Looking back over the past week and to the weeks ahead – to rate the noteworthy, the cringeworthy, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the truly amazing.
Rules are rules, but sometimes clemency is the right move
If you’ve ever watched the Kiwi version of Border Patrol, you’ll know that the show isn’t all about catching drug mules or shoppers with their bags filled with cigarettes and booze. In the main the show catches the unwary bringing in some fruit or vegetables or meat without declaring it and being pinged with a spot fine of a few hundred dollars. I’ve done it myself – or should I say my kids did but it’s a long story and let’s say I should have checked their bags to make sure they hadn’t picked up some chestnuts in Paris to give to their grandad to make conkers with.
I get that border security is essential to the protection of our economy. I do. Vigilance is key and deterrents are essential. However, yesterday I read a tale about an older Cantabrian who forgot about a packed chicken sandwich she bought in Christchurch airport that was still in her bag when she arrived in Brisbane. Confronted by border control she admitted she had forgotten about it entirely and was tired but that did nothing for her. She was issued with a AU$3300 fine that, despite appeals, she could not have waived.
She and her husband are pensioners who live a freehold life within their means with about 30k saved. $3300 dollars means a lot to her and despite paying it, it affected her. As you would expect. Today I read that a generous anonymous Kiwi paid her the money and honestly, well played but what a total waste of time and unneeded heartache. Sure, have rules, apply them but use discretion and don’t needlessly punish people when the punishment is disproportionate to the offence.
5 stars to the nameless good Samaritan. 0 stars to Aussie border patrol.
People parking on your berm – what do you think?
I can’t be sure of this, but wherever you live, the grassy berm in front of your property is not yours; it’s the property of the local council. They don’t mow it. You do. You’re the one who maintains it and makes it looks nice but that doesn’t stop some randomer from parking their car on it, if they choose to. Across the country there are no universal rules about this and individual councils will either ticket motorists for parking on berms, or will not.
In Auckland it’s a grey area and personally I think it needs to change. Why should I maintain a part of where I live only for some inconsiderate type to mount the pavement with their car/truck/SUV and assert their particular ownership, leaving tire marks and damaging the grass?
I think this comes down down to decency and etiquette and I am fully cognisant that we do not see things the same way but in this case I believe if I maintain something, it should be protected.
This week I have asked two contractors working on a development on my street to move their trucks off the berm. One did and the other told me to sod off. So I called the council who essentially told me that they could park on the grass. Well, I think that’s wrong. What do you think?
0 stars – if I make an effort to make the front of my property respectable, that should be protected.
Sometimes you just have to laugh
Yesterday I was in desperate need of some light entertainment. It was just that sort of day. So, I read a tale of a hapless counterfeiter who had been jailed for passing off dodgy notes in Blenheim and Palmerston North. Dodgy is being too kind. This genius had essentially photocopied notes and stickered the hologram from lesser denominations on to notes of higher values. He had used these to buy sweets and drinks and pocket the change until he was arrested after being confronted about the obviously phoney notes.
You can read the whole sorry tale here.
0 stars – fraud is fraud. 5 stars for the story though.