Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Judgment: GCSB added to Dotcom proceedings

[The following are extracts from the full judgment. The original PDF is at Dotcom__Ors_v_Atorney_General__DC_North_Shore.pdf]



[2012] NZHC 3268
UNDER the Judicature Act 1972
IN THE MATTER OF an application for judicial review
AND FINN BATATO Second Plaintiff
AND BRAM VAN DER KOLK Fourth Plaintiff
Hearing: 14 November 2012
Counsel: P J Davison QC, W Akel and R Woods for First Plaintiff GJ Foley for Second, Third and Fourth Plaintiffs J C Pike and FRJ Sinclair for First Defendant DPH Jones QC, Amicus SBW Grieve QC, Special Advocate
Judgment: 5 December 2012


This judgment was delivered by me on 5 December 2012 at 2.15 pm pursuant to Rule 11.5 of the High Court Rules.

Registrar/ Deputy Registrar

[1] The plaintiffs apply to join an additional defendant, amend the statement of claim, and for additional discovery. The background to these applications is as follows. I have previously determined that aspects of a Police search and seizure in January 2012, in connection with the plaintiffs, were illegal. Following on from that finding, there was a hearing in August 2012 to consider the plaintiffs’ allegations that the Police search and seizure of the Dotcom mansion was unreasonable because it was illegal, and because the force used was excessive in all the circumstances. I refer to this hearing as the remedies hearing.

[2] Following the conclusion of the remedies hearing, material came to light which showed that the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) had been intercepting the communications of the first and fourth plaintiffs, Mr Dotcom and Mr van der Kolk. The first defendant concedes that those interceptions were unlawful.

[3] The revelation that the Police had access to intercepted communications gathered by the GCSB created difficulty in the conduct of this litigation. This is material which is likely relevant, at least in part, to an assessment of the circumstances as the Police understood them to be, when they planned the search of the Dotcom property. If so, it is material which should have been available for the remedies hearing. There is further difficulty, however, because the GCSB claims that disclosure of those communications will prejudice New Zealand’s national security interests as it will tend to reveal intelligence gathering and sharing methods. The first defendant also challenges the relevance of the documents, and says, even if they are relevant, I should direct, pursuant to s 70 of the Evidence Act 2006, that they should not be disclosed in the proceeding.


[42] A summary of my rulings is as follows:

(a) The GCSB is joined as a defendant to these proceedings.

(b) Leave is granted to the plaintiffs to amend their claim, in accordance with the draft pleading filed, to seek declarations about the legality of the GCSB’s actions and to seek damages against the Police and the GCSB.

(c) I will inspect any documents relating to the topics identified at pages 76 and 172 of the blue folder (other than those relating to the financial institutions briefing) in order to determine relevance.

(d) The GCSB is to provide discovery of documents in accordance with paragraphs [27] – [30].

(e) Detective Superintendent Pannett is to provide an affidavit in which he deposes whether he viewed a live feed of any aspect of the New Zealand termination operations and, if he did, provides details particularising the timing and enabling identification of the source of that feed and the locations and events being filmed.

(f) Detective Inspectors Jones and Wormald are to file affidavits setting out all their dealings in respect of “the stationary cameras” (attaching any relevant documentation).

[43] There will be a further conference in this proceeding in the second week of December 2012, to resolve any outstanding matters in terms of the judgment, and to address any necessary timetabling in connection with the judgment.


Full judgment: Dotcom__Ors_v_Atorney_General__DC_North_Shore.pdf

© 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