For some reason many of the cruise passengers (not sure if they were from the Queen Vic or another ship) got disgorged into Auckland hotels. The knock-effect meant that you couldn't get a hotel room all week and I wound up having to stay in the Formule 1 - at least it wasn't a backpackers..
Anyways, if the cruise industry feels the facilities aren't up to scratch, shouldn't they be the ones paying for better ones?
"satellite internet" services use the same frequency block for a large area of the South Pacific. So a satellite provider has to send all its traffic down one bit of bandwidth - that's a pretty scarce resource. Hence satellite internet is only ever going to be a remote area solution. (Compare wired solutions, where you have each circuit on independent bandwidth, or cellular solutions like Woosh or WiMax, where the bandwidth is shared by a smallish locality).
I guess Auckland's functional enough - I lived there for four years. But basically, Wellington's infinitely better - part of the reason for that is all the people who live in Auckland :-)
Pretending that Auckland is five cities, not a city centre surrounded by urban sprawl, is just silly though. My view on a city is that it's a large urban area, usually surrounded by suburbs, and then countryside.
Another point on Auckland - why do so few people self-identify as Aucklanders? I went to see the Auckland rugby side play Waikato at Eden Park. "Visiting" supporters were in the majority - and for a lot of them their connection was that they went to uni in Hammy, or stopped for a pie there, and had spent all the subsequent years in Auckland.
Manukau is not a city. The centre contains a Westfield, public offices, substantial police and justice facilities (supply and demand), two pubs, two cafes, a Warehouse, a smaller shopping mall and various factories, call centres and lunch bars sprawling into the distance. Plus a theme park.
That is a suburb which happens to have had local government concentrated there.
Ditto Takapuna "North Shore City", Henderson "Waitakere City", etc.
I guess Auckland is ok if you grew up there and have a network, probably mostly within your suburb. Coz Auckland isn't really a city, it's a collection of suburbs - including one in the middle with offices and clubs - I don't think people interact much outside their 'burb - at least not without making arrangements way in advance.
In Wellington, lots of my network live and work within working distance of each other - so we can easily catch up on an ad-hoc basis. It's a much better place for a newcomer.
The downside is that there is a lot more variety of events in Auckland - you can reliably find a gig/party with the genre of music you want most weekends. But I'm prepared to take that trade. Plus I don't rate having easy access to the megagigs at the Arena at all - nearly all those bands were good 10/15/20 years ago and are really just trading off that.
In England, they stopped dole payments for 16-18 year olds a while back and the result is lots of teenaged beggars to go with the usual streetlife that everywhere has. I guess this would have the same effect - or they going to start arresting vagrants and throwing them in Camps?
Having some sort of physical training for child hoodlums gets tried frequently - apart from it being a vehicle for child abuse by the guards (what better job for a child abuser than a place where abusing children is part of the job description), the main effect is to produce fit thugs who can outrun the police.
I'd take an opposite approach to training thugs and lock them in a TV room with an endless supply of burgers. They'd leave jail obese, to slow to do well in fights and with a reasonable chance of an early death from diabetes.
Violence is wrong, whether provoked or otherwise. The *only* exception is the unavoidable need to defend yourself or anothers person.
One reason why NZ has more of an issue with violence than other countries is that this isn't widely accepted (how many times have I heard that somebody deserved, or would deserve, a bashing for some act).
The question of responsibility for consequences, rather than actions, is a difficult one. I tend to think that our legal system has tended to far towards punishing people for what their actions resulted in rather than for the actual act.
However, I would argue that if someone (hypothetically) uses a knife on another person, then they should reasonably expect to kill them, and consequently, the offence is murder.
Looking at the NZH coverage of two stabbings:
In both cases, a person has been charged with murder. It may be that there are circumstances to reduce the charge (or indeed that the accused did not commit the act) - this is true in either case.
The headline for the Tokoroa stabbing leads on the victim impact and uses the term "murder". The article uses the word 'alleged' once and describes the attack consistently as murder.
In contrast, the article and headline on the Manuakau case entirely concentrates on the impact on the alleged perpetrator. The word 'murder' is used only once in describing the charge. No mention appears of the victims family or the impact of the attack on them.
So if I went round the city topping illegal parkers, that ain't murder?
I'm with Craig. The whole media tone suddenly changed when the stabbing wasn't a young thug attacking a nice well behaved kid and switched to the *inconvenience* of a "businessman" getting arrested for a trivial crime like murder.
My view in cases of vigilantism is that, where there is a view amongst some people that the act might have been excusable/undertstandable/justified, the courts should actually increase the sentence - making the point that people might think that, but the overall community thinks otherwise and is going to back that up with many years in jail to reflect.