Nazis burning books they didn’t like in Berlin, May 1933.

by John Robinson

On Saturday 4 December 2021, TV1 News broadcast an appeal to bookstores to refuse to stock books by Tross Publishing – effectively a call to ban the books.  I was referred to explicitly, and the program was illustrated by the covers of two of my books, The corruption of New Zealand democracy; a Treaty overview (2011) and He Puapua: Blueprint for breaking up New Zealand (2021).  That vicious and unfounded attack implicates me.

The TV1 journalist, Te Aniwa Hurihanganui, first contacted Tross Publishing asking for my e-mail address.  Our reply was that this would be provided if the reporting was fair and accurate: “Dr. Robinson would be prepared to discuss this important issue openly so long as he be accorded fair treatment by your media outlet.”  

Her intention was made clear in the response, refusing that condition: “I’d like to interview or get a written response from a representative of Tross Publishing – rather than Dr Robinson as originally requested.”  She then describes her true intention: “we’re planning to run a story alleging that the books published by Tross Publications are described as untrue, false, hateful, disgusting, and anti-Maori.”  The issue was pre-judged and the item’s content was planned prior to any interview.  Their aim was to prevent conversation between people with differing views, to ban my books, to stifle debate, and to strengthen the call for division of our nation.  

I then asked Tross Publishing to send a brief statement on my behalf: “The response is from the author, Doctor John Robinson, as follows: ‘As the author of the book, He Puapua; Blueprint for Breaking Up New Zealand, I absolutely reject the untrue charges made against Tross Publishing.  I believe in equality, decency and accuracy and oppose the divisions in to-day’s New Zealand.  I am appalled by the ridiculous claims of wrongdoing which implicate me. I am being damned without a hearing.  Since you now have a response it would be untrue for you to say that we did not respond. We require that this response be given in full.’”  Only part of it was read out.

The item was junk, gutter television.  The one fact relating to my work was a comment that “He Puapua [the report to Government] is a plan to help the Government live up to commitments it made to a United Nations declaration.”  This is correct, and is clearly stated in my book.  The claim of “half-truths and out-right lies”, unsupported by any clear example, is unacceptable from anyone, let alone a university lecturer.

As my book makes clear, the separatist movement that is clearly described in the He Puapua report is aimed at destroying democracy and setting up a three-chamber legislation for New Zealand (one for Maori, a second for the others but with a strong Maori presence, and a third joint chamber, with a Maori veto, for negotiation between the two divided ‘partners’).  There are no “half-truths and out-right lies.” Here, these comments are supported by quotes from Maori activists and lengthy quotes from key sources, such as the He Puapua report.

The current funding of media by this government comes with a requirement for support of their divisive policies and for a refusal to publish contrary opinion, which has been acted upon by much of the paid media. 

Here TV1 introduces another stage in the muzzling of free speech.  In history, many dictatorships have tried to do this sort of thing; most of us abhor the book burning of Nazi Germany.  New Zealand on a very slippery slope towards totalitarism.   To quote from my He Puapua book: “Most people only think of freedom, equality and democracy when they are gone.  This may be in the next few years, when it will be too late.”

To purchase Tross books:

View the TV1 item

As we have now observed several times, this behavior is sadly typical of TV One. John Robinson says it has a further attack to come on Sunday. —Eds