Fewer Kiwi kids get hurt. Is this a good thing?

Child safety advocates are hailing the reduction in child deaths and hospital admissions from unintentional injuries, but say much more must be done to protect children.

A just-released report says that on average, about 80 children a year up to age 14 die from unintentional injuries. In the latest reported year, 2013, there were 38 deaths, down from 126 in 1989.

Hospital admissions for non-fatal unintentional injuries peaked in 1995 for this age group, with 11,006 patients, and by 2014 this had declined to 7290.

Deaths and non-fatal unintentional injuries have declined for most causes including motor-vehicle crashes and this is in line with the long-term decline in the road toll from its peak in the early 1970s.

An analysis by Safekids Aotearoa, the Starship hospital’s child safety unit, shows that the annual per-capita rate of unintentional-injury deaths declined between 2001 and 2010, from 10.5, to 8.5, for every 100,000 children.

On the face of it that’s good news.   I mean, any death is unwanted.  But it does come against a backdrop of kids that hardly see the outside world between school and home.  Read more »


Map of the Day

Sponsored by What Power Crisis, click here for a special deal for Whale Oil Readers


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Oh look, this teacher being registered didn’t protect this student either


A teacher from King’s High School in Dunedin has resigned after having a sexual relationship with a pupil.

Her resignation came after an investigation by the school and amid rumours nude photographs of her were being shared by pupils using social media.

The woman, whom the Otago Daily Times has decided not to name, could not be reached yesterday. Read more »

New Zealand v Australia ODI 3



It’s the series decider.  Win or lose, let’s hope it’s a good battle right to the last over or two.


No surprises here: key Corbyn campaign team member has electoral fraud convictions

The Jeremy Corbyn led Labour party is the gift that keeps on giving. This time it is about a key Corbyn team member who has electoral fraud convictions.

A “key member” of Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign team and national leader of Momentum, the controversial Corbyn supporters’ group, has a criminal conviction for election fraud.

Marsha-Jane Thompson, Momentum’s social media co-ordinator, was sentenced to 100 hours’ community punishment after registering more than 100 fake voters in the east London borough of Newham.

Appearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 29 March 2006, Ms Thompson admitted filling out and submitting multiple voter registration forms herself, including forging signatures.

She pleaded guilty to 19 specimen counts of using a false instrument, contrary to the 1981 Fraud and Counterfeiting Act, and one count of false accounting under the 1968 Theft Act. She was convicted as Marsha Thompson and has since changed part of her name.

However, the Canning Town address she gave in court is the address she still lives at today.   Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Gramps 1

They Called him Gramp

A Story of Dying

On February 11 , 1974 , Frank Tugend , aged eighty-one and of dubiously sound mind — but certainly of sound body removed his false teeth and announced that he was no longer going to eat or drink.

Three weeks later to the day, he died.

The remarkable thing was how Gramp died.

Franks death brought to a close a three-year ordeal–and three-year documentation-of gradual, but finally total, deterioration. Through camera and tapes his family recorded Frank Tugend’s involvement with the curse that is described as senility, or hardening of the arteries, or generalized arteriosclerosis. In real life it translates into standing naked in front of the picture window, or “talking” to a giant red rabbit that lives in the refrigerator, or being unable to control one’s bowels. It is by no means unique- millions of families are dealing with the problem right now.

As they were recording their experiences over the last three years of his life, they also had to decide in the last weeks whether or not to have him hospitalized to be sustained by intravenous tubes. But after he had made it clear that he wanted to die, they chose to let him die at home, with some dignity intact.

Frank Tugend an upstanding family man began a tragic three-year decline brought about by generalized arteriosclerosis. His memory began to fail. At first, he lost the ability to drive.

Then, the ability to remember who, and where he was. The once polite man began to hallucinate and became aggressive to visitors. He and his family were ostracized by the community. His behaviour was often erratic. Having lost the ability to bathe, dress, and control his bowels, he required constant care.

The simplicity of Gramp’s lifestyle tended to minimize difficulties he might have had with “forgetfulness” and confusion. Essentially a loner, he spent his days chopping wood and keeping his property tidy, or taking walks in the surrounding woods. When he was with others, it was usually his family, who saw him every day and didn’t really, or comprehend; the changes that were taking place in Gramp.

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That’s nice Andrew. Why don’t you dip into your own pocket and buy it?

Andrew Little thinks the taxpayers should buy a beach.

Labour is calling on the Government to stump up the remaining $1 million to purchase Awaroa Beach.

More than 11,000 New Zealanders have already pledged more than $1.1m to Duane Major and Adam Gard’ner’s campaign to raise $2 million to entrust a sandy stretch of Awaroa Inlet in Abel Tasman National Park to the public.

The Government appeared to signal help toward the campaign just over a week ago, when Environment Minister Nick Smith said the Government did have a nature heritage fund “fund from which we might be able to provide some extra incentive”.

But the Department of Conservation indicated they would not be contributing money toward the campaign, though they would add the beach to the National Park if the purchaser gave it to them.    Read more »

Comment of the Day

Whaleoil stalwart Dave has done some “research”:

So, who was the winner of the Waitangi Day fiasco, was it John Key or Angry Andy Little? I decided to do some proper research, and see who won the Facebook popularity contest over John Key’ decision over not going to Waitingi for the abuse fest, the results are no surprise.

John Key post at the nines. 12,067likes, 1400 comments, 205 Shares.
Andrew Little. 516 likes, 40 comments, NO SHARES (I even picked his most popular post for Waitiangi weekend).

So, well done John, you catch more hearts and minds with positive fun photos than being a wet dreary angry man.

NB: No animals were harmed in this very unscientific research. Research was conducted just after midnight NZ time, key researcher required a large G&T to recover from the dreary FB page of Angry Andy.

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Indigenous Intellectual Property?

I love how this always goes just one way.

Of course there is outrage…outrage I say, on Facebook too; it must be serious.

A car dealer has fired back at critics who questioned the wisdom of it using Maori culture in an advertisement to promote its Waitangi Day sale.

2 Cheap Cars brand manager Jared Donkin admitted its advert, which shows a Pakeha girl dressed in a kapa haka costume and swinging a poi, was “a bit tacky”.

But he said the firm wasn’t trying to cause controversy and questioned why it was wrong for a Pakeha girl to “join in with Maori culture”.

Donkin said 2 Cheap Cars had sought out the views of “Maori staff, family and outsiders” and they believed it was the girl’s “skin colour that people are getting tied up about”.

The video post on Facebook has sparked some criticism from viewers.

Cushla Tangaere-Manuel posted: “This is sooooo WTF…tokenism much” while Rose Posie said: “Taking the piss and clearly uneducated”.

Ann-Marie Kennedy a senior lecturer in marketing at Auckland University of Technology’s business school, said the company was obviously using indigenous intellectual property – from the costume to the poi – to make money without necessarily giving anything back to the culture it took it from.   Read more »

Perhaps he should have been registered

Perhaps this bus driver should have been registered, that way the kids would be protected.

An Auckland high school principal has slammed a bus company’s actions as “totally inappropriate” after it let a driver transport students while facing a sex charge.

Jeremia Tavita Simi, 57, was convicted of indecent assault at Manukau District Court last week and subsequently dismissed by NZBus after losing the passenger endorsement on his driving licence.

But he confirmed to the Herald his employer allowed him behind the wheel after the police had charged him.

“[NZBus] investigated me and believed I wasn’t a dangerous person to the public,” Simi said.    Read more »