Below is a transcript of Mike Hosking with Mark Mitchell and Stuart Nash on painting Groundswell NZ as racist and anti-vax. The ZB on demand Transcript begins just after eight minutes into the 8am recording.

Mike:

I am doing well Stuart, are you feeling the wrath of the nation on your shoulders this morning?

Stuart:

That’s right, I think we’ve done incredibly well with the traffic light system. I think all Kiwis get it and are ready to move out of that and have a fantastic Kiwi summer.

Mike:

Now, do you want to apologise for your Groundswell comments or not?

Stuart:

Oh, come on Mike. You’re better than that. You would have read the transcript you would see that I absolutely did not call every farmer a racist or an anti-vaxxer. I was ab… I was simply referring to an online presence and some of the stuff that I’d seen online and one post in particular which was…which was absolutely disgusting about Nanaia Mahuta. And I do know that some in Groundswell came out and called it out as well.

Mike:

Indeed, they did, they sacked the guy so I am not sure what Groundswell stands for these days and that is what I read on their website. It’s a mixture of racism and anti-vax so you’re not singling out a person there at all, you’re singling out Groundswell, are you now singling out a person?

Stuart:

No, no. I was responding to what is on their website, it’s actually on their Facebook page. Look Mike I worked with a number of rural communities, I have for years, I am the Minister of Forestry, I am one of the Prime Minister’s ministers who meet with these guys. I think they’re fantastic. The vast majority of the rural community work really hard and are really good people. I was calling out what I had seen on their Facebook page which was absolutely abhorrent.  

Mark:

If you feel like that, why don’t you accept the fact that you’ve offended a lot of them because you used a broad brush and instead of targeting one or two individuals you actually targeted the whole of Groundswell which is…you know a government is meant to unify. Good leadership is about unifying, not dividing and you’ve come out and with a broad brush you’ve laid them to waste and you should apologise.

Stuart:

I think you should back me up on this. I don’t know if you saw what they wrote about Nanaia…

Mike:

Hold on… whoa, whoa, whoa. They…Stuart now wait, they didn’t write anything – a bloke wrote something.

Mark:

That’s right.

Stuart:

Well Mike, okay so how far do you take that Mike? It was on their Facebook page as were a number of other anti-vaxxers, and the guy’s saying that aah…you know…they find this stuff all the time on their Facebook page and they try and take it down. That’s what I was calling out, Mike.

Mark:

The scary thing…the scary thing about this Mike is that I was in the house sitting next to Mark [Cameron] the morning he asked that question of Stuart who was filling in for the minister [Damien O’Connor, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Communities], but when he came out and made that comment about the rural community being…or well, you know…Groundswell being racist anti-vaxxers, the scary thing is, the rest of his colleagues all clapped and cheered. So, I think…

Stuart:

No.  

Mark:

I think you do owe them an apology…Stu. You had a broad brush.

Stuart:

Mitch, because they understand…I would say, and I was standing up for my great mate and my colleague Nanaia Mahuta, who I think had been treated incredibly unfairly and what was written about her on the Groundswell website on their Facebook page was totally unacceptable. I think that…(unintelligible)

Mike:

Yeah, but with your logic Stuart, with your logic everything that appears on the Newstalk website and Facebook page reflects directly on me – which is simply not true.

Stuart:

No, but I do think it reflects on ZB and you’d agree with me Mike. I mean if you write an opinion piece on the ZB web page then that reflects on ZB.

Mark:

No, what happens Mike…what happens…if that does happen then it’s actually the commentator or the person that’s written the opinion piece that gets the heave. Not the organisation or group.

Stuart:

No, that’s not true and the law actually doesn’t say that much. The bottom line is that the vast majority of your listeners, Mike, know if they read the transcript that I was actually referring to the online presence on stuff that had been put up on my colleagues. People aren’t stupid and for people to take a…you know…I was absolutely talking about the stuff that was on their online presence and…

Mike:

All right. So, for the record now…

Stuart:

(Unintelligible)

Mike:

For the record now, what does Groundswell stand for, in your view, as you understand it this morning?

Stuart:

Pause. Aah…I’m not a 100% sure what Groundswell stands for. They are a protest movement but as the…as the prime minister and myself have said in parliament numerous times…we meet with members of the rural community on a very regular basis, and I do myself. And I will continue to do that because I think that they are the backbone of our economy. I have always said that.

Mike:

All right. Let’s leave that one there. If you are not going to mate.

Mark:

Well, they’ve taken a position against the government, which of course the government doesn’t like – refuses to meet with them – it’s outside the rural sector and to be honest with you the urban sector has got behind them as well because they are deeply confused about the mixed messages coming out of the government.

It’s the government’s policy that’s going to impact severely, what they are trying to do, and so they are protesting against it – which in this country everyone has the right to do and I’m sorry…you will never shake me off the fact that you can’t broad brush and call people racist and I think racist is a term that’s been used far too much in this country to try and intimidate and shut down debate and I think that umm…Stu you should try to step forward and you should do the right thing. You should say, look I targeted my comments at these people that did something that was against Nanaia but I shouldn’t have painted everyone with a broad brush and I apologise for that.

Groundswell NZ Facebook Page

Please share this article so that others can discover The BFD

;

Help Support Conservative Media

The BFD is truly independent News & Views.

We are 100% funded by our audience.

Support the Conservative Media you love today by subscribing or donating.

CHECK OUT OUR PLANS

Nash Stops Debate with Racism
Suze

Suze

I am happily a New Zealander whose heritage shaped but does not define. Four generations ago my forebears left overcrowded, poverty ridden England, Ireland and Germany for better prospects here. They were...