Category Archives: Radio

#PanamaPapersNZ – Long John Key Silver And His Treasure Islands

I warned that New Zealand would be used as a tax haven on October 26th, 2011, if the National government was reelected.

I wasn’t the first.

Never did I expect we would be proven right in such a spectacular fashion as via the Panama Papers leak.

A leak that has shone light on an agenda to use New Zealand as a port of safe harbour for vast swathes of foreign cash. An agenda that does not stem solely from the ruling Party. It comes from on high.

From the description of the above video, posted in April 2014:

Last month, the kiwi government tabled a bill that would remove the current 28% tax rate on income incurred by non-residents investing in funds held in New Zealand.

The move by the government is the latest to entice investors to domicile assets on its shores. A year ago, prime minister John Key, a former Merrill Lynch banker, created a focus group to examine how the nation could become more welcoming to foreign assets and enlisted consultant Oliver Wyman to examine the country’s options.

The consultancy’s recommendation was to market New Zealand as a funds domicile in the Asia-Pacific region.”

The Puppet-Masters

As depicted in ‘House of Cards‘, even at Presidential level, the real government is who the leaders of countries talk to when they get home at night.

And who they are talking to is people with great wealth, who know damn well what a foreign trust is, and how to utilise tax havens to their benefit.

Tax havens like New Zealand, run for the last eight years by arguably the most pro-Wall Street, pro-America Prime Minister in generations: ex-Member of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, John Key.

New Zealand and the Panama Papers

New Zealand is once again in an uproar and debate is evolving at a swift pace. It has just discovered that it is a laundering haven for drug money and other illicit international funds, and that the personal lawyer of the leader of the country was involved in lobbying to ensure that the legislative status quo with regards to offshore trusts remained intact.

Our already-scandal-plagued Prime Minister is doing his best to cling to power, attempting to sidestep these latest revelations as deftly as he has countless prior instances of mass public indignation – rare moments in which the mostly-cowed and constantly-culled national press corp begin to do their job.

After all, the Panama Papers’ whistle-blower’s recent statement singled out John Key and New Zealand.


The Standard wants to know, why?


Because we are a country run by a man who has helped unleash this same agenda upon other countries before, with disastrous effect.

Countries like Ireland.

Back in 2011, Ireland was Greece. Being strong-armed by the IMF, bound to Greek-style austerity measures to stave off impending bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy that loomed because of “a mirage driven by clever use of tax-haven rules and a huge credit boom that permitted real estate prices and construction to grow quickly before declining ever more rapidly.”


Guess who was making full use of Ireland to reduce the tax liability of offshore funds on behalf of his wealthy clientele?

John Key.

How do we know this?

Because he said so.

New Zealand Prime Minister Telling Porkies

In an enthusiastic 2005 interview with Fran O’Sullivan of the NZ Herald, then future Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key bragged about how his moving businesses and funds offshore to Ireland had saved his Merrill Lynch clientele megabucks.

From the July 19, 2005 article:


Key words… ‘Head of global foreign exchange’; Ireland; “..huge chunk of private clients’ business”.

Fran O’Sullivan writes of Key, “But as a former money-man, he is also interested in how Jersey built its economy on the back of offshore trusts.”

However, this doesn’t seem to faze the NZ Herald, which on April 6th, 2016, effectively whitewashed the O’Sullivan article.

While the above ‘offshore trusts’ quote is addressed in a forgiving tone (bizarrely, by being reiterated), there is no mention whatsoever of the “huge chunk of private clients’ business” that Key moved to Ireland for tax purposes as Head of global foreign exchange for Merrill Lynch.

Yet by contrast, in this video of his May 9th press conference, Key has the following exchange:

Reporter: “The Papers show that a lot of the overseas people are using it for business interests, not connected to inheritance or things that you’ve talked about in terms of opposition parties in countries that are unstable and that sort of thing. What reason would someone, in Mexico for example, using a business deal, have to set up a trust in New Zealand?”

John Key: “So the first thing you appreciate is that I haven’t seen the papers. So it’s very difficult to comment when I can’t see the individual cases. Nor am I a tax expert so I can’t comment on individual cases. But, for example, apparently there was one case that I just heard someone talking about where the person was Mexican, and had set up a Trust because they were uncertain about Mexican inheritance law, tax law, and that’s legitimate.

In short: He doesn’t know what’s in the Papers, even though he was Minister in charge of the New Zealand equivalent of the CIA. He “isn’t a tax expert” and says he can’t comment on individual cases… but then does.

The exchange continues:

Reporter: “There are plenty of examples that just refer to straight business deals. So why would someone with no connection to New Zealand be setting up Trusts here?”

John Key: “I can’t answer why that is. Well, New Zealand is a jurisdiction which is a good jurisdiction to do that and for all the reasons that we know. That we do have exchange of information, that we do have transparency, that we do meet the highest possible codes, so there’s all sorts of reasons that people might, but you have to go and ask those who establish those why they do that, I’m just not an expert in that area.”

So John Key, who moved an “aircraft leasing business, the complex interest rates derivatives business, the entire back office for global foreign exchange and a huge chunk of private clients’ business” to Ireland on behalf of one of the biggest investment banking firms in the world, in order “to take advantage of a 10 per cent tax rate for foreign investors” – an “investment” described as a “runaway success” – is “not a tax expert”.

He claims that the reason all these overseas businesses are setting up accounts in New Zealand is purely because of good compliance and transparency.

Over 10,000 in total – flocking to New Zealand because they want increased compliance and visibility?


In the infamous words of Dr. Jane Kelsey – “I think I just saw a flock of flying pigs go by!”

Some professional tax and trust lawyers have been so good as to publish a copy of their submission in support of John Key’s “financial hub” scheme, on their commercial website.

One such example is Christchurch’s Parry Field.


The opening position in their submission is nothing short of astounding. They posit:

‘One may ask, “Why introduce tax rules that would benefit wealthy foreigners?” We think this is the wrong starting point, and the question should rather be: “Why not?”’

Under the sub-heading “Why would any fund manager choose New Zealand?” Parry Field suggest eight answers, and allude to “many more“.

None of which are transparency or high compliance standards, as John Key asserted at his press conference. In fact, they cite a lack of regulations as being part of the attraction:

“Regulations imposed by the European Union and other supra-national bodies are making life increasingly difficult for the traditional financial centres.”

The cherry on the cake:


The Inland Revenue Department themselves have a different take on why tax fund managers choose New Zealand:


Back to the press conference, once it is a veteran government apologist asking a question, John Key starts sounding very much like a tax expert.

Barry Soper: “Prime Minister it is said that overseas businesses use trusts in New Zealand to avoid tax. Well we’re not undermining our tax base. But is it acceptable that they’re using…”

John Key: “…It is possible, for people to potentially, through the mismatches of the different tax systems, if they want to be creative and work hard, to significantly reduce their tax liability but in a lawful way. That is at least possible for what some multinationals are doing, and we don’t like that, and we’d like to close that down… but we can’t just magically say, New Zealand is going to stop that, we need other countries to work with us.”

So the rest of the world is to blame?

That Key fronted at all for the press conference is reassuring. The previous day he had reportedly missed his regular radio spot for the first time ever.


In New Zealand they call him ‘Teflon John’ and say nothing will stick to him – and this is why: 443 demonstrable lies and counting, and he is still in office.

Analysing The Spin

The predominant narratives coming out in John Key’s defense have all been heard before.

They are being regurgitated because they have worked in the past. He has thusfar retained his throne.

The ‘left-wing conspiracy theorist’ slur Key slung about in response to Dirty Politics and Moment of Truth, is back.


So is ‘I haven’t read it‘, and ‘I’m not an expert in that.’

Pet commentators – and paid commentators – are hard at work, plugging away at defending the indefensible.

The most notable and obvious of whom are Chris Trotter (yes – this Chris Trotter) and long-time military-slash-financial-industrial-complex propagandist Matthew Hooton.


Famously implicated in Nicky Hager’s book ‘Dirty Politics’, and representing clients of a particular ilk that tend to be inconvenienced by Hager’s internationally-acclaimed investigative journalism, Hooton has many axes to grind.

He decries the documents as ‘secret’, and complains about only the journalists being able to see them.


Having apparently forgotten that he complained about only journalists being able to see them, he then complains about them being publically released too. Hooton conflates the investigation to include all trustees and plays the privacy card despite being ideologically and professionally opposed to everything that actual privacy activists stand for.


And yes – this is from the very man who was revealed to have – and admitted to – supplied Nicky Hager’s home address to political operatives with a vendetta against him.



The smearing of journalists and interference in their careers is a common theme revealed in the book Dirty Politics, and even after its release, the practice overtly continued.


So the Prime Minister has told porkies by the hundreds and the chief defenders of his socio-economic group leave much to be desired.

Doctorates vs. Spin Doctors

Whether John Key sticks it out or is finally toppled remains to be seen. At his press conference, the strain was palpable. For, despite his protestations to the contrary, Key is the public face of what is now beyond doubt an international tax haven.



According to a Working Paper by Professor Michael Littlewood published by the Auckland University Law School:

The New Zealand tax system is so structured as to allow the country to be used as a tax haven. Specifically, it allows non-residents to use trusts established in New Zealand to avoid the tax they would otherwise have to pay in their home country. This article explains how this works, and asks whether New Zealand law should be changed so as to prevent tax avoidance of this kind or, at least, to make it easier for other governments to prevent it.

As reported by, a Massey University Accounting Professor concurs, stating:


Despite the academic consensus that New Zealand is a tax haven, John Key denies it.


At 4:28 in his press conference:

Journalist: “Is New Zealand a tax haven?”

Prime Minister: “Absolutely not.”

Astonishingly, he also claims that the world doesn’t care.

Meanwhile, #PanamaPapersNZ hit the international press.

From Nepal:


To Thailand:


From CNBC:





To Al Jazeera:


And……… BoingBoing!


According to

“One New Zealand trust has already been associated with Unaoil, a Monaco company under investigation for helping multinationals bribe oil ministers and officials in the Middle East.”

If not John Key, then the Prime Minister of Malta may be the second forced resignation of a head of Government as a result of the Panama Papers.

In the wake of the scandal, thousands have attended a protest rally demanding his job. One of the trusts involved is, sure enough, registered in New Zealand.

So while the government tries to play it down, it appears that the entire world gets it. New Zealand is a tax haven – a sanctuary for dodgy money dubiously accrued by undesirable people.


The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree

As much as he’d like to disclaim any liability, not only was the entire scheme of transforming the country into a foreign financial services hub the brainchild of New Zealand’s Grand Poobah himself – there is also a direct connection to his personal network.


The implication of John Key’s personal lawyer, Ken Whitney, is a saga unto itself.

First he was John Key’s lawyer, name-dropping the PM and lobbying a goverment Minister on behalf of the trust industry. Then he revealed that he is no longer a lawyer at all.

Now we are told that he was involved in setting up a “sham” trust that is under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office. A Trust involving backdated documents, and for which Mr Whitney admitted to witnessing a signature that required his physical presence, from half a world away.

In this High Court ruling, his conduct was described as “far from satisfactory” by a High Court judge, who also referred to Whitney’s evidence as being “inconsistent“.

Yet the Prime Minister, in the below video by, is standing by his man. Aside from the blanket denials, perhaps the most remarkable moment is when he tells the assembled reporters “you guys were very careful last night, I think, in your coverage of these matters: the reason you were is because you don’t want to get your asses sued off you”.

The Trusts Are Only Half The Problem

New Zealand isn’t just being used as a place to stash illicit funds, but as a fake operating base for an array of banking and financial services.

As written in this July 2012 article:

“Although John Key’s official financial services hub may be on the back burners, the unofficial New Zealand financial services sector is still going strong.”

The Reserve Bank issued a warning about an entity ‘also known as Irish Nationwide Bank‘…


Which is “one of about 1,000 shell companies incorporated in New Zealand over three years [that] had been used to carry out banking activities free of regulatory oversight… 143 New Zealand registered companies were implicated, over a four year period, in criminal activities overseas…”


Given all the above, it is beyond debate that:

  • New Zealand is a tax haven for the benefit of the ultra-rich
  • This has scandalised New Zealand’s international reputation
  • New Zealand’s Prime Minister is the living embodiment of it
  • His denials to the contrary are hollow and impotent

But this is all part of a much wider issue. One with implications so huge that it is rarely tackled by the news media, who instead focus on small, digestible pieces and never quite get around to confronting the elephant in the room:

New Zealand has been economically, politically, socially and militarily invaded. By our so-called allies.

Few have the guts to admit this, or to confront the reality of it.

Yet deep inside, we can feel it.

New Zealand as we knew it, no longer exists.

The Shire is being burned to the ground.

[How that happened, and the global implications will be explored in depth on our sister site ContraSpin, in Part 2 of this article, titled:The Desecration Of New Zealand“]

Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website:

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

Same Old, Same Old: RadioNZ’s Formulaic Assange Interview

The ingredients: New Zealand’s furthest ‘Left’ radio station, commanding one of the largest listening audiences in the country. A preeminent host; Lynn Freeman, 30-year veteran at the station, host of ‘Standing Room Only’ and Kathryn Ryan‘s “fill-in” for ‘Nine to Noon’. Experienced. Tested. Confident. Julian Assange; the world’s most cutting edge, infamous and credentialed technologist, publisher and geopolitical commentator. Legend in his own time. A scholar who believes in radical transparency, acts accordingly and dares circulate such revolutionary thoughts that most of the world’s governments are baying (and more) for his blood.

Sounds like a media match made in heaven, right?

Unfortunately the end result was an all-too-familiar inquisitorial abomination that one would expect to come straight out of CNN or the BBC.

While maintaining a soft vocal tone, Freeman’s questions were indecipherable from the self-righteous acidity of dozens of other mainstream interviews of Assange – reading like a script manufactured by intelligence agencies for maximum smear effect.

If, as a listener, you wanted to hear about the numerous recent releases by Wikileaks (ie. relevant and timely content) you were profoundly disappointed.

Instead the topics of the day were sex charges, sex charges, sex charges, Snowden, why-don’t-you-this, why-don’t-you-that, Snowden, sex charges.

While touted as an exclusive “New Zealand first” interview, the host didn’t manage to extract any exclusive content. So much so, that the marketing blurb for the interview reads:

Julian Assange, the founder of the international whistleblower-website Wikileaks, told Nine-to-Noon this morning that he does not know when he can leave the Ecuadorian Embassy without fearing arrest.

Hardly breaking news. Is that really the best they could get from 27-odd minutes of Assange’s time?

But to coax new revelations out of an interview subject you have to ask new questions. Which is precisely where it all fell over.

Here is an analysis of the proceedings:

The standard mode of operations/primary goal when establishment media interview Assange appears to be getting the words “sexual abuse allegations” into the first 20 seconds of the introduction, before he even has a chance to greet the audience. Freeman doesn’t disappoint, accomplishing exactly that.

By 1 minute and 20 seconds in, Assange is calling the introduction out for what it was.

Assange: Well, I thought I’d just recontextualise your introduction. I understand you’ve probably got it from some British newswires, but it is interesting to see the kind of propaganda that is put out by the U.K. – not surprising, unfortunately. I have political asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy and in violation of international law the U.K. has surrounded this embassy for the last three years, at a cost that it admits is equal to 20 million New Zealand dollars. I have been detained in the U.K. without charge for five years. My political asylum in this embassy relates to a very large pending prosecution in the United States for espionage; it’s not in relation to Sweden. The U.K. also has additional cases as well. In relation to Sweden, there is no charges, it is a “preliminary investigation” and that matter, I have already been cleared in. I have already been found to have committed no crime.

Unfortunately, that contextualisation did not return the interviewer to the task at hand, which was supposedly to discuss the new Wikileaks book – The Wikileaks Files.

Instead, the first 3 minutes and 55 seconds of the interview is consumed entirely by discussion of the non-existent charges.

By 5 and a half minutes, the book still hasn’t been mentioned, and the interviewer begins invoking comments Edward Snowden has made about his own legal situation in order to measure Assange against her Snowden yardstick.

Assange deftly sidesteps the diversion, using the opportunity to draw the parallel between himself, Kim Dotcom and Snowden’s cases all being in Alexandria, Virginia, with the same prosecutor.

Now past 8 minutes, the interviewer asks several more questions about Snowden’s situation, completely ignoring that the topic of the discussion is  supposed to be the publication of The Wikileaks Files – which -still- hasn’t been mentioned. Nor have any of the other monumental and significant 2015 Wikileaks releases been mentioned by her, even in passing.

At 10 minutes and 15 seconds, nearly halfway into the interview, the first question about the book finally comes. Unfortunately, that mention is quickly followed up by what is possibly the most inane question of all time. Freeman asks:

Now you have commissioned people to contribute to the book The Wikileaks Files. Did you approach anybody who you know to be a critic of Wikileaks or have you only approached people who have supported Wikileaks in the past?

Um, exactly what author of any book in existence, hires someone to trash their book within its very pages? Who goes to their enemies and says “hey, I’m compiling a book, will you usurp some of its pages to put forth your completely contrary opinion?”

And that’s exactly what it would be – opinion – as opposed to professional and academic analysis, which is what the book actually contains, as Assange points out:

The focus is regional experts and academics who are knowledgable about regions…

Freeman pushes it further, suggesting that allowing people to slam Wikileaks from within the pages would “present a range of views“; as if it would be reasonable for Wikileaks to be on ideological trial inside the covers of its own book.

That the interviewer hasn’t actually read the book becomes starkly apparent, with her all but admitting it by inference, when at 13 minutes into the interview she finally asks the first geographically relevant question –

Can I ask for a synopsis, or if indeed New Zealand does appear in that book?

Bearing in mind that this interview is sold as being a New Zealand first exclusive, would it really be too much to ask for the interviewer to have read the book on which the interview is to be based? Or to have scanned it for the content which is relevant to New Zealand? Or to at least have had an office junior or researcher do it for her?

Apparently so.

Incredibly, that is the sole question asked about New Zealand in the entire interview.

To appear not to possess the vaguest notion of what relevant information the book contains is unforgivable.

At just over 18 minutes, the banal becomes the completely inane, as Freeman asks whether Wikileaks is still publishing or whether it has “done it’s dash“.

The gall of this: asked in the wake of TWENTY ONE Wikileaks releases in 2015, each of which was of massive, global significance.

These releases include (but are not limited to):

  • Four chapters of the controversial TPPA agreement, which the New Zealand government had been negotiating in secret despite widespread and massive public outcry. Wikileaks eventually published a full searchable text of the entire document after the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and its foreign counterparts finally made the negotiated text public. The previously secret deal had led to the #TPPANoWay nationwide campaign spearheaded by University of Auckland Professor of Law Dr. Jane Kelsey
  • Multiple chapters of TISA & the TTIP, external regional counterparts to the TPPA
  • The Sony Archive: a trove of internal Sony emails that included details about the persecution of NZ resident Kim Dotcom
  • Details about serious concerns raised by a U.K. military nuclear warship whistleblower, known as the Trident whistleblower
  • The ‘Hacking Team‘ releases – which blew the lid off a secret for-profit hacking organisation implicated in serious human rights issues. New Zealand law enforcement agencies were found to have seven Hacking Team servers hosted on NZ soil.

It is unclear what is worse – that Freeman appears to be completely oblivious to the existence of any of these releases or that she didn’t even visit the Wikileaks homepage and see what and when their most current releases were.

Subsequently, she fails to ask a single meaningful question about any of them.

By 19 minutes and 30 seconds, she is back on the topic of the non-existent “sexual assault charges” with Assange again correcting her, pointing out that there are no charges filed against him.

Circa 20 minutes, the interviewer is urging Assange to “walk out of there and face the music” as if him putting himself at the mercy of his persecutors by abandoning his asylum, sacrificing his freedom, surrendering his ability to continue publishing and committing political suicide would somehow be beneficial to humanity rather than demonstrably detrimental.

The interviewer tells Assange that to do so would be “the best option for you“, as if she was his legal counsel rather than a radio host that had failed to even read his book before interviewing him about it.

At this point, the interview becomes even more downright hawkish.

You are not above the law” Freeman slings at Assange, which prompts him to calmly explain the history of the Espionage Act and its significance as a tool used to chill, limit and punish free speech.

The interview is brought to a close with the classic “are you a criminal or a hero?” – diametrically opposed suppositions – a tactic also used against Snowden and other controversial figures.

Assange rightly calls the dichotomy “unimportant” and discusses what is important to him – “[it is] important that you get things done in the time that you have… and that you have warm, loving relationships with the people who are around you.”

Questions Asked By Topic:  (%)


The above graph really speaks for itself. The question of why the interview is so skewed is answered by Julian himself, at the tail end of it.

Lynn Freeman: “…as long as you stay there, there are question marks over you, there are question marks over Wikileaks and your reputation…

Julian Assange: “well only because people in the media keep resurrecting them. You can choose to concentrate on those things or you can choose to concentrate on other things.”

By merely listening, you would never know that the sex scandal emerged in 2010 and that it is now 2015. The miles Assange’s detractors have squeezed out of it beggar belief.

Unfortunately this interview isn’t a one-off – it is in fact extremely formulaic and common. There are countless interviews just like it. Same talking points. Same topics and similar distribution of questions about each topic.

If you want to hear anything other than Julian being forced to endlessly defend himself you have to take refuge in You Tube videos of his event appearances, which are a completely different kettle of fish.

In those appearances, the interviewers are markedly less hostile and rather than be forced into a defensive position, Julian is able to speak freely and at length about the many topics in which he is extremely learned, discussing systemic issues like mass surveillance and technology; journalism, publishing and the media; the origin, structure and condition of the deep state; geopolitics and diplomacy, among others.

In the last week alone there has been at least three such events published in the public arena: Julian speaking at the Cambridge Union; at the Russia Today 10th Anniversary event; and an event in Berlin, Germany. None of which RadioNZ appear to be interviewing him about, which is a crying shame.

Watch here:

Security of Surveillance: Privacy vs anti-terror security in the digital age (#RT10 Panel Discussion):

‘The End of Democracy’: Julian Assange, Angela Richter and Srećko Horvat:

Julian Assange at the Cambridge Union (UK):

The above videos are truly brain food, providing viewers with a depth of understanding and pertinence of subject matter that most mainstream media interviews of Julian Assange do not.


Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website:

(Full disclosure: I have never been employed by RadioNZ but did once inform them of my relocation to Berlin, Germany and that I was available to discuss local events. I am disclosing this for the purpose of absolute transparency. I do not consider it to present a conflict of interest as I have written for Public Address, who were also critiqued on this site. Whether an organisation has or has not engaged us in other work does not impact upon their inclusion or exclusion from The Spin Bin articles: editorial decisions are based solely on the merit of the points argued.)

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites #Roastbusters Rapists To “Call In and Defend Yourselves”

[Trigger warning: this post contains references to some ignorant opinions of media stalwarts who are presumably not survivors of rape, sexual assault or sexual abuse. The header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial pack rapists – Joseph Levall Parker (left) & Beraiah Hales (right)]

Yet again the corporate media is traumatising the victims of sexual abuse and sexual assault in New Zealand.

Their response to the now infamous serial-rape scandal known as #Roastbusters is almost as pitiful as that of the NZ Police, and equally as culpable for perpetuating rape culture.

We had thought the industry which routinely waters down the atrocity by referring to the pack rape of minor children as “group sex”, could not sink any lower. Yet at approximately 8:57am this morning (NZDT), one of the most credentialled journalists in the Kiwi media sphere, Sean Plunket, insulted victims all over New Zealand by noting the discontinuation of the Police’s botched investigation into the #Roastbusters scandal and asking the alleged serial rapists involved to “call in and defend yourselves”.

How easily it is forgotten that thousands of New Zealanders marched against rape culture after the scandal emerged. At around 0:20 seconds into the video at the top of this article, a protester says precisely what needs to happen:

“So we’re basically here to get our point across – that it’s not okay what’s been going on with the Roastbusters and that they need to prosecute – and that laws aren’t strong enough.”
– Andrea Creighton, Wellington Sexual Abuse Foundation

Yet there have been no prosecutions, no law changes, and apparently Sean Plunket never got the protester’s memo. Fresh on the back of calling a woman who disclosed her experiences of inter-generational sexual abuse “a moron” and hanging up on her, live on air, he then used his Dominion Post column inches to pen his Roastbusters swan song – a piece clearly intended to exonerate him yet which only reiterates his ignorance of the topic.

For in Sean’s estimation, steeped in the privilege of the non-survivor, the steps we need to take to end the endemic rape crisis in New Zealand and it’s abysmal sub-5% conviction rate are:

“First – we need to collectively say ‘This is not OK’…
Second, men need to take ownership of the problem…
Third: we need to be realistic about the environment kids are growing up in”
– Sean Plunket in The Dominion Post

The fact that these pronouncements came on the heels of his collecting a salary while insulting rape victims on air, is brushed over smoothly with only a slight reference to his faux pas

“Lest I be accused of dwelling in a glass house, we also have a media which in some instances has not been above making subtle criticism of the victims of this abuse and seeking to somehow normalise behaviours which by any civilised standards are abhorrent.”

Calling a woman confiding her rape ordeal to you, live in a public forum, a “moron” and preventing her from completing her testimony by cutting her off, is not “subtle criticism”.

Nor is the media’s obsession with referring to 18-23 year old males’ serial pack rape of minor children aged 12-15 as “group sex”. There is absolutely nothing subtle about the inherent bias that is constantly on display in our media.

For just as with Sean’s stated solutions – they ignore the calls and pleas from victims and victims rights advocates for the acknowledgment of the REAL problem: rapists do not suffer the consequences of their rapes, victims do.

As proven more starkly than ever before by the Roastbusters remaining free to this day – Kiwi rapists are not being arrested, prosecuted and convicted, unless they are Maori, from Northland, and somehow connected to Hone Harawira.

If they meet that criteria, there is ostensibly a massive increase in the rate of arrest.

Has our country really sunk so low, that alleged rapists are only pursued if they have connections to political opponents of the ruling government? That is of course, the government who has consistently cut funding to support services for rape victims, leading to several organisational closures.

Can it really be coincidental that Northland’s alleged rapists get such high-profile attention as to be packaged into “exclusive” news stories while the self-named ‘Roastbusters’ enjoy their freedom?

Why are our police forces so inherently impotent in holding to justice, a handful of mostly middle-class white boys from Avondale?

Why are they unable to arrest them for their boasting of their pack rapes, let alone the acts themselves? Surely Judith Collins’ cyber-bullying legislation would be sufficient?

Or is it because the perpetrators include, as this NZ Herald article states, the son of a police officer and a Hollywood actor? Is that why the NZ Police and the thousands marching in streets throughout the country, are unable to bring justice to bear against them?

Surely these are the questions that Sean Plunket,  with his massive media platforms, should be asking, if he could get his Roastbusters priorities straight.

His call to conversation, in the wake of nationwide uproar, is disingenuous. Men were already speaking out on this topic, just as they were marching alongside women in the protest actions, as this next comment clearly shows.


Historically,  men taking “ownership” of rape inquiries may be a factor in the abysmal conviction statistics. There is no doubt that it is predominantly males who have been making the executive decisions on which cases will or will not be investigated and allowed to proceed further, to prosecution.

What justice requires is so obvious: for the self-admitted Roastbusters rapists to be arrested, for them to be convicted and for them to be jailed for longer sentences than mere copyright infringers face.

Instead – we have one of the most famous talkback hosts in New Zealand using his position to silence and defame a sexual abuse victim, and now inviting rapists on air to self-justify their crimes ad nauseum – so Plunket can pat himself on the back for the “exclusive”.

Even on his third count Plunket was wrong – we don’t need to look at the environment our kids are in, we need to change it. Passively accepting the status quo means conditioning children to live in a society whose media rubber-stamp and/or enable our government and police force to allow serial rapists to roam free.


Just for one moment – be one of those girls. Imagine being raped. Imagine being mocked and taunted in public by your rapists. Imagine going to the police and having them pull out a video camera and filming you disclosing your experiences. Imagine the police doing nothing, or charging them with some misdemeanour then closing the case.

Imagine your mother turning on the radio on the way to school, and listening to Sean Plunket inviting your rapists on air to defend themselves.

If you can’t suspend disbelief to imagine this happening to you – imagine it happening to your sister. Your mother.

Your daughter.

The voices of sanity get less traction & a smaller platform…

…but they exist regardless. Much good writing has resulted from the Roastbusters scandal. A collection of some of those links is below. Please read and share them, for it is these independent voices, and not the corporate stooges, who deserve to pierce the veil and be amplified to the New Zealand public.

While victims face constant triggers and are re-traumatised by the callous arrogance and self-entitlement of mainstream media and the ignorance they so often trade in, it can be extremely refreshing to read through the below links and understand that so many really do care and do understand, but they just don’t have access to vast platforms, as do many of the rape apologists.

Rape is never okay” – Mandy Hager

The Roastbusters rape club and what it tells us about our justice system” – Jan Logie

The New Zealand teen rape club is the worst thing you’ll read about today” – Erin Gloria Ryan for Jezebel

Roastbusters – one year on (almost)” – OnTheLeft

What’s really behind the public outcry and seething outrage” – Lauda Finem

SlutWalk Aotearoa recommends this podcast about the Roastbusters scandal.

And this – the most harrowing of all – the raw testimony of a victim, and a personal challenge to Sean Plunket  – Sean Plunket talks about those at the bottom of the NZ neo-liberal hell-hole by activist J.R. Murphy.

Even in the corporate world, where empathy is far harder to find and everything comes down to the almighty dollar (particularly, the avoidance of spending any while hoarding as many as possible), Roastbusters was a big deal.

According to this article “Roastbusters tops list of epic PR fails“, which usually means two things –  it cost someone a lot of time and therefore a lot of money, and subsequently, heads will roll.

UPDATE: A Huffington Post blogger sent us this very good article, however it makes reference to there being a lack of evidence (as per the police PR people’s butt-covering statement to the press). Would just like to clear this up, with a screenshot of one of the many admissions to their rapes that the perpetrators made in social media.

Rapist Scumbag

In case you can’t see that clearly, Beraiah Hales says to the person who has just pointed that he goes after “the younger girls” –

“Man, I can’t even count how many I have raped(sic)… 8 maybe”
– Beraiah Hales, bragging about his rapes on social media

This fantastic article by Auckland University researchers describes the international relevance of the Roastbusters scandal – noting the parallel to similar examples on the world stage, like #Steubenville – and includes a more in-depth study of the evidence at hand, noting many more examples of the Roastbusters rapists incriminating themselves online through social media.

Lack of evidence indeed.

Spin Sins Committed:
Victim Blaming

Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

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