Tuesday, October 05, 2010


I'd like to tell you who the two men arrested today over the Auckland Supercity voting scam are, but I can't - both have been granted name suppression. According to DPF this is an interim order, as they were initially denied it and appealed to the High Court, but the effect is the same: to prevent any publication of the names of those involved until the election is effectively over.

This stinks. There is immense public interest in this case, and a strong argument for publication as soon as possible so that voters can make up their minds if necessary. And at the end of the day, it is the voters I trust on this. That right has been taken away from us, not to protect the accused's right to a fair trial, not to protect a vulnerable victim, but to protect the accused from any immediate political consequences. And the result may be that someone gains political office in this country by fraud. Of course, that can be dealt with by an electoral petition - but I'd rather the voters were free to make up their minds from the outset, rather than being effectively systematically lied to in this manner.

I am unsure if the order extends to the accused's political affiliation, so I'll simply repeat what I said last month: if either of the people involved is a candidate or affiliated with a campaign, their party needs to disown them ASAP. No political party can support this sort of fraud. And if they do, then decent kiwis can't support them.

Correction: According to Checkpoint, one was granted name suppression, while the other was denied it and appealed. I'd love to see the judge's reasons for the former.