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Givealittle legal fund set up for Renae Maihi for defence against Bob Jones’ claim

Written By: - Date published: 3:50 pm, June 19th, 2018 - 58 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Media, Politics, racism, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , , ,

First a warning.  Please be careful about what you say because making adverse comments against Bob Jones can cause him to become upset and threaten legal proceedings.

He has already done so to two individuals for saying the R word about him after he had written and published an article suggesting that Maori should be grateful for being colonised and any adverse comment should be considered carefully.

The background is set out in this Stuff article and in particular this passage:

Last week Sir Robert Jones wrote his last column for the National Business Review which, though it was published in the print version of the weekly, was hastily deleted from NBR’s website. The ‘hate speech’ so incensed filmmaker Renae Maihi that she organised an online petition demanding that Bob be stripped of his knighthood. Jones responded that his column was satire – that his idea of a “Maori Appreciation Day” was simply a “satirical suggestion”. It was, as Bob suggested, a “piss-take”.

So what is satire? Some of us will remember the ‘I was only being satirical’ defence used by Paul Holmes when he called UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan a ‘cheeky darkie’. He was not being satirical; he was being racist.

Bob’s offending column followed a very non-satirical rant against compulsory Te Reo. We were left in no doubt about where Bob stood on the subject of the “dying language, confined to hobbyists”.

“While on the subject of Maoridom”, added Bob, “rather than make kids learn the language, here’s a much better idea. We should introduce a new public holiday, Maori Gratitude Day, in place of the much disdained Waitangi Day.”

Jones also said this:

As there are no full-blooded Maoris in existence it indisputably follows that had it not been for migrants, mainly Brits, not a single Maori alive today … would have existed.”

And this:

“So excluding individuals who may be miserably suicidal … and instead like 99.999 per cent of us, actually like being alive, it’s long overdue for some appreciation …

I have in mind a public holiday where Maori bring us breakfast in bed or weed our gardens, wash and polish our cars and so on, out of gratitude for existing. And if any Maori tries arguing that if he/she didn’t have a slight infection of Irish blood or whatever, they might be the better for it, the answer is no sunshine.”

National Business Review, hardly a hotbed of left wing activism, responded by cancelling Jones’ column and removing this particular column from its website.

No law suit against that august entity ensued.

But law suits were threatened not only against Maihi but also Leonie Pihama, who tweeted about his actions.  Both targets are coincidentally Maori women.

https://twitter.com/acgeddis/status/1006647653998866432

https://twitter.com/acgeddis/status/1006647659694731264

The threatened lawsuit has been the subject of intense twitter analysis with questions raised as to the writing ability of Jones’ lawyer.

My personal contribution was to note that the last paragraph of the lawyer’s letter was reminiscent of that in the letter discussed in the case of Arkell v Pressdramm.  And that the response to that letter is one that is regularly used.

At this stage there is no sign that Jones will back down on his threat of litigation.

So Laura O’Connell Rapira of Action Station has set up a givealittle page to help pay for legal bills she [Maihi] may incur defending any action taken by Mr Jones.  At the time of writing over $12,000 has been raised.  Feel free to contribute.

Please note that if you are going to publicly say something about Sir Bob you should do so carefully.  It is the law of New Zealand that expressing an honestly held opinion based on facts on a matter of public interest is protected from action. And freedom of expression under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 is a hard won and important constitutional right. But I still urge caution because Jones, like Earl Hagaman, has the resources to seek redress from people who offend him.

58 comments on “Givealittle legal fund set up for Renae Maihi for defence against Bob Jones’ claim ”

  1. Nick 1

    Silly Billy Ropata.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    But I still urge caution because Jones, like Earl Hagaman, has the resources to seek redress from people who offend him.

    Despite being wrong.

    • soddenleaf 2.1

      So acknowledging that there is a Maori race, since they non-racially interbreed with Europeans diluting the race, is indicative of racial thinking. Then to regale said race to be thankful, is not racist, in no shape or form. Is that what you mean by wrong?

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        No, I mean to say that he will attack people who point out he’s wrong despite the fact that he is wrong and court would prove that. The problem is that he can afford to do that and will bankrupt the people he’s attacking despite being wrong. They may not even be able to afford the court case that proves him wrong.

        This is a major problem with our ‘justice’ system as it supports these injustices.

        • soddenleaf 2.1.1.1

          oh.

          Greater fear, bankruptcy or racism? What about double downing and suing the paper, if bankruptcy is a foregone conclusion, spread the lawyers fees around.

  3. Ken 3

    These are not actions befitting of a knight.

    • roy cartland 3.1

      I dunno.

      Knights were in service of the King, the main property owner. They were charged with ‘acquiring’ property, often violently, and defending the King’s religion.

      For their suppression of commoners and peasants, they were rewarded with their own property and other wealth by the monarch – not least, relative freedom from the taxes and laws that applied to commonfolk.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Check out the reality of the knight. The Code of Chivalry was a load of bunkum. Rape and murder were normal.

    • Wensleydale 3.3

      Not befitting of a Knight of the Round Table perhaps. The historical reality of knights is somewhat less… palatable. Peter Talley’s a knight. So are John Key and Bill English. When you think about it, Bob Jones is in good company.

  4. And so now we are all expected in this country to react to this ‘ chilling effect ‘ in the intended manner .

    Because one wealthy individual with a title may have an adverse reaction if they perceive they have been slighted.

    Remember ” Je suis Charlie ” ?

    Je suis Charlie – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Je_suis_Charlie

  5. Stuart Munro 5

    The judge, finding against Bob, will need prodigies of self-restraint not to award damages in the amount of carwashes every Waitangi Day for the rest of his natural.

  6. DB 6

    He’s at least a completely shit satirist. Some might say a

    Really Awful Condescending Imperialist Scum Tory

    but not me.

    • Hanswurst 6.1

      Jones is not a Tory. He’s an arrogant Liberal whose social views have remained firmly rooted in attitudes he formed decades ago.

  7. Sabine 7

    all this money , and still he is old, he is bitter, he is probably mal baisee and he has no friends.

    live is a bitch.

  8. Tricledrown 8

    Last of the colonial dinosaurs even John Key gave Don Maori basher a serving.

  9. Drowsy M. Kram 9

    Donated. Win or lose, I can’t see this lawsuit enhancing Jones’ reputation and legacy.

    Does the thin-skinned trait manifest disproportionately in the wealthy?

    “Narcissistic personality disorder includes symptoms such as poor self identity, inability to appreciate others, entitlement, lack of authenticity, need for control, intolerance of the views/opinions of others, emotional detachment, grandiosity, lack of awareness or concern regarding the impact of their behavior, minimal emotional reciprocity, and a desperate need for the approval and positive attention of others.”

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/neurosagacity/201702/how-tell-youre-dealing-malignant-narcissist

    And, just for fun:

    http://www.thecivilian.co.nz/opinion-no-one-survives-plane-crashes-anyway/

    http://www.thecivilian.co.nz/opinion-whats-all-the-fuss-about-these-rivers-i-drank-some-water-once-and-it-wasnt-any-bloody-good/

    http://www.thecivilian.co.nz/opinion-these-bloody-ambulances-think-they-own-the-road-weve-all-got-somewhere-to-be/

  10. james 10

    “He has already done so to two individuals for saying the R word about him ”

    There have been several on this site that seem happy using the R word about him also.

    • Sabine 10.1

      Which R – word upsets you so much?
      raging,
      recessive,
      redundant,
      rude,
      revolting,
      repugnant,
      repulsive,
      rotten,
      ruthless

      or rather more Shakesperian words that start with R?

      Rag-Of-Muffin
      Rampallian
      Ramping Fool
      Rancorous Enemy
      Rank Weed
      Rank-Scented Meiny
      Rare Parrot-Teacher
      Rascal Beadle
      Rascal Fiddler
      Rascally Knave
      Rash Wanton
      Rat Without A Tail
      Ravenous Fish
      Ravenous Tiger
      Rebel’s Whore
      Recreant And Most Degenerate Traitor
      Recreant Limb
      Red- Tailed Bumblebee
      Remorseless
      Reverent Braggart
      Revolted Tapster
      Ribaudred Nag
      Riddling Merchant
      Ring- Carrier
      Roaring Devil
      Roast meat For Worms
      Robustious
      Rogue And Peasant Slave
      Rooting Hog
      Rotten Apple
      Rotten Medlar
      Rotten Thing
      Rough Heart Of Flint
      Round Little Worm

      Roynish Clown
      Rude Boy
      Rude Companion
      Rude Despiser Of Good Manners
      Rude Unpolished Hind
      Rude Wretch
      Rudeliest Welcome To This World
      Rug-Headed Kernes Which Live Like Venom
      Rump-Fed Ronyon
      Runagate
      Rustic Mountaineer

      Tell us dear James, which word upsets you so much?

      • Tricledrown 10.1.1

        Reptilian.

      • james 10.1.2

        a – it cracks me up that you would spend so much effort on a d grade reply.

        Its the same “R word” as quoted from the post.

        Id say you are clever and could work it out – but after reading your reply – you should probably phone a friend.

        • AsleepWhileWalking 10.1.2.1

          Its a copy and paste. Wouldn’t take much but its good to see TS has made you happier today. Donate button is on the side I believe…

        • Drowsy M. Kram 10.1.2.2

          Classy put-down; “you should probably phone a friend” is demeaning, and completely in character.

          Why is James so agitated in defense of Jones?

  11. adam 11

    So saying Bob Jones is a racist, an idea I have formed by his writing, leaves me open to be sued for defamation.

    If he did not want me to think he a racist, then is it up to him to write in a way to make me think he is not a racist – rather than write in a way that creates the possibility for me to think he is a racist?

    Seem personal responsibility is somthing the whole right wing in this country likes imposing on everyone else, except themselves.

    • … ” Seems personal responsibility is something the whole right wing in this country likes imposing on everyone else, except themselves ” …

      Yes ,… it does ,… doesn’t it.

      … ” That Jones wants to use his considerable wealth, legal resources and societal privilege to silence a lone, largely unknown filmmaker expressing an honest opinion makes Bob the Bill Rowling of satirists not the Rob Muldoon. Grow some balls, Bob”…

      Sir Bob Jones says his Māori Gratitude Day column was satire. So …
      https://www.stuff.co.nz/…/sir-bob-jones-says-his-maori-gratitude-day-column-was-satire…

    • Gosman 11.2

      You are more than entitled to think he is a racist. The issue is if you then act on those thoughts and try to convince others he is one. The you have to be willing to defend your thoughts. It is quite simple really.

      I might think you are a moron. That is my right. If I attempt to convince others that you are one and that as a result your reputation suffers then you could sue me.

      • adam 11.2.1

        Shock, horror, an actual argument from Gosman, well done. I’m convinced he is a racist and have had many conversations with other trying to convince them to my point of view as well. That Bob Jones is a racist.

        So having a discussion now, means you can sue me?

        As for the moron line, I think the same of you buddy. And in the context of politics, I try to convince other you are such. I also expect you to do the same to me. If you can’t handle the jandle, get out of the game.

        Jones is a big boy, if he does not want the attention, he could have retired. Methinks he craves the attention. Hence why he wrote stupid stuff, made a ruckus, he now can’t throw his toys out of the cot because what he wrote made people think he was a racist. But more than that, the act of writing made himself a spokesperson for racism. This is a guy who has no track record in comedy.

    • Chris T 11.3

      “If he did not want me to think he a racist, then is it up to him to write in a way to make me think he is not a racist ”

      Would doubt he knows you exist, let alone cares what you think of him

  12. Stuart Munro 12

    His cognomen is established now – and it isn’t sir.

  13. koreropono 13

    Looking forward to the ongoing publicity around this case actually as it will no doubt shed some light on why Jone’s comments were anything but satirical.

    I would use many other r words to describe his comments, revolting, repulsive, rabid, radical, ranty, rancid…many would call his comments racist and if one has a full understanding of the insidious nature of racism, then I suppose racist may be an accurate word.

    • Gosman 13.1

      What is the insidious nature of racism?

      • koreropono 13.1.1

        Gosman do you not know? Perhaps you could read any of the following to get an idea:

        Ministerial Advisory Committee (1988) Puao-Te-Ata-Tu (Day Break), The Report of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on a Maori Perspective for the Department of Social Welfare, Wellington, New Zealand –
        http://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/archive/1988-puaoteatatu.pdf

        Lecouteur, A. and Simmons, K. (2008) ‘Modern Racism in the Media: Constructions of ‘the possibility for change’ in accounts of two Australian Riots’ in Discourse and Society Vol. 19 (5) 667 – 687, Sage Publications http://das.sagepub.com.ezproxy.otago.ac.nz/content/19/5/667.full.pdf+html

        Phelan, S. (2009) The Newspaper as a political antagonist: Editorial discourse and the othering of Maori perspectives on the foreshore and seabed conflict, Journalism, April 2009 vol. 10 no. 2 217 – 237, doi: 10.1177/1464884908100602 http://jou.sagepub.com.ezproxy.otago.ac.nz/content/10/2/217.full.pdf+html

        Barnes, A., McCreanor, T., Nairn, R., Pega, F., and Rankine, J. (2006) Media Racism and Public Health Psychology, Journal of Health Psychology; Vol 11 (2) 183 – 196, SAGE Publications, London –
        http://hpq.sagepub.com.ezproxy.otago.ac.nz/content/11/2/183.full.pdf%2bhtml

        Jones, C. (2003). Confronting institutionalized racism. Phylon, 50(1/2), 7-22. http://www.unnaturalcauses.org/assets/uploads/file/Jones-Confronting-Institutionalized-Racism.pdf

        Human Rights Commission (2012) A fair go for all, Addressing Structural Discrimination in Public Services, Human Rights Commission, Aotearoa New Zealand
        http://www.hrc.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/HRC-Structural-Report_final_webV1.pdf

        • D'Esterre 13.1.1.1

          koreropono: “Perhaps you could read any of the following to get an idea…”

          Sigh…. you young folk! In my day, we knew the difference between racism, discrimination and bigotry. They aren’t synonymous.

          You can adduce until your writing hand is sore any number of worthy and well-intentioned academic treatises from the last 30 years or so. But unless said treatises are discussing government laws and regulations, and the actions of public service entities which are predicated on those laws, you – and they – aren’t talking about racism.

          I’m very familiar with the Social Welfare report into institutional racism; I was in the public service when it was published. Despite assertions to the contrary, it was prejudice and bias that infested the DSW in those days, a subject of which my family has some experience! And – as an aside – it was the fact that many of its recommendations were implemented, that the current child welfare services are in the state they’re in.

          In this household – for reasons I won’t go into – we’ve variously been on the receiving end of quite a bit of discrimination and bigotry over the years. No racism, though: this is NZ after all.

          I’ve said this before: “As far as I recall, Jones has expressed such views for many years. He hasn’t changed: he’s been a lifelong curmudgeon.

          Whether he actually believes the outrageous stuff he comes out with, or just says it to wind people up, is a moot point. But blunt public commentary is his modus operandi. And he’s entitled to comment publicly: freedom of speech, after all. If people don’t like what he says, they’re free to ignore him. Or better yet, challenge him with countervailing arguments; don’t just scream the racism epithet.”

          And yes, he has lolly: oodles of it. And like the rest of us, he doesn’t like having the racism epithet flung at him. But – unlike the rest of us – he can use that lolly to take legal action against people who smear him. So: before they made unwise comments, Renae Maihi and Leonie Pihama would’ve done well to remember that old saw about needing a long spoon if one would sup with the devil.

          • Baba Yaga 13.1.1.1.1

            My vote for comment of the week. Well said.

          • koreropono 13.1.1.1.2

            I think you will find that the Puao-Te-Ata-Tu (or any of the other articles I referenced) have a reasonable explanation about different types of racism. I can understand why institutional racism is still such a problem when people such as yourself continue to deny racism or try to paint it as something else altogether. Hopefully you’ve retired from public service.

            “But unless said treatises are discussing government laws and regulations, and the actions of public service entities which are predicated on those laws, you – and they – aren’t talking about racism”

            All wind, bluster and nonsense, your statement above doesn’t even make any sense. Clearly you have no clue what is or isn’t racism. Perhaps you have a vested interest in flat out denying it or redefining it in such a way as to reduce your own complicity. Either way, it matters not, what does matter is how the court will interpret it.

            As I said in an earlier post I look forward to the court case. I am sure it will open up a broader debate on the hidden and insidious nature of racism and how it operates on multiple levels.

  14. Bill 14

    So some stupid auld codger want’s to split hairs on the difference between such things as bigotry, racism and stupidity, and then, presumably, happily accept the mantle of one (or two) of those things, but not the other?

    Is that kind of where we’re at?

    • AsleepWhileWalking 14.1

      Everyone gets old, some get crotchety.

      Where we are at is that Jones should just withdraw and may have nobody around who cares enough to suggest a graceful exit.

      I hope he figures it out, sorts his shit and manages to go out a legend anyway.

    • D'Esterre 14.2

      Koreropono: “I can understand why institutional racism is still such a problem when people such as yourself continue to deny racism or try to paint it as something else altogether.”

      So: no actual argumentation in support of your position, just berating me for mine.

      “All wind, bluster and nonsense, your statement above doesn’t even make any sense. Clearly you have no clue what is or isn’t racism.”

      Again: vituperation instead of debate. If you would be so good, please share with us your definition of racism.

      I’ll take a punt that it’s something like “things you say, in particular about people who aren’t white, that I don’t like”. This is very Humpty Dumptyish:
      “”When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.””

      However – and fortunately – we don’t live in an “Alice in Wonderland” world. Your characterisation of what’s racist risks a chilling effect on the freedom of speech that we all ought to enjoy. Nobody can be forced to think or say only what others deem not to be offensive; nor should any sector of society be trying to enforce conformism of that sort on other people.

      My definition of racism: a system of laws and regulations which is intended to differentially affect defined groups of people, and enacted for that purpose. Apartheid in both South Africa and pre-civil rights US; the Nazi regime’s treatment of the Jews; contemporary Israeli treatment of Palestinians, many would argue; these are salient examples of racism.

      NZ has never been a racist society, though in the past it has had racist laws, now repealed. However, some argue that the Maori seats are an example of racism.

      We are a groupish species: we prefer to associate with people who are like us, who share our culture and other characteristics. This is part of the human condition: nothing wrong with it in daily life, and it isn’t your job – or anyone else’s – to try and change it.

      However: when it comes to the big service organisations – health, social welfare, police – staff members, whatever their ethnicity, will need supervision, and procedures to follow, such that they, as much as possible, recognise their own unconscious bias or prejudice and treat clients fairly.

      • Bill 14.2.1

        NZ has never been a racist society, though in the past it has had racist laws…

        How…what the…? Fcking….(closes eyes, shakes head, can’t compute) Walks away.

        • D'Esterre 14.2.1.1

          Bill: “How…what the…? Fcking….(closes eyes, shakes head, can’t compute) Walks away.”

          You disagree? How about articulating your disagreement, instead of just the above response?

          • Bill 14.2.1.1.1

            Just my head jamming on the obvious logical inconsistency of your statement D’Esterre.

            • D'Esterre 14.2.1.1.1.1

              Bill: “the obvious logical inconsistency of your statement”

              No. That’s not so. You’ll be aware of when the NZ parliament gave Maori the vote; scarcely the marker of a racist society. But the colonists generally had Victorian attitudes toward people who weren’t white; no surprises there, given the contemporary zeitgeist. So: some legislation was enacted over the years which discriminated on the basis of race, but, last I looked, it had all been repealed.

              No society which at that time gave the franchise to brown people could be characterised as racist, even if there was a bit of dodgy legislation in the past.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                The NZ Constitution Act prevented Māori from voting by restricting elegibility to landowners with individual title.

                At that time the rough population levels were 63,100 Māori and 27,600 non-Māori.

                There were thirty seven seats in the Parliament, plus four Māori electorates.

                Yeah, not racist at all 🙄

                • solkta

                  And there was also the Chinese Immigrants Act:

                  Parliament passed the Chinese Immigrants Act. After this received the Royal Assent, a ‘poll tax’ of £10 (equivalent to nearly $1700 today) was imposed on Chinese migrants and the number allowed to land from each ship arriving in New Zealand was restricted. Only one Chinese passenger was allowed for every 10 tons of cargo. In 1896 this was changed to one passenger for every 200 tons, and the tax was increased to £100 (nearly $19,000).

                  https://nzhistory.govt.nz/poll-tax-imposed-on-chinese

      • koreropono 14.2.2

        D’Esterre

        “NZ has never been a racist society, though in the past it has had racist laws, now repealed. However, some argue that the Maori seats are an example of racism”

        While I understand that it may benefit you and those like you to hold such an uneducated and uninformed view (and semantics does not help your attempts to undermine facts), it also does not negate a history of personal, cultural and institutional racism in New Zealand. A history that shows that personal racism exists, which led to those ‘racist laws’ you mention above (whether or not all of these racist laws have been repealed is open to debate, which frankly you won’t understand because it does not suit you or your fallacies. Those laws were not created in a vacuum, people created them, those people are/were racist.

        While you invite me to share my ‘definition of racism’ in your own vituperative style you proceed to mock what you assume I will write. How can anyone take you seriously, when your sole purpose in this instance is to negate the existence of racism. I think that Moana Jackson’s recent article “Understanding racism in this country” is very pertinent and I believe deals very well with your pernicious views. https://e-tangata.co.nz/comment-and-analysis/moana-jackson-understanding-racism-in-this-country/

  15. Rozgonz 15

    I just love it how the old coot gets under your skins. Why don’t you just ignore him, you are giving him oxygen by reacting to him. So funny to watch the faux outraged in action

    • Drowsy M. Kram 15.1

      I just love how Renae Maihi got under the old coot‘s skin – so funny to watch.

      • D'Esterre 15.1.1

        Drowsy M. Kram: “I just love how Renae Maihi got under the old coot‘s skin….”

        Surely it’s the other way around?

        • Drowsy M. Kram 15.1.1.1

          Surely it’s both, but I’m more interested in Jones’ chosen response to Maihi’s moderately popular petition.

          Jones’ ‘skin’ has lost any elasticity it may have had – money can only do so much.

  16. saveNZ 16

    Sounds like we no longer have freedom of speech in this country!

    Too many lawyers! Too many lawsuits for the wrong things.

    No lawsuit for Pike River killing 29 people, but a lawsuit over the Hagaman case…actually 2 lawsuits… and now another one, over calling for a Knighthood to be removed….

    Some people have thin skins, while other people are murdered to save a buck, is there still justice in this country?

  17. Jenny 17

    The international ramifications

    Just as Taika Waititi’s statement that “New Zealand is as racist as fuck” got international media attention,

    The case against Renae Maihi will put the colonial settler state of ‘New Zealand’ itself on trial.

    To paraphrase Taika Waititi; “Bob Jones is as racist as fuck”. Any judge that could willfully ignore the evidence and rule otherwise, would have to be totally corrupt, and/or racist as fuck themselves.

    Any court ruling that that settled for Bob Jones, and against Renae Maihi, could only be a miscarriage of justice. Such a judgement, if made in a New Zealand court by a New Zealand judge, who is an official representative of the colonial state, would confirm us in the eyes of the world as being guilty as charged, by Taika Waititi.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/entertainment/2018/04/new-zealand-is-racist-as-f-taika-waititi.html

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