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Roastbusters – whats really behind the public out-cry and seething rage?

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We here at LF believe that there is more to the “roastbusters” rape allegation scandal than first meets the eye. Is it really just the allegations made against a group of youths who allegedly drugged and raped underage teen girls, which is in itself, if true, a terrible and despicable criminal act, that has hit a very raw nerve with the New Zealand public or is there more to it?

Whilst the alleged crimes committed by these youths are serious we believe that the New Zealand public’s  anger is as a result of the citizenry tapping into a far broader mistrust and an unresolved volatile narrative that surrounds the country’s police force and its justice system that those in power continue to glibly dismiss or shrewdly sidestep.

Police Commissioner Peter Marshall - his subordinate officers failed to tell him what was going on - really?

Police Commissioner Peter Marshall – his subordinate officers failed to tell him what was going on – really?

From what can be observed on-line this out pouring of seething public anger has arguably been directed more at the New Zealand police force rather that the accused youths – a fact that has not been lost on the Minister, Anne Tolly, or for that matter the Police commissioner himself, Peter Marshall:

“I think we’re actually the good guys in this business. We’re losing focus in relation to these young men who are out there doing what has been reported,” – Police Commissioner Peter Marshall

Of course an arrogant and haughty Marshall employed the Royal “We” during his television appearances whilst attempting to drum home the mantra police are the good guy’s” . Marshall was undoubtedly aware by Thursday that the publics outrage,  just two days after the allegations had first come to light, was fast gaining momentum and that the police, not the youths, had become the obvious target.

Police Minister Anne Tolly too, in the press conference that followed Marshall having being summoned to parliament the morning after it had been exposed that police commanders and spin doctors had been misleading the public, at least up until the 7th November when they were forced to admit as much, was at pains to repeat the mantra. She wanted the journalists present to know that public confidence in the police force was “at an all time high”.

Police Minister Anne Tolley - this chicks bed-time reading doesn't extend beyond the back slapping propaganda thats published on

Police Minister Anne Tolley – this chicks bed-time reading doesn’t extend beyond the back slapping propaganda thats published on

Of course whilst she was determined to spruick this notion, a notion based on the survey and report that had been released last september, to the gathered media its was little more than that, a notion, Tolley’s notion.

We’re not quite sure who, amongst the bevy of public servants paid handsomely to advise her, came up with the idea but the bottom line is that Tolley was stretching the truth, in fact it was in our view a lie, one of those lies that when manipulated and turned into a mantra, then repeated often enough, eventually permeates the public consciousness, via a compliant media, becoming an orthodox and excepted wisdom – at least thats what the spin doctors always hope for.

Greg O'Connor, NZ Police counsel for the defence of the indefensible.

Greg O’Connor, The Gormless NZ Police mouth piece for the defence of the indefensible. “police are (always) the good guys”

Greg O’Connor, president of the New Zealand Police Association, has relied on this age old political technique for years. Funnily enough its the fact that he has relied almost exclusively on this particular style of spin doctoring that not that long ago saw a public and media backlash against his puerile insincere apologist rhetoric which was at the time probably best expressed by kiwi journo, social commentator and blogger Dr Brian Edwards:

It’s Time for Greg O’Connor to Stop Defending the Indefensible

I have been wanting to say this for a long time. Police Association President, Greg O’Connor does himself and the police officers he represents a grave disservice by assuming the role of Counsel for the Defence with every complaint or criticism that is levelled against his members. I use the word ‘every’ advisedly, since I honestly cannot remember an occasion when I have heard Mr O’Connor admit that the police had got it wrong or when he failed to present a rationale or excuse for their behaviour. The result is that the currency of his argument is debased. No sensible person believes that the police are without flaw or that they always get it right. Yet that essentially seems to be  Mr O’Connor’s position.  Today’s news provides an example.In fact he was at it only a matter of weeks ago, again grabbing the limelight, to run one of his, you could set your watch by, predictable counter attacks and funnily enough that is where Tolley and O’Connors spin-doctored rhetoric collide.

– Dr Brian Edwards


Note: The NZ police have had the video clip of the Falwasser police torture in Dr Edwards article removed from youtube, probably because they have now successfully managed to bury a connected police corruption allegations scandal

The aforementioned report claiming that public confidence in police was at an all time high was released in September and the Government and the police spin doctors were of course the first to seize on the reports findings and crow. We here at LF were frankly surprised by the reports findings and it appears we were not alone.

A whole bevy of media outlets ran stories and television programs that were clearly designed to challenge the surveys findings. Thats the point at which Greg O’Connor entered the fray:

Police Association president Greg O’Connor says most complaints made against the police are from “perennial complainers who complain about everything to everyone”

The simple fact is that the New Zealand police have been fighting an up hill battle in trying to gain the publics confidence and are going to quite extraordinary lengths to protect the little thats left of their reputation.

Those efforts are made obvious in a number ways, not all of these techniques are known let alone reported on by New Zealands media.

We start with the obvious, for years now police have incessantly needed to widely publicise the smallest of their purported achievements –  a 2% increase in public confidence?

Then there’s the fact that the Country’s media continues to question the findings of these so called police “public satisfaction” surveys, often not in so many words, but rather by reminding their audience of meriad corruption scandals, repeated allegations of police brutality, wrongful prosecutions and overturned convictions – many often involving convictions for crimes such as murder.

Then there are the important, albeit invisible, indicators that the New Zealand media fails to report on. In fact we are of the view that these indicators probably haven’t even crossed the minds of the average Kiwi journo despite the fact that certain readily available statistics would evidence the desperate lengths that police will go to, often with the assistance of their mates at New Zealand’s crown law office, to insure the survival of what little remains of their reputation.

Over the past decade or so police have defended, almost to the death, many wrongful convictions and the dirty tactics they employed in obtaining them. LF are currently working on two such cases, stories that exemplify this nefarious police behaviour, the stories of just two ordinary New Zealanders – Matthew Crann and Russell Byfield who ultimately after years of struggle have seen their wrongful convictions overturned, either at retrial or on appeal. There are of course many many others with similar tales who are also victims of the New Zealand police forces malevolent tactics. Tactics that are designed to ensure that the wrongful convictions stuck, often despite overwhelming evidence that their targets were in fact innocent.

Greg O’Connor, when the polices dirty tactics are exposed, always resorts to the argument that the cases reported are all high profile and as such are a statistical anomaly. O’Connor has been at liberty to get away with his spurious argument for one reason alone – its often only the well funded high profile cases that have dedicated supporters, resources and highly skilled capable lawyers that are essential if police malevolence or wrong doing is to be exposed.

Three examples of our argument are of course the Kim Dotcom, David Bain and more recently Mark Lundy cases, each of which had seen extraordinarily high media interest and reporting. But of course this handful of high profile cases, representing O’Connors so called “anomaly” are in no way statistically representative of the scale of police wrong doing which occurs on an almost daily basis.

Its the smaller everyday cases, often not even reported on by the media, that need to be included in any statistic if one is to fully comprehend the scale of the New Zealand police forces wrong doing – which often amounts to nothing less than serious criminal behaviour.

Short of each and every police prosecution being revisited and investigated there is no way of obtaining accurate statistics but there are still many social indicators available that go some way in illustrating the scale of the problem, one such indicator is the recent exponential growth in websites such as LF that are dedicated to exposing police corruption, some of these websites caste their net wide, others are simple blogs, often with a narrative recounting just one persons struggle for justice – even ex-cops that now want the world to be aware of the injustices they and their employer inflicted on their unwitting falsely accused victims have joined this online club.

This is of course just one of the many reasons why police and Govt may have recently taken a high degree of interest in imposing laws designed to curb the dissemination of information via the internet. Historically it has been common practice for police to issue very compliant social networking sites, such as youtube and Facebook, with take down notices if the material reflects badly on the police, its officers or heaven forbid, evidences criminal behaviour that police officers may have been party to.

Martyn Bradbury, the Daily Blog

Martyn Bradbury, the Daily Blog

One very recent example of this draconian police activity can be found with the treatment of Kiwi blogger Martyn Bradbury – Police threatened Bradbury with arrest and prosecution, citing imprisonment, if he failed to remove satirical images critical of the police’s handling of the “roastbusters” case. Police then later issued Facebook with yet another of their takedown notices when one of Bradbury’s readers posted the same image on FB and repeatedly noted the fact on Bradbury’s blogs comments section – police then lied to a mainstream media outlet, citing feigned concern for victims of the alleged rapes.

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The images that Bradbury was forced to take down - all because an out of control police force think themselves above the law.

The image that Bradbury was forced to take down (right) and a similar satirical image the NZ Herald published the following day – Because an institutionally sick and out of control police force thinks itself above the law. Both images have again been posted on Bradbury’s blog – here 

The following day, after we suspect seeking legal advice, Bradbury reposted the images with relish, inviting the police to do their worst:

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Police threatening Bradbury was all about a clearly desperate mob of despots at PNHQ, headed up by Peter Marshall, trying to save face and limit the damage to their precious and rapidly disappearing mana, it had nothing whatsoever to do with, as they later insincerely feigned, the feelings and wellbeing of the young girls who had allegedly been raped by a gang of youths calling themselves “roastbusters” – Besides which the polices own recruiting material is far more distasteful than anything Bradbury had published, in fact had it not been for their own distasteful advertising handy work Bradbury would have had very little if anything to work with:

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The New Zealand police force, as with any large group or collective that share common objectives, goals and ambitions, behaves very much like a “super organism“. In this case a “superorganism”  that has been left un checked over many decades; developing an institutionalised culture that is frankly extremely sick. The illness is psychological and very closely related to what the DSM IV (TR) lists as narcissistic personality disorder.

Its a disorder known as “collective narcissistism” or group narcissism – which is why we here at LF thought the New Zealand Herald’s cartoonist had, albeit unwittingly, hit the nail on the head with his extremely appropriate piece of visual satire (above):

“She see’s Demons, so does he – God help us all”

Peter Marshall and the many other senior police commanders that have fronted television interviews in recent days (and many others over the years) displayed many of the traits one would expect to find in a case of  collective narcissistism. Whilst Peter Marshall’s recent behaviour epitomises this collective malaise, Greg O’Connor’s behaviour over the years should be singled out for special mention as it evidences that the condition is chronic. Again Dr Brian Edwards best illustrates this fact with one of his many adroit observations:

“I honestly cannot remember an occasion when I have heard Mr O’Connor admit that the police had got it wrong or when he failed to present a rationale or excuse for their behaviour. The result is that the currency of his argument is debased. No sensible person believes that the police are without flaw or that they always get it right. Yet that essentially seems to be  Mr O’Connor’s position.” – Dr Brian Edwards

Taking all of this into account one is left concluding that the New Zealand police force’s standing in the eyes of the kiwi public is in deep shit and no amount of government rhetoric or spin will alter that fact any time soon – a fact that the politicians, who are always looking out for number one, now undoubtedly realise.

So have things really changed or improved since Dame Margeret Bazley’s commission of enquiry into police conduct released its findings? Depending on how you approach the question there are in fact two answers – No; the police have obviously not lifted their game. Yes; the police have worked tirelessly at becoming far more proficient in concealing their own wrong doing.

So called independent surveys, inquiries and reports are one thing, they are certainly a very convenient ‘feel good‘ tool for governments trying to pull the wool, but the only real barometer of the publics sentiment towards the New Zealand police is to be found in an unprecedented and very rapid rise in public anger aimed squarely at the police over their handling of the roastbusters case.

It could have been any case where the police had failed to act for years, who – what – where – when was never the real issue. In our opinion the publics anger was never aimed at this allegedly criminal gang of young rapists calling themselves the “roast busters”; no the anger and rage has been long reserved for a much larger “patched” gang of criminals;  its members, the men and woman who collectively represent the New Zealand Police force.

Also See:

Ex police thug heads New Zealand’s IPCA complaints investigation Unit

The Arthur Alan Thomas effect – trust in police integrity forever gone!

Related material/sources:

Citizens’ Satisfaction Survey reports (

Trust and Confidence in Police increases (

Elite officers tell of climate of fear (NZ Herald)

New Zealand Police corruption, the human cost (laudafinem)

Former officer alleges police corruption (laudafinem)

Related articles

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  • Nick Taylor says:

    Oh I don’t know – I’d say it’s just another case of: “something has happened… let me to go get the axe I was grinding this time last week”. Everyone is generically less happy than they used to be… due to economics, and the increasing dysfunction of our institutions, so the sound of grinding axes is louder.

    Sex crimes always get people going – always have… and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were elements of “we only hate what we recognise in ourselves” in that. I tried finding the “roastbusters” page on facebook to see what all the fuss was about – it was gone, and instead there was a page for an “anti-roastbusters” group – which as far as I could see consisted largely of prison rape fantasies.

    And of course the broadcast media have hyped it to high-heaven – just as we all knew they would. They’re not reporting “news”, they’re running a script.

  • Before I leave to destress for the night, after participating silently for the most part in today’s rally in Auckland more to actually validate other’s similar concerns as much as my own rather at the police ‘inaction and complicity in so many more potential ort actual victims in this whole sorry saga as much as was in the Teina Pora fitup Rewa case too!
    A heartfelt thankyou..
    I experiences similarly many years ago in the UK. It hasnt changed their either.
    I dont care a jot about grammar or punctuation semantics.. I often fall down when words stream out of me but the content of what I need to express is far more important.. Thankyou again though.. The Police new story recruitment campaign is as much a con and a farce here as it is in most Western forces now and thankyou for saying so too..
    Feel much more grounded now.
    A great piece well overdue.. Will share widely too :).

  • Gennie Hargreaves says:

    A very informative article Lauda. I have no trouble reading it, but then I am doing so with both eyes wide open. Your writing reveals what many are thinking. Thank you for putting it together and bringing it into the public arena. Any criticism of the police is bound to draw criticism. There will always be those in society who are blind to reality. The rest of us began the decent of mistrust the day an empty shell was planted in a garden, and the police defined the lines between ‘them’ and ‘us’, between dishonesty and truth, between ‘injustice and justice’. .

  • Several questions need to be asked about Greg O and his ability to still state that he is a Police Officer. I am unsure when he first became the President of the Police Association but I think it may have been in the late 90’s. I know that they refer to it as a type of secondment, but his still holding the Rank of Senior Sergeant and being a member of Police will mean that he is taking a position that could be filled by another front line officer and that would make another vacancy for someone to fill on the street.

    GO had been a paper pusher for many years before he became full time on the association and was away quite a bit on association business, so he hasn’t been a real Policeman for a long time.

    And then there is the matter of who is paying his superannuation contribution. He will be still paying his bit but I bet the govt will be paying the other 66% that everyone else gets. How does this happen. Another deal between the Police wallers and the Police Association. I think GO should have to resign as he will never go back to normal Policing, not that he was any good at it when he was in a Blue Uniform. He spent more time looking after his troops, as he calls them, in the Watch-house and covering their arses when they misbehaved.

    The time has come for this embarrassment to just disappear. He has been an embarrassment for to long with his one eyed views of incidents and offences committed by Police.

  • Harry Stottle says:

    Jo Cole – the two complex sentences that start your initial comment require a conjunction. The comma does not have a coordinating function. Convoluted sentences are not hard to read. Dim lighting, a visual defect or analphabetism might cause reading difficulties but convolution has no causal effect on reading ability. Bad is an adjective indicating a negative but undefined value judgement. Like nice and good it has no definitive meaning. There is no English verb word. Word is a noun. Nouns do not inflect. Badly worded is not a permissible English phrase. Jo Cole, another 100% purely educated in NZ retard.

    • Hi Harry,

      If you don’t mind we’ll retain and may well find good reason to quote your very adroit observations at some point in the future; along with those of Mr Steven Fry:

      “So thats it, there really are no rules. There is no right or wrong as to what makes good or bad writing and all I can do is urge you to read and read some more; for therein dwells the story of us all………”
      – Steven Fry

      An excerpt from the narrative, written and spoken by Steven Fry, bringing to an end the documentary – Fry’s Planet Word, episode 5 (British Broadcasting Corporation, Channel 2, 2011)

  • I appreciate the hard work and dedication you put into your stories, it’s just a pity you make them so hard to read. Long convoluted sentences, no commas, incorrectly placed apostrophes, spelling errors….the list goes on. Some of your sentences are so badly worded it takes time to figure out what you’re talking about. Please do yourselves (and me) a favour and enlist the help of a proofreader.

    • Hi Jo-Anne Cole

      We’re not going to do you any favours so why not do yourself a big favour and look around for someone else who might actually give a fuck about your opinion on sentence length and grammar.

      Not that you’re likely to find anyone thats remotely interested mainly because the comment lacks any sincerity.

      You haven’t “sold us” on any of your suggestions. Whats more the comment gives you away as being:

      1. A nasty middle-aged stuck up bitch
      2. The wife of a cop or worse a bent cop
      3. A Kiwi Journo that dislikes being attacked
      4. A Narcissistic wannabe sales and marketing queen
      5. A combination of both 1 & 4

      • Nice to know how open-minded you are. If you’re as accurate with your research as you are with your replies to fans (sorry, former fans) then it’s not only your grammar that’s your problem. Looks like you’re the one with the persecution complex. There was nothing nasty about my post. At least you could read it without having to translate all the typos.

      • Hi Jo-Anne Cole,

        We’re obviously a little more open minded than you, none of us here at LF waste our time criticising other bloggers or their contributors writing styles – we like to focus on content and message. In fact we don’t believe that you have appreciated any of the content in the above post, otherwise you would have commented on it rather than the “Grammar” – as do other “genuine comments” for or against.

        As for your claim of having been an LF fan we somehow doubt it – you’re not a subscriber. More than likely you’re a “head injured” silent stalker who, like the many other cranks that we’ve outed in our posts, desperately wants to know who the fuck is behind LF!

        If you were a genuine fan you would also have been aware that LF is not one person rather a collective of individuals who spend hundreds of hours of their own time working pro bono assisting others in their legal struggles – successfully we might add; this blog is but the tip of that particular iceberg.

        You would also have been aware that LF has an email address for genuine, inquiries, whistle-blowers and suggestions;

        Perhaps even aware that we here at LF have been subjected to all sorts of scams by a whole bevy of nut jobs via the comments section over the years and in our view you’re just one more who’s invented shit as their attempted scam has unraveled.

        Your comment certainly does not read like a polite well intentioned critique, its subjective, opinionated and comes across as arrogant, condescending and haughty; a bitchy style of communication that you’ve continued with the latest communication. As for the “persecution complex” where did you pull that one from – out of thin air or was it your arse? No such such condition exists – its certainly not recognised in the DSM IV!

        You’re kidding yourself mate if you think you’ve fooled anyone least of all our regular readers. Regular followers well know that we do not suffer fools and generally respond to them in a very very short and aggressive manner; again you’re no “fan” or you would also have known that.

        So in short we think we’ll add con-artist to the list that we threw at you in our first response. LF are not interested in collecting “Fans”. Fan clubs are for fucking narcissists and do little more than serve to inflate some self serving fucktards ego. Don’t bother responding – it won’t be read or published.

    • Any one else want to know who “JO COLE” really is? Why she might be afraid of using an alias? Why LF believes that she is a con-artist who should fuck off and write yet another self published book glorifying herself?

  • Samantha Hays says:

    What a great story and picture of the gormless Greg O. I think that the first move would be to remove Greg OConnor. He to me represents rape is good rape is great. Get him gone and that would be a beginning.

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