The Multi-Stakeholder Group is exploring ways to strengthen all-of-society resilience to disinformation in New Zealand.
Established in July 2023, the group is made up of specialists from across New Zealand who will consider what practices and structures could be developed to better understand disinformation and address its effects.
This includes exploring the case for a non-government entity to lead long term work on disinformation. The group will be guided by principles of transparency, lawfulness, and human rights, including protecting freedom of expression.
The outcome of its work is expected to be released in early 2024. It will be a decision for a future government as to what action it takes in response to the group’s findings.
This group is one of the initiatives underway by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet on behalf of the Government to strengthen national capacity to identify and address misinformation and disinformation. Find more information about the other initiatives at Strengthening resilience to disinformation.
The group is made up of members who will each provide expertise across a broad range of areas related to disinformation, with a Te Ao Māori view on disinformation being a core part of the group’s work.
The group members represent various sectors in New Zealand society, including civil society, the private sector, academia, journalism, and the legal system. However, their involvement in the group will be in their personal capacity.
The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet convenes the group and provides its secretariat, but is not a member of the group.
The Disinformation Multi-Stakeholder Group members are:
Andrew Cushen (Co-Chair) is a consultant with experience across strategy, policy and public affairs. He has a background in telecommunications and the internet, and brings to the group perspectives on building effective and sustainable community initiatives.
Robyn Kamira (Co-Chair) (Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri, Tai Tokerau whānui) is the founder of Māori-owned technology company Pāua Interface Ltd, delivering professional advice to Māori, government and NGO clients on data and digital projects, including those in security-related areas. She has a background in research, specifically Te Ao Māori, and brings perspectives on technologies, data and Māori.
Brent Carey (Te Āti Awa) is a lawyer with areas of interest in tech, privacy, public law and the internet. He has a background in working for integrity and self-regulatory bodies in both New Zealand and Australia, and brings perspectives on malinformation, trust and safety, compliance, and enforcement and internet governance.
Dr Mona Krewel is a Senior Lecturer in the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations and the Director of the Internet, Social Media, and Politics Research Lab (ISPRL) at Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington. She has a background in political communication research, and her work focusses on social media effects on voting behaviour, and online dis- and misinformation. She brings expertise on the use of fake news, half-truths, and conspiracy theories in election campaigns to the group.
Vivien Maidaborn is a CEO with experience in civil society, and multi stakeholder processes and decision making. She has a background in digital equity, social change and the uses of online resources and information in forming social movements. Vivien brings to the group perspectives on use of mis and disinformation to undermine vulnerable communities’ right to participation, and protection.
Jeremy Rees is an editor and journalist, who is currently Acting Head of News and Executive Editor at Radio New Zealand. He is a former member of the Media Freedom Committee and has an interest in freedom of expression issues.
Paul Rishworth KC is a barrister at Britomart Chambers, Auckland, specialising in human rights law. His background includes research and teaching in public law at The University of Auckland Law School since 1987. He will bring a legal perspective to the group’s work.
Dr Chris Wilson is a Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Auckland. He researches and teaches political violence of various forms, on how and why individuals and groups radicalise, including to violent action, and on how societies polarise and descend into violent conflict. He will bring his insights on these topics to the group, including how and why disinformation can proliferate and facilitate distrust, hate, intergroup tension, and violence.