Slater: “Bankruptcy is just a joke…pretty much meaningless”

A few years ago Cameron Slater posted on Whale Oil “Bankruptcy is like a toothless tiger that benefits the bankrupt more than the victims” and claimed “the process of being in bankruptcy pretty much meaningless”.

He even suggested how easy it was to continue to operate companies and hide assets and that it wasn’t common to be prosecuted for it.

Bankruptcy is just a joke, really

by Cameron Slater on May 6, 2014 at 1:00pm

Bankruptcy is like a toothless tiger that benefits the bankrupt more than the victims

The number of times bankrupts hide assets and continue to operate companies by using a puppet on the paperwork is so frequent as to make the process of being in bankruptcy pretty much meaningless.

Use of trusts, partners or girlfriends to “own” things and plain hiding of assets from the Official Assignee are very common.

What isn’t common is for bankrupts to be prosecuted for this behaviour.

He probably didn’t think he would end up being bankrupt, but now he is, and appears to have rearranged companies and assets, he may be hoping that Official Assignees really are easy to hide things from, and are unlikely to hold miscreants to account.

See (Stuff):  Whale Oil company previously owned by Cameron Slater goes into liquidation

And: Whale Oil company put into liquidation after rearrangements

 

ISP web blocks and online censorship debate

The Christchurch mosque attacks prompted unprecedented action from New Zealand Internet Service Providers, who tried to block access to the video of the attack.  This has just been extended.

We are heading into some important debate about censorship and free speech.

Newsroom:  ISP keeps Chch web blocks after Govt intervention

New Zealand’s largest internet provider has reversed plans to stop blocking websites which hosted videos of the Christchurch terror attack, after a last-minute intervention by the Government.

In the wake of the mosque shootings, a number of New Zealand’s biggest ISPs took what they themselves acknowledged was an “unprecedented step” – blocking websites which were hosting a video of the attack live-streamed by the alleged murderer, as well as his manifesto.

In an open letter explaining the move and calling for action from larger tech companies, the chief executives of Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees said the decision was the right one in “such extreme and tragic circumstances”.

On Tuesday evening, both Spark and Vodafone told Newsroom they would start to remove the remaining website blocks overnight.

“We believe we have now reached the point where we need to cease our extreme temporary measures to block these websites and revert to usual operating procedures,” a Spark spokeswoman said.

However, less than two hours after its initial response, Spark said the websites would continue to be blocked for several more days “following specific requests from Government”.

Newsroom understands the U-turn came after Government officials held discussions with the company, asking it to keep the blocks in place until after the official memorial service for the victims of the attack took place on Friday.

No indication of how much persuasion was required to prompt a rethink.

The ISPs’ original actions have raised issues of censorship, with the companies acknowledging that in some circumstances access to legitimate content may have been prevented.

Netsafe chief executive Martin Cocker said website blocking had been “a really useful short-term tool” to stop the spread of the content.

“They’ve [the ISPs] been really clear with everybody that they took on the filtering responsibility because they wanted to play their part in reducing the obvious harm occurring in the aftermath of the attacks, and they did that.”

But this leads to an important discussion on censorship. There is already online material that is ‘censored’, as it should be (child porn, snuff movies, terrorism related material), but there will always be pushes for more limits and also less limits.

Thomas Beagle, chairman of the NZ Council for Civil Liberties, said he had sympathy for the approach taken by ISPs following the “ghastly” attack, but the public needed to ask questions about whether similar blocking would occur in future.

“That was an exceptional situation and people took exceptional action – of course, the worry is now that it’s been done once, are people then going to start thinking, we can do it for other things as well?”

While there was an argument that the companies were simply exercising their contractual rights, Beagle said their near-monopoly in the telecommunications market meant there was a significant censorship issue.

“Civil liberties are traditionally concerned with government interference, but I think that when you’re talking about the dominant players who have 99 percent of the mobile market or more…that’s also an effective form of censorship as well.”

However, more traditional censorship by the Government could “extend and grow in an undesirable manner”, and would require a significant public conversation, he said.

There needs to be a lot of meaningful public discussion on the degree of censorship – as there has been over the Chief Censor recently ruling the terrorist’s manifesto harmful and there for illegal to possess or distribute in New Zealand (the easy availability internationally renders this a weak means of protection).

Censorship debate begins

What is clear is that the debate how to censor offensive material online is just beginning.

There has long been debate over censorship, but major events and actions in response will always draw more prominence to the arguments for and against.

Cocker said he supported the development of a formal, government-led process for blocking objectionable content when necessary, which would allow greater specificity in how content was blocked and set up oversight measures to avoid abuse.

“Those are the kind of things that come back to a government agency being empowered to take that responsibility, then all the telcos have got to do is just add the URL to the list and block it.”

However, Beagle said there was a question of whether ad-hoc arrangements would be preferable to a formalised process, given the rarity of an event like the Christchurch attack.

“Is it better to say hey, this is so out of the realm of normal day-to-day business we shouldn’t actually try and cater for it?

“I think it’s safe to say that we shouldn’t be rejigging our entire security infrastructure, internet filtering and censorship based on a one-off event which is utterly exceptional in New Zealand history.”

That’s an important point. A repeat of what happened in Christchurch seems very unlikely. Security measures should be reconsidered to look at how to minimise the risks, but public freedoms and free speech should not be over-restricted due to an abnormal one off situation.

An attempt to excuse and defend the Christchurch terrorist

Tipene commented on “Attempts so far to mitigate the possibility of retaliation that are doomed to fail:”

* A feminist PM adopting a headscarf within the context of a religion that holds women to be second-class citizens, closely followed by an invitation this Friday for NZ women, descendants of the suffragettes no less, to do the same.

Petty outrage at the scarf wearing. It is common to dress as per what people think is appropriate for occasions. Ardern didn’t cover herself anywhere near completely.

Her gesture has been widely praised, and I know women who wouldn’t have done the same thing and won’t do it on Friday, which is their choice.

I think trying to shame Ardern for what she wore is as bad as trying to force someone to wear something they don’t want to wear, if that is what actually happens (from what I’ve seen Muslim women in New Zealand choose what they wear).

* The Speaker of the House inviting a prayer in Arabic in Parliament to Allah, which is the same speaker who eliminated a Christian prayer from Parliament.

Petty again. It was a one off, followed by the parliamentary prayer in Te Reo, and then repeated in English. The new standard prayer still mentions ‘Almighty God’ and INCLUDES ‘we pray for guidance’. I think it is appropriate not to be religion specific, given that many religions are followed freely in New Zealand, and many people (close to most) are not religious.

* Police arresting people for exercising their sovereign right to watch an online video.

There is no ‘sovereign right’ to watch whatever you like – and they didn’t just watch the video, they shared an offensive video illegally (allegedly). I think it’s fair to question the degree of the police response. See Philip Arps charged with sharing live stream of Christchurch mosque massacre – “two charges of distributing a livestream on March 16 of the murder of multiple victims at the Deans Ave mosque, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the publication is objectionable”.

“Police would like to remind people that it may be an offence to distribute or possess an objectionable publication under the Films Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993.”

I note you don’t condemn a horrible video, but claim some right to watch it. I think that is reprehensible given the content and the intent of the video.

* People being fired from their jobs for watching an online video, when there is no legal precedent in employment law for companies to do so.

I call bullshit on that. I’m sure people have been in trouble for watching illegal or inappropriate material at work, like porn.

If I did anything illegal at work, like watch an illegal video (and aa video that most people find highly objectionable), I would breach my terms of employment.

* NZ media organisations scrubbing their online content of any article deemed offensive to Islam.

I call bullshit on that.

Some content deemed inappropriate has been removed, which is not surprising given the circumstances, and should be generally applauded.

* Radio commentators apologizing and tugging their forelocks for writing a critique on Islamic practices in NZ as they apply to the use of ratepayer funded facilities.

A hundred people being shot and fifty people being murdered has prompted many people to reconsider past actions and attitudes. As they should have.

A small number of people instead choose to, in effect, support the killer and the killings, at least tacitly. As Tipene appears to me to be doing.

* Passing laws designed to significantly disarm a law abiding, gun owning population.

Bullshit again. It has long been widely agreed that our firearms are not fit for purpose. There has been no indication that laws will ‘significantly disarm’  anyone.

From what I have seen the Christchurch killer used illegal weapons. Most people will support making more difficult to posses illegal weapons (not Tipene apparently).

Banning military style semi automatic weapons will harm no one, and will reduce the chances that such weapons of cause major harm.

* Shutting down and suppressing free speech and open discourse on the events that have unfolded, and censoring discussion (including a variety of viewpoints) on same.

There are always limitations to ‘free speech’. Any publisher has the right to limit what there platform is used for.

Leading up to 2017, Canada adopted a number of the above measures, eventually adopting M103 in the Canadian House of Commons (look it up if interested).

I suspect that is where we are heading as well.

Not that it will make one blind bit of difference to the outcome, in my opinion.

You have made no attempt to condemn the killing of fifty people.

Instead, you have supported (with false and outlandish claims) what the killer did. You are in effect defending this act of terrorism, or at least defending things that made it possible.

I think this was a disgraceful defence of a horrible act from you Tipene. You appear to be supporting one of the most terrible things to happen in New Zealand, and appear to me to be willing more if not worse to happen as a result.

I have chosen to publish your comment in full to show how misguided, irresponsible and reprehensible it is.

Police update on mosque killings – death toll now 50

Police Commissioner Mike Bush is giving an update this morning.

The death toll has risen to 50 with another body found at one of the mosques.

The number of injured is also 50 – 38 remain in hospital, 2 remain critical.

The 28 year old has appeared in court and has been remanded until 5 April.

Two other people were apprehended. the woman has been released without charges being laid. The man has been charged with firearm offences but this is not related to the mosque attacks. They were stopped at a cordon and arrested because they were in possession of a firearm.

The fourth person apprehended outside Papanui High School had armed himself ‘to protect children’ but the police said this was not a good idea.

An 18 year old was charged on a ‘tangential’ issue and was not directly linked to the murders.

Police security for mosques around the country will remain at this stage.

The offender obviously modified weapons but police re still investigating details of this.

Police are working through the issue of firearm laws. Bush said that the Prime Minister will say more about this later today.

The police are have liaison people and teams working with various ethnic and religious groups giving their support. “We have to support those people and meet their needs”.

Worldwide coverage of Christchurch mosque massacres

On Saturday in Christchurch the man who is claimed to be largely or wholly responsible for the massacres in two mosques in Christchurch appeared in court, was charged with one count of murder (the police say more charges are pending), and was remanded in custody until another appearance due next month.

Otherwise there wasn’t a lot of new news from the scenes, with local media focussing on the impact on people who witnessed or affected by the killings.

But there seems have been a massive amount of international attention.

 

The use of social media platforms is under intense scrutiny.

There must be significant changes made at Facebook and other online platforms to address this issue. It is a difficult problem to deal with, but it must be.

One popular report:

The Ausies step up again: ODT:  Speaker banned from Aust after terror attack comments

Controversial far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos has been banned from entering Australia on tour after his remarks about the New Zealand terror attack.

The government had agreed to the visa after conservative MPs had put pressure on Mr Coleman to override the Department of Home Affairs’ advice to ban Mr Yiannopoulos.

“I’m banned from Australia, again, after a statement in which I said I abhor political violence,” Mr Yiannopoulos said on social media after the announcement on Saturday.

Mr Yiannopoulos had described Islam as a “barbaric, alien” religious culture on social media overnight after the terror incident, prompting the government’s change of heart.

Immigration Minister David Coleman released a statement on Saturday after backflipping on a decision to grant Mr Yiannopoulos a visa into the country.

“Milo Yiannopoulos will not be allowed to enter Australia for his proposed tour this year,” Mr Coleman said, after having granted him a visa a week ago.

“Mr Yiannopoulos’ comments on social media regarding the Christchurch terror attack are appalling and foment hatred and division.

“The terrorist attack in Christchurch was carried out on Muslims peacefully practising their religion. It was an act of pure evil.”

Yiannopoulos exercised his right to free speech. Australia exercised it’s right to admit or exclude whoever they like to their country. There can be consequences for saying reprehensible things.

There are other ridiculous arses around the world:

But most of the coverage i can see is horrified and sympathetic:

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush will speak to media Sunday at 9:30am to provide an update on the Christchurch terror attack.

Ardern statement – Saturday morning

More from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (edited) on numbers of deaths, arrests and charges, gun control, ongoing investigations, and support for those affected:


Statement from Jacinda Ardern on Christchurch mass shooting – 9am 16 March

A total now of 49 people have been killed – work is under way to confirm their identities as quickly as possible.

41 people died at Deans Avenue Mosque, 7 at the Linwood Avenue Mosque – and 1 person has since died in hospital.

Over 40 people are being treated for injuries at Christchurch hospital – they have all been identified and those names have been shared with members of the community.

Two of those are in critical condition and this includes a 5-year-old child who has been transported today to Starship Hospital in Auckland.

Three people have been arrested in relation to this event.

One Australian citizen will appear in court today charged with murder.

This individual has travelled around the world with sporadic periods of time spent in New Zealand. They were not a resident of Christchurch. In fact they were currently based in Dunedin.

Enquires are ongoing to establish whether the other two were directly involved with this incident.

The fourth person who was arrested yesterday was a member of the public who was in possession of a firearm, but with the intention of assisting police. They have since been released.

None of those apprehended had a criminal history either here, or in Australia. As I said last night, they were not on any watch lists either here, or in Australia.

I want to be very clear that our intelligence community and police are focused on extremism of every kind.

Given global indicators around far right extremism, our intelligence community has been stepping up their investigations in this area.

The individual charged with murder had not come to the attention of the intelligence community nor the police for extremism.

I have asked our agencies this morning to work swiftly on assessing whether there was any activity on social media or otherwise that should have triggered a response. That work is already under way.

“I want to speak specifically about the firearms used in this terrorist act.”

I’m advised that there were five guns used by the primary perpetrator. There were two semi-automatic weapons, and two shotguns. The offender was in possession of a gun licence.

I’m advised that this was acquired of November 2017.

A lever action firearm was also found.

While work is being done as to the chain of events that led to both the holding of this gun licence, and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now. Our gun laws will change.

There have been attempts to change our laws in 2005, 2012 and after an inquiry in 2017.

Now is the time for change.

Too late for change in this case, and it will take time to work out what sort of changes will be made, but change looks inevitable.

There are obviously questions being asked of how this person was able to enter the country and undertake this act of terror.

I have instructed ODESC to report to Cabinet on Monday on this sequence of events with a view to strengthening our systems on a range of fronts including but not limited to, firearms, border controls, enhanced information sharing with Australia and any practical reinforcement of our watch list processes.

“I want to come now to what people can expect over the course of the day and beyond.”

The safety of New Zealanders is our highest priority.

New Zealand Police remain on high alert.

Christchurch residents are strongly urged to stay home if possible and stay safe. Please monitor the Police website and social media for further information.

If you see something suspicious then call 111 immediately.

A number of events are being held across the country today and there will be an increased Police presence.

Police have additional patrols out on the streets of Christchurch to reassure the community.

They have flown in 45 additional police staff to Christchurch with a further 80 staff arriving today.

The additional police staffing includes public safety teams, detectives, tactical specialists and intelligence support.

Staff from other DHBs have offered support as required.

There will be additional support provided in Christchurch for mental health and psychosocial needs.

 

Police are aware of distressing material relating to this event being online and are reminding people it is an offence to distribute objectionable material.

To recap:

Police immediately secured the areas involved and ensured that people were kept safe, including schools and offices being locked down.

Police made arrests swiftly and a man will appear in court this morning.

Defence specialists quickly moved to assist police to make the improvised explosive devices safe.

I want to make special mention of those who are involved in parts of the operation involving disarming devices and undertaking the arrests themselves.

Many of you may have seen the footage of the arrest and I can only describe it as an act of bravery on behalf of all New Zealanders and an act that showed very little regard for their own personal safety.

I’m sure everyone in New Zealand wants to acknowledge the police and particularly the officer who made that arrest yesterday.

I also want to acknowledge ambulance staff who many will have seen acting swiftly under horrific conditions and all medical staff who continue to work with those who are injured.

NZ Defence Force at Burnham Camp yesterday were put on standby to assist police in Christchurch.

Mosques around the country were provided with advice from police to help keep them secure and advised to remain closed. This advice continues as does the police presence at mosques around the country.

The national threat level was raised to high, which triggers a number of actions to help keep people safe, such as increased aviation and border security.

A number of specialist family liaison staff were deployed.

Close liaison has been established with the Muslim community and other key people in Christchurch.

Police and the wider government will be working with leaders and members of the Islamic Community to provide assistance, reassurance and support.

MFAT are acting as a liaison point for foreign governments – consular representation for any foreign nations involved has been provided. At this stage I understand those involved include Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia.

MFAT staff are dealing with offers of assistance, and are receiving a significant number of condolence messages.

Deputy Commissioner Maori and Ethnic Services Wally Haumaha has travelled to Christchurch, alongside 15 additional ethnic liaison officers to support the community.

These specialists will work alongside local staff to support the families involved.

They are assisting to repatriate them with their loved ones in a way that is consistent with Muslim beliefs, while taking into account these particular circumstances and obligations to the coroner.

“I want to finish by saying…”

…that while the nation grapples with a form of grief and anger that we have not experienced before, we are seeking answers.

After this media conference I will board a defence force plane and travel to Christchurch. I will have other political leaders with me including the Leader of the Opposition.

As is the entire nation, we are all unified in grieving together.


If anyone needs to speak to someone or if they are feeling distressed I encourage you to call or text 1737. There are extra staff available. That number is available to everyone.”

An 0800 number established to register missing persons – 0800 115019 – and a website, Restoring Family Links (RFL).

 

Jacinda Ardern on the Christchurch mosque massacres

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the mosque massacres in Christchurch on Friday as one of the darkest days in New Zealand history. She condemned the ideology and actions of the murders.

Her first statement yesterday:

Statement from Jacinda Ardern on Christchurch shootings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has expressed her horror at the events that are currently unfolding in Christchurch.

“This was an act of extraordinary and unprecedented violence. It has no place in New Zealand.

“It is one of New Zealand’s darkest days.

“Many of the people affected by this act of extreme violence will be from our refugee and migrant communities.

“New Zealand is their home. They are us.

“The person or people who carried out this act of unprecedented violence are not.

“There is no place in our home for them.

“My thoughts, and I know all New Zealanders’ thoughts, are with those affected and with the people of Christchurch.

“To those who are in lockdown and separated from their families, stay safe and stay inside, follow instructions and be assured the police are actively managing the situation.”

Ardern’s second media appearance yesterday:

Further update from Jacinda Ardern on Christchurch mass shooting

“I have now had the opportunity to be fully briefed with the details of the unprecedented events that took place in Christchurch this afternoon,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

Addressing the nation from the Beehive tonight, the Prime Minister said: It is with extreme sadness that I tell you that as at 7pm tonight, we believe that 40 people have lost their lives in this act of extreme violence.

10 have died at Linwood Avenue Mosque, 3 of which were outside the mosque itself.

A further 30 have been killed at Deans Avenue Mosque.

This has since been updated to 49 dead, 41 people at the Deans Avenue mosque, 7 at the Linwood Avenue mosque, and 1 person died in hospital from wounds received at one of the mosques.

There are also more than 20 seriously injured who are currently in Christchurch A&E.

It is clear that this can only be described as a terrorist attack.

From what we know, it does appear to have been well planned. Two explosive devices attached to suspects’ vehicles have been found and they have been disarmed.

There are currently four individuals who have been apprehended but three are connected to this attack and are currently in custody, one of which has publicly stated that they were Australian born.

These are people who I would describe as having extremist views that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and in fact have no place in the world.

While we do not have any reason to believe at this stage that there are other suspects, we are not assuming that at this stage. The joint intelligence group has been deployed and police are putting all of their resources into this situation.

The defence force are currently transporting additional police staff to the region.

Our national security threat level has been lifted from low, to high. This I want to assure people is to ensure that all our agencies are responding in the most appropriate way. That includes at our borders.

Air New Zealand has cancelled all turbo prop flights out of Christchurch tonight and will review the situation in the morning. Jet services both domestically and internationally are continuing to operate.

There is heightened security, so we can assure people of their safety and the police are working hard to ensure people are able to move around their city safely.

I have spoken this evening to the mayor of Christchurch and I intend to speak this evening to the imam, but I also want to send a message to those directly affected.

In fact, I am sure right now New Zealand would like me to share a message on their behalf too.

Our thoughts and our prayers are with those who have been impacted today. Christchurch was their home. For many, this may not have been the place they were born, in fact for many, New Zealand was their choice.

The place they actively came to, and committed to. The place they were raising their families. Where they were parts of communities that they loved and who loved them in return. It was a place that many came to for its safety. A place where they were free to practice their culture and their religion.

For those of you who are watching at home tonight, and questioning how this could have happened here.

We, New Zealand, we were not a target because we are a safe harbour for those who hate.

We were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone racism, because we are an enclave for extremism.

We were chosen for the very fact that we are none of those things.

Because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion. A home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who needs it. And those values will not and cannot be shaken by this attack.

We are a proud nation of more than 200 ethnicities, 160 languages. And amongst that diversity we share common values. And the one that we place the currency on right now is our compassion and support for the community of those directly affected by this tragedy.

And secondly, the strongest possible condemnation of the ideology of the people who did this.

You may have chosen us – we utterly reject and condemn you.

A lot of views of both those videos, and they were also live streamed by multiple media and parts shown around the world.

Ardern handled these very very well in very disturbing circumstances.


Jacinda Ardern:

“I spoke with Donald Trump this morning, he thought to call us directly. He very much wished for his condolences to be passed on to New Zealand”

“He asked what offer of support the United States could provide, my message was sympathy and love for all Muslim communities.”

Updates – 49 confirmed dead in Christchurch terrorist attacks

49 people have been confirmed dead as a result of two near simultaneous terrorist attacks on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday. One Australian man has been arrested and charged with murder.  Another  man and a woman have also been apprehended. A fourth man was arrested but that was not related to the mosque massacres. Parts of a street in Dunedin has cordon off in a related investigation. Mosques around New Zealand are under police protection.

Military style rifles were used in the attacks, and two bombs were found on the vehicle of one of those who was apprehended.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush put out a number of updates on what had happened. Here is the latest from late last night.

Police continue to deal with what is an unprecedented event for New Zealand. The loss of life and the number of those who have been injured is tragic.

As the Prime Minister has stated, this has been designated a terrorist attack.

This has been an abhorrent event and my thoughts are with all of those affected in Christchurch. Be assured NZ Police stand with you all tonight.

We now know that 49 people have been killed in the attacks, 41 people at the Deans Avenue mosque, and seven at the Linwood Avenue mosque. One person died in hospital.

The number of those being treated in hospital has been updated to 48 people.

A 28-year-old man has been charged with murder and is due to appear in the Christchurch District Court tomorrow morning.

Two others remain in custody. Another person was arrested earlier today however that was not related to these events.

This is still an ongoing situation and Police has a significant number of staff on the ground in Christchurch

We are unable at this stage to provide details about matters leading up to the attacks. It is very early days and these matters will form part of the investigation.

There is an increased Police presence across Christchurch and surrounding areas. Our priority is to keep all New Zealanders safe.

There are community events planned across the country this weekend and there will be a visible Police presence at these events for safety and reassurance.

We thank the public for their ongoing co-operation and we would like to reassure members of the public that a large Police presence will remain in the city for the time being. The safety of the community is our priority.

Police wish to notify the public of the Restoring Family Links (RFL) website(link is external) where people can register missing persons or register themselves as alive. People living in New Zealand can also register missing persons on 0800 115 019.

Information will continue to be provided as it becomes available.

Our thoughts remain with all of those affected.

And:

Police are currently in attendance at a property on Somerville Street, Dunedin. This is a location of interest in relation to the serious firearms incident in Christchurch today.

Evacuations of properties in the immediate area have taken place as a precaution.

Alternative accommodation has been provided for residents requiring it and cordons are in place in the Somerville Street and Everton Road area.

There is no further information available at this time.

From the police page on Facebook:

Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online. We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.

I don’t want any of this footage or links to the footage on Your NZ. One aim of the killings was to attract media attention and pub


Saturday morning: Update 9

We are continuing to make enquiries after yesterday’s tragic events in Christchurch.

As the Prime Minister stated yesterday, this has been designated a terrorist attack.

49 people have died and 42 are being treated for injuries. Two of those injured are critical and this includes a four-year-old child who is being transported to Starship Hospital this morning.

A 28-year-old man will appear in Christchurch District Court today charged with murder.

Two others remain in custody.

Our investigations are in their early stages and we will be looking closely to build a picture of any of the individuals involved and all of their activities prior to this horrific event.

There is no guarantee the risk is limited to Canterbury and we need all New Zealanders to be extra vigilant.

Our message to you is simple: if you see something suspicious, say something – call 111 immediately.

Police is aware there are distressing materials related to this event circulating widely online. We would urge anyone who has been affected by seeing these materials to seek appropriate support.

We would also like to remind the public that it is an offence to distribute an objectionable publication and that is punishable by imprisonment.

Once again I want to reassure the public that a large Police presence remains in the city for the time being.

There will be a heightened Police presence at community events today for safety and reassurance.

Dozens of officers continue to be deployed into the region today, and Police’s Eagle helicopter has flown to Christchurch to assist those on the ground.

Police and the wider government will be working with leaders and members of the Islamic Community to provide assistance, reassurance and support.

Deputy Commissioner of Māori and Ethnic Services Wally Haumaha has travelled to Christchurch alongside 15 ethnic liaison officers to support the community.

These specialists will work alongside local staff to support the families and help repatriate them with their loved ones in a way that is consistent with Muslim beliefs, while taking into account these circumstances and obligations to the coroner.

I also plan to fly to Christchurch this morning, and will be speaking to media at the earliest opportunity. More detail on that will be advised in due course.

Again I want to offer my sincere condolences to those affected, on behalf of New Zealand Police.

Presuming more updates are released they will be added to this post today.

From Update 11:

The 28-year-old man charged with murder in relation to this attack has appeared in Christchurch District Court this morning.

While the man is currently facing only one charge, further charges will be laid. Details of those charges will be communicated at the earliest possible opportunity.

 

Why did the Human Rights privacy decision against Slater take so long?

In short, lack of resources, in particular there only being one Chairperson who could do most of the work. The findings \seem simple and obvious.

One of the notable aspects of the Human Rights Review Tribunal decision against Cameron Slater was how long it took for the decision to be published.

This shows that the hearings began in October 2014, and the decision wasn’t published until about four and a half years. Matthew Blomfield had good reason to claim that justice delayed is justice denied, especially as since the hearings Slater has clocked up a lot of other legal and court costs, and declared himself bankrupt last month. The $70,000 awarded by the tribunal will be difficult to get.

The decision tries to explain the reason for this long delay.

[14] The reasons for the long delay in publishing this decision are explained in Wall v Fairfax New Zealand Ltd (Delay) [2017] NZHRRT 8. It was not until enactment of the Tribunals Powers and Procedures Legislation Act 2018 that s 99AA of the Human Rights Act was on 14 November 2018 inserted to allow the Governor-General to appoint one or more Deputy Chairpersons of the Tribunal. As at the date of publication of this decision no such appointments had been made.

[15] The delay by the Tribunal is regretted and an apology is made to the parties.

It refers to Wall v Fairfax New Zealand Ltd (Delay) [2017] NZHRRT 8 which explains more.

[2] There are two reasons for the delay. First, an unprecedented increase in the Tribunal’s workload and second, the fact that the Human Rights Act 1993 does not allow the appointment of a deputy chair to assist the Chairperson to keep pace with the large inflow of new cases.

[3] The volume of new cases filed with the Tribunal over the past two calendar years has increased substantially…

[4] As a consequence of this influx there were 120 active files as at 28 February 2017, each requiring hands-on management by the Chairperson…

[5] Apart from the sharp numerical increase in the number of files requiring management(and the allocation of a hearing date), the workload of the Tribunal (particularly that of the Chairperson) has been added to by two further factors. First, the growing complexity of the issues litigated…On average, the present norm is for hearings to take between three and five days.

Second, the steep increase in the number of cases in which one or more of the parties is self-represented…Cases involving self-represented litigants are more difficult to manage and therefore more time-consuming.

Slater and his assistant in this case Dermot Nottingham both have records of time wasting, deliberate delays, and dumping huge amounts of irrelevant and inadmissible material into proceedings. An additional problem is that various courts have allowed these practices to continue for years of litigation.

Structure of the Human Rights Act unhelpful

[6] Part 4 of the Human Rights Act is structured in such a way that almost every action on every file must be undertaken by the Chairperson. For example, all case management directions must be given by the Chairperson (see the Human Rights Review Tribunal Regulations 2002, regs 16 to 18) and the Chairperson must preside at all sittings of the Tribunal (s 104(4)). Interim order applications are also determined by the Chair (s 95). All decisions of the Tribunal are written by the Chairperson.

[7] The Chairperson is presently the only member of the Tribunal. The Panel maintained by the Minister of Justice under s 101 is a separate statutory entity which is drawn on by both the Chairperson and by the High Court.  Members of the Panel are only ever members of a “tribunal” when appointed by the Chairperson for the purposes of a particular hearing (s 98).

The anomaly

[8] Section 102(1) of the HRA does not allow the appointment of a Deputy Chair to share the workload…

[9] An urgent amendment to this section is necessary. It is an amendment of the most minor kind. All that is required is for the amended s 102 to provide:

(1) The Governor-General, on the recommendation of the Minister, may appoint a deputy chair or chairs of the Tribunal.

[10] Such amendment will allow the Tribunal, if it is adequately resourced, to hear and determine cases in a timely and efficient manner. Without legislative intervention the severe difficulties presently faced by the Tribunal will compound.

That Minute was delivered on 10 March 2017.

The Slater decision states that on on 14 November 2018  the “Tribunals Powers and Procedures Legislation Act 2018 that s 99AA of the Human Rights Act was inserted to allow the Governor-General to appoint one or more Deputy Chairpersons of the Tribunal.”

While no Deputy Chairpersons have been appointed the recent change would have been too late for speeding up the Slater decision.

The hope must be that cases currently before the Human Rights Review Tribunal, and future cases, will progress much faster.

 

 

Human Rights Tribunal slams Cameron Slater

In what has been reported as a landmark decision he Human Rights Review Tribunal has found that Cameron Slater breached the privacy of Matthew Blomfield by obtaining and publishing Blomfield’s personal information in a series of posts at Whale Oil, cherry picking and embellishing data from a hard drive that the Court found that had been obtained illegally and given to Slater.

The tribunal found that Slater’s posts about Blomfield had caused genuine harm and humiliation through an interference in his privacy:

This blog can only be described as a calculated attack on Mr Blomfield and an extended assassination of his character.”

Even if Mr Slater was not party to any illegality, it seems likely the information was obtained illegally by Mr Slater’s sources.

In October last year Slater lost a five year defamation case brought against him by Blomfield. Damages and costs haven’t been awarded yet, but last month Slater filed for bankruptcy.

Slater’s defence in the Humaan Rights case was that he had been acting as a journalist so had legal protection (similar to his defamation defence), but the decision states that the attacks were sustained over six months and were extreme, well beyond the responsibilities of journalism.

Note the date of the hearings (over four years ago), and the date of the decision (yesterday).

Also note the name of Slater’s assistant. Nottingham and Slater have records of over the top attack blogging, and hopeless legal attacks and defences. They are both now bankrupt, and both suffer from health problems. Slater has been distanced and dumped from Whale Oil, and Nottingham is banned from using the Internet.

[171] On the facts there can be little doubt the humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to feelings described by Mr Blomfield were caused by Mr Slater. In legal terminology we are satisfied Mr Slater’s disclosure of Mr Blomfield’s personal information was a material cause of the harm suffered by Mr Blomfield. See Taylor v Orcon [2015] NZHRRT 15, (2015) 10 HRNZ 458 at [59] to [61].

[174] We do not propose making a training order. The events in question occurred some time ago and much has happened since then, particularly extensive litigation between Mr Slater and Mr Blomfield. We are confident that upon publication of the present decision Mr Slater will appreciate that the news medium exemption from the Privacy Act is but a limited exemption. Whether a blogger is exempt from application of the information privacy principles is a question to be determined blog by blog, item of personal information by item of personal information. Only if the particular item of personal information comes within the definition of news activity is exemption from the Privacy Act triggered in relation to that particular item.

[175.1] A declaration is made under s 85(1)(a) of the Privacy Act 1993 that Mr Slater interfered with the privacy of Mr Blomfield by disclosing personal information about Mr Blomfield contrary to IPP 11.

[175.2] An order is made under s 85(1)(b) of the Privacy Act 1993 restraining Mr Slater from continuing or repeating the interferences with Mr Blomfield’s privacy, or from engaging in, or causing or permitting others to engage in, conduct of the same kind as that constituting the interferences, or conduct of any similar kind.

[175.3] An order is made under s 85(1)(d) of the Privacy Act 1993 that Mr Slater erase, destroy, take down and disable any personal information about Mr Matthew John Blomfield as may be held on http://www.whaleoil.co.nz and on http://www.scribd.com. Mr Slater is to likewise erase, destroy, take down or disable any of Mr Blomfield’s personal information published by Mr Slater and which may be found on any other website or database which is within Mr Slater’s direction or control.

[175.4] Damages of $70,000 are awarded against Mr Slater under ss 85(1)(c) and 88(1)(c) of the Privacy Act 1993 for the humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to feelings experienced by Mr Blomfield.

A media release from Blomfield:

Human Rights Review Tribunal orders Cameron Slater to pay damages

The Human Rights Review Tribunal has today upheld a complaint against Cameron Slater. The Tribunal found that Slater had breached the privacy of Matthew Blomfield by obtaining and publishing Mr Blomfield’s personal information.

The Tribunal ordered Slater to pay $70,000 in damages for the “humiliation, loss of dignity, and injury to feelings experienced by Mr Blomfield”. That is one of the highest awards ever made by the HRRT. It also ordered Slater to destroy Mr Blomfield’s personal information and to cease publishing stories based on that information.

In reaching its decision, the Tribunal rejected an argument from Slater that he was protected by a privacy exemption for news media. The Tribunal accepted that the blog site Whale Oil could be a news medium. However, it found that all but one of the publications complained of could not properly be described as a news activity. Rather, they were “gratuitous allegations” as part of a “sustained campaign” against Mr Blomfield. The Tribunal described the blog as “a calculated attack on Mr Blomfield and an extended assassination of his character”.

While being elated at the result, Mr Blomfield was very disappointed that the decision had taken so long. “I feel like I have lived the maxim, “justice delayed is justice denied”” he said. The hearing of this complaint before the Tribunal occurred more than four years ago. A few weeks ago, Slater had himself declared bankrupt. Since the hearing, the private information has appeared on other blog sites including one run by the lay advocate who assisted Slater before the HRRT. “The Tribunal has sat on this case for so long that it will now be very difficult for me to enforce any of its orders” said Mr
Blomfield.

“Mr Slater’s actions have been an extended nightmare for me and my family. He has boasted online about having my family’s private information including the photos of my kids growing up and our family home movies. This has been especially traumatic for my children and my partner.” said Mr Blomfield. “Every allegation he made about me was a fabrication. As has become clear in the defamation case, there was simply no basis for the allegations, he just made them up.”

I think it’s unlikely to get a statement from Slater or Whale Oil.

The full judgment [2019] NZHRRT 13 is here.

David Fisher at NZ Herald:  Bankrupt blogger Cameron Slater carried out ‘character assassination’ – ordered to pay $70,000 in landmark media ruling

Bankrupt ex-blogger Cameron Slater has been found to have carried out an “extended assassination” on the character of a businessman in a series of blog posts he attempted to defend as journalism.

The Human Rights Tribunal has found his six-month campaign against businessman Matt Blomfield on his Whaleoil blog in 2012 wasn’t news and Slater did not have a journalist’s protection from prosecution under the Privacy Act.

It has ordered Slater pay Blomfield $70,000 in damages and never write about him again.

The ruling from the Tribunal also sets a new rules for how the Privacy Act applies to journalism, saying media are bound to act “responsibly” if it wants to be exempt from the law.

That is an important point for bloggers as well as journalists. I operate as a journalist of sorts here at times, but it’s pretty obvious that doesn’t give me a license to over the top run paid for attacks on people. This decision makes this clear in legal terms.

The basis of the claim was the blogger’s sourcing information from a hard drive he had obtained on which Blomfield had stored personal information over 10 years.

The case was taken up by the office of the Director of Human Rights Proceedings which prosecuted Slater for breaching the Privacy Act.

The tribunal’s finding, like a previous High Court judgment, raised concerns about the legality of Slater obtaining the hard drive containing Blomfield’s information.

The tribunal ordered Slater be declared as having breached Blomfield’s privacy and to be barred by restraining order from ever doing so again. It also ordered Slater destroy any personal information he held or had published about Blomfield.

It also delivered one of the tribunal’s highest awards for hurt and humiliation, ordering Slater pay Blomfield $70,000.

It is possible the award would outlast Slater’s bankruptcy with findings of damages being exempt from creditor settlements in some cases.

I don’t know how that might work.

Blomfield is likely to remain significantly out of pocket with his legal actions against Slater, but he has done many others who have been attacked and famed and had vexatious litigation against them a favour of sorts.

Slater reached great heights with his blogging at Whale Oil, but power and money seem to have driven him way over the top. This is just one of a number of court rulings that have resulted in him being discredited and facing huge legal costs and awards made against him.


An associate of Slater’s, Marc Spring, tried to continue attacks against Blomfield here at YourNZ when a court agreement prevented Whale Oil from being used for that purpose. Spring, Slateose failures: NOTTINGHAM v APN NEWS & MEDIA LTD [2018] NZHC 596 [29 March 2018] (the charges against me were withdrawn before trial).

On Monday I received an anonymous letter which included court judgments involving Blomfield. I was aware of these judgments already and had little interest in them, they are business/legal matters of little or no public interest.

The letter falsely accused me of supporting Blomfield in those matters – they have absolutely nothing to do with me and I have nothing to do with them.

It also made a number of accusations against Blomfield that sound very similar to what Slater has just been slammed for by the Human Rights review Tribunal.

Whoever sent the letter must be nuts if they think I’m going to publish their anonymous unsubstantiated accusations.