Rotary cancels on Ansell

Stuff reports:

A Club has distanced themselves from a political activist who claimed the country was headed toward an “apartheid Aotearoa” by cancelling his speech.

was set to give a speech at the Rotary Club of Remuera’s meeting on Monday as part of his Treatygate/Colourblind State campaign.

Ansell has claimed the Treaty of Waitangi was an exercise in “mass brainwashing with false history” by the successive New Zealand governments.

Ansell’s campaign was aimed at exposing the “Treatygate fraudsters and for the government to create a colourblind state”. …

Rotary Club of Remuera president John Burrows said the organisation was firmly “non-political” and media hype had seen the club “ambushed” into providing a platform for Ansell.

Ahead of Monday’s meeting, Burrows today said Ansell had “stepped over the mark” after issuing his own invitation to members of the public and promoting his talk at the club as a “state launch”.

“There is no way that the Rotary Club of Remuera endorses John Ansell’s views, or that it ever wanted to give him a platform to launch his political aspirations,” said Burrows.

“We might invite him to talk to us in the future. As business and thought leaders Rotarians like to be informed. But he will be just one of a variety of people, including politicians, which we invite to share their ideas.

Personally I don’t think an invitation to speak in an endorsement. No one things Orewa Rotary Club endorsed what all their speakers have said. If I was Re,uera Rotary Club I would have kept John on, and just invited Hone Harawira to be their next guest speaker – nice and balanced.

John has blogged:

Now I need to turn this setback into an opportunity.

Who among you knows of another venue where we could hold Monday evening’s meeting?

From the interest I’ve had, it would pay to err on the big side.

I’ll keep you informed if and when I find a new venue.

Since flights and accommodation are booked, I might as well head to Auckland tomorrow as planned, and return Tuesday.

Will it still happen? If it does, I suspect even greater media interest now.

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