TVNZ Must Try Harder With Q & A

TVNZ deserved credit for shifting it’s politics show Q & A from the Sunday morning boondocks to primetime. The state broadcaster showed it was not abandoning current affairs and prepared to take a commercial risk. If episodes one to three seemed a little – well – dull – Episode 4 on Sunday was muddled. Studio shots looked flat. The make up on the guests was sometimes poor and some subject matter was poorly handled.

Peter FitzSimons

Rebecca Wright’s interview with former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright was paint-by-numbers stuff, asking nice open question. Albright was there to plug her new book, and that is fair enough.

Alas, she delivered another treatise on how Donald Trump was an abomination. Wright nodded enthusiastically. But there was no attempt to challenge the Democratic Party version of events. or its past oversight of world events. 

Media blaming Trump are dime a dozen. it is available 24/7 on CNN. The other international story on Q & A was coverage of the Liberal Party upheavals across the Tasman. It was a chance dig in with some good analysis of a story that directly affects New Zealand. This week;s show must have been pre-recorded very early, because it did not mention the news that day that Julie Bishop was standing dow from her Foreign Minister post.

It is always an easy to call in journalist, but it is second-hand view. Someone like Michelle Grattan might show the gravity of the story. 

But the Sydeny Morning Herald Peter FitzSimons responses were top the head stuff. He appears to have been chosen for the Rugby connection. He as the wrong person for the job.

Corin Dann even made that hoary old joke about not talking about the Rugby results. 

Corin Dann

I have praised Dann in the past for providing some objectivity, especially when he was head of the TVNZ Press Gallery and competing with Paddy Gower. Objectivity is good, but he seems to make up for the lack of rancour by creating breathless urgency his delivery.

I’ve always preferred Q & A over The Nation on Three, which plays on Saturday Mornings and was repeated opposite Q& A on Sunday mornings. It is good to have politics in prime time. But Sunday night  seems too late for me to catch up on the week’ s politics.

Lisa Owen

With The Nation interviewer Lisa Owen about to leave Three for Checkpoint on Radio New Zealand this may be the time that TVNZ can own the TV politics brand.

Both shows are taxpayer-funded. Owen aside, The Nation has always seemed down at heel to me.

That low rent feel has its use of PR people and lobbyists its panel. But if The Nation is bound to be a dead duck, Q & A is not yet shooting for the stars.

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Why Did Jacinda Ardern Go Soft On Curran?

Labour is pushing ahead with a shake-up of public media – leaving the forgetful broadcasting minister Clare Curran at the helm. This follows the second incident where Curran has forgotten to declare meetings with industry players or nofified staff. Labour’s broadcasting policy is already a mess. We need to look at where its muddy amd strategy is headed. Do want the State more involved in journalism?

On Friday, Prime-minister Jacinda Ardern removed two of Curran’s four portfolios and took her out of Cabinet. She left the errant minister with broadcasting, and associate minister for ACC. Chris Hipkins will take over Curran’s bizarrely inapproriate role as “minister for open government.”  Dr Megan Woods will take over as minister of government digital services, the portfolio that got Curran into trouble when she forgot to declare an interview with a potential job applicant.

Labour true believers and government-friendly journalists have sought to portray Ardern’s move as quick decisive action –  a counter to the  nagging doubt about her leadership skills. Ardern had her concern face on. But PM go easy on Curran after her second failure of the year. 

Ardern says she learned of Curran’s latest transgression on Monday. She chose to announce it at 4pm on Friday, in the middle of big political changes in Australia, and debate source of a leak against Opposition leader Simon Bridges. In my opinion was an old-fashioned news dump meant to avoid media attention and should have been called out as such.

Derek Handley

The latest debacle where Derek Handley, the high-profile entrepreneur Derek Hadley who was interested in a new position of the government’s Chief Technology Officer. In an unusual move  Curran had restarted the search for a CTO, after she was not impressed enough by the applicants,

Handley, by the way. is a director of Sky TV.

Ardern noted this is the second time that the minister’s note keeping and liaison with staff. On December 5, broke the story of Curran’s meeting at the Astoria cafe with Carol Hirschfeld, who headed news at Radio New Zealand. The pretense had been the meeting was accidental. In fact it was pre-planned.

Hirschfeld had misled her RNZ bosses about the meeting, who had subsequently misled a select committee. She was dismissed from Radio New Zealand and hired at Stuff.

Hirschfeld clearly made a mistake, and paid for it  Curran, apologised,the Government supported herand Hirschfeld was thrown to the wolves.

RNZ chairman Jim Mather

After the latest debacle the CTO appointment has been taken over by the state services Commission – which I where it always belonged all along, not with Curran’s office.

Why Ardern chose to retain Curran as minister of small but sensitive portfolio.

Labour is setting up a structure to more public media. journalists and media love the idea of more public cash. Labour relies on Maori support, and Radio New Zealand is to get closer with Maori TV.  Former Maori TV CEO Jim Mather – was appointed chairman of RNZ.

What is the crossover between Curran ‘s role as the minister of broadcasting, and Ardern’s role as minister for arts, culture and heritage. The PM’s portfolio drifts into media 

The public need to know that the survival of the minister (against the odds) is due to a wider Labour strategy.

We need a clean slate with Labour’s failed media strategy, and an explanation on why the Prime Minister is not prepared to provide one.

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RNZ Too Shy-Shy On Another PR Tie Four days and Morning Report still hasn't explained it's lack of disclosure

Radio New Zealand Morning Report is using the director of a public relations company – Kerry-Anne Walsh – as its Australian correspondent.

Walsh has had a long career as a political journalist. In 2009 she left Rupert Murdoch’s Sun-Herald reviving and her Canberra- based PR firm, called KA Communications.

The question is not why public radio uses a PR person for a significant editorial role as a ” correspondent”.  A lot of people straddle journalism and PR. (Though you would hope public radio analysis of Australia would be handled carefully? Walsh is clearly knowledgable.

The question is why RNZ – once again – feels it does not to spell out PR links for its correspondents.

Remember post-election when Morning Report used soft questions for an undeclared media adviser to the PM to declare journalists had to censor the questions they asked the PM. Continue reading RNZ Too Shy-Shy On Another PR Tie Four days and Morning Report still hasn’t explained it’s lack of disclosure

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Dog Whistles And Golriz Riding A High Horse It's not creepy to challenge politicians

CAPTION Green MP Golriz Grahraman.


I am ambivalent about the Green MP Golriz Grahraman and questions about her refugee background.

Simon Jeans – A high-profile Australian immigration lawyer – has questioned her take on freedom of speech, and her refugee status. It is not my intention to work out what is right or wrong. She should answer the claims.

Golriz and partner Guy claim high ground on moral issues.


But if you are going to ride a high horse, you have to be prepared to show you belong there. Some disagreed with Jeans’ claims. The co-editor of Newsroom – Tim Murphy – is one sceptic who is non-partisan.

“That thing by the Australian lawyer about MP Golriz Ghahraman: -tries to be all magisterial on a case built from a few news clippings makes assumptions about assumptions and argues with them to give a verdict no one sought. Odd.”

  Continue reading Dog Whistles And Golriz Riding A High Horse It’s not creepy to challenge politicians

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Update: Free Speech Coalition Withdraws Goff Complaint Claims victory

CAPTION: Coalition says Morning Report wanted Brash for a Punch and Judy show.

The Free Speech Coalition has studied Auckland Council’s defence to the application for judicial review of the Mayor’s claim to ban Molyneux/Southern from Council-owned venues. There is no attempt in the response papers to substantiate any politician’s right to decide who can and can’t be heard in Auckland’s ratepayer provided facilities.

“Free Speech has unequivocally won on the key issue,” says Dr David Cumin, a Free Speech Coalition member. “The arrogant claim of power to block what the Mayor calls ‘repugnant’ speech (speech that might offend a person’s religious prejudices) gets no defence from the Council lawyers.”

The Council Response concedes: Mayor Goff did not make the decision;

He had no right to intervene or make the decision;

Regional Facilities Auckland made the decision;

RFA would not have acted on the Mayor’s instructions if he had given them;

He did not influence the decision-makers;

RFA do not and will not discriminate among users on grounds of political preference or concern about causing offence;

The decision was instead based on security concerns;

Ultimately it was due to fear of what protesters could do;

RFA thought that safety was paramount so they did not believe they needed to do more to mitigate the threats or otherwise ensure the Thug’s Veto did not prevail.

“With the Council indicating so clearly that it can’t support the Mayor’s claims, the Free Speech Coalition has won,” says Dr Cumin. “New Zealanders have put together their $20s and $50s and $100s, and they’ve called the politician’s bluff. They’ve told him they get to decide who they can listen to – not a Mayor spouting slogans about people he’s never met.”

“The Free Speech Coalition’s main purpose for next Monday’s urgent application hearing has therefore gone. As such the request for urgent orders and a hearing, has been withdrawn. Focus will now be on the remaining question relating to the Council’s duty to stand up to the ‘Thugs’ Veto’.”

“The Coalition was never about supporting the particular speakers, it was about principle, which now the Council has conceded.”

“The second issue remains – will officials who want to gag unwelcome political speech now manufacture “safety concerns” to evade the NZ Bill of Rights Act, and the Human Rights Act?”

“All fair-minded New Zealanders will be upset by the apparent effectiveness of the Thugs’ Veto in this case. It may have been against a Council whose Mayor was happy to be threatened, but it has implications throughout New Zealand.”

“We think Free Speech Coalition supporters will want us to ensure that a court tells Councils to ensure the Thug’s Veto does not rule in their cities. But that is an issue for a later day, and will be the key issue in the substantive proceedings later in the year, if we decide to press on.”

“Auckland Council’s incompetence on this occasion would make it hard for the Court to order that the particular event go ahead, at least at the planned time and venue. We are advised that the compressed urgent timetable and rules about interim applications such as ours mean that it will not be possible to get sufficient evidence before the Court on security/safety issues, and test it.”

“Unless the Police volunteer that they can handle anything unlawful the protesters might threaten, a court would be wary of unmanageable interference with the event and its attendees.”

“The promoters are responsible people. They see the greater risk created by the Mayor’s incitement. Celebrities without any direct knowledge have been falling over each other to distance themselves from the manufactured bogeymen they were prompted to hate, by the Mayor.”

“While it may be fair to tar Auckland Councillors with cowardice in failing to reassert control of Mayor Goff, it is not fair to blame the RFA officers. They have stated their adherence to the non-partisan principles the Free Speech Coalition defends. We welcome this significant victory.”

“Both sides should now agree that the question is whether unexamined safety fears can trump fundamental values of free expression. We should agree that defining a duty to overcome the Thug’s Veto is vitally important. That should now be the main issue in the eventual substantive hearing.”

Melissa Derby, another spokesperson for the Free Speech Coalition, says “The Mayor was wrong in the decision he made and we’ve ensured no legal precedent was set that makes it okay for an elected official to decide what we can or can’t hear. That is precisely what we wanted to achieve.”

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Free Speech Coalition Challenges Morning Report Was Brash Choice RNZ Payback Time?

Don Brash – a politicised choice.

A Morning Report focus on Don Brash for the freedom of speech issue raises questions about its motivations. The public broadcaster went to extraordinary lengths to place Brash – a contentious but minor player at the Free Speech Coalition – front and centre of the debate. The Guyon Espiner interview ran on July 11.

According to the coalition, Brash told Morning Report he was not the best person to front. But Morning Report insisted and turned away six suggestions from the coalition, including academics and two official spokespeople. The coalition includes a dozen lawyers and academics and journalist Chris Trotter, Williams said. 

TVNZ’s Cori9n dean was objective on Goff issue

The coalition is legally challenging Auckland mayor Phil Goff, and his ban on Canadian right wing activists – Lauren Southern an Stefan Molyneux – from using Auckland Council venues Subsequently many agreed and disagreed with Goff’s stance. some of the anti criticism focused on Brash. The coalition has raised more than $100,000 for its legal challenge.

According to Williams, it was made apparent that if Brash did not front for the Coalition, no-one else could. Brash initially turned Morning Report down – but eventually demurred. On air Brash, maintained a reasoned stance, but Espiner focused on his personal background and conservatism, including his stance criticising Radio New Zealand for use of te reo in news.

Jordan Williams(right)

Jordan Williams said: “They insisted on having Don Brash to take an agenda-driven approach to an interview that did not serve the listener.

The approach deliberately chose to ignore a fundamental issue for the purpose of short-term gamesmanship. Williams said.Morning Report used to be authoritative and credible and yet more and more it plays these silly games,” he said.Morning Report wanted the actor to play the Punch and Judy role, and that does not suit the listener, Williams said. Then then they chose to mock him for being the spokesperson.

The upshot was that the public broadcaster portrays the freedom speech is issue as about a personality and politician.

To be fair, the coalition could have handled it better, calling Morning Report’s bluff.

The use of Brash created a political edge, and he should have stayed away, in my opinion.  Media must be free to take the angle and the people they like. That is freedom of the press. Media always likes fireworks. But we are taught RNZ is better than that.

But in my opinion this item looked like a stitch up – and a payback to politician who had publicly challenged RNZ, and Morning Report in particular. Radio New Zealand was invited on Tuesday to respond the the criticism.

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Freedom From Offendarati Rule

Image Pinterest.

Debates about freedom of speech often lead to academic and legalistic arguments. Important people try to define what mere mortals may listen to, who needs to be protected, and from whom.

It is important and abstract. So it is handed to right-minded activists, lawyers and journalists – and to politicians like Phil Goff. He imposed his view on what political view is acceptable – in public venues at least.  The thing is, freedom of speech is an antidote to authority. And so it is annoying for some.  At heart many of us don’t want to be bossed around by people who are sometimes-irrational, sometimes self- indulgent, virtue-signallers, and zealots. We are capable of making up our own minds without their censoring us.

Phil Goff on Q&A. He decided what you can hear.

I’m weary of being lectured that freedom of speech is not an absolute. We all know that. There are valid restrictions on incitements to violence and personal hatred. Defamation laws are a rich person’s tool, but they also constrain freedom. But in the current weird world, protection from abuse and the threat of violence has morphed into stopping views that offend – halting language that is deemed “unsafe.” We are being protected by people who hate being offended. The Offendarati. 

It’s a white hat- black hat mentality. The Goodies and Baddies, Some groups are involved in white hat groups have special status. Some are beyond the pale and are irrelevant or to be silenced. This is understandable given the viciousness of social media and the partisan wars on twitter.

Some folk on the Left – once advocates for free speech – now insist that “hurtful” opinions must be stopped in the future for the good of Society all and the protection of the vulnerable. White knight social justice warriors have assigned themselves to protect specified minorities from people who are defined – somewhat fanatically – as fascists, Nazis and racists. One new term of acceptable abuse, is to deride Terfs, people who will not accept official institutions proclamations on gender politics. The Goodies and the Baddies, 

It is bizarre that some journalists – who have complained about the restrictions of libel laws an authority – should now actively seek the extend restrictions into the discussion of ideas, religion and politics.

Goff says Southern and Molyneux are beyond the pale.’

We have seen examples of over-eager outrages recently like the attacks on Israel Folau – and Phil Goff’s “captain’s call” intervention into the Lauren Southern Stefan Molyneux event. I find Southern too much of a careerist and Molyneux tedious, but they are not so frightening they should be banned from Council venues. “Who is next,” Corin Dann asked Goff on Q&A,” Donald Trump”? 

We see the same intervention by authority in the gay community with attempts by media and politicians to shut down individuals – people who disagree with the new orthodoxy,  transexuals self identifying as women – many of them penises. They argue that biology is irrelevant to gender. It has become mainstream thought, but quite mad/ These are vexed issues. There is no doubt about that.

Minister. “Terfs” must treat transexuals with penises as women.

But in the current environment, activists and media followers believe discordant options are to be shut down. People who disagree with authority from so called “Terfs” can be shut down.

Last week on Q&A Woman Affairs Minister Julie Ann Genter chided feminists who did not accept transsexuals with penises were women.Should the state be policing these matters?

It is part of the continued breakdown into cultural niches under identity politics, where authorities will define what is and what is not acceptable.

The Human Rights Commission should be a haven of fairness and rationality in these debates. Alas, the publicly funded body has taken sides and become a home for state sponsored activism. 

The Commission has brushed off its’ scandal over an executive harassment of an intern and privately it is working to expand a push for more restrictions on free speech.

During nine years of a National governments there have been growing signs of ideological biases were ignored and promoted in media.

Radical feminist Renee Gerlijh has been attacked by trans-activists – but that is allowed by authorities

Now with a Labour government – and despite the Human Rights Commission dysfunction –  pressing ahead with controls on what it calls “disharmonious speech”  for likely new hate speech rules at the end of the current Labour term. 


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RNZ Folding Liberal Wireless Into Main Website Is RNZ changing for the better?

Radio New Zealand is folding its struggling youth website “The Wireless” into

Partly this is because “The Wireless” has been superseded by commercial media like “The Spinoff” and Vice.

Three’s 7pm show “The Project” is also aimed at the young urban liberal audience. It is a well trodden path, and that is fine for private media companies.

That new competition was inevitable. it makes you wonder why the state broadcaster continued travelling down this path.

It was first cab off the rank.

Now it is pushed out by commercial competitors who see an attraction for advertisers.

Wireless alumni Megan Whelan has been made RNZ head of digital

Merger of “The Wireless” into the growing main website is a prelude to the government’s creating a new funding set-up for RNZ.

As part of the change, New Zealand On Air has said that as of November, it will no longer provide a $200,000 annual subsidy for Wireless content, 40 per cent of its claimed $500,000 budget.

So the Wireless was becoming unsustainable, and RNZ have had to dig in to its other taxpayer funding.

The transition is already underway for “The Wireless” into the vastly more popular mainstream site is already underway.

In a memo to RNZ staff on May 31, the head of news and digital, Glen Scanlon, who recently replaced Carol Hirschfeld as head of news, said that “The Wireless” content will remain accessible,

The technical transition is expected to happen in the background over the next three months. “The Wireless” team will be the foundation of the new long form investigative unit,” said the RNZ head of news.

“The Wireless” was launched in October 2013.

Support for the website was good in the first years. But a source familiar with the situation said it’s numbers have diminished substantially over the past two years.

Glen Scanlon

Nielsen figures for May 2018 show The Wireless had 44,534 unique browsers compared to 584,483 for its” commercial competitor “The Spinoff” and 1.7 million for the mainstream website.

So the change makes sense.

RNZ played down the May results from Nielsen, saying that unique results varied month by month. RNZ declined to provide requested details for specific dates.

On dates selected by RNZ “The Wireless” delivered 66,000 unique browsers, 82500 and 101,400. There was no need to announce anything publically, because the change was not yet apparent to the public.

There is no shame in trying and failing to reach a young demographic, All media are looking ways to tap into millennials and their media habits.

Former RNZ digital boss Glen Scanlon has replaced Carol Hirschfeld.

The question is why a cash-strapped public broadcaster targeted a specific social demographic, ignoring the mainstream youth audience. It appears to have misjudged its role as a public broadcaster.

Internally, some RNZ staff have neen antsy about the resources RNZ has pumped into The Wireless – and its video venture – while cutting costs on primary services such as news. and sound radio.

RNZ bosses insist that “The Wireless” met the same journalist standards as its main operations.

But three RNZ journalists who have worked in system said that was not the case. There was less scrutiny for content on The Wireless and lower expectations of a younger audience, they said.

Certainly, “The Wireless” appeared to have a greater concerns of identity politics, immigration, and human rights.  more than the challenges for Palmerston North twenty somethings getting a job

Which is not to say that these were relevant to a young urban liberal audience.

Maybe the hoi-polloi the non-politically correct audience does not consume online media, so there is no point in focusing on them.

There has been an overblown cliché about RNZ promoted by Right Wing – that it is Red Radio, divorced

Glen Scanlon

One event during the election campaign illustrated how The Wireless saw its role.

The Wireless commissioned a Green Party Young Greens co-convenor Meg Williams to interview Chloe Swarbrick.

The Spinoff had a similar schmooze fest. But it is a private company that had promoted Labour and the Greens in the run up to the election, Don’t we expect better from public radio? 

The Wireless perception was that the younger demographic was urban and liberal, like its staff.

Glen Scanlon – now the overall head of news – would not rule out similar items where activists get to interview allied politicians. Beyond that RNZ is in the midst of major changes that saw the departure of Carol Hirschfeld and a new push to develop more Maori content and closer ties with Maori TV

RNZ spokesman John Barr said “The Wireless” has broken new ground when it was launched and contributed some “strong journalism.”

The Wireless was feeding into and contributing the big growth in viewership for the main website, website.

He agreed the new competition had been a factor in the challenges,

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Dysfunctional HRC Targets Hate And Disharmony Streamed session A Fig Leaf For Commission Push

Green MP Golriz Grahraman is a high profile advocate for controlled speech,

A ministerial report from retired Employment Court judge Coral Shaw was a damning indictment of the Human Rights Commission, which was described as “dysfunctional” and “toxic”. Justice Minister Andrew Little is working with the State Services Commission to resolve problems which he said had been apparent to him, before media reports about its errant handling of a sexual harassment complaint. “Problems at the Commission came to me previously from a number of sources,” Little says. ”I made the judgment that the failure with the sexual harassment complaint was a product of a dysfunction at the Commission,” he says.

RNZ community engagement editor is in the media – but is expected to support restrictions on speech.

There have been other examples of mission creep at the Commission – with a focus on development of its own profile and what AUT history professor Paul Moon sees as evidence of an “ideology” developing at the Commission. In my opinion the Commission human sometimes act like a state-sanctioned activist, a role that is even more problematical with Labour and the Greens in power. The activist tendency is playing out in a nascent debate over “hate speech” – or “disharmonious language” as the Commission calls it. Two meetings on the topic held in Wellington, tomorrow, Tuesday May 22. One – led by Internet NZ – is being streamed and includes Golriz Grahraman amongst speakers. None of the speakers are promoters for free speech. It is chaired by Dr Paul Spoonley, an academic tipped for the role of Race Relations Conciliator. 




The Internet NZ session is attached  to a closed and private meeting of NGOs organised by the Human Rights Commission.  a source familiar with the planning said that the streamed speakers was a public shop front while in the private meeting led by the Commission.

“ This is a fig leaf for what is going on at the HRC closed meeting,” the source says,

Internet NZ has acknowledged tomorrow’s session was linked to the controversial comments by Israel Folau, who responded to queries and said that under his religious views, homosexual people would “ burn in hell” if they did not repent.

Andrew Little sees problems at the Human Right Commission but sees a review hate speech rules in the future,

Attempts to pin down expectations for the HRC- organised meeting were fraught. The Commission insisted it was not working toward new hate speech legislation. Internet New Zealand initially wouldn’t discuss the allied meeting,

The upshot is that renewed debate about hate speech – at a time when the world is  obsessed with the notion of fake News – appears to be  being led by a Commission that is organisationally dysfunction. In my opinion the is taking too little stock of the importance for freedom of speech.

Labour may be wary of the HRC currently. But Little indicated he is prepared to limit freedom of speech.

Paul Moon has long questioned the lack of transparency at the Commission and an unwillingness to discuss its position on hate speech.

A July 2017 Commisssion report referred to concern about a more nebulous concept, “disharmonious” speech.

Moon says the Commission refuses to spell out what that means. Disharmony is not necessarily a bad thing.

Moon detects a mood at the Commission to introduce more controls over speech. akin to greater state oversight like those in Canada and in the UK.

Israel Folau and his comments that homosexuals would “ Burn in hell. The notion of hell – let alone that of a fiery tempest – seems olde world. How many people take his views so seriously they should be banned,

Yet numerous celebrities -including All Black TJ Perenara – and Newshub political editor Tova O’Brien – exercised their outrage and said Folau’ comments were beyond the pair. There is no room in my world for people who think gay people are going to hell” O’Brien said.

Many people did not like what Israel and Maria Folau said – but should they be silenced?

Freedom of speech does not exempt Folau is exempt from consequences and he got a sound whacking on mainstream and social media.

Views were expressed. People had an idea of the competing freedoms,

The HRC has been active in this space for a long time and regularly holds forth on perceived racism sexism, and transphobia 

We have now come to expect interventions from the state agency with chiding of people who break unstated moral rules, 

Dr Paul Spoonley is chairman of the Internet NZ speaker series and is tipped to be the next Race Relations Conciliator/

The Commissioners wax lyrical about Christchurch everything from utterances or the N word – which it had pre-arranged, a Chinese restaurant which used crass phrases on its menu and tweeting transexual former male who competed as a woman. Itmis not so much these views are advances, but that alternative opinions ar being shut out.

There is now an expectation that the Commission will make statement on any perceived example of what it calls disharmonious speech. What we know nowise that the state agency now comments on all incidents that involve race, gender or even tenancy problems.

 Little defends its media activities, but suggests problems may be due to a lack interest by National over the past nine years.

Andrew Little points out that the Commisssion has a role to promote understanding of human rights.

He said that in two or three years there may be a review so that New Zealand Human Rights laws are consistent with those overseas.

“It may well be that is the time to consider whether there has to be a beefing up over the coverage of hate speech,” he said.

“I am acutely aware that is an area that has the potential to seriously infringe on freedom of speech.”We need to find a line that is beyond obnoxious butclearly harmful and damaging” the minister said. 

The Internet NZ event is a shop front window with the real activity behind the scenes involving the Commission and lobby group. The most disturbing aspect is that the discussions are taking place in the name of diversity, where some opinions – on the importance of freedom of speech – does not have a champion.

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Activist Dumped From Oz Media Watchdog,

Activist Carla McGrath has vowed to resist her removal from the Australian Press Council. A year ago the appointment of McGrath to the Council set off a major row. She is deputy chairman of the Left wing activist organisation Get Up. The Murdoch media organisation had repeatedly complained about her bias, and said it wouldn’t abide by APC decisions she was involved with.

Who guards the guards of media standards? Should political campaigners have a role overseeing the Press that is greater than the general public.

Carla McGrath is deputy chair or the activist organisation Get Up

I’d argue that strongly held views must be considered by regulators considering complaints. But opinion must be free, and the opinions of a political activists do not reflect independence. Continue reading “Activist Dumped From Oz Media Watchdog,”

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