Category Archives: Law

Legislating to Increase State Powers of Surveillance & the GCSB

kimdotcomemail johnkey

Reason, Science, and Legislating to Increase State Powers of Surveillance

Rodney Harrison QC speaks about the legal and ethical issues surrounding government surveillance and public privacy, particularly surrounding recent events with Kim Dotcom and the GCSB.

Monday, August 12th, Case Room 1, OGGB, 6:00pm to 8:00pm.




Peter O’Connor on Charter Schools


On Tuesday 19th of March we had Peter Connor who came to talk about what has been said about education and charter schools as a solution to a problem that has been created and talk about better solutions.
We tried to inviting one of the following to represent the pro charter school side of this issue: John Banks, Act leader and main driving force for charter schools; Catherine Issac, former ACT president; and  Stuart Middleton from MIT:

Speaker Profile:
Associate Professor O’Connor is an internationally recognised expert in applied theatre. His research has focused primarily on using applied theatre as a public education medium to address major social issues including public health, gender equity in schools and the development of inclusive, empathetic and critical school cultures. Recent applied theatre research includes national programmes on preventing family violence and child abuse and parenting programmes in Youth Justice Facilities. His work in Christchurch following the February earthquake has lead to UNESCO funded research and programme development. In 2011 he was named a New Zealander of the Year by North and South Magazine for this work. He is currently engaged in the ongoing debates about charter schools and the nature of quality public education. Peter was previously the National Education Manager for the Race Relations Office and the National Project manager for the Like Minds campaign with the Mental Health Foundation. His 2003 PhD on his work in forensic psychiatric units won the 2006 AATE Distinguished Dissertation Award in Washington DC.

Paul Rishworth on Same sex marriage and religious exemptions

On Tuesday 26th March we had a presentation by Paul Rishworth on Same-Sex marriage and Religious Exemptions: how New Zealand law and international human rights law interact.

This talk gave an overview of how international human rights law has developed since its origins in the aftermath of World War II, and how that body of law now interacts with New Zealand’s own law. Against that background, the current debate about same sex marriage, and the case for religion-based exemptions from solemnising same-sex marriages, will be explored.

Speakers Profile:
Paul Rishworth joined The University of Auckland Faculty of Law in 1987. His research interests are in the field of human rights and comparative constitutional law, and South Pacific legal studies. His work on the New Zealand Bill of Rights has been widely cited by peers, practitioners and judges. He has worked over the years as a consultant and advisor for government agencies and groups, including the Human Rights Commission, in New Zealand and overseas, on issues ranging from restrictions on hate speech to the autonomy of religious organisations to hire and ordain leaders.
Paul was the Faculty Dean and the Head of the Department of Law 2005-2010. He remains involved in the litigation of civil rights issues in the higher courts and in community organisations. Most recently he presented in person the NZ Law Societies submission to the same same-sex Marriage Bill. 
Details of this submission and the NZ Law Societies position can be found here:

A law allowing same-sex couples to marry was passed on Wednesday 17th April

UPDATE: Here is the video from this talk.