Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Australia to spend A$4 billion on drones to keep borders and sea-lanes under watchful eyes. Should NZ join them?

I think the proposal to spend the 4 billion on drones to keep the vast reaches of ocean under intense scrutiny is a damned good idea; maybe cheaper than using other forms of hit and miss methods. There is no doubt that Australia will come under increasing pressure from a range of sources, be it people smugglers or other more sinister threats.
Should New Zealand do the same? I say---yes, but in a much more modest manner; perhaps smaller version and not quite so many(The Aussies want 7 of these advanced techno toys). If you look at the huge area NZ has a vested and legal responsibly for and then measure that against the available resources, there is a huge gap in our capabilities. Our Orions are stretched to day the least. Maybe NZ can operate smaller home-grown version, building NZ's technical skill base and extending the effectiveness of our maritime surveillance. I am not confining the drones to 'defence of our border sand resources, but also thinking of the search and rescue angle, that NZ must maintain, both for our own people and those who sail, work and travel through our nearby and far-flung ocean. We are watching you closely, my Aussie friends.

Feijoas are back-----wonderful!

Nothing pleases me more (OK, something do) than to go out side and pick new season feijoas off the ground---yes, off the ground, because any other way, like actually picking them from the tree, means that they are not ready. That is why the ones you BUY from the fruit shops or supermarkets have been picked and they never taste quite the same. I love the tangy mixture of sweetness and fruity explosion that takes over your taste-buds. Yes, there is nothing like New Zealand fresh off the ground feijoas. Now, In shall try to save some for delectable newly invented recipes. Joy of joy, wonderful feijoas! This is one little NZ secret that I care little if it is not exported---more for us!

Family fights against the scourge of 'P.' (Methamphetamine)---A story of hope and love!

A family travels to Auckland to find employment after redundancy claims yet another victim. Things seem to be going fine; there are new sights, sounds and certainly more opportunity to explore a ‘bigger pond.’ Perhaps the ‘pond’ is a bit toxic and has hidden secrets. We are all tempted from time to time by what life throws at us, but sometimes the results can be disastrous for families if one member takes a step just that much too far.
ROSKILL, BY NEIL COLEMAN, explores what can happen when John (the dad) enters the dark and dangerous world of ‘P.’ He risks losing the family he loves as they struggle to come to terms with his new ‘demon.’ It is the courage of his partner that challenges the ‘hopelessness’ of John’s new world. Above all, ROSKILL is a story of hope; along with a humorous at times depictions of what life can be like for teenagers, who witness the behaviours of those who ‘tell them what they should do,’ but then exhibit something entirely at odds with family values.
Go to my website and download ROSKILL to your Kindle or other reading AP. You will also be able to order hard copy soon as that becomes available on demand from Amazon. MY website is undergoing a revival but it still works in the old format.

'Buying' New Zealand citizenship---we have seen this before!

Of course ‘money talks!’----- What is new---we have seen citizenship granted by the Ministers at the time, from both major parties, so why are we surprised to yet again see a Minister of the Crown not taking the advice of his or her officials and going ahead and granting citizenship to rich and powerful businessmen. I don’t care about the country of origin but I do care that we have rules for the rich and different ones for the less rich. The actions reported in the NZ herald today, smack of money related favouritism and the subsequent donation to the coffers of the National Party just emphasises the point. Hell, that is a pretty cheap price ($22,000) to pay of the privilege of providing citizenship and a blot-hole for a businessman, should things ever go ‘pear-shaped’ in his country of origin.
Labour should be careful in its criticism of the Minister who made this decision, because they too have had their episodes of ‘political favouritism. They should not attempt to make ‘holier than thou status’ of this situation because that will only invite the return of the species to them. Instead, they should focus on the upcoming election and give us real policy for us to assess before we make the big decision later in the year. But, no doubt politicians of all persuasions will jump on the bandwagons to make hay while they can, forgetting that such moves have a nasty habit of coming back to bite their collective butts.

Horror stories again re the 'P' lab cookers, putting their children at risk.

One again we watched a TV programme depicting criminals cooking ‘P’(Methamphetamine ) in rented properties, all within close proximity of their children. It is bad enough that they make the house uninhabitable for a lengthy period of time, but to conduct this highly toxic operation in the vicinity of their children is totally lacking in any thought other than that of the profit motive. If there was any doubt that such activities are not awash with money, then one only had to see the endless list of luxury items and loose cash that abounded in the home. The house had been under surveillance for quite some time and the massive police swoop, including the ‘Armed Defenders Squad,’ says much about the potential danger from the gangs who control much of this illicit trade.
When one thinks of the potential damage to innocent children, who have no say in who their parents are or where they live, takes this crime to new levels. Figures were quoted in the programme that indicated that more than 600 young people were found during the year in ‘P’ lab homes. What long term damage has been done to these children? How much has their future been compromised, not just physically and mentally; but the attitude that they have witnessed; one that minimalizes the effects of criminal activity—are those families now going to figure on the next generation of crime in the community? Have these children been desensitized re the dangers of ‘P?’
The police say that they are getting a handle on ‘P’ labs and that they have made serious indents in the operation and cooking of ‘P,’ but unless all of us as members of society are prepared to ‘tell’ (call it what you wish) about illegal activities in our communities, then we are doomed to unsafe, shady and dangerous goings on in the ‘house next door,’ or the tinny house down the road. All of these ‘dens’ are a scourge on our society. That the criminals are prepared to take such risks, speaks much for the money to be made from the suffering of others. I fully support the police because they are taking the battle to the criminals so that we may all be a little safer.
Read my book ROSKILL by NEIL COLEMAN and download it from my site   It will be available in hard copy again soon when my new website goes online, along with TALK TO ME.