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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  • Time For Accountability

    She has form.

    Before she became an MP she. Wrote a shameful piece designed to influence staff members of a health organisation in the lead up to a trial. I hold a copy.

    She also has attempted to attack Telecom re staff redundancies which dropped the share price by millions.

    It is my opinion her judgement is impaired.

    Perhaps it is time to fully examine the South Dunedin Trust she is a trustee of that allocates funds to her for election funding.

    • Keeping Stock

      Clare Curran has a trust? Surely not; after all, trusts are a way of “rich pricks” concealing their money and dodging tax, and the only people who have trusts are John Key’s mates from the top end of town. That’s the Labour narrative anyway…

      • Odd Ball

        The labour party in that area had or has a large property portfolio which is governed by a trust.
        It’s mentioned on a dorment blog called ‘insolent prick’

    • Melissa

      Why is it that I only learn this stuff from reading Whaleoil? Why isn’t this information, and other stuff like it, more obviously out there for everyone to see just how dirty Labour really are? Oh yeah, that’s right, the totally biased reporting of the Herald and its ilk.

      • Brian

        Was in yesterdays ODT

        • Disinfectant

          About the only independent newspaper left in the country.

    • Time For Accountability

      My apologies.

      It was an incorporated Society not a Trust.

  • Keeping Stock

    Clare Curran, along with her colleagues David Parker and Trevor Mallard was also donkey-deep in the infamous Erin Leigh affair at the Environment Ministry in 2007:

    The woman who accused Labour MP Trevor Mallard and a top public servant of destroying her reputation has won an appeal to the Supreme Court.

    In 2007, whistleblower Erin Leigh accused Mallard, then Environment Minister, of defamation.

    This was after she raised questions about political interference and alleged former minister David Parker pushed for Clare Curran to be appointed to a communications role with the Ministry.

    All three Labour members involved are currently sitting Members of Parliament.

    At the time Mallard was asked an oral question on the matter in Parliament and spoke negatively about Leigh.

    He told the House she had “repeated competence issues” and said Curran had been appointed to “fix up the mess”.

    The Ministry’s then Deputy Secretary Lindsay Gow had been appointed to provide Mallard with written and oral briefings before he answered the question.

    Unable to sue Mallard, who was protected by parliamentary privilege, Leigh subsequently sued Gow for defamation.

    Gow contended that his written and oral communications to the minister were also covered by absolute privilege and that the claims should therefore be struck out.

    But the High Court, Court of Appeal, and now Supreme Court ruled that it was a matter of qualified, not absolute, privilege.

    Absolute privilege prevents politicians from being sued for what they say in the House.

    And let’s not forget that Labour frequently accuses the current government of “dirty politics”, when in truth, “dirty politics” is embedded in the DNA of the Labour Party.

  • geoff2112

    Must be time for him to make a come back…….

    • localnews

      Auckland mayor?

  • Gaharis

    Funny to me because I assume this Calvin Fisher is the same Calvin Fisher who was a union contemporary of Chris Trotter in Dunedin in the early 1990’s and as far as I know even quite recently had union links.

  • sonovaMin

    I thought Labours modus operandi was a quiet word behind the scenes and never put anything in writing.

  • seismac

    Anything to get in the paper as all the electorate she is in only see her as effective
    Wasnt she the Labour MP who had less Labour support than National in South Dunedin last election and the one before ???????????

  • seismac

    Frazer Trust turning in their graves eg Dorethy Frazer and Stan Rodgers