Actually, yes there is a better indicator: the shoulder-shrugging equanimity with which the general population seems now to react to the crime of arson.
And there is an even better indicator: the attitude of Christchurch's mayor to the attempted arson of one of his ratepayer's properties. When you read Bob Parker's pronouncement on this crime, you could be forgiven for not realising the house involved was semi-detached, and that in the other half of the house live a family unconnected with the murders, who've been driven from their home by the threat of the arson that was eventually carried out. Bob's reaction to this?
"I think, if we're honest, right across the community there was a sense it would happen," Parker told The Press yesterday.
"One positive thing is that that memorial to murder most foul has been erased.
"I hope this is, perhaps, a turning point.
"We've got to find something positive in all this."
Bizarre. In a week in which the mayor of Wanganui went into full "We shall fight them on the beaches" Winston-Churchill mode over the trivial matter of how to spell Wanganui, Bob Parker thinks the attempted murder of his ratepayers is no big deal. Here's a thought, Bob: if everyone knew this was coming, and a family of your ratepayers were forced to flee their home for their lives because of it, perhaps you could have taken it as a welcome opportunity to put some surveillance in place, catch the oxygen thief in the act and make a big fucking example of him to deter other ignorant, superstitious, waster oxygen thieves from carrying out similar crimes in the future? Just too big an ask, was it?