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Sir Bob Jones says he didn't want to drop Renae Maihi defamation case

Sir Bob Jones says he didn't want to abandon his high-profile defamation case against filmmaker Renae Maihi.

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Sir Bob Jones told Q+A with Jack Tame that he didn't want to abandon his high-profile defamation case against filmmaker Renae Maihi. He rejected suggestions that he could be seen as hypocritical in being offended by someone who has been offended by his comment. Source: Q+A

Ms Maihi had launched a petition to strip Sir Bob of his knighthood after he penned a column which she believed was racist. 

But after several days in court, Sir Bob ended the proceedings

He told Jack Tame on TVNZ1's Q+A that there's a confidential agreement in place - but says he didn't want to stop the case.

"I was outraged by what happened," he says, calling it a "fabrication".

"I had a woman conducting a campaign calling me a racist. Me. Good God, I spend millions every year on other races with all the various things I do. 

"And what I’ve done, we started listing all the things I've done for Māoridom and individual things and what I’d been working on for nine months before that."

Sir Bob says at 80 years of age, "I’m not wasting my time on Māoris". 

"Heaps of Māori wanted to give evidence for me and that. But the point is, it should never have got to that. It was a disgrace that the media allowed her to do these things."

He rejected suggestions of possible hypocrisy in being offended by someone who has been offended by his comment.

"There’s no hypocrisy. She was a show pony," he says.

"Obviously, I believe in free speech. I don’t believe in defamation and libelling of people. There’s a difference.

"I didn’t take offence at her taking offence. I took offence at calling me, of all people, a racist. The last person in this country you could call a ‘racist’. God, I've got a multitude of racists.

He says he agrees with freedom of speech, "but it’s not a freedom to bloody libel people". 

"It’s not hard. That’s the difference," he says.

"She ran up and down the country campaigning I'm a racist. Anyone that knows me, I'm the least racist person. I do so much for other races because I am not racist.

"I think this is just silly. I will not turn the other cheek to people who do that. Simple as that. And not only that, it’s an absurd, over-the-top reaction to quite a good joke that would’ve gone down well, any sophisticated society."

While speaking to Tame, Sir Bob also shared his solutions for the housing crisis, his memories of the late Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon and of the 1984 election.

Watch the video above for the full Q+A interview.