We’ve sent our gunboat and caught fishing felons red-handed – now let’s sink them

January 13, 2015
Oops. Shouldn't Hitler's permission been sought?

Oops. Did Hitler give his approval?

Dunno why Royal New Zealand Navy officials have got to be so damned prissy.

According to the NZ Herald, last night they were seeking permission to board two fishing vessels in the Southern Ocean which have been found with illegal catches.

The offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Wellington has been monitoring the ships, Songhua and Kunlun, for close to a week and has captured video evidence of fishermen hauling in Antarctic toothfish – one of the most lucrative catches in the world.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the vessels were using gill nets, which were banned in the strictly regulated fishery around Antarctica because they were considered damaging to the marine ecosystem.

So – a fair cop, by the sounds of it.

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It’s a sorry thing when our SIS Minister is heard apologising for saying something while not yet awake

November 28, 2014
"Take you cue from me, Chris, and never say sorry."

“Take your cue from me, Chris, and never say sorry.”

Alf’s caucus mates prefer he stick his borax only into Opposition politicians and spare his party colleagues.

But it’s hard to resist taking a tilt at the Minister in charge of the Security Intelligence Service,  Chris Finlayson, who has been apologising for dismissing Parliament’s select committee process as “chit chat”.

Alf took a dim view of this remark because he is often advising his constituents, when they are bitching about this, that or whatever legislation, that they should shut up if they did not take the opportunity to influence things by making submissions to the  select committee which considered the law when it was at the bill stage.

Finlayson, who also happens to be our Attorney-General, has acknowledged that as soon as he said the process was just chit-chat,  he knew his remark was “uncharacteristically flippant”.

“It’s certainly not chit chat and I apologise,” he says.

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Mayor Judd favours doing things by halves – and he wants all of NZ to accept his power-sharing model

November 24, 2014
And then I have this idea of reserving all council seats for the tangata whenua...

And then I have this idea of putting all council seats aside for the tangata whenua…

About two months ago, the Mayor of New Plymouth was getting kudos from the Maori Party – and no doubt from lots of other Maori leaders – for acknowledging that our indigenous persons are special and should be given special treatment.

His council had just voted for a Maori ward by seven votes to six.

But he was getting plenty of stick, too, from folks who had the temerity to be miffed at the Mayor’s tinkering with their democratic structure (and doing it on the strength of a very close vote)..

One councillor – a true democrat – had the balls to oppose the move and resigned in protest.

The mayor, Andrew Judd, showed troubling signs of being confused about what he was up to.

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Without a firm Treaty underpinning, does the colonising of NZ simply prove that might is right?

November 15, 2014

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Dunno if Alf has got a proper grasp on it, but it looks like the Treaty of Waitangi is a bit of a crock.

One mob signed it on the strength of their understanding of what it says in plain English.

The other mob signed it on the strength of their understanding of what it says in Te Reo, their lingua franca.

Trouble is, the meaning of the English version and the meaning of the Te Reo version are different.

What sort of a basis is that for establishing a comfortable relationship between Maori and the Crown, let alone the underpinning of a written Constitution?

The significance of this difference has become awkwardly apparent since the Waitangi Tribunal produced its latest report on how the colonisers treated indigenous persons in the early days.

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Maori like to be consulted – but who did Tuhoe consult about their ban on Urewera hunting?

October 11, 2014
Nowadays he will need Tuhoe permission.

Nowadays he will need Tuhoe permission.

Alf was never satisfied with the assurances and platitudes from Chris Finlayson, our Attorney-General, about public access to the foreshore and seabed when the issue was being argued a few years ago.

He particularly remembers ACT MP David Garrett being given the brush-off at question time in Parliament.

Finlayson was apt to insist he expected  very little of the foreshore and seabed would end up under Maori customary title through the claims process in the legislation that replaced the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

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A bad message has been sent to impoverished protesters by giving up on the Waihopai wallies

February 6, 2014

Chris Finlayson seemed to be on top of things, last time Alf was chatting with him.

But obviously he was well and truly off his oats, or had a serious rush of blood to the head, or something.

And next thing we know, the Crown had dropped its civil lawsuit against the three wallies who caused more than $1 million in damage to a spy base in Marlborough.

Reports here and here tell us what has happened and give us some background.

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Precious Chris won’t split an infinitive but he has become a dab hand at divided governance

January 18, 2014

He’s a colleague, sure enough. But he’s also a tosser.

We speak of Chris Finlayson, and if any readers of this post should question his credentials for being lumped among the tossers…

Well, just take a butchers at this report on the Stuff website, which tells us he is passionate his office staff should not sloppily split infinitives, or use Oxford commas.

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