Venning J. Won’t Throw Out Those Carbon Credits

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 case 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?


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  • Phar Lap

    Always wondered why NZ is classed as “corrupt free”,of course depends on who we are talking about.Judges are like the Maori Radical Harawira,they can say and do what they like ,and get away with it,accountable to no one.

  • cows4me

    Yep, money for fucking jam. And how many other high profile kiwis have interests in forestry?. Carbon credits, oh fucking please, more like taking from the peasants and lining the pockets of the law makers.

    • Yep

      Shonagh Kenderdine trousers $400,000 plus according to this – – for approving an infrasound belching wind farm on Palmerston North ratepayers. She’s an unaccountable global warming nutter.

  • Magoo

    Good grounds for an appeal I’d say. I wonder if it’s possible to make the judge pay the court costs.

  • Gazzaw

    And we have no Privy Council. Gee thanks for consulting us Hulun & the white witch.

  • peterwn

    Justice Venning disclosed his forestry investment interest at the start of the case and none of the parties raised objection. There seemed to be some aspect about this he glossed over. It beggars belief that this aspect makes him vulnerable to being ‘done over’ by IRD re his forestry investment if he gave an unfavourable ruling to IRD on the Trinity case, especially when the parties knew he had a forestry investment that ran this risk. Now Trinity involved tax avoidance at a ‘breath taking’ level, unlike most other forestry investments which are operated in a way acceptable to IRD. The problem here is he delivered such a devastating blow blow to Trinity promoters and investors that they are fighting the decision tooth and nail. This includes trying to have Justice Venning’s decision nullified and claiming ‘misleading behaviour on IRD’s part. As on ordinary long suffering taxpayer, I commend IRD’s efforts to crack down on blatantly abusive tax avoidance which was what Trinity was all about the case.

    As was pointed out in the Chiropractors v Simon Singh libel case in UK, the court is not the place to decide scientific matters (imagine a court ruling on the Second Law of Thermodynamics). So all the court could do was to ascertain that NIWA had properly gone through the motions of doing research and publishing results. It could only get involved in the outcome if it was outrageously unreasonable – lawyers call this Wednesbury unreasonableness see:
    (The Council would not let kids under 15 go to the pictures on Sunday – presumably the Council thought they should be at sunday school / bible class. While this may be an outrageously unreasonable decision in 2012 terms, it was a quite reasonable thing in the 1940’s).

    • Guest

      ?? Where are you from Peterwn. The IRD? Venning has never ruled against the IRD. Funny that.

      • parorchestia

        Has he ever ruled against the establishment?

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