The man masquerading as the guardian of New Zealanders’ human rights has weighed in, from his Olympian heights, on the Posie Parker affair.
As usual, Paul Hunt’s opinion is worthless and leaves us wondering once again what we did to deserve this third-rate British import and how much longer we should be expected to put up with him.
The chief human rights commissioner writes, as if we all eagerly awaited his insights, that he wants to provide a human rights perspective on the issues raised by Parker’s visit. He adds, in Uriah Heep fashion, that he does this “from where I sit with my multiple privileges and advantages”.
Oh, please. Breast-beating liberal white guilt has rarely been more cringingly displayed. We can only hope his $365,000 salary eases the pain.
Hunt wrings his hands over the scenes that forced Parker to abandon her rally in Auckland last weekend but conspicuously refuses to condemn outright the behaviour of the mob that assaulted her, harassed her and shouted her down.
He gives away his bias in his very first sentence by revealing he attended the rally because he wanted to show support for his “trans friends”. Ingratiating himself with the wokerati is more important to Hunt than demonstrating the impartiality we’re entitled to expect from a senior public servant. Clearly, it’s also more important than standing up for free speech.
Hunt doesn’t just pass up the opportunity to emphatically defend free speech; he effectively aligns himself with its enemies.
At one point he pays token lip service to freedom of expression, acknowledging that it’s “a vital pillar of our democracy”. But he negates that in his very next sentence by quoting the late radical Maori lawyer Moana Jackson, who said “No one’s exercise of free speech should make another feel less free”.
So free speech is okay just as long as it doesn’t make anyone feel bad? That’s a novel new take. If the elected representatives who make New Zealand law took that view, they would have written it into the Bill of Rights Act, Section 14 of which unequivocally guarantees freedom to “seek, receive and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form”.
Nothing about making exceptions for injured feelings there, but apparently the chief commissioner of human rights thinks we should regard Moana Jackson, rather than the New Zealand Parliament, as the ultimate authority. That's a very peculiar position for a senior public servant to take.
Hunt goes on to remind us of a supposed link between transphobia and colonisation. He quotes Tina Ngata, another radical activist, as saying “Transphobia was brought here on a boat”.
No one who approvingly cites such palpably absurd extremist rhetoric can expect to be taken seriously on anything. That whooshing sound you just heard was Hunt launching himself in the direction of Planet Woke, which orbits in a distant ideological universe no one realised existed. Tina Ngata is probably already there.
You have to persevere well into Hunt’s piece before he grudgingly acknowledges that Parker was entitled to share her views without being assaulted or shouted down. But you have to wonder at the sincerity of his position, given that he’s spent the preceding few paragraphs effectively excusing the behaviour of the Albert Park mob on the grounds that trans people have historically been oppressed and brutalised. (Really?)
Even then Hunt can’t bring himself to condemn the bullies. It turns out he believes it was the responsibility of the state to ensure Parker could speak safely. Not a word about the protesters’ violent disregard for her rights. It was all the fault of the police.
It’s a rambling, irrational and contradictory article that in the end, dissolves in a morass of meaningless woke-speak.
Meanwhile, we read that the Human Rights Commission has received more than 90 complaints about Marama Davidson’s deranged claim that cis white men are responsible for the world’s violence. We’re still waiting for a journalist to ask Davidson whether she categorises New Zealand gang wars (to take just one example) as non-violent, given that the participants are nearly all non-white. But then she’s so fixated by retributionist ideology that she’s beyond reason.
As for those complaints, expect them to be buried for as long as it takes for the commission’s dissemblers and apologists to find a reason, no matter how spurious, to dismiss them.
Hunt, of course, has been silent on Davidson’s explicitly racist outburst, as he always is when it’s the woke Left inciting ill-will and division.
Is he New Zealand’s most useless public servant? It’s a crowded field, but I think he has that title safely in the bag.