You know our privacy laws are rooted when they are being used to protect meth cooks

It beggars belief that wombles are upset over the use of drug dogs to detect meth cooks in apartment buildings.

Only a Newspaper on Sunday could take the side of meth cooks.

Sniffer dogs are being used to scour city apartment blocks for drugs.

The specially trained dogs are making regular patrols of common spaces in up to 80 Auckland apartment buildings, where body corporate committees have hired them from a private company.

But a tenants’ advocacy group has questioned whether neighboring residents would be told if drugs were detected in their building – and the Privacy Commissioner has expressed concerns.

NZ Detector Dogs managing director Janet Williams said demand was “huge” and increasing since they began offering the service about five years ago.

“We don’t have to advertise. It’s all from word of mouth.”

The dogs were only used in common areas, including passageways, and did not enter apartments. If they smelled drugs that information was passed to building managers, Williams said.

“It’s similar to having a smoke alarm in a hallway. There’s a risk, we need to maybe just find out where the smell is coming from and follow up. It’s not about people smoking dope in their apartments, it’s about P labs. It is protecting people’s investment and the health and safety of the entire building.”

If a lab was suspected the company recommended building managers call police, she said.

However, Tenants’ Protection Association manager Helen Gatonyi questioned whose responsibility it was to contact police and inform other residents of a suspected P lab.

“I suspect a lot of people would not want to inform police because it’s $50,000 to remediate.”

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Why do we need trains when driverless technology is upon us?

Trains are locked onto rails…they can’t divert around network outages and are horribly inefficient especially for passenger transit. Basically they don’t work unless massively subsidised.

If we look at the billions poured into Kiwirail since Labour bought it back at an inflated price you can see just how bad and inefficient it is.

I’ve often said rip up the rails and create heavy transport lanes on the land instead, sending buses and trucks down the nice even gradients.

I’ve also said driverless technology will solve transport issues. The video above shows how it can work for bus transport and the Daily Mail also has an article about the advent of driverless trucks for heavy transport.

Self-driving cars have long been confined to the storylines of futuristic films and the engineer’s drawing board but now they finally being tested in real traffic on a German autobahn.

German carmaker Daimler has been trialling a self-driving truck under real traffic conditions on a German motorway for the first time.

The standard Mercedes-Benz Actros truck was fitted with the ‘highway pilot’ system, allowing it to work without a human driver, and travelled from Stuttgart to the town of Denkendorf.   Read more »

Comment of the Day

Union Jack commented last night in Back Chat:

Here is something which has been getting at me lately so I will throw it out there and see what you guys think.

Nearly every week we see someone up in court for benefit fraud and the end result always seems to be to pay back the amount stolen which is quite often $50 -$100000 at $20 a week out of your benefit which is basically saying keep it because you will never pay it.   Read more »


Key’s panda dreams provide big stick to bash government

John Key wanted to change the flag. It remains to be seen whether or not he will get his wish, but these are the things John Key wants to invest his considerable voter support in lobbying for…along with other important things like…pandas.

But with each of these vitally important issues for the nation to grapple with there are other priorities which makes these issues and personal projects of John Key big sticks with which to beat the government.

There will always be other priorities for funding other than changing the flag or cuddling pandas…and so expect a long line up of stories about an uncaring John Key cuddling pandas while he isn’t funding this treatment or that treatment or some other actually important issue.

It’s a lazy argument but one that gets traction.

Linda Ashley has decided against dipping into her retirement fund to pay for her cancer treatment – at a cost of more than $200,000, it’s not known to what extent it would prolong her life anyway.

But Government spending of more than $26 million on a flag referendum, and potentially $1.3m on a pair of giant pandas, has Ashley questioning why she should have to make that decision.

The retiree is battling ocular melanoma – a rare form of the disease, because of where it’s placed in her eye.

“The prognosis was the cancer would spread so at that time I was a little bit desperate anyway – I didn’t know anything about what was to come,” she said.

“That was a fairly rocky road through that whole process, and then in June, after a battle to get six-monthly ultrasound scans… the ultrasound showed lesions on the liver, so it did develop rapidly.”    Read more »

This guy makes our troughers look like rank amateurs

Another scandal has erupted in climate science, this time over the trougher who organised a letter to Obama insisting he use RICO laws to shut down climate sceptics.

It seems he is in deep trouble.

James Delingpole explains:

The plan by climate alarmists to have other scientists imprisoned for their ‘global warming’ skepticism is backfiring horribly, and the chief alarmist is now facing a House investigation into what has been called “the largest science scandal in US history.”

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Space, Science and Technology, has written to Professor Jagadish Shukla of George Mason University, in Virginia, requesting that he release all relevant documents pertaining to his activities as head of a non-profit organization called the Institute of Global Environment And Society.

Smith has two main areas of concern.

First, the apparent engagement by the institute in “partisan political activity” – which, as a non-profit, it is forbidden by law from doing.

Second, what precisely has the IGES institute done with the $63 million in taxpayer grants which it has received since 2001 and which appears to have resulted in remarkably little published research?

For example, as Watts Up With That? notes, a $4.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to one of the institute’s offshoots appears to have resulted in just one published paper.

But the amount which has gone into the pockets of Shukla and his cronies runs into the many hundreds of thousands of dollars. In 2013 and 2014, for example, Shukla and his wife enjoyed a combined income in excess of $800,000 a year.

Read more »

Mental Health Break

Rome shows its true colours


The Vatican has come under fire after dismissing a high-ranking Polish priest on the same day he revealed that he was gay.

Father Krzystof Charamsa, who held a post in the Vatican’s branch for protecting Catholic dogma, urged the Catholic church to change its ‘backwards’ attitude to homosexuality. Read more »

Map of the Day

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


The most frequent occupational surnames in Europe

Click here for larger view

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Why has no one noticed this before?

Put on your tin foil hats I have noticed something disturbing about the Red Peak flag design.


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Yeah nah


I’ll give a her points for trying.

Emma Taylor has launched an ambitious GiveaLittle page asking one million people to give her $1 each.

The Palmerston North mum of two young boys is not holding her breath – “but stranger things have happened”.

She wants the money to buy her family their first home.

“I have made it clear that I am not sick, I don’t have cancer and I don’t want to take money away from the deserving people who do, but I wanted to give it a go,” she told the Herald on Sunday. Read more »