A really bloody good judge, dislikes bludgers, maori activists, pedos, tattoos and dead beat dads

The Herald on Sunday has published some extracts from the new book by Judge Russell Callander.

He looks like a bloody good judge.

Here are some of his views.

On bludgers:

Benefit bludgers and tax cheats make me growl with indignation. Tax resistance is an ancient art form but benefit bludging is new – because until social welfare states emerged last century there was no such thing as a benefit from the state. When people improperly take benefits, they steal from the state – from the rest of us who obediently pay our taxes. I have seen people live cheerfully in well-paid jobs while for years they supplement that with unemployment benefits totalling thousands of dollars – in one case nearly $100,000. Often they have the cheek to look very disgruntled when they are caught, convicted and ordered to pay it all back. Then, adding insult to injury, they smile sweetly and offer to pay it back at $15 per week over the next 128 years. Naturally, without interest. Resistance to tax is as old as mankind. Historically, some taxes have been manifestly unfair, but when they are sensibly imposed we all have a duty to play fair and pay our way. Services must be paid for. I was once told by a tax accountant that if every New Zealander properly paid their taxes, and didn’t cheat or hide behind trusts, the general tax rate for everyone could be halved. 

On tattoos:

Epidermal self-mutilation with grotesque ill-drawn graphics so frequently flaunted by defendants, their associates, and witnesses are most irritating. It is distracting for a judge to gaze for hours at incomprehensible and often misspelled words or skin art so badly drawn that they are ugliness personified. When a man can’t even successfully spell four-letter Anglo-Saxon words, it makes me worry either about the standards of teaching in our schools, or the intelligence quotient of some of our more delinquent citizens. One witness was asked to identify an accused by describing the man’s tattoos. I applauded his response. “I can’t really describe his tattoos. They were a load of rubbish. They looked like the graffiti on a public dunny wall.”

On dead beat dads:

Over the years I have dealt with scores of men who have fathered children and then totally abdicated any responsibility for them. They don’t provide any financial help. They don’t play any parental role. They are selfish, uninterested, inhuman and irresponsible. They deserve the condemnation of us all.

On paedophiles:

Certain guilty paedophiles selfishly elect trial by jury on serious charges of sexual violation of children. They make me more than just grumpy. They force innocent children to testify about traumatic and sensitive sexual issues in the usually futile hope a jury will acquit. They deny their offending. They lie through their fangs. And then, after being sentenced to imprisonment, they confess all to a prison psychologist and ask for a rehabilitation programme and the earliest possible release date. On the off-chance of an acquittal they aggravate the pain of their young victims.

On maori activists:

A huge amount of court time is wasted by Maori activists who profess that Maori sovereignty renders them somehow immune to the laws of New Zealand. No one minds conceding legitimate protest about cultural concerns for all who live in our special country – as cranky as one man’s values and beliefs may be to the man across town. In a democracy that is fine. But to waste hundreds of hours of jury and judge time dealing with repetitive and often illogical and unreasonable tirades about things that have for years been rejected by the appeal courts, is worthy of thunderous judicial rebuke.

As I said a bloody good judge. More like him please.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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