What a Bastard

So today to utter prick who harmed the little girl in Turangi was sentenced.

And we get to see who he is, what he looks like, hear about what he actually did etc.

From Stuff:

Turangi child sex attacker jailed 10 years

MIKE WATSON

Last updated 12:39 29/02/2012
Raurangi Marino - Turangi campground sex attacker

ROSS SETFORD/SNPA
JAILED: Raurangi Marino at today’s sentencing.

Crime

LATEST: Raurangi Marino drank between 20 and 30 bottles of beer before stumbling into the Turangi campground, assaulting and raping a five-year-old tourist girl.

Marino, 16, was today jailed for 10 years for rape, seven for grievous bodily harm and two years for burglary. The terms were to be served concurrently.

The Rotorua District Court heard Marino had been on a 10-hour drinking binge and smoking cannabis leading up to the attack on the girl in December.

He broke into a unlocked caravan parked at Club Habitat and assaulted the girl while her parents were less than 20 metres away in an amenities block.

Marino had gone to two parties during the day, the second party he left after an argument and wandered into the camp ground where he tried to open car doors.

He found the caravan where the young victim was sleeping unlocked and went in.

The girl screamed and tried to run away but he grabbed her, choking her and hitting her around the head and face.

She was left with four missing teeth and serious internal injuries. He fled when her mother returned.

Judge Phillip Cooper said Marino had a dysfunctional family background involving drug taking, gang connections and alcohol abuse, but this did not condone his behaviour.

“You are responsible for your actions but your whanau and extended whanau are responsible for your upbringing which has involved a young man who has committed a serious crime.”

Judge Cooper said the lead offence was rape and the other charges of burglary and grievous bodily harm were aggravating factors.

The age and vulnerability of the victim and the high level of violence involved, including the choking of the girl plus the element of home invasion, caused considerable emotional harm to the victim and her family.

As tourists the vulnerability was increased and there was an effect on Turangi and New Zealand’s tourism reputation.

Judge Cooper gave a starting point of imprisonment of 18 years because of the seriousness of the offending but gave a discount of four and a half years because of Marino’s youth, dysfunctional upbringing, remorse and early guilty plea.

Crown prosecutor Fletcher Pilditch said: “Heads were shaking the breadth of the country and the community was bewildered by a crime of such severity committed on a victim so young. There was a deep sense of shame within the Turangi community and throughout New Zealand that one of our own had committed this offence on a visitor whose family had come to New Zealand to enjoy a holiday.”

Defence counsel Katherine Ewen said Marino had attempted suicide a month before the offending. He was also sexually abused when he was 9 and 15 years old.

Detective Inspector Mark Loper, who led the investigation, said after the sentence that his “thoughts are with the young girl and her family”.

“They have gone through a terrible ordeal that will no doubt be with them for a long time to come. I am pleased that they have at least been spared the additional ordeal of a trial,” Loper said.

“It was an emotional investigation at a very poignant time of year, touching the hearts of so many. New Zealand, particularly the community of Turangi, was watching and waiting with bated breath for an early resolution and I am extremely proud of the committed and dedicated team who brought about that timely result.

“Many of the staff working on the investigation are parents themselves and not one of them hesitated to give up quality time with their own families over Christmas to bring some peace of mind to so many others.

“On a final note, it is important to acknowledge the communities in which we all live and work. The support shown to the police and the family throughout was overwhelming, and we have seen that generosity continue with the recent announcement by the family that they are donating a large amount of the Trust money back to worthwhile causes in New Zealand.”

Around $62,000 was raised for the family – including $13,000 by Turangi residents.

In February the parents donated $20,000 of the funds back to the community towards a children’s playground, the fight against child abuse, hospital equipment and Victim Support.

– © Fairfax NZ News

 

Well I reckon this guy got off lightly.  He should have gotten the full 18 years with no chance of parole.  But because we’re a bunch of soft, limp wristed types who take into account the fact that he had a hard upbringing, he gets 10 years.  And so he’ll be out in around 6 or 7 years.

Which is an insult to the little girl, the family and this country quite frankly.

Bob Jone’s Musings

Bob Jones has a column in the latest Total Property Magazine from Bayleys Real Estate, which I got in the mail today.

He’s optimistic of course. Bob generally is.  And also, they’d hardly put him in print if he was saying “Oh no don’t buy real estate, it’s a waste of time” now would they?

But still, I agree with him.  He has this to say about downturns:

“In a nutshell, the best way to deal with crises , whose continuing occurrences are as dependable as the tides, even if individually unexpected, is simply to ignore them.  In short, life goes on regardless.”

What a superbly serene way of looking at things!

And he goes on to say this about rents:

“If Wellington and Auckland CBD office rent levels haven’t doubled in four to five years’ time then I will retreat to a Trappist monastery and never utter another word.”

So he sounds pretty sure of himself.  But then Bob always does.  Do you reckon he’s right?

Unit Titling Update

Well the council issued the 224(c) certificate today!

Only around 2 weeks after we lodged plans with them for their approval! So the Papakura office of Auckland Council did some stuff without being all really stupid about it!  Far out!

So now the council HAVE NO HOLD OVER ME! For the first time in 2 1/2 years! Wahoo!

What this means in terms of titles is that I can now ask LINZ to issue titles!  And they will because that’s just really a formality.

So this is done!

Not sure how I feel about that..??!!

 

 

Gardners Killing off the World!

Ok, silly headline, but that’s about what this article says:

Gardening: surely few things could be more eco-friendly? Not so, it seems. Scientists have produced new research which suggests that, far from doing their bit to save the planet, Britain’s green-fingered army may be damaging it.

The very staples of modern gardening, from mowing and watering the lawn to the use of peat and pesticides, have a harmful effect on the environment, claim experts from the University of Reading, the University of Sheffield, and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). Their paper, The Domestic Garden: Its Contribution to Urban Green Infrastructure, questions the widespread assumption that gardening is eco-friendly.

The findings come as eco-gardeners are already trying to change their ways. Many are abandoning petrol lawnmowers – a move that can cut 36kg of CO2 every year. Lawn sprinklers can use up to 1,000 litres of water an hour – what a family of four would use in a day. Planting trees doesn’t help either: they can take a decade to become “carbon neutral”. Even patios have a carbon price – a paved area of 25sqm has a one ton carbon footprint. The rising trend for paving over parts of gardens also reduces natural drainage.

Garden chemicals are another problem. They are used by half of British households, but their production and use contributes “significantly to greenhouse gas emissions”.

The study also blames the gardening industry for being “directly responsible for the introduction of invasive species” by importing plants that escape from gardens “with huge consequences for native biodiversity and the economics associated with eradication measures”.

The widespread use of peat by gardeners is also identified as a problem. Peat dug to be used as compost in the UK releases almost half a million tons of CO2 a year – the emissions of 100,000 cars. “The use of peat… is controversial due to habitat destruction and carbon emissions linked with peat extraction,” says the study.

Dr Tijana Blanusa, senior horticultural scientist at the RHS and one of the authors of the report, said: “With the findings of this report in mind, the RHS will continue to work closely with gardeners, horticultural trade and horticultural researchers to minimise potential negative impacts and ensure that gardeners get the most out of their gardens without ‘costing the Earth’.”

 

Well I find this to be a bit over the top.  36kg of carbon from a lawnmower in the course of a year? That just can’t be right.  You’d be lucky to use 36kg of actual fuel in a year for a smallish section wouldn’t you?

I do agree with the bits about introduced species and pesticides.  Just not all the carbon BS.

 

Why do We Have No Houses and Lots of Unemployed?

Good article by Bernard Hickey this morning:

Bernard Hickey: Govt eyes blind to housing crisis

By Bernard Hickey

5:30 AM Sunday Feb 19, 2012
Auckland  needs at least 10,000 new homes each year. Photo / Chris Skelton

Auckland needs at least 10,000 new homes each year. Photo / Chris Skelton

New Zealand faces two crises, and one opportunity that the Government seems either ignorant of or unwilling to address.

The first crisis is of housing supply in two regions. Auckland and Christchurch now have huge shortages of waterproof and undamaged homes that regular families can afford to own.

The problem is set to get much worse in the years to come, given the lack of building happening and the population increase projected.

The Department of Building and Housing forecast this month that New Zealand needs to build 20,000 to 23,000 housing units a year over the next five years to keep pace with population growth.

We have been building at a rate below 15,000 a year for the past three years.

It could be argued that this also ignores the destruction or degradation of large swathes of housing stock in Auckland and Christchurch because of the leaky-building disaster and the earthquakes of 2011.

Auckland needs at least 10,000 new homes each year, yet less than half of these are being built. The crisis has intensified since 1999, with the introduction of the Metropolitan Urban Limit and the revelation that an entire generation of homes is leaky. Yet the lack of debate within New Zealand’s political leadership is astonishing.

John Key has focused the Government on selling up to half of the shares in the state-owned power generators to avoid borrowing more money.

The Government has virtually ignored the strong analysis last year from its own Productivity Commission on housing-affordability problems, which are mostly about a lack of new house building. The Department of Building and Housing’s advice to the incoming minister made no public impact.

Even Auckland Mayor Len Brown seems to be focused on other things, in particular a rail loop. He seems more interested in the underlying infrastructure for the very long term than the immediate crisis of a lack of housing.

The most obvious increase as a result of the shortage is in the price of homes and rents. Both are rising quicker than the inflation rate and price rises outside Auckland and Christchurch. Young Auckland and Christchurch workers, those who are not property owners, give up. They are leaving the country.

The second crisis is youth unemployment. New Zealand has 83,000 people aged 15 to 24 who are not working or in education. The youth unemployment rates for Maori and Pacific Island youth, mostly in Auckland, are scandalous at 30.4 per cent and 29.8 per cent respectively.

Yet, again, we hear nothing from the likes of Key or Brown. We have yet to hear our leaders even acknowledge the problem.

That brings us to a huge opportunity. Why can’t we, as a nation, take a strategic decision to solve these two crises by training these 83,000 young people as plumbers, chippies, electricians, roofers and the like in preparation for a national-scale building programme?

Government-owned land would need to be opened up and town planners overruled. Taxpayer money would need to be invested, and lots of it. But is anyone even talking about it, let alone doing it?

bernard.hickey@interest.co.nz

By Bernard Hickey

 

For once Bernard isn’t just being all hysterical and sensational.  He actually has a point.  It’s not a new point, heaps of people have been going on about this, so it’s not an original ‘joining of the dots’ but it’s still good he gives it a big mention.

In days gone by, many young men were employed by the building sector.  But thanks to planners, you basically can’t build in NZ much anymore.

And so we have heaps of young guys unemployed.  And what do they do with all their spare time?  Volunteer at soup kitchens?  Pick up rubbish at their local park?  Of course not, they get into trouble.  Like any young men with too much times on their hands do.

And of course they cost the country heaps in welfare payments too.

What needs to happen (of course) is that we need to get this country building again. Do what they are doing in England and throw out all the planning rules, and most of the planners, and replace them with around 50 pages of common-sense stuff where you have the right to build unless you’re doing something absolutely heinous.

Ka-Ching!

Nice story in the paper this morning, makes me want to go out and try my luck:

$500,000 gain in 24 hours

5:30 AM Sunday Feb 19, 2012
Photo / Supplied

Photo / Supplied

A home owner who accepted an offer of $880,000 for a double-Grammar zoned house watched in amazement as it sold at auction a couple of days later for $1.3 million – a near half million dollar increase.

The Auckland property – with a recent council valuation of $770,000 – was on the market for three days and the acceptance of a pre-auction offer forced an early auction, which was held on the street as bidders could not fit into the office.

“It was one out of the box but it shows how much interest there is around the $1 million mark,” said Jeff Cate of Barfoot and Thompson Remuera.

The brick and cedar house, on 540sq m, attracted 250 bids from nine people in a 35-minute auction.

An attraction was it was in the popular school zones of Cornwall Park School, Epsom Girls’ Grammar, Remuera Intermediate and Auckland Grammar.

NZ Police Back Down – Or Do They?

This from Stuff

Police ease back on speed tolerance

BLAIR ENSOR

Last updated 05:00 10/02/2012

Police have pulled the handbrake on suggestions they were “seriously considering” slashing the 10kmh tolerance for drivers.

However, they have stopped short of performing a complete U-turn by saying the door will remain open for change.

Acting Superintendent Rob Morgan told The Dominion Post on Wednesday that a permanent drop in the tolerance was on the cards, after a reduction to 4kmh for the rest of this month.

“At the end of February we will consider the outcomes and, if the analysis supports it, we will consider further long periods or even permanent lowering [of] the tolerance,” he said.

But yesterday, Acting Assistant Commissioner of Operations Andy McGregor said: “There is no consideration of making this a permanent reduced tolerance.”

Later in the day, however, he conceded the door was still open for a change.

 

Read the article on Stuff for the rest of it.  But basically what this says to me is that they really want to lower the speed tolerance, but it’s unacceptable to the public right now, so they’ll just kind of put it on the back burner for now.

I reckon they’ll try this again in 6 to 12 months.

They say the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

And the Revenue Gathering Gravy Train Rolls On

So the NZ Police want to have the usual 10 km/h speeding tolerance permanently lowered to 4 km/h.

See this article.

They do this over holiday periods and say it helps keep the road toll down (despite the very clear evidence to the contrary) and so now of course it should be permanently in place.

So it’s all about saftey? And not at all about raking in wads of cash from hapless motorists?

Well I don’t buy that for a second, and nor does anyone else with half a brain.  And if the NZ Police don’t take the NZ Public with them on this, they’ll rue the day they decided to impose this lowered tolerance.

The backlash against the Police is already evident. People are sick and tired of being turned into criminals over very small speed increases on downhill sections of safe roads.

And the NZ Police already wrote out twice as many speeding tickets in 2011 as they did in 2012.  Are they hoping to double them again this year? And every year?

Well if they do, they can expect a strong response from the public.

Council as a Person?

Saw this on Property Talk:

 

Mike MacLeod of the Draco Foundation writes an excellent opinion piece in the ODT today entitled Christchurch symptomatic of system. He makes the case that the political problems in Christchurch are ‘representative of the local government sector as a whole’, and he calls for significant systemic and legislative change. Suddenly it seems that local government politics is sexy again – but MacLeod says this is entirely due to the pathological nature of local politics: ‘If the local government sector was a person they would be ponderous, socially-inept and morally bankrupt. They would be filthy rich and very lazy’.

If you had a problem they would not care and if you complained because something they did hurt you or your family, their response would be

“so sue me”.

Not the sort of person who would voluntarily join a support group to seek help.

Man that made me laugh.  It’s just sooooo how they are.

 

Unit Titling Update

Well next week the surveyor will lodge the unit title plans with the idea of having the unit titling of the property fully accepted by council.

So they give out (for a fee of course) 223, 224(c), 224(f) and a 32(2a) certificates I think.  And then at some point in the future I can apply for titles via LINZ which is just a formality.

So fingers crossed there’s no more hassles with the council.  But of course there will be.  Just have to deal with it when it arises.