MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

Herald smears MENZ

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 9:31 am Tue 26th September 2006

Today I sent the following letter to the NZ Herald:

In your article: ‘Man who released Davis images says election spending the reason‘ published on September 24 2006, you reported: “Mr Bird, 62, has been associated with the men’s rights group Menz”.

MENZ is not about “men’s rights”, and it is not a group.

The website at, owned and administrated by myself, with the aim of ‘promoting a clearer understanding of men’s experience’.

Most men involved with gender politics in NZ will have contributed something to the site, or will have been mentioned by others over the last ten years, but there are no formal associations with any person or organisation.

For the record, I strongly disagree with Chuck Bird’s views on homosexuality. I am sure the majority of men active in the NZ men’s movement will be distressed and angry to have been portrayed as supporting this position.

As this has always been a divisive issue within men’s organisations, I actively discourage discussion of this subject on the website.

Incidentally, I have hugged and kissed men most of my life. As a secure heterosexual, I don’t see why anyone should imagine this to be sexually arousing.

John Potter


  1. The Herald responded:

    The article to which you refer was not published in the NZ Herald

    So I sent them the link above, and they replied:

    Thank you for your message. The story has been amended to remove reference to Menz as a “men’s rights group”.

    The article now reads:

    has been associated with the Masculinist Evolution New Zealand (Menz) website

    Chuck is “associated” with dozens of NZ websites, as noted in a recent comment on Public Address:

    Bridget Saunders noted yesterday that a man named Chuck Bird – a homophobe and member of the nutty wing of the mens’ rights movement from way back, and a regular customer at Wishart’s blog – has been emailing MPs with allusions to “the man in the blue suit”. The same sorry individual has also been leaving his droppings on Kiwiblog, here and here.

    Why the Herald insists on targeting MENZ with this smear remains a mystery.

    Comment by JohnP — Tue 26th September 2006 @ 11:02 am

  2. Let the games begin! It seems the state has in effect started using the stick & carrot with Menz. Offer fathers a tiny bit of reform and start getting your friends at the NZ Herald attach homophobic and politically damaging people to Menz. I’m sure they can find some Neo-Nazi under some rock somewhere to say they a member of a site too. Their tactics are always the same lie, lie & lie some more. Weasels are such one trick ponies.

    I wonder if Tony was their first move in fact?

    Comment by Intrepid — Wed 27th September 2006 @ 11:59 am

  3. I think that MENZ has done a good job of smearing itself through actions supported and carried out by regular contributors.

    You guys freely dish out smear on other people. You are just getting it back.

    Get used to it.

    Comment by New Zeal — Wed 27th September 2006 @ 2:02 pm

  4. Up to your old deconstructionist tricks again Kent with Zeal. You’ll really are anti-men’s rights aren’t you.
    Tony put that piece of propaganda up, followed by the big media and then you come back to say Menz is the same as the other side. Next if Menz defends itself you will say, “Ah there must be fire for there is smoke.”
    Please remove your out-in-out disinformation cloak for the government Kent & Tony. You aren’t fooling anyone, you continue to come around at the same time the government makes moves to help in its agenda.

    Neither of you to date have said one single bad thing bad about Helengrad, please prove me wrong say something here about the government( make it important, not frivolous, and not ask for more PC). Failure to do so will only confirm for those not familar with your methods.

    Comment by Intrepid — Wed 27th September 2006 @ 2:49 pm

  5. Intrepid,

    The Family Court in its present form has been around a lot longer than the present government.

    It is society as a whole that you seem to be in battle with. Being associated with very public displays of frightening women and small children does not help MENZ’s cause let alone help to create immunity against being smeared.

    Comment by New Zeal — Wed 27th September 2006 @ 3:54 pm

  6. Translation from Kentanese, “The government does no evil” Kent sees no evil. Kent wants you to think there is no evil. The Evil for Kent is “bothering.” You’re a government hack, say hello to the party rep when you see him next for me.

    Comment by Intrepid — Wed 27th September 2006 @ 4:01 pm

  7. Kent , please give them all my warmest regards too !!!!

    Comment by dad4justice — Wed 27th September 2006 @ 7:07 pm

  8. Kent,

    Being associated with very public displays of frightening women and small children does not help MENZ’s cause let alone help to create immunity against being smeared.

    The Fathers Coalition has not frightened any woman or child when it has been out bothering on behalf parents enduring misery that players of Family Court inflict without conscience.

    Our recordings of the protests confirm this and refute this further spin put out by certain lawyers and patrners.
    It has been the protesters themselves that have been subjected to acts that could provide fright.

    Do not “Surgenor” (the act of using mirrors and smoke to hoodwink judiciary) rather research properly the material available then you will be in a position to provide any alternative debate.

    Kind Regards

    Comment by Paul Catton — Wed 27th September 2006 @ 9:05 pm

  9. Hello New Zeal,

    I had a strong feeling you were still around and would be back. Good to see that.

    On this post, I am suprised the Herald could not fill up space so had to write something as pathetic as this.

    Unless … they are doing a favor for someone else.

    Anyhow, publiclity is publicity.

    Comment by julie — Thu 28th September 2006 @ 9:43 am

  10. I think New Zeal makes a valid and often overlooked point when he says:

    The Family Court in its present form has been around a lot longer than the present government.

    Remember, the two worst bits of legislation currently affecting men (the Child Support Act and the Domestic Violence Act), were inflicted on us by a National Government.

    I must admit to feeling somewhat depressed about the chances of us ever being taken seriously with someone like Chuck Bird as one of the NZ men’s movements’ most prominent spokesman.

    For example, consider this reaction from Anne Else in Scoop:

    As the Sunday Star-Times made clear yesterday, this story stems from the looniest fringes of the so-called fathers’ rights movement, as well as the religious right. The same groups have been pinning claims that Clark is a closet lesbian to their virulent attacks on a whole raft of allegedly “anti-family” Labour policies, from civil union to paid parental leave.

    Listen to audio of Kevin List On Radio Active: Man Named Chuck.

    Comment by JohnP — Thu 28th September 2006 @ 10:49 am

  11. Personally I couldn’t give a shit if the femily caught, child ‘support’ act and DV act have been around since Adam was a lad. Nor could I care less who brought them into being.
    I simply want that misandrist star chamber which stupidly parades itself as family-friendly to be superceded by an institution that’s fair on men and kids, and openly accountable to society, very unlike the Kremlin like cult we have at present.
    I want the support of children to be seperated from the state indenture of men to upholding ex’s lifestyles.
    And domestic violence to be recognised and addressed as something pretty much equally perpetrated by both sexes.

    As for the idea that protestors of the femily caught are frightening women and children – that’s simply scaremongering nonesense and chivalrous bullshit.
    If that were true there would have been evidence of it and arrests made. Neither has happened, despite TV cameras, reporters and lots of onlookers.

    Comment by Stephen — Sat 30th September 2006 @ 2:17 am

  12. I read a Herald article regarding a ‘bothering’ which took place at a lawyer’s house when the lawyer was not present. The wife and teenager were the only people there and they reported feeling threatened and scared.

    It’s not what you feel inside that is important here, but how you look from the public perspective. You might feel good about what you are doing, but from where I stand it just looks bad. The ‘botherings’ may have played a part in United MP, Turner, withdrawing her support. You are not going to get your just cause heard if you keep ‘spitting people in the eye’.

    I still cannot understand why you let, was it Wayne?, walk to Wellington by himself. Why don’t you choose a long weekend, form a proper hikoi, get public support along the way and turn up at parliament with thousands of supporters? You will find implicit support everywhere, including politicians like Turner and others like Muriel Newman. You just have to do it in the right manner.

    Comment by New Zeal — Sun 1st October 2006 @ 12:16 pm

  13. Casting those who go about lawfully and peacefully protesting as ‘spitting people in the eye’ is both ridiculous and shameful.
    IMO it needs to be clearly understood that the Herald like much of contemporary media is riddled with feminists who will report in a biased manner. As there was much public support (wellwishers passing verbal thanks, car drivers tooting in support etc) the reporter in this case could equally have chosen to mention how many people FELT DELIGHTED that the protests were happening, but clearly they chose not to. Either that or these facts were editted out.

    It’s becoming increasingly clear that other independent sources of information are increasingly relevant.
    Long live bloggspace!

    For more information on the lace Curtain check out Warren Farrel.

    The hikoi might be a good idea.

    Comment by Stephen — Sun 1st October 2006 @ 3:07 pm

  14. Dear Kent with Zeal,
    Well if eveyone is going to be a fragile as China personality, then it should go for all concerned. All the men treated so badly should be allowed to cry out in fear etc and be in the Herald everyday with their story, instead we have nothing from that rag.

    And since what you have said here bothers me you should retract hurting my feeling and on and on as everyone tries to out do who is more unduely hurt (or is the victim) until the cows come home. True moderate men activists( and you’re not one of them)don’t see they can’t ever beat the sex that has been playing this role from the very beginning. If this is the ground for this gender war we will lose before we start. For if we go this way too much we lose huge chunks of men who thinks this unmanly, allow for inaction on the part of effeminate programmed men who have suffered to feel it is “OK” to do nothing but bitch and many more ways to lose.

    Yet that isn’t what Kent wants at all. You want your side to be treated with kit gloves, while men can be treated with the evil that is going on in many feminist lead nations. This reaffirms your real target of playing games with your disinformation campaign for Helen’s party. With your sidekick Tony, who plays the thin-skinned wall flower too, you are always only ready to whine about your own side’s hurt feelings. Despite your desire to sound like you caring, you’re still just a polical hack with Helen on your back riding you to the distruction of New Zealand.

    Comment by Intrepid — Sun 1st October 2006 @ 6:23 pm

  15. Guys,

    There was a time when men fought in combat and there is a time now when others will fight with technology.

    Both fight together in wars today because the opposition fights in both ways.

    This movement needs all of you as you all have gifts, knowledge and skills of valuable use.

    Comment by julie — Tue 3rd October 2006 @ 10:02 am

  16. HEY zEAL
    ” they reported feeling threatened and scared.”

    isn’t this straight outta the Duluth concepts?…

    Comment by starR — Tue 3rd October 2006 @ 7:29 pm

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