Steve Braunias on Name Suppression

Steve Braunias is a funny guy, sometimes, and other times he can be hard hitting. In the DomPost on Saturday he was both on the topic of Name Suppression.

Good morning and welcome to an unusual edition of May Contain Facts. Unusual, because accusations against prominent New Zealanders have forced us to go undercover.

It’s our usual practice each Saturday to examine current events from a fresh angle, seek out newsmakers to explain their actions, and answer emails and letters sent in by readers who have only kept one eye on the news, and are forced to ask: “Did I get that right? What actually happened?”

This week, though, readers have asked: “Who actually happened?”

The correspondence has been inspired by the disturbing new crime wave of public figures who must remain anonymous.

Yes and a disturbing another potential crime is being averted because one blogger and website in the whole of New Zealand is being permanently monitored like some sort of Stasi operation.

Officially, no-one is allowed to know the identity of the “prominent musician” who admitted indecently assaulting a teenage girl in an alleyway in Wellington, the “prominent comedian” facing a child sex charge, or the “prominent national figure” accused of indecency.

Each of the men has been given name suppression by the courts.

Earlier this week, police said they would investigate WhaleOil blogger Cameron Slater for revealing the identity of a man who allegedly committed an indecent assault on a 13-year-old girl.

Mr Slater used a binary code to name the man on his blog, which crashed after a huge surge of users tried to access the page.

Yes and the Police have also notified the world that my every word is to be monitored 24/7. Stasi? KGB? Secret Police.

May Contain Facts conducted our own investigation into the dark world of the nameless famous.

We went undercover yesterday to a meeting of PA, or Prominently Anonymous.

“Who are you?”, said the bouncer at the door.

“A prominent columnist,” we said.

“That’s stretching it a bit far,” he said, “but if you insist”.

Inside was a who’s who of the New Zealand entertainment, arts, media, business, sporting and political scene.

We knew this because there was a sign at the front of the stage that read A WHO’S WHO OF THE NEW ZEALAND ENTERTAINMENT, ARTS, MEDIA, BUSINESS, SPORTING AND POLITICAL SCENE.

We didn’t actually recognise anyone.

Are we getting the point of the ridiculous situation that is occurring in New Zealand. Our courts are becoming secret to the elite few oh and silly companies that can’t keep track of where their cash goes as seen in Hastings this week.

The problem that concerns me now is that FIGJAM Power will implement the Law Commission recommendations which doesn’t actually solve the problem.