Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Sandra Lee's Ministerial Car - Impound It!

By now, most of the country knows that Sandra Lee's ministerial car was impounded on Sunday. But unlike other New Zealanders who've had their cars impounded for 28 days, this one was not. John Howard asks why?

Sandra Lee's press secretary Moana Sinclair is facing charges following a series of incident's while driving the cabinet minister's office car.

The car was subsequently impounded by police and, unless I'm missing something, it should have stayed impounded for 28 days.

But this one was not - it has since been returned to Sandra Lee, not after 28 days, but after 4 days.

The police say the matter is now the subject of ongoing inquiries related to the incident, which will be dealt with in the same way as for any other member of the public.

But I know of others who have had their vehicles impounded for 28 days, including companies, and despite impassioned pleas they have not been released.

Is this equality before the law? Not for me, it's not.

It also raises an issue about whether laws that punish us by confiscation of our property - our vehicles - without trial are laws that we want to remain on our books.

Picture this. Your vehicle is impounded for 28 days on the say-so of a police officer. It's towed to some holding compound leaving you standing on the side of the road. There it languishes and you are deprived of its use.

So what, many people say! These people are usually disqualified drivers, bad drivers or whatever.

But the allegations made by the police remain unproven until they're tested in a court of law. Yet you've been deprived of the use of your vehicle without trial.

After 28 days, and paying all the fees, you get it back. But you still haven't been before a court and in our over-loaded justice system there's no way that you will be.

It seems to me that every citizen has a fundamental right not to be punished in a cruel or unusual way. It's even more fundamental that a citizen should receive a trial before the punishment.

I think this confiscation of vehicles law is repressive and smacks of tyranny. When some, it seems, receive preferential treatment because of their position, say good-bye to the rule of law.

Do we really want a country where the State dictates a punishment without a trial? There are too many countries in the world who already practice that policy. And they're not democratic.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news