Eight stolen firearms recovered

The police were embarrassed when 11 firearms that had been surrendered were stolen in a burglary of the Palmerston North police station. Not surprisingly they have worked hard to locate the stolen weapons. They have now recovered 8 of them.

Two days ago:- Police hunt for man who stole 11 firearms from Palmerston North police station

Police are urgently seeking a 38-year-old man after weapons – some handed in for destruction – were stolen from the Palmerston North police station.

Acting Central District Commander Inspector Sarah Stewart said police were embarrassed about the theft, and it shouldn’t have happened.

She said the police would do everything they can to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Ms Stewart said people should still have faith in the ability of police to keep recently banned firearms safely secured during the gun amnesty period.

Police are looking for Alan James Harris in relation to the burglary. He was known to police through previous dealings with him, she said.

Police and Armed Offenders Squad staff have searched Palmerston North properties over the past 24 hours as part of the ongoing investigation.

The burglary occurred early on Thursday morning. Police say a member of staff disturbed a person in the yard area of the police station around 7.40am. They say he left the scene in a vehicle, which police have since recovered along with another vehicle linked to the same person.

Commissioner Mike Bush has directed an investigation be conducted into how an offender was able to gain access to the police station, as well as an immediate audit on security around firearms at all stations nationwide.

Yesterday: Alan James Harris arrested

Police have arrested Alan James Harris who was being sought following a burglary at the Palmerston North police station on Thursday morning.

Harris was arrested without incident in Palmerston North in the early hours of Saturday morning.

He was identified by a member of the public in the central city and Police were immediately notified.

Today:

Eight stolen firearms recovered in Palmerston North

Eight firearms have been recovered by police following a burglary at the Palmerston North police station on Thursday 25 April.

The eight firearms were recovered in Palmerston North earlier today as part of the ongoing investigation into the burglary.

Locating the three remaining firearms which are still unaccounted for continues to be a high priority for Central District police.

Of the 11 firearms taken in the burglary, one was unlawful under the new Government legislation. This weapon is among the eight which have been recovered today.

The remaining firearms were older guns and a BB gun which were not covered under the new legislation but were awaiting destruction, or were being held as exhibits.

Acting Central District Commander Inspector Sarah Stewart says police are very focused on securing the remaining three firearms.

“We continue to appeal for anyone with information to contact us.  You can speak to Palmerston North police directly on 0800 351 3600 or you can provide information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

“The investigation team has worked tirelessly throughout the weekend and they will continue to do so,” says Ms Stewart.

A 38-year-old man appeared in the Palmerston North District Court yesterday charged with burglary and was remanded in custody until 21 May.

A dumb crime to commit unless he wanted to be caught.

 

Māori wards and democracy

Five regions have had or are having referendums on whether they should have Māori wards. Councils have decided to introduce wards but referendums have been forced.

Palmerston North result:

  • 68.7% AGAINST the establishment of a Māori ward or wards for Palmerston North City Council
  • 30.88% FOR the establishment of a Māori ward or wards for Palmerston North City Council

Initial voter return 37.21% so a majority didn’t vote, but of those who did a clear majority voted against.

Manawatu District result:

  • 77.04% Against
  • 22.76% For

Voter Return 44.47%.

Whakatane District:

  • Against Māori Wards 55.43%
  • For Māori Wards 44.33%

Voter return 44%.

That was closer but still a clear majority.

RNZ: MP surprised and disappointed Whakatāne rejected Māori wards

The MP for Waiariki says the rejection of Māori wards in Whakatāne is a huge disappointment.

Mr Coffey said the results meant Pākehā councillors would remain the voice of Māori in the Whakatāne District Council.

He said given the high percentage of Māori in Whakatāne, he was surprised at the result.

That suggests that he and the councils that tried to bring in Māori wards are out of touch with the electorates.

“I had thought if there was one place in New Zealand that was going to get it over the line it would be Whakatāne but sadly I was wrong.”

Mr Coffey said he was in talks with the mayor about other ways to have more representation for Māori in the area.

Instead of promoting separate wards for some voters, why not promote equal democracy for everyone?

All the time and effort put into trying to bring in an obviously unpopular ward system and campaigning for referendums might be better put towards encouraging greater Maori participation in democracy open to everyone.

I think it’s backward trying to give special democratic privileges to some people.

These referendum results may make other councils think more carefully before trying to impose privileged democracy on their constituents.

Labour moves into local body politics

The Labour Party are at least looking in to becoming more closely involved in local body politics.

It’s impossible to avoid questions about Phil Goff’s bid to become Auckland mayor while remaining a Labour MP.

Further to this the Taxpayers’ Union has raised the issue of whether Labour is using taxpayer funds set up an Auckland office “to co-ordinate the local government and General Election campaigns” – see REVEALED: SPEAKER’S WARNING TO LABOUR ON TAXPAYER FUNDED CAMPAIGNING

The concerns raised with the Speaker came after an email was sent by Paul Chalmers, the Project Manager at Labour House, to Labour’s Auckland supporters detailing how Andrew Little had opened an Auckland office that will be “the centre of the Labour and progressive movement in Auckland and the place to co-ordinate the local government and General Election campaigns.”

“It appears that Andrew Little and his MPs are pooling together taxpayer resources to open a campaign office in central Auckland for the Party and Phil Goff’s campaign for the Auckland mayoralty,” says Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams.

The Speaker has confirmed that the Parliamentary Service will be monitoring Mr Little’s spending and has written to him setting out the rules for taxpayer funded out-of-Parliament offices.

Mr Williams says, “We’ve expressed concern before that Mr Goff intends to be paid as an MP in Wellington, while he is campaigning for a new job in Auckland. This letter from the Speaker suggests that he too is concerned with MP’s taxpayer funded resources being misused for political purposes in Auckland.”

The original email, and the correspondence between the Speaker and the Taxpayers’ Union is available here.

But it’s not just in Auckland that Labour are looking at local body campaigns.

Palmerston North:

Party politics enters Palmerston North City Council election campaign

Party politics could be about to become a feature of the Palmerston North City Council.

The Labour Party is seeking to endorse councillor candidates at October’s local body elections.

Palmerston North MP Iain Lees-Galloway and Labour electorate committee chairwoman Lorna Johnson said the prospect had been considered for some time.

Lees-Galloway said the abolition of wards in 2013 had made it inevitable that many potential candidates would need support to campaign across the whole city.

“We think it will help get more diversity on the council.

“We want to add to the council, not dominate it.”

Why is an MP involved?

And Dunedin:

Councillors split over Labour ticket prospect

Councillors have divided into camps over the prospect of more party politics inside the Dunedin City Council.

Some city councillors welcomed the prospect when contacted by the Otago Daily Timesyesterday, saying any initiative that helped quality candidates to step forward should be encouraged.

But others warned any councillor elected under a national political party’s banner risked being beholden to Wellington, ahead of the city’s electors and ratepayers.

The divergent views came after it was confirmed the Labour Party was considering a “Local Labour” ticket to promote candidates for DCC council seats, and possibly the mayoralty, in October’s local body elections.

Cr Andrew Noone said he would not object to the initiative if constituents were calling for it, but “I feel it’s being driven not by the local community”.

The test would be whether Labour-aligned councillors made decisions based on evidence and advice from council staff, “or whether they do it on the basis of Labour Party policy”.

Other councillors welcomed the initiative, including Cr David Benson-Pope – a former Labour-aligned councillor and Cabinet minister – who said he was considering joining the ticket after running as an independent in 2013.

Not surprising to see Benson-Pope keen on a Labour ticket.

Is Labour looking at a more prominent involvement in local body politics elsewhere in the country?

 

 

Battle for survival in Palmerston North

The electorate battle is looking close in Palmerston North.

In Palmerston North, a Manawatu Standard/Versus Research poll of 401 eligible voters released yesterday showed 40 per cent support for Labour incumbent Iain Lees-Galloway and 39 per cent for National’s Jono Naylor, the city’s mayor.

Key said their own polling has Naylor slightly ahead…

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10468933/Key-taking-muscle-to-marginals

That’s a small sample size so the margin of error will be about +/- 4.8%) but an interesting result showing it coukld b e a close run race.

Iain Lees-Galloway may in a battle for survival as his chances via Labour’s list (he’s 24) depend on other electorate results and whether Labour’s vote keeps collapsing or not.

Jono Naylor is 51 on the list so National would need to get 47.3% (according to Kiwiblog) for him to  make it there. That’s borderline, it would be remarkable if National didn’t lose ground over their 2011 result (which happened to be 47.31%).

For both Lees-Galloway and Naylor the electorate battle may determine whether they make it into the next Parliament or not.

GCSB bill protests “an anarchist struggle”?

Why are the organisers of a GCSB protest meeting and march not open and honest about who they are? Martin Bradbury is one promoter, but refuses to say who the “coalition” is behind the campaign.

Another promoter is using the name Laia Asieo Odo which has links to a book character who is the “leader-philosopher” of the anarchist rebellion.

Bradbury is promoting: Coalition to Stop the GCSB Bill – Urgent Public Meeting

Speakers Include: Kim Dotcom, Dr Rodney Harrison, Thomas Beagle and now with Dame Anne Salmond”.

“I for one won’t allow my democracy to quietly goose step towards a Police state under the lidless eye of American intelligence for US corporate interests, and dammit it – neither should you!”

Bradbury will MC the meeting. Yesterday I asked him who was in the coalition and he blocked my comment, attacked me on the protest Facebook page, and came here and accused me of lying about him. Very ironinc, and naturally that made me suspicious.

Bradbury uses The Daily Blog to promote far left politics and is a paid adviser to and promoter of the Mana Party. He is using the blog to try to talk up participation on a GCSB protest planned for Saturday.

Why you should march this Saturday against the GCSB laws if you are a Union or Union member

Every member of the CTU, PPTA, EPMU, Unite, MUNZ, NZEI, RMTU, NZDWU, CANZ, NZNO, First Union, SFWU, Actors Equity and PSA should be at the protests because it will be Unions and Unionists that will have these spying powers turned upon them – just like they have always had the intelligence networks turned against them.

Put aside the long history of Governments spying on Unions, what is truly concerning is that the GCSBs role is moving to economic issues meaning disruptive Unions are on the frontline of surveillance.

Actors Equity could easily have become a target from GCSB spying over the manufactured crisis at The Hobbit, under these new laws any Union threatening industrial disruption could be a target.

We are not criminals and Unions and Unionists don’t need to be spied on.

That’s in a section at The Daily Blog called SETTING THE AGENDA.

Is Bradbury taking advantage of widespread (genuine) concern over the GCSB Bill to con the public into marching to his tune?

Who else is involved? There is a new media release at Scoop:

Protesting the GCSB + TICS Bills

Monday, 22 July 2013, 10:08 am
Press Release: Coalition of Concerned Citizens

On the 27th of July, 2013 at 2pm there will be a nation wide protest taking place against the GCSB and TICS bills.

A Coalition of Concerned Citizens will also be meeting here in Palmerston North (the Square) in solidarity with the rest of the country.

Spokesperson Laia Asieo Odo said “We the people need to stand up for our right to privacy. These rights should not be traded off to foreign governments at the whim of politicians”

No indication of who the “Coalition of Concerned Citizens” is. I did a search on Laia Asieo Odo and all I found was a blank Facebook page and references to a book The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia by Ursula k. Le guin who features a character of that name:

The “leader-philosopher” of the anarchist rebellion (if such a term can be used) is a woman by the name of Laia Asieo Odo.  The revolution, Odo’s movement, evolved into an anarchist struggle that started on the home planet of Urras, and which successfully threatened the power structures of the Statists, bureaucrats and capitalists.

The press release concludes:

Laia Asieo Odo continued “Politicians court our votes but rely on our apathy and mute compliance to pursue their own agendas, invariably these days the agendas of the elites. – these things are not consistent with democracy”

Interesting.

Has someone in Palmerston North been named after the book character? Or is an identity being hidden behind a pseudonym?

If so this  a real pity. The GCSB Bill deserves to be scrutinised and pressure applied so the bill is modified significantly. But this looks like it may be another hijacking of a public issue by political activists.

In democracy protest is good, deceit is not.

It’s ironic that a campaign against a secret agency seems intent on keeping who it’s organisers are a secret.

Perhaps they are shy anarchists.