Perceptions of corruption

July 11th, 2013 at 1:06 pm by David Farrar

has done a global survey on perceptions of . The results for NZ are here. The percentages thinking each type of institution are corrupt were (with result for Australia in brackets):

  1. Political Parties 46% (58%)
  2. Media 43% (58%)
  3. Business 36% (47%)
  4. Religions 35% (44%)
  5. Parliament 33% (36%)
  6. Public service 25% (35%)
  7. Police 24% (33%)
  8. Judiciary 20% (28%)
  9. NGOs 19% (23%)
  10. Health services 17% (20%)
  11. Education systems 16% (19%)
  12. Military 11% (25%)

A pity they can’t break the score for political parties down by party!

Australians perceive corruption more often in every category. Interesting that the media features so highly.

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50 Responses to “Perceptions of corruption”

  1. Ed Snack (1,535 comments) says:

    Yes, I’d like to see the political parties one broken down, if the figure for Labor (Eddy Obeid, cough cough) wasn’t close to 100% I’d be surprised but disappointed.

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  2. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    Im surprised the media is only 43%

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  3. F E Smith (3,273 comments) says:

    That is because Australia is significantly more corrupt than NZ, pretty much across the board. When it comes to Polictical parties, the ALP is in a class of its own for corruption. Being in power in NSW made some ALP members very wealthy.

    What surprises me is that 20% of NZers think that the NZ judiciary is corrupt. Either those people are ignorant or they don’t actually understand what corruption is.

    But I do have real questions about that survey. According to the mouseovers on payment of bribes, 3% of the respondents reported paying a bribe to the judiciary. I mean, seriously? 3% reported paying a bribe to the Police, 2% reported paying a bribe to the Tax Revenue. Something just doesn’t add up there.

    I will have a closer look, but I really have doubts about the accuracy of that survey. Which is unfortunate, because that survey is what people overseas will think of us when they consider this area.

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  4. peterwn (2,933 comments) says:

    Someone I know (left leaning) was recently rabbiting on about corruption, accusing all sorts of people being corrupt, and saying there was no such thing as being ‘slightly corrupt, something was either corrupt or not. Seemed she was seeing corruption under every bed, like Senator Joe McCarthy saw a red under every bed. Then I found the source:
    http://www.chrislee.co.nz/newsletter/display.php?list=2&year=2012&month=September

    Now the Sky City deal is quite transparent – there is nothing ‘under the table’ with this – benefits on all sides are visible to all. So i am at a loss to see how ‘Transparency International’ can be upset about a transparent deal.

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  5. Manolo (12,617 comments) says:

    Interesting that the media features so highly.

    Why not? Many members of the MSM are mercenaries and whores who sell their pens to the highest bidder.

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  6. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    I like how Parliament is perceived as less corrupt than political parties…

    Presumably their various corruptions collide and to some extent cancel one another out, producing some integrity?

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  7. kowtow (6,690 comments) says:

    FESmith

    You’re funny. Happy to tell us how corrupt ALP are but then when some people here say the judiciary is corrupt you say ” they’re ignorant”

    You can dish it ,but not take it.

    And what is corruption?

    Our courts have corrupted the Treaty into a fucken gravy train. Lawyers ,judges ,tribes all doing very well off the taxpayer tit.

    I’d call that corruption.

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  8. Elaycee (4,063 comments) says:

    In terms of the media, perhaps there should be a distinction between suggestions they are ‘corrupt’ and that of simply being biased / lazy / incompetent / out of their depth / all of the above.

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  9. F E Smith (3,273 comments) says:

    Happy to tell us how corrupt ALP are

    I just read the reports coming out of the commission of inquiry on it, so it is not exactly a secret.  

    when some people here say the judiciary is corrupt you say ” they’re ignorant”

    One does not equal the other.  

    Our courts have corrupted the Treaty into a fucken gravy train.

    Absolute rubbish.  The actions leading to that accusation have been Parliamentary.  

    Lawyers ,judges ,tribes all doing very well off the taxpayer tit.

    The eligibility of people or groups to receive legal aid on Treaty matters was a Parliamentary decision.  The judges are paid regardless of what their decsion is.  Any money that the Iwi have recieved is also as a result of Parliamentary action.

    I’d call that corruption.

    I call that ignorance.

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  10. Chuck Bird (4,401 comments) says:

    FES, I do not think I am ignorant but would probably tick the box that there is corruption in the NZ judiciary. The of course depends on definition. If you define corruption as a judge taking a cash bribe I would say you are probably correct.

    I might expect more than you from judges but I do not think my expectations are too high.

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  11. Ashley Schaeffer (336 comments) says:

    The figures are very one dimensional as is. A precentage perception of corruption without knowing what the respondents regard as corruption is fairly meaningless.

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  12. Graeme Edgeler (3,216 comments) says:

    But I do have real questions about that survey. According to the mouseovers on payment of bribes, 3% of the respondents reported paying a bribe to the judiciary. I mean, seriously? 3% reported paying a bribe to the Police, 2% reported paying a bribe to the Tax Revenue. Something just doesn’t add up there.

    Based on the information provided, it is an rather misleading graph, and a rather dodgy survey, which was a computer assisted telephone survey.

    People were asked if they had had contact with the revenue services, with police, with education, with the judiciary etc. across the 8 areas surveyed. Those who said they had were asked if they had paid a bribe.

    The figures of 3% having paid a bribe are 3% of those who had contact, not 3% overall. Interestingly, the overall percentage of people who paid a bribe to any one of the groups was also 3%, which suggests (within a margin for rounding) that there was no-one (or very few people) who paid a bribe to just the police or just education authorities, etc, but that every one of the people who paid a paid a bribe paid a bribe to each of the agencies.

    Or alternatively, that there were ~20-27 people in the 1000 people whom Colmar Brunton’s computer asked to press a button on their phone indicating whether they’d paid a bribe, who simply answered yes every time they were asked, because they thought it would be funny.

    The alternative that would have to be argued is that those ~20-27 people paid bribes in every area of government they came into contact with. Not just one bribe in one area, but in every area they came into contact with (IRD, police, courts, permits etc.).

    I do not rule out that there may be the occasional bribe in a range of different areas of our government, but I know which of the two options I present that I think it is more likely this survey is actually evidence.

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  13. F E Smith (3,273 comments) says:

    I might expect more than you from judges

    Actually, Chuck, I have a feeling that my standards would be higher than yours when it comes to corruption, but my definition might be different.

    I do not think that having a ruling made against you is evidence of corruption.  Nor do I think that a judge releasing a person on bail who then goes on to re-offend in a serious manner is evidence of corruption.

    The OED defines corruption as

    dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.

    Wikipedia defines judicial corruption as

    Judicial corruption refers to corruption related misconduct of judges, through receiving or giving bribes, improper sentencing of convicted criminals, bias in the hearing and judgement of arguments and other such misconduct.

    Unfortunately a lot of people seem to think that a judge ruling against them, or not giving them the hearing that they thought that they deserved was evidence of bias.  It is incorrect to think that.  As I said last night, you would be surprised how many of the complaints to the judicial complaints officer are about refusals to grant bail.  

    NZ is a small country, with an even smaller legal profession.  Most full time advocates have friends on the Bench.  None of us think or expect that having friends on the bench will make a jot of difference to their decisionmaking.  Certainly we don’t make exceptions or allowances for them when we are counsel appearing in front of them.

    Justice Bill Wilson quit his Supreme Court position over an allegation of apparent bias, even though the decision in which he participated was a unanimous one, and, from memory, was not actually overturned.  Now, he should indeed have recused himself and it was a real and significant error of judgment not to, but that decision was unanimous (and I think was confirmed on rehearing, although this time by a majority), and there is really nothing to suggest, other than the allegations of the disaffected party, that the decision would have been anything other than what it was had Justice Wilson recused himself.

    Most of us in the legal profession think that Bill Wilson was unwise to act as he did, but very few of us think that there was any real bias involved in the decision.  However, given his actions it was right that he should go.  

     A few years ago we had two judges prosecuted for fraud. One admitted the offences and resigned, the other denied them and was acquitted.  He still should have resigned, but that is merely my opinion (although it is a common one in the profession).  Is that corruption?  It is enough in my book, but as I said, I suspect that I have a higher standard than most.

    I don’t, however, accuse judges of corruption simply because I don’t like their decision.

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  14. F E Smith (3,273 comments) says:

    Thanks Graeme, I was wondering what CATI meant but hadn’t got around to googling it yet.

    Or alternatively, that there were ~20-27 people in the 1000 people whom Colmar Brunton’s computer asked to press a button on their phone indicating whether they’d paid a bribe, who simply answered yes every time they were asked, because they thought it would be funny.

    I suspect that latter part holds much of the truth, but surely it means that the survey then has little merit when it comes to NZ?

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  15. SGA (513 comments) says:

    Or alternatively, that there were ~20-27 people in the 1000 people whom Colmar Brunton’s computer asked to press a button on their phone indicating whether they’d paid a bribe, who simply answered yes every time they were asked, because they thought it would be funny.

    But, but, but… people take surveys very seriously -
    Over 53,000 people listed themselves as Jedi in New Zealand’s 2001 census (over 1.5% of responses). If the Jedi response had been accepted as valid it would have been the second largest religion in New Zealand. However, Statistics New Zealand treated Jedi responses as “Answer understood, but will not be counted”.

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  16. Graeme Edgeler (3,216 comments) says:

    I suspect that latter part holds much of the truth, but surely it means that the survey then has little merit when it comes to NZ?

    The bit of the survey that says people have actually paid bribes, yes. The rest of the survey about perception of corruption, when contrasted with the answers given in other countries will have more validity, as the numbers are higher. Still questions about definitions, but these apply world over.

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  17. Graeme Edgeler (3,216 comments) says:

    Justice Bill Wilson quit his Supreme Court position over an allegation of apparent bias

    That was involved, but it was not what he was being investigated for. Findings of apparent bias are not infrequent. Even when proved, they are nothing to resign over.

    Bill Wilson was being investigated for allegedly failing to meet his obligation to be candid when that other allegation was being inquired into.

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  18. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Over 53,000 people listed themselves as Jedi in New Zealand’s 2001 census (over 1.5% of responses). If the Jedi response had been accepted as valid it would have been the second largest religion in New Zealand. However, Statistics New Zealand treated Jedi responses as “Answer understood, but will not be counted”.

    Yet they accepted the even more incredible and unlikely claims made by Christians ?

    This story proves that any information from Statistics New Zealand is highly suspect. They have ignored the results of their own survey and deliberately distorted the findings, to a massive degree.

    I am also suspect about these corruption figures. Financial gain is only one area of corruption. There are other types of corrupt practise.

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  19. F E Smith (3,273 comments) says:

    Findings of apparent bias are not infrequent. Even when proved, they are nothing to resign over.

    You are correct in the actual reason for Bill Wilson’s resignation, so thanks for that.  My intended point was more show that the allegation was of apparent bias, we never even got to a situation of there being a finding of actual bias, either there or in other cases. I should have said something about ultimately leading to etc, etc.

    I just got tired of writing the answer, cut and paste all over the place, and didn’t proofread what I had written.  Still haven’t, to be honest.

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  20. davidp (3,319 comments) says:

    Graeme E>Or alternatively, that there were ~20-27 people in the 1000 people whom Colmar Brunton’s computer asked to press a button on their phone indicating whether they’d paid a bribe, who simply answered yes every time they were asked, because they thought it would be funny.

    Funny.

    Or because they’re nutcases who see life conspiring against them.

    Or because they’re too incompetent to use a phone survey system. 3% of people stupid enough to mis-use a telephone sounds reasonable when compared with the 5% of people stupid enough to vote for Winston Peters. Maybe 3% is just a base level of people who can mess up anything, no matter how simple?

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  21. Chuck Bird (4,401 comments) says:

    FES, I expect judges to be honest and tell the full truth and if they cannot remember to say so. The judges response to my complaint to the JCC was not what happened. If a judge accepts he does not have a near perfect memory he should put important minute/decisions in writing so this sort of thing does not happen.

    In my case I am not just taking about the other parties lawyer but the other party himself a former lawyer. He should be required to state if he knows the other party as I would if I was on a jury. According to the GM of Higher Courts judges have hardly any rule or obligations

    I would hope you would agree that many lawyers dislike people representing themselves. Sadly, many judges carry this bias in there new role. Most don’t but some do. This is my case in the HC.

    In the DC the other party was a former lawyer from a well known family of lawyers. He was late with his vexatious counterclaim. It was also barely legible and incoherent. His claim nonetheless got accepted. I complained to the judge about his scrawl in not just the claim but affidavits etc as well as me not getting copies which I should have. The judge responds Mr S you may be able to read your writing but others may have difficulty. He then told me I was free to check the file any time I likes. That was bloody outrageous.

    You do not know about my case. Your claim that I am just unhappy with a judges off the cuff unwritten decisions can only be based on blind faith.

    Having said that I am sure the majority of judges are good decent people. In my present case I have had a couple of good and fair judges – both female.

    Before I got dragged in to this by a crooked lawyer who borrowed money off me I had a lot more respect for judges for experience in the family court many years ago which I do not want to go into.

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  22. kowtow (6,690 comments) says:

    “Crooked lawyer”

    We’ve seen a few of those recently. Reckon it’s just the tip of the ice berg.

    Shit ,shut up will you,can’t let overseas people think there’s any corruption here.

    Fuck it’s only the ALP who’re crooks……..

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  23. F E Smith (3,273 comments) says:

    Chuck,

    I was generalising when I said that most complaints are about people unhappy with the decision in their case. I wasn’t making any assertion with regards your case. However, I, and others, have told you previously that you need to get a lawyer to represent you and I repeat that advice now.

    It is not that I don’t like litigants-in-person, but that I think that they do themselves a disservice by doing so, and in the criminal field that forcing people to represent themselves by refusing legal aid will often lead to a miscarriage of justice. I recognise that sometimes litigants are self-propelled out of necessity, and judges should assist them. Judges have to walk a line between assisting the self-litigant and remaining impartial by staying out of the arena. It isn’t necessarily an easy thing to do fairly.

    However, I find that many complaints about lawyers and judges are not about actual things that were done wrong, but results that the complaining party didn’t like, so I take all such complaints with a grain of salt. You may have a fair complaint, in which case good luck to you. But it doesn’t change the fact that corruption among the judiciary of NZ is pretty much non-existent.

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  24. Dean Papa (614 comments) says:

    heh. Poor F E Smith. Perhaps the Aussies answering the survey were just more realistic, or a little more honest than the NZers. Part of NZ’s national identity is firmly based upon on us being more honest, less corrupt than the rest of the world. So it’s a difficult thing to have to admit to. I’ve had very little experience with the judiciary here, but I can tell you the little contact I’ve had did not leave a good impression. The lawyer in question could be most kindly described as a deluded, god bothering hypocrite. Although a corrupt weasel would be a more honest assessment. We love to make excuses for dishonesty in this country. It’s either an honest mistake, an error or judgement, a cultural misunderstanding, or some other lame excuse.

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  25. F E Smith (3,273 comments) says:

    Dean Papa, you make my point exactly, if with some inappropriate smugness.

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  26. jocko (110 comments) says:

    Someone has been regularly & comprehensively updating Wikipedia (virtually monthly) for quite some time – refer
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_in_New_Zealand
    A useful starting point – but omits references to ‘corruption’ in Local Bodies, particularly surrounding rezoning.

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  27. jocko (110 comments) says:

    I noted this topic seems regularly to be updated.
    I wonder if there’s a link back through this Wikipedia topic to former entries.
    For instance former references to the Judiciary & Parliament (eg the Electoral Financing Act) have now been edited out completely!?!

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  28. F E Smith (3,273 comments) says:

    jocko,

    oh my goodness, what a brilliant laugh that was. Someone from the SFO must have been contributing to that article because it cannot get far enough up the SFO’s colon in its brownnosing. What is odd is that they laud the 100% conviction rate of the SFO in the last 12 months, while for the most part the SFO has been seen as the byword in poorly run prosecutions.

    The author/s also confuse fraud with corruption, and cannot point to any actual corruption beyond the Crewe murder case and Mary Anne Thompson helping family members gain residency. Ironically the biggest case we have had, that of Taito Philip Field, is not mentioned!

    Hold on, that article is mostly the work of Offender9000, aka Roger Brooking. That is why the slightly hysterical tone makes sense.

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  29. Dean Papa (614 comments) says:

    Oh dear, what will people overseas think of us when they read that Wikipedia article?

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  30. jocko (110 comments) says:

    Oh dear – FES – you’re quite right.
    Taito Philip Field edited out too along with the Parliament section. Ditto re Harry Dijnhoven (+ reputedly another) by retrospective legislation; ditto vote-buying; associated power-sharing under MMP; claims about exceeding political donations; Jonathan Hunt potentially (or actually seeking) to double-dip (?) for personal gain.
    Nothing about acts of omission & commission by Unions/Charities Commission re non filing of audited accounts & unpaid taxes. The list could go on…..and on.
    For instance, the 7 minute legislation for Parliamentary & Senior Civil Service Pensions – which continue to be unfunded actuarially.
    Certainly my recollection of about 8 months ago the different types of ‘corruption’ were identified…..drawing on the Transparency International website definitions complemented by the TI-NZ 2003 Report.
    Has the Wikipedia reference itself been corrupted….or, perhaps, selectively cleansed?

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  31. Chuck Bird (4,401 comments) says:

    However, I, and others, have told you previously that you need to get a lawyer to represent you and I repeat that advice now.

    FES, you proof my point. That is no doubt the attitude of the HC judge with a couple strong accusations of being a sexual predator had toward self-represented litigates.

    I have explained my position before. You may be a good criminal lawyer but your advice with so little knowledge of the case show you should not take up civil law. Have you heard of cost benefit analysis?

    Another one of this crooked lawyer victims took him to court to recover money owed. He made another vexatious counterclaim. After this guy spent thousands on lawyer’s bills this clown said I have decided to drop my counterclaim. He will never get his lawyers bill paid.

    In my case I see very little chance of his counterclaim succeeding and I expect when it goes to a hearing I expect to win my case but there could be some dispute over how the interest is calculated. Say I stand a 90% chance of winning. If I employ a lawyer at $20k + it might increase my chances to maybe 98-99%.

    However, it is one thing winning and another getting the money. It does not make sense to me to pay a lawyer up front maybe what I may get on the drip feed. Does it make sense to you?

    It might be a little harsh to call a judge that does treat an unrepresented litigant fairly but only a little.

    Do any non-lawyers understand my logic in not employing a lawyer?

    I have two logical options. Firstly, cave into extortion and walk away from the debt. Secondly, represent myself and hope I get a fair minded judge.

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  32. F E Smith (3,273 comments) says:

    You may be a good criminal lawyer but your advice with so little knowledge of the case show you should not take up civil law

    Actually, I find that quite offensive.  My advice was sound advice that would be, I am sure, echoed by pretty much every lawyer you might speak to about it, especially having so little knowledge of the case.  Certainly it was echoed a number of other lawyers here on KB. Are you suggesting that they, also, are incapable as civil lawyers?

    If you don’t want to retain a lawyer, that is your absolute right.  But advising you that you should do so in no way means that I am or would be incapable as a civil lawyer.

    If you have a problem with the actions of a current lawyer then I advise you to speak to the manager of your local branch of the NZ Law Society about making a complaint.

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  33. Chuck Bird (4,401 comments) says:

    FES,

    If you took in a car worth $3k – not yours I am sure – to a garage and told after repeated attempts to fix a rattle and they fixed the rattle and billed you $10k would you be happy?

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  34. F E Smith (3,273 comments) says:

    Happy or not, just because you don’t like my advice (which is sound advice and would be the advice of any lawyer you raise it with informally) does not mean that my ability in that area is lacking.

    This is not a legal advice forum. You may be unhappy with how things have gone for you in the Courts, but that does not mean that the judge was corrupt, nor does it mean that you would not be better served by retaining counsel than representing yourself. However, it is your absolute right to represent yourself if you so wish.

    There is, however, no need to demean the skills of someone who gives you a standard piece of advice that you happen not to like.

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  35. Chuck Bird (4,401 comments) says:

    Happy or not, just because you don’t like my advice (which is sound advice and would be the advice of any lawyer you raise it with informally) does not mean that my ability in that area is lacking.

    FES, you are being presumptuous and with respect arrogant. There are lawyers I have raised it with informally who have no trouble understanding the logic of my position. You have deliberately ignored my position by not answering my question in regard the lack of logic in funding your overpaid mates.

    I tell you what I will employ a lawyer on a percentage basis of what I get in my hand if you can find one?

    With all due respect if you cannot understand my position on cost benefit analysis you should stick to collecting legal aid defending scum bags.

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  36. alex Masterley (1,438 comments) says:

    Chuck,

    I have not commented on your problems before. I do agree with FES’s comments about self representation. It is like taking a knife to a gun fight especially if the other party is represented by counsel.

    My advice would be to instruct counsel to represent you in this matter.

    For what is worth I have in excess of 25 years of general litigation experience and do know what I am talking about.

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  37. Nookin (2,887 comments) says:

    Are you a litigator Alex? For some reason I had pictured you in the commercial arena.

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  38. alex Masterley (1,438 comments) says:

    Nookin,
    I have litigated since my admission many years ago. It makes up 20-30% of my practice.
    I have been called a dinosaur because I am one of the last gp lawyers floating about.

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  39. Nookin (2,887 comments) says:

    I fear I may be of the same ilk — dinosaur, I mean.

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  40. Chuck Bird (4,401 comments) says:

    Alex, thanks for your advice. Would you like to represent me on a 50-50 basis? That is not what the judge rules but what I actually collect.

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  41. alex Masterley (1,438 comments) says:

    Chuck,
    Thank you but no.
    I have more work than I can cope with at the moment.

    Nookin. I was recently described as a fuddy duddy by a young practitioner in a section 30 interview. I didn’t know how to take that.!

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  42. Nookin (2,887 comments) says:

    Oh dear. Did he pass?

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  43. Chuck Bird (4,401 comments) says:

    Alex, I thought that would be your answer. Many lawyers are like wharfies. They view self-represented litigants as scabs. I do not have too much of a problem with that but I do when lawyer become judges and carry on with that attitude.

    (which is sound advice and would be the advice of any lawyer you raise it with informally)

    FES, I find it hard to believe that you would make such a sweeping generalization. Sorry to tell you but you are plain wrong. I explained my position to a competent barrister. She instantly said cost benefit analysis. Any competent litigation lawyer would understand my position. They might not suggest I represent myself but I should walk away as as it would not be cost effective to pay them.

    This trade union type attitude does not give lawyers a good name.

    Many years ago I represented myself at a full day hearing. I was not 100% happy with the result but probably 80%. However, I was fortunate to have a fair judge as the majority are. Sadly, we do not have a proper vetting process so some bad ones get through.

    They may not take money in a brown paper bag but they do things like favour their mate or there mate’s families and treat law students differently than a Maori from South Auckland.

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  44. F E Smith (3,273 comments) says:

    Chuck,

    you are being presumptuous and with respect arrogant

    Bollocks.  I simply wasn’t giving you any other advice.  That is neither presumptuous nor arrogant. 

    I find it hard to believe that you would make such a sweeping generalization

    I volunteered for a few years at a community law centre.  It was a common bit of advice to that we gave to people who needed to get legal advice in a formal setting that had more time available than we had.  Similarly, I don’t intend to give full legal advice over the internet.  

    Any competent litigation lawyer would understand my position.

    There you go again, saying that I am not competent.  Of course I understood your position, I just wasn’t going to give you advice. Can you not understand that?

    They view self-represented litigants as scabs.

    This trade union type attitude does not give lawyers a good name.

    That is pure, unadulterated rubbish, but given your apparent blindness to what I am actually saying, I am not sure that I really care to on.  I have no issue with litigants in person, none whatsoever, and if you cared to read what I read before you would have seen I said just that.  I simply think that they do themselves a disservice.  If someone wanted to perform surgery on themselves would you tell them good luck and leave them to it, or would you suggest that they see a doctor? Being an advocate in the Courtroom may not risk your life, but it is no less skilled than a surgeon operating. 

    You do what you want (becuase you will).  I suspect that it is not advice that you are after but someone to tell you that you are right, they are wrong and you should be given whatever you want. 

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  45. alex Masterley (1,438 comments) says:

    Of course that would be my response chuck.
    This is comments section in a blog not a legal advice line.FES makes comments on this issue that I entirely agree with. Also his comments on lay litigants.
    I do make one comment though on something you say. You expect judges to be fair. I do not mean to sound cynical but it is naive to expect a notion of fairness to be the basis upon which judicial decisions are made. Judges find facts and apply the law to those facts even if the outcome offends against a persons notions of fairness.

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  46. Chuck Bird (4,401 comments) says:

    (which is sound advice and would be the advice of any lawyer you raise it with informally)

    FES, the above statement you have made is untrue because I have had informal and formal advice from a lawyer and a barrister who I employed on an hourly basis. When I told her my likelihood of actually getting my money except by drip feed and my intention of representing myself her immediate response was cost benefit analysis. Therefore your above statement is simply wrong.

    I am also taking part is a study by a lawyer doing her PhD on self-represented litigants in civil and matrimonial cases. She is very bright and I have had to difficulty conveying my reasons to her.

    and if you cared to read what I read before you would have seen I said just that.

    You are guilty what you accuse me of. If you read what I wrote you would understand why it would be plain stupid to pay a lawyer $20k+ to improve my chances or getting it back on the drip feed.

    One just has to look at the Law Society web site to see there has been more than a few dodgy lawyers and those are just those who got caught and could not talk their way out of trouble. I do not accept that we have a fool proof vetting system to prevent some dodgy lawyers becoming judges.

    A few examples are below.

    http://www.kiwisfirst.co.nz/index.asp?PageID=2145845343

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  47. Chuck Bird (4,401 comments) says:

    Judge’s ‘conflict of interest’ prevents sentencing

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10897259

    One good judge and one bad one.

    The good one stood down as he knew the victim.

    The bad one gave this criminal a slap on the wrist for stealing stealing $67,875 from Coca-Cola Amatil. She was sentenced to 200 hours’ community work. I would hope with this light sentence she had to pay full restitution. If she did not it would have encouraged the second offending.

    Someone from South Auckland would not have got 200 hours’ community work for stealing a lot less. I hope this time she has a house it is sold and the money is recovered from her mother.

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  48. F E Smith (3,273 comments) says:

    Chuck,

    this is the last comment I will make on this, because you do not appear to be willing to consider what I am saying, also because you have threadjacked on this issue a number of times, have received pretty much the same answer each time and every time you reject it because it is not what you want to hear.  Well, no more.

    Any lawyer who you spoke to about this formally may have some suggestions, but their advice should always include the advice that you should retain counsel.  That is basic common sense for any lawyer.  It is your choice whether you take it up or not. If it doesn’t, then their advice, whether formal or informal, has not been complete.

    Just because I do not make an allowance that a lawyer may not make such a suggestion or cover every possible answer that I might receive does not mean that I am not competent, nor that I am not capable, nor that I am not telling the truth.

    I am not charging you a cent for my time, nor am I giving you legal advice.  Initially you had my sympathy, and I expressed that a while ago, but when you begin to accuse those who disagree with you of telling untruths and being incompetent then you only anger those who where on your side.

    She is very bright and I have had to difficulty conveying my reasons to her.

    Let me say again that I have understood from the beginning what your issue is, how you feel about this and why you have chosen not to retain counsel.  You appear to think that my advising you to retain counsel means that I do not understand your position.  You are entirely and utterly wrong.  I advised you as I did in full understanding of your positions and reasoning.

    Can I make that any clearer?  I understand your position completely and but I disagree with your choice.  It is, however, entirely your right to choose to pursue this as you wish.

    By the by, I have a masters degree in law, have undertaken postgraduate study at a higher level than that, and I have tutored classes at two different universities.  You throwing a PhD candidate in to the mix does not scare me at all, nor does it change my opinion.

    If you read what I wrote you would understand why it would be plain stupid to pay a lawyer $20k+ to improve my chances or getting it back on the drip feed.

    You see, that is the problem: you just want me to agree with you and tell you that you are pursing the right course of action in the right way and the bad system has just mistreated you.  I am not saying that and I won’t because my advice is simply, as always, to obtain legal assistance.

    By the way, please ask your barrister friend whether she thinks that she is complying with the intervention rule.  I suspect that she is not.

    This sorry episode is exactly what I was pointing out at the beginning of this thread, that many of the general public do not actually understand what corruption is.  You, it seems, share that problem.

    Chuck, you need to be able to disagree with someone without accusing them of incompetence, untruths, or a lack of understanding.

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  49. Chuck Bird (4,401 comments) says:

    By the way, please ask your barrister friend whether she thinks that she is complying with the intervention rule. I suspect that she is not.

    For a lawyer with a Masters in law your reading comprehension is not that great. Where did I say the barrister doing her PhD was a friend of mine? I didn’t. I found out she was doing her study and contacted her. I think you should get your facts right before you cast aspersions on a highly competent colleague.

    There has been another study done by the NZ Law Commission which I assume you have heard of as you know so much about self-representation. This was general but nonetheless part of the study involved finding out a person’s reason being self-represented. I would assume this would be part ofher study as well.

    Where I think you got confused as you must skim read my post. When I found out the way my caveat was removed I employed a competent barrister who was recommended to me by an excellent barrister I used about 25 years ago. His rate was double hers that is why he recommended her.

    I am sure I explained this before but I will do so again. You can read it or not but if you choose to read it do so properly. The barrister said she could work on an hourly basis for research and advice or fully represent me. However, if I took the second option I could not change about. I had represented myself in court at a full days hearing with success so I took the first option because I got a fair and reasonable judge. Unfortunately, in the HC I got a judge with a similar attitude to you toward self-represented litigants and he shafted me. This judge would be on close to $400k and he could not be bothered putting a vitally important direction in writing.

    After that I was due to go to the District Court but that still did not happen. I paid her for a few more hours research then explained my likelihood of recovering any money except on the drip feed. She instantly mention cost benefit analysis. I had at that time paid her over $6000. I would be a bloody fool to take your advice and spend maybe well over $20k more.

    Aside from the one day hearing many years ago I have represented myself for brief periods in the Family Court with no problem. It depends on the calibre of the Judge. I one occasion I was fortunate enough to appear be for Dame Silvia Cartwright. She did not have the title then of course.

    There is no reason why a person like myself should not be able to represent themselves in Court if judge’s were properly trained and held accountable. Putting important directions in writing should be a bare minimum. However there is no such requirement.

    Lawyers are much like politicians. It is not in there nature to accept they are wrong except to a judge.

    The barrister I employed had an excellent memory. She knew all about my case and could understand instantly the financial reasons for me representing myself. With respect you do not have her comprehension skills but you with little knowledge of my case apply a blanket rule that no one should represent themselves.

    When one generalises they are nearly always wrong. Joe Karam had no legal training and he has got one of New Zealand’s worse mass murderers off and nearly got him compensation thanks to Justice Ninnie.

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  50. Graeme Edgeler (3,216 comments) says:

    I have been informed that my understanding of what a Computer Assisted Telephone Interview involves is in error, and that the interviews conducted by Colmar Brunton* will have involved actual people asking the questions. The results still seem a little iffy, but any suggestion that it was because it was a robopoll appears to be misplaced.

    (*I had assumed it was Colmar Brunton NZ, it may have been Colmar Brunton Australia).

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