This week we conclude our 20th anniversary series of re-run Rogers Rabbits with this one from May 19, 2006. It seems not much has changed since then.

There’s been so much interesting stuff in the news lately, with dramatic stories of leaks, broken loyalties, betrayed trust and moles on the inside. But more about Awatere-Huata later.

First, a couple of observations on the Aussie miners’ escape.

Two weeks living in a dark hole in the ground can’t be much fun, about as exciting as a holiday in Hamilton, I suspect, and the incredible escape of the two Tasmanian miners this month is certainly a success to be celebrated. Briefly.

But we’ve really heard enough.

And now they’re out safely, they are again ordinary Australians who are fair game to poke fun at.

Let’s get a couple of things in perspective here. By the way they strolled jauntily out of the mine shaft, they were clearly not suffering much physical harm. And the apparent stage management of the whole drama seemed a bit shallow, somehow.

Media dramatics

And not wanting to take anything away from the determination and guts of these miners and rescuers, I have to ask the question, does this really warrant all the dramatics the media has portrayed in the last few weeks?

As far as miraculous escapes measure, I’d have to say that Robert the diver and the crew of the Rose Noelle, given up for dead, were arguably more monumental survival epics.

The situations were vastly different, but they weren’t sitting in the dry, being supplied food and ipods through a PVC pipe while contemplating a cushy life of lucrative public speaking engagements, book and movie royalties; and handing out thank-you cards on arrival at the surface.

But one thing is for sure, our prisons need to be more like the Beaconsfield Mine.

If we had convicts desperate to leave, rather than heading for a warm, comfy room with TV and luxuries, there would be less crime.

Celebrating success?

And speaking of crime, the farce of criminal punishment reached an all-time peak this week, as convicted fraudster Donna Awatere-Huata was ‘welcomed’ back to society by youngsters with flowers and banners.

How many wrong messages can possibly be jammed into one newsclip?

Here’s a person convicted of stealing funds from a children’s reading programme, then being treated like royalty, most likely by some of the same children that scheme was designed to assist.

How ironic, that the very sector of society she’s ripped off doesn’t understand they’re supporting the person who betrayed them.

I didn’t see the banners, but they probably read something like: Wellcom home Donner Yu are a insparashun

Enjoy your spell?

Wish we cud

Wi missed you, so did we Eh, where’s our bloddy munny?

Gramma took my grammar


And to make matters worse, this dodgy activist-turned-politician is opting for home detention – a concept she fiercely opposed during her unfortunate time as an MP.

How hypocritical can you get? What’s next?

A few beers at the RSA for Willie Bell when he gets parole?

A schoolgirl lingerie party for Graham Caphill on his release?

For goodness sake, New Zealand, wake up. This is not the sort of behaviour that should be celebrated.  

A trip from jail to home detention, for ripping off a children’s literacy fund, should be treated with the contempt and disgust it deserves.

We’re ready

This week we had a wee practice for a tsunami.

Not a bad idea, since we nearly had a real one a couple of weeks ago, and our preparation is clearly a shambles.

There’s a bunch of fancy sirens all along the Bay coastline, covering every low-lying area, except my place.

For some strange reason, Te Puna is the only area that doesn’t have an alarm. Or a pole to put in on.

So we will be the only ones who don’t know to turn on the radio, to hear… well, nothing useful to help save us from the tsunami that we don’t know is coming.

Because you won’t get anything sensible from the radio.

Lucky, though, that a hundred zillion people on the other side of the world know all about it. Thanks to the European media, who are on the ball, can report as the wave comes to smote us.

Frantic tying

But back in Te Puna, my only chance of knowing there’s a tsunami coming, is because I might hear (over the sneezing of the ducks with bird flu) the frantic tying of 130,000 pairs of shoelaces up and down the coast.

This is because our roads apparently won’t be able to handle the volume of vehicles in the event of evacuation.

So the entire population has been told to put on sensible shoes and walk to higher ground.

This is a great idea for all of you.

Just beware though, to move to the side of the road by the rumble strips, when I come through, in my comfy slippers, tooting in my four-wheel-drive.  

Because there is no way in hell that I will be walking away with a backpack from an impending tidal wave at 4km/h while there is a truck in the shed with ample room for refreshments, that will take me and a select group of friends, to the Whakamarama hills at Transit’s sensible 90km/h.

Taking chances

You’d think that after all the taxes, rates, fuel taxes, registration, road user charges, tolls and GST we’ve paid over the decades, there’d be a big enough road for us to all save our lives once in a while. Apparently not.

If all you dawdlers are going to impede my exit, perhaps I’ll stay on the coast, ride it out in a boat – and take my chances with the big wave and the fluey ducks.

Brian Rogers
Rogers Rabbits