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.
bad health reporting should be considered a public health issue
I once floated the idea of scientific libel where if you publish something deliberately counterfactual you can be fined / fed to piranhas / used to demonstrate the first law of motion.
Somewhat fascist though..
Yup, amazing that the same company employs Garth George.
Sounds pretty bogus to me - I don't think it's actually possible to control inflation to a 3-6% range without running the risk of it spiralling to double figures before you know it.
But National's core constituency (new Holden V8, beach house, speedboat, mortgaged to the eyeballs) would *welcome* inflation as it would devalue their debts and get them out of the rapidly rising poo.
You read the UK Independent? Why?
It's bad enough having Reilly's "journalism lite" in our local paper, which I guess one is obliged to read or be out of the loop on stuff going on here. But I don't see any point reading the UK version, except for Fisk (and he's available elsewhere, I think). I just stick to the grauniad.