Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Celebrity Gibberish

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  • dubmugga,

    they should have impounded his car and put it up for auction to pay the fines. its what they did to me unless i could get 2 grand cash in a week to get my van out. the funny thing being, my van isnt worth 2grand but it has a lot of sentimental value so i borrowed the money and agreed to a repayment thing on my fines as they wouldn't let me do community service in exchange...i hate selective justice regardless of whether you're a celebrity or not.

    the back of your mind • Since Nov 2006 • 257 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Why pay the fine when you could instead increase your exposure as a DJ and get free parking for a couple of years? win-win

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I really do think that the law is applied differently depending on your income and social status. Not completely so, but outcomes seem to vary substantially. That's what I see when I'm around the courts (from time to time, for various reasons).

    I've seen that too; a definite our-sort-of-people vibe. That's really why it makes sense to wear a suit to court!

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Uh, not when you're getting paid to go there on a regular basis. The bfm studio is a half kilometre walk from the Civic carpark under Aotea Square which is seldom full at any time.

    Rather depends if you're carrying a large box of 12" vinyl as I was for some 16 years of bFM shows and racked up countless parking tickets in the process. I know Mike has been known to do the same in past years. I have some sympathy.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Russell, can you please change the profile format so screen names can be changed?

    But Zippy Gonzales is the best name ever.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Rather depends if you're carrying a large box of 12" vinyl

    Good point.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • richard,

    You have to admit though Russell, this "punishment" does have a wiff of the briar patch about it.

    Not looking for New Engla… • Since Nov 2006 • 268 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol,

    Mikey parks in the new business school carpark now (they put in 5 floors of parking underneath that great glass monstrosity, so at least something good came of it), if bFM crew qualify for uni staff permits, then it's actually pretty cheap - much less than most commercial carparking, about $27 a week.

    I think he must have accrued the fines in the foggy past before those spaces came available, which means this has been waddling along for a looong time. (Or perhaps he didn't know about the new carparking building for a while, which would be a fucking arse to discover only after building up 10s of thousands in fines.)

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    1. I maintain that Russell is the only person in the country under the age of 70 who actually reads newspaper editorials.

    2. I think the underlying premise of the story is valid but that the issue is about class, not celebrity. Class warfare doesn't sell newspapers though.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Class warfare doesn't sell newspapers though.

    There's always time for that to change

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    2. I think the underlying premise of the story is valid but that the issue is about class, not celebrity. Class warfare doesn't sell newspapers though.

    But that's a completely different "underlying premise".

    The HoS is shrieking "celebrity justice!" and "perk!" and "isolated case" and throwing Mikey in with a bunch of girlfriend-beaters and fraudsters who also happen to be celebrities. You're speculating that middle-class people get a better break when their fines get out of hand.

    There might be a good story there if the paper did some legwork, found comparable cases where people were treated differently by the courts. Indeed, the story itself was reasonable -- how common is such a potential rule breach? But what the paper made of it was shite.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Rather depends if you're carrying a large box of 12" vinyl as I was for some 16 years of bFM shows and racked up countless parking tickets in the process.

    Daytime shows are all two hours, so when they halved the maximum parking time anywhere within a kilometre of campus to 90 min it certainly become a problem for me when I was a Wire host.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It was a shambles, wasn't it?

    Also utterly missed the one worthwhile question in Havoc-gate: It's all very nice for the Government to be "getting tough" on unpaid fines -- and running Mastercard style ads about how they can really screw up your family holiday to Disneyland. Don't think any reasonable person would disagree that if you rack up parking fines, or owe child support or reparations, you pay you fricking debts or wear the consequences.

    But it seems like a no brainer to me that if you're going these fines accrue "over many years" to five figure sums (and how much of what Havoc owes is penalties and interest), then you're making recover a lengthy and costly process, at best. At worse, you're writing off a hell of a lot of bad debts because they practically unrecoverable.

    The only part of the story I agreed with was this:

    "If someone can't pay the fine it's better to convert it to community work because that's something productive."

    Indeed -- who among us could pull twenty grand out our arses?

    and throwing Mikey in with a bunch of girlfriend-beaters

    Especially with the entirely gratuitous reference to Havoc separating from his wife. I'll give Fisher the benefit of the doubt and assume he's not implying something unsavoury in the circumstances, but intended or not I don't think it would be a totally unreasonable inference for readers to draw.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Class warfare doesn't sell newspapers though.

    Aw... sure it does. Or do you think a certain newspaper's obsession with Does My Mortgage Look Fat In This property porn non-stories isn't highly profitable bourgeois- baiting?

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

  • Russell Brown,

    And here's a more compelling example of selective justice: if you're a cop and you get charged with drink-driving, you have a 50% chance of getting off.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    intended or not I don't think it would be a totally unreasonable inference for readers to draw.

    Mentioning it in the story is one thing -- but running a picture of Claire Chitham next to text about Tony Veitch and Chris Brown is creepy and wrong.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Mentioning it in the story is one thing -- but running a picture of Claire Chitham next to text about Tony Veitch and Chris Brown is creepy and wrong.

    Totally agree. While I still think the reference in the story to Havoc's marriage breakdown was totally irrelevant, it's only fair to acknowledge that Fisher (for all his sins) can't be held responsible for image selection and placement.

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

  • jb,

    $20,000 in fines?
    $47,000 in fines.

    Why aren't assets (as written down values) being confiscated or salaries garnisheed once the bill gets to $1000?

    There's little difference between this and refusing to pay for a commercial transaction - parking fines are merely the surcharged price for using a scarce good.

    a.small.town.in.germany • Since Jan 2007 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Hmm. The class-war angle looks pretty shaky when you read this recent story from the Northern Advocate:

    Nationally there was $804 million of outstanding fines to the end of September, a 2.3 per cent increase on the $786.1 million owed at the end of September 2008.

    Judges nationally and in Northland's four courts - Whangarei, Dargaville, Kaitaia and Kaikohe - are increasingly wiping outstanding fines for offenders who cannot pay them.

    The outstanding amounts are then substituted for alternative sentences - community work, community detention, home detention and imprisonment.

    Between April 1 and September 30 in Northland a total of $3.5 million worth of outstanding fines were remitted, with $2.8 million exchanged for community work, $500,000 for imprisonment, and $100,000 each for home detention and community detention.

    Most of the remitted fines were issued for traffic infringements.

    I didn't know Northland had so many celebrities.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    (and how much of what Havoc owes is penalties and interest),

    From personal experience (tho I only managed to run up $500 in fines)
    about 50%.
    I thought I was doing quite well 'cause parking fines were only $20 then.

    I didn't know Northland had so many celebrities.

    Must be all those exclusive enclaves they are hiding in.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I didn't know Northland had so many celebrities

    That's why they need a flash $2bn motorway, Russell.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    That really is a shabby editorial. Havoc has done nothing wrong (well, apart from amassing the fines in the first place...). He had a problem and dealt with it within the rules.

    The only "wrong" this story potentially highlights is that an articulate person with money to pay a smart lawyer will always have an advantage when it comes to dealing with "The Man". That's not Havoc's fault.

    What it highlights is the dreadful state of our legal aid system, and the difficulty people have getting access to legal aid. Ironically the Herald has been crusading for some time against the legal aid system, with a number of recent front-page articles about "rorting" lawyers, "car-boot lawyers" etc.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The only "wrong" this story potentially highlights is that an articulate person with money to pay a smart lawyer will always have an advantage when it comes to dealing with "The Man". That's not Havoc's fault.

    I thinking more about the point Russell made: There's an entirely legitimate question whether Corrections broke their own rule that ""An offender should not be placed with an agency for whom they already work." Shame the editorial didn't bother asking it, ay?

    Meanwhile, I've got to keep asking this -- would it be preferable to have Havoc discharging his debt with community service (whether or not you think it's a slap on the wrist), or have another five figure fines bill written off as an unrecoverable bad debt? Or having another unemployable boy racer with no tangible assets beyond his phallic substitute, paying off his fines at $20 a week for the next half century or so?

    IMNSHO, there comes a point where talking tough has to give way to reality-based results.

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

  • Paul Campbell,

    probably with stuff like parking fines the system shouldn't let things be able to get so out of hand - $20k in parking fines at what? $200 a pop is 100 tickets - anyone with more than 10 tickets outstanding is probably heading for trouble and needs to be pulled in for a good talking to by a judge, hit 20 after that warning and it's probably time to start taking the bus because if you can't afford the fines you can't really afford to run the car the way you are using it

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    probably with stuff like parking fines the system shouldn't let things be able to get so out of hand - $20k in parking fines at what? $200 a pop is 100 tickets

    I think it occurred over a long period of time and at least half of it (and probably more) will be additional penalties and costs. The longer you stay in denial, the more the system cranks up your debt to try and get your attention. Jonathan Marshall's $47,000 in parking fines was positively dizzying for a 24 year-old though.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

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