The Jordan Peterson backlash, White Supremacy Intelligence failures, Healing and confronting Islamaphobia, the importance of a fair trial, the limitations of Identity Politics & the safety of the Prime Minister: What Happens Next?


As the numbness dissolves, as the recoil shock to ourselves and our national identity slows in its reverberations, we are left with an enormous amount of damage to heal, new steps forward to take and real questions that demand answering.

Let us be utterly clear in this, New Zealand is being tested.

To date, the incredible leadership by Jacinda has helped New Zealanders navigate the spectrum of emotions while showing every leader on the planet how to respond with courage. Wearing the head scarf, responding with compassion and immediately banning machine guns has shown us all how lucky we are to have her as Prime Minister right now.

But that was week one, and an event like this tears deeply into the fabric of our society and what happens next is as important as the first weeks response.

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The Jordan Peterson backlash:

The need to connect micro aggression with macro violence by some of the woke is admirable but has the ability to sour the solidarity NZ is currently building upon. Banning Jordan Peterson while allowing Mein Kampf to be sold at Whitcoulls would be funny if it weren’t so tragic. We must refrain from painting every right wing opinion we disagree with as a violent white supremacist through the slippery slope argument. This violent horror didn’t occur because of domestic bigotry, this supremacists manifesto clearly shows someone who was influenced by hard core international online ideological hate mixed with a terrible toxic masculinity.

Attempting to connect the violence on Friday with right wing opinions, the defence of free speech or concerns about immigration and conflate that with all white people as racist murderers is a sure fire way of eroding the solidarity in sorrow that has bound many.

The vast, vast majority of NZers found what happened on Friday as a disgraceful act of despicable hate, we need to find common ground between us instead of blaming each other if we want to build from this moment.


White Supremacy Intelligence failures:

This is what TDB said about white supremacists in 2015, Muslim leaders called on Government to take their concerns of escalating violence seriously, while a former soldier and a hunter specifically warned Police about the kind of talk at Tarrant’s shooting club.

Yet who did the intelligence services see as the enemy? This year we found out state agencies had spied on MANA, the Greens, Greenpeace, Māori Iwi protesting oil companies, left wing journalists, earthquake survivors and social justice activists and that the SIS hadn’t even listed white supremacists as a threat for the last decade!

This despite the GCSB and SIS gaining vast mass surveillance tools and huge increases in budget, a combined total of $230m last year alone.

If people want to blame someone other than the mutation who caused this violence, this astounding intelligence failure should be the first port of call.

It would be an obscenity if the response to this atrocity was more mass surveillance powers.

The Police, SIS & GCSB have the tools to monitor threats, they just didn’t see white supremacy as a threat.

If only we could spy on violent fascists with the ease we spied on Nicky Hager


Healing and confronting Islamaphobia:

While I think attempting to connect the violence in Christchurch with garden variety domestic bigotry lacks credibility from the point of view of Tarrant’s own manifesto and its obvious international strain of white supremacy, that doesn’t mean we don’t need to address racism in NZ. As part of the healing process required from this atrocity, NZ must take a long hard reflective look at our own behaviour in contributing to a climate of fear and pain towards everyone in the NZ whanau.


The importance of a fair trial:

When the Nuremberg trials occurred, it was essential to those prosecuting that the trial not only found the Nazi’s guilty, but proved them wrong for history and progressive humanity’s sake – that Brenton Tarrant intends to defend himself shouldn’t surprise anyone, people with this level of psychopathic murderous intent tend to be narcissists,  but we shouldn’t fear him using the trail as a platform, we should relish it as the opportunity to not only find him guilty of a heinous atrocity, but to undeniably crush his justifications and arguments.

Wanting to censor the trial or hide his words is a natural response but we are being tested globally and our justice system is strong and our values deeper than his sophistry of hate. We have nothing to fear standing in the light and dragging him into it. In fact, it’s our obligation to do so.

The terrorist must be shown the mercy of our justice. While he would seek to destroy and damage so many, we will give him rights, legal protections and safety for the remainder of his life in prison because we are better than his hatefulness.


The limitations of Identity Politics:

The worst mutation of identity politics is when white men from lower socio-economic levels start seeing themselves as the victims.  In a political and cultural environment dominated by identity politics, white supremacy is the worst outcome. If we are to inoculate ourselves from this ideological virus we need to stop identifying directly with our skin colour, genitals, sexual orientation, gender orientation, religion and ethnicity. We need universal values we all agree to, an identity as New Zealanders that we can all feel ownership of, because it is those universal values that will hold us together when division seeks to rip us apart.


The safety of the Prime Minister:

The leadership Jacinda has shown has reverberated globally and horrifically that makes her a target for both white supremacists and radical Islamists. Her safety and the safety of her family MUST be the first priority of our security agencies right now and whatever current safety precautions need to be doubled or tripled.


  1. This is the best I’ve read of Martyn’s blogs. Thanks.
    To the last bit about Jacinda; it is not what she would have chosen but this is Jacinda’s “Nuclear Free Moment”. It will define her premiership and confer a huge legitimacy on her position for the rest of her political career.
    It will also mean that the success or failure of labour in future elections will be largely because of her standing in the electorate ,giving her enormous power to influence Labour policy. I hope she uses it courageously.
    D J S

  2. “only find him guilty of a heinous atrocity, but to undeniably crush his justifications and arguments.

    Wanting to censor the trial or hide his words is a natural response but we are being tested globally and our justice system is strong and our values deeper than his sophistry of hate. We have nothing to fear standing in the light and dragging him into it. In fact, it’s our obligation to do so.”

    Even if Tarrant sparks another copycat killer in the future, Martin. Having read both your blog and Frank’s, I’m not convinced giving Tarrant a platform is desirable or safe for people of colour. If some emulates Tarrant, have we enabled another terrorist? The prospect of that troubles me greatly.

    As always you write thoughtfully and give us much to think about.

  3. Thanks Martyn. I was cheering with you on up to this point; ‘The limitations of Identity Politics’. Are you asking for us all to be assimilated into one culture ie the New Zealand culture? I don’t believe we should be colour blind, culturally ignorant or agnostic. We do have common values that are essentially New Zealand. We need to acknowledge that our uniqueness and values make us mostly good and caring people – especially when the chips are down. I know I go on about NZ being a racist society, and it is, but there is also another positive side which would be greatly improved if we had a more discerning and honest news media, government and education system which valued people in their diversity and tāngata whenua.

    Every society has their arseholes. How this person came to be like this is problematic. I have so many questions about it. How the authorities came to ignore the warnings is extremely problematic. New Zealand is a small country. The authorities surely must have known about him. Well they did but chose to do nothing.

    I firmly believe that Jacinda Ardern was so strong because she followed the model of the Māori cultural values that have overtly or covertly interspersed into New Zealand society.
    Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water or the kumara out with the hangi ashes.
    (And I know that’s not exactly what you were meaning but it could be construed to look like that).

    • Woke culture has dissolved into a culture of bullying and I think this is what Martyn is referring to.

      When Rosa Parks stood up to the white dominated culture it was inspiring. Half a century later it’s a lot less inspiring when crowds of Woke individuals pile in on working class blokes who didn’t get their language correct enough.

      We need to connect with people on the other side of the debate as much as we can, we need to look for moments of shared humanity – and if we want to undo the extremism that led to Christchurch then the first thing we can do it focus on our own behaviour.

      The easiest thing for us to fix are our own actions. If we think we’re allowed to attack someone because they have displayed signs of bigotry then we are part of the wider problem and we’re just giving into our own desire to have an enemy.

      I’m no Christian but love your enemy is a really good instruction at this point in time

  4. I believe suppression is the appropriate move. Not for fear of the ideology which I further agree should not be swept under the carpet Voldemort-style, but rather for the stated purpose of stifling this particular narcissistic would-be martyr’s self-perceived glorious 15 minutes of fame.
    All the sociopolitical discussions and debates arising from this nexus point are as important as they very much always have been. But removing all context and causation, this person committed an act of utter atrocity against life itself and for that deserves to be treated in return as disrespectfully as the law allows.

  5. Yes Martyn,

    “We need universal values we all agree to, an identity as New Zealanders that we can all feel ownership of, because it is those universal values that will hold us together when division seeks to rip us apart.”

    Labour was the one who begun that journey in 1937 of making us a “universal values” society with setting up universal pensions, universal state housing, and wage award pay agreements along with universal health care, which brought us into the egalitarian society in which we all felt ownership of, but in the last part of 100th century those values were eroded by successive Governments of both persuasions.

    We must get this “transformation” ‘kind, caring, considerate, newly expressed Government back into that ideology again else we will wither as you say.

    We hope our own Helen Clark who is our most experienced Labour MP we have, who remember “the way it was” during the 1960’s egalitarian world we all loved is also involved in the new direction expressed here.

    • Gosman: “I agree with much of what you post here”

      Which in itself is worrying.

      When an Act Party supporter agrees with you Martyn, doesn’t that make you uneasy?

      Gosman, what is it you tell us when left wingers complain about right wing media commentators, Newstalkzb, or the Herald? Please. Remind us.
      You tell us to set up our own radio station or newspaper. So, if you want to buy Jordan Peterson’s book, why don’t you set up your own bookshop or sell it online? Aren’t you infringing on Whitcoull’s right to stock whatever they want, for whatever reason they want? It’s their commercial decision and their profits at stake, not yours.
      Or have we lost theright to run our businesses as we want, free from the dictates of the Left or Right?

      • Maybe just appreciate Gosmans post for the fact there is a lot of common ground between most of us and more good than bad.
        ACT at least are pro personal freedoms wherever possible, I can agree with their theory but differ on what constitutes “wherever possible.”

  6. re “What Happens Next?”

    …I hope not a New Zealand police state where the ‘Thought Police’ a la George Orwell take control in the name of rooting out all so-called ‘white supremacy’ in New Zealanders

    ( I am sure the Greens would love to ban Winston Peters and NZF for example)

    Lets get serious…I take it also that this Government in the interests of fairness and anti racism and purity of thought will also be leading an international censorship charge to root out any ISIS manifestos from the international internet …and any videos of heinous appalling crimes against women (eg. the defacing and murder of young Scandinavian girls in Morrocco, as they cried out for their mothers!… and Christians being lined up on beaches by ISIS in Libya and beheaded !

    New Zealand really could save the world here and clean up the international internet …so “lets do it!”

    ‘Free speech debate in New Zealand after mosque slayer’s manifesto banned’

  7. The bigger irony in the Whitcoull’s debacle is that they stock “Jordanetics”, a critique of Jordan Peterson by Vox Day, forward by Milo Yiannopoulos

  8. I sent this job application to Whitcoulls on Friday last week. Have yet to receive a reply…

    Dear Whitcoulls,

    I read today in the New Zealand Herald ( that you have ceased selling the Jordan Peterson book ’12 Rules for Life’.

    Your comments in the story do not clarify your reasoning except to say your decision was made ‘in light of some extremely disturbing material being circulated prior, during and after the Christchurch attacks’. The news item does point out, however, that Mr Peterson was once photographed with a man wearing a teeshirt stating, ‘I’m a Proud Islamophobe’.

    Whatever your reasoning for withdrawing the book, I am writing to apply for the position of Official Whitcoulls Censor. Whilst impressed with the strong moral stance you are taking in regards to Mr Peterson, I am concerned by your continued support of authors who have also done wrong, and believe I am the man to bring consistency to your wonderful new sense of moral responsibility.

    Consider Winston Churchill. In 1943, as three million starved to death in Bengal, and British officials begged for food supplies to the region, Churchill refused, and blamed the Indians for ‘breeding like rabbits’. In World War II, furthermore, Churchill presided over a Britain that bombed German cities full of non-combatants and burned to death hundreds of thousands of old men, women, children and babies. These are, I submit, actions at least as reprehensible as standing next to a man with the wrong teeshirt, and if employed you can rest assured I would have Mr Churchill books out of your stores and off your website within a week.

    Likewise the following authors…

    Charles Dickens cheated on his 45-year old wife with an 18-year-old actress, then launched a smear campaign against his wife in the press, won custody of the children and would not allow them to see their mother. Surely his books must go too.

    What of J D Salinger, author of The Catcher in the Rye’, and notorious for romantic (but perhaps not sexual) relationships with young, teenage girls?

    There’s Jack London who wrote that genocide was just a part of natural selection, and was something that’s perfectly acceptable when ‘lesser breeds’ encounter Anglo-Saxons.

    And don’t forget Roald Dahl. I know Whitcoulls makes a lot money from this hugely loved children’s author, but did you know he once said: ‘There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity….even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no reason.’ I would have thought it a no-brainer, therefore, that Mr Dahl’s books should be at least banned, and perhaps burned.

    Did you know also that William Golding tried to rape a 15-year-old girl and Norman Mailer attacked his wife with a knife and almost killed her? I suspect not. But do not worry. On my watch their books will be gone from Whitcoulls website and stores before lunchtime.

    V.S. Naipaul said female writers are inferior to male writers. Enid Blyton was a terrible mother. And so I say, ‘out with them also’.

    As for that miscreant William S Burroughs, he killed his wife by shooting her in the head, an action I regard to be at least as serious as standing next to a man with the wrong teeshirt. As Whitcoulls official censor, it would be my intention to publicly burn all Mr Burroughs books in our possession.

    And don’t forget… Orson Scott Card is reputed to be a homophobe. And Erza Pound supported both Mussolini and Hitler, and in 1940 did a series of radio broadcasts blaming the Jews for financing World War II.

    What of New Zealand’s very own Anne Perry? Did you know she helped murder her best friend’s mother by beating her with a brick 20 times? I am sure, once you realize the implications, you would want her books gone from Whitcoulls as much as I do.

    In conclusion, I regret the fact this letter manages to address but a fraction of the perfidy that surrounds everyone who enters your bookshops. There are thousands of authors to be investigated, and I am sure many conceal secrets that would more than justify the withdrawal of their books also. It is my submission, therefore, that I am the man to both undertake the research and control the logistics of banning books written by reprehensible authors.

    With thanks for your attention.

    Kind Regards

    Anthony Keesing

    • lol…one of the best posts I have read in a long time!

      …and I bet they don’t stock Loretta Napoleoni’s book ‘ISIS the Terror Nation’…but Amazon does

      … so will the NZ Government censor and ban Loretta Napoleoni ‘s book from Amazon in the interests of fairness and justice and censorship and not encouraging ‘white supremacy’…because Napoleoni shows the terrorist ‘ISIS Manifesto’ !

      … will we soon be imprisoned for 10-14 years for possessing a copy of Loretta Napoleoni’s ‘ISIS Manifesto’ book?

      …as we will soon be imprisoned for 14 years for possessing a copy of the so called ‘White Supremacist Manifesto’?

      “In ISIS: The Terror Nation, world-renowned terrorism expert Loretta Napoleoni takes us beyond the headlines, demonstrating that while Western media portrays the Islamic State as little more than a gang of thugs on a winning streak, the organization is proposing a new model for nation building. Waging a traditional war of conquest to carve out the 21st-century version of the original Caliphate, IS uses modern technology to recruit and fundraise while engaging the local population in the day-to-day running of the new state. Rising from the ashes of failing jihadist enterprises, the Islamic State has shown a deep understanding of Middle Eastern politics, fully exploiting proxy war and shell-state tactics. This is not another terrorist network but a formidable enemy in tune with the new modernity of the current world disorder. As Napoleoni writes, “Ignoring these facts is more than misleading and superficial, it is dangerous. ’Know your enemy’ remains the most important adage in the fight against terrorism.” “

    • China and North Korea ban books for political reasons. Saudi Arabia bans the bible. Iran not only bans books, it issued a fatwa to kill an author its government didn’t like. I am pleased to see Whitcoulls has realised, finally, that it resides within a liberal, western tradition in which the banning of books for political or religious reasons is ‘not us’, and it has therefore restored the Jordan Peterson book to its shelves.

      Well actually… that’s what I would like to think happened. It is more likely, I suspect, enough people told Whitcoulls they were withdrawing their custom for the cashflow benefits of restoring the book to outweigh the virtue-signalling benefits of withdrawing it.

  9. “This is what TDB said about white supremacists in 2015, Muslim leaders called on Government to take their concerns of escalating violence seriously, while a former soldier and a hunter specifically warned Police about the kind of talk at Tarrant’s shooting club.”

    Also, the murder and beheading of a Korean backpacker ten years ago.

    There was limited publicity over this murder at the time, far less than had the culprits been Muslim or non-white extremists.

    These white supremacist groups have a proven track history of violence. Yet compare the reaction of the authorities to Tame Iti and Tuhoe – complete overreaction when it came to the latter and a blind eye for the former.

    Simon Bridges has it right for a change, when he calls out the failure of the intelligence agencies to focus on white supremacist organisations, and it is Andrew Little who is spewing shit:

    • You have fallen for the commercial media narritive ie National good, Labour bad. In reality Simon Bridges was minister in charge of the Anadarko amendments that falsey made left wingers national security threats.

      • Bullshit.

        I’m simply taking on face value what Bridges said, against Little’s denials.

        Of course Bridges is politicking —as he did with the migration compact. But that is not the point. That is why we have an opposition, and in this case he has said the right thing.

        The most concerning thing is Little, who has racist tendencies, is in absolute denial.

        • Well you’re wrong. Simon Bridges literally miss directed security and intelligence agencies to unfairly target left wingers with his Anadarko amendment for which you are blaming Andrew Little for. What ever Andrew Little did was just to sign warrants for domestic surveillance, he doesn’t write the warrants, he just follows precedence so do you have any supplementary argument So?

  10. Leon Trotsky wrote about the response of the woke left to the 15 March terrorist attack:

    From What Next? Vital Question for the German Proletariat, 1932
    * * *
    A cattle dealer once drove some bulls to the slaughterhouse. And the butcher came night with his sharp knife.

    “Let us close ranks and jack up this executioner on our horns,” suggested one of the bulls.

    “If you please, in what way is the butcher any worse than the dealer who drove us hither with his cudgel?” replied the bulls, who had received their political education in Manuilsky’s institute. [The Comintern.]

    “But we shall be able to attend to the dealer as well afterwards!”

    “Nothing doing,” replied the bulls firm in their principles, to the counselor. “You are trying, from the left, to shield our enemies — you are a social-butcher yourself.”

    And they refused to close ranks.”

  11. Hi Martyn

    Do note that Jacinda did not ban machineguns. They have always been banned. The issue here is that weapons used were modified illegally to automatic fire as opposed to semi automatics. Combined that with large magazines the gunman had you get the ability to kill more victims. He used about 7 magazines at the first mosque or 210 rounds and possibly one or two at Linwood.

    The banning of Jordan Peterson was such a foolish move as there is no link between him and the gunman. Part of the issue of rushing to judgement?

    I disagree that it was an intelligence failure. He was hiding in plain sight and had freedom of movement. He had no links to NZ. Trying to pick him up would have had to have taken a major surveillance operation lasting years. There has never been a white supremacy threat of this type as there has never been the capability present.

    Totally agree that his trial should be open and covered widely. I’m concerned that the media seem to be colluding to limit their coverage. He will have a lawyer assigned to him during the trial. I would prefer he did have representation now. Let him try to defend the indefensible in open court.

    You’ve been banging on about the problems of identity politics and the damage it’s doing and I hope people are listening.

    I would be assured about the level of protection around Jacinda. Within The government the threat level is elevated now and many extra precautions automatically activate. I note that there are armed police at virgils around the country in the past 10 days.

    • +100 very well said…and the court must be completely open

      …any thing else smacks of secrecy and cover up!

      …and will add fuel to those of us who think that this was not a horrendous act of ‘male white supremacy’ or nationalism

      ( let alone collectively ‘white male NZ racists’ as the Greens would like us to believe…remember the huge New Zealand nation- wide, anti- Springbok Tour protests…how many of our current Greens went on those?!..none I would guess…but there were lots of white NZ males on these protests , in fact they led them)

      …but was done by an outsider and perpetrated on us all under the guise of white nationalism

      ( by an Australian who had links with troubled and or terrorist perpetrating countries NZers don’t normally visit eg Israel, Pakistan , North Korea…

      despite a Green saying it was just all part of the young NZers great OE and they travel to these places all the time)

      …and the horrendous act was done in Christchurch and New Zealand for some other reason…

      ( destabilisation, escalation, a trial promoting a police state imposed on people in Christchurch and the South Island and New Zealand? …censorship of the the internet and free flow of information and opinion about countries who ARE committing acts of terrorism all the time? ( against Islamic countries and their peoples particularly in the Middle East)…the closing down of internet sites which encourage the free flow of information …the good, the bad , the ugly, the false and the TRUE)…the crushing of intellectual freedom and youth who use the internet ?…more police state, governed by a democratically compromised government which has become a police state …and is in turn in the grip of and governed by the framing and direction of secret spy societies and alliances

      I am disturbed the New Zealand public will be imprisoned for 10-14 years having his manifesto and reading it

      ( this is a violation of our human rights to the internet and is a violation against New Zealanders …the beginnings of a police state?)

      …New Zealanders should be able to make up their own minds about him and his so -called manifesto and not treated like babies

      …from what I have read his so-called manifesto is full of Americanisms and American spellings ( not Australian or NZ or English spellings or vernacular)and may not have been written by him at all…nor does it criticise Israel …as do most other so called white supremacist documents and commentaries

      …we also need to know his commentary profile on the internet sites he visited …eg. which counties did he regard as friends, which countries did he omit from mentioning at all (why)

      …and check whether this tallies with the current framing profile of a ‘white supremacist racist nationalist’

      …eg. did he fit comfortably in with other commentators on these sites?..or did he stand out as being unusual in some way?…was he there as a front for something else?….did he act as an agent provocateur?

      …did the New Zealand police and the New Zealand intelligence services have any inkling or warnings that an incident was about to happen in Christchurch?…if not why not?

      ( eg were there any warnings before the Rainbow Warrior bombing?…)

      ( as others have had their comments disappeared or banned from this site and framed as ‘conspiracy theory’ …I do not expect to have these comments to see the light of day…but I will take a copy of it)

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