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King Brownlee outside the law

Written By: - Date published: 1:26 pm, July 25th, 2012 - 26 comments
Categories: Gerry Brownlee - Tags:

When the Nats created CERA – the Gerry Brownlee Enabling Act – they tried to make it so no-one could challenge his decisions under the Act in court. The Courts hate such ‘ouster clauses’ and react by allowing cases on whether a decision was made under the Act or was so wrong it wasn’t an exercise of the powers granted. Brownlee’s just found that it ain’t easy to make yourself dictator in a free society.

The Court has found that his land zoning decisions were so flawed that they didn’t constitute an exercise of his power to make unchallengeable decisions under CERA.

Considering this is just about the only thing Brownlee has bothered to do in the rebuild effort in the last two years, that’s a huge blow.

And he’s handed Clayton Cosgrove a victory too. See, one of the parties opposing Brownlee’s decision was Independent Fisheries. Brownlee decided to go extra-judicial on them by accusing them of bribing Cosgrove to put in a private member’s bill to free up Independent Fisheries’ land.

The facts that the big donation came after Cosgrove had stopped putting the Bill in the ballot, that an undrawn private member’s bill is just about the most ineffective option for influencing the law possible, and Independent Fisheries would have been just one of a hundred land owners to benefit from Cosgrove’s Bill didn’t stop Brownlee’s smear.

Of course, it came to nothing.

And now we know it was Brownlee that was acting outside the law.

26 comments on “King Brownlee outside the law”

  1. Kotahi Tāne Huna 1

    This illustrates a common problem for modern parties of the right – to believe the philosophy you have to be just a little bit dim, and does it show!

  2. gobsmacked 2

    The Gerry Brownlee Enabling Act was passed by Parliament with the support of all Labour and Green MPs. Many, many Labour and Green supporters were dismayed (for a refresher, check out the threads on Red Alert etc).

    It was a feeble abdication of responsibility, and Brownlee’s behaviour is entirely predictable, but at the time we were told off for raising such concerns. It was a craven, post 9/11 mentality, where challenging authority and defending the constitution was “playing politics”.

    Not the opposition’s finest hour.

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 2.1

      The decision doesn’t highlight problems with the legislation, it highlights problems with Gerry Brownlee.

      • gobsmacked 2.1.1

        Sure, there’s nothing wrong with a monarchy if the King is wise and good.

        Of course, they usually are, so that’s cool.

        • Kotahi Tāne Huna

          lol good point.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          the King may be wise and good , but the courtiers may be venal and grasping.

          This is more like what happened here, the courtiers merely pushed the paperwork under his nose, and asked if it would please his majesty to sign here , here and here.

          • Kotahi Tāne Huna

            The fact that he signed the paperwork undermines the notion that the king is wise.

            • Colonial Viper

              Let’s not pretend that in history its the king who really runs the court, or that the Prime Minister really runs the country.

    • felix 2.2

      Damn right gobsmacked.

      National ACT and Peter Dunne can be expected to behave like arses, but Labour and the Greens should be fucking ashamed of themselves over this.

    • Deano 2.3

      The Greens voted against CERA.

      It was CERRA (the first, weaker one) that they voted for

  3. McFlock 3

    The Court has found that his land zoning decisions were so flawed that they didn’t constitute an exercise of his power to make unchallengeable decisions under CERA.

    And I bet it didn’t even dent his ego when the high court called him a dumbass.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1

      Its the biggest whack from a Judge to a national party politician since ….the last one, Nick Smith was convicted of a serious contempt of court.

      I think this wont be the last.

  4. fender 4

    This won’t cause Brownlee to alter his approach, it takes much longer to change the ways of a bully.

    When the (saw)dust settles he will continue to throw his weight around in a reckless manner no doubt.

    This National govt have little regard for the rules and protocols and prefer the dictatorial approach.

    • mike e 4.1

      Brownlee is following National policy
      No planning
      make it up as you go along.
      And Cronyism
      Jobs for your mates
      Ex National leader Shipley Fletcher construction and now select developers
      Inflated rents to exploitive landlords National Voters at time when CHCH people are on their Knees.
      When the influx of workers arrive those rent will go up even more.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      This entire government has the characteristics of a bully. What this means is that his bullying will be reinforced by the other bullies in this government. You’d have to change all of them to change one of them and that’s pretty much impossible.

      • Lostinsuburbia 4.2.1

        More like an organised crime syndicate. And we don’t yet have an Elliot Ness to take them down

  5. Lostinsuburbia 5

    Oh well, a bill passed under urgency will deal with this unpleasant decision for the Nats. Afterall what’s the point of being in power if you can’t rewrite the law to suit yourself.

    • fender 5.1

      Yes nothing another dose of their retrospective medicine can’t fix.

      Saving tech teachers was important to the public Key will argue.

  6. xtasy 6

    Brownlee was cuaght out, so to say, but that will not worry him and John Key one bit.

    If for whatever reason he may have acted “outside” of the law, which had no effect on the decisions he made by the way, well, they may simply move the goal posts of the law again, right?

    So why not just change the relevant law and make legal what was not quite so legal. They have the majority, as long as dodgey Banksey is there, so go ahead, it is real easy.

    That is “democracy” or rather “democrazy” in NZ.

    One Parliament, and as long as you get the “majoriteeee”, you are done.

    NO second house, select committees just a silly show case, not relevant at all, public submissions not worth the paper or digital record they are made of, media is dumb, short circuited or bought up for favours anyway, non voters are convenient idiots, and what else do ya want?

    Rule, rule, rule and push it down the gurgler of the dumb idiots that have no spine, no guts, that are pre-occupied with shades of grey and glossy mags, or with online games and entertainment.

    That is how you rule in 2012. The only thing that will stop you is an economic collapse of global scale, or serious escalating wars impacting on trade and security.

  7. xtasy 7

    Brownlee Stahlhelm is a depressing reality and symptom of where NZ has gone and what Ch Ch sitation has come to. So rather than look at that crap, I look at the freedom and cultural development in a “former” dictatorship like Brazil with great pleasure and agreement:



    Maybe some see him as the Brazilian Justin Bieber. I do not agree, but this guy wipes that one for sure! That country, same as South America in general, also increasingly Africa have talent and entertainment value growing by the day. Where does it leave a Key depressed NZ Aotearoa, where we used to get a fair bit more of cultural experience. Now it is all Lord of the Rings and nothing else. Shit!

  8. xtasy 8

    I scream out: David Shearer, Russel Norman, where are you? Maybe do some organising of some sit ins, marches and more, because what you are doing in good faith, is not working enough!

    I missed you guys outside the National Party Conference in Auckland, where a lot of us went (the committed ones), took a stand and vocally uttered our resolute opposition.

    Handing around sheets for petitions is good, but the referendum likely to be achieved will certainly be ignored also. So more is needed than talk, questions in Parliament, letters, online discussions and that. We need you and your MPs to get out of your comfort zones, out of your offices, out of your homes, to take a bit more action to save this country and its economy from the total madness that this idiot government is imposing.

    If you are reading this, are genuine, honest and committed, do join the unions, organisations and groups to take more action in coming weeks and months. That is what is needed, besides of court actions, petitions and so forth.
    Do NOT forget democracy, please, if you are so serious about it.

    Maybe Winston will take this to heart also, as Hone will certainly do, but we have no trust in Maori Party anymore, pre-occupied with side shows, really!

  9. xtasy 9

    What have we come to re “voltaire” and so forth, is there any comprehension?. Anyway many geniuses get buried on lonely islands, like on Marquesan Islands, same as Gauguin and so forth, Jaques Brel is there also now:


  10. Fortran 10

    This decision will only continue to slow down the Christchurch recovery.

    • mike e 10.1

      Fartrain what uninformed bullshit the only thing that will speed up CHCH rebuild is to sack Brownlee and National.
      How many people are still living rough in CHCH.

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