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


Anderson Judgement Helps All Sportspeople

Anderson Judgement Helps All Sportspeople

Wednesday 22 Sep 2004

Stephen Franks - Press Releases - Other

Sportspeople throughout New Zealand should be relieved by the Court of Appeal judgement acquitting Astrid Anderson of criminal nuisance, ACT New Zealand Sports & Recreation Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"But more is needed to restore the willingness of organisers to volunteer," Mr Franks said.

"With the Anderson case hanging over them, every Kiwi kid who wanted someone to show them to be as self-reliant as their granddad was punished. Every parent - who hopes someone will run a Scout Troop, take their kids on a bush experience, lead a kayaking trip, or volunteer to coach a sport where someone could be hurt - was suffering from the Anderson judgement, whether they knew it or not

"No one excuses recklessness. Everyone feels for victims of un-intended harm, but law punishing inadvertent mistakes steals freedom from everyone. It steals freedom to invite someone to organise something, or to let us do something that could hurt.

"The judgement is straightforward. It restores commonsense to part of the criminal law that has recently joined forces with OSH to threaten our national character. The police should take this judgement as an instruction to stop pouring resources into hounding well-meaning organisers who make an unfortunate mistake. It says that criminal law should be reserved for recklessness in accidents like this, not mere oversight.

"Minister Trevor Mallard should now let the sporting world know how Labour will clear up the uncertainties left behind. The Court of Appeal has made it clear that Parliament's last attempt to patch up bad law in this area did not work. They say that resolving the uncertainty of whether recklessness is the same thing as section 150A's `major departure' from ordinary standards of care is `for another day'

"It's no good for Labour to say people only need to be careful. Ms Andersen was careful. The allegation was about an ambiguity in instructions she had not thought of. The first trial alone cost the defence more than $120,000, and her expert witnesses gave their time for nothing. How many volunteers will risk relying on Mr Mallard's assurances, and the possibility of going as far as the Court of Appeal, to be vindicated if they make an unanticipated mistake?

"It is time the Sport and Recreation Minister did something in this area for sports organisers - though it's harder than handing out money," Mr Franks said


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election