Race commissioner oblivious to hate speech series

The New Zealand Herald is in the process of inflicting a seven-part series denigrating a race and the Race Relations Commissioner is missing in action. What’s going on?

The series is “Land of the Long White Cloud – confronting NZ’s colonial past”, which is published both in print and video.

Part 1 on Cook exhorts Pakeha New Zealanders “to take their colonial guilt and turn it into action” and features former New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd who said: "My ancestors came here. We took over. We murdered and plundered”.

Part 2 showcases the self-styled “recovering racist” Judd speaking of his failed attempt to set up a Maori ward in New Plymouth.

Part 3 features a professional “treaty educator” who said that Doyleston, the South Island town, was founded on land stolen from Maori and won by her great-great grandfather. Since the land passed out of her family, she can’t give it back.

No further details were given, which blew any semblance of fairness or accuracy out of the water.

There was nothing about the fact that South Island tribes sold the entire South Island. Nothing about settlements of South Island complaints in 1868, 1906, 1944, 1998, and top-ups that continue.

The series looks like a media version of treaty education workshops. These use psychodrama to give participants, who pay $35, a taste of how rotten they should really feel when they get in contact with their inner guilty Pakeha.

The series is twaddle, and a reasonable reader or viewer would see it as such.

But if you look at what racialism and hate speech actually is, you would wonder why Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon gives this a pass, but gets worked up about a new councillor blurting out some inconvenient truth about the Treaty.

“Racialism”, according to Oxford English Dictionary, is “belief in the superiority of a particular race, and refers to antagonism between races”. The Herald series depicts an entire race as wrongdoers.

The New Oxford Companion to Law defines “hate speech” as “expression which is likely to cause offence or distress to other individuals on the basis of their association with a particular group”. The allegation that an entire race should feel guilty and should do something about it is likely to cause offence.

Please make your complaint about the series, which should have been titled “Land of the long white apology”, to the Race Relations Commissioner at https://www.hrc.co.nz/complaint-form/

Petitions update

Thank you to all who signed our petition to welcome the visit of the flotilla including the replica of the Endeavour that carried Captain James Cook here 250 years ago. The visit continues until December 6. We set up the petition to counter another petition to stop the visit, claiming it was racist. They collected 3235 signatures, while we have so far collected 5226. Our petition may be signed at http://chng.it/jKMjXXMwGd

We launched another 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. We have picked up 5337 signatures to date. We need your support. The petition may be signed at http://chng.it/stXwrrtFLY

Meanwhile, 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 2642 signatures. The petition may be signed at  http://chng.it/xPN6P55k

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