Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Time to move on

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    Is it OK to not feel much sympathy for anyone in this horrendous (and not very amusing) farce?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    If it's also okay for me to love Tāme Iti's court wardrobe.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 729 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    caught up in their own narrative.

    Well yes. It happens a lot nowadays, funny that...

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1239 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    I grew up in Gisborne. I've crossed paths with a lot of Tuhoe people and frequently holidayed at Waikaremoana back then. I think I've got an ok understanding of what the Tuhoe are like compared to a lot of other people including the media and the cops.

    When these raids occurred I thought at the time that the cops had gotten completely the wrong idea of what was happening in Urewera. In effect what was happening was a few guys playing "cop 'n' robbers". They were acting the part, but there was no way it was anything serious. Sure, they might've said things, but there was no way they were actually going to do anything.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 634 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    and the decision to set up a checkpoint on the historic confiscation line was staggeringly stupid.

    Yes. I suspect that it was deliberate, designed to show Tuhoe exactly who was boss. If it was deliberate, then it was an even more staggeringly stupid thing to do.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    In my first post on the case, I noted that The Dominion Post had published a story under the screaming headline ‘Napalm bombs found in anti-terror swoop’. Those bombs were presumably lost again, because they formed no part of the evidence presented in court.

    I have no idea, but something like this could easily be ruled irrelevant because the only evidence about napalm applied to one of the defendants against whom the charges were dropped. If none of these four was charged with anything to do with napalm, evidence about someone else's napalm proclivities would be unnecessarily inflammatory.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3012 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Is it OK to not feel much sympathy for anyone in this horrendous (and not very amusing) farce?

    The whole thing sounds like a plague on everyone's houses. If I recall correctly, the avowedly (and still) Leftist, Bomber Bradbury was on record saying something like, "the moment you pick up a gun, you're no longer a peace activist."

    On the other side of the divide, Ross Meurant goes to show that it takes a cop to know cops.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4431 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Kemara even attempted to buy a grenade or flare launcher

    He wasn't charged with that? So either those things aren't restricted weapons (do you mean ' a grenade launcher or a flare launcher ' or ' a grenade or a flare launcher '?) or there was no reasonable evidence.

    Jamie Locket was also not charged with anything.

    One thing that's important is that in a society ruled by laws, anything not proscribed is permitted. So if Parliament hasn't passed a law banning freelance military training (and it hasn't) such military training is legal.

    Maybe we should have more restrictive gun laws (in the UK, mere possession of an unlicensed firearm attracts a five year sentence, whatever one's justification). The reason we don't is that lots of right-wing white guys like playing with guns, IMHO.

    Is it OK to not feel much sympathy for anyone in this horrendous (and not very amusing) farce?

    The young kids who were held at gunpoint by armed cops? The people who spent time and jail and were never charged with anything?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4501 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    They were acting the part, but there was no way it was anything serious. Sure, they might’ve said things, but there was no way they were actually going to do anything.

    Well, apart from buying quite a few weapons and other military equipment and scaring the hell out of some of the people they involved. But I think it is hard to draw the line on how much you choose to ignore if you're the police.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to DeepRed,

    the avowedly (and still) Leftist, Bomber Bradbury was on record saying something like, "the moment you pick up a gun, you're no longer a peace activist."

    I'm amazed that Bradbury has enjoyed any credibility since his claim back in 2007 to be down with the activists while simultaneously channeling the anxieties of middle NZ. I'm also mildly surprised that he wasn't rounded up at the time on the strength of his dopey nickname.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3628 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    evidence about someone else's napalm proclivities would be unnecessarily inflammatory.

    Great pun!

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 193 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    He wasn’t charged with that? So either those things aren’t illegal (do you mean ’ a grenade launcher or a flare launcher ‘ or ’ a grenade or a flare launcher ’?) or there was no reasonable evidence.

    There was evidence given by the owner of the arms store. Kemara tried to contra off the purchase by offering to build him a website. The deal didn’t go through in the end.

    And as I understand it, the same equipment can be used to launch grenades or flares. It’s been described both ways in reports.

    Jamie Locket was also not charged with anything.

    Largely because the police bollocksed up their case so badly. Given his past, he’d be the one I’d worry most about doing something stupid. If the affidavit is eventually released, there are a couple of interesting (non-terrorist) things in there.

    Lockett’s weird mate, John Murphy, was never charged, but he said some interesting things to the Sunday Star Times back in 2007:

    The Star-Times had a bizarre conversation with Murphy last week.

    Murphy: “The police are listening to our conversation at the moment. But we’ve got members of our group, our foot soldiers, as young as 12, that are quite verse with the forest. They go to the likes of Kings Prep on the northern slopes of Remuera, they’re very well spoken and they’re very, very nice young men, and they go under the code of PT.”

    SST: “What does that stand for?”

    Murphy: “Just remember PT.”

    Further attempts to draw Murphy on his involvement with Iti were unsuccessful.

    Fuck knows what he was on about.

    The young kids who were held at gunpoint by armed cops? The people who spent time and jail and were never charged with anything?

    All the sympathy in the world for the former. Some, but not that much for the latter. They chose to get involved in the gunplay.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    I’m amazed that Bradbury has enjoyed any credibility since his claim back in 2007 to be down with the activists while simultaneously channeling the anxieties of middle NZ. I’m also mildly surprised that he wasn’t rounded up at the time on the strength of his dopey nickname.

    He sounded off after some of the young activists spilled the beans to him. He was actually largely right about the evidence from police surveillance, but not about the middle-class outrage. The public had moved on by the time it got to court.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Great pun!

    Presumably, the pun is meant to fit the crime.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to 3410,

    Presumably, the pun is meant to fit the crime.

    Oh, bravo sir.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • John Holley, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And as I understand it, the same equipment can be used to launch grenades or flares. It’s been described both ways in reports

    By flares they probably mean illumination rounds (“illum” in military parlance) or smoke. These, along with 40mm HE grenades, can be fired from weapons like the M79, M203 etc.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    They chose to get involved in the gunplay

    Prosecution as punishment? You haven't done anything provably illegal, but we can make your life very awkward as a reprisal. (See also Kim Dotcom, I suspect).

    Also, this could have been dealt with very differently: a quiet word from the community cops to someone like Tamati Kruger - just let them know that TPTB know what they're up to and it would be a good idea to tone it down.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4501 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to John Holley,

    Right, those would be restricted weapons (http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/1984/0122/latest/whole.html#DLM95644). A flare launcher such as a Very pistol wouldn't be, I think.

    If someone made a general enquiry, it wouldn't be an offence - they might have taken the course of acquiring a legal flare launcher.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4501 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    In my first post on the case

    Man, that was a bumout blast from the past. Not only was I a complete dick throughout, but sighting Finn Higgins' posts teared me up.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Also, this could have been dealt with very differently: a quiet word from the community cops to someone like Tamati Kruger – just let them know that TPTB know what they’re up to and it would be a good idea to tone it down.

    I don't disagree much with that. But it's an easier thing to say with hindsight.

    And it does seem Iti and others did know they were being watched. They got tip-offs, which is why the cops kept turning up to the appointed place and finding nothing happening.

    And Iti was called and flat-out asked by a Star Times journalist earlier in the year whether he'd been organising commando training. He denied it and the paper didn't follow up.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Right, those would be restricted weapons (http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/1984/0122/latest/whole.html#DLM95644). A flare launcher such as a Very pistol wouldn’t be, I think.

    If someone made a general enquiry, it wouldn’t be an offence – they might have taken the course of acquiring a legal flare launcher.

    Sunday News covered this in 2009. It seems an employee of a gun shop was illegally importing the launchers and selling them. The story suggests the launcher was actually obtained by Kemara, but there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Tristan, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    When these raids occurred I thought at the time that the cops had gotten completely the wrong idea of what was happening in Urewera. In effect what was happening was a few guys playing “cop ‘n’ robbers”. They were acting the part, but there was no way it was anything serious. Sure, they might’ve said things, but there was no way they were actually going to do anything.

    And There is the rub. They were playing with real guns and saying stupid shit. As we can see from all over the world it only takes one dick head to take it all to seriously and tradgey insues. Then we ask why the hell did the police just sit back and let it happen. Sure they stuffed up some pretty major aspects of the case and its easy to see why with untested law being used. I don’t think we could have expected them not to intervene here

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I overestimated the competence of the police.

    This for me is the saddest part of the whole mess.

    I don't know what those folks were doing in the bush and probably will never know. But I had hoped the police would have had a better idea of what was going on and a more appropriate response than behaving as if they were in a hollywood movie. To compound their (over)reaction with shear incompetence is just downright disappointing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3472 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    He sounded off after some of the young activists spilled the beans to him

    Bradbury's tendency to snap into self-aggrandising headless chicken mode was treated as news in itself, by people who really should have known better.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3628 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    But I had hoped the police would have had a better idea of what was going on and a more appropriate response than behaving as if they were in a hollywood movie. To compound their (over)reaction with shear incompetence is just downright disappointing.

    I guess the police - as much as any of us - are susceptible to the lure of Doing Something Important. It's the same instinct that helps convince people to respond to emails from Nigerian princes - the idea that this is it, this is that big thing that's been waiting to happen. But unlike things that are too good to be true, we are not encouraged to evaluate things that are too bad to be true (or at least too bad to be very likely.)

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

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