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Sack Paul Henry – protests at TVNZ

Written By: - Date published: 6:01 am, October 5th, 2010 - 78 comments
Categories: activism, boycott, john key, racism - Tags:

TVNZ are refusing to take action over Paul Henry’s latest racist outburst, going as far as to say:

The audience tell us over and over again that one of the things they love about Paul Henry is that he’s prepared to say the things we quietly think but are scared to say out loud.

People are expressing their disgust at the effective state endorsement (by both TVNZ and John Key) of Henry’s blatant bigotry. One TVNZ staffer has already resigned in protest. Complaints are being made to TVNZ and their advertisers. Facebook groups have been set up.

Join the protests this evening outside TVNZ in both Auckland and Wellington calling for Paul Henry to be sacked.

AUCKLAND: 5pm, TVNZ HQ, 100 Victoria Street West
WELLINGTON: 5pm, TVNZ, 86 Lambton Quay


78 comments on “Sack Paul Henry – protests at TVNZ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    The management at TVNZ need a loud clear message.

    Please get as many people along to these protests as you can, put the word out through your email lists, facebook, call friends and family, local community groups. If you have ethnic national dress or even a T-Shirt which says “Fiji” wear it and come along!

  2. Murray 2

    If we join the Lynch mobs do we get free torches or do we bring our own?.
    If we bring our own, do we arrive with our torches lit or do we get sent to the back of the mob, if we light our torches too early?.
    Would a KKK outfit be appropriate?.
    These are all serious question on lynch mob etiquette to make sure we get it right.
    Its important to have the right mix of ethnic dress, hate groups and left wing politicians to make up a standard lynch mob

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Get off it mate, civil protest is a legitimate activity of a functioning democracy, and it has been since before the anti-apartheid marches of the 80’s.

      Grow up.

      Mass action is how we let the senior decision makers know that their people are taking their actions seriously and that there are consequences to those actions.

    • pollywog 2.2

      I’d rather someone turned up with a bucket of shit to throw over him and his car as he leaves the TVNZ carpark and have a mate film it then youtube it…

      …actually 2 buckets would be funnier. One for the car and one to splatter him when the wannabe staunch little prick hops out looking for a stoush.

      • comedy 2.2.1

        Make sure it’s out the rear of a dairy cow……. instant youtube hit.

      • billy fish 2.2.2

        Personally I would go with cream cakes – for that slapstick effect – also, and speaking from personal experience, when you are goign to throw something at someone be prepared for some of it to end up on you, and cream cakes are a lot nice.

        • Tigger

          Or we could, as cv points out, protect in a civilised manner that shows the strength of numbers…

          • pollywog

            …not really into civilised protest eh ?

            Some of the most memorable protest actions have been well less than civilized.

            Who can forget the lamington, the mud or the bare butt protests and what with youtube, it would shame Paul Henry no end.

            He needs the message to hit home, that if he ‘s gonna shit on NZer’s on TV he’s gonna get shat on by NZer’s in real life and wear the consequences in the media as well…literally !!!

            Might even start a ‘balls of steel’ like trend with annoying devils popping up all over the show.

    • ak 2.3

      Gee, nice one Muzz. Yep, them anti-racists are exactly like the KKK. Nice day outside, why don’t you go out and play?

  3. AndyB 3

    were you all this outraged when Hone called the the majority of New Zealanders white mother f*ckers? where were the protests and howls of outrage, and calling for him to be sacked.

    somewhat of a double standard.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      NZ has simply become more aware and intolerant of racism in the mass media since then.

      Its an improvement, not a double standard. I welcome it.

      • AndyB 3.1.1

        i still think there is a major difference. one is a complete fool that some people love to watch in the morning waiting for the next stupid thing to come out of his mouth … the other is an elected member of parliament. i think both of them should have been sacked.

        • The Voice of Reason

          AndyB, there were many, many condemnations of Hone’s racist outburst on the Standard at the time and no lack of fulsome debate about it. So no double standard at all, as you would have discovered if you’d put ‘hone’ in the search bar at the top right hand side of the page.

      • Murray 3.1.2

        Wow we’ve really improved as a country in such a short time.
        If I let the inane utterances of a senseless bigot like Paul Henry bother me I would probably end up like most of the left wing posters on this blog

        • the sprout

          instead you’ve ended up as yourself! well done Murray, you are a real free thinker

    • prism 3.2

      No, AndyB That was a general attack in an outburst, this was a named individual ranked high in NZ targeted by Paul Henry merely for being – 1 A different colour to Paul Henry (who regards himself as a ‘golden boy’) and 2 being in that highly ranked position. He belittles the rank of Governor General, the people who appointed him, and attempts to undermine the authority and respect to which the GG is entitled, and deserves because of his abilities, standards and achievements.

      Henry is of a piece with ACT who are contemptuous of our government system and democracy which they would like to alter, warp and gradually destroy. There used to be great fear of communism as destructive to society. A tool like Henry and ACT are the real deal when it comes to underfloor termites, they are white ants of a virulent kind.

    • Headlessrd 3.3

      Keep in mind Hone said something along the lines of “white mother f*ckers” have been riping us off for centuries.” It was also in a private email(not expressed on public TV).

      I’m not condoning it, I’m simply saying that he was right (if you remove the “whiter mother f*ckers” bit), and it was a different situation (which entails a different response).

    • pollywog 3.4

      Hone called the the majority of New Zealanders white mother f*ckers?

      uh no he didnt eh ?

      he said in the context of a private e-mail that…

      ‘White motherfuckers have been raping our lands and ripping us off for centuries and all of a sudden you want me to play along with their puritanical bullshit.”

      That implies only some white mofo’s have and certainly not the majority. Totally different kettle of fish….besides, it’s the truth and some white mofo’s are still doing it !!!

    • Blighty 3.5

      AndyB. Yes, most people were outraged by Hone’s comments. check the standard’s hone harawira tag old boy

  4. billy fish 4

    Don;t think sacking the man is the right response – hes a twat but …. well read the following – it sums up my thoughts


    • billy fish 4.1

      btw should clarify my view on this – don’t sack him – move him to a new show “talk back twat” on at 3am on a Tuesday morning – seems a lot more appropriate for him

  5. KJT 5

    Who cares. Just a bigot and idiot proving the point. All countries and races have them. There are much more important things to worry about.

    Definitely not worth the space the Standard and other media has wasted on him.

    All the free publicity has Probably increased his viewers 100%

    • Blighty 5.1

      it’s one thing to have bigots. It’s another to employ them as lead presenter on the state broadcaster.

  6. Rharn 6

    In response to the studio’s defence of Henry I wonder what the IQ is of the audience that go to watch Henry’s show.

    • grumpy 6.1

      Well, we know Kaplan and lprent were watching this morning….. 🙂

      • lprent 6.1.1

        Only because I wanted to see if Heritage Hotels were still the sponsor. IMHO, that is a far more effective target than the ratings obsessed TVNZ for a blogger. A point that I see The Sprout picked up on this morning. My post on that topic can wait until tomorrow morning.

    • Murray 6.2

      “In response to the studio’s defence of Henry I wonder what the IQ is of the audience that go to watch Henry’s show.”
      Probably the red neck working class variety

  7. Sweetd 7

    And the ratings go up. Well done everyone. I think you have just ensured he will get the People Choice award next year as well.

    • Blighty 7.1

      sweetie. how about having the courage to just say the truth: you like henry and agree with his racist and bigoted remarks.

  8. Sweetd 8

    Blighty, I really couldn’t give a rats arse about henry and what he says. To ease your mind, no, I don’t support what he said. I don’t watch the show, having to do with the fact that I am at work. FFS he shocks, that is what he does, and the more you get vexed about it, the more he will shock, the more his ratings will increase. TVNZ get rid of him?, well if you think that, or the protest will achieve anything but promote him and the show even more then I have some magic beans you would be interested in.

  9. a human 9

    One of the funniest aspects of this stoush is that the media reports Breakfast as a ‘Current Affairs’ show. It is a tabloid fluffer, a magazine show at best.

    To its credit though,, it is a propoganda tool par’excellence
    so no surprise why it only ever gets wet tissue warnings

  10. Interesting 10

    I Hope that all the people proclaiming on this site and others how “racist” PHenry is have never once uttered a joke in which a person from another ethnicity was part of it and have never uttered from their lips anything that in any way could be taken as “racist”.

    And dont use the “in the public” line as a reason for why he should be condemned either.

    Either we it applies to everyone or no-one.

    • Cnr Joe 10.1

      henry sniggers all the time – it does not comedy make it
      his words were not delivered as a comedy routine (regardless of sideshow John playing straight man)
      he is not billed as a comedian.
      the ‘in the public’ is the point.
      your ‘rules, interesting, suck
      i mean, really

    • mcflock 10.2

      “In public”? No.
      “On national television”? Yes.

      Most people have at least one quirk or socialised phobia/bigotry/insensitivity to greater or lesser degrees. It is because we are imperfect humans in an imperfect society. I, for example, am still trying to expunge the word ‘retard’ from my reactive vocabulary.

      However, most of us would realise that some things which we find inoffensive might/should be grossly offensive to other people. As an example, I have a high level of graveyard humour, well beyond mere “insensitivity”. However, I would not make skull-!$%! jokes at a funeral, as it might cause offence/distress. When, on occasion, I do cause offence, I apologise for my actions because I should have moderated my behaviour, knowing that it might cause offence.

      Paul Henry did not have the nous to realise that an overtly racist comment on national television might cause offence, and then his “apology” was weak and flaccid.

      The guy is a broken unit. A sexist, racist broken unit who laughs at the thought of someone being starved of oxygen at birth. And he has no shame at displaying his wares on television, which is worse.

  11. Jagilby 11

    Nice to see rent-a-mob will be gainfully employed once more.

    I agree what he said was wrong, absolutely wrong. And I usually enjoy Paul Henry.
    However, don’t you think that your protests start to lack credibility when it’s the same handful of culprits every. single. time?
    People switch off – “oh, yeah, it’s just those same unemployed wackos having fun finger painting placards again..”

    I really don’t think TVNZ are going to take you seriously if you rock up with 10-15 regulars from ‘The Standard’ – I think they have a sneaking suspicion that you’re not within their target market.

    It’s like a Simpsons episode:

    “You may remember Rochelle Rees from such protests as:
    Solid Energy – Happy Valley
    Israeli tennis player
    Cannabis legalisation
    Pig farming
    Miscellaneous Climate change action”

    • Carol 11.1

      TVNZ has already taken the protests seriously and suspended Henry for 2 weeks:

      • Jagilby 11.1.1

        …Psst, can you quietly divulge the secrets of time travel to me?
        Your protests aren’t until 5pm(?)
        I don’t think you can claim this one yet love.

        Also, that’s a little short of the sack don’t you think?

        Kyle Sandilands was suspended for 3 weeks in Australia for trivialising rape (absolutely abhorent! May I suggest even, on a completely different level to Henry’s comments) and now hosts, what I assume is one of, Australia’s top rating shows (X-factor). Doesn’t seem like suspensions mean a hell of a lot in showbiz, especially when you’re a ratings puller.

        Back to finger painting Carol – you’ve got a big protest to prepare for.

        • felix

          Cute, Jagilby.

          You’re on the wrong side of this. Just admit it and get over yourself.

          • Jagilby

            Wrong side of what?

            Did you miss this: “I agree what he said was wrong, absolutely wrong.”

            I’m questioning whether or not it’s really worth protesting over.
            Popular opinion has clearly already swung against Henry without the need to picket TVNZ.

            You guys sweat the small stuff and it costs you your credibility.

            • felix

              Even cuter.

              At 12.04 it was all a waste of time, no-one cares, stupid lefties any excuse for a protest and “real kiwis” won’t listen to you anyway etc

              At 1.23 there’s no point in protesting ‘cos we’re all on your side and always were anyway so please shut up, just shut up shut up shut up.

              Oh, and thanks for the concern.

              • Jagilby

                If it helps you sleep better at night then keep believing the opinions voiced here somehow influenced this.

                If by “real kiwis” you mean the 99% of the country that don’t even know The Standard exists – then I guess you’re right on that account. They won’t listen to you because most of them (staunch fans included) will have already made their mind up – it was unacceptable (you know independent thought).
                They don’t need the same crowd picketing on TV to drive that home to them. My point has been consistent from the start – you lot just appear to be opportunistically seeking camera time for a protest that is unnecessary – if anything I think it’ll be counterproductive.

                I just love the arrogance – the fact that you think the world suddenly woke up and listened to you. That people don’t have the competence to judge each of his statements without you guiding them to the water.

                BTW, I’m not “on your side” because I don’t think he will be sacked nor do I think sacking is appropriate in this case.

                • felix

                  “I just love the arrogance – the fact that you think the world suddenly woke up and listened to you.”

                  Not likely to ever happen. I’m just happy that this time they didn’t listen to the likes of you.

                  This time the racists and their apologists and enablers (that’s you and your “shhh, don’t rock the boat” mentality Jagilby) lose.

                  And that’s good.

                  • Jagilby

                    OK, I’ve told you twice now that I find the comment unacceptable but I’m still somehow a racist (wow, that’s a first – being an Asian NZer), an apologist, and, let’s not forget, an enabler.

                    All the buzz words.

                    Did you skip comprehension class?

                    Fact is the boat has already sailed before you’ve had a chance to “rock” it.
                    He’s been suspended without the hassle of getting out and beating your chest about it. And about “rocking the boat” – No one is being compelled to watch breakfast television (we’re not talking about a student union here).

                  • Jagilby

                    I actually find it quite sad that you had to resort to the racist card as a means of last resort. It’s always appears to me to be a form of ad hominem – an attempt to shut the debate down.

                    My point still stands. Paul Henry’s supporters have left him high and dry on this one – they recognise he was wrong. And again, because you’ve had some trouble with it – I think that the comment was unacceptable.

                    Picketing TVNZ, in my opinion, will be counterproductive because the people who, up until this point, have supported Paul Henry (i.e. the 35,000 or so on facebook at last count) will recognise that those who are apoplectic enough to get into the streets are representative of people who complain about the comments they loved – i.e. those nice people who send letters to him calling him a “pompous, self-conceited little pr!ck” and say loving things such as “die you c**t”.

                    You might hate that reality but I’m just putting it out there.

                    Lobbying sponsors etc, as some have suggested is probably a far more effective course of action. Even then, that didn’t stop Kyle Sandilands.

                  • felix

                    Yes you’re right. Henry has been suspended because of the people like yourself who sit quietly and say nothing. In fact that’s how all progression is made – by mutely accepting the status quo.

                    As for “But how can I be a racist – I’m FROM a race!”

                    er yeah. That’s where I stopped reading your comments. Probably forever, thickie.

                    • Jagilby

                      It truly saddens me that I won’t have to put up with you skewing the words or intent of my posts anymore (I assume they will be mutely accepted from now on?)

                      Anyway you’re late for your protest.
                      Or are you not going… com’on man, you need to rise up against the tyranny!

                    • felix

                      Too many hours drive for me. But that’s ok, plenty of ways to skin a cat – all of which seem to be working quite well at the mo which must be pissing you off royally.

                      And nah, of course I’ll read your drivel. I’m just not going to take it seriously now that you’ve laid your cards out for all to see how vacuous and shallow you are.

                    • Jagilby

                      I wasn’t asking how I could be racist because I’m Asian – it was more surprise at never having that accusation levied at me. It was a strange sensation being called racist.

                      I had a workmate this morning who presented the case that the comments ‘weren’t that bad’ – I rebuffed that and said “com’on mate, let’s not suger coat this shit, we all know what he was getting at. He fucked up on this one, there’s no way around it”. There were about 10 of us there who are usually fans of his inane musings and we all agreed. So call me what you will I’ll always honestly call it how I see it – despite the fact I love the guy – I have openly said that he was wrong in this case.

                      I just happen to disagree with hardcore haters thinking that beating down the doors will influence public opinion. Fact of the matter is that, in this case, Henry supporters thrive on him pissing off you lot – why do you think his acceptance speech went down so well???
                      It’ll just make him a martyr for the cause and then people will rally behind him. That’s the argument – you can crack out the pitchforks but at the end of the day, as I’ve said I think it’s a fruitless, counterproductive effort. With most people his public persona had already taken a hit over this and his fans have seen his ignorant side – that will probably fester.
                      As soon as the rent-a-mob jump in then that’s lost. You can’t compel people to think a certain way – they have to see it for themselves. Taking Henry off the airwaves now will be like taking the bottle away from the baby.

                      But I can’t save you from yourselves it seems – what’s a good outrage without a public display of outrage?

                    • felix

                      You don’t need to “save us from ourselves” you patronising fool.

                      But again, thanks for the concern.

      • hateatea 11.1.2

        Not before time. I hope they have also referred him to a psychotherapist or some other such professional who can help him to understand why the way he speaks / behaves is sometimes so very wrong

    • rocky 11.2

      Not sure why I’m bothering responding to this – but what the hell!

      Solid Energy – Happy Valley

      Supported their cause but don’t think I ever went to any protests about it.

      Israeli tennis player

      Yep, supported the cause, and went to one protest to protect civil liberties the police were trying to take away.

      Cannabis legalisation

      Support the cause but never been to a protest about it!

      Pig farming

      Yep that’s my main cause and I actually get as involved as I can!

      Miscellaneous Climate change action

      Been to a couple of big marches in Auckland but nothing beyond that!

  12. felix 12

    Well he’s suspended without pay until the 18th. That’s a start.

    • billy fish 12.1

      now the job of everyone out there is to watch the show for the 2 weeks he’s off to boost the ratings then stop watching it when he comes back
      Ratings (with commensuate advertising draw) – the only true factor that counts in TV land

      • Pascal's bookie 12.1.1

        Don’t torture yourself unless you have one of the people meter boxes.

        • felix

          Or one of them fancy internet porn-machine doohickeys…

          • Pascal's bookie

            people who watch tv on their porn machines are fucking sick.

            • billy fish

              I have started counselling for my “Good Morning” addiction, I realise it is destructive and linked to my self loathing. I will devote my self more to the correct use of the laptop for watching brazillian jelly wrestling

            • Colonial Viper

              People who watch Paul Henry on their porn machines are ****** sick.

  13. gobsmacked 14


    “PC lefties wasting their time bloody rentamob who cares what they think just bleating online everyone knows protests never ever made a difference Paul Henry gets the ratings that’s all that matters what a waste of time complaining it won’t change a thing just get a LIFE …

    oh fuck he’s been suspended without pay …”

  14. a human 15

    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”


  15. MikeE 16

    ever considered just changing the channel?

    • nzfp 16.1

      I switched off the TV entirely. That said – the main reason I don’t watch Breakfast is because of Henry – many others have said the same on this blog as well.

      Just popped into your site – might have to grab some tunes to listen to in place of the TV 😉

    • Hey Rick,

      It might be ok in the US to have network sanctioned racists on TV –
      but in New Zealand its not OK.

      Are you OK?


  16. Colonial Viper 17

    Someone’s already said it. Suspended: that’s a start. Now lets muscle in with the power of mass action.

  17. Xjy 18

    The overt racists have just got into parliament here in Sweden. One of their main slogans was “Give us back our Sweden”. One of their main (public) demands is “Send the immigrants back where they come from”. God knows exactly what Sweden they’re on about, or which immigrants. (As an aside, one of the White Supremacist crew involved in a notorious police-killing a few years ago was black.)
    Their irrational contortions as they try to get mainstream acceptance are a laugh. They set a cut-off date for “Real Swedes” for those who were here in 1900. Bit like Britain’s “patrial” passport crap.
    Same thing should be tried in NZ. I’d be a bit more historically radical though. My cut-off date would be 1750…

  18. Bodiddly 19

    Anyone who can be that idiotic and insensitive in front of thousands deserves the boot

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    With fewer than 40 per cent of eligible voters having their say in the 2016 local elections, the Government must get serious and come up with a plan to increase voter turnout, says Labour’s Local Government Spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry presents solutions to homelessness – Govt must act
    Labour, the Green Party and the Māori Party are calling on the Government to immediately adopt the 20 recommendations set out in today's Ending Homelessness in New Zealand report. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A good night for Labour’s local government candidates
    It has been a good night for Labour in the local government elections. In Wellington, Justin Lester became the first Labour mayor for 30 years, leading a council where three out of four Labour candidates were elected. Both of Labour’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More contenders for fight clubs
    Allegations of fight clubs spreading to other Serco-run prisons must be properly investigated says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister runs for cover on job losses
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell’s refusal to show leadership and provide assurances over the future of the Māori Land Court is disappointing, given he is spearheading contentious Maori land reforms which will impact on the functions of the Court, ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Kiwisaver contribution holiday not the break workers were looking for
    The number of working New Zealanders needing to stop Kiwisaver payments is another sign that many people are not seeing benefit from growth in the economy, says Grant Robertson Labour’s Finance spokesperson. "There has been an increase of 14 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Fight Club failings
    The Corrections Minister must take full responsibility for the widespread management failings within Mt Eden prison, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Rethink welcomed
    The Labour Party is pleased that Craig Foss is reconsidering the return of New Zealand soldiers buried in Malaysia, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “For the families of those who lie there, this will a welcome move. The ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Disappointment over UN vote
    Helen Clark showed her characteristic drive and determination in her campaign to be UN Secretary General, and most New Zealanders will be disappointed she hasn't been selected, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. "Helen Clark has been an ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    3 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    3 weeks ago