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Filed under: General — Downunder @ 9:36 am Sun 5th July 2015

There is a lot that could be said about the recent deaths of a mother and three children in Ashburton. You could hardly be blamed for thinking ‘oh no, not another Ed Livingstone‘ when this story initially went to air.

There is something a little more sinister afoot (a foot in mouth that is) around this story now: Source:

The socialite daughter of leading fashion designers Denise L’Estrange-Corbet and Francis Hooper has caused outrage with a comment on social media mocking the death of a mother and her three children.

Gossip columnist Pebbles Hooper described the deaths of Ashburton mum Cindy George and her three children – Pio, Teuruaa and Telyzshaun – as “natural selection”.

Police believe they died from the fumes of a car left running in a garage to keep the battery “ticking over”. It’s suspected they could have been dead for up to a week before being discovered.


Notice the difference in the way this is reported!

We’ve seen situations like this before when Alasdair Thompson of the NZ Employers Association said “Women were less productive because of their monthly cycle”. The media didn’t stop on this until Thompson resigned.

But here. This is news. Socialite cutie columnist *get ready to gasp everyone* calls the deaths ‘natural selection’.

This kid (and she is an immature kid, who’s done this before) is a columnist for the NZ Herald – they’re not commenting.

NZ Herald is her employer. She’s in the media. They’re in the media.

This is like a pissed politician saying “Do you know who I am”. They didn’t stop until Aaron Gilmore resigned either.

Let’s see how the media treat one of their own!

Watch this space!

Footnote: Apparently she doesn’t drink alcohol or do drugs, so it’s totally sober self-righteous stupidity.
Conclusion: Feminism is like natural selection – there are times when it has allowed simple organisms to crawl out of the mud.


Reading through the feedback from Hooper’s detractors many are young women of her own age. It is quite apparent that having been a little too liberal with her opinion she is no longer viewed as a good advert for her privileged upbringing, or admired for her thinking.

There has been very little feedback from established journalists – it took the public to hold her to account – so much for the media when it comes to one of their own.

If anyone spots a media person having a shot at this please post a link in the comments.

NZ Herald sanitises the apology – doesn’t mention ‘natural selection’ once. How would a reader know what she apologised for? Basic journalism out the window when it’s a female reporter at fault.

Brian Edwards

To refer to these deaths as an example of “natural selection” illustrates such a profound lack of compassion and human decency that it beggars belief.

Miriyana Alexander

Herald on Sunday editor Miriyana Alexander has also apologised for Hooper’s tweet, saying the view wasn’t shared by the paper and that the matter would be treated seriously, including following it up with Hooper this week.

(Does that mean; if you’re not bringing your resignation bring a legal representative?)

The insertion of the outrageous and shocking to leaven the usual fare of banal trivia is standard stuff for today’s gossip columnists – filling the void where intelligence, insight and wit ought to be – but the comment and the attitudes it betrayed went beyond even our modern pale.

Best Witty Oneliner

Meet the Feeble Pebble Hooper on Unsocial Media


  1. Mmm, some natural selection seems to be called for here to rid the species of bad grammar. How can this woman be employed as a journalist when she can’t even manage basic English? Interesting that she is celebrating the death of this woman and her children because of the woman’s poor education and knowledge, yet in doing so ‘Pebbles’ demonstrates her own poor education.

    Her point though may not be entirely vacuous despite being very stupidly expressed. Our society’s faith in sole mothers to optimally manage and protect children has long been misguided. But the solution isn’t to wait for their children to be ‘naturally selected’ into abuse by casual boyfriends, cross generational welfare dependency, teenage pregnancy, criminality, prison, illness, addiction or early death. The solutions are
    – to stop the state promoting, facilitating and paying for sole parenthood (and enslaving men to reimburse the state for its foolishness);
    – to encourage families to stay together so that most children can be cared for and protected through the combined efforts and wisdom of both their parents; and
    – to stop denigrating male wisdom as fathers.

    The Ashburton woman and her children were victims of government policy and the extent to which this remains captured by feminist propaganda.

    Comment by Man X Norton — Sun 5th July 2015 @ 10:38 am

  2. Probably the biggest irony here is that Pebbles Hooper is an only child – #naturalselection

    Comment by Downunder — Sun 5th July 2015 @ 10:46 am

  3. I hope her parents, Fred and Wilma are standing by her.

    Comment by Voices back from the bush. — Sun 5th July 2015 @ 11:33 am

  4. The comparison with Edward Livingstone is apt. I feel sure if this was a man there would be concerns and speculation that this incident was a murder suicide. Apparently the authorities have come to the opinion that it is not. I wonder what evidence they have to eliminate this possibility. As best I can tell there is nothing other than the opinion of the investigators to discount this in all of the reports that I have read.

    Comment by WayneBurrows — Sun 5th July 2015 @ 12:50 pm

  5. There as a wide grey line between risk taking and outright suicide, many men work it well. Especially if people are under severe stresses [or even just perceived stresses], then their capacity to manage risks and death wishes may easily be impaired.

    NZ does seem to try to lay out individual responsibility, yet to strenuously avoid institutional responsibility, whether it be support for parents of autistic children, managers of methane rich coalmines, Minister of DOC, or police after venting excess violence on protestors… I would guess their are more lives to be saved, by getting our institutions professionally and sensitively managed, than by prosecuting mothers who leave children in cars, fathers who don’t pull on handbrakes or even mothers who smother a child to death in their exhaustion.

    I really like a man who calls a spade a spade. (Ok anybody then, nom de plumes and women too.)

    MoMA’s and Pebbles Hooper’s comments are a necessary part of looking from all possible viewpoints, to try to understand what went on. Certainly, the average man is probably more knowledgeable about carbon monoxide, but in any situation, what matters is the individual’s knowledge. It is also relevant that older cars put out a larger amount, than newer cars with catalytic converters and computer controlled fuel injection. So poorer people are at much higher risk from accidental poisoning and death.

    NZ has a history of failing to consider all possibilities in post mortem type investigations and this has resulted in massive, ongoing damage to society. eg sir ron davison’s DV Act.

    The Sky City/National Party has gambled on defunding the Labour Inspectorate, crippling their capacity to investigate industrial “accidents” ie criminally poor management. We don’t like holding management to account, in industry or in the caught$, do we? Too close to our own bone$?

    So, please don’t be too respectful of individual’s reputations and respectfully lay out all possibilities on the table, for analysis and consideration. Well done, this coronial type analysis can save many, many, many lives through the future.

    The investigation of Air NZ programming a DC10 to fly into Mount Erebus (killing all 287 people on board), by Justice Mahon was an excellent example of an open minded, creative and constructive analysis. That judge showed more creativity, respect for truth and care in weighing evidence, than all of the rest put together ever have.

    He did have the luxury of almost unlimited time, but mainly the compass that he followed was respect for truth and human lives.

    Thanks Downunder, Pebbles Hooper and MoMA, whoever you are!

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sun 5th July 2015 @ 2:01 pm

  6. Post updated with the apology.

    Comment by Downunder — Sun 5th July 2015 @ 2:31 pm

  7. @5 Of course the investigating team should keep an open mind when they investigate the scene, but lets be realistic; here’s a more likely scenario.

    Batteries die gradually, but they are most likely to fail in our extremes of temperature. We’ve just had a bill chill in the South Island so I’m going to say the cells stopped holding hands and the battery died.

    Not everyone understands how batteries work. Once they do die, you can waste all the fuel you like but it isn’t going to hold a charge. If you think, maybe you’ve somehow flattened the battery of ‘something else’ is wrong, you may try in vain to use the car to charge the battery.

    If you can’t afford a replacement it’s a live in hope experiment. We’ve all hoped against hope at some stage in life, whether knowingly or not.

    Not everyone understands carbon monoxide.

    So, the car is in the garage ‘ticking over’ and the mother smells the car fumes coming into the house and rushes back to turn the car off. Smelling exhaust fumes isn’t an indication of the level of carbon monoxide, simply an indication of its possible presence. It has no smell, no taste, or effects that we can detect to indicate to us the level of gas present.

    Different levels of temperature can alter the amount of gas present.

    Walking towards the garage, and the source of the emissions, there is a chance she encountered the critical level required to incapacitate a human. Once you’re in that situation you’re trapped, there’s no way back, no way out, it’s effects come on very quickly, and it only requires a very low concentration of the gas to be lethal.

    Once the mother is overcome by the fumes, the house gradually fills with the gas and kills the children also.

    To me, this (like for example, cell phones exploding petrol stations) was a ‘matter of time’ situation that would eventually happen to someone, somewhere, simply because they didn’t know.

    I’d bet there are plenty of people with internal garages, who for safety reasons, start their car, then use a remote to open the garage door, who are in far more danger than they realise.

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 6th July 2015 @ 7:48 am

  8. Downunder…great post..informative with an open mind…just a tragic accident!

    Comment by joseph — Wed 8th July 2015 @ 11:03 am

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