I went to Church

cross and the eggI went to church this morning, partly to cleanse myself of the commercialism of easter, partly because I wanted to sing and partly because my daughter was visiting.  Some of you know I moved six months or so ago. I went along to a local church and it was a time warp, as if I had jumped into the Tardis and gone back 35 years. Continue reading

Kua hinga he totara i te wao nui a Tane.

A mighty Totara has fallen in the forest of Tane.

E te whatukura, haere e koro, haere atu ra. Rest in peace Moana. You have earned your rest. There are some people who you meet once and always remember Moana (Syd) Jackson was one of them

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Living With A Traumatic Head Injury

I have had a few concussions over my lifetime, they have been pretty minor really, no difference after a while however that all changed in 2019. Two incidents occurred, the first not as severe as the second. I was the victim of a home invasion and an assault with a rock.

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Children don’t invent racism, they learn it.

A truism amongst many others. Its beauty is that it explains many ills in society. Children don’t invent bullying, partner violence, crime, and many of the other societal ills that we are plagued with. Continue reading


Walk a mile

I have being having an internal debate recently about what to do about someone who shouts at his wife. No, not here at home however close enough for me to hear. I was contemplating calling the Police as I see it as a form of violence (yes I have been guilty in the distant past) or calling the child welfare Oranga Tamariki. In the end, I decided to either speak to the shouter or to the shoutee. Today the opportunity came up to speak to the shouter, just as I was getting ready to say hey mate he opened up. He said that you have probably heard me shouting at my wife, I just nodded, knowing when to listen is important. He then relayed his story, his journey.

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Tamaki Should be Charged

For Stealing You get Locked Up Long Time For killing that’s not so bad.

Christchurch fraudster sentenced to more than eight years in prison, to be fair it was a lot of money that was lost, 80 million dollars, there is no indication that he took it for his own gain, merely to cover up trading losses, however, that’s a lot of coin. He was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment with a minimum of 4 years to be served. /

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“Beggars can’t be choosers,” Why Food Banks are not the answer.

is a phrase coined in the 1500s, well before state welfare even existed, is the mantra that sits behind the government’s preoccupation with outsourcing to food banks, says Danielle Le Gallais. https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/13-12-2021/why-food-banks-arent-the-answer . Danielle provides around 150 people a week a meal on a Sunday for the people she calls people who are facing food insecurity. Danielle says the lockdown impacted the food she normally could provide in terms of quality and quantity. Is Danielle some rich lister? I doubt it she is a single mother of two who’s busy studying law at

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Prison Break: The Extraordinary Life and Crimes of New Zealand’s Most Infamous Escapee by Arthur Taylor

Reading this book has prompted a break of my own, that is a break in my blogging a story for another time, it does however have a connection to crime.
This should be a must-read for anybody who cares about justice, whether they are the lock them up and throw away the key or they are people who wonder about recidivism, justice, democracy, and the rule of law. This no-holds-barred account of the notorious Arthur Taylor one of Aotearoa’s notorious misfeasor, with a proclivity and appetite for offending and cocking two fingers to the justice system is a page-turner. Some of the content is very Kiwi however the message is universal.
I am well acquainted with the penal system in Aotearoa-New Zealand, fortunately in terms of the criminal side as an involved participant from the other side of the fence from Arthur. I must say that I am a Facebook friend of Arthur’s and in doing so I have seen Arthur for who he is and I understand him. After reading his book that understanding has become an admiration, not for his offending as Arthur candidly acknowledges the impact that has had on other people, his friends, and family, Arthur appears to regret most of it.
His story is unfortunately not unique as I have tried to help people who like Arthur have succumbed to the slippery slide. There are some very important truths that come through his story, firstly our child welfare system is broken. Beyond broken it is a major cause of offending. Secondly the rule of law should apply to all, those who enforce the law as well as those who break the law. The third matter is that there are some very broken people in our society and rather than assist them they tend to break them even more. The fourth matter is that our Justice (penal) system is very broken, whilst there are some good people in it it really resembles an Orwellian society depicted in Animal Farm and elements of 1984. It needs to be cleaned out and prison reform is well overdue. Our Judges are out of touch by and large and general society has no clue and really doesn’t care about it until they become a participant either as an offender or a victim.
The last thing is that Arthur is a highly intelligent and caring man, as much as any reformist movement he has and still contributes to the cause of justice in a meaningful and sincere manner.
Neglect to read this book at your own risk, one thing can be sure is that we have not heard the last of Arthur and I look forward to his continuing contribution to Justice in Aotearoa, he has inspired me to continue to work where I can.
This book is a seminal tome and should be required reading for students of law for employees of the Department of Justice including all Prison wardens and probation officers as well as MPs. There is something very rotten in the state of Corrections and Justice in Aotearoa.

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Perhaps I am Radio Rental

I’ve written before about mental health issues. We have been told that Covid is hard and that it is impacting on peoples mental health. Well I resemble that remark although my issues are more around a lack of mobility. That aside, I don’t think I have ever seen a time where so many people are spouting conspiracy theories that are wide enough to walk an Elephant through. from secret visits of Bill Gates through to pedophile groups that include Oprah Winfrey. As they say what the actual fuck? I know a bit about deviance, mental illness and psychology. Some may say that’s inside knowledge, well I once saw Santa in his sled so I guess I resemble that remark.

Let me tell you all is not well in our mental health system. It is grossly underfunded and with that underfunding has come the rationing of services. Public mental health systems cloak that in masks like self determination, the rights of the individuals, the rejection of cultural and whanau knowledge and practices. Largely they see themselves as the only holders of knowledge in mental health. they are captured by the system. I will go further and say that narrative capture is prolific in all areas of health.

The thing is that the Elephant on the room is funding, those who tell the truth are shunned, ignored, sacked and discriminated against. Christchurch DHB has had it’s leadership team gutted from resignations in the last few weeks. & out of 11 have gone. Just why is speculation however conflict with the Board has been suggested as one of the big issues. Another scalp has been added to that with the shock resignation of Michelle Arrowsmith who was the deputy director-general of DHB performance, support and infrastructure.

Ian Powell, former senior doctors’ union executive director Ian Powell said “There was widespread angst and tension from DHBs generally about her style.” Described as authoritarian, top down and abrasive there is not many who will miss her. Coming from an NHS background I can only imagine that our system was indeed difficult for her to negotiate. I digress however.

ChristChurch is important, the strains on them have been huge since the earthquake, this has not been funded enough by National or the labour led coalition. The reason for the failure under Labours watch is the coalition partner New Zealand First. The reason under National is neo-liberalism. As a country we pretty well with acute illness and injury.Yes at times overwhelmed , and definitely under staffed and underfunded however our good work really comes because of the dedicated frontline staff. Where we fall down is in chronic care.

Some of this is down to far too many middle managers and DHBs. However the biggest contribution to underfunding cannot be blamed on anyone other than the citizens who live here and their individualism with the mantra that taxation is bad. How hard it is for people who cannot work has recently been under the spotlight because covid has hit the working/middle class hard. However people here is the truth you pay for what you get, so keep rejoicing in cheap electronics and gadgets, cars etc just remember how good that was when you or one of your loved ones is waiting for surgery.