"We have maintained a silence closely resembling stupidity" - Neil Roberts

Until we have legislation adopted into law to ensure fiduciary accountability and transparency in public affairs we will continue to have human rights breached because the existing crown immunity and lack of any independent oversight invites corruption to flourish.

"Question authority, and think for yourself" - Timothy Leary

"We have maintained a silence closely resembling stupidity" - Neil Roberts

"Information is the currency of democracy" - Thomas Jefferson

‎"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does." - Margaret Mead

"The truth is like a lion, you don't have to defend it. Let it loose, it will defend itself."

"I = m c 2 [squared] where "I" am information" - Timothy Leary

"Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in." Leonard Cohen

"The internet is a TV that watches you"

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Peter Pakau fallout continues, Police reputation in tatters:

When crooked cop Peter Pakau overheard a colleague talking about a black, 2006 Chrysler 300c that had been reported stolen and had turned up at an auto electrician's shop in West Auckland, he hatched a plan that is still causing his former bosses legal nightmares.

Police files that trace the whole sordid saga make for comical reading.

The Chrysler was originally owned by Oscar Chand, a drug runner who was described in court as the "mastermind" of a bungled attempt to smuggle $40,000 of pure methamphetamine from Auckland to New Plymouth in 2012.  He used his daughters, one of whom gave birth the same day she was arrested at gunpoint, as mules.

The Chrysler, said to be worth $30,000, was registered in the name of Chand's then-girlfriend, Danielle Cooke, who was using it.

In June 2012, Cooke reported the car had been stolen, and was being driven around by a Head Hunter gangster, the police files show.

Some time over the next three months, the Chrysler was recovered, but police weren't notified.

In September, it turned up at an auto electrician's for repair. The electrician checked and found it was reported stolen, and called police.

Pakau overheard the constable who took the call discussing the vehicle. According to the reports, he located the file and arranged for a criminal associate, Melissa Brown, to collect the Chrysler. They would sell it, and split the profit.

Pakau called the electrician, the files say, telling him he was a police officer, the car was now owned by Brown and he could release it to her.

Brown paid the $1100 repair bill, and took the car.

In March the following year, she sold it for $19,500.

Later that day, the buyer sold it to a car dealer for $20,500. The dealer later sold it to a private buyer in the South Island for $29,000 and it has since been sold again, to a Nelson woman.

In March 2013, Chand advised police what Pakau and Brown had done - but at that point the car wasn't re-recorded as stolen.

By this stage, police had begun surveillance on Pakau and 10 associates. Last November he was jailed for eight years for corruption, supplying methamphetamine, accepting bribes and stealing the car. Brown went down for five years, six months.

The saga might have ended there - but Cooke came forward and said: "I want my car back."

At first, police indicated that was the fair outcome. Although the original owners had a "dubious criminal history", wrote a detective senior sergeant in an email, "assuming they originally had legitimate title to the vehicle and it was stolen from them, then they still have title."

He recommended police get a warrant and seize the Chrysler. The current owner could seek recourse through the LMVD and the dealer could take civil action against the first purchaser.

A detective sergeant said she didn't know how Chand came into possession of the car, "although it is likely that it is a result of some sort of standover or drug deal".

The police legal section was asked for advice. A solicitor wrote that although it appeared Chand and Cooke had title, recovering the vehicle could cause "difficulties" for police because they hadn't "alerted the world" that the car was stolen when they became aware Pakau had taken it.

"Therefore anyone who purchased the vehicle may name police as a party to civil proceedings."

He was even worried that Pakau and Brown might take civil action, citing "officially induced error", when someone relies upon a direction or authority of a government official (that is, Pakau) which turns out to be unlawful.

It was decided to visit Chand in Rolleston prison, where he was serving time for his drug dealing, and see if he would be prepared to accept "reparation" instead of the Chrysler.

It might go down as the first time in history that a criminal turned down the offer of money from the police.

The constable who arrived in the Kowhai unit in August last year got a frosty reception.

He recorded the conversation in a memo.

Chand: "I don't want anything to do with that car. The cops up there ... are laughing about this. They're the reason the situation is like it is."

Constable: "But ... would you be happy with reparation?"

Chand: "I told you I don't want anything to do with that car. I don't need the aggravation. I don't want anything to do with the Henderson cops, they're gangsters, the lot of them."

Constable: "Well, one of them might've been but that doesn't mean they all are."

Chand: "Yes they are, the whole gang, they're corrupt. I'm having nothing to do with them. Now if you can get out of my way, I want to go back to my cell."

Since then, police have backtracked and are now refusing to take action unless Cooke can prove she is the owner. The Independent Police Conduct Authority has declined to intervene.

In an interview, police Inspector Edward Carr said police now had a signed statement from the man who paid for the car (Chand), "and despite having been registered to several different associates for short periods, he is considered to be the true owner".

 That man had advised he did not wish to make any claim on the vehicle. Carr indicated Cooke had only had the car in her name for 22 days.

"Police have invited the woman to substantiate her claim of ownership by providing proof of this. To date, this has not occurred."

Cooke, who's no longer with Chand, says she had possession of the Chrysler and was the registered owner when it was stolen, but she doesn't have a sales and purchase agreement or a receipt.

She believes it raises serious questions about police procedure relating to stolen vehicles and intends to begin legal proceedings against police next month.

Wairarapa Police have been operating a similar racket for years involving motor vehicles, and assisting corrupt local SPCA officials to steal horses in a similar racket.  They are currently refusing to investigate claims made by the owner of a Hillman Minx by simply refusing to interview the witnesses to the sale of the vehicle - because the seller was none other than corrupt EX Constable Gallagher's wife's brother - a recidivist offender who Police protect because not only is he related to Gallagher but Constable Peter Cunningham has been having it off with the seller's mother for years, as well as shacking up with his own son's wife's mother in recent years in continuation of the long standing incestuous manner in which the Wairarapa operates.  This website has been publishing those allegations for years and all Gallagher and Cunningham have done is instigate a number of unsuccessful criminal prosecutions - they don't dare challenge the veracity of the claims though, because the evidence is indisputable.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mining for justice - justice for sale - the price of a life and who paid it:

Pete Cahill, Sonya Rockhouse, Anna Osborne, Kath Monk, Helen Kelly, Bernie Monk
Peter Cranney, Nigel Hampton QC, and Simon Meikle, outside the High Court today.

Anna Osborne and Sonya Rockhouse filed an application for judicial review in the High Court against the District Court and 'Worksafe NZ' regarding the decision to drop twelve charges against mine manager Peter Whittall in consideration of a payment that equated to around $110,000 for each of the families of the miners killed - paid by the former company's insurers, the company, Pike River Coal Ltd having been sold with the dead men still inside it and gutted of its assets by the greedy, overpaid directors and executives of state owned Solid Energy, who profited at the expense of the grieving families. 

Worksafe were formerly known as the Department of Labour, MoBIE (or the Moby Dicks as they were colloquially refered to), they were ultimately responsible for ensuring that safety systems were in place and in force at the mine, they knew that was not the case and turned a blind eye until the explosions killed twenty nine men.  The application calls for a High Court judicial review of the District Court decision to drop the twelve charges against mine manager Peter Whittall.

This follows the ruling of Dobson J in February regarding the disclosure of documents regarding the decision to drop the charges against Whittall in exchange for a payment of money from the insurers of the Pike River mine.

The decision of Dobson J can be viewed AT THIS LINK.

Crucial to these matters of course is the Court file, and of grave concern to many New Zealanders is the "disgraceful" revelation that parts of the Court file have now 'conveniently' GONE MISSING.

The submissions at the High Court over the past two days have focused on the matter of prosecutorial decisions, how they are regulated (such regulation seems rather vague, limited and ineffective), how these decisions are arrived at, and most importantly, the scope to review them in the Courts, which is extremely limited.  Despite this, Anna Osborne, Sonya Rockhouse, Kath and Bernie Monk and others are refusing to take the gross injustices heaped upon the families and friends of the twenty nine Pike River miners who died on or about 19 November 2010 when the unsafe mine exploded, killing them, and leaving the two survivors, one of whom is one of Mrs Rockhouse's son Daniel, who finally received recognition for his courage and integrity in saving the life of the only other survivor.  Another son, Daniel's brother Ben, was killed in the explosions.

The review of the decision to drop the prosecutions against Whittall focused on the distinction between the question of "evidential sufficiency" or lack thereof as a reason to decide whether to initiate, proceed with or discontinue a prosecution, and then there was the matter of the "voluntary payment".  The families were not even consulted about the decisions.

Lawyer Simon Meikle pointed out the terms of the Illegal Contracts Act at one point (section 3 defines illegal contracts and sections 6 and 7 go into further detail), and a number of legal arguments were skillfully put to the Court by Nigel Hampton QC who led the legal team for the Applicants.  Questions were raised around the terms and intent of the Summary Proceedings and Criminal Proceedings Rules and Acts, matters of intricate jurisprudence, and the Court interacted in a positive and enquiring manner with Mr Hampton as he traversed the various arguments.

There are remarkably few precedent cases regarding the matter of prosecutorial decision making and the review of such decisions, and it was a privilege to listen to Mr Hampton and the Court exploring the legal parameters in such depth and detail.

Anna Osborne, whose husband Milton was killed in the 2010 explosions at the Pike River mine, and Sonya Rockhouse, whose son Ben was killed, have asked for a judicial review into the Crown's decision to drop 12 health and safety charges against the former chief executive of Pike River Peter Whittall.  They are supported by a number of members of the public, member of parliament Damian O'Connor, Helen Kelly and the CTU, and others.

Outside court today, Ms Osborne, told Lisa Davies of ONE News it was "ridiculous" that Mr Whittall had been cleared, adding that the "justice system is a joke" and that the families of the victims "don't want to be screwed over."

Nigel Hampton, the lawyer for the Pike River families, described the decision as "chequebook justice" and told the judicial review that it "struck at the heart of the New Zealand Justice system, setting a dangerous precedent that justice can be bought".

Mr Hampton told Justice Brendan Brown the circumstances should never have happened and that "it was an abuse of public interest and an abuse of the criminal justice system and its processes".

He told the court it was an unlawful and exceptional decision that led to the 12 charges being dropped on December 2013, despite the fact sufficient evidence existed - which is the Key fact of the matter.

He says "that was the quid pro quo really. Money was paid and the charges were dismissed".

"Is it justice for the rich?" he asked.

"That's what I suggest this comes to and that I suggest is a disastrous message to allow to be sent to the public, that justice in this country can be bought. It has never been thus."

He says the families "would rather see Peter Whittall made to answer".

Ms Rockhouse and Mrs Osborne have travelled to Wellington so they can attend the hearing in person, fought for 18 months for the case to be heard.

"Sonya and I couldn't let it go, because we just haven't had justice... to finally get our day in court is huge," says Mrs Osborne.

Worksafe lawyer Joanna Holden argued that the decision to drop the charges was lawful and reasonable, and not the result of an abuse of process.  Her submissions sounded less than convincing, at least one lawyer present describing her submission as "ridiculous".

"The suggestion that Worksafe...that they failed to take into account the impact of the disaster is utterly and completely rejected" said Ms Holden, grasping at straws.

The families of the 29 men killed in the disaster were shocked and angry when the 12 charges were dropped against Mr Whittall in December 2013.  A legal review by MoBIE - the entity that was formed when the Department of Labour was restructured in attempts to remove the Ministry (or "Department") from culpibility and association with the deaths of the twenty nine men - decided that the "likelihood of gaining a conviction was low".

That decision was clearly tainted by the involvement of the Department of Labour - MoBIE dicks, Worksafe, whatever you want to call them, they are one and the same, and their guilt was evidenced when the Minister, Kate Wilkinson resigned and the CEO did the same, in the wake of the Commission of Inquiry into the killing of the twenty nine men and the operation of the mine when all involved knew perfectly well that it was a disaster just waiting to happen.  The decision is further tainted with the odious stench of corruption by the decision of Dobson J in ruling that the communication between Clown Prosecutor Brent Stanaway and others involved in the corrupt decision is protected from scrutiny, and the unbelievable excuse that parts of the Court file are suddenly and conveniently "missing".

The same day the charges were dropped, an un-named insurance company - who was the company - who are the shareholders of the insurance company and what conflicts of interest existed? - representing Whittall and the Directors of Pike River Coal Ltd offered a voluntary reparation payment of $110,000 to the families of each of the 29 victims and the two survivors. At the time the families labelled the pay out as "blood money".   You'd have to wonder if it's an insurance company like AMI or AMP - who sponsor the grandstanding of 'journalists' like Paul Henry and Mike Hosking, in order to manipulate public opinion - the matter of "public interest" was discussed in Court - who measures public interest?  How?  NZ is PERCEIVED as being relatively free of corruption - the Key word is PERCEIVED - the media control how politicians are perceived and most New Zealanders are extremely naive!

Is that the cost of a human life in New Zealand in this day and age is it???  $110,000???

It is a damning indictment on our legal system when two women are forced to go to these lengths to get justice for the killing of a husband and a son and the loved sons, husbands, brothers, fathers, of twenty six other families, after a deal done behind their backs - which they were not even consulted about, let alone asked if they agreed with it, a deal cunningly set up by taxpayer funded lawyers in an act which was a corrupt abuse of Court process and utterly abhorrent to any right thinking person.

Direct link to the previous decision of Dobson J:

We await the reserved decision, this post will be updated when that is received and a link to it will be included.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Police incompetence highlighted in death of vulnerable patient:

The family of Nicky Tairoa Stephens are speaking up about the failure of Police to respond to pleas for help searching for their son after he was allowed to wander out of a mental health facility where he was supposed to be receiving care and protection:

"When my son failed to return on 9th March from an ‘unescorted’ cigarette break from a ‘secure’ unit at Waikato Hospital’s Henry Bennett Centre the family was sick with worry, knowing his two recent attempts at suicide, and his recurrent talk of suicide made him an exceptionally high suicide risk while he was on his own. - See more at:

When my son failed to return on 9th March from an ‘unescorted’ cigarette break from a ‘secure’ unit at Waikato Hospital’s Henry Bennett Centre the family was sick with worry, knowing his two recent attempts at suicide, and his recurrent talk of suicide made him an exceptionally high suicide risk while he was on his own.

What we didn’t fully comprehend then, but know only too well now, was the depth and breadth of official incompetence, inaction, backside-covering and outright lying that would unfold over the three days until his body was found in the Waikato River, and the 10 weeks since.

My other son Tony has written eloquently in The Daily Blog about how the New Zealand mental health system failed Nicky, and fails too many other families.

We have also tried to initiate other inquiries via the Coroner’s office, the Health & Disability Commission, the District Inspectors of Mental Health – none of which have yet started.

And we are actively using social media (e.g. Facebook: Nicky ‘Autumn’ Stevens) to get Nicky’s story out, and help other families tell their stories, many of them horrifically similar to ours.

But what we haven’t yet told is the story of the almost complete dereliction of duty exhibited by the NZ Police following their receipt of the ‘Missing Person’s report from the Hospital shortly after Nicky disappeared.

After all, Police did not start a search for Nick until over two days after he went missing, despite telling the DHB one was under way immediately (at least according to the DHB).

Nicky’s body was found three days after he went missing, but only a kilometer down the fast-flowing River from the Hospital area.

And two witnesses have come forward claiming in a written statement to have seen Nicky on the day after he disappeared between the Hospital and where his body was found – near the Police station, actually. Not that Police have yet interviewed that couple, 7 weeks after we provided the statement to them.

No Police read the statement clearly placed in their missing person notes that he was a suicide risk, and had made recent attempts at his life.

The Police ‘Comms North’ call centre did not note down the Hospital nurse clearly pointing out the suicide risk three times in the initial call, including using the word “serious” to describe it.

Shades of Iraena Asher, the troubled young woman who went missing at Piha in 2004, with police responding to the report of her disappearance by sending a taxi (to the wrong address). Nicky didn’t even get a taxi! Iraena, who was also mentally ill, was presumed drowned, as her body was never found.

As a result of the lack of attention to the known details, mid-level cops pushed Nicky’s missing persons case well down the priority list, not even assigning it to any officer to look at for 42 hours after the missing person’s report came in.

When no police had contacted us for over a day after Nicky’s disappearance, we tried to call their Hamilton ‘operations room’, being cut off six times before getting a junior cop to take a message asking for whoever was in charge to call us – something that never happened.

In fact we have a written report from Hospital staff claiming that the person who would normally handle Nicky’s case was “out on training” that day.

In desperation, after 30 hours of hearing nothing I wrote urgent, ‘top priority’ emails to the Police Minister, Police Commissioner and Waikato District Police Commander demanding some contact with us, and outlining the serious suicide risk. The next day the Minister’s office emailed back saying they wouldn’t do anything but had referred my email on to the Commissioner’s office.

Neither senior cop sent a message down the line to Hamilton police to get their backsides into gear, and to this day, neither have contacted the family.

The Police finally did start a search, 50 hours after Nicky went missing. His body was found by a member of the public, right across the River from where I was personally searching at the time.

We hoped, naively, that the pleasant cops who drove us to the morgue to view Nicky’s body after it was recovered from the River, and who let us listen to the missing persons phone call audio tape, would do the right thing, and recognise police inaction had thrown away any chance of finding Nicky before he drowned himself.

But after initially offering all the help we wanted, and even letting us listen to the audio of the missing persons call, Police have clammed up since we laid formal complaints of negligence against the DHB, insisting on a formal police investigation, and since we made a point, after hearing the audio, of telling them we thought they had not done their job properly.

Police have only just in the last week (9 weeks after Nicky’s body was found) started their investigation of the DHB negligence.

Police have refused to give the family a copy of the missing persons call audio tape, or the notes of that call that are on Nicky’s file.

Police have appointed a Hamilton police sergeant to investigate the failings of the Hamilton Police and, in some cases, his superiors – not that this investigation has even started, 11 weeks after Nicky disappeared.

The Police have gone to great pains to tell us on several occasions that if they have made mistakes they will “put their hands up”, and rectify their errors.

But the family finds that the Police words are not matched by their actions, and have now made a formal and detailed complaint to the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA), who we are told are this week holding a high-level meeting to decide how to handle it.

We are not holding our breath for a timely, independent and fearless investigation by the IPCA – that would be a bonus – but we are letting Police, health and Government officials know that we won’t be bullshitted to, and that we will leave no stone unturned looking for the truth about Nicky’s death."

Dave Macpherson – Father of Nicky Stevens