Police and their Minister duck Maori Party question which drew attention to something troubling about children and the cops

Yes, we are aware of the Maori Party’s aversion to Parliamentary questions from Opposition MPs which aim to flush the PM and her government into the open on their programme of incorporating the “Treaty partnership” in their reform programme.

The Maori Party insists those questions are racist and has pressed the Speaker to rule them out of order.

It has also challenged the Speaker and Parliamentary protocol through expressions of dissent which culminated in one co-leader being ordered from the House for performing a defiant haka and the other walking out to show her support for her colleague.

This has won headlines around the world.

Not bad for an outfit which won 1.2 per cent of the party vote at the 2020 general election.

Māori Party co-leaders Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and Rawiri Waititi have also won publicity this week by declaring their intent to fight the Government’s proposed laws targeting gangs. Continue reading “Police and their Minister duck Maori Party question which drew attention to something troubling about children and the cops”

Stuff and nonsense – reporter seems to think crime will stop when Parliament passes a law to make it illegal

A headline across the top of two pages of our Dominion-Post today brought stunning news:

It blared:  Children hit despite anti-smacking law.

Gee – who would have imagined that?

A variant of that headline can be found on the Stuff website:  Physical punishment of children still ‘fairly common’, despite anti-smacking law change – study

The article recalls that .. .

In an effort to improve child health outcomes in New Zealand, the Government introduced anti-smacking legislation in 2007 that prohibited the physical punishment of children.

Has the prohibition succeeded in sparing miscreant children from being strapped, slapped, smacked, whacked or otherwise physically chastised?

Apparently not (and is anyone seriously surprised?)  Continue reading “Stuff and nonsense – reporter seems to think crime will stop when Parliament passes a law to make it illegal”

Squatters at Shelly Bay learn from the PM’s Ihumātao intervention and hunker down for the long haul

We have opened a book, among members of the Point of Order team, on how long it will be before the PM offers to sort out the land dispute at Wellington’s Shelly Bay and (to win the double) how much the settlement will cost taxpayers.

Just a few weeks ago a bunch called Mau Whenua – who are fighting the sale of land at Shelly Bay – were reported to be pinning their hopes on the Māori Land Court to sort things out.

A Stuff report says Mau Whenua is made up mostly of members from Wellington iwi Taranaki Whānui opposed to an earlier sale of Taranaki Whānui land at Shelly Bay to developer Ian Cassels.

The $500 million Shelly Bay project, led by Cassels, is arguably Wellington’s most-controversial development in living memory due to allegations of the illegal sale of Māori land there, perceptions Wellington City Council bent to the will of Cassels, and concerns the seaside site and road to it can’t handle the intensification.

Mau Whenua was due to appear in the High Court in March in an action aimed at overturning the sale.

Alas, a shortage of money became an impediment to this course of action through the legal system when  significant help with funding to pay the $2.2m required to continue the case was withdrawn. Continue reading “Squatters at Shelly Bay learn from the PM’s Ihumātao intervention and hunker down for the long haul”

Let’s forget about prison and see what a term in charm school can achieve – or will crime disappear in decolonised NZ?

A warning was sounded at the beginning of a recent New Zealand Herald report about the crimes of a couple of blokes who – according to the  Indigenous Pacific Uprising – should not be imprisoned.

The warning was in capital letters.

GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING – THIS STORY CONTAINS DESCRIPTIONS OF VIOLENT CRIME.

The two blokes in question were jailed for their part in what the Herald described as

“ … a brutal kidnap where the victim was tortured over 12 hours – his pinky finger cut off with secateurs, both feet shot and his naked body burned with a blowtorch while he was tied up and gagged.

“His attackers, who believed he had robbed another person of “thousands of dollars”, burned his eyes with cigarettes, urinated on him and beat him for hours in a bid to get him to disclose where the money was.” Continue reading “Let’s forget about prison and see what a term in charm school can achieve – or will crime disappear in decolonised NZ?”

Are America’s troubles part of a pattern or a new twist?  A bit of both perhaps 

The speed with which US protests over a ghastly death in police custody have morphed into something multi-dimensional and international precludes easy analysis.

But the triggering event, a citizen of a free country dying at the hands of the police is always shocking and invariably depressing.  It doesn’t seem to matter much that in this case (and one hopes the next one, because there is likely to be a next one) the authorities are doing the right thing: investigating and, in this instance, deciding that there is evidence to prosecute the policeman. Continue reading “Are America’s troubles part of a pattern or a new twist?  A bit of both perhaps “

Maori monarch flexes muscle to make waterways off-limits but we may muse on the matter of legality

The Waikato and Waipa Rivers have been declared off limits during Level 3 of the Covid-19 emergency, prohibiting food gathering and all recreational activities on the waterways..

Elsewhere around the country people have been barred from going to some beaches by vigilante groups who set up checkpoints to impede the public.

In the case of the two rivers, the prohibition has been imposed by a former truck driver who now rejoices in the title of Māori King Tuheitia.

He has declared the rivers are subject to a rahui, a cultural and spiritual prohibition.  It came into effect on Monday.

The king’s authority to make a rahui binding on anyone who feels they should not be constrained by it is dubious.

Point of Order hoped Local Government New Zealand would guide us on King Tuheitia’s entitlement to bar people from swimming or fishing in the rivers or boating on them.  Continue reading “Maori monarch flexes muscle to make waterways off-limits but we may muse on the matter of legality”

A checkpoint charlie would be someone who doesn’t question the legality – but the PM seems comfortable they pass muster

We wonder if Stuart Nash is too busy trying to catch up with his small business duties to find time to reply to Point of Order’s questions about highly contentious goings-on in his police portfolio.

Nash was criticised earlier this week for providing the Epidemic Response Committee with scant information about the effect on businesses of an additional week of lockdown and another two weeks at alert level 3.

In his Police patch, meanwhile, the legality of checkpoints set up by Maori communities  has become a matter of confusion.

Point of Order has tried to establish if there is any statutory authority to legitimise these checkpoints.

Our questions to the PM and to the Police were not directly answered while our questions to Nash received only an automated response.  Continue reading “A checkpoint charlie would be someone who doesn’t question the legality – but the PM seems comfortable they pass muster”

You could try going to court to flush out legal advice on Police powers – but don’t expect a hearing in a hurry

It shouldn’t be necessary, in the circumstances, but the Government is being urged to release the legal advice it has received about Police being able to enforce the lockdown rules.

National’s Justice spokesperson, Mark Mitchell, today  issued a press release saying the government has a duty to release this advice.

There is “huge confusion” among the public about what the rules are, with both the Prime Minister and former Police Commissioner contradicting each other, Mitchell contends.

“Even now with the Section 70 notice from the Ministry of Health it’s important New Zealanders understand what powers the Police have and how those decisions have been made.

 When the entire country is in lockdown, the case for public interest could not be higher and far outweighs any decision to withhold the advice, says Mitchell.
Continue reading “You could try going to court to flush out legal advice on Police powers – but don’t expect a hearing in a hurry”

You will know the border has been reached when virus vigilantes stop you in the name of health and safety

Good questions were raised by “a Far North man”, who did not want to be named because of his fear of retribution.

Talking to the Northland Age late last month, the man said he was

” … scared. Really scared. Not because of some virus. We have ways to deal with this. I am scared because our authorities allow people to take the law into their own hands.

“People with no authority, people with no mandate, who are not elected to represent the people by democratic rules.

“They are allowed to form a private militia, select their own people and block public roads. They are allowed to take away one of the basic human rights from us, the freedom to move.”

Yep.  And so far as Point of Order can see, this is being done with the Prime Minister’s tacit approval.  Continue reading “You will know the border has been reached when virus vigilantes stop you in the name of health and safety”

In the High Court, the chief judge demotes himself, while in the Supreme Court a judge promotes the mana of dead litigants

The Chief High Court judge’s decision to step down has triggered a question bluntly expressed in a headline on Asian Invasion 2019What The Hell Is Going On In The New Zealand Judiciary?

First, the blogger says, the judiciary was accepting debate sparked by a newly appointed Supreme Court Justice into the proposition that dead people aren’t dead for legal purposes, if tikanga is incorporated in our legal system.

Now we have Justice Geoffrey Venning – appointed Chief High Court judge in 2015 – stepping down.

To do what?

Radio NZ tells us: he is stepping down from the top role

 … to return to being a full time judge.

He has demoted himself, in other words.  Continue reading “In the High Court, the chief judge demotes himself, while in the Supreme Court a judge promotes the mana of dead litigants”