Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Race guilty verdict a disaster for all NZ events

Race guilty verdict a disaster for all NZ events

The death of Vanessa Caldwell is a tragedy, but Astrid Christine Andersen's conviction for criminal nuisance is a disaster for all New Zealand events organisers and participants, Green MP and multi-sports veteran Mike Ward MP said today.

"While it is important that all reasonable steps are taken to keep participants safe, many events organisers - already made nervous by recent changes to the law requiring additional expense and safeguards - are likely to pull the plug on their involvement in light of this decision," the Green sport and fitness spokesperson said.

"As organiser of New Zealand's longest-running multi-sports event, the Nelson Iron People Race, I am unlikely to proceed with next year's event. I imagine others will feel the same, which is sad in view of the exceptional safety record for events, where there is in reality considerable scope for things to go wrong."

Le Race organiser Astrid Andersen was found guilty of criminal nuisance on Saturday by a Christchurch District Court jury for the death of Vanessa Caldwell, a cyclist in the event in 2001.

"The importance of this case to the future of events, and the importance of such events to sport, recreation, and tourism in New Zealand cannot be underestimated," Mr Ward said.

"In light of the fact that police took a year to decide to press charges, and the jury clearly had difficulty reaching a verdict, all events participants and organisers have an interest in the verdict being tested in an appeal court, and in getting together to study what can be done to ensure that future events proceed.

"Due to the more than two years of anguish suffered by Astrid Andersen since the accident, the criminal conviction, and the many tens of thousands of dollars in court costs, Astrid Andersen can be expected to be reluctant to want to take the case further; unless events participants and organisers recognise that the case and any appeal would in fact be contested on behalf of all of us.

"As has been pointed out by others, this case is not just about higher-risk sporting activities. It affects every sporting, recreational or cultural event in this country."

Mr Ward will seek a meeting with the Minister of Sport, and with Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) officials to discuss the implications of the verdict, and examine options for restoring confidence in the events sector.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Let It Go: MP Pay To Be Frozen

The Government is freezing MP salaries and allowances for a year while developing a fairer formula for future pay increases.

The Remuneration Authority is due to make a decision on MP pay shortly.

“Today Cabinet agreed to freeze MP Pay till July 2019, and to reassess the funding formula used by the Authority to ensure it is fair and in keeping with this Government’s expectations and values,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. More>>


Cop Shop Top-Up: 1800 New Police Through NZ

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has today confirmed further details around the allocation of the 1800 additional officers, following a $298.8 million increase for Police in Budget 2018... “These 1800 officers, alongside 485 support staff, will really enhance our work to keep people safe, and ensure they feel safe,” says Mr Bush. More>>


Human Right Commissions: Concern On Aged Care And Consent

A new report published by the Human Rights Commission raises concerns about the legal and human rights safeguards for an estimated 5000 elderly New Zealanders in secure dementia units and psychogeriatric facilities. More>>


Justice Reform: Andrew Little Interviewed By Corin Dann

“We’ve had thirty years of the auction of more penalties, more crime, more people in prison but it‘s not working, it’s not making us safe.” More>>


Greens AGM: Leadership Stands Firm On Waka Jumping Bill

The Green Party leadership have dug in their heels and will not be reversing any of the decisions they have made in government. Former MPs Jeanette Fitzsimons and Sue Bradford had hoped the caucus might be persuaded this weekend to pull its support from the waka jumping bill. More>>


TOP Still Going, Actually: New Leader For Opportunities Party

New leader Geoff Simmons' aim as the leader of TOP is to take the party into Parliament at the next election where it can advocate and implement progressive reform in areas including fair taxation, cannabis legalisation, affordable housing, and environmental protection. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case... More>>

MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>


Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>





Featured InfoPages