A petition calling for Sir Bob Jones' knighthood to be removed was presented at parliament yesterday.

The petition, which garnered more than 60,000 signatures, and is the result of people speaking out against a column Sir Bob wrote saying that a new public holiday should be introduced called Māori Gratitude Day instead of Waitangi Day.

Creator of the petition, Renae Maihi says it’s a sizeable voice of Māori and non-Māori alike.

“68,860 I think in counting so it says that there's quite a sizable voice that supports the removal of this knighthood for Bob Jones.”

Academic Professor Pou Temara from Ngāi Tūhoe was there to support the petition and says Jones should have been there as well.

“It would be good if he was here to be part of this petition so that he can meet the person that he was so critical about.”

And he has a challenge for the government:

“Anei rā te rima rau mano Māori nō rātou te reo, nā rātou ngā tikanga e pēhia nei i te tangata kotahi. Ko te pakanga tēnei a te ao Māori ki te tangata kotahi. Me te hanga pērā i a ia rā te kino ki te ao Māori.”

Maihi adds this stand is not just for her but for all of Aotearoa.

“That includes our children, that include our ancestors, that includes our descendants. It is very important that Aotearoa New Zealand take these words seriously. Take the impact of racism seriously because it does impact people in their daily lives.”

The petition was presented to Labour MP Kiritapu Allan who says the petition will be carefully considered by the Māori Affairs Select Committee.

Only time will tell if the Governor-General will remove Jones' knighthood.

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