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Jacinda Ardern says she'd act if police told her the Chinese Govt was trying to intimidate Canterbury Uni professor Anne-Marie Brady, but says she hasn't received such information

Jacinda Ardern says she'd act if police told her the Chinese Govt was trying to intimidate Canterbury Uni professor Anne-Marie Brady, but says she hasn't received such information

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has spoken out in defence of academic freedom, but perhaps not as strongly as a group concerned about the safety of a Canterbury University Chinese government critic, Anne-Marie Brady, may have hoped. 

Twenty-nine academics, researchers and human rights advocates are urging Ardern, in an open letter, to “make a clear statement in defence of academic freedom in New Zealand in light of the Brady case, and to be very clear that any intimidation and threats aimed at silencing academic voices in this country will not be tolerated”.

Brady’s home and office have been burgled, and car allegedly tampered with, since she last year published a paper on China’s campaign of influence in New Zealand.

Asked to respond to the letter in a post-Cabinet press conference, Ardern said she’d been advised police were still investigating Brady’s case.

“Quite frankly, if I had received a direct report that said that there was an issue there that could be directly attributable to China or at China’s direction, we would act on that. But I have not received such information,” Ardern said.

“Just in the same way that I have to preserve the right of academics to speak freely without interference from government, I also have to preserve the right of the police to be able to act without interference as well.”

Asked whether it was safe for New Zealanders to speak out against China, Ardern said: “I absolutely defend the right of academics to utilise their academic freedom, and of course the rights that are granted to them from our legislation.

“I absolutely support that and defend that. They should continue to be able to do their work, and with freedom from repercussion from this government or any other government.” has asked Ardern's office whether the intention is even for the Prime Minister to see the police report.

The letter (signed by the likes of Dirty Politics author Nicky Hager, Amnesty International executive director Tony Blackett, and London School of Economics PhD candidate Tze Ming Mok) said: “Attempts to intimidate and harass one academic in New Zealand have implications for the freedoms of all the others - and indeed, for the freedoms of all who live here, including migrant communities and tangata whenua.

“Freedom of expression and academic freedom are taken for granted in New Zealand, as givens upon which our social and political norms are based.

“Threats to these freedoms should not be taken lightly. In these uncertain times, these are principles to hold to, and are not to be traded away.”

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It's very very suspicious. I expect this to be treated very seriously if any link to the Chinese government is found.


I suspect that Anne-Marie Brady has narcissistic personality disorder -- aka attention seeking, because I am pretty sure that the Chinese government would not give a nano damn to any of her CIA funded 'studies', letting alone spending any strategic assets on harrasing her.

What a joke!

On this note, it is Anne-Marie Brady and perhaps some medias that should stopping giving general public the impression that the Chinese government were behind this, even before any concrete evidence being presented by the police.


Who funds NZ universities most - the Communist Govt of China via hand picked students studying here and the well funded Confusius institutes or the CIA?
The letter signed by 29 academics asks for a spirited defense of academic freedom - surely a reasonable ask and it is a scandal that no university vice-chancellors have signed.

"hand picked students"?
Let me assure you that the Chinese students that ended up studying in New Zealand can not get into any top universities in China. The Chinese university entrance exams are just too tough for them. Their families are well-off, but not that rich. Their college applications are not good enough for US or Aus schools. Try celebrate it while University of Auckland can still have them before its world ranking drops further.

Chinese Universities are a joke. It is not what you know, but who you know that gets you in. Once you are in you don't even have to turn up to pass your course. I suppose you will tell me that the zero failure rate is because the students are so capable?

Nice comment with perceptions, stereotypes not facts. Some might say it is laziness in reasoning. I will say it is rooted from ignorance and xenophobia. Reading this one really helps me to put your other comments into perspective.


Remember the Mossad agent scandal a few years back. If Israel has operations here then you'd be naive to think China didn't also.


Oh for goodness sake - stop with the ridiculous ad hominem attacks, bordering in my opinion on defamation.

What do you think you are now, a psychologist?

Am reporting this comment as offensive.

I begged us not to block him before with is ranting propaganda nonsense. Once a wumao always a wumao eh.

xingmomang presents a theory here that people may not have thought about.


Xingmomang's theories all tend to boil down to the conclusion: 'Chinese government good, western governments and democracy bad'.

He / she could save time by just posting this line whenever they wish to comment.

The biggest mystery Xingmowang presents is "If the CCP is so great, why did s/he leave China and move to New Zealand?"

(Assuming no intent to be a spy and/or a donation-based list MP.)

It would be interesting to read a xingmowang comment detailing the things he likes about NZ society.

Might be a very short list.......

Ha. I'm a kiwi and if asked the same question about what I like about NZ society, I'd probably have a very short list too.


There's no hard evidence Xing did leave China and move to NZ.
The Chinese Govt have 10's of thousands of people shaping online conversations around the world everyday.

I think she's intelligent, articulate and principled.

Hi xingmomang
I agree with you until any substantive information comes out.
From what I have read, the latest attempt involved removing two tyre valve caps and letting some air out of the tyres. Hardly sophisticated government agent high tech plot stuff. More Mr Bean than James Bond.
I also understand that the previous incident involved a break in and computer gear taken as with some other bits and pieces. Not sure of all the details, but happened to me once and it turned out not to be a foreign power but a couple of young toe rags living down the road.
If there is a political motive, it is a bit of a leap to go from the possibility of a rogue individual being a little p***ed-off with her views and stirring her up to an international conspiracy on the part of the Chinese Government and all their resources.
If we are going to get into political conspiracies with great leaps of faith; then I saw a couple of Labour Party campaign billboards graffitied - clearly CIA interfering with our elections.
However, waiting for far more information before being convinced. And I think Jacinda is wisely doing the same.

Ah the old “stone under the valve cap” trick.

I see the State funded troll is back..resorting to name calling ah X...riled your leaders feathers huh?

Oh the blatant irony. This person is always good for a laugh at least.

"On this note, it is Anne-Marie Brady and perhaps some medias that should stopping giving general public the impression that the Chinese government were behind this"

"Anne-Marie Brady has narcissistic personality disorder"

Aren't you Chinese Government Official? You'd know if your Goverment was acting nefariously...just come out and say it. You can do that in a democracy.

C'mon Xing, just because her studies are around Chinese influence in NZ, does not mean she is funded by the CIA! Or can you prove otherwise?

This is an extremely important issue for us. We are a very small country on the rim of the Pacific Ocean, and area which is contested for political influence by both the Chinese and Americans. We are a democratic country and highly dependant on other countries for our welfare. Through these factors we are highly vulnerable. If we wish to maintain our independance, democracy, civil rights and rule of law this is a critical issue for us and we would be niaive to think that attempts to influence our political position do not happen. As China has demonstrated in the past, they are not above resorting to force to get their way, but the US could also be accused of it too, although i would hope that in the 21st century they have gone beyond that. (Trump might want to roll that back though).

I am an armchair psychologist and Xingmowang is showing the classic symptoms of projection. I suspect it is him who has narcissistic personality disorder -- aka attention seeking syndrome.


@Fritz ....Dont hold your breath .

No one is going to take any action if China is found to be complicit in this .

Our Government will react just as Donald Trump has done with Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi murder .

Commercial Interests come first


Ms Ardern believes in appeasement. The UK had Neville Chamberlain; it didn't end well.

Agreed, before they get too big we should unleash our air force and prepare our navy and army for an invasion of mainland China.

Lol we have an airforce??? Airforce without actual fighter jets??? And a kiwi logo at that to top it off (flightless bird)


Had I been asked to sign the Open Letter my name would be on there too. Where is that Police report - Interpol were involved as well and then didn't the Chinese national who headed Interpol disappear during this ongoing investigation?

The NZ public better be given an explanation of the Police's findings soon - otherwise I'll be standing on the steps of Parliament myself on this one. I get it that it's delicate, but it's time we knew the truth - whatever it is one way of another.

Problem is there seems no plausible explanation other than spying/attempted sabotage by a foreign interest. The longer this Government remains unequivocal, the worse it gets for them.

WHERE'S THE POLICE REPORT, Jacinda and Winston? If you haven't got it yet - then go get an update at least and tell us where the investigation is up to. For goodness sake, two known crimes were committed against a New Zealand citizen, and those were followed by possible/suspected car tampering.

And while we wait and wait and wait on this very serious matter to be resolved, how many more Maori youth have been imprisoned for drug use offences.

Am I angry - you bet ya.


I'm angry too Kate. And I will join you on those steps.
I am even angrier if this is a cover up.
It's time people get real on China. It's nasty.
It's one of the very few things I sympathise with Trump on.

a bunch of exporters would rather you kept out of it.


Screw them

You my well think that but for many corporates and farming families it is the only market, they have high debts and high costs as it is, criticising China is not an option when you are so dependent, devil or not you need a bloody long spoon.

So as a nation all our principles get thrown out the door in the name of $$$?????

That's the way it has always been, Fritz.

It wasn't that way in 1914 or 1939.

Or 1984 when we banned nuclear ships from entering our sovereign waters

Our principled anti whaling stance hasn't always maximised trade relations with Japan

Don't worry Kate more sporting stuff will keep everyone happy and forget things in a few weeks time ;)

Michael Reddell rebuts that dairy market loss argument - in his opinion,

"[dairy] is a globally traded market and as we are seeing in the soybean market at present in time what doesn’t go to one country ends up going to another (if, say, the Irish and Dutch industries had WMP capability, to divert that product to China would involve not selling to the people they are now selling to).

You will never know its a cover up, because it will be covered up.

Like everything, a "thorough" investigation will be undertaken with no "evidence" being found.

How will you disprove this? You wont have access to the resources, people, or information.

So like the rest of us. You will know it is wrong, but wont be able to prove that it is wrong. So we will all just lump it.

Because at the end of it all none of us care enough or take the risk (i.e. willing to lose what we have) to actually hold anyone to account.

Apathy has got us all, and we don't even care about that.

Anne-Marie cares.

And that's the inherently nasty thing about China's 'soft power'. It's just so malignant.

Yes I agree with you Kate that was a very shocking case. Mr Meng was first reported missing in late September after travelling from Interpol HQ in France to China.

BBC article:

Very possibly related in my opinion.

The difference between Trump letting Saudi behaviour slide, and Ardern/Bridges/a bunch of other people doing the same, is Trump is letting the Saudis off the hook for what they do to their own people, and we are letting China off the hook for what they are doing to ours.

Fair call, trump is only for Americans and I think other elected world leaders should learn that from him and just focus on their own citizens first. Get your own house in order first anyone?

The PMs response here speaks volumes. She is obviously very wary about speaking out in support of Malaysia against the Chinese militarization and interests in the South China Sea..


Let's see how principled she is. It's easy to be principled around things like climate change.


Couldn't agree more.

Ardern is a commie from youth, what do you expect???

He is more critical of Simon Bridges than Jacinda and Winston. You would expect a leader of an opposition party to be using a loud-hailer to criticise the government's policy of silence. Well maybe the Greens and ACT are the opposition these days. What hold does Jian Yang MP have over the National party leadership?

Given the saber-rattling about immigration prior to getting elected, the lack of action and the complete meltdown at INZ, I'm more concerned over who has what over the people actually in power at the moment.


Could Raymond Huo be labour's minder as well as their main fund raiser? I've not been able to find any comments by him against organ harvesting of Falun Gong prisoners, democracy in Taiwan, over a million Uyghurs being brainwashed in prison camps, China flouting international arbitration over the Spratley Islands or even criticism of Jian Yang MP (ex-?)spy. However he did find time to write a blog entry defending Chinese rule over Tibet.

The short answer is 100% yes.

We'll get the usual PR created mangled word soup statement from Ardern. Probably similar in style to her feeble description of Massey university's dangerous shutting down of democratic debate, as an 'over reaction'. Which of course her adoring media let her get away with.


Where's Winston these days? Disappointingly meek and quiet.
He's better in opposition.

A bit like my daughter. Makes a song and dance when other children are playing with a particular toy but when she has it she won’t play with it.

What if xingmomang is right though?

He's a Chinese spy, just saying what his handlers tell him to say.

He's a creature of our making. Immigrants have been encouraged to maintain their cultural identities and be proud of their countries. This is multi-culturalism, this is diversity.

I take issue with this letter the academics have presented to the Prime Minister. The evidence is very weak:

According to news reports Hmmm, the news is always trying to cause wars. Makes good press.

Reports have suggested News reports?

That's it? No police reports or SIS reports. No evidence at all really.

Certainly not a spy. Spys are subtle. Now Dr Jian Yang MP shadow minister of Stats and major fundraiser for the National party - there I have a few doubts.

Talk about hiding in plain sight

Cui bono?

Well, X's Social Credit Score just prolly went up a notch or three.

If writing a few comments could achieve that it would be well worth the effort.

I think he was being just a tad sarcastic....

Some serious background on the matter China is big problem

The PM is a coward or it's hard for her to shake her old Socialist Union habits of not criticising fellow travellers.

Chinese whispers in action perhaps. I doubt the police will find a link. If a perp is caught they'll be a vigilante who don't like negative statements about their beloved party.

About as tricky to deal with as the immigration issue. The solution for Jacinda will be to do nothing and hope it goes away.

Spot on!!! Your typical UN type leader who says big neutral statement about nothing and does nothing on the nothing they sprout :)

One word substitution required.

Vamoosh - There go all my social credits in one post!

This time,if they catch the perps that had better ask more than $12 million for them.

So Jacinda's lot are no different from the previous government and are fully prepared to throw the interests and safety of New Zealand citizens under the bus when faced with the interests of China. I wonder how much of Labours funding came from the Chinese government. No wonder they were so quite when Jamie Lee Ross released the evidence that the National party was being bought off by the Chinese.
Note to police. "You are absolutely forbidden to present me with evidence of Chinese involvement."
If you want evidence of Chinese pressure and control over NZ, Adern's refusal to stand up to them is the clearest evidence that you will get.

Jacinda was dancing on the head of a pin over this on Morning Report today. Get the impression that she has been told something by the police off the record that she wishes she hadn't been. Suggests that Brady may not just be a conspiracy theorist. Now we need for the report to emerge from the bowels of the Police. Sanitised and massaged as much as possible. Then dumped into the news cycle at 4.50pm on a future Friday.

she looks really awkward fudging the truth...

Back off don't spread bad rumors about the motherland.

Depends which rumors you're talking about. Turns out some may well be true especially when you hear them from reliable sources like the BBC. Ever wondered what went on in those camps?

BBC Discovery radio article: China's Organ Transplants

One of the challenges I see when a leader decides to speak out against the CCP is that it's people get emotional about it and direct their anger at the Chinese people rather than the state. So I think for starters people should refer the CCP as CCP rather that just China or Chinese. Unlike our elected govt model where you can blame the people for their choice of leaders you can't with the Chinese as they have no control other than with their feet (move to another country if possible)