Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Karl du Fresne: New Zealand's most useless public servant

The man masquerading as the guardian of New Zealanders’ human rights has weighed in, from his Olympian heights, on the Posie Parker affair.

As usual, Paul Hunt’s opinion is worthless and leaves us wondering once again what we did to deserve this third-rate British import and how much longer we should be expected to put up with him.

The chief human rights commissioner writes, as if we all eagerly awaited his insights, that he wants to provide a human rights perspective on the issues raised by Parker’s visit. He adds, in Uriah Heep fashion, that he does this “from where I sit with my multiple privileges and advantages”.

Oh, please. Breast-beating liberal white guilt has rarely been more cringingly displayed. We can only hope his $365,000 salary eases the pain.

Hunt wrings his hands over the scenes that forced Parker to abandon her rally in Auckland last weekend but conspicuously refuses to condemn outright the behaviour of the mob that assaulted her, harassed her and shouted her down.

He gives away his bias in his very first sentence by revealing he attended the rally because he wanted to show support for his “trans friends”. Ingratiating himself with the wokerati is more important to Hunt than demonstrating the impartiality we’re entitled to expect from a senior public servant. Clearly, it’s also more important than standing up for free speech.

Hunt doesn’t just pass up the opportunity to emphatically defend free speech; he effectively aligns himself with its enemies.

At one point he pays token lip service to freedom of expression, acknowledging that it’s “a vital pillar of our democracy”. But he negates that in his very next sentence by quoting the late radical Maori lawyer Moana Jackson, who said “No one’s exercise of free speech should make another feel less free”.

So free speech is okay just as long as it doesn’t make anyone feel bad? That’s a novel new take. If the elected representatives who make New Zealand law took that view, they would have written it into the Bill of Rights Act, Section 14 of which unequivocally guarantees freedom to “seek, receive and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form”.

Nothing about injured feelings there, but apparently the chief commissioner of human rights thinks we should regard Moana Jackson, rather than the New Zealand Parliament, as the ultimate authority. That's a very peculiar position for a senior public servant to take.

Hunt goes on to remind us of a supposed link between transphobia and colonisation. He quotes Tina Ngata, another radical activist, as saying “Transphobia was brought here on a boat”.

No one who approvingly cites such palpably absurd extremist rhetoric can expect to be taken seriously on anything. That whooshing sound you just heard was Hunt launching himself in the direction of Planet Woke, which orbits in a distant ideological universe no one realised existed. Tina Ngata is probably already there.

You have to persevere well into Hunt’s piece before he grudgingly acknowledges that Parker was entitled to share her views without being assaulted or shouted down. But you have to wonder at the sincerity of his position, given that he’s spent the preceding few paragraphs effectively excusing the behaviour of the Albert Park mob on the grounds that trans people have historically been oppressed and brutalised. (Really?)

Even then Hunt can’t bring himself to condemn the bullies. It turns out he believes it was the responsibility of the state to ensure Parker could speak safely. Not a word about the protesters’ violent disregard for her rights. It was all the fault of the police.

It’s a rambling, irrational and contradictory article that in the end, dissolves in a morass of meaningless woke-speak.

Meanwhile, we read that the Human Rights Commission has received more than 90 complaints about Marama Davidson’s deranged claim that cis white men are responsible for the world’s violence. We’re still waiting for a journalist to ask Davidson whether she categorises New Zealand gang wars (to take just one example) as non-violent, given that the participants are nearly all non-white. But then she’s so fixated by retributionist ideology that she’s beyond reason.

As for those complaints, expect them to be buried for as long as it takes for the commission’s dissemblers and apologists to find a reason to dismiss them.

Hunt, of course, has been silent on Davidson’s explicitly racist outburst, as he always is when it’s the woke Left inciting ill-will and division.

Is he New Zealand’s most useless public servant? It’s a crowded field, but I think he has that title safely in the bag.

Karl du Fresne, a freelance journalist, is the former editor of The Dominion newspaper. He blogs at


Anonymous said...

Not much can be added frankly its one of those situations that requires no clarification.
The reality is that in several months the election will decide if this expression of the values of the left are wanted by the general public, meanwhile in Labor land they slaughter a centrist member of their Caucus in Nash.
I actually have little sympathy for him but sense that the lunatic left are very happy to see him go, did they set him up is my question.

Robert Arthur said...

I often wonder if these highly paid imports deliberately engineer their early termination so thay can avoid the serious problems and escape with a stash of cash, often with a lerge compensation element
The fully literate early Europeans took care no to get too close to native life. Amonst many other factors the cootis were a discouragement. And the conventions of the time discouraged very frank written observations. Transphobia probably did arrive by boat but when is the question. Any who caused offence would have been promptly despatched with no record.

Anonymous said...

Imho he is the new norm. Think Race Relations, Police -to start with!!!!

Anonymous said...

Bravo - the man is a total disgrace.
Immediate termination of contract for insulting decent NZ citizens with his inane woke bias.

EP said...

With you every word Karl. What a ninny! Doesn't say much for the bulldog breed. (Hehe, picture him!) Yes! Let's get rid - ASAP.
My word Kellie -Jay Keen Minshull does though - exemplify the Bulldog Breed. What a trooper. When you hear her interviewed back in Blighty, there's not a whinge is there? She really did fear for her life, but you don't hear her moan and grizzle and say what a bunch of indescribable low-lifes shouted her down. And I didn't hear her give the Police the criticism they well deserved. Ashamed as I am to be a Kiwi, I'm glad the world is hearing some of the truth.

Anonymous said...

Superbly put, Karl. I wont waste a valuable minute of my time reading what the woke, Paul Hunt has written on this affair. After all, he and his sidekick, Meng Foon, should've called out Tusiata Avia for her racist, violence inciting vitriol, but deliberately chose not to. So I'll take your word for it that Hunt has failed yet again and skirted the real issues here, although it would seem he has (to an extent) implicated the Police? It will be very interesting to see how that plays out?
But whatever - both Hunt and Foon need to express something that justifies their existence for, in the court of public opinion, they surely have certainly been found 'wanting' and, in the absence of any substantial saving grace, their employ should be terminated. It absolutely incenses me to think that my taxes are helping to pay the very significant salaries of these two absolute wastes of space.
This whole episode was a disgrace to New Zealand - to free speech; to women; and, thanks to Marama Davidson, to cis white men. That's certainly more than 90% of the population just there. Bring on the election and may the purge begin!

hughvane said...

Surely Meng Foon must rank 1st= with Hunt, or in horse racing terms ... neck-and-neck with Hunt in the National Stupidity Stakes.

I sincerely hope you Karl, or someone on whom you can rely, is sending both email and typed copy of your blog items to those whom you criticise and expose for their duplicity and hypocrisy.

Hugh Evans (hughvane)

Robert Arthur said...

I hope Davidson's demonstratably non factual statement, clearly voiced with racist intent, will not preclude factual statements about other groups. It always seemed ludicrous that much of the maori traditon we are now expected to embrace, was basically developed in and for a stone age cannibal culture, yet the reference has been deemed offensive.