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


High Court can’t make Groser provide TPPA information faster

High Court says it can’t make Groser provide TPPA information faster ‘for now’

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case.

The Minister took a month to respond to the court’s decision, despite the urgency of the request and the imminence of the signing of the TPPA. He then set out a process for reviewing the request, rather than an actual response. The ministry had so far located just one category of information: New Zealand’s negotiating mandates dating back to the start of the negotiations. However, the officials were too busy and the Minister was overseas, so no response could be provided until 5 February 2016, conveniently the day after the expected signing of the agreement.

The applicants asked the court to order the Minister to provide the information by mid-December.

In a decision released yesterday, Justice Collins acknowledged the return to court reflected ‘intense frustration’ at the ongoing delays. However, said he was unable ‘at this juncture’ to make orders that could realistically speed up the process for release of the negotiating mandate documents.

The Minister was expected to respond within the next week to an interim refinement of the other categories of information requested. Justice Collins said it would not be appropriate to make any order until that was done.

The judge cautioned the Minister and his advisers that ‘there should be no further delays in responding fully and properly to Professor Kelsey’s request’.

‘Given the Minister’s behaviour to date, however, I fully expect further stonewalling to avoid the release of any substantive information before the Agreement is signed or while it is before the Parliament’, Professor Kelsey said.

The court also noted that the Chief Ombudsman has still not concluded her review of two remaining aspects of the Minister’s refusal to release the information in February that was referred to her as ‘urgent’ in March.

The applicants retain the right to return to court again to seek further orders and directions in relation to the November judgement.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Mediaworks: Three to be sold or closed

MediaWorks has today announced that it intends to sell MediaWorks TV as well as its Flower Street property which includes its television head office and studios.

The intention is for MediaWorks to sell the television side of the business while retaining ownership of radio and QMS. The Flower Street property will also be put up for sale with a lease back option for a buyer to continue to operate television from that location.

MediaWorks Chairman Jack Matthews said that MediaWorks is committed to continuing to grow its business in New Zealand while recognising that free-to-air television operates in a challenging environment. More>>


Could Do Better: Post-Sroubek Review Of Deportation Info

Ms Tremain acknowledges that the review highlighted some aspects of the process that can be improved and makes five main recommendations to strengthen the existing processes for preparing files for decision-makers. Those recommendations are: More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A New Book On The Leaky Homes Scandal

We all know that journalism is short of cash and under pressure from the speed, brevity and clickbait pressures of the 24/7 news cycle… but hey, given the right subject and a sufficiently stubborn journalist, it can still surpass most of the works of the academic historians... More>>

Regulation: Review Finds NZTA Road Safety Failings

The independent review, carried out by consultant agency MartinJenkins, lists at least 10 reasons for the failures including the agency being focused on customer service at the expense of its policing functions. More>>


Rod Carr: Climate Change Commission Chair-Designate Announced

Climate Change Minister James Shaw has today announced the appointment of Dr Rod Carr as Chair-designate for the Climate Change Commission. More>>


Compliance Complaints: 'Putting Right' Holidays Act Underpayment In Health

The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark. More>>


IPCA: Disasterous Police Pursuit, Excessive Use Of Dogs

At no stage did Police follow the correct procedure for the commencement of a pursuit... A Police dog handler used his dog to help with the arrest of two of the young people. One suffered injuries resulting in his hospitalisation, and the Authority found that the use of the dog was an excessive use of force. More>>


‘Hard Place To Be Happy’: Report On Youth Residential Care

Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft says the report, A Hard Place to be Happy, contains important challenges from children and young people, aged 9 to 17, about their experiences in care and protection residences. “I found this report extremely difficult to read, and I think most New Zealanders would too.” More>>

Africa And Middle East Refugees: 'Family Link' Restriction Removed

The founder of the Double the Quota campaign has applauded the coalition government for Friday’s announcement that a discriminatory policy would be removed. More>>





InfoPages News Channels