Andrew Little

Our Court of Appeal thinks that China's criminal justice system is so unsafe that it simply cannot try cases fairly - and our government ministers can't really trust China's promises that it will do better.

I am fortunate enough to be a citizen of three countries – New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Ireland – which gives me the right to live in all three places. So, let’s imagine I am a very bad person. Being such, I do a very bad thing here in New Zealand (inset heinous crime of your choosing), then hop on a plane to Ireland or the United Kingdom to settle into a new life.

Since Gavin Hawthorn was sent to prison for ten years in 2003, over 5,000 people have died on New Zealand roads - at an average of 360 a year. That's almost one a day. Commentators calling for him to be sent to prison again are missing the point.

News that Gavin Hawthorn has recently been convicted of drink driving yet again has caused oodles of outrage, reported in the media. Hawthorn has already killed four people in two separate accidents.

It seems NZ referenda are a bit like Wellington buses - you wait ages for one to come along, and then three arrive all at once. 

New Zealand’s recent experience with using referenda to make decisions has all been a bit odd, really. We had a rather pointless one in 2011 on whether to retain or junk MMP, mainly because John Key inherited Don Brash’s promise that we would and couldn’t back away from it.

The Justice Advisory Board appointed by Andrew Little says it will take a generation to transform the system. So with New Zealand's three year election cycle, Little needs to get on with it

Writing in Newsroom last week, Laura Walters discusses the work being done by the Justice Advisory Panel appointed by Andrew Little. She says the Panel has found that:

“there is widespread acceptance that New Zealand has a broken justice system”.

The birth of a child is almost always a joyous event, but it's especially so for a government that desperately needs the time-out to re-set itself and rediscover its discipline and competence 

As Jacinda Ardern and Winston Peters stand poised to fulfill very different dreams, neither of them will be terribly happy with where the government stands on the brink of this wee bit of history.