Liz Gunn, Irene Chain – Two Fighters for Freedom

by Mike Bee


Let’s start with the good news. A headline from the Australian Herald Sun, 11 May 2024: “Judge blasts police tactics.”

In a stunning decision handed down in the County Court, Judge Liz Gaynor ruled that police were the “aggressors” and “employed unjustified violence” amid a public protest on May 29, 2021, that left one man with a dislocated arm.

The judgment has called into question police tactics and prompted calls for prosecutors to consider laying charges against the police involved.

That is not the sort of decision the Victoria Police and their enablers would have wanted to hear. It opens the door for a great deal to happen, not only for the protestors directly involved who will be considering laying charges, but also for people power in general. Could it be that the world is about to strike back at the illegal lockdowns and mandates of three years ago?

Combined with the very recent admission of Astra Zeneca that their medical substances, falsely called vaccines, can cause “a rare and dangerous side effect” (a pharmaceutical understatement for pericarditis and death), could this be a sign of an establishment on the back foot, needing to take evasive tactics against a storm that soon going to be released upon it?

The same need for a reckoning is happening here, so why are similar things not happening in our courts as we have just seen in Australia? Why do judges not have the same courage to challenge the authorities when confronted with very obvious transgressions by those authorities?

On the same day, 10th May, 2024, two events that are similar took place in Auckland. Both involve ludicrous trials that should have been thrown out long before they came to court. The events around one of them, similar to the Australian case, left a woman with a broken wrist and torn ligaments in her shoulder. The other case is just as obvious a miscarriage of justice. The one case involves a trial in which the decision of the judge has not yet been given; the other is the release of a judge’s reasons for an earlier guilty verdict. The first case is, of course, that of Liz Gunn and her photographer, Jonathon Clarke which concluded on the Friday. The second involves Auckland midwife Irene Chain.

Who goes first? Because it comes first chronologically, let’s look first at the decision of Judge K Maxwell into the case of Ministry of Health versus Irene Chain Kalinowski.

I have written up accounts of the case in Substack articles located here and here, and do not intend to go over old ground. Sitting through four days of court proceedings convinced me there was no case against Irene as the prosecution could give no first-hand evidence to prove the five charges made against her. On the basis of some forms presented after Irene had stopped being a midwife, a whole case was constructed to prove that she had worked as a midwife while not holding a licence. Irene gave good reasons why forms had been filled in prior to her resignation for later use if needed. In addition, there was clear evidence of fraud when the prosecution alleged Irene had signed a form in a chemist shop at a time she showed could not have happened.

The judge’s report goes to 62 pages. She painstakingly gives reasons why she accepts the prosecution’s suppositions rather than Irene’s word that the forms submitted by the prosecution were all made out by her and signed before her resignation. No evidence to the contrary is given other than assumptions concerning Irene’s guilt and the acceptance of an “expert” that Irene couldn’t have known these forms would be needed in advance and so must have been signed them at a later date. There is no other evidence of her having been in any way active as a midwife after the date of her resignation.

In addition, the judge simply brushes off Irene’s evidence of fraud without even trying to give reasons for doing this. Considering the judge had said that her reason for delaying her decision was that she needed to study this – and also that the matter was covered during court proceedings –  this is most strange. The judge simply said she “puts it to one side” – i.e. she has decided to ignore it. As the judge herself has written:

Further, and following the Judge-alone trial, Irene emailed a 45 page document prepared by “International Investigation team in LandsAirWater Counsel UK Office”. This document was not admitted during the Judge-alone trial and is also put to one side.

Yet that report contains proof that Te Whatu Ora, the NZ Ministry of Health, has, in their zeal to prosecute an innocent midwife, created a fraudulent document and forged Irene’s signature. Surely if that is so then the entire case breaks down. Is that the reason why the judge will not consider it?

Also, the team from the Midwifery Council that took on the harassment of Irene and other midwives contained people who played a big role in what happened during mandates. One short mention in the judge’s decision says that this plays no part in her decisions. That is perhaps what is most difficult to accept. Irene was motivated by what was best for her patients at the start of a situation of madness and chaos, while the chief driver of the case against her, Jane Birdsall, was deeply involved in treasonous and conspiratorial activity against the people of New Zealand through having played an active part in planning of what she and others knew was to come. Irene faces a possible fine, but this woman should be facing the possibility of a firing squad.

I can only understand this decision by supposing that the judge has been told from higher up that she must find Irene guilty. Irene is not going to take this, and is preparing a Notice of Repudiation and Breach of Trust based on the fact that her acceptance of the judge’s jurisdiction was conditional on the judge seeing that the Evidence Act of 2006 was followed and that only direct evidence rather than supposition and hearsay was to be admitted in proceedings. Irene’s repudiation will accuse Judge Maxwell of failing to observe the due process of law.


The final of two days in the trial of Liz Gunn and Jonathon Clarke took place the same day that Judge Maxwell released the reasoning behind her decision regarding Irene. It is as if two portions of Clown World are competing against each other. In the latter case, we have video evidence of obvious aggression and unjustified violence used by two police constables in their arrest of Liz and Jonathon, with no communication beforehand and with violence that seems premeditated. Sitting in the public gallery, watching the launch of the arrest over and over, I could not but be amazed that this had ever come to court.

Did the establishment see in Liz Gunn a genuine threat that needed to be dealt with? The violence used against her seems to be driven by something more than an arbitrary whim to take her down. A witness testified that when Liz said to the constable, “You’re hurting me,” his reply was, “Good.” Yet because this had not been raised beforehand when that constable was testifying, this evidence was “put aside”.

Eighteen seconds took place between the first greetings from the police and the words, “We want you to leave,” and the two victims being wrestled to the ground. (It can be watched here in greater detail than was possible from a distance in court.) However the time between greeting and the first aggressive act of the police is about three seconds. One instant the four are standing there and Liz is asking, “What’s the law that we have infringed?” The next instant, the senior constable has reached out to Jonathon’s camera, Jonathon has moved it away from harm and the second constable has attacked Jonathon.

A witness testified concerning the procedures by which the New Zealand police should be bound when interacting with the public. By no stretch of the imagination could their behaviour be seen as in accordance with this. They did not de-escalate the situation as their protocols asked for – their behaviour was the sole reason that things almost instantly escalated.

The words of the Australian judge are screaming to be repeated here: “I am satisfied that police were the aggressors in the situation and that they employed unjustified violence … in effecting the arrest.”

Will we hear such words coming from the mouth of Judge Janey Forrest? Her decision has been reserved, yet many of her remarks indicated that she was taking seriously aspects of the case that a person with common-sense would find ludicrous. A 63-year old grandmother having a bone in her wrist broken by a younger and larger male and then being charged for assault – surely that can only happen in Clown World!

After the prosecution had presented their evidence, the defence attorney, Matthew Haig, asked that all charges be dismissed on the grounds that the defendants had nothing to answer for. That would have been a good decision, but even so, the very premiss of Liz being guilty of assault in such a situation is ludicrous.

It seems obvious that people who did not like Liz or were frightened of her set this situation up to harass her and make her less effective as a political leader. In this they were at least in part effective. Liz admits to having been badly traumatised from the whole experience both through the mental and physical injuries, still not healed, that were inflicted on her in those eighteen seconds of violence and through the need to watch these events over and over in court and hear her assailant testify with impunity.

Perhaps later I will be able to write about this dispassionately. For now, only poetry was possible as a means of expressing adequately the great injustice that I believe has happened. This was written on the evening after the conclusion of the trial, 10th May:


Getting away with it

You torture the truth so that black is white.
You twist the truth so that white is black.
You get away with your lies – but we see what you are doing.

There are too many lies for us to attend to each one.
They buzz around us like locusts feeding –
locusts in a frenzy – a truth-feeding frenzy.

You break a woman’s wrist and face no charges for doing it.
You charge her with assault for lightly touching another.
Yes, you charge the woman whose wrist you have broken!

I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry.
But I know that our system of justice is broken.
The people of this land need to build another.

You get away with your lies – but only for now.
Each lie builds the force to destroy the liars.
That force is building. Beware when it’s released.

You torture the truth so that black is white.
You twist the truth so that white is black.
We see what you are doing – and our number is growing.
You get away with your lies – but not for much longer.


In America, President Trump is going through regular legal harassment while the son of his presidential rival is allowed to commit multiple offences unchallenged so that the US public see clearly that there are two justice systems in operation. The same phenomenon is happening in this country. In many ways the NZ justice system seems to be broken. Criminals are getting away unchallenged while innocent people are being charged and forced to bear the costs, both financial and psychological, of what they are put through. This is consciously-practised “lawfare”, and, under the maritime law that is used, enormous opportunity for abuse is possible. The guilty ones are getting away with it for now – it will change when people get smarter and build the new that will rise above the ruins of the old.


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