Dom Post on Race Relations Commissioner

May 28th, 2008 at 7:59 am by David Farrar

The Dominion Post is not impressed with that the Race Relations Commissioner is launching a a review into the research done by Massey academic into Pacific Island immigration.

Interviewed this week, Mr de Bres seemed as irritated by the fact that the research was done at all and that a media outlet had the temerity to report it as with any “issues” that the study might have raised. The commissioner seems unhappy that the paper gained access to Dr Clydesdale’s research and to believe – erroneously – that those who disagreed with it had no chance to comment.

He needs to reread the article. Pacific Island Affairs Minister Winnie Laban was quoted as seriously rejecting Dr Clydesdale’s findings, which may well be flawed. So was Samoan Advisory Council spokesman Tino Pereira.

Mr de Bres seems in danger of forgetting this is a democracy, in which academics have the freedom their institutions allow them to comment and critique society and newspapers have the right not only to report such comment and criticism but also to decide what prominence to give what is, by any definition, news. …

Mr de Bres is entitled to his review. But if it does not find that it is totally legitimate for an academic to research immigration policy and for the media to report it, then the review will be flawed. Society is benefited in no way by political correctness taken to extremes.

It does all seem an extreme reaction to one academic study. The more worrying reaction is the reported comments by Labour Minister who allegedly said on Newstalk ZB that he had called about the author.

The Association of University Staff should be very concerned about this, if correct. To have a Cabinet Minister contact the Vice-Chancellor (and a former colleague) because he disagrees with the research of an academic is obviously inappropriate and intimidating. Let alone boasting about it on radio and suggesting the academic should be teaching primary school children only.

So maybe the AUS could take a break from complaining about Massey students winning beauty contests and say something about Massey academics having .

This is not to suggest that academic freedom means you can not criticise academics. Far from it. But to personally contact the Vice-Chancellor and advocate he should not be teaching at a tertiary level is very different from merely criticising.

Perhaps Mr Maharey (who seems to think being Vice-Chancellor is a part time job as he is still an MP) could reveal what he said back to Mr Jones.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

35 Responses to “Dom Post on Race Relations Commissioner”

  1. Frank (320 comments) says:

    If I remember rightly at the last election Helen’s Pledge Card carried a reference to the Labour Party website. Referring to the Student Interest Free Loan was something like: ‘only a vote for Labour will secure you this loan.’

    At the time I thought it was a bribe and complained to the Chief Electoral officer and the Police Commissioner to no avail.

    I alleged it was a bribe designed to attract votes and that as a “Servant of the Crown” she was advantaging the Labour Party to the disadvantage of the other Parties’. and so breached the Crimes Act 1961,

    Today it still would still not be considereed a”bribe”, merely an “election expense”/

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Frank (320 comments) says:

    Sorry wrong thread

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Mike S (231 comments) says:

    The attitude of de Bres is a real worry here. Academic freedom, and that includes the freedom to make mistakes and to say things that piss people off, is utterly essential. The bullying approach that is coming out here is very disturbing.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Mr de Bres seems in danger of forgetting this is a democracy, in which academics have the freedom their institutions allow them to comment and critique society and newspapers have the right not only to report such comment and criticism but also to decide what prominence to give what is, by any definition, news. …”

    Dead right. The problem is that such concerns as expressed above by the editor of the Dominion Post are far too late in coming. These things should have been said years ago, before the crippling PC culture was so widely imposed upon this country, that culture which makes it ‘verboten’ to discuss certain issues, use certain words and think “unapproved” ideas.

    The DP might be speaking out now. Too little too late in my opinion, with the most telling point being that if the editor of the post hadn’t recently felt the heat of the internet up the arse of his hopeless little state worshipping rag, he probably wouldn’t be saying those things now. It is no thanks to the mainstream media that there is a growing resistance to extreme left PC thugs like De Bres today. The impetus for change has come from the internet, not outlets like the DP.

    In respect of defending freedom, the DP and most of the mainstream media has been a bitter disappointment. I find it hard to forgive them for their pathetic cowed decades long subservience to the ideas of the PC totalitarians. They have betrayed their profession en masse. Sudden concerns such as those expressed above are encouraging but not convincing. The real force for change is still the internet.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Ross Miller (1,624 comments) says:

    Does anyone seriously suggest we really need a Race Relations Commissioner? Does anyone seriously suggest that people take a blind bit of notice of what he sez? Isn’t he just a sop to our PC psyche?

    There are enough checks and balances in our society that ‘the great unwashed’ know when something is wrong. This isn’t one of them.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Linda Reid (385 comments) says:

    How come Steve Maharey is doing two very highly paid full time jobs, paid for by the taxpayer?????

    This is the very worst kind of ‘double-dipping’. I don’t care that Labour need his vote. He must resign from one job or the other immediately.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Does anyone seriously suggest we really need a Race Relations Commissioner?”

    What Party actually presided over the establishment of that office Ross?

    ..and you’re right in what you say of course, its not needed and it has never been needed, but I’d guess that when this disgusting apparatus was first set in place, the Dominion Post and most of NZ’s mainstream media, in their rancid crawling obeisance to the stinking PC culture that prevailed at the time, were there enthusiastically cheering it on.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    The data Clydesdale uses is not his own. He merely interprets it. One source was the ministry of Pacific Island affairs. Does it come as a surprise that such a dept would have data that said P.I’s weren’t doing well so the dept’s existence was justified and bugetting assigned? No. And would it come as a big surprise that the same data would have been creatively constructed to adhere to a socialist point of view – the one that seems to grip NZ at this time? No it wouldn’t.

    Will the human rights commissioner investigate the data, it’s source, why the surveys were carried out, who commisioned the research, the researchers and their affiliations? No of course not. Because the risk of finding something politically unbeneficial is too great. It’s easier to blame someone else for interpreting data as they see fit, rather than holding to the party line.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Deborah (155 comments) says:

    How come Steve Maharey is doing two very highly paid full time jobs, paid for by the taxpayer?????

    He’s not. He hasn’t taken up the position at Massey yet, as I’m sure DPF knows. There’s an acting VC at the moment, as I’m sure DPF knows. This is quite common practice, as I’m sure DPF knows.

    DPF, really! There’s plenty, plenty, plenty to criticise Labour about. You have a surfeit of riches to play with on that score. But accusing Maharey of double dipping is not one of them.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. LabourMustBeLiquidated (288 comments) says:

    Clydesdale should have understood that in NZ today you can’t say things like that, because its true.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. David Farrar (1,811 comments) says:

    Deborah: You may wish to ask how involved Maharey now is with Massey issues. It will not be inconsequential as the Acting VC will be consulting the VC on most issues.

    I have not accused him of getting paid for two jobs. I was careful not to say that. I said he was doing both jobs, and I bet you he is spending far far more time doing his Massey job than his parliamentary one.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. first time caller (384 comments) says:

    I’m more concerned that Shane Jones is phoning to influence academia. Wildly inappropriate, and to think he fancies himself with the smarts to take over as leader?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Deborah (155 comments) says:

    I heard a dog-whistle there, DPF, and at least one commenter seems to have responded to it.

    It’s a good point that you make in your comment. He is MP for Palmerston North, and you would expect him to spend at least some time on Massey matters given that it’s one of the largest employers in his electorate, but it would be interesting to know if he is spending more time than is warranted by his constituency role.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    Those that criticise Clydesdale do so because of the race of the people he researched, not because of his findings. That is racism. The commissioner is racist!

    I also read comment by a mr potiki (in the Press) last week. He is generally a good read. But her referred to the equivalent ‘poorly performing’ white folk as “white trash”. I had to laugh. Imagine if a ‘white’ commentator had referred to the equivalent ‘poorly performing’ maori folk as “brown crap”.

    The double standards over this entire matter turn the whole thing into a joke with no credibility.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. jafapete (766 comments) says:

    Ross Miller asks, “Does anyone seriously suggest we really need a Race Relations Commissioner?”

    Well, we’ve had one since the office was established under the Race Relations Act 1971 (note the date). The focus does seem to have broadened, though, from the original somewhat narrower focus on racial discrimination against individuals.

    You might argue that such discrimination is increasingly well covered by specific legislation; racial discrimination in employment and accommodation are now prohibited in the Employment Relations Act 2000 and the Residential Tenancies Act 1986, and under the Sentencing Act 2002 the courts must consider it an aggravating factor when an offender commits an offence out of hostility based on the victim’s race, colour, or nationality.

    I’d argue that we still need general legislative prohibition on racial discrimination, apart from the guarantees in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (BoRA) from discrimination and the rights of minorities, and indeed this continues to be the way things are done in the developed world, never mind the UN requirements.

    The broader provisions that I think are what are bothering some people here are those general provisions in the Human Rights Act 1993 as amended in 2001:
    * to advocate and promote respect for, and an understanding and appreciation of, human rights in New Zealand society; and
    * to encourage the maintenance and development of harmonious relations between individuals and among the diverse groups in New Zealand society.

    I’d argue that NZ is still a long way from the point where having an agency with these responsibilites is no longer necessary.

    Perhaps the question should be, “Does anyone seriously suggest we really need the current Race Relations Commissioner?”
    I’m not sure that I’d go as far as the DomPost in criticising the current Race Relations Commissioner.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. jafapete (766 comments) says:

    Goodgod: “The data Clydesdale uses is not his own. He merely interprets it. One source was the ministry of Pacific Island affairs. Does it come as a surprise that such a dept would have data that said P.I’s weren’t doing well so the dept’s existence was justified and bugetting assigned? No. And would it come as a big surprise that the same data would have been creatively constructed to adhere to a socialist point of view – the one that seems to grip NZ at this time? No it wouldn’t.”

    Hey, I love a good conspiracy theory, but this really is too much of a stretch. You don’t need to do special surveys to find data showing that the Pacifica communities are worse off than most others. The official statistics on labour market outcomes, etc, along with the censal data, provide ample evidence. The key question is whether the inferences made by Clydesdale are supported by the evidence that he uses. And you won’t get that answer with the sort of enquiry the Race Relations Commissioner is proposing. That’s what academic peer review is for.

    Bottom line: has anybody here even seen the “study”, which is really just a conference paper and therefore not subject to rigorous peer review? Has the DomPost? Has De Bres?

    [DPF: Yes I have a copy. Not finished reading it yet, and no I can't publish it - I asked for a copy for purposes of review only]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. thas (59 comments) says:

    I heard and can confirm Shane Jones’ comments – quite obviously comfortable with using his position to influence events in such an unethical way – indeed quite boastful.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Manolo (12,636 comments) says:

    Think of the savings if we close the Human Rights Commission, the Race Relations Conciliator, the Families Commission, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, the Childrens’ Commission, to name a few.

    It would save many millions of dollars that could be used where the money is really neeeded.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. adamsmith1922 (879 comments) says:

    Whilst I often disagree with Redbaiter, I find myself in agreement with his comment at 8.20 am this morning.

    The issue over Shane Jones is even more disturbing.

    It should be noted that this is not the first time this has happened in New Zealand in respect of academic freedoms, plus efforts by students in some places to stop lectures by people they disapprove of politically.
    Unfortunately this is part of a global trend and can be seen eslewhere in the US, Europe, UK etc.

    Sadly in many instances universities have become the leaders in the race to destroy freedom, not the defenders

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. big bruv (12,380 comments) says:

    This is the same race relations conciliator who slammed the report when it first came out before he had even read it!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    “Hey, I love a good conspiracy theory…”

    It’s neither a conspiracy or a theory. It’s common practice. Next.

    and why do you tell me it’s a conspiracy theory and then back up what i said?

    Confused you are.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Falafulu Fisi (2,176 comments) says:

    DPF said…
    Yes I have a copy

    I did request one from Dr. Clydesdale himself and he sent a copy.

    Here is my opinion. What he published were all facts as I understood his paper. His data were a bit out of date such as one from 2001. So, Dr. Clydesdale’s finding were not new at all. My problem with the so called study, is that I don’t see any study at all. He was just reporting the data which were not new. That is to say, there were no hypothesis to formulate, then the data was then used to either validate the hypothesis or dismiss it. So, in short Dr. Clydesdale’s work was in fact a report , more like a journo or columnist who reports the news. To call it study (investigation), I would challenge anyone here (academic nor otherwise) to point out to me which paragraph(s) that show or indicate there was a study or an investigation.

    I do read lots of peer review papers in computing, engineering, physics, mathematics, statistics, economics/finance and I can tell any reader here, that I know the difference between papers which are called study and papers that are called reports and Dr. Clydesdale’s paper is not a study at all, it is a report. So, how much the taxpayer had funded someone to write a report like this? I don’t know, but it would have been cheaper if a student of Dr. Clydesdale’s did the research/report .

    I agree with the Dom that Mr de Bres and Pacific Island Affairs Minister Winnie Laban need to read the paper before jumping into the bandwagon of crying out racist whenever someone reports anything negative about PIs.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Jack5 (4,223 comments) says:

    It would be a tad unfair to say Joris de Bres was about as far left as you can be without being a Khmer Rouge veteran. But he does come from the far, far left.

    The politically correct clobbering machine that would crush such free research as the piece from Massey is itself racist. You can say anything you like about how the indigenous people of the country are economically disadvantaged, and you dare not question their economic contribution. It looks as though the same racist rules are being extended to non-Maori Polynesians.

    It’s a bit like South Africa under apartheid. Don’t challenge, criticise, or question any privileges, faults, or aggression by the minority, and make the majority (in our case those who don’t identify as Polynesians or Maori) feel damn lucky they are allowed to breathe and exist in the same country.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Swampy (273 comments) says:

    And an idiot called John Minto has already launched into a tirade of abuse against the academic concerned. What a dickhead Minto is.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. E. Campbell (85 comments) says:

    Oh dear.

    This is truly worrisome if a government, or rather a couple of its ministers, are nosing around calling for questions to be asked of an academic, or a race relations commissioner wanting an investigation into this monograph.

    How is a university supposed to act as a critic and conscience of society if its members are not able to publish uncomfortable research findings? If sectors disagree with Clydesdale’s findings, they should research the material to disprove it — that’s how the sum of human knowledge is furthered in the academic sphere.

    The idea of ministers having conflabs about a researcher’s work and their position is truly a scary development. The Race Commissar’s intervention is just icing on the cake. What’s next? Is the state going to trawl through New Zealand’s historiography seeking to edit uncomfortable views and opinions out?

    Academic freedom (with responsibility) needs to be safeguarded in this country. Any such attempts to promote a certain ‘acceptable’ vein of intellectualism within the academy needs to be resisted by all. Thought Police won’t be too far away if we don’t.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. LPD (4 comments) says:

    Dunedin Public Library search results for Joris de Bres:

    The National Party’s immigration policy and the need for an amnesty
    by De Bres, Joris.

    Worth their weight in gold [Tongan migration]
    by De Bres, Joris.

    The overstayers : illegal migration from the Pacific to New Zealand
    by De Bres, Joris.

    How Tonga aids New Zealand : a report on migration and education
    Wellington : South Pacific Action Network, 1974. (Joris was the author)

    Migrant labour : the new slave trade – NZ style: a counter-report
    by De Bres, Joris.

    Migrant labour in the Pacific
    by De Bres, Joris.

    Most of these were published in the 70s, often with Rob Campbell (SUP) as a co-author. So race based research into economics, labour and migration is okay, so long as Joris approves of the conclusions?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. PhilBest (5,112 comments) says:

    Remember the furore when some US academics DARED to publish the results of IQ tests sorted by race? Oh dear me no, we can’t have TRUTH, that would be RACIST and BIGOTED.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Portia (204 comments) says:

    I haven’t read the paper but even if it is not the best example of rigorous academic research, it is for the Universities to regulate the standard of academic work published. Certainly not politicians or, I would argue, external regulators unless it’s a serious criminal matter.

    When done properly, these types of studies serve as diagnostic tools, so that problems can first be identified, examined and, ultimately, treated. And yes, there may be sections of society who will seize on the findings to promote a racist, xenophobic stance. But I’d like to believe that in 21st NZ, that constitutes a small, minority view. And even then, it comes down to how we focus the debate, not on whether we spark one in the first place.

    Sometimes only academia will be prepared to declare the Emperor naked. If we’re not prepared to ask the tough questions, then how can we expect to receive intelligent responses?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Rex Widerstrom (5,129 comments) says:

    Nice bit of research LPD… it’s that kind of comment that really lifts the blogosphere not only to the level of the MSM, but above it. We wouldn’t get that research anywhere else, because no media outlet would pay a journo to do it.

    If Mr de Bres would let me know where and when the event is, I’d be happy to bring my burning torch and contribute. I’m quite adept at yelling “Burn him! Burn him!” as those who think unapproved thoughts are led to the pyre.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. baxter (893 comments) says:

    I agree with Ross MILLER a race relations commissioner is unecessary and if one must be imposed why one as invertably biassed as De Bres. We have 120 odd members of Parliament and they should be able to deal with any perceived racial activity….I also agree with MANOLO get rid of all the other trough slurpers as well and get some efficiency into the system.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. reid (15,585 comments) says:

    I hope those commenters above who (rightly) decry the interference also adopt a similarly consistent view to the interference from both the media and academia following publication of Walt and Miershiemer’s study on the influence of the Israeli lobby in the US, and also to the study PhilBest mentions at 1:05.

    It would indeed be the height of hypocrisy to decry interference only in those studies which reached conclusions agreeable to oneself.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. Portia (204 comments) says:

    Dear Reid: Abso-friggin-lutely

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    bloody heck I started the day on a quasi-philosophical note about the use of the swastika, and how a party logo might fall foul of the EFA, and now find myself thinking of the National Socialists for completely different reasons.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. freethought (3 comments) says:

    Kim Hill was harsh on Clydesdale.

    It appears that in our society, you can’t even SOUND as if you are being racist, without being lynched.

    If people from a certain part of society are unskilled, delinquent, lazy or obese, we need the freedom to state so.

    What ever happened to stating the facts and opening debate.

    Terms like racist stifle debate and do nothing to address the problem of making ourselves poorer as a nation by allowing immigrants in who drain the system, rather than contribute to it.

    We have enough of our own people doing that already.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. freethought (3 comments) says:

    Clydesdale has been lynched in public for stating the facts.

    It is not racist to point out that certain people are draining the economy, rather than helping it. They should be challenged about doing this, and we should have conditions of entry to the country.

    Kim Hill’s interview was unfair, performing a great job of acting as the thought police. Don’t even criticise people from another race or else you will be labelled a racist.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.