Two Hobson’s Pledge members unwittingly played the role of canary in the coalmine regarding looming crackdowns on freedom of speech in New Zealand, according to a new book titled Free Speech Under Attack.
A “canary in a coal mine” is an advanced warning of some danger. The saying originates from the times when miners used to carry caged canaries while at work so that if there was any methane or carbon monoxide in the mine, the canary would die before the levels of the gas reached those hazardous to humans.
The first instance was when Hobson’s Pledge spokesman Don Brash was to address a politics class at Massey University in 2018 about his experience in Parliament and the vice-chancellor canned the talk because she didn’t agree with his views.
Such censorship ceased to be part of English law in 1692 when the Licensing Act ceased to be used to censor the press in England.
The second instance was when Hobson’s Pledge associate David Round, a law lecturer at Canterbury University, was hauled before his law school superiors after an anonymous Facebook post in August this year by a student who felt unsafe around someone who made politically incorrect utterances about the Treaty of Waitangi and the benefits of colonisation.
Note, no complaint had been made to the university.
Free speech under attack explains the struggle for free-speech in England, details current attempts to limit free speech to avoid offending minorities, and shows the extent to which identity politics means that we are pigeonholed not by what we say but by the group we belong to.
This will ring true to the thousands who receive this newsletter who are wrongly labelled as pale, stale, and racist if we utter something about the Treaty at a social function.
Peter Cresswell, one of the five authors of the book, writes that “the threat to civilisation is not some kind of invasion from elsewhere. It is our own awful ideas”.
He is clear that the way to counter these awful ideas, which often amount to a total rejection of reason, is by insisting on clear definitions of the words we use, and the place to counter them is in the philosophy and sociology departments at our universities.
Free speech under attack, Peter Cresswell, Jeremy Fisher, David Round, Robert Stanmore, Tim Wikiriwhi, Tross Publishing, 212 pages, illustrated, $33.95 (including postage) go to https://www.hobsonspledge.nz/free_speech_under_attack.
Tree decolonisation blocked or damned?
Under discussion is an interim injunction against the Tupuna Maunga Authority to stop clear-felling of 345 exotics on Mount Albert that were to be cut down in a five-week project that was supposed to start on November 11.
The ancestor mountain zealots have a legal problem that stems from a reference to section 17 of the Reserves Act in the Mana Whenua o Tamaki Makaurau Collective Redress Act 2014 which seeks to protect the natural environment and beauty of the countryside that the Tupuna Maunga Authority appears hell-bent on destroying.
It looks like the ancestor mountain zealots may find themselves in a spot in which they are either blocked from destroying coloniser trees or damned for returning Mount Albert to the barren state it was in 179 years ago
No more ‘Mt Egmont’
As sure as night follows day, from next year, the name Mount Egmont is going to be scrapped and the mountain will retain only its Maori name Taranaki Maunga.
This resulted from pressure on the Government from another ancestor mountain group known as the Eight tribes of Taranaki who asked that their “ancestor mountain” should simply be known as Taranaki Maunga, and not by the dual name of Mt Egmont Mt Taranaki which has been in official use since 1986.
How long will it be before “New Zealand” will be dropped from “Aotearoa New Zealand” and we will all become Aotearoans instead of New Zealanders.
Of course, that is except the Te Wai Pounamuans who live in the South Island and who say that “Aotearoa” only names the North Island.
Our petition which asks Parliament to amend the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 to restore public ownership of the coastal area, put all claims through the High Court, and repeal customary marine title, while affirming customary rights has picked up 8045 signatures. We need your support. The petition may be signed at http://chng.it/stXwrrtFLY
Our petition to evict protesters at Ihumatao, and for the Government to allow both Te Kawerau a Maki and Fletchers to proceed with their lawful business, has collected 2767 signatures. If you have not done so already, please sign our petition at http://chng.it/xPN6P55k
A total of 6517 people signed our petition to welcome the visit of the flotilla that includes the replica of the Endeavour that carried Captain James Cook here 250 years ago. The visit ended on Friday. We set up the petition to counter another petition to stop the visit, claiming it was racist. Thank you to all who signed.
Frequently asked questions
- What is Hobson's Pledge? Hobson’s Pledge supporters think it is absurd to argue in the 21st century that people who chance to have a Maori ancestor, always with other ancestors too of course, should have superior rights to those who don’t. And utterly absurd that there are politicians who want to be taken seriously who still push this nonsense.
- What are the issues we're facing today?
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