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Democracy at its finest

Written By: - Date published: 9:21 am, August 22nd, 2011 - 24 comments
Categories: accountability, housing, john key, law - Tags:

We have a representative democracy, which means that we elect people to represent us. People to work for us. People to consult, and listen, and act. Or not, as the case may be:

Key defends non-attendance decision

The Prime Minister’s defending his decision to stay away from a meeting between Attorney-General Chris Finlayson and the Quake Families group in Christchurch today.

The group want the government to provide legal aid so they can defend themselves at the Royal Commission into the quake.

John Key says he has met with the families before, and understands their concerns, but at the end of the day he would take advice only from Mr Finlayson anyway.

Glad we got that cleared up then.

So, why hasn’t the government just given these people the legal aid they need? Finlayson has been evasive on the issue for weeks:

Hon Clayton Cosgrove: Is the cost to the Crown the reason he will not provide independent legal representation to quake victims’ families?


Hon Clayton Cosgrove: Specifically then, given that answer, what is the harm in providing independent legal representation to quake victims’ families?

Hon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON: It is not a question of harm; it is a question of what is appropriate in the circumstances. I have been very happy with the excellent work the royal commission has done. Justice Cooper, who is the chair of the commission, the counsel assisting, and the families’ liaison person have kept in very close touch with these families to help them through this time. It is very like the royal commission on the Victorian bushfire, which I know the member is interested in. The commissioner said: “The significance of the losses of 7 February led counsel assisting to adopt a role in the hearings that represented, as far as possible, the public interest and particularly the interest of families, friends and communities affected by the fires.”

Hon Clayton Cosgrove: Does he agree that refusing to provide independent legal representation to the families is likely to result in those families losing confidence in the effectiveness of the royal commission inquiry, the evidence of which is provided in an open letter from Quake Families to him and the Prime Minister, which is partly published today?


24 comments on “Democracy at its finest ”

  1. And so it goes. Must surely help getting people to see Shonkey for what he is; A callous Sociopath who’s only interest is looking out for number one.

  2. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2

    The group want the government to provide legal aid so they can defend themselves at the Royal Commission into the quake.

    Defend themselves from what?

    • bbfloyd 2.1

      from idiots like you bikkie boy… you obviously come from a long line of witch burners… just like most tory supporters here in nz..

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2.1.1

        That explains it, then.

      • Blue 2.1.2

        So you don’t know the answer Floyd? Just spouting paranoid lunatic fringe rhetoric as always. I have some advice for you – engage brain before speaking. Please pass this on to goof, as he spirals into oblivion, and takes whatever is left of the Labour Party with him.

    • jackal 2.2

      Perhaps defend is the wrong word… represent would seem to resolve your contention Gormless.

      Yesterday I watched the TV ONE Sunday program. They investigated the construction methods used for the CTV building, which collapsed in the Christchurch earthquake claiming 115 lives. Without those people’s families being properly represented, National hope to avoid any responsibility for themselves or the Council who allowed incorrect construction methods to be used in a known earthquake prone area.


      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2.2.1

        Except that a Royal Commission is an inquisitorial process. I am not sure how involving more lawyers guarantees a better outcome.

        • mik e

          It would be alright if we had a spanish type one you would probably get some where near the truth

  3. Lindsay 3

    Key will only turm up for meetings where he can be shown in a positive light.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      The history behind it is that Key told the families that the government would do everything possible for them in a meeting a few weeks after the earthquake.

      Now they’re not doing “everything possible”. When asked about it, he didn’t want to confirm what he said at the meeting “out of respect for the families”, implying that they are liars.

      He doesn’t want to turn up at the meeting because he has flip-flopped and doesn’t want to be called on it. Nothing more, nothing less. He’s a coward.

      • vto 3.1.1

        Key a coward ….. hmmmm ….. interesting…

        Picture Key in a threatening scary position with a bunch of other people – would he be the type to step forward and confront or the type to step back and hide?

        I suspect he would shrivel and cower

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

          Of what are you accusing our PM? Being shit at fighting? Bet he would take Helen Clark down.

          • vto

            No, you foolish oleolebiscuitbarrel, trying to get a feel as to whether he would be brave or cowardly when in a dangerous situation, of any type.

            I don’t think he would lead from the front. Do you?

          • Pascal's bookie

            Bit revealing that it wasn’t your first instinct to say that he could take Goff.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

              Well, I didn’t think anyone would think besting Goff in a fistfight would be anything to be proud of.

              • ropata

                I doubt that Key would be able to get in the same ring as Phil “Axeman” Goff. How many fences has Key built with his own hands?

                Apposite proverbs :
                “The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it an unscalable wall.”
                “Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.”

              • mik e

                The only thing Key can lift is a powder puff for his smile and his hand for his wave. At least Phil can lift his Harley of its stand and ride it and not look like a Gormless idiot that looks like a biscuit barrell in drag

        • Rodel

          I saw Key in the house being attacked by Phil Goff (On Youtube) on a number of occasions.
          He really did shrivel and cower.
          Love to see Goff do it again.

  4. Key didn’t front because it could have potentially been messy and that would tarnish the carefully coddled image of Key as ‘everyman’s’ concerned and understanding friend.

    If Finlayson made the wrong call (i.e., started to get caned in the media) Key could then step in and put it all to right. If Finlayson didn’t get caned, then Key could simply let it ride.

  5. aerobubble 5

    Money makes money. So of course Key wants to stop young people who
    are dependant onn the state saving up money (via intro of a dole card)
    from using that money to invest in their own success. Increasing the
    isolation and lack of powerlessness, denying the parentless from
    negiotiating how cash is used by them.
    Its a sad day when even the MSM allow such fragrant discrimation against
    the poorest and most powerless.
    But then no surprise given their coverage of the youth riots, wher young
    people suffer increased burdens, have their raped murdered youth phone tapped
    and police misled by the very same media lockout.
    Our media is lying too us about peak oil, about our govt, about our society.
    Its about repect said the young women asked about the uk riots.
    msm gets iy yet? no.

  6. Tombstone 6

    I live in Christchurch and have endured the quakes since day one. The day that the 6.3 struck and killed 181 people was a day that will be forever etched in our memories. The ferocity of the quake that day was beyond all compare. It tore our city apart in seconds. From my home I could hear the city crumble. The air thick with sirens, alarms, chaos and death. I turned on my tv to see people 2 minutes down the road from my own shattered home walking out of the large dust clouds that engulfed the CBD confused, frightened, bloodied and broken. I saw New Zealanders, even some who I know personally frantic to help those in need. Risking their LIVES to save others who were trapped in rubble or covering the bodies of those lost to nature’s ferocity. I even knew people who never made it. Who died that day and who will be lost to us forever. Compared to those of us who have survived and lived through the thousands of tremors that have left our city, our homes, our lives in ruins John Key is nothing. His treatment of those families has been despicable and he has no right as far as I’m concerned to himself a leader. He has abandoned those people for one very simple reason. He doesn’t care. To those families I only wish I was able to do more. All of Canterbury feels your loss and is behind you 100% because we at least understand and feel your pain. They were real people, women, men, children, even babies – dead and gone! A real leader would have mourned their loss and demanded answers without the need for the people to seek answers themselves – that would have earned my respect. Smiling and waving at us has done nothing but leave me feeling sick to the core. I make no apologies for an emotional and somewhat wordy post as I had to get that out. It’s been a tough year and it’s not even over yet. The tremors are still with us and so is the passing of all those poor souls who lost their lives on that tragic day. Lest we forget.

    • r0b 6.1

      To you Tombstone, to my own family who are there, to everyone in Christchurch – be strong.  There are many, all over the country, who are thinking of you every day.  There are many, all over the country, who want to see Christchurch safe and strong and rebuilt.  All the very best for the tough years ahead.

      • Tombstone 6.1.1

        Thank you Rob. I appreciate your thoughts, as we all do down here. Cheers mate.

        • vto

          Well said tombstone. It is indeed tough and even now we are on a knife-edge as to whether we stay or leave for a while. It is tough living in a broken city with destruction all around. It is certainly not getting easier and I don’t think it will for a while, although the earlier daily stress seems to have morphed into some kind of other calloused thing.

          It is the sheer scale of the numbers involved, people and buildings etc, that is causing the issues. People go through similar things on a daily basis all over the country, be it losing loved ones, or their homes, or some other unfortunate twist of fate. Unfortunately they have to go through that on a solo basis. At least we have all of us in the same boat, which while it makes for a mammoth city-scaled job it also means we understand and can support each others position.

          You are correct re John Key. He is a weak man and not worthy of the office he holds.

          Hang in there mr tombstone.

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