Sunday, May 28, 2023

Stuart Smith: NZ Law Society and the ToW

Professional bodies have a crucial role in establishing standards of conduct and protecting the reputation of their respective professions. It is expected that their directives remain apolitical and do not infringe upon the freedom of their members to hold their own political views.

However, the recent proposal by the New Zealand Law Society to introduce a new statutory duty for lawyers to adhere to the “principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi” is a highly controversial and a politically motivated move. It appears to be driven by the influence of woke socialists who seek to advance their own agenda, rather than prioritise the best interests of the people they serve.

Interestingly, this proposal seems to have emerged from an investigation into unrelated issues surrounding sexual misconduct within the legal profession. Despite the fact that a significant majority of surveyed lawyers oppose incorporating Treaty principles into the regulatory structure, the Law Society review panel is undeterred. The opposition is well-founded, as the Treaty itself does not contain any specific “principles”, and the evolving nature of these principles makes it challenging for lawyers to navigate without the risk of breaching the Law Society’s rules.

The inclusion of an author of He Puapua, a controversial report, on the panel is not surprising, as it aligns with the underlying motivations driving this proposal. It raises concerns about the ideological biases at play and the potential influence they may have on the final recommendations.

The Treaty has become a vessel that can be filled with a wish list of rights and opportunities which begs the question, of whose interpretation of the Treaty will be used.

Will lawyers have the courage to resist this woke agenda and save the integrity of the profession? It is not difficult to imagine that the ambitious and naive may see conforming to these demands as the path to a successful legal career. It is essential for the legal community to stand up against this divisive agenda or they will lose public confidence in the profession.

Infiltrating institutions and leveraging race-related issues in the current environment is a frighteningly easy path to take, as few are willing to risk being labelled a racist. It is crucial that we all oppose this agenda as those that hurl the racist label about are the racists. If we choose to look the other way New Zealand will be a racially divided nation which will undoubtedly bring on civil unrest.

It is essential that we protect the integrity of professional bodies and ensure that their directives are rooted in impartiality, respect for individual freedoms, and the best interests of the profession and the wider public.

The legal profession is held in high regard, but allowing political agendas to infect their professional body not only risks the credibility and purpose of their professional body but will also ultimately undermine the standing of the profession.

New Zealand was founded on one law for all: it seems that now we must fight to keep it.

Stuart Smith is a N Z National Party politician who has been a member of the House of Representatives for the Kaikōura electorate since 2014. This article was first published HERE


Robert Arthur said...

I am incredibly sceptical of experts advising on their own field. The overriding compunction is to extend and ensure future lucrative employment for self and colleagues. Take for example the original Matrimonial Property Law. Any cretan, let alone the giant law intellects, could foresee the situation of wives devorcing ailing partners to ensure a half share and not have to share the will with sons and daughter, mistresses, previous wives, the Battersea Dog Home etc. But the law not sorted (partly) until many had incurred problems and many felt forced to negotiate expensive contracts etc. Embracing recent reinterpretations of the woolly Treaty guarantees a lucrative industry forever.

CXH said...

'The legal profession is held in high regard' - perhaps once, much like teachers. Today, not so much.

Anonymous said...

This article has the "Wow" factor for me, that "Wow" being that a sitting MP is saying this out loud.
Thanks to people like Stuart on this blog we are getting some resistance to all the racist tribal agenda.
Please whisper loudly into Christopher's little pink ear that National has a massive turn-around mission when/if it takes over the government. And that he needs to keep signalling this as he tours the country. He is not getting any positive media reporting as I think the MSM are worried about losing their funding. A position on journalism funding also needs to be made as National Party policy if it hasn't already. It is a conundrum but surely smart people have some ideas how to do it without application agreements that support TOW for funding contracts.

Anonymous said...

A mind bogglingly corrupt proposal by NZLS. I am otherwise at a loss for words.

Anonymous said...

This goes all the way to activist judges also.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this information. I entirely agree with you that we must resist this suggestion to bring the Treaty into the legal realm. I already have less respect for the profession than I once did. I fear some woke lawyers are ready and willing.

Anonymous said...

What principles ?
Wendy Geus has been asking for some time for any official definition of these so called principles.
They don't exist and yet they are being used to frame law in NZ.

So much has been made up in NZ in the last 6 years - for example why do judges have to consider unwritten Maori law ?

This country has become too crazy to remain here.

Anonymous said...

“It is essential for the legal community to stand up against this divisive agenda or they will lose public confidence in the profession.”

It is absolutely essential. Thank you Stuart. It has long been apparent to me that NZ is infested with activist judges and lawyers. I sincerely hope this blatant ToW push elicits a strong reaction from the non-activist members of the profession. They need to stop totting up their billable hours, stand up and fight for their future and ours.

Peter Young said...

Well, I'm very pleased, Stuart, that you had the intestinal fortitude to raise this topic and, as Anonymous@12.59 suggested, please do put a word of this into your leader's ear. From other recent posts, he seems to be finding his own internal supporting structure and, by raising this here, you are certainly identifying yourself as perhaps more worthy of the role?

However, I do have to disabuse you of the belief that the legal profession is held in high regard. They are not unlike, Bank Managers, and your fellow political colleagues, who all seem too keen to challenge, and quite successfully at times, Used Vehicle Dealers in the race to the lowest echelon of those that can be trusted - not to mention the former’s keen embracement of extortionist fees for the privilege.

Since the advent of the a 'Treaty Industry', and other unbecoming instances related to pressurising junior staff relative to ‘intimate matters’, the legal profession’s perceived status has only been further degraded by the appointment of activist Judges to higher office.
That all said, the “Principles of the Treaty” – really??? If that isn’t anything other than a woke, divisive, and open invitation to litigate forever, what is? If it wasn’t so serious, it would have to be considered a joke!

The adoption of a something that isn’t even formalised, yet alone in unequivocal terms; that’s in a language that has evolved, open to interpretation and quite ‘foreign’ to the law; and, all in relation to a document that has several iterations, with no universally accepted meaning, is surely asking for trouble and could only be suggested by delinquents looking for work.

The Law Society needs to be advised forthwith in no uncertain terms of the proposal involving a relationship between consenting adults and its trans-locational positioning to another coordinate. In the alternative, and given that they perhaps would prefer a legal precedent, may I suggest they refer to the principles espoused in Arkell vs Pressdram (1971).

Rob Beechey said...

Never has so much damage been done in such a short period of time in NZ. Thanks for your enlightening piece Stuart.

Anonymous said...

In Law there is only law through legislation, there are no 'principles' in law.

Anonymous said...

The principles of democracy is currently being challenged by the woke. Racism exists but none more so against a white male. The values of unity and democratic rule made me proud to be a New Zealand. These are being washed away like tidal erosion to produce a racist population where Māori are given advantages over ever other New Zealanders. When the rule of law is dependant on your skin colour you cannot demonstrate rasism any clearer. Wake up and be vocal. The law society like many other bodies has been infiltrated by those not acting for their country as a hole but their race.