If standing up for human rights is the new yardstick let’s have a lot more of it and closer to home…



On Waitangi Day the Prime Minister criticised the “left” of politics as not wanting to do anything about ISIS and went on to say:

“New Zealand is not going to turn the other way. We’re actually going to stand up for human rights, and we’re not going to do silly things, but we may join 60 or so other countries around the world trying to protect people who can’t protect themselves.”

“(We have) no intention of going to fight other people’s wars but I’m not going to turn the other way when people are being persecuted and say as a leader it’s other people’s problems. I don’t think that’s the New Zealand way.”

On the one hand it’s all part of John Key’s campaign to soften us up for New Zealand troops to join the US-led crusade against ISIS early this year.

On the other hand it’s a shameful piece of hypocrisy.

New Zealand involvement in any fight against ISIS has nothing to do with upholding human rights. It’s better described as Key did a couple of weeks back as the price he is prepared to pay to be part of the five eyes “club”.

Since when has Key ever expressed support for human rights anywhere else?

What about the on-going human rights abuses by Indonesian forces against the people of West Papua? And this right on our doorstep! Key has not only been silent on the West Papuan plight under a brutal military occupation but he has been delighted to wine and dine with their killers.
Because Indonesia is a US ally Key refuses to condemn their human rights abuses.

And what about Sri Lanka? John Key was unmoved by the murder of 70,000 innocent Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan armed forces under Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2009. When visiting Sri Lanka in 2013 for CHOGM (the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) Key greeted Rajapaksa warmly, refusing to criticise him or his army’s massacres and even refusing to endorse a United Nations investigation into war crimes committed by Sri Lankan forces. When asked about a UN investigation all Key could say was “I don’t know what that would achieve”.

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Again because Sri Lanka is a US ally Key turns a blind eye to their human rights abuses.
However Key is now arguing that the “New Zealand way” is to stand up against human rights abuses. If this were the new yardstick by which New Zealand governments will speak out internationally then it would be applauded.

It’s unacceptable to speak out against human rights abuses by ISIS simply because it is an enemy of the US and ignore human rights abuses by US allies much closer to home.

New Zealand has no role sending troops to fight ISIS but we have a crucial role speaking out against human rights abuses everywhere.


  1. I wonder what the Maori to non Maori ratio is for full-time soldiers currently in readiness, or are on active service, either in NZ or off-shore ? I hear that Maori are grossly over represented in prisons ?
    I love irony, which is why I’m asking .

    Jonky would go to war against a rest home if he thought it’d buy him more time to fully implement the evil plans of his ( Our ) Masters. The ones that have him all bought and paid for .

    It appears to me that, if a human rights abuse ( i.e. 250 thousand in-poverty NZ kids,) doesn’t fit with his higher agendas ,then it’s irrelevant therefore invisible and inconsequential .

    Is this little man suitable Prime Minister material ? Given how you Right wing fools voted ? Probably . Yes . By default, a liar and a traitor and now with blood on his hands ? That’s who you Right wingers want to be associated with by virtue of your un thinking support . I see .

    • Re: Your first paragraph. There is a statue in the small park where Wakefield St meets Symonds St in Auckland. It says “In memory of the brave men belonging to the imperial and colonial forces and the friendly Maoris who gave their lives for the country during the New Zealand Wars 1845-1872.”

      Ah, yes – Those brave colonial soldiers. Brave, brave. But don’t forget those friendly Maoris… Thanks ever so much for dying , old chap, very friendly of you. We’ll make sure you get a mention.

      I’d write to John Key and raise the issue, suggesting that perhaps some rewording of the plaque, or some kind of official statement were in order, but as he so kindly pointed out a while back, “New Zealand was one of the very few countries in the world that were settled peacefully.” Whoops, silly me, the Land Wars were just a fictitious smear campaign orchestrated by greedy separatists in order to push some socialist left-wing agenda, of which this ridiculous statue is a part. Or something like that.


    • When we figure out that an institution designed to kill as efficiently as possible (military) has no instrumental place in resolving human rights issues.

      As long as we keep starting wars in the interests of human rights we will only be exacerbating things.

  2. Funny how John Key can conveniently turn a blind eye to atrocities and human right abuses committed by his kin in Israel against innocent Palestinian civilians, yet he has the impudence to bleat on about how IS must be stopped in its tracks!

    Interestingly, the emergence of IS evolved from the West’s interference in Iraq, while Israel is the product of the West’s approval! Seems most theatres of war always come back to the involvement of the US and Britain and sycophantic allies (Australia, NZ etc)!

    Both IS and Israel are blights on the face of humanity when it comes to their vicious treatment and abuse of humankind. One is as bad as the other in my book. But Key needs to be consistent here. Condemn one for its atrocious actions, you must also condemn the other for the exactly same!

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