Aardvark DailyNew Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 19th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.
Content copyright © 1995 - 2014 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk
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I've decided to take an early start to my regular Christmas leave of absence and this will be my last column until 2015.
It has been an "interesting" year (and I use the word in a more colloquial than literal fashion) full of challenges and a few disappointments.
The sad old-boys' network that is CAA and MFNZ continue to frustrate my attempts to develop valuable safety technology for no reason other than neither group can tolerate justified and honest criticism of their performance.
The exemption that I was granted by CAA has been withdrawn, seemingly at MFNZ's request -- leaving me gobsmacked at the way these two groups can display such a blatantly partisan and unhealthy relationship without censure.
I have no doubt that, whilst others break CAA regulations with impunity (thanks to their OB's connections, my every move will come under increasingly close scrutiny, with Rex Kenny of CAA and the executive of MFNZ just dying to pounce on me for some technical infringement of some long-ago forgotten and long-outdated rule.
To see what I mean, take a look at this image, showing a drone that crashed through a waterfront office building here in NZ just recently.
Have CAA taken any action?
Not that I'm aware of, they were probably too busy traveling all the way to Tokoroa from Wellington in order to interview me for flying a *much* smaller drone beneath the lowest branches of some trees at the local park and promoting the hobby to some kids.
I honestly believe that it is this type of silliness (where some can do no wrong and others can do no right) that has produced things like the Carterton Balloon tragedy and CAA should be ashamed of themselves for engaging in this uneven-handed approach to enforcement.
The video I posted on this subject just a couple of weeks ago has already been seen nearly 30,000 times and (once again) the MFNZ executive, through its ridiculous agenda to keep me out of the air, has dragged its organisation and membership through the mud once more, as can be seen by the 1000+ comments left by viewers from around NZ and all over the world.
But enough of that crap...
I trust that readers are all stocked up on festive food and beverages in preparation of the clearing weather (please!) and a few day's respite from the demands of the workplace.
Most years I've simply worked right through the holiday season, toiling away at what I do but this year, I'm going to make a concerted effort to spend some time with friends and family. With work on the SAA system effectively halted by CAA, I will have more time available for such luxuries anyway.
I'd like to take the opportunity to thank all those readers who have spent a few minutes of their busy day reading and contemplating the drivel I've dished up each weekday morning and give extra thanks to those who have contributed back with their comments in the forums.
To those who have been so kind as to gift a dollar now and then via the donate button, an extra big thanks from the old-sheila and myself.
Today will be extra-busy, as I have a couple of magazine columns to write and will be trying to come up with an idea for a gift for the better-half (a task fraught with peril). I wish everyone good fortune and good luck over the festive break and encourage you to spend as much time as you can with friends and family, for they are the most valuable things you will ever have.
Until 2015 (unless something earth-shattering happens in the meantime) that's another year of Aardvark Daily.
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Remember, this is purely a gift, you'll get nothing other than a warm fuzzy feeling in return.