The Dim-Post

September 22, 2011

Key urges urgency for second retrospective validation bill

Filed under: Politics,satire,Uncategorized — danylmc @ 9:41 am

Prime Minister John Key has called for other political parties to throw their support behind another controversial change to the legal system. The National Party will introduce a new bill this week that will update section 171 of the the Crimes Act. As with the changes to the laws around covert police video surveillance, the Prime Minister insists that the bill be passed under urgency and apply retrospectively.

The bill updates the manslaughter section of the Crimes Act of 1961, in which the current definition of ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’ will be redefined to exempt senior public servants who accidentally asphyxiate sex-workers at departmental parties.

‘I’ve been advised that the current wording of the law is a loophole in the justice system that could cause great inconvenience to the orderly function of government,’ Key announced in a press statement.

The law will be retrospectively applied back to December 17th 2010, the date of last years Crown Law Office Christmas function. ‘The Solicitor-General has specified this date as the key target for maintaining the integrity and dignity of the New Zealand justice system,’ Key explained, adding, ‘Go the All Blacks!’

Attorney-General Chris Finlayson has defended the move and the use of urgency and repeated the Prime Minister’s calls for political unity over the issue.

‘It is vital that parliament put the needs of the people of New Zealand to have trust in the legal system and its representatives over the rights of some asthmatic stripper and her sentimental, hysterical family who don’t know a good cash settlement when they see one,’ Finlayson told Radio New Zealand in a interview.

The ACT Party has agreed to support the bill to the first stage of select committee, on the understanding that the exemption be further widened. Under the draft ACT bill it will be legal to accidentally run over a teenage baby-sitter fleeing in terror from a private property, so long as that property has a rateable value in excess of one million dollars.

‘This is sensible policy reducing the amount of red tape which is strangling our hitch-hiker. I mean, economy,’ ACT leader Don Brash told reporters at a parliamentary press conference.

Labour leader Phil Goff has yet to form a position on the legislation, but explained that he also supported the All Blacks, a comment that has drawn intense criticism from political commentators and raised fresh doubts about Goff’s ability to lead Labour into the election.

Police Association President Greg O’Connor supports the new bill, and in addition he has called for police to be armed with savage timber wolves and the power to flog anyone who looks them in the eye. Justice officials are considering his recommendations.

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26 Comments »

  1. I always thought those buggers at Crown Law held the best parties, though I understand Treasury comes a close second.

    Comment by Ross — September 22, 2011 @ 10:11 am

  2. Labour have said they would have ensured the passage of the Government’s bill a year ago had the Government accepted three minor amendments clarifying that late night events involving alcohol and Labour MPs would come under the definition of a “party”, even though many would disagree claiming “fun” was a necessary part such an event. However, since they were ignored they will now leave the sandpit.

    Comment by NeilM — September 22, 2011 @ 10:30 am

  3. Snort. You owe me a new keyboard.

    Back in form just in time for the election!

    Comment by kyotolaw — September 22, 2011 @ 11:22 am

  4. Later, John Key pointed out that unless this retrospective change was supported by all political parties the maybe hundreds of ordinary Mums and Dads who had planned on buying NZ Assets, would be punished needlessly. So he said, “You are either for the All Blacks as a loyal NZer, or you are dirty thieving traitor!”
    Key smiled and waved to the cheering Press Gallery and went off to have is morning cup of gin.

    Comment by ianmac — September 22, 2011 @ 11:25 am

  5. The Greg O’Connor bit is eerily accurate. I’ve never come across a more gung-ho example of shortarse syndrome in my life.

    Comment by Don — September 22, 2011 @ 11:27 am

  6. John Armstrong’s view:

    Phil Goff made a good fist yesterday of pretending Labour has a choice when it comes to supporting or not supporting National’s emergency legislation updating section 171 of the the Crimes Act that currently makes senior public servants liable for manslaughter charges even if the death is the accidental asphyxiation of a sex worker. The sex worker was revealed last night by Paula Bennett to also be on the DPB and have three children to three separate fathers. “I think the public have a right to know the full details of this”, said Paula Bennett. “If that dole bludging promiscuous whore thinks that by dying she can ruin the careers of some fine public servants, well, bring it on I say”.

    The sad fact is Labour has no choice but to vote alongside National when the governing party rams a bill retrospectively legalizing the harmless shenanagins of upstanding members of the political elite through Parliament next week with little or no public consultation.

    It is no-win for Labour. If the party’s MPs back the bill, they will incur the wrath of legal purists who argue the legislation offends constitutional niceties on at least four counts. It has been drafted in haste. It is retrospective. And it is being rushed through Parliament under urgency. And someone was apparently killed.

    If Labour votes against the legislation, it stands to be accused of being soft on welfare bludgers who deserve everything they get.

    Little more than two months before an election in which it is already starting from way behind, Labour is simply not in a strong enough position to take a stand and claim the moral high ground by not voting for the bill.

    And National knows it. Once the Prime Minister declared on Monday that changing the law had put some 40 top carrers at risk and “some very serious talented people could go to jail for what? Horsing around a bit?”, the debate was over for Labour before it had even begun.

    Labour has little choice but to back the bill, even if National could get the numbers in Parliament from other quarters – something which was still unclear last night.

    One of National’s support partners, the Maori Party, was making it pretty obvious it could not vote for the bill.

    Act, National’s other partner, was last night still deciding what to do. The party might well regard the bill’s infringement of the Bill of Rights and common law as beyond the pale. But it could take a different tack, given it’s strong push for an oligarchic plutocracy.

    The Greens will also oppose the measure out of principle.

    This is a case where minor parties have the luxury of being able to play to their audiences. Not so the major Opposition party. In such a situation, it is expected to take what most people would see as the responsible position and weigh in behind the Government. It would get the blame if just one trial resuted in a conviction of a decent family man because its votes had stymied the emergency legislation.

    Labour cannot afford that. It was still making its dislike of the bill it has yet to see pretty plain yesterday. It was insisting that the measure be subject to select committee scrutiny, brief as that might have to be.

    All in all, Labour was making clear its objections to the way National was handling things. But this amounts to little more than political window dressing prior to the party inevitably falling into line.

    Comment by Sanctuary — September 22, 2011 @ 11:32 am

  7. Short-arsed and short-brained. Why the msm go rushing to O’Connor for comment on matters of public policy defeats me. He is a union boss and should confine himself to matters affecting the employment interests of his members. Perhaps the police bosses view him as a useful way of getting their gung-ho views out to the public?

    Comment by thawed out — September 22, 2011 @ 11:38 am

  8. Brilliant! Classic DimPost at its’ best.

    Comment by little_stevie — September 22, 2011 @ 11:58 am

  9. What’s wrong with Greg O’Connor advocating for police?

    While I certainly do not agree with everything he says, and of course by definition he is biased in favour of police, he does seem to be doing his job.

    It’s wrong for serving police to talk openly and critically about the laws that they operate under — so that role really does fall to people like him. Whether his statements really represent the majority police view or not is another matter. But presumably the police would vote for a new union president if they were dramatically unhappy with him.

    Comment by Richard — September 22, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

  10. O’Connor’s advocacy is for a police force that is a lawless, unaccountable institution with unlimited power. If that’s what the majority of police want then that’s fine, and they should vote for him. But the rest of us should be completely terrified by that.

    Comment by danylmc — September 22, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

  11. ACT should be happy to support the bill as it was clear that Cristal became the private property of Redacted McRedactedson upon verbal acceptance of the private contract and as such must have undertaken full commercial risk/return analysis in entering the agreement. Little Hitlers interfering in private contractual law with meddlesome concepts like “culpable homicide” are ruining our economy.

    Comment by garethw — September 22, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

  12. One of the problems I have with O’Connor is that he is not fair minded. He defended police to the hilt when David Bain kept getting knocked back. Indeed, he suggested that police had conducted a model investigation into the Bain case. But when the Privy Council said that Bain had suffered a miscarriage of justice, I don’t recall hearing a peep out of him. If he’s going to publicly applaud the police when they get official support, he should cop it sweet when the reverse occurs.

    Comment by Ross — September 22, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

  13. Labour does not have to support this bill, in fact, they would be stupid to, given that it will make them look like National lite. They should use this issue to score points by being a real opposition (plus its a terrible law with draconian consequences, but who cares about that?)

    Comment by alex — September 22, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

  14. NZPA | Sun December 14th, 2003

    “The Court of Appeal decision to dismiss the latest appeal by David Bain against his convictions for murdering his family have brought a sense of relief to everyone involved,” Police Association President Greg O’Connor said today.

    “The Bain extended families and the police officers involved have had their faith in the justice system reinforced,” Mr O’Connor said.

    “Misleading headlines, unsubstantiated accusations and misguided support for David Bain have meant the family and police officers involved in the enquiry have had to suffer in silence while they and the slain victims were re-victimised as these allegations were repeated.

    “The truth has prevailed and David Bain will now serve out the punishment he deserves.

    The Police Association encourages people who have doubted the conviction to read the judgement and let the extended families of both Robin and Margaret Bain put this tragedy behind them.”

    Comment by Ross — September 22, 2011 @ 12:54 pm

  15. O’Connor’s advocacy is for a police force that is a lawless, unaccountable institution with unlimited power… But the rest of us should be completely terrified by that.

    Danyl’s chanelling Plato, again…

    Every care must be taken that our auxiliaries, being stronger than our citizens, may not grow too much for them and become savage beasts.

    Comment by Phil — September 22, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

  16. Labour does not have to support this bill

    they don’t have to but since all the bill does is wind back the law to what it was when the original surveillance at issue took place – ie when Labour were in govt – and when Labour were quite ok with that situation remaining until the Search and Surveillance Bill passed, it’s a bit hard to see why they should now think differently.

    Comment by NeilM — September 22, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

  17. O’Connor’s advocacy is for a police force that is a lawless, unaccountable institution with unlimited power.

    Sure, if that is true, that is a good reason to disagree with the substance of what he is advocating for.

    But others seem to be saying that he (or rather the person with his job title) should not be advocating for police at all, except in limited matters of employment contracts.

    Comment by Richard — September 22, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

  18. I was down at Back Benches last night. Police Association President Greg O’Connor put in an appearance to say that spying on people was quite a lot like whitebaiting, really.

    If you haven’t seen it already, check this out (start of part 2):

    http://tvnz.co.nz/back-benches/s2011-e31-video-4413703

    Comment by James Shaw — September 22, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

  19. they don’t have to but since all the bill does is wind back the law to what it was when the original surveillance at issue took place – ie when Labour were in govt – and when Labour were quite ok with that situation remaining until the Search and Surveillance Bill passed, it’s a bit hard to see why they should now think differently.

    I think what’s changed Neil is that there has been a supreme court ruling on what the current means. I’ve been out of the loop today, but as of yesterday, what the govt was proposing was a new bill in which they would pretend that the SC hadn’t ruled yet; they would ‘freeze’ our understanding of the law at the point in time before the SC ruled.

    That’s not winding the law back, as he law remains the same; it’s just telling the SC to go fuck itself.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — September 22, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

  20. You, good sir, win.

    Why the msm go rushing to O’Connor for comment on matters of public policy defeats me.

    Because he gives good quotes, and is seen to have a mandate to represent the views of all police (making it easy to get a ‘police perspective’ in a story). It’s as simple as that.

    Comment by Ataahua — September 22, 2011 @ 2:12 pm

  21. @NeilM # 16: I don’t think that is the correct way of representing the ‘law’. As far as I remember from my law school days, when a superior court (ie the supreme court) issues a judgment which effectively overturns the rulings of lower courts, that doesn’t mean that the law changed. It just means that the lower courts were getting it wrong in terms of what the law was AT THAT TIME, and the higher courts decisions basically points that out to them. Thats why we have higher courts.

    The surveillance was illegal when it happened. Some lower courts made a mistake and said it was legal but it was wrong. The Supreme Court set them straight.

    Comment by DT — September 22, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

  22. @ ross

    the Bain miscarriage judgement was over the court process rather than police conduct, so you wouldn’t expect him to have a view.

    Comment by insider — September 22, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

  23. Insider,

    Joe Karam was highly critical of police conduct, and police conduct did feature somewhat in Bain’s second trial. O’Connor suggested, long before Bain had his conviction quashed, that the police investigation had been carried out by the book, when in fact there were a number of errors committed by police. O’Conner – if he was being consistent – might have apologised for those errors but I don’t recall him doing so.

    Comment by Ross — September 22, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

  24. October 2011 issue of North and South magazine cover story:

    “In the October issue of North & South, on sale Monday, former police inspector and MP Ross Meurant argues the NZ Police remains blighted by a “sanctimonious type of corruption” – a zealousness that condones breaking the law to put someone behind bars because of the belief within their ranks that they know what is best for society. He claims the police place preservation of the police above preservation of the rule of law – and lays out the significant reforms he believes must be made to the way police operate in New Zealand.”

    Y’all be reading this then?

    Comment by MeToo — September 22, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

  25. @meToo

    The current commissioner has put out a really scathing response to that article that is online somewhere. Basically says the guy is unqualified to comment given he’s been out of the force for over 20 years and a few other personal digs at his abilities.

    Comment by insider — September 22, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

  26. @ insider
    Well he would, wouldn’t he.

    Comment by MeToo — September 22, 2011 @ 8:35 pm


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