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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

NZ Police: silent killers and their hush money

Bad enough the NZ Police are trigger-happy clowns - blasting away in a blind panic because they are hopelessly disorganised cowards - but now we have the logical follow through from the buffoons at the top:

NZ Herald:
Police breached the terms of the $225,000 compensation deal they gave the family of a teenager accidentally shot and killed during crossfire in 2009.
Ivoni Fuimaono was in tears last night over the fact she received $100,000 shortly after Halatau Naitoko's death was made public yesterday.
The mother was forced to sign a confidentiality agreement by former police minister Judith Collins' office and so her family didn't know about the money, her lawyer, Colin Pidgeon QC said.
However Mrs Collins' office says Mr Pidgeon is incorrect and that the matter was handled by the State Services Commission.
It was announced yesterday the family was to be given $225,000.
Following a critical report into the incident by the Independent Police Conduct Authority last year, Mrs Fuimaono filed a $1 million claim for compensation in the High Court at Auckland in March.
In a statement yesterday afternoon, police broke down the $225,000 compensation payment - $100,000 was for the hardship and suffering caused by the accidental death and $25,000 towards the family's legal costs.
"This is in addition to a payment of $100,000 the family received shortly after Halatau's death," the statement said.
Mr Pidgeon said it was agreed by Mrs Fuimaono, himself, senior police officers and their legal representation that the original $100,000 would still be kept confidential. It was paid on the condition that she did not reveal the payment to friends, family, media or even her own lawyer.

And you're not allowed to tell your lawyer!  That says it all about the NZ Police cover up mentality and bully tactics. They are a unmitigated disgrace. The (un-named) officer that killed the 17 year old refuses to meet with the family too.  So we can add gutless coward to this cowboy's recklessness and inaccuracy.

Far from being critical, the IPCA report - typical of the dependence and deference to police - let's the fatality go as a 'shit happens' scenario. Who loses their job when someone is wrongly shot and killed by police?  No-one.

And while the blood money takes years for the NZ Police to cough up - and only after legal proceedings have commenced - spare a thought for the poor guy critical in hospital right now because an Armed Offenders Squad member "accidently" shot the handcuffed man in the back.  I posted on this a fortnight ago.

NZ Herald:
The 33-year-old Hastings man was in Hawke's Bay Regional Hospital after he was shot when a police firearm was accidentally fired.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Investigations Glenn Dunbier said the man had been taken into custody by police and was lying on the ground when it appeared a police firearm was accidentally fired towards the man.

Police spokeswoman Kris McGehan said the shot man was in a critical condition. She would not say where the man had been shot.

They transferred him to Wellington hospital that night so it must have been very serious. The police have closed ranks and are blaming the gun, of course, not the man. There have been no updates on their site since the 17th of August.

On the basis of how they have dealt with the Halatau Naitoko case this victim should be looking at at least a $50,000 gratis payment very shortly - with a substantive claim and pay-out to be made later. 

Disturbingly in this case the NZ Police also instructed the St John's Ambulance staff not to tell the media anything.  More disturbingly it appears the Roman Catholic Order of St John - the state subsidised private enterprise meat wagons - complied with this request/demand of secrecy.  The police are essentially perverting the course of justice when they heavy people into hiding the truth because the purpose of the secrecy is to limit investigation by external agencies and to permit police constables to act unlawfully. They issue such instructions in bad faith.  Will they tell us if their latest victim of gunplay dies?  Or will they attempt to cover that up too? The IPCA has no information about this on their website despite the police saying in their statement that the IPCA is investigating.  There is no confidence in the NZ Police or in the systems of accountability.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

LVR home sick

The Reserve bank is finally going to do something about the super-heated housing market. Unfortunately their preferred method they have chosen will make life even more difficult for the average income first home buyer. Why they think that penalising new entrants (low deposit buyers) - rather than hitting the property speculators - is going to do anything to contain house prices is not at all obvious. The rich white men making these decisions aren't affected by it so I guess that's why it occured to them...

NZ Herald:
The curbs on low-deposit home lending announced by the Reserve Bank yesterday are likely to prove more restrictive than it thinks, the Bankers Association warns.

Governor Graeme Wheeler said under the new regime, to come into effect on October 1, only 10 per cent of the value of banks' new lending could be on loan-to-value ratios (LVRs) of more than 80 per cent.
But the Bankers Association's regulatory director, Karen Scott-Howman, said the Reserve Bank was making compliance with the LVR restrictions a condition of registration as a bank.

In other words: only those on above average incomes can now afford to get a mortgage. And this will, somehow, contain the over-inflated property market.
RBNZ information: 'Limits for high-LVR mortgage lending

“The LVR restrictions are designed to help slow the rate of housing-related credit growth and house price inflation, thereby reducing the risk of a substantial downward correction in house prices that would damage the financial sector and the broader economy.

“The conventional mechanism to help restrain housing demand, while working on the supply response, would be to raise the Official Cash Rate (OCR), which would feed through directly into higher mortgage rates.
“In the current situation, where escalating house prices are presenting a threat to financial stability but not yet to general inflation, macro-prudential policy offers the most appropriate response,” Mr Wheeler said.

“The Reserve Bank considers that LVR speed limits will be more effective than other macro-prudential tools in constraining private sector credit growth in the housing sector, and dampening housing demand.


The Governor's statement - like the housing boom itself - is purely speculative. The one thing it will definitely do is lock poorer people out. And they will have to continue to rent... off the wealthy who can get past the LVR rules. Sigh.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

TV Review

My TV review for The Daily Blog is posted up over there. This week about that interview : Campbell's shambles v Key's cheese.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Accident Ally

NZ Herald reporting a man in Hastings was shot 'accidentally' by police yesterday (Friday) afternoon as he was lying on the ground. Condition critical; but the Herald says the police told the ambulance staff not to comment. In other words the cops want to keep it secret. First instinct of the NZ Police is to cover it up, control the information, followed by: drag it out to take the heat out of it (as there is never any point of police initiated resolution), and pressure the victim and his family to drop any complaint. So here we go with another almighty fire arms related fuck-up from the cops.

Radio Live's bulletin had a neighbour's account of armed offenders swarming onto the property in force. They report said he was shot in the shoulder. Heard nothing on RNZ about this event, but the police are looking for someone lost in the bush near Whangamata FFS.

Can't blame it on an earthquake either - they were up in Hastings. Who is supposed to prosecute the trigger-happy constable? Not the cops themselves, they are incapable of this accountability. Even when they do attempt to prosecute their own it is often at quite some expense to the staff involved if it is unsuccessful. Something like a special prosecution unit within Mininstry of Justice might be a better approach of bringing criminal proceedings without all the internal conflicts of doing it within police.

As an officer of the Queen with duties and expectations the police constable who 'discharged a firearm in the direction' of the guy now critically wounded in hospital has no normal defence available to a civilian for 'accidentally' shooting someone. The cop is claiming it was not deliberate and that claim is being backed up by official police spokespeople - that is all we know... in addition to the report that the police have tried to gag the ambos (and so they may have been complicit in the police trying to hush this up). So the charge depends on how bad the victim is hurt, if he dies then it can go all the way to murder. If he lives - and no-one will be praying harder than constable Clumsy Clots that he does - then s/he's still looking at careless use of a firearm at a minimum and, one would hope, the sack. Meanwhile the other guy has a bullet hole in his shoilder, so I'm not sure how on Earth Greg O'Conner and the Police Assoc are going to spin this in favour of Itchy McTwitchy. After they've chicken-pecked out on the typewriter their report on that Friday afternoon's lapse of concentration on the job and presented it to their superior, it should only take a few minutes to envoke an instant dismissal. What else can they possibly do? They can't very well keep them on with 'support' and 're-training' in the hope they'll improve and review their performance in x months etc. can they. Well, he didn't shoot anyone else in x months so he's back in... They can't just stick them in a desk job - how does that look for consequences of shooting people. Are they going to blame the weapon itself?

There must be an adequate consequence for this sort of police misdeed and it must be adequately investigated and prosecuted by people external to the police.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Gang harassment law

The government have their GCSB domestication of spying Bill going through the House - to much deserved criticism which will be kept up now it has been delayed a fortnight - but I hadn't noticed this other piece of legislative fascism of the NZ parliament slip by:

NZ Herald:
A bill banning gang insignia in places owned by the Crown or local authorities has passed into law tonight.
Police would be given the power to seize gang patches and official colours within a few days. Offenders could be faced with a $2000 fine.
The Prohibition of Gang Insignia Government Premises Bill's sponsor MP Mark Mitchell said he did not expect an escalation in tension between police and gang members as a result of the changes.
The law change will apply to 34 gangs identified in the legislation, but also allows the Minister of Police to identify an organisation as a gang.
The bill was voted through by National, Act, Independent MPs Peter Dunne and Brendan Horan and New Zealand First.

Labour, Greens and Mana against - and for good reason. It is unnecessary, provocative and open to misuse.  It is worth mentioning that the MP promoting this Bill, Mark Mitchell, makes no mention of fighting the scourge of gang regalia on his website - listing "safer communities" and P as his last priority. His parents were all variously in unifrom under the Crown it appears, and all you really need to know about him is this excerpt:
In 1989 I joined the New Zealand Police...

The only ones living in constant fear of gang uniforms are the NZ Police.  It's not really much of an issue for anyone else.  The regalia is only as scary or intimidating as you want it to be, so obviously it must be terrifying for the police.  It is the people wearing it, not the symbols themselves, that are potentially threatening. One would think the fact they have gone out of their way to indentify themselves - to alert the public to their danger - is actually rather helpful and beneficial to law enforcement.  That's not police thinking.

So this law against naughty logos will be little more than merely a tool for petty harrassment.  Wearing the wrong clothes in official-type places will now be an offence.  How absurd.

The Bill has just been passed, but I take it the version online at the moment is the same as the final text. 
3 Purpose 
The purpose of this Act is to prohibit the display of gang insignia on premises of departments of the Public Service, the Police, Crown entities, local authorities, and schools.

The absurdity is compounded by the listing of the gangs - the ultimate act of sanction and legitimisation. Parliament have given them the undisputed recognition of notoriety and outlaws status that the gangs themselves crave.

So, from the interpretation section, here are the organisations the law in NZ now defines as official gangs. If you aren't on this list then you aren't a real gang::
gang means any organisation, association, or group of persons—
(a) that is known by a name that is the same as, or substantially similar to, any of the following:
  • (i) Aotearoa Natives:
  • (ii) Bandidos MC:
  • (iii) Black Power:
  • (iv) Devils Henchmen MC:
  • (v) Epitaph Riders:
  • (vi) Filthy Few MC:
  • (vii) Forty-Five MC:
  • (viii) Greasy Dogs MC:
  • (ix) Head Hunters MC:
  • (x) Hells Angels MC:
  • (xi) Highway 61 MC:
  • (xii) Hu-Hu MC:
  • (xiii) Killerbeez:
  • (xiv) King Cobras:
  • (xv) Lone Legion MC:
  • (xvi) Lost Breed MC:
  • (xvii) Magogs MC:
  • (xviii) Mongrel Mob:
  • (xix) Mangu Kaha:
  • (xx) Mothers MC:
  • (xxi) Nomads:
  • (xxii) Outcasts MC:
  • (xxiii) Outlaws MC:
  • (xxiv) Rebels MC:
  • (xxv) Red Devils MC:
  • (xxvi) Road Nights MC:
  • (xxvii) Satans Slaves MC:
  • (xxviii) Sinn Fein MC (not being a branch, or an associated organisation, of the political party known by a similar name):
  • (xxix) Southern Vikings MC:
  • (xxx) Storm Troopers:
  • (xxxi) Taupiri MC:
  • (xxxii) Tribal Huk:
  • (xxxiii) Tribesmen MC:
  • (xxxiv) Tyrants MC;

Loving the Sinn Fein note (Gerry Adams and co. on Harleys not really the image I had despite watching all those episodes of 'Sons of Anarchy'). Also: Mangu Kaha is the other name for Black Power - I am not sure of any other double-ups - so that is 33 gangs.

They are all presumed - intimated but not directly stated - by this Act to be criminal enterprises by virtue of the designation powers conferred by section 5 (2):
The Minister of Police may not make a recommendation under subsection (1) unless he or she is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the organisation, association, or group proposed to be identified has the following characteristics:
  • (a) a common name or common identifying signs, symbols, or representations; and
  • (b) its members, associates, or supporters individually or collectively promote, encourage, or engage in criminal activity.

Here is the major provocation (by bolding):
7 Powers of arrest and seizure in relation to persons displaying gang insignia

(1) A constable may, without warrant,—(a) arrest a person whom the constable has good cause to suspect has committed an offence against section 6(2):(b) seize and remove gang insignia (by the use of force if necessary) that has been or is being displayed in Government premises.

(2) Gang insignia seized under subsection (1)(b) are forfeited to the Crown if the person from whom the gang insignia is taken pleads guilty to, or is convicted of, an offence against section 6(2).
(3) If gang insignia are forfeited to the Crown under subsection (2), the gang insignia may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of as the court, either at the time of the conviction for the offence under section 6(2) or on a subsequent application, directs.
Note the "has been" wording - the police can go and remove by force something that they suspect may have been displayed - some time ago even - in a "Government premises".
Note there is no "reasonable"-ness in the use of force authorisation either .  The police aren't required to act reasonably as such, or "in the circumstances" etc. which indicates any appreciation of context.  It is simply left open: "if necessary". Necessary according to the cop at the time.
And it gets worse:
8 Power to stop vehicle to exercise powers of arrest or seizure
(1) A constable may stop a vehicle without a warrant to exercise either or both of the powers in section 7(1) in relation to a person if the constable has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is in or on the vehicle.
(2) A constable who stops a vehicle under subsection (1) must—
  • (a) be wearing a uniform or distinctive cap, hat, or helmet with a badge of authority affixed to that cap, hat, or helmet; or
  • (b) be following immediately behind the vehicle in a motor vehicle displaying flashing blue lights, or flashing blue and red lights, and sounding a siren.

(3) A constable exercising the stopping power conferred by subsection (1) must, immediately after the vehicle has stopped,—
  • (a) identify himself or herself to the driver of the vehicle; and
  • (b) tell the driver that the stopping power is being exercised under this section for the purpose of exercising powers under section 7(1); and
  • (c) if not in uniform and if so required, produce evidence that he or she is a constable.

(4) Without limiting section 7(1), a constable exercising the stopping power conferred by subsection (1) may do any 1 or more of the following:
  • (a) search the vehicle to locate a person referred to in subsection (1):
  • (b) search the vehicle to locate gang insignia that the constable may seize under section 7(1)(b):
  • (c) require any person in or on the vehicle to state his or her name, address, and date of birth, or any of those particulars that the constable may specify:
  • (d) require the vehicle to remain stopped for as long as is reasonably necessary to exercise the powers—
    • (i) in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c); and
    • (ii) in section 7(1), in relation to a person referred to in subsection (1) of this section.

(5) Every person commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000 who, without reasonable excuse,—
  • (a) fails to stop as soon as practicable when required to do so by a constable exercising the power conferred by this section; or
  • (b) fails to comply with a requirement of a constable under subsection (4)(c) or (d).
So it's the cops who have the uniform and identity requirements now under (1) and (2). They have to wear certain things while the gang members have to be stripped of theirs. And they have to sound a siren. No siren... no legal right to search or seize. One without the other - no right. Ridiculous rules for a ridiculous law which the supposed gang members and their lawyers will be driving buses through.
Government premises
(a) means the whole or part of any structure (including any associated grounds) that is owned by, or is under the control of,—
(i) the Crown, acting through a department, the Police, or a Crown entity; or
(ii) a local authority; and
(b) includes the buildings and grounds of any school; and
(c) includes the grounds of—
(i) any public hospital or health facility that is owned by, or is under the control of, a District Health Board; and
(ii) any public swimming pool or aquatic centre that is owned by, or is under the control of, a local authority; but

(d) excludes any residential dwelling that is owned by, or is under the control of, Housing New Zealand Corporation or a local authority

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Treasury accountability for SCF... nil.

The Hubbard collapse reaches the courtroom at last.

Timaru Herald:
Five men will plead this morning in the High Court at Timaru to charges arising from the $1.58 billion collapse of South Canterbury Finance. The five defendants, Edward Sullivan, Robert White, Graeme Brown, Terry Hutton and Lachie McLeod, will be arraigned at 10am to plead to a total of 21 charges, which were brought by the Serious Fraud Office in 2011.
The charges allege that the accused acted dishonestly, primarily in relation to the issue of prospectuses, between November 2004 and February 2010. South Canterbury Finance was placed in receivership on August 31, 2010, owing $1.58b, which triggered a payout under the Crown deposit guarantee scheme.
The 12- to 16-week trial has been set down to start on February 10, 2014. For the next three days Justice Heath will hear pre-trial applications in the High Court at Timaru.
The Crown has applied to have the trial heard by a judge alone, rather than a jury. An application has also been made to move the trial to Christchurch, which will be heard on Thursday.

And who acted dishonestly in the Treasury when they accepted the entry of SCF into the Crown guarantee scheme? The timing of the entry - at the 2008 election when there was seemingly no political oversight - puts that responsibility with the Treasury.  Whoever signed it off has cost the Crown almost a billion dollars all up. What did those officials have the duty to know (and did not), what could they reasonably have suspected was the case with SCF and what did they suppress? Hopefully these facts will emerge from the evidence.

The charges include that SCF did not enter the deposit scheme in good faith:
Edward Oral Sullivan [...] one of entering the Crown deposit guarantee scheme by deception.
Lachie John McLeod [...] Jointly charged with entering the crown guarantee by deception
Robert Alexander White [...]  A charge of entering the government guarantee by deception

But what sort of good faith was Treasury exercising with this deal? If they are part of the deception they should be charged as co-offenders.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

TV review

My TV review has been posted up at The Daily Blog . This week: U Dead.