Wednesday, May 25, 2016


36 members and associated persons of a four wheel drive club went into hill country on the Otago/ Southland provincial boundary last weekend and got caught out by deteriorating weather.

They were in suitable vehicles with adequate food, clothing and fuel on a planned trip.
A significant deterioration of weather left them stranded and in need of rescue, however none, either victims or rescuers required medical intervention

Now a growing chorus of armchair experts are suggesting they were authors of their own misfortune,  should be charged for the costs of their rescue, deserve the recovery costs of their vehicles and placed other rescuers at risk.

What utter bollocks!
I know some of these aficionados and they are not weekend warriors who take unacceptable risks.
As a group they are always available to launch a rescue for others in trouble.
Their vehicles are very advanced in a state of enhanced equipment and modification that enables a realistic response with winches, tow ropes, tyres, jacks, suspension development, tyres and chains.
The owners are dedicated and passionate in what they do.

Tourists and weekend walkers get into situations that have a greater potential for disaster regularly. There are reality TV shows that have supermen and women going to the West Coast beaches of Auckland and trying to drown themselves only to be thwarted by lifeguards.,
Skiers, climbers, mountain bikers, hikers and many others who choose to challenge the powers of nature and lose, and are never asked to pay a cent to the costs of their recovery as the tab is met in eye watering costs by those forced to pay levies to the ACC.

Last week four people died on Everest, recently a British ex-serviceman tragically died 50 kilometres from his goal of traversing the Antarctic Continent solo and unaided, every day people throughout the world die just trying to survive what nature and circumstance deliver.

Meanwhile in our little corner of the world a woman who has been forced out of three housing corp dwellings after they became toxic from "P" contamination is now living in a Motel at a very high cost to vote welfare while serving a one year stand-down from the Housing Corp waiting lists, has eight children and a current partner who has given up on paid employment as a "builder" to support his current root with another benefit.
There are many who spend their days riding a couch with drugs of choice paid for by a generous welfare system, and will in all probability end up as a bad debt to the Ambulance and local Emergency Department.

Now who wants to continue the assault on the entitlement under our social mores by forcing a bunch of citizens who will be first point of call for any civil disaster controller, to pay for their own rescue.

Remember Karma can have  a long memory.

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