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Andy Haden—One Of The Few Honest Men In NZ

Andy Haden—One Of The Few Honest And Courageous Men In NZ Public Life

July 10, 2010

Andy Haden's resignation as Ambassador for the Government's Rugby World Cup programme marks him out yet again as one of the very, very small number of people in New Zealand public life with integrity and courage, says SOLO Principal Lindsay Perigo.

“Twice now the mob from the Media Mediocrity Mafia have bayed for his blood after he made politically incorrect, but true, statements on Murray Deaker's excellent Sky TV programme. On the first occasion World Cup Minister Murray McCully, occupant of a position that wouldn't exist were National true to its free enterprise/small government principles, rebuked Mr. Hayden. This time he was out to sack him for daring to point out that there are opportunistic female groupies who prey on rugby players. To his credit, Mr. Haden, who was not being paid for his work as Ambassador, got in first. In an e-mail to McCully today, he said:
Dear Murray,

I wish to advise that I have decided to resign my role as an honorary Ambassador of the Government’s 2011 Rugby World Cup programme.

I do so to ensure that neither your leveraging initiatives or the game of Rugby that I love are compromised by the current media backlash to the comments I have made on television recently.

I feel that to stay in the role, given the current media beat-up, would mean having to remove myself from making public comments on the game or related issues. I have always believed in saying what I think and I will always be true to myself in that regard and it’s a sad day for society when people suchas I are unable to express what we believe without a media beat-up from those with sectional interests.

"Mr. Haden is a hero. Lesser men—most men in New Zealand—would have gone on television, wept, apologised, begged forgiveness from all the people he supposedly had let down—and pleaded to be given another chance. Mr. Haden instead removed himself with great dignity from a situation where he would continue to be harassed by quacking dimwits masquerading as television reporters for the sin of speaking his mind, and reprimanded by moral pygmies like Murray McCully for the same reason.

"It is to be hoped Sky TV will not now lose its nerve as it did over the Murray Mexted affair, and will keep Andy Haden on as a fearless and robust commentator in a nation sadly lacking in fearless commentary in all fields," Perigo concludes.

ENDS

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