Photo credit: Rick Zwaan
Yesterday a nearly 70,00-strong petition was presented to Parliament calling for the revocation of Sir Bob Jones’ knighthood following racist comments made in the NBR. Kera Sherwood O’Regan was there.
“A petition containing 68,760 signatures asking for the removal of business magnate Sir Bob Jones’ knighthood was presented at a pōwhiri on Parliament steps yesterday, following a swiftly removed National Business Review column in which Jones proposed a “Māori Gratitude Day” in place of Waitangi Day where Māori would serve non-Māori out of “gratitude for existing”.
Over the past six weeks, petition initiator Renae Maihi and Bob Jones have faced off in the media, with Jones accusing Maihi of defamation and threatening to mount a legal case. Maihi has refused to back down from her criticism, saying that his words were ‘takahia mana’, or trampling on the mana of her people.
Despite the continued standoff, Maihi yesterday issued an invitation over social media for Bob Jones to attend the pōwhiri prior to petition delivery, to face the people and have an opportunity to apologise for his comments, which she labelled “racist”…”