Devoy wades into Peters race row

Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy. Photo: File.

Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy says Winston Peters needs to "focus on what is relevant" after the New Zealand First leader raised questions about work visa analysis carried out by two NZ Herald reporters.

Peters labelled the Herald's findings “rubbish” and highlighted the Asian ethnicity of the journalists involved - actions which lead to ACT's David Seymour calling him an “old fashioned racist” yesterday.

Now, Dame Susan has urged Peters to stick to what is relevant, while the NZ Herald moved to defend their coverage of work visas and the top five source countries for work visas last year.

“We suggest Winston Peters focuses on what journalists write, not their ethnicity or race,” said Dame Susan.

“Debate facts. Agree to disagree. But a journalist's ethnicity is not relevant.

“We are better than this.

“New Zealanders can debate immigration and other issues without attacking someone because of their ethnicity.”

Peters called the analysis “propaganda" and "completely wrong” - words that prompted a quick response from the Herald in defence of their reporters, Lincoln Tan and Harkanwal Singh, as well as the data used.

Herald editor Murray Kirkness said: "Winston Peters' statement - and in particular his aspersions on our journalists and their work - comes straight from the Donald Trump playbook.

"His reference to 'New Zealand Herald propaganda written by two Asian immigrant reporters' is a new low in political rhetoric in this election year. We condemn his comments.

"For the record, the article and interactive is accurate and presented in proper context using official Statistics NZ data.

"Peters would best be advised to try to grasp the complexity of the issues, and make a useful contribution to the immigration debate, rather than playing the race card or taking a wildly desperate swing at the media."




Posted on 19-05-2017 10:31 | By Papamoaner

Hmm - a red herring. You continue to avoid the core issue of Susan Devoy and race relations. These peripheral arguments have nothing to do with that. Oh well, I give up. That was my last post on it.


Posted on 18-05-2017 20:04 | By Tgaboy

Yes, you are right again. How ignorant of me to not recognise the wit behind your comment. Apologies. Sincerely.


Posted on 17-05-2017 14:03 | By Papamoaner

Priceless! My comment was tongue-in-cheek but was lost on you. I'm not interested in arguing the scientific method at fourth form level. How about joining the debate objectively and give us your views on Susan Devoy's comments and behaviour, rather than comparing her to cartoon characters you watch on telly. Likewise for Winston. We have finished discussing who she is and what she is. She is a commissioner, not a concilliator, so entitled to go public on her views. Before responding, try reading and digesting previous posts on the thread so you are not flogging a dead horse. Sorry if you get two responses - I had a crash and reboot.


Posted on 16-05-2017 18:35 | By Tgaboy

Who said anything about research? It seems to me you might struggle to read and analyse comments.

@ Tgaboy

Posted on 10-05-2017 10:57 | By Papamoaner

I see Tgaboy bases his research data on TV programmes. He probably thinks it's empirical

Nasty comment tgaboy

Posted on 09-05-2017 08:34 | By R. Bell

but we expect that from the gutless. I bet you bathed in her glory when she was the most achieved sports woman we had. I'd like to say more about you, but Sunlive wouldn't print it. Robin Bell.

Ever seen that...

Posted on 09-05-2017 07:53 | By Tgaboy

Simpsons episode where Marge tries to censor the Itchy and Scratchy show for its violence. Then the creators write her into an episode as a squirrel that says nothing more than "don't do that, don't do that, don't do that". Devoy, hilariously, reminds me of that squirrel.


Posted on 30-04-2017 12:17 | By Papamoaner

Thanks for your kind words Robin. She is indeed a commissioner, not a conciliator, so I have eaten my humble pie and now acknowledge she is just doing her job. She probably wouldn't mind, since My criticism was about action within function rather than personal.

Your an honest man Papamoaner,

Posted on 29-04-2017 14:16 | By R. Bell

Unlike some who comment. What gives me pleasure is knowing that even though we all fail at times we can respect each other to admit our mistakes. Well, all except a certain few. Robin Bell.


Posted on 29-04-2017 13:55 | By Papamoaner

Sorry if this response comes twice. I replied 2 days ago but it hasn't posted (yet).I've had a look at the Act, and you've got me on a technicality. I was unaware that the original appointment of race relations CONCILLIATOR was later changed to race relations COMMISSIONER. They have entirely different meanings. You were right, I was wrong. I yield to your better research. Good work Robin.

Sorry Papamoaner, your wrong

Posted on 28-04-2017 08:31 | By R. Bell

this time. The Race relations Commissioner is part of the Human rights Commission. The purpose of both is to PROMOTE and ENCOURAGE better race relations, at all times. Dame Susan does this as well as any previous Commissioner. She is fearless and has a record of arbitration second to none. Her role is surely, to encourage us all to treat each other with respect and dignity. Winston Peters on the other hand is a right wing populist who snipes at immigrants, particularly Asian, constantly. His record speaks for itself, totally unable to work with anyone who disagrees with his extremist views. Inevitably he finds his support in those with similar views. Tauranga has more than its fair share, so he finds fertile ground for his duplicity. Robin Bell.

She should remain aloof

Posted on 27-04-2017 17:59 | By Papamoaner

It's unprofessional. Her job is to expedite an extra judiciary reconcilliation between parties (usually pakeha versus another ethnic group).Can you imagine a supreme court judge going public, projecting his opinion on some matter that is likely to come up before him in court? That's effectively what she is doing. Whether her staed views are correct or incorrect, is irrelevant. She should remain aloof. This is unprofessional on her part.


Posted on 27-04-2017 16:45 | By Papamoaner

Whether she is right or wrong is irrelevant, it is not the function of a concilliator to make public statements or give unsolicited lectures on moral ethics such as racism etc. It is their function to concilliate on established disagreements between parties, so should normally only be done on complaint by an offended party.Once independent concilliators start getting spontaneously involved in arguments in the media, they effectively become politicians albeit of the un-elected variety. This is dangerous. What our country actually needs, is a constitution so that people who inappropriatly step outside their formal government portfolios can be dealt with by the highest court in the land - the house of representatives. Without those checks and balances, we risk having to deal with loose cannons.And don't respond with "Winston's a loose cannon" That's his job- he's a politician.

Winston's racist comments

Posted on 27-04-2017 16:16 | By phoenix

Pick out the winston peters supporters from the posts so far. NO prizes for getting them correct.


Posted on 27-04-2017 15:46 | By JohnMac

Devoy's job is to doing exactly what she is meant to be doing. Good for her. Peters will obviously overstate or understate facts to suit his agenda. We should all be aware of this by now surely. Targeting ethnicity is like kicking in the groin, effective but a foul shot.


Posted on 27-04-2017 14:08 | By The Jimmie Rustler

Was wondering when you'd show up. Yes, he was speaking truthfully, as the two reporters are of Asian descent. And he made damn sure to point that out, and knew perfectly well what he was doing when he referred to their piece as "propaganda". Us members of the so called "PC Brigade" know exactly what Peter's doing and what tactic he is employing - 'Them vs Us'. But I don't need to tell you this now do I Roadkill? Keep sweeping, I'm pretty sure there's still space left under your carpet buddy.

@ Robin

Posted on 27-04-2017 13:46 | By Roadkill

maybe it is that he is simply speaking the truth of it, and some just an not handle that.

The purpose is Jimmy,

Posted on 27-04-2017 13:15 | By R. Bell

Winston Peters like all populist politicians has a hungry voter base. He simply feeds their prejudice. Rastus sums up the ignorance well, when referring to "only seeing Asian immigrants". British, South African, Rhodesian, Australian, American, etc only stand out when they open their mouths. The Grey Power group probably make up most of this group of Winnie supporters. Susan Devoy has the responsibility to jump on this issue, which is blatant racial prejudice. Robin Bell.

Back in the old days...

Posted on 27-04-2017 13:06 | By manbearpig

We had here what was called a 'poll tax'. Now that there was a tax on every Asian that came in like, and the government types used them proceeds to set up a big net with which we used to snare them what didn't pay the poll tax afore they came in on their dragon boats


Posted on 27-04-2017 12:54 | By The Jimmie Rustler

You prove my point perfectly. Neither my comment or Devoy is referring to the immigration debate, it's about calling out Peters for pointing out the two reporters are of Asian descent purely for political gain. He provides his own ’alternative facts’ and statistics on immigration which I have no issue with, Im guessing Devoy doesnt either given the fact she hasn't come out saying 'Winston, your facts are wrong you naughty boy, etc'. Was it necessary of Peters, in the first sentence of his opening paragraph, to label them as "Asian immigrant reporters"? What was the purpose? As so many SunLive commentors love to say - play the ball, not the person. Do you have any ideas why Rastus?

Unqualified and Unwise

Posted on 27-04-2017 12:28 | By kellbell

So the Human Rights string pullers have yet again found a willing marionette to do their crazy PC bidding.Frankly it none of her damn business and she would be well advised not to get to close to the flames.Mind you she already suffers from the foot in mouth affliction anyway.

Is that Golf Clap or Golf crap

Posted on 27-04-2017 12:23 | By rastus

Anyone who cannot see from personal experience that the majority of imports into NZ have come from Asia and the Middle East must be truly blind - and then to have the audacity to point the finger at Winston who is only telling it as it is and has done more for Tauranga and environs even though the sicko's tossed him out for the shallow blowhard Clarkson than any other poli representing Tauranga before or after leaves one who considers himself intelligent to question the whole politically correct among you - you have a brain - why not use it to see the bigger picture.

*Golf Clap*

Posted on 27-04-2017 10:53 | By The Jimmie Rustler

So, to recap: Peters blasts "two Asian immigrant reporters" for writing "propaganda", insinuates they've intentionally skewed Stats NZ data to spread "alternative facts' because they're not just reporters, they're "Asian immigrant" reporters and clearly showing bias. Devoy wades in saying Peters should debate facts, especially facts easily discovered by searching Stats NZ website, instead of focusing on the reporters race/ethnicity. SunLive commenters then see a story about Devoy doing what shes employed to do, get their panties in a bunch, say shes showing political favouritism [how, I dont know] and deride her for knowing nothing about immigration, ignoring the fact that all she's done is addressed Peters statement focussing on the reporters' race, and doesn't provide any opinion whatsoever on the immigration debate. All the while Peters laughs his way to the polling booths because what most Kiwis lack in intelligence they make up for in stupidity.

Dame Susan

Posted on 27-04-2017 10:52 | By mutley

needs to "focus on what is relevant herself. The crazy thing is, the more comment Winston gets, the more exposure for his half-arsed ideas. Why not deprive him of the oxygen.

Foot, mouth...

Posted on 27-04-2017 10:48 | By nerak

she hasn't figured it out yet, doubt she will. And we pay her too!!!

Well, that's what we get

Posted on 27-04-2017 10:42 | By Papamoaner

When we appoint a "sports Celebrity" to a position beyond their competence. Do we see the judiciary behaving like this? Do we see the ombudsman behaving like this? She is becoming a regular embarrassment and a spanner in the works. I'll bet some very senior politicians and government officials are cringing. They would doubtless like to sack her, but how do you do that? Ironically, I agree with some of her views, but it's not her place to say it in public in the absense of a complaint. Let's see her job description published Sunlive.

Yes you do have to wonder

Posted on 27-04-2017 10:19 | By Laurie

if we would have got the same reaction from the Commisioner if it had been a National MP taking the Herald to task??

Not Political

Posted on 27-04-2017 10:17 | By carpedeum

Dont think that Dame Susan's politics are either known or expressed in any aspect of her job. Just that Winstone's comments are truely racist. QED


Posted on 27-04-2017 09:56 | By dumbkof2

once again commenting on something she knows nothing about. when does her term finish


Posted on 27-04-2017 09:22 | By sangrae

It is very obvious Dame Susan is being outspoken again she is a political appointment and should stay out of the arena critisising the politions the old story stick to the knitting hijack is right.

I sometimes wonder

Posted on 27-04-2017 08:17 | By Abobsworth

I sometimes wonder if Dame Susan shows her politics in her comments.Perhaps she should stick to complaints referred to her office.

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