SPCA’s Bob Kerridge a racist


Ah yes, Bob  Even though he’s headed up the Auckland SPCA for quite a while now, he’s a bit of a Taliban type when it comes to animals v humans.  He doesn’t care much for the latter.

SPCA boss Bob Kerridge has been labelled racist after he linked dog attacks to the ethnicity of their owners.

He’s come under fire for comments he made about the high number of dog attacks in south Auckland.

Some dogs can be menacing, savage and even deadly if they attack. There have been more than 1000 convictions related to dog attacks in the past five years, a third of them in Manukau, south Auckland.

Claims by Mr Kerridge that that means ethnicity is a factor, have sparked outrage.

Mr Kerridge reportedly said some races don’t know or care about their responsibilities as dog owners.

Well, he’s a crusty old coot, and he’s not one to mince words when one of his faithful are at the receiving end of some bad treatment.

Local MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio shares Mr Kerridge’s frustration about the growing problem in south Auckland, but he disagrees it’s a race issue.

“I think it’s wrong for him to be pointing the finger at ethnic groups and saying they’re responsible for the number of dog attacks,” says Mr Sio.

But he says new migrants need help to better understand the rules of owning an animal.

Oh, riiiiiiiight.  Sio is a migrantist.   How can you blame migrants and then not involve race?  Seriously?

“My concern is that when people start owning animals there isn’t enough info out there about what you need to do to be a responsible animal owner.”

Mr Sio wants more education on the issue for new migrants, and Immigration New Zealand says it is planning to come up with some guidelines.

Has Sio actually checked if they are pets or livestock?  It might drive the kind of information and training that’s needed.  Just sayin’…

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy released a statement saying the sweeping claims stereotyping entire races as irresponsible people who don’t care about their pets are “unhelpful, wrong and incredibly offensive to a lot of people”.


So, people are offended.   So what?   Nothing happens.

– 3 News


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  • STAG

    It’s called a stereotype, because it’s true.

  • SlightlyStrange

    I love the fact that Sio said basically the same thing as Kerridge – certain migrant / ethnic groups in South Auckland need more education about caring for their animals. And yet, apparently only Kerridge is racist by suggesting that? Is it because of his turn of phrase?

    • johcar

      “Is it because of his turn of phrase?” – you would be naive to think so, I suspect

  • Reid

    You could solve the problem in a heartbeat.

    Dogs reflect their owner’s temperament with very few exceptions. It’s possible to train a dog to be a defender as well as a family pet as police show all the time.

    So if someone’s temperament isn’t suitable, destroy their dogs and don’t let them have one until they improve. Which means forcing them not only to satisfy a psychologist they pay for that they’re a suitable owner but also forces them to take their new puppy to the police every month or so so the police can test the dog to see how they’re turning out. Which the owner also pays for.


    • mommadog

      While it has a feel good factor because something is being done this wont work in the long term because you are assuming that people care about their dogs being destroyed as you put it. If they did they would be training them and be responsible owners to start with. From what I have seen when animal control takes a dog its not that long (months to a year or so) before another appears. Who is going to police it, visiting houses to make sure there are no other dogs at all times of the day or night and pay for it? I already know of cases in housing corp. homes where they are not supposed to have a dog and the dog goes to a friends during inspection time and then comes back after – so housing corp. none the wiser. Also why should police have to take on a role of checking dogs. I would rather they be out catching criminals.

  • mommadog

    I support Bob on this 100%. The racism card always comes out when someone tells the truth instead of staying politically correct. Several houses have dogs on my street including me. We all have fences, we all walk our dogs on leashes when off the property except one house who’s young kids roam the street and their 2 dogs roam the street. Now it was fun when they were puppies and the dogs played with the kids riding their bikes and were encouraged to chase and jump. But the dogs don’t know they are now bigger and the postie on her bike that stopped at my gate the other day was scared to go past as the dogs run to the bikes. Who pays – if something happens its the dogs life gone not the owner. Which is technically the kids as the parent in the house has no obvious interest. In dog language the dogs are still playing as they have had no training to know the difference. The dogs are treated like village dogs that just hang out and roam like you see on TV shows. You can see it in almost any village/Marae communal living type environment whether in the South Pacific or Africa as its part of that communal way of living. If I happen to state the race/culture of the person down the road I will them be called racist along with Bob.

  • Orange

    Dame Susan’s response is kinda odd. In schools we have to devise special programmes, mentoring, extra classes, tracking – all for priority learners. A priority learner is defined as being anyone who is maori or pacific in your class. Of course this is racist but is that bad to identify a problem area and try to fix it?

    • johcar

      Reverse discrimination is still discrimination.

      • Adios Africa

        Reverse discrimination invariably reinforces negative stereotypes. These special education programmes are dumbed-down in both context and content by providers who in most cases who are beneficiaries of reverse discrimination and handouts. Fundamentals such as personal accountability, situational awareness, deferred gratification and aspiration are lost in the humbug.

    • tipotago

      Orange by linking priority learners to the dog attacks are quite different issues. 1. A Dog Problem needs to fixed in South Auckland with educating the owners.
      2. Educational priority learners is an ongoing educational issue for the last 30 years. It is not racist labeling Maori or Pasifika or those on low incomes and targeting them to achieve.
      3. What the public schools have failed to fix this mess and hence why Charter schools are trying to change this.

  • Rex

    The truth really upsets some people. That is the trouble with NZ. If it was white people who had the greater percentage of troublesome animals that would be OK though.

    • tipotago

      There is probably more dog attacks by ‘white people’ in NZ as a whole..But its just not media to show the majority in trouble with the law. As the old media mantra goes by ‘if it bleeds it leads’ Key words South Auckland, Racism, Dog Attacks. SPCA white boss-links dog attacks to ethnicity-These all lead not a wee story down in Gore where the farm dog killed some sheep, or rabbit etc etc

  • Second time around

    Will Dame Susan work through the conviction list for dangerous animals to prove that the mix of ethnicities is not statistically different from the surrounding community? Otherwise she should keep an open mind and accept that there can be racial -ethnic differences, for example in susceptibility to disease, and to adverse reactions to prescribed medicines. I’m not sure what race Bob Kerridge referred to, and maybe he was referring to a socioeconomic group as much as a race. In any case it is a lot less offensive than Gareth Morgan-Metiria Turei suggesting at Ratana last week that Honkies had no empathy with Maori issues.

    • Effluent

      It might be better to describe the common factor a cultural, rather than racial, but I suspect Bob Kerridge would have come in for just as much flak even if he had been more careful, since it is taboo under current PC rules to refer to any culturally specific antisocial behaviour (FGM, suicide bombing, rioting, etc) unless it is practiced by the most deplorable culture of all, the anglo white underclass (football hooliganism, p3 of the Sun, deep fried pizza, mud wrestling, etc)

    • ex-JAFA

      I believe that the role of the Race Relations Commissioner is not to research or dispute facts, but to make sure that they never see the light of day.

  • Nirvana10

    I’m getting a bit tired of Dame Susan commenting on every trivial little issue and seeing ‘racism’ at every turn. I will give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she was asked by a reporter for her view and so gave it. Of course, we all know that the real reason for the high number of dog attacks in South Auckland is that there are too many people living in poverty who have not the money to feed either their children or their dogs! The solution might be to have fewer children and no dogs!

    • OneTrack

      Or they feed their dogs before they worry about their children.

    • papagaya

      Devoy has to justify her position somehow. Seriously, the Race Relations Office should now be no more than a website, with one part-time worker who answers the phone and posts out brochures to those who can’t use the Net. The website could explain the law, and recommend that people contact their solicitor if they have a beef. The law would have to be overhauled for this to happen. The alternative is to institute a $100 fee which complainants pay. They get it back once their complaint has been investigated. Even that would drastically reduce the office’s workload, necessitating fewer staff.

    • botti

      It’s not her fault, the whole office (and salary of $400K) should be discarded. It’s a farce. It belongs to Soviet Russia.

  • Salacious Crumb

    Yeah ‘cos it was a Pakeha from Remuera that killed his dog with a hammer then proceeded to barbeque it….


  • Wheninrome

    Some of these “migrants” have been here a long time as we are continually told. In some of these “ethnic” groups dogs are seen as an extension of their personality, makes them feel big and strong, cause the dog will back them up, as it has been trained to do.
    If they spent the same amount of time making sure their children received a proper education that lead to jobs, the problem would go away in the blink of an eye.

  • TSD

    It’s not unhelpuful, wrong and incredibly offensive at all. Different cultures are different cultures and treat animal welfare differently, a dog walking around on it’s own and occasionally returning home for food etc is fine in Raro, it works, but Auckland is a different environment.
    So yes, it’s likely to be a cultural thing, that is not casting aspersions nor insulting anyone, it is just narrowing down where information needs to be given and monitering done.
    What qualifications are required to be a race relations comissioner I wonder, from what we’re hearing you could write down three years worth of statements in a day then just hit send every time somebody offend somebody, seems pretty cushy.

    • phronesis

      Let’s face it, any job where being the best in the world at hitting a little rubber ball is ample qualification, is not a real job.

    • Geoff

      It would be appear the current qualification for being a race Relations Commisioner is the ability to hit a small, hard rubber ball at a wall. It’s time the role was abolished.

  • Euan Ross-Taylor

    ….and it’s not helpful suggesting drunks on the road are a major reason for car accidents – that is just unreasonable!
    That is such a sweeping statement stereotyping all drink drivers.

  • HSV325

    All dogs caught roaming with no collar or chip should receive an instant bullet to the head. Whether in Remuera or Ranui.

  • steve and monique

    So how many have seen an intimidating fellow walking a mongrel dog, and looking and acting real staunch about it. Put money on it not being to many white people. This bloke has hit a nail on the head, and now the PC brigade have started their usual ranting. Good on him, and going by a poll on stuff, his view is shared by many.

  • G-Man

    i am sooooo offended i can feel a case of leprosy coming on

  • munzrat

    Bob Kerridge is 100% a wonderful guy and frankly a man right up there with all the greatest kiwis ….end of story .

  • Just a thought …

    i think poor old Susan is confused and thinks that her role is purely to stand up for the ” darker” in colour regardless of the situation.
    NO NO NO your role is to look at each situation on it’s merits and have the ” balls” to say…. ” that’s not racist but a statement of fact ” so CANNOT be racist as it is correct and based in fact.
    Stop being an apologist for everything ethnic and please try and bring some balance to the argument………
    If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck then i’m pretty sure “Dame Susan” that it’s a….. duck….. and not as you are so valiantly trying to convince us that it’s a turkey…..

    You never backed down from a challenge on the squash court so what has happened to you since then …….

    edit . grama

    • Wallace Westland

      I was just about to say the same thing but probably not as well.
      I’m tired of people being called racist when they simply make a statement of fact.

      • Just a thought …

        Yes . racism is the promotion of an ideology or thought based on nothing other than ” skin colour or ethnicity ” .
        Racism is NOT the commenting on situations that are patently obvious ( and can be supported ) and / or based in fact ……..

  • botti

    The issue of dog fighting is something that is popular in some rap music and obviously more likely to occur in South Auckland.

  • kayaker

    I would like our Race Relations Commissioner to speak out about the racist comments made by Metiria Turei at the Ratana event last week.

    • johnnymanukau.

      DAMe Susan Devoy has become another talking head who utters nonsense when another ethnicity other than a good old Kiwi is offended. Susan, they choose to be offended, who cares Mr Kerridge is correct, why because I lived in Sth Auckland for 26 years and Bob is spot on. Susan is just saying what she expects her boss wants to hear and that keeps the cheques rolling in.

  • kiwirog

    I think there is correlation but not causation. Excuse my overgeneralising but rich people have designer labradooles and little miniature thingees — such dogs don’t give you much street cred on struggle street where the poor live and where a tough dog might be your cheapest and most useful status symbol. Browner skinned people are overrepresented among the poor.

    • tipotago

      Statistically your correct, but the majority of poor are white middle aged men who are forgotten.

  • Karen Batchelor

    What ignorant twaddle gets spoken on this blog.

    I thought Bob Kerridge couldn’t astound me more than he did when he announced to the good folk of this land on national TV that “All Pit Bulls are born bad”.

    But now, he expands his bigotry to certain ethnicities.

    Plainly, he hasn’t bothered to educate himself by availing himself of the scientific findings of such respected organisations as the American Veterinary Medical Association in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (Dec, 2013):


    Of the consistently seen factors in adverse events involving canines, the breed of the dog and owner ethnicity are not relevant.

    Kerridge’s opinion exposes his simplistic, uneducated and discriminatory view of the subject.

    For example, people in economically depressed areas may well keep larger dogs and encourage human-targeted aggression but that is mostly due to their fear of crime, not their race.

    Of course there are new immigrants to this country who, prior to coming to NZ, have only ever seen a dog on a dinner plate, but if ignorance is the problem then education is the solution, not stereotyping.

    We still have too many NZers who were born here who keep their dogs at the end of a chain 24/7. Such dogs are three times more likely to be offenders and five times more likely to be the offender when the victim is a child.

    Perhaps Kerridge could focus on what he and his organisation can do to improve the quality of care and conditions for all dogs.

    As for those who don’t care, one of the worst offenders I have seen was a high-profile successful caucasian sportswoman and her caucasian GP husband (Alison and Dr Richard Rowe) who persistently thumbed their noses at animal control and their angry neighbours allowing their Chesapeake Bay Retriever to roam at large until he and another dog eventually cleaned up a paddock of sheep.

    It was carnage and the dog copped a destruction order to which the owners responded by saying they would simply stud him and keep one of his puppies. That’s not about ethnicity. That’s about attitude.

    Kerridge’s comments are ignorant and offensive and he owes the people he has aimed his ill-conceived prejudice at a public apology.

    I fully expect to get told to f off on this blog (again) for this time throwing the dead cat into Bob Kerridge’s temple and suggesting that Kerridge doesn’t know his fanny from his foot. Worse, I will venture to state that his field of expertise is fund raising, not socio-economic demographics, statistics or anything else he uses his profile to pretend at.

    There is no doubt that the xenophobes will rush to his defense but the reality is that bad ownership of dogs is not race related even if landing in the lower socio-economic demographic is.

    • Brian Badonde

      Did you cut and paste this from one of your other hate speeches against Bob? Why don’t you disclose who you are for the readers benefit.

      • Karen Batchelor

        Are you really that silly? I use my own name and stand by what I have to say.

        I don’t make hate speeches against Kerridge but I do speak publicly about what a menace he is and how ill-founded his ‘opinions’.

        • Brian Badonde

          You are the perfect example of an internet troll and I will not engage with you!

          • Karen Batchelor

            Trolls are cowards who don’t use their real identity to stand by what they say.

            I’m sure you won’t engage since you can’t argue with the truth, especially when you are not prepared to state your real identity or even back your opinion with hard facts.

          • [MOD] Check the rules about responding to trolls. Holiday until Mar 1. Without you, that would have been just 1 message. You enabled her. Hence the rule, hence the holiday.

      • Karen Batchelor

        I see you keep your real identity private. That’s just a little cowardly when you are attacking others don’t you think?

  • BR

    Susan Devoy has lost any and all respect I ever had for her the day she took up her current post.


  • Max

    Why isn’t every time we have a perceived social problem requiring education for one minority group or another?
    We have a small population so does this mean those minority groups are stupid?

  • Andrew Gibson

    The emphasis on avoiding racial stereotypes is annoying. What’s wrong with identifying a problem and dealing with it?

    I’m sure we can say, for example, Pakeha can learn from Maori about the grieving process, or protecting the environment. That kind of generalisation is ok, apparently.

  • Nz front

    If its true just handle it.

  • waldopepper

    bob kerridge would certainly know better than susan devoy on the issue. hes been doing this for …. well, forever. im sure he knows what he is talking about. but hey, with devoy being both a squash champ as well as a women, she will always know better and will always be right at the same time. jeez, you can always tell when someones comments are bang on. the word “racist” starts getting thrown around. and i cant see where he said that all people of an ethnic group are bad dog owners, but he said all bad owners seem to be from the same group. there is a hell of a difference.

  • Sailor Sam

    Seeing as we apparently need signs at dangerous swimming places, according to the coroner, maybe we need a sign at Auckland Airport about dangerous dogs, so that ‘migrants” can learn how to look after these animals?
    We also know that in come countries people eat dogs, but is that a racist comment also?