Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Angry and thrilled about Arie

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  • Steve Barnes,

    Diversion can only be offered after a guilty plea and Voorkamp changed his plea to not guilty. The reason for the not guilty plea was, imho, to force a trial so the police have to pay the consequences for Arie's treatment, 11 days in jail, it's a lawyers game now.
    The Police could have just dropped the charges and it may have just gone away if it weren't for those pesky ministers of police, yes, Judith Collins, who still hasn't replied to my eMail requesting an explanation about her "In Jail with a Cell Mate" remark.
    Fuck up from day one...

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4870 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Diversion can only be offered after a guilty plea and Voorkamp changed his plea to not guilty

    That first proposition was denied upthread, and I believe Russell was clear enough about the sequence of events about the plea, restated at Te Standard:

    Erasmus has also said in a statement that the police will not approve diversion because that would require “an informed admission of guilt”. Anyone who saw the programme will have seen that.

    And, indeed, Arie’s counsel originally entered a guilty plea. It was withdrawn only after it became clear that the police were not going to countenance diversion.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16755 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    The reason for the not guilty plea was, imho, to force a trial

    Do you really believe after seeing that tv story that Arie is gagging for a court case?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16755 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    The Police could have just dropped the charges

    Probably not, but it sure seems they could have granted diversion as the judge suggested.

    Fuck up from day one

    Agreed.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16755 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Diversion can only be offered after a guilty plea and Voorkamp changed his plea to not guilty. The reason for the not guilty plea was, imho, to force a trial so the police have to pay the consequences for Arie’s treatment, 11 days in jail, it’s a lawyers game now.

    Nope. My impression is the plea was changed after the cops made it clear they wouldn't countenance diversion. And there's no way they're not aware of an "informed admission of guilt".

    Keith Locke has submitted some written questions to the Minister of Police seeking clarification of the investigation into the Sunday programme, and police procedures relating to people with autism.

    Where fuck are the Labour MPs on this? Grant Robertson, you're letting me down.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18963 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Sacha,

    Do you really believe after seeing that tv story that Arie is gagging for a court case?

    Not Arie, his brand new Pro Bono lawyer, Jonathan Eaton.

    Eaton, who has conducted compensation bids before, said there were several hurdles to overcome before a claimant gained compensation.

    Perhaps we will see a minister of the crown resign over this, someone put the hard word on Police HQ.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4870 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Russell Brown,

    To be fair to Grant, he has taken a long time interest in this situation, as he has in autism-related injustices generally, so just because he has not made public statements in the last few days, does not mean he is not strategising ibehind the scenes.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2096 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    The Police could have just dropped the charges and it may have just gone away if it weren’t for those pesky ministers of police, yes, Judith Collins, who still hasn’t replied to my eMail requesting an explanation about her “In Jail with a Cell Mate” remark.

    Que? I know Collins is the anti-Christ-ette around these parts, and God knows I'm not her biggest fan. But I really think she gets acquitted of blame in this case -- especially when it seems the beef from some people is that the Police Minister isn't engaging in blatant political interference. Which strikes me as a very very bad idea on principle.

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

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Perhaps we will see a minister of the crown resign over this, someone put the hard word on Police HQ.

    This is a serious question and I'm truly not trolling for a fight, Steve, but what do you expect Collins to do? Engage in blatant, direct and (I believe) illegal ministerial interference in Police operational matters by picking up the phone and ordering Erasmus to drop the case?

    While I find the treatment of Arie repulsive, I don't know if opening that door wouldn't create more injustice than it solved.

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

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    This is a serious question and I’m truly not trolling for a fight, Steve, but what do you expect Collins to do? Engage in blatant, direct and (I believe) illegal ministerial interference in Police operational matters by picking up the phone and ordering Erasmus to drop the case?

    She could direct Broad to pass an operational instruction that where the Judiciary make a recommendation of diversion multiple times in the same case, diversion will be offered. That would be legitimate use of her limited authority to direct the Police to do anything.

    Her resignation would be appropriate if it turns out that the Police have been engaged in what is effectively a vendetta against Arie, ignoring judicially-provided opportunities to walk away without losing “face”, and especially if it turns out that there was in operation an unofficial policy of dealing out some rough justice on the streets of Christchurch. Those would be significant failings within her portfolio, and resignation is the time-honoured way of a Minister taking responsibility for what happens within their portfolio.
    ETA: Not that I expect her to do any such thing. She clearly believes that "looters" are fair game for anything that happens to them, as witnessed by her ongoing unwillingness to own the remark about "a cell mate".

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3909 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    To be fair to Grant, he has taken a long time interest in this situation, as he has in autism-related injustices generally, so just because he has not made public statements in the last few days, does not mean he is not strategising ibehind the scenes.

    That’s good to hear. But it does seem that asking Collins some questions was an obvious public move to make. I'm glad Keith Locke's done it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18963 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    I would like to see Collin's "cell mate" comment fully aired in public and a retraction and apology or have it submitted to an authority with regards to colouring the prosecution case against Arie (evidence of bias if not incompetence).

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    To be fair to Grant, he has taken a long time interest in this situation, as he has in autism-related injustices generally, so just because he has not made public statements in the last few days, does not mean he is not strategising behind the scenes.

    To be even fairer to Grant, he’s not Labour’s Police, Corrections and “Law and Order” spokesman. Clayton Cosgrove is. If Labour wants to keep outsourcing their spine to the Greens, I’m sure they’re happy to oblige. No do I think Keith Locke really cares whether the Insensible Sentencing Trust and their ilk think he's a crim-coddling soft cock.

    I just think we should expect better. Arie certainly deserves it.

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

  • izogi, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Her resignation would be appropriate if it turns out that the Police have been engaged in what is effectively a vendetta against Arie, ignoring judicially-provided opportunities to walk away without losing “face”, and especially if it turns out that there was in operation an unofficial policy of dealing out some rough justice on the streets of Christchurch.

    Would you think the same if it were shown she'd asked reasonable questions and made reasonable steps to find out, and been lied to or important info had been withheld? Not that I'm suggesting it's likely, or that nothing should be done if it were discovered that were the case....

    Those would be significant failings within her portfolio, and resignation is the time-honoured way of a Minister taking responsibility for what happens within their portfolio.

    For a decade Helen Clark had a policy of getting resignations out of [other] people at the slightest hint of mis-doings, but that's not habitual for governments and I'm not sure the previous National government did quite so much. After the release Cave Creek Inquiry, Denis Marshall even went as far as quoting something from Geoffrey Palmer's books to suggest that he couldn't be held responsible for everything done under his watch and in his name. (The link I had for this speech is down, but I copied part of it here, search the page for 'November 22, 1995'.) He resigned 5 months after that speech after a hell of a lot of pressure, though.

    Not that I expect her to do any such thing.

    Neither. I think Judith Collins' standards and expectations, as with several other current Ministers, are different from mine.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 429 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to izogi,

    Would you think the same if it were shown she’d asked reasonable questions and made reasonable steps to find out, and been lied to or important info had been withheld?

    In that case, I would expect her to seek resignations from such Assistant/Deputy Commissioners as were involved in the lying. Broad has already gone, Marshall is too new in the job to carry any of the can for it, and such misleading of the Minister must follow a path of subordinates below the Commissioner.
    Given that all the highest levels are political appointments, getting rid of the office-holders for lying to the Minister would be both right and straight-forward.

    As you say, that would be entirely speculative. I consider it even more speculative that Collins asked anything of the sort. Much easier to say, in all truthfulness, that she had no information on the subject.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3909 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    an obvious public move to make

    True. And people don't vote for good work done behind closed doors. You'd think any party floundering in the polls a few months out from an election might grasp that. Doesn't have to upstage other policy either, just firmly demonstrate fitness to govern.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16755 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    an unofficial policy of dealing out some rough justice on the streets of Christchurch

    I'm in no doubt that the public strongly supported harsh action on looters after the quakes, so opposing that is not likely to help Arie's situation.

    However, harsh policing does not preclude behaving decently when you find out you've caught up someone more innocent. That's where the defensive culture of never being wrong causes problems. Everyone makes mistakes. More humility would lift the mana of the Police force.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16755 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    Doesn’t have to upstage other policy either, just firmly demonstrate fitness to govern.

    Certainly not – and if Labour decided that having Cosgrove stand up at Question Time and asking a question about the treatment of Arie would be a “distraction” from the CGT drip-feed media strategy… Well… politicians wonder why used care salesmen and hookers are more respected and trusted occupational groups?

    That’s where the defensive culture of never being wrong causes problems. Everyone makes mistakes. More humility would lift the mana of the Police force.

    Plus infinity minus 1. (And, yes, I know I could take that advice myself occasionally. But being a dick on the internet is a whole order of magnitude lower than being able to destroy someone's life out of sheer bloody-minded intransigence.)

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

  • Rob Stowell,

    I’m in no doubt that the public strongly supported harsh action on looters after the quakes

    Yeah? Personally, I think this is a lousy assumption, albeit one Phil Goff and Crusher Collins seem likely to have shared.
    Emotions were running high. But strong support for illegal, immoral and indefensible Police bashings? I hope we are not so far gone.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1574 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Sacha,

    opposing that is not likely to help Arie’s situation

    Maybe not, but we're talking about broad principles of NZ's culture, not specific incidents. As a whole, I think (hope) most NZers abhor the thought that cops dish out the bash to whomsoever they feel deserves it. If the Minister of Police doesn't support the basic principle that "innocent until proven guilty" applies from the moment of the first police intervention, then we need a new Minister.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3909 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Emotions were running high. But strong support for illegal, immoral and indefensible Police bashings? I hope we are not so far gone.

    Not what Sacha was saying, to be fair. Say "looters" to me, and my initial response is still "How can you convert this Olympic-sized swimming pool into a deep fryer". But while what Arie did was bloody foolish - and endangered his life, his partner's and others -- he's hardly a human vulture picking through the detritus of death and human misery for fun and profit.

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

  • Sacha, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    strong support for illegal, immoral and indefensible Police bashings

    Not bashings - just firm apprehension with little discretion on the spot. And if you think that was not widely supported by the public then Labour is cruising to an easy election win and I have a bridge you might be interested in.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16755 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    we're talking about broad principles of NZ's culture, not specific incidents

    I doubt Arie is that troubled by principles of culture. There's always a balance between resolving the particular person's needs and the broader lessons they teach us.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16755 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    if Labour decided that having Cosgrove stand up at Question Time

    It might make more sense to have someone like Robertson doing that, to separate it out politically from the prevailing 'tough on crime' culture that the last government helped strengthen and which continues to make prisons one of the main infrastructure growth areas while hospitals run cake stalls.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16755 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    This is a serious question and I’m truly not trolling for a fight, Steve, but what do you expect Collins to do? Engage in blatant, direct and (I believe) illegal ministerial interference in Police operational matters by picking up the phone and ordering Erasmus to drop the case?

    I think it may have been the other way round, who, if anybody, told Police HQ to deny diversion?
    Ms. Collins nasty tongue spat out a vicious wish on the night.
    We may never know for sure but the Ministers refusal to "come clean" with the real meaning of her wish leans against the same lamp-post as the police refusal to see anything but red...

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4870 posts Report Reply

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