email.png
  twitter.png

Blog

30 Apr 2017
TIPS FOR THE MEDIA ON REPORTING RAPE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOMICIDES When a woman is killed by her husband, it is not love and it is not an isolated event. The killing is about power, control and regarding the woman as his possession. It is not an isolated event, because it is something that happens in every country on the planet and has done so for thousands of years. Since Verity McLean was killed this week, allegedly by her husband, the media has reported on a “love triangle” in Invercargill because she had left her husband and was in a relationship with another man. As is always the case with media reporting of men who kill their wives or children, we have been told Ben McLean was “well liked,” “a nice guy” and “the type of guy who took hi…
Read More
Tags :

18 Oct 2016
  12 June 2016 SUBMISSION BY CATRIONA MACLENNAN TO THE REGULATIONS REVIEW COMMITTEE ON COMPLAINT ABOUT ANIMAL WELFARE (LAYER HENS) CODE OF WELFARE 2012 BY SAFE (13 AUGUST 2015)   BACKGROUND I note the committee’s request in its letter dated 12 May 2016 to Mr Ahluwalia that he limit his oral submission to the part of the complaint relating to Standing Order 319(2)(c). Accordingly, this submission is confined to that issue.   My apologies for this very late submission, as I have only recently become aware of the complaint made by SAFE to the committee. RELIEF SOUGHT This submission requests that the Regulations Review Committee under Standing Order 319(2)(c) draw to the special attention of the House the Animal Welfare (Layer Hens) Code of Welfare 2012 so that t…
Read More
Tags :

01 Sep 2016
LIVING WAGE PEOPLE’S ELECTION ASSEMBLIES SPEECH WEST AUCKLAND 19 AUGUST 2016 ST MATTHEW IN THE CITY 1 SEPTEMBER 2016   AUCKLAND COUNCIL CAN AFFORD TO PAY A LIVING WAGE   Kia ora koutou katoa. Auckland Council’s Chief Executive is paid $690,000. He was given a $60,000 pay rise in January. Auckland Council can afford to pay a Living Wage. At the moment it chooses not to do so because it doesn’t value its low-paid workers properly. The heads of the Council-owned organisations are paid between $340,000 and $680,000. All of them are male and they are overwhelmingly pakeha. By contrast, those paid less than the Living Wage are mainly female and many are Maori or Pasifika. The number of council employees paid $100,000 or more rose from 11.5 per cent in 2012, …
Read More
Tags :

25 Apr 2016
This is information provided by MPI about the actions it has taken since the Animal Welfare Amendment Act was passed. The information was provided under the Official Information Act to someone who requested it. We thought this information might be of interest to others.             7 APR 2016         OFFICIAL  INFORMATION ACT  REQUEST Ministry for Primary Industries Manato Ahu Matua     I refer to your official information request transferred to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) on 8 March 2016 relating to changes following the Animal Welfare Amendment Act (No.2) 2015 . Your questions are quoted and answered below.   The following information is released to you under the Offici…
Read More
Tags :

09 Apr 2016
Hon Nathan Guy Minister for Primary Industries Parliament Buildings WELLINGTON   BY EMAIL: n.guy@ministers.govt.nz   Dear Minister,   RE: ANIMAL WELFARE   I write to ask that the Government create a new position of Commissioner for Animal Welfare and resource the position so that its functions can be properly fulfilled.   The following are the reasons I consider it is essential for New Zealand to introduce a Commissioner for Animal Welfare –   1 Ministry for Primary Industries has a conflict of interest between its animal welfare responsibilities and its key purposes At present, primary responsibility for enforcement of animal welfare in relation to farm animals rests with the Ministry for Primary Industries. This is unsatisfactory, as it…
Read More
Tags :

03 Dec 2015
The following is a list of some convictions for cruelty and neglect, primarily on dairy farms - February 2005 - Far North dairy farmer Alan Summers pleaded guilty to ill-treating an animal and a representative charge of ill-treating an animal after MAF officials removed 386 cows from his farm and took them to another farm, where 68 had to be shot immediately as they were close to starvation 2005 Lester Donald Reuben Johnstone of Maungatapere fined $34,000 and banned from owning stock for five years after being convicted of animal cruelty. Earlier, in 1993, Johnstone was ordered to pay fines and costs of $1906 on one count of aggravated cruelty to a cow, three counts of neglecting an animal, two of keeping an animal alive when it was cruel to do so, and one of cruelly ill-treating an an…
Read More
Tags :

01 Dec 2015
STEP IT UP 1 NOVEMBER 2015   THE ECONOMIC COSTS OF RACISM, SEXISM AND DISCRIMINATION AGAINST PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES – SPEECH TO ECONOMICS SESSION AT STEP IT UP CONFERENCE   Kia ora koutou. Talofa lava. Malo e lelei.   On 11 November this year, something happened in Aotearoa/New Zealand that’s never happened anywhere else in the world. Multiple female MPs from the Green and Labour parties stood up in Parliament and revealed that they had been sexually abused. Instead of shock at the revelations, acknowledgement of the women’s courage and immediate commitments to end sexual abuse, our Parliament made no acknowledgement of the women and carried on with business as usual.   In 2009,  Russian woman Anna Klevets applied to be an assistant driv…
Read More
Tags :

15 Nov 2015
The police have again let down the young women of New Zealand. The Herald on Sunday last week revealed that senior school boys had plyed girls with alcohol, dangled their genitalia over the girls’ faces and posted the results on Facebook. Police who investigated the events decided to let the boys off with a warning. Beyond a brief statement, the police are not commenting on what happened, leaving the public with many unanswered questions. 1 Did the police consider laying charges under the Harmful Digital Communications Act which took effect in July 2015 ? We don’t know the dates these events occurred, so we don’t know whether the act had taken effect and could have been used. Section 22 of the legislation provides that a person commits an offence if the person posts a …
Read More
Tags :

15 Nov 2015
10 November 2015 Auckland Mayor Len Brown will today be asked to make a commitment to equal pay for Auckland women. November 10 is Equal Pay Day. There is 14 per cent of the year left to run and, as New Zealand women on average earn 14 per cent an hour less than men, women effectively work from now until the end of the year unpaid. Members of the Pay Equity Coalition Auckland, which comprises organisations representing thousands of Auckland women, will hold a lunchtime rally in Aotea Square to mark the day and to sign a letter to Mr Brown and to the Auckland Council, calling on them to show leadership to Auckland employers. The letter will ask Mr Brown and councillors to – Commit to providing pay equity for council staff and contractors; and Provide leadership by urging all employe…
Read More
Tags :

05 Nov 2015
UNHEALTHY HOMES ARE MAKING OUR CHILDREN SICK When builders pulled out the kitchen sink in V’s Auckland rental home, one of them fell through the rotten floor. They found a large rat underneath the floorboards and also discovered that the kitchen floor was a false surface, installed to cover up the poor state of repair without the expense of actually fixing the problem. Mould is a constant problem in the home, which is damp and cold and has grass growing through the wall next to the back door. V has stuffed wads of toilet paper around the windows to try and block up the gaps. She blames the unhygienic home for her son’s respiratory problems and her own poor health. When the bath was filled, bath water would flush into a wall cavity and grime and slugs would wash back into the bath. V has …
Read More
Tags :

22 Sep 2015
ON REFUGEES AND DOING AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE Tomorrow at 1pm, Ioane Teitiota will be on a plane out of New Zealand. Four seats beside him are booked for his wife Angua Erika and their three children, although it is not yet known whether they will also be on the plane. The Associate Immigration Minister has the power to stop the deportation of the family to Kiribati, but I’m pessimistic about the likelihood of this as I have seen so many cases of deportation in my work as a Duty Lawyer.  Once placed in custody, people are generally taken straight from jail to the airport and flown out of New Zealand on the first available flight, with no chance to say goodbye to their families and irrespective of the length of time they have lived in this country. A public meeting last night in…
Read More
Tags :

14 Sep 2015
SUBMISSION ON MINISTRY OF JUSTICE’S DISCUSSION DOCUMENT STRENGTHENING NEW ZEALAND’S LEGISLATIVE RESPONSE TO FAMILY VIOLENCE 14 SEPTEMBER 2015       INTRODUCTION       I commend the Ministry of Justice for producing the discussion document Strengthening New Zealand’s legislative response to family violence. I also welcome Justice Minister Amy Adams’ statement that combating family violence is her top priority in the Justice portfolio. I am pleased with the Minister’s other announcements in relation to Law Commission references about a standalone offence of non-fatal strangulation, and the treatment of domestic violence victims who commit homicide.   However, these responses are all obviously “ambulance at the …
Read More
Tags :

27 Aug 2015
DEALING TO MOBILE TRUCK SHOPS Mobile truck shops trawl around low income areas, selling to families who can’t buy from supermarkets and shops. What can be done to rein in some of the trucks’ exploitative practices which include having buyers sign multiple direct debit forms, misleading advertising, exorbitant prices, and numerous and excessive fees ?   1 Multiple direct debit forms Some mobile truck shop operators obtain multiple signed direct debit forms from consumers. If buyers cancel one direct debit, the company will activate another one. The Commerce Commission says it is well aware of this issue.  Section 12.1(a) of the Responsible Lending Code which took effect on June 6 specifically states lenders should not lodge multiple direct debit forms. A Commerce …
Read More
Tags :

14 Aug 2015
SPEECH TO NATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN 10 AUGUST 2015   Kia ora koutou. Talofa lava. Malo e leilei. Thanks for inviting me to speak. I’m going to talk about three topics relating to male intimate partner violence against women. The first is Terrorism and male intimate partner violence.   1 TERRORISM AND MALE INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN   In Australia, a poll last month found 74 per cent of Australians believed domestic violence was as much – or more of - a threat than terrorism.   We all know that, since 9/11, the Western World has spent billions of dollars in the “War on Terror.” Actions taken to try and prevent future attacks have impacted on every citizen.   But why don’t we do the same - or more  - to erad…
Read More
Tags :

13 Jul 2015
American anti-greyhound racing activists visiting New Zealand on a fact-finding mission were yesterday asked to leave Auckland Greyhound Racing Club’s track at Manukau when they sought to inspect the premises. GREY2K USA Worldwide’s president and general counsel, Christine Dorchak, and executive director, Carey Theil, arrived in New Zealand on Saturday night to meet with anti-dog racing activists and view racing conditions in Auckland. However, they were questioned on arrival at the Manukau track on Sunday and shortly afterwards were requested to leave.  Mr Theil says he was questioned on his arrival at the track and, after 15 minutes of discussion, was asked to leave. “There seemed an air of paranoia, of over-reaction. We’ve done site inspections at dozens …
Read More
Tags :

10 Jul 2015
WHY CHICKEN FARMING WON’T SAVE THE MANAWATU-WHANGANUI REGION Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said on TV3’s The Nation programme last weekend that he was taking through Cabinet a “joined-up national investment attraction strategy” to promote private sector investment opportunities to international investors. The minister said that the Government particularly wanted such investors to invest in the regions. Asked for a practical example of how this might work, Mr Joyce said - “Manawatu-Whanganui is a region that struggled historically. We’re putting out…We’ve got a lot of work with them at the moment, coming out with a regional opportunities report in the next little while. It’s going to show up some quite significant invest…
Read More
Tags :

08 Jun 2015
Mobile truck shops trawl around low income areas, selling to families who can’t buy from supermarkets and shops. What can be done to rein in some of the trucks’ exploitative practices which include having buyers sign multiple direct debit forms, misleading advertising, exorbitant prices, and numerous and excessive fees ?   1 Multiple direct debit forms Some mobile truck shop operators obtain multiple signed direct debit forms from consumers. If buyers cancel one direct debit, the company will activate another one. The Commerce Commission says it is well aware of this issue.  Section 12.1(a) of the Responsible Lending Code which took effect on June 6 specifically states lenders should not lodge multiple direct debit forms. A Commerce Commission spokesperson says no…
Read More
Tags :

03 Jun 2015
SPEECH TO THAMES COROMANDEL WOMEN’S LOAN FUND/WAHINE PUTEA LAUNCH OF PETITION TO CAP INTEREST RATES 28 MAY 2015   Kia ora koutou. Talofa lava. Malo e leilei. Thanks to the Thames Coromandel Women’s Loan Fund/ Wahine Putea for the fantastic initiative of a petition calling for a cap on interest rates. And thanks for inviting me tonight.   The Thames Coromandel Women’s Loan Fund is a wonderful example of a community initiative which supports local people, and creates positive change in the community. There are others of these funds around New Zealand which also have been going for many years. They pretty much fly under the radar but I want to acknowledge how important they are, and how much good they do. Hopefully, more and more of them will spring up in othe…
Read More
Tags :

25 May 2015
SPEECH TO LIVING WAGE FUNDRAISER 9 MAY 2015, MILL COTTAGE, HENDERSON Kia ora koutou. Talofa lava. Malo e leilei. Welcome and thanks for coming to celebrate mothers in all our different forms. And we’re also celebrating the power of women working together. The Living Wage campaign is a fantastic campaign and shows really clearly what women can do working together. Congratulations to Annie, Diana, Fala, Alicia and everyone else who has been working together to make this vital campaign a success. It’s impressive what has been achieved already and we look forward to more and more employers signing up in the near future.   We’ve got a proud history in Aotearoa of women leading the way to bring about positive change. We remember that we were the first country in the world to give women the…
Read More
Tags :

22 Mar 2015
By Catriona MacLennan Is the police mishandling of the investigation into alleged sexual offending against young women in Auckland a one-off failure or a nationwide problem ? Right now, we don’t know the answer to that question. However, it is difficult to accept that the deficiencies are an isolated case. Police Commissioner Mike Bush said on 19 March that the Independent Police Conduct Authority had “found no evidence of ongoing and widespread poor practice nationally.” The IPCA in its Report on Police’s handling of the alleged offending by ‘Roastbusters’ said at paragraph 118 that - “In the Authority’s view, most of the deficiencies identified in the Police investigations are a result of poor individual practices and cannot be said to…
Read More
Tags :

12 Mar 2015
SPEECH TO FABIAN SOCIETY EVENT AT 6.30PM ON 11 MARCH 2015 – Poverty, Violence, Debt: Gender is Relevant   CATRIONA MACLENNAN   Why are roads and bridges a key issue in the Northland by-election and domestic violence is not ?   In Aotearoa/ New Zealand, police receive 95,000 domestic violence reports every year. That’s around one every six minutes. Around 29 people each year are killed in domestic violence attacks. Half of all homicides in this country are the result of family violence. And up to a third of all New Zealand women will experience partner or sexual violence in their lifetimes.   And New Zealand is not alone in this terrible scourge. In every country in the world, there is an epidemic of violence against women. In the United Kingdom, pol…
Read More
Tags :

12 Dec 2014
  STOP SENDING BENEFICIARY MUMS TO JAIL – OUR DOUBLE STANDARD ON DEBT Speech on 12 December 2014 at launch of Child Poverty Action Group’s report - The complexities of “relationship” in the welfare system and the consequences for children. Tena koutou. Talofa lava. Malo e lelei. Welcome. For me, today and this report are about the mothers on benefits I’ve acted for over the years. These women are doing their best to bring up their children on their own. The women and children have incredibly tough lives. There is never enough money and there is no security about money. Work and Income is extremely powerful and can cut off benefits really quickly if an allegation is made that a woman is not entitled to the benefit. Many of these women are subjected to …
Read More
Tags :

19 Nov 2014
QUESTIONS FOR STATE SERVICES COMMISSIONER   1 Why was the fact that the investigation found that Mr Sutton’s behaviour comprised serious misconduct not mentioned in the State Services Commission’s media release dated 17 November 2014 ? 2 Was the investigation’s finding of serious misconduct not the single most basic piece of information which should have been included in the media release ? 3 What specific conduct comprising sexual harassment would justify the sacking of a chief executive in the public sector ? 4 What specific aspects of Mr Sutton’s behaviour did not always meet the standard expected of public service leaders ? 5 How many times did Mr Sutton engage in this behaviour ? 6 How many CERA employees were subjected to Mr Sutton’s behaviour ? 7 Did the investigation cover …
Read More
Tags :

11 Nov 2014
ROASTBUSTERS: 80 QUESTIONS FOR POLICE The police announced on 29 October 2014 that no charges would be laid following the conclusion of the Operation Clover investigation into the Roastbusters’ group. On that day, the police issued a two-page media statement and a 28-page “Operation Clover – Investigation Overview” dated 28 October 2014. The Investigation Overview states at paragraph 7.5 that “The principal ingredient at issue in all Op Clover cases is that of consent..” I do not agree with the police view. In my opinion the principal issue raised by Operation Clover was that of repeated unlawful sexual conduct and sexual assault. The public only has a fraction of the information available to the police, but it is apparent from some of that informatio…
Read More
Tags :

31 Oct 2014
How can compliance with the Official Information Act be improved when the prime minister candidly admits that the Government flouts the law ? Mr Key earlier this month said that “Sometimes we wait the 20 days because, in the end, Government might take the view that’s in our best interest to do that.” Mr Key’s words echo those of former Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer as long ago as 1992, when he commented that the act “is studied as to how it can be avoided, evaded or plain ignored.” And another example of lack of respect for the law was the 1997 quote from an official who said that - “The minister prefers to withhold information except where unavoidable. Information is seen as creating problems not opportunities.” Concern about flouting of the act has come to a head in recent week…
Read More
Tags :

16 Oct 2014
  Wanted: car enthusiasts with a heart for a good project. Low family incomes and high rents are the two key sources of poverty for my clients. The third major reason for poverty is huge debt associated with car purchases. Poor families are more likely to live in cold, damp, overcrowded houses. Children accordingly suffer from more illnesses and a car is vital for families needing to transport children to doctors and to Starship, as well as for getting to work and other family needs. When I bought my car, I went to a car fair and a friend checked over the car I was planning to buy to make sure it was mechanically sound. I paid $3900 for the vehicle and it has been going well for nine years. Total cost of car purchase: $3900. That is completely different from the typical car-buyin…
Read More
Tags :

29 Sep 2014
  Prime Minister John Key should accept the lesson of recent New Zealand history: a limited inquiry into the allegations which have unfolded since Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics was published will not suffice. Mr Key is due shortly to announce the terms of reference for an inquiry into allegations that former Justice Minister Judith Collins was involved in a campaign against former Serious Fraud Office chief executive, Adam Feeley. However, it is already plain that the narrow investigation envisaged by the prime minister will be insufficient to address the serious allegations raised in the past three weeks. Mr Key should recognise that now and announce a broad-based inquiry into all of the allegations which have come to light since Dirty Politics was released. If he does …
Read More
Tags :

30 Jul 2014
  New Zealanders pride themselves on treating animals well and having good animal welfare laws. Unfortunately, that is not the reality. This country’s Animal Welfare Amendment Act fails almost completely to provide legal protection to millions of factory-farmed animals. Exemptions to the basic provisions of the law mean that millions of pigs and hens live in horrific conditions, spending their lives confined to tiny cages and stalls and suffering immense physical and psychological pain. The Animal Agenda Aotearoa is a campaign by a coalition of animal groups to press for better laws and policies for animals in election year. The agenda comprises 10 points – Animal Testing – prohibit the testing of party pills on animals and work towards an outright ban on tes…
Read More
Tags :

07 May 2014
The law is supposed to protect the most vulnerable in our community from exploitation. What, then, are we to make of a law which allows the poorest people in New Zealand to be charged interest rates of 50 per cent, 100 per cent, 500 per cent or more when they borrow money ? And how are we to judge successive governments which refuse to pass a very simple law which would put an end to this exploitation ? Over the past 15 years, both Labour-led and National-led Governments have sought to provide better protection for borrowers from loan sharks. Law reform has been accompanied by promises to “crack down on unscrupulous lenders,” “get tough on loan sharks,” and “protect vulnerable consumers.” Labour’s attempt was the 2003 Credit Contracts and Cons…
Read More
Tags :