NZ Police propping up Tongan monarchy

April 10, 2008

- Alastair Reith

The Kingdom of Tonga has announced that it will be appointing a New Zealand policeman to be its new Police Commander. The news was made public on April 2, with the Ministry of Police, Prisons and Fire Services stating that none of the seven Tongan candidates were “suitable”.

Tonga is a repressive feudal monarchy, where almost all wealth and power is concentrated in the hands of a small layer of nobles and the capitalists linked to them.

Only 9 of the 34 members of its House of Representatives are democratically elected, with 16 being appointed directly by the King and another 9 representing “the noble families of the realm”. The Tongan political system has very few differences from that of mediaeval Europe!

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Cracking down on user rights: NZ’s new copyright laws

April 10, 2008

- Byron Clark

The Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Bill was passed into law earlier this week, the following is a slightly edited version of an article published in The Spark in Feburary 2007 after the bill passed its first reading.

On April 7 the Copyright (New Technologies and Performers Rights) Amendment Bill was passed into law by a 111 to 10 majority. The bills aim was to bring New Zealand’s terribly outdated 1994 copyright act into the 21st century, and makes some progress in that it decriminalises the increasingly common practice of copying your CD collection to a portable MP3 player (however it fails to to extend these same rights to other media such as DVDs).

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