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Dr Muriel Newman

Grow a Spine or Resign

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Don Brash has become something of a lightning rod for free speech in New Zealand. In 2004, as leader of the National Party, it was over the Treaty of Waitangi. Now it’s over the right to free speech itself.

From the outset we should thank Dr Brash for having the courage to stand up for his  beliefs. He appears fearless and resolute in the knowledge that he has as much right as anyone else to say what he thinks.

The recent uproar over the free speech debate was instigated by Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, who made some ill-considered remarks over the right of two visiting internet stars, Canadians Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux, to speak at Council-owned venues.

His actions led their opponents to threaten such disruption at a replacement venue that the owner cancelled the event at the last minute. In effect, the visitors were run out of town – denied the right to express their views. As a consequence, New Zealand is now heralded around the world as a country that suppresses free speech.

The whole issue was then escalated last week when the Vice Chancellor of  Massey University, Australian Jan Thomas – citing concerns over security – cancelled a scheduled talk to a politics class by Dr Don Brash who was there to discuss his career as the former leader of the National and ACT parties and as Governor of the Reserve Bank. But more on that shortly.

Two days later, free speech was again in the spotlight when Dr Brash participated in the Auckland University’s inaugural Think Big Debate, on the conveniently-timed topic of whether the PC culture is limiting the freedom of speech.

The Debating Society’s event attracted a huge audience and a predictable rabble of protesters who tried their utmost to disrupt the meeting and prevent Don from speaking. Refreshingly, the vast majority of the audience supported free speech and made their views known, forcing the demonstrators to retreat back to their seats.

Don Brash, who is this week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, with the speech he gave at Auckland University, explains what happened:

“A number of protesters were absolutely determined that I would not be allowed to speak at all because they had convinced themselves that I was in some way anti-Maori and/or anti-Treaty.  How on earth did we get to the stage where a perfectly orthodox view, accepted across all English-speaking countries, that everyone should have equal civic rights and responsibilities, can be described as ‘hate speech’ and inconsistent with the Treaty?

“The protesters were able to prevent me from speaking for a few minutes, but in the end they simply proved that free speech is opposed by a noisy minority of the population. The overwhelming majority of New Zealanders strongly support free speech – and that must surely be a cause for optimism.”

The contrast between the approaches taken by the two universities – Massey and Auckland – could not have been greater.

Auckland University sought to debate contentious issues and theyresponded to threats of disruption by providing extra security. There was of course no violence, just noise. All of the speakers were eventually able to argue their case, and the audience had the opportunity to hear all views and could make up their own mind on whether political correctness is limiting free speech.

In holding the debate, Auckland University was fulfilling its ‘academic freedom’ obligations – under Section 161 of the Education Act, universities have a responsibility to ensure “the freedom of academic staff and students, within the law, to question and test received wisdom, to put forward new ideas and to state controversial or unpopular opinions”. In addition, they were also upholding their Section 162 requirement of being the “critic and conscience of society”.

In comparison, Massey’s Jan Thomas, turned her University into a laughing stock by denying a respectable New Zealander his right to free speech. What’s worse is that had the Vice Chancellor really believed that the so-called ‘threat to public safety’ – the reason she claimed Dr Brash had to be banned – was genuine, she would have discussed the matter with university security staff and the Police before issuing the sanction.

Karl Pearce, the man whose letter Jan Thomas claimed triggered her alarm and led her to ‘de-platform’ Dr Brash, believes he was misinterpreted. In his letter, he raised concerns about the potential for bad publicity for the University if the event was used to challenge race-based rights, given that Massey is a Treaty-led institution, and he wanted to know what steps were being taken “to ensure the safety of those attending”.

And while Palmerston North’s Te Kai Po Ahuriri posted a link to the event on Facebook saying, “This guy lol….if you’re up to nothing Wednesday head up to Massey uni PN”, it was Vorn​ Rossiter from the Bay of Plenty, who added a comment “take a gun”, which he claimed was in jest.

But instead of dealing with these evolving concerns, Jan Thomas cancelled the event. She did this in spite of asserting in an opinion piece in the Herald, just three weeks earlier, that “The right to speak freely is a bedrock principle of democratic society”, and that those who “stymie this freedom of expression” are “tyrants”.

In her article she also alleged that free speech is being used as a tool of colonisation and must be restricted, going on to call free speech that is used to challenge racial privilege, “hate speech”. She then explained that “the battle against hate speech is fought most effectively through education and courageous leadership, rather than through suppression or legal censure. And this is where universities can take positive action by providing a venue for reasoned discussion and cogent argument.”

So while the Vice Chancellor condemned the silencing of free speech in her article, saying that the most effective way of dealing with controversial views is through robust debate at universities, in real life, she did exactly the opposite – she suppressed free speech and cancelled events, becoming the tyrant she said she so despised.

Since free speech is guaranteed in our Bill of Rights, with Section 14 saying that “everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and opinions of any kind and in any form”, the Vice Chancellor and those other gutless leaders who are caving in to threats from protesters and banning speakers, are, in effect, breaking the law. They should grow a spine, or resign!

In her press release cancelling the event, Jan Thomas indicated that Dr Brash’s support for a colour-blind political system was not only a concern to Maori staff, but was inconsistent with “the values of a Tiriti o Waitangi-led organisation.”

In fact, the University’s decision to embrace the Treaty of Waitangi and biculturalism – as expressed in their 2018-2022 strategy – appears to be at the heart of the Vice Chancellor’s decision to prevent a high profile critic of race-based privilege from speaking there.

It now appears that in spite of New Zealand’s long history of passionate and courageous outspokenness – from fighting for the right of women to vote ahead of the rest of the world, to opposing racial division in South Africa during the Springbok Tour – our proud record is now under threat, as the PC brigade systematically attempt to silence anyone with opposing views.

Their threats of protest at Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux’s speaking event, was enough to deny the Canadians the right to speak at council-owned venues.

The leader of New Zealand’s largest city and the country’s main tourist gateway, Mayor Phil Goff, as a former Member of Parliament, should understand better than anyone, not only the importance of free speech, but also the need to treat international visitors with respect. Yet he subjected the Canadians to unprecedented rudeness, when he said, “Auckland Council venues shouldn’t be used to stir up ethnic or religious tensions. Views that divide rather than unite are repugnant and I have made my views on this very clear. Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux will not be speaking at any Council venues.”

The Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern, whose duty should surely be to defend free speech in New Zealand, showed astounding immaturity when she said: “I think you’ll see from the reaction they’ve had from New Zealanders that their views are not those that are shared by this country, and I’m quite proud of that. I think [New Zealand] is hostile to their views… Look, they are here because there were no grounds to block them being here. That does not mean we welcome their views.”

In comparison, the Acting Prime Minister at the time, Winston Peters, acknowledged the importance of free speech and said he would have allowed the event to go ahead: “Had we been asked… we’d have allowed them to come on the basis of free speech. It’s one of the most fundamental freedoms that we have and we should be very careful who we expel on that cause, because the downstream historic record on that has been just disastrous. We live in an age when all sorts of trolls are out there challenging people’s right to have a different view from theirs. It’s not enhancing our society.”

So what were the contentious issues that the Canadians intended to raise, that were so “offensive” to a radical minority that they had to be closed down?

Lauren Southern discussed one such issue in a TVNZ interview when she reminded us that in the clash of cultures, the utopian idea that cultures can peacefully co-exist, is simply not true. That’s why, she says, biculturalism can never work, because one culture will invariably fight to dominate the other, in order to gain an ever-greater share of power and resources. 

Lauren explained that anyone who tries to question biculturalism, will be called a racist in order to shut them down. But she urged New Zealanders not to back off, saying we should be asking, “Do we like what New Zealand culture has become?”, and – more importantly – “Do we want to go further down the track of biculturalism?”

She’s right – these are very important questions. But what is also becoming increasingly clear, is that those driving the bicultural agenda are extremely well organised and will go to almost any lengths to prevent their ambitions from being exposed.

That’s essentially one of the main reasons why the protesters at Auckland University’s Think Big Debate tried to stop equal rights advocate Don Brash from speaking; its why Jan Thomas banned him from the Massey University campus; and it’s also why the Canadians were silenced. Biculturalists do not want their agenda challenged at high profile events, in case the concerns take hold and spread. It really is as simple as that.

Stefan Molyneux further argued that just as Western society accepts the separation of the State and the Church, so too they should accept the separation of the State and Culture.

He’s right. Just as the separation of Church and State ensures that government officials cannot impose their religious beliefs onto others, so too the separation of the State and Culture would ensure that government officials – including teachers – could not impose their cultural beliefs onto society.

In other words, the separation of State and Culture in New Zealand would prevent the government from forcing Maori culture onto us all – including schools. This is surely a concept worthy of serious consideration.

Without a doubt, free speech is the cornerstone of democracy. Yet in this country, the right of individuals to freely participate in open debate and express their views frankly, without fear of recrimination, is increasingly under threat.

So thank you to all those New Zealanders who understand the value of free speech – and are fearless in its defence.

And shame on the loud-mouthed protesters who would rather bully others into silence than engage in reasoned debate. And shame on Auckland’s Mayor, Massey University’s Vice Chancellor, and the Prime Minister for failing to stand up for the right to free speech in New Zealand.


Would you support a call for the separation of the State and Culture in New Zealand?


*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.


Click to view x 120


Look out NZ, we are being overrun by the PC minority Sam
We need leaders with spine and sanctified common sense. Alan
It has become essential ! Richard
We are entering a very dangerous period in this country. We desperately need free speech to keep this volatile country on an even keel Neville
Democracy of Free Speech is our Human Right. Politically Correct Speech is used as an instrument of control and should not be upheld in New Zealand. Please take serious note Prime Minister. Margaret
Mouth-breathingly stupid is Ms Ardern, also emotionally immature but what else can one expect from a culturist Marxist. They want to control with fear and political correctness therefore mandatory consensus and limits on free speech. Thank goodness for courageous Dr.Don Brash – he should have been New Zealander of the Year since 2004. Can we get Dr Jordan Peterson over here to speak about his commonsense views because there certainly are none in the cultural climate in NZ. Monica
Apartheid is taking root and has unpleasant consequences John
Outstanding article about Don. I am part Maori. Right now I am ashamed of my Whakapapa and Maori people. Bi Culturism can never work. Why are we giving outstanding special privileges to Maori ? What%u2019s behind it ? All that is happening is that a few fat Maori get fatter. They never share with their own people, and they make no effort to solve their own problems. Tony
Never, one law for all. Clark
Time for ALL Kiwis that care to unite and stand up for our New Zealand…..Each day we find that a minority wants to take over without due consideration for US after all that minority would not be where they are today it it was not for US. Marylin
Yes I would. It will never happen while we have the present PM.. Adern has never had a proper job and has no idea of how the business community and farmers are the backbone of our economy. Steve
Culture by its very definition can not be force fed. David
Our society has to go forwards not backwards to the stone ages. Bruz
Something has to be done to adjust the road we are currently on. If this is the vehicle to achieve that, then yes, let’s proceed and may I say with some haste. Better still, why not introduce a new political party that will actually listen to the “large” majority of its citizens because that has simply not been the case for the last 11 years (or more). Would Dr. Brash or some of his like minded colleagues be interested in taking up the position – it is needed. Chris
State & Culture, what culture??? It’s not that long ago that Maori used to eat each other, kill off other tribes and steel their land, that is the base of the Maori culture, it should have been put to bed two hundred years ago, and if it had, NZ would truly be a lovely happy country to live in. Athol
Absolutely. A must. Bill
No Government has the right to dictate what culture this country must learn it is up to individuals to choose. Other wise we have a dictatorship Wendy
The effects of the state interferring in cultural matters are very evident all around us. Ronmac
The indoctrination of Maori in schools is way over the top!! Campbell
Government support for Maori culture is way over the top and MUST stop.The millions being given to these greedy people is unwarrented and unjustified. William
Don Brash says it all very succinctly. A NZ university has no right to control what I have to say, neither has a mayor the right to prohibit people from using public buildings owned by the council. Who has the right to determine what I listen to, watch or participate in. What these protesters did was hate action – it was beyond reasonable protest. Kevin
So true, the gummint IS forcing Maori culture down our gullets. Lesley
Yes, if that is the cause of Maori language being forced onto us on radio and in schools and demands for shoreline beaches to be for exclusive use of Maoris and the ongoing huge payments by taxpayers to Maoris to compensate for land now owned by Europeans for 150 years and the tax free status of Maori business interests then the sooner the two are separated, the better. Chris
An essential requirement Jim
We must have free speech Go Don Brash Ian
Don’t know…… Please define CULTURE???????????????? MABEL
Definitely. Carolyn
I DONT want politicians to have the right to FORCE cultures on me I DONT WANT & if someone WANTS to learn maori then that’s THEIR choose NOT politicians. Cindy
There should be 1 law for all. A colored blind law It is very important for a free society. Also, like what Hitler did, history is being changed to benefit the few. Facism won the day when those two Canadians wouldn’t be allowed to speak. Jackp
I fully agree with Don Brash. and very well put Don. Thanks. Denis
Though I voted “yes”, I don’t believe such a separation is fully possible. It comes down to “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance”. Nigel
Thanks to a flawed electoral system we are presently under the leadership of a baby with a baby. Until this situation is rectified any attempt to address cultural issues will be an exercise in futility. Scott
But really folks we have bigger issues to deal with, with the Govt and Councils. Mike
IWe object to the forcing of bi-culturalism and Maori culture on our families. I have no objection to Western Civilization and the associated Christian-secular culture Chris
Absolutely! Sarah
Absolutely Simon
Yes definitely John
Absolutely Peter
Like it or not, NZ is a bicultural state as a result of the Treaty which allowed my Irish ancestor to settle here in 1849 and me to become a proud Kiwi Pakeha. Terry
It’s not really culture, and it’s not biculturalism, it’s the full-blown religion of Tribalism complete with worshiping rocks in space, praying over dead whales, personifying rivers and mountains, even blessings and spiritual cleansings, etc, all at the expense of the taxpayer. Tribalism is, in every sense, already a state religion. That this religious indoctrination is being taught in our schools makes it even more dangerous. EVERY potential teacher has to buy into the religion or be turned away. Read the link if you haven’t already to see just how far it’s gone. https://treatygate.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/preparing-the-parrots-a-training-college-graduate-on-the-cultural-corruption-of-teachers/ And it’s not only the big, high profile issues that require our attention. My own local council thinks it can make up its own rules and shut down any speech that doesn’t comply with their political agenda. As do a number of quasi & non-government agencies. More on that as it progresses. It is truer now than at any time that the price we pay for freedom is eternal vigilance. David
It is more than time Laurel
There is a great difference between culture and law. Laws should be the same for all! Mark
Free speech, not speech enslavement. Jin
About time some one suggested this.Besides the so called culture of the pre european was not at all united and with out any written Language.The treaty is really a void document. Carl
Culture must be well defined in this instance. Bruce
The way the country through successive governments has been played by Maori in general leaves me speechless sometimes. RAY
It will prevent one culture to dominate another John
STOP muslims coming here! Have just seen a shocking video of radical Islam in Stockholm.Terrifying!Any arabs coming to NZ why not Christians . Ref Mosul eg. John
NO NO NO! Gerard
A huge problem is happening under our very noses with Maori culture being forced upon us at every turn. Now they are teaching reinvented history to our children in the schools. It’s all so very wrong and should be strongly opposed. Helen
The logic for the separation of the State and Culture can not be challenged successfully. So yes, it would be a move in the right direction. Neil
Only when culture is a religion, as Maori culture is. When I learned Maori language I was subjected to myths and legends that were passed as true and were deeply religious in nature. We teach about Diwali and other cultural events which are also religious, teaching about is different from teaching as truth. Hilary
What a disgrace that Jan Thomas is! I was disgusted with her recently at my son’s graduation from Massey in May; but this was beyond the pale! Janie
No, because it is Western culture that has given us civilisation & democracy. If we want to return to primitive cultures of the past, then it is up to the ruling Government to prevent that. Currently there is a strong under-current steering us toward the lowest human denominator, this suits the Socialist agenda, as our ability to not rely on the state is diminished.. On the internet, Google owned YouTube is leading the trend, having removed at least two Right leaning news channels, & they are now censoring any entry that questions the fallacy of – mane made climate change – . Having watched the entire Auckland university freedom of speech debate ,two things stood out; The ignorant few who protested aren’t bright enough too realise that without freedom of speech their voices could not be heard. The star of the show was Elliot Ikilei, deputy leader of the New Conservative Party.. A.G.R.
There are more people in this country than the PM thinks who are unhappy about biculturalism and Maori privilege. I separate myself from her comments. I’d like to go a step further in the separation of church and state. In a church wedding the minister/priest also acts as an agent of the state when doing the things required by law for a legal marriage. I think that the marriage documents should be signed in a registrar’s office, and than, if the couple wishes, they can have a church marriage ceremony some time later. At present the distinction here between state and church is blurred. Laurence
Absolutely. There is more than one culture in NZ. Maoridom need to stop wanting to live their stone age culture with all the benefits of modern day European culture. What about all the other cultures that are not getting forced down our throats. They are immigrants like all the rest of NZ . Peter
Absolutely David
There is no one right way of thinking about culture. I may disagree with your thoughts but I will defend your right to tell us all about them. Ann
The sooner the better but unfortunately, governments of all persuasions, despite one of them having equality of treatment and consideration for all New Zealand citizens as basic tenet, have failed to subscribe to separation of State and Culture. Indeed we now have Ministers of the Crown supporting and endorsing the belief that tribal chiefs never ceded their rights of governorship or authority and therefore we must have joint governance of our Country. For me to state complete disbelief that Queen Victoria would have ever agreed to Reigning jointly with her subjects, and the basis on which the Minister and his supporters are making their claim is a fabrication of the truth, risks me being branded as a “racist”. When the Ministry of Education can issue publications to Intermediate schools that present co-governance as a “right” under the Treaty; that Councils can deny a presentation in Council controlled venues because it going to support the falsehood of co-governance being a cornerstone of the Treaty; and universities can deny a speaker access to their site because those in authority disagree with the beliefs of that speaker, and the Mayor claims he had the right to ban speakers from council controlled venues because their beliefs differed from his own and would supposedly incite violence, produce a situation in our country that I would never have supported in my 25 years of military service. John Stuart Mill was absolutely correct in his 1867 address when he stated “Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing”. Now is the time to make a stand before armed revolt eventuates! Michael
We all have the right to engage in our own cultures, but we do not have the right to enforce it on others. Gifford
I absolutely support the separation of State and Culture. It is to be noted that”,and let’s not beat about the bush”.when the word “culture” is used in a modern context it essentially means, in New Zealand, “Maori tribal practices and traditions” most of which are somewhat obnoxious to me. I would be very happy that the Maori Language and “culture” (what an appalling misuse of the word culture) be used by those who wish to engage with it, but having my taxes used to impose it on everyone, whether it is their language and tradition or not, is a grossly impertinent imposition by Government agencies. We all know of course, it is designed to increase civil dislocation and create chaos. That way those in power can make all sorts of new laws restricting our freedoms, in the guise of protecting us. Soooo 1984. A thousand blessings on people of the ilk of Southern and Molyneux, Bruce Moon and Dr Don Brash and anyone else who has similar views of what New Zealand is about. Equal rights, fairness, justice and the freedom to use our beaches and public spaces without let or hindrance. A large number of New Zealanders are so apathetic and so pitifully misinformed and/or ill informed and/or brainwashed by misinformation and a grossly warped view of history, that they allow themselves to be led around by the nose. Our country is sliding into very dangerous territory, deliberately aided and abetted by the Government and the Maori Sovereignty Movement. The Government in pursuit of socialism and the Maori Sovereignty Movement in their pursuit of dominance. Dianna
To many so called PC people who think they speak for the majority of new zealanders Home
Absolutely!! Bring it on… Maddi
only sensible Barry
Yes, yes and yes!! When? Tomorrow would be good! Les
Separation of State and Culture is the only way to go if New Zealand is to have an open and free society. Ron
The State should not be advocating or legislating for a bi-cultural society. We in NZ are actually a multicultural society. Mary
absolutely, down with the radical leftists and bring Jordan Peterson to our shores!!! Jeffrey
Had not really thought of it like that before but it makes sense Colleen
The State must remain outside of all matters of public discussion; just as the State must not influence court decisions. Graeme
My culture is my choice and it has nothing to do with race or state. Racism is a myth. It is just the visible face of the real problem which is culturalism. That is my experience based on my own mixed race marriage and working in many countries. Frank
I’m sick of having maori “culture” rammed down my throat at every turn. lately “blessing” some paving in Waikanae at the Dist, Council’s secular opening ceremony a good example. Nothing can happen without maoridom pushing some spirituality or religiosity into the mix. The attempt to name the PM’s new baby yet another ploy of audacity that sent the needle sceaming into the RED ZONE on the disgusting attempt meter!!! bud
Makes sense as religion and culture are inextricably linked. Willy
This separation of culture and state has now reached the stage where it is hugely important Janet
The “State” is there to run the country, It’s not there to dictate how we think on “Culture”. Andrew
And reclaim RNZ from Maori. Who is pushing this culture RNZ? Brian
PC crap is stifling free speech. The left wing is very adept at getting offended and attacking the person rather than the issue to the detriment of sound, robust debate. There are far to many snowflakes out there whose feelings are hurt by comments which are in some cases very true. The unfortunate part about it we have a Left Wing Government so the stifling of opinion and debate is going to continue. Because of this the separation of state and culture should be a prime aim of any future Right wing Government so free speech and debate can once again flourish. Allan
Good on Don Brash – for speaking out! Marianne
The State and Culture should be separated for NZ to stay as a free speaking Democratic society. Not being allowed to speak about other cultures in case it may offend them is quite scary Mike
Long overdue Graeme
Absolutely! The two are not good bed buddies and are becoming as cultist and embedded as religion, to the benefit of only those who are influenced by those myths! Paul
An thing to end the so called Treaty of Waitangi. Wayne
State and culture are not bedfellows. Keep them as far apart as possible. Clinton
Let’s face it Culture where our government is concerned is Maori. Get rid of culture completely and go back to few but basic laws and enforce them. Eric
Absolutely. We need this separation. Phil Goff’s comments and attitude over free speech as shown, proves his communistic thinking,, and the frightful attitude he has had since university days with his friends including Helen Clarke, and Trevor Mallard, spitting on the returning soldiers from the Vietnam war, shows his basic thoughts. He should not hold the job of Mayor, and those who support him should be sent down the road as well. Lloyd
The term “culture” is a broad one with multiple overlapping meanings. It would have to be narrowly redefined (invoking considerable controversy) if it were to be excluded from influencing Parliament. Colin
Free speech is the only way to save NZ from a hideous future. Barry
I do have reservations. The word “culture” encompasses a wide range of meanings. For instance could a teacher keen on classical music be brought to task for encouraging children to give it a go? Suggest enforcement would be fraught. Christopher
Everyone should be free to pursue whatever culture or religion they desire without trespass on the right of others to pursue another alternative without breach of the law . Barry
As the Vice chancellor of Massey University and Phil Goff (another loser Auckland Mayor) both broke the law restricting free speech, why were they not prosecuted? Rex
Both culture and religion Richard
It is the people that should be running this country NOT CULTURE Bryan
We need it more than ever now. Government is interfering (constantly) in issues that are rights (floride – poison in water – and not wanted). So our right to talk about wanting living water. Our rights to say this and be heard are gone. Also our rights to say Ban 1080 which is killing our wild life, birds, frogs, insects. No rights to be heard. The government is discouraging Free Speech so it can follow an agenda not agreed to by the people. The step with the Govts openly disgust at free speech for the majority is showing contempt against those same people. Charlotte
The Government should not be forcing The stone age Maori Culture down everyone’s throats. I refuse to watch any thing to do with Maori Culture as a protest and immediately switch channels or stations. Thank goodness my grandkids live in Australia away from ll the Maori Rubbish Colin
Enforcement of cultural beliefs would be a dangerous road to travel down. Graham
I do not understand why “Maori culture” has become so significant in New Zealand. In particular I do not understand why governments and assorted people are pushing for compulsory “te reo Maori” on our children. And, further: When will these “Treaty Settlements” stop – and, When will Maori hierarchy start helping financially othe Maori. Olegas
I believe the state should never impose one culture down the proverbial ‘throats’ of the people. John
Democracy is non-existent without freedom of speech Jo
Democracy must reign, with one law for all. Warren
Most definitely as a big number of those in this current government excluding the opposition are Gutless and have no spine but gladly pick up there wages and use all the perks and also have a socialist agenda. Ken
Yes. Separation of state and culture, of state and church, of state and education, of state and economics ! It would take a revolution to bring the other three into reality. The first I would do is to defund state education – universities first ! Don
A binding referendum required. Chris
Absolutely. Dick
Government has no business attempting to decree upon and manage culture. Culture is an organic entity and evolves over time. Graham
I had never thought about this until reading your excellent article. The separation of the church and the state is well accepted, so could the state and culture Miles
This is very serious – we have fought two world wars to preserve free speech and some PC nincompoop thinks he knows better – not likely Don
More PC BS. It doesn’t stop the racist bullies? Ian
Fail to understand how the state can operate effectively without separation. Mark
It is of paramount importance that this happens now. It is frightening how so much Maori political correctness has been forced onto our society without those of us public becoming aware. Bryan
This culture thing is so ingrained into the education system and now local and national government that if something is not done about it very soon we are in for a real battle to change anything. It has to stop now! Tim
What you are really suggesting is a separation of the state from cultures other than our own. The states laws are mostly culture based. Ours happen to be based on English, Christian culture. We recognise and make provisions where needed to accommodate other cultures. However we are afraid of another culture trying to usurp ours. Bi-culturism cannot work. Ray
Free speech is the right of all people, this PC mob have nothing better to do it is time they where told to go get a job & live in the real world, or ship them all off to Iran & see how they would like that. Geoff
The sooner NZ recognises that NZ has a multi culture society and not a bi-culture one the sooner NZ can move forward in a harmonious way. Bi-culture is a backward looking way to go into the future and will have disastrous results to every aspect of NZ society including especially free speech. Keith
No comment, because I find it is never published Rob
This maori stuff has gone way too far. Good on Don Brash,and dr Newman for standing up for real democracy. Noman
Would solve a growing problem Jim
Its pseudo-culture anyway. We are told that as New Zealanders we don’t have a culture unless we are Maori. The whole culture thing her makes me sick. Roger
Yes keep it separate. Maori claim too much and protest etc, as it is against their culture etc. They do not take into account what is proposed is for the good for all.. Frank
Free speech is a critical element in a free society. Lack of free speech is the road to totalitarianism as shown in Nazi Germany, Stalin”s Russia & China under Meo. We do not want this here. Brian
This idea, while at first appearing to be somewhat of a nonsense, may in fact have some strong merit if it removes the enormous pro-Maori anti everyone else bias (blatant racism or perhaps more correctly culturism) from our schools and other public institutions. Kerry
This is an issue that requires solid, well informed, non-emotive debate, though that will in all likelihood not happen. Peter
The generations of my grandfather and my father fought and sometimes gave their very lives in the cause of free speech and the right of dissent. Do these self righteous “educated derelicts” now claim to be better informed than in former times? It was George Washington who wrote, “only a civilised society is capable of governing themselves; when they become savage and unruly they have more need of masters.” Thank God we are not quite there . . . yet. Joseph
Had never thought about the concept of separating state from culture but now its been stated, it just makes sense. Grant
We are free to identify with whatever culture appeals to us. Culture is a very different thing from race or religion, but government should be conducted free of the encumbrances of those 3 thorny issues. Colin
…a pathetic J Thomas…hidden agenda’s everywhere . Who was pulling her strings..?? As for Radio NZ and their morning “Maori tribal garbage “ CHowes
The State, through our Governments, has very poorly represented most New Zealanders as most state representatives ‘chase’ their personal agendas typically from their very narrow and selfish base availed by today’s widespread instant social media. Stuart
….in a heartbeat! Sharen
Absolutely – Maori privilege is destroying our Society. At the signing of the Treaty , Governor Hobson stated that now we are one people%u201D . The real fact is today that we are more separated than ever – Maori claims, stopping reasonable access to Auckland’s Volcanic Cones, 300 claims for coastal land subsidised to the time of $300,000 from taxpayer funds, comments that their problems are due to ‘colonisation’, seven privileged Maori sears in Parliament to make the number of Maori members of Parliament far in excess of their population percentage,racially privileged access to University courses, demands for a separate Maori parliament – the list grows larger year on year with NZ rewarded by gross truancy every day by Maori children from their opportunity for free education, and a much larger percentage in gaols than their numbers in Society – enough is enough. But comments like this are regarded as %u2018racist%u2019 rather than the facts as they stand. Hylton
Any Culture being imposed on any Nation is a Dictatorship by that Culture. And of course takes away FREE Speech and all other Rights. Cultures should blend with a Nation for the betterment of that Nation. Geoff
The complete answer to the problem. David
State and Culture don’t mix. We can see the negative side of this as we speak. It has nothing to do with democracy if a minority forces ( for whatever reason ) their believes and cultural preferences — incl language — onto the majority. Even worse when these issues are not even debated before being forced into the education system or onto public life in general. In the case of free speech we detect a new facet of the interpretation of the TOW using arguments against free speech and further defining’ hate speech.’ Using the term ‘hate speech’ in this context allows a certain minority to forcibly distort , undermine and eventually destroy the basis of applied democracy. Welcome 1984.!!!!! I followed Molineux and Southern’s case and also heard and read the MSM comments. It is absolutely shocking how left wing oriented the NZ media are and how facts were being misrepresented. As far as the PM is concerned, her stupid comments are a pure demonstration of non democratic behaviour by claiming to speak for all New Zealanders in re to their attitude and understanding of what Southern and Molineux have to say about the dangers of Islam and unfettered MultiCulti. More shocking the utter silence of the National Party which leaves me with an uneasy feeling that they have been infiltrated by minority political extremism to a degree where we cannot expect any positive changes in order to restore balance . See S Bridges putting on a funny hat and hobknobbing with members of FIANZ. That makes him a somewhat questionable figure as far as I am concerned. Michael
We are at the threshold of having a very divided country because of people in power not having the spine to publicise the racial problems here in New Zealand! Wiliam
Absolutely support the separation of the State and Culture in New Zealand. And the soonery they are separated the better! Brenda
All NZ histories not just one sided ones are important. I am a nz born 7 generation of european decent I am a native but am not made to feel that I belong here in my own country n
While the State has some obligations around deals such as TOW – it is contaminated big time with pc culturalism. Mark
Well over due. Why do we need culture thrust down our throats. Why can a culture “blessing” be accepted when a Christian blessing excluded.  Jeff
Absolutely. Di
We are a multicultural country European, maori, Pacifica, Chinese,all cultures should be Equal Bruce
Religious and cultural freedoms are the cornerstone to our overall freedom, being one of mans most prized possessions. Greed and the hunger for power are its biggest threats which we must fight as others have previously done to protect. Rob
Difficult to do this well. Henry
Bicultural=apartheid ? Russ
Free speech is a must for all regardless of culture. PC has “gone mad.” Jim
Culture or ideology has no place in how a country should be governed. Murray
The country is REALLY on the slippery slope. The clowns are running the circus. Bruce
Teaching young children false truths in pre -secondary schools about our history is nothing less than child abuse. Separatism is common in apartheid counties,”oh what am I saying”I live in one it’s called Aotearoa ( a fictitious word) N.Z. Allen
Absolutely. No one”s culture should be forced onto others. Teach those who are interested by all means, but do not shove it down everyones throat. Robbie
But with the crowd controlling our future this is unlikely to happen soon! The questions of course are “what is culture?” and “what is NZ culture?” Culture to one is kapa haka, to another the skirl of the pipes, to yet another the glory of English literature, and to others the ability to worship in their own religious spaces. Andrew
It is high time this occurred. The forcing of one culture over another undermines democracy, as proven by the race-based laws and rights we now have in our own society. Susan
I totally agree with Dr Brash. All New Zealanders must share equal rights and responsibilities as citizens. The aristocratic system will continue to fail Michael
A government forcing any particular culture down our throats is not democratic. We will vote them out asap. Ross
Definitely. I’m sick of having that cultural crap in my face every time I turn on TV and go out anywhere. Terry
Isn’t it about time that ‘biculturalism’ is explained to ALL, in detail. Many don’t understand the threat it could impose on us all but the very privileged. Graeme
What a great article. But be careful NZCPR as you are likely to be removed from the internet by PC proclamation. backed by the believers . Barry
The right of Free Speech is Paramount. Frank
We do not have equality. Maori have equality plus extra privileges.Let us get on with being one country of many cultures living harmoniously. Adrian
I’m sure most thinking NZers will, like me, have had an absolute gutsful of the huge push to Maorianize this country. Maori is not the culture of the vast majority of us and while it has some relevance to our identity in the world we’re meant to be a developed nation not a pack of stone age savages. Alan
Yes yes yes! It’s disgusting that children are being brainwashed with Maori bullshit. I will NEVER have Maori rammed down my throat as is being done to all of NZ constantly. I can’t even watch the news on TV without the news readers babbling away in Maori and wasting valuable news time. This is totally out of control and needs to STOP! Des.
Please get us back to pre-1994 days when we were all known as New Zealanders and the best example to the world on how to be one race free nation Brianb
I agree, NZ has now become a laughing stock to the world. Our demise is further on than I thought! Very troubling… Steve
Lets be Singapore, and not tribal. Richard
Certainly! Elizabeth
Definitely, the State is there to govern for the benefit of all society not one particular race, and not to tell us how or what to think or remove our ability to speak freely. Jonathan
It has been going on since the Immigration Act 1987 Peta
I believe we are all New Zealanders, culturally and any attempt to divide us is counter to that. Graeme
I’m sick to death of having Maori stone age culture rammed down my throat by a bunch of idiotic racist Marxists. Western civilization as per its Judea-Christian ethics is a vastly superior culture and I’m proud to uphold it against any comers. This misguided assault on free speach must be wound back and the people responsible exposed. The PC media are complicit in perpetrating this outrage and should be censured and held accountable also. John
I’ll make my own mind up Kevin
The manner that ‘culture’is being promoted as a belief by its adherents is no different to that of similar adherents of religions and should be treated in exactly the same manner by the State – now! Dick
Successive governments have made arbitrary decisions about what our culture is without getting the agreement of citizens. When we disagree we are labeled as racist & I resent that. Its time to abolish the Treaty and replace it with a constitution that is not rce-based Kerry
Most definitely! Its time New Zealanders woke up to these secret agendas. Steve
I am beginning to despair for this counry with its weak kneed Political correctness. Deb
We must debate this if we are allowed Richard
Dr B rash is the only free-thinker in this country to stand up for our rights. Shame on the noisy rabble who tried to drown him out. Robyn
The many, many soldiers that fought and died for freedom, including the freedom of speech, will be spinning in their graves knowing that the Prime Minister, the Vice Chancellor of a Massey university, and the Mayor of Auckland all believe in suppressing free speech, and openly speak against it. Jacinda, Jan and Phil should be ashamed of themselves. They are unfit for public office. Gary
To a large extent the state should be purely mechanical, not emotive and follow the constitution which we do not have, we desperately need a set of basic rules showing equality across the board, equal rights and duties in which no group can hold another to ransom. First, set that constitution than have the state manage it, simply. Leonard
Absolutely there should be a separation of state and culture. The sooner the better!  Murray
I believe it is imperative that the government stops pushing Maori culture down our throats. It is dreadful in schools nowadays. Neville
The State should keep right out of religion and culture. It should stick to its knitting and keep us safe.  Roger
The indoctrination of Maori culture in schools and kindies is appalling. It’s bad enough having to listen to Radio NZ pushing the Maori language down our throats but at least we can switch stations. The kids are being force-fed a Maori world view. The sooner it is stopped, the better.  Maureen
Yes – keep the government away from culture, just like they need to stay away from religion.  Paul