What is it with local government and authoritarianism? First, we had Manukau City Council trying to get permission for draconian bylaws against graffiti and street prostitution. Then we had Wanganui City Council trying to get a bylaw allowing them to ban gang patches - a clear breach of the freedoms of expression, association, and movement. And now we have Rotorua District Council wanting to issue trespass notices against "serial offenders" barring them from the city's CBD. Under the Trespass Act 1980, anyone violating such an order would be liable to up to three months imprisonment. The move has the full support of local police, but then, it would - it allows them to dispense with the whole messy business of collecting evidence and proving cases, and allows them to punish on prejudice rather than proof.
The proposal violates various sections of the Bill of Rights Act, including the freedom of movement and ban on retroactive penalties, but at its heart it is something more sinister: punishment without trial. And this is not something we should be allowing in New Zealand. If the Rotorua police want to "keep criminals off the streets", they should do their fucking job and prove them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt before a jury of their peers - not try and do an end run around the entire legal process.