This week Newshub (the old TV3 and Radio Live News) published a report making Auckland’s CBD look unsafe. Taking the same statistics and using a slightly different point of view, johndavieshub has this to report.

Auckland CBD is safer than any other New Zealand CBD.

Why don’t the Police and Auckland Council tell us? Because I believe there is a belief amongst police and governments (central and local) that if we make people scared of our cities we can get more money and laws and regulations thrown at the problem. What we need in Auckland is smart governance and light but practical laws.

Don’t believe me? Here are the Newshub stats presented on a per person living in that area basis, using Google population data:

Hamilton – 380 assaults – population 150000 – assaults per person .0025

Palmerston North – 190 assaults – population 78800 – assaults per person .0024

Gisborne – 128 assaults – population 43653 – assaults per person .0029

Wellington – 447 assaults – population 204,000 – assaults per person .0021

Dunedin – 154 assaults – population 127500 – assaults per person .0012

Auckland CBD all three precincts – 1178 assaults – population 1,377,000 – assaults per person .0008

What is most interesting here is that the three cities we perceive to be the most violent are probably actually the least violent. Naughty Courtenay Place dominated Wellington comes in at third safest.  Dunedin with all the Otago Uni related hijinks and violence, second lowest crime city. Auckland, scum city in the view of some conspiratorial commentators, the lowest.

The media generally choose to select spectacular footage of incidents to back their reportage of these “facts”, that our CBD’s are unsafe. In fact, if we watched all the footage gathered by security cameras day in and day out we would find these action moments are spectacularly few. We choose to focus on the tiny minority to justify enslaving the majority.

This country and our cities are constantly lurching to extreme actions that limit freedom based on exploited and magnified “facts”. These facts are often little more than manipulations to scare us in to giving up more freedoms. I ask people to think more about the facts they read, see and hear and go, might this be manipulation of my mind?

Oh and don’t get me wrong, I’m more than happy to see more police on the beat. You can always make Auckland even safer, but maybe we actually need to prioritise Hamilton?

John Davies

May 5, 2016