Editorials 8 June 2010

June 8th, 2010 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The NZ Herald says work can make you better:

For some time, the startling increase in the number of people on sickness and invalids benefits has been as vexing as it is worrying. Have we become a sickly society? Is this the logical consequence of an ageing population? The relentless rise in the number of such beneficiaries – from 1.2 per cent of the working-age group in 1980 to 4.8 per cent today – suggested other factors were at work. Indeed, it is now apparent that a major factor is mental illness. Psychological disorders, led by stress and depression, accounted for the entire increase in sickness benefits and a third of the increase in invalids benefits from 1996 to 2002. This has obvious implications for those charged with getting as many beneficiaries as possible back into the workforce. …

Happily, it has just been highlighted by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, which, in a position statement, noted that “the evidence is compelling: for most individuals, good work improves general health and wellbeing and reduces psychological stress”. The college points to a recent British review, which found the beneficial effects of work outweighed any risks, with the benefits much greater than the harmful effects of long-term unemployment or prolonged sickness absence.

I’ve had a couple of brief periods of unemployment or under-employment. During those times I did volunteer work so I was still doing something, rather than nothing.

The Press focuses on the proposed Gaza flotilla inquiry:

The Israelis also fear what they see as the stitch-up that the Goldstone inquiry into the assault on Gaza a couple of years ago became. Although it was led by a respected South African former judge, Richard Goldstone, and made some efforts at even-handedness, that inquiry’s findings were quickly unpicked by critics as weighted unfairly towards the Palestinians and ultimately were easily dismissed. One of Palmer’s tasks, if he gets the job, will be to ensure that the inquiry is conducted with a scrupulous regard to impartiality. A properly conducted inquiry might help defuse some of the tension that the raid has generated. It might go some way to averting serious and lasting diplomatic damage that at the moment seems inevitable.

I may not agree with Sir Geoffrey on alcohol reform, but I think he would be a very good choice for this role. NZ is one of the few countries seen pretty much as an honest broker, and a proper inquiry would be very beneficial.

The Dom Post talks :

Last year 10 people died on the roads over Queen’s Birthday Weekend. By late yesterday this year’s toll was one. That is good news, but it is still one too many.

Aroha Ormsby was killed when she was thrown from a car. Her death leaves three young children motherless, and friends and family confronting a personal tragedy that will never be revealed by a study of the bald statistics.

The death of Ms Ormsby – and of the hundreds of other New Zealanders killed each year – is why the police were right to trial a lower tolerance for those who break the speed limit. As long as there are New Zealanders dying on the roads there can be no slackening in the effort to make the roads safer.

The sceptics will point to the atrocious weather over the holiday break, and say that the low toll and lower speeds owe as much to people staying home or slowing down in the rain. That will have played a role but so too will the increased prospect of a ticket.

I certainly think the appalling weather was the major contributor. I also think it is unwise to jump to conclusions based on just two data points.

They should remember that the 100kmh limit is just that – a legal limit. It is not meant to be treated as an infinitely flexible guideline, something that applies unless the road is clear and it’s a sunny day, or unless there is a car that needs overtaking

I hope the editorial writer has never over taken a car by exceeding the limit. Never mind that to overtake a car travelling 90 km/hr means you need a straight road with no cars coming for at least 2,000 metres to do so without exceeding 100 km/hr.

The ODT looks at ’s mud and :

The Labour Party seems unable to get over the fact that John Key is wealthy, and it has frequently made attempts to imply or demonstrate that he gained his wealth deviously, and continues to do so.

None of these efforts has succeeded.

Helen Clark tried it when she claimed Mr Key personally profited from the 1993 privatisation of Tranz Rail, because he had been a former director of Bankers Trust, which won a contract to advise the then National government on the sale.

At the relevant time, however, Mr Key was nowhere near the sale; he was operating as a foreign exchange dealer.

Ms Clark may have been badly advised, but this did not slow her attempts to muddy the Prime Minister’s credibility, especially in the business and commercial world.

Clark and Labour’s view seem to be if you made your money in business, you must be corrupt – the only honest way to earn money is as a teacher, academic or unionist.

The latest attempt has been made by another senior party figure, the Dunedin North MP, Peter Hodgson, who has tried to show the Prime Minister knows what assets are held in his “blind trust”, implying that a conflict of interest has or can arise where government policy is concerned, to Mr Key’s financial advantage.

That is a serious claim to make where public figures are concerned who hold positions where they can influence policy.

Mr Hodgson’s “evidence” – it hardly justifies the description – has been successful to the extent that Mr Key, in responding, seems to have had some knowledge of one asset in particular.

It is no more than that, however: there is no shred of proof that his knowledge – if he had it – has been used to influence policy to his advantage.

Key’s crime is that three weeks after the blind trust was set up, he referred to owning a vineyard that was now in the blind trust.

That appears to be the end of the latest attempt to impugn the Prime Minister for his wealth, but it is unlikely to be the last.

The has got to the heart of the real crime – that John Key is wealthy. You can just feel the envy and hatred blister as they snidely refer to his holiday home in Hawaii. How dare he have become wealthy.

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57 Responses to “Editorials 8 June 2010”

  1. Inventory2 (9,791 comments) says:

    I wonder if Philip Ure has linked to the Herald editorial at his “news aggregation site” this morning. On second thoughts, I doubt that he has!

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  2. m@tt (535 comments) says:

    “The ODT has got to the heart of the real crime – that John Key is wealthy. You can just feel the envy and hatred blister as they snidely refer to his holiday home in Hawaii. How dare he have become wealthy.”
    To truly win over your adversary in honest debate you must first understand them. You sir have a long long way to go.

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  3. Pete George (21,830 comments) says:

    It seems a reasonable Herald editorial, but ignores a major difficulty in getting mentally impaired and recovering unemployed back into work – there are less jobs available now suitable for this type of employee.

    “You can just feel the envy and hatred blister”

    I don’t see this so much, just misguided attempts to use any means to try and discredit Key. A decent opposition would put the interests of the country before archaic attack politics.

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  4. Yvette (2,591 comments) says:

    “I wonder if Philip Ure has linked to the Herald editorial at his “news aggregation site” this morning. On second thoughts, I doubt that he has!”

    Right, Inventory2, he hasn’t

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  5. dimmocrazy (286 comments) says:

    How can you possibly say that Geoff Palmer will be seen as an “honest broker”. The man has a strictly dogmatic leftist and collectivist world view, where the simple assertion of being “in power” authorizes moral norm setting. There is no basis to even assume he would be remotely able to independently consider any evidence. It is also highly troubling that his name comes up in the first place, with Helen in the UN.
    The only sort of person fit for the job would be a scrupulously neutral individual with a huge experience and background in assessing and scrutinizing evidence, such as a senior judge, certainly not an ex-politician, who even in his current work cannot resist taking political positions.

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  6. Pauleastbay (5,030 comments) says:

    DPF Posts.
    I may not agree with Sir Geoffrey on alcohol reform, but I think he would be a very good choice for this role. NZ is one of the few countries seen pretty much as an honest broker, and a proper inquiry would be very beneficial.
    …..
    Who is going to benefit from this enquiry ?

    Theres never going to be a proper enquiry anyway.

    Firstly Israel does not give a tinkers cuss about the UN ( and rightly so) its sole purpose is to protect its citizens and it does this very well.

    Secondly the UN is a joke, remember Gadaffi head of the Peace Committee… The UN that give ace socail manipulator Helen the Fraudster a Job.

    Thirdly Palmer, who invented The Principals of the Treaty of Waitang.. FFS.

    When will the terrorists and the leftie hand wringer anti semites learn .. Don’t fuck with the Zohan, or don’t take a knife to a gun fight

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  7. myflathasmould (2 comments) says:

    Where did you go to school DPF?

    100 km/h = 27.78 m/s
    90 km/h = 25 m/s
    10 km/h = 2.778 m/s

    So Start position (Assuming 2 second rule is Car A travelling at 25 m/s. Car B is 2 seconds (or 50 metres behind) also traveling at 90 m/s.
    Now if we assume instantaneous acceleration of Car B to 100km/h from 90km/h (Most people don’t pass from 2 seconds back…

    Now if we think in the reference frame of Car A. We can use Newtonian mechanics cause we are travelling slow compared to c.

    How long does it take Car B to travel the 50 metres plus say 10 metres to keep numbers nice and round at 10 km/h which it is travelling at in Car A’s frame of reference.
    Well 60m/2.778m/s = 21.6 s.

    Now thinking in the frame of reference of the road again. In Newtonian mechanics time is constant between frames so an events that happen in different frames occur at the same time. So we can figure out how far the car has travelled in the road frame by simply multiplying the time taken to pass in the frame of car B by the velocity in frame of the road. 21.6s equates to 21.6s*27.78m/s = 600m

    Substantially less than the 2km figure quoted.

    [DPF: Do it from 50 metres behind to 50 metres ahead plus add in the requirement to have a gap between you and oncoming traffic. You need to allow for a car coming the other way so try your maths again]

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  8. krazykiwi (9,188 comments) says:

    One of Palmer’s tasks, if he gets the job, will be to ensure that the inquiry is conducted with a scrupulous regard to impartiality

    All pigs refueled and at the end of the runway ready for takeoff.

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  9. aardvark (417 comments) says:

    myflathasmould, you forget that there must be 100m of clear visibility through out the entire maneuver — which means you need over *twice* that distance to allow for oncoming vehicles travelling at 100kph — or the equivalent amount of clear road ahead.

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  10. Rick Rowling (776 comments) says:

    horrid recollection of school days myflat…

    It looks like your theoretical car accelerates from 90 to 100 instantaneously. A real car would start the manoeuver at 90km/hr and spend some time (and distance) at less than 100km/hr.

    And then you have to account for the twonk being overtaken suddenly and unaccountably speeding up…

    I’m glad the toll was so low, but it doesn’t excuse how the media are so appallingly bad at statistical mathematics.

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  11. RRM (8,997 comments) says:

    All of these speed limit arguments above ignore the reality of how we play the game.

    The speed limit is what it is, and everybody knows this. Chose to go over it, and you had better man up and accept the tickets/fines that YOU WELL KNOW may come as the result of that choice. Or else you are a whining little bitch basically. ;-)

    On balance I would still wind up to about 110 passing someone, and get back onto my own side of the road a bit sooner. In checking if the road is clear ahead, check that it’s clear of cops too. Even when the risk of tickets is taken into account, it still feels much safer than lingering on the wrong side of the road… especially given the propensity of maniacs to speed up when someone tries to pass them.

    (FWIW I’m one of those people who used to drive everywhere at 105 – 108 because I knew I could get away with it. But I found last weekend just cruising along at 95, surrounded by other motorists mostly doing the same, pleasantly relaxing and comfortable… )

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  12. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    RRM 12:44 pm,

    On balance I would still wind up to about 110 passing someone, and get back onto my own side of the road a bit sooner. In checking if the road is clear ahead, check that it’s clear of cops too. Even when the risk of tickets is taken into account, it still feels much safer than lingering on the wrong side of the road… especially given the propensity of maniacs to speed up when someone tries to pass them.

    Actually, RRM, you remind me of when I went for my driver’s license (1977 as a 4th former; so a while ago, admittedly), and I was talking to the cop taking me for my license. I recall him saying, regarding overtaking, that the best policy is to minimise your time on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, even if that meant ‘breaking’ the speed limit. He emphasised this by saying it is better to exceed the speed limit by say 20-30 kph to get past a car quickly and safely, rather than creep past at a ‘legal’ speed. Remember, this was the advice I received from a cop, and was unofficial policy of the then MOT – how times have changed.

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  13. Michaels (1,317 comments) says:

    Obviously not everyone drives a Ferrari…….

    Answer……

    90km behind a wanker on the open road……
    Foot down, finger up, 90km to 160km in 2.5 secs or 25 metres, finger down, relax back to 130km….
    Continue trip and wait for radar to beep.

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  14. virtualmark (1,423 comments) says:

    If I was Geoffrey Palmer, and was being asked to lead an investigation of the Gaza flotilla incident I think I would politely decline. I agree with you DPF that he is an honourable man who would try to act impartially. But I do not believe that the UN structures would (a) allow a review to have an open terms of reference allowing it to consider all the relevant factors, and (b) allow a report which doesn’t vilify Israel. That’s just the reality you see playing out in the UN.

    I believe Geoffrey Palmer would be carrying a lot of reputational risk in any inquiry – indeed I suspect his reputational integrity is the very reason a bunch of people with ulterior motives want someone of his standing to front an inquiry. And I’m not at all convinced it would ever be free to investigate impartially.

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  15. Pete George (21,830 comments) says:

    How common is it for tickets to be issued to cars passing safely but breaking the speed limit?

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  16. Johnboy (13,439 comments) says:

    I’m sure that any report sanctioned by the UN on the Gaza patriots would be at least as impartial as the IPCC report on climate change.

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  17. trout (865 comments) says:

    The large percentage of the NZ population that (are allowed to) choose welfare as a lifestyle is a tragedy. In a country that prides itself on enterprise and self reliance we are condemning so many to a life of depression and worthlessness by offering them an opt out option. We skite about NZ being a breeding ground for entreprenuers – rubbish. Go to a third world country where there is no welfare and experience the entreprenuerial spirit. I recall in Kathmandu seeing a vibrant population busy doing whatever it takes in the way of making things or offering a service so as to earn enough to live, eat and educate their kids. Welfare is the sad pill.

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  18. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Pete George 1:20 pm,

    How common is it for tickets to be issued to cars passing safely but breaking the speed limit?

    Pete, in answer to your question, just ask anyone with a radar detector how many times the cops place cameras at the end of overtaking lanes. The outcome of this practice by the cops is that people are forced to overtake at generally other places than overtaking lanes, which translates to less safe locations. Hence the cops are actually contributing to unsafe driving practices due to increasingly frustrated drivers.

    By cops targetting ‘safe overtaking zones’ you actually reduce the risk of a ticket by overtaking in less safe zones. Of course a high powered turbo-charged car makes these ‘less safe zones’ safer. ;)
    Bottom line, though, is that the cops create an envirinment which encourages bad driving practices. Especially when contrasted with the advice cops used to give as outlined in my 1:00 pm comment.

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  19. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    myflathasmould your name is going to date very quickly if you were to break out some mold spray and a mop.

    Just a thought.

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  20. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Johnboy 1:24 pm,

    I’m sure that any report sanctioned by the UN on the Gaza patriots would be at least as impartial as the IPCC report on climate change.

    Indeed, Johnboy.
    Or as impartial as the previously ‘independent’ and ‘impartial’ Goldstone inquiry.
    Since when has the UN EVER been impartial when it comes to Israel? – the word ‘never’ comes to mind.

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  21. Pete George (21,830 comments) says:

    “The UN” isn’t impartial on anything. It is a whole lot of countries with many competing and conflicting agendas and ambitions and problems that sometimes try to reach some sort of consensus, but dissenting views are far more common.

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  22. tvb (3,947 comments) says:

    I may be strongly critical of Sir Geoffrey on social issues like alcohol reform but I think he is a good choice for the inquiry into the Gaza Boat people. He does have a good knowledge of the law of the sea. Though he has no or little experience as a presiding officer in a public inquiry and that may be a weakness. A judge from the Hague as Chair would be better but Sir Geoffrey would be a worthwhile member of the panel.

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  23. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    I laugh when Liarbore idiots talk about rich pricks, they to would love to be filthy stinking rich like Shonkey, they should take heart, most are two thirds of the way there already.

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  24. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    Reasonable speeding to safely overtake has always been an unwritten exception to the speed limit. Otherwise it would be near impossible to safely pass a truck and trailer for example, which are limited to 90 (and often enforced by limiters in the truck).

    I’ve never seen a cop on a passing lane or immediately after it and I’ve never had a ticket for overtaking in excess of 100. It’s unfortunate that speeds are easy to measure whereas dickhead-driving is more infrequent and difficult to detect from the side of the road. The latter is the real problem.

    I usually see one or two instances of dickhead-driving on a trip from Wellington to Hawkes Bay. The Takapau Plains are particularly bad for dangerous overtaking. I used to drive trucks. When you’re limited to 90-100 you’re a magnet for idiots on the road. On one traverse of the Takapau Plains you’d invariably have some idiot try to pass with an on-coming car and a close-call for everyone.

    The police should ease up on the speed enforcement and instead mount a few trucks with cameras and try to take the idiots off the road. That would do more for the road toll than pinging people for 110 km on a nice clear bit of road. Also film the Manawatu Gorge – you could probably nab a feel clowns each day who shouldn’t be allowed near a car.

    [DPF: Well I have seen a cop on a passing lane. I got ticketed for speeding while passing a car on a passing lane near Taupo a few weeks ago. My first speeding ticket in around six years or so. The car in front had been going around 85 and it would have been impossible to get past them without speeding - even using a passing lane]

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  25. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    Oh and the ambulance service should refuse to treat accident victims if they weren’t wearing a seatbelt. That would be better than 100 years of “Belt Up” campaigns.

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  26. Alan Wilkinson (1,798 comments) says:

    “I certainly think the appalling weather was the major contributor. I also think it is unwise to jump to conclusions based on just two data points.”

    Absolutely. Return to the mean after an outlier year. Forecast extreme bad weather. Forecast “go slow” protest north of Auckland. Novelty value of speed crackdown. No attempt to quantify any of the above – usual incompetence.

    “I’ve never seen a cop on a passing lane or immediately after it.”

    WTF? Where do you drive? Obviously not on SH1 north of Auckland.

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  27. Fisiani (860 comments) says:

    I have known people who claim to be bullied at work and suffer from perceived “stress and anxiety” rendering them unfit thereafter to do ANY work. Whilst they may not like resuming their post I fail to see how this renders them incapable of stacking shelves at a supermarket for instance. I have certificates claiming near permanent incapacity due to hearing problems, nerves, alcoholism, cannabis dependency, and chronic constipation..
    They receive a sickness and invalids certificate from a doctor stating that they are TOTALLY incapable of working for the next 3 months. For some reason these doctors are being complicit with benefit fraud. This could be because they feel sorry for the patient, feel some obligation to the patient or know that the only way to get the patient to pay for the consult is to sign the form. These are all recognised breaches of medical ethics but are not policed by the NZ Medical Council who really are only interested if one is bonking the patient.
    Some financial or punitive sanction needs to be in place to make doctors complete legal documents ethically.

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  28. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    WTF? Where do you drive? Obviously not on SH1 north of Auckland.

    True, Hawkes Bay and below mainly.

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  29. Johnboy (13,439 comments) says:

    “The police should ease up on the speed enforcement and instead mount a few trucks with cameras and try to take the idiots off the road.”

    Now that is one of the best ideas I have heard in a long time.
    Why don’t you write to the cops/transport/minister suggesting it Malcolm?

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  30. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    OK, I will. I’ll pledge to post a copy here when it’s done, to give me a motivation to actually get it done :-)

    I think it’ll fall on deaf ears though. Governments no longer trust people (e.g. police) to make discretionary judgements and a lot of people don’t accept any judgements about their behaviour (“I know my rights, you can’t tell me what to do..”), so our only recourse is specific laws and rules which do nothing to catch bad behaviour and just impinge on the decent people. I would vote for police being able to impound cars for “being a dickhead in a motor vehicle”.

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  31. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    malcolm 2:47 pm,

    WTF? Where do you drive? Obviously not on SH1 north of Auckland.

    True, Hawkes Bay and below mainly.

    There are plenty of examples around the lower north island, Malcolm, and certainly around greater Wellington (where we both live). Borrow a mate’s radar detector and check it out. I can almost guarantee that every passing lane would be a radar trap, especially on major arterial routes.

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  32. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    I’ll take your word for it, Kris. I usually drive 100-120 and I’ve never had a detector but I can’t recall ever seeing a cop on a passing lane or immediately after it. Maybe I’ve just been lucky and/or in a truck which can’t speed.

    Sounds like I’ve been lucky not to get a ticket in this instance as I often do 130-140 on a passing lane to make what I consider a quick and safe pass. I rarely overtake outside of passing lanes on the main road as there are too many idiots out there and the time saved doesn’t seem to warrant the risk of the kids having no father or indeed getting strawberry jammed themselves.

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  33. Rex Widerstrom (5,129 comments) says:

    Pete George asks:

    How common is it for tickets to be issued to cars passing safely but breaking the speed limit?

    and malcolm asserts:

    I’ve never seen a cop on a passing lane or immediately after it and I’ve never had a ticket for overtaking in excess of 100.

    Well you’re incredibly lucky. There’s some passing lanes round the lower central North Island (Palmerston North / Wanganui / southern Taranaki) where I could become a rich man betting people there’ll be a cop hidden a few metres past a passing lane on a lazy afternoon, his in-car cash register jangling merrily.

    And I’ve been followed up the side of a truck and trailer by a cop who then wedged into the gap between me and the truck (causing the truck to almost jack knife as it breaked) so he could hit the lights and siren.

    I agree with malcolm when he says:

    The police should ease up on the speed enforcement and instead mount a few trucks with cameras and try to take the idiots off the road. That would do more for the road toll than pinging people for 110 km on a nice clear bit of road.

    but Police would just use this to harrass anyone doing 110 too. It’s a nice easy addition to the quota – no arguing with a machine in court so they get another “law breaker” to add to their statistics while the real lunatics sail on till they kill someone. Hopefully only themselves.

    But what tosser wrote the DomPost editorial?! Does he moonlight as Police PR?

    As long as there are New Zealanders dying on the roads there can be no slackening in the effort to make the roads safer.

    Riiiiight… because the greatest danger on our roads is someone doing 100 km/h “the road is clear and it’s a sunny day”. Not the repeat drink drivers driving on a suspended licence. Not the appalling state of some of our roads. Not inexperienced drivers in cars vastly too powerful for them to handle. Idiot.

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  34. Johnboy (13,439 comments) says:

    River Road. (SH2 between Lower and Upper Hutt).

    Hiding in the bushes at the few passing lanes on this abortion of a road.

    I’d love to know how much the fines total since this road was opened, would be enough to have paid for a real road with 4 lanes.

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  35. Rick Rowling (776 comments) says:

    “I’ve never seen a cop on a passing lane or immediately after it.”

    Try driving north of Waikanae any long weekend

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  36. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    but Police would just use this to harrass anyone doing 110 too.

    Agreed, Rex. It would be important for the police to use the Truck-Dickhead-Cam(TM) system only to target reckless and dangerous driving. I think the public would see that as a useful and targeted enforcement. Moderate speeding OTOH is often perfectly safe and is a very poor indicator that you’re a dangerous driver.

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  37. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    Try driving north of Waikanae any long weekend

    I often do. Point taken though, I must be lucky and/or oblivious in my 100 km/h bubble of self-righteousness. The busier it is the less likely I am to speed – all the idiots bubble to the surface when it’s busy. My time driving trucks around Hawkes Bay has given when an acute awareness of how many idiots there are out there.

    If the police could just fit a rear-facing canon to my car I could make a decent dent in the following-dangerously-close problem.

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  38. YesWeDid (1,003 comments) says:

    [DPF: Do it from 50 metres behind to 50 metres ahead plus add in the requirement to have a gap between you and oncoming traffic. You need to allow for a car coming the other way so try your maths again]

    Do you actually drive a car in New Zealand DPF? Who stays 50 metres behind a car that they want to overtake? From my experience it is more like 10 metres, maybe 20 metres max.

    One low road toll for a long weekend is not conclusive proof that more policing of the speed limit lowers the number of deaths but it is a bloody good start and certainly reason enough for the police to trial the lower tolerance limits for longer. And as for the weather lowering the toll, that would be just as much reason for a higher toll.

    [DPF: What I am talking about is following the road code. The road code says you should remain 2 seconds behind at all times, should have at least x metres visibility while overtaking and should not exceed 100 km/hr. These combine to needing 2 kms of clear and straight road to legally overtake a car doing 90 km/hr]

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  39. Rick Rowling (776 comments) says:

    The speed limit is what it is, and everybody knows this. Chose (sic) to go over it, and you had better man up and accept the tickets/fines that YOU WELL KNOW may come as the result of that choice.

    Yep – stay near 100 and take the entire passing lane for your one car to pass the truck – the other 20 cars in the tailback can wait for the next 20 passing lanes to get past. That’s only 100km or so.

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  40. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    Maybe I’ve imagined the unwritten rule about speeding to overtake on a passing lane. I always do but have never been pinged. Has anyone actually been ticketed for doing say 120-140 on a passing lane or immediately after it?

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  41. Rex Widerstrom (5,129 comments) says:

    malcolm asks:

    If the police could just fit a rear-facing canon to my car I could make a decent dent in the following-dangerously-close problem.

    Okay, you can have that if I can have a Mad Max-style battering ram on the front of mine to deal with the “I’ll resolutely drive 95 km/h in the right hand lane of the freeway because that’s the safe limit and you should be doing it too damnit” problem :-D

    Has anyone actually been ticketed for doing say 120-140 on a passing lane or immediately after it?

    Yes, more times than I can recall. At least half a dozen.

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  42. grumpyoldhori (2,410 comments) says:

    Sir Geoffrey would be fucking mad to take it on, can you imagine all the Jew hater screams from Israel and from some on Kiwiblog if he found that the Israelis had executed some of the wounded.

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  43. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    OK thanks Rex. I’ll be more careful in future – ignorance is bliss it seems. Wait a minute, how do I know you’re not one of those idiots? :-)

    That should have been cannon, not canon. A coolpix wouldn’t be much good.

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  44. Yvette (2,591 comments) says:

    “As long as there are New Zealanders dying on the roads there can be no slackening in the effort to make the roads safer.”

    Has anyone worked out what the increase in population is in terms of greater vehicle use and that, if no police action was effective, there should be an increase in fatalities just due to increased numbers?
    And at what point will any amount of action not result in a decrease?

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  45. CJD (334 comments) says:

    Maybe we should leave the Israelis alone to fix their own problems in their own region? I have utter disdaine for the UN and it’s Socialist agenda. The UN is like having a Clark Labour government, but just on a global scale-ouch!

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  46. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    grumpy, I don’t know why anyone would bother, it’s a hiding for nothing . And besides whatever the outcome do you honestly think the combatants will give a flying fuck. Total waste of time and money.

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  47. Tauhei Notts (1,512 comments) says:

    Work Will Make You Better
    Isn’t that was written in German above the Belsen Camp gate?

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  48. jbarnes (1 comment) says:

    If I was in charge I would say “Forget what we said in the past, the main goal of police on our roads is now to collect revenue. We have tried to improve road safety by advertising and enforcement, but unfortunately the results haven’t been good enough. There are still too many stupid drivers which will not change. The best way forward is to improve our roads by substantial investment in safety engineering.

    We don’t have enough money to fund all that we need to do. So the best way to do so is to fine speeding drivers and all the proceeds will go directly into improving roads. They money will not be used for building new highways but improving existing black spots, installing rumble strips, median barriers etc.

    Fines aren’t the ideal way to raise this money, but its the best we’ve got. If there are any benefits to safety by changing driver behaviour or by reducing speeds, then that would be a bonus but we all know that probably won’t happen.”

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  49. noodle (151 comments) says:

    Palmer as adjudicator on this infernal Israel/Arab problem? Perfect! Cannot think of a better person.
    They’d all drop their arms as they slowly but surely died of boredom.

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  50. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..How dare he have become wealthy….”

    i think a few feel uneasy that a large wedge of it was made when he was a money-trader..

    ..and he conspired to break the new zealand economy..having bet a large amount on this outcome..

    ..and this duely came to pass..

    ..and he made his huge wedge..

    ..what’s to like about that..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  51. Johnboy (13,439 comments) says:

    Tauhei:

    Arbeit macht frei

    “Work will set you free”

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  52. jcuknz (648 comments) says:

    >>>Has anyone actually been ticketed for doing say 120-140 on a passing lane or immediately after it?

    Yes, more times than I can recall. At least half a dozen.<<<
    REX you are either a masochist or a bloody idiot and I have no sympathy for people who think they are hard done by when they get a speeding ticket, if that is what you were infering … my one and only was in 1964. And about five parking tickets in the same time, though admittedly I usually rode a motorbike or scooter which helps … don't know why people driver-only five and six seater vehicles.

    I but do appreciate the difficulty for people driving modern cars, I have a small SUV these days, but had a beat-up loaner from my garage a year or so ago and I had the very devil of a job to hold her down to the 50k town limit.

    I wish we could educate people that the close tailing they see on TV from Nascar or where=ever isn't appropriate on the public roads.

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  53. jcuknz (648 comments) says:

    I’ve mentioned elsewhere my experience of towing a light trailer for 90k and doing the same trip without for 100K and the difference on around 200K of relatively traffic free road, Central Otago, was only about fifteen minutes [ going to the ski-field towns]. The point is that when you are doing 90K you don’t have to ease for as many curves as when going for 100K.

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  54. Rex Widerstrom (5,129 comments) says:

    jcuknz says:

    REX you are either a masochist or a bloody idiot and I have no sympathy for people who think they are hard done by when they get a speeding ticket, if that is what you were infering …

    So you’re one of those bloody idiots who, to as Rick Rowling describes above:

    stay[s] near 100 and take the entire passing lane for your one car to pass the truck – the other 20 cars in the tailback can wait for the next 20 passing lanes to get past. That’s only 100km or so.

    then? Because I’ve sped up to be safe and courteous… and that makes me an idiot?

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  55. krazykiwi (9,188 comments) says:

    The point is that when you are doing 90K you don’t have to ease for as many curves as when going for 100K.

    And at 6km/h you can keep a constant speed over the entire journey .. and you can even leave your car at home.

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  56. jcuknz (648 comments) says:

    I am glad there are people like Rex and KK who obviously keep the government supplied with money, whereas I have got better things to do with my resources. As the judge said when I presented a lame excuse in courst on that one momentous, for me, occasion … it is not the first time you have speeded. He was right, but he got a laugh at my expense from the courtroom and let me off with small fine.
    For the record if I see a car behind me coming up fast I pull over and let them through in their eagerness to get a speeding ticket.
    Also I stay, once the car is warmed up, at around 108, and they still pass me the idiots, except this last weekend when I was only doing town trips. And yes I do go over the tun occasionally in a passing lane, and other passing situations.

    If you know there is a distinct likelihood of a revenue generating cop near the passing lane then it is stupid not hold your horses … passing the odd car or even a few cars doing 95<100 isn't really going to get you there much quicker … but I do remember the foolishness of my younger days and the adrenaline [is it] of rushing along …. Like achieving the half tun in Dad's 1937 Morris 8 :-)

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  57. jcuknz (648 comments) says:

    The stupid WordPress editing programme refuses to let me add my postscipt which is ” Back when the car was only about ten years old’

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