If the Straitjacket Fits ...

105 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

  • Hamish,

    The idea is that host responsibility precludes excess drinking to intoxication

    Reece, I'll just quote you again "I had many years experience in hospo ... and saw lots of really dumb stuff mostly perpetrated by teenagers". So again, I say that your proposal to raise the drinking age for off-licenses will not solve the problem you brought up of roudy teenagers in on-licenses.

    ...as a society we've decided that children need to be nurtured and protected until they are sufficiently developed to be able to look after themselves.

    Obviously, we're not monsters, but we're not talking about children (or only about children). Raising the drinking age only impacts on 18 and 19 year olds. Banning party pills only impacts on people above 18. Banning fire-works effects everyone. Do we really need this protection and (again, I keep asking this) at what cost do we buy it?

    The A.K. • Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

  • Sarah Wedde,

    "Banning fire-works effects everyone. Do we really need this protection and (again, I keep asking this) at what cost do we buy it?"

    The banning of many hazardous things affects everyone. The cost of banning fireworks? People don't get to ooh and ahh at the pretty shiny bangy things in their own backyards and instead have to attend organised displays. Or shall we go with a bogus "thin end of the wedge" argument and claim that the price we'll heve to pay is children soon being banned from jungle gyms?

    And Reece, my hand-wringing practices have no relevance to the legitimacy of your argument.

    Lower Hutt • Since Nov 2006 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Not just the Labour party, but yes there does seem to be a disproportionately high number of them there. I'd be more inclined to think that was due to the highly unionised nature of that particular workforce and the close links between the union movement socialism and the Labour party. As far as collective punishment goes its not something I'm into, my charges know that if they mess up they will be held responsible, not their peers as well. That's just a sure fire recipe for bullying.

    Or it could be that us teachers are both intelligent and bossy. Good qualities for politicians. [winky smilie] Everybody here, drop and give me 20 NOW!

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    On the fireworks banning. It will suck for the fun of your average joe family to disappear but wasn't one of the main reasons that they were looking at banning them the ENORMOUS number of fire engine callouts last year? Wasn't it 1,200 over the fireworks 'period' and wasn't it a significant increase on the year before?

    I fully expect this year to top last year and for it to keep on cranking up every year (if they last any longer).

    One of my third formers had a pringles container at school which he proudly informed me he was taking home to use to make a bomb with. We wrestled with the container briefly but I had to make do with getting the top off and cutting it in half with my snips. It was my token effort to save his life and I wished him well and looked forward to seeing him in class on Monday with no arms.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Hamish,

    Or shall we go with a bogus "thin end of the wedge" argument

    We're talking about all of the proposals that are getting publicity at the moment: raising the drinking age, banning party pills, forcing employers to remove unhealthy food vending machines, banning fireworks... I could go on. It's not such a thin wedge.

    The A.K. • Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    I do not like all this legislating to 'protect' people and children from themselves. I see some schools in america are banning tag in the playground incase someone gets hurt. Children need to play and risk getting scrapped knees etc, and the odd broken bone. It helps them work out in their heads what limits there are. they need to stretch, they need to run around, they need to experiment with finding out what they cannot handle and what they can.
    Raising the drinking age has the same affect, there will be no chance for teenagers to find out what they can't and can handle, and do they magically become responsible when they are 20?

    I have watched the increase in the nanny state for a while now. Too much legislation. Whatever happened to taking responsiblity for your own actions or stupidity? You got it wrong you learnt. Now we are increasingly taking those life lessons away from teenagers until we 'deem them old enough'. and when they are chronologically old enough what then? They are let loose with few life lessons.

    Just trying to take over a thread here as I'm prone to do. Or is that prostate in this month? dunno.

    I remember that bullrush was banned at my primary school. Every term on the first day back we would play bullrush and there would be an announcement at assembly that it was banned.

    Skateboarding was a popular playtime activity as well until it too was banned apart from one organised day each term.

    "Kiwi cricket" was started at my primary school so kids could all have a turn with the ball being hit off a peg for the less gifted.

    And "touch rugby" was started where you couldn't kick the ball and HAD TO pass the ball after receiving the first pass.

    So here we have a couple of popular NZ sports tamed down in the mid 1980s and two other popular activities which could cause harm banned in the same time period.


    And guess what? Our cricket team is still very competitive, our rugby team is ranked number one, we kick butt at sport and we still skateboard and play contact sport if we want.

    None of this so called "nanny state" is new like people seem to bitch about.

    Re the drinking age: I'm with RB (and Mapp?) on their option for 20 from the grog shops and 18 from the booze houses. Or failing that we could discover this amazing age called 19 and get over everything having to be on an even number.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Gregor Ronald,

    This safety obsession has been going on for as while, gaining in strength in the last 5-10 years. I used to be a secondary teacher, doing lots of camps etc, but the admin and paperwork mounted up to make it not worth the trouble.

    It didn't make the camp any safer, of course, it just meant that if a kid fell off a cliff or drowned, the school bosses could wash their hands and say it wasn't their fault. It would be inadequate "risk management" on the teacher's part - nothing to do with the outdated gear or low level of adult staffing decreed by "them upstairs".

    Does anyone think that increasing the drinking age would actually work? How on earth would it be enforced? I'd be keener on finding a way to drag parents into court along with their kids.

    As for fireworks, having endured a week of burning stuff landing in my yard, I'd shorten the on-sale period so kids couldn't have a two week spree - but I wouldn't ban them, just because some boys think they're fun. Guess what? They ARE fun!

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Last year there were fireworks being let off every weekend for a good two months after guy fawkes round my neighbourhood so the sale period isn't much of a hindrance. People just stock up. I don't think they are making multiple trips to buy them. They just get so many that they have enough to last for a long period of time.

    I went on a school camp this year down to the Tongariro National Park with 45 sixth form students and we had a great time without much paperwork or hassle. Also been on 3 individual, day long fieldtrips in the last 12 months with no problems whatsoever.

    Our school also runs a successful seventh form camp at the start of each year along with 4th form wider living week involving hundreds of students (we have over 600 4th formers at my school) to parts all over New Zealand each year.

    As long as each teacher who is going is responsible for one or two things and the workload gets shared then it doesn't have to be too big a deal. They all need a safety plan which is clearly a necessary thing to prepare, but once its done then you only need to change the dates on it for the same camp the next year.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Still, looking for the upside of every downgrade in human intelligence, am I the only person who finds paranoid parents and neo-puritan politicians a delicious gumbo of ironies, nitwit nostalgia and flat out hypocrisy? Unless things have changed dramatically since I was on the fringes of Wellywood politics, the bar in Parliament still has the most heavily subsidised alcohol this stide of the Vic student union, and I still go to parties where you'll hear half-cut baby boomer wax lyrical about how vile yoof are nowadays but it was different when they were whoring, sassing their elders, drinking illegally, listening to horrid music and treating their bodies like the soil around Paritutu.

    And I think that's the real problem - like every other moral panic, the problem's always THEM never us, isn't it?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Hamish,

    And I think that's the real problem - like every other moral panic, the problem's always THEM never us, isn't it?


    The A.K. • Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Clarke,

    The problem of course is there are both morons and evil people out there. So how do you stop them doing stupid stuff.

    Give them LPG and cigarettes and let Darwin sort it out.

    -36.76, 174.61 or thereab… • Since Nov 2006 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Maxwell,

    As I listen to the booms outside while I toil away for a deadline, I was thinking about Russell's/Hamish's question.

    We as kids certainly always sought out the most dangerous fireworks/bangers that we could find, taped them together, pointed them at each other etc. It was dangerous,mostly because we knew that if a parent caught us we were in the shit! The idea that someone might get hurt cropped up occasionaly as well.

    I wonder if the question is about making us safer at a cost, or whether we are compensating for a cost already paid.
    We are definetly trying to make everyone too good for our sake, and I'm sure it is well intentioned. However I wonder what it says about our faith in the children of today, and by proxy our own ability as parents and as a society to 'hold' them, and their behaviour.

    The need to legislate is, I believe an indication of failure.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • reece palmer,

    "Reece, I'll just quote you again "I had many years experience in hospo ... and saw lots of really dumb stuff mostly perpetrated by teenagers". So again, I say that your proposal to raise the drinking age for off-licenses will not solve the problem you brought up of roudy teenagers in on-licenses."

    Not wanting to be pedantic but I didn't refer specifically to on licences when mentioning the dumb stuff etc, you just assumed. (are the italics and bold type really necessary?) it was exclusively off licence behaviour having worked in both sides of the retail of liquor. For example Young boys from Auckland Grammar making average quality fake id's that state their dob making them 21 while their photo is in school uniform. People trying to shoplift in the most blatant ways.
    But no hard feelings, we cant all be one hundred percent factually correct all of the time, just look at the herald.

    the terraces • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    "ENORMOUS number of fire engine callouts"

    Apparently a firefighter called the B and said that the vast majority of their callouts to Guy fawkes incidents required no action - the bonfire or whatever was under control.

    High rise buildings with automatic alarms also generate large numbers of fire callouts - nobody suggests banning them!

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Hamish,

    By the way, from our little unit on a hill we have a view on a goodly portion of the city. With what I'm seeing you will never convince me that the majority of our population would actually wants to ban fireworks (what a bunch of hypocrites we must be). It's a beautiful night and the view is amazing.

    The A.K. • Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Was it a TV3 poll???? 52% in favour of a ban and 45% against a ban.

    I'm wondering how many kids were asked? ;)

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    We're not talking scrapped knees in the playground though are we? You don't just learn what your limits are if things go wrong with fireworks, you end up seriously burnt, or blind, or starting a fire.

    Actually I don't think that's entirely true. Most accidents with fireworks just scare the crap out of people. It's only a small percentage of fireworks accidents that cause any injury and only a small percentage of those that cause a serious enough injury to be reported.

    That's not to minimise your point but instead it highlights just how many times accidents happen with fireworks. My guess is that there would be very few backyard displays this weekend where everything went according to plan. Certainly in ours there were several fireworks that went wayward.


    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    OK in an attempt to get back to Hamish' point...

    So what exactly causes people to be innovative? Genuine question.

    I work in an industry where if you actually look at what people do day to day they are incredibly innovative. Thinking laterally developing alternative solutions to problems and in general making stuff up that works.

    BUT has that innovation decreased with the changes in the job over the last 20 years? The instictive answer is to say yes because I remember the innovative stuff we were doing 15 years ago - but I also think I forget the boring stuff that didn't work. I guess if you look at publication rates you could argue we are less innovative but even that is a tough call to be certain on.

    What I do know is that with ERMA (the envrionmental risk management authority) regulations and with increased monitoring of health and safety there are more things we cannot do at all and many things that require more hassle to do. Does that mean we are less innovative - well one arguement is yes because there are some very good experiments we could be doing that are simply to expensive in administrative costs to attempt. But that also drives us to look for other ways of getting the knowledge we want - ie we are forced to innovate.

    So I'm not sure - yes I think nanny state in the guise of H&S and ERMA does hinder (and sometime stop) some good innovation from happening. But ultimately the people are innovative anayway.

    But I work in an unusual industry - we are a group of people selected to be innovative. But then I read the business pages (occassionally) and read about other industries where people are being innovative all the time.

    You know I just don't think Hamish is right. I think yes there are more cases now where the community (aka government) limits our activities. But I really don't believe that we as a community are less creative as a result. I guess for me the problem is I can't be sure the frequency of innovation in the NZ society has changed - good lord how would you measure it?

    erk that might be too optimistic for a Monday.


    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    I haven't read all the comments on this so apologies if someone else has mentioned it, but is our national behaviour on Guy Fawkes a symptom of the all-but-one-day ban we impose? If fireworks were available all year round would we have the same number of fires, injuries and animals pooing on the couch in fear as we do now, simply spread out over the course of the year, or more, or fewer?

    I guess we'll never know. All I can say, is that when I drunkenly showed my friend's 7 year old how to hold fireworks in your hand, light them and then toss them on the ground last night, there was a tear in my eye as I thought he may never grow to share such irresponsible behaviour with his friend's son at a BBQ one day.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Anne Yardley,

    Re: Here's an interesting article from the UK Prospect magazine
    Copy to every politician, parent, teacher, civil servant etc etc
    In fact everyone would be good.

    Bay of Islands • Since Nov 2006 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Ana Samways,

    Last night I watched a bunch of teenagers at a family party pimp a box of fireworks - as in open them up and combine ingredients together and generally piss about with them.

    Ban them I say.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Lance Hodges,

    I agree Damian. Starving the NZ public of fireworks for a whole year and then giving us just a few days to let it all out. It's asking for trouble.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Hamish,

    You know I just don't think Hamish is right.

    Hey, you actually read the comments and added something rational and on topic - so I can't complain!

    Last night I watched a bunch of teenagers at a family party pimp a box of fireworks - as in open them up and combine ingredients together and generally piss about with them.

    Ban them I say.

    But... why? Because another family was ok with letting their teenagers experiment with them? Is that your decision?

    The A.K. • Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

  • Nat Torkington,

    Bart said, "__My guess is that there would be very few backyard displays this weekend where everything went according to plan__". Nobody was hurt or even scared in our home's firefest. The worst that happened was that two things from our $70 box of goodies went "sput" instead of whatever they were supposed to do. We took the box down to the wharf and had a bloody good time. The explosions echoed all around Whangateau Harbour with nobody losing an organ or limb, no fires being started, and no pets being horrified (though there were probably a few startled possums).

    I don't care how stupid teenagers are with them, I don't want my fireworks taken away. It's as selfish and as simple as that. I like being able to make a thing go 'bang', I like being able to get close to a pretty spark-making Firezilla Pretty Colour Mega-Volcano.

    The parallels with liquor seem pretty good. I don't want my Speights Old Dark taken away just because kids love to get hammered on whatever it is that kids get hammered on these days, puking on the neighbour's cat. We're only arguing about the age of sale, not whether liquor should be blanket banned except for organized community events where everyone gathers around and watches the anointed respectable ones knock back a few G&Ts under a bonfire.

    If the argument works for alcohol, let it apply to fireworks too. Only let people above the age of 21 buy fireworks. If the risks are managable for liquor the year around, they're managable for fireworks a few nights of the year. Yes, fireworks are immediately dangerous while alcohol is indirectly dangerous, but I'd be interested to know the per-capita numbers for alcohol-related deaths and injuries vs fireworks-related. I've heard people complain about the noise (oo er is my banging keeping you up?), but our neighbours love to get on the piss on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, sometimes going until midnight (and, on one memorable night, screaming derangedly at 3am). I don't think they're special. I don't think alcohol-related annoyance numbers vs fireworks-related would look good for alcohol.

    A cautionary note on the request for a winter fireworks day. I know it's November and by now the worst of the winter memories are fading, but here's a reminder: winter sucks. I remember when it would rain on Guy Fawkes--it's no fun going to a community event when it's sheeting down and the sou-wester's cutting through your budget coat and every time you look up you get a bucketful in the moosh. The summer 4th of July never stopped us when we were in the US--when the kids were younger, they'd fall asleep before the show but we'd enjoy it and then just carry them home. No big.


    Ti Point • Since Nov 2006 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    teenagers at a family party

    So where were their parents? For that matter, where were you? You just watched this and said nothing?

    There's part of the problem right there.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…


You may also create an account or retrieve your password.