Legal blunder left 6 month NZSIS surveillance gap

Some journalism continues under the noise of media click baiting and copy/pasting and repeating.

David Fisher at NZH: Our spies disarmed by legal blunder amid ‘high threat operations’ against terrorists

A law-making bungle deprived our spies of a key weapon against terrorism in the wake of classified briefings warning of “an increasingly complex and escalating threat environment” in New Zealand.

NZ Security Intelligence Service documents revealed the blunder left our spies unable to use video surveillance tools to watch terrorism suspects in their cars, homes or workplaces for six months last year.

The documents, declassified and released through the Official Information Act, also revealed our spies have been involved in “high threat operations”.

It did not state what those operations were and NZSIS director-general Rebecca Kitteridge, in an interview with the NZ Herald, would not elaborate other than to say they involved police assistance.

She would not give details of the operations but said the NZSIS had taken active steps with the police to stop people who wanted to carry out terrorist attacks in New Zealand.

The details about the security situation in New Zealand is an unnerving backdrop to the blunder over warrants allowing visual surveillance.

Kitteridge revealed the hole in the law to former NZSIS minister Chris Finlayson last year.
In a memo on June 30, she said “the NZSIS no longer had the power to apply for a visual surveillance warrant” or to use emergency power to act without a warrant in emergencies.

The memo said warrants to allow visual surveillance were to “detect, investigate or prevent a terrorist act”.

But she said the NZSIS was unable to do so for six months after the old law expired on April 1 2017 because the new Intelligence and Security Act did not apply until September 28 2017.

Finlayson said he had gone through the law change “clause by clause with officials” and had told them “they had one last chance to indicate any concerns they may have had”.

“There were none.”

Finlayson said Parliament was in its closing stages prior to the election and he had “no intention of trying to ram stop-gap remedial legislation through the House”.

The new NZSIS Minister supports Finlayson’s judgement.

NZSIS minister Andrew Little said he supported Finlayson’s exercise of judgment and would have made the same decision.

A follow up at Newsroom: Officials to blame for spy law blunder – Finlayson

Former spy minister Chris Finlayson has thrown government officials under the bus for a blunder which deprived Kiwi spooks of visual surveillance tools, saying they would have been to blame had a terrorist attack occurred.

Speaking to media on Tuesday morning, Finlayson said he opposed an urgent law change due to the lack of time between the discovery of the blunder and the general election, coupled with criticism of his government’s previous use of urgency for intelligence laws and the drafting process for the new law.

“I had gone through that legislation, the draft legislation…clause by clause and I distinctly recall at the end of the meeting saying to people, ‘Right, state any further concerns or forever hold your peace, end of story’.”

There were “other mechanisms” that could have been used to cover the lack of visual surveillance powers, he said.

While the NZSIS had not explicitly raised the prospect of an urgent legislative fix, he believed Kitteridge’s briefings were “a precursor” to such a request.

Asked who would have been to blame had a terrorist attack occurred during the six months the NZSIS was without the powers, Finlayson replied bluntly, “They [the officials] would have been.”

Additional support from Little:

Current NZSIS Minister Andrew Little backed Finlayson’s decision to oppose urgent legislation, and said he did not believe New Zealand had been markedly more vulnerable during the six-month period.

“The security and intelligence agencies have a number of means and mechanisms to keep tabs on people who are regarded as a risk: visual surveillance is one of them, but in the relatively short period of time that they didn’t have access to powers to do that they were able to cover their needs off through other means,” Little said.

It’s difficult to know whether any damage was done by this blunder, but the danger period has now passed.

Contempt of Court law to be considered by Parliament

It’s a bit ironic that after nine years as Attorney-General it is from Opposition that Chris Finlayson is got a bill into Partliament that will consider Contempt of Court law changes that would toughen up on criticism of judges, especially via social media, and also publishing information that could prejudice an arrested person’s right to a fair trial .

Audrey Young (NZH): It took a move to Opposition for Chris Finlayson to make progress on contempt law

A proposed new law of contempt, setting boundaries for what can and can’t be said by the media, particularly social media, about defendants, trials and judges is going to be examined by Parliament.

One of the most controversial parts of the bill is likely to be penalties for making untrue allegations against judges, which will attract a fine of up to $50,000 or up to two years imprisonment.

Some abuse of judges was calculated to intimidate judges individually or collectively, said the bill’s sponsor, former Attorney-General Chris Finlayson.

I’ve seen what look like examples of this on a particular website that shouldn’t (mustn’t) be named here (for legal reasons).

“Such abuse is capable of undermining the rule of law. Judicial independence and impartiality is at the heart of the rule of law.”

The previous National Government commissioned the Law Commission to look at the law of contempt. It came up with plenty of recommendations and a draft bill to implement them.

But Finlayson was unable to convince the Ministry of Justice to make it a legislative priority so it languished.

So in Opposition Finlayson adopted the Law Commission’s bill as his own private member’s bill – which was recently drawn from the biscuit tin in the regular ballots for members’ bills.

So it is just by the luck of the draw that has enabled this to be considered by Parliament.

And Justice Minister Andrew Little will seek the support of his Cabinet colleagues to adopt it as a government bill after it passes its first reading, which is likely to be next week.

“Now that it has been drawn and has to be considered, we might as well do it properly,” Little said.

That’s very good to see from Little. He has made a good start as Minister of Justice in the Labour led government, on more than this issue.

The Administration of Justice (Reform of Contempt of Court) Bill will set those laws out in one place and come up with rules that will apply equally to mainstream media, and people commenting or blogging, tweeting or posting publicly through social media on the courts.

It will also cover disruptions in court, jurors who breach the rules by doing their own independent research, the enforcement of court orders, and malicious attacks on judges.

A lot of the time, people did not know what the boundaries were, including tweeters sitting in the back of a courtroom.

“I want to get this thing properly debated for the sake of the system,” said Finlayson.

“I think there is a danger in our system that we become obsessed when looking at justice questions with ‘law and order’ type issues and we don’t look at the other areas that are so fundamental to the efficient and successful running of our state.”

One of the issues on which he expected there would be debate was on criticism of judges.

Judges should not be immune from criticism for their decisions, he said.

“I’m not concerned about judges being criticised for their judgments but I am concerned about the abuse of judges and the attempts to intimidate judges, be it individually or collectively.

“Fair criticism is different from abuse.”

The aim of the bill was to make sure the boundaries were clear and people knew what they can and cannot do.

In the modern era of social media it will be good for this to be clarified.

Little has some concerns about what limitations are put on the criticism of judges.

Free speech versus the functions and  integrity of the judicial system.

What the bill does:

  • A person or organisation commits an offence if it publishes information that could prejudice an arrested person’s right to a fair trial, and is liable for up to six months imprisonment or a fine of $25,000 for an individual or $100,000 for an organisation.
  • Publishing untrue accusations against a judge punishable by up to two years imprisonment and a $50,000 fine for individuals and $100,000 for organisations.
  • A person wilfully disrupting court proceedings may be fined up to $10,000 or imprisoned for up to three months.
  • A person disobeying a court order may be fined up to $10,000 or imprisoned for up to three months.
  • A juror convicted of intentionally researching information relevant to the case is liable for a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment of up to three months.

That’s what is being considered by Parliament, it hasn’t been agree on yet.

The first one is of particular interest to users of social media – it is important that the law is clear on this.

Little has concerns about the last one.

He is also opposed to making it an offence for jurors to research cases…

“Most jurors get a pittance as a substitute for their wages. Most are reluctant to be there and they are doing it out of a civic duty,” he said.

“A better balance needs to be struck but that can be dealt with at select committee.”

I would think it would be difficult to discover let alone convict a juror for intentionally researching information relevant to the case.

Finlayson: negotiations ‘essentially a fraud’

Chris Finlayson, who was Attorney General  in the last government and is now Shadow Attorney General, was scathing of Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and the coalition negotiations in his Address in Reply speech in Parliament yesterday.

He says that “the negotiations after the general election were essentially a fraud”, and that National has “dodged a bullet”.

From draft Hansard:

I do want to comment a little bit on the campaign. I normally stand up and say here that it’s great to be back, but it’s kind of good to be back.

I would much rather be on the other side than where I am here, but I have to say I’m in that category in the National Party that said we dodged a bullet, because while I have some regard for some of my New Zealand First parliamentary colleagues, I have absolutely no regard for the Rt Hon Winston Peters, and I have had no regard for him from the time I acted for the National Party caucus in the early 1990s, when he was removed from the caucus for disloyalty.

Old habits don’t change very quickly. He has made absolutely no contribution to New Zealand, in my view, and it is becoming abundantly clear, as Judith Collins said recently, that the negotiations after the general election were essentially a fraud.

So I believe we’ve dodged a bullet, and I’m very happy that the National Party conducted itself with propriety and dignity.

Last week from Newshub: Winston Peters ‘not genuine’ in coalition talks – Judith Collins

Judith Collins says the post-election negotiations between her party and Winston Peters appear to have been a fraud.

It was revealed on Thursday the New Zealand First leader’s legal action against journalists, the head of the Ministry of Social Development, a number of National MPs and their staff was filed the day before the General Election, which was held on September 23.

Ms Collins told The AM Show on Friday morning it now appears Mr Peters was playing the National Party, and never intended to sign a coalition agreement with them.

“At the time, we were very much convinced on our side there were genuine negotiations going on. But I’ve got to say, it’s not looking like it was quite so genuine anymore.”

“I think Winston Peters should really explain himself to the public because there were a lot of voters who were disappointed in his decision,” said Ms Collins.

“I think New Zealanders are owed an explanation. Was he being genuine, or was it just a play?”

I think voters are owed an explanation, but I doubt that Peters will give a straight answer.

The first call in Court on Peters’ legal action was on Monday. Stuff – Winston Peters’ lawyers aim sights at journalists involved in leak:

The NZ First leader’s legal team served court papers last week on nine people including former National Party government ministers, journalists and a government department chief executive over the leak which occurred in the leadup to this year’s election.

Peters’ lawyers are requesting documents from the parties named in the legal action to try and get to the bottom of where the leak came from, and who was involved.

The first call for Peters’ case was heard in front of Justice Anne Hinton on Monday morning at the High Court in Auckland. It was a largely procedural hearing, with all parties represented by lawyers.

Peter’s legal counsel Brian Henry told the court some of the journalists who were leaked the story may have been politically motivated, and not neutral reporters.

Newsroom co-editor Tim Murphy and Newshub journalist Lloyd Burr were both served documents as they knew about the leak before it became public.

“The situation is about an illegal act, not dirty politics. When it comes to the journalists, it is our understanding some of the journalists were not ‘journalists’ but political agents,” Henry said.

“This was a political set up from woah to go,” he said.

Henry said they were considering challenging the pair’s journalistic privilege.

Justice Hinton told Peters’ lawyer they will need to file documents with the court detailing exactly what they are alleging against the parties involved.

Justice Hinton set down a hearing for March next year where it will be ruled if the parties will need to disclose the documents.

In a statement on Monday morning, the National Party said: “The National Party people named all continue to refute any suggestion they had any involvement in the leak of this information and will be responding accordingly.”

With this action planned since before the election coalition between NZ first and National seems an unlikely outcome of negotiations, or if it had happened it would have started with a degree of tension and toxicity.

On making his announcement after extended negotiations Peters had claimed that the decision to support a Labour led Government was made 15 minutes before making the announcement.

Perhaps that refers to a decision on something like ‘will we accept what Labour has offered us or push for more?’.


Euthanasia bill does not infringe human rights

David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill has been passed by the Attorney General, who is required to check bills against the Bill of Rights Act.

RNZ:  Euthanasia bill gets legal tick from Attorney-General

A bill proposing to legalise euthanasia has been given a legal tick by the Attorney-General, who said it would not infringe basic human rights if enacted.

Proposed laws are tested using routine assessments by the Attorney-General Chris Finlayson, who weighs legal validity under overarching legislation such as the Bill of Rights Act.

In a report, Mr Finlayson said the bill was consistent with rights regarding freedom of conscience and freedom of expression.

His report related to the legal framework, not any moral or philosophical questions.

Mr Seymour’s bill provides for a legal landscape in which people with a terminal illness or a ”grievous or irremediable” medical condition [have] the option of requesting assisted dying”.

“It allows people who so choose, and are eligible under this bill, to end their lives in peace and dignity, surrounded by loved ones.”

Seymour is pleased his bill passed this test.

“Critics of my bill, short of substantive arguments, have called it ‘poorly drafted’.

“[The] report from the Attorney-General debunks those claims.

“Opponents will now need to explain why they would not allow dying people, in extreme suffering, to have a choice about how and when they die – rather than hiding behind those straw men.

“The report says that the eligibility criteria are narrow enough, and the safeguards strict enough, that the bill will not cause wrongful deaths, and that assisted dying will be available only to the group the bill intends – incurably or terminally ill, and in unbearable suffering.”

Parliament will rise next week and ity looks unlikely the Members’ Bill will get it’s first reading before the election.

Ghahraman versus Finlayson

Since joining Twitter recently Green candidate Golriz Ghahraman is learning how fraught

mixing politics with quick fire tweeting can be. She has been given a lot of attention, and in some cases has given as good as she has got.

She seems to have come unstuck over a swipe and Attorney General Chris Finlayson.

She tweeted…

Remember Finlayson changed the rules so QCs don’t need to be barristers, then gave himself the honour? Classic Nats

…in response to Guy Williams: Arise, Sir John

It reminded me of National MP and solicitor Chris Finlayson who, after becoming National’s Attorney General, changed the rules so that solicitors could become Queen’s Counsel, and then proceeded to become a QC! It’s insane.

She virtually repeated what Williams said. This has attracted attention, including:



Graeme Edgeler has stepped in to put the record straight.

1. It was Parliament (at the behest of *Margaret Wilson*) who changed the rules to allow non-barristers to become SCs.

2. and then Parliament (at the behest of Finlayson) who *reversed* Wilson’s change, so that you had to be a barrister.

3. any change to allow non-barristers to be QCs is irrelevant to Finlayson anyway, because most importantly, Finlayson is still a barrister!

I figured the error was from ‘s column. And assumed he’d just mis-remembered what happened as the opposite of what happened.

In politics it’s easy for ambitions and agendas to live by the tweet, die by the tweet.


Finlayson’s speech – Parihaka reconciliation

Today the Crown signed a Deed of Reconciliation with the Parihaka community in a ceremony held at Parihaka – see Parihaka Deed of Reconciliation.

RNZ:  Tears as Crown apologises for Parihaka atrocities

People openly wept as the apology was read out by Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson.

He apologised for the wrongful arrests and imprisonment of Parihaka men and their leaders Te Whiti o rongomai and Tohu Kakahi.

Mr Finlayson also apologised for the rape and molestation of the women and girls who were left behind when the men where imprisoned in the South Island.

He said it was a shameful part of New Zealand’s history which both Maori and pakeha found hard talking about, for different reasons.

Representatives from the Kīngitanga and other tribes were welcomed onto the papakainga this morning.

Here is Chris Finlayson’s speech from the reconciliation ceremony.

Mihi Te maunga tupuna, Taranaki Tū mai, tū mai rā Ngā uri whakaheke Koutou ngā kaikawe o ngā tohutohu a Tohu Kākahi, a Te Whiti o Rongomai Karanga mai, mihi mai, whakatau mai. He rā tino nui tēnei mo te Karauna He rā tino nui tēnei mo te Motu Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.


We are at Parihaka today to participate in this historic ceremony which marks the reconciliation between Parihaka and the Crown. This is a day when we need to look back at the history of the Crown’s actions at Parihaka and acknowledge the suffering those actions have caused for generations of people at Parihaka. This is an important part of reconciliation. But it is also a day when we look forward to a future where the vision of Parihaka is finally achieved. For the vision of Tohu Kākahi and Te Whiti o Rongomai was not one of protest and resistance. Theirs was a vision of self-determination, cooperation and peace. In the past the Crown felt threatened by that vision and sought to undermine it. Today the Crown comes to Parihaka to make a contribution to the fulfilment of that vision. Parihaka has waited a long time for this day.

When I was here a year ago to sign the compact of trust I spoke about the sense of responsibility I feel as Attorney-General for this reconciliation. The colonial government failed to uphold the rule of law at Parihaka and I am grateful for the opportunity, as the current Attorney-General, to be able to play a part in helping right that past wrong.

This is not a Treaty settlement. However, as Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, I know that reconciling with Parihaka is a vital step towards addressing historic grievances in Taranaki, as will be the signing of an agreement in principle with Ngāti Maru and the completion of negotiations around Taranaki Maunga and the signing of a milestone document in the Taranaki Maunga negotiations. Te Ururoa Flavell and I are also involved in ongoing discussions with the Taranaki Trust Board about the annuity.

The history

Those of you here today know the history of Parihaka, but it is important to put the events of the past on the record. First, I want to say something about Tohu Kākahi and Te Whiti o Rongomai.

As young men, both received formal instruction in traditional Māori knowledge and in Christian theology. Their spiritual and political views, and the principles that came to underpin the community they established at Parihaka, therefore drew on ideas from Pakeha and Māori systems of thought. Both men had lived for a time at the mission farm at Warea on the Taranaki coast. It had its own flour-mill and became economically successful by selling flour and other produce to settlers in New Plymouth. These experiences contributed to the two leaders’ lifelong promotion of peace and their determination not to reject the Pakeha world, but to engage with it for the economic and other benefits that it offered.

I now want to outline what happened at Parihaka. I do this because while these events are among the most shameful in the history of this country, they are even today not known or understood. In part, this is because the history of Parihaka is an uncomfortable one. For some it may raise questions about our history that we would rather not confront. For many people here today, the history of Parihaka is uncomfortable for a different reason. For them, the sense of grievance that arises from that history is anything but historical. It is remembered and lived every day. That is why the Crown comes today offering an apology to the people of Parihaka for actions it committed almost 140 years ago.

It is also important to recognise that the Crown’s response to the challenge of Parihaka deprived this settlement’s residents of fundamental legal rights which applied as much to them as to any other New Zealander. Today, it is almost impossible to imagine any New Zealand government responding to the protests of its citizens by legislating away their right to a trial, legalising their continuing detention, or retrospectively legitimising the destruction of their homes and possessions. But these things did occur. That is why they must be recorded and remembered. Some in our country today are very vocal about one law for all. A fine sentiment which was not applied to Parihaka citizens in 1881. That is why we are here today.

Ultimately, there can be no reconciliation where one party remembers while the other forgets. This is why the Crown’s apology, which Te Ururoa Flavell and I are about to read, includes a brief summary of the history of the Crown at Parihaka, and why the apology will be recorded both in the deed of reconciliation and in the legislation that will be passed later to serve as the permanent and legally-binding record of the Crown’s commitment to Parihaka.

A few short years after guaranteeing to Māori the undisturbed possession of any lands they wished to retain, the Crown began systematically to dispossess the tangata whenua of Taranaki of their lands. By purchase deed, force of arms, confiscation and statute, the Crown took the rich lands of Taranaki and left its people impoverished, demoralised, and vilified. The Crown reiterates the apologies it has made to iwi of Taranaki for its many failures to uphold the principles of partnership and good faith that the Treaty of Waitangi embodies, and for the immense harm those actions have caused to generations of Māori in Taranaki.

The Crown now offers the following apology in English and Te Reo Māori to the people of Parihaka, past and present.

Crown Apology

In 1866, the settlement of Parihaka was established as a final refuge for Taranaki hapū whose homes and cultivations had been repeatedly destroyed by Crown troops, and who had recently suffered the indiscriminate confiscation of traditional lands that had sustained them and their tupuna for generations, and which formed the very bedrock of their identity.

At a time of unprecedented loss and continuing Crown violence, the people of Parihaka chose to establish their new community under principles of compassion, equality, unity, and self-sufficiency. Under the leadership of Tohu Kākahi and Te Whiti o Rongomai, the community at Parihaka asserted their customary rights to land and political autonomy through symbolic acts of protest while promoting peaceful engagement between Māori and Pākehā. Parihaka became a place of refuge and a source of inspiration for thousands of people from across Taranaki and from elsewhere in Aotearoa.

The Crown acknowledges that it failed to recognise or respect the vision of self-determination and partnership that Parihaka represented. The Crown responded to peace with tyranny, to unity with division, and to autonomy with oppression.

The Crown therefore offers its deepest apologies to the people of Parihaka for all its failures, and in particular for the following actions:

For imprisoning Parihaka residents for their participation in the ploughing and fencing campaigns of 1879 and 1880, and for promoting laws that breached natural justice by enabling those protestors to be held in South Island jails without trial for periods that assumed the character of indefinite detention; For depriving those political prisoners of their basic human rights, and for inflicting unwarranted hardships both on them and on members of their whānau and hapu who remained behind and sustained Parihaka in their absence; For invading Parihaka in November 1881, forcibly evicting many people who had sought refuge there, dismantling and desecrating their homes and sacred buildings, stealing heirlooms, and systematically destroying their cultivations and livestock; For the rapes committed by Crown troops in the aftermath of the invasion, and for the immeasurable and enduring harm that this caused to the women of Parihaka, their families, and their uri until the present day; For the arrest and detention of Tohu Kākahi and Te Whiti o Rongomai for sixteen months without trial in the South Island; For its imposition of a pass system which regulated entry into Parihaka, denied residents the freedom of movement, and prevented supporters from providing Parihaka with supplies following the invasion; For compounding these injustices by returning land under a regime that deprived owners of control and ultimately the ownership of much of the Parihaka reserves, and which remain in place to this day.

The Crown denied Parihaka the right to develop and sustain itself on its own terms, and then failed for many years to address the resulting grievances in an appropriate way. The Crown profoundly regrets these actions, which have burdened the people of Parihaka with an intergenerational legacy of grievance and deprivation, and which have burdened the Crown with a legacy of shame.

On the 7th day of November every year, the whānau of Parihaka come together to remember those tupuna who, in 1881, met the Crown’s soldiers with songs and gifts of food, and who honoured their commitment to peace while their homes and gardens were destroyed and leaders imprisoned.

The Crown now joins Parihaka in paying tribute to the men, women, and children who responded to the Crown’s tyranny with dignity, discipline and immense courage. It is the Crown’s sincerest hope that through this apology, Parihaka and the Crown can now acknowledge their shared past, move beyond it, and begin to work together to fulfil the vision of peaceful coexistence that Tohu and Te Whiti described.

He whakapāha hukihuki nā te Karauna ki a Parihaka

I ngā tau i muri tata mai i te kī taurangi ki te Māori, e kore nei e whakararurarungia tana pupuri ki ngā whenua i pīrangitia ai e ia, ka tīmata tā te Karauna āta pāhua i te tangata whenua o Taranaki. Nā te kirimana hoko, nā te riri ā-patu, nā te muru me te ture hoki i riro ai i te Karauna ngā whenua mōmona o Taranaki, me te aha, noho ai tana iwi i roto i te rawakore, i te ngākau-kore, i roto hoki i te whakahariharitaetanga. Ka whakaū te Karauna i ana whakapāha ki te iwi o Taranaki mō te nui o ana korenga i hāpai i ngā mātāpono o te mahi tahi me te mahi pono e whakatinanatia nei e te Tiriti o Waitangi, mō te nui whakaharahara hoki o te kino i hua ake i aua mahi rā ki ngā whakatipuranga Māori o roto o Taranaki.

I tēnei wā, e tāpae ana te Karauna i te whakapāha e whai ake nei ki te iwi o Parihaka o mua, o nāianei hoki.

I te tau 1866, kua whakatūria te pā o Parihaka hei punanga whakamutunga mō ngā hapū o Taranaki, i rite tonu rā te ukuukua o ō rātou nei kāinga me ā rātou nei māra e ngā hōia o te Karauna, ka mutu, nō nā tata tonu rā rātou i pāngia kinotia ai e te muru kurī noa ihotanga o ngā papa kāinga nā reira i ora ai rātou me ō rātou tūpuna mō te hia whakatipuranga, i noho rā hoki hei tūāpapa ukiuki mō tō rātou tuakiri.

I te pāhuatanga kāore anō i kitea i mua, i te rere tonutanga hoki o te tūkino a te Karauna, ka whakatau te iwi o Parihaka ki te whakatū i tō rātou kāinga hou i raro i ngā mātāpono o te aroha, o te tauritenga, o te kotahitanga me te tino rangatiratanga. I raro i te ārahitanga a Tohu Kākahi rāua ko Te Whiti o Rongomai, ka whakaū te iwi o Parihaka i tō rātou mana ki te whenua, i tō rātou mana motuhake hoki mā te tohe whai tikanga i a rātou e whakatairanga ana i te rangimārie ki waenga i te Māori me te Pākehā. Ka noho a Parihaka hei punanga, hei whakahihiritanga hoki i te tini tāngata puta noa i Taranaki, otirā, i Aotearoa whānui tonu.

E whakaae ana te Karauna i tino kore rawa atu nei ia i whakaae, i whakamana rānei i te whakakitenga o te tino rangatiratanga me te noho tahi i whakatauiratia rā e Parihaka. Ko tā te Karauna urupare ki te rangimārie ko te ngarengare, ki te kotahitanga ko te whakawehewehe, ki te mana motuhake ko te tāmitanga.

Nō reira, e tāpaetia nei e te Karauna tana whakapāha nui whakaharahara ki te iwi o Parihaka i ōna hapa katoa, otirā, i ēnei mahi e whai ake nei:

I te mauheretanga o ngā tāngata o Parihaka mō tā rātou whai wāhi ki ngā mahi parau me te whakatū taiapa o te tau 1879 me te tau 1880, i te hāpai ture hoki e takahi ana i te tika me te pono mā te tuku kia mauheretia aua tāngata ki ngā whare herehere o Te Waipounamu me te kore i whakawāngia mō ōna wā e kīia ai tērā he mauheretanga whakawā-kore; I te korenga o te mana tangata o aua mauhere ā-tōrangapū i manaakitia, i te whiunga take-koretanga nei hoki o rātou tahi ko ērā o ō rātou whānau me ō rātou hapū, i mahue iho rā ki te ukauka i te pā o Parihaka i tō rātou tamōtanga, ki te whakawiritanga; I te pāhuatanga o Parihaka i te marama o Noema, i te tau 1881, e peia rā te tokomaha i āta haere ai ki reira ki te kimi āhurutanga, e turakina ai, e hāparutia ai hoki ō rātou kāinga me ō rātou whare tapu, e tāhaetia ai ngā kura tongarewa, e āta ukuukua ai ā rātou ngakinga me ngā kararehe; I ngā pāwheratanga a ngā hōia o te Karauna i muri mai i te pāhuatanga, me te taumaha hārukiruki, me te roa o te mamae o tēnei tūāhuatanga i pā atu ki ngā wāhine o Parihaka, ki ō rātou whānau me ō rātou uri ā mohoa nei; I te hopunga me te mauheretanga o Tohu Kākahi rāua ko Te Whiti o Rongomai i Te Waipounamu mō te tekau mā ono marama, me te korenga i whakawāngia; I tāna whakature i tētahi pūnaha whakauru e whakarite ana i te urunga ki Parihaka, e whakakore ana i tā ngā tāngata whenua haereere noa, e aukati ana hoki i tā te hunga tautoko tuku i ngā ō ki Parihaka i muri mai i te pāhuatanga; I tana whakahē kē atu i ēnei takahitanga o te ture mā te whakahoki whenua i raro i tētahi kaupapa nā reira i kore ai i noho ki ngā tāngata whenua te mana whakahaere, otirā, te rangatiratanga o te maha o ngā whenua rāhui o Parihaka, e mau tonu nei i tēnei rā.

Nā te Karauna i takahi te mana o Parihaka ki te whakawhanake, ki te ukauka hoki i a ia anō i runga i tāna i pai ai, ka mutu, kāore hoki i tika te whakatauria o ngā whakamau i hua mai ai mō te hia tau nei. Inā te ngoto o te whakapāha a te Karauna i ēnei mahi kua whakataumaha nei i te iwi o Parihaka ki te whakamau me te takaonge tuku iho mō te hia whakatipuranga, kua here nei hoki i te Karauna ki te whakamā tuku iho.

I te 7 o ngā rā o Noema, i ia tau, karapinepine ai ngā whānau o Parihaka ki te maumahara ki ngā tūpuna nā rātou nei i tāpae atu te waiata me te koha kai ki ngā hōia o te Karauna, i te tau 1881, ā, nā rātou nei hoki i whakahei tā rātou ū ki te maungārongo i te wā tonu e ukuukutia ana ō rātou kāinga, ā rātou ngakinga, i te wā anō hoki e mauheretia ana ō rātou rangatira.

I tēnei wā, e tū ana te Karauna i te taha o Parihaka ki te mihi ki ngā tāne, ki ngā wāhine, ki ngā tamariki hoki i utu rā i tō te Karauna ngarengare ki te tū rangatira, ki te whakawhenuatanga me te māia whakaharahara. Ko te tino tūmanako o te Karauna, mā tēnei whakapāha e wātea ai a Parihaka me te Karauna ki te whai whakaaro ki tō rāua ao o mua, e anga whakamua ai, e tīmata ai hoki tā rāua mahi tahi ki te whakatinana i te tūrua pō mō te rangimārie o te noho tahitanga i kōrerotia rā e Tohu rāua ko Te Whiti.

Deed of Reconciliation

The Deed of Reconciliation we are about to sign is a legally binding agreement between the Crown and Parihaka which sets out what we will do to mend our relationship now and into the future. The deed contains the historical summary and Crown apology I have just read.

It also includes a legacy statement that describes, from Parihaka’s perspective, the key phases in the history of the settlement, the principles that guided – and continue to guide – the Parihaka community, and the future aspirations for this unique settlement.

The deed also includes a relationship agreement between nine Crown organisations, three local authorities and Parihaka. Under the agreement the Crown and local authorities commit to assist you with your development projects. The agreement will be administered by Te Puni Kōkiri. They have considerable experience with similar agreements and a strong relationship with Parihaka already. I want to thank the councils for being part of this agreement and for the offers of assistance they have made.

The deed also establishes an annual leaders’ forum where we can discuss progress with your development plans and any other matters that effect our relationship. The Minister for Māori Development, and other Ministers as required, will represent the Crown on the forum. The forum gives you access to the highest echelons of government.

There is a commitment in the deed to develop Parihaka legislation. The legislation will be developed between us and will form a permanent public record of Parihaka’s history, the Crown’s apology for its actions and our commitment to a new relationship. Work has already started on drafting a bill and it is my intention to introduce legislation before the House rises in August.

Financial contribution

Finally, the deed records the fact that the Crown will make a special payment of $9 million towards Parihaka’s development. This money will help you to fix many of the problems you have with power, waste water and other infrastructure. I appreciate that some of you were disappointed that the Crown wasn’t able to make a larger financial contribution. I understand that. However, I see this as the first step towards revitalising Parihaka and I am confident that over time more funding will become available through government programmes and from private or legacy donors.


Before I conclude I want to acknowledge some of the people who have contributed to this reconciliation process.

I acknowledge the leaders of Taranaki Iwi here today. It was their determination, back in 2015, to see special assistance provided to Parihaka that set us on the path to this reconciliation ceremony.

I want to thank the members of Kawe Tutaki:

Dame Tariana Turia, who chaired the working group and has been a strong and enduring advocate for her people;          The Rt Hon Jim Bolger, who went to school in this area but lamentably was taught very little of Parihaka’s history;          Hon Mahara Okeroa, who grew up at Parihaka and represented Taranaki Iwi on Kawe Tutaki;          Amokura Panoho and Dr Ruakere Hond, who so ably represented Parihaka.

Their expertise and experience was crucial in helping the Crown to understand what was needed to heal its relationship with Parihaka. It is good to see members of Kawe Tutaki here today.

I must make special mention of the trustees of the Parihaka Papakāinga Trust. I know very well how demanding this work has been. You have gone to great lengths to ensure that all the members of your community had the opportunity to participate in the reconciliation process and you have been guided by the community’s views at all times. It is thanks to your efforts, leadership and courage we have been able to reach agreement on the deed to be signed today.

On the Crown side, while I have been the spokesperson I am part of a much larger team. I want to thank my Cabinet colleagues who have supported this work and in particular the Minister for Māori Development Te Ururoa Flavell. He has been a strong advocate for Parihaka. I have been grateful for the interest and advice I have received from local members of Parliament. I also want to thank my officials at the Office of Treaty Settlements who have supported me and led many of the discussions with the Papakāinga Trust. I also acknowledge the representatives from other government agencies and councils who have contributed to this work and made a commitment to continue to support Parihaka.


The deed provisions I have described provide a strong platform for the future of Parihaka. But the deed alone cannot make vision into reality. It is now up to us – the people of Parihaka and the people of the Crown – to bring these provisions to life. This will require us all to work, to talk, to make decisions, and to continually remind ourselves about what the ultimate vision for Parihaka is. In this I am immensely encouraged by the fact that this work is already happening. I am encouraged by the genuine goodwill and trust which has grown between the Crown and the representatives of Parihaka over the last two years. I am encouraged by the determined and principled leadership of the Parihaka Papakāinga Trust. Above all, I am encouraged by the generosity of spirit and the extraordinary humanity of you, the people of Parihaka.

I hope that one day your legacy will be understood and valued by all New Zealanders. I know this is your ambition and it is one the government supports. I want today to mark a turning point in our relationship. A day that future generations will look back upon and see as the time when Parihaka again welcomed the Crown, and when we put aside the conflict and disharmony of the past and committed to working together to forge a better future for Parihaka and for New Zealand.

Tēnā koutou, Tēnā koutou, Tēnā koutou katoa

Parihaka Deed of Reconciliation

One hundred and thirty two years after atrocities were committed and injustices imposed on the settlement of Parihaka the crown has officially apologised.

Chris Finlayson:  Deed of Reconciliation signed with Parihaka

The Crown has signed a Deed of Reconciliation with the Parihaka community in a ceremony held at Parihaka, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today.

“In the second half of the 19th century, the Crown devastated Parihaka which at the time was the largest community in Taranaki and a centre for peaceful protest.

“It is important the Crown apologise directly to the people of Parihaka for the actions it committed almost 140 years ago so we can begin to look forward to a new era of collaboration.”

The Crown’s failings included:

imprisoning 405 Parihaka residents for their participation in the peaceful ploughing and fencing campaigns of 1879 and 1880 and promoting laws that breached natural justice by holding those protestors in jails without trial; invading Parihaka in November 1881, forcibly evicting many people who had sought refuge there, dismantling and desecrating homes and sacred buildings, stealing heirlooms and systematically destroying cultivations and livestock; and arresting and detaining Tohu Kākahi and Te Whiti o Rongomai, the leaders of Parihaka, for 16 months without trial.

“Basic requirements of natural justice and the rule of law (which are the birthright of all New Zealanders) were denied to our citizens at Parihaka and they were left without any legal remedy,” Mr Finlayson said.

“Signing this Deed of Reconciliation is a significant milestone for the Crown, Parihaka, the iwi and community of Taranaki and many others who believe in Parihaka’s legacy of peace.

“The Crown has previously acknowledged and apologised to iwi of Taranaki, through individual Treaty settlements, for the treatment of their tupuna who were at Parihaka but today’s ceremony is for the community as a whole.”

The Deed provides for a Crown support package of $9 million to assist Parihaka to strengthen its infrastructure and help the community achieve its aspirations. It also includes an agreement with Crown agencies and local authorities to work with Parihaka on development initiatives.

Legislation will be introduced to record the history of Parihaka, the Crown’s apology and the commitment to a new relationship between Parihaka and the Crown.

Parihaka is located in South Taranaki.  It is closely affiliated to Taranaki Iwi and has connections with other iwi whose members sought sanctuary from conflict there. Parihaka is also connected with peace movements both in New Zealand and overseas.

A copy of the Deed of Reconciliation is available online at:

Parihaka Pa, circa 1900, with Mount Taranaki - taken by an unidentified photographer.

Parihaka, depicted in this painting by George Clarendon Beale (1856–1939), was New Zealand’s largest Maori community by 1881. Its prophets attracted followers from around the country.

Te Whiti-o-Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi had established the pacifist community of Parihaka (formerly Repanga) in the shadow of Mt Taranaki in 1866. During the 1870s Parihaka became the largest Māori settlement in the country.

Tītokowaru had developed a relationship with Te Whiti through his association with Te Ua. This relationship strenghtened through the 1870s. In 1878 the government began surveying the confiscated southern Taranaki lands for European settlement. In May 1879, under the initial direction of Tohu, Parihaka men went out to reclaim this land by ploughing it. Increasingly it was Tītokowaru who saw to the logistics of the protests. He was imprisoned three times.

Tītokowaru’s presence was not lost on the authorities when plans were made to invade Parihaka in November 1881. Native Minister John Bryce took no chances, assembling a force of more than 1500 men. The settlement’s key figures, including Te Whiti, Tohu Kākahi and Tītokowaru, were arrested without resistance. Most of its inhabitants were driven away and Parihaka was largely destroyed. Much of central Taranaki now became Pākehā farmland.

New Zealand History:  Occupation of pacifist settlement at Parihaka


New Zealand in History: Parihaka

Te Tira Whakaemi o Te Wairoa setlement

It’s good to see that a Treaty settlement between Te Tira Whakaemi o Te Wairoa and the Crown has been reached.

Newshub: Government signs $100m treaty settlement

The government has apologised to Wairoa iwi and hapū at the signing of a $100 million Treaty of Waitangi settlement.

Following a ceremony between the Crown and Te Tira Whakaemi o Te Wairoa at Tākitimu Marae in Hawke’s Bay on Saturday, Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson said the settlement provided for a stronger cultural and economic future.

The settlement provides an acknowledgement, apology and reparation for the Crown’s historical breaches of the Treaty.

“The historical grievances of Te Wairoa iwi and hapū relate to the loss of the vast majority of their rohe, intense military campaigns and socio-economic depravation, the effects of which can still be seen today,” Mr Finlayson said.

The settlement – the fifth largest ever in financial terms – covers seven cluster groups of iwi and hapū in northern Hawke’s Bay, southern Gisborne, the town of Wairoa, Lake Waikaremoana and the Mahia peninsula. It covers more than 30,000 people.

It includes the assets of the Wharerata and Patunamu Forests, a number of Department of Conservation sites, and a social and economic revitalisation strategy in partnership with government agencies.

“This settlement has received overwhelming support from the claimant community. It will benefit the iwi and hapu of Te Rohe o Te Wairoa as well as the wider Wairoa region,” Mr Finlayson said.

Finlayson has done a lot to progress Treaty settlements, but this settlement has taken a long time.

From Te Tira Whakaemi o Te Wairoa website:

The progression of Treaty of Waitangi claims against the Crown has a long and significant history in Wairoa stretching back to the early 1980’s with the lodgement of initial claims across the Wairoa Inquiry District (the Waitangi Tribunal reference for the area between Tūranganui-a-Kiwa and Mōhaka). Many of our iwi and hapū tried unsuccessfully over the years to progress their Treaty of Waitangi claims, often being thwarted by changing Crown policies.

In response to this, a group of iwi and hapū with interests across the Wairoa Inquiry District came together at Rangiāhua Marae in 2002 to discuss how to work together to collectively resolve historical Treaty of Waitangi claims against the Crown.

Despite the fact that the Crown had (and continues to have) a policy of only negotiating with Large Natural Groupings (or LNGs), these iwi and hapū decided that our whakapapa and whanaungatanga, the kinship and family connections between us was a major asset in allowing us to work together to negotiate our historical claims with the Crown. This group of iwi and hapū were initially known as “The Wairoa Inquiry District Working Group” until it was renamed Te Tira Whakaemi o Te Wairoa, the name that stands today.

After coming together in 2002, we took three years to decide the best course of action to move our historical Treaty claims forward in consultation with our iwi and hapū. The outcome of three years of intense discussion was a decision to progress through direct negotiations with the Crown in seeking one comprehensive settlement for our historical grievances.

2005 then became a pivotal year for Te Tira Whakaemi o Te Wairoa where we began to formally interact with the Crown in setting the foundations for negotiations.

Sitting beside this was a firm commitment to our people in seeking their mandate to find a path to allow them to still have their stories told and recorded on the public record. This was a response to the fact that in deciding to proceed directly to negotiations with the Crown, we forfeited the right to hold a Waitangi Tribunal hearing.

Although the (milestones) and achievements made seem to have occurred over a long period, it is in fact quite typical of the Treaty settlement process whereby we have successfully navigated the checks and balances and stringent Crown requirements in between the milestones in moving through this process.

Robertson slams Brash, praises Government

Opposition MPs and parties, especially Labour, have been copping a lot of flak for being relentlessly negative, for barking at every passing car.

But they deserve credit when they give credit where it’s due to opponents.

Like most people Grant Robertson has slammed Don Brash’s latest stunt, and in doing so praised the Government’s handling of Treaty issues.

Newshub: National Party better than ‘irrelevant bigot’ Don Brash, says Grant Robertson

Labour’s Grant Robertson has labelled Don Brash an “irrelevant bigot” over his latest effort to make race a hot-button issue.

“This notion of Maori privilege is ridiculous. He tried it a decade ago, the climate was a bit different, he got a bit of traction – we’ve all moved on.”

National boosted it’s popularity after Brash’s Orewa speech in 2004, but under John Key’s leadership the Government has dealt properly with ongoing treaty settlements. Robertson acknowledges this.

In contrast, Mr Robertson says National under John Key has “been really good and responsible in Treaty settlement legislation”.

“[Treaty Negotiations Minister ] Chris Finlayson’s done a really good job. It’s taken a lot of the political heat out of the issue.”

It’s good to see Robertson giving praise where it’s due. Oppositions need to pick their battles  wisely, and being on the same side of Government on this and united against the Brash campaign is a positive sign.

Moko’s killers get 17 years

Tania Shailer and David Haerewa, the two people responsible for killing Moko Rangitoheriri, were sentenced to 17 years in prison with non-parole periods of 9 years. This is the longest sentence given to people guilty of manslaughter of a child.

Over a period of two months, the pair kicked Moko, threw him, dropped him face first on the floor, bit and stomped on him and denied him medical treatment. He arrived at hospital with swelling to his face so bad it was impossible to open his eyes.

His abdomen was distended, he had bruising on his front and back, multiple abrasions and wounds that appeared to be human bite marks were found on his face and arms.

– Stuff EXPLAINER: Moko’s killers got manslaughter to eliminate ‘substantial risk’ of either walking free

This sounds like a fair sentence (as fair as you can be to child torturers). It’s as long as some murderers get. If they were given an unusually long sentence it would have raised the risks of the sentence being appealed and overturned or reduced.

The Police statement in reaction to Moko sentencing:

Police want to again extend their condolences and sympathy to the family of Moko Rangitoheriri, following the sentencing of Tania Shailer and David Haerewa this morning.  

Police also want to acknowledge the officers who worked on the investigation into Moko’s death. 

Any case involving a young and vulnerable victim like Moko is extremely difficult for all involved, and I would like to commend the officers involved for their diligence and professionalism.

Finally, Police ask that media continue to respect the privacy of Moko’s extended family.  We appreciate the ongoing public interest in this case, but attempts by media to contact the extended family, particularly vulnerable younger members, have caused a significant amount of distress to the family. 

And Attorney General Chris Finlayson explained the reasoning behind settling for manslaughter charges and not trying for murder – to make sure they got a conviction.

Statement on Moko case

Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson today set out the reasons for the Crown’s decision to accept the manslaughter pleas of Tania Shailer and David Haerewa in substitution of murder charges for the killing of Moko Rangitoheriri.

Ms Shailer and Mr Haerewa were today both sentenced to 17 years in prison, with a minimum non-parole period of nine years. Until that sentencing took place, the Attorney-General and Solicitor-General were unable to comment on the specifics of the case, as the sentencing was a matter for the courts.

“The Crown’s decisions in this case, including the decision to accept the manslaughter pleas, were motivated by the need to secure convictions for this horrendous killing and to avoid the significant risk that either of the defendants could escape such a conviction because of evidential issues,” Mr Finlayson said.

“The guilty pleas and admitted facts enabled the Crown to argue for a sentence which reflected the nature of the crimes committed. Without the guilty pleas, the full details of the facts set out in the Statement of Facts may not have otherwise come to light.

“The decision to accept a plea of manslaughter in substitution of a murder charge is never taken lightly. A robust process is followed which ultimately requires the approval of the Solicitor-General.

“The overarching consideration is whether the interests of justice are met in accepting the plea and in particular, whether the charge can adequately reflect the criminal nature of the conduct as well as allow sufficient scope for sentencing.

“Based on the evidence available for trial, there was a substantial risk that one or both of the defendants would not be convicted of the legal charge of murder or manslaughter.

“To prove the legal charge of murder in this case, the Crown was required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Moko’s fatal injuries were inflicted with murderous intent.

“The Crown was confident that Ms Shailer was the principal offender and most likely directly responsible for Moko’s most serious injuries. The nature of Mr Haerewa’s involvement in Moko’s fatal injuries was less clear on the evidence available for trial.

“It was relevant to the likelihood of securing a murder conviction that the injuries Moko suffered were not inevitably fatal. With reasonably prompt medical treatment, he could have been saved.

“Let me be clear, this in no way reduces the seriousness of the abuse Moko suffered. It is, however, something the jury would have had to take into account when deciding if Ms Shailer had murderous intent at the time she inflicted the fatal injuries.

“If the jury was not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Ms Shailer had murderous intent at the time she inflicted the fatal injuries, then neither she nor Mr Haerewa could have been convicted of murder.

“Of course, the defendants also had a responsibility to obtain the medical treatment which would have saved Moko’s life. By failing to discharge this duty, they contributed to his death in addition to causing his fatal injuries.

“But the failure to discharge this duty could not in itself lead to a murder conviction for both defendants nor would a conviction for manslaughter based solely on this failure have adequately reflected the defendants’ role in inflicting the injuries which killed Moko.

“The Solicitor-General considered that accepting guilty pleas for manslaughter in substitution of murder charges meant that both Ms Shailer and Mr Haerewa:

  1. admitted responsibility for inflicting the injuries which killed Moko and their failure to obtain him lifesaving medical treatment; and
  2. could be given a sentence which reflected the serious nature of their crimes.

“Mr Haerewa admitted he had contributed to Moko’s death by encouraging and supporting Ms Shailer’s physical abuse. In the absence of his guilty plea, Mr Haerewa’s role in the violence that killed Moko may not have been adequately recognised in the ultimate outcome of a trial.

“The guilty pleas in this case also avoided exposing young and vulnerable children to the trauma of giving evidence including, for some, evidence against their parents.

“There has been significant public interest in this case and numerous statements have been made in the media about the charging of Tania Shailer and David Haerewa.

“The cost of prosecuting this trial was not a factor taken into account in approving the manslaughter charge. The public interest in prosecuting such serious crime would never take into account the financial cost of bringing a defendant to trial.

“Nor is plea bargaining a feature of the New Zealand justice system. Prosecutors cannot agree to a guilty plea based on the premise they will support a specific sentence.”

Notes for the editor:

The Attorney-General has overall responsibility to the citizens of New Zealand for prosecutions carried out by or on behalf of the Crown through Parliament.

In practice, however, the Attorney-General is not involved in individual criminal cases. These matters are formally delegated to the Solicitor-General to avoid any political interference, or appearance of political interference, in our criminal justice system.

As set out in section 185 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011, the Solicitor-General is responsible for maintaining general oversight of the conduct of public prosecutions. As part of that role the Solicitor-General provides prosecution guidelines that all Crown Solicitors must adhere to.

In accordance with clause 18 of the guidelines, the Solicitor-General must approve all plea arrangements in relation to murder charges. Where a defendant indicates they will plead guilty to a charge of manslaughter, the Crown Solicitor is required to refer that offered plea to the Solicitor-General to approve the withdrawal of the murder charge in substitution for that of manslaughter.

The Crown Solicitor prepares a letter of advice for the Solicitor-General and forwards all relevant material from the trial file. Counsel within Crown Law prepare an initial opinion, which is then reviewed by senior Crown Counsel before final referral to the ultimate decision maker. The decision maker can be the Deputy Solicitor-General (Criminal) exercising the powers of the Solicitor-General, or the Solicitor-General her or himself.

Approval is only given after careful consideration of the factors detailed in the prosecution guidelines. The overarching consideration is whether the interests of justice are met and in particular:

  • whether the charge adequately reflects the essential criminality of the conduct; and
  • whether the charge provides sufficient scope for sentencing to reflect that criminality.

If a plea is accepted it is only on the basis that the factual basis for sentencing must outline in full the extent of the injury or damage suffered by the victim to ensure this can be reflected in sentencing.