Written By: - Date published: 12:10 pm, October 16th, 2011 - 6 comments
Over at Wheelers corner in the Manwatu there is this rather classic post about a conversation overheard in a cafe. It really does stand on its own as a tombstone to a departing MP.
Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, April 20th, 2011 - 39 comments
The Family Court as far as I’m concerned is the only court that tries to act as the gate before the cliff, rather than the grave digger at the bottom. The costs to society both directly and in loss of potential can be astronomical when taken over a persons entire lifetime of not handling the family issues clearly and decisively. So why does Simon Power want to fiddle with it? Apparently to forestall urban myths which does seem to be his sole political ability.
Written By: - Date published: 7:07 am, April 15th, 2011 - 62 comments
There are many significant changes to our legal and democratic rights that are going on under this National government. Each on its own might look like a small thing, but collectively they add up to a major erosion of our freedom.
Written By: - Date published: 12:41 pm, March 8th, 2011 - 37 comments
Worth: gone. Wong: gone. Mapp: going. John Carter: going. Te Heuheu: probably going. Sharples, Hide, Dunne: facing de-election. Lockwood Smith: going mid-next term. Key: gone in three years, tops. More with limited lives due to corruption/abuses/incompetence (Heatley, English, Bennett). Why did Power really leave a party and government that was his to shape?
Written By: - Date published: 1:56 pm, March 2nd, 2011 - 61 comments
The man tipped to be National’s next leader, Simon Power, has announced he will not be standing at the next election. The reasons are obvious. As a decent man and an old fashioned caring Tory, Power has no heart for the direction National want to take New Zealand. His resignation is a sign that within the party, the dry right have finally taken total control the idealogical reigns and there is no longer a place for liberal wets like Power.
Written By: - Date published: 8:08 am, February 12th, 2011 - 7 comments
The government is pleading poverty thanks to the tax cuts for the rich (and even though government debt is under control). This is their excuse for welfare and spending cuts and asset sales. This is shown to be pure spin by the fact that they’re passing over the opportunity to save the economy $75 million because they won’t spend $28 million.
Written By: - Date published: 7:32 am, November 16th, 2010 - 65 comments
Simon Power yesterday introduced the new “Criminal Procedure (Reform and Modernisation) Bill” to Parliament, touting it as “the biggest change to the criminal justice system in 50 years”. It certainly is that. It proposes doing away with trial by jury for a significant range of offences. It proposes allowing a trial to go ahead without the defendant present. In other words, it looks like yet another attack on fundamental rights…
Written By: - Date published: 12:17 am, October 17th, 2010 - 30 comments
Simon Power is ‘consulting’ on regulating the on-line communities to prevent violations of normal societal and legal standards. Clare Curran asks ‘hopefully’ that this isn’t simply a reaction to the idiocy of ex-National party member Whaleoil in how he chases readership. But I suspect that is why this foolishness has come back on the agenda again. Plus National would prefer that there wasn’t so much criticism of their wimpy leader.
Written By: - Date published: 10:28 am, July 31st, 2010 - 16 comments
The Economist has a great article looking at the American propensity to deprive their citizens of their liberty for trivial offenses. We have the same stupid political ratcheting here that causes it. A large part of that is fueled by groups like the Sensible Sentencing Trust. There needs to be a broad agreement across the political spectrum about such hysterical groups before they cause more damage.
Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, July 1st, 2010 - 23 comments
So often, Parliamentary debates are pointless and pro forma. What a revelation, then, when Simon Power was so swayed by the Left’s MPs’ arguments that he hand-wrote an amendment to his Courts (Remote Participation) Bill guaranteeing defendants the right to choose to appear in person. A good day for rights. A good day for Parliament. Power for PM?
Written By: - Date published: 8:31 am, June 5th, 2010 - 5 comments
Two Electoral Reform bills are currently accepting submissions, and each contain one particularly large flaw. Firstly, as I commented on the Electoral (Finance Reform and Advance Voting) Amendment Bill: getting rid of the 3 month election period is a very dangerous move. National have now decided that the election period only starts on the day […]
Written By: - Date published: 3:55 pm, May 25th, 2010 - 42 comments
“Three strikes” is likely to become law today. This video shows that three strikes legislation hasn’t worked overseas. It’s unlikely to work here. It’s a crime bill that is not expected to deter or reduce crime and may increase murders.
Written By: - Date published: 12:00 am, April 20th, 2010 - 159 comments
The Government has received advice from the Ministry of Justice on its ‘three strikes’ legislation. It reveals such a horrendous risk of passing the law that any government should have abandoned it immediately. Instead, Simon Power was shuffled out of the way, Justice was muzzled, & the advice was suppressed. Until now.
Written By: - Date published: 12:08 pm, March 4th, 2010 - 39 comments
An ugly side of the Right, one that a lot of people thought was long defeated, has reemerged in recent weeks. Yesterday we had David Garrett’s ‘sterilise the poor because they might become criminals or breed criminals’ and last week we had arguably more disturbing comments from Judith Collins about how she wanted to restore “fear” of the Police.
Written By: - Date published: 9:29 pm, February 25th, 2010 - 11 comments
The Electoral (Administration) Amendment Bill would allow Simon Power to appoint a new Chief Electoral Officer and new Electoral Commissioners for the 2011 election. This is wrong. These officials must be completely independent, they must not be or be seen to be political appointees.
Written By: - Date published: 11:22 am, February 19th, 2010 - 11 comments
When you’ve got a Finance Minister who can’t get stats right, a Social Welfare Minister who can’t define her flagship policy, and an Education Minister who can’t explain her flagship policy, it’s easy for an incompetent Women’s Affairs Minister to slip through.
Written By: - Date published: 2:53 pm, February 17th, 2010 - 11 comments
I’ve been looking for feedback on Simon Power’s electoral finance reform package but I can’t find anything from Labour. After the hell that rained down on them over the EFA (much of it richly deserved) I can only assume that Labour thinks National’s got it about right.
Written By: - Date published: 12:39 pm, February 17th, 2010 - 30 comments
The business elite wants to drag us back to the days of unfair elections and weak democracy, when business interests held even more sway than now. We don’t want to return to those days. We want to keep the best electoral system in the world – MMP.
Written By: - Date published: 2:39 pm, September 28th, 2009 - 32 comments
Justice Minister Simon Power has released the Government’s proposals for reform of electoral finance law. Remember, Labour’s reforms of electoral finance law were branded an assault on democracy and free speech by National and its affiliates like the Herald. There were protests in the streets (oddly, at the Wellington one, most of the several dozen […]
Written By: - Date published: 3:17 pm, July 24th, 2009 - 21 comments
Today we saw Justice Minister Simon Power get a front-page story for proposing a ‘reform‘ of the justice system that is actually just existing law (one wonders whether there’ll be days of recrimination coverage in Granny arising from that). In a few months, we’ll see National table a Bill to remove provocation as a partial […]
Written By: - Date published: 8:05 am, July 24th, 2009 - 36 comments
Justice Minister Simon Power: I believe we need to have an open debate about the way in which sexual violence cases are conducted. In this regard, I am currently considering potentially far-reaching reforms, including:…Making evidence about previous sexual relationships between the complainant and any person inadmissible without prior agreement of the judge. umm… Evidence Act […]
Written By: - Date published: 10:28 am, July 17th, 2009 - 61 comments
Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias has kicked off a debate on whether our justice policy is working [PDF link]. Her view is that the frequent failure of punitive sanctions demands a rethink. Her analysis is supported by over 40 years experience in the criminal justice system and in the TV3 clip (below), her views seem […]
Written By: - Date published: 10:53 pm, May 19th, 2009 - 19 comments
from Beck Vass: “With an average jury trial taking at least 12 months, and judge-alone trials taking just six months [that’s actually from charging to end of the case, not the length of time in court], trial times would be halved, reducing the trauma for victims and backlogs in overloaded courts. Mr Power said his […]
Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, May 19th, 2009 - 15 comments
Simon Power talking on Q+A on Sunday showed a abysmal ignorance about how matters operate in his own portfolio. He blamed lawyers and juries for slowing the court system down. My experience in courts says that he is wrong – it is usually the police slowing things down. The lawyers agree here. He is correct […]
Written By: - Date published: 10:51 am, May 17th, 2009 - 9 comments
On Q+A this morning, Justice Minister Simon Power flew a kite on some possible changes to the justice system. The first was raising the severity threshold at which defendants can elect trial by jury. Currently, if you are tried for a crime with a maximum sentence in excess of 3 months on prison you can […]
Written By: - Date published: 2:55 pm, October 7th, 2008 - 30 comments
If he stands true to his principles, National justice spokesman Simon Power will soon be criticising the cost of their proposed new prison. You’ll note in this story that National proposes to build a prison (for their new reactionary justice policy) at a cost of $314 million. That is $548,951 per bed. Or not far […]
Written By: - Date published: 10:11 am, May 2nd, 2008 - 16 comments
Never one to miss an opportunity to stir up fear over crime, Simon Power now wants us to believe that we’re less safe because of the rise of “violent offenders” being granted home detention. As is increasingly common inside his caucus, he’s hoping that we’ll overlook the detail. The background is that in the last […]