Friday, June 08, 2007

Sedition: we have a bill

The government has finally introduced its Crimes (Repeal of Seditious Offences) Amendment Bill. It won't be online until Parliament reconvenes next week, and I'll post a link then.

Guess I'd better get working on a submission...


If the Nats pledge to support this, it should pass quite easily.

In that case, wouldn't any submissions just slow down the select committees work?

Posted by Rich : 6/08/2007 02:34:00 PM

It will pass easily whether they support it or not - the minor parties (with the exception of NZ First) are united behind it, and they provide it with an easy majority.

As for slowing down the committee's work, other people will be submitting opposing it (the monarchists, for example), so we kindof have to speak up and show that there is public support for repeal.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 6/08/2007 03:03:00 PM

public support means nothing to this government - its parliamentary support that matters, and that is assured

everything else is lip service - they may as well scrap the select committee process for all the difference it will make as Parliament has its mind made up.

so, when will Tim Selwyn get out of jail then, if sedition is unofficially deemed by parliament to not be a a criminal offence

Posted by Swimming : 6/08/2007 05:54:00 PM

"when will Tim Selwyn get out of jail then, if sedition is unofficially deemed by parliament to not be a a criminal offence"

As far as I can tell from a quick perusal of Google (with factual information courtesy of Kiwiblog), Tim Selwyn was sentenced to two months' jail some time in July last year. As that sentence would have finished eleven months ago, if Selwyn is still in jail it would be for one or more of the various other offences - benefit fraud, identity theft etc. - for which he was reportedly convicted. I sincerely doubt that any parliamentarian's opinion on sedition would have any bearing on sentencing for such matters.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/08/2007 07:26:00 PM

Correction to previous comment: nine months, not eleven.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/08/2007 08:05:00 PM

He was subsequently convicted on a further count of fraud and sentenced to more jail (10 months??). (Don't they have "taken intos" in NZ?)

However, on the first charge of fraud, the judge indicated that she (?) would not have jailed him had it not been for the recent sedition offence. That would indicate that had there have been no sedition charges he would have been free by now.

(I believe he was fined on the actual criminal damage).

Posted by Rich : 6/08/2007 08:43:00 PM

dave, that's rubbish. The government has no majority and needs a separate coalition for *every bill*. MPs are fully open to convincing through the select committee process - this has happened on every controversial measure thats gone through this parliament.

Posted by Rich : 6/08/2007 08:45:00 PM

name a bill that has had cross party support before the first reading, that has failed duringthe select comittee stages in the past year.

you may think that mps are "fully open to convincing" through the select committee process so name just one bill that repealed a law here they were convinced to change their mind via the SC process to the extent that the bill was not passed.

Posted by Swimming : 6/08/2007 09:32:00 PM

Dave - not sure all were exactly within the last year, but:

Barbara Stewart's 99 MP bill was kicked by a select committee.

Doug Woolertons's Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi Deletion bill would have repealed each mention of the principles of the treaty of Waitangi, and the select committee rejected it (despite widespread support for the first reading).

The raise the drinking age to 20 bill made it to select committee and got kicked out afterward.

The two Easter trading bills both had widespread support to go to select committee.


Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 6/08/2007 11:08:00 PM

Graeme: And to that you can add peter Dunne's NZ Day Bill as well. As someone who submitted on that (and Stewart and Woolerton's bills), I certainly feel like my opinion was taken into account.

MPs are open to changing their minds on bills (particularly if they are ones they don't really care about in the first place), and so if we don't want to take the chance that they'll do so on this one, its best to make the argument.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 6/08/2007 11:44:00 PM