Sir Bob Jones ‘racist’ column leads to criticism and petition
A call for Sir Bob Jones to be stripped of his knighthood is gaining momentum with a petition being created after offensive comments penned by the multi-millionaire about Māori were published by a national newspaper.
Although the NBR has deleted the column, the petition organiser is refusing to let up.
Jones is known widely for making controversial comments.
But film-maker Renae Maihi, who started the petition on change.org says he's taken racism to another level.
“Taika did a wonderful job with his racism campaign around casual racism. Well, this is not casual racism. This is overt, direct and vile racism.”
So far, more than 5000 have a signed the petition.
The wealthy businessman is copping lots of criticism from the public, including politician Willie Jackson.
“Kōrero pōrangi, nē? Koroua haere tēnei tangata, nē? Tata ki te 80? Āhua pōrangi pea? Āhua māuiui?”
Mental health advocate Mike King describes Jones’ comments as that of an embarrassing uncle.
“The problem with Bob is that what the rest of the world classes as satire, Bob thinks is real. I don't think that anything Bob Jones says should be taken seriously. He's like that embarrassing old uncle whose social filter is now broken and he's saying out loud what normal people would keep inside.”
Maihi says he should be stripped of his knighthood.
“Somebody who speaks like that and writes like that should not be a Sir in our country regardless of how people feel about knighthoods or what have you. It is an honour that has been bestowed upon him that recognises him as somebody who we regard as an upstanding New Zealander who we look up to, and I don't believe that he is.”
But Jackson has a different opinion.
“Nō te mea he maha ngā koroua Pākehā e whakaaro pērā, maha ngā koroua whakaaro pērā. Pērā a Holmes, Gallagher, Leach, and kei te tautoko te kāwana tonu i ngā koroua pērā.”
The Human Rights Commission released a statement saying, “We welcome the NBR's decision to remove Sir Bob Jones' article. Sir Bob Jones and those outlets that choose to publish this kind of rhetoric need to be prepared for the public backlash and condemnation they provoke and deserve.”
Although the NBR deleted the article, Maihi is concerned about their editorial standards.
“I'm disappointed that the NBR published that and I'm not sure what happened there that day because I think, again, anybody who reads this is going to understand that it's just gone too far. I would not have published that myself.”
Sir Bob Jones has responded to Te Karere and claims his column was not racist.