I was listening to the radio this morning and was amused to hear a family bitterly complaining that a river near where they were camping had flooded, as a result they found it necessary to move camp in the night. They were upset that there was no notice advising that this river could and did flood. The Mayor responsible who I think was elected for the Wairarapa district where the river was located, was also given ‘Air Time’ by our Morning Radio to explain the Council’s position. It must have been a slow new Day for this to be front line ‘News’. The Mayoress was busy apologising for their lack of ‘signing’. She would look into the matter as soon as she retuned to her office and further questioned their Chief Executive to find out why the posting of notices hadn’t been carried out earlier.


When I stopped laughing I wondered, does no one today take responsibility for their own actions? All rivers flood, in fact, look back to our not too distant past when bridges were few and far between, rivers crossings and as well fords were then rightly called ‘Widow Makers’. People today in all walks of life are always looking for someone else to blame for any and every action. The Police, should they chase an offender are now to blame should the ‘nincompoop’ being chased, loose control of his vehicle, run off the road. Possibly kill or injure himself. Immediately the family of the perpetrator, and as well as the Media, if given a voice in the incident, they invariably blame the Police. Pardon me, that’s not the way I see it. Does no one take any responsibility today for anything? Carried out to the nth degree these people would have every loose stone on a mountain labelled. Any large body of water, any cliff or mountain height would also have notices posted that at times these areas can be dangerous, or cut up rough with big unmanageable waves.


Of course the Government had to get into the act. In fact they have created a whole department to keep us safe and warned about what is happening around us. Go into any toilet or supermarket today and you will be busy avoiding the yellow sandwich boards scattered everywhere. These are all advising ‘Wet Floors’. This is ‘OSH’(Occupational Safe Health) a Government initiative in action. In fact in our Air Ports sometimes the yellow boards seem to be a permanent fixture regardless if the floors are wet or dry, in my mind the notices are a bigger hazard than any wet floor. I think also that OSH are responsible for the fencing of all building sites here in the city as well. Same for all Harbour Facilities not forgetting Rubbish Tips. They today are all locked up tighter than a drum. This move I suppose would be OSH again possibly protecting the Public from injuring themselves. How did we manage to get by over the past two hundred years with out excluding us from anything and everything?


Another recent innovation is ‘Cones’. If you don’t know what I’m talking about? Plastic cones which are about 50 mm in height, painted a bright red or orange. Local Boroughs and the Roads Board must have millions. Everywhere you go today you are required to navigate your vehicle and thread it through lanes of these red markers. How we managed in the past I don’t know, but recently for months the whole of Papanui Road was lined from end to end, (several kilometres in fact) with several million of these orange markers. These you had to navigate and make your way through narrow lanes on the road. Apart from those markers every perceived obstacle in town is well and truly ringed with red Cones, as well, they are seemingly planted months prior to any work being carried out, and months after completion as well.


There is another area that concerns me and that’s when there has been an accident or an incident on the road, and the Police come into the picture. Immediately they close off the highway to all traffic which is fair enough, but not for a whole day as they do. It matters not a jot to them that they are causing a great inconvenience to many people while they ponder over the accident scene. A few hours should be long enough as they have many aids at their finger tips to record and preserve any evidence should it be required. I don’t what it is but for me spending a day just looking at a scene doesn’t equate to the production of a flawless report.







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