When North Korea came to New Zealand

Kim Jong-un would be proud of it. A bill which establishes a State-ordained ideology, empowers activists to enforce the ideology, and threatens anyone who dares to resist with loss of livelihood and imprisonment. All of it introduced with classic doublespeak from the Party – its objective, we are told, is to promote respectful and open discussion.

But we are not in North Korea. We are in New Zealand, a land with with one of the longest  traditions of democratically elected parliaments in the world. And yet astonishingly, it is also now the land of a bill whose pedigree is pure police state. The Conversion Practices Prohibition Bill.

The CPP Bill does something unique in New Zealand history. It establishes a State-ordained ideology of human sexuality and gender. And then it threatens to criminalise and imprison anyone who pushes back against it. And just for good measure it empowers anyone who feels they have been a victim of breaches of the approved ideology to seek civil damages from offenders.

Ironically, the strongest advocates of this Bill have for years falsely accused those who  affirm a Judeo-Christian worldview of sexuality and gender of trying to “impose their views” on others. And yet the moment these advocates have achieved unbridled power in our current one-party Government, they are targeting for prison anyone who actively disagrees with their ideology. The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

Indeed there are many things breathtaking about the CPP Bill. How about its arrogance in assuming that Kiwi parents need to be bullied and intimidated by the threat of criminal sanctions so that they will have “open and respectful discussions” on sexuality and gender with their children. What an astonishing insult. Or what about its outlandish claim on our credulity in its pretense that threats of court proceedings, imprisonment or fines, will actually foster open discussion. Really? Disingenuous goes nowhere near describing those expecting us to believe this stuff.

But perhaps the most breathtakingly egregious aspect of this Bill is that whilst it bullies and threatens parents, it facilitates and empowers activist ideologues. Take steps to actively discourage your teenage son or daughter from gender transition and you risk serious jail time. But the ideologue encouraging them to “explore” their gender identity, helping them to “express” themselves, and actively supporting them in transition, is given a free pass. Apparently that is not a a conversion practice.* This Bill is a one way street.

The Conversion Practices Prohibition Bill is about empowering by brute legal force the deluded ideology of gender fluidity. It is an ideology which masquerades as compassion. But in reality it will deliver many of our vulnerable young people to a hellish destination of confusion, doubt and anxiety about who they really are. A destination which will lead many of them to the very self-harm its advocates claim to be concerned about.

As for the rest of us – we will wake up wondering how we came to be living in North Korea.

Ewen McQueen
October 2021

* Refer Conversion Practices Prohibition Bill – Submission Ewen McQueen

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Faafoi doubles down on doublespeak

How does threatening parents with jail encourage them to have “open and healthy discussion” with their children on sexuality and gender? Minister Kris Faafoi needs to tell us. Because he keeps repeating it.

Faafoi tells us this is the real aim of the Conversion Practices Prohibition Bill. However the slightest amount of rational thought reveals this line for what it is – a vacuous PR slogan designed to avert attention from the actual intent and effect of the bill. That intent has nothing to do with open discussion. In fact it is the opposite. The bill’s real aim is to  enforce rainbow and gender-fluidity ideology and silence any dissent against it – even within the private sphere of family life.

The bill would mean a parent who refuses to allow their 12 year old child to go on hormone blockers so they can “explore their gender identity” is at serious risk of having legal proceedings commenced against them. All it will take is a complaint from some activist ideologue at the child’s school, and the parent is on the road to court – perhaps even jail.

In his interviews on the proposed new law, Faafoi avoids answers to direct questions on whether parents will be criminalised. Is it because he knows they will? Or does he actually believe his own doublespeak about open and healthy discussion? Listening to him it certainly seems like it. One is reminded of the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Writing in 1943 in Germany, Bonhoeffer spoke of the difficulty in trying to communicate with someone blinded by ideology. He stated,

One feels in fact, when talking to him, that one is dealing, not with the man himself, but with slogans, catchwords, and the like, which have taken hold of him. He is under a spell, he is blinded, his very nature is being misused and exploited… he will be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil. (1)

To be fair, Minister Faafoi is far from alone in his unquestioning commitment to this bill. At its first reading, MPs from nearly every party in Parliament sprung up in support. They proudly told us how they were going to be on the “right side of history”. Another great slogan. But it won’t keep parents out of jail. And it won’t help our increasingly confused and vulnerable young people.

Let’s be clear. The ideology of gender-fluidity has no basis in science. Yet it is being aggressively pushed into our culture by activists. As a result, gender identity confusion among young people has exploded. They are then offered “treatment” which interrupts their natural physiological development – the very development which in most cases will actually resolve their confusion. And it is treatment which has the risk of irreversible life-long impacts. But by law they must now be free to choose it without parental interference. All this for children who can’t vote, drink, get married, drive a car, or in many cases even be legally left alone at home.

The supporters of this bill tell us they want to prevent “serious harm” to young people. But if that was true, they would have the intellectual and moral honesty to face these facts. But they don’t. So they won’t. Instead they will satisfy themselves with meaningless slogans. And they will criminalise parents desperate to protect their children, all the time refusing to see the evil they are perpetrating.

Ewen McQueen
August 2021

(1) Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison, SCM Press, London, 1953, page 9

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Hate speech law – intimidation legalised

And so it begins. The all-out assault on Truth in our nation. In the same week that the New Zealand Olympic Committee selected a man to compete against women, our Government outlined its plans to criminalise anyone who dares to publicly question such absurdity. Do so, and you risk three years in jail, or a $50,000 fine.

Think I’m joking? Read the proposals. Like this Government’s abortion reforms, their proposed hate speech laws are an exercise in extremism. It will be a crime to “maintain or normalise hatred” merely by saying something which could be interpreted as insulting to certain groups.

And when it comes to feeling offended and insulted we all know who will be lining up to air their hurt feelings. It won’t be those of a socially conservative persuasion. Such citizens (especially Christians) have been mocked and vilified in our media for years. But they don’t complain. No, the weaponising of offence will come from elsewhere. It will be the activists of wokeism who will be seeking targets on whom to unleash these laws. Those pushing the deluded ideology of gender fluidity will be especially pleased. Their cause is singled out for special treatment in the Government’s proposals. Under the law, so called gender expression and identity will become a specifically protected group characteristic.

Of course some will argue that no reasonable judge will convict someone for an alleged insult. But without any objective criteria to define normalising “hatred”, the judiciary will inevitably be guided by “generally accepted” community standards. For that you can read – whoever makes the loudest noise. And in our public square the quiet voices of reason and common sense have long since been drowned out by a very vocal minority. Will judges be able to resist the noise? “If you release this man, you are no friend of Caesar!” springs to mind.

Even if the judiciary do find courage, relying on common sense being inserted into the process at that stage will be far too late. Those accused of speech crimes, even if acquitted, will still have had to go through the whole costly and gruelling process of defending themselves in court. That will be punishment enough. And the activists who will bring complaints know it. That’s why they are such strong advocates of this legislation. It will be the best weapon they have for enforcing the cultural cleansing of any views which don’t align with their agenda.

With this law the devil is not so much in the detail. It is not even in how many court cases actually follow. The power of its poison lies almost entirely in intimidation. The mere risk of being charged with a crime will ensure most people think twice before expressing a view that might be deemed unacceptable. It’s called self-censorship. And it will follow as a chilling inevitability if these hate speech laws pass. Few will dare to question any more. Free speech will be dead.

At that point Truth will not just have fallen in our public square. It will have been actively driven out. Pursued by ideologues of multiple woke causes, but probably led by those brandishing a ridiculous list of gender pronouns in one hand, and the full force of the law in the other.

Ewen McQueen
July 2021

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We fought for them. They fought for us.

Sfakia, south coast Crete

It was a sunny blue morning. But the skulls had bullet holes in them. They were in a glass case within a monument above the village of Sfakia on the south coast of Crete. The plaque noted they had been executed by the Germans for helping New Zealanders escape in 1941.

A few days later we sat in a taverna overlooking the tiny Sfakia beach. From here thousands of New Zealand soldiers were evacuated at night. They had fought courageously, but ill-equipped and with no air support they had been battered by the Luftwaffe and hounded by the German paratroops which followed. Now wounded, demoralised and defeated, they had dragged themselves over the mountains to this remote village on the south coast. Thousands were taken off under cover of darkness to British warships which took them to safe haven in Egypt. But many had to be left behind to fend for themselves.

However they were not alone. In their efforts to evade capture they were assisted by the locals. Hundreds were fed, sheltered, and hidden. For this many Cretans paid with their lives. Sometimes whole villages, including the elderly, women and children were executed. We fought for them. But let’s not forget that they fought for us. And let us not forget what happens when an evil ideology takes power. When a State arrogates to itself the right to determine and enforce what is right thinking, acceptable belief, and correct speech – brutality follows not far behind.

It was a quiet evening in the Sfakia taverna. So I approached the owner. His English was not good so I showed him a photo of the monument on the hill above the village. At first he looked puzzled. Then I explained we were from Nea Zelandia. And I thanked him for what his forefathers had done for mine. “Efcharisto poly!” I said. At that moment there was a meeting of hearts. Acts of great courage, honour, and sacrifice, were remembered and acknowledged across generations and oceans.

Let us never forget. Liberty has a price.

Ewen McQueen
Anzac Day 2021

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The Chiefs respond to Heke’s flagstaff attack

The Waimate North mission station – location of the 1844 hui to discuss Heke’s flagstaff attack

“We are one tribe, and we will fight for the staff and our Governor.” So declared Tamati Waka Nene. It was September 1844. Hone Heke had recently attacked the flagstaff at Kororareka. Now Governor Fitzroy had travelled north to address the situation.

First he met with a large group of Chiefs at the Waimate mission station. Fitzroy explained the significance of the flagstaff. This symbol of Crown sovereignty did not make them slaves as Heke had claimed. Rather it promised them the liberty enjoyed by British citizens. Fitzroy invited full, open and plain discussion on the matter. The gathered Chiefs obliged, and their responses to Fitzroy were startling.

Today we are told Heke attacked the flagstaff because the dual-sovereignty partnership ostensibly agreed to in the Treaty was not being honoured. But from the twenty four Chiefs gathered at Waimate a very different picture emerges. In the record of the meeting (Auckland Museum Library OCM77 MS-430) we hear  almost unanimous support for the Governor. Not only this, but there are some very clear endorsements of his pre-eminent governing authority over all New Zealanders.

From Patuone we hear – “Governor, you are the great chief of this place”

From Wai – “there is no cause; the chieftainship rests with one, the Governor”

From Waka Nene – “Governor if that flagstaff is cut down again, we will fight for it, we will fight for it all of us, we are one tribe, and we will fight for the staff and our Governor.”

Today it is fashionable to assert that, in the Treaty, the Chiefs expected to retain full sovereignty over their own people, whilst the Governor would only exercise authority over the European settlers. Clearly these Chiefs at Waimate didn’t see it that way. They recognised Fitzroy as “our Governor” and openly acknowledged his authority.

That didn’t mean they were all happy with how Fitzroy was governing. There had already been strong push-back against the customs duties he had implemented. These were a sore point for many. However that did not move them from their prior Treaty commitment. Indeed many went on to fight against Heke in demonstration of that commitment.

Sadly their honourable efforts are today largely downplayed, or their motives impugned by modernist historians intent on pushing the dual-sovereignty paradigm. Instead Heke, a known troublemaker who instigated a violent uprising in which many died, is acclaimed as the flag-bearer of the “equal-partnership” cause. But as Wai declared – “there is no cause; the chieftainship rests with one, the Governor.”

Ewen McQueen
February 2021

For more details get a copy of my new book One Sun in the Sky: the untold story of sovereignty and the Treaty of Waitangi

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Why did Hone Heke cut down the flagstaff?

The modern view is that Hone Heke cut down the flagstaff at Kororareka because his expectation of a dual sovereignty partnership as agreed in the Treaty had not been met. But is this true?

Watch this short video for a different perspective…

For the full story, get your copy of my new book One Sun in the Sky: the untold story of sovereignty and the Treaty of Waitangi

Ewen McQueen
February 2021

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When hate speech becomes mainstream

Perhaps it’s my white fragility. Or maybe I just can’t stomach hypocrisy. Because the recent Stuff column in which Jane Bowron celebrated the triumph of inclusiveness in our election certainly had my “sickly white” stomach turning.

Bowron noted glowingly how the new Labour Government was full of female, Māori, and LGBT representatives. This is New Zealand in all its diversity, apparently. However in Bowron’s New Zealand there is one group who don’t qualify for inclusion. They cannot even be afforded the respect of being people with a different viewpoint. Instead they must be vilified as “old hat, sickly white and risibly irrelevant”. Such is Bowron’s description of the National Party. Two of its longest serving MPs were singled out for particular disdain. The words arrogance, institutionalised, and “muppets” all made an appearance.

I had to check myself – had I inadvertently switched to reading some ranting social media post? Sadly not. Yes this was a real mainstream media outlet, seemingly doing its best to channel an offensive and immature comment on a facebook post. I’m all for robust debate, but has Stuff really lowered itself to this level?

Of even more concern, is it now acceptable in our mainstream media to describe a group as “sickly white”? Swap out the term white, for the term brown, black, or Asian, and there would be outrage. And rightly so. Gratuitous public insults against any racial or ethnic groups are despicable. So why is it okay to casually cast such a racially charged epithet as “sickly white” into the public square? Are some groups are fair game?

And for those itching to tell me this is why we need new hate speech laws, go scratch somewhere else. It may come as a surprise, but New Zealand already has laws which adequately deal with this. Section 61 of the Human Rights Act addresses racial disharmony. It makes it unlawful to publish written matter which is abusive or insulting, and likely “to bring into contempt any group of persons on the ground of the colour, race, or ethnic or national origins of that group of persons.” Publicly describing a group of persons as “sickly white” would certainly seem to fall within the orb of what Section 61 deems unlawful. So will anyone lay a complaint with the Human Rights Commission?

I doubt it. And that’s probably no bad thing. The existing law is necessary. No reasonable New Zealander thinks we should have absolutely unfettered free speech in our country. However most would agree that the provisions of the Human Rights Act noted above are best reserved to deal with extremist nonsense. The type spouted by the Christchurch mosque shooter. Not the errant musings of a news media columnist.

Calling out the risible double-standards of a liberal media columnist is best dealt with by other means. Rebuttal and exposure of such blatant hypocrisy to the public opprobrium it deserves is the appropriate way forward here. Far better sunlight and open debate, than legal threats and closed door proceedings with a bureaucratic tribunal.

Of course such an approach only works if the mainstream media have the integrity to allow self-criticism. This response to the Bowron column was submitted to Stuff a week ago. It remains unpublished. It would appear that Stuff thinks describing some New Zealanders as “sickly white” is okay. We have a problem… 

Ewen McQueen
November 2020

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Sovereignty and the Treaty – the evidence

As you start your Christmas shopping, this book may be just the thing for someone you know who is interested in New Zealand history and politics. It’s about the past, but it’s also about the future.

One Sun in the Sky presents an evidence-based perspective on the question of sovereignty and the Treaty of Waitangi. Whilst a supporter of the Treaty settlements process, Ewen McQueen raises serious questions about the modern dual-sovereignty paradigm of Treaty interpretation.

In this book he reviews the historical evidence for how the Treaty was understood by Māori and Pākehā both at the time it was signed in 1840, and for the century which followed. Thoroughly researched and fully referenced, this book is a must-read for all New Zealanders.

Click here to order a copy ($33.50 plus shipping), or to find more about this new book.

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Do good kids a favour – don’t legalise dope

I can still remember the moment. It was a Saturday afternoon in 1982. About 15 minutes before kick-off, our 1st XV rugby coach completed his changing room team talk. Unusually, he then sent only half of us out to the field to warm up. The rest were held back. We all knew why. They were in for a dressing down about a dope smoking incident. I was the team captain. Needless to say, I found myself making the losers speech at the after-match that day.

In my 55 years I have never smoked dope. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t around when I was a young man. Of course it was. Like alcohol it was a reality in my high school years – especially in the social scene surrounding the 1st XV rugby team. I wasn’t a big fan of beer. But it was a legal product. It was freely available and having a beer with “the boys” after the game was encouraged. Occasionally I had one, mainly just to fit in.

Dope was also part of the scene. But those using it were more discrete. No one offered it around at the post match social gatherings. Even if they had I would have declined. It was illegal and I was a “good kid”. I didn’t want to get in trouble. And I knew drugs were not good for you. The fact they were illegal was part of knowing that.

So the law protected “good kids” like me. It protected me in the health message it sent about cannabis. It also protected me in the way it helped to mitigate peer pressure. Being illegal meant pressure to use dope was much less prevalent and overt than it was for alcohol. It also provided a legitimate objection for those who didn’t want to partake.

Make cannabis legal, and those protections for “good kids” will disappear. But do good kids even matter anymore? Or do we have to sacrifice their best interests to “help” others?

These days many of our political leaders, celebrities, and media personalities happily admit to breaking cannabis laws in their past. It was “a long time ago” or they “didn’t inhale” they tell us with a knowing smile. Having used dope is almost a fashion statement. For such leaders it is no surprise that good kids aren’t in the frame when it comes to drugs policy. In their world they probably didn’t even exist. After all – everyone was doing it weren’t they?

No, they weren’t. And a huge proportion still aren’t. They make up hundreds of thousands of our young people. They are good kids. And they deserve better than to be abandoned to cannabis liberalisation by leaders on a mission to recreate the world in their flawed vision of the lowest common denominator.

Of course our young people need health services and education about drugs. But they also deserve the protection of the law.

Ewen McQueen
October 2020

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Danger ahead – Labour’s hate speech agenda

Be warned. Next year the following words may be illegal. Writing, reading, sharing, or simply being in possession of them may make you a criminal. Indeed if you are reading this blog after a Labour victory in the 2020 election you could well be committing a crime right now.

Hate speech laws are firmly on Labour’s agenda. Justice Minister Andrew Little has told us so. In fact we would have had them already were it not for the moderating influence of NZ First over the last three years. With that influence looking likely to be removed from the next parliament, a Labour/Greens government will forge on with delight in this space. 

You only have to read about the launch of Labour’s “Rainbow” policies this week to be assured of that (NZ Herald 05.10.20). One activist gleefully spoke of how New Zealand was about to have the most rainbow parliament in the world. Another told us how “conversion therapy” will be made illegal. Combine this with new laws which will criminalise speech deemed “hateful” in the areas of sexual orientation and gender identity, and you have a serious threat to freedom of speech in New Zealand.

Of course the hate speech advocates rarely admit that building a legal fortress around the rainbow agenda is the real agenda. Instead they prefer to focus our attention on the Christchurch mosque shootings. Apparently this is what justifies new hate speech laws. But it doesn’t. New Zealand already has laws which prohibit public dissemination of the sort of racist ideology which the shooter was promoting.

Section 131 of the Human Rights Act 1993 makes it illegal to publish, distribute or publicly broadcast, threatening, abusive or insulting words with the intention of inciting,

…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,

The push for new hate speech laws cannot be justified by what happened in Christchurch. Instead that tragedy is being cynically used to further an agenda which lies elsewhere. It is an agenda which seeks the complete cultural cleansing of any views which challenge the increasingly bizarre rainbow ideology. Dare to suggest that biology matters and fluidity of gender identity is an unscientific construct – your views will be deemed harmful and hateful. You may be looking at prison time. Certainly a substantial fine.

Think this is just scaremongering? Look at Scotland. Right now, in spite of significant opposition, the SNP is pushing through extreme hate crime laws (BBC News). The list of criteria which define “protected groups” includes sexual orientation and transgender identity. Any action which “stirs up hatred” against such groups is criminalised. Even simply being in possession of “inflammatory material” with a view to sharing it is a crime. Better get rid of that Bible!

Of course genuinely hateful speech against all groups should be condemned. But the problem is that these days any speech which challenges the rainbow agenda is classified as “hateful”. It matters not what tone is used, or how respectfully the view is expressed. Opinions which do not fit the “correct” view on this matter are by definition deemed to be hateful and harmful. 

If you are a New Zealander who holds to a traditional Judeo-Christian understanding of human sexuality and ethics – be warned. If an unrestrained Labour/Greens  government arrives next week, your freedom of expression is under serious threat.

Ewen McQueen
October 2020

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