It’s our right to express ourselves

Wednesday July 26, 2017 Published in Letters to the Editor

I refer to Maki Ryan’s letter published in your paper of July 24 where she made certain statements about me.


First of all, I wish to inform your readers, that I personally contacted Mrs Ryan by phone on July 24 and invited her on to my radio talkback programme, Te Kave Korero, that afternoon. She declined the invitation opting not to discuss her letter with me.

Secondly, I wish to correct Mrs Ryan and enlighten your readers, that the complaint I made, which was the subject of the story published in your paper on July 3, was not against the CICC, but rather, but against an individual within the CICC.

Thirdly, I wish to inform Mrs Ryan and your readers that my complaint had nothing to do with the “hefty grant to the CICC in the new budget”. Let me assure her, and others, there are two different issues here. On the one hand was a complaint I made against an individual in the CICC, and on the other hand, is Government’s grant to the CICC. What a shame Mrs Ryan completely got it wrong, perhaps confused, and mixed up the two issues as one.

It appears from her letter that Mrs Ryan was implying, that because I had made a complaint, I should speak out against the grant to the CICC. Why should I do that? My complaint is one matter, the grant is another, but the two are unrelated.

Quite frankly, I wish to make it clear to Mrs Ryan and your readers, that I am very happy that the CICC is being compensated by Government to the tune of $800,000.00 simply because the CICC deserves it.

Call it a grant, call it a settlement for rental arrears, call it a debt payment, call it compensation, at the end of the day, as far as I’m concerned, it does not matter what description we give it because, it is a payment duly approved by Government, and I might add, fully supported by all Members of Parliament, including Opposition MPs, when they passed the Budget at the recent sitting of Parliament.

May I offer three lessons for Mrs Ryan?

1. When you write to the editor mentioning my name, or criticising me or anyone, you should be prepared to debate the matter, or at least, justify your criticisms, when you’re invited to do so.

2.Please do not mix-up issues that are unrelated to each other.

3. You’re always welcome to ring me on Te Kave Korero, to voice your concerns, or criticise me on air, because I will give you the time and allow you to say what’s on your mind without disconnecting you. But I will disconnect you if you use foul language on air. However, after you have a go at me, do not hang up, please give me the courtesy too, to respond to your criticisms accordingly. I believe, when we debate or discuss your points of view, or your criticism of me, and have a better understanding of and respect for each other’s views, we can move forward without holding grudges against each other. As I always say on Te Kave Korero, the programme strives to entertain, inform and educate listeners.

Finally, if George Pitt mentions your name, or someone else’s name, in the ‘Politics with the Pitbull’ on Te Kave Korero, I welcome you or that person to ring in and voice your views or defend yourself accordingly. After all, it is only fair that I give you an opportunity to ring in and voice your concerns and to be heard.

However, please be mindful, I have no control of who or what George Pitt might talk about, comment on or criticise, on the political segments on Te Kave Korero. That is because, politics, by its very nature, has wide spreading subjects including MPs or politicians, political parties, persons or supporters associated with political parties, political policies and several others. I do not and will never ask Pitt, to refrain from talking about anyone in or associated with politics. To do so, is to limit his rights of expressions and impinge his democratic rights.

            Tony Hakaoro

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