Government and Police versus burglaries

The Government is getting more openly involved in trying to combat crime. John Key has written to Asian communities trying to give them reassurances, and Judith Collins has announced that the Police will now attend all reported burglaries to try and improve the 10% rate of solving this insidious crime.

NZ Herald: PM’s open letter after fears of people taking law into own hands

Prime Minister John Key says an open letter he wrote to the Chinese community about burglaries was partly prompted by concerns people would start arming themselves to defend themselves and their property.

Key’s ‘open letter to the Chinese community’ was sent to four Chinese newspapers this week. It was a modified version of a column he wrote for about 30 ethnic media outlets.

Key said it was aimed at reassuring those communities the Government was taking the issue of crime seriously.

He said crime was often raised with him by ethnic communities. High profile burglaries or assaults sometimes prompted concern an ethnic group was vulnerable or being targeted.

Key said he himself had been burgled three or four times “and I know what an invasive and disturbing experience this can be.”

It said Police were now putting more focus on preventing and resolving burglaries and from September 1 would treat it as a priority, including a goal of attending every burglary scene.

“I would like to reassure you National remains as focused as ever on preventing crime and helping to keep our communities safe.”

The Government has been under pressure over low resolution rates for burglaries.

Yesterday Minister Judith Collins announced a greater focus by Police on addressing a major problem with burglaries.

Police take further steps to counter burglary

Police Minister Judith Collins welcomes Police’s decision to attend all house break-ins, which comes into effect today.

While burglary rates are still below that of recent years, there has been an increase over the past 12 months. Police has responded by raising dwelling burglary from a volume crime to a priority offence.

“This shows Police are serious about tackling burglary and also sends a clear message to offenders.”

The new policy sets the expectation of full attendance at dwelling burglaries so the public can now expect either a constabulary or scene of crime officer to attend within a reasonable time.

“Given the nature of policing there will be occasions where they cannot attend a dwelling burglary for a range of reasons, including adhering to the wishes of the victim. However, the Commissioner of Police has made his expectations clear.

“Police have assured me that they continue to make burglary a priority with ongoing work in every district to reduce this crime type while also focusing on increasing resolution rates.”

If police attend all burglaries it will give them more visibility in the community, which may help address other types of crime too.

While not raised here the number of police officers is becoming a bigger issue.

Seconds of violence, years of prison

Cowardly attacks seem to be prominent in the news at the moment. Sometimes referred to as ‘king hits’ vicious unprovoked attacks are gutless and dangerous.

Consequences can be severe, both for the victims and for the thugs.

Some assaults result in death, many result in months or years of suffering and hardship for the victims.

So the repercussions for the attackers must be severe, whether it is a result of a few seconds of drunken stupidity or not. A drunken thug is still a thug.

Yet another example via the ODT: Jailed for 10-second assault

Ten seconds was all it took to change two lives forever.

An 18-year-old, filmed on CCTV in an unprovoked, violent assault on a man he had rendered unconscious, was sentenced yesterday to three years and nine months in jail.

Six months after the attack, the 43-year-old victim is still feeling the effects, and is nervous about going out at night, the Alexandra District Court was told.

Niko William Vernon Reid-Manuel (18), of Cromwell, appeared in court for sentencing on charges of causing grievous bodily harm to Gareth Owen Wynn on February 27 at Cromwell, with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He was also charged with stealing Mr Wynn’s $15 sunglasses after the assault.

Judge Kevin Phillips said Reid-Manuel attacked the victim when the man was lying on the ground, unconscious.

The defendant had punched the victim hard on the jaw and Mr Wynn fell to the ground unconscious “in what would probably be described by a television programme as similar to a king hit”, Judge Phillips said.

Following that blow, CCTV footage showed a short period of time – 10 seconds – of “extreme violence” Reid-Manuel had inflicted on the unconscious man.

“You went out of your way to inflict serious injury. You attacked the victim’s head and attacked him when he was out cold.

“… he received several punches to his head and body; he could not offer any defence of his body whatsoever. You moved off and then came back and kicked his head. You returned and then took the sunglasses.”

The victim received fractures to his cheekbone, nose, jaw, eye socket and ribs and numerous cuts and abrasions, Judge Phillips said.

“This type of street violence, unprovoked, gratuitous type of violence, has to be strongly denounced.”

An unprovoked punch is bad enough, but continuing to assault an unconscious person is despicable.

Crown counsel Craig Power said it was a “short but extremely violent attack”.

“It’s very important to state the significant effect this had on the victim. He lost his job, has ongoing effects from broken ribs, and is extremely cautious and wary about going out at night. … he didn’t do anything to start this dispute,” Mr Power said.

The pre-sentence report said the defendant showed little remorse or empathy.

Not just gutless, also remorseless.

Counsel Russell Checketts said Reid-Manuel was a first offender.

The defendant had been in a fight before this one and “came off the worst” and was concerned the same thing would happen again, Mr Checketts said. He accepted the victim’s injuries were serious but said fortunately the victim did not require any surgery and was not permanently disabled.

Lawyers have to try something but that is a very lame defence. Trying to play down the severity if the viciousness ignores the facts.

About the only fortunate thing is that Reid-Manuel wasn’t facing manslaughter charges – fortunate for the victim.

This sort of violence must be learned somewhere. It is a major stain on New Zealand society.

Another poll supports medical cannabis

A UMR poll commissioned by cannabis lobby group Start The Conversation shows strong public support for medical cannabis, in line with other polls.

“Should Parliament change the laws of New Zealand so that patients have safe legal access to affordable medicinal cannabis and cannabis products when prescribed by a licensed doctor?”

  • Supported 76%
  • Opposed 12%
  • Undecided 12%

Only 15% of National voters were opposed.

“Should Parliament change the laws of New Zealand so that natural cannabis and medicinal cannabis products are treated as herbal remedies when used therapeutically?”

  • Supported 61%
  • Opposed 24%
  • Undecided 15%

NZ Doctor: New UMR poll shows overwhelming support for medical cannabis law change, says NORML

The poll was conducted by UMR for Start the Conversation from 29th July to 17th August 2016.

The poll will be used by the group, which includes representatives of NORML, to decide whether to proceed with organising a cannabis law reform referendum to coincide with next year’s general election.

URM’s previous cannabis poll in March 2016 reported that 72% of respondents agreed with “the use of marijuana being allowed for medical purposes”.

Chris Fowlie, spokesperson for the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML NZ Inc:

“John Key thinks cannabis law reform sends the wrong message, yet NORML’s message is getting through. Most New Zealanders now know cannabis is not only safer than alcohol but is also an effective remedy for a variety of conditions, and they want the law to change.”

“The message John Key needs to hear is that very few people support the status quo, including National Party voters, and he ignores them at his own peril,” said Mr Fowlie.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

  • Start The Conversation is a group representing cannabis and community activists, researchers and policy analysts throughout New Zealand, including NORML, Helen Kelly, Prof Max Abbott, Dr Geoff Noller, The Cannabis Party, Medical Cannabis Awareness NZ, It’s Medicine (Rose Renton), MildGreens and more. Start The Conversation organised a cannabis debate at the Auckland Town Hall in June, which led to this poll, and is holding its next community forum in Whangarei on Saturday 17th September.
  • Chris Fowlie is NORML’s spokesperson and a candidate for the Waitakere Licensing Trust in this year’s local body elections. He is running on a ticket of “Regulate Cannabis Like Alcohol”, and says under the current law the Trust could run Cannabis Social Clubs for medicinal and/or research purposes. As with West Auckland liquor sales, any profits would be returned to the community.
  • The UMR poll is available here: Changing Marijuana laws Jul-16.pptx

NZ Herald: Another poll shows strong support for medicinal cannabis reform

The poll was commissioned by Start the Conversation, a medicinal cannabis lobby group. The group includes Helen Kelly, a former CTU president who has been campaigning for medicinal cannabis after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Kelly said the campaign group would use the poll to decide whether to try and force a Citizens Initiated Referendum on the issue during the election in 2017.

“Politicians now have the choice. Force those who are mainly unwell to collect signatures simply so the public will be believed or act quickly and with mercy and fix this mess up so people like me and many others have safe and legal guaranteed access.”

Dr Geoff Noller, an independent cannabis policy researcher who is part of Start the Conversation, said the poll showed there was little political risk involved in making a change because New Zealanders were ready for reform.

Spinning a poll

The latest Roy Morgan poll is out – summary here.

Te Reo Putake shows how to spin a poll at The Standard in Roy Morgan August; Nat’s Down 7%

The National Party have a dropped a massive 7%, though to be fair that probably just reflects the folks at RM tweaking their methodology so they don’t get laughed at again.

If the folks at Roy Morgan read TRP’s ‘analysis’ of their poll they would be the ones laughing.

Just about everyone, including folks at The Standard, expected National wouldn’t stay at last months unusually high 53%.

Labour’s support stays at 25.5% (unchanged), Greens 14.5% (up 3%) and NZ First 9.5% (up 2.5%).

TRP ignores Labour being unchanged at 25.5% – that’s an awful result for his party.

If Andrew Little can stitch up a coalition deal with Winston, they’ll have a comfortable majority in the next parliament.

If Labour can stitch up a deal with both NZ First and Greens – which with these results would put them about even (24%) with Labour. Labour would barely have a majority in a coalition and would only have about quarter of the seats in Parliament.

This poll continues the overall trend of the three opposition parties being in touching distance of a win (if they cooperate) and National not having enough oomph to get over the line without help from their pet poodles.

Would Peters enable a Labour led Government when Labour are only on 25%, compared to National in the mid forties?

They’ll be desperate now to make sure that the Maori Party and Peter Dunne make it back.

I read that as ‘Labour will be desperate to make sure that the Maori Party and Peter Dunne don’t make it back in’.

However, with the Labour/Green understanding in place, it’s likely that Labour will win all the maori seats, and Ohariu, leaving National 4-6 seats shy of a win.

The Labour/Green Memorandum of Understanding was aimed at trying to get Labour+Greens big enough to form a government with few or no other seats required. That means Labour need to be much closer to 35% than 25%, something TRP seems to be ignoring.

Andrew Little was very disparaging of the Maori Party on Waatea 5th estate last night – see Waatea 5th Estate – Labour v NZ First. With the Maori King dumping support for them Labour may have a fight on their hands keeping their Maori seats, let alone taking Flavell’s off him.

A dose of reality in comments from billmurray:

te reo uptake, You need to get a grip, Labour down to 25.5% is a disaster and as a supporter you need to start telling the truth about the 25.5%, what it really means is only 26 people out of 100 eligible voters think that Labour should be occupying the government benches, 74 people say they should not.
Or of course it could be a rogue poll!!!!!!!. I could say LOL at this point but this is a serious matter and we must be truthful with ourselves or we face ridicule at the election.

Something is seriously wrong that we are not attracting voters or getting traction over the housing problem, or am I the only one who believes that to be the case?.

Something is seriously wrong with Labour, and pretending it isn’t is not just spin, it’s denial.

TRP responded:

Labour’s vote at 25.5% is unchanged in this poll, billmurray. The significant mover is National.

Unchanged at rock bottom – Labour dropped below polls to a record low 25.1 % last election – can’t be glossed over.

I noted in the post that, really, this poll just re-aligns Roy Morgan with reality.

His emphasis was a ‘massive drop’ for National while ignoring that Labour had already dropped and were stuck at the bottom of their range.

It’s all about the coalition and while Peters is no fan of the Greens, I don’t think that’s an insurmountable obstacle.

Nothing is insurmountable with Winston, especially if NZ First gets 15% (that looks feasible) to Labour’s 20-25% (also feasible).

My gut feeling is that Peters wants to be the guy that brings Key down. Sweet revenge for costing him 3 years in the wilderness in 2008.

Wishful thinking, which is about all TRP can do on these numbers. Does Winston want to prop Andrew Little up?

But, whatever happens, on these numbers, control of forming the next Government is out of Key’s hands.

Much could happen to the numbers over the next year.

But on these numbers Key would be likely to have a major say in the forming of the next Government, possibly without needing Winston still.

If control was out of Key’s hands on 46% how much control would Little have on 25.5%? Even if he could cobble together a coalition his control of Government would be precarious.

Te Reo Putake’s ignoring of poll reality may or may not be intentional, but it’s symptomatic of how out of touch Labour has become.

Roy Morgan August poll

The August Roy Morgan poll has National down to mid range from an unusually high result in the July poll, with Greens and NZ First picking up the slack. Labour have a repeat result of 25.5% which may (should) cause some concern.

  • National 46% (down from 53)
  • Labour 25.5% (no change)
  • Greens 14.5% (up from 11.5)
  • NZ First 9.5% (up from 7)
  • Maori Party 1.5% (up from 0.5)
  • ACT Party 1% (no change)
  • Conservatives 1% (up from 0.5)
  • Mana Party 0.5% (no change)
  • Other 0.5% (no change)

United Future and Internet Party rounded down to zero if they got any support.

National were always going to drop off last month’s unusually high result. They are about the middle of their normal range.

Labour remain at the bottom of their range over 2015-2016, which isn’t a surprise due to their lack of impact over the last month. Alarm bells must be ringing.

Greens and NZ First will be happy with where they are, as will the Maori Party.

Don’t expect Martyn Bradbury to post on this unless he rubbishes Roy Morgan, Labour+Greens are only 40%

RoyMorgan2016August

Social chat – Tuesday

A post for social chat. You can still chat socially on other posts if it happens in relation to other discussions but if you simply want a bit of social chat start here.

The usual guidelines apply as to respecting others, behaviour and avoiding legal exposure. An emphasis on ‘social’, not ‘anti-social’.

Media watch – Tuesday

30 August 2016

MediaWatch

Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

As usual avoid anything that could cause any legal issues such as potential defamation or breaching suppression orders. Also remember that keeping things civil, legal and factual is more effective and harder to argue against or discredit.

Sometimes other blogs get irate if their material is highlighted elsewhere but the Internet is specifically designed to share and repeat information and anyone who comments or puts anything into a public forum should be aware that it could be republished elsewhere (but attribution is essential).

Open Forum – Tuesday

30 August 2016

Facebook: NZ politics/media+

This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isn’t spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is for you to raise topics that interest you. 

If providing opinions on or summaries of other information also provide a link to that information. Bloggers are welcome to summarise and link to their posts.

Comments worth more exposure may be repeated as posts.

Your NZ is a mostly political and social issues blog but not limited to that, and views from anywhere on the political spectrum are welcome. Some ground rules:

  • If possible support arguments, news, points or opinions with links to sources and facts.
  • Please don’t post anything illegal, potentially defamatory or abusive.
  • Debate hard if you like but respect people’s right to have varying views and to not be personally be attacked.
  • Don’t say to a stranger online anything you wouldn’t say to their face.

Moderation will be minimal if these guidelines are followed. Should they ever be necessary any moderator edits, deletes or bans will be clearly and openly advised unless obviously malicious from anyone breaching site protocols, or spam.

McCarten moving to Auckland

Matt McCarten is leaving Wellington and his job as Andrew Little’s chief of staff, and is moving to Auckland to apparently head a new Labour office there. Things seem up in the air with an expected official announcement later in the week.

Stuff: Little’s chief of staff to head new Labour office in Auckland

Labour leader Andrew Little’s chief of staff Matt McCarten is poised to quit the job and head up a new Labour office in Auckland.

Little said he had not finalised who would staff the Auckland office, though he had been looking at setting it up for some time.

But the move there by McCarten was “voluntary, willingly and with agreement, not in high dudgeon”.

Asked if he had anyone in line to take over as his chief of staff, after McCarten shifted north, Little said: “That’s part of the detail that is to be finalised”.

Sounds like the story got out before things were sorted out.

His move to Auckland will leave Little searching for both a new chief of staff and a new chief press secretary after Sarah Stuart quit the latter role in May.

And more sorting out to do too.

NZ Herald says:

Labour leader Andrew Little is to open a new Labour Party office in Auckland and re-deploy his chief of staff Matt McCarten as Labour prepares for battle in 2017.

Little said Labour’s new office in Auckland would open by the end of September and McCarten had offered to head it.

It was part of the planning for election year, including how to target the voter-rich Auckland.

Little said he would be spending a lot of time in Auckland and needed a base there. It would be formally announced at a Labour function for Auckland businesses, interest groups and movers and shakers on Wednesday.

McCarten had volunteered to take on the role and was not being pushed.

“He wanted to do it. His strength is in the networks and setting up programmes and places for me to go to and getting stuff organised. And that is what I need.”

Labour currently does not have a party base in Auckland other than its MPs’ electorate offices.

That’s odd. From early July and the Taxpayers’ Union – Speaker’s Warning To Labour Over Parliamentary Funds:

Some weeks ago Labour sent an email in the name of Paul Chalmers, the Project Manager at Labour House, to Labour’s Auckland supporters detailing how Andrew Little had opened a Auckland office that will be “the centre of the Labour and progressive movement in Auckland and the place to co-ordinate the local government and General Election campaigns.”

The email also called on “like-minded partners” to share office space and other facility resources.

It appears that Andrew Little and his MPs are pooling together taxpayer resources to open a campaign office in central Auckland for the Party and Phil Goff’s campaign for the Auckland mayoralty. Use of taxpayer resources in this way is clearly against the rules.

This says that Labour had already opened a campaign office in Auckland.

Does anyone know what is actually going on here?

Waatea 5th Estate – Labour v NZ First

Waatea 5th Estate 7pm special – Labour vs NZ First – the fight for Maori votes
Joining us tonight to look at the fight for the Maori vote…
Andrew Little – Leader of the Labour Party
Winston Peters – Leader of NZ First

Andrew Little starts by being quite critical of the Maori Party shackled to National , and then he promotes the Labour Maori MPs as wonderful.

The live stream keeps dropping out.

Little is asked about demoting Nanaia Mahuta, and Pete Kane seems to be hogging all the bandwidth.

Now to Peters quoting Helen Clark saying the Maori Party was last cab off the rank.

I’ve switched to Waatea and it is doing the same thing but not as badly.

Peters rubbishes Tuku Morgan so it looks like there’s a working relationship there any more – ‘blatantly ignorant’.

Little says he thinks Labour are honouring the responsibility of representing Maori.

He again links the Maori Party to ‘their mate the National Party’.  Seems to be quite antagonistic towards them.

Peters joins the piling in on the Maori Party, so he and Little are on common ground there, apparently seeing them as a threat and they sound grumpy about it.

Peters claims that fees for managing Kiwisaver will take 22 billion dollars of new Zealanders over the next twenty or so years. He gives no comparison of how much funds who don’t charge fees would make for their investors.

Asked if Mahuta’s seat is under threat he talks his MP up and thinks she is very strong. Not a strong denial of threat though.

Winnie whines about Tuku Morgan again. He says that the Maori Party are down to 1 seat and in a state of desperation. he also piles into Hone Harawira.

Little must be hoping he doesn’t have to try and negotiate a coalition with the Greens, NZ First, plus the Maori and Mana parties.

And Little again runs the Maori party down and then does some electioneering for Labour.

Then Peters has a turn at rubbishing everyone.

Willie Jackson asks Peters if he would help National get over the line. Doesn’t sound promising.

Then Jackson asks if Peters will go with Labour and between cut outs I don’t think he is going there either.

Little is asked if he can work with Winston and he avoids a direct answer and starts sloganeering for Labour, also avoiding the question.

Asked if he with work with the Maori Party he also avoids a direct answer.

He says he and the Greens are for change and then blasts the Maori Party and says they are ‘not on the radar’.

Next Peters who waffles on again without saying anything new. We have to wait until the election and then see what he wants to do for himself. He’s not interested in telling voters what they might get with NZ First.

Jackson did his best but I found this a quite depressing insight into opposition politics.

Peters is cranky and non-committal, as ever.

Little demonstrates what Labourites think of anyone who sides against them. He seems to see the Maori Party as traitors that don’t deserve his attention.

It might be entertaining for a while but imagining Labour, Greens, NZ First and the Maori Party perhaps with Mana dabbling on the side trying to negotiate a governing arrangement does not give me any optimism about the quality of alternatives to a gradually flailing and failing National.

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