Title: Steve Taylor and the Name Suppression Debate Credit: Craig Young Comment Wednesday 10th September 2014 - 9:58am1410299880 Article: 15710 Rights
Steve Taylor Just at the time that the Conservative Party might slither over the five percent threshold, is it going to be wrongfooted by one of its own candidates, the loose cannon Steve Taylor, currently New Lynn candidate and eighth-ranked on their party list? If readers feel a sense of deja vu over the name, it may be attributable to the fact that Taylor is known to us. Back in May 2013, he unleashed a stream of vituperative, hyperbolic rhetoric comparing New Zealand's LGBT community to Afghanistan's Taliban. "Strong opinion" and "legislation" do not require compliance with our views, he remarked. It occurred at the time an antigay  Whangarei bed and breakfast had been taken before the Human Rights Commission for engaging in accomodation and service provision discrimination against a lesbian couple. He argued that such designation was justifiable through the alarming provision of death threats and violent retribution against the accomodation provider, however. Neither GayNZ.Com nor myself condone this behaviour.  Taylor is a qualified New Zealand counsellor and runs a practice called "24-7". He has provided donor support for the last two Family First "Forums on the Family" from that organisation. Taylor has a Batchelor of Counselling, Batchelor of Alcohol and Drug Counselling and a Post-Graduate Degree in Social Practice.  He also undertakes  supervisory and clinical management. His organisation receives clients from WINZ. Mr Taylor insists that his counselling clients have an exclusive therapeutic relationship with him, and dual or multiple counselling consultation is described as 'unethical' client behaviour.  He may override informed consent in the context of clients who are minors, if the latter are involved in "illegal" activity, which sounds eminently reasonable. He has worked in the fields of youth at risk, family violence, alcohol and drug, family, relationship and career counselling. He has appeared on numerous media outlets, including Radio Rhema and Challenge Weekly.  Taylor is not registered with the New Zealand Family Court, Accident Compensation Corporation or any professional association, although he does state that he is in a supervisory relationship but does not state with whom on the 24-7 website. He notes that this is not a legal requirement for his counselling practice. In particular,his objection to the Family Court involves the latter's premise that  the type of qualification, therapeutic discipline and professional affiliation all safeguard accountability to the clients of recommended counselling services and regards affiliation to a professional association as a waste of time and non-essential to effective client outcomes and justifiable through one of the theoretical frameworks that he uses.  Taylor runs several  websites, including the "New Zealand Family Court Consumers Website", "NewLynnConservative",  "Steve Taylor Counsellor."  On Sunday September 7, Sunday Star Times columnist Tony Wall wrote a critical column about Mr Taylor which may be the subject of legal action due to alleged factual inaccuracies. However, like many members of his chosen political party, Mr Taylor objects to the current statutory practice of name suppression.  With this in mind, what is the current status of name suppression law within New Zealand? Under Sections 200-204 of the Criminal Procedures Act 2011, name suppression is available to protect victims and defendants in child sexual abuse cases in order to protect the victim of such activities, for children and complainants in criminal law cases who are under seventeen years of age, for defendants involved in such procedings and as provided in other statutes. One community law website provides the additional information that name suppression also occurs in the context of related statutes, such as Section 438 of the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act, which prevents any detailed coverage of Youth Court proceedings without prior consent.  Courts can also be cleared under Section  197 of the Criminal Procedures Act if there are grounds to believe that a threat to order and security of New Zealand, disruption of court proceedings, prejudicing a fair trial, endangering another's safety or prejudicing the maintenance of the law would occur. Under Section 205, the Criminal Procedures Act can also forbid court reporting.  What are relevant considerations in allowing name suppression? Under Section 200(2) of the Criminal Procedure Act, name suppression should be granted only if publicising the name would cause extreme hardship to the defendant, their family or whanau, cast suspicion on a related party that would provide similar problems, prejudice a fair trial, endanger the defendant or any other person, cause identification of someone else with name suppression. Under Sections 283-6, if name suppression is refused in the District Court, twenty day appeals are available so that the affected party can ask the High Court for a ruling in this context.  These sound like eminently reasonable criteria for allowing name suppression, given that not allowing it would expose specific parties under investigation and due processes of justice, as well as their partners, dependents and associates to risk. I would welcome the chance to debate this issue with those who favour the restriction or abolition of name suppression in this context.  In an earlier draft of this article, I made several factually inaccurate statements and extrapolations and I acknowledge that, and apologise to Mr Taylor for doing so. However, given the reasonableness of current name suppression law, I oppose the current Conservative Party and Mr Taylor in calling for their restriction of applicability or abolition. I do not believe their abolition is in the public interest and intend to vigorously oppose any calls to do so.    Recommended: Gaynz.Com Staff:  "NZ Home to Gay Taliban, Auckland Man Claims" 21.05.2013: Name Suppression: Not Recommended:  Steve Taylor /24-7 Counselling: NZ Family Court Consumers Website:   [Shuttered] New Lynn Conservative: Craig Young - 10th September 2014    
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