Don’t bother smiling in taxis: there’s a fair chance you won’t be caught by the security camera

July 8, 2013

It looks like the taxi industry is trying to take someone for a ride.

It is reported to be fearful that an increase in violent attacks on drivers will result from criminals becoming aware that as many as half the security cameras installed in cabs do not work properly.

Let’s have a replay of this concern.

The industry is fearful that criminals will wake up to the fact that as many as half the security cameras installed in cabs don’t work properly.

Accordingly there will be an increase in violent attacks on drivers.

Yep. The nature of the concern is all too apparent.

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A challenge for Chris Tremain: get the state out of the silly business of monitoring spot draws

March 10, 2013

Dunno if this is the sort of thing that is guaranteed to earn public acclaim for Chris Tremain as it did for Crusher Collins with her crackdown on boy races.

In fact the issue is so bloody trivial, we must wonder why the government shows any interest at all.

But it gives Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain something to do at a weekend, obviously.

He has been tidying up, then releasing a media statement (here) calling for changes to the regulations around spot prize draws.

Spot prize draws?

These are worrying our Government?


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The case of an infant who consumed his mum’s methadone is sad – but it doesn’t justify new laws

December 20, 2010

No, child, they are not lollies.

Alf was a tad perturbed to read of a coroner’s namby-pamby calls for child-proof packaging on medicines.

A youngster has died after scoffing his mum’s methodone. This – of course – is sad.

But the coroner is blaming…who?

Oh, yes. The Government.

In this case it happened to be a Labour Government, which had been looking into an initiative for child-proof packaging on medicines but apparently abandoned the idea in 2007.

This decision is being linked to the death that was the subject of the coroner’s hearing.

According to the report at Stuff, going ahead with the idea could have saved the life of a four-year-old Upper Hutt boy accidently poisoned last year.

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Hobson’s choice for cabbies – if their passengers don’t mug them, Steven Joyce will

October 20, 2010

Mugger be buggered...I'm here to collect your fine.

Cabbies have good cause to be pissed off with meddling law-makers.

Too often they are mugged by their passengers.

But all is not lost. Those who are really bothered by the prospect of being attacked and robbed could do something about it and install security cameras

Nanny State prefers compulsion.

Stuff reports today on a raft of measures developed by the New Zealand Transport Agency including – disgracefully – hefty penalties for non-compliance.

The agency has done this after the Cabinet agreed to make cameras in taxis compulsory in a bid to improve driver safety after a spate of attacks.

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Smile (as you try to beat up the driver) – you will be on cabbie camera

August 11, 2010

Sad to say, the Government has buckled in just the same way as a typical Labour mob would have done to a clamour for something to be made compulsory to save lives.

This time it will require cameras to be installed in taxis in a bid to improve security, a bit of regulatory howz-your-father that follows the recent murders of two drivers.

The move has been welcomed by the taxi sector which will be governed by strict privacy policies and fines of up to $10,000 if drivers misuse the footage, as has happened overseas where images have appeared on the internet.

If the taxi sector wanted bloody cameras in their cabs, what exactly was the need to wait for the Government to demand it by done?

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When building has been vetoed, the building plans might just as well be used for dunny paper

July 24, 2010

It took a while for Alf to find out why a multi-millionaire’s family has been denied approval to build two houses on their own property on Waiheke Island.

There’s a whiff of objections being raised just because the buggers are rich.

Objectors to the housing plans wailed about the mischief that would be done to some old bones on the property.

But the bones weren’t the undoing of the Spencers.

The Herald tells the story today:

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Do fisheries officers have a bag limit of one?

May 21, 2009

It looks suspiciously as if the authorities have been highly selective, when policing the Marlborough Sounds fishing ban.

A Picton pensioner – accordingly – could well be right in claiming he has been made a scapegoat after becoming the first person prosecuted for flouting the ban on blue cod fishing.

Outside the Blenheim District Court yesterday, Pietro Rocco, 71, a retired restaurateur, said he believed he had been singled out because of his outspoken opposition to the ban.

He pleaded guilty and was fined $500. No conviction was entered.

Judge Tony Zohrab said that given Rocco’s long-standing contribution to the community, a higher fine was not appropriate.

“You are a good man and have done good work for the community … please learn from this experience,” he said.

The four-year ban is highly controversial among mates of Alf who enjoy taking a break in the Sounds. It was prompted by concerns about overfishing, came into effect at the beginning of October last year and forbids blue cod fishing in the inner Marlborough Sounds.

Rocco was charged with taking blue cod from the sounds after he was caught with two fish on his boat on October 27 last year.

A fair cop, apparently.

But he makes a good case for his scapegoat allegation:

Documents produced in the case showed that while 416 fishermen had been caught with blue cod by April this year, Rocco was the only person to face prosecution.

Fisheries compliance officer Geoff Clark countered that by saying 409 of the 416 people found with blue cod were able to prove they had been caught outside the restricted area.

So how could they prove that? Do the bloody fish carry certificates telling the authorities where they were swimming when hooked?

Sounds like bollocks to Alf.

And what about the other seven people who were caught?

Why weren’t they prosecuted?

Radich doesn’t come out of this squeaky clean, mind you.

He admitted misleading Ministry of Fisheries’ officials, initially telling them he had no blue cod on board and then blaming the find on his absent nephew.

Rocco’s lawyer, Peter Radich, described the attempt at deception as being done “in the heat of moment”.

Moreover, Clark says Rocco’s attempts to mislead officials had made a prosecution difficult to avoid.

“He wasn’t forthcoming in the fact that he took the cod from the area or that he was responsible for it.”

But it looks like his biggest blunder was not claiming to have caught the fish somewhere else.

Turkington is reconfigured

April 1, 2009

Questions and answers from the ministerial PR department, attached to the announcement of the ACC board “reconfiguration” yesterday, only parly explained what happened to Dr Don Turkington.

Turkington, a professional company director with a PhD in economics, was appointed an ACC director by Labour’s Ruth Dyson in December 2006.

At that time, he had governance roles with eight other organisations.
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Go get ’em, Rodney

March 4, 2009

Compliance costs are in the gun again, but this time the sheriff who has set out on their trail is the mean-minded Rodney Hide. We can expect to see blood, whereas they proliferated – paradoxically – whenever the previous government sent posses out to round them up.

Wearing his Minister for Regulatory Reform hat, and looking like a grimly determined John Wayne, Hide today announced a government-wide review of red tape and unnecessary bureaucracy.

The Building Act and the laws covering swimming pools and shop trading hours will be included.

Great, says Alf. He can’t get too excited about the laws covering swimming pools (he prefers to drown himself from the inside). But he knows how they are a pain in the arse for others.
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