The Strange Case Of The De-Selected Professor


DAVID FISHER’S EXCELLENT ARTICLE in the NZ Herald, “PM’s terrorism, extremism expert Prof Richard Jackson hired then dropped” raises a number of disturbing questions. Not the least of these is: Why did the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet (DPMC) allow its professional judgement to be overturned by a single leaked document, the contents of which damaged the reputation of the man it was on the point of appointing to a sensitive government position?

Professor Richard Jackson had led the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago, since 2017. In November 2021 he had applied for, and was on the point of being appointed, Co-Director of He Whenua Taurikura – the National Centre of Research Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (CPCVE). Jackson’s strong academic record in conflict research made him an excellent choice to lead the new centre, the establishment of which had been recommended by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch Mosque Shootings.

It was not to be. On the 1 March 2022, just as Jackson’s contract was on the point of being signed, the content of a confidential internal review of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies was leaked to The Otago Daily Times. The content of the leaked report was unsparing in its criticism of the Centre. What was most noteworthy about the criticisms quoted in the ODT, however, is that they appeared to be focused, almost exclusively, on its alleged failings to meet the University of Otago’s bi-cultural expectations.

The ODT reported that the review “recommended Māori staff be employed, but not until the centre’s culture was ‘considerably improved’ because at present it would be a culturally unsafe environment for new Māori staff.’”

Some hint of the ideological leanings of the review’s author/s may be gleaned from the ODT’s reference to their remarks concerning the Centre’s interest in the histories of Parihaka and Rekohu (Chatham Islands):

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“The centre was also criticised for a tokenistic commitment to biculturalism.

“While it received praise for its efforts in starting relationships with the Maori and Moriori communities of Parihaka and Rekohu, it was called out for the narrowness of its approach and for having a poor grasp of appropriate indigenous protocols.

“The strategic inclusion of indigenous groups was a ‘well-known divisive settler colonial practise’, which the centre needed to avoid.”

It is difficult to read such comments without concluding that the review is part of a much larger and destructive conflict between the Centre and those elements within the University of Otago charged with ensuring that there is no deviation from the te Tiriti-centred, iwi-directed, bi-culturally-driven, partnership protocols mandated by the University authorities.

The bitterness of this conflict is made clear in the following excerpt from the ODT’s report:

“It said staff appeared to be of the view the Aotearoa New Zealand Peace and Conflict Studies Centre Trust ensured the continual financial viability of the centre, when in reality, the university was increasingly having to underwrite an operating deficit. 

“Staff also believed they were heavily overworked, while by university standards their teaching workloads were light. 

“The centre was ‘not as special or mistreated as it seems to assume,’ the review said.”

One can only speculate that the Centre, by virtue of its independent source of funding, the Aotearoa New Zealand Peace and Conflict Studies Centre Trust, believed it could hold out against the demands of the bi-culturalists in the University administration.

The fate of Professor Richard Jackson is, therefore, salutary. Clearly, the University of Otago feels obliged to shoot the occasional professor – pour encourage les autres.

Jackson’s rejection by the DPMC is by no means the only peculiar aspect concerning the appointment of the CPCVE’s foundational directors. Fisher’s article setting out the whole, rather odd, story is here.

Even more disturbing, however, is the idea that the DPMC’s strategic coordinator for counter terrorism in the National Security Group, Andy George, and National Security senior policy adviser Julia Macdonald, who sat on the selection panel, appear to have allowed a document positively reeking of academic rancour to de-rail the appointment of Jackson.

Did it not occur to these public servants that somebody, somewhere, might have it in for the man they were about to appoint, and that the leaking of the “confidential” internal review might have been intended to bring the appointment process to a shuddering halt? As persons closely bound up with this nation’s security, did they not feel obliged to dig deeper into the whole affair? Were they not struck by the near perfect timing of the leak? Were they not in the least bit curious about how the leaker knew when to make the document public? Wouldn’t they like to have known who it was who was passed-on that presumably confidential information?

After all, the direction taken by the CPCVE in its quest to prevent and counter violent extremism in New Zealand is a matter of no small importance. Indeed, our national security may well hinge upon the direction in which the new directors – Professors Dr Joanna Kidman and Paul Spoonley – choose to look for those most likely to launch terroristic violence against their fellow New Zealanders. If, for example, the Co-Directors decide to focus on white supremacist groups and Islamophobes, is it possible they might miss the emergence of other potentially violent extremists?

In the event that a National/Act Government emerges from the 2023 General Election, and within the first 100 days of coming to office abolishes the Three Waters Reform and the Māori Health Authority, is it not likely that the country’s political temperature will spike? And if David Seymour’s proposal to enshrine the meaning of the Treaty of Waitangi in law becomes law, and then progresses towards a national referendum, would not the nation’s fever rise still higher? Can the National Security Group, in need of all the help it can get to prevent and counter violent extremist acts, have confidence that the CPCVE will be bringing its attention to bear equally on furious groups of Māori ethno-nationalists?

It would be comforting to believe that the identification of potential violent extremists by the CPCVE will in no way be influenced by ideological factors, and that the New Zealand taxpayers who are footing the bill for its investigations can be absolutely certain that the people charged with preventing and countering extremism are not themselves extremists. Surely, that would have constituted a key aspect of the National Security Group’s brief from the DPMC?

And yet, the disturbing question remains: Was the person, or persons, responsible for leaking the “confidential” internal review of the Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies worried that if Professor Richard Jackson became Co-Director of the CPCVE, he might feel obligated to investigate all potential threats to the peace and tranquillity of New Zealand?

Is that why it was so vitally important that his appointment should not proceed?



  1. Ah yes, bi-culturalism. Yet another excuse to be racist whilst sounding “woke”.
    Unless there is some suggestion that Maori are more likely to become terrorists, then the word Maori should not have appeared anywhere in any document.
    This is one of the many reasons so many Government departments are failing. They are too busy twisting themselves in knots trying to hit the moving target that is cultural sensitivity that they don’t do the job at hand.
    Somehow suggesting that they should focus more on hiring Maori is just a classic example of this. Why hire competent white, asian or (insert other race here) people when a Maori with no expertise in the field can be hired?

    • Yes Jays a recipe for incompetence and nepotism and we are there akready.

      Read the whole thing, the statistics are damning.

      “ All in all, the picture that emerges is that of a country in precipitous decline. That would be alarming enough. What makes it even more so is a perception that the core private and public institutions lack the understanding of the severity of the crisis or the ability to counteract it.
      Some notable exceptions aside, the New Zealand media is underfunded and not performing the functions of the Fourth Estate properly.
      Despite the vast expansion in public service numbers, it lacks quality and focuses on trendy issues rather than its core functions.”
      “ New Zealand needs to be careful not to turn into a failed state. That does not mean it should expect civil unrest, but a period of prolonged and seemingly unstoppable decline across all areas of public life.”

    • Jays Some of our New Zealand participants in Indigenous Studies courses both here and off-shore do become radicalised, and possibly dangerous, due to stupidity, victim mentality, and greedy opportunism, amongst other things. At the time young Constable Matthew Hunt was tragically murdered during a routine traffic stop, I identified three, one of whom is a current MP, one who has since inexplicably been appointed to a possibly quite influential advisory position, and the third a female lawyer who seems to have since quietened down.

      This of course does not explain the DPMC ‘s dumping Prof Jackson, and even worse, his replacement, Kidman, appearing to me to be the complete antithesis of what this ridiculously-named VUW centre purports to be about.

  2. Nice article…it highlights a nasty side to the current Government, say no to qualify people, say yes to unqualify people (Matthew T), because it looks good.

  3. The ridiculous expression “culturally unsafe” says a lot about the state of this country, in particular the extent to which our brains have fallen out.

    • I find the inability to find a decent lancashire black pudding makes me feel ‘culturally unsafe’ and detached from my heritage….free blood sausage please….oh and while you’re at it buckshee haggis would be nice too.

      • You were using this example as sarcasm to belittle others but as a fan of black pudding I have to say that there are a range of producers of black pudding & haggis and I find it readily available in butchers, supermakets and specialist deli’s in Wellington. They are of course not free but nor are other foods.

        • but I haven’t found a lancashire style one with big lumps of white fat…if you know a source I’d be grateful.
          fraid NZ supermarket black pud is pretty much shite…and haven’t seen haggis in north island..maybe dunedin?

          my post didn’t denigrate anyone in fact the deliberately comedic nature was used to point out the ridiculousness of the concept

          • gagarin I’m a big fan of black pudding which falls in the category “super food” because it’s so good for you.
            Agree with your assessment of NZ black pudding.

    • Pope Punctilious 11. Prof Jackson looks like a white male to me. That’s enough to make him culturally unsafe.
      He could be hetero as well, not weight challenged, expertise in dispute resolution and so on, he had to go.

    • Pope Punctilious: so very true. NZ teeters on the edge of either being an international laughing stock or an ethno-nationalist hellhole. I’m not sure which is worse, really.

  4. What a depressingly familiar tale. We really seem to be going backwards as a country these days. People with nefarious intentions working hard to tears NZ’s social fabric apart and replace it with something akin to Apartheid South Africa.

    White supremacistL “we need to keep races apart and have our own racially pure systems” BAD, evil and RACIST

    Woke activists: “we need to keep races apart and have our own racially pure systems.” GOOD, equitable and empowering

    • @XXX That’s the political horseshoe theory in action. The objectives of Supremacy (right identitarianism) and Equity (left identitarianism) amount to much the same thing for ordinary people just for different reasons. The former makes no secret of it’s delusional intentions but is populated fringe nutcases. The latter requires intellectual gymnastics and denial to pretend what is so is not so. They have institutional influence.

      The vast vast majority want equality and remain in the centre wondering what the hell is going on.

  5. That the nations’ terrorism security relies on this. It’s as bad as he said/she said (plus any other variations)……

  6. Wait a minute. Are you really comparing any possible struggle by the indigenous population to preserve or reclaim the rights that they once enjoyed, and which were guaranteed them under the TOW, in their own country to the fascist extremism of white supremacist groups. Really? This is the kind of thinking that is used world wide to continue the colonial subjugation of indigenous people. Stand up for their native rights and get branded ethno nationalists. Try finding some te Reo quotes to sprinkle not the French ones that point to neo-colonialism.
    As to you Jay’s at least full marks for your willingness to so openly display your racism.

    • Factually incorrect Peter H.
      Equal rights as British citizens were guaranteed, not special rights and absolutely not co governance.

      What is being done in pushing co governance is completely against the wording of the TOW.

    • No comparison is necessary, or being made, Peter. Terrorism is terrorism.
      1/ the unlawful use of violence or threats to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or government, with the goal of furthering political, social, or ideological objectives.
      2/ the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism.
      3/ a terrorist method of governing or of resisting a government.
      4/ intimidation or coercion by instilling fear.
      It’s not, and never should be, the government’s job to condone or punish terrorism, or, come to that non violent expressions of dissent selectively. I’m not at all sure that this government understand the importance of that though.

    • I take it that Chris is suggesting there could be a right & wrong way to reclaim those rights. As he points out if a change in government replaces the current (inadequate?) measures to improve the position of indigenous people then it is possible that some of those people might want to take forceful action to protest. We have already seen the damage only 1 person could cause so his point is that any preconceived ideas in those charged with looking for problems could blind them to all the potential threats.
      I can not recall any racism in his previous articles & do not see that this article links the struggle to preserve or reclaim rights under the TOW to the fascist extremism of white supremacist groups so it appears that you have set up a straw man to justify your own view.

    • Hahahahahahaha your last sentence is too funny. Just reinforced why Jays post is so damn good. Good one Peter H for pulling the ‘boohoohoo you’re all racists’ card, try another trick. Here’s one for you: I want play for the Maori All Blacks but for some strange reason I can’t. They have their own race based team…how non inclusive and racist is that…when we should have only one NEW ZEALAND team. How about we start sorting that one right there?

    • @Peter H
      Do you think that most ordinary Maori are going to see any benefit from NZ’s social restructuring or does everything point towards embedding an elite strata that are entirely compatible with neoliberal corporatists?

      Woke is about leveraging off the plight of the working class for the benefit of the middle class (while setting the multiracial working class against one another). It’s similar to using racist beatings of working class black men by US police to get more middle class black people into Ivy league colleges.

      • Nailed it, Tui. I’d love to know how many Maaori will be lifted out of poverty by pushing maatauranga into the science curriculum, by giving everything Maaori co-chairs and “beautiful” Maaori names, by putting unelected tribal elites in charge. More to the point, how about more teacher aides in low decile schools, subsidized apprenticeships, teaching financial literacy at school, getting rid of GST and moving back to direct taxation.

        • @PPII Regarding who is served by pushing Mātauranga into the science curriculum (it’s fine to teach in another part of the curriculum). That was a key part of Professor Garth Cooper’s concern (Listener Letter).

          “Cooper worried about “young Māori scholars that would be the next Ross Ihaka basically missing out because they were told that science was a colonising influence of no interest to them.“ (Ross Ihaka a Māori is the mathematician who co-created the R open-source programming language)

          This is echoed in the bigotry of low expectations one common example of the ways in which Wokism is counterproductive to the very people it purports to support.

          As an example who or what identity politics truely serves (the ideology, not the identity group it champions), the Listener Letter led to Pakeha scientists like Siouxsie Wiles attempting to cancel Garth Cooper, a highly distinguished Māori scientist who has helped thousands of Māori in their careers over several decades.

          “how about more teacher aides in low decile schools, subsidized apprenticeships, teaching financial literacy at school, getting rid of GST and moving back to direct taxation.”

          Great idea, that would require pragmatic, hard work along with empathy for real people instead of an obsession with the dead, the nonexistent, and the stereotypical. It would also require competence, sadly it’s much easier to virtue signal and play the game of anti-politics where advancing anyone who is not male/cis/white/heterosexual feels highly progressive but does not challenge neoliberal power.

          • Tui it looks like you understand the dynamics of contemporary politics better than most of us.

            • Thanks PPII, I wouldn’t say that. I just happen to have been around people with Woke education and beliefs before Woke became mainstream culture.

          • Hope to see your opinion published elsewhere. It warrants sunlight and debate. Well written.

    • Peter H: “….preserve or reclaim the rights that they once enjoyed, and which were guaranteed them under the TOW…”

      I suggest that you reread the Treaty. Both the Maori language and the English language versions: what you see there is what you get. As KCCO points out, equal rights as British citizens. Co-governance/partnership/principles don’t get a mention. This was Queen Victoria, making a Treaty: do you seriously think she’d have countenanced the idea of partnership with any of her subjects? Not a chance: the so-called “principles” were a post facto attempt to freight meanings on to the Treaty that went far beyond what the text can bear, or the signatories could have imagined or intended. Geoff Palmer was largely responsible for that, in the 1980s.

      “Stand up for their native rights and get branded ethno nationalists.”

      Whether or not people wish to accept it, what’s been happening in NZ is ethno-nationalism, which is an aspect of fascism. It would be recognised by you-know-who, whose name can’t be mentioned, lest I be accused of going Godwin.

      The concept of fascism isn’t exhausted by white supremacism, you know. Those of us old enough to remember events in Africa will recognise some of this stuff. It reminds me of Robert Mugabe, and Idi Amin. You may be too young to remember what happened there – especially Uganda in the 1970s – but I surely am not. Things turned out very badly for all of the unfortunate citizens of those countries, regardless of their indigeneity.

      “Try finding some te Reo quotes to sprinkle not the French ones that point to neo-colonialism.”

      People use the quotes which are apposite, whatever language they come in. Talk of neo-colonialism is woke nonsense.

      “As to you Jay’s at least full marks for your willingness to so openly display your racism.”

      Please: enough with this tiresome and inaccurate characterisation of racism. Governments can be racist – the Maori electoral system, co-governance, eg – whereas what ordinary citizens think and say most certainly isn’t. Jays is giving a pretty fair description of the contemporary situation in NZ. That’s free speech in action. It has nothing to do with racism.

  7. Chris, this entire problem can be solved by hiring one of the Mahuta clan as a consultant.

    Preferably two.


  8. Unfortunately, it’s rather more straightforward than that. Unlike the stooges selected, Professor Jackson has a moral compass and has called out the top state sponsor of terrorism, and they just can’t be having that.

    The hateful islamophobic types who invented the looney-tunes ‘counter-jihad’ ideology that inspired the attacks in Norway and Christchurch by tricking stupid white people into thinking Islam is not just an enemy (it isn’t), but our greatest enemy (manifestly untrue) certainly don’t want a man as even handed as Jackson looking into them.

    • @John White, good find. Dropping Prof Jackson on fashionable but tenuous identitarian grounds could be a cover for multiple agendas. For example an individual calling balls and strikes without favour would be as embarrassing to the NZ foreign policy elite as it is a hindrance to domestic identitarians propagating a neoliberal version of Marcuse’s Repressive Tolerance.

      In addition if the people, media and political class had proportionate views on the threat of White Supremacy (fringe) and Militant Islamists (minimal) it would be much harder to maintain the whiplash effect of who to be scared of this week along with policies and tax payer funded ‘projects’ that fear expedites.

      • It’s really very unfortunate. I don’t seek to play down the danger posed by ‘white supremacist’ types- it’s a thoroughly immoral position- but if one compares the actual danger to human life that some skinhead bogan in Lower Hutt with a swastika on the top of his sik VN presents, to that which is posed by the official advocates for Palestinian genocide that MFAT works closely with, the Skrewdriver fan doesn’t even make it up onto the scales.

        • the thing about skrewdriver is they failed dismally as a punk band but found skinheads and their money are easily parted so made a career fleecing bone heads(in both senses)

    • John White: “Professor Jackson has a moral compass and has called out the top state sponsor of terrorism, and they just can’t be having that.”

      Thank you for that tweet. It all makes so much more sense now. This constitutes a far better explanation for the dropping of Jackson than any of that woke nonsense about biculturalism at Otago university. Obviously, the latter was just a figleaf.

  9. Another article examining the details is here if you haven’t read it yet:

    “ But this is where it gets really interesting. One of the members of the panel charged with selecting an appointee was Victoria University sociology professor Joanna Kidman. Yes, that Joanna Kidman – the same one who ended up being appointed to the job herself, as a co-director alongside Professor Paul Spoonley. Fancy that!”

    “ How did that happen? You might well ask. The way the Herald tells it, Jackson was originally chosen by the panel from a short list of six and interviewed twice. Then a decision was made to appoint two co-directors, and Kidman clearly decided she was eminently qualified for one of the roles herself (“Pick me! Pick me!”), at which point she withdrew from the selection panel and took no further part in any decisions. (Well, she could hardly do otherwise without making an even bigger mockery of what already looked like a grandiose display of government virtue-signalling.)

    A new panel was formed, and – hey presto! They chose Kidman. But we’re assured her appointment was subject to the same rigorous assessment as other applicants.”

    • Keepcalmcarryon. I don’t always agree with you, but you usually provide interesting perspectives, so I expect the extremists up at Victoria University could try and silence you, so thanks anyway. It’ll be much worse for the bona fide spy agencies with the sociologists bending everybody’s ears and being pesky amateurs with agendas, but it’s a mad mad world now, and here’s hoping that they don’t cause too much trouble, or go totally berserk about the World of Wearable Art or start decolonising too many libraries.

  10. Machiavellian – a name describing some of the devious things that humans do which will expand as their powers expand.

    Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (/ˌmækiəˈvɛli/, also US: /ˌmɑː-/;[6][7] Italian: [nikkoˈlɔ mmakjaˈvɛlli]; occassionally rendered Nicholas Machiavel (see below); 3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian diplomat, author, philosopher and historian who lived during the Renaissance. He is best known for his political treatise The Prince (Il Principe), written about 1513 but not published until 1532.[8] He has often been called the father of modern political philosophy and political science.[9]

  11. Machiavellian – a name describing devious things that humans do which will expand as their powers expand.

    Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (/ˌmækiəˈvɛli/, also US: /ˌmɑː-/;[6][7] Italian: [nikkoˈlɔ mmakjaˈvɛlli]; occassionally rendered Nicholas Machiavel (see below); 3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian diplomat, author, philosopher and historian who lived during the Renaissance. He is best known for his political treatise The Prince (Il Principe), written about 1513 but not published until 1532.[8] He has often been called the father of modern political philosophy and political science.[9]

  12. Pete…..Is Jay displaying racism or realism…Or anyone criticising Māori……Are Māori now beyond criticism…..Could you please explain to me Pete how to criticise a wrong doing by a person of Māori decent without be called a racist…..I know how to criticise a white heterosexual male…that’s easy …everyone knows that…I think it’s important to follow protocol…..

  13. If the selection process for the position of Co-Director of He Whenua Taurikua is as described in the blog, then Prof Richard Jackson appears to have very good grounds for legally challenging the outcome.

    In my experience recruitment and selection processes are required to be fair, unbiased and based on selecting the candidate who is considered to be the best applicant for the job. Apparently Jackson was that candidate until this highly irregular intervention happened at the very last moment.

    For the overseers of this particular selection process to introduce an unsigned document making various insinuations about Jackson, which presumably have not been investigated, at the last minute, tells me that the process is neither fair nor unbiased, and is probably illegal.

    I’d say he’d have a pretty good case, if he was so inclined to pursue it.

    • Gran: “recruitment and selection processes are required to be fair, unbiased and based on selecting the candidate who is considered to be the best applicant for the job”

      Fair and unbiased? That’s all old school thinking, an expression of “caucasity” as Waititi would have it. Welcome to Jacinda’s Brave New World.

      • You’re right David. My thinking is old school thinking. I’ll have to be reprogrammed so that I can keep up with Jacinda’s (ala Hipkins) ‘podium of truth’ style pronouncements.

        Like I must remember that ‘there is no crisis in New Zealand’ ; there’s only calm serenity and stardust and kindness.

        But back to the issue at hand; I’m disappointed in Spoonley. I credited him with a lot more integrity than what he appears to be demonstrating in this situation.

    • Actually, as an ex HR Manager, I have been wondering that myself for a while now. Employment law is based on the concepts of direct and indirect discrimination. Everything nowadays tramples on that fundamental. (Even Green Party leadership requirements) but nobody seems to do anything about it. I am not familiar with the human rights act but I would think many of these things contravene that as well but no-one seems to comment on it. Even the labour party constitution was based on it.

      I think it is now part of the culture and become done so much, most people give up without a fuss. And for those who dont, it ends up in a settlement, probably not even a very high one as the encumbent will be told, “you dont have deep enough pockets, lets get what we can”.

      • I must admit I wish someone would sue their employer for being suspended/sacked on the strength of mere allegation

    • Grantoc: “…Prof Richard Jackson appears to have very good grounds for legally challenging the outcome.”

      I agree. I hope that a) he has engaged a competent lawyer, and b) said lawyer has so advised him.

      “…..this highly irregular intervention happened at the very last moment.”

      This stinks to high heaven. How on earth could anyone in NZ still have faith in the integrity of the DPMC’s decisions?

      Actually, absent the tweet John White has posted on this thread, that decision makes no sense at all. But now we know: a couple of sociologists – one superannuated, the other an abusive, woke activist, are considered by NZ’s actual masters to be a safer bet than a man with a moral compass.

  14. More concerning is Prof. Kidman who was on the hiring panel and then suddenly decides to apply for the job herself, and low and behold she is appointed! Disgusting!

    Her public views are horrifying and bullying and clearly a very poor appointment – made even worse as she was in a position of power appointing the panel, then appointed herself.

    Ummmm, isn’t Professor Joanne Kidman the worst person to appoint to an extremism taskforce?

    Too much of this divisive race based woke which does not represent Maori or Pakeha views and just an individual view, being claimed to represent an entire race. The divisive race woke are the biggest problem, undermining those doing much better race resolution work.

    Elizabeth Rata: The Decolonisation of Education in New Zealand

    Note upon hearing these contrary views, the woke set out to undermine and Stuff sent out a story which was then misleading and the media council ruled it as such including against accuracy from Siouxsie Wiles.

    Extract from Media Council who upheld the complaints against Stuff on this issue.

    “10. The six complainants have cited: Principle 1, accuracy, fairness and balance; and Principle 4 Comment and Fact. Principle 1 says: “Publications should be bound at all times by accuracy, fairness and balance, and should not deliberately mislead or misinform readers by commission or omission.” Principle 4 says “Material facts on which an opinion is based should be accurate.”

    11. The complainants complained about the statement “Astonishingly, some are now intimidating junior colleagues with lawyer’s letters”. They see it as a “serious and completely inaccurate” allegation which has harmed university relationships and “seriously damaged our reputations”. The Council agrees that the statement was inaccurate. It appears plain that none of the named Professors were involved in intimidating junior colleagues with lawyer’s letters.

    12. It is also of the view that this is a most serious allegation to make, striking at the heart of academic freedom by asserting that the Professors were trying to stifle opposing views using lawyers’ threats. It required immediate public correction.

    13. A number of surrounding circumstances have been considered by the Council. The incident took place over the New Zealand Christmas/New Year shutdown and dealing with the complaint was affected by that. However, the 24-hour news cycle continued during the holiday period and the article was readily accessible on-line. The Council considers that publications need to be able to deal with complaints, and make corrections at any time, especially where a key factual error has been made. In this case the error was damaging to the complainants’ professional standing and reputation.

    14. A further consideration is the effectiveness of the correction made on 31 December. By then Stuff was aware of the error. The correction was less than clear and could have been read to imply that the complainants were responsible for the lawyer’s letters, even if sent by the university. It should have said plainly that the statement in the article was wrong, and that the Professors did not send out such letters or ask for them to be sent. The Council considers that it was reasonable for Professor Clements and the other complainants to be dissatisfied with this explanation. A simple factual error had been made, Stuff was aware of that, and an unambiguous correction could and should have been made at that time (or earlier).

    15. Although Stuff reacted reasonably promptly by adding clarifications, their first 31 December ‘adjustment’ did not clearly correct the fundamental error of fact. The professors had not sent lawyer’s letters to junior staff and Stuff was aware of that by 31 December. Although it was an opinion piece, the inaccuracy was serious and plain. Immediate and clear correction could have cured it under Principle 12 of the Principles, but as we have set out that did not happen.

    16. The complaint is upheld under Principle 1.

    17. Principle 4 also deals with accuracy – material facts on which an opinion is based should be accurate. A key material fact on which Associate Professor Siouxsie Wiles’ opinion column was based was incorrect viz: “The reason I got involved is because…. some are now intimidating junior colleagues with lawyer’s letters”. The inaccurate statement remained on Stuff from 20 December to 5 January. This is in our view an unnecessarily long delay before making an unambiguous correction to an inaccurate and significantly damaging statement about the six complainants.

    18. The Council also upholds the complaint under Principle 4.

    19. The Council notes that the complaint could also be upheld under Principle 12, relating to failure to adequately correct, even though the complainants did not cite this ground for their complaint. However, the Council determined to set aside this particular procedural ground in the light of the substantive upholds on Principles 1 and 4.”

  15. Not the only misleading race based lies making their way into the courts and appointments and destroying people’s lives (of both races).

    What happened to ‘Moana’ was abuse at the hands of Oranga Tamariki

    Oranga Tamariki’s Critical Race Theory in all its ugliness

  16. PM’s terrorism, extremism expert Prof Richard Jackson hired then dropped

    “Jackson was invited for a second interview on November 23, the same date the panel and DPMC had decided to shift the role to one with co-directors. The OIA material showed Jackson was told this and agreed to it at the second interview.

    Then, on December 17, Kidman expressed an interest in the job herself. She applied on January 20. The DPMC summary of events provided to the Herald said: “Once her application was received, she was immediately removed from the selection panel and played no further part in any selection decisions.”

  17. What is missing is the idea of gaming systems. There seems to be an assumption that those who expound causes of different kinds are always sincere, whether sincerely right or sincerely wrong. But everything can and will be gamed to by some to further personal agendas. One of the saddest outcomes can be attacking legitimate causes as if the cause were the problem.

    At the same time, on the other side, such instances are often used by those who were always opposed to the cause\issue\identity itself to claim ”evidence” of its inherent wrongness.

    Gaming on all sides, and the problem of disingenuous players within tribes, causes etc. And the informational mess they cause by covertly pushing personal agendas within them.

  18. Yeah. He’s been kneecapped by the Weimar Wellington Wokester Marxist Republic.

    So who is the new pretender in line to the throne of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment office in the Ministers Office of the DPMC?

  19. The obvious question when setting up an ideologically led task force is what happens when the tides of fashionable culture politics change, facilitated by say a National/ACT coalition?

    • indeed tui fashionable attitudes are by their nature transitory, I put up eugenics as the example…everyone subscribed now no one does indeed the very name is a slur.

      • @Gagarin – One of many remarkable things about Wokism is that it has a talent for making really bad ideas respectable again.

        Wokism has reinvigorated racism and calls it anti-racism, as Kendi says ”
        The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”
        (Where ‘proof’ of racist discrimination is taken as unequal outcomes between racial groups, a very narrowly defined equity measure. Antiracist discrimination is racial discrimination that is “punching up” in the racial totem, and therefore is not racist, a deliberate equivocation).

        Woke have also reintroduced racial segregation but call it safe spaces or privilege tax. As for eugenics, I wouldn’t bet against that making a return either, I thought this was a spoof abstract but it appears genuine.

        And another although the references to how “economic rewards accrue” are naive.

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