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.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news