We are in the midst of the “snow storm of the century” but the sun is shining here in Point Chevalier and Ben’s flight has not been cancelled. Will we wake up to a much desired winter wonderland tomorrow? Daniel and I hope so but I sadly doubt it. It’s possible snow will fall on the Waitakere Ranges west of Auckland but we have no car to go and see it with.
So onto other matters…
There has been great international publicity surrounding the riots in London and elsewhere. We are not immune to that sort of thing in this part of the world. I can remember the Redfern riots in Sydney of 2004 and then the Cronulla riots a year later. On this side of the Tasman, Christchurch boy racers held the city hostage one weekend in 2008 with an American tourist quoted in the paper as saying “Hooligans are running the city”. Dunedin it seems has almost annual riots of drunken students with a 2006 event being quite memorable. All that is required is a large population of disaffected youths with little to do and a mob mentality. Alcohol also helps.
New Zealand is particularly vulnerable because our youth unemployment is a depressing 27%. Youth unemployment in the UK is lower at 20%. Rather than creating riots though, our young people are killing themselves. We have the highest rate of youth suicide in the OECD. What New Zealand does have in its favour is a lower population density. There is probably a minimum threshold density of angry young people required before the mob mentality kicks in.