Trotter, the military and the TPPA

Earlier in the week Christ Trotter wrote in The Press that Josie Butler had claimed there was military protection at the Christchurch TPPA Roadshow.

Certainly, Ms Butler’s description of the Christchurch roadshow makes a strong prima facie case for concern. In her report of the event she states that: “I went to the first security check point which was at the front driveway to the [Rydges] hotel. The guards asked for my ID, and whilst I was getting it out I noticed one of the guys had an army badge pinned to his lapel, I asked him if he was military and he confirmed that all security present today were army personnel.”

Constitutionally-speaking, this claim is particularly alarming. The only circumstances in which it is justifiable for the Civil Power to call upon the assistance of the Military Power are those in which there is a demonstrable threat to life and property. Historically, the involvement of the Military has been confined to helping out during natural disasters and, extremely rarely, to the quelling of widespread public disorder – like that following the 1932 Queen Street Riot. Nothing even remotely resembling such circumstances were present last Friday in Christchurch.

Urgent efforts must be made to confirm the accuracy of Ms Butler’s claim. And if it is confirmed that the NZDF was involved in providing security for the roadshow, then questions need to be asked. First, of the Defence Minister, and second, of the Police Minister. Did Gerry Brownlee know that the Military Power had been called upon to assist the Civil Power in Christchurch? If so, at whose instigation? Does Judith Collins know why the local Police were deemed unequal to the task of preventing disorder at Rydges Hotel?

Frankly, it would be a whole lot better for New Zealand …whoever Ms Butler spoke to about his military lapel badge turns out to have been pulling her leg about the composition of the security detail. Because, if her version of events is proved correct, then New Zealand is in a world of trouble.

What sort of “trade deal” have we signed-up to, if its explanatory roadshow requires the protection of the armed forces?

This was potentially quite alarming but Butler was not an impartial witness.

Trotter has reposted Protecting The TPP at Bowalley and has added an update.

On Tuesday, 15 March the author received a call from Nick Bryant, Gerry Brownlee’s media officer. He informed him that, having checked with both the NZDF and MFAT, the Minister was able to assure him that no serving military personnel were involved with providing security at the Christchurch TPPA roadshow event.

When contacted, Josie Butler strongly reiterated her claim that the security personnel hailed from the military.

An appeal for assistance was issued over social media which quickly produced a link to a private security firm called October Protection.

According to its website:

October Protection is a Christchurch based security and protection company with branches in Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown, Dunedin and associates throughout New Zealand. We provide industry-leading hospitality security, along with VIP transport, helicopter services, secure event, travel and accommodation packages New Zealand wide ….. Many of our staff come from military, police, corrections and close protection backgrounds and their experience is diverse and extensive, providing October Protection with a vast array of specialist skills.

It would seem that both Josie Butler and the Minister were telling the truth.

Butler may have been sort telling something related to the truth, but Trotter embellished it somewhat. The TPPA Roadshow does not appear to have been protected by the armed forces as he intimated.

 

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16 Comments

  1. Dougal

     /  18th March 2016

    Yes, like Josie Butler has any credibility at all regardless of the security detail. Why anyone give this woman any credence or oxygen is beyond me.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  18th March 2016

      Her 15 minutes has been extended, but it won’t be extended indefinitely. People will soon tire of this irritating attention-seeker who seems to have forgotten what she was protesting about in the first place and to think that TPPA stands for Throw Plastic Penises Around.

      Reply
  2. kiwi guy

     /  18th March 2016

    Security industry is full of ex military for obvious reasons.

    “I noticed one of the guys had an army badge pinned to his lapel, I asked him if he was military and he confirmed that all security present today were army personnel.””

    I am willing to give Butler the benefit of the doubt here, could be some knuckle dragger talking sh#t to intimidate.

    Reply
    • Oliver

       /  19th March 2016

      Yes I’ll say she’s telling the truth. I know the security in Christchurch has a lot of ex and currently serving soldiers working in the industry. These are soldiers based at Burnham camp.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  19th March 2016

        Yes, they have so little to do that the Army lets them work as security guards and be paid by the security firm as well as by the Army. Nice work if you can get it/And you can get it in your dreams.

        Possible but not probable, I’d say.

        Reply
        • Oliver

           /  19th March 2016

          When I was at Burnham I worked as a doorman in town on the weekends, alot of us did. Soldiers don’t get paid that much.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  19th March 2016

            I’ve been everywhere, man, I’ve been everywhere.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  19th March 2016

              I don’t what you call not much, I’d say that $45-51,000 for a private isn’t bad. Don’t the army mind their soldiers moonlighting ?

            • Oliver

               /  19th March 2016

              When I was a private it was 28k, that was 12 years ago. I think private get about 40k now. You’re suppose to ask permission to have a second job but no one ever does.

  3. Kevin

     /  18th March 2016

    No Chris, Butler was lying.

    Reply
  4. Missy

     /  19th March 2016

    “The guards asked for my ID, and whilst I was getting it out I noticed one of the guys had an army badge pinned to his lapel, I asked him if he was military and he confirmed that all security present today were army personnel.”

    Hahahahaha…. this in itself shows she doesn’t have a clue. First, Army lapel badges are not the domain of Army only, any Tom, Dick or Harry could get one, and generally – unless they are working with other Armies – most of the Army guys I know don’t wear them, just the wannabes. Second, if (and it is a big – and highly unlikely – if) the Army were providing security they would have been in uniform – as they were after the Christchurch earthquakes when they were providing security around the red zone. However, NZ law does not permit the military to be used in this manner, so there is no way the CDF would have agreed to it as it would have been unlawful.

    As for her believing someone who just said it – is she stupid or gullible? Because I would put my money on the latter to be taken in and believing some guy just making such a claim, it is possible she is also being disingenuous and missing a vital part out – that is that they guy may have said they are all EX army, and by conveniently not mentioning the ex she is trying to put across something that isn’t true.

    Pete, I don’t think she was saying anything related to the truth at all, she was saying the military were being used as security, the reality is a private company was, just because they may employ ex military does not make them military – they have left the NZDF.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  19th March 2016

      I didn’t KNOW that about the badges, but I suspected it-wouldn’t those be worn by ex-servicemen, like old school ties ?

      Why on earth would the army be there ? Dream on, Miss Butler-or does she think we’re all stupid ?

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  19th March 2016

        I have a Russian army badge-I have never been in the Russian army 😀

        Reply

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