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Paddlers Show Commonsense On Accident Risk

Paddlers Show Commonsense On Accident Risk

Tuesday 19 Oct 2004

Stephen Franks - Press Releases - Other

ACT New Zealand Sport & Recreation Spokesman Stephen Franks today congratulated the kayak industry for its solidarity against a prosecution after a drowning accident on the Buller River.

"I don't know if the Nelson coroner is right to accuse kayakers of being like a closed cartel, but I am impressed that the Maritime Safety Authority could not find any expert witness to support its prosecution," Mr Franks said

"Normally, the ghouls of the compliance industry can be counted on to crawl through all the details of an adventure tourism accident with hindsight judgement, looking to criminalise some desperately sorry individual for completely unintended harm. Meanwhile, calculated and vicious crimes go under-investigated and unpunished for want of prosecution resource.

"We can all feel desperately sorry for Tim Jamieson's family. We can understand their feeling that something should be done. But every time an inherent risk matures and some zealous authority prosecutes, the gate gets smaller and more expensive for everyone who wants respect for their freedom of choice and willingness to take responsibility.

If this incident is a ganging up for commonsense by the kayaking industry, I hope the MSA accepts the lesson. Stop pointless prosecutions, and focus on deliberate wrongdoing and callous recklessness," Mr Franks said.


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