It seems as time goes on there seems to be attempts by well-meaning people to remove risk from every single part of our lives.
For many years there has been a perfectly good and exciting flying fox in our local and nationally famous child's playground.
Recently something broke on it so it was closed pending repairs, no problem. As the weeks went by parents and children are wondering when the flying fox will be operational again.
It is an exciting and fun experience for children of a suitable age and has always been well supervised.
The weeks are rolling along, as is summer, the park is patronised by hundreds of children and their parents every day but still no flying fox.
It now appears that it has been closed for "safety reasons" by a council official. As far as I am aware the flying fox has been in place for at least 35 years.
People are not happy at being told there is something else enjoyable in their lives that is now, according to someone who has the authority to say so, all of a sudden unsafe.
This leads me on to another piece of political correctness and risk averseness that really grinds my teeth as a grandparent.
The spoilsports from the Ministry of Health have instructed the Ministry of Education to invoke rules about food preparation for Early Childhood Centres, places where thousands of our precious ones spend their days while parents are out working to help pay the bills as is the norm nowadays.
This policy falls out of an incident where a 22-month-old little boy suffered brain damage after choking on an apple. My heart goes out to his parents and whānau. I mean no disrespect to them.
Now I am all for small children being cared for safely and supervised in their play or while they are eating lunch.
Things were going a bit pear-shaped though, excuse the pun. Parents of children in daycare centres were originally required to only provide certain foods for their children.
Even sadder is that the qualified and compassionate workers at the daycare centres were expected to police the children's lunchboxes and remove items deemed to be dangerous while also providing parents with advice on what is expected.
The ministry's new rules, in place from Monday, January 25, include a list of banned foods and instructions for how to prepare higher risk foods.
Such foods as dried fruit, popcorn, rice crackers, chips, marshmallows, cheerios and sausages are banned forthwith.
Foods such as apples and carrots, fruits with seeds or pips, food with leaves such as lettuce and peas are considered "High Risk" and, while still allowed, must be prepared in such a way to make them safe, apples should be pureed for example. For 3-year-olds!
Daycare centres who provide food are obliged to follow these guidelines or face losing their practising licences.
This has caused reactions ranging from stress to outrage amongst parents and care centre staff. I had a call from my daughter-in-law the other day almost in tears because she had received a stern missive from the Ministry of Education about what she can and cannot provide Miss Three within her little lunchbox.
My daughter-in-law has been providing Missy with lunches for most of her short life due to the fact that Missy has had to be in daycare so Mummy can help Daddy make a living. Miss Five-Month-Old will be heading that way shortly too.
Three-year-olds have teeth, they can eat almost all foods, especially the food prepared by the loving parents who know what they can and cannot eat and what they like and do not like. Of course babies and toddlers cannot eat some of the foods mentioned.
Give parents some credit; they know that, they know their own children and provide accordingly.
Not all children are good eaters, some children, for allergy, cultural or religious reasons may not be able to eat the food recommended. What happens then?
The daycare worker's role is hard enough at the best of times but having to police caring parents about what is in junior's lunchbox was beyond the pale in my opinion.
After some, I suspect, fairly robust discussions behind closed doors at the ministry mother of Missy advised she had received further correspondence tersely advising: "Parents who provide lunchboxes for their children are no longer required to follow the ministry's guidelines. Parents can provide food they feel best suits their child's needs."
No apology for the distress caused though.
New Zealanders will not suffer nanny-state behaviour. Labour learnt that in 2008 when we had the famous Light Bulb Rebellion. It seems policy-drafters have a way to go.