Garner on Devoy’s jihad against Christmas

Duncan Garner doesn’t hold back on FIANZ shill Dame Susan Devoy and her wonky jihad against Christmas.

I’d almost forgotten about the ludicrous decision to appoint a squash player as the country’s race relations commissioner – till Susan Devoy dropped another clanger.

And what a howler it was,  throwing her (insignificant) weight behind Auckland Regional Migrants Services’ plan to ditch the word Christmas and refer instead to  “happy holidays” and “season’s greetings”.

Apparently Devoy, the service’s patron, wants to save the majority of Kiwis (who are not Christian) from feeling excluded at this time of year. Good grief.

It’s hard not to form the impression that Dame Susan doesn’t have enough to keep her busy. I want to be very clear: Devoy was a gutsy, world-class squash player. But none of these qualities make her at all qualified to oversee race relations in this country.

It’s time to ditch her role and the entire office she heads. I know my position will be unpopular among the hand-wringers and do-gooders but let me explain.

We celebrate Christmas in New Zealand. It’s part of who we are, whether we are Christian or not.

It’s a time for family, gifts, talking, laughing, over-eating, drinking, celebrating the end of the year and, if you so desire, church. No-one needs to worry about being excluded from the joys of the season.

At the last census 42 per cent of Kiwis identified as non-Christian. But I have never felt excluded by the word “Christmas”.

I’m with Duncan with these womble positions, generally filled with other wombles. Take the Privacy Commission…refuses to go after Hager because he’s a journalist even though he used stolen data, does goes after John Roughan, even though he’s a journalist…and at the same time prosecuting me. You have to ask why Nicky Hager gets a free pass?

Nor do I expect taxpayers’ money being squandered by an office that has time to meddle in such a lame, pointless debate. Solved all the race issues in this country already have we Susan? Not likely.

There is so much more to worry about in the world – and here at home – to keep a former sportswoman gainfully employed. You’d think Devoy might have learnt her lesson, soon after her 2013 appointment, with her ill-judged suggestion that we ditch Waitangi Day as our national holiday.

And make no mistake – having a race relations commissioner doesn’t come cheap.

Devoy’s office comes under the Human Right Commission, with a salary bill last year of $6.9 million. Travel costs alone came to $339,000.

Last year there were 456 complaints around racial disharmony and harassment.

The office promotes the annual New Zealand Diversity Forum and a National Youth Forum on Cultural Diversity. Do we really need an entire office to organise some feel-good forums?

In 2013-14, the commission received a total of 5598 new human rights inquiries and complaints, falling just short of the forecast quantity measure of 6000 new human rights matters. These guys actually forecast how many complaints they might get!

When I look around the world and see Paris, Isis and genuine evil, it’s proof we live in a relative race relations paradise and our problems are so, so minor.

It’s a classic case of build it and the whingers will come. Time to end the nonsense. Campaigning to end Christmas is a sign of lack of relevance, and if they are irrelevant then they can cease to be…like a Norwegian Blue.


– Faifrax

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.