The Indiscrete Charmlessness Of Upper-Class Rule-Breakers

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THE UPPER-CLASS ABSCONDERS from Auckland’s Level 4 Lockdown have done the rest of New Zealand a favour. They have exposed, in the most dramatic terms, the true extent of the social gulf separating the wealthiest New Zealanders from the poorest.

Just for a moment, the “average Kiwi” has been given a glimpse of how the upper-class lives. In this world of thoroughbred horses, bucolic rural estates, powers-that-be parents, and million-dollar holiday homes, the triumphs and tragedies of ordinary people simply do not register.

What has registered with ordinary people, however, is that the importance of following “The Rules” depends entirely on one’s position in the social hierarchy. Rule-following is crucial to the management of the wayward masses, but, for the people in whom the system reposes its greatest trust, playing by the rules is, clearly, optional.

I shall never forget the moment when my confidence in the notion that New Zealand was a country without great extremes of wealth was profoundly shaken. I was on my way north to Christchurch with some Dunedin friends, and we were passing through the North Otago countryside where I grew up. Quite how the subject of “Cosy Dell” came up, I can’t remember, but somehow I persuaded our driver to make a quick detour off Highway One so that we could all view this picturesque holiday spot perched on the banks of the Waianakarua River. When we got there, however, what I had prepared them to see bore no resemblance to the reality that awaited us.

You see, when I was a little lad, Cosy Dell had the sort of holiday homes familiar to all New Zealanders. Scattered amongst the native bush were the modest “cribs” (as South Islanders insist on calling batches) that families had built as more effective protection against the elements than canvass. Off the beaten track, land was purchasable by all but the most indigent souls. And the building codes? Well, they were as ramshackle as the holiday homes themselves. The first five decades of the twentieth century, in New Zealand, were freer and easier times. It was the quaint evidence of these far-off decades that I expected to see. What I actually saw was the 1980s.

Perched on the bush-covered hillsides of Cosy Dell were mansions masquerading as holiday homes. Architect-designed houses that would have graced the fanciest streets of Remuera, Khandallah, Fendalton and Māori Hill. And they were empty! Hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars-worth of real estate just sitting there among the trees – unoccupied. Everyone in the car stared at these “cribs” open-mouthed.

Scarcely believing my eyes, I exited the vehicle and walked along the road, looking around despondently for the holiday homes of yesteryear. My friends joined me, taking in the rattle of the swift little river and the tinkling calls of bellbirds in the branches. Eventually, we spotted what was left of a genuine crib – looking like a tramp at the Ritz. Shaking our heads in disbelief, we got back in the car, and re-joined the highway to Christchurch.

That was when I first grasped what was happening to New Zealand. Even before the sweeping changes of Rogernomics, the gap between the rich and the poor was widening. I knew all about Wanaka and Lake Hayes, the places where Dunedin’s wealthiest citizens spend their summers. I’d heard the stories about swimming pools, private tennis courts and palatial retreats. But all that was no more than I expected. Elites discreetly showing off to members of their own class, in the places where their class went to show off. That sort of conspicuous consumption was as old as Pompei. But Cosy Dell! Who the hell had enough money to build a mansion in Cosy Dell? Who was going to see it?

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I suppose I should have been grateful that the upper-class still felt it advisable to exercise discretion when it came to displaying their wealth. It was only out of the purest nostalgia that I had returned to Cosy Dell. That this tiny, virtually unheard of, holiday resort had, in the 16 years I had been away, become a place of astonishing opulence, took me completely by surprise  . Most travellers drove straight past the turn-off without a second glance, blissfully unaware of its existence.

That was all about to change, of course. All that upper-class discretion, which hid the family pile behind high walls and mature trees. After 1984, it lasted about as long as an asset-rich private company in the sights of Brierley Investments. By the late-1980s the cry of the nouveau riche was: “If you’ve got it, flaunt it! Fuck the poor!”

And they did – royally.

And they still are, it seems, and not just the poor, but the middle-classes as well! Indeed, it’s hard to know who was more pissed-off with the Auckland Absconders – the very poor or the moderately well-off? Historically, at least, it is the furious ambivalence of the middle-classes which those at the very top of the social pyramid should fear the most. The petit-bourgeoisie believes in nothing so much as following the rules, so it is dangerous in the extreme for the upper-class to laugh at their self-righteous obedience. Even more dangerous, however, is setting up a situation in which the story of Anacharsis and his web strikes a raw nerve.

The Web of Anacharsis? Why, I thought you’d never ask!

“Your laws are like cobwebs,” declared the Scythian prince, Anacharsis, to the celebrated Athenian lawgiver, Solon, more than two-and-a-half millennia ago: “for if any trifling or powerless thing falls into them, they hold it fast, but if a thing of any size falls into them it breaks the mesh and escapes.”

Or should that be “absconds”?

111 COMMENTS

  1. Maybe Jacinda should go and have a nice family holiday in Huntly or Tokoroa and not Pauanui or Queenstown. Perhaps then she could see that what she thinks she is creating is actually a phoney facade. Its time to bring the elites down a peg or two as they are laughing at the lot of us!!!

  2. And best of all, it is the mother of this upper class couple that is appointed to literally judge over the middle and lower class. She must really love her son right now!

  3. If there was a squatters law which allowed the homeless to requisitian these empty bach mansions it would provide the incentive needed for governments of all hue to provide adequate social/state housing.

  4. Interesting read in the Herald as an adjunct to the concept advocated by Chris Trotter.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/covid-19-delta-outbreak-cruel-reaction-to-wanaka-holidaymakers-product-of-a-campaign-of-fear/OKMNXSNZQ5NHGQVNCBSKFK57FI/

    {{Part of the anger towards the couple came from a ”prolonged campaign of fear” from the Government and the media over Covid-19.
    ”Everybody is being told over and over that they should be scared,” he said.
    People were being told if they followed the rules then New Zealand could stop the virus, but it was not as simple as that.
    The emotive nature painted the picture that if you broke the rules you were ”evil”, he said.
    Social media fed into those feelings and drove people away from caring for others.
    Most people would have broken the rules in some way, whether it was talking to a struggling neighbour or visiting an elderly family member in need.}}

    But most importantly

    {{”At the end of all of this nobody is going to remember how compliant you were with the rules, but your neighbours are going to remember how much you cared for them.” }}

    The preaching of kindness from the pulpit of truth has disappeared, as has the notion of the team of 5 million.

    The sermon from the pulpit is now more fear factor, fire and brimstone, divide and conquer rhetoric, from those whom we must obey. Be interesting to notice when this change occurred and is it due to the common folk no longer buying the governmental spin?

    • Blaming the individual rather than the holes in the system that allowed it is a tactic this government has used several times to divert attention.
      I dislike mob hysteria, it makes people look stupid.
      Give these people their time in court, also the 50 people at the tangi and anyone else intentionally breaking rules, as it should be but leave the preaching and moral hysteria out, we get enough of that at 1 pm daily.

    • Gerrit. Ardern specifically told us not to talk to the neighbours when we went back into level 4. I still feel bad about not asking a neighbourhood oddball in for coffee when he turned up on my step, but I knew that the curtain-twitchers could dob me in.

      Not everyone lives among the Waltons.

    • Yep, power stems from the control of discourse.

      “University of Otago department of psychological medicine senior lecturer Dr Chris Gale said people under stress did silly things and those in Auckland were under ‘a huge amount of stress’ “.

      That may be generally the case, but in this case, nah, symptomatic of wealth and priviledge.

  5. The interesting part of your story Chris illustrates that your generation “knew not what they did” in regards to social distancing between the rich and the poor. If someone of your erstwhile intellect was gayly unaware of the social distancing consequences of selling off power stations as you gambolled through Cosy Dell then this tells me what I have long suspected. That Rogernomics was not so much a conspiracy of highly planned social and economic change but rather a handful of butt ignorant boomers who didn’t know jack shit about the consequences of their actions. In a perverse way I rather wish it had of been a planned strategy.

    • If you had read the post carefully, Mr Panda, you would have noted that the “Cosy dell” visit described pre-dated Rogernomics. (It was in 1981.)

      I’m also pretty sure you are using “social distancing” incorrectly.

      Proof, perhaps, that your generation know not what they do?

      • I thought my social distancing allegory was rather clever, topical and relevant. Clearly not. When did you last talk to someone dirt poor Chris? Well that’s called social distancing.
        Go to a higher plane and you will see I hold your generation in utter contempt for stripping the young of hope. I plan to set up a hall of shame to hold people like Max Bradford to account. Lest we ever forget these clowns.
        My friends at uni have a major conundrum you may be able to help us with. Is it ethical to raise a toast when those responsible move to a better neighbourhood? Thats a metaphor.

        • Ooh the shaaade! I read you loud n clear. And so it continues. Hang in there people, some of us will see some of you, on the other side… the paradigm is shifting (may take a while yet)

  6. For me it was sitting around the Christmas table in the 2010s with my family as I always had and not having enough money to buy food for the next week while others were in a much better position where once that distinction didn’t exist back in the 1970s. Not being horrible to my family. It was just an example of how much personal circumstances can vary these days.

  7. I suspect that the very wealthy will join the National Party, which is currently loathed by the masses and for similar reasons. Arrogant, greedy and born to rule along with the massive carbon footprint from their overindulgent excesses will be an obvious target for loathing when climate change ramps up it destructive forces. Vain and insecure little parasites that wreck everything for their pleasure.

  8. Have a care. Be kind to the rich and their gated places. They are threaten by the coming revolution. Help secure their gates from the coming mobs. You can do this by adding lock and chains to their gates or even weld them securely if the metal of their gate is weak. A mound of concrete across the entrance will prevent invaders driving in. Help their security.

  9. The herald article this morning claims the cruel reaction to the Wanaka holiday makers is a product of fear that fear being instilled by our government. I think the media coverages would make anyone fearful seeing mass graves and the number of daily deaths in many countries including across the Tasman but also in countries like the UK. I believe people are also sick and tired of wealthy people getting treated better and getting of things others would be severely punished for. At times like this inequalities come to the fore and we are seeing this here in NZ. Our Maori people should be fearful of this virus we have almost been wiped out before from influenza, TB, Polio and others and we have also been neglected by past governments. So it doesn’t surprise me that many of our people do not trust the state, after all history has taught us we are more than often the last cab off the rank. As for NZ being cruel we see this nasty, evil underbelly side of our country often especially when it comes to Maori rights and issues. And it is not a jealousy issue its about fairness when people who are rich can flout the laws and then be treated differently by our authorities, many of whom are in the same circles. Ron Brierley is a case that comes to mind, we didn’t see or hear much from the upper echelons of NZ society crucifying him for his disgusting acts, and why not? and yet many knew of his behaviour, he never hid it, yet many chose to turn a blind eye. Like birds of a feather.

    • Greenbus. By and large the very wealthy are not particularly interested in politics. It’s the wannabes who join the National Party – the girl from the grocer shop who thinks it’ll make her posh, solo mothers’ sons desperate to feel important – not born to rule people, but probably inadequate ones – the brains have nearly always veered left – dreams of social mobility entice some ghastly people to the right – hungry.

      • Solo mum son here who never felt the need to join Natzos to embiggen myself lol …went the other way inspired by a socialist teacher at a conservative school and by seeing the struggles and racism in my family and neighborhood.

        • CrimsonGhost – I salute a good man – and a good teacher – what a difference they can make – and your mum did well too, it is really hard for women going it alone and lovely that her son is a high value chappie.

  10. The herald article this morning claims the cruel reaction to the Wanaka holiday makers is a product of fear that fear being instilled by our government. I think the media coverages would make anyone fearful seeing mass graves and the number of daily deaths in many countries including across the Tasman but also in countries like the UK. I believe people are also sick and tired of wealthy people getting treated better and getting of things others would be severely punished for. At times like this inequalities come to the fore and we are seeing this here in NZ. Our Maori people should be fearful of this virus we have almost been wiped out before from influenza, TB, Polio and others and we have also been neglected by past governments. So it doesn’t surprise me that many of our people do not trust the state, after all history has taught us we are more than often the last cab off the rank. As for NZ being cruel we see this nasty, evil underbelly side of our country often especially when it comes to Maori rights and issues. And it is not a jealousy issue its about fairness when people who are rich can flout the laws and then be treated differently by our authorities, many of whom are in the same circles. Ron Brierley is a case that comes to mind, we didn’t see or hear much from the upper echelons of NZ society crucifying him for his disgusting acts, and why not? and yet many knew of his behaviour, he never hid it, yet many chose to turn a blind eye. Like birds of a feather.

    • Yes Bert it’s called communication. Something that the ignorant don’t appreciate, and the fact we have great communicator as PM who is also a female and from the Labour Party. Sour grapes every time.

    • Bert and fans
      That 1pm show is irritating to say the least. Just publish the numbers FFS, no 1pm show required, we’re not as stupid as most the cabinet ministers. The briefing is not a briefing, the mere name briefing suggests that it be brief. The 1pm Covid Show is pure political theatre, even down to the symbolic hand sanitising, head tilting and word emphasising, it’s all perfectly scripted to perfection. You obviously revel in your idol sharing banal dialogue like what silly name to call the mobile vaccine service – when the correct strategy is not to make a joke of it and call Vaccine Service. Poor Ashley has to tow the line to protect his big salary, when I bet my bottom dollar, all he wants is to tell the nation the truth that there no such thing as ‘elimination’ when it come to a virus like this. Imagine him contradicting his employer, now that would be a 1pm show worth watching!

      • No need to be sour Kraut…the briefings are known as leadership in a high stakes public health crisis.

        NZ National and dirty filthy ACT would have opened up the borders in 2020. Thankfully over two thirds of New Zealanders–despite daily media strafings, and whinging Cafe owners 24/7–still do not want mass deaths of their friends, family and neighbours.

      • The Kraut and Qanon followers.

        Thanks The The Kraut, you proved my point 10 fold, yours was a hysterical rant. Don’t watch, simple. Tune into to the Rimmer and Paranoid Collins ” briefings” such is your clear leaning. Then you truly will get political theater.
        Your anal beliefs, your categorization of Bloomfield and the P.M. reminds me of the kid that missed out on breast feeding and always has the dummy in his mouth to spit out. Your posts are irritating resembling Qanon conspiracies.

      • One of your hero’s, the Honorable John Key would of done much the same. As a skilled communicator the slippery smiler would have milked it for all it’s worth. They’re high ranking experienced politicians, what do you expect? For the benefit of all different people JA speaks slowly and clearly to help them understand. You feel humiliated? Well that’s the big chip on your shoulder. Take a deep breath Kraut, things could be worse.

      • So don’t watch it? Who’s forcing you??
        I can’t be assed with it either, so sometime post 1300hrs when I’m out and about a quick look at a news website tells me the number. Easy. Did you need this explained to you?

    • Well said bert…. but try to imagine the briefings if conducted by Ms Collins or Mr Seymour. Now that would be hysterical.Also I wondered how long it would be before the absconsion of the two entitled NZ aristocrats would be blamed on Jacinda. This quantam leap of tory logic appeared in the first 2 or 3 comments on this blog. Tha raised a few giggles but not hysteria.
      After all the Wanaka trip ( I’ve seen it misspelled as the Wanka trip), was not a matter of life or death. Oh wait! yes it was.

  11. I am feeling more that they should get a harder penalty, she is a lawyer who should know the law, he comes from an extremely privileged background surrounded by judge family members. I am not buying the ‘stress’ of lockdown made them do it (laughable), and it’s Jacinda and the government’s fault that they are stressed out (even more laughable).

    • They will not get a “harder penalty” precisely because she is a lawyer, and a Judge is family. They all know the law. Mandates are not law, and I think it was stated that they had exemption passes. They volunteered to testing and were no risk to anyone, they are not infectious and do not have covid. They put nobody at risk, and that is the truth, unless the tests are faulty and cannot be trusted? It will be interesting from a legal perspective to see how this plays out. I do not think bad judgment or hypocrisy can be legislated, nor should it be. Dobbing in people is absolutely disgusting unless somebody looks seriously ill. It is horrible to think that this has created a nation of narks and little petty dictators, it is gross.

  12. It is fascinating how the issue of breaking the rules intersects with that of class privilege. I am not sure what to think re what should happen to these people. They have already hired a QC to represent them, which surely will rule out a prison sentence? Doug Graham escaped jail for defrauding people out of millions. I can’t help thinking that the ‘rich’ will be more outraged even then the rest of us – after all, dahhling, the first rule is don’t get caught, n’est ce pas? (I am being very cynical here, but there is a bit of that about).
    The most interesting thing about this is the dilemma in which all judges will be caught in this matter, with one of their number being caught up as mother of an absconder. Judges are themselves a ‘class’ of people, and very cliquish at times. The absconders will almost certainly plead guilty. All eyes will be on the sentencing. The judge is required to go through a process which is almost a mathematical model of looking at the seriousness of the crime and any mitigations. The seriousness is up there. Travel long distance, lie your way through the Covid border, take public flights etc. The only mitigation I can see is that they were Covid tested before they left (how many days before? how many times? etc will be taken into account). The Act states that a person convicted may be given a prison term of ‘not exceeding’ six months OR a fine of up to $4000.
    As I am anti-prison in general (AND it costs us over $50,000 to keep a person there for six months), I would be happy with a conviction and a maximum fine. Community service is always a good punishment for wealthy people, too – giving service to others is a great thing to do. Sorry, I am rambling, but this is such an interesting subject. I wouldn’t mind writing a book on how rich NZers are treated in the law….

    • Since a $4000 fine is meaningless to them, I just hope the judiciary impose community service for quite a number of hours. Not to be punitive but to show them that they are not above the law and to think it through next time. If their punishment is a fine, that is pathetic. Clearly $4000 might be a deterrent to a poor family, but myself and most people will be outraged if that is all this couple receive because it is a slap in the face to appropriate justice.

      • Me too! I’ll setup a go fund me to help pay 60 days (out in half) plus home detention 6 months. Must both serve full home d sentence, concurrently!

    • Good stuff Liz. I cannot see why a woman who escaped with her kids from MIQ cause she wanted them to see their dying father, got caught and went to prison for 18 days.

      The only difference for these two is their privilege and ability to get QCs etc. It all disgusts me.
      I hope they go to prison for 18 days, and like you I am not a fan of prisons at all.

      I am appalled at the judge mother threatening the media, how can anyone be stopped from asking around the neighborhood.

      I heard Kylie Quince on the radio talking again about the difference between charges etc for Maori to pakeha

    • Ok then….community service for all covid transgression? Too late for the brown folks who have already served time tho…sorry do not agree!!!! Send those assholes to jail. Sorry, no double standards please. They might learn a thing or two about privilege seeing wot those that don’t have it experience.

  13. ” … Brierley Investments. By the late-1980s the cry of the nouveau riche was: “If you’ve got it, flaunt it! Fuck the poor!”

    Chris. Did Gordon Gekko ever work for Brierleys? Just a thought.

  14. Love the Web of Anacharsis analogy. And the likes of covid is pa’s around Brierley. Same stuff around Epstein etc internationally. Aside from how the laws are actually set up, we really really need them to be applied equally. Those who the applying them don’t often have the courage of their convictions to do so (or something equivalent).

    One confounding factor in this whole covid rules thing (not applicable to the AKL couple) is whether we have a moral obligation not to follow stupid sets of rules/public health advice. Of course there will be a debate around the edges of what constitutes ‘stupid’. But there are good arguments that many have been and continue to be a) patently absurd; and/or b) more connected to political agendas than public health.

    PS am from a Wanaka family from the early 1950s. What has happened there is a tragedy/disgrace too.

  15. Stuff today:
    “Following the couple’s names being made public on Tuesday, a Stuff journalist sent a text message to Willis’ mother, Judge Mary-Beth Sharp.

    The text message sent to Judge Sharp included a request for an interview and asked for her response to various allegations. The Judge did not respond to the message.

    On Wednesday evening, the judge’s lawyers sent a letter to Stuff claiming that the allegations put to the Judge by the Stuff journalist were “highly defamatory”.

    Judge Sharp’s lawyer requested that the statements not be repeated in any way to a third party.

    The letter also warned Stuff about approaching nearby residents at the Wānaka house for comment.

    Judge Sharp, via her lawyer, sought urgent confirmation that the “line of inquiry” would cease immediately.”

    Warned reporters about approaching nearby residents at the Wānaka house for comment? What?
    Accepting the notion might be the victim of the whims of reportage, aren’t reporters allowed to talk to people?

    • A mighty fine example of just how distanced from reality we (this team of 5 million) have become.
      Oh! And @Chris, and @Martyn and all you other haters. Do you not understand the sheer tumult Mary-Beth and her enterage are going through. I just can’t imagine!
      She’d have been OK until she sought to put the clampers on legitimate inquiry. Fuk her and all who sail in her.
      While the Auckland judicial club might seek to close ranks, we’ve yet to see just how badly the rest of judicial and legal entitlement has descended.

    • Btw @ Peter, what’s bothering me most during this pandemic, with all its supply chain issues, it how on Earth Mary-Beth is going to get that gorgeous shade of lipstick she wears.
      I feel for her despite the limits to my emotional capital (in this space, going forward), and I’m really looking for some strategic guidance, or even some sort of wrap-around service I could avail myself of.

      • Thanks Tim – I’ll stock up on lipsticks tomorrow – and here am I with a garage full of lavatory paper, soap and matches, but I never thought about the cosmetics which stop me from frightening the horses. I started the local run on loo paper and I can do it again with the lip things – galloping.

        My designer face masks conceal my darling lips, but masks can slip, and I cannot afford a QC should this occur with unhappifying consequences, and I do not qualify for mates’ rates.

        I had thought to comment on the magenta streaked hair, but demurred from uncommon courtesy, and nor do I wish to be cancelled along with the population of Central Otago while the same effect may possibly be achieved by squashing bugs or using beetroot juice or a bottle of old vinegar.

        Meantime try not to end your sentences with prepositions – you’re not in the public service now and you may trigger that other person.

        • 🙂

          I’d have been OK with the judge’s initial comments immediately the names were public (i.e. “deeply embarrassed”, etc.)
          She’s chosen to double down and try and stifle comment.
          Thankfully there are still a few of her colleagues who’re not too impressed.

          My reckons are now that she should do the decent thing instead of giving the judiciary a bad name.

              • It is always the cover-up that catches these types out. The judge is known to be difficult, but her actions in this charade bear further scrutiny. Of course she doesn’t want to be interviewed. I suspect there will be great unhappiness among her legal peers. Bringing the law profession into disrepute? Regardless of any action the Law Society may or may not take, the hoi polloi will be the judge of that.

                • /agree (again).
                  I wish I could remain as polite as you, and as I once was.
                  Instead, I’ve succumbed to the idea that what is source/sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
                  As a result, when I see and hear of shit like this, I don’t have to be terminally disgruntled.
                  And yep, as to the unhappiness among some of its peers, it’d be more than suspicion – thank God. Because if it wasn’t, we’d really be in trouble

                  • Mrs TD, a retired lawyer, is not overly keen about my current fascination with social media. Until yesterday, when she was zooming with a friend who told her about this Daily Blog thread. She was pretty impressed with the content, for what it’s worth.

    • 2 things I picked up from that bit of reporting or maybe in conjunction with another was:

      1. She transferred her shareholdings in her son’s company to her HUSBAND. So she was more interested in the appearance of impropriety than the impropriety itself. Effectively she retains her pecuniary interest without being directly responsible.

      2. I thought the stop asking around the neighbours bit in Wanaka a bit odd as well until, the penny dropped. Dont ask the neighbours who has been down there because we have more to hide perhaps?

      3. Lastly I dont know if anyone noticed but the youngsters who absconded to Ohakune skiing have been charged by police. But AFAIK, the Wanaka rule breakers have not been so far?

      • Apparently it wouldn’t have been too flash interviewing the Judge’s neighbours in Karaka from back in the day either. One of whom was allegedly a District Court benchmate, according to the now un-scrubbed internet. There’s a pattern emerging here. Judge Sharp has form for being big on censorship.

  16. Check your spellchecker, Chris. It’s bach, not batch!

    I had to correct Martyn on this same point recently, apropos the (in)famous Wanaka holiday home; but at least you did know that down here (the South) it’s a crib.

    • Tom
      Since you are doing corrections, perhaps you would like to point out to our esteemed friend and scholar Bert that Wanaka would rather not be know as Wanka, as per Bert’s earlier suggestion at 1.11pm.

  17. We need the 1pm briefing if people don’t like it do what many do when having to listen to Hoskings & Co, Garner, Do please me allen & her young hubby just switch it of or switch it over to another channel.
    Te kraut you should change your name to sour kraut you never have anything nice or positive to say.
    As for our Ashley blooming field the watercare man in Auckland was on a bigger salary and they had no water and we must not forget the staggering amount Fonterra was paying spare a thought, while farmers were losing money and jobs.

    • Dear Pa
      Always enjoy your posts and salient advice. Along with Denny and Countryboy of course. Let’s hope Bert enjoyed his trip to Wanka – a highly appropriate moniker for the rule breakers. Well done Bert on that one, very clever. So then, I changed my name, said something nice and acknowledged cleverness. I am reformed. A good day all round. Beer time.

  18. Having been fortunate enough to have purchased a small bach, which we had for just a few years, I can tell you that none of my grown up children would ever go there without letting me know. There are two couples who own this holiday home, both couples boast a judge within. Both say they did not know. The New Zealand public deserve answers and quite frankly both Judges should be stood down pending an investigation.
    Franlkly I think the lady Judge has long been a disgrace. Just google her and you will see her history.
    Now she has sicked her lawyer on the press, well this is not Nazi Germany, our fore Fathers fought long and hard for freedom of speech.
    If the press want to ask your Wanaka neighbours some questions you have absolutely no right stop them
    Do everyone a favour and resign

    • Bouchier has never impressed me, either as a cop or a lawyer.. Seems he has found finally friends of the same moral calibre.

    • If a horse boy was having a naughty weekend with his girlfriend from another address, the last people he might tell would be mum and dad – it happened years ago with a family holiday house – in Central – and it messed things up for the rest of us forever more when found out about.

    • My hairdresser got done for having a dangerous dog, with a fine and a conviction. I guess she got the conviction because a conviction wouldn’t affect her career as a hairdresser, but had she been a legal personage then she wouldn’t have got the conviction. The dog wasn’t in public space either, it was on her property. More fool her, eh ? She bakes scones for road workers plus she is expert at crochet, knitting, gardening and goss.

      • Sad story and justice is less just because of too much interpretation of the identity, culture, class and employment of the perpetrator. Too many are also getting off with discharge without conviction while others are penalised for the same offence just based on privilege or identity. Should be stopped.

        • I know. All this race stuff has to stop – for all we know the fella could be an Eskimo anyway, or another escapee from Dipton or Yugoslavia-on-the-Wold.

  19. Aaaah… But lets not forget? Would we not all trade our wheel barrows, pick axes , humped backs and bend’d knees for such general luxuries? Yep. We would. In a fucking heart beat.
    The mistake they made was to apolgise. No class dahlings. No class.
    The mistake we made was we missed the point of it all.
    We’re all such a sorrowful, humourless and fragile lot.
    If it were me? I’d have flown over you’s all in a gold plated Gulf Stream and crop dusted you in cocaine. That’d learn ya.

  20. Woke judiciary? One of Mary Beth’s rulings…. and even the entitled offender is mocking his punishment.

    Youth worker Devonte Mulitalo, who sexually abused 12yo, gloats about avoiding jail
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/youth-worker-devonte-mulitalo-who-sexually-abused-12yo-gloats-about-avoiding-jail/Z3FO7ENT43QPQ6XYLSNJNVOGU4/

    Seriously when you see some of these offences (22yo youth worker abusing/grooming a 12yo with plenty of txt evidence!), NZ needs to send a stronger message of what is acceptable in society!

    This article says the police tried to make the victim feel sorry for the offender! Echo’s of Roastbusters. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/108847556/familys-worst-nightmare-auckland-youth-worker-turned-sexual-predator

    F-up!

    • “Mary-Beth” sounds like an American teenage cheerleader with perfect teeth and pom poms who gets lost in the woods and becomes an enduring mystery. How about changing her name? It’s painful enough seeing John Key’s moniker slithering in all the time.

  21. “The person admits being surprised that the online reporting tool worked so efficiently, and that police took such swift action.” https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/covid-19-delta-outbreak-person-who-reported-wanaka-holidaymakers-speaks-out/APG6OGNV62Q5UDYF7D6WM755KE/

    Different provider than the vaccination tool then, where the address tool doesn’t work correctly. Did they get the office cat to test it? Might explain the lower vaccination rates.

    Priorities.

  22. NZ could still go this way.

    “A surge in coronavirus cases has pushed the healthcare system in the Canadian province of Alberta to the verge of collapse, as healthcare workers struggle against mounting exhaustion and a growing anti-vaccine movement in the region.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/15/canada-alberta-healthcare-system-covid-cases-rise

    What the Natz would do in power aka ignore scientific advice. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/06/canada-alberta-pandemic-north-america-coronavirus-covid

    “The science was clear from the beginning. If we didn’t aim for ‘Covid zero’ and if we started to relax our restrictions in the face of variants, this is where we would end up,” said Vipond. “It was always a fool’s errand to try and vaccinate our way out of a third wave. It’s just not mathematically possible.”

    With the province’s ICUs filling up, officials have said they have prepared plans to ration care if the number of patients outstrips the hospital capacity.

    “I don’t care how robust your systems are, I don’t care how great your training processes are. There is no system in the world that can out-expand the exponential growth of Covid,” said Vipond. “Are we in trouble? Absolutely.”

    For more wary residents, frustrations over those who ignore scientific advice are part of daily life.”

    And the results.
    Alberta reverses hands-off approach to Covid to tackle ‘crisis of unvaccinated’
    Premier Jason Kennedy admits ‘we were wrong –and, for that, I apologize’ as he warns ICU beds may run out in 10 days
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/16/alberta-covid-u-turn-crisis-unvaccinated-icu-beds

  23. Why have this couple not been arrested. Three guys left Auckland traveled to ski in the North island and they were arrested and given bail, I just don’t get it, well I know their privileged but honestly how do they think it looks to the rest of the country.

    • @Michal – Agreed, it doesn’t look good at all but I went back to the first news report and it said the Police were considering charges under the COVID Health Act. I wonder if the reason they haven’t been charged them yet is because the Police are thinking about charging them with a dishonesty crime like a fraud crime.

      The other thing that annoys me is that the Judge made her comment in the news the other day, all about being disgusted with her son, blah, blah, blah and a couple of days later she threatens the media not to print stuff about her. What’s that all about? Talk about privilege and entitlement – censoring the press and all of that. She should have kept her mouth shut from the beginning but obviously couldn’t help herself, distancing herself from her son then threatening the press when it does a follow-up request for an interview.

  24. Congrats to everyone on what is a fascinating debate that plumbs a number of key issues of justice, class, race and privilege in Aotearoa. And we do not emerge with an A+.

  25. “And we do not emerge with an A+.”
    No we don’t, but its heartening that there are quite a few keeping up the battle – including in the judiciary.
    Not so sure though about many of our politicians and neolib managerialist senior and muddle management public servants though. They’ve got a lot to answer for. ( Often, the faster they rise, the harder they fall and I’ve given up being charitable as seeing them as victims when it turns to shit = victimhood is usually the first Jack of Diamonds card they’ll try and play – there are now too many casualties)

    • From The Kraut…

      “Bert that Wanaka would rather not be know as Wanka, as per Bert’s earlier suggestion at 1.11pm.”

      “Known” not know John. Do you even know what poor literary skills look like because your statement makes you look a fool…think before you type next time John.

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