Fresh from the New Zealand Judiciary defending bankers better than their QC did for running over Koreans, the latest ruling of Venning J. chucks up an interesting question.
Venning J. stood down from appeals in New Zealand’s largest tax case which was based on a forestry investment because he had a similar investment that he did not declare.
The three say they discovered during the Trinity trial in 2004 that Justice Venning was an investor and director of a forestry partnership in Southland, the Tahakopa Forest Trust, which had land close to Trinity’s. At one stage the judge was also a member of the management committee that ran Tahakopa.
The judge did not disclose this to the court or to the Trinity investors and litigants before the trial.
So Venning J. sits on the NIWA caseÂ with the NZ Climate Science Education Trust without recusing himself for having that same history and interest in forestry and carbon credits with a Judicial Conduct Compliant hanging over his head.
How else was he going to rule even if the NZ Climate Science Education Trust had the strongest case they could cobble together?