Helen Clark maybe did us a favour by denying the Maori Council a chance to now head for London

February 27, 2013

So where can the Maori Council turn next in its vexatious efforts to nobble your hard-working government’s efforts to flog off a stake in Mighty River Power?

Nowhere.

There was a time when their lawyers would be suggesting they head for London and the Privy Council.

But the Clark Government put an end to that in her ill-considered efforts to reduce this country’s links with the Mother Country, the Monarch and all that…

Maori voters – if they happen to sympathise with the Maori Council and fancied their chances before the law lords – should remember that, next time they go to the polls.

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The water claim: there are times when the best thing a dame can do is get out of the way

December 22, 2012

The intro to one item in the Herald today somewhat understates the position – at least insofar as Alf has firm thoughts on the matter.

It says (here) –

Chief Justice’s past links with Maori Council have ministers ill at ease

Your hard-working MP for Eketahuna North is downright stroppy on the matter.

The intro leads readers into a good piece from Fran O’Sullivan which points out that Dame Sian Elias successfully acted for the Maori Council on several high-profile Treaty claims against the Crown in the 1980s through to the mid-1990s.

That invites the question –

Should Chief Justice Sian Elias recuse herself from the upcoming Supreme Court hearing on the Maori water rights claim?

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Oh, look – the judges are chewing up millions on travel and attending conferences

January 12, 2012

Nice work by Vernon Small at The Dom-Post today.

He has flushed out figures showing judges have clocked up more than $18 million on travel and accommodation over the past three years.

Among these were five overseas trips where Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias took her husband Hugh along at taxpayers’ expense.

Hugh who?

Oh, yes. Business tycoon Hugh Fletcher, who used to be chief executive of Fletcher Challenge and whose family’s wealth is reckoned to be $70 million, although Alf is always bemused about how the newspapers make that sort of calculation.

In thise case the reckoning was done by the National Business Review, which last year ranked the wider Fletcher family 53rd equal on its rich list.

Anyway, Hugh dutifully accompanied Dame Sian to the Caribbean Turks and Caicos islands in 2009-10 for a Commonwealth Magistrates Judges Association conference.

In the same year he accompanied her to the United States, London and Melbourne.

Perhaps she relies on him to keep her judges’ robes clean and ironed on these occasions, or some such.

So what are the rules about who pays for Hugh’s travels with his missus?

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