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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 23rd year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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You have to be kidding me!

16 February 2017

There are those who believe that politicians and the government as a whole are a puppet to large corporations and business interests.

Whilst I don't believe this is absolutely true, I do feel that sometimes we give commercial interests just a little too much say in what's "best for the country" and its people. One such case appears to be in the media right now.

This company wants a draconian restriction that could see you imprisoned for an act as simple as taking a photo in a public place.

Yep, that cellphone in your pocket could land you in jail if this law is pushed through at the behest of an NZ company which is yet to make a single red cent of profit and which employs just a handful of people.

What the hell is going on here?

The company is RocketLab and the law is a contentious one that would, according to this report, make it an offense "to take a photo or make any record of a space craft that crashes".

Seriously? Are you kidding me?

At the very time we are finding ourselves losing our privacy to the "needs of the state" at an ever-increasing rate, that very same state is suggesting that we ought not be allowed to take pictures of something as interesting as a fallen rocket -- even if it falls in a very public place, perhaps even the roof of your own home.

A number of academics and media people have already chimed in on the lunacy of this proposed law and I'll add my strong voice to that melody.

This is an outrageous usurping of public rights for the benefit of a single company (which has yet to even turn a profit) and that is totally unacceptable in a free society.

The fact that this has got as far as becoming a bill before parliament speaks volumes to the fact that perhaps I am wrong and perhaps the government does make its decisions primarily in the interests of big business and fat wallets. Such a shame!

It would appear that our evolution into a banana republic continues at an erratic pace but continues never the less.

One must also wonder if the dim-bulbs who have proposed this law even understand what they are doing. For instance... if one of RocketLab's craft fails during its initial ascent (before reaching space) and crashes into downtown Auckland with resulting loss of life and property -- was it even a spacecraft?

I can imagine the headline "Rocket crashes into central Auckland, hundreds die, no film or pictures at eleven".

We would be a laughing stock of the free world. Who knows, Kim Jung Un may even be tempted to set up a branch of the WPK here when he discovers that our government thinks much like he does on the matter of the people's rights and the government's role in destroying them.

What are those buffoons in Wellington doing?

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