Amicus Curiae: No Way to Minimum Wage? The Case for a Living Wage in New Zealand

By Haya Khan It’s safe to say employment options are limited for a university student. Adjusting a part time job into a hectic university schedule, exams, socialising and mandatory Netflix weekend binge-watching can take a toll on work ethic and mental health. So, for all the effort a full-time university student puts into their part time job, is minimum wage truly …

Cross-Examination: New Zealand’s Ancient Abortion Laws

BY HART REYNOLDS It is time to reform New Zealand’s abortion laws. On 3 February 2017, the Abortion Supervisory Committee (ASC) added its voice to growing calls for review of the law.[1] The law was enacted in 1977 and states an abortion is only lawful if it meets one of the following criteria: The continuance of the pregnancy would result …

Amicus Curiae: A Labour of Love – Is That Enough For Care Workers?

BY JANNA TAY Last month, the government announced a $2 billion package in settlement of the largest pay equity deal in New Zealand history. Around 55,000 care workers in aged residential care and disability support services will receive pay rises of between 15 to 49 per cent over the next five years. And it is historic not only for the …

Cross-Examination: The UK’s Climate Change Act – A Hard Act to Follow?

BY JAMES ADAMS Many people see climate change as a technical issue, a challenge for inventors of electric cars or designers of sustainable homes. Others see it as a policy problem, a debate over which levers will most effectively encourage households and businesses to reduce their emissions. Both perspectives have much to contribute, yet I would argue that climate change …

Amicus Curiae: Ministry of Social Development, or Big Brother?

BY CLAUDIA RUSSELL Privacy concerns over the Ministry of Social Development’s (MSD) new ‘data-for-funding’ policy were the subject of an urgent Parliamentary debate earlier this month. MSD’s somewhat unpolished approach in creating the policy has caused people to question how much the Ministry respects the privacy of our country’s most vulnerable people. Admittedly, the controversy is difficult to understand at …

Cross-Examination: A Less ‘Brutalising’ Way? A New Court for Sexual Violence Cases

By Anuja Mitra Sexual violence is arguably the gravest violation of a person’s dignity and bodily integrity, but there has been considerable criticism of the way the courts deal with sexual violence cases. In response to this, as well as the 2015 Law Commission’s report The Justice Response to Victims of Sexual Violence: Criminal Trials and Alternative Processes,[1] Chief District …

Amicus Curiae: Free Speech vs Hate Speech – Where Do We Draw the Line?

By Hannah Yang In a recent open letter signed by various notable New Zealand figures, including Sir Bob Jones, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Dr Don Brash, and Dame Tariana Turia, Professor Paul Moon from the Auckland University of Technology has warned against the “forceful silencing of dissenting and unpopular views” on university campuses. There is no right not to be offended, …

Amicus Curiae: When a River Becomes a Legal Person

  BY CHRIS RYAN In March the Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Act became law and the Whanganui River became the first river in the world to gain legal personhood. The Act creates Te Awa Tupua, a legal entity which comprises of the entire Whanganui River and incorporates all its physical and metaphysical elements. Te Awa Tupua is …

Cross-Examination: Maori Co-Governance of Freshwater: Will the Reforms Sink or Swim?

BY ALEX SIMS The Maori role in improving freshwater quality New Zealand’s rivers and lakes make up a key part of our natural environment, and are central to the idea of our ‘clean and green’ image. Freshwater is also vital to the survival and existence of our native plants and wildlife, in allowing them to grow and prosper.[1] However changes …

Amicus Curiae: The Harmful Digital Communications Act, In Action

BY ASHLEY WAINSTEIN Greater clarification has been given to the new Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 with a recent High Court Appeal case, Police v B. The law in relation to the offence provision, s 22 of the Act (entitled “Causing harm by posting digital communication”), was of issue . A quick detailing of the facts describes a man charged …