Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Only in a relative sense

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  • Peter Ashby,

    Good point about insurance Tom Semmens. Here in the UK you cannot get your annual tax sticker without a current insurance certificate and a current WoF. Since they now have a database of cars with who has paid their registration it is only those who fly by under the radar who drive uninsured cars and the police are happily involved seizing and crushing all untaxed cars they can find.

    Tie the three together: insurance, tax and WoF making it a serious, potentially car crushing matter not to have all three.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Who says they are divorcing en masse, Mark? Marriage survival rates have been virtually unchanged for the last 30 years; there's no clear evidence of any recent uptick in divorce rate per marriage. (However, there may be some impact from changes in life expectancy over that period ==> more time to divorce in; and/or an increase in lifestyle & relationship choices other than marriage.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    @James Liddell

    Personally, I'd like to see a maximum engine size (or HP or KW output) for individuals under 25 enshrined in legislation.

    Like for beginning motorbike licenses you mean? Not a bad idea actually. The precedence is there for bikes though I can see the objection from Mum & Dad: But our only car is a V8 gas guzzler, what's he going to drive?

    It needs to be got through that it is not right to be able to drive regardless.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    I would have thought being "Bound over to keep the peace" would be more appropriate and already an option.

    But that would require a judge, and evidence - in short, for the police to do actual work. Instead, they'd rather impose punishment without trial.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    I disagree that crushing cars is a disproportionate sanction compared to drink driving etc. In the case of the boy racers the prime problem is often the cars themselves, taking them off the road solves a lot of the problems. Drink drivers get their licenses suspended and some lose their jobs because of it, is it disproportionate to expect those who drive as part of their living do so responsibly?

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    They already have several offences that'll fit just fine.
    I'd say that s22A of the Land Transport Act 1998 covers things quite nicely. It's the general "boy racer" section. All they're doing is upping the punishment for things that are already against the law. They don't need to come up with some mystical new offences, there's quite the smorgasbord from which to select.

    Which suggests the real problem (as in many cases) is enforcement, not penalties, and the police being willing to do their bloody jobs.

    (They also have plenty of offences for the people who tried to ambush that police care - criminal damage, assault, resisting arrest, sections 45, 48, 52 or 55 of the Arms Act... its been illegal to throw bottles and shoot at people for a long time, and the police need no extra powers to punish such behaviour. All they need to do is catch the people responsible. Which is the difficult bit.)

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    it wasn't actually the government who instructed the baby boomers to start divorcing en mass.

    Who says they are divorcing en masse, Mark? Marriage survival rates have been virtually unchanged for the last 30 years;

    hmmm, which generation? not the baby boomers? not the baby boomers causng a divorce peak in 1981. They weren't the genration that began divorcing on mass. You're quite right, in fact it was aboriginal people of Australia who nudged up that NZ divorce rate in the early eighties.

    really...plus the increase in illiteracy amongst the middle classes.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    I think it's a question of economics. How muh did the production of that German TV show bring in to the NZ economy, how many overseas students pick NZ as their ideal study location due to the boy racer culture, and how welldo these lads keep the wheels of the auto upgrades industry spinning. The notion of crushing up good cars, implies that police aren't short of funding. economic crunch my ass.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    I'm more confused by that than by the original comment. :-/
    Ah well, since you brought up Australia, here are the surprising facts:
    First up, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2000) (PDF, Table 15.1, p211) do show a small, and gradual increase in divorce risk for Australian marriages, from
    in 1975-76: 6.9% within 5 years, 17.1% within 10 years
    to 1989-90: 8.6% within 5 years, 20.4% within 10 years, and
    1994-96: 8.8% within 5 years (with data not yet available for a 10-year estimate).

    But it's hardly an epidemic, is it And this aggregate data doesn't immediately tell us it's the baby boomers who are responsible for any increase.

    Another analysis specifically focussing on life experiences of Australian baby boomers gives the following summary:

    The crude marriage rate commenced a strong decline in the 1970s.

    e.g. the marriage rate for men born in the 1940s aged between 25 and 29 was 19.6%, but only 10.5% for males at the same age born in the 1960s. Equivalent figures for females are 18.4% for the 1940s cohort, and 12.4% for the 1960s cohort.

    Compared with the 1940s cohort, a greater number of people in the 1960s cohorts married at later ages. [...T]he median age at marriage for females increased from 21.1 in 1971 to 26.4 in 1999. For males it increased from 23.4 to 28.2.

    A very similar increase in median age at marriage is evident in NZ population data -- in 2007 it was over 30 for women, and over 32 for men.
    The Australian trend is explained as

    the result of a range of social changes including the increase in an incidence of de facto relationships, longer periods in education and increased access to improved contraception.

    , and that seems likely to be true for NZ too.

    The proportion of men and women who will never marry is also increasing. The ABS estimates that if the 1997-99 first marriage rates were to continue into the future, 29 per cent of men and 23 per cent of women will never marry.

    But as for divorce rates, the report admits:

    it is not possible to consider each cohort's divorce experience separately using ABS data. Divorce rates rose substantially in 1976 following the introduction of the Family Law Act 1975 and then declined until 1979 as the backlog of applications was cleared. Since then the crude divorce rate has fluctuated between 2.4 and 2.9 divorces per 1000 population.

    though of course that's misleading, since the marriage rate declined over the same period.
    Even so, and despite the figures suggesting an increased divorce risk, the median duration of Australian marriages to divorce has increased :

    In 2001 the median duration of marriage to divorce was 11.8 years which is 1.6 years longer that the median duration in 1981.

    This apparent anomaly is probably accounted for by the increase in life expectancy over the period, so that there is a larger pool of longer-lasting marriages, raising the median.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    on the chart below, check 1982

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    and the explanation for that is exactly the same as for Australia's 1979 spike:

    The sharp rise in the number of divorces in the early 1980s mainly reflects the legislative changes introduced in 1981. The Family Proceedings Act 1980, passed in 1981, meant that an application for marriage dissolution could be made by either the husband or wife on the grounds that the marriage had broken down irreconcilably, provided a two-year separation requirement was satisfied. Many couples who could satisfy the two-year separation requirement for the single ground of irreconcilable marriage breakdown sought the simpler Family Court dissolution. Consequently, divorces recorded a temporary high of 12,395 in 1982.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    and yet the legislation ushered in an era or relative stability;

    1961-1971=1733-3347
    1971-1981=3347-8590
    1981-1991=8590-9152

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    "an era of relative stability"
    You know, you could have saved us both a lot of work if you'd said that to begin with :-)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    D'you think they'll ever crush cars that persistently park on teh pavement ?

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    "an era of relative stability"
    You know, you could have saved us both a lot of work if you'd said that to begin with :-)

    bored to huh?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Bugger the monetary cost: crushing functional cars is environmentally wasteful. I'd be more in favour of forced sale, and replacement (and possibly, payment of price differential if applicable) by a short-range, speed-limited electric vehicle. Though of course that would go against so many consumer freedoms...

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    How about forcing them to eat their own cars?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    I'd be more in favour of forced sale, and replacement (and possibly, payment of price differential if applicable) by a short-range, speed-limited electric vehicle.

    There are several ways that could go...

    - "Ew, electric vehicles are only for criminals, I'd never get one."
    - "I'm gonna get an electric vehicle so people will think I'm hard core."

    ...or both, I suppose. Perhaps electric cars could even become the droopy trousers of the automotive world.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    I had in mind more the pocket protectors of the automotive world, for this special purpose. Those qualifiers were important -- I wasn't saying all electric vehicles are intrinsically short-range or limited in speed. But it's gonna be a real pain being an early adopter ofelectric cars in the NZ market until a critical market share is reached, and this might be a way forward :-) But still, you're right, there could be perverse consequences.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Why don't we just bring in free euthanasia for ill-groomed white trash? They can't offend our delicate sensibilities if they're decomposing in a landfill somewhere.

    Oh, come on Craig. You know as well as I do that as this scheme would be run under a mutually-beneficial PPP arrangement, management would have an obligation to the shareholders to recoup as much of the cost as possible. Why let them rot in a landfill when they could be usefully recycled?

    Pedigree Chum is people!

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Ah, the soylent green approach to laura norder.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Ah, the soylent green approach to laura norder.

    See, I wish you had put a spoiler alert there. I was going to watch Soylent Green tonight.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh, come on Craig. You know as well as I do that as this scheme would be run under a mutually-beneficial PPP arrangement, management would have an obligation to the shareholders to recoup as much of the cost as possible. Why let them rot in a landfill when they could be usefully recycled?

    I also forgot to calculate the Kyoto implications of rotting white trash oozing greenhouse gases into the environment. There's no much red tape around being a fascist thug. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I was going to watch Soylent Green tonight.

    ANd there I was thinking he was Lorne Green's brother.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

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