Christchurch Old Boys Network

August 21st, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

A reader e-mails:

I’m not a huge supporter of Collins but I read this article and it made my blood boil.  This is everything that is wrong with Chch.  The most senior justice in the country dies suddenly and a group of Chch old boys complain about a street being named in his memory.  Clearly he is not one of the First Four Ships and clearly didn’t go to school here.  I’m not a great fan of Brownlee either but you can see the mentality that he has had to put up with in the rebuild.  The old boys network in Chch is alive and well and looking after their own.  This is mean spirited of the lawyers who opposed this.  

I can only agree.

 

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57 Responses to “Christchurch Old Boys Network”

  1. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    Sir Robert Chambers was not “the most senior justice in the country”.

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  2. Jack5 (5,145 comments) says:

    You’re dead right DPF.

    Lascelles and co. do NOT speak for Christchurch, and I doubt whether they speak for all in the law profession in the city either.

    The bearded one who was also on TV criticising the name, doesn’t speak for the city either.

    Their protests are petty, and strike me as a way of putting the boot into National in the election run-up.

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  3. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    Dear Christchurch Lawyers:

    Please remember that North Island dollars are rebuilding your city for you.

    They are probably paying for the pavement of this road that you are complaining about. Presumably you have no objections to that?

    Yours,

    Working Class Muggins.

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  4. dishy (248 comments) says:

    When this was mentioned on The Paul Henry Show last night, they omitted to mention that the judge had died. I’m sure that they did so to make Collins sound worse.

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  5. metcalph (1,433 comments) says:

    When the stuff article was run first thing in the morning, the headline was “Law Society furious with Collins”. They dialled it back in the printed Press as “Law Society critical of Collins”> I do feel that “irked”, “peeved” and “annoyed” would have been far better words to choose.

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  6. xy (188 comments) says:

    Also in Christchurch news:

    “God is a member of the National Party because he flattened the People’s Republic of Christchurch”. John Ansell on Morning Report.

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  7. mjw (399 comments) says:

    I thought this one was a bit of beat up really. Can’t see much wrong with it.

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  8. Yogibear (372 comments) says:

    Next thing you know they’ll be objecting to a street by the Rugby Stadium being named after Jock Hobbs because the great man finished his playing days for Wellington.

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  9. thePeoplesFlag (256 comments) says:

    Feral scum is the party-approved phrase I believe you are searching for, DPF.

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  10. freethinker (694 comments) says:

    This whole thing is a beat up as I doubt there are many ordinary people in ChCh who give a jot about the name of the street so just Lawyers doing their usual dance to get attention and increase their income.

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  11. Lance (2,704 comments) says:

    @thePeoplesFlag
    “Feral scum is the party-approved phrase I believe you are searching for”

    As coined by Helen Clark I believe, so a party approved term for labour, you are absolutly correct.

    Or are you ashamed for both ‘being a man’ and Helen Clark now?

    Oh.. odd Freudian slip there!

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  12. G152 (385 comments) says:

    Its a case of the wannabes and the never was with their knickers in a knot.
    Time those petulent lawyers were retired

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  13. peterwn (3,298 comments) says:

    Probably the only ‘suitable’ judge would be one whose ancestor(s) came out in one of the first four ships. And he would have had to been to Christ’s College and Canterbury University law school.

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  14. Komata (1,196 comments) says:

    TPF

    Re: ‘Feral scum is the party-approved phrase…’

    Yes indeed, and because Helun (‘Great Leader’) Clark used the term ‘Feral’ when referring to the good citizens of the West Coast several years ago (and got no reaction from within its ranks), the (New Zealand ‘Labour’) Party fully approves…

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  15. Julian (178 comments) says:

    At least your hypothetical judge would be able to write properly, peterwn.

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  16. fernglas (167 comments) says:

    Even if it wasn’t to be named after a Christchurch jurist, of whom I am sure there are many distinguished options, there are plenty of deceased NZ judges who accomplished a lot more than Justice Chambers (who was actually a good lawyer, and a good bloke, although a little bit flaky from time to time). He had barely got his feet under the Supreme Court bench before his sad death. The annoying thing from the ChCh point of view, I perceive, is the lack of consultation and the perception of cronyism, which are two of National’s biggest problems.

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  17. wreck1080 (3,956 comments) says:

    I can see that it is better to name new streets after either a local identity or a national one.

    But, it would be silly to name a street in christchurch after the mayor of Kaitaia for example.

    The question to me is whether this other geezer was a national identity .

    However, I don’t really care much at all about the naming of a street .

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  18. flipper (4,196 comments) says:

    G E…..
    Well I suppose, technically, that honour is Mrs Fletcher’s.

    But that does not mean that Mrs Fletcher is the best legal mind.

    Moreover, as Nookin pointed out yesterday, there is only one Law Society in New Zealand, and the New Zealand Law Society has not expressed the views attributed to Lascelles and a few “first fleeters”, so to speak.

    As others have observed, it is the nation’s money that is meeting the cost. If Canterbury folk want to determine street and other names, then sell your xyz assets and fund your re-development without sponging off the rest. Up until now I have had little to argue against. But if those contributing the over-whelming bulk of the money required, do not have a say…. then bugger off. Fund it your self.

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  19. mikenmild (11,662 comments) says:

    flipper
    Perhaps it should be renamed ‘Auckland is better than Christchurch Street’?

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  20. soundhill1 (269 comments) says:

    Those annoying plebs who support their own team. We’ll get around it when we bring the TPPA in. Local names build local identity which could threaten our corporate profit and we’ll take them through the International Trade Tribunal for damages. Of course they will be worried by the costs of the proceedings, too, which we will claim. And we’re progressing well with making it an offense to organise any boycotting, just in case it rears it’s head.

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  21. Rick Rowling (815 comments) says:

    Yeah, I LOL’d when I saw this on the news.

    Lawyers from [city] are unhappy that street in justice precinct named after someone who doesn’t come from [aforementioned city].

    There’s really only one city in New Zealand that this could apply to, isn’t there.

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  22. iMP (2,420 comments) says:

    Let’s call the Michael Fowler Center the Richie McCaw Center to even things up. Or perhaps Pigeon Park, The Prow of Ngai Tahu.

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  23. wally (65 comments) says:

    “Probably the only ‘suitable’ judge would be one who…….would have had to been to Christ’s College and Canterbury University law school.”

    That doesn’t narrow it down much!

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  24. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    iMP – if you Chch lot want to pay for the Michael Fowler Centre, you can name it whatever you like ;-)

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  25. Yogibear (372 comments) says:

    iMP – Fowler went to Christs College……..

    ……but then Wellingtonians don’t tend to judge the merits of people based on where they lived (unless they come from Wainuiomata, in which case: ugh!!)

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  26. Pete George (23,680 comments) says:

    Named after someone or not Chambers seems reasonably appropriate for a justice precinct.

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  27. Yogibear (372 comments) says:

    Maybe it was Fowler’s time at Christs that shaped his attitudes. He once referred to his critics as “dumb, humourless, totally irrelevant and probably Irish”

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  28. mikenmild (11,662 comments) says:

    Couldn’t they have named a building after him: the ‘Justice Chambers Chambers’?

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  29. lastmanstanding (1,300 comments) says:

    Mention of Mrs Fletcher brings to mind……………..Flaky and bring back the Privy Council.

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  30. GPT1 (2,122 comments) says:

    It is clearly used to put pressure on Collins as the article referred to was published some weeks ago. I have to say it is not an issue that keeps me up at night but it was, as is Collins’ style, foisted from upon high. Which is, unfortunately, becoming typical of that Minister.

    I should also note that it is not, as headlines say, the Law Society that is critical of Collins but rather the sincerely held views of some lawyers.

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  31. Chuck Bird (4,923 comments) says:

    This is just a beat up on Collins when she is in trouble. It is petty compared to the judicial appointments Labour makes.

    Think back to May 2001, when district court judge Tony Christiansen suddenly quit the Napier Court. He admitted making inappropriate sexual advances to a female probation officer in a Gisborne motel after engaging in a “night on the town”.

    Tony, who said then he planned to take a break, have an overseas holiday with his wife and wander among his 600 olive trees, pulled his head in and passed the time at the Legal Services Agency.

    In 2003, then Labour Attorney-General Margaret Wilson promoted Tony to Master of the High Court – proclaiming under Parliamentary questioning in 2004 he was “worth a second chance”.

    His elevation to the High Court did not come with a pay rise but he enjoyed a bit of time off on full pay while police investigated an indecent assault allegation.

    In 2004, and after much publicity, the police decided not to charge Tony, and he returned to work as an Associate Judge of the High Court, where he remains today on a $293,000 salary plus expenses.

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/judge-jock-leaky-emails-saucy-goings-down-south-can-jimbo-pull-it-ja-p-141417

    Unfortunately, Labour did not listen to Judith Collin’s objection to giving this judge a second chance. It is only because or the old boys club that he did not stand trial for attempted rape or sexual assault. We will never got justice till judges are held to account just like every other trade or profession.

    [DPF: Be careful. You are close to defamation there]

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  32. Ed Snack (1,925 comments) says:

    I don’t get why Christchurch people make such a thing of the “four ships”, my European ancestors arrived in Auckland in 1840, more than 10 years earlier.

    My best story about Christchurch and the quake is from I guy I was tramping with. Apparently everyone in his street bar him (he said) now has a 50″ TV paid for by insurance, whereas before the quake only one household had such an item. That damaged TV moved around an awful lot while the assessors were visiting he reckoned… Apocryphal tale, but not the only one I’ve heard like it…

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  33. backster (2,184 comments) says:

    Streets are named after birds and racehorses and some given obscure meaningless maori names why shouldn’t one be named after a judge… Anyhow I would have thought Judith would have been too pre- occupied with the largely baseless vindictive vendetta against her to be naming streets. Did the anointment of this street take place in the recent past or is it more historical nonsense like that being currently rehashed. Perhaps if Rotorua is looking for a name for a right of way past its’ mud pools, maybe Lascelles Way

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  34. hj (7,062 comments) says:

    How much of the countries money pays for Auckland?

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  35. hj (7,062 comments) says:

    I detect bias here.

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  36. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    I echo GPT’s comments.

    I get the feeling that the issue is as much with the lack of consultation as it is that Justice Chambers was not a Christchurch legal professional.

    Personally I think that the late Professor Gerry Orchard would have been an ideal person to name the lane after. Or for controversy’s sake, Judge Murray Abbott, who was a judge who died suddenly whilst at a similar age to Justice Chambers…

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  37. Gulag1917 (982 comments) says:

    The old boy network is not just a Christchurch idiosyncrasy it can also be a nationwide one.

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  38. Scott Chris (6,176 comments) says:

    I get the feeling that the issue is as much with the lack of consultation

    I agree Smith. Surprises me that Collins had any say in what the street would be named.

    Surely it should be a local decision?

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  39. lurcher1948 (151 comments) says:

    Hell the street could have been named after all the communist chinese who had been physical with crusher opps judith,

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  40. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @

    Chuck Bird (4,727 comments) says:
    August 21st, 2014 at 2:23 pm
    This is just a beat up on Collins when she is in trouble.

    Yes, it obviously is a beat up when she is in trouble – beat ups have been the fashion for several months, even from her own team – but the fact she is in trouble is her own doing – the street name I suspect was in best faith, however, being a public figure, it might have been a little wiser to consult with locals first.

    Will it loose votes? I doubt it unless someone felt really strong about street names, but yet another debacle with Collins name on it may have a cumulative effect.

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  41. Nookin (3,455 comments) says:

    FES said “Personally I think that the late Professor Gerry Orchard would have been an ideal person to name the lane after. Or for controversy’s sake, Judge Murray Abbott, who was a judge who died suddenly whilst at a similar age to Justice Chambers…”

    There are many jurists from Canty whose names would have graced the lamp-post. Peter Mahon is one who should not be overlooked. Personally. I put forward that ebullient and irrepressible advocate and wit and scholar renown, Mervyn Glue

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  42. noskire (842 comments) says:

    In all fairness, Christchurch really does need to sort out its street naming process – they plonked a bunch of council flats on Glue Street FFS.

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  43. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    Nookin,

    I confess that I did think about mentioning Sticky as a suitable person to commemorate, especially as they have recently held a memorial sitting for him in Christchurch, but thought I might be pushing it a bit too far!

    I see Gerald Lascelles mentioned Sir Erima Northcroft, who sat at the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, as well as Justce Mahon, although one could not argue with Sir Howard Kippenberger either. I could add Nigel Hampton QC, Professor John Burrows QC, and Sir Andrew Tipping from among the living.

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  44. Mlec (13 comments) says:

    I am one of the Feral Scum, Over here on the west coast its regarded as a badge of honour if your not a lefty

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  45. soundhill1 (269 comments) says:

    @RRM

    “iMP – if you Chch lot want to pay for the Michael Fowler Centre, you can name it whatever you like ;-)”

    No no, Christchurch has the bigger democratic voice. It decides, and charges Wellington for the prestige. And BTW Oamaru (also unfluoridated might I suggest) where Richie comes from gets some pay off.

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  46. curiouser (1 comment) says:

    A puerile article that has attracted a lot of puerile comments. An out of context commentary from an obscure journal, that has been used to drum up some hackneyed sentiments about the people of Christchurch. I expect more from Kiwiblog.

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  47. big bruv (14,132 comments) says:

    These bloody inbred Cantabrians really are an ungrateful bunch of bastards. We are paying for their rebuild and as such we should expect bucket loads of thanks, and, for our collective backsides to be kissed.

    Having said that, the reaction over the naming of this street has given me an idea. To remind the people of Canterbury just how much they owe the rest of us I suggest that a few more streets are renamed. These are my suggestions;

    1. Carlos Spencer Road
    2. John Hart Place
    3. Alan Hewson Drive
    4. Sir Graham Henry Street
    5. Tana Umaga Way
    6. Gerry Browline Plaza

    That should be enough to wind the bastards up for a few decades.

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  48. johnwellingtonwells (137 comments) says:

    Why did they not name the street “Glue Street” after the redoubtable lawyer Mervyn “Sticky: Glue, an old compatriot of Gerald Lascelles. Sticky was the NZ equivalent of Rumplole of the Old Bailey and deserves recognition

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  49. KH (695 comments) says:

    It the measure of the ‘enraged Christchurch lawyers’ that they have chosen to join in a kick Collins when she is down. That measures them, and they are short.

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  50. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    Big bruv, Graham Henry is a Cantab, so no problem with that one, nor with Tana or Gerry. Keep John Hart the hell away from the place, however.

    KH, the opinion piece by Gerald Lascelles came out in the July issue of his local law society’s magazine, well before the Hager book was released. The press has misrepresented it and done it late as well. (Typical MSM, always first with last month’s news.) So I think that your description of the Christchurch lawyers is misplaced.

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  51. Crusader (321 comments) says:

    The stuffy old “English” city and the “Old Boys Network” running the show is a hoary old stereotype about Christchurch that just isn’t true.
    Christchurch had already moved on from those days well before the earthquake. Post quakes the changes are out of this world.

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  52. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    “Judge Roy Bean Court” or “Albert Pierrepoint Walk” would seem more appropriate to me! :)

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  53. box345 (73 comments) says:

    Chambers died just 4 days after his latest and last abominable nail in the coffin of our of our Bill of Rights Act, which the judiciary have been at considerable lengths in recent years to all but neutralise. Good riddance to him. New Zealand rows against the international tide on post-glasnost rights of the individual (Bill of Rights). Where the NZ Law Society was the most vociferous opponent of our Bill of Rights Act, just a half dozen years later the British Law Society was the most ardent supporter of the British equivalent statute (which was in part modeled on ours). I wouldn’t be surprised if Chambers topped himself, à la the suicide scene in “A Few Good Men”. If not that, then his own guilty conscience struck him down. Like I say, good riddance.

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  54. Jack5 (5,145 comments) says:

    Re Big Spiv’s 7.28 post suggests names to wind up Cantabrians.

    His No.4 choice, Graham Henry, was a Christchurch boy, an old boy of Christchurch Boys’ High, which most years thrashes Christ’s College at rugby.

    I like the 7.29pm post of Johnwellington wells of Glue Street. Sticky Street would be even better. What a great character he was.

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  55. RF (1,446 comments) says:

    I suspect a few Jaffas would be pissed off if an Auckland Street was named ” Wizard Way” – after the ChCh Wizard.

    Who gives a toss.

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  56. lolitasbrother (746 comments) says:

    Come in here Hugh Pavletich, Antony Gough, Russel Scott, we know who paid the price

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  57. Hiro Protagonist (17 comments) says:

    “I don’t get why Christchurch people make such a thing of the “four ships”, my European ancestors arrived in Auckland in 1840, more than 10 years earlier.”

    Probably because nobody in CHCH has given a shit about that stuff in more than 50 years, the only ones you still hear going on [and on, and on] about it these days are invariably JAFAs.

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