Happy New Year for 2012

Admittedly this is just a little early, but one of the peculiarities of being in NZ is that you are one of the very first countries in the world to see in the new year and tomorrow I will be in a pressurised aluminium tube for 24 hours flying back to Amsterdam.

So for everyone who reads this blog on a regular basis and even those who chance upon it, I wish you all the very, very best for 2012 and I will be curious to see what transpires over the next 12 months.

The truth from my child

This is the very first time that the entire family, including my two children has ever celebrated Xmas together and to make it even more memorable it has been in NZ. 

Early evening we sit down to dinner and at every persons place there were Xmas crackers.  I haven’t seen or used Xmas crackers for years and for my children it is the first time that they have seen them.  So everyone gets into pulling the crackers, hearing the ‘bang’ and of course looking to see what totally useless shit is included inside.  As expected there was a paper party hat, a joke that you only ever find in crackers and a small plastic useless object.  So everyone gets into reading the jokes which all begin with “What do you call xxxxx” and then some mildly funny, but usually stupid answer.

So someone reads out the following joke that they discovered in their cracker “What do you call a man with a spade on his head?”.  My 11 year old (with a completely straight face) answers – “An arsehole”.     Wonderful, as everyone nearly falls to the ground with laughter.

p.s. the answer was ‘Doug’.

NZ de-populates at the rate of 1,000 per week.

Just over 1.1% of the NZ population – 50,115 left NZ permanently last year for Australia. Only 14,300 made the reverse trip. The primary motivation is economic with more jobs and higher pay. Over the last 8 years the net migration total is 203,654.

Being one of those who voted with his feet I completely understand it.  It wasnt until I left both Australia and NZ, moving to Europe that I could actually save money.

Tales from the Twilight Zone – 2011

Each time I come back to NZ I am shocked by the level of violence in this country.  Talking to people there is acknowledgement and seeming acceptance.  Alcohol is of course a significant factor, but it is more than that.  I have my own personal views about the lack of cultural depth and the inability of a lot of people to articulate and discuss what bothers them.  Here is just some of the incidents in the last 2 days;

A 5 year old European girl travelling with her parents on their NZ vacation was attacked inside the family caravan whilst she was asleep and severely sexually assaulted that resulted in 4 hours of surgery and a lifetime of trauma.

A man bashed his partner of 19 years for refusing to cook him dinner, saying “Don’t talk back to me, just do as I am telling you to do”.

A man has been jailed for 18 months after running down 2 teenagers who were making fun of him because his car would not start.  The teenagers comments came after seeing the man with another man inside of the car making a woman push the car from behind.

A 31 year old mother has been jailed for 7.5 years for assaulting her children.  She punched her 9 year old daughter so hard that she broke the bones in her hand – then sought hospital treatment for her hand but not her daughter.  Other charges included assaulting her children with a machete and a hammer, kicking her daughter with steel capped boots, tearing off her toenail and then pouring salt and boiling water on the wound.  Her lawyer tried to blame the Government for not listening to her pleas for help.

A man who threatened his pregnant partner by dangling his toddler out of a window admitted being “a bit rough” with his son.