The Watchdog

Keeping citizens in the loop

NZ Court of Appeal rules against kiwisfirst publisher Vince Siemer, (who was debarred from defending himself in Court), in record $920,000 defamation case.

31 March 2011

How does ‘Justice’ work in ‘clean, green New Zealand’ – perceived to be ‘the least corrupt country in the world’ (along with Singapore and Denmark,according to the 2010 Transparency International ‘Corruption Perception Index’)?

Justice Hammond ruled in yesterday’s record $920,000 Court of Appeal ruling against kiwisfirst publisher Vince Siemer,  yet Vince Siemer was debarred from defending himself in court, at the actual defamation hearing.

How bad is THAT?

errr… isn’t it  ‘Basic Justice 101’  that there are always (at least)  TWO sides to the story – and BOTH sides should be heard in Court?

IF YOU DON’T KNOW YOUR RIGHTS – YOU DON’T HAVE ANY!

www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1990/0109/latest/DLM225527.html?search=ts_act_New+Zealand+bill+of+rights+Act+1990_resel&p=1#DLM225527

New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 No 109 (as at 03 September 2007), Public Act

25 Minimum standards of criminal procedure
Everyone who is charged with an offence has, in relation to the determination of the charge, the following minimum rights:
(a) The right to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial court:
(c) The right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law:
(e) The right to be present at the trial and to present a defence:
(f) The right to examine the witnesses for the prosecution and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses for the defence under the same conditions as the prosecution:

How come in New Zealand – Judges can just ‘make it up’?

How come in New Zealand – Judges can exercise ‘judicial discretion’ and make decisions which are NOT based on the ‘RULE OF LAW’?

Vince Siemer has been jailed three times, although he has never broken any law.

I have witnessed for myself, in my view,  the obvious bias and open hostility shown to Vince Siemer by Judges, (particularly High Court Judge Judith Potter), and Judges refusing to record court proceedings.

I regard Vince Siemer as a  fellow ‘Public Watchdog’ on judicial matters.

Vince Siemer’s  website www.kiwisfirst.co.nz is, in my considered opinion, the leading source of information exposing the lack of transparency and arguably corrupt practices within the NZ judicial system.

Have a look for yourself and see why they want to close Vince Siemer down.

Isn’t it high time for some accountability for New Zealand Judges?

Time for an  enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ for all New Zealand Judges?

Time for a ‘Pecuniary Register of Interest’ for all New Zealand Judges?

Time for ALL Court proceedings to be recorded?

How come in New Zealand – ‘perceived’ to be the ‘least corrupt country in the world’ – we don’t already have this  basic framework in place,  which would help to ensure genuine transparency and accountability in our judicial system?

Check out for yourself, ‘The Bangalore Principles for Judicial Conduct’, (a model enforceable ‘Code of  Conduct’ written by Judges – for Judges), and ask yourself why our NZ Judges are exempt from such accountability.

(A full copy of the ‘The Bangalore Principles for Judicial Conduct’, is included at the end of this post.)

Penny Bright

Media Spokesperson
Water Pressure Group
Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
“Anti-corruption campaigner”.

Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

www.kiwisfirst.co.nz/

BLACK ROBES, WHITE LIES

31 March 2011
Okay, Justice Hammond ruled in yesterday’s record $920,000 Court of Appeal ruling against kiwisfirst publisher Vince Siemer, “We have not had our attention drawn to any worse case of defamation in the British Commonwealth, and our own researches have not disclosed one.”

The judge who wrote New Zealand’s handbook on judicial conflict of interest would know.  Hammond, after all, was the trial judge in 2001 who appointed Michael Stiassny receiver of the debt-free company with $175,000 cash at the centre of the case, and to whom Stiassny reported –  “We had begun disbursing monies to unsecured creditors on the basis of our understanding that funds would be provided by shareholders to support ongoing trading costs as provided in our cashflow forecasts.  We now have no such assurance and accordingly no further funds will be released to pre-receivership creditors”.

Judge Hammond had been formally requested to disqualify himself in Stiassny’s lawsuit against Siemer.

When Hammond refused, Siemer took the refusal to the Supreme Court.  Mr & Mrs Siemer both provided affidavits to the court swearing Stiassny bragged about Judge Hammond being his good friend.  In response, His Honour provided a statement to the Supreme Court claiming he had no conflict because his previous involvement was before Stiassny became involved.  When evidence was provided to the Supreme Court showing Hammond had lied – he not only appointed Stiassny but had dealt professionally in the case with Stiassny for seven months – the Supreme Court issued this Minute.

Any lawyer will tell you the likely reason the Supreme Court would issue a Minute rather than the appropriate ‘judgment’ was to keep evidence of Judge Hammond’s material deceit out of the official record.  Proving justice is blind, the judges on New Zealand’s highest court stood by their orginal ‘judgment’ that “bias, actual or apparent, could never have been responsibly alleged”.

Same with the Stiassny defamation claim.  Astute observers would have noticed the Court of Appeal earlier prohibited appeal against the defamation judgment, allowing challenge to only the quantum of the award.  Why did it limit the statutory right of appeal?  Could it be there is something the court is hiding?

The lynchpin in the defamation claim had always been whether Siemer was lying about the most powerful insolvency practitioner and employer of judges in New Zealand falsely labeling a solvent company insolvent.  Understandable.

If evidence existed that Stiassny wantonly labeled a solvent company insolvent, his professional reputation would be justifiably hammered.  So forget about what Siemer says.  The honourable Court of Appeal has declared Siemer is maliciously telling falsehoods and Stiassny is the poor victim – after preventing challenge of the defamation finding which was the product of a closed hearing where only Stiassny, his lawyers and the High Court judge met.

That is right: the ‘trial’ itself was ex-parte.  Rather, look at the two separate handwritten file notes of Stiassny’s lawyer Robert Fardell QC six months into that receivership (note that “Ferriers” refers to Stiassny’s insolvency company Ferrier Hodgson).

Long before his judgment yesterday, Justice Hammond was the subject of a Judicial Conduct Commissioner complaint over his alleged conflict of interest in this case.  Now that Hammond has replaced Geoffrey Palmer as President of the Law Commission, expect the JCC, who has been sitting on the complaint for two years, to claim lack of jurisdiction.

As any law-abiding citizen, Siemer has nowhere else but the Courts to turn for redress.

Such is justice in the New Zealand Courts.  Anyone who believes this is an unusual situtation can be forgiven for not knowing how the courts routinely and secretly operate here.  Perhaps it takes the “worst case of defamation in the British Commonwealth” to open the public’s eyes.

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BACKGROUND:

www.kiwisfirst.co.nz/index.asp?PageID=2145845376

STIASSNY SICKS LAWYERS ON TVNZ TO PREVENT PROGRAMME TO AIR

26 October 2008
Auckland insolvency accountant Michael Stiassny has enlisted his stable of lawyers to threaten and intimidate TVNZ into not running a segment due to air tonight on the kiwisfirst editor Vince Siemer’s futile  3 ½ year fight to defend himself a defamation lawsuit by Stiassny.  Believing the Sunday Programme segment was due to air last week, Stiassny’s lawyers two weeks ago dumped off weighty copies of legal filings to TVNZ they had leveled against Mr Siemer to back up their threat of yet another defamation case against TVNZ.

When TVNZ producers decided to develop the story in June, Mr Stiassny was contacted for a response, but refused.

The legal odyssey began in April 2005 when Stiassny obtained a gag injunction from Auckland High Court Judge Helen Winkelmann on a Friday evening.  Two years earlier Ms Winkelmann was the Chambers partner of the lawyer who requested the secret gag injunction on Mr Stiassny’s behalf, Julian Miles QC.

The gag injunction prevented Mr Siemer from publishing any evidence he had in relation to extensive accounting and reporting “errors” by Mr Stiassny in his handling of receiverships and liquidations.  Because all the accounting “errors” seemed to favour Mr Stiassny personally, Mr Siemer suggested the errors were suspect.

In a ruling dated 5 May 2005, then Auckland High Court Judge Ellen France ruled Mr Siemer had “no defence of truth” to what he published.  But when Siemer appealed France’s decision to the Court of Appeal, Justice Robert Chambers – an admitted close friend of Stiassny’s “Manager” Alan Garrett – upheld the gag injunction as Mr Garrett sat in the back of the Wellington Court room.

In scenes reminiscent of a John Grisham intrigue, Mr Siemer found out at least three further sitting Auckland High Court Judges had worked as Stiassny’s lawyer prior to their judicial appointments, including Patricia Courtney who had only three years earlier actively engaged in covering up Stiassny’s accounting and reporting ‘errors’.  Then a West Auckland private investigator approached Siemer to tell him that he had been approached by Stiassny to bug Siemer’s phone.  Indeed, in the contempt application by Stiassny that followed, Stiassny claimed expenses for private investigators in Italy, New Zealand and the United States in his $180,000 claim for legal costs.  The judge in that case – Judith Potter – had refused to recuse herself from presiding over the matter even though Siemer’s lawyer had an active judicial misconduct complaint against her for ruling on behalf of her brother-in-law in an undisclosed conflict of interest a year earlier.

By law, Stiassny had to file proceedings to support the Court blessing him with a rights-contravening injunction.  However, Stiassny did nothing to advance his $1.25 Million defamation lawsuit for two years.  When Mr Siemer’s new lawyer Brian Henry applied to the Court to put the matter on a trial track (something which is typically done within a couple months), the Court granted the application but Rodney Hansen J still ordered Mr Siemer to pay Mr Stiassny’s legal costs in this successful application.  Staissny’s lawyers immediately informed the Court that they were unable to meet the Court’s much delayed deadline on discovery and Hansen J promptly granted Stiassny another delay.

Though Stiassny proved quite allergic to bringing his defamation claim to a New Zealand jury, he spared no expense on countless legal motions to prevent Mr Siemer from filing a statement of defence and to prevent him appearing at any trial that might eventuate.  Stiassny’s lawyers claimed the defamation was too complicated for a New Zealand jury to understand and last month Judge Mark Cooper granted Staissny’s lawyers a private hearing before Judge Geoffrey Venning, after two other judges (including another former Stiassny lawyer – Paul Heath J) had sealed much of the evidence in the case from public or press access.

The sordid injustice Mr Siemer has experienced at the hands of unscrupulous judges has put him on a mission to create transparency in New Zealand court proceedings.  He is pushing that all Court proceedings be accurately recorded and copies provided to the parties.  Because the judges he appeared before repeatedly refused to allow accurate recording in Court, Mr Siemer risked contempt by wearing a wire.  In two hearings which were recorded by the Court of Appeal on 8 February 2007 and 18 June 2007, the Court of Appeal claimed to lack the technical ability to make copies after Court President William Young could be heard on the February tape changing material testimony and stating he had the authority to ignore the law and Justice Susie Glazebrook openly defended the illegal practice of Stiassny’s lawyers “padding” their fees in the June hearing.

“Until accurate recording of Court proceedings in New Zealand becomes compulsory, there will be no judicial accountability because currently it is the Judge’s summary alone which becomes the official record”, Mr Siemer says.   “To accentuate this lack of judicial accountability, the Office of the Judicial Conduct Commissioner set up in 2004 to hold judges accountable have handled more than 300 formal complaints to date and have failed to find one of these complaints worthy of a formal investigation.”  # RETURN TO FRONT PAGE

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www.kiwisfirst.co.nz/news.asp?pageID=2145848073&RefID=2141732609

JUDGE COOPER’S RACIST INVECTIVE TAINTS HIGH COURT RULING
Posted On: Thursday, 1 January 2009

JUDGE COOPER’S RACIST INVECTIVE TAINTS HIGH COURT RULING

Under cover of the Christmas Holiday, Auckland High Court Judge Mark Cooper (right) ruled that kiwisfirst editor Vince Siemer had defamed Auckland insolvency accountant Michael Stiassny with publications on this site and ( website name blocked by order of the Court).  Siemer was ordered to pay $920,000 damages to Stiassny, plus unspecified Court costs.

Though Cooper’s judgment finding Mr Siemer guilty of defamation was posted over Christmas Day, the secret trial was conducted sometime in October.  Mr Siemer was debarred from defending himself at that trial because he refused to pay application costs totaling more than $200,000 which Justice Judith Potter had awarded Stiassny ahead of trial.  A Jury trial was earlier denied by order of Rodney Hansen J at the request of Stiassny’s lawyers on the basis New Zealand citizens were incapable of understanding the complex nature of the alleged defamation against Mr Siemer.

It is understood that Stiassny and an employee of Korda Mentha (formerly Ferrier Hodgson) Alan Garrett, walked into an Auckland Courtroom sometime in October and told Judge Cooper the sad story of Stiassny having to tell his children that he did not do any of the things which had been evidentially detailed on ( website name blocked by order of the Court) in April 2005. Testifying on this bizarre legal escapade lasting over 3 ½ years, Mr Stiassny told the Judge he had spent over a million dollars in legal costs pursuing Mr Siemer and that everything Mr Siemer published about him were lies which had been previously investigated by the Serious Fraud Office and Institute of Chartered Accountants and found to be baseless.  No reporters or public were present at this cosy meeting.  No record was apparently taken.

The undefended trial was the first time in the long court battle that Michael Stiassny had appeared in Court.  His appearance came after the Judge provided assurances that Mr Stiassny would not be cross-examined on his testimony.  [CENSORED BY ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT]

Perhaps the strangest aspect of the case is that both allegations were earlier proven to be correct in Court – using Stiassny’s own documents – yet Judge Cooper failed to address any of this evidence in his lengthy 25 page judgment.

The “official” summary of the events and trial lies in the often acerbic words of Justice Cooper contained in this judgment dated 23 December 2008 which demonstrate how serious the Judge considered the defamation to be.  In paragraph [49] of that judgment Cooper quoted what he later referred to as “clear instances of vile racist abuse [by Mr Siemer]”. In an apparent quote of Mr Siemer, Cooper J stated –

“Mr Siemer had referred to Mr Stiassny as a man with “exceptional sway within the small Jewish community” and had commented that “when the judiciary determines that a ruthless and powerful man’s reputation is so priceless…the Gestapo cannot be far behind…people like Adolph [sic] Hitler….”.

The big problem is that Mr Siemer said no such thing.  Justice Cooper simply took words from unrelated articles, juxtaposed them, then attributed the resultant fictitious quote to Mr Siemer.

Because it beaches a Judge’s order to refer readers to the actual website which contains the articles which Justice Cooper selectively pulled words from, the relevant sections are printed below.

In one article which tracks Michael Stiassny’s questionable relationship with Robert Fardell QC prior to Mr Fardell’s suicide in December 2005, Mr Siemer actual wrote “Stiassny, the man (Fardell) had inextricably linked himself with, a man with exceptional sway within the small Jewish community and certain sectors of the business community, had spurned his pleas for help.”

An unrelated interview posted on the site had Mr Siemer answering the question ” Can you really argue with Judge (France’s) decision that one cannot put a price on Stiassny’s reputation whereas the only thing you have lost is your expenditures on the billboard and website?”
To which Mr Siemer answered:
“Are you kidding?!  The hearing was the same week as Anzac Day.  Those gallant men and women who paid the ultimate price for freedom would roll over in their graves to learn that a High Court Judge played truth police while quashing freedom of expression.  When the Judiciary determines that a ruthless and powerful man’s reputation is so priceless that any evidence and experiences that he claims undermines it must be purged and banned, the Gestapo cannot be far behind.  I am not being over-dramatic.  Erosion of civil liberties is notoriously unremarkable as it is occurring.  If history has taught us anything it is that people like Adolph Hitler, Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein and Pol Pot succeeded in committing horrendous crimes only through purges of public opinion that conflicted with the reputation they sought to promote.”

Judge Cooper’s “quote”, which he attempted to attribute to Mr Siemer, is compiled from the words highlighted in the actual publications (above).  Readers can now be the Judge as to whether Judge Cooper could have accidentally gotten this wrong.  This example gives a small glimpse into how justice is regularly arrived at in the parochial New Zealand Courts.

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www.medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=205

Judge awards highest ever defamation damages

By Steven | January 29, 2009

This news seems to have slipped under the media radar: just before Christmas the courts handed down the highest defamation damages award in NZ’s history.

Cooper J awarded Michael Stiassny and his firm $920,000 damages against Vince Siemer for his long-running attacks on Stiassny, including $900,000 for defamation. (To recap: those are the attacks that led to the injunction that led to the contempt of court cases that led to Siemer being fined and jailed for breaching the injunction and then let out of jail to argue that he should have been given a jury trial. Judgment’s still pending on that last one).

Those contempt cases also led to a huge award of costs – more than $180,000 – against Siemer (joining many other costs awards against Siemer). He didn’t pay them. So Potter J debarred him from defending Staissny’s defamation case.

So it can’t have been much of a defamation trial. You had the country’s most famous media lawyer, Julian Miles QC, arguing one side, and on the other…. nothing. There’s a huge hole in the judgment where the discussion of defences would usually come. Were the attacks true? Were they simply honest opinion? Were they protected by qualified privilege? The judge didn’t have to decide.

At one point Cooper J said: “there is no substance in the allegations that Mr Siemer makes”. The judge really had no place saying that. Siemer has insisted all along that his criticisms are true. He’d been prevented from putting forward evidence to prove them. The judge didn’t know what that evidence might have been.

And that’s surely got to give anyone pause for thought. Nearly a million dollars in damages awarded against someone who was denied the right to present evidence in his own defence. That’s in addition to being sent to jail for contempt for saying things he continues to insist are true, and which have never been disproved, in breach of an injunction he believes was wrongly imposed.

The picture is different from Stiassny’s perspective, of course. Stiassny would say he has been subject to years of false and damaging invective from Siemer, has been forced to spend more than a million dollars on the defamation/breach of contract lawsuit, has won almost every point he argued, and has been granted costs awards in his favour, but Siemer has refused to pay them – and worse, has flouted the court’s injunction and continued to spread his poison. Why should he be put to the expense of a full trial when Siemer won’t pay for the costs of the pre-trial skirmishes – many of which Siemer initiated?

Still, this is a whopping award. It includes aggravated damages ($150,000) and exemplary damages ($25,000).

Not surprisingly, Julian Miles argued that the case was broadly analogous to two other giant NZ defamation awards: $675,000 in the Ray Columbus case and the eventual $650,000 in Quinn, though these involved national publications; Siemer’s statements were made on a short-lived billboard, some fairly obscure websites, and in letters, stickers and notices.

Also not surprisingly, Miles seems to have made no mention of the dozens of other defamation awards, many of them for fairly serious defamations much more widely published than Siemer’s, that came in well under $100,000.

Not surprisingly once again, the entire judgment feels very one-sided. It’s hard to believe that this sum would have been awarded if the case had been fully argued. (And that’s putting aside the question of whether Siemer would have been able to establish a defence). Whatever you think of Vince (and I’ve been critical of him), it’s also hard to be comfortable about the circumstances in which this award was made.

[For completeness, I should note that Terry Quinn was originally awarded $1.5 million by a jury for two defamatory programmes, but the damages bill was reduced to a total of $650,000 on appeal].

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Topics: Defamation |

 

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www.kiwisfirst.co.nz/news.asp?pageID=2145848073&RefID=2141732776

NEW ZEALAND COURT OF APPEAL PRESIDENT’S PRIVATE DEAL WITH VECTOR CHAIR DISHONOURS COURT
Posted On: Tuesday, 15 September 2009

COURT OF APPEAL PRESIDENT’S ‘ QUID PRO QUO’ WITH VECTOR CHAIRMAN DISHONOURS COURT

15 September 2009
Add one more reason to why power bills are skyrocketing.  A well-placed source has come forward with information that Court of Appeal President William Young (pictured) took what likely amounted to a bribe in 2007 from Vector Limited Chairman and insolvency accountant Michael Stiassny.  The cash was funneled through a blind trust to finance a property purchase in the South Island.   The “financing” provided by Stiassny was in exchange for President Young legally insulating Mr Stiassny from evidence of business fraud in his insolvency practice Korda Mentha (formerly Ferrier Hodgson) and, possibly, at regional power lines company Vector Limited.  Stiassny is currently chairman of Vector Limited.  In 2005 Chartered Accountant Stiassny dubiously claimed publicly to have grown Vector from a $1 billion to a $5 billion company in three years.

The informant was motivated by what they see as increasing corruption in the New Zealand Court, as well as Young’s hidden history and the affront to the unwary Public that occurred when President Young was bestowed a knighthood by the New Zealand Government last month.  Court of Appeal President William Young is now “Sir William Young”.  Seven percent of New Zealand’s Judges are now knighted “Sirs” or “Dames”.

Scandal is nothing new to Sir Willy.  Neither is fraudulent accounting.  When he was with the Serious Fraud Office, William Young was caught unduly intervening to protect his cousin John Austin from criminal prosecution in the Fortex meat-processing collapse.   Two of Austin’s partners in the $100 million collapse went to prison for fraudulent accounting.   It was former Member of Parliament Winston Peters who exposed Young’s misconduct.  This was after Young attempted to demonise Peters for divulging in Parliament the off-shore “wine box” tax scams which many of New Zealand’s top lawyers and businessmen at the time were using to defraud the government and New Zealand investors.   None of the lawyers involved in the winebox scandal went to prison: Young’s road to the Court of Appeal Presidency progressed untainted.

On 2 November 2005 Young J presided over what seemed, at the time, a non-eventful appeal brought by www.kiwisfirst.co.nz publisher Vince Siemer against a gag injunction imposed by the Auckland High Court.  The interim injunction ordered Siemer not to publish evidence that Auckland Accountant Michael Stiassny and his firm Ferrier Hodgson had attempted to falsely label Paragon Oil Systems Limited insolvent and overcharge the company almost $11,000 in fees.

The stakes were extremely high for Stiassny because he had spearheaded a massive expansion of Vector Limited using “creative bridge financing from the United States”.  The dour consequence was Vector was saddled with a massive debt which could not sustain the share price on pure analysis.  To raise maximum capital, Chairman Staissny was aggressively trying to puff up the float price ahead of the Initial Public Offering of 24.9% of Vector’s shares on the New Zealand Share market.  The share value was integral to Vector staying within its debt covenant targets.  Standard and Poor’s had already put Vector on “credit watch with negative implications”.    Suffice it to say it would not be good if the investment cheerleader was exposed as a fraudster.

Manager Alan Garrett of (what was then) Ferrier Hodgson personally phoned Court of Appeal Judge Robert Chambers in the lead up to Siemer’s appeal of the injunction at the Court of Appeal on 2 November 2005.  Mr Garrett arranged with Judge Chambers to share an Air New Zealand flight down from Auckland to Wellington the morning of the hearing.   Garrett was pleased to learn that Judge Chambers had already read the file.  The Judge offered to Garrett that he thought maintaining the injunction would not be a problem.

At the Appeal hearing, lead judge William Young took no notes.   In contrast, Chambers J was contemporaneously composing the written ruling.  Christchurch High Court Judge Graham Pankhurst rounded out the Court.

Midway through the appeal Young J became troubled enough to suggest that the injunction issue might be settled if Ferrier Hodgson produced their bank statement showing that Partner Michael Stiassny’s attempt to overcharge fees to Paragon was resolved in the innocent manner Stiassny had claimed.   This prompted a response from Stiassny and Ferrier Hodgson’s counsel Julian Miles QC that his clients objected to this.

Evidently William Young J was concerned enough post-hearing to do a little investigation before Chambers released the reserved dismissal of the appeal.  He phoned Auckland barrister Robert Fardell QC, who had acted for both Stiassny and Siemer, to explore the practical ramifications if the Court of Appeal upheld the questionable injunction.

Mr Fardell, in turn, relayed the exchange to his junior associate Christopher Morris.  Mr Morris was in the midst of intense Court proceedings where he was assisting John Billington QC in the defence of a large law firm [ name suppressed by the Court] which was being prosecuted by the Serious Fraud Office.  After Fardell was found dead at the base of the 15 metre Narrow Neck cliffs on 11 December 2005, Morris confided to his legal cohorts that Fardell was troubled by representations he had made.

The reserved Court of Appeal Judgment dismissing the appeal and upholding Michael Stiassny’s interim injunction against Siemer and Paragon was released on 13 December 2005, two days after Mr Fardell fell to his death.

Mr Siemer was found guilty of breaching the injunction by judgment of Auckland High Court Judge Judy Potter on 16 March 2006; a decision which he immediately appealed to the Court of Appeal.  At least three of Stiassny’s former lawyers currently sit on the Auckland High Court.  This includes Patricia Courtney who, according to affidavits from four witnesses, deliberately withheld evidence [* censored by order of the New Zealand High Court*] when she was Stiassny’s lawyer in 2002.  Another, Paul Heath, would later order the Coroner’s public finding into Mr Fardell’s death suppressed in a proceeding listed as ” X v X” on the Court docket, where Stiassny was the trustee of Fardell’s family trust.  The defendant “X” was the New Zealand Attorney General – who was not represented at the secret hearing.  Afterward, Judge Heath sealed the Court file itself.

It was this second appeal by Mr Siemer where Young, now President of the New Zealand Court of Appeal, sought some personal “financing” from the Stiassny faction in exchange for his continued support.  With the  quid pro quo arranged, Young P took the lead role in this second appeal ( Siemer v Stiassny CA55/06,150/06) in Wellington Courtroom 1 on 8 February 2007.  He coached Stiassny-witness Garrett under cross-examination and changed witness answers when coaching proved inadequate.   The perversion of justice apparently became so draining on Judge Young that he abruptly led the other Judges out of the Courtroom early so as to avoid having to address the appeal of Potter J’s $185,000 costs award which was the subject of a second appeal the Court had previously agreed to hear that day.

When Young P produced his reserved written Judgment on 4 April 2007, it showed little similarity with the facts as presented.  The Judgment materially distorted the evidence and submissions in dismissing the appeal.  When Siemer made a formal request for the audio-transcript of the hearing from the Court, Young P refused.  The Court did eventually provide a written transcription of the witness testimonies only, but this differed from the known audio.  Siemer appealed to the Office of the Judicial Conduct Commissioner, but Commissioner Ian Haynes wrote back to say he had no authority to access the Court’s audio-transcripts because they were “not documents”.   When he persisted with his barrage of requests for the accurate audio-transcripts, Court of Appeal Judge Grant Hammond actually wrote back in June 2008 claiming the Court of Appeal was “technically incapable” of making copies.

Justice Minister Simon Power claimed the separation of powers between the New Zealand Judicial and Legislative branches prohibited him from intervening to the extent of compelling transparency in the New Zealand Courts.  In March of 2009, Ministry of Justice Chief Legal Counsel Jeff Orr wrote that the Ministry’s position “is consistent with the view expressed by the Chief Justice ( Sian Elias )” that “the content of the Court record is determined, not by the requirements of any enactment, but by Court practice.” What?  The Justice Minister was provided an advance copy of this article for comment on whether he agreed NZ Judges were exempt from NZ laws.  As of publication, no response was received by kiwisfirst.

This profound revelation that “Court practice” trumps “requirements of enactments” prompted Siemer to petition Parliament to compel the Courts to comply with the Public Records Act 2005, the same as every other branch of government.  That petition, sponsored by Speaker of the House Lockwood Smith, and related submissions are currently before the Justice and Electoral Select Committee, with the Committee’s recommendation expected to go to Parliament later this year.

Two and a half years on, no one appears willing to challenge the Court of Appeal President concealing the audio-transcript from Siemer’s “public” appeal despite the now-circumstantial case he defeated the course of justice.

Earlier this year, the Court of Appeal closed ranks around the embattled President, hindering Public access to the closed Court file of the Stiassny injunction.  Meanwhile, Young P personally impeded Siemer’s appeal of Stiassny’s ex-parte defamation award of $976,000 released the day before Christmas last year.  Though filed in January 2009, Young P allowed the appeal a file number only two months ago, after repeated inquiries by the parties.

Sir Young still refuses to put the appeal on a hearing track.  Instead he sent out a “Minute of William Young P” on 6 August 2009, inviting Stiassny’s counsel to make a written application on “Mr Siemer’s entitlement to pursue the appeal”, as well as, “formalities”, “security for costs” and “the time restrictions provided for in the relevant rules”.  Young P’s Minute concludes with “These can fairly be addressed only if the respondents are given an opportunity to be heard.” This unprecedented special invite – particularly to just one party – is bizarre.   The routine appeal process ensures each party is “to be heard”.  There is also the irony that Young P offered respondent Stiassny this gratuitous treatment in an appeal of a claim the appellant was not notified of – a claim which was filed by Stiassny in the Auckland High Court only on 8 October 2008 and heard by Judge Mark Cooper that same day.

History demonstrates that William Young will prefer to hear from Stiassny’s counsel in secret.  Now that it has been revealed that William Young P thad a “personal arrangement” with Stiassny to defeat the very function of an honourable court, it will be interesting to see whether he can continue to keep the accurate public records of the related Court proceedings under lock and key.

Editor’s footnote: To bring this story to press was by far the most agonizing decision I have faced. Even though the facts of this story have been coming together for weeks, if not months, it was only after putting the full story together that the horrific reality of what it portrays and what is at stake became infinitely clear. There was – and is – the personal fear that I will again be detained and my home raided as when I ran the story in 2007 about Solicitor General David Collins’ perjury over the M v M case and ill-conceived “terrorist” prosecutions in the Tuhoe raids.  Ultimately I considered the ongoing threat to New Zealand if this story remained hidden was unacceptable.  New Zealanders have a fundamental right to know if the Judges who rise to levels of absolute power over society without a vote of the citizens are destroying the very laws they have sworn a solemn oath to defend.  Still, the most frightening element of this story to me remains that elected officials in the Ministry of Justice have very recently adopted the extremely dangerous position that NZ judges are personally exempt from New Zealand laws.  From this perspective, Judge Young is as much a victim as anyone placed in his shoes.  The reality is very few of us could resist the seduction of unlimited power combined with no transparency as to how we exercise it.        BACK TO FRONT PAGE

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THE BANGALORE PRINCIPLES OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT 2002

(The Bangalore Draft Code of Judicial Conduct 2001adopted by the Judicial Group on Strengthening Judicial Integrity,as revised at the Round Table Meeting of Chief Justices held at the Peace Palace, The Hague, November 25-26, 2002)

Preamble

WHEREAS the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes as fundamental the principle that everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of rights and obligations and of any criminal charge.

WHEREAS the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights guarantees that all persons shall be equal before the courts, and that in the determination of any criminal charge or of rights and obligations in a suit at law, everyone shall be entitled, without undue delay, to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law.

WHEREAS the foregoing fundamental principles and rights are also recognized or reflected inregional human rights instruments, in domestic constitutional, statutory and common law, and in judicial conventions and traditions.

WHEREAS the importance of a competent, independent and impartial judiciary to the protection of human rights is given emphasis by the fact that the implementation of all the other rights ultimately depends upon the proper administration of justice.

WHEREAS a competent, independent and impartial judiciary is likewise essential if the courts are to fulfil their role in upholding constitutionalism and the rule of law.

WHEREAS public confidence in the judicial system and in the moral authority and integrity of  the judiciary is of the utmost importance in a modern democratic society.

WHEREAS it is essential that judges, individually and collectively, respect and honour judicial office as a public trust and strive to enhance and maintain confidence in the judicial system.

WHEREAS the primary responsibility for the promotion and maintenance of high standards of  judicial conduct lies with the judiciary in each country.

AND WHEREAS the United Nations Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary are designed to secure and promote the independence of the judiciary, and are addressed primarily to States.

THE FOLLOWING PRINCIPLES are intended to establish standards for ethical conduct of judges. They are designed to provide guidance to judges and to afford the judiciary a framework for regulating judicial conduct.

They are also intended to assist members of the executive and the legislature, and lawyers and the public in general, to better understand and support the judiciary. These principles presuppose that judges are accountable for their conduct to appropriate institutions established to maintain judicial standards, which are themselves independent and impartial, and are intended to supplement and not to derogate from existing rules of law and conduct which bind the judge.

Value 1:

INDEPENDENCE

Principle:

Judicial independence is a pre-requisite to the rule of law and a fundamental guarantee of a fair trial. A judge shall therefore uphold and exemplify judicial independence in both its individual and institutional aspects.

Application:

1.1       A judge shall exercise the judicial function independently on the basis of the judge’s assessment of the facts and in accordance with a conscientious understanding of the law, free of any extraneous influences, inducements, pressures, threats or interference, direct or indirect, from any quarter or for any reason.

1.2       A judge shall be independent in relation to society in general and in relation to the particular parties to a dispute which the judge has to adjudicate.

1.3        A judge shall not only be free from inappropriate connections with, and influence by, the executive and legislative branches of government, but must also appear to a reasonable observer to be free therefrom.

1.4       In performing judicial duties, a judge shall be independent of judicial colleagues in respect of decisions which the judge is obliged to make independently.

1.5       A judge shall encourage and uphold safeguards for the discharge of judicial duties in order to maintain and enhance the institutional and operational independence of the judiciary.

1.6       A judge shall exhibit and promote high standards of judicial conduct in order to reinforce public confidence in the judiciary which is fundamental to the maintenance of judicial independence.

Value 2:

IMPARTIALITY

Principle:

Impartiality is essential to the proper discharge of the judicial office. It applies not only to the decision itself but also to the process by which the decision is made.

Application:

2.1       A judge shall perform his or her judicial duties without favour, bias or prejudice.

2.2       A judge shall ensure that his or her conduct, both in and out of court, maintains and enhances the confidence of the public, the legal profession and litigants in the impartiality of the judge and of the judiciary.

2.3       A judge shall, so far as is reasonable, so conduct himself or herself as to minimise the occasions on which it will be necessary for the judge to be disqualified from hearing or deciding cases.

2.4       A judge shall not knowingly, while a proceeding is before, or could come before, the judge, make any comment that might reasonably be expected to affect the outcome of such proceeding or impair the manifest fairness of the process. Nor shall the judge make any comment in public or otherwise that might affect the fair trial of any person or issue.

2.5       A judge shall disqualify himself or herself from participating in any proceedings in which the judge is unable to decide the matter impartially or in which it may appear to a reasonable observer that the judge is unable to decide the matter impartially. Such proceedings include, but are not limited to, instances where

2.5.1    the judge has actual bias or prejudice concerning a party or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceedings;

2.5.2    the judge previously served as a lawyer or was a material witness in the matter in controversy; or

2.5.3    the judge, or a member of the judge’s family, has an economic interest in the outcome of the matter in controversy:

Provided that disqualification of a judge shall not be required if no other tribunal can be constituted to deal with the case or, because of urgent circumstances, failure to act could lead to a serious miscarriage of justice.

Value 3:

INTEGRITY

Principle:

Integrity is essential to the proper discharge of the judicial office.

Application:

3.1       A judge shall ensure that his or her conduct is above reproach in the view of a reasonable observer.

3.2       The behaviour and conduct of a judge must reaffirm the people’s faith in the integrity of  the judiciary.      Justice must not merely be done but must also be seen to be done.

Value 4:

PROPRIETY

Principle:

Propriety, and the appearance of propriety, are essential to the performance of all of the activities of a judge.

Application:

4.1       A judge shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all of the judge’s activities.

4.2.      As a subject of constant public scrutiny, a judge must accept personal restrictions that might be viewed as burdensome by the ordinary citizen and should do so freely and willingly. In particular, a judge shall conduct himself or herself in a way that is consistent with the dignity of the judicial office.

4.3.      A judge shall, in his or her personal relations with individual members of the legal profession who practise regularly in the judge’s court, avoid situations which might reasonably give rise to the suspicion or appearance of favouritism or partiality.

4.4       A judge shall not participate in the determination of a case in which any member of the judge’s family represents a litigant or is associated in any manner with the case.

4 .5       A judge shall not allow the use of the judge’s residence by a member of the legal profession to receive clients or other members of the legal profession.

4.6       A judge, like any other citizen, is entitled to freedom of expression, belief, association
and assembly, but in exercising such rights, a judge shall always conduct himself or
herself in such a manner as to preserve the dignity of the judicial office and the impartiality and independence of the judiciary.

4.7       A judge shall inform himself or herself about the judge’s personal and fiduciary financial interests and shall make reasonable efforts to be informed about the financial interests of members of the judge’s family.

4.8       A judge shall not allow the judge’s family, social or other relationships improperly to influence the judge’s judicial conduct and judgment as a judge.

4.9       A judge shall not use or lend the prestige of the judicial office to advance the private interests of the judge, a member of the judge’s family or of anyone else, nor shall a judge convey or permit others to convey the impression that anyone is in a special position improperly to influence the judge in the performance of judicial duties.

4.10     Confidential information acquired by a judge in the judge’s judicial capacity shall not be used or disclosed by the judge for any other purpose not related to the judge’s judicial duties.

4.11     Subject to the proper performance of judicial duties, a judge may:

4.11.1              write, lecture, teach and participate in activities concerning the law, the legal system, the administration of justice or related matters;

4.11.2              appear at a public hearing before an official body concerned with matters relating to the law, the legal system, the administration of justice or related matters;

4.11.3              serve as a member of an official body, or other government commission, committee or advisory body, if such membership is not inconsistent with the perceived impartiality and political neutrality of a judge; or

4.11.4              engage in other activities if such activities do not detract from the dignity of the judicial office or otherwise interfere with the performance of judicial duties.

4.12     A judge shall not practise law whilst the holder of judicial office.

4.13     A judge may form or join associations of judges or participate in other organisations representing the interests of judges.

4.14     A judge and members of the judge’s family, shall neither ask for, nor accept, any gift, bequest, loan or favour in relation to anything done or to be done or omitted to be done by the judge in connection with the performance of judicial duties.

4.15     A judge shall not knowingly permit court staff or others subject to the judge’s influence, direction or authority, to ask for, or accept, any gift, bequest, loan or favour in relation to anything done or to be done or omitted to be done in connection with his or her duties or functions.

4.16     Subject to law and to any legal requirements of public disclosure, a judge may receive a token gift, award or benefit as appropriate to the occasion on which it is made provided that such gift, award or benefit might not reasonably be perceived as intended to influence the judge in the performance of judicial duties or otherwise give rise to an appearance of partiality.

Value 5:

EQUALITY

Principle:

nsuring equality of treatment to all before the courts is essential to the due performance of the judicial office.

Application:

5.1       A judge shall be aware of, and understand, diversity in society and differences arising from various sources, including but not limited to race, colour, sex, religion, national origin, caste, disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, social and economic status and other like causes (“irrelevant grounds”).

5.2       A judge shall not, in the performance of judicial duties, by words or conduct, manifest bias or prejudice towards any person or group on irrelevant grounds.

5.3       A judge shall carry out judicial duties with appropriate consideration for all persons, such as the parties, witnesses, lawyers, court staff and judicial colleagues, without differentiation on any irrelevant ground, immaterial to the proper performance of such duties.

5.4       A judge shall not knowingly permit court staff or others subject to the judge’s influence, direction or control to differentiate between persons concerned, in a matter before the judge, on any irrelevant ground.

5.5       A judge shall require lawyers in proceedings before the court to refrain from manifesting, by words or conduct, bias or prejudice based on irrelevant grounds, except such as are legally relevant to an issue in proceedings and may be the subject of legitimate advocacy.

Value 6:

COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE

Principle:

Competence and diligence are prerequisites to the due performance of judicial office.

Application:

6.1       The judicial duties of a judge take precedence over all other activities.

6.2       A judge shall devote the judge’s professional activity to judicial duties, which include not only the performance of judicial functions and responsibilities in court and the making of decisions, but also other tasks relevant to the judicial office or the court’s operations.

6.3       A judge shall take reasonable steps to maintain and enhance the judge’s knowledge, skills and personal qualities necessary for the proper performance of judicial duties, taking advantage for this purpose of the training and other facilities which should be made available, under judicial control, to judges.

6.4       A judge shall keep himself or herself informed about relevant developments of international law, including international conventions and other instruments establishing human rights norms.

6.5       A judge shall perform all judicial duties, including the delivery of reserved decisions, efficiently, fairly and with reasonable promptness.

6.6       A judge shall maintain order and decorum in all proceedings before the court and be patient, dignified and courteous in relation to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers and others with whom the judge deals in an official capacity. The judge shall require similar conduct of legal representatives, court staff and others subject to the judge’s influence, direction or control.

6.7       A judge shall not engage in conduct incompatible with the diligent discharge of judicial duties.

IMPLEMENTATION

By reason of the nature of judicial office, effective measures shall be adopted by national judiciaries to provide mechanisms to implement these principles if such mechanisms are not already in existence in their jurisdictions.

DEFINITIONS

In this statement of principles, unless the context otherwise permits or requires, the following meanings shall be attributed to the words used:

Court staff” includes the personal staff of the judge including law clerks.

Judge” means any person exercising judicial power, however designated.

Judge’s family” includes a judge’s spouse, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, and any other close relative or person who is a companion or employee of the judge and who lives in the judge’s household.

Judge’s spouse” includes a domestic partner of the judge or any other person of either sex in a  close personal relationship with the judge

Explanatory Note

1.         At its first meeting held in Vienna in April 2000 on the invitation of the United Nations Centre for International Crime Prevention, and in conjunction with the 10th United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, the Judicial Group on Strengthening Judicial Integrity (comprising Chief Justice Latifur Rahman of Bangladesh, Chief Justice Bhaskar Rao of Karnataka State in India, Justice Govind Bahadur Shrestha of Nepal, Chief Justice Uwais of Nigeria, Deputy Vice-President Langa of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, Chief Justice Nyalali of Tanzania, and Justice Odoki of Uganda, meeting under the chairmanship of Judge Christopher Weeramantry, Vice-President of the International Court of Justice, with Justice Michael Kirby of the High Court of Australia as rapporteur, and with the participation of Dato’ Param Cumaraswamy, UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers) recognized the need for a code against which the conduct of judicial officers may be measured. Accordingly, the Judicial Group requested that codes of judicial conduct which had been adopted in some jurisdictions be analyzed, and a report be prepared by the Co-ordinator of the Judicial Integrity Programme, Dr Nihal Jayawickrama, concerning: (a)
the core considerations which recur in such codes; and (b) the optional or additional
considerations which occur in some, but not all, such codes and which may or may not be
suitable for adoption in particular countries.

2.         In preparing a draft code of judicial conduct in accordance with the directions set out
above, reference was made to several existing codes and international instruments including, in
particular, the following:

(a)        The Code of Judicial Conduct adopted by the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association, August 1972.

(b)        Declaration of Principles of Judicial Independence issued by the Chief Justices of the Australian States and Territories, April 1997.

(c)        Code of Conduct for the Judges of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, prescribed by the Supreme Judicial Council in the exercise of power under Article 96(4)(a) of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, May 2000.

(d)       Ethical Principles for Judges, drafted with the cooperation of the Canadian Judges Conference and endorsed by the Canadian Judicial Council, 1998.

(e)        The European Charter on the Statute for Judges, Council of Europe, July 1998.

(f)        The Idaho Code of Judicial Conduct 1976.

(g)        Restatement of Values of Judicial Life adopted by the Chief Justices Conference of India, 1999.

(h)        The Iowa Code of Judicial Conduct.

(i)         Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of Kenya, July 1999.

(j)         The Judges’ Code of Ethics of Malaysia, prescribed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the recommendation of the Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal and the Chief Judges of the High Courts, in the exercise of powers conferred by Article 125(3A) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, 1994.

(k)        The Code of Conduct for Magistrates in Namibia.

(l)         Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, New York State, USA.

(m)       Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

(n)        Code of Conduct to be observed by Judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts of Pakistan.

(o)        The Code of Judicial Conduct of the Philippines, September 1989

(p)        The Canons of Judicial Ethics of the Philippines, proposed by the Philippines Bar Association, approved by the Judges of First Instance of Manila, and adopted for the guidance of and observance by the judges under the administrative supervision of the Supreme Court, including municipal judges and city judges.

(q)        Yandina Statement: Principles of Independence of the Judiciary in Solomon Islands, November 2000.

(r)        Guidelines for Judges of South Africa, issued by the Chief Justice, the President of the Constitutional Court, and the Presidents of High Courts, the Labour Appeal Court, and the Land Claims Court, March 2000.

(s)        Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of Tanzania, adopted by the Judges and Magistrates Conference, 1984.

(t)        The Texas Code of Judicial Conduct

(u)        Code of Conduct for Judges, Magistrates and Other Judicial Officers of Uganda, adopted by the Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court, July 1989.

(v)        The Code of Conduct of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

(w)       The Canons of Judicial Conduct for the Commonwealth of Virginia, adopted and promulgated by the Supreme Court of Virginia, 1998.

(x)        The Code of Judicial Conduct adopted by the Supreme Court of the State of Washington, USA, October 1995.

(y)        The Judicial (Code of Conduct) Act, enacted by the Parliament of Zambia, December 1999.

(z)        Draft Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary (“Siracusa Principles”), prepared by a committee of experts convened by the International Association of Penal Law, the International Commission of Jurists, and the Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, 1981.

(aa)      Minimum Standards of Judicial Independence adopted by the International Bar Association, 1982.

(bb)      United Nations Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary, endorsed by the  UN General Assembly, 1985.

(cc)      Draft Universal Declaration on the Independence of Justice (“Singhvi Declaration”) prepared by Mr L.V. Singhvi, UN Special Rapporteur on the Study on the Independence of the Judiciary, 1989.

(dd)     The Beijing Statement of Principles of the Independence of the Judiciary in the Lawasia  Region, adopted by the 6th Conference of Chief Justices, August 1997.

(ee)      The Latimer House Guidelines for the Commonwealth on good practice governing relations between the Executive, Parliament and the Judiciary in the promotion of good governance, the rule of law and human rights to ensure the effective implementation of the Harare Principles, 1998.

(ff)       The Policy Framework for Preventing and Eliminating Corruption and Ensuring the Impartiality of the Judicial System, adopted by the expert group convened by the Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, February 2000.

At its second meeting held in Bangalore in February 2001, the Judicial Group (comprising Chief Justice Mainur Reza Chowdhury of Bangladesh, Justice Claire L’Heureux Dube of Canada, Chief Justice Reddi of Karnataka State in India, Chief Justice Upadhyay of Nepal, Chief Justice Uwais of Nigeria, Deputy Chief Justice Langa of South Africa, Chief Justice Silva of Sri Lanka, Chief Justice Samatta of Tanzania, and Chief Justice Odoki of Uganda, meeting under the chairmanship of Judge Weeramantry, with Justice Kirby as rapporteur, and with the participation of the UN Special Rapporteur and Justice Bhagwati, Chairman of the UN Human Rights Committee, representing the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights) proceeding by way of examination of the draft placed before it, identified the core values, formulated the relevant principles, and agreed on the Bangalore Draft Code of Judicial Conduct. The Judicial Group recognized, however, that since the Bangalore Draft had been developed by judges drawn principally from common law countries, it was essential that it be scrutinized by judges of other legal traditions to enable it to assume the status of a duly authenticated international code of judicial conduct.

The Bangalore Draft was widely disseminated among judges of both common law and civil law systems and discussed at several judicial conferences. In June 2002, it was reviewed by the Working Party of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE-GT), comprising Vice- President Reissner of the Austrian Association of Judges, Judge Fremr of the High Court in the Czech Republic, President Lacabarats of the Cour d’Appel de Paris in France, Judge Mallmann of the Federal Administrative Court of Germany, Magistrate Sabato of Italy, Judge Virgilijus of the Lithuanian Court of Appeal, Premier Conseiller Wiwinius of the Cour d’Appel of Luxembourg, Juge Conseiller Afonso of the Court of Appeal of Portugal, Justice Ogrizek of the Supreme Court of Slovenia, President Hirschfeldt of the Svea Court of Appeal in Sweden, and Lord Justice Mance of the United Kingdom. On the initiative of the American Bar Association, the Bangalore Draft was translated into the national languages, and reviewed by judges, of the Central and Eastern European countries; in particular, of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia.

The Bangalore Draft was revised in the light of the comments received from CCJE-GT and others referred to above; Opinion no.1 (2001) of CCJE on standards concerning the independence of the judiciary; the draft Opinion of CCJE on the principles and rules governing judges’ professional conduct, in particular ethics, incompatible behaviour and impartiality; and by reference to more recent codes of judicial conduct including the Guide to Judicial Conduct published by the Council of Chief Justices of Australia in June 2002, the Model Rules of Conduct for Judges of the Baltic States, the Code of Judicial Ethics for Judges of the People’s Republic of China, and the Code of Judicial Ethics of the Macedonian Judges Association.

The revised Bangalore Draft was placed before a Round-Table Meeting of Chief Justices (or their representatives) from the civil law system, held in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, in November 2002, with Judge Weeramantry presiding. Those participating were Judge Vladimir de Freitas of the Federal Court of Appeal of Brazil, Chief Justice Iva Brozova of the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic, Chief Justice Mohammad Fathy Naguib of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt, Conseillere Christine Chanet of the Cour de Cassation of France, President Genaro David Gongora Pimentel of the Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nacion of Mexico, President Mario Mangaze of the Supreme Court of Mozambique, President Pim Haak of the Hoge Raad der Nederlanden, Justice Trond Dolva of the Supreme Court of Norway, and Chief Justice Hilario Davide of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Also participating in one session were the following Judges of the International Court of Justice: Judge Ranjeva (Madagascar), Judge Herczegh (Hungary), Judge Fleischhauer (Germany), Judge Koroma (Sierra Leone), Judge Higgins (United Kingdom), Judge Rezek (Brazil), Judge Elaraby (Egypt), and Ad-Hoc Judge Frank (USA). The UN Special Rapporteur was in attendance. The “Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct” was the product of this meeting.

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March 31, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Fighting corruption internationally, Human rights, Internationally significant information | 1 Comment

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing Te Whanau a Apanaui’s protest against Petrobas oil exploration off the East Coast.

waatea.blogspot.com/2011/03/ngati-awa-challenges-housing-rhetoric.html

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

PETERS BACK WHANAU A APANUI OIL PROTEST

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing Te Whanau a Apanaui’s protest against oil exploration off the East Coast.

A flotilla of boats is on its way to Cape Runaway to take a stand against Brazilian oil giant Petrobras’s plans.

Mr Peters says New Zealanders have no confidence the government has properly weighted the environmental and social risks.

“The key issue is, have we been asked or consulted on this issue and the answer is no. It just went ahead like what Jerry Brownlee tried to do on the national parks, when they got rolled. That’s what they tried to do,” he says.

Mr Peters says the royalty rates are so low that that New Zealanders stand to make very little if Petrobras does discover oil.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

31 March 2011

Winston Peters supports Te Whanau a Apanui

mauistreet.blogspot.com/

Te Whanau a Apanui have found an unlikely ally:
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing Te Whanau a Apanaui’s protest against oil exploration off the East Coast. 

Mr Peters says New Zealanders have no confidence the government has properly weighted the environmental and social risks.

“The key issue is, have we been asked or consulted on this issue and the answer is no. It just went ahead like what Gerry Brownlee tried to do on the national parks, when they got rolled. That’s what they tried to do,” he says.

Mr Peters says the royalty rates are so low that that New Zealanders stand to make very little if Petrobras does discover oil.

Prima facie, Winston is an unlikely source of support. However, this issue touches our nationalist sentiment, naturally it is core New Zealand First policy.
I wonder when the Maori Party will follow suit. No time soon judging by this comment From Tariana Turia:

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says it’s up to individual iwi whether they want to oppose mining and oil exploration.

Of course it is. But when iwi chose to oppose, and oppose vehemently, then the Maori Party should support iwi.

“Those who don’t want to have either oil exploration or sand mining, that’s their business. We’re not in Parliament to speak for the hapu and iwi. That’s their job to uphold their rangatiratanga and that’s what they’ve chose to do and that’s their right,” Mrs Turia says.

This is an odd comment. Let’s think back to the ETS. The Maori Party were speaking/acting on behalf of iwi (at their request apparently). The Maori Party acted as a medium between government and the self proclaimed iwi leaders. The same thing happened with regard to mining Maori land. However, different rules seem to apply to Te Whanau a Apanui. The Maori Party has refused to back Te Whanau a Apanui.
Te Whanau a Apanui cannot uphold their rangatiratanga against the might of the New Zealand state. No iwi can, has or ever will. The Maori Party, as the strongest Maori political entity, is obligated to act in the best interests of Te Whanau a Apanui. A failure to act, or a remission of responsibility, is a cop out.
The Maori Party claim to act on behalf of Maori. Maori, as in the collective. The party quite often speaks of iwi katoa. It is now becoming apparent that this was just fanciful rhetoric. If faced with a choice between political expediency and principle, the Maori Party will side with expediency.
Sad. That is the only way to describe the Maori Party’s position on this issue. Sad.

Posted by Morgan Godfery at 6:00 A

March 31, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption internationally, Human rights, Internationally significant information | Leave a comment

MARCH FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE! Sunday 1 May 2011! John Key is not working for New Zealand.

From: Meredydd Barrar <capwaitakere@xtra.co.nz>

Dear all

Thank you for attending meeting on Tuesday 29th. The next meeting will occur on Tues 5th April at Methodist chruch on Pitt Street, near corner of Karangahape Rd at 7pm. Please distribute as widely as possible. Draft Press Statement follows.

Mered

PRESS STATEMENT (Draft)

MARCH FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE. John Key is not working for New Zealand.

A new Coalition of community groups, churches and unions has been formed. Our slogan is Social Justice (meeting occured on the 29th March 2011).

Our aim is to challenge the policies of John Key and the National/Act/Maori party Government.We beleive they are bankrupt and are not serving the interests of the majority of New Zealanders.

We are organising a MASS MOBILISATION of ordinary Kiwis on SUNDAY 1ST MAY. Also more action when National announces the BUDGET on 19th May 2011.

From Cairo to London ordinary people are challenging the Free Market perscription from government cuts to privatisation/asset sales.

New Zealanders are angry about GST, milk prices and secret Trade deals.. About cuts to Early Childhood education and privatisation of electiricty.

Meredydd Barrar, spokesperson says, “Enough is enough. Recent government announcements about cuts and a Budget that will certainly condemn the majority of New Zealanders to relative poverty is not acceptable. Children and struggling families as well as students looking to further their higher education will be penalised”.

“There is a latent anger in New Zealnd at the moment. We aim to translate it into action.

Nationals policies of cut backs and austerity measures will increase the gap between rich and poor which is already the 6th highest in the OECD. We beleive this is unacceptable and uncivilised”.

‘New Zealanders deserve better than this bankrput economic philosphy that only seems to make bankers, corporates and speculators richer’.

Meredydd Barrar

Sokesperson

March 30, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

‘Swimming with the sharks (toothless goldfish?) on Kiwiblog over NZ Herald ‘Nodding in unison’ /’let’s keep trying to undermine Phil Goff’ article.

Nodding in unison Add this story to Scoopit!.

Claire Trevett at the NZ Herald reports on the post frontbench press standup in Dunedin:

Behind him, they nodded like bulldog toys in the back of car. When he announced he had unanimous support from his frontbenchers, it set off a Mexican wave of determined head nodding.

They also laughed. When an apparently ridiculous question about Mr Goff’s support levels was asked, they laughed scornfully as one. When Mr Goff made a joke they again laughed as one, too loud and too long.

Some overdid it. David Cunliffe stood glued to Mr Goff’s side when they arrived and when he was asked how he would have handled it had he been Labour’s leader, he announced “I’m delighted to say I’m not the leader of the Labour Party.” He went on, further announcing that the actual leader of the Labour Party was “right here and he has my full support”.

Afterward, he was again glued to Mr Goff’s side. He nodded so hard when Mr Goff said he had unanimous support that he risked a dislocation. When Mr Goff was asked how he had tested his unanimous support, it was Mr Cunliffe who answered first, yelping “because we told him” and shaking his head in disbelief at the suggestion a show of hands might have been required.

I’m trying to think of what the scene best resembled. It reminded me of the 60 minutes interview by Steve Kroft with Bill and Hillary Clinton in 1992. You know the one – where they are trying to look like the relationship is perfect, but they are just trying a little bit too hard to be genuine.

But on the positive side, it worked for Clinton!

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89 Responses to “Nodding in unison”

  1. Peter (367) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:08 pm “I’m delighted to say I’m not the leader of the Labour Party.”

    No doubt Phil will use that line soon enough….

  2. BeaB (687) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:10 pm Why do politicians insult us with these ludicrous displays?
    Aren’t any of these guys embarrassed?

    In the meantime, the much derided Gerry Brownlee is busy trying to get Christchurch back on its feet and the National government are hard at work trying to get the country back on its feet. Doing the job we pay them to do.

    So who are the adults and who deserves our vote at the end of the year? Not the Labour clowns.

  3. slightlyrighty (1,766) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:15 pm A good point BeaB. Labour have been so busy in damage control thay have stopped meddling in the affairs of govt, letting them get on with getting things done. Darren Hughes may have been the most effective Labour MP as far as Christchurch is concerned.
  4. Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:30 pm This is better than the Christmas panto at Brighton pier.

    And almost as convincing.

  5. DJP6-25 (352) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:32 pm Sounds like Stalins inner circle. “Do you agree comrades”? Da, cue furious nodding of heads in unison.
    What’s bad for the left is good for New-Zealand.

    cheers

    David Prosser

  6. James Stephenson (474) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:33 pm @Murray

    Oh no it isn’t!

  7. RightNow (2,455) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:41 pm @James

    Oh yes it is!

  8. RightNow (2,455) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:43 pm Alfred E Newman and the Bobble-heads. Perhaps they should go and be kid’s entertainers, and we can get The Wiggles to come over and be our opposition party.
  9. fredinthegrass (173) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:45 pm Right now I am keen to assume leadership of the Labour Opposition – Yeah Right!
  10. Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:45 pm BEHIND YOU!!!!
  11. Monty (684) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:58 pm I loved the line “Behind him, they nodded like bulldog toys in the back of car”

    this reminded me of Winston’s budget speech response a few years ago when his desperate and now forgotten caucas all responded in unison to certain comments. They all looked like desperate fools. Much like the Labour caucas yesterday.

  12. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:04 pm The Botany by-election, in my view as an Independent candidate, arguably proved that asset sales, particularly of electricity assets, is a vote LOSER for this John Key-led National Government.

    Labour leader Phil Goff and candidate Michael Wood campaigned in Botany, opposing asset sales.

    Labour’s vote proportionately increased.

    National leader John Key and candidate Jami-Lee Ross, campaigned in Botany supporting ‘partial privatisation’ (oops! sorry ‘mixed ownership model’ for electricity assets.

    Arguably, Phil Goff’s ‘leadership’ in the Botany by-election was more effective than that of Prime Minister John Key’s?

    Despite both National Prime Minister John Key, and candidate Jami-Lee Ross publicly PLEADING for National Party supporters to get out and vote – the majority (over 9,000) stayed home.

    National’s electorate vote plummeted from over 17,000 in 2008 – to just over 8,000 votes in the 2011 Botany by-election.

    Are the (former?) 9000 National voters no longer going to vote National?

    How much does this Botany by-election result (the only poll that REALLY counts!) reflect the view of (former?) National Party voters all over New Zealand?

    Will proposed asset sales (particularly of electricity assets) prove to be a HUGE vote loser for this John Key-led National Party?

    There are arguably thousands of (former?) National Party voters, who still remember the ‘bad old days’ of the ‘inefficient’ Department of Electricity and Local Power Boards – when you could afford to turn your heater on.

    There are arguably thousands of (former?) National Party voters, who still remember National’s electricity reforms under former Minister of Energy Max Bradford, http://www.linkedin.com/pub/hon-max-bradford/a/14/48a which removed the ‘economies of scale’ under the Department of Electricity and Local Power Board ‘monopoly’ – and replaced it with the current, duplicated, ‘competitive’ model.

    “Energy Minister Max Bradford claimed that promoting competition in the electricity sector would bring price reductions, with gains flowing through to household and small business consumers. He identified long-term efficiency gains as the objective of the reforms (Bradford, 1998).”

    “Supposedly, the first wave of reform to New Zealand’s electricity sector – deregulation and the promotion of competition – “was about efficiency, competition and accountability to customers” (Douglas, 1995). The creation as an SOE of the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand (ECNZ) resulted in a monopoly in electricity generation and transmission which, presumably, could not be sold off in one piece. This implied the need for “unbundling” and Transpower Ltd was created to separate electricity generation and transmission, leaving generation with ECNZ. Contact Energy was split out from the ECNZ in November 1995, the intention being to create competition and, eventually, privatisation of electricity generation. ”

    http://www.converge.org.nz/watchdog/08/06.htm

    Have (former?) National Party voters, like other members of the public, experienced electricity ‘price reductions’, under the Rogernomic$ ‘commercialise, corporatise – PRIVATISE model? Of course not. has bPower bills continue to sky rocket upwards.

    Does this John Key-led National Party Prime Minister think that New Zealanders have experienced some form of collective frontal lobotomy, and forgotten their experience of the above-mentioned Rogernomic$ electrivity reforms – (of which we are all reminded, every month, when we get our next crippling power bill?)

    ‘Partial privatisation’ of electricity assets is HUGELY unpopular – arguably proven by the Botany by-election.

    So – the answer is to undermine the main political party which has stated policy of opposition to asset sales?

    In my view – that is EXACTLY what has been behind this corporate media ‘beat-up’ about the Darren Hughes Police complaint, and the subsequent attacks on Phil Goff’s leadership.

    Just like with the Winston Peters /NZ First corporate media beat-up over the complaints to the Police and SFO.
    Which came to nothing – but the continual political mud-slinging worked.
    Winston Peters and NZ First were effectively discredited and they failed to achieve the 5% party vote threshold.

    (Yet my complaints to the Police and SFO over arguably ‘shonky’ John Key’s attempt to flush out commercially sensitive information about Tranz Rail through an OIA request to Cullen, and his complaint to the Ombudsman after Treasury advised not to release this information, didn’t get as much as ONE sentence in the NZ Herald.

    What John Key did, was arguably an attempt to misuse public office for private gain – which is a ‘corrupt practice’.

    Not ONE sentence in the Herald.

    This is how ‘democracy’ works in NZ?

    We get the government the majority of big business want us to have – through corporate media manipulation – which this ‘Nodding in unison’ Herald article appears to perpetuate?

    Penny Bright
    Public Watchdog
    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

    (There you go David! This should help get the debate going! :)

  13. Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:07 pm zzzzzzzzzzzzz…….
  14. Peter (367) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:10 pm Brevity wins on blogs.
  15. Rich Prick (718) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:11 pm Penny, whatever.
  16. helmet (797) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:13 pm Penny; TLDR
  17. lofty (787) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:14 pm Move over Murray, and give me back my half of the duvet!
  18. backster (963) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:14 pm it was Mr Cunliffe who answered first, yelping “because we told him” and shaking his head in disbelief at the suggestion a show of hands might have been required.”

    And individual poll would have been more convincing.

  19. Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:15 pm Concur.
  20. georgebolwing (271) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:18 pm Penny: you got 124 votes; Jami-Lee Ross got 8150 votes.

    He is an MP, you aren’t. That is how democracy works in NZ.

    Now can we get back to discussing important things?

  21. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:20 pm “# Peter (360) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Brevity wins on blogs.”

    Really Peter!
    Who made THAT ‘rule’?

    Well-reasoned and considered opinion, based on FACTS and EVIDENCE isn’t a ‘winner’ for you?

    Prefer the short and not-very-sweet, ad hominum, hissy fit personal attacks, perhaps?

    Wouldn’t be because my considered opinion doesn’t match yours – by any chance?

    SURELY NOT!

    (Just LOVE that ‘freedom of expression’! :)
    ,
    Penny Bright
    Public Watchdog
    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  22. Rich Prick (718) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:23 pm “my considered opinion”

    HAHAHA, try wack-job conspiracy theory.

  23. Peter (367) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:25 pm “Who made THAT ‘rule’?”

    It’s the truth, Ruth.

    “Wouldn’t be because my considered opinion doesn’t match yours – by any chance?”

    TLDR

    Too many things to read. One must be selective. Therefore, brevity wins, unless people already think you’re th’ shit.

  24. Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:25 pm “Really Peter!
    Who made THAT ‘rule’?”

    Freaken reality made that rule.

    Who made YOU a public watchdog? Surely we are free to appoint our own without having an also ran self appoited on our behalf.

    SURELY.

  25. Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:26 pm And then Penny went swimming with sharks wearing a raw meat swimsuit…
  26. Inventory2 (6,009) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:26 pm Penny; this thread is about what plonkers the Labour front-bench looked yesterday. It’s nothing to do with National, it’s nothing to do with Botany, and it’s nothing to do with waterpressure.

    Go and thread-jack somewhere else; Frogblog would be good ;-)

  27. Peter (367) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:29 pm I second FrogBlog.
  28. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:30 pm “# georgebolwing (270) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Penny: you got 124 votes; Jami-Lee Ross got 8150 votes.

    He is an MP, you aren’t. That is how democracy works in NZ.

    Now can we get back to discussing important things?”

    My vote was up by 124 – not down by over 9,000, as was National’s electorate vote in the Botany by-election.

    In my view – asset sales are a clearly LOSER – but John Key has nailed his colours to the mast by supporting this policy.

    If the Botany by-election result is replicated all over NZ in November, in my view, it will be ‘bye bye’ John Key /National.

    NB: You may have noticed perchance, the collapsed ACT vote in Botany?

    Strange as it may seem – it appears significant numbers of the public – remember, and DO NOT SUPPORT ‘Rogernomic$’.

    So what is this going to mean for Epsom?

    :)

    Penny Bright
    Public Watchdog
    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  29. Peter (367) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:31 pm Zzzzzz……
  30. Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:33 pm Meat our new chum Penny.
  31. Peter (367) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:35 pm If I wanted to make a boring, long-winded, self-important post no one would ever read, then I’d certainly post it on FrogBog…..
  32. Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:38 pm She certainly doesn’t seem that birght really.
  33. lofty (787) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:38 pm Penny who did appoint you “public watchdog” ?

    If you want to be my representative without asking me Penny, I need to know a bit about you 1st, before I give you permission to act on my behalf, so I respectfully ask the following, to allow me to form an opinion on giving you licence to speak on my behalf, me being a member of the public and all.

    You see Penny, if I don’t like your answers and I suspect that this will be the case, you will not get my permission to speak for me, and I will then reserve the right to pull you up each and every time I see you attempt to do so.

    Who are the members of the Water Pressure Group, please.

    What are their (and your) political affiliations?

    Where can I find the reference to you becoming a Judicially recognised ‘Public Watchdog’ on Metrowater and Auckland regional governance matters.

    I don’t live in Auckland so are you willing to travel to represent me?

    How much does your unsolicited representation cost me?

    Who funds you & your group?

    Who are you answerable to?

    I have many more but I think this will give me the info I require to make a decision.
    Thanks

  34. tvb (1,705) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:41 pm A better scene is when Stalin spoke to a room full of the mentally insane and they all clapped and cheered at everything he said.
  35. Rex Widerstrom (4,165) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:45 pm Meanwhile, back waaaaaaaaaaay over there on topic…

    This sort of nonsense gets played out increasingly in every political party as the “machine men” (and women) take over. I saw someone else remark yesterday on the fact that the complainant in the Hughes case wanted to make a career out of politics. Politics is something to which you temporarily bring your life experience and your particular background as a [insert name of real job here]. And if you’re still there after ten years you’re exceptional – exceptionally good or exceptionally bad and well-connected.

    One of the more considered analyses of the rout of Labor in NSW puts it this way:

    Leading figures seemed to be squabbling over the spoils of office. Labor’s culture was introspective and narrow and increasingly arrogant. Party membership was falling and internal party democracy was flawed

    Sound familiar? The real issue isn’t Goff’s leadership, or the pantomime played out to ensure it staggers on a little longer. It’s the underlying reasons why it has come to this, and what that says about the health not of one man’s temporary hold on the tiller, but of the hull that lies mainly under the water.

  36. lofty (787) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:49 pm Yes thanks Rex, could a minimum age of say 40 for an entrant to politics be advantageous?

    And have to have been in gainful employment for at least say 15 years.

    Rules for all political parties in vetting their candidates etc.

  37. nadir (70) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:49 pm Penny- you should be well pleased then that “John Key has nailed his colours to the mast by supporting this policy.” There is an election later this year, so you should romp in as the electorate throws Key and the Nats out.
  38. NX (476) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:49 pm I don’t recall the National Party ever doing something like this, or at least to this degree. The Labour caucus’s simulated support for their leader with platitudes coming out of the wazoo could’ve passed for very good satire.

    I think Labour’s performance is symbolic of the left in general. They love this fake, pretend stuff. As long as it’s well intended, then it’s all okay.

    If national tried something like this, not only would the media have a field day, but it’s the Nat supporters which would really take them to task.

  39. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:52 pm # Murray (7,182) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    ““Really Peter!
    Who made THAT ‘rule’?”

    Freaken reality made that rule.

    Who made YOU a public watchdog? Surely we are free to appoint our own without having an also ran self appoited on our behalf.

    SURELY.”

    Actually, Murray, 4 District Court Judges acknowledged my Public Watchdog role on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters, in 4 of the 21 cases that I won, against Auckland City Council and the Police.

    So – I haven’t been elected, or appointed as a Public Watchdog – but if District Court Judges choose to acknowledge me as such – ‘Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters’ should accurately cover it – don’t you think?

    (I’ve also been publicly acknowledged as an ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’.)

    Because some were whining about my writing my ‘credentials’ out in full, as it were, I just abbreviated it to ‘Public Watchdog’.

    My mistake.

    Apologise is all I can do – plus go back to the ‘full nine yards’ job description (as it were?) :)

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

    Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  40. Peter (367) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:57 pm Attention is the scarce commodity, Penny.

    Not typing.

  41. Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:58 pm “Actually, Murray, 4 District Court Judges acknowledged my Public Watchdog role on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters, in 4 of the 21 cases that I won, against Auckland City Council and the Police.”

    Being a pathlogical whinger doesn’t make you my representative.

    In case you missed it we’ve been mocking you without mercy and you have as much credibility here as a labour party press release.

    You should go now.

  42. RightNow (2,455) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:02 pm Penny, regarding the Botany stats:
    Votes in 2011: 15421
    Votes in 2008: 30919
    Analysis: only half as many people voted. Both National and Labour supporters expected it to be in the bag for National, which is pretty much the entire reason for the low turnout.

    “My vote was up by 124″
    Jami-Lee Ross’ vote was up by 8150 votes. You got deservedly drubbed.
    It must be nice to know that there’s 123 other people with similar issues as yourself though.

  43. RightNow (2,455) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:06 pm edit – Jami-Lee’s vote was actually up 8352.

    Oh, and my ‘signature’

    Attendee: ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’, Paramount Theatre, Wellington, 1983

  44. lofty (787) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:09 pm I fear I will be waiting a while for answers from Penny, Oh well just in case she is reading this.
    Penny Bright does not have Lofty’s permission to act as any sort of watchdog or representative, and Lofty reserves the right to tell her so each and every time she attempts to do so.

    Lofty

    “recognised for f..ck all” but a self appointed good bastard. (just ask my Grandchildren)
    Ex Smoker (8 weeks now)

    Attendee: Cossie club Wednesday nights
    Attendee: Fishing club tournaments

    Independant thinker 2011

  45. annie (226) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:10 pm Penny, your judgement and reasoning don’t look so hot right now.

    Time to take your meds.

  46. BeaB (687) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:11 pm Penny I won’t tell you to go away with your nonsense but you do need to know that I never read your blogs. Too long, too boring, totally irrelevant.
    I actually think you might be a bit mad.
  47. annie (226) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:12 pm OK Penny, sorry, shouldn’t have said that.
  48. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:14 pm Given the complainant’s lawful right to privacy – does anyone definitely know (with FACTS and EVIDENCE to back it up), who took to the media, the Police complaint about Darren Hughes?

    Was it the complainant?

    Yes or no?

    Arguably, if it was the complainant who took his Police complaint about Darren Hughes to the media – then has he effectively revoked his right to privacy?

    What do others think?

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

    Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  49. BeaB (687) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:14 pm And the Labour front bench made arses of themselves too.
  50. Rex Widerstrom (4,165) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:23 pm lofty suggests:

    could a minimum age of say 40 for an entrant to politics be advantageous?

    Well we could legislate restrictions (beyond “must be a citizen, and not a criminal or a bankrupt”) on who stands for Parliament but we shouldn’t have to. Personally I don’t mind a caucus having one or even two ridiculously young faces amongst it, as crusty old sods like you or I can barely recall our yoof let alone know what’s important to the young people of today (though I suspect “better SMS plans” figures right up there :-D )

    It does worry me though when parties (and their candidates themselves) buy into nonsense such as the so-called “Battle of the Babes”, that demeans the office.

    And have to have been in gainful employment for at least say 15 years.

    Again, I find my real life experience as someone who was unemployed extremely useful. So does being able to speak as a small business owner; an employee; a prisoner; a journalist and all the other things I’ve been.

    Fifteen years life experience as a prerequisite for the majority of positions wouldn’t go amiss, but there’s more to life than work.

    Rules for all political parties in vetting their candidates etc.

    Yes, absolutely. The one – arguably most important – job in the nation is decided, in the main, by people we don’t know for reasons to which we’re not privy in meetings we don’t get to attend (I’m talking of course of safe seat preselections and list rankings). It needs to stop. It’s undemocratic and its effect on our democracy is caustic.

    The only exception, I have to admit, is the Greens (who allow all their members to rank their list) and, to some extent, Act, which has played round with the idea of primaries but then completely ruined it all with the way they gerrymandered their last list to appoint Garrett.

  51. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:26 pm # Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    “Actually, Murray, 4 District Court Judges acknowledged my Public Watchdog role on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters, in 4 of the 21 cases that I won, against Auckland City Council and the Police.”

    Being a pathlogical whinger doesn’t make you my representative.”

    In case you missed it we’ve been mocking you without mercy and you have as much credibility here as a labour party press release.

    You should go now.”

    Really Murray?

    Actually thought that this was David Farrar’s blog – not yours?

    I would have thought that to a fair-minded person , my winning in Court 21- 1, when i defended myself, and have never been to University – let alone had a days formal legal training, wasn’t a bad track record.

    I know for a fact – because they’ve told me – a number of lawyers, including some prominent QC’s have been rather impressed with my track record.

    For the record – because you have yet to grasp the point – I am not claiming to represent anyone, when I call myself a ‘Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters’ – because that is a FACT.

    Sorry that you have such obvious difficulty coping with this………

    This ‘pathlogical whinger’ also played a key role in helping to stop the rort of Metrowater ‘Charitable payments’.
    (Ask Mathew Hooten or John Banks – who at least have the common decency to give credit where it is due? :)

    You might care to try it sometime for the novelty factor?

    ‘Giving credit where it is due’?

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

    Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  52. Christopher Thomson (187) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:29 pm This is from one of those cases;

    “Reading Ms Bright’s first affidavit (dated 4 April 2008) one might be forgiven for thinking that there has been a misguided attempt to use this proceeding for political ends;”

  53. Christopher Thomson (187) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:30 pm and this classic;

    “I also note here that Ms Bright is not acceptable to the court as an “agent” for the defendant/s.”

  54. Inventory2 (6,009) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:30 pm Penny; given that you don’t seem to respond to subtlety, let me put this differently ….. bugger off!! This is DPF’s blog; you post here at his pleasure, and on the subjects he chooses.
  55. lofty (787) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:30 pm Thanks Rex, I would love to engage but must close the office and head to the cossie ;-)

    I actually agree with you sometimes Rex.

    Catch up later as I am sure that these issues will raise their heads again soon.
    Cheers
    Lofty

    “recognised for f..ck all” but a self appointed good bastard. (just ask my Grandchildren)
    Ex Smoker (8 weeks now)

    Attendee: Cossie club Wednesday nights
    Attendee: Fishing club tournaments

    Independant thinker 2011

  56. RichardX (38) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:31 pm Less than 1% of the vote would be considered within the margin of error in a poll …and I believe those voters may now see their error
  57. Rex Widerstrom (4,165) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:31 pm publicwatchdog asks:

    who took to the media, the Police complaint about Darren Hughes? Was it the complainant? Yes or no?

    My sources say no; that what ought to have been a confidential (for the sake of the complainant) investigation was leaked from on high. Given Paula Bennett’s utter disregard for people’s privacy – and the lack of any reprimand from Key – I see no reason to doubt my sources; it’s entirely in keeping with this Administration’s modus operandi (and the last one’s, too) [Note: Not saying Bennett was the leaker in this instance].

    Arguably, if it was the complainant who took his Police complaint about Darren Hughes to the media – then has he effectively revoked his right to privacy?

    Morally, I believe strongly that he would have done. Legally, no. One has to formally renounce the protection granted by law to victims of sex crimes and even then the judge has to agree so that the media are completely protected from possible prosecution – though practically speaking if a judge refused and a victim went ahead, it’d be a brave court that then prosecuted the media.

  58. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:34 pm “# Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    And then Penny went swimming with sharks wearing a raw meat swimsuit…”

    With all due respect Murray – given the quality of the debate and rebuttal from the ‘sharks’ – in my view – it’s more like swimming with a school of toothless goldfish.

    (Meant of course in a caring way :)

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

    Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  59. Peter (367) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:36 pm TLDR

    Peter
    Blog Comment Person
    Wasting Time Group
    Judicially recognised Time Wasting Person on politics and other time wasting matters.
    “Anti-Communist campaigner”.

    Attendee: The Malthouse
    Attendee: Molly Malones
    Thinking about becoming an Auckland Mayoral Candidate, if I can be bothered. Which, to be honest – I can’t.

    http://www.promoteyoursiteherejustlikephilu.com

  60. thedavincimode (1,427) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:39 pm Its time she stopped worrying about water pressure and focussed on what’s being put in the water – or at least the stuff she’s drinking.

    Does anyone think she’s noticed all the hoo ha surrounding a little event in Christchurch recently and what the financial implications are for this country? No no, just joking …

    “What do others think?”

    I think that you are a reasonably stupid woman and that your pathetic attempt to drum up some low rent publicity by creating something out of nothing in speculating on the least probable source of the leak is straight out of the Geoff Robinson handbook for silly old gits on the radio. Is he your mentor?

    thedavincimode

    Attendee: Santana concert last Sunday week (and well worth the trip).

    Attendee: Avondale Races December 1976

  61. David Garrett (108) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:41 pm Jeez DPF…just when you ban one ranting loony from commenting, another one arrives….wearing a cowboy hat…
  62. alex Masterley (576) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:45 pm My 2 cents.
    Penny and the plot parted company many years ago.
    Nuff said.
    alex Masterley
    VD & Scar,
    Attendee: My nieces wedding last week,
    Attendee: Mens urinal Octogon 1984.
  63. Christopher Thomson (187) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:47 pm On a positive note, the RIP add-on for Firefox has updated this week.
  64. Christopher Thomson (187) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:49 pm Please list all the names of the cases won and lost so we may see your strike rate and then look at your contribution.
  65. thedavincimode (1,427) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:51 pm Christopher Thomson

    Is there a precedent for having 22 judges hear a case? She claims a victory by 21-1. Or would she have mistakenly counted some of her cheer squad?

    Maybe just search Lexis on her name? That might provide some further amusement whilst Gaffey takes a breather.

  66. Christopher Thomson (187) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:56 pm she only scores 3 cases and those don’t look like winners.

    I would also like the names of the QC’s that she claims have sung her praises. Particularly as I will be likely to be chatting to these people.

  67. RRM (3,307) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:57 pm Penny – not that I want to knock you for having a go, but getting 124 votes in any public poll means you are a laughing stock, not a force in New Zealand politics.

    At that level of polling you need to be working out which aunts and uncles didn’t vote for you, and crossing them off your christmas card list.

    But hey, maybe I should start listing conferences I’ve attended, after my name on all my correspondence?
    I’m sure doing that would get me more respect. After all sitting on your chuff and listening to academic speakers is quite some achievement, even if there’s no examination at the end.

    Cheers;

    RRM
    Attendee: Jono & Dave’s 21st B-day pissup, Ghuznee Street 2001
    Attendee: Kelburn School Pageant; 2010
    Attendee: Holding hands together and hoping for a brighter future for gay whales conference; 2005
    Attendee: Murray offers sound level-headed opinions and I totally respect him conference; 2008, 2009, 2010.

    http://www.pleeeezreadmyblogandleaveacomment.marginalfreaks.com

  68. bhudson (1,071) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:58 pm Davincimode,

    The court she refers to is actually the “court of public opinion”. The results were 21 for, 1 against, and 4,000,000 abstentions from those who couldn’t care less as the re-run of the episode Blue Peter gets REALLY boring was on telly. A moral victory for Penny

  69. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:58 pm “# Inventory2 (6,008) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Penny; given that you don’t seem to respond to subtlety, let me put this differently ….. bugger off!! This is DPF’s blog; you post here at his pleasure, and on the subjects he chooses.

    David – are you ‘Inventory’?

    If not – why are mere ‘poster boys/girls’ attempting to usurp your editorial role on YOUR blog?

    I am aware of your ‘rules’ – and as far as I am concerned – I am following them?

    However – if others choose to go ‘off-thread’ to personally attack me – I reserve the right to defend myself.

    Given your track record to date of respecting my right to hold considered opinions that may be very different to your own – I thank you for at least giving me the chance to try and raise the level of informed debate and discussion.

    I’m sure you acknowledge that this is not an easy task! :)

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Demerits

    To deal with the more abusive and disruptive commenters, Kiwiblog is operating a demerit system. The general guide to demerit points will be:

    100 points – For highly defamatory comments
    50 points – For grossly inflammatory comments with no redeeming quality
    35 points – For blatant trolling, highly inflammatory comments
    20 points – abusive language
    10 points – posting off topic
    5 points – For minor infractions, such as one inflammatory sentence in an otherwise good post

    These are a guide only. At 100 demerits you get suspended – initially for one week, but the duration doubles with each further suspension.

    If you see a comment that you think is highly abusive, then feel free to report it by sending an e-mail to kiwiblogabuse@gmail.com. The e-mail should include a link to the specific comment (if you click on the date/time of the comment, this will bring it up in the address bar).

    I do not have time to read every thread, let alone every comment. So your help in maintaining standards is appreciated. I also do not have time to respond to every complaint – they will all be considered, and you’ll see below whether or not I decide demerits are warranted. Generally I won’t respond individually.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    Cheers!

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

    Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  70. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:04 pm “# David Garrett (108) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Jeez DPF…just when you ban one ranting loony from commenting, another one arrives….wearing a cowboy hat…”

    errr… think you are confusing me with my good friend and, in my view, fellow ‘Public Watchdog’ – Lisa Prager.

    With comments like yours David – I think Parliament is well rid of you.

    Time for a ‘Code of Conduct’ for MPs?

    I guess that won’t apply to EX-MPs?

    What a shame.

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

    Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  71. thedavincimode (1,427) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:05 pm “my right to hold considered opinions”

    Nobody would argue with that. Care to try one?

    Christopher Thomson

    She doesn’t yet realise that its what lawyers say about you when you’re not in the room that counts.

    oops, nearly forgot

    … tdvm …

    Attendee : whatever

    Candidate: for a beer right now

  72. RRM (3,307) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:07 pm PS: Penny – you need to read this

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/email

    Refer in particular to the 4th field “I hate your e mail signature”

    Cheers

    RRM
    Kiwiblog resident leftie troll
    Green Party voter
    Internationally recognised blog comments thread participant

  73. thedavincimode (1,427) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:08 pm “With comments like yours David – I think Parliament is well rid of you.

    Time for a ‘Code of Conduct’ for MPs?

    I guess that won’t apply to EX-MPs?

    What a shame.”

    OUCH!! That was it right there: the “considered” opinion – and well worth the wait. Channelling Chris Carter??

    … tdvm ..

    Nationally Ignored Blog Thread Comments participant

  74. RightNow (2,455) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:20 pm I think there’s a line missing from someone’s signature:
    “Candidate for getting a place at the trough”
  75. NX (476) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:20 pm Peter wrote:

    TLDR

    Peter
    Blog Comment Person
    Wasting Time Group
    Judicially recognised Time Wasting Person on politics and other time wasting matters.
    “Anti-Communist campaigner”.

    Attendee: The Malthouse
    Attendee: Molly Malones
    Thinking about becoming an Auckland Mayoral Candidate, if I can be bothered. Which, to be honest – I can’t.

    http://www.promoteyoursiteherejustlikephilu.com

    lol – http://www.bing.com/search?q=TLDR

    I haven’t seen that one before. Certainly come in handy over at The Standard (that’s if I still commented there).

  76. Christopher Thomson (187) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:27 pm And in her more lucid moments Penny is certain Bush was responsible for bringing down the twin towers.
  77. thedavincimode (1,427) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:42 pm How does she think he did that – poor parallel parking technique?
  78. NX (476) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:45 pm It’s all a conspiracy – Penns was hired by a corporate to protest against them in the most wacko, incoherent way possible with the aim to smear more legitimate campaigns.
  79. Inventory2 (6,009) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:50 pm @ RRM – your 4.57pm is gold!

    @ Penny – you don’t get it do you? We are all here at DPF’s pleasure. Most contribute positively to the ambience of the place, but sadly, some come here with an agenda to push that bears no relevance to the post in question. DPF has a General Debate thread each day where the rules are far more relaxed. Go and post your conspiracy theories there, where they can compete with the likes of Phil Ure (when his suspension expires), dad4justice and the God-hating MyNameIsJack.

  80. thedavincimode (1,427) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:51 pm NX

    Got it. Same tactics that Gaffey has been using.

  81. NX (476) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:58 pm Since this thread is already way off topic (thx to Penns).

    Redbaiter 110 05-May-11 2 months
    Phil U 60 24-Apr-11 2 months

    So the question no-body asked has been answered – they’ve been suspended.

    The comment threads are better without them, and so is my mouse (the scroll wheel really gets a worked out with Phil U’s comments).

  82. Pauleastbay (753) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:59 pm Whats particularly scary is that there are 124 fuckwits out there that voted for a troll.
  83. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 6:48 pm FYI Christopher Thomson:

    1) Not all Court cases are reported. Didn’t you know that? :)

    2) Suggest you have a wee chat to former Supreme Court Judge Ted Thomas, if you want to know how I’m am regarded by some of the significant NZ judicial heavyweights?

    Edmund Thomas
    Sir Edmund Walter “Ted” Thomas, KNZM, QC (born 1934) is a jurist and former New Zealand Court of Appeal Justice and a member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.

    He educated at Fielding Agricultural High School and Victoria University of Wellington graduating with a BA and LLB in 1956. He was admitted to the bar as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court (later the High Court) of New Zealand.

    Following many years as a partner at New Zealand Law firm Russell McVeagh, he became a barrister sole and was appointed a QC in 1981.

    In 1989-1990 he was President of the New Zealand Bar Association, and in 1990 he was appointed to the bench of the High Court of New Zealand. In 1995 he was elevated to the Court of Appeal. He retired from the appellate bench in 2001. As a judge some saw him as a proponent of judicial activism. He was also noted for his frequent dissenting judgements, particularly after 1996.

    In 2002 Thomas was Visiting Fellow at the Research School of Social Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra. From August 2004 he has been serving a two year appointment as Distinguished Visiting Fellow, The University of Auckland.

    He was appointed a director of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in 2003, for a five year term.

    Justice Thomas was brought out of retirement to become an acting Judge of the Supreme Court of New Zealand from 2005.

    He was a noted author, his works including The Judicial Process: Realism, Pragmatism, Practical Reasoning and Principles (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2005).

    Thomas was made a member of the Privy Council in 1996. In 2002 he was appointed a KNZM.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________

    On Saturday, March 15, 8.30am-5pm, Auckland University, the Faculty of Law, University of Auckland hosted a
    one-day Symposium entitled “Civil Society: Using Law as a Sword”, which I attended.

    The organisers of the Symposium were Treasa Dunworth and Kris Gledhill of the Law Faculty, Rt Honourable Ted Thomas, Janfrie Wakim and Deborah Manning.

    At this Symposium, Rodney Harrison QC publicly (and favourably) acknowledged my track record in Court, and Ted Thomas QC referred to me as ‘the cutlass woman’, ( in a supportive and endearing way :)

    3) 9/11 FACT:

    “On April 5th, 2011, at 11 a.m., at the Federal Courthouse at 141 Church Street in New Haven, Connecticut, the case of
    Gallop v. Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Myers will be heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

    Gallop’s case relies on virtually all forms of evidence admissible in court, but significantly, on published scientific evidence that residues of these explosives were found in the rubble after the attacks. In its totality the proffered case establishes that the government hypothesis – that the buildings collapsed due to fire in combination with the airplane impacts – is scientifically untenable. ”

    http://www.americanpendulum.com/2011/03/career-army-officer-takes-bush-administration-officials-to-court-over-911/
    Career Army Officer Takes Bush Administration Officials to Court over 9/11

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    Hope this information is of assistance.

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

    Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  84. Rich Prick (718) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 6:50 pm Jesus titty Christ, enough already. Bugger off you certifiable moonbat.
  85. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 6:54 pm On Saturday, March 15, 8.30am-5pm, Auckland University, the Faculty of Law, University of Auckland hosted a
    one-day Symposium entitled “Civil Society: Using Law as a Sword”, which I attended.

    That was Saturday, March 15, 2008. FYI.

    :)

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

    Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  86. Pauleastbay (753) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 6:54 pm Is this moonbat Phil’s missus or something?

    Fuck! !!!!!! its been great the last couple of weeks, humour, salient points, good information, some good debate and arguments and then the disaffected loonies find KB

  87. davidp (1,757) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 6:55 pm Verbose crazy woman>Given the complainant’s lawful right to privacy – does anyone definitely know (with FACTS and EVIDENCE to back it up), who took to the media, the Police complaint about Darren Hughes?

    I suspect a different Public Watchdog brought the matter to the public’s attention. Or maybe it was the Wikileaks guys. So get your banjo ready for Dueling Public Watchdogs!

  88. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 7:03 pm # Rich Prick (718) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Jesus titty Christ, enough already. Bugger off you certifiable moonbat.”

    Sorry Cameron Slater(oops! ‘Rich Prick’) – but I was just exercising my ‘right of reply’?

    If you folk want to start it – I’ll finish it.

    As a ‘judicially recognised Public Watchdog’ – BE WARNED.

    (Politically speaking ) – I growl before I bite – but when I bite – I’ll rip your throat out.

    In a constructive, caring sort of way – of course :)

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

    Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  89. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    “# Pauleastbay (753) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Is this moonbat Phil’s missus or something?

    Fuck! !!!!!! its been great the last couple of weeks, humour, salient points, good information, some good debate and arguments and then the disaffected loonies find KB”

    Well – Pauleastbay – may I respectfully suggest that in order to maintain the ‘ humour, salient points, good information, some good debate and arguments’ – you keep your posts off KB, as arguably none of what you are saying appears to fall into any of your above-mentioned categories?

    :)

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

    Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

They also laughed. When an apparently ridiculous question about Mr Goff’s support levels was asked, they laughed scornfully as one. When Mr Goff made a joke they again laughed as one, too loud and too long.

Some overdid it. David Cunliffe stood glued to Mr Goff’s side when they arrived and when he was asked how he would have handled it had he been Labour’s leader, he announced “I’m delighted to say I’m not the leader of the Labour Party.” He went on, further announcing that the actual leader of the Labour Party was “right here and he has my full support”.

Afterward, he was again glued to Mr Goff’s side. He nodded so hard when Mr Goff said he had unanimous support that he risked a dislocation. When Mr Goff was asked how he had tested his unanimous support, it was Mr Cunliffe who answered first, yelping “because we told him” and shaking his head in disbelief at the suggestion a show of hands might have been required.

I’m trying to think of what the scene best resembled. It reminded me of the 60 minutes interview by Steve Kroft with Bill and Hillary Clinton in 1992. You know the one – where they are trying to look like the relationship is perfect, but they are just trying a little bit too hard to be genuine.

But on the positive side, it worked for Clinton!

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89 Responses to “Nodding in unison”

  1. Peter (367) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:08 pm “I’m delighted to say I’m not the leader of the Labour Party.” 

    No doubt Phil will use that line soon enough….

  2. BeaB (687) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:10 pm Why do politicians insult us with these ludicrous displays?
    Aren’t any of these guys embarrassed? 

    In the meantime, the much derided Gerry Brownlee is busy trying to get Christchurch back on its feet and the National government are hard at work trying to get the country back on its feet. Doing the job we pay them to do.

    So who are the adults and who deserves our vote at the end of the year? Not the Labour clowns.

  3. slightlyrighty (1,766) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:15 pm A good point BeaB. Labour have been so busy in damage control thay have stopped meddling in the affairs of govt, letting them get on with getting things done. Darren Hughes may have been the most effective Labour MP as far as Christchurch is concerned.
  4. Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:30 pm This is better than the Christmas panto at Brighton pier. 

    And almost as convincing.

  5. DJP6-25 (352) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:32 pm Sounds like Stalins inner circle. “Do you agree comrades”? Da, cue furious nodding of heads in unison.
    What’s bad for the left is good for New-Zealand. 

    cheers

    David Prosser

  6. James Stephenson (474) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:33 pm @Murray 

    Oh no it isn’t!

  7. RightNow (2,455) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:41 pm @James 

    Oh yes it is!

  8. RightNow (2,455) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:43 pm Alfred E Newman and the Bobble-heads. Perhaps they should go and be kid’s entertainers, and we can get The Wiggles to come over and be our opposition party.
  9. fredinthegrass (173) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:45 pm Right now I am keen to assume leadership of the Labour Opposition – Yeah Right!
  10. Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:45 pm BEHIND YOU!!!!
  11. Monty (684) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 2:58 pm I loved the line “Behind him, they nodded like bulldog toys in the back of car” 

    this reminded me of Winston’s budget speech response a few years ago when his desperate and now forgotten caucas all responded in unison to certain comments. They all looked like desperate fools. Much like the Labour caucas yesterday.

  12. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:04 pm The Botany by-election, in my view as an Independent candidate, arguably proved that asset sales, particularly of electricity assets, is a vote LOSER for this John Key-led National Government. 

    Labour leader Phil Goff and candidate Michael Wood campaigned in Botany, opposing asset sales.

    Labour’s vote proportionately increased.

    National leader John Key and candidate Jami-Lee Ross, campaigned in Botany supporting ‘partial privatisation’ (oops! sorry ‘mixed ownership model’ for electricity assets.

    Arguably, Phil Goff’s ‘leadership’ in the Botany by-election was more effective than that of Prime Minister John Key’s?

    Despite both National Prime Minister John Key, and candidate Jami-Lee Ross publicly PLEADING for National Party supporters to get out and vote – the majority (over 9,000) stayed home.

    National’s electorate vote plummeted from over 17,000 in 2008 – to just over 8,000 votes in the 2011 Botany by-election.

    Are the (former?) 9000 National voters no longer going to vote National?

    How much does this Botany by-election result (the only poll that REALLY counts!) reflect the view of (former?) National Party voters all over New Zealand?

    Will proposed asset sales (particularly of electricity assets) prove to be a HUGE vote loser for this John Key-led National Party?

    There are arguably thousands of (former?) National Party voters, who still remember the ‘bad old days’ of the ‘inefficient’ Department of Electricity and Local Power Boards – when you could afford to turn your heater on.

    There are arguably thousands of (former?) National Party voters, who still remember National’s electricity reforms under former Minister of Energy Max Bradford, http://www.linkedin.com/pub/hon-max-bradford/a/14/48a which removed the ‘economies of scale’ under the Department of Electricity and Local Power Board ‘monopoly’ – and replaced it with the current, duplicated, ‘competitive’ model.

    “Energy Minister Max Bradford claimed that promoting competition in the electricity sector would bring price reductions, with gains flowing through to household and small business consumers. He identified long-term efficiency gains as the objective of the reforms (Bradford, 1998).”

    “Supposedly, the first wave of reform to New Zealand’s electricity sector – deregulation and the promotion of competition – “was about efficiency, competition and accountability to customers” (Douglas, 1995). The creation as an SOE of the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand (ECNZ) resulted in a monopoly in electricity generation and transmission which, presumably, could not be sold off in one piece. This implied the need for “unbundling” and Transpower Ltd was created to separate electricity generation and transmission, leaving generation with ECNZ. Contact Energy was split out from the ECNZ in November 1995, the intention being to create competition and, eventually, privatisation of electricity generation. ”

    http://www.converge.org.nz/watchdog/08/06.htm

    Have (former?) National Party voters, like other members of the public, experienced electricity ‘price reductions’, under the Rogernomic$ ‘commercialise, corporatise – PRIVATISE model? Of course not. has bPower bills continue to sky rocket upwards.

    Does this John Key-led National Party Prime Minister think that New Zealanders have experienced some form of collective frontal lobotomy, and forgotten their experience of the above-mentioned Rogernomic$ electrivity reforms – (of which we are all reminded, every month, when we get our next crippling power bill?)

    ‘Partial privatisation’ of electricity assets is HUGELY unpopular – arguably proven by the Botany by-election.

    So – the answer is to undermine the main political party which has stated policy of opposition to asset sales?

    In my view – that is EXACTLY what has been behind this corporate media ‘beat-up’ about the Darren Hughes Police complaint, and the subsequent attacks on Phil Goff’s leadership.

    Just like with the Winston Peters /NZ First corporate media beat-up over the complaints to the Police and SFO.
    Which came to nothing – but the continual political mud-slinging worked.
    Winston Peters and NZ First were effectively discredited and they failed to achieve the 5% party vote threshold.

    (Yet my complaints to the Police and SFO over arguably ‘shonky’ John Key’s attempt to flush out commercially sensitive information about Tranz Rail through an OIA request to Cullen, and his complaint to the Ombudsman after Treasury advised not to release this information, didn’t get as much as ONE sentence in the NZ Herald.

    What John Key did, was arguably an attempt to misuse public office for private gain – which is a ‘corrupt practice’.

    Not ONE sentence in the Herald.

    This is how ‘democracy’ works in NZ?

    We get the government the majority of big business want us to have – through corporate media manipulation – which this ‘Nodding in unison’ Herald article appears to perpetuate?

    Penny Bright
    Public Watchdog
    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

    (There you go David! This should help get the debate going! :)

  13. Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:07 pm zzzzzzzzzzzzz…….
  14. Peter (367) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:10 pm Brevity wins on blogs.
  15. Rich Prick (718) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:11 pm Penny, whatever.
  16. helmet (797) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:13 pm Penny; TLDR
  17. lofty (787) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:14 pm Move over Murray, and give me back my half of the duvet!
  18. backster (963) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:14 pm it was Mr Cunliffe who answered first, yelping “because we told him” and shaking his head in disbelief at the suggestion a show of hands might have been required.” 

    And individual poll would have been more convincing.

  19. Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:15 pm Concur.
  20. georgebolwing (271) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:18 pm Penny: you got 124 votes; Jami-Lee Ross got 8150 votes. 

    He is an MP, you aren’t. That is how democracy works in NZ.

    Now can we get back to discussing important things?

  21. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:20 pm “# Peter (360) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:10 pm 

    Brevity wins on blogs.”

    Really Peter!
    Who made THAT ‘rule’?

    Well-reasoned and considered opinion, based on FACTS and EVIDENCE isn’t a ‘winner’ for you?

    Prefer the short and not-very-sweet, ad hominum, hissy fit personal attacks, perhaps?

    Wouldn’t be because my considered opinion doesn’t match yours – by any chance?

    SURELY NOT!

    (Just LOVE that ‘freedom of expression’! :)
    ,
    Penny Bright
    Public Watchdog
    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  22. Rich Prick (718) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:23 pm “my considered opinion” 

    HAHAHA, try wack-job conspiracy theory.

  23. Peter (367) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:25 pm “Who made THAT ‘rule’?” 

    It’s the truth, Ruth.

    “Wouldn’t be because my considered opinion doesn’t match yours – by any chance?”

    TLDR

    Too many things to read. One must be selective. Therefore, brevity wins, unless people already think you’re th’ shit.

  24. Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:25 pm “Really Peter!
    Who made THAT ‘rule’?” 

    Freaken reality made that rule.

    Who made YOU a public watchdog? Surely we are free to appoint our own without having an also ran self appoited on our behalf.

    SURELY.

  25. Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:26 pm And then Penny went swimming with sharks wearing a raw meat swimsuit…
  26. Inventory2 (6,009) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:26 pm Penny; this thread is about what plonkers the Labour front-bench looked yesterday. It’s nothing to do with National, it’s nothing to do with Botany, and it’s nothing to do with waterpressure. 

    Go and thread-jack somewhere else; Frogblog would be good ;-)

  27. Peter (367) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:29 pm I second FrogBlog.
  28. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:30 pm “# georgebolwing (270) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:18 pm 

    Penny: you got 124 votes; Jami-Lee Ross got 8150 votes.

    He is an MP, you aren’t. That is how democracy works in NZ.

    Now can we get back to discussing important things?”

    My vote was up by 124 – not down by over 9,000, as was National’s electorate vote in the Botany by-election.

    In my view – asset sales are a clearly LOSER – but John Key has nailed his colours to the mast by supporting this policy.

    If the Botany by-election result is replicated all over NZ in November, in my view, it will be ‘bye bye’ John Key /National.

    NB: You may have noticed perchance, the collapsed ACT vote in Botany?

    Strange as it may seem – it appears significant numbers of the public – remember, and DO NOT SUPPORT ‘Rogernomic$’.

    So what is this going to mean for Epsom?

    :)

    Penny Bright
    Public Watchdog
    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  29. Peter (367) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:31 pm Zzzzzz……
  30. Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:33 pm Meat our new chum Penny.
  31. Peter (367) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:35 pm If I wanted to make a boring, long-winded, self-important post no one would ever read, then I’d certainly post it on FrogBog…..
  32. Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:38 pm She certainly doesn’t seem that birght really.
  33. lofty (787) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:38 pm Penny who did appoint you “public watchdog” ? 

    If you want to be my representative without asking me Penny, I need to know a bit about you 1st, before I give you permission to act on my behalf, so I respectfully ask the following, to allow me to form an opinion on giving you licence to speak on my behalf, me being a member of the public and all.

    You see Penny, if I don’t like your answers and I suspect that this will be the case, you will not get my permission to speak for me, and I will then reserve the right to pull you up each and every time I see you attempt to do so.

    Who are the members of the Water Pressure Group, please.

    What are their (and your) political affiliations?

    Where can I find the reference to you becoming a Judicially recognised ‘Public Watchdog’ on Metrowater and Auckland regional governance matters.

    I don’t live in Auckland so are you willing to travel to represent me?

    How much does your unsolicited representation cost me?

    Who funds you & your group?

    Who are you answerable to?

    I have many more but I think this will give me the info I require to make a decision.
    Thanks

  34. tvb (1,705) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:41 pm A better scene is when Stalin spoke to a room full of the mentally insane and they all clapped and cheered at everything he said.
  35. Rex Widerstrom (4,165) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:45 pm Meanwhile, back waaaaaaaaaaay over there on topic… 

    This sort of nonsense gets played out increasingly in every political party as the “machine men” (and women) take over. I saw someone else remark yesterday on the fact that the complainant in the Hughes case wanted to make a career out of politics. Politics is something to which you temporarily bring your life experience and your particular background as a [insert name of real job here]. And if you’re still there after ten years you’re exceptional – exceptionally good or exceptionally bad and well-connected.

    One of the more considered analyses of the rout of Labor in NSW puts it this way:

    Leading figures seemed to be squabbling over the spoils of office. Labor’s culture was introspective and narrow and increasingly arrogant. Party membership was falling and internal party democracy was flawed

    Sound familiar? The real issue isn’t Goff’s leadership, or the pantomime played out to ensure it staggers on a little longer. It’s the underlying reasons why it has come to this, and what that says about the health not of one man’s temporary hold on the tiller, but of the hull that lies mainly under the water.

  36. lofty (787) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:49 pm Yes thanks Rex, could a minimum age of say 40 for an entrant to politics be advantageous? 

    And have to have been in gainful employment for at least say 15 years.

    Rules for all political parties in vetting their candidates etc.

  37. nadir (70) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:49 pm Penny- you should be well pleased then that “John Key has nailed his colours to the mast by supporting this policy.” There is an election later this year, so you should romp in as the electorate throws Key and the Nats out.
  38. NX (476) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:49 pm I don’t recall the National Party ever doing something like this, or at least to this degree. The Labour caucus’s simulated support for their leader with platitudes coming out of the wazoo could’ve passed for very good satire. 

    I think Labour’s performance is symbolic of the left in general. They love this fake, pretend stuff. As long as it’s well intended, then it’s all okay.

    If national tried something like this, not only would the media have a field day, but it’s the Nat supporters which would really take them to task.

  39. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:52 pm # Murray (7,182) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:25 pm 

    ““Really Peter!
    Who made THAT ‘rule’?”

    Freaken reality made that rule.

    Who made YOU a public watchdog? Surely we are free to appoint our own without having an also ran self appoited on our behalf.

    SURELY.”

    Actually, Murray, 4 District Court Judges acknowledged my Public Watchdog role on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters, in 4 of the 21 cases that I won, against Auckland City Council and the Police.

    So – I haven’t been elected, or appointed as a Public Watchdog – but if District Court Judges choose to acknowledge me as such – ‘Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters’ should accurately cover it – don’t you think?

    (I’ve also been publicly acknowledged as an ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’.)

    Because some were whining about my writing my ‘credentials’ out in full, as it were, I just abbreviated it to ‘Public Watchdog’.

    My mistake.

    Apologise is all I can do – plus go back to the ‘full nine yards’ job description (as it were?) :)

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

    Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  40. Peter (367) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:57 pm Attention is the scarce commodity, Penny. 

    Not typing.

  41. Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:58 pm “Actually, Murray, 4 District Court Judges acknowledged my Public Watchdog role on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters, in 4 of the 21 cases that I won, against Auckland City Council and the Police.” 

    Being a pathlogical whinger doesn’t make you my representative.

    In case you missed it we’ve been mocking you without mercy and you have as much credibility here as a labour party press release.

    You should go now.

  42. RightNow (2,455) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:02 pm Penny, regarding the Botany stats:
    Votes in 2011: 15421
    Votes in 2008: 30919
    Analysis: only half as many people voted. Both National and Labour supporters expected it to be in the bag for National, which is pretty much the entire reason for the low turnout. 

    “My vote was up by 124″
    Jami-Lee Ross’ vote was up by 8150 votes. You got deservedly drubbed.
    It must be nice to know that there’s 123 other people with similar issues as yourself though.

  43. RightNow (2,455) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:06 pm edit – Jami-Lee’s vote was actually up 8352. 

    Oh, and my ‘signature’

    Attendee: ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’, Paramount Theatre, Wellington, 1983

  44. lofty (787) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:09 pm I fear I will be waiting a while for answers from Penny, Oh well just in case she is reading this.
    Penny Bright does not have Lofty’s permission to act as any sort of watchdog or representative, and Lofty reserves the right to tell her so each and every time she attempts to do so. 

    Lofty

    “recognised for f..ck all” but a self appointed good bastard. (just ask my Grandchildren)
    Ex Smoker (8 weeks now)

    Attendee: Cossie club Wednesday nights
    Attendee: Fishing club tournaments

    Independant thinker 2011

  45. annie (226) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:10 pm Penny, your judgement and reasoning don’t look so hot right now. 

    Time to take your meds.

  46. BeaB (687) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:11 pm Penny I won’t tell you to go away with your nonsense but you do need to know that I never read your blogs. Too long, too boring, totally irrelevant.
    I actually think you might be a bit mad.
  47. annie (226) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:12 pm OK Penny, sorry, shouldn’t have said that.
  48. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:14 pm Given the complainant’s lawful right to privacy – does anyone definitely know (with FACTS and EVIDENCE to back it up), who took to the media, the Police complaint about Darren Hughes? 

    Was it the complainant?

    Yes or no?

    Arguably, if it was the complainant who took his Police complaint about Darren Hughes to the media – then has he effectively revoked his right to privacy?

    What do others think?

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

    Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  49. BeaB (687) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:14 pm And the Labour front bench made arses of themselves too.
  50. Rex Widerstrom (4,165) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:23 pm lofty suggests: 

    could a minimum age of say 40 for an entrant to politics be advantageous?

    Well we could legislate restrictions (beyond “must be a citizen, and not a criminal or a bankrupt”) on who stands for Parliament but we shouldn’t have to. Personally I don’t mind a caucus having one or even two ridiculously young faces amongst it, as crusty old sods like you or I can barely recall our yoof let alone know what’s important to the young people of today (though I suspect “better SMS plans” figures right up there :-D )

    It does worry me though when parties (and their candidates themselves) buy into nonsense such as the so-called “Battle of the Babes”, that demeans the office.

    And have to have been in gainful employment for at least say 15 years.

    Again, I find my real life experience as someone who was unemployed extremely useful. So does being able to speak as a small business owner; an employee; a prisoner; a journalist and all the other things I’ve been.

    Fifteen years life experience as a prerequisite for the majority of positions wouldn’t go amiss, but there’s more to life than work.

    Rules for all political parties in vetting their candidates etc.

    Yes, absolutely. The one – arguably most important – job in the nation is decided, in the main, by people we don’t know for reasons to which we’re not privy in meetings we don’t get to attend (I’m talking of course of safe seat preselections and list rankings). It needs to stop. It’s undemocratic and its effect on our democracy is caustic.

    The only exception, I have to admit, is the Greens (who allow all their members to rank their list) and, to some extent, Act, which has played round with the idea of primaries but then completely ruined it all with the way they gerrymandered their last list to appoint Garrett.

  51. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:26 pm # Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:58 pm 

    “Actually, Murray, 4 District Court Judges acknowledged my Public Watchdog role on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters, in 4 of the 21 cases that I won, against Auckland City Council and the Police.”

    Being a pathlogical whinger doesn’t make you my representative.”

    In case you missed it we’ve been mocking you without mercy and you have as much credibility here as a labour party press release.

    You should go now.”

    Really Murray?

    Actually thought that this was David Farrar’s blog – not yours?

    I would have thought that to a fair-minded person , my winning in Court 21- 1, when i defended myself, and have never been to University – let alone had a days formal legal training, wasn’t a bad track record.

    I know for a fact – because they’ve told me – a number of lawyers, including some prominent QC’s have been rather impressed with my track record.

    For the record – because you have yet to grasp the point – I am not claiming to represent anyone, when I call myself a ‘Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters’ – because that is a FACT.

    Sorry that you have such obvious difficulty coping with this………

    This ‘pathlogical whinger’ also played a key role in helping to stop the rort of Metrowater ‘Charitable payments’.
    (Ask Mathew Hooten or John Banks – who at least have the common decency to give credit where it is due? :)

    You might care to try it sometime for the novelty factor?

    ‘Giving credit where it is due’?

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

    Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  52. Christopher Thomson (187) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:29 pm This is from one of those cases; 

    “Reading Ms Bright’s first affidavit (dated 4 April 2008) one might be forgiven for thinking that there has been a misguided attempt to use this proceeding for political ends;”

  53. Christopher Thomson (187) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:30 pm and this classic; 

    “I also note here that Ms Bright is not acceptable to the court as an “agent” for the defendant/s.”

  54. Inventory2 (6,009) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:30 pm Penny; given that you don’t seem to respond to subtlety, let me put this differently ….. bugger off!! This is DPF’s blog; you post here at his pleasure, and on the subjects he chooses.
  55. lofty (787) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:30 pm Thanks Rex, I would love to engage but must close the office and head to the cossie ;-) 

    I actually agree with you sometimes Rex.

    Catch up later as I am sure that these issues will raise their heads again soon.
    Cheers
    Lofty

    “recognised for f..ck all” but a self appointed good bastard. (just ask my Grandchildren)
    Ex Smoker (8 weeks now)

    Attendee: Cossie club Wednesday nights
    Attendee: Fishing club tournaments

    Independant thinker 2011

  56. RichardX (38) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:31 pm Less than 1% of the vote would be considered within the margin of error in a poll …and I believe those voters may now see their error
  57. Rex Widerstrom (4,165) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:31 pm publicwatchdog asks: 

    who took to the media, the Police complaint about Darren Hughes? Was it the complainant? Yes or no?

    My sources say no; that what ought to have been a confidential (for the sake of the complainant) investigation was leaked from on high. Given Paula Bennett’s utter disregard for people’s privacy – and the lack of any reprimand from Key – I see no reason to doubt my sources; it’s entirely in keeping with this Administration’s modus operandi (and the last one’s, too) [Note: Not saying Bennett was the leaker in this instance].

    Arguably, if it was the complainant who took his Police complaint about Darren Hughes to the media – then has he effectively revoked his right to privacy?

    Morally, I believe strongly that he would have done. Legally, no. One has to formally renounce the protection granted by law to victims of sex crimes and even then the judge has to agree so that the media are completely protected from possible prosecution – though practically speaking if a judge refused and a victim went ahead, it’d be a brave court that then prosecuted the media.

  58. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:34 pm “# Murray (7,186) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 3:26 pm 

    And then Penny went swimming with sharks wearing a raw meat swimsuit…”

    With all due respect Murray – given the quality of the debate and rebuttal from the ‘sharks’ – in my view – it’s more like swimming with a school of toothless goldfish.

    (Meant of course in a caring way :)

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

    Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  59. Peter (367) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:36 pm TLDR 

    Peter
    Blog Comment Person
    Wasting Time Group
    Judicially recognised Time Wasting Person on politics and other time wasting matters.
    “Anti-Communist campaigner”.

    Attendee: The Malthouse
    Attendee: Molly Malones
    Thinking about becoming an Auckland Mayoral Candidate, if I can be bothered. Which, to be honest – I can’t.

    http://www.promoteyoursiteherejustlikephilu.com

  60. thedavincimode (1,427) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:39 pm Its time she stopped worrying about water pressure and focussed on what’s being put in the water – or at least the stuff she’s drinking. 

    Does anyone think she’s noticed all the hoo ha surrounding a little event in Christchurch recently and what the financial implications are for this country? No no, just joking …

    “What do others think?”

    I think that you are a reasonably stupid woman and that your pathetic attempt to drum up some low rent publicity by creating something out of nothing in speculating on the least probable source of the leak is straight out of the Geoff Robinson handbook for silly old gits on the radio. Is he your mentor?

    thedavincimode

    Attendee: Santana concert last Sunday week (and well worth the trip).

    Attendee: Avondale Races December 1976

  61. David Garrett (108) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:41 pm Jeez DPF…just when you ban one ranting loony from commenting, another one arrives….wearing a cowboy hat…
  62. alex Masterley (576) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:45 pm My 2 cents.
    Penny and the plot parted company many years ago.
    Nuff said.
    alex Masterley
    VD & Scar,
    Attendee: My nieces wedding last week,
    Attendee: Mens urinal Octogon 1984.
  63. Christopher Thomson (187) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:47 pm On a positive note, the RIP add-on for Firefox has updated this week.
  64. Christopher Thomson (187) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:49 pm Please list all the names of the cases won and lost so we may see your strike rate and then look at your contribution.
  65. thedavincimode (1,427) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:51 pm Christopher Thomson 

    Is there a precedent for having 22 judges hear a case? She claims a victory by 21-1. Or would she have mistakenly counted some of her cheer squad?

    Maybe just search Lexis on her name? That might provide some further amusement whilst Gaffey takes a breather.

  66. Christopher Thomson (187) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:56 pm she only scores 3 cases and those don’t look like winners. 

    I would also like the names of the QC’s that she claims have sung her praises. Particularly as I will be likely to be chatting to these people.

  67. RRM (3,307) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:57 pm Penny – not that I want to knock you for having a go, but getting 124 votes in any public poll means you are a laughing stock, not a force in New Zealand politics. 

    At that level of polling you need to be working out which aunts and uncles didn’t vote for you, and crossing them off your christmas card list.

    But hey, maybe I should start listing conferences I’ve attended, after my name on all my correspondence?
    I’m sure doing that would get me more respect. After all sitting on your chuff and listening to academic speakers is quite some achievement, even if there’s no examination at the end.

    Cheers;

    RRM
    Attendee: Jono & Dave’s 21st B-day pissup, Ghuznee Street 2001
    Attendee: Kelburn School Pageant; 2010
    Attendee: Holding hands together and hoping for a brighter future for gay whales conference; 2005
    Attendee: Murray offers sound level-headed opinions and I totally respect him conference; 2008, 2009, 2010.

    http://www.pleeeezreadmyblogandleaveacomment.marginalfreaks.com

  68. bhudson (1,071) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:58 pm Davincimode, 

    The court she refers to is actually the “court of public opinion”. The results were 21 for, 1 against, and 4,000,000 abstentions from those who couldn’t care less as the re-run of the episode Blue Peter gets REALLY boring was on telly. A moral victory for Penny

  69. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:58 pm “# Inventory2 (6,008) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:30 pm 

    Penny; given that you don’t seem to respond to subtlety, let me put this differently ….. bugger off!! This is DPF’s blog; you post here at his pleasure, and on the subjects he chooses.

    David – are you ‘Inventory’?

    If not – why are mere ‘poster boys/girls’ attempting to usurp your editorial role on YOUR blog?

    I am aware of your ‘rules’ – and as far as I am concerned – I am following them?

    However – if others choose to go ‘off-thread’ to personally attack me – I reserve the right to defend myself.

    Given your track record to date of respecting my right to hold considered opinions that may be very different to your own – I thank you for at least giving me the chance to try and raise the level of informed debate and discussion.

    I’m sure you acknowledge that this is not an easy task! :)

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Demerits

    To deal with the more abusive and disruptive commenters, Kiwiblog is operating a demerit system. The general guide to demerit points will be:

    100 points – For highly defamatory comments
    50 points – For grossly inflammatory comments with no redeeming quality
    35 points – For blatant trolling, highly inflammatory comments
    20 points – abusive language
    10 points – posting off topic
    5 points – For minor infractions, such as one inflammatory sentence in an otherwise good post

    These are a guide only. At 100 demerits you get suspended – initially for one week, but the duration doubles with each further suspension.

    If you see a comment that you think is highly abusive, then feel free to report it by sending an e-mail to kiwiblogabuse@gmail.com. The e-mail should include a link to the specific comment (if you click on the date/time of the comment, this will bring it up in the address bar).

    I do not have time to read every thread, let alone every comment. So your help in maintaining standards is appreciated. I also do not have time to respond to every complaint – they will all be considered, and you’ll see below whether or not I decide demerits are warranted. Generally I won’t respond individually.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    Cheers!

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

    Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  70. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:04 pm “# David Garrett (108) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 4:41 pm 

    Jeez DPF…just when you ban one ranting loony from commenting, another one arrives….wearing a cowboy hat…”

    errr… think you are confusing me with my good friend and, in my view, fellow ‘Public Watchdog’ – Lisa Prager.

    With comments like yours David – I think Parliament is well rid of you.

    Time for a ‘Code of Conduct’ for MPs?

    I guess that won’t apply to EX-MPs?

    What a shame.

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

    Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  71. thedavincimode (1,427) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:05 pm “my right to hold considered opinions” 

    Nobody would argue with that. Care to try one?

    Christopher Thomson

    She doesn’t yet realise that its what lawyers say about you when you’re not in the room that counts.

    oops, nearly forgot

    … tdvm …

    Attendee : whatever

    Candidate: for a beer right now

  72. RRM (3,307) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:07 pm PS: Penny – you need to read this 

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/email

    Refer in particular to the 4th field “I hate your e mail signature”

    Cheers

    RRM
    Kiwiblog resident leftie troll
    Green Party voter
    Internationally recognised blog comments thread participant

  73. thedavincimode (1,427) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:08 pm “With comments like yours David – I think Parliament is well rid of you. 

    Time for a ‘Code of Conduct’ for MPs?

    I guess that won’t apply to EX-MPs?

    What a shame.”

    OUCH!! That was it right there: the “considered” opinion – and well worth the wait. Channelling Chris Carter??

    … tdvm ..

    Nationally Ignored Blog Thread Comments participant

  74. RightNow (2,455) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:20 pm I think there’s a line missing from someone’s signature:
    “Candidate for getting a place at the trough”
  75. NX (476) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:20 pm Peter wrote: 

    TLDR

    Peter
    Blog Comment Person
    Wasting Time Group
    Judicially recognised Time Wasting Person on politics and other time wasting matters.
    “Anti-Communist campaigner”.

    Attendee: The Malthouse
    Attendee: Molly Malones
    Thinking about becoming an Auckland Mayoral Candidate, if I can be bothered. Which, to be honest – I can’t.

    http://www.promoteyoursiteherejustlikephilu.com

    lol – http://www.bing.com/search?q=TLDR

    I haven’t seen that one before. Certainly come in handy over at The Standard (that’s if I still commented there).

  76. Christopher Thomson (187) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:27 pm And in her more lucid moments Penny is certain Bush was responsible for bringing down the twin towers.
  77. thedavincimode (1,427) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:42 pm How does she think he did that – poor parallel parking technique?
  78. NX (476) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:45 pm It’s all a conspiracy – Penns was hired by a corporate to protest against them in the most wacko, incoherent way possible with the aim to smear more legitimate campaigns.
  79. Inventory2 (6,009) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:50 pm @ RRM – your 4.57pm is gold! 

    @ Penny – you don’t get it do you? We are all here at DPF’s pleasure. Most contribute positively to the ambience of the place, but sadly, some come here with an agenda to push that bears no relevance to the post in question. DPF has a General Debate thread each day where the rules are far more relaxed. Go and post your conspiracy theories there, where they can compete with the likes of Phil Ure (when his suspension expires), dad4justice and the God-hating MyNameIsJack.

  80. thedavincimode (1,427) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:51 pm NX 

    Got it. Same tactics that Gaffey has been using.

  81. NX (476) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:58 pm Since this thread is already way off topic (thx to Penns). 

    Redbaiter 110 05-May-11 2 months
    Phil U 60 24-Apr-11 2 months

    So the question no-body asked has been answered – they’ve been suspended.

    The comment threads are better without them, and so is my mouse (the scroll wheel really gets a worked out with Phil U’s comments).

  82. Pauleastbay (753) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 5:59 pm Whats particularly scary is that there are 124 fuckwits out there that voted for a troll.
  83. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 6:48 pm FYI Christopher Thomson: 

    1) Not all Court cases are reported. Didn’t you know that? :)

    2) Suggest you have a wee chat to former Supreme Court Judge Ted Thomas, if you want to know how I’m am regarded by some of the significant NZ judicial heavyweights?

    Edmund Thomas
    Sir Edmund Walter “Ted” Thomas, KNZM, QC (born 1934) is a jurist and former New Zealand Court of Appeal Justice and a member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.

    He educated at Fielding Agricultural High School and Victoria University of Wellington graduating with a BA and LLB in 1956. He was admitted to the bar as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court (later the High Court) of New Zealand.

    Following many years as a partner at New Zealand Law firm Russell McVeagh, he became a barrister sole and was appointed a QC in 1981.

    In 1989-1990 he was President of the New Zealand Bar Association, and in 1990 he was appointed to the bench of the High Court of New Zealand. In 1995 he was elevated to the Court of Appeal. He retired from the appellate bench in 2001. As a judge some saw him as a proponent of judicial activism. He was also noted for his frequent dissenting judgements, particularly after 1996.

    In 2002 Thomas was Visiting Fellow at the Research School of Social Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra. From August 2004 he has been serving a two year appointment as Distinguished Visiting Fellow, The University of Auckland.

    He was appointed a director of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in 2003, for a five year term.

    Justice Thomas was brought out of retirement to become an acting Judge of the Supreme Court of New Zealand from 2005.

    He was a noted author, his works including The Judicial Process: Realism, Pragmatism, Practical Reasoning and Principles (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2005).

    Thomas was made a member of the Privy Council in 1996. In 2002 he was appointed a KNZM.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________

    On Saturday, March 15, 8.30am-5pm, Auckland University, the Faculty of Law, University of Auckland hosted aone-day Symposium entitled “Civil Society: Using Law as a Sword”, which I attended.

    The organisers of the Symposium were Treasa Dunworth and Kris Gledhill of the Law Faculty, Rt Honourable Ted Thomas, Janfrie Wakim and Deborah Manning.

    At this Symposium, Rodney Harrison QC publicly (and favourably) acknowledged my track record in Court, and Ted Thomas QC referred to me as ‘the cutlass woman’, ( in a supportive and endearing way :)

    3) 9/11 FACT:

    “On April 5th, 2011, at 11 a.m., at the Federal Courthouse at 141 Church Street in New Haven, Connecticut, the case of
    Gallop v. Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Myers will be heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

    Gallop’s case relies on virtually all forms of evidence admissible in court, but significantly, on published scientific evidence that residues of these explosives were found in the rubble after the attacks. In its totality the proffered case establishes that the government hypothesis – that the buildings collapsed due to fire in combination with the airplane impacts – is scientifically untenable. ”

    http://www.americanpendulum.com/2011/03/career-army-officer-takes-bush-administration-officials-to-court-over-911/
    Career Army Officer Takes Bush Administration Officials to Court over 9/11

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    Hope this information is of assistance.

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

    Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  84. Rich Prick (718) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 6:50 pm Jesus titty Christ, enough already. Bugger off you certifiable moonbat.
  85. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 6:54 pm On Saturday, March 15, 8.30am-5pm, Auckland University, the Faculty of Law, University of Auckland hosted a
    one-day Symposium entitled “Civil Society: Using Law as a Sword”, which I attended. 

    That was Saturday, March 15, 2008. FYI.

    :)

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

    Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  86. Pauleastbay (753) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 6:54 pm Is this moonbat Phil’s missus or something? 

    Fuck! !!!!!! its been great the last couple of weeks, humour, salient points, good information, some good debate and arguments and then the disaffected loonies find KB

  87. davidp (1,757) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 6:55 pm Verbose crazy woman>Given the complainant’s lawful right to privacy – does anyone definitely know (with FACTS and EVIDENCE to back it up), who took to the media, the Police complaint about Darren Hughes? 

    I suspect a different Public Watchdog brought the matter to the public’s attention. Or maybe it was the Wikileaks guys. So get your banjo ready for Dueling Public Watchdogs!

  88. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 7:03 pm # Rich Prick (718) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 6:50 pm 

    Jesus titty Christ, enough already. Bugger off you certifiable moonbat.”

    Sorry Cameron Slater(oops! ‘Rich Prick’) – but I was just exercising my ‘right of reply’?

    If you folk want to start it – I’ll finish it.

    As a ‘judicially recognised Public Watchdog’ – BE WARNED.

    (Politically speaking ) – I growl before I bite – but when I bite – I’ll rip your throat out.

    In a constructive, caring sort of way – of course :)

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

    Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  89. publicwatchdog (79) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 7:09 pm  

    “# Pauleastbay (753) Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Is this moonbat Phil’s missus or something?

    Fuck! !!!!!! its been great the last couple of weeks, humour, salient points, good information, some good debate and arguments and then the disaffected loonies find KB”

    Well – Pauleastbay – may I respectfully suggest that in order to maintain the ‘ humour, salient points, good information, some good debate and arguments’ – you keep your posts off KB, as arguably none of what you are saying appears to fall into any of your above-mentioned categories?

    :)

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

    Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

March 30, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Human rights | Leave a comment

PRESS RELEASE: 29 March 2011 – Penny Bright ‘Anti-corruption’ campaigner – “Is the attack on Phil Goff’s leadership being promoted by corporate interests who support NZ asset sales?”

29 March 2011

Is this how democracy works in NZ?
We get the government the majority of big business want us to have – through corporate media manipulation?


Why aren’t corporate media focussing on helping to solve the continuing problem of the behaviour’ of MPs – by supporting a ‘Code of Conduct’ for NZ MPs?

Isn’t the real purpose of this Darren Hughes corporate media ‘beat up’ to try and completely undermine the Labour Party, as the main political party whose stated policy is opposition  to the corporate asset sale agenda?

Isn’t this the real reason behind  the attack on Phil Goff’s leadership?

Look at the Botany by-election result – the only ‘poll’ result that really counts – a binding vote of electors.
Asset sales were a key election issue. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zht3kVIwaX0 (3 minute clip – “Botany Candidates on Asset Sales” – debate 15/2/2011)
National’s Jami-Lee Ross supported the ‘partial privatisation’ (renamed)  ‘mixed ownership’ model – Labour’s Michael Wood (supported by Phil Goff), opposed it.

While Labour’s vote proportionately increased – National’s plummeted.
Pansy Wong’s electorate vote of over 17,000 dropped over 9,000.
Young Jami-Lee Ross got just over 8,000 votes.

The turnout was exceptionally low. 76% turnout in 2008 – dropped to 36% in 2011.
It’s not usually National Party voters who stay home – especially after John Key and Jami-Lee Ross effectively begged them to get out and vote. They didn’t.
More (former?) National Party voters stayed home than voted.

As an Independent Botany by-election candidate, my  own vote was not large, (124 votes), but in my opinion, the issues I raised, had an impact with a number of voters. Quarter page, page 3 advertisements which went into both the Howick and Botany Times and Howick and Pakuranga Times (which more than covered EVERY household in the Botany electorate), in the week before the by-election on  5 March 2011, included the following points:

“Why has there never been any ‘cost-benefit’ analysis of the ‘commercialise, corporatise – PRIVATISE ‘Rogernomics’ model – that this National/Act Government wants to extend?

Who has, and will benefit from future privatisation and asset sales?  The public?

How will the ‘Mums and Dads’ who can’t afford to pay their power bills, going to afford to invest in the power companies? “

(Full wording of the advertisements is included at the end of this post).
Did the raising of questions about asset sales help encourage over 9,000 (former?) National Party voters to stay home?
What does that mean for the 2011 general election, and the all-important ‘party vote’ for National?

What will those (former?) 9000 National party voters do in the November 2011 General Election?
Who WILL they vote for?

Will  proposed asset sales (particularly of electricity assets) be a potentially HUGE vote loser for this John Key-led National Party?

There are arguably thousands of (former?) National Party voters, who still remember the ‘bad old days’ of the ‘inefficient’ Department of Electricity and Local Power Boards – when you could afford to turn your heater on.

There are arguably thousands of (former?) National Party voters, who still remember National’s electricity reforms under former Minister of Energy Max Bradford, http://www.linkedin.com/pub/hon-max-bradford/a/14/48a which removed the ‘economies of scale’ under the Department of Electricity and Local Power Board ‘monopoly’ – and replaced it with the current, duplicated, ‘competitive’ model.

“Energy Minister Max Bradford claimed that promoting competition in the electricity sector would bring price reductions, with gains flowing through to household and small business consumers. He identified long-term efficiency gains as the objective of the reforms (Bradford, 1998).”

“Supposedly, the first wave of reform to New Zealand’s electricity sector – deregulation and the promotion of competition – “was about efficiency, competition and accountability to customers” (Douglas, 1995). The creation as an SOE of the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand (ECNZ) resulted in a monopoly in electricity generation and transmission which, presumably, could not be sold off in one piece. This implied the need for “unbundling” and Transpower Ltd was created to separate electricity generation and transmission, leaving generation with ECNZ. Contact Energy was split out from the ECNZ in November 1995, the intention being to create competition and, eventually, privatisation of electricity generation. “

http://www.converge.org.nz/watchdog/08/06.htm

Have (former?) National Party voters, like other members of the public,  experienced electricity ‘price reductions’, under the Rogernomic$ ‘commercialise, corporatise – PRIVATISE model?   Of course not. Power bills continue to sky rocket upwards.

Does this John Key-led National Party Prime Minister think that New Zealanders have experienced some form of collective frontal lobotomy, and forgotten their experience of the above-mentioned Rogernomic$ electrivity reforms – (of which we are all reminded, every month, when we get our next crippling power bill?)

In my view, this Darren Hughes corporate media beat-up is VERY similar to the corporate media campaign against Winston Peters and NZ First prior to the 2008 election.

Continual ‘MAN ON THE MOON’ headlines in the Herald about complaints made to the Police and SFO, although no charges had been laid – let alone any convictions in Court. Nothing came of those complaints – but the political campaign to discredit Winston Peters and NZ First worked.
NZ First failed to achieve the 5% party vote threshold.

Yet when I made complaints to both the Police and SFO about  John Key’s attempt to flush out commercially sensitive information information about Tranz Rail when he had an undisclosed percuniary interest, there was not one sentence in the NZ Herald – no TV coverage.

Likewise – when I took a private prosecution against John Key (after the Police and SFO chose to do nothing).

(You Tube clip 2008 – “Is John Key shonky?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFTYZVQo-A8&feature=related )

“All the chief executives I subsequently canvassed in a mini-survey last week told me they didn’t want either Clark or Key to have Peters in their governments.”

Fran O’Sullivan: Meurant allegations require scrutiny 5 November 2008

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10541133

Is this how democracy works in NZ?
We get the government the majority of big business want us to have – through corporate media manipulation?

My very strong recommendation is for the public and the Labour Party, is  to stay focussed on this key issue, take heart from the Botany by-election result, and don’t buy into this corporate media ‘beat-up’, the apparent aim being to undermine the main political party whose stated position is opposition to asset sales.

Penny Bright
Media Spokesperson
Water Pressure Group
Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
“Anti-corruption campaigner”.

Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.

Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.

https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

FULL WORDING OF MY ELECTION ADVERTISEMENTS IN THE HOWICK AND BOTANY TIMES (WEDNESDAY 3 MARCH 2011) AND HOWICK AND PAKURANGA TIMES (THURSDAY 4 MARCH 2011):

VOTERS OF BOTANY!

It’s ‘people power’ time!

It’s time for a fiercely independent ‘Public Watchdog with a  proven track record of defending the public  interest INSIDE  the House of Parliament.
Someone with the guts to ask the hard questions!

Eg:  To whom exactly is NZ in debt? Open the books!

Where exactly is our public money being spent?

How much public money is going to greedy corporate welfare beneficiaries?

How much public money is being spent on the ‘contractocracy’  vs the ‘bureaucracy

(ie: Private ‘piggy in the middle’ contractors vs  ‘in-house’ central & local govt employees?)


Who else is holding MPs and the Government accountable?

Where’s the ‘transparency’?

NZ is ‘perceived’ to be the least corrupt country in the world – but our MP’s don’t even have a ‘Code of Conduct’!


Why aren’t the public given the name of the contractors; the scope, term and value of billion$ of private sector contracts at local and central government level?

Why is there no ‘Register of Interests’ for local government elected representatives and staff responsible for  property and procurement’?


Who decides who gets the contracts?  ($$$???)


Why has there never been any ‘cost-benefit’ analysis of the ‘commercialise, corporatise – PRIVATISE ‘Rogernomics’ model – that this National/Act Government wants to extend?


Who has, and will benefit from future privatisation and asset sales?  The public?


How will the ‘Mums and Dads’ who can’t afford to pay their power bills, going to afford to invest in the power companies?


How do ‘vested interests’ get there way at the policy level  – before legislation is passed? Have we got endemic  ‘State capture’ in NZ?

Who is benefiting from the  Auckland $upercity?

The public or multinational contractors?


Please – give me a chance to act as a public watchdog from inside Parliament!

For more information:  https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz www.stopprivatisation.org.nz

Authorised by Penny Bright 86A School Rd, Kingsland.   waterpressure@gmail.com


YouTube – Videos from this email

March 29, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Human rights | Leave a comment

Don’t corporate media attacks on Phil Goff’s leadership help those who support the corporate asset sale agenda? My response to Duncan Garner’s blog

Don’t corporate media attacks on Phil Goff’s leadership help those who support the corporate asset sale agenda?

Duncan Garner’s blog – my following comment has been published.

http://www.3news.co.nz/Default.aspx?TabId=1135&articleID=204524&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3a+DuncanGarnersBlog+%283+News+-+Duncan+Garner%27s+Blog%29&ce10934=1#comment

Labour needs to roll Goff – blog

Labour leader Phil Goff Labour leader Phil Goff

Tue, 29 Mar 2011 9:22a.m.

By 3 News Political Editor Duncan Garner

Labour’s decision to hang on to Leader Phil Goff after his woeful management of the Darren Hughes affair shows the caucus is clueless, gutless and talentless. And most of all, they have no collective balls.

If there was ever a time to roll Goff, it is now.

They have seven days before the next caucus to find a runner and present Goff with a letter saying he has lost the support and confidence of the caucus. If necessary, put it to a vote.

But it seems the caucus has chosen not to do that. It’s a defeatist and hopeless position to be in. Labour MPs appear divorced from reality.

Labour now faces the very real prospect of its vote collapsing, in the same fashion as Bill English took National to a record defeat in 2002.

The Labour caucus has opted to go down in 2011 without a fight. If this was the Australian Labour Party Goff would have lasted just 6 weeks two years ago. They’d be on their third opposition leader by now.

Why on earth should Labour’s grassroots supporters now sell sausages and raffle tickets in the lead-up to the election? They probably won’t.

It’s clear the caucus has decided Goff can take the bullet at the 2011 election.

I have spoken to most of the senior MPs, they say – while disappointed with the management of the Hughes scandal – no one is of a mind to roll Goff. Why not? Not one MP is defending him. Goff is now Labour’s biggest liability.

He has to go so Labour can put a line under this affair and let Hughes fight it from the outside.

So who are the options? In no particular order; David Cunliffe, Shane Jones, David Parker and David Shearer.

Annette King is no longer an option – she is too tied up in the scandal.

The caucus needs to choose one of those names, get the support over the next seven days and present Goff with a done deal on Tuesday.

Goff has so many questions he can’t answer. He looks like he’s stumbling around in a pitch black bedroom trying to put on his pyjamas. He’s got more positions than a King’s Cross hooker.

He put his friendship before leadership. And while in many eyes that’s honourable, it’s also short sighted. He never saw the bigger picture. He either didn’t ask enough questions – or he did and thought, “shit, this can’t get out”.

The Hughes scandal was always going to be a train wreck – 18 year old teenager, senior whip, alleged sexual encounter, Annette King’s house, police investigation, naked man etc.

Come on – what leader in their right and sane mind could think for one second that in Wellington that would stay secret?

I know this is written in hindsight, but the obvious thing to do was to front foot it, stand Hughes down, send him away, strip him of his duties and wait for the cops to rule.

That way Hughes may have been able to keep his job in the short term and do some kind of mea culpa around what happened if the police were not to lay charges.

But Goff decided to keep it secret. He kept it far too secret. My understanding is only he, Annette King and their Chief of Staff, Gordon Jon Thompson knew about it.

Goff says no one else knew. And that seems true. Party President Andrew Little is rightly furious, senior press secretaries in the party, fielding calls from the media, have been left in compromised positions because they apparently knew nothing of this.

They should have. So much for Goff and King having more than 50 years experience in politics and political management. And who let Darren Hughes appear in the Press Gallery debate, ‘politics is a grubby business’? Surely Hughes, Goff and King who appeared in the debate would have thought, ‘hey we better lie low over the next few weeks eh?’

But if all that wasn’t bad enough, enter a voice from the past.

At the weekend, next on the list and potentially soon to be Labour MP again, Judith Tizard, told the country Goff was effectively a crap leader and could never win. If that wasn’t a message to the caucus from New York – then I don’t know what is.

So Labour needs to choose a runner to take Goff out. They need to get organised and stop pretending they’re in Government. They’re not. They’re in a parlous and paralysed state in opposition and Phil Goff is now to blame for that. For the sake of all their grassroots members and other Labour voters – they need to go into the election with a new leader.

I’ve come across people who want to vote Labour because they don’t like National – but they say they won’t because of Goff.

Surely they are not isolated comments. If that attitude is widespread, and I believe it is, it is now the moral duty of Labour’s MPs to change the leadership and draw a line under this hopelessly managed scandal. They need clear air. And they need it fast in the run up to the Budget.

As I said earlier – if there was ever a time to roll Phil Goff, it is now. What other evidence do Labour’s MPs need?

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Don’t corporate media attacks on Phil Goff’s leadership help those who support the corporate asset sale agenda?

My response to Duncan Garner’s blog:

Isn’t the purpose of this Darren Hughes corporate media ‘beat up’ to try and completely undermine the Labour Party, as the main political party opposition to the corporate asset sale agenda?

Isn’t this the real reason for the attack on Phil Goff’s leadership?

Look at the Botany by-election result.
Asset sales were a key election issue.
National’s Jami-Lee Ross supported the ‘mixed ownership’ model – Labour’s Michael Wood (supported by Phil Goff) opposed it.

Labour’s vote proportionally increased.
National’s actual electorate vote plummeted from over 17,0000 in 2008, to just over 8,000 in 2011.

Despite both National Prime Minister John Key and National Party candidate Jami-Lee Ross pleading for National Party voters to get out and vote – over 9,000 DIDN’T.

What does that mean for the 2011 general election, and the all-important ‘party vote’ for National?

What will those (former?) 9000 National party voters do in November?

Who will they vote for?

In my view, this Darren Hughes corporate media beat-up is VERY similar to the corporate media campaign against Winston Peters and NZ First prior to the 2008 election.

‘MAN ON THE MOON’ headlines in the Herald about complaints made to the Police and SFO, although no charges had been laid – let alone any convictions in Court.

Nothing came of those complaints – but the political campaign to discredit Winston Peters and NZ First worked.

NZ First failed to achieve the 5% party vote threshold.

Yet when I made complaints to both the Police and SFO about  John Key’s attempt to flush out commercially sensitive information information about Tranz Rail when he had an undisclosed percuniary interest, there was not one sentence in the NZ Herald – no TV coverage.

Likewise – when I took a private prosecution against John Key (after the Police and SFO chose to do nothing).

Is this how democracy works in NZ?

We get the government the majority of big business want us to have – through corporate media manipulation?
Penny Bright

March 28, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Human rights | 2 Comments

“Flotilla protests deep-sea drilling off East Cape” NZ Herald article 28 March 2011

28 March 2011

Seen this?

Cheers!

Penny

www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10715342

Flotilla protests deep-sea drilling off East Cape

By Yvonne Tahana

5:30 AM Monday Mar 28, 2011
'Vega' skipper Daniel Mares says the decision to allow oil exploration of the Raukumara Basin is short-sighted. Photo / Dean Purcell 

 

‘Vega’ skipper Daniel Mares says the decision to allow oil exploration of the Raukumara Basin is short-sighted. Photo / Dean Purcell

A flotilla of boats, including a former anti-nuclear warhorse, left Auckland yesterday to protest against deep sea oil activities of Brazilian multinational Petrobras.

The New Zealand Government granted Petrobras an exploratory licence last year for the Raukumara Basin which lies off East Cape/Cape Runway. Groups such as the Nuclear-Free Flotilla, Forest & Bird, 350 Aotearoa and Te Whanau a Apanui, expect seismic surveying to begin shortly.

A couple of hundred wellwishers waved off nine boats which will make their way down the coast by next Saturday, including the Vega from Princes Wharf.

Once owned by Greenpeace, the 12m Kauri ketch was boarded and detained by the French when it led protests against nuclear testing at Mururoa in the 1980s.

Daniel Mares, captain of Vega, said it was fitting one of the dames of environmentalism was getting a run in her own backyard about an issue he said was massively important.

“It’s a short-sighted decision [to allow exploration to occur] and for what? The last drops of oil?”

Greenpeace climate spokesman Steve Abel said BP’s Gulf of Mexico disaster showed the risk of deep sea oil drilling.

“A drastic spill would cost the New Zealand economy billions, and do enormous damage to our tourism and fishing industries, and our international reputation,” Mr Abel said.

Peter Williams, QC, told the crowd foreign companies shouldn’t be allowed to come here and “steal our oil”.

Energy & Resources acting minister Hekia Parata said there was “scaremongering” going on that seismic monitoring could cause earthquakes. That “completely irresponsible” claim was made by anti-drilling group Te Ahi Kaa.

“There’s no scientific evidence and it’s wrong to be frightening people with that, ” she said.

By Yvonne Tahana | Email Yvonne

Be part of the news. Send pics, video and tips to nzherald.Send 

March 27, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Human rights | Leave a comment

New Zealand MPs need a ‘Code of Conduct’ – not just improved internal party procedures for handling Police complaints.

28 March 2011

www.nbr.co.nz/article/goff-admits-party-procedures-need-improving-nn-89287

Goff admits party procedures need improving

Phil Goff 

 

Phil Goff has admitted the Labour Party’s handling of the Darren Hughes sexual allegations incident could have been better.

Mr Goff announced on Friday that Mr Hughes would resign from Parliament while police continued their investigation into a late-night incident involving an 18-year-old male student.

A day earlier, Mr Goff stripped the third-term MP of his responsibilities as education spokesman and party whip after the allegations were made public on Wednesday.

Mr Goff learned of the allegations two weeks ago, and has stood by his decision not to inform Labour president Andrew Little or act earlier.

However Mr Goff told Radio New Zealand he accepted that Mr Little was unhappy he had not been told earlier.

“I can understand that, yeah, there are ways in which we can improve our procedures and I’ll make sure that happens,” Mr Goff said.

“It is a matter for the caucus, but does it have implications for the party, of course it does.”

Senior Labour MPs are due to meet in Dunedin tomorrow, but Mr Goff rejected suggestions that his leadership would be in question there, saying that was media speculation.

“The media has speculated on a number of occasions about my leadership, I’ve been twice elected in accordance with the constitution of the Labour Party, each time unanimously,” he said.

“Things have been said that are patently untrue and been rejected and denied by the people that those accusations have been made against.”

Mr Goff said he had not spoken to Mr Hughes over the weekend.

“It’s been a very tough time on a human front, I think everybody will understand that.

“The remarkable thing I’ve found, MPs on all sides of the house have come up to me and expressed their regret, both about what’s happened and about their concern that Darren faces trial through the media when that should be left to the police.”

Prime Minister John Key said the incident highlighted the scrutiny MPs were under and that the public would make up its own mind about how Mr Goff had handled the incident.

“Ultimately (the public) has a look at a leader, works out how they react in certain circumstances, makes their own assessment of it and that is what the public will do here,” Mr Key told TVNZ.

Mr Hughes said on Friday that he had done nothing wrong and was confident of the “right outcome” following the police investigation. However, his position had become untenable and he had to resign as an MP.

Former MP Judith Tizard is next on the party list.

Rotorua MP Steve Chadwick is acting whip while David Shearer has taken on the role of education spokesman.

The alleged incident that led to Mr Hughes’ resignation happened at Labour deputy leader Annette King’s Wellington home, where he boards, after he had been drinking at two bars with a group of students, including the complainant.

The student left the home and is reported to have either flagged down a police car or walked into its path.


__________________________________________________________________________________

Comments and questions 

1

Who actually made the complaint to the Police about Darren Hughes public?

The complainant?

In my view – it is the complainant who should call the shots in this situation.

Imagine if Phil  Goff had raised with caucus that a complaint had been made to the Police, or gone to the press, before the complainant had done so (if in fact they were the one who did make the complaint public).

What about the rights of the complainant to privacy, and the duties of the Police to investigate the complaint?

This complaint is being investigated by the Police. Darren Hughes has not been charged with any offence – let alone convicted.

I agree that Labour Party ‘internal procedures’ for handling such matters could be improved.

However, in my opinion, Phil Goff’s attempt to put ‘justice before politics’ in these circumstances was understandable.

But – it is not just ‘internal Labour Party procedures’ that need improving.

Isn’t it time for ALL parties to agree that NZ MPs need an enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ to give clear guidelines for the behaviour and actions of our elected representatives of the ‘highest court in the land’?

With sanctions for breaches thereof?

Remembering that NZ MPs make laws that ensure a whole range of other ‘public servants’ have ‘Codes of Conduct’ – but they don’t have one themselves?

What sort of example is THAT?

Perhaps Labour could take the lead, and help turn a ‘bad thing into a good thing’ by initiating meaningful caucus discussions on a ‘Code of Conduct’ for NZ MPs?

But, in my view, ALL parties should now start addressing this problem, and considering the sensible solution – a ‘Code of Conduct’ for NZ MPs.

It is LONG overdue.

Penny Bright
Public Watchdog
https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

Penny Bright | Monday, March 28, 2011 – 10:41am

March 27, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Human rights | Leave a comment

The Use of Force Against Libya: Another Illegal Use of Force – JURIST Guest Columnist Curtis Doebbler, professor of law at Webster University and Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations, both in Geneva, Switzerland,

27 March 2011

In my considered opinion:

If you don’t know your rights – you don’t have any.

If you don’t defend the rights that you are supposed have – you lose them.

The same principle applies to International Law.

It appears that the attack on Libya is the international equivalent of driving in Auckland City – without ‘Road Rules’, a road map, or any traffic lights.

ie: chaos.

How is it that world leaders, Government officials and mainstream media appear to be so profoundly ignorant of  international law which applies in the Libyan situation, and its application?

Penny Bright

“International Law

While decisions regarding the use of force against Libya seem to have been based more on emotions than on an understanding of the relevant facts, international law is not irrelevant. International law will continue to reflect the general rules that States use in their relations with each other long after the end of the armed conflict in Libya.

They are also, one might suggest crucial to peace and security in a world made up of people of diverse values and interests.

Perhaps the most fundamental principle of international law is that no State shall use force against another State.

This principle is expressly stated in article 2, paragraph 4, of the Charter of the United Nations.

No State can violate this principle of international and neither can the UN Security Council according to article 24(2) of the UN Charter that requires that the Council “shall act in accordance with the Principles and Purposes of the United Nations.”

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The Use of Force Against Libya: Another Illegal Use of Force

JURIST Guest Columnist Curtis Doebbler, professor of law at Webster University and Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations, both in Geneva, Switzerland, says the UN Security Council and the military coalition in Libya acted in contravention of international law in its use of force against Libya….


On 19 March 2011 Western nations started the third international armed conflict against a Muslim country in the last decade. They went to great pains to claim that the use of force against Libya was legal, but an application of international law to the facts indicates that in fact the use of force is illegal.

This brief commentary evaluates the use of force against Libya starting with UN Security Council Resolution 1973 that allegedly authorizes it.

The Facts

At around 12 noon local time in Washington, DC, on Saturday, 19 March 2011 French fighters launched attacks against targets described as tanks and air defense systems. A few hours later US battleships began firing cruise missiles at Libyan targets.

Although Arab and Muslim countries had joined the coalition against their Arab and Muslim neighbor, none of them actually participated in the airstrikes by sending aircraft.

The attacks came after the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 1973. In response to this resolution the Libyan government had officially called a ceasefire in the civil war that it was waging against armed rebels whose base is in Benghazi. Libya also announced that its airspace was closed. Western leaders responded to these actions by the Libyan government by claiming that they could not be believed and arguing that the fighting was continuing. Indeed, Libyan sources confirmed that the civil war was ongoing and that both sides continued to attack each other. On Saturday, 19 March, the Libyan rebels announced that a Libyan government fighter had been shot down over Tripoli.

Resolution 1973

Resolution 1973 was adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter with 10 votes for, none against and 5 abstentions. Voting for it were the Council’s permanent members United States, Britain, France and non-permanent members Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Gabon, Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal, and South Africa. Abstaining were permanent members Russia, China and non-permanent members Germany, Brazil, and India.

The resolution was adopted on Thursday, 17 March 2011 just after 18:30 local time in New York. American Ambassador Susan Rice described as strengthening the sanctions and travel bans in earlier resolution 1970.

It was promoted by the French and United Kingdom governments, but with the strong presence of the United States in the background pulling the strings.

At the meeting was the new French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe. Although as former Prime Minister he was not new to the UN, he arrived just weeks after his predecessor had been replaced for having accepted favours from a Libyan businessmen and just days after his government became the first Western government to recognize the forces fighting against the government in Libya’s raging civil war as the legitimate representatives of the country.

The Libyan government did not have a representative present at the meeting after its nominated Ambassador, former President of the General Assembly Ali Abdelsalem Treki was denied admission to the United States. Nevertheless, although officially relieved of his duties more than a week ago for defecting to the opposition former Deputy Permanent Representative Ibrahim O. A. Dabbashi was on hand at the Security Council Media Stakeout on Wednesday to make a statement and take questions.

Resolution 1973 contains 29 operative paragraphs divided into eight sections.

The first section calls for an “immediate cease-fire” in its first paragraph and for respect for international law including “the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance.”

A curious second operational paragraph “stresses the need to intensify efforts to find a solution to the crisis” and goes on to qualify this as responding “to the legitimate demands of the Libyan people” and leading to “the political reforms necessary to find a peaceful and sustainable solution.” Such vague and board language leaves open both the question of which Libyans legitimate demands must be met and what political reforms are necessary. Legally these requirements also appear to be a direct interference with Libya’s internal affairs in violation of article 2(7) of the UN Charter, which all UN Security Council resolutions are bound to respect according to article 25 of the Charter. This apparently irreconcilable discrepancy will fuel speculation that the resolution is another example of politics refusing to respect international law.

Paragraphs 4 and 5 concern the protection of civilians with the latter paragraph focusing on the regional responsibility of the League of Arab States.

The largest operative part of the resolution is then devoted to the creation of a no-fly zone in paragraphs 6 through 12. Article 6 creates the no-fly zone “on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians.” Paragraph 7 then enumerates several humanitarian exceptions.

It is perhaps paragraph 8 that will focus the mind of most international lawyers where it states that States may “take all necessary measures to enforce compliance with the ban on flights.” The use of the term “all necessary measures” opens the door to the use of force.

Paragraphs 13 through 16 call for an arms embargo and “[d]eplores the continuing flows of mercenaries” into the Libya. In doing so paragraph 13 decides that paragraph 11 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall be replaced with a new paragraph that “authorises Member States to use all measures commensurate to the specific circumstances to carry out such inspections.” Again this language indicates that force may be used against seafaring vessels suspected of carrying arms to Libya in violation of the embargo.

In paragraphs 17 and 18 States are required to deny take off, landing or overfly rights to “any aircraft registered in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya or owned or operated by Libyan nationals or companies.”

Paragraphs 19 to 21 extend the asset freeze imposed by paragraph 17, 19, 20 and 21 of resolution 1970 (2011) to “all funds, other financial assets and economic resources” that are “owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the Libyan authorities … or by individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, or by entities owned or controlled by them.”

Paragraphs 22 and 23 extend the travel restrictions and the asset freeze in resolution 1970 (2011).

Paragraph 24 creates a new body, a Panel of experts, to assist the Committee created in Resolution 1970, to “[g]ather, examine and analyse information from States, relevant United Nations bodies, regional organisations and other interested parties regarding the implementation of the measures” in resolution 1970, to “[m]ake recommendations … to improve implementation of the relevant measures,” and to “[p]rovide to the Council an interim report on its work no later than 90 days after the Panel’s appointment, and a final report to the Council no later than 30 days prior to the termination of its mandate with its findings and recommendations.”
Paragraph 27 says all States “shall take the necessary measures to ensure that no claim shall lie … in connection with any contract or other transaction where its performance was affected by reason of the measures taken by the Security Council in resolution 1970 (2011), this resolution and related resolutions.”

Finally, in penultimate paragraph 29, the Council “[d]ecides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

Public Perceptions

By the time the resolution was in the public domain the press British tabloids and broadsheets were already rallying the world to war. The French were convening a meeting being described as the planning meeting to use force. And while the American President was remaining cautiously ambiguous, other American officials were openly calling for military intervention in what had by now become a civil war in Libya.

In the emotional fury, international law seems to have been forgotten. One BBC commentator went so far as to suggest that political support for a no-fly zone by the Arab League was a legal justification for the use of force. Obviously, the use of force in Afghanistan and Iraq, which are widely considered as violating international law, seem not to have had much an impression on the British journalists.

Journalists elsewhere have also seemed oblivious to the international law in their consideration of Libya often calling for the invasion of this sovereign country by force despite not only the fact that article 2(4) of the Charter of the United Nations prohibits such a use of force, but so too does the language of Resolution 1973 itself.

Even opponents of the use of force seem unaware of the applicable international law. British MP Jeremy Corbyn in the House of Commons, for example, asked, if we use force against Libya to protect one side in a civil war, why don’t we use it in Bahrain were dozens of unarmed protesters have been killed by national and foreign forces or in Yemen where about fifty peaceful protesters were slaughtered by army sharpshooters. This query at least appears to understand the fact that international law, to have real value in international relations, needs to similar situations in a similar manner. Failure to apply the law consistently seriously undermines the law and its restraints on international action.

International Law

While decisions regarding the use of force against Libya seem to have been based more on emotions than on an understanding of the relevant facts, international law is not irrelevant. International law will continue to reflect the general rules that States use in their relations with each other long after the end of the armed conflict in Libya. They are also, one might suggest crucial to peace and security in a world made up of people of diverse values and interests.

Perhaps the most fundamental principle of international law is that no State shall use force against another State. This principle is expressly stated in article 2, paragraph 4, of the Charter of the United Nations. No State can violate this principle of international and neither can the UN Security Council according to article 24(2) of the UN Charter that requires that the Council “shall act in accordance with the Principles and Purposes of the United Nations.”

Narrow exceptions to the prohibition of the use of force are found in article 51 and Chapter VII of the Charter. The latter provisions, especially article 42, allow the Security Council to take action that “may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security.” Both resolutions 1970 and 1973 state that they are being adopted under Chapter VII. Neither, however, meets the requirements of article 42 that a determination has been made that “measures not involving the use of force” have failed.

In a civil war it is hard to see how such a determination can be made. It would appear that at the very least it would have to be based on on-the-ground fact-finding. Fact-finding missions by the UN Human Rights Council and the Security Council have not yet gone to Libya. While there is little doubt Western governments, such as the United States have significant abilities to determine what is happening in Libya with distant surveillance methods, this does not provide sufficient evidence of whether the government of Libya is complying with the Security Council’s resolutions. Only on-the-ground observers can determine this as we have seen from the misinformation spread about Iraq’s actions based on third party and distant surveillance sources.

Moreover the evidence of Libya’s compliance is mixed. Libya almost immediately announced it would respect the terms of Resolutions 1973 after it was adopted. Nevertheless, in an unprecedented show of a lack of diplomatic intolerance and without confirmations of the facts on the ground Western leaders called the Libyan leader a liar.

Libya has also offered to accept international monitors, even extending invitations to them to visit their country. And in an extraordinary concession, the Libyan leader sent a message to the armed opposition when they had the upper hand and were approaching Tripoli, offering to step down and leave the country. It was only after this offer was rejected and opposition leaders said it was non-negotiable that the Libyan leader be captured and killed that the government’s troops launched their offensive.

If international law allows States to use force in very limited circumstances, there are even fewer circumstances in which non-state actors are allowed to use force. One of those circumstances is when the right to self-determination is being exercised against a foreign and oppressive occupying power. This might entitle Iraqis or Afghanis to use force against occupying armies, but it would not entitle the Libyan people to use force against their own government.

Even the extrajudicial right of revolution that many international lawyers admit exists when the limits of the law have been reached has not been explicitly relied on by the Libyan rebels. If it had there may have been problems. While participation in the governance of Libya might have been a widespread problem, the country had the highest per capita income in Africa and among the best Millennium Development Goals indicators. Moreover, Libya has shown itself to respect international law in the past, implementing judgments of the International Court of Justice in the conflict with Chad and even turning over suspects for which there was questionable evidence for trial abroad in the Lockerbie affair.

Finally, the question of self-defense is relevant to the use of force against Libya. Rather than justifying the Western attack against Libya, however, it would appear to justify action taken by Libya against Western interests. In other words, as Libya has been the object of an armed attack that is likely illegal under international law, it has the right to defend itself. This right includes carrying out attacks against military facilities or personnel from any country involved in the attack. In other words, the attack against Libya by France and the United States makes the military facilities and personnel of these countries legitimate targets for attacks carried out by Libya in self-defense.

Regardless of the legality of the use of force by any party to the armed conflict, international humanitarian law or the laws of war will continue to apply. According to this law, all States involved in an armed conflict must take care not to attack civilians. The Libyan authorities alleged they were respecting this restriction in the civil war, although the rebels refuted this claim. International humanitarian law requires that the western forces may not be directed against civilians or civilian facilities in Libya and that Libya’s right of self-defense must be exercised in such a way that it does not attack civilians or civilian facilities.

Perhaps the greatest harm to humanity will be the long-term effects on international affairs from the use of force in a manner that is outside of the allowed exceptions of international law. In the Pact of Paris in 1928 and again in the UN Charter in 1945, States agreed not to use force against each other to accomplish their foreign policy ends. The Western world has appeared to repeatedly challenge this agreement in the last ten years, especially by its willingness to take military action against predominately Muslim States. In doing so they have sent an undeniable signal to the international community through their actions and despite some of their words, that international law does not matter to them. If this message is not answered by the proponents of international law then the advances we have made to ensure that the international community respects the rule of law may be undone for future generations.
[1] An American international lawyer.

Dr. Curtis F.J. Doebbler is an international lawyer with an office in Washington D.C,, a professor at Webster University and the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations, both located in Geneva, Switzerland, and the representative of Nord-Sud XXI at the UN in New York and Geneva.

Suggested citation: Curtis Doebbler, The Use of Force Against Libya: Another Illegal Use of Force, JURIST – Forum, Mar. 20, 2011, http://jurist.org/forum/2011/03/the-use-of-force-against-libya-another-illegal-use-of-force.php.

March 20, 2011

March 27, 2011 Posted by | Internationally significant information | Leave a comment

Apanui Flotilla – 27 March 2011 – PHOTOS

27 March 2011

 

Hopefully this link will work folks!

Great photos Dayle!

Great sendoff for the Flotilla against deep sea oil drilling!

Apanui Flotilla – 27 March 2011

March 27, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Internationally significant information | Leave a comment