Public intellectual activity

Too much of our public discussion is led by those who are have strong opinions based on prejudice and ignorance rather than thorough research and understanding

Bill Gallagher (he’s a knight), chief executive of the Gallagher Group, claimed that the ‘Treaty [of Waitangi] papers on display at Te Papa were fraudulent documents’ as well as making other extravagant statements. (The papers are actually held in the National Library.) Later he apologised,

It is not what Eleanor Catton said about the government, but how we respond to what she said.

Sean Plunket’s intemperate attack on Eleanor Catton is a reminder of just how superficial is tolerance of dissent in New Zealand. I leave others to defend the exact interchange – Danyl McLauchlan was as I normally expect of him.