Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

General Debate 22 March 2015

March 22nd, 2015 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 21 March 2015

March 21st, 2015 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

Is it fraud to sell tickets to an event you don’t have permission for?

March 21st, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Tickets for a Monster Slide event in Brisbane – with links to the controversial New Zealand attraction – are being sold without council approval.

Many sessions appear to have sold out for the Monster Slide Australia Tour to begin in a fortnight on Queensport Rd in the suburb of Murarrie, according to online ticketing agency Dash Tickets.

However, it is unclear whether the three-day event will go ahead after the Brisbane City Council confirmed the giant slip’n slide course had not been granted the necessary permits.

Is there a case for a fraud prosecution if an event promoter is selling tickets to an event which they don’t yet have approval to do? You should sell tickets once you have consent, not before.

Considering that they have yet to refund tickets for the Wellington event, it could be seen as a cynical money making ploy. Sell tickets to an event, fail to get consent, and rely on not everyone to ask for a refund. Or if they all do ask, then just liquidate the company after you have paid yourself a salary from it.

The company running the Australian event, Monster Slide Australia Pty Ltd, is confident it will be given the green light.

It is associated with Monster Slide in New Zealand, which was operated by company Trill Productions and its director Jamie Templeton.

Of course.

Many of tickets, costing up to $49, have been sold on the Dash Tickets website for the Easter event. Several sessions are sold out.

I also wonder if Dash Tickets should be investigated. Would they sell tickets knowingly to a fictitious event, so long as they get their cut? On the basis of two cancelled events in NZ and no refunds, then there are grounds to allege they should know that this is not a reputable event.

Monster Slide Australia Pty Ltd operations director Hannah Lockett said she was confident the event would happen.

It had “crucial” support from residents and local businesses, she said.

“The event is still in the final stages of getting its permit, however it’s important to note we have done months of research and planning and are working closely with the council on this and it is completely common for events to go on sale during these final stages,” Lockett said.

Really? What other events sell tickets before they have the consents for them?


Another cancer cure charlatan

March 20th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Elle called her ‘The most inspiring woman you’ve met this year’. She also won Cosmopolitan’s Fun Fearless Female award for social media.


Single mother Belle Gibson supposedly beat a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer, shunning conventional medicine and focussing on a healthy diet. She then published a book and developed an app that told her story and showed others how to be healthy. 

The story of her health battle is one that we now know was at best embellished and at worst was an outright lie.

Elle and Cosmo have written insider accounts of their experience with the young Brisbane mother… both admit to being thoroughly duped.

The question is why did they not verify her claims? If you’re going to promote someone who claims they have miraculously beaten cancer, shouldn’t you at least ask to see their medical records to verify they ever had it?

Of their feature, Elle wrote

“When the December issue came out, we had a ton of positive feedback from both long-time and new supporters of Gibson. And then we got this anonymous email:

It has come to my attention that you have published a story about a girl I have known my whole life. Her name is Belle Gibson, creator of The Whole Pantry app + book. And a so called “Terminal cancer patient”. Unfortunately, there are a few things you might need to know before you consider publishing more about this woman. She’s a compulsive liar. In fact, she got so tangled in her own web of lies living in Brisbane, she moved to Melbourne to start a new life of lies – “the cancer lie” this time. For one – This girl isn’t 26 years old.

She was born in 1991, class of 08, Wynnum High School in Queensland. My younger brother was in her form class. Secondly, she never had/nor does she have currently any form of cancer (Where’s the proof?). I’ve known Belle since her childhood (and am close with her mother) and she has always had a problem with fabricating stories from nothing on a regular basis. It’s one thing to act as if she can cure “her cancer” by eating organic (which simply isn’t true) but to give false hope to people who are ACTUALLY fighting cancer is nothing short of evil. You MUST be aware of this before you publish stories about this woman. She is selling her fake sob story in order to profit from her app + book sales. She is a wolf in sheep’s clothing & a master manipulator.

Sincerely, Sick of seeing her lies published :)

Editorial staff at Elle and Cosmo (which was passed the email by fellow Bauer publishing colleagues from Elle) both say they attempted to verify details of the email to no avail and so wrote it off. Staff at Elle believed it was “a bunch of lies”.

The awful thing is that people who actually have cancer may have been duped, given false hope, or worse decided not to have conventional treatments. This short of charlatan can kill people.

Maybe the two magazines should have not ignored the e-mail, but instead decided to try and verify Belle’s claims, rather than the e-mail’s claims.

Her story of beating the odds and becoming empowered again through her health transformation touched people in much the same way that many of us were touched by The Wellness Warrior, Jessica Ainscough.

Ainscough gained a huge following and a book deal by sharing her personal journey towards health.

When I spoke to her one year ago, the 29-year-old, I was told, was in “recovery mode”. 

Her story and determination were inspiring, but it soon emerged that her cancer had in fact not diminished but become more aggressive. Like her mother who took a similar alternative therapies route and died of cancer in 2013, after seven years battling the disease, Jess tragically lost her battle and died on February 26 this year.

If you think organic fruit can cure cancer, good on you. But don’t do it as a substitute for conventional treatment. Do it as a supplement. Surgery and radiation therapy can remove cancer or give you more years.


No tag for this post.

General Debate 20 March 2015

March 20th, 2015 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 19 March 2015

March 19th, 2015 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 18 March 2015

March 18th, 2015 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

If you paid for the slide by credit card, you can cancel it

March 17th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Two parties are weighing up legal action against a controversial water slide operator alleged to owe tens of thousands of dollars.

They say they have reached boiling point in dealing with Trill Productions, which trades as Monster Slide, and its sole director and chief executive Jamie Templeton.

Structural Support & Panel NZ Ltd (SSPNZ) and youth development worker Lolina Avia were involved with the Christchurch leg of the slide event held in Christchurch six weeks ago.

They spoke out  earlier this month, frustrated in seeking payment from event organisers, who have disputed invoices and made what the creditors claim are incomplete payments.

On top of that are the thousands of Wellingtonians who paid in advance, and have not had a refund for the cancelled Wellington event.

I was planning to go to the Disputes Tribunal to get a refund (more over the principle, than the amount) but a lawyer yesterday said that if I paid by credit card (which I did) just cancel the payment, as the services were never supplied. So I’m going to do that, and others may wish to do the same.

If Templeton is unable to pay his creditors, rather than unwilling, it raises the question of whether he was trading while insolvent.


General Debate 17 March 2015

March 17th, 2015 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

Monday Motivator

March 16th, 2015 at 11:45 am by Richard Hume

Monday Motivator 37

Ubud, Bali

Just sorting through some of the images I took on last years Bali trip and thought I would share this one as something a little bit different from my normal landscapes.

This was taken within the Monkey Forest in Ubud, where there are some fantastic statues in the Hindu Temple complex.

I loved Ubud and am looking forward to getting back there soon. Have a great week.


Richard []

YouTube: Timeless – A Panoramic Journey


General Debate 16 March 2015

March 16th, 2015 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

Daily Telegraph on e-cigarettes

March 15th, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Simon Breheny at the Daily Telegraph writes:

ELECTRONIC cigarettes may be the greatest tool in the fight against lung cancer that the world has ever seen. They’re cheap, convenient and they’re helping smokers everywhere to quit.

And the best part about this health solution? It doesn’t involve government.

Demands for governments to identify and solve problems are a recipe for disaster. They lead to higher taxes and less freedom. A cure administered by the nanny state is worse than the disease.

Often it is.

There are a range of cigarette substitutes already on the market. Electronic cigarettes are the most prominent, and they’re currently taking the world by storm.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered nicotine vaporisers. They do not contain tobacco or produce smoke. E-cigarette users inhale vapour, which produces a similar effect to smoking without the health risks caused by the carcinogenic and toxins of combustible tobacco products.

The global e-cigarette market is worth around $2 billion. This is predicted to grow to $10 billion by 2020. Part of the success of this new product is that it is used as a device to help traditional cigarette smokers to quit tobacco.

An article published in August 2014 in the peer-reviewed Journal of Public Health concluded that “the use of [e-cigarettes] can reduce the number of cigarettes smoked and withdrawal symptoms …”

In an article for BMC Medicine last year, Peter Hajek of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine said: “although there is no doubt that smokers switching to electronic cigarettes substantially reduce the risk to their health, some tobacco control activists and health organisations discourage smokers from using [e-cigarettes] and lobby policy makers to reduce [e-cigarette] use by draconian regulation.”

In NZ they are banned from being sold! You can sell tobacco but not e-cigarettes.



General Debate 15 March 2015

March 15th, 2015 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 14 March 2015

March 14th, 2015 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

RIP Terry Pratchett

March 13th, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Author Terry Pratchett has died at the age of 66 after a battle with Alzheimer’s.

The bestselling and much-loved author writer died at home on Thursday, surrounded by his family and with his cat sleeping on his bed, according to a statement which is published in full below.

Pratchett’s Facebook page was updated to say: “It is with immeasurable sadness that we announce that author Sir Terry Pratchett has died.

“The world has lost one of its brightest, sharpest minds. Rest in peace Sir Terry Pratchett.”

Pratchett wrote over 70 books, including 40 as part of the fantasy Discworld series, and sold over 85 million copies in his lifetime.

As soon as news broke of his death broke on Thursday afternoon, his website crashed under the weight of fans wanting to remember the writer.

A very sad loss.

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General Debate 13 March 2015

March 13th, 2015 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

Health professor calls for lifting of e-cigarette ban

March 12th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A ban on nicotine in e-cigarette products is under fire from a visiting health professional who says it is naïve and doing more harm than good.

University of Queensland professor Wayne Hall is presenting at Thursday’s e-cigarette symposium at the University of Auckland and will join leading experts in calling for the prohibition to be lifted.

Electronic nicotine refills are illegal to sell over the counter but can be legally bought from overseas suppliers for personal use.

Hall said the law created an “absurd situation” where people were resorting to the black market to buy products that contained a less harmful form of nicotine than normal tobacco cigarettes.

“You can buy cigarettes wherever you like but you’re not allowed to buy something that’s probably a great deal safer, at least in the short term,” he said.

“It does seem a pretty silly policy.”

It’s very stupid.

He said the government needed to acknowledge the widespread use of the e-devices by reversing the ban and regulating the nicotine products to ensure their safety. 

“There needs to be a middle ground where there is some form of regulation. 



General Debate 12 March 2015

March 12th, 2015 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

Hi all, number of senior moments re the General Debate for the last few days….


General Debate 11 March 2015

March 11th, 2015 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 10 February 2015

March 10th, 2015 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 9 March 2015

March 9th, 2015 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 8 March 2015

March 8th, 2015 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 7 March 2015

March 7th, 2015 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 6 March 2015

March 6th, 2015 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

Should staged photos win a journalism award?

March 5th, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Guardian reports:

Dark Heart of Europe is a series of photographs taken by Giovanni Troilo which won the contemporary issues category at World Press Photo 2015. However, Troilo has been accused of misrepresenting the town of Charleroi in which the images were taken. The mayor of the industrial Belgian town has described the study as a serious distortion of reality. Troilo has since admitted that some of his images were staged in order to recreate issues or scenes which he says typify Charlerloi, but he argues this does not affect the journalistic integrity of his work

Taking a photo is journalism and reporting news. Staging a photo is creating news – not reporting it.

The World Press Photos will have damaged credibility if they allow the award to remain for what were staged photos.