“Victim accomplished” Bailey Kurariki: [no] life in a glass-walled cage

March 27, 2010

The angel faced 12 year old was the image that the media highlighted, which meant that Bailey Junior received a much greater punishment than those who were far more culpable for their actions than he who pretended to be the customer when Michael Choy arrived. I am not minimising his involvement – he was part of a group that predetermined to rob a delivery person and he played a role in that – but despite all the coverage, he did not kill Michael Choy.

Lianne Dalziel, “What will turn the tide?

[Update]I added that epigraph this morning after reading Dalziel’s speech to the Restorative Justice Practitioners’ 2010 Conference.

The media attention “lavished” on Bailey Junior Kurariki this week is possibly driving the young man mad. A round of court appearancesfresh charges and more lurid headlines is probably the last thing Kurariki needs right now.

Not that any of those reasons will prevent the media circus from continuing around this most [in]famous of young men.

The Junior Kurariki “brand” is also deadly to his chances of ever living a normal life: “New Zealand’s youngest convicted murderer killer”; the “baby-faced killer”. [tx Tim Selwyn for pointing that out]

That was then, this is now, but even that realisation doesn’t stop the news media from effortlessly [ie: without the effort of thinking through the consequences] reeling off these “pop shot” expressions every time there’s any reason to mention his name in relation to a story.

Obviously Kurariki’s no saint – he participated in a the brutal murder killing of 40-year-old pizza delivery guy, Michael Choy, when he was 11 or 12.  Kurariki’s role was to act as a decoy and give the signal for others to attack Choy; he did not deliver the fatal blow. [Updated Sunday morning]

he’s Kurariki’s been in and out of minor trouble ever since his release from jail in 2008 – but he’s not been given a chance to readjust to life outside either. He was something like 12 or 13 when he went to jail and nearly 20 when he came out.

Think about that for a moment.

He missed out on a whole bunch of shit that any “normal” young boy would go through in those vital teen years. He went from childhood to adulthood in the crazy-making artificial fishbowl world of 24/7 surveillance; huge restrictions on his every waking moment and in an environment that bears no relation at all to the “real” world.

In other words, Bailey Junior Kurariki learned to be a man under totally un-natural and irrational conditions. Is there any real wonder that today he displays behaviours that are considered un-natural and irrational? Read the rest of this entry »

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Whale-watching: gathering storm clouds?

January 13, 2010

I’m a bit under-capacitated at the moment, here’s today’s links with brief comments.

JamesMurray’s blog at TV3, sustains an argument that the method not the purpose is the problem with Whale’s crusade:

To some degree Whaleoil has a point – name suppression laws, which were last reviewed in 1985, are hideously out-of-date in a society where we can all become publishers of content at the push of a button.

And it seems distasteful, at the very least, that a well-known entertainer should receive permanent name suppression for a sexual assault where revealing his identity might harm his career in a disproportionate manner.

This is not a luxury that would be afforded to someone not in the public eye. It is a double standard that needs to be rectified. There may be an argument that we need to protect celebrities or other well known people from undue media scrutiny in cases like these, but that argument is squashed by the need for a justice system that treats each man as an equal.

My problem with Whaleoil is not his idea but his method.

Views on news: Coward’s way

The question is just how out-of-date are suppression rules? I don’t think we can assume they don’t apply to bloggers as well as MSM publishing ventures.

Second, the rules talk about hardship to victims of crime (including the perps) and the Law Commission’s recommendations include amending this to undue hardship”. One could argue that loss of income is hardship.

Third, why are we so caught up on revenge and the punishment of shame?

The Dom Post‘s editorial has a bit both ways:

Slater is on a mission. He has said, outside the courtroom, that he believes everyone should be equal before the law, that celebrities and the wealthy have their identities suppressed more often and more easily than do ordinary Kiwis, and that the law needs changing.

The Dominion Post agrees. But there are better ways to lobby for a more open court system than by putting at risk the future of a teenage girl.

At times of egregious breach, the solicitor-general has been keen to go after those in the mainstream media who have broken suppression orders or otherwise committed contempt of court.

Either everyone who breaches this law is prosecuted, or no-one is. And were the latter to become the reality, those sections of the Criminal Justice Act pertaining to suppression orders need to be repealed.

Dom Post: …take notice

Media law academic Steve Price provides some welcome legal context:

Why are they picking on Mr Oil? Well, whereas the media pay lip service to the suppression orders and laws, Mr Oil rather thumbs his nose at them. Also, I’m guessing the police may well be using Mr Oil as a test case to send a message to others. I don’t like that practice much, but again, they’re within their rights, and it’s no defence for Mr Oil to complain that he’s been singled out. The Solicitor-General has done that with contempt prosecutions fairly regularly…

For those who think it’s discriminatory to give suppression orders to celebrities but not oiks like us, consider this: if you got prosecuted for weeing behind a pub, the media wouldn’t be interested. If it was an All Black, it would be front-page news. Those are the effects of a judge opting not to impose a name suppression order. Isn’t there a decent argument that that would be discriminatory too, and that name suppression merely irons out the discrepancy? (Not saying I buy that entirely, just that the issue’s a bit more complicated than some people suggest.)

Media Law Journal: Whale of a campaign

There was another name suppressed today. The alleged cop-shooter on attempted murder charges in Manukau District Court.

There may be a gathering storm…

When the Police charged me to “set an exam­ple” they picked the wrong per­son. If they wanted a sac­ri­fi­cial lamb they should have picked a lefty, they would have lain down and said fuck me in the arse because I like it and I’ll say sorry after­wards and pay a fine, I should have been more sub­servient, and doff their caps to the estab­lish­ment as they left court. But then lefty weak­lings never test the edge unless it is in favour of peo­ple like Pol Pot or Hamas.

Whaleoil: Sanctimonious, unctous twat alert.

A pithy and pungent attack on Whale’s political foes and those who question his purpose.

Mr Slater isn’t prepared to allow the process of legislative reform take its course. You see, he already knows what needs done, and knows that he is just the person to bring about these needed changes. So he’s started “outing” the names of individuals where these have been suppressed by the courts, on the basis that people want to know them and so he’ll tell them. And anyway, why should criminal scum get to hide from the righteous wrath of the mobilised mob?

Pundit: Wonky jihad #2.

An object of Whale’s substantial scorn, but raising serious issues about suppression & blogger “justice”

Cameron will find out in due course, whether or not that is seen to identify the ex-MP with name supression, but if they do prosecute the Whale, the question has to be asked whether newspapers should be charged also?

The man’s name was suppressed when he appeared in the Nelson District Court on Thursday.

A Sunday newspaper published details about the man, which Slater said had narrowed the field of possible accused to three.

He wanted to clarify who the accused was so the other two men were not unfairly accused.

Now I am not gunning for the Herald on Sunday. But I would say that far more people worked out from their story, who the accussed is, than the handful of people who were capable of working out the code Cameron had used, and reverse engineering it into hexadecimal and finally the  alphabet.

Kiwiblog: Who made it easier?

Has the HoS breached?

I don’t believe that Cameron Slater is giving power to the victims in these cases, nor do I believe that is his intention, although it might be a justification he is using now. I think he is trying to build power for himself. And that’s a cynical abuse of very real situtations for actual real people.

The hand mirror:  Cameron Slater please stop.

Victims of sexual violence could be the losers here

Prick seems to think he could put this child’s identity into the public arena with his stupid coded message and get away with it. (Don’t fool yourselves, pathetic righties. The identity of the alleged assailant will have identified the victim to those who know them). He actually said the Police should have better things to do than nab him for his blatant, unrepentant crime. He thinks he has the right to add to the suffering of sex victims to get himself some more airtime. (Congrats, btw, to news outlets that are refusing to name his blog and its URL).

The Standard: Scumbag Slater.

Dishing & taking the shitstorm, vitriol all’round

We think that Whale is bloody brave, but in this incident the victim could be a family member and if that is the case we can see some justification for suppression.

However, we have also read the post of Lisa Lewis today, who writes about being abused at a young age and wished that at the time the name of the perpetrator was made public.

Its clear to see that this debate will continue for some time and its a hot issue – Gotcha – Whales website has crashed and our site is getting many hits searching for anything we have published on the MP who is alleged to have been charged with sex offences.

RoarPrwan: Whale’s dork.

Fence-sitting, fame by association

Lets put that into perspective for a minute.

If every blogger in New Zealand posted the man’s identity in the headline of a post, and nothing else on the post. Would that breach suppression? Would the Police charge every blogger who posted his name in the headline and nothing else in the post?

Because if even 20 blogs did it that is an awful lot of police work required.

Where is the link?

That link would be formed by the MSM who post their own stories such as this one.

In isolation Whaleoil’s post meant absolutely nothing. Others have simply decoded it and then wrote their own stories in relation to linking it back to the details released at the weekend. Some haven’t even bothered to decode it at all and have just jumped up and down saying Whaleoil has breached the suppression order.

Cactus Kate: You can’t suppress a whale

An offshore perspective.

Whale is unrepentant and determined to continue making his points. He’s inviting legal retaliation and seems to be relishing the fight.

Thanks to his binary code stunt, it seems many more people are aware of the identity of the former MP who’s now an alledged sex offender.

The issues are becoming a little clearer and it seems that a perceived double standard is at the centre…

Do high-profile defendants get preferential treatment in name suppression?

Can a blogger be charged/convicted for a breach in the same way as the MSM?

How will the government react to the pressure for change & what will happen to the Law Cnnission report?


The Veitch story-when too much information is barely enough

May 21, 2009

So the New Zealand police were forced to release documents relating to the Tony Veitch assault trial to the news media under the Offical Information Act, after journalists asked for it.

According to the Dom Post there is an injunction in place preventing further disclosures from the 358 page police files. There will be hearing next week to determine if this will hold or be lifted.

My question is why did the media go after the files  in the first place?

Now we get a chance to satisfy our voyeuristic urges and read from the transcripts of Kristin Dunne-Powell’s statements to the police.
So what?

Read the rest of this entry »


Celebrity shine helps Veitch

April 17, 2009

It’s always good to have friends in high places and there’s no higher celebrity spot than sporting hero it seems.

Tony Veitch was undoubtedly helped by the slew of celebrity testimonials he received in the last few days before his trial in the Auckland District Court this week. While there’s nothing wrong with asking friends to write you references, it does show that in the rarified atmosphere of Planet Celebrity, a note from your middle class mates is much more valuable than any kind of letter from your social worker or drug counsellor.

And isn’t it nice to have an opportunity to work off your sentence helping out your favourite charities, rather than breaking rocks in some Hellish real prison.

Despite the nice idea that the legal system treats everyone the same and that the colour of your money, or the fame of your friends, doesn’t matter, there’s no doubt that real class will always triumph. Having a well-paid publicist in your corner is also a useful Joker in the pack.

Now the task of dissecting Veitch’s real level of remorse begins and, so far, it’s probably around 50 per cent.

Read the rest of this entry »


Veitch: “It felt like a trial”

February 22, 2009

Tony Veitch has spoken publicly for the first time in almost eight months. In a statement sent to the Sunday Star Times and reported today, Veitch thanked Sky TV sports presenter Murray Deaker for throwing him a lifeline.

Veitch appeared on Deaker’s show last Wednesday and is slated for more guest spots in coming weeks, according to the SST.

Tony’s comments to the paper make interesting reading, particularly between the lines.

Veitch basks in limelight back on screen

Gossip queen Bridget Saunders also gets in on the rehab act

However, not everyone is singing Veitchy’s praises. According to the Herald on Sunday, legal eagles have been engaged to force an apology from Willie Jackson who said putting Tony back on television while there’s a “huge question mark” over his head was “not appropriate”.

Apparently Jackson went further than this on his radio show and Veitch’s lawyers were talking defamation before Jackson apologised.

Jackson apologises after slating Veitch

Well, I did say last week that it would all end in tears.

What a coincidence, it seems that the same (or almost identical) statement was  sent to the HoS as well as the SST, which makes me think it was a choreographed move. It just goes to show the value of having a good [spin] doctor in the house, or at least on a fat retainer.


Tony Veitch on the comeback trail

February 16, 2009

Tony Veitch is to begin the resurrection of his broadcasting career this week on Sky TV. I agree with the proposition that Veitch should be allowed to get on with his life, including returning to work. It seems his trial on assault charges will be delayed, perhaps into next year, and in the meantime there’s a presumption of innocence that must hold. [Tony Veitch’s TV comeback, HoS, 15 Feb]

Veitch has already had his “trial by media” with the assault allegations being thoroughly aired last year in the period between the story breaking in The Dominion Post (July) and the time he was charged with the offences (August).

He has a right to earn a living by doing what he is good at. However, I’m a little less sanguine about Tony’s nomination as “sports presenter of the year” in the TV Guide annual awards.

Read the rest of this entry »