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PRESS RELEASE: Penny Bright NZ ‘Whistleblower/ Anti-Corruption Campaigner’: “Are NZ Judges effectively ‘out of control?'”

19 July 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Penny Bright NZ ‘Whistleblower/ Anti-Corruption Campaigner’:
“Are NZ Judges effectively ‘out of control?'”

New Zealand is ‘perceived’ to be the ‘least corrupt country in the world’ (along with Denmark and Singapore), according to Transparency International’s 2010 ‘Corruption Perception Index’.

http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2010

Therefore –  shouldn’t New Zealand arguably be the most ‘transparent’ country in the world?

So – how come in New Zealand, our Judges don’t have:

An enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’?

A ‘Register of Pecuniary Interests’?

A mandatory requirement to record all court proceedings?

(How can ‘justice be done or be seen to be done’ – if there is no court record of what was done? How can a ‘court of record – not keep a record? )

On top of this – some New Zealand Judges – at the highest levels – apparently don’t think that the ‘Rule of Law’ applies to them.

How can it be lawful, for some New Zealand Judges to make  ‘court orders’ based on ‘judicial discretion’ – not the ‘Rule of Law’?

How can it be lawful, for some New Zealand Judges to just ‘make it up’?

I, Penny Bright, publicly-acknowledged ‘anti-corruption campaigner’, have been trying for days to file in the Auckland High Court, an ‘Application for Order’ to get a Judge’s ‘suppression order’ lifted.

This was a ‘suppression order’ – which suppressed the JUDGMENT itself and the REASONS for that judgement.

Under New Zealand law – s 138 of the Criminal Justice Act 1985 – there is no lawful right for a New Zealand Judge to do this.

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1985/0120/latest/DLM78862.html?search=ts_act_Criminal+justice+Act+1985_resel&p=1#DLM78862

s 138 of the Criminal Justice Act 1985 states:

 

  138    Power to clear court and forbid report of proceedings

…….

 

(5)    The powers conferred by this section to make orders of any kind described in subsection (2) are in substitution for any such powers that a court may have had under any inherent jurisdiction or any rule of law; and no court shall have power to make any order of any such kind except in accordance with this section or any other enactment.

 

[Bold and emphasis added]

The ‘suppression order ‘ to which I am referring, is that of Judge Winkelmann, New Zealand’s Chief High Court Judge, made in December 2010, where she not only  denied the 18 defendants in the ‘Operation 8’ (NZ’s first so-called  ‘terrorist’ case)  – their statutory right to trial by jury, but  then ordered the Court staff to suppress the judgment.

After all the ‘MAN ON THE MOON’ headlines from 15 October 2001 which burst across world headlines – the continued proceedings have now become ‘top secret’? Not only were the public not allowed to know that the ‘Operation 8 ‘ defendants had been denied their right to trial by jury – but the public were not allowed to know that they had been denied their right to trial by jury?

How can this be right?

Vince Siemer,(in my considered opinion New Zealand’s leading ‘whistleblower’ exposing the lack of judicial transparency, accountability and judicial ‘conflicts of interest’), didn’t think this was right, and did something about it.

Vince Siemer defended the public’s right to know  Judge Winkelmann’s decision and her reasons for it – by publishing her judgment on his website,  along with his story ‘Judge or be Judged’ 10 December 2010       http://www.kiwisfirst.co.nz/index.asp?PageID=2145845331

(For a more detailed story by Vince Siemer about the ‘Operation 8’ case –  “A Public protest away from tyranny”

A PUBLIC PROTEST AWAY FROM TYRANNY

THE OPERATION 8 SAGA

______________________________

_______________________________

(A documentary has been made, called ‘Operation 8’,  now playing in NZ cinemas, which examines the ‘anti-terror’ raids of October 2007.

http://www.flicks.co.nz/movie/operation-8/    )
______________________________________________________________

Contempt proceeding against Vince Siemer were then initiated by the ‘second highest lawyer in the land’ – the Solicitor-General of New Zealand David Collins QC, who has effectively ‘backed up’ the arguably unlawful decision of Judge Winkelmann to suppress her judgement and the reasons for it.

Vince Siemer has been found guilty of ‘contempt of court’ and now faces imprisonment for so doing, as ruled in the following decision of the High Court, Solicitor-General of New Zealand v Vincent Ross Siemer CIV-2010-404-8559 MacKenzie and Simon JJ 4 July 2011.

CIV 2010 – 404 – 8559

Interestingly, THIS judgment has not been suppressed, yet it makes reference to Judge Winkelmann’s Judgment – which was.

Which arguably helps to show how patently ridiculous it was to suppress this original judgement in the first place?

I have not just published press releases  about this matter on my blog (https://waterpressure.wordpress.com) , I have actively and vigorously disseminated this information to all New Zealand MPs; NZ media, all NZ Councils, all NZ Unions, a wide range of social justice and human rights activists.

Surely, if we are ‘all equal before the law’ – I too, should be facing contempt proceedings?

Or has New Zealand’s second highest lawyer in the land – the Solicitor-General David Collins QC – arguably maliciously and vindictively abused his power and authority, in order to continue his on-going persecution of Vince Siemer?

If I too, am not going to equally face ‘contempt of court’ proceedings for arguably doing worse than Vince Siemer – then it must be obvious that Vince Siemer is being ‘picked on’ and unjustifiably victimised.

In my considered opinion, Judge Winkelman’s  arguably unlawful suppression order must be lifted forthwith.

Once Judge Winkelman’s  arguably unlawful suppression order is lifted, then, in my considered opinion,  all proceedings against Vince Siemer in this matter, must be dropped, including his upcoming sentencing for ‘contempt of court’.

In my considered opinion, what then needs to happen is an inquiry into the actions of the Solicitor-General against Vince Siemer; whether he has abused his power and authority;  including possible ‘Contempt of the House’, through his involvement in the decision of the former Justice and Electoral Select Committee in arriving at a decision not to ‘conduct an inquiry into the committal for imprisonment of Mr Vincent Siemer for contempt of court’ on the basis that the matter was ‘subjudice’ – at a time it was not.

http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/SC/Documents/Reports/4/b/4/48DBSCH_SCR3861_1-Petition-2005-0142-of-Penelope-Bright-and-30-others.htm

I take full personal responsibility for my actions, as a ‘whistleblower’ in this matter, and am prepared to face whatever consequences may be forthcoming.

However – I equally expect the Solicitor-General to do the same.

The first step in this process is to get the (unlawful) ‘suppression order’ of Judge Winkelmann removed.

The path for so doing was outlined in  the above-mentioned decision of Judges MacKenzie and France, where they  stated:

“[41] … It is open to persons including Mr Siemer to apply to the Court for a variation of the order, or for its removal, but until that is successfully done the order is binding.”

However – this ‘path’ has not been a clear one to follow, given that this is effectively trying to  ‘undo’  a ‘court order’  which has not itself been based upon the   clear, open, written, ‘Rule of Law’.

Arbitrary decisions by Judges, based upon ‘judicial discretion’ ie: ‘rules’ which only exist inside their heads, are arguably neither open, transparent nor accountable.

Isn’t that why we have the ‘Rule of Law’?

Wouldn’t you think that if there was anyone who should be expected to follow the ‘Rule of Law’ – it would be the Chief High Court Judge – not to mention the second- highest lawyer in the land – the Solicitor-General of New Zealand?

Today, Tuesday 19 July 2011, I will again attempt to file in the Auckland High Court, an ‘Application for Order’ to get  Judge Winkelmann’s suppression order ‘removed’.

May ‘justice be done and be seen to be done’ and the ‘Rule of Law’ upheld.

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 (APSACC) 2009 (Brisbane, Australia)

Attendee: Transparency International 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010 (Bangkok, Thailand)

Auckland Mayoral candidate 2010

Botany by-election candidate 2011

Howick Ward (Auckland Council) by-election candidate 2011

waterpressure.wordpress.com

waterpressure@gmail.com

Ph 00 64 09 846 9825

_______________________________________________________________

WHAT I WILL BE ATTEMPTING TO FILE TODAY IN THE AUCKLAND HIGH COURT:
 

IN THE HIGH COURT OF NEW ZEALAND
AUCKLAND REGISTRY                                                   CIV 2011-404-

BETWEEN               PENELOPE MARY BRIGHT

Applicant

AND                           THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Respondent


 

                         ORIGINATING APPLICATION FOR ORDER

 


Filed by Penelope M. Bright
86 A School Road
Kingsland, Auckland
Phone/Facsimile:(09) 846 9825

 

 

 

 

 

To The Registrar of the High Court at Auckland, and
To Crown Law on behalf of the respondent.

This document notifies you that –

 

Under The Judicature Act 1908 Schedule 2 High Court Rule

19.5Court may permit proceeding to be commenced by originating application

(1) The court may, in the interests of justice, permit any proceeding not mentioned in rules 19.2 to 19.4 to be commenced by originating application.

(2) The court’s permission may be sought without notice.

(3) The proposed originating application must be filed with an application for permission under this rule.

 

1.         The applicant, Penelope Mary Bright, will on __________________  2011 apply to the court for orders:

 

1.1   Revoking, lifting, or ruling as legally invalid, the alleged suppression order of Winkelmann J, which purports to prevent the New Zealand public, and the world

at large, from knowing about Her Honour’s Judgment granted that same day in

18 criminal prosecutions (CRI2007-085-7842, CRI2007-085-7843, CRI2007-085-7840, CRI2008-004-9108, CRI2008-004-20747, CRI2007-004-23065, CRI2008-004-20022, CRI2007-004-23068, CRI2007-004-23069, CRI2008-004-20748, CRI2007-004-23066, CRI2008-004-20045, CRI2007-063-4445, CRI2007-063-4441, CRI2007-054-4999, CRI2007-063-4472, CRI2008-070-1415, CRI2008-404-342), known collectively as “the Operation 8 prosecutions”.

 

 

1.2   Revoking, lifting, or ruling as legally invalid, the Minute of Winkelmann J dated 21 December 2010; to the extent that “Minute” intends to – or results in – the New Zealand public or word at large from knowing relevant facts in the prosecution or reasons for suppressing all of Her Honour’s 9 December 2010 Judgment in the Operation 8 prosecution, including such basic and important information as the fact of their indictment on charges.1

 

 

This application relies on the decision of the High Court in Solicitor-General of New Zealand v Vincent Ross Siemer  CIV-2010-404-8559 MacKenzie and Simon France JJ, 4 July 2011:

 

“[41] … It is open to persons including Mr Siemer to apply to the Court for a variation of the order, or for its removal, but until that is successfully done the order is binding.”

 

 

 

                          1.

ON THE GROUNDS:

 

2.         It has not been established in the body of the judgment that the Judge had, in fact, made such a suppression order.  The suppression wording was apparently added later by a member of the court staff.

                                                                                                                 

 

3.         There is no basis in law to suppress a court judgment resulting from a criminal prosecution.  Such judicial powers are limited to the evidence adduced, the submissions made, publication of the name of any witness or witnesses, or any name or particulars likely to lead to the identification of the witness or witnesses under s 138 of the Criminal Justice Act 1985.

 

_____________________________________________

 

1  Refer  to paragraph [1] of the Judgment of Winkelmann J dated 9 December 2010, “Operation 8 prosecutions”

 

 

4.    s 138 of the Criminal Justice Act 1985 states:

 

                                    138    Power to clear court and forbid report of proceedings

…….

 

(5)    The powers conferred by this section to make orders of any kind described in subsection (2) are in substitution for any such powers that a court may have had under any inherent jurisdiction or any rule of law; and no court shall have power to make any order of any such kind except in accordance with this section or any other enactment.

 

[Bold and emphasis added]

 

 

5.         It is a violation of natural justice to attempt to enforce a suppression order, with criminal penalties, against the public at large (i.e. not parties to the proceeding) for commenting on, or disseminating, a judgment, without the right to be heard, in a free and democratic society.

 

 

6.         Similarly, it is an unreasonable restriction on the statutory right of freedom of expression guaranteed under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 for New Zealand citizens to face prosecution and be threatened with loss of their liberty simply for disseminating or commenting on any court judgment – particularly cases pertaining to the ongoing “Operation 8 prosecutions”, which have already been the subject of significant public interest.

 

 

7.         The order is in direct conflict with the principles of open and transparent justice which have been the hallmark of an honourable and just court system in every egalitarian society, because it effectively makes the judgment secret and unavailable to public scrutiny.

 

                                          2.                    

8.         The subject suppression order violates a broader interest – that of significant public interest – and the conflict of Justice Winkelmann’s alleged suppression order against this broader public interest has been confirmed in correspondence between the Crown Prosecutor, Mr Burns, in the Operation 8 prosecutions and the High Court in which the alleged suppression order originates.

 

 

9.         It is relevant to the grounds of this application that Justice Winkelmann gave no reasons for the alleged suppression order, if indeed it was Her Honour’s order, for concealing the public court judgment from the New Zealand public and the world at large. Justice cannot ‘be done or be seen to be done’, if the judgment of ‘what was done’, and ‘why it was done’ is deliberately hidden from the public.

 

 

10.        A court “Minute” is an administrative direction of the court which is not publicly reported and can only affect actual parties to the litigation.  In law, it cannot be used to contravene the legal right of the public’s right to know, let alone be used to imprison NZ citizens.  Such Minutes are not disseminated to the public at large.  This underscores the patent injustice of such a judicial tool.If anyone should have been obliged to follow ‘lawful due process’, in order to prevent a real risk to the administration of justice, then it should have been the Judge herself. The Judge herself has a duty/ lawful obligation/ to follow ‘lawful due process’ in order to prevent a real risk to the administration of justice

 

 

11.        The risk to personal liberty against citizens of New Zealand is unacceptable, if the alleged suppression order is allowed to stand.  The threat to personal liberty is evident by the recent prosecution of the legal news website publisher Vince Siemer, who is currently facing imprisonment as a sole and direct result of publishing this public court judgment. 2

 

 

12.        As the applicant has disseminated details regarding this 9 December 2010 judgment to the public, as well as engaged in commentary regarding it, she faces potential prosecution by the State unless the court suppression order – if it is determined by this Honourable Court to be an actual order – is allowed to stand.

 

 

 

13.        If Justice Winkelmann’s court ‘order’ has not been based upon the ‘rule of law’, then the public cannot be expected to respect it.  If Judges don’t themselves follow the ‘rule of law,’ by basing their decisions upon the ‘rule of law’ – then they are not  ‘setting an example’ to citizens which either safeguards the administration of justice, or enhances public confidence in the New Zealand judiciary.

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

2 Solicitor-General v Vince Siemer  CIV2010 404 8559

 

                                                      3.                                            

 

14.        The Applicant holds that the real risk to the administration of justice stems from this court ‘order’ which has not been based on the ‘rule of law’ – but has been ‘made up’ by Justice Winkelmann, then enforced by the Solicitor-General David Collins QC, in such an discriminatory and arbitrary way as to constitute an abuse of power which cannot be justified in a free and democratic society.

 

 

 

This application is made in reliance upon the Criminal Justice Act 1985, the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, fundamental principles of natural justice; Company v Attorney-General of Trinidad and Tobago, Hogan v Hinch [2011] HCA 4, Couch v Attorney-General (No 2), Transport Accident Investigation Commission v Wellington District Court [2008] NZAR 595, the Laws of New Zealand “Criminal Procedure” citation 103,  Lewis v Wilson and Horton [2000] 3 NZLR 546(CA), Redmond-Bate v Director of Public Prosecutions 163 JP 789 [1999], Crim LR 998, 7 BHRC 375 [2000] HRLR 249; the legally balancing exercise engaged in Duff v Communicado [1996] 2 NZLR 89, Shaylor [2002] UKHL 11, [2003] 1 AC 247, The Johannesburg Principles on National Security, Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, Nov 1996, Application 22954/93: Ahmed v United Kingdom (1998) 29 EHRR 1, ECtHR, at para 7, Derbyshire County Council v Times Newspapers Ltd [1993] AC 534, Lester and Pannick- Human Rights Law and Practice (3rd edition 2009) Para 4.10.30, R v Togia HC Wellington, Clifford J, CRI-2007-485-37, Brooks v DPP [1994] 1 AC 568, 528G, T v Regional Intellectual Care Agency [2007] NZAR 643, [1996] 3 S.C.R 480; equity and good conscience and the inherent jurisdiction of the Court to maintain the rule of law and protect its processes.

 

 

___________________________________                                                                                                          

Penelope Mary Bright

(aka Penny Bright)

 

 

Cc: Rodney Harrison QC, on behalf of the Operation 8 defendants

 

Mr Ross Burns, Meredith Connell, prosecutor in the Operation 8 trial

                                                                 
________________________________________________________

IN THE HIGH COURT OF NEW ZEALAND
AUCKLAND REGISTRY                                                   CIV 2011-404-

BETWEEN               PENELOPE MARY BRIGHT

Applicant

AND                           THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Respondent


 

            INTERLOCUTORY APPLICATION FOR PERMISSION TO FILE AN                                       

ORIGINATING APPLICATION FOR ORDER

 


Filed by Penelope M. Bright
86 A School Road
Kingsland, Auckland
Phone/Facsimile:(09) 846 9825

 

 

 

 

 

 

To The Registrar of the High Court at Auckland, and
To Crown Law on behalf of the respondent.

 

Under The Judicature Act 1908 Schedule 2 High Court Rule

19.5Court may permit proceeding to be commenced by originating application

(1) The court may, in the interests of justice, permit any proceeding not mentioned in rules 19.2 to 19.4 to be commenced by originating application.

(2) The court’s permission may be sought without notice.

(3) The proposed originating application must be filed with an application for permission under this rule.

 

 

 

May it Please the Court,

 

It is not clear, how exactly to commence an ‘Originating Application’ for an ‘Order’ of this type.

 

However, having been assisted by the Registrar’s direction to the above-mentioned High Court Rule 19.6 of The Judicature Act 1908 Schedule 2,             I,    The Applicant, Penelope Mary Bright, hereby seek permission, without notice,     on  ___________________________ 2011 to file the attached

‘Originating Application for Order’.

 

 

 

___________________________________                                                                                                                

Penelope Mary Bright

(aka Penny Bright)

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July 19, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Fighting corruption internationally, Human rights, Internationally significant information | Leave a comment

PRESS RELEASE: SUE HENRY SPOKESPERSON HOUSING LOBBY :“The Housing Lobby supports the Labour Party’s proposed Capital Gains Tax”.

PRESS RELEASE: SUE HENRY SPOKESPERSON HOUSING LOBBY

“The Housing Lobby supports the Labour Party’s proposed Capital Gains Tax”.

  6 July 2011

“ I believe that there is massive public support for Labour’s proposed Capital Gains Tax,” says Sue Henry, Spokesperson for the   Housing Lobby.

“The speculative market has falsely over-inflated property values for years shifting out house buyers and pushing up rents.”

“There is no benefit to New Zealand when the taxpayer subsidised capital gain on multiple properties goes off shore, in most cases,  with foreign overseas investors.”

“It was disturbing to see advertisements in newspapers from a variety of Asian countries promoting New Zealand as a ‘gold mine’ from which to make a quick, tax-free profit, with NO stamp duty, NO capital gains, and NO limits on foreign property investment.”

“It’s about time the party was over for these greedy property speculators.”

 It’s long overdue for the ‘taboo’ to be lifted on this issue.

“The Housing Lobby fully supports the introduction of a capital gains tax with an exemption on the family home,” concluded      Ms Henry.

Sue Henry

Spokesperson

Housing Lobby

Ph (09) 575 6344

 

July 6, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Human rights, Internationally significant information | Leave a comment

PRESS RELEASE: Sue Henry Housing Lobby Spokesperson: ” Leave vulnerable elderly State Housing tenants alone!”

27 June 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Sue Henry Housing Lobby Spokesperson:

” Leave vulnerable elderly State Housing tenants alone!”

“After Housing Minister Phil Heatley’s confirmation on TVNZ’s “Q & A” programme (Sunday 26 June 2011) that National intend to break their promises to State Housing tenants, and dismantle and privatise State Housing stock – there are further issues that need clarification”, says Sue Henry Housing Lobby Spokesperson.

tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/phil-heatley-interview-transcript-4262392

“The majority of State Housing tenants receiving the Income Related Rent Subsidy (IRRS), each year, have to fully disclose all forms of income, and supply evidential statements from the appropriate departments, for an annual review by Housing New Zealand.

So, technically, an ‘annual review’ for those State Housing tenants receiving the IRRS is already in place.

Those paying market rents do not have to disclose their income details because they are not applying for the Income Related Rent Subsidy (IRRS).

_________________________________________________________________________________

“PHIL [HEATLEY – MINISTER OF HOUSING:]

Well, the interesting thing is that those people paying a full rent – we don’t know anything about them.

We don’t know if they’ve got investment properties.

We don’t know if they’ve got significant assets, own businesses.

Because they pay a full rent, we historically have not asked them those questions.”

_________________________________________________________________________________

“Annually those paying market rents will simply get a statement from Housing New Zealand of their rent increase for the following year,” explained Sue Henry.

“The Minister also said surplus houses would be handed over to charities ie: third sector organisations like the Salvation Army:

__________________________________________________________________________________

GUYON The other big aspect of this is strengthening this third-party sector, if you like, the non-governmental organisations – the Salvation Army, for example – and letting them take over a core amount of social housing.

You originally talked to of perhaps 20% of the Housing New Zealand houses going into that charity sector, if you like. Is that still your thinking?

PHIL Look, I just have to correct you there. We had an independent review team that actually were from-

GUYON They recommended the 20% figure?

PHIL And they recommended the 20%.

We don’t envisage that many surplus state houses being passed over.

What we’re doing is looking at how we can boost the community-housing sector because, actually, they’re key here.

What we’re saying is as a government is, ‘Look, we can’t house all these people alone.’

We want to focus on those most in need, so what were going to do is pass cash, some surplus state houses and also surplus Crown land to these housing organisations across New Zealand and say to them,

‘Look, use these assets to house a lot of these people on the housing continuum that probably aren’t desperate enough to have a state house, but can’t quite go into private rental or ownership.’ “

____________________________________________________________________________________

There are NO surplus State houses,” states Sue Henry.

“There is a shortage.

In 1998 there were 8691 on the State Housing waiting list even after National sold off 13,000 houses as ‘surplus to requirements’.

(www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Debates/Debates/Daily/2/e/4/48HansD_20071108-Volume-643-Week-60-Thursday-8-November-2007.htm )

The State Housing stock should NOT be sold off – ie: PRIVATISED, whether to supposedly ‘not-for-profit’ charities, or NGOs, or to the ‘for profit’ private sector.”

“With there no longer being tenure protection for the elderly this new policy puts them at risk.

The elderly and widows including those in Council pensioner units that Housing New Zealand took over should not be subjected to harassment and intimidation as they have been under previous National Governments.

The elderly should not be subjected to unnecessary change, and unstability.

Older citizens should feel secure in their homes, able to live out whatever life they have left in ‘peace and quiet enjoyment’.

This includes retired servicemen and widows, (World War 2 veterans) who were told that their State houses were permanent dwellings for the rest of their natural lives.

The Housing Minister Phil Heatley is acting in a very callous manner, and has no business trying to shift the housing ‘goal posts’ for these vulnerable elderly people in their twilight years,” concluded Sue Henry.

Sue Henry Spokesperson

Housing Lobby

Ph (09) 575 6344

____________________________________________________________

BACKGROUNDER: tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/phil-heatley-interview-transcript-4262392

PAUL The government’s being deciding some fundamental questions about state housing – who’s eligible for a state house, how long for, and even who should provide that state house.

And there are some big changes coming to the government’s $15 billion worth of social housing. As Q+A revealed last year, the state house for life is a thing of the past.

To find out exactly what is intended, political editor Guyon Espiner is with Housing Minister Phil Heatley.

GUYON Thanks, Paul, and thank you, Minister, for joining us. We appreciate your time.

From July, you are effectively going to take 4500 people off the waiting list – people who are categorised C and D – in other words, they have lower housing needs than the urgent A and B category. What circumstances are the people in that you are going to remove from the waiting list?

PHIL HEATLEY – Housing Minister Well, there’ll still the categories, the waiting list – the A, B, C and D categories – so A and B are the most serious and severe housing need; C and D is much less need – they’re already in accommodation and are just simply wanting a state house.

But what we’re going to do – keep the A, B, C and D, but only the As and Bs will be going into state houses, so essentially they’re on the state-housing waiting list.

The Cs and Ds will be on a housing-needs register. They may very well in time qualify for a state house and move to an A or B category if their situation becomes severe, but they will move into other accommodation or remain where they are.

GUYON So what sort of income threshold are we talking about? Do you do that? Do you categorise by income?

PHIL Oh, correct.

GUYON I’m trying to get a sense of- for us to judge whether this is fair or not. I guess we need to know what are the circumstances that a person who is in a C or D category is actually in?

What level of income? What are their circumstances generally?

PHIL Well, broadly speaking, the A, B, C and D categories won’t change at all.

It’s just that the As and Bs are more serious housing need, so what we do is we look at income, we look at the number of children in the household, the size of household that they need, we look at unique aspects to the family – there might be disability, mental-health issues, perhaps they’re elderly, perhaps they’re on a benefit.

So we look at income, yes, but there’s a wide range of matters that we consider.

GUYON Because it begs the question why they would then be lining up for a state house.

I mean, surely they believe that they have a need to go into a state house, or else they wouldn’t be queuing up.

PHIL Well, this is the big change that every government over the generations – Labour, National, Labour, then National – what they’ve done is they’ve said anyone can apply for a state house.

You can be on $200,000 a year and apply for a state house, so there’s people on the waiting list now who will never get a state house, cos their incomes are very high.

They know it, they’ve been told it, but they’re allowed to apply. What we’re saying is, yes, you can still put your name down for a housing-needs register, but only those who are A and B categories – that’s serious housing need, significant housing need – will be able to get a state house.

So what we’re doing is we’re saying that the state houses that the state provides are for those who have genuine need.

GUYON And what happens to those people who no longer qualify, who are ineligible for a Housing New Zealand house, when they go to your register of accommodation? Will they get income-related rents in those other houses?

PHIL Well, as I say, they’ve always been able to do it, and they’ll continue to be able to go on a housing register, but now we’re giving them certainty.

They understand that it’s not a state house they’re going to get.

What we’ll be doing is working with them through the Options and Advice service to source some housing if they haven’t already got it, and most of them have housing in the private sector where they’ve got their accommodation supplement.

GUYON Right, so they won’t have income-related rents, where you only have 25% of your income at a maximum.

PHIL Correct.

GUYON So they will be worse off, won’t they?

PHIL Well, at the moment, as I say, they’re not in a state house.

They’re categorised as a C and D under the current system, which has been going for decades.

They could never expect to get a state house.

Now we’re saying to them, ‘Look, you’re not going to get a state house. We are happy to help you get housing in the private sector, and you could get the accommodation supplement with that, or you could move into the community-housing sector,’ and this is why we’re putting so much capital into the community-housing sector.

GUYON And I want to talk about that a bit later, but are you talking about rolling this policy out for existing tenants if you win the election?

PHIL Correct.

So at the moment what we’re saying is that from the 1st of July, any new tenant enrolling with Housing New Zealand will go on the waiting list.

If they’ve got significant housing need, they’ll be categorised as an A or B tenant, and then they could possible- will get a state house.

They qualify for a state house, and so they’ll move through the system.

Those who are C and D applicants will go to the Options and Advice service, and they will be looked at being placed in the private sector, perhaps with a government subsidy or into the community-housing sector.

GUYON But if you roll this out for existing tenants, then you’re effectively talking about booting people out of state houses who you don’t think have a serious enough need.

PHIL Well, yes, and the second step. So the first step is for any new tenant from the 1st of July this year.

After the election if we’re re-elected, we’re going to be rolling this out for current tenants.

And what we’ll be doing is essentially saying to all current tenants that you will go on to a reviewable tenancy meeting, that you’ll no longer have your state house for life, you’ll be reviewed after three years, except, I must say, we’re not doing it for current tenants who are elderly, so those who are on the pension, and we’re not doing it for current tenants who are disabled, because their circumstances won’t be changing.

GUYON So how many Cs and Ds, effectively, are there in the 70,000 state houses?

PHIL Oh, well, we think- Well, currently, there’s about 4000 to 5000 state-house tenants at the moment who pay a full rent, meaning they could actually be renting from the private landlord next door, and yet they’re in a state house, and we don’t think that’s right. So those particular people will be- obviously go into reviewable tenancy, and they’ll go through that process.

GUYON So I repeat the question – how many people are you looking at moving?

I mean, how many people are there who you don’t think should be in a state house? Just 5000?

There must be significantly more than that.

PHIL Well, the interesting thing is that those people paying a full rent – we don’t know anything about them. We don’t know if they’ve got investment properties.

We don’t know if they’ve got significant assets, own businesses.

Because they pay a full rent, we historically have not asked them those questions.

What we’re going to need to do is from 1st July next year if we’re the government is go through and have a conversation with those tenants and say to them, ‘Actually, can you afford to rent privately, because we need the state house for someone desperately needy on the waiting list.’

And, yes, there could be many many people who end up moving out of the state houses. I

n fact, we expect that will be the case, and we’re going to have to work with them over a period of time.

GUYON So you’re going to have some messy situations here, though, aren’t you, because there is going to be some people who simply don’t want to move. Housing New Zealand spent the thick end of $850,000 trying to evict some people from Pomare. I mean, if some just don’t want to go, how are you going to move them on?

PHIL Well, the interesting thing is that the current law allows us to move people out of state houses.

It’s just it’s always been government policy that you don’t do that.

And, I guess, ultimately it’s for New Zealanders to judge. If you’ve got someone in a state house who’s earning $80,000 a year and someone on the waiting list who’s only on $15,000 a year, they’ve got three kids, they’re trying to raise them by themselves, quite simply, as Housing Minister, I’m comfortable with saying to the person in the state house who’s relatively wealthy, ‘Move on. Go into the private sector. I need to house this poor person.’

GUYON You might or might not win that argument, but how do you actually do it?

PHIL Well, we do it by working with the people. Essentially, Housing New Zealand will need to front those people who are on high incomes in state houses, say to them, ‘Look, you’re on a reviewable tenancy.

Tell us more about your situation. Can we help you into other home- housing situations?

Renting in the private sector, purchasing, perhaps moving into community housing.’

In either case, we’re going to have to work with them. It’s not going to be rocking up at day one, and I’d imagine that we’ll be working with them, and Housing New Zealand say they’ll be working with them over a period of six to 12 months.

GUYON Have you looked at this reviewable tenancy in Australia?

PHIL Yes, we have, and there’s a number of reviewable-tenancy type sort of scenarios in Australia. Sometimes they put people on to fixed-term tenancy, like three or five or 10 years.

GUYON It hasn’t been very successful, has it, because I read a review by Heriot-Watt University – a review was done on this – and they said that 1% of 3500 reviewable tenancies – in only 1% of cases, people moved on. And they’ve had since 2006, so people aren’t moving on in Australia.

PHIL Yes, but the difference- GUYON Is that your reading of their system?

PHIL Yes, except the difference in Australia in that in the first instance and over the decades, Australians have been much tougher in determining who moved into public housing in the first place.

In New Zealand, as I say, anyone has been able to rock up and put their name on the waiting list, and therefore we’ve got hundreds and thousands of families who moved into a state house 20 years ago, their four kids have left home, they’re by themselves, rattling round in a four-bedroom house.

And, quite frankly, when there’s desperate people on the waiting list, we can’t afford to have that.

GUYON Sure, but one of the points that was raised in the Australian experience is incentive.

Now, if you’re in a state house and you know someone’s going to review your tenancy, there is a temptation, perhaps, to refuse opportunity or to not earn that extra income, because you may think, ‘Well, I’ll lose my house if I take this job or I earn more money.’

PHIL And that’s something we’ll have to deal with over time, but when we-

GUYON Well, how do you deal with that? Because you create the incentive to stay there, don’t you?

PHIL Yes, and that’s correct. And one of the things that Housing New Zealand and the Department of Building and Housing are now looking very closely at is actually what incentives can we put in place to encourage people to move out of their state house?

GUYON What are they?

PHIL Well, for example, you can get involved in shifting expenses.

You can give assurances to the new private landlord that this tenant is of good character and that if it doesn’t work out over a period of, say, six months, that we’ll actually find another replacement tenant so that landlords have got continuity of tenancy.

And we can look at issues around bonds.

There’s a lot of tools we can use to encourage people to move on. But, ultimately, if someone shouldn’t be in a state house, they need to move on. Housing New Zealand will make that call because we have to house the people in state housing who are in the most desperate need.

GUYON I understand that. I wonder, though, what the social impacts of this will be.

I mean, if you are in a community where people are moving on every three years, it’s not a long time. I mean, people like to lay down roots and form a community and form bonds in a community, don’t they?

And you’ve got children in school, perhaps. I just wonder what sort of social impact you’ll have if you’re churning people through. Are you worried about that?

PHIL Well, it is a concern to us because we know that families, you know, have got a kiddie at the local school, they go to the local doctor and, as you say, they’ve got roots in the community.

But I think it’s important to note that because what we’re saying is that new tenancies- tenants coming into state housing will be, you know- are those who are most in need, we wouldn’t imagine that their situation changes, you know, hugely over time.

Certainly over a period of five or 10 years, we would expect them to improve their circumstances.

In fact, that’s what we want for them, but the reality is that most won’t. And what we’re dealing with around the edges here are those current tenants who have been in state houses for sometimes 20, 30, and I can tell you there’s some who have been in there for 40 years, whose circumstances have changed immensely, and they really shouldn’t be in a state house.

GUYON So would you imagine a lot of people will get rollover tenancies and contracts – that they’ll be there for three years, then that’ll get rolled over?

PHIL There’ll be a lot like that and particularly the elderly.

I mean, their circumstances won’t change, and we’re giving them those assurances that – the seriously disabled – we’re giving them assurances that, ‘Look, when we review you, it’ll just be a desktop review.

We won’t be knocking on your door, because we understand you’re on the pension.’

GUYON So they will actually be reviewed?

PHIL Oh, yes, no, what we’re doing- what we’re saying is that everyone will go on a reviewable tenancy in three years, but the disabled and, of course, the elderly, who we know their circumstances are highly unlikely to have changed unless they’ve won Lotto or something, essentially what we’d be doing is just doing a desktop review, not troubling them, and then that will just roll over.

GUYON The other big aspect of this is strengthening this third-party sector, if you like, the non-governmental organisations – the Salvation Army, for example – and letting them take over a core amount of social housing. You originally talked to of perhaps 20% of the Housing New Zealand houses going into that charity sector, if you like. Is that still your thinking?

PHIL Look, I just have to correct you there. We had an independent review team that actually were from-

GUYON They recommended the 20% figure?

PHIL And they recommended the 20%. We don’t envisage that many surplus state houses being passed over. What we’re doing is looking at how we can boost the community-housing sector because, actually, they’re key here. What we’re saying is as a government is, ‘Look, we can’t house all these people alone.’

We want to focus on those most in need, so what were going to do is pass cash, some surplus state houses and also surplus Crown land to these housing organisations across New Zealand and say to them,

‘Look, use these assets to house a lot of these people on the housing continuum that probably aren’t desperate enough to have a state house, but can’t quite go into private rental or ownership.’

And they’re saying that they’re willing to do that, and they’re quite enthusiastic about it.

GUYON OK, just a minute or so to go. I do want to ask you about state housing in Christchurch.

How many Housing New Zealand state houses were there in that red zone of 5100 who were going to get- basically have to abandon their land.

PHIL Yeah, well, people forget, of course. We’ve got 6000 state houses in Canterbury.

There’s about 182 in the red zone. Just under half of those are still tenanted, and then we’ve got about 280 in the orange zone. So there’s a significant amount of state houses down there, and we’re obviously having to have a conversation with our tenants about them being relocated.

GUYON And can we handle that? Have we got housing problems as a result of this?

PHIL Well, to date, Housing New Zealand have managed their tenancies down there – as I say, there’s 6000 of them – very very well, and we envisage that because of the long time frame that we’ve got, that we’re signalling in order to move people out and into alternative housing, which, again, could be other state houses outside the red zone, they’ll do that work. We’re pretty confident that we’re able to do that.

GUYON And you had temporary housing, like even caravans, etc, in Christchurch.

PHIL Yes.

GUYON I mean, have they been necessary? Are people using those?

PHIL Well, we invested in leasing a bunch of campervans – about 350 at first – and we’re phasing those out. They’ll all disappear in August because they’re needed for the World Cup. Very little usage.

We’ve been stunned, actually, about how people have self-helped, but what we knew at the time when the earthquakes had just happened is that we didn’t want people sleeping in the streets and in the bushes, in the parks, and we got those campervans.

They were there as a contingency, haven’t been taken up, but we’re still pleased we made that choice.

GUYON All right, that’s about all we’ve got time for, but, Minister, thanks very much for joining us. We appreciate your time.

PHIL My pleasure.

June 27, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Human rights | Leave a comment

PRESS RELEASE: Sue Henry Spokesperson Housing Lobby: “STOP PRIVATISATION OF STATE HOUSING ASSETS!”

25 June 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Response from Sue Henry Spokesperson Housing Lobby:

“STOP PRIVATISATION OF STATE HOUSING ASSETS!”

www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10734409

“Thousands to come off housing list” By Simon Collins Saturday Jun 25, 2011 ________________________________________________________________

“With the continuation of Auckland’s serious housing crisis and families still languishing in sheds, garages and overcrowded and sub-standard accommodation, including those left homeless in Christchurch – the last thing any decent Government should be doing is privatising the state housing stock, using charities such as the Salvation Army and ‘trusts’ in a mixed economy to do it,” says Sue Henry, Spokesperson for the Housing Lobby.

“It is totally unacceptable to have Government policies in the 21st century that create instability, transience and homelessness.

There are several other aspects that are very concerning:

The ‘housing crisis’ will not be fixed by taking people off the waiting list.

Prime Minister John Key promised that there would be no asset sales in this first term of government.

This is what John Key promised on 14 April 2008:

www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0804/S00195.htm

“Transcript: Agenda IV’s John Key Monday, 14 April 2008, 10:57 am

Article: Agenda

GUYON Alright you rightly point out it was sold by the National government in 1998 now that brings us to this position. What is your position now as a National Party on state asset sales?

JOHN Well National’s had some time to reflect on that and the position that we’ve decided to have is the following one. That in the first term of the National government there will be no state assets that will be sold either partially or fully.

GUYON So no state assets, you’re completely firm on that?

JOHN That’s right.”

________________________________________________________________

“But Housing Minister Phil Heatley has said ‘some iwi groups wanted to take over managing state houses rather than buying them, but the Government wanted to sell them.’

Prime Minister John Key is breaking this promise.

The proposed sale of any state housing stock must cease forthwith.”

Housing Lobby Spokesperson Sue Henry drew attention to what Prime Minister John Key had stated on 12 March 2007 – that he didn’t ‘ favour a move back to market-related rents.

www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10428292

Before the 2008 election, National’s stated policy on housing, as declared by Phil Heatley on 22 July 2008, included the following:

National Party promised to keep at least the existing number of state houses if it wins this year’s election.

National would not sell state houses to outside investors, as it did in the 1990s, and would use the proceeds of sales to tenants to buy or lease new state houses.

“We won’t be running down the state housing stock. We acknowledge that we need it.”

Mr Heatley said the party would now keep Labour’s policy of fixing state house rents at only 25 per cent of the tenants’ incomes except for tenants on high incomes.

www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10522930

“This will be yet another broken promise,” says Ms Henry.

“Why then would the ‘social housing unit’ (which should also be scrapped forthwith because it has no public mandate), be asked to ‘propose a new system of subsidising housing costs to replace the income-related rent subsidy for state houses?,” she continued.

[He [Housing Minister Phil Heatley] told the Weekend Herald that the new social housing unit, due to start in the Department of Building and Housing on July 1, would be asked to propose a new system of subsidising housing costs to replace the current income-related rents for state houses and accommodation supplement for the private sector within the next six to 12 months.’]

“This is ludicrous.

The Income Related Rent Subsidy (IRRS) works extremely well for tenants trying to manage on a low income. The system is not broken. It doesn’t need to be tampered with by vested interests,” concluded Ms Henry.

Sue Henry Spokesperson Housing Lobby

Ph (09) 575 6344

June 25, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Human rights | Leave a comment

Does John Key stand to personally profit from open-cast coal mining in NZ?

www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5171922/Pike-River-mine-would-be-illegal-in-Australia-Key

Pike River mine ‘would be illegal in Australia’ – Key

KATE CHAPMAN LATEST:

Prime Minister John Key has defended his claims that the Pike River coal mine would be illegal in Australia.

The comment has sparked a backlash from Labour leader Phil Goff who has described it as ”an unbelievable about-face”.

The Australian newspaper reported that Key had yesterday “vowed that there would be changes to mining safety laws”.

He told the newspaper the Pike River mine, which was a single-entry uphill mine, “couldn’t have been constructed in Australia” because it would have been “illegal”.

“There will be changes in New Zealand,” Key said.

This afternoon, Key said there was a difference between construction and safety standards.

The way the mine was consented in New Zealand was probably legal here but that was for the Royal Commission of Inquiry to decide.

“It’s quite true that from a construction perspective that mine would not be consented in Australia and was consented in New Zealand. From a safety standard perspective that’s a matter for the Royal Commission to tell us.”

Key said to the best of his knowledge mines here were as safe as those in Australia.

The EPMU has said the law should be changed now if New Zealand mines were not as safe as they could be. Key said there were no current applications for consent for mines.

“We did do a review of mines in the end the Royal Commission will come back.”

In his interview with the Australian, Key repeated comments to New Zealand media that a full response on mining safety would have to wait until the conclusion of the Royal Commission into the Pike River mine disaster, which killed 29 men in November last year.

But, in an apparent departure from his comments at the time of the disaster, Key conceded that the mine could not have been operational in Australia.

In November last year, however, he said:

“I have no reason to believe that New Zealand safety standards are any less than Australia’s.”

Key has this afternoon landed in Wellington after a short trip to Canberra and Sydney. He will face questions over the comments when Parliament sits this afternoon.

Already, Goff has said the “sudden change in his position” is “quite incredible”. “Just a month ago he publicly condemned a union representative for questioning safety at the mine, accusing her of being ‘churlish and insensitive’,”

Goff said. “He also said it was ‘dangerous’ to raise concerns about safety issues when the Royal Commission of Inquiry was still under way.

Yet he is now making similar claims himself while the Commission is still under way.

” If there was any new evidence about serious safety issues in New Zealand’s mines, there should be immediate action to address those concerns, Goff said.

The Royal Commission is currently receiving written submissions and open hearings will recommence in July. ____________________________________________________________

Seen the Sunday Programme on Pike River Mine?

tvnz.co.nz/sunday-news/disturbing-questions-pike-river-mine-part-1-15-04-video-4222074

tvnz.co.nz/sunday-news/disturbing-questions-pike-river-mine-part-2-8-34-video-4222107

Hmmmm…….. seems the Pike River Mine ‘whistleblower’ was correct about safety concerns

– what else …………….?

www.scribd.com/doc/47745564/Murder-at-Pike-River-Mine-SECOND-EDITION-With-Postscript

Check out Chapter 9, pg 38,

“SECRET PLAN TO OPEN UP PARKS TO OPEN CAST MINING: BATHURST RESOURCES & L&M COAL”

Check out Bathurst Resources Ltd, the company which is currently applying for a resource consent for open-cast coal mining in Buller:

See ‘Resource Consent Process’ 7 June 2011

“Buller Coal Resource Consent Application Public Hearing Commences”

www.bathurstresources.com/Investor-Information/Announcements/2011-ASX-Announcements

Who is a substantial shareholder in Bathurst Resources Ltd?

See April 29 2011 ‘Changes in substantial ownership’

The Bank of America has voting power of 7.50% in Bathurst Resources Ltd.

Remember? John Key is a shareholder in the Bank of America.

www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/MPP/MPs/FinInterests/8/c/3/00CLOOCMPPFinInterests20101-Register-of-Pecuniary-Interests-of-Members.htm          (See pg 36)

So – would John Key stand to personally profit from open cast coal-mining in the West Coast, given his shareholding in the Bank of America?

Penny Bright

waterpressure.wordpress.com

June 21, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Fighting corruption internationally, Internationally significant information | Leave a comment

NZ JUDICIAL CORRUPTION AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS? What EXACTLY did Vince Siemer say about Michael Stiassny that was ‘anti-semitic’ or constituted ‘vile racist abuse’? SUPREME COURT JUDGMENT 3 June 2011 (SC 49/2011) [2011] NZSC 63

20 June 2011

NZ JUDICIAL CORRUPTION AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS?

What EXACTLY did Vince Siemer say about Michael Stiassny that was ‘anti-semitic’ or constituted ‘vile racist abuse’?

SUPREME COURT JUDGMENT 3 June 2011 (SC 49/2011) [2011] NZSC 63

On 23 December 2008, Cooper J delivered his judgment  awarding the first respondent, Michael Peter Stiassny, defamation damages against Vincent Ross Siemer,  totalling $825,000 and the second respondent, Korda Mentha, damages of $95,000 ($75,000 for defamation and $20,000 for breach of an agreement settling a dispute between the parties).

This was the highest ever defamation award in New Zealand.

(Korda Mentha v Siemer HC Auckland CIV-2005-404-1808, 23 December 2008. )

“An unusual feature of the case is that Mr Siemer had been debarred from defending the proceedings.”

Whatever  happened to ‘Justice 101’?

That there are always at least TWO sides to the story, and in order to get a ‘fair trial’ you are supposed to be able to defend yourself?

Vince Siemer appealed to the Court of Appeal against J Cooper’s decision, and lost.

(Siemer v Stiassny [2011] NZCA 106. )

He then sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, but his application was dismissed.

((SC 49/2011) [2011] NZSC 63  3 June 2011 )

The judgment of Cooper J  accused Vince Siemer of engaging in “vile racist abuse”;

Subsequently, a  comment was made by the Court of Appeal that its attention had not been drawn to a worse case of defamation in the British Commonwealth and that its own researches had not disclosed one.

(Following comments from Steven Price Media Law Journal on these matters)

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

www.medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=452

That’s pretty heavy stuff!

Vince Siemer was denied his day in Court to defend himself at the defamation hearing at which he got the highest ever defamation award against him and he  has been denied leave to appeal to the Supreme Court about the accuracy of the comments upon which the defamation award was based.

So what EXACT ‘defamatory’ statements made by Vince Siemer about Michael Stiassny were relied upon by Judge Cooper from the High Court;  Judges Arnold, Glazebrook and Hammond from the Court of Appeal; and Judges Blanchard, Tipping and William Young from the Supreme Court as being:

a) ‘anti-semetic’?

b) constituting ‘vile racist abuse’?

c) constituting ‘poking racist jibes’?
I, for one, have studied the following

SUPREME COURT JUDGMENT 3 June 2011 (SC 49/2011) [2011] NZSC 63

and have found nothing that Vince Siemer has stated about Michael Stiassny , which, in my considered opinion is ‘anti-semetic’, or constitutes ‘vile racist abuse’ or  ‘poking racist jibes’.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

YOU BE THE JUDGE!

_______________________________________________________________

www.courtsofnz.govt.nz/from/decisions/judgments

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW ZEALAND SC 49/2011 [2011] NZSC 63 BETWEEN VINCENT ROSS SIEMER

Applicant

AND MICHAEL PETER STIASSNY

First Respondent

AND KORDA MENTHA FORMERLY FERRIER HODGSON

Second Respondent

Court: Blanchard, Tipping and William Young JJ

Counsel: Applicant in person

J G Miles QC and P J L Hunt for Respondents

Judgment: 3 June 2011 ________________________________________________________________       JUDGMENT OF THE COURT ________________________________________________________________

The application for leave to appeal is dismissed.

REASONS

[1]     Vincent Ross Siemer seeks leave to appeal against a judgment of the Court of Appeal of 30 March 2011 (1) dismissing his challenge to a judgment of Cooper J delivered on 23 December 2008 awarding the first respondent, Michael Peter Stiassny, defamation damages totalling $825,000 and the second respondent, Korda Mentha, damages of $95,000 ($75,000 for defamation and $20,000 for breach of an agreement settling a dispute between the parties).(2)

______________________________________________________________

(1)  Siemer v Stiassny [2011] NZCA 106.

(2) Korda Mentha v Siemer HC Auckland CIV-2005-404-1808, 23 December 2008.

_____________________________________________________________

[2] An unusual feature of the case is that Mr Siemer had been debarred from defending the proceedings.(3) For this and other reasons, his appeal gave rise to a number of procedural difficulties. These were addressed in a judgment of the Court of Appeal of 22 December 2009,(4) the effect of which was to strike out the appeal in all respects save as to the quantum of damages.(5) A subsequent application for leave to appeal against that decision was dismissed by this Court.(6)

[3] Most of the bases upon which the applicant seeks leave to appeal involve attempts by him to revisit arguments which have been conclusively rejected by earlier judgments and which we therefore need not discuss. These include complaints about Hammond J which have been earlier addressed and rejected by this Court.

This leaves in contention three possible issues which we will briefly discuss:

(a) Mr Siemer‟s complaint that the judgment of Cooper J wrongly accused him of engaging in “vile racist abuse”;

(b) a comment made by the Court of Appeal that its attention had not been drawn to a worse case of defamation in the British Commonwealth and that its own researches had not disclosed one; and

(c) complaints about the way Mr Siemer was treated in the course of a hearing before the Court of Appeal.

[4] In the part of his judgment where he was reviewing the case for Mr Stiassny, Cooper J observed:

[48] [Mr Stiassny] complained also that some of the language used by Mr Siemer had apparently been calculated to be offensive to him and caused distress. Examples that he gave included ridicule of his name. Mr Siemer had distributed stickers saying “There is an “ass‟ in our website “www.stiassny.org”. Also there had been references to his Jewish religion and to the persecution of the Jews. Thus, in his letter to the New Zealand

______________________________________________________________

(3) Ferrier Hodgson v Siemer HC Auckland CIV-2005-404-1808, 9 July 2007.   The procedural history is outlined in the judgment under appeal at [10]–[18].

(4) Siemer v Stiassny [2009] NZCA 624.

(5) See [69].

(6)  Siemer v Stiassny[2010] NZSC 57.

________________________________________________________________

Institute of Chartered Accountants of 14 February 2005

Mr Siemer had written:

News Flash! Michael Stiassny tells Professional Conduct Committee that sky is yellow … again, the sky is yellow.

[49] Further, on http://www.stiassny.org, on the “interviews page” Mr Siemer had referred to him 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 …”.

[50] On a page headed “the Smartest Guy in the Room”, Mr Siemer had stated: Stiassny will likely have taken his family and ill-gotten gains to exile in Israel or Switzerland.

[51] On the welcome page, Mr Siemer had referred to Mr Stiassny in the phrase: … what a good Jew he is (no joke).

(Emphasis added)

Toward the end of his judgment, Cooper J, in what must have been a reference back the paragraphs just set out, said that “the defamatory comments have been accompanied in some cases by clear instances of vile racist abuse”.(7)

[5] As we understand Mr Siemer‟s position, the words referred to by Cooper J at [49] which we have italicised appeared in a different “article” (if that is the right word)(8) from the reference to Mr Stiassny‟s “exceptional sway within the small Jewish community”.

He claims that his references to Mr Stiassny being Jewish are innocuous and that there was thus no basis for the Judge to find that he had engaged in “vile racist abuse”.

[6] Mr Siemer‟s argument was dealt with by the Court of Appeal in this way:

[69] A second matter is that Mr Siemer takes strong exception to the way in which he was characterised by the Judge as having made “vile racial attacks” on Mr Siemer.

In his brief written submissions he said, “It is evidence Cooper J fabricated vile racist evidence because the anti-Semitic quote he created is a combination of words he took from different articles and juxtaposed into an unrepresentative quote”. Before us, he enlarged on

_____________________________________________________________

(7)  At [78].

(8) From the material Mr Siemer has submitted the words were contained in what purported to be an interview with Mr Siemer.

_____________________________________________________________

this:he suggested that the Judge had taken “Hitler”, “Gestapo” and “Jew” out of discrete publications and rolled them all up, out of context, into a “quote” that he attributed to the appellant. In fairness to the Judge, the “quote” had been put in that manner by the plaintiffs in their submissions.

[70] We accept that the words Cooper J set out were taken from different articles and that intervening passages were omitted. However, we understand that the articles in question ran continuously on, one from another article on the website.  It must also be said that Mr Siemer was, at the very least, sailing very close indeed to the wind. It was hardly unreasonable for the Judge to reach the view that, however expressed, Mr Siemer was poking racial gibes at Mr Stiassny. And, as the trier of fact, that inference was a matter for the Judge. Certainly it was a matter that he was entitled to take into account, although the precise weight to be given to it has to be seen – as indeed the Judge did – in the larger context. Mr Siemer‟s problem was that he had “personalised” the attacks he was making in the basest kind of way, quite deliberately, and on an ongoing basis. That was what the Judge appears to have been concerned about.

[7] It is not clear to us what Cooper J intended to convey in [49] by his references to “the Gestapo” and “people like Adolph[sic] Hitler”. In the context of the “interview” provided to us by Mr Siemer, these expressions were used by way of criticism of the courts‟ willingness to grant injunctive relief to protect the reputation of someone who was “powerful, ruthlessly aggressive and dodgy in his public dealings”, as Mr Siemer characterised Mr Stiassny. They thus do not have any apparent anti-Semitic connotation. This point was recognised by the Court of Appeal. The Court was nonetheless of the view that it was open to the Judge to conclude on the basis of the material as a whole that Mr Siemer was “poking racial gibes” at Mr Stiassny. In light of this, and in the more general context of the way the Court described Mr Siemer‟s behaviour in the last two sentences of [70], we do not see anything of substantial moment in this proposed appeal point.

[8] On the second question, it is clear that the egregiousness of Mr Siemer‟s conduct lay not so much in the detail of his allegations against Mr Stiassny which, while serious enough, must have been surpassed, in terms of sting, in other cases. Rather, it lay in the unusually broad scope and harassing nature of Mr Siemer‟s campaign against Mr Stiassny and his persistence in defiance of court orders.        We have not ourselves surveyed Commonwealth jurisprudence in search of a case which is worse in the respects just mentioned, but interestingly, if there is a worse case, it has not been identified by Mr Siemer. In light of this, we do not see this complaint as warranting leave to appeal.

[9] On the third issue, it is necessary to refer to the material which has been placed before us in a little more detail.

[10] Mr Siemer‟s factual contentions are set out in various documents, but for present purposes, it is sufficient to take them from a letter of 8 November 2010 to the Judicial Conduct Commissioner as to what happened at the hearing of his appeal:

The first concern arose when the three Justices … attempted to prevent submissions in respect to Cooper J fabricating evidence in the form of racist invective where it did not exist. This was overcome by reading to them Para. [11] of the Supreme Court decision,(9) but the Judges were not happy.

The [B]ench then unfairly attempted to devalue the egregious nature of what Cooper J had done. The official audio-record will show the three [J]udges made comments evidently designed to coerce me to unfairly confirm my submissions were that Cooper simply “went too far” or “made inferences which were a stretch”.

I was required to repeatedly correct these attempts at judicial steering, and referred Justice Hammond to the incontrovertible evidence that Cooper J took “Hitler” and “Gestapo” from an article I published which had nothing to do with Jews and combined these words with an innocuous comment about Stiassny‟s influence in the Jewish community from an unrelated article.

Cooper J labelled his contrived quote evidence of “vile, racist abuse” by me.              I asked Justice Hammond whether His Honour accepted the evidence proved – not my submissions – that Cooper J created racist invective where it did not naturally exist, and then unjustly attributed his contrived and unrepresented racist quote to me to support his finding of record damages. Justice Hammond refused to acknowledge this …

Yet when I responded [to the submissions made by the respondents‟ counsel] and attempted to put the blinkered submissions by respondents‟ counsel into proper context and refer the [B]ench to evidence which he evaded, Justices Arnold, Glazebrook and Hammond repeatedly and falsely claimed I was legally prevented from doing so. I quite appropriately stated that it was obviously an acceptable submission for the respondents to make, as the Court made [no] attempt to tell counsel such submissions were inappropriate or irrelevant.

Justices Arnold, Glazebrook and Hammond were still inappropriately vocally unreceptive and dismissive. (Emphasis in original) ________________________________________________________________

(9) This is a reference to the Supreme Court decision referred to above which specifically contemplated that the Court of Appeal would address Mr Siemer‟s complaint about the passage of the judgment of Cooper J referred to at [4] above, “to the extent that it may have influenced the level of the damages award”.

________________________________________________________________

[11] Mr Siemer complained that as well counsel for the respondents had misrepresented the position in submissions to the Court and that he had requested the Court of Appeal to refer the misrepresentation to the New Zealand Law Society of Disciplinary Conduct. This complaint in relation to the Judges is that: Justice Hammond refused to respond to this valid request.

[12] We were asked by Mr Siemer to obtain a transcript of the hearing in the Court of Appeal so that he could flesh out and particularise his complaints as to what the Judges, and particularly Hammond J, said during that hearing. A decision on this request was deferred pending receipt of the submissions on the leave application.

[13] The material which Mr Siemer has put to us (including the letter we have cited from above) is tendentious. The same is true of his arguments in the Court of Appeal. It is one thing to contend that there were errors in the analysis of Cooper J; it is another to accuse him of “fabricating evidence”. Further, as in this Court, most of the arguments Mr Siemer wished to advance were irrelevant to what was in issue. The tendentiousness and irrelevance of so much of what he had to say meant that testy exchanges between him and the Judges were practically inevitable.                 All in all, we see nothing in the material put to us by Mr Siemer to suggest anything approaching bias. For the sake of completeness we also reject Mr Siemer‟s contention that the Court of Appeal displayed bias by not referring the conduct of counsel for the respondent to the Law Society. If Mr Siemer is of the view that counsel was guilty of professional misconduct, there is no reason why he should not complain himself. And given that nothing approaching a credible suggestion of bias has been put forward, we see no reason to obtain a transcript from the Court of Appeal.

[14] For those reasons, the application for leave to appeal should be dismissed.

Solicitors: McElroys, Auckland for Respondents

________________________________________________________________

Doesn’t this help confirm why our New Zealand so desperately needs some checks and balances to help ensure an ‘open, transparent and accountable’ judiciary?

URGENT SYSTEMS CHANGES REQUIRED!

1) An enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ for Judges.

(Preferably based upon the ‘Banagalore Principles for Judicial Conduct’

Reprinted in full at the end of this post) )

www.unodc.org/unodc/search.html?q=Bangalore+Principles+of+judicial+Conduct

2) An enforceable ‘Register of Pecuniary Interests’ for Judges.

3) ALL Court proceedings to be recorded, and records made available to parties who request them.

Please pass this on to as many people as possible!

Penny Bright

waterpressure.wordpress.com

waterpressure@gmail.com

________________________________________________________________

 

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:

Ensuring 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 andMagistrates 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 ofWashington, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 20, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Fighting corruption internationally, Human rights, Internationally significant information | Leave a comment

JANE BURGERMEISTER REPORT: ‘New Zealand citizens face show-trials under “terrorism” laws, reports Kiwisfirst’

New Zealand citizens face show-trials under “terrorism” laws, reports Kiwisfirst

“After almost 4 years and over $10 million in taxpayer funds thrown at the prosecution, few Kiwis are aware of the evidence and court proceedings in the criminal prosecution of 18 New Zealand citizens initially labelled as terrorists, but whom the U.S. Embassy in Wellington was advised in 2007 by NZ Police would likely face only fines of up to $4,000.

The High Court has tried to shroud the proceedings in secrecy.

But you can FIND OUT THE INSIDE STORY AND FACTS at

www.kiwisfirst.co.nz/index.asp?pageID=2145845331

And: waterpressure.wordpress.com

June 18, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Fighting corruption internationally, Human rights, Internationally significant information, Jane Burgermeister Report | Leave a comment

NBR: ‘New cartel law targets activity rather than price – and throws prison into the mix’ + my comment

www.nbr.co.nz/article/new-cartel-law-targets-activity-rather-effect-price-and-throws-prison-mix-ck-95449#comments

 

New cartel law targets activity rather than price – and throws prison into the mix

New draft legislation designed to imprison individuals running corporate cartels will target activities such as bid-rigging and price-fixing.

Under the proposed new Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Bill, prosecutors will not have to prove that the crime actually affected prices, but simply that people carried out prohibited activities, such as fixing prices, restricting output, allocating markets, and rigging bids.

The bill introduces criminal sanctions for individuals and companies, with a person liable to up to seven years’ imprisonment, while a company could be fined the greater sum of up to $10,000,000 or three times the value of the commercial gain.

If the criminal gain cannot be ascertained, the company can be fined 10 percent of its annual turnover.

Criminalisation of cartels would bring New Zealand into line with many of its trading partners, including the United States, Britain, Canada, and Australia, Commerce Minister Simon Power said.

The proposals were being put out for consultation to ensure it adequately supported pro-competitive business arrangements by providing greater certainty that they would not be prohibited.

Exemptions already provided for joint ventures have been broadened and renamed the “collaborative activity” exemption.

Companies uncertain whether their proposed collaboration activity might be in breach of the new rules would be able to seek clearances, in line with the Commerce Commission’s clearance regime for mergers.

“The draft bill is designed to give businesses certainty about the boundaries of the proposed law,” Mr Power said.

“If this can be achieved then there may be benefit in following international enforcement trends and criminalising cartel behaviour.

“Cartel activities such as price fixing and bid rigging are harmful forms of anti-competitive behaviour, and result in businesses and consumers paying inflated prices.

“Introducing criminal penalties, including imprisonment, could be a strong deterrent to individuals contemplating cartel behaviour.”

Submissions on the bill close on July 22.

More by NZPA

Back to NBR homepage

Comments and questions

1

“Criminalisation of cartels would bring New Zealand into line with many of its trading partners, including the United States, Britain, Canada, and Australia, Commerce Minister Simon Power said.”
__________________________________

errrr…… how come NZ, ‘perceived’ to be
‘the least corrupt country in the world (along with Denmark and Singapore according to Transparency International’s 2010 ‘Corruption Perception Index)
doesn’t already have such legislation?

Penny Bright
https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

Penny Bright | Friday, June 17, 2011 – 9:51am

June 16, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Fighting corruption internationally, Internationally significant information | Leave a comment

NBR: ‘Lobbyist explains his swipe card into Parliament’ + my comments

www.nbr.co.nz/article/lobbyist-explains-his-swipe-card-parliament-ck-95247#comment-141621

(14 June 2011)

Lobbyist explains his swipe card into Parliament

Cynics might think corporate lobbyists have easy access to MPs.

In fact, it’s automated.

An item on 3News last night showed veteran lobbyist Mark Unsworth, of Saunders Unsworth using a swipe card to enter parliament.

Mr Unsworth’s clients include Sky City, the 50% Telecom-owned Southern Cross Cable, and multinational pharmaceutical companies.

3News reporter Patrick Gower subsequently told Without a Word of a Lie that “about eight” other lobbyists have been issued with their own swipe cards. Speaker Lockwood Smith refuses to confirm their identity.

Mr Unsworth, who was unlucky enough to be the one of the eight who got his mug plastered over TV, gamely fronted up to Without a Word of a Lie.

“I got the card about 15 years ago, and through the good will of both Labour and National Speakers I have kept it,” the lobbyiist said.

“It’s like getting an Internet connection. It enables you but doesn’t guarantee you get access to the facts or the source of knowledge.”

Greens draft lobbyist bill Last night, the Green Party said it had drafted a bill seeking to let the public know who is lobbying MPs. Green MP Sue Kedgley’s Lobbying Disclosure Bill would set up a register and a code of conduct for lobbyists.

The bill was modelled on a Canadian public disclosure regime.

“Lobbying is entrenched in our political system, but lobbyists are able to operate in secret and under the radar, in the shadows of the democratic process,” Ms Kedgley said.

“The public has no way of knowing who is lobbying their politicians or what they are being lobbied about. There is also no information available on which lobbyists have special access to Parliament granted to them by the Speaker.

“We believe the public has a right to know who is engaged in lobbying activities that seek to influence public policy.” Australia, Canada, and the United States have lobbyist registers. Ms Kedgley said the secrecy surrounding lobbying activities fuelled the perception that Government decisions were being unfairly influenced, undermining public trust in the integrity of democracy.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said the bill was part of the party’s wider drive for more transparent Government.

“Real democracy should be a battle of ideas, not a battle of who has the best and most expensive lobbyists. The time has come for lobbyists to step into the light”

“I hope Parliament will have the courage to set up a register, and put public interest ahead of vested interests who may oppose this Bill.”

The bill will be put into a ballot with other member’s bills, waiting to be drawn in Parliament — a process that can take years. Once it is drawn member’s often bills often fail at the first reading unless supported by other parties.

______________________________________________________________

Comments and questions 7

Are you sure it is the Greens promoting this? It can’t possibly be – sounds like something sensible. TOM |

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 – 9:46am

reply

I wonder if this might trip up Labour and their good buddy Owen Glenn by inadvertently exposing his interest in Labour? One wonders where he might fit into the Labour line-up after the election? openingmouthtochangefeet |

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 – 10:24am

reply

By lobbiest I hope the parties on the left have included unions and the likes of forest and bird and greenpeace in their definition of lobbiest? Off Line |

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 – 10:34am

reply

In response to Off Line | Tuesday, June 14, 2011 – 10:34am Spot on! Footplate |

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 – 10:52am

reply

“Green MP Sue Kedgley’s Lobbying Disclosure Bill would set up a register and a code of conduct for lobbyists. The bill was modelled on a Canadian public disclosure regime.

“Lobbying is entrenched in our political system, but lobbyists are able to operate in secret and under the radar, in the shadows of the democratic process,” Ms Kedgley said.

“The public has no way of knowing who is lobbying their politicians or what they are being lobbied about. There is also no information available on which lobbyists have special access to Parliament granted to them by the Speaker.

“We believe the public has a right to know who is engaged in lobbying activities that seek to influence public policy.”

__________________________________

MY COMMENT:

Absolutely agree.

Hope Sue Kedgley’s ‘ Lobbying Disclosure Bill’ gets pulled out of the ballot box SOON!

“WHO IS MEETING THE MINISTER – ON WHOSE BEHALF – SERVING WHOSE INTEREST$?”

Not only does NZ have no statutory requirement for a ‘Register of Lobbyists’ or ‘Code of Conduct for Lobbyists’ – unlike most Australian States and Commonwealth Governments, to make matters worse – New Zealand MPs, (and Judges) have no enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ either.

So – how is it that NZ is ‘perceived’ to be the least corrupt country in the world’ (along with Denmark and Singapore according to Transparency International’s 2010 ‘Corruption Perception Index’) – when we lack transparency and accountability in such critical areas?

A COMPARISON WITH ‘AUSSIE RULES’ :

For a bit more background reading, of a summary of codes of conduct in Australian parliament, including a comparison with NZ –

www.aph.gov.au/Library/pubs/BN/pol/CodesOfConduct.htm

Penny Bright https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009

Attendee: Transparency International 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010

| Tuesday, June 14, 2011 – 12:53pm

reply ”

By lobbiest I hope the parties on the left have included unions and the likes of forest and bird and greenpeace in their definition of lobbiest?

Off Line | Tuesday, June 14, 2011 – 10:34am ”

__________________________________

No – don’t think you will find Unions or ‘association or organisation constituted to represent the interests of its members’ defined as ‘lobbyists’.

“Lobbyist” means a person, body corporate, unincorporated association, partnership or firm whose business includes being contracted or engaged to represent the interests of a third party to a Government Representative.’

_________________________________

WEST AUSTRALIA STATE GOVERNMENT:

secure.dpc.wa.gov.au/lobbyistsregister/

“Lobbyist” does not include:

(a) an association or organisation constituted to represent the interests of its members; (b) a religious or charitable organisation; or

(c) an entity or person whose business is a recognised technical or professional occupation which, as part of the services provided to third parties in the course of that occupation, represents the views of the third party who has engaged it to provide their technical or professional services.”

________________________________

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: WEST AUSTRALIA STATE GOVERNMENT: secure.dpc.wa.gov.au/lobbyistsregister/

Register of Lobbyists

Towards the end of 2006, the Western Australian Government decided to establish a code of conduct for contact between lobbyists and government representatives, including a ‘Register of Lobbyists’.

The purpose of the Register is to provide information to the public, as well as the Government, on who is engaged in lobbying activities with Government and whom lobbyists represent in their dealings with Government.

To find out more about the Register, who needs to register, how to register and the ‘Contact with Lobbyists Code’, or to look at the Register, use the links on the left hand side of this page. Page last revised: 5 October 2010

Contact With Lobbyists Code Preamble

Free and open access to the institutions of government is a vital element of our democracy. Lobbyists can enhance the strength of our democracy by assisting individuals and organisations with advice on public policy processes and facilitating contact with relevant Government Representatives.

In performing this role, there is a public expectation that Lobbyists will be individuals of strong moral calibre who operate according the highest standards of professional conduct.

The Government has established the Contact with Lobbyists Code to ensure that contact between Lobbyists and Government Representatives is conducted in accordance with public expectations of transparency, integrity and honesty.

Application

2.1 The Contact with Lobbyists Code has application through the Codes of Conduct of public sector bodies.

2.2 The Contact with Lobbyists Code creates no obligation for a Government Representative to have contact with a particular Lobbyist or Lobbyists in general.

2.3 The Contact with Lobbyists Code does not serve to restrict contact in situations where the law requires a Government Representative to take account of the views advanced by a person who may be a Lobbyist. Definitions “Lobbyist” means a person, body corporate, unincorporated association, partnership or firm whose business includes being contracted or engaged to represent the interests of a third party to a Government Representative.

________________________________

Penny Bright

waterpressure.wordpress.com

‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009

Attendee: Transparency International 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010

Penny Bright | Tuesday, June 14, 2011 – 12:56pm

June 14, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Fighting corruption internationally, Internationally significant information, Transparency in Govt spending | Leave a comment

The Standard: ‘Key’s Midas touch – Selling asset sales is a hard job even for Key’ + my comments

thestandard.org.nz/keys-midas-touch/

Key’s Midas touch

Written By: r0b – Date published: 5:08 pm, June 11th, 2011 – 15 comments
Categories: john key, leadership – Tags: ,

Armstrong is back in fine Key-lovin form today:

Selling asset sales is a hard job even for Key

Such is John Key’s Midas touch, he could probably sell ice-cubes to Eskimos – and at a premium price.

Oh please. Did Key sell mining to the New Zealand public? No.

Did Key manage to sell his position on s59 reform in the smacking referendum? That would be No.

Did Key’s personal endorsement manage to sell Melissa Lee to the Mt Albert electorate? That would be a Hell No.

Has Key sold Maori on the re-branded foreshore and seabed legislation? The Mana Party says No.

Did Key sell Auckland on the Supercity merger, or Christchurch on CERA?

Public opinion says No, but they were forced through any way.

Did Key sell national standards to teachers, or labour market “reforms” to workers?

See above, No.

Did Key in his HardTalk interview sell our 100% Pure brand to the UK?

Catastrophically No.

Did Key sell his cycleway to the world? Hah hah No.

Key remains popular, it is true, but it’s very seldom that he manages to sell we the people something that we don’t want. His popularity depends on not picking fights with public opinion.

The issues on which he does succeed – selling useless budgets, tax cuts for the rich and the GST swindle – are those where most of the public have little interest, or where the media do the sales job for him.

In short, Armstrong’s belief in Key’s “Midas touch” is a product of his imagination. He might do well to reflect on the true moral of the Midas story. In trying to acquire more and more wealth, Midas deprived himself of everything that really mattered.”

___________________________________________________________________

MY COMMENT:

errrr….. check out the only polls that really count – election (by-election) results and think again?

How come in the ‘safe’ National seats encompassed by the Botany and Pakuranga electorates – there was only a 36% turnout in the Botany by-election and 30% turnout in the Howick by-election?

How come in the Botany by-election more (former?) National Party voters stayed home (9000) than voted (8000) for National’s Jami-Lee Ross?

Did you notice ACT received less than 700 votes in the Botany by-election?

Where were the opinion polls that predicted THAT result prior to the election?

Not a particularly good look for the National “A” Team, and National “B” (Bra$h) Team – hoping to put together the next ‘Rogernomic$ Coalition Government?

Penny Bright
https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

Reply
oscar 9.1

the more i have to read ur incessant viarreah (verbal diarreah) the more I start to dislike your comments Penny. It’s almost as if you don’t actually make any points but post many non sequiters wrapped up in a question.
This botany by election example is bunkum. By elections aren’t an indication of the real feeling at all.

__________________________________________________________________
MY COMMENT:

12 June 2011 at 11:36 am “This botany by election example is bunkum. By elections aren’t an indication of the real feeling at all.”

Really ‘oscar’? errrr…. silly me.

I thought actual ELECTIONS are where the voting public actually decide who obtains public office?

Perhaps you missed this analysis of the Botany by-election result by NZ Herald’s Chief Political Reporter – John Armstrong?

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10710626

Botany byelection loss holds silver lining for Labour Party

By John Armstrong 5:30 AM Monday Mar 7, 2011

At last, Phil Goff has something to smile about.

Exactly why the Labour leader is smiling might not seem immediately obvious given that National’s Jami-Lee Ross won Saturday’s Botany byelection in a canter, securing almost double the number of votes of his Labour counterpart.

The answer is that everything is relative in politics. Labour did better than it hoped. National did not fare as well as it would have expected.

Of some worry to National will be the bleeding of its votes to the New Citizen Party, which picked up 10.5 per cent of the total candidate vote and pushed Act into fourth place.

If replicated in electorates across Auckland with large populations of New Zealand Chinese, such splintering of centre-right support could see large piles of wasted votes if the new party fails to reach the 5 per cent threshold.

That could diminish the centre-right’s representation in Parliament by one or two seats – seats which may well be crucial for National to retain power.

It is questionable, however, how meaningful conclusions drawn from a byelection can be, let alone one as stifled by circumstances as this one. Still, the debut of the New Citizen Party and National’s failure to lift its vote would seem to pour cold water on the possibility of National securing a majority alone. The complicating factor is Saturday’s abysmally low turnout.

However, the non-vote would more likely be weighted in Labour’s favour.

The 36.6 per cent turnout – half that of a general election – meant both major parties got fewer votes than at the 2008 election.

Labour’s vote proved more robust. National’s vote halved from more than 17,000 to just over 8000. In comparison, Labour’s vote fell, but far less dramatically – from around 6500 to just over 4000.    ”

___________________________________________

In my considered opinion, as a candidate in that by-election, it proved that campaigning on the issues – particularly against asset sales – was politically effective.

(Former?) National party voters get a power bill every month, and know full well that applying the ‘competitive’ model to a natural monopoly such as the supply of electricity – just duplicates resources – sets up a multiplicity of profit-making empires – and causes power prices to go up – not down.

It is also my considered opinion that the way that ‘democracy’ works in New Zealand tends to operate according to the ‘Golden Rule’ – ‘those who have the gold – make the rules’, and we tend to get the government that the majority of big business want us to have.

This is achieved through mainstream media manipulation of ‘public opinion’.

In my view, the Botany by-election results caused quite some consternation, as it was realised that asset sales were NOT a vote-winner.

So – the tactic used was to try and undermine the main political party with the stated position of opposing asset sales – the Labour Party – particularly by attacking Phil Goff’s leadership.

In my view – it was realised that National were not going to get the numbers to govern alone. As ACT under Rodney Hide’s leadership was looking unlikely to regain Epsom or the 5% Party vote threshold.

Remember – the ACT candidate in the Botany by-election got less than 700 votes.

“As for Act, Rodney Hide may not know whether to laugh or cry. The party’s candidate, Lyn Murphy, got 671 votes. ”

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10710626

Next panicky move?

The Bra$h ACT takeover – which appears to have seriously backfired.

Given that the personnel and policies of National and ACT are so readily interchangeable, there is essentially no real difference between them.

National and ACT are the National “A” Team and National “B” (Bra$h) Team.

A vote for John is a vote for Don.

A vote for Don is a vote for John.

A vote for either of them is a vote for more ‘Rogernomic$’.

The more ‘shonky’ John Key is exposed as leading the corporate raid on New Zealand – (once a corporate raider – always a corporate raider?) – the more I believe that National will plummet in the polls.

John Key’s forced smile will look more strained and phoney and his eyes will look more hollow as the spin-doctored ‘ordinary bloke’ mask continues to slip………..

Penny Bright

https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

June 11, 2011 Posted by | Botany By-election 2011, Fighting corruption in NZ, Fighting water privatisation in NZ | Leave a comment