Wairarapa News : July 10th 2013
10 WAIRARAPA NEWS, JULY 10, 2013 OPINION you say yes? ay yes to any of these, get tested for hepatitis C. It can be treated. drugs o or body piercing using unsterile equipment l attention when I was overseas d transfusion prior to 1992 prison Talk to your doctor or get a free test from The Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand. Call 0800 33 20 10 or visit www.hepatitisfoundation.org.nz. Individuals pictured are models and are used for illustrative purposes only. World Hepatitis Day - 28 July 2013. Looking a gift horse in the mouth THE LONG VIEW CK LONG LV RIC Sir Owen Glenn: Generous to a fault? How far that little candle throws its beams. So shines a good deed in a naughty world.'' - Wil- liam Shakespeare An old schoolboy friend came to visit recently. Malcolm used to live over the road from our place and we went to primary school together. The family left Masterton when his father was transferred to Auckland. Malcolm at the time was in the third form at Wai- rarapa College. I had only seen him once since then, and that was about 40 years ago when I was being shown through Auckland s Southdown freezing works. Mal- colm left the chain and approached me wearing white overalls, matching gumboots and one of these silly hats workers in some food industries are obliged to wear. I didn t recognise him at first, but we shook hands and were only able to exchange a few words before my hosts hurried me on to the next section of that vast meat-processing plant. So I was delighted when a few months ago he turned up on our doorstep with his charming wife and over dinner we were able to catch up over the direction our paths had taken in the interven- ing sixty years. One interesting aspect of Malcolm s life was that he is a firm friend of Sir Owen Glenn. I was a little surprised given the disparity of incomes; the freezing worker and the multi- millionaire seemed like an unlikely mix. It turns out Malcolm and Owen played hockey together at Mount Roskill Grammar and following that with the college s old boys team. Owen then did the big OE to Europe and went on to make his fame and fortune establishing a freight-forwarding business. But he never forgot his old friend. Thanks to Owen s generosity Mal- colm has seen most of the world courtesy of Owen s luxury super- yacht. Whenever Owen planned a voyage of some significance he would send Malcolm air tickets to wherever the vessel was anchored and Malcolm would join him on the various jaunts. South America, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean; wherever Owen s whim would take them. Malcolm sent me a copy of Sir Owen s book Making a Difference. He needn t have; I had bought a copy the day after Malcolm left; I was so interested about what he had told me about Glenn. Autobi- ography s, unlike unauthorised biographies, are always going to show the author in a good light and certainly in this book, of which I now have two copies, Sir Owen looks like the thoroughly nice person that Malcolm described him as. There are lots of photos in the book and Malcolm appears in many of them. Glenn of course had shown huge generosity to this country which incidentally was not the country of his birth. He was born in Cal- cutta and his family emigrated to New Zealand when he was 12. His altruism knows no bounds particularly when you consider that he gave an ungrateful Win- ston Peters $100,000 to pay legal expenses and picked up a part- ownership of the struggling War- riors Rugby League team. And then there was the $7.5 million dollars to build the Busi- ness School premises on the cam- pus of the Auckland University and a half a million dollar a year matching scholarship to go with it.He has given generously to the Christchurch earthquake recovery programme, the National Aquatic Centre and a host of sporting bodies. He set up the Glenn Family Foundation with an initial donation of $8 million to build stronger communities in South Auckland where he used to live and more importantly he has pledged $80 million to an organis- ation of his own making, intent on improving the lot of children and families and reversing New Zea- land s horrific child abuse and domestic violence statistics. All this came tumbling down last week when a disputed revel- ation mischievously came to light disclosing that Sir Owen was charged with physically abusing a young woman, apparently a mem- ber of his family, in Hawaii in 2002. Culpable or not, Glenn took his lawyer s advice and entered a plea of no contest and when a pro- bationary period expired the charge was dismissed. Violence by men against women is inexcusable, but the tone of his autobiography strongly suggests this is a man with a hard business heart, but a soft personal one. Whether or not he was guilty as charged may never be known. However the subsequent petulant behaviour of some of those he orig- inally selected to aid him in his desire to survey the symptoms and chart a course to reduce the incidence of New Zealand s appal- ling family violence statistics, means the programme is now in jeopardy. Sir Owen s generosity to this country was surprising when by my reckoning he only lived here for about seven years as a teenager. He currently resides in Australia; if only Russell Crowe was as philanthropic. Real flaws in the rushed spy bill TALKING POLITICS GORDON CAMPBELL While Kim Dotcom s clash with Prime Minister John Key provided the main drama at the Intelligence and Security Committee hearings on the new GCSB legislation, other submitters highlighted the flaws in the draft bill. The Law Society, Tech Liberty and Internet NZ all made worth- while contributions to the com- mittee proceedings. Incredibly, as Tech Liberty s Thomas Beagle pointed out, the bill is completely silent on the gathering, analysis, sharing and storage of metadata, despite that being, as he said, an important part of modern surveillance and spying, and there is no doubt that the GCSB has been involved in its collection and analysis . Metadata includes, for instance, the information about when, where and between whom a pri- vate communication takes place. But there s no mention of where they can and can t get it from, Beagle noted, or how long they can keep it, or anything else. According to the Kitteridge report, the GCSB has repeatedly broken the current law while assisting other agencies, such as the police. However, as Internet NZ poin- ted out, once the surveillance assistance being provided by the GCSB becomes protected by the new law, a similar cone of secrecy and legal validation will be cast over the actions of those agencies it is assisting , even though with- out the GCSB s involvement, that may not have been the case. In the process, the oversight role of the Inspector-General will be rendered virtually meaning- less, because if all communi- cations and metadata analyses based on them potentially become fair game for the GCSB in future, then the Inspector-General would be virtually compelled to sign off each and every privacy intrusion as being justified. Allegedly, the new bill exists because of unclear language in the current act. Yet in key provisions, the draft bill is less clear than the legis- lation it seeks to replace. Section 8B of the draft bill, for instance, authorises gathering information about information infrastructures by the GCSB, without defining what infor- mation infrastructures actually mean or encompass. Also, as the Law Commission chairman Sir Grant Hammond has pointed out, no clear defi- nition of even a basic term like private communication exists within the draft bill. Such flaws have only helped to substantiate the wider points being made by Dotcom. Namely, that the new bill creates a system of mass surveil- lance that significantly erodes the privacy rights of all New Zealand- ers. Moreover, the bill is being rus- hed through Parliament under urgency before the Government has made any case as to why it is necessary. Rhetoric aside, the proposed legislation significantly expands the GCSB s tight focus on external intelligence by adding an ill- defined involvement in domestic spying. Lastly (and ironically), for a security bill packaged as a defence of New Zealand s economic well- being, the lack of proper bound- aries and oversight safeguards threatens to damage this country s hi-tech and intellectual property (IP) sectors. To that extent, the draft bill could well undermine the Govern- ment s $1.5 billion investment in faster broadband. Already, Google has warned about the backlash against New Zealand that the GCSB bill is likely to ignite. Yet to date, there has been no cost-benefit analysis of the impact of that bill on the IP and hi-tech sectors that it purports to defend. In sum, Kim Dotcom may be the least of the Government s prob- lems with the GCSB bill.
July 3rd 2013
July 17th 2013