Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Gerry Brownlee is Innocent; or Free the Brownlee Three (updated)

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  • Sacha,

    Brownlee asked for, and received, permission to be where he was

    Does knocking on a door, walking through it when opened from the other side, and making a statement of action - not a question - count as that?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    It seems (let's await the report) Gerry Brownlee didn't (legally) get in trouble for not going through security screening, but for being in a security area without a boarding pass. Which is kind of funny, because it means he would have broken then law even if he had gone through security screening :-)

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Sacha,

    Does knocking on a door, walking through it when opened from the other side, and making a statement of action – not a question – count as that?

    There's some chance, yes. And a few other reasons as well. I didn't go into it deeply in my post given that he wasn't actually charged under that section.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Lawyerworld is a strange place.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Flight Club, the rules....

    The trespass offence has probably the strongest argument, but it is still weak, because Brownlee asked for, and received, permission to be where he was, which make his actions the antithesis of trespass.

    To do that though he had to first confront a sign saying 'Exit only' - which surely fulfils the below requirement, which you linked to...

    Trespass*
    Every person commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or a fine not exceeding $2,000 who, without reasonable excuse, enters or remains within any aerodrome or any building or area in which are operated technical facilities or services for civil aviation, when directed not to enter or not to remain by a person duly authorised by the Director in writing for that purpose, a constable, or an aviation security officer, or by notice posted by one of those persons.

    ...and doesn't the above also state that 'imprisonment of (up to) 3 months' is a possibility for at least one Civil Aviation offence
    - I suspect John Armstrong and the APN subbery have allowed a transposition of numbers - ie $3000 fine and 2 months prison in stead of the correct 3 months imprisonment and $2000 fine...
    - which doesn't surprise me in the least.
    Fairfax ain't much better - in an article on grammar and style a coupla weeks back the SST bemoaned the 'rules' about 'split infinities', yesterday they were talking about 'toanga' instead of 'taonga' - how we laughed....

    *<edit: all a moot point I guess, as, as you say 'he wasn’t actually charged under that section.'>

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7902 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    From the AirNZ website:

    If you don't have any bags to check in, you are able to go straight to the gate to check in by scanning your ePass, Air NZ mobile app or the barcode on your electronic ticket and board your flight.

    At Auckland at least, the whole airside (including the Koru club) is a "security area" right? There are signs that say so. So are all AirNZ's customers who don't check in at the machines in Departures risking a fine?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis,

    The radio interview makes it clear that the airport employee 'didnt give permission to pass' as they are saying she immediately called a supervisor over the two way radio to advise of security breach.

    The real issue is that Brownlee intentionally evaded security, it wasnt that he was lost or knocked on a door just to see and it was opened. He wanted to evade the security checkpoint and as far as I know, deliberate intent counts a lot for determining guilt.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    So are all AirNZ’s customers who don’t check in at the machines in Departures risking a fine?

    Well, as the individual electronic means are counted as a boarding pass, that would be a no. Even without bags they have to go through 'security' first, which is of course what Brownlee deliberately evaded.

    What should have happened is that the boarding passes would be collected in the terminal as arranged and ministerial privilege could have applied at this point, and then normal processes occurred as the gate would be held open as they knew they were a few passengers short.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    At best, Brownlee came across as an entitled jerk.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5428 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    At best, Brownlee came across as an entitled jerk.

    He does. However, I don't thionkl he's a total mug. A mate of mine stood for Labour against Brownlee in Ilam in the 2002 election. I asked him what he thought of Brownlee and he said "he is a very effective MP".

    Obviously he didn't share Brownlee's politics, but he was decent enough to appreciate that at a local, electorate level, Brownlee worked hard for his constituents.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 759 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    as the individual electronic means are counted as a boarding pass, that would be a no

    So being booked on a flight is regarded as equivalent to having a boarding pass? In that case, then Brownlee had one?

    I think that between the CAA and Brownlee's office they've pretty much dreamt up the $2k fine as a token that Something Was Done.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    worked hard for his constituents

    Well yes, *most* people in Ilam had fairly minor quake damage. Fletchers were pretty quick (at least for those I know) to turn up and pull down chimneys, fill cracks, repaint walls and provide signoff. I’m sure they made lots of money doing this and left a majority of voters happy.

    While they were doing this, of course, they weren’t helping the minority with uninhabitable houses.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Well yes, *most* people in Ilam had fairly minor quake damage. Fletchers were pretty quick (at least for those I know) to turn up and pull down chimneys, fill cracks, repaint walls and provide signoff. I’m sure they made lots of money doing this and left a majority of voters happy.While they were doing this, of course, they weren’t helping the minority with uninhabitable houses.

    Maybe, but as I said, my friend stood in the 2002 election, some years before the quakes. So obviously he was talking about his abilities as an MP in that era, not post-quakes.

    I appreciate that Brownlee's been criticised for his alleged failings post-quake, but that doesn't negate the fact that he was seen as an effective, hard-working MP beforehand.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 759 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    Ah, my mistake, I didn't see the date..

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I think that between the CAA and Brownlee's office they've pretty much dreamt up the $2k fine as a token that Something Was Done.

    $200 fee.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    $2000 fee

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    And see also:

    If you're flying domestically in New Zealand with carry-on luggage only, you can check-in directly at our lounges in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown airports.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    So being booked on a flight is regarded as equivalent to having a boarding pass? In that case, then Brownlee had one?

    Well no. If you have the booking app, you can check in 'on the day of travel' and THEN you get a boarding pass. As Brownlee was picking them up he wasnt using electronic means.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • kw, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Ah, but they'll say it's a living language. Or that we should be tolerant of typos. Both of which are true, but if you're paid to write for a living, you should know that there is no such word as layed, and apostrophes should come as easily as breathing, likewise the two-second check before you press send. (Quickly checks for typos and other bad language!) Stuff and Radio NZ are both quite sloppy on this when they put material up quickly - live blogging etc. And the examples you use are so bad you could almost think they were trying to be funny at the expense of pedants.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2014 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Well yes, *most* people in Ilam had fairly minor quake damage.

    Many hundreds of houses in Ilam/Fendalton are demolitions.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Steve Curtis,

    No, they allow more than that, especially for those with Koru club access. As it says on the link, you can turn up with no documentation beyond some form of ID, go through security to the Koru lounge and check in on a machine or at the counter. I used to do it all the time when I flew a lot and had airpoints status.

    It's standard practice, which suggests that it was decided that any kind of booking equates to a boarding pass.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Hebe,

    Many hundreds of houses in Ilam/Fendalton are demolitions.

    Yes, but there are thousands of houses that are not.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    go through security to the Koru lounge

    except in Welli that's reversed

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis,

    "..has not released its report into the breach. I would quite like to see it, so have requested it under the Official Information Act.'

    Good luck with getting that any time before the next election. The reason is three little words.
    John Archibald Banks.
    The police report was finally used in the private prosecution.

    The paper boarding pass seems to have joined the old paper ticket as an artifact of history, so Brownlee unless he was charged with a security breach, a real offence, then he cant really be guilty of a an infringement for being in ....the departure lounge area along with every other intending passenger

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    The report is being redacted and released in the face of greater than expected interest, I heard the department's boss say on the radio. Expected it would take a couple of weeks.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

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