties aren't anything new - one of my friends had his ear literally bitten off by a deranged gatecrasher -one of dozens - at his 21st party in Stokes Valley, for having the temerity to tell him to buggar off - we all ended up with torches out in the garden looking for his ear - not the end to the birthday we were expecting.

    Word of mouth travelled by phone and by, well, word of mouth in those days, but the effect was still the same, just the medium changes.

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Easterbrook,

    no Asians, no gangsters

    Sounds like a great email signature line for New Zealand First.

    Or Tariana Turia, judging by her comments in the Herald.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 245 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Steven:

    Quite possibly, but don't you know a driver's licence and owning a car is an inalienable human right? Sorry for getting crankypants so early on another beautiful day, but I wonder what the hell you have to do to lose your licence & get your ride impounded. Apparently, a string of driving offences involving alcohol or drugs doesn't quite tip the scales until you kill someone. :(

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    I've not been out at night in Christchurch for a few years - about four, I think - but last time I was there I remember a distinctly uncomfortable feeling about the place. It has a fairly strong whiff of "bored kids looking for trouble" at night, which seems to be something of a common note at night on the weekends around NZ to varying degrees. It was rather a contrast for me coming back from London - where you know that there are some very mad, bad people around yet simultaneously the bulk of the night-life doesn't actually seem as implicitly menacing. In London you need to keep a close eye on the crazies, but at times in parts of NZ it seems like you need to keep an eye on everybody. I'm not sure that's preferable.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    Word of mouth travelled by phone and by, well, word of mouth in those days

    I think in the olden days there was a lot to be said for driving around looking for parties, and of course parking up your car in certain places and discussing what you'd seen or heard. Or if nothing was going on, then the driving round and parking up etc. was your evenings entertainment...

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 691 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    Oh man, in my day, I was lucky if even the people I'd invited showed up. How I longed for an out-of-control party!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 729 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    I think that that "survival of the fittest" was a phrase created by an anthropologist much younger than Darwin, and did not mean what people think today. Human life is not the fittest in the superior sense. There is much life that is far superior: for example; bacteria, flies, sharks. People may exist because of a twist in chance and not the hand of "God."

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Nobody Important,

    So I didn't jinx myself by actually going this time.

    No, but if you hadn't of gone you might have still won the award and won Lotto too. But no, you had to go in person to possibly collect an award you may or may not have won. And in the process you cost yourself a First Division win. So you won the award but was it really worth it? (And I think a plane crashed somewhere in the world, and a landslip, all possibly because your vanity would not let you stay home) (which is why I choose to stay in a lot: "Bad Things Happen When You Go Outside")

    expat • Since Mar 2007 • 319 posts Report Reply

  • Mr Black,

    I am originally from CHCH and have been living here in AK for 3 years and I have to agree with Russell that chch on a Saturday night can be a fairly dicey option. I have clubbed, DJ’d & promoted in both cities and so far in Auckland I have yet to witness the kind of random violence that I used to see quite regularly on Colombo street.

    I walk fairly often from Khuja at the top of Queen street to Fu at the bottom and have never received so much as a sideways glance.
    Walking between venues in chch, it is more of a surprise to NOT have abuse or threats hurled at you. Let alone the amount of times I have luckily been saved from actual violence by the doormen at the club I was working at. And this is ALL unprovoked too, I have never instigated or retaliated in any situations.

    Every time I return to chch I feel the same pent up bad vibe in the city, I have no explanation for it, but it’s definitely there.

    As for the unfortunate incident at the party on Saturday night, I have been to that party many times in my younger days (open invite, out of hand, fights, people on the street), and I think that it is only dumb luck that nothing THAT bad ever happened. I don’t think networking of any kind can be blamed for one person severely losing the plot.
    I have been at 2 outdoor parties where people have done the same thing (whitecliffs many years ago, and a recent alpine unity) and it is pure fluke that no-one was killed on those occasions.

    Since Nov 2006 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Neiman,

    I don't blame the kids as such, I blame Christchurch and what Marx delicately called "Rural Idiocy"...

    I remember Metro ran a cover story in the late-80s or early-90s discussing the pros and cons of Auckland seceeding from the rest of NZ. Ever since I have thought the idea never got the currency it should have...

    Country kids getting spooked by crowds and pumped-up on the self-importance of being a fish in a small social pond...

    Sydney • Since Feb 2007 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    "I think in the olden days there was a lot to be said for driving around looking for parties, and of course parking up your car in certain places and discussing what you'd seen or heard."

    Too true - McDonalds car-parks tended to be the 'parking up and chewing the fat' locale of choice. The fact that drivers could get their licence at 15, but couldn't go to the pub until 18, meant that there was roughly 3 years of motorised, non-pub, entertainment to be found.

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Charles Mabbett,

    "no Asians" - a sad attitude all to prevalent among many New Zealand teenagers. I think Asian students would have done well to avoid this party but that's easy to say with hindsight.

    Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    The pub, the automobile then the party. Thats really living life to the full.

    Whoops, I almost forgot the telephone.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2809 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    But Christchurch isn't to blame, video games are! Garry Moore said so!

    When I moved here at 18, I found being out at night in Chch a whole lot LESS threatening than being out at night back home.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4379 posts Report Reply

  • Nobody Important,

    Okay, it's possibly too early in this thread to get so silly, so let me get serious:

    In the end, two girls didn't die because there was texting or a party, or because of the drinking age.

    I do think Parliament missed a great opportunity to reset the drinking age last year. I do believe it should be 18 to drink on liscenced premisies and 21 to purchase liquour at a Wholesale/Retail outlet. Why? Because young people do need a 'training' period to learn to drink responsibly (well, semi-responsibly, even adults can't seem to manage it). Of course we all drank stupidly when we were young but that happened in our late teens because alcohol was only available by law to 21 y.o.'s.

    Now you can buy a slab of Tui at 18 y.o. and go down to the beach and try and pick up 16 year old chicks with the lure of alcohol (ooh so 'grown up') - and if my youth was an indicator those 16 y.o. girls are actually 14 trying to act 16. Is that how we protect our young people from harm? By tossing them to the wolves of the 'free market'.

    I've heard all the arguments about how 'hard' it would be to have a split drinking age but I really don't see the difficulty. The Bar industry would love it - it's just the Brewing Industry that don't want it; because they want to sell as much piss to as many punters as they can. If an 18 y.o. thinks it's unfair to have to pay $6 for a beer in a bar when he can buy a dozen in the supermarket for $18 then I say "tough!"

    That's the idea dumR's: I don't want you sinking as much as piss as you can afford and then hopping in your car and cruising thru my steets looking fun and adventure. Hopefully after drinking in pubs/clubs for three years you'll discover the joys of binge drinking aren't so cool after all.

    Yes, kids have always congregated in large groups and gatecrashed parties, but now it happens with greater frequency and with more freely available alcohol. I know this gripe is akin to the Hippy parent telling their kids "In my day the weed wasn't as strong as what they grow these days" and I also know that the alleged drive was allegedly not driving under the influence, but I do believe that binge drinking is the monster that feeds the beast.

    {FYI - despite my sillier post above, I'm not really a wowser, I do go out, I do drink, I'm not religous/moral/ family values but by god something has got to change!}

    expat • Since Mar 2007 • 319 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    a party for which the fateful text-message invitation signed off "no Asians, no gangsters".

    Is this just one person texting or widespread? Was it the hosts' invitation? I couldn't find the reference in the links in Russell's post.

    Whoever it was, they're pr**ks.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 815 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I've heard all the arguments about how 'hard' it would be to have a split drinking age but I really don't see the difficulty.

    Me neither. I've heard the arguments to that effect but they've never struck me as very robust.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    Of course we all drank stupidly when we were young but that happened in our late teens because alcohol was only available by law to 21 y.o.'s.

    I seem to remember some pretty bangin' parties in Hawkes Bay shearing sheds fueled by rather copious amounts of alcohol back when I was fifteen or so, which was prior to the drinking age being lowered. I doubt there was anybody over eighteen in the room...

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Is this just one person texting or widespread? Was it the hosts' invitation? I couldn't find the reference in the links in Russell's post.

    It came out in the Close Up interview with two kids last night. Perhaps it wasn't part of all the text messages, but it was certainly part of some of them. I've been a little surprised it hasn't been mentioned more often.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Neiman,

    Nobody Important: Actually I don't think this thread has got silly, and your point about the drinking age misses the point. The drinking age is the same accross NZ - however, this sort of idiocy only seems to take place in certain places - rural NZ, including Christchurch.

    As an Aucklander who went elsewhere in NZ for my undergrad education I was frankly shocked and disgusted by the routine stories of violence associated with socialising that I would hear from my fellow first-years at the time. Yes, we had booze as a teanager in Auckland, no, starting fights with strangers was not part of the scence.

    Sydney • Since Feb 2007 • 107 posts Report Reply

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