Sale of golliwog dolls banned by Trade Me

By Andrew Macfarlane

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Following recent complaints, our biggest online market place has banned the sale of controversial Golliwog dolls. Source: 1 NEWS

New Zealand's biggest online auction website, Trade Me, has banned the sale of golliwog dolls.

Trade Me's Head of Trust & Safety, George Hiotakis, told 1 NEWS that a large number of people have been getting in touch, calling for the doll's removal from the website.

"Golliwogs were one of those things that were popping up every now and then." he said.

The toy has been controversial ever since its creation in the late 1800s and now they're on the website's "banned and restricted" list, alongside Confederate flags and Nazi memorabilia.

Trade Me users won't be able to list items that utilise the black face caricature, but the ban does exclude items relating to film and literature.

While there has been some backlash from users of the website, the move has mostly gone down well.

"We look at the mood of New Zealand and the changing views of New Zealanders and we felt it was time to make that change" said Mr Hiotakis.

The number of golliwog doll sales on Trade Me has already been on the decline for several years.

In 2014 there were approximately 700 golliwog sales, while last year that had dropped to just over 300.

Professor Paul Spoonley from Massey University says there's still a pocket of New Zealanders who don't understand why they're inappropriate.

"They continue to see golliwogs as inoffensive when they are deeply offensive, so I do think we need to call them out, and we do need companies like Trade Me to say no, that's not acceptable" he said.

Trade Me says it's always open to feedback regarding items sold on its website, and it assesses them on a case by case basis.