Ill-advised comments by senior Judges can have a profound and long-lasting impact. We saw this in the 1987 Lands Case between the New Zealand Maori Council - represented by Sian Elias - and the Attorney-General, when the President of the Court of Appeal, Sir Robin Cooke, used the word ‘partnership’.
"I swear that I will well and truly serve Her Majesty Her heirs and successors, according to law, in the office of Judge and I will do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of New Zealand, without fear or favour, affection or ill will. So help me God." This is the Oath of Office taken by all Judges.
Last month Parliament debated a Private Members’ bill to entrench the Maori seats. The bill would make it more difficult to abolish Parliament’s Maori seats by ensuring that a vote of 75 percent of MPs would be needed to get rid of them.
The cost of living is on the rise due largely to the record prices that New Zealanders are now paying at the petrol pump. Petrol hit $2.40 and more for the first-time last week, but over the weekend, the “no new taxes” Labour Government imposed a new petrol excise tax adding another 3.5 cents per litre – plus GST - onto the cost of fuel.
Last week, the Government’s Tax Working Group released its interim report signalling that a Capital Gains Tax of up to 33 percent - more than double the 15 percent rate originally proposed by Labour – will be introduced before the next election.
Growing numbers of people now believe that National’s Marine and Coastal Area Act has been a colossal mistake. They want it repealed, the claims cancelled, and Crown ownership of the foreshore and seabed restored.
I am an ‘interested party’ in the Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011 and am opposed, mainly on the general principal of equality of rights – but also because I am a keen fishermen and don’t want to see any restrictions on my right to fish.