THIS JUST IN

385 Responses

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  • Stephen Judd,

    Another thing that occurs to me, WH, is that when you say "This is too important a subject to leave to the likes of professional dissidents such as Locke, Minto and Hager", the sad fact is that only the "professional dissidents" are looking at this in any detail or with concern for my civil rights, while the *cough* mainstream political figures are letting me down.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    perhaps it's also worth thinking about the notion that we're the beneficiaries of centuries of social, political and cultural evolution where people's fates are supposedly no longer decided by Star Chambers, feudal lords or homicidal mobs.

    pity these centuries of advance haven't solved the issue of institutional racism, or majoritarianism masquerading as "shared civic values".

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Obviously the right to be free from state supervision has to be weighed against the right to be free from harm from others (terrorism in this case).

    I laughed out loud when Ron Mark snarked that Keith Locke had supported the rise of the Khmer Rouge and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. It was completely irrelevant and completely relevant all at the same time.

    It is a question of balance, and I don't trust people who regard the state with a fear approching paranoia to strike that balance on my behalf.

    Since Nov 2006 • 604 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I laughed out loud when Ron Mark snarked that Keith Locke had supported the rise of the Khmer Rouge and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. It was completely irrelevant and completely relevant all at the same time.

    To take a really low blow, perhaps I can snark that when Keith Locke entered Parliament his (to me repulsive) political views were an open book. Mr. Mark's form as (to be blunt) a convicted statutory rapist? (And please note the emphasis on statutory, folks.) Not so much...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    THIS JUST IN

    Today Mr. Harold Bored, deputy assistant conspiritor of threat assement guesswork issued the following statement.

    "It is with grave concern that I feel I must issue this statement. I have been informed by the New Zealand Police B.S.T.S.U (better safe than sorry unit) that there may be a bomb under your chair. I urge all members of the public to sit quietly while we assess the situation. Under no cicumstanses should you attempt to investigate this possibility for yourselves as any movement on your part may trigger these devices that may or may not be fitted with motion detecting detonators"

    Mr. Bored went on to say that "It is reasonable to suspect that there maybe a bomb under my chair and I urge everybody to be vigilant. We will be keeping an eye on previously unknown groups"

    Sources close to Mr Board said that they felt threatened and thought the rest of New Zealand should feel that too as this was seriously desturbing. Others, not so close to Mr. Bored said he was definitly disturbed.

    In an apparently unrelated incident a dessicated corpse was discovered under the bed of well known talkback show host, Latent Myth. Police foresic examiner, Mary Hinge, said "We belive the body to be that of Red Commie who has been missing since the late seventies"

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4876 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    It was a Cossack.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    The Cossacks got sent to Siberia/robbed of their land as group punishment by the Commies/Authoritarian State.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    DOH! This keyboard should learn to speell

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4876 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    It was a Cossack.

    But boy could he dance ;-)

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4876 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Not really related to the whole terrorist thing, but something nice I saw that I'm sharing today.

    My son and I took our dog out to Aramoana Beach on Sunday morning. There was an installation near the entrance to the beach of driftwood and flowers. I presume it was a response to the showing of 'Out of the Blue' the night before.

    It was a nice wee tribute to the sorrow of the township. I took a photo.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Tracy Watkins wrote a good piece in the Dom this morning. Some of the meaty bits:

    We are now in the worst of all worlds. The solicitor-general, in ruling that the police evidence did not meet a high enough threshold to prove terrorism charges, has, in effect, ensured that some of that evidence may never be aired. Yet, in the same breath, he has sought to reassure us that police had every right to act in the face of some "very disturbing" activities.

    Bad law may be the culprit as he suggests, but we may never know.

    The consequence of his finding is that the public is now in limbo. It simply does not have enough information to either trust that the police acted within the public interest against a very real terrorist threat, or discount some of the more extreme claims that are being made about the motives of the police (and, by extension, the State).

    (She's been reading my PAS posts!)

    Crown Law is refusing even to comment on whether it or Dr Collins were consulted before police launched their – it now turns out – highly risky raids. The Sunday Star-Times yesterday reported that it had been kept in the loop – which is what The Dominion Post also understands

    ...

    If Crown Law, and-or Dr Collins, were consulted by police then surely there is nothing to stop them saying so. There is a genuine public interest in knowing whether the police charged recklessly into uncharted territory, or whether they only proceeded after being comforted by assurances that they were on the right track.

    Police Commissioner Howard Broad appears to have been of the view that he had those assurances. What he has confirmed is that crown prosecutors (who act under the umbrella of Crown Law) were consulted.

    ...

    Secrecy has increasingly become the fallback position of government agencies. Banks of PR people stand between public service chief executives and the media, and Official Information Act requests are routinely given lip service. But there should be an outcry if the default position prevails in this instance. The stakes are too high.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Good to see all accused are on bail now.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I presume it was a response to the showing of 'Out of the Blue' the night before.

    Saw it on theatrical release, and it's no dis to anyone involved that I couldn't really face a second showing. However, the person who put together the horrible promos (I've seen trailers for torture pOrn like Saw that were more tasteful and understated) deserves to be taken out the bag and (figuratively) given a good slap.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • commie mutant traitor,

    I'm sure in hindsight the police might regret not just using the plain Crimes Act, however that's hindsight.

    The police have admitted that they couldn't use the Crimes Act, because no crimes had been committed (excluding the alleged firearms crimes). That includes conspiracy to murder, and conspiracy to commit an offence. In other words, no crimes were planned, and the arrests were made on the basis that the police thought that they might plan a crime at some point in the future.

    Since Nov 2007 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    Moana Jackson, in Stephen's link:

    Was this racist?

    Yes.

    The Police Commissioner was correct in stating that people of "many ethnicities" were arrested. However the way they were arrested shows a marked difference in terms of race.

    For example the Maori community of Ruatoki was the only community that was locked down and blockaded in the course of the Operation. It was only in Ruatoki that innocent people were stopped, searched and harassed while going about their daily lives.

    When houses were raided in Auckland and Wellington the surrounding suburbs were not locked down, and no innocent Pakeha people were stopped going about their daily lives.

    Does anybody else think this is an incredibly weak argument to back up calling the police racist? I can think of any number of practical, non-racist reasons why the police might not attempt to implement similar blockades around some of the busiest intersections in Auckland and Wellington.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Finn - I think Wellington at 5am might not be as busy as you're making out. As Moana Jackson was the Police College Patron he is qualified to make such statements.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    Shep - qualified maybe, arguing convincingly? No. As for appealing to the authority of positions Moana Jackson has held, that doesn't do it for me. We're not accepting the Solicitor General or Prime Minister's pronouncements on the topic as authoritatively describing the whole truth of the matter; why should patronage of the Police College be different?

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Map, for those who are unfamiliar with the area. Karo drive is extremely busy during morning commute hours.

    On the other hand, it's dead quiet before 6 AM or so. And I recall police locking down blocks in town during the day for reasons as trivial as accidents and bomb scares, never mind executing search warrants for guns and ammunition under the TSA.

    I wouldn't want to put words in Jackson's mouth, but I expect he would contend that the police fear violent response from Tuhoe but not from Pakeha. They line up Tuhoe for photographs because they don't know who they're looking for, but apparently they're better at telling Pakeha apart. And so on. Did the police detain and photograph people in the vicinity of Abel Smith St? Not that I know of.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Sara Noble,

    I’m sorry Kyle (especially given your photo of the beach sculpture, which was appreciated) but this stuff by Tracey Watkins is a pile of dog shit:

    "It simply does not have enough information to either trust that the police acted within the public interest against a very real terrorist threat, or discount some of the more extreme claims that are being made about the motives of the police (and, by extension, the State)."

    If it had been a “very real terrorist threat”, charges would have been brought under the TSA. Collins said it was almost impossible, NOT impossible. There is a universe of difference between “very disturbing activities” and a “real terrorist threat.”

    "Secrecy has increasingly become the fallback position of government agencies. Banks of PR people stand between public service chief executives and the media, and Official Information Act requests are routinely given lip service. But there should be an outcry if the default position prevails in this instance. The stakes are too high."

    In relation to evidence which is not admissible not being made public, this is not a “fallback position”. Inadmissible evidence is inadmissible because it does not meet the rules of evidence and therefore doesn’t COUNT as evidence. In this instance, because of the supposed threat of terrorism, the police were allowed to intrude into people’s privacy to a far greater degree than would usually be allowed.

    Reams and reams of transcripts of private e-mails, texts and phone calls were presented in court. There is absolutely no ethical justification, let alone imperative, to make this public now. What’s more it would be illegal! What if one of those phone calls was to you and you were talking about how your mother joined weight watchers but was still scoffing doughnuts with Aunt Jane. What if dad is having an affair with Aunt Jane who is supplying the doughnuts to gain competitive advantage? We’re talking about hundreds and hundreds of pages of personal trivia hitting the media – in amongst which there must be some juicy tidbits that got the police’s pulse up, but which the SG has said cannot justify use of the TSA.

    And as we keep hearing, all this surveillance info didn’t reveal any crimes that had already occurred (except relating to fire arms and a possession of cannabis charge).

    No! We do not get to try these people in the court of public opinion. In that regard we have to accept the SG’s determination.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I too could think of reasons why the raids in Ruatoki were treated a lot different than elsewhere. Racism is certainly one of them, and the police aren't perfect in that department. Another is of course that the Ruatoki raids were where the weapons were. If they knew there were no weapons in Wellington, they wouldn't use the AOS there. There are still questions to be answered about what took place in Ruatoki, as a bunch of people have noted.

    I thought Jackson made some good points there. The one I didn't like was this one:

    To ensure Maori "buy in" to any Review Maori (and particularly Tuhoe) should be involved in choosing the Review members.

    Of course some Pakeha may oppose such a suggestion with the claim that Maori members would be biased but the essential racism of that view should be dismissed because such people would never claim that Pakeha would be similarly biased.

    I don't think that Tuhoe should be involved in choosing any members of a review panel any more than the police should be. Independent reviews should be independent from both sides.

    I've also managed to disprove his point that "such people would never claim that Pakeha would be similarly biased" in one fell swoop. :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    In relation to evidence which is not admissible not being made public, this is not a “fallback position”. Inadmissible evidence is inadmissible because it does not meet the rules of evidence and therefore doesn’t COUNT as evidence.

    I think you missed Tracy Watkin's point.

    Her focus wasn't on the evidence that was given to these organisations, but whether they were involved in helping the police make their decision. As she herself noted, the evidence will probably never become known.

    If for example the Crown Law Office provided advice to the police based on the evidence, and the police followed that advice, then it puts the police in a different position. And questions would have to be asked of the Crown Law Office and their role. While the Office might not be able to provide a copy of the advice they gave the police, they should at least be able to confirm whether or not they gave advice.

    To requote Tracy:

    There is a genuine public interest in knowing whether the police charged recklessly into uncharted territory, or whether they only proceeded after being comforted by assurances that they were on the right track.

    If it had been a “very real terrorist threat”, charges would have been brought under the TSA. Collins said it was almost impossible, NOT impossible. There is a universe of difference between “very disturbing activities” and a “real terrorist threat.”

    It's not clear what 'almost impossible' means as Collins said it. He might be meaning the standard of proof must be high, which is fine, or he might be meaning that the law has been written in such an obscure way that it would be 'almost impossible' to convict a genuine terrorist with it.

    There was however a time, when it would be 'almost impossible' for a wife to have her husband charged with rape. 'Almost impossible' for a person to have their same sex partner charged with sexual assault. I'm not sure if we want laws that are 'almost impossible' to apply.

    Personally I want laws that catch people who are committing crimes, enhance public safety, and protect civil liberties. If the law doesn't do that then it needs to go back to the drawing board (or be junked). That's the question that needs to be put to Collins.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    If they knew there were no weapons in Wellington, they wouldn't use the AOS there.

    The various news reports about the Abel Smith St raid and the Police's own press release say they were looking for "firearms, ammunition and people". So it would seem that they did not know that there where no weapons in Wellington.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Sara Noble,

    (Thanks Stephen for the link to Jackson’s questions and to the excellent convention notes) Finn you picked the weakest part of Moana Jackson’s argument to criticise out of the context of the rest of the discussion. This is exactly the way evidence gets misconstrued!

    More fully Jackson states:

    “In a general sense normal activism and the democratic right to protest have increasingly been defined as "threats" with a consequently more heavy-handed Police treatment and surveillance of activists ranging from environmentalists to animal rights protestors.

    “In a more specific sense Iwi were concerned that the new powers would be targeted at Maori simply because history has shown that opposition to colonisation has always been seen as a "threat" by the Crown. Operation Eight showed that that fear was justified.

    “Was this racist?

    “Yes.

    “The Police Commissioner was correct in stating that people of "many ethnicities" were arrested. However the way they were arrested shows a marked difference in terms of race.

    “For example the Maori community of Ruatoki was the only community that was locked down and blockaded in the course of the Operation. It was only in Ruatoki that innocent people were stopped, searched and harassed while going about their daily lives.

    “When houses were raided in Auckland and Wellington the surrounding suburbs were not locked down, and no innocent Pakeha people were stopped going about their daily lives.

    “What abuse of innocent bystanders took place?

    “Some examples are now sub judice because they are subject to possible civil action against the Police. However the affidavits of people who have no reason to lie indicate that there was systematic abuse of the rights of innocent men, women and children.

    “The breach of Police procedures that occurred when people were ordered out of their cars by armed officers and photographed in Ruatoki is now public knowledge. The Police simply do not have that right.

    “Other abuses were more distant from public scrutiny and thus more traumatising for the people concerned, especially those which involved physical mishandling and detention.

    “It is one of the tragedies of the Operation that the quasi-military focus of the anti-terrorism strategy meant the effective sidelining of the Police Iwi liaison Officers who were originally appointed because of their knowledge of Maori communities. Even the Police Commissioner’s own Advisory Group of respected Maori leaders was excluded.”

    Look at the phrase “physical mishandling”. You wait til Peter Williams’ evidence comes out. Think “Crash” (the movie). Louise Wallace for one will NOT be surprised at these stories.

    The fact that the Police Iwi Liaison Officers were sidelined is because Tuhoe has a good relationship with the local police who would have moderated or even dismissed the allegations. The local police have actually used Tame Iti to mediate in local problems. A police officer lost his job because he testified for Tame Iti in one of his previous hearings. Why would the local Police support Iti and Tuhoe? Because they has a strong sense of social responsibility. Tame Iti’s commitment to Maori Sovereignty might make lots of Pakeha think he is a wild radical, but his desire to protect his community and culture is actually deeply conservative. And that face art? It might look like a direct threat to authority to you, but it symbolises the long and deep lines of authority that run in his culture.

    “Iwi were concerned that the new powers would be targeted at Maori simply because history has shown that opposition to colonisation has always been seen as a "threat" by the Crown. Operation Eight showed that that fear was justified.”

    Spot on!

    And our continued belligerent ignorance to the fact of Maori complaints and aspirations IS racist and supports the default position of racism in parliament and government agencies. I won’t repeat all the things that have already been said about the ramping up of the “terrorist” threat due to overseas pressures etc etc etc, but in this climate Of Course the Maori Sovereignty movement was going to be the scapegoat. Damn it, when are we going to grow up and learn to live with each other?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Kyle when/if a review panel is assembled it is fundamental to Tuhoe/Maori that like the Crown they have an input in who is on the panel. The key to healing will be in honest partnership.
    The Crown assumes this right & in partnership it is right the other party (Tuhoe) can put forward members.

    I believe Georgina Te Heu Heu would be worthwhile to have on board.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

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