Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Backroom deal calls into question impartiality

Save the Basin Campaign: Backroom deal calls into question impartiality of cricket experts

The Save the Basin Campaign has raised concerns that a recently-uncovered agreement tells expert witnesses what they should say in evidence to the Basin Bridge Board of Inquiry, breaking the rules that expert witnesses must abide by.

“A previously confidential Memorandum of Understanding between Wellington City Council, the Basin Reserve Trust and the New Zealand Transport Agency has come to light in documents prepared for the current Basin Bridge Board of Inquiry,” explained Save the Basin Campaign spokesperson Tim Jones. “The Memorandum was signed in March 2013, and it says that all three parties will support the construction of a 65-metre-long Northern Gateway Building which is designed to block the proposed Basin Reserve flyover from view – though design drawings clearly show there will still be gaps through which the flyover is visible.”

“But what concerns us most, in terms of the hearing process, is that this Memorandum tells supposedly independent expert witnesses called by the parties to it what to say in their evidence,” Tim Jones continued. “The Memorandum of Understanding states:

3.3 The Wellington City Council and the Basin Reserve Trust will provide the necessary expert evidence to support the 65m structure during the national consenting process.

but the Code of Conduct for Expert Witnesses, which all expert witnesses are required to abide by, states in part

5.2.1 An expert witness has an overriding duty to assist the Court impartially on relevant matters within the expert's area of expertise.

5.2.2 An expert witness is not, and must not behave as, an advocate for the party who engages the witness. …”

“The WCC and the Basin Reserve Trust are calling some very distinguished witnesses on cricket matters, including Martin Snedden, Sir John Anderson, and Don Neely. But Sir John Anderson and Don Neely are trustees of the Basin Reserve Trust. Therefore, they are bound by both the Memorandum of Understanding, which states that their evidence is being provided to support the construction of a 65 metre Northern Gateway Building, and the Code of Conduct, which states that their evidence must be impartial and that they cannot behave as advocates.”

“It is, to say the least, unfortunate that the Basin Reserve Trust, WCC and NZTA have placed a distinguished cricket historian in Don Neely, and a cricket administrator with a long record of service at national and international level in Sir John Anderson, in this position,” Tim Jones concluded. “The backroom deal contained in the Memorandum of Understanding calls their impartiality into question and undermines the credibility of their evidence.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On John Key’s Trip To Iraq

In the embedded press coverage on this trip, the absence so far of any evaluation of the wider context of what New Zealand thinks it is doing at Camp Taji has been striking. More>>


Labour: Parata Puts Brakes On Charter School Appraisal

“When the Ministry of Education recommended they compare the achievements of children at charter schools to those of their counterparts at state schools, the documents show Hekia Parata specifically prohibited them from doing so." More>>


Bad Day For Universities: Gun, Bomb Threats On Three Campuses

Dunedin Police are continuing their investigation into the threat made against the University of Otago. Staff are following a number of lines of inquiry, and police are working to verify the authenticity and source of the post. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Deal Reached In Atlanta

Yes, the TPP has helped to knock a few points off the tariffs facing our exporters. Yet some of those alleged dollar gains may well have been made regardless over time – and without the negative baggage of the concessions in the non-trade areas (intellectual property, copyright extensions, investor-state dispute mechanisms etc) that the TPP deal also brings in its wake. More>> (Cartoon by Dave Wolland)

Public Summaries:


Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Pre-Signing: Gordon Campbell On The TPP Countdown

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news