Setting the Record Straight, by Roger Childs

Roger Childs says Councillor Prvanov’s proposed motion to suspend the Waikanae Watch co-editor Geoffrey Churchman from the Waikanae Community Board (WCB) cannot be justified.

Some KCDC councillors took exception to a satirical fantasy on Waikanae Watch, published on 26 July, and then to a follow up article on 1 August entitled “Ongoing Mayoral bullying – it has to stop”. 

The satire, which was not written by Churchman, was quickly taken down.

It was related to the support of all five women councillors to the controversial Gateway to Kapiti proposal, but was a piece of creative writing not a serious article.

Most politicians accept that they are fair game for satirists, critics and cartoonists – it goes with the territory. Most roll with the literary and visual punches, but in this case some councillors didn’t appreciate the piece.

The response to the satire was three highly offensive emails from Councillors to Mr Churchman, as well as a derogatory phone message from the Mayor.

This inflammatory reaction could not be justified, especially as he had not written the piece which had offended some.

Not surprisingly, Churchman subsequently wrote a follow-up article about mayoral bullying which Cr Pvanov claimed made further accusations against a number of elected members.

(Readers needed to judge for themselves. See https://waikanaewatch.org/2020/08/01/ongoing-mayoral-bullying/)

Complaint unrelated to the Community Board

Crucially, there is absolutely nothing in the motion that has anything to do with Churchman’s duties and role as an elected member. Retired lawyer Christopher Ruthe

CEO Wayne Maxwell has told councillors that there is no basis for taking action against Churchman for a satirical item which he did not write.

Fot the record, it was a short piece of satire from a contributor and clearly labelled as such. It was not “very blatant anti-female innuendo” and there was no artwork, just a photo of the councillors at the inuauguration function in November 2019. Politicians like to come up with alternative facts when it suits them. The main person responsible for the fuss was Cr Holborow, “the Karen of Kapiti’ as she is known, one of the permanent offenderati who overreacts at every critiicsm directed her way by anybody. Kapiti would be better off without her on the council.

Just a comment on your statement “this inflammatory reaction could not be justified, especially as he had not written the piece which had offended some.”

From reading Geoffrey Churchman’s article on WaikanaeWatch, the piece was composed by one of their contributors and edited by Roger Childs before being posted on their blog.

In a related blog published a month earlier on 1 July 2019, about somebody’s name being released on talkback radio, WaikanaeWatch stated “it’s akin to a .. reporter writing a highly biased and inaccurate article and giving it to her editor. If the editor chooses to publish the article, then the prime responsibility for it appearing is the editor’s.”

So by their own admission, the editors of WaikanaeWatch are alone responsible.

Anabel, “War on truth” , a bit dramatic isn’t? Our offence was about the publishing of very blatant anti-female innuendo of a sexual nature that was deliberately used in the artwork and text of the peice/s. Absolutely nothing funny about them and no-one needs to put up with it ever. Districtwide Cr Jackie Elliott

The NZ Govt has a toxic culture and is a bully this tickles down into its local govt.
The govt (and their media mouthpiece) are in a war on truth.

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