The cartoons, by Al Nisbett, have been widely condemned on social networking sites as racist towards Maori and Pacific Islanders.
Dame Susan said at a press conference this afternoon that the cartoons did not breach the level considered to be racist under the Human Rights Act.
One of the drawings published in the Marlborough Express appeared to show a group of brown-skinned adults in school uniforms taking advantage of the breakfast in schools programme to save money for cigarettes, alcohol and pokies.
The other cartoon, printed in The Press showed a Maori or Polynesian family discussing how great the free breakfast programme would be to help them ease their poverty, while sitting in front of lottery tickets, cigarettes and empty beer cans.
But she said it did not reach the high threshold considered to be racist in the Human Rights Act because they did not incite racial disharmony.
"We have the right to freedom of expression and we have the right to freedom of speech and people can say what they like and print what they like, even if we find it really offensive."
A lot of people agreed with the cartoons, Dame Susan said.
"I personally and those at the Commission don't [agree with the cartoons]. We do find it offensive, we find it quite insulting."
I heard Devoy on Radio Live this morning being given a relaxing massage by Sean Plunket - who then concluded she had gone all PC whimpy liberal. Talk-hate radio at its finest. Devoy also couched her response in terms of understanding: 'I can understand where you[racists] are coming from'. That's the problem right there. The "we" is the commission staff of liberal pointy-heads the conservatives so despise, but what about the "I" of her personal beliefs? There is no way she can have credibility with her track record and with what she has said today.
From my twitter posts today:
Editor of Malb Exp on Radio Live now: 'will rely on community', ie. approx. 95% white pop of elderly, provincial Malborough. Next...Devoy :/
av. white male cartoonist reaction if they were characatured in KKK robes, seig heiling each other, wanking their tiny dicks? MalbExp meme.