Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: He is Henry the Eighth, he is

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  • simon g,

    And where have the media been on this? It didn't even make the TV news tonight .

    Politician says black is white, and all other politicians agree = No Story.

    Politician says black is white, and some other politician jumps up and says "No, you fool, it's purple!" = Story.

    The media seek fights, not truth.

    (with apologies to the few exceptions, who seem to be found on blogs, not in MSM newsrooms)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    Richard Aston - it *could* be a Textor gameplan - but how do they get The Greens to play along?

    umm.. . get Russel to wave a flag about , that was a great distraction last time he did it.
    Oh forgive my cynicism but I can only hope that Russel is right when he said

    The in-depth analysis will hopefully follow from many quarters in the coming days

    , will it?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 470 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Bloody hell. I switched on to One about five minutes into the bulletin and assumed I'd missed it.

    Sorry, it didn't fill the tits, arse, celebrity, crime, sport, or animal quotients. If Garrett had been caught naked together with Richie McCaw and humping a pig carcass, it would have been half the bulletin.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2127 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Rob Hosking weighs in.

    The way public issues are now played out in the media, with the emphasis on how people feel rather than on responses involving the critical engagement of the brain, has a lot to answer for.

    Television news, in particular, seems to require everyone to respond like self-dramatising emotionally incontinent teenagers. It is one of the least healthy aspects of our age.

    But we elect leaders to see beyond all that. We also elect them to have a sense of how decisions made now might be used and abused in the future.

    There is an ugly history, both in this country and elsewhere, of laws granting sweeping powers like these for one reason being abused down the track.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16414 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Yes, the media is just not interested in informing the people. If I knew nothing of this "Attack on Democracy" the TV News would have made me no wiser, all they were interested in was three strikes Garret.
    As Simon said "The media seek fights, not truth." they see only sensational scandal. Like John Stewart said "Ooh look, a squirrel"

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4626 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    This whole story seems a little surreal, as do a lot of the stories coming out of NZ at present. I am having slight trouble believing that I am not sleep reading all of this

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 878 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    It's interesting that in the Garrett case, there's no reporting that I can find online or recall of a name-suppressed person being prosecuted for passport fraud in 2005.

    Could all detail of the case have been suppressed? Could he have entered an early guilty plea and been quietly dealt with without attracting attention? Did the media and police, considering him to be a friend, assist him to keep the matter quiet? (The media often contest suppression orders when a notable person is involved, don't they?)

    Given Garrett has now voluntarily disclosed the details of his offending, can the suppression order be lifted and the court records perused, so the public can get an idea of what went on?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4406 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Garret would have been subject to section 19 of the Criminal Justice Act 1985 which prohibited publication of the offence and subsequent ruling. this has since been repealed. There is more to it than that but my dinner is ready.
    :-)

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4626 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Labour MP Brendon Burns blogs his perspective on passing the new law.

    There was little doubt Labour would support the bill. We all want to see a rapid reconstruction of Christchurch and wider Canterbury. That said, I voiced a sense of unease about legislation which provides sweeping powers to a government appointed commission and to the mayors of Christchurch, Waimakariri and Selwyn districts.

    It is less than six short months since the Government introduced similar rapid-fire legislation dealing with a Canterbury local body and the ‘need’ to do away with usual processes.

    ...

    I did challenge Gerry Brownlee in the chair in committee stages as Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery on a number of issues. This was, after all, the only chance for we MPs, as representatives of the wider public, to ask any questions.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16414 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Garrett stuff on other thread

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16414 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    We all want to see a rapid reconstruction of Christchurch and wider Canterbury.

    While a rapid reconstruction would be nice what I really want is a well-considered reconstruction. After spending the last week and a bit hugely grateful for well constructed buildings and resilient infrastructure I want to see a Christchurch that will do even better when the next big one comes.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Gordon Campbell isolates some interesting key wording in the quake Act.

    The purpose clauses of the Act give some clue as to how this may play out..
    They enable “the relaxation or suspension of provisions in enactments that may divert resources away from the effort to efficiently respond to the damage caused by the Canterbury earthquake, minimise further damage; or may not be reasonably capable of being complied with, or complied with fully, owing to the circumstances resulting from the Canterbury earthquake.”

    Note those words: “efficiency” and “may not reasonably be complied with, or complied with fully.” They go to the heart of whether or not costs related say, to strengthening and saving a building (or demolishing it) are pursued – reasonably, and with regard to economic efficiency. To repeat: a ministerial decree will resolve the matter, without any ability for recourse to the courts.

    The clash between heritage imperatives and profitable development seems a reasonable fear.

    However - alongside the Human Rights Act not being exempted from interference by Brownlee - to me it sounds like insisting on disability access to buildings could be spurned on the false grounds of it being 'too hard' or 'too expensive' to comply in any rebuilding. Sadly this could have been an opportunity for improvement in many publicly-used places.

    Meanwhile trad left bloggers fantasise about Brownlee interfering with martial law or gay rights. Wrong target, folks. Look towards the Canterbury region's one in five disabled residents instead.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16414 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    That's an entirely reasonable point, Sacha.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7337 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Good point, Sacha. It was already easy enough for the Maranui Surf Club cafe in Wellington to rebuild without wheelchair access after their fire. It could now become the norm to ignore the requirements of the Building Act, the Disability Strategy and anything else that might cost developers money and time to implement.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2024 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    Private-public partnerships will be de rigeur and Canterbury residents will end up paying to use normal utilities for decades to come.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I think it was TV1 news that pointed out this is just a test run of the changes to the national Building Code that this government is proposing - particularly around consent processes. Probably right about PPPs too, especially for public buildings like schools.

    Those of us in other parts of the country should not think this is just Christchurch's problem.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16414 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Have just done a search for "Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act" in Google News and it has come up with about 10 hits that have anything related to it. Only 2 come up with the exact phrase.

    Staggering.

    Edit: have also looked for "Bill" instead of "Act".
    Edit2: 4 come up with exact phrase with "bill"

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1491 posts Report Reply

  • Gordon Paynter,

    In a bizarre way this is not unique. One remembers the US of A HoR fully supporting the Patriot Act.

    That may be what one remembers, but that is not what actually happened:

    Passed the House on October 24, 2001 (Yeas: 357; Nays: 66)
    Passed the Senate on October 25, 2001 (Yeas: 98; Nays: 1)

    Source: Wikipedia or House vote data

    </pedant>

    Wellington • Since Dec 2007 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    Passed the House on October 24, 2001 (Yeas: 357; Nays: 66)
    Passed the Senate on October 25, 2001 (Yeas: 98; Nays: 1)

    I <3 Russ Feingold. That is all.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 451 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Sobering thought that NZ didn't have our own Feingold. Not one.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16414 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The clash between heritage imperatives and profitable development seems a reasonable fear.

    Practically, I'm more worried about cowboy builders gouging desperate homeowners who then resort to the false economy of (potentially unsafe) DIY repairs -- all without politically inconvenient cost or consequence.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11846 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I never thought I'd see a more egregious and nauseatingly disingenuous skid-mark of partisan hackery than Chris Trotter's defence of "courageous corruption", but DPF is trying really really hard. (h/t Danyl - again. The bastard.)

    Some commentators have been declaring that the Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Bill has turned NZ into a dictatorship and Gerry Brownlee is our new Supreme Overlord.

    Of course this is not true. We remain a democratic country, with parliamentary sovereignty. Parliament can repeal the said act, and indeed remove the Government – which is a minority Government.

    But there is an argument to be made, that we could be seen as under the rule of a dictator – if you know your classics.

    In modern history, a dictator is seen as an evil bad ruler – Hitler, Stalin, Kim, Hussein etc. They have absolute rule for life. We definitely do not have that sort of dictatorship.

    But a long time ago, a dictator was seen in positive lights – in fact some dictators are seen as democratic heroes. Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix changed the office from a noble one to a tyrannical one when he was made dictator for an indefinite period in 82 BC. Prior to that, it was well regarded.

    If you'd excuse me, I have to go head-butt my desk, the dining room table and the occasional tables in the living room before I even begin to unpack the bullshit there.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11846 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Is he really trying to rehabilitate the concept of dictatorship? That is quite priceless.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7337 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Deeply, deeply disturbing.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Yes, the media is just not interested in informing the people. If I knew nothing of this "Attack on Democracy" the TV News would have made me no wiser, all they were interested in was three strikes Garret.
    As Simon said "The media seek fights, not truth." they see only sensational scandal. Like John Stewart said "Ooh look, a squirrel

    It's only an "attack on democracy" if it threatens advertising revenue.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4130 posts Report Reply

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