Saturday, February 24, 2007

Spare the rod spoil the child, use the rod and be put in jail

Currently there is a bill before New Zealand Parliament to make it illegal for parents to hit their children. While New Zealand does have shocking domestic and child violence statistics this bill will mean a parent could be charged for even administering a light smack.

At the moment the law allows for a child to be smacked as long as "reasonable force" is used. The problem with the current legislation is the term reasonable force is not defined so what is reasonable to one person may be entirely different to someone else so it does little to give clear boundaries about what is legal and what is not.

Clearly something needed to changed but sadly the bill that has been presented to parliament seeks to make criminals out of well meaning parents. The bill's sponsor Sue Bradford would say that this not the intention of the legislation at and that it is unlikely the police would ever arrest someone for lightly hitting a child. However at the same time she is not willing to have her bill amended in anyway to allow for parents to lightly smack children.

The best suggestion has come from national MP Chester Burrows who has suggested an amendment to the proposed bill. Mr Burrows amendment would allow parents to use limited force when disciplining children but. So it would be similar to current legislation but would be a lot more definite about what constituted discipline and what constituted violence. Sadly Sue Bradford will not consider this as an amendment to her bill and claims that this would be worse then the current legislation. She has not however offered any explanation as to why clearly defined boundaries for physical discipline of a child would be worse then what we currently have but instead has insisted that if the amendment is approved then she will withdraw the bill. Clearly a case of if you disagree with me then I'm taking my ball and going home.

With the current debate going around Jim Hopikns wrote this fantastic piece for the New Zealand Herald. In it he addresses the pressure being put on individuals to vote down the party line despite it being a conscience vote. And also the inconsistencies between the governments attitude towards child violence and their attitude to abortion.

Sadly most commentators seem to think that Bradford's bill will be accepted. What can one say except GOD DEFEND NEW ZEALAND

Friday, February 23, 2007

The world is upside down

I once heard a preacher say "You know the world is upside down when the best rapper is white, the best golfer is black, the tallest man in the NBA is chinese and the number one r rated film is about Jesus (the passion)".

A NZ cricket fan could add NZ beating Australia 3-0 nil in a cricket series to the list. Of course this series is really only a warm up for the world cup which starts next month. Below are my thoughts about both teams world cup chance.

Australia will be a huge force and still probably deserve the tag of favourites. It will be interesting how the bowlers respond to the pastings they got in NZ. It is clear now the selectors made a huge mistake in selecting Tait over Clark. At the moment Tait does not appear to have the control to be an international bowler. I am certain he will take a few wickets at the cup but he will also bleed a few runs. However the key to the World Cup will still be the batsman. If Ponting, Hussey Clarke and Gilly fire then look out.

New Zealands fortunes depend on Bond and Vettori. Firstly they both need to be fit and secondly on form. Vettori has been a bit more inconsistant then usual, but I am sure he will relish the slower pitches in the WestIndies and be a force. Bond must adjust quickly, in Australia he seemed to struggle to adjust to different conditions early on and it is paramount that he works out his lengths early. If these two perform consistanly then we certainly seem to have a middle order capable of scoring runs.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Weighing in the bags

According to this article at it may not just be the bags that get weighed next time you head to the airport. It has been suggested that airlines may offer a discount for lighter passengers as it keeps less weight on the plane. I wonder if such a plan is really feasible.

This reminds me of a trip to a ladies clothes shop (with my wife) one time. I had just been training some new recruits at Inland Revenue on customer service so CS was at the forefront of my mind. One shop assistance was helping a lady in the changing room and when a particular item of clothing was two small rather then walk herself over to the other side to collect the bigger item she yelled across to a co worker "I need a size 16, the size 14 is too small". I must admit I was amused but I also felt extremely sorry for the lady who had just had her dress size yelled to all and sundry. Now that's classy customer service with a capital K.