Friday, March 19, 2010

Now A Business Gets Name Suppression

 New Zealand's kooky name suppression laws got another liberal coating of custard yesterday when a judge awarded name suppression to a business in Tauranga.

We're wondering if this is the first time a business has been granted this privilege in New Zealand and why the public don't have a right to know this information? If this knowledge is in some way prejudicial to a fair trial then all well and good, but shouldn't the name be released if and when the defendent is found guilty?
 "A Tauranga woman has been arrested and charged with 50 counts of using a document dishonestly.
Michelle Campbell appeared in Tauranga District Court yesterday and was remanded on bail to reappear on April 7.
The total amount of the alleged fraud is about $1.1 million and involves a Tauranga business, which was yesterday granted name suppression.
Campbell, 42, was employed as the company's business manager but no longer works there.
She is married to Tauranga constable Steve Campbell, who has not been stood down from his duties."

What makes this case sublimely ridiculous is this.  

The name of a Tauranga business where Mrs. Campbell worked in finance as a business manager had already been published in the Dominion Post, on 15 March and on 16 March 2010 in connection to police investigations of a large fraud at the business.

If that business is not the one whose name has been been suppressed their reputation, which is probably already damaged, isn't going to salved until after the trial (if ever) The gossip in Tauranga must be rife.

If, on the other hand, the business is the same why did the judge grant name suppression, when the name was already 'out there' in the public domain?

Today's posts - click here

Huntly Is A "Dead Beat Town," Crime "Rampant"

 After we wrote our post last week about the rise in violent crimes and robberies in Huntly, a fairly typical Kiwi town in the Waikato, the Waikato Times has today put together an article which reveals that crime is ruining local shops.

Some shops have been burgled close to 40 times in the last few years and the cost of crime is now so high that some insurance companies have said they can no longer afford to insure businesses there.

Retailers have been quite blunt in saying what they think of the town, calling it "dead beat" and saying every shop has been touched by "rampant" crime.

And what's causing this crime epidemic - the breakdown of social adhesion, unemployment, lack of facilities, boredom, poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, lax/absent policing? No, according to Huntly Community Board chairman Frank McInally it's the victims' fault for not paying $1,000 each to install security cameras. He said:
"retailers were "their own worst enemies..."They won't put their hand in their own pockets to contribute towards the cameras."
Does he honestly believe that cameras will reduce crime in the town? Cameras in banks, gas stations and dairies throughout New Zealand haven't deterred armed thieves one iota. Big Brother is obviously sleeping on the job, or out to lunch.

Some businesses do see some merit in having the cameras though, even though they don't seem to work:
 "The Essex Arms manager Gale Mackay supported security cameras, but said it wouldn't stop offending completely.

The tavern was broken into twice recently despite their premises being equipped with cameras and an alarm.

What is the solution to Huntly's crime? "
 The solution for Huntly will be the same as for the rest of New Zealand.

And, if you're wondering what Huntley looks like take a look at this YouTube video:


The day this post was published the town of Nelson was hit by a crime spree. Vandals ran rampant down Main Street smashing shop windows, causing thousands of dollars of damage, some of which was uninsured.  It's very similar to a 4am rampage by a gang of teens in Hastings in January.

In that attack 11 businesses were targeted and the damage is thought to have run in to thousands of dollars. Police arrested four youths, including two 15 year old girls,  a boy of 15 and another age 14. Does Hastings have security cameras?

Police say they are going to look at security camera footage of the Nelson event, which isn't much consolation for the shop owners who are left to foot the bill for the damage, nor does it stop the same thing happening again. This is an excellent example of how security cameras do not protect communities.

 Update 19 March
A day later a home crime fighter in Huntly's neighbouring city of Hamilton was praised by city councillor, Dave Macpherson, for defending himself during a home invasion. Mr Macpherson said that communities were taking the law into their own hands because of police inaction. Police advised victims of crime to take the details of offenders and let them respond. On his blog Mr Macpherson said in an "ideal world" that would be fine.
"But lack of police resources, and an all-too-frequent disorganised police response, often force the community to take the law into it's own hands.

"If you can't rely on the police to stop criminals, then many Kiwis will rightly choose to take on the crims rather than letting them get away with the proceeds of their crimes."

Today's posts - click here

"Christchurch, New Zealand, Sucks"

In the Vox Pop series we look at posts from around the web where people talk honestly about living in New Zealand.

Todays entries are taken from the Christchurch forum on Topix. 

"Christchurch , New Zealand Sucks"

"Moved here 4 years ago from london,Used to be a happy young positive person, but living in the city where everyone is pessimistic and unhappy starts to grind at you after a while, Im starting to become more negative, being around such depressing people its hard to stay positive. I can safely say, I HATE THIS CITY"
- "Four years? I doff my hat to you. I wouldn't have lasted four months before the boredom killed me. Have you though about moving to Australia? It's warm and the people are friendly. Otherwise, Wellington is a bit more lively."
- "yeap its amazing here here, under-employment is just fan-friggin-tastic, not much else to do except get drunk or drink coffee when if you don't have work (if you have any at all). great times all round here.[/sarcasm]
Pessimism is at all time high, and not without reason, this is a hell-hole full of violence, alchoholism, and boredom."
But isn't this thread a 'one off' surely Christchurch can't be that bad, and one town doesn't define a country...does it? there's more:

"Drunkeness In Christchruch"

"What is up with all the young adults these days? Do they even remember what they did the night before? How can they handle beening seen vomiting/urinating?
It is like the young adults of 2day have no morals or self respect, what is your view??

-"The new NZ culture. Shoot them. Allow for us to get our safe rep back."

-"The real underlying problem is that NZ is very boring and people are in NZ society are conditioned to lack the confidence to find something out of the square to stimulate themselves.
It's also what's behind the boy-racing."

-"Its funny that since this thread has been started over 3 months ago no New Zealander has tried to contradict it. Everyone deep down knows that the young NZers have no morals, self respect, or brains.
My generation(Y) are a bunch of lazy dumbed down retards with nothing in their lives except alchohol. No-one my age (and even older,for that)in NZ seems to be very knowledgeable about anything these days. It seems their parents werent extremely intelligent to start with and their offspring have learnt even less from them and havent been bothered to learn any more.
Drunkenness is rampant not just in Christchurch, but throughout NZ. Alot of it probbibly does have to do with NZ being quite a boring place as Daniel has said. No-one seems to be motivated enough or have enough initiative to change the place abit though.
I grew up in a small town north of Auckland until I was 18 and have lived in Auckland itself for a short time and the level of astoundingly stupid drunken behaviour in both cities is disgusting. Couple the rampant alcoholism with high unemployment, pollution, obesity, suicide rates, crime statistics, and teen pregnancy and you have all the ingrediants to a recipe for disaster.
New Zealand has a very bleak future and im glad I wont be here for it."

-"Yea moteote I moved out more than 16 years ago and I am glad I am not there now thats for sure. Its just full of bogans."
 For more posts about Christchurch click here

Today's posts - click here

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Migrant Tales - Moved From Singapore For Better Life


Continuing in our series of Migrant Stories: first hand accounts of migrant life in New Zealand, taken from locations around the net.

Today's story is taken from Expatexposed, a self-help and support forum for migrants in New Zealand.

In this post the child of an ex-pat New Zealander tells of how the family left the relative safety of Singapore and relocated to the father's homeland in a fruitless attempt to give the three kids a "better education."

Within a month of the family's arrival in Auckland they were exposed to what was the start of a shocking degree of crime, including an armed robbery, burglary, bullying and mugging. The family was torn apart by their experiences in New Zealand:
"So, I found this site a couple of days ago, because after SIX YEARS of constant suckiness... It was getting to me. What's a girl to do?

I googled "Why does New Zealand suck?"

And here I am!! I am not alone! There are others! (No seriously, this is how I felt.)

I was about to post a link of this website to my Facebook profile in ecstasy, but then remembered all the Kiwis that I've got on there, that might find it highly offensive. Instead I secretly spread the word to a few people who I thought might enjoy this place too.... We all had a bit of a laugh. The kind that you have when things are so dire that you have to laugh at it. I especially enjoyed the "Don't Migrate to New Zealand if..." section. Sums it all up in a nutshell.

So anyway, here is my story... in as much of a nutshell as I can give.

I was raised mainly in Singapore originally. My dad is a Kiwi born in 1942 in Wellington, he moved to Singapore about 30 years ago where he met my mom, she's Malay.

So when I was 17, they decided to send me here to get 'a better education'... Well isn't that a joke now. Oh, they also bundled my sister along for the ride, she was 15 at the time.

So off we were on a plane to Auckland, to go to school in safe, super awesome New Zealand. We managed to find a measly small studio apartment on Anzac Ave at a place called The Cambridge.

Coming from Singapore, which as most of you probably know, is very clean, safe, relatively drug and crime free and wealthy... Well.

Within 1 month of being here, we saw a flasher, at a main road bus stop on Beach Road, in broad daylight. Sure, other people saw him but they just carried on like it was no big deal. We were in the Video Ezy on Quay St when there was an armed robbery. The cops took half an hour to even show up. Our laundry was stolen and tampered with by a community of transvestites that lived on the floor below. We were stalked by a creep, reported it to the police... And got a call 3 months later to say that the found the guy. And so it goes, and so it goes.

My parents are by no means rich. They thought sending me and my sister here would be a cheaper option than doing university in Singapore. I don't blame them for not knowing what it would be like. My poor dad was under the impression that it would be the same good old country he left 24 years ago.

After 1 year, my mom and my brother joined us here in Auckland. My dad was transferred to Sydney for work, so at least he was a bit closer.

As you can guess, it just got worse. Eventually my parents ended up buying a house, for some 'stability', in Avondale. The house was right at the end of a really bad street. Needless to say, that only made things even worse. The house got broken into more than once. My dad got mugged on his way home from work. My brother, age 9 at the time, was bullied by juvenile gangsters. My sister was pestered by them for cigarettes. Some people in the park tried to sell me a bottle of Johnny Walker at 9 in the morning!

My parents needed help financially, as cost of living was so high. Even something as basic as a doctor's visit is so expensive here! So my sister and I dropped out of University to get work.

So we all worked, and worked, and worked.

My parents absolutely couldn't take it, living here. My dad said that NZ has become a very mean-spirited place, and it makes him sad. His company offered to pay for the cost of migrating my family to Sydney. Well, of course they jumped at the chance. They asked if we wanted to go with them.

By that stage, we weren't sure if Sydney was going to be a huge improvement. We weren't sure what opportunities were available for us there. More relevantly, my sister and I both had plans to get back into school here and we were both in long term relationships with partners that were not able to relocate with us. So my parents and brother left, we ended up staying.

I have been in and out of the health system for major clinical depression in the last 3 years... And I was starting to think - what is wrong with me? Why can't I just be happy here? I really started to believe that there WAS something wrong with me for hating it so much.

Hey, if I won Lotto, I would leave tomorrow and never, ever come back. Ever. If only it were that simple.

But at least now I know I'm not alone! I am beginning to feel like my response is somewhat normal! *sigh*

Anyway this has been really hard, so please be kind, dear community of like-minded people. =)"
"Well it turns out that my parents are now back in Singapore! LOL

As for other students finding the same problem, that was mainly my experience when I was at AUT.

I met my partner there, he also came on the premise of a world class education, recognised universally, etc. and of course we were both equally disappointed and disillusioned by the time we had been here for a while.

I was actually glad to withdraw from my degree at AUT in Communications as I thought it was a huge waste of my time and money having them spend 6 months repeating the same thing over and over, after I had already learnt it within the first 2 weeks of it being taught.

We do have a bit of the same debate going on as others, about whether it is worthwhile to wait and get something to show for it!"
Please read other similar stories in our Migrant Tales section, this poster is not alone in their experience.

Also see other posts
International students "only seen as cash cows"
Crime collection
Armed Robberies collection

Do you have a migrant tale for us? leave it in the comment below.

Today's posts - click here

Migrant Tales - A Better Life For The Kids

Continuing in our series of Migrant Stories: first hand accounts of migrant life in New Zealand, taken from locations around the net.

Today’s tale arrived via a message left on our mirror site. This is Steve’s story, where he tells of a widespread and insidious problem within schools in New Zealand  – bullying.

Steve’s family is not alone in their experience of a school failing to deal effectively with bullying behaviour:  The NZ Human Rights Commission recently released a report that identified significant human rights issues in relation to violence in New Zealand Schools.

An organisation called Stop the Violence is just one of many working hard to raise awareness of the issue and to provide support. Even the police recognise bullying as a “big problem in New Zealand“. The ‘harden-up / blame the victim / culture of brutality’  is a significant factor in the country having one of the worst teen and young person suicide rates in the world, 94 youths in New Zealand committed suicide in 2007.

Here's his story:
A better life for the kids
We hear a lot of people who moved to New Zealand for this very reason. It was in fact quite high on our list too.
Sadly, if our own experience is any judgement, I would say avoid this country at all cost if you have young children.
We’ve already written pages and pages on the matter and even made a few videos about it, but to cut a long story short, our kids have been traumatised by the abuse they suffered at a local school: our eldest daughter was being regularly bullied at school (one all our kids attended) and despite the fact that Mark Thornton, the school manager, kept assuring us that he took the matter seriously, nothing ever changed.
Finally, after four months of us complaining about the bullying, him saying he took this very seriously and nothing ever changing, a meeting was set up with us, him, the college of teachers and the trustees to discuss the matter further.
We were also intending on bringing another parent to that meeting, one who was an expert in social inclusion.
However, on the day of that meeting, they cancelled it and kicked us out instead without ever explaining their reasoning.
Many parents were on our side until then, saying how happy they were that someone was finally doing something about the bullying. Now, they’ve all turned their backs on us, siding with management.
To make matters worse, the school we attended, The Titirangi Rudolf Steiner School, is private non-integrated, which means that the Ministry of Education has no power there and you’re not covered by the Education Act, something we learned when we complained to them: despite our 20 pages of complaints and all the evidence we amassed against the school, the ministry told us they were satisfied with how the matter was handled!
But don’t think that this happened only because this was a private non-integrated Steiner school. According to the links below, this particular problem is country-wide:
“School Bullying Reflects `Culture Of Brutality’”
“NZ schools lead world in bullying”
If you want more details of our own experience, please visit:
This page summarises the situation nicely, if I do say so myself :-)
Thanks to Steve for giving us the opportunity to highlight this important issue again. We’ll leave you with the words of  Cindy Ciro, New Zealand’s Commissioner for children:
“It appears that we do have high levels of physical and emotional bullying in New Zealand schools in comparison to other countries. This is historical. We’ve had this for quite some time in our schools.”
Today's posts - click here

Monday, March 15, 2010

Migrant Stories - University Lecturer Misled Over Job Offer

Continuing in our series of Migrant Stories: first hand accounts of migrant life in New Zealand, taken from locations around the net.

Today's posts are taken from expatexposed, a self help forum formed to help migrants living in New Zealand. An American university lecturer tells of how her job offer was mis-sold to her (a common complaint among migrants in NZ) and of how her well qualified husband has been unable to find paid employment in New Zealand:

"This is my intro. I came here only in February for a post as a lecturer at uni. Found out early, much I was told at interview was not true (no time for research, cuts in funding, I would have to fund most, if not all, of overseas conferences). Also, that my husband, a mid-level project manager would easily find a job with his graduate degree and +10 years experience in marketing...

I am not going to go on, except to say, of all places I am in Palmy. From what I read, it is not better elsewhere--but, could it be worse??

Either way, I am stuck for a while as the uni paid for my move and I owe them if I leave for three years. I could kick myself as I came here from a very well-known uni program in the U.S. and didn't even bother to fully interview before I accepted the position.

...I am so tired of hearing from friends and family abroad, "Oh, you are so lucky to be in NZ; it's so beautiful!" They haven't seen Palmy...
6 months later:

"I have posted before, just after arriving 6 months, already knowing it was time to hit the road. Spouse came here with me for my job. However, despite a graduate degree in business and 10 year's management experience, he cannot find a job.

I decided to call it quits. I find it is not useful to sabotage my career, either, which was promising to be pretty good, any longer. Also, found out I am pregnant--and having had abysmal health care experience thus far, I will be moving once the kid is born.

My job paid all moving expenses (if I leave before the 3 years, I owe uni a third for every year. I am leaving after year one, so owe them a two-thirds, technically.)...

I have to say, it's been a real wake-up call, and each day my husband is out of work, it is a real test. He is currently volunteering, offering 260 hours of business development ideas to a website...

Combined with the crappy "research" job I got at a uni here, my husband's inability to get work (even with a graduate degree) and the fact that I do not want to raise a child in this place, we are on the way out! thank God!!"
Their departure will be a great loss to New Zealand and there are lessons that can be learned from this family's unfortunate experience: NZ employers should not over-sell their jobs to attract well qualified people from abroad, or make promises which they have not intention of keeping. All they will end up with are disillusioned, highly skilled and valuable employees who, in addition with dealing with culture shock, have to come to terms with having been taken for suckers. Even a three year lock-in isn't going to keep good staff tied to bad employers.

In addition migrants are led to believe that there are skills shortages in New Zealand for which they are greatly in demand and that the country is crying out for people just like them. When they arrive and discover that there are no suitable jobs open to them (often because of a lack of 'Kiwi experience') it causes a great deal of stress and hardship for all those concerned. Who can blame them for wanting out?

We are seeing stories like these over and over again, always with the same unsatisfactory results: migrants are disillusioned, unimpressed with their treatment and leave New Zealand for countries that are willing and able to accommodate their exceptional skills and talents and reward them appropriately.

For more Migrants' Tales click  HERE

Today's posts - click here


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