Amicus Curiae: The Budget bites back – repercussions of the new 10-year plan for Auckland

Eugenia Woo, Leading Contributor The last time a budget attracted public attention and scrutiny from Aucklanders, it was to do with concerns about crime and justice investment. However, the matter that has brought Mayor Len Brown’s 10-year budget for Auckland into the spotlight is to do with the rates increases for property owners that will accompany this long-term plan. The …

Amicus Curiae: Establishing A Child Sex Offender Register in New Zealand – A Reasonable Infringement of Rights?

James Peacock, content contributor On August 13 2015 Social Development Minister Anne Tolley introduced the Child Protection (Child Sex Offender Register) Bill to Parliament. This bill will create a child sex offenders register with the purpose of “reducing sexual reoffending against child victims” and mitigating the “risks posted by serious child sex offenders”. The proposed register would provide the police with …

Amicus Curiae: Balancing Privacy and Safety – proposed legislative responses to family violence

Jack Garden, content contributor New Zealand has a shameful domestic violence record. In 2014, Police attended over 100,000 domestic violence incidents, and Women’s Refuge received over 78,000 crisis calls. Successive governments have moved to conduct inquiries, fund publicity campaigns and strengthen legislation in attempts to tackle the problem. Ministerial initiatives have come and gone without a significant decrease in the …

Amicus Curiae: Where Are The Women? Gender Representation on State Sector Boards

Elizabeth Murray, leading contributor In a public sector that purports to represent all New Zealanders, we would expect to see diversity in the appointments made to various governmental positions. However, in the latest Ministry of Women’s Affairs inquiry into the ratio of male to female government appointments has found that this does not seem to be the case. After finding …

Amicus Curaie: Asian Names and Blame Games in Auckland Housing

Ye Lin Ko, content contributor Recently, Phil Twyford, Labour’s housing spokesman, released data showing Chinese sounding names accounted for 39.5% of the 3922 Auckland property sales, despite the fact that people of Chinese ethnicity only makes up 9% of the city’s population. This has led to accusations of racial profiling, as at face value it appears that the Labour party …

Amicus Curiae: Pipping the Government to the Post – NZPIP and Miscarriages of Justice

At the start of this month, a group of prominent legal practitioners and academics motivated joined together to form the New Zealand Public Interest Panel (NZPIP) in order to investigate cases showing the hallmarks of a miscarriage of justice rather than await the establishment of an official body discharging the same function. Today, Guest Contributor Naushyn Janah, of the EJP Outreach team, …

Amicus Curiae: Mythbusting the Unlicensed Maori Driver Controversy

Elizabeth Murray, Leading Contributor Since yesterday there has been a chaotic stream of media commentary and public outrage on the directive issued by Counties Manukau District Police instructing officers in that district to give traffic compliance to unlicensed Maori drivers instead of immediately giving them a fine. Instead of stimulating discussion of the relative success of such directives in promoting …

Amicus Curiae: The Elephant in the Debating Chamber – Debating Euthanasia After ‘Seales’

Eugenia Woo, Leading Contributor In the aftermath of the highly-publicised Seales v Attorney-General case, there has undoubtedly been a renewal of the discussion around end of life choices and their place in New Zealand’s future. Justice Collins’ decision to not grant Lecretia Seales’ application for declarations stating that her physician was able to assist her in ending her life has reignited the debate around euthanasia, and a New Zealand …

Amicus Curiae: Equal Access to Medicine and the TPPA – A Follow-Up

Last Thursday, WikiLeaks released more of the negotiating text of the Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The section released dealt with proposals to harmonise the regulatory regimes for pharmaceuticals between member states, the details of which have aggravated concerns that agencies such as Pharmac will have less power to secure the best deals for the New Zealand healthcare system. In a follow-up to his recent article …