Chris Cairns: Song of the Tall Poppy

Written By: - Date published: 10:12 am, December 1st, 2015 - 111 comments
Categories: Ethics, law, rumour, spin, sport, workers' rights - Tags: , , ,

Former Kiwi cricketer Chris Cairns and his legal advisor Andrew Fitch-Holland have been cleared of all charges  of perjury. Any other result would have been a travesty, because the prosecution case was entirely based on gossip and innuendo. How the case even got to court puzzles me; surely the Crown Prosecution Service knew that they had no substantial evidence, no smoking gun. Perhaps they though they could provoke Cairns into a rash admission on the stand? It would have been their only hope, but he’s clearly a stronger character than that.

But the trial went ahead and a very predictable outcome was reached. I hope Chris Cairns moves on now and builds a life of his choosing. I admired his cricketing prowess and his work for charity. I also hope Lou Vincent moves on with his life. He’s still a young man, who has struggled with illness and been open about his moral failings. The most nervous man at the moment may be Black Caps captain Brendan McCullum, who admitted that he failed to report what he claimed to know about specific match fixing in a timely manner. There may be more to come on that score.

So what are the politics of the case?

Well, first up. Lets acknowledge that it was played out under the rule of law. It’s common for some people to say that the justice system in the western world is various shades of broken, but here was a sensible result.

Cairns and Fitch-Holland also had access to a taxpayer funded defence. Lets be clear, that would not happen here in NZ, because the Tories have kneecapped legal aid. They’ve limited who can get it and made it as unattractive as possible for good lawyers. Legal aid used to be a guarantee that working class Kiwis had a chance in court. Not now.

Secondly, corruption. It’s been four decades or more since  cricket was commercialised. Most of the revenue generated has been open and legitimate and has allowed cricketers of varying talents to make a reasonable living from the game. But in the last decade, the growth of live satellite coverage and internet betting has made informal and corrupt betting an astonishingly lucrative adjunct to the game.

Gambling on the intricacies of cricket is almost all pervasive, but it’s one of the oddities of the sport that when the third umpire completely duffed the dismissal of an Aussie batter in Adelaide a few days ago, nobody much screamed “FIX!”. Perhaps we only think of match fixing as an Asian issue. If so, that’s a stupid prejudice. It’s worth remembering that Lou Vincent only ever actually got paid to cheat in England, the home of the game.

Lastly, us. We the people. Cairns and Fitch-Holland have been cleared. There is no evidence whatsoever that they did anything wrong. Yet my twitter feed this morning is full of surprise and even outrage at the verdict. What’s wrong with us that we think we can judge these two men from the comfort of our living rooms, basing our decisions on brief news reports and idle gossip?

Are we that shallow in our thinking that we can’t get past the great Kiwi desire to see a tall poppy fall?

Chris Cairns says his reputation has been “completely scorched” by the trial. That’s a shame and an indictment on the modern media’s capacity to frame an issue. Having been cleared, Cairns should be free to return to cricket as coach or commentator, but because of the apparently ironclad rule that there is no smoke without fire, that’s not going to happen.

Cairns wins, and he loses. And we’ve been played too, people. Readers, if you believe Chris Cairns is a match fixer as a result of this trial, have a good hard think about what that says about your critical faculties. Justice isn’t just something that happens in court, it’s got to happen in our heads and our hearts too.

 

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111 comments on “Chris Cairns: Song of the Tall Poppy ”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    It was a majority verdict. Clearly the evidence was sufficient to convince at least one of his peers.

    The rule of law means accepting the verdict. No-one is obliged to like it.

    • Enough is Enough 1.1

      I agree.

      I don’t think Modi will liking or accepting this verdict.

      It is now highly likely, on the back of the evidence heard over the previous few months, that Cairns will be facing further legal challenges from Modi in the civil jurisdiction. This time under a lower evidentiary threshold.

  2. tracey 2

    There is evidence he did wrong. The evidence did not satisfy the jury beyond reasonable doubt and accordingly they entered a verdict of not guilty. Now, should it have been in a civil court, that prepponderance of evidence drops to balance of probabilities. And he now has the absolute right to be treated as being not guilty.

    I agree with you that no one knows the full story except those involved. And the next best knowledge is from those who sat through every minute of the trial. That certainly wasn’t me.

    Perjury is notoriously hard to prove and match fixing by definition involves people breaking the rules and hiding their tracks

    However I prefer the stuff.co.nz summary to yours.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/cricket/74586969/chris-cairns-trial-why-the-former-black-caps-allrounder-was-found-not-guilty

    • northshoredoc 2.1

      It will be interesting to see if Daryl Tuffey ever makes a full and frank statement, he’s the one that’s taken the most prudent approach by just keeping his head down the entire time.

  3. mpledger 3

    Looking from afar the evidence seemed **really** weak. Lou Vincent should have been in prison for what he’s admitted to but he managed to wrangle himself out of that so his evidence is dodgy. Hi ex-wife’s evidence is pertinent but her saying that Cairns said IIRC “don’t worry Lou won’t get caught and the ICL has no control in this tournament anyway” – but that’s what anyone would say, innocent or guilty, to placate a wife worried about her husband’s illegal actions. And McCullum’s statements could have just been two people talking about illegal activity by people observing it rather than participating in it, mis-remembered over time.

    Noone said money changed hands except for Vittori and that was for jewellery. It all seemed to be chatter and gossip – nothing concrete.

  4. Ad 4

    The big test will be whether Mohdi goes at him in a civil trial where the level of proof required is much lower.

    • Grindlebottom 4.1

      Even though the level of proof in a civil trial (balance of probabilities) is lower it’ll probably still be a jury trial because it involves defamation.

      If 10 people in a jury of 12 concluded the evidence in this trial was insufficient to find Cairns guilty, I’d say his chances are 50/50 at least, maybe better, that a second jury will reach the same conclusion in a civil trial.

      The evidence of the principal witnesses wasn’t that reliable, it’s still all only disputable allegations unsupported by any other concrete evidence, such as sums for payments in Cairns’ bank accounts or recorded conversations which clearly confirmed the match fixing claims.

      • I agree. I would think Modi might just cut his losses and move on. He still has much more substantial legal issues to do with his businesses to deal with, and as you say, the odds aren’t that flash. There is also the issue of compelling witnesses to appear in a civil case. Vincent et al aren’t going to be keen to go through all this stuff a second time.

        • GregJ 4.1.1.1

          Yeah Modi is hardly a paragon of virtue. As Cricket no longer wants him around he should consider a run for FIFA – he’d fit right in to that cesspool.

      • Tracey 4.1.2

        Disagree.

        Most jurors consider that having any doubt means the brd threshold was not met. Balance of probabilities is 50/50. Modi doesnt have to prove cairns match fixed. He would need to show on the balance of probs he could genuinely believe cairns had fixed a match.

        • crashcart 4.1.2.1

          Yea but in a civil case a jury all ready found on the balance of evidence that Cairn didn’t match fix and that Modi defamed him. The only thing that has changed is that a trial that accused Cairns of Lying in the first case found there was not enough evidence to say he did lie.

          • Ross 4.1.2.1.1

            Yes but Modi really didn’t put up much of a defence. I suspect he didn’t care if he won or lost, as long as Cairns denied match fixing which he did.

          • tracey 4.1.2.1.2

            I get that he ought to struggle to admit new evidence and re-open an already completed trial – unless he is going to claim Cairns lied BUT it was MOdi’s job, as it was the prosecutions, to prove Cairns match fixed, not for Cairns to prove he didnt.

        • Grindlebottom 4.1.2.2

          I thought you had a good point but now I’m not so sure you’re right Tracey. I think under English law Modi still has to prove on the BOP that the match fixing accusation he made is true. Both the justification defence and the fair comment defence fail him if they are based on misstatements of fact.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_defamation_law#Burden_of_proof_on_the_defendant

          But it remains to be seen whether Modi brings an action against Cairns and on what grounds. (Stuff.co article reckons he will.)

          Modi has a reputation as a hard-nosed businessman who does not back down so any action would be about revenge and saving face, as much as money.

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/cricket/74586522/chris-cairns-trial-lalit-modis-next-move-looms-large-in-life-of-perjury-acquitted-star

          For all I know he could even perhaps take action against Cairns for defaming him and seek damages!

          • tracey 4.1.2.2.1

            I agree but as someone pointed out it will be a jury…

            It is possible that a civil jury could decide ALL the witnesses are liars, ergo on a 50/50 basis Cairns could be a match fixer…. not available to them on BRD?

  5. infused 5

    He is so guilty. Not enough evidence.

    • GregJ 5.1

      And you know how? Presumably you offered your evidence to the CPS in the UK?

    • maui 5.2

      I believe so to, you can’t have that many people saying you’re up to dodgy shit and be innocent.

      For a cricket legend such as Cairns you would expect half of cricket royalty to have his back during the allegations and now after the trial even more so if he was truly a good character. But that hasn’t happened and won’t happen I suspect.

      • crashcart 5.2.1

        Yea who needs that pesky evidence stuff, better to rely on other people acting in their own self interest.

        The moment match fixing is even mentioned in relation to a cricketer then anyone else close is going to drop them like a hot potato to protect their own reputation.

        Honestly this whole case was based on the idea that Cairns managed to get a bunch of 1st class cricketers to match fix for him without ever paying them. If you believe that with no other evidence then I have a bridge to sell you.

        • maui 5.2.1.1

          I forgot that when you hear and see things its not evidence. McCullum, Ponting, Vincent, Vettori, Bond, Harris just made things up to cover their own asses because they’re the ones really in trouble… They all had nothing to lose in nailing Cairns to the wall…

          • crashcart 5.2.1.1.1

            Just to be clear the only ones who provided direct evidence against Cairns were Vincent and his ex-Wife, and McCullum. All the rest were secondary evidence that in some way backed up one or multiple of those 3.

            Of those 3 only Vincent said he was involved in match fixing with Cairns and his credibility is very questionable.

            Of course if there had been evidence such as a money trail or actual recorded poor performance that matched statements it would have been submitted. As it was that did not happen.

            Is it possible Cairns match fixed? Yes.

            Did the evidence make that case beyond a reasonable doubt? A jury that sat through the whole trial say no.

  6. RedLogix 6

    @trp

    Setting aside the accusations, the trial and all the cricket stuff about which I know nothing, and want to keep that way, I have to say that the wider point of your OP is very well made and I agree with entirely.

    We’ve become far too judgmental as a society, and redemption a very hard word for too many people to say.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      “…he just needs to hire some good PR…”

      Or words to that effect – overheard this morning on whatever it is Paul Henry does on Tv.

      Clearly we’ve become something else too. As for redemption: if you’re innocent you don’t need it as much, and if you’re guilty the first step is…?

      • crashcart 6.1.1

        being found guilty?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1.1

          Oh haha, I see what you did there.

          The first step towards redemption is…?

          • crashcart 6.1.1.1.1

            I wasn’t making a joke. You were trying to back headedly say that if he wasn’t guilty he wouldn’t need redemption. I get that you are trying to get someone to say that he needs to admit his guilt before he can be forgiven.

            That of course is bull shit. Admitting he is guilty would only lead to a civil suit he would lose that would completely destroy him. So even if he did do it admitting it would be the last thing he should do if he wants to rebuild his life. Ask Lou Vincent.

            Innocent people can be accused and cleared, and it can still be devastating to their reputation. How does Cairns rebuild his? No idea.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Meanwhile, on Earth, I responded to Redlogix comment about redemption and the sort of society we’ve become. My comment at the top of the thread is all I have to say about this particular case.

              • crashcart

                That doesn’t change your statement that if your not guilty you don’t need redemption so much. That is clearly not true, in space or here on earth.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Meanwhile, on Earth, I said “if you’re innocent, you don’t need it [redemption] so much”.

                  • crashcart

                    Which is still bullshit.

                    Ask any of the INNOCENT black men who went to jail for Rape or Murder in the states if they didn’t need redemption so much.

                    Try saving condescension for when you have an actual valid point.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      It depends on what you mean by redemption: at a personal level or in the eyes of society.

                      For society, perhaps it’s easier for a guilty person to be redeemed than an innocent one (to the extent that anyone is innocent) – so long as they “take their lumps”, whereas the innocent find that “mud sticks”.

                      I’m not sure* your analogy about Americans holds: it’s the racists who need redemption. The falsely accused deserve justice.

                      *so, before you put words in my mouth again, please note that I’m not entirely opposed to your take on it.

                    • crashcart

                      Can you clarify what words I put in your mouth?

                      I am not going to disagree with you about racists in America, I confess it was the easy analogy. However there are examples here in NZ which are just as compelling. Arthur Allan Thomas and many since have been found to be innocent. In some cases racism can carry the blame, in others simple laziness by police.

                      Redemption is a difficult word. I get that it carries an innate air of recovery from sin. I would not presume to guess at what sort of personal redemption the wrongly accused seek. However public redemption is usually impossible guilty or innocent. No matter how much evidence points to innocence there will always be large sections of the public who will look at a person and only see the first guilty verdict or even the first public accusation.

    • Anne 6.2

      We’ve become far too judgmental as a society, and redemption a very hard word for too many people to say.

      In today’s society it’s the easiest thing in the world to destroy the reputation of a person. Just spread around a few allegations in the right places and bingo… the target is a gone-burger. I can confirm from personal experience. There’s nothing many people like better than to believe the worst of an associate or someone they know. It makes them feel smugly superior.

      I doubt Chris Cairns is a paragon of virtue and may even be an a*****e at times, but did you notice how he held himself throughout that trial? Straight backed and head held high at all times. Imo, that’s the demeanour of someone who is not guilty of the crimes he is alleged to have committed.

      • Tracey 6.2.1

        I have seen too many sincere liars over the years to subscribe to the notion that all liars look or behave a particular way.

    • Cheers, Red, that’s exactly where I was going; too judgemental by half.

      And crashcart and OAB, it might well be that RedLogix was referring to Vincent when he mentioned redemption. But good discussion all the same.

  7. What’s wrong with us that we think we can judge these two men from the comfort of our living rooms, basing our decisions on brief news reports and idle gossip?

    My personal opinion doesn’t operate on an evidential standard of “proven beyond reasonable doubt.” That doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me, it just means I’m not a court of law.

  8. Vaughan Little 8

    I’m reminded of voltaire’s complaint about twice being ruined at court – once when he lost, once when he won.

    I don’t know if an innocent verdict counts for all that much if your peers consider you guilty. and by peers I don’t mean us in the peanut gallery.

    • Aaron 8.1

      Was he proven innocent or was he merely proven not guilty based on the available evidence?

      • Tracey 8.1.1

        Our system is clear. A man or woman found not guilty has the right to be treated lime he is, well, not guilty

        For my part when i read the judges direction i thought cairns would be found not guilty.

  9. Vaughan Little 9

    plus, “song of the tall poppy”?!?! you’re arguing for a level headed response to open legal processes and then pouring enough sugar on to make a jumbo American sweat.

  10. Ross 10

    “some people don’t seem to want to accept he is not a match fixer.”

    Um, it’s a decision by a group of 12 laypeople. Sometimes juries (and judges for that matter) are wrong. To suggest that this particular jury is correct is taking a giant leap, unless of course you know for a fact that every witness who testified for the prosecution was wrong.

    “There is no evidence whatsoever that they did anything wrong.”

    Ah, there was actually in regards to Cairns.

    • Nope. No evidence was presented in either court case. If you have actual evidence, contact Mr Modi and I’m sure you’ll be rewarded handsomely. Or maybe you’re confusing allegations with evidence?

      • Tracey 10.1.1

        Or maybe you are confusing no evidence with the weight to be attached to types of evidence.

        • te reo putake 10.1.1.1

          Given that most of the ‘evidence’ was just hearsay and no independent corroboration was found for the conversations that the 3 direct witnesses claimed happen, I think it’s fair to say there was no evidence presented.

          All it was unsupported testimony from 3 witnesses, one of whom is an admitted cheat and liar and another who was drunk at the time. The third claimed to have had an uncomfortable conversation that did not actually involve a specific incident of match fixing. No emails, no phone recording, no photographs or videos, no overheard conversations.

          The burden of proof was on the prosecution and they failed to provide anything of substance. So, yeah, I’m not going to bother with pedantry. No evidence, hence Not Guilty.

          • Grindlebottom 10.1.1.1.1

            You’re both right sort of. In law, witness testimony constitutes evidence, along with other forms of evidence such as documents, video, phone recordings, and other exhibits.

            However, its accuracy, credibility, reliability & relevance etc all determine what weight a judge and/or jury must give to it. In this case TRP, as you note, the testimonial evidence was so inconclusive and insubstantial prosecution failed the burden of proof & there was reasonable doubt so not guilty.

            • te reo putake 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Cheers, Grindlebottom. I suspect you, Tracey and I (and probably a few readers) are familiar with the law of evidence, and testimony is definitely evidence in a legal sense. If that’s the point being made above, then, yes, that’s absolutely the case. But for the purposes of a blog post on a political site I think it’s a trivial distinction.

              The fact is there was no corroboration of the testimony in this trial and therefore, as evidence, it was inconsequential. And there was definitely no other evidence presented that showed guilt. In the libel case, there wasn’t even the allegations from Vincent et al. It’s no wonder Cairns won that one and as I predicted weeks ago, no wonder he won this one.

          • maui 10.1.1.1.2

            “hearsay” would be a cricketer going around saying did you hear Cairns fixes matches with nothing to back it up. But we’ve got multiple people saying they were approached by Cairns and other witnesses verifying those approaches were made. I don’t know how you can say this constitutes “no evidence”. If a jury dismissed all evidence in a trial apart from the accused admitting to the crime our justice system wouldn’t be working too well.

            • te reo putake 10.1.1.1.2.1

              I don’t think you’re getting it quite right, maui. Only three witnesses claimed direct knowledge, the rest offered various forms of “yes, the witness told me that Cairns said that”. The first three’s testimony has some weight, the rest, meh. Of the three that were making direct allegations against Cairns, one was a liar and a cheat who needed to get himself out the shit, one was drunk and one only said that he and Cairns had some puzzling chats and also changed his story about when and where that happened a couple of times and also didn’t report the exchanges at the time, despite knowing he was required to do so. So credibility issues for all three.

              The reason the case fell over was the lack of corroboration, either in word or in the form of other evidence such as phone taps, emails etc. The prosecution pretty much relied on ‘the vibe, your honour’. As indeed, do you.

              • McFlock

                Well, it wasn’t quite just “the vibe”, but it was an interesting test. My impression, and I’m no lawyer, was that when Cairns said he had never cheated, the prosecution felt that all if they demonstrated a pattern of allegations they might be able to demonstrate BRD that he had cheated at some time without having to prove that he had cheated at one specific time.

                As they said in Yes Minister, it seemed to be a brave policy. I wonder if it was their fall back position when their case about a specific instance fell through. Or maybe they just felt they had to take to court and let the jury assess the reliability of the witnesses, which is a fair call.

                Although I don’t think the hating on Cairns counts as “tall poppy syndrome”. Lots of weeds grow to an impressive height, too.

              • tracey

                Given there have been no transcripts of evidence given, no televised segments, I struggle at how you maintain such authority over what the jury thought, how they made their decision and what is and is not evidence.

                My background is litigation, the idea that the prosecution was permitted by the court to proceed past closing its case with “no evidence” which is your supposition, is, frankly, laughable. The defence would have applied for the case to be thrown out.

          • tracey 10.1.1.1.3

            It’s not fair to say it TRP because you are wrong. Iknow how much that can pain. nEven hearsay is “evidence”, it is just inadmissable. THAT is part of the difference I was pointing out to you. Being under the influence of alcohol impacts the weight given to evidence, it doesn’t magically make it “not evidence anymore”.

            Call it pedantry if it suits you but the law says you are wrong. This pesky thing called an Evidence Act might help you. Law is pedantry and you are relying in part relying on pedantry to make your reply to me.

            “No evidence, hence Not Guilty.” TRP

            NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE = NOT GUILTY Tracey, the Trial and the maybe the jury (cos I don’t knwo what they thought)

      • Ross 10.1.2

        You clearly have no idea what evidence means. McCullum’s testimony was evidence, direct evidence in fact.

        If there was zero evidence, clearly there would never have been a prosecution as there would have been no realistic chance of a conviction.

        I note that in many rape cases, the only evidence is from the rape victim. (There may be no DNA evidence as the victim may not come forward immediately.) What TRP seems to be saying is that in such cases, the rapist should be acquitted because there is no evidence of rape! That is very silly. Fortunately, rapists can be and are convicted on the basis of the victim’s testimony.

        • tracey 10.1.2.1

          This ^^^^^^^

          I am not sure if it is just the Cairns case where not guitly in TRP’s view, equates tot he jury deciding there was no evidence, or all case where a not guilty verdict is given.

          • Ross 10.1.2.1.1

            Tracey

            I think perjury cases are special cases because, as the judge said, more than one witness’s testimony was required to prove the charges. So, they aren’t easy to prosecute.

            I recall a case many years ago of an English footballer (Bruce Grobbelaar) charged with taking bribes re match fixing. A video was shown to the court of him actually agreeing to accept bribes. He was acquitted! Interestingly, he sued a UK newspaper for libel. He won but was eventually awarded £1. 🙂

            So, here was a criminal case where Grobbelaar was acquitted but there was sufficient evidence of his guilt that he could not claim damages. He should have, like Cairns, quit while he was ahead.

            “It would be an affront to justice if a man who accepts bribes to throw matches should obtain damages for the loss of reputation as a professional sportsman merely because he cannot be shown to have carried out his part of the bargain,” Lord Millett said.

            “By his own conduct Mr Grobbelaar has destroyed the value of his own reputation, and this is sufficient to disentitle him to any but nominal damages,” he added.

            http://nehandaradio.com/2010/01/04/grobbelaars-ex-wife-breaks-her-silence/

            http://www.theguardian.com/media/2002/oct/24/pressandpublishing.law

            • tracey 10.1.2.1.1.1

              Yeah I remember the Groebbelaar one. The 1 pound was a BIG slap.

              I understand @ difficulty with perjury. Cos otherwise every trial would have someone up for perjury (any one on the losing side).

          • te reo putake 10.1.2.1.2

            I know it’s early in the day, Tracey, but that makes no sense at all. This post is about a specific case that failed because of lack of conclusive evidence. Do you want to move on now?

            • tracey 10.1.2.1.2.1

              I am glad to see that you have changed from your previous view of there being “no” evidence.

              Do you want to be a bit more patronising? I am sure you can?

        • te reo putake 10.1.2.2

          “What TRP seems to be saying is that in such cases, the rapist should be acquitted because there is no evidence of rape!”

          Utter bullshit.

          As I’ve said repeatedly, the ‘evidence’ such as it was, was the testimony of three unreliable witnesses. There was no corroboration of what they claimed and nothing further provided to back up their claims. The case fell over exactly because of the lack of evidence.

          • tracey 10.1.2.2.1

            Actually all we “know” is that most of the jurors found that on the evidence presented they could not find beyond reasonale doubt that Cairns was guilt yof Perjury. At least one found that the evidence met that threshold, the rest believed it fell below.

            Now, below could be anywhere between 0 and about 85%

            IF Modi takes a civil action for perjury in the defamation hearing (I dont know if it is available in those terms in civil trials) and has the exact same jury and evidence, we can see what they think about the evidence on the BOP. For now all we kow is that nearly all of them felt the evidence lay somewhere between 0 and about 85% threshold

          • Ross 10.1.2.2.2

            “As I’ve said repeatedly, the ‘evidence’ such as it was, was the testimony of three unreliable witnesses.”

            Who gets to say they’re unreliable, and why do you automatically assume Cairns’ testimony is reliable?

            One of the witnesses was Vincent’s ex-wife. Now why would she support what her ex has to say, given she no longer has any relationship with him? Plenty of ex wives are just as likely to contradict their ex, as Bruce Grobbelaar’s ex-wife did. She believed him in the beginning but now believes he’s a match fixer.

            In many rape cases, there is a lack of substantiation too, because often there is only one witness, the victim. That doesn’t preclude a successful prosecution, though, as we know, convictions for rape are not high.

            • te reo putake 10.1.2.2.2.1

              “Who gets to say they’re unreliable, and why do you automatically assume Cairns’ testimony is reliable?”

              The jury gets to say. And so too does the judge. Read his advice to the jury.

              And I don’t automatically assume anything about Cairns. But his version has been tested in court twice now and he’s won both times.

              • Ross

                He hasn’t won both times at all.

                A win would be jurors saying he’s innocent. They haven’t said that. In fact we know that one or two thought he was guilty. It’s possible that other jurors thought he likely guilty. However, likely guilty doesn’t meet the high threshold of beyond reasonable doubt.

  11. I can’t fathom why people want to call those who do well at sport, business or any other pursuit – that doesn’t entail their character in relation to their dealings with other people – a ‘tall poppy’.

    A person’s achievements may excel but that does not mean that they, as a person, should in any way be considered a ‘tall poppy’. If I were ever to use that term to describe a person it would be on the basis of their decency in dealing with others.

    I’m happy to admire a performance but not necessarily the person who enacts that performance. The two are very distinct in my mind.

    Good performances (e.g., making a good deal of money in the financial industry) can arise out of the most unadmirable traits and I don’t see why I should be asked to praise such traits via some supposed obligation to praise the person as a ‘tall poppy’.

    I noticed in Morning Report that the NZC spokesperson was careful not to agree that Cairns was a New Zealand ‘hero’. That is, he was fine about calling Cairns a great cricketer but seemingly reluctant to agree that he was a great person.

    Given I have far less insight into Cairns’ character than the person being interviewed I have little cause to admire – or not admire – Cairns as a person.

    He certainly played very good cricket – but that’s as much as I know about him and it is not enough for me to call Cairns a ‘tall poppy’ as a person.

    By contrast, I’ve heard a lot that suggests to me that Jonah Lomu was truly someone to admire – as well as being an extraordinarily talented rugby player.

    • shorts 11.1

      for some reason “we” expect a higher level of morality and behaviour of our sportspeople – god knows why, they are usually just real good at games…

      Chris wasn’t a NZ hero, his father most certainly was (though arguable today as we have goldfish like memories)

      For some equally weird reason we expect our cricketers (sportspeople) to behave like old world gentlemen when they are not (by values) … and when they are shown to be human we reveal in their undoing…

      Lomu had his patchy time via the media… time heals, editors forgive/forget and death means everything is overlooked cause – nation mourns

      • Tracey 11.1.1

        Lance hit a few sixes. Notably in a thrashing at the mcg where he carted preium bowlers over the fences. But hero? Really???

        Let us not forget the devastating loss C Cairns suffered when his sister died. As you would expect, it changed him.

      • Puddleglum 11.1.2

        I don’t expect a greater level of morality and behaviour from sportspeople than from anyone else.

        What I object to is the conflation of ‘great performance’ with ‘great person’ (or, conversely, ‘bad performance’ – or ‘failure’ in life – with ‘bad person’).

        I don’t link the two (fame and talent, on the one hand, and someone who is admirable, on the other).

        As I said, I’m more than happy to praise a good performance – but feel no obligation to praise the person who did the performing.

        If you like, being an ‘admirable person’ is itself like a ‘good performance’ at being a person and it is one that is different from performing well at sport, business or some random leisure pursuit.

    • Tracey 11.2

      I agree.

      His nickname in the nz team was BA. Bad attitude. Ask Glenn Turner what a great team person Cairns was…

  12. Aaron 12

    For anyone wanting to get more of a feel for the characters involved thsi transcripts of a Skype call between Lou Vincent and Cairn’s original lawyer is quite useful.

    For my money, I think all we can say for sure is that the available evidence wasn’t enough to find Cairns guilty.

    Link added. TRP:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11553824

    • Tracey 12.1

      Audio would be better. And visual. Words on a page….

    • Aaron 12.2

      Thanks for tracking down that link TRP, I should maybe review my posts a little better 🙂

    • tracey 12.3

      “the available evidence wasn’t enough to find Cairns guilty.”

      Yup

      And to understand how hard perjury and match fixing are to get BRD, see the stuff analysis I posted much closer tot he top.

  13. Craig Glen Eden 13

    What came out in the trial was the three so called witness didn’t witness anything. Two of those witnesses have very strong reasons to point the finger at Cairns to save themselves. The third witness also had had an argument with Cairns wife the night they all meet and went out drinking. So none of the witnesses actually had any proof just recall of different conversation that actually meant nothing. Those three should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Tracey 13.1

      Wow no documentary evidence to corroborate the witnesses in a match fixing trial? . We gotta get more bookkeepers working with the bookmakers.

      Who are the two with motive to lie? Vincent and ?

      I confess I only know what I read in the paper about the evidence.

      Beyond reasonable doubt is quite rightly a high threshold when liberty is at stake.

      • Craig Glen Eden 13.1.1

        You clearly you didn’t follow the case very closely Tracey. Not only no documentary evidence no evidence.
        Brendan McCullum changed his testimony three times and had failed to notify anyone of any knowledge or suspicions that he had regarding match fixing.

        By doing so he was in Breach of Crickets code of conduct. He therefore could be stood down as the NZ Captain and player. He had lots to lose and at the end of the day and everything to gain by looking like he was assisting the Authorities.

        Thank goodness its innocent until proven guilty aye, natural justice and all that stuff.

        • tracey 13.1.1.1

          “Not only no documentary evidence no evidence.”

          See my discussion with TRP on this very point.

          I was a Litigator for some years, I think I understand the difference between NO evidence, and evidence that didn’t carrenough weight.

          None of us could follow the trial closelt Craig, no transcripts, no televised testimony. We are all relying on a fraction of what was said and shown in 8 weeks. Unless you were there, in which case i would love to read a post on your observations, cos trials are fascinating for the human reactionsa nd stuff, by witnesses, lawyers and defendants.

          IF you read my comments above you wills ee I absolutely accept the verdict. I also accept the system which includes an Evidence Act.

          My general “vibe” (to borrow the word from TRP) is that very few cricketers covered themselves in glory, If *I* were a juror I would have been thinking none of them can be trusted (including Cairns) so I cant convict him.

          Remember how Cairns (through his lawyer) said that back in 2008 (or so) VIncent was flakey and unreliable (Or words to that effect) and yet Cairns wanted that flakey and unreliable witness to testify on his behalf in the Modi case?

  14. Richard Christie 14

    Hmm, not-guilty or otherwise, I wonder how many people would now put any faith in the honour of C Cairns.

    A distasteful business, all concerned, all round.

    • GregJ 14.1

      And that’s kind of the point. The mud will stick – which is why we need all the safeguards we can get when the enormous power of the state is used to bring a prosecution against someone in a court. I know we all are meant to believe the people are “innocent until proven guilty” but my experience as a member of a jury in about 8-9 trials (I’m one of the “lucky” ones who has been called 11 times in twenty years to carry out my civic duty!) is that most people seem to believe if you are charged and in court there is “no smoke without fire”.

  15. Treetop 15

    Is there a difference between match fixing and spot fixing?

    If there is could there be an appeal or a new trial?

    • Yep, treetop. The difference is that match fixing is about the result, spot fixing is about specific points of action in a match (ie A fixer betting that a bowler will bowl a wide in the fourth over, because he’s paid him to do exactly that). The latter is harder to police and often more profitable than trying to rig an entire match.

      And, no, this was a perjury trial, centring on Cairns’ claim that he never cheated. It wouldn’t matter what kind of cheating, it’s either true or it isn’t.

      • Craig Glen Eden 15.1.1

        Good post trp and good response to those who obviously didn’t follow the case that closely.

        • Ross 15.1.1.1

          Except it doesn’t seem like trp followed the case all that closely judging by their comments.

          • tracey 15.1.1.1.1

            this notion that any of us followed it closely is ridiculous. 8 weeks of statements and tesimony, selected report sin papers, no transcripts, no televised feeds. NONE OF US FOLLOWED IT CLOSELY Craig.

            I absolutely accept that he is found not guilty and needs to be treated as such in terms of future employment prospects. You do not seem prepared to entertain the notion that a bunch of cricketers (including Cairns) could be liars and self serving.

            I am interested that McCullum is escaping attention, not least because there the jury didn’t release a statement saying “we believe McCullum”.

            • Craig Glen Eden 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Some closer than others then Tracey.
              But hey generally I accept most of the points that you have made as valid and many things come down to opinion and even opinion on facts.

              I totally agree that probably the most compromised person in all of this is Brendon McCallum now. NZ cricket are now diving for cover it appears to me, lots of lets just move on type stuff.

      • Treetop 15.1.2

        I thought it was about not cheating at all, thanks for the confirmation.

        When it comes to spot fixing I think this would be so hard to detect in cricket compared to any other spot and yes it goes on.

        In the early 1980s I went to Trentham races for the Wellington cup, a jockey pulled the reins so hard near the finishing post; the sound from the crowd was so obvious, (looked like jack up).

  16. Once was Tim 16

    Perhaps there’s a lesson in this for all of us possums (or if you prefer = ‘there are learnings for us all going forward’)
    Just because someone comes across as an arrogant, self agrandising cnut – doesn’t mean they have mal-intent.
    It maybe that they’re simply a bit naive, or just a bit fik.

    Which is why I find it hard to explain the likes of Chris Finlayson and others.
    Dear Leader really needs NO explanation – he fits the very definition of a sociopath – and if not that, a psychopath – and the more you delve into the fukker, the more he’s deserved of pity rather than respect.

    Not sure how we explain a Police Commissioner though. I suspect just simple fikkniss would be the easiest explanation

    • GregJ 16.1

      Good point. I’ve actually played against both Lance & Chris (Lance after he retired from International Cricket – although he was still a bloody good bowler at about 40-42 and Chris when he was on his way up before making the NZ team) so I “knew” them very (very!) slightly. I would have to say from my very slight acquaintance that they probably weren’t “my sort of people” (cricket being about the only thing we probably had in common) but as you say just because you don’t like someone or their attitude doesn’t give you carte blanche to accuse them of something without evidence to back it up.

      I don’t think anyone has come out of this well (Cairns, his fellow cricketers, the ICC Enforcement Unit, the British CPS). While I think it is vital that our justice system is tough on perjury this case looked really weak and not well handled.

      • Craig Glen Eden 16.1.1

        So true GregJ.

      • tracey 16.1.2

        I agree with this summation. To be honest I think Cairns was charged as much by the Brits to make some kind of message about what they will tolerate and this feel into their laps before a local player.

        I didn’t play with Chris but I had experiences with him for a few years when he was 20 to 25-ish. Nice enough lad particularly before his sister died. If anything he took too much advie about his cricket from everyone. Constantly changing his batting technique according to who made the most recent suggestion. But he did change after his sister tragically died, as you would expect.

        There are others I know through my connections in Cricket who had close dealings with him once a set member of the Black Caps.

        Does any of that make him a cheat or match fixer? Of course not. But I know enough to have doubts.

        It appears our press do not ant to discuss it but for me, the person who comes out VERY badly from this should be McCullum, but he seems untouchable.

  17. Ross 17

    One more point. All jurors didn’t return not guilty verdicts. At least one or two jurors thought Cairns was guilty – how did they reach that decision if there was no evidence?

    Clearly, there was evidence of guilt and another jury might have voted the other way.

    • tracey 17.1

      Ross, that si my point too. There was evidence BUT the weight given to that evidence varied greatly. And clearly, at least one person felt the evidence presented reached BRD, but the majority did not.

      WOULD love to poll the jurors on the civil test threshold.!

      • te reo putake 17.1.1

        Nicely put, Tracey. If you put a dozen people in a room with a tomato, most can be made to understand that’s its actually a fruit, but one will stay firm in their belief that it’s a vegetable because they buy tomatoes in the vegetable aisle at the supermarket.

        One of the reasons majority verdicts are allowed is to take account of the tendency of some folk to be contrary no matter what facts are put in front of them. Or in this case, the lack of facts.

        • tracey 17.1.1.1

          Yeah just ignore the stats which show that by far the biggest number of verdicts are unanimous.

          I totally get that anyone who doesn’t agree with your views are regarded by you as people unable to understand a tomato is a fruit.

          Your pseudo understanding of the legal system is mind boggling.

          I’ll leave you to the comfort of fighting for the safety of your view being the only right one all things TRP

        • Ross 17.1.1.2

          And of course some juries get it wrong. Here’s a majority verdict which saw Sally Clark wrongly convicted of murdering her two kids. The effects of a wrongful conviction can be devastating.

          http://www.theguardian.com/society/2007/mar/17/childrensservices.uknews

  18. Adrian 18

    One thing missed in all this is that Cairns was so absolutely sure he had NEVER cheated at cricket that he took the second most powerful man in Indian cricket (and one of the most corrupt men in India )with huge pockets and an army of paid for lackeys, to court. Modi could not come up with a single cricketer with any evidence and Modi is a scary bastard. You do not do that if there is even a hint of self doubt.

  19. ZTesh 19

    If Cairns was so sure he had never cheated, then he wouldn’t have tried to get Fitch Holland to recruit Vincent and Tuffey to make false statements that Cairns was innocent, the most telling point is that those two players (one of whom has admitted to match fixing and the other whom it is alleged) were the only two players approached.

    This is the full transcript of the skype call in question;

    “http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11553824”

    Read that and tell me there was no evidence against Cairns and that you don’t believe he was involved in match fixing.

    • I’ve read it, ZTesh. For a starter, it’s not Cairns’s skype call. He’s not responsible for what other people do or say. And the skype call was central to the prosecution of Fitch-Holland and he was also found not guilty, so it doesn’t actually prove a thing, apparently.

      • Ross 19.1.1

        You’re completely missing the point.

        Don’t you recall the prosecution saying that Vincent was a hopeless witness, a liar, a cheat, etc, etc? Yet, this is the same guy that Fitch Holland rang because he wanted Vincent to testify on behalf of Cairns at the defamation trial. Clearly, Fitch Holland – and, by extension, Cairns – thought Vincent would make a great witness.

        Remember that Vincent claimed he was offered a prostitute whom he admitted sleeping with. Why on earth would he admit to that if it wasn’t true? There is no benefit for him of making that up. That admission simply tarnished his reputation even further.

        • te reo putake 19.1.1.1

          Actually, Vincent lied about the prostitute too, Ross. He later admitted that he’d taken that particular bribe, too. I don’t think either of us could know whether Fitch-Holland thought he’d be a ‘great’ witness, but certainly, if he’s said Cairns was straight that would help. Again, we’re talking about Fitch-Holland, not Cairns.

          • Ross 19.1.1.1.1

            “He later admitted that he’d taken that particular bribe, too.”

            That’s my point – that’s why I asked why would he admit to that if it wasn’t true. You seem to accept he can and has told the truth.

      • ZTesh 19.1.2

        And I guess you believe that OJ Simpson is innocent as well.

        It’s pointless debating with people who see things in black and white, unless of course it doesn’t suit their personal narrative.

  20. tracey 20

    TRP wrote

    “Cairns and Fitch-Holland also had access to a taxpayer funded defence. Lets be clear, that would not happen here in NZ, because the Tories have kneecapped legal aid. They’ve limited who can get it and made it as unattractive as possible for good lawyers. Legal aid used to be a guarantee that working class Kiwis had a chance in court. Not now.”

    I agree the legal aid system has been mutilated and duty solicitors are young and inexperienced. However I cannot find a source to back the claim that someone facing a criminal charge with the kind of prison time that perjury can attract would not get legal aid. This is a big story if true.

    “Can I get criminal legal aid?

    Legal aid is government funding to pay for a lawyer for people who cannot afford one, and need one in the interests of justice. Legal aid may be available for people who are charged with criminal offences and cannot afford their own lawyer.
    Whether you can get legal aid will mainly depend on your income and assets and the charges you’re facing or the type of case you’re involved in.

    In general, legal aid may be granted if:

    you can’t afford your own lawyer and
    either you’re charged with a criminal offence and could face a prison term of six months or more or the interests of justice require that you be granted legal aid.
    The eligibility requirements are set out in the Legal Services Act 2011 (sections 6 and 8) and the Legal Services Regulations 2011.

    Your income and assets

    To determine whether you can afford a lawyer, Legal Aid Services will consider:

    how much you earn before tax
    the value of your assets, such as your property and vehicle
    how many financially dependent children you have.
    If you have a partner, their finances will also be taken into account.

    Types of charges and cases

    Legal aid may be available if you are charged with an offence that could be punished with a prison term of six months or more.

    Legal aid may also be available if you are appealing your conviction or sentence for one of these offences.

    Legal aid is less likely to be available for minor charges as the duty solicitor can assist you in these matters.

    However, legal aid may be available for these cases if you face a special barrier of disability, such as difficulties with reading or writing, or mental illness.”

    Ministry of Justice

    IF this information from MOJ is patently wrong, then there is a far bigger story to be written. I do note th eliberals prinkling of the word “may” in their description.

    • Thanks for the clarification, tracey. I may have over – egged that, but the point I was trying to make was that legal aid has been removed as an option for most working class Kiwis, which remains the case, except, as you show, where the cases are particularly serious.

      • tracey 20.1.1

        No probs, I am genuinely intereste din hearing stories from those who have not been able to get legal aid since this Government hastened its disintegration.

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    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
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    4 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

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  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
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    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

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  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    5 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

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    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    6 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1

    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor

    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15

    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15

    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?

    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    6 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution

    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky

    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15

    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond

    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?

    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ

    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28

    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    7 days ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response

    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment

    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President

    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Questions from God

    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The politics of money and influence

    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity

    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?

    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    1 week ago

  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
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    1 day ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
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    2 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
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    3 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
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    3 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
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    3 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
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    4 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
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    4 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
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    4 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
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    5 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
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    5 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
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    5 days ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
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    5 days ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
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    6 days ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
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    6 days ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
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    6 days ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
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    1 week ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

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    1 week ago
  • District Court judges appointed

    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
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    1 week ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins

    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended

    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance

    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones

    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
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    1 week ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress

    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
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    1 week ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government creates MAG for retail crime victims

    The coalition Government is establishing a Ministerial Advisory Group for the victims of retail crime, as part of its plan to restore law and order, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee says.  “New Zealand has seen an exponential growth in retail crime over the past five ...
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    1 week ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
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