The New Zealand Herald reported today that National MP Tau Henare has won an apology from Wikipedia over changes to the website's article about him. A New Zealand-based Wikipedia content editor known as "Gadfium" confirmed a user under the name Jcreser was contacted after repeatedly adding the term "carpetbagger" to Mr Henare's listing. He said the "slur" had only a blog as a reference.
Mr Creser pointed out that the "carpetbagger" comment came from numerous Parliamentary debates recorded in "Hansard" and several news items where Mr Henare's record as a party hopper were described in the same manner. A second user, under the name HenareT, then started editing the page. Gadfium said the changes had some similarity and blocked Mr Henare's account thinking it was the same person.
The Wikipedia editor "Gadfium" also removed all references to Mr Henare's record as a union/member/activist and organiser for the Northern Clerical Workers Union that were referenced to a lengthy report written by the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions. The CTU report noted in its report that the union had fought and lost several lengthy battles over the lack of democracy in the union and, in particular the application of the unions rules. In one case the Union simply relied upon a draughting error in the Labour Relations Act to refuse to comply with union rules.
In another case, memberships were revoked after several groups sought to put a motions at the AGM that the officers of the union were not properly representing the majority view, after union Secretary Syd Jackson attempted to forge links with Kaddafi's 'administration in Libya.Mr Jackson was instrumental in transforming the mainly white women's union into a militant force.
Former MP Willie Jackson and Mr Henare had their first introduction into politics via that union, and in a move that smacks of political censorship, all factual references to the union have been removed from Wikipedia. Indeed, the Wikipedia and media focus on the alleged slur against Mr Henare, has avoided any discussion about the removal of the factual content relating to the Northern Clerical Workers Union or the identity of the person responsible.
1) Gadfium banned jcreser because he thought he was Tau Henare
2) Gadfium banned Tau cos he thought he was jcreser
3) Tau and jcreser added his first name"Raymond" to the profile and Gadfium removed it
4)Tau blamed jcreser removing the all references to the NCWU after Gadfium removed them.
It was believed that the Wikipedia editor responsible for these edits was Green Party activist George Darroch, but after being contacted by the New Zealand Herald, Mr Darroch denied any involvement.