Now Name Suppression includes Dog names!

While the NZ Herald was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars with Bell Gully overturning Mark Hotchin’s name suppression in the interests of touting more newspapers a well known political figure is currently before the courts with name suppression.

He has been for some time but to my knowledge the Herald hasn’t hired a bevy of lawyers to publish his name in the “public interest”. bell Gully should be licking their chops with glee at the prospect of their new found revenue stream.

Using their new logic that when things materially change in a person’s circumstances, no matter how much time has elapsed you can trot off to court and overturn name suppression orders I have to wonder why they aren’t doing so in this case.

However on to the matter at hand and the now ridiculous situation where name suppression also applies to the names of dogs:

A leading political figure has given evidence about allegations of dog-napping and assault on a street in an upmarket suburb.

The man, his ex-wife and his new partner cannot be named because of strict suppression orders. Even the two dogs have name suppression.

Yesterday’s hearing in the Family Court at Auckland is the latest legal chapter in the long-running matrimonial dispute.

The alleged dog-napping took place in Remuera last November. In court yesterday the former wife (to be referred to as D) admitted taking one of the two dogs as they were being walked by the new partner of her ex-husband (to be referred to as C).

The court was told how D allegedly “grabbed, pushed and tried to wrench the dog” from the partner’s arms. The partner’s complaint of theft was rejected by police as the dogs had been ruled the couple’s matrimonial property, and D had a joint claim to them, although she had not seen them since the separation.

After D refused to give the couple legal assurances that she would not try to take the other dog, the couple began legal action.

In court yesterday, D referred to the dogs as “her babies” and admitted driving around the neighbourhood in the hope of seeing them. She denied stalking the couple, however.

C defended his decision not to hand over the dogs despite D’s numerous appeals because they were all he had left of the marriage. “She insists to this day that both dogs go to her, so I would be left with nothing.”

At one point Judge Burns said: “I have never dealt with this type of issue before.”

I can understand why there is name suppression in most family court cases, they involve children. However in this case we have middle aged adults with no children involved. The pretense of name suppression is purely for the sake of protecting them from embarrassment, precisely the same situation that prompted the NZ Herald to apply for Mark Hotchins permanent suppression order to be overturned.

Surely in the interests of consistency the NZ Herald their expensive lawyers should be down at the court today seeking to have the suppression orders overturned because of the public interest in the individual concerned.

Meanwhile I think the Judge can solve all this bullshit by ordering the dogs destroyed.



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  • naylor

    Ha Bell Gully must be laughing all the way to the bank with the $100,000 fees paid by the Herald to get the suppression order overturned.

    But seriously the Herald is now a complete bunch of hypocrites and that smirking Phil Taylor should be chasing after this case. If not then he is a complete hypocrite in going after that guy Hotchin when there’s hundreds of other cases that, because of their witch-hunt, can now be “exposed”. What losers.

    BTW – the Dogs are innocent parties… let them live!

  • peterwn

    I foresee a new twist to this case. Some people refer to their dogs as ‘babies’. They will start arguing that they are children and that the Care of Childrens Act applies especially the bit about the welfare of the child being paramount. This case will also no doubt spice up Family Law lectures at law schools.

  • hollyfield

    WO you say: The pre­tense of name sup­pres­sion is purely for the sake of pro­tect­ing them from embar­rass­ment,
    If even half of what the Herald has reported is accurate, I’d say this couple has plenty to be embarrassed about.
    Is the leading political figure as immature and stupid when he’s voting on public issues?

  • sassycassy

    WO – I noticed that the “ads by Google” at the top of your blog page has “100 Top Dog Names” . Are you breaching supression orders again ! ;-)

  • mikejohnson

    Just by reading the Herald article, it’s fairly apparent who the people involved are. I mean, how many separated MPs with a new partner and living in Remuera are there?

    The ex-wife I am thinking of was very, very upset when her former husband and very prominent MP dumped her.

    • It isn’t an MP or an ex-MP

      • mikejohnson

        Ah. Thanks, Whale.

        Then the Herald story is a clear example of why there should not be name suppression. I will not be the only person to conclude that the article is about one particular prominent MP — I’m sure you know who I mean. I wonder how long before he puts out a statement saying it’s not him?

  • titan

    Unless if the 2 (female) “dogs” (i.e. bitches) referred to and to which the name suppression applies to were the ex-wife and the current wife?