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NZ’s new racist international image, proudly brought to you by TVNZ

Written By: - Date published: 7:50 am, October 5th, 2010 - 73 comments
Categories: boycott, Ethics, International, john key, Media, racism, tv - Tags: , ,

Here’s some of the international coverage of New Zealand that Paul Henry’s racist outburst against our Governor General Anand Satyanand has sparked.

In India and here. Cool, after the recent effigy burnings of a certain Kiwi in New Delhi  on the grounds that he was racist, that should really help things heaps. Australia, UK, USA, Thailand. Even Zimbabwe FFS! What heft we’ll have in future international forums on racism and human rights. What a magnet we’ll be for non-white tourists.

Of course it doesn’t help that our chickenshit PM and Minister for Tourism tacitly condoned Henry’s outburst at the time, never even attempting to chastise Henry for making blatantly racist comments against our Governor General. It was only Television New Zealand after all, the state owned broadcasting voice of the nation.

So thanks Paul. Thanks for portraying me and my country to the rest of the world as a bunch of racist fcukers like you.

Thanks too to TVNZ for cheerfully contining to hire this guy and publicly defending Henry’s bigotry, even though you know he’s a pathological bigot – because that doesn’t matter to you as long as he brings in the ratings.

UPDATE: As at midday TVOne have suspended Paul Henry until October 18.  TVNZ statement here.

UPDATE: (lprent) Heritage Hotels have informed me that:-

Please be aware Heritage Hotels is not the sponsor of the Breakfast Show and has not been for some months.

UPDATE: I’ve amended the post to remove references to Heritage Hotels, who’ve abandoned sponsorship of Breakfast, despite impressions created by TVNZ‘s tardy web content management. Of course if they remain heavy advertisers in the show and Henry returns, some issues may get revisited.


73 comments on “NZ’s new racist international image, proudly brought to you by TVNZ”

  1. Kaplan 1

    So this mornings apology was going reasonably well until he managed to turn in into a chance to use another racial slur as a joke. Unbelievable. Actually not really…
    And still no apology from the idiot at TVNZ that tried to defend him.

    • IrishBill 1.1

      I don’t watch breakfast, could you elucidate?

      • Kaplan 1.1.1

        Just after the news he went on at fair length about an unreserved apology for offence caused and ended by essentially saying he was descended from gypsies (he used a reasonably well know shorter form of the word) and therefore Anand Satyanand was a better person than him. Or words to that effect.

        • lprent

          I saw it – tuned in specifically to see it for my post on the breakfast bigot.

          The apology wasn’t one in my opinion both because it felt totally insincere, and because of his promise to continue acting like smarmy bigot whenever he needed the outrage ratings hit.

          • Gosman

            So you won’t be happy until you’ve extracted your pound of flesh eh?

            Why don’t you just vote with your feet, (so to speak), and just stop watching the guy?

            All of this digital lynch mob metality is just going to turn him in to some sort of martyr rather than the clown that most people regard him as now.

            • Kaplan

              Expressing our displeasure sends a clear message that we find his behaviour unacceptable. If enough people deliver that message then TVNZ will eventually act on it. If less than enough do, then they won’t. Democracy at work. I trust you respect that.

            • lprent

              There is exactly one morning news program on TV. I’d prefer to watch it but at present there is an offensive idiot bigot on it.

              I intend to get rid of the arsehole because he is offensive and getting in the way of my viewing.

            • roger nome


              “All of this digital lynch mob metality is just going to turn him in to some sort of martyr rather than the clown that most people regard him as now.”

              Exactly – history is full of beloved racists that were driven to martyrdom by the notion of human equality. Look at the adulation Hitler recieved after being martyred by the progressive forces. They should have just looked the other way…

      • toad 1.1.2

        Sir Anand was born in New Zealand. His lineage, as far as I can ascertain, is far more dignified than mine, which makes him a better candidate for Governor-General than me.

        Most people think I’m British, but the truth is much, much worse than that. Like the Governor-General, I was born in New Zealand, however, I am at least half what they colloquially call in Europe, a gypo.

        So, let me make it quite clear, I will never apologise for causing outrage, however I will and do apologise sincerely for causing real hurt and upset to anyone, no matter what their background, who works to make this country a better country.

        So, in that spirit, I apologise unreservedly to Sir Anand and his family. He is a very distinguised man and I am a gypo television presenter.

        And the video here (if you can bear it).

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Guys chill, it’s just Paul Henry being Paul Henry.

    Nice piece Sprout, although I think you should have mentioned Labour’s muscular response thus far.

    • Cnr Joe 2.1

      umm, it was the Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism who was sitting with Henry – on live t.v – who did Nothing whatsoever – nothing…. everything from the opposition has been ‘muscular’ in comparison to that….
      what would Goff have done in Jonkeys place? Given him a whack I would hope

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      Actually I think Goff would have just shrugged and decided that “it’s just Paul Henry being Paul Henry”.

      After all, that was the quote from Goff in the NZ Herald online yesterday.

  3. r0b 3

    That’s an astonishing line-up of international reaction.

    Add it to the international attention to “dim bulb of the week” John Key’s racist cannibal joke.

    What a wonderful face we’re presenting to the world these days.

  4. The Prime Minister did let the country down. And it’s the job of the leader of the opposition to hold him to account for that, and its the job of the Labour leader to stand up for liberal values. As usual, Goff did neither.

  5. Gosman 5


    All of those pieces you link to are just extracts from the online editions of those papers. None of them is giving editorial comment on this subject and they just rehash the basic facts as reported in N.Z. online editions or from news organisations like NZPA.

    Also I’m not sure why you included Zimbabwe in that list as the news site you linked to is South African (as you should have picked up with the .za identifier).

    Nice attempt at linking this to the PM though. Pity for you that noone in the MSM is taking this up.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Pity for you that noone in the MSM is taking this up.

      You notice that ongoing ratings decline? The MSM deserve it, they are destroying their own industry.

      Nice attempt at linking this to the PM though.

      You mean by saying that the PM was there being interviewed when it happened? Seems like the PM is pretty linked to me.

      • Gosman 5.1.1

        You know what I mean. Trying to claim that John Key condones racist thinking because he didn’t immediately leap over the table and throttle Henry after he made the comments.

        So obviously the market is just ripe for some leftist opinion programme then. I look forward to seeing something rocket up the ratings chart in the near future.

        • Bunji

          “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

          Or Smile and Wave.

        • Rex Widerstrom

          obviously the market is just ripe for some leftist opinion programme then

          Why yes… yes, it is.

          “The Daily Show” talks solely about American politics and covers events even a political tragic like me has never heard about. It is screened solely on a digital channel (ABC2), which about 40% of Australian TV sets don’t receive. And the ABC have scheduled it opposite their own main nightly news program as well as competition such as “Two and a Half Men” (which rates through the roof and is the 7th most popular show in Australia even though it’s repeats. No, I don’t understand it either).

          However, with all this going against it “The Daily Show” scores a reasonable 105,000 viewers. By way of comparison, “Today” – Nine’s breakfast news show – pulls 298,000 while their version of “The View” gets 101,000 and costs Nine vastly more than “The Daily Show” costs the ABC.

          And let’s not forget “The Chaser” reached 2.4 million viewers at its height, winning its timeslot in all cities.

          So on that basis I’d predict that a left-leaning daily news satire show would encounter a “ripe” market… unless you’re suggesting that NZers are so markedly different to Australians that political satire is likely to be of no interest?

          [And if anyone’s thinking of making such a show for the NZ market… call me 😀 ]

    • M 5.2

      It’s also covered by the BBC Gosman http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11469881
      Any kinda general snarky comment to make about the BBC? How they’re not a credible news source…no one reads them etc?

      • Gosman 5.2.1

        Still not an opinion piece on a non-online news site though. It just reports the facts (as probably passed to them by Reuters or NZPA or whatever news agency is based here).

        There may very well be some overseas people upset about this however those articles don’t show that at all. They just report what happened here just as you would find out on Stuff or the NZ Herald online site or wherever.

        None of them makes a negative linkage to the PM either.

        • Bunji

          Why does an opinion piece (generally read by far fewer people) have more sway when the news item speaks for itself?

          And how are we meant to link to deadwood papers?

          If it’s in the online edition it usually makes a paper edition if that’s what worries you so much.

        • the sprout

          😆 so it’s only important coverage when it’s an opinion piece!

          impressive powers of denial there gos

        • lprent

          Personally I’ll just ignore the week-kneed response by politicians (who are usually too scared to comment effectively on journos anyway).

          I just want Paul Henry dropped into somewhere appropriate like late night talkback where he belongs. The obnoxious bigot has offended me with his ratings powered statements far too frequently.

          I’d like to be able to watch the morning news without having an idiot clown being a bigot and interfering with the presentation.

    • gobsmacked 5.3

      Pity for you that noone in the MSM is taking this up.

      Pity for you that New Zealand has a thriving ethnic minority media, and they *have* taken it up, and yesterday a lot of people were very angry with that nice Mr Key who attends all those ethnic functions and photo-ops.

      Of course, they aren’t “real New Zealanders”, but they still found their way to the polling booth in 2008, to vote Key into power.

      Now they’re voting for Len Brown. You might want to think about that.

      • Gosman 5.3.1

        So are they as angry at Phil Goff for writing this off as Paul Henry just being Paul Henry?

        • felix

          Why would they be? That hasn’t really been reported in an opinion piece so it doesn’t really matter to anyone. Right Gos?

          • Gosman

            The point I am making is that simple reporting of the issue doesn’t give any indication of the impact the story has overseas. You might as well claim that this is playing badly in America by simply posting the online story from Stuff or the NZ Herald. This proves nothing in terms of negative impact of the story. However an opinion piece such as an editorial would do.

            • the sprout

              😆 do you have any awareness whatsoever of PR or media effects?

              you’re starting to get a bit too trolly on this for my tastes, i’m not going to let you have 33% of all the comments like you do on other posts, so write a cogent and relevant comment or consider desisting.

            • felix

              You’re right of course Gosman. They’re just as likely to be praising his racism.

              Especially in India.

  6. M 6

    why on earth do you think it has to be an opinion piece to be considered negative publicity for NZ? And why the obsession with saying it doesn’t make ‘negative linkages’ for the PM? How does that negate what Sprout posts? Are you threadjacking or just working on your comprehension…?

    • Gosman 6.1

      I’m stating that noone in the media, (other than a bunch of extreme leftists on the blogosphere), are making a linkage between Paul Henry’s comments and John Key .

      Sprout implied that they would when he stated the following

      “Of course it doesn’t help that our chickenshit PM and Minister for Tourism tacitly condoned Henry’s outburst at the time, never even attempting to chastise Henry for making blatantly racist comments against our Governor General.”

      How this could be classified as thread jacking when I am just responding to a point made in the original post I have no idea. Perhaps you could explain?

      • Pascal's bookie 6.1.1

        I’m pretty sure they talked about him for about ten minutes on the The Panel yesterday. So that’s media people on the most popular radio station opining that the PM should have said more.

      • Bunji 6.1.2

        You obviously didn’t hear Dame Catherine Tizard tearing into John Key on Radio New Zealand then. Or read the Herald’s coverage of her comments.

        ‘coz that would be more than no-one.

        • the sprout

          was it an opinion piece? 😉

          • Gosman

            I wait with baited breath to see if it gets any traction.

            • mcflock

              I wait with baited breath to see if it gets any traction.

              win:win for us then, eh?

            • happynz

              ‘Wait with bated breath’, not ‘wait with baited breath’ unless you happen to be a cat with cheesey breath trying to catch a mouse.

              No worries. Lots of people make this mistake.

            • Pascal's bookie

              I’m stating that noone in the media, (other than a bunch of extreme leftists on the blogosphere), are making a linkage between Paul Henry’s comments and John Key .

              I wait with baited breath to see if it gets any traction.

              Read this morning’s Editorial in the granny and exhale gossy:

              It was, therefore, somewhat ironic that John Key was among the collateral damage. The Prime Minister seemed taken aback by Mr Henry’s comments, and failed to deliver the swift rebuke that would surely have come from his predecessor. It pointed to a lack of agility and decisiveness in pressure situations.

  7. Peter Martin 7

    it was the Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism who was sitting with Henry – on live t.v – who did Nothing whatsoever – nothing

    oooh..unfair. Key was utterly unequivocal and ruthless in immediately ruling out Jeanette Fitzsimons as a possible GG.

  8. Blighty 8

    and now he’s having a go at the Roma in his ‘woe is me’ fake apology. What a bastard.

  9. tsmithfield 9

    I don’t defend what he said for an instant.

    However, here is an extract from his apology this morning:

    “I am sincerely sorry if I seemed disrespectful to him (Sir Anand), that was not what I intended and I certainly didn’t intend to sound racist. It was wrong for me to ask the questions that I did.”Henry said Sir Anand’s background was far more “dignified” than his own.

    I guess Henry didn’t go far enough with this apology because he didn’t engage in on-screen self-mutilation.

    • felix 9.1

      Didn’t go far enough? Oh I think you’ve misread the thread ts.

    • Pascal's bookie 9.2

      Perhaps you can explain how what he said could not be disrespectful or racist? And the point isn’t just that he was disrespectful to Sir Anand, it’s that he said Fiji Indians, (and who knows who all else), don’t look like New Zealanders.

      He still hasn’t apologised for that, as I ‘m sure you agree he should.

      • gobsmacked 9.2.1

        that was not what I intended

        So what did he intend?

        He said it three times. He must have intended something.

        I thought he intended to say that the G-G didn’t look like or sound like a New Zealander. Everyone else seems to think so too, probably because that’s what he said.

        But if he intended to say something else, he could just tell us what it was.

  10. felix 10

    Ah Gosman, the gift that keeps on giving.

    Thanks for the new definition of news, I’ll remember that.

    • tsmithfield 10.1

      Don’t get me wrong. I still think disciplinary action should be taken against Henry. However, I did see the apology and thought it was quite sincere.

      • felix 10.1.1

        Yeah, well they’re just gypos so no harm done, eh ts?

        • Pascal's bookie

          And as we all know the only way gypos are better than Anand is that at least gypos look like real NZers. It takes a special kind of man to admit that sort of thing.

        • Colonial Viper

          Actually I think that in his apology Henry was trying to say that Gypos like himself are worse than Fijian Indians on the scale of racism and bigotry that he uses.

      • Blighty 10.1.2

        It wasn’t an apology it was:

        ‘i wasn’t being racist = you are all too PC’.

        ‘feel sorry for me (and all ‘real’ Kiwis) being kept down by the brown man’

        ‘Roma are scum’

  11. marsman 11

    Why does Key have a regular Monday morning spot on a breakfast show hosted by a right-wing pin-head on State owned television?

    • a human 11.1

      The PM has had a Monday slot on Breakfast for years, regardless of what tie they are wearing

  12. NickS 12

    Hot off the press – Henry’s been suspended till the 18th of October!

    Now if only TVNZ would fire the douchebag, though I fully expect him to back on air after TVNZ thinks things have “cooled down”.

  13. a human 13

    curiouser and curiouser
    As we all saw it was about midday that the announcement of Henry’s sacking occured. Can someone then explain to me how this article that has just appeared has an update time of
    “Last updated 07:59 05/10/2010″


    • felix 13.1

      That is curious. Any Stuff journos know what this means?

      • freedom 13.1.1

        as you know Felix, the devil is in the details, and there is not enough attention being paid to them

    • Vicky32 13.2

      I don’t know about Stuff, but I heard about the suspension (not sacking!) on Radio New Zealand much earlier than midday!

  14. toad 14

    Oh dear, AFP have picked up the story, including Henry’s “gyppo” reference that is sure to go down a treat in Europe.

  15. Irascible 15

    Henry’s remarks were made in the context of one Nat talking to another and revealed the underlying bigotry that supports Nat policy development. Key’s reaction was typical of his “smile & wave, scuttle & run” philosophy and a further demonstration of his much boasted inability to remember anything about NZ from after 1980, (like where he was in 1981). Presumably Key’s inability to put Henry in his place immediately was because Key had no knowledge about the Gov-Gen’s background and qualifications as he has been out of the country on another of his perpetual holidays.

  16. Penn 16

    ***What a magnet we’ll be for non-white tourists.***

    Unlikely to have much impact, do any whites think that Japan or India would appoint whites to top government positions? Of course not. Those countries are as ethnocentric as any other. That doesn’t stop millions of tourists from visiting.

    • Daveosaurus 16.1

      Actually, I could name five “whites” who’ve had the top government position in India. Here’s a hint: this was between 1876 and 1947.

      (captcha: “attachÃ&a”. Looks like someone’s upped the comment threshhold a bit here…)

  17. Vicky32 17

    Currently listening to TV3 gloating hard out about it all, but no mention of Jonkey of course! TV3 can never criticise NACT…

  18. Anil Sood 18

    The major part of the blame goes to the Prime Minister of New Zealand for giving his smug approval to this joker from TVNZ.
    Maybe John Keys wants TVNZ to project an image more in tune with his own beliefs and thinking. I will not be surprised if next in line for approval are the KKK and Ms Hitler and Co.

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    2 weeks ago
  • Certainty needed for community services
    A couple of months ago I was at a seminar where three community organisations were presenting. Two of the three presenters were waiting to find out if their organisation would get a contract renewed with MSD. Not knowing if their ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Domestic Violence – some advice for the media
    For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to use Domestic Violence (DV) as a proxy for intimate partner violence. DV is not isolated to physical abuse in a relationship between people with the same power. DV is a pattern of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 weeks ago
  • Leroy’s New Paw Prints
    Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 weeks ago