Most read: Rotorua car salesmen stood down over racist 'clever Māori' remarks; auto dealer says team 'devastated'

This story was first published on Wednesday June 13

Two Rotorua car salesmen have been punished by their employer after a racist message was left on the phone of a female customer.

The pair have been stood down.

Writing on their Facebook page, Farmer Auto Village boss Mike Farmer said: "The team here at Farmer Auto Village are devastated that two individuals have made these stupid ignorant comments, we have always prided ourselves on our multi-cultural environment that enriches our company.

"The people involved are currently stood down whilst an employment process is underway which we cannot comment on at this point until it is completed.

"We can assure you that the comments by two individuals does not reflect in anyway the thoughts and opinions of our 120 team and their whanau."

Rotorua nurse Narrelle Newdick was left shaking and in tears after a car dealer left a racist voice message on her phone calling her a "f***** clever Māori".

She had visited the Farmer Auto Village in Tauranga with the hopes of buying a new car.

After taking one of their cars for a test run, Ms Newdick was set on buying the vehicle until she discovered the shocking message from the dealership left accidentally on her phone.

"Your little Māori girl…it keeps going to voice mail," two dealers could be heard saying to each other in the message.

"Tell her don't be a f***** clever Māori.

"Go back to Maketu and dig pipis out of the sand."

Ms Newdick told TVNZ1's Marae programme on Monday she was upset and angry to hear the two minute conversation between the two Farmer Auto Village workers.

"When I received the message I couldn't believe what I was hearing," said Ms Newdick.

The message left her in a state of disbelief.

"What does he even mean by that 'don't be a f***** clever Māori'?

"So because I have a job and I work does that make me a clever Māori in his eyes? I was offended not only for myself but he's lumped us all in that box."

Marae approached Farmer Auto Village for comment on the message and were told that the company was shocked by the remarks.

They subsequently apologised to Ms Newdick.

"We are absolutely devastated that an employee within our used car department at Farmer Motor Group has made some offensive comments," Mike Farmer managing director of the company said in a statement on Monday.