Rosalie Ashby

Dear Murray

I and all my family and associates have remained consistent supporters of the NZ Herald. We all have always trusted your independence and objectivity.

There is now widespread disquiet and deep fear for the future of our democracy.

Re: “Proudly Independent. It’s the Herald’s way”. Maybe, but are you seeing what I have just stated?

I have studied all your politically orientated articles, editorial, cartoons, and opinion pieces and I cannot see at all that you have any awareness of this above fear.

Why are you not covering the truth that the Three Waters Legislation (as part of the He Puapua intention) will give Maori interests full veto rights over all Three Waters? You have to read the structure of the management board to see that this is the case.  

Why are you not covering the fact that the new Maori Health Authority will give full veto rights to Maori interests over the main Health Authority?

Why are you not covering the distortions in the new History syllabus?

Why are you not covering more fully the huge implications on democracy of the “Hate Speech” legislation planned, which will curtail freedom of speech?

Why was the massive “Howl of Protest” barely covered at all?

There is full support of the encouragement of Maori culture and Maori language, but why do you allow and encourage the surreptitious changing of New Zealand’s name and the outright confusion being caused by the renaming of all government entities? Actions never mandated by the electorate.

Support stops when it is felt that there is an underlying intention to legislate towards 50/50 partnership which is the new and unestablished interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti). Our population includes many heritages – European predominantly – and NZ must not proceed down these overtly racist lines.  

Most people have genuine awareness and sympathy for the fact that many Maori have not achieved the success rates of European and other heritages – but we object to being blamed under the banner of “colonialism” and “white privilege”, and we are becoming increasingly aware that this is a smokescreen for legislation along racist lines and any opposition at all means one is accused of being “racist” or a “conspiracy theorist”.

Racial division is being created, which is not the New Zealand way at all.

These above are mainstream points of view, that you seem to ignore and disdain.

You (plus TVNZ and Radio NZ) are alienating a large section of our population because this mainstream point of view is not covered. There is nothing more important than preserving democracy! WE need colour-blind legislation whilst always supporting the weak and disadvantaged.

Many believe that you are not allowing the Opposition case to be made.

The media have allowed, or even fanned continual speculation about ‘when Judith Collins will be rolled’ as leader of the National Party.  If the public speculate on this it is ONLY because of the negative and totally inadequate (biased) coverage of Judith in the media, of which your paper is a large part. Of course, the bulk of the population will believe this disunity as this is the picture you portray.

Every editorial, every cartoon, every picture, including the writings of Steve Braunias  (his diaries are cruelly representing “whitey Collins” as lonely, isolated and slightly demented) and all the cartoons are also rigorously negative. Often derisive. Her considered and intelligent verbal contributions are cut, twisted, misrepresented on every occasion. In contrast, every coverage of the Prime Minister is attractive, particularly the photographs, and nothing negative is reported on any of her caucus.

Even more unsettling and destructive of faith in the objectivity of the media is in the blanket refusal to cover the realist line of the so-called “Climate Emergency”.

I acknowledge:

Reticence on your part to expose the balancing view on “climate” is  understandable as there is such multi-decadal depth of investment based on this (both financially and emotionally) throughout the Western world .


The fact that the media now totally refuse to cover this matter is at the base of the belief that the NZ Herald, along with almost all other media, is not balanced and objective. This makes us all suspicious. People generally now presume that the “Public Interest Journalism Fund” has destroyed a paper’s ability to criticise Government policy.

As the Fourth Estate, it is your responsibility to investigate both sides! The Herald should report on the negatives and HUGE costs of the Climate Commission’s suggestions which are about to be legislated. The extreme challenges to the NZ way of life are massively confronting. So the fact that many people do not believe CO2 to be a culprit in rising temperatures is necessary to publish. This viewpoint MUST be acknowledged, it is widespread! And it is not a conspiracy theory.

It has got to the stage that no New Zealand politician is bold enough to stand up and clarify that there is no “Climate Emergency”, because our young and our ignorant who are entirely influenced by mainstream media believe wholeheartedly what they have been told.

(Furthermore, it is one of your responsibilities to educate. The general public use the term “climate” when they really mean ‘environment’. Protection of the environment and biodiversity is supported by all! Remove this misunderstanding and objectivity and balance could be achieved.)

Where is the honesty and courage that we so badly need, gone?

You must be aware that even the work of our own Geoff Duffy demolishes the assertion that CO2 drives global temperature. He is only one among hundreds who have published studies refuting “Climate Emergency.” And it is established by so many scientists and data sets that warming weather is calmer weather and there is a proven reduction in all extreme weather events. Data from insurance companies prove this. You MUST know this now or you are only listening to politically motivated science. (A good website that covers the data is Not Many People Know That. Paul Homewood.)

Should the global temperature continue to warm as it did from the 1850s to c 2000, that is much more beneficial to human existence than cooling, which is now considered very likely. Talk of a “tipping point” is absolute nonsense and purely political. So lack of government preparation for cold is a huge risk and the focus on “Climate Emergency” a dangerous diversion.

You must know that many scientifically acceptable papers published (and unpublished!) in the last ten years refute the situation of man-made Global Warming, and NONE of these papers has been reported on even though they are eminently newsworthy.

The only way to explain this is your fear of political backlash or loss of advertising revenue as the knowledge would be a huge shock to many advertisers. But you have a responsibilty. Where is your conscience?

Your concurrence in hiding the alternative view is tragic as the turning away from fossil fuel energy will cost NZ (and the other leading countries in the EU and UK) dearly, whilst having no impact on global temperatures – in fact, reducing CO2 in the atmosphere is negative for green growth.

We  KNOW all our young (and not so young) have been influenced by the neo-Marxist attitudes: “Left’s Long March through the Institutions”. This is the dominant attitude of most young journalists and has become typical through many university departments. The young are also influenced by all sections of state schooling, and the media now are not applying any balance. It is massively alienating most of the mature generation because they feel powerless, not listened to, not represented, and deep down there is a deep anxiety about the direction in which our country is being led. As much of the “Post modern” philosophy is hard to criticise, most people do NOT see the extreme threat to our democracy.

Reassure us. Our presumption is that you are now bound to support Government policy and “Te Tiriti” and you are contracted to do so in order to receive a share of the Public Interest Journalism Fund.

Which means the assault on our democratic rights will continue.

A relevant issue is the severe problem of mental health. Tragically, as a result of the lockdown, mental health will become a bigger issue for all age groups.  However, the double fears of disastrous man-made climate change plus the social and educational disarray caused by Covid isolation is nothing but a tragedy. Climate fear is nonsensical, and Covid fear hugely exaggerated and both government and media-driven. The NZ Herald included.

However, the main source of serious disquiet is the chipping away of New Zealander’s democratic rights. The tacit acceptance by the NZ Herald of the re-interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi as the founding document newly reinterpreted as a “partnership” and therefore called “Te Tiriti” is staggering.

How could any responsible paper allow the idea of 50/50 partnership with iwi – which represents only 15% of our population – be honest or honourable? He Puapua must be challenged publicly!

Tragically division between racial groups is being created. Resentment is being fomented. This is not the New Zealand way!

Your paper stands accused of bias by ALL National and Act supporters and the more centrist parties that could help create the future opposition. I attended the National Conference and the tone of support for Judith Collins was in fact uniformly, totally triumphant. NOBODY there felt any hint of disunity. Your coverage, looking for signs of disunity, was untruthfully negative, therefore misleading.

Please accept this letter as representative of a large chunk of your readers. And of New Zealand as a whole. It is written with utmost sincerity.

Please may I look forward to a sincere explanation, refutation, or at least an acknowledgement?

Yours most sincerely,

Rosalie Ashby

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