You know we are nearing an Election when Politicians start to talk about doing something about the perpetual blot on our landscape, ‘Gangs’. Yes, everyone knows that they manufacture, import, and grow drugs. Of course they are also heavily involved in the selling of drugs, in wholesale lots, and right down to the street level. And what do we do as a Country about their existence in our midst, and the antics they get up to? Very little. We do keep on building bigger and better jails to accommodate them. A guesstimate at any given time, half of their membership would be the reluctant guests of Her Majesties Prison Service. The Maori Party who could be a very strong and helpful force in this area, as 99% of Gangs are made up from the Polynesian and Maori community, do little but talk and don’t seem to want to rock the boat. They could be votes. The Police to a large degree, are handicapped by laws that are currently in force, layer upon layer. All put there by Liberal Lawyers, who over the years have successfully lobbied for them. Their ‘catch cry’ is always the same. ‘We have to be fair’, and ‘Everyone has their rights’. One can’t help but wonder how much of this legalese that they continually champion, is Liberal thinking, and how much is for keeping the Status Quo, which if you are in the legal defence business can quickly lead to a financial gain. There is only one fact in which we should take comfort. It could be ten times worse. I heard another Labour Politician talking on the Radio this morning. He trotted an old, tried and true Policy. How they will deal with the Gang Problem. Again.


One of the more delightful aspects of working and living in Queenstown where we spent thirty five years of our lives was that we met and became friends with many foreigners. They had a huge impact on our lives, as well they introduced us to many new cooking styles, even down to the foods we ate. Some were clients, and many seemed to have the same problem. They didn’t wish to have any correspondence with the Bank, once they returned home. I complied with their request, many statements of accounts were tagged with a local address, together with a note, they were to be picked up only when the client called. Of course, at this time a lot of Countries had strict currency controls, which I assumed was why they didn’t wish to broadcast the fact that they were Banking ‘Off shore’. What it did do, was set a lot of very ingenious minds to work. How can they circumvent these regulations? In one Country, New Caledonia, I observed that enterprising merchants, imported valuable ‘Objets d’art’ which they then ‘on sold’. In turn these were taken and sold again in the country where they wanted their funds. An astute citizen sometimes could get a much better return than with a Bank transfer. Another method was to go for the Hard Currency that the tourists paid with. I know about this move personally, for on one visit I was offered by the manager of the Hotel we were staying at a large suitcase full of money to take home with me. It was ‘choc a block’ full of travellers cheques and currency notes. Seeing I had no desire to extend my vacation by languishing in a French prison, I turned the task down. I must confess later, that I too was guilty of a similar scheme that was prevalent here. I badly wanted a new car, or for that matter, any car. But with the tight financial controls here in NZ I had a snow ball chance in hell of ever getting one. However then, if you had sterling funds you could import your own. So I purchased shares in an English Bank, sold them, and very soon I was the proud owner of a new Austin A70. All legal too.

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