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Tea tape judgment

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, November 23rd, 2011 - 140 comments
Categories: john banks, john key - Tags: ,

Any minute now, we should find out whether we are allowed to know the secret plans that John Key and John Banks were foolish enough to discuss in a public cafe in front of the country’s media, or whether that information will be denied us before we vote on Saturday.

Update: Judge has declined to make a decision:

A declaration on whether a conversation between John Banks and John Key in a Newmarket cafe has been declined.

Justice Helen Winkelmann has just released her judgement, saying she has not reached a view on whether it’s a private or public conversation.

So it can be published without breaking the law. Under s216C(1) of the Crimes Act, publication is only illegal if publisher knows the interception was illegal under s216B. No-one can now know that because s216B only applies to private communications and we are in legal limbo on whether the teapot conversation was private.

140 comments on “Tea tape judgment”

  1. chris73 1

    A judgement which will no doubt cause a massive surge in popularity for Labour

    • mike 1.1

      I don’t know about massive, but no doubt it would help for sure. And who would Key have to blame for it but himself? The court? The cameraman? This is Key’s sloppy fuck up.

  2. insider 2

    Expect the judge to back off and refuse to give a declaratory judgment – as a potential jury trial trumps the dc. She alluded to that yesterday. Will a non-decision make it a non-story? Like f**k it will

  3. mike 3

    Even if the judge, who I’m picking is quite fond of her job and would like to keep it, does decide that a conversation in a cafe between two prominent politicians with 40 journalists invited to document the event is indeed a private one, there is still the issue of public interest regarding the press releasing it, which can and should supercede privacy concerns.

    Whether or not the contents of the tape are sufficiently in the public interest, only those who have heard it could judge. The editor of the HoS keeps saying that it is – “explosive”, “game-changing”, “compelling”, and even Duncan Garner says it “raises some interesting questions” (and we all know on which side he butters his bread).

    The public are certainly interested, even more so when they see the PM and Banks first becoming forgetful about what they said, and Key pulling out all the stops to prevent the release of something he’s “not bothered” about. Because he’s a former banker and trader who is also a man of principles. Yeah right.

    • Carol 3.1

      As I understand it, from reading some legal commentaries, “public interest” does not come into the relevant law on privacy.

      My guess is that the Judge will not make a definite judgement on public/private with repect to the recordings, but will lay out some terms that will be need to be met in the police investigation as to whether the evidence shows the public/private nature of the event.

    • Jackal 3.2

      Apparently John Key isn’t worried about what’s on the tape… so theoretically he wont oppose it’s release? Is it just me or is Key looking more like a schizo every day?

    • queenstfarmer 3.3

      Even if the judge, who I’m picking is quite fond of her job and would like to keep it

      Let’s not start this again. Like in other commonwealth countries judges cannot be “fired”.

    • Carol 3.4

      Andrew Geddis says it’s not a relevant term in cases like the teatapes, in the comments below this post:

      http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/out-of-a-teapot-and-into-hot-water

      While I’ve posted my reasons for why I don’t think there’s been a breach of s.216B (thus no possible breach of s.216C) – reasons that largely conform to those Steve F outlines above – there is no general public interest defence available to those charges.

      • mike 3.4.1

        I’m not clear about this but I think the article you link to is discussing whether or not Ambrose could claim public interest as a defence for his actions. I’m talking about TV3 claiming such as a defence for releasing it.

  4. yeshe 4

    TV3 news pages have a poll for whomever one thinks might be PM next week . Goff on 53% and Key on 48% …at 2.20 pm .. while we wait …. cuppa tea anyone ??

  5. Application declined. PRedictable caution by the Judge,

  6. Blighty 6

    So, the judge has declined to rule.

    That means 3news can legally publish. It is only illegal to publish if you know the recording was illegal.

    • i hope so, let’s see if they whimp out too

    • queenstfarmer 6.2

      No, it means they can take the chance that it is not private. Status quo.

      • felix 6.2.1

        Cool, so they’re back to relying on their own legal advice that they were allowed to publish all along.

        • insider 6.2.1.1

          I’m not sure just having a legal opinion is going to be much of a robust defence against criminal charges. Lawyers are for hire you know.

          It\s a bit like that old Steve Martin sketch where he has the perfect defence to any crime: “Two simple words. Two simple words in the English language: “I forgot!” How many times do we let ourselves get into terrible situations because we don’t say “I forgot”? Let’s say you’re on trial for armed robbery. You say to the judge, “I forgot armed robbery was illegal.” Let’s suppose he says back to you, “You have committed a foul crime. you have stolen hundreds and thousands of dollars from people at random, and you say, ‘I forgot’?” Two simple words: Excuuuuuse me!!”

          • felix 6.2.1.1.1

            Don’t be a retard, insider. It’s not a fucking defence, it’s a precaution to help you judge risk.

            • insider 6.2.1.1.1.1

              If they were relying on it why did they not publish straight off? Because legal advice is not a guarantee that you are not breaking the law, and they know there is a risk they will be prosecuted.

              • felix

                Geez you’re a moron.

                They got advice that they could publish without breaking the law and they pussied out.

                Which bit are you stuck on exactly?

                • insider

                  you get the advice you pay for. I’ve been involved in cases where the opposition says they have great legal advice (Crown Law no less) saying they are absolutely right and are going to sue the pants off you, and then they do nothing. What they don’t tell you is all the ifs, buts and maybes in that advice. It’s all grandstanding until the papers are lodged. Actions speak louder than words. You might think they are pussies for not acting; I think it’s because their public bravado is not as fully supported by their advice as you think.

                  • Jackal

                    I think they were very specific about the advice they received and they could have released the recording straight away if they chose to. When you pay for legal advice it is somebody who is trained giving an honest opinion based on the law. It is very unusual for that advice to contradict law as you seem to be implying, therefore you’re clearly a moron insider.

            • queenstfarmer 6.2.1.1.1.2

              I don’t see how you can make such judgment calls unless you have actually seen the full advice (which I very much doubt you have).

              • felix

                They said it themselves. Last week.

                You could be right though, they might have been making it up.

                • correct, that’s what they said last week

                • queenstfarmer

                  Or it could have been wrong. After all, the very same information – plus much more – has now been given to a judge, who obviously came to a different conclusion to that which you claim the media’s advice came to (which you admit you have not actually seen).

                  • felix

                    Not a different conclusion, q.

                    The judge came to no conclusion at all.

                    ps It doesn’t matter who has seen the advice, I’m taking their word that they have it and it says they can publish. You don’t have to believe them but that’s nothing to do with what I have or haven’t seen.

                    What we know for sure is that a judge, having looked at all the relevant evidence, was unable to determine that the taping would definitely be illegal.

                    I say this means our fourth estate need to grow a pair (and only a tiny pair, given the judge’s ruling) and serve our democracy like they’re supposed to.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      What we know for sure is that a judge, having looked at all the relevant evidence, was unable to determine that the taping would definitely be illegal.

                      She wasn’t determining if the recording was legal or illegal but if the conversation was public or private.

                      Of course, a declaration that the conversation was public would also determine that the recording was legal. A declaration that the conversation was private would allow the police to continue to determine if it was illegal and done with intent rather than by accident.

                      But that still doesn’t cover whether the conversation should be published or not. That should be determined solely by public interest and it is most definitely within the public interest that this conversation be aired.

                    • insider

                      “our fourth estate need to grow a pair … and serve our democracy like they’re supposed to”

                      I’m not sure you quite meant it that way…

                    • felix

                      Yes Draco that’s all I meant by “would be legal”, that a ruling on the privacy or otherwise of the convo would imply the legality or otherwise of the recording.

                      Totally agree they should publish regardless due to the enormous disservice to democracy by withholding relevant information from the electorate.

                      lol @ insider.

        • queenstfarmer 6.2.1.2

          They could rely on their own legal advice at any time. They are not “back to” anything – as I said, status quo.

          • felix 6.2.1.2.1

            That’s what I meant too, q. They had legal advice that they can publish, and as nothing’s changed that legal advice is as valid today as it was last week.

            If they don’t publish it’s entirely down to their own cowardice.

          • the sprout 6.2.1.2.2

            agreed, it will be cowardice.
            now will tv3 help us along the road to Fiji or will they do the right thing?

      • Blighty 6.2.2

        no, because it’s only illegal to publish if you KNOW it’s private

          • Blighty 6.2.2.1.1

            I am:

            216C “Prohibition on disclosure of private communications unlawfully intercepted

            (1) Subject to subsection (2), where a private communication has been intercepted in contravention of section 216B, every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years who intentionally—

            (a) discloses the private communication, or the substance, meaning, or purport of the communication, or any part of it; or

            (b) discloses the existence of the private communication,—

            if he knows that it has come to his knowledge as a direct or indirect result of a contravention of section 216B.”

            The last line is crucial.

            So what does 216B say?

            “216B Prohibition on use of interception devices

            (1) Subject to subsections (2) to (5), every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years who intentionally intercepts any private communication by means of an interception device.”

            The judge has specifically said that she has not ruled on whether the conversation was private.

            Therefore, no-one can know whether the conversation breached 216B.

            So, you can’t be in breach of 216C by publishing because that requires you to know that the interception breached 216B. Which you can’t know because it’s in legal limbo.

            Simple.

            • queenstfarmer 6.2.2.1.1.1

              Wrong x 3.

              A person doesn’t need to “know” whether or not the conversation was private. Whether or not the conversation was private depends on all the facts – which is precisely why the cameramans lawyers were talking about the location, the media being invited, who else could hear, etc. If it was simply a matter of the cameraman saying “well, I’m not sure!” then there would be no need for his lawyers to give such evidence, or even any argument. All he would need to say is “I am not sure whether it was private, therefore it cannot have been private”.

              • Blighty

                Try reading the law again: “if he KNOWS that it has come to his knowledge as a direct or indirect result of a contravention of section 216B”

                The operative word is “knows”

                How an anyone KNOW if Ambrose was in contravention of 216B?

                Because no-one else does because the judge just declined to rule on the matter saying: “I make it clear that I have not reached any view on whether this was a private conversation, and whether Mr Ambrose’s actions engage S216B”

                If you don’t KNOW the interception was a contravention of 216B, then publishing can’t break 216C.

                • Dean

                  Blighty’s right. The law obviously doesn’t require a breach of 216B to have been established in a court before 216C can come into action but it does require knowledge that 216B has been breached.

                  There is no way a reasonable person can have knowledge that 216B has been breached, especially now that even a judge who has just had a day to look at the evidence has said ‘dunno’

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                    Blighty and Dean know more about the law than Winkelman J, obviously. Good on you boys. When do we expect your elevation to the Bench?

                    • wtl

                      Winkelmann did not rule that publishing would be a breach of 216C, so they are not contradicting the judge’s ruling. In fact, the application brought forward by Ambrose had nothing to do with 216C itself.

                    • Blighty

                      hey, genius. point to the part in the judgment where Winkelman says it would be illegal to publish?

                      She doesn’t. She expressly says she has made no decision on whether the recording was legal or not. It is only illegal to publish something that you KNOW was recorded illegally. Therefore, it’s perfectly legal to publish in the current circumstance.

                • queenstfarmer

                  Wrong x 4. I note you have actually changed your argument now. It still doesn’t matter what Ambrose “knows”, or claims he knows (which is actually a matter for the jury – the law doesn’t just accept an alleged criminal’s word without question), as far as the media goes. You need to read it more carefully, then you will understand what all the lawyers were talking about yesterday – and why none of the media organisations appear to agree with you.

                  And even if you were right (on either argument re interpretation), then why did the various QC’s at court spend so much time debating the distance of other diners, who else could hear, whether media had been invited, etc? On your theory, that would be totally irrelevant. Answer: you are wrong and they are right.

                  • Blighty

                    It’s not about what Ambrose knows. It’s about what any person publishing knows.

                    No-one can know that the interception contravenes s216B, therefore, if they publish, it does not breach s216C.

                    I’m really not seeing how you’re having trouble following this.

                    What s216C says is it is only illegal to publish something you know to have been recorded illegally. If you don’t know the recoding was illegal (even if it turns out the recording was illegal) then you’re fine.

                    • queenstfarmer

                      I’m really not seeing how you’re having trouble following this.

                      It’s not just me having trouble following you. The High Court, about 10 lawyers/QCs, and the media company’s internal lawyers have also clearly not followed your arguments.

                      You’re now making version 3 of your argument, and you are correct that if a newspaper was given a tape, and had no knowledge or reason to believe that it might have been unlawfully obtained, then it would not be in trouble for publishing it (at least under that law).

                      However that is not the case here. The moment the device was found, the conversation was claimed to be private. The media was aware of this, which is exactly why they all refrained from immediately publishing it. This has been the position since day 1, and today’s court ruling makes no difference to this at all.

                    • RedLogix

                      Regardless of whether the taping was legal or not; the simple, honest way not to be embarrassed by what you say is …not to say it.

                      Any problem with that concept qstf?

    • Carol 6.3

      Stuff reckons they remain private for now:

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6019903/Tea-tape-not-public

      Mind you, TV3 says they have neither been declared public or private:

      http://www.3news.co.nz/Judge-declines-application-to-rule-tea-tape-conversation-public/tabid/419/articleID/233778/Default.aspx

      This means the ‘teapot tapes’ have not been declared public, however this does not mean the judge has ruled the conversation as private.

      • mickysavage 6.3.1

        Stuff are soooo wrong. Geez fairfax is really bad this election campaign. They must be up for the Fox News award for independent Election Campaign journalism this year.

  7. felix 7

    All right, let’s hear it then!

  8. Tiger Mountain 8

    Caution? give her a saucer of milk. Lot of pressure though.

  9. Treetop 9

    So is the SG Collins now running the NZ courts?

    Why did the SG not himself rule on whether or not the Banks/Key conversation was private or not?

  10. Pundit X 10

    Judiciary suppressing matters of public interest days before a general election. Lets hear no criticism of Fiji pulease..

    • Chris 10.1

      How have they supressed it by not forming an opinion either way?

      • Jackal 10.1.1

        It’s actually a pretty simple enough matter:

        Winkleman has suppressed the tape by not making a ruling. She has ensured that MSM will not release the tape without a ruling because they fear prosecution. While a ruling is not made… they will defer to caution and also their existing tendency to protect brand Key.

        The issue isn’t unprecedented as some claim… by not making a decisive and timely ruling it appears that Judge Winkleman has deferred a decision because a ruling would look bad for National just before the election.

        1. The ruling is that the recording was made in a public place where Key and Banks cannot expect privacy. There was no arrangement made for a private conversation after the media were invited to attend the meeting.

        We get to hear the tape… Key and Banks are confirmed to be dubious and underhanded.

        2. The ruling is that the conversation is private and the tape is not released through Mainstream media.

        The backlash from this is probably just as problematic for those trying to suppress the tape.

        3. The tape is leaked.

        We get to hear the tape while the damage from example two is added to example one.

        I disagree with Pundit X… this case does not absolve Fiji for their military corruption.

    • insider 10.2

      If she had said it was private, that would have denied Ambrose a fair trial if charges were brought because its status would have been the point of any case. Nice gambit on his part but seemingly doomed to fail. The lawyers must have been hoping the judge was stupid.

    • queenstfarmer 10.3

      Incorret punditry. The court has not “supressed” the tape. The judge has simply kicked for touch – not enough info to make a definitive ruling.

      • Pundit X 10.3.1

        All the NZ media were waiting for judgement. Now they won’t publish. The conversation is effectively suppressed..

        • insider 10.3.1.1

          Nothing has changed. They are holding back because they are worried about breaking the law. Breaking the law is usually considered ‘a bad thing’.

        • queenstfarmer 10.3.1.2

          If the media choose not to publish, that’s not because of “the judiciary” as you allege. The media choose not to publish things all the time. E.g. they may be worried that it is defamatory, so they don’t publish because they might end up in court. Either way, it’s incorrect to describe such things as the “Judiciary suppressing matters of public interest”.

          • felix 10.3.1.2.1

            Last week they claimed to believe they could legally publish the recordings, but chose not to.

            They also claimed the recordings were matters of public interest which could affect the result of a democratic process.

            They most charitable assumption is that they chose not to publish because they weren’t entirely confident of their legal position. The other possible assumption is far more sinister.

            Personally I’m of the view that without a clear indication from the judge that the conversation was private, the public interest should supersede their legal speed wobbles.

            That’s if they are at all interested in assuming their role as members of the fourth estate.

            ps Pundit X did say “effectively” which is not the same thing as accusing the judiciary of deliberately supressing anything.

  11. anne 11

    Not making the recording public is bad for democracy in this country,the public’s right to know has been trashed,so what now for democracy? the nats are ahead in the polls labour can not close the gap,good time to leave nz.

    • seeker 11.1

      @ Anne
      Agree with what you have said:

      “Not making the recording public is bad for democracy in this country,the public’s right to know has been trashed….”

      Three days from a really important election and as a voting member of the public, I still don’t know why:

      1 we are (really) selling our assets;
      2 what information the government is holding back from us regarding the asset sales
      3 what John Key has set up regarding his secret conversations about deep sea oil drilling
      4 whether our genetic engineering code is going to be tampered with
      5 what john k. said to j.banks which may be ‘game changing’

      and I’m meant to vote with clarity and objectivity this Saturday, having been well informed, not!

      What a democratic farce this government has become – especially, in what I fervently hope, is its death throes.

  12. uturn 12

    “The overriding public interest is in allowing the police to go about their task of investigating a complaint, for the police to be able to make their decision as to whether or not prosecute, and leave the criminal process to proceed without interruption,”

    Clearly this is a matter no one wants to touch because the above makes no sense. Effectively it means the police decide what is legal/illegal?

    • insider 12.1

      No a judge/jury decide in a criminal trial. Winkelman making a comment on the issue of privacy before a trial could queer the outcome to the detriment of the accused. Innocent until proven guilty and all that.

      • uturn 12.1.1

        Your comment would stand if the Police had not already delayed serving search warrants. How could they undermine their own process by following it? They waited because they did not know. They waited for this ruling. The judgement, or lack there of, is a signal that the Police would likely win a case based on whether it was public/private. So why didn’t the Judge rule it was private?

        So what we have here is an (un?)intentional suppression of information. It says yes, you could publish with possibly legal immunity, but you’re 80% sure to lose if anyone tries to prosecute you.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.2

        Actually, I don’t think it would.

        If the judge declared the conversation public then the charges are dropped.

        If the judge ruled private then the police would continue on looking for intent. It wouldn’t actually change the ruling in that case as the police would have to prove he intended to record a private conversation.

        It’s obvious that the conversation is public (public space and well within hearing of others) so why did the judge decline to decide? And then there’s the fact that the police should have asked this question themselves before starting any other part of the investigation. Our justice department is moving very strangely on this issue.

        • insider 12.1.2.1

          Interesting points. I don’t think it is as clear cut as you. I think the presumption should start that any such conversation (by anyone) is private. If you were hunched over your coffee talking quietly to a friend, it doesn’t necessarily make it any less private that it is a cafe. If you were talking in a loud booming voice that carried across the room it would be a bit different. If a person is deliberately trying to listen in at the next table, that is different to someone who hears bits in passing.

          The judge is saying her expressing a view at all creates a risk of prejudice.

          • Draco T Bastard 12.1.2.1.1

            216B, Private Communication (b):

            does not include such a communication occurring in circumstances in which any party ought reasonably to expect that the communication may be intercepted by some other person not having the express or implied consent of any party to do so.

            Nothing about purposefully there, nor hunching down over your coffee. Basically, when your in a pubic space where you can expect to be surrounded by the public then you cannot have a private conversation because anybody could intercept it. Any other ruling is bollocks.

            • insider 12.1.2.1.1.1

              I disagree and so it appears does the judge because time and effort was spent on discussing distances of people from table, conversation volumes etc and the judge said that part of the law was an objective test and for her to make a ruling she would have to determine the facts and and draw inferences about the conditions in which the conversation took place. That tells me being in a public place does not automatically remove your right to privacy.

              • Draco T Bastard

                distances of people from table, conversation volumes etc…determine the facts and and draw inferences about the conditions in which the conversation took place.

                None of which matter. Shape of the building, materials used, etc etc all influence the way sound will travel. There’s no way that they could accurately determine who could/couldn’t hear. It’s an impossible ruling so go with the blanket statement that all conversations in public spaces are public.

                If you want privacy, get a room (not that two politicians talking about their actions in government should have privacy anyway).

        • Deuto 12.1.2.2

          “Our justice department is moving very strangely on this issue.”

          Draco, I assume you mean the justice process or system rather than the justice department. The Ministry of Justice have no involvement in the process of criminal charges until the Police decide to lay charges and the process moves into the court stages of the case.

          In terms of the seeking of the declaration, the Ministry’s involvement would have only been in respect of the administrative aspects of the High Court process – eg setting the date and time of the hearing, providing the courtroom and administrative support to the courtroom, the judge.and the participants.

          Not a criticism – just me being pedantic in respect of the different roles of the Police, the Ministry etc in the overall justice system.

    • Godder 12.2

      No, the Police decide if there is sufficient prima facie evidence to establish a criminal act. If so, they lay a charge. A Judge or Jury who hears the evidence then decide whether the charge is proven, which would include determining whether the conversation was public or private.

      • uturn 12.2.1

        As above. They had all the cause they needed,but delayed. Why?

        • godder 12.2.1.1

          You mean why did the Police delay executing search warrants? In case the Judge ruled it was public I suppose but that doesnt equate to the Police undermining their own process as you assert. I dont agree they waited as they didn’t know if it was public or private – that is an element of what they are investigating and it may be that information they believe they may obtain under warrant will assist in establishing whether it was or it wasnt. That’s what search warrants are often used for, to search for evidence to assist in deciding whether charges should be laid.

          The short point is that the jurisidiction granted to the High Court under the Declaratory Judgments Act isnt meant to be used to usurp the role of a Judge or Jury to decide criminal acts based on contested facts. That’s my reading of the decision. The Court may have felt able to determine in this judgment if it was public or private if there was no dispute as to the facts, but there is a dispute.

  13. anne 13

    Do nz’ers take this lying down or find other creative ways of protecting their rights to know
    what key really thinks of us,this is in the public interest and we should know,it does however
    make key look like the dictator that he is,a police state=John Key.

  14. tsmithfield 14

    What. A. Bugger. 🙂

    The public will interpret this as:

    Key = right
    Ambrose = wrong.

    I see Ipredict has leapt to 95% for Key and 5% for Goff on this news.

    • the sprout 14.1

      no the public will interpret this as Key=something to hide

    • Lanthanide 14.2

      Actually iPredict was at those prices before the release of her judgement. I bought up a few more dollars worth of Goff.

      I also made a nice little sum on shorting National Majority when it was up to 80 cents. It’s now back down to a more sensible 45.

    • seeker 14.3

      And this is good for democracy why ts?

  15. Lanthanide 15

    Having read the relevant parts of the judge’s ruling, I have to agree with her.

    TV3 has a link to it here: http://www.3news.co.nz/Judge-declines-application-to-rule-tea-tape-conversation-public/tabid/419/articleID/233778/Default.aspx

    • insider 15.1

      That’s big of you Lanth. I’m sure the judge will be delighted to hear it 😉

      • Dean 15.1.1

        Well, since Winkelman hasn’t decided anything and has left the door open for publication, I’m not sure why anyone would have a problem with her decision.

    • A sound decision from the judge. Sometimes you have to play the hand you’re dealt and we have seen court cases having been taken for no other reason than determining points of law or allowing the full evidence to play out.

  16. Tiger Mountain 16

    No one wants to touch it with a 40 foot pole? Are not courts for prodding at difficult matters? And actually making decisions fer crissakes. Sure things take months, at least in industrial law they do. But when a Prime Minister personally takes an action resulting in a police investigation days out from a general election….

    Judge Helen should have called Key and Banksie to account for themselves, and perhaps help her “have an opinion”. I guess some legal types sniffing around here will come up with various squiggly arguments why that should not or could not happen but it cuts little ice for some of us.

  17. joe90 17

    In her judgment Judge Winkelmann said:

    “I make it clear that I have not reached any view on whether this was a private conversation, and whether Mr Ambrose’s actions engage S216B. Indeed my decision turns upon the inadequacy of the evidentiary material before me to reach such a view, and in any event, the inappropriateness of my undertaking a mini trial as to whether certain conduct constituted a criminal offence, when exercising the Court’s civil jurisdiction, and in advance of a police investigation or trial.”

    Do the police get to decide whether certain conduct constituted a criminal offence?.

    • uturn 17.1

      Yep, you’ve found the strange legal (or possibly just logical) loop she’s applied. I think we’d need an experienced Barrister to even begin to unravel it. Whatever it really is legally, it sure looks dodgy to the layman.

      • godder 17.1.1

        The quote from the judgment actually identifies and highlights the issue well .

        The High Court has criminal and civl jurisdictions. Key’s complaint is of criminal conduct, which leads to a Police investigation and, if there is sufficient evidence, the laying of a charge in the criminal jurisdiction. A Judge or Jury then determines the charge having heard the evidence, seen the witnesses under cross examination etc.

        Here Ambrose invoked the Court’s civil jurisdiction by seeking a declaration (a civil remedy) to rule on issues which are normally dealt with in the criminal jurisidction. Winkleman has ruled that is inappropriate.

        • Jim Nald 17.1.1.1

          inadequacy of the evidentiary material before the judge??

          ackshully, another judge may have taken another view – that a declaration is sought and so a declaration may and can be given now based on and strictly confined to the evidentiary material that has been presented.

          with judges, ahem, “I can provide you with another one that will give you a counterview”

  18. ianmac 18

    And Joe in the same para “Indeed my decision turns upon the inadequacy of the evidentiary material before me to reach such a view,…..”
    Given that the case was over private or not private, and that evidence was presented, it seems by what she said that there is no compelling evidence so far that it was private. Surely if there was strong evidence she could have said “private.”

    • insider 18.1

      or was she saying that what was presented was not ‘proper’ evidence and there was not a full discussion and testing of the evidence and issues? Didn’t the SG ignore the privacy issue?

  19. Dean 19

    Winkelman: ““I make it clear that I have not reached any view on whether this was a private conversation, and whether Mr Ambrose’s actions engage S216B”

    If you don’t know that Ambrose broke S216B then you can’t break S216C by publishing his recording.

    “Subject to subsection (2), where a private communication has been intercepted in contravention of section 216B, every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years who intentionally—

    (a) discloses the private communication, or the substance, meaning, or purport of the communication, or any part of it; or

    (b) discloses the existence of the private communication,if he knows that it has come to his

    knowledge as a direct or indirect result of a contravention of section 216B.”

    Pretty simple.

    Publish it.

  20. Blue 20

    How hard can it be to decide if a conversation is private or not? The judge has ruled that it’s a political hot potato and she’s not touching it before the election.

    TV3 need to get some balls and publish it now. The HOS won’t, they’re still busy trying to pretend they’re not a tabloid.

    • Tiger Mountain 20.1

      “The judge has ruled that it’s a political hot potato and she’s not touching it before the election”

      Yep that was the actual ruling. Freedom below, +1.

    • Vicky32 20.2

      “TV3 need to get some balls and publish it now. The HOS won’t, they’re still busy trying to pretend they’re not a tabloid.”

      Sadly, they’ve meekly handed it over to the poliss. Proof if any were needed that TV3 suck biggly…

  21. freedom 21

    “my decision turns upon the inadequacy of the evidentiary material before me to reach such a view,”

    What more info could the Courts possibly require. They have access to all relevant witnesses – John Key, John Banks, also a couple of dozen media folk, and approximately twenty civilians. There are a butt load of images of the physical environment, and then there is the recording itself though that is hardly relevant to the decision as this case is about the context of the recording, not the content.

    What other info do you require to say if a conversation was private or public ?

    Defend the legality of the Justice’s actions all you want .
    It is judicial manipulation of public interest and nothing will change my mind on that

    • godder 21.1

      The Court hasnt had access to all witnesses. No-one has given oral evidence or been cross-examined.

      • freedom 21.1.1

        If the Chief justice wants to talk to someone, anyone, anytime in the process of a decision, they can.

        For the Chief Justice to say there was not enough evidence to declare the situation private or public is difficult to believe. This case was not about the content of the tape so what new evidence will be discovered in the future that can supplement the ample weight of evidence already upon the desk.

        you could say it is a lame deer on open ground , pity the hunter was bilndfolded

        • Godder 21.1.1.1

          Actually, the CJ can’t on her own volition talk to anyone, anytime at any point. That would be highly unusual.

          Ambrose chose to use a particular civil process. He sought an urgent ruling which precluded oral evidence and cross-examination. That was always going to mean that if the Court found there was a dispute on the facts (which can only be resolved by having the witnesses give oral evidence and having them cross-examined) it was highly unlikely to issue a declaration (whether it be the conversation was private or public). Any litigation who seeks urgent Court intervention no matter what the circumstances runs that risk. He ran the risk and he lost.

          Just one issue – Ambrose swore in an affidavit that he didnt hear the direction to remove any recorders or no recorders will remain on the table (or whatever it was). My understanding is that’s not accepted and he needs to be cross-examined and tested on that evidence but a) the process he chose doesnt allow for that and b) a Judge or Jury sitting in the criminal jurisidciton are the decision makers for that type of issue.

          • freedom 21.1.1.1.1

            Just because something is not usually done does not preclude it occuring.
            Law is meant to be tested, always and fully, to protect it and to strengthen it.

            this postponement of responsibility is cancelling a rafting trip because it is raining

            • godder 21.1.1.1.1.1

              I agree fully the law should always be tested but it has to be done in a principled way. The fact that something is not usually done (although its arguable what Ambrose wanted has not ever been done) should at least mean there has to be exceptional reasons to do it now.

              What you seem to want is that in this case the Chief Justice ignore settled principles of law and process and rule on an issue which is the domain of a jury and having not heard all the evidence. I dont agree with that.

              • freedom

                obviously i am not a lawyer,
                but i feel i get the gist of the separate issues and the separate cases at stake here.
                What i consider to be reasonable in this situation is a yay or nay towards whether the environment the recording was made in is private or public.

                There is more than enough relevant information for evidentiary discussion to be made. Importantly, if deemed public then the decision would not unnnecessarily commit further resources of the Police and the Courts. Except of course those resources that rightly follow any impending charges relating to any unlawful actions or accusations by known parties.

                If deemed private then the Police investigation into how the recording was made can continue with the Police confident that they are acting in full compliance with the law relating to the prosecution of a criminal act.

                when a horse falls they generally see if the leg is broken before they shoot it dead
                this time it appears the glue factory is taking orders before the horse even leaves the gate

    • insider 21.2

      Freedom

      None of those people were in court so the issues weren’t examined. No manipulation at all. Nothing sinister. SHe’s just saying there was no chance to do this in a proper way. Would you want charges against you heard without being present and the opportunity to examine witnesses?

      • freedom 21.2.1

        do not confuse the talk of a possible defamation case or a complaint laid by the PM with the decision requested of this case regarding the legality of the recording a conversation.

        • godder 21.2.1.1

          But the decision requested was in the wrong forum. The legailty of the recording cannot be determined by the request for a declaration using the civil jurisdiction.

          • freedom 21.2.1.1.1

            then why was it even heard? The whole gamut of protocols that are in place in our justice System and this gets a Chief justice in the High Court. Yet people now turn around and say it was the wrong forum. Judicial manipulation of information that is now, undoubtedly in the public interest.

    • seeker 21.3

      @ Freedom 3.28pm

      “my decision turns upon the inadequacy of the evidentiary material before me to reach such a view,”

      “It is judicial manipulation of public interest and nothing will change my mind on that.”

      Maybe you are right, because when the tapes are scrutinised ( I recorded both news channels on this last night) one can see someone quickly clearing Key’s table of objects saying ‘take your mikes’ or something, but they leave that now infamous ‘black bag’ on the table.

      This, I thought, showed a) the bag being there was not solely down to Ambrose and b) they (security) couldn’t have been too worried about ‘privacy’ if they did not clear the table properly.

      Further, Ambrose asked if he could go and get his bag, so it shows he was probably at the back and didn’t hear what was said when the place was cleared.

      At least he tried to go and get his bag and so ‘clear the table properly, but he was denied access, so was not trying to purposefully ‘tape’ the two Johns.

      It also shows that as Ambrose had needed to ask, if he wanted get his expensive belonging back, that it was there before he left and had not been retrieved and/or given back to him as some one had done in camera sight with other ‘blackish ,baggy’ belongings I saw removed from the table.

      This whole mess is because John Key says one thing in public and apparently another thing, in what amounts to ‘under his breath’, which he calls ‘private’ when he means ‘two faced’ and does not like being caught out about it(who would)

      The other reason for the ‘police’ aspect of this horror mess (especially for a probably pretty ‘innocent of purposefully recording’ said ‘duplicitous’ remarks by John and John , Ambrose) is Stephen ‘call the police’ Joyce.

      I am sure the judge could have seen ‘the clearing of bags from the table’ on the video recording. I don’t think I am wrong about this .I watched it twice last night.

  22. mike 22

    “According to Fairfax Media the decision clears the way for police to search TVNZ, Radio New Zealand, TV3 and the Herald on Sunday.

    They quote Radio New Zealand head of news Don Rood as saying he expected a visit today – police had told him “see you on Wednesday” the last time they spoke.”

    So no decision means the search warrants still stand? That sucks…

    • jaymam 22.1

      I hope to see all of those media with the police search as their lead story, until after Saturday.

      • mike 22.1.1

        Yes police searching media outlets because the PM is concerned about a recording of his words should be a big story, let’s see if it is.

    • Chris 22.2

      The search warrants were always going to still stand. The police just wouldn’t have bothered executing them if she had decided that it was public.

      Which is basically why she didn’t rule either way – she didn’t want to prejudice (against either side) any ongoing police investigation.

  23. Carol 23

    Andrew Geddis reckons that the judge delivered the ruling he expected, and that it doesn’t indicate she’s been “leaned on” by the powers that be. He also reckons that no criminal charges will be brought for this case, but that the “tapes” shouldn’t be published before the elections for “ethical” reasons. I’m not sure what his reasoning is on that last bit:

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/the-bradley-ambrose-non-decision

    (1) Anyone who says that this decision “proves” that the taping was illegal, or shows that it was “private”, or means that the cameraman will now be charged is telling you lies. As Justice Winkelmann herself says at para. 55:
    […]
    In fact, I stand my my previous position that no charges will ever be laid in relation to this incident, much less anyone get convicted for the taping.
    […]
    So – there you go. Now we won’t know (for certain) what was on the tea tape … at least until after the election, when the Police announce no charges will be laid over its recording. But that’s OK – I don’t think the media should release its contents anyway, on ethical grounds.

    Which is exactly the position that the Herald on Sunday have taken, just in case we need reminding of that.

    • mike 23.1

      Hold up. So the judge said that a conviction here is very unlikely, yet the search warrants are still going ahead? Is it just me or is that a bit loopy?

      Also I believe that only those who have heard the tape should have an opinion as to whether releasing it is ethical. What if, hypothetically now, the tape shows Key is lying to the public in a serious way? Then it would surely be unethical not to release it. So where is the line? Only those who have heard the tape can decide, the rest of us can only wonder.

      Granted, those who have heard it have chosen not to release it. But anyone who thinks that journalists and editors of news organisations always make ethical decisions based on high principles should read this article:

      http://www.monbiot.com/2004/10/06/no-longer-obeying-orders/

      Meanwhile real issues get pushed aside such as National quietly releasing an awful education policy that gets no attention. Giving the public less than a week, not enough time, to consider it before the election.

      Nats’ education policy

      • Carol 23.1.1

        No Andrew Geddis said that the case is unlikely to result in any conviction. The judge didn’t say anything like that. She left it open for the police to investigate.

        I also think the case is becoming a distraction from important election issues.

        • Pundit X 23.1.1.1

          The case is becoming a distraction for Standard readers simply because there is a widely held belief that the conversation if exposed to fresh air would spell the end for Key. Whether that actually distracts from the issues that are framing the election is open to question. I’m of the view that publication of the conversation would prejudice Key’s re-election. Nevertheless there is certainly a healthy debate taking place on policiy issues but disappointingly it isn’t translating into support for the left..

        • mike 23.1.1.2

          Ah I see. The way the quote was laid out confused me.

    • Jim Nald 23.2

      While on the topic of ethics, this needs to be said – the actions of the two Johns have revealed their hypocritical and unethical behaviour.

      Voters who are discerning should be distrustful of their double act of theatre and scamming.

  24. anne 24

    If 4.5 million people say they published it,how can they prove who did?

  25. mik e 25

    I bet you the tape had something about undermining Len Brown As well

  26. Jester 26

    Just saw the decision. Man what a game-changer!

  27. coolas 27

    This may have been asked before and I missed it, but why doesn’t someone, anyone, who has the transcript sent it to Australia and have it published there?

    • mike 27.1

      I’m trying to decide between:

      a) The journalists and editors involved operate on a very high standard of ethics and principles.

      b) Not doing so increases antipation and demand for their product once they do release it.

      Cast your vote now!

      I wanna hear the tape rather than just read a transcript…

  28. Another Jellyfish bitch judge. Yawn, yawn, NZ justice is a sick expensive joke! FFS when will it be fixed? Maybe I should ask John or Helen or Heather or Justice Potter or Peter?Fuck you scum of the earth liars. What a load of lies you pollie types spin.It’s a sick person that votes for such loser lying creeps!!!

    • Draco T Bastard 28.1

      FFS when will it be fixed?

      When we get 20+ years of left-wing government that goes through all our centuries of laws and legal precedent and gets rid of the BS and replaces it with something rational. Or, and when we get full participatory democracy which does the same thing – which ever comes first.

  29. Mike 29

    An interesting aside : see the 3 paragraph on Professional comments

    http://www.kiwisfirst.co.nz/index.asp?PageID=2145845379

    • mike 29.1

      Interesting link Mike I shall quoth from it:

      Helen Winklemann:

      “…However, in the last two years, Winkelmann J has demonstrated a worrisome tendency toward unduly protecting the Crown and powerful interests from legal accountability in secret.

      Helen Winkelmann J is timid by nature and personally dowdy. She is bright, but extremely reticent to confront her fellow judges when they pervert the rule of law or engage in personal misconduct. Winkelmann also staunchly considers it is every judge’s right to routinely suppress the open public function of their actions and rulings. These traits were instrumental in her peers supporting her promotion to Head of the High Court Bench in 2009.

      Would have close connections with Banks and key businesses from her legal practise. She has delivered a number of Auckland District Law Society seminars on aspects of company law including creditors remedies and fiduciary duties.

      Winkelmann J was the High Court Judge who revoked bail in the ill-fated terrorist prosecution by the Police (September 2007), reversing bail terms granted by Auckland District Court Bouchier. Suspects consequently spent a month in prison without bond until the terrorism charges were eventually dropped. This case revealed Winkelmann J is very susceptible to political pressure (she was aware there was no credible evidence in the Police terror charges when she revoked bail). In December 2010, Winkelmann J denied these 18 defendants their statutory right to trial by jury on reduced weapons charges, then ordered the Court staff to conceal the judgment reasoning which stated jury members would likely use “improper reasoning processes” in deliberation.

      Winkelmann J will rule according to law and facts in most cases where political pressure is not brought to bear. However, her extreme sensitivity to publicly exposing corruption by public officials is becoming commonplace. In September 2009, she ruled there was no reasonable cause for issuance of 6 of the 9 land warrants executed by the Police in the ‘Terrorist raids’ debacle in September 2007. But Winkelmann J suppressed her judgment from the public in what was clearly an attempt to unduly protect the Police and judicial officials from scandal.”

      Sounds like a very handy judge for politicians.

      • uturn 29.1.1

        I accept this site publishes opinion and all are welome to theirs. I don’t fully understand the non-decision over this aspect of the tea tapes or how it happened, but the blogsite the above article came from is going too far. I do not believe a lack of legal knowledge makes it ok to begin commenting on a person’s gender, dress sense and manner as an introduction to alleged corruption or not. It then makes any evidence of historical behaviour and rulings suspect through the bias of the author.

  30. jaymam 30

    Wouldn’t it be a good idea for someone like Winston to publish the transcript in the next day or so?
    That would get lots of publicity for Winston and more hits on Key and Banks. How bad can the penalty be for publishing?

  31. Pundit X 31

    Winston doesn’t have a transcript to publish. But if someone does and would like to publish anonymously before the election. let me know. fotografiejc@googlemail.com

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    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago

  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago