To name or not to name

14/09/2021

To name or not to name the couple who left Auckland and went to Wanaka, is a question before the court:

The Free Speech Union is calling for the couple – one reportedly a child of a Government official – who breached lockdown not to have name suppression says Free Speech Union spokesperson, and lawyer, Stephen Franks.

Both are adults, their parents and what any of them do ought not to be relevant.

“Name suppression will be the worst move for the Auckland couple charged with a cunning move to Wanaka via Hamilton. There are no good reasons for name suppression, and three bad ones.

“First, shame – the fear that your hypocrisy or lying will be uncovered should be a primary deterrent.

“Second, shame should be the main punishment for a ‘social’ crime. Police resources and court time are wasted in such cases, which would not be true if the community were able to impose a more natural and automatic punishment and if Stuff was free to publish what it ‘knew’. Insider arrogance and the love of having ‘secret knowledge’ lies behind much of our substitution of police and court resources for open reporting.

“Thirdly, in this case name suppression will be an own goal. The Streisand effect will operate eventually even if the defendants are tempted by the thought that they can hide their shame behind a court order, and even if the QC gets them a discharge based on some technicality.

“Effectiveness of community consensus against contagion depends on the restrictions being seen as fair. Name suppression will contribute to suspicion, that the elite don’t think the cost of lockdown, let alone the health risks of Covid spreading, outweighs an embarrassment cost to some of them scoffing at the law. We need to see the law being enforced, with details that will deter others.

“We, the public, should know. Freedom of speech is our right to know, not just journalists’ right to tell us. Free speech protects us from potential hypocrisy of powerful insiders. We need to see immediately that we are indeed equal before the law. And true remorse or contrition would have the people charged not trying to hide behind an application that is a byword for privilege.”

Yesterday afternoon I read that the couple’s lawyer was seeking name suppression.

A very few hours later I knew the couple’s names which left me none the wiser as I know neither. Several posts on social media show that lots of other people know too.

A suppression order would stop publication but it couldn’t make those who already know the names unknow them.

I agree with the FSU’s arguments against suppression, but the decision on granting it or not is up to the court.

You are welcome to debate the issue but any comments that attempt to share the names or identifying information will be deleted.


Life without parole

27/08/2020

Brenton Tarrant has been sentenced to life without parole:

Terrorist gunman Brenton Harrison Tarrant has accepted his fate and will spend all his remaining years in prison, with no chance of ever being released. …

Justice Mander said he had “listened with sadness” to those who had read their victim impact statements in court during the four-day sentencing hearing. He summarised their views and situations, and referred to kind, forgiving, fine people being killed. 

He said he had little doubt Tarrant had come to New Zealand to target the Muslim community. He had travelled in Europe and developed deep-seated views about the “cultural displacement” of Europeans by migrants.  . .

“You remain empty of any empathy for the victims. You remain detached and appear entirely self-centred,” Justice Mander said. . .

He rejected the idea of any credit for Tarrant’s guilty pleas, and his claimed change of views. He noted Tarrant remained entirely self-absorbed and had offered no apology or public acknowledgement.

His regret seemed centred on the waste of his own life . . .

Tarrant’s is the face of evil. This week he had to face the victims of his crime.

Many of them forgave him, showing the face of good.


Prurience or public interest?

15/11/2019

The media is reporting a lot of detailed and sexually explicit evidence in its coverage of Grace Millane’s modern trial.

I can only imagine how harrowing  it must be for her family to sit through it all.

It’s been hard enough coming across it in the news without knowing anyone involved.

I have not read anything of the trial but haven’t been able to avoid hearing about it in news broadcasts.

I’ve also heard talkback discussion on whether we’re getting too much information.

The media’s right to report and the public’s right to know are important planks in an open justice system. But the line between what’s in the public interest and prurience can be a very fine one.

 


Peter Ellis 30.3.58 – 4.9.19

04/09/2019

Peter Ellis has died.

Ellis, 61, died at a hospice about noon on Wednesday after battling advanced bladder cancer. He had been fighting to clear his name some 26 years after he was convicted of sex offences against seven children at the Christchurch Civic Creche. . . 

The Supreme Court indicated it would consider hearing Ellis’ appeal even if he died before the hearing date.

The court had scheduled the appeal to be heard over four days from November 11 to 14 with one reserve day if needed. . . 

Lynley Hood, the author of A City Possessed, a book about the case, convinced me of Ellis’s innocence.

I hope the case is heard and gives his family and supporters the justice for which they’ve been fighting.

 

 


Fair not equal, equal not fair

13/11/2017

How very sad for everyone involved that a dispute over a will ended up in court:

A woman who claimed it was unfair her brother was left the family farm while she received $1 million and a bach has again failed to get a bigger slice of their parents’ estate.

The Talbot family has been farming in South Canterbury for generations. The principal farm, Kingsborough Farm, was initially bought by the siblings’ grandfather in 1915.

It was run by Edwin and Pamela Talbot until their elder years when their only son, Graham, took over the management and financial responsibility of Kingsborough from 2006.

When Edwin and Pamela died in 2014 and 2015, respectively, they granted probate of their estates to Graham in their wills – something that had previously been discussed among the whole family.

“The evidence at trial established that Graham worked long hours on Kingsborough, that he took minimal drawings, and that it is likely that the farm would have had to have been sold if Graham had not left school to work on it,” the Court of Appeal’s decision said. 

This is not an unusual situation.

One or more family members works on the farm, taking minimal drawings, ploughing more  back into the farm; making a significant contribution to the maintenace, development and capital growth of the property; and earning a bigger share of the estate than other family members who sacrifice and contribute nothing.

Jillian and her sister Rachel – an “unwilling but necessary” participant in the court proceedings – had not shown an interest in working on the farm, which their parents had wanted to keep in the family.

“It was their intention from at least 1999, and probably earlier, that Graham, as the only child who had shown any interest in farming Kingsborough, should receive the family farm, and that Rachel and Jillian should share equally in the remainder of their estates.”

The couple left Jillian and Rachel over $1m each with Jillian also being given the family bach.

The Court of Appeal said the key issue for it to determine was whether or not adequate provision had been made from the estate to meet Jillian’s needs. . .

“In our judgment, a sum a little in excess of $1 million is, on any objective assessment, and at the least, a moderate amount. It is not provision so small as to leave a justifiable sense of exclusion from participation in the family estate,” the decision said. . . 

The farm was worth $4 million.  That wouldn’t be a large property and it’s probable an equal division of the estate would have forced more debt on the business than it could sustain.

Farm succession and inheritance can be complex and in situations like this equal isn’t fair and fair isn’t equal.


Good result for good man

10/05/2017

Whanganui MP, Chester Burrows has been found not guilty of careless driving.

The case related to an incident in which two women were injured during an anti-Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) protest in Whanganui in March last year. . . 

In her decision, Judge Stephanie Edwards said there was no contention about whether or not Mr Borrows’ vehicle had come into contact with the women involved but the onus was on the Crown to prove he had been careless in doing so.

She said it was clear from the video evidence that the car never came to a complete halt but she accepted the MP’s evidence that he was aware of the people in front of him.

“He was prepared to stop if the police directed him to do so and he would’ve stopped if he had thought the safety of the protesters was at risk.” . . 

“What I knew at the time [was that] there had been threats made and … there was a protest going on outside and blocking our passageway.”

He said, at the time of the protest, he had perceived the threats to include a woman with a baton-sized wooden flagstaff.

There had also been a prior run-in with protesters and one of them climbed on his car, he said.

“I’m not a delicate wee flower and I don’t take offence easily and I wasn’t panicking, I knew exactly what I was doing and what my role and responsibility was.” . . .

He is a former police officer and that training influenced his actions:

. . . He said he feathered the brakes and was ready to stop at any point if he felt he needed to.

The driving was similar to what he did at similar incidents during his 24-year police career, he said. . .

The not guilty verdict is a good result for a good man.

He was driving slowly and carefully in the face of threats, real or perceived, from protesters who, from what I’ve seen in video footage, appeared to put their protest before their own safety.

In New Zealand, unlike most other countries, people have very ready access to MPs. That shouldn’t  extend to using protest to impede their movements.

People have a right to protest but not in a way that infringes the rights of other people, politicians or not, to go about their business, nor in a way that endangers themselves or others.


Not guilty not necessarily innocent

02/08/2016

Justice Minister Amy Adams has confirmed that David Bain’s application for compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment has been concluded:

“This case has been one of the most complex, unique and high profile cases New Zealand has ever known,” says Ms Adams.

Ian Callinan QC, a former Justice of Australia’s highest court, was appointed by Ms Adams on 19 March 2015 to provide advice on Mr Bain’s claim. Mr Callinan’s report was received by the Minister on 27 January 2016.

“Mr Callinan’s report found that Mr Bain has not established his innocence on the balance of probabilities. As such, no statement of innocence or compensation payment will be made to Mr Bain.

“However, the Crown recognises that the compensation application process has lasted nearly six and a half years and that this has been an incredibly difficult and complicated case for all involved. Reaching this point has taken longer than anyone would have wanted it to.

“In addition, since receiving Mr Callinan’s final report it has become evident that Mr Bain and his advisors didn’t accept Mr Callinan’s findings. They made it absolutely clear that they intended to legally challenge that report, leading to considerable further cost and delay in this matter.

“While the Crown is confident in the strength of its position in any such review, it’s clearly desirable to bring finality to this case and avoid the cost and uncertainty of further proceedings.

“In my view, no one benefits from this matter continuing to drag on. In light of that, the Crown has agreed to make an ex gratia payment of $925,000 in recognition of the time involved and expenses incurred by Mr Bain during the compensation process, and the desirability of avoiding further litigation.”

Mr Bain has accepted this payment in full and final settlement of all matters.

“This resolution is a pragmatic one that recognises the unique circumstances of this case and a desire on all sides to bring this matter to a close,” says Ms Adams.

“While many New Zealanders hold strong views on the case, the complexities of the evidence and the opinions that evidence has given rise to, are such that those views are likely to continue to be firmly held without clear resolution.”

“While the issue has divided opinion in New Zealand, I am satisfied that the matter has at least now been concluded.”

The Minister is quite clear the payment is an ex gratia one and not compensation but that won’t stop others using it as a precedent.

The two Callinan reports are  here and here.

From part way down page 114 in the first one, Mr Callinan lists objective or otherwise incontestable facts.

From page 118 he lists contestable facts.

From page 138 he gives his conclusion and the reasons for it.

New Zealand juries are required to find people guilty or not guilty beyond reasonable doubt. If the jury has reasonable doubt as to the accused’s guilt it has to opt for not guilty.

Being found not guilty beyond reasonable doubt doesn’t mean the accused has been proven to be innocent.

Unlike in a court, Bain and his supporters had to provide enough evidence to find him innocent and Mr Callinan found they were unable to do so.


Right to die is right to kill

05/06/2015

Justice David Collins has ruled it is up to parliament to amend the Crimes Act to give doctors the right to help patients die without prosecution.

Lecretia Seales was unsuccessful in seeking a landmark High Court ruling to allow her doctor to help her die without criminal prosecution.

Justice David Collins released his judgment at 3pm which rejected her bid and said only Parliament can give her what she wanted. . .

Ms Seales died of natural causes at 12.35am this morning, just hours after her family and lawyers received the ruling.

The health of the 42-year-old Wellington lawyer with terminal brain cancer had deteriorated rapidly in the days since her court case last week where she was seeking a declaration that a doctor would not risk prosecution if they were to help her die.

Her family said they were “very disappointed with Justice Collin’s judgment. He found in our favour in relation to the evidence before him, but his interpretation of the purpose of the law meant he could not find aid in dying was available to Lecretia or inconsistent with the Bill of Rights.”

They added: “The judgment has starkly highlighted that the status quo is not ideal; that people are at risk of intolerable suffering and are at risk of ending their lives earlier than they would otherwise. Justice Collins was clear that it is for Parliament to address these issues. . .

The grief Lucretia’s family and friends will be dealing with will be compounded by their disappointment that the case which occupied so much of her final weeks was unsuccessful.

They might choose to honour her memory by campaigning for a law change.

None of us would choose to suffer nor to watch anyone we love suffer.

That suffering might not just be intense physical pain, it could be the loss of dignity which physical and/or mental deterioration can lead to.

But euthanasia is not just about people’s control over their own lives and deaths.

As I wrote on this issue six years ago:

. . . There might be a grey area now about pain relief which gets to the level where it could be fatal but there is a huge gulf between alleviating pain and deliberately killing someone.

If we ever consider our own mortality most of us would choose to die without pain and with all our faculties intact.

Life and death aren’t always that tidy and palliative care isn’t always optimal.

That is a very strong argument for better palliative care, not an argument for euthanasia. . .

Those arguing for euthanasia talk about the right to die.

Let us not forget that it would give doctors the right to kill.

UPDATE:

The judgement is here.

The family’s response to the judgement is here.


Banks acquitted

19/05/2015

The case against former Auckland mayor and Act leader John Banks has been thrown out:

The Crown misled the Court of Appeal by failing to disclose a document to John Banks ahead of an appeal hearing, according to a new judgment.

But the three senior judges this was an “error of judgment rather than misconduct”.

The case against Mr Banks has been thrown out and he will not face a second trial for allegedly filing a false electoral return.

The Court of Appeal has sensationally reversed its previous decision to order a retrial following the late disclosure of a document, which Mr Banks’ lawyer David Jones QC said “contradicts all evidence given at trial” by the Dotcom witnesses and made the prosecution “untenable”.

In a judgment just released by the Court of Appeal, Justices Ellen France, Forrest Miller and John Wild ruled that Mr Banks should not stand trial again and he was acquitted.

The senior judges disagreed with the Crown’s argument that the ‘Butler memorandum’ did not need to be disclosed.

“We hold rather that the Crown could not both withhold the memorandum and resist the appeal in the manner that it did. The effect was to mislead the Court.

“We are satisfied that there has been a serious error of process. It is, we accept, attributable to an error of judgment rather than misconduct.” . .

 That error of judgement does not reflect well on the court.

The trial largely hinged on the credibility of who was right about a contentious lunch at the Dotcom mansion. Banks was convicted but his wife Amanda later unearthed new witnesses who corroborated their version of events, so the Court of Appeal quashed the conviction and ordered a retrial. . . .

Mrs Banks, understandably, did not take kindly to the judge in the earlier case accepting Kim Dot Com’s word rather than hers:

 . . The Court of Appeal’s decision notes Mrs Banks “was stung by the Judge’s opinion of her reliability”.

“She became quite obsessed as she puts it, with identifying the two Americans. . .

That obsession led to the evidence which secured her husband’s acquittal.

 


What does this teach?

24/03/2015

“What would have happened if you told your parents you’d been punished for something you’d done at school?”

The question came from a teacher and my reply was simple – I wouldn’t have told them because I’d have got no sympathy and might have invited further punishment.

Had I felt I’d been unfairly dealt to and my parents agreed with me, the best I could have expected from them was acceptance that it was unfortunate but they would still have supported the school.

The teacher sighed and said if only they still had that level of support from parents. Instead, they got parents swearing black was white and their little angels could do no wrong.

That conversation was more than a decade ago and the teacher wasn’t then having to deal with legal action.

The St Bede’s College rowers axed from their Maadi Cup rowing team for breaching airport security say they took court action due to concerns over the school’s decision-making process and have questioned whether the punishment was fair.  . .

Teen rowers Jack Bell and Jordan Kennedy were removed from the school’s Maadi Cup rowing team after being given formal warnings by police and the Aviation Security Service for jumping on a baggage conveyor at Auckland Airport on Friday.

The pupils, who had just arrived on a domestic flight from Christchurch, rode the carousel through rubber curtains and into a restricted baggage area, the Civil Aviation Authority said.

The school ruled the pupils should be sent home. However, their parents, Shane Kennedy and Antony Bell, were granted a High Court injunction allowing their sons to stay and compete in the Maadi Cup.

A statement, released by the boys and their families on Monday afternoon, said the court action was never intended to justify their actions or to suggest the school was not entitled to take disciplinary action.

“The only reason for the court action was due to concerns over the school’s decision-making process and over whether or not the decision as made was proportionate to the misbehaviour. The court action was certainly not taken lightly,” the statement said.

“They accept that what they did was stupid. No harm was meant and it was intended as nothing more than a prank.

“All parties are aware that following a full and fair investigation about the incident that there may well be disciplinary consequences.” . . .

Rector Justin Boyle says this sets a dangerous precedent:

St Bede’s rector Justin Boyle said the action could be seen as undermining the school’s authority.

“What it’s doing there is is taking away the ability of the school to manage their children and any educational activity outside the classroom.”

Mr Boyle said the school’s board was meeting today to consider what actions it would take.

St Bede’s lawyer Andrew McCormick said it was important the school got a decision on whether it was right to discipline the pupils.

He said the substantive hearing could not be held until the regatta is over, so the penalty becomes moot.

But he said there were broader implications as to whether schools and principals can exercise their discretion and discipline students. . .

The Principals’ Federation says this is a worrying trend.

Principals’ Federation president Denise Torrey says it sends the wrong message to students.

“The boys didn’t learn that there are consequences to your actions and that the whole reason we have rules or a code of conduct is to outline expected behaviour.”

Ms Torrey says parents taking action in the courts is a worrying trend. . . .

No-one is arguing about what the boys did nor whether it was wrong to do it.

The court action was questioning the school’s process.

And what does that teach children?

That if they do something stupid, breach the school’s code of conduct they can get a court to stop the school imposing the logical consequences of that, not because the boys were wronged but because the school might have got the process wrong.

Once more it appears that the right process is more important than what’s right and wrong.


Court backs blokes’ right to stand

23/01/2015

A German court has backed blokes’ right to stand to pee:

A court in Germany is ruling in favour of a man’s right to urinate while standing up, after his landlord demanded money for damage to the bathroom floor.

The landlord, who was seeking €1900 ($NZ2878), claims the marble floor was damaged by urine that missed the toilet bowl.

But a Duesseldorf judge ruled that the man’s method was within cultural norms and said “urinating standing up is still common practice”.

Some German toilets have red traffic-style signs forbidding the standing position – but those who choose to sit are often referred to as a “Sitzpinkler”, implying it is not masculine behaviour. . .

The judge was a bloke.

Had it been a woman she might have had more sympathy for the landlord, or at least ordered the bloke to aim better or clean up after himself.


Personal and political

27/05/2014

That Kim Dotcom doesn’t like Prime Minister John Key should have been obvious to anyone who’s taken even a cursory interest in the news.

But yesterday’s testimony by Rodney MP Mark Mitchell, a witness for the defence in the case against John Banks, shows something beyond dislike that appears to be both personal and political:

Kim Dotcom vowed to “destroy” John Banks and Prime Minister John Key, MP Mark Mitchell has told the High Court in Auckland.

Mitchell, the National MP for Rodney, today gave evidence for the defence at ACT MP Banks’ trial for filing a false electoral return.

Mitchell said he had met Dotcom at a barbecue in his electorate where the internet entrepreneur was “agitated” about the case to extradite Dotcom to the US on criminal copyright charges.

He said Dotcom told him: “I’m going to destroy John Key, I’m going to take down John Banks, I’m going to take down the Government.”

Mitchell’s other evidence was suppressed. . .

Dotcom ought to be very grateful he’s in New Zealand which shows a great deal more respect for the law and democracy than he appears to.

In many other countries that sort of tirade against a Prime Minister and MP would result in a charge of treason and in some they wouldn’t bother with such niceties as a fair trial before reaching a verdict.


Mr Fines

02/02/2014

Consequences for people who ignore reparation payments or fines for traffic offences are going to be tougher from next month:

People with unpaid fines or reparation for traffic-related offences could find themselves barred from driving under powerful new sanctions which come into effect this month, Courts Minister Chester Borrows says.

From Monday 17 February ‘Driver Licence Stop Orders’ (DLSOs) can be imposed on anyone who fails to pay traffic-related fines imposed on them by a Court, Police or a local government authority – or a reparation order imposed on them by a Court – for a traffic-related offence.

Mr Borrows says DLSOs are a powerful new sanction, which will initially be targeted at repeat offenders who’ve racked up big overdue debts.

“There are around 136,000 people who between them owe $48 million in traffic related fines and are making no attempt to pay,” Mr Borrows says.

“A lot of them have chosen to ignore repeated reminders and if they remain uncooperative they’ll pay for it with their driver licence.

“We will focus initially on the worst offenders, but anyone with an overdue fine should seize this opportunity to contact the Ministry of Justice and make a payment arrangement if they wish to hold on to their licence.”

The Ministry of Justice, which will hand out the new sanction, will start by giving people with large amounts owing 14 days’ notice to either pay up or set up a payment plan.  They’ll get one more reminder, and if they’re not compliant a bailiff will be sent to seize their driver licence.

Their licences will remain suspended until the fine is paid in full, or payment arrangements are in place.  And if they’re caught driving while their licence is suspended they could be prosecuted, and have the vehicle they were driving seized for 28 days.

“Of course the aim here isn’t to suspend lots of driver licences,” Mr Borrows says.

“The aim is to get people who’ve been ignoring the authority of law to take things seriously, and to pay their traffic-related fines.

“We’ve made big inroads in recent years in getting people to pay fines – thanks to sanctions such as the powers to seize property, stop people from travelling overseas, stop people making purchases on credit, and directly deducting money from wages. 

“Those measures have seen the total level of unpaid fines and reparation fall by nearly a quarter of a billion dollars since 2009.  But that still leaves $554.4 million in unpaid fines – the vast majority of offenders (96%) owing money for vehicle-related offences.  In that context, the ability to bar people from driving is a powerful new tool to enforce penalties, because driving matters to most people with fines.”

A new television, radio and online advertising campaign will launch on Sunday 2 February, letting people know about DLSOs and other enforcement powers, and encouraging those with unpaid traffic fines or reparation to arrange payment.


What’s news?

02/12/2013

Cameron Slater who runs Whaleoil has been ordered by a judge to reveal his sources because his blog “isn’t a news medium”.

But media law expert says he has a good case to appeal.

. . . Media lawyer Steven Price says he appears to have a good case because the act defines a news medium as one that disseminates news, which he says Whale Oil does.

And he said, a recent Law Commission report talks about bloggers being important to free speech.

A paper on media law at university while studying journalism more than three decades ago doesn’t make me a media law expert.

But I went to the dictionary and found the definition of news:newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent events.

Whale Oil breaks a lot of stories which appears to fit that definition.

 


Wrongeds’ rights should trump wrong doer’s

07/09/2013

Protecting victims and keeping their identities secret is often used as the reason for suppressing the names of criminals.

But what happens if the victims don’t want the name suppressed, even if it means disclosing who they are?

Two Christchurch women who were sexually abused as children will next week go to court and fight to have their name suppression lifted.

The sisters believe their abuser is using suppression orders to protect himself.

Nearly two decades after he was convicted and four decades after the abuse the women – now grandmothers at 48 and 52 – are going back to court to try and have their own name suppression lifted in the hope it’ll help expose him.

They believe he’s using the suppression to protect himself and want to warn parents.

“I could basically be arrested if I was to speak my name out, that’s how dumb it is,” one of the women says.

Both were shocked when news broke he was taking the Sensible Sentencing Trust to court for naming and shaming him on its offender website.

The director of human rights proceedings is now taking action in the Human Rights Review Tribunal on the man’s behalf, funded by the taxpayer, for the alleged privacy breach. . .

I don’t know what the law says but if it doesn’t allow the victims to be identified when they want to be, it should be changed.

Suppression in this case appears to be adding insult to the injury they received.

They are the wronged not the wrong-doers and if there is a conflict between their rights and those of the offender, theirs should trump his.


Pork Industry stops raw imports

13/06/2013

The Pork Industry Board has managed to get biosecurity clearance for raw pork revoked until the appeal in the Supreme Court is determined:

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW ZEALAND
SC 36/2013
[2013] NZSC 58

BETWEEN THE NEW ZEALAND PORK INDUSTRY BOARD
Appellant
AND THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF THE MINISTRY FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRIES
First Respondent
AND THE CHIEF TECHNICAL OFFICER AND BIOSECURITY NEW ZEALAND
Second Respondents

[…]

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT

The order made on 31 May 2013 is revoked and in its place there is an order as follows:

The Ministry for Primary Industries, and any inspector acting on its behalf, is restrained from granting biosecurity clearances under ss 26–28 of the Biosecurity Act 1993 for any consumer ready cuts of raw pork product that may now be imported as a result of the Director-General’s decision to issue the following new import health standards:

• Import Health Standard for Pig Meat and Pig Meat Products for Human Consumption from the European Union, MEAPORIC.EU dated 18 March 2011 (with the exception of products from Sweden and Finland).

• Import Health Standard for Pig Meat and Pig Meat Products for Human Consumption from the Sonora State of Mexico, MEAPORIC.MEX dated 18 March 2011.
• Import Health Standard for Pig Meat and Pig Meat Products for Human Consumption from Canada and/or the United States of America, MEAPORIC.NAM dated 18 March 2011.

This order remains in force pending determination of the present appeal or further order of the Court.

The board has been fighting the imports on the grounds that the risk of importing disease which could threaten locally raised pigs is too great.


“Australian” not racist slur – court

13/03/2013

An English court has found it’s not racist to call a Kiwi Australian.

Petra Mills, 31, was witnessed by police officers calling her neighbour Chelsea O’Reilly – a British/New Zealand national – a ‘stupid fat Australian’ during a drunken tirade at her former home in Macclesfield.

Macclesfield magistrates found her guilty of racially aggravated public disorder and assaulting a police officer in November last year.

Ms O’Reilly claimed that Czech-born Ms Mills had used the term ‘Australian’ offensively as she knew she was from neighbouring New Zealand.

But Chester Crown Court overturned the public disorder charge after ruling the use of the word ‘Australian’ could not be considered racist.. . .

I understand why Australian couldn’t be considered racist, but why was the injured party more concerned about the slur on her nationality than her intelligence and appearance?


No remorse

08/02/2013

Lucy Lawless has declared her sentence for boarding a drilling ship a total victory.

She shows no remorse.

Perhaps the $650 fine and 120 hours community service, which is a pretty light sentence, just reinforces her apparent conviction that doing wrong is justified if you think you’re Regard regardless of the risks and costs to others.


Water wrongs

23/10/2012

At 10 this morning the High Court will hear the Maori Council’s pleas for an injunction against the government’s plans to sell a minority share in Mighty River Power.

Is  this motivated by:

A) a principled belief that Maori own water.

B) politics.

C) the hope of more money for Maori.

D) the certainty of more money for lawyers.

E) ?


Shanghai Pengxin has nous to run farms – court

08/08/2012

The Court of Appeal is satisfied that Shanghai Pengxin has the nous to run what were the Crafar farms.

The Court of Appeal has turned down a bid by merchant banker Michael Fay and two Maori trusts to stop the sale of 16 Central North Island farms, saying it was satisfied with the general business acumen and experience of the Chinese buyer.

Judges Mark O’Regan, Terence Arnold and Douglas White dismissed the judicial review, saying Jiang Zhaobai’s ability to bring himself from humble beginnings to become “a person of some stature in the Chinese commercial world,” would satisfy the minister making the decision in approving the sale of the Crafar family farms.

“The information provided to the ministers was sufficient to enable them to determine that he and the other controlling individuals had generic business skills and acumen relevant to the Crafar farms investment,” Judge Arnold said in delivering the judgment.

“We see nothing in the language, taken in context, to indicate that Parliament had in mind that an investor must have any particular combination of the requisite skills and experience,” the judgment said.

Agri-business experience was only one factor which needed to be taken into consideration.

 “While apparently important, it did not lead to a conclusion that was insupportable or unreasonable in the absence of that experience.”

The judges said even if the ministers erred in accepting Pengxin’s agribusiness investments, “it is unlikely that we would have exercised our discretion to grant a remedy.”

That’s because the ministers decided the foreign investment would have a substantial benefit to New Zealand, the deal hasn’t been settled and creditors are still waiting on repayments, and that the farms are being operated by the receiver in a manner than presumably “involves minimal further investment.”

Those who oppose the purchase forget about the creditors who are owed millions of dollars. The higher the purchase price, the more the creditors will recover.

I don’t think the state should be farming but Landcorp farms are generally well managed. Their experience and Shanghai Pengxin’s money should be good for the farms and the stringent conditions imposed by the Overseas Investment Office will result in benefits for the country too.


%d bloggers like this: