Ethnic community leader holds Todd Muller to account

Ethnic community leader holds Todd Muller to account

Gregory Fortuin
Wellington, July 9, 2020

Gregory Fortuin (Photo Courtesy: Salvation Army)

National Party Leader Todd Muller reckons that “Hamish Walker paid the ultimate price for leaking private Covid-19 patient information.”

Mr Muller went on to call it “a serious error of judgement that cost him his career.

Of course”, it is sad  that a young man, filled with so much passion and blessed with immense opportunities, had to fall on his sword so early in his political career.

But here is my beef with  Mr Muller, Mr Walker and the National Party.


Todd Muller                                                                      Hamish Walker

Offence against humanity

Mr Walker’s bosses quite rightly sacked him (Ok, he jumped) for breaching the privacy of Covid-19 patients. An absolute sackable offence. Tick. However, the higher crime against humanity I.e. Mr Walker’s disgraceful dog whistle against New Zealanders returning from India, Pakistan and Korea got swept under the carpet.

He said he wanted to use the private information to support his case of thousands of people (11, 000) coming from Asian countries to invade the South Island.

Given that a majority of returning New Zealanders had returned from Australia, America and the United Kingdom, his case was never going to be proven. And New Zealanders returning from Australia, United Kingdom and America were not a problem.

I wish that evidence supported his case in order to bring to a head the racist views that New Zealanders returning from Pakistan, India and Korea were lesser human beings not worthy of gracing the Deep South. That is the real crime. That continues to be greeted with silence.

Holding Muller to account

Leaking confidential health information breaches our privacy laws, but racist dog whistles are disgraceful crimes against humanity. Until Todd Muller and his all white front  bench call out racism and white arrogance ethnic leaders like myself will continue to hold them to account.

Thankfully, a majority of New Zealanders are better than that.

Gregory is a former Race Relations Commissioner and Families Commissioner. He is currently National Director (Education & Employment) of Salvation Army New Zealand.
He lives in Wellington. Email: gfortuin@xtra.co.nz

Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ) former President and Spokesperson Dr Anwar Ghani said, “We urge all politicians from every spectrum to focus on issues that will improve the wellbeing of all New Zealander and not on the race, ethnicity, faith or no faith particularly when they are trying to compete for sound bites to improve their political parties rating going into this years’ general election.”

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