Posts by izogi

  • Legal Beagle: A Small Official…, in reply to izogi,

    Just following my earlier comment, David Parker seems to have had another go with the same or similar Bill early last year, but it apparently didn't even reach the First Reading.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1111 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: A Small Official…, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    That would be reasonable, wouldn't it? But reasonableness is only easily enforceable on entities subject to the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman, who are therefore already (with a couple of exclusions) subject to the OIA.

    And even then it so often seems necessary to fight for it, as if certain agencies have strategies of making things hard in the hope someone's just going to give up.

    I still think it's a shame that Shane Jones' Cost Recovery Amendment Bill (2012) was laughed out of Parliament before it had a chance to get serious consideration.

    Fundamentally it would have allowed the Ombudsman to invoice costs back to agencies for sorting out their bad judgement. Ideally it would have made it necessary for agencies to either budget directly for the OIA objection fallout, and justify to their Minister, or do things lawfully in the first place.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1111 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: On citizen’s arrests; or…,

    So a news story about a citizen's arrest for dangerous driving (an offence with a maximum penalty of three month's imprisonment) is really a story about the possible kidnapping of a tourist.

    In this specific case it doesn't sound as if they actively tried to arrest the driver (though I'm unsure about the legal definition) as opposed to parking their cars in a way that prevented her from driving her vehicle away, then arguing with her while someone fetched a Police Constable.

    Could that ever amount to kidnapping under the Crimes Act or would it be more like a traffic offence?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1111 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    It doesn't really seem like Dirty Politics, though, at least in the sense of what Nicky Hager described.

    More like highly irresponsible broadcasting involving a highly partisan idiot and a public broadcaster that's strongly profit-driven at the expense of public service. Sure we could argue that government Ministers are responsible for the context which enabled Hosking to thrive (and just happened to work out in their favour), but it's not the same type of thing as subversive leaks and direct coordination between top level Ministerial officers and sewer dwellers like Cameron Slater.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1111 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: This is your government on drugs, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    Yes that's more or less been my impression. I've been following the 1080 stuff for some time now, and while I fully appreciate the right to have concerns and discuss them, it's been depressing watching some of the most conspiracy-driven elements of that movement enter the Brook Valley Community Group. (A brodi drop is not a 1080 drop but the helicopter thing means it activates similar crowds.) With the BVCG Sue Grey hasn't so much just been a lawyer acting for the group as being a lawyer acting like the group, bringing masses of insane and trivial stuff and non-expert witnesses (described as experts) into the court-room. All this time she's in social media implying to everyone that their chances of success are really good despite virtually all court documentation saying the opposite for reasons that must have been clear to any competent lawyer before anything began.

    I was going to write a much lengthier comment, but Dave Hansford really summarised this circus between the court rooms and social media quite well:

    I hope, at least, that the medicinal cannabis stuff goes well with her involvement, but I also hope the legal work she's been doing for it is more robust and integrous than for the Brook Valley Community Group.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1111 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: This is your government on drugs,

    Hi Russell. How did you find Sue Grey?

    It's great to learn that she's been doing some good stuff in the area of medicinal cannabis and good luck to them on that front. The other domain where I've encountered her work, though, has been through her representation of and advice to the Brook Valley Community Group where both she and the group come across as sort of the opposite of worthwhile. Not just because she's been representing it as a lawyer, but because she seems to have been giving it some terrible legal advice to that group to continue pressing through expensive court cases against the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Trust with cases that are repeatedly being laughed out of court due to the lack of meaningful evidence, claims that make little or no sense in the face of actual evidence, and some ridiculous interpretations of law. (A brief summary of the outcome from Stuff.)

    The BVCG is on the edge of dissolving to avoid considerable court costs awarded against it, but it's encumbering the bulk of those costs on a bunch of volunteer and donation-funded groups. My first impression of her has been quite dismal in terms of an environmental lawyer.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1111 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Memories of the news,

    1981 Springbok tour for me, but I was under 3 at the time so I could just be remembering coverage from a few years later. I definitely recall the Rainbow Warrior bombing and Challenger exploding. I think I remember stuff around the 1984 election and Muldoon stepping down.

    Will they be shaped differently to mine, given the sheer intensity and ubiquity of news in 2017? Will Trump tower over it all? Will the entertainers who make headlines now linger into the future?

    Also will they be genuine memories of actual news, or just a swamp of opinions?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1111 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Government lost the election, in reply to nzlemming,

    Nope. The Greens existed before the Alliance. The Alliance was, in effect, a mini-coalition of different parties, hence the name. Parties have to grow themselves.

    This is sort of what I'm complaining about, though. The Green Party most likely wouldn't have been able to enter parliament if it didn't already have incumbents and support from elsewhere in parliament.

    The Alliance was in parliament before MMP started so came with incumbent MPs. When the Greens went independent in '99, it had 3 incumbent MPs (Fitzsimons, Donald, Bunkle). Even then, it probably still only got elected because Helen Clark signalled to Labour's Coromandel supporters that they should vote strategically for Jeanette Fitzsimons, which both just-barely gave the Greens an electorate seat and encouraged people elsewhere to give the Greens their party vote with less fear of it being wasted. ACT might be a better example because it didn't have any incumbents when elected in '96, but much of its support likely came from National pulling its candidate from Wellington Central to let in Richard Prebble, so giving others the confidence to also Party Vote ACT..

    Whichever way it's framed, MMP has so far ensured that new parties have always needed some kind of permission or help from someone already in parliament before they've been allowed to enter. Maybe the only exception is NZF being re-elected in 2011 after being booted in 2008, but it wasn't exactly a new party.

    Of the small parties, though:

    ACT started in MMP with National abandoning Wellington Central and telling its supporters to vote for Prebble.
    NZF started in MMP with incumbent MPs.
    The Alliance started in MMP with incumbent MPs.
    United NZ, and later United Future, started in MMP with an incumbent MP.
    The Greens started in MMP with incumbent MPs, and support from Labour in Coromandel.
    The Maori Party started in MMP with Tariana Turia, as an incumbent, defecting from Labour.
    Progressive started in MMP with an incumbent (Anderton).
    Mana started in MMP with Hone Harawira, as an incumbent, defecting from the Maori Party.
    The Independent Coalition started in MMP with Brendan Horan being expelled from NZ First (and didn't last long).

    Defections and transitions and occasional strategic manipulations by major parties are all there is. After 21 years, new parties still can't get elected under MMP by themselves, even when masses more people vote for them than ever voted for some of the tiniest parties that the big parties have on life support. Meanwhile, the smaller parties have been dying out. ACT and UF should have died long ago except for National's games. The Green Party came close to death in 2017, and NZ First's days might be numbered once Winston's gone. Who's replacing them? Anyone?

    Why should an MP be allowed to do that?

    Again, a valid question but not really the concern I'm presenting right now. I get that there might be a problem, but my concern is that attempts to "fix" that problem might create a much bigger and more serious problem, unless the faults with MMP are fixed. Otherwise we risk descending back into a largely two party system, and everyone who wants to vote for different ideas is screwed.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1111 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Government lost the election,

    All worthy points. I don't mind discussing what should happen when MPs, especially list MPs, choose to leave their party. (In my view it needs to be seriously taken into account that voters might have voted for that party because of the MP who's choosing to leave, or because of the particular views which that MP is leaving for.)

    It's sort of a tangent, though. My concern is that MMP is presently broken, and without fixing MMP this change could make MMP much much worse.

    After 21 years and 8 elections, it's demonstrably impossible for new parties with new ideas to get elected into parliament, UNLESS someone who's already inside chooses to unlock the door and let them in. Most recently the Conservatives and TOP have thrown considerable resources at their attempts. They've received considerable support, but even with those resources even they could not break into parliament, so all the people who were either brave enough or stupid enough to give their support to those parties ended up not getting the representation they most wanted. By comparison, the only reason it's even seemed like there's been diversity of parties for the last few elections is that National's chosen to keep zombie parties like ACT and United Future on life support for its own strategic reasons, despite nobody actually wanting to vote for those parties.

    MMP is only hanging on at all because of this possibility for MPs to leave their existing parties. Without that, and especially if the Greens and/or NZ First were to die off, National and Labour effectively get to decide who else is allowed into parliament with them. It's not in the political interests of either National nor Labour to let in any other parties unless those parties can be kept on a very strict leash, because doing so just allows that party to become a threat to them.

    The proposal from NZF is apparently to remove that possibility, and it seems to be making zero consideration of the likely implications that could have on the rest of our electoral system if it's not properly fixed at the same time.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1111 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Government lost the election,

    Re yesterday's media, does anyone know much about what's in the works for the NZ First legislation to prevent MPs jumping parties?

    It hit media yesterday with news that the Greens are considering supporting it in exchange for legislating Parihaka Day. NZ Herald; Stuff.

    I'm very concerned about this and surprised the Greens are considering supporting it. Not so much because I have a well developed opinion on whether MPs should stick with their parties as because since 1996, the only new parties we've ever seen enter parliament under MMP have been ones that started with a defecting MP. Even the Green Party itself had Jeanette Fitzsimons and others in parliament for the Alliance when it entered parliament independently in '99, and arguably it still needed Helen Clark's support for Labour voters in Coromandel to support it.

    Under the current MMP system, if MPs can't defect from parties then it's effectively a death sentence for the future of having any small parties at all, because when the existing ones die off it's impossible for new small parties to replace them.

    Not to criticise the merit of having Parihaka Day, but if the Green Party were going to demand something in exchange for supporting MPs defecting, why not demand something to properly compensate for its effects, like serious reconsideration of and implementation of the 2012 MMP Review results? At least make it more realistic for new parties, with interesting and inspiring ideas, to get independently elected without requiring so much help from incumbent MPs and Parties.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1111 posts Report Reply

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