Respects to Deborah Hill Cone


I was genuinely disappointed in Deborah Hill Cone’s hit piece on Clarke.

He’s a mate and I honestly believe that she had cruelly misinterpreted the genuine person I know.

I was also disappointed because I had come to actually enjoy her columns because she does have some real insight at times and I’ve enjoyed that. At the height of the condemnation against her last week, part of me did ponder how the shit storm she had unleashed had impacted her and I felt some honest sadness for the corner she had painted herself into.

We all have howlers and write things that aren’t well thought out. Her column on Clarke was one of those.

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Her latest column, which I did want to read out of a curiosity on how it had impacted her has restored my faith in her and of us a community.

Her skill with words at articulating how bad she felt for her Clarke column was real and human.

In a culture where micro-aggression policing occurs on social media networks fuelled by outrage, the ability to take offence and bloat it into a war crime means we are often left defensive and resentful in response which feeds the algorithms and Mark Zuckerberg makes another billion.

Deborah has shown us what an apology with grace and humility looks like.

Many respects to her.


  1. Yep, good on her, well done. I read it and took it at face value as an act of genuine contrition.

    The Herald, not so much!

  2. As a Christian; – I am prepared to give her (Deborah a second chance for sure since i trust your judgement Martyn always.

    Secondly we in Gisborne are hoping like hell that MP Jacinda Ardern will save our damaged rail service as promised by Labour in 2016 as it was bloody busy when they damaged it see here;

    It was National’s fault that damaged the Gisborne rail in 2012 and should be made responsible now for paying to fix it.

    And since Clark is a native of Gisborne perhaps he will facilitate our wish also for his fellow Gisborne community, since our roads are now falling apart and are ‘gridlocked’ and crammed full of huge trucks all the time making them very dangerous.

  3. Now we just need an apology from the dirty politics operative editing the Herald, who thought it would be a fabulous idea to lead the news with the offending piece, and call it “breaking news”.

  4. Hmmmmm…

    It still doesn’t answer one basic question; how did her original attack-prose get past NZ Herald’s sub-editor(s)? That’s assuming they still have sub-editors. (Fairfax got rid of most of theirs some years back.)

    If NZ Herald is willing not only to publish material of that kind – and highlight it on their front page! – then the problem runs far deeper than an ill-considered “opinion piece” from one columnist having a bad day.

  5. Well done, Deborah, for apologising. But yeah… you should probably have stopped at the halfway mark. The last few paragraphs come across as being a bit wanky… but then, we’re all a bit wanky every now and then.

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