Cake makers and fascists

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 am, July 10th, 2018 - 412 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, gay rights, human rights, religion - Tags:

gay cake

So we have our very own homophobic cake maker. From Gay Express:

The Warkworth based cake maker Kath’s Devine Cakes says that she must “follow the integrity of my heart and beliefs” in refusing service to the couple.

A Warkworth cake maker has refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because of her opposition to same-sex marriage.

In a screenshot published on Facebook, Kath from Kath’s Devine Cakes tells the couple that she will not be making any wedding cakes for their impending nuptials saying that despite the fact that “our government has legalised same-sex marriages” it is “not my belief that this correct.”

In an email to the couple, Kath says that she does “not wish to offend either of you and I thank you for letting me know that it is a same-sex wedding. Even though as individuals you are both fabulous and amazing people, I must follow the integrity of my heart and beliefs.”

Here is the email:

The case neatly crashes in time into the case involving Lauren Southern and her desire to visit New Zealand and talk to us about how all forms of language should be free, even monetised hate speech.

And it reinforces how “freedom” is used by elements of the right to justify their behaviour. Why shouldn’t a cake maker exercise their freedom to make cakes but be choosy about who they make them for? Can’t she make cakes for who she wants to?  And why shouldn’t a fascist have the freedom to travel to New Zealand and use our civic buildings to broadcast her hate speech?

And what about her freedom to practice her religion?  As pointed out by lawyer Steve Cullen section 15 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act may provide her with some protection.  A similar case in the United States was decided in favour of the cake maker on the grounds that religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and may be in certain circumstances protected forms of expression.

So something slightly different. I am not going to express an opinion. Well no more than I have already.  But I invite you to say if the cake maker is in the right or in the wrong.

But a request to you all. Keep your comments civil. Rely on principle. Argue your point and listen to and acknowledge the views of others.

Ready set …

412 comments on “Cake makers and fascists ”

  1. arkie 1

    The cake-maker is wrong

    Even Jordan Peterson finally understands this.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      Finally I had to crack and watch this Jordan Peterson fellow you keep linking to. Interesting how much clickbait is created around him, so clearly something is going on. The ones you put up yesterday were selective silliness, and today it’s more of the same.

      His reaction looked completely reasonable and sane; it’s one of those ethical conundrums which lies on the boundary of a number of considerations. Most of the more radical identity politics types here will firmly side with the couple as an oppressed minority (the has to be an intersection in there somewhere I guess), and will clearly want to uphold their right to a wedding cake.

      (As an aside you have to wonder how they would hang if the deal was reversed, a lesbian cake maker refusing to make cakes for white hetro couples … but I digress.)

      On the other hand there was an identical issue that arose a few weeks ago when a restaurant in Washington refused to serve Sanders-Hukerbee. Most people here thought that a wonderful idea, clearly in that instance everyone identified with the owner of the shop making a stand on their personal principles; it’s way too easy to let our preconceptions overrule principle.

      It also aligns closely with the free speech debate, and it’s not hard to imagine how someone genuinely unimpressed with same-sex marriage may well not want to be compelled to participate.

      There is a very real conflict of rights, responsibilities and values going on in this modest little affair; and Mr Peterson’s response rightly reflected that complexity. But on balance the correct answer falls on the side of the couple. Freedom of speech is not the same as freedom of action. To flatly turn them away turns a belief into an action that is clearly discriminatory. It withholds a commercial service that everyone else would normally have the right to access.

      It might have be acceptable for the cake maker to politely express her genuine misgivings and then ask if the couple really wanted to use her services, given they probably had a choice of others. Considering the relatively personal nature of wedding cakes (we’re not selling cans of bake beans here) … this would have respected everyone’s right to choose in an even-handed manner.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        As an aside you have to wonder how they would hang if the deal was reversed, a lesbian cake maker refusing to make cakes for white hetro couples

        1. She wouldn’t have a business as there wouldn’t be enough customers to maintain scale
        2. It would still be wrong

        On the other hand there was an identical issue that arose a few weeks ago when a restaurant in Washington refused to serve Sanders-Hukerbee.

        It wasn’t identical at all. Sanders-Hukerbee was a member of the US Administration and her actions affected millions of people. A person being gay affects no one but themselves.

        Most people here thought that a wonderful idea, clearly in that instance everyone identified with the owner of the shop making a stand on their personal principles;

        In that case it was standing on principle to try and prevent worse action, to tell that one person in the Administration that they were not acting in their name. An important point. As a single point it probably wouldn’t make any difference to the Administration but as a rallying cry to others of the same mind it would help galvanise them to change that Administration and maybe bring some rational action back.

        • RedLogix

          She wouldn’t have a business as there wouldn’t be enough customers to maintain scale

          That was obvious, but nonetheless is demonstrates that the principle is independent of whether minority group may or may not be involved.

          As for Sarah Huckabee, the same now applies. All of us here deplore the Trump, but he remains POTUS, a lot of Americans voted for him and still support him. (I’ve met more than a few this year working in various major project sites; and if you listen you learn a fair bit about why.)

          As I said at the time; maybe we can tolerate a handful of such protests, but imagine if every bar, diner and restaurant in the USA finished up with “No Dims” or “No Repugs” signs on the sidewalk. Suddenly your fine little protest looks very ugly indeed.

          • Draco T Bastard

            As I said at the time; maybe we can tolerate a handful of such protests, but imagine if every bar, diner and restaurant in the USA finished up with “No Dims” or “No Repugs” signs on the sidewalk.

            She wasn’t thrown out because she was a repug though – she was thrown out because she is part of an Administration that is abusing people.

            • RedLogix

              You still don’t get it. You’d be totally appalled if it was Republican supporters denying service to a Democrat staffer … for purely political reasons.

              I deplore Trump as much as you, but absolutely you do not get to use YOUR political values and beliefs as a cover for discrimination or worse. Because the moment you do, you have zero defense against people who oppose you and WILL use your own tactics against you.

              • Draco T Bastard

                You’d be totally appalled if it was Republican supporters denying service to a Democrat staffer … for purely political reasons.

                If the Democrat was part of an Admin doing the same BS that the present US admin is doing – no I wouldn’t.

                Thing is – I can see the Democrats doing it as they’re as right-wing as the Repugs.

                • RedLogix

                  I beg to disagree. Most people are incredibly tribal in their loyalties, and it utterly blinds them. I see it here repeatedly, even though when challenged everyone denies it. Even as you have just done.

                  Go back and look at the Sanders-Huckabee thread, the general mood was of gleeful gloating … hardly anyone picked up on the basic notion that the act was fundamentally discriminatory.

                  Today when the tables are turned, and it’s lesbian’s being discriminated against … everyone instantly spots the problem.

      • Visubversa 1.1.2

        Sanders Huckabee was asked to leave because of what she had done – not who she was. Judged by her character.

        • Richard

          The shop owner was perfectly within her rights to ask Huckabee to leave. The critical issues here are freedom of association and private property rights.

    • Nick K 1.2

      Phil Goff was wrong too.

  2. Ad 2

    Two posts in two days around the 300 comments mark.

    Top work Mickey on the human rights front.

    C’mon team let’s start an argument about gays and cakes.

    Let’s go for another 300.

    • Andy 2.1

      There isn’t much else happening right now. UK govt on brink of collapse etc.

      Agreed, let’s talk about gay cakes

  3. infused 3

    Private business.

    A case just went by in the US over exactly the same thing. The Bakery ended up winning.

    Just move on and go somewhere else – I don’t get why there is outrage. Why would you want to get a cake from someone who clearly doesn’t want to make it for you.

    • mickysavage 3.1

      What about the black person who is refused service in a restaurant because the owner believes that the white race is superior? Same principle?

      • marty mars 3.1.1

        Racial profiling happens hourly in this country. Try walking around a shop if you’re a person of colour. Many of these innocent people are refused service by others only they do it subtlety. If they grossly did it they’d be on the news and their hatred and disgusting views would be exposed and that would destroy their bullshit persona and standing in their community – but not within their church.

      • Babayaga 3.1.2

        Being black is not a choice. Getting married is.

        • arkie

          Being gay isn’t a choice. Running a cake shop is.

          • Babayaga

            Getting married is a choice. So is which cake shop you buy your cake from.

            • mickysavage

              So discrimination on the basis of colour is a no no but discrimination on the basis of sexual preference is ok?

              • Richard

                Private discrimination is OK, as people have the freedom to associate – or not associate – with whomever they like. Forcing a person to bake a cake for someone else is akin to slavery.

              • Babayaga

                Getting married is a choice. Using that specific cake maker over others is a choice. As for discrimination, happens every day. Your position discriminated against the free association of a private business.

      • infused 3.1.3

        yeah, point out an example of that eh?

        fact is, many churches still refuse to marry same-sex couples.

        This would be an interesting one to go to court.

        • Visubversa

          Churches are private organisations and have members. Bakeries are businesses and have customers.

        • Babayaga

          Churches have an exemption as long as their lead denomination has the exemption. That is what was promised when the SSM law was being debated.

      • Sabine 3.1.4

        try walking in a supermarket while brown with a hoody.

        there is quite a few people in this country that think that the most mediocre white ass is better then any brown/black person.

        you need to get out more.

      • Andy 3.1.5

        It’s not the same principle because not serving a person an existing product is clear discrimination

        In this case, the baker was asked to make a bespoke product that didn’t exist yet.
        This was the argument (approx) used by the US Supreme Court

    • arkie 3.2

      The Human Rights Act 1993 also clearly outlines that the cake-maker is breaking discrimination laws.

      If the cake-maker had not given a reason for refusal of service then it wouldn’t break the law.

    • Siobhan 3.3

      I actually agree, I wouldn’t want someone who hates me making my wedding cake.

      But, the thing is, why didn’t the cake maker just say “Sorry, booked up”. Then their beliefs would be left undented, and the couple could go on happily and find another cake maker. No one would be any the wiser.

      The need to basically spell out “Sorry I won’t make your cake because believing you are going to Hell is a vitally important part of my spiritual being” seems very selfish and darn right nasty.

      And if they do have such hard held beliefs then this publicity is good, they can lie in bed at night knowing no ‘Gays’ are going to order their cakes for any occasion, thereby inadvertently smearing their own pristine souls with ‘The Gay’.

      And lastly, I guess the World now knows we aren’t a big open minded all embracing country. We do in fact have a bible belt running through some of our prettiest Auckland countryside.

      • Babayaga 3.3.1

        There is no evidence the cake maker hates anyone. But feel free to feed the hysteria.

        • arkie

          The cake-maker does not need to hate to have discriminated illegally. A law has been broken.

          • Babayaga

            But Siobhan specifically applied the word hate.

            • Siobhan

              Okay, I do take that back, not ‘hate’, just a deep aversion to contributing to someone else’s (presumed) surefire one way ticket to Hell.

              But with done with a big dose of Christian love and, erm aceptance.

              • Babayaga

                Keep digging. Where does it say the cake shop owner has said gays will go to hell?

                • Andy

                  Nowhere, and the Bible is pretty thin gruel in the “hate gays” bit, at least in the NT

                  The issue for the Christian in this case is the definition of marriage, not being anti-gay

        • Draco T Bastard

          There is no evidence the cake maker hates anyone.

          Yeah there is. Her beliefs tell her that being gay is wrong and so she discriminates against them. That discrimination is an act of hate.

          • Blazer

            Pretty long bow to call this hate…’ “not wish to offend either of you and I thank you for letting me know that it is a same-sex wedding. Even though as individuals you are both fabulous and amazing people, I must follow the integrity of my heart and beliefs.”

            • Draco T Bastard

              It was the act that made it hate. The nice words used to explain that hate doesn’t make it any less an act of hate.

              • Andy

                “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

                Luke 15:7

                Not too much hate in evidence in that passage

          • Gosman

            I love how you seem to be a self appointed expert on what is and isn’t hate speech Draco 🙂

          • Babayaga

            You are very confused. A person can believe all sorts of things without hating a person. I believe the man who attacked me after a road rage incident was wrong, and I believe they should face the consequences of their actions, but I don’t hate him.

          • Babayaga

            Your beliefs say her beliefs are wrong. Stop judging.

          • mikes

            She doesn’t believe in gay marriage, the same as large numbers of the population. That doesn’t mean she hates gay people, in fact she called the lesbians “fabulous and amazing people”

            She isn’t discriminating against them because they are lesbians, in fact she is not discriminating against them. She has a problem with same sex marriage, not lesbians. If the same two lesbians had ordered a birthday cake then I’m sure they would have got one.

            The cake maker simply refused to provide a service and product because she didn’t want her product or name to be involved in a ceremony she is against and believes is wrong. You can’t force people in this sort of scenario to do something that they strongly oppose doing, that would be tyrannical.

            Why should she have to change her principles and beliefs to suit other people who seem to think that just because they are doing something they believe in that everyone else should be forced to see it their way too?

            Regardless, if most of the population think the cake maker is in the wrong they should not purchase her services / products and she would go out of business, which some on here would describe as some sort of justice. That won’t happen though because I suspect that most people simply couldn’t care less about non-issues such as this one.

            Ridiculous article from an author who thinks that anyone who has differing opinions and ideas to his shouldn’t be allowed to speak. He describes Lauren Southern as a hate speech peddling fascist, which is quite clearly a viewpoint formed by ignorance and a willful lack of knowledge about Lauren Southern. The author is probably so far removed from reality that he doesn’t even notice that he is the one exhibiting fascist type behaviour.

      • RedLogix 3.3.2

        Or better still, if the cake maker had expressed their view: “Because of my strong views on same sex marriage, I would prefer not to offer my services to you. In turn you may well prefer to have your wedding cake (an item of some social significance) made by someone else who can whole-heartedly support your union. If however you insist on using my services, human rights law is clear that I am compelled to deliver in good faith.”

        Something along those lines would have been clear and honest. Everyone would have known exactly where they stood and would have been free to act accordingly.

  4. Cinny 4

    Miss 13 and I were talking about this yesterday.

    We believe that love is love it knows no gender or race and we need more love in the world. Religions and their followers should support love, after all they preach that god is love.

    Well done to the loving couple for their honesty with the baker, but then again they should not have to hide their love, not in NZ, not in 2018.

    When it comes to the cake, she did write a very polite note explaining why she didn’t want to bake the cake.

    We wondered if it would have been worse if she had made the cake and done a horrid job on it because she’s not supportive of same-sex marriage etc.

    Side note… I changed Dr’s about 8 years ago because my Dr was Catholic and refused to prescribe me any kind of contraception. Was livid about that at the time.

    If people are going to use their religious views to dictate to or pick and choose customers/clients, they should put a big disclosure notice on their shop window, shop counter and on their website.

    Should be illegal to discriminate against love in the first place.

    • patricia bremner 4.1

      Having a gay member in our family, this situation rankled with me at first.
      Then I thought why doesn’t that couple ask for recommendations from others.
      They were unlucky to strike this and would be within their rights to “out” this baker on facebook under their satisfaction ratings, as homophobic.
      I agree with you Cinny, those serving the public should have to put up a disclaimer to save problems, and love, a scarce commodity should be celebrated.
      I bet they make cakes for pets!! LOL Just silly.

    • mikes 4.2

      “If people are going to use their religious views to dictate to or pick and choose customers/clients,…”

      The sense of entitlement you display is astonishing. As a Catholic doctor, he’s not dictating to you. You simply requested a product which he doesn’t stock and then completely over reacted when you found out he doesn’t stock that product.

      If you’ve been going to the same grocery store for ages because the service is good and the staff friendly, then one day you find out they don’t stock a particular product you want, do you then throw a wobbly, storm out and never shop at that store again?

      If you do, then it would appear that not selling the product you want is not the main reason you’re upset. Instead, sounds more likely you’re prejudiced against religious people. In fact, reading the statement of yours I’ve quoted below, it definitely sounds more likely that you’re prejudiced against religious people.

      “…they should put a big disclosure notice on their shop window, shop counter and on their website….”
      – Yeah, maybe instead of a disclosure notice, they could just put an easily recognizable symbol in their shop window…Maybe something like a big yellow star of David, so people like you know to boycott their business…..

      Good to see you thought that one through…

  5. JessNZ 5

    Right, wrong, such wobbly words! But “No homosexuals served” must be added to all store advertising, to be ethical and honest. Just like the old days when those OTHER folks sometimes didn’t know their place, you know?

    Then the free market will decide…

    • Cinny 5.1

      Nah, I was thinking more along the lines of a sign that reads….

      “Store owner brainwashed by religious propaganda”

    • Gosman 5.2

      What is wrong with just using the power of social media and the like?

      • JessNZ 5.2.1

        Nothing wrong at all. The store’s FB page and social media posts should definitely include the truth about their ethics, so everybody can choose when they shop, not retrospectively. Honesty is ethical, and I’m sure the word will spread.

        There will be plenty of folks who will probably go to them specially so they know there won’t be any gay in their cake. Will that be outweighed by those repulsed by bigotry? Again, the market will decide…

        (Oh, do you think maybe it’s not fair to make them DECLARE they are contravening human rights? 🙂 )

    • Bill 5.3

      So, hang on. You’re in favour of forcing people to identify themselves or their world view because holocaust? And (presumably) on the grounds that you think the discrimination meted out to Jews in 30s Germany was wrong?

      Wow. 😯

      • JessNZ 5.3.1

        LOLOL While a PERSONAL ‘truth in advertising’ law might be really useful, especially around here, no, that wasn’t in the least what I was suggesting. Reread from start.

        • Bill

          Oops, aye. My bad. But then, segregation only works from a position of power. Otherwise it becomes ghettoisation.

          You want a minority to mark themselves out by the believes or views they hold, and you’re mentioning Jim Crow as an aside, not the discrimination of Jews.

          So I bounced off a mistaken reference point, but that doesn’t really make any difference to what my previous comment was sign-posting by way of consequence.

    • mikes 5.4

      You haven’t understood what’s happened here at all. She’s not refusing to make a cake for them because they’re lesbians, she’s refusing to support same sex marriage. If they wanted a cake for a birthday or some other occasion I’m sure she would have been happy to make it for them, regardless of the fact that they are lesbians.

      Personally, I think that most beliefs (such as the stance the cake maker is taking) stemming from organized religion are a crock, but each to their own.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    The rejection letter was polite and respectful. Nothing at all like the insults and epithets that flow from the mouths of Southern and Molyneux. Tone, empathy and respect is important. The greatest asset we have in New Zealand is goodwill between our people and enough collective common sense not to get hung up on an American style culture war with an atomised society of hard scrabble uber-individualists screeching at each other across the barricades. I am sure there are other cake makers out there.

    As for S&M (Southern and Molyneux), tone, empathy and respect is what is completely absent from their discourse. I suggest people go and read the nonsense Chris Trotter has posted on the topic. He seems to believe that S&M deserve a hearing. He posits the fanciful idea of them respectfully debating with the Islamic society of NZ. With that, Trotter reveals he completely fails to comprehend the nature of the enemy. It is impossible to “debate” with agent provocateurs who carve an online living by trading in sensationalist insults, a lack of common decency and plain old fashioned racism. This pair are not interested in courteous debate. They just want the biggest possible audience to stir up trouble. They are nothing but rude troublemakers and we don’t want them here. they offer nothing to any debate about anything. We don’t need any more leaching of the tone and disrespect characteristic of the Trumpian proto-fascism into our public discourse.

    Given that they can’t even get visas for the UK or Australia, I would have thought Mr. Trotter would have had more regard for his reputation by being more selective as which battles he choose to fight and, looking at the list of people who make up his newly minted and grandiloquently styled “free speech coalition,” his friends with a great deal more care.

    Who have we got on this free speech coalition? Well, there is the traitor Michael Bassett, the unreconstructed technocrat neoliberal and racist Don Brash the plain nasty Stephen Franks, the completely bonkers libertarian Lindsay Perigo and Mr. duplicity himself Jordan Williams. Nice company to keep, especially if you value you left wing credentials. Not.

  7. marty mars 7

    Bigotry is bigotry and when fundamentalism enters then we get very toxic attitudes. I don’t think they can be changed – people’s lives are def8ned and given value and worth by their fundamentalism – some pinko lefties won’t change that.

    I’d let the cake owner do whatever even refuse to bake. Then wide media coverage, drop in business, bye bye. Obviously other fundies may flock to the shop but not for long after all they are all married already and will never cheated and commit adultery so they’ll never need a cake.

  8. Blazer 8

    So why did the wedding couple feel the need to state their sexuality to a cake maker?
    ‘I’d like to order a wedding cake for….’
    I notice in the U.K a number of alternative couples seem to approach motels,hotels and other business’ almost in anticipation of creating controvosy.
    Looks like a tactic and an unwelcome one.

    • mickysavage 8.1

      Perhaps they wanted two brides on the cake? Perfectly normal request.

      • Blazer 8.1.1

        Maybe they did,or maybe they didn’t.Reeks of manufacturing outrage imo.Plenty of cakemakers out there.

        • JessNZ

          So why did the cakemaker feel the need to refuse service outright spelling out their human rights violation? Plenty of other time-honoured excuse options out there.

          Reeks of manufactured outrage and an agenda for publicity. Perhaps they noticed the recent case in the US supporting a baker who similarly refused service to gays?

        • mickysavage

          If a cake maker refused to serve me because I was an Irish Catholic I would also feel aggrieved.

          • mikes

            And if you happened to also be Cinny’s ex doctor, Cinny would feel aggrieved because you wouldn’t sell her contraception….

          • Matthew Flannagan


            “If a cake maker refused to serve me because I was an Irish Catholic I would also feel aggrieved.”
            Agreed, but suppose his refusal wasn’t based on the fact you were Catholic.

            Suppose instead let’s say he regularly served Catholic’s drinks in his store but refused to supply the local Cathedral with wine for the mass because he had a typical protestant objection to transubstantiation? Would you feel aggrieved then?

            Or suppose a Jew serves Christians birthday cakes and cards, and wrapping paper and so forth but won’t sell Christmas cards or do Christmas wrapping because he doesn’t support a Christian festival which is based on celebrating the birth of the Messiah and he a Jew thinks Jesus isn’t the Messiah?

            It seems to me there is an important difference between refusing to serve someone because they have a different religion to you, and being willing to serve anyone but reserving the right to not cater to particular religious rituals, rites, or ceremonies.

      • Gosman 8.1.2

        The counter to this would be should a Jewish baker be forced to make a cake with a Swastika on it for a neo-Nazi couple.

        • koreropono

          There’s a marked difference between a gay couple and a neo-nazi couple wanting a swastika and you know it!

          Being gay in and of itself does not spread intolerance and hate. Neo-nazism on the other hand spreads intolerance and hate. Big difference between being gay and being a fascist racist hater.

          • marty mars

            I’m not sure that gossy does know that actually.

          • Babayaga

            “Being gay in and of itself does not spread intolerance and hate.“

            Oh the irony!! You do realise the intolerance and hate being directed here toward the cake maker?

            • koreropono

              No, the intolerance is directed at the discriminatory behaviour of the cake maker not the cake maker as a person for any of her innate qualities. I have not read other comments, but for my own, I am not sure where you will find any comments that intend to incite ‘hate’ toward the cake maker. Your ‘pot calling the kettle black’ claim is weak at best.

              • Babayaga

                labelling the cake maker as a hater? Perhaps you should have read other comments before responding to a post about other comments!!!

                • koreropono

                  It would be great if you could quote where I specifically called the cake maker a ‘hater’ and if I did call her a ‘hater’ (which I didn’t) how is that inciting hate? Babygaga perhaps you should take your own advice about reading comments before commenting, in this case try reading properly before commenting.

                  • Babayaga

                    I didn’t say you did. You spoke of other people’s vomments, and I gave you an example.

          • AB

            Hey KP – didn’t you learn history in school? You know, the terrible fact of all those millions of cake-makers murdered by gay people?

      • MikeS 8.1.3

        There you go again with complete ignorance (willful or not) of what words mean.

        “…two brides on the cake…” is most definitely not a “Perfectly normal request.”

        Do you seriously not understand what the word normal means???

        You could have used many other words for example ‘reasonable’ or ‘acceptable’, etc. But ‘normal’ is totally incorrect, no matter how much you believe otherwise.

    • JessNZ 8.2

      The cake design might have celebrated their relationship visually, as so many straight cakes do? You know, with the ‘figures’ on top.

      Or maybe they just wanted to attract negative attention for their wedding. Those crazy gay folks!

      Edit: snap mickysavage 🙂

      • You_Fool 8.2.1

        Or they weren’t afraid of their sexuality… there appears to be no sign that this cake maker was an inbred hick with no brain, so why would they hide their love in the first place?

    • Cinny 8.3

      I’d say it usually goes down like this…..

      A person goes to book a venue, cake, motel… whatever for the wedding.

      ‘Congratulations on your upcoming wedding who is the lucky fella/lady?’

      ‘it’s a gay wedding, how lucky are we to live in a country where we can legally marry the one we love’

      ‘oh.. I see…….’ instant discrimination…. just like that….

      Those manufacturing the outrage as you put it Blazer are the ones who take their instructions from an imaginary friend then force it on others, like the cake maker. They would be foolish to believe nothing would come of it.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.4

      So why did the wedding couple feel the need to state their sexuality to a cake maker?

      I suspect that it was probably required when the shop owner started offering decorations for the cake and they were all for heterosexual couples.

      • Blazer 8.4.1

        Maybe asking for pink icing,gave them away! 😉

        • Draco T Bastard

          OMG, they weren’t going to use almond icing?

          THE HORROR!!!!

          • McFlock

            marzipan is a tool of the devil – looks sugary, is sugary, tastes horrible…

            • arkie

              And they mould it and colour it and disguise it as other foods and other everyday items… anything around you could be made of marzipan right now!

    • patricia bremner 8.5

      Blazer, “unwelcome tactic” to paraphrase.
      Why is wanting what others have unwelcome? because you don’t approve?

      • Blazer 8.5.1

        Causing controversy just for the sake of it,is an unwelcome tactic imo.Do you approve?

  9. Essie 9

    I will simply say the baker is in the right. This country can not loose it’s right of freedom to practice religion. Especially with more refugees from Muslim countries coming in.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      So, we should allow Muslims to stone people to death for adultery because their religion tells them to and Christians to burn witches because theirs tells them to?

      We put limits on practising religion and for good reason. People can practice their religion as much as they like up to the point where affects someone else and then they can’t because it now goes up against someone else’s freedom not to practice that religion.

  10. Gabby 10

    Is it principled to try and force someone else to act against their principles?

    • Carolyn_Nth 10.1

      I do support people breaking a law if they truly believe the law is unjust. However, such law breakers need to be prepared to take the consequences. If they do so and I disagree with their principles, I think I should be prepared to stand up and give reasons why the law is just.

      This debate is happening. The cake makers are small fish, and not major propagandists. There are bigger struggles going on.

  11. Gosman 11

    This is a private business. If she wishes to not do something for someone that should be her right. It is also the right of people to publish the fact that she does not wish to do something and then people are free not to use her services because of her attitude towards a section of society. In that way we can express displeasure at people’s behaviour without resorting to the heavy hand of the legal system.

    • arkie 11.1

      The Human Rights Act 1993 clearly outlines that the cake-maker is breaking discrimination laws.

      • Gosman 11.1.1

        And therefore these laws are wrong in my opinion.

      • DH 11.1.2

        “The Human Rights Act 1993 clearly outlines that the cake-maker is breaking discrimination laws.”

        Probably in breach of trading laws too arkie, Fair Trading Act comes to mind as one. The couple look to have been misled by the cake shop. If the shop advertised or promoted itself as supplying cakes that would have been a misrepresentation if they had exclusions which they didn’t include in their advertising.

      • MikeS 11.1.3

        From the link you provided…

        Each of the grounds specified in subsection (1) is a prohibited ground of discrimination, for the purposes of this Act, if—
        (a) it pertains to a person or to a relative or associate of a person; and
        (b) it either—
        currently exists or has in the past existed; or
        is suspected or assumed or believed to exist or to have existed by the person alleged to have discriminated.

        The cake maker isn’t breaking discrimination laws as you’ve suggested. The cake maker is discriminating against the state created ‘thing’ called same sex marriage, not against “…a person or to a relative or associate of a person…”

        In saying that, I have to add that I don’t know what the legal definitions for the words ‘person’ and ‘discrimination’ are for this particular Act. Finding legal definitions for particular pieces of legislation can be a nightmare and I don’t have the time…

        Also from that same link ..

        (j) political opinion, which includes the lack of a particular political opinion or any political opinion:

        It would seem that Phil Goff is far more likely to be in breach of the act than the cake maker.

    • mickysavage 11.2

      So again using the example from the civil rights movement in the 1960s what about the white supremacist restaurant owner who refuses to serve black people because he thinks white people are superior?

      • Blazer 11.2.1

        It was a matter of law I venture.
        ‘The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which ended segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, is considered one of the crowning legislative achievements of the civil rights movement.’

        Re the cake example.The cakemaker could have said ‘sorry just too busy atm’..and everyone would have been happy?

      • Gosman 11.2.2

        Do you know what one of the most effective campaigns in the civil rights movement was MS? It was the boycott of segregated services/businesses.

    • ianmac 11.3

      I agree with Gosman on this. Every business has the right to serve a customer, or not. The business does not need to explain why not but in this case the did so politely.
      It is a bit strange that in this case it is very public.

    • RedLogix 11.4

      There is some merit in that argument Gosman; as I suggested above it’s not the clear-cut issue some would like to paint it.

      I’ve no problem with the cake maker expressing her views in a reasonable manner; that clearly aligns with the freedom of speech value. But turning that belief into an action that is clearly discriminatory is where she stepped over the line.

      It’s a non-trivial question, exactly where does the boundary lie? Should for instance a banks be allowed to refuse an account to a known neo-nazi on those grounds alone? Most people here would say yes, but then exactly the same happens in Iran where Baha’is are routinely denied access to bank accounts.

    • Muttonbird 11.5

      The people of Auckland elected Phil Goff as mayor and he has the mandate to deny service to racist agitators. The people of Auckland are free to express displeasure at his decision at the next election.

      • Gosman 11.5.1

        Let’s get this clear.

        You think if the majority of active voters (not even the entire electorate) decide to restrict the rights to free speech then that makes it okay to do so.

        Is that correct?

        • Muttonbird

          Settle down. You sound like Cathy Newman.

          A majority of voters restrict people’s rights all the time. It’s called a National government. Other people then vote them out.

          • Gosman

            Is it okay with you – Yes or no?

            • Muttonbird

              They are not restricting anyones ‘right to free speech’ anymore than the cake maker is restricting anyones right to marry.

  12. koreropono 12

    The cake shop owner’s discrimination is not justifiable no matter how polite she says it. How long before people start discriminating based on other non harmful characteristics, wrong colour, wrong gender, wrong religion, wrong political persuasion, wrong physical features, wrong immigration status…and so on? Is it just me or have the ‘haters’ become more overt in their hate/intolerance of others and are the Southerns and the Trumps of this world emboldening others to voice and spread their intolerance?

    Here’s an example of how that kind of hate influences impressionable minds:

    • Blazer 12.1

      ‘How long before people start discriminating based on other non harmful characteristics, wrong colour, wrong gender, wrong religion, wrong political persuasion, wrong physical features, wrong immigration status…and so on’

      Well they have been throughout the history of mankind and will continue to do so.That’s the reality of human nature.

      • koreropono 12.1.1

        No it is not the reality of human nature, bigotry, hate and intolerance is learned/socialised behaviour, made worse when said behaviour is not challenged and condemned.

        • marty mars

          Yes must be fought tooth and nail else we too are tainted.

        • Blazer

          Circular argument-‘learned/socialised behaviour,’=human nature.

          • koreropono

            I’m not sure you know what a ‘circular argument’ actually is, regardless ‘learned/socialised behavior is acquired after birth and will therefore differ depending on the culture/beliefs that one is born into, whereas ‘human nature is innate and shared by all human beings. There’s a difference. Hate and intolerance are not innate (or human nature as you claim), they’re acquired after birth (that’s learned and socialised behaviour and thinking).

        • RedLogix

          No it is not the reality of human nature, bigotry, hate and intolerance is learned/socialised behaviour,

          That’s another debate, but I totally disagree on this … fear of others, violence and bigotry is endogenous to all primates and is an inescapable aspect of our biological nature. It’s why we have borders and boundaries, social and personal to help us manage this.

          On the other hand I agree that once we truly recognise this, it is possible to learn/socialise our way towards controlling and directing this innate aggression in civilised and constructive manners.

          • koreropono

            We are not born violent and we are not born bigots. We are born with certain innate qualities but we are not born to hate others. Violence is learned behaviour, as is bigotry. I think fear is a little more complex and relates to our survival instincts, regardless I disagree with most of your statements.

            • Cinny

              “We are not born violent and we are not born bigots. We are born with certain innate qualities but we are not born to hate others. Violence is learned behaviour, as is bigotry”

              Strongly agree with you Koreropono.

              Whether is picked up via TV, internet, friends, work, school, home etc, it is learned behaviour.

              • Blazer

                Interesting,though the teachers are human of course.
                We are first and foremost born to survive.
                Probably not born to shop or born to work and pay tax.

              • marty mars

                Yes I agree too. Learned behaviour and when the learning is twisted by the learning before and before and before well then we get behaviours of hatred and fear.

            • RedLogix

              No we are not ‘born violent’, but we certainly are born with the capacity for it. Nor are we born bigots, but we all have a sense of boundaries, what’s clean or unclean, who’s part of the in group and who is not, and this can become bigotry. We share these characteristics with all other primates and most mammals. They are part of our deep evolutionary toolkit that enabled us to survive millions of years.

              You absolutely do not reduce violence and bigotry by pretending that we’re all born some ‘clean slate’ and that by all of us pretending to be nice and harmless, the world can be socially engineered to become an idyllic place.

              At the same time it’s clear that the social environment will play an important role in how intensely our capacity for aggression will be expressed. Polygamous and highly unequal societies correlate very strongly for negative social outcomes, including crime. Absolutely there is a real and important social component to violence, but that alone omits the entire story.

              It’s like having a live hand-grenade rolling around under the seat of your car. You may think “I’ll never pull the pin, it’s safe and harmless” and you then ignore it for years. But one day something entirely unexpected happens, something you were never prepared for, and suddenly it turns out to be very dangerous indeed. It’s much the same with people, it’s the ones who pretend they’re nice, gentle and wouldn’t hurt a fly who are the dangerous ones when the shit hits the fan.

              It’s me I’m talking about.

              • koreropono

                Wow that’s some tangent…so your original claim required context, didn’t it? Sure we all have capacity but the point is we are not born to believe particular things about others, we are socialised into those beliefs, behaviours and the subsequent actions we take as a result of those beliefs. Therefore it is wrong to support a comment that says that bigotry and hate are natural and normal because we are born that way, just as it is wrong to say that we are born violent, we are not.

                To prevent the hypothetical hand-grenade going off perhaps we need to nuture the hand-grenade in a different way so that its capacity to go off is reduced. That means not exposing the hand-grenade to certain conditions. People are not unlike that hand-grenade, some people, especially the young ones, are particularly impressionable, that’s why we need to challenge the socialised beliefs and behaviours that incite hate and harm toward others.

                • RedLogix

                  I don’t think either of us are wrong here, we’re just placing a somewhat different weight on different aspects of the same question.

          • Draco T Bastard

            fear of others, violence and bigotry is endogenous to all primates and is an inescapable aspect of our biological nature.

            [citation needed]

            • RedLogix

              Do your own homework. Google is your friend. “Is human violence genetic or learned”

              In general what you will find is the research supports both ends of the argument at the same time, that it is a complex mix of both genetics, personality (the Dunedin Longitudinal Study is crystal clear on this) and socialisation.

              But the idea that is a binary choice between one or the other is plain wrong.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Do your own homework.

                You made an assertion so it’s up to you to back up that assertion.

                But the idea that is a binary choice between one or the other is plain wrong.

                That is probably true but does it tilt one way or the other?

                • RedLogix

                  but does it tilt one way or the other?

                  A reasonable question, but possibly not the best frame for it. How about this model. Consider your standard PC; it essentially has four key layers, a hardware silicon layer that is fixed at design time, a firmware BIOS layer that enhances and gives flexibility to the hardware, an OS which then expands on the hardware, creating a powerful generic platform, and finally the applications, such as MS Office or Chrome that perform useful functions.

                  A parallel human model might look like; our deep biological genetically determined body, our core lizard brain instincts that generate unconcious high speed reactions like freeze, flight and fear, our mammalian emotional brain that creates a platform for our subconscious mind, and finally the concious neo-cortex which is highly socialised and adapted to operate in our immediate social and technical environment.

                  From this simple idea (it’s not in the slightest bit original btw) it’s clear that each layer has a dependence on the ones below it. A computer, no matter how clever the application software, cannot conflict with nor exceed the constraints of any of the layers beneath it. A 16 bit CPU will never run 32 bit application no matter how hard you try. (OK so some clever clogs may have worked half-arsed a way around that, but you know what I mean.)

                  From here you can perhaps see a better way to frame the question which is dominant, genetics or socialisation? The answer is neither, they link together in complex mutually interdependent fashion.

      • marty mars 12.1.2

        Yes happens every minute of every day here in Aotearoa.

      • JessNZ 12.1.3

        Discrimination inspires more discrimination – is anyone going to stand up for seeing NZ going this way?

        ‘A Tennessee hardware store owner has revived his “no gays allowed” sign after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of a bakery that refused to make a gay wedding cake.’

      • patricia bremner 12.1.4

        Blazer that is why we have laws to stop the excesses of human nature, and poor learned behaviour.
        Hopefully the majority look to the betterment of the human condition.

    • Bill 12.2

      When the printing collective I belonged to turned away a major customer when they became associated with the armed forces, was that justifiable or unjustifiable discrimination?

      Middle class wankers wanting their cake and to eat it…and then wanting us all to join in discriminating against (in this case) bakers with strong religious convictions who caused no harm whatsoever to anyone in seeking to be discretely faithful to their belief?


      • Carolyn_Nth 12.2.1

        Seriously! This is about discrimination on the basis of sexuality. It’s not a class issue here. It’s about not accepting discrimination. It’s a small example, but part of a much bigger problem.

        The women are not discriminating against the cake makers based on their religion – the 2 women were happy be their customers.

        You seem to be prioritising bigotry and discrimination, and seem to be being dismissive of the harm done by discriminating against people on the basis of sexuality. It is harmful and why it is illegal.

        • Bill

          This is about people with a sincerely held religious view that’s expressed itself as discrimination in the eyes of the law, yes. Happy hunting.

          • Bewildered

            Spot on Bill

          • Carolyn_Nth

            It is discrimination and bigotry in the eyes of the law, and in my eyes. It is illegal for good reason.

            I say that from almost a lifetime as a lesbian, being exposed to that kind of damaging bigotry and seeing the very deep damage that it does to some/many lives. LGBTI+ people SHOULD feel entitled to equal treatment throughout society.

            As I have said elsewhere in this discussion, it is the lesser end of bigotry, and I will be more energy into opposing something very damaging such as gay aversion therapy.

            But the cake makers bigotry is part of the same attitude that leads to the very damaging forms of discrimination. It is not helpful to be so dismissive of opposition to that bigotry, even less helpful to not see it as the discrimination that it is. To be dismissive, condescending and belittling of the issue because it isn’t primarily focused on class is very unhelpful.

            I have no idea what the class background is of the 2 Brisbane women. But I do know that many LGBTI+ peeople are from working and precarious classes. And many of them support same-sex marriage.

            I’m not into any form of marriage myself – het, gay, trans, etc. However, that some people are very into heterosexual marriage, but oppose it for others, is a marker of deeper and damaging bigotry.

            There have been some very good gains made in recent decades by and for LGBTI+ people. But I also see a very nasty backlash internationally from very intolerant people. It will be too easy for the gains to be wound back in the face of the right wing forces gaining momentum internationally.

            • Bill


              Now, what about the attempt to publicly vilify these Christians whose honestly held and openly expressed personal religious believes have tripped them into the realm of legally defined discrimination? (At this point I’m assuming the facebook post was made by one or other of the couple)

              Is that somehow okay because Christians in NZ aren’t seen as being on the receiving end of anything like the daily or regular dose of discrimination faced by other identifiable communities?

              • RedLogix

                Nicely done Bill. In hindsight that is exactly the path I was trying to steer down, upholding both the legitimate rights of the couple concerned, without indulging in ‘bigot bashing’ a Christian woman who appears to have a genuinely held reservations about gay marriage.

                It amuses me however to imagine how this would play if the cake maker had been a Muslim.

                • koreropono

                  “OK I get it, it would be an unwelcome, unpleasant refusal. I can see someone getting a bit pissed about it. But truly if this was the worst thing that was going to happen to someone in life, you’d be a very very fortunate person indeed”

                  I don’t quite think you do quite “get it”, and in my view I think there’s been an attempt to minimise a much bigger issue.

                  Gay people and many oppressed populations have fought bloody hard to live free from discrimination. The actions of the baker may seem like a ‘small’ thing to those who sit in a privileged position (i.e. those not subject to the effects of discrimination) but for others it represents the erosion of hard earned freedoms.

                  If we give an inch, will they take a mile? Will the small discriminatory practices become the norm, leading to more serious discriminatory practices…like making homosexuality illegal for example? People are free to think and believe what they want but when the expression of those beliefs causes harm to others then we must oppose it.

                  • RedLogix

                    Gay people and many oppressed populations have fought bloody hard to live free from discrimination.

                    No-one has an easy privileged safe passage through life. Everyone has some horror story to tell; in one form or another we are all victims of bad luck, bad genes, bad management and the malevolent stupidity of others. And yes some of us do get hit by more shit than others.

                    But this reality is not grounds to divide us into ever diminishing ghettos of oppression; what it actually means is that we are all in this short and turbulent life together. And maybe, just maybe, we’d all be a bit better off helping each other out, rather than minutely calculating, integrating every setback and offense, and perpetuating the victimhood.

                    The good news is that the law was on the side of the couple here, and most people agree that the commercial discrimination was wrong. In reality there was no erosion of any hard won rights; if anything they got affirmed.

                    All they were really exposed to is the simple reality that there are still many people (some of them gay themselves), who while perfectly fine with homosexuality in itself, still have sincere reservations about same sex marriage. How awful is that really?

              • koreropono

                “what about the attempt to publicly vilify these Christians whose honestly held and openly expressed personal religious believes have tripped them into the realm of legally defined discrimination? (At this point I’m assuming the facebook post was made by one or other of the couple)

                Is that somehow okay because Christians in NZ aren’t seen as being on the receiving end of anything like the daily or regular dose of discrimination faced by other identifiable communities”

                It’s a slippery slope when the perpetrator is made out to be the victim, isn’t it Bill? It’s a far more slippery slope if we do not challenge discrimination when we see it (no matter how politely it occurs or how it is dressed up).

                How long before someone’s unchallenged freedom to [insert whatever you like in here], influences and emboldens others to act out their potentially harmful beliefs? How long before those beliefs/actions impinge on oppressed populations to the point that said populations fear public lynchings and other unfavourable treatment?

                Women in the work place in 2018 (in New Zealand at least) are less likely to experience sexual harassment (and yet there was still McVeigh and co) than they were in the 70s and 80s, what if feminist kept quiet so that their male counter parts could act out their beliefs about women, how far would women have come had they not spoken up?

                How far would Maori have come if they had not spoken up about the injustices committed against them?

                Some people believe they have a God given right to hit their children and wives, this is their genuine religious belief, do we then sit back and do and say nothing so that they have freedom to act on their religious beliefs?

                • Gosman

                  “Some people believe they have a God given right to hit their children and wives, this is their genuine religious belief, do we then sit back and do and say nothing so that they have freedom to act on their religious belief”

                  Yes many Muslims believe that and the Quran and Sharia law seems to support them. However it seems you don’t believe this sort of views should be brought out in to the open.

                  • koreropono

                    “However it seems you don’t believe this [sic] sort of views should be brought out in to the open

                    Really? And your logic for that claim is…? Are you slipping Gosman? Your delusions are getting less convincing.

                • Bill

                  The point is that the baker was inactive on the basis of her religion and caused no harm to anyone and did not seek to impose her views on anyone else.

                  Her labour. Her right to exercise control over it. Isn’t that also an ingredient in the mix?

                  If someone was running a B&B and turned a same sex or whatever couple away at the door, or ran a restaurant and refused them service on the basis of their sexuality, or in some other way caused them harm, then sure, there would be something to be het up about.

                  But fuck. As far as is known, she has no problem with gays or lesbians or queers – just gay marriage. She might be a spiteful bigot, but to assert that on what is known is just conjecture.

                  Meanwhile, the happy privileged couple have six months to secure a four figure sum wedding cake for themselves.

                  • koreropono

                    “The point is that the baker was inactive on the basis of her religion and caused no harm to anyone and did not seek to impose her views on anyone else”

                    Actually I think you are wrong, she did cause harm to the gay couple and by virtue all gay couples, whom in 2018 are still subject to lesser treatment because of their ‘same sex’ or whatever status. So the baker opposes same sex marriage because of her religion and what does that religion have to say about homosexuality – you can bet it ain’t pretty, even kinda harmful. Presumably she doesn’t oppose all marriage, just the non biblical conforming ones, right?

                    Also she did attempt to impose her views on the gay couple, she cited her religious beliefs as justification to decline them, by virtue she imposed her views onto them. She’s kinda saying in a nice way “God says you are wrong and therefore I can’t treat you the same as other human beings”. The baker could have just declined to bake the cake, no reason, no justification but no, she took it a step further and just had to express her religious views to the couple as justification for her refusal, thus imposing said views onto the couple, it was unnecessary.

                    • RedLogix

                      If being ‘harmed’ means not getting your first choice of $10,000 plus wedding cake … then count me in.

                      OK I get it, it would be an unwelcome, unpleasant refusal. I can see someone getting a bit pissed about it. But truly if this was the worst thing that was going to happen to someone in life, you’d be a very very fortunate person indeed.

                      But if you don’t understand that other people will not always agree with you, that sometimes they will hold views and opinions you really disagree with, or even find deeply offensive … then you probably need to grow up a bit more before getting married. Just a thought.

            • patricia bremner

              Bigotry and cruelty in the face of something which cannot be changed really hurts.
              I relate to your situation Carolyn, as I have a double spinal curvature and a decided limp. This lead to cruel comments, unflattering videos by a fellow teacher, and hurtful nicknames.
              The children accepted my disability and celebrated successes (climbing Mt Tarawera/ becoming Deputy Principal), and most parents and staff were like that too.
              There were however those who seem to need to find the chicken with the different feather to pick at. In the end I realised it was their inability to accept difference that was the problem.
              This Baker chose to make their sexual difference an issue. Instead she should have said “I am sorry, I’m unable to assist you”
              That would have met the case without recourse to discriminatory behaviour or mentioning her personal beliefs.

              • RedLogix

                This Baker chose to make their sexual difference an issue. Instead she should have said “I am sorry, I’m unable to assist you”

                It would have been a lie. A polite one, but exactly the sort of smooth deception that we use to justify things that are not right to ourselves. You aren’t on your own here, I’m intrigued by how many others on this thread have used exactly the same reasoning.

                Actually I can respect the cake baker for being honest, even though I disagree with her reasons and motives. At the very least we owe her a small debt for bringing the question to a public airing. Sunlight and all that.

                • Robert Guyton

                  I’d like to have seen the cake maker express her views honestly but rather than declining to make the cake, talking with the soon-to-be-weds about the nature of creativity and how the feelings of the cake-maker affect the final work; physically and spiritually (anyone seen, “Like Water for Chocolate”?) I expect the girls and the cake maker would have been satisfied, in the end, to part respectfully, had they taken that route. That would mean though, that we’d have heard nothing at all of their meeting 🙂

                  • RedLogix

                    Exactly. It’s people being honest with each other, one on one, that solves most of the real problems in the world. That and a bit of courage.

                    Social activism and state interventions have a place, but fall a distant second and third.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      That’s what I reckon also.
                      I was a little disturbed though, by the cake-ism expressed by some commenters here (Cakeophobia? Cakeophilia? Gayke?)
                      And, OOOPS!! I meant “young women”, rather than “girls” (I’ll take me stropping’)

                  • MikeS

                    The problem with your suggestion, as with most other suggestions on this thread regarding how people think the cake maker should have expressed her views. is that all of these suggestions involve some form of dishonesty and / or deception from the cake maker.

                    Obviously, the cake maker values being honest and transparent about the reason why she wouldn’t make the cake. Yet everyone seems to think she should have lied, or been deceptive about her motives, or just plain waffle a load of shit.

                    That may be fine with the people offering up these suggestions, but why should the cake maker have to disregard her principles and be dishonest and disingenuous.

                    It’s almost like you’re saying that someone choosing to be offended by another’s beliefs should be given a higher importance or is somehow a more worthy or noble thing than someone not having to lie or deceive thus not standing up for their own principles and beliefs, in case someone chooses to be offended by the truth???. Such suggestions show a lack of resilience and weak set of principles of those who espouse them.

                    Post modernism is an absolute crock by the way…

                  • MikeS

                    “…..honestly but….”

                    So you’d like her to be honest by being completely dishonest.

                    Ummm… news flash…. she already was being honest. If she behaved the way you suggest she would have been being dishonest.


                    • Robert Guyton

                      “Yet everyone seems to think she should have lied, or been deceptive about her motives, or just plain waffle a load of shit.”
                      Not me, MikeS – the cakemaker’s feelings do influence the cake, I believe, and hope the cake maker thinks so too.

                • koreropono

                  @ Red How would that have been a lie? It would have been the truth without alluding to the “because” bit. No lie, no harm. Instead the baker chose to make it an issue about their sexuality and therefore caused harm to not only the gay couple but all gay people.

                  That harm caused reinforces their belief and experiences that they are still having to deal with discriminatory behaviour and they’re still subject to unfavourable conditions because of their sexuality. Such discrimination has far-reaching consequences for the LGBTQIA community, including still being fearful of going to police and other services because of having experienced unfavourable treatment – meaning that many serious violent and sexual assaults go unreported.

                  • RedLogix

                    It would have been the truth without alluding to the “because” bit.

                    But still a lie by omission.

                    I appreciate your comment; it’s well thought out. I guess my response is that I would sooner be told to my face why I wasn’t getting a cake, than have some smooth, yet transparently false, brush-off.

                    • koreropono

                      So do you suggest that we all say exactly what we think all the time regardless of the consequences that those words would have on others? I think that is what you are saying because otherwise we’d all be committing the sin of lying?

                      If every person said exactly what they thought I imagine chaos would ensue and small things would get blown out of proportion.

                    • RedLogix

                      We can imagine two hypothetical societies, one where everyone blurted out every damned idiotic thought that passed through their mind, and another where everyone guarded every word they said, lest they be betrayed.

                      Both extremes are clearly undesirable; the optimum has to be somewhere in between.

                      (It’s worth noting that of these two hypothetical examples, it’s much easier to think of real world examples closer to the totalitarian panopticon than the absolute free speech one. The Soviet Union and East Germany come to mind, and the current Chinese regime is making a strong play as another brutal contender. )

                      In the normal course of events people moderate their speech and avoid unnecessary confrontation. Especially in matters of only minor importance. But clearly this was not a trivial concern to the cake maker; and I believe she did the right thing by speaking out her genuine misgivings.

          • koreropono

            “This is about people with a sincerely held religious view that’s expressed itself as discrimination in the eyes of the law, yes. Happy hunting”

            Wow Bill, are you talking about the same kind of religious views that justify the subjugation of women, or led (leads) Europeans to believe they were (are) superior to native peoples thus justifying colonisation, exploitation and racism?

            People are entitled to their religious/political beliefs but they are not entitled to discriminate against others based on particular characteristics. Discrimination is harmful on multiple levels and if you believe such discrimination is acceptable or a negligible consequence so long as people have “freedom” of whatever then you are clearly thinking from a privileged position, a position that does not experience the same harm as populations experiencing the discriminatory consequences of people’s religious/political views.

            • Bill

              No Korero Pono.

              I’m talking about a very specific belief and in a very specific context – that same sex marriage isn’t right as per her religious understandings, and so she didn’t feel comfortable baking a fucking cake.

              And again. She harmed no-one.

              As I asked elsewhere, would it be fine to compel a Muslim baker to bake an effigy of Mohammad?

              • koreropono

                Bill, the problem isn’t that she felt uncomfortable baking their ‘fucking cake’ but instead of saying sorry I can’t bake your cake, she felt she had the right to impose her religious views upon them by using it as the justification for not baking the cake. She could have just said “I am sorry I can’t bake your cake”, end of, but she didn’t, did she?

                I am not saying the baker should be compelled to bake a cake for anyone but she sure as hell shouldn’t have made her discrimination so fucking blatant, thereby causing harm to the couple and other gay couples. Meanwhile a bunch of people seem to think that type of discrimination is okay because she is entitled to ‘freedom of…’ – ‘freedom of’ is all good as long as it doesn’t harm others.

                Do you also think that men have the right to beat their wives and children (because some think it is their right based on religion), or do you think that some people have the right to treat non white people as sub humans because of their beliefs? It is a slippery slope and your type of ‘freedom to….’ mentality keeps that slippery slope well oiled.

                • Bill

                  So if she had simply said “No, I’m not baking your cake” (no reason given), that’s somehow ‘better’ than an honest private communication? Is “under the carpet” a sensible place for disagreeable views or perspectives to be? Does it make either the prejudiced mindset of the person disappear, or the effects of the prejudice disappear?

                  If you reckon it does, then I guess you’d also criticise the couple for sweeping the baker’s prejudice out from under the carpet of private communication and making it public?

                  Comparing this to some religious justification for overtly inflicting deliberate harm is a stretch. Of course I don’t think there’s a right to beat people or whatever off the back of some religious justification.

                  • McFlock

                    Maybe she could have prevented the entire encounter by putting up a list of groups she would refuse to make cakes for? “No wedding cakes for homosexuals or Catholics”.

                    • Bill

                      “Het cakes are us” might be a better suggestion legislation wise.

                      (A modification of someone else’s comment coming up).

                      The first time a baker refuses to bake a cake in celebration of completed “Conversion Therapy”, should we expect the same reaction from the same quarters?

                    • McFlock

                      So segregation is fine as long as it’s for religious reasons?

                    • Bill

                      Way I see it, someone was offered a job of work and they turned it down. I don’t agree with their reasoning, and fully understand why the couple would feel pissed.

                      But it’s more nuanced than some are acknowledging. What the cake maker didn’t do was refuse to sell something over the counter on the basis of someone’s sexual orientation…or pull a booking, or withdraw a service because of someone’s sexual orientation.

                      So, for example, and more in line with what happened (by my way of looking at things)…

                      Person A asks person B to go pick up their script for an “after morning pill”. Person B refuses, and offers up as a reason, that they are anti-abortion on religious grounds. Discriminatory? And if person B is person A’s homehelp and in a paid position to collect and deliver person A’s needs? Should person B be compelled to pick up the script?

                      Person A is offered a job at an abattoir. They turn it down on the grounds they are vegan. Discriminatory? Or is it just the sanctions that get applied to their social welfare payments that are discriminatory?

                      I won’t accept that commission for my work that has been offered to me by the oil company on grounds that I’m morally against “big oil”. Should I be compelled to take the commission?

                      And so on…

                      And all completely different and far more nuanced and two sided than any “No blacks or Irish” type scenario that the likes of yourself (McFlock) are trying to overlay on the cake situation.

                    • McFlock

                      Not really. It’s all the same.

                      And yes, the cake-maker did refuse to provide a product (wedding cake) because of the sexual orientation of the customers.

                      On the morning after pill, anyone who refuses to facilitate basic healthcare (when that’s actually their job) should lose any certificate to practise, because they cannot adequately perform the role their profession requires.

                      I don’t think people should get receive benefit sanctions for turning down work, but then nor is veganism protected under the human rights act, is it? Even so, there are many ways to avoid a particular job while pretending to want it.

                      But the main problem isn’t actually that the cake-maker is a bigot. The main problem is that anyone with half a brain would have found a pretext to hide their bigotry while turning down the job, but it seems to be becoming more socially acceptable to just be out and proud with it (regardless of legality).

                      And part of that is now that two people looking back on their wedding day will not just remember “it was wonderful, we had some difficulty finding the right cake but everything turned out well on the day”, they’ll remember “it was wonderful, once we found a cakemaker who wouldn’t rather tell us that our marriage shouldn’t exist”. It’s not the worst part of the “No blacks or Irish” territory, but it’s part of the exact same field.

                    • Bill

                      Yes McFlock, bigots can lie and their bigotry enjoys its full effect anyway.

                      As Trevor Phillips (rightly in my opinion) says – “Campaigners like me sincerely believed that if we could prevent people expressing prejudice ideas, then eventually, they’d stop thinking them. But now, I’m convinced, we were utterly wrong.”

                      And, importantly, the cake maker sent a “private” communication of her reasoning (we can only offer conjecture as to her motivation for doing that) and didn’t promulgate her stance in public.

                    • McFlock

                      Yes McFlock, bigots can lie and their bigotry enjoys its full effect anyway.

                      No, it doesn’t. The cake effect is the same, but every other effect is removed: her prospective customers aren’t made to feel ostracised, people who share her views don’t feel additionally normalised, and everyone happily gets on with their day.

                      As Trevor Phillips (rightly in my opinion) says – “Campaigners like me sincerely believed that if we could prevent people expressing prejudice ideas, then eventually, they’d stop thinking them. But now, I’m convinced, we were utterly wrong.”

                      I wasn’t happy with his stats (e.g. looking at average income in a population over-represented in billionaires might just be reporting the same data, and offender ethnicity levels are useless without some measure of confidence alongside it), and I certainly don’t agree that all campaigners believed that thought follows expression.

                      Stopping people expressing prejudice simply alienates the prejudiced, rather than the victims of their prejudice. Which group do you want to feel more included and empowered in a society?

                      And, importantly, the cake maker sent a “private” communication of her reasoning (we can only offer conjecture as to her motivation for doing that) and didn’t promulgate her stance in public.

                      How is that important?

                  • koreropono

                    Bill, the concern with disseminating particular harmful and bigoted ideas is how that information then empowers similar overt bigotry (think Trumps America). The mainstreaming of these ideas normalises them. While YOU may not be harmed by the normalisation of such ideas, others are. These types of acts of overt discrimination have a real and harmful psychological impact on those affected.

                    The comparisons I provided in the previous post are based on ideas propagated by some religious zealots as their justification to cause harm. The comparison is not a stretch as the point is that the belief is all good and well but harming others because of that belief is not.

                    When ideas and fallacies that cause significant harm to others are allowed to dominate, those ideas spread like wild fire and become ingrained in the psyche of the population thus allowing those who benefit from that harm to impose conditions on the harmed population. A classic example of that is the spread of particular discourse that saw ‘beneficiary bashing’ become acceptable. Those ideas are still being dealt with thirty odd years on with the implementation of multiple policies that disadvantage the unemployed and forces families into poverty. Did you ever wonder how the culture in Work and Income became the norm and why there wasn’t public outcry at the abuses people experienced? Perhaps it had to do with the acceptance of ideas that all beneficiaries are bludgers, lazy, waste their money on booze and drugs, beat their kids etc etc…the stereotypes allowed the powers that be to impose harsh conditions on beneficiaries and the rest of the population allowed that to happen because they believed the stereotypical ideas. That is the risk we run when we do not challenge those ideas but instead allow them to permeate the rest of society.

    • MikeS 12.3

      Can you point me to any of Lauren Southern’s videos where she is preaching hate?

      (It’s a rhetorical question)

      • Robert Guyton 12.3.1

        Haven’t watched them and am not interested in watching them. Is she a cake maker also? I’m not really into cooking shows.

  13. Puckish Rogue 13

    This is a tricky one for me, I’m not comfortable with forcing someone to provide non-essential services to whoever asks but then refusing someone services for something they have no control over certainly sounds like a slippery slope

    • Carolyn_Nth 13.1

      I agree with that about non-essential service. Many of us will spread the word to boycott that cake maker and take our business elsewhere.

      • Puckish Rogue 13.1.1

        No problems with that, a business that turns down customers better have a lot of customers in the first place

    • bwaghorn 13.2

      That’s twice this week you’ve said what was thinking . (Only more clearly than i could).Please stop your scaring me.

      • Puckish Rogue 13.2.1

        I’ve always said that most posters on here probably have more in common then we’d all like to admit 🙂

  14. Carolyn_Nth 14

    The cake makers refusal is of a different order from that of the Canadian couple out to spread racist propaganda. I understand other cake makers have offered to make the couple a cake.

    There is a far bigger issue for the Rodney Area Rainbow group. They have a petition going asking the PM to outlaw gay conversion therapy. RNZ Report on this.

    Rainbow Youth executive director Frances Arns said gay conversion therapy was happening in New Zealand and it was more common than people might think.

    “Surprisingly it’s happening a lot in New Zealand.

    “Recently someone told me that there’s hundreds and hundreds of people in Auckland who have gone through a gay conversion therapy programme, so it’s happening and it’s really concerning.”

    Churches were typically involved in the conversion therapies, with pastors taking on the role of therapist, Ms Arns said.

    This is a very damaging and inhumane practice. Petition here.

    Of course the homophobic cake makers action is a minor instance but part of a culture that ultimately supports the conversion therapy. Far better to highlight the damage that comes from those views by making people aware of the petition, the information behin it, and of course, by signing the petition.

    I think the “free speech” group are wasting everybodies money.

    As far as I can see, Phil Goff and Auckland Council have acted within the law by refusing a venue to the couple.

    RNZ reports Goff’s reasons

    He said he made the decision himself in line with council policy which sets out that Auckland is an inclusive society.”

    An earlier RNZ report stated the reasons more clearly:

    However, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff tweeted that venues should not be used to stir up ethnic or religious tensions and that Ms Southern and Mr Molyneux would not be speaking at any council venues.

    This is in line with the Ministry of Justice guidelines for BORA.

    It gives some guidelines with respect to section 5 of the Act (p27) on “Justified Limits” of BORA.

    Bill of Rights may be subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

    Limits are lawful if the reasons for the limitation are specific, have some basis in NZ law, be stated and accessible, be supported by evidence, and be in keeping with a free and deomcratic society.

    The guidelines provide a definition of “free and democratic society from Canadian law. This includes

    commitment to social justice and equality

    respect for cultural and group identity

    There is a basis in NZ law for Goff’s stated reasons for refusal. The Human Rights Act, section 131 says it is illegal to act with intent to,

    excite hostility or ill-will against, or bring into contempt or ridicule, any group of persons in New Zealand on the ground of the colour, race, or ethnic or national origins of that group of persons,—

    Through publication, in a public place that,

    being matter or words likely to excite hostility or ill-will against, or bring into contempt or ridicule, any such group of persons in New Zealand on the ground of the colour, race, or ethnic or national origins of that group of persons.

    From my search of Auckland Council policies online I found a few references to the council aiming for inclusion of all groups in society – ie it is clearly stated in the council policies. In the Auckland Council Venue policy, it says:

    Auckland Council may terminate any booking(s), any Event and/or this Agreement in its sole discretion if it considers:
    a.the Event will, or might, contravene any statute, order, regulation, bylaw, rule of law or any other requirements of a public or local authority

    And that seems to be very specific and clearly stated to me.

    • marty mars 14.1

      Thanks Carolyn – I always enjoy your well thought out comments. Kia kaha.

    • Puckish Rogue 14.2

      Look at that i learnt something today ;-), I didn’t realise gay conversion therapy was still a thing, especially in NZ

    • Babayaga 14.3

      There seems no doubt Goff has the legal right to refuse access to council facilities. The bigger issue is whether in a free society he should exercise that right to limit free speech, when clearly there is no physical threat to anyone, and the speakers have been granted visa’s to visit.

      • marty mars 14.3.1

        He hasn’t limited free speech – get together with your mate and get a venue – no issue.

        • Babayaga

          Withdrawing access to council owned property is limiting free speech. It is substantially limiting the number of venues available, which limits the chance of the event taking place. If you don’t like what they have to say, don’t go. Simple.

          • marty mars

            Nah get a new venue privately owned – maybe an act safe house.

            • Babayaga

              They can get another venue, but by refusing access to council venues, Goff is limiting their right to speak. It’s not rocket science.

              • marty mars

                Exactly – they CAN get another venue.

                • Babayaga

                  Can. Which is why I said free speech is being limited. Limited by a fascist mayor uncomfortable with the opinion of a 23 year old blond.

                  [lprent: Banned 2 months. Making actionable assertions without any supporting facts is what I consider to be a action against this site. It leaves us susceptible to legal action.

                  You appear to have a very narrow interest in free speech that works only on your behalf and doesn’t consider the effect on others like me. Since I really don’t like spending time in court, I choose to reduce my risk by removing you from the temptation to abuse your position as a guest on this site.

                  Hopefully this time could be well spent in figuring out you balance my rights against what you consider are your rights. Or just follow the guidelines of the last paragraph of our about and direct the legal risks of your approach on to yourself. ]

          • Gabby

            I guess moving a raving nutter out of the middle of an intersection is limiting free speech too babbygagga.

          • RedLogix

            Publicly owned venues have somewhat wider standards to uphold than private ones. If Goff had allowed this event to proceed at a Council owned and controlled venue, there would have been at least some degree of implicit support. I think Goff made the right call here.

            I’m less convinced about the merits of withdrawing visas. That’s a very powerful tool, way too prone to misuse in my view.

          • Tricledrown

            Baby gaga Goebels would be proud of you
            Skin head

      • Draco T Bastard 14.3.2

        …and the speakers have been granted visa’s to visit.


        It’s actually against the law to let them in because they’ve been excluded from another country. Getting a visa doesn’t mean that you’re going to be let in.

        So, basically, they’ll get to the airport and be told to fuck off.

    • Blazer 14.4

      All very well,except Goff is not the Auckland council and has no mandate to arbitrarily make decisions of this nature without consultation.

      And that seems to be very specific and clearly stated to me’.Hardly.

  15. BM 15

    Unfortunately for the cake maker she obviously couldn’t just say I’m too busy and booked up with work to make your cake.

    That’s what most tradespeople do when they don’t want to do work for somebody.

    • marty mars 15.1

      Yep 101 stuff – I wonder what other agenda this cakemaker might have – it’s not like this issue hasn’t been in the news and stuff from the case in the US.

      • Puckish Rogue 15.1.1

        I’m thinking the bakers a bit naive but you’re thinking something else?

        • marty mars

          Hard to imagine for me that there isn’t some point to it rather than naievity.

        • McFlock

          I doubt she’s declined other customers with an email saying she thought they were creepy or a jerk or something.

          But she really had to stay it was because it was a same sex wedding

        • Bewildered

          Or a conscience that won’t let them lie

      • BM 15.1.2

        She could be a religious woman, so a gay couple getting married could rather clash with her belief system.

        Or maybe she does a lot of work for religious people and making a cake for a gay couple could have a serious impact on her business.

        • Anne

          She could be a religious woman, so a gay couple getting married would rather clash with her belief system.

          I’m thinking you are probably right and the baker has done her best to turn the request down as nicely as she can but at the same time feels the need to express her views on same sex marriages. I don’t agree with those views but she’s obviously a good woman who has found herself in an awkward situation.

          • marty mars

            I hope none of her family are gay and chances are they are – I wonder if she cooks for them being such a good women or if they stay shamed and frightened of the likely reaction to them saying who they are.

    • arkie 15.2

      Exactly. The cake-maker has broken the law by publicly announcing it.

      edit: agreed marty

    • AsleepWhileWalking 15.3

      Most tradies don’t have a pathological need to tell people their sexual preference is wrong.

      • BM 15.3.1

        How does a cake maker turn down business?

        If you can’t pull the too busy card, what do you say?

        • McFlock

          Can’t do the style you want, try this other cake maker.
          If you have to say anything at all other than”unforseen circumstances”

          • RedLogix

            All of these are essentially devious ploys to avoid the truth. They may work out in the short term, but all they do is kick the can down the road a bit.

            • McFlock

              Yeah, but we can’t really control what’s in someone’s heart.

              But there’s no need to let people be overt dicks about it.

              • David Mac

                Property managers make discrimination based decisions about who they will deal with every day.

                A property manager may decide ‘I don’t want 5 little kids in that house’ or ‘They owe money to Vodafone, I’m not taking the rent arrears chance’ or ‘The lawn at their current place is a foot high’.

                If they want to avoid spending their lives losing discrimination hearings they have to inform their scores of unsuccessful applicants “I’m sorry your application has been unsuccessful.” When asked “Why?” They are obliged to say “I’m not able to share that information.”

                To avoid regular expensive visits to court what they can’t say is: “I don’t want that many kids in there.” or “You are a poor credit risk.” or “You don’t mow your lawns.” or “no gays allowed.”

                • McFlock

                  and employers.

                  But at least they all should know that they’re not supposed to be proud of it.

                  • David Mac

                    Ha, yes. Slightly different I guess. When applying for a job ‘There can be only one’ a bit different from stating “That service/product you have advertised for sale, lease or rent, I’d like to partake please.”

                    • McFlock

                      There’s all sorts of things, from your example of not sharing the reason to vague things like “not my sort of style”, “not enough time”, “process issues”, “leave commitments”, “maybe this supplier would be better for you”, etc etc etc.

                      The art of the polite fob-off might almost be as much of an essential skill as the art of making the sale – in some areas I’ve dealt with people we don’t want in there (because they’re a fucking headache) but if they badmouthed the business around town it could be a problem.

                      It can be an art, but one really needn’t be so artless as to announce you’re doing something because you’re a bigot.

              • Bewildered

                Apart from the left do try to control and judge individuals as such, example the left construct of sub conscious bias of white privileged, identity politics ie it’s subconscious you don’t know you are even thinking that way but you are in that class so I will judge you any way Social justice is another example, not one justice for all but different justice based on your identity where you fit based on a left construct, here’s another you can’t have an opinion as your colour. Gender etc is inappropriate in that identity of opinion maker has any relevance to rationality and reason qualities of an opinion

        • bwaghorn

          Think of a price then triple it . If that doesn’t send them running console your self with all that cash.

          • BM

            The downside of that is they tell their mates you’re a rip-off and 3 x the cost of everyone else.

            Having said that I’ve doubled my price a few times and asked for 50% up front because you just know the customer is going to be a pain in the arse or there’s a high chance they ain’t got the money to pay you.

        • Gabby

          The usual tradie trick is to agree to everything and not show up.

    • infused 15.4

      However, it’s a good argument to have. I don’t think the law is just in this case.

    • Tricledrown 15.5

      The more fanatic the religion scientific studies show a higher rate of sexual abuse.
      These religious zealots are good at telling every one else how they should
      behave sexually but can’t control their own.

  16. AsleepWhileWalking 16

    Go elsewhere and get a beautiful and tasty desert without ingredients of judgement and sexual discomfort..

    I’m glad Kath refused to make it for them (would you have preferred she said nothing and they gobbled those toxins up? Ewww)

  17. Jenny 17

    This is not free speech, it is discrimination. Pure and simple.

    Who in their right mind could dispute that?

    Do we allow discrimination, or not?

  18. Carolyn_Nth 18

    Looks like Kath is doing some false advertising. – obviously has had some guidance from the man in the sky – Devine?

    Her website advertises that they make cakes for All Occasions.

  19. Cinny 19

    Well, well, well have just checked out the bakers website, and she say’s she does cakes for ‘gender reveal’.

    How misleading is that? I can now see why a gay couple would feel comfortable in approaching her in the first place.

    “Whatever your special occasion is, whether it is a wedding, 21st birthday, anniversary, gender reveal, birthday, I would love to discuss your requirements and create a bespoke cake for your occasion.”

    ‘cakes for all occasions’ yeah right, false advertising right there.

    • Carolyn_Nth 19.1

      Good heavens! Good catch!

      I had to look up the meaning of “gender reveal”

      It’s actually when people reveal the gender of their baby.

      I didn’t know that was a thing! Well, really more of a baby shower.

      But making such a big thing of gender smacks of being very “binary” – to use the current vocab i.e. non-binary meaning a person doesn’t identify with being totally male or female.

      So no doubt Kath wouldn’t be doing cakes for the coming out of trans or non-binary people.

      • Cinny 19.1.1

        Lmao, whoops….big face palm.

        I thought gender reveal was when a person “came out of the closet” so to speak, I remember when a friend ‘came out’ we had a big celebration, was so happy for him.

        Thanks for clearing that up for me, I wonder if anyone else assumed as I did. Seriously I thought that a gender reveal, was when someone revealed their ‘true gender’, like someone who was born a man but identifies as a woman.

        • Carolyn_Nth

          That’s what it sounded like to me, too. But, then I checked cause I actually hadn’t heard that term before.

    • veutoviper 19.2

      Thanks for that link, Cinny. I agree that her website is misleading in stating that they make cakes for ‘All Occasions”. Definitely false advertising in light of her email IMO.

      She certainly makes some impressive bespoke cakes with amazing icings etc, having had a flick through her photos, . I really understand why someone would like her to do a cake for a very special occasion. My Mum was an amazing cake maker and decorator; sadly I as her only daughter did not get her skills although I suspect that I avoided learning as no-one – just no-one – made better Fielders sponges that her! It was instant death if you went anywhere near the oven if one was cooking. LOL. But I divert…

      IMHO opinion, I think that there are some (rare) circumstances where people should be able to decide whether or not to do a job such as making such special cakes where there is enormous amount of time and individual work and effort involved (as opposed to a sale of a readymade product requiring no such personal effort).

      However, I also think that Kath should have had the sense (or sought advice) to simply say she was not available due to other bookings or similar. I don’t see that as cowardly etc – but her apparent need to express her views even if politely done as per her email makes me cynical as to her real motives. It may get her publicity but it may also give her other possibly unintended consequences – and not just breach of the Human Rights Act.

      As a complete aside, I note that very few of her cakes, particularly wedding ones use figurines etc which convey gender etc – but guess who I immediately thought of when I saw this one!

      and this one

  20. One Two 20

    As if on cue, NZ has it’s own ‘cake moment’…

  21. Chris 21

    I don’t think refusing to bake a cake is necessarily homophobic, it just reflects a strong personal view on the nature of marriage.

    I don’t know the bakers religious views, but there is no Christian basis for refusing to bake a wedding cake. Christian faith does not require any baker to refuse to bake a cake for a same sex wedding, any more than for a Muslim wedding or the wedding of a divorced partner. Jesus himself frequently associated with and ate with social outcasts and the marginalised and those discriminated against.

    While I admire the bakers honest expression of her views, very likely at some cost to herself and her business, I do not think she made the correct decision.

  22. tsmithfield 22

    I think there are two competing issues here:

    Firstly, if the requirement was simply to make a cake, which shouldn’t be a problem for anyone, regardless of their beliefs.

    Secondly, though, if the decoration of the cake requires a statement to be written on the cake that the maker strongly disagrees with, then this is a freedom of speech issue. No-one should be compelled to make statements that contradict their beliefs.

    Think about the wider implications if we could be compelled in such a way.

    For instance, should a cake maker who is a strong supporter of the Labour Party be compelled to write “Vote National” on a cake?

    • Gosman 22.1

      Some could argue that the very fact that it is a particular type of cake is making a statement. You don’t necessarily have to have words or an image on it to do this.

      • tsmithfield 22.1.1

        Yes. If the decorations imply that the cake maker agrees with certain views, then that also could be construed as them making statements they don’t agree with.

        • In Vino

          Well, obviously they need to add that editorial caveat: “The opinions expressed on this cake do not necessarily reflect those of the baker.”
          Problem solved.

    • RedLogix 22.2

      A very good counterbalancing example ts. Especially if the cake-maker had good reason to think the “Vote National ” request was a wind-up or some weird form of grandstanding.

      The correct path through this is honesty; freedom of speech absolutely allows you to express your position clearly and forthrightly. Whether you should then be compelled to act against that view very much depends on the context. It’s possible to imagine all manner of scenarios that don’t have immediate or obvious answers.

    • McFlock 22.3

      A Labour supporter shouldn’t discriminate just because the message is “vote national”. They should discriminate because national are the main reason their full time job doesn’t pay a living wage. They should discriminate because national party policies kill people.

      And if two people getting married would have the same catastrophic and harmful results, then I’d be okay with telling them to fuck off.

      • RedLogix 22.3.1

        And if all the National Party supporting cake-makers decided that Labour Party policies ultimately lead to the gulag?

        • McFlock

          When Labour legislates the gulag, they make their own cake.

          • RedLogix

            When National legislates for mass murder of workers, the same applies.

            I get that National policies may indirectly, in the worst case scenario be implicated in worker deaths. But cannot be described as an intended outcome, nowhere does any National Party policy positively and actively engage with the idea of killing workers as a good idea. That’s an insane imputation.

            Equally there will never be any Labour Party policy legislating for gulags; but nonetheless neither did Marx intend for his ideas to translate out in quite the worst case scenario as they so palpably did.

            • McFlock

              On the contrary – the state of hospitals and operating theatres can only be expected to hurt people who might otherwise have received successful treatment. And that’s just one example.

              Lowering benefits to 80% of a livable income is another example.

              • RedLogix

                Using that logic, ANY form of suffering in the world can be sheeted home to a government policy. We know the world isn’t perfect, we know that we can and should do better in many places.

                But the reality is that governments operate within strict constraints, political and economic. If hypothetically they threw huge amounts of cash at hospitals and beneficiaries, they might finish up neglecting highway safety improvements for example. No single goal trumps all others, it’s always a political balancing act.

                Now clearly both of us agree National should reweight it’s policies in the direction you are talking about. But that is absolutely not the same thing as claiming “National kills workers”. That has no more validity than someone on the right yelling “Labour imprisons dissidents”.

                • McFlock

                  Yeah, it is the same.

                  When in government, a major part of the job is making decisions in such a way that the lowest number of people are avoidably killed or harmed, and that’s only for those choices that don’t have a good option, just a “less bad” one.

                  National have demonstrated that not only do they not care about the consequences of their policies, sometimes their ministers will even laugh about it when the consequences are pointed out. Collins and prison rape, for example.

                  This isn’t just a political disagreement. Those pricks don’t care about the pain, suffering and yes the death that they caused. At least the current government gives a shit, even if it’s by no means perfect.

                  • RedLogix

                    OK I like your formulation there; it’s thought provoking. While we live in an era where safety has rightly become an important value, taken to it’s ultimate extreme, I can imagine how it would become another form of tyranny.

                    Why stop at worker safety? Why not ban all sports, prohibit tramping and alpine climbing? Drain all the swimming pools, burn all the boats and yachts. Prohibit alcohol again. Limit car speeds to less that 50 km/hr and so on. Coroners should investigate every accidental death and then issue an edict to eliminate the activity involved. Absurd of course.

                    All life has some degree of unavoidable risk, that while it should be intelligently managed and mitigated, it cannot and should be eliminated. There is NO safe path through life; it’s an illusion that paralyses us into inaction and failure.

                    But we have digressed a long way off the point. I can understand and empathise a lot with your claim “National kills Workers”. It’s potentially inherent in their political philosophy of personal responsibility. In the normal course of events it’s a useful concept; but when taken to extremes, it becomes the victims fault if they’re hurt or killed in an industrial accident. (And boy don’t misread me here; I’ve worked in heavy industries all my life and have been up close to more than a few fatalities.)

                    Yet the same applies in the other direction, even if we are a lot less willing to see it. Clearly the left wing philosophy that places a greater weight on collective responsibility is a useful concept, but equally when taken to extremes has led to some very dark places. Stalin was only one of quite a few examples. So when hypothetical right winger yells “Labour imprisons dissidents” that is the underlying connection they are making.

                    • McFlock

                      I’m a great fan of “reasonableness” tests of the type administered by courts or legislatures.

                      Can tramping be reasonably safe when judged against its benefits? Yes.

                      Unrestricted ownership of automatic firearms? No. They might be fun and interesting, but a few bad eggs will go berserk and shoot lots of innocent people.

                      Is it reasonable to simply reclassify what we mean by “swimmable” rather than limiting waterway pollution?
                      Is it reasonable to ignore evidence that town water supplies are becoming contaminated?
                      Is it reasonable to ignore climate change?

                      Their philosophy is one thing. Their actions, however, are unreasonably dangerous with little benefit.

                    • In Vino

                      Well said, McFlock.
                      I am amazed that this cake has become a symbol of such significance.
                      I would suggest that the proof of the cake is in the eating, and that our country is now suffering severe indigestion resulting from nine long years of force-fed National-baked cake.

      • Jenny 22.3.2

        @ McFlock 22.3

        Indeed. Discrimination based on who you are, black, brown. white, Moslem, Christian, Atheist, is wrong.

        Discrimination based on what you have done or said is different.

        Case in point; Lauren Southern being denied a venue because of her past behaviour and words.

        Martin Luther King Junior put it best when he said, I have dream where people will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

        By this test Lauren Southern and her supporters fall well short.

        “Green Party co-leader receives rape and death threats on social media”
        Johnathon Mitchell – RNZ, July 8, 2018

        Marama Davidson said “vile” comments about death and rape were made by supporters of the Canadian pair on her Facebook post yesterday.

        “Quite a lot of tears from supporters of the two…some quite vile disgusting death threats to me, my children…some rape threats and people just calling me the most disgusting names and abuse you could probably imagine.”

        She deleted the comments straight away because she did not want the wider public to get offended by what was written.

        But she was now trying to recover the messages so she could give them to the police…..

        ……Ms Davidson stood by her comments on Phil Goff’s ban and said the Canadian pair should stay away.

    • Blazer 22.4

      ‘For instance, should a cake maker who is a strong supporter of the Labour Party be compelled to write “Vote National” on a cake?;

      Only if its a..fruitcake.

  23. adam 23

    The whole gay marriage thing has been a smoke screen for a while.

    When the LGBTI community still has the highest suicide rates in the country. And when you zero in on Trans, the figures will/should shock you.

    Lesbians with children are still topping the poverty lists. And violence against LGBTI is still common.

    If cakes and wedding are somthing you can afford then, sure this is a issue. As such why not leave a bag of dog feces outside the cake owners store everyday. To remind them, when the act like crap, expect excreta.

    • Bill 23.1


      Although, I don’t even think I’d bother with the faeces.

      I’m quietly reflecting how many times printers refused a print runs “back in the day” because of the politics involved in the literature; of the times service was denied because of accent; of the times I’ve witnessed subtle bullshit being meted out to people because of the colour of their skin or perceived ethnicity…

      And on the flip side, when I was in the printing collective overseas and we turned away one of our major customers because they’d become associated with the armed forces.

      To me (and people are going to get well fucked off with this take) there’s an element of middle class based entitlement at play here.

      The woman doesn’t want to bake your fucking cake, then fuck off and get it baked elsewhere.

      The baker acted from an honest position of principle, didn’t inflict harm, and didn’t attempt to impose their world view on the disgruntled couple.

      If she’d pissed in the dough mix or pulled the plug at the eleventh hour, then sure, something to get all pussey about. But she didn’t.

      I don’t want to bake a cake for a lesbian union because of my religion and I don’t want to bake a creation in the likeness of Mohammad because of my religion, or no, I wont bake a cake with swastika icing even though you’re Buddhist…

      The above (and more) should be forced on bakers (or who-ever) because …because, why?

      • RedLogix 23.1.1

        To me (and people are going to get well fucked off with this take) there’s an element of middle class based entitlement at play here.

        Not me, I had an lol moment at that. It’s true enough, it aligns very much with what George Orwell had to say about middle class socialists … and that pissed a LOT of people off.

        It’s a complex narrative this one is it not?

      • Robert Guyton 23.1.2

        “The woman doesn’t want to bake your fucking cake, then fuck off and get it baked elsewhere.”
        Unless she’s contracted to bake cakes for the public, in which case, she should bake. If she chooses not to and also chooses to express her reasons why, she should expect genuine challenge. What does the law say? All else is chatter.

        • Bill

          Unless she’s contracted to…

          She turned down the contract.

          • Robert Guyton

            Which is fine, if legal.

            • Bill

              Well, turning down a contract of service is legal. What might get people in bother (as here) is being up front and honest about why they are declining to enter into a business transaction.

              The disgruntled couple have six months to engage another baker. And the baker might well wind up being done for discrimination.

              In the meantime, we’re all being expected to hate on Christian bakers who, though they would appear at face value to hold no animosity towards lesbians, believe that gay marriage is against their sincerely held believes.

              And (as far as available evidence goes) to hate on them even if they do not expect others to share their belief or attempt to persuade others to share their belief.

              • Robert Guyton

                “Well, turning down a contract of service is legal”
                Is it? When the justification is recorded and that contradicts the law?

                • Bill

                  So you didn’t get as far as the second sentence of my comment before responding, and also forgot about the agreement you signaled in response to my reply to David Mac below? Hey ho.

              • arkie

                All I am saying is that this cake baker has broken the law. That fact is not up for debate.

                I remember an ex-co-leader of a certain party being dragged for admitting to breaking the law by many here who now support this baker.

                • Bill

                  Uh-huh. And I haven’t debated the fact that the law was broken.

                  And I wasn’t one of those who sledged Metiria Turei, if that’s who’s being referenced in the second part of your comment.

                  • arkie

                    I have not ‘hated on’ the baker. nor I am attempting to ‘vilify Christians’.
                    I have merely repeated that the law doesn’t allow her the right to deny service based on her ‘sincerely held beliefs’ or because she was upfront and honest about her law-breaking.

                    And am not saying you piled on MT Bill, just saying that some of the previously law-and-order types are insisting that now the Human Rights Act 1993 is bad and should be changed to allow this type of discrimination apparently.

        • David Mac

          I think the legal position is as simple as: If she had of ‘over the counter’ said “I’m sorry I’m not able to help you with your cake, goodbye.” No worries.

          If she sends an email that says “I’m not going to do it because you’re a lesbian.” She is in a losing position re: a discrimination court appearance.

    • RedLogix 23.2

      As such why not leave a bag of dog feces outside the cake owners store everyday.

      Nope. Hostile, offensive and discriminatory. All at a scale far worse than the originating problem of wedding cakes.

      • adam 23.2.1

        So you agree LGBTI kids killing themselves is more of an issue then?

        • RedLogix

          Yes. Way more. However I’m going to stick to my undertaking I made last year not to comment directly on gender issues.

        • Bill

          We are here to talk about flying buns. There are plenty of opportunities to speak about suicide and if you want to talk about suicide in the LGBTQ+ community, then you should write a post all about that, because, really, this isn’t the place! /sarc

      • Stuart Munro 23.2.2

        Better to do what Swelter did to Flay in Gormenghast.

  24. Blazer 24

    ‘Lesbians with children are still topping the poverty lists’….where is the evidence backing this assertion?

  25. JessNZ 25

    Discrimination inspires more discrimination – is anyone going to stand up for seeing NZ going this way?

    ‘A Tennessee hardware store owner has revived his “no gays allowed” sign after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of a bakery that refused to make a gay wedding cake.’

    • Ankerrawshark 25.1

      Probably easiest way to deal with this for people like me ie white heterosexual is put my money where my principles are

  26. Blazer 26

    My music suggestion for the couple at their wedding.

  27. Carolyn_Nth 27

    Interesting twitter thread on overseas extremists groups and how the Canadian couple follow their playbook.

    I also think that some New Zealanders who think they are having an important conversation about freedom of speech right now, have no fucking clue what they are dealing with when it comes to overseas extremist groups. 2/

    Here are some examples of how both violent far right and violent jihadist extremists attempted to incite and provoke violence, hatred and civil unrest within the letter of the law while I was living in London over the past decade. 3/

    Hizb ut-Tahrir would announce stunt protests on conservative nationalist trigger-issues, in order to provoke vitriol and hate crimes against brown people to ‘prove their point’ to potential recruits, then would never turn up to the protest. 8/

    The English Defence League would organise giant yob brownshirt marches through Tower Hamlets, the heart of Bangladeshi Muslim & East End Yiddish London, hoping for a massive confrontation with brown people & antifa to prove the truth of white genocide. 10/

    These groups worked from the same clickbait playbook; and the bedrock of their tactical approach is to provoke violent confrontation, in order to engage people who are seeking opportunities for violence. 13/

    The British far right groups are pussycats compared with the North American groups. Laura Southern physically attacked NGO workers to try to stop them saving brown people from drowning. 15/

    North American far right groups carry guns and aren’t afraid to beat the shit out of people on camera for some reason. Maybe because they have the endorsement of the US President, a sex-offender who hired Nazis. 16/

    • Gosman 27.1

      That seems like some extremely biased opinion. I certainly wouldn’t rely on that view to determine whether or not we should deny people freedom to speak in NZ.

    • Planet Earth 28.1

      I’m dubious – she had no problem with their “sexual orientation”, describing them as “fabulous and amazing people” – it was the same sex marriage that was the issue. Some Christians, although not too bothered about homosexuality, still believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

      • McFlock 28.1.1

        Their segments of christianity don’t own the word “marriage”.

        • Planet Earth

          You know that and I know that – my point is that legally she didn’t “refuse a good or service on the grounds of sexual orientation” wrt to Carolyn _Nth’s link above – it was all about the marriage bit.

          • McFlock

            no, it was about the sexual relationship the marriage was recognising

            • Planet Earth

              We don’t know that – she may have been OK with baking a cake for a civil union but not for a marriage (for the “reasons” above).

              • McFlock

                but the reason she’s not baking the marriage cake isn’t the marriage, but the specific relationship the marriage recognises.

                She makes marriage cakes. Doesn’t have a problem with marriage. Has a problem with this marriage, though.

                • Planet Earth

                  Exactly – has a problem with same sex marriages.

                  May or may not have a problem with same sex relationships per se.

                • KJT

                  To complicate it even more. There is a movement amongst some gay people against, same sex marriage. “Why adopt a heterosexual paradigm”.

                  “Free speech”, is a complicated business.

                  In the case of the pair refused a public venue in Auckland. They have a right to free speech, but we have a right to refuse the use of our venue.

                  • Carolyn_Nth

                    That movement among gay people isn’t so much a free speech issue, and certainly not in this context. Initially I strongly had the view that there was nothing positive about adopting the heterosexual paradigm.

                    I moved to seeing that, in a society where there is opposite sex marriage, it should be available to all couples. There are some legal issues where same sex couples can lose out for not being able to be married: immigration, care of children of the couple, access to supporting a partner in the health care system, etc.

                    I’ve also moved to realising some people see having a relationship sanctioned by marriage gives them more acceptability. Some people seem to need that.

                    I’m still not a great supporter of the marriage paradigm.

  28. Pat 29

    This is clearly a very vexed problem, perhaps the solution lies in education.

    We could set a criteria to identify homophobes working in retail and provide night classes in ‘customer service’. Perhaps we could identify them with a braclet or somesuch (non remioveable)
    For those who dont graduate we could provide a special polytech where they can live in and retrain into an industry where their aberrant views dont distress anybody.
    This could be provided free by the government.
    A win win where everyone benefits.

  29. Sabine 30

    part of my business are wedding favors. It never occured to me to say no to good money for an honest job of making sweets for a sweet day.

    but honestly i wish these people would simply put a sign up that says something like

    ” I am a “christian’ and don’t approve of same sex marriage and i will not cater for your wedding”. Please go elsewhere.

    But to write a long letter trying to put the blame on the couple for not conforming to some bigots ideal of life all the while whining how good a ‘christian’ they are is tiresome.

    You don’t want to serve others, put a sign up, own your bigottry and be done.

    And i have made sweets for super christians and super gay couples. What the fuck does it do to me to make someones day of swearing loyalty and love to someone else a miserable day by pontificating about ‘personal believes’?

    • adam 30.1

      If I’m reading the human rights act right, you can’t put up a sign saying that.

      I agree be nice if they could, Knowing would mean I’d not waste my money on supporting bigots.

      • Sabine 30.1.1

        no, knowing would mean you would not feel belittled, insulted, and objected too.

        Cause this is what this ‘baker’ is doing.

        You know, “judge not, lest ye be judged’
        ‘what you do to the least among mine, you do to me’
        ‘treat thy neighbor as you wish to be treated yourself’

        and last but least

        vanity is one of these deadly sins. And this ‘caker’ is vain in the taking of the ‘lords name’ to justify her bigotry.

        So yeah, i am all for these people going about cherry picking whom or whom not they serve, but i would like the law to force these people to carry a sign that says, “It is my religious right to discriminate to my hearts content and if ‘these people’ dare set foot in my shop i shall discriminate to my hearts content.”

        I think that would put a stop to that type of nonsense fairly quickly. Cause a great lot of us has family that is gay, or are people of colour, or are trans, or or or. And then we can go to places that don’t care how you marry, whom you marry and how you live.

        • adam

          Why do you want a law? We have a law, it is the human rights act 1993. Do you want laws to outest bigots? Where do we stop with the signs? That is a very dark road.

          That said, why would a sign saying we don’t serve Gays, lesbians, or anyone else of none heteronormative sexuality , make me feel any better? Make me feel less insulted, and not belittled? Nope, it would not do that. It would however make me think they were a idiot, and I’ll not give them my money.

          • Sabine

            because as this case again proves it does not protect an unsuspecting customer from having their lives and their lives decision being made puplic, being insulted, being given the run around, by some caker who is advertising to a certain segment of the country just what a good christian she is.

            She wrote the letter. Not them. she posted the letter on Facebook, outing them, linking to them etc etc etc.

            So if you can write a letter to tell someone who wrong they are in their lifes decision, so wrong, that you can’t possibly do the job that you elected to do, you can put a sign in your window saying, NEED a Cake? Don’t come in if your a re gonna get married while homosexual or lesbian or reasons.

            The law did not protect this couple, in fact the law does not protect anyone who has ever been denied service cause ‘god’, and frankly its always ‘god’. the dude that no one ever saw, that no one ever will call to court to give testimony,. or the dude that never once got asked if he is ok with the shit done in his name.

            • Bill

              Where are you getting the idea that the baker made the issue public?

              The article linked to in the post only says that that a screen shot was grabbed from facebook, and gives no indication of who submitted the image to facebook in the first place.

              Now, call me fucked in the head or whatever, but I’d be picking that either Maureen or Sasha put the email (or photo of) up on facebook, not the baker.

              • Sabine

                by posting it on facebook you make it public.

                Its fairly simple.

                IT is so public that it is discussed at lenght on The Standard which is as open a public forum can be.

                I rest my case.

            • adam

              None of the Christians I know, think she’s a good christian. The exact opposite seems to be the concencios.

              The weakness of the Human Rights Act is a good discussion to have, it is a very weak piece of legislation, I agree. Breaching the act, the worst that can happen is a very wet bus ticket.

              That said, the negative press this cake shop is getting will in all probability sink the business. Probably a punishment fitting the crime.

              • Bill


                Bake me a cake, or only refuse to do so for reasons I find acceptable, or I’ll seek to trash your business?!

                • adam

                  Contrary to popular myth, not all publicity is good publicity. In this case, my guess is the majority of the community will shun this business. Not saying it is a tactic, just saying how most consumers will probably respond.

        • One Two

          Forcing people to confirm and to act against their personal beliefs…

          In a way which might incite violence…for certain will create prejudice….

          Nah…that’s not the way to go…

          Respect and accept that ‘we are not all the same’…accept it and get on with your own life…

          All this emotion spent hand wringing at others…yes it is hand wringing…a waste of energy…

          • Sabine

            i don’t want them to conform.

            I want her to hang a sign in her window, or on her page that states

            ‘I do not cater to same sex wedding as it is against my sincerely held believes’.

            I want her to remove the names of the couple of her fb screed and post it in her window as a general write up as to why she only caters to heterosexual weddings.

            I do not cater to same sex weddings as it is against my sincerely held believes’.

            I would even approve a law that would allow this kind of ‘discrimination’, oh, yeah that already exists, like in the medical world, where you can opt out of providing certain services due to your sincerely held religious/ethical believes.

            Just state it, and save the time and the expense of people that would have otherwise try to hire your for your ‘artistic expression’ or your ‘availability’.

            • One Two

              I want…
              I don’t want…

              You want another human being to conform to your views…

              • Sabine

                i want to be others and myself to be able to shop without getting a lecture on the ethics of a shop keeper from the shop keeper.

                but as i don’t have any power to change anything, we will continue reading these stories about people that refuse to provide an advertised service to them on the grounds of ‘sincerly held believes’.

                i also want chocolate cake.

  30. Robert Guyton 31

    We have too much time on our hands.

    • RedLogix 31.1

      Not really … it’s a discussion that is emblematic of a much deeper and difficult question. And so far we can all take some pride that so far /touchwood, it’s proceeding pretty well.

      • Robert Guyton 31.1.1

        “The Warkworth based cake maker Kath’s Devine Cakes says that she must “follow the integrity of my heart and beliefs” in refusing service to the couple.”

        Do you recall the Turkish kebab shop owner in Invercargill refusing service to the Hebrew-speaking Israelies some years ago?

        Reasons for refusing service have to align with the law, don’t they?
        You could go ahead regardless, but the law is the law. All else is pabulum.

        • RedLogix

          True; and in this instance it helps that you happen to very much agree with and support the law in question.

          But what if you didn’t?

          • Robert Guyton

            You could become a law-breaker. You could enter politics with the intention of changing that law. You could… there are many options, RedLogix; what would you do?

            • RedLogix

              Engage with the political process. That is the most legitimate option in all but the most extreme cases, and where arguably the political process has failed.

              That is why a healthy, diverse, political debate is so critically important; it enables us to talk through the problems, rather than resort to violence or coercion. And fundamentally that is the core value I’ve been promoting here for over a decade.

  31. Sabine 32

    not time, bigotry and hate. And it is taught from the pupils of a great many churches of all stripes and flavors.

    • RedLogix 32.1

      Sometimes yes (I loath fundamentalists as much as you probably do); but for the most part the church sermons I’ve heard we’re largely decent uplifting and often quite intelligent discourses on the human condition.

      For some years we attended a Baptist Church in Wellington. An impressive diversity of people in the congregation, and many much better educated than me. It was an interesting period and in many ways I quite miss the social and intellectual engagement.

      Of course if anything you disagree with must have these big neon coloured ‘hatred and bigotry’ labels slapped indiscriminately all over it, I really suppose nothing I say will make any difference.

      • Sabine 32.1.1

        I said ‘from many’ churches, not all, ‘many’.

        I have no issues with people living their faith,but i want them to be honest about it. Don’t want to bake cake for same sex couples, simply state it on your ‘terms and conditions, so that people don’t come in good faith, money in hand for their supposed happiest cake day, just to be insulted, belittled and berated by some bigoted women or man who can show it to those heathens what a good obedient little Christianist she/he is.

        As for your own person, thou shall find holiness after your own pleasure.

        Me i abstain from organized religion, there is nothing in organized religion that is good for women and their children.


      • Ad 32.1.2

        The priests I deal with every Sunday are actually pretty good on sex and all things gay … mostly because they are gay.

        And I grew up in a tiny little fundamentalist protestant church where they did gay exorcisms.

        • Robert Guyton

          “gay exorcisms” like het exorcisms only more stylish, with better food and music?

          • Ad

            As I recall from back in the mid 1980s, both Kajagoogoo and pastel greens were an affront to God. The best you could get in an outing was Stryper, sports camps, memorizing Corinthians 1 and 2, and pikelets with cream and jam.

            Plus exorcisms.

            • BM

              I’m guessing

              pikelets =buttocks
              cream = lubricant
              jam = gravy stoke

              • Ad

                Oh good grief.

                I should restrict your reading to the Readers Digest, and your listening to Jim Reeves, the Bill Gaither Trio, and Val Doonican.

  32. Stuart Munro 33

    My understanding of the US judgement was that the cake maker there was recognized as to some degree, an artist, not merely a service provider.

    An artist is entitled to some discretion in respect of the work they undertake, and these decisions need not be rational from an external perspective.

    I don’t really like the idea that the law might effectively compel someone to make a cake, though I’ve no problem with it insisting that cakes that are ordinarily made should be available to all customers.

    I’m not sure the local cake maker is up on this, and her position seems unwise. But as a general principle one shouldn’t try to obtain services from people who are uncomfortable providing them either. The developing argument suggests a want of maturity and compassion on both sides.

    • Sabine 33.1

      How do you know you will be refused service due to sincerily held believes?

      You literally need to be rejected, in a very public form to find out. Great aye?

      And this right to refuse service is not only cakes, it is the Doctor that will tell you they can’t give you a referral for an abortion after you spend an afternoon traveling there and waiting to be seen.
      It is the Pharmacist that will not fill your prescription for the morning after pill, or any medication that is prescribed to prevent pregnancy to young women – cause unmarried, or cause married and does your husband know?

      See the issue?

      How do you know that you will be refused service by someone who does not state openly that they will discriminate against others due to their ‘sincerely held believes’.

      Again, i would like the law to force people to state such ‘sincerely held believes’ so that the unsuspecting customer does not get the run around by some bigot.

      • Stuart Munro 33.1.1

        I’ve been given the runaround plenty of times.

        I see the issue just fine thanks.

        • Sabine

          then how do you protect the people affected by this denial of service?

          I would like to see an answer to that to be honest. Not from you per se, but in general.

          • Stuart Munro

            The short answer is that the LGBT community may choose to assemble a directory of receptive creative service providers.

            For most generic services declining service should be actionable through the human rights commission. Your example of abortion referral can be made a condition of receiving the state funding that keeps most medical service providers in business.

            I don’t think declining to make a cake is a matter of enormous gravity, and neither the conscientious beliefs of the baker nor those of the customer deserve to be blown up into some kind of political drama. Get a cake elsewhere – you wouldn’t want that negativity souring your celebration anyway.

            • Sabine

              Refuse service upfront. IF you can write your letter of intend after the fact you can do so upfront. . That would be my preferred solution, it would be honest and i think after a while the businesses that simply do business will be the ones winning.

              and yeah, i hope this guys found an awesome caker for do.

              • Stuart Munro

                The only problem I have with the refusal up front is that plenty of service providers refuse for all kinds of subjective reasons – consider getting a tradie in to get something done: they may refuse the job for any number of unstated reasons based on their impressions of the task or client. The client may likewise choose to find someone else with no tangible cause.

                We do not as a society criminalize this whimsical discrimination, in part because people use it to find service providers who will meet their expectations or clients who will pay their bills. It’s only when discrimination becomes systematic that we can properly intervene.

                • Sabine

                  as i said, treat it as a point in the ‘terms and conditions’ .

                  This type of discrimination is systematic when you have a rider to our human rights clause that says’ Can refuse certain medical procedures on the grounds of religious objections’.

                  They should be stated. I would state that i serve all, and have done so. Very funny when your customers are blue shirts (National sign holders) and there is the Labour Rosette hanging on my black board. I don’t agree with them on a lot of issues, but i don’t see a reason to refuse service.

                  Let the customer decide who is the business that best suits their needs and their purses. On either side of the aisle.

  33. cricklewood 34

    Phil Goff decided he didn’t want to ‘sell’ venue space to the Canadians based on the fact that he and others didn’t like their values and beliefs.

    The cake maker did the same.

    They’re both dead wrong.

    • Robert Guyton 34.1

      I think so too. But that didn’t stop them from doing what they did. That’s the beauty of it…

      • cricklewood 34.1.1

        Nope you cant stop them, but you can ridicule them.

        In the case of an elected official acting this way I am comfortable with the force of the law been applied, an individual I think ridicule is sufficient punishment.

    • JessNZ 34.2

      Phil Goff has the law on the side of what you call his ‘beliefs’ – for the cake maker, the opposite is true.

      So not the same.

      • cricklewood 34.2.1

        Guess that will be tested, I have a sneaking suspicion Phil’s not going to be covered in glory.

        • lprent

          I suspect that you are wrong, and I certainly hope that you are.

          Essentially there is no legal difference between this site and the council properties in question. Both are private spaces run for the benefit of their providers with no expectation of profit. But who have an obligation to not incur legal risk for those supporting them.

          Doing hate speech or making assertions of fact that are not true or not supportable incur legal risk, as do possible violations of various laws.

          What free speech “rights” we have in our law is for public spaces and the right to state opinions in public. Even there those exercising it have to be considerate of other users of those spaces.

          If the courts decided that private spaces, even those who are available for public performances, have no discretion about who may use those spaces – then all such spaces would have to close.

          That includes this one. Needless to say, in any such court case, I’d be happy to point this out to dimwitted fools who haven’t thought through the downstream consequences. Just as I have to you.

  34. esoteric pineapples 35

    In the case of the right wing couple, service was refused to them on the grounds that it went against Auckland City Council beliefs.

    In the case of the gay couple, service was refused to them on the grounds that it went against the cake maker’s beliefs.

    So, ACC shouldn’t have refused service, just as the cake maker shouldn’t have refused service.

    In other words, service shouldn’t be withheld on the grounds of going against the beliefs of the provider vis a vis the customer

    • Sabine 35.1

      not unless the people affected where informed ahead of the impeding denial of service.

      A sign…… somewhere to inform the potential customer/user of the ‘terms and conditions apply’ feature.

    • JessNZ 35.2

      The Auckland City Council has the law on the side of what you call their ‘beliefs’ – for the cake maker, the opposite is true.

      So they are not comparable.

  35. David Mac 36

    We accept some forms of what you’re talking about. There would be few bars without a ‘No Gang Emblems’ sign at the door. Some things are easier to make a ‘For the common good’ argument for.

    • Sabine 36.1

      and some need to have a “for the common good’ argument.

      this is one of them.

  36. Drowsy M. Kram 37

    “But I invite you to say if the cake maker is in the right or in the wrong.”

    Unsure, but Kath’s brief email reply to Maureen and Sasha’s enquiry seemed (to me) considered, informative and honest.

    Sure, Kath could have lied (too busy etc.), or not replied, and gone on making cakes and living her life according to her (specific) religious beliefs and principles (so many flavours of religious/rationalist belief systems) with no one any the wiser. But I reckon it was brave, and possibly even right that she didn’t.

    A little tolerance for differences of belief (not a simple choice for all), let alone sexual orientation (not a choice at all), doesn’t have to be the thin end of the wedge, escalating to the point where Kath (on the one hand), or Maureen and Sasha (on the other) wouldn’t help each another out in a real crisis (earthquake / flood / fire / tsunami / assault / burglary / suicide attempt).

    If it’s not already the case, then sometime soon there will be more LGBT NZers than openly church/mosque/synagogue/temple-going NZers (with some overlap). Why can’t we all just get along?

  37. Robert Guyton 38

    ” The Human Rights Act 1993 prohibits discriminating in the provision of goods and services on the basis of sexual orientation, ”

    • Drowsy M. Kram 38.1

      Do church ‘services’ get a pass? And wasn’t there something about marriage celebrants being able to chose their clients, or is that too out of date?

      But you’re right, it’s a simple legal matter.

      • Pat 38.1.1

        a ‘simple’ legal matter?

        Bad law will sooner or later be required to be enforced with the all too likely result of a greater injustice eventuating than sought to remedy…and it may be worth considering that bad laws have supported the very discrimination that is being railed against, frequently with the same venom claimed against.

        It is a fool that believes the same mores and enforcers will control such legislation for all time…or any time at all.

  38. millsy 39

    Yet, another case of religious people wanting to impose their beliefs on others. It’s only a cake may be the cry, but sooner or later it could be the likes of a recent case in the USA when a doctor refused treat a little girl because she was adopted by a same sex couple. Thin end of the wedge. God-botherers hate LGBT people and will like nothing more than for them to be put to death. You can see the hate in their eyes when they talk about it. It is pure. They haven’t moved on from when non believeers were butchered in European towns and would quite happily return to those days.

    • adam 39.1

      Who are these God-Botherers you speak of? Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Sikhs, Pagans? Who is this group of people who you are talking about?

  39. Ad 40

    C’mon people. Keep arguing.

    Just a few more to 300.

  40. Liberal Realist 41

    The baker is very obviously in the wrong here. Refusal of service on the basis of sexuality is (as others have pointed out) a breach of human rights in New Zealand.

    Imagine the howls of uproar if a gay baker refused to serve a devout christian on the basis they disagreed with that person’s faith?

    For the life of me I can’t understand why the religious amongst us feel like they have the right to impose their beliefs on others? Disagree with same sex marriage? Sure, that is your prerogative, but don’t attempt to impose your beliefs on others.

    Personally, my view on the nature of identity politics is that they are a means of ‘divide and conquer’, another dialectic struggle to distract the masses from the issues that affect the majority. To me, people are people. Couldn’t care less about their sexuality.

    Specifically sighting identity politics in the USA, by my observation US liberal media applies focus on the many extremist fringe minority rights groups. What is referred to as ‘the left’ in the US has gone completely bonkers, mired in the identity politics BS while ignoring important issues that affect the lives of millions of people. I’m not suggesting minorities shouldn’t speak up, or champion their cause – however, why the focus on fringe groups? As before, IMO it’s all a distraction.

    • Carolyn_Nth 41.1

      I agree with the first part of your post. I agree why focus on such a fringe group as these 2 a;lt-right agent provocateurs.

      I don’t see LGBTI+ people as a fringe group. If you include all people who are lesbian gay and bi-sexual at some point in their lives, it could well be a majority.

      Apart from that, if a minority group is being targeted negatively and their lives are damaged, they shouldn’t be marginalised or dismissed so easily.

      It’s not a distraction. These groups are all part of society and need to be included in a humane and inclusive way.

      The US media, though, is another matter. And I agree issues of income and wealth inequality need urgent attention, as does brutal entrenched racism.

      • Liberal Realist 41.1.1


        ‘Identity politics’ does not equal ‘LGBTI+’. Nor did I imply LGBTI+ people are ‘fringe groups’.

        I’m of no doubt that LGBTI+ people are affected by the distraction I think is caused by identity politics, and I consider LGBTI+ people to be in that majority.

        No one individual should be marginalised for any reason, be it their ethnicity, sexuality, religion, appearance or political beliefs.

        In my opinion, identity politics are a product of elite social engineering, are divisive, counter productive, and breed conflict by creating an ‘us and them’ paradigm.

    • Bill 41.2

      For the life of me I can’t understand why the religious amongst us feel like they have the right to impose their beliefs on others? Disagree with same sex marriage? Sure, that is your prerogative, but don’t attempt to impose your beliefs on others.

      Seems to me the boot is far more on the other foot in this case. The baker “has to”, at least, be seen to pay lip service to the idea of same sex marriage.

      Looking at her cakes, they might pass as works of art more than baking, which got me thinking about artists and their right (or lack there-of) to turn down a commission for a given work. But maybe I digress….

      (You keeping count there Ad?)

  41. The Fairy Godmother 42

    I am curious as to what church she goes to and who the pastor is. We may have a horrible offshoot of the Westboro Baptists germinating in our midst. Would you want such a group to do Bible in schools for instance. Free speech and all that.

    • BM 42.1

      Christ, what a dickbag 🙄

    • RedLogix 42.2

      Fair call, you go do that and I’ll have see if I can dox the lesbian couple involved and find some dirt in their past. That should be fun. /sarc

      Just to cover my arse here; yes I’m being sarcastic. The point so many people seem to miss over and over, is that justifying bad behaviour because YOU believe it’s supporting a ‘good cause’, leaves you totally defenseless against someone else doing exactly the same in return, because THEY believe it’s a ‘good cause’.

    • Ad 42.3

      Someone’s going to get a spanking for that.

  42. Blazer 43

    The cakemaker committed the ultimate sin in modern society….she was honest.
    Ipso facto=naive.

  43. Andy 44

    If I want an electrical fitting I go to an electric shop

    If I want a gay cake I go to a gay cake shop

    I don’t demand that the electrician make me a gay cake, nor do I demand that the gay cake maker install my dishwasher

    • Robert Guyton 44.1

      And if you want a gay appliance, say, a gay electric cake mixer?
      Where do you go then, Andy?

    • RedLogix 44.2

      Nah. It’s a only half an argument. Being gay has nothing to do with either electrical goods or cake making. It’s simply not a relevant qualification.

      And keep in mind that homophobia is a real thing, that it IS unreasonable to discriminate solely because of someone’s sexual orientation … when the context has nothing to do with it. For instance, would you fire an electrical contractor if you discovered he/she was gay? All you are really concerned about is whether they do a competent job and the invoice is what you agreed to.

      The cake maker may well be in a somewhat different position, wedding cakes as Bill suggests do have an artisan aspect to them. There is something personal invested in the making of them, and this could be argued as having some bearing whether the service should be compelled by law or not.

      Equally however you can easily see that in the general case it’s wholly undesirable for people offering commercial service to indulge wholesale in this kind of discrimination purely on personal beliefs. There is a cost both ways, but I believe on balance there is more to be gained by discouraging this kind of discrimination than permitting it.

      • Andy 44.2.1

        A Muslim cabin crew member of staff was allowed not to serve alcohol based on religious reasons

      • The Fairy Godmother 44.2.2

        My understanding is its the commercial element that makes discrimination illegal. For instance a church can refuse to do gay weddings if it is part of their religious practice however if they charge commercially and hire out the church for weddings then they can’t discriminate. In the same way if the cake maker made cakes as a hobby for friends and family she could discriminate but not when she does it commercially.

        • RedLogix

          That’s my understanding too. On the whole society works better if we don’t permit commercial entities to discriminate on arbitrary or personal grounds that have little or no relevance to the service being provided.

          • Andy

            Do you think all people of faith should be forced to bake gay cakes, or just Christians?

            i.e should we force Muslims to bake gay cakes? A very high percentage (over 50% I think) of Muslims think that homosexuality should be banned

            If we are going to make forcible baking of gay cakes a legal think it needs to be applied consistently

            • RedLogix

              Same rule applies; if they’re in the business of making cakes for weddings they’re not allowed to discriminate as per the law.

              Of course there is an undertone to your question; I agree the left has a deeply conflicted relationship with Islam. I hinted at it here:


            • Robert Guyton

              “Do you think all people of faith should be forced to bake gay cakes, or just Christians?”
              No, people of faith shouldn’t be forced to bake anything other than Christians!

              • Andy

                You want to bake Christians? How, slowly over hot coals?

                • Robert Guyton

                  No, I don’t want to bake anything at all , Andy. You offered your “people of faith” the choice of two dishes. I think the first is the humane choice. Can’t see why you suggested the second, as I noted (forgot the sarc tag, sorry).

  44. Robert Guyton 45

    ” Being gay has nothing to do with … cake making”.
    I shoulda said cup cakes!

  45. Timeforacupoftea 46

    Lessons to be learnt.
    – the silly buggers gave the show away when they ordered rainbow icing !

  46. Cinny 47

    Clip is called…… “Would Jesus Bake for Gay People?”

    He summarises by asking, ‘do homosexuals know we are chrisitians because of our love for them, or because we won’t bake them a cake?’

    Please forward to the minister of the bakers church to play at Sundays service.

    Lolllz not sure who I’m asking, but stranger things have happened.

  47. Blazer 48

    This cakemaker may look back on this, as the day she had a …’Betty Crocker’!

  48. Delia 49

    A better idea would be to say I am fully booked. Than the lesbian couple will think OK, or you did not want to bake us our wedding cake..whatever it is the most civil way out of the situation. No one wants to hear a whole paragraph on why they do not approve of your marriage, it is hurtful and rude.

  49. Puckish Rogue 50

    Don’t know if anyones posted this yet:

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  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Monday July 9
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 9, the top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so are:Scoop: Probation officer sacked for snooping is linked to alleged spy Jian Yang. Corrections dismissed Xu Shan over his ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What has the Government done for you so far?
    List effective 1 July 2024Consumer and household (note: road and car costs are under infrastructure)Cancelled half-price public transport fares for under-25s and free fares for under-13s funding, scrapping the Labour government-era subsidies. The change will not affect pre-existing discounts funded directly by councils.Cut funding for free budgeting services. One third of the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 8
    Photo by Amador Loureiro on UnsplashTL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 8, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days were:Local Government Minister Simeon Brown announced the Coalition Government would not be responding to ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 15 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 15 include:PM Christopher Luxon is travelling to Washington this week to attend a NATO meeting running from Tuesday to Thursday. Parliament is not sitting this week.The RBNZ is expected to hold the OCR on ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 30, 2024 thru Sat, July 6, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is brought to us by Dr. Ella Gilbert, a researcher with the British ...
    5 days ago
  • The Great Splintering: Thoughts on the British Election
    I can remember 1997. Even living on the other side of the world, having a Scottish father and Welsh grandfather meant I acquired a childhood knowledge of British politics via family connections (and general geekery). And yes, I inherited the dark legends of that evil folk-devil, Margaret Thatcher. So when ...
    5 days ago
  • 2% royalties for mining? Deal!
    Snapshot postToday, Shane Jones was courageous enough to front Q&A with Jack Tame. Thanks for reading Mountain Tui ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Jack Tame is a bit of a legend. And that’s only because he strikes me as a good journalist i.e. well ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Aotearoa Says – No Diggity.
    Strictly biz, don't play aroundCover much ground, got game by the poundGetting paid is a forteEach and every day, true player wayOne month ago tens of thousands of Kiwis took to the streets to protest against the coalition’s Fast Track legislation. Concerned that it would prioritise some people making a ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Strangers and others
    For a moment yesterday I thought I might have been trailing my old friend Simon Wilson across the Danube, over cobbled stones, and into the old town square of Linz. Same comfortable riding style, same jacket, same full head of hair, but no, different friend of cycling.There is a kindred ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Killing the Golden Goose of New Zealand's economy
    IntroductionIn New Zealand, the National party generally retains a reputation of being pro-business and pro-economy.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.The underlying assumption is National are more competent economic managers, and by all accounts Luxon and his team have talked ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Newshub Signs Off
    Wait for the night, for the light at the end of an era'Cause it's love at the end of an eraThe last episode of Newshub, the final instalment of TV3 News, aired last night. Many of us who took the time to watch felt sad and nostalgic looking back over ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • The Pharmac Fiasco
    If you don’t understand how things work you make foolish mistakes. To explain how the government got into its cancer drugs muddle, we need to explain first how New Zealand’s pharmaceutical purchasing system works. There is a parallel between Pharmac and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. The Government sets ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • An unexpected honour.
    One can take many things as a budge of honour but this was somewhat unexpected. Was it something that I said? See line 3: ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • An Ode to the British Tories
    The legend Jonathan Pie nails it in under 5 minutes. There is more, of course, but his summary is both fair and an outstanding take on the UK Conservative Party’s right wing legacy.Austerity, cuts to the public service, trickle down economics, corruption, policies favouring corporations and the wealthy, underinvesting in ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Knives out for Kāinga Ora
    Note this a longer read.TLDR: Bishop had always intended to shortchange Kāinga Ora and malign the Board and Executive. The $500,000 independent review of Kāinga Ora was anything but, and poses serious ethical issues in both conduct and outcomes. Kāinga Ora had a debt to assset ratio of 0.25 when ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Something's going to change
    If you’re selling your soul, working all dayOvertime hours for bullshit payNothing’s gonna change if all you do Is wish you could wake up and it not be trueJoin a union, fight for better payJoin a union, brother, organise todayYou’ll see where the problem really liesWhen the union comes around: ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 5-July-2024
    Welcome to the second half of the year! And another roundup of stories that caught our eye over the week. As always, feel free to add anything we’ve missed, in the comments. The fortnight on Greater Auckland Last week was a short week, but nonetheless action-packed: On Monday, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • How the team of 5 million lost the game
    A study of the 2020 election has found that though the swing to Labour was the biggest vote shift in New Zealand for more than a century, it was not structural. Indeed, the fundamental electoral forces that drove the result were not dissimilar to those that had emerged in the ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #27 2024
    Open access notables Climate-driven deoxygenation of northern lakes, Jansen et al., Nature Climate Change: Oxygen depletion constitutes a major threat to lake ecosystems and the services they provide. Most of the world’s lakes are located >45° N, where accelerated climate warming and elevated carbon loads might severely increase the risk of ...
    1 week ago

  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    12 hours ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    14 hours ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    15 hours ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    15 hours ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    20 hours ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    1 day ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    1 day ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    2 days ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    2 days ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    2 days ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    2 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
    2 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
    3 days ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
    More than 1,300 people have submitted on the recent proposal to make it easier to build granny flats, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk say. “The strong response shows how popular the proposal is and how hungry the public is for common sense changes to make ...
    3 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
    Toitū te taiao – our environment endures!  New Zealanders will get to enjoy more of our country’s natural beauty including at Cathedral Cove – Mautohe thanks to a $25 million boost for conservation, Conservation Minister Tama Potaka announced today.  “Te taiao (our environment) is critical for the country’s present and ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced a further $16 million of support for Ukraine, as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal invasion. The announcement of further support for Ukraine comes as Prime Minister Luxon attends the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC. “New Zealand will provide an additional ...
    3 days ago
  • Country Kindy to remain open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says that Country Kindy in Manawatu will be able to remain open, after being granted a stay from the Ministry of Education for 12 weeks. “When I heard of the decision made last week to shut down Country Kindy I was immediately concerned and asked ...
    3 days ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
    New export arrangements signed today by New Zealand and Indonesia will boost two-way trade, Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. Mr McClay and Dr Sahat Manaor Panggabean, Chairman of the Indonesia Quarantine Authority (IQA), signed an updated cooperation arrangement between New Zealand and Indonesia in Auckland today. “The cooperation arrangement paves the way for New Zealand and Indonesia to boost our $3 billion two-way trade and further ...
    3 days ago
  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
    A Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) framework has been released by the Coalition Government for consultation, providing an opportunity for industry to reduce net CO2 emissions from gas use and production, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “Our Government is committed to reducing red tape and removing barriers to drive investment ...
    3 days ago
  • Faster consenting with remote inspections
    The Government is progressing a requirement for building consent authorities to use remote inspections as the default approach so building a home is easier and cheaper, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Building anything in New Zealand is too expensive and takes too long. Building costs have increased by ...
    4 days ago
  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
    A new revision programme enabling the Government to continue the progressive revision of Acts in New Zealand has been presented to Parliament, Attorney-General Judith Collins announced today. “Revision targets our older and outdated or much-amended Acts to make them more accessible and readable without changing their substance,” Ms Collins says. ...
    4 days ago
  • Government aligns Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia to reduce vehicle prices for Kiwis
    The Government will be aligning the Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia in order to provide the vehicle import market with certainty and ease cost of living pressures on Kiwis the next time they need to purchase a vehicle, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“The Government supports the Clean Car Importer ...
    4 days ago
  • NZQA Board appointments
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today announced three appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Kevin Jenkins has been appointed as the new Chair of the NZQA Board while Bill Moran MNZM has been appointed as the Deputy Chair, replacing Pania Gray who remains on the Board as a ...
    4 days ago
  • More support for Wairoa clean-up
    A further $3 million of funding to Wairoa will allow Wairoa District Council to get on with cleaning up household waste and sediment left by last week’s flooding, Emergency Management and Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell says.  In Budget 24 the Government provided $10 million to the Hawke’s Bay Region to ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister thanks outgoing Secretary for Education
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today thanked the outgoing Secretary for Education. Iona Holsted was appointed in 2016 and has spent eight years in the role after being reappointed in May 2021. Her term comes to an end later this year.  “I acknowledge Iona’s distinguished public service to New Zealand ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister concludes local government review
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has concluded the Future for Local Government Review and confirmed that the Coalition Government will not be responding to the review’s recommendations.“The previous government initiated the review because its Three Waters and resource management reforms would have stripped local government of responsibility for water assets ...
    1 week ago
  • Consultation begins on new cancer medicines
    Associate Health Minister for Pharmac David Seymour says today’s announcement that Pharmac is opening consultation on new cancer medicines is great news for Kiwi cancer patients and their families. “As a result of the coalition Government’s $604 million funding boost, consultation is able to start today for the first two ...
    1 week ago
  • 50 years on, Niue and NZ look to the future
    A half-century after pursuing self-government, Niue can count on New Zealand’s steadfast partnership and support, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says. “New Zealand and Niue share a unique bond, forged over 50 years of free association,” Mr Peters says. “We are looking forward to working together to continue advancing Niue’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Upgrading system resulting in faster passport processing
    Acting Internal Affairs Minister David Seymour says wait times for passports are reducing, as the Department of Internal Affairs (the Department) reports the highest ever monthly figure for digital uptake in passport applications.  “As of Friday 5 July, the passport application queue has reduced by 34.4 per cent - a ...
    1 week ago
  • Roads of National Significance moving at pace
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news that the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is getting on with the Government’s first seven Roads of National Significance (RoNS) projects expected to begin procurement, enabling works and construction in the next three years.   “Delivering on commitments in our coalition agreements, we are moving ...
    1 week ago
  • New school for Flat Bush
    The Coalition Government is building for roll growth and easing pressure in Auckland’s school system, by committing to the construction of a new primary school, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. As part of Budget 24’s $456 million injection into school property growth, a new primary school (years 1-6) will be ...
    1 week ago
  • Dr Shane Reti's speech to Iwi-Maori Partnership Boards, Rotorua
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    1 week ago
  • Announcement of Mental Health Targets and Mental Health and Addiction Community Sector Innovation Fu...
    Kia Ora Koutou, Tena Koutou, Good Morning. Thank you Mahaki Albert for the warm welcome. Thank you, Prime Minister, and thank you everyone for coming today. When I look around the room this morning, I see many of our hard-working mental health and addictions workforce from NGO and Community groups, ...
    1 week ago
  • Expert panel appointed to review Public Works Act
    An independent expert advisory panel has been appointed to review the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk has announced.  “The short, sharp review demonstrates the Government’s commitment to progressing critical infrastructure projects and reducing excessive regulatory and legislative barriers, so ...
    1 week ago
  • Resources Minister heads to Australia with message – ‘NZ is open for business’
    A trip to Australia next week to meet mining sector operators and investors will signal New Zealand is once again open for business, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. The visit is also an opportunity to build relationships with Australian state and federal counterparts and learn from their experiences as New ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s scholarships awarded
    New Zealand’s ability to engage with key trading partners is set to grow further with 20 scholarships awarded for groups to gain education experiences across Asia and Latin America, Tertiary Education and Skills Minister, Penny Simmonds says. Of the 20 scholarships, 12 have been awarded to groups travelling for study ...
    1 week ago
  • Next steps for Northwest Rapid Transit underway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed progress on Northwest Rapid Transit, as the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) confirms next steps on the preferred option, a busway alongside State Highway 16 from Brigham Creek to Auckland City Centre. “The Government is committed to a rapid transit system that will support urban development, ...
    1 week ago
  • Targets will drive improvement in mental health
    Reflecting the Government’s priority to improve the public services Kiwis rely on, including mental health care, Minister for Mental Health, Matt Doocey has today announced five mental health and addiction targets.  “The targets reflect my priorities to increase access to mental health and addiction support, grow the mental health and addiction ...
    1 week ago
  • New fund for mental health services set to open
    The first round of the government’s $10 million Mental Health and Addiction Community Sector Innovation Fund is set to open for applications later this month, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says.   “The Fund will support new and innovative initiatives that are focussed on increasing access to better mental health support, ...
    1 week ago
  • Going for Housing Growth speech
    Speech to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand - 4 July 202 AcknowledgementsGood morning. Can I acknowledge Jen Baird and the team from REINZ. It’s good to be here with you this morning.IntroductionThis morning I’d like to talk to you about the Coalition Government’s plan to fix our housing crisis and ...
    1 week ago

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