Department of Internal Affairs

Is New Zealand business friendly?

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Anyone have a problem with the DIA, Customs and Immigration knowing the names of all our prisoners? Yeah, thought not.

Labour will no doubt oppose this initiative, they are after all the crim-friendly party in parliament.

Justice Minister Amy Adams says she’ll take steps to ensure there’s no way serious offenders are able to travel the way Phillip John Smith did.

The convicted murderer and child molester was able to obtain a passport and fly to South America while on temporary release from prison.

An inquiry report released on Thursday found numerous failings in justice agency systems and recommended a raft of changes.

Ms Adams says she’s working on it. ? Read more »

Government to end the charity rort

Turns out a lot of complaining is coming from sports clubs that have held charitable status now that Internal Affairs is casting a critical eye over the claim they are charities.

Plans to field New Zealand entrants in all 14 rowing events at next year’s Rio Olympics are threatened by a drive by government officials to deregister potentially hundreds of sporting bodies from the register of charities.

Rowing New Zealand, which supported this week’s Halberg Awards supreme winners Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, says the move threatens its plan to raise $1 million from philanthropic donors to send more rowers to Rio than it has fielded in past Olympics.

Swimming New Zealand has been deregistered already on the same grounds that its promotion of competitive swimming is “an end in itself” and is not “charitable”.

Its chief executive Christian Renford said the change might force cuts in water safety and learn-to-swim programmes. He has called a meeting with other sporting codes on Monday to discuss a cross-sports response.

The 50 members of the 117-year-old Cambridge Bowling Club are bewildered by a letter from the Internal Affairs Department’s Charities Services saying their club will be deregistered unless they provide evidence by Monday proving their activities are charitable.

Pimp the Poor expert Simon Collins is on full flight here, trying to make it sound like sports clubs will go broke if they are no longer allowed to claim charitable status.

Here’s the thing – I take donations, and I have to pay tax on those. ? And Whaleoil is no more a charity than a local bowling club. ? Read more »

From my cold, dead, modem

Regan at Throng writes:

Apparently the Chief censor has their knickers in a twist over Orcon and Slingshot?s Global mode options and is considering a range of charges according to reports.

New Zealand?s chief censor is considering bringing charges against Slingshot and Orcon, which both give customers access to websites with movies that could be either unclassified or banned in this country.

Global Mode gives Slingshot and Orcon customers access to overseas movie and television websites, like Netflix, that are normally blocked to people in this country because of copyright arrangements.

There is therefore the potential for New Zealanders to watch films on these sites that are unclassified in this country or banned.

This only proves how outdated the law must be and how little the Chief Censor understands how the internet works.

By definition, the Act, which covers all video content in the form of computer files, requires all said content to be classified. Any film, or video recording: ? Read more »

Another registered teacher in trouble with the law

Passport fraud, fake student enrolment, gambling….the mind boggles but thank god he is a registered teacher so it won’t be anything serious or is not perfectly acceptable in the Ngati Whatua room or the mayoral office.

The principal of a West Auckland school has resigned after being investigated by the Department of Internal Affairs.

A spokeswoman for Internal Affairs confirmed David Latimer was being investigated by the department, but would not reveal the nature of the investigation as it was ongoing.

It is understood Latimer has consulted a barrister in relation to the investigation.

When contacted by Fairfax Media, Latimer said he did not want to make any comment.

He last month resigned from Rangeview Intermediate School, where he had been principal for six years. ? Read more »

Millions of New Zealanders attempt to access Child Porn sites – Ben Heather [UPDATED]

Yes, that’s what I though too: ?What?

See for yourself:

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This doesn’t pass the BS test. ?MillionS of Kiwis means about one in two, perhaps one in three of us are trying to access Child Porn web sites.

What the hell is going on here? ? Read more »

What is this? Kindergarten?

What is it with civil servants and their departments. It looks like DIA is running a kindergarten rather than a government department.

Check out this update to DIA staff after the earthquake in Wellington on Monday.

General observations, useful tips, thoughts, thanks to clean-up teams etc:?there will be an 1840 forum for this. Please also use this for poems, songs and art works you have created in response to recent events.

What a bunch of panty-waists.

The Fun Police are on the Prowl

Lock the office doors, hide your Melbourne Cup Sweep tickets, this is one of the 3 or 4 days in the year when Internal Affairs Inspectors get to do their righteous work.

No prizes over $500 and (how necessary is this!) you are not allowed to offer a firearm or vouchers for sexual services as an office sweepstake prize.

$1,000 fine if you’re caught.? Spoilsports.

It’s the horse race that brings two nations to a standstill and sends novice punters into a frenzied flutter.

Armies of Kiwi office workers will this afternoon down pens for the annual Melbourne Cup race and obligatory office sweepstake.

Melbourne Cup frivolities attract many Kiwis usually averse to the sport and unaccustomed to placing a bet.

Cup day, celebrated as a public holiday in most of Victoria, is the single biggest betting day for the TAB in New Zealand. It also turns thousands of workers into makeshift bookies as workplaces join in the fun by offering an office sweepstake.

However, the Department of Internal Affairs warns that office sweepstake prize money cannot exceed $500 and those who breach the rules could face the long arm of the law.

This means tickets for the 24-horse race can cost no more than $20.83, according to a spokesman.

Any money raised must be returned as prizes and no one is allowed to profit from organising the sweepstake.

Violating these regulations could incur a fine of up to $1000.

Fun Police out in Force

The Fun Police are out in force making sure people aren’t able to enjoy themselves:

Internal Affairs has mounted a crackdown on big spot prizes at expos and fishing competitions, warning organisers they constitute illegal gambling.

Officials have sent cease-and-desist letters to 15 organisations, informing them that events with an entry fee cannot have door giveaways, raffles or barrel draws with prizes worth more than $500.

Beach and Boat Fishing Competition organiser Tony Wheeler has put ticket sales to New Zealand’s biggest fishing tournament on hold, after receiving the letter this month. He is scrambling to figure out how to comply with the Department of Internal Affairs’ strict conditions.

Only certain licensed organisations, like the Lotteries Commission, charitable trusts and SkyCity casino, are allowed to run games of chance.

The crackdown comes after a complaint from a pokies trust, which argued that its business was being undermined by events like A&P shows and trade shows that give away spot prizes such as cars, boats and holidays.

Wheeler’s annual competition is the biggest fishing tournament in the country with 2100 competitors and more than $220,000 worth of spot prizes, including a boat and a car. The heavily-promoted $100,000 prize for catching a special snapper – tagged by the officials and thrown back in – is alleged to breach the Gambling Act.

Catching a tagged fish requires some knowledge or skill, but Internal Affairs believes winning relies on a large element of chance. Fishing competitions are still allowed to award prizes for catching the most fish, or the biggest fish, because this is regarded as skill.

It is obvious that this law is a throw back, and needs to be repealed.?Blatant?protectionism?of gambling rackets is what it is.

Chart of the Day – Pokie Numbers

Pokie Numbers from the DIA website.

From this graph you can see that Pokie numbers peaked at 25,221 in June 2003. When the government changed in November 2008 they were down to 20,025 (Dec 08) and bottomed out at 18,001 in Dec 2011.

Is 500 more going to make that much difference?

Basically gambling is a tax on stupidity, and in this case the rest of the population gets to benefit from jobs, from a Convention Centre and a Theatre all paid for by the tax on stupid people.