The New Zealand mosque massacre: 1. The heartache, turmoil and absolute dread of Port Arthur

  • Rod Emmerson The New Zealand Herald
Keywords: Australia, cartooning, hate speech, hate violence, massacres, New Zealand, Christchurch mosque massacre, racism


Commentary: The Port Arthur massacre of 28-29 April 1996 was a mass shooting in which 35 people were killed and 23 wounded in Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia. The gunman pleaded guilty and was given 35 life sentences without possibility of parole. Fundamental gun control laws within Australia followed. The Christchurch mosque massacre of 15 March 2019 involved two inner city mosques in the South Island city when 50 people were killed (another victim died six weeks later taking the death toll to 51) were killed. The accused gunman, a white supremacist, has been charged with 51 murder and 40 attempted murder counts, and also with terrorism. The author, a leading cartoonist, reflects on the parallels and contrasts between Australia and New Zealand and writes of the vitriol directed at him because of his satire: ‘My effigy was hung in a tree in Ipswich, and we lived daily with the threat of a drive-by attack on the family home. This sort of stuff rattles you to the core, but it also fills you with the adrenaline and conviction to barge on regardless. Such is the power of the pen and satire.’


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Author Biography

Rod Emmerson, The New Zealand Herald

Emmerson has been the editorial cartoonist for the New Zealand Herald since 2003. Previously, he was editorial cartoonist for APN News & Media (Aust), based in Queensland. His cartoons were syndicated to newspapers in three states. He won a number of Australian cartooning awards including best political cartoonist-of-the-year in the ‘Stanley’ awards in 2000 and 2003. He was named editorial Cartoonist-of-the-Year in the Qantas Media Awards in 2003, 2004 and 2005. His cartoons have been published through the New York Times Syndicate and the Associated Press. His other passion is painting. He was named Canon Cartoonist-of-the-Year in 2014.


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How to Cite
Emmerson, R. (2019). The New Zealand mosque massacre: 1. The heartache, turmoil and absolute dread of Port Arthur. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 25(1&2), 13-17.