Clare Curran busted meddling in court processes

Clare Curran has spent her lifetime meddling but this time she has been caught red-handed and ticked off by a judge for her actions.

Dunedin South MP Clare Curran has been accused of attempting to interfere with judicial process over an Environment Court decision on the future of quarrying on Saddle Hill.

Saddle Views Estate Ltd director and quarry owner Calvin Fisher said a letter a local MP – later confirmed to be Ms Curran – sent to the court amounted to her attempting to “influence a judge prior to a hearing” and was “reprehensible”.

“I am shocked at the way people have tried to manipulate the process,” Mr Fisher said.

University of Otago parliamentary law specialist Marcelo Rodriguez Ferrere said Ms Curran’s letter was unusual and not the most appropriate way for her to represent her constituents’ concerns.

Ms Curran defended the letter yesterday, saying she was merely acting as a local MP representing the concerns of her constituency.  

This comes as Environment Court Judge Jon Jackson said in a minute issued yesterday the court was “highly likely” to release a decision over what quarrying is allowed at Saddle Hill by the end of next week.

The minute also confirmed Ms Curran sent the court a letter last year urging it to take into account concern from the Dunedin public about the issue and the “precarious condition” of the Saddle Hill ridge-line.

Judge Jackson said the parties were “promptly” advised of Ms Curran’s letter, and correspondence from Saddle Hill Community Board chairman Scott Weatherall seeking an update on the case, and told both pieces of correspondence would be disregarded by the court.

In a separate minute supplied to the Otago Daily Times, Judge Jackson said Ms Curran “could be seen as attempting to influence the court” in the letter.

“The parties can be assured that no consideration or weight will be given to the letter,” he said.

The case rests with the Environment Court after the High Court ruled in late 2014 the quarry had resource consent from 1960 to quarry Jaffray Hill, when Downer began using an existing quarry for material used to build Dunedin Airport at Momona.

How arrogant. Interfering in court processes. I’m glad the judge was awake to it.

She really is shameless when it comes to meddling in things.


– Otago Daily Times

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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. 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 who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.