Is this a double standard, Joris?

This morning the Human Rights Commission kindly posted what action was taken following Paul Holmes’ “racial slur” of then Secretary-General of the UN, Kofi Anan – back in 2003.  To put it neatly, Joris “informally mediated” (his words) the following to occur:

  • 1. Paul Holmes and the station would write a personal letter of apology to Kofi Annan
  • 2. Paul Holmes would offer to meet with the Ghanaian Association of New Zealand
  • 3. The Race Relations Commissioner would be invited to address a seminar for radio hosts and production staff on race relations and broadcasting standards
  • 4. Newstalk ZB would in general uphold the complaints it had received rather than contest them before the Broadcasting Standards Authority
  • 5. Newstalk ZB would continue to look at ways to promote positive race relations in New Zealand through its programme of community support
  • 6. Newstalk ZB would adopt a new policy for its staff, who were in a position to lead and shape opinion, that judgments based solely on race, colour or creed were offensive and would not be tolerated.

Given that the Commission and de Bres have said they have received a large number of complaints (250) about Harawira’s comments what action will the Commission seek from Hone Harawira and the Maori Party?

At the moment Joris has said the Maori Party need to distance itself from Hone.  Joris says he will “aid and continue to monitor the situation”.  Joris also says that Hone’s comment aren’t actually illegal under the Act –

Hmmm… is this what Joris said when Holmes was the culprit of a similar racial slur?

It is a free country but people who have positions of responsibility.. should also exercise their responsibility appropriately.”

So, Joris, given that Hone is in a position of responsibility did he exercise that responsibility appropriately?

I’m looking forward to the following deal “informally mediated” by Joris:

  • 1. [Hone Harawira and the Maori Party] would write a personal letter of apology to [Pakeha New Zealanders]
  • 2. [Hone Harawira] would offer to meet with the [Leaders of the Pakeha community]
  • 3. The Race Relations Commissioner would be invited to address a seminar for [Hone Harawira and the Maori Party (and any other MP)] on race relations
  • 4. [The NZ Parliament and the Maori Party] would in general uphold the complaints it had received rather than contest them before [the NZ public]
  • 5. [The Maori Party and Hone Harawira] would continue to look at ways to promote positive race relations in New Zealand
  • 6. [The Maori Party] would adopt a new policy for its [MPs] who were in a position to lead and shape opinion, that judgments based solely on race, colour or creed were offensive and would not be tolerated.

While it is true that the Holmes case referred specifically to a broadcast, Hone Harawira effectively allowed for his words to be published when he told Buddy Mikaere to go to the media with them.

Is this a double standard?  Not yet.  I’m sure Joris is working hard behind the scenes… somewhere.

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