Thursday, July 3, 2014


New Zealand has an independent judiciary.    Members are remunerated reflecting the need for them to be beholden to no-one.  The salary of a District Court Judge is only $3,400 below that of the Deputy Prime Minister and $32,000 more than a Minister inside cabinet.   I have no quarrel with that.

But with that appointment goes great responsibility.    Members are charged  with administering justice without fear or favour.     And so it makes my blood boil to learn that District Court Judge Phillipa Cunningham discharged without conviction Karotangi Paki, son of the Maori King, on a raft of burglary related charges following submissions by his defence council that a conviction would make him ineligible to succeed his father as the Maori King.

It gets worse.    We learn that earlier he had been conditionally discharged without conviction on a drink driving charge where he was caught with a blood alcohol level of 751 micrograms.   In advocating for Paki his council paraded the same 'excuse'.   For a person aged under 20 (Paki was 19) the legal limit is zero.   For someone tested at 150 micrograms or more the options include a fine, 50 demerit points, a disqualification from driving and imprisonment.    751 micrograms is 4 times that trigger point.

I have no doubt that in both these cases, if it were my son (or yours), the outcome would have been far different.

Nothing about justice without fear or favour here.    This is all  about favour based on colour of skin and supposed family status.     It's wrong, wrong and doubly wrong and Phillipa Cunningham needs to be called to account.

The NZ Police must take this to appeal.


JC said...

The boy has form, and he's not the next in line to the King. Did the defense lie and the judge get hoodwinked .. or simply winked?

HT Lindsay Mitchell


Marc said...

The same judge that let off the kiddie fiddler "'coz he makes us laugh." Sure is a dud judge.

The Realist said...

The Maori "King" is a bloody childish joke anyway.

Psycho Milt said...

Two things spring to my mind:

1. How fitting that that appalling creature Tuku Morgan should be fronting this egregious influence-peddling.

2. I really hope Tuku was wrong when he said "Maori tikanga, Maori culture has been recognised today by a very senior court." Discharging the crim without conviction because his Dad's a VIP is Pakeha tikanga as well, and we've put a lot of effort over the decades into trying to stop it being Pakeha tikanga. If Maori want to keep as part of their tikanga, we're going to want a lot less recognition of Maori tikanga by the courts, not more.

Barnsley Bill said...

At least this case has destroyed the poverty excuse

Barnsley Bill said...

And the judge is the same one who let of the paedo entertainer beacause he ( allegedly) makes people laugh.

The Veteran said...

JC ... TY for pointing out that Paki is not the heir but rather the spare.

And to my old mate the Realist ... of course you are right. The Maori King is ersatz royalty at best ... promoted by Tainui but shunned by many tribes and particularly Ngapuhi who refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Kingitanga movement.

PM ... your comment endorsed in spades.

As to the defence argument that a conviction would somehow prevent Paki from becoming King and perhaps someone could point me to a Kingitanga statute/protocol or whatever which states that.

Actually I would have thought it was all about 'mana' and surely being caught DIC with an EBA reading nearly twice the adult limit and pleading guilty to a raft of burglary charges would have destroyed his so called mana anyway.

As for the Judge. There are no recall provisions. It's a sinecure unless you go doolally or are convicted of a serious offense.
But the Chief District Court Judge does have the power to reassign her to a tribunal/authority where she (hopefully) can do less harm ... all said in hope rather than expectation.

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as the "Maori King". It is a myth.

Tuhetia is a Tainui tribal figurehead borne out of the failed Kingitanga movement which was dumped by Maori in the 1860s.

This was the second time Maori had openly ceded sovereignty to the Queen forever following the Treaty of Waitangi.

Please don't afford this crook any cultural status by calling him anything beholding royalty because he doesn't deserve it.


Anonymous said...

Good spotting JC, but was he charged, what with, was he convicted, & what was the sentence?
Only then should the present judge been given those details in the present sentencing. If she was, she has flown in the face of reason.
Cheers, Buster.