Marlborough Express – disgraceful

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, May 30th, 2013 - 194 comments
Categories: newspapers, racism - Tags: , ,

What were they thinking?


Update: Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy to hold a press conference at 1pm.

194 comments on “Marlborough Express – disgraceful ”

  1. Bill 1

    Giving this extra oxygen – why?

    • Lightly 1.1

      to make the perpetrators pay.

      sunlight’s the best disinfectant.

      • Bill 1.1.1

        Yaeh, except this is the type of casual racism that is bog standard and run of the mill for NZ. Treating it as something exceptional or out of the ordinary (as per, it seems to me, this post) just doesn’t achieve anything.

        Ask yourself how many people routinely mutter sentiments similar to the ones expressed in this cartoon. Sadly, the answer is ‘many’.

        So why not highlight and engage with that instead of a passing suggestion that bigotry [for anyone who wants to suggest any of those characters are white/pink] and racism are out of the ordinary, out of step or rare? They’re not.

        It’s a deep and serious problem in NZ that deserves far more focus and energy than a simple throw away that has the potential to elicit nothing beyond a simple self congratulatory “I ‘get it’ and isn’t it just terrible in this day and age” moment of head shaking, tut tutting and/or hand wringing.

        • weka

          I think it IS out of the ordinary for a newspaper to run such a cartoon in NZ. Isn’t it?

          It’s a deep and serious problem in NZ that deserves far more focus and energy than a simple throw away that has the potential to elicit nothing beyond a simple self congratulatory “I ‘get it’ and isn’t it just terrible in this day and age” moment of head shaking, tut tutting and/or hand wringing.

          True. So how about in this thread we talk about how to do something else than wring our hands?

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead

            …lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the endorsement of right-wing ideologies (social conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism) and low levels of contact with out-groups…

            Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes, Hodson & Bussery 2012.

            I’m not sure what can be done about stupidity, other than education, but what about more contact with out-groups?

    • r0b 1.2

      Giving this extra oxygen – why?

      Sunlight, disinfectant. Ignoring this stuff let’s it fester in the dark.

      Contact the ME (and their advertisers) to express your views…

      • Ugly Truth 1.2.1

        You could always tell them about a cunning plan to deprive the ME & its advertisers of business with a grass-roots boycott of their products.

  2. Morrissey 2

    “Sir” Paul Holmes lives! He’s been reincarnated as an unfunny cartoonist!

  3. TheContrarian 3

    I assumed we all understood satire. Guess not.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1

      That you mistake racism for satire makes you part of the problem.

      • TheContrarian 3.1.1

        I see a bunch of adults (of both races – not just one) pretending to be children in order to get a free meal so they can get booze/pokies/smokes.
        A satirical look at the current fear the right are trying to instill in people.

        It may not be funny but it is hardly racist.

        • Blue

          Yeah, just because the speech about more money for ‘booze, smokes and pokies’ is ascribed to the obese, tattooed Maori/Pacific Island character, speaking to the other obese Maori/Pacific Island character, that isn’t racist at all.

          Just because two skinny elderly white people who are not involved in the conversation have been included for distraction purposes so that idiots like yourself can pretend the cartoon isn’t racist.

          • TheContrarian

            Oh well, enjoy your frothy rage

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead

              It’s rage – or hate if you prefer – being given voice by the Marlborough Express and Nisbet.

        • Roy

          Did you miss that the adults who are conversing are portrayed as Maori/Polynesian, and characterised as wanting to spend their money on ‘booze, smokes and pokies’, or do you fail to recognize the racism in that?

          • TheContrarian

            I fail to see the racism because it is a political cartoon which points out, using satire, there are actually idiots out there that think this way.

            • Roy

              Like the cartoonist for one.

              • TheContrarian

                Yes, the author really believes adults will dress as children to get a free breakfast.

                • Roy

                  I don’t think that is likely, but I think it is very likely he believes that Maori spend their money on booze, cigarettes and pokies, because that sort of thinking is all too common.

                  • TheContrarian

                    The very fact he used adults suggests he is highlighting how silly that sort of thinking is.

        • weka

          “I see a bunch of adults (of both races – not just one)”

          Both? What are they, black and white?

          • TheContrarian

            No, I am assuming Maori and Pakeha.

            • weka

              How can you tell they are Maori and Pakeha?

              • TheContrarian

                It’s an assumption.

                • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                  But I thought it was accepted that the most vulnerable members of our society were the ones who would suffer if there were more pokies?

                  Why is it OK for the Greens and Labour to say this but not a cartoonist?

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Because saying ‘gambling addiction makes people vulnerable’ is nothing like saying ‘bloody fat maaris will just abuse this because they are shit parents who blow their money on booze smkes and lotto’ perhaps?

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      Whereas, what the left is saying is: Bloody fat maaris have no free will and cannot help but feed money into pokies.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      [citation needed]

                    • weka

                      No Gormless, that is what you are saying.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Can you give an example of someone saying that?

                      Other than you I mean.

        • Frank Macskasy

          “Satire”? Is that the new term for overt racism?

          “The Civilian” and “Imperator Fish” do satire nicely. (Just ask Colin Craig)

          This ain’t satire. Not even close.

  4. Winston Smith 4

    About as subtle as a kick in the goolies

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1

      Yep. Saying what the National Party’s core supporters think.

      • TheContrarian 4.1.1

        Which makes it satire you idiot.

        • Roy

          Satire: the use of humour to criticize someone or something and make them seem silly.

          So you don’t think trying to make Maori/Polynesian ‘seem silly’ is racist?

          • TheContrarian

            No, the point seems to be people who think that feeding children breakfast means Maori/Polynesian have more for pokies etc are silly. Taking the incongruous scene of adults pretending to be children highlights how silly it is

          • Populuxe1

            “So you don’t think trying to make Maori/Polynesian ‘seem silly’ is racist?”

            I wasn’t aware there was a clause in the Treaty that exempts New Zealanders from satire based on the melanin content of their skin. It’s certainly not trying to make “all” Maori/Polynesians seem silly.

            • Pascal's bookie

              Two strawmen slain in one short comment. You’re like Jack the Giant Killer, and should make yourself a belt.

            • Frank Macskasy

              I wasn’t aware there was a clause in the Treaty that exempts New Zealanders from satire based on the melanin content of their skin. It’s certainly not trying to make “all” Maori/Polynesians seem silly.

              Does there have to be?

              There is such a thing as respect, Pops. Or doesn’t that count any more in your Brave Neo-liberal World?

      • Winston Smith 4.1.2

        And more than a few Labour supporters as well…

        • Pascal's bookie

          Shall we compare this thread on a left blog, to ones on the topic at Whaleoil then? We could do some maths and stuff too.

  5. Olwyn 5

    I see it as propaganda against the poor, whatever their race. It is unfunny, and follows the lines of such propaganda against other groups in other times and places. It is funny to cock a snook at the powerful, it is unfunny to use so-called humour to shore up contempt for the powerless.

    • TheContrarian 5.1

      Well, I am fairly sure, given the nature of political cartoons, the cartoonist is playing on the bullshit fears the right are whipping up as opposed to actually expressing his personal views.

      • Roy 5.1.1

        I am fairly sure he is expressing his personal views. Why would your ‘fairly sure’ be more accurate and valid than mine?

        • TheContrarian

          Because it is a political cartoon and Al Nisbet is well know to use satire to make a point about society.

          Do you really think the author believes adults will dress as children to get a free breakfast?

          • Roy

            No, but I can readily believe that Al Nisbet believes that Maori like to spend their money on booze, cigarettes and pokies, and have no reason to believe otherwise. Plenty or RWNJs do believe that.

            • TheContrarian

              Oh well. Rage away

            • Populuxe1

              I suppose you know him or otherwise privvy to his inmost thoughts?

              • Pascal's bookie

                You can go the the National Library site, and look at his work. He’s pretty consistent.

                You don’t need to know his innermost thoughts, (another strawman), Roy was talking about his own ‘beliefs’, and said he has no reason to believe otherwise.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        Satire only works if it’s a) funny and b) understood. This ‘cartoon’ is either neither or is understood and not funny because it’s racist crap. I’m going for the racist crap with a large dollop of poor bashing thrown in.

    • Bill 5.2

      I agree Olwyn, and am pretty sure that with a bit of thought the caption could have laughed with poor people taking desperate measures in the face of poverty….a gallows humour type cartoon.

  6. vto 6

    There was one almost identical in Te Press this morning. (useless linking skills)

  7. vto 7

    What about an identical one with farmers and their $400 MILLION for irrigation, with some commentary around it leaving more money for the new ute, the Wanaka holiday pad, that rare whiskey and the town pad for ths kids to live in while attending some ponced up school…

    It is fucking bullshit all of this. People who complain about the community feeding itself have their heads stuck up their own arses – it is no wonder all they see is shit, all they think is shit and they leave a bad smell everytime they say something.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Farmers kids get breakfast provided by Student Allowance. Real handy.

    • TheContrarian 7.2

      “It is fucking bullshit all of this.”

      Which is why this cartoon is what we call “satire”.

      I honestly can’t see what is difficult to understand here. It’s not funny and is crude and unsubtle but clearly the cartoonist is not expressing his views but poking the people that do think like this by introducing the incongruous scene of adults pretending to be children so they can get a free breakfast.

      Has no one actually seen a political cartoon before?

      • vto 7.2.1

        Yep I see that but mine grumps are aimed at the wider issue of people who are complaining about society feeding itself, by whatever means.

        The whole idea that feeding the kids is primarily the parents responsibility is simplistic, and that simplicity renders other resonsibilities mute. Those other responsibilities include that of wider society to ensure its members (our neighbours) are fed. Wtf do people expect? That there is no responsibility on the part of neighbours to ensure people around them do not go hungry? Or that particular responsibility is tiny in comparison to the parents responsibility? Well, imo it aint. The parents and wider society responsibilties to ensure we are all fed are near equal imo.

        Otherwise we let our neighbours starve. And that is something not even the recent neanderthals used to do.

        • TheContrarian

          Well I agree, vto.

          I think it is the primary responsibility of the parents but the government has responsibility to provide the parents with means to do so. Hone said basically the same thing and I found myself in agreement

          • Populuxe1

            Although there is something deeply unsettling about an axis of agreement between Mana and ACT on any subject.

      • Roy 7.2.2

        Yes, I’ve seen some very ones, generally aimed at politicians. To quote Olwyn, above ‘It is funny to cock a snook at the powerful, it is unfunny to use so-called humour to shore up contempt for the powerless.’ Beating up on the poor, and promoting nasty stereotypes about them, is not political cartooning, it is hatemongering.

        • TheContrarian

          Can you honestly not see this cartoon is aimed at mokcing those who stupidly think that a free breakfast means Maori will spend more on booze etc?

          • Bill

            That would involve a few steps of considered extrapolation…or indulgence in mental gymnastics… to get away from what the cartoon is actually expressing. And cartoons just don’t generally work on that level. They’re immediate.

          • weka

            “Can you honestly not see this cartoon is aimed at mokcing those who stupidly think that a free breakfast means Maori will spend more on booze etc?”

            No, I can’t. I can’t see the aspects of the cartoon that direct it against racists. Why don’t you show us what it is about this cartoon that makes it satire against racists, rather than satire against poor, brown people?

          • Roy

            I’m with Bill and weka on this one.

            • TheContrarian

              Well, I would have said the incongruity of the fact that no one could possibly believe adults would dress as children in order receive a free breakfast points to no one could really believe a free breakfast means there is more money for pokies but after viewing the one in The Press I can’t really give Nisbet the benefit of the doubt any longer

              • woodpecker

                Either way you look at it TC, It is clearly about people abusing the welfare system. Definately not funny.

          • Murray Olsen

            No, I can’t. The fact that the cartoons were published in Marlborough and Christchurch makes it harder to believe your version.

            • Populuxe1

              Why exactly? Or are you employing satirical sterotypes about the South Island?

              • Murray Olsen

                I’m not being satirical at all. My experience has been that a higher than average proportion of comfortable white racists live in Marlborough and Christchurch. If the cartoon, or something like it, had been published in a largely PI or Maori area, it may well have been satirising the racist views shown. It wasn’t.

      • Te Reo Putake 7.2.3

        “Has no one actually seen a political cartoon before?”

        I’m wondering if you have, TC. There is nothing subversive or satirical about this piece of racist crap. As has been pointed out above, having the words spoken by stereotypical brown skinned person is a sign of bigotry, not of subtle nuance. Stop being such a toadying conformist and try and live up to your handle for a change.

        • TheContrarian

          “top being such a toadying conformist and try and live up to your handle for a change.”


          “Be contrary and agree with me and the others on this page!”

          Yeah…how contrary. I think you misunderstand why I choose this handle.

          • Te Reo Putake

            Nah, I think you misunderstand what contrarian means. It’s not flip flopping on your position depending on the audience, that’s best left to the PM.

            • Populuxe1

              Your’s isn’t the contrary view, it is painfully conformist submission of a left wing bleeding heart using ideology as a crutch so they don’t have to do any critical thinking for themselves or mayhap deal with a murky, ambiguous reality.

              • NickS


                Thinking – just try it for once, instead of constructing a “slandering” stereotype of a strawman from your own personal un-sanity-checked biases.

                Otherwise I shalth have the most terrible hunger to metaphorically gnaw on your occasional dumps of rich stupid for fun.

  8. Roy 8

    Contrarian, has it ever occurred to you that when a number of people look at this and see offensive racist stereotyping, and you are the one person who doesn’t, that it might be your interpretation that is the incorrect one?

    • TheContrarian 8.1

      Of course it occurs to me. But I weighed on it the balance probabilities and Argumentum ad populum is a logically fallacy.

      Also it wouldn’t be very contrary of me, would it? 🙂

  9. prism 9

    Al Nisbet – Pretty much stuck on making cheap shots appealing to stereotypes. Sort of like past comedians who used to specialise in mother-in-law jokes or ones about their wives (even if they didn’t have such). Anyway he uses the list of outliers and others who are in the acceptable list for pie in the face (Mmmm pie, meat pie, drool – are they allowed to have pies at schools) or egg and tomato throwing (useless of course, without the bread).

  10. Saccharomyces 10

    This is really just such a weak cartoon, this just screams to me of a quick 5-minute “shit what am I going to put in this today” job.

  11. Billy T 11

    Well I had a laugh and a think.

    Unfortunately it plays to a stereotype which according to statistics is true enough that we shouldn’t just cry racism and run away but look to how we can stop this stereotype from even being the slightest bit true.

    People in this country need help, through whatever circumstances they’ve got themselves into shit.

  12. Rodel 12

    Nisbett often, has unpleasant cartoons. Others like Evans are usually more subtle and clever.

  13. Adrian 13

    The thing that is so disappointing about this piece of shit appearing in the ME is how much the wealth of Marlborough and NZ relies on Polynesians mums and dads working in the vineyards all winter starting generally before dawn ( it was -4.9 ground temp this morning ) for not a lot of money, although above minimum though often well below the ” Living Wage”.
    They do not deserve to be insulted by this sort of bigotted stereotyping.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      If you can’t poke fun at the coloured workers on the plantation, what is the world coming to.

  14. gobsmacked 14

    The Marlborough Express “apology” is being drafted … get your Bingo cards ready:

    “… with the benefit of hindsight … not our intention to … if anybody took offence … robust debate … tradition of Swift … some of our best friends/cleaners … colour-blind … ” etc, etc.

    • Roy 14.1

      Yeah, it’ll be one of those Claytons apologies that blames the offended people for being offended. If any apology happens at all, that is.

  15. Unbelievable. This is vile.

    • Mary 15.1

      Yes, more for perpetuating the myths around poverty. It’s interesting how the right ignore the inadequacy of basic benefit levels that haven’t changed in real terms since 1991. On top of this housing costs have soared as well as ongoing attacks on all other areas of social security that have been constant since 1991 and are still happening now, and the right continue to believe that benefit levels are easily enough to get by on and if people don’t have enough money it’s because benefits are being spent on things like booze and gambling. Why can’t the right think things through logically?

      • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1

        Why can’t the right think things through logically?

        Because then they’d have to question their beliefs.

    • pollywog 15.2

      Funny ?…not even Al!

  16. ak 16

    Dear oh dear. Right-wing humour and a single so serious defender. Ya gotta laugh or you’d vomit.

  17. NZ Femme 17

    A commenter at The Daily Blog provided the email addy for the ME editor.

    Have emailed him to express my disgust.

    • Ditto, NZ Femme.

    • Our household has emailed the editor.

      Steve Mason replied to me asking if it was meant as a publishable letter to the editor. I replied that was fine by me;

      from: Frank Macskasy
      date: Thu, May 30, 2013 at 11:33 AM
      subject: Cartoon

      Your cartoon “the more cash for booze and smokes” is vile and racist. It is incomprehensible that you thought it was remotely funny.

      The neo-facists “white resistance” might approve but is that the audience you’re pandering to? Is your paper now pandering to the bigots and prejudiced in our country?

      Who is next – gays, jews, solo-mums?

      Shame on you. You have hit the gutter.

      -Frank Macskasy
      (address & phone number supplied)

      • Naturesong 17.2.1

        Stop pussyfooting around Frank.
        Tell them what you really think.

      • ak 17.2.2

        Well done Frank (you too Conty, takes a big man etc)

      • King Kong 17.2.3

        Excellent over reaction Frank.
        Personally I fainted when I first saw this cartoon and have only just finished vomiting after 4 hours convulsing on the floor. I suspect this cartoon may have given me cancer.

        • Murray Olsen

          Oh, I hope it has given you cancer. I need some good news.

          [lprent: Flamewar starter. Do I need to start an excision to prevent the spread? ]

          • King Kong

            Bad luck, it was actually Aids and now your mums got it.

            [lprent: And you’re not much better. Both of you appear to lack the required skill to even make it interesting enough for the rest of us to watch the ineffectual dueling. I bet you could raise a decent fish if you tried. ]

        • Paul

          Never have anything helpful or constructive to say, do you.
          Your contributions are always intended to incite.
          What a nice guy.

        • Frank Macskasy

          @ King Kong.

          Thank you.

          I do my best.

          Question; so you won’t defend my right to free speech as you will Al Nisbet’s?

          It seems a common feature of right wingers; make a provacative statement (or cartoon in this instance); claim the right of freedom of expression; then condemn critical comments which are contrary to the initial provacative statement (or cartoon) as an “over reaction”.

          Interesting method to create a one-way public discourse.

          By the way, I wouldn’t wish cancer on you.

          However, I hope you are re-born into a low-income, brown (or white) family, in the next life. A family earning minimum wage; facing high rentals and power prices; never ending bills; and no way out.

          I’d love to see your reaction to rubbish like Nisbet’s cartoons.

          Your subsequent comments on The Standard, (which will be run by Lprent Jnr) may be wiser with experience.

  18. veutoviper 18

    RNZ National has just reported on Midday report that John Minto on behalf of the Mana Party has formally complained to our new Race Relations Commissioner, Dame Susan Devoy, about the ‘cartoon’. They also reported that she is holding a press conference at 1pm….

    I am not holding my breath. Will it be another “I don’t want to get involved” ?

    Edit – here is the link'sinister'-cartoon

  19. gobsmacked 19

    Susan Devoy says it isn’t racist (source: Radio Live, and Twitter).

    So that’s OK then.

    3 News headline: Hone Harawira says it’s racist. Well, yes, but that’s not really the story, is it? “A whole lot of people are saying it’s racist” would be more accurate.

  20. r0b 20

    Update: Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy to hold a press conference at 1pm.

    • Roy 20.1

      ‘In the meantime [Devoy’s] office has issued a statement in which she said the cartoon was “sadly insenstive to the issues of children living in poverty”.

      ‘”This is not particularly clever and many will find it hurtful and offensive. The worst aspect, in my opinion, is that it stigmatises efforts to address the situation that sees too many of our children living in poverty,” she said.

      “Beyond that, it is glaringly obvious that the cartoon portrays Maori or Pacific as the butt of its attempted humour. Using such negative stereotypes in this way is insulting and derogatory in the extreme.”‘

      Amazing. Who wrote that for her?!

      • Colonial Viper 20.1.1

        I guess a few brave staff members decided to stay on and do her job for her while she goes yachting.

      • Murray Olsen 20.1.2

        Who wrote that? A NAct Party ad agency. What does it actually say? What I see is:

        The National Government, under the glorious leadership of John Key, the great friend of all children, is making herculean efforts to address the situation that sees too many of our children living in poverty. The National Party finds it hurtful and offensive that their efforts to build a brave new world are being made light of by this cartoon.

        It’s straight out NAct propaganda, and she’s probably too bloody thick to realise it. She must be one of the few people who earns her pay by being too stupid to earn it.

    • gobsmacked 20.2

      OK, I’ll revise previous comment on Devoy … she has at least said something halfway strong:

  21. Te Reo Putake 21

    The Press decides that keeping on digging the hole is the right answer:

    And choccy fish to the first person to spot the dual unintentional ironies in the comment from Nisbet: “I think people should lighten up a bit.”

    • kiwicommie 21.1

      It looks racist and insensitive, maybe they should change the “Qantas Media Award” to the Qantas Bigotry Award; wonder how they could have given out such an award to such a nasty fellow in the first place.

  22. joe90 22

    This gallery of his work shows Nisbet up as a piss poor satirist and desperately not funny.

  23. Pete 23

    Nisbet said the outcry was unexpected as he had done “a hell of a lot worse”.

    “Obviously the cartoon worked. It got reaction. You’ve got to push the envelope otherwise you have namby pamby PC cartoons.

    It’s not about being politically correct, it’s about not being a racist jerk. There’s an abundance of good cartoonists in the world who manage to be relevant and funny or thought provoking without resorting to racial stereotypes and denigrating the downtrodden – the impoverished being both those on welfare and the working poor.

    The fourth estate should be about holding the powerful to account, not about piling on the most marginalised people in society.

  24. gobsmacked 24

    It would be nice if Labour had learned from the Paul Henry episode, when we waited forever for Goff to respond, and when he did it was too late and too weak. What do their media team do all day?

    Not asking for miracles, just to have a mind, and to speak it, without waiting for focus groups.

    Memo to Shearer: a) See cartoon b) Think it’s offensive c) Say so. This takes 30 seconds max.

  25. tracey 25

    Mr nesbit needs to spend a week on minimum wage with two kids in aucklands rental market before he perpetuTes stupid myths

  26. infused 26

    Yawn, really? Thought you’d have better things to do than worry about something like this.

  27. Morrissey 27

    We solemnly declare that this cartoon is racist. It is a disgrace.

    Signed, with some comments, by the following anti-racists…

    Garrick Tremaine

    Rod Emmerson (They laughed when I said I’d be a cartoonist; nobody’s laughing now.)

    Garth “The Knife” McVicar (Racism is so wrong. I hate it.)

    Rodney “Rorter” Hide

    Don “Brethren Cash” Brash (Ehhhhhhhhhhmmmmm…)

    John Ansell

    Murray Deaker (I’m SICK and TIRED of racism. Against whites.)

    Richard Prosser M.P.

    Tony Veitch (I still say Serena Williams is a monkey. Just LOOK at her.)

    David Garrett (What to do with racists? They should be flayed publicly in the stocks, have their legs broken, then they should be buried alive, and have their identities stolen by some sordid, slimy, low-life, despicable creep.)

    Leighton Smith (Okay, I called Muhammad Ali a “nigger”, but he deserved it.)

    Kyle Chapman (So I burned down one marae; was that wrong?)

    Christine (Spankin’) Rankin

    Barry Corbett (What exactly is the problem with this very funny cartoon?)

    Andy Haden

    David “Squeaky” Kirk (I’m not particularly happy at the prospect of a nation full of brown faces, frankly, but I’ll sign your petition.)

    Michael Laws (I hate racism. And feral Maori. And Arabs.)

  28. AC 28

    Racist and is discriminating towards gingers. I’m surprised they haven’t got a person visually impaired
    or with special needs in there as-well. How low can you go? Scare mongering. Get those rich National Supporters worried about money. Meanwhile millions is being drained out of the country through white collar crime.

  29. tamati 29

    THAT’S IT!

    I’m never reading another copy of the Marlborough Express again!

  30. gobsmacked 30

    Barry Soper of the Fourth Estate, courageously holding the powerful to account:

    You’d think his commentary is an attempt at satire. But sadly, it’s not.

  31. weka 31

    RNZ “Cartoon ‘appalling, but not racism'”

    and the Press

    “Cartoon ‘insensitive’ but not racist, says commissioner”

    What Devoy actually said –

    The cartoons did not reach the level of racism within the commission’s inquiries and complaints process. The threshold under the law was “very high” and was about inciting racial disharmony.

    “Perhaps it is not right that the threshold is that high,” but that was a matter for the Government she said.

    Asked why anyone should make a complaint about the cartoons when the threshold for what was considered racism was so high, she replied: “I ask myself that all the time”.

    Despite that, the Human Rights Commission could still address the issue, and she encouraged people to complain to the commission, the editors of the newspapers, and the Press Council.

    Devoy is NOT saying the cartoon isn’t racist. She is saying that it can’t be investigated as a complaint by the HRC because the bar is set so high, probably too high in her opinion.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 31.1


      …matter or words likely to excite hostility against or bring into contempt… says the Human Rights Act 1993

      • weka 31.1.1

        Not so sure OAK. I suspect that the way that gets defined sets the bar high (otherwise every racist comment or slur would be grounds for complaint). I would like to see an opinion from an expert though (as opposed to Devoy).

        Like Murray above, I suspect she is being schooled in her responses by someone with the NACT agenda in their back pocket (“it’s wrong and kind of racist but it’s not really racist” will keep some of the closer to centre righties happy).

        The point I was making though, is that many things are unacceptably racist even if they can’t be grounds for a HRC complaint.

  32. Lucky Hugo was white.

    If only some people got as angry with stories about violence against kids, than they do for
    a cartoon featuring kids.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 32.1

      If only you had a cogent argument instead of empty rhetoric.

    • felix 32.2

      Errrrr… WTF?

      How is Hugo’s ethnicity relevant?

      You do get that the issue isn’t “brown kids in cartoons” don’t you?

  33. mac1 33

    with regard to the Al Nesbit cartoon in Wednesday’s Express.

    “For shame!” My verdict with reasons so clearly stated by Dame Susan Devoy today.

    I saw this cartoon last night, and felt it overstepped the mark in obvious stereotypical fashion, fell short of the mark in terms of humour, and left an unsightly mark in terms of race relations.

    In no way did it bear any resemblance to the local Maori or Pacifica populations that I know.”

    Sent to the Editor of the Marlborough Express, my local rag.

  34. Sookie 34

    I don’t particularly care about food in schools, problem gambling or kids sans shoes and raincoats to be honest, I am more concerned about the ever shat upon NZ environment and get a little bit pissed off with the Greens getting sidetracked by those issues. However I was so bloody riled by these wretched, racist, small minded provincial Noo Zilland cartoons I sent an angry email to both newspapers. You wouldn’t get away with publishing such garbage in the UK, unless it was in the Daily Fail, which one can avoid by choosing a less rabid newspaper. ALL our newspapers are rabid, which is depressing. The next Kiwi who makes a snide comment to me about how racist white South Africans are is going to get an earful. We are such hypocrites.

  35. Populuxe1 35

    Hmmmm. And yet when Nisbet was being hauled over the coals for cartoons criticising Israel’s conduct to the Palestinians, where were you then?

    • Clockie 35.1

      Ah, the old “if you didn’t criticize that you can’t criticize this” routine. Tiresome.

      • Populuxe1 35.1.1

        Seems to work for Noam Chomsky.

        • Colonial Viper

          uh, at the risk of pointing out the obvious, you ain’t no Chomsky.

        • Clockie

          Really? Do you have some specific examples of Chomsky using that line of argument?

          Maybe you just resent the huge and widely recognised contribution he has made both in his academic field and in his role as a public intellectual? Never mind. We mere mortals sometimes have to accept that some special individuals really do outclass us intellectually.

          CV. Snap. 🙂

    • weka 35.2

      Were the cartoons racist Pop?

    • kiwicommie 35.3

      criticising Israel’s conduct to the Palestinians

      So do the New Zealand National Front/Right Wing Resistance/White Supremacist groups. Doesn’t mean you should get out and defend them irrespective of whether they are right on a single issue. Anyway he is no Robert Fisk, Chomsky, or Hitchens. He is just a bigoted cartoonist that can’t help but spread his racism, and his prejudice across the MSM.

    • Pascal's bookie 35.4

      “And yet when Nisbet was being hauled over the coals for cartoons criticising Israel’s conduct to the Palestinians, where were you then?”

      When was that? Do you mean Evans?

  36. Paul 36

    At least this episode is uncovering the media who support this cartoon.
    Barry Soper :” So the moral minority are now dictating what cartoonists are allowed to say, what a sorry state this country’s come to when humour is so PC!”

    And Colin Espiner…”Ignore the PC knockers Al Nisbett. Youve consistently outraged people with your cartoons for 20 years and that is your job. Back off Devoy!”

    Back to the ‘non PC’ , ‘nanny state, meme from these stalwarts of journalistic independence.
    It’s been proven that right wing folk are less intelligent. That’s why all they can cope with for political debate is slogans line ‘not pc’ , ‘nanny state’ blah blah blah.

    Mr Nisbet seems a class specimen. These other two are just the classic mms repeaters.
    How courageous of Nisbet to take on the mighty and powerful in his cartoons?
    And his wit…my gosh, biting.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — May 30, 2013 @ 6:10 pm

    • Colonial Viper 36.1

      I like an off colour joke as much as anyone, but it’s funny how the white privileged class can’t see racism for what it is.

      When is Nisbet going to draw a cartoon taking the piss out of rich farmers and vineyard owners sending their kids to uni bludging off full student allowances?

      • Populuxe1 36.1.1

        He certainly has drawn cartoons taking the piss out of rich farmers

      • infused 36.1.2

        Watched Bro Town? Funny how no one cared about that.

      • mac1 36.1.3

        It’s how you remain privileged, CV. You have to deny what’s wrong in the world or else you have to face up to what is your part in it, and how you’ve got more than most, and then feel guilty, and then feel you’ve got to do something about it, and then you start giving away all your possessions, and then you’re no longer rich, and that means that you lose your status because that is what really defines us, isn’t it- our wealth and our privilege?

        It’s the same argument that I learned about in History with the self-serving belief that the wealthy are that way because of breeding, superior racial and personal characteristics and because it shows the bestowing of God’s favour upon them.

        • Colonial Viper

          Yep. In older more traditional cultures, community recognition and mana was gained not by how much gross wealth you held, but the judgement you showed in what you did with it to benefit others. Dmitry Orlov speaks of this quite a lot in terms of societies which still use the “gift economy”. In modern western society, these connections of reciprocity have largely broken down, but I think that we will see them make a return before long.

    • Blue 36.2

      You can’t really expect much better from Soper or Espiner.

      I’m having one of those moments coming on where I really start to wonder about the brains of my fellow Kiwis.

      That a newspaper here in NZ in 2013 thought it okay to publish this cartoon, that the paper and the cartoonist defended it, prominent people supported it and the Race Relations Commissioner said it is not racist – it’s moments like these I no longer wonder how John Key got elected.

      It’s as if these loons are deliberately trying to block their synapses from firing.

      • gobsmacked 36.2.1

        Blue +1

        Nisbet’s done us a favour, really. Brought a lot of idiots out of the woodwork, all saying exactly the same thing with a vocabulary of about six words (“PC” and “brigade” being compulsory).

        It’s not good that NZ has so many idiots, but it is better to expose them and discover just how unoriginal and stupid they are. I honestly have not seen – anywhere – a coherent defence of Nisbet today. (And “coherent” means exactly that – not “something I happen to agree with”, but logically arguing the point). It’s all jerking knees, they’ve got nothing else.

        Anyone disagrees, please link. I welcome intelligent debate. Seen none from the other side today.

  37. pollywog 37

    How is it kiwi mums and dads can afford to buy shares in powercos but cant afford to feed their kids ?

  38. Descendant Of Sssmith 38

    It’s an abysmal racist piece of tripe and nowhere near satirical.

    It reinforces and repeats a stereotype that has been expressed loudly and clearly by plenty in this country and is not funny in any way shape or form.

    There’s plenty of ways he could have produced satire – free breakfasts at Bellamy’s, the fact that many of the posh schools already provide meals for their students (see below), property prices rising in low decile areas as people fight to be included in those zones, white flight to low decile schools, ………

    What he chose to do was buy into what all the racist pricks out there are saying simply by repeating it.


  39. Jenny 39

    The motive for this cartoon is political. It’s method is racist. The tactic is humour.

    The motive is to perpetuate a political situation which condemns over 140 thousand New Zealand children to go to school hungry.

    The chosen method is racist, because the authors know that when a policy has wide public support the best method is to break that support, is to divide it.

    The tactic is humour, because the authors know that this is the best way to separate white middle New Zealanders you are targeting this political campaign at, away from supporting food in schools.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 39.1

      The tactic can only be humour if it was funny. Didn’t raise a smidgen of mirth.

      • Jenny 39.1.1

        I am sure Sssmith that bigots would find this cartoon hilarious. Also maybe, many who are not so aware of the issues, and who swallow all the MSM dishes up, would find it amusing as well, helping move them into the bigots camp. As was intended.

  40. Jenny 40

    The Press editor Joanna Norris said it would not apologise for comment that expressed a strong view.

    “I am an editor, not a censor, and we regularly publish content that expresses a range of views, and this is just one of those.

    “Our cartoon very clearly had people from a range of ethnic backgrounds, some of whom were from the Maori and Pacific community and some of whom were from Pakeha communities.

    “People have interpreted that as a racist attack. In my view, it’s not.”

    Marlborough Express editor Steve Mason said the intention had never been to offend.

    “The intention was always to provoke discussion around a really important social issue and I think we might be losing sight of that.”

    Nisbet said he was not racist, and the cartoons were not intended to be so. Rather, it was directed at anyone who complained about poverty and “blow their money on booze, fags and pokies”.

    The Right Wing of this country, particularly those represented inside the National Party, are split over John Key’s watered down response to Hone Harawira’s Feed the Kids’ bill currently before parliament. For these people even this is too much. In their opinion tens of thousands of children must be left hungry. Of course they cannot openly come out and say that.

    So their political response in reply, is a racist attack.

    Would Joanna Norris, Steve Mason, Al Nisbet, et al, support funny newspaper cartoons that lampooned Jews in prewar Germany because they “expressed a strong view”?

    Going by their defence of this racist cartoon they would.

    • Roy 40.1

      But The Squish didn’t just publish this like a controversial Letter to the Editor. They PAID for it. I’m sure Al Nisbet does not work for free!

    • kiwicommie 40.2

      “I am an editor, not a censor, and we regularly publish content that expresses a range of views, and this is just one of those.”

      Homophobic, racist, or islamophobic bigots everywhere pull that line. Hone Harawira was ranted against for being ‘racist against Europeans’, but then people in the MSM display racism, and play a double standard. 😉

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