I needed to check, so I googled "hitting people is wrong", and it comes up a lot, so that must still be the view of many people.

But in a Queenstown court this week a 58-year-old man who hit a whole lot of people was discharged without conviction.

It went as follows: the man found texts between his wife and a male friend declaring love for each other. He had at the friend. His daughter tried to intercede and he grabbed her by the throat and held her down, leaving her with bruises on her neck. Then the wife got in there and was kicked in the ribs for her trouble.

So as you can see, quite a lot went down – just not the person doing the assaulting.


His name was suppressed, but, although "58-year-old man" describes an awful lot of residents of the Lakes District, the level of confidentiality and discretion in the picturesque Peyton Place of the south is such it was probably a whole five minutes before everyone, down to the most recently arrived backpacker, knew the names of everyone involved.

The man was discharged on the grounds the consequences of a conviction would have been out of all proportion to the offence.

Some might think we need to revisit the relevant laws if the only proportionate outcome of such an attack is to let the defendant walk away free.

I applaud the verdict and the clear message it sends: to wit, that too many men have lost their place in the post-feminist world.

At least one has been given a tangible reminder his women belong to him to treat as he sees fit, and the appropriate response to discovering an infidelity is a dose of the bash.

A lot of men I know fail to consider a bit of a biff as a mechanism for dealing with relationship issues.

As someone who had a dismal school record I feel I can write with objectivity about the matter of some subjects being harder than others. (For some of us, they were all hard.)

The topic was raised by Onehunga High School's dux runner-up Filip Vachuda, who opined subjects such as physics, calculus and history could not fairly be compared to acting, cooking and painting.


You can say that again. For a start it's hellishly difficult to earn a living acting or painting (cooking less so).

Science graduates have high job chances and the country is over-populated with lawyers and others who applied themselves to the "hard subjects".

The fallacy at the heart of this belief is the idea of life as a competition – that one way of life, one kind of job, one level of income is in some way better than another.

Health and love are the only things that really matter, as Christmas exists to reminds us. And they are as available to the painter as they are to the physicist.

I did not know this, although I'm sure many of you would. According to Cleansing the Colony by Kristyn Harman, a fascinating book about the years in which New Zealand criminals were sentenced to be transported to Australia: "Under the Native Exemption Ordinance 1844, Maori who stole property could avoid a custodial sentence by paying four times the amount of the goods taken ... in recognition of utu."

Someone should alert Don Brash to this blatant example of having one law for Maori and one law for others, particularly as it relates to the century in which he lives.