Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: No end of mileage

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  • Neil Morrison,

    Is it in their DNA?

    Y?

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Yeah, getting a spokesperson for "youth" is like getting a spokesperson for "Maori" or "men". the demographic is too broad to get a good single representative (and it's not like the youth get to vote for one).

    I remember the ones they had on Holmes, they made Banks look intelligent. but they also seemed demanding. Like, just give us what we want and leave us alone. That's not gonna work kids.

    Also I think we're missing the point here, some of these cars look coooool (do the kids still say "cool"?). I say, just ban the ugly ones (you know the crappy lowered Honda Civics with big exhausts) and keep the beautifully made ones. Oh and could you also ban the loud one that drives past my place every night and sets off my car alarm.

    The other Hadyn (I swear no one is gonna spell my name right now).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    if my investment tanks, and the Cullen fund tanks...And if the property market tanks...If my elected kiwisaver fund folds

    Also answers to the name of 'lucky'".

    Seriously though, I think you have painted an act of God scenario.

    Long term, the chances of two out of three of your investments doing well are very high. For example, people will always need somewhere to live.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Rogan Polkinghorne,

    I think the reason there's a lack of 'yoof' representation on the boy racer 'issue' is because most of them couldn't care less about what everyone has been saying this week; I'm not a part of the boy racer scene at all, but I know it's pretty insular, and exists in it's current state because they don't want to be an included part of society.

    It's all about being removed, being (in their eyes) special, or different. While stereotypically most of them not be the most eloquent kids you'll ever meet (how's that for a generalisation), I think it's more to do with the fact they literally don't care that 'oldies' or the media are up in arms. I've heard interviewers ask 'What will change this' a lot this week; the standard 'yoof' response has been a flat-out 'Nothing bro'.

    A-town • Since Nov 2006 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Is it in their DNA?

    Y?

    that's a chromosone dude.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    1) I won the practical component of my Driver's Licence (at 15) based on little more than what I learned as an 8 year old at Footrot Flats, and from what I hear the test is even shorter & easier now. Compulsary driver training would go a long way to curb the discussed problem. I think the fact that we are stationary in relation to the vehicle gives drivers a false sense of security; the main reason older drivers may generally be safer is that they've experienced what happens when you get out of line. If "the kids" had some experience of understeering, oversteering, aquaplaning, brake lock-up, hazard avoidance etc, in controlled conditions, they might not have to learn the hard way.

    2) RB, Props for smacking down the 'common sense' brigade with actual research - we need more of that - and congrats on the deserved QMA, though I've got to say, If NZH won Best News Site I've got to question the veracity of the process.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Nobody Important,

    Hell Mikey Havoc is still a youth in local body politics

    Hell, Mikey Havoc is still a youth in Mikey Havoc's mind too!!

    expat • Since Mar 2007 • 319 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Steven Crawford "I don't see how 3rd party insurance is going to dissuade dangerous driving."

    It doesn't. It dissuades owning an overpowered vehicle because the premiums are really high, especially for kids. Dangerous driving is possibly slightly encouraged by insurance, until you have an accident and the premiums jack up even more. If you're a serial offender you could lose your ability to drive without ever losing your license, if noone will insure you.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Bol,

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18753946/site/newsweek/

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    For those of you who think limiting the power of the cars will help matters, I can categorically state that it will not. I drive a standard 1300cc hatchback. I am also a member of a Car Club affiliated to Motorsport NZ. I compete in events in the aforementioned standard 1300cc hatchback. In this year's Clubsport Championships I crossed the finish line in 3rd gear at 140+kph.

    Low power, small engined cars, also tend to be light. They can easily attain very high speeds. So, power (or turbo) limitations will not reduce high speed crashes.

    (Personally, I find 30-somethings boasting of driving from WGN to AKL in 5.5 hours REALLY scary - people who drive at excessive speed and know they are good drivers, can still make a mistake - or have a mechanical fault - which can result in the unnecessary death of a law-abiding citizen).

    Cheers,
    Brent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 615 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Bol,

    Oh dear. That's what happens when you accidentally click 'Post Reply' instead of 'Preview'. Anyway, I was going to suggest that New Zealand's plague of teenagers on party pills, RTDs and souped-up Integras is preferable to the situation outlined in the link.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • Rebecca Williams,

    one thing i've heard no one mention (anywhere) are the other dangers associated with the illegal street racing scene (i refuse to propagate the "boy racer" catch-all phrase that most of the media lazily default to, in much the same way as i avoided saying "anti-smacking bill" during all that hoo-ha).

    i work directly with 13-19 year olds with serious drug problems, and believe me these are the kids involved in illegal street racing. they might not own the cars, but they flock there in their droves and if you're worried about alcohol, well, i've got some news for you. alcohol is probably the least of the drugs to be worried about in this particular scene. again, i'm not necessarily talking about the older kids driving the cars, but the younger ones who go to watch / get high / get run over ......

    the other issue is sexual assault. very young women (12, 13, 14 ...) are regular hangers-on and it is extremely unsafe for them. i can't count how mnay times i've sat and waited patiently for a young woman to come out and tell me that the "bad shit" that happened to her at the drag races a few months ago was getting raped in the back of a car.

    this scene, like all the scenes young people are involved in, is a microcosm of society. i'm preaching to the converted, i know, but i've got to say it - no point blaming these kids for the things they get up to, because what they're doing is what the grownups do. drink, drug, fuck, fight, and drive like a fucking arsehole.

    as for the 'yoof' on Campbell last night - i thought he was hilarious, and i did think he was taking it seriously. but, also in high old adolescent style, was unable to stop from grinning out his embarrassment - a major problem for adolescents is that their brain thinks everyone's looking at them all the time ... and in his case last night, his brain was right!

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    you know the crappy lowered Honda Civics with big exhausts

    yep, I know

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Rebecca Williams,

    by the way, i wrote this little limerick about being from auckland (sorry, sorry) ...

    there once was a girlie from auckland
    whose compatriots thought it was dorkland
    she went overseas, to escape this disease ...

    ... and found that all the bloody kiwis in london still had the same frickin' attitude to auckland anyway, for fuck's sake!!!!!

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    this scene, like all the scenes young people are involved in, is a microcosm of society. i'm preaching to the converted, i know, but i've got to say it - no point blaming these kids for the things they get up to, because what they're doing is what the grownups do. drink, drug, fuck, fight, and drive like a fucking arsehole.

    Wow. That's certainly some information to be getting on with.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Andrew llewellyn, hey it's no worse than the Holden painted as an Australian flag I saw cruising weakly past me last time I was in Sydney.

    Yes ricers have a different style. I had to spend 2 hours removing all the ridiculous and non-applicable stickers off my first MR2. It had no Mugen, or Momo, or HKS anything in it. But stickers are cheap.

    OTOH, paying a gigantic premium to own a moderately fast Euro car is no sillier, even if some circles will think it's more stylish. Any ricer would think it was just a wicked waste of money.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Good point Rebecca
    I tend to forget how ugly things were.
    So what is the moral example of these Mayors, their DIC & Speeding convictions?

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Haydn Thomsen,

    Have you ever seen boy racers interviewed on TV? They really don't tend to come across well.... ....They appeared so stupid as to make me fear for our future as a nation...

    Maybe so. But maybe the problem is that it was on TV - Are the kids interviewed on Holmes truly representative of 'boy racers', or do they perpetuate the image of stupid, scary, dirty teenage boys driving deathtraps that sells more papers / advertising / get's more clicks / replies...

    Have you ever seen an interview with a nice kid who goes to school and loves his mum :-) but happens to love cars, and driving round town with his friends is his idea of a good time? They must exist.

    Stop the interviewing on TV - Start talking to the kids when and where they are comfortable, using a relevant medium. I may be 33 but I recognise that this is probably online through msg board, blog and/or sms.

    Happy to help.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    NZ driver laws are predicated on the idea that a 15 year old farm hand need a liscence to be able to drive a tractor down a rural road. That's why our driving age is so low, and over the years no politician has been game to change that

    Yep, every time someone suggests raising the driving age, out pops some Cletus Lovejoy: "Won't somebody pleeeease think of the yokels?!" They're letting the stereotypical "bored kids in rural Taranaki" define the rest of the country.

    Another problem is that while public transport is underfunded and has to rely on very high fares, petrol is very cheap in NZ. And of course:

    The distances most people go to catch up with their lives are much greater so the bus rides will also be much longer.

    which is a consequence of building our cities so that they resemble rural Taranaki more than actual cities. Cars become a symbol of freedom only if you live in sprawling, dull dormitory suburbs where you need a car to get anywhere interesting. To me, freedom is being able to live in a city where I can get to want to do without having to get there in a one-tonne lump of metal that has to be parked somewhere, paid for and generally looked after.

    Until we can cram 16 million NZers into somewhere the size of Canterbury, the beautiful public transport options of most of Europe aren't going to happen.

    The Netherlands has a population density of just under 400 people per square kilometre. That's high for a whole country, but actually about a tenth of a typical NZ suburb, so it's not exactly crammed. We don't need a huge population, but we do need what population we have to be concentrated in a way that makes public transport, walking and cycling viable for more people. I don't ever expect Inglewood or Waitara to get great public transport, but there's no reason (apart from politics) that our major cities shouldn't.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Rebecca, alternative endings to complete the limerick:

    ...but met the same obsession with torque-bands.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Nobody Important,

    Good comments Rebecca. I think you're articulating why things are a little different now from when we were kids. Sure, there was booze and a bit of dope but that was it. And there weren't 200+ people gathered at each 'event'.

    I fully 'get' that what's happening now isn't much different to what went on in a 50's delinquent-teen movie, but what's different now is the scale of it. Those old movies glamourised what were rare events. These days its happening every weekend in multiple locations, with many hundreds turning out.

    As you rightly point out, it's the hangers-on that cause the trouble (they always do). And as always it's young girls/women getting drawn in and taken advantage of/abused. In my day we never had the mobility (vehicular or cellular) that these kids today have.

    expat • Since Mar 2007 • 319 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    ...and found Australia was Pork-land

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    "To me, freedom is being able to live in a city where I can get to want to do without having to get there in a one-tonne lump of metal that has to be parked somewhere, paid for and generally looked after."

    To me, freedom is to being allowed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    To me, freedom is to being allowed.

    I'm not quite sure how to parse that. If you mean that freedom is defined as being allowed to do whatever you want, then isn't an environment that forces you to spend thousands of dollars on owning, running, storing and learning to drive a car an imposition on your freedom? I've always found dense cities to be liberating environments, full of possibility; while being stuck in a place like Whitby or Bell Block is like a prison sentence.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    "but we do need what population we have to be concentrated in a way that makes public transport, walking and cycling viable for more people."

    Good luck with transforming NZ into that. See you in 50 years.

    Holland is cool, but it's flat, small and well populated, and has been urbanized for several hundred years. Their suburbs aren't like ours, because they don't have the space for it, and cars weren't even invented when their town planning had pretty much set it's current shape. Comparing their entire nation to suburbs of NZ is obviously not apples with apples. Compare NZ suburban density to Dutch suburban density and you have a comparison that is meaningful.

    I'm still amused that the original Zealand is in Holland, even though Holland fits into Canterbury. You get that when you name a place without actually sailing right around it first...sort of like the West Indies.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

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