Can you privately retract a public apology?

April 5th, 2011 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Yvonne Tahana in the NZ Herald reports:

Human Rights Commission adviser Marama Davidson has withdrawn an apology she made to David Rankin over swearing at him in te reo. …

On Friday, Ms Davidson apologised in writing to Mr Rankin. At that point the commission said its investigation was complete and that appropriate disciplinary action had been taken, although it declined to say what that amounted too.

A day after Ms Davidson’s apology, she allegedly rescinded it in a private email to Mr Rankin, who claims leadership of the Matarahurahu subtribe.

The email stated the issue between them was “confidential” and no media should be involved. It was from a “home computer in my own time and involving no one else except you and I”, she wrote.

“In my personal capacity, I completely withdraw in full the apology that i have made to you in public.”

I think Mr Rankin is right on this issue (I am not a fan of most of what he says). The private e-mail saying you withdraw the public apology, does totally undermine the public apology. What Davidson doesn’t seem to understand is that the sincerity of an apology matters. No one says she has to change her private opinion of anyone – but she should be genuinely sorry that she doesn’t regret the impact on the Human Rights Commission by her behaviour.

I don’t know Ms Davidson, but she seems to be rather stupid. What did she think would happen if she sent that e-mail retracting her public apology. That he wouldn’t complain again? If she ends up getting sacked over this, she’ll only have herself to blame.

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A 9% Nga Puhi tax

June 14th, 2010 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A Ngapuhi leader is calling for a nine per cent economic development tax to be levied on everyone living inside the iwi’s boundary as part of its treaty claim.

Matarahurahu hapu chairman David Rankin said the proposed flat tax rate, which would be administered by the Inland Revenue Department, would “pull Ngapuhi out of a depressed state” and ultimately benefit the entire region.

He would like it to fund social and economic development projects such as aquaculture programmes, and make Ngapuhi as prosperous as iwi like Ngai Tahu and Tainui, which benefit from rich resources in their regions, he said.

Before people get too excited over this, I should point out that David Rankin does not speak for Ngapuhi. He has a long history of saying things which range from the stupid to the even more stupid.

However, there had also been “one or two” members of the Ngapuhi Runanga, who administer the claim, who expressed their strong opposition and threatened to bar Mr Rankin from speaking at Waitangi Tribunal hearings.

So this is clearly not a formal position of the Iwi.

I won’t even bother to speak to the fact that such a tax would never be agreed to. I want to point out the economic stupidity of it.

If you have a 9% tax on economic activity in Northland, that will not help the region – it will kill it. People will leave Northland in their droves if the tax rate in Auckland is 17.5% and in Northland it is 26.5%.

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