These people are mature, professional people with impeccable credentials, who did not know me from a bar of soap, in other words they are completely impartial and independent, and intelligent and sane.
There are four documents below, (1) an account of what happened at the meeting, (2) a copy of an email to Prime Minister Helen Clarke expressing outrage at the behaviour of Beyer and the police at the meeting, (3) an account of a discussion that took place between the one of the writers and Ewen Hyde, Carterton DIstrict Council librarian, and member of the group that took over the former Community Centre illegally and closed it down to cover up the fraud and mismanagement, and self appointed chairman of the Facility Focus Group, and Georgina Beyer, and (4) an account of a discussion between the writer and Police Area Commander Jack Johnston about what happened at the meeting.
The police burst into the meeting like the Gestapo, after driving at dangerous and reckless speeds to get from the Masterton police station to the Masterton Municipal Hall in only seven minutes - it usually takes 25 minutes - Judge Behrens QC was rightly disgusted to discover that. They seized me physically as I was trying to leave with everyone else after the meeting finished. I was most definitely not told I was under arrest, let alone what for, and these witnesses attest to that clearly and firmly. It was an outrageous act of politically motivated police brutality, committed on the instructions of Georgina Beyer and Gary McPhee and the Area Commander of the local police. The evidence of the Court hearings will be posted soon, and the judgement. Watch this space, you won't believe your eyes.
An Account of the Happenings at a Meeting at the Community Hall Carterton
We, X and Y Z were present at the Municipal Hall, Holloway Street, Carterton on 26 October 2005 at a public meeting to discuss a report being presented by the Community Focus Group on a proposed new community facility.
We estimate that there were approx 40 – 50 people present at the meeting. However the attendance book, which we were asked to sign, would give a more accurate head count.
Prior to this meeting we did not know Kate Raue or know of her. We had never heard her name. It was not until the following day when discussing the incident on this night that we were given her name.
After signing the attendance book in the foyer of the hall we seated ourselves on the right hand side of the room, four or five rows from the back. Approximately a third up the bank of chairs.
The meeting was chaired by Ewen Hyde and began with a presentation by Mr Hyde and Glen Hughes of Opus Consutants who had carried out the preparatory work on the concept.
Ewen Hyde then invited the public to ask questions and offer comments regarding all aspects of the proposal. There were diverse comments on the financial and physical aspects of the proposal.
A person, who the next day we were informed was Kate Raue, was seated a couple of rows behind us, on the same side of the room and slightly to the left of us. Kate waited politely for a chance to speak and when she did she asked the people present, in words similar to the following, “Do you really want to let these people who caused the last community centre to close down amid allegations of mismanagement and fraud, to be the ones in charge of a new four million dollar project?”
She said that members had asked for an audit of the books and these people had refused. She said that people had been asking for this for some time and asked why the same people trying to push the $4,000,000 proposal continued to refuse the audit. She said there had been a cover up of the mismanagement and because of this the same people shouldn’t be allowed to control this new proposal.
Ms Raue spoke forcefully but was not screaming or shouting. She was making her point but not ranting or raving. Her body language was neutral and non-threatening, she stood in place, used mild gestures and referred to a piece of paper she was holding.
Ewen Hyde asked her to sit down. He said that this was old ground and that she was disrupting the meeting by raising old issues when they were looking at new matters. Kate added 2 or 3 more comments and then sat.
Two or more people spoke, then Kate spoke again and was again asked to sit down by Mr Hyde which she did but added the comment “I haven’t finished yet, I’m just having a rest.” Mr Hyde then said “You will be asked to leave.” Kate replied “This is supposed to be a public meeting for people to comment on your proposal and that is what I am doing.” Ewen said “Please leave.” To which Kate replied “No.”
Others then spoke after which Georgina Beyer stood up to speak. Ms Beyer was seated two thirds of the way up the room on the left hand side, the side opposite to us, and a few rows ahead. She commenced by thanking the committee for their work on the project, said that it was a good idea and she would do all she could to facilitate funding, by which we thought she was implying that she would be a facilitator between the committee and those in power in Wellington.
Then with absolutely no provocation Ms Beyer turned and faced Kate Raue and began to abuse her in a most personal manner. One phrase being “Kate Raue you are a blight on this community.” Ms Beyer also threatened Ms Raue with legal action. Ms Beyer’s body language was aggressive and threatening. She was leaning forward, pointing and jabbing her finger at Ms Raue. Her facial features were distorted as she ranted and stunned the room in to silence.
Georgina Beyer’s reaction was excessive to what had preceded it and actually alerted us to a shared history. She was obviously aware that she was under attack from Kate’s comments but she had not been named, whereas her comments were a direct personal attack on Ms Raue.
Ms Beyer’s inflammatory and defamatory tirade continued for 30 seconds or so and others in the hall appeared stunned but at no time did Mr Hyde say anything to her about her behaviour. Her outburst was embarrassing and seemed to us an over-reaction to robust criticism.
Kate Raue responded briefly and there were some low murmurings for her to sit down, which she did and the meeting continued with others exchanging their views on the proposed complex.
One of the speakers, who introduced himself as Matthew Morris, a consultant, stood up to ask some very pertinent questions but before he did he very pointedly looked at Georgina Beyer and said words to the effect of “there is more than one person in this hall tonight who should be reprimanded for their behaviour.”
A debate continued regarding the desirability of the new building complecx, what was to happen to the old Municipal Hall, etc. A member of the public offered the view that it was disappointing the Lord Mayor wasn’t at the meeting, Whereupon Bill Knowles put in an apology for the Mayor, but as the meeting had been going for about an hour at that point a few in the audience seemed sceptical about the late apology. Ms Raue commented that he was probably at the pub. Many of those present laughed but one person did call out “Be quiet Kate.”
About then Bill Knowles and Ewen Hyde left the hall leaving Glenn Hughes of Opus to chair the meeting which was quiet and orderly. Kate was sitting in her seat. X leaned towards to me and asked “What are those two up to?”
A little while later two policemen entered the main hall and stood, leaning against the wall at the back of the room in a direct line with Kate Raue’s seat. One of the policemen was a large man with close cropped grey hair. The second officer was younger, shorter, of finer build and had dark hair. Several people, including us, became aware of them and turned to look. It was only up to a matter of a minute at most from the time they entered the body of the main hall to the moment the larger officer approached Kate Raue who was sitting quietly in her seat.
He bent over Kate’s right shoulder with his head next to hers and spoke to her. We did not hear what he said. Kate stood up and attempted to leave the hall but was being blocked by the officer.
At this time Ewen Hyde closed the meeting saying it would continue another time.
By this time Kate and the two officers were involved in a struggle in the foyer, and it appeared to us that Kate was being prevented from exiting the building. The larger of the two officers was the one most involved and at one point I (Y Z) placed my right hand on his arm to try and get his attention and ask him to stop this fracas. This was a fairly violent struggle which continued on to the pavement outside. A male unknown to us, repeatedly asked the officers why they were arresting Kate, as did others, also what were the charges and to please release her and let her go home. At no point did we hear either of the officers say they were arresting her or what charges, if any, they were laying.
As the larger of the two officers bundled Kate, who appeared to be passively resisting, in to the back of the police car I (Y) stood behind and to one side of the younger officer, who was standing free of the melee, and just shook my head, saying “Oh dear, oh dear.” The young officer turned to look at me but without expression.
Before we left the area I (Y) had a short conversation with Ewen Hyde telling him that I was disgusted with what had just occurred and he should be ashamed of his part in it. He told me that I didn’t understand the history of the situation. I pointed out, for the first of many times to come, that I was only concerned about and commenting on what had occurred that night. Mr Hyde thrust a paper in to my hands citing a by-law that gave the action to be taken if someone was trespassing and refusing to leave if asked to do so. He said he was within his rights to ask Mrs Raue to leave as she was trespassing. I pointed out it was a public meeting and Kate was entitled to voice an opinion.
X and I left the area to walk home, venting our anger to each other at how the situation had escalated and how poorly we thought it had been handled. We were very angry and upset.
I (Y) sat down at my computer and started to write an account of the evening’s happenings. However after a few lines I abandoned this and went online to seek an email address for office of Helen Clarke, Prime Minister.
I typed and sent an email advising her of the behaviour of one of her party’s list MP’s. I did not expect a response to this email as it states on the web site that they only respond to letters. However I do know that the email is stored in their archives as I enquired about it in June 2006. * email attached (2)
Whilst I was composing the above email X returned to the Municipal Hall to speak to Georgina Beyer and Ewen Hyde. * account attached (3)
We both felt then and still do, that the actions of the police officers at the Municipal Hall that night were not only unnecessary but were inflammatory as there were no problems at the time of their arrival and nothing prior to that which even warranted them being called out. As they were called to the hall by one of the conveners a ‘wait and see’ attitude was all that was required. If necessary they could have spoken to Kate Raue later. As it was a mildly embarrassing situation was blown up out of all proportion. We felt that the only person who had behaved in a threatening and disorderly manner was list MP Georgina Beyer.
As a result of this meeting and its aftermath I made it my business to find out more about the demise of the previous community centre. I spoke to long term residents and also accessed the archives of the Wairarapa Times Age newspaper. Concerns were expressed to me regarding the manner of closing of the centre and the non-disclosure of the destination of any remaining funds. Newspaper articles also highlighted an arrogance on the part of some people involved as to how much they would tell the community, whom they were supposed to be serving.
The day following Ms Raue’s handcuffing and removal by police from the Municipal Hall X rang Masterton Police station and asked to speak to the Area Commander.
* account attached (4)
This is a copy of the email sent to the office of the Prime Minister of New Zealand (p.m.@ministers.govt.nz) from Y and X Z of 22 Tyne St, Carterton on the night of a public meeting which ended in the arrest of Kate Raue.
Subject: list MP’s behaviour as a function of community welfare.
May I respectfully ask the Prime Minister to make herself aware of the actions and involvement of Georgina Beyer in a most disgusting and upsetting incident in a public meeting in Carterton on this night 26th October 2005.
A female member of the public, who in the first instance when she was speaking, evidently opened some old wounds relating to previous community projects. It was slightly embarrassing for some of us in the audience but the woman sat down and then when Georgina Beyer rose to speak, instead of concentrating on the agenda, she chose instead to launch a stream of verbal abuse including the threat of legal action. This did nothing to calm the situation.
However the meeting moved on but one councillor and the convener of the meeting chose to involve the Masterton constabulary. I was sitting one row in front of the woman who had so upset Georgina’s equilibrium and at the moment the two large police officers arrived on the scene she was sitting quietly in her seat, whereupon they tapped her on the shoulder and asked her to leave the hall. She refused and pointed out she was just having her say. The Police did not ask Georgina Beyer to leave due to her embarrassing behaviour.
The whole scene degenerated into a debacle which ended in the handcuffing and physical removal of the supposed offender.
Ms Beyer should be adept at defusing situations such as this and not allow others to exacerbate a mildly embarrassing incident into a deeply upsetting occurrence.
We are also of the opinion that the police actions were unnecessarily heavy handed. A wait and see position would have been more circumspect and a public meeting to debate and discuss a $4 000 000 community project would have concluded on a note of optimism and inclusiveness instead of dismay, disbelief and division.
Y and X Z
Account of Conversation Between Mr Hyde, Georgina Beyer and X Z Outside the Carterton Municipal Hall on the 26/10/2005:
After Kate Raue had been removed from the Municipal Hall I returned home with my wife. However I was so incensed at what I had just witnessed that I returned to the Hall with the intention of voicing my displeasure to the two people I considered to be the instigators of the actions taken that evening.
When I arrived Ewen Hyde and Georgina Beyer were just inside the foyer, near the main doors. I spoke to Ms Beyer telling her that in my opinion people who enjoyed a position of trust and power such as she did should not abuse it. Ms Beyer told me I didn’t know what I was talking about and that Kate Raue had a history of this sort of thing. To which I replied “I wasn’t interested in the history I was only interested in what I had witnessed earlier that evening.”
Mr Hyde was similar to Ms Beyer’s in that he told me I didn’t understand the situation. I then told him that in my opinion his behaviour was inexcusable and a case of over kill.
Account of a conversation between X Z and Area Commander John (Jack) Johnston of Masterton:
On the morning of 27/10/2005 I rang Masterton Police station and asked to be put through to the Area Commander who I was informed was Inspector Jack Johnston. I was told that he was not available and my details were taken. I informed the woman on the switch the nature of my call which I wanted her to pass on to the Inspector so that he had time to prepare his thoughts on the matter. I didn’t wish to ‘ambush’ him.
Inspector Johnston returned my call the next day, the 28th.
The general discussion was about my displeasure at what had occurred on the night of the 26th at the Carterton Municipal Hall.
My first point was that it was an over reaction by Mr Hyde and Mr Knowles to call in the police to remove a member of the community for expressing an opinion in opposition to that of the Focus Group Committee and list MP Georgina Beyer.
My second point was that the inexcusable behaviour of the aforementioned list MP should have resulted in her being removed or at the very least, spoken to.
The third point I raised was concern at the tactics employed by the police officers attending on the night in question. The physical removal of the ‘so called’ offender and the handcuffing and rough treatment used to put her in to the police car.
I also pointed out to the Inspector that I objected to the blatant misuse of police resources for such a trivial matter (2 vehicles and four officers) and that a more prudent use of tax payers funds was called for.
Inspector Johnston took my comments on board and said that I had the advantage over him of being there on the night and witnessing the events as they occurred.
Inspector Johnston pointed out that Kate Raue “has a history,” to which I replied “I am not interested in her history only the current debacle which we are discussing.”
X and Y Z