It’s amazing what miracles can be achieved by the New Zealand public service when the occasion calls.

Non-urgent referrals for mental health assessments in New Zealand were waiting an average of 26 days just for their first face-to-face appointment (which is not an actual assessment: as one psychologist put it, it’s the difference between placing your order at McDonalds and actually getting your meal). For some, the wait time can be as long as 526 days.

And that’s just from the less than one-third of DHBs who even bothered to report.

But, miraculously, all that appears to have been cleared up. When former Greens MP Golriz Ghahraman was nicked for shoplifting high-price frocks, she received a mental health assessment in just days. No special consideration, it was emphasised. Clearly, New Zealand’s long waiting times have been miraculously swept away!

Just as obviously, too, New Zealand’s ram raid and violent robbery problems have also vanished, leaving the police to swiftly deal with trivial stuff like vandalism.

Three people have been charged after painting over a rainbow pedestrian crossing in Gisborne, and police say they are pursuing it as a hate crime.


So it took New Zealand’s fearless protectors of public safety just days to solve the crime of the century: white paint. One can only imagine the resources plunged into scouring video footage and tracking down every clue to the identities of the wanton graffiti vandals.

If only they were so vigilant about protecting dairy owners from robbery and attempted murder.

An Auckland liquor store owner describes his “terror and distress” after being stabbed once, and robbed multiple times.

Ravinder Singh, who owns Counties Liquor Inn, Kwik Vape and Kwik Mart in Pukekohe, said multiple attacks means he’s constantly worried about the safety of his staff and family.

Just last month, a customer walked into the store demanding cash in exchange for a debit card transaction. When denied, the customer told the store owner he would “come back with a shotgun.”

Maybe New Zealand should declare a “Dairy Owner’s Day of Visibility”?

Singh, who moved to New Zealand from India 15 years ago, said crime had become the new normal for him […]

Singh has lost count of the times his staff members were threatened and his store robbed by armed offenders.

“I got stabbed once, looted at gunpoint and robbed many times. I think, at least 19 times in five-six years.

“We know someone can come in any time, snatch a bottle, push us back and run away. Sometimes we don’t even make calls to police,” he said.

“But the ones [offenders] who come with weapons scare me for the safety of my staff and my family.

“These are second-generation ram raiders.”

You know what they say: the whanau wot robz t’getha…

The liquor store’s equipped with 16 CCTV cameras, security alarms, bollards, fog canons [sic], and automatic doors with an override button.

What is a “fog canon”? The priest whose job it is to set off the fog machine at the parish disco?

Singh spent at least $50,000 in five years for making security arrangements, paying insurance access and the premium that went up over the years due to a rise in crime […]

Some of the offenders police found and some they couldn’t, said Singh.


Statistically, we know only too well, that most of the time it’s “couldn’t”. Barely a fraction of crimes are solved by police. Exact numbers are difficult to quantify because, for some reason, relevant statistics are scattered through a Byzantine maze of bureaucracy, with wildly varying definitions. Here’s what I was able to glean, so far:

In the 12 months to July 2022, there were 1,741,000 “offences against New Zealand adults”. These included 289,000 burglaries. Turning to the tables of “All finalised charges and convicted charges”, “burglary” doesn’t exist. But, cobbling together what may or may not be the relevant offences of “Robbery, extortion and related offences”, “Unlawful entry with intent/burglary, break and enter”, and “Theft and related offences”, we get a grand total of 25,229 convictions.

That is, at least nine out of every 11 burglaries will not result in a conviction. More than 90% of burglaries go unpunished.

Is it any wonder that, according to the NZ Justice Department, around three-quarters of crimes are not reported to police? Why would anyone bother?

Perhaps Mr Singh ought to paint a rainbow on his shop — that’s apparently what it takes to get NZ police to act, these days.

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In the last decade...