- Hold, aim, fire!
- UPDATED: Te Puke shed fire under control
- Wide-spread support for proposals: TCC
- Bay gamblers spend $15.7m on pokies
- Kiwifruit given the all clear
- Law firm answers mayday call
- Terminal link dreams a step closer
- Funds for my blind cousin
- Colony catastrophe in Papamoa
- $40M boost for TECT consumers
- No tsunami threat to NZ
- Wicked Campers' slogans banned
- White Island activity settling
- Civil defence alert system test
- Squash tournament this weekend
- Serious crash witnesses sought
- One dead after highway crash
- Major rockfall at Waihi mine
- Injured in crash
- Wow, what a spout
- Be your own environmental police
- White Island's overnight eruption
- Orcas at the Mount
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Cooking up a storm
Spokesperson for the Green Party
Morally appropriate behaviour is not generated reliably by a vague threat of incarceration. Behavioural science has known for decades that it is immediacy of reward and punishment that drives behavioural choices.
To a mixing pot, add some poverty, a limited sense of social responsibility, violence as a normal life experience, boredom, and perhaps some mind-altering substances.
Stir in a policeman as threat, and a violent upheaval becomes unsurprising. Any notion of consequence is lost in the actions of the moment.
It is utterly ridiculous, and totally unacceptable, that a policeman is attacked while doing his job. But equally ridiculous is the idea that a greater threat will solve the problem.
The Kawhia policeman was armed with pepper spray, a taser, and a gun. With those ingredients, he inflamed a tense situation and cooked up a spectacle.
Reduced poverty, better parenting, effective education, mana, and compassion: address these issues at source and unwanted behaviour will slowly fade away.
Ian McLean is a spokesperson for the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand.
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