Bludgers think begging is a ‘fundamental freedom of expression’

Bludgers think begging is a ‘fundamental freedom of expression’, except most of them aren’t beggars, they are dead set bludgers taking the piss.

Of course, they’ve found some womble human rights lawyer, Michael Bott a former Labour candidate, to represent them in court and naturally some useless journalists to pimp the “poor”,

By denying three men the right to beg for money, the Napier City Council is breaching their fundamental freedom of expression under the Bill of Rights, a court will hear.

The three men; Turei Cooper, Major Keelan and Myles Hemopo, have pleaded not guilty to charges of breaching a council bylaw that forbids them from soliciting for money without permission.

A leading human rights lawyer believes the men have a good case, as any council bylaw that banned begging was unlawful.

Other councils across the country are keeping a close eye on the Napier case to see what impact it might have on their own begging bylaws.

Cooper and Keelan will have their case heard in a judge-alone trial in August. Hemopo will be tried on the same day.

In a memorandum to the Napier District Court, Cooper and Keelan’s lawyer, Alan Cressey said the men will seek to challenge the validity of Napier’s bylaw “insofar as it applies to begging”.

“It will be submitted, as it already has in overseas jurisdictions, that to deny a person the right to ask others for help is the most fundamental breach of freedom of expression possible,” he said.

“Furthermore … begging is a form of political expression that lies at the very core of freedom of expression in that it draws attention to the defendants’ plight, thus raising social and political consciousness amongst the public.”

The three men’s alleged offending occurred on various dates in May. Keelan faces charges of soliciting for money and breaching city bylaws, Hemopo of breaching a bylaw, and Cooper of soliciting for money and disorderly behaviour.

The council bylaw in question states that soliciting any subscription, collection or donation or undertaking any busking in a public place can only be done with prior permission of the council or an authorised person.

When asked ​what criteria the Napier City Council considers before deciding to grant permission, regulatory solutions manager Hayleigh Brereton said it has scope to issue permits for busking, raffles, information stalls and street appeals, provided a charitable purpose was clearly displayed.

We have a welfare system and these bludgers are talking the piss.

Let’s hope they end up with Judge Tony Adeane.

I note that Andrew Geddis, a man too afraid to say my name, has weighed in as well. I didn’t notice him coming forward to protect my fundamental rights to freedom of expression when he jumped in boots and all over Dirty Politics.

 

-Fairfax


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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.

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