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The Case of Tania Baron

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 9:25 am Fri 6th April 2018

Recently employed as a Police Inspector, Tania Baron’s exit from her position has been closely examined by the media.

Stuff News understands:

That her departure is related to Ms Baron forming a relationship with a 17 year old boy whom she met at a local cycling club.

While there has been an inquiry into her behaviour as a Police Officer Ms Baron has been cleared of any wrong doing.

It is noted that her husband was also in the police and has recently left.

My immediate thoughts go to yesterday’s conversation where a teacher was disciplined and dismissed for an inappropriate relationship with a pupil.

Considering the social relationship between a police inspector and an adolescent at a cycling club, a question is raised as to why this inquiry is an employment matter and the subject of a confidential agreement between the employer and a former employee.

If as stated Ms Baron received a confidential payout one assumes she left the ’20 year career she loved’ in the face of moral objections from the Police Administration. In that respect I am drawn again to yesterday’s conversation where a teacher with a 40 year career was cleared of any wrong doing after he was the subject of false allegations and question what if any comparitive compensation he received?


  1. 16 is the age of consent in NZ. This female cop did nothing illegal and the relationship is nobody else’s business including her employer unless she was acting in her professional role towards the young man. If we want older men or women not to be allowed to form sexual relationships with younger people over 16 then we should increase the age of consent or establish some maximum age differential by law. I don’t want men to be punished for relationships with legally-aged people and I disagree with calling for punishment to women in similar circumstances.

    The situation of this policewoman’s relationship is not comparable to that of the teacher who had false allegations conspired against him.

    Comment by Man X Norton — Sun 8th April 2018 @ 10:24 pm

  2. #1 Man X Norton
    I think the point made, or comparison has validity.
    First of all if a male 40+ was shagging a 17 year old girl at a sports club there would be demands for some kind of persecution. Stupifing if he let her have a drink etc. I recall a similar case a few years back.
    The comparison is that they were both in the employement and an accusation was made. One was sacked for something they did not do, and was sacked prior to the completion of the investigation (the trial). One was investigated, found to have done nothing illegal but for image protection was given a golden handshake. The person sacked was in fact illegally sacked as they committed no imployement breaches. The person given the golden handshake probably got an illegal payment as the police uphold the law, not provide payouts for legal actions that offend somebody in administrations morals. Do the police have a contract with the crown to spend taxpayers money in this way. Can the police just make payments to anybody acting lawfully but not to that one eyed, individualised thing called a moral.

    Ultimately the females employement situation was handled with care and observed employement law.
    The males employement situation was handled in absence of care or employement law.

    The women did nothing wrong, got a payout.
    The man did nothing wrong, got shafted at every step.
    Including an incompetent investigation.
    This guy should sue the crown (police, Ministry of Education) for every cent of earnings lost, past present and future.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Mon 9th April 2018 @ 12:24 am

  3. @1 that’s the sort of naive point of view that makes people angry when they come to this site.

    This is at a club which has a duty of care to its members.

    Police have a code of conduct which includes their behavior outside of work hours.

    The is an age and authority imbalance similar to that complainEd about in the Law Society posts.

    You will recall there one commentor calling ‘us’ a bunch of cxxnts as he obviously wanted to distance himself from such social attitudes.

    This young man was 17 when the relationship began and this is a forty something women with children.

    Comment by Evan Myers — Mon 9th April 2018 @ 4:11 am

  4. Perhaps the question the media should be putting together for Louise Nicholas is whether she thinks the sexual aggression of female police officers manifests itself in the manipulation of adolescent boys.

    Comment by Bevan Berg — Mon 9th April 2018 @ 8:31 am

  5. @1

    This female cop did nothing illegal and the relationship is nobody else’s business including her employer unless she was acting in her professional role towards the young man.

    I think there would be plenty of mothers who would disagree with that, especially if the mother was in the lower ranks of the police force and there now would be a significant number of women in that position who would be voicing a concern to their employer, about the behaviour of an officer.

    If we want older men or women not to be allowed to form sexual relationships with younger people over 16 then we should increase the age of consent or establish some maximum age differential by law. I don’t want men to be punished for relationships with legally-aged people and I disagree with calling for punishment to women in similar circumstances.

    The age of consent in terms of a relatioship has been reduced from 21, and that would have thrown the question of whether the relationship was sensible into the realm of the parents.

    I can’t see the validity of your comparison with two individuals of different ages forming a relationship. Age gaps are not uncommon and in some cases very welcome because it provides a secure environment for some people.

    There are children involved here, from this women’s previous relationship who are the fathers children too.
    And you’re suggesting it’s no one else’s business.

    The situation of this policewoman’s relationship is not comparable to that of the teacher who had false allegations conspired against him.

    The manner it which these relationships are investigated is very relevant, as is the cost, not only financial, to the individual, but the social cost and many people will have seen the effects on children forced to experience such circumstances, and I’ve seen kids go right off the rails over exactly this sort of thing, and social services and the police often end up dealing with the consequences.

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 9th April 2018 @ 10:09 am

  6. If something is legal then why treat it as illegal? If people want the age of consent to be increased then lobby government to do so. With the right to consent comes the responsibility to manage that right. Buying into these new layers of restriction over our rights and actions is not a good idea.

    Downunder @5: Even if an historical age of consent of 21 was ever true this would be irrelevant to the policewoman’s situation. In fact though the age of consent was never 21 in NZ so I don’t know how you got that idea. Before 1896 the age of consent was 12, then in 1896 it was raised to 16.

    Interestingly, according to Wikipedia sexual abuse of boys of any age by adult women was not a crime in NZ until “around 2007” when the law was changed. Actually, it appears to be the Crimes Amendment Act 2005 that introduced the crime of ‘sexual violation’ that could apply to women too, and changed other sexual crimes so they applied to women. ‘Rape’ is still something that only people with a penis can be charged with, though ‘sexual violation’ carries the same imprisonment tariff.

    Comment by Man X Norton — Mon 9th April 2018 @ 9:59 pm

  7. This is not a bannal mill Man X Norton and issues of consent in law are not limited to whether a female said yes, and what legislative age might be relevant to that decision.

    The public commonsense is often a better reflection of contemporary legal status, than a shallow and confused interpretation of law and history.

    In that respect it is you that needs a lesson in both, not me.

    Comment by Downunder — Tue 10th April 2018 @ 3:09 am

  8. Yeah, yeah I need a lesson from you, someone who makes up careless stories about the history of our laws.

    Your claim that my ‘interpretation of law and history’ was shallow and confused is ridiculous. You’re the one who made things up. But you seem to like disparaging others from your unwarranted belief that you know everything better.

    By the way, what’s a bannal?

    Comment by Man X Norton — Tue 10th April 2018 @ 8:00 am

  9. #8 Man X Norton

    I wondered about that 21 years old comment too.
    It was 12 until Great Britain change it to 16 to try and stop young girls being used as prostitutes and the males avoiding prosecution for that prostitution. NZ copied Great Britain.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Tue 10th April 2018 @ 8:32 am

  10. Many older people will be more likely to make the distinction between

    Being able to consent
    Being required to consent
    Being legally authorised to consent

    You might ask the question; “At what point in New Zealand law did legislation read, that a person under 16 could consent if they were married?” as one example.

    Consent is not simply a few words in a couple of sections of the Crimes Act.

    Comment by Evan Myers — Tue 10th April 2018 @ 9:00 am

  11. @8

    By the way, what’s a bannal

    I have no idea, Man X Norton, what is a bannal?

    If you were referring to ‘bannal mill’ in #7 that is an English Fuedal concept. Did you misread that or is that perhaps something you’re not familiar with?

    Comment by Downunder — Tue 10th April 2018 @ 9:14 am

  12. Wikipedia gives a good history for the word Bannal. Not something used very often these days. I thought it was a derogatory term so I learnt something today despite its near complete irrelevancy to the subject matter.

    The age of consent vs age of marriage is interesting as the US has on one hand generally quite high age of consent laws but this is contradicted by 25 states having no minimum age for marriage.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Tue 10th April 2018 @ 10:10 am

  13. I think you’re missing the point there DJ that it is not the age of marriage. It is in itself a consent. Such as one party could not have consented to that relationship if they had been misinformed.

    Comment by Evan Myers — Tue 10th April 2018 @ 11:14 am

  14. @12 DJ we might progress to the bannal oven and toss the bun around.

    I’m sure that would have been a concern for some people too.

    Comment by Downunder — Tue 10th April 2018 @ 11:27 am

  15. The word Banal is probably pretty significant when it comes to consent. Banal meaning tired, out of date, hackneyed, trite. The concept that consent is implied by marriage is, as such, quite a banal idea.
    Indeed consent is kind of a continuous process and it can be withdrawn at any stage.
    Sorry my knowledge of the politics and economy of feudalism isn’t great.

    Comment by Old Timer — Wed 11th April 2018 @ 3:48 pm

  16. @15 Banal as is understood and used today, tends toward the offensive, as suggested in #12

    Likewise common sense tends to be used in the sense of being stupid.

    Both expressions are found in Feudal language: bannal being common to all, as in community buildings owned by the Lord.

    Hense common sense, the ordinary sense of the people, what is known to all. When in Rome do as the Romans. Common Law.

    The context of words is often lost through the space of time, and the wrong meaning taken from that.

    I didn’t see any suggestion that consent is ‘implied by marriage’ in relation to #13, rather that it is part of marriage.

    In taking that further, in divorce for example, consent rested with the courts, even more so previously, than now, with no fault divorce.

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 12th April 2018 @ 7:37 am

  17. Old Timer, with some of the bedroom antics you hear about you’ve have to agree there’d be an element of ‘implied consent’ but you wouldn’t want that to stretch to Bobbitville.

    Comment by Evan Myers — Thu 12th April 2018 @ 7:48 am

  18. Given the extent to which the public interest, as well as the interests of the individual could be affected, I see a question over this being solely an employment matter.

    I’m surprised the media hasn’t pursued this aspect and investigated whether this should have also gone to the IPCA.

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 12th April 2018 @ 7:59 am

  19. The creation of new layers of restriction over the right to behave in perfectly legal ways has been a strategy of feminists in their war against men. This has resulted in hugely expanded definitions of ‘inappropriate’ that now
    – calls compliments, humour and innocent gestures of friendship or affection ‘harassment’;
    – calls any realistic comment about women that isn’t laudatory ‘sexist’;
    – calls demands for gender equality ‘sexist’ when they don’t suit women;
    – in the Family Court and by social workers treats any argumentative behaviour, expressions of frustration or anger in a domestic relationship as ‘violence’;
    – allows women to be treated as victims who didn’t give consent when they actually behaved in ways that suggested they wanted sexual activity and even when they participated enthusiastically;
    – treats adult young women as children who can’t be seen as responsible for their own choices and behaviour.

    It’s not a good idea for men to buy into these ever increasing layers of political correctness. These layers become quasi-legal moral codes without any careful consideration of their philosophical basis, consequences or implications. Employers, social workers and numerous other people in positions of some power then apply these codes as if they are some kind of law. If something is within the law then it’s important not to treat it as though it’s illegal. That seems to be what the braying lynch mob want in the case of this policewoman, but that bandwagon will be a poisoned chalice for men.

    Comment by Man X Norton — Thu 12th April 2018 @ 9:19 am

  20. @9 I think you raised another interesting point in terms of socal regression.

    NZ copied Great Britain.

    It is not unusual to hear the expression in New Zealand (and we have done so for decades) the … “we are going back to tribalism”.

    This is visible in the sense that it is what is pursued by Māori and it is their recent past.

    For the European descendants our recent past and reflected in written laws is a long way from tribalism.

    That is not a slight against Māori; we need to accept that social regression will drive distinct cultural backgrounds in different directions.

    It is the same individual behavior which I would suggest is not so visible because we are not familiar with English history.

    Comment by Evan Myers — Thu 12th April 2018 @ 10:07 am

  21. Comment from the Men’s Summit NZ’s biggest social problem is fatherless-ness.

    I’m guessing that was said by Warrick Pudney. It’s been said by many people for many, many years. If you look on this site you’ll see Susan Snively is recorded as trotting out the counter argument as far back as 1994. There are career arguments, to which one side gets traction and the other side does not.

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 12th April 2018 @ 11:05 am

  22. @19 The significant point of the opening blockquote in the post


    That was objected to by his parents, one of whom would have been his father.

    I’m not even going to speculate what he would have to say to you about your ideological argument, and that’s all I have to say about that.

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 12th April 2018 @ 11:30 am

  23. It’s fair to say that the Marriage Act in New Zealand recognizes matters of affinity and consanguinity.

    Those are the practical realities we expect parents to take into consideration.

    Comment by Evan Myers — Thu 12th April 2018 @ 12:20 pm

  24. My knowledge of this, The woman, brought one of her sons an IphoneX as a plead to him to not talk about the situation at school. The son had just had his parents split up, his dad has some health issues so left his job. His mother now dates a 17yr old boy who is now 18yrs old. The son is closer in age to the 18yr old boy than his mother. My view is that no ones doing anything illegal then its their lives thet them live it the way they want. Plus relationships with a 20yr age gap have a 10% chance of working out.

    Comment by Nat Smith — Sat 28th April 2018 @ 4:08 pm

  25. I assume you are a parent Nat?

    It appears that his parents had a different view of his best interests.

    Comment by Downunder — Sat 28th April 2018 @ 11:07 pm

  26. This situation in itself proves that the law and moral conscience are two completely different beasts. Whilst we may be abhorred as a parent by Tania Barons indiscretions, she has done nothing “legally wrong”

    Comment by Boofta — Fri 18th May 2018 @ 11:47 am

  27. @26 In the police examination of their responsibility to criminal law, perhaps not.

    Legally might also be considered in the civil sense, and that may not have been tested, rather it was avoided by confidential agreement between the employer and the employee.

    I certainly disagree that the law is absent of morality or of the obligation in certain circumstances to consider it.

    It may have been the case (and I’m not implying it was) that Bolton took this option rather than be charged for a disciplinary offence.

    Comment by Downunder — Sat 19th May 2018 @ 11:17 am

  28. A similar story.

    Genders reversed with a 19 year old girl and a former 50ish male teacher being investigated in absentia.[overseas whereabouts unknown]

    Perhaps the more interesting issue raised in this case is the loss of relationship between the parents and their child and the organization that has sprung up around this issue of adult children losing contact with parents.

    Comment by Evan Myers — Sat 9th June 2018 @ 8:37 am

  29. Interesting how the complaint to the teachers council was accepted and an investigation launched.
    He is not her teacher.
    The relationship is a legal relationship.

    We are not told but this could be a small country school with primary to secondary teachers.
    They would have known each other for 13 years before the relationship aledgedly began.
    In that case I think the relationship is wrong and deserving of a complaint as the teacher has a role of authority and duty of care over the girl.

    As for children abandoning parents it also works the other way around.
    When I was 18 my parents abandoned the family home, disappearing thier seperate ways into new relationships, leaving me and my older brother to pay rent to cover thier mortgage. At 19 I was given custody of my 15 year old brother as I was the only option left other than some form of state care. When he qualified for independent youth benifit at 16 he was gone too.
    Still have very little to do with my parents.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Sat 9th June 2018 @ 11:36 am

  30. @29

    I read the article and followed a link to a related story.

    There appears to be a requirement to investigate the current relationship in terms of when they were in a teacher-pupil relationship.

    That goes back to her primary school days.

    Can’t see any chance of him getting a substantial payment to leave the profession.

    Looking at this in terms of the Bolton case then, if Bolton was subject to an investigation when the boy was still 17, then even if legal but inappropriate why did Bolton get a confidential payout rather than a dishonorable discharge?

    Comment by Downunder — Sat 9th June 2018 @ 12:47 pm

  31. A 19 year old is not a girl. Having been in a teacher-pupil relationship at primary school level seems quite irrelevant to their decisions as adults. If people want it to be unacceptable for an older man and younger woman to have a relationship then the law should criminalize that. Otherwise the PC brigade should butt out of adults’ personal decisions.

    Comment by Man X Norton — Sat 9th June 2018 @ 6:31 pm

  32. “Teachers retain a professional responsibility to their students, particularly those who are deemed vulnerable because of their age.”

    Above is the mantra from the Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal.

    One might assume since the investigation started almost a year ago that the current expedition overseas is to avoid deregistration.

    Would the same retention of responsibility apply to counseling outside of the two year stand down?

    Doctor patient relationships?

    It’s an odd situation that entering the relationship subjects you to a historic investigation because of a later relationship.

    I’m seeing the age gap occurring more often.

    But then in the social context of the school and other teachers, having a current teacher married to a former pupil – is it more than the industry can cope with?

    If the teacher accepts this industry situation and leaves the country rather than resign, is the pursuit of the investigation hurting the woman’s relationship with family and friends, and taking away a career income for the couple?

    Be interesting to read the final decision.

    Comment by Downunder — Sun 10th June 2018 @ 10:31 am

  33. It may be a good idea to provide a not-too-onerous process for teachers-pupils, counsellors-clients etc to use if they want to develop an intimate relationship after their professional relationship has ended. That process would ascertain that there is no ‘abuse of power’ and that both parties are exercising free and competent choice.

    A blanket ban on professionals having intimate relationships with ex-clients etc treats those professionals and indeed their ex-clients as something other than human. We tend to do the same to politicians, expecting them to have lives without errors or normal human experiences. Even if the odd politician had such a pure life, what understanding would (s)he have about normal people? In reality, the only ones able to satisfy the public about their pureness are those who have been able to hide their true lives effectively.

    The professional bodies are mainly concerned about maintaining a sanitized impression of their own professions, and avoiding the hassle of dealing with complaints about their members.

    Comment by Man X Norton — Sun 10th June 2018 @ 11:28 am

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