Comments by one-time Dominion editor Karl du Fresne

Who represents the greater threat to democracy right now — Action Zealandia or the Dominion Post?

I see Stuff’s feverish witch-hunt for malignant local government election candidates has claimed a victim.

The Dominion Post reports Saturday that Jordan Milburn, a candidate for Upper Hutt City Council, has quit his job at the Civil Aviation Authority “after allegations he had ties with neo-Nazi group Action Zealandia”.

Who made these allegations? According to the Dominion Post, a group calling itself Paparoa. And who is Paparoa? Good question. The paper doesn’t bother to tell us.

I found what appeared to be Paparoa’s website and it offers no clue whatsoever to the identities of the people behind it. Neither does a link to it from a UK-based website called Hope Not Hate.

All the Paparoa website reveals is that it “researches the far right in Aotearoa and works with journalists, academics and activists to counteract their hate”. No names, just an email address. A “spokesperson” for Paparoa was quoted in an earlier Dominion Post story but not identified.

So on the basis of “allegations” by this anonymous group – a group every bit as shadowy and conspiracy-obsessed as any on the far-Right, judging by its website – the Dominion Post “outed” Milburn last week. And now it reports that he’s lost his job, the clear implication being that he was forced to quit — or the CAA felt pressured to get rid of him — because of what the Dominion Post revealed.

Is this what we’ve come to? A once-reputable newspaper hounding citizens on the basis of accusations by conspiracy theorists whom we’re supposed to regard as credible even though the paper doesn’t identify them?

What makes it even worse is the note of satisfaction in today’s Dominion Post story about Milburn losing his job. I’m surprised the headline didn’t read “Gotcha!” 

The Dominion Post apparently sees no contradiction in describing Action Zealandia as a “secretive ethno-nationalist group” — whatever that may mean — while simultaneously giving credence to unsubstantiated claims by a group that’s just as furtive.

Read the rest

This newspaper, like all of Ms Boucher’s Stuff, has become an organ of the Far Left. —Eds