Spare a thought in your charity for the residents of Stonefields, an "urban village" at Mt Wellington where, among other things, the "planting of pohutukawa trees along the boulevards, mimics the original lava flows", a market includes "substantive family restaurant and other dining/takeaway options" and parks provide "for a range of passive and active recreational spaces".

The planning and design of the joint appears exemplary. Unfortunately, it didn't allow for the people.

Such as those who have been complaining because those parks' recreational spaces are just a little too active.

As resident Alan Gilder says: "The park is awesome but they haven't put a lot of thought into it - the flying fox generates a lot of squealing."


Squealing. How awful, but how true. Where there are children there will likely be squealing.

And where there are flying foxes there will almost certainly be a lot of squealing.

If there is a sound more aggravating than that of children enjoying themselves then I don't know what it is.

What to do? Perhaps the residents could crowdfund a shush monitor - someone in attendance with a decibel reader who could hiss "shush" at the children when the squealing reached a certain level.

Better yet, a policy could be introduced under which only people who have made the lifestyle choice not to have children could become residents of Stonefields.

Of course, there are some eccentrics who find the sound of happy children pleasant, in fact, one of life's greatest pleasures.

Well, good luck to them and their aberrant tastes. That's not going to help Alan.

Meanwhile, in Australia, a heartbreaking piece appeared in the Brisbane Times about "tantrum trolls" - people who gang up on parents whose children are losing it in public to tut-tut and sneer at them.

It was written by someone whose friends' child lost it at a movie.

Some might perceive in the account the merest whiff of self-pity - the couple "managed to change, bathe and dress two small people, pack a baby bag, fill water bottles, buckle them up, reverse out of the driveway, stop, get the eldest out of the car for another wee, re-buckle him, drive in peak hour, find a park, feed, change and toilet them again, buy tickets and snacks and have them seated before the lights dimmed".

And they say martyrdom's dead.

Anyway, once the lights went down, Kid One lost his dummy and shortly thereafter his rag.

Of course, no one likes seeing a child throwing a tantrum in public or anywhere else. It's squealing at its worst.

And of course, dumping on that child's parents does nothing to improve the situation.

However the writer of this piece clearly failed to realise that what she was describing was parents with no control of their children.

Tantrums are the easiest thing in the world to prevent if you get in quick.

If you don't give in on the issue that is the trigger for that first tantrum - want to ride in the trolley/want to get out of the trolley/want to push the trolley - then the child will not learn that tantrums are a good way to get what you want.

Which will leave parents more energy for reversing out of the driveway.

It was reported this week that Helen Milner, who was sent to prison for poisoning her husband and who tried to frame her son for a crime he did not commit "fears for her life behind bars and has been scammed". I'm not surprised she finds herself in this unenviable situation. From what I've heard about Milner, she's getting a taste of her own medicine.