Nowhere on the HRC website does it list the right to not be offended



Hurty feelings and being offended are not listed as a human right on the Human Rights Commission website. What it does list is our our right to freedom of expression. The people who made a complaint about our cartoon are trying to stomp on our human rights but I can find no right of theirs that we have tried to stomp on. If you look through the list our cartoon has not prevented the complainants from enjoying any of the below rights but their complaint about us is an attempt to deny us our human right to freedom of expression.

Why are the Human Rights Commission even looking into these complaints? None of the below rights have been affected in any way.

What are human rights?

Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that every person in the world should have. There are two main types of human rights – civil and political rights, and social, cultural and economic rights.

Civil and political rights
  • The right to life and liberty
  • Freedom of expression
  • Equality before the law
  • The right to be free from discrimination
Social, cultural and economic rights
  • The right to participate in culture
  • The right to work
  • The right to an adequate standard of living
  • The right to education
Social, cultural and economic rights
  • The right to participate in culture
  • The right to work
  • The right to an adequate standard of living
  • The right to education

We haven’t been told which right we have been accused of taking away from the complainants or who the complainants even are, yet we have been asked if we will take part in mediation. Mediation about WHAT? If mediation is required does that mean they have found us guilty of something without giving us the right to equality before the law? Yet again it seems that our human rights are being stomped all over while we are left in the dark about how a political cartoon could possibly take away any of the rights listed on their website.

I am not shy to say that I am furious at how we have been treated. It is a disgusting waste of taxpayers money.The HRC is being used as a cudgel to beat us with by a tiny group of politically motivated people.Their complaint should have been dismissed out of hand. I wonder if our regular criticism of Susan Devoy has influenced some to grab the opportunity to try to rub our nose in the dirt.Whatever their reason they fail at the first hurdle. No human right has been violated by the publication of a political cartoon. It is ridiculous to claim that it has. I guess I should be thankful that in New Zealand nutters go running to the HRC instead of putting on masks and shooting up the place.Maybe the HRC serves as a release valve for all the perennially offended?




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  • RightofSingapore

    They might point to the right to be free from discrimination one. Although I don’t see how being offended amounts to discrimination. Discrimination would be if one is denied a job or housing because of their breed or religion etc.

    You could just ignore the HRC,(just like I ignore parking tickets) they have no right to tell you what you can and can’t put on your site.

  • sandalwood789

    Being “offended” should have nothing to do with the courts and legal system. The only “court” to be involved should be the “court” of public opinion.

    If I were a judge I’d throw this case out and award costs *against* the plaintiff for wasting the court’s time.

  • Dave

    And, again I ask, where were all the Human Rights Commission people and the currently offended parties who have complained, where were they whilst 2 low life scumbags systematically abused, punched, stomped on and eventually killed little Moko. Didn’t Moko have some Human Rights as well,

    What happened to his ……
    * The right to life and liberty
    * Equality before the law
    * The right to education
    * The right to an adequate standard of living
    * The right to LIVE without VIOLENCE
    Where were the Human Rights Commission then, why are they NOT standing up for his rights, the ones they list.

    Again, until this is addressed, nothing has changed,we just wait till this has died down and it will start again.

  • Genevieve

    The racial discrimination defence is not valid as the cartoon merely highlighted a very inconvenient truth which has been brushed under the carpet for far too long.
    A good parallel would be the problem of higher levels of alcoholism in indigenous Australians. Is it ok to talk openly about that? These issues only start to be resolved once the actual problem is out in the open and discussed in an honest manner. Claims of ‘hurt feelings’ are disingenuous and merely provide a sideshow to take the emphasis off the real problem.

  • It might be worth having a read of this: to learn just how vague and open to interpretation the process may be.

    Here’s the bit I found most interesting (it’s in section 3)

    “How are complaints assessed?

    No two complaints are the same. The Commission assesses the individual circumstances of each complaint before deciding if it is appropriate to try and resolve the matter through the dispute resolution service.

    The Commission does not form an opinion about whether or not a breach of the Act has happened. In other words, the Commission does not “investigate” matters or “make findings” about whether or not a particular action or policy is discriminatory.

    Rather, the aim of the Commission’s disputes resolution service is to help resolve disputes about possible breaches of the Human Rights Act. This means a complaint does not need to show that an actual breach of the law took place.”

    • spanishbride

      Unbelievable. They are not even prepared to make a judgement as to whether or not a complaint has merit. I wonder why they think mediation is appropriate? This is not a workplace situation. How could we possibly resolve an issue with people we have never even met?

      Our ‘ action’ was to publish a cartoon. How can this be mediated? Publishing a political cartoon is not illegal. We have not been told how these people we have never met were ‘ harmed’ by freely choosing to visit our site and freely choosing to view our cartoon.

      This cartoon was not forced onto them. Their complaint is like a feminist complaining to the HRC because she was upset by the pornography she viewed on a porn website. We are a very well known political blog. How dare they complain that they viewed a political cartoon that they didn’t like.They knew what to expect but they came here anyway.

      • From what’s on their site, they will always attempt to “work with all parties to clarify the issues and find practical ways to resolve the complaint.”

        From what I can see, they would never dismiss a complaint as being baseless… if hurty feelings have been claimed, they will try to mediate.

        That said, they don’t seem to have any power themselves. You’d hope not, as they clearly don’t have any guidelines either. It’s the Review Tribunal where things get serious.

    • Odd Ball

      3 paragraphs are used to say, ‘um, we don’t want to get involved, please sort it out yourselves’

  • niggly

    If a bunch of activist muppets are offended so much about one cartoon published in WOBH (and resort to calling in the HRC), can we all be offended by the offensive cartoons published in the MSM attacking John Key’s character every day and will the HRC do anything about them?

    These cartoonists – Murdoch, Emmerson, Walker etc – denigrate John Key’s character, falsely portraying him as some sort of evil hater of the poor, sexual pervert, rapist, corrupt, killer, as selling out NZ to help his “rich mates” and so on.

    Where is the PM’s human rights in all this, to be portrayed falsely like that by left-wingers and activists who seemingly get away with it? HRC – what a crock!

  • D.Dave

    Personally, I reserve the right to be offended. It is normally by some left wing,micro aggressive, who wants me to change because they don’t like my idea of personal choice.

  • Cadae

    Number of child Human Rights supported by cartoon: 12
    Number of complainant’s Human Rights ruined by cartoon: 0
    Reduction of murders of children: Priceless

  • MarcWills

    You should attend their ‘mediation’ and take the opportunity to make your valid points. Show them up for the idiots they are. I believe you would wipe the floor with a sane view of where the complainants and the HRC fit in the real world. I look forward to their ridicule and hypocrisy being exposed for all to see when you publish the proceeds and outcome.

    • spanishbride

      Mediation is 100% confidential so even if we accepted we would be prevented from telling you all what happened. Colin Craig is a fan of confidential settlements with gagging clauses but I personally am not. Mind you if we ever had one with Colin Craig I could be persuaded to shut up for the right price LOL

      • Dave

        Colin Craig owes you and CS a fortune, im thinking several million dollars in defamation. At least.

        • spanishbride

          He claims to be building some affordable housing out our way. I think a free apartment or two from him would provide my family with truly affordable housing ROTFL

      • Mark156

        Borrow one of those journo’s Bluetooth pens…

  • Concerned Taxpayer

    “Yet again it seems that our human rights are being stomped all over
    while we are left in the dark about how a political cartoon could
    possibly take away any of the rights listed on their website.”
    I wonder how they would view a complaint laid against them for their abuse of your rights? Surely such a case would have more merit than the original complaint.

  • peterwn

    A precedent may have been set some years ago. Someone burnt a NZ flag in the grounds of the former Government Buildings during an ANZAC service at the Cenotaph across the road. This naturally offended some of those in attendance and the Police duly laid charges. Incidentally the site is owned by DOC as a historic place and mostly leased to Victoria University and used as a law school. DOC and the University make no attempt to exclude people from the grounds, but surely someone who does a grossly irregular act in the grounds would be acting outside the implied licence to be in the grounds (in the same way as when a TV interviewer knocked on a door of the house while a TV camera was filming from the street, the interviewer was deemed to have no ‘licence’ to be on the property). Lighting any fires on that property should be dealt with as firmly as lighting a fire (unless specifically permitted) on any other DOC property, especially as a large wooden historic building is potentially at risk.

    The judge dismissed the charge on the grounds that burning the flag was a legitimate exercise of freedom of expression under the Bill of Rights Act. I am going from memory but I think I have it right.

    It seems that the HRC officials need to take that case into account since freedom of expression would seem to trump other ‘rights’.

  • Gollum

    If I understand correctly the HTC is a toothless animal with no power to force anybody to take any notice of their decisions and activities. Why not ignore them and sooner or later they wither away.

  • JEL51

    I wonder how many, if any, of the complainants, turned-out for the repatriation of long lost shrunken heads, yesterday. Now that could be seen by some to be ‘Offensive’ in light of the discussion one cartoon has promoted.

    • Uncle Bully

      What I find really offensive, is that the taxpayer is paying for this circus, when it should be paid for by iwi. It was after all maoris who cut the heads off and sold them for export in the first place.

      • JEL51

        When on the way to Hamilton while passing where Billy T was forcibly taken to rest, I can always be heard to say…”they are good at looking after the dead”. Those at the ceremony need to see that order of things change.

  • Disinfectant

    Heres something worthy of considerstion.

    Sue the HRC for failing to show good cause.

    By doing so “Discovery” will lead to copies of the complainants complaints. Public disclosure can then take place.

  • Straight arrow

    The HRC seems to extend the law as regards discrimination. For instance, on their website say “All people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity have the same human rights and freedoms.” The HR Act does not include gender identity as a prohibited ground of discrimination. Sexual orientation specifically lists heterosexual, homosexual, lesbian, or bisexual orientation (in the Act), and yet intersex and transgender is listed on their site. I doubt that the law makers intended “sex” to include these as they would of listed them. It is irrelevant whether one thinks they should be or not, it is not the role of a commission to extend law.

  • Big fella

    I am offended that they are offended.

    • spanishbride

      I am offended by child abuse.