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Christchurch lawyers unhappy with Judith Collins over street name

Under-fire Justice Minister Judith Collins has come under attack in a lawyers' magazine for naming a street in Christchurch after a judge she had personal links with. 

The criticism comes as Prime Minster John Key changed his position on Ms Collins, saying she is on her last chance.

Now the Justice Minister’s decision to name a street in Christchurch’s new justice precinct after the late Sir Robert Chambers has been labeled “ill-considered.”

Miss Collins had instructed Sir Robert when he was a barrister and had served as vice-president on the Auckland District Law Society Council while Sir Robert was president.

Writing in the Law Society's Canterbury Westland branch magazine, barrister Gerald Lascelles says Miss Collins should reconsider her decision.

“It was made without proper or any regard for local interests and seemingly made by one who had long-standing personal links with the person so acknowledged.”

Mr Lascelles writes that it is unfortunate that controversy should surround the late judge but he is unknown to the local public and to some in the legal profession in Christchurch.

“I would have thought that if a lane in this precinct were to be named after someone who deserved well of his or her fellows, the net of consideration might have been cast a little more widely and the name of someone who had a link with either Christchurch or Canterbury given a thought.”

Sir Robert's widow, Lady Deborah Chambers, told NBR ONLINE it was inappropriate for her to comment on the controversy.

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vyoung@nbr.co.nz

More by Victoria Young

Comments and questions
23

Collins needs to either engage her brain before making these types of decisions or the PM needs to give her a minder to sign off on things. She is a major liability to the government.

It should be the people of an area, a country, who make these decisions.

It's time we made a stand against this arrogant, we-know-best, tops-down condescension from the big boys and girls.

We should stop pretending we have a democracy - and look for the clever Swiss solution. They run their own country. Check out the 100 Days - Claiming back New Zealand movement spreading around the country. I'm happy to back it. Its time has come, hasn't it...

Nobody should really be surprised, should they? Judith Collins has a long history of inappriateness

How ironic, the minister of justice is also the minister of mates.

A couple of people somewhere are upset with an MP?

GASP.

What a load of tripe, just keep picking on about nothing..
We are all New Zealander's aren't we ? The rest of the country is paying towards the Earth Quake in Christchurch. who will ever care when they go to that street whose name it is, I suppose Gerard Lascelles would like his name on it , are you all children.
At least this government has started to dig us out of debt. Is all this just to get Labour back in power with stupid conspiracy books , I bet there is a lot going on with other parties we would like to know about, all this rubbish will run us right back into debt , that is all we should care about. I would say no more hand outs borrowed from China , child poverty, don't have children if you can't afford them, we all need to step up not sit on our backsides and tax the workers to pay for those who don't take care of themselves , no excuses

This government is not going to 'dig us out of debt'. Instead, it is reliant soley on raw commodity prices (of a narrow range of products - timber, milk & fish); overseas revenues - land/property purchases; & overseas corporate investment in infrastructure (aside from a fibre optic line) as the 'way' of helping NZ. The only beneficiaries so far have been the traders, PR firms and a host of politically associated 'business' men & women.

"At least this government has started to dig us out of debt?" You are a victim of spin.
This government has greatly increased debt (including reckless tax cuts), while simultaneously reducing our asset base - if they were in business they would be in deep trouble.
Both morally and ideologically bankrupt, and the country will be a far better place without them.

Your not often right but you are wrong this time

Tax cuts for those in the upper tax price amount to a cost of $5.2 billion per annum. Have you considered what this has done to government borrowings of $85 billion and growing.?

The interest bill alone is what this government got from the asset sales. Whats your plan, because if your house is anything like this governments, its heading towards bankruptcy shortly.

Take a quickie's , the pain soon will subside
....

So true

Sorry but a ridiculous thing to be upset about.

The Aucklanders who live in Marc Ellis Place (who is a Wellingtonian) will soon also be up in arms about it.

I agree with Elaine. Get a life. We are one country. I come from a provincial capital in the North Island. I know Aucklanders feel superior but I laugh about it as my lifestyle and quality of life beats theirs by a country mile. Where I live and the income I enjoy the average Aucklander would just dream about.

Dream on Gordon !

really is all rather pointless, Lascelles clearly has too much time on his hands. Wld be good to see some debate on real issues that matter.
Good on you Minister.

It would be a little like Auckland Racing Club "Ellerslie" being called PharLap (famous NZ -south island bred horse) Raceway. It probably needs to be a person that relates to the community and the people in the area , in this case Canterbury , it is a sign of respect and pride. It should not be "dictated" it should have at least been broadly considered.

Bit like "Judith Collins Drive" heading to the Port of Lyttleton...no exit

If Jude had been more discreet and less crass, she could have paid homage to her friend, subliminally, by naming it: Bobcham Street.

My understanding is that local authorities approve street names do they not?

Typical arrogance of this MP and the government. Surely a Christchurch Street name should have some relevance to the city, region,famous NZers or its namesake in England or some such. Mr Chambers means nothing to most NZers let alone Cantabrians. Its just a case of M's Collins looking after her mates. Another of her inappropriate decisions. She has to go.

Well given Auckland is picking up the tab for all this we should be re-naming ALL the streets, not just this one. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

Are there no Hillary streets, avenues, closes, mews, roads, or whatever in Ch-ch? If not, I suppose it's because Sir Ed came from Auckland.

I'll scream if there's a 'Judith Collins Close'.