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Silly Rules Part 3: BoI Dolphin Sanctuary


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Following on from Silly Rules Parts 1 & 2, the Cat 1 windows and hull cleaning rules, this article is bad PR for DoC. Marine Bio's saying the rules are rubbish, and DoC is using scare tactics. Whowaddathunk?

It is interesting that the only people supporting the proposal are commercial operators with existing permits to swim with the dolphins. And a large proportion of submissions are on pro-forma's from Forest & Bird who don't live in the area (i.e. eco zeolots who don't really understand what they are talking about).

"Misrepresented" data and "inadequate" supporting information, communicated with "scare tactics". Those are some of the criticisms of the Department of Conservation's (DOC) marine mammal sanctuary proposal in Te Pēwhairangi - the Bay of Islands. 

But University of Auckland associate professor and dolphin researcher Rochelle Constantine told RNZ many of the animals had just moved elsewhere.

She said the information behind the proposal was "inadequate".

"The Department of Conservation needs to be honest about the information, they did not gather people who have actually worked in this area and know how to do this work."

She is the first to admit it's odd for a marine biologist to oppose protection rules, but told RNZ it would be "perverse" to support something she didn't think would do the job.

"The Department needs to actually have a look at where they're putting their efforts and resources around credible research, good enforcements, good education and actually not misrepresenting information as it currently stands - which is unfortunately what's happened here."

She is not the only highly-esteemed marine biologist opposing the plans.

Dr Ingrid Visser's submission described DOC's data as "highly distorted" and she said DOC "does not spend sufficient time on the water or in educational programs protecting marine mammals".

Bay of Islands Snorkelling skipper Tammy Jameson told RNZ the proposal had been highly controversial among residents.

"The scare tactics of DOC have been really disgraceful because the way they've put it across is ... 'they're [the dolphins are] all dying.'"

She said it was impossible for boaties and swimmers to constantly know where the animals were, and the rules would be difficult to follow in some places, like Tāpeka Point.

"That is like Spaghetti Junction in Auckland. It is the busiest spot in the Bay of Islands and it is the way to get out and around and they [dolphins] spend a lot of time there. So if everyone stops there and has to wait for these dolphins to leave, it's going to cause chaos."

DOC 'misrepresenting information', biologist says | RNZ News

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I am just finishing a 5 day trip from Russell back to whangaparaoa ( about 5 mies north of tiri as i type)

just had my 3rd visit from dolphins.  Each time I  became aware of their presence when one popped up alongside the cockpit. Dropping all my sails takes 10 to 15 minutes singlehanded.  The first 2 occasions they only stayed,a few minutes. . Yesterday i was gybing downwind in 20 to 25 kn.and disinclined to stop.

Today I'm only doing about 4. But they stayed Maybe 2 mins then left. About 5 mins later they returned.  Then went to eat as I  saw then hitting a school of kahawai about 300m away. Then they came back. Then went away again  

Whoever wrote these rules is an ass. Saying they aren't eating coz they like playing with boats is like saying taking your dog to the beach with a ball will cause him to starve to death.

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This is the kind of paradox that baffles me and keeps me awake at night. Because it’s an endemic problem around the world in every corner of life. We are surrounded by silly rules apparently written by bureaucrats who are disconnected from the practical reality. This was supposed to be solved by ‘stakeholder engagement’ by getting the right feedback & consultation from affected parties to ensure the rules are better. Or better still get some of the front-line folks embedded into the bureaucratic teams to influence better outcomes.

Both these approaches - and many more - have been tried but seem to be failing. The evidence is poor policy all around us from central to local government. Creating frustration.

In contrast the private sector has generally done better with customer services broadly getting better over time (faster, cheaper, more accessible) as a result of customer-led design thinking. There are many exceptions of course but the overall shift has been in right direction. Banking is still hit & miss but online banking & Apps are superb progression from 10-20yrs ago.

So why do we still get silly dolphin rules like this? Why hasn’t consumerism made it into public policy as successfully?

I should be able answer my own question but I’ve given up trying today…

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In years gone by politicians, both local government and parliament, were usually well respected successful people from the business community. Nowadays we have professional politicians that have never run a business, nor often even worked for one, so out of touch with the realities for making it. They therefore see the world in a "how am I going to win the next election" perspective.

To make up for the complete lack of useful skills they employ bureaucrats in their droves, again not so much in the past as they weren't needed. but spreading geometrically now, these people soon realise they are onto a pretty good thing and focus on securing their position.

People used to be able to deal directly with bureaucrats and politicians and they helped you get things done, mostly they are behind closed doors now and risk averse. They want you to use consultants rather than deal directly with them, again a step removed from reality.

To get a real perspective in front of a politician is now almost impossible, if a silly idea comes up its pretty hard to put a stop to it. Politicians respond to media nowadays, not common sense.

Businesses need to convince you to give them dollars, politicians don't. There is a lot to be said for the power of market forces to drive decision making, as opposed to popularity ratings to chase votes, for good outcomes

If you want to get your way you need a spin-doctor, not an experienced subject matter expert.

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On 14/08/2021 at 6:50 PM, BOIGuy said:

if you want to get your way you need a spin-doctor, not an experienced subject matter expert.

Which is the tragic downside of today’s 24x7 globally inter-connected world. In the ‘old days’ news, current affairs & opinions played a proportionally much smaller part of our lives eg 1-2 times day as we read the morning paper over breakfast and then listed / watched the evening news. Then we got on with our day being a productive student, apprentice, tradie, farmer, artist, athlete, manager, professional, domestic scientist or whatever we did.

But nowadays we are bombarded by 24x7 feeds (I won’t call them “newsfeeds” because many feeds are fact-free opinions or politicised spin from a vast array of sources ranging from accredited news agencies through to ‘influencers’). And for many people, consuming this firehose of feeds & alerts of mis/information is a major part of there waking day, running in parallel with their ‘day job’.

And so as BOI says the result is rapid-fire and often reactionary media and opinion-led policy more than ever before - rather than high-quality, well-considered and fact-led policy (which often takes a bit more time to get right but pays off in the longer-term).

Jeez, and it’s only Monday…

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On 14/08/2021 at 6:50 PM, BOIGuy said:

In years gone by politicians, both local government and parliament, were usually well respected successful people from the business community. Nowadays we have professional politicians that have never run a business, nor often even worked for one, so out of touch with the realities for making it. 

Hmmmn.  Are you sure?

It very much depends what era you look at.  For many years, parliament was made up of farmers and lawyers on the right and union stalwarts on the left.  At local council level, it was accountants, lawyers, sports people, and a small handful of business people both successful and unsuccessful.

While a politician needs to read a balance sheet and understand financial advice, there really is no good reason that they need to be successful business people as a rule for entry, and there is no good evidence that those who have that experience necessarily make better politicians, or better decisions.

Politicians are in place to reflect the will of the voters, not to dictate the will of the party.  This is an often-complained feature of leftist parties - the imposition of woke, greenie, socialist policies is apparently not reflective of the will of the people.

Politicians need technical skills for sure, but a government stacked with business leaders is just as dangerous as a government stacked with home-spun macro-biotic greenies.

 

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On 14/08/2021 at 6:50 PM, BOIGuy said:

In years gone by politicians, both local government and parliament, were usually well respected successful people from the business community. Nowadays we have professional politicians that have never run a business, nor often even worked for one, so out of touch with the realities for making it. They therefore see the world in a "how am I going to win the next election" perspective.

To make up for the complete lack of useful skills they employ bureaucrats in their droves, again not so much in the past as they weren't needed. but spreading geometrically now, these people soon realise they are onto a pretty good thing and focus on securing their position.

People used to be able to deal directly with bureaucrats and politicians and they helped you get things done, mostly they are behind closed doors now and risk averse. They want you to use consultants rather than deal directly with them, again a step removed from reality.

To get a real perspective in front of a politician is now almost impossible, if a silly idea comes up its pretty hard to put a stop to it. Politicians respond to media nowadays, not common sense.

Businesses need to convince you to give them dollars, politicians don't. There is a lot to be said for the power of market forces to drive decision making, as opposed to popularity ratings to chase votes, for good outcomes

If you want to get your way you need a spin-doctor, not an experienced subject matter expert.

What a load of tripe about the good old days, politicians have always been prime targets for ridicule- it comes with the job description.

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were usually well respected successful people from the business community

There is the problem, an assumption about respect based on success as an employer, the reason we have employment laws for example are because employers dont mind children down the mines and a shilling a month wages! Govt is not a business and while business people may be excellent at management or leadership they may be useless at policymaking. Govt does not exist solely as an arm of business, and civil service is not about clipboards and time management to produce whatsits to sell to consumers.

I agree that electioneering from cycle to cycle is bad, but its always been the case- always. Not saying its good but take off the rose tinted historical glasses.

Quote

There is a lot to be said for the power of market forces to drive decision making

But that is EXACTLY what is happening! I think the govts job is to create the environment so that markets can thrive, but beholding to market interests is a mistake.

There is also a difference between local and national governance and it seems that you are trying to apply a local approach to what happens in the beehive. That does not work but if you go back a generation or two National was the farmers party or the party of the most powerful economic bloc- nowadays there is very little between either major party- two sides of the identical coin. Local politicians should be accessible to all, not just business interests and they are there to represent you whether you voted for them or not.

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26 minutes ago, aardvarkash10 said:

I take from this that '749 is a fan of authoritarian dictatorships.

*awaits pavlovian reaction*

I have a pile of coconuts for predicting '749 downvotes 🤣

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Back on the subject, we all know as boaties that Dolphins do what they want around moving vessels. Sure put in place protections to stop idiots carving through pods at high speed or killing them but I can see the need for much more? I am not a scientist so cant offer anything from that perspective but I have been in the water many times and had dolphins swim up to and  around me, they seem curious and disinterested all at once, coming and going as they please, should I arrest myself after an encounter and hand myself in!

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5 hours ago, aardvarkash10 said:

Hmmmn.  Are you sure?

It very much depends what era you look at.  For many years, parliament was made up of farmers and lawyers on the right and union stalwarts on the left.  At local council level, it was accountants, lawyers, sports people, and a small handful of business people both successful and unsuccessful.

While a politician needs to read a balance sheet and understand financial advice, there really is no good reason that they need to be successful business people as a rule for entry, and there is no good evidence that those who have that experience necessarily make better politicians, or better decisions.

Politicians are in place to reflect the will of the voters, not to dictate the will of the party.  This is an often-complained feature of leftist parties - the imposition of woke, greenie, socialist policies is apparently not reflective of the will of the people.

Politicians need technical skills for sure, but a government stacked with business leaders is just as dangerous as a government stacked with home-spun macro-biotic greenies.

 

Yes ...I'm absolutely positive BOIG is 110 % correct. Perhaps your view is based on newspaper,TV & Radio reporting. Mostly The view you have may have been 50's,60's but that changed on the make up of  Parliamentarians with MMP. Yes I know that came later ! Why,now we have unemployed getting seats . Likewise Councils now get race based seats as does Govt.. It's become a bureaucrats dream. On BOPRC theres one elected member who only got his seat because no one else stood. Not Left or Right leaning. Nor an Accountant ,Lawyer etc or a business person .I think he was about 20 & a Hairdresser. Look at the background of the Greens and shudder. Hopefully this helps you reconsider BOIG post and believe it. Actually in my experience it's much worse than his post. The pollies largely (say 95% of the time ) rubber stamp bureaucrats '"recommendations" and to make sure that happens there are too many pollies ensuring split voting on controversial matters. The legislation even says if you don't take 'professional' advice you can be held personally liable. 

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1 hour ago, armchairadmiral said:

Why,now we have unemployed getting seats .

they are 4% of the population, so I would expect their representation.    There should be five of them at the appropriate ratio.  Its not like there is a shortage of superannuatant MPs and councillors, so why not unemployed?

1 hour ago, armchairadmiral said:

I think he was about 20 & a Hairdresser.

Not sure why this is relevant if no upstanding capable well informed business executive or owner ran against him, thats just democracy in action.

1 hour ago, armchairadmiral said:

Likewise Councils now get race based seats as does Govt.

No, they don't.  If you are referring to maori representation, they are wards, not council seats.

1 hour ago, armchairadmiral said:

The legislation even says if you don't take 'professional' advice you can be held personally liable. 

Again, that makes sense.  Would you buy a house without consulting your lawyer?  I'm in exactly the same poisiotn as an office holder in an incorporated society.  We are not expected to know everything, but we are expected to take expert advice.  If we go against that advice and there is a problem later, we are liable.

1 hour ago, Psyche said:

110% correct, hang on mate!

and 95% of decisions are rubber-stamped.

aaaah, yeah.  Part of the 60%

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4 hours ago, Psyche said:

Back on the subject,

Yes agree.

We had a pod of Orca surface about 10m away at ponui island a few yrs ago.We were drifting but gave us a fright.Next minute a couple of fizzies turn up and drive through them and split the pod. Yes could of rung the Jonah project but how do desrcibe a white fibreglass 16/18 ft.By the the time Jonah or whoever turns up too late.  Maybe we need more maritime police just cruising around and then you could them in hope they are near by.

How do you fix stupidity??Fire a flare at them??

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14 minutes ago, harrytom said:

Next minute a couple of fizzies turn up and drive through them and split the pod.

and you can't legislate for stupid, you can only police for it ie you need constant surveillance.  They are the same fizzies that pass you in the Tamaki at 20kt.

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2 hours ago, armchairadmiral said:

Yes ...I'm absolutely positive BOIG is 110 % correct. Perhaps your view is based on newspaper,TV & Radio reporting. Mostly The view you have may have been 50's,60's but that changed on the make up of  Parliamentarians with MMP. Yes I know that came later ! Why,now we have unemployed getting seats . Likewise Councils now get race based seats as does Govt.. It's become a bureaucrats dream. On BOPRC theres one elected member who only got his seat because no one else stood. Not Left or Right leaning. Nor an Accountant ,Lawyer etc or a business person .I think he was about 20 & a Hairdresser. Look at the background of the Greens and shudder. Hopefully this helps you reconsider BOIG post and believe it. Actually in my experience it's much worse than his post. The pollies largely (say 95% of the time ) rubber stamp bureaucrats '"recommendations" and to make sure that happens there are too many pollies ensuring split voting on controversial matters. The legislation even says if you don't take 'professional' advice you can be held personally liable. 

This is how stupid gets to be the norm in regs like this one.  Just illustrating how it happens

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1 hour ago, armchairadmiral said:

This is how stupid gets to be the norm in regs like this one.  Just illustrating how it happens

I agree this one appears ill-considered.  I have no idea if its the exception or the norm.

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