Archive for the ‘New Zealand’ Category

2015 Cricket World Cup Final

March 29th, 2015 at 4:20 pm by David Farrar

There will be no further posts today as I’ll be watching the cricket (sadly on TV, not in Melbourne).

Feel free to comment below as the game gets going.

NZ won the toss and in a bold move have decided to bat first.

Tags:

Slater vs Ryder tonight

March 28th, 2015 at 3:20 pm by David Farrar

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 1.35.44 pm

You can see how much weight Cameron has lost training for the bout tonight.

A reminder he is fighting for charity tonight – Kidscan. You can support them by donating here. Over $5,000 raised to date.

Tags: , ,

Nasty threats

March 27th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A “lonely man” who pretended to be a radical terrorist in emails to Members of Parliament where he threatened to put their heads on poles and pump them “full of bullets” has today been jailed for 11 months.

Steven Shane Lawrence, 50, sat in his Christchurch flat and seethed against the New Zealand government.

The loner was angry at a “Zionist” government he perceived to be in bed with America.

He sounds like he is an aspiring candidate for Rangitata!

So, over a seven-day period in January, Lawrence sent a string of extremely graphic and abusive emails to several MPs.

One victim received a threat that he would be pumped full of bullets and that Lawrence would rejoice in his bloody death.

Another victim was threatened that she would “burn eternally in hell” and that her entrails would be spread across the streets.

Others were threatened with having their decapitated heads put on poles, while another was told her throat would be slit.

That’s vile and appalling. I pity the poor staff and MPs who had to read such stuff.

On his arrest, Lawrence told police he had strong political ideologies.

He said he had wanted to warn, not threaten, the victims about being involved in a government that was associated with America.

Yeah, sure.

Today, Christchurch District Court heard that the victims had feared for the safety of their families after the explicit threats.

Defence counsel Lee Lee Heah said Lawrence was apologetic, and that he “simply did not realise” the impact it would have on the victims.

He was “very very drunk at the time”, she said, and had no intent or means to carry out the threats.

He was drunk for an entire week?

He considered the threats to have a high level of seriousness and jailed Lawrence for 11 months.

Good.

Tags:

Rakiura Track Day 3

March 26th, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

RAK0030

Off just after 8 am for an 11 km hike out to the end of the track. We started with a bit of a climb.

RAK0031

Lovely views of the ocean and hills in the mist.

RAK0032

Another stream to cross.

RAK0033

And just great views down by the water.

RAK0034

We were so lucky with the weather. Was around 17 degrees and sunny.

RAK0035

You stay close to the water for around two thirds of the final day.

RAK0036

Good old NZ native bush.

RAK0037

The final section of the track.

RAK0039

And we’re out. It’s then a 2 km walk to Oban, but we were lucky that we got picked up on the way.

RAK0038

hanging up in the property next to the end of the track.

RAK0041

We had around three hours to spare Sunday afternoon so went to the South Sea Hotel for oysters, drinks and lunch. Then we flew out, and you can see Oban below us.

A really enjoyable three day hike. The easiest of the great walks to date. Was genuinely surprised by the beaches and beautiful bays. Definitely worth doing.

 

Tags: , ,

Teacher aides not sacked for drug dealing at school!!

March 26th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

An Auckland primary school has suspended two teacher aides after they were snapped exchanging cannabis in the staff room.

But the school says the pair will keep their jobs and officials are yet to contact police, raising Ministry of Education concerns.

Surely they must be sacked.

I don’t care what they do in their own time and place. But they brought illegal drugs to school, and were selling or exchanging it in the staff room.

Tags:

Are MBIE requiring people to break their bank’s terms and conditions ?

March 26th, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

A reader writes in:

As you’re no doubt aware, directors of companies are required to lodge a company return every year, and since about 2012 that has involved paying a fee of about $45.  While it’s a bit cheeky of them to start charging for something that used to be free, that’s not what I’m concerned about.  Rather, it is that in order to pay that fee without using your credit card, you have to disclose your internet banking credentials to the RealMe website.  And that website is a third party in the eyes of most banks, which means that they expect you to breach your bank’s electronic banking terms and conditions. 

In my case I am using the ANZ and their Electronic Banking Conditions of Use can be found at http://www.anz.co.nz/resources/6/7/67cd07804ee131e5bc44fe146f64e4a5/ANZ-Electronic-COU.pdf with the applicable rule on page 8: “Don’t enter your login details onto a third party website”.

I made contact with the companies office to enlighten them about this conundrum, however they do not seem interested.  Initially they told me that the payments portal takes me to the bank’s website (verbally over the phone so I cannot prove it) and subsequently they emailed me with: 

Further to our telephone conversation last week. I have spoken with our accounts team.

They confirm that DPS does not gather or store your information, rather it just directs you to your nominated bank .

I also took the liberty of contacting the ANZ via bank mail, with their reply including:

“You cannot provide your personal log on details to anyone, including government website’s.”
(their apostrophe error, not mine).

I replied to the MBIE with a few screenshots, including of the page where they want your login details (screenshot is at the end of the email), a link to ANZ’s T&C’s, and the ANZ’s reply. They just told me that I should lodge it manually (by post) and pay with a cheque – which defeats the purpose of doing everything online!

I have two problems with the MoBIE online payment arrangement.  First is that they have obviously set it up without asking the banks whether they would be happy with the arrangement – they just did it.

The second is that they are pretty presumptuous in thinking that people will be happy to break their agreement with their bank in order to pay a government fee.

I also note that when you pay your company renewal in Australia you can use BPAY, which is a payment system run by the banks.

I do wonder why MBIE didn’t work with the banks to devise a payment system that doesn’t cause users to break their terms and conditions.

Tags:

Overseas driver crash data

March 25th, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

To try to find out, we compared the percentage of fatal and serious crashes where overseas drivers were at fault with the percentage of all New Zealand vehicles that were rental cars driven by tourists.

The analysis found that overseas drivers show up in crash numbers during the tourist season at about nine times the rate they show up on the road.

This is slightly useful data, but limited.

The better comparison would be crash rates per million kms travelled.

Many NZ drivers only use their car for driving to work, so drive perhaps 10 kms a day, and at relatively slow speeds which almost by default can not result in a serious or fatal accident.

On the other hand tourists may be driving 200 to 300 kms a day, on open roads.

I suspect that even if you adjust for this, the tourist crash rate would be higher. The better you know the roads you drive on, the safer you tend to be.

However I doubt it would be anything as dramatic as the 9:1 the Press has calculated.

Comparing crash rates for people driving from one end of NZ to the other, with people driving across town to work is not that useful.

Tags:

A rare judicial review application by the Govt

March 25th, 2015 at 2:02 pm by David Farrar

Normally private sector bodies take judicial reviews against the Govt, but in a rare move the Government is seeking a judicial review against the  Institute of Professional Engineers of New Zealand (IPENZ).

Stuff reports:

The Government has lodged a legal challenge against a decision not to investigate the Christchurch engineer involved in the failed CTV building design.

The Government has applied before the High Court to seek a judicial review of the decision by the Institute of Professional Engineers of New Zealand (IPENZ) to drop its investigation into Alan Reay’s role in the design of the CTV building.

Building and housing minister Nick Smith said the decision to drop the investigation into Reay after he resigned from IPENZ was flawed. 

“We want the decision overturned and IPENZ to complete the investigation into the professional conduct of Dr Reay’s role in the design of the CTV building.”

“We owe it to the memory of those who lost their lives to hold those responsible to account for the building’s flawed design, and to ensure every possible lesson is learnt by the engineering profession to minimise the future risk.”   …

“It is important that we clarify the law as to whether a professional can avoid disciplinary proceedings by simply resigning. Completing the IPENZ investigation will also be important in clarifying the professional standards expected of a senior engineer supervising the work of a more junior engineer,” Smith said.

Resigning to escape a disciplinary hearing is a cop out, especially when the issue at hand was the collapse of a building killing scores.

Good to see the Government taking action on this.

Tags:

Medals saved

March 25th, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Maggie Barry has announced:

Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry is pleased Dambuster Les Munro’s medals and other items will be staying in New Zealand.

Mr Munro has accepted the generous offer of British philanthropist Lord Ashcroft to donate £75,000 to the Bomber Command memorial in London, in return for Mr Munro gifting the medals and logbooks to the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) in Auckland.

The UK auction house which was to have sold the medals, Dix Noonan Webb, has also generously waived all fees and expenses on the understanding the MOTAT will pay £10,000 to the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, which is caring for the memorial.

“I’m delighted Mr Munro has accepted Lord Ashcroft’s offer, which is a win-win for all concerned, with extra funds available to ensure the memorial in London is well looked after,” Ms Barry says.

“Mr Munro is a true New Zealand hero and I congratulate everyone involved in safeguarding this heritage for future generations of Kiwis who can remember the bravery of the men of the Dambusters and Bomber Command.”

Les Munro is indeed a hero, and a very selfish selfless one.

We owe out thanks to him, and also to Lord Ashcroft whose generous donation meant the medals stay in NZ, and the Bomber Command Memorial gets a larger donation than would have been the case if the medals were auctioned.

Tags: ,

What a game!

March 24th, 2015 at 11:31 pm by David Farrar

The last 15 overs were not enjoyable but that second to last ball was!

The score the Black Caps needed was equivalent to around 350 in a 50 over game which is huge for a follow on. They played so well.

But credit to South Africa and their fielding. Some magnificent saves, but thankfully also a missed catch or two.

It was a clash of titans, and would have been a worthy final.

Talking of the final, if we win on Sunday I reckon Monday should be declared a public holiday!

Tags:

Rakiura Track Day 2

March 24th, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

RAK0020

Saturday is a 13 km inland walk from Port William to North Arm.

RAK0021

Around an hour into it, there is a site which has two old log hauling machines at it. They were abandoned around 100 years ago.

RAK0022

One of the downwards sections on the track. Not much walking on the flat, but nothing too steep. Maximum climb in any one section is 200 metres.

RAK0023

Crossing a stream.

RAK0024

The halfway tree is where we stopped for lunch.

RAK0025

The woods reminded me of the movie “Into the Woods” I saw in January.

RAK0028

The back balcony for North Arm Hut.

RAK0026

The main entrance. Two bunkrooms and a dining area.

RAK0027

And once again a spectacular view from outside the hut. We got there around 2 pm (five and a half hours) so enjoyed several hours in the sun. The only hassle was the bumble bees!

 

Tags: , ,

NZ vs SA

March 24th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Like (hopefully) most of NZ, I’m watching the world cup semi-final against South Africa. Use this thread for updates and discussion.

Tags:

1 pm 30 March 2015

March 24th, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

If you currently have a third level .nz name such as kiwiblog.co.nz please be aware that if you have preferential rights to that name at the second level (ie kiwiblog.nz) then you ONLY have until 1 pm on Monday 30 March to register or reserve that name with your preferential rights.

After 1 pm, ANYONE can register your name at the second level, if you have preferential rights to it and do not exercise them.

I have registered kiwiblog.nz, but if I had not then ANYONE else could register it after 1 pm on Monday 30 March.

If you wish to check the status of any names you have, go to anyname.nz. Just enter in your current names and it will tell you whether or not you have preferential rights to the second level version. If you do, you can then either reserve that second level name free of charge for two years at that site – or you can register it for use through your registrar.

But again you only have until 1 pm on Monday the 30th to reserve or register it with preferential rights. After that time it is first in and first served.

Tags:

2 degrees buys Snap

March 24th, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

2degrees is on a better footing to compete with giants Spark and Vodafone with the purchase of smaller telco Snap, and the addition of home phone lines and home broadband to its mobile service.

No price was disclosed for the purchase of the telecom and internet service firm, although an industry report has said 2degrees had agreed to buy Snap for $26 million.

2degrees first announced it planned to move into the fixed-line market in August 2012.

The two will combine under the 2degrees brand, delivering broadband and mobile service to consumers, businesses and enterprise customers nationally.

This is a good thing for consumers. A third full service telco will be good for competition. 2 degrees has been a real success story in the mobile space, and hopefully they’ll do well in other areas.

Tags:

The St Bede’s Rowers

March 24th, 2015 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The St Bede’s College rowers axed from their Maadi Cup rowing team for breaching airport security say they took court action due to concerns over the school’s decision-making process and have questioned whether the punishment was fair.

Or they just think the school’s discipline policy and code of conduct doesn’t apply to them.

Teen rowers Jack Bell and Jordan Kennedy were removed from the school’s Maadi Cup rowing team after being given formal warnings by police and the Aviation Security Service for jumping on a baggage conveyor at Auckland Airport on Friday.

The pupils, who had just arrived on a domestic flight from Christchurch, rode the carousel through rubber curtains and into a restricted baggage area, the Civil Aviation Authority said.

Lucky not to be arrested.

The school ruled the pupils should be sent home. However, their parents, Shane Kennedy and Antony Bell, were granted a High Court injunction allowing their sons to stay and compete in the Maadi Cup.

A statement, released by the boys and their families on Monday afternoon, said the court action was never intended to justify their actions or to suggest the school was not entitled to take disciplinary action.

“The only reason for the court action was due to concerns over the school’s decision-making process and over whether or not the decision as made was proportionate to the misbehaviour. The court action was certainly not taken lightly,” the statement said.

I’m sure the lawyer fathers knew that the court would almost inevitably have to grant an injunction. Regardless of the merits, if there was even an arguable case they would have to injunct as relief afterwards could not reverse the impact of not participating.

St Bede’s College rector Justin Boyle said he decided the boys, aged 16 and 17, were in breach of the school’s code of conduct and banned them from competing at the regatta, which starts on Monday.

The school would not have withdrawn them lightly. They want to win sporting events. But they no doubt knew that its is important for students to see actions have consequences.

Now the lesson for students may be that actions don’t have consequences, if Daddy has a good lawyer. A shame.

Tags:

Rakiura Track Day 1

March 23rd, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

RAK0010

Flew over to Stewart Island the Friday before last to do my 4th of nine Great Walk – the Rakiura Track. A very bumpy flight at times, but we made it there safely despite Auckland Girl being in the co-pilot seat.

RAK0011

Three of the four of us at the start of the Track at Lee Bay. This is five kms from Oban. As we only landed at 2.30 pm, we grabbed a shuttle over there, but you can walk to it.

RAK0012

There was a bit of rain for the first half hour hence the jackets and pack covers, but after that only sunshine.

RAK0007

 

Lovely track.

RAK0001

Quite diverse tracks on Day 1. It’s an 8 km hike to Port William.

RAK0002

I didn’t realise how beautiful Stewart Island is. You tend to associate it with the rough Foveaux Strait, not sandy beaches and calm blue waters.

RAK0003

After a while the canopy opens up.

RAK0004

There are two sections that go along the beach. This is Maori Beach, which is also a campsite. I like being in huts, not tents, but was almost jealous of the campers for their location.

RAK0013

As you can see it looks like it could be in the Coromandel.

RAK0005

A bridge at the end of the beach.

RAK0014

Me heading across.

RAK0006

A good shot of the water.

RAK0015

And a happy duck.

RAK0008

The final beach at Port William.

RAK0009

Port William Hut. Sleeps 24.

RAK0016

And the view from outside the hut. Again quite stunning and not what I was expecting.

A fairly easy day. We made the hut in three hours, arriving around 6 pm.

 

Tags: , ,

OUSA and NZUSA

March 23rd, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Two interesting stories in the ODT. First:

Dozens rallied on the steps of the Clocktower Building yesterday pushing for student and staff representation on university councils.

Under the Education Amendment Act, which came into force last month, the size of university councils is decreased from 12 to 20 members to eight to 12 members and mandatory staff, student and union membership of councils is removed.

About 50 people joined New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations president Rory McCourt and Tertiary Education Union national president Sandra Grey in protesting the changes and pushing for student and staff representation. …

Otago University Students’ Association president Paul Hunt said the association could not join the rally as it was busy organising the Hyde St Keg Party.

Heh, OUSA focusing on what really matters to Otago students :-)

Possibly related is the second story:

A stoush over $22,500 is brewing between Otago University Students’ Association and the national body it no longer wants to be a part of.

OUSA quit the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations last year, but agreed to pay this year’s $45,000 membership fee, as was required by the national body’s constitution.

However, OUSA president Paul Hunt this week announced the association’s intention to reallocate the $22,500 second instalment to ”projects that have greater benefits to Otago students”.

Umm, if the membership rules require you to work out a year’s notice, you can;t just decide not to.

NZUSA president Rory McCourt said the constitution was ”very clear and it has been for many years” that OUSA had to pay a full year’s membership.

The national student body was seeking legal advice on whether OUSA had to pay the full $45,000 or a pro rata sum through to the 12-month anniversary of OUSA leaving NZUSA, he said.

”We aren’t interested in making OUSA pay any more than they need to pay,” Mr McCourt said.

But it was expected OUSA would pay what was owed.

”It’s up to the board to decide what action will be taken to recover those monies from OUSA.”

Mr Hunt felt the 12-month period of withdrawal was unreasonable and ”the only reason for that period is to allow backdoor lobbying to get associations to rejoin”.

It may be unreasonable, but they are the rules of the body OUSA joined.  You can change the rules, or quit (after the notice period in the rules) but you can’t ignore them.

Tags: ,

Reviewing Uber

March 23rd, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

I finally got around to actually using Uber yesterday, and after just two trips in it, I can’t see myself going back to taxis anytime soon. Why?

  • A really easy to use app
  • Shows you the location of the car coming towards you, and its number plate
  • No delay once you’re at the destination by paying driver – automatically charged to your credit card
  • Around a third cheaper than taxi fares, and you don’t have the fare increasing buy the minute as you get stuck in traffic
  • Allows you to rate your driver (and vice versa) and refuse a driver without a good enough rating
  • You get a GPS map of your trips with them, in case you need to query a charge

The first driver I had is a full time Uber driver. He loves it, as he has lots of jobs, has a great 4.9/5.0 rating, and gets to pick the hours he works. Also He commented they get a better class of clientele with Uber. I’ve had four drivers so far and they all love being Uber drivers.

You may have to wait slightly longer for an Uber driver than a taxi. The first ride was an 8 minute wait, and the second a 3 minute wait. However the fact you can see when they are about to arrive is superb, as you only need to go outside once they are arriving.

If you want to give Uber a go, use the promo code uberdpf and you get your first ride of up to $10 free (as will I).

Three of the four cars I had were both very nice cars, similar to what you may get with Corporate Cabs. Drivers all excellent. I’m hooked.

Tags:

Nine litres of wine???

March 22nd, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reported:

A teenager who police said drank nine litres of wine was drinking at home before being found unconscious at a South Auckland mall last night.

I doubt that greatly. I can’t imagine anyone could drink nine litres of wine in a sitting.

That’s 12 bottles of 9,000 mls. Assume 14% alcohol content and multiply by 0.78 for density and that is around one litre of pure enthanol.

If the teenager weighed 80 kgs then a lethal dose is 300 to 500 mls of alcohol. A litre would almost beyond doubt be fatal.

So I think there is a large degree of exaggeration in the claim.

Tags:

Best game yet

March 21st, 2015 at 8:55 pm by David Farrar

What a stunning game. The NZ total of 393 was incredible, and Guptill’s 237 a peerless innings.

How many people thought we were in trouble when we lost McCallum for 12?

But credit also to the West Indies who didn’t admit defeat after NZ’s turn at the bat, and whacked the ball as hard as they could, maintaining the eight runs an over needed to win. Eventually the wickets started to tumble, but it wasn’t until they’d lost half or so of their team, that it looked in the bag for NZ.

Some stats from the amazing game:

  • Guptill’s 237 (not out) the highest in any World Cup and the second highest in the history of international one day cricket
  • The 153 runs scored in the last 60 balls by NZ – also a World Cup record and the second highest in ODI history
  • Guptill scoring 120 runs off 43 balls at a 279 strike rate
  • Guptill carrying his bat throughout the innings and scoring 61% of NZ’s runs
  • Guptill scoring 35 boundaries – the second highest in ODI history

So NZ now play South Africa on Tuesday at Eden Park. And if we win there it is the final vs Australia or India on Sunday at the MCG.

South Africa won four and lost two in the pools. India has won all six pool games and Australia won four and lost one. But they came very close to beating NZ so if we make the final, either of them will be incredibly formidable.

Tags:

Another Code Brown

March 21st, 2015 at 3:58 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A mystery pool pooper – or poopers – has struck again at an Invercargill swimming pool.

It is the sixth Friday in a row someone has defecated in a swimming pool at the centre.

When they catch the person, it won’t be pretty for them.

Thompson said hundreds of kids from the Murihiku Swimming Club, school water polo teams and casual swimmers used the pools on Friday nights, making it difficult to spot the offender in action.

The pool complex had cameras, “but not high definition enough to pick up the red face of someone squinting“, he said.

Line of the week!

Tags:

More money but no more organ donations

March 21st, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Been passed on by Andy Tookey an OIA about Organ Donation NZ – SC454E0100315031608560.

Key out takes:

  • Organ Donation NZ budget Increase since 2004 = 707%
  •  Organ Donation NZ Full Time Staff Increase since 2004 = 300%
  •  Organ Donation NZ Part Time Staff Increase since 2004 = 700%
  •  Increase in Organ Donors since 2004 = 5%

The people at Organ Donation NZ are I am sure well motivated. But the reality is a huge increase in budget and staff hasn’t seen an increase in organ donations. And I think that is because of their hostility to any change from the status quo.

We have pretty much the lowest organ donation rate in the western world. The status quo is not good enough.

Tags:

A cat curfew

March 21st, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

A curfew on pet cats has been proposed for Wellington suburbs to protect native wildlife.

The idea was floated by Geoff Simmons, of the Morgan Foundation, to Wellington City Council’s environment committee at a meeting on Thursday.

It would mirror measures in several suburbs of Canberra and Sydney where, ironically, they were introduced to protect possums. Cat owners pay a hefty fine if their animal is caught off their property between set hours.

This would mean basically locking your cat in at night, as a cat can get over pretty much any fence they want to.

Cats needed to be managed in a similar way to dogs, and the pest-management strategy should reflect that, he said. “All we want is responsible pet ownership.”

Dogs generally can not get out of a fenced section. Cats can. And having your cat locked in means you need a permanent indoor litter box for them. Also what if your cat doesn’t turn up to dinner by curfew – you then get fined. It’s a daft idea.

Tags:

The Nation 21 March 2015

March 20th, 2015 at 8:50 pm by Kokila Patel

This weekend on the Nation

Patrick Gower interviews National’s campaign chair Steven Joyce on whether National is being out-foxed in Northland and reports from the campaign trail with the old fox himself, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.

Then Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy talks to Lisa Owen about racism in New Zealand, refugees, and asks if Muslim New Zealanders are being forgotten as the Government ramps up its fight against Islamic State.

And Pacific Economic Ambassador Shane Jones and the Pacific Islands Forum Fishing Agency head James Movick on the intense battle over the Pacific fisheries and the threat of overfishing in New Zealand’s backyard.

We’ll discuss all this and more with our panel: Pacific Studies associate professor Damon Salesa and former Parliamentary staffer and NBR political editor Ben Thomas.

The Nation on TV3, 9.30am Saturdays and 10am Sundays. Proudly brought to you by New Zealand on Air’s Platinum Fund.

Tags:

Callinan appointed for Bain case

March 20th, 2015 at 4:12 pm by David Farrar

Amy Adams has announced:

A senior retired Australian judge has been appointed to head up the inquiry into David Bain’s compensation claim, Justice Minister Amy Adams announced today.

Hon Ian Callinan AC QC, a former Justice of the High Court of Australia, has been appointed to conduct a fresh inquiry into Mr Bain’s claim for compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment.

“Mr Callinan is a distinguished and highly respected member of the Australian legal fraternity. He brings a diverse mix of experience and expertise, following an exemplary career of nearly forty years practice as a lawyer and nine years on the bench of the High Court of Australia,” says Ms Adams.

The Australian High Court is the equivalent of our Supreme Court. He has been a QC for 37 years, and is a former President of the Australian Bar Association. Unusually for a lawyer, he has prosecuted a sitting High Court Justice (Lionel Murphy) for perverting the course of justice. He also took part in the Fitzgerald Inquiry into police corruption in Queensland.

He looks a good choice.

Mr Callinan’s role is to provide advice on questions relevant to Cabinet’s determination. Initially, Mr Callinan has been asked to advise whether he is satisfied that Mr Bain has proven that he is innocent of murder on the balance of probabilities and, if so, whether he is also satisfied Mr Bain has proven he is innocent beyond reasonable doubt. Mr Callinan is being asked the latter question at this stage because Cabinet has previously treated innocence beyond reasonable doubt as an example of “extraordinary circumstances”.

It’s fascinating that he has been asked to advise both on whether Bain is innocent on balance of probabilities and innocent beyond reasonable doubt. This will actually help get closure for this long running case.

Broadly there are four possibilities with regard to David Bain and the murder of his family. They are:

  1. David Bain is guilty beyond reasonable doubt – ruled by the second jury that he is not, so no longer a possibility
  2. David Bain is guilty on the balance of probabilities – if found to be so by Callinan, then no compensation
  3. David Bain is innocent on the balance of probabilities – if found to be so by Callinan, then eligible for compensation if there are “extraordinary circumstances”
  4. David Bain is innocent beyond reasonable doubt – if found to be so by Callinan, then almost beyound doubt he will get compensation

So (1) can not happen. If it is (2) or (4) then it is an easy decision for Cabinet. If it is (3) (innocent on balance but not beyond reasonable doubt) then it will be a finely balanced decision.

Camp David will want (4) and Camp Robin (2).

Tags: