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Freedom loss...This short video is extremely hard-hitting and cuts straight to the core of the covid issue in our Aotearoa, and what our future will look like if the current Government continues unopposed.
Some are awake in NZ!!!

Your Last Shred Of Freedom


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Hey Cav, I haven't got Covid and I spent t he last week traveling, Trout Fishing in the Tongariro, playing in the snow at Ruapehu with my wife, Hot pools in Rotorua, Surfcasting in the Bay of Plenty.

Masks now are only worn in proximity to lots of people we don't know and we avoid large gatherings. Good times.

Your video is facile and untrue. The video's channel is Bill TK a well known attention whore who'd sell you bulls wool.And 5G cell towers and antivax and faaarrrk I can't be bothered any more...

Donald has Covid.

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I know this is a news /NZ thread, but I hope you all, will forgive me, if I post a bit of travel/NZ, in here as it may interest, some.

Having had a wee holiday, end of September around the middle of the N.I. of Middle Earth, we got to thinking .

Covid means a drastic reduction in Tourists. To Coss,  this means, almost empty roads and deserted scenery in the S.I. of Middle Earth.

So I went out to the CamperVan place and had a chat and a look around the CamperVans, the lady who showed me around the, several hundred, parked up vans, was most helpful. So we hired one, for twenty one days and went.

Participants: Coss, MLG (my Lao girl),  IFF (Iranian friend female),  IFM(Iranian friend male).

Subsequent posts will cover, the travel and experiences we encountered, practical considerations, when one or more of the participants is revealed to be medically problematic, and some commentary on the cultural make up, of Iranians as represented by our two guests.

I apologise for the lengthy pre-amble, but the content to follow, is best not summarised in one post, but better served in three or so, separated missives.



Aoraki / Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand, peeking above the clouds. Sorry for the quality of the photo, taken on an iPhone, with one of those ff-filters, from the southern end of Lake Pukaki.

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I'll be interested in following.


I had a call this morning with Spark, V/Fone. 2 Degree and NZ Government


Upshot is that post COVID they are going to concentrate on higher end tourists and less backpackers free camp sites people.


Be interesting how that pans out

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"Freedom Campers", which is, I believe, what the various participants, in the discussion prefer to call, anyone not staying in a campground that charges money.

My initial thoughts were, that "Freedom Campers" were viewed by the public, as those generally younger folk, who arrive in NZ, buy a knackered old van, on arrival, for a handful of dollars.

These vans have generally been kitted out, by some wit, with some wooden cabinetry made from particle board and a mattress. No toilet. These are the ones who use public toilets and also are responsible for the shit in the woods and the toilet paper strewn, over beauty spots.

Yes I saw enough of this, to make me think, ban the buggers and when we do, find out their home addresses, so Kiwis can go to their towns and shit all over their nice places.

Then there are the 'responsible' folk, like me,  who hire/own, commercially made vans with actual fitted cassette toilets. These are called self contained.

Our modus operandi, was to stay at a paid Campervan park for one day, with normal showers, toilets and kitchens and washing machines etc, then stay for two days at a free site, generally with public toilets and rubbish bins if needed, as we were self contained. Repeat as needed.

There is some feeling in the South Island, from the denizens, that Freedom Campers are, unwashed smelly f**ing BackPackers. The other side of the coin is that these Freedom Campers have money.

It seems that every thing, stream, rock or natural place has a bunch of locals nearby, who have put up signs and offer "Eco" and "Natural" and Adventure" and "Special" tours, which generally consist of them, walking you to the spot and talking about what ever it is, for a per person fee.

Jeez, last I was at these places was 30 years ago and I could drive up and walk to the various sights , under my own steam, without having to pay someone for the privilege.

There is a "Niagra Falls" named by a surveyor with a sense of humour back in the day, it is approx 30 cm tall and 2~3 metres wide.

There is also a Concrete Horse Trough.

What really rankled, was the Royal Albatross Colony at Tairoa head, which holds a colony of the largest seabirds around. Over the years of my lifetime, we as a family and with friends, have contributed donations and taxes, to the furtherance of the scientific endeavour, that looks after the colony and studies these birds. To be asked for $25 to walk up a track and look down at a nest, is usury, for a Kiwi.

Back to Freedom Campers, it varies by region, how the Freedom Campers are welcomed or reviled. Some places like Southland are keen, for the spend and make sure there are places you can go, to Freedom Camp, with toilets. Other places like Queenstown, actively discourage anyone without a black Amex card, even to the point of narrowing streets and banning Campervans from the central area.

My solution is the obvious one, any and all Campervans must be self contained and demonstrably so (not just a compliance sticker), checked on by police, with instant confiscation of van and moneys, for lack of functioning toilet etc.

Any hoo, a brief note of the overnight stops:

1 Auckland ~ Waitara, New Plymouth. 

2 ~ Evans Bay Marina, Welington. 

3 ~ Picton - on the Ferry. 

4 ~ Takaka. 

5 ~ Westport. 

6  ~ Franz Joseph.

7 ~ Jackons Bay (v south on the west coast).

8 ~ Queenstown.

9 ~ Kingston.

10 ~ Waikawa (Catlins coast).

11 ~ Port Chalmers (Dunedin).

12 ~ Hampden.

13 ~ Lake Pukaki.

14 ~ Rakaia river mouth.

15 ~ Christchurch.

16 ~ Hurunui river mouth.

17 ~ Renwick, Benheim.

18 ~ Picton.

19 ~ Whanganui, via Wellington on the ferry.

20 ~ Back to Auckland.

A day early, due to Glorious Incompatibility of participants, see next post...





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Cultural Learnings of South Island, New Zealand, for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Iran

I have a relative, whose legal education, has inspired me to, like all ingrates, ignore the advice given to me until after the event, when this advice was proven correct.

The first advice given to me, was not to enter a 50/50 partnership in the incorporation of a company and business with a wife. The experience of these 50/50 arrangements, is they all end in divorce. And so it was.

But to the second and most pertinent advice. A couple, travelling in a Campervan with another couple, is a bad idea. And so it was.

Now to the relation, of this journey from a cultural point of view.

Disclaimer: this is not race, this is culture, that I am about illustrate.  The attitudes of the guests, when the warm embrace, of the Kiwi way and nature, is found wanting, not just from a middle eastern perspective, but from a fullsome Snowflake and Millennial set of capabilities.

To be clear - the participants: Coss, Kiwi bloke wot knows his country and has done this trip 4 times over the years, so knows the way, MLG, Laos lady with a degree in computer engineering vs IFF (Iranian friend female) a Doctor,  IFM (Iranian friend male) an Engineer.

The premise: that two couples hire a van and tour the South Island, sharing costs, driving, cooking, cleaning etc.

Before agreement, Coss did all research and laid out an itinerary, costs, highlights and pitfalls (sandflies on West Coast) etc. Coss asked for a list of places they wanted to see. Got a handful of instagram photos in return.

IFM says, our way, is to give half the money to one person and he can do the organising for the group, for simplicity, here is money, adjust up or down at end. Coss and MLG agree.

All goes well and the IFF and IFM are advised to bring clothes suitable for 7 days, hot and cold weather, also insect repellant.

Note - this following sets a tone - Prior to the trip IFF and IFM inform Coss and MLG that IFM, has only one Kidney and is in need of care when it comes to diet, no potassium rich foods, pork, seafood, tomatoes, etc. Coss and MLG agree to let the other two have the bed, at the back next to toilet, with Coss and MLG taking the bed over the driving cab. It is noted later, that IFM and IFF enjoy prosciutto on their pizza and bacon and tomato in their BLTs and beer with enthusiasm. 

Also that any public toilets must be vetted by both IFF and IFM, before use. To be fair, they both used the van toilet every hour. MLG and Coss got used to using the public and cafe and campground toilets. Coss got used to emptying the toilet cassette at the dump stations, along with the waste water and refilling the van's fresh water. IFM observed these processes and helped by opening hatches and nodding with approval, again, an engineer.

The first night Coss observes, that IFM, an engineer, cannot understand how to fold down the table at the back, to make the bed for IFF and IFM to sleep in. After 90 minutes of struggling and ignoring helpful advice, to pull the table top up and off, Coss steps in and pulls the table top, up and off. 

Table remains as bed support for the whole trip as IFM, an engineer cannot understand how to convert, to table and bed each day.

On the first night Coss also discovers a telling failure of IFF character. Wind outside and rain on the Campervan mean IFF and IFM refuse to step outside the van and furthermore, moan and whinge about sound, of said wind and rain. Coss and MLG note that wind and rain is quite minor.



Second warning sign from IFF, a doctor. Coss had had, an upper Molar removed from his jaw, six days prior to the commencement of the trip. Foolishly, he asked IFF, a doctor, to remove the single stich from his gum. The look of panic in her eyes and the blustering, faffing, protestations of "where are the operating instruments?" convinced Coss that the IFF had no experience of stitches, nor medicinal training. Coss quietly removed stich from his gum, by gripping stitch between thumb and forefinger and snipping thread with small scissors. Gone, easy.

On the second night, Coss' suggestion to IFM, an engineer, is to play a game of chess, on a $2 shop chess set, bought for this purpose. To be fair, IFM could play and Coss only won, by a small advantage. 

IFM's reaction on losing, was to leap up and loudly call, to his wife, "I have won the Chess Game!" Coss observes this performance, in silence and thereafter sleeps with his wallet under his pillow.

Another attempt to engage, over cards for two evenings, Whist, or Trumps, the game. It transpires that IFM can shuffle like a croupier and that when he wins a trick, he places his card on top of the other three in a manner that the other players cannot see what card he played, due to his hand obscuring said card and his swiftly turning the trick over. When asked to show, said obscured cards, he quickly merges, all his cards together, to make this impossible.

Coss checks wallet, is still in trouser pocket.

Coss also notices that when paying for fuel, IFM runs inside with Coss and peers over Coss' shoulder at pin pad, presumably to ascertain pin number. Coss checks wallet again.

At this time Coss and MLG have been purchasing and cooking meals, when IFF and IFM are requested to cook the next meal, the offering is, bread with warmed up chicken frankfurters and cucumber and american mustard. Not so bad, but so was their next effort and the third effort was about to be the same, when Coss and MLG realised that the IFF and IFM could not cook, and so discussed a way forward that would be Coss and MLG cooking for the guests.

Sharing of driving: before the trip IFM was advised to download and install the "Rankers" app, which would give him all the knowledge and maps and places to stay, if he wished to look at it. He did not do this, nor did IFF. The two times that IFM was driving the van, he took it several hours in the wrong direction, despite his wife sitting in the passenger seat holding up google on her Huawei trinket screen, like it was a page from the Quran.

Cell phone coverage: Coss warned all participants that the South Island does not have 100% cell phone coverage, especially in scenic beauty spots. IFF in particular, reacted to each lack of cell phone coverage, in what Coss now understands to be, typical, whinging, moaning, open palm hands, pointed at floor, middle eastern female distress.

How it came to  head.

Coss had, in planning the trip, realised that not just the IFF and IFM but MLG too, would want to see all the places where professional photographers, had used non cell phone, professional photo gear, to take great photos, and so planned the journey to maximise the exposure to these places. And if an overnight stop, had a lake or river or the sea nearby, he'd taken a fishing rod to try for a fish. Of course some of these places had no cell phone coverage. On day 16, IFF had a meltdown, due to there being no cellphone coverage at the overnight spot. 

It was the practise each day, to ask IFM and IFF, where they wanted to go, with suggestions for photo ops and pointing at the big map etc. Each day they'd agree on a plan, when this was pointed out to them on day 16, the discussion got very animated.  IFM started to gesture with forward hands and thrusting of his his arguing face forward, in an agressive manner, towards MLG who had said nothing at this point.

Coss then stepped in front of the IFM and said his best line, "This is not some Bazaar that you have to shout and haggle in, we have given you what you asked for, what's your problem? And stay away from my wife, I am serious."

And the resolution.

Coss and MLG ceased cooking, would ask, where the IFF and IFM wanted to go each day, drive them there and then go for a walk, taking keys and valuables. Around lunch time each day, the van would be parked in the vicinity of a cafe or bakery shop, and valuables and keys would be taken walkies. Realising that the IFF and IFM had backed themselves into  corner and would want to end the trip soonest, Coss carefully drove past the Blenheim airport, at a slower than usual pace and parked in a sports ground stadium car park, with cellphone coverage that night.

So it was, when they asked, what the travel time was from Whanganui to Auckland, instead of spending the night in Turangi on day 20 as planned, IFF and IFM were deposited at their Auckland home that evening. A day early. 

Also Coss asked a trick question of IFF, 

"Have you been to Taupo and the Huka Falls? we can stop there for photos if you wish?" 

IFF "No we haven't been there, we would like to stop for photos."

Coss remembers that a year or so ago, MLG related to him that IFF had shown her photos, on the Insta, of IFF and IFM in Taupo and at Huka falls.

The sad thing is that Coss and MLG had over the past few years adopted IFF, before her husband (IFM) had returned from Iran and taken her to places like Waitomo Caves and Rotorua's thermal parks, finding her a friendly and willing participant on these trips. It is only in retrospect that Coss and MLG now understand, that all these trips were instigated, though not paid for by IFF.

Further notes on the Cultural Learnings.

IFF and IFM are Iranian, or as they prefer, Persian, when asked what they think of Arabs, they pretend to spit on the ground.

I used to know two Syrian brothers whose whole life consisted of trying to cheat at everything, even with each other, I used to say they would cheat their own mother.

I knew an Egyptian who was the same.

A Lebanese guy cheated me out of $350.

I knew an Imam who was an honourable and good man.

I knew several Muslim Thai demimondaines, who were honest.

Some people who claim qualifications, such as Doctor or Engineer, may well have papers, from Universities or reasonable facsimiles thereof.

To quote a line that should have been and probably was, in a Monty Python script - "Fucking Arabs!"

And to finish, my line, on these lying and cheating middle eastern folk, henceforth will be - 
"The aeons long animus, between societies of a Christian origin and those of the Muslim faith, is well founded and based on long experience".


next post will be some photos and discussion on biological learnings of S.I. NZ

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Good narrative, thanks!!  Reminds me of road trips I took with ex wife's sister and husband (Korean).

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Some photos  on the 'natural' side of the trip  😁

These were taken on an iPhone, so not professional.

Fishing was mainly unsuccessful due to driving van and IntIfada efforts. 

I did get two delicious West Coast Eels that were grilled over a fire. And a pot full of Bubus (Snail delicacy).


Coss embarking on fishing



NZ Fur Seal, not shown is, that he's in a Cycle Lane, 2m from campervan. Good lad, reclaiming cycle lanes, for the rest of us!



more NZ Fur Seals, highlighted for ease of viewing.



The inside of a Moeraki Boulder



Red Billed Seagull breeding colony in decorative garden feature at carpark at Tairoa head



Petrified tree cross section in a Petrified Forest, Catlins coast,  dating back to the Jurassic period. The tree fossils are approximately 170 million years old. The forest was alive when New Zealand was part of Gondwanaland.



Catlins Coast



Lady Sea Lion having a sleep.



Franz Joseph 


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