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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dangerous flip-flop

"A 3 News investigation has uncovered that the Government backed off making lifejacket wearing compulsory on all small water craft, just a week before it was to be signed off.

The reversal was made despite official advice saying the change could help prevent 10 deaths a year.

Now one maritime expert says the Government must take some responsibility for unnecessary deaths."

This is getting ludicrous now. National's flip-flopping was at first, ridiculous but it's fast becoming dangerous. No requirement to wear life jackets? 
That's stupid.

(Hat-tip Red Alert)


Anonymous said...

Oh come on RG. Are you confirming your authoritarian background?

The government shouldn't have to legislate what is common sense. Making something illegal (ie. going out in a boat without a lifejacket) will not stop it from happening.


robertguyton said...

That's so funny. paranormal - common sense and life jackets go together like...chalk and cheese! I suppose you oppose seatbelts as well. Tricky when it comes to children though - do they get to choose? How about drunk people? The chances of them putting on a life jacket must be greater in an environment that makes it clear that everyone must wear them at all times. Given free choice, the thinking-impaired will not bother. You might be thinking, 'too bad, they'll only hurt themselves', but there's others involved usually - rescue teams, the families of the temporarily stupid, etc.
I agree it's a difficult decision to make, but you sem to be promotiing freedom for all at all times. Maybe you could accept my challenge, paranormal, to explain why farmers concur with the Fencing Act that requires them to fence the roads from their stock. Clearly, having such a rule discretionary would result in dead motorists, but farmers ignore their compliance with that law whenever they are arguing private property rights and other rulkes proposed for them. I've challenged farmers over this but none have taken it up.

Anonymous said...

Soooo let me get this right. You're up in arms about the gnats being authoritarian, but then you slag them for not being authoritarian? (just to bring it back to the matter at hand).


robertguyton said...

You are, as always, over-extrapolating, paranormal. If you blow out all your arguments by claiming that a=ax100, you'll never get to the bottom of any issue.
Soooo, you didn't get this right. Each issue is a separate one. One rule does not an authoritarian make. Or are you opposed to all rules - Fencing Act included?

Anonymous said...

Ok let’s play your game for a moment.

The first role of government is to provide the environment that protects the citizens. A farmer failing to fence and a boatie failing to wear a lifejacket are quite different. If a farmer fails to fence the outcome can be disastrous for another citizen if we’re talking about stock wandering on roads at night. The failure to wear a lifejacket can be disastrous for the individual. In the case of lifejackets education would bring far better results than legislation.

As always you don’t consider any possible unintended consequences of your legislation. If you look at how the authorities take legislation and enforce the wrong things, quite often to the detriment of the real things that need enforcing, you’d take a moment before lurching to legislation as the answer for everything.

And you have still avoided answering how you feel being a typical Green Authoritarian is any different to being a typical Blue Authoritarian. I thought consistency is something you pride yourself on. It seems when someone points out your inconsistencies its out with the over-extrapolation stick.


robertguyton said...

"the over-extrapolation stick"

Classic! You come up with the best lines, para.

"If a farmer fails to fence the outcome can be disastrous for another citizen if we’re talking about stock wandering on roads at night."

So it's a matter of public safety. If another instance of regulation that benfits the public in terms of safety, you'd be supportive, paranormal? Blood alcohol limits for drivers? I imagine you must be in favour of a zero limit then, given the statistics for 3rd-party deaths resulting from alcohol-impaired driver accidents. Yes?
It's a case by case matter, as I said before, isn't it. The life-jackets one isn't one I'd really got myself in a twist over, para, I just used it as another poke at National - water wearing away the rock and all that.
I'm always intyerested in these rule-making connundrums. You see me as a green authoritarian, but I'm not lover of rules, except where it might irritate my opponents mightily :-)
"The failure to wear a lifejacket can be disastrous for the individual."
Yes, but so might the failure of a tramper to tell anyone where they are going, except where the rescuers are concerned. It's not a cut and dried issue, 'rights' and rules. I like to think about each one in isolation.

Anonymous said...

You've lured me down another darkened side street with the blood alcohol limit issue. But it is a good example of what we're discussing.

I'm not in favour of the limits and the manner of the police enforcement of them - as you may have seen from my comments elsewhere. This is another occasion where the stats don't actually match the rules or the enforcement.

We don't have a drink driving problem anymore. The vast majority of the population comply and don't drink and drive. There is a question of just what level of breath alcohol is required before it impairs your average driver, but it is way above the current limit. The main reason for the change is education through SADD & MADD etc. I was brought up when drinking and driving was a manly challenge, whereas my younger brother, who followed me though school five years later, won't get in the car with someone who has been drinking. this was solely down to Students Against Drink Driving (That dates me a little, and for the record I don't drink anymore)

We do however have a problem with recidivist drink drivers. These are people that repeatedly drive whilst heavily intoxicated. Reducing the current blood alcohol limits will not change the death toll from drink driving.

Targeting the known recidivist drink drivers will. However targeting will not happen as the system is set up to harass law abiding citizens. The police are funded by the ACC based on the number of breath tests undertaken annually.

There you have in a nutshell a prime example of the law failing to solve a problem it sets out to address with huge cost implications as well as the associated constitutional issues.

Taking each issue at a time is ok if you have an underlying philosophy to guide your thought process. Otherwise you'll end up like your favourite Prime Minister, a pragmatist with no direction. It's also why at heart the Greens are Authoritarian. Their first instinct is to legislate and ban.


robertguyton said...

You may be right, paranormal, though there are thoughtful greens who know full well the danger of ruling, or at least give it consideration. In the case of the life-jackets, the point that's most significant for me is the flip-flop. I'm interested to know what level, if any, of blood-alcohol you do think reasonable. Surely you don't believe that it's up to the individual? The drug impairs judgement and your 'personal responsibility' model relies on judgement. Also, what age do you set for 'having judgement'? As well, what drugs do you include in your 'it's up to the individual' regime? Combine those aspects; age, drug-type and you have a serious issue. Throw in some aggressive advertisers, especially those who focus on children and things are getting messy, no?

Gerrit said...

Is the kettle calling the pot black by someone riding a bike without a helmet?

paulinem said...

Paranormal ...sorry your argument about drink driving is rubbish as is the one re life jackets.
If we lived in a Utopia world you would be correct. BUT we don't live in this unreal society.

Our actions can and do impact on others we do have a RESPONSIBILTY to others in the world we live in.

If you drink and drive ..other innocents can and do get hurt. If you don't wear a life jacket and have others such as possibly children aboard ...these innocents can and do get drowned/hurt.

Why because the sea/river can have a mind of their own and even in the best of weather etc can cause a boatie problem ...take the recent Bluff incident ... all except one drowned including children..why no life jackets.

If you get into bother anywhere through your own fault by not taking precautions to help yourself and others ...well rescue people can end up risking their lives just because of a selfish uncaring unthinking individual.

Like it or not paranormal rules and restrictions are part of living in this world we live in ...when we raise our children from the earliest we tell them rules or say no you cannot go etc ... in doing so as parents are showing true love for them by preparing them for the real world they will need to end up living in as adults.

Its governments responsibility to form rules its why we elect them.

They make rules so we as a society can live freely without others infringing on our freedom by being selfish in doing their own wants regardless of the consequences.

robertguyton said...

Helmet-shmelmet...I've got a thick skull.

Towack said...

That is a very passionate argument Pauline however let me point out:
Governance is about the where to, not the how to. The less we have the Goverment poking around in our lives, the less tax we pay and the better our life is.

"Its governments responsibility to form rules its why we elect them."
No we dont!

People die in the water, yes its sad and sadder still that some are kids who never had a choice however, wearing life jackets is common sense and I am still happy to have common sense govern some of my life, and not the goverment.

The life jacket rule can never be properly policed, just like making parks smoke free, both are a waste of paper, taxes and peoples time.
Sometimes life has to be managed by the ordinary person.

robertguyton said...

Towack - boating is ofetn a communal activity - that is, people climb aboard at marina, wharves, slipways etc, where there are other people doing the same thing. If there is a law to say, life-jacket-up, pressure from peers will have everyone safely jacketted, without the need for 'jacket-police'. With no rule, no one will say anything - people don't like to interfere without a rule to back them up. The issue is that lives would be saved by te application of this rule. The rejection of it will result in drownings. happy with that?

robertguyton said...

And it's not, btw, 'common sense' to click on a seatbelt or strap on a life jacket (or put on a bike helmet for that matter, Gerrit). Those 'grade three' actions need to be required and taught, or they get rejected.

paulinem said...

Towack my son has just witness his mate being killed in a motor bile accident in Rarotonga this last weekend.

My friend whom lives in Aitutaki ( an island in the Cooks) tells me such accidents are becoming way too common in the Cooks especially among the young and free spirit.

WHY ... scooters and motor bikes are the transport of choice in the Cooks Islands ...they live by your attitude you know free spirit keep nanny state out BS thinking .... Bike Helmets are like life jackets to you not compulsory in the Cooks to wear.

RESULT too many deaths among the young ...too many very sad families who lost their brightest star ... I am sure my son is wishing now they wore a helmet and his mate will now be alive.

With your attitude I presume you think children should be brought up free spirit what you like etc...

AS a mother of Five grown children I believe such attitude of parenting borders on abuse ... rules in life may be a bore ... But face it towack we humans are infallible characters who stuff up quite regularly in our behaviour WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR our NEIGHBOUR well being and how it affects him/her.

Take a farmer whom selfishly due to what ever reason wantonly pollutes his local stream from production.

Five yr old Johnny down stream mother uses the water from the stream to make him a drink or wash his teeth..... Johnny continues to use this polluted water in his body as he grows into youth 15yrs a doctor tells him he has developed an incurable illness...cause of illness exposure in his body for 10yrs of polluted water !!

Towack said...

I drove jet boats professionally for a living and have spent thousands of hours behind the wheel of boats, I always wear a lifejacket. In the time I drove in Queenstown there was only one death in the area and that is because a boat rolled on top of someone. In NZ there are very few deaths resulting from no life jackets compared to the amount of people on the water. Sure that is no reason to not wear a jacket, but if you are so keen on this rule going through, why don't you campaign for all boaties to wear jackets - there are nore deaths on commercial boats than private.

And actually it is common sense, it just that some thickos dont have it, which is not a reason to make laws. I 'interfere' all the time when I see something stupid going on, I'm not that yellow bellied that I need a law to back me up.
I was tramping one time and saw a man and child trying to cross a flooded river, one would think common sense would have prevented him, so I stepped in and stopped them. Perhaps you could draft a law regarding that as there are quite a few deaths in flooded rivers, or perhaps your life jacket rule could cover it

Towack said...

And Gerrit means 'brave with the spear' so I dont quite follow that line

Gerrit said...

Thrower of spears? Where did that come from?

As a regular yachting competitor we have to wear (Yachting NZL insurance coverage for yacht clubs) bouyancy vest. Some points to consider.

Most competitors wear a spray jacket over the vest so you would not know if one was wearing one from the shore.

Other points to consider.

Many offshore jackets have build in inflatable life jackets, again who knows from shore if they are wearing an internal lifejacket or not in the jacket.

Inflatable life jackets are available and are very unobtrusive, again from shore no one knows wether you are wearing a lifejacket or they are braces holding up a pair of offshore pants.

Impossible to police.

As craft over 6 metres are excempt for forcing the occupiers to wear a lifejacket, many many drownings would still have occured. And remember a lifejacket does not protect from the cold.

It makes finding bodies such as the recent trawler sinking near iInvercargill easier but wont save more lives.

robertguyton said...

It would lessen the danger to those looking for drowned bodies though, Gerrit. And save a great deal of money (divers etc.) It seems a sensible option - require the wearing of life jackets on small craft. No big deal and it'd help focus boaties on the potential dangers of casual boat use. We are a country of cavalier water users :-)

Towack said...

No, we are a country of soft bellies who want the government to tell us how to live and also to pay for it, whoops, isnt that the motto of the Labour party, Gerrit