The Jackal: September 2021

8 Sept 2021

David Seymour - Arsehole of the Week

There is no question that the ACT Party of New Zealand is a racist organisation. From calls to introduce a policy to ‘shoot the natives’ during Don Brash’s annual conference speech in 2011 to Rodney Hide openly stating that the party faithful hated Maori people and Jamie Whyte claiming Maori are somehow legally privileged, the common theme running through all of the far-right group’s politicking is one of racism!

Even now, in the 21st century no less, the current leader of the ACT Party has been dog-whistling for support by expressing similar bigoted views, racist views that have clearly hindered efforts to encourage Maori to get vaccinated against the deadly Covid-19 virus. 

On Monday, RNZ reported:

Māori vaccine equity scheme criticism blows back on Seymour

Seymour this morning released a written statement with an attached image displaying the priority access codes, which allow Māori and Pacific people to receive the vaccine at Whānau Ora locations without needing to book ahead.

"The virus doesn't discriminate on race, so neither should the rollout," the statement said. "Access to vaccination has been the same for people of all ethnic backgrounds. If fewer Māori are vaccinated it can't be a problem with access, but this move by the government insinuates that Māori have trouble making a booking."

Obviously David Seymour is entirely wrong! Not everyone has the same access to vaccination centres, particularly Maori who often live in more remote areas. This makes travelling to be vaccinated more difficult and is likely the main reason we’re seeing lower vaccination rates amongst indigenous populations in Aotearoa.

Another issue is that Maori are often mistreated by the health system, which has created a large amount of distrust. You only have to look at the Bay of Plenty DHB’s offensive pamphlet likening the virus to Maori and their wrongful request of passports from Pasifika people before they’re allowed the vaccine to see that racism is alive and well within our health institutions.

However, the virus does discriminate. The New Zealand Medical Journal has found that after controlling for age and underlying conditions Māori and Pacific people have 2.5x and 3.06x higher odds of being hospitalised for contracting Covid-19 than other ethnicities.

Researchers estimated risk of death for Māori from Covid-19 was at least 50 percent higher than European New Zealanders and infection rates are also significantly higher while vaccination rates have languished.

So you can see why certain sectors of our community should be prioritised. In fact making sure there’s a high uptake of vaccines amongst Maori is one of the best ways to ensure the Covid-19 elimination strategy is a success. But despite this best practice, the ACT Party is again playing the race-baiting card, which has effectively inhibited many Maori from accessing the vaccine.

Yesterday, RNZ reported:

Vaccination clinics prioritising Māori 'swamped by Pākehā’

The national strategy of vaccinating against Covid-19 through general and mass events is not working for Māori, with even clinics that prioritise Māori and Pasifika being "swamped" by Pākehā, a Covid-19 researcher says.

Earlier this week, Act Party leader David Seymour tweeted out a vaccine code reserved for Māori, encouraging his supporters to use the code themselves.

The code was sent by Māori health provider Te Whānau o Waipareira via confidential email to its clients as part of a push to lift Māori vaccination rates that are less than two thirds of the non-Māori rate.

Te Whānau o Waipareira CEO John Tamihere said Seymour was trying to sabotage attempts to make the rollout more equitable. He said his clinics had vaccinated five times as many Pākehā as Māori and Pasifika.

Independent writer, researcher and advisor Rāwiri Taonui, who focuses on Covid-19 in Māori communities, said the story was similar around the country and different strategies were now needed to turn around low vaccine uptake by Māori.

Combine this latest display of racism with Seymour’s previous acceptance of donations from White Supremacist backers and his dishonest claims about white privilege being taught in New Zealand primary schools, and it’s easy to see that the ACT Party is still wearing the same old racist stripes. In fact it’s the same out-dated party that has been proactively inhibiting Maori progress since its first inception in 1993.

However the main reason David Seymour wins this weeks much anticipated Arsehole Award is that he failed to say anything about the Government prioritising vaccines for the elderly, who are also a high-risk demographic that could be disproportionately affected by Covid-19. This blatant contradiction clearly shows that the ACT Party’s objection to Maori being prioritised for vaccination is entirely racially motivated, making ACT New Zealand under the leadership of David Seymour still a terribly racist and divisive party that is undeserving of public support.

5 Sept 2021

Now is not the time to overreact

ISIS Terrorist - Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen
We all agree that the attack on innocent people at LynnMall on Friday was a cowardly and despicable act. Six people were seriously injured, with three still remaining in a critical condition at Auckland City Hospital.

However, this is not the time for a knee jerk reaction by the public or Government. This is not the time to blame ethnic minorities or religious beliefs, because they played no role in the radicalisation of the now deceased terrorist. Likewise, this is not the time to close our borders to refugees or those looking for a safe place to raise their families.

This is also not the time to propose laws that would remove citizenship, or the time to give the Police or judiciary more powers to surveil or convict individuals, other than the Counter-Terrorism Legislation amendments that have already been proposed.

Here is one of the amendments that may have prevented this atrocious crime:

5A Carrying out and facilitating terrorist acts

Carrying out includes preparations, credible threats, and attempts

(1) For the purposes of this Act, a terrorist act is carried out if any 1 or more of the following occurs:

(a) planning or other preparations to carry out the act, whether it is actually carried out or not:

(b) a credible threat to carry out the act, whether it is actually carried out or not:

(c) an attempt to carry out the act:

(d) the carrying out of the act.


Being that these amendments are currently before the House of Representatives, perhaps if the National Party wasn’t always trying to ‘gum up the works’ of Parliament, the Government may have amended the legislation in time to have prevented this despicable attack. Maybe if Judith Collins had got the legislation right in 2013, we wouldn’t be in this situation either. Possibly, if instead of trying to rehabilitate this deluded individual, the judge had sentenced Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen in July to more jail time, the outcome might have been different. Maybe if the Police had used the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act to have him properly assessed and treated; he wouldn’t have felt compelled to try and kill innocent people.

Hindsight is indeed a great thing, and in this regard the PM should feel vindicated for her legislative changes following the Christchurch mosque shootings. In my opinion, this is where the semi-automatic and assault rifle ban has been proven effective. Imagine what would have occurred at LynnMall had this lone wolf had access to military style weapons. However this is also not the time to ban over the counter knife or scissor sales. Clearly somebody who has become radicalised to this extent won’t be deterred by such pointless measures.

The problem isn’t only a failure of our current systems. The problem is that no matter how well we prepare or work to counter terrorism, certain people will continue to become radicalised by online disinformation.

The key therefore is to further develop systems that firstly inhibit people’s access to objectionable terrorism inducing material, and secondly ensure that people are educated enough to be able to determine fact from fiction.

New Zealand doesn’t need to respond by inhibiting access to everyday items or further limiting people’s privacy or freedoms. Instead, Aotearoa would be better served by trying to de-radicalise those who’ve become mislead by hateful online material. We would be better served by making sure that individuals aren’t isolated to an extent whereby exposure to terrorist propaganda can take root in the first place. 

The best response is therefore one of inclusiveness. In this regard the Government should increase the refugee quota to help those trying to escape situations that are the breeding ground for terrorism, situations that New Zealand, like many other western countries, has to a degree been complicit in creating. This would go some way to deescalating terrorism by reducing the reasons some people hold for hating Westerners. Although this isn't politically convenient at the moment, the benefits to this long-term approach far exceed any risks, which are currently painfully apparent.

However, despite the rawness of the situation, this is not the time to allow segregationists to seize the narrative. Instead, we should look to increase and enhance the broadcasting of our multicultural and diverse communities. Because without inclusiveness, it is far more likely that more individuals will feel isolated and thus be more prone to radicalisation…consequently making it more likely that similar terrorist attacks will occur again in New Zealand.