NZ cop calls for cannabis reform

A New Zealand police officer is arguing for the decriminalisation of cannabis, saying the punishment does not fit the crime.

The frontline officer shared his opinion in a September ‘I Am Keen’ column for Police Association magazine Police News, where officers have the opportunity to anonymously voice their views on police operations.

“People who are stoned are generally quite jovial and the last thing they want to do is fight me,” he says.

“That is a very simple reason for me to not treat cannabis possession with the same enforcement enthusiasm I once did.”

He says his perspective on the crime has changed over his time as an officer.

“I have dealt with drugs on an almost daily basis in the course of the job, whether it’s seizing them or dealing with the after-effects on users.

“But I often question why we prosecute people who have small quantities of cannabis on them.

“Initially, I had a zero-tolerance approach. Anyone I found with a ‘tinny’ would find themselves before the courts. Now, however, I am more likely to tell them to get rid of it in a nearby drain and be on their way.”

The author says there is no organisational ruling to minimise the punishments for these types of offenders.

“[But] as individual officers we seem to have taken it upon ourselves to deal with this matter in a more liberal way.”

Compared with alcohol, the officer feels the harm from the drug is minimal.

“Yet we readily accept alcohol as part of our daily lives.”

Under the influence of alcohol, people are generally more violent  and unable to take care of themselves, he says.

“Another reason is, does punishing a user of a drug, any drug, actually impact on their decision to use that drug? I don’t think so.

“People use drugs for various reasons. The thought of being prosecuted for such behaviour is obviously something they have considered briefly and then decided not to worry about it.

“Punitive measures often have very little impact on the fight against drug use.”

He argues treatment and education are the answers to drug problems, not criminal sentences.

“Slapping someone with a criminal conviction for possessing one gram of anything is a disproportionate punishment.”

He would like to see New Zealand follow the example of US states Washington and Colorado in decriminalising.

Medical trials have shown benefits in using medical cannabis for palliative care, he says, citing the use of the drug by high-profile New Zealanders.

“This war on drugs is not sustainable and cannabis reform needs to be at the heart of a wider debate about how we deal with drugs. Making criminals out of users benefits nobody.”


How many people does NZ need?

OPINION: I’m not anti-immigration. I would be a bit hypocritical if I was, given that we have staff on our farm from South Africa and India. Over the years, we have had Sri Lankan and Zimbabwean herd managers as well as plenty of good Kiwis.  And besides, if it wasn’t for immigration I would never have met my lovely wife, whose parents emigrated here from the Netherlands in the 1950s.

I’m a proud New Zealander, love this country, I was born here, and it’s part of who I am. My great-grandfather came from England in the late 1800s, but I feel no connection with what some people call the “Mother country”.

But, really, am I any more Kiwi than those who have become citizens that were not born here?

The islands we call New Zealand were here for millions of years with no human inhabitants before the first immigrants arrived 800-1000 years ago. Whether our ancestors arrived in the 1800s or 1950s or we became citizens last year, we’re all Kiwis. Sorry Winston but that’s my opinion.

Migrants are a big part of the work scene in farming, especially in dairy, and that needs to continue. Certainly, jobs and housing are available for skilled workers in agriculture, the problem seems to be the number of immigrants who prefer Auckland. The infrastructure is struggling to cope – last Friday my sister-in-law left the North Shore at 3pm and took three hours to get to the end of the southern motorway. It’s madness.

But is it immigrants that are driving up the demand for housing?  If you look more closely at the figures, the number of immigrants coming in has been stable for the last 10 years, the difference now is that more Kiwis are coming home and fewer are leaving.

That’s got to be a good problem to have. It’s not that long ago the big concern was how many of our best and brightest were leaving and not coming back.

If you are worried about immigration, watch the Nigel Latta programme about it on TVNZ On Demand. One of the most interesting statistics is the net contribution to the economy from immigrants, depending on where they come from. The highest contributors, when you look at tax paid less expenses such as health care and education, were immigrants from UK or Ireland, followed by those from Europe or North America. Not far behind were those from Asia and the Pacific Islands. The group with the least contribution in financial terms might surprise you. It was New Zealand-born citizens.  That’s me.

New Zealand is not an easy country to get into. You have to be young with a clean record and have skills and qualifications we need. That’s a good thing, we want people who are here to work and contribute, and be positive for our economy and for our country.

I’ve read some economists’ opinions, that for New Zealand to have a strong economy we need at least 10 million people. I’m not keen on that. To me, a lot of what is great about New Zealand is it is relatively unpopulated. You can still walk on beaches and not see another person, and it’s not far out of town before you’re out in the great outdoors. Maybe I’m being selfish.

In a couple of weeks our son Josh will be heading to the Netherlands to play rugby and to live and work there.  Sixty-three years ago, his grandparents were coming the other way. They thought they would never see their families again, and they came here to build a better future for their children.

They certainly did that. I bet they never dreamt that one of their grandchildren would complete the circle and go back, or that a journey that then took six weeks would today take 27 hours. The world is a smaller place, and people moving and working overseas is a two-way street.

Immigration has been great for New Zealand, and if it is managed properly that can continue.

If you are a skilled migrant who is working hard and contributing to your adopted country, good on you and thanks.

If you’re a born Kiwi that thinks immigrants are flooding in and taking our houses and jobs and it’s all bad news, it might be time to think again.

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Feng Shui for Real estate staging


The real estate market has changed a lot over the past few years. Now you can find a lot of options available in the market without a price hike. It is obviously a good thing for those who are looking to buy properties, but it is not so great for those who are selling. The market prices of the properties are going so low, that it isn’t even covering the actual worth. There are many reasons why the current situation has unfolded recently:

  • The offers for the properties are going really low.
  • Buyers are really willing to wait for the market to get low so that they can get their budget right.
  • The general conception of holding a property until the price is high has changed a lot.

Although these are the points of concern for the people who are going to sell their properties, you can certainly sell your house at a good price and the first thing you need to consider is the location of your property.   Also getting a proper realtor is necessary too. Along with all these, you will need to do a bit more. You will need to go for real estate staging. This will make sure that the buyers will love your home more than the others.

Staging and the decorator

Staging is not an easy work to do really. It will require something special for you to grab the decorative motivation and the view of a salesperson. It does not matter how much you are trying to spend to get it right. Even the smallest of the real estate staging sometimes can make a room look extraordinary. What you need to do is just know the right thing to place in the right spot. It is more about growing the buyer’s sensation rather than increasing the value. Although every single buyer is different from each other and everyone will pose a different outlook towards the property as well, but you need to get the best out of them all.

Decoration is not everything really. You can add some soft music to hit some of the buyer’s senses and it might come handy as well.  Sometimes you might need to increase the visual effects of your room by rearranging some of your furniture might do the trick. For an entertainment room, the placement of furniture will be most important, because this can allow more people to enjoy at a time and with a better option to have fun.

Depending on your location, a door that will open to a mountain view can be a great option rather than a window. Not only a mountain view, it can be anything natural, even a single tree might look great if it’s presented in a certain way. For the indoors, add necessary items that might be good looking and add to the benefit of the room. Like, maybe an electric fireplace. See, the thing is real estate staging is not really something that is hard to understand or tough to get around. Real estate staging is the perfect blend of thinking and execution that will impress your buyers to buy a property at a price that you will set according to your choice.

Enjoy nature and get great comfort in outdoor furniture

                       In the modern days, many homeowners are fascinated to decorate and beautify their homes with good-looking furniture. Most of the people deliberate to adorn the inside home portion but the outside section also plays a crucial role in every home. If you embellish your gardens and patios with wonderful furniture, it will augment the prettiness of your home to a great extent. You don’t have to leave your home for purchasing Outdoor furniture Auckland as you have plenty of online sites. You can discover dissimilar models of furniture in the online sites. It makes you to choose your perfect furniture for outdoor portion of your house. Outdoor furniture adds a great value to your life and it lets you to enjoy nature in high range. Furniture makes you to live a peaceful existence with extreme comfort.

Add charm to your home

If you wish for to improve the charm of your house, you want to consider about the outdoor furniture. Once you enter into internet, you can come across different varieties and qualities of outdoor furniture. Outdoor furniture is available in diverse materials like plastic, wood, metal and even more. Purchasing and maintaining factors for outdoor furniture are completely unlike from indoor furnishings.

You want to know more about outside fixtures when you are dealing with it. First, you want to make a wise decision on the selection of furniture material. If you are concerning to purchase wooden furnishings, you want to pick the one that is rot and insect-resistance. Further, your preference needs to be an ideal choice to weather resistance. You want to keep in mind that weather is measured to be a great enemy for outside fixtures.

Cool to touch and substantial feel

Handcrafted furniture considered to be a good option for mind and pleasant weather. You wish for to select the furnishing that are cool to touch and easy to clean. Homeowners need to clean the furniture periodically to maintain its extensive look and feel. You can also find lightweight and distinctive look Outdoor furniture Auckland in online. These kinds of furnishings can be handled easily devoid of troubles. If your favorite option is metallic furniture, then you desire to consider about aluminum as it will be great for outdoor comforts. Good aluminum fixtures offer a unique outlook to your whole home. Consider the important features of outdoor furniture and then make a wise decision on your selections