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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Minister of State Security emerges from Cabinet re-shuffle

Significant reallocations of portfolios:
Annette King takes on the Justice portfolio, and retains Transport and Police.

Cabinet list:
1. Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister

Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage
Ministerial Services
Minister in Charge of the NZ Security Intelligence Service
Minister Responsible for the GCSB

2. Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Deputy Prime Minister

Minister of Finance
Attorney-General (Includes responsibility for Serious Fraud Office)
Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations
Leader of the House

5. Hon Annette King
Minister of Justice
Minister of Police

Minister of Transport
Minister Responsible for the Law Commission

PM: activists 'trained to use napalm':
She dismissed allegations by the Maori Party that the Government was conspiring with police to target Maori sovereignty activists, saying such a move would be illegal. [...] "I find it absolutely extraordinary that the Maori Party on the one hand is demanding police prosecute Trevor Mallard for assault and on the other is claiming people, who at the very least have illicitly used firearms, constructed molotov cocktails and trained themselves in how to use napalm, should not be charged," Clark said. "How does any of that make sense?"

Cullen, Michael: Business Statement
Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN (Leader of the House) : Next week the House will go into a 1-week adjournment. When the House resumes on Tuesday, 6 November, priority will be given to [...] the Terrorism Suppression Amendment Bill.

Hide, Rodney: Terrorism Suppression Amendment Bill — Second Reading:
We have the situation where the Prime Minister, on his or her own bat, can declare someone or some group to be terrorists. The assets of that person or group are frozen, and that is it.

Office of the Minister of Police (Chair Cabinet Policy Committee) POLICE ACT REVIEW:
The specific proposals in Paper 5 seek to: [...] enable police to identify lawfully detained people in places other than at an actual/deemed "police station", and for identity information to be obtained from suspected offenders in certain pre-arrest situations. Better enable the lawful use of assumed identities in covert policing activities...

Hon Annette King 11/09/2007:
The Government plans to set up an Organised Crime Agency (OCA) within New Zealand Police [...] Attorney-General Dr Michael Cullen, who has ministerial responsibility for the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), said the SFO will be disestablished and its important functions will be carried out by the new OCA. Justice Minister Mark Burton said the new organisation was designed to provide police with improved tools to target organised crime.

When you don't have a policy - you have a Royal Commission

The issues about Auckland’s future governance are complex, and the Royal Commission will provide for careful and thorough investigation and consultation to identify the most appropriate long-term governance arrangements for Auckland, to secure its future as an internationally competitive city [...]
The terms of reference direct the Commissioners to inquire into and report upon the local government arrangements (including institutions, mechanisms and processes) that are required in the Auckland region over the foreseeable future in order to maximise, in a cost effective manner:
• the current and future well-being of the region and its communities; and
• the Auckland region’s contribution to wider national objectives and outcomes.

The commission will set up base in Auckland and hire staff before Christmas. It could issue discussion papers before hearing public submissions next year. The commission has to report back to the Government by December 1 next year. [...] new North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams warned against a single city, which he said would end up being an "uncontrollable monster". [...] Bob Harvey, Waitakere Mayor: I think the Royal Commission is a terrific start but what needs to be addressed is a far bigger philosophical agenda about funding, about how funding is derived, about where funding is accessed from, different methods of rating.

Areas specifically excluded in the commission's terms include funding arrangements with central government. Mr Burton said that was because any funding from central government was up to the government of the day to decide.

We are mindful of the recommendations of the recent Inquiry into Local Government Rates and the pending Royal Commission into Auckland Local Government and while we will make every effort to assist the Royal Commission in any way we can at the same time we will not be distracted from getting on with the tasks at hand.

Four avoid Terrorism Act charges

Alt Tv/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
Four avoid Terrorism Act charges
Police have abandoned possible terrorism charges against four people rounded up in police raids two weeks ago.
The Crown has referred evidence against just 12 people to the solicitor-general's office for possible prosecution under the Terrorism Suppression Act. A proviso has been left open to charge the other four at a later date, but that is now unlikely. Solicitor-General David Collins, QC, is expected to decide within two weeks whether charges against the others will be laid under the Terrorism Suppression Act.
As has been suggested on this site previously, there will be a number of the Urewera 17 who are completely innocent of any charge of Terrorism and the aknoledgment of that last night by abandoning charges against those is a welcome relief for their families and for them. However there is another problem overnight
Guantanamo comparison for NZ prison
A lawyer for one of the terror suspects held in custody has compared our prisons to Guantanamo Bay after his client was assaulted. This is the second assault that has occurred on suspects at Auckland Central Remand Prison and it has led to the man's lawyer demanding answers. "It seems as if we've got our own antipodean version of Guantanamo Bay," says Michael Bott, the terror suspect's lawyer. Bott wants his client bailed, but was told by the Auckland High Court registrar he cannot get a hearing for at least a week because all the judges are at a conference. "Insufficiency of resources is being used as an excuse to trump human rights," says Bott. "My client could quite easily argue that justice delayed is justice denied." Both the Corrections Department and Ministry of Justice have defended themselves, saying the terror suspects' rights are being honoured and the delay in scheduling a hearing is not unusual. But after ONE News started making inquiries there has been developments in the case as the suspect has been given extra security and Bott received a brief phone call from the his client - even though it was just three minutes long. It is unacceptable to every single one of us that prisoners should be beaten inside and it is unacceptable that lawyers can not talk to their clients regardless of what charges they’re clients are facing and bullshit arguments of a lack of resources are no excuse. I find it hard to accept that an investigation that has cost $8million would suddenly lose priority status the second it touches corrections and the judiciary. Seeing as the credibility of the Police are on the line, one would like to think this type of nonsense will be eliminated by smarter minds, one lives in hope. Funny how quick they jump the second the Media make calls.

IAEA findings on Iran dismissed

Alt Tv/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
IAEA findings on Iran dismissed
France and the US have dismissed a finding by the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog Mohammed ElBaradei that there is no evidence of Iran building a bomb. French Defence Minister Herve Morin challenged Iran to allow UN inspectors unlimited access to sites. The US said Iran's efforts to enrich uranium rather than import it more cheaply, indicated that it really wanted nuclear weapons. Mr ElBaradei said on Sunday that Tehran was years away from developing a bomb. Does it concern everyone else that France and the US simply dismissed the findings from the agency responsible for deciding if Iran is breaching their obligations? Haven’t we seen all this with Hans Blix before? Are we all getting a little nervous that Bush is just nuts enough to bomb Iran, the ramifications of which could lead to an all out war in the Middle East?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Immunity Jeopardizes Iraq Probe

Alt Tv/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
Immunity Jeopardizes Iraq Probe
Potential prosecution of Blackwater guards allegedly involved in the shooting deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians last month may have been compromised because the guards received immunity for statements they made to State Department officials investigating the incident, federal law enforcement officials said yesterday. FBI agents called in to take over the State Department's investigation two weeks after the Sept. 16 shootings cannot use any information gleaned during questioning of the guards by the department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, which is charged with supervising security contractors.
Some of the Blackwater guards have subsequently refused to be interviewed by the FBI, citing promises of immunity from State, one law enforcement official said. The restrictions on the FBI's use of their initial statements do not preclude prosecution by the Justice Department using other evidence, the official said, but "they make things a lot more complicated and difficult."
When you privatize the military, and you are fighting an unpopular war it gives the contractor an unbelievable amount of political power, not only are these mercenaries free from any prosecution in Iraq for killing Iraqi’s, they are cut incredible immunity deals by the ‘Bureau of Diplomatic Security’, which sounds like the ‘Bureau of Diplomatic Arse covering’. The credibility of America has been so eroded that they have nothing to lose by protecting their paramilitary for profit mercenaries.

Things that go bump in the night

PM: activists 'trained to use napalm'
The activists rounded up in police anti-terror raids had been training to use napalm, Prime Minister Helen Clark confirmed yesterday. Her comment was the first official admission of previously unconfirmed reports about napalm being used at activists' training camps in the Ureweras. Clark's comment yesterday – that those arrested "at the very least" had been training with firearms and napalm – was also unusual, in that she was discussing cases currently before the courts. Police yesterday announced they had sought permission from Solicitor-General David Collins to lay terrorism-related charges against activists arrested in dawn raids two weeks ago. Clark refused to be drawn on whether those arrested were involved in terrorism. She dismissed allegations by the Maori Party that the Government was conspiring with police to target Maori sovereignty activists, saying such a move would be illegal. But she said she had been briefed by police and it was plain those arrested had been training with napalm – something police have not officially confirmed. Following the police announcement of putting the case forwards for Terrorism charges, the Maori Party reined in its strong criticism made at its annual conference over the weekend, saying it would reserve comment until all the evidence was revealed.

In the information vacuum caused by these arrests, many in the activist community automatically assumed (as I did) that this was a gross abuse of power by the Police and the ‘coincidence’ that the new Terror powers were being heard in Parliament was simply too much to believe. I know some of the Urewera 17, (hell one of them works at my station as a cameraman) I respect many of them and share their passion for social justice through activism, and I believe most will be found to have simply been caught up in something they neither supported nor endorsed, but something went wrong up in those spooky mountains, not so much terrorism (we are too laid back in NZ for that) but errorism, a corruption of thinking, a corruption of reason.

I’ve spoken to a lot of people who have seen what the Police have in terms of allegations and everything I hear back suggests it is serious, the manner in which blind support has been whipped up for the Urewera 17 I believe may end up being extremely detrimental to the activist community when the evidence is released, this plays into the hands of right wing reactionaries like Winston Peters, like Michael Laws, like Leighton Smith who will flay the activist community and those who rushed in to support people before they heard what the evidence was. For me, this is a matter of principle, you pick up a gun with a political aim in mind, even to fucking ‘train’ with it, and you are no longer part of a social justice movement, there is no justification for political violence against people in a country with one of the most representative forms of democracy on the planet, yes there is social injustice, yes there is righteous grievance (especially for Tuhoe who never signed the treaty and had over 181 000ha confiscated in 1866), but this fight for social justice is fought with ideas and words, you touch a gun and you should be as marginalized and mocked as much as The National Front are.

I hope that I have gotten the wrong end of the stick on this and that events aren’t about to unfold in the manner I think they are, my position has cost me friends in the activist community who have branded me a traitor, I have been hassled on the street, had viscous emails sent and someone created a carbon copy of my blog profile and has posted awful racist and homophobic comments throughout the NZ blogosphere which has resulted in a lot of angry people believing I’ve posted that shit, and there have been posts here that if I stop talking about this issue the ‘disinfo bomber’ will go away. None of this moves me one iota, and makes me wonder if these people even knew me, I won’t endorse political violence against people for anyone, not left, not right, not center, I am not pro-police (anyone who has read this site would scoff at the mere suggestion that I am) and I believe the idea of giving the Prime Minister sole discretion to decide who is and who isn’t a terrorist under the Terrorism Suppression Act is an absolute disgrace. I agree with symbolic acts against property (stealing battery hens, scratching SUVs, throwing axes through Prime Minsters windows when they confiscate land through legislation) and if you get caught you man up and take the consequences of over stepping the legal line, but the second you plot violence for political means against people, the moment you pick up a gun to train, what are you saying? That you, and you alone know the ‘truth’ and will kill your fellow NZers for that ‘truth’? Sorry baby, that just ain’t my bag. Don’t get me wrong, if the Police start shooting us in the streets, they start torturing us in the cells, they start implementing martial law and suspend elections, I’m with you shoulder to shoulder in armed resistance, but that isn’t happening here, we are so far from it, attempting any defense of armed resistance is almost ludicrous. Nelson Mandela said the oppressor dictates the nature of the struggle, in NZ the ‘oppressor’ uses 3 yearly elections, pepper spray and the odd taser gun, I can’t see how grenade launchers and napalm have any place in that equation.

So what if it is a huge beat up, a disgraceful use of police powers to justify arrogant boasts made after a late night session amongst a bunch of wannabe soldiers who felt a certain vanity and power by making such boasts? What if it is a bullshit over reaction by the cops? Well if that is the case, I’ll be the first to demand resignations from the cops and will personally apologise to every single member of the Urewera 17 for ever backing the Police and I will protest every day at Court over such an obscene abuse of Police power, and I believe it would be the destruction of any credibility the Police force will ever have with NZers. But until that moment, I think we should all wait to see what the Police have before we damn them as fascist bully boy thugs because sometimes, just sometimes, the Police are the people who protect us from the things that go bump in the night.

Ordinary law

In the Convention of Aliwal North of February 1869, the boundaries of Lesotho were laid down in their present form... Britain found it convenient to annex Lesotho to the Cape Colony... the Cape Colony soon began to apply to Lesotho the same laws and methods which it found convenient for administering other areas already annexed by force.

Matters came to a head with the imposition of the "Peace Preservation Act", by which all fire-arms were to be surrendered. Within a few months the whole countryside was in open rebellion.

The Gun War of 1880-81 cost the Cape Government dearly in men and money. Civil strife created further administrative problems. By 1883 chronic misgovernment induced the Cape Government to request Britain to restore direct rule over Lesotho, in return for which it was even prepared to pay any deficit in the annual recurrent budget.

In this way, as a direct consequence of the Gun War, the Basotho won the right to have their country administered separately from other parts of southern Africa. British rule was resumed in 1884, a major step in the sequence of events which led ultimately to the granting of independence by Britain in 1966.

By the 1890s just one major bastion of Māori de facto autonomy remained: the vast Urewera region in the eastern North Island... In 1871-1872 the Native Minister, Sir Donald McLean, appears to have formally recognised the area's regional autonomy...

During the 1870s and 1880s the Urewera tribes, united as the "Union of Mataatua", managed their affairs through a Council, established in 1872 and known as Te Whitu Tekau (Seventy)... The Union did its best to keep the colonial State at arms length. Roads, surveys, land sales, leases and mineral prospecting were banned. Europeans could not enter the area without permission, and if they did they were firmly escorted beyond the borders.
The Union, however, was "a peaceful organisation" and did not seek confrontation with the government... the Native Land Court was going to break into the core Tuhoe territories. It may have been this threat... which led the chiefs of Te Urewera... to enter into negotiations with Seddon, the Liberal Prime Minister, in 1895...

In effect the Urewera tribes made a cession of their de facto sovereignty in return for certain promises made by the government of the day on behalf of the Crown. The main points supposedly agreed to, as identified by Seddon, were:
(a) an external survey of the Urewera block;
(b) internal subdivisions to be carried out by a Commissioner, rather than the Native Land Court; and
(c) the establishment of a process of self-government through a General Committee representing the various iwi and hapū of the region.

The Urewera District Native Reserve Act was passed on 12 October 1896. The Act is described in its Long Title as "an Act to make provision for the ownership and local government of the Native lands in the Urewera District".
The Preamble states:
Whereas it is desirable in the interests of the Native race that the Native ownership of the Native lands constituting the Urewera District should be ascertained in such manner, not inconsistent with Native customs and usages, as will meet the views of the Native owners generally and the equities of each particular case, and also that provision should be made for the local government of the said district...

The guarantees of 1896 were soon forgotten as the Native Land Court was introduced to the region and the Crown embarked on an aggressive programme of undivided share-buying of the Urewera block. Most of the region passed into Crown title during a massive title consolidation scheme during the 1920s.

An Act to facilitate the Settlement of the Lands in the Urewera District...
WHEREAS the [Maori] lands within the district referred to in Schedule 1 to this Act have for a number of years been under special administration, and it is now desirable to apply the ordinary law thereto... hereby repealed... The Urewera District [Maori] Reserve Act 1896.

Terror charges loom for accused (it’s a small world after all)

Alt Tv/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
Terror charges loom for accused (it’s a small world after all)
Police have moved a step closer to bringing terrorism charges against 17 people rounded up in police raids. In an unprecedented move, police have referred evidence to Solicitor-General David Collins for consideration under the Terrorism Suppression Act, after a year-long investigation into alleged weapons-training camps. A decision on whether terrorism charges will be laid is expected within two weeks. Though police would not comment, lawyers for the 17 people arrested two weeks ago in Auckland, the Bay of Plenty, Palmerston North, Whakatane, Ruatoki and Wellington condemned the move. Their voices of protest were joined by activists around the country. And in a ‘it’s a small world after all’ moment, we couldn’t work out where one of our staff members were for a week, until it turned out that he was one of those arrested! Rongomai Bailey is a great guy, a smart guy and a very good cameraman, and after hearing what he had to say, in my mind it seems very clear that there will be two types of Urewera 17, those who went of to what they thought was a camp, but were weirded out by what they saw and left, and those who were planning something.

A war of errorism to justify terrorism - Reports of errors in US database

Alt Tv/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
A war of errorism to justify terrorism - Reports of errors in US database
The United States terrorist database being used by New Zealand spies has come under serious fire for being error-prone and likely to cause innocent people to be detained by American authorities. The Security Intelligence Service has announced it signed a new information-sharing deal with the US under which it gains access to a US terrorist database. The agency said the deal would enhance national security "by improving our ability to identify individuals with links to terrorism before they are granted or denied entry to the border". But concerns about the accuracy of information and the use to which it could be put have been raised by a US Justice Department audit report on the US Terrorist Screen Centre (TSC). A US Justice Department audit published last month says management by the TSC "continues to have significant weaknesses" producing a high error rate and a slow response to complaints. The Washington Post reports that, in an examination of a sample of 105 records, auditors found that 38 per cent contained errors that had not been detected. My God, how can the NZ SIS rely on a system from America with a 38% undetected error rate and use that as a reason to arrest people or turn them down from entering NZ. With stupidity like this it is no wonder NZers are rightfully incredulous towards any suggestion of terrorism, which is why the ‘terror’ arrests currently under scrutiny are creating so much stress and anger, we don’t want to be frightened into doing stupid things based on information handed to us by America, perhaps the activist community could do their bit by not giving the Police an excuse to push for those powers. I’d suggest not running around wearing balaclavas with AK-47s and inviting in stand over men for criminal gangs who attempt to buy grenade launchers to start a war that will kill lots of white people would probably be a good start.

Exxon can appeal $2.5bn oil fine

Alt Tv/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
Exxon can appeal $2.5bn oil fine
Exxon Mobil has won the right to appeal against a $2.5bn (£1.21bn) damages bill relating to a 1989 Alaskan oil spill. The US Supreme Court said it would hear the appeal against record damages due to victims of the Valdez oil spill. The case has dragged on since 1994 with the US oil giant fighting to reduce the bill, which it has called excessive. In what was one of the biggest ever oil spills, 11 million gallons of crude were released into Alaska's wilderness after the Exxon tanker hit a reef. About 1,300 miles (2,080km) of coastline was contaminated as a result of the oil spill. The Captain was drinking Vodka before the crash, Exxon claim they can’t be held responsible for a drunk captain who crashes their ship, and that they have done ‘enough’. Activists and critics of Exxon point out that the $2.5 billion represents 3 weeks worth of profit for the mega oil company.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bloody Angry

"There is mounting frustration and anger, right across the country by Maori genuinely aggrieved by the continued loss of lands, the denial of the Treaty; and now these raids, smashing into Maori homes and terrorising Maori communities. Of course Maori are bloody angry. Why wouldn’t they be?

But guess what folks – none of this is news. Maori have been protesting land theft for 150 years, and the state forces have always opposed them.

How many times have you heard Maori say they are prepared to fight and to die for their land? For heaven’s sake, Shane Jones used to talk like that before Helen Clark got him by the b…, tongue. Tariana Turia came to this House as a dedicated Maori Activist, and hasn’t changed one iota. Hell – I only got in here because of a tidal wave of unrest, and an absolute rejection by Maoridom of the thieving ways of this government.

So, is this terrorism threat serious? Hell yes !!!

The actions of the NZ Police, who contrary to the Minister are not separate from the government, but are in fact an arm of the government, highlight:

an ongoing ignorance of the Maori community by the NZ Police;
a reluctance to engage Maori, but a willingness to arrest Maori;
a refusal to allow their own Maori officers to negotiate on day-one, to save the country a million dollar surveillance operation over the next 18 months;
and a readiness to brutalise Tühoe in exactly the same way they did 100 years ago, even using 70 armed constabulary like they did back then.

The recent actions of the New Zealand Police, with the support of this Labour government, signal clearly not just to Tühoe, but to the rest of Maoridom, that hell yes !!! the terrorism of the Maori community has in fact, never, ever ended, and continues unabated in the new millennium."
- Hone Harawira (in Parliament last week)

Hey Winston, THIS is apartheid

Alt Tv/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
Israel cuts fuel supply to Gaza
Israel has begun cutting vital fuel shipments to the Gaza strip, following through on a threat to step up pressure on the militant Palestinian group Hamas. The move has been strongly condemned by Palestinians in Gaza, who rely on Israel for almost all its fuel and gasoline and more than half of its electricity. The Israeli government earlier declared Gaza a "hostile entity" and approved the plan for the cuts, as a response to almost daily rocket attacks by militants in Gaza. Hmmm – group punishment, always the favourite weapon of choice by oppressive regimes, the suffering Israel intends to wreck upon the Palestinian people isn’t unusual or surprising, personally I love how it’s only democracy when a party Israel and America support wins, but when it isn’t, it’s a terrorist organization.

When Herald Editorials make sense, you know things are wrong.

Alt Tv/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
When Herald Editorials make sense, you know things are wrong.
Very good editorial in the Herald today, demanding to know why media have been banned from Court rooms covering the ‘Terror’ raids. The principle of open justice that the Herald makes is a very strong one, Journalists are our eyes and ears and they keep watch over the process so that the rest of us can have faith in that process. So far there are some Journalists who HAVE seen the allegations against the Urewera 17, but they are under suppression orders by the Courts, what happened in Rotorua however is that the Courts were cleared so that no one from the media witnessed what happened, this is the sort of thing that happens in other peoples countries, not ours. The scale and scope of this $8million surveillance operation is almost unprecedented and the allegations serious, hiding the process and banning media however does nothing for Justice and only gives those who claim this is a set up ammunition. We have nothing to fear from the truth, the Journalists who have seen the allegations are suppressed, we can deal with sensitive details within the current system – banning media from independently witnessing that process is not the way we defend freedom.

And the backlash begins in 5-4-3-2-1

Alt Tv/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
And the backlash begins in 5-4-3-2-1 (Peters: They're marching us into apartheid)
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters made a scathing attack yesterday on racial separatism, accusing protesters marching against the police terror raids a fortnight ago of supporting apartheid. He also accused Labour and National of not having the courage to confront separatism. Mr Peters said the hundreds of people protesting against the arrest of Tuhoe activist Tame Iti were not marching because he was guilty or innocent. That was not yet known. "They are marching because he is brown," Mr Peters told his party's annual convention in Taupo. "We once marched against apartheid, now they are marching for it. "What type of country do we live in when it is not the malcontents with the guns that get turned on by society, but the police?" The cunning old fox of politics does it again, he uses fear and fear mongering better than anyone in the house. Peters knows what the cops have, as Foreign Minister he would have been briefed by the SIS (possibly the only report Winston HAS actually read seeing as he couldn’t get around to the Air NZ flying Australian troops report or the ‘we are letting Ahmed Zaoui go’ reports) – it was only a matter of time before a politician was to use this case for political ends – neither Labour or National have said boo about the arrests, appreciating the seriousness of the whole thing and that it has the possibility of being pretty explosive, not so Winston Peters, he has used race as a divider more than any other politician (remember his rants against Asians and AIDs infected immigrants), and this case could prove his saviour, a final chance for him to point the finger and proclaim, “I told you so”. Come Friday and a full declaration of allegations by Police, and that shouting is going to become deafening.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A view on the left from the left

Here is a fascinating column from Chris Trotter in the Independent

Exploring the case for armed struggle
Independent Financial Review | Wednesday, 24 October 2007

If an arms uprising is being considered in New Zealand, what are the reasons and what will it mean, asks CHRIS TROTTER.
Operation Eight - the series of arms-related arrests intended to pre-empt an alleged insurrectionary conspiracy against the New Zealand state - marks a turning point in New Zealand's political history.
Its importance should not be measured by the scale of the police operations in and around Ruatoki and the Urewera National Park; the Tuhoe people have been on the receiving end of such Pakeha-led invasions at least twice before in their history.
It's only when one considers the deep crevasses opening between the moderate and radical wings of the New Zealand Left that the real importance of the events of the past 10 days becomes apparent.
These widening gaps could all-too-easily result in next year's general election slipping from the grasp of the Labour-Green-Maori "bloc" which, until last week, still seemed odds-on to win it.
As the case against the alleged conspirators unfolds, those New Zealanders who define themselves as left-wing, or, more acceptably these days, as "progressive", will be forced to pick a side.
Do they see their society, and its manifold shortcomings, as being redeemable by the normal processes of constitutional government?
Or, has New Zealand society passed beyond all hope of democratic redemption?
Members and supporters of the Labour Party will, with a handful of ineffectual exceptions, find little difficulty in affirming the constitutional path.
And if Police Commissioner Howard Broad's case for pre-emptive intervention is as strong as he says it is, then Labour people will feel no compunction in roundly condemning the tactics of the alleged insurrectionists.
Within the Greens and the Maori Party, however, determining the correct response to the arrest and subsequent trial of these individuals is likely to prove much more problematic.
Within both parties there exists a significant minority (or even, in the case of the Maori Party, a majority) of members harbouring serious doubts about both the desirability and durability of New Zealand's constitutional arrangements.
In both parties, too, there is a potent strain of millenarian (and even apocalyptic) thinking: a conviction that we have entered or are about to enter a period of fundamental and irrevocable change, during which the institutions and patterns of thought and behaviour that have dominated people's lives for centuries will pass away forever.
For many environmental activists the plausibility of this "end time" scenario is bolstered by the already apparent effects of climate change.
For these "Deep Greens", global warming is increasingly viewed as a test of humanity's willingness to acknowledge its own ecological guilt and embrace the far-reaching and often painful changes in lifestyle required to undo the damage.
Nothing less than wholesale systemic change will suffice.
On the fringes of this millenarian grouping, Deep Green radicalism inevitably begins to shade into the darker hues of eco-anarchism.
If Western industrial society refuses to accept the need for massive social and economic change, then these "Partisans of the Planet" must be free to act on its behalf; defending the natural environment, in Malcolm X's immortal phrase: "By any means necessary."
To such people, the notion of hiving off into the Ureweras with "the people of the mist", to be given the "means" of protecting Mother Nature by staunch Tuhoe warriors, probably sounded like a really neat idea.
Indeed, it is difficult to conceive of a prospect more likely to titillate the romantic sensibilities of the hard-line environmental activist.
If such proves to be the case (and a swift glance at the responses to Operation Eight posted on the Aotearoa Indymedia website strongly suggests that it is), then the Green Party leadership will swiftly come under intense pressure to treat the arrested environmental and Maori activists not as villains, but as heroes.
Even within the Green parliamentary caucus there are those whose youthful experiences in the Maoist and Trotskyist Left are likely to render them more sympathetic than not to a new generation of activists for whom the revolutionary incantation "political power grows out of the barrel of a gun" continues to work its pernicious magic.
Apocalyptic visions of a New Heaven and a New Earth are not, of course, restricted to the radical environmental movement.
Among the defeated Maori tribes of the late 19th century, such visions provided both solace and inspiration. Indeed, it was to shut down and disperse "New Jerusalem", the millennial community created by the Tuhoe prophet Rua Kenana at Maungapohatu (Tuhoe's sacred mountain) that the last great expedition of armed constabulary set off into the Ureweras in March 1916.
There will be few among the Maori Party leadership who are not aware of the prophetic traditions of Tuhoe, or unaware of that tribe's special status as the last to succumb to the ceaseless encroachment of the Pakeha state.
They will know, too, that Rua's New Jerusalem was taken only after a 30-minute gunfight between the prophet's followers and constables commanded by Police Commissioner John Cullen, the man who crushed the miners' strike at Waihi in 1912.
Maori Party historians will also recall the travesty of justice that constituted Rua's subsequent trial.
The images of up to 300 gun-toting, pistol-packing, black-helmeted and body-armoured police constables moving inexorably up the narrow river-valleys of the Ureweras to arrest yet another Tuhoe leader can only have made a deep and painful impression upon the minds of the four Maori Party MPs.
The party's co-leader, Dr Pita Sharples, speaking from a restorative justice conference in Brisbane, characterised the Ruatoki raid of October 15 as an event that would "put race relations in New Zealand back one hundred years".
Coming on top of the staunch defence of Tuhoe mounted by the region's Maori MP, Te Ururoa Flavel, Sharples' comments make it clear the Maori Party will not lightly abandon Tame Iti and his followers to their judicial fate.
We must, therefore, expect Iti and the other persons arrested in Operation Eight to replace Ahmed Zaoui as the cause celebre of at least a substantial minority of the New Zealand progressive community.
"Free Tame Iti!" T-shirts have already been printed, and embarrassing questions (such as: "What possible reason could vegan pacifists have for allegedly possessing semi-automatic weapons and Molotov cocktails?") are being brushed aside as the accused are presented to the news media as innocent victims of a repressive, racist, post-9/11 state, hell-bent on flexing its anti-terrorist muscles in the legislature, the courts and on the streets.
And, so far, this particular framing exercise appears to be working.
A surprisingly large number of media outlets have simply refused to be persuaded that Iti and his eco-anarchist allies constitute any kind of serious threat to either the state or the public.
Partly this is attributable to "colonial cringe": the idea New Zealand couldn't possibly produce a "real" terrorist threat that sort of thing only happens overseas.
Partly it is a reflection of the repeated failure of the police and security forces in places such as Britain, the US and Australia to come up with "the goods" after scaring their respective societies witless for days on end with banner headlines such as "Terror Plot Uncovered" and "Police Swoop on Terror Suspects".
Mostly, however, it stems from a mixture of profound ignorance and lofty condescension.
Knowing next to nothing about the history of Maori resistance, understanding little of the Maori sovereignty debate that has raged for more than 20 years, and accustomed to portraying people on the left as figures of fun, the idea that what the police allege to have been occurring in the Ureweras might turn out to something more than yet another blunder by our "Keystone Kops" is prima facie preposterous to most news editors.
Tragically, however, the essence of the police allegations: that Tuhoe separatists and eco-anarchists have come together in some sort of insurrectionary folie a deux is all-too-plausible.
Historically, the resort to arms by political movements arises out of two quite distinct contexts.
The first is when peaceful and democratic protest is answered with massive state violence. This happened at Sharpeville in 1960, when 69 people were shot by the South African police for protesting against the apartheid Pass Laws.
It happened in Londonderry, in 1972, when 14 unarmed Catholic civil-rights marchers were killed by soldiers of the British Parachute Regiment.
After those events both the African National Congress and the Provisional IRA moved swiftly to embrace the "armed struggle".
The second context, into which New Zealand seems to fit, involves a society in which the extreme demands of a minority group fails to attract a substantive following among the wider population, and is, therefore, unable to make any appreciable progress politically.
In these circumstances, those who don't simply abandon the fight and sink back into passivity tend to become increasingly alienated from their fellow citizens.
A vicious spiral can then set in whereby the indifference of the wider society provokes ever more aggressive assertions of the group's political rectitude, which, in turn, increases its members' sense of social isolation, and, worse still, brings them increasingly under the surveillance of the authorities.
This increased attention from the police and security forces further marginalises the extremists, convincing them not only that their cause is of real significance (why else would the police be persecuting them?), but also that the wider society's indifference to their fate is proof of its culpable moral degeneracy.
That being the case, it is entirely justifiable both ethically and politically to attack and seek to destroy the repressive society by which they are persecuted and oppressed.
More chillingly, they argue that none of those who, by their silence and inaction, are seen to endorse society's evils should be deemed guiltless. And if everyone is guilty then everyone is a potential target.
This is the sort of thinking that spawned the Weathermen and the Baader-Meinhof terrorist organisations of the 1960s and 1970s.
It also produced the Symbionese Liberation Army, the murderous abductors of Patty Hearst.
Couldn't happen here? Let's pray that it hasn't and doesn't. But let's also consider these lines, penned by an anonymous poet "from the North" about "things to come" and posted on the Aotearoa Indymedia website:
"We're only human in these front lines And only lucky soldiers can choose their sides.
So, brothers, please forgive me, Because every last round is for you.
So I'm praying that some Holy Angel has your back.
Just do what you must, we all bleed the same.
So, if your eyes meet mine, across this bloodstained street,
Brother, know this:Yeah, I love you, but I'm not gunna miss."

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Sunday Newspaper Brunch Club

On the Sunday Newspaper Brunch Club today at 11am, Sky Digital 65, Wallace Chapman from Kiwi FM Breakfast and Ben Thomas from the NBR

News that caught my eye –
1: GEO 4 the most important report on the possible future of humanity and the implications of environmental degredation. The news is very bad, the IPCC took the planets temperature, Geo-4 shows us what is going on in the blood supply, the lymph system, the intestines and the immune defences, Hundreds of researchers from a huge variety of disciplines have compiled, written and analysed its 572 pages; thousands more have reviewed the various chapters, .…
*The present footprint is equivalent to 22ha per person, whereas the natural carrying capacity of the Earth is less than 16ha per person
*The world economny has at the same time boomed with the global GDP per capita rising from about US$6000 to just over US$8000. But this increased wealth has come at an enormous cost to the environment.
*Available freshwater stocks have declined dramatically since the 1980s. In west Africa, for instance, stocks have fallen from 1700 cu m per person to 907 cu m today.
*Species of animals and plants are estimated to be going extinct 100 times faster than the historical record.

2: Fox News has a ‘britney’ reporter that they cut to live whenever Britney news breaks.

3: The warning from the NZ Institute to slow down on global warming regulation.

4: The murderer calling the killer black award - US Vice President Dick Cheney, taking a tough line toward Iran, described the country's government on Sunday as a "growing obstacle to peace in the Middle East".

5: Washington Post story - Ghost Prisoners
On Sept. 6, 2006, President Bush announced that the CIA's overseas secret prisons had been temporarily emptied and 14 al-Qaeda leaders taken to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But since then, there has been no official accounting of what happened to about 30 other "ghost prisoners" who spent extended time in the custody of the CIA.

STORY 1 - Deep in the forest: Ross Meurant - SST
Ross Meurant explains in his own words on how he has changed, how police culture has not, and why we should hold off on new anti-terror legislation. This is an incredible in sight into Police Culture, but is Ross merely reflecting what a knuckle dragging society NZ was in the 1970s/1980s and is he still right about Police now and the terror trials of the ‘Urewera 17’?

STORY 2 - - Give Mallard break: Peters - HOS
Beleaguered Sports Minister Trevor Mallard had at least one supporter as potentially the worst week in his political career drew to a close. Mallard was in Taupo yesterday, keeping a low profile after punching National backbencher Tau Henare in the parliamentary lobby last Wednesday. Also in the lakeside town was New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, attending his party's annual conference. "Could we have just a little less of all the hectoring, lecturing, prissy, do-gooder, PC, finger-pointing at Trevor Mallard because he made one mistake?" Peters said. The Government is spending $14million to teach NZers it isn’t ok to hit people, should Trevor go?

STORY 3 - Desperate tenants in unfit homes - sst
An Auckland landlord is fighting to evict a woman refusing to pay $410 rent for a house the council has condemned as a health risk. Tenant Pam Heffernan has been battling since March to have the Glendene house fixed.
She says that when she moved in she told the landlord the toilet was not attached to the floor or flushing properly "he said if I didn't like it I should move". Three weeks later she was given written notice to leave the property and the matter has been before the Tenancy Tribunal ever since. Heffernan has been without a stove for three months and a leak under the house is bringing water inside rooms and rotting the floorboards. Tenant advocates say her family is one of a growing number nationally being forced to live in substandard conditions as landlords cash in on an undersupplied rental market.
There are 3 property investment stories in the HOS today, they are usually profiled on the front page of the Newspaper, we didn’t perform well in last weeks OECD report showing 10% of the population lived in overcrowding, are NZers creating a slum lord class?

STORY 4 - Our bankrupt youth - HOS
Generation Y - people aged under 30 - is financially illiterate and sees credit as a way of life. That's the view of credit managers and insolvency experts who are witnessing a huge rise in loan defaults and bankruptcies among this age group. People aged 20 to 29 account for the largest rise in bankruptcies over the past three years, the Insolvency and Trustee Service says. Numbers of people in this group made bankrupt have risen almost 30 per cent since 2004. People aged 30-49 account for more bankruptcies, but the increase in these age groups over the same period is around 18 per cent. How much are student loands to blame for this?

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Drumbeat for war quickens

Alt Tv/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
The Drumbeat for war quickens
The United States Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, said yesterday the US would cut off Iran's "malignant" activities in Iraq and was working urgently to impose more punitive measures against Tehran. Speaking to the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Rice said Washington was looking closely at "new designations" against Tehran, which the US accuses of fomenting violence in Iraq and pursuing an atomic bomb. The continued demands by America seem to be about creating a justification now for a war rather than genuine dialogue. The Military seem resistant to the idea when you listen to them talk, but it is the politicians like Cheney and Bush who seem to be leaving diplomacy to declare things like ‘World War 3’ if Iran continues building a nuke. The 20th of January 2009 when Bush stands down as President just can’t come quick enough.

It’s not okay, mmmmkay

Alt Tv/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
It’s not okay, mmmmkay
Senior minister Trevor Mallard's front-bench position is under threat after he punched National MP Tau Henare days before the Prime Minister reshuffles her Cabinet. A distraught Mr Mallard was yesterday taking time out in Taupo to reflect on what he described as "one of the most stupid things" he had ever done. He punched Mr Henare in a lobby off Parliament's debating chamber on Wednesday night, striking his jaw after a heated exchange. The clash started when the National MP goaded his rival in the chamber about his personal life. It is understood the pair fell to the floor and had to be separated by two parliamentary staff members. The Government have spent $14million on a campaign to say that it’s not okay to hit people, and here we have the man who gives ducks a bad name thumping Tau Henare, who it must be said, certainly deserves a punch in the face if anyone was handing them out. You can’t have boys brawling in Parliament, it’ll frighten the visitors, especially since dear old Mallard was the first to throw stones with The Dons affair. Dumb boys being dickheads, what a pair of clowns.

Hundreds protest raids; Iti's case moved

Alt TV/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
Hundreds protest raids; Iti's case moved
The Crown successfully applied in a closed Rotorua District Court today to transfer the cases of Tuhoe campaigner Tame Iti and two others with name suppression from Rotorua. The hearing was held while the protest march, organised by people from Tuhoe country in the Ureweras, wound its way through Rotorua for about 45 minutes today. Signs with slogans such as "Police are the real terrorists", "Free Tame & Co" and "Free all political activists" were waved during the march. Among the speakers to the crowd was Iti's son, Toi Iti. Five of the 17 arrested have had their names made public, the latest being 19-year-old Omar Hamed of Auckland, for whom name suppression lapsed today. Hamed, a Palestinian who was born in Greece but who was raised on the North Shore, faces two charges of illegal possession of a rifle and one each of illegally possessing a molotov cocktail and a military-style semi-automatic rifle. The tone of yesterday's hikoi differed from one held in Whakatane on Friday. Yesterday's marchers were louder and voiced their anger. A few also clashed with police and photographers. Bystanders also reported seeing them push aside a table of people collecting for the blind. I know Omar, he is a great guy, but I have to admit to being shocked as to why he would have a ‘molotov cocktail’ or a semi-automatic rifle. In the vacuum of information activists are being whipped up into supporting people without knowing what they are actually being charged with, which comes back to the cops, lordy lord you boys in blue better have the goodies in the evidence or it is your credibility forever on the block. Everything I’ve heard is that the police do, most of me hopes I’ve heard wrong as I suspect the fullness and scale of allegations could damage the activist movement for a very long time.

Gran calls for ban on police pursuits

Alt Tv/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
Gran calls for ban on police pursuits
The grandmother of an Auckland boy seriously hurt in a freak accident during a police chase wants pursuits abolished as police reveal they have made 6000 of them in three years. Nisha Ali's grandson, Farhat Buksh, 13, suffered serious head injuries after being hit by a lamp-post that toppled on to a Mt Albert pedestrian crossing in August, felled by a police car pursuing a suspected drunk driver. Nearly three months later, he can attend school for only a few hours a day. "He's not well ... He'll probably be a year behind," Ms Ali said. In future, she said, police should simply note dangerous drivers' registration numbers and speak to them later. Her comments follow the publication of a police review into pursuits in the past three years. It shows that, between April 2004 and May 2007, police took part in more than 6000 pursuits, an average of 162 a month. Twelve people were killed in crashes resulting from police chases and 106 were injured. Once upon a time in NZ you couldn’t join the cops until you were 30years of age, effectively we had MEN doing the job, these days we let anyone become a cop, dropped the age limit and effectively have BOYS who are cops. In the UK they spend 3 months training to drive in chase situations, in NZ the course is a couple of weeks, you can’t simply allow people to race away from the Police without chase, you can however train the Police much better than we currently do and put into place policy that minimizes contact (ie, if the car isn’t recorded as stolen, trace the owner and see them the next day). Allowing pumped up, ill trained cops chase 12 people to death over 3 years isn’t a positive outcome.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


---------- Forwarded message ----------

Following the meeting last night at Apumoana Marae Rotorua here is the planned hikoi route and times for the hikoi today 25.10.07

11.30am assemble at the Warehouse Carpark along the back fence, where all the flags will be flying
* hikoi begins, walk through the Warehouse walkway and across the pedestrian crossing to Tutanekai Street
* hikoi pass the court house to Pukaki Street, pass the Tuhoe Trust Board Office
* right onto Fenton Street
* right onto to Arawa Street, ending outside the Rotorua Courthouse.
Tame will appear at 2.15pm.

Anti-terror law change 'fascist'

Alt Tv/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
Anti-terror law change 'fascist'
Plans to beef up anti-terror laws have been called fascist by ACT's leader as minor parties from the Left and Right joined forces to condemn the changes. In a rare show of unity on a national security issue, ACT, the Greens and the Maori Party were the only dissenters as Parliament moved toward strengthening the Terrorism Suppression Act despite calls to hold off for the outcome of last week's terror raids. Opponents say the Terrorism Suppression Amendment Bill threatens civil liberties because it gives the prime minister too much power to decide who is a terrorist and could be applied to legitimate direct-action protesters. Giving a politician rather than a High Court judge the ability to designate who is and who isn’t a terrorist is a power too far (ask Ahmed Zaoui) and the Greens make the strong point that there exist laws with serious sentences already without adding ‘terrorism’ to the list of charges. All of this has as its backdrop the Urewera 17 arrests of last week, interestingly Wayne Mapp voiced his party’s thoughts on the arrests last week, and they were that the Police better have the evidence stacked up to have used the word terrorism, I know that there has been much conspiracy regarding this Bill and the arrests occurring during the passage of the Bill, the problem with this conspiracy is that Labour and National already had the numbers to pass this bill by a massive majority without needing to stage trumped up terror charges. The bailing of Rongomai Bailey suggests that there are two sets of arrestees, those who were along for the activism, and those who planned ‘something’. Increasingly that ‘something’ is demanding a level of evidence from the Police that they must live up to or else loose all credibility in the eyes of the public. Meanwhile, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has attacked those protesting against last week's police raids, saying it is "total humbug" that every Maori in the country is innocent. In his first comments about the raids on activists - which occurred while he was overseas as Foreign Minister - Mr Peters called on the Maori Party and Green Party to hear all the evidence the police held before criticising them. Mr Peters would not confirm if he had been briefed by either the Security Intelligence Service or the police about the raids, but it is highly likely he has been. "The idea that every Maori is innocent, that every purpose they have is right and lawful, is absolute total humbug," Mr Peters said. "Across the population of our country there are some activities which are suspect and in the interest of this country's security and safety the police need powers and they need to be able to act. Let's see what they come up with."

Could be the only time ever Winston sounds reasonable.

Warning to NZ: Slow down on climate change

Alt Tv/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
Warning to NZ: Slow down on climate change
New Zealand should be a "fast follower" and not a leader in the race to reduce greenhouse gases, says a report issued yesterday. The New Zealand Institute report recommends the country delay meeting its emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol to 2020, instead of 2012. This ‘Think Tank’ warns us that we will become uncompetitive, that we are too small to make a difference and that we will lose businesses overseas. Really David Skilling from the NZ Institute, and where exactly will these businesses escape global warming David? Australia where they are running out of water? How about Southern California where they have a fire front that can be seen from space? Perhaps the moon David, perhaps businesses will run screaming from NZ to the moon. It’s time business had a good hard kick in the arse when it comes to the realities of global warming, it is happening, we have breached tipping points in terms of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere and we have breached the tipping point so badly our environment can no longer suck up the amount of greenhouse gas we produce. As for being too small, we gave women the vote before any other country, NZ has blazed the trail for social justice in the past, this is no difference, let David and his NZ Institute mates leave for Australia, my bet is they will be back when the water runs out.

Maori girls suffer 'horrific' rate of abuse

Alt Tv/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
Maori girls suffer 'horrific' rate of abuse
A new international survey has found one in four New Zealand girls is sexually abused before the age of 15, the highest rate of any country examined. The results show, for the first time, that Maori girls suffer roughly twice as much sexual abuse as European girls - 30.5 per cent of Maori compared with 17 per cent of Europeans in Auckland, and 35.1 per cent of Maori compared with 20.7 per cent of Europeans in the northern Waikato. With such difficult experiences to overcome from childhood, is it any wonder that some people end up as pretty damaged adults. Interestingly I heard last night on the news that the rate of abuse amongst boys could be higher so this is a major issue across the child population in NZ. When it comes to beating or molesting kids we seem to be world leaders, this is overwhelmingly a male problem (Uncles were the most common male perpetrators (24 per cent), followed by brothers/stepbrothers (14), fathers (13), cousins (11), stepfathers and grandfathers ( 9), other family members (5), family friends and acquaintances (14) and strangers (1)), and it seems to be just another symptom of a male culture so deeply repressed that sexual abuse becomes the norm. Throwing abusers in prison with no ability to rehabilitate is not the answer as most have been victims of abuse themselves. Want to stop the abusers of tomorrow, stop them being abused as kids today.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007




2. Crimes (Repeal of Seditious Offences) Amendment Bill
Passed: 114-7

Juxtapose II

Under UN supervision, the islanders are being asked whether they want self-governance from New Zealand, retaining citizenship and a kind of "free association" in a deal to ensure their economic well-being.

The Urewera District Native Reserve Act of 1896 was drawn up by Premier Richard Seddon to allow the Urewera people to be regionally autonomous, in his words a "self-governing" people. [...] With Seddon's death in 1906, the Tuhoe dream of self-governance that still lives for some today began to be torn down. The Liberal government abandoned attempts at partnership [...] There was to be a final crushing of hope. In 1907 the messianic pacifist leader Rua Kenana offered a new path to a people in despair by establishing a "City of God" for around 600, deep within the Ureweras. Trade, agriculture, even banking and mining, were part of his plan.
But the government saw Kenana as subversive, and in 1916 a large military force was sent in to crush him, using minor charges of supplying liquor as a pretext for what historians now consider to be an illegal armed invasion. Kenana was arrested deep in the Ureweras at Maungapohatu by 57 constables from Auckland, and more from Gisborne and Whakatane. Kenana was unarmed, but a shot was fired, and in the resulting gunfight two Tuhoe were killed, including Kenana's son.
Kenana was taken to Auckland and tried for sedition.


Order Paper
Sitting hours 2 pm to 6 pm and 7.30 pm to 10 pm


Name of bill, Minister in charge of bill, stage of consideration, bill’s reference number, and times for debate

1. Terrorism Suppression Amendment Bill 105-2 12 x 10 m speeches
Rt Hon Winston Peters Second reading† (Report of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee presented 27 September 2007)

2. Crimes (Repeal of Seditious Offences) Amendment Bill 120-1 12 x 10 m speeches
Hon Mark Burton Third reading

Maori are being terrorised

Alt Tv/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
Maori are being terrorised
Hone Harawira used debate on a bill to amend whistleblower legislation as a platform to make strong arguments that Maori were being "terrorised". "Are these threats to Maori serious? Hell, yes," Mr Harawira said. "There is mounting frustration and anger right across the country by Maori genuinely aggrieved by the continued loss of lands, the denial of the Treaty, and now these raids, smashing into Maori homes and terrorising Maori communities," he said. "Of course Maori are bloody angry. Why wouldn't they be?" The police raids signalled that "the terrorism of the Maori community" had never ended and continued unabated, Mr Harawira said. Mr Dunne called the speech inflammatory and said it was "embittered, divisive and downright irrelevant". Harawira’s comments are true, if you were Maori, if you lived in the community that was swamped by ‘police ninjas’ you can understand the hurt and the fright without even mentioning the historical context, as far as Tuhoe are concerned, the only paramilitary groups running around threatening people are the Police. Which is why the cops had better have this in the bag, so low is their credibility that anything short of a smoking gun in terms of evidence is not going to be enough to restore public confidence in their actions. NZers have a default mechanism that automatically sets to the person getting pushed around, we don’t like it and it gets us defensive, which is exactly what Hone Harawira is articulating. Note however he doesn’t try and defend or negate the charges against those being held, which has become the tone of choice once people hear what the Police allege they have as evidence, in other news Jamie Lockett has been attacked in prison, and the inability of the Police to keep one of those charged inside suggests they don’t have the evidence to keep him after he was released on bail. There seem to be two groups of those arrested, those who were just radical and went to the camps, and those who plotted plans.

More sparks are expected as the Terrorism Suppression Amendment Bill is debated in Parliament this afternoon.

Nato air raid 'kills civilians' (emboldening the enemy)

Alt Tv/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
Nato air raid 'kills civilians' (emboldening the enemy)
At least 13 Afghan civilians have been killed in a Nato air strike near Kabul, a provincial official says. Thirteen others were injured, the head of Wardak provincial council said. The Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) confirmed it had bombed an "insurgent position" but said it had no evidence civilians died. Civilian deaths have risen as conflict in Afghanistan has worsened. It is often difficult to establish if claims of civilian casualties are accurate. The BBC's Alastair Leithead in Kabul says the areas where civilian deaths are reported are often remote and hostile, and the dead are buried within 24 hours. It’s almost as if we have forgotten about this weeping wound of a war, the ‘front line’ in the creation of a pseudo united states of Taliban, I wonder how NATO intends to win a war in a country that has a history of destroying armies, now that opium is back and is the only cash crop worth having, how long will it take for ideology to give way to cold hard capitalism as it has for the South American Marxist guerillas. Afghanistan shouldn’t have been invaded and the West will have to live with the consequences of invading, which seem to be a lot of dead Afghanistanis.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

In the in box

To: Te Ururoa Flavell
Subject: RE: Arrests
Importance: High

Tena Koe E Hoa

Groups involved in the organizing of support for Tame and Co:

A working group was set up at Apumoana after court on Wednesday by Bernie and Paul and those people from Tuhoe who were at court.
Tuhoe Executive Council (Ruatoki) have set up a working group to deal with all matters concerning the raid, the invasion on Tuhoe mana, the implications of the Terrorism status on Tuhoe, and the release of Tame Iti and co.
Auckland Group – lead by John Minto and Co who will be coming to the courthouse on Thursday.
Mana Maori Groups from Raglan, Wanganui and Turanga who will also be attending.
Not forgetting the legal beagles who seem to be falling out of the woodwork now.

Below is our plan for Wednesday. We are unable to plan for a hikoi on Thursday until we know who will be at Apumoana, and what the Tuhoe contingency want. We are a bit apprehensive about putting plans together, because we have not informed the police yet about our intentions, if we were to hikoi.

Tagged, Bagged, Gagged


A Sunday newspaper yesterday claimed United States President George W. Bush, Prime Minister Helen Clark and Opposition leader John Key were the targets of threats.

According to yesterday's report, the three leaders were discussed as potential targets by those under surveillance during the Special Investigations Group operation.

Sunday News:-
Prominent Maori, including government department bosses, were among the targets of a simultaneous, multi-pronged terror attack that would have rocked the country.

But criminal procedure expert Scott Optican says it does not necessarily mean terrorism charges will ever be filed. "The offences you allege generate the scope of the evidence that you are allowed to collect relevant to those offences, but it really was just an ordinary search warrant that's issued every day in New Zealand," he says. [...] Optican has also warned against focussing on the word terrorism - which has some scary and negative implications - and to remember that New Zealand is, at this time, simply dealing with an allegation of criminal offending.

It is not fair for police to be speaking about the Terrorism Suppression Act when no charges have been laid under it. [...] Wilson says peace groups and environmental activists groups should not be smeared with the word terror before the Attorney General has been approached to see if terrorist charges should be laid.


Seven Auckland "Terror" Accused Remain In Custody.

NZ Herald:-
Seventeen people were arrested yesterday in Whakatane, Ruatoki, Hamilton, Rotorua, Wellington and Auckland in an operation involving 300 police officers and the closing of airspace in the Bay of Plenty. [...] The High Court judge has remanded him in custody to reappear in court on Friday, along with the five other Auckland accused.

Scoop re: Tame Iti :-
Judge Davidson also said he expected in normal course of events for another bail application to be heard within a month for the accused.

Terror net spreads wide: Oct 18, 2007 6:37 PM. As the police continue to search homes across the country it seems more and more people are getting caught up in the raids.

Tuesday October 23, 08:47 AM. Police have arrested 17 people since the nationwide raids that commenced last Monday.


Scoop re: Tame Iti :-
This is the only fact concerning his decision that is allowed to be reported. [...] Scoop is unable to report on the content of submissions. [...] the judge ordered the court cleared for submissions by counsel.

Scoop re: the Wellington four:-
Family members of the Wellington accused were banished along with everyone else. [...] “Operation 8” has been so surreal that it was no longer possible to apply normal analysis. [...] family members and supporters, but they were again denied admission. [...] the Judge announced to media alone that he would permit publication of the decision only (no reasons or submissions or indeed anything at all except the fact of a bail hearing and of it failing).

Scoop re: the Auckland seven:-
Each of seven defendants had their cases called separately (one had been transferred to Auckland from Hamilton) - argued that references of 'terrorism' had been thrown around all week yet the police were yet to charge anyone for offences under the Terrorism Suppression Act. [...] Submissions and argument concerning his bail application were suppressed. Further they argued that having their names in the media could damage their reputations in such terms, but without that charge having been laid against them.

And it seems the actions police say they have taken in the name of safety have left some wondering if it is safe to be outspoken in New Zealand.

Police-raid opponents tone down criticism

Alt Tv/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
Police-raid opponents tone down criticism
Vocal critics of police raids on alleged terrorist-training camps in the Ureweras yesterday softened their stance, saying the threats had to be investigated. Activists and Maori Party and Green MPs have been skeptical about the existence of alleged camps for weapons training in the Ureweras or terrorist activity. However notice how everyones tone changes the second they are quietly shown what allegations the Police have and the evidence backing those allegations up. I have been roasted for apparently only speaking to a junior activist and going off on a publicity drive for myself by some in the activist community (criticism now ranges from me being ‘Greg Oconner’s bitch’ to being a CIA agent for the love of Christ), I’ve even had a ‘disinfo’ bomber clone created using my blogger profile by someone who has posted racist and homophobic comments all over the blogosphere purposely smearing and confusing what I have been saying, all because I’ve questioned things a little more carefully than others have . I’ve spoken to as many sources as I can over the weekend (and for the record I never spoke to a ‘junior’ activist) and everything I am hearing back seems more serious than I had originally thought, again let me re-iterate for some in the activist community – you pick up guns and plot violence for political means and you have no place in this movement. The real issues at hand now are due process for those who have been arrested, (none of us are comfortable with the idea that someone should be detained without charge) and we should start the discussion about what we are going to actually accept from the Police as evidence, because the Police MUST have more than just pisstalk if they want to have their actions seen as justified and for their own credibility, it has to be more than just shock value arrogant boasts made deep in the forest, it has to be plotting and there has to be evidence of capacity to commit those plots, I’m not (and I don’t think the rest of NZ are) going to accept people boasting about killing political leaders as terrorism, we are going to need to see real evidence of how they intended to do that before the Police get their credibility back.

I wonder which newspaper had their scoop knocked back due to the belief by Police that an attack was imminent?

Pot calling Kettle a terrorist

Alt Tv/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
Pot calling Kettle a terrorist
US Vice President Dick Cheney, taking a tough line toward Iran, described the country's government on Sunday as a "growing obstacle to peace in the Middle East". Cheney, in a speech to a think tank, also accused Tehran of practicing "delay and deception" regarding its nuclear programme and warned of consequences if it did not comply with the West's demands that it halt sensitive nuclear work. The US vice president's harsh rhetoric toward Tehran came just a few days after President George W. Bush warned that nuclear-armed Iran could lead to World War Three. I’m sorry, Dick Cheney is calling Iran an obstacle to peace? Well seeing as America is the main obstacle to peace in the Middle East with their continued support of Israel and illegal Israeli settlements which continue because of a 40 year oppressive occupation that America supports with billion dollar military ‘aid’ every year and who is also currently nuts deep in another cluster fuck of stupidity in Iraq and Afghanistan, I suppose technically Cheney is the most qualified when it comes to being an obstacle to peace and thus can identify it in others. America’s hollow warnings of the threat Iran poses to the rest of the planet sound vaguely familiar. America has no credibility any longer when it comes to crying weapons of mass destruction wolves.

Terrorist group must have already been "carrying out" terrorist acts

According to submissions made by the Crown in Auckland District Court today, only at the end of the week will the police have a sufficiently clear view of their case to decide whether to press on with charges under the Terrorist Suppression Act.
Each accused - most of whom are political activists - faces a number of charges under section 45(1)b of the Arms Act 1983 alleging collective possession of a range of weapons.

Bryan Innes' account:
Last Wednesday [...] we were invaded by about 15 policemen and policewomen and two huge dogs. [...] We were presented with a warrant to search the premises and confined to the lounge whilst the police searched through every nook and cranny in the house. Some time into the search Oscar, who had been looking carefully at the warrant, noticed it was unsigned. At this point I told them to leave. The result was instantaneous. Burly policemen moved in to physically block every exit. The Detective in charge was called in. He then produced a new warrant with an illegible signature on it and no name. He maintained that the absence of the name was to protect the judge. He said he did not know who the judge was but that it was a legal warrant and that they had the right to continue to search irrespective of what we might think.

Given the strength of their physical presence we had no option but to allow them to continue. It was only after it was over that I realised that the second copy he showed me had irregularities not consistent with it being a legitimate court issued document.

I won’t include those irregularities here as the police will be reading this account.

Terrorism Suppression Act 2002
s. 13 Participating in terrorist groups
(1) A person commits an offence who participates in a group or organisation for the purpose stated in subsection (2), knowing that the group or organisation is—
(a) an entity that is for the time being designated under this Act as a terrorist entity; or
(b )an entity that carries out, or participates in the carrying out of, 1 or more terrorist acts.
(2) The purpose referred to in subsection (1) is to enhance the ability of any entity (being an entity of the kind referred to in subsection (1)(a) or (b)) to carry out, or to participate in the carrying out of, 1 or more terrorist acts.
(3) A person who commits an offence against subsection (1) is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.
s. 5 Terrorist act defined
(1) An act is a terrorist act for the purposes of this Act if—
(a) the act falls within subsection (2)
(2) An act falls within this subsection if it is intended to cause, in any 1 or more countries, 1 or more of the outcomes specified in subsection (3), and is carried out for the purpose of advancing an ideological, political, or religious cause, and with the following intention:
(a) to induce terror in a civilian population; or
(b) to unduly compel or to force a government or an international organisation to do or abstain from doing any act.
(3) The outcomes referred to in subsection (2) are—
(a) the death of, or other serious bodily injury to, 1 or more persons (other than a person carrying out the act):
(b) a serious risk to the health or safety of a population:
(c) destruction of, or serious damage to, property of great value or importance, or major economic loss, or major environmental damage, if likely to result in 1 or more outcomes specified in paragraphs (a), (b), and (d):
(d) serious interference with, or serious disruption to, an infrastructure facility, if likely to endanger human life:
(e) introduction or release of a disease-bearing organism, if likely to devastate the national economy of a country.


(5) To avoid doubt, the fact that a person engages in any protest, advocacy, or dissent, or engages in any strike, lockout, or other industrial action, is not, by itself, a sufficient basis for inferring that the person—
(a) is carrying out an act for a purpose, or with an intention, specified in subsection (2); or
(b) intends to cause an outcome specified in subsection (3)

-------------UPDATE: 11:00AM 24/10/2007-------------

Public Address' Graeme Edgeler in Pt 2: Terrorism Charges -- What's Involved:-
section 25. It states:
For the purposes of this Act, a terrorist act is carried out if any 1 or more of the following occurs:
(a) planning or other preparations to carry out the act, whether it is actually carried out or not:
(b) a credible threat to carry out the act, whether it is actually carried out or not:
(c) an attempt to carry out the act:
(d) the carrying out of the act.

There's obviously a good argument that this will overcome any problems associated with the fact TQ hadn't actually done a terrorist act by the time arrests were made. But I don't think it's 100% clear.

If I was the lawyer of one of the Urewera 17, I'd be arguing a couple of things.

First, section 25 appears under the heading "Further provisions relating to interim and final designations" and section 5 of the Interpretation Act 1999 makes it clear that headings can be used to interpret legislation. I'd be arguing that what this section means is that an organisation can be designated a terrorist entity even though "all" they've done so far is plan or threaten terrorism. I'd be arguing that if this was intended to apply not just to designations but to all the offences too, it would be included in the definitions section earlier in the act – not in a part solely related to designations (the "organisation" of a statute can also be used to help interpret it).