Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Positive outcome over cartoon controversy - HRC

Positive outcome from meeting over cartoon controversy

The following statement was agreed to by all participants at a meeting held today between media and religious representatives to discuss issues surrounding the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mahommed.

The meeting was convened by Race Relations Commissioner, Joris de Bres, and held at the offices of the Human Rights Commission in Wellington.

We agree that New Zealand’s dramatically increased diversity of cultures and faiths raises new challenges for the media and the New Zealand community.

We believe that it was groundbreaking for this range of people to meet to discuss this issue.

The meeting affirmed without dissent the importance of freedom of the media.

Equally, such freedom is not absolute, and comes with responsibilities.

These include:

• sensitivity to diverse cultures and beliefs, and recognition of the diversity within cultures and beliefs

• responsibility to inform the community about diverse cultures and beliefs

• provide dialogue and channels of communication between the media and faith communities

The meeting acknowledged that the media has to make difficult calls on such issues on a daily basis and these need to be considered in an international context of conflict.

It was agreed there is a need for continuing public discussion on the issues raised – especially beyond the organisations and groups represented at the meeting.

Recommended action:

• The Human Rights Commission to facilitate further discussion, in consultation with the media, faith communities and educators

• The NZ Journalists Training Organisation should address training issues that arise from this debate

• A directory of Muslim spokespeople to be compiled and made available to the media to facilitate a better flow of information.

The meeting affirmed:

a) The media who published the cartoons did not set out to insult or offend, only to inform

b) They apologised for the offence caused

c) They did not resile from the decision to publish, based on the context at that time

Two newspapers which published the cartoons – The Dominion Post, and The Press – gave an undertaking not to publish them again.

List of participants:

• Dave Moskovitz, President, Temple Sinai

• Hanif Ali, Secretary General FIANZ

• Javed Khan, President Federation of Islamic Associations (FIANZ)

• Jim Tucker, Executive Director, NZ Journalists Training Organisation

• Jim Tully, Head of School, Political Sciences & Communication, University of Canterbury

• John Drew, Archbishop, Roman Catholic Church

• Lincoln Gould, Representative, Commonwealth Press Union

• Paul Morris, Professor, Victoria University Religious Studies Programme

• Paul Thompson, Editor, The Press (Christchurch)

• Rick Friesen, Chief Operating Officer, TV3

• Rory Newson, Bureau Chief, TVNZ Wellington

• Sheik Amir, Chair Ulema Board (Board of Scholars) FIANZ

• Sultan Eusoff Office Manager FIANZ

• Terry Brown, Editorial Policy Manager, Radio NZ

• Tim Pankhurst, Editor, Dominion Post

Human Rights Commission representation:

• Joris de Bres Race Relations Commissioner (Meeting Convenor)

• Sam Sefuiva, Manager Race and Ethnic Relations

• Wellington members of DRT and RER teams

• Kaiwhakarite Bill Hamilton

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news