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Covert surveillance should not be allowed retrospectively

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, September 27th, 2011 - 55 comments
Categories: law, national, police, same old national - Tags: , , ,

mickysavage at Waitakere News blog*  has an analysis of the legal and unconstitutional implications of the Nationals dubious plan to override the courts with poor kneejerk legislation.

The urgent legislation the Government is rolling out in response to the Supreme Court decision in Hamed is looking like a well-choreographed dance.  Two months before the election the Government is planning to ram through legislation that is constitutionally abhorrent and trying to put Labour in a position where it has no choice but to oppose.  Labour is intending to put up an alternative bill.  But I am sure that it will not succeed and I am reasonably certain that the Government will ensure that its bill has retrospective effect no matter what the damage to our constitution.

There are all sorts of constitutional principles at play here.  Courts determine the law, and if Parliament does not agree with a Court’s interpretation of the law then it has the option to change the law through legislation.  By convention however it does not change the law with retrospective effect.  Citizens need to have the benefit of certainty of the law.  Changes should be gradual and subject to intense scrutiny with the ability of citizens to comment.  And once a citizen is charged it is almost unheard of for Parliament to change the rules.  By doing so it may effectively be legislating to send citizens to jail without the benefit of the rule of law applying and in constitutional terms this is the sort of thing you would expect from modern day Fiji or Zimbabwe, not New Zealand.

It is accepted that where well-settled law is found to be defective or there is a mistake then retrospective legislation may be appropriate. This is why the Government has consistently said that its bill is just to “preserve the common law prior to the Supreme Court decision”.  If this is not the case then retrospective legislation cannot be justified.

So what was the common law before the Supreme Court decision?  A distinction needs to be made between “over the fence” surveillance where the filming occurs from a place where there is authority for the camera to be, for instance in a public place or from property where the owner or occupier has given specific permission, and filming where a trespass has to occur for the camera to be put in place.

There are three decisions, Gardiner (CA239/97), Fraser (CA19/97) and the Court of Appeal’s consideration of Hamed itself. Gardiner and Fraser both involved filming from a place where a trespass did not occur. In each case the Court took the view that unless police actions in undertaking video surveillance are prohibited by statute or otherwise constitute an actionable wrong such as trespass, they are lawful at common law. Gardiner and Fraser involved filming that was considered not to be too intrusive and in both cases the evidence obtained was admitted.

The Court of Appeal when considering Hamed thought that the filming was authorised by the search warrants that were issued and that there was no difficulty in allowing the evidence to be produced.  This was overruled by all of the members of the Supreme Court on appeal.

So none of the cases relied on ruled that evidence obtained through covert surveillance that involved a trespass was admissible.  In two cases no trespass occurred, in the third it was thought the search warrant provided authority for the filming.

When you add the recommendations of the Law Commission in 2007and the fact that the Search and Surveillance Bill introduced two years ago was to address the problems identified in the Commission’s report you really have to question the contention that the law was settled.

The Supreme Court commented on this and formed a totally different view.

Chief Justice Elias said “I regard it as a significantly exacerbating factor that the film surveillance was undertaken deliberately without legal authority, in the knowledge that there was no lawful investigatory technique available to be used.”  Further, “[i]n circumstances where the police officer in charge of the inquiry knew that there was no authority to be obtained for such filmed surveillance, the deliberate unlawfulness of the police conduct in the covert filming, maintained over many entries and over a period of some 10 months, is destructive of an effective and credible system of justice.”

Justice Blanchard more charitably said “[e]ven taking the view most favourable to them, the police seem to have been prepared over and over to run the risk of acting in breach of the law. They did not obtain legal advice and should have done so.”  He further said, “… The police understood that the warrants did not authorise the video surveillance and that their conduct in relation to the video surveillance might well be legally questionable. Winkelmann J [in the High Court] made a finding that the police continued to use surveillance cameras with the knowledge, at a senior level at least, that they had no lawful authority to do so.”

So we seem to be heading to a constitutional crisis where the Government is prepared to advance an argument that the Supreme Court has ruled against to justify action that in constitutional terms is appalling.   The Government’s justification, that the law was settled, was not accepted by the Supreme Court.  If this legislation is passed we are in for an interesting time.

* lprent: No it is not true mickey spends all of his blogging time here – he has his own site. And yes we know he was a candidate to be a Labour candidate. So those are off the discussion table in this post because I do tend to find such predictable attempts at diversion. Getting into the governments preemptive lawmaking, I hereby announce that people trying such simple diversions then will be presumed to have read this notice cunningly placed at the bottom of the post in small letters to catch people speeding past the post content without reading it. I wish to introduce them to the pleasures of a wee ban for utterly predictable stupidity. It doesn’t quite get to the level of spending four years in court because of an unlawful act by the police. But it does have the same style of arbitary unfairness

55 comments on “Covert surveillance should not be allowed retrospectively”

  1. queenstfarmer 1

    Boo hoo. There is nothing constitutionally repugnant about remedying a newly-promulgated technicality to allow video evidence of serious crime to be put before a Court.

    What is consitutionally repugnant was Labour retrospectively legalising its own unlawful activities a few years ago, which included the oh-so-convenient effect of halting a court case taken against its leader.

    Anyway it’s all a bit academic – the voters will I’m sure have their views.

    • Blighty 1.1

      “a newly-promulgated technicality”

      The court didn’t change the law. What the Police were doing was always illegal and they’ve known it since at least 2007.

      • ianmac 1.1.1

        Interesting that Findlayson was annoyed that Red Alert had published the proposed Bill last week. In spite of the Select Committee sitting from 9am Wednesday he is very reluctant to release the new draft before then, – incase it is released for public scrutiny. What!

      • queenstfarmer 1.1.2

        The court didn’t change the law

        I know, and it shouldn’t. As I said, it promulgated (or enunciated) the law. It hadn’t ruled on exactly this issue before.

        What the Police were doing was always illegal and they’ve known it since at least 2007

        That’s one view. The majority view (and that stated by the police) was that they knew there was no express authorisation, but just because there isn’t a law authorising something doesn’t of itself make it illegal.

    • Bored 1.2

      QSFarmer…what the fuck is the point of having a law if the government can change it retrospectively? It is sort of “we agree that what you were doing yesterday was legal BUT for some daft reason we have decided to make it illegal yesterday. Therefore you are now a criminal….”

      Howzabout I get elected and decide that the tax rates should have been much higher during Nacts reign, therefore i am going to retrospectively change them and charge you excessive back taxes? How would you like that?

      • queenstfarmer 1.2.1

        Ah, but the Govt isn’t making something legal, illegal. If anything it is the opposite. All the law will do is allow existing video evidence of serious crimes to be put before a court (something which Labour actually does supports).

        • Lanthanide 1.2.1.1

          “All the law will do is allow existing video evidence of serious crimes to be put before a court (something which Labour actually does supports).”

          They can already do that anyway. The court gets to choose on a case by case basis whether to permit such evidence.

          • queenstfarmer 1.2.1.1.1

            Yes I suppose the Court has a discretion, but I wouldn’t think it can disregard relevant evidence without good reason.

            If the video evidence was obtained illegally, that would be good reason to disregard it. However, if the law says it wasn’t obtained illegally, and there is no other legal reason for disregarding it, then it would be allowed (though in a jury-trial criminal matter, how much weight it is given, if any, is the jury’s call).

            • Joanne 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Simple really, if the evidence was obtained illegally then it should be deemed innadmisssable. Further, the police have been engaged in illegal activity for years, so what do we do? Instead of investigating the illegal activities of the police, we change the law to make those activities and many more intrusive ones legal. No wonder at all that respect for the law and police is at an all time low and falling. The police deserve to be investigated and charged over breaking the law, not have their illegal activities legalized. what a crock of shit this government are.

              • queenstfarmer

                So you want the police charged? But they haven’t committed any crime. Just because their videotaping of actual (alleged) criminal activity was unlawful, doesn’t mean it’s a crime.

                If you are genuinely interested in prosecuting crime, a good start would be to put the video tape evidence before juries.

                • Bored

                  They may have committed other crimes in the process such as trespassing. Get it right.

                  • queenstfarmer

                    Trespass isn’t a crime (unless you refuse to leave when asked, or breach a trespass notice, etc). Get it right.

                    • Bored

                      From the NZ Police website…..
                      # Trespassing is entering someone’s private property or place of work without permission.
                      # Trespassing is a crime.
                      Get it right…

                    • queenstfarmer

                      ^ I am right, you are wrong – as usual. Seems to be a habit of yours.

                      Being found on property with intent to commit an offence is a crime. Simple trespass after the fact (see the “unless” in my previous comment), which you suggest as a “crime” the police might have committed, is not a crime.

                      How about instead of quoting the police website, you quote the relevant law. If you want me to prove you further wrong, let me know and I will quote it for you.

                    • Qsf you should know better.  You do not have to commit a crime to act unlawfully …

                    • queenstfarmer

                      ^ micky, I don’t believe I said anything to the contrary, and I agree. Actually that’s the point I was making in response to Susan’s, and the Bored’s, suggestions that the police’s unlawful videotaping was a crime.

                      Unlawful, yes (unless retrospectively fixed up). Criminal, no.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Well they may not have committed anything covered by the crimes act, but there are possibly trespass issues, and, far more likely, Privacy Act and BORA issues. These need to be investigated. The supreme court found that the police were either deliberately or reclessly using unlawful techniques. That is not acceptable, surely?

                  Dean Knight asks relevant questions here:

                  http://www.laws179.co.nz/2011/09/covert-surveillance-some-more-musings.html

                  Updating his first question, the Attorney General has not issued any BORA Section 7 reports with this bill. That is, he does not think that retrospectively making unlawful surveillance lawful, and overturning a Supreme Court ruling finding such, is in any way inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act. So it’s good to know what he thinks about about citizens having recourse to the courts when dealing with the states actions I suppose.

                  If you are genuinely interested in prosecuting crime, a good start would be to put the video tape evidence before juries.

                  Genuine question: Do you think it would be OK for the police to just go around getting evidence any old how, without regard to the law, and prosecuting law breaches that they discover?

                  • queenstfarmer

                    Privacy Act and BORA issues

                    Yes they could get a ticking off for something done there. I expect they would take it on a chin – it wouldn’t affect their evidence.

                    Genuine question: Do you think it would be OK for the police to just go around getting evidence any old how, without regard to the law, and prosecuting law breaches that they discover?

                    No, not at all. It is clear this is a “one off” – the issues with the law have been known, and a new law (which is likely to be widely supported) coming in soon will allow this surveillance anyway. So it would be silly, IMHO, to scrap evidence of what the police say is serious offending (and I don’t think they would make that up, because the evidence will become public if it goes to trial), and then wait for the same criminal activity to be carried out again (with people possibly even being killed etc) just because of what is really a timing issue.

                    • Qsf

                      the issues with the law have been known

                      This is the point.  The Government is pretending that the issues are not known and the Supreme Court decision is a surprise.  Therefore they can make the legislation retrospective. 

                      If the issues have been known (I agree with you) then there is no way that the legislation should apply to current trials.

                      So they could put up a patch up bill for future trials but they want it to apply to past events.

                      Can’t you see the problem? 

                    • McFlock

                      If it’s a “one off”, then it wouldn’t affect any other case and the retrospective legislation would not be required.
                       
                      Don’t get me wrong, I am impressed by your attempt to minimise routine illegal evidence gathering by the police, but that does seem to be a flaw in your argument.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      The issues with the law have been known, as you say, and yet the unlawful surveillance has continued. 40-50 cases the PM says.

                      That’s a lot of, (to be charitable about it) “reckless” behavior on the part of the police. So it’s hard to call it ‘one off’. It’s a sustained pattern of either reckless or deliberate law breaking on the part of the police.

                      What the govt’s bill does is remove the barrier to this law breaking continuing. That’s the ‘fix’. Just let them go on acting unlawfully, giving no recourse to citizens, and if the police turn up anything then just let them use it. It gives the police the ability to go on fishing expeditions for the next year or until the new surveillance bill gets passed.

                      You keep talking about ‘serious crimes’. That’s already covered. Nobody will get away with serious crimes because of the SC’s ruling. That’s just dishonest scare-mongering and it would do you well to stop repeating it at this point. The worst that could happen is that evidence for minor crimes will be lost, (which may or may not lead to the charges being dropped) and there might be claims for compensation arising from the Police’s unlawful actions.

                      On an earlier point:

                      The majority view (and that stated by the police) was that they knew there was no express authorisation, but just because there isn’t a law authorising something doesn’t of itself make it illegal.

                      Dean Knight, again, demolished this argument a few days ago. Basically that only applies if you have a common law right to be doing the thing in question. So if it was filming from the street, they might be ok. But they weren’t. The filming involved trespass, and the state needs explicit authorisation to do that.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      The mentioned Dean Knight demolition of your talking point can be found here:

                      http://www.laws179.co.nz/2011/09/covert-surveillance-if-it-aint-unlawful.html#more

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      And I note with some amusement the regard you seem to hold the privacy act and BORA in.

                      Minor breaches of the crimes act? OMG pull out all the stops.

                      Acts protecting citizens from the state? Meh.

                      It starts with A, ends with n, and has horitar in the middle.

                    • queenstfarmer

                      ^ IRT all the above. I don’t think Mr Knight’s analysis “destroys” mine – it’s just a different opinion – and as I have already noted, at the end of the day it (the solution) isn’t really an academic exercise with a right or wrong answer (the debate is quite academic though), it’s a simple question of what is parliament going to pass – it’s realpolitik.

                      Because we don’t have a “super constitution” that puts any real limits on parliament here, they can do what they want. The academics can at least take comfort that they will have another half-hour’s worth of lecture material to talk about in future years.

                      Now, I actually think we should have an entrenched constitution (if we can put one together without setting of civil war!) that would limit Govt power and stop this kind of thing. Last time I ventured to suggest such things, it was attacked as a diabolical right-wing power grab, so I don’t know if there is any sort of consensus around this.

                      So yes, it is messy and no, in an ideal world we wouldn’t need messy retrospective legislation for anything, but the fact is currently we can do, it’s simple and clearly a “one off” (as the law is about to permanently enable it anyway), it is limited in scope (the evidence already collected), it doesn’t retrospectively make anything unlawful, and there is a clear benefit (prosecuting crims caught on tape).

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Completely unresponsive to any of the points raised. Colour me ‘unsurprised’ I guess.

        • Bored 1.2.1.2

          Entirely the opposite: what the law attempts to do is make illegal surveyance legal by backdating, thereby making evidence admissable. Dont dress it up.

        • Bored 1.2.1.3

          Dont confuse what is being attempted here with the process QSF, nor the principle. Ends do not justify means.

    • burt 1.3

      queenstfarmer

      Boo hoo. There is nothing constitutionally repugnant about remedying a newly-promulgated technicality to allow video evidence of serious crime to be put before a Court.

      And as you note, Labour did it for their own best interests. But… none of that is really the current point. Mickysavage has put together a compelling case with sufficient integrity to say – YES!, mickysavage is right. It’s constitutionally repugnant and it’s National doing it !

      So for sure it’s hilarious to see a hardened defender of the party line run a valid issue up the flag pole when you know they defended their own party sweeping it under the rug just a few years back.

      But, even knowing mickysavage thinks its OK when Labour do it, I still agree with him its abhorrent when National do it.

      [note to self: blogs where I can write “retrospective” in my comments is likely to increase]

      [lprent: You are welcome to use it here. Others are also welcome to (ummm) mock it. ]

      • mickysavage 1.3.1

        I can advance all sorts of arguments Burt but I know that I will not persuade you.  So tell me, how do you feel about National doing it, and in the criminal law area where outcomes may be affected part way through a trial?

        • burt 1.3.1.1

          Micky,

          The key difference that I see (without this legislation having even been introduced into the house yet) is that National are not going to kill a standing court case against John Key and is not validating “anything” National did to win an election.

          Other than that, it seems way wrong especially given there has been a warning about continuing with status quo practice.

      • mickysavage 1.3.2

        Burt

        Further to my previous comment you might want to read the analysis by Law Professor Dean Knight.  Feel free to argue with his analysis.  For me all I could do is offer hopelessly partisan arguments. 

        • burt 1.3.2.1

          I do wonder if Dean Knight was across the detail that Labour had been warned by the Chief Electoral Officer (David Henry) that the pledge card spending would be considered electioneering prior to lodging it for approval under the old “It’s how we have always done it” chestnut.

  2. seeker 2

    lprent, brilliant idea to simulate the “same style of arbitrary unfairness” used by the police :

    ” deliberate unlawfulness of the police conduct in the covert filming, maintained over many entries and over a period of some 10 months, is destructive of an effective and credible system of justice.”

    It also simulates the often arbitrary style of government that John Key (and his buddies?) indulge in e.g.Tuhoe announcement, Ecan, Supercity, Paula Bennett ignoring the privacy laws for her own ends and her actions still being pronounced “honourable” by our esteemed prime minister and now possibly unjust retrospective legislation.

    Simulation can be a very powerful educational tool.

    Let’s hope any RWNJ’s who fall foul of this learn something from their small experience, of the danger and suffering they and the people of this country can and, often do, encounter from the actions of an ignorant,unjust,self serving government.

  3. ianmac 3

    Red Alert from Charles just now Tuesday about 4ish.
    Chris Finlayson has changed his Urewera fix it bill, but he won’t say when he will make it publicly available. He didn’t seek leave to table it in the House today, despite the fact that people are expected to speak to it in select committee in less than 20 hours time. Great to see his commitment to democracy on show.
    http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2011/09/27/surveillance-bill-update-v/

  4. insider 4

    This is hardly a constitutional crisis. The future of a govt doesn’t depend on it, nor is it making illegal that which was legal, so there is no issue re citizens having certainty of the law. Citizens engaged in illegal conspiracies are still doing so illegally; it’s just the chance of them being prosecuted that will change (or not dependign on your view).

    Five different SC judges had five different interpretations of the law even if they came to similar conclusions in some areas, which shows how complex the issues were. to contrast the views of Elias, McGrath said : “In the absence of specific legislation, the officer responsible for management of the investigation said it was decided that this was the best and most reasonable way to proceed. That was understandable given that there was no judicial decision that clearly indicated when video surveillance would be unlawful. In R v Gardiner the Court of Appeal pointed out that ―[t]here is no mechanism in the law requiring or enabling the authorisation of video surveillance. The law’s requirements have been clarified only by this Court’s judgment.”

    • But Insider do you agree with the changes being retrospective?

      Generally this should only happen to repair a legislative hole or to return the law to what was thought to be a settled position after a decision that holds otherwise. Otherwise legislation should not be retrospective.

      The “crisis” that I see is that the Attorney General is advancing as a ground for the retrospective change in law that which the Supreme Court Justices have expressly ruled against. Elias said the Police knew they did not have legal authority, Blanchard said they continuously ran a risk and that they did not take legal advice, McGrath obviously thought the power’s existence was uncertain and only resolved by the Court’s decision. It is very clear that the Judges disagree with the Attorney General. They do not agree that there is justification for exercising extraordinary powers to change the law retrospectively.

      The relationship between the Court and Parliament will not be the same if this bill is passed retrospectively. You can bet there will be an appeal to test the legislation presuming it is passed in the proposed form and how is the Court then going to handle this?

      • insider 4.1.1

        I have no problem with retrospectivity but understand why some do. To me it is retaining what was considered an acceptable form of surveillance until the SC decision, and rectifying a hole in legislation. I don’t think the impact is oppressive or unduly deprives people of rights – did many in the public really think that this was not lawful or that the police should not have access to such techniques? So while it may outrage some lawyers and academics and activists, I suspect the wider public would shrug their shoulders and say it was ridiculous the police couldn’t do it in the first place.

        And to say the relationship between the Court and Parliament will not be the same is I think hyperbole – the courts and Parliament have been undermining each other for centuries.

      • queenstfarmer 4.1.2

        You can bet there will be an appeal to test the legislation … how is the Court then going to handle this?

        Very simply – the Court applies the law Parliament writes. There is really no more complex analysis needed than that – we currently have no “super constitution” that can strike down non-compliant laws (personally I think we should, though last time I started suggesting this, people here started attacking the idea as some type of diabolical RWNJ plot!).

        If the amending law is badly written (unlikely but possible, given that it is a temporary fix only) then there may be a loophole for a defence-friendly judge to wriggle through. But otherwise the Court simply applies the law.

      • Anne 4.1.3

        @ mickysavage.
        Did you watch Rodney Hide in the House this evening? His speech was superb. What an enigma of a man. Perhaps now he is leaving parliament, he feels free to say what he really believes.

        This issue is taking on the aura of a significant election issue.

        • mickysavage 4.1.3.1

          @Anne.  I heard him and it was the first speech he has given that I agreed with every word!  Will hopefully be on inthehouse soon.

        • mickysavage 4.1.3.2

          And here it is.

          Go Rodney!!  Great, great speech … 

          Best bit, “if we are to have law and order then the Police have to operate within the law”.

          • ianmac 4.1.3.2.1

            Yes. Bloody good speech. Covered the concerns of many. Be interesting to see if Act vote in favour of the Bill.

            • ianmac 4.1.3.2.1.1

              Come to think of it, National may have a problem. Since none of the sitting Act members will be there after the Election the MPs might have an option to stand/vote on Principle, without Key having any bribing chips or threats about their vote. “After the Election…….etc”

  5. Doesn’t National believe that NZ Police should follow the ‘Rule of Law’?

    New Zealand, as a ‘State Party’ signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, which states, in the preamble:

    “Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.”

    http://www.answers.com/topic/universal-declaration-of-human-rights

    What is the ‘Rule of Law’?

    “Rule according to law; rule under law; or rule according to a higher law.
    The rule of law is an ambiguous term that can mean different things in different contexts. In one context the term means rule according to law.

    No individual can be ordered by the government to pay civil damages or suffer criminal punishment except in strict accordance with well-established and clearly defined laws and procedures.

    In a second context the term means rule under law.

    No branch of government is above the law, and no public official may act arbitrarily or unilaterally outside the law.

    In a third context the term means rule according to a higher law.

    No written law may be enforced by the government unless it conforms with certain unwritten, universal principles of fairness, morality, and justice that transcend human legal systems.”

    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Rule+of+Law,+the

    If there is one group of people who citizens should expect to follow the ‘RULE OF LAW’ – then surely that is the Police?

    It is NOT ok in a supposedly ‘free and democratic’ society – for NZ Police to act unlawfully – then get the Government to pass retrospective legislation to effectively legitimise their unlawful behaviour.

    If the Police evidence was unlawfully obtained then it should not be allowed to be used.

    If ‘ignorance of the law is no excuse’ – then surely that must equally apply to Police?

    “In handing down the Supreme Court decision, the Chief Justice said that the police actions were “destructive of an effective and credible system of justice “. A hasty law change that hands a blank cheque to the police is not the way to repair the damage done.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10754138

    Remember this fundamental principle of natural justice in this country?

    The presumption of innocence until PROVEN guilty?

    At the time that the Urewera 18 were being (unlawfully) surveilled, they had not been charged – let alone convicted of any crime.

    Being arrested and charged with an offence – does not make a person guilty.

    Remember, 12 people were arrested during the 15 October 2007 raids under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

    Were they proven to be ‘terrorists’?

    No.

    After nearly four years, all charges have been dropped against 13 of the ‘Operation 8′ defendants.

    ( I have been arrested 22 times in attempting to defend and uphold the public’s right to ‘open, transparent and democratically accountable’ local government.

    Only one arrest out of 22 led to a conviction – for trespass at arguably the most public of all public buildings – the Auckland Town Hall at a time it was open to the public.

    This is now the subject of a complaint to the United Nations Human Rights Committee – having exhausted all legal channels in New Zealand).

    People cannot be classified as ‘bad guys’ who have acted unlawfully, until their alleged ‘bad guy’ unlawful actions are actually PROVEN in Court.

    If the Police are going to act unlawfully in trying to get a conviction – then what is the difference between them and the alleged ‘bad guys’?

    What sort of example is this to citizens of New Zealand?

    The Police act unlawfully, and the Supreme Court rules that they have acted unlawfully – then this National Government intervenes and tries to retrospectively legitimise their unlawful behaviour?

    How can the public have confidence in the NZ Police, Judges or the current NZ Government – if the ‘Rule of Law’ is not upheld and unlawful ‘bad behaviour’ is not only excused but retrospectively legitimised?

    If the law is seen to be inadequate, then surely the answer must be to go through proper lawful ‘due process’ in order to get the law changed – after a full consultation / select committee process.
    The voting public will soon see which political parties do in fact support the ‘Rule of Law’ by the upcoming votes on the Video Camera Surveillance (Temporary Measures) Bill.

    Penny Bright. Independent ‘Public Watchdog’ candidate for Epsom.

  6. Bored 6

    As a matter of the record I dont agree with making life easy for the cops or anybody just to help catch “criminals”. The state should have to have the onus on them to prove guilt and do so within the law. Then there is the bullshit one we hear about “if they were not doing something wrong they would have nothing to fear”…bollocks.

    On that note I am also highly offended that the state reserves the right to x-ray me and examine my belongings every time I fly…so far in 10 years of doing so we have not arrested or prevented one single Al Quaeda terror attack on domestic travel. Its an intrusion upon our rights as citizens, we are being surveyed to keep us passive, the state nibbles away at our freedoms in the name of protecting us. We need to tell them to feck off.

    • insider 6.1

      It could have deterred/prevented an attack – ‘We’ve had none therefore they’ve been deterred’

      • terryg 6.1.1

        not only that, its been 100% effective at preventing both Tiger and Vampire attacks. Nary a one since 9/11!

  7. When will the government learn that they are not judge and jury and that the Supreme Court are independent of the police and the government and that the Supreme Court is the highest court in NZ.

    Had the government legislated for the police to use video surveillance the Supreme Court would not have made the LEGAL decision that they made. Being behind the eight ball is incompetence at the very least.

    The police have stopped using video surveillance since the Supreme Court decision.

    Any outstanding cases need to be reviewed through the Supreme Court for a decision to be made on whether or not the video footage is allowed. When the police arrest someone they then make a decision to charge a person with an offence or not to charge them. No doubt the following applies:
    Has an offence been committed?
    Do the police have enough evidence to charge?

    The cops cannot just put a camera on private property and wait for a crime to occur.

    Policing no doubt has its frustrations e.g a hunch that a person is a rapist, murderer, but without legally obtained evidence there is NO case.

    When evidence is obtained unlawfully this is the making of a police state.

  8. Muzza 8

    @Insider. Absolute BS! You have no idea what you are talking about! People who are happy to handover my rights, freedoms, whatever you like to call them because you are a scared little , happy to be lied to sheep is disgusting.
    Im certain should this retrospective law come into effect we will see the same sort of attempt to bastardize the legal framework become the norm. This is dangerous territory, and if you can’t see that then ignorant is not strong enough a word.

    • insider 8.1

      You seem ignorant of the fact that This is nOt the first time we’ve had retrospective law enacted. Given that, it’s hard to understand the outraged statements that this is the end of our democracy as we know it. We had two in the last parliament alone, one of which had remarkably similar justifications and may have legalized soemthing that turned an election -been doing it that way for years, returning the law to what everyone thought it was, a procedural issue – the other directly affected the composition of parliament and involved a minister of the crown. Democracy didn’t end and I don’t think they have encouraged more retrospective laws. I don’t see this law as having the theoretical let alone actual effect you do, especially in light of the courts accepting such unlawful evidence and it never being considered a similar constitutional outrage.

    • insider 8.2

      Ps a really interesting article on retrspective/retroactive laws. makes the point that judges make retroactive laws all the time when they overturn accepted precedent.

      http://www.vuw.ac.nz/staff/dean_knight/Waldron.pdf

  9. Jim Nald 9

    Chris Finlayson. The Attorney General. The country’s top law officer. Bloody disgrace. Shame on you.

    Legal education was wasted on you.
    The university that awarded your law degree should retract the degree with immediate effect.
    The court that admitted you as a barrister and solicitor should retract the admission.

  10. For anyone wanting to make submissions the Bill is here.
     
    The contact details for the committee are
    Edward Siebert (Committee Clerk)
    edward.siebert@parliament.govt.nz
    DDI +64 4 817 9032
    Fax +64 4 499 0486

    You can ask how – if at all – the committee intends to receive public submissions. The majority on the committee may refuse to receive them but Charles Chauvel will argue that they should do so.
     
    Clare Curran has offered to try and table them.  Her email is clare.curran@parliament.govt.nz 
     
    I am certain that the Greens Graham Kennedy will also do his best.  He can be contacted at graham.kennedy@parliament.govt.nz

    EDIT: Thanks to an I/S tweet the Parliamentary website has just published details at http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/SC/MakeSub/5/0/e/49SCJE_SCF_00DBHOH_BILL11056_1-Video-Camera-Surveillance-Temporary.htm

  11. On this issue, it seems that the MSM are not too keen to cover anti-Bill protests. Hiowever, an acquaintance of mine sent me his pictorial report on yesterday’s events…

    http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/1-october/

    Only Radio NZ featured a smallish article on their website.

    Meanwhile, the Dompost ran a story of 400 sailors marching through Wellington. Dear Leader would be pleased.

  12. From Stopthebill;

    “Urgent Action Alert – Stop the Video Camera Surveillance Bill!

    It is only days now until Parliament votes on the law that would legalise covert video surveillance by Police, Fisheries, SIS and Customs. This bill must be stopped! It is the most serious assault on our fundamental freedom and rights in our lifetime.

    We are asking everyone to take two minutes to email members of Parliament and tell them to vote ‘NO’ on the bill. It is likely to be voted on this Thursday (October 6).

    At present, the National party does not have the numbers to pass the bill. It only has the support of United Future. It needs 3 more votes – so we want to make sure that neither the Labour Party nor the ACT party support this dangerous bill from becoming law. The Green, Maori and Mana parties do not support the bill at all.

    Please email any member of parliament you like. We would certainly encourage in particular emails to

    ACT party

    Rodney Hide – rodney.hide@parliament.govt.nz

    John Boscowan – john.boscowan@parliament.govt.nz

    Roger Douglas – roger.douglas@parliament.govt.nz

    Hilary Calvert – hilary.calvert@parliament.govt.nz

    Heather Roy – heather.roy@parliament.govt.nz

    LABOUR

    Phil Goff – phil.goff@parliament.govt.nz

    Annette King – annette.king@parliament.govt.nz

    David Parker – david.parker@parliament.govt.nz

    Charles Chauvel – charles.chauvel@parliament.govt.nz

    Grant Robertson – grant.robertson@parliament.govt.nz

    David Cunliffe – david.cunliffe@parliament.govt.nz

    Ruth Dyson – ruth.dyson@parliament.govt.nz

    Clayton Cosgrove – clayton.cosgrove@parliament.govt.nz

    Maryan Street – maryan.street@parliament.govt.nz

    Trevor Mallard – trevor.mallard@parliament.govt.nz

    The most important thing to say is ‘VOTE NO ON THE VIDEO SURVEILLANCE BILL’. Other things you can say are:

    -It is an assault on the rule of law as it retrospectively legalises illegal police actions

    -It is an assault on the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure

    -It is an assault on the right to privacy

    -You don’t want any expansion of the power of the state to surveil people

    -The police and government have been misleading the public by saying that the bill will ‘restore the common law position’ – the police have never had the power to do trespassory video surveillance. The police knowingly broke the law and should be prosecuted.

    -The ONLY submission received in support of this law was from Police. All other submissions – including the Law Society, Criminal Bar, civil society organisations and hundred of individuals all opposed this bill.”

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  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep 2.
    TDB Video: The Daily Blog Breakfast Club, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week Activist and blogger Jessie Hume and political commentator Keith Locke. This Week: Topic...
    The Daily Blog
  • When the teflon is stripped away…
    . . To re-cap something I wrote on 13 September, regarding a hard-hitting interview between “The Nation’s” Lisa Owen and John Key; For possibly the first time since Stephen Sackur interviewed Key on Hard Talk in May, 2011, this [...
    The Daily Blog
  • My Select Committee submission against the “terrorist fighters” bill
    This morning I gave this “oral submission” to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee opposing the Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill.  It is a pity only Greens are against the Bill. It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Pixies in the Garden? Making money
    In 2009, John Key said “there aren’t little pixies at the bottom of the garden printing cash” (John Armstrong, Colin Espiner). He was wrong of course. Just about every country has its own pixie-in-chief, though not at the bottom of the...
    The Daily Blog
  • AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE – Government must allow further scrut...
    As the New Zealand government seeks to rush new through new anti-terror legislation, Amnesty International is raising grave concerns over the speed at which the Bill is being rushed through Parliament and is calling for an extension to the consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • Tension inside the Blue Tent – questions that should be asked
    With Andrew Little on fire taking a straight shooting no crap approach to Key’s dead eyed duplicity, the tensions inside the Blue Tent of National are at risk of erupting again. When the TeamKey brand falters, National’s factions sharpen their knives....
    The Daily Blog
  • FiveAA Australia: Is NZ’s PM a Liar? + Kim Dotcom Says He’s Broke
    5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.In this week’s Across The Ditch bulletin on FiveAA.com.au Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss how allegations of dirty politics continue to dog the Prime Minister John Key’s third term in government. Also, internet tycoon...
    The Daily Blog
  • Cam’s ‘Slightly Left of Centre’ sock puppet threatens Key in public
    What did Judith Collins say about payback? Looks like Slater has taken that lesson to heart as he uses his sock puppet over at Slightly Left of Centre to drop threats and hints that he has recorded conversations with Key that has...
    The Daily Blog
  • Justice System Changes Must Ensure No More Roastings In Court
    On Monday there was good news for rape survivors and this blog was supposed to be about the success of our advocacy, and it is about that success, but today’s events have brought into stark focus the real-world importance of...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Electio...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Election...
    The Daily Blog
  • Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key
    So Cam texted Key before the report came out despite Key claiming no contact? Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key 5 – I still have all the photos 4 – Yes my shapeshifting Lizard Master Overlord 3 – Max isn’t talking to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Hold on – did NZ just have a coup?
    Ummmmm. Wait a minute here. Just so that we all understand what’s been revealed. The Prime Minister’s Office used the Secret Intelligence Service to falsify classified information to smear the Leader of the Opposition via a far right hate blogger...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • Q + A 30/11/14: Spying, Family Violence, Texts
    We'll debate why the State needs new powers to spy on Kiwis and the controversial laws that are being rushed through Parliament....
    Scoop politics
  • Arrival of Phillip Smith in New Zealand
    On arrival with his police escort at Auckland Airport tomorrow morning Phillip Smith will be met by other police staff and complete customs and immigration formalities....
    Scoop politics
  • UNICEF Calls on NZ Youth to Apply for Youth Ambassador Roles
    UNICEF NZ Calls on NZ Youth to Apply for Youth Ambassador Roles UNICEF NZ has once again launched its nationwide search for six new Youth Ambassadors and is calling on enthusiastic young people to apply before Friday, 12 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwifruit Claim Filed in High Court in Wellington
    The Kiwifruit Claim’s statement of claim has been filed in the High Court in Wellington this afternoon....
    Scoop politics
  • Judgment: John Banks Dotcom Donation Appeal
    A The application to adduce the evidence of Messrs Schaeffer and Karnes is granted. B The application to adduce evidence of Mr Dotcom’s driving conviction is declined. C The appeal is allowed. D The conviction is set aside and a...
    Scoop politics
  • Doctors support call for independent health assessment
    Senior doctors and dentists are formally throwing their weight behind growing calls for a formal independent health assessment of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). A recommendation about the TPPA was put to 134 public hospital specialists...
    Scoop politics
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau: Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 November 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday Saturday 29 November 2014 | The new Minister for Maori Development is taking a fresh look at the Te Reo...
    Scoop politics
  • Anti-speeding campaign based on phony science
    Ticketing ordinary motorists will have no effect on the groups who cause most road deaths, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics
  • Human Rights lawyers’ concerns over Terrorist Fighters Bill
    The Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill will dramatically erode human rights and civil liberties if passed in its current form, said the Human Rights Lawyer’s Association Aotearoa New Zealand (HRLA)....
    Scoop politics
  • Privacy Commissioner’s naming policy
    Following a period of public consultation, the Privacy Commissioner is implementing a new policy on naming agencies that are in breach of the Privacy Act. The change takes effect on 1 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Need for whole-of-government approach to family violence
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says The People’s Blueprint report by the Glenn Inquiry makes a strong case for a whole-of-government approach to combatting family violence, and highlights some of the ways we could do things better....
    Scoop politics
  • Stop Fracking in Our Big Blue Backyard – Frack Free Kapiti
    Evidence given at the EPA hearing of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) at sea blows the industry accepted line that fracking is not happening offshore in New Zealand right out of the water....
    Scoop politics
  • Solidarity with West Papua on 1 December
    Below are the details of the solidarity events in Aotearoa New Zealand to mark West Papua Independence Day, 1 December - there are four events this year: one in Christchurch, one in Wellington and two in Auckland. If you are...
    Scoop politics
  • No charges laid over piggeries investigations
    No charges laid over piggeries investigations 28 November 2014 The Ministry for Primary Industries did not have sufficient evidence to lay charges following two animal welfare investigations into incidents at piggeries earlier this year. The investigations...
    Scoop politics
  • Deep Sea Drilling in Rising Seas
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's report on the effects of rising sea levels and climate change adds another argument against this Government's expansion of fossil fuel exploration....
    Scoop politics
  • Slower population growth in the long term
    New Zealand's population will likely grow by 1.4–1.8 percent a year during 2014–16, but growth will be lower in the long term, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics
  • Big Buddy on the Glenn Inquiry People’s Blueprint
    November 28, 2014 The inclusion of robust screening as a tool to prevent child abuse, highlighted in the Glenn Inquiry’s People’s Blueprint, is welcomed by Big Buddy CEO Richard Aston. “It’s heartening to see this high-calibre report come out...
    Scoop politics
  • People’s Blueprint for tackling Family Violence
    The recently Dunedin Collaboration Against Family Violence (DCAFV) is pleased to support the fundamental changes in the way our legal system deals with family violence that the report calls for. We need to do more to support victims, and ensure...
    Scoop politics
  • People’s Blueprint – Both Good News and a Wake-Up Call
    The Patron of the Glenn Inquiry, Dame Catherine Tizard, says there is some good news in The People’s Blueprint, after the shocking picture painted six months ago in The People’s Report....
    Scoop politics
  • Glenn Inquiry Funder Keeps His Promise
    The founder and funder of the Glenn Inquiry, Sir Owen Glenn, said today he has kept the promise he made when he set up the independent inquiry in 2012. “I set up the Glenn Inquiry because it was clear to...
    Scoop politics
  • Support for Blue Print call for a stand-alone agency
    Human Rights Commissioner lead on family violence, Dr Jackie Blue welcomes the Glenn Inquiry, ‘The People’s Blue Print’, which places at its heart that being safe and free from violence is a fundamental human right....
    Scoop politics
  • People’s Blueprint Offers Solutions to Family Violence
    New Zealand has a fresh opportunity to reduce child abuse and family violence and save and restore lives under a powerful new model for combating the problem proposed by the Glenn Inquiry....
    Scoop politics
  • Submission: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    My three key areas of concern relate to: • The duration of visual surveillance warrants; • The controls around warrantless surveillance powers; • Clarifying the continuation of controls around access to Passenger Name Record (PNR) data under...
    Scoop politics
  • The case is clear for climate action that supports health
    The need for rapid action on climate change in New Zealand in order to protect health is clear, according to a group of climate and health experts. Countries elsewhere in the world are already taking significant action, while New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • EDUCANZ Debate Ignores Teachers
    The legislation for the creation of the new EDUCANZ to replace the former Teachers’ Council body is now undergoing its second reading. Without warning, it was promoted to the top the queue this week....
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip Smith en-route back to New Zealand.
    Police confirm that Phillip Smith has been deported from Brazil and is en-route back to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Scaremongering and Showing Contempt for Democracy
    The government has been accused of fabricating an increased risk to New Zealand security to justify new invasive powers in the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. And its decision to allow just 48 hours for public submissions on the Bill...
    Scoop politics
  • Legislation “a travesty of democratic process”
    Peace Movement Aotearoa today called on the government to put the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill on hold - pending a comprehensive review of existing legislation - in a written submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee,...
    Scoop politics
  • Bill needs amending to better protect human rights
    The Human Rights Commission submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee this afternoon on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill makes specific recommendations relating to passport denial; increasing safeguards around visual...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ’s gender equality issues in international forum
    New Zealand faces similar gender equality issues and opportunities to those of its neighbouring countries, according to the latest international conference on women’s empowerment....
    Scoop politics
  • Countering human trafficking is an ongoing challenge for NZ
    At first glance, it is difficult to believe that human trafficking is an offence that is taking place in New Zealand. It is a harsh reminder that the rule of law sometimes does not reach far enough....
    Scoop politics
  • Government must allow further scrutiny of bill
    As the New Zealand government seeks to rush new through new anti-terror legislation, Amnesty International is raising grave concerns over the speed at which the Bill is being rushed through Parliament and is calling for an extension to the consultation...
    Scoop politics
  • Calling on anti-violence activists to step up
    Māori Party co-leaders believe every individual, whānau, hapū and iwi can help stop the high level of family violence that exists in our country....
    Scoop politics
  • More effective social services inquiry update Nov 2014
    The Productivity Commission’s More effective social services inquiry aims to shed light on how commissioning and contracting influence the quality and effectiveness of social services, and to suggest actions government agencies and others could take...
    Scoop politics
  • Keith Locke presentation on Countering Foreign Fighters Bill
    It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to members of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee again, and remember my 12 years on your committee. However, I don’t wish my submission today to be taken as endorsement of...
    Scoop politics
  • Significant issues for NZ in sea level rise report
    Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) has recognised findings of Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright’s report released today on the impact of rising seas as significant for coastal areas of New Zealand, aligning well with work the...
    Scoop politics
  • White Ribbon Campaign Shocked at Fatal Stabbing
    The White Ribbon Campaign extends its condolences to the family of a women fatally stabbed in Auckland's North Shore....
    Scoop politics
  • One Plan signing is “historic moment” for the environment
    The signing of the Horizon Regional Council’s One Plan after a decade of debate, legal action and controversy is being hailed by Fish & Game as a landmark in the battle to protect the nation’s water quality. Horizons councillors approved...
    Scoop politics
  • Look at the Road, Not the Speedo
    Responding to the Fairfax article that police will be issuing tickets over the summer to anyone driving 1km/h or more over the speed limit, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Worker immunity critical to safety in Meat Industry
    The Meat Workers Union has today urged the Select Committee hearing submissions on the Health & Safety Reform bill to strengthen provisions that protect the rights of workers to be involved and speak out, saying that it’s becoming increasingly...
    Scoop politics
  • PCE report brings home impacts of climate change
    Youth climate organisation Generation Zero has welcomed the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's ' Changing Climate and Rising Seas ' report and says it demonstrates climate change will affect all of us....
    Scoop politics
  • Law Society urges reduction of terrorist fighter bill powers
    The New Zealand Law Society says powers proposed in the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill should be reduced to ensure they are strictly limited to countering the threats that have arisen....
    Scoop politics
  • Sea level rise won’t only affect infrastructure
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is asking the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) to widen the focus of her next report on climate change-driven sea level rise....
    Scoop politics
  • Changing climate and rising seas: Understanding the science
    During my seven years as Commissioner, I have consistently said that climate change is the biggest environmental issue we face. This investigation has provided an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of what is causing climate change and one of...
    Scoop politics
  • Council refuses to take part in farcical submissions process
    The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties refuses to take part in the submissions process around the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill....
    Scoop politics
  • Laws of War to Be Debated at Wellington Event
    The political and human consequences of war and civil unrest are widely covered in themedia but International Humanitarian Law (IHL), the body of law which exists to protect all parties to armed conflict, rarely gets attention....
    Scoop politics
  • Forum Compact Development Partner Peer Review of New Zealand
    Following the completion of the first leg of the review of New Zealand’s development cooperation in the Pacific, the Forum Compact Review Team is now visiting Kiribati to assess the effectiveness of New Zealand’s assistance in the small island developing...
    Scoop politics
  • YWCA Auckland award for long-time women’s role model
    New Zealand’s first female Governor General and Mayor of Auckland has been granted a Lifetime Achievement Award by YWCA Auckland, for her services to the Auckland community and acting as a role model for Kiwi women nationwide....
    Scoop politics
  • Government Urged Not To Miss Cosmetics Win For Animals
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE is urging the Government not to let animals down and vote for an amendment to the Animal Welfare Bill. The amendment would ban cosmetics testing on animals forever. The Bill had it’s second reading in Parliament...
    Scoop politics
  • Police pursuit results in serious injury of innocent man
    A report released today by the Independent Police Conduct Authority has found Police failed to comply with policy during a pursuit in Auckland in 2013 which left an innocent man with serious injuries....
    Scoop politics
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