Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Need to Know

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  • Kyle Matthews,

    I don't know. I wouldn't in the least be surprised if there's always an element in any political organisation who are rather excited at the whole Secret Squirrel element. Real Life political activism is rather boring, thankless and progress is painfully slow. But this is cool -- like being in your own episode of Spooks

    See Craig, if you want excitement, you're on the wrong side.

    In 1995 I was running campaigns at Otago University, and went to the CHOGM protests. During that year the Maori Students Office at Auckland University was found to have bugs in it, shortly after the Asia Development Bank Protests.

    It's only paranoia if you're wrong :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    To me the principle is: "police should only 'spy' on people, when they have a reasonable suspicion that they have, or are going to, commit a crime of some serious nature".

    So I see no common principle here. In Te Qaeda, that principle applied, in the material that Gilchrist passed on (I'd hesitate to call what he did spying) it didn't.

    I think it's dubious whether it applied in either case. We don't have all the information about the Gilchrist case yet, and the question of what 'reasonable suspicion' is, is exactly what is at stake. Having a bunch of illegal firearms and talking about killing politicians would land about 1 conviction per square mile of NZ. What exactly was it that made the suspicions of Te Quaeda reasonable? And how do you know that the police didn't have 'reasonable suspicions' of the group Gilchrist was passing info on, until there is an inquiry?

    I doubt there were good grounds in either case, but in the Gilchrist case I don't know yet. In the Te Quaeda case I do, because enough time has passed to show that all they netted were some pretty minor offences. Not really enough for a counter terrorism squad to terrify the crap out of some small town, anyway.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Martin,

    Judith Collins has always come across to me as the worst sort of party hack

    She has no heart. There was a time I feared she would be put in charge of WINZ...

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 187 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    <quote>I once told Paul Holmes that while I might on occasion disagree mightily with his words or actions, I had never doubted his authenticity. In a world where so many empty vessels make noise, he is what he is; sometimes maddening but rich and real. On the day of his final breakfast radio broadcast, I wish him all the best.</quote

    Can't agree. Have never listened to his radio but his Holmes show was only too aptly named. He's rich but is he any realer than any of the other dudes out there? I remember a brief interlude when Linda Clarke took over from him on the Holmes Show and how she injected some intelligence ... Yes, he's been a stalwart and one has to wish him well - standing down must be quite sad for him but I don't think he ever added much depth to our media ... nor have his replacements but at least it's not all about them.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    And just to top it all off: police spies violated legal professional privilege.

    Dodgy, dodgy, dodgy.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1717 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    Hey Craig, are you related to the O'Ranapia's from Ireland?....those dudes they know about paranoia.

    Belgium • Since Nov 2006 • 464 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,


    One rather cheery seasonal thought is that anyone who wants to compare New Zealand to Ireland is really going to push the hyperbole button hard.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    oh well...the one occasion I see an anagram.

    Belgium • Since Nov 2006 • 464 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Thanks for the updates, I/S. From what you say, it seems there is an actionable angle that SIG broke evidence laws.

    In any case unless SIG can show that any of the groups mentioned set out to "terrorise" any people (rather than their onions), then they seem to be operating outside their specific remit compared with other police units.

    Unfortunately for Nevil Gibson, "endangering exports" is not grounds for police action. It's not 1951 any more. And despite Oliver Driver's rather shambolic style, I'm inclined to agree that he just couldn't credit that his interviewee was really serious.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    Unfortunately for Nevil Gibson, "endangering exports" is not grounds for police action.

    I think we covered this issue during the Te Queda raids last year. I can't remember the ins and outs of it all but SIG were involved in investigating the incident near Ashburton where a worker poisoned the milk from a farm (as a personal dispute, not a political action). The point being that if the poison had made it's way into export milk products it could have effected NZ's reputation. Ditto for the GM/organic onions example. Planting organic ones as a symbolic gesture may not make the grade but destroying a research crop that perhaps has taken years to develop and may mean the country losing export competitive advantage is in fact grounds for police action.

    Like I say, I can't remember all the legal details as they were brought out in the discussion but I think we established pretty clearly that 'endangering exports' was in fact taken very seriously and the penalties pretty stiff.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    I wouldn't be too upset if Three quietly cancelled Sunriseand put the money and resources into saving Three News and Campbell Live from terminal brain death,

    Yeah, as I asked on me blog recently, what happened to Campbell Live? I'm sure it was good once.

    And that reporter (who's name slips my mind), she's capable of much better. Didn't she once produce Mediawatch on National Radio?

    'When Incestuous Breast Implants Go Bad'.

    But... that would be awesome!!

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

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