WHOA – major blow to the credibility of the Justice Advisory Group



Shocking news that one of the most respected academics in Justice, Jarrod Gilbert, has quit the Justice Advisory Group…

Two major resignations from group tasked with justice system overhaul

There have been two major resignations from the group tasked with overhauling the justice system.

Newshub has been told about extreme frustration within the project and the group’s chair Chester Borrows admits things could have been handled better.

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A team was assembled in July 2018 to fix the “American-style broken justice system here in New Zealand,” as` Justice Minister Andrew Little described.

But after nearly a year of hard work, two of the group’s justice heavy-hitters quit just months before the final report was due to be released.

“It’s not uncommon for people to say, ‘Look, I’ve done all I can for now because I’ve got a hell of a lot of other stuff on’,” Borrows told Newshub.

Gang and crime expert Jarrod Gilbert and police complaints authority general manager Warren Young both resigned within days of each other 

….I have nothing but the deepest respect for Jarrod Gilbert, and for him to quit something he is so deeply passionate about is a true tragedy for real justice reform.

It looks like the vested interests of the Wellington bureaucracy are once again quietly smothering any real reform. We on the Left look to the State as the great redistributor, but increasingly our neoliberal public service is merely the stick with which the beat the most vulnerable.

Because Labour didn’t think they were going to win in 2017, they had no plan to reform the neoliberal public services and we are seeing the price of that lack of a plan as those same vested interests strangle off the weak reform programme Labour have attempted.

If Labour win a second term, they must take this reform agenda seriously if they have any hope of amputating the toxic culture so prevalent in Corrections, State Housing, Oranga Tamariki, Justice, Police, GCSB, SIS, MSD & WINZ.


  1. Look, maybe this is an indictment of me, and it’s often the case, but Chris Trotter argued against a Labour Coalition, and I can’t remember the reasoning? But I can see a good argument now (which I’d still refute).

    I was on Molesworth St in the early 2000s but I didn’t find them neoliberal. Maybe survivalist. All ethics shed, when that was what they were known for at their best during the Welfare State project.

  2. Last I heard, there was no indication as to why they’d resigned. I think it a bit premature to cast blame anywhere, until either a) they say what prompted their resignations, or b) we see the results of the Group’s work, and can make an educated guess at it.

  3. If somehow the Greens and Labour get a second term, cleaning out the “traitors within” in the State Sector has to be the political priority. The neo liberal aligned CEOs and top echelon, detest public ownership and infrastructure, and accountability, if you read some of their comments, the arsehole at HNZ would not even speak to the media at one stage!

    The Thompson and Clark fiasco shows where these people are coming from. Aligned with the ruling class but happy to take huge salaries for shafting the ordinary taxpayers, from those same taxpayers.

    After the 2020 Election all the public sector tops should have to reapply for their jobs–like they do to other people–and replaced with people genuinely supporting real reform. Then the State Sector Act should be repealed, and all SOEs reverted to Government Departments.

  4. Andrew Little’s crazy ideas on justice are a fantastic opportunity for National to hammer this joke of a government.

    The man is an dangerous, un-electable clown – Labour should have got rid of him years ago. Everything he touches turns to crap.

    • The pity is that Andrew Little looks good when you compare him with most of his fellow cabinet members .

    • How convincing your name calling as an argument is!! I am astounded that it hadn’t occurred to me before this, that calling people names, and being smug about people one knows absolutely nothing about is a much more effective debating tool… And i won’t have to waste so much time reading so many pages of useless facts…. Awesome!!

    • Andrew: “Andrew Little’s crazy ideas on justice….”

      Little’s views on the need for justice reform seem to be widely shared. Which doesn’t mean he – or the others who think the same thing – are on the right track, of course. And that may well be why these people have resigned; or it may not. They’ve made no statements about their reasons for resigning, so I guess that we’ll just have to wait and see.

  5. “vested interests of the Wellington bureaucracy’?

    Bradbury you mouth endless rubbish.

    Labour did not expect to win in 2017? Where is your evidence?
    You are truly irrelevant and should be working for Trump.
    “Fake news” thrives on this site.

    • Rubbish! He’s one of the few who actually talk about an extremely politicised public service and it’s ugly bully boy culture.

      He’s supplied plenty of evidence to support his views and calling him names sounds like a Trump refutation itself.

  6. “Because Labour didn’t think they were going to win in 2017, they had no plan….”

    You could have just ended there Martyn.

    It’s been obvious right from the start that they had done no serious homework on any of their policy ‘ideas’. Hence the working groups.

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