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Operation 8: Te Putatara

Written By: - Date published: 9:21 am, October 16th, 2013 - 31 comments
Categories: police - Tags: ,

As the resulting court battles die away and the suppression orders lift, the level of sheer dumb stupidity and outright silly paranoia of the police and other agencies involved in Operation 8 becomes clearer. It is time to start examining the fools amongst the officers in the police who brought so much dishonour and disrespect to their force.

And where better than Te Putatara who has a post up “Operation 8: The police raid at Parnell that got stopped in the High Court” which details a raid on an organisation with the resources to have an examination of the validity of the bloated and illegal search warrant to court while a raid was in progress. I’ll just pick off a few bits of interest to quote. But the whole post is worth reading.

We were raided at Parnell in Auckland on Monday October 15th 2007, exactly six years ago. It was part of the NZ Police’s Operation 8 “terrorist” raids at Ruatoki and elsewhere. There were raids on approximately 60 houses and premises around the country.

Like many other raids all over the motu you didn’t read about this one in Parnell or see it on the TV. There was a good reason you didn’t see this one on TV. We took the police straight into the High Court, stopped the raid, and got a suppression order to prevent any publicity.

The search warrant was a huge 20 page document. It listed all the items that the police were searching for including weapons, military equipment, clothing and computers. There were pages and pages of lists of things they were looking for. It was obviously an “omnibus” warrant that they were using right across the country. Most of it could not have been relevant to the raid on my office. There was no evidence at all that any of that stuff was in our building. It was a ridiculous warrant. It was also a lazy warrant and a shoddy piece of staff work, with nothing specific about what they expected to find at our location. There was this short paragraph about seizing computers.

It soon became obvious that they weren’t looking for any of the weapons, clothing and equipment that made up most of the warrant. The detectives were there to allow the electronic crimes people to attack our IT network and computers. The first thing they did was turn off our connection to the internet and forbade us from going anywhere near our network. I realised then that only the one short paragraph of that voluminous warrant was applicable to us. The bit about computers. The rest of the 20 page search warrant was absolute rubbish, and they knew it. It was a fishing expedition, looking for anything that might justify what they had enacted at Ruatoki and elsewhere.

I also thought that in that case the warrant might have been illegal and that whoever had obtained the warrant from the Court might have perjured himself.

The electronic crimes people were not sworn policemen and were led by a German fellow. He seemed to us quite nasty. We found out later that he had been a NZ policeman before joining the electronic crimes laboratory and that even some of his colleagues thought he was a nasty piece of work. We nicknamed him and called him “Fritz” to his face, which didn’t endear us to him at all. Fritz’s real name revealed in the Crown Indictment of 2012 was Juergan Arndt.

It came to me that this was the same Fritz who had a score to settle with one of my employees. About three years earlier Fritz had tried and failed to have my man charged with computer hacking, a benign petty offence about defacing a political website on the information super highway. My man would never do that of course. But it would be about as criminal as defacing a political billboard on any other highway but the police have convinced the parliament that it is a serious crime. It gives them something to do. So Fritz might have had another agenda apart from Operation 8 – a little bit of unfinished business.

We found out that Fritz planned to seize every computer and hard drive he could find. That would have been over twenty five computers and servers and would have put us out of business. I did my calculations and worked out that with our offsite data backups I could recreate the network but that it would cost over $70,000 and take weeks to get back into business.

It didn’t take long for an interim injunction to be granted with a full court hearing set down for 10.00am the next day. The raid was to stop until the court heard the application. I was to have no access to my technology and a police guard was to be posted in the premises overnight to ensure that I didn’t use it. The police were ordered to produce to the court the next morning the affidavit they had used to obtain the search warrant. We were attacking the warrant.

I went back to my office. A junior lawyer from my legal firm came with me to ensure that the police complied with the terms of the injunction.

There was another plainclothes policeman there. We hadn’t seen him earlier. He was big and intimidating. He asked my quite petite lawyer what she was doing there and she let him know she wasn’t intimidated at all. He then took an intimidating stance in front of me and asked me who I was. I looked at the nametag on his chest “Phil Le Compte” and said that’s a Hawke’s Bay family isn’t it. Taken aback he asked me how I knew that. I told him I went to school with a Le Compte and he asked me who that was. He was even more aback when I told him it was Alan Le Compte because it was his father. I said something uncomplimentary about father and son and he left.

You won’t see Phil Le Compte mentioned anywhere else in connection with Operation 8. Detective Sergeant Le Compte was at the time with AMCOS (Auckland Metro Crime and Operations Support) based in Harlech House with the Auckland SIG (Special Investigation Group) which was the lead agency in Operation 8. Le Compte did have a role in Operation 8 and that will be explored in a later article.

I’d point out here that Harlech House in Otahuhu is the Counties Manakau headquarters of the police. It also appears to be police’s repository for the biggest arseholes in the police force.

They concentrate in units like the Auckland SIG, Threat Assessment Unit (TAU) and others. Over a series of actions in the last decade it has become apparent that they neither understand the democracy that they live in, the activism that maintains its stability, nor the activists themselves.

They also play extremely loose with any kind of legal basis for what they do and attempt to keep both themselves and their activities well below any legal or public scrutiny. In effect they use the police force to hide their own unlawful activities.

The next morning at 8.15 I got a call from the lawyer to say that the police wanted to negotiate an agreement before the full court hearing. They claimed that they didn’t have enough time to redact (blackout) confidential parts of the affidavit before they had to produce it in court. They had about 16 hours to do that between the hearing on 15th October and the full hearing on 16th October, so that was no excuse at all. It was bullshit. I knew then that they absolutely did not want that affidavit to be scrutinized by a high court judge lest the warrant be struck down. That was the same warrant that they were using all over the country and that would have been disastrous for Operation 8 (from their point of view).

My reaction to their raid had obviously taken them completely by surprise and they were scrambling to contain the situation.

Emotionally I was inclined to ignore them and to go straight to court. I was in the right sort of mood to take them to the cleaners regardless of the cost. But logic and reason prevailed as I had a business to protect and staff and their whanau to think of. So we went into conference at 9am at the High Court. My lawyer and I sat down with Detective Sergeant Gutry and his lawyer Mina Wharepouri. The two lawyers had already drawn up an agreement which we signed. Under the agreement:

  • They would not remove any of my computers and drives except for the one computer on my staff member’s desk; the staff member they had already arrested and imprisoned.
  • That computer was to be returned to my office within 72 hours (the police usually keep seized computers for months or even years).
  • The electronic crimes people would be permitted to inspect my file server, under my supervision, to locate and remove any files relevant to Operation 8, specifically files related to an encrypted online chatgroup called AoCafe (I knew that there would be none).
  • The police would facilitate contact with my man in prison so that I could obtain any passwords I might need.

We went into court to wait for the judge.

It was Justice Winklemann again. She endorsed the agreement we had negotiated. Mina Wharepouri declared in court that the police had no interest whatsoever in me personally. We applied for blanket suppression of anything and everything that would indicate the identity of me or my business, and the location of my business, and it was granted by the judge. That was it.

In writing this piece I have unilaterally lifted that suppression order.

My lawyer remarked to me that it was rare indeed for anyone to bring a police operation to a grinding halt.

I’ve definitely violated the fair use on Te Putatara’s much much larger essay so I’ll contact them to apologize.  🙂 But I think I’ve given the gist of the sequence of events in their own words

Before the raid they appear to have had the usual dumb and petty harassment, intimidation, and surveillance that the police “intelligence” seems to specialise in when it comes to activists. With the people I know who have come under it, I’ve found it quite stupid and inept.

Why?

My experience of *all* activists in NZ is that the fastest way to find out what is happening is to simply ask them. They’re not doing anything that rises much above a misdemeanour level. Normally activists are hard to shut up about what they are doing, why they are doing it, and what they hope to achieve. In fact the only time in my experience you see them not wanting to shout their intentions all over the world is when they have had recent experience of some unthinking moron from our under-employed anti-terrorism police making complete testosterone fuelled dickheads of themselves.

Typically this consists of dragging activists through court on a fantasy trumped up charge. Usually this is only so that a moron from the police can get a search warrant to satisfy their prurient pantie-sniffer curiousity.  One way to get their jollies. Just asking the activist or other activists what they thought they were doing would give a far more accurate information.

After the usual experience with the police, activists often get secretive, covert, hidden and hostile. As far as I can see the only major effect that the police has on the activist communities in NZ is to make them stop being open about what they are doing.  After decades of watching the police bumblers dealing with activists acting almost entirely within the law, I have obviously no respect for either them or their counter-productive tactics. I’d also advise anyone getting involved as an activist of any kind, from a greenpeace contributor to working in a community law office or a political party to simply treat the police as being dumbarse enemies of any democratic action. The police in NZ formed as a militia intent of suppression on any possible rebellion, and that has remained their culture ever since.

And in any case, what kind of level of “crime” ? The same kind of level that many of us have when we doing our daily living. In my life, I’ve handled and fired weapons, made explosive devices, written virus and surveillance code, cracked into innumerable computers both local and remote, done some dangerous driving, dropped out of planes, done active political subversion, broken into other people’s houses, slaughtered animals wholesale (for dog tucker), taken prescription drugs without a perscription, and innumerable other activities.

Some of these were in the army or as part of my general level of political activism. Most were not. Some were just part of general living (like acting as a super and breaking into an upstairs apartment to turn off their flooding dishwasher). Some were part of my work in places as diverse as farms and writing code. Some were just for fun, for instance doing the same combat maneuvers in the army and in paintball – and the paintball was much more lethal.

Some were legal when and how I did them, for instance playing with explosives is really a lot of fun. Some were subsequently made unlawful. Some were unlawful because sometimes the law is an arse on acts rather than intent. And some were simply unthought of by the politicians and legal fraternity when I did them .

But I’m just a damn geek. I spend much of my sedentary life either on computers or with my nose buried in content. God knows what people who are more active than me get up to. Of course there are some fools around who just like easy targets for political smearing.

What matters is the intent, the “mens rea”, and that is specifically what some members of the police and other security forces simply are inadequate. That the courts find against them most of the time when they try to charge activists is for exactly this reason. Sure, they may have done the act (actus rea), but it was done for the best of intentions.

A classic example is animal rights activists with their video cameras collecting data on the institutionalised cruelty of some kinds of factory farming. Sure they break and enter into chicken and pig sheds. But who’d blame them after looking at some of the disgusting conditions they shoot with those cameras. I sure as hell don’t want to eat food that comes from those conditions. Given the rapid and widespread take up of free range eggs and pork products, many of my fellow citizens don’t either.

But getting back to what played out for the author at Te Putatara. In effect what they had in a single day was the abbreviated course of the subsequent three years of most of the rest of those caught up in the Operation 8 dragnet on activists. Because they had the resources to hire some expensive and effective lawyers to protect their business, they were able to legally squelch the unlawful actions of the police early.

For the rest of the defendants they had to suffer through a long, protracted, even more expensive, and ultimately undefendable face saving legal exercise for some idiots in police. The few relatively minor convictions that the police obtained at the end of it were simply a token figleaf gesture to cover the institutional “deep in the forest” paranoia. That is a problem for the police that the police seem to be incapable of handling inside their own organisation.

But I’ll leave the last word to Te Putatara, and I must say that I’m going to be interested in reading further from them (they’re now in the Feed)

But this story is the starting point for a full analysis of Operation 8 in future articles. As a retired army officer and a former intelligence analyst I was very interested in the intelligence analysis that led to the “termination” phase of Operation 8. I then started to collect as much information as I could to analyse the intelligence operation behind Operation 8. I followed the case through the courts to the High Court criminal hearing in 2012 and thence to the Court of Appeal. I did some work for the defence team at the trial.

I early on came to the conclusion that the police operation was incompetent and unprofessional. I concluded that the detectives involved were total amateurs in the field of Intelligence and that their incompetence, and the incompetence of their superiors, had led to a debacle from which they scrambled to extricate themselves. They had the the help of a very professional and strategically canny prosecution lawyer, Mr Ross Burns. The courts have also established that the police had knowingly acted unlawfully in obtaining and executing warrants during the intelligence operation.

This series of articles will describe in detail all of that. And Te Putatara will raise a series of questions that have never before been asked, and certainly not answered.

31 comments on “Operation 8: Te Putatara”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    A German ?

    The Stasi comes to mind

  2. Tracey 2

    And again, the police will say “that was a few years ago, culture in the police has changed since then…”

    This is stark reading for those peddling the “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” drivel

    We are only as secure and safe as those who are charged with spying on us and protecting us, who frequently do not have the greatest judgment or intelligence in the world.

  3. karol 3

    Jesus! There’s quite a level of detail here – excellent for the record. But also, where does the buck stop? Was it a multi-layered attack on anyone deemed critical of the “establishment”?

    Is this the main mover and shaker?

    You won’t see Phil Le Compte mentioned anywhere else in connection with Operation 8. Detective Sergeant Le Compte was at the time with AMCOS (Auckland Metro Crime and Operations Support) based in Harlech House with the Auckland SIG (Special Investigation Group) which was the lead agency in Operation 8. Le Compte did have a role in Operation 8 and that will be explored in a later article.

    What role does/did the government (in 2007) play in this?

    Interesting that their focus was on the computers. Was this just because they were fishing, or because it was a relatively early (pre John Key) attempt to monitor electronic networks?

    • lprent 3.1

      What role does/did the government (in 2007) play in this?

      Nothing much. The government/parliament’s role is pretty much as a funding agency for the police militia. The government can withdraw funds (politically dangerous) and can put in funds for particular areas. Officially they have no direct operational control that they can exert except for the threat of funding and persuasion. In practice, it largely depends on the relationship between police commissioner and the various commanders (the autonomy within the police is pretty intense as well sometimes) and the police minister.

      The politicians will usually get briefed when a major operation is about to happen.

      In a lot of ways the system is admirable because it removes a lot of the distinctly dangerous control that a police minister/government could have. It is also a problem when you look at how the police can drift away from the rest of society.

      Activists are a pretty good barometer of that, and right now some of the police are distinctly nutty compared to rest of society. It is the worst that I have ever seen it, especially in the manner that some of them are actively breaking the laws that are meant to constrain them.

      Interesting that their focus was on the computers. Was this just because they were fishing, or because it was a relatively early (pre John Key) attempt to monitor electronic networks?

      Nope. They have been doing that since the late 90s when they first started realising the information issue. The computer bods for the police have been up the road from me pretty much from when I moved in at my apartment about 98/99. Greatly expanded now.

      They typically grab all computers, hard drives, etc hold them for a year or two or three as “evidence” and generally return them with a collection of viruses from unprotected surfing of the net. Mostly bored officers using them to surf porn as far as I could see from the ones I have seen in the mid-00’s. That appears to be done purely for intimidation as far as I could tell. Either that of a simple ineptness.

      I guess they never heard of cloning drives.

      • Rosie 3.1.1

        Bloody hell. Thanks for posting that fascinating and disturbing account the day after the 6th anniversary of the Raids. The full article left me even more furrowed of brow. It will be be good to read more, as more information comes to light, and piece together more of the truth of Operation 8.

        P.S: Interesting your answer to karol re the involvement, (and direct lack of) of the previous govt. I had always wondered.

        • lprent 3.1.1.1

          It is pretty well laid out in the Police Act. That got updated a few years ago, but still has essentially the same structure as it has had since the police were the colonial militia.

  4. Rhinocrates 4

    Great, inspiring story! Who watches Big Brother? Thousands of Little Brothers and Sisters.

    Name the fuckers, let them know that they’re being watched and they don’t have Crosby Textor handling them. (In the future even those idiots will know that they need not only media training, but information control and it will be very professional, so be forewarned)

    On that note, if you have do deal with WINZ on Willis St Wellington, be sure to record any meeting with someone named Camille, who tried to conceal her identity from me.

  5. Rhinocrates 5

    usual dumb and petty harassment, intimidation, and surveillance

    Even the thick as two-by-fours pigs are going are going to get slicker and start getting slick media professionals working for them. Get ready.

    It’s early days yet, but I know personally of a civilian IT police contractor who has used his access to his powers to persecute his ex-wife. Considering that Farrar’s minions were also encouraged to find out information on her children, well…

    (No, I won’t “substantiate” my claims because any attempt to do so would only give more information about their identities, which I will not allow)

    It won’t be long before the personal becomes professional.

    I’ve a lot of former Soviet Bloc friends who are astonished at the naiveté of Kiwis.

    • Rhinocrates 5.1

      Hmmm, a temporary bug – I couldn’t edit. I wished to amend that comment to say “Soviet Union Bloc” and add “Nazi Germany” – No, that’s not a Godwin, I’m that old and my friends and family are even older, and some are Jewish – and well, I won’t go further into that.

      The “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” slogan was coined by Goebbels and Godwin is an idiot.

  6. One Anonymous Knucklehead 6

    The full article is well worth reading.

    If nothing else, it should demonstrate to those who believe “TPTB” have a secret office where they run everything from, that the secret office is full of bumbling idiots.

    • lprent 6.1

      After careful observation since the tour in 1981, that has been my conclusion.

      However the key thing to always remember is that they are paranoid bumbling idiots.

      They are dangerous not because of their intellect but because they hold the position of initiative in the legal structure. They can gain search warrants based on crap off the net and vague suspicion. They can charge with large numbers of spurious offenses and hope that some of them stick. They can cause the cases to drag out for years by defending charges, limiting disclosure, and innumerable hearings where all that is said is that the crown is not ready*.

      The classic case for this was with rocky. The only case that she has ever lost (that wasn’t turned over on appeal) was the one where she was working in Tauranga with a case in Auckland. The police dragged out the hearings with rocky having to organise witnesses and bus up and down to Auckland every month (taking time off work for all involved).

      For some reason the police saw fit to organise a short date for the hearing at the court which rocky received notice of too late to organise anything. The judge for some reason wasn’t interested in resetting the hearing to when these things could be organised.

      Quite simply the police concerned with activists often use their advantages in the legal system to gain convictions.

  7. greywarbler 7

    This is rather long but it has a place in consideration of Operation 8 and I think you will find it relevant and riveting.

    Reading about the attitudes of these invading police stirred a reminder of the Goon Squads which started in 1999, soon behaving so excessively they were disbanded in 2000. Similarities in their behaviour and pleasure in ‘terror’ tactics is echoed in that shown at Ruatoki and around the country in Operation 8. And a question remains in my mind. After training these men and allowing them to proceed with bullying mostly illegal behaviours which they presumably found satisfying, once the activity is stopped, where do they work using their acquired skills and mindset and what is their next role?

    Read about the Goon Squad.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=2043154
    25 May 2002
    Goon Squad
    They were the jailhouse equivalent of shock troops – elite prison guards who were to obey orders without question and be accountable only to others in their so-called Goon Squad…
    The Corrections Department’s now-disbanded emergency response unit (ERU) moved from jail to jail, including men’s and women’s institutions, using inmates as part of their training operations to “test compliance” and impose their will….
    Clad in black overalls, black full-face helmets and armed with shields, members of the squad would stamp in unison through jail corridors to give the impression they were coming in vast numbers….The police donned the same gear as the Goon Squad so they could not be identified.

    This was part of Operation Buildup, in preparation for the possibility that computer systems and power supplies around the world could collapse at midnight when the year 2000 arrived.

    Off duty, they bonded by drinking together – at one time spending department money they authorised themselves – and conducting covert operations in the civilian world that would normally be left to armed police or secret agents….

    One, Peter Nielson, recalled the reaction of squad deputy leader Doug Smith to the fact Mr French was not coping after Haimona’s death. Mr Smith said Mr French should “harden up” because “there’s no place for soft cocks in this unit”.
    Another squad member, martial arts instructor Alistair Thompson, told the court how, in apparent eagerness to prove he was not soft, he put his penis on the bar of Canterbury’s Kirwee Tavern and allowed Mr Smith to bash it with a beer bottle.
    Mr Thompson denied this reflected a macho culture in the squad but offered no explanation for what happened, while Mr Smith said on oath that he was not a bully and squad members never acted aggressively.

    The Militant –
    http://www.themilitant.com/2002/6631/663137.html
    The goon squad, which was set up in 1999, was a specially trained Emergency Response Unit (ERU) made up of prison officers. With knowledge of prison authorities, the thugs conducted nighttime sweeps through the complex of three prisons to intimidate prisoners. At times they included off-duty police officers, military police, other military personnel, and officers of the Department of Customs. The ERU conducted its sweeps in all three prisons, including the women’s unit.
    Abuses revealed
    Many of the details of the squad’s activities came to light in May this year through the Employment Court. Nigel French, a former member of the goon squad, filed suit in the court against the Corrections Department. French is demanding compensation from the department, saying he suffers clinical depression and “post-traumatic stress disorder.” French says his condition began after he and four other guards overpowered prisoner David Haimona in 1999….

    During their reign of terror, ERU thugs would conduct sweeps to test “inmate compliance.” Dressed in full riot gear, they would advance through the high security east wing of the main prison, deliberately waking prisoners by stomping their feet in unison, and repeatedly rattling cell doors to try to provoke a reaction.
    The outfit used riot shields to force prisoners onto their bunks. They would also shine a red laser light from a nearby rooftop into prison cells to make prisoners think police armed offenders’ squad (AOS) rifles were trained on them. If a prisoner reacted to the cumulative psychological onslaught, the goon squad would then burst into their cell, using a hydraulic door opener if needed.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/content/233098/2556418.html
    Goon Squad” inquiry welcomed
    The unit was established in 1999 to tackle crime in prisons, but was scrapped a year later amid claims its unorthodox methods intimidated both inmates and other officers….
    Corrections Minister Paul Swain says he has asked the State Services Commissioner to undertake the inquiry because of continuing allegations and criticism of the Department’s handling of issues related to the unit….

    New Zealand First MP Ron Mark has long campaigned for an independent inquiry into the Emergency Response Unit, or “Goon Squad” and says there finally needs to be clear reasons given as to why it was set up and who authorised it.
    “We’ve had a report that was quite detailed but what was disturbing was that many of the details that were highlighted by those investigating officers have since been kept secret and private.”
    He says the dissatisfaction around the case strikes at the very core of the integrity of the Corrections Department .
    “If people like me are going to screaming at the government to lock people up for longer and give them harsher sentences you want to know that this Corrections Department is not corrupt…that it doesn’t operate procedures that are outside its brief.”

    Hi..r’s brownshirts were active long before WW2 and were instrumental in preparing the way for his local and internationally political hostile campaigns.
    http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/Nazi_Germany_dictatorship.htm
    A dictatorship requires one person and one party to be in control of a nation and a climate of fear – this was provided by Himmler’s SS. Personal freedom disappeared in Nazi Germany…
    When Hitler was appointed in January 1933, Germany was a democracy. Germany had fair elections; nobody had their right to vote abused; there were numerous political parties you could vote for etc.

    The Goon Squad 2000, the Ureweras 2007, Dotcom 2012. The use of overweening police force, really para-military force, in NZ occurs with unpleasant regularity and causes concern.

    • The Nazis never died out. Some escaped via the ratlines and some found a new home within the US research & development agencies. Reinhard Gehlen’s intelligence unit remained in place, now feeding information to the US. It could be argued that the nuclear arms race of the cold war was in part due to Nazi intelligence which exaggerated the Russian threat.

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    Watched all of Operation 8 last night, for the first time, as a way to note the anniversary of the state terror raids. Not NZ’s proudest moment. Pointing guns at children, not bothering to provide food or water to detainees, and other completely unnecessary behaviour. Then using the court system as a way to intimidate innocent people, cost them thousands in time and money, and treating it as a lark. NOT flash.

  9. greywarbler 9

    Some comments on the media presentation.
    http://www.october15thsolidarity.info/
    21 Feb. 2012 “The media present only carefully selected ‘evidence’ without context.”
    “It is like the ‘terror files’ published in the Dominion Post and the Christchurch Press in 2007,” said Ms Cocker.
    One month after the police raids of October 15th 2007, both these papers published selected parts of evidence in a manner that the Solicitor General described as, ‘the most serious challenge to the public policy underpinning the law of contempt that New Zealand has ever seen.’ He said that the articles were ‘deliberately inflammatory, unsettling, provocative, and memorable, and that Fairfax published them as widely as possible.’

  10. Jared 10

    “A classic example is animal rights activists with their video cameras collecting data on the institutionalised cruelty of some kinds of factory farming. Sure they break and enter into chicken and pig sheds. But who’d blame them after looking at some of the disgusting conditions they shoot with those cameras. I sure as hell don’t want to eat food that comes from those conditions. Given the rapid and widespread take up of free range eggs and pork products, many of my fellow citizens don’t either.”

    And that just highlights the issue at hand. One mans freedom fighter is anothers terrorist?
    Clearly illegal actions took place, whether the extent of the raid was justified is unclear.
    You can kick the can around as much as you like obfuscating about the intent of those in the training camps, their sovereignty beliefs and intentions were and still well known, and is something that people who criticise the police actions like to conveniently gloss over. Activism of that nature is absolute bullshit and only serves to divide the country, would be nice if those involved actually addressed their beliefs instead of the likes of Morse deliberately saying nothing.

  11. I’ll ask AGAIN – where is the ‘solidarity’ with fellow Public Watchdog – Vince Siemer – who is in the Auckland High Court this week?

    Tomorrow – 17 October 2013, Detective SuperIntendent Andrew Lovelock will be subjected to further cross-examination by barrister Colin Henry.

    This is a VERY important case, and Vince Siemer and his wife Jane, deserve our support.

    “The claim pleads eight causes of action, including unlawful detention and trespass, malice and conversion.”

    ___________________________________________________________________________
    http://www.kiwisfirst.co.nz/

    NEED BETTER WORK STORIES?

    8 October 2013

    A 7-day trial in the Auckland High Court begins Monday, 14 October, against 14 men in blue concerning the dawn 2008 raid on the offices of Spartan News Limited (this website) and home of Vince and Jane Siemer. A fifteenth defendant is the deputy registrar of the District Court who signed the undated police search warrant.

    No one was charged as a result of the raid, which was postulated on Vince Siemer publishing the suppressed police affidavit used to hold, without bail, 18 New Zealand citizens in the infamous October 2007 Tuhoe raids (4 of the 18 were eventually convicted of various weapons charges; charges were dropped on the other 14).

    The case has been five years in the offing.

    Defence Counsel Austin Powell, of the “Constitutional and Human Rights Team” within Crown Law, will first cross-examine Vince and Jane and their daughter of the events of 21 February 2008 before the 14 police defendants tell their work stories. Two weeks ago that was expected to concern the twelve pages of items they seized but never accounted for on the day. However, the week before trial, the police conceded they have been withholding evidence of examination reports on the 5 cell phones they seized, had taken 183 photos inside the home not previously accounted for and cannot find the data the police cloned from three computers they seized.

    Crown counsel Powell could only reply in a 7 October email, “I am not able to give priority to any more questions about discovery of documents. We are now a week out from the fixture and there is a great deal of preparation to do. I will attend to this and any other requests if time permits.”

    Then-Solicitor General David Collins approved the raids on Tuhoe in 2007 and the Siemers in 2008 but the Court of Appeal ruled in 2011 he could not be sued by Siemers and Spartan News. Mr Collins was appointed a High Court judge in 2012.

    In addition to all phones and computers, the police seized tax and business accounts, cameras and even printers. The police claim their active investigation ceased three years ago but admit to still holding unspecified property. The biggest return of items to date was more than 4 years after the raid, on 21 September 2012.

    The claim pleads eight causes of action, including unlawful detention and trespass, malice and conversion. The plaintiffs are represented by Yale educated barrister Colin Henry of Albany.

    _______________________________________________________________________

  12. Murray Olsen 12

    This is interesting:
    “That is a problem for the police that the police seem to be incapable of handling inside their own organisation.”

    It raises the question of why these guys are kept as valued members of ngati poaka. I can think of two possible reasons, which may not be mutually exclusive:
    1. They know too much about higher officers, or maybe even politicians;
    2. They are being kept in reserve for a future contingency.

    I’m sure I’ve seen one of them in the TV3 material about Teina Pora. They really are filth.

  13. greywarbler 13

    I had the idea that the police were agents of government, being the power that the state has, but not one citizens have, to use violence in pursuit of the intentions of the law, if necessary. And this applies I thought also with the army. And I thought that the police and army were under government control.

    It appears that the police are not, and what about the army? At the moment they are court martialling one of their seniors for not admitting a sexual relationship with another officer.

    It seems that these coercive arms of government are actually loose cannons. Very worrying. It appears that Ministers can’t or don’t set the course for them to follow, and insist that principles (which should be in publicly available places in clear written form on paper, or stone even) are followed or there should be consequences under the law that will be pursued expeditiously. Sounds legal eh?

    This distinction between administration of policy and the supposed government controllers who are usually elected by the people shows a rift in our democracy. The system as we have it, is not working as it should. The police aren’t being held accountable to principles, ethics and good practice of timely action, and the government won’t or can’t take action to bring them to heel.

    • richard 13.1

      For how much the army is under government control, it’s well worth reading Nicky Hagar’s “Other People’s Wars”

      He tells how the military and bureaucracy used the war on terror to pursue private agendas, even when this meant misleading and ignoring the decisions of the elected government.

      http://www.nickyhager.info/other-peoples-wars/

  14. greywarbler 14

    At the operation 8: Deep in the Forest film showing I saw it was mentioned that its makers were out of pocket. It is a very good production and lots of work and skill needed to produce it by two dedicated people and some help from others no doubt. If anyone knows what reliable channel donations could be made to now, previous arrangements probably being outdated, it would be a good idea to let us know.

    Legal aid if obtained has to be paid back. One of the activists lost her house. The harrassment I think continues to the present. The cost of the police action are extremely high on the taxpayer. But the costs that they have imposed on their victims lives in money, time, imposed detentions, have been impoverishing personally.

    The photocopying alone, of thousands of pages of documents was a high cost on taxpayer funds. Then for the victims, defence there was the exhausting time required to study this paper ammunition. It had to be read through and assessed. Much of the material was dud bullets, but it had to be searched for what could be used for the contrived charges.

  15. greywarbler 15

    Can my 10.07am comment come out of moderation now.

  16. Sable 16

    New Zealand governments have a bad track record of failing to respect the law and by extension peoples democratic rights. One early example was the vicious treatment of conscientious objectors in dubious internment camps during the later part of WWI.

    Little has changed. From flouting human rights laws regarding privacy to the right to freedom of speech and information NZ governments have used and abused the law on a whim whilst holding the rest of us to the highest possible standards.

    It strikes me that the problem with this operation is it was not built on a solid foundation to start with making it impossible for the police to build a solid case. This fiasco had more to do with the politics of coercion, using the police as a hammer to crush opposition.

    I have said this many times and I’ll say it again, there is an urgent need for reform of our government. We need an entrenched Bill of Rights and a independent watchdog agencies that oversees government ministers and their agents, holding those who fail to respect the law to account.

    • Ugly Truth 16.1

      The only real democratic rights are natural rights, human rights are fictions of law. IMO the NZ system is broken beyond repair, and the only rational course of action is to abandon the civil state and revert to the law of the land.

      The problem with the idea of a watchdog agency is that it implies abdication of responsibility. An alternative is a system which facilitates the vox populi, the voice of the people. This could be achieved by a system of groups of people (20, 50, 100) where each group finds a solution to a problem or dispute involving one or more of its members.

  17. greywarbler 17

    Sable
    Bill of Rights. Does that help and hinder in equal proportions? In the USA has it stopped more bad things than it has condoned? I’d like some thoughts here – just a few – when you have time. I thought we had Human Rights now.

    The Constitution conversation freaked me out when I saw so many OWGs jump up and start slanging hard-won systems for remedying pakeha bad behaviour to Maori. Oh no….Trouble is all the old bigots just add an extra g each year till they die. Hence we have with larger numbers of elderly men living longer, our own group of Ugly Acronyms – the biGGGot throwbacks.

  18. greywarbler 18

    Operation 8 Raids started on 15 October 2007. In the doco there is a view of Annette King in Parliament who is very reluctant to say anything at all. I think she is being questioned as Minister of Police but many of her portfolios seem to fit into this wide-ranging home invasion by the police or some group pretending

    At that time she seemed to be Minister of everything.

    Minister for Food Safety 1 July 2002-5 November 2007
    Associate Minister of Defence 19 October 2005-5 November 2007
    Coordinating Minister, Race Relations 19 October 2005-5 November 2007
    Associate Minister of Trade 19 October 2005-5 November 2007
    Minister for State Services 19 October 2005-5 November 2007
    Minister of Police 19 October 2005-19 November 2008
    Minister of Transport 3 May 2006-19 November 2008
    Minister of Justice 5 November 2007-19 November 2008
    Minister Responsible for the Law Commission 5 November 2007-19 November 2008

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