Iain Lees-Galloway blogs at Red Alert:
National’s irrational fear of being tagged with the ‘Nanny State’ label they successfully over-hyped against Labour has just jumped the shark.
3 News reported tonight that optics man Steven Joyce pulled a last minute flip-flop on making life jackets compulsory on small boats.
Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges, sounding like he was on morphine, gave National’s reasoning as not wanting to over-regulate.
What the hell? We have tragedies like this happening all the time because our laws are inadequate and wearing of life jackets is unenforceable.
Oh my God, I can’t believe that Labour wants to have water police motoring around and fining people for not having a life jacket on at all times.
Having life jackets on board at all times is essential. But making it compulsory to wear them at all times would be a step too far.
I recall the last time I went out fishing. It was a beautiful day as we caught fish, cooked the fish and ate it. I also dived off the boat and swam around a bit before coming back on to dry off in the sun. Having to have a life jacket on at all times, would have seriously got in the way of fishing and sun bathing. As adults we made the decision that the boat was sturdy enough (close to the 6 metre limit for the proposed law) and the conditions calm enough that it would be ridiculous over-kill to be wearing life jackets. If I was in a two metre dinghy on a stormy choppy day, then I would wear one. It is called judging the conditions.
Yes it is sad when people die at sea. But going to sea always has an element of risk. Swimming at the beach is bloody risky also sometimes. I do not want to live in a society when the only goal of the Government is to eliminate risk, at the expense of choice and enjoyment.