Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Hamilton councillor criticised over terror attack comments

Councillor James Casson criticised by Hamilton mayor for comments after Christchurch terror attacks

Hamilton City Councillor James R Casson has a track record of not supporting initiatives involving ethnic groups, the city's mayor says.

Hamilton Mayor Andrew King (left) has criticised Hamilton City Councillor James R Casson for his comments on social media. Photo: RNZ

Mr Casson is being criticised for saying New Zealand should 'move on' from the terrorist attacks in Christchurch.

Mr Casson, a former police officer who later worked for Immigration New Zealand, posted on Facebook about the 15 March atrocity. He named the murder accused in the mosque attacks 20 times, and criticised the tightening of firearms legislation.

Hamilton mayor Andrew King told Morning Report: "Look I don't agree with anything councillor Casson has said and I don't endorse what he said.

"Councillor Casson will continue as a councillor but his views are inconsistent with what most New Zealanders and my council say. I think it's very insensitive. He's entitled to his opinions and that's his personal position.

"He has a track record for not supporting council's initiatives on working with ethnic communities and that's the position he takes ... Hamilton City Council has a close relationship with our ethnic and religious communities around cultural diversity but this member hasn't generally supported cultural diversity initiatives that council has put up."

Mr King wouldn't call Mr Casson's comments racist but did say they were unacceptable.

There didn't appear to be any way to take action against him, either.

"He has a track record for not supporting council's initiatives on working with ethnic communities" - Hamilton mayor Andrew King duration 4:39
from Morning Report

Click a link to play audio (or right-click to download) in either
MP3 format or in OGG format.

"The initial assessment and opinion is that councillor Casson has not broken our code of conduct. It would appear there is no basis to discipline the member using the code of conduct. The member was giving his opinion as a democratically-elected member," Mr King said.

"Elected members are their own person they are not part of a party structure like central government, so each person has their own views.

"This may be at the extreme end of the political spectrum, and I believe the voters will have the opportunity to express their views at the ballot box this October."

He understood Mr Casson worked for Immigration New Zealand and expected his comments would "come up over the next few days or weeks between him and his employer".

Immigration NZ has responded to comments made by Mr Casson, stating: "INZ wishes to make it clear that it doesn't support the comments made by this employee."

RNZ's Morning Report has attempted to contact Mr Casson.

Fellow councillor Dave Macpherson says previous social media comments apparently by Mr Casson included a post in 2016 that calls for - quote - 'extreme violence to rid Europe' of refugees.

Cr Casson's council biography says he served for 26 years in the police and is a trained diplomatic protection officer.

He plans to run for mayor this year.

Mr King didn't go as far as calling Mr Casson's remarks hate speech, but said it concerned him that people could pick up on extreme views like Mr Casson's.

"Everything starts with a word. Words have power. And that is concerning."


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Addiction To Chinese Student Fees

Last week, Australian PM Scott Morrison extended its ban on foreign visitors from or passing through from mainland China – including Chinese students - for a third week. New Zealand has dutifully followed suit, with our travel ban ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Coronavirus, And The Iowa Debacle

As Bloomberg says, the coronavirus shutdown is creating the world’s biggest work-from-home experiment. On the upside, the mortality rate with the current outbreak is lower than with SARS in 2003, but (for a number of reasons) the economic impact this time ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Dodging A Bullet Over The Transport Cost Over-Runs

As New Zealand gears up to begin its $6.8 billion programme of large scale roading projects all around the country, we should be aware of this morning’s sobering headlines from New South Wales, where the cost overruns on major transport projects ... More>>

Gordon Campbell:On Kobemania, Palestine And The Infrastructure Package

Quick quiz to end the week. What deserves the more attention – the death of a US basketball legend, or the end of Palestinian hopes for an independent state? Both died this week, but only one was met with almost total indifference by the global community. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Double Standard That’s Bound To Dominate The Election

Are National really better political managers than Labour, particularly when it comes to running the economy? For many voters – and the business community in particular - their belief in National’s inherent competence is a simple act of faith. More>>


Gordon Campbell : On Dealing With Impeccable, Impeachable Lies

By now, the end game the Republican Senate majority has in mind in their setting of the rules for the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump is pretty clear to everyone: first deny the Democrats the ability to call witnesses and offer evidence, and then derisively dismiss the charges for lack of evidence. For his part, does former security adviser John Bolton really, really want to testify against his former boss? If there was any competing faction within the Republican Party, there might be some point for Bolton in doing so – but there isn’t. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Why The Dice Are Loaded Against Women..

If they enter public life, women can expect a type of intense (and contradictory) scrutiny that is rarely applied to their male counterparts... More>>

 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog