Tag Archives: New Zealand

New Zealand Students Offer Reward To Arrest Condi Rice!

new Zeland police are very ‘disturbed” by the decision of the Auckland University Students’ Association offer of $5,000 to anyone who would carry out a citizen’s arrest of visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Superintendent Brett England said anyone who attempts to cross police lines during her visit to Auckland this weekend will be stopped. ‘Operational planning for this visit has been in the making for several months and there are highly effective security measures I please, so I would strongly advise the association representatives who’ve put this challenge out, to withdraw it immediately so as to avoid being caught up in something much bigger than they may have anticipated.”

AUSA president David Do said the arrest would be for her role in “overseeing the illegal invasion and continued occupation of Iraq…. Student associations in New Zealand have a long history of being involved in fighting for global justice, dating back to student involvement in the 1981 anti-Springbok tour protests and the US war in Indochina in the 1960s and 1970s.”

Conventional wisdom is to regard this as a showboat activity on the part of students, but whether by design or inadvertently, the students are raising important issues. Should those in the Bush administration who lied to the American people about reasons for invading Iraq be held responsible in a court of law? Does the International Criminal Court have the right to issue warrants for Bush and his fellow conspirators who caused the death of over 4,000 Americans and the deaths of thousands of Iraqis? If a Serbian murderer can be arrested, why not American murderers?

New Zealand Concerned Over Gang Violence

New Zealand authorities are concerned over outbreaks of gang violence in many parts of the nation. The latest incident was the arrest of five members of the Mongrel gang after they had a stand off in the streets with members of other gangs. As is so usual in these cases, the issue was over which gang will control the local drug trade. Some New Zealand mayors are comparing gang violence in their cities as akin to the situation in Zimbabwe, which is undoubtedly a rather extreme exaggeration. Greg O’Connor, president of the Police Association, says there is need for a coordination national program to smash the gangs, but some mayors want to create local police chiefs who would focus on crime in their cities.

Mr. O’Connor says it is not enough to get rid of street thugs, but there must be an effort to “knock off the top of the pyramid.” The New Zealand concerns are those shared by many countries in which drugs are illegal. Perhaps, it is time to reconsider the entire issue of making drugs illegal and explore alternatives of legal drugs that are under the control of the national government. As long as drugs are illegal, there will be illegal gangs vying for power over the monies connected with selling illegal drugs.

New Zealand Gets Tough On Domestic Violence

The New Zealand government has decided on a get tough policy with men who are guilty of domestic violence. Police are now authorized to hand out on-the-spot protection orders when they are called to a domestic violence incident. Alleged offenders could be removed from their homes for up to 72 hours under the changes announced by Justice Minister Annette King. She commented, “the more we talk about domestic violence, and the more we crete an environment in which victims of domestic violence feel able to report what is happening to them, the more chance we have of coming to grips with this scourge on our society.”

Under new guidelines announced by Ms. King:

* Police can issue on-the-spot short term protection orders.
* There will be greater consequences for violating protection orders.
* Criminal courts will be more proactive in defending rights of victims.
* Increased concern for the impact of psychological abuse.

New Zealand-Obese People Need Not Apply!

Richie Trezise, a submarine cable specialist, was looking forward to emigrating from Britain and finding work in New Zealand where his skills were needed. He had been headhunted by one of New Zealand’s largest companies and expected to begin his new life. However, he encountered a slight hitch in his plans. After seeing his doctor and providing information concerning his health to New Zealand immigration officials he was told that he was too fat to enter New Zealand. His body mass index(BMI) registered too high at 42. He was told to slim down if he really wanted to live in beautiful thin New Zealand. “My doctor laughed at me. He said he’d never seen anything more ridiculous in his whole life” since not all obese people are unhealthy. Robyn Toomath, an endocrinologist working for the New Zealand campaign group, Fight The Obesity Epidemic, said her country could not afford to admit immigrants who would be a drain on health services. By the way, Mr. Trezise’s wife has also been classified as obese and currently is in the gym working off a few pounds.

This is a rather unique way of evaluating who can or can not enter a country. One can only wonder if the reverse is also applicable– does New Zealand deport their own obese people? If so, are they only able to migrate to nations which welcome obese people? On the other hand, is there a problem with people who are excessively thin?

Hundreds Of New Zealanders Protest Anti-Terror Raids

Hundreds of New Zealanders protested across the nation against this week’s massive police sweep aimed against terrorists. During the police action, vehicles were halted and people searched. There was considerable anger because the police halted school buses, entered waving guns and frightened hundreds of children. A bus driver described the police entering his bus with weapons and upsetting children. Protestors carried signs saying, “He taonga te mukopuno”– children are out treasures. Greg O’Connor, head of the Police Association said complaints came from usual sources — politicians and those who were halted and searched.

For some reason police assumed school buses were places on which terrorists were hidden. Mr. O’Connor is right, the children who were harassed and their parents actually protested. Is he arguing parents should allow armed police to board school buses for some ridiculous reason that terrorists are hiding on them and not protest! The “terrorist hysteria” is getting out of hand.

Erin Brockovich Takes On New Zealand Company Over Ad

Erin Brockovich exploded against a New Zealand company’s advertisement which she considered to be insulting to women. The advertisement by retailer Bond and Bond said: “Government says fridges are better younger. Just like women, really.” Brockovich called the parent company of Bond and Bond and “expressed my outrage and my disappointment in them for running such an advertisement. I demanded its retraction and they agreed to do so.” It is reported Brockovich is currently investigating a mining company in Perth.

It is nice to know Erin Brockovich is not simply resting on her laurels from a movie but continues taking an active interest in the rights of women all over the world.