Friday, 22 October 2010

It was twenty years ago this way …

While I was in at the council offices this afternoon tugging my forelock in the hope of being granted the boon of lodging some plans for consent (no such luck; I’d forgotten to include a lock of hair from the seventh son of the licensed drainlayer involved) I overhead a conversation with a chap who was there asking questions about the regulations he’ll need to meet to build a long-jump pit at his school so the kids could practice long jump. 

It was a long meeting. He came away with a long list.

We went to (a late) lunch to commiserate, and drew up a list of things comparing what you need to do now to do such a simple job, and what you’d need to do twenty years ago. It looked something like this.

1. What you need to do now.

  • Assign a school project number to “long-jump” project, and write it up in “proposed projects” register.
  • Organise meeting with stakeholders to go forward together on “long-jump” project.
  • Appoint sub-committee to investigate Ministry of Education regulations on playgrounds and long-jump pits, OSH regulations on playgrounds and long-jump-pits, and District plan requirements on a long-jump pit in an area not zoned for Active Recreation.
  • Appoint working group to collate information from ACC on dangers of long-jump activies and mitigation measure and advertising campaign necessary to ensure safe use of long-jump environment.
  • Appoint working-group subcommittee to meet with SPARC to determine correct and safe construction of long-jump pits to meet competition requirements of the IAAF.
  • Appoint project team to assess sustainability options for long-jump pit construction, and to assess impact and appropriateness of “long-jump” project on existing indigenous vegetation and indigenous fauna.
  • Appoint cultural advisors to discuss cultural impact of “long-jump” project on affected persons, to draw up plans to mitigate negative effects, and an action plan to show integration of  cultural values of affected tangata whenua with values and goals of “long-jump” project.
  • Appoint psychological advisors to prepare report on impact of competitive sports on the self-esteem of students with special athletic needs.
  • Produce regulatory impact statement, environmental assessment, cultural report and sustainability study for “long-jump” project.
  • Organise working party to present proposal for “long-jump” project to all stakeholders, including but not limited to MoE, OSH, ACC, School Board of Trustees, local athletics associations and conservation groups, tangata whenua and Uncle Tom Cobley.
  • Give the fuck up and promise yourself you won’t ever get involved in such a thing again.

2. What you needed to do twenty years ago.

  • Stick a notice on the notice board saying “Parents Working Bee on Saturday.”
  • Dig a pit.
  • Fill it with sand.
  • Have a beer.

And people wonder why folk can’t be bothered getting involved down their local schools these days. Or anywhere else.


  1. Maybe we're a bit behind the times down here:
    - Tell the council we're going to put in a fence around the new playgoup (it is their land after all)
    - call a working Bee
    - men with tractors and chainsaws drive posts and put up rails
    - kids help spread sand in new sandpit
    - have a beer

    Things get done - it doesn't need to be hard does it? I wonder how much longer it will last...

  2. Wait until you get to the Morris dancing requirement.

  3. So why the fuck do people bother to ask? Just don't ask. Simple.

    They are only as strong as the support they get from those that meekly comply. IT IS A PIT. What can they do. Tear it down?

    I laugh at the awning people insisting I get a permit to construct a large awning and ask them, do you want to lose your order?

    My new awning is great.

  4. I'm assuming it's public school..?

    So dig it and leave the Code of Compliance to the government... They love breaking their own rules...

  5. I'm currently having a house built, by 1 company and a garage built by another, unfortunatelyt he building company left their secretary in charge of filing the consent and hadn't been told to file both sets of plans together. So when consent was allowed on the house , I asked where's the garage consent.... ho hum, another ful consent fee later, because thats a different building and can't be included in this consent as an addition, even though the foundations hadn't even been marked out..
    So the consent goes in, and the council in their ever growing ineptitude, attributed the fee to the previous consent. So when I ring them a month later to find out wtf is going with the consent, they realise their mistake, and state they will get onto it straight away. 15 working days later they have an answer, that I need to provide upgrade the wind zone rating, and state where the stormwater is going... all of which was on the original house consent. (In days gone past the building inspector would simply have said add more bracing here, rather than sending the damn thing back for re-submission thus wasting everyones' time). This request for information was of course in a letter which didn't get posted until a week after being typed.
    So we supply the duly requested information the following day, so when I enquire back again after being overseas for 3 weeks, I find the envelope is sitting on the wrong desk, and so hadn't even been opened....
    Reminding them that they are already twice the stated 20 working day issuance time, simply gets me a blank silence, so when I ask for a refund for their time wasting, I'm told that this is not council policy.
    When I ask if now that they have realised they all the information to complete the consent, that it should be issued the same day, incredulously, I am told I have a number of other consents that are before yours, and that it will take a day or 2 of administration to do their side of things.....
    bh this stage I have a very sore forehead and a worn patch on my concrete block wall

  6. the drunken watchman23 Oct 2010, 11:41:00

    finally I got laugh today.

    Then I remebered lunch, where I predicted that micro-chipping of humans will be underway in NZ within 10 years. No way, said my host, so we bet on it.

    It will start "innocuously", for your children's own protection agains "horse-shit flu".

    Read-write chips, write access reserved for Nanny. GPS included to make sure you not straying into a horse-shit flu area by mistake, for your children's own good, you understand.

    Anyone on for a bet?

  7. Robert Winefield24 Oct 2010, 04:42:00

    My solution was best. Leave the fucking country for good.

  8. The drunken watchman -
    I would take that bet in a heartbeat. Are you being serious, or is this mere hyperbole?

  9. the drunken watchman24 Oct 2010, 09:48:00


    Great, carton of Waikato ok? (24 bottles)

    PC can be escrow - (so long as he keeps his paws off the piss!)

    Look forward to collecting in 10 years - you'll be easy to find by GPS'ing your chip.

    Anyone else want to stock my fridge?

  10. the drunken watchman24 Oct 2010, 10:06:00


    Nic, I presume you are up to date?

    You will know about vehicle keys?

    Little gadget you to start the car. It records everything you do, gear changes, indicator use, cross-checks speed limits against GPS record of where you have been. Many employers now require this of their employees.I also will bet that this will be a government requirement of all drivers at some point in the future (for ACC reasons, to "protect" you from unsafe drivers, or horse-shit flu or whatever)

    And you must obviously know about pet micro-chipping. What is so far-reached about voluntary human chipping?

    10 years? you are a generous man!


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