The Timaru Herald

We must all be equal under the law ...


Should punishment­s for crimes be linked to the wealth or social circumstan­ces of the offender? Some 30 years ago, Britain’s then Tory government abandoned meansrelat­ed fines, introduced in the 1991 Criminal Justice Act, after anomalies were exposed.

They included a man asked to pay £1200 for dropping a crisp packet and a motorist handed a £500 fine for parking on a double yellow line when his car broke down. 1. The word ‘sauna’ comes from which European language?

2. Which toothed whale found in the Arctic Ocean is commonly known as a white whale?

3. In which Tennessee Williams play does Blanche DuBois arrive at her sister’s New Orleans apartment in a tram?

4. Where on the human body would a

There appear to be elements of “Trumpism,” in the developmen­t of the Timaru Mega Centre. Developer Tony Gates seems to be calling the tune in terms of ridding Timaru of its very own pyramid of displaced soil. Brooke Black summarises the situation under the heading, “Council demands 100k bond” to rid us of this eyesore, in The Timaru Herald 4/4/24. “The self-imposed (developer) deadline (of May) was unlikely to be achieved,” we are told. So, has this been really costed by TDC or was 100k a figure plucked out of the air? Been on State Highway 1 lately? The traffic jams at the confluence of the highway and mega shopping centre seem to be getting worse. Me thinks the developer should forfeit the 100k at the end of May, since that is his date to complete the pyramid removal. That always assumes he actually posts the bond. I am wondering if Timaru

The notion that everyone was equal under the law was challenged by the idea that better-off people could afford higher penalties.

Now the reverse is happening. Judges and magistrate­s are being told that they must consider more lenient sentences for offenders with “deprived” and “difficult” background­s or personal circumstan­ces.

This is wrong on a number of levels. First, it is often the case that the most persistent criminals come from deprived background­s, and yet they are the people cummerbund be worn?

5. What did Bernard D Sadow invent in 1970? a. Wheeled suitcase, b. coffee filter, c. forklift.

6. Who was leader of the Opposition at the time of Norman Kirk’s death?

7. Which part of a car was originally known as the cop-spotter when it was patented in 1921? 8. Yuri van Gelder, who is nicknamed the Lord of the Rings, is known for which sport?

9. Which Asian country is the second most populous commonweal­th nation after India?

10. Ngaio Marsh’s 1945 novel Died In The Wool is the 13th novel to feature which character? a. Hercule Poirot, b. Istina Mavet, c. Roderick Alleyn. holds the record for the most traffic lights on State Highway 1, and whether the Minister of Transport can tear himself away who should face condign punishment to protect wider society.

Second, the great majority of people from poorer background­s do not commit crimes and to connect the two is patronisin­g.

Third, a likely outcome is that people from middle-class background­s will end up being given higher penalties. This is unjust.

Some of the criteria for judging disadvanta­ge from Auckland to do something about it? Six sets on the number 1 road in New Zealand, or have I got that wrong? Let’s are subjective, such as “negative influences from peers”.

Lawyers for alleged offenders will have a field day exploiting these factors to reduce the sentence for their clients. Judges already take into account the likely impact of a sentence on an individual’s life chances and can use their discretion.

Reform is not required. An approach that seeks to formalise the favourable treatment of one group over others is unnecessar­y and unwise. – Telegraph Group


make Stafford St the place to shop, assuming the mayor ever gets in to gear with an initiative to help fill the 40 empty shops. I know, let’s call for a report.

Ian Hanley


Your Thursday edition features a photo of a nice modern building in Taiwan tilted over after an earthquake. We too live on shaky ground yet we can become obsessed with spending millions on old buildings. However, a more serious problem is our national refusal to face reality. The obvious number one is climate change. A major factor are fossil fuels – our government's contributi­on is to consider more licences for exploratio­n. Little action on our love affair with the vehicles but build more roads; downplay public transport; close cycleways; raise the speed limit - what about all those “slow down” signs on the roadside and our Easter road toll! On the purely people things, turn back the clock on smoking legislatio­n and help landlords but do little or nothing for struggling tenants. Cut down the number of civil servants; a proposal by one who has not been in government before. Surely we should look at their work and performanc­e first. And a foreign minister who seems to know more about the racing industry than China! I am reminded of an old saying “I’m all right Jack”… but things are not all right, nor is our government. The most concerning thing is the malaise has not just infected government but is spreading to all of us, and it’s not just NZ.

Dennis Veal

Timaru of his comments around the proposed fast tracking of significan­t projects and if waste to energy plants were one of the types of projects being considered. My questions are based on comments he made in a Q&A interview with Jack Tame. To date I have not had the courtesy of a reply. It seems that we voters are to be kept in the dark about this proposal and so have every right to be concerned about its intent and about the amount of power being placed in the hands of three cabinet ministers. Particular­ly when they will not answer legitimate questions from concerned voters.

Peter Vendetti


 ?? AIMAN AMERUL MUNER/THE TIMARU HERALD ?? The large stockpile of materials at The Showground­s, pictured in January, has been referred to as an “eye sore” by one letter writer.
AIMAN AMERUL MUNER/THE TIMARU HERALD The large stockpile of materials at The Showground­s, pictured in January, has been referred to as an “eye sore” by one letter writer.
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