from Hobson’s pledge
Over the past two weeks we have been fighting against a tide of racism that has opened a wound and exposed that even our Race Relations Commissioner believes we are nation of white versus brown.
In our efforts, and with the generous donations of our supporters, we sought to publicise the issue through paid advertisements in newspapers nationwide.
To date NZME have refused to approve the advertisement. They have said it is with their legal department and they are “making changes”.
This is what they refuse to publish…
They seem to think they’re entitled to rewrite a letter we have already sent to the Race Relations Commissioner!
While the Commissioner admitted to personal concerns about the content of Tusiata Avia’s work, he still refuses to classify it as ‘racist’. In a further insult he went on to patronisingly say in a media interview that “white people still have a lot to offer New Zealand”.
His determination that New Zealand is a nation of brown and white is at the core of the division forced upon us.
Despite the inept silence from the Commissioner, the Prime Minister spoke out this week clarifying the position (albeit on a different matter):
“My message is anybody exercising their right to free speech, whatever the circumstances are, should be mindful that we don’t want to incite hateful behaviour or violence, in fact it’s illegal to do so, and I think everyone should bear that in mind.”
However, it is more abhorrent when the incitement to violence was funded by your tax dollars.
Our complaint to the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Heritage regarding the funding by Creative NZ has managed only to achieve an acknowledgement with no official response received. We initially contacted the minister, Carmel Sepuloni, but she palmed us off to her Associate Minister Willow-Jean Prime.
Of further concern is the appointment of Claire Charters, chairperson of the working group that produced the He Puapua Report, to the Human Rights Commission to lead work on Indigenous People’s rights.
Claire has gone on record to be critical of New Zealand’s democracy and race relations. The He Puapua report was founded on the view of a separate state for some New Zealanders based upon their ancestry.
It is this agenda of differentiation based upon skin colour that is an affront to thinking New Zealanders who want to see us all respected and treated equally before the law.
The division of our wonderful country into a bi-cultural identity of Maori and the rest is a tragedy for all of us. Don Brash wrote about this recently, asserting that New Zealand is reaching a crisis point. You can read the article here.
It is hard not to despair.
But with your support we are continuing to push back against this justification of racism if your skin colour is classified as white.
Hobson’s Pledge are challenging this Government’s position on racism. We are preparing a campaign exposing the failure of the Race Relations Commissioner and which will force NZME to clarify their position so that we can present this issue to a wider audience of New Zealanders.
We have had some good news though! Auckland City Council has voted to pull out of the radical and anti-democratic sector body Local Government New Zealand. You might remember the separatist changes to council standing orders we opposed that LGNZ attempted to slide under the radar last year.
With our biggest city saying “no thank you” to the LGNZ agenda, here’s hoping we’ll see steps towards the strengthening of local democracy.
Thank you for your continued support.
Casey Costello, Trustee, Hobson’s Pledge