A poster on a Christchurch shop depicting Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern alongside Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and another with her carrying a gun and have caused “outrage”.
One Christchurch resident, who declined to be named, called police on Wednesday morning after coming across two posters on the shop windows at Motorcycle Imports Direct on Tuam St.
In one of the posters seen by Stuff, Ardern’s face had been photoshopped onto an image of a police officer wearing a hijab holding a semi-automatic rifle. The words referred to New Zealand being a “police state”.
Another poster depicted Hitler, Ardern, Holocaust architect Heinrich Himmler and Health Minister Chris Hipkins.
The posters, as described, are deeply offensive, puerile and even vile. Those responsible for them should bear the reputational consequences of making them or promoting them.
But the posters have nothing to do with the Police, and the person who complained to them about to the Police ironically makes the case for one of the posters – a Police state is one in which the Police decide on what type of political posters can be shown.
Just because people find something offensive doesn’t mean it is illegal. I find communism offensive, but I don’t think posters of Che Guevara should be banned and people arrested for having them.
Again the posters are offensive, puerile and vile. But the consequences for promoting them should be reputational not legal.