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Condolences: safety at work

Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, September 1st, 2014 - 76 comments
Categories: health and safety, workers' rights - Tags:

My condolences to those close to the victims of the horrific actions in Ashburton today.

As the PSA spokes person Richard Wagstaff, says in their press release:

“Nobody should go to work in the morning without returning home that same day.

Such violence is just not acceptable. It is a tragedy.


76 comments on “Condolences: safety at work ”

  1. Kiwiri 1

    My condolences to those close to the victims of the horrific actions in Ashburton today.

    My condolences to them.

  2. Pete 2

    My condolences too. It appears the man the police want in relation to the shootings is John Tully. Who was featured on the front of the Ashburton Guardian last month because he is homeless and is looking for a place to live.

  3. vto 3

    I wonder if he had been so beaten up by the system and being rejected by society [deleted]

    My 2c says that is the back story.

    [r0b: not appropriate to take this in in a political direction – deleted]

    • Enough is Enough 3.1

      Speaking of Whaleoil, he actually has a good wrap of recent media stories on this ‘person of interest’.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2

      Thing is vto, Slater didn’t say that: you did.

    • Dialey 3.3

      You surely don’t have to descend to the Whaleoil depths of linguistic deficiency at this tragic time

    • Tracey 3.4

      Dont stoop vto. We dont need the profanity

    • vto 3.5

      No worries, your blog. But it is political, don’t turn a blind eye to it. Out.

    • Once Was Tim 3.6

      It’s not appropriate, however I was on a train this arvo from Paraparaumu to Wellington sitting behind a couple of Nafe Goi he who never inhaled hero worshippers.
      Their comments re this episode were fucking disgusting, and I’m tempted to mention them in a few weeks.
      The lack of humanity just astounded me!

  4. blue leopard 4

    Yes this is very sad all round. 🙁

    My best wishes goes out to the family and friends of those involved.

    [pic from Banksy twitter account]

  5. Michael 5

    This is hardly surprising. WINZ treats people like shit and humiliates them constantly, on government orders. Someone, evidently, had enough this morning. Will the government change the way it deals with its citizens? Probably yes, by becoming even more oppressive and cruel. It will spend $$$ of our money fortifying its staff from the people.

    • Anne 5.1

      The surprise is that something like this hasn’t happened sooner. Michael is right.

      • cogito 5.1.1

        I agree. Paula Bennett is just a Judith Collins clone.

        Both are total poison.

        Countless ordinary folk have been victimised again and again and treated like absolute crap by their minions. People live in total fear because of WINZ/ACC persecution.

        • thechangeling

          I’ll second and third what you guys said. A system that bullies people will get bullied itself at some point.

  6. Tigger 6

    Key will make some comment, of course. Unfortunately, given that his government throws public workers to the dogs (or whales) when it suits them anything he says is tainted.

    • Tracey 6.1

      He tweeted his condolences at 12:24

      I imagine the families will be checking john key’s twitter feed.

  7. weka 7

    This is horrific and very upsetting. Condolences to the families and close ones of the women who were shot, and to all the people who were in the room when this happened. Lots of traumatised people today needing support and care.

    I’m also feeling kind of heartbroken for NZ, this is a watershed moment, and it’s hard to not be thinking that this was only a matter of time. The timing is blowing my mind too.

    As well as thoughts for workers being allowed to be safe at work, my thoughts are also with the beneficiaries who will be understanding completely why this has happened and what it will mean, but many won’t be able to talk about it.

  8. McFlock 8

    Yes indeed. Very sad day.

  9. joe90 9

    Will the MSD will continue the trialling of open-plan work places with an eye to extending them nation wide?.

  10. disturbed 10

    Our family sends our condolences to the families loss by this incident today in Ashburton.

    We need a return to a warm, caring, gentle, society as we had under 1950’s Walter Nash where no one has to suffer this way.

    We are seeing the years of social neglect now manifesting itself in all ways, and when one has nothing we have let our fellow citizen’s down badly here.

    So in memory of those who lost their family members we hope this will teach us all to be more compassionate as we learn from this day and hopefully plan to return to a caring compassionate sharing egalitarian society please as we are all related to each other in our human family.

  11. Granted 11

    My condolences to the families who have in a split second had their lives changed forever.

    Any type of analysis will obviously cause all sorts of reactions.

    However, we have someone who has on a pre-meditated basis murdered two people. There are absolutely no excuses what so ever for anyone to take another’s life. For me, when I read comments about why it has happened and any “back-story” seems to in a weird way give some sort of justification to what has happened.

    This is murder – nothing more nothing less – and heartbreaking.

    • tinfoilhat 11.1

      Well said.

    • weka 11.2

      Context isn’t excusing. It’s understanding the tragedy in a more full way. Lots of good reasons to do that, albeit with care.

      • disturbed 11.2.1


        Those who do not have any interest in fixing our broken society, are complicit and part of the cause, while we are acknowledging how to repair the system so this sadness does not reoccur.

        I dare say they didn’t take the reports recently from various agencies warning more despair and anger between rich and poor will spark more violence, also Salvation Army say this also.

        There are none so deaf as those who fail to listen.

    • Zorr 11.3

      It is always important to look at the context because it will inform our future actions so as to prevent further tragedies from occurring.

      No family should have to go through the grief that the families of the dead will have to go through but we also owe it to them to understand why this has happened and act so as to prevent further such tragedy.

    • blue leopard 11.4

      @ Granted,

      I considered the matter prior to sharing the herald article about the shooter’s backstory.

      I chose to share it because it shows that this event is even more tragic when the wider picture is known -particularly if Tully was still homeless and in need of help – not in order to justify his actions.

      I am sorry that you took it I was justifying the shooting. I was not.

      • vto 11.4.1


        wouldn’t have thought it needed saying

      • Granted 11.4.2

        @ blue leopard,

        I understand where you are coming from, but really in today’s world, we should not have to look at solutions to prevent murder.

        Just the fact that we need to look at a back story should (in my opinion) be removed from the act of murder if you get what I mean?? Its very easy to get misinterpreted our taken out of context in written statements of course.

        Yes there is the link of the back story, but it must never dilute the wrong of that action. Actually the more I write the more I think I am confusing the message!

        • weka

          Who do you think has diluted the wrongness of murder?

        • blue leopard

          Sorry, I don’t understand your comment Granted, 🙁

          …and so thought your last sentence was rather apt, lolz .

        • Colonial Viper

          Yes there is the link of the back story, but it must never dilute the wrong of that action. Actually the more I write the more I think I am confusing the message!

          the national crime is abandoning Kiwis to rot.

    • Tracey 11.5

      Accepting that the reasons someone did something is broader than, picked up a gun and shot, is not about excusing their actions or minimising the pain of those suffering loss but about trying to learn from a situation.

      The justice system will deal with him, if he hasnt taken his own lifeby the time he is found, the justice system wont look at the backstory to see if any socital change is required.

      It is actually better for society to look at the backstory, in case we can do something to lessen the chance of a repeat.

      “This is murder – nothing more nothing less”

      Actually, it is a lot more.

      • weka 11.5.1

        Good point Tracey, it is a lot more.

      • Maz 11.5.2

        I would like to extend my condolences to those who have lost their loved ones today. Also to all the staff members who are threatened verbally and physically as they undertake their roles as public servants. I don’t think that today’s events happened in isolation to anything else that was happening in the suspect’s life….was it a random act? I don’t think so. So I’m with you Tracey. We need to look back in order to move forward.

    • Colonial Viper 11.6

      For me, when I read comments about why it has happened and any “back-story” seems to in a weird way give some sort of justification to what has happened.

      preventing crime and future victims means that we cannot choose the path of easy ignorance or retribution.

  12. Tracey 12

    Social Development Minister Paula Bennett would travel to Ashburton as soon as it was safe to do so.

    • sabine 12.1

      I am sure that her presence will make everyone better.

      The sadness and the desperation, it is everywhere.

      • Anne 12.1.1

        Since her “lets pull up the ladder behind us ” mentality is a huge part of the reason why this sort of thing is likely to happen, then I doubt her presence will make anyone feel better – to the contrary.

  13. TheContrarian 13

    It sounds from the news that he was having a very rough time of life in recent months, I feel sorry for his circumstances.

    In saying that – there is absolutely no excuse for this type of violence, so I feel very sorry for the victims and their families

  14. Sanctuary 14

    I have studied National’s election TV ad, and I can confirm there was no room in their rowing eight for people like John Henry Tully.

  15. sockpuppet 15

    Some of you need to take a very long look in the mirror.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1

      How about we take a very long look at the rules around emergency assistance and mental health services while we’re at it? WINZ staff are literally in the firing line.

    • karol 15.2

      At this time, that is no a very helpful comment, sockpuppet.

      You are spraying blanketed blame at individuals here – any more comments along these lines will get deleted.

      • sockpuppet 15.2.1

        Karol some of the comments on this thread are a disgrace.

        • Colonial Viper

          don’t read’m then.

        • karol

          Some people are concerned about the kind of society we are living in and the social context of the shootings.

          Someone did step over the mark and those comments were deleted. Are you disputing the way this site is moderated?

          The shootings are a National trauma.

          You don’t seem to be very concerned about the victims, their families, friends and colleagues?

          • dave

            the winz workers are victims only doing what there told
            the real cul prates are those at the top, yes paula its you !

    • McFlock 15.3

      Shouldn’t we all take a look in the mirror when we see what society has become?

  16. JanM 16

    This is an appalling tragedy for everyone involved; for the innocent victims of the shootings and the families who have lost their loved ones.
    I can also hardly bear to think of the desperation and the depth of misery that drove anyone to commit such a dreadful act.

    • grumpystilskin 16.1

      “I can also hardly bear to think of the desperation and the depth of misery that drove anyone to commit such a dreadful act.”
      Had any dealings with WINZ?

      • JanM 16.1.1

        yes, but I am a middle-class pakeha woman who speaks posher than them in most cases 🙂
        However, in no way can you imply that the people who were killed were at any way responsible for what happened. We don’t really know the trigger and they are as essentially innocent as any other employee carrying out employer policy. I have worked in the public service and there but for the grace of god go I or anyone else in that situation

        • cogito

          I have also worked for years in the public service, but when I had the misfortune of having to deal with ACC over a motor vehicle accident sustained by my wife…. believe me, I could not believe the depths of evil and dishonesty that ACC stooped to. They drove my wife to make an attempt on her life – an event that was described by a Senior ACC Manager as a “stunt”, no acknowledgment at all of their own infamous actions. There are people in government agencies – [r0b: deleted – I’m taking political stuff out of this thread.] and who stir up levels of real hatred in otherwise gentle and peace loving people.

          • Michael

            You are correct, Cogito: ACC treats people in ways that creates stress, or aggravates that which already exists in people coping with the effects of personal injury. ACC calls this approach “tough love” and gets psychologists to teach staff how to provide it (see the “Riley report” tabled in Parliament bu Kevin Hague during the Bronwyn Pullar scandal). What has this got to do with WINZ and today’s horrific events in Ashburton? The Welfare Working Group, most of whose members now sit on taxpayer-funded seats around the board tables at both ACC and WINZ, recommended that the latter implemented the former’s methods of “encouraging” people to become independent, as the current Government directed it to. Naturally, none of the august board members will ever come anywhere the results of their policy pronouncements. However today at least four people did: the alleged gunman and his three victims, with terrible consequences for each of them, their families and the community in which they lived. Evil flourished in Ashburton today but it did not materialise unannounced: the seeds of this tragedy were sown, by others, some time ago and some distance away from their terrible flowering.

      • tricledrown 16.1.2

        Ashburton has a major methamphetamine problem a recent round of drug busts just recently!
        Ashburton has a dark underbelly the Mayor is in Denial!
        The News Media goes on about a quiet little town this is not true!

  17. if we don’t fix this shit..this gross/accelerating poverty/inequality..

    [r0b: deleted – I’m taking political stuff out of this thread.]

    ..and hopefully we can move past the grieving period..

    ..and that we will take better care of people like this sad/mad gunman..

    ..who just ‘lost it’..in such a terrible way..

    • Kiwiri 17.1

      One of the last things I want to do these days is turn up at some speaking engagement where Parker is on, and hear him TELLING and lecturing to the audience about what he thinks (not quite on the mark on many issues). And some in Labour are wondering why they continue to rate so low despite National’s mess.

      • Michael 17.1.1

        Why David Parker in particular? He is one of the most thoughtful and sensitive people in Parliament, quite apart from whichever party he belongs to. I can think of far, far worse creatures than him.

      • Kiwiri 17.1.2

        Hi r0b or moderators
        My comment at 17.1 was in response to what has now been deleted and, as I see today, has been raised at 6 on Open Mike (2 September 2014). For consistency, please delete 17.1.
        I will consider later today whether or not to reproduce my comment there.

    • @ deleting rob..

      why not move it/them to om then..?

      ..instead of just trashing it/them..?

      ..i put a lot of thought into that..

      ..and i feel it was totally relevant..

      ..and not in any way ‘offensive’..(?)

  18. TA 18

    Truly hopeless situation of public servants being forced to enforce inhumane legislation on an increasingly hopeless pool of beneficiaries.

    When people have no hope left they will act out in desperate ways and public servants will get caught in the crossfire.

    Mr Tully had reached that point and two people have paid the ultimate price.

    I hope John Key remembers how hard public servants work and will not continue to denigrate them given the daily threats many of them face.

    My condolences to the sorrowing families.

  19. Brian 19

    Condolences to all affected by this terrible event.

  20. meconism 20

    Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.


  21. Awww 21

    My thoughts are also with all the Case Managers going back to work today and perhaps feeling a little more vulnerable.

  22. cogito 22

    The best way to feel less vulnerable is to focus on helping those in need rather than ticking Basher Bennett’s boxes.

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