Actually Andrew, that is precisely what Kiwi voters want

by Cameron Slater on June 17, 2018 at 9:30am

Andrew Little is valiantly trying to convince voters that his “catch-and-release” policy for criminal justice reform is needed. Quote:

Andrew Little has initiated a review of bail, sentencing and parole laws, and better rehabilitation of prisoners.

Mr Little told Newshub Nation that the policy followed over the past 30 years could not continue.

On the current trajectory on prison populational growth, if we did nothing we would be building an extra prison every two to three years. That’s how bad it is.” End quote.


Excuse me? Locking up bad bastards is bad? Actually, that’s what voters want. Now you can see the folly of their decision to build a prison with a third of the cells needed.

Can you believe the cheek of these pricks? Not only do they want to empty the prison, but they also want to build smaller prisons, and then they moan that they will need to build more when those ones are filled up. Quote:

Currently 60 percent of prison inmates re-offend within two years of being released from jail.

Mr Little said he wanted to start a public conversation about ways to reduce re-offending.

“That 60 percent re-offending figure – that is a mark of failure of 30 years of criminal justice policy that says ‘we’ll lock more people up and we’ll lock them up for longer’.”

Mr Little said the government wanted to reduce re-offending and thereby reduce the number of victims of crime. End quote.

Actually, that’s what we want. We do want to lock them up longer, but sopping-wet liberal pantywaists like Andrew Little want to let them out, and judges don’t want to put them away. That was why ‘three strikes’ came about – and the judiciary has systematically undermined that law at every possible turn.

Andrew Little has said he wants to reduce reoffending. Might I suggest locking people up for longer? They certainly don’t reoffend against the civilian population whilst in jail. Quote:

Ms Ardern said the government as a whole supported reform.

But she told Newshub Nation it also had to get public support for change.

“We need to bring people with us – that’s the whole point. If you end up being a one term government as a consequence of changes you have made, you probably haven’t brought people on that journey.

“The pitch that we’re making is when we have a static crime rate…but an ever increasing prison population, is that the kind of country we want to be?” End quote.

Yes, a country where bad bastards are in prison.

Little and Ardern are lying to us when they claim that prison is full of low-level criminals. It isn’t. You have to try really hard to get sent to prison – really hard. Most people in prison have an average of over 40 criminal convictions. That isn’t low level. That is a hardened recidivist criminal class, and the best place for them is a prison.

If Andrew Little wants to stop recidivism then perhaps he should investigate bringing back the death penalty for real bad bastards, and extending three strikes to include crimes other than just crimes of violence.

I’m happy if Andrew Little wants to continue his soft-on-crime criminal justice reforms. It just makes it that much easier for the opposition to win back the treasury benches. I really hope they fight an election on letting criminals out of jail early.

Another lash at Kelvin Davis from the media

by Cameron Slater on June 18, 2018 at 10:30am

Patrick Gower is another media commentator who is witnessing the slow destruction of an inept minister: Quote:

Kelvin Davis is a “wounded man walking” who better watch out, says Newshub national correspondent Patrick Gower.

The Corrections Minister on Wednesday announced plans for a new prison, but appeared to be unaware how many of its inmates would be double-bunked.

Corrections boss Ray Smith interjected after Mr Davis froze, confirming Newshub’s suggestion it would be around half.

“I get nervous before interviews,” was Mr Davis’ explanation, when asked about it on The AM Show.   

Mr Gower, who was Newshub’s political editor for several years, told The AM Show he’d never seen anything like it.

“Only in New Zealand would a deputy leader of a governing party come on after a major policy announcement in his or her portfolio and say, ‘You know me – I get nervous and I forget things.’ I’ve never seen that before.”

He said Mr Davis is “battling and he’s lost his confidence”.

“Kelvin is not a dead man walking, but he’s a wounded man walking. The media are after him, the Opposition are after him, probably people in his own party want the deputy leader job at the very least – they won’t want the Corrections job.”

Labour railed against double-bunking while in Opposition. Gower said Mr Davis is being forced to sell a “political lie” in claiming Labour is doing things differently to the previous Government.

“He’s an incredibly resilient individual and he’s a good guy. But where is the Kelvin Davis that called for a Māori-only prison in Ngawha? That was an idea that could change things. Where’s that guy gone? He’s fed by the bureaucrats, he’s fed by the spin doctors.

“What has happened to him is he was made to sell a political lie yesterdayThere is no great new prison system or great new idea – it’s the same thing. It’s double-bunking, it’s hell-holes, it’s bad. He’s put out there to sell a lie, and he’s stuffed it up.”

Gower suggested former Corrections Minister Judith Collins, known for her tough and uncompromising hardline stance on crime, could have made same announcement.

“You could use those numbers and come out and say ‘hey, we’ve been tough on crime’. You could have put Judith Collins in Kelvin Davis’ place today and she would have sold you a different story. All he’s been given by Jacinda Ardern’s spin doctors one day before she goes away is some lines about American-style prisons.” End quote.

Which no one believes, and wishes the government would actually implement.

We don’t want crims getting cuddles and hugs, we want them locked up and if it is miserable and horrible for them so be it.

The sad reality is the media made Kelvin Davis, they ran his stories on crime and prisons uncritically, they egged him on and like psychopathic school kids they are now plucking the wings and legs off the fly that is Kelvin Davis.

Kelvin Davis is a weak link, well one of them anyway

by Cameron Slater on June 18, 2018 at 8:00am

Heather du Plessis-Allan reckons Kelvin Davis has a target on his back: Quote:

Someone get Kelvin Davis a bottle of something strong, because this is going to hurt.

From here on in, government is going to be painful for Ardern’s 2IC.

He’s just marked himself as an easy target. The baby buck straggling behind the rest of the herd, if you like.

If National wants to pick someone off, claim a scalp, he’s the obvious option.

And it looks like National knows that. End quote.


National actually don’t want scalps. They want to debilitate the hopeless ministers but not actually tip them over, because having a stupid and inept minister in place is way more fun and politically damaging than having them quit. Quote:

Kelvin Davis is the rising star that turned out to be nothing more than a distant motorcycle light. He could be something, but it hasn’t happened.

Just before last year’s election, Labour picked him from the middle of the pack and promoted him to deputy leader. He was there on the strength of scoring some big hits on National Government-run prisons. And on the strength of being Māori. It made a good headline. Davis as Labour’s first Māori deputy leader.

But then, things started going awryDavis got a case of the yips. All that promise evaporated in a cloud of nervous perspiration and self-doubt. End quote.

All mouth and no trousers… worse, the mouth resorts to pidgin Maori when stressed. Quote:

It started after a month in government. Davis was acting prime minister for the first time. He was a flop. He couldn’t answer questions in Parliament’s debating chamber. He should’ve been able to. He is the second most important person in the party after all. But he needed the fourth, fifth and seventh most important people to tell him the answers in front of everyone watching, before he could stand up and give them. End quote.

He then went into hiding for an extended period until last week. Quote:

Then things went very wonky last week in Parliament when he told a senior National Party MP to stop being hystericalGiven that MP is a woman and there’s an awkward bit of history where men took to diagnosing women with hysteria, then remedying it with hysterectomies, that wasn’t wise. Also it sounded arrogant. He apologised the next day.

Things got worse when he stuffed up the Waikeria prison announcement. The Government should have been saying, “Yay, we’re not building a mega prison!This one’s way more empathetic and modern with 100 mental health beds”. Instead, the headlines were about Davis’ fluffs. Multiple fluffs.

First, he couldn’t answer a reporter who asked how many of the prison’s inmates would be double-bunked. The Corrections CEO standing alongside him had to answer. Afterwards, Davis had an explanation for the mind blank. He gets “nervous” before interviews. His words.

Then, he went on Newstalk ZB’s Drive Show with me and said it didn’t matter too much that all those extra mega-prison beds wouldn’t eventuate because if things got really crowded, they had an ugly solution. They’d just throw a few mattresses on the floor. Again, his words.

Wherever Davis’ mojo is gone, he needs to get it back. Because it looks like National has smelled his fear and is coming after him. End quote.

That is what I have been told too. This week could prove excruciating for Kelvin Davis. Quote:

The day after he stuffed up the Waikeria prison announcement, National MPs were all over him in Parliament. Three Parliamentary questions. One after the other. Boom, boom, boom.

To put that in context, every question has a series of supplementary questions attached to it. So Davis faced what would’ve felt like 100 questions in a row. That would’ve taken hours to prep for. Two thirds of the way through, he started answering in te reo. Smart way to break the pressure. Pretty bloody obvious. End quote.

Until National put up Nuk Korako and Harete Hipango to ask the supplementary questions in te reo – both are way more fluent than Davis in te reo – the joke is that Davis is, in reality, only speaking a kind of pidgin Maori. Quote:

National may be itching to claim a scalp. They could maybe have taken Clare Curran’s scalp earlier this year but they passed. It was too easy and too early. If they’d scored her resignation over the Carol Hirschfeld active-wear coffee date, they might’ve looked too unkind and prompted pity for Jacinda Ardern and her Government. But, time has passed, Ardern’s on maternity leave and National could do with a win.

If Davis doesn’t give himself an uppercut, he might be that scalp. End quote.

National aren’t keen on taking scalps. They prefer playing with inept ministers, like a cat that’s got a mouse.

The negative narrative continues for this government

by Cameron Slater on June 18, 2018 at 8:30am

It appears that Jacinda-mania is over and that media have finally realised the princess has no answers.

If there ever was a honeymoon it is well over now as the government lurches from one crisis after another and almost all are self inflicted.

Stacey Kirk is the latest to put down the Kool-Aid sippy cup: Quote:

Consensus government in action, or a bloody awful mess? 

It’s difficult to characterise the past week as anything but the latter and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern may be worried about whether she’ll have a Government to come back to when she returns from maternity leave.

Her first born is officially due today, and what is surely a time of nervous excitement for the expanding First Family will carry an added layer of anxiety.

Her MPs don’t exactly make it easy for her. End quote.


That is because they are mostly shiftless, stupid and stumbling. Quote:

The chickens have come home to roost for the Government this week, with the Opposition enjoying what’s likely to be far too many “told you so” moments for Ardern’s liking.

And if this week has illustrated anything it’s what lies at the beating heart of any coalition-related controversy – Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has been at the centre of everything.

That goes to the heart of a strategy the National Party developed at the start of the year during its intensive two-day caucus strategy meeting: don’t target Peters, there’s simply no need. 

And to a certain extent, National’s strategy of divide and conquer gained some abstract success this week too.  End quote.

Actually, Winston Peters isn’t at the centre of everything. All of the government’s problems are centred on inept Labour ministers. Quote:

It began with a hastily-arranged press conference by Justice Minister Andrew Little, to reveal that his grand plan to repeal the three strikes legislation had been shot out of the sky.

He’d spent the previous week giving interviews about his plans to take it to Cabinet and push forward – the only issue was, he did not have the numbers to do so. More embarrassingly for Little, Peters decided to wait until the 11th hour to let him know.

Total humiliation  awaits any member of Cabinet who threatens to step outside the bounds of MMP and attempt a “first past the post”-style power play to get ahead of public opinion – that’s what Little got and really, he should have expected it. End quote.

It was poor coalition management from Andrew Little, and Jacinda Ardern who was more concerned about travel arrangements from Auckland to Hamilton for some more soft media ahead of her birth. Quote:

When the PM comes back in six weeks saying “hey guys, what did I miss?” her officials may be looking sideways.

“Perhaps you’d better sit down for this one, Prime Minister.” End quote.

I don’t think things are going to get better for this government. Actually, much, much worse. The David Clark story has much, much more to come, and Kelvin Davis isn’t out of the woods either.

More lies from Jacinda Ardern and Andrew Little minimises indecent assault

by Cameron Slater on June 15, 2018 at 8:30am


Both Andrew Little and Jacinda Ardern are spinning like tops on justifying their smaller prison at Waikeria. They’ve made claims that prisons are full of low level offenders: Quote:

“The American style approach of building mega-style prisons and filling them with low-level criminals is not working. End quote.

Andrew Little said the same thing in parliament yesterday: Quote:

MARK MITCHELL (National—Rodney) to the Minister of Justice: Does he stand by all of his Government’s justice policies and decisions?

ANDREW LITTLE (Minister of Justice): Yes.

Mark Mitchell: Does the Minister still agree with the Prime Minister’s comments that we’re filling our prisons with low-level criminals?    



Mark Mitchell: How many people are in prison for possession of cannabis?

ANDREW LITTLE: I don’t have that particular figure on me. What I can say is that we know that more than 50 percent of those who enter the prison system in any one year are convicted of crimes that do not entail violence or are not otherwise serious.

Mark Mitchell: What is an example of a non-violent assault?

ANDREW LITTLE: The member may well be aware that earlier this year, a High Court judge in Auckland was dealing with an offender charged with indecent assault—in fact, convicted of indecent assault. The actions comprising that offence were pinching the bottom of a prison officer, and the judge was having to face the fact that the prisoner, because of the operation of other law, was facing a mandatory maximum sentence of seven years. The judge said he was not going to sentence anybody to seven years for pinching somebody else’s bottom.

Mark Mitchell: Could the Minister just clarify for me that he just stood in the House and told us that an indecent assault is an example of a non-violent assault? End quote.

Judith Collins points out in a tweet that Andrew Little misrepresented the situation of that case: Quote:

On checking the Judge’s sentencing notes, it was described as ‘grabbing’ the Correction Officer’s bottom, & the victim requiring stress leave. I can imagine how stressed she would be going back into her work with that offender. Little trivialises women workers. End quote.

Judith Collins


On checking the Judge’s sentencing notes, it was described as ‘grabbing’ the Correction Officer’s bottom, & the victim requiring stress leave. I can imagine how stressed she would be going back into her work with that offender. Little trivialises women workers.

Judith Collins


Just wondering if A.Little would think it’s ok if he was a female Corrections officer working with predominantly violent & sexual male prisoners, if one of those violent&sexual offenders ‘pinched’ his bottom? He told Parliament that was a ‘non-violent assault’. #SoftOnCrime


He continued to mislead the house with his answers: Quote:

Mark Mitchell: How many people, under your definition of non-violent assaults—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! Order!

Mark Mitchell: —sorry, the Minister’s definition of non-violent assaults—are currently in prison?

ANDREW LITTLE: Again, I don’t have that detailed figure, but I repeat: what we do know is that 50 percent of offenders entering the prison system in any one year are convicted of offences that do not entail violence and are not otherwise serious offences. That member will know that we have a Sentencing Act and a sentencing regime that distinguishes between different categories of offence. There is more serious offending and there is less serious offending. End quote.

That simply isn’t true at all. Simon Bridges pointed out the facts: Quote:

“The Government’s own figures show that 98 per cent of prisoners are locked up for Category 3 and Category 4 crimes. These are offences punishable by two years in prison or more. These include murder, manslaughter, rape, aggravated assault and sexual violence.

“These are not low level offences and the Prime Minister is wrong to say otherwise.

“It is also worth noting that people on remand or serving sentences in New Zealand prisons have an average of 46 convictions on their criminal record.

“The fact is only our most serious and repeat offenders are locked up and they must continue to be, and the only way that will happen is if the new prison is built. End quote.

David Farrar summarised the prison statistics for offences: Quote:

The prison population comprises the following by offence category

  1. Category 1 (infringements and fines) – zero
  2. Category 2 (term of imprisonment of less than two years) – 224 (2.1%)
  3. Category 3 (term of imprisonment of more than two years) – 9,698 (91.0%)
  4. Category 4 – (murder, manslaughter, treason, piracy, slavery, public corruption) 738 (6.9%) End quote.

It is pretty obvious that the prime minister, who claims that she does not lie, and Andrew Little are minimising the sorts of crimes that people are in prison for. For a justice minister to think that an indecent assault, one which caused the Correction staff member to take stress leave was nothing more than a pinch on the bottom shows just how out of touch he is with society, and reinforces Labour men have a problem with women. That a Labour man thinks it is perfectly OK for indecent assaults against women to be minimised says a great deal.

Labour’s inept ministers continue to be exposed, this time it is gagging people and buying silence

by Cameron Slater on June 15, 2018 at 9:00am

Labour’s inept ministers continue to be exposed, this time it is gagging people and buying silence from critics by offering them jobs if they shut up: Quote:

Newshub has obtained a voicemail and emails which suggest the Health Minister tried to gag senior staff talking publicly about the state of embattled Middlemore Hospital.

In one case he even appeared to promise a board member, who he’d sacked, another job if they shut up.

“I notice more and more getting reported that is really not helping at all, and I’m hopeful that there won’t be much more commentary,” Health Minister David Clark said in a voicemail to District Health Board chair Rabin Rabindran.

“My fear is that if you and I keep commenting, the story keeps ticking along. I’d rather not have distraction about who said what when.

However Mr Clark denies this, saying he was “absolutely not” trying to stop board members from speaking out. End quote.


Of course he wasn’t. No he wouldn’t do that would he…not when his poo in the walls story was exposed for the fake news it was…no he didn’t want that to stop at all. /sarcQuote:

“There were a lot of conversations happening through the media and that meant there wasn’t clear communication about what was going on, and that’s unhelpful,” he told Newshub.

The voicemail was left on April 18th, two weeks after he sacked Mr Rabindran. In the same voicemail, Mr Clark offered him a new job.

“I would consider you for further appointments because I think that sends a message.” End quote.

That message would be ‘shut up and we will look after you’. Quote:

National MP Jami-Lee Ross says Mr Clark was “dangling [a job] to gag [Rabindran] and silence him”.

Mr Clark told Newshub he “absolutely rejects” this claim.

A trail of emails obtained by Newshub show DHB acting CEO Gloria Johnson wanted to release information to get their side of the story across because their reputations were being damaged.

A board member emailed Dr Johnson, concerned that the Minister’s office was pressuring the DHB about what they could and couldn’t say.

“If the minister is accusing us of covering something up we need to address that quickly and directly,” the email read.

“They are saying they need more time and want us [especially] me to ‘suck it up’.”

Mr Clark says he is not aware of anyone being told to “suck it up” and is adamant he’s done nothing wrong.

However, it’s clear that senior staff at the DHB were angry with the accusations being made by Mr Clark, and felt gagged. End quote.

It is also clear that no new job has been forthcoming for Radindran and so he’s decided to out the minister for his sloppy attempt at controlling the narrative.

Labour ministers are continually to show just how inept and accident prone they are. I can’t remember a more inept ministry.

Jacinda Ardern is going to have to sack one of these fools as the list of idiots gets longer and longer.

We’ve had the minister for open government refusing to cough up details and covering up meetings, then Megan Woods destroying an entire industry so her boss can virtue-signal to European politicians and students, Andrew Little screwing up justice reform by failing to talk to his coalition partners. Kelvin Davis finally admitting a conflict of interest, as well as attacking a female opposition MP in a derogatory manner in a select committee. Different male Labour ministers groping and being condescending to Judith Collins. Plus plenty more stupidity going on, and most of it seems to be Labour ministers.

Someone is going to have to do something soon with this government as they lurch from one bad news cycle to the next.

Crime and common sense: emotions and expertise in the three strikes debate

Last updated 05:00, June 15 2018

Is locking more people up for longer the common sense approach to violent crime?


Is locking more people up for longer the common sense approach to violent crime?

Justice Minister Andrew Little’s dream of repealing the three strikes law is in tatters for now. But is the law working? Philip Matthews reports. 

Former politician and barrister David Garrett wandered into his local tyre-fitting shop one day last summer and saw a young Māori guy there with a Mongrel Mob tattoo on his neck.

Small talk ensued. The young man told Garrett that he had left gang life behind: “I got caught in that f…in’ three strikes law.”

Garrett assumed the man did not recognise that he had been the godfather of the three strikes law during his time as an Act MP and asked him to expand. What followed, Garrett says, was an explanation of how three strikes worked that was as specific as anything a lawyer or legal academic could have told him.

Garrett took a few important things from this encounter. One, that the law is working as intended. Two, that the offenders it targets understood the warnings from judges which acted as deterrents. Lack of education was no barrier.

Of course, Garrett’s many opponents in legal, academic and political worlds may find his anecdote a bit too convenient.

“You’ve just got my word on this,” he says. “Take it or leave it as you wish.”

The three strikes law, or the Sentencing and Parole Reform Act 2010, to use its official title, was a product of the former National Government’s coalition deal with Act. It suggested zero-tolerance tough-on-crime thinking in a catchy, easy-to-grasp way. “Three strikes” may be a US baseball reference but it also sounds like parenting 101: you give two clear warnings and then dish out the consequences.

Former Act MP David Garrett, photographed at his home in 2011, thinks the law is working as he envisaged.

Peter Meecham

Former Act MP David Garrett, photographed at his home in 2011, thinks the law is working as he envisaged.

It works like this. All 40 violent and sexual offences that come with a maximum of seven years in prison or more are included. First offence means a first warning and sentence. Second offence means a final warning, a full sentence and no parole. Third offence? Maximum sentence and no parole, unless the court decides that would be “manifestly unjust”.

The fact that it was an Act policy softened by National, which insisted on the “manifestly unjust” clause, means that many people assume it is fringe thinking. But tough-on-crime rhetoric is very mainstream.

The Sensible Sentencing Trust, which likes the three strikes law, commissioned polling company Curia to survey opinion. Of the 965 respondents contacted via landline in late February and early March 2018, 68 per cent said they approve of the three strikes law and only 20 per cent disapproved. There were no great differences between genders but those aged 31-60 were marginally more supportive than those older or younger. It was more popular in Christchurch and provincial and rural centres than in Auckland and Wellington.

But it was the political leanings of supporters that really struck Garrett. Seventy eight per cent of National supporters approved of it, but so did 63 per cent of Labour supporters, 66 per cent of NZ First supporters and an amazing 48 per cent of Green supporters.

This reflection of mass opinion cannot be underestimated. When asked what is good about three strikes, Otago University law professor Andrew Geddis, who is personally opposed to it, says “it does seem to match with a public desire to see recidivist violent offenders sentenced more harshly for their crimes.

“In so far as the public does have this appetite for retribution, and a feeling, correct or not, that prison is the safest place to put these people, then the three strikes approach helps to satisfy that,” he says. “And there’s something to be said for the law reflecting what the public wants, given that in the end it is all of our law.”

But the bad? “The public’s gut level feeling about crime and punishment turns out to not actually match what experts and those who study the data seem to tell us.”

In short, just because the public likes a law does not mean the law is working.

Justice Minister Andrew Little is determined to repeal the "stupid" three strikes law.


Justice Minister Andrew Little is determined to repeal the “stupid” three strikes law.

Is three strikes working or not? 

Act leader David Seymour illustrated the gap between emotion and expertise when he told a reporter that outgoing Chief Science Adviser Sir Peter Gluckman displayed “intellectual snobbery” when he called tough-on-crime approaches “populist” and “simplistic” in a 2018 report on the justice system. Seymour asked: “On what basis is his experience and evidence worth more than someone who lost a loved one to crime or had their shop done over?”

Coming just days after Gluckman was widely applauded for bringing evidence and expertise to the debate about meth houses, Seymour’s rhetorical question might seem odd. But it conveys the deep-seated, almost primal, feelings about violent crime in the community.

The context was Justice Minister Andrew Little’s dogged determination to repeal three strikes. Little has called it “an absolutely absurd law” and “the high water mark of policy stupidity”. But without coalition partner NZ First’s overt support, a repeal seems unlikely.

Garrett thinks Little is being “irrational” and predicted that NZ First would be hard to persuade.

But putting emotion and anecdotes aside for a moment, is three strikes working? That depends on how you play with the numbers.

The 965 respondents who answered Curia’s phone call had another question put to them. They were asked the following.

“Since the law came into force in June 2010, there have been 9300 first strike offenders convicted, 257 second strike offenders convicted and two third strike offenders convicted. The Department of Corrections has assessed 85 per cent of the second and third strikers as being at a high or very high risk of reoffending and on average, these offenders have more than 23 prior convictions.

“Does knowing these facts make you more supportive of the law, less supportive or make no difference to your view?”

The statement and question implies that the law is working as it should, by locking bad people up for longer. After hearing that, 47 per cent of those who had approved of three strikes liked it even more. But it made no difference to 37 per cent of those who approved.

There are some numbers Garrett likes to cite. The Ministry of Justice reports that there were 5517 first strike offenders in the five years before the law and 5248 in the five years after. But second strikers dropped from 103 to 68, which may or may not mean that 35 offenders were so scared by their first warning that, like Garrett’s Mongrel Mob member, they straightened up.

For Garrett, that is proof that the law is working as a deterrent: “There is no other programme I’m aware of that has had a 34 per cent reduction. I’ve never heard of anything coming close to 34 per cent.”

Otago University law professor Andrew Geddis sees that three strikes aligns with the public's gut feeling about crime ...

Otago University law professor Andrew Geddis sees that three strikes aligns with the public’s gut feeling about crime and punishment.

The deep and irrational

But the Ministry of Justice warns against such a bold interpretation, saying there were changes in policing and prosecution practices and a significant reduction in cases before the courts across those two periods.

“The relationship between legislation and crime is extremely complicated,” says Victoria University sociologist Liam Martin, who argues that the Sensible Sentencing Trust, National leader Simon Bridges and others are “trading in misinformation”.

Martin cites a major study by Michael Tonry​ of the University of Minnesota Law School, titled “Why Crime Rates Are Falling Throughout the Western World”.

New Zealand is not immune. Despite the impressions conveyed by some in politics and media, “New Zealand’s recorded crime levels are the lowest seen since the late 1970s,” as Gluckman wrote in his report in March 2018. Gluckman argued for crime prevention, early intervention and smarter approaches to rehabilitation over building more prisons.

Gluckman added this interesting detail: “It is worrying that, in 2016, 71 per cent of New Zealanders thought crime was increasing.”

Tonry’s article expands on the idea that locking more people up does not affect crime rates. He compared the US and Canada and found that while crime rates were in parallel, the US imprisoned far more people: “Since 1960, the Canadian imprisonment rate has fluctuated around 100 per 100,000 population, while America’s rise from 150 per 100,000 in 1970 to 756 in 2007,” Tonry wrote in 2014.

New Zealand’s imprisonment rate is around 220 per 100,000. The OECD average is 147.

Tonry’s comparison of the US and Canada would seem to say that locking more people up does not reduce crime.

“That’s an arguable point,” Garrett agrees. “I don’t know the Canadian rate but it’s certainly much less than the American.”

He also agrees it is hard to draw direct lines between cause and effect. One can find numbers to support any view.

“That’s right,” Garrett says. “There are so many variables. Violent crime dropped a bit then started to rise again. Who knows what would be happening without three strikes.

“That’s complete conjecture, I admit it.”

Dig down further and it is really about philosophy. Can people who do bad things be redeemed or are they simply evil?

It may be an unfashionable word these days but Garrett took from his reading of Robert Hare, a Canadian expert in psychopaths, that “there are some people who are just evil”.

Good and evil, right and wrong: the argument about three strikes goes to the deep, irrational heart of how we feel about crime, justice and human nature. Garrett sees three strikes as common sense, which has “almost been outlawed in the legal profession”.

But should we base our laws on ideas of common sense? Geddis takes a more complicated view.

“Should the laws we have be the laws that people in a kind of kneejerk, unconsidered fashion think make sense, or should our laws be informed by the best evidence that we have on an issue, gathered by people who have time and expertise to consider the issue in more detail?” Geddis asks.

“Secondly, how should we treat individuals who have committed offences against others? Should we treat them as individuals who are to be judged on the basis of their particular circumstances and we try to do the best to make sure they are reformed and don’t go on to commit more violence or do we treat individuals who do so as a social problem to be disposed of in a way that makes us all feel better?”

Wasn’t this something Labour told us only happened in private run prisons?

by Cameron Slater on June 11, 2018 at 9:30am

Wasn’t this something Labour told us only happened in private run prisons?

Where is Kelvin Davis when you need him? Quote:

The Corrections Chief Inspector has been called in to review a potential cover-up at Rimutaka Prison after a secret report revealing inappropriate relationships a female staffer was having with both a convicted murderer and a manager.

The staffer gave a love-note to the inmate written on a pink piece of paper cut into the shape of a heart.

“Everything will be okay in the end, and if it’s not okay then it’s not the end,” she wrote in the note.

Beneath the message, she put the prisoner’s parole date.

The details are contained in a leaked report which Corrections had refused to release under the Official Information Act.

The prisoner alleges he lost in-house employment after witnessing the staffer being fondled by a manager at the prison.

The inmate’s lawyer, Michael Bott, has called for a ministerial inquiry into the “deliberate and concerted attempt” by senior Corrections officials to cover-up corrupt behaviour by its staff.

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis refused an interview. End quote.


Looks like Kelvin is back in witless protection. But seriously, he was all over this sort of stuff when in Opposition. Now that he is the minister he is missing in action. Quote:

In a four line statement he confirmed the Corrections Chief Inspector would review the matter.

The revelations come as misconduct and a strained prison system is exposed.

Elite guards at Christchurch Men’s Prison were caught spying on inmates using unauthorised listening devices, and at least 30 guards failed to show up to work at Auckland’s Paremoremo Prison last weekend due to violent attacks from inmates.

The leaked report, prepared by Correction’s Integrity Support Team and viewed by Stuff this weekis the latest development in an untidy saga at Rimutaka Prison in Upper Hutt.

Corrections commissioned an initial report into the matter about the inmate’s dismissal, that vindicated staff and blamed “over familiarisation” on the inmate.

However the leaked report stated the inmate was a credible witness and described the staffer as “inconsistent and evasive”.  End quote.

A bit like the minister responsible: sneaky, inconsistent and evasive.

What next? Fight clubs in state-run prisons?

Labour hypocrites hit with their own ‘cash for access’ scandal

by Cameron Slater on June 8, 2018 at 8:30am

(Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

When in opposition the Labour party ran almost weekly hit jobs on National for hosting cabinet clubs. They labelled them as cash for access, alleging by inference that there was some sort of corrupt practice going on.

Now they’ve been busted doing the exact same thing: Quote:

Finance Minister Grant Robertson gave a post-Budget speech at a $600-a-head Labour fundraiser at the exclusive Wellington Club, drawing comparisons to the previous National Government’s “Cabinet club” scandal.

According to several attendees, about 40 people, including party supporters, business figures and corporate lobbyists, attended the dinner hosted by Labour president Nigel Haworth on Wednesday, at which Robertson was the key attraction.

A similar dinner is due to be hosted at the even more exclusive Northern Club in Auckland on Thursday night.

National leader Simon Bridges has accused the Government of hypocrisy, after Labour once described National’s events, which appear similar to the one attended by Robertson, as “cash-for-access“.

The concern is that wealthy figures are able to gain access and insight that is not available to the general public. End quote.


I don’t have a problem with these sorts of events, but I do have a problem with hypocrisy. Labour made much of this, along with the members of the Media party who entertained the outrageous claims of the then opposition. Now they stand charged of the same ‘offences’. Quote:

Events such as this also come close to the line in terms of the rules for ministers.

The Cabinet manual states: “holding ministerial office is regarded as a full-time occupation and is remunerated as such. Accordingly … accepting additional payment for doing anything that could be regarded as a ministerial function is not permissible”.

This means that if Robertson was attending in his ministerial capacity, rather than as an MP, Labour would be unable to use the event as a fundraiser.

A spokeswoman for Robertson refused to make any comment, describing the dinner as “a party matter”.

The Prime Minister, who is charged with ensuring Cabinet rules are being adhered to, has not responded to requests for comment. End quote.

So much for openness and transparency. Looks like Jacinda Ardern is going to go the way of every other politicians who has uttered such sentiments. Quote:

At the Wellington Club dinner, Robertson spoke about May’s Budget and future Budgets. He also signalled policy announcements set to be announced in the coming weeks, one person who attended claimed.

Another person at the dinner described Robertson as “extremely on message”.After his speech, Robertson went table to table for more private conversations with small groups. End quote.

Sounds like he was there as Finance Minister. Quote:

Haworth said, as Labour president, it was his right to invite any party member to a dinner.

The dinners were part of a series of events Labour ran and $600 was the standard price, he said.

He refused to reveal how much profit the party made from the event, saying “that’s for us to know”.

Haworth said Robertson should not be speaking about party matters, given he was there as an MP, not finance minister.

“He was there, invited by me, as a senior member of the party.”

He insisted that Robertson’s speech was “about the economy, much more generally” rather than the Budget, before adding that “of course the Budget came into it”.

Wednesday’s Wellington Club dinner was the first of its type since the election, Haworth said. End quote.

And likely the last after they’ve been busted. But Haworth is lying if he says it was for party members, because I know of several who went who definitely aren’t party members. Like I said, I have no problems with the dinners, it is the lying and the hypocrisy I have a problem with. Quote:

While in Opposition, leading Labour MPs described revelations about National’s “Cabinet club” – where supporters paid large sums to hear ministers speak – as a “cash-for-access scandal”.

No one from Labour has attempted to draw a distinction between Robertson’s dinners and the National Party events.

Both National and Labour have justified the events as saying ministers attend the events in their capacity as MPs, rather than as ministers.

But Labour has previously mocked the distinction. Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta, who was a minister in the Clark Government, said in 2014: “In my experience of that position, you are a minister at all times, day or night.”

Haworth said guests at the dinner “mainly” saw him. “We tailor the speaker to the audience very much, or back, to the theme, very much.”

Two people who attended said Haworth simply introduced Robertson and David Talbot from UMR, Labour’s polling company.

Haworth did not believe those attending gained influence over Robertson.

“I have no reason to believe that’s the case. There’s never been an example or evidence given to me that it is the case.” End quote.

So, why the big fuss when in opposition then? Quote:

National leader Simon Bridges accused Labour of hypocrisy.

“Labour sought to kick the crap out of us for somewhat similar sorts of events. Now they’re deep in it.”

It was “deeply ironic” that Labour was giving speeches at the venues Robertson was speaking at, Bridges said.

“All this talk in the election campaign and recently about the squeezed middle and equality and the need to do more with urgency in the way that supposedly – although I disagree – National wasn’t. Then they’re highfalutin it at the fanciest clubs in New Zealand at big prices per plate.”

Bridges said the average New Zealander probably would not understand what it meant for a minister to be at an event in a personal capacity.

“I’m not having the Labour Party on for having fundraising events. Partys do need to do it, and there is a line here that I appreciate is fine, around ministers versus MPs and those Cabinet rules issues,” he said.

“I think the National Party learned a lesson around Cabinet Club and the like and changed our policies accordingly. But [Labour] were the guys who had us on about it. They’re doing the same thing, at high prices, in the fanciest clubs in the land.” End quote.

Credit to Bridges. He isn’t complaining about the functions or the attendance of a minister, he is complaining about the hypocrisy. He is spot on in his approach and one that Labour won’t be able to reconcile. They made such a fuss over it, the left-wing blogs still go on and on about it, and now Labour are donkey deep doing the same thing. I can’t wait to see how they try to spin it, especially as Bridges has taken exactly the right approach.

Cindy gets snaky as Bridges calls out the 122 reviews the government has initiaited

by Cameron Slater on June 8, 2018 at 9:00am

Jacinda Ardern has gone all snaky attacking Simon Bridges over his claims about the 122 working groups, reviews, inquiries and investigations currently underway with this inept government.

She’s told an outright lie, declaring that there are only 36 working groups, reviews, inquiries and investigations: Quote:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has hit back at criticism by National leader Simon Bridges over the number of reviews her Government has initiated since taking office in October.

She rejects his claim that it has announced 122 reviews and says the number is 38 reviews or working groups that involve external agencies and work beyond the normal business of Government.

By settling on a lower number, she also rejects his estimate that the cost is $114 million and says it is $34.5 million. End quote.


Well that is easily disproved, and classifies as a lie, something Jacinda Ardern said she would never do. Clearly that was her first lie. The NZ Herald conveniently lists the 122 working groups, reviews, inquiries and investigations.Quote:

Ardern defended the use of reviews and working groups by saying it was a way to involved experts and ordinary New Zealanders in solving some big challenges and potentially save taxpayers millions of dollars in the long run.

National had made false claims about the extent of the work and inaccurately labelled regular Government business as review and working groups.

“Where we are doing review work, it’s because the public have called for it or there are genuine issues that need to be fixed – be it bowel screening, mental health or insurance claimed in Canterbury,” she said.

The review into the meth contamination of state houses by Sir Peter Gluckman was a is a prime example.

“We could have ignored the problem, or brought in the experts to stop more families being evicted, and avoiding unnecessary clean-up costs for landlords. ”

The $100 million National wasted on decontaminating houses could have built 300 more state homes – instead perfectly good ones sat empty.

“Now we are reopening those homes,” she sdaid.

“I’ve always said we are going to do Government differently, and one of the main ways we’re different is that we listen to experts and make sure everyday people have a say about the public services they rely on.” End quote.

But not the people of Taranakl though, they don’t get a say, they just get ordered to close down their most useful industry, and biggest employers all for a publicity and virtue-signalling prime minister. No consultation, no everyday people having a say. Obviously Taranaki’s industry isn’t at all a “big challenge”, and the closure of Methanex is neither here nor there. I can’t wait for question time, poor Winston is going to have to answer these questions when they are raised, and he is asked if he stands by all the governments statements and actions. Quote:

Ardern was responding to a press statement by Bridges today in which he targeted a review of the healthy system by Heather Simpson, a part-time adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office and the former chief of staff of Helen Clark when she was Prime Minister.

“While staffers in the Prime Minister’s Office get plum roles reviewing the health system, designated mental health and Maori development funding have been cut by $100 million, ” Bridges said.

“The Government needs to shelve its reviews and get its priorities straight – the $114 million could hire 2,100 extra teachers or pay for an extra 20,000 elective surgeries. Instead, the Government is spending hundreds of millions of dollars for others to do the work for it.”

The Government’s “underwhelming Budget” also showed that Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens could not figure out their priorities, were not ready to govern and were out of their depth.

“Whether it’s the broken promise on cheaper GP visits for all New Zealanders, the broken promise on affordable KiwiBuild housing, or the broken promise on school donations, the message is clear: New Zealanders cannot rely on Labour to deliver.” End quote.

Bridges came good yesterday. He attacked Ardern over this, and also the cash for access hypocrisy. The question will be whether or not he can maintain the headlines, or is this just a one hit wonder.

Labour are clearly struggling though, they had no plans or policy to implement upon gaining office. They never expected to govern and it shows. Their talent pool has proved to be as shallow as a bird bath.

One thing is certain…the “relentless positivity” has disappeared.