A necessary & important NZ Police smack down

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High Court rules against police in unprecedented proceeds-of-crime case

The High Court has ruled against the police who are trying to avoid paying up if they lose an unprecedented proceeds-of-crime case over a fatal explosion that killed a young welder.

It is the latest twist in a case that has some businesses asking if police are overstepping their powers.

Police are seeking millions of dollars in personal and business assets from Salters Cartage boss Ron Salter, who processes waste oil at Wiri, sentenced for safety breaches in 2017 over the 2015 death of 24-year-old Jamey Lee Bowring.

It is the first time the proceeds-of-crime laws aimed at gangs and drug-dealing have been levelled against a business.

An earlier ruling said police would have to underwrite losses suffered by the Salters if they lost the case.

Police challenged that, but have now lost.

As someone who has personally fought Police abuse of power, this is an important ruling designed to hurt the NZ Police financially for their appalling over reach with the proceeds of crime legislation.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

You will remember the proceeds of crime legislation. It bewilderingly lowered the evidential threshold from beyond reasonable doubt to balance of probabilities, this enormous extension of power to the State allowed them to take your property based on nothing more than probability.

Such a titanic increase in State power was justified at the time as only being applicable to organized crime so we accepted it right up until the NZ Police decided to take a gamble and use the law on a legitimate business.

That’s the case we are seeing before us and the Court is being damning of the Police gamble.

Good!

The only thing that teaches the Police that they have abused their powers are huge costs.

Keep it coming!

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48 COMMENTS

  1. Lowering the threshold for guilt from “ beyond reasonable doubt” to “ on the balance of probabilities “ is more shoddy law making than an abuse of police power. It is the extension of the power of the state which is more worrying and which should be being questioned here. Clobbering the police for what may be bad law gets inept politicians off the hook, again.

    Already there are people criticising possible police action if the woke anti-free speech laws get pushed through Parliament and I suggest that this is because Ardern said it will be up to the police to decide if something is ‘hate speech’, effectively making cops the scapegoat for govt policy – and this is also highly unlikely to stop some evil nutter from going out and shooting up a mosque or a mall.

    • Oh yes? And who is it who pushes for these laws?
      Balance of probabilities arguments are the machinations of the Police all the way, pushing government to do their bidding. There is nothing good and true and benign and caring about how the NZ police go about abusing their power.
      Take off your rose coloured glasses .
      Ardern’s misplaced faith in the Police and their ability to intelligently handle the ever increasing crap laws from her pathetic intellectually impoverished government, is a clear indication of her complete inability to understand how the real world works!

      • “…her complete inability to understand how the real world works!”
        And neither do you @ shona. In fact. You have no idea what you’re writing about.
        “pathetic intellectually impoverished government”
        If you think that about labour then what must you think about the hideous natzo’s?
        We, the people of AO/NZ, must rewire our basic politic. In fact, we must INSIST it be re wired.
        Crashing and burning capitalism is the problem. Or more specifically the capitalism within our democracy is the problem. When democracy becomes capitalist inclined and oriented? We’re all fucked but for a scant few non elected privateer elite who will rule our world. ( Sound familiar? )
        AO/NZ absolutely must return to its socialist democracy roots.
        If we don’t? If we just lie about in lazy, dull minded conformity? We’ll get run down by manipulative greed and if we resist? Our all-bought-and-paid-for, once was ours police will smack us down because it’ll be in their job description in their employment contract.
        In short. We must insist Labour return to its Socialist past and shower off the fleas of capitalism.
        ( If you reading this think that communism is the same as socialism? You don’t get out much do you? Capitalism, communism and fascism all have one thing in common. They’re all fascist. )

        • Unfortunately there are in nz parliament a surfeit of cops, ex-cops or otherwise. Some of the most prominent politicians have either been on the force or are married to someone who is or has been on the force. Or they chair the police association. I’m not sure whether the issue of conflict of interest has ever been raised but nz police certainly have a way about them and the fact that they seem to think identity theft is acceptable https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/police-try-to-assume-peoples-online-identities-to-gather-information/B7Q2LKT3EIYTLDKOPCOJXVD7NI/ certainly calls into question the modus operandi of photographing young people and crushing their cars to boot.
          Frontline police have a difficult job connecting with their communities when their whole mindset is framed by dinosaur neo-colonialist thinking coupled with the latest silicon valley/NSO toys.

      • We are talking about the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009. Would this not make it the National party who pushed this law.

      • Shona. How about examples of the police pushing the government to do their bidding ?
        You said it, so you show it.

        Why have the police had their wages frozen, hmm ? Think that’s what they want ? Why are they fighting for reasonable pay increases if govt do their bidding ?

        Why weren’t front line police officers prioritised for Covid vaxxing ? Know what ? Most of them are neighbourhood mums and dads doing an increasingly dangerous job, not just robots wearing Hollywood clobber, but I didn’t hear their commissioner, or their minister, asking for them to be vaxxed. I think it was their union, but still they were not prioritised. Strange thing that, if govt does their bidding.

        Arming the police ? Again this issue is raised by the police union, but government shows- rightly or wrongly – no inclination to acquiesce here.

        And if you think that a bloke heavy organisation would be pushing Poto Williams to suspend the rule of law, and violate the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, to have accusers of sex crimes presumed guilty until proven otherwise, then I’m Mary Poppins.

        • Snow White, the new firearms laws – which go much, much further than removing semi autos, were written by the Police and are a Police Association wishlist of total control, loss of right to silence, warrantless searches, orders in council and so on, actively sold to the public by the Police Association.

        • Police have huge lobbying power over governments. By manipulating crime statistics (through targeting of their resources and manipulating procedures of statistical analysis, both of which they have been exposed as doing in the past) they can and do severely damage parties in regard to law and order issues and/or throw their own position into certain lights for funding purposes.

        • The Police were heavily involved in the writing of & pushing forward of the new failed firearms legislation, that’s how it was “written” & enacted mere weeks after the terrorist attacks. It’s been a Police wet dream for a while now, along with widespread arming of officers, another thing to resist.

    • indeed ‘balance of probabilities’ just means we don’t have the evidence to convict m’lud…and it will lead to miscarriages’ of justice, that’s it’s intended purpose

  2. Fortunately the taxpayers have deep pockets to cover these abuses of power, should the courts rule against them. Plus they can always appeal & waste even more money.

    • Interestingly the funds allocated for firearms licensing are often reassigned by the NZ Police for other purposes. They know that licenced firearms owners aren’t a problem, but if they miss anything, like Tarrant, they can always claim they are under resourced & plead for more funds to boost their budget, thus it’s win win.

      This also why the promised independent firearms licensing agency morphed in another Police controlled body. The Police aren’t giving up one of their favourite cash cows anytime soon.

  3. If only more people paid attention to this type of situation, and the many other semi authoritarian laws and practices of the the NZ State, rather than thinking wearing a protective mask is a gross violation of their “rights”.

    They are the asleep at the wheel kiwis who did not nothing over photo driver licenses, just trooped off compliantly to the mall to get their mugshots. They did nothing over the Sirkey Govt. increasing the spook agencies budgets and allowing warrantless surveillance with immunity for operatives including private contractors and other Govt Departments. They did nothing over US interference, and illegal GCSB action in the Dot Com raid. They did nothing over NZ Police illegal trial of facial recognition software and SWAT teams in poorer suburbs. You get the drift–there is a sizeable fuckwit sector in the NZ population, beyond the merely lazy, and a number of them unfortunately reside in the anti vaccination ranks.

    Plus: Xmas Bonus; What ever else our esteemed Editor does or says he will forever be in the good books for his prolonged, brave, highly stressful, battle with the NZ Plods who make No Mistake–were out to get him.
    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2019/11/06/breaking-5-years-and-finally-justice-nz-police-formally-apologise-settle-for-breaching-my-civil-rights/

    • Part of the problem is these types of things are either sneaked in or the justification is often different from the application.

      If you tried to organise a protest, people would get lost in the explanation & others would give you that dishonest cliche “if you have nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear”. We lose to many rights to the pretense of security.

  4. When you study this case it seems very odd and you have to wonder if there is a hidden agenda with nothing to do with this actual case . It reminds me of how the police went after Peter Ellis and did not stop even when the evidence was farcical.

    • Trevor – I so agree with you. The hidden agenda is the cops cynically pushing the legal boundaries without any sense of responsibility or even care in a drive to extend their powers by any means. From what I now understand the criminal proceeds recovery legislation was intended to recover the ill-gotten proceeds of crime by criminals or criminal groups. Mr Salter hardly falls into that cateogry and it was shameful on the part of the cops to go after him in the manner they did.

      You refer to the Peter Ellis case which was another example of shocking police practice and beliefs to prosecute a man simply because he was gay. How about what the cops did in pursuit of Nicky Hager – getting a false search warrant and harassing him until the courts finally said stop. Have any of the cops involved in this been held to account for this? No – they’ve probably been promoted. Then there are the ongoing attempts by the cops to extend their surveillance methods by any means possible.

      So the hidden agenda is the cops trying to be a law unto themselves and pushing their distorted beliefs through by acting unlawfully or not within the intent of the law to get overall control. They don’t care who they trample on to get what they want and they continue to push the boundaries because they know that in the main their own organisation, the IPCA and the system backs them up. Good on the High Court Judge who stopped them in their tracks on the Salter case, yet as we now know, the cops kept going and appealed. Luckily they lost.

      • youngsuffrajet. Better defund the New Zealand Police then ? Replace them with social workers like some parts of the United States ? People could be too scared to go out at night, but that might not be such a bad thing. The social workers will sort any mushrooming crime rates, parley with the gangs, empathise with organised crime and so on.

        The original suffragettes didn’t like the cops’ horses either. Do they have them here ?
        What about the SPCA ? Best keep things simple.

      • yup suffragette the peter ellis thing was/is shocking an obviously gay man railroaded by a group of politicised lesbians who championed the then fashionable lesbian position that all gay men are peados,yes the lgbtqrzxlm position is different today but back then radical feminists bought into it.
        To my mind the reason for his continued persecution was that the ‘expert witnesses’ went on to undeserved prominence in academia and the arts in NZ so were members of a ‘protected group’ that’s above criticism or consequences.

        • Gargarin Yes, the opinion and the evidence of the so-called expert witnesses played a big role in the tragedy of Peter Ellis twenty odd years ago, and some may have since been discredited, not to the surprise of those who’ve had ongoing real life experience with the fertile imaginations of preschoolers.

          • bet most of the so–called ‘expert witnesses’ are still in cushy academic posts or govt pensioners on a very nice tickle thank you, I believe Zelas is widely regarded(by exactly who is a mystery) NZs foremost ‘feminist artist’.

            As for the detective who was up the distraught mothers like a ferret….well nuff said

            plenty of reasons for NZs politically corrupt judiciary to cover it up in their usual cack-handed manner.

      • Young suffragette. It would be helpful to know what are the systemic “ distorted beliefs” of the New Zealand Police Force , and what “ overall control “ the police are trying to force upon the people of New Zealand. I assume that this is information which you’ve got from the retired cop friend of your father, and it sounds very sinister.

        • Hi Applewood. Great question. To start with I did speak to the retired cop friend of my father for my first comment and I have spoken to him again. He reminded me of the Teina Pora and David Dougherty cases as examples of where the cops got it wrong yet some cops still believe in the guilt of these two wrongly convicted people.

          But to answer your question about the system distorted beliefs, the cops now, and have for a long time, accept the complaints made by women that they have been assaulted or sexually assaulted as being the truth, even when its not the truth, because this has been fed into their narrative by so-called experts many of whom have a hidden agenda against men. I have learned that in those cases the cops refuse to withdraw the charge even when the woman says she has not told the truth and when it goes to a court case and the woman says to the Judge that she lied, the prosecutor then asks the judge to make a finding that the woman is a “hostile witness” (yes, that is the term they use) which means she can be asked questions about her first statement and gets grilled that she in fact has told the truth. Then the person charged, normally a man, is found guilty 99.9% of the time.

          This feeds into the police narrative that all women tell the truth which in turn has fed into the narrative behind such things as the push to get the sexual crimes bill through which puts the onus on men to prove their innocence. Why this is abhorrent to many of us women including young women is that the genuine victims of assault and sexual assault are now more and more being viewed with suspicion.

          What about the cases where the cops deliberately withhold documents in a prosecution where those documents might favour the defence of the person charged? The wonderful and lovely mother of the cop who was charged and found guilty of raping his colleague wrote three very moving articles in TDB about the injustice and it was apparent from her articles that information was withheld.

          In one of my comments to one of her articles I referred to a case I heard about in a talk from a couple of senior lawyers to a group of people about the issue of police having to disclose their case to the defence, where a guy was charged with several charges of raping his former partner over the course of their relationship and it was the guy charged and the lawyer who retrieved thousands of social media messages between the guy charged and his partner that proved her allegations to be a lie. The Crown Prosecutor was shown these messages and withdrew all the charges. The two major concerns over this were that firstly the cops would have known about these messages and so deliberately withheld them and secondly, that the partner was never charged with making a false complaint. That in itself is a distorted belief system that women do not lie.

          Then there is the distorted narrative of the cops about the so-called switch in attitude about minor drug crimes where people who use drugs are meant to be referred to counselling but what is reported is that Maori are more likely to be arrested for minor cannabis offences as against non-Maori who receive warnings – https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/politics/are-police-racist-data-reveals-huge-differences-across-ethnicities-from-police-use-of-drug-laws/YA2BSJBRP3G5GO2O2FFW7HTNO4/

          A senior cop apparently said that cops do not discriminate against Maori and it is previous convictions that determine whether or not a warning for drug use should be given. That comment speaks for itself in terms of distorted systemic beliefs because Maori are more likely to be arrested and convicted of crimes than non-Maori so what the senior cop is saying, without realising it, is that Maori are more likely to be arrested for minor drug use as against non-Maori.

          So, the overall control is the overall control of the narrative and influencing how criminal laws are shaped and not telling the public the real truth or more importantly, not admitting they have made mistakes. An example of that is where a person is charged with a crime and when they are found not guilty the cops release a statement saying they are not looking for anyone else for the crime. In other words, in the cops eyes the person is guilty so the public should also believe they are guilty, even if they are not guilty.

          Thank you for your insightful question Applewood. I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and I hope you find time to relax especially after the crazy last few months.

  5. That people in this country have had their homes taken from them for as little as growing a relatively innocuous herb in their own gardens shows an active legalism in this country that has it’s roots based in hell.

    • I heard they keep making mistakes and going to the wrong address and pulling out tomato plants instead,… there mut be a lot of irate elderly grannies out there who were saving them for the Christmas family get together !

      • Wild Katipo What year did this happen ? You see last year I had my tomatoes planted by Labour weekend as usual, in time for Christmas. They didn’t fruit until February, and then got mouldy on the vine. Up the coast where the sun shines, they didn’t fruit until March. I’ve not known such inertia from tomatoes before.

        As far as I know, the cops were only here when a vicious wife beater two blocks away got himself murdered, apart from their regular involvement when one girl in particular finally goes missing, clearing up the mess when unknown persons get squashed by buses, or that nutter defecates in the mall again. Although nothing would surprise me about the police, the Green Party, the Mongrel Mob, or the Vegan Finger Knitters, I object to anybody interfering with the fruits of my Labours, and how would they know for whom I voted ? This is harassment, and I’ll vote for any party which promises to keep away from my vegetables and other relatives.

        You probably know about the 1956 potato shortage partly due to spuds being dumped in Sth Island river beds under a National government and the police did nothing to stop
        that because they were obviously helping the farmers to keep prices high like the Nat crooks told them to. You have to wonder about avocados and the road toll too.

        • Snow White think that some of your comments are humorous and meant that way. Is it all right to laugh, or even giggle now and then? And I love that bit from wk about tomato plants, such suspicious-looking leaves. But anyone with an ounce of domestic husbandry in them would know the strong smell of tomato leaves and leave them alone.

          • Grey Warbler The strong smell of marijuana is fairly distinctive too. No way anyone could grow it in suburbia now without the neighbours knowing, and before they abolished our local postie in favour of immigrants on motorcycles, she named two local streets where she claimed she could smell it during her perambulations, and time proved her right.

            My sympathies are with grannies having their gardens wrecked by coppers, and we all should unite on this. I trust my veges before anything from the supermarket. However I think that a gran caught growing pot is not going to end up in court or in prison, if she is a first time offender growing personal supplies for herself and the whanau.

            I know that the police left the properties tidy for the grans who they investigated in their searches of dear little old ladies who met one Sunday afternoon to discuss euthanasia, and if they do wreak havoc in innocent seniors’ gardens, then they should certainly put it right again and replace those plants. Bill English works for Bunnings now, he would facilitate this if he respects his elders.

    • I used to think that marijuana laws should be relaxed because it is less damaging than alcohol however a more rational position of advocating for a prohibition on alcohol is my new view. I suspect that will not be popular & there are probably a lot of people willing to take financial advantage of any such law so it is very unlikely to happen however I have seen far too many lives damaged by alcohol so I feel that something needs to happen to warn people that it is still a mind-altering drug.

      • You could try banning alcohol, that would be even more lucrative than meth for organised crime. You’d see some serious violence & shootings then. Of course the neoliberal criminals that currently run that operation would never let you. It’s better to have drunk & lazy population than one with clear heads & too much time for thinking. That’s way too dangerous.

  6. Made for, put in place for rulings to be made by lower courts in the future by layman magistrates who’ll be hand picked by the ‘system’ to profit from.
    A bit like the US & UK’s lower court jurisdiction legal system.
    Cheque Book justice.

  7. Yes I find this case perplexing in the way that the cops are hounding Ron Slater even though it appears that he has paid for his crime ( although sadly for the whanau of the person killed they will always be paying!) and as others have pointed out there have been other examples of police over reach. Early days yet but I wouldn’t mind wagering that the cops will impose there unrelenting wrath on some of those who were involved in the rescue attempts that unfolded in the White Island tragedy.

  8. When ex mobsters are given 2.7 million from proceeds of crime for rehab in areas they contributed to aka drug dealing, and are unqualified in rehab, crazy stuff. Maybe a few thousand as a test, but millions???? At a time when many successful drug rehabs are underfunded.

    Now this business who has already been prosecuted and sentenced about completely different criteria (manslaughter) is somehow having their assets seized. You can see the slide, aka police more likely to prosecute when they can gain money from it, or political, personal reasons. The state should not be able to seize assets unless they have a claim like no taxes paid. This case sounds like China, where the state prosecutes a person, then takes all their assets away, because they have absolute power.

    Meanwhile businesses who should be the first to have their assets seized like money laundering, cash businesses paying no taxes, labour trafficking, zero tax cigarettes with rubbish bags found with millions in cash, seem to be given a wink, wink and name suppression for ‘hardship’.

    On our way to 2 tier justice… in fact we seem to already be there.

    Police (like Labour and councils) should stick to their day job, which increasingly they are not doing well and have too many complaints about, before joy riding into other areas they want to control.

  9. This is a great reminder to the general public that the authorities WILL use their powers to the full extent if it suits them. We’ve seen it already with the anti child slapping legislation introduced by Sue Bradford and if they get their hands on hate speech legislation they’ll do the same with that too. Even when they know they’re unlikely to get a conviction, they’re happy to drag a person through the courts and ruin their lives out of spite.

    • Hey Andrew – Perhaps unfortunately, the police don’t, perhaps routinely, progress a case to court unless they have enough evidence to have a reasonable chance of proving guilt. I have discussed this fairly robustly with them. Try it. They’re ok in a civilised setting, just like politicians at their clinics always are.

      The more opaque dimension is in the recording of data – how or what to record in instances where there may be insufficient evidence or witness to be able to charge alleged offenders. I discussed that too, and again it was civilised, albeit inconclusive.

      I doubt that they even have the funding to go searching for abusive parents, or the delete-white-men-haters.

      • If the Police want to go after someone specifically, they’ll always find the funds, the taxpayer has deep pockets.

        The sheer vindictiveness & ineptitude in the prosecution of David Bane by the same Police that ignored David Gray & armed Tarrant is staggering. Burning down the crime scene shortly after the crime & then persecuting the sole survivor of a murder suicide that claimed his family, is horrific and they have never admitted they were wrong or did a crap job with the investigation. Tragic.

      • In many cases they don’t need additional funds.
        Crown Prosecution has lawyers on tap and their salaries paid already paid for. The police can arrest you, interrogate you and charge you all for free and force you to hire a legal team to defend yourself. They can then drag out of the case for years if they wish all while bleeding you financially. It may never even get to court but the damage is done. At the more extreme end of the spectrum the police have a history of hiding evidence that exonerates an accused.

  10. You’re finally saying something sensible.
    If this shit is allowed to occur we are only a very short hop from the civil asset forfeiture laws in the US.

  11. “State power was justified at the time as only being applicable to organized crime”.. I’m not going to waste my time with what amounts to a largely partisan, and confused set of comments, but I will point out that the police ere taking money off people who had been charged with low level offenses, before they had been convicted, and weren’t giving it back even if the cases were lost by them…
    The people I’m talking about were as far away from organised crime as I am from being Prime Minister.. The thousands (possibly tens-hundreds of thousands) of dollars stolen from people who had no way of fighting back has never been even publicised, let alone talked about… Apart from knowing a few people this happened to, I am one of those.. I was pulled up in Henderson one afternoon in a ute that I had borrowed to pick up a drum kit for a recording project I was engaged in, and after a quick search, the police found a bag of dead/dying shade leaf sitting amongst a pile of offcuts, and rubbish..
    I was charged with possession for supply for this, as it weighed about 1 and a half oz… I had money in my pocket that was due to be deposited for my next fortnights rent.. It was promptly confiscated, and It has never been returned… Suffice to say that the second I finished recording the cd i was working on, I went back to Fremantle, and relative sanity…
    NZ has reverted back to the days when who you knew was more important that what you know when it came to how you ere treated, and what you could get away with…
    Nz, under the Key administration had the last nails driven into the coffin of egalitarian democracy, and been forcibly driven backwards into Edwardian political/economic exploitation, and the only ones who have a shit show of making a life that isn’t just continuous stress, are the descendants of the colonial elite, Joe Bidens bosses, and wealthy Chinese/Indo Chinese “entrepreneurs”.. Kiwis really are tenants in their own country now, and will be for the foreseeable future. The damage is far too deeply entrenched for any government to fix within three terms, let alone the quick fixes that those who understand this reality are loudly demanding from the current incarnation of a labour govt… As per Keys mission when being parachuted into parliament, and forced onto a craven, and grasping national party, NZ is now ripe for the plucking.. The only question left, is who will win the fight to pluck us…

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