Is this racist?

If a cartoon depicting Maori trotting off for free food in schools was racist, then is this front page racist?

A reader asks:

The Weekend Sun is in letterboxes Friday in Tauranga.

Yesterday’s cover is a nice photo of two girls at Merivale school with their bowls and the headline “Breakfast is best” 

Merivale School is a Decile 1B school in Tauranga, with a population of around 140, of which around 90% of are Maori.

Question is though, why pick that school – and two Maori girls – for the photo, when there are other schools in the city who will no doubt be part of the FIS programme?



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  • spollyike


    Devoy Should ResignFriday, 31 May 2013, 12:06 pm
    Press Release: Mana Party

    MANA Candidate for Ikaroa Rawhiti Te Hamua Nikora

    Friday May 31st 2013

    “Today I call upon Dame Susan Devoy to resign formally from the post of Race Relations Commissioner” says MANA Candidate for Ikaroa-Rawhiti, Te Hamua Nikora.

    “It’s a case of three strikes and you’re out. First she has a crack at Maori protesting on Waitangi Day, then she refuses to get involved with one of our wahine being discriminated by our national airline because she has a ta moko, and then she tells us that the cartoons drawn by Al Nisbet aren’t racist. Devoy is way out of touch when it comes to race relations in this country”.

    “Every Maori I have spoken to on the portrayal of Maori as smokers, alcoholics and gambling addicts, who are trying to get a free meal under the Kickstart programme, believe the cartoons were racist. Devoy should have spoken with the Maori community first before determining whether or not the cartoons were racist. After all, Nisbet’s attacks were targeted towards Maori”.

    “Devoy said that for the cartoons to be considered racist, they had to incite racial hatred or cause rioting in the streets. If the diatribe that took place on talkback radio isn’t inciting racial hatred then I don’t know what is. The national debate over these cartoons has taken race relations back to when “Hori with the Half Gallon Jar” was bedtime reading for the rednecks”.

    “I strongly urge Devoy to think again about whether or not Nisbet’s cartoons were racist. Then again, if her past actions are anything to go by, maybe she should just do Maori a favour and resign”.

    • Alloytoo

      Isn’t it racist to assume that the Race Relations Commissioner exists solely for your benefit?

      • Nechtan

        Agreed Alloytoo. One can assume the RRC exists for all races (as defined by the position’s title). Its refreshing to finally have a RRC that doesn’t kiss every “off white” bum presented to them.

        • UnconventionalConventionist

          The government needs to take innitiative and follow the RRC’s lead. Everyone is walking on eggshells around anything and everything that could be scene as racist. They brush off all the racist remarks towards “lighter skinned individuals” but as soon as something remotely “brown” is said, everyone jumps into the offensive. NZ is being divided in two and it’s starting to get on my nerves..

    • Dr Wang

      spollyike – where was the drongo Nikora’s protest when Harawira was calling white New Zealanders “white motherfuckers”?

      Nikora is the racist. His subsequent support for the Mana leader after his racist rantings show Nikora’s double-standard selective-morality is skewed in favour of Maori racism towards white NZers. This racist pig’s protestations should be ignored as the biased whining of just another ignorant Mana party bigot.

  • spollyike

    Can’t tell me those two girls are underfed…so already people are taking advantage, of course.

  • manuka416

    No, it’s not racist. Different context too. The photo is a small snapshot of how it actually is. Whereas, the cartoons were an imagination depicting the cartoonists stereotype of bad parents.

    • Tony V

      I agree, this photo isn’t racist and it is the way it is. Neither was the cartoon. The question needs to be asked, why is it being portrayed so and why are photos such as this being used. Why do such stereotypes exist?
      Because it is the reality. Kids are hungry, kids are being abused and kids are falling behind in education standards.
      Maori are over represented in these statistics. Why?
      I’ll tell you why…inter-generational dependency on the state, lack of parenting skills, alcohol abuse, substance abuse. I could go on. I’ve seen it and it isn’t pretty, in fact it is heart-breaking.

      • GazzW

        I was sitting next to a Maori on my way back from Aussie last year. He was in his mid-30s and had been living in Australia for about five years. Just the sort of bloke NZ can ill afford to lose – smart, running his own little aircon installation business with a couple of employees and married with a couple of young kids. They will never come back to NZ and will be applying for Aussie citizenship as soon as they can do so. His reasoning? In NZ he’s stereotyped as a liability on society, in Australia he’s an up and coming young battler with a successful small business and the sky’s the limit. That’s the society he wants his kids to grow up in, not in an environment focussed on the past and with a grudge mentality.

        • Bunswalla

          Gazz I call bullshit on that. If anyone’s doing the stereotyping it’s the young part-Maori with a chip on his shoulder. I call double bullshit on it if he or anyone else thinks that Australia has a better race-relations record than New Zealand does.

          If he removed the chip on his shoulder and looked at all the opportunities New Zealand has to offer no matter what race, religion or colour you are he’d have a different view.

          I guess that’s why more jobs and people are heading over this side of the Tasman, rather than the other way around.

          • GazzW

            Put your specs on Buns. I didn’t say part-Maori for starters. Could have been I suppose, its irrelevant anyway. He didn’t have any sort of racial chip on his shoulder, far from it. In Australia he was just another hard working immigrant and no doubt the butt of the usual Aussie racist attitudes but the big plus for him was that his Maori ethnicity was not perceived as a negative.

          • Bunswalla

            Gazz the last full-blooded Maori died decades ago, so yes he is a part-Maori.

            I wasn’t calling bullshit on you – but on him for the views that he’s formed himself about the way he would be perceived in NZ relating to business, and for his rose-tinted view that Australia’s free of racism, because it sure as hell isn’t.

            Clearly he was returning to NZ, as he was on the plane with you, but I assume for a holiday or family visit, and it would help to know how long he’d been away from NZ and if there were any other specific factors causing him to think that way.

            In my business there are plenty of part-Maori, including on my staff, and we also deal with plenty of suppliers and clients that are also owned and managed by part-Maori.

            I think people from all backgrounds are quick to say “oh it’ll be like this or like that, and I’ll be discriminated against, or stereotyped”. Often it’s bullshit, and the way you think and act largely determines how you’ll be treated, so I guess it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

          • Kimbo

            I think many Maori do well in Australia because they leave behind the dysfunctional (non PC description: feral) family/whanau groups and sub-cultures that disproportionately characterise Maori. Crabs that try to climb out of a bucket usually get pulled back by the other crabs. Once they do eventually summon up the courage and perseverance to force their way out, they are on their own to sink or swim (I may have mangled metaphors!), which is why Maori statistically do well in Australia compared to New Zealand.

            But if Maori are only “part” Maori, then there is also no such thing as a disproportionate Maori crime, health and educational failure problem because they are just as much presumably European/Pakeha as they are Maori. OK. Time for both Hone and his opponents at the other end of the political spectrum to stop complaining Maori have a problem.

            Traditional Maori belief, and also present legislation dictate that you are Maori if you consider yourself so, and can demonstrate it with whakapapa/genealogy, irrespective of any arbitrary fraction or percentage or proportion. Which is a better place then the previous nonsense of non-Maori dictating what is or isn’t.

            If it benefits Maori capacity for personal and collective responsibility that their values determine who is one of them, why would anyone want to dictate otherwise? Some may argue we should do so because there are special privileges for Maori. However, that is a pragmatic rather than principled argument. Privilege on the basis of race should be abolished – and eventually will be, hopefully sooner rather tan later. However, any group, especially an indigenous (compared to later immigrants) one who have no other place in the world where they uniquely exist as a corporate entity have a right for the state to recognise their qualifying status on their own terms.

            If it is Christian, it is usally baptism. If it is Jewish, it is male circumcision and bar and bat mitzvah. If it Maori, it is some Maori ancestry.

          • Dave

            Pretty accurate, for a start it takes a lot of effort and funds to get here, and after that, there are NO benefits for Kiwis arriving here since 2001. Bloody good show to, far less bludgers arriving. A very high proportion of particularly Maori that do arrive with nothing more than an Aussie dream, leave after 1 to 2 months, when their money runs out.

          • Kimbo

            We are talking about a people whose highly-sophisticated stone age ancestors turned the Pacific Ocean into their own private lake without the aid of compass, sextant or maps – about the same time my ancestors (and presumably yours too, Dave) were afraid to sail out of sight of land because, ‘Thar be dragons’.

            No wonder some Maori thrive, (and some fail) just as their fore-bears did when they are left to their own resources, ingenuity, and courage. Just ditch the cling-ons, the misery-merchants, and the political vultures and parasites who thrive on peddling and facilitating the message of ethnic division and failure, and Maori will succeed just as well as any Kiwi.

          • Dave

            They DO have a far better Race-relations record in aussie Buns. The Abbo’s are totally ignored, and largely squirreled away in nth Qld, NT or central Aussie, government handouts are nothing like Maori get, and most don’t have the dependency chip on their shoulder Maori do. Disclosure, I have employed both Maori and Aboriginals (Retail and Labouring), my preference would be for the Aboriginals. Mostly, the Aboriginals in the city are there to work, and do okay.

          • Mr_V4

            You should do more research if you believe what you have written regarding Aboriginal dependancy.

          • Bunswalla

            I guess it depends on your perspective – understand how convenient is for you to have all the “Abbo’s” squirrelled away but not sure that meets the definition of good race relations

  • motorizer

    Little fattys. Its FATTIST!!!!!! why did they put some skinny kids in the front page?

  • Col

    I see two girls?

    • Bunswalla

      Oh well done, your eyes are working alright then. What’s your point?

      • Col

        My point Buns is I see two girls having breakfast, but I assume you see it for its colour photo, ( skin colour) I don’t, just two girls having breakfast, nothing more nothing less. It is the minds and eyes of the beholder who will say what they see, that’s how I see it!!!

        • Dave

          And I saw a few things, 2 very happy girls, smiling and enjoying their breakfast.

          the fact they were Maori is neither here nor there, it would only be racist if the photographer or Journalist set out to take a picture of two maori girls having a free breakfast.

  • Ronnie Chow

    Criticizing the eating habits of Polynesians is deemed racist by Polynesians .

  • Dave

    I wonder if they took a picture of the kids at athletics with a Maori coming second if that would be deemed racist, as it showed that maori came second FFS. TOO FAR.

  • steve and monique

    Why is it,that when Maori cry Racist everyone jumps. But when there are obvious racist rants/behaviour from Maori,we non Maori do fuck all. It seems they like to hide behind the treaty, and how the white fulla made us poor,under privileged ,and held back in what they perceived was there country. Sadly if they think we are racist,they are wrong.Sick of all the bullshit would be more appropriate. If Some Maori want a racist country,then keep up the good work,you may one day achieve your goal.

  • Mr_Blobby

    Campbell live did a survey on the cartoons 73% agreed with them 23% disagreed. Was surprised that they published the results.

    Pretty much said what the vast majority, of us white motherfuckers, think of the whole thing about feeding your kids and taking responsibility.

    The real problem is not kids going to school hungry, most of those lining up for a free feed will be overweight or obese, probably the only healthy thing they will eat all day, greasys from the take away for diner.

  • LesleyNZ

    Racist? – yes according to those who think last week’s cartoons were racist. Porridge (especially if made with milk) is best – not Weetbix – and porridge is very filling. Those kids don’t look starving either. Starving kids are the ones who are scavenging for food in the rubbish bins and rubbish heaps. We don’t have real poverty in NZ. We do have parents whose priorities are wrong. It is not expensive to give your kid breakfast. It does take time and organisation in the morning to give your kids breakfast. What a con this breakfast in school programme is. The cause of kids going to school with empty tummies has not been resolved – and will not be now.

    • Dave

      Mmmmmmmm porridge made in a big pot, with a handful of raisins, drizzled with honey. Breakfasts treats of my childhood.

  • blackandwhite1983

    Still whacking on about being ‘Racist’. This is a photo from a school where breakfast is being served. Look in the background there were no whities to be in the photo. Always worrying about the white men being racist where in my opinion there is far more racism towards white people. And look at the statistics, the reason it seems to be more maori in this whole setup is because that’s the way it is. Why is it that we have to hide these facts. Maybe that is part of the problem, we are so concerned with being politically correct that the real issues are glossed over. Maybe its time that the Maori people stand up and realise there are some real issues with their people and that , no it isn’t white peoples fault. I am not a racist in any way shape or form and feel that there is good and bad in every Race, but numbers are numbers. Maori people need to learn to stand up and be a proud people as they once were. Where has the MANA gone. Relying on everyone else and always having a government department to fix all their problems doesn’t seem to be working.