Why no decisions by Police on electoral breaches?

December 24th, 2008 at 9:25 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports today that the Police have rejected the NZ First complaint against the Director of the Serious Fraud Office. They were very upset that he told the truth to the about the funding of the $40,000 Peters paid Clarkson. It showed that both Peters and Henry had given false evidence to the , so no wonder they were upset.

But this got me thinking about the , and the election. The has referred multiple alleged offences to the this year, and with one exception (the false donation returns from NZ First) it has not announced an outcome for any of them.

The earliest referral was on 27 June in relation to unauthorised banners in Tauranga. This was as simple a case as you can get. How is it the Police have not been able to reach a conclusion in six months?

There was also the adverts referred on 1 August, the EMA adverts on 26 August, the late Social Credit donations return on 4 Sep 2008, and a further ad on 18 Sep 2008.

It is difficult to not conclude that the Police just have no interest in enforcing electoral law (as they showed in 2005), when they can’t even make a decision within six months on an unauthorised billboard.

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21 Responses to “Why no decisions by Police on electoral breaches?”

  1. billyborker (1,102 comments) says:

    its all very simple.

    The Police are part of the apparatus of the State, and those charged with controlling the State will never do anything to upset the apple cart.

    Look across the ditch at the botched arrest and interrogation of Mohammed Haneef. This man did nothing wrong, and yet was made to jump through all sorts of hoops. Aus now has a new govt enquiries have shown culpability of both the minister in charge at the time, and the federal police Commissioner. However, so the game can keep going, no charges will be laid, no disciplinary action will be taken. Mick keelty keepshis job, Kevin Andrews keeps his reputation. Mohammed haneef pays the price for being an innocent man accused.

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  2. Brian Smaller (4,026 comments) says:

    In WWII he would have been shot. I think he is lucky, considering his mates tried to murder people in London and Scotland.

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  3. billyborker (1,102 comments) says:

    So, an innocent man should be punished for something done by “his mates”? He doesn’t have to be involved. He doesn’t have to know about it. Guilt by association, aye? Remind me again why WW2 was fought?

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  4. GPT1 (2,123 comments) says:

    I doubt it is even close to a secret the police have no interest. I seem to recall a comment in the papers released post 2005 debacle along the lines of ‘do I actually have to do this as I have aggravated burgs to deal with’. Quite clearly the Electoral Commission should have the powers of prosecution.

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  5. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    It was all about oil wasn’t it Billy?

    Or Global Warming, or the poor being oppressed or the rising cost of KFC?

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  6. billyborker (1,102 comments) says:

    Quite clearly the Electoral Commission should have the powers of prosecution.

    Makes sense to me.

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  7. Mark (496 comments) says:

    Or has the Police already decided the EFA was an ass of a law and any referrals they were going to do nothing?

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  8. Frank (320 comments) says:

    Easy. They are as corrupt as the people they should be prosecuting. The Electoral process needs a Royal Commission of Inquiry

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  9. Frank (320 comments) says:

    “Quite clearly the Electoral Commission should have the powers of prosecution.”

    The Electoral Commission is incompetent and dragged it’s feet for 5 months after the previous election. it was a disgrace.

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  10. Paulus (2,664 comments) says:

    If this is the only complaint about our Police force I would be happy.

    However having recently re read substantiated publications, supported by valid crosschecks, I still believe that we need an “INDEPENDENT” review of the following cases. Probably led by a senior overseas Judge. New Zealand is too small to undertake an independent review – recent political turmoil and the actions/inactions of the police show this. Fancy allowing the Police to review, with limited terms of reference, the possible perjury of his top boss.

    The Peter Ellis – Christchurch case, the Scott Watson – Marlborough Sounds, and the David Bain – Dunedin case. In each case there appears to be is a tie up with effectively planted/perjured evidence – in old parlance a “stitch up”, and it would appear that certain very senior officers are involved.

    I believe that this goes to the heart of our democracy, that our Police should be beyond reproach. Time for a very clean broom at the top to start with.

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  11. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    As Ali G famously said:

    “They are the best Police in the Force!”

    Broad is a political patsy replacement for the previously stitched up incumbent.

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  12. dad4justice (8,313 comments) says:

    Make that “clean broom” a big wide bastard of a thing. Clean up time , fair cop, well past due time! Nobody respects dirty cops.

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  13. dave strings (608 comments) says:

    Bring back Doone

    All together now

    BRING BACK DOONE

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  14. dad4justice (8,313 comments) says:

    Doone with a big bastard broom. Great idea dave strings.

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  15. peterwn (3,307 comments) says:

    Reading the Herald article it was pretty obvious that a prosecution against the SFO chief was not going to fly, and it would be quite improper for the police to mount a prosecution that was going to fall flat on its face.

    ‘However the act also gave the director the discretion to disclose information “to any person who he is satisfied has a proper interest in receiving such information”. ‘ He only has to take the stand, say that he was satisfied that the Privileges Committee ought to be told, and that would be that. The prosecutor would be reduced to waffling in his closing submission.

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  16. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    To be honest, if you were a cop why would you investigate an offence against a law that is likely to be repealed by the incoming government. The nats looked like they would get into power for quite some time and there are better ways to use limited resources.

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  17. peterwn (3,307 comments) says:

    slightlyrighty – A fair assessment. People cannot get the police to deal with minor crime even if they hand the evidence to the police on a plate. The Commissioner has limited resources and has to set priorities – electoral law enforcement is will down the list. The one area where the Commissioner cannot set priorities is traffic enforcement v crime – the Commissioner is given a budget for traffic enforcement and has to show it is spent on traffic policing, and bluntly, the ‘key performance indicator’ here is the number of tickets issued.

    Bluntly, the Electoral Commission should be organising its own prosecutions via a staff solicitor or Crown Law, not getting the cops to do it.

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  18. burt (8,316 comments) says:

    The police are probably waiting for retrospective validations. 9 years of doing their business under a self serving nanny state have taught them that when politicians are in trouble with the law, it’s the law that gets put under the cosh – not the politicians.

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  19. LUCY (359 comments) says:

    They were waiting for uncle Helen to tell them what to do.

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  20. Viking2 (11,568 comments) says:

    Now if we had an INDEPENDENT Prosecution Service, (which I have suggested a few times ), then the Commission could go to an independent Prosecutor and have court action commenced provided they had sufficient case.
    So then could every other member of the community. Currently only the Police can do that and they control the outcomes.
    Want to make progress with crime, make the Prosecution Service an independent body available to everyone who needs it.

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  21. peterwn (3,307 comments) says:

    Viking2 – By and large the Crown Law Office provides an independent effective prosecution service for government agencies and there seems no reason why (except perhaps budgetary) the Electoral Commission cannot use it. Any independent prosecution service can only handle prosecutions where sufficient evidence is served up. They could advise on any extra evidence that seems obtainable but would not themselves do investigations to gather evidence. If the Commission has on its staff a lawyer with current practicing certificate then that person can also mount prosecutions for the Commission.

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