There's Nothing Funny About New Zealand!

|

It's been three weeks since New Zealand banned political satire by forbidding punks like us (the media, I mean) from using footage of parliament acting silly:

Green MP Nandor Tanczos said: "You can't restrict satire and nor would you want to. It is an important part of the culture of New Zealand."

But Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples said the rules would support "a more positive parliamentary environment", and it built on the code of conduct signed several weeks ago by some of the smaller parties.

Co-leader Tariana Turia hoped the rules "will assist the media in resisting the urge to indulge in satire, ridicule or denigration, to poke fun at individuals rather than representing the key policy issues and tensions of the day."

The punchline: 71 percent of Kiwis are against it and the brains behind the law are the subject of more satire than ever. To wit*:

Some media have gone out of their way to break the rules and today the Dominion-Post started a caption competition using photographs of MPs. Today's picture was of Foreign Minister Winston Peters being bestowed with a Samoan chiefly title.

*terrible pun. I should be banned.

NEXT: Rollins in Mesopotamia

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. A life-long friend (of more than 50 years) lives in New Zealand. He says the best description of New Zealanders is that they suffer from a collective island mentality a corollary of being so isolated from the rest of the world. This story supports his theory.

  2. You could have made your pun even worse by writing “Viz” instead of “to wit”.

  3. I don’t know about that statement – Flight of the Conchords has been pretty amusing thus far.

  4. Flight of the Conchords is hysterical. Murray Hewitt is uncannily cast.

  5. “There’s nothing cushy about the Women’s Auxiliary Balloon Corps!”

  6. Co-leader Tariana Turia hoped the rules “will assist the media in resisting the urge to indulge in satire, ridicule or denigration, to poke fun at individuals rather than representing the key policy issues and tensions of the day.”

    Yeah, ’cause it’s like yelling “fire!” in a crowded theater…

  7. “There’s nothing cushy about the Women’s Auxiliary Balloon Corps!”

    Why do they call them the Twenty-minuters?

  8. Is there no freedom of speech even in Hobbiton? What is Middle Earth coming to?

  9. National’s Gerry Brownlee suggested the rules were “interim” only and that if they did not work, they could be revised. He agreed that imposing bans on satire or ridicule could be seen as “precious”.

    It’s been called that before…but not by you…

  10. Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen accused media of trying to portray the restrictions as “some sort of fascist state where the heroic media of New Zealand are being denied the right to lampoon politicians”.

    “I think you are taking yourselves a bit too seriously,” he said.

    Pot, meet kettle…

  11. I love how the MP tells the press that they’re taking themselves too seriously.

    Oh, Crimethink already got that one–good for you!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.