A quick note to the NZ Police. You don't own all the information on your computers or in your files - and if academics want to see it, you have to let them do so without imposing conditions. Most of the time, anyway!
by Andrew Geddis
The Treaty of Waitangi negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson is wrong in his public criticisms of the Waitangi Tribunal. Perhaps the Attorney-General Chris Finlayson could have a quiet word in his ear about the importance of the separation of powers in our Constitution?
Via NewsTalk ZB (and sorry for the full cut-and-paste), it would appear that Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson is starting to get a little bit fed up with the Waitangi Tribunal:
Parliament's powerful Privileges Committee (P3C!) is going to have to decide the boundary of fair criticism of the House's Speaker. This should be fun!
According to Phil Lyth on Twitter (hey - it's how you know News is new!), Andrew Little and Chris Hipkins have been referred to Parliament's Privilege's Committee (or, as I've had cause to call it before
Australia's mandatory deportation of (many) criminal offenders is causing us in New Zealand to get very excited. And now John Key realises he can't do anything about it, he's getting ugly.
It's one of life's little ironies that a country in part founded by individuals deported for their criminal actions is now so obsessed with ridding itself of those individuals who display the same characteristics. I refer, of course, to Australia's recent enthusiasm for deporting those whose offending demonstrates a lack of "good character".
There's a legal saying that hard cases make bad law. But sometimes the opposite can be true - an apparently easy case can lead a Court into some pretty swampy terrain.
The story of Jonathan Dixon doesn't raise much sympathy. He was a bouncer at a Queenstown bar back in 2011. While working there, he observed the English rugby player Mike Tindall - who had just married the Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips - "cavorting" with a woman on the dance floor.
It is now legal for anyone in New Zealand to get hold of and read a copy of Into the River. This happy ending to a sorry saga demonstrates that it perhaps is time for a change of leadership at the Film and Literature Board of Review.
Caution: contains sweary stuff ... you may need to wash your eyes afterwards.
In the eyes of this upper-middle class, not-quite-very-old, liberal legal academic, the Film and Literature Board of Review has brought a bit of sanity back to the world by deciding that a book openly showing young men (and soon-to-be young men) how bad choices can create bad outcomes ought to be freely available for them to read.
Jane Kelsey's court victory over the evil MFAT/Tim Groser empire is probably too little, too late for her campaign against the TPPA. But it sends some important messages to a range of public actors in New Zealand's governing arrangements.
A couple of recent cases show that being right about the law isn't enough - you also need to get the courts to do what you want. Because if you can't, you may even end up worse off than when you started.
In any court case, there are (at least) two big questions. The first is, what does the law say about the matter? Then there is the second; given what the law says, what will the court do as a consequence?
If the Trans-Pacific Partnership becomes an Agreement, New Zealand will become bound by a set of "Investor State Dispute Settlement" procedures. What are these, and why should anyone care?
I write this not knowing whether the Trans-Pacific Partnership will become an Agreement or merely a very long, stressful yet ultimately fruitless set of negotiations. I also write this with an admitted lack of expertise in the issue of international trade and economics.
Parliament's powerful Privileges Committee has had a hard look at how social media is being used to report on Parliament ... and decided that everything is working pretty much fine as it is. Hooray!
Parliament's powerful Privileges Committee – it is, apparently, mandatory to refer to it as such in print, so I shall shorten the term to PPPC or P3C – has just put out a report on "the use of social media to report on parliamentary proceedings".