Rain, floods and a major bridge washout on the West Coast

Heavy run is normal on the West Coast, but they are currently getting more than usual, with floods road closures from Makarora (just north of Lake Wanaka leading over the Haast pass) to Hokitika.

And there has been a major bridge collapse on the Waiho river just south of Franz Josef township – this is the only road  between there and Fox Glacier.

Civil Defence West Coast

 

1 News:  Astonishing footage captures bridge collapse in Franz Josef as wild weather batters West Coast

The river doesn’t look particularly high, but has been flowing very strongly with boulders and ice chunks likely to have damaged the supports.

Might need to go a bit faster than 30 to get across that gap.

It could take quite a bit to get that river crossing and therefore the only highway re-opened.

Image may contain: sky

There is currently one road closure, SH6 Franz Josef to Fox Glacier with two slips at Omoeroa and significant surface flooding south of Whataroa at Lake Wahapo. Please watch the NZTA Website for any developments at:

Latest Update:  26 March 2019 8:42 pm

There is a raised risk to life and injury for local residents and further risk to property, and accordingly the Mayor Bruce Smith has declared a State of Emergency for the Westland District.

The Waiho Bridge has been completely destroyed. NZTA will be assessing how to reinstate the Highway following this disastrous event. The ECC will be assessing the need for a controlled evacuation on the South Side of the Waiho River.

Green & Labour ministers decline mining application

Green Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has released some good news this weekend, but it hasn’t shut down criticism of an earl;ier decision on water bottling.

along with Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods, announced on Saturday that an application to mine coal on conservation land on the West Coast has been declined – Government declines application to mine conservation land at Te Kuha

An application to mine coal on public conservation land near Te Kuha in the Buller District has been declined, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Minister of Energy Resources Megan Woods announced today.

Rangitira Developments Ltd had applied for an access arrangement under the Crown Minerals Act to mine 12 hectares of public conservation land in the Mt Rochfort Conservation Area, near Te Kuha, as part of a large opencast coal mine.

The Ministers declined the application to mine 12 hectares of conservation land because it was not considered that the mine’s potential economic benefits were large enough to outweigh the irreparable damage to an area with very high, unique and nationally significant conservation values.

“Under the Conservation Act, this land is held to preserve and protect its natural and historic resources.  This application is inconsistent with that purpose,” said Eugenie Sage.

Minister Woods said the proposal had been closely scrutinised against the relevant criteria in the Crown Minerals Act.

Recently Sage came under strong fire from Green supporters – see Greens bottling it as water fallout continues. so may win back some credit for this move.

It’s interesting that this news was released from the Beehive yesterday, the only one on Saturday.

Most ‘latest from the Beehive’ media releases are during the week. There were nine on Friday, two on Thursday, twelve on Wednesday, five on Tuesday and three on Monday. There were none last Saturday (one on Sunday).

It looks like Sage could have pushed out a good for Greens decision to try to dampen criticism.

Unlike Consent granted for overseas purchase of Whakatane water bottling plant Sage didn’t try to explain this decision on the Green blog (which isn’t a forum because comments aren’t enabled). However it was promoted on Facebook:

However comments there suggest that Sage is far from forgiven for her water bottling decision.

Mustn’t have been applied for by the chinese

Protected my a…. Eugenie Sage is earning $249,839 as a Minister and selling our souls to the highest bidder rather than stand up for our environment. What is worse is that the Green MPs are trying to say her hands are tied.

Why can’t you stop the water bottling plant for China?? Didn’t you promise pre election??

Ok on the path to redemption, but a long way to make up for aiding and abetting the theft of our water…SORT IT…

Nice for the West Coast but we in the Bay of Plenty will never forget the disregard shown to us (and Green Party policy) when our precious groundwater was given to a Chinese corporation and they were able to buy sensitive land.

What about protecting our water? The Green Party recently allowed a Chinese water bottling plant to expand its business in Whakatane? Is this article’s purpose to deter the public’s attention away from that

It wasn’t until the seventh comment that there was praise.

Thank you @Eugenie Sage, credit where credit is due. It’s certainly been a week of highs and lows! Keep the kaupapa Greens…and take care of yourselves, I don’t envy you your jobs

It looks like ten steps backward and one forward this week for the Greens – and that’s just within the party.

There has been some applause for declining the mining application, like from Forest & Bird (now led by ex-Green MP Kevin Hague) – Stuff: Government declines controversial application for coal mine at Te Kuha

The decision was welcomed by Forest & Bird chief executive Kevin Hague as “a hugely significant, forward-thinking decision that future generations of New Zealanders will be thankful for”.

Obviously the company applying to mine was disappointed.

Stevenson Mining chief operating officer Anne Brewster said the decision was short sighted. Stevenson Mining is owned by Rangitira Developments. “We are very disappointed,” she said.

“The Government has made this decision and it is very short sighted … These decisions are made by people who have vested interests in the community.”

And Buller District Mayor Garry Howard said…

…he wasn’t surprised by the decision but still couldn’t understand the logic behind it as the proposed site was only 12 hectares.

“The Department of Conservation has 1,596,000 hectares on the West Coast and this was just 12. It would be a commercial  venture that is only going to be operating on 144 hectares and an open pit of 10 hectares. “Modern day mining is totally different to what historic mining has been. The restoration work is outstanding.”

But there is a good case for protecting wilderness areas.

Because of extensive mining elsewhere, the Te Kuha area was one of the last two intact, elevated Brunner coal measure ecosystems, and home to threatened plant and animal species, including the great spotted kiwi, South Island fernbird, West Coast green gecko, and the largest known population of the rare forest ringlet butterfly.

“It is an undisturbed area which is precious and unique,” Sage said.

“The economic benefits assessment for the mine showed it was at a poor risk with a perfect storm if operating costs were higher than anticipated, if there wasn’t as much coal as anticipated, and if coal prices continued to be at low levels.

“The economic benefits of the mine didn’t outweigh the permanent loss and destruction of conservation values.”

While it doesn’t help business and jobs on the West Coast this looks like a decision Sage made within the parameters allowed – as was the one she made on the water bottling plant.

Jones dismisses Ministry warning not to touch waste-to-energy scheme

A grant from the Provincial Growth Fund for a feasibility study for a West Coast waste-to-energy scheme was put on hold when RNZ revealed that it’s chief executive had been referred to the Serious Fraud Office, but RNZ now also reveals that the Environment Ministry had warned that it didn’t stack up financially or environmentally – but Shane Jones says that that was trivial and he would have ignored the warning and funded the feasibility study.

RNZ: Experts warned govt not to touch waste-to-energy scheme

The government announced hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for a proposed waste-to-energy scheme two days after experts advised it was a lemon.

The Environment Ministry warned the Provincial Growth Fund that the proposed project on the West Coast did not stack up economically or environmentally.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones placed the proposed scheme on ice in February after RNZ informed him its chief executive, Gerard Gallagher, had been referred to the Serious Fraud Office.

Now, advice obtained under the Official Information Act shows the Environment Ministry warned the scheme had enormous flaws just two days before Mr Jones announced $350,000 for its feasibility study.

Not only would the scheme undermine other incentives to reduce waste – like recycling, it would increase carbon emissions the experts cautioned.

The Environment Ministry warned the project relied upon “unrealistic expectations”.

It said those behind the scheme “do not demonstrate an understanding of the South Island waste market”, “had not secured adequate feedstock for the project”, “the business case and budget are not adequately formed”, and “the applicant demonstrated key misunderstandings of the New Zealand context including the “erroneous assumption all landfills are required to close by 2040”.

But Jones dismisses this advice.

Mr Jones said he never received the advice and even if he had it would have made no difference.

“I haven’t seen that email, but look I wouldn’t catastrophise such trivial events – the bureaucrats will constantly be trading streams of analysis among themselves.”

Mr Jones said even if he had been aware of the Environment Ministry’s position it wouldn’t have changed a thing.

“It makes not one jot of difference to me – a feasibility study should be able to flush all such information out,” Mr Jones said.

“And if the thing dies as a consequence of a feasibility study that’s why private sector and public sector should do feasibility studies.”

That’s a concern on two levels.

Funding schemes against expert advice does not look good – it adds weight to suspicions that it is more of a NZ First slush fund than genuine regional development.

And does Jones get to decide who the Provincial Growth Fund hands money out to? The Fund is supposed to have an Independent Advisory Panel:

Provincial Growth Fund open for business

“We are being bold and we are being ambitious because this Government is committed to ending the years of neglect. Nearly half of us live outside our main cities. If this country is to do well, then our provinces must thrive.

“Our first regional packages support the regions most neglected by the last government: in Northland, Tairāwhiti-East Coast, Hawke’s Bay and Manawatū-Whanganui and the West Coast of the South Island.

The last one of those refers to the waste-to-energy scheme.

“An Independent Advisory Panel has been appointed to assist the decision-making of ministers and officials, supported by a new Regional Economic Development Unit within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to work directly with regions, ensuring this isn’t a Wellington-driven Fund.

“The announcements we’re making today are just the beginning and I’m looking forward to building on this momentum over the coming weeks, months and years and realising the untapped potential of our provinces,” Mr Jones says.

I hope there is more momentum towards heeding expert advice.

Q&A today

A not very riveting line up on Q+A today.

This could be a bit interesting and is no doubt contentious in the Coast:

A West Coast council is looking at whether to offer up cutting rights for native trees on public land.

The West Coast council and ‘sustainable’ timber business wants to pluck logs out of native forest and they can provide revenue and jobs..

Russel Norman says that the largely ancient forest ecosystems should be left alone and I think it’s hard to argue against that.

Looking back on Murray McCully’s political history (the most interesting bits will probably remain secret):

Foreign Minister Murray McCully is finishing up his 30 year political career. He sits down with Jessica Mutch to discuss the highs and lows.

I was never a fan of McCully, but he seems to have risen to the task of being Foreign Minister, with a few significant question marks.

McCully says he doesn’t feel uncomfortable with any major decisions he’s been involved in. He acknowledges a couple of ‘blemishes’ but won’t give details.

Russel Norman concedes some positives but laments what he sees is the biggest negative – a lack of progress on climate change.

No imminent ‘large aftershock’ threat

The multi region structure of Civil Defence showed it’s weakness again yesterday when West Coast Civil Defence warned people to prepare for a ‘large aftershock’, but this was talked down by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Geonet, who said their information had been misinterpreted.

West Coast Civil Defence have since retracted their warning.

Aftershocks are normal after large earthquakes. So far there have been over 5,000 aftershocks following the Culverden-Kaikoura-Seddon M7.8 earthquake on Monday last week.

6.30am update: 7 eq in last hour, 156 eqs in last 12 hrs ( only 2 over M4) and 5456 eqs since the M7.8 Kaikoura Earthquake – @Geonet

They seem to be following a normal pattern of reduced frequency and size with a few bigger  blips.

Geonet have made general predictions of aftershocks based on statistics, which includes the likelihood that there will be large aftershocks some time. But it is not possible to accurately predict how big, nor when.

Regardless of the uncertainty people throughout New Zealand should be prepared for any earthquake event.

Newshub: National Civil Defence says no imminent ‘large aftershock’ threat

West Coast Civil Defence Public Information Manager Andy Thompson earlier said the aftershock activity in the area been “suspiciously quiet”.

“The GeoNet seismograph drums have been very quiet for the last day or so and the normally higher aftershock sequence of large quakes has not been occurring in the Kaikoura area,” said a statement from West Coast Civil Defence.

West Coast Civil Defence regional manager Chris Raine said another worry is that an area in Arthur’s Pass slightly west of the divide has experienced a number of small tremors in the last few days.

He said it’s an area they have been monitoring closely, with Mr Thompson describing it as “highly sensitive”.

West Coast Civil Defence has staff on duty this weekend to be available in the case of aftershocks and the forecasted heavy rain that is expected to start tomorrow morning.

They are urging locals to stock up on enough food, water, cash and medicine to last a week, and to ensure they have an emergency plan in place.

“If an earthquake is so strong that people can’t stand up, or rolling lasts more than a minute, they should evacuate inland,” regional manager Chris Raine said.

 The problem isn’t with the advice, but with the warning of an imminent large aftershock in their region.

But GeoNet say the science they’re using to authenticate the warning is simply incorrect.

“Just because the drums have been quiet for a day means absolutely nothing,” GeoNet seismologist John Ristau said.

“We kind of want to distance ourselves from this – we don’t know why they’ve gone out and done this.”

Mr Ristau says it is not usually Civil Defence’s policy to issue a warning without checking in with them first.

“Civil Defence would talk to us, we advise them, and they would never release anything without talking to us.

“What [West Coast Civil Defence] have done is looked at our [seismograph] drums, and taken the information we’ve put out and made their own interpretations.”

The Ministry of Civil Defence’s head office was also bemused by what was put out by the West Coast offshoot when contacted by Newshub, with a spokesperson saying they’re not aware of any increased risk of a strong aftershock.

The spokesperson reiterated that they are in regular contact with GeoNet, and would seldom issue a warning without consulting them first.

@Geonet tweeted at 7:13 last night:

Reminder: We produce forecasts and scenarios NOT specific eq warnings regarding aftershocks. if you see an eq warning, it’s not from GeoNet

Followed by

Contrary to some reports the Ministry of Civil Defence has not issued an earthquake threat warning for West Coast

On Facebook yesterday at 7:18 pm::

Please share this with anyone you know who is worried.

Contrary to some reports there is no “imminent threat” to the West Coast from earthquakes. Neither have we issued an earthquake threat warning.

After a large earthquake there is always an increased likelihood of aftershocks, some of which may be large.

Remember: drop, cover and hold until the shaking stops.

If you feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up, or a rolling earthquake that lasts longer than a minute, or observe strange sea behaviour such as the sea level suddenly rising and falling, or the sea making loud and unusual should move immediately to high ground, or as far inland as possible.

Since Monday GeoNet have been issuing earthquake forecasts based on the best science they have available – their most recent one can be found here: http://info.geonet.org.nz/…/M7.8+Kaikoura+Quake%3A+Future+S…

 And they followed up at 22:05 pm:

On our previous post: West Coast Civil Defence Emergency Management have retracted their urgent warning around large aftershocks on the West Coast. Media ran their stories in good faith and we thank them for running clarifications.

Remember – after a large earthquake there is always an increased likelihood of aftershocks, some of which may be large. Check out our previous post for more advice on what to do in quake.

You can find the latest earthquake forecasts from the good folk at GeoNet

The disjointedness between Geonet, national Civil Defence and all the Civil Defence regions is messy and needs to be tidied up.

West Coast Civil defence have now retracted their urgent warning.

Stuff: Large aftershocks a possibility, but there are no ‘urgent warnings’

West Coast Civil Defence Regional manager Chris Raine initially refused to answer questions from the media about the release, saying he was not prepared but was dealing with the fallout with the ministry. 

From his home in Greymouth, he said he accepted people were concerned after the release was issued and apologised.

“I apologise. It was done in the best interests of the West Coast people,” he said.

“I withdraw the urgent warning completely.”

He added Thompson, who issued the release, may have “misinterpreted” the risk of aftershocks.

This is ridiculous. The only thing missing is a full moon.

Each local emergency management office was responsible for its region, Clifford said. The Ministry for Civil Defence was a “central coordinator” for emergency responses, she said.

“The West Coast have a responsibility for their community and they have acted in what they think is the best for their community,” Clifford said.

She urged people to follow the information and advice issued by GNS Science and the Ministry of Civil Defence.

“The press release that has come from West Coast was not sent on behalf of the ministry,” she said.

The current disjointed way that Civil Defence advises the public is hopeless. And poor.

The West Coast Civil Defence website gives no obvious indication of any of this, it seems to have all happened via media.

This is hopeless. Where should we look for up to date information and warnings on earthquakes? I have no idea.

The national Civil Defence website has general information but nothing specific. Their last News and events ‘new update’ is remarkably dated 10 November, before any of these earthquakes occurred.

We should all know exactly where to go online for the latest information and advice.

West Coast Wind-blown Timber Bill votes

The West Coast Wind-blown Timber (Conservation Lands) Bill was held under urgency in Parliament yesterday. There were some interesting votes through the stages of the bill and on amendments.

The first vote was:

Ayes 72 – National 59, Labour 2, NZ First 7, Maori Party 2, United Future 1, Brendon Horan 1
(initially recorded as 73 in favour but later corrected)

Noes 46 – Labour 32, Greens 13,Mana 1

The vote was notable for the fact that two Labour MPs, Damien O’Connor and Rino Tirikatene, crossed the floor and voted with the Government.

NZ First voted for the bill but said they wouldn’t continuing supporting it unless significant changes were made.

One Green MP didn’t vote.

Second reading vote:

Ayes 63 – National 59, Maori Party 2, United Future 1, Brendon Horan 1

Noes 51 – Labour 33, Greens 10, NZ First 7, Mana 1

Either O’Connor or Tirikatene switched to No and the other abstained. NZ First switched to No. Four Green MPs didn’t vote.

Damien O’Connor (Labour) amendment SOP 476:

Ayes 41 – Labour 33, NZ First 7, Brendon Horan 1

Noes 62 – National 59, Maori Party 2, United Future 1

Abstained 11 – Greens 10, Mana 1

Moana Mackey (Labour) amendment SOP 475 (2 votes)

Ayes 44 – Labour 33, Greens 10, Mana 1

Noes 70 – National 59, NZ First 7, Maori Party 2, United Future 1, Brendon Horan 1

Eugenie Sage (Green) amendment SOP 474 (3 votes)

Ayes 51 – Labour 33, Greens 10, NZ First 7, Mana 1

Noes 63 – National 59, Maori Party 2, United Future 1, Brendon Horan 1

Part 2 vote:

Ayes 65 – National 59, Labour 2, Maori Party 2, United Future 1, Brendon Horan 1

Noes 49 – Labour 31, Greens 10, NZ First 7, Mana 1

O’Connor and Tirikatene voting for the bill again with another Labour MP abstaining.

Vote on the schedule, Moana Mackey amendment SOP 475

Ayes 44 – Labour 33, Greens 10, Mana 1

Noes 70 – National 59, NZ First 7, Maori Party 2, United Future 1, Brendon Horan 1

Third reading (final) vote:

Ayes 65 – National 59, Labour 2, Maori Party 2, United Future 1, Brendon Horan 1

Noes 51 – Labour 32, Greens 11, NZ First 7, Mana 1

In the final vote O’Connor and Tirikatene (presumably) crossed the floor to vote with the Government. Three Green MPs didn’t vote.

Draft transcript of the debates

Video of debates

O’Connor may cross floor over windfall timber

There seems to be some disagreement in the Labour caucus over the plan to use windfall timber from the West Coast.

National claim to have the support of the Maori Party and United Future (and also NZ First although Peters seemed to contest that).

David Cunliffe started a typical yeah/nah stance yesterday – Playing politics with West Coast windfall trees

It now looks like Damien O;Connor will try to get some amendments but will cross the floor to vote for it anyway:

RadioLIVE Newsroom ‏@LIVENewsDesk

Labour’s Damien O’Connor will cross Parliament’s floor and vote in favour of native logging, if his party decides to vote against it.

This has sort of been confirmed by Moana Mackey:

Christian Hermansen ‏@chermansen__

@tauhenare @clarecurranmp Majority just increased anyway, Damien O’Connor will cross the floor

@MoanaMackey

@chermansen__ @tauhenare @clarecurranmp only at third reading if govt votes down all his very sensible amendments

Labour have manouvered themselves into a stupid position on this, all over a small proportion of blown over trees.

UPDATE:  Two Labour MPs support Government’s West Coast timber legislation 

Two Labour MPs will cross the floor to support the government’s legislation the enabling the harvesting of windblown timber on West Coast conservation land.

West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor, and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene, will support the bill, in their capacities as local MPs for the area.

The remaining Labour MPs will oppose the legislation, because it’s being rushed through parliament under urgency – with no public consultation.

Labour and West Coast trees

Government to allow recovery of West Coast windfall timber:

Special legislation is to be passed by Parliament to enable the recovery of high value native timber blown over in Cyclone Ita on West Coast public conservation land, Dr Nick Smith announced today.

“We need to take a pragmatic approach and enable the timber to be recovered where it can be done so safely and with minimal environmental impact. This initiative will provide welcome jobs and economic opportunities for the West Coast at a difficult time, and will provide a financial return to DOC that can be reinvested in conservation work,” Dr Smith says.

http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/government-allow-recovery-west-coast-windfall-timber

This could be an awkward move for Damien O’Connor, unless Labour decide to back theis legislation. Here’s a possible sign that they may be against the recovery of fallen trees:

Smith plans sale of trees to fund DOC

National is to introduce urgent legislation possibly today. The use of urgency is often controversial and should normally only be permitted where the measure has budgetary implications, where there is a discovered defect in legislation which needs to be corrected or where there is otherwise good reason to change the law quickly.

But this bill is deeply political and clearly designed for campaign purposes. It will have limited effect in the South Island only and is obviously an attempt to drive a wedge between ordinary working people and environmental movements. It could be called the “Deseat Damian O’Connor and Denigrate the Greens Act 2014″. Because what is proposed is to allow the commercial use of felled trees in conservation areas on the West Coast.

The bill is obviously an attempt to turn West Coasters against any party that stands up for environmental protection. If it is passed the forests will be weakened as biomass and important habitats for other creatures are removed. While there may be a case for limited extraction the bill should go to a select committee so that this can be explored.

http://thestandard.org.nz/smith-plans-sale-of-trees-to-fund-doc/

That looks like one of mickysavage’s less ‘personal opinion’ posts. Is it his own opposition, is he testing the waters for Labour, or are Labour starting to campaign against it?

On Whale Oil versus West Coast

Much has been said about the (typically) provocative Whale Oil “feral” post and the ensuing shit storm. Comments at Kiwiblog sum up much of what has been discussed.

Itstricky:

We’re balanced and reasonable people who don’t exercise ourselves over such things as language or verbiage. Not so on the Coast it seems.

Aha, yes, quite right – balanced and reasonable people who don’t go calling others feral. As I said in my original post – if I walk out on the street and call a random stranger ugly then I *fully* expect to be given a five fingered salute right square smack on my plonker (probably splitting it in two). I would never expect any less and I would probably deserve it.

She doesn’t want a “face to face” apology, she wants 10 seconds on the news.

Now that it just a really really -weird- assertion. I mean like, really weird. She’s a grieving mother who’s had someone abuse her deceased and you’re suggesting she just wants to get on the telly? I don’t even know where to begin psyhco-analysis of that one.

She’s the one demanding a “face to face” apology. Not me.

Right you are. That is weird. But I think she might have the the right to call the shots in that her son died and she didn’t walk around calling random people feral, or you know, something like that anyway.

‘Right of way is Right of way’:

Oh hang on, she want’s a face to face apology from Cam Slater for describing her late son as a ‘feral’. She also has questions about the police chase. She also said that she was grateful that the survivors of the crash had directed emergency services to the wreck to check on her dead son.

The statements I have yet to hear are; “Why was the driver going so fast?” “Why was the life of my son taken by the stupid actions of his so called mate?”

I appreciate that she is grieving in a way that few of us could ever understand, and that she may feel compelled to strike out. But Cam Slater did not kill her son. The Police did not kill her son. Her son died solely due to the actions of the person who had his right foot on the accelerator of the car.

And if some of these people on the West Coast refuse to get their heads around that basic fact, and address it, then sadly, Judd Hall will not be the last person to be taken from us all in such a manner.

I find this fact to be the saddest of them all.

‘kiwi in america’:

I think those who read Cameron’s blog pretty much know what we are getting. He is opinionated, blunt, irreverent and never shys away from a fight. He champions the odd cause that cuts against my personal opinion and he can dismiss the foolish and unwise with almost excessive acerbity (e.g. the ‘feral’ comment that has elicited so much controversy).

But he fulfills an enormously important place in New Zealand’s political dialogue because frankly he’s unafraid to dig deep and report his findings and to take the fight to the left in the most in your face aggressive manner possible.

He understands what he is up against – the left dominates the media, journalism schools, academia, school teaching profession and the bureaucracy and they are like rust, they never sleep.

In addition to breaking stories the MSM would ignore or gloss over (Len Brown) he calls out the left, its ruinous policies and their hypocritical spokespeople in a way that is most compelling – hence his popularity.

I believe this DDOS attack is politically motivated and likely sources from cronies of Kim Dotcom who will do everything they can to cover their tracks and keep the blame away from him. Slater has humiliated Dotcom and his digging into his affairs and linkages in ways that ultimately will be very damaging to Dotcom’s carefully crafted PR image and media manipulation.

I hope Cam has some friends who can dig into their pockets to help him circumvent these attacks and get back on line as Dotcom has money and technology on his side to wage this war.

As for the controversial comments Whale has made well he’s a big boy and he’s going to have to accept the fact that if you rark people up the way he does then some will come out swinging and make the kinds of low life threats that have been made. As deplorable as they are, if you are going to throw stones at people then you’re going to have to cope with the retaliation.

It is fascinating to contrast Whaleoil with Kiwiblog – each site reflecting obviously the personality of their creators. Both are a vital part of the NZ political scene but for different reasons. Depite all of Whale’s flaws and foibles, I sure hope he is back on line soon.

If Cameron Slater does get his blog back up it will be in a vastly changed environment. While he remains staunch and refuses to apologise this must surely affect his approach to letting rip with raw criticism.

If he moderates his approach a bit but remains well connected, well informed and probing I thing Whale Oil will be the better for it.

Finally from a Coaster, ‘Shunda barunda’:

” Greymouth.

Gets called feral.

Gets upset. Does not believe they are feral.

Responds to insulter with threats of murder and gang rape of children….. ”

You’ve got a few things wrong there mate, yes, Cameron did appear to call all Coasters feral, and yes, that is upsetting, but to imply that all of us down here are then advocates for murder and the rape of children is just typical ignorant bullshit.

We get sick to death of this determined effort certain sections of NZ society make to turn us into the NZ equivalent of some slack jawed territory in the USA.

While the West Coast has its fair share of dim bulbs (like anywhere) the “ferality” of the community here would be a damned site less than certain parts of the major towns and cities in NZ.

The West Coast actually has a very diverse population of people from all over the place, and being genuinely “feral” is not something that features large here at all.

Cameron made nasty comments about the death of a popular young man in the community here, a man that possibly made his last mistake, but by all accounts wasn’t a bad guy.
No one here likes the idea of cars crashing into houses, or kids driving drunk, but this is hardly only an issue west of the Alps, this happens everywhere.

Cameron is the one acting like a redneck with this sort of blatant dismissal of an entire population based on the actions of a few pissed off young people that lost their mate.

If you poke a stick at a hornets nest, don’t piss and moan that you get stung, isn’t that the entire thrust of his social ideology?

And:

It’s the way he handles the ensuing shit fight that is the problem, he is careless and intentionally provocative for no good reason, he lacks wisdom and appears arrogant and dismissive.

And:

I’m not defending his attackers, I’m commenting on the lack of wisdom this guy displays by heaping all West Coasters in with some wayward young adults and their pissed off mates.

Tell me, if Cameron believes he is more intelligent than these people (and he clearly does) why is he so fond of the same damned tactics all be it not quite to the same degree?

And:

So Mr Slater in a blog post, referring to someone who drove drunk, refused to stop for police and smashed into a house(and killing someone in the process), is on a similar moral plain to ferals who threaten a young girl with rape, threaten to kill someone and do their best to take down a blog site. Yeah, exactly the same.

Yeah, he is.

All you are quibbling about is degree, Cameron doesn’t give a shit about how his actions may affect others and neither did the fuckwit driving the car.

Did you see the part where Cameron was gloating about having loaded firearms in his house? Watch this space.

Cameron is barely any more civilized.

As others have said, there’s a fair amount of “live by the sword, get it stuck up you in return” going on here.

The sword should be brandished with more thought and care. Less carnage, more effective.

Whale Oil woes

The Whale Oil blog is down, claimed to be the victim of a denial of service attack after comments about a death on the West Coast were reacted to. NBR Report:

Cam Slater complains to police as DoS attack takes his Whaleoil blog offline

Cam Slater’s Whaleoil site was down this afternoon after being swamped by a denial-of-service attack (which sees a malicious hacker buy space on hijacked PCs to overwhelm a website’s capacity).

“It’s a DoS attack, originating in New Zealand,” Mr Slater told NBR.

The controversial blogger has no shortage of enemies. He named a couple he thought were probably responsible for today’s attack – but you’ll have to wait until his site goes back online to read those (so far) unsubstantiated allegations.

“I have also been getting death threats via text and on Facebook,” Mr Slater told NBR. I have notified police, especially [over] the text messages.”

Mr Slater said he was working to get Whaleoil back online.

There has been more explained on Whale’s Facebook,

Clearly feral is an emotive word that unhinged ppl…perhaps I should start calling them a violent rural vigilante mob

And from Pete (also from Whale Oil):

Hi there everyone. I’m Pete. I am one of the people that works at Whaleoil. Here’s the situation. Death threats and threats of violence have been made. Now, if we all can agree we’ve had our fun, and we get on with the rest of our days, and things go back to normal, it would be nice. If not, we really need to take the next step, which is to identify who is involved behind the threats of violence, murder and suicide, with the help of the Police and other authorities.

This is going to stop at some time. Be it an hour, or later today, or even some days from now. It will get boring. So can I please ask you to cut it out now, and then things don’t get out of hand.

Because if we have to come and MAKE people stop, we can’t do that without the help of people like the Police. And once they are involved, things can get out of hand.

I’m just having a day off work, thanks to you people. It’s not really hurting me. Nor is it really hurting Cameron Slater. But these death threats and threats of violence cross a line. Stop now.

If things haven’t settled by 2pm, and they stay settled, it’s out of my hands what happens next.

Thanks

Some of it seems very not nice. Like:

Jolene Mcgowan: id love to c dis wanker show his face on the coast wud b great to watch him get every punch kick an bullet he deserves an well i bet the cops wud just stand back an watch it happen scum like dis guy dont deserve help from any1

Some nasty stuff has been ignited.