The newly established long needed Criminal Cases Review Commission is to be based in Hamilton. This is crazy.
The reason given is imagery, namely not to be seen as part of the capital’s public service and judiciary. That’s rather insulting to its members, the judiciary and the public service, but here’s why it’s a bad decision, specifically practicality.
Hamilton is a difficult and time-consuming place to travel to. The airport is often fog-bound. Fly there from Auckland and at best half day is wasted. For Napier-based Tim McKinnel he’ll probably have to fly to Auckland, then down to Hamilton. So too South Island members having to waste a day flying to Wellington and then on to Hamilton.
The advantage of the capital is simple, namely geography; that is in the centre of the country and thus easily reached with regular flights from all points.
The Commission will need permanent headquarters and right now will struggle to find suitable premises in the full-house Wellington office market. But not so in Lower Hutt, a mere 20 minutes away with plenty of vacant office-space and thus cheap.
Having made the decision, doubtless they’ll proceed with Hamilton. I’ll give it a year before common-sense prevails.