Heroic nut completes Tasman kayak crossing

Kayaking in the open ocean is not something I would contemplate doing. Trying to kayak across the Tasman Sea seems nuts.

But Scott Donaldson has done it. He left Coff’s Harbour in northern NSW on 2 May 2018. Last night:

Kayaker Scott Donaldson has crossed the Tasman and reached New Plymouth after leaving Coffs Harbour in New South Wales two months ago.

It’s the first solo crossing of the Tasman in a kayak.

He encountered heavy seas and winds, and even sharks along the way.

Heroic, but I think also nuts to attempt something like this.

Mr Donaldson attempted the journey once before in 2014, but had to abandon the attempt after nearly three months and call for rescue while just 80km from New Zealand’s shore.

The kayak from his first attempt washed up on a New Plymouth beach more than a month after his rescue.

Before he started: ‘It’s more fear than respect’ – Kiwi kayaker Scott Donaldson launching new attempt to cross Tasman Sea

Last night: Watch: The moment Kiwi kayaker Scott Donaldson is carried onto beach after completing solo trans-Tasman voyage


There are shorter routes further south but the conditions are generally worse.

Others have tried and failed. See Sad end for true Aussie battler

Australian kayaker and adventurer Andrew McAuley would have been the first solo kayaker to paddle across the Tasman Sea had he reached his destination that day.

What made his attempt all the more difficult was the path he took — all below the 40th parallel, an area known for tumultuous and punishing weather conditions.

But instead, 30 nautical miles, or 54km off the coast, Andrew vanished after sending the New Zealand Coastguard a garbled message revealing his kayak was sinking and he needed rescue.

It was a small boat for Donaldson to be on the open ocean for months on/in.

Kayaker Scott Donaldson sets off from Coffs Harbour in Sydney.

Footage of Tasman Sea conditions taken from a ship (“This wasn’t the worst of it, this is just what I was able to catch on camera”):

Not my thing even on a large vessel.

Andrew Little won’t contest any electorate

Labour leader Andrew Little has announced a decision not to stand in any electorates this election. He will stand on the list only. If he remains as leader he should be number 1 on the list so barring a Labour electoral catastrophe he should make it back into Parliament.

Stuff: Little flags away Rongotai, New Plymouth to go list-only for 2017 election

Labour leader Andrew Little is to run as a list-only candidate in this year’s election, opening the way for councillor Paul Eagle to win the party’s nomination for the Rongotai seat.

Little has previously been defeated in the New Plymouth seat twice by National backbencher Jonathan Young but it was long rumoured he may seek to stand in Deputy Leader Annette King’s Rongotai seat, where he lives, if she stood down.

King has decided not to stand in Rongotai this year and is also going list only (unless she retires altogether).

He formally told his fellow MPs of his decision on Monday at a caucus retreat in the Wairarapa.

“I’ve told them I will be a list-only candidate. I’m not seeking nomination or selection for any seat,” Little said.

“Leading a general election campaign I need the flexibility I have had for the last two years of being able to be, in effect, anywhere anytime.”

At the leadership level you were “MP for the whole of New Zealand” and that was the way he saw the job.

In general I agree that a major party leader – and especially the prime Minister – are better suited to be list only and not committed to a single electorate.

However Little has a credibility problem, having never been successfully elected by voters.

Little said Eagle, who has confirmed he is considering contesting Rongotai, was the leading contender, though Little said he did not know who else might be interested. .

He had won council elections, organised well, and was a very strong identity with good connections in the area.

“He has got everything you would need for a good, effective MP,” Little said.

Ironic comments given their contrast with Little’s lack of electoral success.

Little said he had been waiting for King’s announcement to be tied down before making his call.

Rongotai members had asked him to consider standing, but after giving it a couple of days’ thought he decided to stay with his view he should remain a list MP.

That was last year. It seems off he has waited until now to announce it, especially given that Eagle announced his interest in standing in Rongotai the day after King announced she was stepping down.

Justice unexpected

The Spinoff has a very funny court transcript from New Plymouth in an outstanding fine case.

The problem for Troy William Henry La Rue, apart from his laxness in paying fines catching up with him, is that a few days earlier he had made a comment on Facebook about the judge he was now standing in front of.

Mr La Rue posted this in response to a Taranaki Daily News item announcing the impending retirement of the judge:

“LOL I hope the fuckers gone by friday. Ha ha. Fucker, nah fuckin cunt whose old face and saggy chin. Fuck off.”

He came to rue that drunken social media remark. Once the judge confronted him about it he said “Well all I can say is you got me on that one.”

But the judge had some more getting him than that.

Transcript: What happens when you appear before a judge you called a c*** on Facebook?

It’s obviously stupid abusing judges, especially judges you could end up standing before in court.

Justice sometimes works in unexpected ways.