Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Can the media ever get it right? Tonight on TV1 we were 'treated' to another shock horror expose of how the Army's use of grenades at their West Melton Range was causing property damage to the good burghers of West Melton.

Now for those of you who are geographically challenged West Melton is about 20K south west of Christchurch heading towards the West Coast. There has been an Army Rifle Range there since Adam was a Cowboy. Those of my generation would be hard pressed to recall any habitation close to the range area.

Times change and West Melton has seen an 'explosion' (excuse the pun) in life style blocks. Every one of those buyers has been fully aware of the range area close at hand.

And now per courtesy of TV1 we see how grenade explosions at the range are causing further damage to homes with one home owner pointing to cracks in her walls with the clear inference that it is an uncaring Army at fault.

Give me a break please. Someone will correct me if I am wrong but the nearest civilian habitation to the grenade throwing area is about 1k away. The grenades in use today have lethal range of 6m; can cause casualties up to 15m and have a safety radius of 30m. They contain 62 grams of explosive. A good fart after a better night out could probably cause more damage at twice the distance.

But never let the facts get in the way of a good story. Shame on TV1 and a pox on lazy journos who haven't got the wit nor intelligence to critically analyse that fed to them by 'interested' parties (who perhaps didn't bother to insure their house and are now angling for Mr & Mrs Taxpayer to pick up the tab).

Now that would be REAL investigative journalism.


Oswald Bastable said...

I was in the bunkers there when one was blown right next to the wall, one bay down (the old forget the transit clip trick)

Didn't damage the wall, even with the demolition charge! Threw a lot of mud up, though!

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Many memorable 1968 mornings carting the Parker Hale conversion Lee Enfield No 4 out there in the dark, listening to 'The House of The rising Sun', to practice for the Uni Quad Tournament.

gravedodger said...

Ten years before Adolf, college shooting team climbed into drafty old army Truck at daylight Saturday morning to go out to the range for shooting practice for the Victory shield.
One benefit, the mufti clothes we were allowed to have at college were eminently suitable for extra curricular night-time activities. Jeans boots and bush shirt.
Qualified as a marksman in .303 and .22, quite proud of that still.

Mort said...

Looks like PC timed his post well

the tragedy of the commons....and coming to the nuisance doctrine

these people really should be told to just GTFO

Flashman said...

I'll bet the whinging lifestyle block owner arrived in NZ within the last 5 years from "the Home Counties".

Moist von Lipwig said...

Two years before gravedodger. Ha!
Mark 4? fully-wooded, aperture sight.
500 yards with a target centre about as big as a plate. Two "warmers" usually aimed at the field telephone on one of the mounds in front. College (St. A) shooting team. Those were the days.

Anonymous said...

The main whinger is a north american with a entitlement issue and no ties to the district. The woman moaning about the "damage" is just trying it on. A pox on their houses.

pdm said...

Did anyone mention that the area has had one or two (okay 7,000 plus) earthquakes since September 2010 with more than one of them centered just down the road near Darfield?

Anonymous said...

I seem to recall the North American chap some time ago (pre-earthquakes) showing the media crack in his house that he attributres to army explosions.

The range was built at West Melton because it was well away from habitation. Like so many similar areas the population creep out towards them and then complain about the activities conducted there.

Just go to Tekapo and you will see the makings of a similar situation as the house move closer to the army training area.