Family Court Reforms

The war on the poor has extended its reach to the Family Court. In the guise of protecting the vulnerable and improving the experience of those needing assistance to resolve family disputes the Government has reformed the Family Court fundamentally.

 

FamilyCourt

Although the Minister of Justice consulted with an expert advisory group what became clear when the minister’s report and recommendations to Cabinet were released was that that the real purpose of the reforms is to reduce the cost to the state of providing such assistance.

 

From March 2014 when the reforms come into effect, parents who go to Court for assistance in resolving disputes about the care of their children will not be entitled or able to have legal representation in Court prior to the matter going to a Hearing. There are a number of pieces of legislation and Court rules and regulations over which the Family Court has jurisdiction the main one being the Care of Children Act 2004.It is unrealistic and unfair to expect those in crisis to understand and interpret its provisions.

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Free Teina Pora now!

freeteina-BANNER1When Pora was 17, in 1994, he was arrested by police in Otara and held in custody and questioned for over four days without a lawyer. The police got him to confess to a brutal rape and murder. He was charged and convicted despite the fact that he could not identify what the victim looked like or where and what her house looked like. During the trial prosecution witnesses were paid up to $5000 each by police to testify.

The real killer is believed to be Malcolm Rewa, who was jailed for other offences in 1998. But Pora has remained behind bars for 21 years. It is a clear case of the Police making someone take the fall, and railroading them into jail. [Read more...]

The Criminal Injustice System: from Aotearoa to the USA

the-new-jim-crowMichelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow (2011) has caused a huge storm of discussion, debate and controversy in the United States. It may well be a book that sparks a new social movement. Alexander documents the rise of mass incarceration in the USA, and link this to entrenched racism, poverty and injustice. The privatising and ‘outsourcing’ of prison as business, and the ‘law and order’ turn are part of neoliberal politics the world over.

This has obvious relevance in Aotearoa. The prison system disproportionately affects Maori and Pasifika people. The powers of the state – to harass, humiliate, detain and lock-up – are felt every day in brown people’s lives. The history of white settler colonial rule has relied on locking up and disenfranchising Maori people. A new phase in capitalism, and the symptoms of poverty in recession, looks to imprisonment again. [Read more...]

Maori teacher brutalised by police

579842_623457754349105_464419270_nWe are sharing this story of police brutality from tangatawhenua.com . Without their pioneering work sharing this it would not have got the further media attention that has come in recent days. 

TangataWhenua.com was asked to share this story as few other mainstream media outlets felt it was “newsworthy” enough. What follows is provided verbatium, nothing has been edited or changed. Remember whanau if at all possible WHENEVER dealing with police, if you have the ability to video the encounter always do, this serves as powerful evidence in the case of a police complaint.

Corina Tairua’s Statement

  • Time and date of incident: Approx 3am 17/3/13
  • Arresting Officer: D Ward
  • QID Number: TWZ644

My name is Corina Tairua. I am a mother of 7 children. Ages, 17, 16, 15, 13, 12 and 18 months. I am four papers off graduating to receive my teaching degree as a primary school teacher. I have never been in trouble with the police or law in my life. As I write this I am deeply traumatised by what has happened to me at the hands of the people I had always believed in and had great respect for, our police, our New Zealand police. [Read more...]

Free Taame Iti and Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara!

Free Taame Iti and Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara!

Taame Iti and Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara have been sentenced to 2 and a-half years jail for possession of unlicensed firearms and Molotov cocktails. Urs Signer and Emily Bailey’s adjurned sentencing – and the suggestion of home detention – suggests further injustice to come.

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TV Review: Songs from the Inside

Songs from the Inside is a brilliant documentary series currently on Maori TV about four musicians coaching inmates at Arohata and Rimutaka to write their own songs.

The documentary is a welcome antidote to “reality TV”. Both the producer Maramena Roderick and director Julian Arahanga are very aware that they do not want to create a prison version of Idol.

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Justice for the Urewera Four!

The most expensive case in New Zealand history, and for what? Millions of dollars have been spent on a vindictive and farcical prosecution, at the cost of untold stress, emotional harm and upset for the people of Tuhoe. In February we called the treatment of the Urewera Four an “anti-democratic outrage”, and stand by that today. The police case continued for reasons of malice and political mischief – there were gains to be made in creating a ‘terror’ threat. Tuhoe, yet again, have borne the burden for that.

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Drop the charges, and free the Urewera Four!

The International Socialist Organisation offers its solidarity to Tame Iti, Emily Bailey, Te Rangikaiwhira Kemara and Urs Signer. We support Te Mana Motuhake o Tuhoe, and offer our solidarity to all the people of Tuhoe. This is just the latest in a series of raids, attacks and confiscations carried out by the state in Tuhoe land.

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Prison Reveals Priorities of Sick System

The incredible cost of imprisonment, which has increased dramatically over the last two decades, reveals the sick priorities of the capitalist system. Unable to find the cash to pay for decent health and education and warm, dry housing for working class people, our rulers are happy to waste hundreds of thousands on imprisioning thousands.

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Pigs, Drugs, and Capitalism

Legalise marijuana, heroin, cocaine, speed, LSD, Ecstasy, opium, mushrooms, mescalin, ketamine, peyote and ether! Provide accurate information on drugs to people of all ages! Fund independent scientific and social research into drugs! Supply cheap and safe prescribed drugs through doctors and pharmacies! Send every pig that’s ever made a drug bust, every MP that’s made the war on drugs into law, and every judge who’s sent a user to prison straight to the ultra-violent, rape-filled, mentally abusive, soul destroying & life-stealing institutions they fill with innocent victims every day! Free all drug prisoners! Make a society where taking drugs can enrich lives rather than destroy them! Fight fear, misinformation, profit & prejudice!

[Read more...]

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