Good News Zealand

I’m going a little off topic from ‘User Experience in IT’ this week to user experiences of a different sort…

It has been an interesting week for New Zealand with a plethora of "good news" stories.

Beating is for Eggs

First of all the so called "anti-smacking bill" (a far more accurate term would have been the "anti child-beating bill") was passed with a majority of 113 votes to 7 in the NZ parliament today.

The bill changes the Crimes Act, removing the defence of reasonable force for parents who physically punish (beat) their children. I for one have witnessed horrendous violence against children, and there’s no justification whatsoever for this sort of behaviour from adults.

Further coverage including Sue Bradford’s speech over on Webweaver.

Bailing for Freedom

Other breaking news is the release on bail of David Bain. Bain was released from prison after the the London-based Privy Council last week quashed Bain’s convictions for the murders of five members of his family in 1994, saying he had been the victim of a "substantial miscarriage of justice".

I had been living in Dunedin less than a year when the murders happened and knew about the event before most of the country.

Reason for this is that I worked on the same floor as a TV News crew – they rushed to the scene after a tip-off and returned with stories of how the "police were all over the place" and "they didn’t seem to know what they were doing". Those aren’t their exact words, but the clear impression I got early on was that the crime scene wasn’t under tight control – many of the officers didn’t follow protocol and some were fumbling with the evidence.

In the following week around the smoko-room we debated the events which were unfolding and drew a conclusion early on that Bain was almost certainly innocent. This was later reinforced for me when I spoke with a friend of David’s who worked at a local radio station. This short conversation solidified my conclusion that Bain was indeed innocent and it’s very sad that this person who had just lost his family was then blamed and punished.

I’m happy for the Government to spend my share of taxes on what ought to be a substantial compensation package for David Bain.

Further coverage over on Webweaver.

Eat Your Greens!

And, refreshingly the NZ National Party (a conservative party in New Zealand) has finally agreed to support the Kyoto agreement and wants a 50 percent cut in carbon emissions by 2050. But as usual they are light on detail on how they will practically achieve this and interim milestones to get to the end goal.

As usual the Green Party have responded with incredibly sensible advice which no doubt the major parties will later claim as their "own ideas".

Coming up in a future post…
"When Greens Go Bad"