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Veitch saga shows it really is no longer OK

Written By: - Date published: 10:18 pm, April 19th, 2009 - 22 comments
Categories: crime, families - Tags:

I know it’s not The Standard’s style to follow the media in the disgusting practice of turning real people’s lives into soap opera but there is a political aspect of the Veitch saga that is worth commenting on.

30 years ago, a story like this would have been swept under the carpet. Family violence was a private business. Hell, spousal rape was legal (one of the first actions of the Fourth Labour Government was to removal the marital defence).

It shows how far we’ve come that Veitch’s behaviour (and his pathetic inability to accept his fault) have been loudly and universally condemned. If only the media didn’t have to take it too far and make the whole thing into a farce.

On a related note, we will learn a lot about the priorities of this new government when they decide whether to continue to fund the ‘It’s Not OK’ campaign. The campaign has been hugely successful. In a survey, 99% of Maori, 90% of Pacific people, and 90% of all those asked remembered the campaign.

The message that’s family violence must not be tolerated is clearly getting through, and the Police credit this culture change with the big increases in reported family violence incidents. Family violence didn’t increase for 12.4% for no reason last year, it’s higher reporting and it’s a good thing. Fewer families are suffering in silence.

Let’s hope the government knows good value government spending when they see it.

22 comments on “Veitch saga shows it really is no longer OK”

  1. Can’t stand domestic violence and think Veitch is a toad. However, the only thing we can tell from the Veitch saga is that the media are obsessed with celebrities. I strongly suspect they don’t give a rat’s ass about family violence per se.

    There is no doubt that the “I’m not OK” campaign attained high “brand” recognition. However, I don’t think one can call it a “success” until one has a reduction in family violence rather than a mere increase in reporting (at least we hope it is an increase in reporting rather than an increase in domestic violence). This will take several more years at least.

    We all want this blight on our country to decrease, it is just too soon to start clapping ourselves on the back.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      It can certainly be called a success just by the increase in reporting. People no longer feel that they should look the other way. As that becomes more mainstream and people accept that the community won’t accept family violence the actual amount of family violence will come down.

      • MacDoctor 1.1.1

        Draco: You can only call the program a success if your original objective was only to increase awareness and reporting of Domestic Violence. As the stated aim of the “It’s Not OK” program was to reduce domestic violence, we can not say it is a success yet.

        This is no reason to abandon the program, only to be cautious with our congratulations. There is still much, much more that needs to be done to combat family violence.

    • Felix 2.1

      Lindsay your use of stats is laughable.

      Percentage of fatal crashes? Wow, so you’re showing us that drinking and driving is still just as dangerous as it ever was!

      Here’s the Road Toll since 1950 (pdf).

      This is for road fatalities (not fatal crashes) but are you seriously saying that road safety education (or “social engineering” if you want to make it sound all communist and dirty) has played no part in the results? Really?

      Why didn’t you use actual numbers, Lindsay? Couldn’t be because they contradict, well, everything you’re trying to say, could it?

      • BLiP 2.1.1

        I see what you mean about this creature’s use of statistics. Another shining example is provided on a post she has titled: “Am I On Another Planet?”


  2. Felix

    My post acknowledges the reduction in drinking and driving since the 80s and early 90s. It also acknowledges that advertising may have played a part in this.

    The actual number of fatal accidents where alcohol/drugs were a factor for the years 1997 to 2007 were;

    127, 118, 100, 101, 104, 95, 124, 116, 101, 99, 117.

    I also concede that per head of population the rate has decreased slightly but not by very much.

    Here are some more stats;

    Alcohol/drug affected drivers involved in fatal crashes (for the same years);

    19 (%), 18, 15, 17, 18, 18, 20, 20, 19, 19, 21.

    Throughout this period there have been anti-drink/drive campaigns. Most recently,
    ” If you drink and drive you’re a bloody idiot.”

    Money well-spent?

    • Felix 3.1

      Population has some relevance, yes, but not nearly as much as the number of cars on the road. And since 1998 the number of road deaths per car on the road has almost halved, from 2.1 per 10,000 down to 1.1 per 10,000 in 2008.

      Not bad at all. But why do you insist on only looking at the years from 97-07?

      Oh and you still haven’t addressed why you chose such a meaningless set of statistics for your post.

  3. ripp0 4

    In this – an attempt to avoid labels – query, and without knowing the ages of folks involved in the stats debate twixt Lindsey & Felix, might we be looking at a possibility of raising risk perverse (personalities)..?

    A more serious matter altogether as I see it, should this be the case..

    Taking risks regardless would involve a broad canvas in policy terms… yes?

    At least worth analysis.. by our society no less.

  4. Felix, The stats I used are from the latest drug/alcohol crash statistics report (2008) from the Ministry of Transport. I focussed on the last ten year period because a/ it is the most recent period available and b/ arbitrarily, a decade is a reasonable period to assess trends. Those stats are more meaningful than road fatalities alone.

    Road fatalities alone are affected by a number of factors such as the safety of vehicles and roads and the ability of medical staff to save lives. What I am trying to show is that the ratio of people who are drinking and driving and involving themselves in accidents remains relatively unchanged despite extensive ‘education’ campaigns.

    BLiP, Why don’t you make a comment on the post you referred to explaining your criticism.

    rippO, There is limited age information in the report I am looking at but of all 15-19 year-old drivers who were involved in fatal crashes 29 percent were affected by drugs/alcohol in 2007, 19 in 1997 and 28 in 1987; for 20-24 year-olds, respectively, 38, 33, and 40.

    • Felix 5.1

      Where you fail is in focusing on a single aspect of road safety education – drink driving – when education campaigns have targeted many other aspects of road safety.

      If you’re saying that the drink driving campaigns have been a failure then you imply that all the other campaigns have been a resounding success, which rather undermines your entire argument.

      Of course if you were actually doing this as a researcher rather than as a party hack you wouldn’t have to make such fudgy use of the data.

      a decade is a reasonable period to assess trends.

      So is a 2 decade period. Or a 3 decade period. But that wouldn’t be quite so convenient, would it?

      • archdupe 5.1.1

        Congratulations Felix you have just reached the same level of pomposity as Lew from Kiwipolitico.

        You must be very proud.

    • ripp0 5.2

      Am I correct concluding from your data that:—

      a. the two age groups given comprise 67 percent of folks involved in fatal road crashes in 2007;

      b. that this information emanates from the report alluded to..?

  5. Felix, There is nothing in your last comment I haven’t already addressed in either my original post or subsequent comments. I am not a member of any political party at this time.

    • Felix 6.1

      Only if you’re using the Margret Wilson definition of “addressed”.

      What I am trying to show is that the ratio of people who are drinking and driving and involving themselves in accidents remains relatively unchanged despite extensive ‘education’ campaigns.

      Funny, I thought you were trying to show the limits of “social engineering” and were using anti drink driving campaigns as an example.

      You’re being particularly devious about this so I’ll ask again:
      If the road toll overall has dropped, and the number of crashes involving alcohol has dropped, why express the second figure as a percentage of the first which gives the impression that little change has occurred when the actual numbers show this not to be the case?

      As the actual numbers overall are lower (significantly so when the number of cars on the road is factored for, almost dropping the road toll by half over your arbitrary period) then you are effectively praising the effectiveness of anti speeding campaigns, seatbelt campaigns, safety at intersections campaigns etc etc.

      I realise your usual target audience aren’t used to reading and counting at the same time, but still, this is either unbelievably lazy on your part or a pathetically self-serving attempt at deception.

  6. No rippO. You cannot add together the percentages for two sub groups to arrive at a percentage for the total group. Also, the percentages I gave are for those drivers in fatal crashes who are affected by drugs /alcohol, as a portion of ALL drivers of the same age in fatal crashes. Does that make sense? (Not meant facetiously)

    • ripp0 7.1

      Does that make sense?

      Actually and neither pompously nor facetiously, not much.

      Can I suggest you take my questions in reverse order since we can hardly draw any conclusions w/o valid data..

      Also as to the first one perhaps you’d be so kind as to contextualize this.. if possib.

  7. Macro 8

    “The percentage of drivers surveyed who were over the legal blood/alcohol limit more than halved between 2000 and 2005;” MoT
    Something must have caused this..
    Perhaps it was the 7% increase in sales in ciggies?
    Maybe the smokers are getting the message and only smoking the ciggie half way down – the last half is the most toxic bit – but lighting more of them?

  8. Macro,

    “Inspector Griffiths said that in the four nationwide operations this year, not including figures from local District operations, police had stopped almost 150,000 cars with 1163 drivers facing prosecution for drink-driving. “Those figures alone indicate that for every 1,000 cars we stop, approximately eight are driven by drunk drivers” he said, “and these rates simply continue.” ” NZ Police, December, 2007

    I have provided some further stats today;


  9. James 10

    Once again Lindsay delivers the facts while the left delivers sneers and fibs….whos suprised?

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