Judging a Book By Its Cover


A book on the deaths of the Kahui Twins, written by Ian Wishart in conjunction with Macsyna King, is going to be released soon. A bookshop advisory on new titles was leaked to TVNZ and publicity around the book started earlier than intended, unfortunately directly coinciding with the inquest into the death of the twins.

A Facebook group is calling for the boycott of the book, and apparently the boycott of shops who choose to sell the book, and a couple of bookstores listened. From reading some of the comments on the page, it is clear that some commenters are misinformed. Paper Plus and The Warehouse have both said that their stores won’t be stocking the book. Whitcoulls is still considering whether it will or not. Paper Plus chief executive Rob Smith said: “The health and wellbeing of children is always front of our mind when we are faced with decisions which might impact the stores and the communities in which they operate”. It’s not clear to me how stocking a book not intended for children, and which doesn’t encourage child abuse would impact the health and wellbeing of children. There actually isn’t a clear reason why the book is harmful at all, nor is there a clear reason why it shouldn’t be stocked, apart from “we don’t like it/Macsyna”. Like Steven Price says, no one has actually read the book, how can they make an informed decision that they don’t like it?

Censorship causes blindnessMacsyna King cooperated with the police and was a prosecution witness, she hasn’t just decided to speak now. She isn’t profiting from the book either, Ian says: “Apart from sharing a Domino’s pizza during lunch, Macsyna has never received anything nor will she.” Ian will earn money for the book, but points out that researching and publishing a book takes time and money and that media organizations get paid for their reporting too (apologies if there’s a country block on the video): “When I worked for TVNZ, I earned a six figure salary to do investigations into cases like this one. I had the luxury of expenses being covered, helicopters at my beck and call, and lots of lovely advertising to pay for all this.”

Books like Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler (Amazon, Book Depository) are stocked not because the sellers agree with the content, or approve of the author, but because as a society we value all viewpoints, although don’t necessarily agree with them.

Booksellers New Zealand, which represents Paper Plus and many others, says such a move is rare, and dangerous.

“It would be an attack on democracy if we started banning books that some people didn’t like,” said Booksellers. “It’s a matter of personal choice and it’s something we cherish in our democracy”.

Perhaps ironically, criticism was directed towards family members who didn’t want to speak out at the time of the death of the twins. Now someone is speaking out and people don’t want to listen to her. It’s great that companies are taking feedback into consideration, but maybe this a case of the loud minority being listened to. Boycotting a book by deciding not to buy it yourself is fine, but those people shouldn’t make a decision on behalf of everyone else. Macsyna King wants to shed some light on how her lifestyle was molded, maybe we should be listening.

Do you think the book should be stocked? Will you read it?

Image credit: Tracey R

24 thoughts on “Judging a Book By Its Cover

  1. I joined the “Boycott Macsyna Kings book” by clicking LIKE and believed that she was benefiting from a crime that I believed she let happen and was part of the “tight 12” who remained silent and stopped the Police from finding the person responsible for murdering the Kahui twins baby boys. I believed wrongly that she would receive any money from the book. I believed this due to information available to me through the Boycott page administrator by what this page told me in the “about” section. This information was in fact misleading and media driven by a person with the intent on collecting data through the means of a social networking base, that being Facebook. Macsyna King was not even in the house the day that the baby boys received the injuries which led to their deaths. She came home to find that her baby boys did not appear well and took them to the doctor as she had on a recent previous occasion when they had bronchialitis. The media said she called into McDonalds on the way from the Doctors to the hospital with her baby boys. She did not. She went to McDonalds on the way to the Doctors, as she was not aware of how sick her babies were.
    I refuse to bow down to ignorant people who rely upon the facts coming from newspaper stories and I will be choosing to read Breaking Silence.

    1. Retraction and change of sentence.
      From (retract) “Macsyna King was not even in the house the day that the baby boys received the injuries which led to their deaths.”
      To: (Change and Apply)”Macsyna King wasnt even in the house when her baby boys received the injuries, which led to their deaths”.
      Thank you.

    2. Thanks for your comment. It does seem like a lot of misinformation has been going around.

      >This information was in fact misleading and media driven by a person with the intent on collecting data through the means of a social networking base, that being Facebook.
      Could you elaborate on this Mel?

  2. ian should be worried, macsyna known for dishonesty and disloyalty can turn out to be a very dangerous ally?. He has said she “wont” be receiving any royalties. bahahahahahahahaahahaha nothing but words and not even clever. Thousands before her have been paid for the “story” itself, BEFORE the penned word. she has sold her soul in hope of being vindicated. rejection of the book and “supposed” threats have changed the promise of vindication. 2 precious babies were murdered and SHE wants a pardon? for what exactly? Get A Sex Change instead. as for ian, it was never about the kahui code of silence, (what silence) macsyna, or child abuse. (his facebook supporters daily cry lately) and it certainly isn’t about cris and cru. ians’ facebook supporters cant even mention cris and cru in conversation and believe me the only abuse they talk about is how clever they are at verbally abusing boycotters. nuff said. with the likes of penny bright as a friend he don’t need enemies mate. look in to those pages sometime, you will see who’s kidding who.

    1. >macsyna known for dishonesty and disloyalty can turn out to be a very dangerous ally?
      I would say that Ian would be confident that any information he prints is correct.

      >He has said she “wont” be receiving any royalties.
      I believe he said that she didn’t want anything anyway. There’s nothing to suggest otherwise.

      >it was never about the kahui code of silence, (what silence)
      This is true in the sense that everyone involved who the police wanted to talk to spoke to the police. I guess he’s talking about speaking publicly.

      >look in to those pages sometime, you will see who’s kidding who.
      This is a good point, I have no idea what’s in the book. But neither do the people who want it boycotted.

  3. he is a spin doctor .. ie creeping the word ban into the media when moaning about the boycott page .. he knows the difference but he wants to make sure ban stays in peoples minds so they feel their rights are being taken away. He tells half a story about discussions and posts on facebook just firms up my belief the book will a onesided version .

    1. >Majority are boycotting the book not any shop that decides its need dirty income. Some people Using Godwins Law ( hitler etc ) astounds me also.
      On that note, it’s interesting that even Hitler’s book is available in stores.

      >he knows the difference but he wants to make sure ban stays in peoples minds so they feel their rights are being taken away.
      Encouraging retailers to ban the book—I say ban because retailers are dictating to their chain stores, who I assume normally have control over stock, that they aren’t allowed to stock the book is close to censorship, an actual ban, because they both aim to reduce the spread of certain “unwanted” information.

  4. I won’t be buying it the timing and method are morally wrong in my view…. also the twisted slant he has put on the boycott group shows his dishonest manner so why would I read a one sided bias book. It is impt to recall it is a boycott not a ban. Majority are boycotting the book not any shop that decides its need dirty income. Some people Using Godwins Law ( hitler etc ) astounds me also.
    It was a pure self serving commercial choice in my view ..having the books all tucked away ready to come out a month after the inquest .. riding the wave of emotion to encourage sales. Well I guess he has that marketing plan working for him now since it was leaked out. Staying silent to let him grandstand versus being vocal re the immorality of using two dead souls for his gain I choose being vocal.

  5. This is what is wrong with the Macsyna King book.

    The point is this – why should this book be released, when the Brutal Murderer/s have not been prosecuted? Ian Wishart is purely profiting from the sensationalism of this book. This is morally & ethically wrong! He calls himself a “Devout Christian” – what a crock of BS.

    The Kahui Twins were quite literally smashed to bits, by the murderer/s & if any new evidence is available, that could lead to a conviction has come about from this book – then it should go the Police – why does Ian Wishart not divulge that information in any interview? Because, of course, he wants you to buy his book & he wants maximum profits – this is what is wrong here, very, very wrong.

    It’s not about “oh lets go ban all the books we don’t like” or “if you don’t like it, then don’t read it” – it’s about basic morals & ethics. These poor, defenseless, Kahui Twins had no voice, no opportunity in life. Macsyna thought “seek URGENT Medical attention” meant going to McDonald’s instead. She failed to even feed them for 24 hours, just before their death. These babies were premature, they needed extra love & care – all Macsyna done was smoke P & drink alcohol!. She has an extensive criminal history & her four previous children, are under the care of their fathers, which she does not visit. She also never visited the twins, when they were in hospital, following their premature birth.

    Macsyna does not deserve to be heard IMHO & Ian Wishart’s continued defense of her, is highly questionable. The recent death threats against her, are totally illegal & utterly wrong – but why on earth does it take Ian Wishart to lay a complaint with the Police, as mentioned today ont TVNZ during the midday news?? Why can’t Macsyna do this??

    Ian Wishart is doing his best & getting huge publicity from the television, plenty of interviews & publicity in print/digital media, about why his book should be printed, yet a Facebook page, of which the majority (95% of people there, just want answers & a prosecution) gets very little.

    Ian Wishart continually refers to it’s members as the “Lynch Mob” or “Witches” yet he is more than happy to go out of his way to support one of the most hated females in New Zealand – that smacks of wrong in my book. Ian is just pissed off, that the so called “Lynch Mob” have actually had some great success, which ultimately affects his bottom line of income.

    All Ian Wishart cares about is $$$ & he is saying in interviews “it’s about Macsyna – she has a story that should be heard” purely to make his book more legitimate & marketable.

    1. It is high time that the so called journalists in this country listened to the people……terrorist and mobsters are hardly likely to form a group on FB against child abuse and those who profit from it. Get with the game plan guys, before we start boycotting YOU.

    2. Grant,

      Thanks for your comment.

      >why should this book be released, when the Brutal Murderer/s have not been prosecuted?
      Maybe we can learn something from it. A lot of reporting happens on cases that haven’t been resolved in the sense that someone has been found guilty for a crime. This book isn’t an exception.

      I haven’t read the book, so I’m not sure if new evidence is in there, but Macsyna cooperated with the police so I assume any information she contributed to the book the police are already aware of.

      >It’s not about “oh lets go ban all the books we don’t like” or “if you don’t like it, then don’t read it” – it’s about basic morals & ethics.
      If some people have a problem with the ethics involved with a book like this, they can choose not to buy it or they can speak out about it. But they shouldn’t pressure shops not to sell it, effectively making the decision for the people who don’t have a moral issue with the book.

      >Macsyna thought “seek URGENT Medical attention” meant going to McDonald’s instead.
      Ian explains that they went to McDonalds on the way to the doctor’s office, not on the way to the hospital. “They had stopped at McDonalds on the way to the doctor. Macsyna had been told by Chris that there had been a breathing incident the night before but that the twins were alright. This was now a number of hours later.”

      But this isn’t about how horrible a person Macsyna might be. It’s about listening to her story in an effort to try to learn something about child abuse.

      1. Ian explains that they went to McDonalds on the way to the doctor’s office, not on the way to the hospital. “They had stopped at McDonalds on the way to the doctor.

        Umm – either way – if it was before or after – they should of NEVER gone to McDonald’s in the first place! The kids were in need of Medicl attention – not for their parents to delay it.

        It’s nothing to do about learning about Child Abuse – it’s everything to do with Ian Wishart capitalising on an opportunity of which he knows will make him a lot of money. That is plain wrong.

        Ian Wishart was a former “Spin Dr” for a major political party – he knowss what to do & how to do it, in terms of him promoting this book – for one reason & one reason only – to “maximise his profits”.

        I can see he has fooled you into believing “it’s about learning about child abuse” when most of know – it’s really about lining his pockets.

        1. I’m not saying she/they are great people, I’m saying it’s unfair to say that they went directly against medical advice and went to McDonalds for food.

          Would Ian Wishart have written the book if he didn’t think it would sell? No. Would the book sell if there was no demand for what Macsyna has to say?

          You can’t say people won’t learn anything from a book you haven’t read.

      2. Ian wishart is pathetic in that the book was originally marketed as macsyna king tells her side of the story. BOOM. The immorality of her telling/selling of HER side was enough to rally nz in thousands to reject the book through facebook, Bravo! Wishart responds to Boycotters rejection with a facebook page of his own>> Break the Kahui code of silence: support the new book. We saw how nasty ian wishart can be on facebook and HIS supporters about 20, follow his every lead.The actual BOOK supporters 300 odd, themselves are the decent ones! Ok, a few revelations from ians’ facebook.. Apparently macsyna was never silent, she had been helping the police for 5 years and was the key witness against chris kahui. (BUT she had said chris was not the killer, so why the hell was she key witness). As it turned out he was acquitted! To top that, the police supposedly told her not to speak out publicly? maybe they sent her to wishart to write her “story” too ? ians facebook and HIS 20 supporters get more weird by the day as they fall over each other in his defence. After being constantly challenged by boycotters in defence of their stand, on the validity of info in his book, it’s suddenly tagged as an expose to help the child abuse battle! Give the boycotters a break! Between fending off the nasty supporters and welcoming new members the boycott had automatically extended itself into supporting every cause involved in the battle against child abuse. So PLEASE, don’t! tell anyone to read the book and learn about child abuse from a woman who’s children were abused before being murdered? was she even there at the time ?( she and wishart say, no she wasn’t ) many decent people have written books on child abuse and we should bypass those for this creature that needs to be vindicated? The boycotters in their thousands have spoken out, and what? they should shut up because their “mother” knows best? grow a beard mate, she doesn’t even know her other children

        1. >why the hell was she key witness
          If that’s true, that’s a police issue, not an issue with the book.

          >the police supposedly told her not to speak out publicly?
          Likely before/during the trial, because she was a witness.

          >So PLEASE, don’t! tell anyone to read the book and learn about child abuse from a woman who’s children were abused before being murdered?
          Having an open mind isn’t a bad thing. Why not see things from her perspective (it’s already been said she isn’t trying to justify her actions or lack thereof)? It’s not like reading it is going to convert someone into a child abuser.

          >The boycotters in their thousands have spoken out, and what? they should shut up because their “mother” knows best?
          Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, however I don’t see why there’s a need to pressure retailers not to sell the book, which reduces its availability.

  6. I have expressed my views about this on twitter before. People can make an informed decision for them selfs. By censoring it, I would actually be more inclined to read it to see what all the huss is about. And people saying it should be banned, it’s pretty easy really. Don’t read it.

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