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Berating the Herald

Written By: - Date published: 10:53 pm, May 19th, 2009 - 19 comments
Categories: law and "order", Media - Tags: , , , ,

from Beck Vass: “With an average jury trial taking at least 12 months, and judge-alone trials taking just six months [that’s actually from charging to end of the case, not the length of time in court], trial times would be halved, reducing the trauma for victims and backlogs in overloaded courts.

Mr Power said his figures did not include the costs to defendants, witnesses, victims, lawyers, the Department of Corrections or other agencies. But with those excluded, an average jury trial cost $20,000 and judge-only trials just $2000.”

Firstly, yesterday Power was saying this wasn’t about money saving. Now it is about money? Secondly, different types of offences are heard by judges only and with juries. Minor offences – quick, simple cases – can only be held in front of a judge. Serious offences (like murder) must be held in front of a jury. Juries are hearing the longer, complex cases. Making more serious and complex cases judge-only won’t magically make them suddenly only take 6 months on average. But Power knew that when he suckered you in, eh Beck?

From John Armstrong: “That Key was reluctant to discuss the revelations that Rankin married her fourth husband soon after his previous wife committed suicide was understandable. Doing so would have been to dive into a moral minefield….Rankin insists she was not having an affair with the woman’s husband prior to the woman’s death. Key has to take her at her word.”

No he doesn’t. Show me where it says he does. She’s not an MP and that only applies in the House. Armstrong has struggled to find the one angle on the one current issue where his buddy Key looks good but he still has to make stuff up.

Everyone knows what went down. Everyone knew about it back when it happened. Paula Bennett, who we now learn is good buddies with Rankin, certainly would have known. Anyway, forget that Women’s Weekly stuff. If the papers had any standards they never would have splashed Rankin’s personal life over the front page in the first place.

Audrey Young touches on the real problem: “Ms Rankin is said to be close to Paula Bennett and has become something of a mentor to her, both during the campaign for her successful election as MP for Waitakere last year and in helping her to adjust as minister for the department Ms Rankin once ran”

So Bennett appointed Rankin (who is about to lose her job as Auckland Regional Councillor because of the Supercity) as a $50,000 a year scratch of her back despite her complete unsuitability. No wonder there were howls of protest from her Cabinet colleagues. Why did they let her go through with it? Did Key insist his golden girl get her way or did her opponents in Cabinet think that if Bennett was given enough rope…?

19 comments on “Berating the Herald ”

  1. gingercrush 1

    Bennett has been performing rather well. Considering the expectations everywhere were basically that she would be a nightmare. Her performance while not stellar has actually been rather good. Undoubtedly, Rankin is a mistake. I’m not sure National have realised the opinions of Country Blue Collar workers on Rankin. From what I can see, opinions of her are not good.

    In Bennett’s defence (or is that defense?) her answers in the house have been getting better (last Question Time wasn’t her best admittedly). Her media skills are improving. She has been on Nine-to-Noon several times and has been sounding better every time. She seems to have a pretty good grasp of her portfolio for what has typically been hell for any minister that holds the portfolio.

    Of course Labour’s spokeperson on Social Welfare releases this nasty piece of work http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0905/S00334.htm

    Note the desperation. King has been a politician since 1983 and was only out of politics between 1990 and 1993. She is an experienced parliamentarian holding heavy portfolios herself. Police being one but her most outstanding role was in Health where she literally made that portfolio a non-issue. That isn’t easy to do. She made meat mince out of National’s spokespeople on health. Of cours e Hodgson brought down all her good work and made the portfolio crap again. So you would think King would be making mince meat out of Bennett. King’s performance so far in opposition has been nothing but a disaster. Her voice is that irritating thing you hear constantly every time Question Time is on.

    You know a politician is in trouble when you need Mallard to do the questions for you. I think its time King actually stood up and be worthy of a Deputy Leader before someone takes it off her. And her response to the extra maternity funding by National today was just disgusting. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0905/S00345.htm. She can’t even get her lines right since the NZMA didn’t even say that. Her performance on TV One wasn’t any better.

    • felix 1.2

      So when you say she’s “been performing well” do you just mean she’s been keeping you entertained from tuesday to thursday?

      Can you think of any, you know, actual minister-type work she’s done that admire?

      You acknowledge that hiring Rankin is a disaster – so where are all the good things she’s done? Serious question.

          • Zaphod Beeblebrox

            I agree with you as someone who lives in her electorate. She has been one of the better ministers which admittedly is not saying that much.

        • felix

          ginga, that’s a list of her press releases.

          I was asking what she’s done that impresses you – is your answer “everything”?

          I mean you must have had something in mind, surely.

          • gingercrush

            It is everything. Its not that she has impressed me. It takes a lot for that to happen. Its that her performance I think has exceeded expectations many here and elsewhere placed on her. She isn’t some easy-bait for King. In fact I think she outdone King. I consider King to be the best politician of the Labour 1999-2008 government. She was that good. She isn’t that good in her role of opposition.

            There was an excellent display between Jacinda Arden and Bennett. It was actually beautiful to watch as Jacinda asked question after question and Bennett in turn answered. Both are reasonably young female politicians (Arden in particular) and both showed there potential. Hell move King on and put Jacinda in Social Welfare portfolio.

          • felix

            Fair enough.

            Agree about Jacinda, lots of promise.

  2. IrishBill 2

    While we’re having a go at the herald how about this current top-story:

    ‘Ear-flick’ father guilty of assault


    WTF? The guy punched his 4 year old son in the face and was convicted of it and Granny heads it as if he just flicked the kid’s ear? I know they’ve been trying to set it up as a a “test case” showing the removal of section 59 was a mistake but that’s one of the most dishonest heads I’ve seen for a while.

    Note to granny: punching a four year old in the face is assault.

  3. Families Commission an alternative income stream as she loses her Regional Council salary?

    Cronies line up, Nats are filling the trough, here piggy piggy piggy Suuueeeeee!

  4. Ignoring the thread hijack above, the blog post does raise again the issue of the NZ Herald’s love affair with National and ACT. Sure, they don’t like Rankin and think Melissa Lee was a bad choice for Mt. Albert, but that is more in the vein of helpful advice to a faltering friend than serious criticism. The Dominion Post used to do the same for the 90’s National government (and probably still does for this one). If it was going off the rails on some issue or other, we’d see an editorial that was more helpful advice than trenchant critique. That’s OK if they did the same for some other government……but they didn’t.

    If anything, the Herald is using the Rankin Irrelevancy as a smoke screen to obscure the growing grassroots opposition to the government’s plan to gut democracy in a greater Auckland.

  5. Anita 5

    Was-elsewhere-at-the-time man guilty of murder.

    Had-only-had-orange juice woman found guilty of drink driving.

    (This is in reponse to IrishBill above, btw if you fail recaptcha your comment loses what it was in reply to).

  6. IrishBill 6

    Fair enough, Anita. I may just be interpreting it though the lens of a grumpy morning.

    • Anita 6.1

      Actually I thought I was agreeing with you, but perhaps I was in too much of hurry and needed an extra para 🙂

      The Herald wouldn’t usually run the defence’s own (discredited) description of their actions when the jury had found them guilty. (Well except for rape cases)

  7. IrishBill 7

    I note that headline’s now been re-subbed to include the words “for punching son”. Good.

  8. Brickley Paiste 8

    I think someone should organise a “blog blackout” on everything to do with the Herald. It is, bar none, the worst major publication I have ever read in any language in my entire life. It’s humiliating to our city and country. It’s utterly mindless. It has few rounds and fewer journalists. The journalists they do have are suckful. There is no continuity of coverage or narrative. The Herald is a joke.

    I’ve stopped reading it. I’ve stopped complaining about it (ok, except for the above rant).

    I wonder, however, whether the constant attacking of the Herald on blogs is a bit like giving attention to a misbehaving or poorly trained dog. Just ignore it. Stop giving it so much on-line copy. Treat it like irrelevancy that it is.

    • ghostwhowalks 8.1

      Newspapers are going back to their roots as fish and chip wrappers. Only since the 30s have they claimed some respectibility, (only to make the advertisers look good).
      Their heights of respectability came in the 50s and 60s.

      Dont expect much for the future because they are getting worse and the financial viability drains away in the next 5 years

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