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Time for Greg O’Connor to resign

Written By: - Date published: 8:04 am, October 25th, 2012 - 52 comments
Categories: crime, police - Tags:

Police deserve better representation than a gild that insists no cop can do any wrong. All Police are tainted by the illegal, unethical actions of the few, which the Police Association under Greg O’Connor endorses, defends, and tries to cover-up. O’Connor’s latest outrages are dismissing a report into systemic sexism and sexual abuse by Police as a “ritual humiliation” and justifying Police laying false prosecutions.

Unions don’t stand by every worker, right or wrong, they go in to fight to workers who have had their work rights violated, not ones who have broken their end of the workplace relationship without justification. Likewise, Fonterra and Federated Farmers are joining the modern age, turning against dirty farmers who make life harder for the bulk of their members, rather than defending every farmer to the hilt. So, why are the Police stuck with this dinosaur?

How many times have we seen O’Connor standing up to defend unjustifiable police actions? One stands out. As the Urewera case was coming apart, O’Connor was on TV slandering the people who had charges against them dropped by accusing them of crimes based on what he claimed was shown on inadmissible video evidence. The Police who had held a town hostage and boarded school buses while heavily armed had done nothing wrong.

Yesterday, O’Connor decided to lambast the Courts after a judge throughout Police cases based on a bogus prosecution that the Police ran against their own undercover officer. Apart from the clear issue of separation of powers for the man who has taken it upon himself to the the Police’s spokesperson telling the Courts what to do, he’s defending immoral and potentially illegal activity. To carry out the hoax charge against their man, Police must have violated s110 and s256 of the Crimes Act (at least), not to mention perjury and false arrest. Does O’Connor condemn that? Does he condemn Police laying charges that they know to be false? You bet your arse he doesn’t. He thinks the ends justify the means.

But I think it’s the outburst on the sexual abuse report that could finally put O’Connor over the line. He’s spat on the 300 women Dame Margaret Bazley identified as having being victims of Police sexual misconduct. He’s basically dismissed all sexual offending as inconsequential and punishment for it as being merely symbolic and undeserved. He thinks it doesn’t really matter that Police are doing these terrible things and his response is to be annoyed that anyone’s talking about it. The Police have important things to do, like reduce crime, he says, and if that means condoning crime among his own, then Greg O’Connor thinks that’s OK.

We deserve better than this, and the Police deserve better too.

52 comments on “Time for Greg O’Connor to resign”

  1. I am stunned by this revelation.

    THe police obviously think they are above the law.

    It seems that the Kimdotcom curse has hit again and Grant Wormald’s career must be in tatters. 

    Charges should be laid against those directly involved for forgery and making a false declaration.  If the rule of law means anything everyone, police included, should be bound by it. 

    • toad 1.1

      …Grant Wormald’s career must be in tatters.

      Not sure about that. Suspect there will be a few jobs coming up at the GCSB that he would be well suited for.

      • Wychbych 1.1.1

        Quite.

        Like any stew or soup or mix, the scum rises to the top.

        Have a gander at this:

        http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/hr271007a.htm

        It’s Meurant’s piece on what it’s like to be in the Farce. The culture of privilege and entitlement stems from the Crewe Case, has carried on from there. Planted evidence, rape allegations (and convictions in the case of Shollum and Shipton), the sexual assault of their own colleagues, is it any wonder they think they’re untouchable?

        I know of two policewomen who both have less than two years on the job; both have quit as a direct result of how they’re treated at work. One was sexually assaulted; the other verbally assaulted and harangued. And this is all OK, according to O’Conman.

        The ‘Independent’ Authority that investigates them does nothing when malfeasance is found. Who guards the guards?

        Risible!

      • Wychbych 1.1.2

        Quite.

        Like any stew or soup or mix, the scum rises to the top.

        Have a gander at this:

        http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/hr271007a.htm

        It’s Meurant’s piece on what it’s like to be in the Farce. The culture of privilege and entitlement stems from the Crewe Case, has carried on from there. Planted evidence, rape allegations (and convictions in the case of Shollum and Shipton), the sexual assault of their own colleagues, is it any wonder they think they’re untouchable? I know of two policewomen who have less than two years on the job; both have quit as a direct result of how they’re treated at work.

        The ‘Independent’ Authority that investigates them does nothing when malfeasance is found. Who guards the guards?

        Risible!

        • Wychbych 1.1.2.1

          Sorry for the stutter 😉

        • Red Rosa 1.1.2.2

          Well spotted. Should be required reading for all MPs this week. This too

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7834356/Progress-on-police-culture-changes-poor

          This sort of conduct only benefits the bullies and crooks in the force. It drives out good cops, and breeds cynicism and contempt for the law.

          That Nelson case is quite extraordinary. Would be interesting to see US and UK legal comment on it.

          • Wychbych 1.1.2.2.1

            the UK polis have their own problems with systemic corruption (phone hacking, Hillsborough, any black teenager’s arrest, alas).

            Dragging and throwing suspects in custody around, threatening to rape protestors (…’tell us your name or we’ll rape you’ was their offhand comment to a protestor who recorded them), the list goes on, sadly.

            A sign of the times?

      • Glg 1.1.3

        Generally two cockups in the Police leads to a promotion.

    • Tom Gould 1.2

      More concerning is the ditzy ‘Phyllis Diller’ response of the so-called Police Minister. In any mature democracy, there would be an immediate expression of concern over Police deliberately perverting the courts and the law, and an independent inquiry. But here, on Planet Key, nothing. Seems okay to them, by the looks. How far we have fallen under these corrupt Tories.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1

        Seems okay to them, by the looks.

        That’s because they think that breaking the rules is normal. They do it all the time and are never held accountable for it. Just look at Bennett and her release of private details. An abuse of power that should have had her out of politics permanently but she’s still there. Same goes for Banks.

    • Stephen 1.3

      “THe police obviously think they are above the law.”

      Of course. We always use the phrase “Law and Order” as though these were synonymous. They’re not, and the police basically see their mission as enforcing order, not enforcing law.

  2. ianmac 2

    The word that O’Connor used that bothered me was “creative”. As in police have to get creative in order to catch crims. He used it as creative = the right to bend or break the law. Really?

    • prism 2.1

      ianmac
      I observed this word ‘creative’ and its meaning too. Awful. How can police gain deserved respect after all the horror stories that have come out of recent years? Greg O’Connor just confirms that there is a bad attitude underlying the Farce.

      And of course the pollies don’t help by their refusal to bring in policies that are good for society and help it to function well and happily. A lot of police corruption can grow when combatting drug dealing, marijuana should be eased up, so that the manufactured drugs can be concentrated on.. Alcohol is something that politicians will not act on despite public demand. Pollies are proving inadequate for the job, inefficient, and not only ineffective but toxic to the country. Police malpractice can only grow in this climate.

      As the country declines under the suffocating weight of economic mismanagement and lack of support for local business enterprise with jobs, we could be on the way to a Fiji like coup in NZ, with police and army combining forces. I don’t feel that either of these entities are imbued with ideas of respect for law, people and society in general, and the politicians can hardly control them, though the forces are supposed to be in service to the government.

      • seeker 2.1.1

        Great comment Prism, especially ” And of course the pollies don’t help by their refusal to bring in policies that are good for society and help it to function well and happily.”

  3. Pete 3

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  4. Rich 4

    Would teachers be allowed to belong to a union that supported child abuse?

    I think it might be time to consider whether belonging to an organisation with O’Connor at its head is professionally appropriate?

  5. Richard Christie 5

    We deserve better than this, and the Police deserve better too.

    I think he fits in very well with the general police culture.
    Don’t expect internal moves to oust him.

    • fatty 5.1

      “I think he fits in very well with the general police culture”

      True…Greg O Connor represents our justice system from the top to the bottom. He’s a symptom, not the illness. We could have the Dalai Lama in his position and it wouldn’t make a difference.
      Its how we like our justice in NZ…

  6. RedBat 6

    It was time for this evil bastard to have gone years ago. Decentralise the police.

  7. Rogue Trooper 7

    Advocacy before apology.
    (I have met police officers at both ends of the helpful spectrum)

    been slowly reading Mr Love and Justice by Colin MacInnes for months (often too tired for a bed-time story)

    Occupational Socialisation is a very real danger; I experienced it in Nursing and allied health professions; however, the socialisation within nursing is overt in their education and horizontal violence begets horizontal violence.

  8. vto 8

    It seems the police are following the lead of the government. Bare-faced lying, breaking the law, not applying the law equally, on it goes …….

    These are of course precedents for the populace to follow….

    Our leaders are dumb-arse shitheads.

    Fuck them.

    Unfortunately they have the guns and the jackboots. That is the sole reason most people pull over for the pigs. Oink. Guns guns guns. Batons batons batons. thump whack smash. head into the wall, knee to the guts. Don’t fuck wiv us nigga.

    • tc 8.1

      It’s been down hill for the NZ Police since the 81 tour showed how much the red squad enjoyed bashing their fellow citizens without provocation and I recall one of our finest telling me the list of willing officers to get into the armed offenders squad gave them decades worth of potential candidates.

      I know a few who couldn’t handle the culture after joining on the belief they were going to ‘make a difference’ it’s no wonder we’ve had to import new cops from good old blimey where of course they are coming from a higher standard of police work….hang on, Hillsborough etc , oh dear.

      O’Connor would just be replaced by another cut from the same cloth that says ‘ welcome to the lofty heights where you are now above the law ‘ maybe karl urban did some research in welly before the Dredd shoot.

    • ianmac 8.2

      Good point vto. Many would believe that the ducking and truth avoidance by the PM is a standard for all. If the PM does and Lance Armstrong does then why not some in the Police Force. (Note: I have great respect for and trust in the NZ Police. Just a few dastardly fellows though.)

  9. joe90 9

    An acquaintance of mine who joined the police as an idealist and departed as one of the dirty six reckons Pat O’Brien is telling the truth.

    And isn’t it odd how O’Connor the unionist has always had a bevy of RWNJ’s falling over themselves trying to be nice to him.

  10. PlanetOrphan 10

    The “Say Nothing” culture is rife in the Police.

    It’s changing in society, the Police will follow, No Doubt kicking and screaming.

    All those officers that are guilty should be sacked, full stop.

    They are part of the problem not the cure.

  11. captain hook 11

    must agree with the caption.
    the police association has become sclerotic and shrill and its time they had some new blood.
    furthermore if they were serious about gangs then there is a simple answer. criminal gangs by nature are infantile and rely on magical thinking. i.e. we can get what we want by not working for it and by intimidating the people who do.
    the way they intimidate is first and foremost by using loud machines. The police could remove at least 50% of all gang members immediately by prosecuting them for noisy vehicles but they dont.
    why is that?

    • One Tāne Huna 11.1

      Crime is not based on “magical thinking” – for one thing, in New Zealand, it is based on the quite reasonable belief (cf: the OP) that you can get away with it.

      For some, it represents by far the easiest path to “success”.

      • vto 11.1.1

        I think it is based on other factors too, such as being told that you are useless and no good and a dole bludger for years and years and years. The local contractor wont give you a shot because you are from the wrong side of the tracks. Reinforced by English and his type and by Bennett and her type. ‘You’re the bad egg family, leave us alone and find your own way in the world’.

        Breeds heavy resentment, dark cynicism and a feeling of not belonging.

        So then to rip off these people who have been pointing their finger at you for years is fucking easy – the c@&ts deserve it. The crims aint got no sympathy for their victims because they are from somewhere completely different, somewhere the crim is not welcome – may as well be another planet.

        Societal divide methinks drives more.

        • One Tāne Huna 11.1.1.1

          Yes. The urge to respond to “loss of face” – “he dissed me!” Exacerbated by that societal divide.

          • vto 11.1.1.1.1

            I suspect that loss of face / resentment at rejection / lack of belonging / etc is one of the main drivers for the majority of criminal behaviour. A few whiles ago I personally went into a dark place and experienced those things and phewee the thoughts that shaped the daily toiling, the lack of care for fellow manwoman, the heaviness, it all kind of surprised me. Didn’t care if people looked sideways, didn’t care if pushed someone aside, glowered, heavy swagger, didn’t care one hoot if crim records and time inside arrived. Just didn’t care.

            Anyways them dark times long gone but it provided an insight to where some people go to and come from in their life’s actions ….

            • One Tāne Huna 11.1.1.1.1.1

              There’s a passage cited in The Spirit Level along much the same lines.

              Jokerman responded by pointing out that “smile and the world smiles back” – but for the person who feels they are “losing face” a smile can also be an act of aggression – as a friend of mine was unlucky enough to discover after smiling at some random stranger a few years back, and I myself have witnessed in other circumstances – “Who’re you lookin’ at?! Somethin’ funny?!””

              Property crimes, though, are perpetrated by rich and poor. Bloodsucking vampire squid etc., and seem to show no such correlation to equality.

              • Rogue Trooper

                As I read it; I have to pray about this Tane. Face? Authenticity. You put me on the spot (light). I can only pray and intercede; My experience?; dogs approach me, and they sense that I mean no harm; merely exchange. ( I have been invited to the placing of a hangi next week; sad that I missed a young peoples’ suicide hui recently, gardening;

                Non-violence and Civil disobedience are the helpful methods a while we a wait time to pass; as “Tom” indicated, this too will pass. I am certain there are many prophets and prophetesses fore-seeing when The Day Comes.

                patience

    • prism 11.2

      captain hook 11
      Because they love loud machines themselves. Dashing down the road after some jerk, with siren on and lights flashing. A big boy’s dream.

  12. Craig Glen Eden 12

    O’Conner lost his way a long time ago in my view he seems to think he’s the man and it’s “his time to go” would be being pleasant!

    I predict his next Job will be with the Employers and Manufactures Association.

  13. captain hook 13

    does success equal, gold rolexes, hardlee davisons, plastic replica hotrods, leaf blowers, outboard motors, chainsaws etc etc ad infinitum?

  14. muzza 14

    Of course the police are above the law, what indactors have been given that they are not!

    They are the enforcement arm of a fraudulant, broken political system, whose job it is to ensure that the little people only ever get stomped on, why is that you think???

    Protection for the police comes from places more powerful than our “sovereign parliament”!

    Time for people to start accepting what is in front of them, and actually doing something about it!

    Or, they can wait until they don’t even get a vote anymore…

    • The Invisible Meerkat 14.1

      “whose job it is to ensure that the little people only ever get stomped on,”
       
      Can’t say that’s my personal experience of the police, so I’m not willing to accept that the police are all and entirely corrupt. But what do you suggest as the alternative?

      • muzza 14.1.1

        It matters not that there are some good cops, their club is littered with historical, and recent disgraceful behaviour, which is learned, and I would say encouraged and embraced by the politicians, and even the police leadership!

        I would suggest that the police stop acting like a bunch of thugs, and those who are supposed to be the blue lines leaders, start acting like it, punishing their own when it is deserved, have a truly independent IPCC, and stop being the puppets of the corrupted governments they are serving!

        As a starter!

    • marty mars 14.2

      Hey muzza

      not sure about this protection for the police from somewhere else bit. I see the police as an extension of the government and society, and in there we have the good, bad and ugly. Individually a lot are quite normalish, at least that is my experience but the pack mentality is always under the surface simply because of what they have chosen to do. I cannot see any remedies for their warped culture as that is a reflection of the wider culture they exist in. If the boot comes in do you blame the boot, the foot, the leg, or the brain that activated it. Our society created, maintains and reinforces the police and whilst it is fair enough to poke when the standards fall, ultimately they recieve protection because they are representatives of the system.

      It is interesting to consider that the police are tooled up to do a job – phones, training and so on – if someone else had those tools – would they be the police too? Are the police an inevitable byproduct of the society we have created?

      Of course Māori didn’t have police – the system of tapu, mana and utu provided society with the means to maintain order for the people and if breeches were made, recoprocity was enacted to maintain balance.

  15. Pete 15

    If a member makes a mistake or does something wrong and is involved in disciplinary proceedings, the job of a union delegate or leader isn’t to whitewash, it’s to ensure that the principles of natural justice are followed, manifesting a good faith employment relationship. Greg O’Connor isn’t serving the interests of his members when he advocates for bad apples to spoil the whole barrel.

    • Treetop 15.1

      Your onto something here Pete when you say what the job of the union delegate is.

      It cost the country 19 m – plus regarding the sex scandals within Police. Rob Robinson promoted Clint Rickards regardless of any rumors he had heard about him. The result of Clint Rickards being promoted was that he resigned the day before a hearing into discilplinary charges against him was to begin. Had Clint Rickards been found wanting he would have lost (I think) the government’s contribution to his super annuation. As well Clint Rickards was paid out money to the end of his contract.

      I am sick of hearing how cops get away with inappropriate behaviour because the Police Executive make excuses by saying it is an EMPLOYMENT MATTER. The freaks at PNHQ need to get it that 19 m – plus has already been spent to expose the unhealthy culture within Police and that as long as they do not prioritise implementing Bazley’s recommendations EVERYONE loses.

      Yes I agree with O’ Connor that the public lose in the end. This is because of the Police having such an unhealthy culture. O’ Connor needs to go away and have a good hard think about what the job of the Police Union boss is.

    • prism 15.2

      Pete 15
      I find it offensive to hear Greg O’Connor’s opinions on air. He is talking about things that the Police Minister should be discussing. But instead we get the union representative who seems to be the spokesperson for the police. Strange.

  16. The Invisible Meerkat 16

    Out of curiosity, why do the Police rate a capital letter?

  17. Rosie 17

    Good post Eddie. Your second paragraph starting with “Unions don’t stand by every worker, right or wrong, they go into fight for……………………………….so why are the Police stuck with this dinosaur?” sums it from a Union perspective.

    When a Union member is facing disciplinary action, and the member has genuinely done something rather grievous it is the Union workers duty to see to it that the correct disciplinary process is adhered to and if appropriate, to provide moral support to that member. It is not their duty to excuse the behaviour or defend it. Greg O Connor goes further and defends the indefensible, and offends the public in the process.

    He’s a very bitter and contemptuous man who has an unbalanced viewpoint. (Personally, I think he has some unfortunate personality and psych issues) During media interviews he demonstrates his hatred towards anyone who questions Police behaviour with such venom that its uncomfortable to witness. To have someone so disrespectful and offensive representing public employees is entirely inappropriate and you’re right, he should go. But is it going to happen?

  18. felix 18

    lolwut?

    O’Connor is a deeply disturbed individual, a predator fueled by his own weakness, bent on inflicting his perverted viewpoint on all he crosses.

    Corrupt, disgraceful, and utterly incapable of self-awareness, he is far and away the best person currently available to represent the force.

  19. Ross 19

    “He’s spat on the 300 women Dame Margaret Bazley identified as having being victims of Police sexual misconduct.”

    Bazley did no such thing. There were approximately 300 complaints which were looked at by her. She identified some as being false. Many complaints were not prosecuted because of a lack of evidence, and in some cases which were prosecuted the accused was acquitted. To quote from Bazley’s report into police conduct:

    “I agree that policing by nature involves a very high degree of community interaction; the exercise of a coercive function capable of arousing antagonism; and routine contact with both vulnerable and disturbed members of the community, as well as criminals. I accept that there will always be false complaints and the police will always be vulnerable in this regard.”

    Her comments might not have been politically correct, but that is no reason to distort them. Oh, and sexual offending is never inconsequential.

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  • Permits to be required for exporting hard-to-recycle plastic waste
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  • Growth in new building consents shows demand is still high
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  • $23 million for Bay of Plenty flood protection
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  • Minister congratulates the Cook Islands community for its 9th year of Language Weeks
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  • Operation Burnham report released
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  • Locally-led solutions at centre of new community resilience fund
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