Call for resignation over 'chick scientists' comment

Ken Cochrane (left) made the comments at a meeting of the Southalnd Recreational Whitebaiters...
Ken Cochrane (left) made the comments at a meeting of the Southalnd Recreational Whitebaiters Association (SWRA) in Invercargill. Photo: Karen Pasco
The  Southland Fish & Game councillor who made "patronising, sexist remarks" at a public meeting has been has been asked to resign by his colleagues.

Ken Cochrane, who last week described a whitebait working group as being influenced by "chick scientists", has been told to resign by 4pm tomorrow.

His fellow councillors held an emergency meeting last night — Cr Cochrane and one other councillor were absent — and unanimously called for his resignation.

Before the council went into a public-excluded session, chairman Graeme Watson said it "cannot underestimate the seriousness of this issue to Southland Fish & Game".

"The emails, the texts, the phone calls, the newspaper articles and social media feedback has been unprecedented in my time in council."

He made a statement to media at the end of the meeting.

"Fish & Game is an organisation that takes a science- and evidence-based approach to all its decisions.

"Scientists who are merely doing their job should not have to put up with such unacceptable comments, and quite frankly, nor should anyone else.

"Mr Cochrane’s patronising, sexist remarks are not representative of Fish & Game as an organisation."

While Cr Watson was extremely disappointed, he was pleased the council could respond decisively.

He said he received 50 texts and emails on Tuesday alone, only two of them in support of the comments.

Cr Cochrane had been on the council for two terms.

At a whitebait consultation meeting on Sunday, he said the group was "biased" by Department of Conservation freshwater scientists, and he was sceptical about how the process would pan out.

"I sat there on day one and I thought, ‘I’m listening to a whole bunch of chick scientists who, if you look at the view they were pitching, everybody in New Zealand should not shave their armpits ... should whitebait in their jandals ... after they catch one patty for tea they should sit down, hold hands and sing Kumbaya."

Earlier, University of Otago head of zoology Gerry Closs added his voice to the growing condemnation of Cr Cochrane’s comments.

Prof Closs said the comments made by Cr Cochrane detracted from the real issue of whitebait.

While sexist attitudes were still around, they were increasingly out of date, he said.

"I’m sure attitudes like this exist among certain whitebaiting communities and in any community but increasingly they are seen as out of touch and out of place.

"I know a fair portion of those running these meetings — they’re highly trained, highly professional scientists, and don’t deserve to be ridiculed in public."



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This reminds me of the Israel Folau outrage and Hannah Tamaki, Dancing with the Stars deplatforming and Bridges being uninvited to the Infrastructure Conference and the derangement syndrome gripping the Dems over the orange man in the US and our own outspoken counselor within the DCC and the stupid PC culture within our university.
Cochrane hasn't embezzled funds nor punched anyone in the face.
His comments are more about the divide between city and country values.
Hippies, trendy lefties and rednecks if you like or don't.
Cochrane was elected onto SF&G as a representative and if a few people are upset about how he expresses himself that is their problem.
Outrage over a few selected words from within a speech is manipulative and disingenuous. It smacks of virtue signalling and purity testing by hypocrites.
I'm sure many of those who voted for Cochrane are pleased that he has the gumption to stand up and be counted in the face of the puritans.
The next election will tell NOT some 'order' by the 'morality' police.

We all make mistakes in things we do or say. Cochrane made a mistake and apologized. That should have been the end of it. But the lefty lunatic's arent happy with any apology. They have to decimate and destroy. The same standard is never applied when things like that are said about Christians or other groups that aren't in favor with the PC police. Politicians don't have the stones to do whats right. Im sorry Mr Cochrane, your apology should have been enough.

Evidently if he upset enough people it quickly becomes his problem.

Evidently if a small number of PC puritans get enough prompting / support from their fallow PC legacy media ideologies, the message gets distorted to fit their narrative so they can claim another scalp to advise everyone of their power.
This happens throughout our institutions and SF&G is just another platform.
It is killing debate, innovative thinking, societal progress, social harmony, tolerance and the quest for reality.
It is the scourge of our time, this group of moralising, puritanical, intolerant, totalitarian utopian narcissists.

Much Ado about nothing. An apology was more than enough to rectify the situation. The punishment for this mistake was excessive.

Hit...Nail...On....Head, your excellent comment and that of others here pretty much sums up the current obscure need to suppress those with a critisism toward the ridiculous.

Good on ya mate!

Shame on Fish and Game for buckling under pressure. The hecklers veto wins again. You don't need to agree with the guy, he's entitled to his own opinion. Here's an idea to make life easier for whitebait and other native fish. Get rid of Fish and Game - free for all, open season on trout and other introduced fish species. No licence required, no bag limit. Its not a secret that they eat whitebait.... A lot of whitebait.

See this is where I find it interesting "He's entitled to his own opinion". You're spot on. He's also entitled to deal with the consequences of voicing said opinion. Freedom of speech yo, not freedom from consequence.

'He's also entitled to deal with the consequences of voicing said opinion. Freedom of speech yo, not freedom from consequence.'

That's a rather oxymoronic thing to say... It's like saying: 'Freedom of speech yo... but you're going to pay for it!'
People in Soviet Russia could also say what they liked about Stalin. But there were..... Consequences.

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