Mandatory scooter helmets

June 13th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Press reports:

A ten-fold increase in the number of children seriously injuring themselves on push scooters has sparked a call for a law change that would see youngsters made to wear helmets while riding.

Push scooters have become increasingly popular with school-age children over the past two years but the rise has seen a corresponding increase in the number of scooter-related injury claims for children up to 14 years old.

ACC figures show the number of claims has risen from 697 in 2008 to 6474 last year.

The increase has alarmed child safety group Safekids, which is campaigning for the introduction of a compulsory helmet law for scooter users.

That would be a good way to kill off scooter use all together.

Why stop there. Let’s pass a law saying it is illegal to allow kids to go outdoors unless they are wearing a full body suit to protect them from dogs, falls etc?

Ministry of Transport land transport safety manager Leo Mortimer said it was unlikely that legislation would be changed.

“In the same way that we have not considered compulsory helmets for skateboarders.

Don’t give them ideas!

“Scooter riders must comply with all the rules applying to other road users, however, unlike cyclists, they don’t need to wear a helmet or use a light at night.”

No lights? Scooters must be fitted with lights. Also we must ban using a cellphone on a scooter. And eating lollipops whil scooting.

 

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53 Responses to “Mandatory scooter helmets”

  1. big bruv (12,381 comments) says:

    I see a few more things that the Greens will need to put on their banned list.

    * Ban kids from riding scooters without a helmet
    * Ban kids from riding skateboards without full protective gear
    * Ban tree’s from growing to a height greater than two meters lest Kids fall from them should they attempt the highly dangerous task of climbing such trees.

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  2. flipper (3,274 comments) says:

    Quite agree DPF.

    And, as always with ACC, the nature of the “accidents” is never published. Since a graze to a knee or elbow constitutes an “accident” the value of their stats is zero.

    Another Point: The number of scooter users has increased markedly .

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  3. MD (60 comments) says:

    We banned the jungle gyms and bull-rush. We banned any soft of play that would encourage violence, toy guns, playing soldiers – anything that would allow a boy to be a boy. We cut down the trees as some kid fell out of one once and broke his arm. We drove them to school as it wasn’t safe to have them walk anymore. Kids sit at home playing xbox and playstation as their excitement. Now we have an obesity epidemic among children – oh that must be the fault of the McDonalds advertisements, ban fast food, ban TV advertising, ban soft drinks. We need more regulation, bad things are still happening so there must be other things to ban and tax. What is it that goes on in these peoples heads?

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  4. Akaroa (487 comments) says:

    Re MD at 7.27 (above)

    Sorry MD, you’re way out of order and will obviously never achieve anything in this touchy feely, hyper-PC World of today.

    Why, you ask?

    Because you’re speaking sense, and telling it how it really is, of course!!.

    Total No-No-es in today’s enlightened World!

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  5. Mobile Michael (367 comments) says:

    The whole point of letting my kids ride bikes and scooters, climb trees, and get into general mayhem is to let them learn that their are limits to their physical abilities. These are discovered through bumps, scratches, and (occasionly) the odd broken bone.

    Yes, this scares the bejesus out of me at times – especially the time the youngest (then aged 2) ran off the trampoline at full speed only to be lying on the grass laughing his head off at all the fun he was having – but so far a hug and a kiss (and as many band aids they can guilt out of us regardless of the actual size of any cut) has been the only treatment required.

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  6. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    Sorry all you “right wingers” but if you are going to ask government to provide your health insurance and your medical care than making these kind of choices is one of the freedoms that you have to give up.

    Its all unaffordable in the long run anyway so you might as well privatise ACC and Health right now and then you will be able to make your own decisions on kids wearing helmets when riding scooters.

    Right now by subscribing to mandatory government provided health care and accident insurance you have relinquished that freedom.

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  7. nasska (9,550 comments) says:

    Proposals such as these were inevitable once the risk adverse, feminist harpies completed their takeover of schools & social services. In their eyes there is no such thing as a human activity that cannot be sterilised & made “safer” by a few more layers of legislation.

    As noted by other commentators above the result is fat, whining kids unprepared for the challenges life will actually deliver.

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  8. kowtow (6,725 comments) says:

    Red as always right on the big picture.

    How many here who think this is over reaching government interference were so adamant that parliament legislate for “equality” in the name of love not so long ago?

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  9. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    kowtow, no as usual Red misses the real problem. This is a result of the feminisation of our society, as is the wider drift to the left of the political spectrum. They are symptoms not the cause.

    We saw the same thing with cylcle helemets. They were introduced due to the hysterical efforts of a woman who lost a kid. Anyone who thinks compulsory helmet laws are a good idea already has brain damage and is polluting the gene pool. I almost left the country when cycle helmets came in. I have not ridden a push bike since.

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  10. Ashley Schaeffer (336 comments) says:

    I ranted a little about this topic yesterday in GD, but got told I was just being a bad parent and that my parents were morons for having let me out into the world without body armour.

    But Redbaiter is right.

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  11. Chuck Bird (4,415 comments) says:

    The stats ignore why there was an increase. Firstly, these scooters have become a lot more popular. Secondly, kids and teenagers use them to perform stunts on them as well skateboards and BMX bikes. In these facilities just about everyone wears helmets as they should. However, there is a big difference between doing stunts and using the scooters to go down to the dairy.

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  12. NK (919 comments) says:

    Notice how they want mandatory helmets, to prevent head injuries, but the stats they produce don’t mention head injuries.

    This is the relevant quote:

    Push scooters have become increasingly popular with school-age children over the past two years but the rise has seen a corresponding increase in the number of scooter-related injury claims for children up to 14 years old.

    ACC figures show the number of claims has risen from 697 in 2008 to 6474 last year.

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  13. kowtow (6,725 comments) says:

    The “feminisation” of society is simply another aspect of the socialist “equality” agenda.

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  14. Lloyd (125 comments) says:

    I asked a local expert scooter-user (my 12 year-old son, who still scoots almost as much as he rides his mountain bike): “What do you think of compulsory helmets for scooters?
    His answer: “Lame…”

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  15. 2boyz (230 comments) says:

    Mandatory is a bit much, that said we encourage our kids to wear them. last year at the skate park in Taupo my nine year old managed to destroy the helmet he was wearing on the way to chipping a front tooth and messing up his chin badly etc (hospital visit and dental work required). A helmet can’t protect everything but in this case we were glad he was wearing one, does he want to wear one, hell no.

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  16. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    kowtow (4,546) Says:

    June 13th, 2013 at 8:53 am
    The “feminisation” of society is simply another aspect of the socialist “equality” agenda.

    Yes, but those agendas are promoted by feminist women. Just as the whole gay marriage thing was. It has been going on for so long and has become so normalised that people no longer see it.

    Remarkably my confronting ideas on this topic are supported by most women I share them with. They can actually see it even if the Reds of the world can not.

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  17. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    but if you are going to ask government to provide your health insurance and your medical care than making these kind of choices is one of the freedoms that you have to give up.

    Red, if you think moving to private healthcare and insurance would prevent this sort of regulatory nonsense, you’re dreaming – the insurers themselves would come up with this sort of idea to limit their risk.

    And unless at least one reputable firm stood firm against it, the consumers would have no choice but to go along it else risk cover across their portfolio of healthcare and insurance.

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  18. Akld Commercial Lawyer (138 comments) says:

    DPF whilst you might say that ACC’s response is a logical extension that might ultimately see all kids wrapped in cotton wool – it is difficult to see that they will win on a mandatory helmet law for scooter use. By contrast to cycling, the response is somewhat out of proportion to the scale of the risk when you take into account the proportion of the population affected and the nature of scooter usage.

    But for those who think a private insurance provider would react differently to ACC on mandatory bicycle helmet laws, have a good look at who the biggest advocates for such laws and helmet use are in the US – namely all of the top 25 health insurers. And then have a chat to friends in the US about the premium loading for a state without a mandatory helmet law. I would agree that there is an argument that the economic signals are clearer (i.e. no fudging of the issue) but the outcomes are the same.

    My learned friend, Red, would probably also say that those same economic signals should be to the fore in the regulation of other public good type issues such as (for example) earthquake strengthening of buildings – so that there are clear choices with objective financial outcomes. And if he did I think I would agree with him.

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  19. Manolo (12,642 comments) says:

    @bhudson: are you for or against this?

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  20. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    Oh no! How can they possibly call for this with such little information. How many scooters users? How many scooter miles? What of scooter congestion? What of the cost of scooters marginalising those that cannot afford such transportation? Do we need a public scooter service?

    Clearly, with such limited data we are going to have to register all scooters and license all scooter drivers. That will help to manage the current risks while enabling us to capture the data to make better informed decisions.

    Oh and they’ll have to be fitted with hub-o-meters as well. As well as speedometers and I think indicators and brake lights would also be advisable.

    [/sarc]

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  21. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    @manolo,

    Clearly I am against the ridiculous idea.

    I am also against the equally ridiculous idea that scrapping ACC and the public health system would prevent these sorts of harebrained ideas – the private providers would come up with such nonsense, and worse, themselves.

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  22. Manolo (12,642 comments) says:

    Good on you, bhudson. You cannot, must not, be a National party supporter.

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  23. plum (38 comments) says:

    ACC isn’t advocating for a law change – child safety advocacy group Safekids is.

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  24. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    “Red, if you think moving to private healthcare and insurance would prevent this sort of regulatory nonsense, you’re dreaming – the insurers themselves would come up with this sort of idea to limit their risk.”

    bhudson’s comments here invariably indicate why this country is stuck so damn fast in the communist mire. This time its no different. Here he is, writing screeds on this subject, so many words, so many lines, and yet he still hasn’t clicked to the main issue.

    And this is so common here, and at the same time so sad, that the country is full of sludge brained communist stooges like bhudson who have been immersed in the slowly warming communist pot for so long they have completely forgotten what it is to think like a free man.

    Let me try and jolt you out of your socialist wet dream you perfunctory proletariat pissant.

    THE POINT IS THERE WOULD BE NO COMPULSION…….!!

    YOU COULD CHOOSE TO HAVE YOUR KIDS WEAR A HELMET AND YOU COULD ALSO FUCKING WELL CHOOSE WHETHER TO INSURE THEM OR NOT.

    YOU WOULD BE PERMITTED TO CHOOSE….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    FUCKING JESUS CHRIST ON A BIKE THIS COUNTRY WILL BE FOREVER FUCKED IF WE CAN’T RID OURSELVES OF THE INFLUENCE OF SLOW WITTED DOPEY MUTTERING COMMIE SUCKHOLES LIKE BHUDSON.

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  25. RRM (8,997 comments) says:

    I sometimes wonder where all the good kids playgrounds went, the sort that existed when I was a kid.

    Most of the sites are still there, but now they are all these identical softcock, PC kitset playgrounds, all with the same plastic climbing walls and slides, and soft rubber matting underfoot.

    I mentioned this to Mrs RRM, and she said that when she was six, another little girl fell off her school’s monkey bars, and landed her head on the concrete, and died the next day in hospital. Someone’s little girl. Gone.

    REAL freedom is worth fighting for…. some of the abstract ideas that political ideologues latch onto are just a bit masturbatory compared to real peoples’ lives… sorry!

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  26. nasska (9,550 comments) says:

    Anyone who thinks that private insurance would be preferable should have a read of the fine print of their vehicle or household insurance. In any case, although ACC may provide imput as holders of data re claims for various accidents, the driver of the hysteria to come is a child safety group, Safekids.

    From their website: http://www.safekids.org.nz/ ….”Safekids New Zealand is the national child injury prevention service, and a service of Starship Children’s Health.”….

    In the vernacular: We are a pack of feminist, handwringing, screeching lesbian sympathisers who have feelings in our oestrogen addled heads that we know better than you how to bring up your children.

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  27. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    THE POINT IS THERE WOULD BE NO COMPULSION…….!!

    YOU COULD CHOOSE…

    That concept [choice] is going to require a huge shift in the national consciousness. If the women who run NZ think if something is a good idea, then people should be FORCED into doing it.

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  28. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    “Anyone who thinks that private insurance would be preferable should have a read of the fine print of their vehicle or household insurance.”

    Always the same. And just another dumbarse like bhudson.

    Inside every prog there’s a totalitarian screaming to get out.

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  29. labrator (1,691 comments) says:

    I sometimes wonder where all the good kids playgrounds went, the sort that existed when I was a kid.

    I remember they seemed to die out around the same time Kiwi Cricket was introduced. You know, the game where no-one won?

    I don’t understand bhudson’s point. If you look at the USA, insurance companies have not enforced compulsory helmet wearing there. So why would NZ insurance companies do the same? Insurance companies have good statisticians, unlike most “action groups” for whom one injured/dead child is one too many.

    People die, accidents happen. If you don’t want your children to leave the womb, don’t conceive them.

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  30. nasska (9,550 comments) says:

    You can choose for yourself anything that grills your cheese Baity. Whether you elect to have medical insurance or save a few bob by scraping your brains off the road & walking home with them after an accident is all the same to me.

    I’m thinking more of the unfortunate kids born to selfish dropkick parents who don’t give a stuff.

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  31. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    I’m thinking more of the unfortunate kids born to selfish dropkick parents who don’t give a stuff.

    Ahhhhhhhh the old THINK OF THE CHILDREN !!! line. The justification for many of our worse and most invasive laws.

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  32. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    “I’m thinking more of the unfortunate kids born to selfish dropkick parents who don’t give a stuff.”

    Of course you are. And you’re just thinking of how many different ways you can induce people to become dependent upon the state and destroy their ability to think for themselves and destroy their potential to become individuals who recognise they are responsible for their own destiny and their children’s destiny.

    Don’t worry, Nasska will use his vote to elect commies who will force everyone else to look after your kids.

    Gawd you big gummint progs are a such a blight upon western civilisation.

    And its so often “because i am thinking of the children”.

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  33. nasska (9,550 comments) says:

    The scene: A kid knocked off their bike lying on the road, probable brain damage.

    The questions a) Do we call an ambulance? OR b) Do we wait for a representative from her medical insurance company to give the okay?

    ….”The justification for many of our worse and most invasive laws.”….. Okay, we’ll wait!

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  34. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    What makes you even more of an idiot Narsekissa is that like so many lemmings here you think the scheme is sustainable. Its broke already you dope smoking meat headed country bumpkin. And only going to get worse.

    ACC is just another stupid unaffordable commie dream that will ultimately and in combination with a hundred other similarly stupid ideas bring our economic system to ruin. Then where will your child lying on the road be? Blind socialist fool.

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  35. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    nasska, just drive around them next time.

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  36. Lucia Maria (1,994 comments) says:

    Kea,

    You sound like a Muslim, blaming everything that is going wrong in New Zealand on women.

    A woman may have campaigned for mandatory helmet wearing for cyclists (which I strongly disagree with as well), but we have mostly male Parliamentarians who would have passed the law. Same with the gay marriage law – if the men in our Parliament has resisted it, then it wouldn’t have happened.

    There is a broader thing that is happening here – an aversion to risk, and Redbaiter rightly points out, a socialist medical system whereby the government will try to reduce it’s costs by imposing cotton wool laws upon the nation, bit by bit. The odd devastated mother who campaigns for this or that is just a means to an end, not a cause.

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  37. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Lucia Maria, You will note that in your bible it is women that bought sin to the world and the fall from grace. Grab a copy and check for yourself.

    Men are putty in a womans hands and have often been the power behind the throne. I do agree that it is mens fault that hard line feminists have had so much sway in modern society.

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  38. Lucia Maria (1,994 comments) says:

    Kea,

    The fall from grace was because the representative of humanity (Adam) sinned. If only Eve had sinned then there would have been no fall. If Adam had owned up to what he did, rather than trying to blame it on the woman and God, then there also would have been no fall.

    I’m fully aware of the implications of the story of the fall from grace, Kea, but I don’t think you understand it at all.

    Men are only putty if they aren’t trained in virtue.

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  39. kowtow (6,725 comments) says:

    No, it was the male failing to resist temptation and not heeding the word of God that caused the fall. Lack of leadership , strength and moral courage.We see it today.

    The lessons of the Bible are timeless and universal.

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  40. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Lucia Maria , Eve ate the fruit not Adam ! Your feminist reconstruction of the bible is further evidence of womans lack of morality. You are trying to blame the man for the womans wrong in the best feminist tradition. But at that time there was no such thing as sin, because the woman had not introduced it to the world, so Adam was too innocent to know what he was in for.

    I am not so innocent and I am not buying it ;)

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  41. Lucia Maria (1,994 comments) says:

    Kea,

    Do Muslims believe in Adam and Eve? I know atheists don’t, except most of the conversations I have about Adam and Eve are with atheists.

    Anyway, no, I’m not doing a feminist reconstruction of the Bible. Everything I’m saying is in accordance with the Catholic faith, which is not in the slightest bit feminist – in fact, it’s the bane of feminism.

    Adam’s job was to keep and till the garden. Yet, he let the most dangerous creature in all of time into that garden and let that creature speak to his woman, and then went along with what that creature told Eve to do. And you’re telling me that it was Eve’s fault sin came into the world? Come on.

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  42. RRM (8,997 comments) says:

    Its broke already you dope smoking meat headed country bumpkin. And only going to get worse.

    The voice of reason. :-)

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  43. Paulus (2,299 comments) says:

    I live next to a primary school, and see many children come to school on their scooters. I love to see it.
    We have a few mothers take the scooter off the children at school, jump on and scoot home down a slight hill.
    Gees – they are as good as the children.
    One mother tells me her little boy won’t let her ride it, so she carries it until he has gone inside – then wee.
    Of course the mothers have to return the scooter after school. But they scoot to school in the afternoon and hand over their chargers.
    Wot – no helmets either ????
    What rubbish -

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  44. RRM (8,997 comments) says:

    I took my daughter’s one down Glenmore street one evening when she wasn’t looking, from the top of the viaduct down to the bottom of the Rigi.

    (Had been tempted to go down the Rigi itself, but thought I’d better try the gentler slope first. That decision probably saved me a lot of pain….)

    HOLY SHIT BALLS BATMAN! Those things are unstable. The steering is EXTREMELY quick and there’s no self-centering effect in the steering either. You hold the bars absolutely dead straight and you steer with your weight at anything above walking speed unless you want to go straight over the high side and use your face as a brake. The rear-wheel brake doesn’t do much either, and it’s pretty scary lifting your back foot off the running board to look for the brake when you’re going fast…

    —> on topic: it is ridiculous to suggest compulsory helmets for these things. Ignoring philosophical arguments about liberty and freedom and personal responsibility, it is simply too difficult to wind one of these things up to anything more than a modest jogging speed, unless you are a determined moron like RRM who lines it up at the top of a big hill and jumps on. So just don’t do that, and you’ll be fine! :-)

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  45. Left Right and Centre (2,397 comments) says:

    I’ve read from psychology of one possible factor that could explain why parents are more protective of their children now compared to 40-60 years ago…..

    They have less children to start off with.

    If parents have only one or two children… it’s more devastating to lose one. Perhaps your only child… or be left with one maybe two kids.

    Let’s face it… if you have seven kids and lose one… it’s a bit different to having one and losing one. You’re left childless in the latter case… still with six in the former.

    So… kids used to be ‘ten-a-penny’. Now their rarity makes them more valuable, and anything of more value is more likely to be more protected.

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  46. Left Right and Centre (2,397 comments) says:

    My son got injured at a skatepark, so lets cover everyone with twenty layers of bubblewrap

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  47. wreck1080 (3,533 comments) says:

    Public education is probably more appropriate.

    I’ve been thinking about getting my 4yr old to use a helmet.

    Kids go nuts on these things. School is funny, looks like a scooter parking lot .

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  48. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Adam’s job was to keep and till the garden. Yet, he let the most dangerous creature in all of time into that garden and let that creature speak to his woman, and then went along with what that creature told Eve to do. And you’re telling me that it was Eve’s fault sin came into the world? Come on.

    Lucy, why would Adam consider keeping the dangerous creature out of the garden if he did not know sin ? He would supect nothing. It was not until Eve failed to follow Gods word that sin came into the world.

    Now go get dinner on like a good Catholic girl ;)

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  49. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Left Right and Centre, good point. A few generations back kids used to die like flys. Infant mortality was huge and even less made it to maturity. It is still the case in much of the world. Now days the loss of one kid causes a life time of crippling mourning.

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  50. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    @Red,

    If you think a majority of New Zealanders are ever going to vote out a public health system you need some new and more powerful meds.

    Perhaps it is time you woke up and accepted the fact that you are in an infinitesimal minority on this? But no, you want to compel kiwis to accept your view on where, when and how they should exercise choices.

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  51. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    “If you think a majority of New Zealanders are ever going to vote out a public health system ”

    They sure as hell won‘t while National tells them the same lies as Labour.

    One day though the truth will arrive and it will happen.

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  52. Steve (North Shore) (4,327 comments) says:

    I say ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) employees should always stay indoors wrapped up in cotton wool, just in case they should/could have an accident.
    Now while they are doing that the rest of us could get on with our lives and do something constructive – there may be an accident or two, but I don’t need my ACC taxes paying some silly cunt with wool in the ears. Tax by stealth and fight in Court to avoid paying the INSURANCE.
    I will fight you until I die

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  53. Fletch (5,727 comments) says:

    It isn’t only scooters. My family knows a farmer, who had a woman from some Govt Dept come around to his farm and ask if he had a quad bike, what kind it was etc etc. Then she asked if he had a helmet – he said no. She said he HAD to get one by such-and-such a date; gave him the brand and model that he had to have and told him she would be back to check in so many days.

    So this is what it has come to – even farmers with work motorbikes are being told they have to wear helmets on the farm.

    Fairly ridiculous if you ask me.

    Farmers, if a woman in a flash car comes around and asks if you have a quad bike, say NO.

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