Rotary pulls plug on John Ansell's 'Colourblind' launch
"This is why Rotary is failing today. Full of stiff upper lip fuddy duddies who are interested in polite chit chat about meaningless things."Featured comment
The Rotary Club of Remuera has pulled the pin on John Ansell’s "Colourblind" campaign launch and cancelled its meeting in Auckland tomorrow.
In a statement, club president John Burrowes says Rotary is a non-political organisation and following what he termed "media hype" it became obvious the club had been "ambushed" into providing a platform for a political ad campaign launch.
Mr Ansell, due to fly up from Wellington yesterday, told NBR ONLINE Rotary had "misrepresented me terribly".
He says he was invited to talk some weeks ago by a Rotary club member and told he could invite "whoever I like".
On that basis, he invited other people and the media.
"The man who invited me was supportive," Mr Ansell says. "They say they are not political. What was Rotary doing when it invited Don Brash to speak at Orewa?"
"There's been some misunderstanding with the Rotary club," Mr Ansell says, hoping he can find a more "courageous" club for his launch.
In his statement, Mr Burrowes says Rotary has politicians speak at its meetings, "but it is for our members and the people we invite".
“Mr Ansell stepped over the mark when he started to issue his own invitation to members of the public and the media and generally promoted his talk to our club as a ‘state launch’.
“There is no way that the Rotary Club of Remuera endorses John Ansell’s views, or that it ever wanted to give him a platform to launch his political aspirations," he says.
"We might invite him to talk to us in the future."
"Rotarians like to be informed. But he will be just one of a variety of people, including politicians, which we invite to share their ideas."